This exciting 12-day itinerary takes you to the key highlights of Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia. After a day in Chile's capital city, fly south to Puerto Natales. From there, you'll day-trip to a ranch for horseback riding and venture into Torres del Paine, one of the most famous national parks in the world. Spend three days exploring the park, sleeping in a private yurt at a luxury camp. Then cross the border to see the best glaciers in Argentina and enjoy unforgettable excursions by boat and 4WD vehicle.


  • Enjoy a traditional Patagonian barbecue lunch at a working farm
  • Sleep in a yurt in a luxury camp in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Sail by Argentina's most awe-inspiring glaciers on a boat
  • Visit the historic Estancia Cristina ranch on a day trip

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago (Chile) Santiago
Day 2 Fly to Punta Arenas & Transfer to Puerto Natales Puerto Natales
Day 3 Hike & Ride Horses at a Patagonian Estancia Puerto Natales
Day 4 Enter Torres del Paine National Park, Arrive at Patagonia Camp Torres del Paine
Day 5 Enjoy Outdoor Adventures in Torres del Paine Torres del Paine
Day 6 Trek, Boat, Fish, or Kayak in the Park Torres del Paine
Day 7 Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Visit the Glaciarium El Calafate
Day 8 Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Day 9 Boat Tour & Day Trip to Estancia Cristina El Calafate
Day 10 Enjoy a Free Day in El Calafate  El Calafate
Day 11 Return to Puerto Natales Puerto Natales
Day 12 Depart Patagonia  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago (Chile)

Hike or take a gondola up to the top of Cerro San Cristobal
Hike or take a gondola up to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal

Welcome to Chile! A driver will meet you at Santiago's airport 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. Ride an aerial tramway to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal for sweeping views over the city and the Andes. Then 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 & Transfer to Puerto Natales

Stroll past the port in Puerto Natales, Chile

After breakfast, a driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport to catch a flight to the city of Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia. From there, you'll board a bus for a three-hour trip to Puerto Natales. When you arrive, you'll transfer to your hotel and have the rest of the evening to relax and explore the town.

This small port city is the main base for excursions into Torres del Paine National Park. It's far less touristy than many other Patagonian hubs and thus retains its air of small-town tranquility. Puerto Natales offers simple pleasures like strolling its waterfront promenade, which sits on the Ultima Esperanza Sound. Facing north from here, you'll see the peaks of Cerro Benitez and Cerro Toro, and the views at sunset are phenomenal.

Day 3: Hike & Ride Horses at a Patagonian Estancia

Riding horses at Estancia La Peninsula

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll set off for the beautiful Estancia La Peninsula on the Antonio Veras Peninsula. This sprawling sheep and cattle ranch is surrounded by glaciers, mountains, beech forests, and the Ultima Esperanza Sound—a body of water you'll have to cross by boat on a scenic 40-minute trip.

When you arrive at this working wool farm, you'll get an overview of the grounds and choose your own adventure for the day. Possible activities include horseback riding, wildlife viewing, hiking, bird-watching, and more. Your schedule depends on your interests. In the afternoon, enjoy a traditional Patagonian asado (barbecue) prepared by the staff and attend the daily sheep-shearing demonstration. Return by boat to Puerto Natales in the evening.

Day 4: Enter Torres del Paine National Park, Arrive at Patagonia Camp

The Paine River's Salto Grande waterfall
An unforgettable op in Torres del Paine National Park
Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

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. The area is divided into four ecological zones: Andean desert, Magellanic subpolar forest, pre-Andean shrubland, and Patagonian steppe. Along the journey, you'll likely spot plenty of local wildlife, from cougars and foxes to guanacos and birds of prey, and pass by views of the park's distinctive horn-shaped peaks and glacial lakes.

Your destination in the park is the eco-friendly and all-inclusive Patagonia Camp. Said to be the first luxury camp in South America, these unique lodgings will be your home base for the next three days. Check in and get settled in your private yurt. You'll have the rest of the day to relax and explore the scenery: the camp is located on the shores of Lake Toro, the largest lake in the Magallanes region of Chile, with stunning views of the Macizo del Paine

Day 5: Enjoy Outdoor Adventures in Torres del Paine

Stay in a private yurt with a view
Stay in a private yurt with a view

Wake up in a yurt this morning and have breakfast in a spectacular natural setting. On each day of your stay here, you'll be able to choose from a variety of excursions. In addition to the nearby trails that lead to mountain views and waterfalls, you can go standup paddleboarding, kayaking, fishing, bird-watching, or glacier cruising. Go on a full-day tour of the park in a 4WD vehicle, or spend the day hiking in the French Valley, exploring part of the famous W Circuit.

After a day out in the park, return to Patagonia Camp for dinner at the property's restaurant. This warm, inviting space features large windows overlooking the lake and mountains. For dinner, cocktails and wine accompany excellent Patagonian cuisine, including salmon, king crab, lamb, and produce from the local gardens. Get some rest before tomorrow's excursions in the park.

Day 6: Trek, Boat, Fish, or Kayak in the Park

Cruise across Lake Pehoe on a boat

On your last full day in the park, get an early start for your chosen excursion. One popular option is the full-day trek to Grey Lookout Point, which starts with a 30-minute boat journey across Lake Pehoe and continues with hiking through the foothills of Mount Paine Grande. Shorter excursions that can be combined in a single day include kayaking on Lake Toro, fishing on the shore of the lake, or hiking to Toro's Waterfall. You'll head back to the camp in the evening for dinner and a relaxing night. 

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. The trip from El Calafate takes about an hour. As you enter the park, you'll catch your first glimpse of the majestic glacier. 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. 

Start at the visitor's center, where you'll have time to explore the boardwalks and viewing platforms offering sweeping views of the glacier. Then board a boat to get closer to the glacier. During the ride, you'll also be able to admire some of the oldest forests in the area, pristine waterfalls, and impressive panoramic views. Head back to El Calafate for the evening.

Day 9: Boat Tour & Day Trip to Estancia Cristina

Spegazzini Glacier
A view of Spegazzini Glacier from the boat

In the morning, transfer to Punta Bandera Harbor and board a catamaran for a boat tour. As you travel north along the frozen waters of Lago Argentino, you'll weave between icebergs as you make your way toward the first site, Upsala Glacier. Continue to the Spegazzini Channel and Spegazzini Glacier, with ice walls 442 feet (135 m) tall. Sail north into the Cristina Channel. At the far end of this channel is Estancia Cristina, a ranch founded by pioneers in 1914, where you'll arrive in the late morning.

Visit the Folkloric Museum, located in an old sheep-shearing shed, to learn about the estancia's history. Have a traditional lunch with panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, rivers, lakes, and glaciers. Finish the excursion with a 6-mile (9.5 km) journey by 4WD vehicle. After reaching the Continental Ice Field Refuge, enjoy a 20-minute walk to the Upsala Viewpoint for unobstructed views of the eastern face of the Upsala Glacier, Lake Guillermo, and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Return by boat and car to El Calafate.

Day 10: Enjoy a Free Day in El Calafate 

One option for today: a kayaking tour
Embark on a kayaking tour

Today is yours to explore or relax. Arrange a spa treatment at a nearby resort, or venture out and discover more adventures in and around El Calafate. You could go on an ice trekking excursion, join a kayaking tour, or go horseback riding in the mountains. If you haven't been to the Laguna Nimez ecological reserve yet, it's just a short walk from town. You might also stop into the town's history museum, Centro de Interpretación Histórica. Exhibits cover the history of Patagonia since the Ice Age, including useful information on glaciers, dinosaurs, extinct animals, native peoples, and the formation of other geographical landscapes. 

Day 11: Return to Puerto Natales

Picturesque reflections in Puerto Natales

After breakfast in El Calafate, it's time to return by bus to the Chilean town of Puerto Natales. The journey can take five hours or more, depending on the weather and traffic at the border. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time for an afternoon excursion in the area. Otherwise, just enjoy sunset views over the sound, 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. 

Day 12: Depart Patagonia

Goodbye, Patagonia!
Sunrise in Torres del Paine

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 Relaxing Adventure in Patagonia - 12 Days
Map of Relaxing Adventure in Patagonia - 12 Days
Written by Deborah Hayman, updated May 30, 2023