Carretera Austral

Arrive at Balmaceda Airport on a morning flight, between 9:30 and 10:30am.  Reception at the airport, located 55 km. (33 miles) south of the regional capital Coyhaique. Travel to Coyhaique to pick up some other passengers from their hotels.  Begin the journey going north on the Carretera Austral to La Junta – 266 km., 166 miles, around 5 hours.  During the trip you will enjoy beautiful scenery of mountains and rivers, such as the Portezuelo Queulat (Queulat Pass), the Río Cisnes valley and several waterfalls, among them The Condor.  Box lunch in route. After some stops for photos, continue northwards along the shore of Puyuhuapi fjord, to reach the town of the same name.  This is an historic point in the history of German colonization of Patagonia Aysén.  After a 30 minute free visit of the town, continue for other 44 km. (28 miles) to reach the town of La Junta.  Accommodation in Espacio y Tiempo Lodge, or similar.

Breakfast.  At 10am short drive towards the River Rosselot, only 1km (1,100 yards) away, to begin the 7 hour day’s tour. After a brief talk on safety and other information, begin the descent of the river in rafts.  After about 1 km on the Rosselot River, you will see the confluence with the River Palena, one of the three most important of the Aysén region. On the ride (about 16 km, 10 miles) admire the beautiful natural scenery and the varied fauna of Patagonia with several species of birds, whose cries will accompany us.  After paddling for about 2½ hours, finally reach the beach of our destination where a vehicle awaits to take you towards Puerto Raul Marín Balmaceda.  Drive 7km. (4 miles) to reach “El Sauce” hot springs. These hot springs offer thermal bathing in the pools with 100% natural warm water, giving all the benefits these waters deliver, as well as the relaxation and contemplation of the beautiful surrounding countryside. At 5:30pm begin the return journey to La Junta.  Enjoy a box lunch at the spa.  Accommodation in Espacio y Tiempo Lodge or similar.

Breakfast.  Leave at 9am for the journey south on the Carretera Austral, firstly to the Queulat National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia) in 50 km. (30 miles). Walking no more than 600 meters (yards) through woods, reach the splendor of the Queulat Hanging Glacier view-point.  After about 2½ hours continue on the same Carretera Austral to the regional capital, Coyhaique – 222 km. (140 miles), about 4 hours.  Box lunch at the park.  Accommodation in ‘El Reloj’ or similar hotel in Coyhaique

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.

2019 - 2020 Departures

  • October 17
  • November 14 y 28
  • December 12
  • January 2 y 16
  • February 6 y 20
  • March 5
  • Regular service in comfortable, modern vehicle.
  • The transfer-out will be on regular service, without guide.
  • Spanish/English-speaking driver/guide for up to 5 passengers.  Over this number thee will be a driver plus a guide.
  • Luggage: 1 suitcase or bag per person.  If you have more baggage, consult about keeping it in our offices, or at the hotel of the last night’s stay.
  • Accommodation based on double room with breakfast:
    • Ø02 nights in Espacio y Tiempo Lodge or similar in La Junta village.
    • Ø01 night in El Reloj or similar hotel in Coyhaique.
  • Excursion at La Junta includes rafting on the River Palena, plus the visit to ‘El Sauce’ spa and use of its facilities.
  • Specialist guides for the rafting with complete equipment for the raft and safety.
  • Raft of 14 feet, or kayak in the case of there being more passengers, completely equipped (oar, safety helmet, class V life jacket, neoprene suit, neoprene overshoes, semi-dry rowing jackets).
  • First aid kit with the guide in charge of the safety, safety ropes, VHF radio for communication.
  • Box lunch for the first three days.
  • Entry  ticket and guided visit to the Queulat National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia).
  • Travel insurance.  Excludes the rafting activity.
  • Air ticket.
  • Tips.
  • Extras in hotels.
  • Dinners and/or any other food not specified
    in the itinerary.
    Guide service for the transfer-out.

Suggested clothing and other useful items

Outdoor clothing in layers, including wind-cheater and waterproofs, as the the weather in Patagonia is always unpredictable.

Hiking boots or comfortable waterproof footwear.

Sun-hat or cap for sun or rain.

Sunglasses and sunblock, factor 30 at least.

Camera, with protection for water.


If your flight departure is in the afternoon, ask for half-day tour options.

If you continue with the regular program to Southern Carretera Austral (GP202), the transfer to the airport will be between 08:00am and 9am.

Arrival flight time:
Landing between 9:30 and 10:30am. Subject to change according to flight schedules for the next season.
Minimum to operate:
2 adults.
Up to 2 years old, free of charge sharing bed with their parents. From 3 to 11 years, 10% discount, sharing room with their parents and with additional bed (subject to availability).
Level of difficulty:
Easy but requires good physical condition for walking and rafting.
Queulat National Park

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Av. Providencia 1208 of 1703

Santiago – Chile

+56 2 2235 0725 / 3220 7645



Gran Patagonia is a local chilean tour operator that offers tailor made travel programs, customs tours and travel packages in the chilean an the argentinian  Patagonia.

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