Patagonia in Depth

From Puerto Varas to Ushuaia OR From Ushuaia to Puerto Varas
  • Argentina
  • Chile
  • Patagonia
  • Expedition
  • Group
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Tour Description

We start our tour just a short flight south from Santiago in Puerto Varas where two magnificent snow-capped volcanoes, Osorno and Calbuco, stand guard over the quaint town and its sparkling Lake Llanquihue.  Discover Chiloe Island and its charming palafitos – colourful houses built on stilts over the water, and its distinctive traditions.  Nature lovers will also delight in the island’s remarkable scenery.  Heading deep down south we will marvel at Southern Patagonia’s icy beauty and its rugged, towering mountains, visiting the famous Torres Del Paine National Park, the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier & imposing Mount Fitzroy.  Trek deep into the mountains, witness jaw-dropping vistas, 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! 

Viva's Best Bits...

Discover two of the region's most stunning natural wonders, the Osorno Volcano and Petrohué Falls.

Visit Angelmó, a small bay at the west end of Puerto Montt, known as a seafood extravaganza.

Explore Torres Del Paine National Park, South America’s finest National Park and a trekker’s paradise.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Puerto Varas

Your tour begins in Puerto Varas, a picturesque town that lies at the southern end of the Lake District under the shadow of the snow-capped Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Puerto Varas sits on the shores of Lake Llanquihue and is known as “The City of Roses”.

Day 2
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 3
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; 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 4
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 5
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.

Day 6
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 7
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. 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 8
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.
Full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On for lighter options.

Day 9
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. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On for lighter options.

Day 10
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 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. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On for lighter options.

Day 11
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 12
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 kilometres 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 13
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 14
El Calafate El Chalten

Today we will arrive to 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 Capri 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 15
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 16
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 17
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 18
Tour ends

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

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 Capri 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.
Full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On for lighter options.

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. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On for lighter options

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. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On for lighter options.

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 sealions, 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 an 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
Tour ends

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

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 16 nights accommodation in standard-superior hotels
  • Included Copy 20 1 night in a hiking lodge with shared bunk beds
Food
  • Included Copy 20 17 breakfasts
  • Included Copy 20 7 lunches
  • Included Copy 20 8 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
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

Activities

  • Included Osorno Volcano and Petrohué Falls
  • Included Todos los Santos Lake
  • Included Chiloe Island
  • Included San Antonio Fort
  • Included Palafito market
  • Included Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Included Las Torres Hike
  • Included French Valley Hike
  • Included Grey Glacier Trek
  • Included Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Included Estancia Nibepo Aike
  • Included Laguna Carpi
  • Included Catamaran trip along the Ushuaia Bay and the Beagle Channel
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Duration

18 days

Price from

$7,405 USD

Per person, twin share

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