Patagonia Adventure Expeditions - vacations and travel

The 3 Jewels of Patagonia


from $5,000* per person 21 Days November, December
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Patagonia Adventure Expeditions 12 people max
  • Active & Adventure trips
For the ultimate experience of trekking in Patagonia this trip has to be the winner with the 3 key areas for wilderness adventure hiking in Patagonia put together in a seamless combination that makes the trip possible as one continues route.
The penultimate stage of the journey and the 3rd "Jewel" is the crossing from Chile into Argentina and the transition from the northern ice cap to the southern below the awe inspiring towers of the Fitzroy area.

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.

Itinerary

Day 1
Your journey will start at Balmaceda airport, where you will be met by your guide and drive to Coyhaique. Here you will have time to rest and relax and get your first glimpse of Patagonia

Day 2
Rising early, our day will begin with an essential session on packing and checking through equipment with your guides. This will be followed by a one hour drive to Las Horquetas at the base of the Cerro Castillo mountains. After lunch, we shoulder our backpacks and start our hike up into native beech forest and a camp in the Lima valley looking onto the craggy towers mountains once sacred to the Tehuelche Indians.

Day 3
We hike up the valley, through dense native forest towards el Paso Pénon, the pass to the south side of the range, a spectacular alpine setting, and set up camp close to spectacular icefalls and melt water cascades.5 hours trek.

Day 4
After initially hiking down El Bosque valley, we make our way upstream to reach the stunning Laguna Cerro Castillo, a deep glacial basin lying directly under the imposing summit of Cerro Castillo. You should expect to see the hanging glaciers dropping ice blocks into the lake.

Day 5
An early morning descent to Cerro Castillo village before driving south on the Carretera Austral.  We stop for the night in Puerto Tranquilo, a small town on the shores of Lago General Carrera.

Day 6
A short drive to Puerto Bertrand before switching to a boat for the beginning of our second adventure in the wild. After crossing the emerald blue Lago Bertrand and Lago Plomo lakes (1 hour) we hike for 3 hours traversing the flanks of the Cordon Soler to the Rock Garden camp where we settle for the night.

Day 7
Continue towards the back of the Soler Valley, along an undulating route on the south side of the valley. Pass by the Concordia of 3 major glacial valleys and walk up into the old growth beech forest to the Palomar ranch. 6 hour hike, 200 meters ascent and 150 meters descent, 18 km. Camping at the Palomar Ranch (Nº 2).

Day 8
Climb up 200 meters to the northern margin of the Neff Glacier, cross the 6 kilometre wide glacier. Descend the south side of the glacier and climb up to the mirrored lakes.  6 to 8 hours hiking, 300 meters ascent, 100 meters descent, 10 - 12 km. total, 6 - 8 km on the glacier.Laguna Espejo Camp (Nº 3).

Day 9
This day can either be spent exploring the area and climbing to the Mirador summit for expansive views of the 3 glaciers which fill the valleys in this corner of the northern ice cap. Alternatively the day sometimes has to be used to allow for non ideal weather for the glacier crossing. Laguna Espejo Camp (Nº 3).

Day 10
Hike down the Buena Cueva Valley among old growth beech forests, Cypress filled wetlands, and huge boulders. Lunch with three major glaciers in view.  Continue along the shore of Lake Cachet. The Cachet camp is 100 meters above the lake and facing the Colonia Glacier that carves off with unannounced regularity. 5 hours hiking, 200m descent, 100 ascent, 8 km. total. Cachet Camp Nº 4).

Day 11
The day begins amongst glacial kettles and drumlins with constant views of icebergs and the 50 meter ice wall of the glacier. The trail continues into the old growth beech forest above a 200 meter deep canyon with a booming river.  The night is spent overlooking the 4 km wide terminus of the Colonia Glacier with Lago Colonia beyond. 300m ascent / descent, 10 km. total. Colonia Camp (Nº 5).

Day 12
After hiking down to the moss covered beach between glacier and lake the trail follows tracks of the Huemul deer to the northern shore of Lago Colonia. A boat ride across the lake below 50m + waterfalls to the south shore is followed by a 40 minute walk to Camp at the Sol de Mayo Ranch.  250 meters descent, 6 kilometres, 2 hours walking, 30 minute boat ride.  Sol de Mayo Ranch camp(Nº 6).

Day 13
A horse assisted hike down the Colonia valley to the Rio Baker. Horses carry all our gear and can carry people if requested. The hike passes through other properties where we have the chance to meet up with the local farmers and their families. At the traditional cableway raft we cross the Baker river and meet up with 4x4 vehicles for the ride across the Valle Grande into Cochrane and a well deserved celebratory dinner.

Day 14
Our drive continues further south to the Frontier town of Villa O’Higgins., gateway to the Southern Ice Cap.The journey goes into some of the most recently settled areas of the region and crosses the Mitchel Fjord by ferry. We reach the very end of the famous Carretera Austral.

Day 15
We board a small ferry and cross lago O’Higgins, to Candelario Mancilla where an immigration post checks us out of Chile and we get to grips with the Southern Ice Cap. A short hike to Laguna Larga and we set up camp for the night.

Day 16
After hiking down from the pass we enter Argentina and get a boat ride across Lago Del Desierto, followed by a short van drive to El Chalten to rest at the Hostel Nothofagus.

Day 17
Day hike towards the Poicenot basecamp and the imposing Fitzroy mountain. Return to El Chalten for the night at the hostel.

Day 18
Day Hike to Lago Torre to view the Amazing chain of peaks such as Cerro Torre, Egger, Standhart and a myriad of other imposing granite spires….Return to El Chalten for the night at the hostel.

Day 19
We leave El Chalten and drive north through the famous Argentinean Pampas on Ruta 40 to an Estancia where we share some Argentinean hospitality and culture.

Day 20
Return drive to Coyhaique, passing through Perito Moreno and with the chance for a brief visit to the Painted hand caves.

Day 21
To Balmaceda airport for connecting flights.

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