• Overview
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  • Dates
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  • Extensions
  • Cabins
  • Boat Details
  • Trip Reviews
  • FAQ
This most picturesque of Patagonia tours combines a four-day voyage aboard the Chilean cruise ship, Stella Australis or Ventus Australis, passing idyllic scenery of fjords, glaciers and forests through the Strait of Magellan from Chile to Argentina. The ship stops along the way for Patagonia hiking and boating excursions to observe fascinating wildlife in their natural habitat, including penguins, elephant seals and an array of sea birds. You'll visit two of Argentina's national parks, Tierra del Fuego and Los Glaciares and witness the Perito Moreno Glacier, renowned for its vivid turquoise hue and the skyscraper size blocks of ice that frequently fall from its face. Hiking in the wilds of Patagonia is a life-altering experience, a walk back in time, offering a new definition of solitude.
 


 

Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE PUNTA ARENAS - AUSTRALIS
Arrive into Punta Arenas via Santiago. From the Punta Arenas airport, you'll meet your guide and transfer to the Australis headquarters (1385 O’Higgins Street, Arturo Prat Port). You'll check-in aboard the M/V Stella Australis or M/V Ventus Australis Expedition cruise ships between 13:00 and 17:00 to start your great Patagonia adventure vacation, beginning with a welcome from the captain and crew and cocktails with your glacier cruise companions. The glacier cruise ship will then depart for the city of Ushuaia at 18:00, through the mythical Strait of Magellan. (D)
 
 
 
Day 2 AINSWORTH BAY-MARINELLI GLACIER-TUCKER ISLET

At dawn, the ship will navigate through the Almirantazgo Fjord. You will disembark in Ainsworth Bay near Marinelli Glacier to cruise up and observe an elephant seal colony up-close, and view the Magellan Forests. During the afternoon, you'll motor into Tucker Islet aboard zodiac boats to see a small colony of Magellanic penguins along with other bird species such as skuas and cormorants and most likely dolphins and sea lions. (B,L,D)

Day 3 PIA GLACIER - GLACIER ALLEY

Navigating along the main part of the Beagle Channel to reach Pia Fjord, you disembark near Pia Glacier. Here you take a short hike to a look-out point with a spectacular view of the entire glacier tongue, stretching from high in the mountains all the way to the sea. After this unforgettable experience, you continue sailing along the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel through majestic “Glacier Alley”. (B,L,D)

Day 4 CAPE HORN - WULAIA BAY

You sail through the Beagle and Murray channels to reach Cape Horn National Park, where you will disembark (weather permitting). Cape Horn is a sheer, 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory, and before the Panama Canal, was the westward route to the Pacific Ocean. This place is known as the “End of the Earth”, and it’s the last territory before Antarctica. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. In the afternoon, you will go ashore in historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here on January 23rd, 1833, during the voyage of the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. Here you will walk through a Magellanic forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns, and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point. (B,L,D)

Day 5 USHUAIA - TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK

Early in the morning (08:00 to 09:30) you'll arrive in Ushuaia, southernmost city in the world. You'll disembark and be transferred to your hotel to drop off luggage before your first Patagonia trek in nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park. You'll get to explore the park's highlights before returning to your hotel for a free evening to enjoy the fine seafood of Ushuaia before a restful night's sleep. (B)

Day 6 USHUAIA - EL CALAFATE - EL CHALTEN

Depending on the flight schedule you’ll have time for some on your own sightseeing in Ushuaia, with a visit to the fascinating End of the World Museum or the Presidium, before your transfer to the airport for your flight to El Calafate for your next adventure. When you arrive in El Calafate, you'll travel to El Chalten, a small remote town at the foot of Mt. Fitz Roy, and be taken to your hotel with dramatic views of the mammoth granite walls of the mountain and other important peaks. After getting settled, you may enjoy a short or long hike in preparation for the rest of your Patagonia hiking. The hour-long hike to Piedras Blancas Glacier goes through a beech forest where you may hear Magellanic woodpeckers at work. Reaching the gateway to the Continental Icecap, you'll view the Marconi Glacier. If you care to make a longer more rigorous hike, you may choose the five-hour trek of Cerro Polo which offers a panoramic view of Poincenot, Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre and the Continental Icecap. (B)

Watch a Video »
Day 7 CERRO TORRE HIKE

After breakfast, you will start a full day of hiking a Patagonian classic: Mt. Torre, famous for its beauty but also for its climbing difficulty. This is the pinnacle of trekking Patagonia. Every year, countless expeditions attempt to reach the summit, but only a few succeed. After a half hour of hiking, you reach the viewpoint of the Fitz Roy River and Margarita waterfall. Continue for another 30 minutes until you reach the Mirador del Cerro Torre, a lookout facing the Cerro Torre and Adelas ranges. From this point, the trail descends into the valley. The trail ends on the shores of Laguna Torre, offering a stunning view of Mt. Torre surrounded by the Egger and Standhard spires and the Adelas range as a backdrop together with the glacier Torre. You will have time to enjoy the view, eat lunch, and rest before returning on the same trail to the town of El Chalten. (B, L)
Patagonia Hiking Details: 11-12 miles / Elevation gain: 1,000-1200 ft / Average time: 7 hours

Day 8 HIKE FITZ ROY & LAGUNA DE LOS TRES

Today's segment of trekking Patagonia includes a full-day hike to the Laguna Capri base camp (Fitz Roy base camp). The hike towards Fitz Roy features spectacular views of the massif. The peak was sacred and venerated by local Tehuelche groups who believed the mists enshrouding it were volcanic ash, calling it Chalten (God of Smoke). You will begin hiking south from El Pilar, passing Laguna Piedras Blancas on the way to Laguna de los Tres, at the base of Mt. Fitz Roy. Three glaciers drain into this emerald lagoon with majestic Mt. Fitz Roy towering above. Stop en route for lunch and then resume the hike to Laguna Capri, where the image of Mt. Fitz Roy is reflected. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the sweeping Patagonian steppe and Fitz Roy, highlights of any Patagonia tour. After a full day of hiking, return to your hotel for a good meal and night's sleep. (B, L)
Patagonia Hiking Details: 13-14 miles / Elevation gain 2200-2300ft / Average time: 9 hours

Watch a Video »
Day 9 EL CHALTEN- EL CALAFATE

After breakfast, you may wish to relax or get in some more hiking in the area including a short trek from town to overlook Mt. Torre. In the afternoon, you'll drive in a private van to El Calafate and have the rest of the afternoon to get acquainted with this charming city on your own. Overnight at a local hotel in El Calafate. (B)

Optional Self-Guided Tour: Glacier Museum Approximate Fees: Museum - $20 (80 Argentine Pesos); Roundtrip bus - $6 (25 Argentine Pesos) For those interested in learning about the formation and recession of glaciers during their Patagonia tours, a visit to the Glaciarium is a must. This one-of-a-kind ice museum is located six miles outside El Calafate. To get there, every hour on the hour, buses leave from the center of town. After exploring the history of the Patagonian ice fields, you may cap off this memorable experience with a drink at the museum’s Glacio Bar. The entire bar including the drink cups, tables and chairs are made entirely of ice.

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Day 10 PERITO MORENO GLACIER - EL CALAFATE

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your El Calafate hotel. An hour long bus ride takes you to the Bajo de las Sombras port on the shore of Lake Argentino. From there, you will board a comfortable boat for a 20 minute navigation across the lake. The cruise offers incredible views of the Perito Moreno glacier with its massive front wall of blue ice and surrounding field of icebergs. Following a beach landing, you’ll stop at a small shelter where the trekkers will be divided into groups of less than twenty. A short walk along an ancient beech forest takes you to the edge of the glacier, a prime location for photographing this spectacular natural wonder. You will be fitted with crampons and receive a safety briefing from your guides before beginning an unforgettable two hour trek on the glacier, with time for photos and a lunch break. This moderate trek will take you past small streams, lagoons, crevasses, and other ice formations as you explore the fascinating landscape of the Perito Moreno glacier. After completing the trek, you will embark on the boat for the return trip across the lake. A short bus ride brings you to an elaborate boardwalk system located across the lake from the glacier. From here you will be able to view and photograph the glacier from many angles, and possibly witness icebergs calving thunderously into the lake. In the late afternoon, you will return to your hotel for another comfortable night's rest. (B,L)
**The upper age limit for the mini-trek portion of this trip is 65, regardless of fitness level.  Click here for the alternative tours available.**

Watch a Video »
Day 11 EL CALAFATE - BUENOS AIRES

You'll be transferred from your hotel to the airport to fly to Buenos Aires. On arrival in the exciting capital, you'll be transferred to a hotel for the night. (B)

Day 12 BUENOS AIRES - HOME

You'll be transferred to the Buenos Aires International Airport for your flight home from your Patagonia tours. If time allows and you wish to extend your stay in the bustling capital city, we would be happy to make arrangements. (B)

Important Note: We strongly encourage travelers to arrive in Chile one night before their Australis cruise departure in order to accommodate for international flight delays, postponed luggage, or other unplanned events. You must check-in to the cruise between 13:00 and 17:00 in Punta Arenas and the ship is not able to wait for delayed passengers. Please contact us for information on spending time in Santiago or Punta Arenas.

Weather (Argentina)

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Due to the country's geography and location, Argentina & Patagonia offers a wide variety of climates. The Argentine mainland is mostly temperate, with seasons reversed from those in the northern hemisphere. The northern areas of Salta and around Iguazú are tropical, while southern Patagonia's weather is often cold and windy and always unpredictable.

Winter (from the end of June to the beginning of October) may be cold with some rain in certain areas of Argentina, while the Northwest enjoys sunny days and warm temperatures.

Summer (from December to March) is hot and sometimes humid in Buenos Aires; warm and dry in the Northwest with intermittent summer rains; and cold but sunny and sometimes windy in Patagonia.
 

BUENOS AIRES

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN69-833.9
FEB67-814.2
MAR67-784.9
APR58-713.5
MAY53-652.8
JUN47-582.2
JUL47-582.4
AUG48-612.6
SEP51-642.6
OCT56-704.4
NOV61-764.1
DEC66-813.8
*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

EL CALAFATE

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN45-650.5
FEB42-650.3
MAR37-610.5
APR32-541.0
MAY28-451.2
JUN27-410.8
JUL29-391.0
AUG33-430.8
SEP44-500.6
OCT37-560.5
NOV41-610.4
DEC44-640.6

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

USHUAIA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN41-571.5
FEB51-561.8
MAR39-542.1
APR36-492.2
MAY32-432.1
JUN29-401.9
JUL28-391.4
AUG30-421.8
SEP32-461.6
OCT36-501.4
NOV38-531.4
DEC40-561.7

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

BARILOCHE

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN43-700.9
FEB42-710.9
MAR39-661.2
APR35-582.1
MAY33-505.3
JUN30-445.5
JUL29-435.1
AUG30-464.6
SEPT31-512.3
OCT34-571.5
NOV38-631.0
DEC41-671.3

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

MENDOZA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN64-901.4
FEB62-871.3
MAR57-811.1
APR50-740.5
MAY42-660.2
JUN35-600.2
JUL35-590.3
AUG38-650.1
SEP70-430.3
OCT51-770.4
NOV57-840.6
DEC63-881.0

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

SALTA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN61-817.0
FEB61-796.4
MAR59-774.6
APR54-731.4
MAY46-700.3
JUN39-660.1
JUL37-680.2
AUG39-720.2
SEP45-750.8
OCT52-791.0
NOV57-812.5
DEC61-825.4

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


 

 

 

Weather (Chile)

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Santiago & Surrounding Vineyards - The fertile heartland, this midland area of Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with maximum temperatures averaging 82°F (28°C) in January and 50°F (10°C) in July. The rainy season lasts from May to August. Evenings and nights can be cool, even during the summer.

General Patagonia - The area south of Puerto Montt and Chiloé covers about 30% of the total land area of Chile. It is a rugged, mountainous region of tremendous beauty. Westerly winds and storms often drop enormous amounts of snow and rain on the seaward slopes. In the Magellanes and Tierra del Fuego areas, temperatures in summer average 52°F (11°C). Dampness and wind chill can make it feel cooler so layered clothing and good waterproof gear are musts. The weather year-round is highly unpredictable, and in summer be prepared for incessant winds that lessen in the winter. In the shoulder season months, November and March, winds are not likely to be as strong as during the peak of summer.

Torres Del Paine - The weather is famously unpredictable in this area and it is possible to experience four seasons in the course of a few hours. Average daily temperatures vary but in summer one can expect temperatures ranging between 50° F (10° C) and 70° F (20 ° C) with the occasional hot day of 78° F (25° C). Temperatures can drop to zero at night, and high winds are common in this area. Travelers should be prepared (both mentally and physically) for unpredictable and sometimes challenging weather conditions and pack accordingly. Good head-to-toe, breathable waterproof clothing is essential.

SANTIAGO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN54-850.0
FEB54-840.1
MAR52-800.2
APR47-720.5
MAY40-642.3
JUN40-583.1
JUL37-573.0
AUG38-612.1
SEP40-651.1
OCT45-710.5
NOV47-770.2
DEC51-820.2

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

PUERTO MONTT

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN48-663.6
FEB47-673.7
MAR47-643.9
APR43-605.6
MAY42-569.2
JUN39-518.8
JUL37-509.0
AUG38-528.2
SEP38-525.7
OCT38-524.8
NOV43-600.5
DEC46-634.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

PUNTA ARENAS

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN43-571.4
FEB44-571.1
MAR51-541.6
APR39-491.6
MAY35-441.7
JUN31-391.3
JUL29-381.3
AUG31-411.3
SEP32-461.1
OCT36-500.9
NOV40-531.1
DEC42-561.2

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

SAN PEDRO ATACAMA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN50-760.9
FEB50-750.2
MAR48-730.1
APR44-700.1
MAY38-660.0
JUN33-610.0
JUL33-610.0
AUG35-640.0
SEP40-690.1
OCT43-720.1
NOV46-740.1
DEC48-750.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

EASTER ISLAND

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN68-812.8
FEB68-813.3
MAR68-803.8
APR66-774.8
MAY64-746.0
JUN62-724.2
JUL60-704.1
AUG60-703.7
SEP60-713.4
OCT61-732.7
NOV63-752.9
DEC65-783.4

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

Maps

Specials >> Chile & Argentina

Join a group on our Feburary 4-16, 2019 Patagonia Hiking Panorama tour to experience the best...
Fjords of Tierra del Fuego
Discover Argentina

Australis Glacier Cruise & Patagonia Hiking

Pricing
Per Person
$5,195
 Domestic Airfare:
$350 Airfare: Santiago/Punta Arenas (subject to change)
$475 Airfare: Ushuaia/El Calafate - El Calafate/Buenos Aires (subject to change)
 
Single supplement $1,040 (Hotels Only).
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.
Included in tour cost
  • All land and sea transportation during the itinerary
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear
  • Reciprocity fee

Australis Glacier Cruise & Patagonia Hiking

Trip Dates
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 to Sunday, October 7, 2018
Available
Thursday, October 4, 2018 to Monday, October 15, 2018
Available
Friday, October 12, 2018 to Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Available
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 to Saturday, October 27, 2018
Available
Saturday, October 20, 2018 to Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Available
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 to Friday, November 2, 2018
Available
Sunday, October 28, 2018 to Thursday, November 8, 2018
Available
Thursday, November 1, 2018 to Monday, November 12, 2018
Available
Monday, November 5, 2018 to Friday, November 16, 2018
Available
Friday, November 9, 2018 to Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Available
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 to Saturday, November 24, 2018
Available
Saturday, November 17, 2018 to Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Available
Wednesday, November 21, 2018 to Sunday, December 2, 2018
Available
Sunday, November 25, 2018 to Thursday, December 6, 2018
Available
Thursday, November 29, 2018 to Monday, December 10, 2018
Available
Monday, December 3, 2018 to Friday, December 14, 2018
Available
Friday, December 7, 2018 to Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Available
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 to Saturday, December 22, 2018
Available
Saturday, December 15, 2018 to Wednesday, December 26, 2018
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Wednesday, December 19, 2018 to Sunday, December 30, 2018
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Sunday, December 23, 2018 to Thursday, January 3, 2019
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Thursday, December 27, 2018 to Monday, January 7, 2019
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Monday, December 31, 2018 to Friday, January 11, 2019
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Friday, January 4, 2019 to Saturday, June 15, 2019
Available
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 to Saturday, January 19, 2019
Available
Saturday, January 12, 2019 to Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Available
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 to Sunday, January 27, 2019
Available
Sunday, January 20, 2019 to Friday, February 1, 2019
Available
Thursday, January 24, 2019 to Monday, February 4, 2019
Available
Friday, February 1, 2019 to Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Available
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 to Saturday, February 16, 2019
Available
Saturday, February 9, 2019 to Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Available
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 to Sunday, February 24, 2019
Available
Sunday, February 17, 2019 to Thursday, February 28, 2019
Available
Thursday, February 21, 2019 to Monday, March 4, 2019
Available
Monday, February 25, 2019 to Friday, March 8, 2019
Available
Friday, March 1, 2019 to Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Available
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 to Saturday, March 16, 2019
Available
Saturday, March 9, 2019 to Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Available
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 to Sunday, March 24, 2019
Available
Sunday, March 17, 2019 to Thursday, March 28, 2019
Available
Thursday, March 21, 2019 to Monday, April 1, 2019
Available
Monday, March 25, 2019 to Friday, April 5, 2019
Available
Friday, March 29, 2019 to Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Available
Saturday, September 21, 2019 to Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Available
Sunday, September 29, 2019 to Thursday, October 10, 2019
Available
Monday, October 7, 2019 to Friday, October 18, 2019
Available
Friday, October 11, 2019 to Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Available
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 to Saturday, October 26, 2019
Available
Saturday, October 19, 2019 to Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Available
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 to Sunday, November 3, 2019
Available
Sunday, October 27, 2019 to Thursday, November 7, 2019
Available
Thursday, October 31, 2019 to Monday, November 11, 2019
Available
Monday, November 4, 2019 to Friday, November 15, 2019
Available
Friday, November 8, 2019 to Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Available
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 to Saturday, November 23, 2019
Available
Saturday, November 16, 2019 to Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Available
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 to Sunday, December 1, 2019
Available
Sunday, November 24, 2019 to Thursday, December 5, 2019
Available
Thursday, November 28, 2019 to Monday, December 9, 2019
Available
Monday, December 2, 2019 to Friday, December 13, 2019
Available
Friday, December 6, 2019 to Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Available
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 to Saturday, December 21, 2019
Available
Saturday, December 14, 2019 to Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Available
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 to Sunday, December 29, 2019
Available
Sunday, December 22, 2019 to Thursday, January 2, 2020
Available
Thursday, December 26, 2019 to Monday, January 6, 2020
Available
Monday, December 30, 2019 to Friday, January 10, 2020
Available
Friday, January 3, 2020 to Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Available
Tuesday, January 7, 2020 to Saturday, January 18, 2020
Available
Saturday, January 11, 2020 to Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Available
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 to Sunday, January 26, 2020
Available
Sunday, January 19, 2020 to Thursday, January 30, 2020
Available
Thursday, January 23, 2020 to Monday, February 3, 2020
Available
Monday, January 27, 2020 to Friday, February 7, 2020
Available
Friday, January 31, 2020 to Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Available
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 to Saturday, February 15, 2020
Available
Saturday, February 8, 2020 to Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Available
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 to Sunday, February 23, 2020
Available
Sunday, February 16, 2020 to Thursday, February 27, 2020
Available
Thursday, February 20, 2020 to Monday, March 2, 2020
Available
Monday, February 24, 2020 to Friday, March 6, 2020
Available
Friday, February 28, 2020 to Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Available
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 to Saturday, March 14, 2020
Available
Saturday, March 7, 2020 to Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Available
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 to Sunday, March 22, 2020
Available
Sunday, March 15, 2020 to Thursday, March 26, 2020
Available
Thursday, March 19, 2020 to Monday, March 30, 2020
Available
Monday, March 23, 2020 to Friday, April 3, 2020
Available
Friday, March 27, 2020 to Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Available
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 to Saturday, April 11, 2020
Available
Saturday, April 4, 2020 to Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Available
El Calafate
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
El Chalten
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Ushuaia
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Buenos Aires
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Las Torres
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day

Multi-Day

Cabins

Boat Details

 

patagonia travelSouthern Explorations created an amazing custom trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth. They worked with us to fine tune the details of what our perfect vacation to Patagonia would be. The reservations, the accommodations, the transfers and the guides were spot on, very informative and professional. Will we use Southern Explorations for our next trip to the southern hemisphere? You can be certain of that. - Jim Balsitis and Kathy Kalp (Patagonia)

 
mount fitzroy patagoniaSadly, I am back from my AMAZING trip to S. America. I just wanted to thank you for everything. Your professionalism, responsiveness, & knowledge of S. America were incredible. I truly had the trip of a lifetime thanks to Southern Explorations. You guys left no stone unturned from the Galapagos, to Peru, to Chile, to Patagonia..............my expectations were exceeded 10-fold. I already recommended you guys to the gentleman on the plane next to me. It was really nice to get to meet Justin in Patagonia. It is obvious how hard he has worked to establish such strong contacts, guides, etc. I could tell that our guides were a step above the rest. I just wanted to thank you for making my dream come true. My mom & I will never forget this the rest of our lives. - Ami Jampolis (Galapagos Island Cruise, Peru, Chile & Patagonia)

mount fitzroy patagoniaFrom arrival to departure this trip, from an organizational stand point, felt like a ballet… seamless and fluid. We couldn’t have done it without you – Thanks Southern Explorations! - Lori Schrader, New York (Patagonia)
 

“We just returned from our South American adventure this morning, but I wanted to write you to thank you for helping us put together a fantastic vacation. Our friends called it the 'trip of a lifetime', that included the 'hike of a lifetime' and the 'kayak paddling day of a lifetime' for them. You made it so easy to have a great adventure. Thanks again for all your help. - Heidi and Michael Rotberg (Argentina Mountains & Wineries)

“The Southern Explorations team did a fantastic job helping us plan our Galapagos adventure in 2011 and our Torres del Paine/Australis Magellan Straits cruise 2015.  They were extremely helpful in planning our trips and quickly responded to each of our questions. We will definitely seek their services to assist in any future travels.” - Sharon McRae (Cruceros Australis + Hotel Las Torres) 

Thank You for planning an amazing trip for us. Everything was beyond wonderful…and ran so smoothly. We so enjoyed our guides…who took us on harder hikes, just like we wanted. We especially loved El Chalten…and of course the EOLO hotel. I think the glacial hike was one of the most beautiful walks we have ever taken. So appreciate all the effort your agency put into our trip. I WILL definitely travel with you again. - Lisa Goldman (Luxury Patagonia)

“I am so happy that I used Southern Explorations!  I thought that your trip (with extensions) was very well-designed.  We appreciated the more luxurious travel and the flexibility that was afforded us.  The hotels were all wonderful and our guides ranged from good to excellent.  We hiked almost every day (a major concern of my husband).  We were afforded some solitude on even the most popular trails because we were able to have earlier departures than were available to a large group. Our overall aim on this trip was to maximize our hiking opportunities while exploring Patagonia and the Atacama Desert. We also wanted to stay in very comfortable hotels.  Everyone at Southern Explorations (and particularly Eric Bartanen who made the arrangements) was friendly, courteous  and efficient.  We tinkered a little with an already well designed Southern Explorations trip to produce a  marvelous trip that exceeded my expectations.  The arrangements were flawless.  I was very impressed by the quality of the accommodations, the guides and the drivers.” - Janet Luck (Luxury Patagonia + Alto Atacama)

It was a wonderful trip and Southern Explorations really did a marvelous job of putting everything together for us. Thank You. We have had nothing but fantastic memories and have spoken to many people about Southern explorations and what a nice job you guys did putting everything together. Peru and other South America ventures will happen. I will be in touch. - Steve Andryk (Wisconsin) (Luxury Patagonia)

The Southern Explorations team did a fantastic job helping us plan our Galapagos adventure in 2011 and our Torres del Paine/Australis Magellan Straits cruise 2015. They were extremely helpful in planning our trips and quickly responded to each of our questions. We will definitely seek their services to assist in any future travels.   - Sharon McRae (Torres del Paine/Galapagos)

Thank you for a wonderful introduction to South America and excellent vacation. We will be returning to other SA venues in the coming years and will be sure to contact Southern Explorations for assistance. - Gordon McPhee, South Carolina (Chile & Argentina)

 

 

Argentina - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a variety of pre-planned tours online and we’d love to design a custom trip just for you. Take a look at what we have online, then call an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the trip that best fits your timeframe, budget and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion, but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Argentina?
A: Argentina’s large size and geographic orientation means it covers many climatic zone and different areas are better to visit during different times of the year. In the south, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are best visited from October through April. In the north, the season is inversed and your best time to travel is from April through November. Buenos Aires and the wine country around Mendoza can be visited year round.
Q: What is the weather like in Argentina?
A: The weather ranges from temperate summers and cold, snowy winters in the south to rainy summers and dry, warm winters in the north. You will find a detailed weather chart on the Overview page of each trip. You can also call your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the weather trends for your trip.
Q: What is a typical day like in Argentina? 
A: The typical day varies widely from trip to trip, but all tours will have full days with guided exploration. There will be time for rest and relaxation, as well as independent exploration of the cities and towns we visit. Due to the remote nature of Argentina’s most scenic areas, some long travel days will be required.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Argentina? 
A: As long as you are able to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace and comfortably navigate uneven terrain, you will be able to enjoy most of our tours. Some of our more adventurous tours include activities like kayaking, ice climbing and hikes up to 12 miles. Please check the physical ratings on our trip pages or contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to see if a particular itinerary is a good fit for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Argentina?
A: Because of the vast size of Argentina we recommend at least seven days. If you wish to visit multiple regions within Argentina we recommend 12 days or more.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning a trip at three to nine months in advance, but if you want to stay at very specific luxury hotels or travel over a holiday then we recommend planning nine months to a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: The guides on all of our tours are experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related field. The guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid. We tend to use the same guides as they are accustomed to the trips we offer and understand the Southern Explorations commitment to quality.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 4-star hotels in Argentina and the occasional 3-star property, provided they meet our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price is listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Argentina.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Our Argentina trips are generally limited to 8 travelers, although some areas (all-inclusive lodge stays and cruises) may require that we form larger groups with other travelers.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.
Q: I read about a “Reciprocity Fee” to enter Argentina, do I need to pay that?
A:

There is no longer a “Reciprocity Fee” required for travelers carrying US, Canadian or Australian Passports. If you carry a passport from a different country please check with your nearest Argentine consulate for more information. 

Chile - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a variety of pre-planned tours online and we’d love to design a custom trip just for you. Take a look at what we have online then call an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the trip that best fits your timeframe, budget and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Chile?
A: Chile can be visited year-round, although the southern regions are generally best visited in the Spring, Summer and Fall, which run from October through April. Northern Chile, due to its high desert, is pleasant to visit year round. Central Chile, in the Andes, becomes a skiers paradise from late-June to mid-September. Contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the best timing for your preferred tour.
Q: What is the weather like in Chile?
A: Chile is a long country, spanning many climatic zones, and offers weather systems ranging from warm, high desert to cold tundra. Patagonia is famous for having “all four seasons in one day,” while the Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on earth. Contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator today to discuss the weather on your trip.
Q: What is a typical day like in Chile? 
A: The typical day varies widely from trip to trip, but all tours will have full days with guided exploration. There is time for rest and relaxation, as well as independent exploration of the cities and towns you visit. Due to the remote nature of Chile’s most scenic areas, some long travel days will be required.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Chile?
A: Although we have trips as short as 5 days, we highly recommend spending at least 7 days in Chile, and ideally 12. Chile has many fascinating regions and some of the most beautiful areas are quite remote, requiring extended travel time.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning a trip at three to nine months in advance, but if you want to stay at very specific luxury hotels or travel over a holiday we recommend planning nine months to a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: The guides on all of our tours are experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related field. The guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid. We tend to use the same guides as they are accustomed to the trips we offer and understand the Southern Explorations commitment to quality.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 4-star hotels in Chile and the occasional 3-star property that meets our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties and all-inclusive lodges. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations’ staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price is listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to Chile.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.
Q: How will I do laundry during the trip?
A: Patagonian hotels charge very affordable rates for doing a guest’s laundry. You will also have access to laundry facilities on most days in major cities. Some of the Patagonian experiences will be true ‘wilderness’ style camping with only a river or lake as a water supply. Some locations have washing facilities where guests may do laundry. Bring biodegradable soap if you wish to do your own laundry. Please refer to the full itinerary or contact us for details.
Q: I’ve heard Patagonia is very remote. What if I have a medical emergency on the trip?
A: Some of our trips take passengers into some primitive wilderness areas. Our guides are trained in wilderness first-aid. To ensure the safety of our travelers, our guides are linked with outside services 24 hours a day in all locations to provide assistance when necessary. Though our guides carry extensive first aid equipment for minor ailments, injuries and accidents, they cannot handle serious medical conditions, and passengers are advised to obtain health or travel insurance that covers medical evacuation. There are small hospitals in the Patagonia region, some with 24-hour medical assistance that can deal with minor injuries and illnesses. In the rare event of an accident or broken bone, passengers would be evacuated from the wilderness area (probably by horse) and continue on the long drive out. Helicopters are available for emergencies but cannot fly during high winds. Any passengers with a medical condition or using medication should discuss this with us prior to travel.