Patagonia Glaciers, Tierra del Fuego and across the Andes through lush forests, lakes and snow covered peaks
The highlights of Chile and Argentina make up this tour, from the subtropical Iguazú Falls, to the southern tip of South America, Ushuaia, by the icy waters of the Beagle Channel. Journey through spectacular and distinct landscapes with great opportunities to see wildlife.
Day by Day Summary
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Days 1 - 3
Depart any day of the week for Buenos Aires arriving the following day. Transfer to our hotel for 2 nights. In the afternoon we will visit this fascinating city, passing through the old quarter of La Boca with its distinctive, brightly coloured houses, the Plaza de Mayo and the presidential Casa Rosada and finishing in the elegant Parque de Recoleta, to relax in one of the many stylish street cafés. The next day is free. (B)
Days 4 - 6
Fly out to Trelew and transfer to our hotel in Puerto Madryn for 3 nights. Full day excursions to Península Valdés. Wildlife abounds. Guided to the superb vantage points, we can observe sea lion colonies, enormous elephant seals, penguins and, depending on the season, we take a motor boat out to see the southern right whales at close range. (B)
Days 7 - 8
Transfer to Trelew airport and fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost town in Argentina, located in a glorious setting by the icy waters of the Beagle Channel, at the foot of the towering Andes. On arrival transfer to our hotel for 2 nights. (B)
An early morning start for a full day excursion to Lapataia Bay in the national park. We walk through the park which encompasses a stunning region of forests, lakes, streams, and snow-capped mountains. Beavers' dams cover the area, and, with luck, we may see some at work. Return to Ushuaia. (B)
Days 9 - 11
Fly to Calafate, a little resort, on the southeastern shore of Lago Argentino, where birds congregate, including the Magellanic oystercatcher. We stay for 3 nights. (B)
We set off early on a full day excursion to the breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier, with its 4km frontage and height reaching 70m. Silence reigns, shattered only by the thunderous roar of ice breaking off the glacier, and punctuated by the unearthly groans of creaking ice. The following day there is an optional excursion to visit the Upsala glacier, travelling by boat up to the northwestern end of Lago Argentino. (B)
Days 12 - 14
A long, scenic crossing into Chile to Torres del Paine National Park for 3 nights. An area of outstanding natural beauty, the massive Torres rise up out of the earth, reflected in the glacial waters of Lake Nordenskjöld, all on our doorstep. Many walks can be taken, of varying degrees of difficulty, all affording splendid mountain views and an opportunity to observe the wildlife. See page 82 for a map of the park to plan your walks. We have two full days to enjoy the scenery. (B)
Day 15 - 16
Morning transfer to Punta Arenas for a late afternoon flight to Santiago de Chile, a beautiful city situated in a plateau with the snowcapped Andes stretching alongside. It has extensive parks and gardens, a bustling centre with tree-lined avenues and the Cerro San Cristóbal, a hilltop reached by funicular railway, which gives us superb views of the city and surroundings. Overnight and return home arriving on Day 17.
Transfer to Punta Arenas for an afternoon flight to Puerto Montt. (B)
Lake crossing into Argentina by bus and boat surrounded by stunning alpine scenery. Lunch at Peulla. Stewards take your luggage so that you can enjoy the landscape as we cross three lakes to reach Bariloche. (B,L)
A day at leisure in San Carlos de Bariloche dubbed the 'Switzerland of Latin America', due to its similar landscape of clear lakes surrounded by high mountain peaks. (B)
Fly to Buenos Aires, and on arrival transfer to hotel for 1 night. (B)
Time for a brief tour of the city before being taken to the airport for your flight home arriving on Day 20. (B)