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Carved by fjords and capped by glistening glaciers, Patagonia is a natural wonderland. Cruise through a landscape of thick forests and icebergs to the tip of Cape Horn and the Strait of Magellan. Then continue to Patagonia's crown jewel—Torres del Paine National Park—and end our journey in Santiago, Chile's vibrant capital.
Get expert insights as you explore Patagonia by land and sea, gliding past pristine fjords and vast glaciers on a four-day cruise, then heading inland to explore granite spires, sapphire lakes, and hidden waterfalls.
Set out on an interpretive walk across Magdalena Island, home to a colony of more than 100,000 Magellanic penguins.
Enjoy a festive barbecue with local gauchos and get a glimpse into traditional Patagonian cowboy culture.
Itinerary - 11 Days
Day 1 — Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive this morning in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. Transfer to our hotel in the heart of the fashionable Recoleta neighborhood and explore the
nearby galleries, museums, and cafés. Enjoy a
tango performance at our welcome dinner tonight. The Brick Hotel Buenos Aires (D)
Day 2 — Buenos Aires
Spend the day discovering Argentina’s cosmopolitan
capital, known as “the Paris of South
America.” On a city tour, see the remarkable
Recoleta Cemetery, burial site of Eva Perón.
Continue to the historic presidential palace, La
Casa Rosada, and the cathedral in Plaza de Mayo.
After lunch, explore the cobblestoned lanes of
San Telmo, as well as the colorful artists’ quarter
of La Boca. The Brick Hotel Buenos Aires (B,L)
Day 3 — Ushuaia/Tierra del Fuego National Park
Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, and visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. Embark the M.V. Stella Australis ship and set sail toward the famed Beagle Channel.
M.V. Stella Australis (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Cape Horn, Chile/Wulaia Bay
Weather permitting, take Zodiacs to the legendary Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn) for a panoramic view from the southernmost tip of South America. Later, explore Wulaia Bay, where Charles Darwin landed during his voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle. Choose one of two walks to experience the spectacular beauty of the Magellanic forest.
M.V. Stella Australis (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Magdalena Channel/Agostini Sound
As we navigate the Magdalena Channel, spot
penguins, dolphins, sea lions, and Andean condors.
Cruise through majestic Agostini Sound and
disembark for a closer look at Águila Glacier. During an easy walk on shore, take in spectacular views of the brilliant blue-and-white ice set off by black mountains, and learn about the geological forces that shaped this dramatic land.
M.V. Stella Australis (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Magdalena Island/Punta Arenas
Take a morning walk on Magdalena Island, home
to a colony of 100,000 Magellanic penguins.
Disembark in Punta Arenas and continue across
the southern pampas, looking for herds of guanacos
and rheas, gray foxes, Patagonian hares, and
black-necked swans. Settle into our spectacular hotel—a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection—for the next four nights. Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa (B,L,D)
Days 7, 8, & 9 — Torres del Paine National Park
During the next three days, tailor your exploration
to your interests, choosing among a variety
of hiking and horseback-riding excursions in the park. Discover Grey Lake and its incredibly blue
sculpted ice; hike through beech forests along the
shore of Laguna Azul; and marvel at rock paintings
left by the indigenous Aonikenk people, some of the earliest
inhabitants of the region. Photograph wildlife
near the northern limits of the park or relax at the
hotel, taking advantage of its wonderful amenities.
Enjoy evening lectures, and cap off your stay
in the park with a festive barbecue in the company
of local gauchos, getting a glimpse into traditional
Patagonian cowboy culture.
Day 10 — Punta Arenas/Santiago, Chile
Today, drive to Punta Arenas airport for the flight to Santiago, stopping for lunch along the way. Arrive in Santiago this evening and check in to our hotel. The Singular Santiago (B,L)
Day 11 — Santiago
Spend a full day exploring Santiago. On a walking
tour of the city center, see the elegant Plaza
de Armas, Palacio de la Moneda, and the 18th-century
Metropolitan Cathedral. View the impressive collection at Santiago’s Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, and enjoy a farewell celebration at a Chilean winery. This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight
Argentinean anthropologist, mountaineer, and National Geographic explorer Constanza Ceruti studies Inca ceremonial centers on the summits of the highest Andean peaks. She has climbed more than 100 mountains above 17,000 feet and has explored sacred mountains in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. In 1999 she co-directed a National Geographic-sponsored expedition with Johan Reinhard. Together, they discovered three of the best preserved mummies ever found on a 22,100-foot summit—the Llullaillaco children—together with several gold and silver statues and sumptuary objects of typical Inca style. "When we found the mummies," says Constanza, "I remember a profound silence falling over the group. It is so humbling to look into the eyes of another human being from half a millennium ago." Constanza has won numerous awards for her work, including the National Army of Argentina’s Gold Condor in Mountaineering, the Courage Award from Wings Worldquest (which celebrates the accomplishments of female explorers), the Gold Medal of the International Society of Woman Geographers, and recognition in 2005 as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She’s been a TED Fellow and an invited speaker at the TEDGlobal meeting in Oxford, and was honored in 2006 at the Prince of Asturias Award ceremony, when National Geographic received the Communication and Humanities award. The author of more than 100 scientific publications and 20 books, she brings together her lifelong love of Patagonia and her vast experience in the study of sacred mountains to offer unique views about the importance of indigenous cultures in this part of the world.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. Please refer to the information below regarding single supplements based on departure date and room/cabin category:
● October – November 2017:
Add $3,350 in Category A, $4,100 in Category AA, and $4,700 in Category AAA.
● December 2017* (13 Days):
Add $3,800 in Category A, $4,550 in Category AA, and $5,150 in Category AAA.
● January – March 2018:
Add $3,350 in Category A, $4,250 in Category AA, and $4,950 in Category AAA.
International airfare to Buenos Aires and return from Santiago and airfare within Argentina and Chile are not included in the expedition cost. Group flights within Argentina and Chile are $890 (subject to change).
Featured Expedition Moment
What To Expect
This itinerary suits a wide range of interests and abilities, blending light and moderate activity options on several days, along with the choice of a couple more challenging hikes for those interested. Activities include city walking tours, one- to two-mile nature walks, and some vehicle-based sightseeing excursions, as well as optional horseback rides and longer hikes through challenging terrain. While the more rigorous activities are fully optional, it’s important to be aware that most of the trip takes place in remote areas where medical care can be a day or more away. Travelers should be in good health to participate.