A two-week luxury holiday through the dramatic wilderness of southern Chile
- Hit the open road as you travel independently by 4WD along the magnificent Carretera Austral from Balmaceda to Valle Chacabuco
- Stand in awe at the imposing cerros in the Torres del Paine National Park
- Traverse the Patagonian steppe by car between Punta Arenas and your homely estancia, sited close to the national park entrance
- 1 Night Santiago
- 2 Nights Puerto Guadal
- 1 Night Valle Chacabuco
- 3 Nights Puerto Río Tranquilo
- 1 Night Punta Arenas
- 3 Nights Torres del Paine National Park
- 1 Night Santiago
Activity adventure | City | February holidays | Natural world | Self-drive | Wildlife
Combine an adventurous drive on the Carretera Austral from Balmaceda to Valle Chacabuco with a stay in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This two-week tour begins with a stay in Santiago, and a tour Chilean . You'll then you’ll fly south to hit the open road, travelling independently by 4WD along the magnificent Carretera Austral from Balmaceda to Valle Chacabuco and back. Then, stand in awe at the imposing cerros in the Torres del Paine National Park as you take the wheel again, traversing the Patagonian steppe between Punta Arenas and a homely estancia, located just minutes from the national park entrance.
Day by day itinerary
Enjoy included VIP airport lounge access before your overnight flight from the UK to Santiago, arriving the next day.
After landing In Chile's capital city, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel in the centre of town. Set in the shadow of the vast snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the east and a lesser coastal mountain range to the west, Santiago enjoys an enviable location and those that explore its pleasant plazas and tree-lined boulevards will be rewarded with first-class food, interesting museums, lively nightlife and a flourishing bohemian art scene to rival any of its Latin American counterparts. An optional tour of the city will take you to Santa Lucía Hill, Barrio París-Londres with its faded colonial buildings, and the colourful Central Market where you’ll try local’s favourite, Colo de Mono; similar to a White Russian it combines fiery aguardiente with milk, sugar, coffee and cloves.
Stay: Le Rêve Hotel Boutique, Santiago (Superior)
Balmaceda & Puerto Guadal
Transfer to Santiago airport and board a flight south to Balmaceda, the starting point for your journey along the Carretera Austral. Collect your 4x4 hire car on arrival and set off south to Villa Cerro Castillo. Here the tarmac ends and the dirt road begins, leading you through a mountainous landscape to Puerto Guadal on the southern shores of Lago General Carrera. Check into El Mirador de Guadal, a Swiss-Alpine-style lodge with striking views across the lake and surrounding peaks. The following day will be free to explore the lake and surrounding region. A number of excursions offered by the hotel will help you make the most of your stay with options ranging from self-guided mountain treks and lake cruises to kayaking, jet boating and glacier walks.
Stay: Mirador de Guadal, Puerto Guadal, Carretera Austral (Standard)
Continue south to Valle Chacabuco, a remote valley rich in native wildlife overlooked by the imposing Mount Tamanguito. With everything from hiking and fishing to mountain biking and boating there’s much to fit in, while your mountain lodge, with its roaring fires and hearty regional food, is the ideal retreat after a day’s independent exploration.
Puerto Rio Tranquilo
Despite reaching the southernmost point of your journey along the Carretera Austral your adventure isn't over yet. Retrace your route this morning, heading back north to Lago General Carrera and the town of Puerto Rio Tranquilo. Check into the Hostal El Puesto, a small family-run lodge with just three rooms overlooking the lake. Over the following days, perhaps head to the Marble Cathedral and Marble Chapel, a series of twisted caverns, columns and tunnels set beneath one of the lake's wind-sculpted islands. Take the chance to explore them on an optional boat or kayak tour, otherwise choose from a range of other excursions, which include the likes of guided glacier tours and hikes.
Stay: Hostal El Puesto (Standard)
Return to Balmaceda and board a flight, via Puerto Montt, to Punta Arenas in the wild southern reaches of Chilean Patagonia. On arrival, collect your hire car and drive to your hotel.
Stay: Hotel La Yegua Loca (Superior)
Torres del Paine National Park
On the morning of day nine you’ll begin your drive north across the Patagonian steppe to Puerto Natales and on to the iconic granite spires of the Torres del Paine National Park. It’s a spectacular drive as you pass vast glacial lakes, windswept grasslands and mighty Andean mountains freshly dusted with snow. On arrival you’ll check into the superb Estancia Cerro Guido; a traditional ranch with a cosy sitting room, open fire and restaurant serving delicious region food, it’s the ideal base for self-guided journeys in and around the national park.
Stay: Estancia Cerro Guido (Superior)
Meals: B D
Return by road to Punta Arenas where you’ll board a flight back to Santiago. The next morning, head back to the airport to begin your journey home.
Stay: Le Rêve Hotel Boutique, Santiago (Superior)
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight home, arriving home on day 14.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Return flights between London and Santiago de Chile
- Domestic flights between Santiago de Chile, Balmaceda and Punta Arenas
- Private airport transfers in Santiago
- 5 days car hire along the Carretera Austral (category G - Nissan X-Trail or similar) with road map
- 4 days car hire in Torres del Paine/Southern Patagonia (category G - Suzuki Grand Nomade or similar) with road map
- Self-drive information map & airport service charge; international permission to cross into Argentina
- 10 nights accommodation in typically 3+* (Standard) or 4* (Superior) hotels on a B&B basis & 2 nights on a half-board basis
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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