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Patagonia and Tango - Santiago, Glaciers, Whales and Buenos Aires

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 29 people
Destination(s): Argentina   Chile  
Specialty Categories: Wildlife Viewing   Cultural Journey  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 6000 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 10100 US Dollar (USD)

Finish your tour in the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires. Opt to extend to see the Iguassu Falls - larger than Niagara - in a lush green Argentinean tropical setting.

Note: Guaranteed departures every day.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Santiago de Chile. Arrive Santiago de Chile. Your guide greets you to the Chilean capital and escorts you to your downtown the Radisson. Depart from your hotel for a half day sightseeing of Santiago, the capital of Chile. See the civic centre, La Moneda Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas, the imposing Cathedral and the Main Post Office.

Continue to Ahumada and Huerfanos, the busiest commercial pedestrian streets in the city, and then, on to Santa Lucia Hill, the site of foundation of Santiago in 1541. Proceed to the bohemian district of Bellavista with its active nightlife and craft fairs, the residential districts of Vitacura, Las Condes and Providencia with its modern architecture and exclusive shopping malls. Tonight's dinner gives you a taste of the city.

Day 2: Santiago de Chile and Torres del Paine. Transfer to Santiago's city airport for your flight southwards. Pick up at Punta Arenas Apt and transfer to Torres del Paine. The bus departs from Punta Arenas airport at 4:00 p.m. arriving to the penguin Rookery at Seno Otay at 5:45 p.m. You will have some time to enjoy the view of these fascinating sea birds before going on towards Torres del Paine National Park.

This singular place allows passengers to admire the charm of Maguellan penguins, which are a native species of Patagonia. Situated northward from Punta Arenas, it is a place protected from human intervention with limited paths to avoid stepping of the penguin nesting areas. Walking along these paths on the banks of Seno Otway, visitors will be able to watch these amazing and funny seabirds from a belvedere located on the beach. The most interesting thing about visiting a penguin colony is to observe their behaviour. You will also have the chance to watch a large quantity of wild geese, ostriches and many other sea birds. Arrival at the Hosteria Tyndall Inn will be at about midnight. Dinner will be provided on the bus.

Day 3: Torres del Paine. "Each corner of the National Park possesses special surprises for the visitors." In this excursion we would like to give our guests the opportunity to visit some of the most overwhelming sights. Start your excursion at the Visitor Center, then to the view point called Cerro Condor, which offers an outstanding view of the Lake Pehoe area and Los Cuernos, interesting for the funny structure of the mountain summit. Spot some of the many Condor nests, and try to glimpse a few of them in their marvelous flight.

Then we will continue towards the great Salto Grande, and on to the viewpoint of the Horns at Lake Nordenskjold. From there the trip will lead us to Laguna Amarga and up to the cascades of Rio Paine. The excursions will also take us to the inferior paths of Paine where many "guanacos" can be seen. The last view before returning to the inn, will be enjoyed from Lake Sarmiento, after a full day of images, landscapes, flora and fauna. Dinner tonight is on us!

Day 4: Torres del Paine - El Calafate. Departing from Torres del Paine at 6:30 a.m. you will be reaching the frontier pass at Cerro Castillo at 9 a.m. to connect with the bus to Calafate at 9:45 a.m. Arrival in Calafate will be at about 1 pm. Afternoon at leisure to walk around in this small but nice village or to take an optional city tour around the village that will take you to Nymes Lagoon, an interesting place for bird watching. Dinner and accommodation at the Hosteria Sierra Nevada.

Day 5: El Calafate (From October to April daily departures at 7:30 a.m. Approximate arrival time: 6:30 p.m.). Depart from your hotel and drive to Puerto Banderas to board a cruise that will take you to Upsala and Onelli Glaciers. Sail the Northern Arm of the Lake Argentino toward Upsala, the largest continental glacier in the Southern Hemisphere. Disembark at Onelli Bay for a walk through the lenga forest. Reach Onelli Lagoon where Bolado, Onelli and Agassiz Glaciers flow. (If icebergs prevent us from disembarking at Onelli Bay we will stop at Puesto de Vacas).

Day 6, Friday: El Calafate - Puerto Madryn. Transfer today to the airport for your flight to Trelew airport. Transfer to the Hotel Peninsula. Dinner is at a restaurant just a short walk from the hotel.

Day 7: Puerto Madryn. You will be introduced to the ecological world of Peninsula de Valdes located few kilometers away from Puerto Madryn. Cross the Ameghino Itshmus with a stop to watch the Birds Island through binoculars (the access to the island is restricted not to disturb the marine birds breeding). Then on to Caleta Valdes, a cove where the last continental sea elephants rookery is located. We will continue our way toward Puerto Pyramids the only village located on the Peninsula. After lunch take a walk up to the sea lions rookery or take optional sailing tours. From June to mid December you will be able to see the magnificent whale gathering for the mating and birthing season. We suggest you to take an optional boat ride for the whale watching.

Day 8: Puerto Madryn - Buenos Aires. Transfer to Trelew airport to board the flight to Buenos Aires. On the way, visit the Punta Tombo rookery, as well as Gaiman, the most traditional Welsh settlement in Patagonia. We will sightsee the brick buildings from the 19th century, the chapel, the Welsh Museum and the houses where we can enjoy a delicious Welsh Tea (optional). We will also visit Trelew, the most active city in the Chubut River Valley, to pass by the major attractions: the old train station, the central square, the old chapel and Edigio Feruglio Paleontologic Museum.

Finally we will go to Punta Tombo Fauna Reservation, where every year from September until April 500.000 Magellanic penguins meet for mating and birthing. You'll have a great time watching the complex behavior of this swimming migratory birds. You’ll also witness other birds' colonies such as cormorants, seagulls, etc. Arrive in Buenos Aires City airport and transfer to Hotel Pestana located in the heart of the city.

Day 9: Buenos Aires. Half day sightseeing of Buenos Aires, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Your tour starts at the Congress Palace, the headquarter of the Legislative power. This imposing neo classic style building is located in one of the extremes of Avenida de Mayo. On the other extreme stands the Government House, also known as the Pink House or Casa Rosada and the Plaza de Mayo Square, which can be considered the most important site in Argentine history, stage of major political activities and public demonstrations.

Surrounding this square stands the Cabildo and the Cathedral. Drive along 9 de Julio Avenue to see the Teatro Colon (Colon Theatre), the opera house whose perfect acoustic has made it famous all over the world. Then on to La Boca. This colorful district, settlement of Genoese sailors in the 19th century, inspired famous Argentine painters. Walk along Caminito Street, where every weekend a paintings and crafts fair is held. Continue to San Telmo, the oldest neighborhood in the city. It keeps its old architectural heritage: colonial houses, cobblestone streets and antiques shops. Every Sunday a flea market is held in its main square, the Plaza Dorrego.

San Telmo is also known for its nightlife since most tango night clubs are located here. Next we go to Palermo, a residential neighborhood with elegant mansions surrounded with green spaces. On the way back to downtown Buenos Aires, view another residential neighborhood called Recoleta, where fashionable restaurants, coffee shops, nightclubs and boutiques are located. Visit the Recoleta Cemetery to see its valuable works of art and vita’s tomb. The afternoon at leisure for shopping around. Then enjoy a farewell dinner and Tango Show.

Day 10: Buenos Aires. Enjoy a free day in the City of Tango. This evening, transfer from the hotel to the airport.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

2011 Prices:
- 10 days package: $6000 p/p double occupancy/twin
- Single supplement: $1215
- Single independent: $10100.

Price Includes:
- 10 days/9 nights in 4 stars hotels
- 4 dinners, 1 lunch, all breakfasts
- 3 internal flights and all transfers
- English-speaking guides
- All mentioned excursions and entrances fees.

Price Excludes:
- Flight tickets
- Tips
- Alcohol drinks
- Other meals outside the program
- Tips and other personal expenses.