Ride / Rest day
17 / 4
Sealed / Dirt
70% / 30%
4,200 km / 2,625 mi
Chile & Argentina: Mythical Patagonia, dissected by the Andes, doesn't get more "end of the earth" than here
Legendary untamed Patagonia, a wild and isolated landscape that is a playground for intrepid 4x4 adventurers. Its wind-swept plains, glaciated mountain ranges, snow-capped peaks and turquoise lakes stretch for thousands of kilometres. Travel the mountainous fjord lands of the epic Carretera Austral, witness ice calving from still advancing Moreno Glacier, stay at authentic working estancias and revel in some of the finest scenery on earth at Torres Del Paine. If it's remote driving, worlds best scenery and experiencing true “end of the world” lifestyle then this is the 4WD adventure for you.
Dates and Pricing
3rd Nov 2024 to 24th Nov 2024
Adult Passenger / Compass Driven Vehicle
Driver & Toyota Hilux
Driver & Ford Ranger
Adult Passenger / Friends & Family
Child Passenger / Friends & Family
Day 1: Your Santiago airport transfer will take you directly to our joining hotel, ready for the early start tomorrow. Today you will meet your crew for your tour briefing and welcome dinner.
Day 2: We take a short, early morning, flight south to Puerto Montt, the gateway to Patagonia and the mighty Andes. We shall take possession of our vehicles and depart Puerto Montt, it won’t be long before we are into the wilderness and catching our first ferry across the Relocncavi Estuary, offering superb views of the wooded coastline of this beautiful fjord. Tonight, we stay in Hornopiren spectacularly located on the edge of the Hornopiren National Park.
Day 3: It’s a short drive today as we spend some time on ferries that form part of the Carretera Austral Road network, sailing between majestic fjords lined with forests. We exit the ferry at Caleta Gonzalo, beautifully located on the Reñihue fjord and the gateway to the Pumalin National Park, home to some of the most pristine wilderness areas left on earth, before arriving at Chaiten.
Day 4: Today's drive is yet more breathtaking than the last. We continue through Pumalin National Park, a landscape of lush forests, waterfalls, glaciers, snow-capped mountains, and jaw dropping beauty. We eventually reach Futaleufu located on the shore of the turquoise waters of the Rio Espolon.
Day 5: Today we continue south along the Carretera Austral through a landscape of endless forests and fjords. Tonight will be spent at the wonderful Puyuhuapi Lodge & Spa, spectacularly located on an island in a fjord and can only be accessed by a boat, it’s a real wilderness treat far from any settlement.
Day 6: Leaving the lodge behind we enter the rainforests of the Queulat National Park before a 3-hour return trek in to see the amazing Ventisquero Hanging Glacier, a glacier that towers above a rocky cliff and calves into the valley below. We spend the night at Coyhaique located in the shadow of Cerro McKay.
Day 7: Continuing along the Carretera Austral on a mix of paved and dirt roads we eventually reach the beautiful village of Puerto Rio Tranquilo beautifully located on the shores of the majestic Lago General Carrera, South Americas second largest lake. We spend the next two nights here allowing us to explore this breathtaking region.
Day 8: We will take a journey out onto Lago General Carrera to visit the remarkable rock formations and caves known as Capillas de Mármol or Marble Chapels. We can also drive the incredibly scenic Camino Exploradores out to the UNESCO listed Laguna San Rafael National Park or perhaps simply relax in the village for the day.
Day 9: Our first border crossing today as we cross the Andes into Argentina. The drive is yet another scenic overload that will see us endlessly stopping for photos and to take it all in. We are on the eastern, and much drier, side of the Andes now and hit the legendary Ruta 40 as we turn south before reaching the wonderful Telken Estancia, a still working sheep station in Argentinean Patagonia.
Day 10: The scenery now is utterly different from the “other” side of the Andes; we are now in a vast desertscape of yawning valleys dotted with remote estancias. We drive south on the Ruta 40 before reaching the wonderful, and authentic, Estancia La Angostura, where we will experience a superb Asado, or BBQ, done the traditional Argentine way.
Day 11: With the Andes to our right we travel south through an otherworldly sparse landscape of Patagonia’s eastern side of the Andes. We reach the village of El Chalten, spectacularly locationed under the towering Mt Fitzroy that forms part of the equally spectacular Los Glaciares National Park.
Day 12: A big day today as we return to Ruta 40 catching views along Lago Viedma and then driving south until we reach Lago Argentino where we shall turn toward the Andes again to visit the impossibly scenic Estancia Helsingfors with what will be some of the best mountain views on earth. We again return to Ruta 40 and spend the next two nights at El Calafate.
Day 13: Today we will visit one of Patagonia’s must see highlights the mighty Moreno Glacier. Standing on a boardwalk overlooking the face of the glacier and witnessing large chunks of ice calving into Lago Argentino is a jaw dropping experience. Described as the world’s most impressive glacier, we will take a boat out onto Lago Argentino to witness up close, as is possibly safe, this UNESCO listed glacial phenomenon.
Day 14: And it only gets better, today we leave Argentina and cross back into Chile before getting our first glimpses of possibly the most iconic image of Patagonia, the Torres del Paine National Park, the cinematic scenery will leave you in awe, it is virtually indescribable. We spend two nights here allowing a full day to explore the park.
Day 15: A full day will be spent amongst soaring mountains, golden pampas, iceberg littered lakes and the occasional guanaco as we drive the tracks that form part of this epic landscape. Weather permitting, the sunsets over the Torres del Paine is the stuff of dreams and possibly the most scenic day of the entire journey.
Day 16: Dragging ourselves away from Torres we skirt the shores of Last Hope Sound, via Puerto Natales, and with the Andes in our mirrors we drive east once again. We enter the vast pampas lands before reaching the Magellan Straits where we take a ferry, possibly accompanied by Magellan dolphins, to our overnight stay at Cerro Sombrero, a tiny village in the far south of Chile with a population of 680 people.
Day 17: We cross back into Argentina and drive on to the southernmost city on earth of Ushuaia, the end of the longest road on earth, The Pan American Highway that has its start in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Ushuaia is scenically located between the snow-capped Martial Ranges and the Beagle Channel. We spend 2 nights here allowing us time to further explore the region. This region has a wild remote feel about it and is the stepping off point for Antarctica cruises.
Day 18: We spend time today driving out and exploring the beautiful Tierra Del Fuego National Park and the very end of the Pan America Highway. This is a renowned landscape of jagged mountains, glacially formed valleys and Patagonian Forest. We can also enjoy a Beagle Channel Cruise, named after Darwin’s HMS Beagle, who sailed these waters in the 1831.
Day 19: A bit of backtracking today as we need to take the cars back into Chile. We again cross into Chile and stay one more night at the wonderfully remote Cerro Sombrero.
Day 20: Our final driving day will see us cross the Magellan Straits again and turn due south to Punta Arenas, a cosmopolitan city in the Chilean far south. After three weeks of remote wilderness adventure Punta Arenas will feel positively huge but located on the Magellan Straits it still retains that “last frontier” feel to it.
Day 21: It’s a flight back to Santiago today where we can celebrate our time being immersed in some of the most beautiful scenery on earth.
Departure Day: Spend a couple more days in Santiago or depart to your next destination, the choice is yours.
All accommodation is twin, double or family share, if you would like a single room there will be a single supplement:
US$ 1,640. Please note that you will be required to share bathrooms during your estancia stays.
Our 4x4s are insured and have a damage excess of US$ ???, you can reduce the excess by taking advantage of our Excess Reduction Policy: US$ 25 per day
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70% of this tour is on sealed roads. Some sections of pavement will be rough, potholed, and narrow with tall & damaged shoulders. Pavement
can end with no warning. While a lot of these roads are virtually empty some
traffic must be expected around the larger towns we visit.
30% of this tour is on dirt roads. Dirt tracks range from rough wheel tracks through rainforests and across lofty mountain passes with loose surfaces with some corrugations. On the Carretera Austral we should expect some roadworks and these roadworks can be muddy if it’s been raining. Tracks in some national parks can be narrow and other drivers might be absorbed by the scenery instead of driving! As with all dirt tracks, conditions change and the above is a guide only.
Tour Start: Santiago, Chile
Tour End: Santiago, Chile
It is early summer in Patagonia, so we should expect some beautiful sunny days. Average daily temperatures at this time of year around Puerto Montt range between 2° & 20°C (45° & 67°F). As we travel south the temperature may be slightly cooler and some rain could be expected in the rainforest regions of the Carretera Austral. Once we cross onto the eastern side of the Andes onto Ruta 40 strong winds can be expected and the temperature shall rise slightly.
- All drivers must have a valid driver’s license and at least two years driving experience.
- It is a requirement that all travelers have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.
4,200 km / 2,625 mi
Sealed / Dirt
70% / 30%
- 21 nights of accommodation
- Our accommodation ranges from small family run guest houses and estancia stays through to 4-star hotels.
- A flexible attitude is needed as standards are not always what we are accustomed to.
- All accommodation is on a twin, double or family share basis. If you are traveling alone we will pair you up with another solo traveler. However, if you prefer single accommodation, a single supplement is available: US$ 1,640.00
- Estancia stays will have shared bathroom facilities.
- On every day of the tour, we include breakfast: 21
- On mentioned travel days we provide a picnic lunch that we
prepare ourselves from our mobile kitchen or at a local restaurant: 15 Lunches
- We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants & estancias we have used many times before: 15 Dinners
Seating Capacity on our tour: 4 (1 driver & 3 passengers)
The "unbreakable" Hilux is a legendary 4x4 dual cab, unmatched in its popularity around the world. This vehicle is ideally suited to Patagonian, with a little comfort thrown in.
Seating Capacity on our tour: 4 (1 driver & 3 passengers)
Enjoy driving this luxurious 4WD through Patagonia. This is an ideal vehicle for the terrain experienced in Patagonia.
We had an absolute cracker of a trip and really appreciated the effort your team over there put in. The whole operation worked really well and the tour was everything promised and more.
Accidents happen, luggage is lost and tour or flight cancellations can occur, so it is our policy that all participants of Compass Expeditions tours have an appropriate level of travel insurance to cover the unforeseen. This is not only compulsory when joining our tours, but it makes sense.
If choosing your own insurance – for motorcycle tours it is crucial the insurance policy you choose will offer a policy for riding a motorcycle OVER 250cc (including our bikes). This is a critical point to ensure when purchasing a policy.
Our experienced In-house travel team are happy to help with getting you the right insurance for your tour and for any other travel you might be doing before or after. Contact our in-house travel team.