Into Patagonia

A landscape of serrated mountains, glacier-fed lakes and bounteous wildlife at Argentina’s southern tip

  • Calving Perito Moreno Glacier: chunks of ice thunder into Lago Argentino
  • Incredible hikes through some of the planet’s most awe-inspiring scenery
  • Estancia Cristina: entrancingly beautiful, incredibly wild, graciously welcoming
Trip Type: Scheduled Departure
Trip Length: 9 Days
Activity type(s): Day Hiking, Cultural Tour
Trip Extensions: Argentina & Chile Extensions

Of earth’s 37 billion or so acres, very few are as stunning as those we savor on this trip. And of Melville’s “attending marvels of a thousand Patagonian sights and sounds,” we’ve chosen the most marvelous.

After savoring local varietals in Sanitago’s wine region, we fly south to the iconic Patagonian mountain playground of theTorres del Paine where we will spend a couple of splendid days of hiking among the Torres’ icy lakes and jaw-dropping peaks. From here we journey across the order to the Argentine town of El Calafate beside one of the world’s largest and most impressive glacial lakes, Lago Argentino. We continue our Patagonian ramblings with an afternoon in the company of the mammoth Perito Moreno Glacier, watching it slowly calve into the lake, and luxuriating at elegant Eolo Lodge, where we savor the flavors and panoramic views of the boundless Patagonia Steppes.

The next day, it’s onward by boat across Lago Argentino to Estancia Cristina, a famous old wilderness ranch found for us long ago by Patagonian sage Yvon Chouinard. Set against the lushly glaciated mountains of remotest Patagonia, isolated, unreachable by road, a wilderness within a wilderness, this estancia is a remarkable destination, a glorious place to wander, fish, ride horses, and revel in views of the massive peaks guarding the Patagonian Ice Cap and the glaciers that rumble down from them into the lake (tinting it a beautiful turquoise, a color usually found in small glacial lakes). Our journey ends in bustling Buenos Aires where we get a taste of the city once known as the ‘Paris of South America.’

We’ve crafted a five-day extension among some of the choicest parcels of those many billions of acres: stunning Fitz Roy and its spiky neighbors. Based from El Chaltén, a charmingly scruffy little town graced with fine small hotels and great restaurants, we spend a couple of days hiking in these stupendous, almost unearthly mountains, returning in the evening for showers and festive dinners.

Into Patagonia is led by a quintessential Patagonian: the affable and encyclopedically erudite Janko Gorse, who chucked a successful accounting career in Buenos Aires to follow his bliss south to the mountains and plains of Patagonia.

Patagonia tour map

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Santiago, wine tour
  • Day 2: fly south to Punta Arenas, transfer to Torres del Paine
  • Days 3 & 4: hiking in the Torres del Paine
  • Day 5: Transfer to El Calafate, discover Perito Moreno glacier
  • Days 6 & 7: boat to Estancia Cristina, hiking and horsebacking
  • Day 8: morning at Estancia, late-afternoon flight to Buenos Aires
  • Day 9: Buenos Aires city tour, late flights home.

  • Extension to El Chalten:
  • Day 8: morning at Estancia, drive to El Chaltén and the Fitz Roys
  • Days 9 & 10: hiking among the Fitz Roys
  • Day 11: Viedma Glacier excursion, fly to Buenos Aires
  • Day 12: Buenos Aires city tour, late flights home.