Route 40 + Carretera Austral

From Bariloche to El Chalten OR From El Chalten to Bariloche
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Patagonia
  • Expedition
  • Walking and Active
  • Group
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Tour Description

Explore some of Chile famous Carretera Austral and Argentina  Route 40 on our small group tour. Travel with 16 passengers in the comfort of our expedition vehicle.

This tour is a great option for people wanting to visit these remote and unspoilt regions of Chile and Argentina. Due to the strength and durability of our vehicles we are able to visit these areas where conventional transport would be unsuitable. Let us take the stress out of the journey while you enjoy the lakes, mountains and waterfalls of the region. Discover the Carretera Austral and explore the stunning landscapes of the Futaleufu Valley, the quaint fishing village of Puyuhuapi and the majestic Queulat Hanging Glacier. Finally, discover the vast Patagonian steppe as we travel down Argentina’s famous Route 40 and visit Cuevas de las Manos (Cave of the Hands).

Viva's Best Bits...

Experience on of South America's best road trips on Chile's Carretera Austral

"This is a rare chance to get off the beaten track, I loved visiting this remote and unspoiled region of Chile and Argentina" Tara, Team Viva

Hike to the spectacular Hanging Glacier at Queulat National park

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Bariloche Futaleufu

Pre tour meeting: a pre tour meeting in Bariloche will be held at our joining hotel at approx. 6:30pm the night prior. Please ensure you are already in Bariloche.

Today we pass through the town of Esquel where the “Old Patagonian Express” still runs. We have a short stop in Trevelin, a small town with links to Welsh immigrants. In the late afternoon, we cross into Chile and the scenery will immediately change as we arrive into the quaint town of Futaleufu.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel El Barranco

Day 2
Futaleufu Queulat National Park

Today we turn onto the Carretera Austral (Southern Road) a remote, unspoilt region of intense natural beauty and is often referred to as one of South
America’s best road trips. We stop along the way to take photos and admire the spectacular natural vistas. Wild rivers flow through lush forests, waterfalls tumble along steep cliff faces and the world is reflected in mirror lakes.

At lunch time, we arrive at the coastal fishing village of Puyuhuapi, located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords in a setting of incomparable beauty. In the afternoon, we get the rare opportunity to get up close and personal to a spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Enjoy the park’s trails while being surrounded by virgin evergreen forests made up by species like coihue, tepa, and Chilean rhubarbs. Tonight we spend the night in cabins located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 3
Queulat National Park

In such a remote and rugged area, you might just like to snuggle up in your cabin, but today you’ll have the opportunity to hike to a nearby waterfall, take navigation to a personally owned island in the fjords or try a little sea kayaking (weather permitting).

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 4
Queulat National Park Coyhaique

Our drive starts with a windy 33 curves, climbing up to 500m/1500ft above sea level. As we venture through two more valleys we pass through several small country towns that were created when building the road access through this rugged area.
Following along the Simpson River we pass lush pastures, mirror lakes and snow-capped mountains. We continue onto the Coyhaique Reserve and enjoy a short hike (8km/5mi) to the Lago Verde - Green Lake.
It is a short drive from here to Coyhaique town where you can take a walk along the river and enjoy the viewpoints looking across the valley.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Raices Bed & Breakfast

Day 5
Coyhaique Ruta 40

Today we have a wonderful drive through the Cerro Castillo Reserve with a chance to spot the rare Huemul deer. After lunch, we cross into Argentina and on to the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40). Travelling south through the vast Patagonian plains keep your eyes peeled for armadillos, rheas and guanacos. Tonight, we stop overnight at a remote Patagonian town.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Cueva de las Manos

Day 6
Ruta 40 - Cuevas de las Manos

Today we make a special visit to the Cuevas de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) which one of the most important archaeological sites in Patagonia. The caves feature paintings that are the most ancient artistic expressions of the native people of the subcontinent. The paintings were done by the first settlers of these lands, ancestors of the Tehuelche people (or Patagones), and date back to different periods from 9300 to 3300 years ago. The site was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1999. We continue and spend the night in Gobernador Gregores, a small town with links the old caravan trail.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hosteria Ruta 40

Day 7
Ruta 40 El Chalten

A morning drive to enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe as we head south. Further on we will arrive in El Chalten, and the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. This ice field is the world’s 3rd largest reserve of fresh water. Enjoy lodgings in our hotel nestled quietly under the imposing peaks of Mount Fitzroy (Chalten), named after the captain of the Beagle, who navigated Darwin’s Expedition of the area in 1834.

In the afternoon, you will have time to take on one of the short hikes available in the area. You can climb up to the eagle and condor lookout points or stroll along the river to a the wonderful Chorrillo waterfall.

Your tour ends in El Chalten this evening.

Meals: (B), (D)

Day 1
El Chalten Ruta 40

Enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe as we head north from El Chalten and on to the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40).

A free morning allows time for a short hike in the Los Glaciares National Park. After lunch, we continue north on the famous Route 40, paralleling the remarkable Andean mountain range. Enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe. We spend the night in Gobernador Gregores, a small town with links to the old caravan trail.

Meals: (B), (D)

Overnight at Hosteria Ruta 40

Day 2
Ruta 40

Today we make a special visit the Cuevas de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) which one of the most important archaeological sites in Patagonia. The caves feature paintings that are the most ancient artistic expressions of the native people of the subcontinent. The paintings were done by the first settlers of these lands, ancestors of the Tehuelche people (or Patagones), and date back to different periods from 9300 to 3300 years ago. The site was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1999.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Cueva de las Manos

Day 3
Ruta 40 Coyhaique

Today we cross back into Chile’s remote southern region. The Carretera Austral (Southern Road) is a remote, unspoiled region of intense natural beauty and is often referred to as one of South America’s best road trips. We then continue our journey to Coyhaique where you can walk the viewpoint circuit around this city – considered the “big smoke” of the Carretera Austral.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Raices Bed & Breakfast

Day 4
Coyhaique Queulat National Park

A short drive from Coyhaique town is the wonderful Coyhaique Reserve where we will enjoy a morning hike (8km/5mi) to the Lago Verde - Green Lake.
Our afternoon drive is filled with lush pastures, mirror lakes and snow capped mountains as we follow the Rio Simpson.
As we venture through two more valleys we pass through several small country towns that were created when building the road access through this rugged area.
We finish the day with a windy 33 curves as we descend from 500m/1500ft to sea level.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 5
Queulat National Park

In such a remote and rugged area, you might just like to snuggle up in your cabin, but today you’ll have the opportunity to hike to a nearby waterfall, take navigation to a personally owned island in the fjords or try a little sea kayaking (weather permitting).

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 6
Queulat National Park Futaleufu

Take the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with a spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Nature at its finest! We will take a hike to get close to the spectacular Hanging Glacier which is the magnificent centre piece of the park. Enjoy being surrounded by virgin evergreen forests made up by species like coihue, tepa, tepuala, and Chilean rhubarbs.

We will visit the fishing village of Puyuhuapi, located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords in a setting of incomparable beauty.

Continuing, we’ll stop along the way to take photos and admire the spectacular natural vistas. Wild rivers flow through lush forests, waterfalls tumble along steep cliff faces, and the world is reflected in mirror like lakes.
We cross the mighty Futaleufu river and finish this day at a wonderful local lodge in the small town of the same name. Run by a local Chilean family this accommodation gives you a special feeling of this welcoming town.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel El Barranco

Day 7
Futaleufu Bariloche

Crossing back into Argentina we have a short stop in Trevellin, a small town with links to Welsh immigrants. We also pass through the town of Esquel where the famous “Old Patagonian Express” still runs. We’ll weave through the green valley and arrive into the resort town of Bariloche, nestled peacefully on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake.

Your tour ends in Bariloche this evening

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 3 nights accommodation in standard hotels and guesthouses
  • Included Copy 20 3 nights in comfortable cabins
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily
  • Included Copy 20 6 Lunches
  • Included Copy 20 7 Dinners
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Fully escorted in South America in our custom built all-terrain expedition vehicles
  • Included Copy 20 Service of an experienced tour leader as well as local guides
  • Included Copy 20 Experienced Driver/Mechanic
  • Included Copy 20 All National Park Entrance fees
  • Included Copy 31 Small group tour, max 16 passengers
  • Included Copy 20 Add a pre or post tour package in El Chalten and Bariloche
Transportation
Expedition Vehicle

Activities

  • Included South Americas Best Road Trip - the Carretera Austral
  • Included Explore Queulat National Park & Queulat Hanging Glacier
  • Included Look out for the rare Huemul deer, armadillos, guanacos and more
  • Included Visit the Cuevas de las Manos - The Cave of Hands
  • Included Drive some of Argentinas famous Route 40 through the Patagonia steppe
  • Included Visit remote towns: Trevelin, Puyuhuapi, Coyhaique
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Duration

7 days

Price from

$1,960 USD

Per person, twin share

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