Adventure through the breathtaking wilderness of Patagonia

Become an adventurer in the Patagonian wilderness – one of the most remote and beautiful environments in the world. Visit the best of nature's attractions in Argentina before heading to Chile to marvel at Patagonia. From the tango bars and heaving streets of Buenos Aires, head to the striking mountain scenery, vast open plains, dramatic ice fields and advancing glaciers of Patagonia. Trek to the spectacular Laguna Torre and iconic Torres del Paine, hike glaciers and visit the quirky towns at the end of the world. Experience a South American adventure through this spectacular region of Argentina and Chile.

Start
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Countries
Argentina,
Chile
Themes
Walking & Trekking
Code
GPTU
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
1 082kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Witness Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Trek the Patagonian wilderness through Argentina and Chile
  • Camp among the peaks of Chilean Patagonia
  • Explore the lakes and waterfalls of Torres del Paine National Park
  • Spot wildlife playing in the Beagle Channel
  • Visit the world's southernmost city, Ushuaia
  • Wander the elegant streets of Buenos Aires

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Argentina!

Please arrive make sure you arrive on day 1 by 3.00pm, in time for the first group meeting. Please have lunch prior to the meeting as we'll head out on our first activity straight afterwards. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. If you are intending to hire a sleeping bag for our nights in the Torres del Paine National Park please let your leader know at this meeting.

In the afternoon your tour leader will take you for an approximately 2 hour orientation walk around some of Buenos Aires' main attractions. In the evening you have the option of going out for a group dinner.

Buenos Aires must be the ultimate cosmopolitan city. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style, this is a city that will steal your heart. The Portenos (the local residents) are justifiably proud of their city which is comprised of distinct 'barrios' (neighbourhoods), each with their own style. Visit San Telmo for its weekend antiques market and artists' displays. La Boca was settled by waves of immigrants that built brightly painted buildings. It is also home to the world-class football team Boca Juniors and murals of famous footballers cover the district's walls. Recoleta is the place to browse museums with Buenos Aires' well-to-do.

When you have finished exploring, settle down at one of the many streetside cafes and prepare yourself for a night of tango at one of the many milongas.

If you arrive to Buenos Aires before day 1, there are plenty of galleries, museums and historic buildings to keep you entertained. 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, and great temporary exhibits.

As there is limited access to ATMs in Patagonia and we leave Buenos Aires early on Day 2, we recommend you withdraw around ARS 3000 in Argentinian pesos (approx USD 250) to cover the cost of meals and other personal expenses, on Day 1 of the trip (Sunday). If you wish to join any optional activities while on tour, please refer to the costs listed in these trip notes and budget accordingly.
Today we fly south from Buenos Aires to El Calafate (approx. 3 hrs), our gateway to the Glacier National Park. The rest of the day is free.
Today we visit Perito Moreno Glacier. This is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world and at 3km (1.8 miles) wide and 35km (21 miles) long is a spectacular sight. Watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below.

We return to El Calafate for the night.

Please be aware that there are no ATMs available in Perito Moreno Glacier and El Chalten, Your group leader will give you an indication of the amount needed in each destination.
Travel by bus to the frontier town of El Chalten, north of Glacier National Park (approx 3.5 hrs). Hikers and climbers from all around the world congregate here and the atmosphere is laid back and very outdoors-oriented.
The next two days we'll take on at least two of the most popular day treks in the area: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Las Torres. Hikes are moderate to difficult. You can expect to walk from six to nine hours on clearly marked and well maintained paths. The terrain itself is not difficult. Wind and rain may be the main challenges you face on these walks.

The hikes we trek and the order in which we trek them may change depending on weather conditions.

Day 6 is a long day as we travel back to El Calafate at the end of a hiking day.
Be ready for another long travel day. Early in the morning we jump on a local bus to Cerro Castillo in Chile (approx. 5 hrs). Here we stop for lunch (not included) while we wait for the connecting bus to Torres del Paine (approx. 1.5 hrs).

Please make sure you have water, snacks and warm clothing available for today bus journeys.

Sitting at the end of the earth is the awe inspiring Chilean Patagonia. Few people have the opportunity to see this area and those who do find it difficult to forget. Once a sheep estancia, the park was established in 1959. This is magnificent trekking country where nandues, condors and pink flamingos abound. Upon arriving in the park you will most likely be greeted by a herd of guanacos, relatives of alpacas. These strange animals provide great photo opportunities but don't get too close; they're likely to spit at you. There's also some of the world's best trout and salmon fishing.

The real star of the show, however, is the magnificent landscape. With sparkling lakes, gushing waterfalls, glaciers and striking mountains, much of our time trekking is spent slack-jawed in awe of our surrounds.

The campsite will be our home for the next three nights and the base from where we'll take on our day hikes.

The most popular trek in this area is locally known as "Base Las Torres" (The Tower's Base), your leader will recommend when to take this hike, depending on weather conditions.

Another available hike is towards "Refugio Los Cuernos" (The Horns' Lodge). This trek is long, but it has excellent views of this particular section of the park also known as "Los Cuernos del Paine" (The Horns)

The treks are moderate to difficult along clearly marked trails and we will usually hike between 5-8 hours per day. Weather in Patagonia is an important factor to consider - be prepared for cold, wet and windy weather.

You and a fellow traveller will share a tent for the next three nights. Sleeping bags are not provided on this trip so please bring your own. Alternatively you can hire it locally for approximately US$30 for the 3 nights. Make sure you inform your leader on day 1 of the trip if you intend to hire it locally for him/her to make the necessary arrangements. A (thermarest/inflatable camping mattress is provided on this trip.

3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners will be provided while camping. Dinners are simple (pastas, rice, chicken) and are served in a common dinning area. Lunches consist of sandwiches, fruit and sometimes a chocolate bar. Soft and alcoholic drinks are not provided and there is limited selection for you to buy from at the Camping's general store. If you particularly like certain snacks (almonds, nuts, raisins) or a drink (a bottle of wine, spirit) please make sure you bring it from Buenos Aires or Calafate.

Bathroom facilities are available in the campsite with communal showers and bathroom separated by sex.

While we hike, all your belongings will be left at the campsite, inside your tent. We can not be made responsible for anything that may go missing from your tent, however the campsite dedicates one person to look after the site and our belongings and we have not had anything missing from our tents so far.
On Day 10 we're on the move again as we travel by local bus to Puerto Natales, before continuing to Punta Arenas.

Set among windswept plains and looking across the Straits of Magellan to Porvenir and Tierra del Fuego, Punta Arenas feels close to the end of the world. In reality it's not that far away. This is Chile's southernmost city and it has plenty of interesting history. Over the years it has attracted explorers, ranchers and even fortune-seekers, as it was was once an important stop along the Californian gold rush route. In recent years it has become a base for the Chilean Navy and with oil and gas discovered offshore and the growth in adventure tourism, the city is going from strength to strength.

Tonight don't miss the chance to sample seafood, some of the finest in the country.
Today we hit the road for one last time - a 12-hour bus ride takes us back to Argentina and to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. Needless to say you will need to arm yourself with your favourite book, your music player, drinks and snacks.

Ushuaia is the gateway to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's only coastal park.
This morning we will take an included boat trip on the Beagle Channel. Observe the marine wildlife among the small islands and inlets along this waterway named after Charles Darwin's expedition ship.
Day 13 are free for you to explore. We have some time to visit Ushuaia's museums before returning to Buenos Aires.
Return to Buenos Aires by plane for a final night out. Please note that while we intend to return to Buenos Aires in the early hours of the afternoon, airline schedules in Argentina are known for changing without much notice, meaning that we can potentially arrive in Buenos Aires as late as 11pm on Day 14.

We return to our centrally located hotel in Buenos Aires for our final night.
As there are no activities planned, you are free to depart at any time on Day 15.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport
Plane, Local bus, Private minibus, Boat
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Hotel (11 nights)
Included activities
  • Orientation Tour - Buenos Aires
  • Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
  • Perito Moreno Glacier visit
  • Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
  • Day hike to Laguna Las Torres
  • 3 nights camping in Torres del Paine NP
  • Beagle Channel cruise

Dates

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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.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Patagonia Wilderness trips score an average of 4.81 out of 5 based on 53 reviews in the last year.

Patagonia Wilderness , March 2016

Patagonia Wilderness , March 2016

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