Trek past glaciers, mountains and waterfalls in wild South America

Travel from the heaving streets of Buenos Aires to the remote wilderness of Argentina and Chile on this 15-day trekking tour. Hike to the clear waters of Laguna de Los Tres and see a glacial lake surrounded by jagged peaks when you explore Laguna Torre. Spend a few days deep in the wilds of Torres del Paine National Park, hiking past glaciers and watching rhea birds and pink flamingos preen in front of a backdrop of stunning mountains. Finish up with a cruise through the Beagle Channel and a night in Buenos Aires, the perfect end to an active adventure through the wilderness of South America.

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Terms & Conditions

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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Witness Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier and listen to the thundering ice cracking on this 30-km-long ice beast – one of the few glaciers left that isn’t shrinking.

  • Spend three days camped among the peaks of Chilean Patagonia, a true back-to-nature and a great opportunity for a true digital detox.

  • Trek past the most beautiful waterfalls and glaciers of Torres del Paine National Park with your guide, and spot wildlife like guanacos and rhea birds along the way.

  • Spot sea lions paying along rocky shores, waddling penguins and plenty of flying seabirds during a day cruise through the Beagle Channel, the gateway to the Antarctic.

  • Begin and end your trip with time in elegant Buenos Aires, the perfect place to reconnect with the urban world after a remote adventure in the wild.

Is this trip right for you?

  • In order to make the most of our time in Patagonia, this trip includes three particularly long travel days (Days 4, 6 and 11). Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates. The reward for your patience comes in the form of jaw-dropping glacial scenery.

  • Your suitability to the weather in Patagonia is an important factor to consider before you travel. Be prepared for all elements – rain, wind and extreme cold.

  • The fitter you are, the more you'll get out of this trip. There are multiple treks involved, and they can be quite challenging.

  • The three-day camping adventure in Torre del Paine National Park is one of our favourite parts of this trip, but remember that facilities will be more basic on this part of the tour than others.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Argentina. Make sure you arrive by 3 pm, 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. 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 is the ultimate cosmopolitan city, so we recommend arriving a day or two early to experience the capital in all its glory. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style, this is a city that will steal your heart. The Portenos (local residents) are proud of their city which has distinct barrios (neighbourhoods), each with their own style. Visit San Telmo for its weekend antiques market and artist displays. La Boca was settled by waves of immigrants that built brightly painted buildings and is also home to the world-class football team Boca Juniors, with murals of famous footballers covering the district's walls. Finally, Recoleta is the place to browse museums with Buenos Aires' wealthy.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show - USD70
  • Gran Cafe Tortoni Show - ARS900
  • Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD113
  • Buenos Aires - Gourmet Buenos Aires Food Urban Adventure - USD113
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 are intending to hire a sleeping bag for your nights in the Torres del Paine National Park, please let your leader know at this meeting.

As there is limited access to ATMs in some parts of Patagonia and you’ll leave Buenos Aires early on Day 2, we recommend you withdraw around ARS 5000 in Argentinian pesos (approximately USD 90) to cover the cost of meals and other personal expenses beforehand. If you wish to join any optional activities while on tour, please refer to the costs listed in each day’s trip notes and budget accordingly, and have in mind that many can only be paid in cash.
This morning, fly south from Buenos Aires to El Calafate (approximately 3 hours), then travel by van to the frontier town of El Chalten, north of Glacier National Park (approximately 3.5 hours). Hikers and climbers from all around the world congregate here as a central location to base yourself. The atmosphere is laid-back and the town is definitely orientated to the outdoors type.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
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.
The next two days we'll take on at least two of the most popular day treks in the area. Today, you’re set to hike the 12.5 km round-trip to Laguna de Los Tres: a clear lagoon at the foot of Mount Chalten. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and striking granite peaks, this hike has some short steep sections, but as one of the most frequented hikes, the terrain itself is not hugely difficult. You can expect to walk from 6¬ to 9 hours on clearly marked and well-maintained paths. Wind and rain may be the main challenges you face on these hikes. In the evening, relax in your hotel, perhaps with a dinner with your group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the hikes you’ll trek and the order in which they happen in this trip’s itinerary may change depending on weather conditions and other factors.
Today, take a moderate hike to Laguna Torre, leaving from near the hotel. This valley trek, taking around 7 hours, will take you past scenic viewpoints with panoramas of Cerro Solo, Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy. You’ll see floating icebergs broken off the front face of the spectacular Grande glacier, and upon arrival at Laguna Torre, witness the steep valleys frame Cerro Torre: the highest in its mountain chain. You may even be able to make out a daredevil on the side of the mountain scaling one of its faces.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the hikes you’ll trek and the order in which they happen in this trip’s itinerary may change depending on weather conditions and other factors.
Take a well-deserved relax in the morning at your hotel before transferring back to El Calafate. Check into your hotel, and perhaps stake out some Argentinian food at one of the city’s many restaurants. If you’re feeling like something unique, head to the Patagonian Ice Museum, which features educational exhibits, plus a cocktail bar made from ice.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier (approximately 1.5 hours). This is one of the few balanced glaciers in the world and at 3 km (1.8 miles) wide and 30 km (19 miles) long, is a spectacular sight. There are multiple viewing platforms overlooking Lake Argentino, and they provide an ideal vantage point to watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below. There is also the option to embark on a Glacier cruise, or even add a mini-hike on part of the Moreno glacier. Once finished soaking up the wonder of this natural formation, return to El Calafate for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier visit
  • El Calafate - Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
Optional Activities
  • Moreno glacier cruise (45 mins) - ARS1200
  • Perito Moreno - Mini-trek on the glacier including short cruise to glacier base (65 yrs old is the maximum age permitted) - ARS8000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
PERITO MORENO GLACIER - MIN TREK
Please note the maximum age limit for this activity is 65yrs old.
Be ready for another long travel day. Early in the morning, jump on a local bus to Cerro Castillo in Chile (approximately 5 hours). Here, stop and get yourself some lunch while waiting for the connecting van to Torres del Paine National Park (approximately 1.5 hours).

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 (type of ranch), the park was established in 1959. This is magnificent trekking country where nandues, condors and pink flamingos abound. Upon arriving in the Torres del Paine National 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 is the surrounding landscape. With sparkling lakes, gushing waterfalls, glaciers and striking mountains, much of the time trekking is spent slack-jawed in awe of our surrounds.

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). You may also have time to take a quick visit to Salto Grande – the park’s biggest waterfall.

The treks are classed as moderate to difficult, and venture along clearly marked trails. You’ll usually hike between 5–8 hours per day. Climate in Patagonia is an important factor to consider – be prepared for cold, wet and windy weather.
Accommodation
  • Camping [with basic facilities] (3 nights)
Included Activities
  • Torres del Paine - 3 nights camping and hiking with experienced local guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (3)
Special Information
Please make sure you have water, snacks and warm clothing available for today’s bus journeys.

The campsite will be home for the next three nights and the base from where you’ll take day hikes. Bathroom facilities are available in the campsite with communal showers separated by sex. You will share a tent for the next three nights. A camping mattress is provided for you, however sleeping bags are not, so please bring your own. Alternatively, you can hire them locally for approximately CLP 9000 (USD 15) for the 3 nights. Make sure you inform your leader on Day 1 of the trip if you intend to hire so they can make necessary arrangements.

While you hike, all belongings will be left at the campsite inside the tent. Intrepid is not responsible for anything that may go missing from your tent, however the campsite dedicates one person to look after the site and all belongings, and as such, there has never been an issue.

All meals will be provided while camping. Dinners are simple and are served in a common dini
You will be taken on a full-day guided tour around another part of Torres del Paine National Park including a visit to Grey Lake before transferring to Puerto Natales (approximately 3 hours) where you will spend the night. Once a modest fishing port and now a gateway to Torres, there won't be much time to explore Puerto Natales but hopefully you can venture out for dinner and trial some of boutique beer or wine around town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Torres del Paine - Full day visit of Torres del Paine National Park
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
When you leave Torres del Paine National Park, you will have to walk a distance of about 500 metres carrying your luggage. It is private property that you’ll pass through and the owners have decided not to let any vehicles in any longer, so we now have to walk this section to meet up with your private vehicle.
Today, hit the road again for a scenic bus journey back to Argentina and to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia (approximately 14 hours in total). Needless to say, you should arm yourself with your favourite book, your music player, some drinks and snacks for the journey.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Ushuaia is the gateway to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's only coastal park. This morning, embark on 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, the HMS Beagle.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ushuaia - Beagle Channel cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you have a free day for you to explore southern Ushuaia and its surrounds, so why not book yourself into one of the optional activities on offer. You could head on a penguin tour to see a number of different species, most of which inhabit Martillo Island. Otherwise, you could take on a hike at Martial Glacier, close to a mountain range of the same name, and offering panoramic views of the Beagle Channel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Penguin tour - USD142
  • Martial Glacier hike (approx ARS140 taxi to the start of the trail) - ARS500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Return to Buenos Aires by plane. You’ll intend to arrive back in Argentina’s capital in the early hours of the afternoon, however your group leader will advise of any changes. As you’re back in the big city, feast in one of the many restaurants on offer, and perhaps take a look at Buenos Aires’ vibrant nightlife with your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that while you 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 you could potentially arrive in Buenos Aires as late as 11 pm.
As there are no activities planned, you are free to depart at any time. If you didn’t have the opportunity to see Buenos Aires before your Patagonia tour, why not now? 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.
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Gourmet Buenos Aires Food Urban Adventure - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD111
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (subject to availability) ticket prices from - USD80
  • Buenos Aires - Polo day - USD185
  • Buenos Aires - Tigre day trip (prices from) - USD95
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Plane, local bus, Private vehicle, Boat

Accommodation

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

Included activities

  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
  • El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier visit
  • El Calafate - Entrance to Los Glaciares National Park
  • Torres del Paine - 3 nights camping and hiking with experienced local guide
  • Torres del Paine - Full day visit of Torres del Paine National Park
  • Ushuaia - Beagle Channel cruise

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 the optional Perito Moreno Glacier Trek is 65 years old.

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.

START TIME: This trip starts with a welcome meeting at 3 pm on Day 1.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: A single supplement is available on this trip.

LONG TRAVEL DAYS: In order to make the most of our time in Patagonia, this trip includes three particularly long travel days (Days 4, 6 and 11). Please refer to the itinerary section for detailed travel times.

CLIMATE and CLOTHING: The weather in Patagonia is variable and unpredictable. While this trip only runs during the warmer months of the year, temperatures can fluctuate from 0 to 30°C (32 to 86°F) within a tour or even over the course of a day! Please make sure you have packed clothing that can be layered to accommodate these temperatures and that your sleeping bag is an all seasons bag that will keep you warm on freezing nights.

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

Essential trip information

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