Rafting, Rio Petrohue, Puerto Varas, Chile, BirdsChile
5.0
| 3 reviews

Hike, Raft and Kayak in Chilean Patagonia

9 nights
Moderate

Paddle and trek in Los Lagos, an untamed Andean wonderland of lakes, volcanoes, forests and fjords in the unexplored north of Patagonia

What's Included?

Activities & Certified Guides

All itinerary activities with expert, local, English-speaking guides

Hotel & Lodge

4 nights in hotels, 5 nights in lodges

Meals

9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All your rafting, packrafting, kayaking and safety equipment throughout

Small Like-minded Groups

Solo-friendly by design, join our small n’ sociable groups of up to 14 like-minded, active and outdoorsy people
From

excluding flights

What's it like?

5.0
| 3 reviews
5 Stars!
February 2024
Laura B.
5 Stars!
February 2024
Laura B.
Rafting, Rio Petrohue, Puerto Varas, Chile, BirdsChile
Mirador del Valle, Rincon Bonito, Ventisquero Valley, Chile, BirdsChile
Packrafting, Rio Ventisquero, Chile Mixed Activity, BirdsChile
Mirador del Valle Ventisquero, Rincon Bonito, Chile Mixed Activity, BirdsChile
Condor, Chile, Getty

Trek through the ancient forests of the Andes in Chile's Ventisquero Valley, glimpsing glaciers, waterfalls and condors

Raft and packraft on pristine glacial waters and sea kayak the secluded Reloncavi Fjord - all against a volcanic backdrop

Get involved in the Llanquihue wetlands conservation project, a critical and unique habitat for migratory birds

Key Information

Day 1

¡Bienvenidos a Chile!

Puerto Varas, Los Lagos, Chile, Getty

Welcome to Los Lagos, a varied and beautiful region of Chile and a mecca for outdoor adventures. Your base is the small lakeside town of Puerto Varas, gateway to the Andes and the lesser-visited northern realm of Patagonia, situated a short drive from Puerto Montt airport.

Day 2

Rafting Petrohue River

Rafting

2 hrs · 11km

Hiking

3 hrs · 8km

A short drive takes you to Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park (Chile's oldest national park), where you'll get kitted out in wetsuits and take to the water for an unforgettable guided rafting experience down Petrohue River, flanked by incredible Andean scenery. Later, you'll travel to Cochamo where there will be a walk to an impressive viewpoint and a first chance to learn about the birdlife of the region. Bunk down for the night in an eco-lodge.

Day 3

Hike 'La Junta' in Cochamo Valley

Trekking in Northern Patagonia, Chile, Getty

Hiking

6 hrs · 19km · 350m up · 350m down

Lace up your boots for the first of several long hikes in the Patagonian wilderness. You'll follow the impressive La Junta trail on a steady incline (approximately 300m across the first 11km) through temperate rainforest, passing waterfalls and rivers before arriving at an incredible picnic lunch spot with views of towering granite rock faces.

Day 4

Sea kayaking in Reloncavi Fjord

Sea kayak, Reloncavi Fjord, Cochamo, Chile, BirdsChile

Kayaking

4 hrs · 8km

Salty seawater from the Pacific meets fresh glacial melt in Reloncavi Fjord, where exploring by sea kayak gives you a unique perspective. Volcano views, the possibility of encountering Chilean dolphins or sea lions, and a lunch stop at a family farm make for a truly memorable paddle. Afterwards, there will be a short drive to the next overnight destination at Ensenada.

Day 5

Into the Patagonian wild

Trekking, Rincon Bonito, Chile, BirdsChile

Hiking

6 hrs · 15km · 70m up · 70m down

Driving

3-4 hrs · 236km

Today you'll venture well off the beaten track, heading south and deeper into the Patagonian Andes. El Rincon Bonito ('the beautiful corner') doesn't feature on many maps and represents a true hidden treasure nestled in the Andean foothills. The long but scenic journey today will involve several forms of transport to navigate the terrain (a car, a boat and a truck), with the final 15km being on foot (with the support of mules to help with luggage). You'll follow a tranquil forest trail along Ventisquero River to the welcoming lodge.

Day 6

Trek the Mirador del Valle Trail

Mirador del Valle Ventisquero, Rincon Bonito, Chile Mixed Activity, BirdsChile

Hiking

6 hrs · 10km · 900m up · 900m down

Immerse yourself in the majestic surroundings of the Ventisquero Valley, hiking a trail which is nestled in the verdant Patagonian Andes. The Mirador del Valle Trail follows an old muleteer path that ascends over the tree line (with a total ascent of around 900m today), giving wonderful views of the glaciers and the valley. The trail passes through ancient forest types, each endemic to this area of Patagonia and has several spectacular viewpoints along the way. Keep a look out for condors overhead!

Day 7

Trekking in Ventisquero Valley

Valle Ventisquero, Rincon Bonito, Chile Multi, Birds Chile

Hiking

6 hrs · 18km · 44m up · 44m down

Today's walk is a flatter route, staying within the valley floor, although you'll cover a long distance. During the hike you'll criss-cross rivers, learn about the flora and fauna in this part of Patagonia, and visit a wonderful waterfall. Relaxing back at Rincon Bonito, a traditional Chilean BBQ will be cooked up to mark your final night in this special place.

Day 8

Packrafting down Patagonian rivers

Packrafting, Rincon Bonito, Chile, BirdsChile

Packrafting

6 hrs · 28km

Another unique adventure awaits today as you packraft the pristine turquoise waters of Rio Ventisquero and Rio Puelo downstream, floating back towards civilisation. Arriving at the village of Puelo Libre, you'll jump back onto dry land and continue the road journey back to Puerto Varas which includes a short ferry across Lake Tagua Tagua. Enjoy a free evening in the lively little town.

Day 9

The Llanquihue wetlands

Llanquihue, Volcan Osorno, Puerto Varas, Los Lagos, Chile, Getty

Travel the short distance to Llanquihue village to meet local environmental scientists from Legado Chile, a foundation involved in a project to sustainably restore a critical wetland habitat in collaboration with the local community. The wetlands, where the Maullín River meets Lake Llanquihue, support an impressive array of migratory birds and are now designated as a nature sanctuary. You'll have the opportunity to learn about the ongoing project and assist with some of the day's scheduled activities under the supervision of project staff, should you wish. At lunchtime, you'll go to a nearby artisan brewery for a taste of Patagonia's craft beer. Drive back to Puerto Varas in time for an invigorating dip in Llanquihue Lake and a final evening together.

Day 10

¡Hasta luego y buen viaje!

Lago Llanquihue, Puerto Varas, Los Lagos, Chile, Getty

Your northern Patagonian adventure draws to a close today as you say goodbyes. You'll be transferred to Puerto Montt airport for your onward travels.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Lodge · Multi share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5 – Day 7

Lodge · Multi share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Empanada, wine, Chile, Getty

Chile is perhaps not well known for its cuisine, however, you'll discover a delicious array of tastes and signature dishes, each synonymous with this part of the world. Choripán (grilled chorizo sausage in bread) is widely eaten by Chilenos, as are a variety of empanadas with different choices of fillings. Expect to find meat and vegetable soups, stews, Pastel de Choclo (sweetcorn pie) and BBQ Cordero (lamb) on the menus. In Puerto Varas you should be able to find a restaurant that sells Curanto, a traditional seafood dish from the island of Chiloé that is also eaten in this region. Meat makes up a large part of a typical Chilean diet, and asados (BBQs) are traditional celebratory events.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please request this on your passenger info form.

One thing that Chile is certainly on the map for is wine! Best known for the red varieties of Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, Chile is one of the world's leading wine producers. There is also a domestic taste for craft beer, and of course the quintessential Chilean rocket fuel that is the Pisco Sour.

What is the accommodation like?

Weisser Haus Hotel, Puerto Varas, Chile Mixed Activity, Hotel
Hotels in Puerto Varas & Ensenada

You'll stay in characterful locally-owned mid-range hotels in Puerto Varas and in Ensenada. Rooms are twin-share with en suite bathrooms.

In the pretty town of Puerto Varas you'll stay within a short walking distance of the centre of town, with its small beach on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. The town was originally founded by German settlers and in recent years has become one of Chile's outdoor adventure basecamp towns, acting as a gateway to Northern Patagonia and the lakes region of the Andes mountain range. Most buildings in the south of Chile are constructed from wood, and homes are heated by burning leña through a chimney.

Rincon Bonito Lodge, Valle Ventisquero, Chile, BirdsChile
Rural Lodges in Cochamo & Ventisquero Valley

In Cochamo you'll stay in a simple eco-lodge cabin with shared bathroom facilities. There are a mixture of single, twin and multi-bed dorm rooms, and the guide will distribute the rooming on these nights as fairly as possible taking in to account the make up of each group.

In Ventisquero Valley you'll stay in a remote and beautiful setting known as El Rincon Bonito, meaning the beautiful corner. Here in the rural eco-lodge, there are again a mixture of twin and multi-share rooms of 3 or 4 beds (including some bunk beds), and shared bathrooms. If there is a full group then some glamping bell tents will be used, with glamping tents also often used for those opting for single private accommodation.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Puerto Montt Airport

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Puerto Varas, or Puerto Montt Airport

Morning of Day 10

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Puerto Montt Airport and transfer you to your hotel in the nearby lakeside town of Puerto Varas. On Day 10, your host will transfer you back to the airport in time for your onward flight.

If you wish to arrive before the trip start date or stay on longer at the end, your host can arrange private airport transfers and accommodation in Puerto Varas.

Travel options

There are international flights to Santiago de Chile (SCL) Airport from various major hubs in Europe, and connecting flights to Puerto Montt (PMC). Within Chile, as an alternative to flying, there are regular long-distance buses that run between Santiago de Chile and Puerto Varas in both directions. There is also an international border crossing nearby for road links to Bariloche in Argentina. If you are extending your travels independently in the region and would like any assistance booking services elsewhere in Chile, for example in Santiago de Chile, then the host will be able to help you with this.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Rafting and packrafting equipment
  • Kayaking equipment
  • First aid kit during treks

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack/drybags

CLOTHES

  • Down jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Thermals (merino best)
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Note: Light coloured outer clothes are recommended for travel in and around the month of January, where horseflies are typically present in some areas that this trip features.
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Waterproof hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals for river crossings

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Private Room Upgrade

Per Person

Single

Payable Before Departure

Single

Per Night

Laura B.(February 2024)
5 Stars!
5 Stars!
5 Stars!

Isabel was a top notch guide for our trip, with high levels of energy, enthusiasm, and expertise. Always taking time to answer questions and take interests into consideration, she also has a mean bird calling talent. The itinerary was a fun balance of activities. We got to see lots of wildlife during the sea kayaking and plenty of time to soak up the postcard-like views everywhere. I recommend this trip!

Howard P.(January 2024)
Patagonian adventure

The overall trip was very well organised by the local guide. Every transport link , accommodation and activity was all managed perfectly by Isabelle. The activities were challenging and in a wonderful part of the world

Kyle M.(January 2024)
Excellent Trip

A once in a lifetime trip with a fantastic guide (Isabel) through some of the most beautiful and remote areas of northern patagonia. The people made this trip. The logistics were impeccable and the arrangement of food and transport from people on holidays when everything else was closed was a lifesaver. I would not hesitate to book with Birds Chile again. Activities were at the right level of difficulty, safe and interesting. I am sad to be leaving. Food and accommodation was some of the best I have ever experienced, special mention to el cielo y tierra; the restaurant in cochamó and el rincón bonito.

Only note of caution, I found the kitlist to be inaccurate and there was a large amount of horseflies at the rincón bonito. I advise long thick trousers and shirt and hat.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 308kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

You'll be enjoying a wide range of outdoor activities every day in this action-packed tour. You should be happy spending long active days immersed in nature, and be ready for whatever the elements throw at you. None of the activities require any previous experience or technical skills, as all are designed to be accessible, however you should be fit and healthy and in good condition, especially for the longer hikes.

The rafting on Day 2 involves clinging on through some class III & IV rapids, but rest assured you'll be in the safe hands of a qualified expert river guide. The walk on Day 3 is stated as being 19km but note that should local conditions mean that a particular access road is temporarily closed then the starting point of the walk will alter and it shall become a longer 23km walk.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips for the main guide and local activity leaders are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. We suggest as a guideline approx. 7-10 USD (or equivalent in Chilean Pesos) per day per person, for the main guide.

There is also a local guiding team in El Rincon Bonito who lead the activities whilst in this region (Packrafting, and trekking). Tipping a similar daily amount to be split between these local staff is also recommended - this can be passed on by the lead guide at a later date if travellers do not have cash to hand whilst in Rincon Bonito.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

The Chilean host is based in Puerto Varas and its staff are closely involved with a very significant local environmental project aimed at conserving a unique habitat in the region. The Maullín River Wetlands is a river corridor of concentrated biodiversity that connects the Andes to the Pacific Coast of Chile and is home to increasingly vulnerable species of flora and fauna, in addition to many migratory birds. A large aspect of the work of the Legado Foundation is to engage local communities in the shared benefits of protecting this unique habitat. The Foundation welcomes us to Llanquihue in order to inspire others and raise wider awareness of environmental challenges being faced here. By including a visit as part of the itinerary our host is able to channel funds to the project which contributes towards ongoing operational costs. Together with field scientists from the Foundation, you'll be able to learn the basics and join in with scheduled tasks for a few hours that morning (e.g. reforestation, bird counts, water sampling) giving an insight into the important work that goes on. Any involvement with specialist activities would be closely supervised by qualified staff.

You should bring a refillable water bottle for use during the trip. The host will provide mineral water whilst in Puerto Varas and during road transfers, and clean spring water is easily accessible during the three nights spent at the remote 'Rincon Bonito' lodge.

Read our guide to water filters here

The weather in Patagonia is famously changeable and becoming increasingly unpredictable as a result of climate change, particularly in mountainous regions that this trip features. It is possible that weather conditions could impact the running order of the itinerary, and the host may decide to make changes with your safety and enjoyment in mind. Departures for this trip are scheduled throughout Chile's summer months (Oct-Apr) which are also the drier months. The geographic location of the Chilean Lake District on the western side of the Andes mountain range causes it to have a fairly wet climate, hence why it is such a verdant habitat with no shortage of rivers, and it isn't unusual for there to be scattered showers and fast-changing weather conditions all year-round. Travellers should be prepared to potentially encounter some wet and windy conditions, as well as clear summer days. The peak summer months of Dec-Feb are when temperatures reach mid-20s °C (75 °F) during the daytime, with the shoulder months on either side being cooler.

Yes. As we start and finish in the same hotel in the town of Puerto Varas, you can arrange to leave any items of luggage that you won't need for the duration of the itinerary.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking and/or other activities.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

We've got your back

Guaranteed to run

All our trips are now guaranteed to run. Once you’ve booked your spot you can immediately make your travel arrangements, no uncertainty, no hanging about (excludes 'request to book' departures). Full details

Flexible payments

Secure your spot with the minimum deposit and pay off the remaining balance in as many instalments as you like, with no interest or fees. Full details

Happiness Guarantee

We’re so confident you’ll have an amazing time we’ll put our money on it. Full details

Full financial protection

To give you complete peace of mind we’re backed by ABTOT, ABTA and ATOL memberships. Full details

Tried & Trusted

We’re rated ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot with over 900 verified trip reviews averaging 4.8/5.

Connect before you go

You'll be invited to join a WhatsApp group to get to know each other before your big adventure together. Full details

DEPARTURE DATES

November 2024

Sunday • 10th November 2024

to Tuesday • 19th November 2024
Guaranteed to run
Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

Still Undecided?

A few other trips to tickle your fancy

From