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Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, you are met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city of Buenos Aires. In the evening, we have our introductory meeting and dinner.
Day 2: Buenos Aires
Today, we discover the highlights of Buenos Aires. Traveling by bus and walking through the unique "barrios", we have a close look at daily life in Buenos Aires.
Day 3: To El Chalten, Fitz Roy Massif
In the morning, we transfer to the airport for our flight to El Calafate. Upon landing in Patagonia, we transfer to ground transportation and drive across the steppe to El Chalten, our staging point for the Fitz Roy Peaks in the southern Andes, and our hikes in the region.
Day 4: Hike Piedra del Fraile and Pollone Glacier
Today is our first hike in Patagonia. We will walk through a less visited area of the Glacier National Park, north of Mt. Fitz Roy. On a splendid day, we get good views of the famous mountain and the surrounding massif. Our trail takes us through old lenga forest (tall deciduous southern beech trees) along the River Eléctrico until we reach a small campsite. The distance until the Piedra del Fraile campsite (1800ft/540m altitude) is about 4 miles/6.5 km. People that want to traverse the Southern Patagonian Icefield take the same trail to get to the entrance (Marconi Pass). Avid hikers can go further to the Eléctrico Lake (1.5 miles/2.5 km) or continue to the Pollone Glacier viewpoint (1 mile/2 km further (altitude: 2400ft/725m). The same trail takes us back to our lodge.
Day 5: Trek to Mount Fitz Roy
Today, we spend a full day trekking to Mt. Fitz Roy. Mt Fitz Roy sits in its granite glory surrounded by Poincenot and Mermoz Peaks. Enroute, we pass through Nothofagus forest and see glaciers. As we travel alongside the Rio Blanco (White River), the sounds of the rushing water echo off the mountainsides. Keep a watch for the world's second largest bird, the Andean condor, circling the peaks.
Day 6: Hike to Laguna Torre
In the morning, we hike to a viewpoint where we can see the magnificent Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy Peak. For those keen to walk further, a spectacular hike takes us to Laguna de los Tres for a panoramic view of the lake, glaciers and the principle peaks of the southern Fitz Roy Range.
Day 7: Eco Camp, Las Colonias Peninsula
Driving from El Chalten in the Los Glaciares National Park, we travel south through the steppe to reach the Andean Patagonian forest and mountain scenery, filled with glaciers and lakes. Enroute to our Eco Camp, we will enjoy a short hike where we shall have our picnic lunch and take in the wonderful views.
Day 8: Eco Camp
The Eco Camp is located in front of Perito Moreno Glacier, in Peninsula de las Colonias. After breakfast, we start a full day of trekking to explore this peninsula, located between Roca Lake and the Rico branch of Lago Argentino Lake. The peninsula is named in honor of the first inhabitants of the area.
Day 9: Perito Moreno Glacier
We will leave the Eco Camp today and have a full-day excursion to the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier, which is located within Glacier National Park and has been declared a World Heritage Site. The glacier is a river of ice, 2 miles wide, 20 miles long and 200 feet high, which we view from a tour boat only 500 feet away! It is considered to be one of the greatest natural attractions in all of South America. Hiking along the shore we can watch icebergs calving off the glacier into Lago Argentino.
Day 10: Life On the Estancia
Our day is open to enjoy the activities of the estancia. Sheep-shearing and herding, a walk to the lake and bird watching by the lagoon. If you want more adventure you may wish to go further afield on a horseback-riding excursion.
Day 11: To Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Today, we have a long drive across the border into Chile. Enroute, we have lunch at a Patagonian estancia from where we can see the Paine Massif and the rolling steppe.
Day 12: Grey Glaciers, Pehoe Lake, Salto Grande
We have a full day starting with a hike to Grey Lake adorned with icebergs from the calving glacier.
Day 13: Trek in Torres del Paine National Park, Tower Peaks Views
Today, we go on a spectacular hike to Torres del Paine. This is a challenging hike but well worth the effort because of the spectacular views of the Tower Peaks.
Day 14: To Punta Arenas
This morning, we leave Torres del Paine and head south to Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan. This is a long trip through amazing scenery from the high mountains of Torres del Paine to the coastal city of Puerto Natales on the shore of Esperanza Bay. We will enjoy the fresh sea breeze in this busy port town and then continue for another 250kms through this mountainous Magallanes region of Chilean Patagonia. We will arrive in Punta Arenas late afternoon.
Day 15: Penguin Reserve, Exploring Punta Arenas Including the Sara Brown Museum
Today we have an early start to the day, as we take a short trip to Isla Magdalena where we will travel by zodiac boat to see the colony of Magellanic penguins, sometimes numbering 100,000 strong. The sight, sounds (and smells) of these curious creatures is truly an amazing sight. (High winds can delay the departure until the afternoon.)
Day 16: Depart Punta Arenas
We transfer to the airport for our homeward flights or join our extension to mysterious Easter Island, the most remotely inhabited place on Earth, Igauzu Falls or Machu Picchu. Some trips connect to our Antarctic expedition cruises departing from Ushuaia, Argentina.
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