Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness

Raw, thrilling and extraordinary: a journey through the wilds of Patagonia is unparalleled.

Journey Overview

Raw, thrilling and extraordinary – a journey through the wilds of Patagonia is unparalleled. Hike to the edges of glaciers, where ice cracks and rumbles around you. Journey to a ranch at the end of the world. Take an unforgettable voyage through fjords and channels. Inhale the sheer vastness of the place and get your heart racing. In Patagonia, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Journey Highlights

  • Follow the fjords of the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego on a Patagonia cruise
  • Watch ice shift on one of the fastest moving and last advancing glaciers on the planet 
  • Venture into the wilderness of Torres del Paine National Park 
  • Walk among native Magellanic penguins on Isla Martillo
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Santiago, Chile.

Welcome to Santiago, one of the world’s most spectacularly located cities where you are met by an A&K representative and transferred by private vehicle to your boutique accommodation located in the vibrant Lastarria district. Ease into local time with a leisurely stroll on your own through this creative neighbourhood, admire the colonial-style architecture or simply seek out the rooftop bar for laid-back drinks and Andes views.
The Singular Santiago (Singular Room)

Day 2: Santiago.

Begin your Santiago discovery this morning with a private guided walking tour. Step inside the treasure-filled La Chascona, built by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda for his mistress. Explore the colonial centre including the Plaza de Armas. As the heart of the city, dating back to the Spanish conquerors, this is where you'll find the Cathedral, City Hall, Central Post Office and National Historical Museum. In the plaza, watch artists at work, friendly chess games and possibly a dance performance. Travel back in time at the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, one of the world’s best museums for ancient Central and South American artefacts. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure of continue strolling through the plazas, or people watching in the main square.
The Singular Santiago (Singular Room) | Meals: B

Day 3: Santiago – Puerto Natales.

Private transfer to Santiago airport for your flight south to Puerto Natales, a port city on the Señoret Channel in Chile’s southern Patagonia and the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. On arrival you will be met and transferred to one of Chile’s most talked about hotels, your home for the next three nights. Following time to refresh, meet your expert local naturalist guides who will discuss with you the selection of included excursions available over the coming days.
The Singular Patagonia (Singular Room) | Meals: BD

Days 4 – 5: Puerto Natales.

Spend two days at leisure soaking up the spectacular views or choose from a menu of shared expeditions into the otherworldly landscape of granite spires, ice and deserted pampas that is Torres del Paine. Choose an excursion that stimulates your interest and meets your fitness level. Sail through the Patagonian Fjords and marvel at the Balmaceda and Serrano glaciers. Observe the prolific wildlife, including flamingo, condor and guanaco – a llama-like native of South America and tasty bait for pumas. Meet local Patagonians and learn their way of life. Trek far off the beaten path and see firsthand how the jagged granite ridges and spires are magnificently serrated. Celebrate your discoveries the Patagonian way – with a feast of meats barbecued over hot coals.
The Singular Patagonia (Singular Room) | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Puerto Natales – Punta Arenas.

After a leisurely breakfast transfer to Punta Arenas where you embark on your southern Patagonia cruise aboard the Ventus Australis. Latin for “Southern Wind”, the Ventus Australis has been purpose-built for exploring the remote southern tip of South America and allows access to the narrow fjords and channels where other ships cannot go. Following a welcoming toast and safety briefing the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of the Earth. During the night, cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels that define the southern extremes of Patagonia.
Ventus Australis (AA Cabin) | Meals: BD

Day 7: Ainsworth Bay – Tuckers Islets.

By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. Go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbours abundant bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving Ainsworth Bay behind, sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor.
Ventus Australis (AA Cabin) | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Pia Glacier – Glacier Alley.

Overnight sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena and Cockburn Channels. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning you are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a Pia Glacier tour. After disembarking take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.

Back onboard, continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features many impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries – Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.
Ventus Australis (AA Cabin) | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Cape Horn – Wulaia Bay.

During the morning, cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, go ashore on the windswept island that harbours legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition – and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland – Cape Horn is a sheer 425-metre high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic and was often referred to as the "End of the Earth". The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

In the afternoon navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerising beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station – which has a strong focus on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area – you have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travellers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.
Ventus Australis (AA Cabin) | Meals: BLD

Day 10: Ushuaia, Argentina.

Sail into Argentine waters and dock in the world’s southernmost city, or as locals boast: “El fin del mundo” (the end of the world). Once known as the Siberia of Argentina, Ushuaia is today a charming gateway to the Patagonian paradise of Tierra del Fuego. Disembark from your cruise and transfer by private vehicle to your hotel set on a magnificent outcrop high above the city. Drop your bags and get straight to the heart of the city’s beguiling history at the military prison, where tales of the most notorious residents will astonish and amaze. Drive by neighbourhoods such as Brown and Solier, where the first inhabitants built their houses at the start of the 20th century. Pass by Provincial City Hall and the former Government House and discover the contrast and developments produced by the arrival of new inhabitants in the 1980s. Return to your accommodation where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Arakur Ushuaia (Superior Sea View Room) | Meals: B

Day 11: Ushuaia.

Journey into Tierra del Fuego’s extreme remoteness. Stop at the region’s oldest ranch, Estancia Harberton, located on a peninsula jutting out into the gunboat-grey Beagle Channel. Sail to Isla Martillo and walk among the enchanting native Magellanic penguins, as well as smaller colonies of gentoo and king penguins. Continue to the far-flung Gable Island for a rustic lunch before your return trip.
Arakur Ushuaia (Superior Sea View Room) | Meals: BL

Day 12: Ushuaia – El Calafate.

Journey onwards by air to El Calafate, gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. Soak up the atmosphere of this lakeside oasis in the middle of the barren Patagonian landscape. Upon arrival meet your local host who will transfer you to your Relais & Châteaux accommodation. Spend time relaxing and soaking up the extensive views, take a short stroll around the property or venture further afield on horseback or by mountain bike.
EOLO (Superior Room) | Meals: BD

Day 13: El Calafate.

Today’s exploration includes an outing to the Perito Moreno Glacier, a five-kilometre wide, 60-kilometre long and 70-metre high wall of ice that dramatically ends in Lake Argentino. Drink in one of the most spectacular natural sights on earth with walkways that put you just metres from the ice. Reflect on the spectacle and listen for rumbles as the glacier breaks and shifts. Cruise across Lake Rico to witness icebergs calving off the massive ice sheet, which is one of the few remaining advancing glaciers in the world.
EOLO (Superior Room) | Meals: BLD

Day 14: El Calafate – Buenos Aires.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the cosmopolitan Argentine capital where creative talent, atmospheric cafés and aristocratic homes abound. Accompanied by your A&K representative, transfer privately to your accommodation in the Recoleta neighbourhood, where neo-classical mansions sit alongside bustling street markets. Enjoy an evening in the seductive embrace of Argentina’s most sensuous dance. At Rojo Tango, a live band and sensuous dancers will leave you breathless, while the Faena’s gastronomic offering teams’ aromas and textures with Argentina’s finest wines.
Four Seasons Buenos Aires (City View Room) | Meals: BD

Day 15: Depart Buenos Aires.

Set off on a final walk around this enchanting city, before your private transfer to the airport for your onward journey.
Meals: B

Our range of ready-to-travel private journeys can all be personalised to your individual requirements. Please contact our Travel Specialists who will work with you to create an unforgettable bespoke journey.

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Accommodation/Partners

Accommodation/Partners

The Singular Santiago

Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness

The Singular Santiago is an intriguing new addition to Santiago's vibrant Barrio Lastarria. The overall atmosphere is understated and cla ... Read more

The Singular Patagonia

Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness

This unusual luxury hotel is actually an historic frigorifico (cold storage plant) from the days of Patagonia's thriving sheep trade - th ... Read more

Ventus Australis

Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness

Newly built and launched in 2018, Ventus Australis is an expedition vessel limited to a little over 200 guests. Featuring the latest safe ... Read more

Arakur Ushuaia, Patagonia

Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness

If you’ve made it to an end of the world, then you need a special hotel to celebrate. The Arakur Ushuaia Hotel is ideally located to let ... Read more

EOLO, Santa Cruz

Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness

Eolo is designed to emphasise the sheer beauty of the surrounding area. Simple and unassuming on the outside, it sits perfectly within th ... Read more

Four Seasons Buenos Aires

Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness

The Four Seasons brand is synonymous with style and service. Situated in the heart of the exclusive La Recoleta district, this hotel is w ... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this Private Journey can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey

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