This two-part trip will take you to Chile's Lake District and on a maritime expedition of the Patagonian fjords. Along the way, there'll be rafting on wild rivers and an abundance of wildlife to encounter — including sea elephants and penguins, humpback whales and albatrosses, cormorants and skuas. Over 12 days, get up-close to ancient glaciers and snowy mountains, visit pretty towns and islands, and see the best of Chile.  

Highlights

  • Go rafting on the Petrohué River
  • Swim in Chile's oldest and largest national park
  • See penguins on Chiloé Island
  • Cruise through the Strait of Magellan
  • Spot whales and ancient glaciers as you sail 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Go rafting on the Petrohue River  Puerto Varas
Day 2 Visit the lakes and volcanoes of Vicente Perez Rosales National Park Puerto Varas
Day 3 Visit the penguins on Chiloé Island Puerto Varas
Day 4 Travel to Punta Arenas Punta Arenas
Day 5 Board a ship and start sailing the Strait of Magellan At sea
Day 6 Visit Helado Glacier and Rupert Islet At sea
Day 7 Go to Aguila Glacier and kayak in Bahía Angelito At sea
Day 8 Explore Almirantazgo Sound At sea
Day 9 Encounter sea elephants and anchor down at Parry Fjord At sea
Day 10 Look for Magellan penguins At sea
Day 11 End your sailing trip then go to Punta Arenas Punta Arenas
Day 12 Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Go Rafting on the Petrohué River

Rafting in Chile's Lake District

Fly into Puerto Montt from Santiago de Chile and get ready to begin your 12-day adventure. First up — rafting on the Petrohué River. This is one of the most beautiful rivers in the south, and the rapids are a fun Class 3. As you rush along the water through Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, you'll see the volcanoes of Osorno, Calbuco, and Puntiagudo along the way. Spend the night at your hotel in Puerto Varas

Day 2: Visit the Lakes and Volcanoes of Vicente Perez Rosales National Park

Walking in Chile's Lake District

After breakfast, head to one of the largest lakes in South America — Lake Llanquihue, and get to know Vicente Perez Rosales. It's the biggest and oldest national park in the country and it's home to Saltos del Petrohué, a waterfall created by 19th-century volcanic eruptions and ancient glaciers. Then visit Lake Todos Los Santos, which is known for its volcanic stone beaches and brilliant blue (and swimmable!) waters.

Later, visit Osorno volcano and its viewpoint that sits 9,843 feet above sea level. From there you can see right across the valley to Lake Llanquihue, the Petrohué River, Calbuco volcano, and Mount Tronador. Later, head back to the city of Puerto Varas for the night. 

Day 3: Visit the Penguins on Chiloé Island

Chiloé Island

After breakfast, head to the island of Chiloé. As you take the ferry there across the Chacao Channel, look out for Chilean dolphins! They're some of the smallest in the world. The first stop on the island is Caulín Bay, where oysters are farmed and fishing is the main industry. Stop to eat delicious, fresh seafood here! Then, if it's the season, go look for the colony of penguins living in Puñihuil. It's the only place on the planet where Humboldt and Magellanic penguins nest next to each other. If there's time, also visit the pretty town of Castro where multi-colored buildings sit on stilts to withstand the high tide. Return to Puerto Varas for the night. 

Day 4: Travel to Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas

This morning, catch a flight to Punta Arenas in the south to begin the next part of your adventure. You'll stay overnight in town, and there'll be time before and after dinner to see the town's mansions from the wool boom and its charming old houses. 

Day 5: Travel through the Barbara Channel

The boat that'll take you into the Strait of Magellan

Leaving your hotel after breakfast, drive out to Punta Carrera in the Fort Bulnes area to board your boat for the day. Time to sail the Strait of Magellan towards Isla Carlos III in Francisco Coloane Marine Park

Day 6: Visit Helado Glacier and Rupert Islet around Carlos III Island

Glacial ice in Chile
Glacial ice in Chile

In the early morning, navigate through the Bárbara Channel towards Helado Glacier. Look out for whales as you go, and seabirds like skuas, petrels, and albatrosses overhead. During the night you'll continue sailing the Strait of Magellan towards De Agostini Sound.

Day 7: Visit Aguila Glacier and Kayak in Bahía Angelito

Southern Chile

Sailing through the night, the boat will enter the Magdalena Channel and Kyats Fjord. Traveling into De Agostini Sound around dawn, you'll get your first glimpses of Aguila Glacier. Visit the glacier after breakfast, and maybe even do a bit of kayaking in Bahía Angelito! Around midday, the boat will head towards Serrano Glacier where you'll stay for the night. 

Day 8: Explore Almirantazgo Sound and See Black-Browed Albatrosses

Penguins in Chile

This morning, visit Vergara Glacier. Then head into the Gabriel Channel, a stunning narrow crossing that leads into Almirantazgo Sound. From here, head towards Azopardo Bay where you can see a colony of black-browed albatrosses. Set anchor at Parry Fjord for the night. 

Day 9: Visit Sea Elephants and Anchor Down at Parry Fjord

Chile's penguins

What a day you're in for! Visit a colony of sea elephants in Jackson Bay, then a colony of albatrosses in the afternoon. Later on, set anchor at Parry Fjord to check out an amazing glacier surrounded by the high snowy peaks of the Darwin range.

Day 10: Visit Parry Fjord and Look for Magellan Penguins

Wildlife in the south of Chile

Visit Tuckers Isle to look for an amazing variety of birdlife, including the Magellan penguin, cormorants, and skuas. Later, head towards Fitton Bay to see yet another epic glacier.

Day 11: Travel through the Gabriel Channel then Leave the Boat for Punta Arenas

Kayaking in Chile

Early in the morning, navigate through Gabriel Channel. Sadly, it's time to disembark from your boating adventure. Happily, you'll be heading back to charming Punta Arenas for the night. 

Day 12: Departure

Views of Santiago de Chile

After breakfast at your accommodation, it's time to leave beautiful Punta Arenas for your flight to the Chilean capital of Santiago.  From there, it's up to you! Maybe it's time to head back home, or maybe you can squeeze in a few days of exploring this lively capital? 

Map

Map of Experience Chile's Patagonian Fjords and Lake District - 12 Days
Map of Experience Chile's Patagonian Fjords and Lake District - 12 Days