Luxury journey Carretera Austral

25 days - from € 7,600 per person

self-drive - Patagonia - jungles

During this trip you will drive a breathtakingly beautiful route that takes you partly over the impressive Argentinian Ruta 40 and over the Carretera Austral in Chile with a rental car. This route is without a doubt one of the most beautiful car routes in the world! You will stay in both the Chilean and Argentine lake district. Along the way you will pass beautiful nature reserves, with impressive landscapes. You will also visit the Perito Moreno glacier in Argentina and the national park Torres del Paine in Chile.

Route day-by-day

Day 1: Amsterdam – Santiago

Your special trip through Chile and Argentina starts today. In Amsterdam you will board your intercontinental flight to the Chilean capital Santiago, where you will arrive the next morning.  

Day 2: Santiago

You will arrive in Santiago today. Upon arrival at the airport you will be welcomed by our local staff and taken to your hotel. You will stay at the luxury boutique hotel The Singular, located in the district of Lastarria, the heart of the city. In terms of architecture, this hotel fits perfectly in this iconic district. This district is synonymous to the pride and creativity of the inhabitants of this city. The rest of the day is at your leisure, so you can relax after your flight and/or get to know the city. Santiago offers the charm and culture of Latin America with an interesting mix of colonial, Victorian and ultramodern buildings. In the evening, enjoy the many good restaurants and nice bars that the city has to offer. 
Overnight stay: The Singular Santiago | bed & breakfast

Day 3: Santiago

Accompanied by an English-speaking private guide, you will discover the historic and modern sights of Santiago today. You will visit the presidential palace La Moneda, the Chilean Parliament building and the hill Santa Lucia, the place where this city was founded. Then you will visit the central square Plaza de Armas, with the Metropolitan Cathedral and several other colonial buildings. After these historical sights you will visit the Cousino Palace. This palace is home to the Pre-Columbian Museum, with a complete collection of pre-Hispanic art. Before you go back to your hotel you will visit Bellavista, the cultural and artistic district of Santiago, located at the foot of San Cristobal, the highest hill in the city.
Overnight stay: The Singular Santiago | bed & breakfast

Day 4: Santiago – Puerto Montt – Puerto Varas

After breakfast you will be taken to Santiago airport, from where you will take a domestic flight to Puerto Montt. Upon arrival at the airport you will pick up your rental car and drive to your hotel in Puerto Varas (approx. 50 km / 1 hour drive). You will stay at the beautiful Awa Hotel located at the Llanquihue lake, about 30 km from Puerto Varas. From this hotel you overlook the Osorno volcano. Modern design is beautifully combined with materials from the region. The surroundings offer many possibilities for activities. For example, from the hotel you can go for beautiful walks, bike rides and bird watchings. Not only in the area, but also in the hotel you will not lack anything. You will wake up with a beautiful view of the Llanquihue lake. The rooms are spacious and fully equipped, including a fireplace and bath. 
Overnight stay: Awa Hotel | bed & breakfast

Day 5: Puerto Varas

Today you can explore the beautiful surroundings of Puerto Varas. The city of Puerto Varas is located in the Chilean Lake District. It is a small town, beautifully situated on the south side of Lake Llanquihue. You don't have to lack anything here because there are many cosy restaurants where you can enjoy a good glass of Chilean wine and the delicious local cuisine. Through the east side of the lake you can easily reach Lake Todos los Santos, which is located at the foot of the Osorno volcano. Also visit the rough waterfalls of Petrohue, located in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, known for its lush flora and exuberant fauna. The waterfalls with the Osorno volcano in the background will allow you to experience all the beautiful natural wonders that Chile has to offer. 
Overnight stay: Awa Hotel | bed & breakfast

Day 6: Puerto Varas – Villa la Angostura (approx. 210 km / 3.5 hour drive)

This day you will cross the border to Argentina and drive to the city of Villa la Angostura. Villa la Angostura is located in the Argentine lake district, an area with rivers, mountains and forests. From mid-October the fishing season starts here. In summer it is the ideal place for hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Overnight stay: Hosteria las Balsas | half board

Day 7: Villa la Angostura

A day off planned in the surroundings of Villa la Angostura. You will stay in Hosteria Las Balsas, which is beautifully situated on the shore of the clear blue Nahuel Huapi lake. A stunning location for travelers looking for peace and relaxation. The facilities and comfort you enjoy here are simply excellent. Las Balsas is completely one with the natural environment of the Nahuel Huapi National Park. Las Balsas' passion for hospitality can also be seen in the gastronomy and wines they offer. The hotel's exclusive wine cellar offers a choice of more than 1100 different wines. The sommelier of the hotel will be happy to reveal some secrets about Argentine wines and of course he will be happy to organize a tasting for you. For nature lovers there is a wide range of activities, all within a radius of 15 km. Think of hiking, sailing, canoeing and kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing and bird watching. Of course you can also use Las Balsas as a base and, by means of a pre-booked excursion, explore the area from here.
Overnight stay: Hosteria las Balsas | half board

Day 8: Villa la Angostura – Futaleufú (ca. 450 km / 7 uur rijden)

After breakfast you drive on to Futaleufú, where you cross the border to Chile. When you leave Villa la Angostura you first drive in the direction of Bariloche, along the Nahuel Huapi lake. Past Bariloche you will follow the route further south towards the Chilean border. After you have crossed the Futaleufú river you will enter Chile and drive to Futaleufú. This town is beautifully situated in the middle of a green environment on the river Espolón and in the area are also beautiful walks to make. To make your stay here as pleasant as possible you will stay at Uman Lodge, located just outside the village of Futaleufú. The lodge is situated on top of a mountain peak and offers a view of the place where the Espolón meets the Futaleufú river. The rest of the area is characterized by deep blue glacial lakes, lush green valleys, dense forests and majestic mountain peaks covered with eternal snow. A unique location where luxury and adventure are combined. The lodge has a total of 15 spacious suites with a living room with comfortable sitting area, spacious bathroom and a private terrace from where you can enjoy the special pristine landscape. The building has been carefully designed and a lot of native wood and locally produced bricks has been used which gives it a cozy and charming feeling. The windows reach from the ceiling to the floor and provide panoramic views over the valley and rivers. 
Overnight stay: Uman Lodge | bed & breakfast

Day 9: Futaleufú

This day is scheduled off. During the day you can enjoy what the area has to offer. Walk for miles along the rivers, go fly-fishing with an experienced fisherman, gallop through the woods or go wild water rafting on the fast-flowing river. Also sandy beaches along the rivers and lagoons are part of the area. After a busy day in and around the village of Futaleufú you can retreat to the spa and wellness of the lodge which has indoor and outdoor pools, a sauna, a steam bath and a jacuzzi. In the evening the restaurant Uman serves a delicious range of dishes based on the best local ingredients, mostly from the estate's own farms.
Overnight stay: Uman Lodge | bed & breakfast

Day 10: Futaleufú – Puyuhuapi (approx. 200 km / 4.5 hour drive)

Today you will travel further to Puyuhuapi, located on the waterfront of Lake San Rafael in a land of forest, lakes and glaciers. In the area of Puyuhuapi you can enjoy mountain biking, (water) cycling, canoeing and fishing. You can also visit one of the natural hot springs or the town of Puyuhuapi, known for its exclusive handmade carpets. You will stay here at the Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa located in the middle of nature. You can hardly imagine such a serene environment. Your accommodation is situated between fjords, forests, waterfalls and surrounded by mountains and glaciers.
Overnight stay: Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa | bed & breakfast

Day 11: Puyuhuapi

This day is at leisure, enjoy the pristine nature. You will stay on the edge of a crystal clear fjord surrounded by an almost unspoiled temperate rainforest, one of the few in the world. Today you can undertake various activities to get to know the area: spectacular walks, or a boat trip on the surrounding waters, with a good chance of spotting sea lions and dolphins. Enjoy this special environment.
Overnight stay: Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa | bed & breakfast

Day 12: Puyuhuapi – Coyhaique (approx. 220 km / 4.5 hour drive)

Over the Carretera Austral you will drive to Coyhaique, the capital of the province with the same name. Enjoy the route with the beautiful landscapes you will encounter along the way. The first part of the route goes through the impenetrable forest of the Quelat National Park. After you leave this nature reserve, the landscape slowly but surely becomes more vast. Immense purple and yellow flower fields (in spring) complete the palette of a vast valley, which you will have to cross to finally reach Coyhaique, the most important place of this region. Stop regularly to enjoy the beautiful panorama. The route from the Quelat National Park to Coyhaique is completely paved and in excellent condition. Coyhaique is a lively town, where it is a must to eat at Mama Gaucha. Of course with a locally brewed beer from Tropera. You will stay in Patagonia House, situated in a quiet area with many trees and from where you can enjoy beautiful views over the Coyhaique valley and the surrounding peaks.
Overnight stay: Patagonia House | bed & breakfast

Day 13: Coyhaique 

This day is scheduled off. Coyhaique (meaning 'camp between the rivers') offers one of the most beautiful landscapes in Patagonia, surrounded by the rivers Simpson and Coyhaique and by snow-capped mountains. The city itself serves as a regional shopping center and has a museum, among other things. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings!
Overnight stay: Patagonia House | bed & breakfast

Day 14: Coyhaique – Puerto Guadal (approx. 280 km / 7 hour drive)

You will continue from Coyhaique to Puerto Guadal. Without making a stop you could drive this route in about 4 hours, but you will encounter so much beauty along the way that it is almost impossible to drive in one ride. The first part of the route is paved and leads through the national park Cerro Castillo. Then you drive to Puerto Tranquillo. Along the main road you will still see clear traces of the volcanic eruption of the Hudson in 1991. From Puerto Tranquilo you will drive further to your accommodation. You will stay in El Mirador de Guadal, which is beautifully situated on the shores of Lake General Carrera. The small hotel is a great base for visiting the southern part of the Carretera Austral.
Overnight stay: El Mirador de Guadal | bed & breakfast

We have just arrived in Puerto Guadal, what a great way to get here. Like driving through a postcard!

Mr. & Mrs. Groesbeek

Day 15: Puerto Guadal

This day you can enjoy the spectacular surroundings of Lake General Carrera. It is the deepest lake in South America and is very rich in trout and salmon. The lake is located on the border with Argentina and has an Argentinian and Chilean part. The lake is of glacial origin and is surrounded by the Andes Mountains. The weather in the landscape on the shores of the Chilean part of the lake is generally cold and humid and the average temperature is around 9°C. We recommend a boat trip to the Marble Caves in this area. This is a rock formation of marble surrounded by the turquoise waters of the lake. The tunnels and caves were created over a period of more than 6000 years, because wavy water kept hitting the pieces of marble. Today, the Catedral de Marmol is one of the most important tourist attractions of the region. The deep bluw water is impressive. A true dream for photography lovers. 
Overnight stay: El Mirador de Guadal | bed & breakfast

Day 16: Puerto Guadal – Perito Moreno (approx. 180 km / 5.5 hour drive)

Today you will say goodbye to Lake General Carrera, to continue your journey to the village of Perito Moreno, not to be confused with the glacier near El Calafate. Today you will cross the border and enter the Argentinian Pampa. You will drive through the interesting Chacabuco Valley. This was originally one of the largest sheep ranches in the region. The accommodation where you will stay is very simple, but a good stop before you reach your next destination El Calafate.
Overnight stay: Hotel Austral | bed & breakfast

Day 17: Perito Moreno – El Calafate (approx. 680 km / 9 hour drive)

Today you will really leave the inhabited world. Ask in advance if there is enough petrol in stock on the way. Normally you can refuel on the route at Bajo Caracoles and Tres Lagos, but it can happen that there is no petrol to get. The route to the town of Gobernador Gregores is now completely paved, only the route between Gobernador Gregores and Tres Lagos is unpaved for 94 km. For the more adventurous it is also possible to follow the old unpaved Ruta 40, which shortens the distance between Perito Moreno and El Calafate by 60 km. The landscape is deserted, but very fascinating! In the last part of the route you have a great view of Lake Cardiel with its particularly green color and later also of Lago Viedma. A special tour! The coming nights you will stay in a real Argentine Estancia, situated in the national park Los Glaciares. The estancia is still in business and has been in possession of the same family for more than four generations. 
Overnight stay: Nibepo Aike | half board

Day 18 and 19: El Calafate

These days you will have the time to explore the surroundings of El Calafate. El Calafate is situated at the Argentino lake and is the base to visit the national park Los Glaciares. The national park Los Glaciares is on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites because of the many glaciers that can be found here, which rise below the tree line. There are 14 large glaciers and countless smaller glaciers, but the most impressive is without doubt the majestic Perito Moreno glacier. This huge ice wall, 70 meters high and a few kilometers wide, is one of the few glaciers in the world that is still growing in size. The glacier is easy to reach by car. There are several panorama balconies from where the glacier is easy to see. The sight and the thundering sound of breaking ice is downright spectacular. It is also possible to make a boat trip, where you get close to the ice mass and if desired you can even climb on the ice with climbing irons.
Overnight stay: Nibepo Aike | half board

Day 20: El Calafate – Puerto Natales (approx. 320 km / 5 hour drive)

Todays road is partly unpaved but in good condition. When the weather is clear you can even see the granite massif of Torres del Paine on the west side from Argentina during this trip. Approximately 80 km outside El Calafate, you have the possibility to turn right, on a dirt road. If you take this route, which is easy to do, your route will be 60 km shorter. This unpaved route is over 50 km and at the end of this road is a T-junction, where a petrol station is located, the petrol station of Tapi Aike, a small petrol station. This is the last petrol station before Puerto Natales. At this T-junction take the exit to the right and follow the road to the border. You will stay in a beautiful hotel, built in post Victorian industrial style. The Singular Hotel Patagonia is an architectural masterpiece built on the site of a former cold warehouse on the picturesque banks of 'Last Hope', just 5 km north of Puerto Natales. 
Overnight stay: The Singular Patagonia | bed & breakfast

Day 21 and 22: Puerto Natales

These days scheduled of so you can visit the national park extensively and relax in the beautiful surroundings! In the national park you will see animals such as guanacos, condors and ñandues. From Puerto Natales you can easily reach the national park Torres del Paine. You can make a very nice round trip by taking the 'new' road to Torres del Paine. Then follow the route in the direction of the Cueva Milodon. This is a cave where you can find the remains of a large prehistoric bear that lived in this area for millions of years. Then follow the unpaved road further to the national park, which is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites because of its unique landscapes and nature. In this way you will enter the park on the west side, near the Serrano River. From here you can explore the national park by making hikes to the Grey Glacier, through the French valley or to the base camp Las Torres. Eventually you can leave the park via the east side, after which you can drive back to Puerto Natales on a well paved road. 
Overnight stay: The Singular Patagonia | bed & breakfast

Day 23: Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas – Santiago 

Today you will drive to Punta Arenas airport (approx. 250 km / 3-3.5 hour drive), once you arrive here you will drop off your rental car and board your domestic flight to Santiago. Upon arrival you will be brought to your hotel by our local staff. You will once again stay at The Singular Santiago Hotel. 
Overnight stay: The Singular Santiago | bed & breakfast

Day 24: Santiago – Amsterdam 

Your Unique Journey through Chile and Argentina is unfortunately over. You will be picked up and brought to Santiago airport. Here you will board your intercontinental flight to Amsterdam where you will arrive the next day.

Day 25: Amsterdam 

Today you will arrive in Amsterdam.  

Price

From € 7,600 per person

  • Based on 2 persons traveling together
  • Depending on time of booking, availability of the flights, availability of accommodations and the period of travel

Included:

  • domestic flights, economy class
  • 22 overnight stays, meals as mentioned 
  • 20 days rental car (Cat. J: Mitsubishi L200 or similar alternative) including basic insurance and multiple border crossing permission, pick-up in Puerto Montt and drop-off in Punta Arenas
  • all transfers and excursions as stated
  • our backup 24/7; locally and in The Netherlands
  • extensive travel documents package with small attention

Not included:

  • international flights, if you wish, we reserve these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, based on availability, this is sometimes provided by the hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, ask us about the additional cost
  • (Dutch) public tax Travel disaster fund; € 2.50 per booking
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Make an enquiry

Would you like to go on this rountrip? We can arrange the itinerary for you, but we are also happy to put together a program based on your wishes and ideas. Do not hesitate to contact us. Send an e-mail to info@sapapanatravel.nlcall us on +31 73 610 62 04 or ask us to plan your trip. We are happy to help.

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