Patagonia Travel | The Wild South | Day by Day

 

Detailed Itinerary


Day 1

Day 1

Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Depart from your closest gateway city for an overnight flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Days 2-3

Days 2-3

Buenos Aires

On arrival, you will be met and transferred from the airport to our hotel.
On these two days, your mornings are free to explore on your own. In the afternoons, we tour many of Buenos Aires' unique neighborhoods and discover hidden gems. Your tour will depend on your particular interests.

We dine at La Cabana Restaurant on Day 2. On Day 3 we dine at Bar El Querandi, and dinner will be followed by a tango show, Argentine style!.

Hotel: Alvear Arts, Hub Porteño or Four Seasons,  Day 2 D, Day 3 BD


Day 4

Day 4

Calafate 

The morning is yours in Buenos Aires. We take an early afternoon flight south to Calafate, located on Lago Argentino in the heart of Patagonia. On arrival in Calafate, our guide will assist you with collecting your luggage and take you on a brief exploration of the village of Calafate and you will have lunch. From there, you go to your estancia and enjoy traditional Patagonian hospitality. We meet again for dinner.

Hotel: Calafate regional estancia, BLD


Day 5

Day 5

Mini Trekking - Perito Moreno Glacier

We head to Perito Moreno Glacier where we board a boat and cruise along the face of the glacier to a rocky landing. Once there, we don crampons and go on a hike on the ice across Perito Moreno Glacier. This is an exhilarating experience and a great favorite of our adventurers. Afterwards, we enjoy lunch and a spectacular view of the glacier. In the late afternoon, we go for a nature walk along the boardwalk to observe the glacier face and watch chucks break off and crash into the lake. Or, you may remain by the fire, spending the afternoon quietly on your own.

Hotel: Calafate regional estancia, BLD


Day 6

Day 6

Chile and Torres del Paine

We drive south for several hours crossing the dry landscape to the Chilean border at Cerro Castillo. There you transfer to your lodge vans. (Many Argentine tourism vehicles can't operate in Chile and vice versa.) As you continue to Torres del Paine, you'll see guanacos, lesser rhea (nandu) and stunning scenery. After check-in, lunch is ready at the architecturally striking and stunningly located Explora or Tierra Lodge. An optional, fairly vigorous hike follows the lunch. All meals, beverages and all tours and activities are included while at either Explora or Tierra Patagonia lodges.


Note: Each evening at the cocktail hour, guides meet with the guests individually or in tiny groups to describe and discuss the activity options for the following day. Each option is presented in detail, questions are answered and guests sign up for the next day’s activities of their choice. The sign-up is not cut in stone but it is good form to let them know if you want to change to another activity or even cancel. An activity may be a full day or half day in length. There is no additional charge for any of these activities. Wine, cocktails and other beverages are included.

Hotel: Explora or Tierra Patagonia Lodge, BLD


Days 7-11

Days 7-11

Torres del Paine

The days in Torres del Paine National Park are spent hiking (there is a wide range of lengths and challenges), learning about the wildlife, horseback riding and dining well. There is a complete spa and a masseuse. You may elect to do some serious photography or just snooze in the breezes as long as you can stand it! On the next to last day, a Qinche or typical Chilean Huaso (cowboy) barbecue follows the morning activity you have chosen. All activities are optional and, with the exception of massages, are included in your tour price.

Hotel: Explora or Tierra Patagonia Lodge, BLD


Day 12

Day 12

Punta Arenas and Australis Cruise

Morning transfer from your lodge to Punta Arenas via Parque El Paine, Cerro Castillo and Puerto Natales. We'll stop en route to stretch our legs and have a mid-morning snack.

Late in the afternoon we board the Stella Australis, our home for the next five days. As the sun barely sets in these latitudes, you can sight-see until you drop!

During the cruise, there are daily onshore visits lasting about two hours. These tours are led by the Mare Australis naturalists are walks through the native forest and visits to glaciers accompanied by naturist chat about the flora and fauna you will be seeing. A whisky with millenary ice (from a glacier) or a cup of hot chocolate will be served on the beach before returning to the ship.
For many of us, it a great delight to be out on deck watching the seabirds following the ship as we cruise along. In the course of this trip you are likely to see several species of albatross, ducks, geese, petrels, cormorants, grebes, coots, as well as skuas, condors, hawks, vultures, oystercatchers, gulls, terns and caracaras.

Ship: Stella Australis, BLD


Day 13

Day 13

Marinelli Glacier, Tucker Inlet

Marinelli Glacier is located in Ainsworth Bay in the midst of the Darwin Range. The zodiacs will deliver us to the beach where we will visit an elephant seal colony. You may be amazed at their size-some adults weigh as much as 8,000 pounds. We take a very scenic and enjoyable walk through the bog, crossing small rivulets en route to a wooded area to visit a beaver dam. The naturalist will chat with us about the plants, animals, geology, glaciology and view the destruction caused by these way-too-eager beavers that were introduced from Canada in the 1800's when beaver fur hats were in vogue. After our walk, we will watch the sea birds and elephant seals in the water just off the beach. You may want to photograph the small, beached icebergs that have been sculpted into weird and wonderful shapes.

Sometimes we see dolphins in this channel as we cruise towards Tucker Islet. We will anchor and get into the Zodiacs in order to have a close look at the cormorants nesting on the shear cliffs and to photograph the Magellanic Penguins nesting in gravel burrows just above the waterline. We have to remain alert for the skuas that sometimes fly menacingly close as they protect their nesting territory. Nearby we will see a colony of sea lions stretched out on a rocky promontory.

Ship: Stella Australis, BLD


Day 14

Day 14

D'Agostini Glacier, Condor Bay, Brecknock Channel

We cruise through the Brecknock Canal. (Darwin spent the first 10 days of June, 1834, exploring ashore and sailing through the Straits of Magellan aboard the HMS Beagle with Captain Fitzroy.) We cruise past blue-tinted icebergs in the D'Agostini Fjord and see several glaciers including the Serrano Glacier. We will get very close to D'Agostini Glacier for good photos and to be able to hear the sounds of the chunks of ice calving off the glacier and crashing into the sea.

We visit Condor Bay where we ride in the zodiacs right up to the glacier. On the beach, we will walk through the flora and visit bird colonies. The endemic myrtleberry, chaura (wild olives), ñirre (nothofagus pumilio, the Antarctic beech) and wild strawberry thrive in this environment.

Ship: Sella Australis, BLD


Day 15

Day 15

Avenue of Glaciers, Puerto Williams

Along the Avenue of Glaciers we visit Spain, Romanche, Germany, Italy, France and Holland (all rivers of ice). We also watch for whales, condors, sea lions and elephant seals. In the afternoon we visit the site of the first farm settlement in the region and Puerto Williams, the most southerly located town on this planet. You may take an optional flight over Cape Horn to see where many ships came to grief while trying to "Round the Horn."

Ship: Stella Australis, BLD


Days 16-17

Days 16-17

Disembark in Ushuaia and head home

Across the Beagle Canal we disembark in Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego. We transfer to the airport and check into our flights home. We arrive home on Day 17.

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