See the best of Patagonia on the most comprehensive tour available
Nature really outdoes herself in this corner of the world: golden pampas beneath a boundless sky, forests of gnarled trees akin to oversized bonsai, towering fjords and glaciers forgotten by the last ice age. The sheer amount and variety of Patagonia’s beauty is staggering—but we have over 40 years of experience in the region, and we’ve crafted the ultimate itinerary to show you the very best of it. On this 12-day exploration, you’ll see where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans merge on a cruise through the indescribable—and otherwise inaccessible—fjords and inlets of Chilean Patagonia, home to a rich bounty of wildlife like elephant seals and Magellanic penguins. Later, take day hikes around the ice-clad peaks and granite needles of the Torres del Paine, 8,000 feet of near-vertical granite rising from rolling grasslands and beautiful lakes, and see the renowned Perito Moreno Glacier on a full-day excursion. Earth and ice, sea and sky, activity and luxury—this is the ultimate Patagonia experience!
6 days easy to moderate hiking (options for longer, more strenuous hikes), 5 days cruising, two long drives
- Reap the benefits of our 40+ years of experience in Patagonia—our guides are the best of the best, and know the region inside and out
- Enjoy a flexible but comprehensive itinerary that maximizes hiking time while minimizing driving time
- Cruise the scenic Chilean fjords—mountains, glaciers, extraordinary wildlife—all the way to Cape Horn!
- Choose from a variety of options (from easy to challenging) for day hikes in Paine
- See the renowned Perito Moreno Glacier!
Duration: 12 days Start Location: Punta Arenas End Location: Punta ArenasDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Punta Arenas
Meet in Punta Arenas.
Day 2 : Punta Arenas – board the Via Australis
Tour Punta Arenas and nearby areas, board the M/V Via Australis and begin cruising along the Strait of Magellan.
Day 3 : Ainsworth Bay – Tucker Islet
Cruise through a maze of channels and fjords and up the Beagle Channel, stopping for walks near the Marinelli and Pia Glaciers, to visit an elephant seal colony, and explore Cape Horn National Park. Accommodations aboard the ship are in comfortable cabins with large picture windows and you'll dine on delicious international cuisine.
Day 4 : Pia Glacier – Glacier Avenue
Continue navigating the Patagonian fjords and visit Pia Glacier on the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel, where we'll have an excellent view of the Darwin Range and trace the glacier's progress as it travels down and into the waters of Pia Bay, and quite possibly be treated to the awesome sight and sound of the glacier "calving" into the bay. The travel into the spectacular “Glacier Avenue,” with its impressive array of glaciers.
Day 5 : Cape Horn – Wulaia Bay
Weather permitting we'll travel to Cape Horn National Park, the place where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans merge and the southernmost promontory of South America. In the afternoon we'll visit Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region’s largest aboriginal settlements and renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography.
Day 6 : Ushuaia – Tierra del Fuego National Park
Disembark M/V Via Australis in Ushuaia, Argentina. Day hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park, overnight at Los Cauquenes.
Day 7 : To Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier
Visit the impressive three-mile-wide Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the world's great natural spectacles.
Day 8 : En Route to Paine National Park
Drive to Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. The next two days you'll take various hikes of exceptional scenic interest. Hikes in both parks are dependent on the weather, abilities, and interests of the group.
Days 9 - 11 : Paine National Park
Day hikes among the ice-clad peaks and granite needles of the Torres del Paine (10,000')—5,000 feet of near-vertical granite rising from rolling grasslands and beautiful lakes. We plan to walk along a trail by Laguna Verde that sports native beech forest and wonderful views of the Paine massif, ultimately reaching one of the best lookouts of Lago Toro and the mountain range beyond. We will then do a short walk to see the Salto Grande waterfall, beautifully located in front of the Horns of Paine. On day 13, you will have the choice of hiking to the base of Las Torres, the famous “towers of Paine”, a strenuous 7-hour hike, or to hike on a nature trail to watch llama-like guanacos and view cave paintings drawn by the original inhabitants. Hikes are dependent on the weather, abilities, and interests of the group.
Day 12 : Punta Arenas & Fly Home
Drive to Punta Arenas, stopping in Puerto Natales for lunch. Afternoon flight to Santiago.
DATES: Best time to go: January - February, October - December Departures: Jan 16 - 27, 2014 Feb 17 - 28, 2014
2013-14 PRICES (high season)
$7,695 per person (9-16 members)
$350 internal airfare (Ushuaia/El Calafate, subject to change)
2014-2015 PRICES TBA
Hosteria Torres del Paine
Surrounded by towering mountains, this hostería sits in a grassy field at a considerable distance from nearby towns. Simple, comfortable rooms come equipped with all the welcome essentials but in elegant harmony with the awe-inspiring surroundings.
Xelena HotelEl Calafate
Quiet and majestic, Lago Argentino (Argentine Lake) grants Xelena Suites & Spa Hotel that peculiar elegance and beauty conveyed by the Patagonian spirit. A high caliber proposal designed for guests to enjoy the best landscapes of Argentine Patagonia, at all times of the year.
Comfort and warmth define the Hotel’s personality and make the perfect match with the personalized attention and services that it offers its guests. The hotel counts on a Spa, boutique, gourmet areas and function rooms for social and business events.
Magic and natural, the Xelena Hotel, on the banks of the Argentine Lake (Lago Argentino), captures unforgettable images that will allow you to experience a personal fusion with a unique natural environment.
he hotel is located 4.3 miles from Ushuaia and 9.3 miles to Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Sergio "TC" Bahamondez
Sergio was born in Puntarenas, Chile, and grew up in Tierra del Fuego, where he developed his love for the outdoors. He studied psychology at La Plata University in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has a degree in Patagonia Biodiversity from Magallanes University. Sergio has more than 10 years of experience as a tour leader, and his explorer’s spirit has taken him to nearly every continent. He is an excellent ambassador of his country and its culture—his enthusiasm and sense of adventure are absolutely contagious! Sergio is best known in Patagonia by his nickname, “TC,” and we know you’ll be captivated by his engaging smile.
André Labarca, a mountaineering and scuba instructor, fell in love with Patagonia at first sight and has made it his home for the last 10 years. He has participated in more than ten mountain expeditions in the region, accomplishing many first ascents, including the summits of the North and South Towers of the Torres del Paine. André has a great interest in the development of sustainable tourism and is always looking for other regions to explore within Patagonia. A very enthusiastic guide, André’s love for nature and respect for the mountains is infectious to all who travel with him.