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Trekking Chile:
Pioneer Culture “Trail of the Lakes”

Patagonia Pioneer Culture is met on the “Trail of the Lakes, a 2 to 4 day trek back in time, that few people will ever have a chance to experience. The trail wanders around lakes, rivers and over a pass with an overlook of the snow capped mountains and glaciers. We will visit small remote working ranches, outposts, and settlements without roads and off the grid in Patagonia, Chile. Each night we stay at a different ranch, with bed and linens and prepared meals. For the bigger trips a pack horse will carry your lunch, personal gear, but you can pack light. The accommodations are rustic country but, clean, ordered, and cozy. Our Chilean hosts are selected by Expediciones Chile to ensure a clean frontier service. Your hosts will not speak English. You guide will be Chilean with some English. This is the time for Cultural and language immersion. They look forward to the few visitors they get at the remote homesites. Hearty meals served while sitting around a farmer's wood stove will give you a peak at the rare Patagonian way of life. Here life is similar to the frontier days of the American west over 100 years ago. The cultural and natural experience cannot be matched anywhere. This is the REAL DEAL. It is an insider's look at Patagonia and its people. This cultural journey could alter your life’s perspective. For a family this is a true education for your kids to see another way of life.

(1 min 22 sec)
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Day by Day:

Day 1 Friday: Depart your hometown
Overnight flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Day 2 Saturday: Travel to Trevelin, Argentina in Patagonia
Welcome to the warmth of summer in the Southern Hemisphere with an early arrival in Buenos Aires. Change airports with a taxi or shuttle bus and catch another flight to Esquel, Argentina. Taxi 45 minutes to Trevelin, Argentina, a charming mountain village just 45 minutes from the border and from the Futaleufu River in Chile. If you prepay, ExChile can meet all of your transportation needs until we pick you up at the Argentine-Chilean border the following day. Check into the Casa de Piedra hotel and walk to one of several Argentine restaurants with the Chilean Andes in view. Unwind, relax, and get a good night’s sleep before the start of your trip the next morning.

Day 3 Sunday: Village of Futaleufu to Remote Lago Las Rosas

After a relaxing night's sleep at a hotel in the quaint Welsh town of Trevelin, deep in Argentinian Patagonia, we begin this exciting trip with a taxi to the Chilean-Argentine border, where an ExChile representative meets you. We are now in the Futaleufu Valley. After you clear customs, your ExChile trip officially starts. Upon arrival in Futaleufu, we will meet your guides and gear up for an exciting cultural adventure in the remote Patagonian wilderness. We will start at the trailhead 15 minutes outside the village. Here at the Noreste valley we climb up a steep incline to a higher valley with a series of pristine turquoise lakes. You will experience incredible views with the peak Cerra Teta in the background. We arrive at a small off the grid ranch on Lago las Rosas where you will spend the night. This is a cultural opportunity that could well be a highlight of your trip to Patagonia. Enjoy the Patagonian culture as few ever do.

Day 4: Monday: Lago Las Rosas to the Upper Espolon River
We will depart early in the morning for our trek from the ranch crossing a pure crystal clear creek coming from the high Andes that defines the border with Argentina. After we cross the footbridge we walk uphill through a old growth forest up to a pass that gives us a stunning view of the mountains and lakes. We descend into the upper Espolon valley and continue up the Espolon river to our host Sergio. His ranch on a hill would be a perfect setting for a castle but it is a humble remote rustic homestead with a regal view.

Day 5: Tuesday: Trek to the shore of Lago Espolon
Today we ride past the small settlement of Espolon visiting the off the grid school and a small church surrounded by remote ranches. We soon arrive at the Espolon lake which we will see through the woods occasionally as we ride. At the end of the day we stop at a remote homestead half way down the lake.

Day 6: Wednesday: Trek from the cabins to the end of the Lake and the waterfall
From the homestead on the lake we have a 6 hour trek to the end of the lake. Where we can visit the powerful waterfalls that define the exit of the lake. We then hike back to the village of Futaleufu along the Espolon river. We arrive in the late afternoon around 6 pm. You will have a little bit of time to change clothes and to take a small tour of Futaleufu. We make our way toward the border where your taxi awaits to take you to your hotel in Trevelin. Your trip officially ends at the border. Check into your hotel, take a shower, and change clothes before enjoying your last night in Patagonia. There are a handful of outstanding and reasonably priced restaurants in Trevelin that we can recommend. Relax, recover, and look back on the exciting week of rafting before heading home the following morning.

Day 7: Thursday: Return to Capital City

You wake up in Argentina, where you can eat breakfast and relax before you take a taxi from your hotel to the airport in Esquel. Return to Buenos Aires, change airports, and board your international flight home.

Day 8: Friday: Return home.


Remote Ranches

Eco Camp Campo Tres Monjas

Condor Nest Ranch   

Price and Departure Dates

Length of Trip: 4 Active Days
Price 1 Guest Private: 3,995 USD per Guest
Price 2 Guests trip: 2,195 USD per Guest
Price 4 Guests or More: 1,695 USD per Guest

Activity Calendar


Your described itinerary, guiding, instruction, specialized equipment, and all transportation from your trip pick up point to your trip drop off point, all accommodation (RiverNest Cabins are double occupancy), all meals, and wine with dinner.

To see the gear that we provide, please check the packing list of your activity.

Not Included

All pre and post-trip enroute transportation, food, and hotel(s).

Once you are on an ExChile trip, you should incur no extra expenses unless you’d like laundry services, massages, gifts, or alcohol beyond what is included.
If you would like to add multisport activities that are not listed as options on your itinerary, we are happy to cater to your wishes, though these activities may be subject to an additional charge. These are Fly Fishing / Horseback Riding / Canyoning.


Weather and River Flow: ExChile will work to make your trip a total success, though your trip itinerary may vary based on unforeseen circumstances related to weather, river levels, or to other unpredictable variables. Given that the weather in Patagonia and the water level of the Rio Futaleufu can change, some runs may be dangerous at certain points in time. However, our experienced guide staff will work closely with you to determine the optimal substitute option, if relevant. If you have any concerns, please feel free to reach out to ask us more about potential risks and options.

Transportation: Expediciones Chile and G & G Travel and Tours are not financially responsible for travel complications associated with arriving at your trip pick-up point or returning home from the trip drop-off point. However, we will be your relentless ally 24/7 in offering our influence to help solve any issues that you may encounter en route. This is our part of the world and we are very well connected. Our clients provide significant business for the transportation services that we recommended, and they know that we aggressively represent our guests in finding solutions while they are en route to ExChile trips. We also recommend purchasing travel insurance.

Experience Needed: None (Though it is always helpful)
Physical Challenge: High
Season: December to March
Cultural Experience: The highest possible
Nature Experience: Very high
Comfort Rating: Remote Ranches
Max Trip Size: 8
Min Trip Size: 4
Region Visited: Remote Patagonia - Chile (Futaleufu) and Argentina (Trevelin)
Lakes, rivers, and sites: Rio Futaleufu, Rio Azul, Rio Espolón, Lago Lonconao, Lago Espolón. Lago Rosas, Lago Pinto.
Rafting Chile Trip Calendar Trip Itinerary
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How to get to and From Patagonia (interactive)

Our Recommended Route (Through Esquel, Argentina ; Taxi to Futaleufu)

Executive Option (Through Puerto Montt, Chile ; Charter directly to Futaleufu)

Transit through Chile (Through Puerto Montt and Chaiten, Chile ; Public bus to Futaleufu)

How to organize your en route in one step: We recommend contacting Gilda (G & G Travel and Tours) who can help arrange all en route transportation and pre- and post-trip hotels for your ExChile trip. Give her a call to compare prices, as she often beats internet fares.

Enroute Hotels

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Other Trekking Chile options include: Trekking Patagonia in the Futaleufu Valley Lodge , Trekking Chile's Route of the Cowboys, Torres del Paine Trekking Tours , FitzRoy Trekking Vacations . We also offer two weeklong Futaleufu, Cerro FitzRoy and Torres del Paine combination trips: Trekking in Patagonia: Torres del Paine and Futaleufu Combo , Chile Trekking: Trekking FitzRoy & Futaleufu Combo , Patagonia Trekking: Trekking in Torres del Paine & FitzRoy. For further information see our Trekking in Chile FAQ


Expediciones Chile Contact

Adventure Travel in Chile, Rafting Patagonia Adventure Travel in Chile. Rafting in Chile & Argentina Rafting Torres del Paine W and FitzRoy trekking.

Traveling in Chile & Patagonia Information on traveling in Patagonia Chile. Secrets of Patagonia Tour on our website. Air Tickets.Patagonia Travel Information

Rafting in Chile Whitewater rafting in Chile. Rafting from our weatherproof Futaleufu lodge and our comfortable whitewater eco camp.Chile Rafting on the Futaleufu
Weather in Patagonia Information about the weather in Patagonia Climate in Chile & Argentina. Weather forecasts.
Sea Kayaking in Chile Go Sea Kayaking in Chile from the Andes to the Ocean on Lago Yelcho. Fjords, hotsprings, extinct volcanos, temperate rainforest. Experience the Glaciers and Fjords of Tierra del Fuego. Raft Guide School Thinking about a rafting guide job on the Futaleufu? Check out our whitewater guide school & swiftwater rescue training course.
Fly Fishing in Chile and Argentina Go fly fishing in Chile from our ranch or lodge in Chilean Patagonia. Fly fishing trips on Lago Yelcho. Fly fishing trips on Rio Grande.Patagonia Fly Fishing
Custom EcoTours in Chile Custom ecotours through Chile’s Patagonia and the Futaleufu valley that include bird watching and nature treks.

Kayak School Learn the eskimo kayak roll at our kayak school. Receive world class kayak instruction from our paddling school in Patagonia Chile South America.

Group Conferences in Patagonia Checkout our large group, instructional and corporate team building programs offered every year.
Futaleufu Information Information About the Futaleufu River in Patagonia Chile. Futaleufu guidebook of river sections. Ex Chile Travel Agent Info Information on traveling in Chile. Travel agent discounts and commissions. Low Cost fares to Chile and within Chile.

Patagonia Horseback Riding Patagonia horseback riding vacations and holidays with genuine Huasos & Corralero Horses.

Honeymoon Cabin Our Condor Nest Ranchito is the perfect honeymoon cabin located beneath the Tres Monjas towers.
Kayak Chile Whitewater Kayak in the spectacular Patagonia Andes. Kayak Chile whitewater from our spectacular kayak eco camp. Kayak Hostel, Kayak Lodging Kayak Futaleufu and Kayak Pucon, Kayak Chile. Office Internship Jobs Office internships and employment opportunities in rafting, kayaking and fly fishing & adventure travel office.
Canyoning Chile canyoning and rappelling day added on to your custom trip. Chilean Culture Immersion Experience genuine Chilean Cultural Immersion on our adventure travel horseback riding and trekking vacations.
Patagonia Mountain Biking Experience a genuine Chile Mountain Biking through Chilean Patagonia and Argentina. Rafting en el Río Futaleufú con las mejores aguas blancas de clase mundial (5,4,3,). Kayak de mar, mountain biking, cabalgatas, sit-on-top kayaking canyoning, caminatas, pesca con mosca y mucho más aventuras podrás encontrar en el corazón de la patagonia Chilena, y desde el confort de nuestro nativo y caluroso Hotel. Rafting en el Río Futaleufú en Español.
Expediciones Chile has been running adventure travel trips in Patagonia since 1985. Try rafting Chile on the Futaleufu river. Trekking Patagonia in Torres del Paine, Cerro Fitz Roy and Los Glaciares National Parks. Sea kayaking Patagonia from the Andes to the Ocean or take lessons at a world class paddling school. Kayak Futaleufu whitewater from our kayak eco camp. Mountain biking in Patagonia wilderness. Earn a swiftwater rescue certification on the Futaleufu river. Fly fishing Chile and Argentina on the famous Lago Yelcho. Snow Skiing in Chile & Argentina. Eco tours and yoga travel vacations. Information about weather Patagonia, Patagonia travel and maps of Chile on our website.

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