This 18 day nature lover's adventure is an opportunity to experience the extraordinary landscapes, and unusual floral and fauna of the region -- by land and by sea. The trip includes treks at Tierra del Fuego National Park, Perito Moreno Glacier and Lago del Desierto. It also includes a 5 day cruise through Chile's Patagonian coastline with daily ground excursions offer to experience glaciers, islands, sea lion and penguin colonies.
2020 Departures Dates and Costs
Daily departures based on 2 or more persons
Tour Cost without Cruise: $ 4,215 USD per person based on twin share
Tour Cost with 3 night Cruise $ 6,580 USD per person based on twin share
Tour Cost with 4 night Cruise: $ 7,115 USD per person based on twin share
Includes domestic flight Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
Interested in a shorter Patagonia trip?
Tours of Exploration is able to customize travel in all regions of Argentina and Chile. Ask about our programs from 3 days to 16 days
Day 1: Buenos Aires / Ushuaia
On arrival at the airport in Buenos Aires you will be met and transferred to the domestic terminal for your flight to Ushuaia. On arrival in Ushuaia you will be transferred to Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel for 3 nights.
Day 2: Ushuaia City Tour (B)
Morning at leisure. Pick up afternoon city tour (approx 2 hours). Visit Ushuaia, the southernmost city on earth, capital of the province of Tierra del Fuego, about 3.500 km from Buenos Aires, situated in a privileged position between Beagle Channel and the Martial Mounts range at its back with it towering peaks that reach 1.500 meters above the sea level. In front of its coasts, across Beagle Channel, it is possible to glimpse the Chilean Islands of Navarino and Hoste. The tour will allow you to appreciate several interesting sites in the city such as the old part, its deep-waters harbor, the steep streets that climb the Andean slopes, some of the typical houses that belonged to the first pioneering settlers of the region, the building of the old National Presidium of Ushuaia which was built between 1902 and 1920. The tour concludes with the visit to the World's End Museum, interesting due to its collection of objects that belonged to the ancient aboriginal cultures that inhabited the region before the arrival of the white men: yamanas, selkhams and alacalufs; as well as objects related to the history of the island and its first white settlers. Return to the hotel.
Day 3: Tierra del Fuego National Park (B)
Full day tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Departure from the city, going westward to Tierra del Fuego National Park, the only seashore National Park in Argentina, located at 12 km from Ushuaia city.We will enjoy multiple panoramic views of the Beagle Canal, surrounded by a charming environment formed by the last foothills of the Andes and by the Andean-Patagonian forest with many tree species: beech, cherry, Òires (Patagonic beech), notros, and various flowers: orchids, violets, and senecio. The route that pass among bogs and beaver dams, will take us to Lapataia River and to the Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon). From there, we will continue along the final stretch that ends in Lapataia Bay. The first inhabitants of the area have left their testimony in 'concheros', incredible archaeological sites that provide interesting information about their ancient customs. We will then return to Ushuaia, stopping on the way to admire the Roca Lake, characterized by the color of the water that varies according to the weather.
More on our 5 day/4 night Chilean Fjord cruise aboard either the Stella Australis or the Venus Australis from Ushuaia, Argentina to Punta Arenas Chile. 2 departures per week.
Day 4: Expedition Cruise through Patagonia (5 days/4 nights)
You will be transferred from the hotel to the port. The M/V Stella and the Venus Australis have has 100 cabins with private facilities and panoramic windows, and offers travelers a comfortable experience with 5 decks, 2 lounges, and a restaurant that serves exquisite regional and international cuisine. This first class expedition cruise ship also boasts a game room, small library, gift shop, a doctor on board - and, of course, magnificent panoramic views from the lounges, decks, and dining room.
Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world and the main port of the Southern Argentinean Patagonia. There is a lot to visit around the city, besides the natural attractions that have made this place famous. Via Australis, the ship from Cruceros Australis, will sail through the Patagonian Channels and around Tierra del Fuego. Ground excursions to glaciers, islands, sea lion and penguin colonies, will be offered daily. Also we will sail trough the mythical Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn), well known all around the globe. Boarding, cocktail reception on board. Our trip today takes us through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
Day 5: Cabo de Hornos / Wulaia Bay (B,L,D)
We sail through Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where we disembark (weather permitting). The mythical Cape Horn was discovered in 1616 and it is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route for sailboats between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and it is known as the "End of the Earth". The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2005. In the afternoon, we go ashore at historical Wulaia Bay, originally the site of one of the region's largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here in 1833, during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. We will walk through a Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic vegetation to reach a panoramic viewpoint.
Day 6: Pia Glacier / Garibaldi Glacier (B,L,D)
We navigate along the Northwest arm of the Beagle Channel to reach Pia Fjord, where we disembark. We take a short hike to a panoramic viewpoint from which we can appreciate the spectacular Pia Glacier, which main tongue stretches from the top of the mountains down to the sea. In the afternoon we will enter and disembark at Garibaldi Fjord to then hike through the forest up to a glacial waterfall and enjoy the spectacular views. For those who stay onboard, our Capitan will point the bow towards the beautiful blue Garibaldi Glacier and the panoramic view can be enjoyed from the upper decks.
Day 7: Piloto & Nena Glaciers / De Agostini Sound & Águila Glacier
In the morning we will be sailing through Cockburn Channel to anchor in Chico Sound. Onboard Zodiac boats, we will explore Alakaluf Fjord and enjoy the view of Piloto and Nena Glaciers from the sea. The intense blue color of Piloto Glacier due to its compression and age draws attention. We will learn about the formation of glaciers and their influence on the abrupt geography of the Fuegian-Patagonian channels. In the afternoon we will enter the spectacular De Agostini Sound, in the heart of Darwin Mountain Range. In this area we can see glaciers descending from the mountainside all the way down to the sea. In the afternoon, onboard Zodiac boats, we will route to Águila Glacier where we will take an easy walk all the way to the base of the glacier. We will experience the beauty of Patagonia's cold rainforest and see how the power of nature molded the area's landscape.
Day 8: Magdalena Island / Punta Arenas
Early in the morning (and weather permitting) we will go ashore on Magdalena Island, located in the middle of the Strait of Magellan. The island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellan Penguins that we will be able to see during our walk to the lighthouse. In September and April this excursion is replaced by a ride on Zodiac boat to Marta Island to observe South American Sea Lions. Disembarking at Punta Arenas scheduled for 11:30 am. Transfer to hotel in Punta Arenas for overnight at Hotel Isla Rey Jorge.
NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can normally be carried out. Notwithstanding the above, Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis S.A., Transportes Marítimos Via Australis S.A., and Transportes Marítimos Geo Australis S.A reserve the right to reschedule, shorten, or alter all or part of the itineraries and/or excursions without previous notice, in order to safeguard the well-being and safety of passengers, preserve the environment, or due to any extraordinary circumstances, acts of god or force majeure. For the same reasons, the hours of departure or arrival of the vessels may be subject to change. Lectures included onboard.
Day 9: Punta Arenas / Torres del Paine (B)
You will be picked up at your hotel for your transfer to Torres del Paine in private car with driver (no guide). Prepare for a long journey. Enroute a stop at Milodon's Cave, entrance fee included. 3 nights at Hosteria Las Torres.
Day 10: Torres del Paine Trek (B,BL)
Private guided hiking day. Length of 8 to 9 hours walking. The tour begins today with an approximately 4 hour walk to the Base of Towers, the path internal is the Ascencio Valley, through forests and slopes. We will enjoy a breathtaking view of the 3 towers granite (2600 meters North Tower, Central Tower South Tower 2800 meters and 2850 meters), the viewpoint is at a height of 950 meters above sea level. Entrance fee to National Park included. Box lunch.
Day 11: French Valley & Lake Pehoe Trek & Cruise (B)
Transfer from Torres del Paine to Pudeto to navigate the turquoise waters of Lake Pehoe. The Catamaran leaves from the shelter Paine Pudeto large. (Private tour, group catamaran.) After crossing Lake Pehoe aboard catamaran "Patagonian Ice," begin a trek to the imposing French Valley (approx 2 hrs). Amidst a forested landscape and enjoy spectacular mountain glaciers us deeper into the Paine Massif up to the Italian Camp, from where you get a beautiful view of the interior of the Paine peaks.The path leads along the Paine Grande to reach the Italian camp, and then continue to rise to the Mirador del Valle Frances Glacier for a better view of the glacier above, are continuous at x 1 hour climb up to the Camp British where you can appreciate the landscape in all its glory.
Day 12: Torres del Paine / Puerto Natales / El Calafate (B)
Transfer with driver only to the bus station in Puerto Natales in time for the daily public bus to El Calafate. Your driver will provide you with your bus tickets. On arrival at El Calafate, you will be transferred to the Imago Hotel & Spa for 2 nights.
Day 13: Perito Moreno Glacier (B)
Full day join-in group tour to Perito Moreno Glacier with entrance fees to National Park included. Departure from the hotel towards Perito Moreno Glacier situated within Los Glaciares National Park, 80 km from El Calafate. From the very beginning this trip will provide pleasant surprises. Departing from El Calafate, Lago Argentino will appear on the right hand side of the road with its Bahía Redonda, that shows an interesting number and diversity of bird species. The first part of the road goes along the typical Patagonian steppe, whose characteristic species are the broom sedges (hard, thorny type of grass) and 'calafates' (bushes belonging to the burberry family which is well-known for its yellow flowers and violet fruits). From the National Park entrance onwards, the landscape changes dramatically, the flora grows richer with species that are typical of the Andean-Patagonian Forest such as: ñires, lengas and guindos.
Perito Moreno Glacier is an imposing ice river covering an area of 195 square meters, 30 km long and a front which is 5 km wide; the front walls are between 30 and 60 meters high over the lake level. In the central area of the glacier, the ice reaches a depth of 250 to 350 meters. This frozen river descends from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field causing, during its slow advance, ice cracks and thunderous bursts that turned the glacier into a world marvel in constant movement. A show that is impressive not only for its beauty, but also for the continuous roars that are heard from its innermost recesses. Because of its breathtaking beauty it was declared a Mankind Heritage by Unesco. A walk along the paths placed in front of its Western wall, allows you to admire this impressive wonder of nature from different view points. It is possible to take a Fiesta Moreno optional boat trip which can be booked locally to enjoy a different view of the glacier wall from the water level, allowing you to get a better idea of the height of its peaks and towers (Navigation: 1 hr). Return to the hotel.
Day 14: El Calafate / El Chalten (B)
Transfer to the bus station for the regular public bus to El Chalten. On arrival you will be met by Eurotur and transferred to your hotel. 3 nights at Casa de Piedra.
Day 15: El Chalten / Fitz Roy (B,L)
Prepare for a full day of trekking today. You will be picked up at 9:00am. Join in group trekking to Fitz Roy/Laguna de los Tres with box lunch. Take the Laguna Torre trailhead from El Chalten. After an hour of hiking we will reach a lookout point of Cerro Torre. From here we walk another two hours until reaching the Laguna Torre (600m/a/s/l), one of the principle attractions of the area. After lunch, the return heading back to El Chalten is along the same trail. We should arrive in the late afternoon.
Day 16: El Chalten (B)
Day at leisure. Optional tours and treks can be booked locally.
Day 17: Lago del Desierto / El Calafate (B,L)
Private tour Lago del Desierto is located at 37km to El Chalten. During the trip we pass waterfalls (Chorrillo del Salto) and we will be able to see mountain and forest landscapes. Box lunch enroute. When arrive at Lago del Desierto, a paradise of trees, glaciers and waters of insurmountable beauty. From the Punta Sur have good panoramic view of Mount Fitz Roy. From there, you take a navigation by boat, and go across the Lake, and arrive on the northern side. Optional hike to Centinela. This area was made famous by the conflict between Argentina and Chile. On return public bus to El Calafate where you will be met and transferred to your hotel, the Imago Hotel & Spa.
Day 18: Departure (B)
You will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the airport 2 hours prior to departure. Onward flight home or to your next destination in Argentina or Chile.