The Patagonia Explorer


17D/16N Starting at $9590 per person

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 Harberton Ranch, see the Magellan penguins on Martillo Island, and hike through a beech forest on Gable Island before leaving Ushuaia to embark on your 5-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. 

Overview:

  • Buenos Aires with city tour and tango dinner show
  • Perito Moreno Glacier excursion with optional minitrekking
  • Tierra del Fuego National Park / Harberton Ranch and Gable Island
  • 4-night Australis Cruise
  • 4 nights Torres del Paine National Park

Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.

Day 1: Buenos Aires

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.

Day 2: Four Balconies of Buenos Aires

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 3: Tango Show & Dinner

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 Esquina 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.

Day 4: Buenos Aires - El Calafate

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.

Day 5: Perito Moreno Glacier excursion with minitrekking

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.

Day 6: El Calafate - Ushuaia

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.

Day 7: Tierra del Fuego Hike & Navigation

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.

Day 8: Harberton Ranch & Gable Island

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.

Day 9: Australis cruise

Today you will begin your 5-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. 

Day 10: Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay 

Sail through the Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where you will disembark (weather permitting). The mythical Cape Horn was discovered in 1616, and it is a sheer, 425-meter-high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and it is known as the “End of the Earth”. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lighthouse keeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station - which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area - passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooded mountain behind the bay. On all of these you stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic viewpoints overlooking the bay.

Day 11: Pia Glacier - Garibaldi Glacier

Overnight the ship continues around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the ship tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier. After disembarking you take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.

Making our way further west along the Beagle Channel, we enter another long fjord and drop anchor near Garibaldi Glacier for another shore excursion. Garibaldi is one of only three glaciers in Patagonia gaining mass rather than staying the same or slowly shrinking. This time we hike through virgin Magellanic forest to a glacial waterfall, a towering wall of ferns and moss, and spectacular viewpoints looking down on the glacier and fjord. The walk is demanding - very steep, negligible trail, rough footing - and not for everyone. For those who choose to stay onboard, the captain will point the bow towards the beautiful sky blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks.

Day 12: Agostini Sound - Aguila Glacier - Condor Glacier

In the morning you sail through Cockburn Channel to anchor in Agonstini Sound. From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range - some of them reaching the water. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier.  We will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views.  In the afternoon, we will approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac - and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area.

Day 13: Magdalena Island - Punta Arenas - Torres Del Paine

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 14-16: Torres del Paine National Park

Days to explore the park on guided excursions. 

Day 17: Punta Arenas - Santiago de Chile

After your transfer back to Punta Arenas, you will fly to Santiago de Chile and connect with your international departure.

Price from $9,590.00 per person, based on double occupancy
Days 17
Nights 16
Includes:

Based on double occupancy for 2 travelers, reduced prices for parties of 3 or more.

  • 3 nights LoiSuites Recoleta
  • 2 nights Esplendor El Calafate
  • 3 nights Tierra de Leyendas
  • 4-night Stella Australis cruise (includes A cabin accommodations, meals, guided excursions, port tax)
  • 4-night explora en Patagonia package (includes transfers, Cordillera Paine room accommodations, meals and open bar, guided excursions)
  • Four Balconies of Buenos Aires tour (private)
  • Tango Dinner Show (private transfers)
  • Full-day Perito Moreno Glacier excursions with minitrekking, lunch included (small-group)
  • Full-day Tierra del Fuego Hike & Canoe, lunch included (small-group)
  • Full-day Harberton Ranch & Gable Island excursion, lunch included (small-group)
  • Breakfast at all hotels
  • Airport-hotel transfers

 

 

Excludes:
  • International and domestic airfare

Home Hotel Buenos Aires

Located in Palermo Viejo, a vibrant area known as the gastronomic center of Buenos Aires, this chic boutique option with vintage 20th century decor is perfect for eclectic-types.

Nibepo Aike

The essence of old Patagonia, Estancia Nibepo Aike is a classic Argentine experience located an hour from El Calafate.

Los Cauquenes Resort And Spa

Los Cauquenes is located in Ushuaia on the shore of the Beagle Channel with beautiful views of the snow-covered peaks of the imposing Andes Mountain Range and the water.

Explora Patagonia

Explora Patagonia is the only luxury hotel located within the Torres del Paine National Park, anchored like a white ship on the shores of turquoise Lake Pehoé.

"We had an outstanding time!"

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

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Try to pick up at least a few basic greetings, directional questions, and common curiosities in the native language(s) before you leave for your trip.
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