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Patagonian Highlights

from $5,579.00

Discover the spectacular wilderness of southern Chile and Argentina

  • Reviews 9 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    6 - 18
All about the Patagonian Highlights.

Rugged, snow-capped mountains stand imposingly amid the wild south of Argentina and Chile, fringed by huge icy lakes and windswept grasslands. In the distance shy guanacos roam and a few hardy gauchos tend their many sheep. We discover the sheer-sided peak of Mount Fitzroy and the immense Perito Moreno Glacier, where chunks of ice are often seen cracking into the water. Our journey culminates in Ushuaia – the most southerly city in the world. Renowned for world class trekking and outdoor activities, the raw natural beauty of Patagonia never fails to astound.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Internal flights for all bookings

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
  • Airport transfers are not included on this tour

Highlights

  • Torres del Paine National Park, including a hike to the base of the Towers of Paine
  • Amazing glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park with an optional boat trip at the Moreno Glacier
  • The stunning granite peaks of Fitzroy Massif and Cerro Torre
  • Travel to the world’s southernmost city – Ushuaia
  • The vast, wind-blown expanses of the Patagonian Steppe
  • Free time to explore Buenos Aires, Argentina’s beautiful and cosmopolitan capital
  • Travel by minibus, private coaches and 2 internal flights
  • 3 daywalks of up to 8 hours duration
  • Group normally 6‐18, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs
  • 10 nights standard hotels and 2 nights comfortable hotels
  1. Day 1 Start Buenos Aires; walking tour.

    Clients should make their own way to the start hotel this afternoon. Our local leader will meet us today for a briefing and take us on a short walking tour of the city, discovering its wealth of history and culture. The evening is free for you to choose one of the many excellent restaurants, most serving the legendary Argentine steaks!Accommodation: Cyan Recoleta or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  2. Day 2 Fly to El Calafate; to El Chalten.

    This morning we fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) to the small mountain town of El Chaltén. The town enjoys a beautiful location in Los Glaciares National Park with breathtaking views of Mount Fitzroy and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar*Standard Hotel*

  3. Day 3 Los Glaciares N.P.; daywalk to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp.

    We set off amidst incredible mountains and valleys for a day walk. First we hike to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp with amazing views of the striking massif ahead. In the afternoon we continue to the picturesque Laguna de los Tres, a glacial lake whose still waters reflect the three main peaks of the range. This is a full day of walking over fairly rough terrain, but with impressive, rugged scenery along the way.Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar*Standard Hotel*

  4. Day 4 Optional activities; to El Calafate.

    Today has been left free to enjoy an additional trek or an optional boat trip to another highlight of this area: the Viedma Glacier. In the late afternoon we transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) back to El Calafate.Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Calafate or similar*Standard Hotel*

  5. Day 5 Visit Perito Moreno Glacier; optional boat trip.

    Today we visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. This immense jagged sheet of ice stretches over 3 miles across Lago Argentino and rises 200ft out if its cold waters. It is the fastest moving glacier on the planet and the eerie creaks and thunderous groans add a certain atmosphere of anticipation. Every so often an office block sized chunk of ice calves from its face into the water below before slowly floating down the lake as a giant iceberg. An optional boat trip gives an even greater appreciation of the immense scale of this wonder.Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Calafate or similar*Standard Hotel*

  6. Day 6 Free day in El Calafate.

    We will spend a second day here to allow exploration of the town’s surroundings. It is possible to take a gentle walk along Lago Argentina to see birdlife (including flamingos), or a slightly more demanding hike for some fantastic views stretching over the Patagonian Steppe and towards the mountainous border with Chile. Alternatively you can join an optional excursion to a local Estancia or to Todo Glaciares – this navigation includes Upsala Glacier, Bahia Onelli (where pieces of glacier are floating in the water) and the Spegazzinni Glacier. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Calafate or similar*Standard Hotel*

  7. Day 7 To Torres del Paine N.P.

    After breakfast we have a long drive (approx. 8-9 hours) across the border into Chile today before we arrive in one of the world’s most beautiful national parks, Torres del Paine (please note that due to local regulations we must change buses at the border). From here we will meet our Chilean guide and drive around some of the park. We may have time after we check-in for a short walk next to Laguna Amarga or Laguna Azul, which offer great panoramic views of the Paine Massif and the striking granite Horns of Paine.Accommodation: Hosteria Pehoe or similar*Standard Hotel*

  8. Day 8 Day walk to the Torres del Paine.

    Without a doubt, one of the biggest highlights of the park is to hike up to the base of the Towers of Paine. The walk itself is beautiful, trekking through forests and offering some fantastic views across the park. This is a reasonably difficult and long trek, and the last section is steep with rocky terrain, so you need a reasonably good level of fitness and confidence. The reward on reaching the small lake at the base of these sheer granite peaks however, makes the long walk well worthwhile. Note that adverse weather conditions can make this walk much harder – your group leader will give a briefing the night before and answer any questions you may have on the route. Once we finish the trek we will take the transfer (approx. 2 hrs) to Puerto Natales.  Accommodation: Hotel Baquedano or similar*Standard Hotel*

  9. Day 9 To Tierra del Fuego.

    After breakfast we will have some free time before a fairly long transfer in the afternoon, through dramatic scenery to Cerro Sombrero. This journey involves a short ferry crossing over the Magellan Straits. We advise you to take plenty of water and some snacks for the journey (approx. 7-8 hours). In the evening we’ll have dinner together at the hotel in the small town of Cerro Sombrero.Accommodation: Hosteria Tunkelen or similar*Standard Hotel*

  10. Day 10 To Ushuaia, the end of the world!

    Tierra del Fuego (The Land of Fire) is named after the original inhabitants who used to light bonfires to ward off the winter chill. Crossing the island we’ll have views of the most southerly part of the Andes before catching our first glimpses of Ushuaia at the end of the world! This is a long driving day (approx. 7-8 hours) but we use a private bus to make the journey more comfortable. We should arrive at our hotel mid-afternoon depending on weather conditions and traffic.Accommodation: Hosteria Linares or similar*Standard Hotel*

  11. Day 11 Walk in Tierra del Fuego N.P.; optional visit to penguin colony.

    We’ll spend this morning in the stark wilderness of Tierra del Fuego National Park, walking amongst the varied terrain, flora and fauna. In the afternoon there is an optional boat ride along the Beagle Channel to see marine wildlife including penguins, sea lions and many species of water bird including a flightless duck! We are also afforded fantastic views of Ushuaia and its backdrop of often snow-capped peaks as we head out on the boat. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.For those wanting more adventure or not wishing to trek, an optional full-day 4WD excursion will be on offer which will take us deep into the wilds of Tierra del Fuego where any more conventional transport would fail to reach, including the remote Lakes Fagnano and Escondido (please note it is not possible to see penguins on this tour).Accommodation: Hosteria Linares or similar*Standard Hotel*

  12. Day 12 Fly to Buenos Aires.

    Depending upon the flight time, we may have some free time this morning in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. There are great views from the hills leading up to the Martial Glacier and some small shops to pick up souvenirs. Ushuaia has just one museum, housed in the former prison, which is definitely worth a visit. We fly back to Buenos Aires and usually arrive in time to visit one of the excellent tango shows in the old quarter of San Telmo (optional) and enjoy a last group meal together.Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Recoleta or similar*Comfortable Hotel*

  13. Day 13 End Buenos Aires.

    Depending on the time of your flight home you may have another chance to see more of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. After last night’s tango show we might be tempted to learn a few steps, or watch it in the streets and plazas – particularly in the old quarter of San Telmo. A visit to the grave of Evita in the remarkable Recoleta Cemetery, said to be the most expensive real estate in the world, is possible.

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Where you stay

Hotels & Lodges

Hotel Las Torres, Torres del Paine N.P.

We use a good standard of hotels throughout the trip. In El Chalten we stay in a simple but clean lodge with en-suite twin rooms. Laundry facilities are available in El Calafate and Ushuaia.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style and are included. The accommodation in Torres del Paine will arrange packed lunches for days when we are trekking. There is a variety of good, quality food on offer in local restaurants and cafes usually for relatively low prices (although the refuge that we stay in for the standard itinerary in Torres del Paine is the exception as facilities here are limited). Vegetarians are catered for throughout the trip, but please ensure that you advise us before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

While this trip is graded Moderate, we recommend you have a reasonably good level of fitness to really enjoy the hiking opportunities available.

All of these are non-compulsory day walks and do not exceed 20km. We have two internal flights on this trip to reduce driving but there are still some long drives. The longest drive is when we cross the border from El Calafate to Torres del Paine and when travelling south from Cerro Sombrero to Ushuaia.

In terms of altitude ‐ the highest point reached on the tour is on day 9 on the walk to the Towers of Paine. The lookout point situated at 886 metres above sea level. This day walk can take up to 9/10 hours depending on weather conditions and speed of the group.

There are 2 internal flights included in the itinerary, normally using the services of Aerolineas Argentinas. Please be aware that the timings of the internal flights can be quite erratic and there can often be last minute schedule changes. Depending on the availability of these flights, there may be a supplement to pay.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 11/02/2020
5/5

Stupendous!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many! Both the two treks - hard work (about 13/14 miles but very do-able if taken at a steady "patagoinian plod"), steep / rough trails in places but very rewarding especially finally getting to the top for the fantastic picture postcard views. The literally endless skies driving across the plains The towering ice wall of the Perito Moreno glacier - listening to the cracks and and trying to spot the ice calving off. The pengiuns - walking so comically on land but shooting like torpedoes through the crystal clear water And the warm medialunas at almost every hotel at breakfast (yum)
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier was brilliant - more than lived up to great ratings from previous trips
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Argentina - despite what the trip notes say, don't change lots of money at the airport on arrival - the exchange rate is very poor (58 to the US$ in Jan compared with up to 75 to the US$ if paying in hard currency). All the additional trips could be paid for in US dollars cash. There are change places in BA which offer better rates than the airport You'll need cash for meals but larger / touristy restaurants often took US$. Go on the optional trips - the full day iceberg trip from El Calafete and the half day penguin trip from Ushuaia were well worth while. And cost less than the trip notes if you don't eat meat... vegetarians (especially strict ones) will have relatively thin pickings, but no worse than other meaty countries. You won't go hungry but bring a stash of oatcakes / nuts / similar (surprisingly not too plentiful even in larger supermarkets) if needed.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were INCREDIBLY lucky with the weather - it was often windy but we only had one day of rain (when we arrived in Usuhaia). January may be their summer but it's the southern equivalent of northern England / southern Canada, with similarish temperatures. Make sure to take plenty of layers to cope with any eventuality.

Reviewed On 06/01/2020
5/5

Patagonia Delight

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visiting the penguins in their natural habitat during the optional excursion to Isla Martillo near Ushuaia. Only 20 people are allowed on their island at any one time, together with a local guide/warden, so you feel really privileged to be there.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Pepe was first class in the way he led the group and went out of his way to try and ensure everyone had the holiday they wanted. Pepe never waiverd in doing his best to ensure everyone had a great time and knew what was happening everyday.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, the final 1 hour of the long walks to see the Torres del Paine and Fitzroy peaks is in my opinion a level 4, rather than the moderate level 3 rating. Both are short but sharp inclines over uneven terrain so you need to be agile in picking your way along the rocky paths. Both are well worth it if, like us, you get lucky and are afforded blue sky’s and no rain!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go now!

Reviewed On 12/12/2019
5/5

Patagonia is unpredictable

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going on the optional boat trip to see glaciers, and Iguazu. They leave you speechless, awestruck and a little overwhelmed.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Tomas del Toro I think is an exceptional being. His energy and enthusiasm will make you smile and motivate you to keep going and ignore the wind and rain of Patagonia, when it happens. His attention to detail, general knowledge and expertise, humanity and humility will exceed your expectations of what you think the trip will offer.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it!

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Amazing Patagonia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The three hikes: Torres del Paine Laguna de los Tres Lomo del Pliegue Seeing the Milky Way from the hotel in Torres del Paine. The glacier boat trip.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier was great. Dependable and knowledgable.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are some long driving days as per trip notes. Also the hikes are not gentle. Most are uphill most of the way and moderately difficult in areas. If you’re keen on ice climbing on the glacier book we’ll in advance. Currency: a mix of US dollars and pesos is best as not all places accept dollars. Get pesos out of cash machine but there is a charge. A few of us did a scenic flight in Ushuaia as the weather was so good. Reasonably priced and worthwhile. Book ahead. Suggest having a few days in Buenos Aires at the end to unwind and see the city in a relaxed pace. Even better - Xavier can organise kayaking trips in the Tigre delta which is a great way to get away from the hussle and bustle. When you arrive in Pueto Natales you’ll be wiped out and won’t want a fancy meal... ask about the pizza bar/restaurant along the road. Pizzas were amazing - and big. The beer is good too. Left overs served a great mid-morning snack the next day.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Amazing sights in Patagonia

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the granite horns in the Torres Del Paine National Park, for as long as i can remember I’ve looked in awe at the mountains in magazines but to see them face to face was a dream realised.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier, was good in lots of ways, friendly and as helpful as he could be, often going out of his way to ensure others enjoyed their holidays.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take hundreds of pictures and soak in that amazing scenery.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No

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October 26, 2020
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