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Highlights & Gems of Patagonia

Argentina, Chile

Highlights & Gems of Patagonia

Hiking·
Glacier hiking
·
Start: Santiago
·
End: Buenos Aires

Explore the adventure towns, wilderness and most scenic spots of South America

Activity
LocationArgentina, Chile
Duration14 days
Start / EndSantiago / Buenos Aires
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

Argentina, Chile

Highlights & Gems of Patagonia

Hiking·
Glacier hiking·
14 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Santiago
·
End: Buenos Aires

Description

Just the sound of it fills the stomach with butterflies: Patagonia. Sharp granite peaks impale the horizon and glaciers feed into the most perfect blue lakes imaginable. Visit the seemingly endless wilderness that’s become the hottest, and coldest, outdoor playground for adventurers world-over, beginning in the Chilean capital of Santiago and ending in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. Combine the bes...

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Itinerary

Day 1Santiago
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Chile. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting tonight at 6pm. Your leader will leave a note at the hotel reception telling you where this meeting will take place, after which there’ll be the option of joining the group for dinner. If you arrive early, perhaps get out and explore Santiago. The city centre is quite compact and easy to get around; you can visit Plaza de Armas (Main Square) and its cathedral, Palacio La Moneda (government house) or Santa Lucia hill. Alternatively, head out to the barrio Bella Vista (the serene Parisian Quarter) and take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal. If the weather is fine, you’ll have lovely views over the city and the Andes.
Day 2Santiago/Pucon
Enjoy a free day sightseeing in Santiago. Both the National History Museum and the fascinating Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano can be found in the Plaza de Armas and it’s a short walk to the National Museum of Natural History. There’s the option to take a half-day city tour including La Alameda (the main avenue), the thriving central markets and Cerro San Cristobal, a huge green space above Santiago with views of the city and the Andes.  Tonight we’ll take an overnight bus to Pucon in Chile’s southern lake district, known for its abundance of adventure activities.
Day 3Pucon
We arrive to Pucon in the early hours of the morning. If our accommodation is not ready yet, we'll able to drop off our bags head to town for breakfast. Pucon is one of the major centres for adventure ecotourism in the country, picture-perfect Pucon is visited year-round by domestic and international tourists keen to push their heart rate up a tad thanks to its handy location. This afternoon we take a bike ride to the gorgeous Ojos de Caburga Waterfall, so named because in Spanish the name means Eyes of Caburga and from above the falls look like a pair of eyes, one blue, one green.
Day 4Pucon
Spend another day in Pucon. Today is a free day, for those wanting to hike the Villarica Volcano. This is an optional activity and will take up most of the day. This is a challeninging climb, but well worth it fr the stunning scenerey from the top  - and of course the child-like fun of sliding back down the volcano after you've reached the summit! For those not climbing who may prefer some relaxation, the Pozones natural hot springs are a short drive from town. These thermal baths are set within a verdant forest with a river flowing through the middle, and have a range of depths and sizes to soothe those aching muscles. Sit back and soak up the breath-taking natural scenery before heading back to Pucon to hit the food and bar scene.
Day 5Bariloche
Today we cross the mountainous border from Chile into Argentina, this is approximaytely 10 hours of travel time with one change of bus in Osorno. Our destination is Bariloche , another adventurous lake town that must be seen to be believed. Bariloche is the largest of several settlements supported by Lake Nahuel Huapi and is a popular destination for skiing in the winter and hiking, mountain-biking and kayaking during the summer months. It’s also known for its Swiss influence, and you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve somehow ended up in the Swiss Alps once you see the mountains, wooden chalets and boutique chocolate shops. Like any good tourist town, the food and bar scene here has really taken off and it’s a great spot to have your first taste of Argentina’s famous steak. Take the afternoon and evening to enjoy and explore town, because tomorrow you’ll discover why it’s known as the Great Outdoors.
Day 6Hiking - Bariloche
Lace up those hiking boots. Today we hike up to one of Bariloche's most scenic mountain refuges. The hike is about 16km long and it gains approximately 850 meters of altitude. Today's hike perfectly showcases the beauty of Northern Patagonia and its Lake District: deep green forests, crystal clear mountain rivers and pristine lakes. Enjoy! Accommodation tonight is at a mountain lodge. Rooms are multishare and separated by sex and basic toilet facilities. Meals at the lodge are included and they normally consist of pastas, rice and meat. Please let us know well in advance if you have any dietary requirement.
Day 7Hiking - Bariloche
After breakfast your experienced local guide will take you on a trek pass a glacial lagoon, up a mountain pass before getting to the summit of Cella Peak. Today's hike is 10km long and it gains approximately 660 meters altitude.
Day 8Bariloche
After breakfast we commence our descent to Bariloche. The hike down is approximately 16km long and you will reach Bariloche by early afternoon.
Day 9Bariloche / El Calafate
Today is a long travel day. We get up nice and early and trek down to Bariloche once again. Upon arrival we head straight to the airport for a 1h 45 flight to El Calafate. El Calafate, a small town on the shore of Lago Argentino and a hub for visiting Los Glaciares National Park. Hikers and climbers from all over the world congregate in both El Calafate and El Chalten, creating a laid-back and very outdoors-orientated atmosphere. Don't be scared to chat to them, there are plenty of people to meet and stories to be heard in Patagonia's supposed wilderness. The flight departs at approximately 11am for a 12:45pm arrival in El Calafate where you will be transferred by private vehicle to El Chalten (approximate drive time 3 hours). 
Day 10El Chalten
Over the next two days you'll hike the two most popular trails in the area: Laguna de los Tres and Laguna Torre. The Laguna de los Tres takes you through forests and past lagoons and glaciers until you hit the bottom of Mt Fitz Roy, an imposing landmark. The Laguna Torre trek also features ridiculous scenery and all the forests and lagoons you could ever want, but will take you to the area's other famous peak: Cerro Torre. It's not unusual to see huge icebergs in the lake and you'll also walk alongside the Fitz Roy River. 
Day 11El Chalten
Today we'll embark on our second trek. The order of treks will differ based on weather conditions, but both hikes are moderate to difficult and you can expect to walk from six to nine hours on clearly-marked and well-maintained paths. The terrain itself is not difficult, so rain and the notorious Patagonian wind may be the main challenges you face on these walks.
Day 12Hiking - El Chalten/El Calafate
The majority of the day is free to complete another optional hike if you choose. Otherwise, take it easy and enjoy a final day in El Chalten with a stroll around the local area, which is still incredibly beautiful. In the afternoon we'll return to El Calafate.
Day 13Perito Moreno Glacier / Buenos Aires
Today is all about one of Patagonia's top attractions - Perito Moreno Glacier. Standing in the middle of Lake Argentino, it stands 70 metres tall, 5 kilometres wide and around 30 kilometres in length and boasts a surface area of around 250 sq km, it’s pretty hard to miss! The enormous chunks of ice that regularly shed from the main bulk of the glacier provide spectacular viewing from the catwalks that surround it, and cause huge waves to kick up and crash across the lake. Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier then take a transfer to El Calafate for an evening (8pm) flight to Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires, the so-called Paris of South America, is where your trip officially ends tomorrow morning, but we strongly suggest you spend some time getting to know this eclectic city. Cosmopolitan, chic and cultured, you can pick your descriptor then pick your poison, be it mouth-watering steak, a taste of the tango or a bottle of A-grade malbec. Wander by the colourful houses of La Boca, enjoy shopping in the famous San Telmo Market, discover the architecture of Plaza de Mayo, explore the Recoleta Cemetery before getting checking out the famous nightlife.
Day 14Buenos Aires
The adventure ends after breakfast and you are free to depart the accommodation at any time.

More info

Trip title

Highlights & Gems of Patagonia

Trip code

GGSJ

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Just the sound of it fills the stomach with butterflies: Patagonia. Sharp granite peaks impale the horizon and glaciers feed into the most perfect blue lakes imaginable. Visit the seemingly endless wilderness that’s become the hottest, and coldest, outdoor playground for adventurers world-over, beginning in the Chilean capital of Santiago and ending in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. Combine the best o... Read more

Style

Basix

Themes

Explorer,Walking & Trekking

Transport

Plane,local bus,private vehicle

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

Joining point

Happy House Hostel

Joining point description

A 6-minute walk from Los Héroes metro station, this casual hostel in an elegant stone building is also an 11-minute walk from the Palacio de La Moneda presidential palace and 3 km from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Amenities include a guest kitchen, a bar and a TV lounge, as well as multiple vibrant common rooms. There's also a pool table, plus table tennis and foosball. A garden with an ou... Read more

Joining point instructions

Taxis are readily available from outside the airport. A taxi fare to your hotel will cost approx. US$50. Alternatively there is the CentroPuerto bus which takes about 40 minutes and costs approximately US$5. The bus drops off at Los Heroes bus terminal, from where it is about a 20 minute walk to the hostel, or you can catch the metro to Santa Ana or Cumming for a shorter walk. Another bus, Tur ... Read more

Finish point

Hotel Nogaro

Important information

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary. 2019 BROCHURE CORRECTION. December 2018. Please note that in the 2019 brochure, this trip ... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more

Communications

It is recommended that you download WhatsApp prior to departure; please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. WhatsApp is usually the preferred method for your leader to be in contact with you and the rest of the group while on tour. It is also good for sharing information and photos with th... Read more

Visas

PASSPORT: Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months' validity remaining. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or frie... Read more

Why we love it

Discover the spirit of cosmopolitan Santiago

Is this trip right for you

There are a few long days of travel. Remember to stock up on snacks and keep your warm clothes handy. The reward for your patience comes in the form of jaw-dropping glacial scenery. Weather in Patagonia can be wild, so it's important to prepare for all elements. Rain, wind and extreme cold are all part of the adventure. A good level of fitness is required to complete the multiple treks included... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat ... Read more

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in ... Read more

What to take

On this particular trip we recommend taking a bag that can easily be lifted off the ground. You may find it difficult to do so with a suitcase on wheels. Therefore we recommend bringing a backpack. Alternatively you may want to consider a backpack with wheels and a handle, sometimes known as a Hybrid backpack. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, ... Read more

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights),Mountain refuge (2 nights),Overnight bus (1 night)
14days
€3,790per person
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Oct 19
Santiago
Nov 1
Buenos Aires
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Santiago
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Buenos Aires
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Santiago
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Buenos Aires
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Santiago
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Buenos Aires
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