Join our fantastic, fully-supported Chile Lake district bike and walk tour.

This adventure cycling and walking  holiday in the Lake District of Chile features great cycling and can be tailored to your exact riding level.

Designed for the energetic, this mountain bike and walking adventure takes you through Chile’s varied landscapes.

We cycle through the Lake District and alongside fiords, through ancient forests and hike in Chilean rainforest.

Much of the terrain is gravel road and country lanes, pretty much free of car traffic, on this beautiful route designed for keen cyclists and walkers.

More on Chile Lakes Bike Walk Tour

A day in the saddle is between 20-70 kms/12-43 miles a day, depending on the group’s abilities and the terrain. There are some steep ascent and descents on volcanoes, guided all the way.

We can tailor the cycling to your needs – be it a shorter 4, 5 or 6 day bike tour, longer or shorter days, and we offer daily departures.



Trip Highlights

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  • Great descents among the volcanoes, forests and fjords of Chile.

  • Choose your own adventure - from entry to top level riding.

  • Vehicle support all the way, with English-speaking guides.

  • Waterfalls, mountains views and hot springs to enjoy.

I would certainly recommend your company to anyone looking to plan a holiday in South America.

T. Horton

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Pick up from airport/hotel in Puerto Montt, drive to Puerto Varas, hotel (B)

You are met at the airport or your hotel in Puerto Montt and we drive you to Puerto Varas and your hotel. Mountain bikes provided for those who would like to limber up on a local ride.

In the evening, we gather to discuss our coming adventure over a cocktail at a local restaurant in Puerto Varas.

Day 2: Drive to National Park Alerce Andino for trek. Return to Puerto Varas, hotel (B,L)

We drive south through Perto Montt, the local capital and principal southern port of the region. We continues along the Carretera Austral next to the ocean before we arrive at the National Park Alerce Andino.

Alerce Andino Park is almost 40,000 hectares in size, making it the largest surviving Valdivian Rainforest in the world. Here survives many native Alerce trees – a giant coniferous tree distantly related to the redwoods of California. The largest are many centuries old.

We also pass through dense and varied vegetation on the trail before we return to Puerto Varas for the evening. (12 km, 8 miles trekking).

Day 3: Mountain bike from Puerto Varas to Lago Llanquihue. Transfer to Volcan Osorno mountain hut (B,L,D)

We wake early and depart from Puerto Varas by mountain bike along the shore of Lago Llanquihue. The snow capped volcanoes of the Andes grow steadily larger as we ride along the lakeshore towards them.

In Ensenada we hop board our support vehicle and travel uphill to the Mountain Lodge on the slopes of Volcan Osorno. After lunch on the lower slopes of the volcano, we spend the afternoon hiking on the surface of the volcano’s sculpted lava and snowfields.

We stay in a cozy mountain hut some 1,300m/4,265ft above seal level. With luck, we’ll enjoy a colourful sunset over Lake Llanquihue and Volcan Calbuco.

Biking: 45-65km / 28-40 miles (support vehicle at all times).

Hiking: 5-8km / 3-5 miles.

Day 4: Trek to Lake Llanquihue. Bike to Cascadas, to canyon and waterfall, transfer to Ensenada, waterfront cabins (B,L)

We are greeted by breathtaking morning views as we hike downhill on the slopes of Volcan Osorno to the edge of Lake Llanquihue.

After lunch, we bike or drive to the Ruca Chalhuafe Lodge, enjoying wonderful views of the Calbuco and Lake Llanquihue on the way. We enter the sleepy hamlet of Cascadas – and after lunch we hike to a spectacular canyon and its waterfall.

We return by support vehicle to Ensenada and overnight in cabins on the waterfront.

Biking: 35km / 22 miles (Support vehicle at all times)

Hiking: 3km / 2 miles

Day 5: Cycle to Petrohue, short boat ride then raft to beach for lunch, return to Ensenada cabins (B,L)

Depending on how we’re feeling, we can drive or cycle to Petrohue and visit the waterfalls there.

It is a short boat ride then hike to the start to meet up with our rafts – then it is rapids all the way down to our beach lunch spot. We return to Ensenada and our cabins for the night.

Day 6: Bike to Reloncavi Fiord, hot springs of Ralun. Return to Puerto Varas, hotel (B,L)

We will see the Pacific today as we cycle south to the Reloncavi Fiord. Our high points on the route afford us views of the largest ocean on the planet as we weave between the rustic farms of Northern Patagonia. It is possible to see dolphins on certain parts of the ride.

Late afternoon, we enjoy the hot springs of Ralun, relaxing after an adventurous day in the saddle. We then return to Puerto Varas and our hotel.

Biking: 45km/28 miles

Day 7: Transfer to Puerto Montt airport for your return flight (B)

We transfer you to Puerto Montt airport for your return flight.

(or extend your trip… just ask)


Prices From $1,500 / £1,200 per person

Enquire about booking

What's Included?

Bikes, helmets and gloves, accommodation (private rooms only in Puerto Varas and Ensenada. Osorno Mountain Lodge offers triple or quadruple rooms.), English-speaking guide, meals as indicated, support vehicle, white water rafting trip and equipment, excursions as listed, transfers.

What's Not Included?

Domestic or international flights (please ask for prices), insurance, tips, meals not indicated, personal items, soft or alcoholic drinks.


Accommodation

Hotels, cabins and huts, all with en-suite bathroom. Upgrades available at extra cost.

Tour Staff

Our bilingual, English-speaking mountain bike and walking guides have many years’ experience riding and walking the trails in this region.

We use locally-run hotels and local support staff throughout the tour.


Meals

Almost all dietary requirements can be catered for  – please ask.

You usually wake early, around 07.00-08.00. Your meals are prepared and served to you in the hotels/cabanas etc, and will be a mix of hot drinks, cereals, fruits and toast with jams.

After breakfast, packs are prepared and your guide will explain the day’s activity, and you typically cycle/trek 3-4 hours in the morning before lunch, with a short or break or two en route.

Lunch will be either sandwiches or meat and cheese with crackers, with fruits etc available on trips from hotels and shops.

After an hour or so for lunch – depending on weather conditions – you will continue, usually 3-4 hours more, although some days are shorter or longer than others, and then relax before dinner.

Most evening meals are not included. International and Chilean cuisine will be available.

Activity Level

This trip is aimed at those who are regular cyclists and walkers and have a degree of biking experience, some moderately difficult sections, but nothing a confident cyclist cannot achieve.

Distances of between 20-40km per day, and with this level of fitness you will be able to complete the other activities. The trip is active and fun without aiming to decimate you.

There is a support vehicle with you at most times when riding – not all areas are accessible by road – and your guide is with you on all activities.

There is no high altitude to worry about on this tour.

Enquire about booking

Practical Information

An introduction to Chile

Chile is the land of contrasts, from verdant vineyards to driest desert, deep fjords and towering glaciated volcanoes.

A narrow but incredibly long, snake-like country, Chile’s unusual geography features more than 5,000km of South Pacific Ocean coast. The country is almost 4,400km long but barely more than 160km at its widest.

It is best divided into general regions, all of which offer spectacular landscapes and identities of their own.

This variety means Chile is the land where almost every activity is possible. Hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking.

Or climbing, cruising, fishing, horse riding, wine tasting.

Or simply eating great food, relaxing and exploring.

Geography of Chile

Patagonia

Trekking heaven. Paine National Park lies in Patagonia and features some of the best trekking in South America. With no altitude worries here, hikers enjoy an unrivalled mix of access to wild flora and fauna that exists in this massif. It is at once windswept, and then balmy. Paine National Park is a must see for walkers visiting South America.

Northern Patagonia is the least densely populated part of the country – spectacular virgin scenery make this a hidden gem and superb area for trekking, boating and horse riding.

And that’s before you think about possibly cruising through fjords, or kayaking them, flying to Antartica or staying at a working hacienda.

Easter Island

Iconic, Easter Island is an archaeological treasure. Here you will find the famous Moai stone statues, as well as caves and rocks decorated with etched petroglyphs and painted pictographs.

 

Northern Chile

Northern Chile features the Atacama, the driest desert with the clearest skies in the world, is alive with active volcanoes replete with spitting geysers mixed with archaeological wonders and fantastic rock formations.

Central Chile is the heart of Chile and includes the capital Santiago. With its Mediterranean climate of hot dry summers and mild wet winters, this central valley produces some of South America’s finest wines, Colchagua Valley to name but one.

Here, the Andean mountain chain soars more than 6,000m above sea level. Chile’s traditional symbols such as huaso (cowboy) and cueca (national dance) originate here, an area which is rich in agriculture and produces most of Chile’s export fruit.

In winter, skiers are attracted to this tasting the promise of some fabulous snow on the huge peaks which overlook Santiago.

Southern Chile and the Lake District

Lush and verdant, The Lake District area is the place to climb snow-capped volcanoes by day while relaxing next to stunning glacial lakes by evening. You can walk, bike, raft, cruise and drive your way around this beautiful region.

Central, southern and Patagonia Andes all present different challenges to mountaineers and trekkers. Options are varied in the central Andes with many of the Patagonian peaks remaining unexplored and unsummitted.

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

Book with Andean Trails and get 15% off Páramo’s fantastic ethical and high performance outdoor gear.

 

Overview

We provide everything except a bike, personal equipment and clothing.

 

During the day hopefully it will be generally sunny enough for shorts and T-shirts though having a fleece and rain gear handy is advisable. It can and will get cold, especially in the evenings so bring a warm fleece jacket, a good waterproof and some warm clothes including thermal underwear, gloves, scarf and woolly hat as well as one set of smarter clothes for cities.

Below is a more detailed guide.

 

Detailed kit list – clothing

  • Cycle gloves and helmet.
  • Medium weight parka or a down jacket.
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers. The jacket needs to be water proof and roomy. Side-zip pants are recommended.
  • 2-3 long-sleeve shirts – no cotton
  • 2-3 short-sleeve cycle shirts – no cotton
  • 2 pair of hiking trousers- cotton or synthetic material (no jeans)
  • 1 fleece or sweat trousers (for cold evenings)
  • 2-3 pairs shorts.
  • 2-3 pairs padded cycling shorts.
  • Long thermals – synthetic or wool – light to medium weight top & bottoms.
  • 2-3 mid-weight (wool or synthetic) socks.
  • 2-3 liner socks if needed
  • Athletic-type socks, several pairs, city use
  • Running/tennis shoes or sandals are very comfortable when you are off the bike.
  • 1 lightweight wool sweater or windproof fleece
  • 1 wool or synthetic warm hat for evenings.
  • Cycling hat.
  • Sunglasses with UV filter.
  • Bandanna – to protect neck from strong sun.

 

Biking

  • Bike bag/box (if bringing own bike).
  • Large holdall/rucksack (80-90 litres) for main luggage.
  • Small daypack (25-20 litres).
  • Water bottles / camel-bak.
  • SPDs pedals / shoes / toe clips.
  • Basic repair kit: pump, spare inner tubes and brake pads (we provide a general toolkit on all trips, but please bring any specialist spare parts for your bike with you i.e spokes etc.)

 

Personal

  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, anti-biotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Sunscreen (factor 30+) and lip salve.
  • Head-lamp (plus spare bulb and batteries).
  • Penknife.
  • Travel alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags – ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other to help pass the time.
  • Binoculars.
  • Spanish/English phrasebook.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.

 

Miscellaneous others

  • Money belt.
  • Passport.
  • U.S. dollars cash, mixed-denomination notes, undamaged and unmarked.
  • ATM cash/credit card.
  • Any inoculation certificates.
  • Personal & medical insurance certificates.
  • Presents e.g. Postcards from home.
  • Comfortable clothes for travel, smart clothes for night life.

Quick facts about Chile

 

Official name: Republic of Chile

Country population: 17,000,000

Capital city: Santiago (6 million)

Largest cities: Santiago, Concepcion, Valparaiso

Languages: Spanish (official)

Official currency: Chilean Peso

Major industries: Copper mining, agriculture, fish

Time zone: GMT-5 in winter (Mar-Sep) and GMT-4 in summer (Sep-Mar)

Chile Festivals

February 

Festival: Festival de la Cancion Viña del Mar 

International song festival  

Location: Viña del Mar

 

1st two weeks of February 

Festival: Tapati 

Culture, dance, music, song , sport 

Location: Easter Island 

 

July

Festival: Carnaval de Invierno      

Street parade with floats celebrating mid winter 

Location: Punta Arenas  

 

July 16

Festival: Fiesta  de La Tirana     

Religious festival – culture, mass dance parades 

Location: La Tirana, Atacama  

 

September 18

Festival: Independencia 

Independence day – celebration of Chilean culture – various activities 

Location: Country wide 

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

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