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Patagonia plus Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires

Patagonia - the southern tip of South America at what is very nearly the end of the world, has for centuries lured adventurers with its age-old glaciers, snow-capped peaks, cobalt fjords and spellbinding vistas. 
We begin our adventure in Chile’s lively capital city of Santiago, with it’s stunning backdrop of the majestic Andes. In addition to touring the city we will also visit Vina del Mar, known as the 'Garden City' and one of Chile's premier beach resorts, as well as Valparaiso - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Chile's most historic ports, with its colourful hillside houses.

Then we travel to Patagonia, a region shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line. We will tour the highlights of this mystic region including the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier. 

We finish in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires - birthplace of the tango. This cosmopolitan city has wide boulevards, French colonial architecture, colourful traffic-free shopping areas and a legendary lively atmosphere.

Tour Highlights

   • Santiago - Chile’s colonial capital
   • Valparaiso – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
   • Punta Arenas
   • Torres Del Paine National Park
   • Bariloche - glacial lake below the Andes Mountains
   • Glacier National Park 
   • Perito Moreno Glacier – Highlight of Patagonia!
   • Upsala Glacier
   • Argentino Lake
   • Visit of Estancia Chali Aike
   • Buenos Aires, including a Tango Cabaret

* This tour is suitable only for the fit and active traveller.

Itinerary / Excursions

Tonight we board our flight to Santiago, Chile.
We arrive in Santiago, and enjoy a city tour before heading to our hotel. The rest of the day is free until this evening’s Welcome Dinner.
Valparaíso is Chile’s undisputed cultural capital, with fine 19th-century architecture that has earned it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will see the historic city centre, and visit the house and museum of Pablo Neruda - a famed poet. Later we proceed to Viña del Mar, whose manicured boulevards lined with palm trees, stately palaces, sprawling public beaches and beautiful expansive parks are a sharp contrast to the charming jumble of neighbouring Valparaíso.
This morning we fly to Punta Arenas, and this afternoon enjoy a city tour. We begin with a drive to the viewpoint of the Cerro La Cruz for a beautiful view of the city and the Magellan Strait. We’ll also visit the Salesian Museum Marggiorino Borgatello, where we will learn about Patagonia’s original inhabitants. We continue to Punta Arenas cemetery, widely known for its unique and impressive tombs. We end in the main square - the Plaza de Armas, lined by the 19th century mansions of wealthy sheep-farming families.
We drive to Puerto Natales, where the rest of the day is at leisure to explore the town.
Today we enjoy a full-day excursion to Torres del Paine (“Blue Towers”) National Park. There will be wonderful views onto the Torres Massif and its jagged peaks. Several short hikes enable visitors to reach the most beautiful viewing points and to become acquainted with the wealth of flora and fauna.
We transfer to El Calafate, situated by Argentino Lake - a glacier lake of the Patagonian Andes, the biggest lake in Argentina and the 3rd biggest in South America. En route we’ll visit a typical “estancia” for a demonstration of sheep shearing. Included is a delicious traditional lamb BBQ.
The most important highlight of Argentinian Patagonia is the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciers National Park. Here we will see the massive glacier and turquoise blue lake with a backdrop of snow-capped Andean mountain peaks. The glacier has 80-metre-high walls, and the deep blue colours of the ice and the columns within the glacier are unbelievable! From a series of walkways and vantage points we will be able to see, hear, and photograph the glacier safely while enormous chunks of ice erode off the glacier and crash into the water.
We board a boat and navigate through the North Arm of Argentino Lake until we reach the Upsala Channel, where we will find a spectacular ice barrier from where we will have a panoramic view of the Upsala Glacier. Then we sail the Spegazzini Canal, where we can observe the Seco Glacier - the highest glacier in the park.
We fly to Bariloche. Afternoon at leisure.
Our tour of the area begins with a drive along Nahuel Huapi Lake - a glacial lake with crystal clear blue water. We will see Bonita Beach and we’ll have a view of Huemul Island. At Campanario Hill we’ll take a chair lift up to the summit for spectacular views of the region. Then we proceed to San Pedro Peninsula where we’ll see the unique San Eduardo Chapel, the famous Llao Llao Hotel and more spectacular views. After passing by Escondido Lake we wind across the Angostura Bridge and finish at a viewpoint where we can admire the natural majesty of Moreno Lake and the Llao Llao Peninsula.
Today we travel by catamaran on Nahuel Huapi Lake. Our first stop is Arrayanes Wood - a unique tree formation (declared a National Monument) with brightly coloured twisted trees. Nearby is a famous tea house named “Bambi”. According to local folklore, the forest inspired Walt Disney to model forests in his film “Bambi” on the Arrayanes Wood. We continue to Victoria Island, where we will find giant sequoias, thujas, eucalyptus, pines, oaks, and cypress trees, which serve as the habitat for various rare species such as the pudú (the smallest deer in the world), wild boar, red deer, pheasants and countless species of birds.
We fly to Buenos Aires. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure until our dinner at a local restaurant.
On our city tour we see some of the unique neighbourhoods this city is known for. We will also see the Presidential Palace (former headquarters of Eva Peron - still a popular cult figure here), the Plaza de Mayo, Metropolitan Cathedral and the Colon Opera House. We will stop in historic San Telmo, the oldest neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, and stroll the narrow streets with unique shops. This evening we enjoy a fabulous Tango Cabaret.
Morning at leisure. This afternoon we board our direct flight for Toronto.
Arrival in Canada
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