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Patagonia Wildlife Safari

From: $842900
7 days • Level 1 (Details)Patagonia Wildlife Safari
Patagonia is a vast and diverse region, with scenery ranging from dramatic mountain formations and smoky volcanoes to flat barren pampa and expansive ice fields. At the far south of the Andes is the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most impressive sights in the Southern Hemisphere and home to the Patagonia Wildlife Safari and EcoCamp. The dramatic mountain formations are crowde d with glaciers, lakes, fjords, ancient forests and wildlife such as guanacos, flamingos, condors, ñandus and huemules. There's also some of the most magnificent trekking and nature in the world. With three levels of activities to choose from - easy, active or mountain bike - the Patagonia Wildlife Safari adventure is outdoor recreation at its best!

We've listed the full details for the 7-day Patagonia Wildlife Safari, but this trip may be booked as a 4-, 5- or 6-day trip as well.
read more Patagonia is a vast and diverse region, with scenery ranging from dramatic mountain formations and smoky volcanoes to flat barren pampa and expansive ice fields. At the far south of the Andes is the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most impressive sights in the Southern Hemisphere and home to the Patagonia Wildlife Safari and EcoCamp. The dramatic mountain formations are crowded with glaciers, lakes, fjords, ancient forests and wildlife such as guanacos, flamingos, condors, ñandus and huemules. There's also some of the most magnificent trekking and nature in the world. With three levels of activities to choose from - easy, active or mountain bike - the Patagonia Wildlife Safari adventure is outdoor recreation at its best!

We've listed the full details for the 7-day Patagonia Wildlife Safari, but this trip may be booked as a 4-, 5- or 6-day trip as well.
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Day 1 - Torres del Paine

Days 2 - 6 - Daily Excursions - Easy, Active or Mountain Bike

Day 7 - Leaving Torres del Paine


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Day 1 - Torres del Paine

The Patagonia Wildlife Safari starts in Punta Arenas early morning, either at your hotel or at the airport. You'll be picked up from Punta Arenas and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, for briefing and your first night's stay. On the way, make stops at: Puerto Natales - a small but lively town on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza, “Last Hope Sound,” to enjoy a hearty lunch with delicious local food; and Cueva de Milodon - a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890s. The journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes. The day ends with your overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer, the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
EcoCamp
MEALS:
lunch and dinner

Days 2 - 6 - Daily Excursions - Easy, Active or Mountain Bike

During your Patagonia Wildlife Safari you can choose between easy, active and mountain bike excursions - depending on your mood, weather conditions and travel companions' preferences. Detailed below are the activities, and which days they are available on. Each day ends back at EcoCamp for dinner and relaxation:

Fauna Trail, Laguna Azul & Patagonian BBQ (EASY) - MON & THU
Drive to the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake where the Fauna Trail begins. See park fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos, ostrich-like ñandús and maybe the occasional puma print! Pass by Goic lagoon on a relaxed walk and then drive to Laguna Azul. En route stop at the impressive Paine waterfall, then you’re treated to a classic Patagonian barbecue, prepared by a local chef, at Laguna Azul. There’s time to explore the surroundings and walk to the nearby panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres.

Trek Towers Base (ACTIVE) - MON & THU
Walk from Ecocamp towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. The big challenge comes on the climb up the steep moraine, leading toward one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch?

Cycling to Laguna Azul + Patagonian BBQ (BIKE) - MON & THU
Drive to Estancia Laguna Amarga to hop on mountain bikes toward Laguna Azul campsite, approx 20 km to the northeast. Cycle past an array of fauna on the Patagonian plains, heading north past the cascading Paine waterfall. Upon arrival at Laguna Azul you’re treated to a classic Patagonian barbecue, prepared by a local chef. There’s time to explore the surroundings and walk to the nearby panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres. The cycle ride back to EcoCamp is optional; you may opt to travel back in the support van.

Drive & Walk Western Lakes & Boat across Grey Glacier (EASY) or Hike the Pingo Trail (ACTIVE) - TUE & FRI
Drive across the Park, admiring the view of snowy Paine Grande and Los Cuernos with its black, granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of Lake Pehoe, see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls and enjoy a spectacular lookout point. Later, back at Lake Pehoe, drive south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey. Enjoy a tasty box-lunch by the lake before embarking on one of two excursions: 1) EASY - A boat ride across the icy waters to the towering blue walls of Glacier Grey. 2) ACTIVE - A hike to view the Massif's west face on the beautiful Pingo Trail through a fairytale Magellan forest, where huge rock formations and the strong Patagonian wind show you just how wild Patagonia is! **During Shoulder Season (September, October and April) the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled; if this is the case, an alternative excursion in the Park will be planned.

Hike Lagoon Inge & Cuernos Pass (EASY) - WED & SAT
Head to Laguna Inge, located 4km southwest of EcoCamp Patagonia on Los Cuernos Trail just above Nordenskjold lake. There is a wonderful viewpoint of rainwater and glacial water side by side. Admire the park’s flora and fauna, its strong wind and curious, changable weather. Along the trail enjoy magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif. Depending on the group’s pace you might reach the Cuernos refuge, today's trekking goal, before starting the return walk to EcoCamp.

Navigate Pehoe Lake & Hike French Valley (ACTIVE) - WED & SAT
Drive toward Pudeto dock, on the shores of Pehoe Lake. Board the catamaran, then disembark to begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep you go depends on the group's rhythm. An active walk leads to the hanging bridge over the French River, at the foot of the Massif's southeastern face. Continue to the valley's upper section to admire the area's entire group of geological formations, then enjoy a picnic rest. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available. Descend and return via catamaran. **The excursion to French Valley varies by season: Sept, Oct and April, the navigation will be replaced by another activity; Nov 1-15 and Mar 16-31 the hike is limited.

Lakeshore Hike & Botanical Safari (EASY) - SUN
After breakfast set off on foot toward Nordenskjold lake for wonderful views of the park’s vegetation and flora. At the lakeshore enjoy the beautiful blue water and views of the central Paine massif while you feast on a picnic. After lunch head back to EcoCamp and the botanical safari trail, a mini educational trail. A guide will accompany you on this micro exploration to give more extensive flora information. Safari explorers then have time to rest in their domes or EcoCamp’s community domes before the evening aperitif.

Hike to Seron (ACTIVE) - SUN
The trek to Puesto Seron means doing the first part of the Paine circuit, bordering the remote eastern side of the Massif. After approx. 4 hours of trekking reach Camp Seron for a box lunch.

Cycling Tour to Seron (BIKE) - SUN
Mountain bike over undulating terrain leading through beautiful Lenga forests, with views of Laguna Azul and Sierra Masle. After an approximate 15 km cycle, reach Seron campsite and enjoy a box lunch.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
EcoCamp
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7 - Leaving Torres del Paine

Board an early-morning vehicle, sit back, relax and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas on time to catch the evening flight to Santiago. Those heading to Argentina board an earlier transfer heading to the border.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
n/a
MEALS:
breakfast and lunch

Alternative Itinerary

The Patagonia Wildlife Safari may also be booked as a 4-, 5- or 6-day trip. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for more details.

Itinerary Notes

We may occasionally alter itineraries slightly for safety, or to take advantage of weather, wildlife and unplanned discoveries. The ability to be spontaneous makes this style of adventure travel unique.

Arrival & Departure

Plan flights to arrive to Punta Arenas before 3:00 pm on day 1, and to depart from Punta Arenas after 3:00 pm on the final day.

Activities

Optional activities not included in the rate include: Hostería Las Torres Spa & Massage Center and half-day horseback riding or ride per hour, both just a 10-minute walk from EcoCamp. Included activities have a typical group size of 8-12 travelers, plus guiding staff. Maximum is 14 clients. Guide to passenger ratio: 1:6
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Departs Any Day:
Trips run daily, September through April. Prices listed are per person, for double occupancy, in Chilean pesos.

$1204500 - Standard Dome - High Season

High season rates (in Chilean pesos) apply for November 2013-March 2014 departures. A $20,000 per day holiday supplement applies for Dec 16-Jan 15 departures. Cozy and snug, 108 square foot Standard Domes are the perfect home to return to after a day's trek and a dinner shared with group and guide. Standard domes have shared bathrooms which are large, comfortable and gender divided.

$842900 - Standard Dome - Low Season

Low season rates (in Chilean pesos) apply for September/October 2013 and April 2014 departures. Cozy and snug, 108 square foot Standard Domes are the perfect home to return to after a day's trek and a dinner shared with group and guide. Standard domes have shared bathrooms which are large, comfortable and gender divided.

$1606000 - Suite Dome - High Season

High season rates (in Chilean pesos) apply for November 2013-March 2014 departures. A $20,000 per day holiday supplement applies for Dec 16-Jan 15 departures. Each 300 square foot Suite Dome has comfortable king-size or twin beds, a private bathroom with a state-of-the-art composting toilet and a modern low-emission wood stove. Also enjoy an open terrace and an enclosed porch for hanging wet clothing.

$1124800 - Suite Dome - Low Season

Low season rates (in Chilean pesos) apply for September/October 2013 and April 2014 departures. Each 300 square foot Suite Dome has comfortable king-size or twin beds, a private bathroom with a state of the art composting toilet and a modern low-emission wood stove. Also enjoy an open terrace and an enclosed porch for hanging wet clothing.
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Included

Accommodation at EcoCamp’s Suite Domes; Regular bus tickets Calafate/Natales; Meals as indicated; All ground transport as indicated in the itinerary; English-speaking escort guide; Park fees for Cueva del Milodon and Torres del Paine National Park; Boat crossing ticket over Grey Lake and/or Pehoe Lake. * The visit to Milodon Cave on route to EcoCamp is whithout a guide on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays.

Exclusions

Airfare. Insurance (it is mandatory you purchase appropriate insurance for this trip). Voluntary tipping to guides and staff. Soft drinks or snacks not served with the meals included at the EcoCamp or refuges. Bringing US$ in cash for buying extra drinks/snacks or souvenirs in Torres del Paine NP is suggested. Items of personal nature. A $20,000 per person, per day (Chilean peso) peak season supplement applies for Dec 16-Jan 15 departures.

Room Configuration

Prices listed are for double occupancy in Suite Domes and Standard Domes. Suites may also be booked as single, triple or quad occupancy, and Standard Domes may be booked as a single. If you are a solo traveller you will be expected to share a dome with another traveller of the same gender. If there is availability at Ecocamp, most likely in low season, you may be allocated your own dome. EcoCamp follows this sharing policy in order to keep dome numbers to a minimum and preserve the surrounding wilderness as much as possible. Contact AdventureSmith for single, triple and quad rates at EcoCamp, as well as upgrades to Suite Dome Lofts and Superior Domes.

Families & Children

Children 6 to 12 years old sharing a dome with 2 adults receive a 50% discount.

Payment & Cancellation

Prices for the Patagonia Wildlife Safari are in Chilean pesos. For today's exchange rate visit USD to CLP. We will accept payment in U.S. dollars based on the exchange rate the day you make your payment. A 20% nonrefundable deposit is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
30 - 21 days - 40% of total fare
20 - 10 days - 60% of total fare
9 - 0 days - 100% of total fare

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
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Via Australis Patagonia Expedition Cruise

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Stella Australis Patagonia Expedition Cruise

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EcoCamp

EcoCamp

The basic premise on designing the EcoCamp was to maintain the nomadic spirit of the ancient inhabitants that moved along the dismembered coast looking for food and shelter. This people lived in harmony with "Mother Nature" and built their huts out of wood, furs and leathers, all organic materials they found on site.
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Special Offers
• Save on Patagonia Wildlife Safari in Sept, Oct, Nov & Apr
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Trip Reviews

OVERALL: 5 stars ACCOMMODATIONS: 4 stars MEALS: 5 stars

Overall Trip Review

Smooth trip, generally great guides. Patagonia is obviously one of the most beautiful places on earth. The boat trip to accross the glacier lake and up to the glaciers (the second day of our safari) is exciting, reasonably safe, and breathtakingly beautiful. Torre del Paine is almost terrifying in its beauty. The (reasonably) close contact with wildlife/birds is extraordinary.

Crew & Guides Review

Our guides in Santiago (Elisa & driver -- whose name I cannot spell!) were extraordinary. The first day of our safari was beyond our physical abilities, but our guide had assured us that it would not be. Your materials had made the difficulty fairly clear, and we had decided to take the "easy" routes, but there was fairly strong pressure from our guides (and others in our group) to do this "hard" trek on our first day, when we really had no reference point to know how hard "hard" would be. We (now) understand that "trekking" is serious exercise, but that was not explained to us (I think everyone just assumed that we knew what "trekking" means; but for folks over 50, that is a relatively new concept of which many of us are not really aware). Otherwise, the rest of the safari was absolutely fabulous! (We went "easy" after that first day!) Claudio was an outstanding guide on our third day.

Accommodations Review

The Hotel Orly is excellent. EcoCamp is a bit rough (even in the "suites") but that is to be
expected. This would not pull down our rating from excellent. But the service at EcoCamp was only "fair" (i.e., towels not delivered, wood not delivered, issue noted above). The general spirit of strong service is uneven at EcoCamp. Some people have it (young Claudio, for instance). Some people don't, catering more to your younger, more athletic guests.

Meals Review

Plainly, the chef at EcoCamp takes great pride in his or her work.

AdventureSmith Explorations Review

Clothing requirements for EcoCamp could have been clearer due to the stark changes from cold to hot (and vice versa), even within a few hours. Transportation was very smooth.

This was a trip of a lifetime (particularly because we tacked it onto the Cruceros Australis cruise around Cape Horn, which is equally wonderful). But we are being candid about the problems mentioned above simply to offer what we hope is constructive criticism to help you improve a truly wonderful adventure even more for folks like us.

K. & K. Masters - Bainbridge Island, WA