Experience the best of southern Patagonia. Explore the sub-Antarctic tip of Chile, mingle with penguins, and gaze upon majestic glaciers in Torres del Paine. Most trekking elevation is under 5,000 feet. Shorter hikes (up to 5 miles) are scheduled among other activities like penguin viewing via boat, horseback riding and drinking local wines. This trip is for any adventurous outdoor traveler. See blog post by Greg Lais about WI’s first trip to Patagonia.
ItineraryExpand All Fields
Day 1: Welcome to Punta Arenas, the capital city of southern Patagonia!
Arrive at Punta Arenas, the gateway to the Andes mountains and the Patagonian fjords. Meet your guides and group mates and settle into your new accommodations. Enjoy a shared meal and prepare for the adventures ahead.
Day 2: Explore the world’s southernmost city, Puerto Williams.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before traveling to the Island of Navarino in the Chilean Antarctic region. Facing the southern coast of Tierra del Fuego and north of Cape Horn, it is the gateway to Antarctica. Walk the streets, visit the Marina Micalvi pier, and learn about the interesting Martín Gusinde Museum.
Day 3: Discover the wonders of the Miniature Forests of the Cape Horn Archipelago.
Explore most of the major habitat types of the region: coastal coigue forests, lenga parks, ñirre forests, peat bogs, invasive beaver wetlands, and alpine heath. Learn about conservation initiatives in the last sub-Antarctic forests of the planet.
Day 4: Visit the end of the world at Dientes de Navarino.
Hike to the base of the Dientes de Navarino massif, where you will enjoy an over-whelming view of the end of the world, the Beagle Channel and Puerto Williams, surrounded by nature in its greatest splendor. Learn about the native flora such as orchids and the vast amount of local wild fruits.
Day 5: Kayak the Beagle Channel to the confluence of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Enjoy a unique kayaking adventure along the Beagle Channel, navigated by canoe nomads since ancient times. Paddle past the nesting site of thousands of seagulls and several species of geese as you make your way to the confluence of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Day 6: Marvel at the grandeur that is Torres del Paine National Park.
Travel by air back to the mainland and head towards your next destination; majestic Torres del Paine. Your accommodation lies at the foot of the Torres del Paine mountain range amidst a myriad of natural wonders and unbeatable views.
Day 7: Hike in the heart of Patagonia and visit Grey Lake.
Spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Torres del Paine National Park and its most scenic stops. Gaze upon soaring mountains, view sparkling glacial lakes, and hike alongside glaciers. If you’re lucky, find a local guanaco amidst an unmatched backdrop.
Day 8: Enjoy the area on horseback as the Gauchos did.
Gallop across the pampas and through the lenga forest on this equestrian adventure across the Cerro Paine Reserve. Starting off from our stables, the trip follows the “O” Circuit around the eastern edge of the Paine Massif into the valley of the Paine river.
Day 9: Gaze at the Blue Lagoon and trek a hidden waterfall.
Experience one of the park’s most incredible viewpoints from the Blue Lagoon with its granite spires and alluring colors. Keep an eye out for guanacos, birds of prey, condors, and aquatic birds. Trek to a thundering waterfall along the Paine River.
Day 10: Feel like a true Patagonian at Estancia Fitz Roy.
En route to Punta Arenas, visit Estancia Fitz Roy and live the traditions of the Magellan gaucho. Witness wool baths, sheep shearing, and experience a true Chilean barbecue.
Day 11: Cross the strait of Magellan and mingle with penguins.
Take a boat tour across the Strait of Magellan to a nature reserve and marvel at the thousands of Magellanic penguins milling about on the pebbly terrain. Circumnavigate Marta Island to see countless sea lions in their natural habitat before saying goodbye to the jaw-dropping backdrops of southern Patagonia and your travel companions. Transfer to the airport in the afternoon for your journey home.
Dates & Fees
What to Expect
TERRAIN/ROUTE: Enjoy exploring the Torres del Paine and Navarino Island. We will hike a few miles of uneven trail most days above sea level. Kayaking and horseback riding requires little to no experience.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: You will travel mostly by foot as you explore the wonders of northern and southern Patagonia. Transportation to and from accommodations will be provided by van. Domestic flights are necessary to explore both regions and provided in trip cost.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: No previous experience is necessary, however the elevation and uneven terrain make this trip a bit more difficult. We’ll take it easy and let you acclimate.
WEATHER: Temperatures in November (summer) can range from 40°F at night to 72°F during the during the day. Rainfall varies – you should expect some rain throughout your trip.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 8 to 14 participants, plus one Wilderness Inquiry staff, and one local guide while in Chile. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds, and abilities, including people with disabilities.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Throughout the trip we will be staying in local hotels and lodges. The accommodations are very comfortable. Typically there are 2 people per room, matched by gender or requests to room together. In most rooms, solo travelers have single beds and couples share beds. We make every effort to ensure privacy and cleanliness.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone you will feel at home with a welcoming group. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee. Please email or call us if you would like this option.
MEALS: Enjoy typical Chilean fare, including fresh fish, barbecue, lamb, chicken, and fresh produce. Bottled water is recommended and readily available. We’ll enjoy happy hours, but the purchase of alcoholic beverages is not included in the trip fees.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: You will need to provide your personal clothing and gear which is outlined in the packing list. We recommend layers as the weather can change quickly.Read more »
Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do we meet?
Standard Meeting Places and Times
Start: Punta Arenas Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport at 12:00 PM (local time)
End: Punta Arenas Presidente Carlos Ibáñez del Campo International Airport at 3:00 PM (local time)
To make your travel arrangements for this trip we recommend that you consult with a travel agency. The agency we work with frequently, Travel One, can be reached at (800) 247-1311. They are typically familiar with our trips and can help you make the best flight connections and hotel transfers at the best prices. Most people will fly to Santiago, Chile, and then connect to our meeting area of Puerto Montt, Chile. That is a 2 hour flight and about $50. At the end of the trip you will be transported to the airport in Punta Arenas and fly home (or anywhere else you might be headed) from there. Most people will fly back to Santiago and then home from there. It is a 2 hour flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago (about $110). Except where made explicit, WI will provide for all trip-specific transportation in Chile between the two flights. Detailed meeting place instructions will be sent to you when you are confirmed for the trip.
Is this hiking trip wheelchair accessible?
Since hiking over rugged trails is a primary activity of our hiking trips, we do not recommend these trips for persons who use wheelchairs. Several of the hikes and activities are not very accessible for people who use wheelchairs.
Our canoe, kayak, and dogsled trips are generally more accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Water based travel is the great equalizer when it comes to outdoor activities. Fortunately, we have many trips to choose from.
All that said, if you use a wheelchair and are interested in going, please call to discuss the trip with us. We never want to say never!
Which immunizations do you recommend when traveling to an international destination?
Prior to departure, we recommend that you check with your doctor as early as possible to ensure you are up to date on your standard immunizations. Your doctor is in the best position to recommend specific vaccinations to specific destinations.
Some of the trip information on your website is different than the trip catalog. Why?
While it does not happen very often, sometimes dates, fees, or activities change after we print our trip schedule. We also add new trips all the time. Our website is the most up to date source of information and always supersedes trip catalog information.
How difficult are the hikes?
Most trekking elevation is under 5,000 ft, but some do go as high as 9,000 feet. Shorter hikes (up to 5 miles) are scattered among other activities like penguin viewing via boat, horseback riding and drinking local wines. If you can walk 5-miles you'll be fine.
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
We require a nonrefundable deposit of 10% of the trip fee or $100, whichever is smaller. So, for example, if the trip fee is $250, the deposit would be $25. If the trip fee is $3995, the deposit would be $100.
If you choose to cancel your trip:
For trips in the continental United States:
• 6 weeks prior to start date — we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 6 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 1 week— no refunds will be issued.
For trips outside the continental United States:
• 12 weeks prior to start date— we will refund fees paid minus deposit.
• Less than 12 weeks — we will refund 50% of the total trip fee, or 100% of fees paid can be transferred to a future trip.
• Less than 2 weeks — no refunds will be issued.
In the rare event that WI cancels a trip, or we are unable to serve you, all fees are immediately refunded, including the deposit. Unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for personal expenses such as airline tickets. To protect your investment in your travel plans we recommend purchasing travel insurance. Information on travel insurance is included in your trip confirmation packet. If after registering you wish to switch trips, you may do so subject to availability. Fees may apply.
Under certain circumstances, such as death of a family member, change in health status, loss of employment, etc., we may make exceptions to our refund policies. Please let us know immediately if your plans change!
Do you have a single supplement for Patagonia Hike and Explore?
You can elect to guarantee a single room for the duration of the trip for $1295 during the registration process.