Patagonia Trekking Adventure – January 8-15, 2020

Join me as my travel brand Active World Journeys presents world famous trekking in Torres del Paine National Park – Patagonia. Each valley, peak, and pass hides its own treasures; be it hanging glaciers, vast pampas, twisted metamorphic rock or ice blue streams. No two days will be the same on this spectacular and perhaps most scenic trek on the planet Earth.

January 8 / Day 1: Today we’ll arrive by flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. Welcome to the “End of the World! Today we take our ground transportation up to Puerto Natales, the staging town for our Patagonia “W” Trek (3 hours drive time). We’ll get settled in to our accommodations and participate in an important briefing session to prepare for our trek in Torres del Paine National Park. (D) (Overnight in hotel in Puerto Natales)

January 9 / Day 2: Transfer to Torres del Paine–Roundtrip hike to Las Torres lookout point. Starting from Puerto Natales in the early morning, we drive to Torres del Paine National Park (about 2 hours). We will pass through open pampas and huge ranches (estancias), and chances are we will be able to observe one of the most typical animals in this area, the ñandu, (rare South American ostrich). We will follow an unpaved road heading to Refugio Las Torres to spend our first night. Upon entering the park we will have excellent photographic and birding opportunities as we drive alongside lagoons frequented by Chilean flamencos and black-necked swans. After leaving our backpacks at the Refugio, we start the trek to the base of the Towers, following the Ascencio River to enter the Ascencio Valley. The walk will be uphill for one hour before stopping to observe the first glimpses of the valley surrounded by unbelievable beech forests, glaciers and waterfalls. We’ll continue through the valley for another hour and a half before ascending a huge terminal moraine to a lookout (900 M), excellent for picture taking. This amazing view will be accompanied by lunch to add to the enjoyment. After being awed by the towers we’ll start the descent, following the same path back to the hut. Dinner will be served in the Refugio. (8-9 hours round-trip hiking, 11 miles, 4,000 ft. elevation gain) (B-BL-D) (Overnight in Refugio)

January 10 / Day 3: One way hike to Los Cuernos lookout point. We will start early morning to enjoy, weather permitting, a magnificent dawn filled with orange-pink colors. As we leave the campground, we will arrive at Inge lagoon. Chances are, on this path, we may see the flight of an Andean condor or eagles hunting hares or small rodents. We follow a well mark trail ascending around (200 M) from the base of Almirante Nieto Mountain (2750 M), crossing the Bader River to arrive at Refugio Los Cuernos where we will stay overnight. (6 hours hiking, 10 miles, 2,000 ft. elevation gain) (B-BL-D) (Overnight in Refugio)

January 11 / Day 4: One way hike to Pehoe Lake, via the French Valley. We will start our day with a 2-hour walk going to an undulating path until reaching the French River for our first glimpses of the hanging glacier. Then we will ascend (300 M) for one hour through a surreal Japanese garden landscape, crossing beech forests, to reach the French valley viewpoint gifting us with a magnificent view of both mountains and lakes. We will lunch here with good possibilities of seeing avalanches from the hanging glacier or simply observe the west side of the Cuernos (2600 M), Espada (2400 M) and Fortaleza (2800 M). Our way back will be the same until we reach the entrance of the valley where we will continue on a different path around the South-West side of Paine Grande, the highest peak in the Park, through native forests of Chilean fire bush and evergreen beech (Nothofagus Bethuloides), up to the shore of the Pehoe Lake. (8-9 hours hiking, 11 mi.,  4,000 ft. elevation gain)(B-BL-D)(Overnight in Refugio)

January 12 / Day 5: One way hike to Glacier Grey with a choice to do an Ice hike or go Kayaking. We will begin early morning with our hike to the Grey Glacier. Initially ascending 200 yards up a winding narrow path leading us to Laguna Negra, a place where we will observe the first glimpses of the South Patagonia Ice Field with its many unclimbed mountains. We will advance through forests and rivers, with possible sightings of spectacle and flying steamer ducks, up to the glacier viewpoint. We will have lunch at this place to see, if we are lucky enough, ice calving from the huge glacier wall. Ice hike or Kayak. (4hours hiking, 7 mi., 2,000 ft. elevation gain) (B-BL-D) (Overnight in Refugio)

January 13 / Day 6: Navigation in front of Glacier–Transfer back to Natales. Morning at leisure. Right after lunch we start an exciting adventure by boat after walking back the way we came from Paine Grande. We will navigate for a while in front of the glacier in the hope of seeing icebergs calve. Our return journey offers views of Paine Grande with its impressive ice mushrooms and we sail through icebergs of different tones of blue. Then we will take a transfer back to Puerto Natales where we will stay overnight. 3 hours hiking 7 mi., / 1,400 ft. elevation gain (2 hours ride by boat on Grey Lake, 2 hours transfer by private transfer) (B-BL)  (Overnight in hotel in Natales)

January 14 / Day 7: A Quaint, colorful village on the edge of the Señoret Channel. After breakfast, we are on our own for some much deserved massages (optional) and/or we can chose to climb the Dorotea Hill to look at Puerto Natales from above (optional). If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to see the majestic flight of the condor that nests on the vertical walls of the hill. Discover the Milodon Cave (optional) and get to know the history of this giant sloth that used to live here in this southernmost part of Chile more than 10,000 years ago. Sail through the Ultima Esperanza fjord (optional) and be amazed by the glaciers. After lunch we’ll say goodbye to Puerto Natales and make our way down to Punta Arenas with a private transfer (3 hours). We’ll have time today to reflect on the epic once in a lifetime trek we just did in beautiful Torres del Paine – Patagonia. (Overnight in hotel in Punta Arenas) (B-D)

January 15 / Day 8: After breakfast, we’ll have time on our own and eventually transfer to Punta Arenas International Airport (Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport) for our international flights back home to the USA. (B)

Cost: $4,000 per person (single supplement $500 – not available the evenings of January 9, 10, 11 or 12)

Includes:

  • Private round-trip ground transportation from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales, Puerto Natales into Torres del Paine National Park
  • 8 dinners (D), 5 boxed lunches (BL), 7 breakfasts (B)
  • 8 nights accommodations in Hotels and Refugios (Refugios are rustic mountain huts located in remote locations in the park with basic services, 6 ppl per room in bunkbeds)
  • Ice Hiking or Kayaking – Grey Glacier
  • Large luggage storage in Puerto Natales while trekking in Torres del Paine Park
  • Daily porter service in Torres del Paine Park while trekking the “W” route from hut to hut
  • Boat ride – Grey Lake

Excludes:

  • International and internal flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Optional activities and excursions listed and not listed in itinerary
  • Alcohol drinks

Payment information:

  • $750 deposits due August 1, 2019
  • Trip balance payment due October 1, 2019
  • email Jack@GetFitwithWitt.com for a secure payment link

Cancellation Policy:

  • 90 days and over from trip arrival date = 100% refund (minus $500 cancel fee) If you cancel within 90 days of the trip arrival date there is no refund. (Therefore, travel Insurance is strongly recommended.)

The fine print:

  • Tour itinerary and price is based on minimum 6 people. Itinerary inclusions, accommodations and/or final price may change a bit if minimum group size is not met. If tour is cancelled due to lack of registrations, you will be refunded 100% of your deposit/final payment.

  • The ground transportation will leave in the morning from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales on January 8 to get there in time for the briefing session; therefore, it is advisable to arrive to Punta Arenas on January 7 in case of flight delays and just stay the evening so you don’t miss the ride to Puerto Natales on the 8th. Active World Journeys can arrange a good hotel for you.

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Jack Witt