Patagonia Trekking Trip Notes

Patagonia Trekking

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: 15 Jul 2016
Patagonia Trekking
Trip code: GPTV
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Visit South America and travel to Patagonia - a fascinating region in the far south of Chile and Argentina, rich in natural beauty, dramatic vistas and cosmopolitan cities oozing with passion and culture. Feel the contrast as you trek the W Hike through the Patagonian wilderness and explore the urban metropolis of Santiago. From camping near the end of the earth and witnessing gargantuan glaciers to indulging in the modernity of Buenos Aires, this trip will reward those with a sense of adventure, an appreciation of nature and an interest in diversity.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationEmergency contact
ThemesAccommodation NotesVisas
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionWhat to take
Why we love itMealsClimate and seasonal information
MapMoney mattersHealth
ItineraryGroup leaderTravel insurance
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyA couple of rules
Physical ratingJoining pointResponsible Travel
Included activitiesFinish pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Important notesAlternate finish pointFeedback
Group sizeAlternate finish point description
Your fellow travellersAlternate finish point instructions
Style
Original
Themes
Walking & Trekking
Is this trip right for you?
- A good level of fitness is required to complete the multiple treks included on this trip. See the 'Physical Rating' section for more information.
- Weather in Patagonia can be wild, so it's important to prepare for all elements. Rain, wind and extreme cold are all part of the adventure.
Why we love it
- Discover two very different sides of Chile – the big-city pusle of soulful Santiago and the adventure-fuelled atmosphere of lakeside Puerto Natales
- Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier must be seen to be believed. This massive, blue-hued natural wonder is one of Patagonia's real crown jewels
- Trek past granite pillars, sparkling lakes and gushing waterfalls in Torres del Paine National Park on a four-day camping trip with all your meals taken care of
- Finish in Buenos Aires, Argentina's sensational and sultry capital. Stay on and explore its many corners at your leisure, from the star-studded Recoleta cemetery to the tucked-away milongas (tango halls)
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Santiago
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Chile. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting tonight. Your leader will leave a note at the hotel reception telling you where and when this meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. After the group meeting there is the option of joining the group for dinner. If you arrive early, perhaps get out and explore Santiago. The city centre is quite compact and easy to get around. Head out to the barrio Bella Vista (the serene 'Paris Quarter') or take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal. If the weather is fine, the latter will give you lovely views over the city and the Andes. Your hotel is centrally located and has a restaurant and bar. Rooms have air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms.

Notes: If you need to hire a sleeping bag for your upcoming trek, let your leader know at tonight's welcome meeting.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Punta Arenas / Puerto Natales
Today is a travel day, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas (approximately 3–5 hours, depending on the flight connection). From there, take a local bus to Puerto Natales (approximately 3 hours). Seated on the shores of a beautiful lake, Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park and a great place to catch up with fellow hikers for a pre- or post-trek meal in one of the many quaint local restaurants.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Meals
1 breakfast
Day 3-6 Torres del Paine National Park/W Hike
Travel by local bus and catamaran to your first campsite of the trek at the Torres del Paine National Park. As you enter the realm of Chilean Patagonia, you will most likely be greeted by a herd of guanacos. These strange animals provide great photo opportunities (but don't get too close – they're likely to spit at you!). The park is also home to some impressive birds such as nandues, condors and pink flamingos. The real star of the show, however, is the landscape – glaciers, mountains, lakes and waterfalls. After setting up camp and enjoying some lunch, you'll trek to the first lookout point: Grey Glacier (approximately 4 hours; 12 km). On Day 4, trek to the French Valley (approximately 8 hours; 22 km). On Day 5, cross Peohe Lake by catamaran and travel by local bus to Laguna Amarga, then hike from there (approximately 4 hours, 12 km). Day 6 is another long trekking day, to one of the most spectacular lookout points: Mirador de las Torres (approximately 9 hours; 18 kilometres).

Notes: During these treks you will carry a small day pack with your personal belongings, such as a rain jacket, water, snacks and a camera. Dinners are simple (pastas, rice, chicken) and are served in a common dining area. Lunches consist of sandwiches, fruit and sometimes a chocolate bar. Soft and alcoholic drinks are not provided and there is a limited selection to buy from at the general store. If you'd like fruit, nuts, wine or spirits, you'll need to buy these beforehand and bring them with you. Bathroom facilities are available in the campsite, with communal showers and bathroom separated by gender. You and a fellow traveller will share a tent for these four nights. Sleeping bags are not provided on this trip, but can be hired if you don't have your own (USD40 for the 4 nights). Make sure you inform your leader of Day 1 of the trip if you plan to hire a sleeping bag. A thermarest / inflatable mattress and small pillow are provided.

This a traditional 'W hike', which usually involves staying overnight at Camping Los Cuernos. The space available to set up camp in this area is very limited (particularly on the busy summer months) and the terrain is uncomfortable. This itinerary skips this campsite by driving to the other side of the park (Laguna Amarga). We believe this change enhances the enjoyment of the trekking days.
Included Activities
  • 4 Day W-Trek in Torres del Paine
    Accommodation
    Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nt)
    Meals
    4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
    Day 7 El Calafate
    Enjoy some breakfast, then board a local bus for a long day of travel. Head to El Calafate in Argentina (approximately 7 hours). This is your gateway to the Glacier National Park. Being a major hub for adventurers headed for Perito Moreno, El Calafate has undergone a lot of development in recent decades, but retains plenty of charm. In the evening, perhaps take the opportunity to try some world-famous Argentinean steak or some fresh-caught local trout.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Meals
    1 breakfast, 1 lunch
    Day 8 El Calafate/Perito Moreno Glacier
    Travel by minivan (approximately 2.5 hours), witnessing some spectacular scenery en route to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Once you arrive, spend some time exploring this natural wonder. This is one of the few glaciers in the world that's actually advancing rather than melting away. At 3 kilometres wide and 35 kilometres long, it's an incredibly massive icescape. Watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below. Interestingly, massive ruptures occur to the glacier every four to five years as part of cyclical ice bridge formations. In the evening, return to El Calafate and relax for the evening.
    Included Activities
    • Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
    • Perito Moreno Glacier visit
      Optional Activities
      • Perito Moreno - Mini-trek on the glacier including short cruise to glacier base (65 yrs old is the maximum age permitted) - ARS1200
        Accommodation
        Hotel (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 9 Buenos Aires
        Fly back to Buenos Aires and enjoy a final night out. If you find yourself with some free time in the afternoon, perhaps see some of BA you missed the first time around. 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 a 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, plus great temporary exhibits.

        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 10 pm tonight.
        Optional Activities
        • Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 10 Buenos Aires
          Your adventure ends after breakfast this morning. There are no further activities planned, and you are free to depart at any time.
          Optional Activities
          • Urban Adventure: Malbec Trail of Palermo - USD100
          • Urban Adventure: Gourmet Buenos Aires Food - USD77
            Meals
            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
            4 Day W-Trek in Torres del Paine
            Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
            Perito Moreno Glacier visit
            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.

            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.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (5 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights)
            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.
            Meals
            9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 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 booking agent.

            The official currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).

            Argentina Currency Information:
            The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentinean peso (ARS). 

            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.
            Safety
            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:

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

            PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
            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.

            TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
            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.

            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.

            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.

            HORSE RIDING:
            Horse riding is an option available to groups on this trip. Please note however that horse riding is usually not covered by your travel insurance and helmets are not always available. If riding without a helmet is a concern then you should bring our own.
            Joining point
            Hotel Sommelier Express
            Agustinas 694
            Sector Teatro Municipal.
            Santiago
            CHILE
            Phone: +56 ( 2) 26396614
            Finish point
            Art Hotel
            Azcuénaga 1268
            Recoleta
            Buenos Aires
            ARGENTINA
            Alternate finish point
            For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
            23 Oct 2016 (GPTV161023)
            Reino del Plata Hotel
            Hipólito Yrigoyen 647
            Buenos Aires
            Buenos Aires
            ARGENTINA
            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.

            BOOKING ENQUIRIES/ISSUES
            For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

            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):

            Intrepid's local operations manager: While in Argentina contact: +54 9 11 5348 8823. While in Brazil contact: +55 21 96940 9208
            Visas
            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.


            Passport:
            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:
            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.


            ARGENTINA RECIPROCITY TAX:
            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)

            Please use this link:http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesibleingles/?reciprocidad

            - Select "Tasa de reciprocidad - Reciprocity fee"
            - Read the information in the pop up box
            - Select "Continuar/Continue"
            - Sign up & register your details (The link is in the blue box below the Login button)
            - Then follow the prompts 
            - Please save a copy & print your receipt

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

            For instructions on how to process this payment, please visit:
            http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/reciprocidad/Online_payment_instructions_16.pdf#zoom=100

            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
            Daypack
            Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
            Torch/flashlight (your phone’s may suffice)
            Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
            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.
            Climate and seasonal information
            Please note that, in order to make the most of our time in Patagonia, this trip includes two particularly long travel days (day 2 and 7). Please refer to trip notes for further details.

            The strictly traditional "W hike" involves an overnight at Camping Los Cuernos. The space available to set up camp in this area is very limited (particularly on the busy summer months) and the terrain uncomfortable. The above itinerary skips this campsite by driving to the other side of the park (Las Torres del Paine). We believe this change enhances the enjoyment of the trekking days.
            Health
            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.

            WHO – WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
            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 www.who.int


            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: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/


            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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
            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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

            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:

            http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

            Feedback
            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.

            http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback