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Beta Cycling Tours invites you to join a week of cycling adventure in beautiful Chile. In this tour, you will average 50 to 70 miles daily along wide open roads amidst the splendor of the Andes mountains and the beauty of Northern Patagonia's scenic lakes region. A variety of side excursions and once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities will complement the many challenging profiles of each day's ride!
The tour accommodations include three and four-star hotels and local resorts in regional tourism destinations offering elegant rooms and cuisine, and convenient lakeside cabins along the route. They offer clean, rustic-style rooms and homecooked meals in a family setting, and country estates. All accommodations include world-class hospitality that is the hallmark of the tours. You’ll stay in a different location most of the night including Hotel Huincahue Pucón, Puchaley Lafquen, Centro Campestre Mavidahue, Puyehue Wellness & Spa Resort, Lodge Las Cascadas, and Las Magnolias Lofts.
Welcome to Southern Chile and Northern Patagonia! You’ll unpack your bikes and assemble after you arrive, then shake off the travel legs and climb to Termas de Huife (Huife Hot Springs) and the Rio (river) Liacura Valley at the base of Villarrica volcano and continue to Saltos Pocolpén (Pocolpén Falls) for your first photo opportunity! You’ll load the bikes up and travel back to Pucón for your kick-off dinner and views of the sunset on Lago Villarrica.
After breakfast, you’ll ride up to Lago Caburgua and enjoy lunch on the shores of the lake, then descend back to scenic Pucón. In the afternoon, you’ll drive up to Ojos del Caburgua (Eyes of Caburgua Falls). Get some rest! Tomorrow is your first day on the road!
You’ll load your gear into the vans after breakfast at the hotel and depart on the bicycle along the volcanic Villaricca Lake toward the small, lakeside city of Villarrica. From Villarrica, you climb out of the lake valley toward the resort town of Licán Ray on the shores of Lago Calafquén. Enjoy the views of Villarrica volcano as you round the lake and ride west toward the city of Panguipulli on Lago Lafquen. Two ride length options are available.
Rolling countryside and farmland awaits as you depart from Panguipulli. You’ll follow Rio San Pedro for much of the morning before a lunch on the road near Lago Ranco, in the heart of the Lake District. You’ll arrive on the west end of the lake and the small village of Llifen, then follow the Calcurrupe River, seven miles to the rustic Centro Campestre Mavidahue, owned for generations by the Vasquez family. There are four start / finish options for this long day.
It’s a rest day, of sorts, today as you contemplate the climb up Osorno volcano tomorrow. Two ride options are available for you as you continue your bicycle journey southward. Choose one or both rides. The short option is an absolutely beautiful ride along Lago Ranco to your lunch stop in the city of Lago Ranco. The second ride is definitely for the more adventurous among you, as you will tackle the epic climb to the Argentinian border after you check into Puyehue Wellness & Spa Resort.
It’s a big day for you on the bike, the ascent of Osorno volcano awaits! There are three ride options from which to choose today. You will make your way south with the Andes mountains to your left and the waters of Lago Llancuhue to your right. Climb from the lake through the rainforest to the volcanic open landscape that is Osorno volcano, reminiscent of Mont Ventoux in France - the fabled moonscape climb often featured in the Tour de France.
Steep, switchbacks to 20 percent grade near the top bring you to the small ski area base lodge and the snow-capped Osorno just steps away. Enjoy the views! You will shuttle back down the lake and ride back to the hotel to enjoy local cuisine and drink as you retell your epic day among friends!
Friday is a promenade along the blue waters of Lago Llancahue, with several opportunities along the lake for photos of Osorno volcano in the background. The 19th-century German colonization is apparent in the architecture of Puerto Varas - this small Northern Patagonia city on the lake! Enjoy the shops and restaurants, the waterfront, and the warm hospitality of Southern Chile!
Your final day of the tour includes a casual ride along the lake to the German-settled lakeside city of Frutillar. You’ll enjoy breakfast in Puerto Varas then transport just north to the city of Llancahue, the rolling countryside to Frutillar, and the wonderful scenery that includes the scenic veranda at the Teatro del Lago (Theater on the Lake). You’ll grab lunch or a coffee in Frutillar and then head back to Puerto Varas to conclude your tour! You’ll pack up your bikes and luggage and be transported to the nearby El Tepual International Airport (PMC) for your trip home!
You'll depart the various tour hotels each morning after meeting at breakfast to discuss the day ahead and being provided with maps and cue sheets, and after checking your bicycles and gear. Each day's ride will include mechanical and sag support and ride leaders with local knowledge. Beta Cycling Tours will provide two minivans and drivers to support riders each day of the tour and to provide on the road lunches and snacks, mechanical support, and rides to the destination hotels each day if necessary. Support cars and drivers may not be immediately available to you on the rides, so you should be prepared to change a tube or do minor bicycle adjustments as needed should they not be within range. A support car will always follow the last rider. Beta Cycling Tours will provide cell phone numbers for drivers just in case.
Laws for cyclists in Chile are generally the same as in the US. Please be prepared to follow all traffic signals and signs, etc., which you will find very similar to the signs in the US. You should always ride single file in traffic and two abreast only without overtaking traffic and as far to the right as possible. Chileans take their school zones very seriously and you will notice an abundance of road markings and signage as you approach school zones. Please be respectful and mindful of these areas in particular.
You will enjoy excursions to scenic waterfalls, museums, lakeside walks, and volcanos.
Dieter Drake, Anthem Sports president, founded Beta Cycling Tours in 2016. As one the founders of North America’s most iconic road cycling events, Tour of the Battenkill, Anthem Sports has promoted both competitive and non-competitive events across the US under their Great American Cycling Series banner for the past 15 years. Epic climbs, dirt roads, amazing rural landscapes, and exciting finishes in supportive and enthusiastic small towns across America are the critical components of this series that strive to promote tourism and commerce through great cycling events.
Lori McLenithan is a cycling instructor.
This seven-day bike tour begins with an airport transfer from La Araucanía International Airport (ZCO) to the lakeside city of Pucón and progresses south over seven days to Puerto Varas. The route starts in Pucón and ends in Puerto Varas. Along the way, it will cover Panguipulli, Llifen, Puyehue, Puerto Octay, and Puerto Varas.
Chile is a Spanish-speaking country and you should try and learn a few basic words and phrases ahead of your trip. There are some iPhone and Android translation apps that you might find useful as well. Beta Cycling Tours' staff is at the very least able to speak basic Spanish and one staff member is completely fluent in Spanish to help get through difficult conversations. Most people in restaurants, shops, etc. speak some English. The people of Southern Chile are very friendly and very happy to have you as guests in their country. Please (por favor) and thank you (muchas gracias) are always welcome by merchants and vendors.
You'll find that Southern Chile is very modern and particularly oriented toward tourists and tourism. The infrastructure, hotels, and restaurants are very contemporary and built around the tourism industry in general. The entire region was settled by Germans in the late 1800s and you'll find German-inspired buildings, food, roads, and place names. Shops generally line most of the city streets that you'll visit and you'll find very favorable prices on most items. Though you'll find many familiar brands and shops, you'll encounter many locally-made products and fares unique to Southern Chile.
You might find that the Lake District compares very well to the northeast of USA as it's similar, though southern latitudes. Small cities are on the volcanic lakes which are mostly surrounded by rolling farmland. The Andes mountains are always in view to the west with several volcanoes, obvious throughout the tour. There are numerable scenic pull-offs for photos and refueling. You'll visit volcanic lakes, thermal spas, lakeside resort towns, and will sample everything in between on your week-long adventure on bicycles.
Southern Chile is a rapidly growing area with a major focus on domestic and international tourism. The roads are generally in very good condition as they do not suffer from extreme winters and pavement breakup. Many have bike lanes and shoulders for cycling. Traffic is generally low.
Restaurants and cafes all cater to foreign travelers with common dishes and drinks, though with unique Chilean flavors and choices. Tipping is recommended between 10 - 20 percents (sometimes it's included in the bill, so look closely at the bill).
La Araucanía Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at La Araucanía International Airport (ZCO). Transfer from the airport is included. Beta Cycling Tours will pick you up from the airport.
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