Guanacos roam Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia

With its stunning mountain and glacier scenery, Paine National Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Photo by Dan Heller

display information about this photo
Chile Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $3895  
Length: 8 days
Arrive: Santiago, Chile
Depart: Punta Arenas, Chile
Lodging: 7 nights in comfortable hotels and hosterias
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Moderate day hikes on mountain terrain
3

Highlights

  • Explore the dramatic volcano-dotted Lake District, with its cathedral-like forests and emerald lakes
  • Hike to the base of the Towers of Paine, dazzling rock spires rising from snow and ice
  • Enjoy a spectacular landscape of tumbling glaciers, sparkling lakes, and magnificent snowy peaks

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

This Private Journey features Chile’s volcano-dotted Lake District and the sublime world of Patagonia’s Paine National Park, one of the scenic masterpieces of the planet. In the Lake District, enjoy day hikes on immense Volcán Osorno, the snow-crested icon of the Lake District, and in the mist-shrouded mountains of Alerce Andino National Park. In Paine National Park, hike fantastic trails amid Paine’s famed peaks, known as The Towers for their vertical spires. Paine Grande, the highest tower, tops 10,000 feet, its dazzling rock pinnacles rising from snow and ice. Accommodations in Paine National Park are lodges in majestic settings with hiking trails right at the door step. Extend your journey to the world-famous wine country of Chile’s Colchagua Valley, or to mysterious Easter Island, an open-air archaeological museum of a fascinating but vanished Polynesian culture.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Land of Fire and Ice

The volcano-dotted Lake District is a dramatic world, with its Fuji-like peaks, lava fields, emerald lakes, and enchanted forests filled with rare native flora, including the exotic araucaria, a species unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. Head out for a hike on immense Volcan Osorno, the snow-crested icon of the Lake District, or enjoy a walk through the extraordinary forests of Alerce Andino National Park, the largest surviving Valdivian rainforest in the world. The cathedral-like forests of this park have magnificent stands of the giant alerce, the Southern Hemisphere’s equivalent of the redwood, which can live up to 4,000 years. Enjoy a cultural visit to the charming lakeside village of Frutillar, with its restored colonial homes built by early German settlers. Your lodge is set on the edge of Lago Llanquihue in charming Puerto Varas in the heart of the Lake District.

Days 4-5
The Soaring Towers of Paine

Hike in the sublime world of Paine National Park, one of the scenic masterpieces of the planet, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The park’s centerpiece is the Cordillera Paine Massif, a wonderland of eye-popping scenery that emerges in a breathtakingly sheer rise from the plains of the Patagonian steppes. Paine’s famed peaks are known as The Towers for their vertical spires. Paine Grande, the highest tower, tops 10,000 feet, its dazzling rock pinnacles rising from snow and ice. The east face of the Central Tower ends in a sheer 4,000-foot-high rock wall that challenges the world’s mountaineers. There is an abundance of wonderful wildlife in Paine National Park, from soaring Andean condors to ostrich-like rheas, Patagonian foxes, and guanacos (a cousin of the alpaca). The park’s vegetation varies widely, from deep Magellanic beech forests to tundra, open pampas grasslands, and the thorny scrub called the calafate, with its yellow flowers and purple fruits. Incredible day hikes with your guide bring you through beautiful old-growth beech forests to the ultimate views of the Paine Towers. Accommodation is at Hosteria Las Torres, situated on a private 4,000-acre ranch just below the towers.

Days 6-7
Cuernos, Condors, and Shimmering Lakes

At the southern end of the Paine Massif rise the famous cuernos (horns)—incredible twisting monoliths of granite with knife-edged ridges, wildly photogenic when they are mirrored in the intensely turquoise waters of Lake Nordenskjold. Crushed rock and glacial sediment are among the reasons that Paine’s lakes and lagoons display such brilliant colors, from vivid cobalt to emerald green. Explore by boat on turquoise lakes, hike up the slopes of Mt. Ferrier for panoramic views of the cuernos, or walk through lush forests to the stunning waterfall of Cascado Rio Pingo. Your accommodation, Hosteria Lago Grey, has a superb setting on iceberg-filled Lago Grey.

Day 8
Depart

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 3, Moderate. It features vehicle-based sightseeing and day hikes, with hotel accommodations. Although the pace of this trip is relaxed, this is an active vacation. The shape you're in is an important factor in your enjoyment of your trip. We recommend you make a special effort to get in good condition by walking, bicycling, swimming, or other forms of exercise.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

When to go

November to March

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2015
$3895 (4 members)
$4395 (2-3 members)
Single supplement: $720
Internal airfare: $520 (subject to change)
Explora Lodge Optional Upgrade: Please call for details

Prices are not guaranteed until services are confirmed.
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Chile's Wine Country
   from: $1395
Easter Island Extension
   from: $795

Trip Cost Includes:

  • All accommodations, based on double occupancy, as described
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 2 dinners
  • Services of local agents and local guides
  • Sightseeing and land transportation as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, any activities described as optional, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to staff, additional hotel nights made necessary by airline schedule changes or other factors, U.S. citizen “reciprocity” visitor fee (currently $160—payable upon arrival at airport in Santiago), pre-trip expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

More than 90 days prior to departure: $250 per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Hotel Cabanas del Lago

Hotel Cabanas del Lago

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Puerto Varas, Chile

This large hotel has great views of Lake Llanquihue and the snow-capped Osorno Volcano. The staff is pleasant and there is a good breakfast buffet. ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Hosteria Las Torres

Hosteria Las Torres

Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Paine National Park, Chile

Las Torres has an ideal location in Paine National Park and direct trail access to the Paine Towers. While over the years the hotel has grown to be ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Explora Lodge

Explora Lodge (Optional Upgrade)

Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Paine National Park, Chile

Strategically set on the shore of Lake Pehoè in Paine National Park, the Explora has views that frame Paine’s granite towers and Lake ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Hosteria Lago Grey

Hosteria Lago Grey

Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Paine National Park, Chile

This hotel has a magnificent setting along iceberg-dotted Lago Grey in Paine National Park. From the dining room there is an absolutely stunning ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Chile

Chile's Wine Country

Exploring and Wine Tasting in the Colchagua Valley

Walking
4 days  -  Level 1

Easter Island Extension

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1