South American Natural Adventures

nature tours & travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Chile, Peru, Argentina and Antarctica

In Patagonia
A Naturalist's Journey

Torres del Paine National Park Chile

In Brief

This tour offers an opportunity to discover mythical Patagonia and its natural wonders. During this trip we shall visit a truly wonderful biosphere reserve: the Torres del Paine National Park. This park comprises a fascinating diversity of habitats and wildlife, from windswept steppes, shrubs and pristine sub-Antarctic Nothofagus Almirantenieto torres del Paine National Park Chileforests Chilean flamingo Patagonia Chileto lakes, glaciers and impressive granite mountains, such as the Torres del Paine pinnacles. Guanacos, condors, foxes and flamingoes are just a few examples of the quality of the wildlife of this national park. This land is also the domain of a solitary hunter, the Puma. Much of the Southern Andes is dominated by the huge Patagonian ice sheet. Sailing the freezing waters of the inlet of Ultima Esperanza allows exceptional views of the faces of the impressive Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers. Learn about the first Patagonians and about the different tribes who lived in this region of windy plains, icy fjords and intricate channels. In the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel we study the routes followed by Darwin and many other sailors and explorers. Along the way visit to breeding colonies of penguins and sea lions.

Join us on this comprehensive 11-day natural history program, In Patagonia.

Trip Highlights

• A comprehensive exploration of Torres del Paine National Park.
• Visits to the Mylodon Cave, and to Magdalena Island, home to over 100,000 Magellanic Penguins.
Andean Condor Torres del Paine National Park Chile A visit to Omora Ethno-Botanical Park, a fascinating initiative that blends science and conservation in the Beagle Channel.
• Views of Andean Condors and Guanacos, Chilean Flamingoes, and Southern Sea Lions.
• A study of the rich cultural history and the history of exploration.
• Sailing trips in the Strait of Magellan, Ultima Esperanza Inlet and the Beagle Channel.
• Remarkable forest-dwelling birds such the Magellanic Woodpecker, Austral Parakeet and Chilean Hawk.
• Flora that will include three species of Nothofagus Beech, the southernmost forests of the world.


Day 1: Santiago / Punta Arenas
Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas, and transfer to our hotel, the conveniently located Los Navegantes. Depending on your flight there may be time to look around this small city. The cemetery holds considerable interest, and all travelers should visit the Plaza de Armas, where legend has it if you kiss (or rub) the foot of the Indian on the statue of Magellan, you will return to Patagonia. There are several excellent restaurants close to the hotel, in addition to the hotel's own, so the choice for dinner is open.           (*M)

Day 2 - Punta Arenas / Magdalena Island / Punta Arenas
Our exploration of "the Uttermost Ends of the Earth" begins with a visit to Port Famine. Magellanic Penguin Isla Magdalena ChileFounded in 1580, this was the first settlement on the Straits of Magellan and was founded by the Spanish Explorer Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa. Unhappily, the extreme nature of the climate proved incompatible with hpenguin colony Isle Magdalena Chileuman habitation, and the entire population had perished in a short period of time. 250 years later, a British scientific expedition, aboard the Beagle and the Adventure, spent several months undertaking extensive exploratory journeys in the Patagonian Fjords. It was here that Darwin conducted several field trips. During the afternoon sail the Straits of Magellan for a couple of hours to visit Magdalena Island to visit a Magellanic Penguin rookery. On Magdalena we witness one of nature’s truly great spectacles as thousands of birds hasten to complete their breeding cycle during the brief months of summer.          (B,L,D)

Day 3 - Punta Arenas / Torres del Paine National Park
This morning depart for Torres del Paine National Park, a World Bisophere Reserve. Along the way we visit the Mpatagon ia palin with torres del paineylodon Cave, an outstanding natural formation that sheltered a large number of Pleistocene mammal species about 12,000 years ago, and made famous as the final quest in Bruce Chatwin's boophotograhoing guanacos Torres del Paine Patagonia Chilek, In Patagonia. The drive travels from the Chilean coast through the Patagonian plains. This journey alone is the equal of many “day trips” in other regions, but is just an introduction to our week in Patagonia. Lunch is taken along the way. As we approach the park the dramatic landscape rises above the plain, the peaks often breaking from swirling cloud. The first wildlife may be seen along the way, iHosteria las Torresncluding rheas and geese; occasional foxes may also be seen. Once in the Park we are often greeted by small groups of guanacos grazing by the side of the road. A short while later we arrive at our accommodation, Hosteria Las Torres, situated at the base of the peaks that give the park its name. A welcome reception awaits, and we are briefed of our next day’s activities. After a little time to enjoy the hotel’s surroundings, dinner is take in the dining room, with its stunning views of Almirante Nieto.        (B,L D)

Days 4 and 5 - Torres del Paine National Park
During our stay in the Park weguanaco Patagonia Chile will travel to Lago Grey, one of its highlight Lago Grey Torres del Paine National Park Chilefeatures. Along the road we will view towering mountains, glaciers, wetlands, steppes and forests, and learn of the geological origins of this dramatic backdrop of Torres del Paine, one of the finest natural wonders of Patagonia. As we move around the park, we observe confiding herds of guanaco, the most southerly distributed of any camelid. A walk from our hotel to the base of the Torres del Paine mountains takes us through some of the most stunning scenery imaginable. After hiking through a terminal moraine we reach a location that commands the most incredible views of the towering peaks of Las Torres, the pinnacles from which the park takes its name.       (B,L,D)

Day 6 - Laguna Azul / Sierra Baguales / Puerto Natales
During the morning we will continue our exploration in different arethe towers las torres Torres del Paine National Park Chileas of the park. A sensational zorro - foxvista from Laguna Azul will provide an excellent opportunity to photograph the beautiful guanacos, foxes, rheas, soaring Andean condors and black-chested buzzard eagles against the stunning backdrop of the colossal granite “towers”. In the afternoon we will continue to Sierra Baguales, a dramatic montane habitat beyond the boundaries of the park to discover its peculiar assemblage of birds, its wealth of flowering plants and its interesting fossil deposits.  We arrive tonight at our hotel, the Martin Gusinde, in Puerto Natales.        (B,L,D)

Day 7 - Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers
Today we explore the Ultima Esperanza fjord by boat. The steep coastal cliffs offer good Serrano Glacier Patagonia Chilenesting habitats for king cormorants and our voyage through these icy waters may provide an opportunity to view the rare Chilean dolphin, an endemic Chilean cetacean that inhabits these ocean inlets. After a few hours of sailing in this section of the marine labyrinth known as the Chilean Fjords we will arrive at the magnificent glaciers of Balmaceda and Serrano. We will land here and explore some of the dense temperate rain forest found here with its unique flora.  Tonight we return to Puerto Natales.        (B,L,D)

Day 8 - Punta Arenas / Puerto Williams
Yagan with making basket Cape Horn Chile An early start this morning to return to Punta Arenas. On arrival we fly to Puerto Williams, the southernmost city in the world, with a population of only 2000. Here we have the opportunity to visit Ukika Village, where we can meet the last descendants of the original Cape Horn inhabitants: the Yamanas. The greatest concentration of archaeological sites in the world is to be found here on Isla Navarino. We will also visit Omora Park, a conservation and education initiative at the end of the world.  We overnight for the next two nights at the newly built Hotel Lakutaia.   (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Isla NavarinoMagellanic Woodpecker Tierra del Fuego Chile
southern beech forest Tierra del Fuego Patagonia Chile Navarino Island is the southernmost location of the sub-Antarctic Nothofagus forests,a and this area of Cape Horn and the Beagle Channel has recently been designated one of the 37 most pristine eco-regions in the world.  We spend much of the day discovering these forests, and their plants and wildlife, including a searchfor the impressive Magellanic Woodpecker.       (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Navarino Island
This morning we continue to explore the uttermost ends of the earth.  Depending on the day, at lunchtime or late afternoon we fly back to Punta Arenas, where we either transfer to our hotel, or enjoy a tour to some of Punta Arena's areas of interest.  (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Punta Arenas
After breakfast, or at the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Santiago.       (B,*M)

B=Breakfast; L=Lunch; Dinner=Dinner; M = Meal; * = in flight

Departs Tuesday and Thursday, September through March.

Cost: Please Call. Tours are guaranteed to depart with a minimum of 2 participants. A Single Supplement will be added if single accommodations are requested or required.

Included: return flights Santiago/Punta Arenas (see note below regarding these flights) and Punta Arenas/Puerto Williams, all meals from breakfast on Day 2 to Breakfast on Day 11 (plus in-flight meals), 3 and 4-star accommodations throughout, all ground transportation, airport transfers in Punta Arenas, boat trips to Magdalena Island and Balmaceda/Serrano Glaciers, park entrance fees, and guide services provided by a Fantastico Sur naturalist tour leader.

Not Included: international flights to or accommodation in Santiago (these can be arranged through us; see note below regarding international air and internal flights) meals not included above, tips, travel insurance, passport fees, Chilean Reciprocity tax, excess baggage charges, private excursions, à la carte dishes, snacks, drinks, laundry, telephone calls and anything else of a purely personal nature.

Days before and/or after in Santiago, international air to Santiago and additional tours and travel can be added to your journey to Patagonia; our rates for all these are extremely competitive. Please us call tollfree - 1 877 285 1170 - or email for more information or to discuss your plans.

**Important information regarding International Flights, Internal Air & Tour Pricing**
The tour Price includes internal Chilean flights on LAN, Chile's national airline. These flights are based on fares dependent on your international flight to Chile also being LAN. If you use another carrier, the tour price may increase due to an increase in these fares. We can arrange your international air to Chile at very competitive prices which will attract these discount internal air fares; please contact us for information prior to purchasing your ticket. If the tour is booked within 90 days of departure the cost for the internal flights may also increase, increasing the tour price.



For more information call toll free on 1 877 9CHILE9, or email us