By Marc C. Shaffer
Time for another international travel adventure!
To read more on my philosophy of prioritizing travel in my life, visit I PLAN, So That I Can.
December 26, 2019 – January 11, 2020
Patagonia—one of the top trekking destinations in the world! We’ll complete the famed W-Trek in Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia with its glacier views and bring in the New Year with a sunrise hike to Mirador Las Torres to see the spectacular jagged granite towers. We’ll visit two awe inspiring glaciers, kayaking right next to Grey Glacier (Chile) and spending an unforgettable day hiking the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier (Argentina).
We’ll explore Argentine Patagonia and complete the alpine hikes to Mount Fitz Roy and to the spectacular rock needles of Cerro Torre. We’ll end our adventures in far northeast Argentina to see Iguazu Falls, one of the New Natural Seven Wonders of the World! Iguazu Falls has been called the world’s most awe-inspiring waterfall! In addition to the falls, we’ll have a chance to explore the jungle and relax! Before we head home, we’ll briefly stop in Buenos Aires to soak up the culture, food, and learn to tango! Join us for an amazing two weeks and take home a lifetime of memories!
DAY 1 (December 26th) DEPART HOME
DAY 2 (December 27th) ARRIVE PUNTA ARENAS, CHILE
An afternoon arrival in this southern Chilean town set at the bottom of the Americas will allow us to stretch our legs after long flights, get acquainted, refuel, and prepare for an amazing adventure that begins tomorrow. Punta Arenas is a diverse metropolis on the Strait of Magellan (nearly 1900 miles south of the capital, Santiago!) that originally served as a military garrison before becoming a key part of the wool trade. We’ll meet as a group for our first dinner together and get prepped for the adventures to follow!
DAY 3 (December 28th) PUERTO NATALES (KAYAKING)
After breakfast we’ll take a bus north to Puerto Natales, the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park. We’ll arrive around lunch time and then kayak in Lago (Lake) Grey, paddling between crystal blue icebergs as they float down the lake before paddling right up to the face of the glacier. After a hearty meal in this quaint town on the doorstep of the national park, we’ll turn in and get ready to begin the famed W trek in Torres del Paine tomorrow.
DAY 4-7 (December 29th-January 1st) W TREK—TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK
This is why you’re here! Listed as one of the best treks in the world by nearly every publication, the W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park will not disappoint! An early morning transport to the National Park entrance and a boat ride across Lake Pehoe gets us onto the trail. We’ll spend four spectacular days on the trail traversing nearly 50 miles of stunning scenery.
Glacier views, stunning valleys, granite pillars, and of course, the final day to Mirador Las Torres to see the famed jagged granite towers behind a blue-green glacial pool that graces the cover of nearly all travel magazines and brochures related to Patagonia.
We’ll spend New Year’s Eve a short two-hour hike from the towers and bring in the New Year with a sunrise view of the famed spires! Although spectacularly beautiful, this trek isn’t a walk in the park—wind, rugged trails, and long days are part of the journey—so hit the gym or the trails to get ready! After seeing the spires on the 1st, we’ll hike back to the park entrance and catch our transportation to El Calafate, Argentina!
DAY 8-10 (January 2nd – 4th) EL CHALTEN, ARGENTINA
After one night in El Calafate, we’ll catch a bus to El Chalten, the gateway to Argentine Patagonia! El Chalten will serve as our base for the next three days. We’ll explore several of the best day hikes that Argentine Patagonia has to offer—or, if you want, relax, get a massage and take in the mountain air! If you’re up for more hiking, then two must dos are Laguna de Los Tres and Laguna Torre. These two stunning alpine hikes lead to photogenic views of Mount Fitz Roy (photo at left and top of brochure) and spectacular rock needles of Cerro Torre! The unforgettable views are an excellent reward for these tough hikes—and get back in time for a great evening meal and a warm bed! We’ll take an early evening bus back to El Calafate on the 4th.
DAY 11 (January 5th) EL CALAFATE, ARGENTINA—PERITO MORENO GLACIER
The highlights keep coming! Strap on your crampons because today we’ll be trekking the Perito Moreno Glacier! If you only visit one glacier in your life, this one would be a good one to pick. The glacier is currently 19 miles long, covering 121 square miles, and is 240 feet above the water. It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981 and offers views of ice caves, deep crevasses, and hulking ice masses. After an impressive day on the ice we’ll spend our final night in the Patagonia region.
DAY 12-14 (January 6th-8th) IGUAZU FALLS, ARGENTINA
Today we’re off to see one of the New Natural Seven Wonders of the World, Iguazu Falls! It has been called the world’s most awe-inspiring waterfall! Yesterday we were traversing a glacier, today we’ll be in the jungle! To get there, we’ll travel over 2500 miles to the northeast corner of Argentina, an area that borders Paraguay and Brazil. This part of the country couldn’t be more different!
We’ll trade in mountains and cool weather for jungle and humidity! Iguazu falls borders Argentina and Brazil (we’ll view it from both sides!) and consists of 257 individual falls over 1.7 miles! Besides the falls, there are many other potential activities, including mountain biking, hiking, river cruises, and more! Or, after nearly two weeks on the road relax by the lodge pool with a cold drink and soak up the sun!
DAY 15-16 (January 9th-January 10th) BUENOS AIRES
We’ll take a mid-day flight on the 9th to Buenos Aires and have approximately 30 hours to explore the city before an evening flight back home on the 10th. Buenos Aires famously blends European and Latin history and culture into an exciting cosmopolitan city. Options abound, including many museums, cafes, plazas, shopping, famous sites (e.g., Ricoleta Cemetery, La Casa Rosada) and we’ll learn to tango! Finally, we’ll pack our bags, and hope our bags can fit all the mementoes and our minds all the memories from this amazing adventure. Safe travels home!
TOTAL PRICE PER PERSON for TRIP
(ASSUMES DOUBLE OCCUPANCY & DOES NOT INCLUDEINTERNATIONAL AIRFARE):
• All transportation within Chile and Argentina
• Lodging/Hotel Accommodation (11 nights), Camping (3 nights)
• Some Meals (9B, 3L, 3D)
• Four-day, W Trek in Torres del Paine including all National Park Fees
• National Park Fees in Argentine Patagonia
• Kayaking Grey glacier
• Trekking Perito Moreno Glacier
• Iguazu Falls entrance fees (Argentine and Brazilian sides)
• Domestic flight from El Calafate to Iguazu Falls
• Domestic flight from Iguazu Falls to Buenos Aires
• Buenos Aires—Tango Lessons!
Price Does Not Include:
• Airfare from hometown to Punta Arenas, Chile and Buenos Aires to hometown
• Airfare from hometown to Punta Arenas, Chile and Buenos Aires to hometown
• Some meals
• Trip Insurance
• Brazilian Visa (if wanting to see Iguazu falls from both sides)
For Questions Contact Jared or Stacy:
Photos from my prior trips with Adventure to Serve can be found below.
2018 Namibia and South Africa Photos
2017 Bhutan and Thailand Photos
2016 Iceland Photos
- Tour of Iceland with Adventure to Serve
- Glacier Summit at Snaefellsjokel Glacier
- 6 Day hike through Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
2015 Peru Photos
- Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
- Andean Mountain Village – Volunteering with the HoPe Foundation
- The Amazon
2014 China and Nepal Photos