Chile,  Patagonia Roadtrip,  We12inspire

Introducing: our Patagonian roadtrip

With a loud bump the plane lowers itself on to the runway of Puerto Montt Airport. We’re surrounded by trees and a big layer of clouds. While we exit the plane, the fresh yet cold air makes us shiver and after picking up our rental car it’s time to really start our two week road trip. With a 24 hour layover in Santiago and no less than 20 hours of flying we have finally arrived at our final destination. Hello Patagonia!

In March 2014 we headed out on a two week road trip through the Lakes Districts of Chile and Argentina. This region is well known for their crystal clear lakes, impenetrable green forests and towering volcanoes. Located in the north of Patagonia it receives a large number of visitors each year who go there for hiking, skiing, adventure and of course the hot springs. Over the upcoming period of time, we’ll relive our journey and you can tag along!

road-through-puyehue
Driving through Puyehue National Park

When you think of Patagonia, you will probably envision endless pampa and countless glaciers. This would be the southern part of Patagonia, where tourists are drawn to immense ice fields and empty landscapes where the only sign of civilization are estancia’s that harbor cowboys and cattle. We’ve been to that part of Patagonia a couple of years ago but for this time, we decided to head further up north. Although the Lakes District generally receives a lot of visitors too, it’s lesser known with the average traveler. Los Lagos does mostly receives a large number of locals. For us Europeans, it would be the same as going to France or (in our case) Austria for a summer holiday.

tronador-glacier
Glacier at the base of Cerro Tronador
huerquehue-np
Colorful Huerquehue National Park

From reading and research we knew we would encounter a lot of European heritage, mostly German in Chile and Swiss in Argentina. We were warned it could rain a lot and in fact, plenty of travelers had nothing but rain. Many roads are still unpaved and outside of the larger towns, locals would be wary of tourists. Whether that sounded appealing we’ll leave in the middle but the thought of road tripping through a region where there’s plenty to do for outdoor adventure lovers made us decide to head out and discover for ourselves if it would be worth the long journey.

cochamo-registration
Hikers registration at Cochamó
Lago-Mascardi
Lago Mascardi

Our journey lasted 14 days and was (approximately)  1.650 kilometers long. We visited no less than 6 national parks, crossed 2 borders, stayed in various mountain huts, got soaked in rain but also had some sunny days. We went hiking, mountainbiking, climbed an active volcano and drove on the worst roads you can imagine.

Want to tag along on our adventure? Then keep an eye out for more posts to come. Or instead, just subscribe and stay updated on all things new on we12travel.

First up we’ll start with our visit to Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, home to the famous Petrohue Falls and the spectacular Osorno volcano. Hasta la próxima!

And … if you want to read more about the deep south of Patagonia, you might enjoy these posts:
All you want to know about Torres del Paine National Park
5 Things to do in Ushuaia on a rainy day
Hiking trail tale: Laguna de los Tres
The we12travel Patagonia alphabet

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