Viva Ushuaia to El Chalten

Viva Ushuaia to El Chalten

From AUD 4,150.00 + LTP: US$ 750.00
Trip Length 13 Trip Code SA - VV - 05
Tour Group 6 - 16 Age Range open age

Viva Ushuaia to El Chalten: Tour Information

Beginning in Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world, and home to the beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, we head north to explore the remote Southern Patagonian region. Visit Torres Del Paine National Park, famous for its granite pillars, lakes and mountains and Los Glaciers National Park, home to some of the world’s most stunning ice formations. Be amazed glaciers, mountains, forests and lakes abounding in this truly captivating part of the world.

Day 1 – 4 We begin our tour in the picturesque seaside city of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world, and will enjoy a lovely meal at one of Ushuaia’s great port side seafood restaurants. Enjoy a days walking in the Tierra del Fuego National Park and a boat trip on the Beagle Channel before we set off north and into Chile. Crossing the Straights of Magellan we arrive into Punta Arenas from where we will visit the Seno Otway penguin colony, home to approximately 6000 breeding pairs.

Day 5 – 8 Next we arrive at Torres Del Paine National Park where we will meet our support crew and vehicle and will enjoy our first night camping on the edge of the picturesque Lake Pehoe. Under the constant watch of the towering granite peaks and circling condors this will be our base to explore what is to many South Americas finest national park We spend four nights inside Torres Del Paine National Park and are able to enjoy wonderful day hikes through emerald forests, to magnificent glaciers, along alpine rivers and lakes, with picturesque mountain vistas, while in this area of unparalleled beauty. Each day returning to the comfort of our camp and a freshly prepared meal.

Day 9 – 13 We arrive in El Calafate, and the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, our base visit the impressive Perito Moreno glacier, one of the earths most dynamic and accessible ice fields. Visiting the glacier we can witness from a series of walkways huge chucks of ice breaking free from the face of the glacier and crashing with a mighty roar into the water. A boat trip along the face of the glacier gives us the opportunity to admire its impressive height that reaches, at points, to 100 meters from the water level and stretches 5 kilometres from edge to edge. A short drive around Lake Argentina brings us to El Chalten, nestled quietly under the imposing peaks of Mount Fitzroy. Here we visit the Viedma Glacier, the largest in Argentina, where we have the opportunity to explore ice caves and take a walk atop this mighty ice sheet. Spend some time hiking in the region before your tour conclude.

Viva Ushuaia to El Chalten

Day 1. Ushuaia
We begin our tour in the picturesque seaside city of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world.
Meals: Dinner

Day 2. Ushuaia
Today we visit Tierra Del Fuego National Park where you will be able to enjoy the wonderful natural environment with visits to Lake Roca, Beaver Dams and Lapataia Bay, ”The End of the Road” where National Route N° 3 ends, over 3000 Km (more than 1,860 miles) from Buenos Aires.
In the afternoon you will embark the catamaran that will take you through the waters of Beagle Channel. The tour begins sailing along Ushuaia Bay from where you will get an excellent panoramic view of the city framed by Andean mountains. Once you have reached the end of the bay, you will go through Paso Chico, which indicates the start of the mythic Beagle Channel. You will border the northern coast passing by Archipelago Bridges till you reach Birds Island, where you will be able to appreciate the great variety of sea birds that live in the area: cormorants, albatrosses, ducks, sea gulls, etc. Close to this place, you will see the Sea Lions and a unique opportunity to watch at the same time sea lions of two different species. You will finally get to Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, the iconic symbol of the beagle channel before returning to Ushuaia.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3. Ushuaia → Cerro Sombrero
Visit a King Penguin colony on the way to Cerro Sombrero. King Penguins are usually only found on sub Antarctic islands, such as the remote and difficult to access South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Observing them in Tierra del Fuego, therefore, is a very unique opportunity!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4. Cerro Sombrero → Punta Arenas
Crossing the Straights of Magellan we arrive into Punta Arenas, the capital of Southern Chile. Afternoon at leisure to explore the city.
Tonight you will enjoy a meal of that includes tasters of regional wild game prepared in various ways by the talented head chef.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5. Punta Arenas → Torres Del Paine
Today we head to South Americas finest National Park, stopping in the seaside town of Puerto Natales for lunch and some supplies.
Torres del Paine National Park was declared Reserve of the Biosphere by UNESCO in 1978 located among the mountain range of the Andes and the Patagonian steppe. In this zone, the colossal towers and horns of granite and rock that have given world-wide fame to it, with heights of up to 3,050 meters above the sea level. The park preserves fragile ecosystems where about 25 species of mammals live, standing out the pumas, foxes, ñandues (South American ostrich), condors and flamencos and guanacos concentrated between the Sarmiento and Nordenskjold lakes and in the Amarga and Azul lagoons. Famous is the Pehoe and the Grey Lake with its glacier that is 4 km wide and more than 30 meters high.
The 3 most famous treks inside the park are:
(a) Greys Glacier Hike
(b) French Valley Hike
(c) Los Torres Hike
Instead of walking these in one go like on the Big W (a 4 day hike), we break it into the three separate walks giving people the option of walking all three or only one or two if they would prefer. There are also other activities available inside Torres Del Paine including fabulous horse riding and boat trips for those wanting to walk a little less. Even spending a day around the hotel which is situated right on the edge of Lake Pehoe, where condors often circle overhead, is a great way to spend the day.
The group is assisted by an expert local trekking guide who will share information about the environment and guide you through this wonderful wilderness.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6. Torres Del Paine
Greys Glacier trek (Easy – moderate)
Grey Glacier is one of the principal tourist attractions located in Chile. As soon as you get to this place you will be breath taken with the lakes creamy blue colour dotted with floating icebergs that has at one end the vast Patagonian Ice Field.
This is an excellent walk. Initially you will walk through forest and then bordering lakes and views of the Glacier Grey. There are two options for this walk. You can walk for about 2 +/- hours (1 way) to the first viewpoint of the glacier. It is basically a pinnacle of rock that you can sit on and have lunch. If you wanted a shorter hike you would turn around at this point and head back to the start of the track. Another 2 hours further from this point you get to the main Greys Glacier view point which brings you a lot closer to this magnificent ice sheet. From here you have a great view of the glacier across the water and usually the wonderful blue of the icebergs floating in the lake below. All viewpoints of the glacier are from a front on angle.
Greys Glacier is an excellent walk with fantastic views; it is also the easiest of the three main walks in the park. A lot of it is reasonably flat with a few steep ups and downs in some areas. It is do-able by everyone at their own pace.
The full walk takes approximately 7 - 8 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability and physical strength.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7. Torres Del Paine
French Valley Hike (Moderate – Difficult)
The French Valley is the most beautiful valley in the Torres del Paine National Park. It is a steep hike and offers incredible its 360 degree unique panoramic views of Los Cuernos del Paine, the French Glacier and Lakes Nordenskjold, Pehoé, Scottsburg and Toro.
This walk starts at the same place as the Greys Glacier walk and between the hikes we stay overnight at the Paine Grande Refuge so that you do not have to return across the lake to our hotel, effectively allowing you additional time to complete the hikes.
This is a very different walk to the Greys Glacier. More up and down hiking and at times the track can be rocky and steep. But an equally beautiful walk with stunning views. Enjoy wonderful views of Lago Pehoe, the surrounding mountains and all the different peaks in the area as well as spectacular hanging glaciers. You can sit and watch and hear the ice crack and maybe even see a mini avalanche. The view point at the end of the trek is amazing – 360 degree views of mountains all around.
The full walk takes approximately 8 - 9 hours return including time for lunch and depending on your ability and physical strength.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8. Torres Del Paine
Las Torres Hike (Difficult)
Hiking to view the iconic Las Torres (the towers) is a must do for all keen trekkers. The Torres are three massive granite columns that encircle the smaller Torres Glacier.
This walk takes about 8 hours return. The Towers walk is probably the most testing of all the walks. From Hosteria Las Torres you start off climbing up the side of one of the mountains, all dirt paths and quite steep in gradient in areas. It then flattens out as you scale the side of the valley with a great river underneath you. Along the way you will arrive at another refuge. Here you can buy snacks and rest for a while. Some people may find that they will just go to this point (a 4 hour return hike) and on a clear day you will see Los Torres from this point. Once you leave this refuge you will start climbing again and the last 45 minutes is quite challenging as you scramble up boulders to the base of the towers. It is a walk that any one of reasonable fitness can do but it is challenging.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Note regarding hikes in Torres Del Paine – You are not obliged to continue to the furthermost point on each trek unless you want to. There is always the option to take a shorter hike or non-trekking excursions can be arranged locally.

Day 9. Torres Del Paine → El Calafate
Leaving this remarkable region we cross at a remote border post into Argentina and arrive in El Calafate, our base to visit the impressive Perito Moreno glacier, one of the earth’s most dynamic and accessible ice fields.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10. El Calafate
We leave early to have the area for just ourselves to enjoy, with no rush and plenty of time for bird watching. When we get to Moreno Glacier, after a great drive through the National Park and the steppe accompanied by an expert professional guide, we don't go straight to the regular panoramic point. That comes after a walk outside the conventional circuits, where we will enjoy almost by ourselves the glacier's north face in all its splendour, watching and hearing giant chunks of ice plummet into the waters of Lake Argentino. Our expert guide will explain anything you want to know about the area as we walk in front of Moreno Glacier on a nature interpretation walk. We then go into the footbridges area, where you have time to enjoy at your leisure.
At the end of the tour, we ride a boat in front of the Iceberg Channel. This is a wonderful way to get close to the glacier and appreciate its daunting size and power.
After the dizzying encounter with Moreno Glacier, we head back to Calafate, arriving around 5pm
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11. El Calafate → El Chalten
A short drive brings us to El Chalten. This town is nestled quietly under the imposing peaks of Mount Fitzroy, named after the captain of the Beagle, who navigated Darwin’s Expedition of the area in 1834.
The Viedma Glacier is a large glacier located at the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and is the largest glacier in Argentina. Trekking on top of the glacier is a once in a lifetime experience.
We travel by boat to the face of the glacier and land on the rocky shore nearby. After spending some time exploring the face of the glacier we strap on crampons and your expert guides will lead the group for about two hours on the ice. During this unique experience, the guides will explain and show many glacier features, like crevasses and moulins. If there is anyone that does not want to walk on top of the glacier then they have the option of visiting more areas along the face of the glacier including some ice caves if possible.
(Please note the grade of this excursion is “Easy”. It does not require any previous experience in Ice Trekking and is suitable for all people of average fitness. Also please note you need to have gloves to take this excursion).
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12. El Chalten
Trek through the National Park in El Chalten, Argentina's trekking capital. Enjoy spectacular scenery and obtain views of the magical Cerro Torres or the wonderful Mount Fitzroy. The trekking will vary depending on the conditions however every path through this unspoilt wilderness offers breath-taking views of pristine Lakes, Mountains, Glaciers and Forest. Keep your eyes peeled to spot some of the bird’s native to this region including Woodpeckers, Caracaras and even condors.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13. El Chalten → Depart
Depart El Chalten with wonderful memories, and a new respect of our wonderful planet courtesy of Patagonia.
Meals: Breakfast

Viva offers a "willing to share" option for all single travellers on overland expeditions. Providing you are willing to share we will attempt to pair you with another willing to share passenger of the same sex. If there is no one available to share you will have a single room but still pay only the twin share price. otherwise a single sup of 30% will apply.

Local Tour Payments (LTP) or a Kitty payment, if stated is paid direct to your tour leader / crew on day 1.

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