For the ultimate whirlwind tour of everything that Patagonia has to offer, look no further. From gleaming cities to the very tip of the South American continent, this 24-day takes you to two of the most iconic countries in the Southern Hemisphere: Argentina and Chile. If you thought South America was mostly tropical and warm, time to think again – prepare for some ‘icier’ surprises. Since much of the tour will be undertaken along the spine of the Andes Mountains, the assortment of lakes and glaciers you'll encounter will make you feel like you have re-entered an ice age!Starting in Santiago, you'd better not get too accustomed to city living, as soon you will embark on a wilder expedition – journey to volcanos and hot springs, explore glaciers and waterfalls and even discover… a little patch of Switzerland? With different wildlife at each stop, and plenty of cultural experiences to be had, this tour aims to cater for all tastes. Capping it all off, you will finish your epic journey in the lively Argentine capital, Buenos Aires. This tour aims to captivate you from start to finish, from capital to capital – it will be intriguing, exciting and ultimately unforgettable. * Guanaco * Andean Condor* Chilean Flamingo* Pudu* Chilla Fox
Tucan Travel are proud providers of incredible tours that cater for the adventurous souls of the world, whilst keeping one very simple thing in mind: sustainability. Their aim is to make adventure travel sustainable for the long term. To achieve this, Tucan Travel have implemented measures that respect the delicate ecosystems, wildlife and natural habitats that they are exploring, following strict rules to minimise the effects of tourists' presence. They have developed waste management solutions to help recycle, repair and reuse materials, and have also introduced a carbon offset scheme that encourages the use of public transport wherever possible, further helping to minimise their carbon footprint. Many of Tucan Travel’s tours include opportunities to view local wildlife in national parks or at dedicated conservation centres. Animal welfare is big focus for Tucan Travel who even have their own policy which includes only working with suppliers who meet their animal welfare standards, and offering wildlife encounters only insofar as they directly benefit that species. With so many sustainability initiatives and more, such as contribution to local community schemes, supporting the work of World Land Trust and LATA in Latin America, Tucan Travel are truly committed to eco-tourism and their long term target of sustainable tourism.
Arrival day: Once you have landed in Santiago, your plans for the opening day of the tour are entirely up to you. In this famous city, you will be spoilt for choice: museums, cafes, restaurants and shopping – not a bad start. If none of that appeals to you, then just enjoy the views - they are certainly beautiful enough to keep you entertained!
Pucon: Your city break is over and you will fly to the Lake District (no, not Cumbria). The word that best describes this leg of the tour is ‘picturesque’. Pucon is based in the shadow of a volcano on the edge of Lake Villarrica, perfect for postcards! The activities on offer aim to get your heart pumping, with water sports and mountain biking, to name but a few. With trips to visit stupendous waterfalls and the chance to trek up the side of the volcano, the tour definitely begins in exhilarating fashion.
Bariloche: Switzerland is closer than you think as you explore this mesmerising town, which is unlike anything you would expect to find in South America. Here again, there is the chance to try outdoor activities such as mountain biking and horse-riding. If you want to go at a slower pace, take in the scenery via a trip up the cable cars - cameras at the ready!
Futaleufu: By land or by lake, this leg of the journey continues the trend of unbelievable views and adventurous activities. Whether you want to go rafting down the river or give kayaking a go, this area is known for its water-based excursions. If you prefer to stay dry, you can explore the various trails that run through the nearby national park (highly recommended if you want to spot some local wildlife).
Parque Queulat: From lakeside living to evergreens and glaciers, this part of the trip is one for the wildlife lovers. With the chance to spot the world’s smallest deer, you will need to keep on your toes and keep an eye out. From hiking through the national park to relaxing in the hot springs, you can enjoy your time here at whatever pace you want.
Coyhaique: Today you will get to experience the unspoilt beauty of the landscape surrounding the area, as well as enjoy more hiking and canoeing opportunities. For the shopaholics, there is a local craft fair for you to browse through – after all, a bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone!
Travel day: You will spend most of the day travelling to the town of Perito Moreno where you will stay overnight before further onward travel.
Los Glaciares: Yet more travelling is in store before you reach your destination of El Chaltén. On the way, you will be treated to a visit to Cuevos De Los Manos ('the cave of painted hands'), to view the incredible artwork that has stood the same for thousands of years. Your next stop will be Los Glaciares National Park, with further opportunities to hike through pristine wilderness and take in the unrivalled beauty that this area has to offer.
Perito Moreno: Continue to one of the most astonishing natural features on the entire continent: the Perito Moreno glacier. You will be based in the town of El Calafate, an area with yet more incredible natural beauty. This spectacular natural sculpture is miles wide and constantly expanding, and you will get the chance to navigate through the various paths and trails that surround the glacier.
Puerto Natales: Another stop-off day on your tour as you stay one night in this port town on the southern coast of Chile.
Camping days: Time to get out those tents and sleeping bags, say ‘goodbye’ to the hotels, and say ‘hello’ to the wilderness. Your base camp is situated just on the outskirts of the Torres Del Paine National Park, an expansive protected area with snow covered mountains, glaciers and a myriad of wild creatures to view and enjoy. With hiking trails for walkers of all abilities, trekking through this national park will provide you with some of the most beautiful scenery yet in this tour, and that’s saying something!
Return to El Calafate: You will travel back to El Calafate, home of the Perito Moreno glacier, for one night.
Tiera Del Fuego: You have made it all this way and finally you have reached Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world (that’s one to tell the grandkids!). Tiera Del Fuego awaits; this wilderness has plenty of surreal natural features and an abundance of wildlife to keep you more than occupied. With mountains, forests, lakes and rivers, you will truly feel in amongst nature. You might be at the ‘end of the world’ but you are not quite finished on this tour…
Buenos Aires: After days of trekking through mountains and experiencing true wilderness, you will fly all the way from the tip of Chile to the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. With fantastic restaurants, exceptional nightlife and plenty of markets and shops to explore, this part of the journey is unlike anything you will have experienced over the last couple of weeks. What a way to bring an unforgettable tour to an end!
Departure day: Your adventure is over, so you will be taken to the airport to commence your travel home or onward travel plans.