Trip Overview

Immerse yourself in spectacular landscapes, rich natural and human history, the complexity of land conservation, and the enduring value of living simply. This trekking expedition moves through the farms and mountains in the northern borderlands of Patagonia National Park, using horses to lighten our loads and deepen our cultural connection to this place, and then progresses to the heart of Patagonia National Park for day hikes and explorations of conservation achievements and trends in the Aysen Region.

Meet your guide and the women who will be joining you for this unforgettable adventure, get to know one another and discuss the exciting days ahead. You’ll meet other incredible individuals on your journey. They will help make your experience a fun and personally fulfilling adventure and will cheer you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone and embrace new challenges!

Hike the Valleys and Plateaus of Patagonia

We start our trek today winding through a traditional Patagonian campo before heading higher into the mountains. The uphill makes us grateful to the horses carrying our gear! Arrive at our campsite — a spectacular perch overlooking the Jeinimeni mountains, where we’ll have the opportunity to spend time with an experienced gaucho tending sheep. In the evening, gather around a fire for a delicious camp dinner and conversation about Patagonian history and culture.

Climb higher on a dramatic plateau, which, on a clear day, affords sweeping views down to Lago General Carrera, across to the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. Hike above treeline, through strange colored rock formations. In the meadows and forests of Pampa Zorro, we’ll hike first through meadows and then wind uphill through the forest to a dramatic pass above treeline looking into Valle Chacabuco, the heart of Patagonia National Park.

Our final day of the horse-supported loop takes us through beautiful southern beech forest and glacial valleys as we make our way back toward Lago General Carrera. As we near our pick-up point, we return to the land of Patagonian campos. With our longest day of hiking complete, we return to La Naviera, for a traditional asado and celebratory feast.

Patagonia National Park

After a night of refreshing and recharging at a luxurious lodge, we transition to the center of Patagonia National Park, a newly created park some have called the “Yellowstone of South America.” We’ll drive to the Aviles Valley Trailhead, where we set off for a dramatic 9-mile loop hike through the colorful red mountains and glacially formed plateaus that make this side valley unique.

On our final day in Patagonia National Park, you’ll have two hiking options. Those looking for a challenging, stunning finale can tackle the 12-mile Lagunas Altas loop, named one of Patagonia’s five best trails, with panoramic views and varied terrain. Those looking for a slightly shorter option can hike through the expansive grasslands of the Chacabuco Valley to a new suspension bridge high over a river canyon, approximately 7 miles.

Carretera Austral

We’ll wake up early to head north up the Carretera Austral, or “Southern Highway,” often called one of the world’s great road trips. We’ll drive along the turquoise Baker River, and then near the eastern border of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. We’ll arrive at the Balmaceda airport in time for afternoon flights and to wish a fond farewell to this beautiful adventure!

Main Attractions

  • Trek through some of the most unspoiled terrain in South America on this ten-day horse-supported hike in Patagonia.
  • Traverse plateaus, beech forests, grasslands, glacial valleys, and red mountains while taking in breathtaking panoramic views in and around Patagonia National Park.
  • Get involved in camp life at idyllic and scenic sites before recharging and refreshing at a mix of well-appointed family lodges.

What You'll See and Do

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • National Parks
  • Trekking
  • Walking

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

The AdventureWomen itineraries are subject to change depending on the chosen departure date. To view a specific departure itinerary, simply click on the "Browse Detailed Itinerary" button above and select your date.

Day 1

Arrive in Chile

Arrive in Balmaceda, Chile (BBA) between 9 am and noon. You’ll be given transfer instructions to the Patagonia House in Coyhaique closer to your departure date.

Check-in at the hotel and meet in the evening for a welcome dinner and orientation.

Dinner

Overnight: Patagonia House

Day 2

Begin your Patagonia Expedition

Depart the hotel at 8 am and travel by van south along the historic Carretera Austral for an approximate 5-hour drive to the shores of Lago General Carrera, the second-largest lake in South America. After stopping for a mid-day lunch, arrive at the historical family ranch, La Naviera, outside of the little town of Puerto Guadal.

Settle into this idyllic spot and shake off the days of travel with a 2-3 mile walk around the thousand-acre ranch.

Today’s Walk: 2-3 miles on a flat walking track, 1.5 hours

Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: La Naviera

Day 3

Prepare the Horses and Begin your Journey

After a hearty breakfast, you’ll pack up and head into the mountains. Meet the local families and horses that support your trek. After dividing and organizing your food and gear for the horses to carry, you’ll set off on our trek.

The trek today starts winding through a traditional Patagonian campo before heading higher into the mountains. You’ll be grateful to have the horses carrying your gear! Arrive at your campsite — a spectacular perch overlooking the Jeinimeni mountains, where you’ll have the opportunity to spend time with an experienced gaucho tending sheep.

Gather around a fire for a delicious camp dinner and conversation about Patagonian history and culture.

Today’s Hike: 5 miles, 5-6 hours, 2,100 ft elevation gain on dirt trails and 4×4 tracks with potential muddy sections.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Backcountry Camps

Day 4

Hiking

After breakfast, you’ll begin your day climbing higher on a dramatic plateau, which, on a clear day, affords sweeping views down to Lago General Carrera, across to the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. You’ll spend most of the day hiking above treeline, through strange-colored rock formations, before descending to your idyllic camp in a lush valley, surrounded by hanging glaciers.

The horses will meet the group to deliver your supplies, and you’ll set up a base camp at an idyllic spot called Pampa Zorro for the next two nights. In the evening, you’ll gather to learn more about the establishment of nearby Patagonia National Park.

Today’s Hike: 8 miles, 6-8 hours, 1,200 ft elevation gain, largely off trail on gravel and scree (6-8 hours)

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Backcountry Camps 

Day 5

Hiking

From your base camp in the meadows and forests of Pampa Zorro, you can day hike uphill to a dramatic pass above treeline looking into Valle Chacabuco, the heart of Patagonia National Park. From there, the walking options in the open alpine terrain are endless, depending on the weather and group energies.

Today’s Hike: 6-8 miles, 5-6 hours, 1,600 ft elevation gain, largely off trail on gravel and scree with a section on a steep dirt trail.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Backcountry Camps

Day 6

Close the Horse-Supported Loop

Our final day of the horse-supported loop takes you through beautiful southern beech forest and glacial valleys as you make your way back toward Lago General Carrera. As you near the pick-up point, you’ll return to the land of Patagonian campos.

With your longest day of hiking complete, you’ll return to La Naviera for a traditional asado and celebratory feast.

Today’s Hike: 11 miles, 6-8 hours, 100 ft. elevation gain, mix of 4×4 track and dirt horse trail.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: La Naviera

Day 7

Recharge at the Ranch

After enjoying hot showers and comfortable beds after yesterday’s long hike, spend the morning by the shores of Lago General Carrera, hiking with views of the Northern Patagonian Icefield and Patagonia’s highest peak, Monte San Valentin. If the day is inviting, you might even take a swim in these pristine blue waters! Gather for a big lunch. After lunch, options will be available for shorter and longer small group hikes around the ranch in the afternoon.

Tonight, we’ll share another traditional Patagonian dinner back in the historic dining room, and perhaps stargaze as night arrives.

Today’s Hike: Various options, from 3-8 miles, mostly on dirt paths and 4×4 tracks.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: La Naviera

Day 8

Hiking the National Park

After an early breakfast at La Naviera, transition to the center of Patagonia National Park. You’ll drive to the Aviles Valley Trailhead, where you’ll set off for a dramatic 9-mile loop hike through the colorful red mountains and glacially formed plateaus that make this side valley unique.

Today’s Hike: 9 miles, 5-8 hours, 900 ft elevation gain, established dirt hiking trail with several steep sections.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Frontcountry Camps

Day 9

Continue Hiking the Patagonia National Park

On your final day in Patagonia National Park, you’ll have two hiking options. Those looking for a challenging, stunning finale can tackle the 12-mile Lagunas Altas loop, named one of Patagonia’s five best trails, with panoramic views and varied terrain. Those looking for a slightly shorter option can hike through the expansive grasslands of the Chacabuco Valley to a new suspension bridge high over a river canyon, approximately 7 miles.

This evening, you’ll transition to a lodge in Puerto Guadal for a farewell dinner and final evening of celebration.

Today’s Hike: Either 12 miles, 7-9 hours, 2,500 ft elevation gain, dirt trail with some steep sections; or 7 miles, 4-6 hours, 400 ft elevation gain, dirt trail mostly through grasslands.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Patagonia 47g

Day 10

Head North to the Carretera Austral

Wake up early to head north up the Carretera Austral, or “Southern Highway,” often called one of the world’s great road trips. Drive for 6-7 hours along the turquoise Baker River, and then near the eastern border of the Northern Patagonian Ice Field.

You’ll arrive at the Balmaceda airport (BBA) in time for afternoon flights. Please do not schedule your return flight until after 3 pm.

Breakfast

 

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants. 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Patagonia



Arrival and Departure Information

January 17, 2025

Arrive: Arrive in Balmaceda, Chile (BBA) on January 17, 2025 between 9:00 am and noon.

Depart: Depart Balanaceda, Chile (BBA) on January 26, 2025 after 3:00 pm.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Preparation and Packing  

Please use the following guides as a reference when preparing for your adventure. We also encourage you to adapt the guides to your travel style as well as the destination’s forecasted weather.  

Gratuities  

Gratuities are a personal decision and are at your own discretion based on your level of satisfaction with the service provided. Gratuities are dependent upon the number of guests on your departure, and they vary greatly from trip to trip. As a general reference, AdventureWomen suggests you plan for $440-$450 (or more) worth of gratuities for this adventure. Specific tipping recommendations for your trip will be provided to you closer to your departure date and may fluctuate due to inflation, exchange rates, and the number of travelers on your trip. 

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

US Passport holders will need a visa to visit Sri Lanka. We will provide detailed information before your departure on how to obtain your visa.

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Challenging. Our Challenging adventures get your heart rate pumping, these are demanding yet deeply rewarding and designed for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts. You should be in excellent physical condition, and be able to hike up to 10 miles, in steeper, more rugged terrain.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission) to make the most of your adventure. With this itinerary in mind, we have a partnership with Trailblazer Wellness, a woman-owned, women-run company that will design an individualized fitness plan just for you! Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 10% discount with the code AVW. Learn more on the Trailblazer Wellness website.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic, as they may have recommendations for vaccines and medications based on the destination as well as your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Sri Lanka.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800, and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (Photo Page)
  • Supplement Health and Safety Form

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

January 17, 2025 Departure Final Payment Due Date: October 19, 2024 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation
  • Airport transfer on departure day
  • Guided sightseeing and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees for sites listed in the itinerary
  • Drinking water available in large jugs to refill personal bottles
  • Soft drinks, tea, and coffee at meals
  • Snacks in vehicles
  • Gratuities for drivers, hotel staff, and wait staff

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Balmaceda
  • Optional activities
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Mandatory travel insurance to cover any evacuation and medical expenses
    incurred while abroad
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides, porters, and additional support staff

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Patagonia House

Patagonia House is a comfortable mountain lodge set against the panoramic backdrop of the snow-capped Andes. Suites at Patagonia Lodge are decorated with tasteful wooden floors and matching autumn décor.

Amenities: Free Wi-Fi, Balconies

La Naviera

Recently remodeled elegant ranch house. Its location facing the lake and northern exposure make this house a unique and optimal place to relax.

Amenities: Bedding/linens, Kitchen

Backcountry Camps

At each of your backcountry camps, you will have a 3-season camping tent. Ground sheet, fly sheet, vestibule, and closed-cell foam sleeping mat are provided. Your guides will instruct and coach you on tent set-up and break-down and help if needed. A kitchen tarp will offer space for gathering in the evenings to eat and relax with solar lanterns if needed for the season (Patagonia summers have long daylight hours). Your guides will spearhead cooking hot dinners and breakfasts, served here, and snacks and purified water will also be available throughout the mornings and evenings. Bathroom facilities are rustic and minimal. Each of the two backcountry camps is in a stunning location with glacier views.

Frontcountry Camps

At these established frontcountry campgrounds, you will have a 3-season camping tent. Ground sheet, fly sheet, vestibule, and closed-cell foam sleeping mat are provided. Your guides will instruct and coach you on tent set-up and break-down and help if needed. A covered cook shelter with picnic tables and benches will offer space for gathering in the evenings to eat and relax with solar lanterns if needed for the season (Patagonia summers have long daylight hours). Your guides will spearhead cooking hot dinners and breakfasts, served here, and snacks and purified water will also be available throughout the mornings and evenings. Bathroom facilities include flush toilets and solar showers.

Patagonia 47g

Located on the shores of Lake General Carrera, Patagonia 47g offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. The lodge is equipped with heating, free toiletries, a flat-screen TV, a dining area, and a fully equipped kitchen with a wood-burning oven.

Amenities: Flat-screen TV, Kitchen

 

Please note that all amenities were current when written and are subject to change at any time.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686