Chile ? Wine, Lakes, Volcanoes and Coast Cycling

Trip Length 9 Days
Group Size 4-14
Difficulty
Starting from
$5,399 for REI Members
$5,899 for non-members
Departures Apr 2020-Nov 2020

Savor 9 epic days of cycling and local flavor in Chile?s world-famous wine valleys, Lake District and Pacific coast byways.

Chile is a cyclist?s daydream. Join your guides and fellow travelers on a journey through two of the country?s best cycling regions: the Central Valley, famed for its bold reds, and the Lake District, sometimes called "the Switzerland of South America." We ride about 50 miles per day. The guides are pros who handle all the details, meaning you get an authentic trip without having to think about navigation or luggage-hauling. All along the way, you visit family-owned wineries and learn about the region?s world-famous wines directly from local sommeliers.

Every day pairs dreamlike beauty with down-to-earth experiences. Ride the Central Valley, through vine-latticed hills and along the refreshing Pacific coast. Eat piping-hot sopapillas dipped in honey. In the Lake District, cruise rolling roads amongst snowcapped volcanoes and deep blue lakes. Discover a Banff-like adventure town in the foothills of the Andes. Stroll the volcanic black-sand beach of Lake Villarrica. Spy monkey-puzzle trees while riding to the base of Lanin Volcano. Encounter Mapuche villages and heirloom grape varietals. Spend convivial evenings toasting your Chilean adventures.

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Trip Highlights

  • Experience Chile by bike with full support and professional, locally knowledgeable guides
  • Take in some of Chile?s most striking landscapes, including the Pacific Coast, Central Valley and Switzerland-like Lake District
  • Ride up to 50 miles a day in breathtaking surroundings and plenty of chances to explore
  • Taste Carm�n�re wines and other unique varietals, plus local cuisine and treats like passion fruit pisco sours
  • Rest comfortably in handpicked lodging, including a hacienda with a fourth-generation family winery?and an outdoor hot tub for pinch-me-now stargazing

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Participants should have cycling experience and be comfortable in the saddle for 4-6 hours per day. Rides consist of a both moderate and more vigorous cycling days covering 35-50 miles. Terrain is predominantly hilly with some long, steep climbs. Daily rides have total elevation gains and losses ranging from 1,100'-4400' with hill grades averaging 4-8% and with short pitches up to 15%. Participants should be comfortable riding on a variety of surfaces. Vehicle support is available when needed.

  • Road Cycling
  • Cycling

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations at hotels; airport transfer on Day 9; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; wine with included dinners; choice of hybrid bike, road, or ebike; skilled bilingual cycling guide; vehicle support while cycling; maps, trip notes and detailed route directions; luggage transfers; wine tastings as noted on the itinerary.

Accommodations

Hotels, 8 nights

Your wheels for the journey

Every great tour begins with a great bike, and our top-flight fleet has been carefully curated for your cycling adventure.

Want to bring your own bike?  You can do that too.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

A Day by the Sea

Your trip begins today in Santiago, Chile. We meet our local guide at our centrally-located hotel where a brief orientation meeting will be held. After a short transfer out of the city we?ll arrive at our starting point, a coastal community located in the Valparaiso district. After a bike fitting we?ll start our first ride of the trip, an incredible journey through the coastal mountains and along the Pacific coastline. We?ll pause for lunch along the way at a local house where we?ll sample traditional Chilean cuisine prepared with fruits and vegetables grown on the property. Our day ends approximately 52 km from where we started in the coastal city of Matanzas. Our hotel for the night is beachfront and offers spectacular ocean views. Lunch and dinner included.

Driving: 1.5 hrs / Biking: 28 miles, elevation gain / loss: 2,153'-2,907'

Day 2

Pacific Breezes & Wine Valley Vistas

Today is a day of transitions?we start off riding along the coastline before we point our bikes inland, tackling the infamous Cuesta Los Leones pass that will take us through the coastal range and into the Colchagua wine valley. As we leave the coast behind and descend into the valley we?ll be treated to endless vistas of vineyards as we enter one of Chile?s most famous regions for the production of wine and olives. Our hotel tonight is a historic hacienda built in the 17th century. Surrounded by rolling meadows and native forest, it?s the perfect place to relax after a big day of riding. We?ll have the chance to do a tasting with the vineyard?s sommelier before dinner tonight. All meals included.

Biking: 47 miles, elevation gain / loss: 3,365'-2,879'

Day 3

Ride the Valley of Bold Reds

Chile?s Central Valley is known for producing world class wines, specifically bold reds and unique varietals such as the Carm�n�re. Sandwiched between the Andes mountains and the coastal mountain range, there?s no better way to explore this area than on bike. Pedaling along quiet country roads allows us to truly appreciate the stunning combination of mountain and vineyard views. Stops for wine tasting and a local lunch are included in today?s ride and we have a special traditional quincho waiting for us for tonight?s dinner. All meals included.

Biking: 55 miles, elevation gain / loss: 1,336'-1,405'

Day 4

Vineyard Villages, Family Winery & Hot Tub Stargazing (!)

We continue our ride across the central valley heading south. Today?s ride crosses the border from the Colchagua Valley to the Maule Valley. Maule is lesser visited than the Colchagua and features heirloom grape varietals and traditions going back hundreds of years. We?ll pass through a number of huasos, small villages who rely on farming and the production of grapes and olives. Soft hills and rolling farmlands will guide us to our final stop in the central valley. After a short transfer, we arrive at the very special Casa Bouchon. A renovated adobe hacienda, Casa Bouchon has been making wine for 130 years, over the course of four generations, and their passion for the craft is obvious to all who visit. The sommelier will guide us through Bouchon?s history of winemaking during a special tasting tonight. The hot tub with unparalleled stargazing is a nice treat as well. All meals included.

Biking: 52 miles, elevation gain / loss: 2,500'-2,524'; Driving: 1 hr

Day 5

Hacienda Morning & Chillan Market Gastronomy

Take a relaxing morning to enjoy the hacienda. We?ll leave mid morning and start our transfer from the wine valleys to the lakes region. The transition between the two regions is distinct ? we?ll watch as the Mediterranean hills and vineyards are replaced by sparkling lakes, lush green hills, and lines of volcanoes. We?ll stop at the local market of Chillan enroute. Chillan?s market is one of the oldest trade markets in Chile and is famous for its gastronomy. We?ll take some time to explore the market where we can find everything from fruits endemic to Chile to local crafts to fresh out of the oven empanadas. After our stop in Chillan, we?ll continue driving to Panguipulli, an idyllic town located alongside a lake that will act as our base for the next two nights. All meals included.

Driving time: 6 hours

Day 6

Lakes Region Roller-coaster Riding

Today we?ll get a feel for what the lakes region is all about! Lake Panguipulli is one of several glacial lakes that make up Chile?s Lakes Region?deep blue water surrounded by lush rainforest and smoking volcanoes ate every turn. Our ride today contours around and along the lake, which is nearly 20 miles. The road appears carved into the hillside and the undulating hills make for good old-fashioned roller coaster fun. There is very little development along the lake allowing us 360-degree views of rolling Andean forest. We?ll have lunch in Choshuenco on the shores of the lake before heading back the way we came? always with the lake at our side. Dinner is at the hotel tonight. All meals included.

Biking: 33 miles, elevation gain / loss: 2,450'-2,783'; Driving: 1 hr (option to bike back)

Day 7

Route of the Seven Lakes

We bid farewell to Panguipulli and start riding north to Lake Calafquen, along a portion of the famous route of Seven Lakes. The ride along the lake is beautiful in its own right but the appearance of the sleeping giant, Villarrica, on the horizon is a real treat. Along the way, we?ll pass Mapuche villages and have the chance to sample local treats such as sopapilla and fresh juice. We arrive in Pucon in time for lunch. After lunch, we have the option of relaxing and exploring the walkable streets of Pucon, biking an additional road to thermal hot springs, or embarking on an afternoon rafting adventure on the lower Trancura River. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Biking: 25 miles, elevation gain / loss: 1,437'-1,530' (optional bike to the hot springs is an additional 12 miles with 1,345' elevation gain); Driving: 30 minutes

Day 8

Volcano Odyssey Among the Monkey Puzzle Trees

Our trip has been frequented by views of volcanoes so it seems only fitting to take on the challenge and bike to the base of one of the most imposing ? Lanin. Today?s ride is a big one?featuring over 4,000 ft in elevation gain. It?s well worth the effort to see the volcano from a closer vantage point and the views of the surrounding lakes and countryside can?t be beat. Keep an eye out for the famous Auracaria (monkey puzzle) trees of the region. They prefer to grow on high elevation volcanic slopes so today?s ride is a perfect chance to see them. If you prefer downhills to uphills, the ride can be done in reverse. Whether you ride up or down, we all meet, back to town for a celebratory dinner in Pucon. All meals included.

Biking: 43 miles, elevation gain / loss: 4,280'-1,326'; Driving: 1 hr

Day 9

Sunrise at the Gates of the Andes

Wake up in the scenic foothills of the Andes. If you choose, rise early to catch the sunrise or maybe go for a stroll along the shore of Lake Villarrica. After breakfast, we head to the airport for our departing flights. Trip members can opt to return to Santiago for connecting flights home or extend their travels in Chile. Breakfast included.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary?this will help you and the field staff.

Collection of selected R E I Co-op cycling merchandise and snacks laid out to pack for a bike tour

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.