Passage to Patagonia

Code: PGWHW

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • High Mountains
  • New 2017 Itinerary
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Medium
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £4,969.00 - 15 to 16 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

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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 capitals of Santiago and cosmopolitan Buenos Aires.

(In 2017 we start and end our holiday in Buenos Aires, with a visit to Ushuaia, at the 'End of the World' in Tierra del Fuego)

Holiday highlights

  • 3 full days' walking in the majestic Torres del Paine
  • See the huge and beautiful Moreno Glacier
  • Walk in the Los Glaciares National Park, with the granite towers of Mount Fitzroy and Cerro Torre
  • See Santiago and walk in the La Campaňa National Park (2016)
  • Explore the 'End of the World' at Ushuaia, Tierro del Fuego (2017)
  • Explore 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
  • Take lunch in a traditional Argentinian estancia
  • See Patagonian wildlife, such as the flightless rhea, guanacos and condors

Price includes

  • 14 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms (15 nights in 2017)
  • Full Board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure, except 4 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 flight
  • Tips

Accommodation

2016

In Santiago stay at the Hotel Galerias (2 nights), a modern 4-star hotel with a range of facilities and located close to the historic centre.

In Punta Arenas, accommodation is at the Hotel Rey Don Felipe (1 night), a distinctive timber-framed building, centrally located near the major attractions. The comfortable rooms are large and the staff are friendly.

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.

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 to 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.

In Buenos Aires, stay at the Hotel Americas Towers (2 nights), 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. 


2017 

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.

Itinerary

Download trip notes

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.

2016

Day 1: To Santiago - Fly via Madrid to Santiago de Chile.

Day 2: Santiago - Morning arrival and transfer to the hotel for 2 nights. Afternoon tour of the historic and modern parts of the city, including the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and San Cristobal hill from where there are panoramic views of Santiago and possibly the Andes beyond.

Day 3: Santiago - Travel to the valleys north of the capital for walking in La Campaňa National Park. The National Park has unusual flora due to the microclimates, with native forest which is in danger of extinction. This evening dinner will be gourmet Chilean food at the Meson Nerudiano restaurant, located in Bellavista near Pablo Neruda’s old house.

Day 4: To Punta Arenas - Fly to Punta Arenas in the far south. In fine weather the flight offers views of the Andes and the Patagonian ice cap. Stay for 1 night, and take an afternoon tour of this pioneer town.

Day 5: To Torres del Paine - Travel the long but incredibly scenic drive to Puerto Natales and on 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 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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 10: 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 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: To Buenos Aires - Transfer across the steppe to El Calafate and fly to Buenos Aires. Transfer to the hotel for 2 nights.

Day 15: Buenos Aires - Morning walking tour of the capital, including the Casa Rosada, the colourful port district of La Boca and fashionable Recoleta. There is a classic Buenos Aires experience this evening with a tango show and dinner.

Day 16 To London: Morning at leisure before an afternoon flight to London via Madrid.

Day 17: London - Morning arrival.


 

2017

Day 1: To Buenos Aires - Fly directly to Buenos Aires.

Day 2: Buenos Aires - Morning arrival and transfer to the hotel for 1 night. 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 - Morning walking tour of the capital, including the Casa Rosada, the colourful port district of La Boca and fashionable Recoleta. There is a 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.


 

General Information

Passport
For both Chile and Argentina, a full passport is required for the duration of the stay.

Visas
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.

Health advice
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.

Climate
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.

Money
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. 

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday.

For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab 

Leaders

Dave Cross

Dave has been a leader for HF Holidays since 2006 and has led more than 20 weeks abroad, mostly in Europe and recently worldwide in Jordan. He also finds time to lead in the UK with Selworthy, Derwentwater and Beddgelert being firm favourites. 

Dave has travelled extensively throughout the world with his wife Cherie. His latest world trip to South America was for 4 months, visiting Ecuador including the Galapagos, Peru and Bolivia, completing the Inca Trek in May 2012. He has also backpacked around Chile, Argentina, and he has travelled around Costa Rica and Panama. He speaks a moderate amount of Spanish having taken lessons and travelled extensively in Spanish-speaking countries. Being a contractor working in the defence sector allows time for travel as he is his own boss. His interests, apart from travel and anything outdoors, are geology and history and he hopes to be able to impart some of this knowledge to guests. He is also a keen sub-aqua enthusiast and sailor having owned a yacht for a number of years.

Dave is leading 27 October 2016

Steve Bullen

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.

 

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
21 Mar 2016, 1:06 p.m.

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Service review:

Interesting local guides and a great trip leader. Fun and flexible companions. Haven't gone with HF for years but will be going with them again soon.

Product review:

Such a beautiful part of the world and this trip showed us much of it. The walks were truly memorable and we were very lucky with the weather (sunny and not too windy).
15 Mar 2016, 3:09 p.m.

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+

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Service review:

Well organised, with a good choice of holidays.

Product review:

The itinerary allowed for enough time to walk and explore the scenic Patagonian landscape, in generally very good weather.
5 Mar 2016, 10:10 p.m.

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Our fifth holiday with HF now and glad to say it was up to the usual excellent standard.

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Had to insist that the minibus provided n Argentina for airport transfer and trips out was changed as it did not have working seat belts fitted.
5 Mar 2016, 4 p.m.

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No review provided

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very well organised
17 Dec 2015, 12:07 a.m.

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Good briefing before travelling from letter by the HF leader. First rate HF leader who ensured everyone enjoyed the trip.

Product review:

Exceeded expectations - wonderful scenery, superb walks.
15 Dec 2015, 8:49 p.m.

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Good holiday company

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Well planned and organised. Most enjoyable
14 Dec 2015, 8:24 a.m.

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Excellent standard of care and detailed itinary

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Excellent introduction to Patagonia. Every day was full of surprises. Amazing blue skies with clear views. Loved the mountains.
22 Nov 2015, 7:35 p.m.

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+

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Service review:

Everything came through on time and worked as described.

Product review:

Overall the holiday was very good and as expected. I thought a couple of changes would improve it. Cut out the Puenta Arenas element as there is nothing there of particular interest now that the penquins are gone. Perhaps going to Ushaia would be better than going to Santiago and would provide a more interesting option (and perhaps makes a Buenos Aries return flight a possibility).

Secondly after a long-haul flight into Santiago a longish tour around town was not wanted by most people on the flight..
16 Nov 2015, 9:35 p.m.

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I have just returned from rhe Passage to Patagonia holiday which waa a fantastic experience the holiday of a lifetime

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See above
16 Nov 2015, 12:54 p.m.

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n/c

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
23 Feb 2017 PGWHW - Passage to Patagonia
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 23 Feb 2017, 10:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 24 Feb 2017, 8:55 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 11 Mar 2017, 2:05 p.m.
  • Arrive: 12 Mar 2017, 6:25 a.m.
  • Depart from: Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
16 £5,669.00 Book Now
24 Feb 2017 PGWHW - Passage to Patagonia 15 £4,969.00 Book Now
26 Oct 2017 PGWHW - Passage to Patagonia
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 26 Oct 2017, 10:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 27 Oct 2017, 8:55 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 11 Nov 2017, 2:05 p.m.
  • Arrive: 12 Nov 2017, 6:25 a.m.
  • Depart from: Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
16 £5,899.00 Book Now
27 Oct 2017 PGWHW - Passage to Patagonia 15 £5,179.00 Book Now
23 Nov 2017 PGWHW - Passage to Patagonia
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 23 Nov 2017, 10:10 p.m.
  • Arrive: 24 Nov 2017, 8:55 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 9 Dec 2017, 2:05 p.m.
  • Arrive: 10 Dec 2017, 6:25 a.m.
  • Depart from: Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
16 £5,899.00 Book Now
24 Nov 2017 PGWHW - Passage to Patagonia 15 £5,179.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £920 (2016), £950 (2017)
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person