Before we kick off our mountain bike tour Chile and northern Patagonia, you should take a day or two to adjust to local time and recover from your travels, and allow for any flight or luggage delays.
You should fly into Temuco airport (ZCO) and then take one of the dedicated shuttles to Pucón, which takes 90 minutes. We will provide details of the transfer service when you book your place on the tour.
We recommend booking your pre-trip stay at Hotel Casa Solaria in Pucón, which is where the group will meet the following day.
Our local MTB guides will meet you at Casa Solaria hotel in Pucón at 09:00am, and go through the pre-trip briefing over a coffee. You’ll then build bikes and fit rental bikes, ready to ride.
Today we’ll have the pleasure of enjoying the hard work of the local mountain bike community and ride some of the trails they’ve built and maintained around Pucón.
The riding starts with a double track climb through local forests until we are high above Pucón with a great view of Villarrica volcano in the distance.
We’ll arrive at el Cerduo Bike Park, where we climb alongside the river to a huge flow of petrified lava, the result of the 2015 eruption of Villarrica, which makes for some very exciting riding.
Get ready for steeper climbs and a more technical descent. These trails are very natural, having been walked and ridden in over time, and the Carrasco family ensures that the best lines are kept clear and well maintained.
After enjoying our first ride on Chilean soil, we’ll ride back to our accommodation and freshen up for a very special cultural experience.
This evening we’ll visit a very interesting Mapuche woman. Mrs. Rosario Colipi will take us on a journey through the ancient traditions of her community and family. We will be able to learn about cooking methods on the fire, how to use the local plants for beauty and health products and much more.
This unforgettable experience will be topped off with a typical welcome dinner in the teepee (ruka).
Today we’ll ride towards Villarrica or Ruka Pillan volcano (Spirit’s House in the Mapuche language), the most active volcano in Chile.
From just outside town, we’ll head up a dirt road that leads onto a gradual climb up to the Rucapillan Mountain Resort. From this point you will have an incredible view of the Andes, the surrounding lakes and the astonishing volcanoes of the area. We’ll even see smoke coming out of the crater.
We will start the best descent in the area that weaves through forests of coigue trees and Chilean bamboo before delivering you back to the valley floor and into Pucón.
From there we can shuttle up to one of the new bike parks in the mountains, and our guides will choose the best lines to take you.
We’ll return to our accommodation in town, get showered, then have some time in the afternoon to explore Pucón before dinner in one of our favourite local restaurants.
We will drive 15km to Palguín Bajo, where you will start mountain biking the road that leads us up the Palguín valley through the heart of the Villarrica National Park.
The views of scenic waterfalls and majestic snow-capped volcanoes such as Quetrupillan and Rucapillan will ensure that your camera in never away for long.
On this ride the vegetation changes from raulí (Nothofagus alpina) and hualle (Nothofagus oblicua) forests to araucarías as we ascend to Chinay, the highest point of the day at 1,250 metres above sea level. After a morning of mind-blowing vistas and climbing we will arrive at the Pichi Llancahue Glacier trail, where we’ll have lunch amongst the impressive araucaría, which are native to Chile.
After lunch we’ll bike the trail that leads to a phenomenal glacier which is completely covered by the volcanic ash of Villarrica. We’ll then ride a short section of trail made up of ‘aa’ lava, covered in soft green mosses to experience this impressive natural wonder first-hand.
From the head of the glacier we will (depending on snow cover) descend a 10km trail that will lead us directly to the most picturesque geothermic hot springs in Chile.
There are 16 thermal pools, set sympathetically into the natural surroundings of waterfalls, native trees and ferns. The pools are strategically placed to make sure you never feel overcrowded, and you can relax your muscles in blissfully hot water.
After an hour or so of soaking, we’ll have dinner in a local restaurant on the way to our unique hotel set amongst native forest at Huilo Huilo biological reserve, where we’ll enjoy the next three nights.
After a good night’s sleep in our cosy hotel, we’ll tackle part of a multi-day mountain biking route called the ‘Trans-Andes Challenge’.
We start this amazing ride directly from the reserve, leaving our hotel behind and navigating our way along riverside singletrack to a beautiful waterfall.
We’ll then embark on a long forested climb that will see us cresting a treetop viewing platform, enabling us to survey our accommodation and the lake it is situated on, across to Mocho-Choshuenco volcano and Argentina in the distance.
From the viewing platform we will start a descent that includes three of the ’Trans-Andes Challenge’ special stages. These are some of the most grin-inducing trails you you’ll ever ride!
Mountain biking heaven is made from trails like this, and our guide, Pancho, had a hand in making them.
This morning we’ll start with a shuttle to climb from Huilo Huilo on a steep, steady 7km double track climb, through the native forest until we get to the upper section of the adjacent National Reserve of Mocho-Choshuenco.
From there, we’ll pedal until the road ends at a plateau at around 1,800m, where we’ll have a rest to take in the magnificent panorama overlooking massive volcanoes such as Chosheunco (2,415m), Quetrupillan (2,376), Lanin (3,710m) and Villarrica (2,847m), all the way to Argentina.
You’ll do a bit of ‘free riding’ on the loose volcanic soil, which will take us to some an amazing descent, which locals call the ‘Enduro Special’, all the way to lunch.
We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch before embarking on a further steady climb to the ski resort, where we start our descent on the Pudú trail down the valley that links Mocho and Choshuenco volcanoes, back to our forest hideaway.
Today we depart from Huilo Huilo, but not before we have one last ride in this beautiful bio-reserve.
We start with a short shuttle, then start pedalling to complete the climb to the top of the Cerro Fuy trail.
After a photo stop we’ll start our new descent, on glorious, fast flowing trails through the forest above the small village of Neltume. We then get into our incredible singletrack descent to Salto el Puma.
We’ll have lunch before we leave Huilo Huilo, then drive around 3 hours to our next accommodation, where we’ll have a great meal and a very comfortable night’s stay with another beautiful lake view.
For your final day in the Lake & Volcanoes region of Chile and Northern Patagonia you will embark on a flow and fun-filled finale that is challenging, but worth every ounce of effort.
Today you’ll be ‘volcano surfing’ on the ash that was blown from the eruption of Volcán Calbuco.
The descent is fast, flowing and technical in places, but after six days of riding and expert tuition from your guide, you will be perfectly tooled up to deal with this trail.
The icing on the cake is the last part of the ride, an exciting singletrack trail that peels downwards and opens up into the best descent of the trip.
We have our second night in our fabulous lakeside hotel, where we will enjoy a traditional farewell barbecue dinner (asado) with all our fellow riders and the local staff.
Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to Chile and to friends old and new.
We’ll transfer you to Puerto Montt airport for around 11am so that you can catch your flight back to Santiago, or continue your travels in Chile.