Guided Hiking Tours

Argentina & Chile | Patagonia: The Lakes District

Lush, ancient forests; brilliant blue lakes; and massive volcanoes.

  • Lakes surrounded by forest and the Andes mountains
  • Hiking Argentina and Chile
  • Argentina Trek
  • Argentina Trek
  • patagonia group photo
  • hotel in Argentina
  • Hiking Argentina's Lake District
  • Hiking in Patagonia
  • patagonia
  • patagonia mountain
  • I'd recommend having Dave and Eileen run a guided trip to Japan or the south island of New Zealand and we'll sign up and let you know if it was a good idea. Would travel with them anywhere! There seems to be a very good match in the types of hikes that Ryder-Walker would pick and that we would pick. Same for the hotels and the restaurants.- Bill Y and Elizabeth D.
  • "This trip to Patagonia was new this year and I go to be on the maiden voyage. It was VERY fun, challenging, and the other trekkers were wonderful. Argentina is beautiful, unpopulated country. The Argentinian people were very kind and went out of their way to assist in any way."- Joan Allan
  • "Don’t change a thing. It was perfect! Everything was exceptional!"- Tricia L.

Trip Highlights:

  • Huge views of the Andes Mountains, the longest continental mountain range in the world.
  • Mountain climbing, sparkling lakes, beach picnics, and hut-to-hut hiking all in one tour.
  • Welcoming inns every night of the tour. No camping here!

Step into Patagonia, a land of vast steppe grasslands, rugged and beautiful coastlines, endless foothills, and forests of indigenous trees. Patagonia’s lakes and rivers sparkle with infinite hues of blue while the massive volcanoes and jagged granite peaks of the Andean cordillera (the longest continental mountain range in world) rise abruptly against the skyline.

It is no secret that Patagonia boasts a wild reputation due to its rugged geography, strong winds, intrepid bandits (Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid were outlaws here), and the countless explorers that have chronicled their bold and heroic adventures. But Patagonia has a sophisticated side too, exemplified by welcoming inns, an elaborate trail system for hikers, well appointed hiker’s huts and, of course, delicious food. We’ve developed an itinerary that centers on these luxuries, as well as the crystalline lakes that comprise the “Lakes District” of Patagonia, and the intriguing little towns tucked along the famous Ruta 40.

We begin this 9-day inn-to-inn hiking tour of Patagonia in the famous resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche. Bariloche is the “Chocolate Capital of Argentina” and the preeminent gateway city to all things Patagonia. We sample the flavors of Bariloche then transfer to the idyllic mountain enclave of El Bolsón. Spend the next two days hiking along the crystal waters of the Cajon del Azul (the Blue Canyon), sampling homemade beer, tea and pastries in cozy mountain huts, and summiting the Cerro Piltriquitron (7,415 ft/2,260 m), with its 360 degree panoramic views of the surrounding lakes and the Patagonian Andes Mountains.

Transfer north to the sublimely beautiful peninsula known as Llao Llao. Hike up the Cerro Lopez (7,178 ft/2,188 m), one of the most famous alpine peaks of the region, and take in the grand views while sipping coffee on the deck of a perfectly positioned climber’s hut.

Continue the hiking tour with a boat ride across the area’s largest lake, Lago Nahuel Huapi. Once off the boat, we enjoy a hike through Los Arrayanes National Park. The park was created in 1971 to protect its forest of rare cinnamon colored Arrayan trees. Walk through the park and enjoy great views of Andes Mountains. Finish this hiking tour through Patagonia by venturing over the frontier into Chile, where we explore towering volcanoes and the strikingly blue lakes of Lago Llanquihue and Todos Los Santos.

2019 Private Guided Highlight Video

Video credit: Ryder-Walker guide, Dave Nesis

Trip Itinerary

Arrive in Bariloche, the gateway to the Northern Patagonian Lakes District. Bariloche has grown from a tranquil town on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi to a mountain destination of choice amongst the Argentine elite. Bariloche is also the chocolate capital of Argentina, with shops lining the streets of its main shopping district. Meet the group for welcome drinks and dinner at 7 pm.

This morning we head north, skirting around the backside of bustling Bariloche, to the Llao Llao Peninsula and our trailhead for Cerro López. From the trailhead we climb through the forest to our first stop at Roca Negra, or Black Rock, a small hut in which we can enjoy a coffee or tea break. From there we continue our climb to Refugio López with unmatched views of the Llao Llao peninsula and Lago Nahuel Haupi. We then descend via the same route back to the van for quick transport. Tonight we stay at the premier hotel in Llao Llao.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2400 ft.

A little elevation boost via gondola and lift at Cerro Catedral ski area takes us to our trailhead where we start our classic hike.  After a short climb to Punto Paradiso we begin the long traverse enjoying spectacular views into the Rucoca valley and to the glaciated mighty Monte Tronador in the distance. From the Cancha de Futbol, Football Pitch Col, we drop down to Laguna Schmoll and on to Refugio Frey on the eastern shores of Laguna Toncek. Refugio Frey is famous for hosting the many rock climbers who scale the jagged granite spires in the surrounding area. After a rest we continue down through the forest, passing Refugio Piedras, and finish our long day back in the parking lot of Cerro Catedral Ski Center. Following a well-earned beverage we transfer back to the hotel in Llao Llao.

Distance: 10.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 640/3800 ft.

After a boat transfer across Lago Nahuel Huapi we disembark at the southern tip of the Quetrihué Peninsula and Los Arrayanes National Park. The park was created in 1971 to protect its forest of rare cinnamon colored Arrayan trees. Today’s hike is a very casual stroll through the forest finishing at the northern end of the peninsula in the village of Villa La Angostura, offering great views of Cordillera de los Andes and Bahia Brava. Our day ends with a scenic 1.5 hour transfer to San Martín de los Andes.

Distance: 7 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 250/400 ft.

Today we hike the 5,833 foot peak of Cerro Colorado, (Mount Red), an extinct volcano with breathtaking 360 degree views from the summit of the surrounding Andes Mountains and Lácar basin below with it’s crystal clear lakes including Lakes Lácar and Lolog. We return to our hotel for another relaxing night.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2530 ft.

We head out today on a forested path that leads to the quaint little island beach “Islita Beach,” located on beautiful Lake Lácar. A nice dip in the lake may be in order before our ascent up to Mirador Bandurrias viewpoint where we enjoy sweeping veiws of San Martin de los Andes and Lakes Lácar below.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 675 ft.

Our transfer today begins as we cross the frontier into Chile. The actual drive takes about 2.5 hours but we stop along the way to enjoy some scenic highlights before reaching our luxurious spa hotel located at the entrance of the Puyehue National Park.

A short drive to Antillanca Ski Center is followed by an ascent up Volcán Casablanca. From the summit of Casablanca enjoy fantastic views of the lush Chilean tierra and the volcanoes of Osorno and Puntiagudo.

Distance: 4.5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 2300 ft.

Today we drive south to Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. Our hike follows the Paso Desolación trail and then the Rincon trail down to the lake. After lunch we continue on the Rincon trail through beautiful, lush woods until it eventually drops back down to the shoreline and Petrohue. Take the van back to Puerto Varas.

Distance: 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 700 ft.

Awake to a delicious breakfast, then depart.

Patagonia: The Lakes District | Argentina & Chile

Similar Trips

You Might Also Like...