Patagonia Encompassed

From Buenos Aires to Ushuaia OR From Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Patagonia
  • Group
  • Walking
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Tour Description

Uncover Patagonia’s magical landscapes on this in-depth small group tour of Patagonia.  We will take in the highlights from the north to the south.  We will travel through the pristine lakes and rivers of the Argentinean & Chilean Lakes Districts; We will discover a land of myths and legends, unique folklore and culinary traditions on Chiloe Island; And we will marvel in Southern Patagonia’s icy beauty and its rugged, towering mountains, visiting the famous Torres Del Paine National Park, the huge Perito Moreno Glacier & the breath-taking Mount Fitzroy.  Hike in the mountains, soak in jaw-dropping views, spot soaring condors, and search for elusive Puma before ending the trip in Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world and the gateway to Antarctica! 

SPECIAL DEPARTURE: 10 Dec 2020 - 02 Jan 2021
Please note this tour will be one day longer because of the Solar Eclipse experience.

Viva's Best Bits...

Torres del Paine - South America’s finest National Park and a trekker’s paradise.

Perito Moreno Glacier - A glacier is more than 3 km's wide and averages 74m in height

Chiloe Island - Meet the indigenous community of Quilque and brows Palafito market.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Buenos Aires

Arrival in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s elegant, historic and cosmopolitan capital. We will be collected and transferred to our tour hotel. This evening we will have a welcome dinner at one of Buenos Aires premier establishments.

Day 2
Buenos Aires

Enjoy a privately guided tour of this fascinating city. The tour will take in the main highlights, but our guide will also help us to really get under the skin of Buenos Aires. In the evening we will enjoy dinner at The Argentine Experience. A unique dining experience which cleverly blends exquisite food and wine, local culture and social integration. We will learn how to make traditional empanadas, even competing against our fellow guests, and the guides throughout the evening will answer questions on Argentine cuisine and culture.

Day 3
Buenos Aires Bariloche

Today we take a flight to Bariloche. San Carlos de Bariloche lies on the southern shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the foothills of the Andes. Its location is stunning, with its Alpine-style architecture, its picturesque lakeside setting overlooked by mountains and forests as well as numerous boutique chocolate shops and St. Bernard dogs, the city has a Swiss-like atmosphere.

Day 4
Bariloche

This morning we leave the city behind to take in the breath-taking views offered by Llao Llao Peninsula’s short circuit tour. Home to a number of protected species as well as the iconic Llao Llao Hotel, the peninsula is nothing short of spectacular. We begin on the southern shore of the famous Lake Nahuel Huapi before heading to Mt Campanario where we take a 10-minute chairlift ride to the top of the mountain. The afternoon is free to enjoy Bariloche town.

Day 5
Bariloche

It’s time for the wonderful 7 Lakes Drive! Today we will drive towards the north, skirting Lake Nahuel Huapi to Villa La Angostura and on to San Martin. This is the famous Seven Lakes Route, on which you will see the beautiful Lakes Espejo, Correntoso, Escondido, Villarino, Falkner, Machónico and Lácar. On the way back to Bariloche we pass by the meeting point of the Traful and Limay rivers, where the spectacular Enchanted Valley is located.

Day 6
Bariloche Puerto Varas

From Bariloche, our journey across the border to Chile will be a combination of scenic bus rides and lake crossings. We take in lovely flower gardens and Swiss-style architecture, lakeside drives and cross the Andes at an altitude of 976m. We will cruise on Lake Todos Los Santos, one of Chile’s most beautiful lakes with spectacular views of Osorno Volcano and the Puntiagudo and Tronador mountain peaks when the weather is clear. Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt lie at the southern end of the Lake District under the shadow of the snow-capped Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes.

Day 7
Puerto Varas

Today we will visit two of the region's most stunning natural wonders, the Osorno Volcano and Petrohué Falls. Despite its low altitude, the upper slopes of Osorno volcano are covered in glaciers and the views from the top are truly spectacular. From here we continue to the Pertohué Falls located deep in the Vincente Perez Rosales National Park. The chute-type, icy cold, blue-green falls stem from the Todos los Santos Lake the next and final stop on today's trip.

Day 8
Puerto Varas Chiloe Island

We sail to Chiloe Island, perhaps encountering sea lions, pelicans and sea birds native to this area. On Chiloe Island, we will head to Ancud city to visit the San Antonio Fort; an historic landmark, built in the late XVIII Century and one of the last Spanish fortifications in Chile.

We continue to Dalcahue to visit an interesting Palafito market that is typical of Chiloe island. The wooden based construction is built over the water with a spectacular view out to sea. We also take in the Handicraft Market and walk to the local World Heritage-listed church.

Day 9
Chiloe Island

Today we head south from Castro and can enjoy the country life as we pass small farms dotted with grazing animals and several beautiful lakes. Arriving at Chiloé National Park we´ll do an easy hike in the forest which is home to important biodiversity of species. After our hike, we´ll visit the indigenous community of Quilque, where we´ll enjoy a local light lunch and then stop at Chonchi to visit its World Heritage wooden church.

Day 10
Chiloe Island Puerto Montt

We depart Chiloe Island by ferry and return to Puerto Montt, stopping at Angelmó, a small bay at the west end of Puerto Montt. Angelmó can be divided into two main areas. The first part is a long street bursting with many stalls selling traditional Chilean handicrafts. The second area is the harbour where we will find the fish market and restaurants. Angelmó is a seafood extravaganza with a large variety of fresh fish and seafood that we can see being taken out of small boats just meters from where we can eat them.

Day 11
Puerto Montt Punta Arenas

Today we will fly south to Punta Arenas, the historic capital of the Magallanes Region and of the Chilean Antarctic. The city has many treasures, including the statue of Magellan at the centre of the Plaza Armas and the iconic Palacio Sara Braun. The city's public cemetery is adorned with beautiful gardens, whilst the Mirador Cerro la Cruz is a lookout point that offers a spectacular panorama of the city's colourful houses.

Day 12
Punta Arenas Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we head towards Torres Del Paine, South America’s finest National Park and a trekker’s paradise. Declared a Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO in 1978 it is located amongst the Andes and the Patagonian steppe. In this area are the colossal towers and horns of granite that have given the park worldwide fame. The park preserves numerous animals like guanacos, condors, ñandues (South American ostrich), foxes and the elusive puma.

Instead of walking these continuously, we break it into three separate walks, hiking an average of 15km (9.5mi) to 20km (12mi) each day. The group is assisted by expert local trekking guides who guide us through the hiking trails.

Other than hiking there are activities available inside Torres Del Paine including tours by vehicle, boat and on horseback. 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 13
Torres Del Paine National Park

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. It takes in dirt paths, some steep in areas, through valleys with a great river underneath, within beautiful forests, river crossings and a final scramble over boulders to the base of the towers.

The full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability/physical strength (alternatively please ask about our Torres Light Add-On).

Day 14
Torres Del Paine National Park

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 panoramic views of Los Cuernos del Paine, the French Glacier and Lakes Nordenskjold, Pehoé, Scottsburg and Toro. Finishing at the French Lookout the trail becomes steep with loose gravel and boulders. With a 300m/1000ft elevation gain, we can sit, watch and hear ice crack and maybe even see a mini avalanche. We stay overnight at the Paine Grande Refuge so we do not have to return across the lake to our hotel. Full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on our ability and physical strength (alternatively please ask about our Torres Light Add-On).

Day 15
Torres Del Paine National Park Puerto Natales

Greys Glacier trek (Easy-moderate)

Grey Glacier is one of the principal tourist attractions located in Chile. The lake’s creamy blue colour dotted with floating icebergs and the Patagonia Icefield at the back is a breath-taking sight. Hiking through a combination of valleys, inclines and forest we reach the remarkable Grey Glacier Lookout point, before hiking down to the Refugio Grey Glacier viewpoint which brings us a lot closer to this magnificent ice sheet. The full walk takes approximately 7 - 8 hours return including time for lunch and depending on ability/physical strength. At the conclusion of our full-day trekking we will head to our hotel in Puerto Natales (alternatively please ask about our Torres Light Add-On).

Day 16
Puerto Natales El Calafate

We cross back into Argentina and continue through the Patagonian steppe, where it is common to see condors flying overhead. As beautiful Lake Argentino, the biggest freshwater lake in Argentina comes into view we know we are nearing El Calafate, our base to visit the impressive Perito Moreno glacier.

Day 17
El Calafate

This morning we will venture into Los Glaciares National Park to see the world-famous Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is more than 3 kilometres wide and averages 74m in height above the surface of the water of Lake Argentino. It is one of the very few glaciers in the world that continues to advance and if we are lucky, we may see the glacier calving as large masses of ice break away from the glacier and collapse into the water. We take a short boat trip to the south wall of the glacier. From the water, we get a feel for the size of this remarkable high wall of ice - a true highlight of Patagonia.

Day 18
El Calafate

Today we will visit Estancia Nibepo Aike which retains the essence of the old Patagonian ranches. It covers over 12,000 hectares at the foot of the Patagonian Andes and is dedicated to the production of cattle and sheep. It is an ideal place to dip into the life of an authentic Patagonian ranch through farm demonstrations and participating in ranch activities as well as optional hikes or horse riding. Before returning to El Calafate, we enjoy a typical Patagonian barbeque.

Day 19
El Calafate El Chalten

Today we will arrive in El Chalten, a small town nestled quietly under the imposing peak of Chalten (also known as Mount Fitzroy). In the afternoon we will take a trek to Laguna Carpi over reasonable slopes and into the Del Salto stream valley, where we will notice more and more Antarctic beech trees. The trail takes in spectacular vistas before reaching beautiful Laguna Capri and then continuing in a loop back to El Chalten.

Day 20
El Chalten

This is a guided hike starting directly from the hotel. We enter the Fitzroy River Valley and continue upstream – heading for its source. Here we encounter the first viewpoint located at the gorge of the Fitzroy River called Casacada Margarita. On a clear day, this panoramic view displays Mt Fitzroy, Cerro Torre, Cerro Solo and the Adela range. We continue along an undulating trail until we reach the Cerro Torre viewpoint, another opportunity to take in the Adela range and other granite needles. Then we head down into a plateau section, through a southern beech tree forest and along a trail to the glacier Lagune at the base of Cerro Torre. Often, we will find icebergs floating in the lagoon. (7-hour return trek).

Day 21
El Chalten Ushuaia

Today we head to the airport for our flight to Ushuaia.

Ushuaia is the most southerly city in the world with a dramatic setting overlooking the Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains. It is a major port for Antarctic bound vessels and an interesting city to explore.

Day 22
Ushuaia

This morning we head to Tierra Del Fuego National Park, home to a wide range of flora and fauna, glaciers, waterfalls, mountains and stunning scenery; and where we can reach the end of the Panamerican Highway. We will take a trip by catamaran along the Ushuaia Bay and the Beagle Channel. We will see the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, and we approach Sea Lion Island where we can view these stately sea mammals. During the trip we will be able to see many species of seabirds like southern giant petrels, black-browed albatross, skuas, southern American terns, gulls and kelp gulls.

Day 23
Tour ends

Departure Transfer: Depart Ushuaia with wonderful memories, and a new respect of our wonderful planet courtesy of Patagonia. Or perhaps join one of our connecting voyages to Antarctica, the frozen continent.

Day 1
Ushuaia

Arrival in Ushuaia. Ushuaia is the most southerly city in the world with a dramatic setting overlooking the Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains. It is a major port for Antarctic bound vessels and an interesting city to explore.

Day 2
Ushuaia

This morning we head to Tierra Del Fuego National Park, home to a wide range of flora and fauna, glaciers, waterfalls, mountains and stunning scenery. We will take a trip by catamaran along the Ushuaia Bay and the Beagle Channel. We will see the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse and Sea Lion Island where we can view these stately sea mammals. We will be able to see many species of seabirds like southern giant petrels, black-browed albatross, skuas, southern American terns, gulls and kelp gulls.

Day 3
Ushuaia El Chalten

Today we head to the airport for our flight to El Calafate and then drive to El Chalten. El Chalten is a small town nestled quietly under the imposing peak of Chalten (also known as Mount Fitzroy). In the afternoon we will take a trek to Laguna Carpi over reasonable slopes and into the Del Salto stream valley, where we will notice more and more Antarctic beech trees. The reaches beautiful Laguna Capri and then continues in a loop back to El Chalten.

Day 4
El Chalten

On a guided hike we enter the Fitzroy River Valley and continue upstream – heading for its source. Our first viewpoint is at the gorge of the Fitzroy River called Cascada Margarita. On a clear day, this panorama displays Mt Fitzroy, Cerro Torre, Cerro Solo and the Adela range. We continue along an undulating trail until we reach the Cerro Torre viewpoint. Then down into a plateau section, through a southern beech tree forest to the glacier Lagune. Often, we will find icebergs here. (7-hour return trek).

Day 5
El Chalten El Calafate

Today we will drive around the beautiful Lake Argentino, the biggest freshwater lake in Argentina, to El Calafate, our base to visit the impressive Perito Moreno glacier.

Day 6
El Calafate

This morning we will venture into Los Glaciares National Park to see the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is more than 3 kilometers wide and averages 74m in height above Lake Argentino. It is one of the very few glaciers in the world that continues to advance and if we are lucky, we may see the glacier calving as large masses of ice break away from the glacier and collapse into the water. We take a short boat trip to the south wall of the glacier - a true highlight of Patagonia.

Day 7
El Calafate

Today we will visit Estancia Nibepo Aike which retains the essence of the old Patagonian ranches. It covers over 12,000 hectares at the foot of the Patagonian Andes and is dedicated to the production of cattle and sheep. It is an ideal place to dip into the life of an authentic Patagonian ranch through farm demonstrations and participating in ranch activities as well as optional hikes or horse riding. Before returning to El Calafate, we enjoy a typical Patagonian barbeque.

Day 8
El Calafate Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we head towards Torres Del Paine, South America’s finest National Park and a trekker’s paradise. In this area are the colossal towers and horns of granite that have given the park worldwide fame. The park preserves numerous animals like guanacos, condors, ñandues (South American ostrich), foxes and the elusive puma.
We break the hike into three separate walks, hiking an average of 15km (9.5mi) to 20km (12mi) each day. The group is assisted by expert local trekking guides who guide us through the hiking trails.

Other than hiking there are activities available inside Torres Del Paine. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On.

Day 9
Torres Del Paine National Park

Las Torres Hike (Difficult)

Hiking to view the iconic Las Torres (the Towers) is a challenging yet immensely satisfying hike. 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. It takes in dirt paths, some steep in areas, through valleys with a great river underneath, within beautiful forests, river crossings and a final scramble over boulders to the base of the towers.

The full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return. * A fantastic optional day is available for those unable to attempt the Towers.

Day 10
Torres Del Paine National Park

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 panoramic views of Los Cuernos del Paine, the French Glacier and Lakes Nordenskjold, Pehoé, Scottsburg and Toro. Finishing at the French Lookout with a 300m/1000ft elevation gain we can sit, watch and hear ice crack and maybe even see a mini avalanche. We stay overnight at the Paine Grande Refuge so we do not have to return across the lake to our hotel. Full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return.

Day 11
Torres Del Paine National Park Puerto Natales

Greys Glacier trek (Easy-moderate)

Grey Glacier is one of the principal tourist attractions located in Chile. The lake’s creamy blue colour dotted with floating icebergs and the Patagonia Icefield at the back is a breathtaking sight. Hiking through a combination of valleys, inclines and forest we reach the remarkable lookout point, before hiking down to the Refugio Grey Glacier viewpoint which brings us a lot closer to this magnificent ice sheet. The full walk takes approximately 7 - 8 hours return.

Day 12
Puerto Natales Punta Arenas

Today we will drive north to Punta Arenas, the historic capital of the Magallanes Region and of the Chilean Antarctic. The city has many treasures, including the statue of Magellan at the centre of the Plaza Armas and the iconic Palacio Sara Braun. The city's public cemetery is adorned with beautiful gardens, whilst the Mirador Cerro la Cruz is a lookout point that offers a spectacular panorama of the city's colourful houses.

Day 13
Punta Arenas Puerto Montt

We depart Punta Arenas and fly to Puerto Montt, the capital of the Chilean Lakes District.
Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas lie at the southern end of the Lake District under the shadow of the snow-capped Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes.

Day 14
Puerto Montt Chiloe Island

We sail to Chiloe Island, perhaps encountering sea lions, pelicans and sea birds native to this area. On Chiloe Island, we will head to Ancud city to visit the San Antonio Fort; a historic landmark that is one of the last Spanish fortifications in Chile.

We continue to Dalcahue to visit an interesting Palafito market. The wooden based construction is built over the water with a spectacular sea view. We also take in the Handicraft Market and walk to the local World Heritage-listed church.

Day 15
Chiloe Island

Today we head south from Castro and can enjoy the country life as we pass small farms dotted with grazing animals and several beautiful lakes. Arriving at Chiloé National Park we´ll do an easy hike in the forest which is home to important biodiversity of species. After our hike, we´ll visit the indigenous community of Quilque, where we´ll enjoy a local light lunch and then stop at Chonchi to visit its World Heritage wooden church.

Day 16
Chiloe Island Puerto Varas

We depart Chiloe Island by ferry and return to Puerto Varas, stopping at Angelmó, a small bay at the west end of Puerto Varas. Angelmó can be divided into two main areas. The first part is a long street bursting with many stalls selling traditional Chilean handicrafts. The second area is the harbour where we will find the fish market and restaurants. Angelmó is a seafood extravaganza with a large variety of fresh fish and seafood.

Day 17
Puerto Varas

Today we will visit two of the region's most stunning natural wonders, the Osorno Volcano and Petrohué Falls. Despite its low altitude, the upper slopes of Osorno volcano are covered in glaciers and the views from the top are truly spectacular. From here we continue to the Pertohué Falls located deep in the Vincente Perez Rosales National Park. The chute-type, icy cold, blue green falls stem from the Todos los Santos Lake the next and final stop on today's trip.

Day 18
Puerto Varas Bariloche

From Puerto Varas, our journey across the border to Chile will be a combination of scenic bus rides and lake crossings. We take in lovely flower gardens and Swiss-style architecture, lakeside drives and cross the Andes at an altitude of 976m. We will cruise on Lake Todos Los Santos, one of Chile’s most beautiful lakes with spectacular views of Osorno Volcano and the Puntiagudo and Tronador mountain peaks when the weather is clear. Arriving in Bariloche early evening.

Day 19
Bariloche

This morning we leave the city behind to take in the breath-taking views offered by Llao Llao Peninsula’s short circuit tour. Home to a number of protected species as well as the iconic Llao Llao Hotel, the peninsula is nothing short of spectacular. We begin on the southern shore of the famous Lake Nahuel Huapi before heading to Mt Campanario where we take a 10-minute chairlift ride to the top of the mountain. The afternoon is free to enjoy Bariloche town.

Day 20
Bariloche

It’s time for the wonderful 7 Lakes Drive!

We will sail to Puerto Blest - the most iconic Nahuel Huapi inlet, then visit explorer Perito Moreno’s grave in the Centinela islet. We experience the magnificent Los Cantaros waterfall and walk through the Valdivian forest to reach Los Cantaros Lake, and a 1500-year-old larch tree native to the area. We will sail back toward Puerto Blest and will have the option to cruise the Frias River which is famous for its green glacial water.

Day 22
Buenos Aires

Enjoy a privately guided tour of this fascinating city. The tour will take in the main highlights, but our guide will also help us to really get under the skin of Buenos Aires. In the evening we will enjoy dinner at The Argentine Experience. A unique dining experience which cleverly blends exquisite food and wine, local culture and social integration. We will learn how to make traditional empanadas, even competing against our fellow guests, and the guides throughout the evening will answer questions on Argentine cuisine and culture.

Day 23
Tour ends

Departure Transfer: Depart Buenos Aires with wonderful memories, and a new respect of our wonderful planet courtesy of Patagonia.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 21 nights accommodation in standard-superior hotels
  • Included Copy 20 1 night in a hiking lodge with shared bunk beds
Food
  • Included Copy 20 22 breakfasts
  • Included Copy 20 11 lunches
  • Included Copy 20 7 dinners
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Experienced tour leader as well as local guides
  • Included Copy 20 All National Park Entrance fees
  • Included Copy 20 Fully escorted in South America
  • Included Copy 7 International Flights
  • Included Copy 7 Travel Insurance
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

Activities

  • Included Hiking trails
  • Included Explore Buenos Aires
  • Included 7 Lakes Drive
  • Included Explore Chiloé National Park
  • Included French Valley Hike
  • Included Las Torres Hike
  • Included Greys Glacier trek
  • Included Horse riding
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

23 days

Price from

$9,720 USD

Per person, twin share

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