Pedaling the Andes from Argentina to Chile Plus! the Island of Chiloé multisport

  • Itinerary Summary

    Join us on an 11 day journey over the Andes from Argentina to Chile where we will cycle paved roads across the Continental Divide before continuing on to Chiloé to explore the tranquil fjords, wooden houses and churches of the largest Island in Chile. At this latitude, the mountains are much gentler than the severe Peruvian and Ecuadoran landscapes that come to mind when you think of the Andes. Our route winds from the high plateau setting of San Carlos de Bariloche down through the valleys of the border region and into Chile's Lake District. We'll travel the valleys and explore the famous lake region of Chile, as we cycle past conical volcanoes and snow capped Andean peaks.

    Next we ferry across to the Island of Chiloé, in northern Chilean Patagonia where we'll spend 4 days hiking and kayaking the fjords and unique ecosystems of this island, home to rare species of birds and marine animals. Chiloé is reminiscent of the landscapes in Scandinavia. Though it was inhabited long before the Spanish arrived in 1567, the island remained isolated from the commercial trade routes until the founding of the nearby port city Puerto Montt in 1853. During these three isolated centuries, a unique culture developed. The Chilote are of Spanish and indigenous Mapuche descent, and depend on their marine environment to support their way of life.

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    1. Day 1: Meet in Bariloche, Argentina

      Highlights: Bike fitting and welcome dinner

      We meet today in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. We'll fit bikes and take a short loop ride into the surrounding area for those who need to beat jet lag. We gather for welcome drinks and introductions before dinner together. (You might consider arriving a few days early in Bariloche - it's a great place to relax and enjoy an Argentine mountain resort.) Today's mileage: Your choice for a short ride.

    2. Day 2: Bariloche - Villa La Angostura

      Highlights: Lake Nauhel Huapi, scenic road from Paso Coihue to Villa La Angostura

      This morning we head north along Lake Nahuel Huapi, high in the Andes. Enjoy beautiful views across the lake as you cycle through the town of Paso Coihue, and continue on to Villa La Angostura on one of Argentina's most scenic roads. This road gets a bit hilly by the end of the day, but once you reach town, you can relax and enjoy dinner on your own.

      Distance: about 90 km (56 miles).

    3. Day 3: Crossing into Chile

      Highlights: Cardenal Samore Pass, thermal spas

      Heading across the Andes we'll pedal from Villa La Angostura over the Cardenal Samore Pass to our thermal resort at the Termas de Puyehue. We'll have a picnic lunch together before enjoying the downhill into Chile! Be sure to take time to relax in the hotel thermal pools before we have dinner together. Today's mileage: 93 km (58 miles).

    4. Day 4: Termas de Puyehue to Puerto Octay

      Highlights: Chile's Lake District, Lago Llanquihue

      This is a long day, but we have left the Andes and are now in Chile's picturesque Lake District. You may confuse your surroundings with Switzerland until you stop for a picnic lunch in the town of Cancura, which has a distinctly Chilean feel and a very interesting history. From here you can shuttle the last 37 km to the hotel in Puerto Octay, unless of course you are up for the challenge! Puerto Octay is situated on the edge of Chile's largest lake, Lago Llanquihue (say "yan-key-way"), and was originally a center of German settlement in Chile's Lake District. Our hotel is beautifully situated overlooking the lake. Dinner together this evening. Distance: 93-130 km (58-81 miles).

    5. Day 5: Puerto Octay to Puerto Varas

      Highlights: Lake Llanquihue, views of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, Frutillar

      We pedal around the west side of Lake Llanquihue today with beautiful views across the lake of the Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes. We'll stop in Frutillar today for lunch. The Germans have had a strong influence in this area and we encourage you to visit the excellent outdoor German Pioneer Museum commemorating the lives of this region's early settlers. Dinner is on your own this evening in Puerto Varas . Today's mileage: 66 km (41 miles).

    6. Day 6: Rest day, or rafting

      Highlights: Visit Puerto Varas, or go rafting in Chile!

      Today is a rest day for those who want. Puerto Varas is a small but bustling town with numerous craft stores and great walks along the lake. We'll offer a half day of rafting today on the Petrohue river around Puerto Varas today. Or, enjoy the town, sit and drink a pisco sour while enjoying the view! Dinner is on your own. Today's optional activity: 4 to 5 hours

    7. Day 7: Puerto Varas to Petrohué

      Highlights: Pedal around Lake Llanquihue, waterfalls, Lago Todos los Santos, Petrohué

      Continuing our ride around Lake Llanquihue we'll enjoy more great views of Osorno Volcano. As we make our way to Petrohué and Lago Todos los Santos (All Saints Lake) we'll pass through the small village of Ensenada, and also stop to visit the famous "saltos", or waterfalls. Enjoy the natural beauty surrounding our hotel, which sits at the foot of the Volcano Osorno, and spectacular views of Lago Todos los Santos are just a short hike away. We'll have dinner together this evening as we say goodbye to the folks who are not continuing on to Chiloe. Estimated distance: 63 - 69 km (39 - 43 miles).

    8. Day 8: Welcome to Chiloé Island

      Highlights: Visit a penguin colony, explore Ancud

      We'll say goodbye to our bikes and hello to our Chiloé guides this morning at the hotel in Petrohué. Next we shuttle/ferry to Ancud on the island of Chiloé. Founded in 1767, Ancud was a fortified city, a base for seafarers coming north around Cape Horn, and the last stronghold of the Spanish in Chile. Most of the original city was destroyed in 1960 by a tsunami caused by a severe earthquake. After lunch together, we check into our hotel in central Ancud and then shuttle to the beautiful Pacific Coast and rock islands of Puñihuil, host to the only place in Chile where you can view both Magellen and Humboldt Penguins. We'll have dinner together tonight at the beach after taking a walk up to a beautiful lookout and enjoying the antics of the penguins on the islands. Walk - 1.5 hours. Shuttle from hotel to Chiloé - 3.5 hours but split up with lunch in between.

    9. Day 9: Sea Kayaking through the Chiloé Archipelago

      Highlights: Half day of sea kayaking, explore Castro

      We leave the Pacific Coast behind early this morning as we head southeast to the coastal town of Dalcahue, where we board sea kayaks (or a traditional Chilote boat, depending on the season) to explore the fjords, islands, and hidden coves along the coast of Chiloé. This interior sea is protected from the winds and storms of the Pacific - making it the perfect place to kayak and view abundant wildlife, including sea lions and a large colony of Black-necked Swans. Enjoy a picnic lunch together and learn about the positive and negative affects of the controversial salmon industry. This afternoon after checking into our hotel in Castro, the capitol of Chiloé, have fun exploring and checking out the crafts fair before you have dinner on your own. Approx 3 hours kayaking.

    10. Day 10: Chiloé National Park

      Highlights: Guided walks in Chiloé National Park, traditional Chilote dinner with folklore show

      We shuttle from Castro to Chiloé National Park on the Pacific Coast today to explore its ancient forests and learn about its history. This region was described by Charles Darwin on his famous voyage as rich in its diversity of temperate-zone forest plants. The park was created by the indigenous communities of Chiloé who have fought to protect the environment threatened by intensive deforestation. The national park is also home to hundreds of species of animals endemic to Chile, such as picaflores, kingfishers, huillines, and pudúes. We'll have a picnic lunch in the forest and then take a walk through the dense Alerce forest (cousin to the redwood, the Alerce is found only in S. America). We'll learn more about the legends and mythology of the indigenous community of Quilque as we enjoy a special folkloric show during dinner on the banks of Cucao Lake. Approx 4 hours walking.

    11. Day 11: Farewell

      Highlights: Wooden Churches of Chiloé

      Before leaving Chiloé and on our way to the airport in Puerto Montt we will visit some picturesque fisherman villages. The villages are home to colorful wooden churches, which have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We'll have lunch next to the beautiful Tocoihue Waterfall before catching our ferry back to the mainland and arriving at the Puerto Montt airport around 6pm, in time to catch a flight to Santiago. Buen viaje!

    • Highlights

      Chile's Lake District, Half-day of sea kayaking in the archipelago, Wooden churches, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Views of Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes, Waterfalls on the Petrohué River, Birds and sea mammals of Chiloé, Half-day of hiking in Chiloé National Park
    • Includes

      11 days, 10 nights accommodation, 7 dinners with wine, 10 breakfasts, 6 picnic lunches, ferry to Chiloé, boat trip to penguin colony, and shuttle to Puerto Montt Airport or hotel at end plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      Chile, Argentina
    • Begin/End

      San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina/Petrohué, Chile
    • Arrive/Depart

      San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina/Puerto Montt, Chile
    • Total Distance

      405 - 448 km (252 - 279 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      0-130 km (0 - 81 miles) plus 2 days of walks and 1 half day of sea kayaking
    • Rating

      301-401 Moderate terrain, substantial loss of net elevation over the course of the tour. Gentle walking along the coast and through forests, sea kayaking in calm water.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • The tour leaders were beyond belief, they wanted us to enjoy ourselves and learn about the country. They couldn't have been better. Javier's English and love of Latin America was helpful and inspiring. Anibal's enthusiasm and good nature was always comforting and welcomed. Damiano couldn't have been sweeter or more helpful. You always have the best people. Thanks!!!! Plus I enjoyed the nice hotels and good food and wine,and the picnics were fun, easy, cheap and easier to get back on the road.

      Barbara H.
      Lexington, MA
    • The Office and the preparation are terrific. I think highlighting the start dates and end dates might help me. There's lots of information, yours and my own to sift through and I get confused. Thanks for all your help in the office.

      Barbera H.
      Lexington, MA
    • The guides were fantastic. Javier, Anibal and Damiano. They all went out of their way to make sure I was not only comfortable but treated as a special guest.

      Susan R.
      Santa Cruz, CA
    • All of the tour guides were great. Damiano, Javier, Anibal, Alejanda and Katia. They really cared about making the trip a great experience and in sharing the culture of the area with us. The trip was so well run. The bikes were great and well maintained.

      Myles D.
      New York, NY
    • We just returned from the Argentina to Chile trip and wanted to let you know what a wonderful time we had. The tour leader did an outstanding job leading this inaugural journey and along with our Argentine guides made our ride fun and interesting. The Chiloé extension only added icing to the cake. What a beautiful island filled with very special people and gorgeous scenery. I would highly recommend to anyone going on the bicycle trip to not miss this added bonus. It is well worth the time and money.

      Larry and Corky B.
      Herkimer, NY
    • [What I liked most was ]the ride to Fruitallar. It was so beautiful and not much traffic.

      Whitney R,
      Fresno, CA
    • The tour leader was outstanding. She was most attentive to our needs and helped us have the best experiences ...

      William D.
      Goshin, CT
    • [ Here is what influenced my decision to take this tour: ] The "exoticness" of a tour - if it's a place relatively undiscovered by bike tour operators (let's face it, parts of France are downright clogged with bike tour groups during certain times of the year) - and somewhat off the beaten track. I don't want to go someplace where the other people I encounter at a hotel, restaurant or cafe are tourists who just got dumped off a big tour bus.

      Charlene L.
      Jersey City, NJ

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