Patagonia Explorer

Day 1  El Calafate

The tour commences at your designated hotel in El Calafate. Meet with your tour leader at 6:00PM for trip orientation. Welcome cocktail at the hotel and overnight.

 

Day 2  Perito Moreno Glacier / El Chalten

We take an excursion west 80 km. to the famed Perito Moreno Glacier, which flows into Lago Argentino from the South Patagonia Icecap. (We include the National Park Entrance fee.) Past passengers recall this stop as one of the scenic highlights of the trip. From a boardwalk you enjoy excellent views within 200 meters of the face of the glacier! We return to El Calafate and board the afternoon regular bus service for the 4 hour drive north to El Chalten. Overnight for 3 nights in a local hotel in El Chalaten. B

 

Day 3  Fitzroy Range Hiking

Accompanied by a local guide, we enjoy a full-day hike in this region of impressive granite spires reaching 11,170 ft/3,405 m.  Our destination is Fitzroy Basecamp on the Rio Blanco.  From here we climb a steep switchback trail up the moraine to enjoy a stunning viewpoint directly across Laguna de los Tres to the famed Fitzroy glaciers and summits.  In the forests of southern beech (lengas, nires and coihues) we may spot flocks of Austral plarakeets. BL

 

Day 4  Cerro Torre

You have a complete day of hiking to Cerro Torre (10,309 ft/3,143 m) where you will awe at the wonderful views of the bowl of peaks around Lago Torre. BL

 

Day 5  El Chalten to El Calafate

In the morning we travel on public bus for 220 km to El Calafate, on the south shore of lago Argentino. El Calafate is a bustling tourist town where travelers from all over the world congregate. It's an opportunity to do some laundry, amil postcards, and shop for souvenirs. Among the popular optional excursions are 4x4 trips to nearby scenic lookouts. One night accommodation at hotel in El Calafate. B.

 

Day 6  Enter Chile / Torres del Paine National Park

We travel to the Chilean frontier, crossing the border at Cerro Castillo. The landscape turns much greener than what we have seen thus far, and we pass through ranching country on the outskirts of the park.   Torres del paine Naitonal Park is on UNESCO's World Biosphere Heritage list for its magnificent scenery and wildlife. We visit Salto Grande (the big waterfall) on the Paine River, hike to a classic lookout to the "Cuernos", or Horns of Paine. We see abundant troops of guanaco, as well as flamingos and large flocks of Austral geese, Nandus, foxes and many others. From the Park Headquarters, we transfer to the Cabanas del Paine Hotel or similar. Overnight 2 nights. BL.

 

Day 7  The Towers

On today's vigorous hike along the Rio Ascencio to the Torres, you encounter a bit of everything: steep pitches, dramatic scree slopes, and gentle terrain through lovely southern beech forests. After reaching the Torres basecamp in a lush beech forest, we switchback up a terminal moraine to one of the classic views in all of Patagonia - the Torres del Paine, or the Paine Towers.  We hope the famously capricious weather cooperates for us! Sheer masses of granite rise cleanly from a scree-lined tarn. Typical total hiking time today is seven hours.  Return to our lodging. BL

 

Day 8  Torres del Paine

Today you have the morning at leisure for more local activities in the park. Many passengers hike or ride horses along the south bank of the Serrano River, or take a boat cruise on Grey Lake. In the afternoon we transfer to Laguna Amarga to join the regular group transfer services to El Calafate. The transfer drops you off at  your hotel. BL

 

Day 9  Departure

Services conclude after breakfast. B

 

Cost Includes: 8 nights shared twin hotel accommodation with private bath; park entrance fees; meals as detailed; transfers and excursions by private and group vehicle; English-speaking guide.  Internal flights are billed separately from the land cost.

Not Included: international & domestic airport taxes, drinks, insurance, visas, optional excursions, personal expenses, tips.  Typical cost of meals not included in the itinerary is US$18.

 

IGUAZU FALLS EXTENSION, optional:

One of the most impressive natural spectacles on the continent, Iguazu Falls plunges over a series of basalt ledges across a frontage of more than a mile and a half amid tropical rain forest rich with flowering trees and vines.  Amid the orchid-festooned palm trees and ferns are flocks of parrots, cacique birds, swifts flitting in and out of the waters, myriad butterflies and other delights. Natural pools tempt you to take a dip in this Eden-like tropical setting.

The extension includes a group  tour to the Argentine side.  You have time available to visit the Brazilian side (note: Brazil requires citizens of most countries to obtain a tourist visa in advance to enter Brazil - please contact the consulate nearest your home).  The latter has the best panoramic views of the falls; the former offers footpaths for exploring amid the wooded islets both above and below the falls’ escarpment, as well as the famous Devil’s Throat, overlooking the largest of the falls.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrive Iguazu

Pickup at the Iguazu airport, and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Sheraton International Iguazu Resort, overlooking the falls.  There is an extensive boardwalk system accessible from the hotel into the heart of the natural zone of the waterfalls.  Over 300 individual falls plunge down along an escarpment amid lush foliage.

 

Day 2 Local Touring

Half-day small-group tour of the Argentine side including the Devil’s Throat lookout.  Your afternoon is open for additional exploration on your own.  Lunch and dinner are on your own.  

 

Day 3 Local Touring and Return Flight to Buenos Aires

Morning is open.  Afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires

 

Land Cost, per person, based on number of passengers:

# of passengers 1 2 3
Falls-view room $676 $526 N/A
Jungle-view room $527 $451 $399

Air Buenos Aires/Iguazu/Buenos Aires:  from $400.

Includes: airport transfers in Iguazu, Iguazu National Park entrance fee, two nights in single, Twinshare or triple in first-class Sheraton International Iguazu Resort with breakfast (please specify jungle-view or falls-view).

Note: to visit the Brazilian side of the falls, you will need a visa. Please contact the nearest Brazilian consulate for details.  

Add-on nights in Buenos Aires: We can arrange transfers and hotel accommodations for you in Buenos Aires. Please inquire.

Note: We prepare this Patagonia tour itinerary long in advance of departure. Hotels listed are subject to change.

Quick Facts

  • Custom program with private guide
  • 9 Days, 8 nights in hotels and rural inns
  • In/Out El Calafate
  • Day hikes, viewing glaciers, optional lake cruising, optional horseback riding
  • Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park & Fitzroy Range
  • Explore forests, lakes, rivers, waterfalls
  • View spectacular scenery & wildlife 
  • Extensions to Iguazu Falls

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