November 29, 2020

Trip to Patagonia – Jan 3, 2015 – Explore Los Glaciares National Park

– from the Itinerary: Today, we embark upon a full-day excursion to Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Los Glaciares is the second-largest national park in Argentina, and comprises more than 1,700 square miles and nearly 50 large glaciers. These glaciers are fed by a giant ice cap (the largest continental ice extension after Antarctica) that begins in the Andes and occupies well over a third of the park’s total area. During our explorations, we’ll discover the wondrous Perito Moreno Glacier, a pristine marvel towering nearly 200 feet above Lake Argentino. It is named after Francisco Moreno, …

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Trip to Patagonia – Jan 2, 2015 – Overland to El Calafate, Argentina

– from the Itinerary: After breakfast, we depart Torres del Paine National Park and cross the Andes once again as we transfer by coach to El Calafate, a town in Argentina that serves as the gateway to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. For 65 million years, the land here evolved from chaotic volcanic eruption and massive glaciers, creating a jagged landscape of interconnected fjords, channels, and mountainside  glacial lakes. We’ll enjoy another chance to view the scenery and wildlife of the Patagonian steppe during our drive and make a stop for lunch en route. This evening we arrive at our hotel …

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Trip to Patagonia – Jan 1, 2015 – Lago Grey Glacier Cruise; Lago Grey Trek

– from the Itinerary: This morning we’ll explore Lago Grey, which is one of the park’s largest and most famous lakes, boarding a small boat for a closer view of the enormous icebergs, calved from Glacier Grey, that float on the lake’s surface. Weather permitting, we’ll navigate around the icebergs and chart a course for Glacier Grey itself, where we’ll enjoy magnificent views of its jagged blue-white walls rising to the sky. We then go for a trek along the shores of Lago Grey, where gigantic blue icebergs rest against sandy beaches while Glacier Grey stretches into the distance through …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 31, 2014 – Overland to Torres del Paine National Park; Salto Grande Trek

– from the Itinerary: Today, we travel overland to Torres del Paine, widely considered to be South America’s finest national park and one of the most remote and beautiful places in the world. We’ll spend two nights here, giving us time to hike winding trails over rippling currents; witness the ostrich-like rhea (known locally as nandu), condor, fox, and other wildlife protected by this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site; and take in the stunning land- scapes of snowcapped mountains rising dramatically over mirror-smooth  lakes and flowering fields. We’ll stop for a boxed lunch at a scenic viewpoint en route to Torres …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 30, 2014 – Fly to Punta Arenas; Walking Tour

– from the Itinerary: Today we rise early and take a ferry back to the mainland. Then we fly to Punta Arenas, a bustling port overlooking the Strait of Magellan. Founded in 1848 as a military penal colony, Punta Arenas leapt to international prominence in the late 19th century because of its sheep and wool industry and the discovery of gold nearby. On our way into town, we’ll stop at the Nao Victoria Museum, which has a replica of one of Ferdinand Magellan’s ships complete with original furniture and hardware. After lunch your own in Punta Arenas, we’ll take a …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 29, 2014 – Discover Chiloé Island; Puñihuil Wildlife Sanctuary

– from the Itinerary: This morning, we’ll visit villages on the coast of Chiloé Island, including Quinchao Island, Curaco de Velez, and Achao. In Achao, we’ll see one of the 16 historic wooden churches of Chiloé that are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Begun by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, these churches represent the blending of Spanish Catholicism with indigenous culture, with some details of their construction showing that they were built by carpenters who had learned their trade building boats. You’ll have time for lunch on your own, after which we return to our hotel. Later, …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 28, 2014 – Visit Local School; Home-Hosted Lunch; Ferry to Chiloé Island

  – from the Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, we’ll continue our travel in Chile with a visit to a local school (when in session). We’ll meet some young students and get a look at what a small, rural school is like in this part of Chile. Then we’ll be the guests of a local family in the community of Pargua, where they will prepare a traditional meal called a curanto for us. Curanto is a stew consisting of typical local fare—shellfish, meat, potatoes, and vegetables, cooked in a hole in the ground lined with rocks. As the meal is …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 27, 2014 – Osorno Volcano Hike; Explore Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park

– from the Itinerary: This morning, we head towards the Osorno Volcano, whose snowcapped cone towers over Lake Llanquihue, and enjoy a hike in its vicinity. We continue to Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park and have lunch with a local fisherman and his family who live inside the park. After lunch, we witness the Petrohue Waterfalls, where clear turquoise chutes of water flow over ancient lava from the Osorno Volcano that has been polished by silt over the centuries into a bed of smooth stone. The Mapuche Indians call this area the meeting ground between man and God, and with …

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Trip to Patagonia – Dec 26, 2014 – Overland to Puerto Varas, Chile

– from the Itinerary After breakfast today, we’ll bid farewell to Bariloche, board our motorcoach, and travel to Chile. We’ll stop for lunch en route. We’ll arrive at our hotel in Puerto Varas in the late afternoon and take a short orientation walk. This evening, dinner is on your own. And now we take a long bus ride across the Andes to Puerto Varas in Chile for the next 2 nights. We drove through the Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. This entire area is covered in ash from the eruption of the Puyehue Volcano in 2011. When we cross into Chile, …

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