For 7 days participants will complete the Cerro Castillo Trek and explore the culture and surroundings of this Patagonia region.
The Cerro Castillo Reserve offers a unique and beautiful remote trekking location. This area is characterized by lush forests, clear rivers, colorful lakes and sharp peaks. The specific area offers navigation challenges requiring strategy, cooperation, and backpacking skills.
Participants will also have the chance to learn the art of Natural Horsemanship with a Patagon Gaucho and even discover key cultural landmarks from indigenous Patagonians in this region. Elevation at its highest will be 4,600 ft.
For more information on registering through CourseMatch in please see this CourseMatch tutorial.
To begin registration via Course Match or to be considered for a scholarship, please see our instructions here.
Activities and Risks
Activities include navigation and route finding, river crossing, a day of horseback riding, and tent camping. Risk included multi-day exposure, hypothermia, fast water, and isolated travel.
- This region is comparable to the more popular Fitz Roy and Torres del Paine National Parks in Patagonia, but it is still quiet and preserved from the mass visitors.
- The Rio Ibanez is the main river through the region.
- Animals in the reserve include South Andean deer, guanacos, pumas and South American foxes. Notable birds that inhabit in the area are the austral parakeet and the Andean Condor. The Lenga is the most common tree species in the reserve.
The trip requires a moderate level of physical conditioning. Venture Fellows will consult with participants about required training programs.
Costs and Equipment
The cost is $2,600 and covers all land costs from Santiago, Chile, professional fees, park entrance, lodging (1st and last night of hotel/lodge), all meals, guides, tents, cooking/meeting tent, utensils, radios, GPS, maps, air transportation from Santiago to Balmaceda, Chile, all meals in Cerro Castillo and Coyhaique, and all technical workshops.
Our partner organization, Vertical S.A., will also include a backpack, foam sleeping pad and sleeping bag for use during the expedition (you will not need to buy these three items).
Expedition cost does not include: Gear for the expedition excluding the above items, flights to/from Santiago, Chile, extra nights of accommodations not specified in the itinerary, transfer from Santiago airport (in and out), and meals before and after the dates of the expedition.
Additional Costs for Participants Not Included in Land Costs:
Round-trip Flight to Santiago, Chile: ~$1,200 – $2,000
Gear (renting and borrowing encouraged): ~$500
Meals During Travel (before and after expedition): ~$60
- Participant fee: $3,100 (land cost)
- Number of seats: 18
- Date: December 27, 2019 – January 3, 2020
- Venture Fellows: Jonathan Mak & Alex Markkanen