Patagonia highlights holiday

“Drive, fly and hike amongst Patagonia's most notable national parks and provinces, including: Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego. Don't forget your poles!”


Buenos Aires | El Chalten | Los Glaciares National Park | Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp | Perito Moreno Glacier | Torres del Paine National Park | Tierra del Fuego | Ushuaia | Optional activities include a boat trip to Perito Moreno and visiting a penguin colony in Tierra del Fuego |

Description of Patagonia highlights holiday

On this Patagonia highlights holiday you’ll discover the best of this raw natural landscape, from craggy snow-topped mountains to windswept grasslands to vast icy lakes and glimmering glaciers. It’s a landscape in which shy guanacos roam and hardy gauchos tend huge herds of sheep; and visitors from all over the world come to enjoy world class trekking and to experience life in the world’s most southerly city, Ushuaia.

After a day soaking up the big city charms of Buenos Aires, you’ll head for the mountain town of El Chaltén, which sits in Los Glaciares National Park and has incredible views of Mount Fitzroy and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Highlights of this area include the glacial lake of Laguna de los Tres and the mighty Viedma Glacier. Next it’s on to El Calafate, from where you’ll visit Perito Moreno Glacier, the fastest moving glacier on earth, which rises 200ft out of the icy waters of Lago Argentino.

Crossing the border into Chile takes you to one of the world's most beautiful national parks, Torres del Paine. One of the main attractions is the hike up to the base of the Three Towers - dramatic granite formations that tower above a glacial lake. It’s a long and difficult trek, but a beautiful one, passing through forests and steep rocky terrain, with beautiful views across the park. Other highlights of Torres del Paine include Lake Nordenskjold and Lake Pehoe, as well the waterfalls of Salto Grande and Salto Chico.

Next it’s on to Tierra del Fuego National Park, where you’ll catch a glimpse of the most southerly part of the Andes and walk through the varied terrain, flora and fauna. There’s an optional boat ride along the Beagle Channel to see marine wildlife including penguins and sea lions and, of course, a visit to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.

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27 Oct 2019
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Our top tip:
Pack a pillowcase to stuff with clothes for increased comfort levels on long drives. Also, large denomination US dollars will get you the best rate of exchange - don't rely on ATMs for quick cash.
Trip type:
Small group. Maximum group size 16. Minimum age 18.
Activity level:
Moderate/active. 3 days walking up to 7 hours per day.
7 nights en-suite hotel, 3 nights lodge, 2 nights mountain refuge.
Accommodation, transport (including internal flights), listed activities, tour leader throughout.
12 brkfsts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners.
Single travellers welcome, solo room supps available.
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Patagonia highlights holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Accommodation and Meals:
On standard departures you will spend 7 nights in hotels, 3 nights in lodges and 2 nights in mountain refuges. We visit some remote regions within Fitzroy and Torres del Paine and surrounding areas, where businesses are very much reliant on the income which tourism generates. We only use locally owned and run accommodation as a means of supporting local communities and employment levels. Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style with locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and your guide will be able to recommend authentic restaurants and cafes in the area where meals are not provided. Patagonia is known for its traditional ‘asados’ (BBQs) and outstanding wine so why not give them a try.

Local Craft and Culture:
Although this tour is largely nature based, we take advantage of opportunities to explore local culture and support traditional handicraft production. We stop at La Leona- a very typical bar and restaurant in the middle of Patagonia. After a hearty meal of Argentinean meat, fish, pasta and a selection of local wine, clients are also able to purchase handmade souvenirs here. There will be further opportunities to buy textiles, artwork, carvings and leather products from small businesses in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. We would also recommend the museum at Ushuaia in the former prison and can arrange a visit to a tango show in the old quarter of San Telmo.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. We also employ local drivers and use local services wherever possible as this is better for the community. All of our leaders are heavily invested in protecting nature and will give clients a briefing on responsible tourism issues. This helps to maximise our benefits to the community and to reduce our environmental impact. Our guides enforce a strict 'Leave no Trace' policy in National Parks and the entrance fees are included for Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks which goes towards supporting conservation efforts in the area.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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