This scenic independent, excursion based adventure combines a melting pot of Germanic, Spanish, Mapuche and Chiloten cultures, with bewitching scenery and extraordinary wildlife. Join guided day tours from Puerto Varas and Castro to explore this contrasting, laid back region and immerse yourself in one of Chile’s most up and coming tourist destinations.
Visit ‘Vicente Perez Rosales’ Chile’s first designated National Park, which boasts the beautifully symmetrical Osorno Volcano, along with the picture perfect Petrohue Falls. Then transfer to the island of Chiloe, where the architecture, traditions, landscape and people are remarkably different. Here you will see whole towns built on stilts over bodies of muddied water, UNESCO ratified churches and, depending on the season, huge colonies of playful Humboldt and Magellanic penguins.
- Visit charmingly Germanic towns and villages
- Ascend Osorno Volcano by vehicle and look down over the landscape below
- Photograph the Petrohue Falls, with Osorno framed in the distance
- Stop at the famous colourful palafittes of Chiloe
- Take a boat trip to see penguins, sea lions, otters and cormorants
The itinerary is a suggestion only. We can tailor your holiday to suit your desired duration, interests, preferred level of activity and your allocated budget. Contact our team of specialists to discuss the many options.
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Itinerary & Accommodation
- Day 1: Fly to Puerto Montt and transfer to Puerto Varas
- Upon arrival, make the short journey to the nearby town of Puerto Varas where you will spend the next 2 nights. After dropping off your luggage at the hotel, take some time to explore this charmingly German feeling settlement or take part in one of the many optional activities on offer.
- Day 2: Osorno Volcano and Petrohue Falls
Today enjoy a day trip to Vicente Perez Rosales, Chile’s first designated National Park. Pass through the villages of La Poza and Los Riscos before reaching Ensenada, from where the vehicle will begin its ascent of the Osorno Volcano. Bearing many superficial similarities to Mount Fuji in Japan, Osorno is often cited as an example of a perfectly formed conical stratovolcano. It towers over 2,600 metres above sea level and is historically one of the most active in southern Chile, with 11 eruptions recorded between 1575 and the most recent in 1869. You will be taken as high as 1,240 metres, where, on sunny days, a mountain station affords stunning views over the surroundings.
After descending, the journey continues to Saltos del Rio Petrohue (the Petrohue Falls), where you can tread the boardwalks and watch how the river drops over large masses of crystalized lava, formed in a previous eruption event. The turquoise-blue waters make for beautiful photographs, particularly when framed with Osorno’s snowy peak in the background.
A final stop is made at Todos los Santos Lake, the source of the Petrohue River, before returning to Puerto Varas mid-afternoon. (Excursion duration is approx. 6 hours – lunch is included)
- Day 3: Puerto Varas - Chiloe and Castro tour
This morning, transfer to Pargua, from where you will take a short ferry ride (approx. 30 mins) across the Chacao Channel towards Chiloe. This island has a rich cultural history and its people take great pride in the customs and traditions that set it apart from the mainland.
Head straight for the capital of Castro where you can drop your luggage off at your accommodation for the next 2 nights and grab a bite to eat (not included), before joining a 4.5 hour (approx.) tour of Chile’s 3rd oldest city and its surrounds. Visit a farmers’ fair and a hillside lookout, then continue to the Ernesto Riquelme region which features many examples of the famous colourful palafittes (traditional wooden houses, built on stilts over water). Stops will also be made at several craft stores, perfect for souvenir shopping, along with a number of Churches, one of which was moved to its present site using the intriguing Chiloe tradition where villagers and their animals literally drag buildings from one location to another.
The nearby village of Dalcahue is notorious for its traditional shipyards, UNESCO ratified church, wood shingle houses, craft fairs and attractive eateries. Spend some time here before returning to your hotel in the evening.
- Day 4: Chiloe wildlife and nature
Join a full day excursion to experience Chiloe’s varied wildlife and nature. Begin with the Coipomo region where an eco-farm has been created with the intention of restoring the island’s agricultural biodiversity. The tour then continues past the Chepu River and its bordering forest landscapes, much of which sank significantly following the earthquake of 1960.
The next stop will be at Punihuil Bay, a secluded fishing village which acts as the gateway to 3 small islets which combine to form a unique ecosystem, perfect for the Magellanic and Humboldt penguins which make them their home (November to March only). Take a boat ride to visit the comical waddlers, as well as other marine species including otters, cormorants and sea lions.
Following the boat trip, visit the former ‘Convent of the Immaculate Conception’. This traditional church, now converted into a museum, houses information about the techniques used to build the many wooden structures of Chiloe with special interlocking joints, rather than nuts, bolts and nails.
Please Note: In April and October an alternative excursion will be taken in Chiloe National Park on the ‘Darwin Route' - contact us for details.
- Day 5: Castro - Puerto Montt
- Take the journey back across the Chacao Channel to Puerto Montt and fly back to Santiago or choose to stay in another part of this wonderfully diverse country.
Please note: This itinerary is a guideline only and is formed of a number of different group and private excursions. The schedule of activities may differ depending on availability and all options can be substituted, eliminated or added to (at time of booking), according to your preference. Extra flexibility is available when booking private excursions (at additional cost).
Museums throughout Chile are generally closed on Mondays and many tourist establishments may be shut or fully booked during National Holidays. Therefore please inform us of any key elements of your trip that hold particular importance to you, even if they are not being pre-booked, so that we can tailor your itinerary accordingly.
Puerto Chico Hotel - Puerto Varas
- Grade: Standard
- Type: Hotel
The Puerto Chico Hotel in Puerto Varas combines rustic f…
Hotel Bellavista – Puerto Varas
- Grade: Superior
- Type: Hotel
The 4 star Hotel Bellavista, located just one block from…
Casa Kalfu Hotel - Puerto Varas
- Grade: Standard
- Type: Hotel
The Casa Kalfu is a great value, quirky, homely hotel lo…
Tierra Chiloe Hotel - Castro
- Grade: Superior
- Type: Hotel
The Tierra Chiloe is a high-end spa hotel, built with an…
In addition to those listed, a large variety of alternative accommodation options are available for this holiday. Please contact us for further details.
ExcursionsIt is possible to pre-book a variety of excursions to supplement this holiday. While we highlight a range of these within the itinerary and/or on the excursions tab, there are often many more that can be selected. Contact our team of specialists for full details.
An opportunity to visit some of the extraordinary wildlife …
A visit to Chiloe's main cultural highlights
A must for any wildlife lover, this tour visits some of the…
Explore some of the towns that most showcase the Germanic i…
Visit the highlights of these two neighbouring German style…
Follow in Darwin's footsteps on this tour of some of Chiloe…
Prices & Dates
2018 Prices and Dates
Price from approximately £725 per person, based on twin-share standard accommodation
Departs daily, October - April (penguin & Ancud excursion November - March only, alternative excursion used at other times)
2 nights bed and breakfast accommodation at Kasa Kalfu Hotel (Puerto Varas) • 2 days bed and breakfast accommodation at Palafito 1326 Hotel (Castro) • Seat in coach (SIC) transfers as per itinerary, with exception of Puerto Varas to Castro transfer which is included but private • Ferry between the mainland and Chiloe (return) • SIC excursions as per itinerary, with exception of 'Penguin colony and Ancud' excursion or the 'Darwin Route' alternative which are both private - the from price given is inclusive of the 'Penguin colony and Ancud' excursion. The alternative is used in October and April and is slightly lower in price • English speaking guides during excursions • National Park fees
All airfares - we would be happy to assist with booking these • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Government arrival and departure taxes • Any accommodation/meals/drinks/land arrangements not mentioned in inclusions • Excess baggage charges • Telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • The discretionary gratuity at the end of excursions for guides and staff • Travel insurance
How to book
So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.
We will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.
Speak to a specialist: 1-844-584-0668Book this trip
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