Patagonian Odyssey

An upmarket cultural and scenic group tour adventure from Santiago to Buenos Aires. Along the way visit the stunning landscapes of Torres del Paine, the dynamic Perito Moreno Glacier and Ushuaia in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Always accompanied by a local tour leader, enjoy seeing the highlights of Patagonia at a relaxed pace. An upmarket cultural and scenic group tour adventure from Santiago to Buenos Aires. Along the way visit the stunning landscapes of Torres del Paine, the dynamic Perito Moreno Glacier and Ushuaia in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Read more...
14 Days
$5,780

Patagonian Odyssey - 14 - $5,780

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago; Walking tour of the city

Day 2: Optional visit to Valparaíso or vineyards 

Day 3: Flight to Punta Arenas 

Day 4: Travel to Torres del Paine National Park

Days 5 & 6: Explore Torres del Paine National Park

Day 7: Enter Argentina; Drive to El Calafate

Day 8: Perito Moreno Glacier

Day 9: Optional icefields boat trip or estancia (ranch) visit

Day 10: Flight to Ushuaia

Day 11: Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park

Day 12: Optional Estancia Harberton visit; Flight to Buenos Aires

Day 13: Buenos Aires city tour; Optional tango show

Day 14: Depart

Start from Santiago and end at Buenos Aires

Landmarks visited on Patagonian Odyssey

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and walking tour of Santiago 

If arriving on an international flight, you will be met at the airport by the tour leader or a local representative. You will have time to relax before looking around Santiago and visiting a few of the many museums, markets and parks of this cosmopolitan capital. Santiago is in a broad valley below the snow-capped Andes.

For panoramic views over the city, you should visit Cerro Santa Lucia, a central, rather romantic park. Other panoramic vistas can be found by taking a cable car to the summit of San Cristobal, where you can join Chilean families wandering along the leafy paths.

After this, perhaps have a beer at one of the pavement cafés in Bellavista – the Italian district with narrow streets dotted with bars and shops selling local lapis lazuli (only Chile and Afghanistan produce the stones in commercial quantities).

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cumbres Lastarria, or equivalent 


Day 2: Optional visit to Valparaíso or vineyards

Today there is an optional excursion to Chile's second city, Valparaíso. This lively seaport is built on a series of hills which form a backdrop to the wide bay. There are also views over the coastal resort of Vina del Mar.

Take a stroll through the steep, winding streets and among the brightly-coloured colonial homes built for 19th-century British and German merchants, or take a ride in one of the wooden funiculars linking the cliff-top communities.

If there is enough time, you could visit one of the vineyards close to Santiago, to sample some fine Chilean wines.

Length of excursion: 2hrs by bus 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cumbres Lastarria, or equivalent 


Day 3: Flight to Punta Arenas 

Fly south to Punta Arenas in the south of Chile. On a clear day you'll have views from the plane of the southern icecap, its fjords, volcanoes and glaciers. Approaching Punta Arenas you'll see the rust-brown Patagonian steppe, pitted with small lakes stretching out towards the Straits of Magellan. Across the other side of the water rise the mountains of the windswept island of Tierra del Fuego.

Punta Arenas was an important trade centre with British influence before the opening of the Panama Canal turned it into a mere backwater. It was only briefly that the area's fortunes were revived during a brief gold rush. To compound this the local sheep farms never recovered from the collapse of the price of meat and wool. Sadly no pure-blooded indigenous people live here – despite surviving the harsh Antarctic climate for centuries they were annihilated by the diseases carried by sailors and missionaries at the turn of the 20th century. 

Length of excursion: 4 hours by plane

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Cabo de Hornos  


Day 4: Travel to Torres del Paine National Park

There will be an early morning departure for the Torres del Paine National Park. On the way we'll stop at the Milodon Cave, made famous by explorer Bruce Chatwin. The scenery is on this route is stunning – the granite massif of the Cuernos, milky lakes dotted with icebergs and condors soaring above us.

You'll stay in one of the cosiest and well-located lodges within the park on the shores of Lake Grey from where there are views of the towering granite massif. You'll have enough time here to explore extensively on foot and by boat and to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the park – one of South America's most acclaimed attractions. There are numerous superb hiking trails alongside the glacial lakes which afford close-up views of the rock towers and needles rising 3,000m into a tempestuous sky.

Length of excursion: 3.5 hour private vehicle transfer

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres, or equivalent 


Days 5 & 6: Explore Torres del Paine National Park

Keen walkers might enjoy hiking to Glacier Grey, or to the base of the monumental vertical slabs known as the Torres (Towers). There are also plenty of more leisurely trails through the forest from which you can see other ice and wind-carved glacial formations. If the weather is good there will be the option of a boat trip on Lake Grey towards the ice fields and precipitous hanging glaciers.

For something different, you could take a horse riding trip amidst picturesque scenery, guided by local horsemen.

Length of excursion: 8 hour (return) hike 

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres, or equivalent 


Day 7: Enter Argentina; Drive to El Calafate 

On today's drive to El Calafate we'll pass the waterfall of Salto Grande and Laguna Amarga as we exit the park and head across the Patagonian steppe towards Argentina. This is a bleak and sparsely-populated landscape, but look out for guanacos, rheas, and flamingos, as well as for spectacular views over Lake Argentino, the largest in the country.

It is on the shores of this lake that El Calafate, your next port of call, is located. Although this is still a small town it's growing fast. You'll find it full of hotels, cafés, tour agencies, delicatessens, sweet-shops and other roaming travellers. Despite there not being much to do in town, it's a pleasant place to unwind and serves as a good base for excursions into the area.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Kosten Aike


Day 8: Perito Moreno Glacier 

From El Calafate you take an excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier. This is still one of the most dynamic glaciers in the world. The road to the glacier follows the lake before turning up a forested valley, dense with beech and birch trees, then continuing past a series shimmering lagoons bordered with bright crimson and heather lichens.

The park authorities have been diligent about keeping the site around the Perito Moreno Glacier as natural as possible, and therefore there are no shops or cafés near the wooden viewing platforms which are cut into the cliff. From these platforms you will be in awe of the cliff-edge of the glacier, towering 60m above the surface of the water.

If you're lucky, after a time you'll hear the unforgettable sound of the glacier calving a vast chunk of ice the size of a tower block and sending it smashing down into the lake, where it divides and floats away as an iceberg.

Length of excursion: 2 hours by private transfer

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Kosten Aike


Day 9: Optional icefields boat trip or estancia (ranch) visit

You could spend the day relaxing, or choose an optional full-day trip to further explore the icefields. On this excursion you'll pass the still waters of Lake Onelli, peppered with icebergs and backed by dense forest and impressive snow-capped mountains. This full-day excursion, getting you up close to immense glaciers, is undertaken in a comfortable, large boat/catamaran with on-board café and WC facilities and guides who relay fascinating information relating to the world's third-largest ice-cube: the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. 

Alternatively, take a tour of a local estancia go horse riding or even drive 3.5hrs down the road to El Chaltén, in the shadow of the Fitzroy range and a magnet for hikers and climbers.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Kosten Aike


Day 10: Flight to Ushuaia 

From El Calafate you'll fly to Ushuaia – the world's southernmost city and is located at the base of a hand of jagged peaks. Being so isolated it was ideally situated for the penal colony that was built here at the turn of the 20th century; now a museum and not to be missed. Essentially, it was a sleepy frontier town until the late 1970s when it was turned into a tax haven to encourage settlers. Nowadays immigration has slowed as the tax status is being normalised, but the results of the previous prosperity are obvious with chalet-style residences, modern hi tech factories, shopping malls and duty free shops. This iconic city is the gateway to Antarctica and boasts an enormous array of attractions for any traveller. The hiking, unique wildlife and Beagle Channel are all stunning.

Either today or tomorrow you'll have the opportunity to sail the Beagle Channel on a small motor boat for approximately 4hrs, as your guide shows you some of the marvellous bird life and marine mammals, such a the South American sea-lion, which inhabit these rugged coasts.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Altos Ushuaia, or equivalent


Day 11: Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park

Today there is a half-day trip to the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park and Lapataia Bay with its bright green beech forests, shimmering lakes and fjords that are home to water birds and beavers. Take a walk along winding, narrow hillside paths for fantastic views over the Beagle Channel, and learn about the evolution of the natural and human landscapes.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: Hotel Lennox


Day 12: Optional Estancia Harberton visit; Flight to Buenos Aires

For those interested in the region's history a visit Estancia Harberton (a half-day excursion, November to February only) is a must. It's a beautiful 85km journey through Tierra del Fuego's mountainous interior to the ranch, the first on the island, established by English missionaries. Their descendants still operate this picturesque, windswept sheep farm. Lucas Bridge's evocative book 'The Uttermost Part of the Earth' details the history of the estancia, founded by his father, and the daily life of the now-extinct Yamana and Ona people.

These days the ranch earns more from visitors than sheep-rearing. (Please note that this excursion is dependent on the time of the flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires as schedules change frequently).

You'll fly to Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, a cosmopolitan city with plenty to explore.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Recoleta Grand


Day 13: Buenos Aires city tour; Optional tango show

Today there will be time to walk the lanes and boulevards on your guided city tour and also an opportunity to shop, have a drink and a pastry in a tea-room or explore one of the many markets in the city. It's also fun to promenade up and down the quay in the city's tastefully renovated port district, Puerto Madero, which has trendy loft apartments, a string of open air restaurants and a small marina.

To escape the busy city, you can travel by catamaran across the River Plate border to Colonia in Uruguay (don't forget your passport) where you can wander cobbled streets and admire the squat colonial houses from the top of the lighthouse, and have a glass of wine or lunch in the yacht club.

Wherever you are on your last day, if you are an enthusiastic carnivore make sure you have a steak, often very much cheaper than in the UK. Finally you could celebrate the end of your trip by catching a tango show (optional excursion) for a fantastic finale to your trip of a lifetime to Patagonia.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel Recoleta Grand


Day 14: Departure 

Depart for your international flight or trip extension.

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The base price of GBP £4,161 per person is based on two people sharing a room


2021

2022

Start date Price (pp)
October 2021
17-Oct-2021 $5,780* Provisional Date Enquire
November 2021
7-Nov-2021 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
28-Nov-2021 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
December 2021
12-Dec-2021 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
January 2022
13-Jan-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
February 2022
13-Feb-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
March 2022
10-Mar-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
27-Mar-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
October 2022
16-Oct-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
November 2022
6-Nov-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
27-Nov-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire
December 2022
10-Dec-2022 $5,898 Provisional Date Enquire

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in GBP (£) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost £4,161

Additional Notes

Single supplement – The price of a single supplement, to guarantee your single room, is GBP £1,284. You will not be charged a single supplement if you are willing to share with another same-sex solo traveller, if there is one in the group.

Internal flight baggage allowance – For all internal flights the check-in baggage allowance might be as low as 15kg per person, depending on the airline. Additional costs might apply for anything over this allowance, although the rate is very modest.

Includes

  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 1 picnic lunch (day 11)
  • Accommodation: 14 nights in a mix of mid-range and upper mid-range hotels and lodges
  • Bilingual tour leader throughout
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Santiago: Walking tour 
  • Torres del Paine: Salto Grande Falls  
  • El Calafate: Perito Moreno glacier
  • Ushuaia: Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Ushuaia: Beagle Channel boat trip
  • Buenos Aires: city tour

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Any extra/optional excursions (budget around USD $550 if you are planning to do all)
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?