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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.
Buenos AiresBienvenidos! 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.
El ChaltenThis 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.
El ChaltenThe 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.
El ChaltenToday, 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.
El Chalten / El CalafateTake 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.
El Calafate / Perito Moreno GlacierToday, 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.
Puerto NatalesYou 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.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
UshuaiaToday, 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.
UshuaiaUshuaia 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.
UshuaiaToday, 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.
Buenos AiresReturn 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.
Buenos AiresAs 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.
Torres del Paine National ParkBe 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.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
- Buenos Aires - Leader-led orientation walk
- El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
- El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
- El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier day trip
- 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
14 Breakfast(s) Included
3 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included
Health and Safety Protocols for Intrepid Tours
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced protocols in hygiene and sanitation. We will put in place additional measures, in line with government health advice and with global health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
Handwashing is one of the most important safety measures to prevent the spread of disease. Intrepid will actively reinforce its importance by:
- Implementing a handwashing policy that dictates when, how often and for how long all staff, leaders and crew must wash their hands on-trip.
- Promote the importance of hand hygiene to customers through signage and online customer material.
- Contract suppliers that have hand hygiene protocols in place
- Contract suppliers that provide hand sanitizer in public places (where applicable)
- Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of hand hygiene via training.
Practicing good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of disease by reducing the number of droplets in the air when you sneeze or cough. Intrepid will:
- Actively reinforce its importance to customers through signage and online customer material.
- Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of respiratory hygiene via training.
- Contract suppliers who have respiratory hygiene protocols in place.
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them. Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy and that the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene must also form part of the strategy.
On our trips, regardless of destination, the following people must wear medical/surgical masks:
- Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have been tested yet.
- People caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (outside of hospitals/clinics).
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them.
- People over 60
- People with underlying health conditions
- Provide medical/surgical masks as part of the First Aid Kits carried by leaders.
- Educate leaders, crew, staff and customers on the correct method to wear, handle and dispose of a mask.
- Require all customers, leaders and staff to comply with any local regulations or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places
Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is not necessary for the public to wear fabric masks generally.
However in certain circumstances, in places where community transmission of COVID-19 is high and/or physical distancing is not possible (e.g. on public transport, in shops or in other confined environments) then a fabric mask can be a useful barrier to prevent the spread of virus.
Fabric masks be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardised like medical masks. Fabric masks should:
- Cover the nose, mouth, and chin
- Be secured with elastic loops or ties
- Include multiple layers
- Be washable and reusable.
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced sanitation processes. Intrepid will take the following measures:
- Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation protocols
- Audit/monitor all suppliers on their cleanliness and sanitation.
- All cleaning and disinfecting products must be approved by health authorities (e.g. WHO).
- All rooms must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizer should be available in public areas.
- There must be a process in place for customers to escalate any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
- All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.
- If staying at a campground, ensure all bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. If the area is remote, with limited facilities and/or minimal staffing, then customers should be informed to bring their own hygiene equipment.
- All mini buses, transfers, charters, overland trucks must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizer should be made available
- Close top bins with bin liners should be available on board and disposed of at every stop
- Must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day
- Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each guest use
- Avoid buffets where possible. If buffets are used, prevent customers from handling food and operating machines (e.g. self-serve coffee stations)
- Either disinfect shared use objects (e.g. table salt) between guest use. Where possible, Intrepid will try to source safe alternatives to single serve packaging.
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
- Preferred: Provide hand sanitizer to guests at the door before entry
- All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest us
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Limiting the number of surfaces touched by large numbers of people helps prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, it is important to proactively move towards contactless or low touch solutions for travel. Intrepid will:
- Prioritise contactless/low touch as a key feature when sourcing new tech or solutions.
- Remove any paperwork required on the ground (e.g. signing forms, feedback cards)
- If details must be entered using a shared device (e.g. insurance details), then it must be disinfected between each customer. Preference is to move entirely to digital solutions.
- Accommodation should provide online check in (no paperwork)
- Contactless keys (e.g. QR codes)
- Contactless tech (e.g. lights)
- Online ticketing for attractions and transport
- Online payment
Physical distancing is important in the preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it can be transmitted via droplets sprayed when coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling etc…
Intrepid will take the following measures:
- Require all suppliers to detail their physical distancing protocols
- Follow local regulation and advice on the need for physical distancing.
We will continue to offer this as an option. Single supplements are available for single travellers who do not wish to share a room. We will work closely with accommodation suppliers to ensure increased availability of single rooms.
- Consider whether it is appropriate to offer single tents for solo travellers as customers will be much closer together then in a traditional room.
- Consider whether staggering meal times may reduce the number of people sharing a dining tent.
Intrepid will consider the following factors when designing or amending transport options on trips.
- Local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport
- Hygiene protocols of the transport provider
- Level of active community transmission in the destination
- Using designated seating on transport. Customers have assigned seats throughout the trip.
- If trip is longer than 15 minutes and air conditioning is available, it must be set to external airflow rather than to recirculation or windows should be opened for the duration of the trip.
- Designing or amending itineraries to reduce the duration of travel.
- Increasing the size of the vehicle, using multiple vehicles.
- Educate all leaders, crew, staff and customers to maintain a 1.5m distance wherever practical in public (e.g. queueing at a museum).
- Proactively design product to avoid crowds by visiting attractions at off-peak times.
- Proactively design product to avoid crowds on public transport or at airports where practical.
- Follow local regulations on table spacing and guest seating in restaurants. Wherever possible, try to ensure groups are sitting at their own table without strangers in restaurants.
- Proactively design product that focuses on experiences that assist with physical distancing (e.g. picnics over crowded marketplaces) if relevant for that destination.
Screening for COVID-19 helps isolate anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and stops the spread of disease. It is likely to become more common for future travellers.
Pre-Departure (Brand Material)
Customers should be informed as part of ‘Essential Trip Information (ETIs) or other similar trip notes if their trip is likely to include any of the following:
- Testing for COVID-19 before being able to pass through immigration and/or board planes.
- Negative test results to be uploaded for visa purposes.
- Thermal temperature checks in airports, train or bus stations, major hotels or attractions.
Pre-departure, all customers are required to fill out an online questionnaire (“self- declaration/assessment” form) to identify any high-risk customers before travel.
Extra qualifiers will be included to address customers with symptoms that can be contributed to pre-existing conditions (e.g. breathlessness to asthma).
Customers answering YES to any question should be removed from the departure and appropriate arrangements made.
Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test as proof of health from customers or leaders at this stage unless it is required by local law or regulations.
This is partially due to the lack of availability of testing for people with no symptoms in many parts of the world and may change in due course.
- Ask customers, leaders, crew and staff to monitor their own health
- Display appropriate signage on COVID-19 symptoms
- Educate leaders, crew and staff on how to identify COVID-19 symptoms
- Describe COVID-19 symptoms in group meetings
If customers, leaders or crew show symptoms of COVID-19 and are either unable to or unwilling to be tested, Intrepid reserves the right to remove them from our trips to prevent any risk to others.
Flexible Booking Conditions
Customers will be supported by flexible booking conditions to stay home if unwell or displaying symptoms
Flexible Work Conditions
Intrepid will support leaders and crew to stay home rather than lead a trip if they are unwell or displaying symptoms. Schedules will need to be created with back up availability of leaders/crew.
Data Collection & Health Tracking
Intrepid will assist government health departments in tracking and tracing any customers, staff, leaders, crew or suppliers at risk of contracting COVID-19 via exposure to a known case and/or outbreak by providing relevant details in line with privacy laws and regulations.
COVID Tracking apps
Intrepid strongly recommends that customers and staff download COVID tracking apps (e.g. COVIDSafe in Australia, StayHomeSafe in Hong Kong) to assist in reducing the spread of disease within their communities.
Question: Does the walking involve moving from one destination to another? That is, must you be able to walk for 9 hours at high altitude?
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.
The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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