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Signature Patagonia - Santiago to El Calafate

9 Days FROM AUD 5,948 10 % off!

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Overview

This incredible 9-day Patagonian comfort adventure is the perfect pre-expedition addition to an Antarctic cruise. Starting in Santiago and staying in handpicked hotels, this superior styled itinerary will show the natural beauty of Southern Patagonia and finish in El Calafate, where you can fly directly to Ushuaia to connect with your Antarctic adventure (flight not included).

This package starts with a tour of Chile's capital, Santiago, before flying to the world epicentre of natural beauty –Patagonia. A unique and unrepeatable landscape where mountain glaciations, rivers and lakes, waterfalls, native forests, snowdrifts, fjords, archipelagos, ice fields, and Magellanic steppes make up a wild nature that awes and inspires. Stay in a Patagonian Lodge, a world-class refuge that includes daily excursions in the company of a bilingual guide. Choose from a horseback ride guided by a traditional gaucho through the Patagonian landscape, hikes in the Ventisquero Valley and to archaeological monuments, a field day to a typical Patagonian Estancia to enjoy an authentic lamb roast, mountain biking to the shore of Balmaceda Lake or a hike through Torres del Paine National Park and to the incredible Las Torres peaks. 

This itinerary is also offered in reverse - Signature Patagonia - El Calafate to Santiago

On this all-encompassing personalised itinerary, Chimu will provide travel logistics for your travel party for the duration of your journey, plus expert guides for all the major sightseeing as per itinerary.  Each night you will stay in superior accommodation, handpicked by our experienced team for their creature comforts, convenient locations, and impeccable service. 

 

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Trip Code: MCFHSP

Travel Style: Core package

Location: Chile, Patagonia, Argentina

Flights: Includes an internal flight from Santiago to Puerto Natales. International flights are not included. Ask us about booking your flights to/from South America to save money by creating an 'airpass'.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • This itinerary is an ideal extension to lead into your Antarctic voyage, with the possibility to fly from El Calafate to Ushuaia for embarkation.

  • This itinerary showcases the highlights of Patagonia, one of the world's most show-stopping regions!

  • You will experience the breathtaking beauty of Torres del Paine National Park, with a range of daily options that allow you an in-depth exploration of the mountains, glaciers and pampas by horseback, motorboat, on foot or by vehicle.

  • You will discover the fascinating town of El Calafate, situated on the shores of Lago Argentino and on the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival at Santiago Airport, please make your way through Customs and Immigration and only exit from the green doors marked 'Meeting Point’.
Our representative will be holding a sign with your name on it and waiting for you outside this exit. Please only make contact with our representative.

This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay.

Arrival transfer in Santiago

Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, lies in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Range. Founded in 1541, Santiago has been Chile’s capital since colonial times. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city and although it features many colonial buildings, it has grown into a modern metropolis and the cultural centre of the country.

Santiago de Chile

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel for your tour of Santiago. Visit both the old and new areas of the city. Highlights include the Plaza de Armas, the city's central square and the heart of the city’s old colonial core. The Plaza de Armas is home to the beautiful 18th century Metropolitan Cathedral, the early 19th century Royal Court Palace that houses the Natural History Museum and the Central Post Office completed in 1882. We will continue along to Government Palace and there we will have the opportunity to walk through some of the most traditional streets and neighbourhoods. Visit Cerro Santa Lucia, the hill on which Santiago was founded in 1541, now a park with fountains and stairs leading to a fort and a panoramic viewpoint across the city. On completion of your tour, you will be taken to your hotel.

Please note this is small group tour and only operates in the morning.

Santiago Panoramic City Tour

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight. This service includes a Spanish speaking driver only.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination

At the appropriate time you will be met at the Puerto Natales airport and transferred to Remota Lodge.

Transfer Puerto Natales Airport - Remota Lodge

Puerto Natales sits on the shores of Seno Última Esperanza in Chilean Patagonia, with striking views across the mountains. Once a relatively small fishing port, Puerto Natales now relies more on tourism, being the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park and the southern terminus of the ferry trip through the Chilean fjords.

Arrival in Puerto Natales

Today, you will be met at your Puerto Natales hotel and transferred to Hotel Las Torres, located inside Torres Del Paine National Park. This transfer is up to 2 hours in length on good paved and dirt roads and offers a great introduction in the wide open expanses of the Patagonian pampas.

Hotel Las Torres - Arrival from El Calafate

Hotel Las Torres have a set of activities where you can choose from onsite, allowing you to create your own personalised experience deep in Torres del Paine National Park. Below are suggested options you may like to choose from through-out your stay.

After breakfast you may choose to walk the park’s main trail to a famous viewpoint, situated on the shores of a Glacier lagoon, from where you can observe the slender, granite peaks that give the national park its name. The excursion begins at Hotel las Torres, where you will begin a hike through Ascencio Valley, crossing a beautiful forest of Lengas and later arriving to a rocky area (La Morrena), the most difficult section of the trail, and finishing at the spectacular Torres Base Viewpoint. After a snack and allotted time for photography, we will follow the same trail back to the hotel.

After your morning excursion, relax and enjoy the hotel’s facilities before visiting the world’s southernmost, as well as one of the region’s oldest, organic kitchen garden at Reserva Cerro Paine. In less than half a hectare, the garden produces seasonal fruits and vegetables using bio-intensive, sustainable methods that produce food for our restaurants. Our garden has developed immensely since its origin in the early 1950s. With this history in mind, we aim to strike a balance between conserving old fashioned, heirloom varieties and meeting production goals. The farm has nine types of fruits and more than twenty-five types of vegetables, along with an ever-growing group of culinary and medicinal herbs. Visitors have one or two hours in the garden, during which you can stimulate your senses, sample fresh goods, and learn the history of the world’s southernmost organic garden. In addition, visitors can help with some daily harvesting tasks, such as planting and weeding. Extra hands are always welcome!

Enjoy dinner back at the hotel.

Exploring Torres del Paine National Park

Hotel Las Torres have a set of activities where you can choose from onsite, allowing you to create your own personalised experience deep in Torres del Paine National Park. Below are suggested options you may like to choose from through-out your stay.

This morning start your journey to the park’s most spectacular waterfall and an astonishing viewpoint. The adventure starts with a 45-minute drive to Pudeto in the heart of the park’s lake district. The trail leads us through a portion of the park impacted by the great forest fire of 2011- 12. Between the remains of the fire-ravaged trees, new life is already sprouting from the rich Patagonian soul. The path continues to Sendero Mirador Cuernos. Possibly the Park’s most spectacular viewpoint, the panorama features the “Los Cuernos” (Horns), Mount Paine Grande and the French Valley and Glacier rising straight up from the other side of Nordenskjöld Lake: a brethtaking spectacle of rock and water. From this point we continue the trail to Salto Grande, a raging aquamarine cascade that channels water between lakes Nordenskjöld and Pehoé. The roundtrip hike from car park to viewpoint takes about two hours.
Given the open terrain, high winds are possible during this trek. Those who don’t want to undertake the complete hike can opt for a shorter version that features just the brief hike to Salto Grande waterfall (about 30min round trip). Enjoy lunch back at the lodge and get refreshed for your afternoon exploration.

This afternoon, you may choose to go for a leisurely trail ride to the famous Lake, ‘Lago Nordenskjold’, at the base of the Paine Massic named after a famous Swedish-Finnish explorer who dedicated himself to the study of Antarctica, Greenland, Chile and Peru. Leaving from Pesebrera, your excursion follows the famous W Trail, passing the northern shores of the lake and Mount Almirante Nieto. Cross various rivers and forests, having the opportunity to appreciate various viewpoints and Patagonian flora. In addition, you will have the opportunity meet the baqueanos and live a unique and authentic experience in Patagonia.

Dinner at hotel.

Exploring Torres del Paine National Park

Early this morning you will depart Las Torres Hotel aboard their shuttle service transfer. Departure times will be reconfirmed to you directly by the hotel the evening prior to your departure.

Please note journey times are as follows however they are dependant on weather and road conditions:
El Calafate via Cerro Castillo (border crossing) will be approximately five hours and 30 minutes departing at 7am.
Puerto Natales will be approximately two hours departing at 2pm.
Punta Arenas will be approximately five hours departing at 7.30am and 1pm.

Hotel Las Torres - Departure

El Calafate flanks the southern shore of Lago Argentino in the southwest part of Argentina’s Santa Cruz Province. The town is near the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and one of the gateways to World Heritage Listed Parque Nacional Los Glaciers. The name El Calafate is derived from the calafate plant common in Patagonia. The town’s main street, Avenida del Libertador General San Martín, is lined with restaurants, cafes, chocolate shops and souvenir shops.

El Calafate

This morning you will be collected from your hotel to venture into Los Glaciares National Park bound for the breathtaking glaciers of Perito Moreno, Mayo and Negro. The only way to reach the glaciers is by boat along the Témpanos Canal, stopping along the way at Toro Bay for a walk through the Patagonia lenga and ñires forest, passing waterfalls, ancient trees and lime rock formations. After the walk, the boat continues to the Negro hanging glacier where there is the chance for a short walk offering stunning 360 degree views. Back on the boat, you sail toward the north face of the massive Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is more than two miles wide and averages 74m in height above the surface of the water of Lake Argentino. It is one of the very few glaciers in the world that continues to advance and if you are lucky you may see the glacier calving as large masses of ice break away from the glacier and collapse into the water. Here, you can disembark at a floating dock and take time to stroll the walkways before boarding the boat and returning to El Calafate. On completion of the tour you will be taken to your hotel. Please note entrance fee and lunch are included. This is a small group tour.

Perito Moreno - Mayo Spirit Boat & Trek Tour

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the hotel for your onward flight. Please note this service is with a Spanish speaking driver only.

Transfer to the airport for onward destination
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ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Take a direct flight from El Calafate to Ushuaia to create an ultimate, once-in-a-lifetime experience by adding a small-ship expedition cruise to Antarctica. With over 30 ships and dozens of different itineraries to choose from, our Destination Specialist can help you find the expedition of your dreams to visit the most remote and awe-inspiring destination in the world, Antarctica! 

  • For the complete Patagonian experience, our 4 day / 3 night El Chalten Extension is a must for hiking enthusiasts or for those wanting to visit one of Patagonia's top-rated National Parks; The Glaciers National Park. Located 200km north of El Calafate, El Chalten offers breathtaking views of Mount Fitz Roy and the challenging 23km hike to to the viewpoint consistently ranks as one of South America's best hikes. 

  • Finish your Patagonian experience with our 4 day / 3 night Buenos Aires Extension package. This package combines history, tango, restaurants and stunning architecture to showcase the very best this cosmopolitan city has to offer and is a perfect itinerary to the start or finish of your time in Argentina.  

Pricing per person & date


Best Value!

Superior

Tried & tested upmarket properties with above average facilities and service

9 Days FROM Was AUD 6609 AUD 5,948 Enquire Now

Deluxe

Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

9 Days FROM Was AUD 9432 AUD 8,488 Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Airport transfers
    Internal flight as part of this itinerary*
    Accommodation with breakfast daily
    All meals at the Patagonian Lodge
    Tours as detailed in the itinerary 
    Other meals where stated 

    EXCLUSIONS: 

    International flights
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance
    Beverages
    Personal expenses
    Gratuities for tour guides and drivers
    Any items not mentioned as included

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • A single supplement surcharge applies. Please contact us for more information.

  • This itinerary is only available between October to April due to the Patagonia season.

    This itinerary can be done in the reverse. Contact us for more details.

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

During your tour you will stay at Hotel Las Torres. Protecting the wilderness of the Tierra del Fuego National Park is at the heart of Las Torres philosophy. On top of critical conservation activities such as trail maintenance and waste management, Hotel Las Torres also engages in scientific investigation and provides essential educational services in the region. They also work regularly with Chilean schools to improve environmental performance through expeditionary educational programs.While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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