Self-drive Patagonia and see the highlights of southern Chile and Argentina all in one trip. Patagonia is one of the last true wildernesses, and every day you spend here tends to feel like a true adventure! You’ll spend 12 days driving along Patagonia’s Carretera Austral and crossing over the border to Argentina. You’ll visit some of the most famous and beautiful parks in the Americas and stay in typical Patagonian inns by the shores of the bluest lakes adorned by stunning peaks. Whether you choose to drive, trek or take boat trips, you’ll explore the Chilean Lake District and also see some of the most impressive glaciers on earth. When your days of wild exploration are done, we’ve included a few nights stay at a vineyard in the Maipo wine valley, so you can relax and take a break from driving before your flight home.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival at Santiago Airport, you will be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel where you will check in for a 1-night stay.
This afternoon, we’ve included a guided tour of Santiago which will showcase the sights, flavours and colours of the city by visiting attractions, tasting and drinking Chilean specialities and visiting colourful flower markets.
After breakfast, a private transfer will take you to Santiago airport for your flight to Balmaceda, in southern Patagonia. Once you land, make your way to the car rental offices and start your Patagonian adventure!
Drive 56km to Coyhaique, the capital of the Aysén region which has several rivers and a lush green landscape. Check in your hotel for a 1-night stay here.
Make a prompt start this morning and follow the 258km road to General Carrera Lake, stopping along the way at different stunning lookout points. Continue along the lengthy and uninhabited stretch of Chile’s Route 7, the Carretera Austral. Don’t miss a visit to the intriguing yet beautiful Marble Caves close to Puerto Tranquilo. You’ll check in to a hotel on the lake shore for a 2-night stay.
Spend the day exploring your surroundings! Lake General Carrera is the biggest lake in Chile and a great place to go hiking, horseback riding, and fishing or perhaps take a boat trip.
In the morning, start your 200 km drive along Route 7 towards Argentina! Today’s journey will take you near the Cochrane National Reserve and through the Chacabuco Valley, both renowned for their spectacular views and well worth a stop. As you reach the border crossing at Paso Roballos, the scenery will change as you encounter Argentina’s pampas. Drive on to the city of Bajo Caracoles and finally Lago Posadas where you will check in for a 1-night stay.
Today, you’ll follow the Route 40, Patagonian Highway to El Chalten. This lovely town is typical of the region and full of charm with stunning mountainous scenery around, including the Fitz Roy Mountain Range. In El Chalten, you will check in your hotel for a 2-night stay.
El Chalten is famous for its trekking. Most treks depart from the town and can be walked easily without a guide – the Laguna de Los Tres hike is particularly popular. If you prefer to explore the glaciers, we suggest visiting the Viedma Glacier which is at the western end of Lake Viedma in the undefined border between Chile and Argentina.
Your drive today will take you through the breath-taking landscape and natural beauty including lakes and vast expanses. The drive to El Calafate is about 201km, and when you arrive, check in for a 2-night stay.
Today you’ll drive to Los Glaciares National Park to visit the magnificent Perito Moreno, one of Patagonia’s best-known glaciers. You’ll get close up views of the glaciers, and a trek and boat ride can also be arranged.
Today’s drive will take you 250k south through Patagonia and back into Chile to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park where you will check in for a 2-night stay.
Start early today so you can make the most of your full day in the park! You could go for close-up views of the Grey Glacier by boat, or perhaps trek one of the park trails to see the views from different perspectives.
Today, drive to Punta Arenas, around 350km away. By the Brunswick Peninsula and the Magellan Strait, Punta Arenas is the world’s southernmost port, and here you will check in for a 1-night stay.
This morning, you’ll drive to Punta Arenas airport, drop off your car and catch your flight to Santiago. Once you arrive, you’ll be met and driven by private transfer to your hotel in the Maipo Valley, the closest Chilean wine valley to Santiago. Check in for a 2-night stay and enjoy a complimentary bottle of Casa Real wine at your leisure!
Today you have a full day to make the most of your hotel facilities and surroundings – why not use the hotel’s mountain bikes (included in your stay) or take a walk amongst the vines and admire the landscape.
Today you will be collected from your hotel and driven to Santiago for your flight back home.
Why not add in a stopover?
To make the most of this itinerary, we suggest travelling between mid-September and late March. It is better to avoid the Patagonian winter as the weather will be quite extreme, and driving will be much more hazardous.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
Fourteen nights in 3* and 4* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: