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Patagonia Explorer: Chile & Argentina

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Patagonia Explorer: Chile & Argentina

Day 1 Depart London
Overnight flight to Santiago via Madrid or Sao Paulo

Day 2 Santiago
Morning arrival and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy a city tour of Santiago, the fast growing city set under the mountains. Visit the old town to see the Presidential Palace and the Plaza de Armas with its grand colonial buildings. Head to San Cristobal hill for panoramic views, the bohemian Bellavista neighbourhood and the fashionable new district of Providencia.

Day 3 Santiago
Head out of the city to the Pacific coast and visit the historic port town of Valparaiso. This was a prosperous port in the days before the Panama Canal, where steep streets are lined with colourful 19th century buildings. You will travel to a view-point overlooking the city via one of Valparaíso’s signature funicular elevators, two dozen of which were built at the turn of the 20th Century to connect the upper and lower sections of the city. You will also visit the parliamentary building and Plaza Sotomayor’s memorial to the heroes of the War of the Pacific.

On the way back to Santiago, you will call in at one of Chile’s vineyards in the fertile valleys in the Andean foothills for a tour and a tasting.

Day 4 To Torres del Paine
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Punta Arenas in the far south, down the rugged Chilean coastline and over the mountains and glaciers to Punta Arenas in the far south. You will be met on arrival and travel across wild Patagonia into the Torres del Paine National Park for a three night stay. On our luxury option, arrive at the outstanding new lodge of Tierra Patagonia on the edge of the national park, on our 4 star option stay at the Hotel Las Torres, set in the heart of the park close to the jagged peaks, or ‘horns’, of Paine.

Day 5 Torres del Paine
If staying at Tierra Patagonia, during your stay in Torres del Paine, everything is looked after. Daily excursions in small groups are included – from amazing short or longer group walks, drives through the park, visits to estancias and even horse rides. All meals are included, an open bar and full use of the sauna and steam room. If staying at hotel Las Torres, you can take walks directly from the hotel around the icy blue lakes and close to the Paine peaks. Spot native wildlife such as the flightless native nandu bird, the Patagonian fox and possibly a condor or two.

Day 6 Torres del Paine
Another day to experience the great natural beauty of Torres del Paine and the wilds of Patagonia. Guests at Tierra Patagonia can choose from another day of guided walks, scenic tours by vehicles or even horse riding for a true Patagonia experience. From Hotel Las Torres you can take excursions to the Grande waterfall, the Lago Grey and Glacier or chose from a selection of guided walks. Alternatively you can venture out on your own on a selection of trails leading from the hotel.

Day 7 To El Calafate, Argentina
Drive across the remote grasslands, over the border into Argentina. After a long but incredibly scenic drive you will arrive at the starkly beautiful Los Glaciares National Park. Stay in El Calafate town, a small frontier town supplying mountaineers, tourism and ranchers. On the luxury option, continue out of El Calafate and into the wilderness to stay at a remote and stylish ranch. With 3 nights at Eolo, all meals are included as well as excursions operated by the ranch such as mountain biking, trekking and birdwatching. Your hosts will introduce you to the culture and wildlife of Patagonia.

Day 8 Moreno Glacier
Today see the magnificent spectacle of one of the world great natural wonders, the Moreno Glacier. This in one of the world’s few advancing glaciers, and you may see huge icebergs calving off the front, creating a huge noise and spectacle as they crash into the lake below. Walkways lead around the opposite bank of the lake for great views, and the glacier reaches high into the surrounding peaks. You might want to try trekking on the Moreno glacier, with crampons, equipment and an expert guide, as an optional extra (advance booking recommended).

Day 9 Los Glaciares National Park
Today is at leisure to relax in the unspoilt landscapes. If staying at Eolo you can choose from a variety of included excursions. If staying in El Calafate you can take an optional catamaran excursion across the lake to Estancia Cristina and the Upsala Glacier, or visit the unusual Glaciarium museum.

Day 10 El Calafate to Buenos Aires
Fly to the stylish and cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires for 3 nights in the heart of the city. The late afternoon and evening is yours to experience the city, perhaps to dine in a traditional Argentinian steak house, for that succulent Pampas-reared beef.

Day 11 Buenos Aires
This morning a private guided city tour of the capital you will visit the exclusive Recoleta district and the ornate cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. Stop in the city centre to see the Cathedral and the President’s residence, the Casa Rosada. Then continue through some of the city’s different neighbourhoods each with a different character, and arrive in La Boca. Here near the old port, and near Boca Juniors football club, the colourful streets are complete with market stalls and street performers where you can sometimes see tango dances. An excellent optional tango show with dinner is available in the evening.

Day 12 Buenos Aires
Enjoy a free day in Buenos Aires. Re-visit one of the artistic districts, call in to one of the excellent museums or shop in the city centre, or linger over a coffee and take part in Buenos Aires’ café culture.

Day 13 Buenos Aires to London
Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight. You might like to stay in Argentina and visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls with a 2 night extension. Alternatively you could add-on Chile’s Atacama Desert, perhaps including the Tierra Atacama hotel, onto the beginning of your journey.

Day 14 Arrive London
Morning arrival into London.

Tour includes:

All flights specified
Local expert guides in resort
Private transfers
Inspirational sightseeing programme
12 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners

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journeys-of-distinctionOn a Journey of Distinction, you are not merely a bystander. They believe that the wonders, customs and cultures you experience will live on in the core of your being. They even go so far as to say that one of their holidays will change your life forever.

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