Wild Patagonia

From Santiago to Ushuaia OR From Ushuaia to Santiago
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Patagonia
  • Expedition
  • Walking
  • Group
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Tour Description

Begin your epic journey in Santiago, the vibrant cosmopolitan capital of Chile before you travel south through the heart of the wine region.  En route, take in the natural splendour of the lush green forest and sparkling blue lakes of the Chilean and Argentinean lakes districts.  Arriving into the remote Patagonian expanse we explore the southern ice fields, breathtaking glaciers and the magnificent snowcapped Andes mountain range before arriving in Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world.  This is a voyage of intense natural beauty and a chance to be at one with the great outdoors in some of its finest natural states.

**Please note there are a couple of changes in the Feb 2020 – April 2020 itinerary, please ask us for the itinerary**

Viva's Best Bits...

A unique road trip allowing you to soak up the beauty of the remote Southern Andes

Hike some of the best trails in South America, or non-hiking options available also

Combine the best of nature with unique culture, fascinating history and excellent cuisine

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Santiago

Your tour begins with a bang in Santiago, Chile's cosmopolitan capital city. Enjoy a welcome dinner with the group this evening

Day 2
Santiago Santa Cruz

An early departure from Santiago towards the south via the Panamerican Highway, we arriving into the wine region. Once we arrive you will visit the Colchagua Museum, known today as one the most complete Museums in South America. The Colchagua Valley, famous for producing some of Chile’s finest wines, in particular Carmenere, a grape that was thought to be extinct until rediscovered in Chile in 1994. Their Cabernet Sauvignon variety also thrives during the grape growing season due to the hot sunny climate in this part of Chile During this day, you will visit the winery, with wine tasting and wine making included.

Day 3
Santa Cruz Pucon

Settle into our comfortable custom built truck as we journey south along the highway. Passing orchards and plantations of fruits and vegetables, as well as a big timber industry. We’ll pass picturesque lakes and mountains to arrive into Pucon, located in the heart of Chile’s Lakes District. On the way we will stop from lunch at the impressive Salto del Lajas waterfalls.

Day 4-5
Pucon

Today we combine a wonderful natural environment with a cultural experience unique to this area. In the morning, we will visit either the Villarrica National Park or one of the surrounding national reserve parks, all of which protect thousands of hectares of rivers, waterfalls, alpine lakes and forest. In the afternoon, we visit a traditional Mapuche family and enjoy a traditional meal.

Enjoy some free time in Pucon to explore the beauty of your surroundings.

Day 6
Pucon Bariloche

Sit back and marvel along the scenic seven lakes drive to Bariloche, Argentina. Its location is stunning, surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park,
the oldest National Park in Argentina.

Day 7-8
Bariloche

We head out to discover the Nahuel Huapi National Park and you have some free time to enjoy any of the activities on offer including hiking, biking, kayaking and much more!

Day 9
Bariloche Futaleufu

Cross into Chile and hit the Carretera Austral ’Southern Road’, with its reputation as South America’s best road trip. Enroute we pass through the town of Esquel where the “Old Patagonian Express” still runs. We have a short stop in Trevellin, a small town with links to Welsh immigrants. In the late afternoon, we cross into Chile and the scenery will immediately change as we arrive into the quaint town of Futaleufu.

Day 10
Futaleufu Queulat National Park

Enjoy extraordinary scenery and visit the fishing village of Puyuhuapi on the edge of the Chilean Fiords.

Day 11
Queulat National Park

Get up close and personal to a spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Nature at its finest!

Day 12
Queulat National Park Coyhaique

Hike in the enchanted forest as we continue our journey to Coyhaique.

Day 13
Coyhaique Route 40

Cross back into Argentina and on to the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40). Travelling south through the vast Patagonian plains keep your eyes peeled for armadillos, rheas and guanacos.

Day 14
Route 40

Visit Cuevas de Las Manos (Caves of Hands) the most ancient native artistic expressions of the subcontinent.

Day 15
Route 40 El Chalten

Enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe as we head south to El Chalten. El Chaltén is a small mountain village that lies within the magnificent World Heritage Listed Parque Nacional Los Glaciares at the base of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains.

Day 16
El Chalten

A full day hiking today, we meet our local guides and set off on one of the main hiking trails in the wonderful Los Glaciares National Park, (the Lago Torre* hike is our usual option). Enjoy spectacular scenery and obtain views of the magical Cerro Torre or the wonderful Mount Fitzroy. Keep your eyes peeled to spot regional birds including woodpeckers, caracaras and condors.

Day 17
El Chalten El Calafate

Spend the morning exploring some of the other great walking trails El Chalten is famous for. In the mid-afternoon, we will continue by road to El Calafate. Enroute we will stop at a
historic homestead saloon with some famous outlaw visitors.

Day 18
El Calafate

Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the earths most dynamic and accessible ice fields.

Day 19
El Calafate Torres Del Paine

Head back into Chile to Torres Del Paine, South Americas finest National Park and a trekker’s paradise. Declared a Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO in 1978 it is located amongst the mountain range of the Andes and the Patagonian steppe. In this zone, the colossal towers and horns of granite and rock that have given world-wide fame to it, with heights of up to 3,050 meters above the sea level. The park preserves fragile ecosystems, numerous animals like guanacos, condors, ñandues (South American ostrich), foxes and the elusive puma.

The 3 famous hikes we cover inside the park, these are:
(a) Los Torres Hike
(b) French Valley Hike
(c) Greys Glacier Hike

Instead of walking these continuously, carrying all your hiking gear like on the Big W (a 4 day hike), we break it into three separate walks, covering different sections of the park and hiking an average of 15km (9.5mi) to 20km (12mi) each day. The group is assisted by expert local trekking guides who share information about the environment and guide you through the hiking trails.

If you are not hiking there are other activities available inside Torres Del Paine including tours be vehicle, boat and on horse-back. However, please note these activities are subject to availability and minimum numbers and will incur an additional cost. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On.

Day 20
Torres Del Paine

Las Torres Hike (Difficult)
Hiking to view the iconic Las Torres (the Towers) is a challenging yet immensely satisfying hike, a highlight for all experienced trekkers. The Towers are the three massive granite columns that encircle the smaller Torres Glacier.
The Towers hike is by far the most strenuous of all the hikes. From the entrance, you have a 1.5km/1mi flat warm-up to the start of the trailhead at Hosteria Las Torres. You start off climbing up the side of one of the mountains, all dirt paths and quite steep in gradient in areas. It then flattens out as you scale the side of the valley with a great river underneath you.
A short downhill section will bring you to the refugio Chileno. Here you can buy snacks and rest for a while and use the facilities. Although you can see the tips of the towers from the refugio, this hike is fully appreciated when you are able to hike the full length. Once you leave the refugio you start climbing again for about 1 hour crossing rivers and passing through a beautiful forest. The final 45 minutes are quite challenging as you scramble up boulders to the base of the towers.
*We offer a fantastic optional day for those unable to attempt the Towers. It involves heading to another section of the park, enjoying a shorter hike and visiting indigenous hand paintings while still having a view of the Towers.
Full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability/physical strength.

Day 21
Torres del Paine

French Valley Hike (Moderate – Difficult)
The French Valley is the most beautiful valley in the Torres del Paine National Park. It is a steep hike and offers incredible its unique panoramic views of Los Cuernos del Paine, the French Glacier and Lakes Nordenskjold, Pehoé, Scottsburg and Toro.
This walk starts at the same place as the Greys Glacier walk and between the hikes we stay overnight at the Paine Grande Refuge so you do not have to return across the lake to our hotel, effectively allowing you additional time to complete the hikes. This is a very different walk to the Greys Glacier. Slightly longer for the shorter walk and at times the track can be rocky and steep. The entrance to the valley is Italiano Camp (7.5km/4.5mi) and is our short hike stopping point. For those who continue up into the valley to the French Lookout, the trail becomes steep with loose gravel and boulders. With a 300m/1000ft elevation gain you have wonderful views of the valley as well as the amazing view of mountains all around. You can sit, watch and hear ice crack and maybe even see a mini avalanche.
The full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability and physical strength.

Day 22
Torres del Paine Puerto Natales

Greys Glacier trek (Easy-moderate)
Grey Glacier is one of the principal tourist attractions located in Chile. As soon as you get to this place you will be breath taken with the lakes creamy blue colour dotted with icebergs floating and the Patagonia Icefield at the back.
Initially, you will walk through a valley before climbing a steep incline, onto a ridge taking you first through a burnout forest and then into a green live forest.
A little further along the trail brings you to an elevated view of Grey Lake. You hike along an exposed ridgeline before reaching the Grey Glacier Lookout point. (Approx 2.5hrs)
If you are looking for a short hike this would be your turn around point, heading back the same way to the start of the trail. Continuing down another 2 hours further from this point you get to the main Refugio Grey Glacier viewpoint which brings you a lot closer to this magnificent ice sheet. From here you have a magnificent view of the glacier across the water and usually the wonderful blue of the icebergs floating in the lake below. All viewpoints of the glacier are from a front on angle.
The full walk takes approximately 7 - 8 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability/physical strength.

At the conclusion of your full-day trekking, we will head to our hotel in Puerto Natales.

Day 23
Puerto Natales Punta Arenas

After a leisurely morning, we will head off to Punta Arenas, located on the edge of the Straits of Magellan. Tonight you will enjoy a meal prepared by a talented, local chef who takes local regional foods and gives you a taste of the variety of unusual tastes and flavours they have.

Day 24
Punta Arenas Cerro Sombrero

Enjoy your morning exploring Punta Arenas before crossing the Straits of Magellan onto the island of Tierra Del Fuego.

Day 25
Cerro Sombrero Ushuaia

Visit a King Penguin colony on the way to Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world.

Day 26
Ushuaia

Explore Tierra Del Fuego National Park and arrive at ’the end of the road’: Lapatia Bay. Take a cruise on the Beagle Channel to view wildlife and learn of the regions history.

Day 27
Ushuaia Depart

Depart Ushuaia with wonderful memories, and a new respect of our wonderful planet courtesy of Patagonia.

Note: The information regarding itinerary is given in good faith and is subject to change and /or cancellation, due to weather / political and / or country instabilities and general safety / road conditions etc. Any such changes and/or cancellations which are in our control will be decided by the crew and will be discussed with the group beforehand whenever possible.

Day 1
Ushuaia

Your tour begins with a bang in Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your group.

Day 2
Ushuaia

Explore Tierra Del Fuego National Park and arrive at ’the end of the road’: Lapatia Bay. Take a cruise on the Beagle Channel to view wildlife and learn of the regions history.

Day 3
Ushuaia Cerro Sombrero

Visit a King Penguin colony on the way to Cerro Sombrero.

Day 4
Cerro Sombrero Punta Arenas

Crossing the Straits of Magellan, we arrive into Punta Arenas, a place of historical riches; see the mansions and museums of the wealthy wool barons who lived the high life during the boom of the 1890s.

Day 5
Punta Arenas Torres Del Paine

Today we head to South Americas finest National Park, stopping before in the seaside town of Puerto Natales for lunch and supplies. Puerto Natales sitting right on the Ultima Esperanza, the Last Hope Sound and is a major gateway to the fjords of Chile.

Torres Del Paine, South Americas finest National Park and a trekker’s paradise. Declared a Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO in 1978 it is located amongst the mountain range of the Andes and the Patagonian steppe. In this zone, the colossal towers and horns of granite and rock that have given world-wide fame to it, with heights of up to 3,050 meters above the sea level. The park preserves fragile ecosystems, numerous animals like guanacos, condors, ñandues (South American ostrich), foxes and the elusive puma.
The 3 most famous treks inside the park are:

(a) Greys Glacier Hike
(b) French Valley Hike
(c) Los Torres Hike

Instead of walking these continuously, carrying all your hiking gear like on the Big W (a 4-day hike), we break it into three separate walks, covering different sections of the park and hiking an average of 15km (9.5mi) to 20km (12mi) each day. The group is assisted by expert local trekking guides who share information about the environment and guide you through the hiking trails.

If you are not hiking there are other activities available inside Torres Del Paine including fabulous horse riding or a boat trip to view the Grey Glacier. However, please note these activities are subject to availability and minimum numbers and will incur an additional cost. Weather plays a big part in whether these activities will be on offer.

The 3 famous hikes we cover inside the park, these are:
(a) Los Torres Hike
(b) French Valley Hike
(c) Greys Glacier Hike

Instead of walking these continuously, carrying all your hiking gear like on the Big W (a 4-day hike), we break it into three separate walks, covering different sections of the park and hiking an average of 15km (9.5mi) to 20km (12mi) each day. The group is assisted by expert local trekking guides who share information about the environment and guide you through the hiking trails.

If you are not hiking there are other activities available inside Torres Del Paine including tours be a vehicle, boat and on horse-back. However, please note these activities are subject to availability and minimum numbers and will incur an additional cost. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On.

Day 6
Torres Del Paine

Las Torres Hike (Difficult)

Hiking to view the iconic Las Torres (the Towers) is a challenging yet immensely satisfying hike, a highlight for all experienced trekkers. The Towers are the three massive granite columns that encircle the smaller Torres Glacier.

The Towers hike is by far the most strenuous of all the hikes. From the entrance, you have a 1.5km/1mi flat warm-up to the start of the trailhead at Hosteria Las Torres. You start off climbing up the side of one of the mountains, all dirt paths and quite steep in gradient in areas. It then flattens out as you scale the side of the valley with a great river underneath you.

A short downhill section will bring you to the Refugio Chileno. Here you can buy snacks and rest for a while and use the facilities. Although you can see the tips of the towers from the Refugio, this hike is fully appreciated when you are able to hike the full length. Once you leave the Refugio you start climbing again for about 1-hour crossing rivers and passing through a beautiful forest. The final 45 minutes are quite challenging as you scramble up boulders to the base of the towers.

*We offer a fantastic optional day for those unable to attempt the Towers. It involves heading to another section of the park, enjoying a shorter hike and visiting indigenous hand paintings while still having a view of the Towers.

Full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability/physical strength.

Day 7
Torres del Paine

French Valley Hike (Moderate – Difficult)

The French Valley is the most beautiful valley in the Torres del Paine National Park. It is a steep hike and offers incredible its unique panoramic views of Los Cuernos del Paine, the French Glacier and Lakes Nordenskjold, Pehoé, Scottsburg and Toro.

This walk starts at the same place as the Greys Glacier walk and between the hikes we stay overnight at the Paine Grande Refuge so you do not have to return across the lake to our hotel, effectively allowing you additional time to complete the hikes. This is a very different walk to the Greys Glacier. Slightly longer for the shorter walk and at times, the track can be rocky and steep. The entrance to the valley is Italiano Camp (7.5km/4.5mi) and is our short hike stopping point. For those who continue up into the valley to the French Lookout, the trail becomes steep with loose gravel and boulders. With a 300m/1000ft elevation gain, you have wonderful views of the valley as well as the amazing view of mountains all around. You can sit, watch and hear ice crack and maybe even see a mini avalanche.

The full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability and physical strength.

Day 8
Torres del Paine Puerto Natales

Greys Glacier trek (Easy-moderate)

Grey Glacier is one of the principal tourist attractions located in Chile. As soon as you get to this place you will be breath taken with the lakes creamy blue colour dotted with icebergs floating and the Patagonia Icefield at the back.

Initially, you will walk through a valley before climbing a steep incline, onto a ridge taking you first through a burnout forest and then into a green live forest.

A little further along the trail brings you to an elevated view of Grey Lake. You hike along an exposed ridgeline before reaching the Grey Glacier Lookout point. (Approx 2.5hrs)
If you are looking for a short hike this would be your turn around point, heading back the same way to the start of the trail. Continuing down another 2 hours further from this point you get to the main Refugio Grey Glacier viewpoint which brings you a lot closer to this magnificent ice sheet. From here you have a magnificent view of the glacier across the water and usually the wonderful blue of the icebergs floating in the lake below. All viewpoints of the glacier are from a front-on angle.

The full walk takes approximately 7 - 8 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability/physical strength.

At the conclusion of your full-day trekking, we will head to our hotel in Puerto Natales.

Day 9
Puerto Natales El Calafate

Leaving this remarkable region, we cross at a remote border post into Argentina. We continue through the steppe before seeing the beautiful Lake Argentina, the biggest freshwater lake in Argentina. We arrive into El Calafate, our base to visit the impressive Perito Moreno glacier.

Day 10
El Calafate

Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the earths most dynamic and accessible ice fields.

Day 11
El Calafate El Chalten

We will arrive to El Chalten, a small town nestled quietly under the imposing peak of Chalten (also known as Mount Fitzroy). Explore some of the great walking trails El Chalten is famous for. Discover great views of the peaks of Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy as well as spectacular rivers, lakes and forests, and if you lucky watch condors circling high above.

Day 12
El Chalten

A full day hiking in the wonderful Los Glaciares National Park. Enjoy spectacular scenery and obtain views of the magical Cerro Torre or the wonderful Mount Fitzroy. Keep your eyes peeled to spot regional birds including woodpeckers, caracaras and condors.

Day 13
El Chalten Route 40

Enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe as we head north on the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40).

Day 14
Route 40

Visit Cuevas de Las Manos (Caves of Hands) the most ancient native artistic expressions of the subcontinent.

Day 15
Route 40 Coyahique

Cross into Chile and hit the Carretera Austral ’Southern Road’, with a reputation as South Americas best road trip.

Day 16
Coyahique Queulat National Park

Hike in the enchanted forest on our way to Queulat where we spend the night on the edge of the Fiords.

Day 17
Queulat National Park

Get up close and personal to a spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Nature at its finest!

Day 18
Queulat National Park Futaleufu

Enjoy the fabulous scenery of the Carretera Austral and visit the fishing village of Puyuhuapi on the edge of the Chilean Fiords.

Day 19
Futaleufu Bariloche

Cross back into Argentina and arrive in Bariloche, located on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi lake.

Day 20-21
Bariloche

We head out to discover the Nahuel Huapi National Park and you have some free time to enjoy any of the activities on offer including hiking, biking, kayaking and much more!

Day 22
Bariloche Pucon

Sit back and marvel along the scenic seven lakes drive to Pucon, Chile.

Day 23-24
Pucon

Lace up your boots to enjoy some spectacular walks and interact with the native Mapuche people. Take some free time to hike Villarica volcano.

Day 25
Pucon Santa Cruz

Head north to Santa Cruz, located in the heart of Chiles famous Colchagua Valley wine region.

Day 26
Santa Cruz Santiago

Wine tasting and wine making on the Colchagua Valley including a special visit to the Colchagua museum.

Day 27
Santiago Depart

Depart Santiago with wonderful memories, and a new respect of our wonderful planet courtesy of Patagonia.

Note: The information regarding itinerary is given in good faith and is subject to change and /or cancellation, due to weather / political and / or country instabilities and general safety / road conditions etc. Any such changes and/or cancellations which are in our control will be decided by the crew and will be discussed with the group beforehand whenever possible.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 22 nights accommodation in standard hotels and guesthouses
  • Included Copy 20 3 nights in comfortable cabins
  • Included Copy 20 1 night in a hiking lodge with shared bunk beds
Food
  • Included Copy 20 26 breakfasts
  • Included Copy 20 18 lunches
  • Included Copy 20 19 dinners
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Experienced tour leader as well as local guides
  • Included Copy 20 Experienced Driver/Mechanic
  • Included Copy 20 All National Park Entrance fees
  • Included Copy 20 Fully escorted in South America
  • Included Copy 20 Fully escorted in South America in our custom built all-terrain expedition vehicles
Transportation
Expedition Vehicle

Activities

  • Included Vineyard tour & wine making,Colchagua Valley
  • Included Colchagua Museum, Santa Cruz
  • Included Hiking in Pucon region with visit to Mapuche family, Pucon
  • Included 7 Lakes Drive from Pucon to Bariloche
  • Included Scenic Circuito Chico tour, Bariloche
  • Included High Tea at Llao Llao resort, Bariloche
  • Included South Americas Best Road Trip, the Carretera Austral
  • Included Queulat National Park & Queulat Hanging, Glacier Carretera Austral
  • Included Enchanted forest hike,Carretera Austral
  • Included Cuevas De Los Manos, Argentinean Patagonia
  • Included Hiking in El Chalten
  • Included Moreno Glacier day trip including Nautical Safari, El Calafate
  • Included Day Hikes/Excursions, Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Included King Penguin Colony at Useless Bay, Tierra Del Fuego
  • Included Crossing the Straights of Magellan
  • Included Beagle Channel Boat trip, Ushuaia
  • Included Tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park, Ushuaia
Tour on Special!
Click here for dates & prices
Feb - Apr 2020 departures: Please ask for prices! Oct - Mar 2020/21 departures: Book by 28 Feb 2020 and save up to 10%.
Duration

27 days

Price from

$9,925 $8,933 USD

Per person, twin share

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