Patagonian Wanderlust

16 days from $5,095pp

This exciting grand tour of Patagonia, the southern regions of Chile and Argentina, will take you to Chile's capital city, Santiago, as well as Puerto Varas, Bariloche, El Calafate and Torres Del Paine. We've made certain there's a hearty balance between thrilling city tours and relaxing hikes and treks through the area's untouched forests. You'll visit sites of historical importance like La Moneda and the Palacio de la Real Audiencia, as well as get a close-up look at some of the most spectacular natural wonders these two countries have to offer including the Perito Moreno glacier, the Alerce Andino National Park and the breathtaking Saltos de Petrohue waterfall.

Highlights

  • Enjoy the five-hour Peninsula del Toro trek

  • Go kayaking in the beautiful Toro Lake

  • Take a mini trek on the Perito Moreno glacier

  • Indulge in Patagonian lamb dishes & visit tea houses

  • Go white-river rafting or visit penguin colonies

  • See the 3,000 year old Alerce Milenario tree

  • Hike through Alerce Andino National Park's forests

  • Explore Santiago's modern metropolis

Itinerary

This exciting trip to Chile & Argentina includes a private car and driver, excursions, accommodation, breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.

From the first conversation until you arrive home from your vacation, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has traveled extensively in the region and will give advice from their personal experience on how to make the most out of your trip. All of our trips are entirely custom-made and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.

Day

Location

Type

1-3

Santiago

City

You’ll commence your grand tour by soaring into Chile’s capital city, Santiago. Upon arrival, you’ll be whisked to Le Reve, which will be your haven for the next two nights. Here, you'll rest in a deluxe king suite with a cozy king-sized bed, free Wi-Fi and a view of the bustling city that you’ll soon be exploring.

After a good night’s sleep, our driver and English-speaking tour guide will fetch you for the first half-day city excursion and your initiation into the local Chilean way of life. The first stop will be La Moneda, the presidential palace that used to house the National Mint. The building has been standing since the 18th century, courtesy of Italian architect, Joaquin Toesca. From there, your guide will take you to other sites of interest including Plaza de Armas (the popular urban city square), the picturesque cathedral, central post office (no longer in operation, but declared a Chilean national monument in the 70s), the Palacio de la Real Audiencia (also home to the National History Museum and all its wonders), as well as the Casa Colorada (a quaint colonial house and originally the Spanish governor’s residence).

The next leg of your tour will take you out of the city center and into the more rural parts of Chile. You’ll head west toward the majestic Andes, past the Cerro San Cristobal where you’ll be able to set your eyes on the exquisite white statue of the Virgin Mary and take a moment to savor the fresh air and natural beauty around you.

The whirlwind excursion comes to a close in the business districts of Providencia and Las Condes, leaving plenty of opportunity for you to enjoy a leisurely shopping experience in one or two of the trendy boutiques, or to settle down for a relaxing lunch at one of the diverse restaurants.

Places to Stay

Things to do

4-6

Puerto Varas

General Tour

On day 4, you’ll be moving from Santiago to Puerto Varas and its celebrated Estancia 440 Hotel. Locals fondly refer to the area as "the city of roses" due to the presence of thousands of rosebushes that seem to embellish its every corner. There’s no doubt that the city is home to plenty of natural wonders guaranteed to calm the mind and soothe the soul. What better way to enjoy them than by spending an entire day in the famous Alerce Andino National Park and its marshy, mysterious forests, spanning almost 400 square kilometers? Generously speckled with lakes and trickling streams, and home to the endangered alerce tree, this is the perfect spot to unwind and allow your stress to slowly melt away. Once you've recouped your strength, we recommend hiking up to the resplendent waterfalls, where you’ll be able to examine the "Alerce Milenario", a 3,000-year-old tree.

Day 6 of the grand tour is yours to spend however you feel. For the nature-curious, you can take a trip to Chiloe Island where you’ll observe adorable penguin colonies in their natural habitat. For the adrenaline-junkies, there’s a chance to visit Petrohue where you’ll engage in a spot of exhilarating white-water rafting.

Places to Stay

Things to do

7-9

Bariloche

Activity & Adventure

On day 7, you’ll travel from Chile to Argentina via the scenic Andean Lakes Crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche. You'll kick-start the morning with some truly incredible views of the Calbuco and Osorno volcanoes en route, stopping at the breathtaking Saltos de Petrohue waterfall, known for its lava rocks, cascading sparkling waters and impressive surrounding volcanoes.

After this feast for the eyes, you’ll hop aboard a catamaran and depart for the crossing of Lake Todos Los Santos, setting off from the quay at Petrohue. Final destination? Puella, in the heart of the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. Expect astounding vistas as you pass dense forests, tiny islands, noisy waterfalls and, of course, the pointed summit of the Puntiagudo volcano. Upon arrival you'll take a hike through the temperate Valdivian forest to another impressive waterfall, known as the Cascada de la Novia.

The afternoon sees plenty more adventuring as you ride the bus, and cross lakes by boat or catamaran. The final boat ride concludes at Puerto Panuelo on Lake Nahuel Huapi, and a short bus ride will take you to Bariloche, a gorgeous town in Argentina’s Patagonia region, and the perfect place to settle down for the night.

On day 8, you’re on your own! You’ll have your own car with which to drive through Bariloche at your pace and leisure. Along with observing the locals and taking in the unique surroundings, now is the ideal time to sample what the native gastronomic scene has to offer. Most native food has a Swiss and German influence. However, if you’re keen to try something completely different, you simply have to sink your teeth into the tender Patagonian lamb dishes. If it’s something sweet you’re craving, there are a multitude of traditional tea houses scattered throughout the town, all known for their warm beverages and creamy cakes.

The following morning, you’re in for even more memorable sights as you cruise along the beautiful Seven Lakes Route on your way to Villa la Angostura, an eccentric resort town known for its snug wooden homes.

Places to Stay

10-11

El Calafate

Activity & Adventure

On day 10, you’ll move to El Calafate where you’ll have the rest of the day to do as you please. We recommend getting some rest because our adventure commences the next day with plenty of activity in store!

If you want to do something thrilling, your wish will be granted on day 11 of the trip. How does mini-trekking on the Perito Moreno glacier and a wonderful boat tour sound? The morning starts off at the Bajo de las Sombras port, where you’ll embark on a 20-minute ride across the Rico Arm, taking in your first close-up look of the glacier and its front wall. You’ll disembark on the opposite shore where you’ll be met by guides who'll take you to a shelter to prepare for your trek. Once you reach the ice, the guides will ensure that each guest puts on a pair of crampons, and will explain exactly how to use them. The mini-trek takes approximately one and a half hours to complete, although there is an option to go on the Big Ice Trek, which lasts about five hours and requires a lot more strength and endurance – for this reason, it's only recommended for those between the ages of 18 and 50.

Regardless of which trek you decide to embark on, you can expect to see some truly incredible sights including streams, small lagoons, gullies, crevasses and plenty of stunning blue ice formations. The guides will educate you in terms of the surrounding flora and fauna, and also about the particular phenomenon that takes place in the Perito Moreno glacier and eventually produces its rupture. Once the trek is complete, you’ll take a short stroll through the forest back to the shelter before returning to your hotel for some well-deserved R&R.

Things to do

12-14

Torres del Paine

Activity & Adventure

There’s still lots more to see in Chile. On day 12, you’ll head to Torres del Paine and make yourself comfortable at Patagonia Camp – a plush hotel. Over the next two days, you'll have a choice between their full-day tour or two half-day tours during your stay. Along with the itinerary as laid out in the Patagonia Camp all-inclusive shared program, we also recommend that you go kayaking in Toro Lake. Our guides will load you up with all of the necessary equipment, teach you basic rowing techniques and provide you with safety instructions. Toro Lake is the largest lake in the area and boasts glistening, pure waters through which you will be able to see a vast array of vibrantly colored fish and flora.

We also recommended the Peninsula del Toro trek. This 13 kilometer hike takes approximately five hours to complete and promises a chance to truly connect with nature. It’s ideal for those who enjoy bird-watching and exploring a variety of complex ecosystems. This will be your last chance to savor every moment of your holiday before commencing the journey home the next day.

Places to Stay

Things to do

15-17

Santiago

General Tour

On day 15, you’ll head back to Santiago and rest at the Le Reve Hotel as you prepare for your upcoming flight.

The next day you’ll depart for the airport in the afternoon, leaving you with a few morning hours to say good-bye to the wonderful surroundings and to look back on your experiences over the last two weeks. We have no doubt that you'll always think fondly of the time spent in the charming cities and towns of Chile and Argentina, and that you’ll be planning a trip back before you know it.

Places to Stay

Map of your trip

Things to do on this trip

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