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Chile and Argentina

Lake District

Guided Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

13 days

Prices from

$3,495 P.P.
Chile and Argentina

Lake District

Guided Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

13 days

Prices from

$3,495 P.P.
BOOK NOW
A superb cycling trip in Chile and Argentina journey through the Lake District - a landscape of snowcapped volcanoes, deep valleys, lakes and monkey puzzle tree forests set against the awesome Andes.
Well paced, our route is on a combination of quiet gravel tracks and earth roads that skirt immense lakes and pass through sleepy villages, allowing us to absorb ourselves fully in the Lake District, its people and their way of life. Accommodation along the way is a combination of small hotels, lodges, cabanas and family run hospedajes (South American guesthouses), chosen for their location, hospitality and friendly welcome. 
Our initial cycling takes us past the Parque National Alcerce Andino, before heading along the shores of Estero Relconcavi to arrive at Lago Llanquihue. From here you'll have superb views of the impressive Volcano Osorno and we'll bne able to visit the crashing rapids and waterfalls of Saltos de Petrohue.
The next day we head into Argentina, and Villa La Angostura, from where we move on to Bariloche, a place famed for its chocolates and Swiss style architecture. From here we head along the lovely Ruta de Las Siete Lagos‚ to San Martin de los Andes.
More incredible volcanoes and towering arucaria trees line our route back to Chile. Volcan Villarica beckons us to the picturesque town of Pucon, from where we can take an optional hike to it's lofty summit. Just a couple more days biking left and for many the highlight of the trip, as we wind our way through stunning scenery of Conguillio National Park. Our final night is spend in Temuco, from where next day we take the domestic flight to Santiago for our onward connections.

Highlights

  • Majestic Volcan Osorno and its snow capped peak
  • Tasting the chocolates of Bariloche
  • Biking the Seven Lakes Route to San Martin de los Andes
  • The monkey puzzle trees forests of Conguillio
  • Sampling a tasty Malbec or Carmanere after a day’s biking
  • Hiking the lofty heights of Volcan Villarica

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Our tour leader was an excellent guide. In about 30 years of doing this type of tour, he was one of the best guides we have ever had. His knowledge about the area is amazing and he was always smiling.

Deana, USA

Itinerary

Day 1
Departure

Today you start your journey, boarding your flight to Chile and Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport Santiago (SCL), arriving the following day.

Day 2
Arrival Chile - Puerto Montt - Puerto Varas

After your arrival in Santiago, Chile, you will need to clear customs and immigration before heading to the domestic terminal (just upstairs) in order to catch your internal Chilean flight to the capital of the Chilean Lake District, Puerto Montt (PMC), where you are met by your Saddle Skedaddle guides.

Following arrival, we transfer you to your hotel in Puerto Varas. Situated around 20kms from Puerto Montt it occupies a lovely position on the shores of one of the largest natural lakes in South America Lake Llanquihue. From here the perfect cone of Osorno Volcano and the snowcapped peaks of Calbuco volcano and Mt. Tronador are clearly visible from the lakefront.

It’s a great place to take things easy after a long flight(s) and with this in mind, the day is spent resting-up from your travels and preparing the bikes for the journey ahead.

Our evening meal is taken in one of the great restaurants that exist in Puerto Varas. With the area renowned for seafood, we’ll make sure this is an option. At a convenient point during the meal we’ll discuss the programme for the tour in a little more detail and be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Day 3
Puerto Varas - Puelo
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 700m

Following breakfast we load up our bikes and leave Puerto Varas by our support vehicle. This initial section takes us southwards firstly through the small settlement of Chamiza and then shortly after passing through Lenca, we skirt the dramatic Alcere Andino National Park for the final few kilometres to Caleta La Arena.

Here we board the small local ferry for the 40 minute crossing of the narrow Estuario de Reloncavi to Caleta Puelche. It’s here that we unload our bikes for the undulating unsurfaced track/road alongside Estuario de Reloncavi to Puelo. This is a truly stunning section and is a wonderful introduction to our trip and a fabulous way to begin our biking journey.

Tonight we stay in the beautifully Patagonia Puelo Lodge.

Day 4
Puelo - Las Cascadas
47 Miles / 75 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 890m

Leaving our cosy lodgings by bike and following a brief crossing of one of the arms of the Estuario de Reloncavi we continue our progress northwards towards Río Puelo and to Cochamó situated at the far tip of the Estuario de Reloncavi.

We reach Cochamó after 32kms/20miles and then continue alongside the fjord for the last 14kms/9 miles, on an unsurfaced yet well packed section. For the remaining 36kms/22 miles, we’ll be cycling on a superb smooth tarmac section and finish our cycling in Ensenada.

During this last section of cycling you’ll be able to see the incredible Volcan Osorno that now dominates the skyline, with your roadside accompaniment the bright yellow shrubs of this region.

Once the bikes have been loaded up, we visit the ever impressive Saltos de Petrohué – a series of rapids and waterfalls passing over an impressive sculpture of extruded volcanic rock. We’ll be now in the centre of Chile’s first National Park – Parque National Vincente Pérez Rosales (established in 1926). Accommodation tonight is in the relaxed surroundings of Las Cascadas, which is reached after a short transfer, by our support vehicle from Saltos de Petrohué.

Please Note – Although the cycling distance today is longer than other days, today’s riding will adhere itself to this longer distance. As always, the support vehicle is at hand for those wishing to do a little less time in the saddle.

Day 5
Cascadas - Villa Angostura
26 Miles / 42 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 325m

Dominating the skyline now is the impressive Volcan Osorno (2660m) which we pass-by on our morning transfer from Cascadas to Salto del Indio. As we reach the edge of Parque National Puyehue it’s time to leave Chile at Paso Cardenal Samore and cross over by bike into Argentina.

With our passports stamped we take a superb well surfaced and pre-dominantly downhill route to Villa La Angostura. Situated on the edge of Lago Nahuel Huapi with its Alpine style architecture set against a backdrop of snow capped peaks and the crystal clear waters.

Day 6
Villa Angostura - Bariloche
37 Miles / 59 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 525m

From Lake Nahuel Haupi we follow a largely flat route along the lakeshore. As we pedal make sure to keep your your peeled for Nahuelito, Argentina’s answer to the Loch Ness monster!

Today’s ride really sums up what cycling in the Lake District is all about with views of snow dusted peaks to the left and to your right serene brightly coloured waters. The ride will be around 59 Kms in total with most of the cycling done before lunch, which is taken at Mirador de Bariloche. This is a great place to take a rest after the morning’s exertions with its stunning views over the Andes and lago Nahuel Huapi, the perfect accompaniment.

We end our cycling day in style with a fast 11 kms downhill on asphalt to the junction of Ruta 40 where today’s ride ends. From here we hop aboard our support vehicle for the 20-30 minute transfer to Bariloche. With its Swiss style architecture and chocolates, it is known as the St. Moritz of South America and we have set aside the rest of the afternoon to explore this lovely place.

There is perhaps only one way to end the day such a day – a juicy Argentinean steak and majestic Malbec, followed by some tasty chocolate treats.

Day 7
Bariloche - Villa Tráful
22 Miles / 35 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 560m

Having enjoyed the streets of chocolate shops, bars, and the numerous restaurants offering Swiss fondue and huge steaks, we bid farewell to this little part of Switzerland. Initially travelling by support vehicle we soon start our cycling on the road towards Confluencia.

En route there are wonderful rock formations high above us with equally wonderful names, – Tren Expresso, Centilla and Dedo de Dios. We are now in the Valle Encantado, and it certainly feels like it; the views are superb.

From here we follow a gravel and earth track into another very pretty valley with more rock formations and the backdrop of snow capped mountains- this is great cycling. Just before the cycling ends for the day, we spend a little time at Mirador de Lago, which offers not only spectacular views of Lago Traful, but also of the route which you have cycled today.

Pictures taken and superlatives exhausted, we cycle a series of enchanting dips, twists and turns along a wooded track that skirts Lago Tráful, for the final few kms to reach our stop for the night, Villa Tráful. These cabanas will serve as our lodgings for the night, with dinner taken in the lovely surroundings of this small town.

Day 8
Villa Tráful - San Martin
45 Miles / 72 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1200m

We start our journey cycling directly from Villa Tráful along the beautiful and spectacular Ruta de Siete Lagos (the Seven Lakes Route).

The cycling route today is a real treat as we head towards the town of San Martin de los Andes. Again following a good earth road we roll and wind through woods, past beautiful lakes with snow dusted mountains in the distance.

Shortly before lunch we hop in the support vehicle for a 30 minute transfer to a great picnic spot with beautiful views to help you digest another tasty lunch. This is a very tranquil and special area as we enjoy lunch amongst our surroundings and continue past the lakes.

Back on the bikes the views again are spectacular as we ‘scoot’ along the smooth road towards San Martin de los Andes. Before reaching it we pause to take in the fantastic views and then set off on a ‘grin inducing’ descent to San Martin along kilometers of winding road. Nestled by Lago Lacar and surrounded by mountains San Martin is a real treat.

As we pull into San Martin we are further enthralled by its prettiness. We take our lodgings at a nice hotel in town and suitably refreshed set off to explore the streets.

Day 9
San Martin - Pucon
33 Miles / 53 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 450m

Today we are re-entering Chile! By vehicle we pass through Junin de los Andes and head for the border at Paso Tromen, unloading our bikes at Mamuil Malal. En route we get our first views of the stunning Volcan Lanin, with its almost perfect snow covered cone.

After the border crossing we are soon in Parque Villarica where the ‘monkey puzzle’ tree forests abound. Today, as with all days, there is the option to cycle as much or as little as you wish, with some people opting to cycle all the way from the pass to El Turbio. It’s here that we re-board the support vehicle for the short drive to Pucón and our lodgings.

Day 10
Pucón - Volcan Villarica
Rest Day - Volcan Villarica
  • Meals: Breakfast

Pucón is a pleasant town with a good climate which stands on the shores of the beautiful Lago Villarica. We spend the day here exploring the surrounding countryside by bike. Popular routes include rides to one of the many beautiful waterfalls in the area.

For those looking for more adventure there is always a spot of white water rafting or the option to climb Volcan Villarica, a fantastic guided climb up its snowcapped slopes. Please note there is an additional cost of 100,000 Chilean Pesos to cover the guide and equipment rental.

This is a truly memorable experience as you mount the top and stare into its molten centre. Literally staring into the centre of the earth is a very special feeling. The sulphur fumes are not so special but the ‘surprise’ descent is simply the icing on the cake – certainly a must do! Overnight in Pucón.

Day 11
Pucón - Conguillio N. Park
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 595m

Breakfast finished we jump into the support vehicle for the transfer to the start of today’s ride. Today’s riding is mostly on smooth tarmac and largely flat with a gravel climb towards the end of the day, taking us in to the beautiful Parque Conguillio national park. Today’s ride follows the bottom of a valley devoted to agriculture and makes for a gentler day on the bike.

Our lodgings are in a beautiful wooden lodge in the heart of the park, where we are sure to receive a warm welcome, set in a very private and tranquil setting.

Day 12
Conguillio - Temuco
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 630m

So if you thought you had seen it all, think again! Parque Conguillio is an absolute gem, as within it stands Volcan Llaima, one of the most active volcanoes in South America!

Initially the riding is through woodland and then suddenly, as if the trees had been blown away, you are confronted with a barren, rocky and ash landscape, the contrast is incredible.

This is the solidified lava flow from previous eruptions and the track of the solidified ‘rivers’ of lava have spread out like fingers over the landscape destroying all in its path. Soon the route re-enters the untouched forests of beech and araucaria where the sun is obliterated by their denseness.

Also passed are the wonderful and tranquil spots of Lago Verde and Lago Conguillio, that serve as a truly fitting end to our cycling as we reach the town of Curacutin. Once here we can change from our cycling clothes and after a celebratory beer or hot drink, make a transfer to our lodgings in or near to Temuco.

Our last night is spent reminiscing about our cycling adventure, with perhaps another glass or ‘two‘ of lovely Chilean or Argentinean vino which you’ve been no doubt enjoying during your trip.

Day 13
Departure
  • Meals: Breakfast

Having rested at our lodgings and had a final glimpse of the mountains and volcanoes we make our way to Temuco Airport (ZCO) to catch a flight to Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, from where we catch our international flights home, arriving the following day.

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The Cycling

Terrain

We will cycling on both side of the Andes mountain range at all times in Chile and Argentina Lake district, passing fjords, rivers, waterfalls, volcanoes, mountain ranges and of course lakes. That means constant highlights! There aren’t any major elevation changes, and the route is approx 60% on sealed roads and 40% on compacted wide gravel tracks, with light traffic on most of the days. We‘re going to face some steep but short climbs and with fast descents, both on paved and gravel terrain. Great cycling with amazing scenery every day.

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Cycling Adventures Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc)

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 holiday to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

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This holiday had everything. It was my first visit to South America and I loved every moment. The organisation of the trip was excellent, making it easy to relax and enjoy throughout.

Veronica, UK

Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
05/02/2021
Return Date
17/02/2021
Duration
13 days
Price
$3,495.00
Start Date
17/10/2021
Return Date
29/10/2021
Duration
13 days
Price
$3,495.00
Start Date
14/11/2021
Guaranteed
Return Date
26/11/2021
Duration
13 days
Price
$3,495.00
Start Date
21/12/2021
Return Date
02/01/2022
Duration
13 days
Price
$3,495.00
Start Date
16/01/2022
Return Date
28/01/2022
Duration
13 days
Price
$3,620.00
Start Date
13/03/2022
Return Date
25/03/2022
Duration
13 days
Price
$3,620.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin rooms)

B) Meals as per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Full tour service including guides, back up vehicles, etc

D) At least one tour leader qualified in First Aid procedures

E) Entrance fees to National Parks or sites which are an integral part of the itinerary

F) Airport collections from Puerto Montt airport and drops offs at Temuco airport on scheduled departure and arrival dates.

What's not Included Cross

A) Cost of visas (if necessary)

B) Medical check ups and inoculations

C) Tips for guides, etc

D) Travel insurance

E) Bar bills, hotel refreshments, laundry, souvenirs, etc

F) Personal clothing and equipment

G) Bike hire (available if required)

H) Flights and associated charges for travelling with a bike

I) Airport transfers on days other than the scheduled arrival / departure dates

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour in particular, we ask that you fly into Puerto Montt airport (PMC). As there are few few direct flights in to Puerto Montt from outside Chile you will be required to fly into Santiago airport (SCL) first and then take a connecting flight to Puerto Montt airport.

At the end of the trip you will need to fly back from Temuco (ZCO). Like Puerto Montt, direct options are very limited so you will need to take a return flight via Santiago.

Airport transfers are included in the holiday cost any time on arrival and departure days.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific flight schedules that we recommend for your holiday and please check with us before booking your flights so that we can ensure they fit in with the scheduled transfers.

Accommodation

Accommodation is a combination of hotels, lodges and cabañas chosen for their location and hospitality.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have mountain bikes available to hire for this trip.

The current models available are 27.5” Giant, Cannondale or Kona models. All models have front suspension and a wide-range of gears, disc brakes and Shimano or SRAM transmission.

We also have a limited amount of e-mountain bikes for this trip. Please contact us for the latest specifications for these and to check availability.

If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet (though always nicer to bring your own along!) and all necessary spares that are required.

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News, Reviews & Stories

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