Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia Trip Notes

Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia

Last Modified: 01 Sep 2016
Santiago to Buenos Aires via Ushuaia
Trip code: GDOD
Validity: 01 Jan 2017 to 31 Dec 2017
Visit South America and travel through the windswept beauty of Patagonia on this journey through the stunning scenery of Argentina and Chile. Relax in the cafes of Santiago and be enchanted by the beauty of Bariloche before exploring some of the world's most breathtaking glacial scenery. Admire sweeping vistas while trekking through pristine wilderness, spot exotic animals and marvel at the immensity of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Travel across the vast Pampas of Argentina before finishing the adventure in electric Buenos Aires. Along the way, meet friendly locals and be swept up by the irresistible charm of this region abundant in natural beauty and wildlife.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Why we love itMeals introductionVisas
MapMealsWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersHealth
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderTravel insurance
Physical ratingSafetyA couple of rules
Important notesJoining pointResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Basix
Themes
Overland
Why we love it
- Visit Chile and walk the streets of sensational Santiago
- Stargaze in Salto del Laja
- Indulge in the delights of Bariloche
- Spot the wildlife of Tierra del Fuego
- Marvel at the icy beauty of the Perito Moreno Glacier
- Explore the wilds of the Valdes Peninsula
- Travel through the agricultural heartland of Argentina
- Live it up in Buenos Aires
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Santiago
Border information: if you are joining in Santiago, you will most likely enter Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (IATA code: SCL).

Welcome to Santiago, the cosmopolitan Chilean capital! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Santiago before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Santiago.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel. 

Hotel for the night:
Happy House Hostel
Moneda 1829
Santiago
Chile
Tel - +56 2 2688 4849 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Freely explore the streets and plazas of Santiago, visit some of its fascinating museums, and discover its incredible culture, music, and art : Free

Learn more about Santiago and its history on a free walking tour of the centre from a knowledgeable local guide : Free 

Take in the breathtaking vista of the city skyline backdropped by the mighty Andes, from the viewpoints at Cerro San Cristobal or Cerro San Lucia : Free

Discover all of Santiago's sights on a hop-on/ hop-off bus around the city : CLP 21000

About Santiago:
Chile's capital, Santiago, is a large, modern city with a very European atmosphere. In the centre of the city, wide tree-lined boulevards lead to pleasant plazas and leafy parks, and on a clear day the snow-capped peaks of the Andes provide a magnificent backdrop to the Santiago skyline. Much of the centre is pedestrianised, which together with the wide streets and efficient metro system make Santiago an easy city to explore on foot. There are plenty of interesting museums where you can learn more about Chilean history and culture, from the City of Santiago Museum which chronicles the city’s history, to the Natural History Museum and Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. The city's many wonderful parks are also worth a visit, particularly O'Higgins and San Cristóbal which offers great views of the city from Cerro San Lucia. As you would expect from a capital city of this size, Santiago is full of busy bars and restaurants and has some lively nightlife to offer. For cheap eats full of local flavour, head to the Mercado Central which is packed full of food stalls and simple cafes and restaurants. For a real treat, you might want to head out to one of the more upmarket neighbourhoods like Bellavista or Providencia, home to some really world-class restaurants and great bars. Barrio Brasil is also worth a look; this old neighbourhood attracts an arty and bohemian crowd and there are often interesting events going on here. If you have the time, there's also plenty to do in the area surrounding the city. Santiago is right in the middle of Chile's wine producing region, so it is relatively straightforward to arrange full day or half day tours out to the local wineries. You may also be interested in visiting the seaside town of Valparaíso, which can be visited as a day trip from Santiago.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 2 Pucon
Today we leave Santiago for a full day drive south to the beautiful Lake District of Chile and the lakeside town of Pucón.

In Pucón we will stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

About Pucón:
Southern Chile's lake district boasts some lake and mountain scenery comparable with what the Swiss Alps or New Zealand have to offer! Beautiful deep blue lakes are flanked by majestic forest-clad mountains with snowy peaks to provide picture-postcard views and a perfect spot for walking and camping. The attractive small town of Pucón is located at the heart of the Chilean lakes, a great place to stop for a few days so you can explore the area and get involved in some of the many adventure activities on offer here. At certain times of year it's even possible to do a day climb of the nearby Villarrica volcano - a challenging trek, but one that anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to manage - and you're rewarded with some fantastic views of the surrounding area from the summit. The whole area is great for trekking and there are plenty of options to do some fantastic self guided walks. Alternatively Pucón offers great horse riding, white-water rafting and mountain-biking opportunities. For those who would prefer to relax, there are also some great thermal springs nearby - the natural pools at Pozones have a beautiful setting and are a great place to go and soak your weary limbs in the evening!
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 3-4 Pucon
( Day 3 to 4 )

We will have two free days in Pucón to enjoy a range of optional activities, including a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Pucón, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Trek up to the summit of the snowcapped volcano Villarica to witness the incredible sunrise views over Pucón and the Chilean Lake District : CLP 50000

Take part in a fantastic canyoning expedition through the gorges of the Chilean Lake District near Pucón : CLP 20000

Head on an exciting white-water rafting trip on the rapids of the Trancura River near Pucón : USD 45

Explore the spectacular Lake District near Pucón by mountain bike : CLP 8000

Learn all about Pucón and the history of its people on a free walking tour of the town : Free

Explore the stunning views and hiking trails of the nearby Huerquehue National Park CLP : 22000

Relax in the soothing waters of the Pozones natural hot springs : CLP 10000

Discover the beautiful lakes and forests of Pucón on a horse riding trip : CLP 20000 


 
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nt)
Day 5 Barlioche
Border information: Exit Chile at Mamuil Malal, enter Argentina at Mamuil Malal.

Today we cross the Andes into Argentina and continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche via the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route).

In Bariloche we stay in dorm beds in a friendly family-run hostel outside of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

About Bariloche:
The Argentinian resort town of Bariloche has a picture perfect setting on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake, flanked by the peaks of the surrounding Andean mountains. The scenery here is truly stunning, so it's a magical place to explore and take in all the amazing views. In winter, the town is a popular centre for skiing and in summer the focus shifts to walking, mountain-biking, horse-riding and kayaking and canoing on the lakes - and if all that sounds too much like hard work, you can sit back and enjoy the view on a leisurely boat trip across to Victoria Island. Bariloche itself is also an interesting place to wander around. The town is famous for its handmade chocolates, and there are some really spectacular displays in the local chocolate shops. Because of it's popularity with Argentinians as well as international tourists, the town has a lively bar and restaurant scene with some great places to choose from. This is a particularly good place to sample some world-class Argentinian steak, and wild boar and Patagonian lamb is also worth a try here too! 
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 6-7 Bariloche
( Day 6 to 7 )

We will have two free days to enjoy the beautiful mountain town of Brioche and the stunning surrounding lakes, mountains and forests. We have the options to explore the area by foot, mountain bike, kayak, boat, or even a historic steam train! 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 


Take a stunning journey on the historic steam train between Brioche and Perot Moreno Los Juncos, taking in the amazing scenery of the Patagonian steppe : USDA 50

Explore the beautiful scenery of Brioche by horseback on a riding trip through the area : ARS 450

Discover the incredible scenery of the NHL Hap Lake and the Victoria Islands on a boat trip from Brioche : ARS 150

Hire mountain bikes to explore the forests and hills surrounding Lake NHL Hap and Brioche : ARS 180

Visit the interesting Fenelia Chocolate Museum in Brioche, and learn all about the town's tradition of chocolate making : ARS 50

Explore the nearby Largo Gutierrez and take in its amazing views from the water on a half-day tandem kayaking trip : ARS 200

Freely explore the best viewpoints around Brioche and some of the locals' favourite spots, such as the summit of Cirri Campanile, the beautiful beach of Plays Bonita, and the delightful waterfalls of Los Denudes : Free
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nt)
Day 8 Argentinian Patagonia
Today we embark on a full day drive south to wards the Patagonia region on the legendary Ruta 40 (Route 40).

Tonight we will wild camp in the Rio Mayo area.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

About Argentinian Patagonia:
Patagonia is the name of the region in the far south of South America, the southernmost stretch of the Andes and the surrounding plains and plateaus. The area is split down the middle by the Andes, with Chilean Patagonia on the west, and Argentinian Patagonia on the east. Renowned for its desolate landscapes, unrelenting winds and magnificent lake, mountain and glacial scenery, the name Patagonia comes from the word "Patagon", used by the explorer Magellan to describe the local people who he believed to be giants. Today historians believe that the Patagons were actually Teheulches, with an average height of about 1.8m as opposed to the average height of a Spaniard at the time of 1.55m! Argentinian Patagonia includes the spectacular national parks of Los Glaciares, Nahuel Huapi and Tierra del Fuego, home to the Perito Moreno Glacier, the Argentinian Lake District and the Fitz Roy range. 
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 9 Rio Pinturas/Cueva de las Manos
Today we continue our drive south to the Rio Pinturas area, where we have an included visit to the mysterious Neolithic cave-art site of Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), some of the most well-preserved ancient art in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tonight we will wild camp near the Cueva de las Manos.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the UNESCO site of Cueva de las Manos, a set of mysterious rock paintings made by hunter-gatherers over 10,000 years ago : Included in Kitty 


About Cueva De Las Manos:
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Cueva de las Manos lies in an isolated and remote spot in the valley of Rio Pinturas. The cave takes its name from the hundreds of paintings of hands made by indigenous inhabitants some 13,000-9000 years ago - possibly by the ancestors of the Tehuelche people. The images of hands are 'negative-painted, meaning that they put their hand on the rock face and sprayed the paint around the outline by blowing it through a bone pipe. As well as the hand impressions, there are also depictions of human beings, guanacos, rheas and other animals, as well as geometric shapes, zigzags, and representations of the sun, moon and hunting scenes. 
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 10 El Chalten
Today we will drive into the heart of the Patagonia region and reach the tiny town of El Chaltén, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.

In El Chaltén we stay in dorm beds in a hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

About El Chaltén:
El Chaltén is small remote Patagonian town nestled under the shadow of the iconic Mt. Fitz Roy. The town itself has an interesting origin - the area was disputed between Argentina and Chile for a number of years, so the Argentinians thought they would settle the argument by hastily building the town of El Chaltén in 1985 to claim the territory! The name of Chaltén comes from the Tehuelche word for 'smoky mountain', so called as the early morning clouds gathering around Fitz Roy look remarkably like volcanic smoke. However, the town has grown immensely in recent years and decades, becoming a major centre for adventure tourism in Argentina. It is a fantastic base from which to explore the northern sections of the incredible Los Glaciares National Park, and is home to many adventure tour operators offering outdoor activities in the area. 
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 11-13 Los Glaciares National Park/El Chalten
( Day 11 to 13 )

We will have three free days to enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking and walking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier, horse riding, and many other fantastic options. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Head out horse riding around the phenomenal scenery of El Chaltén : ARS 600

Freely explore and trek around the walking trails of Los Glaciares National Park, taking in the marvellous vistas of the Fitz Roy mountain range : Free 

Take a boat out onto the stunning Viedma Lake, and get up close to the Viedma Glacier to see its impressive facade (with options to do some ice trekking on the glacier!)  :ARS 1870

Enjoy an exhilarating day of ice trekking and climbing on the Cerro Torre Glacier, dramatically located at the base of the impossibly-steep spire of Cerro Torre : USD 74

Visit the majestic Lago del Desierto, a remote and serene lake surrounded by stunning forests and mountains : ARS 500 

About Los Glaciares National Park:
Los Glaciares National Park is the largest protected area in Argentina, covering a huge area of Argentinian Patagonia along the southern tail of the Andes range. The National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in all of South America. This is classic picture book Patagonia, and wherever you turn you're surrounded by wide open skies, magnificent mountains, incredible glaciers, glistening lakes and thick verdant forest. By far the best way to explore is to get out on foot - there are plenty of well-established trails through the mountains and forests of the National Park that are easy to explore independently with a map, so you can plan many treks around the area from around two hours to an entire challenging day out. As well as the phenomenal needle-like Cerro Torre, the iconic mountain of Fitz Roy looms over our base of El Chaltén, an impossibly-picturesque and steep mountain (which is also the logo for the 'Patagonia' clothing brand!) which can be viewed from many angles on treks in the area. Other activities can include boat trips and ice climbing on the incredible Videma Glacier, a visit to the serene Lago del Desierto, and horse-riding excursions through the incredible landscapes. 
Accommodation
Hostel (3 nt)
Day 14 Argentinian Patagonia
Today we will leave El Chaltén and head south, over landing across the Patagonian steppe and heading to wards the southern island of Tierra del Fuego.

Tonight we will wild camp at a stunning ancient crater called Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon).

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. 
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 15 Tierra Del Fuego
Border information: Exit Argentina at Integracion Austral, enter Chile at Integracion Austral

Continuing south, we head back into Chile to cross the Magellan Straits over to the island of Tierra del Fuego. Here we will visit the small King Penguin colony that have recently set up home at the remote Bahia Inutil (Useless Bay).

Tonight we will wild camp near Bahia Inutil.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Head out to the remote corner of Chilean Tierra del Fuego to view the King Penguin colony at Bahia Inutil, the only colony of these type of penguins outside of Antarctica : Included in Kitty

About Tierra Del Fuego:
Tierra del Fuego (meaning "Land of Fire") is a large island separated from mainland South America by the Magellan Strait. The island gets its name from the fires of the Selknam tribe that originally lived here, which Magellan and his sailors observed from their boats on their first travels through the area - unfortunately the Selknam and Yaghan tribes that originally inhabited the island are all but extinct after conflict with European settlers that arrived in the 19th Century. The island is split in half with a straight north-south line between Argentina and Chile, with the Argentinian half containing the island's largest settlement, Ushuaia. The island of Tierra del Fuego is Patagonia at its most remote and desolate, with a landscape of windswept plains, forests and swamplands, home to rheas, condors, buzzard eagles, seals and sea lions, all of which thrive in these conditions. On the Chilean half of the island lies Inútil Bay, a remote bay that is home to the only colony of King Penguins that exists outside of Antarctica! 
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 16 Ushuaia
Border information: Exit Chile at San Sebastian, enter Argentina at San Sebastian.

Today we cross over to the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego and drive to the incredible port town of Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world!

In Ushuaia we stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours. 

About Ushuaia:
Ushuaia is a port town that lies at the south of Tierra del Fuego on the Argentinian side - it is often known as "the city at the end of the world", as it is the world's most southern city (the Chilean town of Puerto Williams is slightly further south but is much smaller than Ushuaia). Ushuaia itself is low lying and unassuming, centred around one main street and a waterfront that overlooks the Beagle Channel. Originally Ushuaia was little more than a remote outpost, first colonised by a British-funded mission in the late 1800s and subsequently used by the Argentinian government as a penal colony. What was once a small sleepy town has grown rapidly in recent years, much of which is due to tourist development and particularly to the increasing number of Antarctica trips calling to port here. There's plenty to do in Ushuaia and the surrounding area. The town itself is home to an interesting museum where you can learn more about the history of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego and the indigenous people who originally lived here. The surrounding scenery is also impressive, so it's worth getting out on a boat-trip into the Beagle Channel, which will give you some great views of town with the Martial mountain range in the background. You can also explore Tierra del Fuego National Park, another beautiful spot with some spectacular lake and mountain scenery. 
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 17-18 Tierra Del Fuego, Ushuaia
( Day 17 to 18 )

We will have two free days in the wonderful remote town of Ushuaia, with plenty of time for optional activities such as a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, boat trips to see the scenery and wildlife of the Beagle Channel, or heading out horse riding along the coast. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take a boat trip out on the famous Beagle Channel to view the native sea lions and birds : ARS 650

Explore the haunting beauty of Tierra del Fuego National Park and wander its atmospheric walking trails on a day tour from Ushuaia : ARS 500

Head out to the impressive Martial Glacier near Ushuaia, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Darwin Mountains and the Beagle Channel : USD 25

Delve into Ushuaia's past and learn about its maritime tradition and former prison colony at the Maritime Museum : ARS 150

Learn all about Tierra del Fuego's history and nature at the 'Museum of the End of the World' in Ushuaia : ARS 90

Enjoy an active day out in Tierra del Fuego National Park with a 7-kilometre trek to the scenic Lago Roca followed by a canoing trip down the Lapataia River : ARS 1500

Discover the beautiful scenery of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel on a horse riding trip to the nearby Susana's Mountain viewpoint : ARS 1100

Explore the excellent trails around the hills and forests of Ushuaia by hiring a mountain bike : ARS 150

Take a journey along the Rio Pipo on the 'Train to the End of the World', once built by prisoners at Ushuaia's old penal colony : USD 30 
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nt)
Day 19 Tierra Del Fuego
Border information: Exit Argentina at San Sebastian, enter Chile at San Sebastian. 

Today we start heading back north on a full day drive back across the Magellan Straits and up the Chilean side of the mainland.

Tonight we will wild camp close to the Magellan Strait.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. 
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 20 Torres del Paine National Park
Today we will drive to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty in the world and the main highlight of the trip for many of our passengers and leaders! We will stop en route in Puerto Natales to stock up on supplies and pick up our local guides and cook who will accompany us during our time in the National Park.

Tonight we will camp at Las Torres Campsite, a stunning campsite inside the National Park with incredible views of the eastern side of the main mountain ranges which we will refer to as our 'base campsite'.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Entrance into the phenomenal Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile, an area of some of the most outstanding natural beauty, breathtaking mountain vistas, and idyllic trekking opportunities in the world : Included in Kitty

About Torres Del Paine National Park:
Torres del Paine National Park contains what is undoubtedly some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. Rising up high above the Patagonian steppe are the three impressive granite towers that give the park its name, surrounded by high plateaus and towering mountain peaks, the most famous of which are Los Cuernos and Paine Grande. The park is a magical natural wonderland full of deep lakes, sparkling glaciers and cascading waterfalls, and it is also an important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including guanos, pumas, flamingos and condors. The best way to explore the National Park is definitely to get out on foot - the region is criss-crossed by a good network of trails, making it possible for you to see all the main sights either by doing a series of day hikes or embarking on a multi-day walk such as the famous W-walk, stopping off at the park's Refugios or camping along the way. Horse riding and kayaking can also be arranged locally, and boats and catamarans offer trips across Lago Grey and Lago Pehoé in season. 
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 21 Torres Del Paine National Park
Dragoman offers two options for your time in Torres Del Paine National Park:

- Option 1 - Base Package - included on all trips our trips as standard is a guided trek on our first day to the stunning three peaks viewpoint, followed by three free days to enjoy the National Park and take part in optional activities.

- Option 2 - Full W-Walk - optional upgrade to embark on the full W-Walk with a local guide. Places at the campsites are limited by the National Park, so it is important to pre-book this option with your sales agent before your trip as it is not possible to book on arrival.

Today we will all have an included guided trek from our base campsite to the breathtaking viewpoint of the famous three peaks which give the National Park its name. After taking in this incredible view, we will trek back to our base campsite for the night.

Approximate walking distance: 20 km, estimated time: 8 hrs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

W-walk extension

The extension package is to include the entire of the famous W-walk in Torres del Paine - included are two extra nights camping on the trail with facilities, food for the duration of the trek, and the service of an expert English speaking local guide : GBP 160  
Please note that this package must be pre booked in advance through your sales agent. Please book as early as possible to ensure availability and avoid disappointment! For further information on the W-walk please refer to the detailed trip notes.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Base package

Guided 'base package' to trek part of the famous W-walk - included is the trek to the towers of Torres del Paine with an expert local guide, and accommodation, food and a cook at Las Torres Campsite : Included in Kitty.



Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 22 Torres Del Paine National Park
Base package group: Today is a free day for those that have not booked the optional W-walk extension package. There are many short walks and other fantastic optional activities available near our base campsite, or alternatively it's a great day simply relax and enjoy the spectacular views from the campsite.

W-walk extension group: If you have chosen the optional W-walk extension, you will leave our base campsite today to continue your guided trek along the edge of Lago Nordenskjöld to Los Cuernos Campsite where you will camp for the night. Approximate walking distance: 11 km, estimated time: 5 hrs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take in the stunning views of Torres del Paine on a horse riding trip through the National Park : CLP 30000

Head out on a fantastic boat trip on the Grey Lake to get up close to the colossal Grey Glacier : CLP 55000 

Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 23 Torres Del Paine National Park
Base package group: Today is another free day for optional activities for those that have not booked the optional W-walk extension package.

W-walk extension group: If you have chosen the optional W-walk extension, you will leave Los Cuernos and trek up the French Valley with your local guide. From here you will continue trekking to Paine Grande Campsite where you will camp for the night. Approximate walking distance: 27 km, estimated duration: 11 hrs. 

Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 24 Torres Del Paine National Park
Today is our last full day in this beautiful National Park.

Base package group: Today is another free day for those that have not booked the optional W-walk extension package.

W-walk extension group: If you have chosen the optional W-walk extension, today will be the last day of the W-walk. You will trek with your local guide along the edge of Lago Grey to an excellent viewpoint over the spectacular Grey Glacier. You will then trek back to Paine Grande and board the catamaran across the Lago Pehoé, where you'll be met by our Dragoman truck and driven back to our base campsite for the night. Approximate walking distance: 22 km, estimated duration: 8 hrs. 

Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 25 El Calafate / Perito Moreno Glacier
Border information: Exit Chile at Cerro Castillo, enter Argentina at Cerro Castillo.

Today we re-enter Argentina for the final time and drive to El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

In El Calafate we stay in dorm beds in a lovely hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

About El Calafate:
El Calafate is a small town on the southern shore of Lago Argentino in Patagonia. Originally a sheep station and trading outpost, today the town has developed a bustling atmosphere and an ever-growing tourist trade. Interestingly the town takes its name from the Calafate berry, and locals claim that if you eat one of these and make a wish, you are guaranteed to return to Patagonia. Most people base themselves here to visit the nearby Perito Moreno Glacier, located a short distance away at the southern reaches of the Los Glaciares National Park - the glacier is one of the most famous and spectacular glaciers to be seen anywhere in the world. The Perito Moreno Glacier is approximately 30kms long from where it spills out of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, and 5kms wide at its terminus, where it has a ice face that is on average 170m high (with about 70m of which is above the surface of the lake). Visitors can view the glacier from an incredible viewpoint only a few hundred metres away from its face, where if you're lucky you'll see some of the ice face carve off into the lake under the pressure of all the ice behind it! It is also possible to take a boat trip to get extremely close, or embark on a challenging ice-climbing expedition on the glacier itself. 
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 26 El Calafate / Perito Moreno Glacier
Today we will head out on an included full day guided visit to view the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most spectacular sights in Patagonia. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

See the enormous Perito Moreno Glacier from the most breathtaking and photogenic viewpoints on a guided day tour from El Calafate : Included in Kitty

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Get even closer to the impressive glacier of Perito Moreno with a boat trip in front of its mighty face : ARS 200

Learn all about glaciers at the fantastic modern Glaciarium Museum in El Calafate, and visit its cool ice bar in the basement! : ARS 200

Explore the Perito Moreno glacier on an incredible full day expedition, trekking through the forests and onto the glacier itself using crampons (please note that this is an alternative to the regular tour as there will not be enough time for both - however you will stop at the main viewpoint on your way back to El Calafate at the end of the excursion) : ARS 1200 

Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 27 Jaramillo
Today we will have a full day drive across the plains of Patagonia to wards the South Atlantic coast.

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

See the incredible fossilled conifer trees of the Jaramillo Petrified Forest, the remnants of a 40-million year old forest naturally preserved in stone (if time and road conditions allow) : Free 

About Jaramillo:
The desolate cold plains of Patagonia surrounding the tiny town of Jaramillo are a world away from how this area was in the Jurassic era (around 150 million years ago) - believe it or not, at that time the landscape was covered with dense evergreen coniferous forests. This changed at the start of the Cretaceous era when volcanic eruptions and the birth of the Andes coincided to reduce the amount of rain and cover much of the forestry with ash and lava, petrifying large amounts of the forest. This ecological legacy has been left behind in Jaramillo, with many examples of fossilised trees and cones lying strewn about the landscape. 
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 28 Camarones
Today we continue our drive north up the Atlantic coast to the small town of Camarones. If time and conditions allow we might visit the Jaramillo Petrified Forest en route.

In Camarones we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the huge colony of Magellanic Penguins at the remote area of Cabo Dos Bahias near Camarones on the South Atlantic coast : Included in Kitty 

About Camarones:
Situated at the northern part of the vast San Jorge Gulf on the South Atlantic coast of Patagonia, Bahía Camarones and Cabo Dos Bahías are both important nesting sites for large colonies of Magellanic Penguins. Camarones is home to around 25,000 of the penguins that nest here on the windy, remote and rocky coast. Between September and April, the penguins come to these sites to incubate their eggs and prepare their offspring for migration - each couple stand in front of their nests protecting the eggs from birds and other predators, and occasionally one adult goes to the sea for food. There are some fantastic walkways set up near some of the colonies, so that visitors can get very close to the penguins without disturbing them. 
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 29 Puerto Madryn
This morning we have an included visit to the incredible remote colony of Magellanic Penguins in Cabo Dos Bahias (Cape Two Bays), close to the town of Camarones. After seeing the phenomenal sight of thousands of penguins nesting on the shore, we will continue our drive north to the coastal town of Puerto Madryn.

In Puerto Madryn we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

About Puerto Madryn:
Puerto Madryn is a port town on the South Atlantic coast of Argentina. The original settlers here were Welsh, founding the port and colonising the Chubut River valley - these original settlers came here in 1865 as they felt like their Welsh customs and traditions were being eroded back at home and that they should emigrate to better preserve them. Some of the smaller communities are still very proud of their Welsh heritage and retain many of the original immigrants' traditions, and some small towns such as Gaiman and Trelew you can even go for a Welsh afternoon tea in one of the local tea houses. A distinct Patagonian dialect of the Welsh language has been spoken in the region for over four generations, but although it is now quite rare and you are unlikely to hear anyone speaking it, there are three bilingual Welsh-Spanishs schools in Patagonia, and it is thought that 5,000-10,000 people speak Welsh as a first language and a further 25,000 as a second language. Puerto Madryn is most famous as the gateway to the Valdés Peninsula, a beautiful rocky outcrop known for its incredible wildlife - if you visit here, you will be able to see guanacos, armadillos and Magellanic penguins close-up, and seals and saloons from afar. If you're lucky you may spot an orca or a Southern Right whale in the waters surrounding the peninsular. 
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 30 Puerto Madryn
Cameronsill have a free day for optional activities in and around Puerto Madryn. There is the opportunity to take a tour to the Valdes Peninsular to see its desolate scenery and abundant marine life, head out on a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales, or perhaps go for afternoon tea in a Welsh tea house in the nearby towns of Gaiman or Trelew. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Make a trip to the desolate Peninsular Valdes near Puerto Madryn, a UNESCO World Heritage site full of elephant seals and sea lions in their natural habitat : ARS 800

Set off on a boat trip on to the Atlantic Ocean from Puerto Madryn or Rawson, in search of playful Commerson's or Dusky dolphins and Southern Right whales! : ARS 400

Visit the fascinating modern marine interpretation centre of EcoCentro Mar Patagonia, and learn all about the unique ecosystems of the Patagonian sea : ARS 125

Explore the incredible shipwrecks and rocky reefs under the water on a scuba diving trip in the Golfo Nuevo off the shore of Puerto Madryn : USD 150

Freely explore the intriguing Welsh village of Gaiman near Trelew, visit one of its iconic tea houses, and see the famous junk-art installations of the Desafio Park : Free

Visit the outstanding Museum of Paleontology in the near Welsh town of Trelew, and see the impressive ancient remains of the the dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures found in the area : ARS 95

Discover the incredible colony of sea lions at Punta Loma, near to Puerto Madryn : ARS 100 
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 31 Monte Hermoso
Today we have a full day's drive heading north to wards Buenos Aires. We will see a definite change in the landscape today as the vegetation becomes more and more lush and green as we come out of the Patagonia region and into the pampas of Buenos Aires. 

Tonight we will wild camp en route, possibly in the coastal village of Monte Hermoso. 

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours. 

Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 32 Buenos Aires
Another full day drive will take us across the beautiful grasslands of Buenos Aires province and to the cosmopolitan Argentine capital itself.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

About Buenos Aires:
At the mouth of the River Plate estuary (where the Uruguay and Paraná rivers flow out into the Atlantic Ocean) lies the fabulous city of Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina. It's a buzzing, energetic city that often feels more European than Latin American, so much so that it's often referred to as "the Paris of the South". There is a huge amount to do see and do here, and it's a fantastic city to explore on foot and using the extensive metro system. Some areas to check out include San Telmo, a bohemian district full of charm, antique shops, street markets, and some excellent bars; Palermo, with its fantastic restaurants and nightlife; and Recoleta, the "Mayfair" of Buenos Aires and home to the La Recoleta cemetery, Eva "Evita" Perón's final resting place. The waterfront area known as La Boca is also worth exploring, a very photogenic district with its ramshackle buildings being painted in a rainbow of different bright colours. Everywhere you go you'll be surrounded by some fantastic architecture. The Plaza de Mayo is perhaps the most historically interesting, as this is the site of the Cabillo (original town hall), Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace) and the cathedral where the body of General San Martín lies. In the evenings, you are spoilt for choice - Buenos Aires has a vibrant nightlife, with a huge number of bars and night clubs to choose from. Restaurants here vary from cheap and cheerful to world class, and it's a great place to get stuck into some of Argentina's finest steak and red wine. Of course this is also the home of Tango, and there are many evening Tango shows you can buy tickets for or even take a dancing class yourself! 
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 33 Buenos Aires
Today is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take the ferry over the river to Uruguay, and explore the serene colonial town of Colonia del Sacramento for the afternoon before returning : USD 45

Head out to an tango show in Buenos Aires' oldest cafe, the Gran Cafe Tortoni - seeing a slice of iconic Argentine culture in an ideal and intimate setting : ARS 240 

Visit the strangely beautiful cemetery of Recoleta, the final resting place of many ex presidents and Argentine icons, most famously including the tomb of Eva Peronn: Free

Try your hand at the art of tango dancing with a private lesson in Buenos Aires : USD 25

Freely explore the cosmopolitan Argentina capital of Buenos Aires, or take a free walking tour of the city's highlights : Free

See a different side to Buenos Aires on a tour of its incredible street art with some of the local artists : USD 20

Learn all about the cuisine of Argentina on a food tour of Buenos Aires, visiting several incredible local top-class eateries that you won't find in the guidebooks! : USD 85

Try some of Argentina's most delicious wines on a top-level wine tasting afternoon in Buenos Aires : USD 52 
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 34 Buenos Aires
Border information: if you are finishing in Buenos Aires, you will most likely exit Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code BUE/EZE).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Buenos Aires. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales Team if you would like to arrange some extra nights of accommodation here after your trip. 

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.

We must emphasise that the routes, activities and places visited described in these trip notes are intentions and are meant as a rough guide only. We intend following the route detailed but exact night stops cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our basic planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. Or it may be because we find a better, more interesting route. While actually en route, unexpected hospitality, a local festival or a great place to chill out can determine our exact route and itinerary on any given trip. Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group.

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.

THE W WALK: If you wish to hike the full W Walk in Torres del Paine National Park, you can pre-book the package with us. The extension package includes the two extra nights camping on the trail with facilities, food for the duration of the trek, and the service of an expert English speaking local guide. This package does book out well in advance so it is not possible to organise this activity locally. It must be ore-booked
Physical rating

In these parts of the world you'll need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climate; from hot deserts through to the cold of high mountain areas.

Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days and dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You'll need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up, and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts. The step-up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high, can become tiring. You need to judge if you are physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day.
Important notes
1. This trip is run by our experienced overland partner Dragoman.
2. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.

Group size
Maximum of 22 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 (2 nights), Hostel (15 nights), Bush camping (5 nights), Camping (10 nights)
The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hostels or hotels. Where it's not practical to camp (ie: in towns and cities), we use hostel or hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants. The frequency and regularity of hostel and hotel stops depends on the route and area.

Campsites will range from rather basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. In some cases it may also be possible to upgrade locally to bungalows, lodges or even tree-houses. One of the highlights of overlanding is that in more remote areas we will wild camp. This allows us to get far away from the tourist crowds to some beautiful, secluded spots. On some of our trips we are able to stay in villages or local homestays, which allows us to get close to indigenous populations and ensures our money stays within local communities.

Please note that camping is participatory, which means you will be expected to set-up and pack down your own tent.
Meals introduction
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.

On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger - you're part of the crew. You are expected to pitch in to set up camp, shop for food, cook and generally help out. As part of your trip you will be assigned a truck job which could be collecting water and firewood, sweeping out the truck, loading the back locker, etc. You will be divided into smaller units of 3-4 people and take it in turns to cook for the whole group according to a rota system. When it is your turn to cook you will have to plan the meal, shop for the ingredients in local markets or supermarkets and then prepare the meal for the whole group. The secret to cooking for 20+ people in a basic camping kitchen is to keep it simple!

If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting. An example of a typical camp breakfast might be toast with spreads, fruit and cereal as well as tea and coffee. When time allows it will also be possible to serve something hot such as eggs or pancakes. Lunch is almost always a sandwich heaped high with healthy salad and assorted fillings, with fruit to follow. Dinner might be a BBQ, risotto or pasta dish and there is always the chance to try some local cooking. Generally our passengers find the more they put into a trip, the more they benefit from it.
Meals
No meals included
Money matters
On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and all included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases.This Kitty price indicated on the trip notes below is indicative only. Please refer to the 'Check availability' page on the website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.

Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.

You may pay your kitty in a mixture of US Dollars cash and the rest in local currency (amount and type of currency to be agreed by the leader at the start of the trip). Most of our travellers chose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.

If you do choose to pay part in local currency your trip leader will confirm the current exchange rates with you so you will know exactly how much to hand over.

Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.

Kitty does not cover food while staying in hotels and hostels.

KITTY CHANGES:
We constantly monitor local price changes and exchange rate fluctuations that could affect kitty expenses. Final kitty contributions are likely to be different from those quoted in the brochure or at the time of booking so you must check the final amount just before departure.

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

The official currency in Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS).

With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please 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.

It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US dollars is the most readily changeable currency.

VERY IMPORTANT:
USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

SPENDING MONEY
When it comes to spending money 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 meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities 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).

PRICES IN CHILE & BRAZIL:
Chile and Brazil are amongst the most expensive countries in South America. While in other countries you can expect to have a main meal for US$5-10 and take part of an optional activity for US$15-20, Brazil and Chile's prices are closer to what you would expect to pay in Western countries. You'll need to budget accordingly.

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.

The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

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

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest USD2-USD4 per passenger 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.

In total, we recommend you budget approx USD5-USD10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

Please allow USD 36 for international airport departure tax.

Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

EMERGENCY FUNDS
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Group leader
On all of our Dragoman-operated Overlanding trips you will be accompanied by two Western crew members who are responsible for the group and the overall organisation of the trip.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of the places visited and to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman trips use local guides who may stay with us for just a few hours or will actually travel with us for some or all of the journey. In these cases they become a third crew member and are able to offer their local knowledge as well as a real insight into the lives of the local people. Our crew are chosen for their leadership skills, and most importantly have a passion for the region and its people.

We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders

On any Overland trip, there are a number of tasks that need to be done. Our overland trip leaders will organise the group into smaller groups of two or three who will take turns in the daily shopping and cooking, vehicle cleaning, disposing of rubbish, etc. There are also a number of other jobs that need doing e.g. collecting water and firewood, luggage loading, supervising the kitty and food stores, which may be assigned to particular people or on a rota system according to group size, make-up, and so on. You must come prepared to 'pull your weight' and share in these duties; you will become very unpopular with other group members if they have to do your share. The more you put into a trip, the more you'll benefit.
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

The vehicle has fully lockable doors and windows, which is an obvious advantage, but it will probably be necessary to guard it at times and everyone should be prepared to share in this responsibility.

In most areas there is very little to fear from the point of view of violence. But in all areas 'tourists' are a tempting target for pickpockets and con-men. Always be aware of this and be especially careful when leaving banks or money-changers, in any crowded areas, etc. NEVER leave things lying around - they will almost certainly get stolen. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to always be security conscious and to take all necessary precautions. Great inconvenience and distress can be caused by having your documents or possessions stolen.

A few of our past group members have had the unhappy experience of having their belongings stolen before the trip starts. Beware of carrying your passport and other valuables around with you in cities. We strongly suggest you deposit your valuables in your hotel safe on arrival.

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.

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!

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.

TRAVEL ADVISORY:
Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travelling-and-living-overseas/travel-advice-by-country
Joining point
Happy House Hostel
Moneda 1829
Barrio Brasil
Santiago
CHILE
Phone: +56 (2)26884849
Joining point instructions
Taxis are readily available from outside the airport. A taxi fare to your hotel will cost approx. US$50.

Alternatively there is the CentroPuerto bus which takes about 40 minutes and costs approximately US$5. The bus drops off at Los Heroes bus terminal, from where it is about a 20 minute walk to the hostel, or you can catch the metro to Santa Ana or Cumming for a shorter walk.

Another bus, Tur Bus, runs from the airport to the Tur Bus terminal near Moneda metro station. It also takes about 40 minutes and costs about US$5. From Moneda it is about a 20 minute walk to the hostel, or catch the metro from Moneda to Santa Ana or Cumming.
Finish point
Hotel Splendid
Rivadavia 950
Buenos Aires
ARGENTINA
Phone: +54 11 4345 2800
Finishing point instructions
If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.

If you are making your own way to the airport the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception.
Emergency contact
Dragoman have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left home and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked and the crew informed if necessary.

Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564

For further contact details please use the following page:

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/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.

Dragoman: +44 (0) 1728 86222
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.

CHILE TOURIST VISA
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Not required

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.

ARGENTINA TOURIST VISA
Australia: Not required
Belgium: Not required
Canada: Not required
Germany: Not required
Ireland: Not required
Netherlands: Not required
New Zealand: Not required
South Africa: Not required
Switzerland: Not required
United Kingdom: Not required
United States: Not required

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)

This fee can only be paid on line through the following website:
https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/

For instructions on how to process this payment, please visit:
http://cnyor.mrecic.gov.ar/userfiles/Online_payment_instructions_0.pdf

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.
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. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. 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:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
Night-time temperatures can be low during the winter months and at altitude so bring a set of warmer clothes. Thermal underclothes, being small and light, can be very useful.

A light waterproof and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential.

CAMPING EQUIPMENT:
Sleeping Bag - Check the expected climate en route. Nights in desert and mountain regions can be very cold in winter months. One that zips down all one side is useful for warm nights and a sleeping bag liner for cold nights.
Mattress or compressed foam - Compressed foams are the lightest, most convenient but probably the least comfortable. Self inflating mattresses are convenient, comfortable, light and small when rolled up; they are more expensive and do puncture so bring a suitable repair kit.

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.

In countries like Argentina, Uruguay and the Patagonia region of Chile, tap water is treated and safe to drink so please avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap.
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 REPORTS:
The World Health Organisation has countries in Latin America registered as zones affected by hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, rabies and malaria.

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.

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.
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 or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
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