This tour is designed for those who are looking for an ultimate birding and nature journey, with the possibility to see many of the most emblematic species and places of the southern cone of the American Continent, plus the Antarctic. It has also been thought for people who cannot spend too many days on tour, and who expect to get the most of such a short expedition to the ends of the Earth. During this journey, we will cover a diversity of habitats, starting with a glimpse of the Pampas wetlands in Buenos Aires, down through the steppes, Atlantic cliffs and beaches of mighty Patagonia, on to the Island of Tierra del Fuego and more: Cape Horn, the Drake Passage and the South Shetlands.
We will be delighted by the breathtaking views of Southern Right Whales, Southern Elephant Seals and Sea Lions at the Valdés Peninsula. As a prelude to the penguins that we will have the chance to see in the Antarctic waters, we will spend time with the Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo, where 200,000 pairs of these birds nest every year. November is great for this particular colony, since this is when penguin chicks hatch, and we will see hundreds of them interacting with their parents. Down in Tierra del Fuego we will explore the sub Antarctic woods, searching for such spectacular birds as the Magellanic Woodpecker, Magellanic Tapaculo, Austral Pygmy-Owl or the Austral Parakeet -the most southerly parrot on Earth- to name but a few.
Once on board our vessel, we will navigate the waters of the Beagle Channel, looking for a diversity of seabirds, such as Diving Petrels, Skuas and watching nesting colonies of Imperial Shag on our way to the Cape Horn and on to the Drake Passage. It is during the crossing of the passage that we will have our best chances to see several species of Albatrosses, Petrels, Fulmars, Shearwaters and other seabirds, as well as some cetaceans, like Humpback and Minke Whales. After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, we will start spotting the first icebergs, and soon after, the first Antarctic land at the South Shetlands. We will explore the marine birds and mammals colonies at this archipelago, and will have the opportunity to visit a Russian and a Chilean Antarctic base, both located on King George Island.
The Itinerary in a Nutshell:
We will gather in Buenos Aires on day 1, and go visiting Costanera Sur Nature Reserve, to have a brief introduction to the birds and ecosystems of the Argentine Pampas. In the morning of day 2, we will fly to the Argentine city of Trelew, from where we will drive first to Punta Tombo, and then to the Valdés Peninsula, where we will spend the following three nights. We will dedicate days 3 and 4 to explore the Valdés, and on day 5, we will drive back to Trelew, to take our flight to Ushuaia. On day 6 we will visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. Days 7 to 11 are to be spent on cruise down to the South Shetlands. In the evening of day 11, we will fly from South Shetlands to the Chilean city of Punta Arenas, where we will spend the night. On day 12 we will drive back into Argentina, to the city of Río Gallegos, to take our return flight to Buenos Aires and back home.
Prices start at $6,930 per person on a sharing basis and includes:
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