Explore the adventure towns, wilderness and most scenic spots of South America.

Just the sound of it fills the stomach with butterflies: Patagonia. Sharp granite peaks impale the horizon and glaciers feed into the most perfect blue lakes imaginable. Visit the seemingly endless wilderness that’s become the hottest, and coldest, outdoor playground for adventurers world-over, beginning in the Chilean capital of Santiago and ending in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. Combine the best of both worlds, hiking in the shadow of Mt Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, conquering Villarica Volcano high above Pucon and ‘exploring’ the chocolate shops in Bariloche, not to mention the incredible food and wine scene throughout both these countries.


Start
Santiago, Chile
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Destinations
Argentina, Chile
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer, Walking & Trekking
Code
GGSJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 1
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover the spirit of cosmopolitan Santiago

  • Enjoy action-packed fun in Pucon

  • 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 the Patagonian wilderness through Argentina and Chile

  • 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)

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are a few long days of travel.

  • Remember to stock up on snacks and keep your warm clothes handy. The reward for your patience comes in the form of jaw-dropping glacial scenery.

  • Weather in Patagonia can be wild, so it's important to prepare for all elements. Rain, wind and extreme cold are all part of the adventure.

  • A good level of fitness is required to complete the multiple treks included on this trip. See the 'Physical Rating' section for more information.

  • Just as a heads up before you book: this trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Itinerary

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 at 6pm. Your leader will leave a note at the hotel reception telling you where this meeting will take place, after which there’ll be 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; you can visit Plaza de Armas (Main Square) and its cathedral, Palacio La Moneda (government house) or Santa Lucia hill. Alternatively, head out to the barrio Bella Vista (the serene Parisian Quarter) and take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal. If the weather is fine, you’ll have lovely views over the city and the Andes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
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.
Enjoy a free day sightseeing in Santiago. Both the National History Museum and the fascinating Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano can be found in the Plaza de Armas and it’s a short walk to the National Museum of Natural History. There’s the option to take a half-day city tour including La Alameda (the main avenue), the thriving central markets and Cerro San Cristobal, a huge green space above Santiago with views of the city and the Andes.  Tonight we’ll take an overnight bus to Pucon in Chile’s southern lake district, known for its abundance of adventure activities.
Accommodation
  • Overnight Bus (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We arrive to Pucon in the early hours of the morning. If our accommodation is not ready yet, we'll able to drop off our bags head to town for breakfast. Pucon is one of the major centres for adventure ecotourism in the country, picture-perfect Pucon is visited year-round by domestic and international tourists keen to push their heart rate up a tad thanks to its handy location.

This afternoon we take a bike ride to the gorgeous Ojos de Caburga Waterfall, so named because in Spanish the name means Eyes of Caburga and from above the falls look like a pair of eyes, one blue, one green.


Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend another day in Pucon. Today is a free day, for those wanting to hike the Villarica Volcano. This is an optional activity and will take up most of the day. This is a challeninging climb, but well worth it fr the stunning scenerey from the top  - and of course the child-like fun of sliding back down the volcano after you've reached the summit!

For those not climbing who may prefer some relaxation, the Pozones natural hot springs are a short drive from town. These thermal baths are set within a verdant forest with a river flowing through the middle, and have a range of depths and sizes to soothe those aching muscles. Sit back and soak up the breath-taking natural scenery before heading back to Pucon to hit the food and bar scene.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we cross the mountainous border from Chile into Argentina, this is approximaytely 10 hours of travel time with one change of bus in Osorno. Our destination is Bariloche , another adventurous lake town that must be seen to be believed. Bariloche is the largest of several settlements supported by Lake Nahuel Huapi and is a popular destination for skiing in the winter and hiking, mountain-biking and kayaking during the summer months. It’s also known for its Swiss influence, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve somehow ended up in the Swiss Alps once you see the mountains, wooden chalets and boutique chocolate shops. Like any good tourist town, the food and bar scene here has really taken off and it’s a great spot to have your first taste of Argentina’s famous steak. Take the afternoon and evening to enjoy and explore town, because tomorrow you’ll discover why it’s known as the Great Outdoors.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Lace up those hiking boots. Today we hike up to one of Bariloche's most scenic mountain refuges. The hike is about 16km long and it gains approximately 850 meters of altitude. Today's hike perfectly showcases the beauty of Northern Patagonia and its Lake District: deep green forests, crystal clear mountain rivers and pristine lakes. Enjoy! Accommodation tonight is at a mountain lodge. Rooms are multishare and separated by sex and basic toilet facilities. Meals at the lodge are included and they normally consist of pastas, rice and meat. Please let us know well in advance if you have any dietary requirement.
Accommodation
  • Refugio San Martin (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast your experienced local guide will take you on a trek pass a glacial lagoon, up a mountain pass before getting to the summit of Cella Peak. Today's hike is 10km long and it gains approximately 660 meters altitude.
Accommodation
  • Refugio San Martin (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Today is a long travel day. We get up nice and early and trek down to Bariloche once again. Upon arrival we head straight to the airport for a 1h 45 flight to El Calafate. El Calafate, a small town on the shore of Lago Argentino and a hub for visiting Los Glaciares National Park. Hikers and climbers from all over the world congregate in both El Calafate and El Chalten, creating a laid-back and very outdoors-orientated atmosphere. Don't be scared to chat to them, there are plenty of people to meet and stories to be heard in Patagonia's supposed wilderness.

The flight departs at approximately 11am for a 12:45pm arrival in El Calafate where you will be transferred by private vehicle to El Chalten (approximate drive time 3 hours). 

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Over the next two days you'll hike the two most popular trails in the area: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre. The Laguna de los Tres takes you through forests and past lagoons and glaciers until you hit the bottom of Mt Fitz Roy, an imposing landmark. The Laguna Torre trek also features ridiculous scenery and all the forests and lagoons you could ever want, but will take you to the area's other famous peak: Cerro Torre. It's not unusual to see huge icebergs in the lake and you'll also walk alongside the Fitz Roy River. 

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we'll embark on our second trek. The order of treks will differ based on weather conditions, but both hikes are moderate to difficult and you can expect to walk from six to nine hours on clearly-marked and well-maintained paths. The terrain itself is not difficult, so rain and the notorious Patagonian wind may be the main challenges you face on these walks.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The majority of the day is free to complete another optional hike if you choose. Otherwise, take it easy and enjoy a final day in El Chalten with a stroll around the local area, which is still incredibly beautiful. In the afternoon we'll return to El Calafate.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is all about one of Patagonia's top attractions - Perito Moreno Glacier. Standing in the middle of Lake Argentino, it stands 70 metres tall, 5 kilometres wide and around 30 kilometres in length and boasts a surface area of around 250 sq km, it’s pretty hard to miss! The enormous chunks of ice that regularly shed from the main bulk of the glacier provide spectacular viewing from the catwalks that surround it, and cause huge waves to kick up and crash across the lake. Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier then take a transfer to El Calafate for an evening (8pm) flight to Buenos Aires.


Buenos Aires, the so-called Paris of South America, is where your trip officially ends tomorrow morning, but we strongly suggest you spend some time getting to know this eclectic city. Cosmopolitan, chic and cultured, you can pick your descriptor then pick your poison, be it mouth-watering steak, a taste of the tango or a bottle of A-grade malbec. Wander by the colourful houses of La Boca, enjoy shopping in the famous San Telmo Market, discover the architecture of Plaza de Mayo, explore the Recoleta Cemetery before getting checking out the famous nightlife.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The adventure ends after breakfast and you are free to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Plane, local bus, private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights), Mountain Lodge (2 nights), Overnight bus (1 night)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

PERITO MORENO GLACIER - MINI TREK
Please note the maximum age limit for this activity is 65yrs old.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS – SANTIAGO (SCL) AIRPORT
If you have booked a transfer with us and have arrived on an international flight, please ensure you go to Gate 3 regardless of which gate you exit from. Our drivers will be waiting at Gate 3 with an Intrepid sign displaying your name. If you are having trouble locating the driver, please call the emergency number listed on your trip notes.

LATE BOOKINGS:
Bookings within 45 days from departure may incur in late booking airline fees. If applicable, this will be informed at the time of booking.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.