Enjoy one of the most iconic roads in the world on a self drive holiday along Chile's Carretera Austral.

Departures: Daily

Length: 5 days / 4 nights

Destinations: Lake District / Balmaceda / Lago Negro / Puerto Guadal

Highlights: Chile's Carretera Austral is regarded as one of the greatest roads in the world and this self drive holiday provides you the opportunity to journey along this road through the stunning landscapes and scenery of Patagonia with the freedom to explore as you wish, with optional excursions including the famous Marble Chapels. All hotels and car hire are pre-booked for you, and we include a suggested route and information pack with places to visit to help you through your journey.

Price: from £1190 per person. Based on 2 people travelling together in our hand picked Standard-Class (3-star or equivalent) Chile hotel accommodation and sharing one hire car. We work with a wide selection of hotels in Chile and superior and luxury hotel upgrades are available.

Tailor Made: This is a suggested itinerary that can be booked exactly as described if you wish or that can be used to help inspire you on the fascinating self drive options in Chile. Like all our holidays this itinerary can be tailored, customised and crafted by our friendly experts to suit your own travel style, personal requirements, wishes, budget and interests; and a range of self-drive options are available across Chile. Simply get in touch to discuss, and we would be delighted to create a truly personalised self-drive holiday for you.

Self Drive Holiday Itinerary

This morning arrive in Balmaceda and transfer to the car hire office to collect your car and receive your information pack and GPS navigation. From here your self-drive holiday begins as you journey along "Route 7", more famously known as the Carretera Austral, one of the most iconic roads in the world, through the stunning scenery in this region of Chile travelling from Balmaceda to Lago Negro. Travel through landscape dominated by forests of lenga, pass the beautiful Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) with its emerald waters, cross the "El Manso" bridge to discover a valley covered in burnt wooden remnants due to the eruption of Hudson Volcano in 1991, and drive alongside the Cajón River to the town of Puerto Murta on General Carrera Lake and to your hotel nearby.

Meals: None

Overnight: Parador Austral Hotel, Lago Negro

Drive: 242 kilometres / approx 5 hours

Today is a free day for you to enjoy this stunning region of Chile. Our recommendation today is a visit to the famous Marble Chapels to observe these unique and fascinating rock structures that have been shaped and crafted through thousands of years of erosion to expose the layers of marble, calcium, quartz and limonite underneath - a beautiful unique sight. The town of Puerto Tranquilo is around 50 kilometres / 1 hour drive from your hotel, and boat tours to visit the Marble Chapels depart from here.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Parador Austral Hotel, Lago Negro

Marble Chapels
Marble Chapels
Marble Chapels

Today continue your drive along the Careterra Austral with a short drive from Lago Negro to the town of Puerto Guadal on the shore of General Carrera Lake. Our recommendation today is a visit to Los Maquis waterfalls situated in a spectacular setting surrounded by dense Patagonia forest.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Terra Luna Hotel, Puerto Guadal

Drive: 13 kilometres / approx 30 minutes

General Carrera Lake
General Carrera Lake
General Carrera Lake

Free day in Puerto Guadal to explore the area and take advantage of your time in this scenic part of the world. Our recommendations include a drive to visit the town of Chile Chico which is 110 kilometres / approx 2 hours drive from Puerto Guadal, a visit to the confluence of Baker and Nef Rivers which is an immense display of natural power, or a visit to the Chacabuco Valley to experience the true Patagonian Steppe and spot wildlife including guanacos, vizcachas and condors.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: Terra Luna Hotel, Puerto Guadal

Carretera Austral
Chile Chico
Chile Chico

Today you will once more enjoy a fabulous drive along the Carretera Austral to return your hire car at Balmaceda airport and connect with your return flight home. Depending on your flight time if you have time we recommend a visit to Coyhaique.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight: N/A

Drive: 251 kilometres / approx 5 hours


  • Accommodation
  • Car hire (all-terrain 4x4 with manual gearbox, typically a Nissan X-Trail or similar) including unlimited mileage, CDW insurance, charge to collect the car at the airport, and car tax. The minimum age is 23 years old, and a driving license and credit card are required as guarantee.
  • GPS navigation
  • All meals detailed
  • Information pack with recommended drives and excursions

Not Included

  • International flights to/from South America. We exclude international flights to give the option to compare flight pricing or use airmiles, however we can include and provide international flights as part of your holiday and any international flights booked through us would be ATOL-protected as part of your package with us. Depending on time of year, departure airport and airline preference flight prices start from around £800pp economy. If you would like us to quote on international flights just let us know your preferred departure airport when you enquire.
  • Domestic flights in Chile to/from Balmaceda
  • Guides / excursions / entry fees - as this is a self-drive holiday you are free to visit sights and destinations as you wish. We include an information pack with suggested drives and places to visit.


Contact Us if you want more information or want to book this holiday. One of our South America holiday specialists will be more than willing to help.