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FarSouthExp @ Fat Birder / WAND

We are Birders - We are Leica

We are Birders - We are Leica

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Araucaria Forests, The Magical Forests of the Southern Andes

This journey of discovery will take you to magnificent national parks of southern Chile that hold the largest southern Andes population of Araucaria Pine, Araucaria araucana - also known as Monkey-puzzle tree. We will also explore the lush rainforests of the Temperate Zone of Chile, dominated by various species of the ancient tree genus Nothofagus. On this private trip you will explore a fascinating region of Chile, dominated by magnificent volcanoes, lush rainforests and blue lakes.

6-day trip • Starts: Temuco, Chile / Ends: Puerto Varas, Chile. Private departures; check out our updated 2015/2016 rates.


The magnificent cone of the active Llaima Volcano with Araucaria trees in the foreground, Conguillio National Park, Chile © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Araucaria trees, Araucaria araucana, at the magnificent Conguillio National Park © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions


Book this trip, reserve space now!Private nature and photography journey to Chile’s Lake District. Magnificent temperate forests, reminiscent of the distant forests of New Zealand and Tasmania, cover extensive regions at the foothills of the southern Andes. These forests are unique in their ancient geographical isolation and rich in arboreal species in genera Araucaria, Fitzroya, Nothofagus or Drimys, as well as a high diversity of members of the Mirtaceae family. The undergrowth is very dense and is dominated by dwarf trees, ferns and herbs and is the realm for ground-dwelling tapaculos and very rare endemic mammals.

Keen birders and botanists as well as nature photographers will have delightful subjects to observe and study during this comprehensive willdlife tour. The areas to be visited are surrounded by magnificent scenery dominated by spectacular volcanoes and lakes.





Itinerary in Brief (6 days / 5 nights)


Day 1 • Flight to Temuco – Drive to Conguillio National Park (3 nights)

Day 2 • Conguillio National Park 

Day 3 • Conguillio National Park 

Day 4 • Drive to Puerto Varas – Lahuen Ñadi Nature Reserve (2 nights)

Day 5 • Vicente Perez Rosales National Park 

Day 6 • End of the trip


Trip Highlights  

• Visits to Conguillio National Park and the impressive and active Llaima volcano.

• In-depth explorations to the Valdivian temperate rainforests at Vicente Perez Rosales National Park.

• Magnificent views of Araucaria forests amidst stunning volcanic slopes.

• Visit to Fitzroya forests, one of the world's longest living trees.

• A great array of endemic southern ground orchids in genera Gavilea and Chlorea.

• Trip suitable for the keen botanist, the nature photographer and the plant enthusiast alike.

This program is operated as a custom trip (flexible option which runs on a date you choose giving you more privacy) and is available upon request for individuals or small private groups.


The Difference of Traveling with Far South Expeditions

• Great accommodation, dinners and memorable picnic lunches.

• Spacious vehicles that ensure a window seat to each trip participant.

• The Chilean Transportation Authority has authorized every vehicle and driver we use.

• The service and expertise of a professional local naturalist leader, who will look after every logistical aspect of your holiday.

• plus an useful pre-departure information package.


Araucaria Forests can be combined with the following optional extensions:

Patagonia Botanical Tour (8 days, 7 nights), the ultimate botanical program to the southernmost tip of South America.



Detailed Itinerary and Activities


Guest Tony Upton, from Cambridge Botanical Gardens, photographing Rhodophiala andicola © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Photographing alpine flora at Conguillio National Park © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions


Day 1 • Flight to Temuco – Drive to Conguillio National Park

After your arrival to the city of Temuco (on a morning flight), we will drive directly eastwards to the Andes foothills, in direction to Conguillio National Park. On its splendid temperate forests, we will start to familiarize with a wealth of woody species. In surrounding areas of the lodge, we will be delighted by discovering restricted populations of various orchids in the genera Chloraea and Gavilea

Overnight at Lodge La Baita, Conguillio National Park (Lunch, Dinner)(Guide). 


Studying and documenting the magnificent Araucaria trees (also known as Chilean Pines) at Conguillio National Park © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Taking close-ups at the interesting bark of the Araucaria trees © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions


Days 2 & 3 • Conguillio National Park

Today will certainly become one of the finest of our journey finding plant species in southern Chile. From tall trees to small herbs, 'Conguillio' National Park will slowly reveal its floristic secrets. We will have the opportunity to study huge Araucarias (Araucaria araucana), Winter's Bark Tree (Drimys winteri) and Coigues (Nothofagus dombeyi), different species of the genus Berberis o miniature herbs such as Adenocaulon (Adenocaulon chilense), Anemone (Anemone multifida) or Yellow Viola (Viola reichei). The spectacle of our sightings will be enriched by the striking panoramic views of the volcanic surroundings of this incredible park.

Overnight at La Baita Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).


Magellanic Woodpecker, one of the specialties of the southern Temperate Forests of Patagonia © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Magellanic Woodpecker, Campephilus magellanicus © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions


Day 4 • Drive to Puerto Varas  Lahuen Ñadi Nature Reserve

During the afternoon we will visit a small private reserve with numerous elements of the temperate Valdivian rainforests of southern Chile. The richness of this park is given by the presence of the endangered conifer Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides).

Overnight at Hotel Bellavista or similar. Available upgrade to Hotel Cumbres, Puerto Varas (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).


Botanizing in the Andean foothills at Puyehue National Park © Claudo F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Botanizing at the foothills of Osorno Volcano © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions


Day 5 • Vicente Perez Rosales National Park

Today we will continue our exploration of Puyehue National Park concentrating our efforts in discovering the alpine flora occurring in the volcanic slopes around our lodge. 

Today we will drive south to visit one of the most pristine national forests of southern Chile, Puyehue National Park. This park holds a great diversity of woody species, having also numerous species on the lower layers such as shrubs, herbs, furns and mosses. One of the main attractions of these forests is the abundance of myrtaceous species such as the Arrayan (Luma apiculata) or the Meli (Amomyrtus meli). Furthermore we will find interesting endemic species including the Maqui (Aristotelia chilensis), Chaquihue (Crinodendron hookerianum), Avellano (Gevuina avellana) or the Fuinque (Lomatia ferruginea). The richness of woody plants of this national park will be the highlight to the botanist.

Overnight at Hotel Bellavista or similar. Available upgrade to Hotel Cumbres, Puerto Varas (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)(Guide).


Gavilea odoratissima, one of the several ground orchids, we will find during this nature tour © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Patagonian Ground Orchid Gavilea odoratissima © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions


Day 6 • End of the trip

Private transfer to Puerto Montt airport for connecting flights to Santiago or Punta Arenas. (Breakfast)



Tour Map


Araucaria Forests tour map © Far South Expeditions


Rates Season 2015/2016


For Private Tours (you choose the date):


Available from September through May.

Starts: Temuco, Chile • Ends: Puerto Varas, Chile.


Araucaria Forests
Trip Code CHL05
Trip Length 6 days, 5 nights
No. of guests 2 3 4 Single Suppl.
Price per person $2,928 $2,170 $1,898 $283
Upgrade Hotel Las Cumbres $235 $268 $223 $50
Trips are guaranteed to depart with a minimum of 2 participants.


What the trip includes/excludes

The above price is per person in US$, based on double occupancy. All payments are in US Dollars.

Single supplement will be added if single accommodations are requested.

The trip price includes: All accommodations, meals and guide services as stated in the itinerary, private ground transportation during the tour and park entrance fees.

The trip price excludes: Domestic flights (Santiago – Temuco | Puerto Montt – Santiago or other route), tipping, travel insurance, entrance tax to Chile, excess baggage charges, à la carte dishes, snacks, drinks, laundry, telephone calls and anything else of a purely personal nature.

Tour Registration

To book this tour, please complete our online registration form. We will process your booking form and will send you (within 24 hours) a note with space confirmation and a deposit invoice with payment instructions. The deposit amount is US$ 500 per person.

Full payment of the tour fee is due 90 days prior to tour departure.

NOTE: Inquires received on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays will be replied during the following working day.


Cancellation Policy

Notice of cancellation can only be accepted IN WRITING from the person who signed the booking form and takes effect on the day such noticed is received by us.


Refunds are made according to the following schedule:

If cancellation is made 120 days or more before departure date, the deposit less US$ 200 is refundable.

If cancellation is made between 120 and 60 days before departure, the deposit is not refundable, but any payments covering the balance of the fee will be refunded.

If cancellation is made fewer than 60 days before departure date, no refund is available.

This policy and fee schedule also applies to pre-trip and post trip extensions, as well as any transfers from one tour to another. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.



The Lodges


La Baita Lodge, Conguillio National Park [Photo Gallery] [TripAdvisor]



Hotel Bellavista, Puerto Varas [TripAdvisor]


Hotel Cumbres, Puerto Varas [TripAdvisor]



Photo Gallery

Llaima Volcano, Conguillio National Park, Chile © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions

Llaima volcano, Conguillio National Park, Chile © Claudio F. Vidal, Far South Expeditions