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Backroads of Patagonia

This outstanding trip gets you way off the beaten track along the back roads of Patagonia - perfect for lovers of the outdoors, with plenty of time exploring national parks of outstanding beauty and for trekking, rafting, biking and horse riding. Dragoman mix camping with hotels and hostels to experience Patagonian life and journey through some of its remotest corners along Argentina’s route 40 and Chile’s beautiful Carretera Austral.

We visit the spectacular Lake District and the towns of Bariloche and Pucon as well as exploring the magnificent Los Glaciares National Park from both El Calafate and El Chalten. We make time to trek around the dramatic peaks of Mount Fitz Roy and take a guided trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

We have a 5 night stay in Torres del Paine National Park, to trek the W Walk before crossing the Strait of Magellan to head to the end of the earth - Tierra del Fuego and the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia.

We are partnered with the Torres del Paine Legacy Fund, who work to enhance the long-term health of Torres del Paine and its surrounding communities.

  • Duration: 23 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure:
  • For lovers of: Boating, Trekking, Hiking, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Parks & Nature Reserves, Sailing, Rafting
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Supplier Tour ID: ZSU1/158000
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Santiago, Chile
  • Finishes: Ushuaia, Argentina
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Santiago
  • Buchupureo
  • San Javier
  • Pucón
  • Bariloche
  • Futaleufú
  • Carretera Austral
  • Puyuhuapi and Queulat National Park
  • Cerro Castillo National Reserve
  • Argentinian Patagonia
  • El Chaltén
  • Los Glaciares National Park
  • El Calafate
  • Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Tierra Del Fuego
  • Ushuaia



Day 1: Santiago

Welcome to Santiago, the cosmopolitan Chilean capital! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Important note from September 2018 departures: The full W-Walk is now included in this tour. If you wish to remain at our base camp, please inform us at time of booking so that we can arrange your meals and guides.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Santiago before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Santiago.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel.

Border information: if you are joining in Santiago, you will most likely enter Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Ben tez International Airport (IATA code: SCL).


Day 2: Buchupureo

Today we will leave the bright lights of Santiago behind and head to San Javier, to take a wine tour at one of the famous vineyards of the region. After lunch, we will head to the laid back farming village of Buchupureo, on the Chilean coast, where we can relax by the beach for a couple of hours.

Tonight we will camp in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours

(Please note; all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).


Day 3-4: Pucón

This morning we will continue our drive into the Chilean Lake District to the town of Pucon.

Tomorrow we will have a free day in Puc n to enjoy a range of optional activities, such as a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Puc n, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs.

In Pucon we will stay in a comfortable hostel.

Estimated drive time: 7-8 hours


Day 5: Bariloche

Border information: Exit Chile at Mamuil Malal, enter Argentina at Mamuil Malal.

Today we cross the Andes into Argentina and continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche via the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route).

In Bariloche we stay in a comfortable hostel in the town.

Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours.


Day 6: Bariloche

Today will be a free day to enjoy the beautiful mountain town of Bariloche and the stunning surrounding lakes, mountains and forests. We have the options to explore the area by foot, mountain bike, kayak or boat.


Day 7: Futaleufú

Border Information: Exit Argentina at Rio Futaleuf , enter Chile at Rio Futaleuf .

Today we cross back into Chile and drive to the rafting mecca of Futaleuf . From this point we will join the famous Carretera Austral, probably one of the most stunning roads in South America, surrounded in gorgeous mountain and forest scenery. Please note that the road from here to El Chalt n is rough and mostly unpaved meaning that the going is slow.

In Futaleuf we stay in a local campsite

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 8: Carretera Austral

Today we will leave Futaleuf and drive through the Chilean fjords to Queluat National Park. If time allows there is an optional walk to see the incredible hanging Glacier.

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite with facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 9: Cerro Castillo National Reserve

Today we drive south through the magnificent Chilean scenery to the beautiful area of Cerro Castillo National Reserve.

In Cerro Castillo we will camp in a lovely family-run campsite with basic facilities, where we will enjoy a Chilean BBQ.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 10: Cerro Castillo National Reserve

Today we have a free day to hike to the stunning turquoise waters of Laguna Cerro Castillo or to go horse riding.

We camp in the same campsite.


Day 11: Argentinian Patagonia

Border Information: Exit Chile at Huemules, enter Argentina at Huemules.

Today we will cross into Argentina's Patagonia region and continue our journey south along the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40).

Tonight we will wild camp somewhere in the Rio Pinturas area.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.


Day 12: El Chaltén

Today we will drive into the heart of the Patagonia region and reach the tiny town of El Chalt n, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.

In El Chalt n we stay in dorm beds in a hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 13: El Chaltén

Enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, horse riding, and mountain biking


Day 14: El Calafate

Today we have a short drive to El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

In El Calafate we stay in dorm beds in a lovely hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.


Day 15: El Calafate

Today we will head out on an included full day guided visit to view the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most spectacular sights in Patagonia.


Day 16: Torres Del Paine National Park

Border information: Exit Argentina and enter Chile at Cerro Castillo.

Today we will drive to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty in the world and the main highlight of the trip for many of our passengers and leaders!

Tonight we will camp at Camping Pehoe, a stunning campsite inside the National Park with incredible views of Los Cuernos mountains, which we will refer to as our 'base campsite'.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 17: Torres Del Paine National Park

From September 2018, the full W-Walk will be included as part of your trip Kitty.

Embark on the full W-Walk with a local guide. We will be trekking the W-Walk from West to East, to enjoy the spectacular views. Places at the campsites are limited by the National Park so these are booked in advance of your trip, although please keep in mind specific campsites may vary due to the time of the season and availability.

This morning we will wake early and transfer by truck for the morning Catamaran to cross Lago Pehoe. We will then set up camp at Paine Grande, before continuing on our hike towards the first look out for Glacier Grey (approx 4hrs round trip)


Day 18: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we depart from our camp at Paine Grande and hike into the stunning French Valley.

The hike is approximately 8 hours.


Day 19: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we will hike from our camp along the edge of Lago Nodenskjold, around Almirante Nieto and stay just outside Valley Ascencio. We will arrive an Camp Central after approximately 5 hours hiking.


Day 20: Torres Del Paine National Park

This is our final day of the W-Walk and the most spectacular. The day begins with a steady climb from our camp site up Rio Asencio. Be prepared for the final hour which is a relatively steep scramble up to the Tarn and Mirrador Las Torres, affording great views of the iconic Towers.

Our hike today is approximately 8 hours for the return trip (20km).


Day 21: Tierra Del Fuego

Today we will have a full day drive south to cross the Magellan Straits over to the island of Tierra del Fuego.

Tonight we will wild camp somewhere on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.


Day 22: Tierra Del Fuego

Border information: Exit Chile at San Sebastian, enter Argentina at San Sebastian

Today we cross over to the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego and drive to the incredible port town of Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world!

In Ushuaia we stay in a Hotel out of town close to the National park, there are regular shuttles into the town.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.


Day 23: Tierra Del Fuego

Border information: if you are finishing in Ushuaia, you will most likely exit Argentina at Ushuaia Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (IATA code: USH).

Today is a free day in the wonderful remote town of Ushuaia, with options such as a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, boat trips to see the scenery and wildlife of the Beagle Channel, or heading out horse riding along the coast for those with more time here.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Ushuaia. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you would like to arrange some extra nights of accommodation here after your trip.

    • Whet your palette during winetasting at a vineyard in San Javier
    • Enjoy a traditional Chilean BBQ 
    • Guided full day trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier
    • 4 days to explore and trek the rugged Torres del Paine National Park
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    • 50% Camping - 50% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Boating
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • Sailing & Rafting