Of earth’s 37 billion acres, very few are as stunning as those we savor on this trip into Patagonia, where the Andes explode upward into one of the world’s most spectacular mountain clusters.
We start in Santiago, getting a taste of its nearby wine region, then fly south to the iconic mountain playground of Torres del Paine. After a couple splendid days of hiking among icy lakes and jaw-dropping peaks, we cross into Argentina and enjoy the company of the mammoth Perito Moreno Glacier, watching as it slowly calves into turquoise Lago Argentino.
Next by boat to Estancia Cristina, a famous old wilderness ranch found for us long ago by Patagonian sage Yvon Chouinard. Isolated, unreachable by road, the estancia is a glorious place to wander, fish, ride horses, and revel in views of the massive peaks guarding the Patagonian Ice Cap and its runaway glaciers. We wrap up our journey in the bustling Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.
If you can’t imagine leaving Patagonia without seeing the remarkable, spiky Fitz Roy range, don’t miss our El Chaltén extension.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1:
arrive in Santiago, Chile; wine region
- Day 2:
fly to Punta Arenas, drive to Torres del Paine National Park
- Days 3 & 4:
Torres del Paine hiking
- Day 5:
drive to El Calafate, Argentina; Perito Moreno Glacier
- Days 6 & 7:
boat to Estancia Cristina, hike and ride horses
- Day 8:
Estancia Cristina, return to El Calafate
- Day 9:
fly to Buenos Aires, depart.
Optional El Chaltén Extension:
- Day 9:
morning at Estancia, drive to El Chaltén and the Fitz Roys
- Days 10 & 11:
hiking among the Fitz Roys
- Day 12:
Viedma Glacier excursion, fly to Buenos Aires, depart.