Nature at its rawest
Whenever Darwin recalled his travels, he claimed it was always; ‘the plains of Patagonia that passed before my eyes'.
This is an overland journey, that shuns airports and planes in favour of experiencing Patagonia in a more visceral way. A trip that revels in the journey as much as the destination.
Day 1 - 4, Bariloche, private lakeside cabana
You'll start your trip in the Lakes. After a few days hiking and exploring Bariloche, we'll leave the lakes behind and these plains will be spinning past under our wheels, as we drive the infamous Ruta 40 down to Los Glaciares and the Fitz Roy range.
Day 4 - 8, various traditional but luxurious estancias en route
The South American equivalent of highway 66, the infamous Ruta 40 cuts through the gaucho heart of Patagonia, paralleling the Andes and affording us 2 days to stop off in two of the most remote national parks; Los Alerces and Perito Moreno. We'll walk in forests of 4,000 year old giant alerces and visit the Cave of Painted Hands, a UNESCO Heritage Site of 10,000 year old indian rock art.
Estancia Los Toldos, who donated their land to UNESCO and hence give us priveleged and private access to the Cave of Painted Hands.
Day 8 - 11, El Chalten, Hosteria El Paraiso
After our road trip, we'll arrive at the village of El Chalten, where you'll stay in an intimate hosteria. You'll be able to make two full day hikes into the mountains, to see the celebrating Cerro Torre, and Mount Fitz Roy. There is the option here of donning crampons and trekking onto the glaciers themselves!
Day 11 - 13, Calafate, Hosteria La Estepa
From Chalten we'll briefly stop in Calafate - to visit the Perito Moreno glacier, pictured at the top, and take a boat trip through the icebergs to the jaw-dropping Upsala and O'nelli glaciers.
Day 13 - 19, Torres del Paine national park, mountain refuges
After crossing the Chilean border we'll head to the other side of the Continental Ice-cap and the Torres del Paine massif. Here you'll make the classic Paine trek, staying in fully catered mountain refuge accommodation so you can trek light and enjoy the unparalleled views. The last day of the trek, we'll be met in the park and spend a full day sea-kayaking back to Puerto Natales!
The southern channels of Patagonia provide tranquil and stunning sea-kayaking
19 - 23, Navigating the Chilean fjords, full board on boat
In keeping with the spirit of the journey, heading back north can be done by boat. From Paine, you'll spend 4 days aboard the Navimag, winding your way through the beautiful archipelagoes of southern Chile to arrive at Puerto Montt in the Chilean Lakes. Killer whales, albatrosses and prisitine islands untouched by human feet await. For more info on this bit see Chilean Fjords
Tierra del Fuego extension, Hotel Patagonia Jarke (5 more days)
For those with time, or instead of taking the boat back, why not fly from Paine down to Ushuaia and finish your explorations at the uttermost end of the earth. For more info see Tierra del Fuego
Price estimate (based on 2 sharing)
23 days - with boat through Chilean fjords - £2400 pp
19 days - flying from Paine instead of taking boat - £1990 pp
Tierra del Fuego 5 day extension - £400 pp
Prices include - guiding, 4x4 transport, all accommodation, full board in Paine, activities, transfers.