Trails of Patagonia

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Trails of Patagonia
Starting from Buenos Aires, enjoy a three week tour through the isolated region of Patagonia. Discover an array of flora and fauna in Tierra del Fuego NP, marvel at the hanging glacier suspended of rock faces in Parque Queulat, and uncover ancient artwork on the walls of an abandoned cave found in the Patagonian valleys.

The tour that we operate in the reverse direction is Trails of Patagonia (PATP).

TOUR CODE | TOUR DATES

PAPT | Tue 02 Jan 2018 - Mon 22 Jan 2018

$2,600.10

PAPT | Tue 20 Feb 2018 - Mon 12 Mar 2018

$2,600.10

PAPT | Tue 14 Nov 2017 - Mon 04 Dec 2017

$2,474.10
Description

Details

Dossier Last Updated: 03-24-2016
Tour Code: PALD
Duration: 20 nights / 21 days
Joining City: Buenos Aires
Departure City: Bariloche
Nearest Joining International Airport: Buenos Aires Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP), Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini Intl Apt (EZE)
Nearest Departing International Airport: Bariloche San Carlos de Bariloche Apt (BRC)

Local payment: $1200.00

Outline Itinerary

Day 1 Buenos Aires 2-3 Visit Tierra del Fuego NP from Ushuaia 4 El Calafate 5 Puerto Natales 6-8 Camping near Torres del Paine NP, you will be able to explore the great outdoors on hiking trails, passing snow-covered peaks, deep lakes, colossal glaciers and beautiful valleys 9-10 From El Calafate visit the expanding Perito Moreno Glacier. You can walk along some paths for great views. If you are lucky, you may witness giant chunks of ice breaking off into the water 11-12 El Chaltén 13 Perito Moreno 14 Coyhaique 15-16 Indulge in the hot springs in Parque Queulat 17-18 Enjoy water based excursions in Futaleufu 19-20 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 21 Depart Bariloche

What's Included

  • Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Entry to Torres del Paine National Park
  • Moreno Glacier
  • Los Glaciares National Park
  • Cuevos De Los Manos
  • 17 night(s) in hotels, 3 night(s) assisted camping
  • 20 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Travel by xpedition Vehicle, taxi, on foot, 2 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 room
  • 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

  • Torres del Paine National Park
  • Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Bariloche - 'The Switzerland of South America'
Itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 to 1 - Buenos Aires

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 beautiful city of Buenos Aires is known as the "Paris of South America" due to its lovely green parks, plazas and wide boulevards. From the balcony of the presidential palace, the Casa Rosada (Pink Palae), Eva Peron made many of her speeches. It's also the place where Madonna sang, "Don't cry for me Argentina" in the film Evita. Across the Plaza de Mayo you will also find the Cabildo (the old town hall) the Palacio Municipal (City Hall) and the cathedral. Every Thursday afternoon in this plaza the "Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo" march in remembrance of their family members who disappeared in the 1970s when the country was under military rule. There are many excellent restaurants in the Puerto Madera area and it is well worth a visit to the port of La Boca for its colourful buildings and cultural history. In nearby San Telmo, the bohemian area, there is a fascinating antique market every Sunday. The Recoleta Cemetery, almost like an enclosed city of its own, is where Eva Peron and many other rich and famous Argentines are buried - well worth a visit. The reputation of Buenos Aires' nightlife is not overstated as there are many nightclubs, bars, restaurants and cinemas open until all hours. For a great evening out, you may want to see a tango show in the city where the dance originated, and you shouldn't leave Buenos Aires before trying one of the best steaks you'll find in the world!

Optional Excursions: Tango show & dinner – US$90 • Tango lessons – from ARS200 for 1 hour • Hop on/hop off bus – ARS170 (US$20 approx.) • Explore La Boca and San Telmo artistic neighbourhoods – free • Various historic plazas & squares – free • Tigre Delta day trip, exploring the elegant neighbourhood by train and catamaran – ARS170 • Football match including transfers and guide – from ARS650 • Buenos Aires city tour – US$20

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 2 to 3 - Ushuaia

Ushuaia is the most southern city in the world with a setting that's hard to beat, dramatically located between towering mountains and icy sea.

We visit the nearby Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) National Park, where the Pan American Highway ends 17,848 kilometres from its starting point in Alaska. The national park, which has often been compared with Alaska’s panhandle, covers 63,000 hectares of mountains, lakes, deep valleys, glaciers and rivers. You can trek along various trails through the beautiful beech forests, spotting wildlife along the way, including guanacos, foxes, beavers, condors and oyster catchers.

There are also some interesting museums in Ushuaia which reveal its interesting natural and colonial history, such as the Maritime Museum and Museum at the End of the World. At the Ushuaia tourist office you can have your passport stamped with an official End of the World stamp. Those interested in steam trains might like to go for a train ride on the Tren del Fin del Mundo or End of the World Train.

Included Excursions: • Tierra del Fuego National Park

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 4 to 4 - El Calafate

Today we have a short flight to El Calafate where we stay one night before heading towards our adventures at Torres Del Paine. We will return to El Calafate to explore the Perito Moreno Glacier later in the tour

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 5 to 5 - Puerto Natales

Travelling on, we come to the misty port town of Puerto Natales, an important base for agriculture and tourism.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels

Day 6 to 8 - Torres del Paine National Park

We now continue on to visit the majestic Torres del Paine National Park, named after three massive granite towers that rise out of the earth. Covering more than 180,000 hectares, the park boasts stunning scenery with snow covered mountain peaks, glaciers, beautiful lakes and valleys with a diverse variety of unusual flora and fauna. Some of the varied and amazing creatures you might spot include skunks, Andean condors, black-chested buzzard eagles, chilla foxes, culpeo foxes, guanacos (a relative of the llama), Chilean flamingos and rhea, a type of emu. Vividly coloured flowers, various evergreen plants and orchids may be seen. The best way to discover the national park is on foot and trekking here will take your breath away.

From the comfort of our camp-site just outside the national park, where the overland truck will remain to offer home comforts like power sockets, you will have the opportunity to go on full day treks into the park to explore its beautiful scenery. Some of the walks are quite demanding, and at a high altitude, but there are a good range of options for all grades of walkers. One such trek offers incredible views of the famous ‘towers’, the three distinctive granite peaks of the Paine mountain range. It’s quite challenging, with the whole route being 14km and the final section walking in scree, however it is well worth it. You will also have the option to take a scenic boat trip across Lago Pehoe for a full view of the Grey Glacier.

For the longer treks such as the “Towers” walk, a reasonable level of fitness is required and passengers must be prepared for all weather conditions. We recommend packing trekking boots, waterproof trousers and a positive outlook to all weather! We stay in tents just outside the park with all meals included. Mattresses are provided, and we recommend passengers bring their own sleeping bag. Sleeping bags can be rented from your tour leader for US$30 for the 3 nights, however this depends on availability.

Included Excursions: Entry to Torres del Paine National Park
Approximate Travel Time: Five Hours

Accommodation: 3 night(s) assisted camping

Day 9 to 10 - 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: Five 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 11 to 12 - El Chaltén

We travel on through the windswept Patagonian countryside stopping enroute at the small town of El Chaltén, our base for visiting the Los Glaciares National Park , which is renowned for its spectacular scenery and a great 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 glaciers.

Included Excursions: Los Glaciares National Park
Approximate Travel Time: Four Hours
Optional Excursions: Fly-fishing – from ARS900 • Horse riding – from ARS450 • Hiking • Ice trekking – from ARS450

Accommodation: 2 night(s) in hotels

Day 13 to 13 - 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 14 to 14 - 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 15 to 16 - 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 17 to 18 - 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 19 to 20 - 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 21 to 21 - Depart Bariloche

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$2,279.00
  • Local Payment (Payment to be made in US Dollars): US$1,200.00

Discounts

  • 5% Loyalty Reward - Repeat Client: US$-113.95

Supplements

  • I'd Like My Own Room: US$669.00
  • Carbon Offset: US$20.00

Additional Prices (Optional)

  • Post-tour Accommodation Price Per Person Per Night (Single Room): US$98.00
  • Post-tour Accommodation Price Per Person Per Night (Twin Room): US$57.00
  • Buenos Aires Arrival Transfer Price Per Booking Per Unit: US$89.00
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