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Blue Ice Trail

offered by supplier M09984 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 11 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 4 people
Destination(s): Chile  
Specialty Categories: Multi-activity  
Season: November - March
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 3650 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 7000 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Transfer to Hotel. Group meeting and dinner. Late morning collection from airport or hotel to start the day's drive across the wide open pampas and estancia lands that characterize this area before arriving at the waterside town of Puerto Natales (the capital of the Esperanza region of Chile). Night at the newly built Hotel If situated in Puerto Natales with views of Last Hope Sound and the Serrano Glacier in the distance. Rooms are light, airy and comfortable and there is laundry and internet available. Dinner not included.

Day 2: Drive to Torres del Paine to Estancia Tercera. Morning collection from Hotel IF for the drive towards the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Our destination is the comfortable ranch house belonging to Estancia Tercera. Comfortable and cosy accommodation in this authentic country house with fabulous views of the Towers from its large west facing windows. Fireside living room/bar and traditional quincho (wooden dining room with outside BBQ area). En suite rooms.

After some time settling in, we will be meeting our horses and the friendly local cowboys (baqueanos) who care for them. The first part of our adventure is on horseback so after a safety briefing and introduction to western riding, we will set off on our exciting and unique adventure into the hills and forests of the Sierra Contreras. Our destination is the pretty waterfall known as Cascada Zamora. It is normal for us to see no other visitors here enabling us to enjoy a peaceful lunch in this pretty area. After lunch we will ride up high over the pampas with views off to the Las Chinas Valley and the Sierra Baguales in the distance. Return to our lodge by a different route passing the beautiful azure waters of Laguna Azul with the Towers behind, one of the most picturesque areas of the Park. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (excluding wine/drinks). Hours in the saddle: 5-7.

Day 3: Ride into Sierra Contreras to Cascada Zamora. Today, now more familiar with our horses, we will be setting off across some lovely open pampas towards the heart of the Park and Laguna Amarga. This is a beautiful ride, not least because we get to ride towards the dramatically beautiful mountains of the Paine Massif. We will also pass through the summer grazing grounds of large guanaco herds. Plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the athletic antics of these fascinating and agile animals, or to pick some lovely ripe calafate berries from the many bushes that grow around here. Our trail takes us across some rivers and finally along the dirt track which leads into the Laguna Amarga area of the Park. Here we will meet our transfer vehicle for the short drive to camping Las Torres. Facilities include hot showers, bathrooms and fire pits. Refugio and hotel nearby (the latter offers spa treatments and has a bar, internet and telephone services). Hours in the saddle: 4-5. Transfer time: 45 minutes. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).

Day 4: Hike to the base of the Towers. After our hearty camp breakfast, a challenging hike lay in store for us 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 and the most famous in the area. 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 thunderous roars as the ice calves off the glacier to the rocks below. 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. Hiking time: 7-9 hours depending on fitness. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).

Day 5: Hike past Nordenskjold to Los Cuernos. After an early breakfast, we will be starting our hike round the shores of Lake Nordenskjold. Our hike takes us around the milky waters of this beautiful lake while we enjoy the views of the granite peaks that form the centre piece of this geographical wonder. Tonight we will be eating and sleeping in Refugio Los Cuernos which is beautifully situated beside the turquoise waters of the lake with the mountains standing watch behind. Accommodation is in dorm style rooms with bunk beds. Meals will be eaten in the lively dining area. Hiking time: 4-5 hours. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (wine/drinks extra).

Day 6: Hike to Lake Pehoe. After breakfast in the convivial refugio we will continue our hike along the shores of Lake Nordenskjold towards the French Valley. This is a beautiful trail into a superb natural granite ampitheatre where we will also see the French Glacier. After lunch in our awesome picnic spot we will hike to another beautiful lake, Lago Pehoe. We will be setting up camp here on the shores of these pretty waters before relaxing a little while dinner is prepared. Facilities include hot showers, bathrooms, small shop and bar in the nearby refugio. No fires. Hiking time: 5-9 hours depending on how far the group hikes into the French Valley. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).

Day 7: Hike to Grey Glacier lookout. Today we will be hiking up to the spectacular and immense Grey Glacier. The trail takes us through ancient beech forests and along a spectacular trail high above Grey Lake. We will enjoy fantastic glacier views throughout. Our destination is refugio Grey and the mirador (lookout) where we can enjoy lunch on the shores of the iceberg choked lake before we start our descent back to our pretty campsite at Pehoe Lake. Second night at Pehoe. Hiking time: 6-7 hours. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).

Day 8: Canter across the pampas to the Serrano River. Today after breakfast we will be reunited with our horses and the baqueanos who have become our friends for a brisk and exciting ride across the wide open pampas to the Serrano River. Our path first takes us along flower lined trails around Lake Pehoe before following a rocky path adjacent to Grey River and eventually out onto the flat pampas where we can enjoy an exhilarating canter to our campsite located close to the salmon stocked waters of the Serrano River. This is a beautiful campsite and the sunrises for the early risers are legendary. Facilities include some shelter, showers, bathrooms and fire pits. Riding time about 4 hours. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).

Day 9: Exciting zodiac ride downriver. Today, we will be boarding Zodiacs for our exciting ride down the Serrano River. Our journey takes us through the Bernardo O'Higgins National Park (the largest in the country) past Tyndall and Geike Glaciers finishing at the mouth of the river where it spills into Last Hope Sound. On arrival at Puerto Toro we will meet with our kayak guide, prepare camp and enjoy lunch. After lunch, your guide will provide a safety briefing and paddling instructions for the next part of your adventure in kayaks. This prepares you for our journey to the Balmaceda Glacier through the Ultima Esperanza Fjord, with its waterfalls and cliffs (3 hrs approx). On returning to camp we will enjoy the sunset over the fjord whilst your guide prepares dinner for you. Hours in zodiac 2-3 (*weather reliant). Wild camping with no facilities. Includes: (B), (L), (D) (with wine at dinner).

Day 10: Kayak among icebergs in Serrano meltwater. Today is an early start with a nutritious breakfast, after which we will carry the kayaks 100m to the water. On entering the lagoon we will be able to paddle in between the floating icebergs while taking advantage of the beautiful morning light in front of the Serrano Glacier. A truly unforgettable experience. After a couple of hours we will leave the lagoon and pack away the camp ready to board the boat once again and return to Puerto Natales. During the journey we will stop off at the cute and beautifully situated "Estancia Perales" where a Patagonian asado (BBQ) will be served. After lunch, continue in the boat to arrive at the quayside in Puerto Natales at around 6:00 p.m. On arrival in this interesting waterside town, we will take a taxi to the Hotel IF. There is a restaurant with laundry and internet usually available. Dinner in one of the town's many fine restaurants or in the hotel (not included). Hours on Cutter: 3. Includes: (B), (L).

Day 11: Visit penguins - transfer to Punta Arenas. Morning at leisure in this beautifully situated and quaint waterside town. After an early lunch, we will continue on to the Otway Sound Penguin Colony where we will have a chance to see and photograph the unique and fascinating burrowing Magellanic penguins. After enjoying and photographing these cute creatures we will continue on to Punta Arenas airport for onward flight. Transfer time: 4.5 hours with the penguins. Includes: (B)

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation stated with hotels at start/finish; meals stated (wine included when camping)
- All riding, walking, kayaking and zodiac trip
- All equipment (except sleeping bags and mats)
- All transfers to and from Punta Arenas and while in park
- English-speaking and local guides
- Baqueanos who care for horses
- Waterproof stuff-sacks for tour; use of saddle bags
- River fees; camp fees; entrance fees to park and penguin colony.

Price Excludes:
- Flights, airport taxes, meals in Punta Arenas;
- Meals on Day 1 and Day 11
- Local gratuities (recommend $60).

About This Supplier
Location: Chile
Joined InfoHub: Sep 2003

M09984 is a tour operator based in southern Patagonia's quaint waterside town of Puerto Natales. Run by the original founders, it is a small Anglo-Chilean company which has been organizing wilderness adventure travel in and around Southern Patagonia for nearly 20 years. We offer three services depending on the...

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