Majestic glaciers, beautiful wilderness, diverse wildlife and colorful history of explorers attempting to circumnavigate the globe, all await you in alluring Patagonia. A land of fire and ice, of isolation and hardship, it has been shaped by the elements into a most remarkable frontier. Start in Santiago and taste the fruit of the vines in Valparaiso. Discover a wealth of wildlife at iconic Torres del Paine National Park, and cruise down the Straits of Magellan and Beagle Channel, much like explorers did before you. Watch as chunks of glacier ice crash into the sea while sea lion and elephant seal groom themselves on the beach, and condors keep pace with you on the skies. End at Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego and discover the grandeur of Buenos Aires. The tip of South America awaits and it is a journey you do not want to miss!
Very Active. May involve strenuous hikes, severe stair climbing, arduous activities, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.
The varieties of climatic regions present in Argentina and Chile are almost too numerous to mention, stretching north to south from the tropics to the subantarctic and with elevations as diverse as Andean peaks and marshes many feet below sea level. Patagonia is mild year-round in the east and glacial in the south. In a typical Lago Argentino day, one can experience the four seasons during a one day cruise – that’s how variable and choppy the weather can be. Patagonia is best visited during the summer months – from October through April. The best months for wildlife viewing vary depending on the animals most sought after – whales are in October, male elephant seals in November, penguins in December & January, and orcas in April. Best overall viewing is during December and January when the shores are lined by hundreds of thousands of penguins and female elephant seals.
Board your overnight flight to Santiago, the largest city and capital of Chile and transfer to your luxury hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant featuring traditional Chilean dishes. Next day, take a guided tour through Santiago and visit Concha y Toro Winery, set in an ancient park; see the ancient “Devil’s Cellar” and have a “Casillero del Diablo” Carmenère, all the while being regaled with legends about Chilean wines. FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON SANTIAGO. (B,D)
A coastal drive takes you towards Valparaiso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nicknamed ‘The Jewel of the Pacific.’ At the Casablanca valley, a winemaking area with fruit tree plantations, vineyards and small fruit markets, enjoy a sampling of wine from the Matetic vineyard. Learn about the illustrious history of this port city and head to Vina del Mar City, with its long stretches of white sandy beaches. FOUR POINTS SHERATON SANTIAGO. (B,L)
Board your flight to Punta Arenas, the southernmost town in Chile, and drive to your luxury camp for the next three nights. Torres del Paine, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, has a wide variety of wildlife, including over 100 species of birds such as the Andean Condor, Buzzard Eagle and Chilean Flamingo, and Puma, Chilla Fox and Guemal roam the Patagonian Steppes. The camp offers numerous activities to enjoy the wildlife and hiking. PATAGONIA CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)
Return to Punta Arenas to board your Cruceros Australis vessel, the M/V STELLA AUSTRALIS – built in 2010, a 100-cabin luxury ship offering daily excursions by zodiacs (weather permitting,) all inclusive meals and bar, and audiovisual presentations on the region’s flora, fauna, geography, glaciology, ethnography, and history. Your en suite cabin has panoramic windows and even includes a hair dryer. Enjoy a welcome cocktail reception with the captain as you begin sailing through the Straits of Magellan and Beagle Channel. (B,L,D)
Morning arrival at Ainsworth Bay, inside the Alberto De Agostini National Park. Walk to uncover a beaver dam in the Magellanic subpolar forest. You may see elephant seals on the beach during their molting season, when they must stay out of water for a few weeks to shed their fur and skin. Return to your vessel and head towards Tucker Islets to board a zodiac for a chance to see Magellanic Penguins and cormorants nesting along the island. Next day, reach Pia Fjord, still active with ice chunks crashing down into the sea. Cruise down Glacier Alley, with looming glaciers cascading down from the Darwin Mountain Range, named after the home nations of the famous explorers of the past. (B,L,D)
Sail through the Beagle and Murray Channels to Cape Horn National Park, where, weather permitting, you’ll disembark. A sheer 1,394-foot high rocky promontory, it was once the only entrance into the Pacific Ocean from the Atlantic. Known as the “End of the Earth,” Cape Horn is the last territory before Antarctica and was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005; Charles Darwin landed here on January 23, 1833. Visit the historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements and walk through a forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns and other native plants. (B,L,D)
Disembark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Next day, explore Tierra del Fuego National Park with its waterfalls, forests, mountains, glaciers and fabulous wildlife that includes Andean fox, North American beaver, European rabbit and muskrat and over 90 species of birds. LOS YAMANAS. (B,D; B,L,D)
Board your flight to Buenos Aires and check into the luxury INTER-CONTINENTAL HOTEL. Tonight, enjoy your farewell dinner and tango show at Café de los Angelitos. Next day, get acquainted with the city’s main attractions during a guided tour; Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, Cabildo, Cathedral, even the Recoleta Cemetery, lined with stunning mausoleums and statues, including Evita Peron’s. Tonight, return to the airport for your overnight flight home, bringing with you fond memories of this historic and beautiful region. (B,D; B, Meals Aloft)
The mystery and allure of Easter Islands have haunted the imagination of mankind for generations. Giant stone heads facing the waters throughout the Islands have captivated explorers and mystified archaeologists. Discover the beauty of this region, from the ceremonial villages of Orongo, to the quarries of Rano Raraku. Lava tubes, crater lakes, petroglyphs, caves, and of course, stone heads, all make this a destination you have to experience to believe.
A World Heritage site comprised of over 257 different falls dazzling the eye with spectacular views, Iguassu straddles Argentina and Brazil. The Falls are taller than Niagara and twice as wide, prompting Eleanor Roosevelt to exclaim at her first sight, “Poor Niagara!” An elaborate walkway system allows visitors to marvel at the immensity of the falls from both the Argentine and Brazilian side.
Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.
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