Patagonia Travel — Patagonian Spring Tour — Day by Day
Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart from your closest gateway city for an overnight flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. On arrival in Buenos Aires you will be met and Transfer on arrival to your hotel. After time to rest, we meet for a late afternoon stroll through Buenos Aires, and learn of its role in the development of South America. We can enjoy people-watching in the sidewalk cafes before our welcome dinner.
Hotel: Alvear Art Hotel, LD Day 2
Our walking tour continues until early afternoon and includes a visit to Evita's tomb and museum. The remainder of the afternoon is on your own so that you can follow your own interests or even shop on the Calle Florida. Tonight, after an early dinner, we take in an impressive tango show with superb dancers executing traditional tangos and perhaps the gaucho dance, the malamba. This show may get you dancing 'til dawn! Buenos Aires never sleeps- well anyway not at night!
Hotel: Alvear Art Hotel, BD
Buenos Aires and Peninsula Valdez
Have a morning free in Buenos Aires, or join us for a short visit to the traditional Sunday Market at San Telmo. We take a mid-afternoon, two-hour flight south to Trelew to begin our exploration of the arid Peninsula Valdes. Along the drive to the rural "Casa de Campo" Rincon Chico at the SE end of the Peninsula, you'll see nandú (ostriches), maras, guanacos, and Patagonian Foxes. The long days are followed by long sunsets, late dining and early morning sunrises.
Hotel: Estancia Rincon Chico, BD
Whales & Wildlife of Peninsula Valdez
The big attraction today is the Southern right whale (eubalaena australis), which frequent the shallow waters of Golfo Nuevo and Golfo San Carlos between June and mid-December to breed and bear their young. We also visit the Southern Elephant Seal colonies (Peninsula Valdes is the only known continental breeding place for elephant seals) and observe the very large Southern Sea Lions. Later visit the "penguinaria" at Punta Delgaldo where seabirds including cormorants, gulls and dive-bombing Skuas compete for our attention.
Hotel: Estancia Rincon Chico, BL
Whales, Fossils & Penguins
By boat, we go whale watching in the Golfo Nuevo. Afterwards we stop at the remarkable Tertiary fossil beds at Puerto Pirámides, then drive south to visit hundreds of thousands of Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo. In the afternoon return to Puerto Madryn for an overnight.
Hotel: Peninsula Valdes, BLD
Helsingfors, Lago Viedma
We fly to Calafate in the Argentine Patagonia and transfer to Estancia Helsingfors to experience Patagonian estancia life for 2 nights. From this historic estancia we soak up the splendid views of the famous peaks.
Helsingfors is a marvelous place to walk: the views are rich, and so is the animal life, which includes condors, foxes, puma, eagles, geese, ibis, and falcons.
Hotel: Estancia Helsingfors, BLD
Hiking, Viedma Lake, Glaciers & Views of Fitzroy
After a morning hike in the high pampas, we cruise on Lake Viedma to see great slabs of ice break off the Moyano glacier. From our historic lodge we soak up splendid views of the magnificent peak Fitzroy ("Chalten" in Tehuelche dialect).
Hotel: Estancia Helsingfors, BLD
After a morning hike, we drive to Calafate where you are on your own for lunch with free time to nose around town. Later we drive west to the elegant Eolo Lodge that faces the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier. There we will toast our good fortune as the sun slips behind the peaks.
Hotel: Eolo Lodge, BD
Mini Trekking - Perito Moreno Glacier
We transfer to Perito Moreno Glacier where we will board a boat and cruise along the face of the glacier to a rocky landing. Once there, you 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 return to the lodge and enjoy lunch and the spectacular view. 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: Eolo Lodge, BLD
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's van. (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 (nandú) and stunning scenery. After check-in, lunch is ready at the architecturally striking and stunningly located Explora or Tierra Patagonia Lodge. An optional, fairly vigorous hike follows the lunch. All meals, beverages and all tours and activities are included while at your Lodge.
Note: Each evening at the cocktail hour, your 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
Torres del Paine
The days at 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
Explora to Home
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. The paved highway runs south across Chilean Patagonia to the Punta Arenas airport where you will check into your north bound flight that will arrive in Santiago in the late afternoon. On arrival at the Santiago airport, you will check-in to your homeward bound flight. You arrive home on Day 16.
B day 15