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Across the Andes: in the heart of Nature

Idea of itinerary travel in Argentina and Chile in 7 days.

Relax and unwind in these hidden, unspoiled natural sites along the Andean mountains in Northern Patagonia. Start with the Patagonian steppe and its warm inhabitants, as you ride across mountains and rivers. Embark on a journey across ancient beech forests and emerald-green lakes until a secluded island on the Chilean side. Many outdoors activities are available during your stay, but you might prefer to simply enjoy the company of your hosts around the fresh meals, or watching sunset in silence for a peaceful moment, away from it all, wrapped up in Patagonia’s wilderness.

Length of stay: 7 days

Kind: Sustainable Travels

Fix: For all public

Countries visited: Argentina, Chile

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Day 1 : Bariloche

Departure in a private vehicule on the famous road 40, the backbone of Argentina running from north to south alongside the Andes. You leave the lakes in northern Patagonia to enter the endless steppes. After a few hours of driving, you arrive at the Sapucai , a mountain hut nestled at the foot of the Andes summits.

Enjoy a nice quiet afternoon in this preserved environment amid impressive landscapes.

Before dinner, walk along the banks of the Chubut river or go meet the horses.

Lunch, dinner and night at the Sapucai refuge.

Possibility to sleep in the hut or in a yurt.

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Day 2 : Cordillera

For your first day horseriding, take in the beautiful surroundings from a panoramic viewpoint located in the mountains.

Enjoy lunch immersed in the endless steppes.

You might stay a little longer to explore or head back to the refuge right after lunch.

The rest of the afternoon is free, and you can either read a book, have a relaxing nap in a hammock or explore the Chubut banks.

Duration: 2-4hr horseride

Night and dinner at the Sapucai refuge.

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Day 3 : Cordillera

Today is a slightly more physical day to explore further your surroundings.

You ride along the river to reach the Alto Chubut valley.

After about 2h30 in the wilderness, you reach a former gold, lead and silver mine. The Miranda family still lives here and will entertain you with stories from the past and tales of their daily life in this remote area.

In the afternoon, ride back to the Sapucai refuge.

Evening and dinner by the fire

5-6h ride.

Night at the Sapucai refuge.

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Day 4 : El Sapucai

Today a vehicle picks you up at the refuge and takes you to Lago Puelo to enter Chile. The road crosses the Chubut River to enter an area where the steppe meets the green fields of local farms: many specialise in red fruits.

You reach the town of Lago Puelo located at the limit of the National Park. Complete the customs procedure to get on the boat that crosses the border. Navigate across two lakes and the rapids between Argentina and Chile.

You leave the boat for a 15- minute walk until the Chilean border checkpoint. After the customs procedure, take another motor-boat to Las Bandurrias Island across Las Rocas Lake. You will be surrounded by an outstanding landscape of crystal clear waters and a temperate forest that sits in stark contrast with the steppe.

A friendly and warm welcome will wait for you at Las Bandurrias.

Transportation times: 2 hours transfer to Lake Puelo, Navigation with the motorboats: 45min + 20min.

All meals included

Night at the Las Bandurrias Refuge

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Day 5 : Isla Las Bandurrias

This morning, departure for the Azul Lake with clear waters that shelter many fish. The summits and majestuous landscapes around are already part of the adventure.

Follow the paths into the woods until the southern bank of the lake, below a dense primary forest of the Valdiviana type. You will see many species of endemic trees such as the giant Alerces, Coihue and Arrayanes (local myrtle trees).

After lunch, go back to the island to enjoy a relaxed afternoon.

Transportation times: 30min boat ride on the Las Rocas Lake; 2h trek until the Azul Lake. 2h roundtrip trek to take the boat back to Las Bandurrias Island.

All meals included.

Night at the Las Bandurrias Refuge.

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Day 6 : Isla Las Bandurrias

Full day in the wilderness today: start by a short boatride to meet your horse awaiting you on the other bank.

You start riding towards the Rio Puelo river.

The path takes you through insulated, self-sufficient farms in the middle of the mountains. Take in the diverse landscapes, from the ecological farms to the paths created by pioneers ,the hundred-year old forests, the waterfalls… You are surrounded by pure preserved nature.

After a two-hour horseride, you reach Rio Puelo: a hanging bridge allows the inhabitants from the valleys to stay connected to the main villages.

The turquoise river draws incredible canyons and beaches along its stem until the Pacific Ocean. Keep riding until reaching the Ventisquero valley where you will pause for lunch.

Trip back to the island after lunch.

Durations: 20min boat ride roundtrip, 6h horseride.

All meals included.

Night at the Las Bandurrias Refuge.

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Day 7 : Isla Las Bandurrias

After a last homemade breakfast, get ready to leave the beautiful island.

Take the boat to cross the Las Rocas Lake one last time – your luggage is loaded on horses who will keep you company until La Collina farm where your private vehicle and driver pick you up.

You drive past the Llanada Grande village, and take a boat to cross the Tagua Tagua lake.

Lunch in the small Rio Puelo town.

The road now follows the fjord… enjoy the breathtaking views over the surrounding forest, the volcanos and snow-peaked summits. Stop by the village of Cochamó to you visit the small wooden church and hear about its ancient native culture.

If the sky is clear, you will be able to spot the Osorno, Cabulco and Puntiagudo volcanoes across the lake.

You finally reach your destination: Puerto Varas.

Lunch included. Bus from Puerto Varas (Chile) to Bariloche.

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