A Road Trip Through Patagonia
Cross the Andes in a 4x4 on this Patagonian road trip adventure from Chile to Argentina, riding and hiking and exploring giant glaciers along the way in what is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
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Day 1: Fly to Santiago
Make your way to the airport in London this evening for the 14-and-a-half hour direct overnight flight from the UK to the Chilean capital Santiago.
Day 2: Arrive in Santiago
Once you've landed this morning, one of our team on the ground will whisk you to your hotel where you can drop your bags, freshen up and enjoy your first Latin American lunch.
This afternoon you will be met at the hotel by your guide for a private walking tour of the Chilean capital. This evening, our clued-up local Concierge can recommend and book a table in one of the finest restaurants in the city.
Day 3: Heading South
After a leisurely breakfast you will have a private transfer back to the airport for a three-and-a-half hour flight to Puerto Natales, the gateway to Chilean Patagonia.
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel nearby, and you have the rest of the afternoon to relax and get your bearings.
Day 4: Ranching Around
Head to a local estancia (ranch) on a half-hour boat ride for a day of outdoorsy fun, exploring the region's dramatic fjordland scenery on foot, horseback or by 4x4. After a traditional Patagonian lunch, you will learn to shear the estate's Merino sheep, and herd them with adorable Magellan sheep dogs, a breed unique to this part of Chile.
Back at your hotel, before dinner you will be introduced to your guide and trusty 4x4, which you will ride for the rest of your time in Patagonia.
Day 5: Hit the Road
This morning you will get behind the wheel of your 4x4 and head into the dramatic Torres del Paine National Park.
Drive eastwards, taking in as much of this park as possible and stopping en route for a (relatively) easy starter hike up to tranquil Laguna Azul. The rewards for the exertion are some suitably spectacular views.
Day 6: Torres Del Paine
Start the day with a cruise on a catamaran around Grey Lake to get up close to the mighty Glacier Grey.
This afternoon, you will be able to choose between hiking to Mirador Ferrier (an off-trail scramble up the mountain) or to Mirador Condor (a climb through high altitude pampas) for some epic views. Back at the ranch, enjoy a well-earned dinner.
Day 7: Torres Del Paine
Depending on how active you want to be, today brings another choice.
For a serious challenge and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, you have the chance to tackle the famous Hike to the Base of the Towers trail. To put it into context, this is a 15-mile trek that will take around seven hours. Alternatively, choose from a combination of shorter routes, including the great two-hour round trip to Lake Nordenskjold on the Sendero Mirador Cuernos trail.
Day 8: Across the Border into Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park
It's a relatively early start today as you cross the border into Argentina's Los Glaciares National Park. The drive will take approximately five hours, dependant on the number of photo stops (many, we suspect) and amount of time at the border, but you will reach your next hotel in time for lunch.
This afternoon can be spent simply soaking up the enormity of your surroundings, or visiting the nearby Glaciarium, just outside the town of El Calafate. Here you can learn more about glaciers, their formation and the dangers they face due to climate change. It's a worthwhile crash course in glaciology before tomorrow's expedition.
Day 9: Visit Perito Moreno Glacier
Today is all about the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most iconic glaciers in the world and, mercifully, one that is still advancing.
Start the day with a choice - you can either take a boat trip to see the towering front of the glacier - You might witness the glacier calving, where huge chunks from the front of the glacier break off and crash into the water below - or don the crampons for a guided ice hike across the top of the glacier. Whichever you choose, in the afternoon you can wander along the brilliant observation boardwalks to see the glacier from another perspective.
Day 10: Horsing Around
Today you will be able to experience horse power of a different kind with the chance to go riding. You will be transferred to a local ranch to spend the last morning of your holiday horsing around on Argentine purebreds, riding through a wide range of terrains from pampas to hill country along ancient cattle trails.
Return back to the hotel for lunch and then a last afternoon to explore El Calafate and pick up some souvenirs or take one last walk, this time to Laguna Nimez, a famed birding spot that's home to a wide variety of Patagonian birdlife.
This evening enjoy a final Patagonian supper and bid farewell to your trusty 4x4.
Day 11: Buenos Aires Bound
This morning you will be privately transferred to El Calafate airport for the first leg of your homeward trip.
You will overnight in Buenos Aires this evening (or a nearby estancia if you want more of a rural riding vibe), so visit a tango club and one of the cities many excellent restaurants - our Concierge can recommend and book the best.
Day 12: Heading Home
This morning you can enjoy a lie-in or have more of an explore of the Argentinian capital before a transfer to the airport for the early afternoon direct flight back to London. The overnight flight takes just over 13 hours.
Ollie is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.