Visit South America and travel to Patagonia on a trekking adventure

Visit South America and travel to Patagonia - a fascinating region in the far south of Chile and Argentina, rich in natural beauty, dramatic vistas and cosmopolitan cities oozing with passion and culture. Feel the contrast as you trek the W Hike through the Patagonian wilderness and explore the urban metropolis of Santiago. From camping near the end of the earth and witnessing gargantuan glaciers to indulging in the modernity of Buenos Aires, this trip will reward those with a sense of adventure, an appreciation of nature and an interest in diversity.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Santiago, Chile
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Countries
Argentina, Chile
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking
Code
GPTV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Discover two very different sides of Chile – the big-city pusle of soulful Santiago and the adventure-fuelled atmosphere of lakeside Puerto Natales

  • Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier must be seen to be believed. This massive, blue-hued natural wonder is one of Patagonia's real crown jewels

  • Trek past granite pillars, sparkling lakes and gushing waterfalls in Torres del Paine National Park on a four-day camping trip with all your meals taken care of

  • Finish in Buenos Aires, Argentina's sensational and sultry capital. Stay on and explore its many corners at your leisure, from the star-studded Recoleta cemetery to the tucked-away milongas (tango halls)

Is this trip right for you?

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

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

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

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 and when this meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. After the group meeting there is the option of joining the group for dinner.
If you arrive early, perhaps get out and explore Santiago. The city centre is quite compact and easy to get around; you can visit Plaza de Armas (Main Square) and its cathedral, “Palacio La Moneda” (government house), Santa Lucia hill. Alternatively, head out to the barrio Bella Vista (the serene 'Paris Quarter') and take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal. If the weather is fine, the latter will give you lovely views over the city and the Andes. Your hotel is centrally located and has a restaurant and bar. Rooms have air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.

Notes: If you need to hire a sleeping bag for your upcoming trek, let your leader know at tonight's welcome meeting.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Urban Adventures: Santiago Nightlife Adventure - - USD85
  • Urban Adventures: A Bite of Santiago - A half day city tour including La Alameda, Mercado Central, La Vega Central, Cerro San Cristobal & Bellavista - USD72
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
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.
Today is a travel day, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. You will leave the hotel early in the morning (departure time from the hotel can vary depending on the flight) Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas (approximately 3–5 hours, depending on the flight connection). From there, take a local bus to Puerto Natales (3 hours, 227 km, nonstop, toilets on board). Seated on the shores of Señoret Channel ( Pacific ocean) (erase: a beautiful lake), Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park and a great place to catch up with fellow hikers for a pre- or post-trek meal in one of the many quaint local restaurants.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we head deep into the mountains! The group will leave the hotel around 07:15am and take a taxi to the bus station. From here a local bus will take you to Tayrona National Park.
After approximately 2 hours (115km) the first stop will be “Laguna Amarga” (the check in point at the main entrance of the National Park) Here we make a quick stop to register into the National Park. Continue driving for another 40 minutes to the shores of Pehoe Lake. Here you will board a catamaran to cross this lake. The boat journey will take approximately 30 minutes before reaching “Paine Grande” our campsite for the next two nights.
As you enter the realm of Chilean Patagonia, you will most likely be greeted by a herd of guanacos. These beautiful camelid (strange animals) provide great photo opportunities (but don't get too close – they're likely to spit at you!). The park is also home to some others impressive mammal species like the Puma, the “Huemul” (local deer ), the red and the grey fox, and birds such as ñandu or choique (rhea), condors, woodpeckers, owls, hooks, sparrows, and the Chilean pink flamingo. The real star of the show, however, is the landscape – glaciers, mountains, forest, lakes and waterfalls.
After setting up camp in Paine Grande and enjoying some lunch, you'll hike to the first lookout point: Grey Glacier (approximately 4 to 5 hours, 12 km, Elevation: 290mts).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 4 Day W-Trek in Torres del Paine
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
WHILE TREKKING - IMPORTANT
Luggage:
You will carry a day for the treks and the remainder of your luggage will stay at the campsite whilst trekking.
Meals:
Lunches consist of sandwiches and fruit. Dinners are simple (pastas, rice, chicken) and are served in a common dining area.
Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are not provided and there is a limited selection to buy within the National park. Should to wish to drink something other than water we recommend purchasing drinks along with any extra snacks beforehand and bringing them with you.
Facilities:
Bathroom facilities are available in the campsite, with communal showers and bathroom separated by gender.

Today is a full day trek out to the stunning French Valley (approximately 8-9 hours, 24km, Elevation: 420mts).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel from the west side of the National park to the East. Cross the Peohe Lake for the second time by catamaran then continue by local bus to Laguna Amarga. From here, take a mini bus to the next campsite “Las Torres. Afterwards there will be an optional hike to Los Cuernos Lookout trail (approximately 3.5-4 hours hours, 9.5km) return.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is another long trekking day, to one of the most spectacular lookout points Mirador las Torres (approximately 8 to 9 hours, 18 kilometres, Elevation: 750mts).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy some breakfast and then board a private van for a long day of travel. Today you will cross the international border from Chile to Argentina. Head to El Calafate city (310km, approximately 5 to 6 hours). This is your gateway to the Glaciers National Park.
Being a major hub for adventurers headed for Francisco Pascacio Moreno (Perito Moreno), El Calafate has undergone a lot of development in recent decades, but retains plenty of charm.
Located on the shore of the “Argentino” lake, surrounded by the Andes range and right on the Patagonian “step”, this is a beautiful place to spend the next two nights.
In the evening, perhaps take the opportunity to try some world-famous Argentinean steak, maybe the local Patagonian spring lamb or the local trout. If you enjoy red wine, “Malbec” is the best Argentinean grape.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel by minivan (80 km, approximately 2.5 hours), witnessing some spectacular scenery within the Glaciers National Park. Once you arrive, spend some time walking on the boot walks watching the magnificence of Perito Moreno Glacier from the different angles. Three kilometres wide and 35 kilometres long, it's an incredibly massive icescape. This is one of the few glaciers in the world that is actually in balance rather than melting away. Watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below. Interestingly, massive ruptures occur to the glacier every several years as part of cyclical ice bridge formations. In the evening, return to El Calafate and relax for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier visit
Optional Activities
  • Perito Moreno - Mini-trek on the glacier including short cruise to glacier base (65 yrs old is the maximum age permitted) - ARS2400
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly to Buenos Aires and enjoy a final night out. Depending on what time you arrive you may have some free time to explore this wonderful city. The main square of the city, Plaza de Mayo, is very close to your hotel; on the east side of the square you will find Casa Rosada, the pink presidential palace where Eva Peron appeared on the balcony in front of adoring fans in the 1940s. The traditional neighborhood of San Telmo is not to far from the hotel too.
If you have extra time in Buenos Aires there is a number of places that you could visit, such as: “La Boca Neighborhood”, The “Recoleta” cemetery, Palermo neighborhood, Puerto Madero, Teatro Colon (opera house), Café Tortoni (oldest coffee shop in South America). There is also Museo Evita, dedicated to the life (and gowns) of this famed figure. MALBA is an incredible art gallery showcasing a private collection, including works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, plus great temporary exhibits.

Notes: If everything goes to plan, you'll arrive in the early afternoon, but keep in mind that airline schedules in Argentina are known for changing without much notice. This means you could arrive in BA as late as 10 pm tonight
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your adventure ends after breakfast this morning. There are no further activities planned, and you are free to depart at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD111
  • Buenos Aires - Gourmet Food Urban Adventure - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Plane, local bus, private vehicle, boat

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights)

Included activities

  • 4 Day W-Trek in Torres del Paine
  • El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier visit
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

PASSPORT:
Full passport details required in order to purchase domestic flights. Delays to provide this information or changes may result in third party booking fees or domestic flights cancellations.

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.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement is available on this trip.

ARGENTINA VISA:
The Argentine government charges Canadian citizens a reciprocity tax. This tax must be paid online prior to travel and a receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.

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.

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

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.

Reviews

Our Patagonia Trekking trips score an average of 4.6 out of 5 based on 35 reviews in the last year.

Patagonia Trekking, October 2017

Alan McLean

Patagonia Trekking, October 2017

Brent Craig