9-Days Patagonia Trekking Adventure – January 8-16, 2020

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World famous trekking awaits in Torres del Paine National Park – Patagonia. Each valley, peak, and pass hides its own treasures; be it hanging glaciers, vast pampas, twisted metamorphic rock or ice blue streams. No two days will be the same on this spectacular and perhaps most scenic trek on the planet Earth.

 

January 8 / Day 1: Today we’ll arrive by flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. Welcome to the “End of the World! Upon arrival at the airport we’ll be greeted by our private driver who’ll take us up to Puerto Natales, the staging town for our Patagonia “W” Trek (3 hours drive time). (D) (Overnight in hotel in Puerto Natales)

January 9 / Day 2: Transfer to Torres del Paine–Roundtrip hike to Las Torres lookout point. Starting from Puerto Natales at 7:00 AM, we drive all the way to Torres del Paine National Park (about 2 hours). We will drive through open pampas and huge ranches (estancias), and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (rare South American ostrich). We will follow an unpaved road heading to Refugio Las Torres to spend our first night. Upon entering the park we will have excellent photographic and birding opportunities as we drive alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black-necked swans. After leaving your backpack at the Refugio, we start the trek to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to enter the Ascencio Valley. The walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll continue through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900 M), excellent for picture taking. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment. After being awed by the towers we’ll start the descent, following the same path back to the hut. Dinner will be served in the Refugio. (8-9 hours round-trip hiking, 11 miles, 4,000 ft. elevation gain) (B-BL-D) (Overnight in Refugio)

January 10 / Day 3: One way hike to Los Cuernos lookout point. We will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn filled with orange-pink colors. As we leave the campground, we will arrive at Inge lagoon. Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. We follow a well mark trail ascending around (200 M) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750 M), crossing the Bader River to arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where we will stay overnight. (6 hours hiking, 10 miles, 2,000 ft. elevation gain) (B-BL-D) (Overnight in Refugio)

January 11 / Day 4: One way hike to Pehoe Lake, via the French Valley. We will start our day with a 2-hour walk going to an undulating path until reaching the French River for our first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then we will ascend (300 M) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach the French valley viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes. We will lunch here with good possibilities of seeing avalanches from the hanging glacier or simply observe the west side of the Cuernos (2600 M), Espada (2400 M) and Fortaleza (2800 M). Our way back will be the same until we reach the entrance of the valley where we will continue on a different path around the South-West side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the shore of the Pehoe Lake. (8-9 hours hiking, 11 mi.,  4,000 ft. elevation gain)(B-BL-D)(Overnight in Refugio)

January 12 / Day 5: One way hike to Glacier Grey with a choice to do an Ice hike or go Kayaking. We will begin early morning with our hike to the Grey Glacier. Initially ascending 200 yards up a winding narrow path leading us to Laguna Negra, a place where we will observe the first glimpses of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its many unclimbed mountains. We will advance through forests and rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint. We will have lunch at this place to see, if we are lucky enough, ice calving from the huge glacier wall. Ice hike or Kayak. (4hours hiking, 7 mi., 2,000 ft. elevation gain) (B-BL-D) (Overnight in Refugio)

January 13 / Day 6: Navigation in front of Glacier–Transfer back to Natales. Morning at leisure. Right after lunch we start an exciting adventure by boat after walking back the way we came from Paine Grande. We will navigate for a while in front of the glacier in the hope of seeing icebergs calve. Our return journey offers views of Paine Grande with its impressive ice mushrooms and we sail through icebergs of different tones of blue. Then we will take a transfer back to Puerto Natales where we will stay overnight. 3 hours hiking 7 mi., / 1,400 ft. elevation gain (2 hours ride by boat on Grey Lake, 2 hours transfer by private transfer) (B-BL)  (Overnight in hotel in Natales)

January 14 / Day 7: A Quaint, colorful village on the edge of the Señoret Channel. After breakfast, we are on our own for some much deserved massages (optional) and/or we can chose to climb the Dorotea Hill to look at Puerto Natales from above (optional). If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to see the majestic flight of the condor that nests on the vertical walls of the hill. Discover the Milodon Cave (optional) and get to know the history of this giant sloth that used to live here in this southernmost part of Chile more than 10,000 years ago. Sail through the Ultima Esperanza fjord (optional) and be amazed by the glaciers. After lunch we’ll say goodbye Puerto Natales and make our way down to Punta Arenas with a private transfer (3 hours). We’ll have time in our private vehicle today to reflect on the epic once in a lifetime trek we just did in beautiful Torres del Paine – Patagonia. (Overnight in hotel in Punta Arenas) (B-D)

January 15 / Day 8: The Gateway to Antartica. After breakfast we’ll be on own to explore Punta Arenas. With its port and sheep – breeding history, the “gateway into antartica” will captivate us with its clean air and sophisticated European architecture. Take a boat or a kayak along the Magellan Straits (optional) and we’ll be surprised by the penguins as they welcome us to Magdalena Island. Go on an adventure to Tierra del Fuego (optional) and discover the best kept secrets of the Kawesqar and Selk’nam people, indigenous to the southernmost part of Chile. After lunch we’ll transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for our internal flights to Santiago. (Overnight in hotel in Santiago) (B-D)

January 16 / Day 9: After breakfast, we’ll transfer to Santiago International Airport for our international flights back home to the USA. (B)

 

Cost: $4,000 per person (single supplement $500 – not available the evenings of January 9, 10, 11 or 12)

Includes:

  • Private round-trip ground transportation from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, Puerto Natales into Torres del Paine National Park
  • 8 dinners (D), 5 boxed lunches (BL), 8 breakfasts (B)
  • 8 nights accommodations in Hotels and Refugios (Refugios are rustic mountain huts located in remote locations in the park with basic services, 6 ppl per room in bunkbeds)
  • Ice Hiking or Kayaking – Grey Glacier
  • Large luggage storage in Puerto Natales while trekking in Torres del Paine Park
  • Daily porter service in Torres del Paine Park while trekking the “W” route from hut to hut
  • Boat ride – Grey Lake

Excludes:

  • International and internal flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Optional activities and excursions listed and not listed in itinerary
  • Alcohol drinks

Payment information:

  • $750 non-refundable deposits due May 1, 2019
  • Trip balance payment due November 1, 2019
  • email Jack@ActiveWorldJourneys.com for a secure payment link

Cancellation Policy:

  • 75 days and over= 100% refund (minus the $500 initial deposit)
  • 74-61 days prior to trip start = 75% of the trip cost refunded (minus the $500 initial deposit)
  • 60-46 days = 50% of the trip cost refunded (minus the $500 initial deposit)
  • 45 days or less = no refund at all

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Optional 3-Night Pre-Tour in Santiago, Chile – January 5-8, 2020

 

January 5 / Day 1: Arrival – Santiago, Chile. Our guide will be waiting for us at Santiago International Airport to take us to our trendy and well situated boutique hotel where we’ll stay for the next 3 nights. Santiago is Chile’s capital and largest city, and sits in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andes and the Chilean Coast Range. We are on our own today to get settled in and either rest and/or explore at our leisure. (Overnight in Santiago.)

January 6 / Day 2: Half-Day City Tour. We’re starting our Santiago tour in the morning — the best time for enjoying the city and escaping the crowds. We’ll have private transportation pick us up from the Hotel and head to La Moneda Palace in the Plaza de la Constitucion — an iconic place in Santiago and a popular gathering point for many locals. From there, we’ll head to the neighbourhood of La Alameda, a place that’s popular with locals thanks to its gorgeous architecture and blending of the old and new city. We’ll explore an area that’s known as the heart and soul of Santiago — and where the city first started and grew into what it is today. Discover sites like the Plaza de Armas and get a feel for what makes this city so great. From there, we’ll travel like a local with a ride on the metro and a stop at Mercado Central, starring some of the freshest produce in the country. Wander the aisles and watch how locals shop and bargain for the best deal — and maybe even try your own negotiation skills. Our Santiago tour is then going onwards and upwards — literally! We’re taking the cable car to the top of Cerro San Cristobal. At the top, you’ll have the best view of the city, so get your Instagram ready! You’ll want to show off your awe-inspiring pics to everybody.  We’ll finish up our Santiago tour with lunch in the beautiful, bohemian Bellavista neighbourhood. This hipster district is home to up-and-coming restaurants, making it the perfect place to stop for a delicious Chilean meal. (Overnight in Santiago) (B-L)

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January 7 / Day 2: Full Day Valparaiso & WineStart the day by departing from our Santiago hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned private vehicle. Begin the scenic drive through the outskirts of Santiago, including Casablanca Valley.  The first stop will be in Valparaiso City where we’ll explore the UNESCO World Heritage city of artists on foot. We will visit the port, the Plaza Sotomayor, the Cerro Alegre, Concepcion and Florida hill, using local transport such as the Trolebús and elevators, both heritage elements. We can look at the amazing street art there and learn about the history, architecture, and legacy of the early 20th, late 19th century immigrants who made this city so multicultural and cosmopolitan.  After Valparaiso we will visit the organic vineyard Emiliana, where we will have lunch. Despite its late start in wine production, Casablanca Valley has gained recognition worldwide for the production of white and red wines. Take the opportunity to taste 4 different wines produced here, accompanied by a local cheese or chocolate. Take a guided tour of the winery afterward, where you will also learn how the plants and livestock ensure the organic growth of the grapes. Finally, we’ll return to Santiago.  (Overnight in Santiago) (B-L)

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January 8 / Day 2: Depart for PatagoniaThis morning after breakfast we’ll check-out and have private ground transportation to Santiago International Airport for our internal flights down to Puenta Arenas, “the end of the world”, and then we’ll travel onward via private ground transportation to Puerto Natales, the base town for our Patagonia Trekking Adventure. (B)

Cost: $1,250 per person (single supplement $300)

Includes:

  • Private roundtrip airport and greater Santiago ground transportation
  • 3 nights accommodations in 3-star boutique hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts (B) 2 Lunches (L)
  • Private Local Guide
  • Cable Car Ride
  • Wine tasting with Cheese and Chocolate

Excludes:

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for Guide
  • Alcohol drinks not listed as included

Payment information:

  • $350 non-refundable deposits due May 1, 2019
  • Trip balance payment due November 1, 2019
  • email Jack@ActiveWorldJourneys.com for a secure payment link

Cancellation Policy:

  • 75 days and over= 100% refund (minus the $300 initial deposit)
  • 74-61 days prior to trip start = 75% of the trip cost refunded (minus the $300 initial deposit)
  • 60-46 days = 50% of the trip cost refunded (minus the $300 initial deposit)
  • 45 days or less = no refund at all

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