Walk through a penguin colony, boat past glaciers, and hike through spectacular mountain scenery on this 13-day tour of Patagonia. With a mix of outdoor adventures and wildlife viewing, the itinerary leads you through the highlights of southern Chile and Argentina, including Torres del Paine National Park, Los Glaciares National Park, and Tierra del Fuego—home to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.


  • Go on guided tours in Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Hike past glacial lakes and snowcapped peaks in Torres del Paine
  • See one of Patagonia's most spectacular glaciers up close
  • Feast on gourmet seafood in Tierra del Fuego

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago (Chile) Santiago
Day 2 Fly to Punta Arenas & Sightsee Punta Arenas
Day 3 Visit the Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony Punta Arenas
Day 4 Transfer to Puerto Natales & See the Port Puerto Natales
Day 5 Explore Torres del Paine on a Private Guided Tour  Puerto Natales
Day 6 Hike to Las Torres Lookout Point Puerto Natales
Day 7 Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Visit the Glaciarium El Calafate
Day 8 Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Day 9 Fly to Ushuaia & Explore Ushuaia
Day 10 Go on a Guided Trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park Ushuaia
Day 11 Hike to Laguna Esmeralda Ushuaia
Day 12 Fly to Buenos Aires, Guided City Tour Buenos Aires
Day 13 Depart Buenos Aires  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago (Chile)

Welcome to Santiago, Chile's modern capital nestled in the Andes

Welcome to Chile! Upon arrival at Santiago International Airport, a driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city. Snap photos in front of the Palacio de la Moneda, Chile's opulent presidential palace, a short stroll from the Plaza de Armas. Next, stroll the cobblestone streets of Barrio Bellavista to see colorful houses, vibrant street art, and an eclectic array of eateries and bars that are great for people-watching.

For dinner, enjoy a culinary adventure in the city. In recent years, Santiago has emerged as a global foodie destination as Chilean chefs reinvent traditional dishes, like empanadas and cazuelas (stews), with ingredients sourced from the Atacama Desert and the southern Patagonian region. You'll find great restaurants and wine bars in the Bellavista neighborhood and the revitalized historic districts of Yungay and Italia. Later on, head back to your hotel to get some rest.

Day 2: Fly to Punta Arenas & Sightsee

The charming coastal town of Punta Arenas
The charming coastal town of Punta Arenas

Head back to the airport this morning to catch a flight to Punta Arenas, located in one of the most beautiful regions of Chilean Patagonia. Founded in 1848 on the eastern shore of the Brunswick Peninsula, Punta Arenas was a hub of high society in its heyday. Today, it's a popular tourist destination that provides easy access to some of Patagonia's most impressive natural attractions, including Torres del Paine National Park and Isla Magdalena

After getting settled at your hotel, stroll around town to see the sights. Plaza Muñoz Guerrero is a leafy central plaza lined with French street lamps and surrounded by impressive architecture. Many of these grand neoclassical mansions were once owned by wealthy sheep-ranching families. Tour the Palacio Sara Braun to see just how much wealth the sheep trade generated in the 19th century. Explore the waterfront and watch the sun go down at Mirador Cerro de la Cruz. This viewpoint overlooks the city all the way out to the Strait of Magellan.

Day 3: Visit the Isla Magdalena Penguin Colony

Visit a penguin colony on Magdalena Island
Meet the locals at a penguin colony on Isla Magdalena 

This half-day tour begins bright and early. You'll transfer from downtown Punta Arenas to a pier on the Strait of Magellan, where you'll board a boat at sail to Isla Marta. It's home to a large colony of Patagonian sea lions as well as cormorants, skuas, arctic pigeons, and more.

Continue to Isla Magdalena, where you'll disembark and spend one hour onshore. With your guide, follow a 2,624-foot (800 m) path to an old lighthouse that offers sweeping views of the Strait of Magellan. This island is home to Los Pingüinos Natural Monument, a protected area home to Chile's largest colony of penguins. There's no experience like hiking alongside penguins near Patagonian waters, first mapped by Magellan and made famous by Charles Darwin. Afterward, return to the boat and make the journey back, reaching Punta Arenas in the afternoon.

Day 4: Transfer to Puerto Natales & See the Port

Puerto Natales' colorful waterfront
 Fishing boats and ferries line Puerto Natales' colorful waterfront
Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today you'll travel to the small port city of Puerto Natales, formerly a fishing port and now the main base for excursions into Torres del Paine National Park. The town is set on the Seno Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound), offering scenic views across the water to the mountains beyond. Facing north from here, you'll see the peaks of Cerro Benitez and Cerro Toro, and the sight is especially phenomenal at sunset.

Depending on your arrival time, you might take a stroll around town and stop for a drink at one of the town's many bars and cafés. Try a traditional seafood stew in a family-run restaurant before you get some rest at your hotel. More adventures in Patagonia's landscapes await tomorrow!

Day 5: Explore Torres del Paine on a Private Guided Tour 

The Paine River's Salto Grande waterfall
Pause for a photo op at the Salto Grande waterfall

Transfer from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park this morning. The drive takes about two hours, and you'll get your first glimpses of Torres del Paine's massive peaks as you approach the park. You'll arrive at the Laguna Amarga main entrance and register with the park office. On this full-day guided tour, you'll explore Torres del Paine's unique ecosystem and impressive viewpoints at your own pace with a knowledgeable guide. Throughout the day, visit the park's four ecological zones, which include the Andean desert, Magellanic subpolar forest, pre-Andean shrubland, and Patagonian steppe.

Along the way, you'll spot plenty of local wildlife, which might include cougars, foxes, guanacos, and birds of prey. Take in stunning landscapes, from the park's distinctive horn-shaped peaks to glacial lakes. Enjoy a few short hikes and a picnic lunch with a view. You'll leave the park late in the afternoon and transfer back to Puerto Natales to spend the night. 

Day 6: Hike to Las Torres Lookout Point

The spectacular view from Mirador Base Torres
The spectacular view from Mirador Base Torres

Today you'll return to the national park and hike up Mount Almirante Nieto to enjoy views of the Asencio Valley and Lago Nordenskjöld. The round-trip hike is about 11 miles (18 km) in total. You'll begin by walking through ancient forests, taking breaks along the way as needed. The next part is a challenging steep ascent for 45 minutes until you reach the top, known as Mirador Base Torres.

This section of the mountain, with the Torres del Paine (torre is "tower" in Spanish), looming over a green lagoon, offers one of the best views in the park! You can also marvel at the towering peaks of nearby Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte, Condor's Nest, and Glacier Torre, all set amid the sweeping backdrop of the Patagonian highlands. Break for a picnic lunch before you start making your way back down the mountain. You'll travel back to Puerto Natales to spend the evening. 

Day 7: Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Visit the Glaciarium

Watch the sunset over the town of El Calafate

In the morning, transfer to El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. Welcome to Argentina! El Calafate is also known for its location on Lago Argentino, Argentina's largest freshwater lake. After checking in at your hotel and getting settled, you'll have the afternoon and evening free to stroll around town and do some sightseeing.

Get ready for tomorrow's visit to the nearby glaciers by visiting the Glaciarium. This interactive museum offers hands-on displays and an ice bar where you can take a break for drinks. If you'd rather explore the outdoors, check out the birds at the Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve just outside of town. Stop in the quaint cafés and shops around El Calafate, then have dinner in a local parrilla (steakhouse) before getting some rest at your hotel.

Day 8: Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier

Admire the Famous Perito Moreno Glacier [Mayo Trek - Alternative Excursion]
Admire Perito Moreno Glacier from the park's viewing platforms

Today's adventure takes you to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. Transfer from your hotel to the port, where you'll board a boat and start your day sailing along the Témpano Canal. The journey takes you past stunning landscapes, glaciers, and mountains, and you'll disembark several times for short hikes. Walk through some of the oldest forests in the area, admire pristine waterfalls, and take in impressive panoramic views.

As you enter the park by boat, you'll catch your first glimpse of the majestic Perito Moreno. This extensive ice mass flows down from the Andes out over Lago Argentino, ending abruptly in a great wall that curves around the lake. Witness "calving," the awe-inspiring sight of ice breaking off the facade and crashing into the tranquil waters below. The boat will drop you near the visitor's center, where you'll have time to explore the boardwalks and viewing platforms offering sweeping views of the glacier. Head back to El Calafate for the evening.

Day 9: Fly to Ushuaia & Explore

Early morning in Ushuaia
Early morning in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city

After breakfast in El Calafate, you'll pack up and transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Located on a bay in Tierra del Fuego, the city sits between the jagged peaks of the Martial Mountains and the silver waters of the Beagle Channel, where Charles Darwin famously sailed. After dropping off your things at your hotel, walk along the waterfront to marvel at the mountains and scenic shoreline.

Visit Ushuaia's Maritime Museum, housed in a building that was once a prison, or the Museo del Fin del Mundo (End of the World Museum). Located on the waterfront, this small museum features fascinating exhibits on the region's natural and Indigenous history. Then enjoy dinner in a local seafood restaurant—be sure to try the centolla (king crab). 

Day 10: Go on a Guided Trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park

Coastal trail in Tierra del Fuego
Walk along a coastal trail in Tierra del Fuego

Today, you'll spend most of your time in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Your experienced guide will show you the best hikes, lakes, and lookout points, from seaside mountains to freshwater rivers to subantarctic forests and tranquil bays. Begin with a 4.3-mile (7 km) hike on a coastal path that follows the Beagle Channel. You'll have excellent views of the channel along the way and pass remnants of ancient settlements once occupied by the native Yámana people.

At the end of the hike, enjoy a delicious lunch with views of the Río Lapataia and Lago Roca. After lunch, you'll begin another walk on the La Lenga Trail, reaching the southernmost point of the Pan-American Highway before returning to the city of Ushuaia for the night.

Day 11: Hike to Laguna Esmeralda

The turquoise waters of Laguna Esmeralda
Trek your way to the turquoise waters of Laguna Esmeralda

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel this morning, and you'll begin traveling north on the beautiful National Route 3. Heading away from the Beagle Channel, you'll discover one of the most remarkable valleys on the island. From here, you'll start a hiking adventure over a peat bog until reaching a forest full of native lenga trees. Cross beaver dams and follow a stream to reach the gorgeous Laguna Esmeralda. Relax and have a picnic while enjoying views of glaciers. Then head back along the same trail and return to Ushuaia.

Day 12: Fly to Buenos Aires, Guided City Tour

Blue skies and colorful houses in La Boca 

This morning you'll fly north to Buenos Aires, Argentina's vibrant capital city. You'll transfer from the airport to your hotel and have some time to get settled before heading off on an afternoon tour. Your guide will pick you up and start by showing you Plaza de Mayo, home to the national government palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Continue to nearby San Telmo, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods; it's famous for its bohemian atmosphere, street tango performances, antique shops, and cobblestoned streets.

Explore more of the city's neighborhoods throughout the afternoon. La Boca is known for its brightly-painted houses and the legendary Boca Juniors Football Club, where Diego Maradona played. Puerto Madero is on the riverside, with former industrial warehouses turned into elegant bars, restaurants, and offices. Palermo is home to trendy bars, clubs, and boutiques, plus parks, lakes, and wooded areas. Recoleta is famous for its cemetery, where some of Argentina's most famous residents are buried—including Eva Perón, also known as Evita. 

Day 13: Depart Buenos Aires

Street art in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires

The adventure has come to an end. After breakfast, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Iconic Southern Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego: Wildlife, Hikes & Glaciers - 13 Days
Map of Iconic Southern Patagonia & Tierra del Fuego: Wildlife, Hikes & Glaciers - 13 Days