Ultimate Patagonia

Hiking in Tierra del Fuego, Chile, and Argentina

Trip Level

This trip is Level 4, Moderate to Strenuous, with 10 hiking days. The hiking will be physically demanding at times, but we do offer shorter options on the longer hikes. For the most part, the trails are not overly difficult, but the approaches and descents can be somewhat steep, and the conditions can at times be rocky or muddy. All the hikes take place below 4,000 feet, so altitude acclimatization is not an issue.

There are some long driving days on this trip, and although we have a very comfortable vehicle, everyone should be prepared for stretches of bumpy road conditions. Please note that the Trip Leader may make adjustments to the itinerary and hiking routes, depending on local weather and trail conditions.

There’s a saying that in Patagonia that you can experience all four seasons in one day, so be prepared for quickly changing weather. The best defense is proper clothing, and our Pre-Departure Booklet has a detailed list of recommendations for layering. An insulating base layer (top and bottom) beneath your hiking clothes will keep you warm and comfortable. Capilene, fleece, and other synthetic fabrics are excellent choices, as are lightweight wool layers by companies like Patagonia, Icebreaker, and SmartWool.

Getting in Shape
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, and it’s a great way to break in your hiking boots.

Our Unique Accommodations
Our spectacularly located estancias and lodges are a highlight of the trip, and we often have these entire lodges to ourselves. Please remember, though, that rooms in these unique places are not always of uniform or international size. Our Trip 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. 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. Single rooms in Patagonian lodges tend to come in small sizes in exchange for the privacy they afford.

We time our trips for Patagonia’s ideal hiking weather, which is from late November through early March, when we can enjoy the mildest temperatures and 16 hours of daylight. November (spring) is blessed with wildflowers and March (fall) offers the start of spectacular fall foliage. With its deep southern latitude, you might expect Patagonia’s weather to be more “polar” than it really is. In fact, the austral summer temperatures are relatively moderate. During Patagonia’s summer months (November through March in the Southern Hemisphere), the thermometer rarely drops below 40°F and will usually reach into the high 60s and even low 70s during the day. Nevertheless, the weather is radically changeable. Rain, sleet, and snow can occur at any time—perhaps just a few hours before or after sunny skies and 70° temperatures.

The enormous, unbroken stretches of ocean to the west and south of the tip of South America leave the Patagonian Andes exposed to strong and persistent winds. Winds circling the globe between latitudes of 40°S and 60°S have little obstruction when they reach the tip of South America. Experiencing these winds is almost inevitable on any Patagonian journey. For most part, you can expect winds of 9 to 13 miles per hour, but they can occasionally gust much higher, quickly “cooling down” an otherwise pleasant day. Prepare for this by wearing layered clothing and always having rain and/or wind protection handy.

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.