whales; whale watching;wildlife; peninsula valdes; patagonia; lago azul; argentina; hiking

In Patagonia: Peninsula Valdes

The Mountain Splendor of Paine and Fitzroy, Tierra del Fuego, and the Whales of Peninsula Valdés

In Patagonia: Peninsula Valdes route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $8895  
Length: 16 days
Arrive: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart: Punta Arenas, Chile
Lodging: 14 nights in hotels and lodges
Meals: All meals included except 1 lunch and 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Wildlife & Natural History, Whale Watching
Trip Level: 7 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 5-7 hours a day, altitudes below 5,000 feet


  • Explore the best of Patagonia in Argentina, Chile, and Tierra del Fuego
  • Enjoy fantastic hikes with amazing up-close views of Fitzroy and the Paine Towers
  • Spectacular wildlife watching, including whales, penguins, and elephant seals
  • Overnights in comfortable hotels and inns

This was a a trip of a lifetime. Every time we thought 'nothing could surpass this,' we were surprised by more stunning scenery and experiences.Susan L.—Cleveland, OH

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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.


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.

The epic landscapes of Patagonia—the granite-and-glacier worlds of Paine and Fitzroy and the remote islands of Tierra del Fuego, the archipelago at the “uttermost ends of the earth”—are simply phenomenal and among the scenic masterpieces of the planet. On this magnificent lodge-based adventure, spectacular day hikes grant us fantastic panoramas of the great shark fin of Mt. Fitzroy and the needle-like spear of Cerro Torre, the crown jewels of Argentina’s Glacier National Park, and bring us to the foot of the soaring rock towers of Chile’s Paine Towers—two dazzling mountain massifs that must be seen to be believed. Additional hikes along the secluded bays and islands of Tierra del Fuego reveal an abundance of birdlife and sweeping views of the Beagle Channel, while special excursions on the Península Valdés—timed specially for the season—offer extraordinary sightings of Magellanic penguins, southern elephant seals, and migrating southern right whales, one of the world’s rarest whales.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Buenos Aires / Peninsula Valdés / Whale Watching

After an overnight in Buenos Aires, we fly to Trelew and continue to Peninsula Valdés on the Atlantic Coast. Here we explore a penguin rookery with some 200,000 Magellanic penguins, and we watch as they court mates, build nests, lay eggs, and tend their young. The next day we hike to a nearby beach to see a colony of southern elephant seals, then board a boat for a special whale watching excursion that allows us to observe the southern right whales who come to the shallow waters of Peninsula Valdés to breed and bear their young.

Days 4-5
Ushuaia / Tierra del Fuego

We fly to Ushuaia for hikes in Tierra del Fuego National Park and along the shores of the Beagle Channel. We also explore by Zodiac.

Days 6-9
Glacier National Park

The Fitzroy Massif and its surrounding peaks rise at dramatic and seemingly impossible angles, sculpted into fantastic spires by the tremendous force of glaciers. From our comfortable lodge at El Chalten in Glacier National Park, we hike each day to stunning views of Fitzroy (11,703') and the slender granite pinnacle of Cerro Torre (10,280'), one of the world’s fabled wall climbs.

Day 10
Perito Moreno Glacier / Lago Argentino / Calafate

A drive across the steppes brings us to Calafate and on to the shores of turquoise Lago Argentino. After admiring the massive Perito Moreno Glacier, a 20-mile-long river of ice with a 200-foot-high icewall, we return to Calafate for overnight.

Days 11-12
Paine National Park, Chile / Grey Glacier

Crossing into Chile, we discover Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with a stupendous landscape of granite towers, azure lakes, and massive glaciers. We hike to incredible viewpoints of the massive Grey Glacier in the Southern Patagonian Icefield. The glacier calves blue-white icebergs into beautiful Lago Grey.

Days 13-14
Paine National Park / Las Torres

From the charming Hosteria Las Torres, set on a 4,000-acre private ranch in the heart of Paine National Park, our hikes bring us right up to the glacial lake at the base of the monumental Paine Towers, and up to high lookouts in the stunning Ascencio Valley.

Days 15-16
Punta Arenas

A scenic drive brings us to Punta Arenas, set on the legendary Strait of Magellan. Depart on Day 16.

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 some of the 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.

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



Future dates have not been set for this itinerary. Please contact us if you would like to be notified of trip dates once they are available.

Trip Cost

Prices valid through Spring 2016
$8895 (13-15 members)
$9295 (10-12 members)
$9695 (7-9 members)
Single supplement: $1995
Forced single supplement: $1895
Internal airfare: $1250 (subject to change)
Argentine Reciprocity Fee: $160
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Iguazu Falls Extension
   from: $985

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% 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 as noted, and baggage handling

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 call our office at 1-800-368-2794.

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
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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Estancia Rincon Chico

Estancia Rincon Chico

Days 2 to 3 (2 nights), Peninsula Valdez, Argentina

Set in a stunning, remote location by the sea, this hideaway is an ideal base for our explorations, as it provides superb access to private beaches ...
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Hotel Tolkeyen

Hotel Tolkeyen

Days 4 to 5 (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 6 to 9 (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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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.

Carlos Leon

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 sights and people, and my desire is to share it with travelers. There can be no better calling than this." A tireless master of details with an easygoing nature, Carlos knows all the hiking trails of Los Glaciares and Torres del Paine National Parks intimately, and has a genuine passion for trekking and outdoor life. Having studied anthropology and sociology, he also loves sharing cultural aspects, with an emphasis on the people who inhabit this unique region of the globe. “There is actually a lot of serious work to make a trip fun. Sometimes I see other groups who don’t know what they’re doing, where they were yesterday, or are going tomorrow. I want my guests to enjoy as much as they can and, at the same time, truly learn about Patagonia—the mountains, the wind, the people, the trails, the food. So that when they remember the trip, they can feel the wind on their forehead.” Carlos lives in Puerto Natales, gateway to Torres del Paine, where he likes to tackle some of Patagonia’s toughest hikes, then relax by repairing computers!

Upcoming Trips:

In Patagonia, March 4-19, 2016

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Client Testimonials:

It was a pleasure traveling with Carlos. He was extremely personable and knowledgeable. Loran Y., Portland, OR
In Patagonia
Carlos did a great job. He was diligent, responsive, knowledgeable, and went out of his way to make sure everything went well. We were very pleased. Gary B., Hanover, NH
In Patagonia
Carlos is the perfect trip leader. He is organized, calm, flexible, has a sense of humor, very responsible, and truly loves what he is doing. Karen S., Knoxville, TN
In Patagonia: Peninsula Valdes
Carlos' detailed knowledge, planning, and communications were simply outstanding. John O., Knoxville, TN
In Patagonia: Peninsula Valdes
I can't imagine a Patagonia trip without Carlos. His extras made the trip and his attention to detail ensured the best for us. Sara K., West Hartford, CT
In Patagonia
Carlos is a gem of a guide. He clearly loves his job and works very hard to make sure everything runs smoothly. He really wanted to make sure that everyone enjoyed their trip and loved Patagonia as much as he does. Sara E. K., Denver, CO
In Patagonia
Carlos is the best guide I have ever had. We all felt lucky to have him! Totally dependable, patient, kind, knowledgeable, helpful, and available. He got along well with everyone. Betty G., Kirkland, WA
In Patagonia
A wonderful, caring trip leader. I could always count on him to answer any question. Very knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, geology, and history of the regions we visited. Darlene M., Del Mar, CA
In Patagonia

Optional Extensions

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


Iguazu Falls Extension

One of the World’s Spectacular Natural Wonders

Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

This was a a trip of a lifetime. Every time we thought 'nothing could surpass this,' we were surprised by more stunning scenery and experiences. Susan L., Cleveland, OH This was one of our best trips ever due to the Trip Leader, the accommodations, and the group. They all blended to make it a fun, scenic, athletic, and cultural adventure. I give Wilderness Travel high marks! Carole L., Walnut Creek, CA Fabulous scenery, and the food and lodging exceeded expectations. The trip’s great pacing allowed flexibility for photography. Bruce R., El Dorado Hills, CA
Fantastic trip. I will recommend it to everyone. Our Trip Leader was a true gem, the kind that makes WT trips special. William E., Syracuse, NY A first-rate trip organized in the most professional and efficient manner. The Trip Leader was the best we’ve had in over a half-dozen trips worldwide. Larry K., Glenview, IL A spectacular trip and overall exceeded expectations. John O., Knoxville, TN