South American Natural Adventures

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

 

CUSTOM ITINERARY FOR

Reah, Keith, Jessica & Kyle Kittelberger
with Adam Kent

Southern Chile with Torres del Paine National Park
April 8 – April 16, 200
5

Andean Condor Torres del Paine National Park Chile


Day 1 – Friday, April 8: Raleigh / Miami / In Flight
Fly from to Raleigh/Durham Airport on LanChile flight LA5581 (operated by American Airlines) at 7.42pm, arriving in Miami at 9.36pm, where you will meet up with Adam. You can checLAN logok your bags in RDU all the way through to Punta Arenas, Chile. In Miami take your Lan Chile flight LA503 departing 11pm to Santiago, Chile. Lan Chile is South America’s premier airline, and you are assured of a comfortable journey south. As a One World partner, you can receive frequent flier miles for your Lan Chile flights on a One World partner airline such as American Airlines.          *D

Day 2 – Saturday, April 9: In Flight / Santiago / Punta Arenas
Arrive in Santiago de Chile at 7.25am. Here you will pass through Customs & Immigration, and proceed to the domestic terminal for your flight to the bottom of the world at Punta Arenas. While no Visa is necessary for US citizens to enter Chile, you must pay a Reciprocity Tax of $100 at a booth located to you right just before the immigration channels. This is paid in US dollars. The tax is termed a reciprocity tax as it reflects the visa application fee required by the US for Chilean citizens wishing to enter the US. The payment is good for multiple entries to Chile for ten years or the life of your passport. Your Punta Arenas flight is Lan Chile LA89 departing at 11.15am, which makes two short stops along the way to arrive in Punta Arenas at 4.25pm. Although the day will be long, and you will be tired, by aerial view Torres del Paine national Park Chileflying directly down you avoid the considerable hassle of overnighting in Santiago. There is no convenient hotel near the airport, which is a considerable distance outside the city itself. We have endeavored to get you seats on the port side of the plane heading south, to give views of the Andes, but seat allocation may change prior to your arrival. We suggest you check your seat assignment as early as possible in Santiago to ensure preferred seats. There are not many facilities in the domestic terminal, and the cafeteria area of the international terminal is the best place to spend your time in transit. It is only a short walk, to the left as you exit International, to the domestic terminal; you will not need a vehicle to get there.

A tip prior to your arrival in Punta Arenas. Although the weather will most likely be warm and sunny in Santiago, and even reasonable in Puerto Montt (where you briefly stop), it will be different in Punta Arenas. The airport is particularly exposed, and usually very windy. On the plane, you can usually tell the locals from the visitors, and when you are about 15 minutes prior to arrival at Punta Arenas. Locals get out of their seats, take coats and jackets from the overheads, and put them on. There are no air gates at Punta Arenas, and when you emerge from the warm plane the wind often hits hard and cold. Don’t wear any hats or hold anything easily blown about (this also apples to Puerto Montt), and hang onto the railing. Don’t worry too much; once away from the airport the winds will usually abate noticeably.

On arrival in Punta Arenas you will be met and transferred to your comfortable hotel, Los Navegantes. We have not included dinner tonight, as after your long period of travel you may not be ready for a late emal, and may prefer to retire early. However, there is an excellent a la carte restaurant in the hotel.           *B,*M

Day 3– Sunday, April 10: Punta Arenas / Torres del Paine National Park
road to Torres del Paine national Park Chile This morning we head north to Torres del Paine National Park. In addition to being Chile’s greatest National Park, and one of the most beautiful in the world, Torres del Paine is also a World Biosphere Reserve. The impressive mountguanacos Patagonia Chileains, glaciers, forests, wetlands, and lakes of incredible colors, combined with the rich diversity of birds and mammals, give this park a unique character. The reaches of the park also enable us to appreciate the size of the Southern Patagonian Ice Sheet that covers much of the southern Andes in both Chile and Argentina. On the way to the park, Hosteria las Torres Torrs del Paine National Park Chilewe will witness how the strong southerly winds shape the Patagonian steppes; we will try to find Guanacos, Southern Grey foxes, and Patagonian skunks while enjoying our first contact with Southern Beech (Nothofagus) forests. We will visit Milodon Cave, an outstanding natural formation that sheltered a great array of Pleistocene mammal species about grey fox Torres del Paine Chile12,000 years ago, and was the aim of Bruce Chatwin’s quest in his book In Patagonia. In the nearby bushes we may see a Fire-eyed Diucon proclaiming its territory. While visiting the glaciers and valleys we’ll hear about the geological origins of the dramatic backdrop of Torres del Paine, one of the finest natural wonders of Patagonia. Our accommodation for the next three nights is Hosteria las Torres, ideally situated at the base of the Towers, for which the park is named.                 B,L

Day 4– Monday April 11: Torres Del Paine National Parkguanaco Chile
Magellanic Woodpecker Chile During our stay in Torres del Paine we have excellent opportunities for photography during our natural history excursions, with sightings of guanacos, foxes, and rheas. Soaring Andean Condors are usually seen as we approach the mountains, and during our stay in the park. Black-chested Buzzard-Eagles and Cinereous Harrier may both be seen cruising alongside the roads. Our activities each day vary according to weather, our guide’s knowledge, and our own inclinations; we will be able to choose from a selection of activities ranging from hikes of all grades, horseback riding, excursions to nearby lakes, and much more.Lake Pehoe Torres del Paine National Park Chile

Lago Grey Torres del Paine ChileToday we visit Grey Lake, at the far end of the park, whose heading glacier gives us a view of part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the third largest in the world after Antarctica and Greenland. On this outing we have wonderful perspectives of this vast park, and the numerous lakes that occur here. We’ll see the largesdining room Hostteria las Torres Torres del Paine National Parkt waterfall – but still small - in the park, and the beautiful Lake Pehoe, subject of many photos. Along the way we’ll be looking for the birds that make the plains their home, and waterfowl on the lakes. We return to the Hosteria for dinner, always a treat for the senses. Most food used by the hotel's kitchen is raised or grown in the Hosteria's own farm. And, this being Chile, an excellent selection of quality wines is available.                      B,L,D#

 

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