Patagonia Highlights

Above all else, Patagonia is a land of diversity. Here at the southern end of the world, you will find windswept deserts, massive lakes, calving glaciers, staggering peaks, remote coastline and exotic wildlife. This trip will show you each of these, all in the company of expert guides. It’s a trip that will have you in a bustling city, a canoe, a kayak, your hiking shoes and even crampons for walking on a glacier.

A clear blue lake
A beautiful, clear alpine lake in the mountains of Patagonia
Hikers cross a foot bridge close to one of Patagonia's many glaciers.
A snowy mountain range with a green forest
A clear blue lake in summer with snow capped mountains in the back ground

Highlights

  • Spend a day exploring Buenos Aires
  • Hike two national parks in Argentina's Lake District
  • Kayak on mountain-ringed Lago Moreno
  • Visit, and walk on, a 3-mile-wide glacier
  • Canoe in Tierra del Fuego National Park

Description

We begin this grand adventure in Buenos Aires, where you will have a day to explore this city of nearly 3 million people. With its rich history that dates from pre-European to colonial times, plus a culture that’s a blend of Spanish, Italian, native and French, it is a fascinating city to wander around in.

Next we will fly to the ski town of Bariloche, located in Nahuel Huapi National Park, the country’s oldest. The park surrounds Nahuel Huapi Lake, whose 204 square miles sit at the foot of the Andes Mountains. Here, we will have a day of hiking, with options available to all levels of interest and ability. You may decide to stroll the shoreline, or you might decide to climb and enjoy a picnic lunch at a mountain hut. The next day, we will explore another lake, this time by kayak, with crystal-clear waters under us and wildlife and mountains all around us.

From here, it’s off to another national park, this time Los Glacieres, where we will visit one of the truly astounding sites of Argentina, the Perito Moreno Glacier. We will view it from above, boat to its calving face, and even take a short walk on its surface. Then, after a day to explore and perhaps take another hike in the mountains outside the town of El Calafate, we will transfer to Tierra del Fuego National Park, at the very end of the continent. This land of waterfalls, forest and exotic animals, from songbirds to sea lions, will enchant you — especially as we explore it in canoes with guides who are expert in ornithology, geology, and ecology.

This trip will show you a land that you can hardly believe until you’ve experienced it. And once you have, even long after you’ve left it, it will never leave you.

Itinerary Summary

Day 1: Meet at airport for private transfer to hotel.
Day 2: Explore Buenos Aires on your own
Day 3: Transfer to Bariloche
Day 4: Hike in Nahuel Huapi National Park
Day 5: Lago Moreno Kayak Adventure
Day 6: Flight to Calafate
Day 7: Private tour to Perito Moreno Glacier
Day 8: Free day in Calafate
Day 9: Flight to Ushuaia
Day 10: Trekking/Canoeing in Tierra del Fuego National Park
Day 11: Flight to Buenos Aires

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I travel with Embark?

We are a team that lives and breathes travel; we know what our clients want, and as such we see them as travelers, not tourists. We have organized hundreds of adventures around the world, focusing on destinations we know and understand. Ask us for some of our references.

Many companies provide region-standard trips; Embark goes above and beyond. We organize unique itineraries along the roads less traveled, designing adventures that allow our travelers to be pioneers and explore the depth of any given destination.

We focus on finding and training the best guides in the industry, with specialists who are prominent in several fields – mountain guides, historians, archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, and much more.

What is being in Patagonia like?

Upon arrival in country, you will be met by an Embark representative at the airport exit and driven by private vehicle to your Buenos Aires hotel.

Travel in Patagonia involves everything from being a major city to trekking lodge-to-lodge in the mountains. While hiking, breakfast is typically around 7 a.m., and you will hit the trail by 8 a.m. You will be given a pack lunch for the trail, and during the day you will stop for a picnic lunch. In the afternoons there should be time for some relaxation before dinner.

These are mountain trails, but very well-worn ones. The tread is well maintained and, while sections are steep and challenging, footing won’t be a problem.

How hard is it?

While we believe that anyone in good physical condition can complete our hiking trips, this trip is strenuous. While travel always entails some level of adventure and challenge, when we say “strenuous” we mean there will be long, sometimes difficult hikes; occasional significant physical barriers such as climbing; and the chance of falling or some other injury. To complete this trip, especially with any enjoyment, one must be in good physical shape – in particular, able to handle strenuous hikes on several consecutive days.


What do we eat?

You’ll be served three meals per day, with plentiful portions. Specialty diets such as vegetarian or gluten-free are available on request. Breakfast will include things like eggs, meat, toast, oatmeal, dry cereal, juice, milk, and coffee or tea. Lunch, often boxed, will typically include a sandwich, chicken, fruit, a chocolate bar and juice. Dinner might be soup; potatoes, rice, or pasta; chicken or beef; vegetables; and milk, and coffee or tea.

Not included are snacks for the trail, such as bars, trail mix, and electrolyte drink mixes. If you like to hike with these, bring them!

Do I need a visa?

US citizens only need a visa to enter Chile and Argentina if they plan to stay for more than 90 days.

What is the sleeping arrangement?

While in town, we stay at bed-and-breakfast lodgings. While hiking, we stay in more rustic Rifugios, typically sleeping in bunk beds with bathrooms down the hall.

What is included in the trip cost?

Your cost includes transportation, lodging, guide fees, and most meals. While on the climb, all your meals are included, although you might want to bring some snacks that you like to have during the day. Before and after the hikes you will have some time (and meals) on your own in town. Also not included in the cost is your airfare, souvenirs, and tips for guides and drivers.

How far ahead should I book this trip?

You want to commit to this trip at least six months ahead of time. It takes a lot of preparation, both logistical and physical. Beginning at this point, you should be booking your airplane tickets and planning your training regimen.

What is the best time of year for weather?

For hikers, the only time to visit Patagonia is from October through March. At other times of year the trails are covered in snow and mountain hiking is impossible. During these times, the average high temperature will be in the 60s to 70s, and the average low in the 40s. Average rainfall in these months is around one inch per month, or less.

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