Travel in style from Santiago to the southernmost reaches of Chile and Argentina and up to Buenos Aires, staying in superior hotels and taking in Patagonia's striking landscape of towering snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes and fjords and cruising the Beagle Channel.
Sunday. Bienvenido a Chile! Upon arrival at Santiago airport you will be met and transferred to our start hotel. Santiago is a very clean, modern city, located in a broad valley below the snow-capped Andes. This afternoon we visit a few of the many museums, markets and parks of this cosmopolitan capital on a walking tour. The evening is at leisure. For a panoramic view over the city, visit Cerro Santa Lucía, a central park, or head towards the Italian quarter Bellavista for a beer in one of the pavement cafes.
Today is free for you to spend at leisure in Santiago or there is an optional visit to Valapariso, Chile’s second city, where you can wander around the winding streets passing brightly coloured colonial homes or take a wooden funicular to one of the cliff-top communities. There is also an option to visit a local vineyard to sample some delicious Chilean wine.
Overnight: Santiago | Breakfast
Santiago - Punta Arenas. This morning we embark on a 4 hour flight to Punta Arenas in southern Patagonia, looking out for the fjords, ice caps, volcanoes and glaciers that can easily been seen from the air on a clear day. After being transferred to our hotel and freshening up we have the rest of the day at leisure to explore the port city. Walk around the promenade walkway along the beach or head to the Plaza de Armas for some of the many bars and restaurants available.
Overnight: Punta Arenas | Breakfast
Punta Arenas - Torres del Paine. Our morning begins with a private transfer to the Milodon Cave, which is famous for housing the extremely well-preserved remains of exotic, enormous animals including the ground sloth Mylodon Darwini. We take some time to explore the cave and spectacular scenery of lakes dotted with icebergs and condors soaring above our heads before continuing our journey to Torres del Paine National Park where we check in to one of the best located lodges within the park, which offers incredible views of the towering granite massif from the property. From the lodge we can explore extensively, on foot and by boat, and to enjoy the peace and beauty of this national park, deservedly one of South America's most acclaimed attractions.
Overnight: Torres del Paine | Breakfast
On day 5 we include a famous boat trip to see the giant Glacier Grey. We cruise past vivid blue icebergs that crowd Lago Grey as we make our way right up to the face of the Glacier Grey. Marvel at the monumental ice field that extends almost as far as the eye can see, with a cracking, calving wall of azure pinnacles.
Day 6 is at leisure. There are plenty of optional hikes on offer including a hike to Glacier Grey or to the base of the three monumental granite slabs of the Torres (towers) which takes approximately 8 hours return. Alternatively there are more leisurely trails through the forest which lead to other glacial formations or you can take a horse riding trip along the trails.
Overnight: Torres del Paine | Breakfast x 2
Torres del Paine - El Calafate (Argentina). We bid farewell to Chile today and make our way north to El Calafate in Argentina. We stop en route at Salto Grande waterfall and Laguna Amarga as we leave the park and then continue our journey across the remote Patagonian steppe and along the shore of Lago Argentino until we reach the town of El Calafate. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore this small fast-growing town which is the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Overnight: El Calafate | Breakfast
Our day begins with an excursion to the most dynamic glacier in the world, the Perito Moreno Glacier. We start by driving through the Los Glaciers National Park, and along the shores of Lago Argentino until we reach Patagonia’s most famous attraction. We then have some free time to walk across one of the many wooden walk ways for the perfect spot to view the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier which is 5km wide and towers 60m above the water surface. Listen out for the unforgettable sound of the glacier calving, with vast wedges of ice cracking and crashing into the lake below, forming icebergs.
There is also an optional mini-trek to walk on the glacier. This 2-hour walk is led by a local guide who will provide the crampons so you can walk on the immense ice sheet to explore the desolate landscape.
Overnight: El Calafate | Breakfast
Today is free for you to relax or enjoy one of the optional excursions on offer. There is an optional full-day trip to explore ice fields which passes the still waters of Lago Onelli, dotted with icebergs. Other excursions include taking a tour of a local estancia, horse riding or driving to the El Chalten for a view of the Fitzroy range, a mecca for hikers and climbers.
Overnight: El Calafate | Breakfast
El Calafate - Ushuaia. Our journey continues to the ‘End of the world' today. We take a flight from El Calafate to Ushuaia, located in the southernmost tip of South America. Upon arrival we’re transferred to our hotel to freshen up before take a boat trip along the Beagle Channel, which was named after the ship that carried Charles Darwin as he travelled through these waters. We head out of Ushuaia Bay to explore the other bays of the channel, stopping so we can get a better view of the fauna including sea-lions, cormorants and if we’re lucky an albatross gliding over the water.
Overnight: Ushuaia | Breakfast
Today we visit Tierra del Fuego, Argentina’s first coastal national park, which is a spectacular expanse of wild, forested peaks, pristine blue lakes and vast tundra. We discover some of the park’s most stunning natural sights including Pipo River, Ensenada Bay, Redonda Island, Roca Lake, Verde and Negra Lagoons and Castores Dam. Rich in flora and fauna, the park also offers ample variety of wildlife. Later, we continue our journey to Lapataia Bay to wander along the winding narrow hillside baths, through the bright green beech forests, and along the silvery lakes in hopes of seeing some of the fjords populated by water birds and beavers.
Overnight: Ushuaia | Breakfast, Lunch
Ushuaia - Buenos Aires. On day 12 we fly to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. Upon arrival we’re transferred to our hotel where we have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore this historical city known as the "Paris of South America" due to its lovely green parks, plazas and wide boulevards.
We become acquainted with the city on a guided tour, visiting quirky neighbourhoods and artistic markets, where European and Latin American influences have mixed together to create a city like no other. Spend the rest of your time in the capital at leisure. Whether you are a culture lover, bargain hunter or night owl, Argentina's capital city has plenty to keep you busy.
On day 13 you can opt to travel by motor 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.
Overnight: Buenos Aires | Breakfast x 2
Saturday. Our tour comes to an end today with an included transfer to the airport, or we can arrange post tour accommodation if you wish to extend your stay.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies to travellers who would like the comfort of their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Hotel Cumbres Lastarria, Santiago
Set in downtown Santiago, the Hotel Cumbres Lastarria enjoys a convenient location close to metro station, museums and tourist attractions. Its spacious air-conditioned guestrooms are fully equipped with modern amenities including free WiFi, coffee machine, flat screen TVs and access to the breakfast buffet included. Guests can easily pass time in the hotels modern lobby bar or take advantage of the fitness centre. There is also a rooftop pool, where you can soak up views of the city. You can dine in one of the on-site restaurants offering a mix of Chilean and Patagonian cuisine.
Hotel Rey Don Felipe, Punta Arenas
Built in a unique wooden framed building inspired by traditions and history of Magallanes Province, the Hotel Rey Don Felipe is a charming hotel in a prized location. Guest rooms include complimentary Wi-Fi, excellent en-suite facilities and flat screen TVs. You can dine in the on-site restaurant specializing in local and Sichuan cuisine. Alongside its ideal location, the hotel also boasts spa and wellness facilities including fitness centre and jacuzzi which guests can use at leisure before exploring the nearby attractions – there’s plenty to do.
Hotel Las Torres Patagonia , Torres del Paine
The perfect base to explore the Torres del Paine National Park, Hotel Las Torres offer a quiet and central location within the National Park itself. Guestrooms are comfortable, bright and offer spectacular views of the valley and mountains surrounding the property. You can dine in the on-site restaurant which offers traditional Patagonian cuisine using ingredients from the hotels organic garden. Walk around the hotel and discover the horse stables or sit in front of the fireplace with a cocktail basking in the natural beauty.
Hotel Kosten Aike, El Calafate
Located in downtown El Calafate, this impressive Alpine-style chateau has been built from a mix of local wood and stone. Its guestrooms are bright and spacious, featuring stylish decor, free WiFi and private bathroom facilities. Guests can also enjoy the fragrant garden and daily breakfast buffet, with flavorsome regional cuisine on offer in Restaurant Ariskaiken. Other amenities include a fitness centre and spa, where you can relax in the hot tub or book yourself an indulgent massage treatment. The games room also offers plenty of fun, with billiards, table tennis and more to keep you entertained.
Altos Ushuaia, Ushuaia
The quiet surroundings of the Altos Ushuaia Hotel are the perfect place to enjoy a comfortable stay in the southernmost city of the world. With fantastic mountain views and over Ushuaia Bay, the hotel offers tastefully arranged rooms with free WiFi. Altos Ushuaia features a large living room area with parquet floors, exposed stones and large windows with scenic views.
Recoleta Grand Hotel, Buenos Aires
Situated in the upscale Recoleta district of Buenos Aires, is the Recoleta Grand Boutique Hotel. Its bright air-conditioned guestrooms feature contemporary stylish furnishings and include a private bathroom, WiFi, TV and coffee makers. The property also features a spa and fitness centre for those looking to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the city.