PURE PATAGONIA – The best of Argentina & Chile with Australis Cruise
14 Days / 13 Nights
Best season: October to March
DAY 01- BUENOS AIRES (-/-/-)
Meet and greet at Ezeiza International Airport. Transfer to selected hotel. Arrival, check-in and 3-night accommodation, including breakfast.
DAY 02 – BUENOS AIRES (B/-/D)
After breakfast, you will visit the most important sites of the city during a city tour (3 hours). This sightseeing will allow you to discover the magic of this cosmopolitan city, capital of Argentina.
The magnificence of the Northern Quarters, Palermo and the beauty of its parks and buildings, Recoleta with its French style architecture, bars and cafes; the imposing Colon Theater, one of the five most important opera houses in the world; Plaza de Mayo (May Square) surrounded by the Government’s House (The Pink House), The Old Cabildo (Town Hall) and the Metropolitan Cathedral; San Telmo, residence of the aristocracy until the turn of the XIX century. The colors of La Boca, picturesque quarter of Italian immigrants; and the fashion area of Port Madero with its many bars & restaurants round off this excursion. PM at leisure to walk around the city.
A visit to our emblematic “Café Tortoni” is a must!! Buenos Aires nightlife provides its own inhabitants and visitors with numerous entertainment possibilities. This evening you will attend an unforgettable tango show performed by the best dancers and singers while enjoying a delicious meal. This is the perfect way to live Buenos Aires, the city of tango. Return to the hotel.
DAY 03 – BUENOS AIRES (B/-/-)
Day at leisure. We suggest one of the following optional tours:
Tigre and Delta Only 30 km from downtown Buenos Aires, the city of Tigre constitute the access to know the Delta of the Paraná River, a group of islands and streams that open up like a fan and offer an attractive natural scenery ideal for recreation and rowing, skiing, sailing or fishing. This 4-hour tour includes sailing along the different canals of the Delta and goes through the northern residential area of Buenos Aires suburbs, where the President’s Major House is located.
Gaucho’s Festival The typical landscape of the Argentina humid Pampa, one of the most fertile natural prairies in the world, famous for its meat and cereal production, may be appreciated by the tourist in this tour that includes a reception with “empanadas” (meat pies) and “Asado” (roast meat) and good Argentinean wines, a show with folk songs and dances and an exhibition of the gaucho’s abilities with riding, taming and the use of the lasso.
DAY 04 – BUENOS AIRES- USHUAIA (B/-/-)
Morning transfer from the hotel to the Domestic Airport to board flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city of the world. Arrival at Ushuaia Airport. Reception and transfer to selected hotel. Check-in and 1-night accommodation with breakfast.
DAY 05 – USHUAIA – AUSTRALIS CRUISE (B/-/-)
AM Half day tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park, the only one with maritime coast in the country. Within its 63,000 hectares , we’ll find firebushes, beech trees, ñires, box-leafed barberries and flowers such as orchids, violets and other species. Bordering the mountains we’ll follow a road were peat bogs and beaver dams can be appreciated. After crossing the Lapataia River, we’ ll have a magnificent view of Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) and the upland geese and ibis that come here every summer. A walk along the path up to Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon) or the Beavers’ Path will be suggested at that point. At Lapataia Bay (end of National Route Nr.3) we’ll appreciate the testimony of the original inhabitants of the Island (the Yamanas) in an interesting archaeological place: the “concheros”.
On the way back to Ushuaia, we’ll make a brief stop at Lake Roca, whose colour varies according to the weather. Afternoon transfer to the pier to board the AUSTRALIS CRUISE, the Great Adventure starts today!! Welcome on board the ship and accommodation. The Captain and crew give a welcome cocktail reception on board. Immediately afterward, the ship departs for “the uttermost part of the earth.” Our excursion will take us through the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan to explore one of the most captivating wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego.
DAY 06- ON BOARD AUSTRALIS CRUISE – CAPE D’HORN – WULAIA BAY (B/L/D)
We sail through the Beagle and Murray channels to reach Cape Horn National Park, where we will disembark (weather permitting). Cape Horn, is a sheer, 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory, and in the past it was the only entrance to the Pacific Ocean. This place is known as the “End of the Earth”, and it’s the last territory before Antarctica. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005.
In the afternoon, we go ashore in historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here on January 23rd, 1833, during the voyage of the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. We will walk through a Magellanic forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns, and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point.
DAY 07 – ON BOARD AUSTRALIS CRUISE – PILOTO & NENA GLACIERS (B/L/D)
In the morning we sail through the desolate Brecknock and Ocasión channels, to reach Cockburn Channel in the afternoon. After lunch, we arrive at Chico Sound and disembark in Zodiac boats to explore Alakaluf Fjord, and to see its beautiful waterfalls and observe the Piloto and Nena glaciers from the sea. We will learn about the formation of glaciers and their influence in the abrupt geography of the region’s channels.
DAY 08 – ON BOARD AUSTRALIS CRUISE–MAGDALENA ISLAND–PUNTA ARENAS–PUERTO NATALES (B/-/-)
Early in the morning, we go ashore on Magdalena Island (weather permitting). Located in the Strait of Magellan, it was an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers in the past. The island is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic Penguins which can be sighted during our walk to a lighthouse, which guides ships on their way through the strait. In September and April this excursion is replaced by a Zodiac boat ride at Isla Marta to observe sea lions. After our visit, we sail to Punta Arenas, disembarking at 11:30AM. Meet & greet at Punta Arenas Pier and transfer to Puerto Natales. Arrival at Puerto Natales and 2 night accommodation at selected hotel, including breakfast. Evening at leisure
DAY 09 – PUERTO NATALES/TORRES DEL PAINE/PUERTO NATALES (B/-/-)
Visiting the Patagonia without going to Torres del Paine National Park is almost a sin. This tour departs at 8 AM from your lodging place in Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park. The first stop will be the millenary Milodon Cave, a huge natural ground accident with an incalculable anthropological value, which is believed to have been inhabited by the primitive Patagonian man, and the Milodon, an extinct herbivorous animal. Once 30 minutes have elapsed and 36 km have been traveled, the second stop will be made: Cerro Castillo, where passengers will be able to enjoy cafeteria services. A perfect preamble to later arrive to Torres del Paine National Park through the Amarga Lagoon area, a stunning scenery where you can enjoy watching red foxes and condors which usually are part of the beautiful panoramic views of the Paine mountain range. What comes next is even more impressive.
Following the route, you can see the Nordenskjold and Pehoé lakes, together with groups of guanacos and lesser rheas or ñandúes. The journey continues with a 10 minute hike, where it is possible to discover the astonishing Salto Grande (Large waterfall) to continue through the front of the imposing horns towards the Grey lake area. A stop will be made at the Grey inn to have lunch. During the afternoon, the tour continues towards the glacier area, where an approximate one-and-a-half-hour stop will be made, as well as a beautiful hike among forests of lengas and breathtaking ice floes of the Grey glacier. Return to the hotel by late afternoon. Evening at leisure.
DAY 10 – PUERTO NATALES / EL CALAFATE (B/-/-)
Early transfer from Puerto Natales Bus Station to El Calafate, on a 5 hours trip through the magnificent Patagonian Steppe. Arrival at El Calafate, check-in at selected hotel and 1 night accommodation with breakfast. Afternoon visit to Perito Moreno Glacier, located within the Glaciers National Park , 80 kms from El Calafate. The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the main natural beauties of Argentina . Due to its wonder it has been declared by UNESCO a World Natural Heritage in 1981. Arriving at the Glaciers’ balconies, visitors will spend about 4 hours walking along pathways and admiring it from different viewpoints. Framed by a beautiful landscape of mountains, lakes and forests, the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most spectacular scenes of nature. It owes its fame to its continuous movement, which produces a cyclical phenomenon of advance and backward motion with amazing ice toppling. Return to the hotel by late afternoon.
DAY 11 – EL CALAFATE / EL CHALTEN (B/-/-)
Early transfer from El Calafate Bus Station to El Chalten on a 3 hours trip (220kms). El Chalten is located in Lake Argentino Department, on the northern margin of Lake Viedma within Los Glaciares National Park. It was founded in this place for geopolitical reasons. The town was set inside the one hundred hectares of protected area assigned to this issue. Originally, the name of “Chaltén” which means “blue mountain” or “smoking mountain”-, was given by the tehuelches (former inhabitants of southern continental Patagonia) to the famous Mount Fitz Roy for its unmistakable and magnificent silhouette always covered by a cloud, which made them think of smoke. The breathtaking natural wonders give life to this young tourist village, which is becoming the new World Trekking Mecca. Arrival, check-in and 2 night accommodation at selected hotel. Evening to relax and prepare for an amazing trek!!
DAY 12 – EL CHALTEN (B/-/-)
Today you’ll have the chance of experience an amazing trek that can be selected from the menu below, you won’t believe your eyes!!!
FULL DAY TREKS MENU
Duration: 8 hours
Description: Short drive to Hostería El Pilar next to Río Blanco 11 miles north of El Chaltén. The trail follows Río Blanco, pass Piedras Blancas glacier and up to Rio Blanco base camp. Piedras Blancas glacier is a hanging glacier that descends from the base of Fritz Roy. Lunch stop will be in the vicinity of Río Blanco or Poicenot base camp. To return to town the group will follow the trail and pass Laguna Capri to enjoy even more view of Mount Fitz Roy.
Distance to cover: 18 km
Elevation: 400 meters
Duration: 7 hours
Descripción: Walk through the little village and pass the Ranger Station where the Visitors Centre that you may visit is located. Pliegue Tumbado is a ridge and a summit that offers views of both Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy. It is also a less visited area of the park and it is well worth the effort of the climb.
Distance to cover: 24 km
Elevation: 1000 meters
PIEDRA DEL FRAILE
Duration: 6 hours
Description: Short drive to Rio Eléctrico, 12 miles north of El Chaltén. This walk leads through beech forest and riverbeds to Refugio Los Troncos, Piedra del Fraile. The place was chosen by priest A. D’ Agostini to set camp during his exploration and climbs in the Los Troncos, Piedra del Fraile.
Distance to cover: 12 km
Elevation: 135 meters
Duration: 7 hours
Descripción: Hike along the Río Fitz Roy valley to reach the Laguna Torre at the end of the valley. Get as close as non-climbers can get to the mystical Cerro Torre. You will also visit the base camp where climbers wait for the good weather to attempt the climb.
Distance to cover: 22 km
Elevation: 250 meters
Return to the hotel by late afternoon. Evening to relax after an exhausting but outstanding experience!!
DAY 13 – EL CHALTEN – EL CALAFATE- BUENOS AIRES (B/-/-)
Early transfer to El Chalten Bus Station to take the bus back to El Calafate. Immediate transfer to El Calafate Airport to board flight to Buenos Aires. Arrival and transfer to selected hotel for 1-night accommodation. Evening at leisure to enjoy the city nightlife which is considered one of the most actives in the world!!
DAY 14 – BUENOS AIRES / HOME (B/-/-)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board a flight back home.
End of Tour