Patagonia Tour Itinerary

Days 1 & 2

U.S. / Punta Arenas

Fly independently to Punta Arenas. Enjoy great views of the mountains as you soar over the Southern Patagonia Ice Field. The rest of your day in Punta Arenas is at leisure. Spend two nights at Hotel Diego de Almagro. (Meals Aloft / Day 2: D)

Day 3

Porvenir / Punta Arenas

To begin our Patagonia tour, fly to Porvenir in Tierra del Fuego. IE’s naturalist guides may be able to point out the common South American sea lion or playful pods of Peale’s dolphin in the waters. Drive along the shores of Bahia Inutil — “Useless Bay” — watching for an array of wildlife including guanaco, southern grey fox, upland goose and Chilean flamingo. Arrive at the private Parque Pinguino Rey, where we visit the world’s most accessible colony of king penguins. Taking advantage of excellent feeding conditions, king penguins began breeding here in 2011, and IE guests enjoy opportunities to observe and photograph the penguins. Fly back to Punta Arenas late this afternoon. (B,L,D)

patagonia tour, king penguins


Day 4 & 5

Puerto Natalas 

Take a boat to Magdalena Island to visit the famous Magellanic penguin rookery. Your Expedition Leader will be on hand to talk about their ecology. By noon we will visit 'Estancia Cerro Negro', a typical working sheep-farming station, where we will see of a shearing and sheep dog demonstration and a delicious Patagonian-style barbecue. Depart for the picturesque coastal town of Puerto Natales, where there are gorgeous vistas of the fjord 'Ultima Esperanza' (the 'Last Hope'). Spend two nights at Hotel Remota. From here venture out to Mylodon Cave Nature Reserve, an outstanding natural formation that sheltered a large number of long-gone Pleistocene mammal species, including the Giant Ground-Sloth or Mylodon, about 12,000 years ago. At Cerro Benitez you go up through the forest of ñirres (Nothofagus antarctica) y lengas (nothofagus pumilio) where condors can appear so close that you may hear the sound of their wings. Pass several lagoons as you walk to a cave where paintings are found. (BLD daily)

patagonia tour torres del paine


Day 6 & 7

Torres del Paine

Sunrise paints the park's granite towers red — a great start to days of nature hikes in this secluded area. Hike through the Nothofagus forest, watching for fox, Magellanic woodpecker, Chilean flicker and Austral parakeet. Cruise along Grey Lake before exploring the area on foot. Grey Glacier is one of the nearly 50 outlet glaciers originating from the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Continue exploring the alkaline pons and reed-fringed lagoons. As we explore, watch for herds of guanaco, lesser rhea and soaring Andean condor. Spend two nights at Hotel Lago Grey (B,L,D Daily)

patagonia tour guanacos


Day 8

El Calafate

Travel to El Calafate and spend two nights at Hotel de Campo Kau Yatun. (B,L)

patagonia tour perito moreno glacier


Day 9

Los Glaciares National Park: Perito Moreno Glacier

Spend the last full-day of your Patagonia tour discovering the wonders of Los Glaciares National Park. Designated as a park in 1937 and declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, this spectacular park’s three major features are its majestic mountains, immense lakes and of course, the glaciers themselves. The most celebrated of these is the famed Perito Moreno Glacier. This breathtaking cathedral of ice is still advancing, with a three-mile wall plunging into the Channel of Icebergs. Earlier in 2012, a huge chunk of the glacier calved from Perito Moreno, collapsing into the sea. The area is astonishing, with Magellanic forests and orchids growing so close they seem to touch the face of the glacier. Led by our expert naturalist, search Andean condor and buff-necked ibis while you listen to is massive glacier crack and calve giant icebergs into the lake.The wind-swept steppes, temperate forests and emerald lakes of Los Glaciares are also home to Magellanic woodpecker, Magellanic plover and other birdlife of the subantarctic woodlands. (B,L,D)

patagonia travel andean condor


Day 10

El Calafate / En Route

Our small-group adventure ends in El Calafate after a tasty breakfast. Fly independently to Buenos Aires and connect with flights home. You may also choose to join our exciting Chilean Fjords extension in Ushuaia. (B, Meals Aloft)

Day 11

Arrive U.S.

Arrive in the U.S. and connect with your flights home. (Meals Aloft)