Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- This flexible trip allows you to choose your own excursions daily, to suit your desire and ability
- Start and finish your trip on any day you like
- Available activities range from easier nature walks to demanding treks.
- Stay in sustainable, luxurious yurts that give the adventurous feeling of camping whilst maintaining a homely, comfortable feel
Landmarks visited on Safari in Southern Patagonia
Day 1: Transfer from Punta Arenas, arrival at the Yurt Camp.
The trip begins with you being picked up in Punta Arenas and driven to the luxury yurt camp, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. There is also the option to join the trip at Puerto Natales or take a public transfer in from Calafate. En route we make a couple of stops - First in Puerto Natales, a small, lively town on the shores of "Seno de Ultima Esperanza", where we enjoy a hearty local lunch, and second at Cueva de Milodon, a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890's. The whole journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes to be seen.The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at the yurt camp, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.
Day 2: Choose your itinerary!
Every evening you will sit down with your guides and choose a day trip for the following day that suits your desire, ability and the weather forecast. They will help you to make the most of your safari adventure with a choice of more challenging hikes to all the most popular viewpoints and nature walks in the remoter areas of the park on which you can experience the local culture, see condors, quanacos and pumas if you're really lucky! See below for details of the different excursions.
Final Day: Transfer back to Punta Arenas
We will board an early morning vehicle, sit back, relax, and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas on time to catch the evening flight to Santiago. Those heading to Argentina will board an earlier transfer heading to the border.
Mondays & Thursdays:
- Hiking to Laguna Azul + BBQ
On our way to Laguna Azul we will have the chance to enjoy some marvellous views of the famous Torres, as well as passing through the Pampa Guanaco, where we will be lucky enough not only to spot many elegant guanacos, but also to hop out of the van and walk amongst them. We will continue our drive to Laguna Azul, where a BBQ lunch will have been prepared for us! We will enjoy our lunch looking out over the lake, with a view of the three granite towers in the distance. After lunch, we will walk south, where we can observe the typical fauna of the Torres del Paine National Park, including more guanaco herds and then head back to camp in the van in time for cocktail hour.
Difficulty: Easy, Walking distance: 5km / 3mi, Max altitude point: 200m / 660ft, Estimated walking time: 2h, Timings: 10am - 5pm
- Biking to Laguna Azul + BBQ
Drive to Estancia Laguna Amarga and hop on our mountain bikes & pedal away towards Laguna Azul campsite approximately 20 km to the north east. We cycle past an array of fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos (plus maybe the occasional puma print!), heading up north past the cascading Paine waterfall where we can stop for a break to admire the view. We continue our journey heading past a small canyon in the middle of the Patagonian flora and fauna before looping up towards Laguna Azul. Here we're treated to a Patagonian barbecue, prepared by a local Patagonian chef. Once we've feasted and enjoyed some rest there's time to explore the surroundings and climb to the nearby sightseeing point with a panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres in the distance. The cycle ride back to camp is optional - back at camp the cyclists reunite with their Safari hiking counterparts to enjoy the evening aperitif.
Difficulty: Medium Biking distance: 5km / 3mi, Max altitude point: 200m / 660ft, Estimated biking time: 2h, Timings: 10am - 5pm
- Trek Towers Base
Set off towards Hosteria Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. Our big challenge comes as we climb the steep moraine, a mass of boulders leading us towards one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, rising majestically before us, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch? After feasting on the view and our picnic, we backtrack along the same trail through Ascencio Valley and return to Camp.
Difficulty: Demanding, Trek distance: 22km / 14mi, Max altitude point: 914m / 3000ft, Estimated walking time: 9h, Timings: 8am - 5pm
Tuesdays & Fridays:
- Drive & Walk Western Lakes, Navigation Glacier Grey
We start off driving across the Park, admiring the view of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, and Los Cuernos with its black, granite horn-like spires. We stop at various viewpoints on the way to enjoy observing and photographing herds of guanacos, Andean condors and interesting flora. We drive down past Pehoe lake and enjoy a short scenic walk along the tip of its southern shore, with views of the vast Toro lake. From here we drive up to Grey Lake and wander along the beach on the shores of the glacial water. Here we enjoy a tasty box-lunch by the lake before embarking on a boat ride across the icy waters to the towering blue walls of Glacier Grey. After this incredible sight of the glacier up close, we drive back to camp. (*During Shoulder Season (September, October, April and May) the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled as the boat requires a minimum of 8 passengers to sail, which might not be reached in some cases. If this is the case we will plan an alternative excursion in the Park.)
Difficulty: Easy, Walking distance: 0.8km / 0.5mi, Max altitude point: >200m / >660ft, Estimated walking time: 0.45h, Timings: 10am - 8pm
- Drive & Walk Western Lakes, Hike Pingo Trail
We will begin the day driving across the park, admiring the view of Paine Grande's snowy peaks and the black, granite, horn-like spires of Los Cuernos. As we walk along the shores of the stunning Lake Pehoe, we will see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls where the water from Lake Nordenskjold cascades down into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until we reach its spectacular lookout point. We will then return to Lake Pehoe and board a van which will drive us south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey. It is here where we will begin our Pingo Trail, a delightful route taking us through a magical Magellanic forest abundant in diverse foliage and Patagonian fauna. We will stop at a small sightseeing point with splendid views of the Massif's west face and then walk back to Grey Beach to meet our fellow travelers coming back from the boat ride. Together, we all head to Ecocamp to enjoy a relaxed evening.
Difficulty: Demanding, Biking distance: 14km / 9mi, Max altitude point: >200m / >660ft, Estimated biking time: 4h, Timings: 10am - 8pm
Wednesdays & Saturdays:
- Salto Grande, Cuernos viewpoint & Fauna Trail
After breakfast we head out in the van westwards, taking a route along the southern shore of Nordenskjold lake. Our first stop is the magnificent Salto Grande waterfall, with its impressive cascading waters falling from Nordenskjold lake into Pehoe lake. From here it's a short walk to Cuernos viewpoint, with a panoramic view of the mighty Horns. From here we drive back eastwards along the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake until we reach the starting point of the Fauna Trail. As we walk northwards along the trail we see park fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos and maybe the occasional puma print! We pass by Goic lagoon and after an approximate 5 km relaxed walk we reach the Laguna Amarga ranger station where we're picked up and driven back to camp.
Difficulty: Easy, Walking distance: 6km / 4mi, Max altitude point: >200m / 660ft, Estimated walking time: 5h, Timings: 10am - 6pm
- Navigation Pehoe Lake & hike French Valley
We will be driven to Pudeto dock, located on the shores of Pehoe Lake. We will board the catamaran that will take us to the north-western sector of the Lake where we will begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail that leads to the very heart of the Paine Massif. How far in we go depends on our group's trekking rhythm. A swifter walk will lead us to the hanging bridge over the French River, located at the foot of the southeast face of the Massif, where we will be treated to fantastic views of the valley. We will then continue to ascend towards the upper section of the valley where we will be able to marvel at the extensive mass of the valley's geological formations. After our upward trek, we will pause for a picnic and relax a while. This day's adventure will end as we descend through an undulating terrain of mixed grassland and light forest which will take us to Refugio Paine Grande, located on the peaceful shores of Lake Pehoe. From here, we will board the catamaran, which will take us back to Pudeto, where we will be collected and transported back to camp. (During September, October, April and May (shoulder season) the catamaran service will be out of operation. Therefore, the excursion will be replaced by a journey from Estancia Lazo to Weber Bridge)
Difficulty: Demanding, Distance: 21km / 13mi, Max altitude point: >200m / >660ft, Estimated biking time: 8h, Timings: 8am -8pm
- Lake Sarmiento and Lake Sarmiento Chico
This easy-going, predominantly flat trek boasts stunningly diverse natural scenery and offers the chance to feast your eyes upon a startlingly blue lake, which is secluded from all the other water systems of the area. There will be ample opportunity to spot many graceful guanacos and great grebes along the way. First, we will examine the geology of the area's turbidite rock folds, before descending the isthmus which separates Lake Sarmiento from Lake Sarmiento Chico (the two lakes were once a single mass of water), walking along a slight slope, and ambling beside the eastern edge of Lake Sarmiento Chico. We will eventually arrive at an impressive bay on the western side of Lake Sarmiento, admiring a breath-taking view, which could easily be mistaken for a piece of art! We will also be able to study the area's characteristic calcium deposits here. Then begins our ascent back to the van, and along the way we will stumble across an awe-inspiring, panoramic vista of Lake Sarmiento from its western shore, looking towards its eastern coast glimmering on the horizon.
Difficulty: Easy, Walking distance: 4km / 3mi, Max altitude point: >200m / >660ft, Estimated walking time: 3h, Timings: 10am - 4pm
- Hike To Seron Woods
The trek to Seron means doing the first part of the classic Paine circuit, bordering the eastern side of the Massif. After breakfast, we head off on foot along the trail leading us north of EcoCamp, through plains home to Lenga forests and other flora, and with great views of Laguna Azul and Sierra Masle. Hopefully we encounter the park's animals that roam around this sector, in their quest to avoid the more populated areas of the Park. Our guide will introduce us to the different flora and native vegetation in the magical Seron woods before we break for lunch. We continue to admire the scenery as we walk back to camp in time for cocktail hour.
Difficulty: Demanding, Biking distance: 7km / 4mi, Max altitude point: >200m / >660ft, Estimated biking time: 5h, Timings: 10am - 4pm
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
This trip can depart on any day between Sept 12th 2016 and May 7th 2017 for a stay of 3 to 7 nights.
Prices vary according to:
Time of year: Low, Shoulder, High or Peak season
Type of Dome: Standard or Suite
Number of Nights: 3 to 7
Occupancy: Single or Double
Please contact us for full details of pricing.
Prices below are per person, Indicative for a 5 day/4 night stay in a standard dome with double occupancy.
|Start date||Price (pp)|
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in CLP (CLP) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost CLP926,400
Pick up and drop off available at Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales and El Calafate at the start and end of the trip.
NB. During May, there are no boat trips, and only suite dome accommodation is available.
- Accommodation in Standard or Suite Domes
- Public bus between Calafate-Puerto Natales if starting/ finishing in Calafate
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- All ground transport indicated in the itinerary
- English speaking guide (ratio 1:12, max group size 16)
- Park fees for Cueva del Milodon & Torres del Paine National Park
- Boat ticket for crossing Lago Grey/ Lago Pehoe
- Voluntary tipping of guides
- Soft drinks/ snacks not served with meals
- Personal Items