Patagonia Parks and Wildlife

Experience everything Patagonia has to offer over 3 weeks, including Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National parks, the Lake District, Tierra del Fuego & the Beagle channel. Staying in hotels and lodges and with moderate walks for people of a range of fitness levels and experience.

18 Days

$7,074

Itinerary Map

Start from Buenos Aires and end at Buenos Aires

Landmarks visited on Patagonia Parks and Wildlife

Operator's Itinerary

Trip Summary

- Transfer from Trelew airport to Puerto Madryn, via Punta Tombo Penguin Reserve

- Tour the Valdez Peninsula, travelling through the Carlos Ameghino Isthmus, Puerto Piramides, and Caleta Valdes, Punta Cantor Reserve

- Fly to Ushuaia and explore the city

- Cruise the Beagle Channel

- Hike in the Tierra del Fuego National Park

- Fly to El Calafate and explore the city

- Tour the Perito Moreno Glacier

- Visit El Chalten

- Hike to the bases of Mount Fitzroy and Cerro Torre

- Travel across the pampas to Puerto Natales and explore the town

- Enter Torres del Paine National Park by boat, cruising up the Serrano River, passing Balmaceda Glacier

- Discover the Park on several hikes

- Travel to Petrohue

- Journey by boat to Bariloche

- Hike around Mount Tronador

- Fly to Buenos Aires

Trip Details

Day 1: Arrive Trelew, drive to Puerto Madryn

Arrive Trelew, today a group transfer is provided from Trelew airport to our hotel in Puerto Madryn. On the way you’ll visit Punta Tombo Reserve, the largest Magellan penguin colony on the continent. During the 180 km journey your guide will inform you about the particular features of the Magellan penguin and will enrich your knowledge of the Patagonian landscape with explanations about the geography and different species of animals and plants that you’ll appreciate along the way. On arrival to Punta Tombo we’ll take a walking tour, on defined paths, through the reserve and around the nests of more than 500,000 Magellan penguins that gather in this colony every year. It’ll allow you to get up close with the penguins and appreciate their curious nature. You’ll also be able to see many others species of sea birds that build their nests in this colony; seagulls, petrels, Antarctic pigeons, skuas, vapor ducks, chorlos, cormorants and possibly even some of the dolphins that occasionally approach the bay searching for fishes. It’s important to remember, that in this natural reserve where the animals live freely in their habit, no shouting, touching or feeding is permitted. You must also be careful not to leave the defined paths. We continue to Puerto Madryn where you’ll check into your hotel for the next two nights accommodation. Overnight Puerto Madryn. Meals: NIL

Day 2: Valdez Peninsula

Today we spend a full day visiting the Valdez Peninsula which due to its geography, flora and fauna, and features that turn it into a paradise of nature has been recently declared Mankind’s Heritage. Departing from Puerto Madryn we head towards Puerto Pirámide, passing through the Carlos Ameghino Isthmus, a privileged place where you can see both the New and San José gulfs simultaneously. In Puerto Pirámides we have a brief tour around the only inhabited center of the peninsula before continuing towards Caleta Valdés, a strange geological formation that runs parallel to the coast. This is a unique area not only for its geography but also for its fauna - in Punta Cantor Reserve (situated at the mouth of this inlet) you’ll find 3000 kg sea elephants laying on the beach who can dive down to 1000 meters. From the inlet you will also enjoy the most imposing sights of the Mar Argentino. We then continue towards Punta Delgada Lighthouse, a historical monument of nature, before heading back to Puerto Madryn. On the way back you’ll get to experience the Salinas Grande y Chica (Grand and Small salt pits) with depressions of 35 meters below sea level. Here you’ll learn about how they extract the salt from the salt pits and will also get to see wild animals such us; maras (Patagonian hare), guanacos, foxes and skunks. Overnight Puerto Madryn. Meals: B

Day 3: Fly from Trelew to Ushuaia

This morning we drive to the airport in Trelew for our flight to Ushuaia. On arrival to Ushuaia you’ll be transferred to your hotel where you’ll be based for the next few nights. Ushuaia, at 55 degrees south of the equator, is the most southerly town in Argentina. Its steep streets overlook the green water of the Beagle Channel, named for the ship in which Darwin sailed in 1832, on Captain Fitzroy’s second expedition. The afternoon is at leisure. Overnight Ushuaia. Meals: B

Day 4: Beagle Channel cruise

This morning we take a cruise along the famous Beagle Channel (named after Charles Darwin’s famous vessel) visiting the Isla de pajaros - a haven for many southern ocean and coastal birds. We also get a chance to see some of the famed lobo marino (the southern sea-lion). Today we’ll also take a 60 kilometre drive from Ushuaia to the famous Harberton Estancia. In an area originally settled by Welsh farmers this classic estancia (ranch) is beautifully set on a rise above the channel. It is really a living museum and a chance for us to see life on a classic southern ranch. Overnight Ushuaia. Meals: B

Day 5: In Tierra del Fuego

Today we have the opportunity of undertaking a half day trek, in the well known walking area, of the Tierra Del Fuego National park which is set on the bay to the west of Ushuaia. This gives us a chance to walk among the hills and beech forests of the ‘end of the earth’. We’ll have a picnic lunch before heading back to Ushuaia where the late afternoon is free perhaps to visit the Museo Territorial Fin del Mundo. Overnight Ushuaia. Meals: B, L

Day 6 :Fly from Ushuaia to Calafate

This morning you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight to El Calafate. On arrival to Calafate you’ll be transferred to your hotel for the next two night’s accommodation. This township, founded in 1927, is best known as the ‘national capital of the glaciers’ and is the gateway to the Patagonian Los Glaciares National Park including the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the town or walk down to Lake Argentino to watch the waterbirds. Overnight Calafate. Meals: B

Day 7: View Perito Moreno Glacier

Today we head towards the Andes, to the edge of the icecap, for a full day tour of the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier that advances across Lago Argentino. We spend several hours wandering the many paths that offer different vantage points of this calving glacier. The glacier is 4 km wide and 70 m high and descends to the surface of the lake, almost cutting the lake in two. Occasionally massive pieces break off and fall into the lake becoming icebergs and creating huge waves in the process. The groans and creaks of the active glacier precede dramatic falls of ice from its face. We return late afternoon to our hotel in Calafate. Overnight Calafate. Meals: B

Day 8: Drive to El Chalten

This morning we depart Calafate for the drive across Patagonia and the arid Argentine pampas to El Chalten (approx 4 hours). The village of El Chalten is in the heart of Los Glaciares National Park and it’s from here that we make our day trips. The afternoon is at leisure before we enjoy dinner together this evening. Overnight El Chalten. Meals: B, D

Days 9-10: Day walks to view Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre

Over the next two days we include day walks to the base camp of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre. Mount Fitzroy is found at the northern end of the park and is part of a range of bizarre peaks including the needle like rock pinnacle of Cerro Torre. For a climber it looks to be one of the most unclimbed peaks in the world - in fact it was only scaled for the first time in 1974. To the south runs a great chain of massive glaciers that basically follow the line of the Chile/Argentina border. The dramatic rock spires beckon and our days here will be a highlight of the itinerary. The beautiful valleys hold crystal clear streams and are home to a multitude of bird life. During the short summer the beech trees and the flowers bloom profusely and we are here at the best time to enjoy it. Overnight El Chalten. Meals: B, L, D

Day 11: Drive across the pampas to Puerto Natales

Today we leave El Chalten and drive across the pampas to Puerto Natales. Set on the shores of Seno Última Esperanza, this city is the gateway to the famous Torres del Paine National Park. The afternoon is at leisure and this evening you may like to sample king crab by the waters edge in one of the seafood restaurants. Overnight Puerto Natales. Meals: B

Day 12: To Torres del Paine by boat on Serrano River, via Balmaceda Glacier

This morning we leave Puerto Natales and journey towards Torres del Paine National Park and its fabulous scenery. We board a boat and travel down the fjord, pausing at the Balmaceda Glacier en- route. We then change onto zodiacs and continue along the Serrano River before reaching Torres del Paine. Overnight in Torres del Paine. Meals: B, L, D

Days 13-14: In Torres Del Paine, day walks

Over the next few days we plan to view the highlights of the park on foot. The trekking level will depend on the group’s level of fitness, bearing in mind that many of the highlights of this park, including the base of the towers, require a 6-7 hour walk (round trip). There are other walks we can choose which are easier and provide excellent views of the park, however as with any trek, the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the day. The whole experience of trekking in Patagonia will spoil you – the scenery is really awe-inspiring. Blue glacial and ice-berg strewn lakes combine with dramatic granite peaks and snow covered mountains which lead to the Patagonian ice-cap. The next two nights are spent in Torres del Paine. Meals: B, L, D

Day 15: To Punta Arenas, fly to Puerto Montt, on to Petrohue

This morning we leave Paine National Park and drive south to Punta Arenas. We stop for lunch along the way before reaching the airport where we take a flight to Puerto Montt. On arrival to Puerto Montt we are transferred to Petrohue. Petrohue is located on the shores of Todos los Santos, a deep crystaline emerald lake with the stunning backdrop of snowcapped Volcano Osorno. Tonight we enjoy an evening meal together in our lodgings. Overnight Petrohue. Meals: B, L, D

Day 16: Lakes Crossing to Bariloche

Today we will enjoy a full day boat journey from Petrohue in Chile to the shores of Bariloche in Argentina. Departing from the Petrohué Pier we board the ferry for the crossing of Todos los Santos Lake. During the navigation you can enjoy the magnificent view of the volcanoes Osorno, Puntiagudo and Tronador. After disembarking in Peulla you’ll take a short drive before you will again embark on another ferry for your crossing of Lake Nahuel Huapi. On arrival to the lakeside town of Bariloche you’ll be transferred to your hotel. This delightful Swiss style town is famous for its chocolate and its stunning views over Lake Nahuel Huapi. Overnight Bariloche. Meals: B, L

Day 17: In Bariloche, day walk

Today we drive to Mount Tronador known as ‘Pampa Linda’ where we then begin a day walk through forests and rocky terrain, crossing streams and getting amazing views of Mount Tronador and its glaciers with waterfalls. This area is of outstanding beauty – many people compare it to the European Alps. We return in the late afternoon to Bariloche to give us some free time to explore this lovely town and perhaps sample some of the huge ranges of chocolates available here. Overnight Bariloche. Meals: B, L

Day 18: Fly to Buenos Aires, trip concludes

After breakfast there will be a group transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. Trip concludes on arrival to Buenos Aires. Meals: B

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Departures can be set up for a minimum of two people from October to March.

Start date Price (pp)
January 2018
23-Jan-2018 $7,074* Provisional Date
February 2018
17-Feb-2018 $7,074 Provisional Date
March 2018
10-Mar-2018 $7,074* Provisional Date
October 2018
19-Oct-2018 $7,074 Provisional Date
November 2018
10-Nov-2018 $7,074* Provisional Date
December 2018
7-Dec-2018 $7,074 Provisional Date

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in GBP (£) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost £5,390

Please get in touch for information on departures. 

Includes

- 17 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 6 dinners

- good quality hotel and lodge accommodation throughout

- private transport for group sizes of 5 or more people

- all guide fees and national park entrance costs

- English speaking local guides

- lakes crossing boat/bus trip

- Balmaceda boat trip

Excludes

- flights

- insurance

Questions about this Trip?