Patagonia self-drive holiday
Includes breakfast every day, all entrance fees and permits, private transfers, tours, and domestic flights.
Description of Patagonia self-drive holiday
This 10-day trip allows you to explore the highlights of the breathtaking Patagonian region of Chile and Argentina, with car hire included so you can travel independently at your own pace. Includes accommodation in superb locally-owned hotels; private airport transfer upon arrival; car hire throughout with maps & insurance; and 24-hour assistance throughout your holiday.
Your holiday will begin in the sophisticated capital of Santiago, where you'll be taken to your hotel by your own private driver. We'll then fly you into the heart of Patagonia, to Punta Arenas, where you'll be collecting your hire car. From here, you can make your way into Torres del Paine National Park, via the lovely town of Puerto Natales. After some time to enjoy the park and perhaps do a couple of hikes, you'll cross the border into Argentina to continue your journey in this area of Patagonia. Your destination will be El Calafate, which is a great base from which to visit the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier. You can also visit the the Mount Fitz Roy range while you're here if you like. Your holiday will end when you drive back to Punta Arenas to return your car, and then catch your flight back up to Santiago.
This is a completely tailor-made holiday which can be customised or amended in any way to suit your requirements and budget. No fixed departure dates or minimum numbers, and we can include private services throughout if desired. Can begin and end on any date to suit you.
. 9 nights accommodation
. Breakfast every day
. Private airport transfers
. Hertz car hire
. Domestic flights
. Meals not specified
. Travel insurance
. International flights* & airport taxes
*We can also compare and book international flights from any destination on dates to suit you.
1 Reviews of Patagonia self-drive holiday
Reviewed on 25 Jan 2020 by Neo Chian
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
The gorgeous scenery. Hiking opportunities El Clalten were good.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
The operator was prompt and responsive to our needs. Was satisfied with DAN and his proactiveness.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Our tours would have benefited the local businesses. Also glad the national parks and local businesses took steps to minimise environmental impact.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Overall we’re happy with the tour booked.
PlanetIn order to ensure we protect the environment and minimise our ecological footprint we have a recycling system in our UK office and use recycled ink cartridges. We also minimise our waste by limiting the number of holiday brochures we print. Instead, we refer customers to our online resources and send most of our holiday information via email.
We always recommend overland travel using local transportation as opposed to short domestic flights where possible, however due to the vast distances covered during this trip flying is unavoidable. To put it into perspective the journey from Santiago to Punta Arenas is over 3,000km. The rest of the trip involves travelling by hire car as opposed to flying.
Many of the accommodation options for this itinerary are locating in or near a national park, with a focus on sustainability. One example of this is the Las Torres hotel, in Torres del Paine, which has its own vegetable garden to cut down on imported produce. In all of our trips we include national park entrance fees in all of our holidays. This money goes directly towards protecting and sustaining the relevant parks for future generations.
One of the hotels we work closely with in Santiago is the Hotel Carmenere, which is the first eco hotel in the city. It uses solar panels, which not only power the hotel but also supply energy for the national grid. Their 'food to fork' programme ensures the ingredients used in their kitchen are sourced sustainable from local farms. They also have a herb and vegetable garden, which guests can visit and learn more about.
Other hotels worth noting are:
. The IF Patagonia in Puerto Natales, which use solar power and make use of natural light to save further on energy.
.The Cabanas del Paine, which is located in the national park and strives to have as minimal impact on the surrounding countryside as possible.
We provide guests with pre-departure information about how to respect this delicate environment. A hire car gives our customers the flexibility to travel when and where they want, but it's important to note that we don't condone driving off road or ignoring restricted access signs.
PeopleIn order to ensure we have a positive impact on local economies and provide socially responsible holidays we only use local suppliers, which helps keep the money generated through tourism within local communities through employment of local guides and drivers.
We, where possible, use hotels with interesting historical significance, such as the Aubrey Hotel in Santiago, which is an old 1920's manor house built by a well-known architect of the time. The hotel's decor reflects the era and aims to tell the history of this area of the city.
We always recommend locally-owned restaurants and hotels where possible, aiming to support local communities and give tourists the opportunity to ‘travel like a local’. We also provide customers with a list of recommended restaurants tailor-made to their destination and dietary requirements but with a focus on family-run restaurants. On this trip we particularly recommend El Cormoran de las Rocas in Puerto Natales, which serves fantastic fresh seafood, straight from the town's harbour that morning.
We can offer a range of cultural activities for those who are interested, which are aimed at supporting local economies and preserving local cultures. An example of this is a trip to family-owned gaucho ranches in Argentina.
We are a member of Sustainable Travel International, a leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting awareness, appreciation and respect for local people and the environment through education and outreach programmes.