7 Days in Northern Patagonia

Take a look inside our Northern Patagonia Volcanoes & Islands itinerary.

WATCH this! We had a video crew along with us for the first part of this trip to take you inside our thru-hike of the Puntiagudo Volcano Valley.

This trip really had everything a JUMP adventure needs to thrive: great people, epic views, challenging hikes, delicious feasts, tons of authentic experiences with locals, and a top notch guide (hey Rafa 👋). The memories and the people of this epic journey will be sticking with us for a long time.

Here’s a day-by-day account of our spectacular, delicious, off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Day 1 of our Northern Patagonia trip brought us all together in Puerto Varas, where we explored one of the most beautiful lake-side towns in Chile on foot, enjoyed the essential Calafate Patagonia welcome 🍻 (iykyk), and then ventured to a very special home-restaurant in the countryside. Magda, our dinner host, served us the first meal of what would be an absolutely drool-worthy week of locally-grown food. At the end of a delicious first day, we retired to our hotel rooms (which all had views of the surrounding volcanoes!) to rest up for our upcoming days of hiking!

On Day 2 the clouds began to clear as we set out to the base of Osorno Volcano. We hiked from Lago Llanquihue through to Lago Todos Los Santos. We watched condors high in the sky, ate lunch hiding from the wind, and eventually cozied up for the night at a beautiful backcountry lodge on the shore of the lake surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. Here, we enjoyed  the most delicious panna cotta of our lives… among other yummy things.

Regardless of age, everyone on this trip experienced something for the first time in their lives. Getting to see and share that within the group was very special. This is a testament to the local and super unique itinerary put together by Jackie and Rafa. I’ve never been on a trip that did a better job of making the traveler feel connected to the people and place.

Shane L

Day 3 dawned with blue skies and clear views of multiple surrounding volcanoes! We traversed by boat across Lago Todos Los Santos to where our thru-hike in the Puntiagudo Valley began. We trekked through gorgeous meadows, deep trenches, muddy jungle trails and a few river crossings to get to our local host’s farm house for the night, just below the spectacular Puntiagudo Volcano. Don Rudy cooked for us alongside his wife and son, and we slept the night in their own home, surrounded by sheep, cattle, horses, cats, dogs, and countless birds. What a paradise we found!

Day 4 was our longest, most challenging (and most rewarding!) day of all. Deb said “This is the best hike I’ve ever done, by far!” Again with beautiful weather and clear sunny skies, we began our hike early. We traveled up and down and up and down and across and through, including six river crossings (like the take-off-your-shoes-and-help-each-other-across type of river crossing). There was a LOT of mud, a LOT of teamwork, and a LOT of smiles when we finally got to the end– where we were, of course, greeted with Pisco Sours and a lamb asado in the house of yet another local! Because, Chile. We slept in cabins overlooking Lago Rupanco, our final destination of the thru-hike!

Climbing up that steep hill that just kept going [on the last day of our thru hike] really made an impact on me. That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the end of the hike. But I did it. I kept putting one foot in front of the other, and I made it. It was one of those moments that reminded me that I can do really hard things, I am more capable than I think.

Ana L

Day 5 started overcast, which was perfect for our activity of the morning – taking boats across Lago Rupanco to the opposite shore, and DIGGING OUR OWN HOT SPRINGS POOLS there! Yep, right on the shore of the lake! We enjoyed a dip in our own private pools as a perfect ending to our three long days of hiking. Then we headed back to Puerto Varas where we hit up Chester Brewing for a tasting (of literally every beer on the menu 😳!) before meeting up with Legado Chile, a local NGO, to volunteer some time working with them to eradicate invasive species from a local wetland conservation project. It’s amazing how much work many pairs of hands can do in even a short amount of time. We hung our hats on that for the day, and enjoyed a free night in Puerto Varas upon our return (with THE MOST beautiful sunset and alpenglow on the volcanoes!) 😍

[A real highlight of the trip for me was] listening to Rafa during our drives, and learning about how to preserve and protect what we cherish. Eleven people spent about an hour and a half rewilding, and every bit helps! This trip inspired me to continue to travel off the beaten path respectfully and sustainably to genuinely get to know a place and its people.

Karyn S

Day 6 brought us to the end of the road, literally, and we got on a ferry to cross over to the whimsical, magical, frozen-in-time island and culture of Chiloé. First stop – PENGUINS! We went for a drive along the Pacific Coast of the island to the only place in the world where you can see Humbolt and Magellanic penguins in the same place – and that we did! Along with nearly 20 other new (previously unseen on this trip) species of birds – yes, we counted and nerded and it was fab. Then we went to see our friend María Luisa at her agroturismo for another famously delicious curanto (surf ‘n’ turf baked in the earth). Together, we tried new foods, ate our fill, Jackie schooled everyone at foosball, and then we continued on to our adorable palafito (house on stilts!) in Castro. We finished the night with a powerful round of Rose Bud Thorn (iykyk) over cocktails on the roof as night fell and the tide came in below our feet and the Southern Cross lit up above our heads.

Day 7 began with a drive out to another section of the Pacific Coast where we hiked to a famous art installation – an homage to the mythology of Chiloé – the Muelle de las Almas (Dock of Souls). While we didn’t manage to see any endangered pudú (pigmy deer), we did happen to have yet another day of incredible sunny weather. We stopped for empanadas on the way back to town, and then hit up the local market with a mission: divide into teams and use whatever Spanish we knew to talk to the local vendors and find and buy certain ingredients for our special chef dinner that night. The market was a success! We took our treasured ingredients to the house of Chef Mauricio (previously of El Cazador). He showed us how to make a very special version of pebre (Chile’s special table salsa), like the kind of recipe that contains many secret ingredients, and then sat us down for one of the best meals of our lives. We had multiple courses of all different foods (ceviche, trout, octopus, squash, pork, conger eel, ratatouille, mussels AND homemade ice cream 😳🤤), many bottles of different wines, lots of laughter and wonderful conversations, and possibly a little too much Pisco at the end there… We spent our last night in the palafito, dreaming of staying longer in this magical place.

The final dinner at Mauricio’s house was absolutely incredible. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was so cool, learning how to make the Chilean salsa dish was great, [I loved] getting to talk to the chef and hear his story, and most of all, all of us laughing together at the end of dinner was a great way to end the trip.

Ana L

That dinner was the ultimate grand finale to an awe-inspiring week full of challenges and rewards, new experiences, gorgeous landscapes, teamwork right from the get go and an incredible group of people to make it happen. While Day 8 may have been filled with goodbyes (for now!), we drank the Calafate once again, so we know we’ll be back.

We are so grateful and so filled! Patagonia, you still have our hearts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *