nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and
general travel to Chile, Peru, Argentina and Antarctica
the Strait of Magellan
Wildlife at the End of the World.
this journey we will discover the southernmost marine wildlife of
the American continent amidst one of the wildest landscapes on Earth,
Tierra del Fuego. This area has a considerable history, and this aspect
adds to our understanding of this magnificent region. Our transport
to this incredible and remote world is the SS Chonos, a 56' motor-sailer
specifically designed to explore these waters, both above and below.
in Punta Arenas, we will cross the Strait of Magellan, enjoying the
company of Peale’s Dolphin and the graceful flight of Black-browed
Albatrosses and Antarctic Giant Petrels. In addition to the beautiful
Peale's Dolphin, marine mammals include Humpback Whale, Southern Elephant
Seal, South America Sea Lion, Southern Fur Seal and the distinctive
black and white Commerson's Dolphin. A special effort is made to see
the rare Striated Caracara, and we visit a colony of Magellanic Penguins,
Rock and King Cormorants. A variety of seabirds and waterfowl will
also be seen as well as Andean Condors.
Albatross and Antarctic Giant Petrel
Elephant Seal, the world's largest pinniped
and Peale’s Dolphins in the Strait of Magellan
calving glaciers of Tierra del Fuego
Day 1: Santiago / Punta Arenas
Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas, and transfer to your hotel. 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.
2: Punta Arenas / Carlos III Island
We start our sailing from Port Famine, a sadly famous Spanish settlement
of the XVIth century, then turn towards the western branch of the
Strait of Magellan at Cape Froward, where there is an imposing cross
dominating the hilly coastline. Here the Strait is narrow and deeper,
the coast is rugged and wooded and it rains almost constantly. During
the afternoon we reach Carlos III Island where we visit a South American
Sea Lion rookery.
3: Carlos III Island / Ballena Sound
Ballena Sound is located in the huge Santa Inés Island. This
great bay is surrounded by the Andes, which at these latitudes extend
from the west to east, from which flow magnificent glaciers, scarcely
visited by humans. It is in these waters and in the Strait where we
hope to watch Humpback Whales. It is a truly moving experience to
see these animals dive, at first continually breathing at the surface
and then starting an extended dive showing their impressive tail.
To maximize our chances we can observe from the coast, aboard the
SS Chonos or by zodiac; all or any may present the best opportunities
to experience these magnificent leviathans.
4: Ballena Sound / Fortescue Bay / Gabriel Channel
Today we sail the southern coast of the Brunswick Peninsula, visiting
the historic Fortescue Bay. During 1599, a Dutch expedition led by
Simon de Cordes entered the Strait of Magellan, in an enterprising
and distressing journey, during which starvation, scurvy, bad weather
and fights with local Indians caused the loss of more than a hundred
sailors. It was at Fortescue Bay they spent the winter while awaiting
better conditions, which would allow them to leave for the Pacific
Ocean. We will also study the history of some of the numerous wrecks
of this area whilst sailing the scenic and narrow Gabriel Channel,
towards the heart of Tierra del Fuego.
5: Marinelli Glacier, Ainsworth Bay
The Southern Elephant Seal is the world’s largest pinniped and
also one of the best divers, capable of reaching depths of more than
3,000 feet deep. Ainsworth Bay is possibly the only place in Chile
where they gather during the long moulting period. The landscape is
magnificent and comprises sandy beaches, dense and pristine forests,
the impressive Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Range. In addition
to the Elephant Seals we will look for Kelp Goose, Oystercatcher,
Caracara and the colorful Serra Finches. Here we also expect to see
the huge Andean Condor as it sails the updrafts of the Andean cliffs.
6: Ainsworth Bay / Tucker Isles
Today we start our trip back, first visiting the fascinating Tucker
Isles. These are covered by trees and tussock grass and are the ideal
breeding habitat for two species of cormorants - rock and King, and
the Magellanic Penguin. We also hope to find one of the world’s
rarest birds of prey, the Striated Caracara. We should also see the
slim Southern Fur Seal and Peale’s Dolphin.
7: Punta Arenas
Today we return to Punta Arenas, where depending on your forward itinerary
and/or flights, either overnight in Punta Arenas or fly to Santiago
8: Punta Arenas or Santiago
Transfer today to your next flight, or continue your stay in Chile.
is included: all guiding, flights Santiago-Punta Arenas-Santaigo,
airport transfers in Santiago and Punta Arenas, ground transportation,
cabin charge, 7 nights accommodation including 5 nights aboard SS
Chonos, all meals with the exception of dinner Day 7, from dinner
Day 1 to breakfast Day 8, service charges, port fees, entrance fees,
and local guide services. Tipping on the Chonos, at restaurants and
for porters is also included. This is a very inclusive tour.
is not included: flights to/from Chile, entrance tax to Chile,
tipping for drivers and local guides, travel insurance, private excursions,
à la carte dishes, snacks, drinks, laundry, telephone calls
and anything else of a purely personal nature.
tours depart with a minimum of two guests, and operate from September
$TBA per person based on double occupancy.
call for current international airfares to Chile - there can be distinct
price advantages when we combine US domestic, international and internal
Chilean air using LAN, the national carrier of Chile and one of the
world's premier airlines - a Oneworld Member.
more information call toll free on 1 877 9CHILE9,
or email us