Trek Patagonia

10 Days from $3,753

START: Santiago

FINISH: Buenos Aires

AGES: 15 - 99

THEME: Walking & Trekking

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

Visit South America and travel to Patagonia - a fascinating region in the far south of Chile and Argentina, rich in natural beauty, dramatic vistas and cosmopolitan cities oozing with passion and culture. Feel the contrast as you trek the W Hike through the Patagonian wilderness and explore the urban metropolis of Santiago. From camping near the end of the earth and witnessing gargantuan glaciers to indulging in the modernity of Buenos Aires, this trip will reward those with a sense of adventure, an appreciation of nature and an interest in diversity.

Start: Santiago

Finish: Buenos Aires

Ages: 15 - 99

Theme: Walking & Trekking

Accommodation: Hotel (5 nights), Camping (with basic facilities - 4 nights)

Destination: Buenos Aires

Highlights

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Discover two very different sides of Chile – the big-city pusle of soulful Santiago and the adventure-fuelled atmosphere of lakeside Puerto Natales
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Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier must be seen to be believed. This massive, blue-hued natural wonder is one of Patagonia's real crown jewels
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Trek past granite pillars, sparkling lakes and gushing waterfalls in Torres del Paine National Park on a four-day camping trip with all your meals taken care of
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Finish in Buenos Aires, Argentina's sensational and sultry capital. Stay on and explore its many corners at your leisure, from the star-studded Recoleta cemetery to the tucked-away milongas (tango halls)

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Santiago

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Chile. You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting tonight at 6pm. Your leader will leave a note at the hotel reception telling you where and when this meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. After the group meeting there is the option of joining the group for dinner. If you arrive early, perhaps get out and explore Santiago. The city centre is quite compact and easy to get around; you can visit Plaza de Armas (Main Square) and its cathedral, “Palacio La Moneda” (government house), Santa Lucia hill. Alternatively, head out to the barrio Bella Vista (the serene 'Paris Quarter') and take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal. If the weather is fine, the latter will give you lovely views over the city and the Andes. Your hotel is centrally located and has a restaurant and bar. Rooms have air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. Notes: If you need to hire a sleeping bag for your upcoming trek, let your leader know at tonight's welcome meeting.

icon check Day 2 : Punta Arenas / Puerto Natales

Today is a travel day, so sit back and enjoy the scenery. You will leave the hotel early in the morning (departure time from the hotel can vary depending on the flight) Fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas (approximately 3–5 hours, depending on the flight connection). From there, take a local bus to Puerto Natales (3 hours, 227 km, nonstop, toilets on board). Seated on the shores of Señoret Channel, Puerto Natales is the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park and a great place to catch up with fellow hikers for a pre- or post-trek meal in one of the many quaint local restaurants.

icon check Day 3 : Torres del Paine National Park/ Grey Glacier

Today we head deep into the mountains! The group will leave the hotel around 07:15am and take a taxi to the bus station. From here a local bus will take you to Torres del Paine National Park. After approximately 2 hours (115km) the first stop will be “Laguna Amarga” (the check in point at the main entrance of the National Park) Here we make a quick stop to register into the National Park. Continue driving for another 40 minutes to the shores of Pehoe Lake. Here you will board a catamaran to cross this lake. The boat journey will take approximately 30 minutes before reaching “Paine Grande” our campsite for the next two nights. As you enter the realm of Chilean Patagonia, you will most likely be greeted by a herd of guanacos. These beautiful camelid (strange animals) provide great photo opportunities (but don't get too close – they're likely to spit at you!). The park is also home to some others impressive mammal species like the Puma, the “Huemul” (local deer ), the red and the grey fox, and birds such as ñandu or choique (rhea), condors, woodpeckers, owls, hooks, sparrows, and the Chilean pink flamingo. The real star of the show, however, is the landscape – glaciers, mountains, forest, lakes and waterfalls. After setting up camp in Paine Grande and enjoying some lunch, you'll hike to the first lookout point: Grey Glacier (approximately 4 to 5 hours, 12 km, Elevation: 290mts).

icon check Day 4 : Torres del Paine National Park / French Valley

Today is a full day trek out to the stunning French Valley (approximately 8-9 hours, 24km, Elevation: 420mts).

icon check Day 5 : Torres del Paine National Park/ Mirador las Torres

Today is another long trekking day, to one of the most spectacular lookout points Mirador las Torres (approximately 8 to 9 hours, 18 kilometres, Elevation: 750mts).

icon check Day 6 : Torres del Paine National Park / Las Torres

Travel from the west side of the National park to the East. Cross the Peohe Lake for the second time by catamaran then continue by local bus to Laguna Amarga. From here, take a mini bus to the next campsite “Las Torres. Afterwards there will be an optional hike to Los Cuernos Lookout trail (approximately 3.5-4 hours hours, 9.5km) return.

icon check Day 7 : El Calafate

Enjoy some breakfast and then board a private van for a long day of travel. Today you will cross the international border from Chile to Argentina. Head to El Calafate city (310km, approximately 5 to 6 hours). This is your gateway to the Glaciers National Park. Being a major hub for adventurers headed for Francisco Pascacio Moreno (Perito Moreno), El Calafate has undergone a lot of development in recent decades, but retains plenty of charm. Located on the shore of the “Argentino” lake, surrounded by the Andes range and right on the Patagonian “step”, this is a beautiful place to spend the next two nights. In the evening, perhaps take the opportunity to try some world-famous Argentinean steak, maybe the local Patagonian spring lamb or the local trout. If you enjoy red wine, “Malbec” is the best Argentinean grape.

icon check Day 8 : El Calafate/Perito Moreno Glacier

Travel by minivan (80 km, approximately 2.5 hours), witnessing some spectacular scenery within the Glaciers National Park. Once you arrive, spend some time walking on the boot walks watching the magnificence of Perito Moreno Glacier from the different angles. Three kilometres wide and 35 kilometres long, it's an incredibly massive icescape. This is one of the few glaciers in the world that is actually in balance rather than melting away. Watch and listen to the crack of the ice as it plunges into the waters below. Interestingly, massive ruptures occur to the glacier every several years as part of cyclical ice bridge formations. In the evening, return to El Calafate and relax for the evening. IMPORTANT NOTE: PERITO MORENO GLACIER - MIN TREK Please note the maximum age limit for this activity is 65. The operator that runs this will not make any exceptions, even with a doctors certificate. Those 65 and older will instead be able to walk along the platforms and balconies surrounding the glacier & take in this magnificent site from a number of angles. Weather depending, your guide may also be able to organise some free time at the north face beach (viewpoint) of the site.

icon check Day 9 : Buenos Aires

Fly to Buenos Aires and enjoy a final night out. Depending on what time you arrive you may have some free time to explore this wonderful city. The main square of the city, Plaza de Mayo, is very close to your hotel; on the east side of the square you will find Casa Rosada, the pink presidential palace where Eva Peron appeared on the balcony in front of adoring fans in the 1940s. The traditional neighborhood of San Telmo is not to far from the hotel too. If you have extra time in Buenos Aires there is a number of places that you could visit, such as: “La Boca Neighborhood”, The “Recoleta” cemetery, Palermo neighborhood, Puerto Madero, Teatro Colon (opera house), Café Tortoni (oldest coffee shop in South America). There is also Museo Evita, dedicated to the life (and gowns) of this famed figure. MALBA is an incredible art gallery showcasing a private collection, including works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, plus great temporary exhibits. Notes: If everything goes to plan, you'll arrive in the early afternoon, but keep in mind that airline schedules in Argentina are known for changing without much notice. This means you could arrive in BA as late as 10 pm tonight

icon check Day 10 : Buenos Aires

Your adventure ends after breakfast this morning. There are no further activities planned, and you are free to depart at any time.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

9 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners
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Transport

Plane, local bus, private vehicle, boat
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Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Camping (with basic facilities - 4 nights)
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Included Activities

  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk

Availabilityicon readmoreicon minus

Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
Nov 24, 2019
Dec 03, 2019
$4,490
Fully Booked
Dec 08, 2019
Dec 17, 2019
$4,490
3 spaces left!
Dec 15, 2019
Dec 24, 2019
$3,552
Available
Dec 22, 2019
Dec 31, 2019
$4,795
Fully Booked
Dec 29, 2019
Jan 07, 2020
$4,795
Fully Booked
Jan 05, 2020
Jan 14, 2020
$4,295
Available
Jan 12, 2020
Jan 21, 2020
$3,753
Available
Jan 19, 2020
Jan 28, 2020
$4,170
Available
Feb 02, 2020
Feb 11, 2020
$4,330
2 spaces left!
Feb 09, 2020
Feb 18, 2020
$4,090
Available
Feb 16, 2020
Feb 25, 2020
$4,090
Available
Mar 01, 2020
Mar 10, 2020
$4,010
Available
Mar 08, 2020
Mar 17, 2020
$4,090
Available
Mar 15, 2020
Mar 24, 2020
$4,090
Available
Apr 12, 2020
Apr 21, 2020
$4,010
Available
Oct 04, 2020
Oct 13, 2020
$4,130
Available
Oct 11, 2020
Oct 20, 2020
$4,130
Available
Oct 18, 2020
Oct 27, 2020
$4,130
Available
Oct 25, 2020
Nov 03, 2020
$4,130
Available
Nov 08, 2020
Nov 17, 2020
$4,130
Available
Nov 15, 2020
Nov 24, 2020
$4,295
Available
Nov 22, 2020
Dec 01, 2020
$4,295
Available
Nov 29, 2020
Dec 08, 2020
$4,295
Available
Dec 06, 2020
Dec 15, 2020
$4,550
Available
Dec 13, 2020
Dec 22, 2020
$4,460
Available
Dec 18, 2020
Dec 27, 2020
$4,460
Available
Dec 20, 2020
Dec 29, 2020
$4,460
Available
Dec 27, 2020
Jan 05, 2021
$4,550
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Hotel Sommelier Express

Agustinas 694, Santiago, Región Metropolitana,

Santiago

CHILE

Phone: +56 (2) 2639 6614

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

CH Recoleta Suites (Cyan Recoleta)

Junín 1743

Recoleta

Buenos Aires

ARGENTINA

Phone: +54 1152369095

icon readmoreicon minusPhysical preparation

We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doing mountain walks or climbing long staircases with a pack is good preparation. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trekking to its fullest.

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

CHANGES 2020: Please note in 2020 this trip will be re-named "Trek Patagonia" 

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED

Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

PERITO MORENO GLACIER - MINI TREK

Please note the maximum age limit for this activity is 65yrs old.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS – SANTIAGO (SCL) AIRPORT

If you have booked a transfer with us and have arrived on an international flight, please ensure you go to Gate 4 regardless of which gate you exit from. Our drivers will be waiting at Gate 4 with an Intrepid sign displaying your name.  If you are having trouble locating the driver, please call the emergency number listed on your trip notes.

FAKE TAXIS/SCAM:

Please be aware that if you have pre booked your arrival transfer into Santiago through us that there are many fake taxi's at Santiago airport and recently many have been advising passengers who have not located their driver yet that they will call the emergency hotline number for them and will take them to their hotel. These drivers do not call the number and have no affiliation with us. Do not get into a car unless the driver is holding an Intrepid sign with your name on it or the trip code for your tour on it. If you cannot locate your transfer please dial the emergency number listed in the Essential Trip Information and await instructions from the operator as often the driver is there or is a few minutes away held up in traffic.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:

A Single Supplement is available on this trip.

LATE BOOKINGS:

Bookings within 45 days from departure may incur in late booking airline fees. If applicable, this will be informed at the time of booking.

W HIKE:

The strictly traditional "W hike" involves an overnight at Camping Los Cuernos. The space available to set up camp in this area is very limited (particularly on the busy summer months) and the terrain uncomfortable. The above itinerary skips this campsite by driving to the other side of the park (Las Torres del Paine). We believe this change enhances the enjoyment of the trekking days. 

CLIMATE & CLOTHING:

The weather in Patagonia is unpredictable. While this trip only runs during the warmer months of the year, temperatures can fluctuate between 0 and 30 degrees celcius (32 to 86 fahrenheit) within a tour or even over the course of a day! Please make sure you have packed appropriate clothing that can be layered up to accommodate these temperatures and that your sleeping bag is an all seasons bag that will keep you warm in freezing night time temperatures.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS:

This trip includes a domestic flight. Argentina is particularly strict on excess baggage and usually enforces a maximum allowance of 15Kg for check in luggage.

icon readmoreicon minusGroup leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

LIFE JACKETS: While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

HORSE RIDING: Horse riding is an option available to groups on this trip. Please note however that horse riding is usually not covered by your travel insurance and helmets are not always available. If riding without a helmet is a concern then you should bring our own.

icon readmoreicon minusCommunications

WhatsApp is a popular way to communicate in Latin America. We recommended downloading WhatsApp prior to departure to communicate with by text with your leader and group members during the tour. Once downloaded, please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. Connections for making phone calls through WhatsApp are not reliable, so please do not use this app to make calls to our emergency phone line.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document. 

ARGENTINA:

Americans, Australian, Belgians, British, Canadians, Dutch, Germans, New Zealanders and South Africans do not currently require a visa for Argentina. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa or entry requirements with the Argentinean consulate in your home country.

CHILE:

Americans, Australian, Belgians, British, Canadians, Dutch, Germans, New Zealanders and South Africans do not currently require a visa for Chile. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa or entry requirements with the Chilean consulate in your home country.

Reciprocity tax for some passport holders:

If you are entering Chile at Santiago International Airport, Australians are required to pay a reciprocity fee (US$117 payable in USD$ or credit card only). The fee does not apply to travellers arriving at other airports or entering the country via land borders.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

Discover two very different sides of Chile – the big-city pusle of soulful Santiago and the adventure-fuelled atmosphere of lakeside Puerto Natales

Argentina's Perito Moreno Glacier must be seen to be believed. This massive, blue-hued natural wonder is one of Patagonia's real crown jewels

Trek past granite pillars, sparkling lakes and gushing waterfalls in Torres del Paine National Park on a four-day camping trip with all your meals taken care of

Finish in Buenos Aires, Argentina's sensational and sultry capital. Stay on and explore its many corners at your leisure, from the star-studded Recoleta cemetery to the tucked-away milongas (tango halls)

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

A good level of fitness is required to complete the multiple treks included on this trip. See the 'Physical Rating' section for more information.

Weather in Patagonia can be wild, so it's important to prepare for all elements. Rain, wind and extreme cold are all part of the adventure.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES:

Some regions of Central & South America can experience outbreaks of dengue fever.There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. If you have a fever or feel unwell, please let your leader know right away. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria by taking measures to avoid insect bites.

ZIKA VIRUS:

There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip.

YELLOW FEVER

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

DENGUE FEVER:

Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets we understand your dietary requirements are important, however,  sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). 

The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

CONTINGENCY FUNDS:

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

MEALS NOT INCLUDED:

For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

CREDIT CARDS & ATMs:

ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

DEPARTURE TAX:

In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.

Argentina Airport Tax:

At the time of writing this most airports in Argentina include the departure taxes in the air ticket, however at El Calafate and Ushuaia airports you will be required to pay a departure tax. Please check the most up-to-date amount with your booking agent.

Chile currency information:

The official currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP).

Argentina currency information:

The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentinean peso (ARS). 

TIPPING:

Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier.

Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine, but your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.

Tipping Guide:

To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

- Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest USD1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

- Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD2 – USD3 per day.

- Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest USD1-USD2 per day for drivers.

- Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD2-USD4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

On this particular trip we recommend taking a bag that can easily be lifted off the ground. You may find it difficult to do so with a suitcase on wheels. Therefore we recommend bringing a backpack. Alternatively you may want to consider a backpack with wheels and a handle, sometimes known as a Hybrid backpack. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk distances of up to 500 metres with it. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage. However, Argentina is particularly strict on excess baggage and usually enforces a maximum allowance of 15Kg for check in luggage. Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIAL: - Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

On our Patagonia trips it is best to take a backpack rather than a standard suitcase. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. We recommend keeping luggage to 15kgs or under due to luggage restrictions within Argentina in particular. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips.  Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip: RECOMMENDED: - Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary - Water bottle - We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity (or 2 smaller bottles). The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments - Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com) - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and band-aids. - Insect repellent - Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both - Head torch or Standard Torch/ flash-light (Very Important) and spare batteries. - Day Pack - A day bag that has easy access to water bottles (external side pockets) or a day pack with a built in hydration bladder. This bag only needs to be large enough to hold the few things you need during the day (hat, water, camera, snacks, rain jacket etc) - Waterproof, well worn-in walking boots - Good quality, comfortable footwear is essential. Whatever you wear on your feet the most important thing is comfort. It is vital to ensure your boots are well worn in and lightweight. Ankle support and waterproofing is recommended but if you already have something comfortable with good grip on rocks then don’t go rushing out to buy new boots – you are better off with your well-worn in pair! - Walking clothing - Its best to bring clothes that can be layered so you can adjust layers according to the weather which is ever-changing in Patagonia. Please ensure this includes a waterproof jacket and pants. -Thermal underwear - Thermal wear is highly recommended, being light, warm and will keep you warm at night. -Towel (for showers) and basic personal toiletries OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate - Phrase book -Thongs/Jandals or Flip flops for the campsite showers VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. LAUNDRY Laundry tends to be more expensive than other parts of South America in this part of the world. It's best to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. Please expect to pay anywhere from ARS150 to ARS350 (USD10 - USD25) for a 2kg bag.

CLIMATE & CLOTHING: Weather in Patagonia is unpredictable. While this trip only runs during the warmer months of the year, temperatures can fluctuate from 30 to 0 degrees Celsius (86 to 32 Fahrenheit) within a trip or even a day. Please make sure you pack enough warm clothing.

SLEEPING BAGS: Sleeping bags are not provided on this trip so please bring your own. Alternatively you can hire it locally for approximately $5 USD per person, per day. A thermarest/ inflatable camping mattress and small pillow are provided on this trip but feel free to bring along your own if you prefer to increase your comfort.

While trekking, boiled or safe water is available for drinking. However, you should also carry a water purification method. Options include: - purification tablets available from camping stores or pharmacies eg. Micropur. - 2% tincture of iodine, available from pharmacies, used at 4 drops per litre of water and left for at least 20 minutes - longer in very cold weather.

Please note that hiking poles are available to rent for approx 10 USD for Torres del Paine.

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Please note that, in order to make the most of our time in Patagonia, this trip includes two particularly long travel days (day 2 and 7). Please refer to trip notes for further details.

The strictly traditional "W hike" involves an overnight at Camping Los Cuernos. The space available to set up camp in this area is very limited (particularly on the busy summer months) and the terrain uncomfortable. The above itinerary skips this campsite by driving to the other side of the park (Las Torres del Paine). We believe this change enhances the enjoyment of the trekking days.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

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After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

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GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/contact-us

CRISES AND EMERGENCIES

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below (remember to drop the +xx country code if you are calling from within the country):

While in Chile and Argentina contact: +56 9 7964 8594

While in Uruguay or Brazil contact: +55 2 199618 2018

Alternatively, the operations office located in Peru +51 99605 5559 (PEAK DMC South America)

While in Chile or Argentina contact: +54 9 11 5348 8823

Alternatively, the operations office located in Peru +51 99605 5559 (PEAK DMC South America)

Intrepid's Local Office: +51 996055559

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

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Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusYour fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

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ITINERARY CHANGES:

Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Hotel (5 nights),Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights)

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