Region Overviews: Patagonia Travel Guide: Overview
Patagonia is every outdoor adventurer’s dream—400,000 square miles of some of the most rugged landscapes Mother Nature has to offer.
Journey by sea and land in spellbinding Chilean Patagonia—fjords, Cape Horn and Torres del Paine. Set sail at the edge of the world, entranced by towering glaciers, mystical waters, colonies of penguins and soaring condors. Bewitching lakes and snow-capped mountains render you speechless. And at days' end, experience magical delights like pisco sours, Chilean wine, empanadas and asado.
THIS ITINERARY: 9 days, 8 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual Plus Hotels & Ship*
Start Ushuaia / End Punta Arenas
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
From Ushuaia, Argentina head into Tierra del Fuego National Park for a coastal hike overlooking the Beagle Channel | Board our home for four nights, the Australis expedition ship, built to navigate South America's narrow channels | Sail into Cape Horn National Park and if the weather and sea cooperate, Zodiacs transport us to Horn Island with panoramic views | Anchor at Wulaia Bay, visited by Darwin, and hike through forests to fjord and mountain views | Our Zodiacs crunch through icy waters toward breathtaking Pía Glacier—look for calving ice chunks | Cruise between mountains streaked with waterfalls and visit dramatic Garibaldi Glacier, Águila Glacier with its blue cracks hugging the mountain and the spectacular Cóndor Glacier—keep an eye out for Andean condors above.
Specifically designed to navigate the narrow channels and remote bays of Patagonia, these state-of-the-art expedition ships get you up close to the area's dramatic geographic formations. Travel + Leisure World's Best.
Stroll on Magdalena Island, home to hundreds of thousands of Magellanic penguins | Say goodbye to our ship before we head to a historical working ranch for a tasty Chilean asado | Enjoy a yerba maté tasting | Hike in unforgettable Torres del Paine National Park | Follow a trail to meet herds of guanaco and see spectacular views of the Paine massif | Discover 6,000-year old Tehuelche cave paintings and learn about the native inhabitants | Learn to mix the classic pisco sour and dig in to traditional asado and yerba maté tasting.
With a stunning location inside Torres del Paine National Park at the foot of Paine towers, this former estancia has incredible access to the area's best hiking and breathtaking landscapes. (spa)
Witness the powerful Salto Grande waterfall with thundering powder blue waters spilling 50 feet down a narrow opening | Climb a rugged path until the famous snowcapped peaks, cuernos (horns), make their appearance | Stay at majestic Singular Patagonia near Puerto Natales | Try your hand at making empanadas and enjoy a Chilean wine dinner | It's gaucho time as we ride horseback at an exclusive estancia and hike at a ranch with views of Última Esperanza fjord | Tour our hotel's museum, learning about the industrial machines and the history of sheep farming.
Situated at the end of Última Esperanza Sound, the hotel's floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the water and the building's Industrial Age iron relics pay homage to its former life as a meatpacking plant. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: Most walks and hikes on this trip involve a mild altitude gain, normally between 600 and 2,300 feet, starting from just above sea level. Trails are sometimes narrow and, depending on the weather, can be muddy and slippery. Also, note that the more technical route options require a degree of agility and balance over rocks and tree roots and uneven terrain.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
The ships we sail on during the ocean cruise portion of this trip are like floating luxury hotels, so you can visit a new destination each day without touching your suitcase once you've settled in. Our ships are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting spaces that offer plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing. They're also vastly smaller than most cruise ships, with up to only 210 passengers.
If you're new to Backroads active cruise trips, there are a few things you need to know. Our cruises are smaller, and much more intimate than a typical cruise. They are also quite lively, social experiences, shaped by both our Backroads group and the larger ship community. Additionally, even with an itinerary subject to fixed nautical schedules that may occasionally limit our time on shore, we get out and explore far beyond the cruise norm. If you love meeting new people, enjoy the ease of unpacking once, and don't mind a set schedule of port departure times, you'll love our approach to active river and ocean cruising. Nobody does it like we do.
All meals are served aboard. On-ship meals, though delightful, are meant to appeal to a wide cross section of passengers and may at times feel more conventional for some, and less reflective of the region than on Backroads hotel trips.
Our hikes through Patagonia's captivating rugged terrain climb rocky and sometimes uneven paths, many of which are remote and do not intersect with roads. Vehicles or Zodiacs will get us to and from the trailheads, but due to the nature of these trails, we won't see vehicles along the route. Ample trail support in the form of water and encouragement is provided by your Backroads leaders and local guides.
Most hikes on this itinerary are inside national parks and unlike other Backroads walking and hiking trips, regulations require a certified local guide to accompany us. We offer flexibility by dividing into several groups of different paces, with each group hiking in the company of a local guide.
To access the most scenic routes and significant points of interest on this trip, strategic shuttles are incorporated into several days. Most will be limited to an hour or so at a time, but some days you can expect to spend a bit more time in the shuttle.
Trips with a small number of guests may be supported by one Backroads Trip Leader and a team of knowledgeable local guides. Rest assured that there will always be at least two people hiking on the trail with you.
Because of Patagonia's extreme weather conditions and strong winds, mid-trip itinerary changes are possible on this trip. Rest assured that if severe weather affects our planned activities, your Trip Leaders will find alternate activities that you're sure to enjoy. Expect the unexpected in this remote region, including slow or no internet and a scarcity of ATMs which often run out of cash. It's all part of the adventure!