Self drive Patagonia holiday including Mapuche culture

“An eighteen day, self drive and tailor made trip around Patagonia and its magnificent national parks, staying in hotels but also with local family hosts, giving you time to really immerse yourself in Mapuche culture. ”


Summit Villarrica and Sollipulli volcanoes | Rainforest hiking with guide and pack horse | Overnight in traditional Mapuche ‘ruka’ | Conguillio National Park | Araucarias forest and Huerquehue National Park | Villarrica National park | Chiloe National Park | Car rental | Homestays

Description of Self drive Patagonia holiday including Mapuche culture

This 18 day tailor made, self drive Patagonia holiday comes with a car rental so that you can take off and enjoy the vast wilderness wonders at your own pace, but following our carefully crafted itinerary. This holiday will not only take you through our snow-capped volcanoes, up to exquisite, elevated lakes and Araucaria forests, and down to coastal villages but also to meet with indigenous Mapuche communities along the way.

Patagonia is the ancestral home of the indigenous Mapuche people, who have lived on this land for centuries. Land is sacred to these people, and indeed they are known as ‘people of the land’ locally because their connection with nature and the environment is innate. by spending time in Mapuche communities on this trip you will be able to learn about Patagonian culture and nature. You will even get a chance to spend a night with a local Mapuche family in their “ruka”, a traditional wooden house.

During this holiday, we highly recommend visits to four of our most magnificent national parks: Conguillio, Huerquehue, Villarrica and Chiloe with plenty of time built in for you to enjoy some outdoor exploration. In Conguilio the "Los nevados " hike with views over to Lake and Volcano Llaima is breathtaking. In Huerquehue you will be astounded by the sacred and stunning Araucarias forests, climb up Villarrica volcano and then bliss out among the marine wildlife on Chiloe Island where penguins, sea lions, Commerson’s dolphins and pelicans are just a few of the treats in store.

Please note that this is just a suggested itinerary below, and as this is a tailor made trip we are happy to adjust it to suit your interests and travel requirements. We will also provide you with our bespoke road book with all the information necessary for the smooth running of your stay, as well as a mobile phone to be in contact with us 24/7.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This is a tailor-made, independent trip; groups are very small, normally comprised of 2 to 4 people, helping to minimise the negative environmental and social impact.

This is a journey through the Chilean Patagonia. Much of the trip is spent in pristine nature, including four beautiful National parks. Our travellers are briefed by local guides as to how to minimise their impact on the environment. Advise includes staying on marked tracks, only picnicking on designated areas and disposing of all waste responsibly.

Travellers will experience the extraordinary beauty of this natural environment: millennial native rainforests, snow-capped volcanoes, waterfalls and lakes. Useful tips on how to travel responsibly, as well as information on local flora and fauna can also be found in the road book we provide to our travellers.
On this tour, we work with authentic lodging run by people aware of their environmental responsibilities. Most of the accommodation consists of traditional constructions, often built using local materials such as native woods.

On the Island of Chiloe, travellers will meet a group local fishermen who have created an association for the protection and development of their natural heritage. Aware of the negative impact of fishing on biodiversity, they are using tourism as a new source of income. Travellers will learn about local marine life including penguins, sea lions, sea otters and pelicans among other animals.

The Impacts of this Trip

We want local populations to benefit from the resources generated by tourism, by putting as much as possible back into the local communities. We support local employment and communities in our choice of accommodation, tours, restaurants, etc. We always take into consideration the feedback we receive from the local population to try to improve the quality of services in the best way possible.

During this trip, travellers will have a chance to familiarize with customs and traditions of Mapuche rural families. A truly authentic opportunity to participate in the ceremonial and cultural activities of these small communities, while at the same time supporting local businesses. Three nights spent at Carlos and Marta ‘s Ruka, an excellent example of Mapuche architecture, locally sourced and biodegradable.

All travellers are provided with detailed guidelines as to how to travel responsibly. We provide our travellers with a road book with useful information on local culture and customs.

We donate 3% of the total price of this trip to co-fund micro-projects implemented by local schools, associations and ONGs. These are community projects based on education and conservation activities, especially addressed to young people.


3 Reviews of Self drive Patagonia holiday including Mapuche culture

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 03 May 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I must say that everything was wonderful beyond my expectations

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I would recommend that you spend a few more days in the national parks of Torre del Paine and El Chalten and ask for more information on the status of rental cars.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely yes, all the three populations I have entered have been adorable and with a great desire to make new friends.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Wonderful in all aspects, perfect in organization and unique in its kind.

Reviewed on 21 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were so many highlights but the two most memorable parts of the holiday were climbing the beautiful Villarrica volcano and spending 4 days in the breathtaking wilderness of the Torres del Paine National Park. Everywhere we stayed we wished we had been able to stay longer - it is such as beautiful country. Our favourite accommodation was at Magma Lodge with El Taique a close second.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared for changeable weather, especially in Patagonia. Don't worry about taking too many of your own food supplies as the refugios in Torres del Paine give you plenty of food in the packed lunches.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

With regards to the accommodation, these were mainly independent places run by people from the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The holiday was absolutely first class. The itinerary was very well planned and the communication and personal care shown by our agent, Federica, was
fantastic and the fact that we were given a Chilean phone made the situation much easier.

Reviewed on 14 Dec 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I have been asked this question several times and it is very difficult to answer. Our entire trip was an adventure and each part was unique and had it's positives
and negatives. We really liked having the freedom to explore on our own with the comfort of having a safety net. Self guided trips are the way to go. Our agent, Federica, was the absolute best.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Really review your itinerary and make sure everything is outlined. For example, I wanted to visit the coast, but living in a coastal region, it wasn't as exciting
as I thought it would be. Really think about what you would like to see and do in advance.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We had a fabulous experience and I would not hesitate booking a similar trip with Responsible Travel.

Popular similar holidays

Chile and Argentina tour

Chile and Argentina tour

Santiago, Lake District, Patagonia, Glaciers & Buenos Aires

From £2595 14 days including domestic flights only

Patagonia tailor made holiday, 14 days

Patagonia tailor made holiday, 14 days

Be awed by beautiful Patagonian wilderness on this trip

From £3110 14 days excluding flights

Tour of Patagonia, El Calafate & Torres del Paine

Tour of Patagonia, El Calafate & Torres del Paine

Patagonia's best - Torres del Paine and Perito Moreno Glacier

From US $625 - US $875 5 days excluding flights

Patagonia self drive holiday

Patagonia self drive holiday

Showcases three contrasting regions of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile

From £5190 20 days excluding flights

Convert currencies