Wild Patagonia & Antarctica

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

Patagonia and Antarctica - an epic journey! Explore remote Wild Patagonia on a 27 day small group adventure, fantastic for photography, wildlife, hiking and getting off the beaten track! And combine it with a voyage to Antarctica, the magical white continent!

On this amazing adventure, we will travel from Santiago, south through the heart of the wine country and through the natural splendour of the Chilean and Argentinean lake districts. Discover the Carretera Austral and explore the stunning landscapes of the Futaleufu Valley and the majestic Queulat Hanging Glacier. Journey through the vast Patagonian steppe as we travel down Argentina's famous Route 40. Arriving into remote Southern Patagonian expanse we explore the southern ice fields, the magnificent snow-capped Andes and breath-taking glaciers that epitomise Patagonia travel.  Highlights include El Chalten, Perito Moreno Glacier and hiking in Torres del Paine National Park. Then we arrive in Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world.

From Ushuaia embark on a genuine adventure to the world's most remote wilderness! Our Antarctic expedition focuses on some of the planet's most impressive wildlife and dramatic landscapes and gives you the chance to get up close to species such as minke and humpback whales, fur and leopard seals, thousands of penguins and scores of seabirds including the regal albatross. During your journey, our team of lecturers and guides will share their knowledge of the region's fascinating natural history. This Antarctic cruise is a voyage of intense natural beauty and a chance to be at one with the great outdoors.

Our Patagonia small group tours combine with various Antarctica voyages - please contact us for full details and a range of options.

Viva's Best Bits...

Hike and experience the most stunning landscapes in Torres Del Paine National Park

"Patagonia and Antarctica, a dream combination, perfect for photographers, nature and wilderness lovers - basically anyone! My favourite adventure ever!" Tara, Team Viva

Visit incredible Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the highlights of Southern Patagonia

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

Overnight at Matildas Hotel Boutique

Day 2
Santiago Santa Cruz

An early departure from Santiago towards the south via the Panamerican Highway, we arrive 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.

Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D)

Overnight at Hotel Terravina

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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Malalhue or similar

Day 4
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. We are invited to learn and experience the Ruka of the Mapuche people, the heart of their culture. You will learn about their daily life, gain a wonderful insight into their culture and enjoy a traditional Mapuche meal.

Meals: (B), (L)

Overnight at Hotel Malalhue or similar

Day 5
Pucon

Enjoy a day at leisure here where it is possible to organise numerous outdoor activities such as a one day hike up the Villarica Volcano to reach the smoking crater or take the bus out to Huerquehue National Park and experience the amazing lakes trail. You could enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding, fishing, white water rafting and even sky diving, or simply relaxing by the lake admiring the beauty of your surroundings.

Meals: (B)

Overnight at Hotel Malalhue or similar

Day 6
Pucon Bariloche

Crossing our first border we pass the gigantic Volcano Lanin (3737m) as we make our way through the Lanin National Park. Once we cross into Argentina you’ll see the landscape change. After lunch sit back and marvel along the scenic seven lakes drive to Bariloche, Argentina a resort town nestled peacefully on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi Lake.

San Carlos de Bariloche lies on the southern shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the foothills of the Andes surrounded by mountains and forests. Its location is stunning, surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest National Park in Argentina. With its Alpine-styled 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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Hotel Cacique Incayal or similar

Day 7
Bariloche

A free morning allows you time to head up to Cerro Otto via a gondola where you can sit in the revolving café with a 360 degree view. You can also explore the forest at the top spotting condors and falcons as you go.

In the afternoon, we take time to explore the scenic Circuito Chico in the Nahuel Huapi National Park following the road along the lake. We learn about how Bariloche got started, head up the chairlift to Cerro Campanario, stop at various lookout points and discover a hidden lake. We finish off this lovely afternoon at Argentina’s most famous resort, Hotel Llao Llao, where we will enjoy High Tea over-looking the lake.

Meals: (B), High Tea

Accommodation: Standard room Hotel Cacique Incayal or similar

Day 8
Bariloche

A day at leisure here gives you time to pursue interests such as sailing on the massive Nahuel Huapi Lake, horse riding on a local estancia, taking a tour to see the monstrous Tronodor peak, playing golf or hiking one of the many trails available in the area.

Meals: (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Cacique Incayal or similar

Day 9
Bariloche Futaleufu

Today we pass through the town of Esquel where the “Old Patagonian Express” still runs. We have a short stop in Trevelin, 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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel El Barranco or similar

Day 10
Futaleufu Queulat National Park

Today we turn onto the Carretera Austral (Southern Road) a remote, unspoilt region of intense natural beauty and is often referred to as one of South
America’s best road trips. We stop along the way to take photos and admire the spectacular natural vistas. Wild rivers flow through lush forests, waterfalls tumble along steep cliff faces and the world is reflected in mirror lakes.

At lunch time, we arrive at the coastal fishing village of Puyuhuapi, located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords in a setting of incomparable beauty. In the afternoon, we get the rare opportunity to get up close and personal to a spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Enjoy the park’s trails while being surrounded by virgin evergreen forests made up by species like coihue, tepa, and Chilean rhubarbs. Tonight we spend the night in cabins located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 11
Queulat National Park

In such a remote and rugged area, you might just like to snuggle up in your cabin, but today you’ll have the opportunity to hike to a nearby waterfall, take navigation to a personally owned island in the fjords or try a little sea kayaking (weather permitting).

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 12
Queulat National Park Coyhaique

Our drive starts with a windy 33 curves, climbing up to 500m/1500ft above sea level. As we venture through two more valleys we pass through several small country towns that were created when building the road access through this rugged area.
Following along the Simpson River we pass lush pastures, mirror lakes and snow-capped mountains. We continue onto the Coyhaique Reserve and enjoy a short hike (8km/5mi) to the Lago Verde - Green Lake.
It is a short drive from here to Coyhaique town where you can take a walk along the river and enjoy the viewpoints looking across the valley.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Raices Bed & Breakfast or similar

Day 13
Coyhaique Routa 40

Today we have a wonderful drive through the Cerro Castillo Reserve with a chance to spot the rare Huemul deer. After lunch, we cross 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. Tonight, we stop overnight at a remote Patagonian town.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Cueva de las Manos or similar

Day 14
Route 40

Today we make a special visit to the Cuevas de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) which one of the most important archaeological sites in Patagonia. The caves feature paintings that are the most ancient artistic expressions of the native people of the subcontinent. The paintings were done by the first settlers of these lands, ancestors of the Tehuelche people (or Patagones), and date back to different periods from 9300 to 3300 years ago. The site was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1999. We continue and spend the night in Gobernador Gregores, a small town with links the old caravan trail.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hosteria Ruta 40 or similar

Day 15
Route 40 El Chalten

A morning drive to enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe as we head south. Further on we will arrive in El Chalten, and the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. This ice field is the world’s 3rd largest reserve of fresh water. Enjoy lodgings in our hotel nestled quietly under the imposing peaks of Mount Fitzroy (Chalten), named after the captain of the Beagle, who navigated Darwin’s Expedition of the area in 1834.

In the afternoon, you will have time to take on one of the short hikes available in the area. You can climb up to the eagle and condor lookout points or stroll along the river to a the wonderful Chorrillo waterfall.

Meals: (B), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Lunajuim or similar

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.

*The Lago Torre trail takes us first to a wonderful view point with a picture postcard shot of almost the entire mountain range included Cerro Torre and Mount FitzRoy. From this point, we can also see the Margarita Waterfall and the Rio Fitzroy. Continuing up to a saddleback in the mountain we are gifted with a view of the valley and can easily see the snow-capped Andes range. Descending into the valley and through the high deciduous beech tree forest we hike over an old moraine and finish at Lake Torre which is flanked by the Cerro Torre Glacier.

The complete Cerro Torre hike requires a moderate level of fitness and is a full day of hiking. We offer a shorter hiking plan that enables you to still see the stunning surrounding scenery but you would need to do the full extension to see the Cerro Torre Glacier.

Meals: (B), (L)

Overnight at Hotel Lunajuim or similar

Day 17
El Chalten El Calafate

Spend the morning exploring some of the other great walking trails El Chalten is famous for.
This morning we hike up to Laguna Capri, this is the first 6kms (12kms return) of the Laguna de los Tres trail. It is a continuously ascending trail to the laguna but our local guides will maintain a comfortable pace to enable you to enjoy and stop for photos and information. We will navigate our way around the loop of lookout points giving you a spectacular view of the Mount FitzRoy range. You will also be able to see the Piedras Blancas glacier and taken in the flora and fauna of the park. We return back to El Chalten town and regroup back at our hotel.
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.

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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Del Glaciar or similar

Day 18
El Calafate

The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the earth’s most dynamic and accessible ice fields. Visiting this glacier, we can witness from a series of walkways huge chunks of ice breaking free from the face of the glacier and crashing with a mighty roar into the water.

We set off from town and take the old, unpaved road with no rush and plenty of time for bird and animal spotting. Along the way, we learn about the guachos (cowboys) and life on the estancias before stopping at one of them for a coffee. On our way to the glacier our expert local guide will explain the amazing phenomena that this glacier is famous for and why it is considered stable and not retreating like many other glaciers in the area. If lucky, a highlight is watching and hearing giant chunks of ice plummet into the waters of Lake Argentina.

After a few hours of free time to explore the walkways we transfer to the port and enjoy a one-hour boat ride that brings us 300m (1000ft) from the glacier’s wall. This is a wonderful way to get close to the glacier and appreciate its daunting size and power. After this amazing encounter, we head back to El Calafate town.

Meals: (B), (L)

Overnight at Hotel Del Glaciar or similar

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 note activities are weather dependent. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano or similar

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.

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

*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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano or similar

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 (please note you will take an overnight bag with you (provided) and your main luggage will be stored for you) 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.
Full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability and physical strength.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Lodge Paine Grande (Simple, shared accommodation)

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 ridge line 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 view point 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.
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.

Meals: (B), (L)

Accommodation: Hotel Costaustralis or similar

Day 23
Puerto Natales Punta Arenas

After a leisurely morning we will head off to Punta Arenas, located on the edge of the Straights of Magallen. 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.

Meals: (B), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Plaza or similar

Day 24
Punta Arenas Cerro Sombrero

After a leisurely morning we will head off to Punta Arenas, located on the edge of the Straights of Magallen. 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.

Meals: (B), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Plaza or similar

Day 25
Cerro Sombrero Ushuaia

In the morning, we visit a King Penguin colony, they are usually only found on sub Antarctic islands, such as the remote and difficult to access South Georgia and Falkland Islands. Observing them here is a unique opportunity!

We cross into Argentina and pass Lago Fagnano before heading over the Garibaldi Pass (500m/1500ft) and into the southernmost city in the world of Ushuaia. Now a major tourist town it is a great base for hiking, winter sports and starting point for many cruises to Antarctica.

Meals: (B), (L)

Accommodation: Hotel Tierra del Fuego or similar

Day 26
Ushuaia

In the morning, you will embark the catamaran that will take you through the waters of Beagle Channel. Sailing along Ushuaia Bay you get an excellent panoramic view of the city framed by Andean mountains. Passing by Archipelago Bridges you’ll reach Birds Island, where you will be able to appreciate the vast variety of sea birds that live in the area: cormorants, skuas, petrels, ducks, sea gulls, etc. Close to this place, you will see the Sea Lions and a unique opportunity to watch at the same time sea lions of two distinct species. You will finally get to Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, the iconic symbol of the beagle channel before returning to Ushuaia.

After some free time to grab some lunch, in the afternoon we visit Tierra Del Fuego National Park where you will be able to enjoy the wonderful natural environment with visits to Ensenada Bay, Alakush Visitors Centre including a small museum learn about the indigenous Yamana, see an old beaver dam and finish at Lapataia Bay, ”The End of the Road” where the end of the famous Panamerican Highway is found more than 17000km/11000mi from where it begins.

Enjoy a special farewell dinner at one of Ushuaia’s great restaurants.
Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Hotel Tierra del Fuego or simila

Day 27
Ushuaia

Wild Patagonia tour ends this morning, day at leisure in Ushuaia to prepare for your Antarctica journey

Meals: (B)

Overnight in Ushuaia

Day 28
Embarkation in Ushuaia

Today you will be transferred to the pier to start your Antarctica cruise in the late afternoon. Here you will be welcomed aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

This evening you will enjoy a cruise through the Beagle Channel as you depart for Antarctica. Here you could spot Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels and black-browed albatross. Heading towards the Drake Passage, the next continent to be sighted will be Antarctica.

Overnight onboard Ocean Endeavour or similar

Day 29-30
Drake Passage

It's time to prepare for some potentially rough but exciting seas as your cruise crosses the Drake Passage, named after the explorer Sir Francis Drake.

This is a great time to really settle in, relax, enjoy the cruise, get to know your shipmates and expedition team. There will be many presentations about Antarctica including the history, geology and wildlife.

As the cruise enters Antarctic waters, the temperatures will drop, and the excitement starts to build. At the Antarctic Convergence lookout for a variety of seabirds, whales and other species attracted by the nutrient-rich waters.

There is a chance your Antarctica cruise will reach landfall early evening of day 4 and the true beginning of your Antarctic expedition.

Day 31-34
Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands

These next four days your cruise will explore the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy majestic mountains, glaciers, imposing icebergs, ice-strewn waters and abundance of wildlife.

The core of your adventure will be on the Antarctic Peninsula. Each day will be different; filled with zodiac cruises amongst icebergs, landings to visit penguin colonies, snowshoeing trips (please note there is an extra cost for snowshoeing) and photography workshops with experts. There's plenty of wildlife here with thousands of penguins, seals and the chance to see whales cruising past your zodiac or kayak.

Spend your time exploring local bays, channels and landing sites. We will visit penguin rookeries, seal and bird colonies, whale feeding areas, sites of historical and scientific interest and climb to some of the best vantage points.

The cruise continues through the Antarctica Peninsula providing spectacular views on the ships outer decks.

Day 35-36
Cruising back across the Drake Passage

Hopefully, there will be time and suitable weather conditions to make one final shore landing on Antarctica before we depart, heading out across the Drake Passage. Enjoy your time on deck spotting whales and seabirds with the help of your expedition team. On the evening of day 10, we will hopefully reach the calmer waters of the Beagle Channel.

Day 37
Ushuaia Depart

Your Antarctica cruise is scheduled to arrive in port at Ushuaia in the early hours of the morning. You will have a final breakfast aboard the Ocean Endeavour before your transfer back to the airport

PLEASE NOTE:

• This itinerary runs from Santiago to Ushuaia, or vice versa depending on the date.

• This itinerary is based on our Wild Patagonia small group tour plus our Discover Antarctica voyage, some departure dates combine with longer Antarctica voyages and there are different combinations.
Please ask us for more details on this exciting itinerary!

Day 1
Ushuaia

Explore the Southernmost city in the world set in dramatic scenery surrounded by mountains and connected to the ocean via the Beagle Channel. This is the most famous and must-do departure ports to reach Antarctica on your cruise.

Representatives will be waiting for you at the airport to transfer you to your accommodation where you will stay overnight in Ushuaia. If you plan your trip right, you'll have some free time to explore the museums, shops and restaurants. A Viva recommendation, check out the Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia. It's well worth the visit.

Day 2
Embarkation in Ushuaia

Today you will be transferred to the pier to start your Antarctica cruise in the late afternoon. Here you will be welcomed aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

This evening you will enjoy a cruise through the Beagle Channel as you depart for Antarctica. Here you could spot Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels and black-browed albatross. Heading towards the Drake Passage, the next continent to be sighted will be Antarctica.

Day 3-4
At sea crossing the Drake Passage

It's time to prepare for some potentially rough but exciting seas as your cruise crosses the Drake Passage, named after the explorer Sir Francis Drake.

This is a great time to really settle in, relax, enjoy the cruise, get to know your shipmates and expedition team. There will be many presentations about Antarctica including the history, geology and wildlife.

As the cruise enters Antarctic waters, the temperatures will drop, and the excitement starts to build. At the Antarctic Convergence lookout for a variety of seabirds, whales and other species attracted by the nutrient-rich waters.

There is a chance your Antarctica cruise will reach landfall early evening of day 4 and the true beginning of your Antarctic expedition.

Day 5-8
South Shetland Islands Antarctic Peninsula

These next four days your cruise will explore the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy majestic mountains, glaciers, imposing icebergs, ice-strewn waters and abundance of wildlife.

The core of your adventure will be on the Antarctic Peninsula. Each day will be different filled with zodiac cruises amongst icebergs, snowshoeing trips (please note there is an extra cost for snowshoeing) and photography workshops with experts. There's plenty of wildlife here with thousands of penguins, seals and the chance to see whales cruising past your zodiac or kayak.

Spend your time exploring local bays, channels and landing sites. We will visit penguin rookeries, seal and bird colonies, whale feeding areas, sites of historical and scientific interest and climb to some of the best vantage points. Please be aware; the itinerary will need to be flexible due to unpredictable weather conditions.

The cruise continues through the Antarctica Peninsula providing spectacular views on the ships outer decks.

Day 9-10
Cruising back across the Drake Passage

Hopefully, there will be time and suitable weather conditions to make one final shore landing on Antarctica before we depart, heading out across the Drake Passage. Enjoy your time on deck spotting whales and seabirds with the help of your expedition team. On the evening of day 10, we will hopefully reach the calmer waters of the Beagle Channel.

Day 11
Disembarkation in Ushuaia Start of small group tour

Your Antarctica cruise is scheduled to arrive in port at Ushuaia in the early hours of the morning. You will have a final breakfast aboard the Ocean Endeavour, then a day at leisure in Ushuaia.

Your WIld Patagonia small group tour starts this evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with your group.

Accommodation: Hotel Tierra del Fuego

Meals: (D)

Day 12
Ushuaia

In the morning, you will embark the catamaran that will take you through the waters of Beagle Channel. Sailing along Ushuaia Bay you get an excellent panoramic view of the city framed by Andean mountains. Passing by Archipelago Bridges you’ll reach Birds Island, where you will be able to appreciate the vast variety of sea birds that live in the area: cormorants, skuas, petrels, ducks, sea gulls, etc. Close to this place, you will see the Sea Lions and a unique opportunity to watch at the same time sea lions of two distinct species. You will finally get to Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, the iconic symbol of the beagle channel before returning to Ushuaia.

In the afternoon we visit Tierra Del Fuego National Park where you will be able to enjoy the wonderful natural environment with visits to Ensenada Bay, Alakush Visitors Centre including a small museum, learn about the indigenous Yamana, see an old beaver dam and finish at Lapataia Bay, ”The End of the Road” where the end of the famous Pan American Highway is found more than 17000km/11000mi from where it begins

Meals: Breakfast (B),

Accommodation: Hotel Tierra del Fuego or similar

Day 13
Ushuaia Cerro Sombrero

Our first big drive day sees us head over the Garibaldi Pass (500m/1500ft) and leave the mountains behind us. We pass the massive Lago Fagnano, the heart of the island and cross the border into Chile.

After lunch, we visit a King Penguin colony. King Penguins are usually only found on sub Antarctic islands, such as the remote and difficult to access South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Observing them in Tierra del Fuego, therefore, is a unique opportunity! We continue onto the tiny town of Cerro Sombrero surrounded by the steppe.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hosteria Tunkelen or similiar

Day 14
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 or take on the wind as you walk along the beautiful promenade by the water’s edge. You have the afternoon at leisure to explore the city.

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.

Meals: (B), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Plaza or similar

Day 15
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 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. Weather plays a big part in whether these activities will be on offer. Please ask about our Torres Light Add-On.

Meals: (B), (D)

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano or similar

Day 16
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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Hotel Rio Serrano or similar

Day 17
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. (please note you will take an overnight bag with you (provided) and your main luggage will be stored for you) 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.

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

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Lodge Paine Grande (Simple, shared accommodation)

Day 18
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 ridge line 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 view point 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.

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.

Meals: (B), (L)

Accommodation: Hotel Costaustralis or similar

Day 19
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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Del Glaciar or similar

Day 20
El Calafate

The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the earth’s most dynamic and accessible ice fields. Visiting this glacier, we can witness from a series of walkways huge chunks of ice breaking free from the face of the glacier and crashing with a mighty roar into the water.

We leave early to have the area for just ourselves to enjoy, with no rush and plenty of time for bird and animal spotting, every time you want to stop for pictures you'll be able to. Along the way, we will learn about the guachos (cowboys) and life on the estancias before stopping at one of them for a coffee. On our way to the glacier our expert local guide will explain the
amazing phenomena that this glacier is famous for and why it is considered stable and not retreating like many other glaciers in the area. If lucky, a highlight is watching and hearing giant chunks of ice plummet into the waters of Lake Argentina. After a few hours of free time to explore the walkways we transfer to the port and enjoy a one hour boat ride that brings us 300m (1000ft) from the glacier’s wall. This is a wonderful way to get close to the glacier and appreciate its daunting size and power. After this amazing encounter, we head back to El Calafate town.

Meals: (B), (L)

Overnight at Hotel Del Glaciar or similar

Day 21
El Calafate El Chalten

Today drive around the beautiful Lake Argentina to El Chalten. Enroute we will stop at a historic homestead saloon with some famous outlaw visitors.

We will arrive to El Chalten, a small town nestled quietly under the imposing peak of Chalten (also known as Mount Fitzroy, named after the captain of the Beagle, who navigated Darwin’s Expedition of the area in 1834).

In the afternoon 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 are lucky watch condors circling high above. There are many options available form short walk of less than an hour to longer half day hikes.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Lunajuim or similar

Day 22
El Chalten

A full day hiking in the wonderful Los Glaciares National Park, (*Lago Torre hike is our preferred 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.

*The Lago Torre trail takes us first to a wonderful view point with a picture postcard shot of almost the entire mountain range included Cerro Torre and Mount Fitzroy. From this point, we can also see the Margarita Waterfall and the Rio Fitzroy. Continuing up to a saddleback in the mountain we are gifted with a view of the valley and can easily see the snow-capped Andes range. Descending into the valley and through the high deciduous beech tree forest over we hike over an old moraine and finish at Lake Torre which is flanked by the Cerro Torre Glacier.

The complete Cerro Torre hike requires a moderate level of fitness and is a full day of hiking. We offer a shorter hiking plan that enables you to still see the stunning surrounding scenery but you would need to do the full extension to see the Cerro Torre Glacier.

Meals: (B), (L)

Overnight at Hotel Lunajuim or similar

Day 23
El Chalten Route 40

A free morning allows time for a short hike in the Los Glaciares National Park. After lunch, we continue north on the famous Route 40, paralleling the remarkable Andean mountain range. Enjoy the landscapes of the Patagonian Steppe. We spend the night in Gobernador Gregores, a small town with links to the old caravan trail.

Meals: (B), (D)

Overnight at Hosteria Ruta 40 or similar

Day 24
Route 40

Today we make a special visit the Cuevas de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) which one of the most important archaeological sites in South America. The caves feature paintings that are the most ancient artistic expressions of the native people of the subcontinent. The paintings were done by the first settlers of these lands, ancestors of the Tehuelche people (or Patagones), and date back to different periods from 9300 to 3300 years ago. The site was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1999.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Cueva de las Manos or similar

Day 25
Route 40 Coyahique

Today we cross back into Chile’s remote southern region. The Carretera Austral (Southern Road) is a remote, unspoiled region of intense natural beauty and is often referred to as one of South America’s best road trips. We then continue our journey to Coyhaique where you can walk the viewpoint circuit around this city – considered the “big smoke” of the Carretera Austral.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Raices Bed & Breakfast or similar

Day 26
Coyahique Queulat National Park

A short drive from Coyhaique town is the wonderful Coyhaique Reserve where we will enjoy a morning hike (8km/5mi) to the Lago Verde - Green Lake.
Our afternoon drive is filled with lush pastures, mirror lakes and snow capped mountains as we follow the Rio Simpson.
As we venture through two more valleys we pass through several small country towns that were created when building the road access through this rugged area.
We finish the day with a windy 33 curves as we descend from 500m/1500ft to sea level.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 27
Queulat National Park

In such a remote and rugged area, you might just like to snuggle up in your cabin, but today you’ll have the opportunity to hike to a nearby waterfall, take navigation to a personally owned island in the fjords or try a little sea kayaking

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Posada Queulat Eco Lodge

Day 28
Queulat National Park Futaleufu

Take the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with a spectacular hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. Nature at its finest! We will take a hike to get close to the spectacular Hanging Glacier which is the magnificent centre piece of the park. Enjoy being surrounded by virgin evergreen forests made up by species like coihue, tepa, tepuala, and Chilean rhubarbs.

We will visit the fishing village of Puyuhuapi, located on the edge of the Chilean Fiords in a setting of incomparable beauty.

Continuing, we’ll stop along the way to take photos and admire the spectacular natural vistas. Wild rivers flow through lush forests, waterfalls tumble along steep cliff faces, and the world is reflected in mirror like lakes.
We cross the mighty Futaleufu river and finish this day at a wonderful local lodge in the small town of the same name. Run by a local Chilean family this accommodation gives you a special feeling of this welcoming town.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel El Barranco or similar

Day 29
Futaleufu Bariloche

Crossing back into Argentina we have a short stop in Trevellin, a small town with links to Welsh immigrants. We also pass through the town of Esquel where the famous “Old Patagonian Express” still runs. We’ll weave through the green valley and arrive into the resort town of Bariloche, nestled peacefully on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake.

San Carlos de Bariloche lies on the southern shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi in the foothills of the Andes surrounded by mountains and forests. Its location is stunning, surrounded by the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest National Park in Argentina. With its Alpine-styled 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.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Accommodation: Hotel Cacique Incayal or similar

Day 30
Bariloche

A free morning allows you time to head up to Cerro Otto via a gondola where you can sit in the revolving café with a 360 degree views. You can also explore the forest at the top spotting condors and falcons as you go. In the afternoon we take time to explore the scenic Circuito Chico in the Nahuel Huapi National Park following the road along the lake. We learn about how Bariloche got started, head up the chairlift to Cerro Campanario, stop at various lookout points and discover the hidden lake. We finish off this lovely afternoon at Argentina’s most famous resort, Hotel Llao Llao, where will enjoy High Tea over-looking the lake.

Meals: (B), High Tea

Accommodation: Hotel Cacique Incayal or similar

Day 31
Bariloche

A day at leisure here gives you time to pursue interests such as sailing on the massive Nahuel Huapi Lake stopping at Isla Victoria and visiting the Arrayan Forest, horse riding on a local estancia, taking a tour to see the monstrous Tronodor peak, play golf or walk one of the many walking tracks in the area.

Meals: (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Cacique Incayal or similar

Day 32
Bariloche Pucon

We will drive the spectacular Seven Lakes route enjoying the spectacular mountain scenery and numerous glacially formed lakes for which the region is named. We cross once again into Chile arriving at Pucon, a lovely town located in the heart of Chiles Lake District.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Malalhue or similar

Day 33
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. One of the features of these parks is the millenarian forests of Araucarias, which are the perfect backdrop for the small lakes, ponds and mountains that are scattered throughout the park. In the afternoon, we visit a traditional Mapuche family. We are invited to learn and experience the Ruka of the Mapuche people, the heart of their culture. You will learn about their daily life, gain a wonderful insight into their culture and enjoy a traditional Mapuche meal

Meals: (B), (L)

Overnight at Hotel Malalhue or similar

Day 34
Pucon

Enjoy a day at leisure here where it is possible to organise numerous outdoor activities such as a one day hike up the Villarica Volcano to reach the fiery crater or take the bus out to Huerquehue National Park and experience the amazing lakes trail. You could enjoy kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding, fishing, white water rafting and even sky diving, or simply relaxing by the lake admiring the beauty of your surroundings.

Meals: (B)

Overnight at Hotel Malalhue or similar

Day 35
Pucon Santa Cruz

Journeying north we pass through small villages and past picturesque lakes and mountains to arrive into Santa Cruz, located in the heart of Chiles Wine Region. On the way we will stop from lunch at the impressive Salto de Laja waterfalls.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Hotel Terravina ior similar.

Day 36
Santa Cruz Santiago

Enjoy the Colchagua Valley, famous for producing some of Chile’s finest wines. During this day we will visit a winery, with wine tasting and wine making included. Of interest is the Cabernet Sauvignon variety which thrives during the grape growing season due to the hot sunny climate in this part of Chile, and the Carmenere variety that was thought to be extinct until rediscovered in Chile in 1994.

We also visit the Colchagua Museum, known today as one the most complete Museums in South America. An afternoon drive brings us into Santiago.

Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, lies in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Range. Founded in 1541, Santiago has been Chile’s capital since colonial times. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city and although it features many colonial buildings, it has grown into a modern metropolis and the cultural centre of the country.

Meals: (B), (L), (D)

Overnight at Matildas Hotel Boutique or similar.

Day 37
Santiago

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

PLEASE NOTE:

• This itinerary runs from Santiago to Ushuaia, or vice versa depending on the date.

• This itinerary is based on our Wild Patagonia small group tour plus our Discover Antarctica voyage, some departure dates combine with longer Antarctica voyages and there are different combinations.
Please ask us for more details on this exciting itinerary!

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 26 nights accommodation in standard hotels and guesthouses
  • Included Copy 20 1 night in hiking refuge in Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Included Copy 20 9 nights onboard your Antarctica vessel, the Ocean Endeavour
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Daily breakfast, 19 lunches, 18 dinners in Patagonia
  • Included Copy 20 All meals including snacks whilst aboard the Ocean Endeavor in Antarctica
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Transport in our custom built all-terrain expedition vehicles
  • Included Copy 20 Service of an experienced tour leader as well as local guides throughout
  • Included Copy 20 Experienced Driver/Mechanic
  • Included Copy 20 All National Park Entrance fees
  • Included Copy 20 In Antarctica, all shore excursions, activities and lectures
  • Included Copy 31 We have many Antarctica cruise options connecting with our Patagonia tours, please ask for options
  • Included Copy 31 Photography workshops, Kayaking and camping in Antarctica (additional charge)
Transportation
Expedition Vehicle

Ocean Endeavour | Antarctic Cruise Ship

200 Passengers

Activities

  • Included Visit the Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands
  • Included Beagle Channel Boat trip & Tierra del Fuego National park visit from Ushuaia
  • Included Photograph a wide variety of wildlife such as penguins, whales and seals
  • Included Guided hikes and exclusions in El Chalten, Bariloche, Pucon
  • Included Day Hikes/Excursions Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Included Perito Moreno Glacier day trip including Boat trip
  • Included Travel through Patagonia on the Route 40
  • Included Explore Queulat National Park & Futaleufu
  • Included South Americas Best Road Trip - the Carretera Austral
  • Included Wildlife viewing, zodiac cruises and shore landings in Antarctica
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

37 days

Price from

$18,205 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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