Essential Patagonia

from £740
excluding flights *
4 nights Nov-Apr, Oct

Overview

Explore at your own pace on this compact self drive that allows you to choose from the extensive range of hiking trails. In this long land of incredible untold beauty, remoteness and diversity, the southern plains and peaks of Patagonia are undoubtedly Chile’s most remarkable of masterpieces.

Highlights

  • Stand in the shadows of the Torres del Paine (Towers of Paine)
  • Cruise in the iceberg filled Grey Lake and view its imposing glacier
  • Take on world class hiking routes, revered around the world
  • Stop at the cavernous home of a pre-historic beast

Full description

The granite spires of Torres del Paine loom large over the landscape and are the most famous of the region’s attractions, but there are many other motivations for visiting this much heralded hikers’ paradise.

Azure lagoons, emerald forests and ashen faced glaciers form stunning colour filled contrasts around every corner. Guanacos, condors, pumas and penguins are just some of the unique collection of animals that can be spotted by patient photographers. And the plentiful supply of high quality hotels means that visitors can spend their days roaming far and wide, and their evenings eating like kings and relaxing in accommodation full of character and comfort.

Having your own car on this holiday enables you to visit what you want, when you want and for as long as you want. There are many well established hiking routes on offer, meaning that guides, (while mandatory for a small selection of trails and useful for those unsure about exploring unaided), are not essential for those who wish to roam alone.

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Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £850 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire

Departure Duration Car Category Twin Price (pp)
Oct - Mar 4 nights F1 - Hyundai Creta (or similar) £740

What's Included

  • All rooms with private bathroom
  • 2 nights at Weskar Patagonian Lodge (Puerto Natales), 2 nights at Hotel Las Torres (Torres del Paine National Park), both on B&B basis
  • Daily breakfast
  • Excursions as per itinerary
  • 4x4 vehicle rental throughout
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Semi-comprehensive CDW insurance for 2 drivers
  • Detailed documentation
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Punta Arenas - Puerto Natales

Fly to Punta Arenas, the gateway to Chilean Patagonia’s southern highlights. Pick up your hire car at the airport and drive for approximately 3 hours (246km), to the town of Puerto Natales. On the way, you may wish to take a slight detour to visit Otway sound. Until recently a large colony of Magellanic penguins could be found here. While the number has decreased dramatically of late, it is not yet known why and so a return is still possible. Ask our specialists or a friendly local for an update on numbers if you are interested in stopping by. Penguin sightings, when possible, are seasonal (mid Oct – Mar) and require a hike of approximately 2 kilometres. This evening, check into a hotel in Puerto Natales for an overnight stay.

N.B. Flights into Puerto Natales are available on selected days. Contact us for details.

Day 2: Torres del Paine, Lake Pehoe and Salto Grande

This morning, travel north for approximately 1.5 hours until you reach the entrance to one of the world’s most spectacular hiking destinations – Torres del Paine National Park. Considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of Chilean Patagonia, the park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978. It’s abundance of towering peaks, shimmering glaciers, plummeting waterfalls and sapphire blue lakes and lagoons, make it the natural centrepiece for keen trekkers. While the varied flora and fauna – which includes guanacos, pumas, condors and hawks – also make it irresistible to wildlife lovers.

Start your visit with a stop at Lake Pehoe, the area which offers the best views over ‘Cuernos del Paine’ – the so called ‘Horns of Paine’. These granite spires (over 2,000 metres high) are often reflected in the lake’s waters and make for some inspiring photography opportunities. Nearby, you can also find the ‘Salto Grande’ (Big Jump) waterfall, which descends 10 metres into the river basin below. There are countless hiking routes to follow here, including one to a viewpoint over Lake Nordenskjold, or you can proceed to your hotel, (home for the next 2 nights), and relax among eye-catching surroundings.

Day 3: Lago and Glacier Grey

Drive to Lago Grey and join an optional boat trip (not included) across the lake towards the Grey Glacier. This imposing wall of ice, which stretches 20 metres high and 19km across, creeps forward at a slow but steady pace, crumbling and depositing icebergs into the cool waters below. It is a jaw dropping scene and one which will live long in the memory – as long as you don’t partake in too many of the Pisco sours which are served on board.

You can choose to spend the afternoon hiking around the lake, or head to another area of interest in the park.

NB. The boat trips to the glacier are available daily between November and February, but schedules vary outside of these months.

Day 4: Laguna Azul, Milodon Cave and drive to Puerto Natales

Travel to the northern sector of the park today where you can enjoy scenic landscapes, mountainous relief, steppe vegetation and large quantities of fauna, especially guanacos and rheas. The shores of ‘Laguna Azul’ (Blue Lagoon) are the only places in the park where you get a panoramic view of the entire ‘Torres del Paine’ (Towers of Paine), without having to trek for it. On days with no wind, the characteristic peaks are reflected in the lagoon, giving a picture perfect image. Another peculiarity of this area is that it has a microclimate in which temperatures can reach up to 25°C in summer – much warmer than the surrounding regions.

In the afternoon, exit the park from the southern gateway at Villa Serrano. Continue along the gravel road to the Milodon Cave, where the bones of a giant sloth, (a genus of the ground sloth which measured up to 12 feet tall and is thought to have died out around 10,000 years ago), were found in 1895. Then continue to Puerto Natales and enjoy another overnight in this small but busy city.

Day 5: Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas

Drive back to Punta Arenas where, depending on your flight time, you may wish to take a look at the famous cemetery, monuments and museums, before you drop your car off at the airport and catch your flight to your next destination.

N.B. Flights out of Puerto Natales are available on selected days. Contact us for details.

Hotel Las Torres – Torres del Paine

Chile

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

With a stunning location at the foot of the world famous Torres (Towers) del Paine,…

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Rio Serrano Hotel – Torres del Paine

Chile

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

The Rio Serrano Hotel is a family-owned business, which began life as a hostel in…

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Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa

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Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

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