Fall Semester in Patagonia

Fall Semester in Patagonia


  • Experience the "land of fire and ice" in a kayak and on foot
  • Course culminates (pending instructor approval) with an Independent Student Group Expedition
  • Spend one month sea kayaking on the island chains that border southern Chile
  • One month mountain-travel section with the opportunities for snow and glacier travel, peak ascents, river crossings, some technical mountaineering, and wilderness travel skills
  • Experience a wide range of challenging weather conditions, and learn how to dress, travel, and stay comfortable in all of them
  • Certifications: Wilderness First Aid & CPR and Leave No Trace Trainer
Deemed one of the most challenging NOLS courses, the Semester in Patagonia has strong leadership outcomes on account of adapting to and operating in harsh weather.

Teamwork, communication, and problem solving are critical to the success of this expedition. You begin your semester in Coyhaique, Chile, for five days of wilderness first aid training and expedition preparation before stepping into the backcountry for 75 days.

Once on this unique continuous expedition, your transition between sections includes swapping gear in the field with another Patagonia semester group on an opposite route. You'll hike and camp in Patagonia's valleys and mountains and sea kayak in breathtaking archipelagos, stopping to visit with locals along the way.

The grand finale of this remote adventure is the extended student expedition, wherein you and a small group of your peers earn the privilege of planning and traveling a route on your own.


Location NOLS Patagonia
Tuition $16,925 Learn about Financial Aid
Equipment Deposit $750
Minimum Age 18
Duration 80 Days
Type Semester & Year
Start/End Coyhaique, Chile
Fly in/out Balmaceda, Chile
College Credit
  • 16 Credit Hours
  • 4 Hours Environmental Studies
  • 4 Hours Leadership Techniques
  • 4 Hours Skills Practicum
  • 4 Hours Risk Assessment
Learn about College Credit
High School Credit
  • 2 Carnegie Units
  • 1 CU Physical Education
  • 1 CU Leadership
Learn about High School Credit

“The knowledge that I can now plan and execute a successful and fulfilling personal trip using the skills I learned in both paddling and mountain travel section is both rewarding and exciting.”

-Daniela N.

Semester in Patagonia Grad