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Wildlands of Patagonia & the Altiplano

This 43 day overland tour journeys from Ushuaia to La Paz through Argentina, Bolivia, Chile

  • Duration: 43 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline, Boating
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Supplier Tour ID: JZU2/158066
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Ushuaia, Ushuaia
  • Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Ushuaia
  • Tierra Del Fuego
  • Torres Del Paine National Park
  • El Calafate
  • El Chaltén
  • Los Glaciares National Park
  • Argentinian Patagonia
  • Carretera Austral
  • Cerro Castillo National Reserve
  • Puyuhuapi and Queulat National Park
  • Futaleufú
  • Bariloche
  • Pucón
  • Buchupureo
  • Santiago
  • San Javier
  • Mendoza
  • Córdoba
  • Estancia
  • Tafí Del Valle
  • Cafayate
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Salta
  • San Pedro De Atacama
  • Bolivian Altiplano
  • Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • La Paz

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Ushuaia

Welcome to the incredible port town of Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Important note from September 2018 departures: The full W-Walk is now included in this tour. If you wish to remain at our base camp, please inform us at time of booking so that we can arrange your meals and guides.

If you arrive early to Ushuaia, there are options such as a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, boat trips to see the scenery and wildlife of the Beagle Channel, or heading out horse riding along the coast. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Ushuaia before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Ushuaia.

In Ushuaia we stay in a comfortable Hotel just out of town. There are regular shuttles into town from here.

Border information: if you are starting in Ushuaia, you will most likely enter Argentina at Ushuaia Malvinas Argentinas International Airport (IATA code: USH).

02

Day 2: Tierra Del Fuego

Border information: Exit Argentina at San Sebastian, enter Chile at San Sebastian.

We start our journey with a full day drive across to the Chilean side of the island of Tierra del Fuego, and a ferry crossing onto the mainland.

Tonight we will wild camp close to the Magellan Strait.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we will drive to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty in the world and the main highlight of the trip for many of our passengers and leaders!

Tonight we will camp at Camping Pehoe, a stunning campsite inside the National Park with incredible views of Los Cuernos mountains, which we will refer to as our 'base campsite'.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

04

Day 4: Torres Del Paine National Park

From September 2018, the full W-Walk will be included as part of your trip Kitty.

Embark on the full W-Walk with a local guide. Places at the campsites are limited by the National Park, so we book them in advance of your trip. We will be trekking the W-Walk from West to East, to enjoy the spectacular views.

This morning we will wake early and transfer by truck for the morning Catamaran, to cross Lago Pehoe. We will then set up camp at Paine Grande, before continuing on our hike towards Glacier Grey.

You can choose to hike to the first look out to enjoy views of the Glacier (approx 4hrs round trip) or to continue to the second look (approx 8hrs round trip)!! Both walks return by the same route.

05

Day 5: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we depart from our camp at Paine Grande and hike into the stunning French Valley. In the afternoon, we will make our way to Camp Cuernos.

The hike is approximately 8 hours.

06

Day 6: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we have a slightly easier day, we will hike from Camping Cuernos along the edge of Lago Nodenskjold, around Almirante Nieto and stay just outside Valley Ascencio. We will arrive an Camp Central after approximately 5 hours hiking.

07

Day 7: Torres Del Paine National Park

This is our final day of the W-Walk and the most spectacular. The day begins with a steady climb from our camp site up Rio Asencio. Be prepared for the final hour which is a relatively steep scramble up to the Tarn and Mirrador Las Torres, affording great views of the iconic Towers.

We will transfer back to Camping Pehoe, our base camp at the end of the day.

Our hike today is approximately 8 hours for the return trip (20km).

08

Day 8: El Calafate

Border information: Exit Chile at Cerro Castillo, enter Argentina at Cerro Castillo.

Today we leave Torres del Paine behind us and head across the border to the town of El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

In El Calafate we stay in dorm beds in a lovely hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

09

Day 9: El Calafate

Today we will head out on an included full day guided visit to view the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most spectacular sights in Patagonia.

10

Day 10: El Chaltén

Today we have a short drive across the Patagonian steppe to the tiny town of El Chalt n, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.

In El Chalt n we stay in dorm beds in a hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

11

Day 11: El Chaltén

Enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking and walking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier, horse riding, and many other fantastic options.

12

Day 12: Argentinian Patagonia

Today we will have a full day drive north along the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40). Please note that the road from here all the way to Futaleuf is rough and mostly unpaved meaning that the going is slow.

Tonight we will wild camp somewhere near the town of Perito Moreno.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

13

Day 13: Carretera Austral

Border information: Exit Argentina at Ingeniero Pallavecini, enter Chile at Puerto Ingeniero Ib ez.

Today we will drive across the border into the magnificent scenery of the Chilean Carretera Austral, probably one of the most stunning areas in South America. We will arrive in the beautiful mountains of the Cerro Castillo National Reserve.

In Cerro Castillo we will camp in a lovely family-run campsite with basic facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.

14

Day 14: Cerro Castillo National Reserve

Today we have a free day to hike to the stunning turquoise waters of Laguna Cerro Castillo or to go horse riding.

We camp in the same campsite.

15

Day 15: Puyuhuapi and Queulat National Park

Today we drive through the Chilean fjords to Queluat National Park, where we can take a short walk in the enchanted forest to see the spectacular Hanging Glacier.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

In Queulat National Park we will camp at a basic campsite.

16

Day 16: Futaleufú

Today we continue to the rafting mecca of Futaleuf .

In Futaleuf we stay in a local campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

17

Day 17: Bariloche

Border information: Exit Chile at Rio Futaleuf , enter Argentina at Rio Futaleuf .

Today we continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche in Argentina's Lake District.

In Bariloche we stay in dorm beds in a friendly family-run hostel outside of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

18

Day 18: Bariloche

Today will be a free day to enjoy the beautiful mountain town of Bariloche and the stunning surrounding lakes, mountains and forests. We have the options to explore the area by foot, mountain bike, kayak or boat.

19

Day 19: Pucón

Border information: Exit Argentina at Mamuil Malal, enter Chile at Mamuil Malal.

Today we will drive through the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route) to the beautiful Lake District of Chile and the lakeside town of Puc n.

In Puc n we will stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

20

Day 20: Pucón

We will have a free day in Puc n to enjoy a range of optional activities, including a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Puc n, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs.

21

Day 21: Buchupureo

Today we will leave the Chilean Lake District behind and head for the coast to the laid back, farming village of Buchupureo, where we can relax by the beach.

We will stay in a campsite with facilities, close to the beach.

Estimated drive time: 6-7hours

22

Day 22: Santiago

Today we have a leisurely breakfast, before heading into the wine region where we will make a stop at a vineyard for a wine tour and tasting. In the afternoon we continue our journey to the cosmopolitan Chilean capital of Santiago.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours.

23

Day 23-24: Santiago

Border information: if you are joining in Santiago, you will most likely enter Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Ben tez International Airport (IATA code: SCL).

Welcome to Santiago, the cosmopolitan Chilean capital! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel.

24

Day 25-26: Mendoza

Border information: Exit Chile at Paso Cristo Redentor, enter Argentina at Los Libertadores.

Today we will drive over the stunning Cristo Redentor pass in the high Andes, passing Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere) and heading to the Argentine wine capital of Mendoza, nestled in the dry flats underneath the shadows of the largest mountains of the Andes. Mendoza is the centre of Argentine wine production, and one of the nine 'Wine Capitals of the World' - it is especially famous for its Malbec, grown at some of the highest-altitude vineyards to be found in the world.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible region, head out on various adventure activities, or of course take a tour of some of the many wineries in the region.

In Mendoza we we stay in a centrally located hostel in dorm accommodation.

25

Day 27: Córdoba

Today we have a full days drive to the bustling city of Cordoba, we will have a free morning here tommorw to explore.

Estamiated drive time: 10 hours

In Cordoba we will stay in a centrally located hotel or guesthouse.

26

Day 28-30: Estancia

Today we will have a leisurely start to the day, with time to explore Cordoba. After lunch we will complete our drive to the Estancia.

Estimated Drive Time - 2 hours.

On the following two days we will head out horseback riding. This is a magical experience in a beautiful location, and many people's highlight of the trip!

Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.

In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house.

27

Day 31: Tafí Del Valle

Today we will drive north across the lush flat pampas and start climbing into the drier mountains.

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite in the town of Taf del Valle.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

28

Day 32-33: Cafayate

Today we will have an included visit to the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route, then arrive in the serene town of Cafayate. This small unassuming town is the centre of one of Argentina's principal wine producing regions, famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! We will have the opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is made, and of course to try them!

In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

29

Day 34-35: Salta

Today we will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach the beautiful colonial town of Salta.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day, we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, or take the famous 'Train to the Clouds' through some of the incredible mountian scenery nearby.

In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse.

30

Day 36-37: San Pedro De Atacama

Border information: Exit Argentina at Paso Jama, enter Chile at Paso Jama.

Today we will have a drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Chile, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.

Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel.

31

Day 38: Bolivian Altiplano

We will depart San Pedro de Atacama early today to drive to the world's highest Geyser field, at 4300m above sea level, the El Tatio Geysers are an impressive sight first thing in the morning. After time to explore, we will continue our journey into the Reserva Nacional Alto Loa, we will have plenty of opportunities for photographs along the way on this scenic drive.

Tonight we will bush camp in a beautiful, remote spot close to the Bolivian Border.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

Please note: The weather in this region can be unpredictable and has been known to close the road to the border. On these occasions we will take an alternate route across the Altiplano, crossing into either Chile or Argentina at a different border point. Your Tour Leaders will keep you informed of any changes that may be necessary.

32

Day 39: Uyuni

Border information: Exit Chile and enter Bolivia at Ollague

After breakfast we will break camp and cross the border into Bolivia. We will take our time to enjoy the views on the way to the town of Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

33

Day 40: Salar De Uyuni

Today we will venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot. En route we will explore the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island', and take all the time we need to get plenty of perspective-bending photographs!

34

Day 41-42: La Paz

Today we will leave Cochabamba and drive north to La Paz, Bolivia s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

On the following day we have a free day to explore the city or take part in optional activities.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.

35

Day 43: La Paz

Border information: if you are finishing in La Paz, you will most likely exit Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in La Paz. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • 4 days to explore and trek the rugged Torres del Paine National Park
    • Guided full day trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier
    • Enjoy a traditional Chilean BBQ 
    • Visit the stunning Queulat National Park, and take a trek through the 'Enchanted Forest' to view the magnificent Hanging Glacier
    • Whet your palette during winetasting at a vineyard in San Javier
    • Spend 3 unique days at an Anglo-Argentinian estancia to experience the Gaucho way of life
    • Visit the Quilmes ruins
    • Visit the impressive rock formations of 'El Amphiteatro' and 'La Garganta del Diablo' en route through the primeval landscape of the Quebrada de las Conchas
    • Explore the dramatic landscape of the Moon Valley
    • Experience the incredible El Tatio geysers in the mountains high above the Atacama Desert
    • Take the epic journey across the Altiplano - an incredible high-altitude adventure through a surreal desert landscape, taking in bizarre rock formations and stunning lakes
    • Take jeeps out onto the dazzling Uyuni Salt Flats
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 45% Camping - 55% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
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