Small group adventure vacation to Patagonia

“It's a long way down to the tip of South America... and this three-week tour's philosophy is that if you're traveling all the way there, then you might as well see it properly.”

Highlights

Santiago | Lake District | Puerto Varas | Walking in Torres del Paine National Park | El Calfate | Perito Moreno Glacier | El Chalten | Los Glaciares National Park | Ushuaia | Hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park | Buenos Aires | Optional: Vaparaiso, Chilean vineyard, white water rafting, biking, thermal pools, climbing Villarica , Chiloe Island, boat trips, horse riding

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
18 Dec 2016
£ 3208
excluding flights
Full
 
08 Jan 2017
£ 3478
excluding flights
On Request
Click here to enquire about or book the 08 Jan 2017 departure
29 Jan 2017
£ 3478
excluding flights
Full
 
12 Feb 2017
£ 3478
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Feb 2017 departure
05 Mar 2017
£ 3478
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Mar 2017 departure
05 Nov 2017
£ 3528
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 05 Nov 2017 departure
26 Nov 2017
£ 3528
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Nov 2017 departure
17 Dec 2017
£ 3528
excluding flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 17 Dec 2017 departure
Our top tip:
With many activities optional, you can choose how much to push yourself. But the fitter you are before you arrive, the more of the treks you'll want to attempt!
Trip type:
Small group, 4-16 people. Min. age usually 12.
Activity level:
Moderate.
Accomm:
Hotels with private bathrooms. Dorms in Torres del Paine.
Solos:
Solos welcome. Single rooms available with surcharge (except in Torres del Paine dorms).
Included:
Accomm., listed activities, tour leader, transport, internal flights, intl. flights (if booked).
Meals:
All breakfasts, 1 lunch. Budget $45/day extra for food, drinks.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group adventure vacation

This trip is run by a company which specialises in only Central and South America vacations. Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travelers (depending on the trip and how many others are booked on it) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are traveling alone, with your partner or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travelers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places, whilst being led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic leader.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Small group adventure vacation to Patagonia

Environment

Much of this tour is spent in the national parks of Patagonia. When inside the parks we ask clients to keep all waste with them until back in the nearest town, to walk only on designated paths, and not to pick flowers or disturb the natural resources. Given the purity of the water in Patagonia, we also encourage clients to drink tap water rather than buy bottled water, to avoid excess waste of plastic.

Our guides, and tour leaders, advise how best to minimise our impact whilst traveling in this region and the receding glaciers act as stark reminder of what we can also do back home to minimise the impact of our humankind on the environment.

Community

We work with local guides throughout Patagonia, not only supporting local employment, but our guides are best positioned to teach you about the local flora and fauna, as well as the more disturbing aspects of the local environment, notably the receding glaciers and areas of former deforestation.

On the day trip to the island of Chiloe, we visit a penguin colony, set on islands just offshore. We navigate the islands in zodiacs but do not set foot on the islands where the penguins (and sea otters, steamer ducks etc) are found, in order to protect their natural habitats. Local fishermen operate the zodiacs, a successful and lucrative venture, giving them an alternative to fishing prohibited fish and shellfish, such as abalone. We end the day on Chiloe by visiting a local chilote house, typically that of welcoming Senora Sefora. She invites local musicians to entertain us and she and her family prepare a feast of the local dish, curanto. The warmth of the ‘chilote’ people is touching and it is clear Sefora opens her home to tourism because she enjoys sharing her culture with us, not just for the much needed income that comes with it. This day is often quoted as the highlight of this tour.

On this small group adventure vacation to Patagonia we work with small privately owned ground agents who live in the area, have established RT policies in place, and employ local guides and staff. A number of journeys on this tour use public transport, the hotels are small, individual properties often run by the owners and their families, we eat in local restaurants serving locally grown produce – our style of travel ensures that as many local people as possible benefit by our being there. This tour runs with a maximum of 16 people which helps to minimise the impact on delicate environments.

Reviews of Small group adventure vacation to Patagonia

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 02 Jan 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Torres del Paine national park and climbing to the base of the granite peaks -
something I'd dreamed about doing for years. Battling the Patagonian winds to stand on the beach photographing icebergs. Clinging on for life as we raced down the rapids white water rafting in the Lake District. Watching sunset from the viewing platform of Santiago's tallest building. Celebrating my birthday in El Chalten with my new tour friends. Losing count of the number of penguins, whilst cruising the Beagle Channel. Enjoying coffee at the indoor fruit market in San Telmo, Buenos Aires and drinking cocktails the same evening on a rooftop bar.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It truly is 'four weathers' in one day so pack layers and make sure you have a bandana to keep your hair from flying around in the wind. Large denomination dollar notes ensure a better rate of exchange in Argentina. Break your hiking boots in before you go as it's not so much fun doing it on vacation!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The tour used plenty of local guides and drivers, who all benefited from the business and the tips we left. They also offered us lots of knowledge and insight into living in Chile and Argentina. We used a number of public bus services. The tour company included a small charge as part of the trip to offset carbon emissions from long haul flying.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent, an expensive trip, but it covered a lot of ground (mix of internal fights and bus rides) and offered plenty of opportunity to explore. A number of guided hikes and tours were included in the price. I particularly liked that it was mostly either 2 or 3 night stays, so it didn't mean constantly unpacking and packing. A great tour leader, who managed to combine the essential elements of being very organised whilst remaining relaxed and patient!

Reviewed on 21 Dec 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I enjoyed every part of the trip. The hikes in both Chile and Argentina were great but my favourite has to have been the walk to the base of the Towers. I went to see the scenery and was not disappointed. The trip on the Beagle Channel was also a high point.
The quality of the leader and guides was very good. I learnt a lot and could have learnt more if I had wanted.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Ensure they have the correct clothes for the area. They need to fully understand what the weather can be like, the difficulty of some of the hikes and just how remote it is. If they do not like scenery, hiking and wildlife this is not the vacation for them.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Using local buses would lessen impact. I was very impressed with the quality of the buses. It should be emphasised that these buses are more comfortable than private transport would be.
I liked the fact that we stayed in local hotels and hostels.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The leader of the group was very well organised and had the patience of a saint. He got to know each of us and worked hard to ensure we had the vacation we expected. The mixture of city, small towns and national parks was good for the group as a whole. I would have liked more time in the national parks but fully realise that would not be for everyone.
The accommodation was always clean and in a central place that was convenient.

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