Patagonia Wilderness (IGPTU)

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : IGPTU
  • Trip length :15 days
  • Trip starts in : Buenos Aires
  • Trip ends in : Buenos Aires
  • Maximum group size : 16
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals : 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Accommodation : Bed and breakfast (3 nts), Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts), Hotel (8 nts)
  • Transport:  Boat, Bus, Plane

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

 

Buenos Aires

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Argentina!

Please arrive make sure you arrive on day 1 by 3.00pm, in time for the first group meeting. Please have lunch prior to the meeting as we'll head out on our first activity straight afterwards. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. If you are intending to hire a sleeping bag for our nights in the Torres del Paine National Park please let your leader know at this meeting.

In the afternoon your tour leader will take you for an approximately 2 hour orientation walk around some of Buenos Aires' main attractions. In the evening you have the option of going out for a group dinner.

Buenos Aires must be the ultimate cosmopolitan city. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style, this is a city that will steal your heart. The Portenos (the local residents) are justifiably proud of their city which is comprised of distinct 'barrios' (neighbourhoods), each with their own style. Visit San Telmo for its weekend antiques market and artists' displays. La Boca was settled by waves of immigrants that built brightly painted buildings. It is also home to the world-class football team Boca Juniors and murals of famous footballers cover the district's walls. Recoleta is the place to browse museums with Buenos Aires' well-to-do.

When you have finished exploring, settle down at one of the many streetside cafes and prepare yourself for a night of tango at one of the many milongas.

If you arrive to Buenos Aires before day 1, there are plenty of galleries, museums and historic buildings to keep you entertained. On the east side of the Plaza de Mayo you will find the Casa Rosada, the pink presidential palace where Eva Peron appeared on the balcony in front of adoring fans in the 1940s. There is also a Museo Evita, dedicated to the life (and gowns) of this famed figure. MALBA is an incredible art gallery showcasing a private collection, including works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and great temporary exhibits.

As we leave Buenos Aires early on day 2, please try to exchange USD 150 to Argentinian pesos and USD 150 to Chilean pesos before day 1 of the trip (Sunday). This should be enough to cover your personal expenses for the following 5 days in Argentina and 3 days in Chile.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

 

Day
2-3

 

El Calafate/Perito Moreno Glacier

Today we fly (approx. 3 hrs) south from Buenos Aires to El Calafate, our gateway to the Glacier National Park. The rest of the day is free.

On day 3 we visit Perito Moreno Glaciar. This is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world and at 3km (1.8 miles) wide and 35km (21 miles) long is a spectacular sight. Watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below.

We return to El Calafate for the night.

Please be aware that there are no ATM's available in Perito Moreno Glaciar and El Chalten, Your group leader will give you an indication of the amount needed in each destination.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)

 

 

Day
4-6

 

El Chalten/Glacier National Park/El Calafate

Travel 220 km (approx 3.5 hours) to the frontier town of El Chalten, north of Glacier National Park. 

Hikers and climbers from all around the world congregate here and the atmosphere is laid back and very outdoors-oriented.

The next two days we'll take on at least two of the most popular day treks in the area: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Las Torres. Hikes are moderate to difficult. You can expect to walk from six to nine hours on clearly marked and well maintained paths. The terrain itself is not difficult. Wind and rain may be the main challenges you face on these walks.

The hikes we trek and the order in which we trek them may change depending on weather conditions.

Day 6 is a long day as we travel back to El Calafate at the end of a hiking day.

Accommodation: Hotel (3 nts)

 

 
Day
7-9

 

Torres del Paine National Park

Be ready for another long travel day. Early in the morning we jump on a local bus to Cerro Castillo in Chile (approx. 5 hours). Here we stop for lunch (not included) while we wait for the connecting bus to Torres del Paine (approx. 1.5 hours).

Please make sure you have water, snacks and warm clothing available for today bus journeys.

Sitting at the end of the earth is the awe inspiring Chilean Patagonia. Few people have the opportunity to see this area and those who do find it difficult to forget. Once a sheep estancia, the park was established in 1959. This is magnificent trekking country where nandues, condors and pink flamingos abound. Upon arriving in the park you will most likely be greeted by a herd of guanacos, relatives of alpacas. These strange animals provide great photo opportunities but don't get too close; they're likely to spit at you. There's also some of the world's best trout and salmon fishing.

The real star of the show, however, is the magnificent landscape. With sparkling lakes, gushing waterfalls, glaciers and striking mountains, much of our time trekking is spent slack-jawed in awe of our surrounds.

The campsite will be our home for the next three nights and the base from where we'll take on our day hikes.

The most popular trek in this area is locally known as "Base Las Torres" (The Tower's base), your leader will recommend when to take this hike, depending on weather conditions.

Another available hike is towards "Refugio Los Cuernos" (The Horns' Lodge). This trek is long, but it has excellent views of this particular section of the park also known as "Los Cuernos del Paine" (The Horns)

Alternatively, you can opt for an optional vehicle based tour of the park. This activity gives you a wider understanding of the park and its three main areas: Glaciar Grey, Los Cuernos del Paine and Torres del Paine (Grey Glaciar, The Horns and The Towers). The price listed under Optional Activities is the total price of the activity. The final per person price will depend on how many travellers wish to take this option.

The treks are moderate to difficult along clearly marked trails and we will usually hike between 5-8 hours per day. Weather in Patagonia is an important factor to consider - be prepared for cold, wet and windy weather.

You and a fellow traveller will share a tent for the next three nights. Sleeping bags are not provided on this trip so please bring your own. Alternatively you can hire it locally for approximately US$30 for the 3 nights. Make sure you inform your leader on day 1 of the trip if you intend to hire it locally for him/her to make the necessary arrangements. A (thermarest/inflatable camping mattress is provided on this trip.

3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners will be provided while camping. Dinners are simple (pastas, rice, chicken) and are served in a common dinning area. Lunches consist of sandwiches, fruit and sometimes a chocolate bar. Soft and alcoholic drinks are not provided and there is limited selection for you to buy from at the Camping's general store. If you particularly like certain snacks (almonds, nuts, raisins) or a drink (a bottle of wine, spirit) please make sure you bring it from Buenos Aires or Calafate.

Bathroom facilities are available in the campsite with communal showers and bathroom separated by sex.

While we hike, all your belongings will be left at the campsite, inside your tent. We can not be made responsible for anything that may go missing from your tent, however the campsite dedicates one person to look after the site and our belongings and we have not had anything missing from our tents so far.

Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nts)

 

 
Day
10

 

Punta Arenas

On day 10 we're on the move again as we travel by local bus bus to Puerto Natales, before continuing to Punta Arenas.

Set among windswept plains and looking across the Straits of Magellan to Porvenir and Tierra del Fuego, Punta Arenas feels close to the end of the world. In reality it's not that far away. This is Chile's southernmost city and it has plenty of interesting history. Over the years it has attracted explorers, ranchers and even fortune-seekers, as it was was once an important stop along the Californian gold rush route. In recent years it has become a base for the Chilean Navy and with oil and gas discovered offshore and the growth in adventure tourism, the city is going from strength to strength.

Tonight don't miss the chance to sample seafood, some of the finest in the country.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

 

Day
11-13

 

Ushuaia

Did we mention we have some long travel days on this trip? On day 11 we hit the road for one last time - a whopping 12-hour bus ride takes us back to Argentina and to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. Needless to say you will need to arm yourself with your favourite book, your music player, drinks and snacks.

This is the gateway to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, Argentina's only coastal park. We cruise the Beagle Channel (named after Charles Darwin's expedition ship) and observe marine wildlife along the park's small islands and inlets. We have some time to visit Ushuaia's museums before returning to Buenos Aires.

On day 12 you will take an included boat morning trip on the Beagle Channel.

The afternoon of day 12 and day 13 are free for you to explore Ushuaia.

In Ushuaia you will stay in B&Bs (Bed and Breakfast). This kind of accommodation offers a unique local charm and interaction that are difficult to experience in a regular hotel. However, due to their limited capacity, your group may be split into 2 or more different properties.

Accommodation: Bed and breakfast (3 nts)

 

Day
14-15

 

Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

On day 14 you return to Buenos Aires for a final night out. Please note that while we intend to return to Buenos Aires in the early hours of the afternoon, airline schedules in Argentina are known for changing without much notice, meaning that we can potentially arrive in Buenos Aires as late as 11pm on day 14.

We return to our centrally located hotel in Buenos Aires for our final night.

As there are no activities planned, you are free to depart at any time on day 15.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

included1

  • Orientation Tour - Buenos Aires

 

optional-extras

  • City bike tour - ARS90
  • Gran Cafe Tortoni Show - ARS150
  • Teatro Colon - USD5
  • Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD100
  • Tango show - ARS1050
  • Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD96
  • Gourmet Buenos Aires Food Urban Adventure - USD77
  • Moreno glacier cruise (45 mins) - ARS90
  • Trekking on Moreno glacier - ARS540
  • Vehicle base tour of Torres del Paine National Park - CLP170000
  • Penguin tour - ARS510
  • Martial Glacier hike - ARS65
  • Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD96
  • Gourmet Buenos Aires Food Urban Adventure - USD77

 

not-included1International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.


tripgrade1

Standard

For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.

Style Facts

  • Comfortable tourist class hotels
  • Family Homestays
  • Private and local transport
  • More inclusions than Basic tours
  • Fully trained and experienced leaders

Active

Explore the world on two feet - or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination.

Some of our active adventure tours include the classic treks such as the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp as well as shorter one day or overnight hikes. Our cycling tours allow you to access hidden corners of a destination, discover remote villages and meet the locals – either en route or even by cycling alongside them. All our active trips are fully supported – with either porters and mules or by a support vehicle.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.

 

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information.

 

medical-preparation1

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.

 

Money1

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
 
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.

 

travel-insuranceYou must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information.

 

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

 

other-important-information

 

In order to make the most of our time in Patagonia, this trip includes 3 particularly long travel days (Days 3, 6 and 11). Please refer to Trip Notes for specific travel times.

 

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