Valparaiso Pucon Puerto Varas Chiloé The Carretera Austral

This is a wonderfully diverse itinerary that takes in Chile’s most captivating and yet surprisingly overlooked destinations. From the colourful hills and bohemian atmosphere of Valparaiso, you head into the magnificent national parks of Pucón, Chile’s adventure capital, before immersing yourself in the rolling hills, rich culture and booming Pacific coastline of the islands of Chiloé. The trip culminates in the breathtaking Patagonian scenery of the Carretera Austral, Chile’s last, truly wild frontier! For independent travellers, this itinerary makes for a wonderful self-drive trip along several of Chile’s most spectacular routes.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Ride Valpo’s UNESCO-protected funicular trains
  • Walk through forests of Monkey Puzzle Trees around Pucon
  • Spot both Humboldt & Magellanic Penguins at Caleta Puñihuil
  • Experience the magnificent landscapes of the Carretera Austral
  • Take a boat out to the extraordinary Marble Caves

What’s included

  • Private tours for most included activities
  • Meet & greet airport service
  • Luxury or boutique accommodation at your chosen level
  • Expert guides in each destination


This is an example itinerary. It is fully flexible; you can add or detract days and include hotels at your chosen budget. It departs daily.



Price Guide

$5500 – $8000 pp

Our quotes are bespoke for your customised trip. The prices displayed are indicative only, read more

Day 1

Fly to Chile

plan line
Day 2

Bohemian Valparaiso

On arrival into Santiago, you will be driven out to the Pacific seaboard to Chile’s premier port of Valparaiso. “Valpo” straddles dozens of steep hillsides dotted with colourful, traditional houses all linked to the lower town by historic funicular railways (8 in total). You will visit the walkways, viewpoints, museums and historic monuments and energy-allowing, may even like to head further afield to the nearby fishing village of Isla Negra or the Cerro la Campana National Park.

Day 3-5

Pucon – Chile’s adventure capital

Fly south to Temuco for an onward transfer to Pucon, overlooking Lake Villarica at the northern edge of the picture-postcard Lake District. Pucon is Chile’s adventure capital, a breathtaking area of turquoise lakes, raging rivers and forests of monkey-puzzle trees all dominated by Volcano Villarica, one of the continent’s most active calderas. Here, you can walk, ride, bike and take photo safaris of the surrounding national parks. For hikers, the challenge of reaching the summit of Volcano Villarica is unmissable and rewards you with awe-inspiring views of the Andes and better still, the spell-binding sight of lava bubbling away in the dark depths of the crater!

Day 6-8

Puerto Varas & the Emerald Islands of Chiloe

Continuing south, you will reach Puerto Varas at the southern edge of Chile’s Lake District and the lush temperate Valdivian rainforest that cloaks the Osorno Volcano and Petrohue Rapids. From here, you head across to the emerald islands of Chiloé just off the coast. Chiloé is the folkloric heart of Chile, a beautiful island of ghost-ships and mythical creatures set against a roaring Pacific and the tranquil bays of the east. For nature lovers, you can visit Puñihuil Penguin Reserve, home to both Humboldt and Magellanic penguins or you may prefer to explore the colourful fishing villages, UNESCO wood-shingled churches and palafitos stilt house of regional capital Castro.

Day 9-12

The Carretera Austral – True Patagonia!

Returning to the mainland, you fly south to Balmaceda, gateway to the magnificent Patagonian wilds of the Carretera Austral highway. The Carretera Austral cuts a dizzying trail south through wild, ever-changing landscapes of mountains, canyons, forests, fjords and volcanoes. Based at a charming rustic lodge, you may like to take a boat (or paddle) through the Marble caves of Lake General Carrera; enjoy a hike or horseback ride to panoramic viewpoints overlooking the San Valentin Ice-field or whizz across the lake on the Patagonia Jet-Boat to visit the Leon Glacier. Further south, you may even like to spend a day in the recently-created Patagonia National Park, amidst herds of guanacos and soaring condors.

dot joiner for itins
Day 13

Return to Santiago for onward connections

A note on price

The prices outlined above are a rough guide to give you an idea of costs and enable you to budget for your trip.

Guide prices are generally for private arrangements based on twin share, in well located, good quality accommodation (excluding international flights).

Please note costs are indicative and may vary due to a number of factors such as; travel date, hotel choice, room category, number of people travelling and prevailing exchange rates.

Price Guide $5500 – $8000 per person

When to travel

jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec

For Patagonia and the south, it is best to travel between October and April, January and February if you are keen trekkers. That said, the climate is highly unpredictable at the best of times and you should come prepared for all weather conditions “all 4 seasons in one day is the local adage”. Northern Chile is a year-round destination although you may see rain and flooding in ther highlands between January and March which can disrupt border crossings into Bolivia and Argentina.

Add on’s

There are a multitude of add on holiday options to this Chile itinerary, for example you could continue south to the magnificent glaciers and mountains of the Torres del Paine National Park or for something completely different, why not include the Atacama Desert or better still Lauca National Park?

Both Pucon and Puerto Varas are just across the border from the breathtaking volcanoes, lakes and old-growth forests of San Martin del Los Andes and Bariloche respectively and make for a beautiful 4-5 day add-on (truly wonderful as part of an extended self-drive trip).

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