Cuernos del Paine, Paine National Park, Patagonia

The twisted granite peaks and spires of the Paine Massif are one of the most famous landmarks of Patagonia. We explore both the Chilean and Argentine sides of Patagonia as we set out on the best hikes in Paine National Park and Glacier National Park.

Photo by Gerard Coles

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In Patagonia route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7895  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart: Punta Arenas, Chile
Lodging: 15 nights hotels and lodges
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: 10 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 5-7 hours a day, altitudes below 5,000 feet
4

Highlights

  • See the best of Patagonia, from Tierra del Fuego to its greatest national parks
  • Amazing views of Fitzroy and Paine; choice of hiking options on many days
  • Remote islands of Tierra del Fuego
  • Comfortable inns, including Estancia Helsingfors, a historic Patagonian estate


Wilderness Travel is always a class act, which is why this is our 3rd WT trip.Sue M.—San Carlos, CA

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Patagonia’s epic landscapes—the granite-and-glacier realms of Paine and Fitzroy and remote Tierra del Fuego, the archipelago at the “uttermost ends of the earth”—are like no other in the world. On this insider’s adventure, inspiring day hikes—many of them starting right from our lodges—grant spectacular panoramas of the great shark fin of Fitzroy and the needle-like spire of Cerro Torre, the crown jewels of Argentina’s Glacier National Park, and the soaring rock towers of Chile’s Paine National Park, while explorations in Tierra del Fuego reveal penguin colonies, secluded islands, and sweeping views of the Beagle Channel.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Buenos Aires / Ushuaia / Tierra del Fuego

Our lively exploration of Buenos Aires includes a visit to La Boca, a haven for artists. Heading to Ushuaia, set on the Beagle Channel and surrounded by snowy peaks, our hikes lead along the secluded bays of Tierra del Fuego, with great birding along the way. Tierra del Fuego is known for its abundant birdlife, including the austral parakeet, the thorn-tailed rayadito, the Magellanic woodpecker (the largest woodpecker species in South America), and the regal Andean condor. On the Beagle Channel, a Zodiac ride takes you to a remote island for a hike and lunch at a shepherd’s hut (complete with a locally produced red wine!) and a visit to a Magellanic and Adélie penguin colony.

Days 4-7
Glacier National Park

Up-close perspectives of Fitzroy (11,703') and the slender granite pinnacle of Cerro Torre (10,280') are the thrill of our hikes in this famed park. The Fitzroy Massif and the surrounding peaks rise at spectacular and seemingly impossible angles, sculpted from solid granite into fantastic spires and towers by the tremendous force of the region’s glaciers. One hike brings us through a valley of native lenga trees to Laguna Torre, a serene glacial lake with the spire of Cerro Torre soaring directly above it. We also journey across deep Lago Viedma by boat, navigating amid floating icebergs, then make an exciting hike right on the vast Viedma Glacier for a chance to peer into its fantastic ice caverns.

Days 8-9
Estancia Helsingfors

From renowned Estancia Helsingfors, a former sheep ranch with an outrageously scenic location on the shores of glacier-fed Lago Viedma, our trails bring you through beech forests to stunning Lago Azul, a pristine lake with magnificent Fitzroy views. On our hikes, keep an eye out for Patagonia’s exotic creatures, including guanacos and rheas.

Day 10
Moreno Glacier / Lago Argentino / Calafate

Crossing rolling Patagonian steppes to turquoise Lago Argentino, we walk along a boardwalk with phenomenal views of the spectacular 20-story-high icewall of the Moreno Glacier, where the sounds are as amazing as the views.

Days 11-16
Paine National Park, Chile

With its granite spires, azure lakes, and massive glaciers, Chile’s Paine National Park is one of the natural masterpieces of the planet. We stay in three different lodges here, giving us great access to the best areas of the park. Our hikes start right from the door of our lodges, including the trail through the Ascencio Valley to the base of the three giant monoliths of the Paine Towers, a landmark of the park, and to the face of the Grey Glacier, with its icebergs calving into Lago Grey. From Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan, we depart on Day 16.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 4, Moderate to Strenuous. The hiking will be physically demanding at times (but we do offer shorter hiking options on the two longest hiking days). Most of the hiking takes place below altitudes of 4,000 feet. For the most part, the trails are not overly rugged or difficult, but the approaches and descents can be steep, and the trail conditions rocky or muddy. There are also some long driving days across the steppes, and everyone should be prepared for bumpy, dusty road conditions. Please note that your leader may make adjustments to the itinerary and hiking routes, depending on local weather and trail conditions.

We recommend you make a special effort to get in good physical condition for this trip. The better condition you are in, the more you will enjoy your experience. We suggest you begin training several months before departure. Start gradually by doing hikes, running, using a Stairmaster, or riding bikes. The object is to improve your overall aerobic capacity and get your hiking muscles limbered up. Even a brisk 30-45 minute walk every other day over moderately steep terrain can do wonders for your conditioning.

Accommodations
We stay in a variety of well-located hotels and lodges. Rooms in these places are not always of uniform or international size. However, our leaders try their best to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Single rooms in Patagonian lodges tend to come in small sizes in exchange for the privacy they afford. In addition, please note that many hotels and lodges in Patagonia have twin-bedded rooms. Very few have “matrimonial” rooms (rooms with a double bed). While we can request a double-bedded room for you if you ask us well in advance, we cannot guarantee it.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
Dec 19, 2015-Jan 3, 2016  Mary Jo Figuerero
2016
Jan 5-20, 2016  Bernardita De Negri
Jan 9-24, 2016  Rob Noonan
Jan 14-29, 2016  Jose Argento
Feb 7-22, 2016  Bernardita De Negri
Feb 11-26, 2016  Added Departure!

Mar 4-19, 2016  Carlos Leon
Nov 12-27, 2016
Dec 18, 2016-Jan 2, 2017
2017
Jan 3-18, 2017
Jan 7-22, 2017
Jan 19-Feb 3, 2017
Feb 5-20, 2017
Feb 16-Mar 3, 2017
Mar 3-18, 2017

In Patagonia: Whale Watching Departure: We offer a November departure of this extraordinary journey, scheduled during Patagonia’s spring when the whales are abundant along the coast, features phenomenal wildlife viewing as well as the magnificent landscapes of Glacier and Paine National Parks and Tierra del Fuego. Download a separate Full Trip Brochure or call us for more details.

*Book early to get the most attractive air fares, especially for the holiday departures!

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2016
$7895 (13-15 members)
$8295 (10-12 members)
$8695 (7-9 members)
Single supplement: $1620
Forced single supplement: $1420
Internal airfare: $720 (subject to change)
Argentina Reciprocity Fee: $160
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Iguazu Falls Extension
   from: $985

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in comfortable lodges, inns, and hotels
  • All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • Land and boat transportation, airport transfers, and baggage handling as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights, meals not specified after each itinerary day, travel insurance, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), and expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

Fall 2015-Spring 2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:

Buenos Aires, Argentina (Airport code EZE)
Suggested arrival time: 12:00 pm
Departure:
Punta Arenas, Chile
Date: Day 16

Suggested Airport for Departure:

Punta Arenas, Chile (airport code PUQ)
Suggested departure time: anytime

Melia Buenos Aires

Melia Buenos Aires

Day 1 (1 night), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Located in the heart of Buenos Aires on a pedestrian-only street, this hotel allows for fun, safe, and easy access to some of the best areas of the ...
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Hotel Tolkeyen

Hotel Tolkeyen

Days 2 to 3 (2 nights), Ushuaia, Argentina

Right on the shores of the Beagle Channel outside Ushuaia town, this lodge built of local wood and stone offers a serene setting and good views of ...
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Estancia El Pilar

Estancia El Pilar

Days 4 to 7 (4 nights), El Chalten, Argentina

A charming 10-room country inn surrounded by native lenga forests on the edge of Glacier National Park, this is the best place to stay in the ...
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Estancia Helsingfors

Estancia Helsingfors

Days 8 to 9 (2 nights), Lago Viedma, Argentina

This century-old estancia has a magnificent setting on Lago Viedma surrounded by world-class Patagonian scenery. There’s nothing else like it ...
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Kosten Aike

Kosten Aike

Day 10 (1 night), El Calafate, Argentina

Every hotel has a story to tell—that’s one of the reasons we love Hotel Kosten Aike and the history it reflects of the place and its ...
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Estancia Lazo

Estancia Lazo

Day 11 (1 night), Paine National Park, Chile

A converted estancia on the banks of the Lago Verde, this place offers one of the very best panoramas of the Paine Massif. There’s also ...
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Hosteria Lago Grey

Hosteria Lago Grey

Day 12 (1 night), Paine National Park, Chile

This hotel has a magnificent setting along iceberg-dotted Lago Grey in Paine National Park. From the dining room there is an absolutely stunning ...
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Hosteria Las Torres

Hosteria Las Torres

Days 13 to 14 (2 nights), Paine National Park, Chile

Las Torres has an ideal location in Paine National Park and direct trail access to the Paine Towers. While over the years the hotel has grown to be ...
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Hotel Cabo de Hornos

Hotel Cabo de Hornos

Day 15 (1 night), Punta Arenas, Chile

Located on the Punta Arenas town square, a beehive of activity, this European-style hotel is the best in Punta Arenas, with a stylish lobby of glass ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions option:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Jose Argento

Departure Dates: January 14-29, 2016

Jose Argento, raised in a tiny farming community in Argentina, has had a deep connection to nature for as long as he can remember. With a degree in tourism and a specialization in Glaciology, he loves to talk about ice fields and share adventurous tales of famous Patagonian climbing expeditions. ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Bernardita De Negri

Departure Dates: January 5-20, 2016, February 7-22, 2016

Bernardita de Negri, born in Buenos Aires, grew up in a family that had immigrated from Europe to Argentina. Her family loved travel, books, and languages, and her international background, combined with living in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, helped her develop a lust for world travel and a ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Mary Jo Figuerero

Departure Dates: December 19, 2015-January 3, 2016

Mary Jo Figuerero, a professional archaeologist who studied at the Smithsonian, has led WT journeys in Patagonia since 1996. Born in New York to an American mother and Argentine father, Mary Jo lives in Buenos Aires with her husband and daughter, and teaches at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Her ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Carlos Leon

Departure Dates: March 4-19, 2016

Carlos Leon was born in central Chile and has lived in Patagonia since he was a child. He has been a member of the Wilderness Travel Patagonia team since 1996, first as a driver and local guide, and then as a Trip Leader. Carlos says, “I live in a wonderful place, surrounded by amazing ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Rob Noonan

Departure Dates: January 9-24, 2016, February 11-26, 2016

Rob Noonan came by his love of nature and the mountains early, adventuring throughout most of the Americas from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and later earning a degree in Environmental Studies from Prescott College in Arizona. He has guided our Patagonia hiking journeys since 1994, but his love of ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

Argentina

Iguazu Falls Extension

One of the World’s Spectacular Natural Wonders

Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

Wilderness Travel is always a class act, which is why this is our 3rd WT trip. Sue M., San Carlos, CA This was an amazing experience. The group size was perfect, the itinerary well paced, the Trip Leaders outstanding. Christine S., Redwood City, CA I had the best possible experience in Patagonia with this trip—the right combination of great hiking, beautiful scenery, traveling with friends, and having great leaders. Yvette P., Carbondale, CO Our first with WT! We loved it. You have a first-class operation. Richard and Margaret T., Napa, CA The trip exceeded my expectations. Each day was a new adventure, and each hike always ended with something new and beautiful to look at. Terrell N., Los Angeles, CA A fabulous itinerary, with spectacular scenery and hiking opportunities, wildlife, lodge comfort, quality dining, and no altitude—wow! Karen G., New York, NY We loved the trip. The scenery is fantastic, and the extension to Iguazu Falls was a highlight. Nancy L., La Jolla, CA One of the best trips we’ve been on! Maureen and Frank B., Millerton, NY A 5-star experience—unforgettable, well organized, planned, paced. Daisy R., New York, NY Really a fantastic trip. One of the best we have ever taken. Steven A., New York, NY A lifetime dream and it met my expectations! Eugene J., Salt Lake City, UT The trip was seamless and smoothly run under all conditions and weather. The itinerary was appealing and comprehensive. All our friends are jealous and we’ll be dining out on this trip for a long time. Ed and Lois B., Washington, DC Great scenery, great itinerary, great hikes. Bill and Kathleen H., Lafayette, CA We loved the all-day hikes and also appreciated having options on some hikes. Nancy and Tom F., Sarasota, FL Magnificent scenery, fantastic Trip Leader, excellent local guides, great food, and a fun group of participants made for a wonderful trip! Charlaine D., Philadelphia PA The trip design was brilliant. Each day we thought we had captured “the prize” but the next day was even better. How did you do this? Peter G., Washington, D.C. No adjectives could do justice to this trip. Every bend, every crest on the trail unveiled a new and indescribably beautiful scene—the scale and power of Fitzroy or the Paine Towers looming above, lakes and glaciers in every imaginable shade of blue, a sky full of stars at Chalten. Each day’s hike left us in awe of the majesty of nature. Niles B., Madison, WI
The trip totally surpassed my expectations. Patagonia was absolutely breathtaking and one of the most spectacular travels I have had so far. Elizabeth C., Toronto, Ontario We were blessed with exceptional weather, so our days in Patagonia were magical and majestic. We also had a great group of travelers and that was just fun! Will highly recommend this to my friends! Susan C., Colorado Springs, CO Could not have been improved upon. Even the WEATHER was on our side! Barbara C., Westmoreland, NH Having access to this magical landscape with its startlingly beautiful scenery is a gift like no other . . . thank you for making it accessible. As I tell my friends, with WT, you just have to show up and hike! Candace S., Palo Alto, CA In Patagonia must be your flagship trip. It is spectacular and runs like a well oiled machine with personality. Sara K., West Hartford, CT Impeccable itinerary and outstanding implementation. Every day delivered a new 'oh my' because of the variety of the scenery and experiences. Thanks, Wilderness Travel! Jan D., Meyersdale, PA You could not have designed a better itinerary. Every day, every lodge, every meal, every experience was (unbelievably) better than the day before. Thank you for making this a phenomenal travel experience that I'll remember for a lifetime. Kathie D., Belle Isle, FL A great trip! Very well coordinated and all staff were professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and easy to deal with. Will recommend it to my friends. Judith R., Albany, NY I highly recommend this trip. The itinerary was fabulous, and everything ran like a Swiss watch, on time, seamlessly, and happily. Betty G., Kirkland, WA The combination of civilized amenities and virtually untouched natural wonders delighted me throughout the trip. Nancy P., Los Angeles, CA Wow! What an adventure. I really enjoyed it from start to finish. Lynn R., Hilton Head Is., SC One of the top 4 trips I have taken. The guide, people in the group, itinerary, weather, everything was great. How can each day be better than the past? Somehow it was. Carla K., St. Simons Island, GA Hiking in Patagonia has long been a dream of mine. My dream has come true and the trip exceeded my expectations. What beautiful country! Darrell K., Danville, CA The trip was fabulous and everything I hoped for and expected. Daniel R., Marshall, NC We have trekked all over the world. This trip offered some of the most impressive scenery and most knowledgeable guides we've experienced. Ivy W., Essex, CT

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Boundless and Astounding, Bruce and Ivy Weiss