Chile: Aysén & Patagonia

Join us in one of the world's great and undiscovered trekking regions

Patagonia Paradise

The best of Chile's Patagonia and Aysén regions

Two Exclusive Dates

November 13 - 23, 2022 with Outside's Erin Riley

February 4 - 14, 2023

11 Days, 10 Nights

Each date limited to 12 people to maximize our access

Price from

$6,200

Per person. Inaugural departure with Erin Riley is $6,600. Outside+ members receive an exclusive $200 savings, details here

Speak with an adventure expert

+1 (503) 907-9889

You’ve finally reached the glacial mountaintop, and it’s pure magic. Deep-blue lakes ringed by steep glacial peaks, birds soaring over lunar-like valleys and wind-swept gaucho country, and just you and your hiking companions, after a long and rewarding trek, taking in the rugged, mesmerizing landscape of northern Patagonia. Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Few have experienced this side of Patagonia. This is the Aysén, Patagonia’s wild country and one of the world’s great—and yet still largely unknown—trekking regions. We’ll spend 11 days hiking past the towering glaciers, glittering fjords, and snow-capped mountains of southern Chile in the footsteps of The North Face’s founders, skipping the ever-popular Torres del Paine in lieu of the quieter Cerro Castillo National Reserve. We’ll cross Chile’s largest lake, Lago General Carrera, and be among the first visitors to hike through the new Patagonia National Park on an exclusive trekking experience like no other and, on our inaugural departure, trekking alongside Outside senior editor Erin Vivid Riley.

Immerse yourself in untouched wilderness on an adventure of a lifetime. With six to eight hours of trekking per day, we’ll make the Aysén our very-own Patagonian playground, each day bringing a new journey filled with adventure, stunning landscapes, and quiet solitude amidst Patagonia’s pristine wilderness.

Aysén & Patagonia Highlights

How We Travel

We’ll hike across glaciers and snow-capped mountains, led by experienced local guides. Most gear is provided for us, and we carry our own packs (20-30 lbs) and set-up our own tents. We also stay in mountain lodges and panoramic wilderness domes. All food is prepared for us.

Activity Level: Moderate

This trek is accessible for most age levels who maintain good physical fitness and are prepared for the demands of hiking in remote mountainous areas. We'll cover 3-10 miles a day, and conquer wind, snow, rain and sunny skies—sometimes all in the same day.

Exclusive Outside Access

We'll explore parts of Patagonia few others have visited. By our side are expert local guides and, on our inaugural departure, Outside senior editor Erin Vivid Riley, an avid outdoor enthusiast with Chile's Patagonia at the top of her bucket list. She can’t wait to experience this magical destination with the Outside community.

Your Patagonia Adventure

“We want Chile to be internationally recognized for having the most spectacular scenic route in the world.” –Tompkins Conservation

“This is not only an unprecedented preservation effort, it’s an invitation to imagine other ways of rationally occupying our lands. It’s about generating sustainable development.” –Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet

Join Outside magazine editors and like-minded adventurers with a passion for the outdoors. True wilderness. Epic exploration. Cultural immersion. Join us on the journeys of a lifetime.

Day by Day

Explore the shimmering lakes, towering glaciers, and snow-capped peaks of rugged Patagonia and experience first-hand why Chile’s Aysén region is considered one of the trekking world’s best-kept secrets.

Day 1

Bienvenidos a Patagonia! After meeting at the Balmeceda airport in Chile’s Aysén region, we’ll make our way to Coyhaique, known as a gateway to the remote parts of Patagonia. This beautiful area is surrounded by rivers and snow-capped mountains, lending to its nickname: the city of eternal snow. After checking into our hotel, the rest of the day is yours to explore the town’s colorful streets or rest up for the week ahead. We’ll kick off our time together with a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Day 2

Let the adventure begin! After breakfast, we’re off to Cerro Castillo for our 10.5-mile hike into the nature reserve. Castillo means ‘castle’ in Spanish, and it’s easy to see where the name comes from: the jagged cliffs and black basalt crags rise around us and the flowing landscape like medieval parapets or gothic towers.

Following an old logging road, we’ll pass by gaucho camps still used for livestock, and begin to get our first peeks at the crystal-clear waters of Patagonia. After entering the nature reserve, we’ll set up at Camp Turbio and enjoy a celebratory dinner before retiring to our tents and falling asleep listening to distant parakeet chirps and the winds through the piney lenga trees.

Days 3 - 4

Our mountain ascent starts this morning. Making our way deeper through the Cerro Castillo National Reserve, we’ll cross Pinon Pass at 1,300 meters (4,265 ft) before a descent along rocky scree and frosty terrain. Our guides will lead us past the hanging Pinon Glacier, a suspended frozen valley of icy tundra, before helping us settle into camp at La Tetera for the evening.

The next morning, if you’re up for it, we’ll rise early to catch a truly awe-inspiring sunrise over the peaks of Cerro Castillo. We’ll start off passing by Cerro Castillo’s famous lagoon. You may have seen more than a few selfies taken from of this elliptical turquoise water nestled among snow-bound cliffs.

After an obligatory photo op, we’ll set out to climb Morro Negro, a 1,700-meter (5,575-ft) peak with vast slopes and earthy luster. The 7-mile trek will take us down to Camp Porteadores, where we’ll set up camp for the night.

Day 5

To start off the day feeling lighter on our feet, we’ll leave our packs and take a short hike up to Camp Neozelandes to scope out the views. The North face—yes, that North Face—of Cerro Castillo bids us buena suerte on our last day in this amazing reserve. Gaze out at the glacial basin and get inspired by the great outdoors. If it’s warm enough, we can continue to Lake Yagan for a dip in the clear and cold waters.

After retrieving our packs, we’ll depart the park via an easy hike through forested thickets of lenga trees and make our way back to civilization. Just outside Villa Cerro Castillo, we’ll sleep in style at a local guesthouse and enjoy the luxuries of a hot shower and home-cooked sit-down dinner.

Day 6

The morning takes us to Puerto Ibáñez and the placid shores of Chile’s largest lake, Lago General Carrera, tucked on the divide between Argentina and Chile in the heart of the Andes. It’s had millions of years to develop its iconic rich blues through sediment called glacial flour; we’ll admire its shoreline on a ferry ride to the town of Chile Chico. From here, we’ll drive to Lago Jeinimeni and make our way into the wildest, most remote part of the trip.

Our short hike and river crossing near Lago Esmeralda will present us with more cascading treelines and calm turquoise waters. It’s only a bit further from here to Lago Verde, where we’ll set up camp.

Day 7

We’ll wake up to breakfast in a small lakeside shelter before beginning our journey to Valley Chacabuco and Patagonia National Park. On our most difficult, yet most rewarding day, we’ll trek through the Gloria Mountains along the Jeinemini river bed, and over Gloria Pass to awe-inspiring vistas on the western side of Lago Verde.

We’ll be among the first visitors to this new park, a 10 million-acre brainchild of Doug and Kristin Tompkins (founders of The North Face), who invested $345 million to preserve wide expanses of Patagonia. We’ll be among the first to behold its sights and untouched lands. We’ll then descend to the lakeshore and hike to a newly renovated camping shelter. If you’re up for it, seize the afternoon with another hike to explore Jeinimeni’s hanging glaciers—well worth the trip.

Days 8 - 9

The name Hermoso Valley means ‘beautiful valley’—that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. This morning will lead us through a breathtaking traverse through towering mountains and glaciers, threading our way through streams and narrow paths.

We’ll continue south through lush lenga forests before connecting to the Aviles trail toward Mount Jeinemini. This 9-mile day brings us to the Aviles Valley, where we’ll pick a spot to make camp for the night.

On our final trekking day, we descend the Aviles Valley and follow the Pinturas and Aviles rivers through changing scenery and wildlife such as guanacos and vizcaches.

We’ll make our first steps back toward civilization across the Berkley Bridge over the churning Aviles River. The Stone House, a historic refurbished old puesto, will greet us among the waving poplars and refreshing valley breeze.

We’ve organized transportation to take us to our accommodations for the evening, trading our tents for incredible panoramic domes overlooking Lago General Carrera. We’ll drink in the incredible scenery we just toured, and sleep well under the Patagonia sky.

Day 10

After a filling breakfast, we’ll celebrate our trek with a day on the Rio Baker. Our expert river guides will take us over roaring rapids; get ready to paddle and get doused as we navigate through white-capped waves and swirling scenery.

All this will help us work up an appetite for our farewell barbeque—Patagonia style. Sizzling fire-roasted meats lovingly and artfully served with local spices and sauces will be the perfect way to spend our last evening in this untouched paradise.

Day 11

It’s time to say adios to our guides and fellow travelers. After breakfast, we’ll head back to Balmeceda airport for connecting flights back to Santiago, with turquoise waters and orange sunsets in our minds.

Where We Sleep

Through expansive mountainous terrain and immersive treks, every night will be a well-deserved chance to rest, relax and reflect on the day.

El Reloj

Day 1: Coyhaique

Owners Ángel Lara and Adriana Hidalgo have transformed a once-quaint guesthouse into one of the most prestigious, and comfortable, hotels in Coyhaique in the heart of Chilean Patagonia. Twenty spacious rooms with views, plus an intimate 'great room' to kick back and relax by a roaring fire. Connected to El Reloj is award-winning restaurant El Ovejero, one of the truly excellent spots for a meal in all of Patagonia.

Camping

Days 2 - 4 & 6 - 8

We camp for six nights in some of the most stunning—and remote—corners of Patagonia. We provide all the critical gear, including expedition-quality tents and cooking equipment, so we can experience everything the Aysén and northern Patagonia have to offer. We're experts at making camp life as comfortable and safe as possible.

Refugio Cerro Castillo

Day 5: Villa Cerro Castillo

Just outside Villa Cerro Castillo, these quiet cabins and guesthouse are tucked along the Ibáñez River, full of charm and glorious gardens. We'll catch our breath here and enjoy the hospitality and home cooking.

Terra Luna Lodge

Days 9 - 10: Chile Chico

This is glamping as good as it gets. Terra Luna is famous for its panoramic geodesic domes with views of Lago General Carrera and the mountains. Each dome gives the full wilderness experience with the comforts of private decks and private bathrooms, comfortable beds, nightstands, heat and electricity. Watch the breathtaking sunset reflect off the glacial backdrop. There's no better way to connect with nature, in style.

Questions?

We have answers! Read our FAQs below, or call/text +1 (503) 907-9889 with any questions you have about traveling. We're here 8am-5pm weekdays, Pacific. For questions about Outside+ accounts please visit Account Assistance.

  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights of camping accommodations, four nights of hotel/lodge accommodations; all ground transportation; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; expert local backpacking guides; porters; experiences, activities and tours included in itinerary; 4-season tents; fees and costs associated with any activity or experience listed in itinerary; gratuities for local guides. We will be joined for this adventure by expert expedition guides, each highly qualified in all necessary skills to safely guide us throughout the mountains. A Modern Adventure Trip Leader will join the group as an experienced travel guide, and the person to go to with questions or concerns on the trip. Additional support staff will include porters to help carry our group's gear.

  2. How difficult is this adventure?

    This is considered a moderate backpacking adventure. Moderate: This is wild country. We’ll hike anywhere from 3 to 10 miles a day over uneven terrain and up and down steep switchbacks, while carrying packs (20 to 30 pounds) including our own sleeping bag, mattress pads and personal items. This region contains extremely variable weather – it’s not uncommon to have blue skies, rain, snow and wind all in the same day. We strongly recommend that participants have a good level of fitness and are well prepared and have at least some hiking experience. The support staff that will be on this adventure will be with us for the entirety of the adventure helping us carry group supplies and helping us see the true Patagonian experience.

  3. What are the arrival and departure details?

    This adventure begins at El Reloj in Coyhaique, Chile. The closet airport is Balmaceda Aiport (BBA), with frequent daily connections from Santiago and other regional hubs. Our trip ends in Chile Chico, and on our last day we'll organize group transfers back to Balmaceda Airport (BBA). Your flight home should be scheduled to depart at 6pm or later.

  4. What are the accommodations on this adventure?

    We will be spending our nights split between a variety of accommodations. For the six nights we camp in the wilderness, Modern Adventure provides expedition quality double-occupancy tents (each guest will set up their own tent), as well as group-sized tarp shelters for enjoying meals in. Not only does including the finest equipment make camp life more comfortable, it also ensure we have all the necessary gear to stay safe and comfortable on our trip. In addition to camping, we stay at hotels and fully kitted domes as we backpack through the beautiful Chilean landscapes.

  5. Who is going on this trip?

    This adventure is recommended for travelers aged 18 and above who are in good health and have previous experience with multi-day backpacking. You will be expected to load and unload your own gear, carry a portion of the group gear, and manage your own physical comfort and well-being. This adventure will be limited to no more than 12 fellow adventurers plus your Modern Adventure team. On our inaugural departure we travel with Outside senior editor Erin Vivid Riley. Please note that Outside Interactive, Inc. is not responsible for the organization or operation of this experience, which is governed by Modern Adventure's Terms of Service (see link below).

  6. What if I am a solo traveler?

    Prices are based on double occupancy. If you are a solo traveler and want to have your own accommodations, a $700 supplement will apply at checkout – these spots are very limited due to the type of accommodations on our adventure and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  7. What travel documents are needed?

    U.S. citizens staying for less than 90 days do not require a visa to enter Chile. The passport must have at validity for the entirety of your stay to be allowed entry. For citizens of other countries, please check with the Chilean Embassy or Consulate for information and requirements.

  8. What does the price not include?

    Roundtrip airfare to/from Chile; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s meeting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; personal incidentals including room service, laundry, etc; personal gear; gratuity for tour leader.

  9. Do I need Travel Insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most 'Cancel For Any Reason' policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit. Since this adventure takes place in some remote locations, it can be difficult and expensive to plan medical evacuations. It is each guest’s responsibility to be covered by emergency medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance, or to be prepared to cover the cost yourself, for expenses related to an emergency medical evacuation and repatriation.

  10. What is the cancelation policy?

    On our November 2022 departure with Outside editor Erin Riley, you may cancel on or before July 16, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after July 17, 2022 there is a 50% cancellation fee; on or after September 14, 2022 there is a 100% cancellation fee. On our February 2023 departure, you may cancel on or before August 7, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after August 8, 2022 there is a 50% cancellation fee; on or after December 6, 2022 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being cancelled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).