Heart of Patagonia

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  • From $10,493
  • 14 days, 14 nights
  • Max Guests: 12

Highlights

Everyone hikes the W, which might explain why it’s so crowded.

When you mention you’re going to Patagonia, most people immediately think of the famous Torres del Paine. The more adventurous might picture Drake’s Passage. But Patagonia is not just “Southern” Patagonia. There is a whole “Northern” part, equally stunning and with so much to offer, yet not overrun by tourists… at least not yet.

That’s where we’re heading. But no trip to Patagonia is complete without experiencing the Torres del Paine, so we’ll explore there, too.

Visit a remote city that feels like a slice of Bavaria, minus the lederhosen.

Hike on the perfect cone-shaped slopes of a volcano to a red crater that will have you swearing you’re on Mars.

See a turquoise waterfall cascade over jet black lava rock.

Harvest vegetables and prepare traditional Chilean dishes, all with ingredients sourced from within a 60-mile radius.

Stay in a hotel on stilts.

Coo over cuter than cute penguins.

Walk out on a dock where the souls of the dead are said to be transported to the afterlife. Follow this with a meal prepared with a renowned chef and local vintner, paired with exquisite Chilean wine.

Navigate through a hauntingly beautiful sunken forest created by one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded.

Help prepare a curanto with a local family. This hearty dish, featuring a mix of shellfish, meat, potatoes, and other local ingredients, is cooked in a pit with hot stones.

Kayak through the waterways of a fjord alongside playful seals and dolphins.

See ancient trees that can live for over 3,000 years and reach towering heights of up to 164 feet.

Visit an indigenous community where you’ll enjoy a typical lunch, and learn about their history, music, medicine, and cuisine to gain a deeper understanding of their way of life.

Discover a prehistoric cave that provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Patagonia’s early inhabitants.

Experience “gaucho” life as you saddle up and ride across the Patagonia wilderness. Enjoy a lamb BBQ, a traditional gaucho meal, back at the ranch.

See the blue-hued icebergs of a glacier up close.

Embark on the famous Torres del Paine hike. The breathtaking vistas and rugged trails will leave you in awe.

Every day is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of Patagonia and to better understand the hardy people who call this rugged landscape home. Join us for an adventure that goes beyond the ordinary and into the heart of this extraordinary region.

Features

  • Real Adventure For Experienced TravelersBetween traveling to wild and remote corners of Patagonia and engaging in cultural exchange with local families, Chile is a REAL adventure for experienced travelers. This means that you will feel challenged at certain points of the trip. But that challenge is worth it. Because overcoming challenges makes memories, and has the power to change your perspective and your life.
  • Untapped Authentic ExperiencesWhile Chile is not considered an emerging destination, we have noticed that the benefits of tourism bypass businesses, communities, and families not on the popular tourist circuit. While we visit must-see sites, we also venture off into less touristed, yet absolutely amazing, places.
  • Safety FirstExploring Chile is a real adventure. While you don't have to worry about high altitude, you'll be hiking, kayaking, ferrying, and horseback riding through remote areas in Patagonia. And you’ll be traveling to rural communities that have minimal infrastructure. This is why our guides have their Wilderness First Responder certification. We also talk with you at length before booking to ensure this trip is suitable for you. And, if you do book, we provide in depth guidance so you can be properly prepared.
  • Cultural BriefingBefore you set off, join us for an exclusive 1-hour cultural briefing session on Zoom, personally hosted by our company owner, Diane Valenti. Diane delves into the 10 dimensions that shape all cultures and illuminates how they play out in the vibrant tapestry of Chilean culture. This deeper understanding enriches your experience by giving you a way to understand why things are done the way they are done and fosters a deeper connection when you interact with locals. As an added benefit, Diane offers an optional post-trip debrief session, providing the perfect opportunity to reflect on and discuss your experience and observations. Prepare to transform your travel experience with this unparalleled cultural insight.
  • Leave a TraceYes, you heard that right. We work with local tour guides, drivers, families, hotels, communities, and restaurants to ensure that your trip leaves the local community better off.
  • Before-You-Go GuidanceOur company's founder, Diane Valenti, is no stranger to Chile. With her guidance on essential packing and setting realistic expectations, she ensures that you are as prepared as can be for your journey, reducing the chance of any unwanted surprises.
  • Expert, Bilingual Tour GuidesOur expert, bilingual guides not only share their knowledge of Chile, but also handle any unforeseen circumstances, allowing you to truly relax and unwind.
  • Mesmerizing PhotosAmidst its stunning landscapes (Chile is the land of volcanos, rainbows and glaciers), you'll have limitless opportunities to take one captivating photo after another to relive your adventure and share with your family and friends.
  • Hassle Free HolidayEase into a worry-free journey where we handle the details. Apart from your tour guides, tipping is covered, and nearly every meal is on us. No need to fret over constantly looking for ATMs – just relax and revel in the experience.
  • Out of the Ordinary ExperiencesBetween hiking to the Torres del Paine, cooking traditional meals with local families, visiting an indigenous community and galluping across the Patagonia wilderness, you’ll come home with memories that you’ll relive for a lifetime and stories to tell that will leave your friends and family wanting more.

Private Departure Pricing

  • Accommodation – double occupancy (11 nights in a hotel, 3 nights in a luxury tent)
  • 4 to 6 guests from $11,924 double occupancy
  • 7 to 10 guests from $10,811 double occupancy
  • 11 to 12 guests from $10,493 double occupancy
  • Single supplement $1,542; luxury tents are shared
  • Accommodation – double occupancy (14 nights in a hotel)
  • 4 to 6 guests from $13,179 double occupancy
  • 7 to 10 guests from $12,162 double occupancy
  • 11 to 12 guests from $11,924 double occupancy
  • Single supplement $1,653

Group Departure Details

We are running one group departure of this trip for people who are traveling on their own.

Dates: March 15th – 28th, 2025
Price: $10,493
Single Supplement: $1,542; luxury tents are shared

Guests traveling alone will automatically be assigned a single room and will need to pay the single supplement. If you want to share a room, you will need to travel with a friend or family member.

Included

  • Accommodation – double occupancy (11 nights in a hotel, 3 nights in a luxury tent)
  • Airport/hotel transfers
  • English speaking guides
  • Equipment – camping, kayaking, horseback riding
  • Entrance fees for scheduled tours
  • Ground transportation
  • Meals specified by the itinerary
  • Tips for support staff other than your guides

Trip Notes

Your tour with Llama Expeditions starts when you meet our team at the airport in Santiago, Chile. We will guide you on making both international and domestic flight arrangements once you have booked this trip. The cost of flights is not included.

You are required to have travel insurance to cover hospitalization, evacuation, flight delays, and cancellations.  Also, because of the remote nature of this trip, you are required to have a doctor’s note certifying that you are fit to travel.

Please plan for and consider personal spending money for extra snacks, drinks, or treasures you find along the way.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago

Welcome to the vibrant heart of Chile – Santiago. Nestled between the majestic Andes and the sprawling vineyards of the Central Valley, it’s a city where the old world meets the new in a captivating blend of history, culture, and adventure.

Tonight, we meet for a welcome dinner to kick off your adventure.

Meals: Dinner
Hotel: Boutique La Reve (or similar)

Day 2: Welcome to Puerto Varas

After a short flight, discover the enchanting beauty of Puerto Varas, also known as the “City of Roses.”

Wander through its picturesque streets lined with traditional German homes that make you feel like you unexpectedly landed in a charming village in the middle of Bavaria.

Admire the stunning views of the snow-capped Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes mirrored in the pristine waters of Lake Llanquihue.

Explore the eclectic Pablo Fierro Museum. Housed in a charming, rustic building overlooking Lake Llanquihue, this museum is a labor of love by local artist Pablo Fierro. As you wander through its whimsical rooms and corridors, encounter a treasure trove of artifacts, paintings, and sculptures that tell the story of the region’s rich heritage and vibrant artistic spirit.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Weisserhaus (or similar)

Day 3: Hike in One of Chile’s Most Magnificent Parks

Discover the awe-inspiring beauty of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Chile’s oldest and one of its most magnificent national parks, and home to the iconic Osorno Volcano.

Hike on the slopes of its perfect cone to the Red Crater. A striking natural wonder, the crater is characterized by a deep reddish hue that creates a surreal, almost Martian landscape.

Explore the dense, temperate rainforest and enjoy spectacular views of the volcano rising majestically against the sky.

Hike to the Petrohué Falls. Turquoise waters cascade over ancient lava rocks. The vibrant blue-green hue of the water, a result of glacial sediments, contrasts vividly with the dark, rugged lava formations sculpted by centuries of volcanic activity.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Weisserhaus (or similar)

Day 4: Make Traditional Chilean Food

Head to the west shore of Lake Llanquihue. Learn about Europe’s enduring influence on this remote part of Chile. Visit the opera house, and walk through beautiful homes and manicured gardens.

Harvest vegetables under the direction of a local chef. Then, learn how to make traditional Chilean dishes that celebrate the flavors of the region. All ingredients are sourced from with a 60-mile radius.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Weisserhaus (or similar)

Day 5: Visit a Penguin Colony

Embark on a brief ferry ride to Isla Grande de Chiloé. The island landscape is dotted with colorful wooden houses built on stilts, known as “palafitos.”

One of the island’s most notable features is its UNESCO World Heritage wooden churches. These 16th and 17th-century structures, crafted entirely from native timber without the use of nails, showcase the island’s unique blend of indigenous and European architectural styles.

Chiloé is also steeped in folklore and mythology. Legends of ghost ships, forest spirits, and witches are woven into the fabric of everyday life.

Visit a penguin colony where Humboldt and Magellanic penguins breed together.

Then, enjoy lunch at a restaurant with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean before checking into your hotel on stilts.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Palafito 1326 (or similar)

Day 6: Hike, Cook, & Taste Chilean Wines

Hike through the beauty of the Chiloé countryside to the largest lake on the island. The lake’s calm, crystal-clear waters reflect the stunning landscapes that encircle it and create a mirror-like surface that beautifully captures the changing colors of the sky.

Hike across the rugged and windswept coastline to the Muelle de las Almas (Dock of Souls.) According to legend, the souls of the dead travel to this remote spot to call upon the mythical boatman Tempilkawe, who ferries them to the afterlife.

Roll up your sleeves and help prepare a traditional meal with the help of a renowned chef and vintner. Wash down your meal with a variety of local Chilean wines.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Palafito 1326 (or similar)

Day 7: Explore a Sunken Forest & Prepare a Cuaranto

Navigate by motorboat through the hauntingly beautiful sunken forest of the Chepu River. The sunken forest was created by the massive earthquake of 1960, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded. It caused the land to sink and the forest to be submerged under the rising waters of the river.

Visit the Muelle de la Luz, or “Dock of Light.” Enjoy the sound of the gentle lapping of the waves against the wooden planks, watch the boats as they come and go, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of dolphins or sea lions that frequent the waters of the Gulf of Corcovado.

Then, visit a local family to learn about their daily life and to help them prepare a typical dish of the region – a cuaranto. A hearty dish cooked in a pit with hot stones, it features a mix of shellfish, meat, potatoes, and other local ingredients.

Take the ferry back to the mainland and return to Puerto Varas

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Weisserhaus (or similar)

Day 8: Kayak Reloncavi Fjords

Kayak through the calm waters of the Reloncavi Fjords, surrounded by towering mountains clad in lush temperate rainforest.

Stop on the pristine beach of Peninsula Rollizo for a well-deserved picnic lunch. Unlike more developed tourist destinations, the peninsula retains its wild, untouched charm.

Then, paddle close to the rugged coastline, with the perfect cone of Yates Volcano in the distance, looking for seals, dolphins, and a variety of birds.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Weisserhaus (or similar)

Day 9: Hike Through Lahuen Ñadi & Visit an Indigenous Community

Hike through the forest of Lahuen Ñadi National Monument. This park is located in one of the most remote corners of the Lake District and is home to the Alerce tree. These ancient trees, relatives of the North American redwoods, can live for over 3,000 years and reach towering heights of up to 164 feet.

Visit a Huilliche community. A subset of the larger Mapuche ethnic group, their folklore is rich with myths, legends, and oral histories, often reflecting their deep connection to nature and the spiritual world. Enjoy a typical lunch as you learn about their history, music, medicine, and cuisine.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Weisserhaus (or similar)

Day 10: Explore an Ancient Cave

Fly to Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park.

Explore the Milodón Cave National Monument. The cave gained international attention in the late 19th century when a German explorer discovered a piece of well-preserved skin belonging to the Milodón (Mylodon darwinii), a giant ground sloth that roamed the region around 10,000 years ago. In addition, stone tools, hearths, and other artifacts suggest that the cave was used by ancient hunter-gatherers. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Patagonia’s early inhabitants.

Stay in luxury tents in a stunning valley right outside an entrance to the national park.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Riverside Camp/Hotel Lago Grey (or similar)

Day 11: Experience the Life of a Gaucho

Visit a Chilean estancia (ranch) to learn about the life of Chile’s iconic gauchos. These skilled horsemen are known for their distinctive attire, expert horsemanship, and significant role in rural and agricultural life. The tradition of the gaucho dates back to the colonial era when Spanish settlers brought their equestrian culture to the New World. Over time, the blend of Spanish equestrian skills and the local environment gave rise to the unique lifestyle of the gaucho.

Saddle up and ride across the vast Patagonia wilderness. Because of the remoteness of the estancia, you may spot rheas, guanacos, and wild fox going about their daily life.

Back at the ranch, enjoy a traditional lamb BBQ.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Riverside Camp/Hotel Lago Grey (or similar)

Day 12: See a Glacier Up Close

Board a boat to see the blue-hued icebergs of the immense face of the Grey Glacier. This massive glacier is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, one of the largest ice fields in the world. Grey Glacier is renowned for its striking beauty, vibrant blue ice, and the dramatic landscapes that surround it.

Hike through the lush forests, meandering rivers, and towering mountains of Pingo Valley. Andean condors, Magellanic woodpeckers, and a variety of other bird species thrive in the valley’s diverse ecosystem.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: Riverside Camp/Hotel Lago Grey (or similar)

Day 13: Hike Torres del Paine

Hike along the Ascencio River into the Ascencio Valley to the stunning Three Towers of the Torres del Paine National Park. The Three Towers, known locally as “Las Torres,” are three towering granite peaks that rise dramatically. It is the most iconic hike within the park and Southern Patagonia.

Return to Puerto Natales.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner
Hotel: The Veat (or similar)

Day 14: Return to Santiago

Fly to Santiago and check into the Holiday Inn within the airport before your flight home.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel
Hotel: Holiday Inn at the airport (or similar)

Reviews

All of the guides were incredible. Augusto, Ruben, and Patricia are the best guides I have ever worked with from any country. On a scale of 1-to-10, it was a 15! It was a life changing trip for me.

Mike Jensen

We loved the whole thing; so difficult to choose what was the best!

Marisa Bell

Before the trip, we were ambivalent about a guided tour, but found that the guides really smoothed the way for us to get to places quickly and focus on the most important sites and events. If you can get our guides for future groups, do so – they really made the trip great!

Ed and Judy Heffern

Real Talk

We want to make sure that you are on a trip that’s right for you.

Remoteness

Parts of this trip truly take us off the beaten path. This means that cell phone service and Wi-Fi coverage can be spotty to non-existent.

And, the availability of functioning ATMS, or any ATMS, can be limited.

Early Mornings

Due to the timing of flights and some of the distances we will be traveling, this trip includes several early mornings. We will always have a steaming cup of hot coffee, hot chocolate, or hot tea for you and breakfast, even if it is to go or we stop on the road.

Terrain & Trail Support

Our hikes through Chile’s mesmerizing rugged landscapes ascend rocky and occasionally uneven trails. Many are remote and do not intersect with roads. Vehicles will get you to and from the trailheads. But are not available to transport you out along the way.

Ample trail support in the form of water, snacks and encouragement is provided by your local guide.

Single Rooms

Many solo travelers prefer to have their own rooms. If having your own room is important to you, we encourage you to reserve your trip as early as possible. Hotels limit their allocation of single rooms, which means we may have more guests requesting single rooms than there are rooms available. If a single room is not available, we will pair you with a roommate of the same gender.

Itinerary Changes

Due to Patagonia’s extreme weather and strong winds, changes to the itinerary are possible. It’s very important to us to keep you safe.

Difficulty

With the exception of the hike to the Torres del Paine, the hikes are easy with negligible elevation gain. The longest is roughly 6 miles.

The Torres del Paine hike is a 12.5 mile out and back route with an elevation gain of 3,326 feet. It takes between 8 to 10 hours to complete. However, there is an option to stop at the first lookout point if you are feeling fatigued. You still get to see the Torres without exhausting yourself.

The kayaking is 3 1/2 hours in total. There is a lunch stop after an hour and half. Single kayaks are available for experienced kayakers. Double kayaks are available for the rest of us.

The horseback ride is 3 hours. You can opt to hang out at the ranch instead of riding.

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    PLEASE NOTE: We have capped the number of guests on this trip at 12. We encourage you to reserve your space before this trip sells out.

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