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 Explora Lodge (March 2018 departure) or Tierra Patagonia, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World (October departures), 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. Explora Lodge or 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 — Chilean Fjords
Today we begin our exploration of the Chilean
coastline. Spot elephant seals and other wildlife as you glide through the shimmering fjords and
inlets of Estero las Montañas by Zodiac and kayak,
and, if you wish, go for a hike to a stunning
inland lake. (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 — Beagle Channel/Cape Horn
Sail the Beagle Channel, exploring more stunning
fjords and glaciers by Zodiac and kayak and
on foot. 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.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.