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In the Wake of Magellan: Patagonia by Land & Sea

Argentina, Chile, South America, Patagonia

from $5,995* per person 14 Days January-April
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Wildland Adventures 24 people max
  • Airport near santiago, chile
  • Boats, Barges & Small Ship Cruises trips
Immerse yourself in the wilds of Patagonia by land and sea. Arriving in Santiago, Chile and departing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, our circumnavigation of Patagonia combines a 5-day voyage with overland explorations led by naturalist guides in Torres del Paine, Tierra del Fuego and Los Glaciares National Parks. Voyage through the Straits of Magellan and Beagle Channel aboard either the 129 passenger M/V Via Australis or the new 198 passenger M/V Stella Australis.  Glide through fjords, inlets, glaciers and islands between Punta Arenas, Chile and the Argentine city of Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego. The comfortable, informal expedition ship offers evening lectures in which you relive the incredible history of exploration, discover the ancient lands of the Yamanas, Onas, Alacalufes and Tehuelches.  Daily excursions into the field permit close-up observation of icebergs and glaciers, penguins, elephant seals and many other species of wildlife. Optional add-ons are available in the Chilean Lakes District or Iguazu Falls.

Locations visited/nearby

Argentina, Chile, South America, Patagonia

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3 testimonials about the provider, Wildland Adventures:

  • Reviewer: located in Roanoke, VA USA
    You are the kind of tour operator the world needs more of...caring of your groups AND the beautiful places and people we get to experience!

  • Reviewer: located in Clyde, NC USA
    Congratulations on the kudos from National Geographic Adventure magazine. Our experiences in travel with Wildland underscore this commendation. We have loved traveling to Costa Rica and Southern Africa with you and are now involved in planning a trip to East Africa. Great job from a superb company! You are first in our minds!

  • Reviewer: located in Northfield, MA USA
    How can I begin to thank you for the most amazing, wonderful, incredible vacation of my life?!?!?!  Everything was better than I could have hoped.  So many precious memories.  Such wonderful chemistry of personalities.  It has been very hard to leave it all behind and get back to my real life...


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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.


Early morning airport reception and transfer to the Plaza San Francisco, an elegant and well-appointed hotel in the heart of Santiago. In the afternoon take a historic tour of Santiago including the Presidential Palace once the National Mint and thus called "La Moneda", the historic main square or "Plaza de Armas", the Cathedral, the National History Museum, and "Casa Colorado" the historic residence of the Governor. Continue on to Santa Lucia the hill upon which the Spanish founded Santiago in 1541. Overnight at the Plaza San Francisco.

Morning transfer for our early flight to Punta Arenas on the Straits of Magellan and the frigid Antarctic waters of Tierra del Fuego (Weight limit on this flight is 20 kilos). Late afternoon visit to the nesting colony of Magellanic Penguins at Seno Otway (October through March). The reserve is supported by the World Wildlife Fund and staffed by renowned scientists from all over the world. There are well-marked trails and blinds for visitors to gain a close-up observations of these quirky creatures nesting and caring for their young in their natural habitat. Return to Punta Arenas to overnight at Hotel Cabo de Hornos or similar. [B]

Free morning to explore the southernmost city in Chile and largest Chilean settlement in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Consider visiting one of the museums depicting settlement of this harsh region. Transfer (5 hrs) to Torres del Paine National Park, watching for guanaco, ostrich, black-necked swan, flamingo and condor along the way.  Visit the enormous Milodon Cave that once sheltered a giant prehistoric sloth.  Overnight at the Las Torres EcoCamp in a suite dome tent or similar. [BLD]

    Note: The order of activities in the Park is contingent upon weather conditions and may be changed at the guide's discretion.

Drive across Torres del Paine National Park admiring the impressive Paine Grande and Los Cuernos en route to the shores of Lago Pehoe. Enjoy a short hike to the rushing waters of the Salto Grande waterfall and continue hiking over the leisurely Nordenskjold trail until reaching the Mirador Cuernos and its spectacular vistas over the entire massif.  After returning to Lago Pehoe, we drive south to the shores of Lago Grey and enjoy a picnic lunch.  After lunch, we board our catamaran and sail (1 1/2 hrs round trip) across the lake to the imposing walls of the Grey Glacier.  The glacier is located at the south end of the Southern Patagonian Ice Fieldthe worlds third largest extension of continental ice after the Antarctica and Greenland spanning 350 km in length.  Weather permitting we will enjoy a walk on the beach of Lago Grey where we have the opportunity to admire large bergs of the glacier resting on the shoreline. For those desiring more activity, continue hiking along the Pingo Trail through rolling Magellanic forest, ending with splendid views of the western face of the Massif. Drive back to the Las Torres EcoCamp for dinner and overnight. [BLD]

Today we will have the opportunity to observe the Parks endemic wildlife including guanaco, Patagonian fox, nandus (Patagonean rhea), and diverse bird life such as the majestic condor whose wing span can measure up to 9 feet. We will enjoy walks (2-hours) over flat terrain across the "Ruta de la Fauna" at Lago Sarmiento and the other small lakes in the vicinitymany of which are home to Chilean flamingo and guanaco (Llama Guanacoe) herds. The guanaco is native to South America and they are found in the altiplano of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina. In Chile and Argentina they are more numerous in Patagonian regions, including Torres del Paine National Park and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego. The route also affords panoramic views of the Paine massif and frequent sightings of puma tracks. The puma (Chilean cougar) hides along the shores of Lago Sarmiento where natural shelters form in the calcium-carbonate soil that surrounds the lake. Dinner and overnight at the Las Torres EcoCamp or similar. [BLD]

After breakfast in the morning, your vehicle takes you through the park then south to Punta Arenas on the shores of the famous Last Hope Sound. Upon arrival into this port city in the mid-afternoon, you'll be taken to the local office to register for your cruise to Ushuaia aboard the M/V Stella Australis or the M/V Via Australis. After being escorted to the pier and shown to your cabin, the Captain and crew will welcome you aboard with a cocktail party when you get to meet your fellow shipmates. Shortly after, the ship will sail to the ends of the world, through fabled Strait of Magellan towards Tierra del Fuego (Fire Island) and Patagonia. Welcome aboard dinner. [BLD]

With the first light of dawn, navigation will continue through Almirantazgo Fjord. Disembark in scenic Ainsworth Bay near Marinelli Glacier, where we take a walk to get an upclose look at an elephant seal colony, and enjoy the solitude of the Magellan Forests. Enjoy the splendid views of the surrounding Darwin Mountain Range. After lunch, board Zodiac boats to observe a colony of Magellanic penguins (found only in the Southern Hemisphere) and look for cormorants in search of fish.  In September & April, outside of the penguins breeding season, we'll instead go to Brookes Bay to visit another glacier [BLD]

Early morning finds us navigating the Beagle Channel, entering Pia Bay. After disembarking near Pia Glacier, an exhilarating hike takes us to a lookout point that is ideal for viewing the mountain range where the glacier originates, and its flow all the way to the sea. This afternoon, we set sail again along the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel through majestic Glacier Alley: Spain, Romanche, Germany, Italy, France and Holland glaciers.[BLD]

Today, we sail through the Beagle and Murray Channels to disembark in Cape Horn National Park. Cape Horn, a sheer, almost 425-meter-high promontory, where the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean merge, was discovered in 1616 by the Dutch commercial expedition organized by Isaac Le Maire. The Cape owes its name to the Port of Hoorn, the expedition's departure point. In the afternoon, we will disembark at historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of the largest Yamana aboriginal settlements.  Charles Darwin landed here in 1833 and we'll walk through the beautiful native vegetation to a look out point.  This evening, the Captain invites us to our Farewell Dinner as we prepare to sail for Ushuaia, Argentina. Overnight onboatd. [BLD]

Leave Puerto Williams at 4.00 a.m., slowly sailing across the Beagle Channel toward the island of Tierra del Fuego. We reach Ushuaia, the most important settlement on the island, at dawn. Disembarkation begins at 08:00. Leaving directly from the pier, begin an exploration of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Hiking through these beech forests, watch for Magellanic woodpeckers, Austral Parakeets, Black-Chested Buzzard Eagles and the Andean Condor. Climb aboard an 18-person zodiac boat for lunch and an afternoon walk on Isla Redonda. Motoring back in Lapataia Bay, we observe cormorants and sea lions, albatross and petrels then hike an old trail to Laguna Verde, where the vehicle awaits to take us back to Ushuaia. Overnight at the Hotel Los Fuegos. [BL]

Free morning to shop and explore on your own. We recommend you visit the small "End of the World Museum" where you can review the history of exploration and development of the region at your leisure. Transfer to the airport and fly to El Calafate. Overnight at  Alta Vista, part of a working estancia 20 minutes for the town of El Calafate. [BD]

    Note: Airport tax of $18 must be paid by passenger in Ushuaia airport.

Drive to a spectacular lookout of Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. Permanently advancing along its 3-mile-front, columns of ice over 20 stories high peel off the face and crash into Lago Argentino creating massive icebergs. We cross Lago Argentino by catamaran along the front wall of the glacier to the edge of the Patagonian Ice Cap to hike through beech forests and up onto the ice pack! Don crampons to explore the crevasses, caves and tunnels of this active glacier. Watch for Andean condor and Buff-necked Ibis while you listen to the echos of calving bergs. Enjoy a picnic lunch by the lateral moraine of the glacier and return to the Perito Moreno lookout to explore the catwalks before departing.Overnight at Alta Vista. [BLD]

Note: The Moreno glacier walk is a local group excursion of up to 20 persons operated by a local park concession. Ask about our Big Ice Exploration, an alternative, longer, 3-hour hike with a smaller group that ventures deeper into the depths of the glacier!

Transfer to El Calafate airport for late afternoon or evening fight to Buenos Aires. Transfer in and overnight at the Madero Hotel or similar. [B]

    Note: Airport tax of $18 must be paid by passenger in El Calafate airport.

Explore Buenos Aires on our Four Balconies of Buenos Aires half-day city tour. A local guide uses four parks and plazas to introduce you to the city, its history, its style, and the peculiar psychology of Porteo residents. You visit historical sites such as the Barrio Norte with its splendid old homes; San Telmo where the artist and musicians live and work; La Boca, a neighborhood of brightly painted Italian family homes and restaurants; and the Avenida 9 de Julio with its towering obelisk as much a symbol to Buenos Aires as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Your hotel room is available as a day-room until the early evening, when you transfer to the international airport in time for your evening departure. [B]

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