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  • Lake Nahuel Huapi in Bariloche, Argentina
  • A lighthouse in the Beagle Channel, Argentina
  • Cooking up a BBQ, Argentina
  • The resort town known as the 'End of the World' (Ushuaia), Argentina
  • Hiking through the amazing landscapes, Patagonia
  • The three towers in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
  • A guanaco and her chulengo in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Route:
Santiago to Buenos Aires
Days:
24
Style: Worldwide Adventures
Code: PACP
From:

US$2,957

+ local payment of US$1,160.00

Don’t miss out on any of Patagonia’s highlights on this 24 day tour. From the Chilean Lake District in the north to the imposing towers of Torres del Paine in the south, you can start in Santiago or Buenos Aires, to make it easy to access the remote region. Conquer world-famous hikes and admire expanding glaciers, this tour will show you how diverse Patagonia really is.

About this tour

  • Group Size: Average 16-20. Maximum 34.
  • Recommended Age: 18-65
  • Physical Rating: South America3
  • Country: Patagonia, Chile, Argentina

What you need to know

  • We will try to run your tour as close to the itinerary as conditions will allow. On very rare occasions, local events may affect the way your itinerary operates. We ask for your flexibility and understanding in these situations.
  • This tour runs on our Tucan Travel trucks. Travel days can be quite long but stunning scenery will keep you entertained for hours. Alternatively, pack a good book or some playing cards.
  • This tour includes three nights camping in the Torres del Paine National Park. Mattresses are provided but we recommend bringing a sleeping bag on the trip for these nights.
  • Make sure to pack a worn in pair of walking boots as the hiking in this region is one of the main activities you can do.
  • Weather in Patagonia can be really changeable, so make sure to pack for wind, rain and shine!
  • The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. You will meet your Tour Leader at 18.00 for the pre-departure meeting. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Santiago

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 at Hotel Libertador or similar

Day 2 to 3 - Pucón

Today we have a short flight to Temuco, where we will be greeted by our overland truck driver, who will take us on the scenic drive to Pucón. Situated in the Lake District of Chile, this picturesque town is a small resort on Lake Villarrica with great views of 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.

Optional Excursions

Volcano climb – CH$100.000 • Horse riding “El Claro” – from CH$30.000 • Rafting – from CH$30.000 • Trekking Huerquehue – CH$45.000 • Guided walk and transport to Huerquehue National Parl – CH$65.000 • Visit an estancia including BBQ and Chilean wine - CH$40.000 • Canyoning - CH$40.000

Accommodation

2 night(s) in apartments at Apart Hotel Del Volcán or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

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 Huapi. 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.

Optional Excursions

Museo de la Patagonia – US$2.50 donation • Cerro Catedral ski lifts – from US$20 • Mountain bike hire – US$12 • Circuito Chico, a 60km circuit of nearby attractions which can be completed by local bus • Horse riding – US$66

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Aconcagua or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Lunch(es)

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.

Optional Excursions

White-water rafting various levels – from CH$35.000 • Canyoning – from CH$25.000 • Inflatable Kayaking – from CH$25.000 • Horse riding in a valley only accessible by boat – CH$70.000

Accommodation

2 night(s) in a guesthouse at Hosteria Rio Grande or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

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

Optional Excursions

Entry, transport & guided hike to hanging glacier in Parque Quelat – CH$30.000 • Kayaking in Parque Quelat – CH$42.000

Accommodation

2 night(s) in a guesthouse

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 10 to 10 - Coyhaique

Tonight we stay in Coyhaique - capital of the Aysen region, the city is set amongst a backdrop of scenic mountain ranges, providing a perfectly unspoiled landscape.

You can 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 at Hotel Los Nineres or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

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 a guesthouse at Hotel Belgrano or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Lunch(es)

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.

Approximate Travel Time: Full drive day

Included Excursions

Guided tour of Cuevos De Los Manos,Guided walks of Los Glaciares National Park

Optional Excursions

Glacier boat ride – US$50 • 2hr Glacier boat trip and glacier walk – US$175

Accommodation

2 night(s) in a guesthouse at Fitz Roy Inn or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s), 1 Lunch(es)

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.

Approximate Travel Time: Four Hours

Included Excursions

Perito Moreno Glacier tour

Optional Excursions

Regional Museum of El Calafate – free • Boat trip on Lago Argentino – ARG$350 • Reserva Muncipal Laguna Nimez, bird watching – small entry fee

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hostels at Glaciar del Libertador or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 16 to 16 - 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 at Hotel Glaciares or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Lunch(es)

Day 17 to 19 - 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 situated just outside the national park, 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$40 for the 3 nights, however this depends on availability.

Approximate Travel Time: Five Hours

Included Excursions

Entry & guided walks in Torres del Paine National Park

Optional Excursions

Torres horse riding – CH$50.000 • Grey Glacier Boat – CH$70.000 • Catamaran in Torres – from CH$24.000 • Kayaking – CH$60.000

Accommodation

3 night(s) camping at Camping Pehoe or similar

Meals

3 Breakfast(s), 3 Lunch(es), 3 Dinner(s)

Day 20 to 20 - El Calafate

We return to El Calafate before our flight to Ushuaia tomorrow

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hostels at Glaciar del Libertador or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Lunch(es)

Day 21 to 22 - 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

Entry to Tierra del Fuego National Park

Optional Excursions

Beagle Channel Cruise – ARG$1500 • End of the World Train - ARG$690

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Tierra del Fuego or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 23 to 23 - Buenos Aires

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 Palace), 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!

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel TWO or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 24 to 24 - Depart Buenos Aires

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.

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

What's Included

Excursions & Activities

  • Guided tour of Cuevos De Los Manos
  • Guided walks of Los Glaciares National Park
  • Perito Moreno Glacier tour
  • Entry & guided walks in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Entry to Tierra del Fuego National Park

Accommodation

8 night(s) in hotels, 2 night(s) in apartments, 7 night(s) in a guesthouse, 3 night(s) in hostels, 3 night(s) camping

Transportation

Overland Truck, Travel by 3 flight(s)

Meals

21 Breakfast(s), 8 Lunch(es), 3 Dinner(s)

Other

Naturalist guides, Tucan Travel tour leader, Tucan Travel driver

What's Not Included

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes  
  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.  
  • Optional excursions - On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone's taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don't hesitate to ask your tour leader.
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

Group

Group Size: Maximum 34. Average 15-24

Tour Suitability: This tour is recommended for people aged 18-65. For more information on what to expect, click here.

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Sat 07 Dec
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