Then its back onto our horses for the beautiful ride back to Laguna Azul where we’ll have plenty of opportunity to choose a great site for our tent giving us a real ‘tent with a view’. The sunsets from here are legendary and the views spectacular. There follows some of the classic and justly famous hikes in the Park – the Towers – the Horns and Grey Glacier will all be seen during our days hiking. So as not to forget our horses, we’ll once again set off for some great open canters on our ride from Pehoe Lake to the Serrano River before boarding our kayaks the following morning.
During the next 3 days we will enjoy total peace and tranquility as we meander through this virgin wilderness camping on solitary riverside beaches and hiking up to enjoy the sunsets over this huge landscape. Weather permitting we’ll even get a chance to paddle our kayaks around freshly calved icebergs floating in the melt water lakes of one of the Glaciers in this area
Day 1: Morning collection from client's hotel in Punta Arenas. Drive to penguin colony to see and photograph the cute and fascinating ‘burrowing’ Magellanic penguins. Continue in comfortable transfer vehicle across the Patagonian Steppe. After a short lunch stop in Puerto Natales we will continue on past mountain peaks and through the summer grazing grounds of herds of guanaco to our stunning campsite situated on the north eastern side of the park at Laguna Azul. Dinner will be served around the campfire or in the ‘quincho’ (a wooden cabin) if the weather is bad. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 2: After camp breakfast we will meet our horses for a safety check and familiarization with local saddles and riding styles. Then we will pack our saddle bags with our packed lunch before heading off around this beautiful lake towards the northerly slopes of the Paine chain. To get used to our horses we will start with a leisurely ride through colorful woods and lush valleys with the granite peaks watching over us as we approach our lunch destination. At Lago Paine, we will enjoy our picnic lunch before continuing on across wide flat valleys towards the Rio de los Perros.
We usually step up the pace a little here and canter along a pretty wooded path to the edge of this glacial river. If we are lucky, we can see icebergs floating in the adjoining lake before we board our little boat to cross to Refugio Dickson. Tonight we will be staying in this beautiful valley whose only access is by foot or horseback. As an extra bonus, it is extremely likely that we will see the horses (weather and current permitting) swim these frigid glacial waters to reach their grazing on the far side. With the lead horse being led from a dinghy used to cross passengers, the other horses follow along behind snorting in chorus as they swim across this fast flowing river.
During our stay here we will be eating in the refugio and will no doubt enjoy the company of some hikers who have also made this pretty place home for a short while. Night spent camping in this beautiful valley surrounded by snow capped peaks and the iceberg-filled Dickson Lake with Mount Cubo in the distance. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: Today we will ride north past the beautiful Lago Quemado to our lunch spot overlooking Glacier Dickson. Perched high above this beautiful iceberg filled lake and glacier which seems to go on for ever, we will sit and admire the miracles of nature. This is a high point of everybody's trip and a place which rarely receives visitors owing to its inaccessibility. We will enjoy a leisurely lunch on our solitary perch before heading back to Dickson for our second night camping. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Today we will hike up to the Los Perros Glacier for an up close and personal view of one of natures true wonders. This valley is only visited by those hardy enough to do the famous Paine 10 day circuit so we will enjoy one of the parks highlights with very few other visitors. The old growth beach forest, the views of “El Cubo” and the Dickson Glacier are a sight you will not soon forget and the Los Perros Glacier offers a very personal experience in this very remote setting. Return to Dickson for a third night camping. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: After crossing the Rio de los Perros for the last time, we will today set off early for our ride to Laguna Azul. Once again we will pass the northerly peaks of the Paine chain. One of the peaks is topped by a black, craggy rock in the shape of a Tuhuelche Indian Face where the 'headband' is decorated with snowdrifts even in summer. From here we will see Laguna Azul coming into view as we pass through flower filled meadows and southern beech forests. On arrival at the campsite we will put the wine in the lake to chill and serve canapés before our dinner is served. During the evening we can enjoy splendid views of the Towers across the lake whilst swapping tales of the adventure of the previous days. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: After breakfast, we will be collected from Laguna Azul and driven to Camping Las Torres. A challenging hike lay in store for us today as we climb up to the base of the towers themselves. Starting with an uphill walk and then following wooded mountain trails this hike is beautiful. The final section is a series of ‘hops’ over glacial moraine before finally reaching our lunch destination in the shadow of these fabulous granite peaks. In the foreground waterfalls flow off the hanging glaciers into a basin of green water where icebergs float. You will hear sounds like thunder as the ice breaks off the glaciers with crashing roars. In the afternoon we will descend to our camping spot in the valley and enjoy a shower and for those who have the energy to walk to the nearby hotel bar, pisco sours can be enjoyed while dinner is being prepared. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: After an early breakfast, we will be starting our hike round the shores of Lake Nordjenskold. Our hike skirts this lake whilst always keeping close to the huge granite mountains which form the centerpiece of this geographical wonder. Tonight we will be eating and sleeping in the Refugio Los Cuernos which is beautifully situated beside a turquoise blue lake with the mountains standing watch behind. Dinner and wine included. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Today we will hike to another beautiful lake, Lago Pehoe. Arriving there at lunchtime we will have our picnic lunch on the shores of this stunning lake before once again meeting our horses for an afternoon’s ride to the Serrano River. Our path first takes us along flower-lined trails skirting Pehoe Lake before opening out onto flat pampas where we can enjoy an exhilarating canter to the emerald green waters of the Serrano River. Camp riverside. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Today, we will rise early to pack up camp and prepare for our river adventure. We will start with a lecture on safety and technique before loading our luggage and associated equipment onto our kayaks. Then we will board our two-man sea kayaks and start our downriver float into this virgin wilderness. Cameras will need to be kept handy as we enjoy beautiful views of the distant snow capped mountains and the variety of bird life that inhabits these shores The afternoon we will paddle “up stream” to enter Tyndall lake.
This is a short but fairly strenuous leg that gets us into what we feel to be one the most stunning sights/experiences in all of Patagonia, an up close view of a towering valley glacier that reaches 90 feet high in some spots. This remote spot is supremely beautiful and visitors are extremely rare here so we can enjoy the spectacle all to ourselves while dinner is prepared, a fire is lit on the beach and some local Chilean wine is poured. Night camping in virgin wilderness (or under the stars if you prefer). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Today, we will once again board our sea kayaks to continue downriver to the start of our hike. This wilderness walk takes us into virgin glacier country and we will be totally alone as we enjoy views of Tyndall and Geike Glaciers and the Patagonian ice sheet itself. The stunning setting for lunch will be alongside a lake containing hundreds of icebergs. Returning to the river and our kayaks for the last leg of our journey, we will spend the night in the shadow of Mount Balmaceda. After dinner we will end this perfect day with the sounds of the Serrano Glacier and its tumbling ice lulling us to sleep for the night. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 11: After this morning's breakfast, time and weather allowing, we will have an opportunity to take our kayaks into the melt water lake fed by the Serrano Glacier. We will spend the morning paddling amongst the floating icebergs in a truly fantastic setting not soon forgotten. After lunch we will be boarding a modern cutter for a comfy ride back across Last Hope Sound to the quayside at Puerto Natales. On arrival in this interesting waterside town, we will take a taxi to a comfortable and lively hotel situated on the water’s edge. Panoramic views and hot showers can then be enjoyed before going into town to enjoy a good meal in one of the town's many excellent seafood restaurants (wine excluded). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Morning collection from hotel before transferring to the Punta Arenas airport or hotel. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
South America Chile Argentina Outdoor: Land Rambler Multi-activity Hiking & Trekking
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