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Patagonia North to South

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 16 people
Destination(s): Argentina   Chile  
Specialty Categories: Wildlife Viewing   Multi-activity  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 3999 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3999 US Dollar (USD)

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Today is all about easing you into the local culture. After arriving in Buenos Aires on your overnight flight, you’ll meet your local tour guide and be taken to your hotel. You’ll then make your first foray into the Argentinean capital, giving you a feel for the hustle and bustle you can expect from the next few days in one of South America’s great metropolises.

Day 2: Having had a day to gently acclimatize, the real tour starts here. We head into the city center first thing and take a trip to some of Buenos Aires’ most notable sites. First up, the Civic Center in the Plaza de Mayo, where the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo meet every Thursday to hold a vigil for their lost children. Then we visit the modern Puerto Madero district and the traditional neighborhood of La Boca - home to the famous soccer club Boca Juniors. Afterwards we pass by the Caminito, where tango dancers vie for your attention, and then visit a few of the local antique dealers, cafes and bars where we will enjoy a cold beer in one of their colonial plazas. In the evening, you’re free to enjoy the restaurants, bars and nightlife of the Argentinean capital.

Day 3: There is no planned itinerary for the day, so you’re free to explore Buenos Aires at your leisure. From seeing the city’s museums to exploring the upper-class neighborhood of Recoleta or visiting one of our viSocial projects, there’s plenty to do. Alternatively, if you fancy a trip out of the city (and out of the country), you can take the ferry across the small bay that separates Argentina from Uruguay.

In the evening, we’ll enjoy a traditional Argentinean dinner and tango show in one of the capital’s most historic - and most magnificent - theaters. You’ll experience the rhythm of the tango and be invited to add to the Live Tour Journal, where all your friends and family can follow your two-week trip through Patagonia.

Day 4: After three days in the Argentinean capital, it’s time to move on. In the morning we fly into the heart of the Patagonia - the country’s picturesque Lake District. After we settle into our hotel, we learn about this city located on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi (nah-well wah-pee). Famous for its ski resort and its excellent chocolates, we will make the "circuito chico", where we get to know Bariloche. Afterwards we take an hike into the hills for a panoramic view of Northern Patagonia - and an incredible opportunity for photos.

We’ll return to Bariloche for dinner and then you’re free to explore the lakeside city at night.

Day 5: Have your camera at the ready for one of the most scenic trips on earth. The Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Route of the Seven Lakes), is a unparalleled journey through some of the most picturesque landscapes in Patagonia. Our private bus, allows us to take our time. From the little lakeside city of San Martin de los Andes to the vast, forested Arrayanes National Park (home to various centuries-old trees and an abundance of wildlife), is this the toughest test a camera can have?

Day 6: Today is an early start as we’ll be, quite literally, crossing the Andes. We’ll take a bus over the mountains and descend into the tiny Chilean town of Pucón - right at the foot of an enormous, imposing volcano. An adventure lovers’ paradise, the town offers everything from hiking to horseback-riding, skiing to white water rafting, choose how you wish to spend the rest of your morning. After you’ve had your fill of adventure, there are plenty of other attractions - for you to enjoy. From hot springs and volcanic shores to bars and clubs there is something for everyone.

Your adventure in Pucon is completely customizable. All activities at the lodge are optional so that you can tailor your experience to your adventure level.

Day 7: If you didn’t get your fill of adventure activities yesterday morning, we’re giving you time to enjoy even more. Climb the Villarrica volcano trek throughout the Huerquehue National Park, catch fresh trout fishing in the Río Liucura or go rafting on the Trancura River. Take advantage of the great outdoors while getting a little exercise. To help you choose the perfect activity, we’ll even offer you a fitness assessment in advance (for a small extra charge).

Day 8: After yesterday’s thrills, it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy the view as we travel along the famous Pan-American Highway. With arid volcanoes out of one window and fertile green pastures out of the other, it’s a scenic journey through the varied Chilean landscape. In the late afternoon we’ll arrive in the small city of Puerto Varas, beside one of the largest lakes in South America (Lake Llanquehue) and dominated by one of its most photographed peaks (Osorno volcano). After checking into our hotel, you can finish the day by exploring the downtown of this picture-perfect city.

Day 9: With such an enormous coastline, it's inevitable that Chile has some of the continent’s tastiest seafood dishes. In order to see for yourself, we’ll be stopping off at the seafood market of Angelmó in Puerto Montt in the morning, before hopping on a plane and flying to Punta Arenas at the southern tip of the country. The low flight includes some of the most famous panoramic views of the Andes mountain range and continental ice fields.

Once we get into Punta Arenas and settle into the hotel, you’ll be free to explore the town.

Day 10: In the morning, we’ll take a quick look around the area - including the 19th century Punta Arenas Cemetery, which contains a number of English and Croatian graves, and the Seno Otway Penguin Colony, which is home to up to 10,000 Magellanic penguins at one time - then, in the afternoon, we’ll hop on a coach across the vast pampas (plains) to the largest town in the Última Esperanza district: Puerto Natales. After we’ve checked into the hotel, you can head out into the center for some traditional local cuisine.

Day 11: Today we’re going to see the true icon of Patagonia. Starting early in the morning, we will set off for Torres del Paine National Park. We should arrive around noon, which gives us time to take in park’s the varied wildlife (from camel-like guanacos to the flightless rhea birds) and enjoy a few hours’ hiking under the jagged mountain peaks. In the evening, we’ll rent some tents as a group so we can sleep under the stars.

Camping equipment is available at our hotel. It will cost $30, for a camping kit, including a tent, tarp and sleeping bag. If camping is not your style, there is an option to say in the dormitory style Refugio.

Day 12: It’s another early start today as we attempt to trek to the base of the Torres. It is around a six-hour hike in all, but not very technical. If all goes to plan, we’ll return to our camp in the afternoon to pack up and make our way out of the park. In the early evening we’ll visit a friendly local couple in their estancia (rural estate) and then enjoy a very traditional Patagonia BBQ for dinner - along with a few drinks - before heading back to town for the night.

Day 13: We have a long bus journey this morning, as we cross the Andes again on our way back to Argentina. This means another day of scenic views - from snow-capped mountains to long green plains. In the early afternoon we’ll arrive in a small town called El Calafate, which is also the name of the region’s local berry. Did you know that, according to local legend, if you have just one taste of this berry you’re destined to return to Patagonia? With a wide variety of sweet treats made from the berries - from jams to ice creams to liqueurs - we’re sure you’ll be coming back to the area sooner than expected.

Day 14: It’s our last day in the heart of Patagonia - and we’ve saved the best until last. Today we’ll be visiting the enormous Perito Moreno glacier, where craggy cliffs of ice rise over 240 feet above Lago Argentino. Did you know that this glacier is the world's third largest reserve of fresh water? It’s quite a spectacle too, as you can watch giant ice shards break and fall from 70 feet into the large lake below - particularly if the sun is shining. We’ll enjoy a typical Patagonian picnic overlooking the bright white glacier in the late afternoon.

Day 15: We bid a fond farewell to Patagonia as we catch a plane back to the busy metropolis of Buenos Aires. Once we arrive there’s no schedule for the day, so it’s the perfect chance to see what you missed in the Argentinean capital - and also a fantastic time to pick up some unique souvenirs of your trip. Our top tips? The best gifts are probably designer handbags made from soft Argentinean leather and, of course, a Boca Juniors soccer shirt.

Day 16: This morning your trip sadly comes to an end, as are transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

All domestic flights Included