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This is an Argentina tour of extreme contrasts, of hiking through lush subtropical vegetation to gaze at one of the earth's greatest waterfalls and of breathing in the sweet scent of towering evergreens in Patagonia's Lake District. The falls of Iguazú are located in the northeast region of Argentina along the border with Brazil. The Lake District, aptly named, spans the top half of the continent's southerly Patagonia region, across Argentina and Chile. Neither sight is easy to reach but both are worth the effort. We've packaged these two amazing places together into one unforgettable South America vacation and eliminated the hassle out of getting there, starting and ending in two of the world's most exciting cities: Buenos Aires, Argentina and Santiago, Chile. After two magical days at the Iguazu falls, you'll be whisked to a world of its own, Northern Patagonia where you'll hike through virgin forests and kayak in its pristine alpine lakes for a week. For outdoor enthusiasts, life doesn't get much better than this.
 

Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE BUENOS AIRES

After meeting a Southern Explorations representative at Buenos Aires' international airport, you'll arrive at your hotel and have the rest of the day to immerse yourself in this sophisticated bustling city of culture and cuisine. The thriving capital is filled with interesting neighborhoods to explore, each with its own distinctive market and restaurants offering memorable meals for every palate. For an introduction to all the capital has to offer, you may wish to consider adding our popular Four Balconies Tour to your itinerary. You'll spend the night at your comfortable Buenos Aires hotel to rest for your Iguazu Falls tour.

Day 2 BUENOS AIRES - IGUAZU

You will be picked up at your Buenos Aires hotel and taken to the airport to fly north to Puerto Iguazú. Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and driver for the short trip to the park followed by check-in at the Melia Iguazu Hotel. Iguazú National Park is located at the northern tip of the Argentine province of Misiones, bordering Brazil. The park extends over 220,000 acres and protects a subtropical rainforest of great biological diversity that the two countries share. Among the area’s 2,100 identified plant species are pindo palms, 50-ft canes, arborescent ferns, orchids and large epiphytes such as the huge Caraguata bromeliads. The Iguazu Falls are not just one cascade but a series of 275 beautiful cataracts extending some two miles. You’ll have the rest of the day on your own to unwind, explore the surroundings and enjoy a relaxing dinner at the hotel. (B)

Day 3 IGUAZU

Today’s adventure gets underway after a hearty breakfast. After a stop at the visitors’ center, you will embark on the first of two leisurely hikes along riverside trails to view the falls from a variety of perspectives. Visitors travel from one area of the park to another on the “Tren Ecologico de la Selva,” a small, custom built tram, with three stations, one at the visitors’ center, one at the trailhead to the upper and lower paths and one to get to the largest of the falls. You’ll spend about an hour and a half on the upper trails, stopping at six platforms to take in the stunning views. With eight viewing platforms, the lower loop trail extends a little over a mile and offers closer, wetter vistas. This two-hour route helps you appreciate the magnitude of the falls by witnessing at close-range the rushing water crashing into the river. Next comes the finale. For most every visitor, the highlight of today’s Argentina travel is the massive viewpoint at Devil’s Throat reached from a mile-long trail. Here half of the waters flowing through the entire Iguazu complex plunge down the U-shaped chasm, creating a cascade 270 feet tall and 492 feet wide. At the conclusion of today’s Iguazu tours you’ll have another evening on your own. (B)

Optional Upgrade: Iguazu Falls Brazil, $135 per Person As long as they have come this far, many visitors elect to view both sides of the falls during their Iguazu tours. After breakfast, you set out across the border to the Brazilian national park. The Brazilian side offers panoramic views of the entire falls complex that cannot be seen elsewhere. Brazil’s national park also has an extensive network of bridges and platforms over the river, with breathtaking vistas. After a brief tour, you return to Argentina and continue exploring the falls. *Entering Brazil requires a visa, so please enquire about the visa process before confirming this option.

Day 4 IGUAZU - BUENOS AIRES - BARILOCHE

After breakfast at the hotel, you'll be returned to Iguazú Airport for the flight back to Buenos Aires to make your connecting flight to the scenic resort town of Bariloche, Argentina on the shores of serene Lake Nahuel Huapi. After you get settled in your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day to relax and explore your surroundings on the start of your Patagonia travel adventure. (B)

Day 5 HIKING NEAR BARILOCHE

After breakfast, you'll go from your hotel to the trailhead of today's Patagonia hiking. Paced to your liking, the two to three hour hike goes into the alpine zone. You'll stop to enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch with stunning views of lakes, glaciated summits, forests and the Andes before three to four more hours of Patagonia hiking. You'll be delivered back to your hotel in time for dinner and a free evening before turning in for a peaceful rest. (B,L)

Day 6 NAHUEL HUAPI LAKE - KAYAKING

This blissful day of Argentina Patagonia kayaking may be enjoyed by all, regardless of fitness level. After breakfast at the hotel, you'll be transferred to a unique launching beach. Assisted by guides, you'll paddle some six hours, stopping for a memorable lakeside picnic in an idyllic setting. The excursion ends at the landmark Llao-Llao Hotel where you will be transferred back to your Bariloche accommodations for a final free evening before your last overnight here. (B,L)

Patagonia Hike & Kayak Option: Depending on your group preferences, we can also arrange for a day of mellow trekking with kayaking. After breakfast, you drive to Lopez Bay and hike to the Tristeza lookout point, a granite base offering breathtaking views. Here you will enjoy a scenic lunch before returning to the trailhead. After a safety briefing, you will paddle the Moreno Lake for the remainder of the afternoon before returning to your Bariloche hotel. (B,L)

Day 7 BARILOCHE - LAKES CROSSING - PUERTO VARAS

After breakfast, begin an exciting leg of your Patagonia tour, where you cross the beautiful Lakes Region from Argentina to Chile. You'll be taken to the pier at Puerto Panuelo near Bariloche to go by catamaran on picturesque Lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Blest. From here, a bus will take you a short distance through an Andean larch forest to Puerto Alegre. A highlight of this voyage is the beautiful wilderness views along Lake Frias before arriving at Puerto Frias in a lush cloud forest at the border of Chile Patagonia. By bus, you'll arrive at the village of Peulla in time for a delicious lunch. Next you'll cruise in the emerald waters of Todos los Santos Lake to the Petrohue River, offering stunning views of three volcanoes: 11,453-ft Tronador, famous for the dramatic sound of ice falling from its summit; 7,185-ft Puntiagudo and 8,530-ft Osorno. Arriving at the river pier, you will travel to the quaint town of Puerto Varas and check in to your comfortable hotel that will be your home during your Chile Patagonia tours. (B,L)

Day 8 OSORNO VOLCANO - PETROHUE - PUERTO VARAS

In the morning, you'll set out on a day-long excursion to the Osorno Volcano. To get there, you'll drive along the shore of Lago Llanquihue, taking in breathtaking views of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. You stop at the Saltos de Petrohue (Petrohue Rapids). This series of rapids and waterfalls was formed long ago by cooling lava from the towering volcano in the distance. The extruded lava forms an impressive sculpture, shaped by thousands of years of thundering water flow. From the Saltos de Petrohue, you'll drive up onto the lower reaches of Osorno Volcano. A gravel road takes you to an elevation of 4,265 ft where there is a small mountain hut. From here the volcano appears immense, surrounded by the volcanoes of Calbuco, Antillanca and Tronador with the Andes towering in the background. You return to your Puerto Varas hotel in the afternoon. (B,L)

Day 9 FULL DAY ACTIVITY
Today you have your choice of the activities described below before returning to Puerto Varas for one last night at your hotel in Patagonia, Chile. (B,L)
 
OPTION I: LOS ALERCE ANDINO NATIONAL PARK
Leaving Puerto Varas heading south toward Puerto Montt, you will enter the Lenca sector and the Alerce Andino Park. You will trek along the Chaicas river, through large forests of Mañíos, Tepas, Arrayanes, and Alerce trees. You will enjoy beautiful views of two mountain lakes as well as a diverse array for birds and local wildlife. Alerce Andino is one of the region’s most emblematic and best conserved national parks.
 
OPTION II: ANCUD - PENGUIN COLONIES
You depart early heading south toward the Pacific, where you'll cross the Straights of Pargua by ferry to the island of Chiloé. Once on the island, you'll drive to the serene Bay of Caulin where swans and other birds may be seen. The next stop is the former capital, Ancud. It is a picturesque community of rustic homes, colorful fishing boats, historic Spanish forts, and a thriving market of local traders and artisans selling their wares. Chiloé is full of legends and superstition, and some island residents claim that century-old monsters roam here at night, sailing on elaborately painted ghost ships, frightening even the bravest of fishermen. Reaching the northern coast of the island, you'll visit the World Wildlife Fund supported penguin colony, one of the few places in the world where Magellanic and Humboldt penguins co-exist. A trip in a zodiac boat takes you among the small islands of penguin rookeries. Depending on weather conditions, you might observe a sea lion colony as well. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach and take the return trip to Puerto Varas, arriving late in the evening.
Day 10 PUERTO VARAS - PUERTO MONTT - SANTIAGO - HOME

In the morning, you'll be transferred back to the Puerto Montt Airport for the flight to Santiago, Chile. From here, you'll catch your connecting international flight home or continue on to the next leg of your South America tour. If you prefer, we can arrange for you to return via Buenos Aires. This marks the end of Southern Explorations' services. Travelers able to stay longer may wish to consider adding one or more of our tour extensions to their Patagonia tour itinerary. (B)

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...
Discover Argentina

Patagonia Lakes District & Iguazu Falls

Pricing
Per Person
$3,865
Domestic Airfare:
$1,100 Airfare: Buenos Aires/Iguazú - Iguazú /Buenos Aires - Buenos Aires/Bariloche (subject to change)
$295 Airfare: Puerto Montt/Santiago (subject to change)
 
Single Supplement: $1,105
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
  • Paddling gear
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • 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
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear
  • Reciprocity fee

Patagonia Lakes District & Iguazu Falls

Trip Dates
Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
Thursday, October 18, 2018 to Saturday, October 27, 2018
Available
Thursday, November 15, 2018 to Saturday, November 24, 2018
Available
Thursday, December 20, 2018 to Saturday, December 29, 2018
Contact Us
Thursday, January 17, 2019 to Saturday, January 26, 2019
Available
Thursday, February 14, 2019 to Saturday, February 23, 2019
Available
Thursday, March 14, 2019 to Saturday, March 23, 2019
Available
Thursday, October 17, 2019 to Saturday, October 26, 2019
Available
Thursday, November 14, 2019 to Saturday, November 23, 2019
Available
Thursday, December 19, 2019 to Saturday, December 28, 2019
Available
Thursday, January 16, 2020 to Saturday, January 25, 2020
Available
Thursday, February 13, 2020 to Saturday, February 22, 2020
Available
Thursday, March 12, 2020 to Saturday, March 21, 2020
Available
Bariloche
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Puerto Varas
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Buenos Aires
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Iguazu
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day

Multi-Day

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.