22 January 2017
Setting out from the vibrant city of Buenos Aires, this memorable tour takes you through Patagonia's most breathtaking scenery, as you explore fjiords, glaciers, mountains and lush National Parks. Your trip includes a four-day Australis expedition cruise through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel, to take in the awe-inspiring marine views and wildlife.
Your adventure begins as you're met on arrival at Ezeiza International Airport and transferred to your hotel. You'll then take a three-hour city tour to explore the Argentinean capital. You'll take in the Northern Quarter, Palermo and Recoleta's French-style architecture, bars and cafes, before continuing to the imposing Colon Theatre, Plaza de Mayo, Town Hall and Metropolitan Cathedral. You'll pass San Telmo, residence of the aristocracy until the 19th century, the vibrant La Boca district, and the fashion area of Port Madero. You'll then have the afternoon at leisure to continue your exploration. This evening you'll attend a tango show while enjoying a delicious meal.
Today you're at leisure, and may like to take an optional trip to the city of Tigre and the delta of the Paraná River for a four-hour sailing cruise among the islands, streams and canals. Alternatively, you could spend today exploring the local "gaucho" culture, with a tour including a reception with empanadas (meat pies), asado (roast meat) and Argentinean wines, a show with folk songs and dances and an exhibition of gaucho skills, including riding, taming and the use of the lasso.
This morning you'll transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia, the world's most southernmost city. Here you'll check in to your hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure.
This morning you'll take a half-day tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park, to admire the firebushes, beech trees, ñires, box-leafed barberries and flowers including orchids and violets. You'll cross the Lapataia River, enjoy the magnificent view of Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon), then walk up to Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon). You'll also make a brief stop at the stunning Lake Roca. This afternoon, you'll board your ship and begin your cruise through the Beagle Channel and the Strait of Magellan to explore Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
This morning, weather permitting, you'll disembark at Cape Horn National Park, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve known as the End of the Earth, as it's the last land before Antarctica. This afternoon, you'll visit Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region's largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Here you will walk through a Magellanic subpolar forest to reach a look-out point.
This morning you'll sail through the desolate Brecknock and Ocasión channels, to reach Cockburn Channel in the afternoon. After lunch, you'll arrive at Chico Sound and transfer to Zodiac boats to explore Alakaluf Fjord, and to see its beautiful waterfalls and observe the Piloto and Nena glaciers from the sea. You'll learn about how the glaciers have shaped the geography of this region.
Early this morning, you'll visit Magdalena Island, once an essential source of supplies for explorers in the Strait of Magellan, to see the immense colony of Magellanic penguins. (In September and April this excursion is replaced by a Zodiac boat ride at Isla Marta to observe sea lions.) Afterwards, you'll sail to Punta Arenas, where your cruise comes to an end, then transfer by land to Puerto Natales, where you'll have the evening at leisure.
You'll set off for Torres del Paine National Park early this morning. En route you'll stop at Milodon Cave, believed to have been inhabited by the primitive Patagonian man and the Milodon, an extinct herbivorous animal. You'll then continue to Torres del Paine through the stunning Amarga Lagoon area, where you can enjoy watching red foxes and condors, as well as taking in the panoramic views of the Paine mountain range. You'll pass Nordenskjold and Pehoé lakes, where you can expect to see guanacos and lesser rheas or ñandúes, then make the 10-minute hike past the astonishing Salto Grande (Large Waterfall) to an inn for lunch. In the afternoon, you'll continue towards the glacier area, and enjoy a hike through forests of lengas and the breathtaking ice floes of the Grey glacier. You'll return to your hotel by late afternoon, and have the evening at leisure.
Early this morning you'll set off for the five-hour journey through the magnificent Patagonian Steppe to El Calafate.
This morning you'll visit Perito Moreno Glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage site located within the Glaciers National Park. Set in a stunning landscape of mountains, lakes and forests, the spectacular glacier is considered one of Argentina's most beautiful sights.
This morning you'll transfer to El Calafate Airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, where you'll have the evening at leisure to enjoy the famously vibrant nightlife.
After breakfast this morning you'll transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
Standard fr £2682pp
Superior fr £2786pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated