Patagonia Wonders: Wildlife Expedition

Chilean & Argentine Patagonia
Trip Length: 11 Days
Group Size: 1-6
Difficulty
From: 10,440 USD
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Immerse yourself in the wonders of Patagonia's wildlife on this unforgettable 11-day adventure.

Begin your journey in El Calafate, where the breathtaking landscapes of Los Glaciares National Park await your exploration. Continue onwards to Torres del Paine, where the majestic pumas roam freely amidst the thriving wildlife of the National Park. Finally, your adventure concludes in Punta Arenas, the vibrant heart of Chilean Patagonia, where a blend of wildlife and culture beckons you to experience its wonders.
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Highlights

Highlights

  • Embark on a delightful sail at Lago Argentino and explore the breathtaking Mayo & Perito Moreno Glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park.
  • Join a knowledgeable guide to track elusive pumas in Torres del Paine.
  • Get to know more about the rich culture and history of Chilean Patagonia.
  • Discover awe-inspiring Historical & Archaeological Monuments and Museums.
  • Be enchanted by the charming penguin colony on Magdalena Island.

Itinerary

Day 1: The Adventure Starts!

El Calafate, Argentina

Upon arrival, your guide will warmly welcome you and escort you to a local restaurant for a delicious meal while discussing the exciting plans for the days ahead.

Following lunch, you will be chauffeured to your hotel where you can unwind and relax after your journey.

Overnight at Hotel Posada Los Alamos, Standard Room.

Day 2: Mayo Sound & Perito Moreno Glacier

El Calafate, Argentina

Located within Mayo Sound of Lago Argentino and Los Glaciares National Park, the breathtaking glaciers of Cerro Mayo and Cerro Negro can only be accessed by boat. Embark on a scenic journey starting from Puerto Argentino or Puerto Moreno, cruising through the Canal de los Témpanos to reach the majestic Mayo Sound of Lake Argentino. Upon arrival at Bahía Toro, a knowledgeable guide will lead you on an interpretive walk through the enchanting Patagonian Andean Forest. Take in the stunning views of Cerro Mayo and Cerro Blanco before returning to the boat for a voyage to the north wall of the iconic Perito Moreno Glacier. Disembark at the floating pier of Puerto Moreno, situated at the base of the catwalks, to embark on a mesmerizing exploration. At the conclusion of the journey, a return to the charming city of El Calafate awaits.

This tour starts at 8:00 AM and ends close to 6:00 PM.

Overnight at Hotel Posada Los Alamos, Standard Room.

Day 3: From El Calafate to Ecocamp

Los Glaciares NP, Argentina/Torres del Paine NP, Chile

Following breakfast, you will start your journey in a semi-private van that will transport you across the border to Chile and the breathtaking Torres del Paine National Park.

Upon arrival at Torres del Paine, a delectable lunch awaits you at Ecocamp.

Subsequently, the afternoon is yours to immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the surroundings and perhaps catch a glimpse of the diverse fauna that calls Ecocamp home.

Overnight at Ecocamp, Suite Dome.

Days 4, 5 & 6: Puma Tracking in Torres del Paine and Wildlife Observation

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Each morning, we kickstart our day early, basking in the beauty of the sunrise from different vantage points as we savor steaming coffee and a quick breakfast. Our skilled puma tracking team is already out in the field, diligently locating the park's most elusive creatures. Led by our knowledgeable guide, we explore the diverse habitats and ecosystems of Torres del Paine, encountering the vibrant array of wildlife and learning the art of responsible wildlife observation. Following a morning adventure, we return to Ecocamp for a relaxing lunch and some downtime before setting off on our afternoon exploration. As the sun dips behind the majestic Paine massif, we head back to Ecocamp for a delicious dinner and a well-deserved rest.

Observation blocks are usually divided in between an early morning tracking (6 AM to 11 AM) and then an afternoon tracking (4:30 PM to 8:30 PM).

* Please be aware that tracking pumas does not guarantee their sightings, although our team will do their best to get a glimpse of these elusive felines.

** The tracking days will be divided into 2 different locations: 2 days at Estancia Laguna Amarga (Mostly to watch pumas) & 1 Day inside Torres del Paine National Park and its surroundings to observe other wildlife (location will change according to the behavior of the pumas).

 

Overnight at Ecocamp Patagonia, Suite Dome.

Day 7: Wild Horse Tracking in Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
After enjoying a buffet breakfast at Ecocamp, we'll head towards the Laguna Azul sector. From here, we'll begin our journey by 4x4 through the folds of the Cordillera Masle, from which we’ll be able to appreciate the Cordillera Baguales, Salto Las Chinas and Barranca de Los Toros pass. After about 40 minutes, we'll arrive at a typical "puesto" where Patagonian "gauchos" would take refuge while caring for their livestock. Here, we'll hear a short but interesting introduction to the area's history and the evolution and characteristics of its wild horses.
With the help of satellite tracking equipment, coupled with our guides' experience and knowledge, we'll begin our trek, searching for the 100 untamed horses that remain isolated in this sector surrounded by mountains, lakes, and plains, in the most pristine and untouched terrain of Torres del Paine. Depending on the location of the horses, we'll choose a place to have lunch and share our stories and experiences. The experience of tracking, observing and analyzing the horses in such natural surroundings is incomparable. Additionally, we'll be privy to fantastic views of Stokes Lake, the Dickson Mountain Range, and the imposing Towers.
After 7-8 hours, we'll return to Ecocamp, ready to enjoy an aperitif before settling down to enjoy dinner.

Overnight at Ecocamp, Suite Dome.

Day 8: Cerro Benítez & Journey to Punta Arenas

Torres del Paine/Puerto Natales/Punta Arenas, Chile

Following a hearty breakfast at Ecocamp, our journey takes us south toward Puerto Natales and ultimately Punta Arenas. But before we continue our drive, we set out on a fascinating exploration just 25 km north of Puerto Natales.

Our day of discovery begins with a leisurely walk through the Archaeological Park nestled within the Ernesto Helmer Estancia. The trail offers breathtaking views of towering mountains, deep crevices, sheltered caves, and sprawling valleys. Keep an eye out for the majestic condors soaring overhead as we ascend to the summit, where a stunning panorama unfolds, showcasing the Eberhard Fjord, Señoret Canal, and the picturesque Sofia Lagoon. Cerro Benítez holds a treasure trove of history, with cave paintings dating back around 3,500 years. We'll explore the "window" cave and venture into the "hidden" cave on the southeast side, equipped with headlamps and lanterns to illuminate our path*. Inside, marvel at ancient stalactites formed over millennia from mineral-rich water seepage. Exiting the cave, we make our way to "Dos Herraduras," a series of rock formations known for their ancient cave paintings, a testament to the area's rich past as a seabed.

Following our adventure, we will indulge in a delightful lunch at a charming local restaurant in Puerto Natales. From there, we will hop aboard our van and journey towards Punta Arenas, where Hotel La Yegua Loca awaits to pamper you with a scrumptious dinner. After your meal, retreat to your cozy room for a well-deserved rest.

*Inside the caves, you will have to crawl in some sectors that are more difficult to access.

Overnight at Hotel La Yegua Loca, Panoramic Room (or similar).

Day 9: Historical Journey through Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas, Chile

AM: EXPERIENCE MAGELLAN STRAIT PARK.

Begin your day with an early morning adventure after enjoying a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel. Your journey kicks off with a visit to the captivating Magellan Strait Park, situated 50 km./31 mi. south of Punta Arenas. This historical and archaeological gem in the Magallanes region is home to significant National Historical Monuments like the Bulnes Fort and the King Don Felipe City, also known as "Port Famine". Explore archaeological sites that unveil centuries of human history, and don't miss the opportunity to stop by the visitor center with its informative museum rooms and scenic viewpoints offering stunning views of the Magellan Strait.

Next, we will return to Punta Arenas for a delightful lunch at a local restaurant.

PM: EXPLORE PUNTA ARENAS CITY.

After lunch, our historical exploration continues with a City Tour of Punta Arenas. We'll start by visiting the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), surrounded by historic buildings and the Hernando de Magallanes monument. We'll also explore the municipal cemetery with its beautiful gardens and mausoleums, followed by the iconic “El Ovejero" (The Shepherd) Monument. Later, we will visit the Nao Victoria, a fascinating life-size Boat-Museum, to learn about the Hernando de Magallanes' expedition, taking us back 500 years in history. With its original blueprints and life-sized figures, you can also admire the replica of the Goleta Ancud, pivotal in claiming the Strait of Magellan and other southern lands for the Chilean government in 1843.

Finally, we'll ascend to the Cerro de la Cruz viewpoint to admire the city's colorful rooftops, picturesque views of the Strait of Magellan, and the distant Tierra del Fuego Island before heading back to the hotel.

Overnight at Hotel La Yegua Loca, Panoramic Room (or similar).

Day 10: Penguin Colony at Magdalena Island

Punta Arenas/Magdalena Island, Chile

Get ready for an unforgettable wildlife experience on our final day of adventure!

Early in the morning (between 5:45 and 6:15 AM), you will be picked up for a short drive to the meeting point in Punta Arenas. After checking in and receiving some information, we will set off towards the dock to board our ship. After boarding, we will have a picturesque ride to Magdalena Island. Here, we will spend an hour with our guide exploring the natural habitat of the Magellanic Penguins, one of the largest colonies in South America.  We will then return to the pier and make our way back to Punta Arenas. Along the route, keep your eyes peeled for sightings of Southern Dolphins, Overas Dolphins, and Sei Whales.

Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, you will be transferred back to your hotel or the city center. Take the opportunity to explore the city, shop for souvenirs, and indulge in delicious local cuisine. Be sure to ask your guide for recommendations on the best restaurants and bars to visit.

As the afternoon winds down, we'll make our way back to the hotel for a memorable farewell dinner, where we can share our experiences with our fellow travelers.

Overnight at Hotel La Yegua Loca, Panoramic Room (or similar).

Day 11: Goodbye Patagonia!

Punta Arenas, Chile

For this last day, we understand the importance of a seamless travel experience, which is why we will ensure that you are picked up from your hotel at the perfect time to either make it to your return flight or embark on new adventures in the stunning landscapes of Chile or Argentina. Our private transfer service can be arranged in advance to accommodate any schedule you may have on this final day of your journey. Let us take care of the logistics so you can focus on making the most of your time in this beautiful region.

Accommodation

Hotel Posada Los Alamos - El Calafate

Hotel Posada Los Alamos in El Calafate is a charming retreat nestled in the heart of the picturesque town. Surrounded by stunning landscapes and breathtaking views, this hotel offers a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for guests to relax and unwind. With spacious rooms, delicious dining options, and a range of amenities, Hotel Posada Los Alamos is the perfect base for exploring the wonders of Patagonia. Whether you're seeking adventure in the great outdoors or simply looking to soak up the tranquility of the region, this hotel provides a memorable experience for all travelers.
 
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Ecocamp Patagonia - Torres del Paine

Nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park, Ecocamp Patagonia offers a unique and immersive experience in one of the world's most breathtaking natural landscapes. This eco-friendly camp embraces sustainable practices while providing guests with comfortable dome accommodations that blend harmoniously with the surrounding environment. From guided treks to star-gazing sessions, guests can explore the wonders of Patagonia while minimizing their ecological footprint. Ecocamp Patagonia is a true haven for nature lovers seeking adventure and tranquility in the great outdoors.
 
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La Yegua Loca Boutique Hotel - Punta Arenas

Located in the beautiful, southern city of Punta Arenas. This thematic hotel is the result of the rehabilitation of an old house of an English court built in 1929 and shows off the the trades and traditions of Patagonia. The rooms are spacious and originally decorated. Additionally, a tasty breakfast is served every morning in the hotel’s charming restaurant.
 
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Included

Included

  • All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary (private and semi private).
  • Accommodation:
    - Hotel Posada Los Alamos (or similar): 2 nights.
    - Ecocamp Suite Dome: 5 nights.
    - Hotel Boutique La Yegua Loca (or similar): 3 nights.
  • Private or shared excursions as specified in the itinerary.
  • English/Spanish speaking Specialist Tour Leader throughout the trip.
  • English/Spanish speaking guides on excursions.
  • Entrance fees where needed.
  • Meals:
    • Day 1: Lunch, Dinner.
    • Day 2: Breakfast, Box Lunch.
    • Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    • Day 4: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    • Day 5: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    • Day 6: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
    • Day 7: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner.
    • Day 8: Breakfast, Lunch.
    • Day 9: Breakfast, Lunch.
    • Day 10: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner.
    • Day 11: Breakfast.

Not included

  • Flight tickets.
  • Insurance (appropriate Travel & Health insurance is mandatory).
  • Voluntary tipping to guides and staff.
  • Items of personal nature.
  • Additional bus tickets or transfers/connections.

Facts

Departures

Departures on specific dates. Private departures are also available upon request.

Operational Season: October 1st to March 31st.

Starting / finishing point

The trip starts in El Calafate, Argentina (airport or hotel) and ends in Punta Arenas, Chile (airport, hotel or cruise).

Physical demands

This trip does not demand a high level of physical fitness to perform well, but you need to consider that tracking wild animals can involve spending several hours outdoors either taking short walks or waiting in specific spots until the sightings occur. All trails visited in the programs are under 1,000m / 3,000ft high so travelers don’t need to worry about altitude

Weather

The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to winds that circle Antarctica making the weather hard to predict. Winter’s temperature ranges between -2ºC/28ºF and 6ºC/43ºF. June, July, and August are the wettest months in Torres del Paine and sub-zero temperatures are common. Nevertheless, the winds are relatively mild in winter and visitors should come prepared for sunshine as well as the cold.

What you need to bring

 

Passengers to need to be prepared for summer and winter all at once. We recommend the following:

  • A day backpack. (30 liters - to carry a camera, glasses, raincoat, etc).
  • Water-resistant trekking or hiking boots.
  • Extra shoes for evenings or in case others get wet.
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • 2 pairs of wool socks.
  • Fleece jacket or sweater.
  • Shorts or comfortable loose pants.
  • Sun protection. (glasses, hat, lip balm and screen).
  • Cash for buying extra drinks, snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Optional: Capilene underwear for the upper and lower body.

Are you wondering about photography equipment? We got you! take a look at our What to bring to Patagonia for Photographers.

Please Note: This list is just to give you an idea. We will send you a detailed list prior to the departure date of the program.

Itinerary modifications

We reserve the right to change the order of the days in any itinerary under the sole discretion of the trip guide and based on operational considerations. The trip guide can also modify, change or eliminate part of the itinerary based on these considerations.

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We are a Chilean owned adventure tour operator, based in Santiago de Chile, operating adventure tours in Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.

Destinations | Chile

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