Wild Patagonia: Desert to Ice Expedition

Argentina & Chile // Feb 17 - Mar 1, 2025

Patagonia Hiking Tour 2025

13 days/12 nights ✧ Patagonia National Park ✧ Ancient Desert Canyons ✧ Remote Glacier Valleys ✧ Patagonian Ice Field ✧ FREE pair Oboz Footwear

Book Here

11 Total Spots

$7,990 per person

Sign up by Oct 10 and get a FREE pair of Oboz Footwear for the trek!

$850 Deposit required to hold your spot.

2nd payment due Oct 10, 2024 (or upon booking thereafter)

Final payment due December 10, 2024 or upon booking thereafter (booking may stay open if space available).

Please view our Booking Terms here.

Trip Information

Wild Patagonia: Desert to Ice Expedition

Feb 17 - Mar 1, 2025

  • Experience truly untouched, unspoiled, remote, wild lands of Patagonia
  • Visit both sides of Patagonia National Park, in Chile and Argentina
  • Hike through ancient desert canyons in Argentina & remote glacier valleys in Chile to the Northern Patagonian Ice Field
  • Visit UNESCO site Cave of the Hands in Argentina, dating from 9,500 - 13,000 years ago
  • Witness rewilding efforts and explore a sector of Patagonia National Park in-the-making in Parque Patagonia, Argentina
  • Traverse the Smuggler's Route through the wild Jeinimeni sector of Patagonia National Park, Chile
  • Hike from hut to hut, walk through and along rivers, and camp in remote glacier valleys
  • Drive a portion of the famous Carretera Austral (Chile's Route 7)
  • Hike in 3 National Parks along Chile's Route of the Parks
  • Hike to and camp at a secluded glacier touching the Northern Patagonian Ice Field
  • Visit Chile's famous Marble Caves in Lago General Carrera
  • Enjoy farm-to-table, chef-prepared meals with local ingredients and delicious Chilean wine, even in the backcountry!


A true Jackie-original, this itinerary is the perfect combination of history, culture, sustainability, wild places, mind-blowing landscapes, tough physical activity, and ultimate reward. Here at JUMP, we want to get off the beaten path, we want to push ourselves, we want to be challenged in ways that make us grow, and we want to be rewarded with accomplishments and memories we won’t forget for as long as we live. This trip offers all of that and more. 

Also, nerd fact: it takes place in the very region that was runner-up for the filming of MIDDLE EARTH. No joke.

We’ll meet in the most remote (and Jackie says most beautiful) region of Chilean Patagonia – Aysén – and make our way through Cerro Castillo National Park before crossing the border to Parque Patagonia, Argentina. The desert colors and ancient canyons here might remind you of Southern Utah, but with only 17,000 tourists per year (compared to 1.5 million in Utah), we will be experiencing a rare place that is still wild and unspoiled, including the UNESCO Cave of the Hands, which dates back to 13,000 years ago. We’ll learn about the rewilding efforts that Parque Patagonia is implementing, and witness the transformation of this park first-hand as it becomes part of the existing Patagonia National Park in Argentina. 

We won’t take just any route once we cross back over the border into Chile, we’re taking the old Smuggler’s Route, once used to literally smuggle anything and everything (including cows) between the two countries, as it winds up and down mountains, through rivers, and along glacier valleys. We’ll spend 5 days trekking and camping along this route, winding through the remote and stop-you-in-your-tracks-beautiful Jeinimeni sector of Chile’s side of Patagonia National Park. Think perfect turquoise lakes, colorful rockbed rivers, blue skies, condors, and no human influence but us and our local guides.

Once off the Smuggler’s Route, we’ll head even deeper into the mountains to the west – destination: the Northern Patagonian Ice Field. A complete experience awaits us here, hiking into the backcountry, boating across a glacial lake, camping on a peninsula across from a secluded glacier under the southern stars, sipping a hot mate with our guides, and even getting a chance to walk on the glacier itself, touching the ancient ice as it lives and breathes around us. This one is a sunset you will never forget.

Our final leg has us heading north on Chile’s famous Route 7, the Carretera Austral, along Lago General Carrera. On the way, we will hit up a local brewery, visit the renown Marble Caves by water, and enjoy a final farewell dinner at 45º south parallel. We may end in the same place on the map where we began, but we have a feeling that much on the inside will have changed. ✨  

We dug deep into the wild of Patagonia to create this one, and we can’t wait to share it with you. Join us for the first-ever Wild Patagonia: Desert to Ice Expedition.

🥾🎁 BONUS ALERT! Sign up by Oct 10 and receive a FREE BRAND NEW style of Oboz Footwear for the trek (details in FAQ tab).

Absolutely incredible. Every detail, from the activities to the lodging, was fantastic. Really makes you feel like you’re immersed in the culture as a traveler, not just a tourist skimming the surface.

  • Arrival on own to Balmaceda airport (BBA). We will suggest a flight for the group from Santiago (SCL) and have a designated group pickup time according to this flight. Whether you arrive early or with this flight, you will need to meet the group at the airport at the designated time.

    From Balmaceda, we will drive south along Chile’s famous Carretera Austral (Southern Highway), stopping for a hike in Cerro Castillo National Park before continuing on to catch a ferry across Lago General Carrera to Chile Chico and our lodging for the night.

    • Accommodation: Camp Ñandu
    • Meals: Dinner
  • After breakfast, we will depart Chile Chico in our van and cross the border into Argentina, heading through Patagonia National Park to the Cañadón Pinturas sector of Parque Patagonia Argentina. Here we may be able to see foxes, ñandu (lesser rhea), viscacha, guanaco, birds of prey, and other native fauna right outside our doorstep. If we’re very lucky, we may see the elusive puma.

    Upon arrival, we will go for a short hike through Tierra de Colores to view the Moab-like colors of this remote desert. You will be one of only about 17,000 tourists that visit this park every year. In comparison, Moab sees over 1.5 million. This park is part of Rewilding Argentina’s efforts to conserve wild land, bring back wildlife, and ultimately create more protected, national parks in Argentina. We will get to witness these conservation efforts first-hand at our charming lodgings for the next two nights.

    • Hiking: Approx. 2 mi / 300 ft gain
    • Accommodations: La Posta de Los Toldos
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • This morning after a chef-prepared breakfast, we’ll set out to visit the Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), an archaeological site, one of the oldest expressions of cave art in South America —with paintings over 9,500 years old— and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These impressive cave paintings allow us to peek into the life of humans of the past: hunting scenes and silhouettes of animals such as guanacos, rheas and armadillos stand out among the figures, possibly the main components of their diet.

    Directly from the Cueva de las Manos, we begin our canyon hike, along a winding river and trail that very few tourists have ever walked. We found TWO ancient arrowheads right on the trail last time – a testament to how few people actually hike here. It will just be us, ancient history, and wild animas if we’re lucky to spot some. Along the way we’ll learn about the estancia that used to exist here, and how the area has been conserved to reintroduce wildlife and preserve the land. Simply by visiting, we are contributing to the sustainability efforts in the region.

    Another delicious, chef-special dinner awaits us tonight at Los Toldos.

    • Hiking: Approx. 13 mi / 2,500 ft gain
    • Accommodation: La Posta de Los Toldos
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • After another hearty breakfast and saying goodbye to our lovely local hosts at Los Toldos, we will get in the van to drive back across the border to Chile Chico. We will enter Chile’s side of Patagonia National Park – the Jeinimeni sector – and hike in Valle Lunar (Moon Valley). On this trail we’ll see some ancient surprises along the way, views of the entire valley stretching into Argentina, and you’ll experience why it’s called Valle Lunar.

    In the evening, we’ll gather for dinner back at our cozy lodgings of Ñandu Camp and prepare for our thru-trek starting the next day.

    • Hiking: Approx. 5 mi / 1,600 ft gain
    • Accommodation: Camp Ñandu
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • Today after breakfast we take only our packs as we head out for the next five days on a thru-hike in Chile’s Patagonia National Park. On our way to the trailhead, we have a chance to see flamingos as we pass colored mountains and learn why the trail we’re about to traverse is called the Smuggler’s Trail.

    Then we’ll shoulder our packs and begin our trek, hiking from one turquoise lake to another, along a river, going deeper into the backcountry to our destination for the night – a campsite between rivers, nestled along the lakeshore of one of the most pristine lakes you might ever see. Here we will help set up camp and enjoy a night under the stars, around a campfire, while enjoying the first of our ridiculously delicious backcountry meals (we don’t mess around when it comes to food).

    • Hiking: Approx. 6 mi / 165 ft gain
    • Accommodation: Tent Camping at Lago Jeinimeni
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • Today after breakfast we’ll break camp and head out, where we’ll shortly come to our first significant river walking portion (of many) of this trek. Don’t be intimidated by this part, with sturdy shoes, you’ll quickly come to enjoy the sensation of walking up a river full of colorful stones that was carved by a glacier thousands of years ago, nothing but wild Patagonia around you. It’s a moving meditation you may just become addicted to!

    Today’s hike includes La Gloria Pass (3,600 ft), leading us to our home for the next two nights – Refugio Glaciar (Glacier Hut) in Valle de los Glaciares (Valley of the Glaciers). This site is nestled deep within the forest, and upon arrival we’ll have the option to take a sunset stroll around the glacier lake before relaxing into camp for the evening.

    Here is where we could go on and on about the literal stop-you-in-your-tracks views you will witness throughout the next few days of backcountry hiking, but we’ll leave it at this: we’re in for some incredible surprises along this hike. You just have to show up.

    • Hiking: Approx. 11 mi / 7-8 hours / 750 ft gain / multiple wide, shallow river crossings
    • Accommodation: Tent Camping at Glacier Hut
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • Today we’ll hike to the Glaciar del Guardaparques lookout. The hike is steep and we’ll ascend over eroded rock and gullies until we arrive near the edge of the ice of Guardaparques Glacier. From here we can see lakes, waterfalls, and even our campsite from the viewpoint over the valley we are traversing through. The picturesque hanging glacier of Punta Guanaco peak by the upper lake is where we’ll stop, returning via the same path back to Glacier Hut camp for dinner.

    An extra day to just explore, breathe, connect with nature in the backcountry may be just what your soul needs, and we’re going to get it today.

    • Hiking: 5 hours / 900 ft gain / some rock scrambling
    • Accommodation: Tent Camping at Glacier Hut
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • This morning we rise early for a hike with breathtaking views of the Jeinimeni, El Tronador and Las Llaves Mountain ranges and ragged peaks. Our path leaves behind the open alpine to enter the lush northwest evergreen forest. We’ll walk down to the Avilés Valley, around lagoons to an old Lenga Forest, and to a remote, newly constructed wilderness camp. Along the way, we can catch glimpses of the past as we trek past abandoned shelters built by gauchos.

    Today’s hike brings us to our final destination on the Smuggler’s Trail – the Renoval Hut.

    • Hiking: Approx. 10 mi / 535 ft gain + 1,568 ft loss / 7-8 hours
    • Accommodation: Tent Camping at Renoval Hut
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • The last day of the Smuggler’s Route traverses the wide rivers of the Avilés Valley. Depending on weather conditions, we will enjoy exhilarating river crossings, complete with rope systems and harnesses! We’ll follow cattle trails used by gauchos to get their animals to summer pasture, including some narrow-cut trails beside a canyon. We’ll finally arrive back at Chelenco Lake (Lago General Carrera), near the old mining village of Fachinal, and meet the van for a rugged, bumpy drive to our home for the night – Mallín Colorado lodge.

    While on the map we technically haven’t been very far away from the nearest town, the remoteness of the past five days on the Smuggler’s Trail will start to disappear as we end our thru-hike and come out onto the Carretera Austral once more. But don’t worry, we’re easing slowly back into civilization again by staying at a cozy, secluded lodge for the night that includes hot showers and comfortable beds in a gorgeous setting alongside Lago General Carrera. Here we can reset and enjoy the luxury of being indoors for one night before hitting the trail again the next day.

    • Hiking: Approx. 14 mi / 780 ft gain + 2,560 ft loss / 9 hours / river crossings + Tyrolean traverse
    • Accommodation: Mallín Colorado
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • Of the entire length of the Carretera Austral, the activity we’re about to do is one of Jackie’s absolute favorites (and she knows…). We begin today after breakfast with a relatively easy hike out to a super special place – a glacier lake where a boat awaits us. The boat will take us across this turquoise gem of a lake to the peninsula where we will set up camp for the night. But this day isn’t over yet. Surprises await, they may or may not include glacier ice, that’s all we’re going to say for now.

    • Hiking: Approx. 6 mi / 500 ft gain
    • Accommodation: Tent Camping at a Glacier Lake – Northern Patagonian Ice Field
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • This morning we have the opportunity to walk on the glacier, and if we’re lucky, we may have the chance to try a little ice climbing as well – yes, on a GLACIER. Let’s just say this isn’t your typical glacier trekking experience. After our glacier excursion, we’ll break down camp and head back by boat across the lake, hiking back out to the Carretera Austral.

    From there, our van will take us to the sweet little town of Puerto Rio Tranquilo, where we’ll celebrate the completion of all of our thru-hiking by going straight to the local brewery.  We’ll stay the night in cozy accommodations here in town.

    • Hiking: Approx. 8 miles including glacier hike / 600 ft gain
    • Accommodation: Puerto Tranquilo Apart Hotel
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • We’re not done yet! We happen to be right at the shores of Lago General Carrera where Chile’s famous Marble Caves wait to be explored by water. Weather dependent, we will either hop in kayaks and paddle or get in a boat to visit the gorgeous marble caves, drifting through clear, luminescent turquoise waters beneath pure marble columns that have been carved out by the water over thousands of years.

    Then we will hit the road to head back north on the Carretera Austral to the charming town of Coyhaique for our farewell dinner.

    • Accommodation: Hotel El Reloj
    • Meals: B,Box L,D
  • Nearly two weeks after meeting as new friends, today we will depart as family. We will provide an AM group transfer back to the Balmaceda (BBA) airport in time for a flight back to Santiago.

    Meals: B

From the moment we met up with Jackie… I instantly felt like we were in good hands. She knew the language extremely well, knew the area, and most importantly had a laid back “we’ve got this” enjoyable vibe. …The guides that Jackie had arranged were not just top notch, but FUN, and unforgettable. Each of them were knowledgeable about the area, history, wildlife, plants and ecology. They obviously loved what they did and loved sharing it with others.

TRIP COST: $7,990 per person

  • Local, professional English-speaking guides throughout entire trip
  • Transportation as noted throughout entire trip
  • All park entrance fees
  • 12 nights accommodation as described in itinerary
  • All meals as stated in itinerary starting with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 13
  • All activities mentioned in itinerary and equipment necessary for activities
  • Pre departure information to help you plan and prepare
  • International or domestic flights and taxes
  • Meals/beverages outside of itinerary
  • Water bottle (help us save the environment and bring your own reusable bottle or hydration system)
  • Personal expenses (eg. phone calls, internet, laundry, shopping, etc.)
  • Visa or tourist tax (if required)
  • Tips (see Logistics & FAQ)
  • Travel Insurance

All I can say about Chile and Patagonia is….breathtaking beyond words, but also complicated logistically if you don’t understand how things work, especially if you don’t speak the language and have a complicated itinerary. Even though I don’t tend to gravitate towards anything with groups, especially travel, this changed my perspective completely. The ease of travel because of preparations by Jackie and camaraderie of the group enhanced this trip tremendously!

  • Arrival AND Departure airport for this itinerary: Balmaceda, Chile (BBA).

    Airfare is not included. You can fly with Sky Airlines or LATAM from Santiago (SCL) to Balmaceda (BBA), and a suggested flight and/or arrival time will be provided to registered participants. Please see Daily Itinerary Day 1 for more info.

    We are happy to review your potential flight schedule for you to make sure you’re getting the right times, dates, and airports!

  • We’re proud to be working with the same dependable guides we’ve been working with since the beginning of our group adventures in Patagonia. Our guides are the best in the business, with the highest level of certification, including Wilderness First Responder, and all are graduates of the Chilean and Argentine Mountain Guides Association. They are experts in regional flora and fauna, and they can provide a deep understanding of the geological forces that created the magnificent landscapes that make up Patagonia. They are also enthusiastic, extremely knowledgeable, well-connected, and a lot of fun to spend time with.

    You are in the BEST hands!

    Jackie will be on this adventure as well! (Like she’d let us do this epic Patagonia itinerary without her…)

  • Due to remote glacier valley camping and trekking through rivers, this will be one of the harder trips we’ve run, not just physically, but also mentally! Patagonia has wild weather and can be extremely windy and cold, even in summer months. We will be carrying packs and hiking through (relatively shallow) water multiple times on our Smuggler’s Route thru-hike. This will be as much a mental game as it is physical, and we want you to be prepared so you can accomplish it with confidence!

    A proficient hiking level and physical fitness is crucial for this trip. We recommend training – getting some good hikes in beforehand and possibly some long runs or workouts to prepare for this amount of trekking.

    It’s also a great idea to practice hiking in the shoes or boots you plan to wear, as you will be in them for a majority of the time. It’s worth being in great shape so you can recover quickly and feel your best every day on the trail, and so we can keep the group together with a good pace.

    It will also be crucial to have a sturdy set of shoes (trail runners, NON-waterproof) for river hiking that you can change in and out of on the trail. Make sure you are comfortable in both sets of shoes!

    We specifically recommend nuun tablets for electrolyte replacement and hydration during the days, compression socks to wear each evening for improved blood flow and fast recovery, and emergen-C packets to start each day with a boost of energy. These are in addition to physical fitness, they do NOT replace your training.

    Come February, when you’re sipping your Chilean wine and eating freshly prepared king crab legs at a campfire next to a remote backcountry hut that you hiked to with your new friends, you will be SO glad you trained for this, so you can feel strong and ready every day when it’s time to hit the trail, and stay awake to see the Southern Cross at night without having to skip dinner and crawl into bed from too much exhaustion. LET’S DO THIS!!

  • We are excited to be partnering with our favorite shoe brand – Oboz Footwear – to provide all registered participants with a BRAND NEW style of Oboz Footwear to take along on the trip! HUZZAH!

    US-based participants only. Must be signed up by Oct 10 to be eligible.

    FREE Oboz Footwear for participants

  • Deposits are non-refundable. Please click here to view our Booking Terms & Conditions. Each participant is highly encouraged to purchase CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason insurance) as soon as you book your trip, to protect your travel investment as well as have personal luggage and medical coverage, not to mention peace of mind! Click here to get CFAR quotes from battleface insurance.

  • We will have luggage support for half the trip and be carrying all of our own gear for half the trip (during the thru-hiking portions), so be prepared to pack ultra light! A kickass adventure packing list will be provided to registered participants.

    • Trail Safety: Rescues are extremely difficult in Patagonia. Take your time, with steady steps, and take care of each other out there. Our guides are always equipped with satellite phones in case of emergency.
    • WiFi/Cell Service: While WiFi is available at some of our accommodations, cell service is hard to come by in Patagonia. Be ready to be off grid during most of the trip, especially on the remote thru-hikes.
    • Outlets: Chile uses plug types C and L (two and three round-pronged outlets). You will need an adapter similar to the one you use in Europe. We also recommend bringing a fully-charged mobile power bank to last you through the multi-day hikes.
    • Water: Drinkable water will be available throughout the entire trip. You are invited to join us as we give the planet a break by bringing reusable water bottles to avoid using single-use plastic bottles at all costs.
  • Click here to read our Booking Terms & Conditions.

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