Patagonian Highlights

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13 days
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$4,725 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 32 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
AAA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
18
Group size:
6–18

Discover the spectacular wilderness of southern Chile and Argentina

Rugged, snow-capped mountains stand imposingly amid the wild south of Argentina and Chile, fringed by huge icy lakes and windswept grasslands. In the distance shy guanacos roam and a few hardy gauchos tend their many sheep. We discover the sheer-sided peak of Mount Fitzroy and the immense Perito Moreno Glacier, where chunks of ice are often seen cracking into the water. Our journey culminates in Ushuaia - the most southerly city in the world. Renowned for world class trekking and outdoor activities, the raw natural beauty of Patagonia never fails to astound.

Highlights

  • Torres del Paine National Park, including a hike to the base of the Towers of Paine
  • Amazing glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park with an optional boat trip at the Moreno Glacier
  • The stunning granite peaks of Fitzroy Massif and Cerro Torre
  • Travel to the world's southernmost city - Ushuaia
  • The vast, wind-blown expanses of the Patagonian Steppe
  • Free time to explore Buenos Aires, Argentina's beautiful and cosmopolitan capital 

Key information

  • Travel by minibus, private coaches and 2 internal flights
  • 3 daywalks of up to 8 hours duration
  • Group normally 6‐18, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs
  • 10 nights standard hotels and 2 nights comfortable hotels

What's included

  • 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Internal flights for all bookings
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Airport transfers for Land Only bookings
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company.

We use several family owned lodges and hosterias during this trip which helps to keep money in the local community. At these properties locally sourced food is served wherever possible. Our guides enforce a strict 'Leave no Trace' policy in National Parks and the entrance fees are included for Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks which goes towards supporting conservation efforts in the area.

Accommodation and Meals: You will spend 10 nights in standard hotels and 2 nights in comfortable hotels. We visit some remote regions within Fitzroy and Torres del Paine and surrounding areas, where businesses are very much reliant on the income which tourism generates. We only use locally owned and run accommodation as a means of supporting local communities and employment levels. Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style with locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and your guide will be able to recommend authentic restaurants and cafes in the area where meals are not provided. Patagonia is known for its traditional ‘asados’ (BBQs) and outstanding wine so why not give them a try.

Local Craft and Culture: Although this tour is largely nature based, we take advantage of opportunities to explore local culture and support traditional handicraft production. We stop at La Leona- a very typical bar and restaurant in the middle of Patagonia. After a hearty meal of Argentinean meat, fish, pasta and a selection of local wine, clients are also able to purchase handmade souvenirs here.  There will be further opportunities to buy textiles, artwork, carvings and leather products from small businesses in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. We would also recommend the museum at Ushuaia in the former prison and can arrange a visit to a tango show in the old quarter of San Telmo.

A Fair Deal: We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. We also employ local drivers and use local services wherever possible as this is better for the community. All of our leaders are heavily invested in protecting nature and will give clients a briefing on responsible tourism issues. This helps to maximise our benefits to the community and to reduce our environmental impact. Our guides enforce a strict 'Leave no Trace' policy in National Parks and the entrance fees are included for Los Glaciares, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego National Parks which goes towards supporting conservation efforts in the area

Itinerary

Buenos Aires
to
Buenos Aires
  • Day 1

    Start Buenos Aires; walking tour.

    Those on the group flight will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in Buenos Aires. Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel this afternoon. Our local leader will meet us today for a briefing and take us on a short walking tour of the city, discovering its wealth of history and culture. The evening is free for you to choose one of the many excellent restaurants, most serving the legendary Argentine steaks!

    Accommodation: Cyan Recoleta or similar

    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Fly to El Calafate; to El Chalten.

    This morning we fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) to the small mountain town of El Chaltén. The town enjoys a beautiful location in Los Glaciares National Park with breathtaking views of Mount Fitzroy and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Los Glaciares N.P.; daywalk to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp.

    We set off amidst incredible mountains and valleys for a day walk. First we hike to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp with amazing views of the striking massif ahead. In the afternoon we continue to the picturesque Laguna de los Tres, a glacial lake whose still waters reflect the three main peaks of the range. This is a full day of walking over fairly rough terrain, but with impressive, rugged scenery along the way.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Optional activities; to El Calafate.

    Today has been left free to enjoy an additional trek or an optional boat trip to another highlight of this area: the Viedma Glacier. In the late afternoon we transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) back to El Calafate.

    Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Calafate or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Visit Perito Moreno Glacier; optional boat trip.

    Today we visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. This immense jagged sheet of ice stretches over 3 miles across Lago Argentino and rises 200ft out if its cold waters. It is the fastest moving glacier on the planet and the eerie creaks and thunderous groans add a certain atmosphere of anticipation. Every so often an office block sized chunk of ice calves from its face into the water below before slowly floating down the lake as a giant iceberg. An optional boat trip gives an even greater appreciation of the immense scale of this wonder.

    Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Calafate or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Free day in El Calafate.

    We will spend a second day here to allow exploration of the town's surroundings. It is possible to take a gentle walk along Lago Argentina to see birdlife (including flamingos), or a slightly more demanding hike for some fantastic views stretching over the Patagonian Steppe and towards the mountainous border with Chile. Alternatively you can join an optional excursion to a local Estancia or to Todo Glaciares - this navigation includes Upsala Glacier, Bahia Onelli (where pieces of glacier are floating in the water) and the Spegazzinni Glacier. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.

    Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Calafate or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Torres del Paine N.P.

    After breakfast we have a long drive (approx. 8-9 hours) across the border into Chile today before we arrive in one of the world's most beautiful national parks, Torres del Paine (please note that due to local regulations we must change buses at the border). From here we will meet our Chilean guide and drive around some of the park. We may have time after we check-in for a short walk next to Laguna Amarga or Laguna Azul, which offer great panoramic views of the Paine Massif and the striking granite Horns of Paine.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Pehoe or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Day walk to the Torres del Paine.

    Without a doubt, one of the biggest highlights of the park is to hike up to the base of the Towers of Paine. The walk itself is beautiful, trekking through forests and offering some fantastic views across the park. This is a reasonably difficult and long trek, and the last section is steep with rocky terrain, so you need a reasonably good level of fitness and confidence. The reward on reaching the small lake at the base of these sheer granite peaks however, makes the long walk well worthwhile. Note that adverse weather conditions can make this walk much harder - your group leader will give a briefing the night before and answer any questions you may have on the route. Once we finish the trek we will take the transfer (approx. 2 hrs) to Puerto Natales.  

    Accommodation: Hotel Baquedano or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    To Tierra del Fuego.

    After breakfast we will have some free time before a fairly long transfer in the afternoon, through dramatic scenery to Cerro Sombrero. This journey involves a short ferry crossing over the Magellan Straits. We advise you to take plenty of water and some snacks for the journey (approx. 7-8 hours). In the evening we'll have dinner together at the hotel in the small town of Cerro Sombrero.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Tunkelen or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Ushuaia, the end of the world!

    Tierra del Fuego (The Land of Fire) is named after the original inhabitants who used to light bonfires to ward off the winter chill. Crossing the island we'll have views of the most southerly part of the Andes before catching our first glimpses of Ushuaia at the end of the world! This is a long driving day (approx. 7-8 hours) but we use a private bus to make the journey more comfortable. We should arrive at our hotel mid-afternoon depending on weather conditions and traffic.

    Accommodation: Hosteria Linares or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Walk in Tierra del Fuego N.P.; optional visit to penguin colony.

    We'll spend this morning in the stark wilderness of Tierra del Fuego National Park, walking amongst the varied terrain, flora and fauna. In the afternoon there is an optional boat ride along the Beagle Channel to see marine wildlife including penguins, sea lions and many species of water bird including a flightless duck! We are also afforded fantastic views of Ushuaia and its backdrop of often snow-capped peaks as we head out on the boat. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.

    For those wanting more adventure or not wishing to trek, an optional full-day 4WD excursion will be on offer which will take us deep into the wilds of Tierra del Fuego where any more conventional transport would fail to reach, including the remote Lakes Fagnano and Escondido (please note it is not possible to see penguins on this tour).

    Accommodation: Hosteria Linares or similar

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Fly to Buenos Aires.

    Depending upon the flight time, we may have some free time this morning in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. There are great views from the hills leading up to the Martial Glacier and some small shops to pick up souvenirs. Ushuaia has just one museum, housed in the former prison, which is definitely worth a visit. We fly back to Buenos Aires and usually arrive in time to visit one of the excellent tango shows in the old quarter of San Telmo (optional) and enjoy a last group meal together.

    Accommodation: Hotel Cyan Recoleta or similar

    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    End Buenos Aires.

    Depending on the time of your flight home you may have another chance to see more of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. After last night's tango show we might be tempted to learn a few steps, or watch it in the streets and plazas - particularly in the old quarter of San Telmo. A visit to the grave of Evita in the remarkable Recoleta Cemetery, said to be the most expensive real estate in the world, is possible. Those on group flights will leave today for the flight back to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Combine this trip with

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Antarctic Explorer

A heady and inspiring cocktail of towering blue icebergs, vast penguin colonies, whales, seals and glaciers right in the heart of the Western Peninsula.

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Polar Expeditions
11 days Excl. Flights
From $8,695 USD
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Extend Your Trip

Iguazu Falls Extension

Code: XAF

To the far North East of Argentina, boarding Brazil lies the magnificent falls of Iguazu (or Iguassu).  Add four additional days to your trip to experience this awe-inspiring sight. Staying on the Argentinian side you will have the opportunity to wander around this UNESCO World Heritage National Park packed full of flora and fauna. In the heart of the park you will find the cascading waters. This spectacular waterfall is not to be missed. You can also get up close to the falls by taking a boat trip as an optional extra.

The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

It is possible to upgrade to premium accommodation- please call for details. 

Salta Extension

Code: XAA

Travel to the northwest Argentinean provinces of Salta and Jujuy and encounter a wonderful and surreal Dali-esque land where nature bends the rules in truly breathtaking fashion. This extension is the perfect way to end your trip to Argentina by getting to explore a truly different destination. We drive along exquisitely picturesque roads, through salt flats and colourful rock gorges. Salta is known as the most beautiful city in Argentina and you will not be disappointed. 

The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info

 

Visas

Argentina

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

No visa required for holders of British passport.

If you are crossing the border into Argentina from Chile on your trip, we will need to know your profession in order to provide when entering Argentina.

The Argentine government charges a reciprocity fee which applies to Canadian and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows: Australians - US$100 (multiple entry) Canadians - US$75 (single entry) This fee must be paid before you enter Argentina. For full details, and to make the payment, please visit: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes

Chile

British, most European and most other nationalities, including Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, do not require visas. All other nationalities should contact the nearest Chilean Embassy if in doubt. Citizens of Australia pay a fee on first entry into Chile by air (cash US Dollars only, no credit cards or cheques) $95 - valid for only 90 days). There is no fee for other nationalities at the time of writing. The one-time charge is valid for the life of your passport so keep the stub stapled in.

Vaccinations

Argentina

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers in Argentina, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Dengue fever is also a known risk in Argentina. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Due to a recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in the Misiones province of Argentina, vaccinations are strongly recommended if you intend to visit the Iguazu Falls.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Chile

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners included.

Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style and are included. The accommodation in Torres del Paine will arrange packed lunches for days when we are trekking. There is a variety of good, quality food on offer in local restaurants and cafes usually for relatively low prices (although the refuge that we stay in for the standard itinerary in Torres del Paine is the exception as facilities here are limited). Vegetarians are catered for throughout the trip, but please ensure that you advise us before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf.

Weather

Since Patagonia is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons there are the opposite to those in Europe. Trips to Patagonia are therefore organized between October and April, to take advantage of the longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. During these months the temperatures in Buenos Aires reach a maximum of 30ºC, El Calafate/Torres del Paine/Punta Arenas around 15ºC and in the extreme south, in Tierra del Fuego, 14ºC. These are the daytime maximums and the average figures are likely to be a little lower than this. The nights can go down as low as freezing but often remain around mid single figures. The Patagonia summer tends to be dry although rain cannot be ruled out, particularly in the mountainous regions along the Chile/Argentine border. Patagonia is renowned for its wind and it is not unheard of to experience all four seasons in one day! 

Buenos Aires

Ushuaia

Is this trip for you?

While this trip is graded Moderate, we recommend you have a reasonably good level of fitness to really enjoy the hiking opportunities available.

All of these are non-compulsory day walks and do not exceed 20km. We have two internal flights on this trip to reduce driving but there are still some long drives. The longest drive is when we cross the border from El Calafate to Torres del Paine and when travelling south from Cerro Sombrero to Ushuaia.

In terms of altitude ‐ the highest point reached on the tour is on day 9 on the walk to the Towers of Paine. The lookout point situated at 886 metres above sea level. This day walk can take up to 9/10 hours depending on weather conditions and speed of the group.

There are 2 internal flights included in the itinerary, normally using the services of Aerolineas Argentinas. Please be aware that the timings of the internal flights can be quite erratic and there can often be last minute schedule changes. Depending on the availability of these flights, there may be a supplement to pay. 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Lodges

We use a good standard of hotels throughout the trip. In El Chalten we stay in a simple but clean lodge with en-suite twin rooms. Laundry facilities are available in El Calafate and Ushuaia.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed November 2018
    Arianna Jakositz

    Patagonian Adventure

    From the vast, isolated Patagonian Steppe to the gorgeous Andes mountains, delicious steaks and empanadas, challenging but rewarding hikes, weather prone to dramatic changes within 15 minutes, glaciers, penguins, pumas, and guanacos galore.... this trip has it all. Upon returning home, we pulled out our roadmap of the region (thanks again for giving us yours, Xavier!!!) and talked about what else we’ll see when we come back one day.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was completing the first hike. Not only did we have perfect skies and weather for our views of Mt. Fitz Roy and glaciers off in the distance during this hike, but as a new hiker I definitely had a sense of accomplishment that I could actually do this in the first place. My husband would say the hike in Torres del Paine was most rewarding, as he thought the trail and views were better (I didn’t partake unfortunately, but was instead treated to a more private tour of the park with two other members of the group who also weren’t up for the arduous trek that day). We also booked an extra excursion during our free day in El Calafate to hike on Perito Moreno Glacier that we both agree ranked as another favorite part of the trip. We missed our way more fun Exodus group, but still had a blast drinking from glacial streams, hopping over crevasses, and silently eating lunch on the middle of the glacier while listening for distant avalanches. Pictures don’t do Patagonia justice — it’s unbelievably beautiful, and every viewpoint was in its own way an inspiration.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier was amazing! I had been hoping to have him as a guide as previous reviews really raved about him and we were not disappointed one bit. From being very open with us, to having all the best advice of what to eat, to saving us at the last minute in the little ways (like giving us a copy of the roadmap that we missed out on, or arranging for some trekking poles for us on a moment’s notice) to the bigger stuff (taking one in our group to the doctor to make sure everything was all right after a bad fall, or frantically making sure we were all checked in on our flight to Buenos Aires after an airline strike the day before) he really worked hard to make sure everyone had an enjoyable experience. This is only our second Exodus trip but we can tell Xavier is a high-caliber guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A few things: 1) The full-day hikes really are tough. Poles are a must if you don’t want to feel completely wiped out. Also, just as an FYI, they are both around 14 miles with 3000 to 4000ft of elevation gain (starting from a fairly low elevation though) with a lot of that gain being in some rather steep, shorter sections. I wish I had trained ahead of time so that I could have participated in all the hikes, including the free day one the *entire* group went on in El Chalten except for us. 2) Breakfast in most places is going to be toast with a few small pieces of ham & cheese that you might be really sick of by the end of the trip. Pack extra snacks if this is a concern! 3) Cash only in most places, no joke. Especially with the fluctuations in the Argentinian economy these days, your cards are mostly unwelcome. There’s a bank in the EZE airport right by the customs doors (before or after — we went after) that has a very fair exchange rate and, if I remember correctly, takes GBP as well as USD. In Chile, cards are accepted everywhere except the middle-of-nowhere toilet stops you’ll desperately need, so you only need a small amount of Chilean pesos. 4) If your heart is set on a glacier walk in El Calafate or a penguin walk in Ushuaia, these things sell out early. Let your guide know days in advance you’d like to book these (with the hopes of getting a spot), or book them yourself ahead of time. Note that the penguin walk may make you miss out on the morning walk in Tierra del Fuego though, so choose wisely! 5) A lot of times in restaurants, Xavier was nice enough to give us a taste of what he’d ordered. You’d think after a couple times we’d realize he was routinely ordering the best dish and copy him but alas we did not. So my advice to you is — if he’s your guide — ask what he’s having before you order. The man knows what to pick!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Not really — just have fun if you choose to go on this trip! Accept that the bus rides can be a bit long and uneventful, and that you’ll need plenty of cash on this trip, and then roll with any inconveniences that might arise. You’re in the middle of nowhere a lot of the time and it’s amazing how well orchestrated the trip actually is considering that.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Nadine Born

    Fabulous trip

    A fabulous trip to Patagonia. A great group, super guide and fabulous scenery every day. My sister recommended that I take this trip as it was one of her favourites and I agree with her. It will stay in my memories for a long time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many candidates but the day walk to the Torres del Paine just about wins the prize. The views were spectacular and we were exceptionally lucky with the weather so could see the towers very clearly.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were very lucky to have such an experienced guide as Xavier. He ensured that everything about the trip went smoothly and always focussed on our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit beforehand as the treks are hard but we’ll worth the effort,
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Mark Billington

    Amazing sights in Patagonia

    What a fantastic itinerary Exodus have put together for this trip. From bustling Buenos Aries with its steaks to die for to stunning sunrises on Mt Fitzroy, we experienced it all. Another highlight was Perito Moreno The worlds quickest moving glacier ringed by the snow capped Andes, A quick hop across the border to Chile brings you face to face with the mind blowing Torres Del Paine National Park before ending at the worlds end Ushuaia and it’s penguins and brilliant wildlife. Without doubt the trip of a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the granite horns in the Torres Del Paine National Park, for as long as i can remember I’ve looked in awe at the mountains in magazines but to see them face to face was a dream realised.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier, was good in lots of ways, friendly and as helpful as he could be, often going out of his way to ensure others enjoyed their holidays.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take hundreds of pictures and soak in that amazing scenery.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Margaret Lowe

    Patagonian Highlights

    This trip was all that we had hoped for- and more. We travelled a lot, yet each day brought us something new & exciting. Fantastic awe inspiring scenery, wonderful wildlife (condors & even a puma, to name but a few) & such lovely people, Such a beautiful country.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ascent to the bases of Mount Fitzroy and Torres del Paine in glorious weather, along with viewing the Mereno Glacier at such close proximity plus seeing a puma so close to where we were walking

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier was such a great leader. He was so enthusiastic & knowledgable about his country & worked so hard to ensure we had a really good holiday.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it! You won’t regret it. Well worth the effort & all the travelling
  • Reviewed November 2018
    David Lowe

    A brilliant holiday

    This has been a successful trip in every sense. We are well travelled with Exodus and this ranks high in our experiences.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is hard to choose one but high up on the list of memorable things: * walking in spectacular mountain scenery - Mount Fitzroy, Torre, Torres del Paine (great weather helped no doubt); * standing close to the Perito Merino glacier listening to the cracks and groans of the ice as lumps fell away; * seeing the local wild life - many birds, guanaco, fox, hare armadillo, penguins, seals and even a puma!; * experiencing the Patagonian wind en route to Torres del Paine. For location certainly one of the most memorable hotels we have stayed. * the coach drives which gave a clear picture of the vastness of the grasslands in this part of the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier was a star! His local knowledge of all aspects of Argentina and Chile is extensive. He shared this willingly with the group at large or with individuals. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he went out of his way to make sure that things went well and that the group was having a good time. He was always ready with recommendations for an optional visit, for somewhere to eat, for what we would need for any part of our trip. He also wanted to know about us as individuals and told us about himself (not always the case with Exodus leaders in my experience)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are a couple of things: * layers of clothes are the order of he day. The weather is changeable (we had snow, rain and sunshine all in one day!) and it can be very cold. * "water for the coach drives as well as something to nibble [email protected] was helpful advice we were given. * for photographers don't forget a spare battery and extra cards - the scenery is spectacular. * for those who are not used to eating red meat, don't worry. We had plenty of options when it came to choosing what to eat. On the other hand don't miss out on the steaks - they are seriously large but delicious.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    M B

    AAA - Patagonian Highlights

    Saw a lot of Argentina and Chilean Patagonia . Trip Notes accurately reflected the activity days, the two long walks are challenging and taking trekking poles is a must ( if you normally use them ) . The end couple KMs of both walks are steep uphills so may be a bit harder for some. However you can turn back / drop out of the final section if you wish .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No one moment comes to mind.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier Espil is passionate and friendly . He gave detailed information at all times but left us to make our own decisions with that info. i.e. suggested places to eat , when to change money , restaurant pricing and food selection .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that ATMs are very temperamental with UK chip & Pin cards. sometimes they work , mostly they dont . This might be obvious at start of transaction or you might get taken all through security , down to cash amount selection and then a message appears saying transaction disallowed. Everyone in group ( British cards ) had issues in several locations. Only Bank of Patagonia in El Calafte and Ushuaia allowed cash withdrawals without any issue whatsoever . There is only 1 ATM in El Chalten , at tourist office and it spent most of its time out of service / rejecting cards ( British / French / Australian ) . Current - Nov 2017 - restaurant exchange rate was 17 or 18 Argentine dollars to USD. So you could pay for things in USD cash at that unofficial exchange rate and receive any change in Argentine money . Some restaurants do not take USD in denominations below 20 USD and apparently high denomination notes 50 USD / 100 USD are the preferred denomination when changing money at bank / exchange office.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Apparently Xavier is a fan of Colmans mustard , so if you have bit of luggage space spare I am sure a jar would be appreciated ! Be aware for internal Argentina flights hold luggage is 15KG and this is enforced . Its worth double checking on web site of Aerolineas Argentina , but dont get caught out having to pay excess luggage fees - they are not cheap .
  • Reviewed November 2017
    John Taylor

    Patagonia at its best

    This was a great non-stop trip with Xavier, who was a wonderful guide. The trip exceeded our expectations because of Xavier’s in depth knowledge.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The mountain days, the included glacier visit and the guided walk in Tierra del Fuego were all equally inspiring, and the tango show made a great finale.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Xavier was the best tour guide we have been on holiday with. He was permanently cheerful, enthusiastic, responsive to the whole group’s and individual needs and great fun to be with. Xavier also had excellent relationships with the local guides, who were all equally enthusiastic about their specialisms.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    These are the things which are described very accurately in the trip notes. We did experience four seasons in a day: snow, sun, torrential rain, high winds, calm etc, so you need lots of adaptable clothing and waterproofs. The two day walks and the additional day walk the group did were long with step sections over rocky paths (all the walks were 20km long). The travel days by bus were very long. Everything on the whole trip, except wine, was on a par with London prices (this is not a cheap destination). Add about 10% to the guide prices given in the trip notes. You can complete the trip with dollars, with no problems then with non-functioning ATMs or restaurants which won’t take credit cards. The downside of this means travelling with large amounts of cash. (There is no need to take Chilean pesos.) We travelled out a day earlier to enjoy Buenos Aires; we wished we had taken two extra days because there is so much to do in Buenos Aires.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Remember that this is South America. You need a patient and relaxed attitude to everything to enjoy this holiday.
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Robert Atkinson

    Wonderful highlights of this beautiful area

    I booked this trip as a land only holiday as part of a wider trip to Chile and Argentina I was undertaking. I'm so glad that I did ensuring I could enjoy the key parts of the National Parks of Argentina along with the excellent logistics of being part of an organised group with a top notch tour leader. It exceeded my expectations. Well done Exodus.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me the most inspiring part of the trip was the two full day walks we did at Mt Fitzroy and Torres del Paine. Despite not having clear weather conditions, we were able to make challenging ascents and to enjoy the key 'money shot' views of each iconic natural landmark just as the clouds broke. With the sun shining through each was revealed just at the right time making the efforts to hike up really worth it. hard work on the feet and knees but so rewarding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Xavi. An Argentinian who was proud of his country, really knowledgeable, friendly and wanting so much to ensure we all had a great time and got as much out of our trip as we could. He was able to share the history and social context of places we visited as much as the geographical and natural world that we were experiencing. Very honest on how things would be each day, which additional tours were worth the money in the relevant weather conditions and with a superb sense of humour that was really endearing. One of the best group leaders I have ever come across. On our first day in Patagonia, he welcomed us with preparing the mate for all os us to taste and share. To do this may be part of showing us Argentina, however in his culture its an honour to be offered and to receive the mate cup. Lovely gesture. Xavi also had to deal with an individual in the group who was disruptive in their comments and attitude at many times. Despite this challenge he was professional at all times, ensuring that he balanced the needs of all and preventing the nonsense of one person from affecting the enjoyment of the holiday for the others. Thats quite a skill and he did it wonderfully.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are considering this trip I would; Ensure you are fit and capable of the two long days walks and consider taking walking sticks to assist you. Pack plasters for walking blisters Keep your packing light as the internal flights only have 15kg checked baggage limits. However excess baggage rates are really reasonable. Extend your trip at the beginning or end by an extra two days minimum to make the most of Buenos Aires
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Mike Whitton

    Even better than expected!

    A wonderful mix of mountains, lakes, glaciers, wildlife, vast landscapes, huge steaks and friendly people. This was the fulfilment of a long-held dream, made very special by our brilliant guide, Xavier. The climbs to Fitzroy and to the Torres del Paine are fairly demanding, but well within the capacity of anyone experienced with walking in the Lake District or Snowdonia. Regrets? If only we could have stayed longer in El Chalten and Torres del Paine - but this is a 'highlights' trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many! Sunrise on Fitzroy; walking on the Viedma Glacier (don't be put off by warnings of a difficult approach- it's very well supervised and very well worth doing); the 'wild frontier' feel of El Chalten; the remoteness of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel...... Pretty much the whole trip is inspirational. And we were so lucky with the weather.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant. Xavier is informative, funny, hard-working and attentive. Excellent inter-personal skills.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Some details in the trip notes are awry: The optional boat trip from El Calafate to see icebergs and glaciers does not include a visit to the Perito Moreno glacier. There is an over-emphasis on taking dollars - we could have paid for pretty much all of it in pesos. The dollar costs of options are rather out-of-date - they cost quite a bit more. On reading previous reviews it's clear that some travellers need to take on board that this trip does involve two long walking days that cover rough, steep terrain - be prepared!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We discovered that there were fixed tent sites near the refugio in Torres del Paine N.P. We wonder if there could be a camping option, as communal 'sleeping' in small rooms can be difficult and uncomfortable.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Kate Harvey

    Patagonian Highlights

    An excellent trip with the opportunity to gain a real perspective of the scale of Patagonia. This trip offers a diverse range of environments from Buenos Aires to the Steppe to the mountains and Peaks of Torres deal Paine. There is a lot of overland travel but this is all part of the experience. The food and accommodation were superb.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved seeing icebergs calving off the Perito Merino glacier and hiking in the very windy Torres del Paine to see the Granite towers.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The group leader was outstanding. Highly knowledgable of both Argentina and Chile. He had a great sense of humour and was very willing to accomdate the different interests of the group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take mostly Argentine Pesos, some US dollars and some Chilean Pesos. Additional trips can be paid for in dollars. Food is more expensive than at home so you will need a reasonable amount of spending money.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Might be worth flying direct. Air Europa were appalling and very rude. I don't tend to complain about things but I did on this occasion. Make sure you take a bottle of water on the long flight to Buenos Aires as they only served two drinks on the whole flight!

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