Explore Chile and Argentina's Lake Districts by bike
Ride along and soak up the splendour
Pedal along the mountain-lined roads
Enjoy the diverse biking
Cycle Chile and Argentina
Enjoy cruising across the lake at various points
Discover the phenomenal lakes

Cycling the Lake Districts of Chile & Argentina

Duration
13 days
Site savings
$83
From
$4,026 USD

Ride through the beautiful Lake District of Chile and Argentina on a 13-day bicycling adventure. Discover a beautiful and fertile land at the northern gateway to Patagonia - a magical landscape filled with active volcanoes, turquoise rivers, gigantic lakes and ancient native forests. See Andean condors swooping down from the foothills of the cordillera as you cycle on some of the most scenic paved routes that South America has to offer.

  • Category
    Adventurous
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    13 days
  • Culture Level
    Adventurous
  • Skill Level
    3 - Intermediate
  • Activity Level
    4 - Challenging
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Mixed
  • Distance
    222.5 miles
  • Avg. Daily Distance
    24.9 miles
operated by
Exodus Travels
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  • Where does the tour start and end?

    The tour starts in Puerto Varas at the hotel in the afternoon/evening of the first day. The tour ends with an afternoon transfer to Temuco airport - note that only one airport transfer on the last day is possible so check with us/the tour operator before booking your flight out, to ensure the timings will work.

    The nearest airport to Puerto Varas is El Tepual (PMC) in Puerto Montt, about 30km (18mi) from Puerto Varas, which has regular flights to Santiago, Punta Arenas, Balmaceda and other airports served by LAN Airlines and Sky Airline.

    Getting from Puerto Montt airport to the start hotel is a fairly short journey of around 30 minutes. There are taxis available at the arrivals terminal to take you.
    Alternatively, you can meet the group transfer at Puerto Montt airport and join at no extra expense.



  • How long is the tour? How many cycling days?

    The tour is 13 days long with 9 days of cycling.

  • What's the tour like?

    This trip is classified Road and has an activity level of 4 (Moderate/Challenging) with an average daily distance of 44km (27 miles) over 9 cycling days. Between Peulla and Puerto Blest there is a section of the ride where the support vehicle cannot take the same route, however, in the event of an emergency, it is possible to have vehicle access. This is the toughest section of the itinerary. The terrain and route are approx. 75% tarmac, 25% unpaved roads. Some large elevation gains; mixed cycling terrain; variable weather conditions and some remote locations.

    Some cycling experience and a good level of fitness is recommended. Most of the roads are in good condition, although there can occasionally be potholes and poorer conditions in some short sections. You should be prepared for some cycling on unpaved gravel/dirt roads. The Andes crossing day from Chile to Argentina is the toughest day of cycling on the tour as the stretches of unpaved road between the lakes involve a long climb up to the border crossing which is potentially on rough terrain depending on how the weather has been. The roads are generally free of heavy traffic until you reach towns where you are more likely to encounter other vehicles.

  • Is a bike available?

    Yes, Specialised Rockhopper Comp or Rockhopper Expert mountain bikes are included in the tour.

    E-bikes can be hired but is subject to availability and additional charges may apply.

    Alternatively, you can bring your own bike (BYO) but this is on a request basis and additional charges may apply to cover the transportation of your bike during the tour.

    Conditions

    1. The equipment remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, hire out or part possession with the equipment.

    2. You must not misuse the equipment and must return it in the same condition as when received (ordinary wear and tear excepted). The supplier is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the equipment during the period of hire.

    3. You must ensure that the equipment is adequately secured when not in use. In the event of the equipment being lost or stolen, you may be liable for the replacement value of the equipment

    4. You must not use the equipment whilst under the influence of drink or drugs and should immediately notify the Supplier in the event of breakdown or loss.

    Extra Bike Bits

    You may like to bring your own pedals and saddle (excluding the seat post) or gel saddle cover to fit to the hire bikes. The tour operator encourages this, if it is your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle/pedals at the end of the trip. They cannot guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.

  • Do I have the wear/bring a helmet?

    Wearing a helmet is mandatory for anyone taking part in this cycling holiday. Group members must bring their own helmets, as they are not available for hire.

    Cycling of all kinds has its dangers and accidents can happen from time to time. Please ensure that you are properly prepared for the riding you are going to undertake.

    Recommended Cycling Clothing

    Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof/windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting daysack.

  • Should I have travel insurance?

    Yes. It is a condition of joining this holiday that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

  • Are E-Bikes available on this tour?

    Yes, E-Bikes are available but they are on request basis. Availability will have to be checked along with its current rental price.

    Message us for additional information

  • Can I have private room? What is the single supplement cost?

    A single supplement is applicable if you are travelling alone or wish to have your own room. The price varies depending on the dates chosen with minimum price starting at AU$1,333.00.

    If you would like to book a single room please contact us.

  • Please read here for the tour operator's message regarding Covid-19:

    Before you travel
    We recommend that your travel insurance policy includes COVID-cover so that your costs will be covered until you are able to return home should you test positive (subject to conditions). When comparing travel insurance providers, please ensure you read each PDS carefully so you know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for.

    On your trip
    Your tour leader will provide the latest local guidance, and let you know if any extra safety precautions such as face coverings may be needed in certain locations.
    Should you fall ill, our team knows the most suitable medical care facilities for each point on the trip and will work in tandem with your leader to get you any medical attention, should you need it. If official travel advice changes during your trip, your leader will work closely with our customer operations team to reroute or help with repatriation if required.

    In the unlikely event that your group needs to self-isolate, your local team will offer support throughout. We will help arrange accommodation and food and help to organise medical care and liaise with your insurance provider. In the unlikely event that your tour leader contracts COVID, they will be replaced immediately.

    Returning home
    Should there be a requirement to show proof of a negative COVID test on arrival back to your home country, we have built time into our itineraries for this. On guided trips your leader will assist with this and if needed, will take you to the most appropriate local testing facility.

    If, through no fault of your own, your test result is delayed, we will cover your accommodation costs until you are able to travel and rearrange your flights (for flight inclusive customers).

    Small Healthy Groups
    We keep group sizes small to maintain a low risk ‘small group bubble’, with an average of 10 guests in each group. It may not always be possible to socially distance, but as a precautionary measure, we encourage travellers to limit physical contact with others where possible.

    Exodus COVID-Clear Policy
    For extra peace of mind, Exodus requires all those travelling on group holidays to have had a vaccine or negative COVID test – known as ‘COVID-Clear’ status. Please ensure that you understand this policy and can comply with it before you travel with us. All customers will need to have one of the following in place prior to travel:

    1. Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the last dose having been administered no less than two weeks prior to travel. The total number of doses must have been given, as required by the vaccine manufacturer (in most cases this is two doses).
    • You will need to obtain the Australian-issued International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). Please visit Smart Traveller for how to obtain your certificate

    2. A negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) taken within 72 hours of travel.

    If you are travelling to a country where one of these is an entry requirement, you do not need to provide Exodus with proof of your COVID-Clear status prior to travel; you can expect this to be checked by your airline and by immigration officials when you arrive in the destination country.

    If you are travelling within your home country, or there are no entry requirements of this nature in the destination country, please email a copy or photo of your documents to support@roaradventures.com at least 2 weeks before departure.

    With our COVID-Clear policy in place, we will no longer require you to complete a ‘self-declaration’ prior to travel, which was required for travel during 2020. Your tour leader however will remind you of any regional or national COVID rules or guidelines which apply, and as needed, the latest policy requirements from Exodus.

    Approved Destinations

    All of our destinations will be required to pass a 5-stage approval process, which includes all relevant government authorities advice and assessment of additional destination information by Healix, a leading independent Global Travel Risk Management company.

    Our 5-stage approval process
    We will only travel to a country where the following criteria has been met:
    • The Australian Government does not advise against travel to your chosen country.
    • COVID infection rates are under control.
    • Entry requirements are reasonable and local restrictions do not significantly impair the itinerary.
    • We have access to a list of approved emergency medical services.
    • Our local partners can meet our COVID safety requirements.

    We use Healix, a leading Global Travel Risk Management company to ensure we have correct, consistent and up-to-date information about all destination risks.

    How do I know if my trip is going ahead?
    We review all upcoming departures on a rolling, week-by-week basis, to assess whether we can safely travel to the destination country.

    11 weeks before you depart: At this point we will either confirm that we believe there is a good chance of the trip running, or we will cancel the departure. All clients will be written to in either case.

    7 weeks before you depart: We will make a final decision on running the tour and will contact you to advise if your trip is scheduled to travel or not. We will issue updated Trip Notes and ask you to read and confirm you understand the requirements to protect yourself and other group members, including our ‘COVID-Clear’ policy.

    Up to the date of travel: We will continue to monitor all destinations and will notify clients immediately should the status of their departure change.

    Clean & Safe
    Enhanced cleanliness and hygiene safety measures have been introduced in our accommodation, transport, meal locations and venues, and our local teams will visit each one in advance of travel.

    Exodus Travels has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travellers with additional assurance that we have adopted health and hygiene global standards designed to keep your travels as safe as possible.

Overall Rating:
4.9/5
One bike - two countries.
Brian Guest
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

The snow-clad volcanoes and emerald lakes of the Andes mountains. Gravel tracks, black lava fields and ancient forests of monkey puzzle trees.
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Crossing the Andes by bike: not once but twice!
Tai and his younger brother Yal worked tirelessly to support the group. They gave a clear briefing on each day's itinerary and generated Stava maps to show the route. On the road they shepherded us through the traffic and managed to control both those keenest to reach our destination and those more content to just enjoy the scenery and walk the hills. They coped very well with the inevitable problems which occurred: our punctures; occasional falls; late transfers; variable accommodation; wet weather; etc, etc. They were always ready to chat with the group and explain about the local people, their history and culture .
The trip notes are not always updated and itineraries may well change. Our mountain bikes were very good but with limited space for carrying spare kit or a camera. Although the support vehicle was close at hand, you might consider a ruck-sac or handlebar bag useful. Research beforehand. More options are available for your free days than may be advertised. We really enjoyed excursions to Mount Tronador from Bariloche and later to Huerquehue National Park from Pucon. Take a good camera with a wide angle lens as the landscapes are stunning. And it also pays to get up early for the dawn light. Breakfasts are sometimes meagre but expect your waistline to expand: portions for lunch and dinner are huge! ATM's in Argentina restrict you to 4,000 ARS and cost a lot to use. Santander Rio have branches in all the towns we visited. If you have an account, it gives you a much better rate. Spend a few days in Buenos Aires if you have the chance. It's pretty safe and easy to get around. There's some lovely Art Nouveau architecture, a lively café-culture, craft markets at the weekend, fine Opera and bookshops, tango dinner dances and lots of urban art. We would recommend a 5-hour cycle trip: Hidden Graffiti And Urban Art Tour.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If the weather is fine, as it fortunately was for us, cycling in Argentina and Chile is a joy. Traffic is generally respectful and the distances covered are easily manageable in the time. Where the trip notes describe parts of the route as gravel, be prepared for some pretty rough going. In places it was safer to walk. But the best is saved for last: the Parque Nacional Conguillío - with black lava field and forests of monkey-puzzle trees under the brooding Llaima Volcano.

A Volcanic Undertaking
Barbara Dean
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

Once again [the tour operator] delivered. Our guides were fantastic, the bikes were well maintained, and the accommodation was for the most part great. The food was also better than some previous trips and only somewhat challenging for a gluten free/vegetarian. Power bars go a long way! Finally, the scenery was picturesque and breathtaking. Lots of lakes and Volanoes.
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Day 4 of the tour. We completed a 20km cycle on some serious gravel and then my husband and I opted to walk the 7.5km climb over 700 metre ascent versus cycling it. We passed a few people who ended up frustratingly walking their bikes but getting to the top felt like quite an achievement especially with blisters on both feet.
What did you think of your group leader?
Tai was a very impressive young man who did a fantastic job. His brother Yal was a great support and eventually their dad, Marcello joined us making the group complete. Their obvious bond as a family just made our experience that much better.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
A gel saddle wouldn’t go amiss as the gravel was sometimes more like boulders.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The trip notes need to be updated. For anyone interested in seeing southern Chile and western Argentina, I would highly recommend this tour.

Stunning
Will Potten
(Review obtained from Tour Operator)

A simply beautiful trip. We were lucky with incredible weather throughout, giving us deep blue skies reflected in the lakes. The cycling was superb, giving a good mix of roads and gravelly off-road tracks. Some mountain biking experience would be useful for these sections, particularly the long climb across the border into Argentina. The scenery was stunning - volcanoes, lakes, forests, and the food throughout was incredible. I’ve never eaten so much top quality steak in so few days. Despite the cycling, you might not expect to lose weight on this trip. Special thanks to our guides, Alex, Tai (hope I spelled that right) and Leah who regularly had her bike cannibalised when one of us broke down.
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Too many to choose. The final days cycling through the lagoons and monkey puzzles. The incredible views on the seven lakes road, and the climb into Argentina with a beautiful lakeside hotel at the end of the day.
What did you think of your group leader?
Alex was brilliant. Endlessly cheerful and enthusiastic and attentive to all our needs. A real asset to [the tour operator].
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
I loved the off road sections but I’m not sure that everyone did. Although most of the trip is on paved roads of good quality, to enjoy the cycling to the fullest extent, be prepared for some bumpy, gravelly and loose surfaces, especially when climbing.