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 Argentine 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 unique journey 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. It is 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 can see the Osorno volcano. Modern design is beautifully combined with materials from the region. The surroundings offer many possibilities for activities, such as beautiful walks, bike rides and bird watching. 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 a 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, a stunning location for travellers looking for peace and relaxation. Enjoy fine restaurants, tea houses and other crafts. You could also explore the surroundings on your own by car. Las Balsas is beautifully situated on the shore of the clear blue Nahuel Huapi lake. 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 1,100 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 kilometres. 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 | 8 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 at the river Espolón and in the area you can make beautiful walks. To make your stay here as pleasant as possible, you will stay at a place with all the comfort you need, surrounded by one of the most beautiful sceneries of the world. The area is characterized by deep blue glacial lakes, lush green valleys, dense forests and majestic mountaintops which are covered with snow. A unique location where luxury and adventure come together.
Overnight stay: Pata Farm Lodge | Half board

Day 9: Futaleufú

This day is scheduled off. A great opportunity to explore the surroundings of this unique place. The village of Futaleufú is situated in the valleys of the Andes, in the middle of snowy peaks, rivers and lakes. At this location Pata Farm is located with 102 hectares of land. The estate offers 6 cabins, each with its own design and charm. You will also find extensive gardens, sheep farming, honey production, a greenhouse, a restaurant and interconnected paths to explore. Pata Farm Lodge focuses on sustainable development and strives for a new way of life. They do this based on the principle of land recovery rather than exploitation. The Brazilian owners fell in love with the area a few years ago and decided to start a project here where they could build a better sustainable future. In the heart of the Chilean Andes you will find this carefully developed estate, away from the hectic life of the city and immersed in nature. Walk for miles along the rivers that spring in Argentina, cross the village and continue flowing into the Yelcho, an outlined lake through fjords. Go fly-fishing with an experienced fisherman, gallop through the woods or go wild-water rafting on the fast-flowing river.
Overnight stay: Pata Farm Lodge | Half board

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 could 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. The last part of your route you will continue by boat to reach the accommodation.
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 these remarkable surroundings.
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 similarly named province. 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 views. The route from the Quelat National Park to Coyhaique is completely paved and in good 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 centre 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 at once. 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 Argentines call the lake 'Buenos Aires'. 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. You will get a very good impression of the immediate surroundings, an area with great views of the lake and on sunny days you can even see the northern ice field. You can go out and explore the beautiful surroundings today. 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 6,000 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 blue water is impressive. A true dream for photography lovers. 
Overnight stay: El Mirador de Guadal | bed & breakfast

Day 16: Puerto Guadal – Santa Cruz

(approx. 500 km | 8 hour drive)
Today you will say goodbye to Lake General Carrera, to continue your journey to Estancia la Angostura, an authentic and traditional Patagonian ranch, located along Ruta 40. It belongs to the Kusanovic family. Their personal attention, the local dishes and unforgettable stories give colour to this estancia. It is a simple overnight stay on the route from Puerto Guadal to El Calafate. Today you really leave the inhabited world for a while. Where possible, it is recommended to refuel on the way. The landscape is deserted, but very fascinating! Overnight stay: Estancia la Angostura | bed & breakfast

Day 17: Santa Cruz – El Calafate

(approx. 370 km | 6,5 hour drive)
Today you will travel through an empty and desolate landscape, in the direction of El Calafate. You have another long day ahead of you, so make sure you leave on time. At the end of the route you have a great view of Lago Cardiel with its special green colour and later also of Lake Viedma. The coming nights you will again stay in a real Argentine Estancia. Nibepo Aike is part of a real authentic Argentinian farm. Estancia Nibepo Aike is located in the national park los Glaciares. The estancia is still in business and has been in the hands of the same family for more than four generations. In Nibepo Aike you get a glimpse of life on an authentic estancia, in the midst of beautiful surroundings. After a long drive you can enjoy various family recipes, such as the famous Patagonian roast lamb and a variety of vegetables from their own orchard. You will stay in an original typical Patagonian building. The rooms are comfortably furnished and have antique wooden floors. In the living room there is a fireplace where you can relax after a long day.
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 above the treeline. 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 metres high and a few kilometres 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. 325 km | 5 hour drive)
Today's 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 kilometres outside El Calafate, you have the possibility to turn right, on an unpaved road. If you take this route, which is easy to do, your route will be 60 km shorter. This unpaved route is about 50 kilometres and at the end of this road there 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 kilometres north of Puerto Natales. The high ceilings and parts of restored machinery are a reminder of the flourishing sheep industry of earlier times. In a modern wing, with lots of glass and a view of the water, is where the hotel rooms are located. The interior of the hotel is understated with discreet Patagonian motifs. It creates the atmosphere of living in a modern loft. A beautiful spa with a heated indoor/outdoor pool, sauna and steam room are complementary to the total. The restaurant has a menu with unusual local ingredients, such as; white strawberries, Magellan lamb and king crab.
Overnight stay: The Singular Patagonia | bed & breakfast

Day 21 and 22: Puerto Natales

These days are scheduled off 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 nice road 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. If you drive the route this way, you should count on driving about 400 kilometres, so refuel enough before you leave.
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 | 3.5 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 road trip? We can arrange the itinerary for you, but we are also happy to put together a programme 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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