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Patagonia Wilderness

Patagonia Wilderness


Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

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.

Day 1: Buenos Aires
Bienvenidos! 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.

Day 2: El Chalten
This 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.

Day 3: El Chalten
The 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.

Day 4: El Chalten
Today, 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.

Day 5: El Chalten / El Calafate
Take 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.

Day 6: El Calafate / Perito Moreno Glacier
Today, 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.

Day 7-9: Torres del Paine National Park
Be 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.

Day 10: Puerto Natales
You 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.

Day 11: Ushuaia
Today, 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.

Day 12: Ushuaia
Ushuaia 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.

Day 13: Ushuaia
Today, 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.

Day 14: Buenos Aires
Return 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.

Day 15: Buenos Aires
As 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.

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Inclusions

  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna Torre
  • El Chalten - Day hike to Laguna de los Tres
  • El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier visit
  • 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

Meals
14 Breakfast(s) Included
3 Lunch(es) Included
3 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Original

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Accommodations

Hotel (11 nights), Camping [with basic facilities] (3 nights)

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Questions & Answers

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?

A good level of fitness is required to complete the multiple, all day treks included on this trip. For example, on day 3, you’ll hike 12km in about 4-5 hours at an elevation of 290 meters. On day 4, you’ll hike 24km, in about 8-9 hours at an elevation of 420 meters. All Intrepid travelers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information.

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.3
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.8

Ratings based off 120 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 6 reviews with comments only

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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