Discover chile & Its people: from the cordillera to unbeaten patagonia

Group 1 - 23rd November to 6th December 2019

Group 2 - 21st December to 3rd January 2019

Group 3 - 11th to 24th January 2020

BOOKINGS ARE OPEN

The trip:

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 & off the beaten path locations in Chile, where you can still experience generous wilderness, away from the crowds. 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 cordillera with the arrieros to glacier hiking 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.

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ITINERARY:

Day 1: Arrival, hotel check-in & overnight in Santiago: Optional city walk & dinner.

Day 2: Santiago top picks & lunch at the Central Market. Transfer to the mountains, set up camp, meet the horses, prepare for the following day and traditional BBQ in the evening with empanadas, wine and salads. Veg & vegan options. Camping.

Day 3 to 6: We explore the high mountain paths on horseback with the local horse herders. Learn about Chilean horses and riding styles from the arrieros, enjoy watching the working dogs go about their jobs with the herds, admire the soaring condors and the majestic mountain range and relax in the evening cooking on an open fire and drinking a glass of Chilean wine before wild camping under the southern sky and the milky way. On the last day transfer to your hotel in Santiago and explore Santiago’s night life.

Day 7: We will visit Valparaiso, eat in its small speciality restaurants and walk around this iconic colourful port. We return to Santiago and pack for our upcoming adventure.

Day 8: We fly down to the tiny airport of Balmaceda and get picked up by van and drive to Cerro Castillo where we will do a hike and spend the night wild camping.

Day 9 to day 13: We go to Puerto Rio Tranquilo village located on the shores of the General Carrera lake. This is a 5 hour journey on a dirt road snaking around stunning valleys, forests, rivers and mountains. On arrival we will check in to our family hostel and relax in the village before dinner.

We will explore the best things the areas has to offer:

  • Kayak around the Catedrales de Marmol for a unique experience of these rock formations in the glaciar lake.

  • Day glacier hike in Glaciar Exploradores with expert guides.

  • Visit to the confluence of two mighty Patagonian rivers and surrounding villages.

  • Road & boat trip to Laguna San Rafael with camping for two nights. Here we will find a huge, beautiful glacier and a temperate woodland. We will explore both by boat and foot. Once day we will camp in the beach facing one of the most fierce and wild areas of the Pacific Ocean with a stunning view of a huge glacier in the distance.

Day 14: Early morning transfer to Balmaceda airport and onto Santiago for your flight home.

PRICE: £3,150 to £3,600

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • Group host

  • Riding Andean guides

  • Transfers including boat ride to San Rafael

  • 6 nights in hotels & family run hostels

  • 4 nights camping

  • 2 Chilean style BBQs with veg & vegan options, a lunch at the Mercado Central, and one dinner with a local family

  • All meals whilst horse riding in the cordillera and hiking in Cerro Castillo, and 2 dinners in Rio Tranquilo. All meals whilst in the Laguna San Rafael tour & overnight.

  • Kayak equipment

*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

  • Return flight Santiago - Balmaceda

  • Any meals not listed (Mostly meals in Santiago, lunch in Valparaiso & one night in Rio Tranquilo)

  • Any equipment not listed

  • Transfer after drop off in Balmaceda airport on the return journey

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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.

Here is a 2015 home made video I shot during a trip to the area.

 PADDLE 4 CHANGE:

Our Chile trip collaborates with key partners in the country. During our mountain horse back journey, 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 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.