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My love for South America started when I was living in Lima, Peru, and family and friends came to visit. That year I went to Machu Picchu 5 times! I do not have one drop of Latin blood in me, which is painfully obvious if you see me dance, and yet without realizing it for the past 15 years South America has been my home
Latin America Specialist
- from $10,647 PP
- 14 Nights
- Year round
- 15 hours from London / 10 hours New York
A two-week trip covering both Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia for the trip of a lifetime that starts in Chile’s capital, you’ll witness some of the most breath-taking scenery on the planet as you venture through Torres del Paine with its soaring granite pillars and Los Glaciares National Park, marveling at sparkling mountain lakes, icy glaciers, and craggy peaks, along the way. Discover time-honored traditions and gaucho life, including an opportunity to ride horses with the best. Encounter all sorts of wildlife, explore the famous Swiss-like town of Bariloche, and travel across the Andes to Puerto Varas before returning to where it all began. In between, look forward to inspiring guided tours and plenty of opportunities to sample the tasty local food and drink, including delectable chocolate and craft brews.
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- Authentic sheep shearing and sheepdog show
- Explore Torres del Paine National Park and its renowned granite pillars
- Horseback riding lesson with a gaucho
- Experience the sights and sounds of ice calving at Perito Moreno Glacier
- Discover the Swiss-like town of Bariloche and its famous chocolate
- Multiple expert-led tours
- Upscale accommodation throughout
- Penguin colony visit
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Santiago: The Journey Begins
Upon arrival at Santiago’s airport, you’ll be welcomed by our drive for a private transfer to your hotel in the city. This is the perfect opportunity to relax, resting to beat any jet lag before heading to Patagonia tomorrow, although if you’d prefer, you can explore Chile’s cosmopolitan capital with its mix of modern and historic. You’ll find Spanish colonial architecture and glittering skyscrapers, shopping malls, enticing plazas, and parks, all set against a beautiful backdrop of the Andes Mountains. A walk up Santa Lucia Hill will get you re-energized and provide an amazing view from the spot Santiago was founded in 1541.
Day 2 Torres del Paine: Travel to Patagonia & Visit to Cerro Negro Ranch
Return to Santiago’s airport via private transfer for your flight to Punta Arenas. From there, a shared transfer brings you to your accommodation in Torres del Paine National Park, the crown jewel of Chilean Patagonia. Along the way keep an eye out for gauchos and wildlife like condors and guanacos. It’s a 5-hour journey but you’ll have breaks and a stop to visit a typical Patagonia Ranch, Cerro Negro. Here you’ll watch an authentic sheepdog and sheep shearing show before continuing to the park, known for its granite pillars that soar over 6,500 feet above the Patagonian landscape.
Day 3 Torres del Paine: Your Choice of Excursions
Your lodge offers a wide range of excursions, and you’ll have two full days to take advantage of them whether you’re looking for a challenging adventure or a more relaxed tour to simply enjoy the most stunning scenery in the park. We recommend the Full Paine tour that will bring you to its most renowned highlights by exploring on foot. You’ll be surrounded by the breathtaking mountains that form part of Paine Massif along with abundant flora and fauna. An outdoor lunch is included followed by a stroll around Lago Grey or the chance to get up close to Grey Glacier.
Day 4 Torres del Paine: Another Day to Take Advantage of Lodge Excursions
Another day to take advantage of the lodge excursions, horse enthusiasts might want to take the tour that explores Ascencio Valley, with a close-up view of the Towers of Paine. You can walk the entire way, with views of streams and moraines along the way, or choose to ride a horse to El Chileno Lodge which is mid-way up the trail. From there, you’ll continue on foot towards the incredible Towers. A shorter trip for beginners can bring you horseback riding with gauchos who will help you get to know the animals and teach you the proper way to ride.
Day 5 El Calafate: Transfer to El Calafate in Argentinian Patagonia
This morning you’ll transfer to your hotel in the small town of El Calafate. Located near the edge of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field in Argentina’s Santa Cruz province. Right next to town there are mountains to climb, lakes to paddle, icebergs, caves, abundant flora and fauna, and glaciers. It’s primarily known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, home to the vast Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the region’s most easily accessible glaciers. Unwind while enjoying the scenery or exploring El Calafate’s artisan markets, sample some of the craft beer at a local brewery and try the famous Patagonian lamb.
Day 6 El Calafate: Full-Day Tour to Perito Moreno Glacier
Look forward to one of the highlights of this adventure, a full-day tour to Perito Moreno Glacier, the star of the southern section of Los Glaciares National Park. The nearly 19-mile-long glacier is one of the world’s most famous. Here one can witness ice calving when huge chunks of ice break off and crash into the Iceberg Channel, sight and sound you won’t soon forget. From the series of various vantage points and catwalks on the peninsula de Magallanes, you can take it all in safely. In the morning, the sun hits the glacier’s face and as the day progresses, its appearance changes.
Day 7 El Calafate: Day of Leisure
You’ll have the day to yourself to do what you’d like to do most. You might relax and enjoy some of the facilities at your hotel complemented with a view of Lake Argentino. Or head out on an adventure, taking a trip to one of the nearby estancias like Estancia Cristina, the ideal way to experience gaucho life, typically including a guided tour of a working farm, cattle driving, or sheep shearing demonstrations, and a traditional Argentine Asado of tasty grilled meats. The ecological reserve of Laguna Nimez offers outstanding bird watching, home to more than 80 bird species, including the Chilean flamingo.
Day 8 Bariloche: Travel to Argentina’s Swiss-Like Town
It’s time to fly off to your next destination, starting with a transfer to the airport in El Calafate where you’ll catch your flight. Upon arrival, a private transfer will bring you to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure, with plenty to do in town, including a wide range of dining options and lively nightlife, with casinos and discos. As you’ll have a full-day tour tomorrow you might want to enjoy a swim, a soak in the Jacuzzi, a spa treatment, massage, or just relax in one of the lounge chairs by the lake at your hotel.
Day 9 Bariloche: Full-Day Bariloche Tour
Enjoy a full-day tour exploring the striking natural and manmade beauty that surrounds Bariloche. You’ll take in a magnificent view of the San Pedro and Llao Llao penínsulas, Perito Moreno and the Nahuel Huapi Lakes, Victoria Island, Cathedral Hill, Otto Hill, and the city of Bariloche from Campanario Hill. Marvel at multiple lakes and the Angostura River, discover architectural treasures like San Eduardo Chapel, and take in another jaw-dropping panoramic view from a natural balcony that includes Moreno Lake and the Llao Llao Peninsula. You’ll cross a bridge over Moreno Lake and see Trébol Lagoon before returning to your hotel.
Day 10 Bariloche: Day of Leisure
Enjoy the day to yourself to do as you wish, although we suggested spending time in Bariloche to get to know its Swiss meets Patagonia feel. The Alpine-style architecture with log and stone buildings that house exclusive boutiques, gift and souvenir shops, and recreational activity stores might have you thinking you’re in Switzerland. The Bariloche Civic Center with its wooden balconies and slate roof is the finest example of the town’s Swiss and German heritage. You’ll even find European-style specialty chocolate shops throughout the town center, with many on the high street of Bartolomé Mitre, like Rapa Nui, here for well over a century.
Day 11 Puerto Varas: Travel Across the Andes
You’ll have a full day of travel, with jaw-dropping scenery through your journey, crossing Bariloche to Puerto Varas. You’ll sail across three sparkling lakes in the Andes, from San Carlos de Bariloche to Puerto Varas in Chile. The trip reveals stunning mountain landscapes with everything from emerald water to native rainforest and spectacular birdlife while learning about the fascinating history of your destination. Ride alongside the River Frias by bus to Puerto Alegre before continuing by boat to Lake Frias which reveals picturesque views of Cerro Tronador. Views of the Andes and volcanoes, if weather permits, will be enjoyed before reaching your accommodation in Puerto Varas.
Day 12 Puerto Varas: Day of Leisure
Enjoy the day to yourself to enjoy Puerto Varas. Although relatively small in size, it offers many breath-taking sights and activities. Located in southern Chile’s lake district on Lake Llanquihue, it boasts exceptional views of the snow-capped Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Discover traditional German-style architecture, fabulous wool shops, outdoor adventure stores, chocolate shops, gourmet food, and wine stores. From the top of Cerro Philippi, you’ll get a spectacular view of the town and its surroundings. You can’t miss Museo Pablo Fierro with its balcony and unique objects that surround it. Inside, you can learn about the region’s immigration and colonization.
Day 13 Puerto Varas: Full-Day Tour of Chiloe, Including Penguins
A full-day tour brings you to Chiloe Island by boat, with its isolation making it one of the top spots to enjoy natural beauty and wildlife. You’ll explore the villages of Caulín, Chacao, and Ancud, known for their historic churches and colorful homes, as well as the Puñihuil penguin colony. Arriving early, you’ll be able to spot the two penguin species, Humboldt and Magellanic, along with a good chance of seeing austral dolphins, sea lions, sea otters, and pelicans. After exploring, enjoy a delicious lunch with local fish and empanadas, topping off the day in a memorable way.
Day 14 Santiago: Travel Back to Santiago
It’s time to head back to where it all began, Santiago. You’ll take a private transfer to Puerto Montt airport to catch your flight to Chile’s capital. Once there, our driver will bring you to your hotel in the city. Rest up for your trip back home or head out to enjoy some retail therapy, world-class museums, parks, fine dining restaurants, and buzzing nightlife. There’s plenty to enjoy right at your doorstep in the vibrant Lastarria district with its legendary bohemian vibe. Or unwind with a spa treatment so that you’ll be re-energized for your trip tomorrow.
Day 15 Santiago: Departure
After two weeks of exploring some of the top sights in Chile and Argentina, your adventure comes to an end today. Meet your driver for a private transfer to Santiago’s airport to catch your flight back home or perhaps extend your travels by exploring more of South America with a long list of options that can easily be reached. Otherwise, we hope to see you on another Unforgettable escape soon.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
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