Patagonia highlights holiday
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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PlanetAccommodation 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.
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.
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.
PeopleLocal 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.