Chile trekking tours - hiking travel from Atacama to Patagonia in Chile, trek in Chile off the beaten path

Patagonia Travel and Patagonia cruises:

Expedition cruises aboard the Australis, Skorpios, Cahuela, Antartic Dream and Navimag fleets, trekking, fly-fishing, and adventure trips in both Chile and Argentina. Lake crossing and visits to Puerto Montt and Bariloche. Adventures in Pucon, El Calafate, Torres del Paine, Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.

Chile Tours - travel and Patagonia cruises:

Tours and travel to Chile and other South America countries, custom itineraries for groups and individuals, responsible tourism and soft adventures for all ages

South America - Central American - Travel Directory

South and Central America travel directory and index of tours, hotels, cruises, transportation, vacation planners, trip guides, tour operators for organizing your travels to Latin America

Travel to Chile - Trekking tours

Chile Trekking and Hiking

In Chile, Aficionados of nature will enjoy a diverse fauna and flora, climbers can scale uncrowded peaks, hikers will love the variety of landscapes.

Altiplano

The Atacama Desert, the driest in the world, slopes gradually up to the high altitude windswept plateau at over 4,000 m named Altiplano (Puna) and culminates in a volcanic mountain range of over 6,000 m. From its summits you will behold the desolate landscape, the numerous "salares" (salt lagoons), the flamingo lakes and the peaks of salt.

The treks are, as a rule, technically easy, but due to the high altitude they require a very good physical condition. With a few exceptions, the remote points where the tours start from, require private transport to be reached. The Chilean summer season –from December to February– is not very advisable for these tours, because of the heavy rains in the Atacamean Andes at this time of year.

Central Chile

Sometimes we just do not appreciate what is right on our doorstep. Some tour guides completely ignore the central zone, even though the Andes around Santiago offer first-class excursions to peaks as high as 6,500 m (21,600 ft.)! The scant organization required, short distances, and optimal climate are the main advantages of this region, but the most attractive feature is the beauty of its landscape. Further south, around the city of Talca, lies the hardly-known transition zone extending from the dry north to the cool, temperate rain forests. We believe that this empty spot on the hiking guide maps is the best area for trekking and horseback riding in the entire country. It offers a large range of different tours, active volcanoes, dense forests, enormous glaciers and hot springs in the little known, sparsely populated Andean mountains just waiting to be explored by trekkers.

Lake District

Screeching Ibis on lush green meadows, rain forest enclothing the slopes of snow-covered volcanoes, charming beaches of black volcanic sand on the shores of crystal clear lakes and the bizarre woods of Araucaria trees; this is the landscape between the Bio Bio River and the city of Puerto Montt. Trekking-lovers simply must not miss this fabulous area.

The "Región de Los Lagos" is very well outfitted for tourists, descriptions of excursions are present in every handbook and up-to-date information is available in every backpacker hostel. However, the climate in this area is well known for its frequent rain, and the lower ranges should be avoided in the midsummer because of the plague of horseflies.

Patagonia

The wild, almost unhabited region at the southern cone of South America is called -on both sides of the Andean chain- Patagonia. In Argentina, this term embraces everything south of Río Colorado. However in Chile, Patagonia is understood to mean “only” the region south of the city of Puerto Montt.

The “Carretera Austral” road leads from Puerto Montt 1200 km long through the most wonderful wilderness to lake General Carrera and further south to the edge of the Patagonian Icefields. Along this main road there are numerous national parks and first-class trekking areas. Unfortunately, public transport hardly ever reaches them. Furthermore, these areas have only a short hiking season (December to February) because of the harsh climate.

Further south, you will find a top trekking destination: Torres del Paine is the most visited Chilean national park –you’ll notice why. If you want to avoid the thousands of other hikers who frequent the park in summer, come down here in autumn (March to May) and enjoy not only the stunning colours of foliage, but also less crowded trails.

Pacific Islands

A long way from the Chilean coastline there are two lonely islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean: Robinson Crusoe and Easter Island.

The Robinson Crusoe Island belongs to the Juan Fernandez archipel and lies 670 km off-shore. The island of 48 square kilometers is partially covered by subtropical flora and owes its name and fame to the Scottish sailor Alexander Selkirk who - after having argued with the captain of his buccaneer ship - was abandoned on this uninhabited island in 1704. He lived there all alone for four years and four months before he was taken home by another British ship. His story inspired Daniel Defoe to write his world-famous novel "Robinson Crusoe".

Nowadays, Juan Fernández is reached by small aircrafts and has some quite exciting hikes to offer.