Discover chile & Its people: from the cordillera to unbeaten patagonia
1st to 16th December 2020
BOOKINGS ARE OPEN - Two places available
This is our yearly Chile Salvaje small group trip which we do at the end of the Chilean spring. The trip is guided all the way by a Chilean host and we take in some of the most iconic & scenic locations in Chile, where you can still experience generous wilderness. This trip is for those wishing to explore, immerse themselves this country and its culture, share with the locals, discover some its traditions and visit places gifted with amazing beauty - we will take in from horse riding in the Araucania region and share with the Mapuche to hiking the Torres in Patagonia.
As we will be visiting remote places, wild camping and moving quite a bit, we do ask that participants have a reasonable level of fitness and experience of camping and wild camping. No kayaking experience is necessary.
The trip is designed over two weeks and three weekends to minimise the amount of time you take out of work.
Day 1: Arrival, hotel check-in & overnight in Santiago: Optional city walk & dinner.
Day 2: Fly to Temuco in the early morning. Transfer by van to Curerrehue, meet our hosts, pack and start our ride. Wild camping.
Day 3 to 5: Ride & wild camp discovering the forests, paths, woodlands of monkey puzzle trees, hidden lakes and rivers of the area.
Day 6: Hike to the Quetrupillan volcano. From the height of the volcano, you will get stunning views of the Andes with its proliferation of volcanos and snow-capped mountains. Wild camping with the horses.
Day 7: Half day ride and transfer to the hot springs and our shared cabin. Here we will soak away all the pains and aches. We will have a traditional dinner before a good night’s rest.
Day 8: On this day we will cover over 2,500kms. We will return to Temuco from where we will fly to Punta Arenas. There, we will take a 3 hour bus journey through the Patagonian pampas where we might see rheas and guanacos roaming about, to Puerto Natales. We will check into our hostel and go out for dinner and a social.
Day 9: This is a slow and restful day to organise our packing for the Torres, relax and amble about in Puerto Natales.
Day 10 to 13: We will take the early morning bus to the National Park Torres del Paine, meet our porters, do our packing and start the hike. We will do the W circuit over 4 days taking in some of the best sights in the park which include glaciers and lakes. At night, we will camp in designated places. On our final day in the park, we will transfer by boat to the bus and then go back to Natales.
Day 14: Travel from Natales to Punta Arenas’ airport and fly to Santiago. Last night out at a traditional bar and dinner.
Day 15: Transfer to international airport in Santiago and fly home.
ADD-ONS: We have created add-ons to the trip to ensure that you get the most out of your adventures.
Add-on 1: The Andes on Horse Back - Arrive a few days earlier and take a 4 day ride up the Cordillera near Santiago with the arrieros and their working dogs. Discover the solitude and magnificence of the landscape and enjoy the ride on experienced mountain horses. We will climb to about 4,000m and ride an average of 5 hours a day. Wild camping under the southern skies. Guided.
Add-on 2: Stay a bit longer and continue the trip from the Torres del Paine Park into the Argentinian side and visit the famous Perito Moreno glacier and hike mount Fitz Roy. This adds 6 to 7 days to the itinerary. The trip includes an ice hike, boat tour to the face of the glacier and a hike on the bridges leading to the face of the glacier. I may not be available to participate on this leg of the journey but everything will be planned and booked for you. Self-guided.
What we are budgeting for on the cost:
- Transfers to and from airports
- 2 hotel nights in Santiago
- Welcome & good bye dinner in Santiago (I can remove this if you prefer to pay directly on the night. Please let me know)
- Flights Santiago, Temuco, Punta Arenas, Santiago
- Horses, guides, pack horses
- Hike up the Quetrupillan volcano
- Hot Springs
- All meals when horse riding and last night at the cabin
- Accommodation in one cabin that is a large open shared space where we can use our sleeping bags
- 2 nights in a hostel in Puerto Natales
- 1 x porter per hiker (15 kilos)
- Camping pitch in the Torres in a designated area
- Boat transfer back to bus once we finish the hike
Other expenses not included:
- Bus from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales
- Bus from Puerto Natales to the Park return
- Torres del Paine park entrance fee
- Food whilst in Puerto Natales
- Food, food prep and gas whilst hiking in the park
*We can supply all type of equipment including tents, sleeping bags, etc… Please let us know if you wish to hire any equipment.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:
Flights to Chile
Some bus fares
Any equipment not listed
To book, there is a non-refundable £1,500. Balance is due 3 months prior to departure. Payment plans can also be arranged with participants.
Join our Chile Salvaje group on Facebook to meet others and exchange questions, experiences, photos, etc…here.
Here is a video of one of the arrieros who has been working with the horses in the mountains since he was 5 years old.
PADDLE 4 CHANGE:
Our Chile trip collaborates with key partners in the country. During our mountain horse back journey in the Andes, we call on the local horse herders to guide us, the arrieros, not only because they are the best and most knowledgeable mountain people, but also because by working with them, we help sustain their way of life. Their customs and traditions are disappearing, so it is important to create work to attract younger people to take up this line of work. In the Araucania, we are linking with a Mapuche (First Nation) association with a view of them providing more services in future so we can contribute to the economic development of the association.
In Patagonia, we collaborate with small business and local people to ensure our visit brings benefits to all involved. By working at this level and generating repeat business, we ensure that we will have a warm welcome and we will get to experience things that are not so easily accessible to people viewed as tourists.
At all points, we will be working to reduce the use of single-use plastics and we have a rubbish management plan.