Patagonia road trip itinerary


The world's best road trip

The ‘Carretera Austral’ is wild and remote… just how we like to travel! Located in the Aysen region of Chilean Patagonia, it is largely untouched by tourism and offers evergreen forests, emerald coloured lakes and rivers, blue glaciers, hidden valleys and the ever-present Andean Mountain range. It is also – in our opinion – the world’s best road trip!

We recommend hiring a car to self drive and following this Patagonia road trip itinerary for the best experience of The Carretera Austral.

Chacabuco Valley

DAY 1. SANTIAGO

Start the journey with a night in Santiago.

Be guided through the city’s sights on a private tour this afternoon then explore its culinary treats in the evening.

Day 2 Balmaceda

DAY 2. BALMACEDA - RIO TRANQUILO

Pick up your car upon arrival in Balmaceda. Driving south, the pampas gives way to green forests and incredible peaks. Stop to admire the views at Cerro Castillo, with its unique shape and beauty making it one of the most iconic and eye-catching mountains in the area. After a little time to enjoy the scenery, continue to Rio Tranquillo.

Day 3 Glacier Trekking

DAY 3. GLACIER TREKKING

Trek on thousand-year-old ice at the Exploradores Glacier, part of the Northern Icefield. Walk on top and inside it, visiting different caves, cracks, lagoons and formations of millenary ice. It is perfect for travellers looking for a unique and unforgettable experience.

Day 4 Marbles Cave

DAY 4. MARBLE CAVES – PARQUE PATAGONIA (B)

Take a morning boat trip through the marble caves, an incredible formation built by water and wind. Then drive the short distance to the hidden jewel of the Chacabuco Valley: Parque Patagonia, the world’s newest National Park. This extraordinary conservation project has reclaimed vast areas of farmland and returned it to its natural state. Here you will see guanacos everywhere, and if you are lucky you may even glimpse a puma.

The fabulous Lodge at Valle Chacabuco is your home for three nights while you explore this pristine and uncrowded area.

You should have time for a short walk this afternoon.

Day 5-6. Chacabuco Valley

DAYS 5 - 6. CHACABUCO VALLEY (B)

It’s a case of choose your own adventure over these two days. From 3km return hikes to 23km day long treks, you can hire a guide or simply explore on your own. The comfort of the beautiful lodge will offer a warm welcome at the end of the day.

DAY 7. Cerro Castillo

DAY 7. CERRO CASTILLO (B)

Take your time driving back to Cerro Castillo (5hrs) where you could go for a horse ride or visit the cave of hand prints, left by the early inhabitants of the area.

The hike at Cerro Castillo is considered amongst the best hikes in all of Patagonia. You can do a full day hike to the lagoon or if you have more time, there are multi-day options as well.

DAY 9. Onward Travel

DAY 8. ONWARD TRAVEL (B)

Drive back to Balmaceda then you can fly north back to Santiago, or if you have time, fly south to Punta Arenas and visit Torres del Paine National Park.

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Travel Planning - 1 Discovery

TRAVEL ITINERARY INSPIRATION

Every adventure we send our clients on is unique… but that doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by the amazing journeys we have created in the past.

Day 7. Base of the Towers

SOUTHERN PATAGONIA HIKING ITINERARY

Patagonia offers some of the best hiking and natural wonders in the world… this itinerary takes you to the most iconic and spectacular treks in the region.

Iconic Patagonia Itinerary

THE ICONIC PATAGONIA ITINERARY

This 21 day itinerary takes you to the most iconic experiences in magical Patagonia… sail across lakes, through fjords, and hike in the remote wilderness.

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