Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)
Arrive to Santiago. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, located in the pleasant Lastarria neighborhood, one of the best areas of Santiago for walking around.
Lastarria Boutique Hotel
You have a half-day, privately-guided city tour, visiting Santiago’s colonial and modern highlights and taking a visit to the Parque Metropolitano (Cerro San Cristobal), where you’ll have a spectacular view from a hilltop of the entire city. You have dinner on your own at one of Santiago’s great restaurants. (Private day tours down to the coast to visit the colorful port city of Valparaiso, or Pablo Neruda’s house at Isla Negra, or down to the wine country just an hour south of Santiago can also be arranged, either on this day or as an additional day; please inquire if interested. Overnight multi-day extensions to the wine country and coast can also be arranged as part of this tour.)
Lastarria Boutique Hotel (B)
Fly to Punta Arenas, located on the Strait of Magellan. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Today you will be picked up for a half-day excursion to the Forestal Magellanes Nature Reserve, where your private guide will hike with you as far as you would like to go and help point out wildlife. (We can also arrange a privately-guided city tour for this day.) You will have the afternoon free to explore more of Punta Arenas at your leisure. Punta Arenas was once the home of several wealthy families of “wool barons,” whose mansions from that era can be seen in the city center. You can also take an easy walk up the hill near your hotel for an excellent view out over the city and the Strait of Magellan.
Hotel Cabo de Hornos (B)
This morning you will be met at your hotel and escorted to the Australis office to check in for your cruise. You will have the afternoon at leisure to explore a bit more of Punta Arenas before the Australis expedition cruise begins boarding at 6:00 p.m. The Captain and crew will give a welcome cocktail reception on board, and immediately afterward the ship will depart for one of the remotest parts of the planet. Your trip will take you through the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel to explore one of the most breathtaking wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia.
This morning you will reach Ainsworth Bay, within Alberto De Agostini National Park. Here you will see the Marinelli Glacier descending from Darwin Mountain Range, and be able to appreciate how the land returns to life after glacial retreat. You will walk to a beaver dam in the sub-polar Magellan Forest, and you may also be able to spot the elusive Southern Elephant Seals. In the afternoon your ship will navigate through Almirantazgo Sound to Brookes Fjord, where you will find yourself surrounded by glaciers. You will go ashore in a Zodiac boat to take a walk to a nearby glacier and take in the area’s spectacular scenery.
During the morning, in well-equipped Zodiac boats, you will travel to the Águila Glacier and embark upon an easy walk to its base. Here you can appreciate the beauty of Patagonia’s cold rainforest and its spectacular landscape. In the afternoon you will sail through Brecknock, Ocasión, Cockburn, and Magdalena Channels to enter the spectacular De Agostini Sound, in the heart of the Darwin Mountain Range.
In the early morning you will arrive to Magdalena Island, home of a large Magellanic Penguin colony. You will be able to observe these penguins during a walk up to the lighthouse which guides ships through the Strait of Magellan. The island’s penguins migrate in April; if you are unable to visit them, you will instead make a trip to Marta Island to visit a sea lion colony. After your excursion you will disembark in Punta Arenas, where you will be met by a representative of Tierra Patagonia and transferred north to Torres del Paine National Park. When you arrive to Tierra Patagonia, you will meet the guides and be briefed on your stay and the activities that you will be able to choose for the following three days.
Tierra Patagonia (EcoCamp Patagonia, Explora Patagonia, and other options are also available.) (B,D)
Your stay at Tierra Patagonia includes guided excursions. Each day there is an option between the active (generally trekking) option and an easier going, less active option. On the easier going option, there will be opportunities for walking in highlight areas of the park, but nothing strenuous. On the active excursions, you will be able to trek for many hours. You will be able to discuss the options with the guides and staff at Tierra Patagonia so that you can plan your trip according to your interests. The excursions run on a fixed schedule every week, so if you want to see as much of the park as possible, you can also add another night or nights.
Tierra Patagonia (B,L,D)
This is another day for excursions in Torres del Paine National Park from Tierra Patagonia.
Tierra Patagonia (B,L,D)
In the morning you will be transferred back to Punta Arenas for your flight back to Santiago, where you can connect with your international flight home. We can also arrange any excursions to other areas of Chile (or across the border into Argentina) that you might be interested in. Please inquire if interested.