Map of Patagonia Explored including Argentina and Chile

Wilderness has never looked so good

Explore Patagonia, land of sharp granite peaks, glaciers and perfect blue lakes, on a tour bought to you by Lonely Planet and Intrepid. Spend 14-day exploring this outdoor playground, beginning in the Chilean capital of Santiago and ending in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. We know that travellers who love the great outdoors also love their freedom, so we’ve designed an itinerary that combines group hikes and excursions with plenty of free time to strike out on your own. Witness the power of the Perito Moreno Glacier, hike through the Bariloche and the Lake District, and work up your appetite for empanadas and wine.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Santiago, Chile
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Destinations
Argentina, Chile
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience, Walking & Trekking
Code
GGSJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 1
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Embark on a cycling excursion to Ojos del Caburga, a set of waterfalls in Chile surrounded by lush forest.

  • Get close to Argentina's beyond epic Perito Moreno Glacier. At five-kilometres wide and 30-kilometres long, it must be seen to be believed.

  • Spend a day hiking through Patagonia’s pristine Lake District, immersed in evergreen forest and passing gorgeous waterways until your reach your mountain lodge accommodation.

  • Hike the two most popular trails in El Chalten – Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre – plus enjoy a free day to explore independently.

  • Stay in eco-tourism hub Pucon, where you can choose to get active among volcanoes, kayak rushing rivers or even relax in natural hot springs.

Is this trip right for you?

  • In order to see as much as possible, this tour involves a few long days of travel on the road.

  • 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 of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.

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 6 pm. 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. 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
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

If you have pre-booked an (optional) airport transfer through Intrepid, please exit through the green doors marked 'Meeting Point’. An Intrepid representative will be outside this exit holding a sign with your name on it. Santiago International Airport is undergoing extensive renovations which are due to continue to 2020. Taxi scammers are known to occasionally take advantage of the confusion caused by the renovations. If you can’t locate an Intrepid representative, please call our local office and only speak directly with them.
Enjoy a free day to explore Santiago at your own pace. If you’d prefer a little guidance, speak to your leader about the optional half-day city tour that includes La Alameda (the main avenue), the thriving central markets and Cerro San Cristobal. If you want to strike out on your own, consider the National History Museum and the fascinating Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano – both found in the Plaza de Armas. Tonight, board 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
Arrive to Pucon in the early hours of the morning. If our accommodation is not ready yet, we can drop off our bags and head to town for breakfast. Pucon is one of the major centres for adventure eco-tourism in the country, and this afternoon you’ll get to explore during a bike ride to the gorgeous Ojos de Caburga waterfalls. You evening if free, so maybe head out to dinner with your group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pucon - Cycling excursion to Ojos del Caburga
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend another day in Pucon, with no scheduled activities. There are a few optional activities on offer, from active to relaxing. Travellers who want to hike the Villarica Volcano can do so today. Keep in mind this is a challenging climb, but the views from the top are stunning. Plus, you get to slide down the snow-capped ide of the mountain once you’re finished! Want to save your energy? You also have the option to visit the Los Pozones hot springs and take a soak in thermal waters set in the middle of verdant forest.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we cross the mountainous border from Chile into Argentina, this is approximately 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)
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 16-kilometres and it gains approximately 850 meters of altitude. This hike perfectly showcases the beauty of Northern Patagonia: deep green forests, crystal clear mountain rivers and pristine lakes. You should arrive at the lodge by the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Refuge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bariloche - 3D/2N Lake Disctrict hiking
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, head out with your experienced local guide to summit Cella Peak. This scenic ten-kilometre hike takes you past a glacial lagoon and gains approximately 660 meters altitude. Spend the rest of the day however you please in this gorgeous area. Maybe you’d like to rest up at the lodge with a book, or head out to explore the wilderness further.
Accommodation
  • Mountain Refuge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast commence the descent to Bariloche (16 kilometres). Arrive in Bariloche by the late afternoon and spend the rest of your day however you please.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart at 11 am for an approximately 2-hour flight to El Calafate, then transfer by private vehicle to El Chalten (approximately 3 hours). Located in Los Glaciares National Park, El Chalten is unsurprisingly full of hikers and climbers from all over the world. It’s a great place to grab a meal and meet like-minded people if you feel the urge.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (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)
Included Activities
  • Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
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 6—9 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)
Included Activities
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
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)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. Standing in the middle of Lake Argentino, it stands 70 metres tall, five kilometres wide and around 30 kilometres in length and boasts a surface area of around 250 square kilometres. 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. After spending some time observing, return to El Calafate for an 8 pm 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)
Included Activities
  • El Calafate - Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
  • El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier day trip
Optional Activities
  • Perito Moreno - Mini-trek on glacier including short cruise to glacier base (Max age permitted 65yrs). Pre-bookable through agent [Recommended] Approx - ARS16370
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase internal flights and the optional Glacier trek. For all activities today, full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to hold places on these activities. Delays to provide this information may result in missing out on a ticket.
The adventure ends after breakfast and you are free to depart the accommodation after check out.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Plane, local bus, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights), Mountain Refuge (2 nights), Overnight bus (1 night)

Included activities

  • Pucon - Cycling excursion to Ojos del Caburga
  • Bariloche - 3D/2N Lake Disctrict hiking
  • Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
  • El Calafate - Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
  • El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier day trip

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

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

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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 4 regardless of which gate you exit from. Our drivers will be waiting at Gate 4 with an Intrepid sign displaying your name. If you are having trouble locating the driver, please call the emergency number listed on your Essential Trip Information.

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.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS:
This trip includes a domestic flight. Argentina is particularly strict on excess baggage and usually enforces a maximum allowance of 15Kg for check in luggage.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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