About the Trip
Operated by AWE & local partner Chulengo Expeditions, acting as both a local leader and AWE Expedition leader.
Elevate your backpacking skills amidst the breathtaking landscapes of South America. This challenge is tailor-made for those seeking both adventure and skill advancement.
Over the 9-day journey, immerse yourself in the intricacies of international backpacking logistics while forging meaningful connections with the land and the expedition. Travel from Coyhaique and back, indulging in the captivating allure of Patagonia National Park—a true marvel of nature and the surrounding country. Join us for an experience that combines skill-building with the splendor of exploration.
About Patagonia National Park
As visitors venture into Patagonia National Park, they encounter a landscape shaped by conservation and restoration efforts. Towering peaks, glacier-fed rivers, and diverse wildlife paint an evolving canvas of wilderness reclaimed. Hiking trails wind through ancient forests, offering glimpses of stunning vistas. The park’s narrative, intertwined with Tompkins Conservation legacy, adds a layer of significance and draws attention to its unique journey of rewilding.
The serene tranquility of Patagonia National Park is punctuated by the thunderous rush of waterfalls and the crystal-clear waters of emerald lakes. Hiking along winding rivers or marveling at majestic glaciers reveals the park’s dynamic beauty and ecological importance. Coyhaique and the surrounding Aysen Region promise visitors an unforgettable journey through landscapes shaped by conservation, where the beauty of nature meets the resilient spirit of restoration.
Participants must be in good physical condition. Previous hiking experience is required. Previous backpacking experience is highly recommended but not required.
Trip duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Max group size: 8 guests & 2 guides
All reservations require a $500 deposit at the time of signup; balance of expedition fees typically comes due in two installments 60 and 90 days prior to departure. Ask us about flexible payment plans to space out payments further.
All of our expeditions kick off with a welcome dinner on Day 1. Please plan to arrive at your destination by mid-afternoon of Day 1, with plenty of time to clear immigration and customs and/or check into your hotel prior to meeting your teammates for the welcome dinner, which typically starts around 7pm local time. If you are flying in for an international expedition, your flights should land no later than 5pm local time.
Day 1: Arrival in Coyhaique, Chile. Transfer to Coyhaique, group dinner. (Meals: D)
Day 2: Travel to Jeinimeni trailhead, gear check, trek along Lago Jeinimeni, camp. (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 3: Continue trek across Patagonia, camp at Refugio Valle Hermoso. (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 4-5: Refugio Valle Hermoso to Aviles Valley, camp beneath peaks. (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 6: Journey to Chacabuco Valley, celebratory dinner at Westwinds Campground. Overnight: Aguas Calientes Hotel (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 7: Optional day hikes with incredible views, evening in Puerto Guadal. Overnight: Hotel (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 8: Scenic road trip along Carretera Austral, transfer to Coyhaique. Overnight: Hotel (Meals: B/L/D)
Day 9: Departure
The last official business for all of our adventures is the final team dinner on the expedition’s penultimate day. While your expedition fee includes a hotel stay after the final team dinner, you may make departure plans for any time after 12:01am on the indicated departure day, including red-eye departures.
All itineraries are subject to change based on weather, team condition, and local logistics.
You will receive a detailed packing list in your expedition handbook after reserving your spot on this expedition. The main items excluding most clothes and personal items:
- Backpacking tent / shelter - reach out to us for renting options!
- 40l+ backpack
- 20 degree (F) sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Trekking poles
- Trekking shoes
- Backpacking attire including
- Warm layer (down jacket)
- Wind/water-proof jacket
A broad selection of rental gear is available through national brands such as REI or Kit Lender.
- Airport transfers in Chile
- Hotel accommodation in Chile (2 nights), double occupancy
- Meals listed in the itinerary
- Professional local Chulengo guide as the AWE expedition leader
- All group cooking & food related gear (stoves, fuel, pots, water storage, cooking implements)
- Maps & GPS
- First aid supplies (although feel free to bring your own specialized supplies)
- On-trail real-time GPS tracking and communications
- Entrance fee to Patagonia National Park
- Flights to/from Chile
- Meals not listed in the itinerary
- Gratuities for expedition leader and local guides & staff
- Personal trekking gear including hiking boots, backpack, sleeping bag, and trekking poles
- Personal medications
- Sodas & alcoholic beverages
- Personal trekking snacks (such as bars, trail mix or beef jerky) for on-trail sustenance
- Medical, travel, and rescue insurance
- Single supplement -- contact us to discuss availability and pricing
- How fit do I have to be? This is a moderate to advanced backpacking adventure, but without the complexity of altitude or severe elevation gain. You have to be able to comfortably hike 10-12 miles on with 3,000ft+ of ascent (and not feel utterly exhausted at the end of it) in order to enjoy this hike. For more training recommendations, reach out to our team.
- How difficult is the route? Each individual day is a moderate-to-challenging hiking with a significant amount of elevation gain. However, we can be flexible to a degree and plan our days as we feel fit to hike as a team.
- How much weight will I have to carry? You'll need to carry your personal gear and your share of group gear (food, cooking, first aid supplies) of about 5-10 lbs. Depending on how efficiently you pack, you'll likely be looking at ~40-45 lbs.
- How many miles will we hike each day? Daily mileage ranges from 3-10 miles, with anywhere between 1,000 and 3,000ft of ascent.
- Is traveling in Chile safe? Mostly, yes. Chile has a lower murder and overall crime rate than the US, yet make sure to take standard safety precautions - don't leave your belongings unattended. You'll find that South America is overall very welcoming and tourist-friendly.