Chile Patagonia and Penguins Adventure

Trip Overview

Penguins, gauchos and glaciers! Oh my! 7 Days to explore Torres del Paine, Grey Glacier, Pehoe Lake, as well as ice fields and sub-polar forests, and still have time to nibble on sticks of BBQ lamb and savor drinks mixed with glacier ice!

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Day 1: Arrive Santiago, Chile

Our driver will be waiting at the airport. Flights usually arrive in the morning / Transfer to hotel / Lunch / Santiago Guided City Tour - Hotel Casa de Todos

Day 2:  Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas / Penguin Colony on Magdalena Island

Pickup from hotel and transfer to airport for 2 hour flight from SCL to PA where our driver and guide will be waiting. Transfer to the dock where you board the ferry for 2 hrs to Magdalena Island and the largest penguin colony in Chile.   You have about an hour to explore the beautiful isolated island on foot, including "The Lighthouse" environmental interpretation center, and over 120,000 Magellanic penguins. 
Located 32 km northeast of Punta Arenas, in the middle of the Strait of Magellan, Magdalena Island is a must for animal lovers This island has been a protected area since 1982, in which it was renamed “Los Pinguinos Natural Moment”. It has an interesting ecosystem, with more than 60.000  penguin couples, as well as other species, including cormorants, which come to reproduce during the summer.  Return to Punta Arenas - Hotel Lacolet

Day 3 - Drive from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales / Milodon Cave Hike & Lunch

Milodon Cave easy hike followed by lunch. (3 hours round trip). The huge cavern is more than 200 meters deep, 80 wide and 30 high. More than 15,000 years ago the cave was inhabited by large extinct animals such as the mylodon and jaguar, and was probably a popular hunting site for the native inhabitants. The Mylodon Cave became known to the world a little over 100 years ago in 1895, when the settler Eberhard Hermann visited the cave and found a strange skin with thick hairs. It was determined to be the fur of a large extinct sloth, known as a Mylodon. This led to numerous scientific expeditions and also looters looking for remains to sell to collectors and museums, mainly in Europe. In 1968 this area was declared a Historic Monument by the Ministry of Education, and in 1993 became the Mylodon Cave Natural Monument (Monumento Natural Cueva del Milodón), joining the System of Protected Areas of the State.
 
Itinerary:
Pickup from hotel to begin 3 hours by car to Puerto Natales. The road traverses the vast landscape of lonesome windswept plains. Stop for lunch in local restaurant. Then checkin to hotel, bfore we continue by car to Milodon Cave. Guided hike through Benitez Mount on a low steep path to Condor Lookout, where we can enjoy breath-taking views of Sofía Lake and Paine Range. As the name implies, encounters with condors can be expected.  We continue our walk to the beautiful sub-antarctic forest and to the cave paintings from Thuelche First Nation. Finally, we will enter and explore the huge Milodon Cave where scientist found several extinct animals including a massive Bear.  Return by car to hotel Weskar.

Day 4: Torres del Paine National Park / Lookouts / Picnic / Pehoe and Grey Lake Navigation

After breakfast in the hotel, you begin by car to Torres del Paine National Park. The pavement may end but the adventure continues on dirt roads to Pehoe Lake with stops for short hikes at the lookouts to experience
the stunning views of Paine Horns and Pehoe Waterfall. The only thing better than the views will be a picnic at the lookout!  Then we board the motorized catamaran on Pehoe Lake, breezing over the brilliant emerald waters while taking in the breathtaking views of Pehoe Falls and Paine Horns. We'll continue by van to Grey lake where we board catamaran and navigate to Grey Glacier for an up close meeting with the massive wall of ice and the sound of hulking pieces of ice splashing into the water.
Return by car on a different route about 2.5 hours to Hotel Weskar

Day 5: Day trip into Patagonia National Park / Gauchos BBQ / Horse Ride

Guided visit to the wild territory of Estancia Lazo Patagonia, known for its stark loneliness, while abounding with natural beauty. We drive to a remote ranch (estancia) to meet the local cowboys (Gauchos) and learn about their culture and life in the pampas (flat and open lands). To learn about the Gaucho culture is to learn about their skills as horsemen. The best way to experience one day in their lives is on a horse.  There is the chance to enjoy a short jaunt on well-trained horses around the ranch. Followed by sharing the best cup of mate tea along with traditional bbq lamb on a stick. Ever.  Return to Hotel Weskar

Day 6: Visit Ultima Esperanza Fjord from Puerto Natales to Serrano and Balmaceda Glaciers

O'higgins National Park is the largest of the protected areas in Chile, covering an area of 35,259 km2 (13,614 sq mi). In June 2007 it was announced that between March and May 2007 all the water within a glacial lake located within the park had disappeared, leaving behind a 100-foot-deep crater. Only a few blocks of ice, previously floating on the lake, remained behind on the crater floor. In July 2007 scientists concluded that the disappearance occurred as a result of climate change. The park includes a great part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and corresponds to the Magellanic subpolar forests eco-region.

Itinerary:
07:30 AM After breakfast, we drive from the hotel to the dock to board the motorized enclosed catamaran. We will navigate into O´Higgins National Park and target the Serrano and Balmaceda Glaciers. During our travel we learn more about the history of Puerto Natales. Our boat will stop along Cormoran's wall and then the Condor waterfall and cliff. The trip continues to Mount Balmaceda where we see the Glacier with the same name. Next stop will be in Puerto Toro where we will have a short hike (about 1 hr/15 min) along a nice forest. Back in the boat we will enjoy a snack and drink with millennial ice. On the way back the boat stops so we can enjoy a typical Magellan Lamb on stick BBQ in Estancia Consuelo. Return by car to Hotel Weskar.

Day 7: Winery tour / Lunch  / Fly out / Arrive Home Next Day

Casablanca is one of the most important vineyards in the valley and is a region known for white wine grapes. In our private vineyard tour you will experience the finest grapes of red and white wines of Casablanca Valley. Vines were first planted here in the mid-1980s during the revitalization of the Chilean wine industry and quickly became known for its white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Noir, which thrives in its cooler climate. Although the valley is located at 33°S, much closer to the Equator than any European vineyard, viticulture here is possible because of the cooling influence of the Pacific ocean, due to the cool morning fog and greater cloud cover than is found elsewhere in the north of Chile.  Micro-weather condtions at the vineyard provide an unusual climate that allows the production of premium quality red and white grapes in the same valley.

We discover the beautiful landscape of this boutique vineyard with a tour on (optional) horseback riding among the varieties of grapes in the charming temperate valley.  Followed by a visit to the amazing cellars for a wine tasting of the best 4 red and 4 white grapes.  We continue our visit in the valley with a stop to dine in one of the finer restaurants before returning to Santiago.  We return to the hotel for your luggage, then continue to the airport for evening departures, arriving home the next day.

Alternative to winery tour:   Day Trip to Valle Nevado ski resort with lunch in the restaurant. With short hikes to explore on foot.  Or a half day trip with cheese and wine at the Condor Lookout.  Option to have a free day in Santiago on your own. 

 

 

Tour Options

Days/Nights:
Difficulty Level:
Easy
Departure:
Starting From$per person

Frequently Asked Questions

This Adventure Includes

    • All accommodations with private bath and breakfast including Santiago
    • Roundtrip flights between Santiago and Punta Arenas
    • Airport transfers
    • English-speaking guide service
    • All ground transportation for all scheduled activities
    • Entry fees to everything listed except where noted

Not Included

    • International flights to Santiago, Chile
    • Lunches / dinners / drinking water (except where noted B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner)
    • Gratuities at your discretion
    • Travel Insurance
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Sturdy shoes and warm clothing
    • Day packs with rain covers

Notes

    • 50% deposit required at time of booking
    • Itinerary subject to change
    • Suitable for most ages