[Patagonia Volcano]

Before you leave home for your tour with ROLLING HOSTEL, there are a few details that you will need to look after to ensure a smooth, worry free holiday. These include passports, visas, vaccinations, insurance, clothing, personal gear, money and other items of this nature. This dossier will be able to answer some of your questions and assist you with your travel preparations. The tour dossier includes the following items:

1. About us
2. Itinerary/activities
3. Joining instructions 
4. Weather and climate
5. Transport
6. Lodging
7. Food
8. Luggage
9. Documents
10. Health
11. Money


1. About us

ROLLING HOSTEL organizes sustainable travels through unspoiled nature in Chile. We travel in a small group of about 10 persons.

ROLLING HOSTEL has a multidisciplinary team that will show you Chile from the inside, starting from our own experiences and love for the country. Apart from visiting the highlights, we will bring you to places not included in the regular Chile traveling program, places that only Chileans know they exist. Our guides speak English and Spanish.

ROLLING HOSTEL makes Chile easy to explore and keeps you in touch with its warm and generous people and its excellent wine and seafood.

ROLLING HOSTEL will make your trip an unforgettable ecoadventure, full of fun and lots of laughter!


2. Itinerary/activities

This itinerary is only a guidance and not a strict day to day scheme. During the tour the itinerary will be regularly discussed in interaction with the tour leader and the participants. As such, each tour will have different accents according to the interests of the group. Nevertheless, the highlights of the tour will surely be visited.

National flight:
- Santiago-Coyhaique or
- Coyhaique-Santiago

Santiago de Chile (day 1)

This is an arrival day. No activities are planned, so check into the hostel (see 3. Joining instructions) and set out to explore the city. Santiago de Chile is a great place to discover on foot. At 19h00 you are expected at the hostel for a presentation of the itinerary and an evening meal.

Patagonia Norte (ca. 8 days)

North Patagonia comprises the region of the Araucania and the Lakes District. Both regions offer a fascinating variety of natural phenomena as mountain lakes, volcanoes and thermal springs. They are great to explore and contain the greatest diversity of plants and animals found anywhere in Patagonia.

The Araucania is the heartland of the Araucarian, or Mapuche people, who relied heavily on the edible nuts of the araucaria ‘pine' for food. These glorious umbrella look-a-like trees still grow throughout the Araucania, where they are protected by the many national parks and reserves. We admire beautiful mountain lakes and snowcapped volcanoes surrounded by araucarias in national parks Malalcuello and Conguillo. We visit the cosy town of Valdivia. We visit the Petrohué waterfalls and climb the beautiful Osorno volcano (2652 m) in Vincente Rosales National Park. We enjoy an excellent barbecue (parrilla) at a campfire.

Patagonia Central (ca. 11 days)

In Central Patagonia Chile breaks into big and small islands, with the most visited: Chiloé. Central Patagonia has many attractions as the Austral Road, Pumalin Park, and the Futaleufu river.

From Puerto Montt a boat trip brings us to the main island of the Chiloé Archipelago, known as “Isla Grande de Chiloé”. It is the largest island in South America, with the exception of Tierra del Fuego. A long isolation, the weather, and the fusion of two towns gave the inhabitants of Chiloé (Chilotes) a unique personality that has intrigued and attracted many mainland visitors. We meet these kind and affectionate people that feel so much love for their island. We taste their principal meal (curanto), a stew with an excellent variety of meats and seafood that is cooked over hot stones in a hole that is coved with large leaves, and sing and dance to their music. We visit the Chiloés stunning architectural wooden structures: houses built on stilts (palafitos) and more than 150 wooden churches built without a single nail! In Chiloé National Park we relax on the beach and visit a pinguin and sea lion colony. We enjoy a seafood barbecue at a campfire while watching the sunset in the Pacific Ocean.

Another boat trip takes the rolling hostel to drive into Pumalin Park along the famous Austral Road (Carretera Austral), a 1000km-long unpaved "highway" that starts to carve its way through virgin temperate rainforest and past numerous fjords. Pumalin Park is the world's first and largest nongovernment ‘national' park and has been established entirely by private land purchases in order to conserve nature. Of particular interest are ancient (up to 4000 years!) alerce forests, a conifer that reaches gigantic proportions (up to 4 m diameter!). In Pumalin Park we discover ancient alerce trees besides gigantic waterfalls. We relax in natural thermal streams (Termas El Amarillo). In the Futaleufu National Reserve upon choice we make an exciting rafting adventure or take a horse ride.

Santiago de Chile (day 21)

At the end of our journey we head towards Santiago. At night we conclude our tour with a great party!

Some trails in this journey are part of the much longer Sendero de Chile. See website for more details: http://www.senderodechile.cl/


For those who have some spare traveling time we can recommend some nice day trips in and around cosmopolitan and vibrant Santiago. You can visit for example the house of Pablo Neruda, Chile 's greatest poet and make an easy climb up Cerro Cristobal where you have an excellent overview of the city. You can spend a few days in Valparaiso while discovering its coastal charm on hillslope lifts or you can visit Viña del Mar, a luxurious seaside resort.

1. Santiago    
2. PN Malalcuello  
North Patagonia offers a fascinating variety of natural phenomena as mountain lakes, volcanoes and thermal springs. Walk through volcanic flats and swim in cool, turquoise waters surrounded by umbrella look-a-like araucaria trees in the Araucania region. Climb a snowcapped volcano and relax by taking a bath in natural thermal streams. Enjoy an excellent barbecue (asado) at a campfire.
3. PN Malalcuello
4. PN Conguillio
5. PN Conguillio
6. Valdivia
7. PN Vicente Perez Rosales
8. PN Vicente Perez Rosales
9. Ancud   In Central Patagonia Chile breaks into big and small islands with virgin temperate rainforests and numerous fjords. Cross by boat to the island of Chiloé and visit its wooden churches and local handicraft markets. Visit penguin and sea lion colonies. Relax on the beach and enjoy an excellent seafood barbecue. Drive along the famous Austral Road (Carretera Austral) into Pumalin Park, the world's first and largest privately owned 'national' park established to conserve nature. Admire 4000 year old alerce trees of about 4m in diameter besides gigantic waterfalls. Ride a horse or raft the exciting Futaleufu River. Admire a gigantic hanging glacier in PN Queulat.
10. PN Chiloe

PN Chiloe

12. Pumalin Park
13. Pumalin Park
14. Pumalin Park
15. Pumalin Park
16. RN Futaleufu
17. RN Futaleufu
18. PN Queulat
19. PN Queulat
20. Coyhaique
21. Santiago    

PN: National Park | RN: National Reserve | : Hostel | :
Rolling Hostel

*National flight:
Santiago-Coyhaique or Coyhaique-Santiago


Walks through volcanic flats and virgin forests; along glacial mountain lakes, waterfalls and thermal springs


Visits: local markets; wooden UNESCO protected architectures of Chiloé

Beach relax
Lots of (local) music and dancing

Asados (barbecues) and campfires

  Optional activities (with indication of local prices, payment in pesos chilenos):
- Horse riding (25 EUR)

- White water rafting (30 EUR)


- Snowcapped volcano climbing (50 EUR)

- Natural thermal bathing (3 EUR)
  - Boat trips to penguin and sea lion colonies (10 EUR)
  Entrance fees (with indication of local prices, payment in pesos chilenos or argentinos):
PN Malalcuello (5 EUR)
PN Conguillio (5 EUR)
PN Vicente Perez Rosales (5 EUR)
PN Chiloe (5 EUR)
Pumalin Park (5 EUR)
RN Futaleufu (5 EUR)
PN Queulat (5 EUR)


3. Joining instructions

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Your tour leader will contact you at the hostel on day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. S/he will organize a short meeting at 19h00, during which you will meet the other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.

Hostel Plaza de Armas

Compania 960 - 6th floor
Plaza de Armas
Depto. 607
Santiago de Chile

Tel:+56 (0)2-671 44 36
E-mail: hostel@plazadearmashostel.com
URL: http://www.plazadearmashostel.com

Hostel Plaza de Armas is located at the Plaza de Armas, the center square of Santiago de Chile. The hostel offers spectacular views of the square where the very starting point (km 0) of all Chilean highways is located. You can reach it by taking Metro station Plaza de Armas. There are several ways to reach Hostel Plaza de Armas (notice that the transfers from and to the airport are not included in the tour price):

- Bus + metro ($1200 pesos + $380 pesos; from 06h00 to 22h30): Take the ‘Centropuerto’ bus at the airport exit and get off at the end station. Walk to the nearby metro station ‘Los Héroes’. Take the red metro line (line 1) in the direction of ‘Escuela Militar’ and get off at metro station ‘Baquedano’. Change to the green metro line (line 5) in the direction of ‘Quinta Normal’ and get off at metro station ‘Plaza de Armas’. Take the ‘Paseo Ahumada’ metro exit (at the exit you will notice the statue of a big Mapuche Indian head), cross the street and walk to the left hand side through a corridor of small food stands. At about 50m there is the ‘Portal Fernández Concha’ building, located at Compania 960. Our hostel is at the sixth floor.

- Transfer with minibus (($4100 pesos; all times): In the airport several companies (Transvip, Turbus, etc.) offer a transfer with a minibus of about six places. A full minibus for about six persons costs about $16000 pesos. Payment is in their office at the airport. They accept credit cards.

- Taxi ($10000 pesos; all times)


4.  Weather and climate

Due to its enormous length (about 4300 km), Chile has a variety of climate regions.

The period December-February is in Chile the summer period.

Santiago de Chile has warm summer temperatures and stable weather conditions with few or no rainfall.
- Santiago de Chile: mean minimum temperature: 12°C, mean maximum temperature: 28°C.

Patagonia has cool summer temperatures and unstable weather conditions with sometimes heavy rainfall and a strong wind.
- North Patagonia: mean minimum temperature: 11°C, mean maximum temperature: 23°C.
- Central Patagonia: mean minimum temperature: 9°C, mean maximum temperature: 20 °C.

For more detailed weather conditions in Chile, please consult the BBC weather website.


5. Transport

Our rolling hostel (capacity: 10-12 travelers) has five comfortable sleeping cabins for two persons, comfortable individual seats and a toilet.

Traveling on board of our rolling hostel gives you the possibility to enter more abandoned natural environments and to overnight besides glacial mountain lakes, volcanic geyser fields or in the middle of the desert.

Touring with the rolling hostel certainly means a time gain on your travels. You simply don't have to wait (overtime) public transport or other travel connections! Additionally you don't have to drag your luggage in and out of hotels, on and off buses, etc. All your luggage is safely guarded inside the rolling hostel under the surveillance of our driver.

6. Lodging

Our rolling hostel (capacity: 10-12 travelers) has five comfortable sleeping cabins for two persons, comfortable individual seats and a toilet. Upon choice you can sleep inside the rolling hostel or in the tent camp surrounding it.

On our trip we will sleep for 70% inside and around (camping) our rolling hostel. Most of the time we overnight with our rolling hostel in nature parks on campings with multiple toilet and shower services. Sometimes we overnight with our rolling hostel in abandoned natural environments far from civilization. The remaining 30% we stay in small, clean hostels with double or multi-shared rooms.


7. Food

Rolling Hostel offers you a daily breakfast.
Other meals are not included in the price.
We will visit small local restaurants. While staying in abandoned natural environments without restaurants we cook all together on gas stoves or prepare a barbecue.

Fish and seafood are the great speciality of Chilean cuisine. Salmon fishing is booming along Chile 's southern coast, and salmon is served widely in restaurants. Curanto, originally a dish from Chiloé, is a rich potpourri of various kinds of seafood, beef or chicken cooked with vegetables such as pumpkin or potato. A cheap and universal Chilean takeaway food is the empanada, a pastry filled with anything from sweetened maize or vegetables to minced meat.


8. Luggage

You will be on the move a great deal, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a backpack. A small size daypack is also essential.

Suggested List:

• Warm sleeping bag
• Sleeping mattress (for optional sleeping in tent - see 6. Lodging)
• Windproof/waterproof jacket and trousers
• Warm (fleece) jacket
• Warm clothing (hat and gloves included) and warm underwear
• Some light clothing
• Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes
• Sport sandals
• Toiletries (biodegradable: pH neutral)
• Small towel and swim wear
• Sunblock (min factor 30)
• Lip salve
• Sun hat
• Sunglasses
• Flashlight
• Drinking bottle
• First aid kit*

*First aid kit should contain insect repellent, second skin (for blisters), aspirin, antihistamine, antidiarrhoea, and extra prescription drugs you may be taking. On the rolling hostel there will be a general first aid kit available.

Remember that the higher altitude on some parts of the trip make for cold evenings and you will need a warm sweater or pullover and long trousers. It's best to layer clothes rather than bring a heavy parka so that you can take layers off.

During the tour you will get several times the opportunity to take your clothes to the laundry.


Camera and film (digital cameras and other electronics can be charged (220 V) on the rolling hostel), mobile phone (only triband, no dualband), reading/writing material, binoculars, money belt…

Tour leaders - travel literature

Although the tour leader takes you into close contact with the land and its citizens, s/he is not a classical guide. S/he coordinates the tour in interaction with the participants and arranges all logistics (lodging, meals, activities,...). S/he plays a stimulating role in order to make a truly adventurous travel. As such we advise you to gather some travel information before departure. Travel literature (e.g. Rough Guide, etc.) will help to bring you into a holiday mood and give you background information along the way. Locally we use classical guides for guided visits and excursions.


9. Documents

• Passport (with photocopies)
• Travel insurance (with photocopies)
• Airline tickets (with photocopies)
• EUR/USD cash, credit or debit card (see money) - (with credit card photocopies)
• ROLLING HOSTEL vouchers and tour dossier
• Entry visas (with photocopies)

Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. It's recommended to leave also extra photocopies of all your documents at your home contact point! Leave also the Rolling Hostel contact info (see website) at your home contact point.


10. Health

Rolling Hostel travellers must be in a good physical condition. Rolling Hostel tours are adventurous travels in nature with lots of space and time for sports activities. Walks have a duration of several hours a day. Hereby we will ascend and descend. The walking paths are generally in good condition. The walking tempo will be adjusted to the group. The walks are as well as the adventurous optional activities (depending on the tour: white water rafting, glacier trekking, paragliding, etc.) not obligatory.
At least as important as having a good physical condition is having an adventurous and positive attitude. As such you will better stand the rapidly changing climatological conditions, the sometimes long transport times, the different food, and the fatigue after the activities.
On a Rolling Hostel tour you are expected to have also an open mind and flexibility to adapt yourself to the group. Rolling Hostel tours are exploration tours. We explore another country with different foods and a different culture.

There are no special vaccinations needed.
Recommended vaccinations: Tetanus, Poliomyelitis, Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Please contact your physician for the most up-to-date health requirements. We will ask you to fill up a medical form upon reservation.


11. Money

Everything is included in the ‘Price' except for other meals, personal expenses, optional activities, entrance fees, travel insurance and transfers from and to the airport. How much you take is obviously a personal matter.

The official currency in Chile is the Chilean peso. Exchange rate: 100 peso = 0,14€ (April 2007).

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of cash (Euro or US dollar) and credit cards is best.