Overland North Carretera Austral

Reception at ‘El Tepual’ Airport in Puerto Montt. Leave at 4 pm to begin the journey south on Route 7, better known as the Carretera Austral. The Puerto Montt to Hornopirén section combines stretches on land with a sea crossing touring territories adjoining the Alerce Andino National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia). After about one hour drive, take the ferry to cross from Caleta La Arena to Caleta Puelche. Continue to Hornopirén. Set dinner and accommodation in the ‘Hostería Bahía Catalina’. Estimated time of arrival 07.30pm.

Breakfast. Leave at 9.15am for the Hornopirén jetty to board and travel to Caleta Gonzalo by the Bimodal Route. This route is divided into three sections:

Section 1: Every day from Hornopirén to Leptepu. The ferry sails at 10.30 am, and takes 3½ hours.
Section 2: A narrow gravel road for 10 km. (6 miles). About 30 minutes.
Section 3: Half hour’s crossing from Fjord Largo to Caleta Gonzalo. Sails at 3.30pm

Note: Sailing times are subject to change according to the policies of the Bimodal Route for the next season.

Arriving at Caleta Gonzalo, continue south on the Carretera Austral for around 100 km, (60 miles) to the Lake Yelcho area. On the way, visit Pumalin National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia) to walk on the ‘Los Alerces’ path, giving us the opportunity to admire its ancient forests in a pristine natural setting. Box lunch en route. Accommodation in the ‘Lago Yelcho Lodge’. Estimated time of arrival 7pm.

Breakfast. In the morning leisure hike around the lodge, enjoying the natural scenery of the area. Lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon, again take the road south on the mythical Carretera Austral to the town of La Junta (around 100 km., 60 miles, taking about 1¼ hours). There are several attractions on the way, such as Santa Lucia village and the Palena River. Accommodation in Espacio y Tiempo Lodge.

Breakfast. At 10am short drive towards the River Rosselot, only 1km (1,100 yards) away, to begin the 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 agreed time, begin the return journey to La Junta town. Enjoy a box lunch at the spa. Accommodation in Espacio y Tiempo Lodge or similar.

Note: Passengers who do not wish to take part in the rafting, will be offered a tour to Puerto Raul Marin Balmaceda, to enjoy its unique scenic beauty, with a set lunch in a local restaurant.

Breakfast. Leave at 9am to continue the journey south on the Carretera Austral, firstly to visit the town of Puyuhuapi, 44 km. (27 miles), about 1 hour before continuing to Queulat National Park (route of Parks of Patagonia). At the park walk no more than 600 meters (yards) through woods on a well-marked path to reach the splendour of the Queulat Hanging Glacier view-point. After this visit and experience, continue south on the same Carretera Austral to the regional capital, Coyhaique – 222 km. (140 miles), about 4 hours. Box lunch in 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.

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.

  • 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 a driver plus a guide is considered.
  • Accommodation according to the description in the program, based on double room with breakfast.
  • Ferry tickets.
  • Visit and walk at Pumalin National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia).
  • Excursion at La Junta includes rafting on the River Palena, plus the visit to ‘El Sauce’ hot springs, with a box lunch, or the alternative visit to Raul Marin Balmaceda with a set menu lunch.
  • 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 for your size, neoprene overshoes, semi-dry rowing jackets).
  • First aid kit with the guide in charge of the safety, safety ropes, VHF radio for communication.
  • Box lunches as indicated in the program.
  • Visit and guided walk at Queulat National Park (Route of Parks of Patagonia).
  • Fixed menu style lunches with 01 mineral water or soft drinkas indicated in the program
    Horseback riding.
    Travel insurance, excluding the rafting activity.
  • Air ticket.
  • Tips.
  • Extras in hotels.
  • Food not specified in the itinerary.
  • Any activity not mentioned.

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.
  • Small backpack to carry snacks and drinks.
  • Towel and change of clothes for the rafting
  • Camera, with protection for water.


  • The horse ride is suitable for people without previous experience and lasts about 2 hours.
  • The time for beginning this program is subject to change according to the flight schedules for the next season.
  • Ask for optional tours in or around Coyhaique.

Suggested extensions:

  • FD San Rafael Lagoon & Glacier by catamaran from Puerto Chacabuco. Ask for sailing dates.
  • Extension of the journey taking the program GP202 for the Carretera Austral south. Ask for availability
Arrival flight time:
Landing between 9:30 and 10:30am. Subject to change according to flight schedules for the next season.
Minimum to operate:
4 adults. 3 weeks before the date of each departure we will confirm the operation of the program
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:
Medium. Participants need to be in good physical condition for walking and the activities mentioned
in the program.
Easy but requires good physical condition for walking and rafting.
Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park
Queulat National Park

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+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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