Embark on a luxurious off-the-beaten-path adventure to one of the most beautiful corners of Patagonia: the Lake District. It starts in Chile with city tours and wine tastings in Santiago before flying to the Valdivian forests, glassy lakes, and snowcapped volcanoes of the Lake District. Then, cruise the azure waters into Argentina to hike around the Swiss-inspired town of Bariloche, visit the ice walls of Perito Moreno, off-road on the Patagonian steppe, and finish with museum tours in Buenos Aires.


  • Visit modern art museums in Buenos Aires and go wine tasting in Santiago
  • Walk alongside penguins on the mystical Chilean island of Chiloé
  • Enjoy private helicopter tours, nature hikes, and boat trips in the Lake District
  • Sail to the walls of Perito Moreno Glacier and embark on a 4WD tour of Patagonia

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago (Chile), City Tour & Wine Tasting Santiago
Day 2 Fly to Puerto Montt, Transfer to Puerto Varas, Historic City Tour Puerto Varas
Day 3 Day Trip to Isla Chiloé & Penguin Reserve Puerto Varas
Day 4 Cochamó Helicopter Tour & Hike Puerto Varas
Day 5 Lake Crossing to Bariloche (Argentina) Bariloche
Day 6 Circuito Chico Tour, Dinner With Locals Bariloche
Day 7 Fly to El Calafate, Dinner at Rancho Aparte El Calafate
Day 8 Day Trip to Perito Moreno & Nautical Safari El Calafate
Day 9 Fly to Buenos Aires, Speakeasy Cocktail Tour El Calafate
Day 10 MNBA & MALBA Museums Tour, Depart Buenos Aires  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago (Chile), City Tour & Wine Tasting

Your grand introduction to Chile involves a tour and tasting of the scenic Casablanca Valley

Welcome to Chile! Justifiably famous for its natural wonders, this South American nation also features historic cities and a world-class wine scene. Experience many such highlights right away with your arrival in the capital of Santiago. A driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to The Singular. This 5-star luxury hotel is in Santiago's historic Lastarria neighborhood, close to major attractions. It features spacious suites, an on-site spa offering various massage options, and a rooftop pool where you can admire views of the surrounding Andes.

Drop your bags and freshen up, then hit the road to discover why Chile is one of the world's most famous wine producers. Your driver will pick you up for the one-hour ride to the Casablanca Valley, a famous region near the Pacific coast that produces a wide array of varietals. These include chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and Chile's prized carménère—a bold, fruit-forward red. Over the course of the private tour, you'll visit three outstanding wineries, enjoying tastings at each, followed by a delicious lunch. Afterward, you'll return to Santiago.

But the day isn't over yet. Back in the city, you'll meet a local guide and head out on a three-hour private tour. It begins in the historic center and the Plaza de Armas, Santiago's main square. It's home to the Palacio de la Real Audiencia (Palace of the Royal Court) and the Catedral Metropolitana, an impressive neoclassical building dating to 1753. Also nearby is the Palacio de la Moneda, Chile's opulent presidential palace. To cap the day, hike (or ride a gondola) up Cerro San Cristóbal, a 984-foot (300 m) hill that offers exceptional panoramic views.

Day 2: Fly to Puerto Montt, Transfer to Puerto Varas, Historic City Tour

Look out over the snowcapped Osorno from your lakeside lodge (photo courtesy of Hotel AWA)

Rise and shine because this morning, you're off to Patagonia! Return to the airport in Santiago and board a two-hour flight south to the port city of Puerto Montt. You're now in the Lake District, where snowcapped volcanoes meet forested islands dotted with shimmering lakes. From the airport, a driver will pick you up for the 30-minute drive north to Puerto Varas, a colorful town on the shores of Lago Llanquihue.

Head straight to Hotel AWA, a lavish lakeshore retreat devised by architect-owner Mauricio Fuentes. The contemporary hotel combines concrete and volcanic rock walls with cozy lounges lit by flickering fireplaces. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that frame views of the lake and the Osorno volcano. Other highlights include AWA's huge heated pool and dining in the on-site gourmet restaurant.

After dropping off your bags, you'll meet a local guide for a private walking tour around town. Puerto Varas features a captivating mix of German architecture and Indigenous Mapuche heritage, which you'll see on a stroll. You certainly won't miss the snowcapped cone of Osorno, an 8,700-foot (2,652 m) stratovolcano that looms large over Llanquihue. During the outing, you'll pass the main square and monuments to German settlers, as well as the bustling seafood market and handicrafts fair.

Day 3: Day Trip to Isla Chiloé & Penguin Reserve

Spot Humboldt penguins hanging out on the rocky shore at Puñihuil

After breakfast, you'll transfer to Puerto Montt, then continue up the Panamericana 5 Highway to the port of Pargua. Here, you'll set off on a 30-minute private boat ride across the Chacao Channel to Isla Chiloé. This wondrous archipelago is home to dense forests, rolling green hills, and caves steeped in legends—some say they're home to witches who patrol the coastline of the island at night.

You'll stop in the town of Ancud to visit its museum and market, then soak up the views from Cerro Huaihuen, which features landmarks like Fuerte San Antonio. This early 19th-century Spanish fort played a significant role in the wars for independence.

Next, head to the Caulín Bird Sanctuary, a haven for over 60 bird species that gather off its pebbly beach, including black-necked swans, flamingoes, and herons. The bird theme continues with a trip to a penguin colony in nearby Puñihuil, the only place in the world where Magellanic and Humboldt species coexist. In the late afternoon, return to Puerto Varas and treat yourself to a relaxing evening in town.

Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Cochamó Helicopter Tour & Hike

Leave early to get eye level with volcanoes on a thrilling helicopter tour

Immerse yourself in Puerto Varas' surrounding beauty today with a private helicopter tour and hike. You'll fly east, soaring over the Osorno volcano and hidden valleys within the Andes, home to turquoise lakes and ancient forests. Eventually, you'll reach the rustic village of Cochamó, which resembles the USA's Yosemite with its U-shaped valley and centuries-old trees.

The pilot will land at a panoramic viewpoint within Cochamó's granite mountains, which are beloved by rock climbers. While your guides prepare a tasty picnic lunch, you'll take a short hike to admire the jagged peaks and forest-covered valley views. Afterward, hop back in the helicopter to your hotel, passing over Calbuco, a mammoth stratovolcano that last erupted in 2015. Take the rest of the day to chill out at your luxury hotel.

Day 5: Lake Crossing to Bariloche (Argentina)

More lakeside luxury awaits in Bariloche (photo courtesy of Villa Beluno Hotel & Spa)

Wake up early and embark on a full-day excursion that will take you from Chile to Argentina. The trip involves boat rides across three lakes plus overland bus trips and a stop for lunch. Throughout the 12-hour journey, you'll enjoy views of glaciers, volcanic peaks, and alpine forests on your way to San Carlos de Bariloche.

This mountain resort destination is the largest city in Argentina's Lake District, a region home to some of the country's most impressive scenery. Bariloche was founded in 1902 on the southeastern shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi, part of the larger Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. The name comes from the Mapuche native people who once inhabited the area ("Nahuel Huapi" means "Jaguar Island").

Upon arrival at Bariloche's harbor, a driver will pick you up and transfer you just north of the city to Villa Beluno Hotel & Spa. This 4-star, resort-style hotel occupies an expansive and elegant waterfront villa nestled in the peaceful countryside. Ideal for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, the spacious, chalet-style rooms feature hardwood floors, ample natural light, and lake views backed by snowcapped peaks. Amenities include an enticing infinity pool, solarium, and day spa where you can take the edge off your day of traveling with a relaxing massage.

Day 6: Circuito Chico Tour, Dinner With Locals

Follow the famous Circuito Chico for panoramic views over Lago Nahuel Huapi

Meet your private guide in the morning for a half-day excursion that follows the famous Circuito Chico (Short Circuit) route. You'll follow the lakeshore west from the city to Playa Bonita, a tranquil pebble beach that looks out to Isla Huemul. Then, ride a chairlift up Cerro Campanario, followed by a visit to the Llao Llao Peninsula. The former is a mountain offering panoramic views of Lago Nahuel Huapi from its summit, while the latter is the site of the most impressive hotel in the country, Hotel Llao Llao.

In the evening, you'll receive a warm introduction to the Lake District's culture and cuisine when a local family invites you into their home for dinner. Over the course of the evening, you'll join your hosts in the kitchen and see what goes into preparing an authentic Patagonian meal. When it's ready, everyone will sit down and enjoy the food along with some stimulating conversation and great Argentine wine. After eating, you'll say goodbye to your new friends and return to your hotel.

Day 7: Fly to El Calafate, Dinner at Rancho Aparte

Dazzling views of Lago Argentino await at your lakeside retreat (photo courtesy of Xelena Hotel & Suites)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the two-hour flight deeper into Patagonia and El Calafate. Sitting on the shores of Lago Argentino, El Calafate is the main base for trips into the famous Los Glaciares National Park and one of its star attractions, Perito Moreno Glacier.

Your driver will take you to the eastern outskirts of town and Xelena Hotel & Suites. This 5-star hotel sits right on the lakeshore and features comfortable, quiet, and well-equipped rooms overlooking the water. Other welcome amenities include an indoor pool and a heated outdoor pool with lake views, plus a Jacuzzi, sauna, and a luxury spa offering beauty treatments and aromatic therapies to rejuvenate the body and mind.

Later, return to town for a dining experience that celebrates rustic, gourmet Patagonian cuisine. Take a seat at Rancho Aparte, a ranch home converted into a closed-door restaurant serving home-cooked meals from fixed menus. Highlights include regional specialties like roast Patagonian lamb and goulash with gnocchi pasta, all prepared with organic ingredients from local farms. Of course, the menu is paired with some of the finest wines in Patagonia and throughout Argentina.

Day 8: Day Trip to Perito Moreno & Nautical Safari

Witness the best views of Perito Moreno from land and water

Today, you'll enjoy a memorable adventure into Los Glaciares National Park. Meet your driver in the morning and transfer about west to Perito Moreno. It's a scenic 1.5-hour drive during which you'll pass natural landmarks like Redonda Bay, home to a variety of exotic waterbirds, including black-necked swans and flamingoes.

Continue cruising across the vast Patagonian steppe until you reach the national park's entrance, surrounded by beech and oak forests. Here, amid a network of boardwalks and viewpoints, you'll be treated to your first glimpses of Perito Moreno. This expansive glacier flows down from the Andes over the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino, ending in a great wall that curves around the lake. At points, these walls reach 230 feet (70 m) high.

After marveling at the glacier from the boardwalks, you'll hop on a boat to see it up close. This nautical safari departs from the Puerto Bajo Las Sombras on the Rico arm of Lago Argentino. As you cruise toward the southern side of the glacier, you'll pass by icebergs floating in the water. Keep your camera ready, as once you get near the walls, you might see a chunk of ice breaking off and crashing into the water below (a process known as "calving"). At the end of the day, you'll transfer back to your hotel.

Day 9: Fly to Buenos Aires, Speakeasy Cocktail Tour

After a city tour of Buenos Aires, go behind closed doors to sample craft cocktails at its hidden speakeasies

Enjoy a thrilling 4WD adventure when you meet your private driver for a half-day safari on the famous Patagonian steppe. This vast, arid expanse of flatlands has seen its fair share of travelers, artists, and adventurers over the centuries. They're drawn to its quiet emptiness and rugged peacefulness, and you might get hooked, too.

Afterward, say goodbye to Patagonia and board a three-hour flight north to Buenos Aires, Argentina's chic and sophisticated capital. At the airport, a driver will pick you up for the ride to Palladio. This 5-star hotel is situated in the old-money enclave of Recoleta. The elegant rooms and suites here offer plush beds with luxurious linens, plus there's an outdoor pool with a sun deck and a spa offering bespoke treatments.

In the evening, you'll discover Buenos Aires' renowned nightlife scene with a privately guided jaunt around the chic, closed-door bars popping up throughout the city. These watering holes recreate the atmosphere of old-time speakeasies, and, over four hours, your insider guide will lead you on a pub crawl to some of the best. At each one, you'll sample handcrafted cocktails featuring spirits beloved by locals, like Fernet and Campari. No need to worry about sober driving because when the last drink has been imbibed, you'll return to the hotel via taxi.

Day 10: MNBA & MALBA Museums Tour, Depart Buenos Aires

Private Buenos Aires Art Tour - MNBA & MALBA Museums
See incredible works of Latin American and international art at two of Buenos Aires' finest museums

The journey concludes with a bit of culture on a private tour of two exciting museums. First is the National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA). Located just a few blocks from your hotel in Recoleta, it houses a vast collection of 11,000 pieces, including canvases, sculptures, tapestries, engravings, drawings, and more. It also features a small but precious European art collection, with works by Corot, Manet, Boudin, Cézanne, Renoir, and Rodin. The tour primarily focuses on Argentine art, with pieces by Morel, Pueyrredón, López, Sívori, De la Cárcova, Fader and Quiroz, among others.

Later, you'll transfer to Palermo to visit the state-of-the-art Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires (MALBA). The modern space is devoted to the collection, conservation, study, and exhibition of Latin American art from the early 20th century to the present. Artists in the permanent exhibition include Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Antonio Berni, Pedro Figari, Xul Solar, and Guillermo Kuitca. After finishing at MALBA, you'll meet your driver for the transfer to the airport and your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Luxury Chilean Lake Crossing & Argentine Patagonia - 10 Days
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