Patagonia Lake District

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Patagonia Lake District
A region of astounding natural beauty, Chile and Argentina’s Lake District hosts an abundance of lakes, a variety of different colours, all surrounded by lush forests and mountains. It is a hiker’s paradise and terrain varies from park to park. From hot-springs to fly-fishing, it is also possible to relax and enjoy the landscape in one of the most beautiful and peaceful regions of South America.

The tour that we operate in the reverse direction is Patagonia Lake District (PADL)

TOUR CODE | TOUR DATES

PALD | Sat 09 Dec 2017 - Sun 24 Dec 2017

$1,646.10

PALD | Sat 27 Jan 2018 - Sun 11 Feb 2018

$1,646.10

PALD | Sat 17 Mar 2018 - Sun 01 Apr 2018

$1,565.10
Description

Details

Dossier Last Updated: 03-11-2016
Tour Code: PALD
Duration: 15 nights / 16 days
Joining City: Santiago
Departure City: El Calafate
Nearest Joining International Airport: Santiago A Merino Benitez Intl Airport (SCL)
Nearest Departing International Airport: El Calafate Armando Tola Intl Airport (FTE)

Local payment: $630.00

Outline Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Santiago 2-3 We fly to the Lake District of Chile, stopping at the picturesque town of Pucón on Lake Villarrica. Here you have time to explore the lakes, mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls that surround the town including the active Villarrica Volcano 4-5 Bariloche was built by Swiss and German immigrants and has a distinct alpine feel to it. With breathtaking views from the cable cars, this town has as much to do during the summer months as during the ski season 6-7 Enjoy water based excursions in Futaleufu 8-9 Indulge in the hot springs in Parque Queulat 10 Coyhaique 11 Enter Patagonia and spend the night in Perito Moreno 12-13 From El Chaltén explore the dramatic Los Glaciares National Park , a fantastic place for trekking and exploring the nearby glaciers 14-15 El Calafate is your base for visiting Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few glaciers still growing 16 Depart El Calafate

What's Included

  • Cuevos De Los Manos
  • Los Glaciares National Park
  • Moreno Glacier
  • 15 night(s) in hotels
  • 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinners
  • Travel by Expedition Vehicle, taxi, on foot, 1 flight(s)
  • Tour leader & driver

What's not Included

  • International flights and departure taxes
  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • Optional excursions - Please see the optional excursions on the Itinerary page for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour

Highlights

  • Santiago
  • Bariloche - 'The Switzerland of South America'
  • Perito Moreno Glacier
Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Santiago

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.

The capital and economic centre of Chile, Santiago is a fast growing city encircled by the peaks of the Andes Mountains to the east and a smaller range of coastal mountains known as the Cordillera to the west. With its fountains, parks and imposing neoclassical buildings standing side-by-side with glossy office skyscrapers, Santiago is a modern city very much in touch with its colonial past.

Pedro de Valdivia established Santiago in 1541 but not much remains of its original glory, except Santa Lucia Hill where the original fortress was constructed. From the top of the hill here are excellent views of the city below. However, for even better photo opportunities, take a funicular railway to the top of San Cristobal where the Statue of the Virgin overlooks the capital and the distant Andes. At this very pleasant viewing area you’ll find wine-tasting facilities and a couple of beautifully situated swimming pools. Much of the city is best explored on foot, particularly neighbourhoods like Bellavista which features outdoor markets. In the Plaza Constitución at the Palacio de la Moneda you can see the changing of the guard on most days. There is an interesting culture to explore in Santiago, with chic cafés, impressive museums, excellent restaurants and great shopping opportunities to enjoy.

While in Santiago you can take an optional excursion to Chile’s cultural capital, the port of Valparaíso. Take a funicular elevator from the flat town centre up the hill to explore the labyrinth of streets and cobblestoned alleyways of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 2 to 3 - Pucón

Today we have a short flight to Pucón. Situated in the Lake District of Chile, this picturesque town is small resort on Lake Villarrica below the perfect cone-shaped Villarrica Volcano. The whole area is surrounded by lakes, mountains, forests, rivers and waterfalls and offers many exciting optional activities such as trekking to the top of the active volcano, white water rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking and water sports on the lake. We have a free day to allow time to take advantage of some of the great activities on offer or simply relax. Whilst in the area we will visit Salto del Laja, the waterfalls which drop an impressive 47 metres to the rocks below.

Optional Excursions: Volcano – CH$ 50.000, incl transfer, excl lunch • Horse riding – from CH$20.000 • Rafting – from CH$25.000

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 4 to 5 - Bariloche

Our next stop is the resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche, also known simply as Bariloche, on the shores of Lake Nahuel Haupi. This town is a famous winter ski resort, but it also has a great deal to offer during other seasons and is a favourite holiday spot for Argentines. Originally built by Swiss and German immigrants in the Alpine style, here you will find charming Swiss-style chalets, numerous chocolate shops and even St. Bernard dogs with brandy barrels around their necks.

With the towering peaks of the Andes to the west, the glistening lake in front and the Patagonian steppe to the east, outdoor adventures abound in Bariloche, with popular options including mountain biking, horse riding or a bus ride along the lake with an opportunity to take in the sensational scenery from the cable cars.

If you’re very (very!) lucky you may spot the legendary Nahuelito, a giant creature which the indigenous Mapuche people believe lives in the depths of the lake. There haven’t yet been any recorded sightings to support this story, which predates the Loch Ness Monster, however despite that, the Buenos Aires Zoo took it seriously enough to make a trip to the lake to search for evidence in 1922.

Approximate Travel Time: Full drive day
Optional Excursions: Horse riding and BBQ – AR$400 • Canopy zipline incl transfer – AR$280 • Rafting levels II/III (incl lunch), III/IV, whole day incl transfer – AR$530/AR$580 • Kayaking incl transfer – AR$260 • Boat tour with motorboat, incl transfer, excl port tax/entry NP – AR$280 (+ AR$70)

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 6 to 7 - Futaleufu

Crossing back into Chile we arrive at Futaleufu located in the region of Los Lagos. Translated to “Big River” this town boasts some of the best water based excursions in all of South America on the Futaleufu River. Fed by the glaciers from the Lake District the river flows through the mountain range providing sensational views. Enjoy the fresh fast-moving waters where rafters annually descend to combat the rapids. Fly fishing and kayaking are also equally popular.

Alternatively, if you prefer your excursions land-based, you can enjoy full day hikes through the valley or visit Futaleufu National Reserve known for its large amount of Huemul (South Andean deer) and expansive trails.

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 8 to 9 - Parque Queulat

From Puyuhuapi you can visit Parque Queulat National Park. Situated on both sides of the Carretera Austral highway it is a realm of evergreen forests and winding rivers, with a large variety of flora and fauna living amongst it. If you are lucky you may get the chance to spot a Pudú, the smallest deer in the world, as well as a plethora of birds.

It is perhaps most famous for it's hanging glacier, Ventisquero Colgante, located east of the Carretera Austral. Marvel at the long sheet of ice suspended off large rock faces, as nearby waterfalls cascade towards the bottom of the glacier. You can also indulge in the Puyuhuapi hot springs after hiking through the National Park's beautiful surroundings

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 10 to 10 - Coyhaique

Tonight we stay in the picturesque town of Coyhaique. Capital of the Aysen region the city is set amongst a backdrop of scenic mountain ranges it provides perfectly unspoiled landscape.

Discover the National Reserve where there are hiking trails for all experiences leading to stunning panoramic views of the region. There is also the chance to try your hand at fly fishing and canoeing on Simpson River. You can also browse the local craft fair at the main square of Plaza de Armas, where locals sell handmade leather, wool and stone products.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 11 to 11 - Perito Moreno

Our next destination is the multicultural town of Perito Moreno, where we stay overnight to break up the journey.

Approximate Travel Time: Full drive day

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 12 to 13 - El Chaltén

Leaving Perito Moreno we head towards El Chaltén. On the way we stop off at Cuevos De Los Manos. Translated to the “cave of painted hands”, here we can see spectacular artwork painted on the walls dating from 7300 BC.

Arriving in El Chaltén this is our base for Los Glaciares National Park. The national park is renowned for its spectacular scenery, and a fantastic place for trekking. Options include half or full day treks to Lago Capri or various other trails to take in the views of the Fitzroy Massif and the many nearby glaciers.

Included Excursions: Los Glaciares National Park • Cuevos De Los Manos
Approximate Travel Time: Full drive day
Optional Excursions: Fly-fishing – from ARS900 • Horse riding – from ARS450 • Hiking • Ice trekking – from ARS450

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 14 to 15 - El Calafate

We resume our journey to head for the town of El Calafate, located on the southern shore of Lake Argentino. El Calafate is our base to visit the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier. With a height of around 60 metres and a front of five kilometres (three miles), covering some 250 square kilometres the glacier is an incredible sight and is one of the few glaciers in the world to be growing slightly, not decreasing in size as most glaciers do. Named after Argentine explorer Francisco Merino, the glacier is coloured in a variety of hues from blue to grey to white and continually creaks and cracks. Advancing at a speed of around two metres per day, it can put on a spectacular show when giant chunks of ice at the outermost edges crack under tremendous pressure, rupture and crash into the water – a process known as calving. You will have the chance to walk around some paths and terraces where you can get some great views of the glacier.

Included Excursions: Perito Moreno Glacier tour
Approximate Travel Time: Four Hours
Optional Excursions: Regional Museum of El Calafate – free • Boat trip on Lago Argentino – ARS250 • Reserva Muncipal Laguna Nimez, bird watching – small entry fee

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 16 to 16 - Depart El Calafate

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Prices

Tour Prices

  • Tour Price Per Person US$1,439.00
  • Local Payment (Payment to be made in US Dollars): US$900.00

Discounts

  • 5% Loyalty Reward - Repeat Client US$-71.95

Supplements

  • I'd Like My Own Room US$599.00
  • Carbon Offset: US$20.00

Additional Prices (Optional)

  • Pre-tour Accommodation Price Per Person Per Night (Single, Room Only) US$57.00
  • Pre-tour Accommodation Price Per Person Per Night (Twin, Room Only): US$38.00
  • Post-tour Accommodation Price Per Person Per Night (Single Room) US$105.00
  • Post-tour Accommodation Price Per Person Per Night (Twin, room only): US$60.00
  • Santiago Arrival Transfer Price Per Booking Per Unit US$65.00
  • El Calafate Departure Transfer Price Per Booking Per Unit: US$56.00
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