Explore some of Patagonia’s best trails. Conquer the famous Torres Base Trek and spend two days amid the extraordinary icescapes of Argentina’s Glacier National Park. Enjoy a 4 night ‘feature stay’ in Torres del Paine National Park. The Perito Moreno Glacier is like nothing else. This colossal, blue-hued natural wonder is one of Patagonia’s true treasures. Trek past granite pillars, sparkling lakes and gushing waterfalls, watching out for Andean condors soaring in the sky
Journey through one of South America’s most incredible regions – the far-south land of Patagonia. In these remote regions of Chile and Argentina, trek amid dramatic panoramas of icescapes, glaciers, lagoons, misty granite peaks and unique Andean wildlife. Conquer the renowned Torres Base Trek and explore some of Glacier National Park’s greatest trails – not to mention the extraordinary Perito Merino Glacier. With comfortable hotels, expert local guides and many chances to relax and sip coffee in quaint mountain villages, this is Patagonia with a touch of class.
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 3 Dinner Included:
Welcome to Punta Arenas, Chile's southernmost city. This rambling lakeside town has a history of explorers, ranchers and fortune-seekers, being a once-important stop along the Californian gold rush route. There will be a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, take a stroll and acquaint yourself with the town. Don't miss the chance to sample the local seafood, as it's some of the finest in the country.
Punta Arenas / Puerto Natales
Enjoy a free day in Punta Arenas. You can explore this charming little town or if it's wildlife you're after, you will have the opportunity to go for a visit to nearby Magdalena Island. This island is home to thousands of Magellan Penguins. The excursion takes you across the Straits of Magellan by boat and lets you off to take about a one hour stroll around the island before returning to Punta Arenas by boat. In the afternoon you will take a private transfer to your hotel in Puerto Natales (approximately 3 hours). Arrive at your feature stay hotel and settle in.
Puerto Natales/ Torres del Paine/ Lago Grey
Embark on a cruise to the incredible Grey Glacier. You will set off from the Remota hotel, heading southwest. During the journey you will be able to see Nothofagus forests and wild fauna. Once you have arrived in the Grey sector of Torres del Paine you will have the chance to get out and stretch your legs a bit by hiking up Mount Ferrier. The hike is about 2 hours and will give you an amazing view of the lake you are about the take a cruise on. Just after the hike you will board your vessel to set off on a your sailing journey (approximately 3 hours return). You will visit the east and west faces of the Grey glacier, with the boat getting as near as possible to the glacier, depending on the ice slides of the glacier. Sometimes icebergs will be seen floating in the lake, and they might even reach the shore. A vehicle will be waiting for you at the car park and take you through Torres del Paine National park on the way back to Hotel Remota. You will have the opportunity to stop at some of the spectacular look outs, before finally arriving in Puerto Natales.
Torres Del Paine National Park
Set out from Puerto Natales early for the Torres Base Trek, the highlight of Torres del Paine (approximately 8 hours). First you will set off from the hotel, heading north towards the former Cerro Paine estate (123km). Arrive at the estate and commence your trek (after a security briefing). A few minutes after the start, you will cross the suspension bridge over the Ascencio river (named after an infamous outlaw in Patagonia). Make a slow trek to the base of the Almirante Nieto hill (500m above sea level). During this trek you will sight the Nordenskjold lake while surrounded by notros or ciruelillos (Chilean firebush). Be amazed by the Ascencio valley in all of its beauty. Next, descend for a few minutes to the Chileno shelter. At this point, take a short break, then continue along a winding path (approximately 1 hour) surrounded by a forest of lengas. Pass through the lush forest as you begin the last stage of the ascent. This takes you to the frontal moraine that was left by the antique Torres Glacier. You will walk slowly up a path marked with rocks of the moraine – the last stage before arriving at the Torres Base. You will glimpse the Torres Lagoon along the way. Enjoy a pre-packed lunch, and of course the view, before beginning your descent.
Prepare for a travel day. While it's on the long side of things, it's an excellent chance to relax and take in the scenery. Take a private transfer to Argentina, then continue to El Chalten (approximately 7 hours), which has long been an attractive destination for adventure seekers from around the world.
Over the next two days you will take on (at least) two of the most popular day treks in the area: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Las Torres. Both of these journeys span breathtaking Patagonian scenery. The hikes are moderate to difficult, and you can expect to walk on clearly marked and well maintained paths (approximately 6–9 hours per day). The terrain itself is not difficult. Instead, wind and rain may be the main challenges you face on these walks. The hikes you trek, and the order in which you trek them, may change depending on weather conditions.
Embark on whichever hike you did not complete yesterday. While the Laguna de Los Tres offers great views of Cerro Fitz Roy (3405 m) and its two sister peaks, it's moderate to difficult, and involves quite a steep climb in its latter stage. You'll need good fitness for this. On the other hand, the Laguna Las Torres trail boasts superb views of the Cerro Torre peak (3102 m), and is a little easier than Laguna de Los Tres. It's best taken when the weather is fine, as it can get windy along the way, and Cerro is known as being hard to spot if it's cloudy.
This morning enjoy a picnic in El Chalten at the El Aguila lookout, take in the stunning views that have hikers and climbers from all around the world congregating here to take advantage of the laid back and outdoorsy atmosphere. From the village you can see the splendour of Glacier National Park's north side. Take the time to stroll around the village or simply park at a cafe with a nice coffee or hot chocolate and rest your weary legs. Later on you will take a private transfer to El Calafate (approximately 2 hours). Perhaps sample some chocolate at one of the shops along Libertador, the main strip. In the evening, why not try some world-famous Argentinean steak or fresh-caught local trout.
Head to the Perito Moreno Glacier and explore this extraordinary world of ice. It's one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, and at three kilometres wide and 35 kilometres long, it's spectacular sight. Watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below. Interestingly, massive ruptures occur every four to five years as part of cyclical ice bridge formations. You'll have plenty of time to explore this icescape in depth and take a few photographs.
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast. You might like to book a flight to Buenos Aires, or to Ushuaia if you would like to continue your Patagonia adventure.