Connect with the incredible nature of Chile on this kayaking and camping adventure through Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park, the largest national park in South America. This pristine wilderness, which is home to a diverse array of flora, fauna, and Valdivian forests, extends from the heart of the Andes Mountains to the fjords of the Pacific Coast. Kayak through fjords, visit a sea lion colony, camp under the stars, and more on this six-day itinerary.Be aware that this itinerary includes about five hours of kayaking a day, so good physical condition is required to manage this intermediate level trip. The route can vary slightly due to currents, tide, and weather.

Highlights

  • Kayak down the fjords of Pumalín Park
  • Soothe your body in natural hot springs in view of the Andes
  • Experience the intersection of German and Chilean cultures in Puerto Varas
  • Observe sea lion colonies in the Cahuelmo fjord

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival at Puerto Varas Puerto Varas
Day 2 Kayak around Isla de los Ciervos - Camp in Pumalín Park Pumalín National Park
Day 3 Paddle down the Quintupeu Fjord, Once a WWI Hiding Place Pumalín National Park
Day 4 Visit the Sea Lion Colonies and Hot Springs of Cahuelmo Fjord Pumalín National Park
Day 5 Kayak to Pichanco Pier - Drive Back to Puerto Varas Puerto Varas
Day 6 Depart Puerto Montt  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas and the Orsono volcano in the distance
Puerto Varas and the Orsono volcano in the distance

Welcome to Chile! Our representative will meet you upon your arrival at Puerto Montt airport to take you to your hotel in Puerto Varas.

Once you settle in, we will provide you a detailed itinerary and go over all relevant information and contacts for your adventure in Chile. The day is free to explore Puerto Varas, also known as "la ciudad de las rosas" or "the city of roses." Puerto Varas is famous for its German traditions and influences as a result of the German immigrants who founded the city in 1853.

Suggested activities include:

  • Visit some of the Germanic buildings in the area:  the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish Church, Yunge House, and the Gotschlich House.
  • Stroll along the Pérez Rosales boardwalk to smell the city's famous roses and take in the spectacular views of Lake Llanquihue.
  • Try some local Chilean or German dishes at a lakeside restaurant, where you can relax with a glass of chicha, an Andean fermented drink made from apples.

Day 2: Kayak around Isla de los Ciervos - Camp in Pumalín Park

Unforgettable views along the Carretera Austral
Unforgettable views along the Carretera Austral

After a hearty breakfast, depart for Hornopirén, which is 124 miles (200 km) away. This three-hour drive will take you along the Carretera Austral or the Southern Way, which is a seaside highway that runs through Patagonia.

Your kayaking adventure starts at midday, once you reach Hornopirén. You'll begin with a loop around Isla de los Ciervos (which translates to "the Island of Deer") before making your way to your campsite in Pumalín Park

Pumalín is South America's largest national park and offers visitors the chance to experience the natural wilderness of the area without disrupting its ecosystems and biodiversity. Let the stars above and beautiful nature all around envelope you as you relax at our campsite in the park.

Plan your trip to Chile
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Day 3: Paddle down the Quintupeu Fjord, Once a WWI Hiding Place

A variety of greens in the fjord - Photo by hyper_claudio
A variety of greens in the fjord - Photo by hyper_claudio

Experience the awe-inspiring waters and glaciers of Quintupeu, a fjord where you can spot colonies of sea lions as well as flocks of birds native to Patagonia. Paddle through these historic waters that once hid the Dresden, the only German ship to survive the Battle of the Malvinas in 1915.

While the morning will be spent kayaking, the afternoon will be experienced on foot as you hike through the forest to a 250-foot (75-meter) waterfall. After the hike, we'll set up camp again in Pumalín National Park to sleep under the clear night sky and majestic peaks of the Andes.

Day 4: Visit the Sea Lion Colonies and Hot Springs of Cahuelmo Fjord

The glacial landscape of Chile
The glacial landscape of Chile

Set out before sunrise today to make your way to the next destination: Cahuelmo Fjord. Spend the morning traveling down this fjord, which is known for its sea lion colonies and hot springs.

Make sure you've got enough film or battery as we'll take a break to visit a sea lion colony. Hot springs await at the bottom of the fjord, so give your body a rest in these natural springs before settling into the campsite for the night.

Day 5: Kayak to Pichanco Pier - Drive Back to Puerto Varas

Deep blue waters of a Chilean fjord
Deep blue waters of a Chilean fjord

It's an early departure today so you can paddle through calm waters as you head back towards Pichanco Pier, where a driver will be waiting to take you back to Puerto Varas.

Enjoy your last views of the majestic and impressive Andean landscape as we make our way back to civilization. We will have lunch at a beach town before returning to Puerto Varas.

Day 6: Depart Puerto Montt

Say goodbye to the Chilean landscape - Photo taken by Dave E
Say goodbye to the Chilean landscape - Photo taken by Dave E

It's your last day in Chile's Lakes Region, so breathe in the fresh air, grab your favorite local delicacy, and take in any last views before we transfer you to Puerto Montt Airport. There, you can catch your flight to your next destination.

We hope you enjoyed your adventure in the magical landscape of Chile!

Map

Map of Kayak & Camp in Chile's Pumalín National Park - 6 Days
Map of Kayak & Camp in Chile's Pumalín National Park - 6 Days