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Interested in this trip in 2014? Please check out the new 12-day "Patogonia Explorer"

Patagonia Wonders of Nature

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated:
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Introduction

When Magellan landed in Patagonia, he believed its inhabitants to be giants. While you won't find any mythical creatures on this trip, you will encounter magical scenery, mighty glaciers and towering peaks at Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno Glacier and Glacier National Park. And prepare yourself for stunning views on an expedition cruise from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas—including a landing at Cape Horn. With a mountain lodge stay, relaxed trekking and an expert guide to lead the way, you'll be creating legends of your own to share back home.

  • Exploring Patagonia's fjords and glaciers on an expedition cruise
  • Setting foot on the 'end of the earth' at Cape Horn
  • Photographing thousands of Magellanic penguins
  • Hiking amidst the stunning scenery of Torres del Paine National Park
  • Dancing the tango and sampling vibrant vintages in sophisticated Buenos Aires.
Duration: 15 days
Start/Finish City: Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Discovery Adventures
Say hello to your world.

Engage the extraordinary cultures, wildlife and landscapes through exhilarating, educational and immersive activities while achieving a greater appreciation for our planet. These trips are as much about doing as seeing — all with a comfortable feel.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Patagonia Wonders of Nature (SAPWD)

Day 1 Buenos Aires

Arrive in Buenos Aires and transfer to the hotel. There are no planned activities, so check-in and enjoy the city. In the evening we will meet our fellow group members to go over the details of our trip and enjoy a mate (a traditional Argentine drink) demonstration and tasting. Check the notice board (or ask reception) to see the exact time and location of our group meeting.

*****Please note that the December 10, 2013 departure of this trip will be run in reverse. All inclusions and experiences will remain the same, just in the opposite direction.

The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires is the ultimate cosmopolitan city. Travelers find that it has more in common with the cities of Europe than the rest of South America. Nearly 40 per cent of Argentina's 33 million citizens live in greater Buenos Aires, and the Porteños are justifiably proud of their home. The city is comprised of a number of distinct neighborhoods, some of which have become top tourist draws. For many, the highlight of their time in the capital is a visit to San Telmo for the weekend antiques market and street artist displays.

La Boca was originally settled by the successive waves of immigrants that contribute to the capital's unique character. Its brightly colored walls and buildings draw Porteños and tourists alike, and it is here that the world-class football team, Boca Juniors, plies its trade. A Sunday afternoon match at the fabled Bombonera is not to be missed. Posh Recoleta, with its cafes, museums and cemetery, is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.

During colonial days Buenos Aires was the seat of the Viceroy of La Plata. Almost completely rebuilt since the turn of the century, the heart of the city is the Plaza de Mayo, with the historic Cabildo, Town Hall, where the independence movement was first planned, the Casa Rosada, Government Palace and the Cathedral where San Martín, the father of Argentine independence, is buried.

Be sure to enjoy a drink in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants to understand the contemplative Argentine way of life.

Day 2-3 Ushuaia (2B)

Catch our flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Embark on an excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park including a train ride to the 'end of the earth'. Free time for shopping and option to go hiking, or visit a penguin colony.

We head to the province of Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia actually means “the bay facing westward” in the language of the original Yamaná inhabitants. Once a penal colony for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals (the presidio was disbanded in the 1940s), Ushuaia is now a major tourist attraction, particularly for people cruising to Antarctica. The town of 70 000 is also a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers and offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina.

Day 4 Patagonia Expedition Cruise (1B,1D)

Visit the prison museum and learn about the beginnings of the town as a penal colony. Late afternoon we board our cruise ship to begin our 4-night Patagonia cruise with excursions and lectures by naturalist guides.

Board the Via Australis Expedition Cruise ship at around 5:30 p.m. After a welcome cocktail reception offered by the Captain and his crew the ship will depart for “the uttermost part of the earth”. Our trip takes us through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.

Day 5-7 Patagonia Expedition Cruise (3B,3L,3D)

Explore one of the world’s most historic and naturally beautiful routes. Cruise through Murray Channel to Cape Horn National Park, then follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin with a hike at historic Wulaia Bay. Navigate the Beagle Channel to Pia Fjord where we disembark near Pia Glacier then enter Garibaldi Fjord on the southern coast of Tierra del Fuego and hike through the forest up to a waterfall of glacial origin. On Day 7 we board Zodiac boats to explore Alakaluf Fjord, to observe waterfalls and the Piloto and Nena glaciers. In the afternoon visit Águila Glacier where we will disembark to walk along a beach.

Day 5 - We sail through Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where we disembark (weather permitting). The mythical Cape Horn was discovered in 1616 and it is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route for sailboats between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and it is known as the “End of the Earth”. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve in 2005.In the afternoon, we go ashore at historical Wulaia Bay, originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here in 1833, during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. We will walk through a Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic vegetation to reach a panoramic viewpoint.

Day 6 - We navigate along the Northwest arm of the Beagle Channel to reach Pia Fjord, where we disembark. We take a short hike to a panoramic viewpoint from which we can appreciate the spectacular Pia Glacier, which main tongue stretches from the top of the mountains down to the sea. In the afternoon we will enter and disembark at Garibaldi Fjord to then hike through the forest up to a glacial waterfall and enjoy the spectacular views. For those who stay onboard, our Capitan will point the bow towards the beautiful blue Garibaldi Glacier and the panoramic view can be enjoyed from the upper decks.

Day 7 - In the morning we will be sailing through Cockburn Channel to anchor in Chico Sound. Onboard Zodiac boats, we will explore Alakaluf Fjord and enjoy the view of Piloto and Nena Glaciers from the sea. The intense blue color of Piloto Glacier due to its compression and age draws attention. We will learn about the formation of glaciers and their influence on the abrupt geography of the Fuegian-Patagonian channels. In the afternoon we will enter the spectacular De Agostini Sound, in the heart of Darwin Mountain Range. In this area we can see glaciers descending from the mountainside all the way down to the sea. In the afternoon, onboard Zodiac boats, we will route to Águila Glacier where we will take an easy walk all the way to the base of the glacier. We will experience the beauty of Patagonia’s cold rainforest and see how the power of nature molded the area’s landscape.

Note: All landings and inclusions are based on the weather and conditions at the time. If the Captain deems it unsafe to make a landing or to deviate a routing, it is always in consideration of passengers safety.

Day 8 Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine National Park (B)

Morning excursion to Magdalena Island to visit the immense colony of Magellanic penguins. Afternoon transfer to the stunning Torres del Paine National Park area.

Early in the morning (and weather permitting) we will go ashore on Magdalena Island, located in the middle of the Strait of Magellan. The island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellan Penguins that we will be able to see during our walk to the lighthouse. In September and April this excursion is replaced by a ride on Zodiac boat to Marta Island to observe South American Sea Lions.Finally, disembarking at Punta Arenas is scheduled at 11:30 am.

The granite Towers of Paine make a sudden and dramatic appearance on the horizon in the midst of a flat, dry, wind-swept plain. Despite the almost constant summer winds, this is some of the finest trekking country in Chile. Endowed with severe mountains, sparkling lakes, waterfalls and glaciers, as well as herds of guanacos, majestic condors, flocks of pink flamingos and large Patagonian hares, the park's international attraction is immediately evident.

Encompassing a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the high peaks of the Andes, approximately 180 km (112 miles) wide, but with a coastline stretching over 4300 km (14104 ft), Chile’s “geografia loca” (as termed by Benjamin Subercasseaux) includes the driest desert, the Atacama in the north, the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, snow-covered volcanoes, forests and tranquil lakes of the near south, and the wild and windswept glaciers and fjords of the far south. Discover magnificent trekking country within this last region, where guanacos, ñandues (rheas), condors, pink flamingos and magellanic penguins abound. The region also boasts some of the world's finest salmon and trout fishing, and the cuisine at times rivals the natural setting. A gold mine of undiscovered destinations and surprises, this country and its friendly and hospitable people will no doubt make a mark on your memories and leave you with a smile.

Day 9 Torres del Paine National Park (1B,1L,1D)

Enjoy a full day hiking excursion in the National Park with an expert mountain guide.

Words cannot describe the majesty and beauty of this National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Few people have the opportunity to see this area and those who do will find it difficult to forget its vivid colours and tranquility. One of the many thriving legends concerns the origin of the park's name. Locals insist that ìpaineî is derived from the Tehuelche Indian word for the colour blue, while others say it is the name of an original Welsh settler to the area. Once a large sheep estancia, the park was established in 1959 as the Parque Nacional Lago Grey. Prior to this, baqueanos (cowboys) grazed their flocks here and fires occasionally burnt out of control. The devastation wrought near Lago Grey remains visible to this day, with large areas of burnt forest and charred logs. More land was added to the park in 1962 and the name was changed to its present one. The Torre (Tower) Sur rises 2900m (9512 ft) above sea level, the Torre Central is 2850m (9348 ft) high and the Torre Norte measures 2600m (8528 ft). The Cuernos (Horns) del Paine, massive blocks of various rock layers and visible from great distances, are as spectacular as the towers themselves.

Encompassing a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the high peaks of the Andes, approximately 180 km (112 miles) wide, but with a coastline stretching over 4300 km (14104 ft), Chile’s “geografia loca” (as termed by Benjamin Subercasseaux) includes the driest desert, the Atacama in the north, the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, snow-covered volcanoes, forests and tranquil lakes of the near south, and the wild and windswept glaciers and fjords of the far south. Discover magnificent trekking country within this last region, where guanacos, ñandues (rheas), condors, pink flamingos and magellanic penguins abound. The region also boasts some of the world's finest salmon and trout fishing, and the cuisine at times rivals the natural setting. A gold mine of undiscovered destinations and surprises, this country and its friendly and hospitable people will no doubt make a mark on your memories and leave you with a smile.

Trekking and hiking today is of a moderate level - should you choose not to hike you can relax and explore on your own at the lodge.

Day 10-11 El Calafate (2B)

Cross the border to El Calafate where we take a guided tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier. Option to take a boat up to the front of the glacier.

Drive towards the lofty peaks to the dynamic Moreno Glacier, within Glacier National Park. We may spot condors, rheas, eagles or flamingos en route, but the real star of the day is the glacier itself, located at the southern terminus of Glacier National Park. Sliding down from atop the southern continental ice field, Moreno's 60m (197 ft) wall of ice sporadically chokes off the narrow Canal de los Tempanos (Channel of Ice Bergs) creating a natural ice dam, which eventually explodes in a dynamic display of force.

The Southern Patagonian ice field, the third largest on the planet (after Antarctica and Greenland) is the source of all the area's glaciers, including Moreno, Onelli, Viedma and Upsala. Moreno Glacier, this massive river of frozen water and huge chunks of ice moves down constantly crashing into the lake waters below. Very dynamic, Moreno is one of the very few glaciers left in the world that is in equilibrium. It is simply enormous: 1 km (half a mile) wide and 60m (196 ft) high.

Day 12 El Chaltén (B)

Travel to El Chaltén, enjoy this free day to explore the town.

Argentina is the second giant of South America, with a landscape nearly as varied as its people. Modern and sophisticated, cosmopolitan Argentina has much more in common with Europe than with the rest of its neighbours. But if Buenos Aires is the heart of the country, Patagonia and the southern Pampas in Santa Cruz Province are its soul. Luckily, this is the very region we explore, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares has some of the most spectacular natural sights you will see in your lifetime.

The town of El Chaltén is located in the north end of the park. Hikers and climbers from around the globe congregate here, waiting for good weather, to undertake the challenges presented by nature. The atmosphere is laid back and the mountains and Beech forests here are very similar to Paine.

Day 13 El Calafate (B)

Embark on a boat excursion to the Viedma Glacier before returning to El Calafate for the evening.

Day 14 Buenos Aires (1B,1D)

Fly to Buenos Aires for our farewell evening including wine tasting with a sommelier, tango lessons with expert dancers and professional tango dinner show.

Later in the day we'll get the opportunity to discover the true Buenos Aires and the passion of Tango. In the early evening we'll go to one of the oldest Tangueras in Buenos Aires where we'll begin by tasting some prize winning Argentine wines with an expert sommelier. This is the perfect courage builder for the Tango Lesson which will follow. Expert dancers from the show will take us through the basic steps of Tango. Once we have built up an appetite it is time to try the famed Argentine "Bife de Chorizo" whilst watching how this passionate and complicated dance is brought to life on the stage.

Argentine Tango is traditionally danced with a close embrace, but with time it has opened up to allow space for embellishments. The dance essentially is walking with a partner in time with the music, but a good tango dancer will make us see the music. A major part of Tango is improvisation, and although many steps are considered common, true Tango dancers will tell you that there is no basic step. It is different to traditional couple dances as it does not have a strict pattern and relies upon instinct and understanding between the couple

The exact origins are lost in history, but the generally accepted theory is that during the mid-1800s African slaves were brought to Argentina and began to influence local culture. Whatever the origin, it became renowned with the place where African slaves and free African Americans came to dance.

It is most likely that Tango rose from African-Argentine dance venues frequented by compadritos, young native men, with little money and dressed in sluch hats, neckerchiefs, heeled boots and the customary knife tucked into the belt. These compadritos took the dance back into the poorer districts of Buenos Aires and it became commonplace in bars, dance halls and brothels. It was in these places that the African rhythms met the Argentine milongo music (a fast-paced polka) and very quickly the first steps of Tango took form.

Day 15 Buenos Aires (B)

Depart at any time.

What's Included

Arrival transfer - Welcome gift with mate demonstration and tasting - Explore Ushuaia and the prison museum - Excursion to Tierra del Fuego National park including a train ride to the "end of the world" - 5 day Patagonia expedition cruise with hiking and zodiac excursions, expert lectures and demonstrations - Hiking excursion into Torres del Paine National Park - Guided tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier - Boat excursion to Viedma Glacier - Buenos Aires wine tasting, tango lessons and professional tango dinner show.

Highlights

Exploring Patagonia's fjords and glaciers on an expedition cruise, Setting foot on the 'end of the earth' at Cape Horn, Photographing thousands of Magellanic penguins, Hiking amidst the stunning scenery of Torres del Paine National Park, Dancing the tango and sampling vibrant vintages in sophisticated Buenos Aires.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Discovery Adventures is operated in conjunction with G Adventures, the world leader in sustainable adventure travel. An award winning company with over 800 employees and 17 operational offices worldwide, G Adventures has 20 years experience in creating culturally interactive travel experiences. G Adventures advocates a triple bottom line business philosophy where equal attention is given to the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism to achieve long-term environmentally responsible growth whilst protecting destinations & cultural heritage for future generations.

2. This trip covers a lot of ground and there are a couple of long travel days. These travel days are always balanced out by relaxing, well-paced days to ensure full enjoyment and the destinations more than make up for any long travel experienced.

3. Aerolineas Argentinas allows 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kg on internal flights. For every extra kilo the airline will charge $10 per kg at the time of check-in.

*****Please note that the December 10, 2013 departure of this trip will be run in reverse. All inclusions and experiences will remain the same, just in the opposite direction.

Group Leader Description

All Discovery Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 15, avg 10.

Meals Included

14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners.

Meals

Travelling with Discovery Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful foods and flavors that are available in the world. Some meals are included in the trip price in more remote regions or as a highlight where we can share a local specialty or cultural experience. In many places where there is a choice of eating options, we like to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company, but there is no obligation to do this. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD350-450 for meals not included.

Transport

Bus, van, plane, boat, Zodiac, cruise ship, hiking, walking.

About our Transportation

On this trip we have a 5-day / 4-night Patagonia expedition cruise. Built in 2005, The Via Australis can hold up to 136 passengers while offering 64 comfortable ensuite cabins. With lounge, bar, inside and outside viewing decks, entertainment, and beautiful cabins, the Via Australis allows each passenger to have the best Chile travel experience possible. Kick back and relax on your journey to an exciting and unforgettable adventure.

Expedition Cruise NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can normally be carried out. Notwithstanding the above, Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis S.A., Transportes Marítimos Via Australis S.A., and Transportes Marítimos Geo Australis S.A reserve the right to reschedule, shorten, or alter all or part of the itineraries and/or excursions without previous notice, in order to safeguard the well-being and safety of passengers, preserve the environment, or due to any extraordinary circumstances, acts of god or force majeure. For the same reasons, the hours of departure or arrival of the vessels may be subject to change.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Comfort hotels (10 nts), cruise ship (4 nts)

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 4-7: Expedition cruise, Night 9: Torres del Paine.

Joining Hotel

Design Suites (Buenos Aires)
Marcelo T. de Alvear
1683. C1060AAE
Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Tel/Fax (54.11) 4814-8700

Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour and our driver will be waiting for you with a Discovery Adventures Sign with your name on it.

**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through us to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities are planned. Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.

BUENOS AIRES AIRPORT "LANDING FEE": Please be advised that Argentina's international airport in Buenos Aires charges a reciprocal fee to people of certain nationalities. At the time of writing, this fee was USD 70 for Canadians, USD 131 for US citizens, and USD 100 for Australian citizens; there is currently no fee for EU or New Zealand citizens. This is payable immediately upon arrival before proceeding through immigration. Australian and Canadian citizens will be required to pay this fee each time they enter the country via Ezeiza airport. For US citizens the fee need only be paid once and is valid for the duration of the passport.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Argentina: +54 11 5252 3602
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 5252 3602

After hours Emergency number
From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 15 3425 0380

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but in Patagonia the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever you find easiest to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.

Checklist

Documents:
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Discovery Adventures / G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Suggested Items:
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Dry bag for camera equipment on zodiac rides
•Extra batteries / rechargeable (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
•Binoculars
•Cover for backpacks
•Concealable money belt
•Fleece top
•Windproof/waterproof jacket
•Waterproof pants
•Small towel and swim wear
•shirts/t-shirts (long and short sleeved)
•Thermal or turtle neck, gloves and warm hat for shoulder seasons (April-Oct)
•Sun hat
•1 pair of shorts
•2 pairs of long trousers
•Hiking pants
•1 smart-casual outfit for tango show/optional clubs or shows
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
•Sport sandals
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Insect Repellent
•Pocketknife
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Optional Items: reading/writing material, Maps, guidebooks
NB - Argentine plugs have two angled slits and may or may not have one round hole and are 220v. Please be sure to bring an adaptor to be able to use the plugs. We recommend that you bring rechargeable batteries as there are not many facilities for properly disposing of batteries.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

ARGENTINA'S "RECIPROCITY FEE":
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.

ONLINE PAYMENT FORM:
https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/

INSTRUCTIONS:
http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/reciprocidad/Online_payment_instructions.pdf

COSTS:
US citizens: 160USD, valid for 10 years
Australian citizens: 100USD, valid for 1 year
Canadian citizens: 75USD for one entry and re-entries from bordering countries within 3 months; OR 150USD for a multiple entry visa valid for 5 years.

This trip crosses the border between Argentina and Chile on the boat cruise from Ushuaia, Argentina arriving to port in Punta Arenas on Day 8 of this tour. The second crossing is the border between Argentina and Chile on Day 10 of this tour. The border name is Paso Dorotea and borders the cities of Puerto Natales and El Calafate.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency in Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS) and in Chile, the Chilean Peso (CLP).

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.

You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Please bear in mind that cost of living in the southern cone countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) is much higher than the rest of South America, and in the case of Argentina, more comparable with Europe. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD $18.

Many airline tickets already include this departure tax as part of the paid fare. Please check your ticket and ask at the airline counter when checking in for your flight.

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Buenos Aires:
Tango Show 270 ARS
Tigre tour 175 ARS
Fiesta Gaucha 175 ARS
Coast train $10 USD
Teatro Colón $5 USD
City tour $20 USD

El Calafate:
Boat at the Perito Moreno 70 ARS
Tour at Estancia 400 ARS
Mountain bike rental $10 USD/hour
Horseback riding $40-60 USD

El Chaltén:
Horseback riding $30-40 USD (half day)
Trip: Laguna del Desierto $40 USD

Punta Arenas:
Tour Fuerte Bulnes $6
Museum entrance $2

Ushuaia:
Mountain Bike 80ARG
Horseback riding $60 USD
Estancía Harberton $100 USD
Ski lift $5 (return)
Entrance museum $7
Bus to Park entrance $20 USD (return)
(Tierra del Fuego Nat’l Park)
Entrance to Spa $40 USD

All prices are per person in local currency except where noted (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Please note: You should be especially careful when wandering about the capital city on your own, particularly at night. Tourists are easy prey for individual pickpockets or groups of two or more people, working as a team, on the streets. Pay particular attention to anyone who “accidentally” spills anything on your clothes or belongings (mustard, etc.), then apologizes and offers to help clean up. They will clean you out instead! Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveller’s cheques and cash you won’t be using immediately within the hotel’s safety deposit box. Most Porteños are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Trip Specific Responsible Travel

This tour travels through the pristine wilderness of Patagonia. It is still possible to drink from the streams and the areas visited are free of litter. We ask that you help to keep it that way. Bring reusable water-bottles, rechargeable batteries and be sure not to leave any litter anywhere that you visit, including cigarette butts and any form or paper. Subsequent visitors to the area will thank you.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.