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.
Depart on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires.
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
Loi Suites Recoleta (D)
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.
Loi Suites Recoleta (B,L)
Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, and visit Tierra del Fuego National Park. Embark our ship and sail toward the famed Beagle Channel.
M.V. Stella Australis (B,L,D)
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)
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. On
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.
Take a morning walk on Magdalena Island, home
to a colony of 120,000 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 deluxe lodge
for the next four nights.
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa* (B,L,D)
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 Aonikenk Indians, 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 traditional barbecue.
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.
Plaza el Bosque Ebro (B,L)
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-Colombian Art, and enjoy a
farewell celebration at a Chilean winery. This
evening, transfer to the airport for your flight
home, arriving the next day.
A National Geographic Emerging Explorer, high-altitude archaeologist Constanza Ceruti specializes in excavating Inca Empire ceremonial centers on the summits of sacred Andean mountains. Constanza's most impressive find to date took place on a 22,100-foot summit, where the expedition she co-led unearthed the three best-preserved mummies ever discovered. "When we found the mummies, 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." A professor at Catholic University in Salta, Argentina, Constanza looks forward to sharing the wonders of Patagonia with National Geographic travelers.
Constanza will join the following departure:
Mar 08 - 20, 2015
*On November 2014 departure, we stay at the Explora Lodge instead of Tierra Patagonia.
Tierra–Standard, Explora–Salto Chico
Tierra–Superior, Explora–Cordillera Paine
Tierra–Suite, Explora–Suite Exploradores
Categories A, AA, and AAA refer to cabin categories aboard the M.V. Stella Australis, as well as room categories at either Tierra Patagonia or the Explora Lodge. Standard, Superior, and Suite refer to rooms at Tierra Patagonia. Salto Chico, Cordillera Paine, and Suite Exploradores refer to rooms at the Explora Lodge.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $3,350 in Category A, $3,950 in Category AA, and $4,650 in Category AAA. On the December 2014 departure, there is an additional holiday surcharge of $500 per person. 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 $865 (subject to change).