Puerto Natales is known as the gateway to Patagonia and the iconic Torres Del Paine National Park. Formerly a modest fishing port, this will be our home for the next few days, as we admire the towering granite rocks, bright blue glacial waters and frosted snowy peaks.
Today we'll kickstart our Puerto Natales adventures. After breakfast we'll board a catamaran and head to the Balmacede and Serrano glaciers. Along the way to the glaciers we'll glide over the bright azure waters, stopping for views of penguin colonies, sea-lions and rushing waterfalls before we finally reach the glittering glaciers. Here, we'll take a short hike and soak up some jaw-dropping vistas.
Today's your opportunity to explore Puerto Natales for yourself. Check out the ship museum, explore the historic centre, spot condors soaring overhead, discover the Milodon cave or just admire the vibrant colours that paint the sky at sunrise and sunset. There's also an option to enjoy some authentic, rustic Patagonian culture with a visit to an Estancia (working farm) where you can learn about the Gaucho way of life and soak up some scenery atop your very own horse.
Today it's time for the headline event, Torres Del Paine National Park. Encompassing lakes, rivers, mountains and glaciers, the Chilean Torres Del Paine National Park is one of the most recognisable symbols of Patagonia’s natural beauty, and today we'll hike deep into this UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. With 17 hours of daylight during the summer months, watching the Torres Del Paine horns reach into the sky, glowing furious violets and reds as the sun sets, is an experience that has no comparison. Keep a look out for foxes, condors, deer and maybe even the elusive puma.
Today, after breakfast, we'll make the crossing from Chile to Argentina as the locals do - by public bus, with plenty of opportunity to marvel at the staggering scenery all around us.Named after a berry that, according to legend, once eaten guarantees your return to the Patagonian region, El Calafate is the gateway to even more spectacular beauty, namely the gargantuan Perito Moreno Glacier and the Los Glaciares National Park.
Today we'll visit the Los Glaciares National Park. Known as the 'Austral Andes', this is a bonafide natural wonder of the world, with mountains, lakes, woods, glaciers and the arid Patagonia steppe. We'll hike in the southern area of the park, before taking a tour of the Perito Moreno glacier on a boat, getting up close to the epic walls of ice and watching how its blueish tint dyes the sparkling lake below. This is an experience we'll never forget.
Today we'll head to El Chaltén, a small village in the heart of Los Glaciares National Park.Known as the 'capital of trekking' El Chaltén is the perfect place to be immersed in unspoiled nature. Simply walk the magical forest trails and breath the pure mountain air, or opt for an ice climbing lesson for an adventure like no other.
Today is a full day to make the most of El Chaltén. Checking out the rugged, sky-puncturing peaks of Mount Fitz Roy -the most iconic symbols of Patagonia- is a must, and we'll trek to the famous viewpoint of Laguana De los Tres, with the sparkling blue lagoon, granite walls and pure white De los Tres glacier giving us a feast for the eyes unmatched anywhere in the world. We'll have our final group dinner in El Chaltén tonight, still giddy from all that natural beauty.
Today we'll show each other our favourite photos and say our sad farewells over a final group breakfast together, but we won't forget those Patagonian peaks in a hurry.We complete our journey with a transfer back to the hotel in El Calafate, where our trip ends on arrival.