Expedition: Patagonia Coast to Coast – Chile to Argentina

  • Length 17 days
  • From USD$7595
  • Style/Level Expedition 5.0
  • Countries Argentina
  • Begin/End Puerto Montt, Chile/Playa Union, Argentina

Are you ready to pedal Coast to Coast across South America? Join us on this expedition from Chiloé, Chile on the Pacific Coast, over the Andes, down the Chubut River valley through the Argentinian Steppe, to Playa Union on the Atlantic Coast. There are plenty of surprises along the way: starting with the unique culture of the Chilote people; the Welsh settlement and tea houses at Gaiman; Ruta 25, the main road of Argentine Patagonia, yet one of the least traveled roads in the country. Enjoy oceans, rain forest, mountains, deserts, river valleys and just about every other type of terrain you can imagine on this 700+ mile, 17-day expedition.

Expedition tours are designed for experienced riders looking to challenge themselves. Read more about how they differ from a regular ExperiencePlus! tour here.

Is cycling in South America for you? Check out our What to expect: Cycling in South America page.


  • Chiloé Island, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, penguin colony, market in Castro, rafting, Old Patagonian Express, Last frontier feeling in the Argentinian Steppe, Guanacos, Gaiman, Irish tea house.


  • 17 days, 16 nights accommodation, 16 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners. Price includes all tips including tour leader gratuities. Day 1 shuttle from Puerto Montt to the tour start. Day 17 shuttle from Playa Union to the Trelew Airport.

  • All Expedition tour inclusions

Keep in mind

We work hard to maintain consistency across all of our tours, but some trips have unique differences. Here are some things to keep in mind about this tour.

Expeditions require that you be prepared for anything and a sense of adventure will be your most valuable asset!
– Due to gravel/poor road conditions there will likely be 2 or 3 instances where you will have to shuttle.
– You will travel to remote areas with very basic accommodations.
– Private Rooms may not be available every night.

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Expedition tour here.

Date Price Private room fee Note

Download Itinerary

We’ll send you a link to a full day by day tour itinerary that can be downloaded and printed so you can review all the details online and offline. This packet also includes details about what to expect on tour and arrival and departure details.
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Highlights: Chiloe Island

Our trip begins with a shuttle to Ancud, Chiloé (about 90kms, 2 hours) where we fit bicycles and take a warm-up ride to stretch out our legs. Founded in 1767, Ancud was a fortified city, a base for seafarers coming north around Cape Horn, and the last Spanish stronghold in Chile. Chiloé is a fascinating island with one of the largest indigenous populations of any place in Chile.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Don Lucas

Highlights: Magellan and Humboldt penguins colony, walk on beach, Curanto Lunch

We’re in Ancud again tonight but we’ll take an excursion today to be sure our bikes are properly fitted, dip our toes in the Pacific on this spectacularly remote beach and visit the penguin colony. A 30 min. boat ride will takes us to Puñihuil, the only place in Chile where both the Magellan and Humboldt penguins breed. For lunch we’ll have a Curanto lunch – experience a 10,000 year old recipe and cooking style.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Highlights: Fishing port, East coast of Chiloé Island

Our route today takes us on the Panamerican Highway for about 40 km, then off to the east coast of Chiloé Island. A little over half way into our ride we’ll pass the Aucar islet, a tiny island with just a church and cemetery but special because of a 700m wooden bridge which connects it with the Island of Chiloé. (For those who want to add a few km the wooden church of Colo is worthwhile the detour( there will be another wooden church on the route tomorrow)). We’ll end our day in Dalcahue, a fishing port north east of Castro, the capital of the island.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Highlights: Church of Santa María de Loreto in Achao, Palafito Houses and Market in Castro

From Dalcahue we’ll take the ferry to Quinchao Island. We’ll bike to Curaco de Velez and after that to Achao to explore the oldest church (1793) in the archipelago which is one of the iconic wooden churches of the Chiloé Archipelago and a UNESCO site. On our way back we’ll have lunch at an “agroturismo”. After ferrying back to Chiloé we’ll bicycle to Castro where you’ll have time to explore the local market of Castro and discover produce you’ve never seen before and artisanal handicrafts!

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Highlights: Ride to Pacific, Chiloé National Park, lunch with locals

We pedal from Castro to Chiloé National Park on the Pacific Coast today. In the National Park we’ll go for a 1-2 hour hike to explore its ancient forests and learn about its history. This region was described by Charles Darwin on his famous voyage as rich in its diversity of temperate-zone forest plants. The park was created by the indigenous communities of Chiloé who have fought to protect the environment threatened by intensive deforestation. The national park is also home to rare species of animals endemic to Chile, such as picaflores (hummingbirds), kingfishers, huillines (sea otters), and pudúes (the smallest deer in the world). We’ll visit with members of the indigenous community of Quilque over lunch with local products. Tonight we overnight in a unique stilt hotel in the small town of Cucao.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Highlights: Ferry to Chaitén

Our schedule today will vary depending on ferry schedules. If the ferry leaves mid-day we’ll take a quick morning ride from the ocean back to Castro or Chonchi. We arrive in Chaiten later this afternoon after a 4-5 hour boat ride. We’ll spend the night in Chaitén and explore this town as it is being rebuilt. In 2008 Chaitén was partially destroyed during the eruption of the Chaitén Volcano after it having been dormant for 9000 years!

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Highlights: Bicycle Chaiten – Yelcho en Patagonia

We will rest our legs on a shorter ride today and get ready for the Andes. Our accommodation tonight is in a “hidden corner of the world.” We will stay on the shores of the lake of Yelcho, one of the largest lakes of Chile surrounded by ice capped peaks and rain forests.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Highlights: Boat ride across Lake Yelcho

We jump on a boat across the lake today to experience the the mountains from a different point of view. We’ll spend some time enjoying the little community of Futaleufu which is mostly known for its world class rafting and fly fishing. No riding today, just some time on the lake and exploring town.

Meals : Breakfast

Highlights: Scenic rivers, rafting and hiking

You have the option of a half day of rafting or spending your day simply enjoying your beautiful surroundings. If you are a fly fisher we can help find you fly fishing options for the day, or simply a nice walk in the hills if you prefer! Tonight we’ll have dinner together and celebrate our last night in Chile before we cross the border tomorrow.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner

Highlights: River views, views of Patagonia Express narrow gauge steam train

We head up the river this morning and climb about 2,000 feet by the time we arrive in Esquel, a small ski resort in the foothills of the Argentine Andes. Esquel is famous as the terminus of the Old Patagonian Express one of the oldest continuously operating steam railways in the world. The train now operates primarily as a tourist attraction. We should be able to get some good photographs.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Highlights: Bicycle Ruta 40, the Andes

You’ll continue to climb on today’s ride as you leave Esquel for Tecka. After about 10 km. you intersect the famous “Ruta 40” which we’ll follow to Tecka where we spend the night. (If you continue south on the Ruta 40 and you’d end up in southern Patagonia – after about 4 weeks on your bike!).

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Highlights: Barbecue, Argentinean steppe

Today is your first opportunity to ride a century, from Tecka to Paso de Indios on Ruta 25, rather than Ruta 40. We’ll go over our last mountain range and head down to the beginning of the Chubut River Valley. The choices for accommodations are very limited in this remote area so we’ll stay in a simpler style hotel. Keep your eyes open and you’ll see eagles, and some guanacos.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Highlights: Bicycle the Rio Chubut

Continuing east from Paso de Indios we encounter the Rio Chubut and the landscape changes dramatically as we enter the Valle de Los Altares. This green river valley contrasts starkly with the eroded sedimentary cliffs on either side. Our destination tonight is a small hotel in the village of Los Altares.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Highlights: Cycling the plains – longest day of cycling!

Our route continues down the Rio Chubut today following the river to Las Plumas. We then continue on to where the Rio Chubut was dammed in 1963 to provide irrigation, hydroelectric power, and flood control for communities down the river. The prevailing winds are strong and should be at your back (fingers crossed) as you ride down the valley. If the winds are unfriendly there will be a shuttle available at the 100 km mark.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Highlights: Welsh tea house

As we follow the Rio Chubut further eastward, the last thing you might expect to find is a Welsh tea house and a city of 6,000 people speaking both Spanish and Welsh, but that is precisely what Gaiman has to offer. Settled by Welsh immigrants in the 1860s and 70s, the entire region is a miniature Welsh enclave.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Highlights: The Atlantic Ocean

We continue pedaling through this unlikely Welsh cultural region, and capital of the Chubut region. We then head on to the Atlantic coast to dip our feet into the Atlantic and end this expedition in the small town of Playa Union.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Punta Leon

Highlights: Fly out to Buenos Aires or down to Tierra del Fuego

Our tour ends on the Atlantic Beach this morning. You understand Patagonia and the Steppe a little better now! Spend some more time discovering the Peninsula of Valdés. Buen viaje!

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.

Pre-trip planning checklist

  • “All in all this was a very nice trip, well organized, nice people, interesting location, excellent staff, a lot of fun, a lot of hard work and exercise,(that’s a good thing)good equipment.”

    John D. Madison, CT
  • “I felt very comfortable with the family business because they all made me feel like ‘one of the family!'”

    Mary G. Sarasota, FL
  • I recently returned from the Coast to Coast South America expedition in Patagonia, and it was a wonderful, unforgettable adventure. I would have repeated it immediately … without hesitation … because I enjoyed it so much!

    Linda H. Plattsmouth, NE