Chiloé + Patagonia Self Drive

Few places conjure up the images of soaring glacial topped peaks covered in dense temperate rainforest rising from the depths of the ocean as do the Patagonian fjords. It is a sparsely populated area boasting 4,000 year-old Alerce trees, 6.5 meters/20 feet of annual rainfall, and steep walled fjords that rise over 1,500 meters/4,800 feet straight from the cold blue Pacific waters.

This region was partially opened starting in the late 1970s by the construction of the Carretera Austral, or Southern Highway. Thanks to US conversationalist and visionary Douglas Tompkins, Pumalín Park was later created and the region began to garner international fame as an adventure tourism destination. Shortly after Tompkins’ passing, his widow Kris has since donated Pumalín and two other stunning national parks back to the Chilean government; the plan is to integrate this land into a new Route of Parks. This Route will include 17 national parks, covering an area the size of Switzerland.

Year round ferry service allows visitors to enjoy the stunning beauty as a self-drive option.
This self-drive adventure can be done in 5 days, or extended to the amount of days you’d like.

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Pure adventure in Southern Chile

Day 1

  • Flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt - 1.5 hours
  • Pickup rental for 2 hour drive to Chiloé Grande (including ferry)
  • Overnight in Ancud or La Casita del Mar 
Day 2
  • Discover the wild Pacific Coast of Chiloé Grande
  • Include a visit to Puñihuil penguin colony
Day 3

  • We suggest passing through the Chepu River valley to see some of the fantastic and beautiful damage left over from the 1960 earthquake
  • Lunch at agrotourism locale
  • 2 km forest ramble in old growth rainforest - great for birdwatching!
  • Same lodging or possible to stay in Castro
Day 4
  • Explore the East Coast of Chiloé
  • Pass through fishing villages and by expansive estuaries
  • Visit UNESCO churches
  • Arrive in Quellón for the  1:30 AM ferry ride across the famous Corcovado Gulf
Day 5
  • Enjoy the sunrise over the Andes, arriving to Chaiten by around 9:00.
  • More stuff.Visit the Michinmahuida section of Pumalín Park. Hike to the snow line of this massive glacier capped volcano, soak in the nearby El Amarillo hot springs, or trek up active volcano Chaiten to see the crater and regrowth forest after its 2008 eruption
  • Overnight in Caleta Gonzalo, in rustic luxury in the only cabins inside Pumalín Park, perched high on the edge of the Reñihue Fjord 


Day 6
  • Visit trails in the park for hikes during the day- including the Alerce Trail (taking you into a forest with 4000 year old Alerce trees!). Same lodging at Caleta Gonzalo
Day 7
  • A day of ferries and fjords!
  • Midday ferry through the fjords of Pumalín and later on our last ferry, arriving to Hornopiren around 18:00.
  • Overnight in the emerald village of Hornopiren
Day 8
  • Return journey to Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas. Can opt to keep car one extra day for exploration around Puerto Varas, or can return to PMC for onward travel