Passage to Patagonia
Code: PGWHWPrint page
New 2017 Itinerary
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Wide open spaces, ancient ice caps, towering jagged peaks, untouched wilderness, huge ranches and hardy gauchos, and end of the world landscapes. The name Patagonia conjures all these romantic images and offers much more.
Walk in outstandingly beautiful national parks to see some of the world’s natural wonders, the Torres del Paine, majestic Mount Fitzroy and the spectacular Moreno Glacier. Taste fresh Patagonian food, see wonderful wildlife and stay in great lodges surrounded by stunning landscapes.
At the beginning and end of the holiday, visit the exciting South American capital Buenos Aires.
- 3 full days' walking in the majestic Torres del Paine
- Walk in the Los Glaciares National Park, with the granite towers of Mount Fitzroy and Cerro Torre
- Explore the 'End of the World' at Ushuaia, Tierro del Fuego
- Discover Buenos Aires, including a tango show with dinner
- Stay in lodges in the heart of Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks, amid breathtaking scenery
- See Patagonian wildlife, such as the flightless rhea, guanacos and condors
- 15 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Full Board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure, except 5 lunches and 1 dinner
- A full programme of guided walks led by local tour directors, local guides and an HF Holidays' leader
- All sightseeing and entrance fees
- Travel by air conditioned coach/minivan and internal flights
In Buenos Aires, stay at the Hotel Americas Towers (1 night), located in the centre of the city, in an attractive neighbourhood within walking distance of fashionable Recoleta and the pedestrianised Florida Street. The modern 4-star hotel has large rooms and an outdoor pool. We also stay here for the final 2 nights of our holiday.
We spend the next 3 nights at the Hotel Altos Ushuaia, an elegant hotel perfectly situated on a hill overlooking Ushuaia. You'll enjoy wonderful views of the city and the Beagle Channel. The restaurant's large windows are perfect for watching the sunset over the channel while enjoying your dinner. The rooms are comfortably furnished.
The Hosteria Mirador del Payne (1 night) is the base for the first night at Torres del Paine, part of the large Estancia El Lazo property, a livestock centre that dates from the late 19th century. It has comfortable rooms with private bath and central heating, and a restaurant serving the most delicious meals, including Patagonian spit-roast lamb, regional salmon and hot soups, to be eaten at the end of every day’s activities.
The next hotel, located in the heart of the Torres del Paine National Park, is the Hosteria Las Torres (3 nights), a traditional lodge at the base of the Torres themselves. The historic buildings were once part of a large sheep farm which have been converted into a tastefully built lodge. Comfortable rooms with private facilities are complemented by a good restaurant and a large living room space with a cosy fireplace. Several walking/hiking trails begin at the lodge including the strenuous but awe-inspiring hike to the base of the Paine towers. March and November groups will stay the Hotel Rio Serrano with incredible views of the Torres del Paine.
In El Calafate, stay at the Hotel El Quijote (2 nights), a comfortable 3-star hotel built in a Spanish style with lots of dark wood, and located in the centre of El Calafate, just a short stroll from the various shops and outfitters in this small town.
At El Chalten accommodation is in the Hosteria Senderos (3 nights), an attractive mountain lodge designed in the style of an old Patagonian estancia with comfortable, light and warm rooms and attractive restaurant, wine bar and a lounge corner with a log fire.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
Part day walks cover up to 4 miles (6.5km). Full walking days offer a choice of walks between 8-14 miles(12.75-22.5km), including harder options such as the lookouts to the Torres de Paine (4.200 feet (1,280m) of ascent) and Cerro Fitzroy (2,300 feet (690m) of ascent). Paths are generally well marked but there will be some rough terrain.
Day 1: To Buenos Aires - Fly directly to Buenos Aires.
Day 2: Buenos Aires - Morning arrival and transfer to the hotel for 1 night. Walking tour of Buenos Aires. Rest of the day to explore/relax after your long flight.
Day 3: To Ushuaia - Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia (3 nights) at the southern tip of Patagonia.
Day 4: Ushuaia - We spend the morning with a visit to the old Ushuaia penitentiary, lunch at leisure, then enjoy an afternoon cruise along the Beagle Channel with spectacular views over the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the mountains in the background. Opportunity to spot albatross, scuas, sea lion and Magellan penguins.
Day 5: Ushuaia - This morning we travel to the End of the World railway station where we'll take a train ride through a backdrop of lenga woods, rivers, brooks and mountains. After a stop at La Macarena waterfall, continue into the Tierra del Fuego National Park where there will be chance to take short walks.
Day 6: To Torres del Paine - Flight to El Calafate and transfer into the heart of Chilean Patagonia, the Torres del Paine National Park. Reach the entrance to the park in the late afternoon. We stay near Laguna Verde, for 1 night.
Day 7: Torres del Paine - The first walk in the park is a wonderful foretaste of days to come, on an easy clear path through grass meadows and beech woodland, passing clear mountain lakes framed by the magnificent Torres del Paine mountain range. Continue to Lago Grey for a view of the shimmering blue icebergs as they break off the nearby Grey Glacier, and then on to a breathtaking location near the base of the granite towers, for 3 nights.
Day 8: Torres del Paine - An extraordinary walk to the Paine towers viewpoint, the spectacular granite pillars that rise over 2,000m above the Patagonian steppe, or walk the Paso Los Cuernos path along Lago Nordenskjold, with possible views of Mt Almirante Nieto.
Day 9: Torres del Paine - We'll enjoy a couple of short walks today which give wonderful views of the national park. One of the walks will be overlooking Lago Pehoe, and will include the viewpoint 'Mirador Cuernos' for incredible views of the Horn of Paine and up the Valle de Frances to the Italian camp and the glacier.
Day 10: To El Calafate, Argentina - Early departure towards the border with Argentina and continue across the wild Patagonian expanses. A lunch of delicious local food will be taken at a traditional Argentinian estancia. Continue to the small town of El Calafate for 2 nights.
Day 11: Moreno Glacier - Full day tour to the extraordinary views of the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the world’s only advancing glaciers, where the deep blue colours of the huge ice wall combine with the sounds of creaking and crashing. There is the chance to take an optional boat trip on the lake in front of the glacier.
Day 12: To El Chalten - Journey across the wilderness following the lakes Argentino and Viedma to the remote mountain town of El Chalten. Arrive in time for an afternoon walk to the Cerro Torre viewpoint and stay at the Hosteria Senderos for 3 nights.
Day 13: Mount Fitzroy walk - An incredible full day walk to Laguna de Los Tres, close to Mount Fitzroy, with views of the jagged peaks of the Fitzroy range and the Andean wilderness.
Day 14: Laguna del Desierto - Travel further into the mountains on dirt roads to the breathtaking panoramas of the Laguna del Desierto, surrounded by lush native forest and complete with orchids. The lake is deep into the mountains among pristine natural surroundings where few people tread.
Day 15: To Buenos Aires - Transfer across the steppe to El Calafate and fly to Buenos Aires. Transfer to the hotel for 2 nights.
Day 16: Buenos Aires - Day at leisure, classic Buenos Aires experience this evening with a tango show and dinner.
Day 17 To London: Morning at leisure before an afternoon flight to London.
Day 18: London - Early morning arrival.
For both Chile and Argentina, a full passport is required for the duration of the stay.
No visa is required for British citizens with full right of residence in the UK. Those who do not have British passports with full right of residence in the UK should check requirements with a Chilean and Argentinian embassy or consulate.
Citizens of Australia will be required to pay a processing fee on arrival at Santiago airport. (Please check these at the time of travel). In 2017 this will no longer be necessary as the itinerary enters Chile by road, so no processing fee necessary.
Australian, American and Canadian citizens must pay a reciprocity fee online prior to their arrival in Argentina (other countries should contact their embassy for advice). Please see www.migraciones.gov.ar/ for further information.
Payment should be made no more than three months prior to the expected arrival date. A printed receipt will have to be submitted to Immigration authorities on arrival. Failure to pay this fee in advance may result in refusal of entry in Argentina.
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk www.traveldoctor.co.uk
Vaccines: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid & Tetanus vaccinations are recommended. Rabies is sometimes recommended too.
Chile has great climatic diversity due to its length and position, crossing a tremendous range of latitudes. In Santiago, a Mediterranean type climate prevails: summers are generally dry, with maximum temperatures of 28°C; evenings are cooler. In Punta Arenas, the average summer temperature drops to 11°C. Rainfall here is lower, but wind chill and general dampness often make the area feel cooler. Weather here is unpredictable, particularly in the Torres del Paine National Park. Sectors within the park have their own microclimates, dependent upon geographical location and nearness to mountains and glaciers.
Argentina experiences a similar diversity in climate with Buenos Aires enjoying warm summers and the south having much cooler and more unpredictable weather, but certainly with a share of warm sunny days.
The unit of currency in Chile is the Peso and in Argentina, the Argentinian Peso. Neither is easy to obtain outside of their respective countries, so it is advisable to take US$ which is the preferred foreign currency.
Dollars in cash are easy to exchange and can often be used in everyday transactions – particularly in Argentina, less so in Chile. There are also cash-point machines at airports and town centres which can be used to withdraw cash. Major credit cards are accepted in most places. You should ensure that you have access to emergency funds, probably by means of a credit card. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.
Tips are included on this holiday.
For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab
Sandy’s professional career as a geologist takes her to lots of fascinating and beautiful countries. She has been leading for HF Holidays since 1995, including most of our USA holidays, as well as South Africa, Madagascar, Cape Verde, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Jordan itineraries. Sandy has written books on volcanoes and glaciers – a good connection with the mountain areas she enjoys for walking. She has trekked in the Himalayas and has done geological fieldwork in South America. Sandy is continually inspired by the amazing diversity of the natural world, and is a keen amateur naturalist and bird watcher.
Sandy is leading our 26 October 2017 departure.
Steve has been leading Natural World and Walking holidays for HF Holidays for over 26 years. His main interests include wildlife, astronomy and geology, and he manages a small nature reserve in Lancaster. Steve is also a keen natural history photographer and his photos have been published in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, The Guardian, and local publications.
Steve has led numerous tours from our Worldwide Journeys range including holidays in the Caribbean, New Zealand, Canada, South America, South Africa and Asia, as well as many of our European destinations.
Steve is leading 23 November 2017
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Dates & Prices
|26 Oct 2017||
PGWHW - Passage to Patagonia
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
Prices are per person
- Single room: £950 (2017)
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person