14 Days in Patagonia: The Ultimate Explorer’s Itinerary

image6.jpg

So you like to be active, huh? That’s totally cool with us. In fact, our new 'Puma' Northern Patagonia tour features the best of the best when it comes to an active vacation - hiking volcanoes and kayaking fiords - and you may just see some really amazing things along the way.

Here’s the perfect itinerary for 14 days in Patagonia for all of the ultimate explorers out there:  

Day 1: Get your bearings in Bariloche with an authentic Patagonian meal


We all know travelling takes a lot out of you. One of the best jet lag cures? Food! And you’re going to love Patagonian cuisine.

Your arrival to Bariloche brings you to the chocolate capital of Argentina. Artisan chocolate shops line the streets, beckoning you inside. And why not? You’re about to spend two weeks on the move—live a little!

Dinner tonight features a typical Patagonian meal. Entrees include beef, spit roast lamb, trout, king crab, and wild boar. Served alongside your meats are potatoes, breads, and cheeses. All of the foods come from the surrounding landscapes, from the glacial rivers (trout) to the dense forests (wild boar) to the Atlantic Ocean (king crab).  

Day 2: Warm up your hiking legs with a trek to Cerro Llao Llao and cool off with a dip at Playa Tacul

 

It’s your first official day on the trail! And what better way to spend it than amongst the lakes and peaks of Patagonia. Cerro Llao Llao sits in the midst of three different lakes, all of which can be seen from the top of your hike. Popping up in the distance are the tops of Cerro Lopez and Cerro Capilla. 

Wind your way through a wooded trail to the top for a mid-morning tea break, a very “Patagonian” thing to do! After finishing your tea, descend Cerro Llao Llao to lake-level. Here you can walk the sandy shores of Playa Tacul or even jump into the crystal clear and clean waters of the lake. No matter how you choose to spend your time, you are sure to love the lago (that’s Spanish for lake!).  

Day 3: Get your heart pumping with a brisk climb to Cerro Bella Vista—you won’t believe the views

It’s day three in Argentina, and you may be feeling one of two ways: Completely ready for the next adventure or exhausted as your body is still trying to adjust to Patagonian life. The good news is you get to choose how you want to spend your day!

For those ready to hit today’s Patagonian path, head to Cerro Bella, which literally means “beautiful views.” You’re going to want to make sure you have your camera and/or smartphone for this one. Binoculars wouldn’t hurt, either.

It’s quite a trek to the top, with a heart-pumping ascent above the treeline, but it’s well worth it for 360 degree views of the myriad lakes and crowded horizon line of huge peaks.

If you’d rather spend the day exploring Bariloche and its surroundings, that’s completely fine too! Who wouldn’t want to sample the rich and smooth chocolate the town is known for? Or maybe do some souvenir shopping?  

Day 4: Hike the “Road of the Seven Lakes” to Cerro Falkner and panoramic views of Argentina’s Lake District

If you signed up for spectacular sights, today is the day for you. Your journey today takes you through the “Road of the Seven Lakes” to Cerro Falkner. The trail twists and turns through lush forests, by cool-blue lakes, and past wondrous waterfalls. Feel free to take a dip in the water if you’re feeling so inclined! 

Soon, the base of Cerro Falkner emerges ahead, and you’re ready to begin your climb to the top. The trees you pass are coihue and ñire, the latter of which is the southernmost tree on earth as it was found on Hoste Island. Once you reach the tip of the mountain, you’ll be happy for every step you took on the way up. Marvel at all seven of the lakes from a bird’s eye view, it’s just amazing.  

 

Day 5: Enter the “Ring of Fire” with a trek up the south face of Volcan Lanin

 

If you can’t stop singing a certain Johnny Cash tune right now, no one will blame you. That’s right, we’re headed into the “Ring of Fire.” 

Volcan Lanin straddles the border of Argentina and Chile and has two National Parks on its slopes (one for each country). The wild woods of the mountain enhance your hike. Lookout for the peculiar Pehuén, or monkey puzzle tree. 

As you encounter the volcano’s snowline, you might think you’ve gone “North of The Wall” as snow exists year-round here. Mountains upon mountains go as far as the eye can see, creating a breathtaking backdrop.  

Day 6: Immerse yourself in the Chilean rainforest at the Huilo Huilo Reserve

 

 
 

After one last Argentine ascent (the red-hued Cerro Colorado), you’re on your way to Chile. Once over the border (that’s another stamp to your passport!), board a ferry on Lago Pirihueico for a ride to Huilo Huilo Reserve.

This private, biological reserve is 600 square kilometers of Chilean temperate rainforest. There’s a high amount of precipitation here and relatively warm temperatures during the summer. Wildlife enthusiasts will be in Patagonian paradise. There are 81 known species of bird throughout the forest as well as the phantom puma — we say phantom because you will most likely never see the big cat due to its timid and nocturnal nature.

Here you’ll never be far from the local flora as your hotel is literally shaped like a mushroom. Reino Fungi Hotel pays architectural homage to the fungi found in the forests near the lodging. Enjoy a house-brewed beer as a nightcap before getting a good night’s rest. Tomorrow has a lot in store!  

Day 7: Explore the Valdivian forest and waterfalls along the Fuy River

© Marcos Escalier

We won’t have to go too far for our hike today. The Fuy River and Valdivian forest are practically on our doorstep. As you wander through today’s trail you’ll feel as if you’re in a fairytale. Songbirds serenade you from the treetops, and picture perfect waterfalls break up the many tributaries.

While these sights are amazing, you can choose instead to have a relaxing day at the hotel, if you’d prefer. Soak up the sun with lakeside views and a coffee or hot chocolate. Or perhaps you’d rather soak yourself in the lodge’s hot pools. Whatever your fancy, you can’t go wrong at our friendly, fungi inn.  

Day 8: Raft the Petrohue River past four magnificent volcanoes. [Free day option]

© amira_a

Welcome to Puerto Varas! There are so many options for you to consider today, but no matter which you choose, you’re going to have a blast. It’s a free day in this Chilean town, but that doesn’t mean there is no adventure to be had.

A great way to spend your afternoon is rafting the rapids of Petrohue River. As you navigate through the white and wild waters, be sure to look up at the four vast volcanoes that line the river.

Cyclists will appreciate the opportunity to show off their skills at the Osorno Volcano pump track. And of course, you can always choose to stay within town limits for shopping, sightseeing, and sampling of local cuisine.

Day 9: Check out the Chilean fiords and hike Hornopirén National Park

 

On the Chilean coast is the village of Hornopirén, its name derives from the nearby volcano and means “snow oven.” No matter where you look, the views are outstanding. The Andes Mountains are dissected by the Chilean fiords, and glaciers cover their slopes. 

Lunch at the local market brings you closer to understanding the Chilean culture. Try a fresh catch of Merluza or Congrio (Southern Hake and Conger Eel) or grab one of the many colorful fruits and vegetables.

Bellies full, it’s time to get inside Hornopirén National Park, renowned for its mountains, glaciers, and volcanoes all packed into a relatively small area. Animal lovers will also love the wide variety of fauna residing in the untouched temperate forest. A ferry ride to Llancahue Island takes you home for the night.  

Day 10: Soak in the hot springs at Cahuelmo Fiord

It’s your 10th day in Patagonia. You’ve seen some incredible sights, but you might be feeling in need of a “pick me up.” The hot springs of Cahuelmo Fiord will do just the trick. The springs are located inside Parque Pumalín, created by the late American entrepreneur and ecologist Douglas Tompkins, founder of The North Face.

One of the things that makes this park so unique is the way in which the local economy thrives alongside conservation. Within the park you’ll find small organic farms with activities such as animal husbandry, cheese making, ecotourism, wool handicrafts, and honey production.

Beginning with a short boat ride on Quintupeu Fiord, you’ll see wonderful waterfalls and granite peaks. The azure waters of the fiord are met with the steep, emerald forested walls of the Andes.

Following up the spectacular scenery will be spectacular springs. In the temperate rainforest lies Cahuelmo Fiord, which produces relaxing hot springs just waiting to be lounged in. Let any tension in your body flow out into the warm waters. There’s no better way to end your day than with a reflective soak in the hot springs.  

Day 11: Kayak where fresh and saltwater meet—and maybe meet some friends along the way

Water-lovers will enjoy getting on tandem kayaks on the Reloncavi Fiord. Kayaking is the best way to see the snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, and even certain sea-friends (sea lions and dolphins might just swim by!).

After disembarking from your kayak, lunch will be a special treat at a locally owned farm for an authentic asado (lamb barbecue). Meet the Yolanda family, who have been living on the banks of the fiord for three generations. Chatting with the Yolanda’s will allow you to fully embrace Chilean culture and understand the Andean way of life.  

Day 12: Test your limits on a trek to Desolation Pass on Osorno Volcano—the views are absolutely worth it

 

Hiking Osorno Volcano takes you through many different kinds of landscapes. First, your trek will begin on a lunar landscape—rocky and desolate of any vegetation. As you climb further up the slopes, lush woods emerge, bringing you back down to earth. Finally, as you ascend to the top (known as Desolation Pass), the stunning skyline comes into view. Below is Lago Todos Los Santos, it’s crystal clear waters reflecting the surrounding sights. 

Back at your home-away-from-home for the night is a hearty meal complete with a glass of red wine. If you’re looking for more than a libation to relax, try lounging in the wood-fired hot tubs.  

Day 13: Take a catamaran cruise across Lagos Todos los Santos before crossing the Andes into Argentina

Today’s travels begin on Cruce Andino, or the lakes route. Cruise on a catamaran over Lago Todos los Santos towards your lunch in Peulla. Then, it’s time to get back to Argentina, but not before a dramatic crossing over the Andes Mountains.

On the other side are even more lakes just waiting to glide you across their mirror-like surfaces. A boat ride, bus ride, and catamaran cruise later and you’re back at Bariloche, where this journey began.  

Day 14: Celebrate your Patagonia adventure with a farewell tour of Bariloche

 

Before departing the paradise of Patagonia, be sure to get in some last-minute activities in Bariloche. Fill up on a festive Argentine feast with your newfound friends, before heading to the airport. Do some last-minute shopping for souvenirs to take home to loved ones (postcards are great for remembering your favorite sites!). Delight yourself with some delectable desserts in the corner chocolate shops or take one last stroll around the city for beautiful, Swiss-style architecture.

As you board your flight, headed home, reflect on the last two weeks. Maybe you like to journal. Maybe you have a blog of your explorations. Perhaps pictures on your phone are the best way to remember the good times you’ve had. Adios, Argentina! It was fun.

Click on the button below to learn more details about our Patagonia tours!

 

Related Posts

Best Time to Visit Peru | Destinations, Climate, and Seasons

So, when is the best time to visit Peru?If you're…

W Trek Patagonia – Everything You Need to Know

Calling Torres del Paine National Park a dramatic landscape is…

Podcast: Kit Parks Tell Us all About her Dolomiti Adventure

Kit Parks, from Active Travel Adventures, tells us everything about…

Podcast: Kit Parks Interviews David and Tina About their Ecuador Adventure

Kit Parks from Active Travel Adventures interviews David and Tina…

Podcast: Kit Parks Interviews Dave and Tina About their Galapagos Land and Sea Adventure

Kit Parks from Active Travel Adventures, Dave and Tina discuss…

Adventure Travel to Costa Rica: Everything You Need to Know

Photo by Kamchatka/Getty Images

With coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean…

Keeping Up With Our New Zealand Guides

You’ve heard us say it before, and you’ll hear us…

Northern Patagonia vs Southern Patagonia : How to Choose

Planning a trip to Patagonia but can't decide whether to…

Hiking Iceland: The Best Day Hikes and Multi-day Hikes in Iceland

Iceland is a hikers paradise. Its vast wilderness calls to…

Dolomites Hiking Guide: Best Hikes in the Dolomites

Ahhh the Dolomites! Arguably one of the most stunning mountain…

Travelling to Ecuador and the Galapagos During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Notice anything different about this picture? Look closely - there's…

Top 5 Open Destinations to Visit in 2022: Where Can Americans Travel?

The light at the end of the tunnel is finally…

Best things to see on the West Coast of New Zealand

The West Coast of New Zealand's South Island is a…

Hike or Bike the Paparoa Track

The Paparoa Track crosses 55km of the Paparoa National Park,…

North Island vs South Island of New Zealand: How to Pick?

New Zealand (or Aotearoa as it's known in the Maori…

The Eight Best Things to Do in the Dolomites, Italy

Pictures of the towering rock monoliths of the Italian Dolomites…

Top five things to do in Grand Teton National Park

Found yourself in Wyoming with your hiking boots? Here’s some…

The 12 Best Day Hikes in Utah

Utah is not only famous for having some of the…

Multi-Day Hike Packing-List for New Zealand

You and some mates have 4 (5 at a stretch)…

Discover Rakiura National Park, on Stewart Island

 Where is Stewart Island? 

Where is Stewart Island?Stewart Island is situated…

Top things to do in Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park is a hiker's paradise and a…

Podcast: Annie Allen talks with Kit about her 'Dolomiti' adventure in the Italian Dolomites

 

Most awesome active adventure“This trip was perfect, just the right…

Podcast: Erin Chambers talks with Kit about her 'Condor' adventure to Patagonia

 

 

Podcast: Linda Cohen Dickens talks with Kit about her 'Tour du Mont Blanc' adventure

 

My Mont Blanc Circuit“This trip not only provided an upfront…

Podcast: Stan Jacobson talks with Kit about his 'Annapurna Sanctuary Trek' in the Himalayas

 

5 Stars x 3“I rated this as 5 stars, "Excellent,…

Podcast: Sue Brickey and Rick Pope talk with Kit about their 'Chinchilla' adventure (Part II)

A varietal overview of Bolivia

“Such a diverse opportunity to experience…

Things to Do in Glenorchy - the Gateway to Paradise

Situated at the end of the road, there’s only one…

Discover Fiordland National Park - Things to See & Do

The largest of New Zealand’s fourteen national parks, Fiordland National…

Things to Do in Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park was formed after local conservationist Perrine…

Video: Safari Adventures in Africa

Come on a journey with us to the wildest place…

Video: How to pack for a three-day hike

Lynette, our client services rock star gives you a step…

Video: Highlights of our Elegant South 'Kakapo' trip

A short look at some highlights from our comfort-focused Elegant…

Ben Lomond

A challenging hike to beautiful vistas above Queenstown and the…

Punakaiki

Famous for its 'Pancake Rocks', Punakaiki is also host to…

Video: Nelson Lakes National Park

This section of our 'Rimu' trip is an opportunity to…

Our Favourite Hikes on the West Coast of New Zealand

The West Coast of the South Island is a unique…

Things do Do in Queenstown for Non-Adrenaline Junkies

The first thing that probably comes to mind when you…

New Zealand Glaciers You Can Easily Hike To

Many travellers to New Zealand are familiar with our 2…

Things to Do in Christchurch, New Zealand

Christchurch, the 'Garden City', is where the majority of our…

Things to Do in Auckland: Explore New Zealand's City of Sails

Auckland, known as the 'city of sails', was recently voted…

Best Things to Do in Cuzco, Peru

The ancient Inca capital is said to have been founded…

Peru's Rainbow Mountain and the 'Camino del Apu Ausangate' Lodge to Lodge Trek

The beautiful coloured striations of Rainbow Mountain in Peru's Andes…

Hike Peru's Lares Trek to Machu Picchu

Constructed by the Incas over 500 years ago, the Lares…

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Your Ultimate Guide

One of the most popular hikes in South America, Peru’s…

Inca Trail vs. Lares Trail: How to Get the Most out of Your Adventure

As you plan your trip to Peru and to Machu…

Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

Considering a bucket list trip to Machu Picchu but unsure…

How to Get to Machu Picchu: Everything You Need to Know

So, the once-in-a-lifetime trip to Machu Picchu is beckoning your…

Discover Machu Picchu, The Most Famous Inca Ruins in Peru

Peru has so many ancient ruins, villages imbued with an…

Discover the Most Famous and Lesser Known Inca Ruins in Peru

Over 500 years ago, the Inca Empire built a road…

Discover the Best Things to Do in Lima, Peru

The once-called City of Kings, founded in 1535, is the…

Finding Flights to Patagonia

Sorting out Patagonia flights and Patagonia travel doesn't have to…

Best Time to Visit Patagonia

With years of experience in the travel arena under our…

Bolivia Culture and Customs

The culture and customs in Bolivia are unique and have…

City Guide to La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz, also known as ‘the city that touches the…

The Best Way to Explore the Galapagos Islands

There are dozens of tour companies out there offering Galapagos…

Basic Facts About the Galapagos Tortoise

The Galapagos Islands are named after the giant tortoises that…

5 Best Islands to Visit in Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are an adventures dream with plenty of…

Best Things to Do in Quito, Ecuador

If you're planning an Ecuador holiday, you'll be visiting the…

Best Scuba Diving in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is an internationally renowned diving destination home…

Okarito Lagoon

The sleepy hamlet of Okarito is close to the sizeable…

Siberia Experience

On our 'Tui' trip we fly into a remote valley…

Video: Franz Josef Glacier and Township

'Glacier country' - the west side of Aoraki/Mt Cook National…

Video: Ultimate South Island Adventure 'Rimu' trip

The 'Rimu' is our signature New Zealand trip. 14 days…

Patagonia Hiking Adventure 'Condor'

Patagonia is a mystical land of glaciers, mountains, and often…

What to Pack for a 2 Week Adventure Vacation to New Zealand

Lynette from our office talks you through what you'll need…

Video: Switzerland: Why I keep coming back

This video was shot in Switzerland on the Bovine Trail…

Video: Essence of the South Island 'Tui' Trip

Our Essence of the South Island 'Tui' trip is 8…

New Zealand Adventure Tours

Want to know what travelling in New Zealand with us…

Ultimate Peru Adventure 'Jaguar' Trip

Dreaming of a Peru adventure? Our 'Jaguar' is our signature…

Rimu Trip Highlights

Our signature New Zealand trip, the Rimu is 14 days…

Our Guest Kilo's 'Rimu' adventure

Follow our guest, Kilo on his 14-day epic journey around…

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek 'AST' Trip

Experience what it's like to trek in the Annapurna Region…

Travel to Nepal: Everything you need to know

We're big believers in the journey being just as important…

Is it safe to visit Nepal?

There is nothing more exciting than planning a new adventure…

The Full Guide to Nepal’s Annapurna Sanctuary Trek

Celebrated for its amphitheatre of giant granite peaks, the Annapurna…

Hiking in Nepal: Multi-Day Treks

To hikers and trekkers from all over the world, the…

Nepal’s Everest Base Camp Guided Trekking Tour Itinerary

A trek to Everest Base Camp is a ‘bucket list’…

Learn About Lukla and its World Famous Airport

Lukla is found in north-east Nepal and sits at 2,860m…

Things to Know About Iceland Before You Go

Has Iceland been recently added to your bucket list? No…

Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc: Learn About our Guided Itinerary

Strap on your best pair of hiking boots – this…

Best Time to Hike the Tour du Mont Blanc

Thinking of joining us here in Europe for a bucket-list…

Hiking in the European Alps

A hiking & mountaineering dreamThe European Alps stretches across seven…

Discover Chamonix, the Adventure Capital of Europe

Chamonix can rightly be called the adventure capital of Europe.…

The best time to visit Tanzania

Tanzania is known for having some of the best safaris…

Things to Do in Patagonia: Discover the Top Adventure Spots

Patagonia is synonymous with intense rugged beauty and you won't…

Everything You Need to Know Before Travelling in Patagonia

Patagonia has an almost surreal quality to it so it's…

Hike the Rakiura Track

Although the Rakiura Track is a 29 km tramping track,…

Multi-Day Hiking in New Zealand: How to Plan the Perfect Trip for You

New Zealand has earned itself a reputation as one of…

Hike the Lake Waikaremoana Track

The Lake Waikaremoana Track, located within Te Urewera National Park,…

Hike the Kepler Track

The Kepler Track, in Fiordland National Park, is a 67…

How to Plan Your New Zealand Hiking Trip: An Easy 5 Step Guide

Not many travel companies will share these unbiased truths about…

Siberia Valley Experience and Lake Crucible

If there is one thing you can be sure about,…

Hiking Safety Tips for Tramping in New Zealand

Safety’s not as hard as you may think – New…

Hike Ben Lomond in Queenstown

Ben Lomond (45°00'24.06" south 168°36'54.76" east) is an attractive mountain…

Hike Mueller Ridge and Sealy Tarns

The Mueller Ridge hike from Mount Cook village, up past…

Best Day Hikes on New Zealand's North Island

Wherever you are in New Zealand, chances are you aren't…

The Best Day Hikes on New Zealand's South Island

Wherever you are in New Zealand, chances are you aren't…

Hike the Queen Charlotte Track

The Queen Charlotte Track offers a spectacular trip through the…

Hiking in Nelson Lakes National Park

Without a doubt, this is New Zealand's best kept hiking…

Hike the Heaphy Track

 

The Heaphy Track is known for its beauty and diversity.…

Hike the Routeburn Track

The Routeburn track traverses 33km of Mount Aspiring and Fiordland…

Hike the Abel Tasman Coast Track

The Abel Tasman Coast Track is a 51 kilometre (32…

Hike the Milford Track in New Zealand

The 53.5 kilometre (33.2 mile) Milford Track is one of…

Best Heli-Hike in New Zealand

Franz Josef Heli-HikeOn all of our summer South Island trips…

How to Prepare for a Hike: 8 Fitness Tips for the 50+ Explorer

“Am I too out-of-shape for an adventure trip?” It’s the…

7 Surprising Reasons South America in Winter is a Must-Visit

Looking for a better way to spend your winter instead…

Interesting Peru Facts

Are you about or thinking to head out to Peru?…

6 Travel Apps You Absolutely Need When Travelling in South America

The smartphone has quickly evolved into one of the most…

6 Peruvian Words You Should Know Before Your Machu Picchu Adventure

Because of its role as an international tourism destination, it’s…

12 Peruvian Festivals, One for Each Month!

Perhaps you've read somewhere or other that there are over 3,000…

Huayna Picchu Hike: How Fit Must you be to Climb?

So you've made it up to Machu Picchu. After months…

Hiking Clubs USA

Hiking Clubs CaliforniaBay Area Jewish Singles Hiking ClubEight to ten…

Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Superlatives are inadequate to describe this outstanding one-day hike on…

15 Bucket List Activities to do in South America

We've been running trips in South America for over a decade…

Annapurna Base Camp Tips: Everything You Need to Know

Now that we’ve been running trips in the Nepalese Himalayas…

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Peru

When someone mentions Peru images of idyllic mountain pastures, ancient Incan…

The Top 20 Things to Do in Peru - That Aren't Machu Picchu!

Let's be honest - it probably shouldn't come as much…

Best Day Hikes in New Zealand

As a small island nation, New Zealand is an absolute…

Hike the Copland Track to Welcome Flat

The Copland Track is located south of Fox Glacier on…

Multi-day Hiking in New Zealand's Backcountry, and 8 Reasons to Go Guided

The team here at Active Adventures are an outdoorsy bunch!…

Facts About Machu Picchu To Outsmart Your Tour Guide

Peru is bursting with ancient ruins and villages built on…

6 Inca Trail Tips to Make the Most of Your Machu Picchu Trip

My flight was booked! My dream of hiking the Inca…

Things to Do in Machu Picchu: How to Get the Most out of Your Experience

Although it's one of the most well-known archaeological wonders of…

Top 10 Views in New Zealand

With the help of our Facebook fans and with some…

7 Fascinating Galapagos Islands Animals

The Galapagos Islands and wildlife are synonymous – you can't…

The Seven ‘Wonders’ of the Galapagos: Best Things to Do and See

As individuals who thrive on adventure, we love to travel…

The Top 10 Things To Do in New Zealand

Are you planning a vacation in the land of the…

The Top 4 Things To Do In The Peruvian Amazon

Stretching 96,922 square kilometres across the country, the Amazon comprises…

Pisac Market and Hike to Pisac Ruins

The village is perched high in the mountains and surrounded…

Mustang Adventure 2018: Trip of a Lifetime for Body, Mind and Soul

When thinking about hiking in Nepal, a lot of people…

Top 10 things to do in Iceland!

Are you a keen explorer? In the market for a…

Replace Your New Year's Resolution with one of these Bucket-List Hikes

New Year's resolutions are notoriously difficult to stick to, most…