Aerial view of small stone wilderness lodge sitting in Patagonia National Park valley with yellow-leaf trees under some clouds.
3 Explora Patagonia National Park travelers in bright green & yellow jackets ride mountain bikes uphill on a gravel road.
8 Explora Patagonia National Park kayakers paddle a wide, calm river beside hills of dense fall foliage & cliffs.
4 Explora Patagonia National Park travelers stand beside a large turquoise river as a guide points out flora & fauna.
Landscape of grassy hills & volcanic mountains beside a bright blue lake under a partly cloudy sky in Patagonia National Park.
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South America Patagonia Land Tour

Explora Patagonia National Park

Explora Patagonia National Park is a lodge-based trip with a home base right in the park, in the heart of Chile’s Chacabuco Valley. The park is located along the breathtakingly scenic Carretera Austral, the iconic road that runs 770 miles from Puerto Montt, in the Lake District, to Villa O’Higgins, traversing the amazing landscapes of Chilean Patagonia.

This choose-your-own-adventure trip offers over 30 in-depth, guided explorations, including hiking, biking, kayaking and more. Choose from half-day or full-day adventures for all activity levels. While a 4-day itinerary exists (inquire for pricing), we recommend a longer 5-, 6- or 7-day itinerary as an ideal way to experience Explora Patagonia National Park, or we can customize your experience.

The highlights of the Explora Patagonia National Park experience are many. Enjoy opportunities for close encounters with diverse local fauna, such as guanacos and Andean condors. Appreciate traveling through a vast, uninhabited territory with unending natural beauty: dense forests, fjords, glaciers, canals, the Andes Mountains and spectacular turquoise-colored lakes and rivers. Lastly, know that your tourism dollars are going toward ongoing conservation efforts.

Start and end each day at Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge, a highly comfortable 10-room accommodation with conservation-minded architecture designed to match the unique natural beauty of the area. After a long day exploring Patagonia, relax in this bed & breakfast-style property or take in exhibits at the nearby Tompkins Museum before planning the next day’s excursions with your guide. Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge’s unrivaled location and activities are the ultimate Patagonia National Park experience.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Patagonia tours and Patagonia trips.



Itinerary

Explora Patagonia National Park Itinerary

The Explora Patagonia National Park adventure is a lodge-based customizable Patagonia experience that begins and ends at the airport in Balmaceda, Chile.

Route map of Explora Patagonia National Park showing where the lodge sits in northern Chilean Patagonia, with 5 exploration zones: Andean & Patagonian Steppe, Water & Forest, Fossils, Pioneers & Baker River.
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Day 1
Arrive Explora Patagonia National Park, Chile

Staff will greet you at the airport to take you on the 6-hour journey from Balmaceda to the Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge. The route from Balmaceda to Valle Chacabuco follows both paved and dirt roads. Stop at a restaurant on the route for about half an hour for a light meal.

Accommodations

Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge

Meals

lunch, dinner

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Days 2 - 4/5/6
Patagonia National Park Exploration

During your days in Patagonia National Park, enjoy a menu of over 30 explorations to choose from. Every evening, sit down with your guide to select the next day’s explorations. Choose between hikes, bike rides, kayaking and overland travel to discover the landscapes and wildlife of this special conservation area. Be lead by a bilingual guide in small groups. And explore six different zones, including extensive forests connecting lakes and rivers, open plains with commanding views, icy glaciers and a fossil-heavy zone. Following is a sample of explorations; ask your Adventure Specialist for the full list.

Featured Hiking Explorations

Los Pumas
This moderate, half-day, 6.8-mile hike in the pioneers zone takes about 4.5 hours. Leave the lodge on foot and hike through a vast steppe region bordering the Chacabuco River. This is one of the areas most populated by pumas and guanacos. Learn more about these species and how to protect them.

Los Carpinteros
This easy, full-day, 3-mile hike in the water and forest zone takes about 2.5 hours. Hike along the southern slope of the Patagonia National Park. Cross areas with diverse vegetation: low shrubs, forest regrowth and dense coigüe forests. Different species of Patagonian bird life and fauna will accompany. Enjoy broad views of the mountains and hills in the sector and the crystalline Lake Cochrane, which is a great binational lake shared by Chile and Argentina.

La Leona
This advanced, full-day, 11.4-mile high mountain hike in the Andean and Patagonian steppe zone takes about 10 hours. Cross the natural corridors of the Valleys to experience its contrasts. Birds make their presence felt, as do the condors gliding above. Encounter different environments until arriving at an area with broad views of the valleys, some of them historic natural corridors in the area.

Featured Biking/E-Biking Explorations

Los Ríos
This easy, half-day, 8.6-mile bike ride in the Baker River zone takes about 2 hours. Leave by van with bikes in tow. After 40 minutes, reach the starting point: the outskirts of the town of Cochrane. Begin the ride in a sector of fields with crops and livestock, the main economic activities in the area. Ride beside the Cochrane River to appreciate its transparent waters and the trees introduced in the days of the pioneers. Continue on to rolling hills with stops to take in the views. End at the bridge over the El Salto River, whose waters come from the ice of Calluqueo.

La Tejuela
This advanced, full-day, 26-mile bike ride in the water and forest zone takes about 6.5 hours. Visit a rancher’s post to learn about part of the Chacabuco Valley’s history. View historic remains and learn about the lifestyle of past residents. Take a sloping path among ancient lenga forests, passing lagoons and diverse views. Pass through transit areas used by huemuls and other species in the Patagonia National Park.

Featured Combination Kayaking & Hiking Explorations

This kayak and hike in the water and forest zone is offered at two different levels of activity, both following the same route. Paddle to the Cochrane River rapids. Walk to the Lake Cochrane viewpoint and return via the Los Carpinteros trail in the Tamango area. Cross coigüe forests in the first half of the the exploration and then flank the riverbank with landscapes of pampa and Patagonian steppe.
-Los Correntadas version: easy, full-day, 2.6-mile, 4.5 hours
-Blugrin version: advanced, full-day, 7.5-mile, 8 hours

Featured Overland Explorations

Chelenko Sur
This easy, full-day, 102-mile overland exploration in the fossils zone takes about 8 hours. Leave the lodge by van and head northward, crossing areas with a strong tradition in livestock husbandry. Travel along the famous Baker River, know for its turquoise waters and heavy flows. Hike to the Baker-Neff confluence, the point where the two rivers meet. The Neff is a glacier-tongue-fed river that comes down from the northern ice fields. Next, walk to the San Martin Fossils sector. Enjoy a tour by the owner to observe and analyze samples of fossilized rocks with different species of molluscs that inhabited the territory more than 175 million years ago.

Viaje Glaciar
This easy, full-day, 98-mile overland exploration in the Patagonian Andean ice zone takes about 7 hours. Depart by van and travel along the Carretera Austral until taking back roads amid forests, rivers and lagoons to reach the Calluqueo Glacier. This impressive tongue of ice hangs from the western slope of the solemn Mount San Lorenzo. It then flows into a murky glacial lagoon surrounded by walls of ice thousands of years old. The wind causes the clouds surrounding Mount San Lorenzo to put on a shifting and dynamic show. Sit down and contemplate, walk around, or go down to get your wet feet in the lagoon.

Accommodations

Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5/6/7
Depart Patagonia National Park, Chile

Your incredible adventures in Patagonia National Park have come to an end, but you will take your Explora Patagonia National Park experience with you for a lifetime. Enjoy a delicious breakfast before your included transfer takes you to the airport, or to the next leg of your adventure.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Transfer from and to Balmaceda airport on a preset schedule; accommodations and guided explorations; all meals, plus snacks and open bar; bike riding gear and trekking poles; tickets to nature reserves and Patagonia National Park entrance; WiFi in common areas.

Exclusions

International airfare, insurance of any kind, discretionary gratuities, spa or massage service, laundry, premium wines or other items of a personal nature such as phone calls; peak season/holiday surcharges (please contact AdventureSmith for details).

Payment & Cancellation

Shoulder & High Season:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 30% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special payment and cancellation terms may apply for bookings made under special and last-minute deals. Changes may be made without penalty up to 30 days prior to check-in. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to check-in:
Up to 30 days – full refund
29 to 15 days – 50% of total trip cost
14 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Peak Season:
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 50% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special payment and cancellation terms may apply for bookings made under special and last-minute deals. Changes may be made without penalty up to 60 days prior to check-in. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Peak Season cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to check-in:
Up to 60 days – full refund
59 to 30 days – 50% of total trip cost
29 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Explora Patagonia National Park adventure begins and ends in Balmaceda, Chile (BBA). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Balamceda in time for pick-up’s scheduled up to 9:30am. Plan flights to depart Balmaceda anytime after airport drop-off at 2:00pm on the final day. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities cover all areas in Patagonia National Park, either by bike, kayak, foot or van. Prior biking and kayaking experience is not required. Hikes range from easy to expert mountain ascents. A bilingual English or Spanish guide will accompany each small group. Provided gear includes walking sticks and leg protectors for hikes; helmet, bike and water bottle for two-wheeled excursions; and all the necessary equipment for kayaking.

Room Configuration

For the 2022-23 season, single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at one of the following supplements of the per-person listed rate in select rooms upon availability:
– Low & Shoulder (34%): Sep 10-Oct 31; Apr 1-30
– High & Peak (70%): Nov 1-Mar 31

ChristmasNew Year programs have fixed check-in dates with stays of 5 days.

Families & Children

There are additional beds for children 3 to 11 when sharing their parent’s room. Maximum one extra bed per room and two children per adult. Children under the age of 3 are complimentary when sharing room with their parents. Please inquire for special rates for children ages 3-17 years old accompanying their parents, which are subject to availability. Rates for children aged 12-17 traveling with their parents are not valid during High Season and Peak Season.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change. Please contact AdventureSmith for the most up-to-date pricing.

22-23 Season:
Shoulder: October 1-31, 2022; April 1-30, 2023
High: November 1-December 23, 2022; January 1-March 31, 2023
Peak: December 24-31, 2022

2022-23 Shoulder Season
Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge
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From $3496USD
Per Person
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2022-23 High Season
Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge
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From $4142USD
Per Person
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2022-23 Peak Season
Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge
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From $4750USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About The Lodge on Your Itinerary

Lodge
Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge

The 10-room Explora Patagonia National Park Lodge sits in a remote sector of the park: Valle Chacabuco, roughly 5.5 hours overland or a 45-minute flight from the Balmaceda Airport. This conservation-minded property features the nearby Northern Ice Fields, Marble Cathedrals, Baker River and nearby lakes.

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Explora Patagonia National Park

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