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.

Travel more, deposit less. Book now with just CHF 50!

Save a space on your 2019 trip with only a CHF 50 deposit until 31 August 2018.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Santiago, Chile
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Destinations
Argentina, Chile
Style
Original
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.

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)
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. Perhaps you’d rather join an optional nightlife adventure visiting three local bars and a salsa club, during which you can try local drinks like terremoto (white wine + pineapple icecream) and piscola (grape liquor with coke). 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
There are no meals included on this day.
Ohh Pucon, be still our beating hearts. 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. Built on the shore of Lake Villarrica, a stone’s throw from Villarica Volcano and the mountains, visitors to Pucon can indulge in day and overnight hiking, skiing (both water and snow), rafting, kayaking, zip-lining, canyoning, horse-riding, skydiving and almost any other adventure activity you can think of, depending on the season of course. The day is yours to do as you will, and if there’s too much to choose from your leader will be able to make some recommendations to help get you out and about.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Spend another day in Pucon and perhaps take an optional hike up the Villarica Volcano. Villarica is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes and though the trek is challenging, the views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks, and the lake and city below, are worth the effort. If it’s relaxation you’re after, 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 from yesterday’s activities. Sit back and soak up the breath-taking natural scenery before heading back to Pucon to hit the food and bar scene.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we cross the mountainous border from Chile into Argentina. Our destination is Bariloche (5-6 hours), 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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
It’s a free day in Bariloche so lace up those hiking boots. The town is spoilt for scenery and surrounded by lakes, forests and mountains, and you can choose to either explore them yourself or take part in an optional activity. These include a quad-busting, full-day trek to Cerro Bella Vista or a longer, gentler climb to the more remote Cerro Chall-Huaco. Both offer phenomenal views of the Andean range and both deserve an ice-cold cerveza by the lake upon descent. You could also trek to Refugio Frey, a rustic, remote lodge nestled amongst granite peaks next to a small alpine lake, or take a local bus out to explore the Los Duendes waterfalls at Lake Gutierrez. The evening is free to enjoy, once more, the restaurants and bars of Bariloche.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Your final day in Bariloche is an opportunity to tackle whatever adventure you missed yesterday. Hopefully you’ve spoken with your leader, other travellers and locals over the past couple of days and have an idea of what’s really going to make this trip unforgettable. There’s no shame in taking it easy either, so if you’d rather cruise around town sipping hot chocolates and indulging in top-notch Chilean vino, then go right ahead because there’s plenty, and we mean PLENTY, of adventure still to come.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Say goodbye to beautiful Bariloche as we fly to 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, which you'll travel to tomorrow, 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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Los Glaciares National Park is the largest protected area in Argentina, a UNESCO-listed site and home to perhaps the most spectacular scenery in all of South America – leave your camera at your peril. Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier then take a local bus back to El Chalten. El Chalten lies in the shadow of Mt Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres, two famous Argentinean mountains, the latter of which has been the subject of much controversy in the climbing world due to a disputed first ascent in the 1950s and actions taken by the Italian climber, Cesare Maestri, during a second attempt in 1970. It’s worth reading into as it gives you a sense of how even the outdoor community can be divided on how humans should approach the natural world. Regardless of which side you fall on, there’s no denying both mountains are truly magical peaks.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Over the next two days you'll hike the two most popular trails in the area: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torres. 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. 
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you’ll fly to Buenos Aires, the so-called Paris of South America. Your trip officially ends here, 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.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The adventure ends after breakfast and you are free to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Plane, local bus, private vehicle, boat

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights), Camping [with basic facilities] (3 nights)

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Highlights & Gems of Patagonia trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month
Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

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.