Patagonia Wildlife Safari With Three Levels of Activities to Choose From - Easy, Active or Mountain Bike
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Patagonia is a vast and diverse region, with scenery ranging from dramatic mountain formations and smoky volcanoes to flat barren pampa and expansive ice fields. At the far south of the Andes is the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most impressive sights in the Southern Hemisphere and home to the Patagonia Wildlife Safari and EcoCamp. The dramatic mountain formations are crowded with glaciers, lakes, fjords, ancient forests and wildlife such as guanacos, flamingos, condors, nandus and huemules. There's also some of the most magnificent trekking and nature in the world. With three levels of activities to choose from - easy, active or mountain bike - the Patagonia Wildlife Safari adventure is outdoor recreation at its best!
We've listed the full details for the 7-day Patagonia Wildlife Safari, but this trip may be booked as a 4-, 5- or 6-day trip as well.
ADDITION RATE INFORMATION
Prices from $1365 per person; prices vary based on Chilean Peso exchange rates. Rates vary by season and cabin. Please see website for full details on rates.
Day 1: Torres Del PaineTorres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile
The Patagonia Wildlife Safari starts in Punta Arenas early morning, either at your hotel or at the airport. You'll be picked up from Punta Arenas and driven to EcoCamp Patagonia, located in the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, for briefing and your first night's stay. On the way, make stops at: Puerto Natales - a small but lively town on the shores of Seno Ultima Esperanza, “Last Hope Sound,” to enjoy a hearty lunch with delicious local food; and Cueva de Milodon - a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890s. The journey is very scenic, with plenty of wild birds and wonderful landscapes. The day ends with your overnight stay at EcoCamp Patagonia, nestled in the heart of the park with a view of the Torres. During summer, the sun sets around 11pm, so upon arrival there's plenty of light to admire the Patagonian steppe with its guanacos and snow-peaked mountain horizon.
MEALS: lunch and dinner
Days 2-6: Daily Excursions - Easy, Active Or Mountain BikePatagonia, Chile
During your Patagonia Wildlife Safari you can choose between easy, active and mountain bike excursions - depending on your mood, weather conditions and travel companions' preferences. Detailed below are the activities, and which days they are available on. Each day ends back at EcoCamp for dinner and relaxation:
Fauna Trail, Laguna Azul & Patagonian BBQ (EASY) - MON & THU: Drive to the northern shore of Sarmiento Lake where the Fauna Trail begins. See park fauna on the Patagonian plains including guanacos, ostrich-like nandus and maybe the occasional puma print! Pass by Goic lagoon on a relaxed walk and then drive to Laguna Azul. En route stop at the impressive Paine waterfall, then you’re treated to a classic Patagonian barbecue, prepared by a local chef, at Laguna Azul. There’s time to explore the surroundings and walk to the nearby panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres.
Trek Towers Base (ACTIVE) - MON & THU: Walk from Ecocamp towards Hostería Las Torres and join the uphill path to Ascencio Valley on the Tower's eastern face. Dry mountain spots, beech forests and small rivers line the scenic walk towards the valley. The big challenge comes on the climb up the steep moraine, leading toward one of the world's most famous views overlooking the Towers. The famous Torres del Paine (2,900 m/ 9,400 ft) consist of three gigantic granite monoliths, the remains of a great cirque sheared away by the forces of glacial ice. After an uphill slog, the Towers eventually come into full view, with the glacial lake visible below. Is there any better place in the world to have lunch?
Cycling to Laguna Azul + Patagonian BBQ (BIKE) - MON & THU: Drive to Estancia Laguna Amarga to hop on mountain bikes toward Laguna Azul campsite, approx 20 km to the northeast. Cycle past an array of fauna on the Patagonian plains, heading north past the cascading Paine waterfall. Upon arrival at Laguna Azul you’re treated to a classic Patagonian barbecue, prepared by a local chef. There’s time to explore the surroundings and walk to the nearby panoramic view of the lagoon and the Torres. The cycle ride back to EcoCamp is optional; you may opt to travel back in the support van.
Drive & Walk Western Lakes & Boat across Grey Glacier (EASY) or Hike the Pingo Trail (ACTIVE) - TUE & FRI: Drive across the Park, admiring the view of snowy Paine Grande and Los Cuernos with its black, granite horn-like spires. Walking along the shores of Lake Pehoe, see the furious Salto Grande waterfalls and enjoy a spectacular lookout point. Later, back at Lake Pehoe, drive south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey. Enjoy a tasty box-lunch by the lake before embarking on one of two excursions: 1) EASY - A boat ride across the icy waters to the towering blue walls of Glacier Grey. 2) ACTIVE - A hike to view the Massif's west face on the beautiful Pingo Trail through a fairytale Magellan forest, where huge rock formations and the strong Patagonian wind show you just how wild Patagonia is! **During Shoulder Season (September, October and April) the boat trip to Glacier Grey may be cancelled; if this is the case, an alternative excursion in the Park will be planned.
Hike Lagoon Inge & Cuernos Pass (EASY) - WED & SAT: Head to Laguna Inge, located 4km southwest of EcoCamp Patagonia on Los Cuernos Trail just above Nordenskjold lake. There is a wonderful viewpoint of rainwater and glacial water side by side. Admire the park’s flora and fauna, its strong wind and curious, changable weather. Along the trail enjoy magnificent views of the park’s central lakes and the Paine’s Horns, majestic black horn-like peaks of slate atop gray granite which crown the center of the Massif. Depending on the group’s pace you might reach the Cuernos refuge, today's trekking goal, before starting the return walk to EcoCamp.
Navigate Pehoe Lake & Hike French Valley (ACTIVE) - WED & SAT: Drive toward Pudeto dock, on the shores of Pehoe Lake. Board the catamaran, then disembark to begin the challenging trek to Valle Frances (French Valley) along a steep trail into the very heart of the Paine Massif. How deep you go depends on the group's rhythm. An active walk leads to the hanging bridge over the French River, at the foot of the Massif's southeastern face. Continue to the valley's upper section to admire the area's entire group of geological formations, then enjoy a picnic rest. An optional trek to Mirador Britanico is available. Descend and return via catamaran. **The excursion to French Valley varies by season: Sept, Oct and April, the navigation will be replaced by another activity; Nov 1-15 and Mar 16-31 the hike is limited.
Lakeshore Hike & Botanical Safari (EASY) - SUN: After breakfast set off on foot toward Nordenskjold lake for wonderful views of the park’s vegetation and flora. At the lakeshore enjoy the beautiful blue water and views of the central Paine massif while you feast on a picnic. After lunch head back to EcoCamp and the botanical safari trail, a mini educational trail. A guide will accompany you on this micro exploration to give more extensive flora information. Safari explorers then have time to rest in their domes or EcoCamp’s community domes before the evening aperitif.
Hike to Seron (ACTIVE) - SUN: The trek to Puesto Seron means doing the first part of the Paine circuit, bordering the remote eastern side of the Massif. After approx. 4 hours of trekking reach Camp Seron for a box lunch.
Cycling Tour to Seron (BIKE) - SUN: Mountain bike over undulating terrain leading through beautiful Lenga forests, with views of Laguna Azul and Sierra Masle. After an approximate 15 km cycle, reach Seron campsite and enjoy a box lunch.
MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7: Leaving Torres Del PaineTorres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile
Board an early-morning vehicle, sit back, relax and enjoy a scenic ride back to Punta Arenas on time to catch the evening flight to Santiago. Those heading to Argentina board an earlier transfer heading to the border.
MEALS: breakfast and lunch
Alternative Itinerary: The Patagonia Wildlife Safari may also be booked as a 4-, 5- or 6-day trip. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations for more details.
Itinerary Notes: We may occasionally alter itineraries slightly for safety, or to take advantage of weather, wildlife and unplanned discoveries. The ability to be spontaneous makes this style of adventure travel unique.
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