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From soaring granite spires to glacier-sculpted fjords, immerse yourself in the wonders of Patagonia on a unique expedition by land and sea. Spend three days exploring the blue-ice lakes and razor-backed ridges of Torres del Paine National Park—a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Then set sail aboard the National Geographic Orion to discover Chile’s deeply indented coast, cruising through a mazelike wonderland of fjords, islands, and icebergs. Search for whales, dolphins, and penguins; take in panoramic views from the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn; and hike the windswept archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. Cap off the expedition on Argentina’s Staten Island, accessing remote wildlife preserves seen by few others on Earth.
Go hiking or horseback riding amid the granite peaks and turquoise lakes of Torres del Paine National Park.
Glide in Zodiacs past towering glaciers and seal-dotted ice floes in the Chilean fjords.
Transit the legendary Beagle Channel and take in views from land’s end at Cape Horn.
Enjoy special access to remote wildlife reserves, including Karukinka reserve in Tierra del Fuego and Argentina’s Isla de los Estados (Staten Island).
Itinerary - 15 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Santiago, Chile
Depart on an overnight flight to Santiago and check in to our hotel. Set out on a guided tour of the city to discover the Plaza de Armas and the Presidential Palace. Grand Hyatt Santiago (L)
Day 3 — Puerto Natales
Fly to Puerto Natales, one of Southern Patagonia's gateways, and settle into our hotel before an afternoon tour of the town. Hotel Singular (B,L,D)
Days 4, 5, & 6 — Torres Del Paine National Park
Settle into Tierra Patagonia, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, and spend three days discovering one of the most spectacular wildernesses in the Americas: Torres del Paine National Park. Tailor your exploration of the park’s towering mountains, turquoise lakes, and glaciers to your interests, choosing from a variety of excursions ranging from hiking and horseback riding to kayaking. Tierra Patagonia (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Puerto Natales
After a final morning in Torres del Paine, depart for Puerto Natales where we embark our ship, the National Geographic Orion.
Day 8 — Kirke Narrows/Chilean Fjords
Our Captain and local pilots guide us through Kirke Narrows, accessible only to a small ship such as the National Geographic Orion. We’ll make a first stop in the extensive maze of channels and islands of the Chilean fjords, where we may go out by Zodiac and kayak and look for elephant seals, or take a forest walk. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Tierra Del Fuego: Karukinka
By special permission, visit the private reserve of Karukinka, which harbors rich wildlife, including guanacos, Andean condors, and the endangered culpeo fox. (B,L,D)
Days 10 & 11 — Chilean Fjords/Beagle Channel/Cape Horn
Continue exploring the Chilean fjords. Board Zodiacs to explore protected waters and rugged shorelines, and look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, petrels, fulmars, and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm. Sail the Beagle Channel, and hike and kayak amid this region of beech forests, mountains, and rushing rivers. The next day, visit the southernmost tip of South America: Cape Horn. Weather permitting, take Zodiacs ashore. (B,L,D)
Days 12 & 13 — Isla De Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina
By special permission, the National Geographic Orion will be one of the only expedition ships ever to visit extraordinary Staten Island. Spot southern rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, fur seals and sea lions. See the San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel by the same name. (B,L,D)
Days 14 & 15 — Ushuaia
Disembark in Ushuaia, board a charter flight to Santiago, and take an overnight flight home. (Day 14: B, L)
During his eight years on the National Geographic staff, photographer Jonathan Irish launched and directed the National Geographic Adventures program. He specializes in documenting adventure lifestyles, landscapes, and cultures abroad. Jonathan has photographed on all seven continents, and has shot a variety of assignments in Antarctica, Patagonia, and beyond. His photography has appeared in National Geographic and The New York Times, on BBC, CNN, and elsewhere. For the 2016 centennial of the U.S. National Park Service, Jonathan took a year-long road trip with an Airstream visiting and photographing all 59 of America’s national parks.