Experience the Best of Patagonia with South America Tours
Our Best of Patagonia tour will whisk you away on an indulgent, well-paced tour of the iconic Patagonian countryside through Chile and Argentina. With the help of our capable guides, you’ll experience this majestic landscape as you’ve only imagined.
After spending a day in the cosmopolitan embrace of Santiago, we’ll take you to the port city of Valparaiso, which was founded in the 16th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walks on the seaside promenade are particularly memorable, but there are many other historical sites and museums to enjoy here. Following this, we’ll arrange an excursion into the Atacama desert, before setting out for Puerto Varas.
As beautiful as the historic cities and colonial architecture of this region are, the real magic of Patagonia is the raw and rugged outdoors. From Puerto Varas, you’ll embark on a six-day cruise, in which the elemental forces of Patagonia take centre stage.
Your vessel will navigate the fjords and glaciers of the Chilean coastline, stopping off in seaside towns to explore local markets and fishing villages. This portion of the experience provides an ideal blend of sightseeing by sea and fascinating shore excursions. You’ll have the opportunity to hike along pebble beaches, soak in local hot springs and admire migrating humpback and blue whales in their seasons.
After exploring the coastline, you’ll transfer to Torres del Paine National Park for a once-in-a-lifetime Patagonian experience at a local ranch. From here, your vessel will navigate the Almirantazgo Sound, explore Tucker Islets and sail around Cape Horn before you disembark at Ushuaia – the southernmost city in the world. Finally, cap the experience with a lavish layover in Buenos Aires.
Day 1 - ARRIVE SANTIAGO
Arrived to Santiago de Chile today.
Upon arrival we will meet and transfer you to your hotel. (B.) (Private Transfer)
Day 2 - SANTIAGO
This morning enjoy a tour of Santiago, commencing downtown with Palacio de La Moneda Presidential Palace which was originally a colonial mint.
Continue to the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral and Central Post Office. A short walk away is the Museum of pre-Hispanic Art with over 700 exhibits.
Continue to San Cristobal Hill for a panoramic view of the city and the omnipresent Andes, before heading uptown to the modern areas of the city, providing a contrast to the more traditional constructions seen earlier in the day. (B.) (Private Tour)
Day 3 - SANTIAGO - VALPARAISO
Today we will pick you up from your hotel and take a drive to Chile’s central coast, to picturesque Valparaíso, one of the first Chilean cities founded by the Spanish.
The city is a historic port and university town, famous for its labyrinth hills, which are covered in quaint, colorful old houses and accessible only by a steep climb or by the city’s unique system of funicular railways.
A thriving port for centuries, modern Valparaíso remains Chile’s primary outlet to the sea.
After years of earthquakes, gloom and decay, the historic port and university town is now living something of a revival, culminating in UNESCO naming Valparaíso’s Historic Quarter a World Heritage Site in 2003.
One of the highlights of the tour will surely be Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda’s residence, “La Sebastiana”. The house is full to the brim with the eccentric genius’ keepsakes from his many trips abroad, as well as an extensive library.
Travel to Viña del Mar, Chile’s fashionable beach resort and take time to wander. (B.) (Private Tour)
Day 4 - SANTIAGO - PUERTO VARAS
Today we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Puerto Montt.
Upon arrival we will transfer you to your hotel. (B.) (Semi-Private Transfer)
Day 5 - PUERTO VARAS
Join a local expert to visit the port city of Puerto Montt founded in 1850.
From a viewpoint high above the town, enjoy a magnifcent look at the wide Bay of Reloncavi up to Isla Tenglo and the narrow of the same name.
Afterward, head to the harbour to visit the Angelmo Fish Market. Besides unusual fresh fish, vegetables, cheeses and meats, there are various arts and crafts for sale. A novel way to have lunch at Angelmo is at a Cocineria or ‘Kitchen Restaurant.’ Look for a line of these mini restaurants where you can watch the kitchen and everything happening inside behind a large window. See how the food is prepared, including Curanto en Olla, a stew made with seafood, smoked meat, fowl and sausage.
Afterward drive to the lovely village of Frutillar, to see the historical area where houses are surrounded by beautiful gardens similar to those of the German Black Forest region.
Back in Puerto Varas, the rest of the afternoon and evening at leisure. (B.) (Private Tour)
Day 6 - PUERTO VARAS - BARILOCHE (Lake crossing)
Today you’ll travel across land and lakes by buses and boats, beginning with a bus to Petrohue Falls.
From Petrohue Pier you’ll take a modern catamaran for the crossing of Todos los Santos Lake, with water of such a deep green hue that it is also known as “Emerald Lake.
During the crossing you will have stunning views of the Osorno, Puntiagudo and Tronador volcanoes.
By late morning you will arrive at Peulla, with time for lunch and/or a short walk before boarding a bus to Puerto Frias.
After checking with the Chilean custom offices, your journey will take you through a beautiful Andean rainforest up to an altitude of 2,900 feet.
After a check-in with the Argentine police, you will navigate across Lake Frias to the village of Puerto Alegre. A short bus ride through an Andean larch forest takes you to Puerto Blest, where you will board another modern motor-catamaran to take you across Lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Panuelo.
Upon arrival at Puerto Panuelo we will transfer you to your hotel. (B.) (Shared Guide)
Day 7 - BARILOCHE
This morning will be at your leisure, enjoy the Hotel facilities and surrounds.
This afternoon you’ll begin your adventure. The tour begins downtown, more precisely on Ezequiel Bustillo Avenue, a winding path that runs along the lake Nahuel Huapi.
In the first section, in addition to urban architecture, the tour passes by the houses of pioneers, by the Yacht Club and the Melipal neighborhood. As one moves away from the buildings, the landscape begins to change to appreciate the flora and cypress forests, maitenes, coihues and ñires, among other typical trees. In summer, this road takes on a vibrant red and yellow color from rosehip bushes, plants of blackberries, raspberries and broom blooming in abundance.
At kilometer 17 is the base of Cerro Campanario, which has a height of 1,050 meters and, through a chairlift, you can access its summit (optional, lifts not included).
At the 24th kilometer, we begin to make out the San Eduardo Chapel, Pañuelo Port and Llao Llao Hotel. Remodeled and fully operational, the classical hotel is one of the most famous postcards of Bariloche, with panoramic views of the national park and lakes Nahuel Huapi and Perito Moreno.
Passing through Lake Escondido, leads to the binding of lakes Nahuel Huapi and Perito Moreno, which crosses the Narrows Bridge, located on the river of the same name. The circuit also shows the cemetery Highlander, the village of the Swiss settlers and finally the panoramic lookout point or Lake Moreno, at kilometer 40.
The way back begins at the El Trebol lagoon to the junction with Av Bustillo, which leads back to the city center.
In just 60 kilometers you can admire lakes, mountains and native forests of singular beauty. (B.) (Shared Guide)
Day 8 - BARILOCHE
This morning we left the hotel and we take the RN 231 towards Lake Mirror then we take RN 234: the famous the Seven Lakes Road (Mirror, Correntoso, Falkner, Villarino, Escondido, Machónico and Lácar).
We are going to do several stops along this road.
Our first Stop is in the Mirror lake. After that we are going to visits the famous 7 lakes hotel, where the Quintupuray family lives.
We will go by closely together of other lakes: Small mirror, Traful, Hermoso and Meliquina. A magnificent memory that the glaciers left us and that constitutes one of the most impressive landscaping of Argentina.
The road surprises us in every moment with the beautiful views of mountains, streams, lakes, forests, silence.
Several stops in the way, will allow us to contemplate not only the beauty of the landscape, also the smell of forest and the waterfalls sounds. In San Martin we will find a beautiful city beside the Lácar Lake, with spacious boulevards and streets with an architecture that combines the traditional made of wood, with the modern and functional design.
We will have lunch in San Martin, that will be an excuse to stay for a few hours there, also will have the time for a walk.
Then we will visit the Arrayan Circuit Viewing-point, with fantastic view of the Lácar Lake and Chapelco Ski Complex, before returning to Villa La Angostura taken the Seven Lakes road again. (B.) (Shared Guide)
Day 9 - BARILOCHE - CALAFATE
Transfer to the airport for your flight to by to El Calafate, a quiet and picturesque tourist village, surrounded by dense vegetation that surprises visitors who are used to the aridity of the Patagonic steppe.
On arrival to Calafate you will be transferred to your hotel. (B.) (Private Transfer)
Day 10 - CALAFATE
This morning enjoy a hald day tour to Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the world’s largest active continental glaciers.
This imposing ice river, 3 km wide and 50 metres high, descends from the Patagonian Continental Icefield provoking ice cracks and explosions during its slow forward movements.
Because of its breathtaking beauty and unusual behaviour Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site. (B.) (Shared Guide)
Day 11 - CALAFATE - TORRES DEL PAINE
Today we pick you up from your hotel and we head south by minibus towards to Torres del Paine National Park.
Sightseeing along the way. (B. D.) (Semi-Private Transfer)
Day 12 - TORRES DEL PAINE
As a guest at Las Torres Patagonia, you will enjoy an all-inclusive Patagonian experience with excellent guided excursions, delicious and healthy local cuisine.
Las Torres Patagonia excursions will take guests to see and experience the great beauty and fascinating life of Chilean Patagonia.
With the help of expert guides each guest will find the right outing depending on their interest and energy levels. On offer are walks, hikes, and tours by van or vehicle.
Difficulty levels are available from easy to very difficult.
There are half-day and full-day options.
We suggest whilst there that you may enjoy tours by van with some light walks, including lake Nordenskold, Salto Grande, Laguna Azul, Lago Sarmiento and many more. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)
Day 13 - TORRES DEL PAINE
As a guest at Las Torres Patagonia, you will enjoy an all-inclusive Patagonian experience with excellent guided excursions, delicious and healthy local cuisine. (B. L. D.) (Shared Guide)
Day 14 - TORRES DEL PAINE - PUNTA ARENAS
In the morning you will be transferred from Torres del Paine to Punta Arenas (around 4 hours’ bus ride).
On arrival we transfer you to the cruise pier.
Board the M/V Stella Australis cruise ship at 18:00.
After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the Captain and his crew, the ship will depart for one of the remotest parts of the planet.
Our trip will take us through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia, which includes the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. (B. D.) (Semi-Private Transfer)
Day 15 - AINSWORTH BAY - TUCKERS ISLETS
At dawn, we will navigate our way through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay which is sited within Alberto De Agostini National Park. It’s the perfect spot from which to see the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range in the distance; and to appreciate how the land returns to life after glacial retreat.
We will also take a walk to a beaver dam in the stunning sub-polar Magellan Forest.
Whether on the beach or the island, there’s a good chance of sighting Southern Elephant Seals. But do bear in mind the fact that sightings cannot be guaranteed due to the colony’s unpredictable movements.
Later, we will be sailing to Tuckers Islets, and after lunch, we will board well-equipped Zodiac boats to get close to a colony of Magellan Penguins (indigenous to the Southern Hemisphere) and cormorants. In September and April, this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a nearby glacier at Brookes Bay. (B. L. D.)
Day 16 - PIA GLACIER - GLACIER ALLEY
We will navigate along the northwest arm of the Beagle Channel before disembarking at Pia Fjord.
From there, we’ll take a short hike to a panoramic viewpoint from where we can enjoy spectacular views of the awe-inspiring Pia Glacier whose main tongue extends from the mountaintops down to the sea.
After this memorable experience, we will continue our voyage along the Beagle Channel through the majestic Glacier Alley. (B. L. D.)
Day 17 - CAPE HORN - WULAIA BAY
We will be sailing through Murray Channel and Nassau Bay to reach Cape Horn National Park, where, weather permitting, we shall go ashore.
The legendary Cape Horn was discovered in 1616 and is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory. For many years it was an important navigation route between the Pacific and the Atlantic, and is referred to as the ‘End of the Earth’.
The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005.
In the afternoon, we will go ashore at historical Wulaia Bay, originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed there in 1833 during his voyage on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography.
We will take an enchanted walk through the Magellan Forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic vegetation, to reach a panoramic viewpoint. (B. L. D.)
Day 18 - USHUAIA
Welcome to Ushuaia. Acknowledged as the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia was founded in 1884 and was one of the original points of encounter between the Yamana and Anglican cultures. Its name derives from the Yamana word for ‘penetrating bay’ and it’s surrounded by the last high peaks of the Andes. Today, it is one of the largest cities on Tierra del Fuego Island, with around 65,000 inhabitants. The perfect opportunity to enjoy the city and its spectacular scenery.
Upon arrival we will transfer you from your cruise to your hotel.
Rest of day at leisure. (B.) (Private Transfer)
Day 19 - USHUAIA
This morning enjoy a 4 hour tour around one of the most important protected areas in the country and the only one by the sea shore.
We will set off from the city center, heading south west, traveling through coastal landscapes and, after watching the glacier valleys, we will stop at the Fuegian Southern Railway station, where passengers can choose to enter the Park on board the famous ‘End of the World Train’.
As soon as the passengers reach the Park, the tour around the different interest points gets started.
At Bahía Ensenada, the ‘Concheros Antropogénicos’ (rests of mollusks and ashes today covered with vegetation), which are an evidence of the native settlements in the area around 6500 years ago, can be appreciated.
Then we head Roca Lake where we can see the geography of ‘Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego’ which has a sister city relationship with the Chilean Republic.
After walking along the park, we will get some free time to rest and recover our strength, tasting some chocolate or coffee in “Casita Del Bosque” by the Lapataia River.
From there, by bus or van, we will head the end of National Route Nº 3, in Lapataia Bay, then, we will go back to the city and transfer you to your hotel. (B.) (Shared Guide)
Day 20 - USHUAIA - BUENOS AIRES
Morning at leisure.
At the schedule time we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires.
The elegant Capital of Argentina, with over 3 million Porteños – as the residents are called, is one of the largest cities in the world. This great metropolis renowned for its sophistication stands out for being the most cosmopolitan and European city in South America, displayed through its mixed architecture and diverse culture.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (B.) (Private Transfer)
Day 21 - BUENOS AIRES
This morning enjoy a tour of the city, that portrays many faces of Buenos Aires.
We will visit the symbol of our city, the Obelisk, El Cabildo, Casa Rosada (Argentinian Presidencial office) and El Congress squares such as Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martin and Plaza Alvear; Avenida De Mayo, Corrientes and 9 de Julio among other avenues; La Boca and San Telmo, historic neighborhoods, the magnificent Palermo and Recoleta areas and modern neighborhoods like Puerto Madero, Dorrego square; Lezama Park and Tres de Febrero or Palermo woods (known as Bosques de Palermo) along with the Ecologic Reserve of the ‘Costanera Sur’ and the commercial and financial areas of the city.
This evening, you will be taken to dinner and Tango show, where you’ll discover why the tango became one of the most elegant and sensual dances in the world. (B. D.) (Private Tour)
Day 22 - BUENOS AIRES
Day at leisure.
Revisit some of your favourite places in the city today, shop for leatherwear and designer clothes. Get acquainted with the "Paris of South America" and its distinct European flavour, free to treat yourself to an Argentine beef dinner at one of the city's many superb steak restaurants. (B.)
Day 23 - DEPART BUENOS AIRES
At the schedule time we will transfer you to the airport for your next destination. (B.) (Private Transfer)
We can offer you the possibility to extend this tour to other incredible destinations like:
- ARGENTINA: Iguassu Falls
- BRAZIL: Rio de Janeiro
- ANTARCTICA: Antarctica cruise
The below hand-picked properties feature good location, superior service, and all facilities necessary for a comfortable stay.
- Santiago: Ismael 312
- Puerto Varas: Cabañas del Lago
- Paine National Park: Las Torres
- Cruise: Stella Australis
- Buenos Aires: NH Crillon
- Calafate: Kosten Aike
- Bariloche: Cacique Inacayal
- Ushuaia: Ciliene del Faro
- Hotel accommodation quoted in lead-in hotel guest rooms unless specified otherwise
- Hotels can easily be changed at the customer request. We have a wide selection so you can be assured of a great place to stay
- We have several Patagonia cruises and itineraries that you can choose from, please let us know if you wish to changed the selected cruise for other ship or program
- Occasionally due to circumstances out of our control, hotels quoted may not be available at the time of booking. In these circumstances when hotels are unavailable, South America Tours Pty Ltd will provide the best possible alternative.
- All Internal fights within Chile and Argentina and airport tax
- Patagonia Cruise
- Accommodation with private facilities as mentioned in the itinerary
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary:
(B.) = Breakfast
(L.) = Lunch
(D.) = Dinner
- All transfers, transport, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary unless specified otherwise:
(Private Transfer / Transport) = Your own exclusive driver. No queuing for taxis, no stopping en route at tour booking agencies. All private transfers / transport are operated on a private basis – i.e., you won’t be sharing with others
(Semi-Private Transfer) = transport provided by the hotel or lodge to their guest only
(Private Tour) = Your own, personal tour guide and an exclusive vehicle
(Shared Guide) = Meet other like minded travellers and share the services of a guide / vehicle during the plan activity. Typical group size is 10 travellers which really works well and makes for a fun experience for all.
- Parks and monuments entrance
- Professional English speaking local guides throughout
- Service charges and taxes.
What’s not included
- International air-tickets. We have access to wholesale fares and work closely with LATAM Airlines, contact us before organize your flights independently.
- Reciprocal fees and tourist visas
- Travel insurance
- Any items not specifically mentioned as included, phone call, laundry, tips, etc.
- Rates are subject to change and different rates may apply during holiday seasons and special events
- Irrespective of whether you book directly with us or with your preferred travel agent, we’ll want to know the details of all of your fights – flight times frequently change and we want to make sure your transfers and other arrangements are amended accordingly.
- We only book flights in conjunction with tailor-made land (and sea) arrangements booked through us – we don’t book just flights, sorry.
- You should ensure you have travel insurance in place to cover the possibility of unforeseen circumstances which result in the inability to participate in the tour
- It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure they meet the visa requirements for the country they are visiting.
- South America Tours Pty Ltd does not provide visa services
- All routes are subject to change without notice due to unexpected circumstances or weather conditions.