Puerto Chacabuco Day Excursion for those who have 4 1/2 hours to tour (most Norwegian Sun visits)
$125 USD per person
This adventure is designed for the traveler who has limited time, but wants to experience both the natural beauty as well as the culture of Northern Patagonia. We will pick you up at the main plaza in Puerto Chacabuco (just outside the port). Then, we’ll take a drive through the Simpson River Valley, one of the most scenic drives in the region. As we follow the river through the valley, we will pass through lush farmland and dramatic rugged green mountains. Admire waterfalls that tumble down from above, see rustic old homesteads and an explosion of wildflowers. You will learn about the history of the region, the current issues, how people live here and what they do for a living.
Reserva Rio Simpson
Our first stop will be at the Reserva Rio Simpson (Simpson River National Reserve). We will visit the newly installed visitor's center which features interactive exhibits about the geography, flora and fauna of Northern Patagonia. Here, you have the option of spending time exploring the exhibits, taking a short stroll to the river, or grabbing a refreshment at the cafe. This will also be our first bathroom stop.
Cascada de La Virgen
After the reserve, we will visit the impressive double waterfall, Cascada de la Virgen. It is a beautiful waterfall that holds important cultural and spiritual significance for many locals. If it is raining, we will also be able admire small cascades bounding off the sheer cliffs of the Simpson River Canyon.
Patagonian lunch and entertainment at Pangal
Pangal is the perfect place to take a post card picture of Northern Patagonia. We will see rustic farms, wildflowers, rivers tumbling below red hanging bridges and green snow capped mountains…
The highlight of Pangal will be our stop at a 'campo' to experience the people and the culture of Northern Patagonia. Don Carlos and Señora Juani have a picturesque farm which they call Predio Aguelarre. They are excited to share their way of life and customs with you. Here, we will see how this family mostly steers clear of the supermarket by raising their own vegetables and meat. They have a typical quincho or wooden barbecue house built to roast meat and have get-togethers. Here, you will have the chance to listen to traditional music and see Cueca the Chilean national dance and Chamame (a traditonal dance from Argentina that is popular in Patagonia).
We will have a sit down lunch with your choice of asado al palo(lamb), salmon or empanadas (turnovers). You will also have the chance to enjoy a hand squeezed pisco sour (a Chilean specialty) and Chilean wine. Friendship Beer (brewed on site) is also available for purchase.
Here is a description of the lunch options of which you may not be familiar:
Asado al palo is a Patagon tradition. It is a lamb roasted over embers of an open fire. The lunch includes lamb, potatoes, and lettuce from the organic greenhouses next to the quincho. The lunch also includes a pisco sour (a classic Chilean cocktail) and then your choice of Chilean wine, or mineral water during the lunch.
Empanadas are pastry turnovers that are baked in a wood burning oven. Guests who choose empanadas will get two, one filled with ground beef, sautéed onions and an olive and the other with cheese. This option also includes a pisco sour, Chilean wine, or mineral water.
Vegetarian meals are also available upon request.
Our dancers are the local dance coach and local youth that have danced all their lives, but rarely get to dance for outside visitors. They are very proud to show you the traditional dances of the region and it really is an amazing experience to see them dance. So, bring your cameras!
Our biggest priority is to get you back to the port when you need to be. Thus, we may need to adjust things day of depending on time variables. Our tour is designed to get you back to the port one hour before the ship's departure.
If your ship doesn't come in due to weather or any situation beyond our control, we will refund your money only charging a $10 transaction fee. This doesn't happen often, but we understand that it is a possibility. If your ship stays on schedule, but you should decide to cancel, we just ask that you do so with two weeks notice so that I can get you a full refund and give someone else your spot.
At this port, you will come ashore on tenders. Once ashore, you should look for a shuttle bus which will take you to a parking area just outside the port's exit, where our crew will be waiting. We are not parked in the area where you immediately come off the tenders- don't look for us too early among the big bus tours that the ship offers. You must take the shuttle or walk up to the small plaza just outside the port's exit and up a small hill. At the plaza, there are 3 white domes where local artisans sell their crafts. There are no restrooms at the meeting place, however there are restrooms at our first stop.
Two quick things:
We cannot take the bus across the hanging bridge at the 'campo'. Due to this, there is a 10-15 walk to the 'campo' or farm that we will visit. If you aren't up for it, or your health doesn't allow for it, no problem, just be sure to select 'yes' when you are asked during the check out process so we can get a sense of how many guests would like a lift.
Remember that weather in Northern Patagonia is very unpredictable. Bring rain gear (jacket and umbrella), cold weather gear and comfortable water resistant shoes with some traction. It is quite rainy year around, but we are lucky to have some summer days every now and again. Layers are the best so that you are ready for cold and rain or sunshine!