Patagonia ExplorerHike, kayak and horseback ride through Patagonia

Chile
Chile
8 Days
8 Days
Intensity
5/10
18+
$4,545
$4,645 non-peak member
Book Early & Save $200
About the trip

Explore Patagonia's Pristine Mountains

When it comes to adventure travel, there are few places in this world that compare to Patagonia. From the moment you land in Chilean Patagonia you will see that this is not simply another adventure, rather, it is a right of passage into the land of discovery.

Ride horseback through the oldest standing cattle ranch in Chilean Patagonia, take the classic W-Trek through Torres del Paine National Park and kayak to the edge of the southern icefield. Our journey will be filled with towering granite walls, lush green mountain valley, giant glaciers and vibrant blue icebergs.

This trip will change the way you think of adventure, and provide you with memories for a lifetime.

Info
Level 5/10
Chile
8 Days

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Itinerary

Arrive in Punta Arenas, Private transfer to Puerto Natales

Arrive today at Punta Arenas airport with private transfer to Puerto Natales. Our guide will meet you at the Punta Arenas airport to assist with your transfer to Puerto Natales, a three-hour drive through the Patagonian pampa (high-plateau). Once in Puerto Natales, we will check into IF hotel or Natalino Hotel, before our dinner and meeting to discuss the trip program. This is a great opportunity to meet our local guides and ask any questions about the upcoming journey. (Dinner is not provided)

Torres Del Paine, Ascendio Valley, Cordillera Del Paine

Transfer by van to Torres del Paine National Park. This is a two hour journey crossing the pampa Patagonica. Arrival at Torres del Paine. We will begin trekking to the Ascencio Valley where from above you see the river (of the same name) running wildly past refugio Chileno. After a quick stop here we will continue through a forest of the native Lenga (Beech) trees until reaching the glacial moraine. From here it’s a 1 hour trek to the top where the towers appear from nowhere! This trek is spectacular where you get to view the 3 pink granite towers with its glacial lake below that made the park famous. (8 hours round trip, 20 KM). Lodging & dinner at Nash Serrano lodge. (Meals: B/L/D) 

Hiking Distance: 11 milesHiking Time: 7 hoursElevation Gain: 2,700 feet

Solar Eclipse, Trek to French Valley

Keep your eyes on the skies today for a complete Solar Eclipse during your trek!

Transfer to Pudeto, cross Pehoe lake by catamaran. Trek to the French Valley. This valley is the most beautiful in the park and one of the most unique in the world. Its surrounded by hanging glaciers (where you can see & hear the ice calving off at various intervals) and an amphitheater of granite walls and spires. There are amazing views throughout this trek and the further you trek into the valley the better they become!

For this day we will have two hiking options as well: A consists in getting to further end of the trail, to the British Camp, this is all the way to the end of this natural congregation of mountains. If we reach this point, we will have completed 24km and 7-8 hours hiking. Plan B consists on reaching to the French Valley Main Lookout, from this point you can appreciate the whole natural amphitheater created by glaciers millions of years ago, it is absolutely breathtaking. B you will have hiked for 5-6 hours and completed 16km. The options will depend on fitness level, timing and weather conditions. On the return journey you will notice the extraordinary turquoise colour of Lake Pehoe. Cross Pehoe lake by Catamaran, lodging and dinner at Nash Serrano Lodge. (Meals: B/L/D) 

Hiking Distance: 14 milesHiking Time: 8 hours

Grey Glacier

We will travel by van through the national park, with a stop at the Salto Grande waterfall. Cross Lake Pehoe by catamaran. Trek along enchanting Lake Grey (3-4 hours, 11 KM ) with magnificent views of Glacier Grey and floating icebergs. Visit to the glacier lookout point and to the lakeshore for up close views of vibrant-blue icebergs (Paine is a Tehuelche Indian word for "blue"). 

During the afternoon 10 minutes walk to our base camp Bigfoot, located on the northeast coast of Lake Grey. Here our guides introduce us to the equipment needed for the tour and we will have a safety briefing. After this, we will carry the kayaks approximately 20 meters to the lakes’ edge. Now the tour really begins! We will be paddling around icebergs that are floating in the lake and afterwards we paddle towards the eastern side of the Grey Glacier to wonder at the spectacular scenery in this special place. If conditions permit, we can paddle closer to the glacier to get a really good view. After this, we will paddle back to the start point. Dinner at Grey Loge, night at Camping Grey. (Meals: B/L/D) 

Hiking Distance: 6 milesHiking Time: 4 hours

Ice Hike Grey Glacier

After breakfast, the guides will have an introductory chat, and explain the route, the time the tour will take and also test the equipment, and adjust it correctly for each passenger. Then, we go in a zodiac boat for 15 minutes until we reach the west side of the Grey Glacier. On arrival, we will disembark on the island at the glacier (nunatak) and we will walk on it for about an hour until we reach the ice. Before walking onto the glacier, the guide will talk to us about the safety aspects, and they will explain the techniques of displacement in the ice and the correct use of the equipment. Once the safety briefing is complete we will begin our exploration of the Grey Glacier which will last approximately 3 hours. During this time we will be able to observe cracks, rivers, lagoons and tunnels with their different tones of blue. After 3 hours on the glacier, we return to the zodiac boat and ride back to the base camp. 

After lunch navigate in Grey III catamaran, 2 hours navigation in this magic lake surrounded by ice bergs. Transfer from Hosteria Grey to Serrano river. Dinner and night at Nash Lodge. (Meals: B/L/D) 

Ultima Esperanza Fjord

Board a zodiac boat to be taken across the Serrano River to Puerto Toro, which is located in a very tranquil, natural wilderness area, complete with striking views of the Serrano glacier.  We will transfer to the boat and travel across Last Hope Sound to Puerto Natales. Night at IF hotel or Natalino Hotel. Dinner not Included (Meals: B/L)

Horseback Riding

During the morning visit to La Peninsula. Via boat we will cross the channel 40 minutes to La Peninsula. Estancia La Peninsula located in the Ultima Esperanza Fjord.  Here you will enjoy a show exhibiting the work of the baqueno’s dog.  You will also embark on a horseback riding excursion and hiking from the Estancia.  This is a very authentic and traditional chilean experience. At lunch time, a typical Patagonia barbecue will be served. Transfer back to your hotel, farewell dinner.  (Meals: B/L/D)

Transfer to Airport, Return Flight

Our guides will once again assist with your private transfer to Punta Arenas airport. Once safely checked into the airport, you will bid your guide and Patagonia one final “adios”... for now. (Meals: B)
Planning

Here’s what you need

Bring

Essential Gear

  • 1 soft duffel bag (no hard frame or wheeled suitcases or bags). These will hold extra clothing that you will bring for kayaking and will be transferred to camp directly from Puerto Natales.
  • 1 backpack which you will trek in every day, 45-60 L is ideal.
  • 1 sleeping bag rated to 20 degrees fahrenheit
  • Pair of trekking poles
  • Head lamp with extra batteries and extra light bulb
  • 3 one–liter water bottles, or equivalent hydration bladder for your pack
  • Sunscreen. Highest possible SPF rating
  • Personal first aid kit with blister bandaids, kleenex, etc
  • Small, quick dry towel
  • Passport
  • Wallet
  • Sunscreen and lip ointment
  • Toiletries

Recommended Gear

  • Binoculars
  • Camera with plenty of memory and extra batteries
  • Current converter and outlet adapter
  • Flora/fauna field guide
  • Leisure reading

Wear

Essential Clothing

  • 2 Merino wool or polypro mid–weight long sleeve shirts (long enough to tuck in; snug fit and zip neck is best).
  • 2 Merino wool or polypro T shirts
  • 2 Cotton T shirts for nights at the refuges
  • 2 pair Hiking shorts
  • 2 pair Hiking pants
  • 2 pair quick drying long underwear (merino wool or polypro mid–weight)
  • Waterproof shell pants made with Goretex or similar, to repel water but let the body breathe
  • 1 pair polar fleece pants for relaxing around camp
  • 1 pair leg gaiters
  • 1 pair socks for each day; 9 pair mid–weight. Wool or wool/synthetic are best.
  • 1 pair underwear per day
  • 1 warm fleece or softshell jacket
  • 1 waterproof Gore-tex rain shell jacket
  • 2 pair windproof, lightweight gloves
  • 1 warm hat
  • 1 sun hat
  • 1 pair trekking boots (medium weight, waterproof)
  • 1 pair comfortable tennis shoes or tevas for around camp
  • 1 pair wrap–around, UV–blocking sunglasses

Trip Package

Includes

  • Transport between airport and hotel
  • All park and camp fees
  • Tents and sleeping pads
  • All ground transportation, beginning and ending with airport arrival and departure
  • Services of licensed, experienced, English-speaking trail and kayaking guides
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Does not Include

  • International Airfare
  • Travel Insurance
  • Some meals before and after trek
  • Tips for your guides
  • Personal gear or clothing

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is required for the trip. To compare plans and find the best fit for you, visit Yonder.

Meals

Three meals a day are provided, including delicious vegetarian options. We provide a plethora of foods to permit tasty and varied meals. Breakfasts include foods such as eggs, sausage, toast or pancakes, hot cereal, fruit and juice, tea and coffee. Lunch will include sandwiches, juice and various snacks to keep your energy up while on the trail. Dinners will include meat dishes of beef, chicken or fish, fresh vegetable dishes, pasta, rice, potatoes, homemade soups, fresh fruits, desserts, juice, tea, coffee.

Flights

Landing at Punta Arenas

Upon your landing at Punta Arenas, you will need to go through customs. There is currently no visa requirement for tourists staying less than 90 days (as of 2020). Always check for updates before your trip. From customs, claim any bags you have checked and proceed toward the airport exit. Look for a sign with your name on it: your Discover Outdoors guide will meet you here and transport to your hostal in Puerto Natales.

Flight Arrangements

We recommend that you plan your itinerary so that you land no later than 5:00 PM on the first day. If you plan to arrive prior to the first day, we can help you arrange public transport to Puerto Natales (there are additional transport fees). Your departing flight should leave on the evening of the final day. Please forward your flight itinerary to [email protected].

Travel Documents

A valid passport, along with evidence of return or onward flight, is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Chile. A tourist card will be given at the airport.

Destination Information

Safety

Patagonia is generally a safe and pleasant place but as with any destination, it’s important to be aware of possible hazards. Violent crime is almost unheard of in the regions we visit. In the rare instances crime does occur, it is usually petty theft; to limit your susceptibility, we suggest you always travel with at least one other person when going out, and that you avoid flaunting jewelry, cameras, expensive watches and other items that may be tempting to a thief.

Money Matters

The standard unit of currency in Chilean-Patagonia is the Chilean-Peso. This is different from the Argentine-Peso and the Mexican-Peso. As of January 2020, $1 US is the equivalent to 772 Chilean-Peso’s. The Chilean-Peso can fluctuate, however, so we suggest you check the online Universal Currency Converter or with your bank for the most up-to-date information close to the time of your departure. Credit cards are accepted throughout Chile including the town of Puerto Natales. ATM’s are also available. We recommend bringing at least $500 for spending and $200 for tips (this includes Torres del Paine trek, kayaking and horseback riding tips).

Time Zone

Puerto Natales is in the Chilean Standard Time Zone.

Phone

To call Puerto Natales from the United States, dial 011 (America’s international access code) +56 (Chile’s country code) + the city code (61 in Puerto Natales) + the local number. To place an international call from Puerto Natales, first dial 00 (the international access code) and the appropriate country code. To call the United States, dial 00 + 1 (the U.S. country code) + area code + local number.

Electricity

The electricity in Puerto Natales is 220 volts and the plugs have two round pins, like those in Europe. An international adaptor is needed for all other types of plug.

Weather

Weather in Patagonia is a very important factor to consider. Remember that strong winds, rains and snow characterize this region. While it is summertime when we visit, the temperatures could be 80 degrees one day, and then quickly drop into the 50’s the following day with a storm. Winds blow from the northeast and the Pacific, crossing the southern Patagonian ice fields to rapidly form clouds that can result in nasty storms. We often travel under clear skies with great sunny weather, however you need to be prepared for quick changes in temperature as well as flash rain and wind storms.

Lodging

In Puerto Natales, we will stay at Hotel Natalino, a clean, comfortable and environmentally conscious lodge. While trekking, we will stay warm and dry at night with refugio (lodge) accommodations and camping on January 1 (tents provided - double-occupancy). The refugios have showers with bunks that accommodate 4-8 people per room.

On the Trail

In your packs, you will carry your sleeping bag, clothing, camera, lunch, water and sunscreen. The weather in Patagonia is extremely variable and impossible to predict, therefore, you should always be prepared for wet and windy days.

Training

We will be hiking and doing activities for nine days straight, which means that your endurance should be high and your recovery time should be minimal. Engaging in as many long, hard hikes as possible is a great way to prepare for your trek.

Health

You will need your routine vaccinations to be current, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. If you have motion or seasickness, we would suggest talking with your doctor about prescribing medication for this as well.

For more specific information on health precautions consult a travel medicine doctor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Why this trip

Recommended for...

This trip is ideal for adventurers who want to explore new trails, new cultures and who enjoy the hiking in the mountains. We recommend this trip for participants who have a moderate level of fitness. Those new to hiking are welcome to inquire. Our DO staff will give you tips for training so you can maximize your enjoyment on the trail.

Dates and Prices

The right trip,
at the right time.

Start
Finish
Availability
Price From
Saturday
Dec 12, 2020
Saturday
Dec 19, 2020
Available
$4,545
Book Early & Save $200
Before Aug 12

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