Our trekking expeditions find a perfect balance between hiking days and rest days, with a minimum movement of camps. On average, every third day, on average, will be an optional rest day, with a chance for day hiking, birding, reading, or just plain doing nothing. These can be strategic rest days when making the Circuit of the Paine, or a chance to run after that perfect sunrise or sunset photo op. One can be as active as they want, and this flexibility helps facilitate trekkers of various abilities, as with families. This schedule also allows us to camp in the same place for more than one night, minimizing the hassle of moving camp every night, and allowing us to settle into our surroundings more.
This trip includes the world famous Towers of Paine National Park in Chile, and Los Glaciares Park in Argentina. We include the world-famous Circuit del Paine, a circumnavigation of the Paine range, as well as interior tours of both parks. Nothing is missed on this tour that emphasizes sidehikes with light daypacks. The granite peaks of Fitzroy, Cerro Torre, and the Torres del Paine are all visible from our treks. Guanacos, Nandu's(Ostrich family), and Condors are all likely to be seen. Locate and identify birds from over 100 species. Local guides and porters will enhance the experience, and lighten our loads. A professional cook will serve two meals a day, and trekkers will make their own box lunch from a buffet table. Participants may choose to only attend either the Chile or Argentina sections.
Professional bilingual guides(1 to 4 guide-client ratio), airport pickup in Punta Arenas and shuttle service to Puerto Natales, 6 nights hotel rooms in Puerto Natales, two nights hotel rooms in Calafate, all camping fees, all buses and shuttle fees, entrance and permit fees, porter and cook fees, all expedition food, community gear(such as first aid supplies, walkie talkies,cooking gear and stoves,) and all community climbing gear(if any is required).
YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
Flights to and from Punta Arenas, personal equipment(clothing, backpack, sleeping bag), all meals in Puerto Natales, Calafate, and Chalten(about $25/day), and medical insurance.
ITINERARY- 24 Days(Dec 16, 2005-Jan 8, 2006)
Chile Section and Paine Circuit- 12 Days(Dec 16-Dec 27)
Argentine Section and Los Glaciares Trek(Dec 28-Jan 8)
Day 1 Arrive to Punta Arenas via Santiago, airport pickup and transport to Puerto Natales, check into the Hotel, and have a brief meeting, before enjoying a delicious meal.
Day 2 Rest, prepare, and pack for trip. We will check people's equipment, have a further discussion on the logistics of the expedition, and enjoy the scenic sights of Puerto Natales.
Start of 10 Day Circuit of the Paine
Day 3 A scenic three-hour bus ride into the Towers of Paine leads to Laguna Amarga and the entrance to the Towers of Paine National Park. From here we will start the famed Circuit of the Paine in a counter clockwise direction. A five hour hike through the pampas and beech forest leads to Camp Seron and our first night in the park.
Day 4 A six-hour hike leads past Paine Lake, and into Camp Dickson, a small idyllic meadow with views of the Campo de Hielo Sur, or Southern Icecap, the largest icecap outside of the polar regions.
Day 5 An out and back day hike to Glacier Dickson offer rare and breathtaking views of the Towers West Faces. This is an optional day for those who want to rest and relax.
Day 6 A four hike ascends the Rio de los Perros(River of the dogs), past breathtaking waterfalls in a thick forest to close up views of the Glacier de los Perros, and then Camp Los Perros.
Day 7 A hard day of hiking. From Camp Los Perros, a muddy track leads upwards to scree slopes and John Garner pass. The views of the icecap are amazing from here. The trail descends steeply back into the forest. We'll stop at Campamento Paso or Los Guardas, depending on how everybody is feeling.
Day 8 Hike to Refugio Grey for lunch, and then onto Camping Pehoe, a scenic inlet on the brightly blue colored Lago Pehoe.
Day 9 Day hike out and back to the French Valley. This hike wanders past rivers and lakes to the French Valley. We will likely see ice avalanches on the Glacier Frances, and mountains such as the Fortress, the Sword, and the Mask are all visible.
Day 10 Take the scenic catamaran across Lake Pehoe, and transfer to a bus shuttle to Hosteria Las Torres, where we will enjoy a wonderful Christmas dinner that the Hosteria is famous for. Camping here offers glimpses of the Towers of Paine, as well as some excellent birding.
Day 11 Hike to the Towers of Paine vista, with world class views of the Towers 4000' East Faces. We will camp at Camping Las Torres.
Day 12 Another chance to view the Tower's East faces. We will get up early and hike to the vista at sunrise to try and catch the magical red light that these Towers are known for. Then we will hike back down the canyon and bus back to town for a celebration dinner.
End of the Circuit of the Paine
Day 13 Rest, relax, do laundry. Airport pickup of new arrivals for Argentine section.
Day 14 Rest, buy food, check equipment.
Day 15 Bus to Calafate, halfway point to Los Glaciares National Park. 5 Hour bus ride plus one hour border crossing. Shopping and gambling in town is available, as well as the chance to see Perito Moreno Glacier.
Day 16 Bus to Chalten, gateway to Las Glaciares Nationsl Park in Argentina, home to the world famous peaks of Cerro Torre and Fitzroy. Camp in town this night.
Start of 6 Day Los Glaciares Trek
Day 17 Vehicle transport and hike 3 hours to Piedre del Fraille, a refugio near the North Side of Mount Fitzroy.
Day 18 Day hike to Paso del Cuadrado, a steep climb a access stupendous views of Fitzroy, Cerro Pollone, and the Hielo Sur.
Day 19 Move camp to Camp Poinenot, a five or six hour hike that ascends the Rio Blanco to a camp near Fitzroy's East Face. Possible sidehike to Laguna Blancas, where the glaciar spills directly into the lake.
Day 20 Side hike in the morning to picturesque Lago de los Tres, with close up views of Fitzroy's stunning North Face. Move camp to Laguna Capri in the afternoon, a two hour hike.
Day 21 Short(thirty minute) sidehike to Cerro Rosada, with more morning views of the entire Fitzroy range. Move camp to Camp Agostini(formerly Camp Bridwell). This is a pleasant three hour hike through lenga forest. In the afternoon we will take a short hike to Laguna Torre, with views of Cerro Torre, Torre Egger, and Cerro Standhart visible.
Day 22 Hike back to El Chalten(3 hours) and bus back to Calafate. Stay the night at hotel in Calafate,
End of 6 Day Los Glaciares Trek
Day 23 Bus to Puerto Natales, check into hotel, and celebration dinner.
Day 24 Depart for home or continue vacation.
COST OF TRIP
TREKKING PATAGONIA(Chile and Argentina) - 24 Days $5,040.00
CHILE SECTION ONLY(Paine Circuit) - 12 Days $2,700.00
ARGENTINE SECTION ONLY(Los Glaciares Trek) - 12 Days $2,700.00
HIGH SIERRA DESTINATIONS - Steve made his first 50 mile backpack trip as a tenderfoot Boy Scout at the age of 11. Since that first big trip in 1971, Steve has kept up his trekking skills with trips all over the entire Sierra Nevada range. Join Steve for a special trip that may include light mountaineering, canyoneering, and peak bagging. By appointment only.
Rates: $300/day minimum for one person, $450/day for two, $600/day for three, and $750/day for a group of four people. Includes all trail food, camping, and permit fees. Does not include transport, lodging, or food in restaurants.
ASIA DESTINATIONS - We are also working on trekking trip to the wilds of Mongolia, and Pakistanůstay tuned!