Patagonia Fjords, Pumalin Park and the Wonders of Chiloe | Trip Itinerary

Day 1- The Big Island of Chiloé.  Leaving in the morning from the Lake District (your hotel or the airport), you will take the open air ferry across the Gulf of Ancud to the big island of Chiloé, renown as a mystical island full of traditions and folklore. Sea lions and peguins are often viewed from the ferry playing in the waters of the Gulf while the snowcapped backbone of the Andes, complete with at least 5 visible volcanoes (weather permitting!) stretches southward. Once on the magical  island of Chiloé, we'll visit the bustling city of Ancud and have a tea and kuchen (a traditional German cake) overlooking the bay. After our guides explain some of the history and culture of the area we'll head west through the verdant countryside, past forests and rolling hills. Pastures and farms dot the way, where every morning and afternoon tin milk jugs await pickup by the local cheese and yogurt factory. Our destination is the rugged Pacific coast and the island penguin colony of Puñihuil. This group of small islands offer the only place in the world where Humbolt and Magallanic penguins coexist- a very important area for the Chilean conservation movement. Later in the afternoon we make our way down the Panamerican Highway before taking a detour into the countryside for dinner with a local family at their farmhouse to experience the hospitality the island is famous for.  We'll then continue to the of Quemchi where you'll stay in attractive cabins perched on a hill overlooking the waters of the Quemchi Channel- a perfect place to relax and absorb the beauty of Chiloé. (L, D)

Day 2- Chiloé by Sea.  After a peaceful night's rest, we'll head to the colorful wharf of Quemchi where we will find the lovely Cahuella at anchor and breakfast waiting.  Following a brief introduction and being shown your cabin, we will set sail out of the channel and into Chiloé Archipelago. Numerous islands will fill the foreground, shimmering green amidst the blue waters, while the snowcapped peaks of the Andes complete the background (weather permitting, of course). We will drop anchor in the protected bay of Mechuque Island, where traditional palafitos (wooden houses built on stilts with boat parking underneath) and the quaint village make for a wonderful afternoon walk. We will visit a nearby family and their small seafood farm nestled among the inlets of the channel. In the evening, you will have the opportunity to taste an expertly made pisco sour (the national drink) and enjoy two new wonders: the Chiloé sunset and the wonders of the gourmet cuisine your chef creates from the freshest local produce and seafood (B, L, D)

Day 3- Archipelago.  After a breakfast of fresh fruit, bread, jams, local yogurt and more, we will begin cruising amidst the numerous islands of the Archipelago.  Our navigation will take us to the quaint village of Tenaún,  whose hand-crafted crafted 140 year old wooden church is a UNESCO World Heritage site (along with 15 others) and an impressive monument to the region’s missionary past.  The rest of the day will be spent immersed in the marine culture of the archipelago: visiting small islands, taking short walks and pulling up to local fishing boats at work to not only to observe their work firsthand, but also taste the freshness of their catch only moments out of the water!  In the afternoon we will cruise to a protected anchorage at a remote outer island to prepare for our early crossing of the Gulf the following day. (B, L, D)

Day 4- Pumalin Park and Rainforest Hike.  After an early breakfast of fresh homemade specialties, we will set out across the Gulf of Ancud towards the glacier topped Andes to the East. Accompanied by a wide variety of sea birds, dolphins and sea lions, we will cruise to the Comao Fjord and the virgin beauty of the Pumalin Park Project- the brainchild of American Conservationist Douglas Tompkins. The night will most likely be spent below the steep walls of the Quintupeu Fjord, whose misty green walls rise over 1500 meters (4500 ft) out of the deep ocean. This is a perfect place to relax, take the zodiac exploring up the river or simply absorb the quiet majesty of life on the shore of a Patagonian fjord. (B, L, D)

Day 5- Heart of Pumalin Park- Hot Springs.  After a wonderful nights sleep we will continue our exploration of this remote corner of Pumalin Park.  Depending on the weather and your interests, we may go for a walk up a nearby valley visiting some of the area's original settlers. The setting is truly breathtaking: dense forest and snowcapped mountains looming overheard.  Massive old-growth forest, pristine clear rivers, endless birdlife and the raw beauty of mother nature.  By early evening we will visit one of the area's hidden volcanic treasures; a spectacular stream of hot water that runs through the rainforest with numerous pools amidst the ferns. (B, L, D)

Day 6 -- Hornopirén- Despidida (Goodbye).  In the morning we will cruise up the Cholgo Channel towards the perfect forested cone of the Hornopirén Volcano (4800ft, 1572 meters), at the base of which lies the town of the same name. We will finish our Patagonian cruise at the ferry ramp, where the crew will join you for a farewell lunch before bidding you goodbye. Transport will take you up and over the mountains on the lovely journey back to Puerto Montt and the human hum of civilization- a 3 1/2 hour drive amidst the rugged beauty of the Carretera Austral . (B, L)

B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; D=Dinner


Nov 1-6 & Nov 14-19
Dec 1-6 & Dec 14-19

Jan 14-19
Feb 1-6 & Feb 14-19
Mar 1-6 & Mar 14-19
Apr 1-6


$1775 p/p

Travel Style
group trip