Wonders of Patagonia and Australis

Independent Tour

Duration: 16 days/ 15 nights.
Departures: As requested from September through April.
Price: 2 passengers $4,789 p/person Double Occupancy + AUSTRALIS CRUISE cost that will vary according to cabin category

Group of 4 passengers $4,416 p/person Double Occupancy + AUSTRALIS CRUISE cost that will vary according to cabin category

DISCOUNT:  $100 Tour Discount per person when you book both Tour and cruise.

AUSTRALIS CRUISE USHUAIA – PUNTA ARENAS (3 NIGHTS) – Departures from November, 2017 to March 14, 2018 are HIGH SEASON.

Aboard M/V Stella Australis

CABIN

PROMOTIONAL

DEPARTURES

LOW

SEASON

HIGH SEASON

B

1,189

1,486

1,895

A

1,595

1,988

2,440

AA

1,674

2,084

2,554

AAA

1,753

2,181

2,679

AA Superior

2,108

2,627

3,183

AAA Superior

2,207

2,749

3,338

Single rate in A, AA, AAA, AASup or AAASup will be 150% of the category rate.

NOTE: Airline tickets are NOT included in the tour cost

  • Enjoy cosmopolitan Buenos Aires
  • Visit Punta Tombo and Peninsula Valdes
  • Explore the End of the World: Tierra del Fuego and Beagle Channel
  • Trek in Los Glaciares National Park and Torres del Paine
  • Visit Los Glaciares National Park: El Chalten & El Calafate

ITINERARY

DAY 1 – Buenos Aires: Arrival. Reception at Ezeiza International Airport, and transfer to your hotel.  In the afternoon you will enjoy a private tour of this cosmopolitan city of 12 million inhabitants, and capital of the Argentine Republic. You will visit four parks and plazas of Buenos Aires (Plaza de Mayo, Parque Lezama  and La Boca, Plaza San Martin and Recoleta) to learn about the history of the city, its contrasts, its contradictions and the characteristics of the “porteños”, the inhabitants of  Buenos Aires.   Lodging for one night at Hotel Pulitzer or similar.

DAY 2 – Buenos Aires / Punta Tombo – Puerto Madryn:  Breakfast. Flight to Trelew, a city 1,200 kms south of Buenos Aires, and welcome to Patagonia! Your local naturalist guide will be meeting you at the airport. You will drive Punta Tombo, the biggest continental breeding ground of Magellan penguins. There, you will have the opportunity to meander along the park trails, which bisect the breeding ground themselves, and see over 200 thousand live nests, and more than 500 thousand penguins. Picnic lunch. In the afternoon, you will visit Gaiman. This is a picturesque small town that was settled by Welsh immigrants in the 1870s, and still maintains much of its original architecture. We may savor a delicious Welsh tea with pastries at one of the traditional teahouses of Gaiman. In the evening you will drive to Puerto Madryn. Lodging at Hotel Península Valdés overlooking the ocean for two nights. (B,L)

DAY 3 – Peninsula Valdes: After breakfast, you will drive to Península Valdés Nature Reserve, a paradise for wildlife lovers. Península Valdés is like an island united to the continent by a 35 km long strip of land called Ameghino Isthmus. From some sections of the road that takes us into the reserve, we will be able to view both gulfs: “San José” and “Nuevo”. The distance between them is only 7 km. at the narrowest part. You will observe birds in their natural habitat of “Bird Island”, and you will spend some time at Puerto Pirámide, a village on the south side of the Peninsula, on the Nuevo Gulf. Here you may enjoy a whale watching boat expedition to observe the magnificent Southern Right Whales that remain in the area from June through December. (optional). Lunch included. In the afternoon, we will likely see more of the region’s native fauna which includes foxes, maras, peludos and piches (similar to armadillos), lesser rheas (or choiques) and guanacos. The places you would be visiting are: Punta Norte, with the largest sea elephant colony on the Peninsula or Caleta Valdés, a natural canal with great variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife; a sea lion colony, and the Salinas “Chica” and “Grande” that are the biggest depressions in South America. Late in the evening you will return to your hotel in Puerto Madryn. (B)

DAY 4 – Puerto Madryn / Ushuaia: Transfer to Trelew Airport to take your flight to Ushuaia, a charming town on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Arrival and private transfer to your hotel for check-in. Later, you will go west for a private excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Created in 1960, this National Park protects 63.000 hectares of the southernmost portion of the Sub Antarctic Forest, from the high Andean steppe and peat bogs, down to the maritime coast of the Beagle Channel. You will visit different areas of the park such as Ensenada Bay and Lapataia Bay, and you’ll be able to see two remarkably different ecosystems: the sea-shore and the sub-Antarctic forest which occur together only in a few places on earth and are unique in Argentina. Picnic lunch in the park. Lodging for one night at Hotel Tolkeyen or similar. (B, L)

DAY 5 – (WEDNESDAY) Ushuaia/ Tierra del Fuego – STELLA AUSTRALIS CRUISE: Morning at leisure.  In the afternoon, private transfer to the office in town to check in for your AUSTRALIS CRUISE (• Check-in of passengers at 245 San Martin Street, Ushuaia until 4:00 p.m.)
Then you’ll go to the port to embark. Welcome cocktails aboard and departure through the Beagle Channel and cross the Strait of Magellan. (B, D)

DAY 6 – CAPE HORN – WULAIA BAY: Disembark at the Cabo de Hornos National Park a place where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans merge. Disembark at Wulaia Bay, a historical site and an ancient indigenous settlement. (B,L,D)

DAY 7 – DE AGOSTINI SOUND and AGUILA GLACIER: Sail through Brecknock, Ocasión, Cockburn, and Magdalena Channels to enter the spectacular De Agostini Sound, in the heart of Darwin Mountain Range. In this area you will see glaciers descending the mountainside all the way down to the sea. In the afternoon, onboard Zodiac boats, you will route to Águila Glacier where you will take an easy walk all the way the base of the glacier. You will experience the beauty of Patagonia’s cold rainforest and see how the power of nature molded the area’s landscape. (B,L,D)

DAY 8 – MAGDALENA ISLAND – PUNTA ARENAS: Disembark at the Magdalena Island, home to a big colony of Magellan penguins and walk to the lighthouse. Note: In September and April this excursion is replaced by a Zodiac boat ride to Isla Marta to observe sea lions.
You’ll arrive in Punta Arenas, a picturesque town overlooking the Strait of Magellan, and disembark at 11:30 a.m. Reception and transfer to your hotel. Later you will enjoy a private city tour and visit its plaza, cathedral and see the mansions built at the beginning of the century by the big cattle ranchers. Lodging at Hotel Finis Terrae or similar. (B)

DAY 9 – Torres del Paine NP: Departure in the morning to Torres del Paine National Park (private car with bilingual guide). Torres del Paine is a large park (450,000 acres) declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. Today you will visit Sarmiento, Nordenskjold and Pehoe Lakes. You may enjoy a short hiking to Grey Lake to view part of the glacier. The park is particularly rich in fauna, and you’ll be likely to see guanacos, lesser rheas, black-necked swans, geese, flamingos, Magellanic woodpeckers, and peregrine falcons and condors on the mountain slopes. You will arrive at your hotel in the evening. Picnic lunch during the excursion. Lodging for two nights at Hosteria Las Torres or Hotel Río Serrano or similar inside the park. (B,L)

DAY 10 – Torres del Paine NP: Breakfast. Day at leisure to enjoy the park on your own. We recommend hiking to Las Torres. (B)

DAY 11 – Torres del Paine NP – El Calafate / Los Glaciares National Park: In the morning, you will cross the border to Argentina and drive to El Calafate, a small town located along the shores of Argentino Lake. The landscape of the region is a combination of arid steppes to the east, where eagles, falcons, lesser rheas, guanacos, hares, foxes and pumas live, and woods of lengas and ñires near the West Andes, that are the natural habitat of Condors, eagles, Magellan woodpeckers, and the Huemul (Andean deer).
Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Lodging for two nights at Hotel El Galpón del Glaciar. In the evening, you will enjoy a guided visit of the ranch located in Los Glaciares National Park, sheep shearing demonstration, and dinner and folk show. (B, D)
NOTE: If you prefer to stay in town, you may stay at Hotel Esplendor El Calafate or similar

DAY 12 – El Calafate / Los Glaciares National Park: After breakfast you will depart to visit Los Glaciares National Park. This park of 600.000 hectares (2,300 square miles) has thirteen glaciers that flow into the Argentino and Viedma lakes. Perito Moreno Glacier, is one of the few glaciers in the world that is still progressing. It is only 500 ft above sea level, which makes it very accessible, allowing one to stand in front of a mountain of ice that measures 60 m (180 ft) by 5 km (2.5 miles). The constant fall of huge towers of ice from its walls and into the lake is an unforgettable spectacle. Trekking Expedition: You will board a boat and land on an isolated beach to start the trek on the glacier.  (not additional equipment, or previous experience required). Picnic lunch at the park. Lunch in the park, and dinner at the hotel. (B, L, D)

DAY 13 – El Calafate / El Chalten: In the morning, prívate transfer to El Chalten (car/driver). It will take 3 hours to drive us through the Patagonia steppes to El Chalten. This is a small village close to Viedma Lake and Glacier, with the Fitz Roy chain of peaks as its backdrop. This area, north of Los Glaciares National Park, with its peaks: Fitz Roy (11,073 feet) Cerro Torre, Torre Egger, Aguja Standhardt, Aguja Poin-cenot, and St. Exupery, constitute a singular challenge for climbers around the world. Lodging at Hosteria Infinito Sur or Hosteria Senderos for two nights. (B)

DAY 14 –EL Chalten – Fitz Roy:  Breakfast. Today you will enjoy a full day private trekking excursion to Laguna de Los Tres including Piedras Blancas Glacier and base camp Fitz Roy. It is about 4
hours one way(7 miles each way). Moderate. Level difference: 700 mts or 2,100
feet. Maximum height is 3,400 feet above sea level. You will enjoy unique views!. You may also reach Laguna Capri and return if you prefer a short hike and will still have a great experience and marvelous panoramic views. Picnic Lunch included.(B, L).

DAY 15 – El Chalten – Buenos Aires: In the morning, private transfer to El Calafate airport (Car/driver – About 3 hours drive). Flight to Buenos Aires. Arrival and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day/evening at leisure. Lodging for one night at Hotel Pulitzer or similar. (B)

DAY 16 – Buenos Aires / …….: Morning to explore the city on your own. In the afternoon or evening, private transfer to Ezeiza International Airport to take your flight back to …. (B)

END OF OUR SERVICES

INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • Private transfers to/from airports.
  • Accommodation for 12 nights at mentioned or similar first rate hotels + 3 nights aboard the Australis Cruise.
  • Bilingual expert guides for all excursions, most transfers and local assistance.
  • All breakfasts (B),   7 Lunches (L) and 5 Dinners (D) as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Private excursions as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Group transfer to pier and Boat excursions will be shared with other passengers.
  • Entrance fees to parks and reserves.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • International airline tickets
  • Domestic flights are NOT included in the tour price:  Buenos Aires/ Puerto Madryn/Ushuaia + El Calafate/Buenos Aires:  About $950. Airfare may vary.
  • Excursions not detailed in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses, tips, drinks, other meals or services not mentioned in the itinerary description.