- Discover the colorful “Mars valley” at Suri Plaza and marvel the world`s highest volcano lake, the Lago Chungará (4,570 m/15,000 ft)
- Explore the authentic Andean village Putre and enjoy the typical meal of the indigenous, alpaca meat and quinoa
- Climb the 5,200 m/17,060 ft high Cosapilla mountain ridge in the Andes and hike on a million-year-old glacier in the wild Patagonia
- Hike to the famous Torres del Paine granite needles and paddle between huge icebergs on the Grey Lake
- Learn more about the Patagonian wildlife and the majestic condor and reward yourself with a delicious steak or a typical lamb barbecue
- Before dinner, take a pisco sour, the Chilean national drink
12 days from Arica / to Punta Arenas
- 4 days hiking
- boat rides
- kayak / ice hike
- 8 nights hotels
- 3 nights refugios
- 11x breakfast
- 8x box lunch
- 3x dinner
from 2.900 GBP
There is no doubt - the Altiplano highlands in the north and Patagonia in the extreme south of Chile are one of the most adventurous trekking destinations for hiking fans on the South American continent. Impressive volcanoes - most of them over 19,600 ft high and glistening Salares (Salt Lakes) define the Altiplano highlands and make them unique. Patagonia on the opposite end is famous for its huge glaciers, emerald green lakes and granite rock mountains.
Join us on this unforgettable hiking trip and experience the most extreme contrasts between the bizarre and dry Altiplano highlands and the wild and mystic Patagonia. This tour is much more than a just trekking tour….it is a lifetime experience!
- Best season: : from September to beginning of December / from March to April.
- The group size for this trip has a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of 12.
- The offered departure dates include the possibility of booking other people.
Day tours that will challenge you moderately. Differences in elevation but also in temperature will be the most challenging part. Higher elevations (up to 16,500 ft, a.s.l.) should not create any health problems for you. Average temperature in Arica: daytime 22 C/71F, nighttime 15C/59F
Average temperature in the Altiplano: daytime 17-20C/62-68F, nighttime 5-7C/41-44F
Average temperature in Patagonia: daytime 8-16C/46-60F, nighttime 3-10C/37-50F
Please Note: Temperature depends a lot in which month you are travelling and the weather in Patagonia and is even in summer unpredictable (4 seasons in just one day). Therefore it is just a rough guideline.
Day 1-2: Seaport Arica - 7,000 years old Chinchorro mummies - Andean village Putre
After arriving at the airport in Arica we pick you up and bring you directly to your hotel, where you have some time to refresh and relax. Later in the day your guide will walk with you up to “El Morro” lookout and to the “San Marcos Cathedral”, designed in France by Gustave Eiffel. In the afternoon you can go for a boat ride along the Pacific coast, where you will be able to observe a variety of marine fauna such as pelicans, sea gulls or even sea lions and dolphins. Overnight: Hotel in Arica in double room with private bathroom. (-/-/D)
Today, you will travel through the Azapa-Valley to visit the Azapa Museum in San Miguel. Here you can admire mummies and relics of the Chinchorro culture that are more than 7,000 years old. Later on, you will head for the idyllically situated Andean village of Putre, an elevation of 11,500 ft. On your way to Putre you will stop at Pucara de Copaquilla, an archeological site that dates back to the 12th century. Overnight: Hotel in Putre in double room with private bathroom at an elevation of 11,500 ft. (B/L/D)
Day 3-4: Hiking on the smuggler trail & in the Mars valley– Suri Plaza (5,100m)
After breakfast, a short transfer will bring you close to the Nevados de Putre mountains, at an elevation of 13,800 ft. You will hike back to Putre along a very old path used by smugglers long ago. After this 4-hours trek through the breathtaking Altiplano scenery you deserve some time to relax. Tonight, you will eat in a typical local restaurant and can try traditional dishes such as alpaca meat. Elevation of approx. 2,300 ft descent; approx. 4 hours of walking. Overnight: Hotel in Putre in double room with private bathroom at an elevation of 11,500 ft. (B/L/D)
Today after breakfast you head up to one of the Altiplano´s best kept secrets, the Suri Plaza. After one and a half hour you arrive at the “Mars valley” - so called because of the deep reddish and orange colors of the sand and surrounding mountains. During today’s trek, you will hike up to an amazing viewpoint on the Cosapilla mountain ridge (16,700 ft a.s.l). From there you will gain an unforgettable view over the vast Suri Plaza mountains and further afield the “Payachatas”, the Twin-Volcanos. A breathtaking moment which is sure to leave you speechless! After a descent of 250m you will drive to the picturesque village Parinacota at an elevation of 14,400 ft, well known for its small church built in the 17th century. Elevation of approx. 800 ft ascent/800 ft descent; approx. 2-3 hours of walking. Overnight: Overnight: Hotel in Putre in double room with private bathroom at an elevation of 11,500(B/L/D)
Day 5-6: Lago Chungará – Iglesia de Belen - Arica - Punta Arenas
In the morning you will drive through the Lauca National Park, a UNESCO biosphere preserve that was founded in 1970 and pass by the highest volcano-lake on earth – Lago Chungará (15,000 ft), where you can see the reflection of the two twin-volcanoes Parinacota (20,800 ft) and Pomperape (20,600 ft) magically appear on its surface. After a visit of the small Andean village Belen, you will drive back to the Pacific Coast, to Arica. Overnight: Hotel in Arica. (B/L/D)
Today we leave the colorful north of Chile and fly via Santiago de Chile to Punta Arenas in Patagonia, where your next adventure begins. Overnight: Hotel in Punta Arenas in double room with private bathroom (B/-/D)
Day 7-8: Punta Arenas – Puerto Natales - Trek to the Grey Glacier
After breakfast you will visit the famous Punta Arenas Cemetery which spreads nearly 10 acres and is well known for its hundreds of sculpted cypress trees and the tomb of the Indio Desconocido or unknown Indian. Before you drive through the vast Patagonian pampa to Puerto Natales, you will enjoy a gorgeous view from the lookout “Cerro la Cruz” of Punta Arenas and the Magellan straight. Overnight: Hotel in Puerto Natales in double room with private bathroom (B/-/D)
In the morning you drive to the Torres del Paine National Park. Having arrived in the park you cross the emerald green Pehoe-Lake aboard a catamaran (approx. 30 min). In the afternoon you will hike along the Black Lagoon (Laguna Negra) and the Path of Winds (Camino del Viento) to the Refugio Grey, which is located very close to the Grey Glacier. Depending on weather and season, you will come across various birds and plants. 4 hours of walking and an elevation of approx. 1,200 ft. Overnight in the Refugio Grey in shared bedrooms and shared bathrooms or in tents. (B/BL/D)
Day 9-10: Ice hiking or kayaking - Boat Ride Lago Grey
Today you have the possibility to book an optional excursion. You have the choice between ice hiking on Grey Glacier, a 3 hours kayak trip on Grey lake, a short and easy hike with your guide to the Las Guardas lookout or just relax and enjoy the surroundings of this unique place. Overnight in the Refugio Grey in shared bedrooms and shared bathrooms or in tents. (B/BL/D)
In the morning, you will enjoy a boat ride on the splendorous Lago Grey that passes along the icy glacier and crosses the beautiful lake. If you are lucky, you may see chunks of ice tumbling into the milky green lake. Subsequently you take a private transfer to Refugio Las Torres. Overnight in the Refugio Las Torres in shared bedrooms and shared bathrooms or in tents. (B/BL/D)
Day 11-12: Hike to Torres del Paine granite needles – Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas
Today, on your hike you will be rewarded with an excellent view on the region’s top highlight: The famous Paine Towers. Your hike first leads you up to the Ascencio-valley where you take a break at the Refugio Chileno next to the lovely Ascencio River. After 2+ hours and a challenging ascent your efforts will be rewarded as you will stand face to face with the impressive Paine Needles and a green lagoon lying at your feet. After this exhilarating hike of more or less 8 hours and 1,100 ft in elevation, you take our private bus back to Puerto Natales where you will spend the night in a hotel, in double room with private bathroom. (B/BL/D)
It is time to say good bye. After breakfast a private 2 ½ hr transfer will bring you to the Punta Arenas airport. (B/-/-)
- Accommodation: 8 nights in hotels in double room with private bathroom and 3 nights in Refugios/Lodges in shared bedrooms and shared bathrooms or in tents
- Local English and Spanish speaking certified trekking guide (WFR)
- Meals: 11 x breakfast, 8 x box lunch, 3 x dinner
- Transport: all private transfers as per detailed itinerary
- Boat rides on Pehoe Lake and Grey Lake
- All entry fees as per detailed itinerary
- Emergency equipment: including a first-aid kit and VHF-equipment / satellite phone
- International and domestic airfare and airport charges
- Meals and beverages not indicated on the itinerary
- Optional trips, e.g. boat ride on Day 1 and optional excursions on Day 9
- Local payments
- Travel insurance is not included in this tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy.