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PATAGONIA NATURE TOUR - SANTIAGO, ATACAMA, USHUAIA, BARILOCHE, PUERTO MONTT, CHILOE

Chile is a land of incredible contrasts, from the dry Atacama desert in the north, the the ice, snow and glacial lakes of the south. It is the longest and thinnest country in the world, measuring over 4300km (2700 miles) from north to south and only 240km (150 miles) from east to west. Chile is also famous for the incredible Torres del Paine, considered by many to be the finest nature travel destination in South America.

 

Torres del Paine National Park comprising mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers. The landscape of the park is dominated by the Paine massif, which is an eastern spur of the Andes located on the east side of the Grey Glacier, rising dramatically above the Patagonian steppe. Small valleys separate the spectacular granite spires and mountains of the massif.

Fast Facts

When: All Year

Best: October to March

Tours: 15 Days

Accommodation: Hotels

Patagonia Itinerary

 

Day-1: Santiago de Chile

Upon arrival at the international airport in Santiago, our guide will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Santiago. After check in and some time to relax, we will explore the Chilean capital in the afternoon, including a visit to the Plaza de Armas and the local market. Santiago.

 

Day-2: From Santiago to the Lake District

Drive to the airport to board our one-hour flight to Temuco. This city is known as the capital of the Araucania Region, home to the indigenous Mapuche. After a short tour around the city, which includes the colorful fruit and vegetable market, we will drive to the resort town of Pucon which was founded by German immigrants in the 19th century. Due to its picturesque setting on the shore of the Lake Villarrica, by the imposing Villarrica Volcano and the surrounding national parks, Pucon attracts visitors from all over the world. In the afternoon we will take a gentle walk and visit the falls of Caburga. We will have dinner and stay close to Pucon. (B, D)

 

Day-3: Hiking in Huerquehue National Park & Hot Springs

Our first full day excursion is into one of the oldest and most beautiful national parks in Chile: Huerquehue. A short drive will take us to the starting point of our hike, from where we will enjoy a nice half day hike in the national park. Walking through a dense native forest of Coigue, Lenga and Araucaria trees, we will have good views of the smoking Villarrica Volcano and the extinguished Choshuenco Volcano during our hike. After two hours, we will arrive at three pristine lagoons, hidden among immense Araucaria trees at 1100 meters /3.609 feet above sea level. After our hike we will have time for a relaxing bath in one of the natural hot springs outside the national park. (B, BL,D)

 

Day-4: Crossing the Andes to San Martin de los Andes (Argentina)

Today we will experience the natural contrasts between the Chilean and Argentinean slopes of the Andes. Crossing the mountains at 1,207 m / 3,960 ft, the countryside will change dramatically. Green rolling farmland and lush native forests in the Villarrica National Park will be replaced by the dry but very colorful Pampa of the Lanin National Park. The immense 3,747 m / 12,293 ft high LaninVolcano will be a constant point of reference during the trip. On the pass we will drive through a spectacular forest of ancient Araucaria trees growing at the base of the volcano. In the afternoon we will reach San Martin de Los Andes situated at 700 m / 2,297 ft on Lake Lacar. San Martin de Los Andes. (B, BL)

 

Day-5: Crossing 3 National Parks to Hot Springs at Puyehue (Chile)

Today we will first travel through the two famous national parks Laninand Nahuel Huapi in Argentina during our scenic drive through the Seven Lake District. Next, we will cross the Andes at an altitude of 1,308 m / 4,291 ft back into Chile. The famous Hotel & Hot Springs Puyehue in the Puyehue National Park on the border with Argentina will be our accommodation for the night. (B)

 

Day-6: From Puyehue National Park to Vicente Perez Rosales N.P.

We will drive around the Lake Llanquihue today, which is the third biggest in South America. On our way to the Hotel Petrohue in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park, we will stop in Frutillar, a charming town on the banks of the lake, celebrated for its architecture of the 19th century homes of the German immigrants. We will continue driving around the Lake Llanquihue accompanied by constant views of the perfectly cone-shaped Osorno Volcano. Dinner and overnight in the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park on the shores of Lake Todos los Santos. (B, D)

 

Day-7: Hiking in Vicente Perez Rosales N.P.

We will discover Chile's oldest national park today and hike on the Paso de la Desolacion that will take us to Cerro La Picada at an altitude of 1710 m / 5.610 ft. During the ascent we will enjoy fantastic views of Lake Todos Los Santos and the volcanoes Osorno, Tronador, Calbuco and Puntiagudo. We will also have the opportunity to observe local trees and wildlife. The descent takes us to Playa Larga where a swim in the lake will be a refreshing reward. Dinner and overnight in the national park. (B,BL, D)

 

Day-8: Flight from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas

Early transfer to the airport in Puerto Montt, the flight will leave at around 10:00 a.m. After 2.5 hours we will arrive in Punta Arenas, the southernmost town of the continent. It will be our starting point for our tour into the heart of Patagonia. Upon arrival, we will drive into town for a short city tour, which will include views of the famous Strait of Magellan that separates the continent from the island Tierra del Fuego. On our drive to the hotel, we will stop at the Penguin colony at the Otway Sound. The visit will be well worth your while as you will not only see the colony of Magallan penguins but may also spot other animals such as the Patagonian fox, nandus (South American ostrich) and condors. We will spend the night at an estancia. (B, D)

 

Day-9: Torres del Paine National Park

This morning we will make our way to one of the most spectacular national parks in the world, Torres del Paine. We will pass through the typical Pampa steppes of the Magellan Region scattered with various old estancias (sheep farms). Before we will arrive at the internationally renowned Torres del Paine National Park in the late afternoon, we will visit the Milodon Cave where scientists have discovered the remains of a giant sloth. Hosteria in the park. (B)

 

Day-10: Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park is without doubt a must-see for every traveler in Chile. It is one of the most beautiful and awesome places in America. Our full day excursion will include visits to Lago Grey with its imposing glacier, the Salto Grande ("big waterfall"), Salto Chico and the administration center. Short hiking excursions will allow us to observe various kinds of animals: guanacos, flamingos, nandus, condors, among others. A filling picnic lunch will be served on our way. Overnight in the park. (B,BL)

 

Day-11: Crossing the Patagonian Steppe to El Calafate

(Argentina) Today we will drive to the border village and estancia Cerro Castillo and continue on through a deserted Patagonian landscape until we arrive at the town of El Calafate on the shores of the immense Lake Argentina. Overnight in or close to El Calafate. (B)

 

Day-12: Los Glaciares National Park

On a full day excursion into the Los Glaciares National Park, we will have the opportunity to see various spectacular sceneries. A visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier will be the highlight of our day. This glacier with its 60 m / 197 ft wall of ice is one of the few in the world that are still growing. Approaching as close as possible, we will take our time to observe it from all angles. After a nice picnic with great views of the glacier we will go on a hike in the national park. We will also be able to organize an optional short hike on the glacier with an expert local guide. Return to El Calafate in the afternoon and overnight at the hotel. (B, BL)

 

Day-13: From El Calafate to Puerto Natales (Chile)

Crossing the flat and widespread Pampa, we will start our trip back to Chile and enjoy a nice picnic on the way. Occasionally, we may see guanacos, nandus or even flamingos. Arrival at Puerto Natales on the shores of Ultima Esperanza Fjord ("Last Hope Fjord"). We will stay in Puerto Natales over night. (B)

 

Day-14: Flight back to Santiago de Chile

Drive to the airport in Punta Arenas and flight back to Santiago (approx. 4 hours). Transfer to our hotel in Santiago and overnight. (B)

 

Day-15: Departure

Transfer to the international airport in Santiago and end of our tour through Patagonia. (B)

 

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