Patagonian Panorama - 12 days
From Santiago to Buenos Aires, take in the natural wonders of Patagonia in under two weeks. Explore Chile and Argentina’s capital cities, visit the mystical island of Chiloe, marvel at the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier and explore Torres del Paine National Park by boat.
Tuesday. Upon arrival at Santiago Airport you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. After some free time to check-in and freshen up we then meet the rest of the group before embarking on a walking tour of the capital. This clean, modern city is home to many fountains and parks, and is well-renowned for its markets such as the famous Mercado Central, one of the best seafood markets in the world. In the Plaza Constitucion at the Palacio de la Moneda you can see the changing of the guard on most days. For the best views of the city, take a funicular railway to the top of San Cristobal where the Statue of the Virgin overlooks the capital and the distant Andes.
Today is free for you to independently explore Santiago at your own pace or join an optional excursion to Valaparaiso, which is a lively seaport built on a series of hills, overlooking the seaside resort of Vina del Mar. In Chile’s second city you can explore the steep, winding streets and see the brightly coloured colonial homes or take a ride in one of the wooden funiculars to one of the cliff-top communities.
Time permitting you may wish to visit one of the local vineyards situated just outside of Santiago to learn about the process of making wine and sample some Chilean favourites.
Overnight: Santiago | Breakfast
Santiago – Puerto Varas. This morning we travel to the lakeside town of Puerto Varas in the Chilean Lake District. After a short 2-hour flight we arrive at the ‘City of Roses’ where we marvel at the two snow-capped volcanoes overlooking this picturesque town. We have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to wander along the lakeside promenade and appreciate the Chilean-German architecture and traditions that still run deep through the town or take a trip to Coastal Street to sample some amazing local delicacies.
Overnight: Puerto Varas | Breakfast, Lunch
Today we visit the mystical island of Chiloe which is just a short ferry ride from the mainland but feels worlds apart. We take the ferry across to Chacao where we meet our local guide to explore the island. We visit the plaza in Chacao, taking in the traditional architecture, which includes the famous stilted houses and wooden churches the island is famous for. We then continue to the Bay of Caulin which boasts a huge array of birdlife and here we taste oysters before continuing to Ancud for lunch.
Overnight: Puerto Varas | Breakfast, Lunch
Puerto Varas - Puerto Natales. We return to Puerto Montt for a flight to the port city of Punta Arenas, Chile’s most southerly town. The city is rich in history and culture and was once an important British-influenced trading port before the Panama Canal turned it to a black water. From here we continue by bus to Puerto Natales, the gateway to the famous Torres del Paine National Park and home to pelicans, black-necked swans and cormorants. We have the rest of the evening to walk around the town at our own leisure.
Overnight: Puerto Natales | Breakfast
Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine National Park. Today we journey to the edge of Torres del Paine National Park, but rather than taking the road we embark on a full day’s adventure by boat. An early morning start sees us boarding a ship and beginning our journey through the fjord ‘Last hope’, sailing past colonies of sea lions and cormorants until we reach the Balmaceda glacier. We dock here for a walk to the Serrano glacier and ice-carved lake that hides below.
The afternoon finds us continuing our journey by zodiacs as we venture through untouched areas of the fjord and past glaciers until we reach our hotel in Rio Serrano, on the edge of the national park. Spend the evening relaxing and admiring views of the towering granite peaks on the horizon.
Overnight: Rio Serrano | Breakfast, Lunch
Today you will have ample opportunity to partake in the many activities offered locally, ensuring that you see the very best of this incredible national park. You can spend the day following various walking trails alongside the glacial lakes and rivers, with spectacular views of tortured rock towers and 3000m needles. Aside from hiking, there is a wide variety of excursions available - including horse riding and tours of the national park by road.
Overnight: Rio Serrano | Breakfast
Torres del Paine - El Calafate (Argentina). This morning we travel through the park stopping at the Salto Grande and Laguna Amarga waterfalls before we cross the Patagonian steppe desert to the city of El Calafate in Argentina. Keep an eye out for the spectacular views of Lago Argentino, the largest lake in the country and for guanacos, rheas and flamingos. We reach the town of El Calafate, which is situated on the shores of the lake and the rest of the afternoon is free to explore the town, take a trip down to the Glaciarium Museum to get an insight into all things glacial or sit back and relax in the ice bar on the premises.
Overnight: El Calafate | Breakfast
Today we visit the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier. Our morning begins with a drive through Los Glaciers National Park, along the shores of Lake Argentino until we reach Patagonia’s most famous attraction. We then have some time to walk across the wooden walk ways which lead to perfect sightseeing spots to see the front edge of the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier which is 5kms wide and towers 60 meters above the water surface.
Overnight: El Calafate | Breakfast
El Calafate - Buenos Aires. On day 10 we fly to the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, known as the "Paris of South America" due to its lovely green parks, plazas and wide boulevards. After checking into our hotel, we have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to do with as we wish.
The following morning we explore the lanes and boulevards on a guided city tour, taking in the quirky neighbourhoods of the city, where European and Latin American influences have blended to create a city like no other. Whether you're a culture lover, bargain hunter or night owl, Argentina's capital city has plenty to keep you entertained. Buenos Aires is the birthplace of tango and during our stay there will be an optional evening visit to one of the many nightly Tango shows.
Overnight: Buenos Aires | Breakfast x 2
Saturday. Our tour comes to an end today. Transfer to the airport for your onward flight or we can book post tour accommodation if you'd like 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 (on all or many of the tour nights) 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 Torremayor Providencia, Santiago
Set in the heart of Santiago’s Providencia district, this excellent hotel enjoys a convenient location close to a metro station, shopping centres and tourist attractions. Its spacious guestrooms are fully equipped with modern amenities, with the benefit of free WiFi and access to the breakfast buffet included. Guests can easily pass time in the hotel's modern lobby bar or purchase coffees and tasty snacks in Caffe Mayor, which is located just next door. On the 17th floor you’ll also find an outdoor pool, where you can soak up panoramic views of the city.
Park Inn Puerto Varas, Puerto Varas
Set in a quiet yet central location, the Park Inn hotel offers a quaint place to stay in downtown Puerto Varas. Each of the guestrooms feature modern interiors, with modern amenities including air conditioning, a TV and wireless internet. Guests can dine in the on-site restaurant which serves local and international cuisine. In addition to its prime location, the property boasts spectacular views of Lake Llanquihue and the snow-capped Osorno Volcano.
Hotel Aquaterra , Puerto Natales
Well-located in the heart of Puerto Natales, Aquaterra is a small yet cosy hotel with a friendly team of staff. Each of the guestrooms are decorated with works of art and handicrafts sourced from this region of Chile. They’re also equipped with a private bathroom and free WiFi, so you can stay connected with loved ones back home. A complimentary breakfast buffet is served daily and the onsite restaurant boasts an a la cart menu featuring steaks, pasta, fajitas and a selection of desserts. There’s also a welcoming lounge area, where you can relax and enjoy a coffee with tasty homemade pastries.
Hotel del Paine, Rio Serrano
Offering a privileged view of the imposing Paine mountain range, this hotel boasts a scenic location on the banks of the Serrano River. Each of the charming guestrooms features a cosy interior, with rustic wood furnishings, heating and a private bathroom. Free WiFi is available in communal areas and guests can spend an afternoon relaxing in the bubbling hot tub. The on-site restaurant specialises in regional cuisine, particularly grilled meats and fish. The hotel also bakes all its own bread, which you can enjoy alongside fresh juice at the daily breakfast buffet.
Hotel Kapenke , El Calafate
Family-run Hotel Kapenke offers its guests a comfortable and friendly stay in El Calafate. Set just two blocks from Libertador Avenue, the town’s main street, the hotel is well-located close to shops and restaurants. Its guestrooms are simple yet functional, featuring private bathrooms and a flatscreen TV, with some offering views out to the hotel garden. Open for lunch and dinner, the onsite La Carmela Restaurant has a wide-ranging menu to suit all appetites, with a selection of fine wines for you to enjoy alongside.
Hotel Kenton Palace, Buenos Aires
Boasting an excellent location in the traditional San Telmo District, Kenton Palace is just footsteps from Buenos Aires’ Main Square. Guestrooms are well-equipped with modern amenities and feature warm-coloured bedspreads and parquet floors, giving them a cosy feel. Guests can enjoy a daily breakfast buffet and selection of international dishes including pizza specialties in the on-site restaurant. The hotel also features a wine cellar, a fitness centre and spa. Offering a sauna, pool and massage treatments, the spa is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a long day of travelling.