Trip through Patagonia including a four day cruise through the Chilean fjords watching amazing glaciers and wildlife on the way. It also includes rental vehicle for local sites to explore mostly undisturbed wilderness of Patagonia with utmost comfort and first-class service. Overnight stays on exclusive and isolated estancias (farms) or in carefully selected boutique hotels.
Breathtaking landscapes visiting the legendary Perito Moreno glacier, hiking through the surroundings Mounts Fitz Roy and Torre, trekking the incredible Paine massive in Chile, and lastly reaching the southernmost city on Earth, Ushuaia, on the cruise from Punta Arenas visiting Cape Horn.
Arrival at Buenos Aires airport and private transfer to the hotel. 2 overnight stays at Alvear Palace hotel.
In the morning you will be picked up at the hotel for a 4-hour city tour around Buenos Aires, a vibrant metropolis that offers more to its visitants than expected. You start in the historical center of the city, the emblematic May-Square, following through Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue of the world from where you will have a first glimpse to the Obelisk monument. In the relaxed and famous artistic quarter San Telmo you can retreat a bit from the city noises before continuing to the port related neighborhood La Boca where there is plenty of colorful painted houses along “El Caminito“. This area is home to the many art works of street artists and in great contrast to the modern quarter Puerto Madero bordering Rio de la Plata where many storages have been transformed into residential houses and others have been simply newly built. The tour continues to La Recoleta a neighborhood with many expensive shops and trendy cafés to finalize this city tour. Later on there is plenty of time for you to re-discover the town on your own.
Buenos Aires – Bariloche – Villa La Angostura
Transfer to the airport and flight to Bariloche. Car reception at the airport and drive along the Northern shore of Nahuel Huapí lake to Villa La Angostura. 1 overnight stay at Las Balsas suites.
Drive distance: 85 km paved road.
PHOTO BY: KONRAD BARTELSKI
PHOTO BY: KONRAD BARTELSKI
Villa La Angostura – San Martín de los Andes
Start the Seven Lakes road to San Martín de los Andes. That gives you the chance to visit two national parks: Nahuel Huapi and Lanin. You shouldn’t miss this trip, some of the most wonderful lakes and forests in the region and the most secluded places are awaiting you. 2 overnight stays at Rio Hermoso river lodge.
Drive distance: Paved 120 km.
San Martin de los Andes
Today we recommend a visit to the Lanin National park, driving through Junín de los Andes and passing Araucaria forests just to the feet of impressive volcano Lanin (3,747 m).
San Martín de los Andes – Bariloche
Drive along Collon Cura and Encantado valleys back to Bariloche, once arrived following Av. Bustillo towards Llao Llao. 3 overnight stays at legendary Golf & Spa hotel Llao-Llao.
Drive distance: Paved 260 km.
Drive along the so called “Small Circuit” (Circuito Chico), on Av. Bustillo until Llao Llao, where you continuo to the Panoramic Point with a wonderful view to the Andes and several lakes. You have also the possibility to ascend with a chairlift to Cerro Campanario to enjoy from the heights the beautiful surroundings of Bariloche.
Drive distance: 45 km.
PHOTO BY: KONRAD BARTELSKI
A very special boat tour can be done. The trip starts at Bahía López harbor, located on 32 km. of Circuito Chico. During the navigation, Brazo Tristeza of Nahuel Huapi Lake will be explored.
This is a deep glacial fjiord or lake sound, surrounded by imposing mountains and waterfalls, only accessible by boat. Enormous trees like the coihue and alerce or larch grow in this jungle. Thanks to the humidity a proliferation of herbs, ferns, moss, and fungus can be found. The western area of Brazo Tristeza is a Strict Natural Reserve, which preserves numerous species, being one of the most important the Huillín (Lutra Provocax), southern river and lakes otter, a mammal which is only found in central and southern Chile and in Argentina. During the trip, and if the sky is clear, we will appreciate the majestic Mount Tronador (3450 mts), which appears dominating the landscape with its glaciers and eternal snows. Once at the end of the Brazo a marked path awaits; it takes a simple walk until reaching Arroyo Frey waterfall, at the heart of the woods; an idyllic place, where nature expresses herself all around.
After the walk, we start our way back, enjoying lunch on board. The perfect end to this exploration around one of the most beautiful and wildest areas of Nahuel Huapi National Park.
Bariloche – Calafate – El Chaltén
Car returnee at the local airport and wonderful flight along the Andes to Calafate. Transfer along legendary Ruta 40 to El Chaltén. That part leads you through the vastness of the Patagonian steppes, then along Viedma lake towards the mountains up to El Chaltén. This new site is the starting point of all expeditions to the renowned granite peaks of Fitz Roy & Torre. 3 overnight stays at Hotel Destino Sur.
Drive distance: 200 kms paved road.
Hiking to Laguna Torre (on your own), at the foot of legendary Cerro Torre, one of the most demanding mountaineering targets worldwide. Its 1400m high steep walls of flat granite are proof of this, the climate being the main factor, which is why mountaineers must often wait for months before the final assault can be made. The suggested hike extends only to Laguna Torre which lies directly at the foot of the mountain. From here one has breathtaking views of a series of windswept granite needles and huge glaciers. Easy 5-6 hour hike. This stretch may be interrupted after one and a half hours at a first viewing spot.
Hike on your own to Laguna de los Tres at the foot of Cerro Fitz Roy, the most famous peak of the southern Patagonian Andes. For three hours we wander through wonderful forest and mountain landscapes until we reach the base camp Rio Blanco, with Cerro Fitz Roy and neighboring granite peaks always in sight. We then set out on a continuous and steep one-hour climb up the moraine until we reach Laguna de los Tres, directly in front of Cerro Fitz Roy, a grandiose observation point of the impressive Fitz Roy. Easy 7-8 hour hiking, which may also be interrupted after a maximum of 2 hours hiking, especially considering that from this point on hikers will be feasted with incredible panoramas of the mountains. Overnight stay same as previous day.
El Chaltén – El Calafate
In the morning drive back to El Calafate. 2 overnight stays at Eolo lodge, located on a 10,000 acres estancia, close to the most important Southern icons, the Andes and glaciers.
Day excursion of famous Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the highlights in Southern Patagonia. Being the only glacier in the world, which is permanently advancing, it has been declared by UNESCO a world heritage.
El Calafate – Puerto Natales
Transfer (5 hours drive) to Puerto Natales. 2 overnight stays at Singular hotel. With a privileged surrounding of unparalleled natural beauty, The Singular Patagonia is a space of extreme sophistication, incredible history and the highest levels of personalized service at the so-called “end of the world” deep in the heart of Chilean Patagonia.
Torres del Paine National park
In 1978, Unesco declared the Torres del Paine National Park a Biosphere Reserve. It is also the Eight Wonder of the World. We will head northward to the Park, passing through several lookouts with breathtaking views of the Paine Massif. We will see fauna typical of this area: nandus, or American ostriches, foxes and guanacos; and visit lakes such as the Nordenskjold, Sarmiento, Pehoé and Grey. We will take a short walk to the Big Falls (Salto Grande) where you can see the Horns (los Cuernos). At Grey Lake beach, you will have the chance to watch icebergs swimming in the bay that were once part of the glacier.
Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas – Cruise
Transfer of about 3 hours to Punta Arenas. Check in at 1385 O’Higgins Street (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13:00 and 17:00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your Australis cruise departure. Board the vessel at 6 PM. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night we cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extreme of Patagonian. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as we enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego
Ainsworth Bay - Tuckers Islets
By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.
Leaving our Ainsworth Bay tour behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April — when the penguins live elsewhere — this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.
Pia Glacier - Glacier Alley
Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a Pia Glacier tour. After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.
No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.
Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries, Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
Cape Horn - Wulaia Bay
During the morning we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition — and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland. Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the “End of the Earth.” The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.
In the afternoon we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station, which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area, passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.
The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Arrival at 08:30 a.m. and 9:30 am according to date of departure. Transfer to the local airport and flight to Buenos Aires. Transfer into the city center and 1 overnight stay at Alvear Palace.
In the evening transfer and tango show with dinner and beverages included.
Transfer to the international airport. Departure flight.
- Lodgment in double rooms with breakfast, at Eolo lodge all meals included.
- Private transfers from/to airports and city tour (English driver/guide) in Buenos Aires.
- Tango show with transfers, dinner & beverages.
- Bariloche: hired car with free mileage and insurance cover with deductible up to U$D 750 in case of minor damage or accident and U$D 2200 for overturn, second driver and airport charge included.
- Calafate, Chile & Ushuaia: all transfers & excursions in group service with English guides.
- Cruiser: all meals, beverages and activities included.
- Meals except at Eolo lodge and cruise.
- Park entrance fees.
- Boat excursion in Bariloche.