Patagonia Wilderness Trip Notes

Patagonia Wilderness

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016
Patagonia Wilderness
Trip code: GPTU
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Become an adventurer in the Patagonian wilderness – one of the most remote and beautiful environments in the world. Visit the best of nature's attractions in Argentina before heading to Chile to marvel at Patagonia. From the tango bars and heaving streets of Buenos Aires, head to the striking mountain scenery, vast open plains, dramatic ice fields and advancing glaciers of Patagonia. Trek to the spectacular Laguna Torre and iconic Torres del Paine, hike glaciers and visit the quirky towns at the end of the world. Experience a South American adventure through this spectacular region of Argentina and Chile. TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016/2017: The itinerary of this trip will change from 1 October 2016. In order to improve our trips we regularly review feedback from past travellers and our local operations team. As a result of that process, we have made a decision to switch the order of the itinerary and visit El Chalten before El Calafate. The activities and other inclusions listed in the current trip notes are unchanged. The new itinerary will operate as follows: Day 1 Buenos Aires Days 2-4 El Chalten / Glacier National Park Days 5-6 El Calafate / Perito Moreno Glacier Day 7-9 Torres del Paine National Park Day 10 Punta Arenas Days 11-13 Ushuaia Days 14-15 Buenos Aires
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationAlternate finish point
ThemesAccommodation NotesAlternate finish point description
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionAlternate finish point instructions
Why we love itMealsEmergency contact
MapMoney mattersVisas
ItineraryGroup leaderWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyHealth
Physical ratingJoining pointTravel insurance
Included activitiesAlternate joining pointA couple of rules
Important notesAlternate joining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeAlternate joining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- There are a few long days of travel, the journey to Ushuaia on Day 11 being the longest. Remember to stock up on snacks and keep your warm clothes handy. The reward for your patience comes in the form of jaw-dropping glacial scenery.
- Weather in Patagonia is an important factor to consider. Be prepared for all elements – rain, wind and extreme cold.
- The fitter you are, the more you'll get out of this trip. There are multiple treks involved, and they can be quite challenging.
- A three-day camping adventure in Torre del Paine is unforgettable, but remember that facilities will be more basic on this part of the trip than others.
Why we love it
- Discover Buenos Aires, Argentina's sensational and sultry capital. Tour its best sights, then explore its many corners at your leisure, from the star-studded Recoleta cemetery to the tucked-away milongas (tango halls)
- Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier must be seen to be believed. This mind-boggling natural wonder is one of Patagonia's true crown jewels
- Explore the Patagonian wilderness around El Chalten, with guided day-hikes along two of its best trails
- Adventure through the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park on a three-day camping trip, with all your meals taken care of
- Visit the world's southernmost city and spot wildlife on a boat cruise across the legendary Beagle Channel

Day 1 Buenos Aires
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Argentina. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style, Buenos Aires is a truly cosmopolitan city. Your adventure begins with an important group meeting at 3 pm. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this meeting will take place. It's best to have lunch before the meeting, as you'll be heading out straight afterwards for a two-hour orientation walk. This introduces you to Buenos Aires' main attractions. In the evening there's an optional group dinner. Later on, perhaps head to a milonga and delve into BA's famous tango culture.

Notes: ATM access in Patagonia is limited, so it's recommended you visit an ATM today to withdraw some cash. A good amount is ARS 3000 (approx USD 250), which should cover the cost of your meals and personal expenses for the duration of the trip. If you wish to join any optional activities on this trip, please refer to the costs listed in these trip notes and budget accordingly. If you are intending to hire a sleeping bag for your nights in the Torres del Paine National Park, let your leader know at the welcome meeting.
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Guided walking tour
    Optional Activities
    • Tango show - ARS1200
    • Gran Cafe Tortoni Show - ARS270
    • Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
    • Urban Adventure: Malbec Trail of Palermo - USD100
    • Urban Adventure: Gourmet Buenos Aires Food - USD77
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 2 El Calafate
      Fly south from Buenos Aires to the town of El Calafate (approximately 3 hours). This is your gateway to the Glacier National Park. Enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Being a major hub for adventurers headed for the Perito Moreno Glacier, El Calafate has undergone a lot of development in recent decades but retains plenty of charm. Perhaps sample some chocolate at one of the shops along Libertador, the main strip. In the evening, why not try some world-famous Argentinean steak or fresh-caught local trout.
      Hotel (1 nt)
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier visit
      Head into the realm of the Perito Moreno Glacier (about 80 kilometres away from town). It's one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, and at three kilometres wide and 35 kilomtetres long, it's spectacular sight. Watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below. Interestingly, massive ruptures occur every four to five years as part of cyclical ice bridge formations. You'll have plenty of time to explore the icescape in depth and snap a few photos. You might like to take the option of a glacier cruise (approximately 45 minutes) or a trek on the glacier. Return to Calafate and relax for the evening. 

      Notes: There are no ATMs available in Perito Moreno Glacier and El Chalten. Your group leader will give you an indication of how much cash you'll need in each destination.
      Included Activities
      • Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
      • Perito Moreno Glacier visit
        Optional Activities
        • Moreno glacier cruise (45 mins) - ARS1200
        • Perito Moreno - Mini-trek on the glacier including short cruise to glacier base (65 yrs old is the maximum age permitted) - ARS1200
          Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast
          Day 4 El Chalten
          Travel by bus to the frontier town of El Chalten, north of Glacier National Park (approximately 3.5 hours). Hikers and climbers from all around the world congregate here, and the atmosphere is laid back and very outdoors-oriented. From the village you can see the splendour of Glacier National Park's north side. Take the time to stroll around the village or, if there's time, perhaps venture further afield to some of the beautiful walking trails nearby.
          Hotel (1 nt)
          1 breakfast
          Day 5-6 El Chalten/Glacier National Park/El Calafate
          Over the next two days you will take on (at least) two of the most popular day treks in the area: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Las Torres. The hikes are moderate to difficult, and you can expect to walk on clearly marked and well maintained paths (approximately 6–9 hours per day). The terrain itself is not difficult. Instead, wind and rain may be the main challenges you face on these walks. The hikes you trek, and the order in which you trek them, may change depending on weather conditions. Day 6 is a long day as you travel back to El Calafate after a day's hiking.
          Included Activities
          • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
          • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
            Hotel (2 nt)
            2 breakfasts
            Day 7-9 Torres del Paine National Park
            Enjoy some breakfast and prepare for a travel day. Rise early and take a local bus Cerro Castillo in Chile (approximately 5 hours). Here you'll have time to get some lunch, then board your connecting bus to Torres del Paine (approximately 1.5 hours). Upon arriving in the park you might be greeted by a herd of guanacos, relatives of alpacas (just don't get too close, as they're known to spit at strangers!). Using your campsite as a base for the next three days (sharing a tent with a fellow traveller), you'll be struck by the sight of sparkling lakes, gushing waterfalls, glaciers and icy white mountains while you trek (approximately 5–8 hours per day). Depending on weather, you might hike the popular Base Las Torres (Tower's Base), or the long but beautiful Refugio Los Cuernos (Horns' Lodge). The terrain is moderate to difficult, and trails are clearly marked.

            Notes: Bathroom facilities are available in the campsite, with communal showers and bathroom separated by sex. Three meals a day are provided while you're camping (simple dishes of pasta, rice, chicken) and are served in a common dinning area. Lunches consist of sandwiches, fruit and sometimes a chocolate bar. Soft and alcoholic drinks are not provided, though there is a limited selection for you to choose from at the general store. If you'd like fruit, nuts, wine or spirits, these can be bought in BA or Calafate and brought with you. Sleeping bags are not provided but can be hired in advance for around USD30 for the three nights. A thermarest / inflatable camping mattress is provided on this trip. For the duration of the hike, all your belongings will be left at the campsite, inside your tent. While Intrepid can't take responsibility for belongings, the campsite dedicates one person to mind the site, and this system has worked well so far.

            Included Activities
            • 3 nights camping in Torres del Paine NP
              Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nt)
              3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners
              Day 10 Punta Arenas
              Travel by local bus to Puerto Natales, then continue to Punta Arenas (approximately 12 hours). Arrive, settle in and get acquainted with this rambling metropolis. Set among windswept plains and looking across the Straits of Magellan to Porvenir and Tierra del Fuego, Punta Arenas feels close to the end of the world, and this isn't too far from the truth. Chile's southernmost city has a history of explorers, ranchers and fortune-seekers, being a once-important stop along the Californian gold rush route. Today adventure tourism is contributing to rapid development. Don't miss the chance to sample the local seafood, as it's some of the finest in the country.
              Hotel (1 nt)
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch
              Day 11 Ushuaia
              Hit the road for one last time. A local bus takes you back to Argentina and to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia (approximately 12 hours). Needless to say it's a good idea to arm yourself with your favourite book, your music player, and some drinks and snacks for the journey. Ushuaia is the gateway to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's beautiful (and only) coastal park.
              Hotel (1 nt)
              1 breakfast
              Day 12 Ushuaia
              This morning you will take a boat cruise across the legendary Beagle Channel. Observe the marine wildlife among the small islands and inlets along the waterway (which is named after Charles Darwin's expedition ship). The area is known for its colonies of sea lions and cormorants, and you might be lucky enough to spot a dolphin on your travels. Keep an eye to the sky for an albatross or a petrel too. The view of Ushuaia is often excellent from out on the water, not to mention the mountain scenery.
              Included Activities
              • Beagle Channel cruise
                Hotel (1 nt)
                1 breakfast
                Day 13 Ushuaia
                Enjoy free time to explore Ushuaia before heading back to Buenos Aires. Hiking to the Martial Glacier is a great option if you are feeling active – you'll be treated to some excellent views, and it's nice and easy to get to. Alternatively, stay in town and visit some museums. For a fantastic insight into the native Yaghan people, check out Museo Yamana. The old Ushuaia penitentiary, which housed some of Argentina's most dangerous criminals, is also well worth a visit.
                Optional Activities
                • Penguin tour - ARS1700
                • Martial Glacier hike (approx ARS140 taxi to the start of the trail) - Free
                  Bed and breakfast (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 14 Buenos Aires
                  Fly back to Buenos Aires and enjoy a final night out, or simply relax at the hotel. If you find yourself with some free time in the afternoon, perhaps see some of BA that you missed the first time. On the east side of the Plaza de Mayo you will find the Casa Rosada, the pink presidential palace where Eva Peron appeared on the balcony in front of adoring fans in the 1940s. There is also Museo Evita, dedicated to the life (and gowns) of this famed figure. MALBA is an incredible art gallery showcasing a private collection, including works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

                  Notes: If everything goes to plan, you'll arrive in the early afternoon, but keep in mind that airline schedules in Argentina are known for changing without much notice. This means you could arrive in BA as late as 11 pm.
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 15 Buenos Aires
                  Your adventure comes to an end today, with no further activities planned. You are free to depart at any time.
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast
                  Itinerary disclaimer
                  ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                  OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                  Physical rating

                  We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.
                  Included activities
                  Buenos Aires - Guided walking tour
                  Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
                  Perito Moreno Glacier visit
                  El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
                  El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
                  3 nights camping in Torres del Paine NP
                  Beagle Channel cruise
                  Important notes
                  1. Name and passport number are required at time of booking in order to issue domestic airfares. Delays to provide this information or changes may result in third party booking fees or domestic flights cancellations.
                  2. A single supplement is available on this trip. There are no exclusion nights.
                  3. Bookings within 45 days from departure may incur in late booking airline fees. If applicable, this will be informed at the time of booking.4. This trip starts with a Welcome Meeting at 3pm. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation. There are no activities on the final day and you are free to depart anytime.


                  Group size
                  Maximum of 12 travellers per group.
                  Your fellow travellers
                  GROUP TRAVEL
                  As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                  SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                  Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
                  Camping (with basic facilities) (3nt), Hotel (11nt)
                  The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                  Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                  If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
                  Meals introduction
                  While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip.
                  To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                  DIET REQUIREMENTS
                  Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stools, markets, etc.

                  More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, celiac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

                  Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

                  SIMPLE BREAKFAST
                  Some of the included breakfasts along this trip can be quite simple: toasts, spreads, juice and coffee or tea.

                  While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
                  14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
                  Money matters
                  When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

                  Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).

                  MEALS NOT INCLUDED
                  For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

                  Breakfast. If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

                  Lunch. If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

                  Dinner. At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

                  These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

                  EMERGENCY FUNDS
                  We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

                  CREDIT CARD & ATMS
                  Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

                  ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout this trip (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.

                  Traveller cheques have become less accepted and generally quite cumbersome to exchange. The best “Plan B” is to carry USD100 – USD200 in small notes in case of an eventuality (your bank card doesn’t work, you are unable to withdraw funds, etc.)

                  In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

                  Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.

                  At the time of writing this most airports in Argentina include the departure taxes in the air ticket, however at El Calafate and Ushuaia airports you will be required to pay a departure tax. Please check the most up-to-date amount with your travel agent.

                  Chile Currency Information:
                  The unit of currency is the Chilean peso. The peso is made up of 100 centavos.

                  Argentina Currency Information:
                  The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentinean peso. The peso is subdivided into 100 centavos.

                  Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier.

                  Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.

                  TIPPING GUIDE

                  To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

                  - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

                  - Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day.

                  - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

                  - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
                  Group leader
                  All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                  Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                  Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                  We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                  Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                  For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:


                  While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                  MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
                  In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

                  Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

                  SEAT BELTS:
                  Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                  LIFE JACKETS:
                  While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

                  FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                  Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
                  Joining point
                  Art Hotel
                  Azcuénaga 1268
                  Buenos Aires
                  Alternate joining point
                  For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
                  16 Oct 2016 (GPTU1610162)
                  Reino del Plata
                  Hipólito Yrigoyen 647
                  Buenos Aires
                  Buenos Aires
                  Alternate joining point description
                  Alternate joining point instructions
                  Finish point
                  Art Hotel
                  Azcuénaga 1268
                  Buenos Aires
                  Alternate finish point
                  For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
                  16 Oct 2016 (GPTU1610162)
                  Reino del Plata
                  Hipólito Yrigoyen 647
                  Buenos Aires
                  Buenos Aires
                  Alternate finish point description
                  Alternate finish point instructions
                  Emergency contact
                  While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                  We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                  You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                  For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at

                  CRISES AND EMERGENCIES
                  In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below (remember to drop the +xx country code if you are calling from within the country):
                  As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking.
                  Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                  As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
                  Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                  Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                  Also remember to check whether a transit visa is required on route to join this trip or on the way home.

                  The Argentine government charges a reciprocity tax which applies to Canadian, US and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows:
                  Australians - US$100 (multiple entry for up to 1 year from date of issue)
                  Canadians - US$92 (multiple entry for up to 5 years from date of issue)
                  Americans - US$160 (multiple entry for up to 10 years from date of issue)

                  This fee can only be paid on line through the following website:

                  For instructions on how to process this payment, please visit:

                  A receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.

                  Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information with the appropriate consular.

                  CHILE RECIPROCITY TAX:
                  All passengers with passports from Australia and Mexico must pay a reciprocity tax before entering immigration control.
                  At the time of writing the amounts are as follows:

                  Australia - US$100
                  México - US$23

                  This tax applies only to travellers entering Chile via its international airport in Santiago and it can be used multiple times within 90 days from issued date.

                  This tax doesn't apply to those entering Chile by another form of transport.

                  Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information with the appropriate consular.
                  What to take
                  What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. 

                  Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although a small suitcase with wheels is ok too. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even short walking distances (max 30 minutes).

                  In terms of weight, keep in mind that if you are flying domestically (either on this itinerary or during your personal time) airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage.

                  Finally, you'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc. for day trips.

                  Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                  ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST

                  Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document
                  Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
                  Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
                  Money belt and small padlocks
                  Personal medication
                  Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
                  Torch/flashlight (your phone’s may suffice)
                  Electrical adapter plug (view
                  Toiletries/travel wipes
                  Insect repellent
                  Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
                  Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
                  Refillable water bottle
                  Phrase book
                  Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
                  Wind and waterproof rain jacket
                  Travel Towel
                  Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
                  Camera with spare memory card and charger/batteries
                  Swimwear (dependent on itinerary)
                  Emergency fund as mentioned in the Money Matters section
                  Clothes! Bear in mind that laundry facilities are widely available throughout this trip. The cost varies between USD1 to USD3 (approx.) per kilo and it can normally be dropped off and picked the same day.

                  SLEEPING BAGS
                  It’s not essential that you bring a sleeping bag for any of our trips however on some itineraries we will recommend either bringing one from home or hiring one on the ground. If this is the case it will be mentioned in the ‘region specific’ packing list.

                  Please note domestic airlines allow a maximum of 15kg check in luggage and 5kg hand luggage. Any excess luggage expense will be your own responsibility.

                  CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
                  Weather in Patagonia is unpredictable. While this trip only runs during the warmer months of the year, temperatures can fluctuate from 30 to 0 degrees Celsius (86 to 32 Fahrenheit) within a trip or even a day. Please make sure you pack enough warm clothing.

                  SLEEPING BAGS:
                  Sleeping bags are not provided on this trip so please bring your own. Alternatively you can hire it locally for approximately US$10 a day. A thermarest/inflatable camping mattress and small pillow are provided on this trip but feel free to bring along your own if you prefer to increase your comfort.

                  WATER BOTTLE
                  Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

                  While trekking, boiled or safe water is available for drinking. However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include:
                  - purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur.
                  - 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather.
                  All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                  You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                  The World Health Organization has identified the following mosquito transmitted diseases in this region:

                  Dengue, Yellow Fever, Malaria and Zika (amongst others)

                  For more information, please visit

                  Zika virus.
                  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there has been an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in parts of Central and South America. This virus is mostly concerning to pregnant women as recently in Brazil local authorities have linked the virus to an increase in babies born with microcephaly (smaller than normal skull).
                  In addition to the risk mentioned above WHO have reported that Zika symptoms may include mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis. These symptoms normally last for 2-7 days.
                  In line with the above, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip to Central and South America.
                  At this stage, WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to the Zika virus.
                  More information on the Zika virus can be found at the following links:
                  World Health Organisation:

                  YELLOW FEVER:
                  A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.

                  It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

                  DENGUE FEVER:
                  Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
                  Travel insurance
                  Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                  When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                  If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                  A couple of rules
                  Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                  Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                  Responsible Travel
                  We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.


                  Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

                  The Intrepid Foundation
                  Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                  The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:


                  Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Argentina include:

                  * Brazos Abiertos (Open Arms) helps local children in Las Heras, a socially challenged neighbourhood in Mendoza, where high unemployment and illiteracy have resulted in many living below the poverty line. As well as providing food for up to 460 children each day, they arrange for additional school classes and sporting activities to increase both health and self-esteem.

                  After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.