Arrival at Balmaceda Airport on a flight landing between 9:30 and 10:30am. Reception and leave immediately for the Carretera Austral South, destination Puerto Rio Tranquilo – 182 km. (114 miles), 4 hours drive. This is a village on the west bank of General Carrera Lake, the biggest lake in Chile and second largest in South America at 978 square kilometers (382 square miles). It is shared with Argentina. Its waters are a turquoise colour and abound with salmon and trout.
Throughout the drive, enjoy beautiful forests of Lenga, Coigue and Ñire, passing the Cerro Castillo National Reserve and then follow the Ibañez River, semi covered by the volcanic ash which reminds the eruption of the Hudson Volcano in 1991. There will be several stops for photos.
Once at Puerto Rio Tranquilo, set menu lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, at the time agreed, short drive to Bahia Mansa area to take the motor-boat towards Santuario de la Naturaleza Capillas de Mármol (Marble Chapels Sanctuary of Nature). This place of singular beauty has extremely attractive natural caves, where the waves and wind have sculpted and polished the limestone. After one hour navigation, continue for another 59km. (37 miles) south, to Puerto Guadal area. Accommodation in the ‘Terra Luna Lodge’ or similar.
Breakfast. At 9am leave southbound on the Carretera Austral to the Tamango National Reserve, about 125 km. (78 miles) away. Board a simple but safe motor-boat for about 40 minutes to go up the marvellous scenery of the Cochrane River. Upon arrival, disembark and begin a moderate walk along a well-indicated path. This is suitable for everyone in good health and physical shape. If you are lucky, you might see a Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus), a Chilean deer and a national symbol. Leaving the Reserve, continue to the town of Cochrane for a lunch menu in a local restaurant. Later, drive back to Puerto Guadal by the same route, much of it alongside the River Baker, which has the greatest volume of water in Chile. An unmissable stop will be made at the confluence of the Baker and Neff Rivers, an unequalled natural spectacle. Accommodation in the ‘Terra Luna Lodge’ or similar.
Breakfast. At 10am take the Carretera Austral northbound towards Puerto Tranquilo, 59 km. (37 miles) away. After a stop to buy snacks if desired, continue west for 50 km. (30 miles), with stops for photos in this beautiful valley where nature is in all its pristine, rugged, natural state. Once at the Exploradores Valley visitors’ center, head for a walk of easy to medium difficulty, through an evergreen wood and then up a short but steep slope to the top of the moraine to reach the Exploradores Glacier Viewpoint. From there, weather permitting, observe the immensity of the North Patagonian Ice Field, San Valentin’s Mount and the Exploradores Glacier. Box lunch.
After this unforgettable visit, continue to the regional capital Coyhaique, 218 km. (136 miles). Stops for photos at the various viewpoints. Accommodation at El Reloj, or similar hotel. Estimated time of arrival 08.30pm.
Probably there will be road cuts for paving works, from Monday to Friday on the road between Puerto Tranquilo and Cerro Castillo, so the times of departure and arrival are subject to change without previous notice.
Breakfast. At agreed time, transfer on regular service, (without guide), to the airport (55 km., 33 miles – 50 minutes). Pick-up time around 2h30 minutes before your flight departure time.