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Close to people's heart

MINGA! Immerse yourself in the Mapuche culture

Chile -Encounters and cultures – Self-guided tour – 18 days / 17 nights

• A beautiful land between mountains and ocean ;
• Customs and traditions of Mapuche rural families ;
• Hiking to volcanoes Villarrica and Sollipulli ;
• Stunning off the beaten track landscapes.

Nature : box black box black box black box black box withe -  Culture : box black box black box black box black box withe

Encounters : box black box black box black box black box black


Starting from $ 2499 USD*


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Immerse yourself in the Mapuche culture along snow-capped volcanoes, charming lakes, ancient Araucaria forests and coastal villages.
This trip will connect you with small Mapuche communities and the enchanting local flora and fauna. You will learn about their indigenous heritage: known as the "people of the land ", their culture is closely related to nature and the environment.
Visit four absolutely stunning National Parks, reach the top of Villarica and Sollipulli volcanoes. Hike through millennial native rainforests and hilly meadows with a guide and pack horse. Spend the night with a local Mapuche family, in their “Ruka”, a traditional Mapuche house made of wood. Drive through the mysterious and mythical island of Chiloe with your own vehicle. Meet the fishermen of Chiloe; they will guide you through the local marine life. Reach the Pacific coast, with a chance to see Commerson’s dolphins.


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Our driver picks you up at the airport and drives you to Valparaiso. Upon arrival, a member of our team will provide you with a road book and a mobile phone to keep in touch with us 24/7. Valparaiso is a harbour open to the ocean, surrounded by twelve hills upon which many colourful houses have flourished. Visit the " Cerro Alegre"  area, acknowledged World Heritage Site (UNESCO). This open sky museum will take you to discover narrow streets filled with frescoes painted by local artists.
  • Transport : private transfer - 1h45
  • Accommodation: family run hotel
  • Included meals: none
Overnight bus Valparaiso >  Temuco
A day of leisure in Valparaiso. In the morning we recommend you to visit Pablo Neruda’s house, a museum situated in the heights of the city. For lunch, we highly recommend the Club Social Cruz.
Viña del Mar, a modern and growing city is located only a few minutes from Valparaiso. With fewer cultural sites compared to Valparaiso, this city offers some pleasant walks on the beach and waterfront. Overnight bus to Temuco.
  • Transport : overnight bus with bunk - 10h
  • Accommodation: overnight bus
  • Included meals: breakfast and small dinner on the bus
Rental car
Your rental car is waiting for you at Temuco’s bus terminal in the morning. Drive along the Andes until reaching Melipeuco where you are met by Carlos and Marta in their Ruka, a traditional Mapuche house type. Exiled in France under dictatorship, they decided to return to their ancestors land and preserve their culture. They will share their stories and invite you to participate in ceremonial and cultural activities.
  • Transport : rental car – 92km - 1h45
  • Accommodation: family run hotel
  • Included meals: breakfast and dinner
Rental car
Visit the National Park of Conguillio, located about 30 minutes from Carlos and Marta’s home. After crossing several black lava flows, you will arrive to the starting point of a walk " Los nevados " that will lead you to astonishing views of the Lake and Volcano Llaima. This walk is also an opportunity to discover several types of endemic plants species and a large variety of birds.
  • Transport : rental car – 50km - 1h
  • Accommodation: family run hotel
  • Included meals: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
  • Entrance to the park not included
Rental car
Your guide will meet you at Carlos and Marta’s and drive you to the foot of the volcano. The ascent to the volcano's crater lasts 4 to 5 hours with a 1000m change in altitude. Arriving at the edge of the crater you can admire the glacier which is 4km in diameter and about 200m deep, with an amazing 360° view of the chain of volcanoes. A picnic at the edge of the crater and then back down to the vehicle (about 3hrs).
Back to Carlos and Marta’s in the late afternoon.
  • Transport : rental car – 50km - 1h
  • Accommodation: family run hotel
  • Included meals: breakfast, packed lunch and dinner
  • Trekking : 7 - 8h easy hike, 1000m change in altitude.
Rental car
Take the road from Temuco to Cunco, along the Solipulli Volcano arriving to Maïchin Valley. Pass the hamlets of Reigolil and Maite before arriving at Curarrehue. The east bank of the valley’s river is populated by Mapuche communities. Some families sale local specialties; do not hesitate to stop and talk with them. From Curarrehue, reach Pucon by a paved road crossing several thermal sites. Pucon is a small tourist village on the shores of Lake Villarrica, at the foot of the volcano with the same name.
NOTE: the road from Cunco to Curarrehue might not be accessible in bad weather conditions, in which case, we will indicate the alternative route by paved road through Temuco .
  • Transport : rental car – 135km - 2h30
  • Accommodation: Lodge
  • Included meals: breakfast
Rental car
We suggest you to visit the National Park of Huerquehue, located near the town of Pucon. Soak up the special atmosphere of an ancient Araucaria forest; appreciate these stunning trees commonly known as “monkey puzzle” and three splendid lagoons. The hike is not very difficult although it takes between 2 to 3 hours climbing before reaching the lagoons. Araucarias are sacred trees to the Mapuche who harvest and use its piñones or seeds in the preparation of various traditional dishes.
  • Transport : rental car – 50km - 1h20
  • Accommodation: Lodge
  • Included meals: breakfast
  • Trekking : 4 - 5h easy hike, 400m change in altitude.
Rental car
Option 1 : Departure by minivan to climb the Volcano Villarrica, a perfect cone covered with snow, overlooking Lake Villarrica. This climb offers amazing view over the entire chain of volcanoes in the region. The climb takes 6 to 7 hours, an easy hike to reach the summit at 2847 m. You will climb down in 2 hours by the same path.
Option 2 : Geométricas Hot Springs: the result of an ambitious project by an architect in harmony with nature, a good option for some fabulous relaxing time.
  • Transport : van - 40 min to the volcano – 2h to the hot springs
  • Accommodation: Lodge
  • Included meals: breakfast
  • Trekking : 8 - 9h easy hike, 1300m change in altitude.
Rental car
Depart for the Pacific and the Lafkenche communities of Mapu Lahual, a protected natural reserve. You take the road to Osorno then join the Pacific coast. Meet the community and explore the Mapuche village of Maicolpué.
Spend the night with the locals in the village.
  • Transport : rental car – 291km - 4h30
  • Accommodation: host family
  • Included meals: breakfast and dinner
Rental car
Short hike to Rada Runa, a white sand beach nearly 2km long, with a chance to see Commerson’s dolphins. Back at the village in the afternoon, you will spend time with the community. Overnight with the locals.
  • Accommodation: host family
  • Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Rental car
Back to civilization but not for long. Take the road to Puerto Montt and drive to Puerto Varas, a small village lying on the banks of Lake Llaquihue, with some amazing views over Volcano Osorno. We recommend you to visit the spectacular Saltos de Petrohue, at the foot of the imposing Volcano Osorno in the Andes Precordillera. Return your rental car in the evening and spend the night in Puerto Varas.
  • Transport : rental car – 164km - 3h
  • Accommodation: hotel
  • Included meals: breakfast
Rental car
Drive to Petrehue and embark on a boat with Hector to travel to El Rincon across Lake Todos Los Santos. Here begins your hike to the Callao refuge. Accompanied by a local guide and a pack horse, you go by millennial native rainforests and hilly meadows before reaching the refuge and take advantage of one of Callao’s hot springs. Overnight at the refuge.
  • Transport : rental car – 70km - 1h30 + dinghy - 1h
  • Accommodation: refuge Callao
  • Included meals: breakfast and dinner
  • Trekking : 4h30 easy hike
Rental car
Time to leave the Andean Precordillera with your guide and pack horse. Arrive at Puerto Varas in mid-afternoon.
  • Transport : rental car – 70km - 1h30 + dinghy - 1h
  • Accommodation: hotel
  • Included meals: breakfast
  • Trekking : 4h30 easy hike
Rental car
Travel to the island of Chiloé. Drive to the city of Ancud, along the Pacific coast to appreciate marine life.
By mid-afternoon, the fishermen of Puñihuil will guide you through some local marine life including penguins, sea lions, dolphins, sea otters, pelicans and a variety of other seabirds. These fishermen, aware of the negative impact of fishing on biodiversity have created an association for the protection and development of natural heritage through tourism as a new source of income. Join the Oyarzo family near the town of Castro in the afternoon. Small scale farmers they live of livestock and the sea .
  • Transport : rental car – 194km - 3h30
  • Accommodation: host family
  • Included meals: breakfast and dinner
Rental car
Head for Chiloé National Park in the morning, discover the virgin forest along the wild Pacific coast. You may have a chance to meet the miners who settled on the coast during the gold mining days…
  • Transport : rental car – 58km - 1h
  • Accommodation: hotel
  • Included meals: breakfast
Rental car
Enjoy a day of leisure back in Castro.
We will recommend some artisans and associations so you can immerse yourself in the local culture. Maria Elena will welcome you in the evening with a good dinner.
  • Transport : rental car – 58km - 1h
  • Accommodation: host family
  • Included meals: breakfast and dinner
Flight Puerto Montt > Santiago de Chile
Rental car
Enjoy a hearty farmer breakfast before heading to Puerto Montt’s airport. Return your rental car and take your flight to Santiago. Your driver will be waiting for you there to take you to your aparthotel.
Take a free afternoon in the capital..
  • Transport : rental car – 174km - 3h30
  • Accommodation: aparthotel
  • Included meals: breakfast
Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport 3 hours before departure of your flight.  
  • Transport : private transfer - 45min
  • Included meals: breakfast
End of your adventure in the south of Chile…

This program is only given as an indication. TransHumans reserves the right, directly or through its local partners, to replace transportation, accommodation, itinerary, as well as dates and departure times, without the participants being able to claim any compensation.

Dates and Prices

PRICE 2016 (in USD per person)

N° of participants  2   3  4  5 6 7 8
 Price per person ($)*  2870  2765 2655 2655 2655 2570 2499

The price includes:

  • Domestic flight Puerto Montt > Santiago;
  • Ground transfers as mentioned in the program;
  • 10 nights in hotel, 1 night on bus, 1 night in refuge, 5 nights with host family - double room ;
  • Hike to volcano Sollipulli ;
  • Hike to volcano Villarrica ;
  • All the meals mentioned in the programme ;
  • A road book with all the information necessary for the smooth running of your stay  ;
  • A mobile phone to be in contact with us 24/7.

The price does not include:

  • International flights ;
  • Entrances to the parks, natural reserves and museums  ;
  • Single occupancy supplement : $315 ( no single room available in the refuge and homestay) ;
  • Drinks and personal expenses ;
  • The comprehensive insurance and repatriation assistance.

... and more generally all that is not mentioned in « the price includes » section.

Some important facts

  • National flights are included ;
  • Transfers to/from airport/hotel/airport are included ;
  • Accommodation is included and selected based on quality and hygiene ;
  • Local partners are fairly compensated ;
  • 3% of the price of your trip goes directly to support a local educational project for cultural and environmental development .

Practical Information


Accompanying English and Spanish speaking guides
The day of your arrival, you will be received by an English speaking member of our staff. He/she will hand you a road book and a mobile phone, allowing you to be in contact with us 24/7 if needed. If specified in your program, he/she will also accompany you around the capital, giving you the basic practical information about the country or countries you are visiting.
During excursions, you will be accompanied by a local Spanish speaking guide, often also speaking English. 

During the ascent of Villarrica and Sollipulli Volcanos, you will be accompanied by a certified Spanish and English speaking mountain guide.

When to travel to the South of Chile 
The South of Chile (the door to Patagonia) has a temperate humid climate, with the southern area being the wettest. The best season for visiting this part of Chile is from November to late April (summer and springtime in the southern hemisphere). Temperatures are pleasant and rainfall less abundant, making this period ideal for trekking and other outdoor activities. The climate can be capricious in Patagonia, with fierce winds, rain and clouds scurrying across the sky at a fast pace, constantly displaying the extraordinary scenery in a new light. It is not uncommon to have sunshine, wind, rain and even snow on a single day, even during summertime. The key is to layer for cold weather and take off layers when the day gets warmer and wear waterproof clothing. 

NOTE : TransHumans offers the option of booking for you the international flight ticket; we will seek and book for you the best deals. Price may vary depending on the time of purchase but can vary between $1000 and $1600 insurance included.

Local Transportation
Travelling by bus is the most popular and cheapest way to discover the country. Classes range from Semi-Cama to Cama Suite with wider seats which are reclining to a horizontal position almost like being in bed. Distances are long and it takes nearly 12 hour bus ride from Valparaiso to Pucon. Bus lines connect major cities together. The buses run at an average speed of 80 km/h. For long distances, the plane remains the most convenient mean of transportation.

PASSPORT & VISA : A valid passport is sufficient for most European and US citizens; a tourist visa will be issued at entry to the territory. If the stay exceeds the three months, it will be necessary to apply for a visa at the Embassy in your country. Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
REMINDER : Make copies of all your important documents (passport, flight tickets, insurance, and credit card). Leave one copy of each at home and pack one with you.



Clothing : 
Given the relatively wet weather prevailing in the region, it is essential to have waterproof trousers and jacket with you in your bag. Also bring warm clothes since evenings and nights are often chilly. We highly recommend lightweight, quick-drying technical clothing. Avoid rain capes as they easily get stuck to branches with the wind. 
Remember to take with you waterproof hiking shoes, hat and sunglasses!

-Toiletry bag (biodegradable products are preferred) 
-Small quick-drying towel 
-Sunscreen lotion
-Insect repellent DEET (+ 40% for good protection). Also useful against fleas which can be a nuisance for people with sensitive skin.
-Head torch (with spare batteries and bulbs) 
-Bottle and/or camel bag  
-Pocket knife (checked luggage) 
-Money belt or pouch to safely store your passport, currency, credit cards, personal papers, insurance papers. 
-A copy of your passport. 
-Power sockets in Chile are those commonly find in Europe type C and Italy type L; Voltage: 220 V.
Medical Kit : 
-Antidiarrheal medication (i.e.smecta and imodium)
-Plasters, sterile dressings and antiseptics 
-Medicine for pain or fever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen) 
-Elastic adhesive bandage 
-Anti-inflammatory ointment or cream
-Water purification tablets 
NOTE : Most of these products are also available in local pharmacies.

Luggage : Please arrange your belongings in two bags : 
-Small backpack (capacity 25/40 litres).This is your hand luggage you will take with you on the plane as well as every day during hikes, excursions and transfers. 
-Large waterproof backpack to check-in (capacity 60 to 90 litres). 
-Large plastic bag to protect from moisture your belongings in your backpacks.

The country does not present any health risks, and the water is potable almost everywhere. No vaccine is mandatory for Chile, but some are recommended:
-Hepatitis B
For children and those born before 1980: measles, mumps - rubella.

Other risks

Try to avoid contact with insects. Fleas tend to be a nuisance for sensitive skin. Regular insect repellent is also effective against fleas.


This virus is transmitted to humans by rodents called "long-tailed rats ". Infection can occur through direct contact with the faeces, saliva or urine of infected rodents. The initial symptoms of an infection are usually fever, headache, back and abdominal pain. Some strains of the virus can be potentially fatal when bleeding complications occur (haemorrhagic fever with renal or pulmonary syndromes). It is best to avoid all wild mice and rats, protect food from contamination and safely clean up any rodent urine or droppings in your home/tent. There is no vaccine.

Medical Assistance
Medical care is excellent in most tourist areas in Chile. For more remote areas, in case of urgent medical assistance, contact your Embassy in Santiago de Chile. We highly recommend you to contact your insurance as soon as possible.


The Mapuche (People of the land) – Lake District – Chile
Reputed as fierce warriors, the Mapuche opposed the Inca and resisted the Spaniards for over 350 years. The conquistadores managed to eventually subordinate these hunters and gatherers by weakening the traditional social organization of their community. The Mapuche are a strong fighting people. Warlike but certainly not unfriendly, they love to receive and talk about their culture, their ceremonies, their gastronomy, Machi healers and their cosmology. Indigeno is not derogatory to the Mapuche, quite the contrary; while Indio is, so do not use this term when speaking to people of the altiplano or when referring to them.

Responsible Tourism


Our Vision & Commitment

Cultural awareness is very important to us. Sensible to the local cultural traditions and beliefs, the beauty of the landscapes and the biodiversity of the ecosystems, we choose to limit the negative impact of our activities on the local environment. In addition to designing trips that aim at preserving the natural, cultural and social resources of the territories in the long term, we also include the concept of “Territorial Compensation”. The idea of Territorial Compensation is to help local people protect and conserve their ecosystem, enhance their cultural heritage and develop sustainable projects for their territory.

Based on this concept of Territorial Compensation, TransHumans donates 3% of the total price of each trip to this cause. The money goes directly into a solidarity fund that finances our ERECA program (Education Relative à l'Environnement et aux Cultures Aborigènes), an environmental and cultural program. Since 2007, we have supported various projects aimed at training and awareness-raising for the local communities.

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