This experience of a lifetime will take you deep into the Patagonia region, through two countries, and over both water and ice. Your journey begins in the capital city of Buenos Aires, where you will receive your first introduction to this special country’s intriguing history and culture. Tour the Four Balconies with their incredible panoramic views of the city and see a traditional Tango show over dinner at a local theatre. From Buenos Aires, fly much farther south to El Calafate and become immersed in the beauty of the mountainous region. Here, channel your inner explorer as you trek the Perito Moreno Glacier and take in its vast, icy expanse from the boat as you sail to and from shore. Look out for the majestic birds and unique wildlife of Tierra del Fuego National Park once you reach the “City at the End of the World,” Ushuaia on the next leg of your trip. Here, you will hike to scenic viewpoints of the various lagoons, bays, lakes, and rivers that grace the landscape of this precious National Park. Visit Haberton Ranch, see the Magellan penguins on Martillo Island, and hike through a beech forest on Gable Island before leaving Ushuaia to embark on your 3-day cruise to Punta Arenas, Chile. From the comfort of your luxury ship, enjoy the incredible sights of Cape Horn and the glaciers and mountains that make up this historical coastal route. Arrive in Chile and head for Torres del Paine National Park where you will stay for the last 4 nights of your trip. At your Patagonian eco lodge, an exciting variety of day tours and excursions are available to you so that you may create your ideal way to explore this beautiful, world-famous National Park. Depart from Santiago de Chile on Day 16.
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires you will be greeted in the Arrivals Hall by your guide who will give you your first introduction to the country and drive you to your centrally-located Buenos Aires Hotel.
Visit the city through the exclusive Four Balconies of Buenos Aires. Passing by many representative parks or squares, the guide makes an introduction into Argentina, its history, its contrasts, its contradictions and the particular psychology of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires. Visiting the four highest parts of the city gives you possibility to enjoy the best panoramic views from the Buenos Aires. You will visit the 4 iconic neighborhoods of La Boca, San Telmo, Plaza de Mayo, and Recoleta..
Day at leisure to explore the city on your own. A menu of optional themed city tours can be provided.
You can't go to the birthplace of Tango without seeing a show! This evening, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Esquinal Carlos Gardel Tango Theatre for dinner and a tango show. The performance takes place in an intimate theatre where the orchestra is easily visible, as it hangs above the stage. Afterwards, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Today you will fly to El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Morning departure to Los Glaciares National Park. The excursion begins at the pier located at “Bajo de las Sombras” bay , where you will embark to cross Brazo Rico, reaching the southwest shore after 20 minutes of navigation beneath the southern wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
After disembarking, you will reach the shelter, where the guides organize the mini-trekking groups. During the trek over the glacier, you will appreciate lots of ice formations such as: cracks, drains, little lagoons, etc. Crampons will be used on this moderate hike. The ice surface where you will walk is irregular, but firm and safe. At the end of the hike, you will go back to the shelter walking through the exuberant Magellan forest. Return across the lake to the pier from where you will transfer 6 km to the catwalks in front of the Perito Moreno glacier from where you will have different and amazing views of the glacier.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia, otherwise known as the "City at the End of the World"
You will be met and transferred to your hotel.
You will be picked up at your hotel for a full day visit to the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Upon arrival in the park, start a seaside trek from Ensenada Bay to a wonderful scenic point overlooking Lake Roca, Lagunas Verde and Negra, Rivers Ovando and Lapataia Bay. Hiking through this beech forest look out for the Magaellanic woodpecker, largest in South America, Austral parakeets, black-chested buzzard eagles and Andean Condors. Reaching a clearing near the water, embark on a 15-passenger zodiac boat and head toward Isla Redonda for lunch.
You'll have time to take a short walk on the island while your guide prepares lunch. On the way back to Lapataia Bay, watch for cormorants and sea lions, albatross and petrels. Upon arrival hike an old trail to Laguna Verde, where you will board the vehicle back to Ushuaia.
After a scenic drive along National Route 3 you will arrive at Harberton Ranch, the oldest estancia in the region.
After exploring the estancia you will board a small boat and navigate the Beagle Channel to Martillo Island, a Magellan penguin rookery. The unique location of this island makes it an ideal place for an incredible variety of rich sub aquatic life and therefore, an amazing spot for bird watching (petrels, skuas, cormorants, sea gulls and albatross).
The navigation continues to Gable Island, the largest in the Beagle Channel, which belongs to the Harberton Ranch. Formerly, this was the place where they took their sheep during the summer. Today, only a large shearing shed is left. After a short walk, you will reach a refugio. The views over the Beagle Channel from here are breathtaking. After lunch, you will enjoy a 2-3 hour hike, which will lead you into a beech forest with white orchids, wild berries, strawberries and ferns. Return to the refugio and navigate back to the estancia. From there you will transfer back to Ushuaia.
Today you will begin your 4-day cruise to Punta Arenas, Chile aboard the luxury Australis cruise ship. Explore Cape Horn, and a number of the glaciers of the region.
Australis will take you on an amazing journey to the “uttermost end of the earth”. On the Ushuaia – Punta Arenas route, you will enjoy the splendor and beauty of unique natural scenery and wildlife. You will travel on one of the industry’s most comfortable Patagonia cruises designed to make your trip as pleasant and remarkable as possible through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel. As you embark on your travels through one of the world’s most historical and revered routes, you get the chance to experience thrilling expeditions and adventures you will not find anywhere else.
All meals and excursions are included.
After a morning spent cruising the Beagle Channel, you will pass into the Murray Channel in order to disembark at Cabo de Hornos National Park, weather permitting. You will visit Horn Island for a panoramic view of the famous and mythical Cape Horn, where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet and last promontory of South America. Cape Horn, an island featuring cliffs of almost 425 meters high, was discovered on January 30, 1616 by a Dutch commercial expedition organized by Isaac LeMaire and under the command of Captain Wilhem Schouten. The Cape owes its name to the Port of Hoorn from where the expedition departed on June 14, 1615. After exploring this famed cape that has captured the intrigue of so many sailors because of it treacherous southern currents and weather, disembark at Wulaia Bay, a historical indigenous settlement with places of high archeological value. Additionally, this place offers a very beautiful visual spectacle due to its vegetation and geography. Once you disembark, you walk to an observation point where you can admire this beautiful bay as the sun comes down.
Disembark at the Bay of the Günter Plushow Glacier for a hike near the glacier.
After this unforgettable experience, we will continue navigating through O'Brien and Ballenero Channels, Bahía Desolada, Paso Aguirre and Cockburn Channel.
Early in the morning you will disembark at Magdalena Island. Located 25 miles north of Punta Arenas, in the middle of the Strait of Magellan, Magdalena Island is a natural reserve of Magellan penguins, cormorants, and other birds which peacefully coexist with sea-lions. Here you will discover a "rookery" of more than 60 thousand couples of penguins that come back year after year to nest in the same burrows. Between October and March they occupy almost the entire island and are a unique sight. You can walk through the island along a marked path leading to the San Isidro Lighthouse, which once guided the explorer sailors on their way across the Magellan's Strait, and where there is an exhibition of photographs and information giving an insight of the marine life in the Strait of Magellan. After this visit, you will return to Punta Arenas where the ship docks at 11.00 AM and start disembarkation formalities.
After the cruise, the adventure continues, as you transfer to Torres del Paine National Park for your 4-night stay at explora Patagonia. From Punta Arenas the drive takes about 2 1/2 hours to Puerto Natales, and another 90 minutes from Puerto Natales to Explora. On the way, pass by Figueroa Lagoon and several beautiful lakes, keeping your eyes peeled for guanacos, ostriches, black-necked swans, flamingos and condors along the way. The impressive Andean massifs of Torres del Paine are surrounded by glaciers, waterfalls, lakes and lagoons, which together make this national park famous throughout the world for the richness of its natural beauty.
Days to explore the park on guided excursions.
After your transfer back to Punta Arenas, you will fly to Santiago de Chile and connect with your international departure.
|Price from||$8,860.00 per person, based on double occupancy|
Our travel agency organized our 18 day trip in November 2015 to Chile and Argentina. My wife and I traveled usually with a driver and a guide often in a private vehicle. We crossed the border 4 times starting in Santiago and ending in Torres del Paine.
- Dale D, November 2015