Venture into one of the world's last great frontiers on a luxurious two-week trip through Chilean and Argentine Patagonia. Enjoy city fun in Santiago before jetting south to the grand Torres del Paine National Park for hikes and horseback rides around granite peaks, shimmering lakes, and ancient glaciers. Then, hop to Argentina for more rugged mountain treks in El Calafate and El Chaltén before finishing on the sophisticated streets of Buenos Aires and cruising its nearby river towns.


  • Hit the highlights around Santiago and Buenos Aires, including Valparaíso and Tigre
  • Hike to lagoons, glaciers, and the granite spires of Base Torres at Torres del Paine
  • Set sail to awe-inspiring glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park
  • Set off on the trails of El Chaltén, Argentina's capital of mountain trekking
  • Stay at 5-star hotels, luxury eco-camps, and remote Patagonian lodges

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago (Chile), City Highlights Tour Santiago
Day 2 Day Trip to Valparaíso & Viña del Mar Santiago
Day 3 Fly to Puerto Natales, Transfer to Torres del Paine Torres del Paine
Day 4 Torres del Paine Activities: Mirador Base Torres Trek Torres del Paine
Day 5 Torres del Paine Activities: Glaciers, Valleys & Lakes Torres del Paine
Day 6 Torres del Paine Activities: Horseback Rides, Kayaking & Hiking Torres del Paine
Day 7 Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Dinner at Rancho Aparte El Calafate
Day 8 Day Trip to Perito Moreno & Nautical Safari El Calafate
Day 9 Day Trip to Estancia Cristina & Trekking El Calafate
Day 10 Transfer to El Chaltén, Laguna Torre Hike El Chaltén
Day 11 Full-Day Hike to Laguna de Los Tres El Chaltén
Day 12 Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentine Dinner Party Buenos Aires
Day 13 Buenos Aires Sightseeing Tour Buenos Aires
Day 14 Day Trip to Tigre & Lunch, Depart Buenos Aires  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago (Chile), City Highlights Tour

The Plaza de Armas is the historic core of the city
The Plaza de Armas is the historic core of the city

Welcome to Chile! Though this itinerary focuses on South America's southern cone of Patagonia, that's no reason not to hit the highlights of Chile and Argentina's grand capital cities. You'll arrive in Santiago, located in the center of Chile and surrounded by soaring Andean peaks—a harbinger of the outdoor adventures in store.

Your driver will be waiting at the terminal to transfer you to your hotel in the city. Get ready for the good life because you'll be staying at the Mandarin Oriental, a 5-star glimmering high-rise renowned for opulent accommodations and top-notch amenities. After checking in, relax and unwind at the sun deck by the Polynesian-style lagoon pool, or book a service at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental. Here, you can enjoy aroma stone therapies and "diamond cocoon" facials amid stunning city views.

Now that you're reinvigorated, it's time to discover Santiago's highlights. Meet your private guide and head out on a three-hour tour around the city. It begins in the historic center and the Plaza de Armas, Santiago's main square. It's home to the Palacio de la Real Audiencia (Palace of the Royal Court) and the Catedral Metropolitana, an impressive neoclassical building dating to 1753. Also nearby is the Palacio de la Moneda, Chile's opulent presidential palace. To cap the day, hike (or ride a gondola) up Cerro San Cristóbal, a 984-foot (300 m) hill that offers exceptional panoramic views.

Day 2: Day Trip to Valparaíso & Viña del Mar

The blue of the Pacific Ocean and the colors of Valparaíso are a sight to behold

This morning, you're off to the Pacific coast! Your private guide/driver will pick you up at your hotel for the 1.5-hour drive through the fertile valleys of Curacaví and Casablanca, with your first stop in the city of Valparaíso. This colorful metropolis is considered the artistic and bohemian soul of the country, filled with street art, music, and poetry. The city is built into the steep cliffs surrounding the bay, with an amazing network of funicular elevators that take you up the hills and through various neighborhoods.

Walk through the plazas of Sotomayor and Aníbal Pinto, then head to the Reina Victoria funicular. This elevator stretches from Avenida Elias to Paseo Dimalow, and after you ride it to the top of the hill, you can walk through the Cerro Concepción and Cerro Florida neighborhoods. End at La Sebastiana, a fine museum that was once the home of poet Pablo Neruda. 

Afterward, continue to the neighboring town of Viña del Mar, known for its gardens and working flower clock, which was created in celebration of the 1962 World Cup. You'll see the amazing architecture of the residential sectors of Casino de Juegos, Avenida Perú, and Avenida San Martín, and historic landmarks such as the Germanic Wulff Castle and the Venetian-Gothic Vergara Palace, before stopping at the popular beach Playa Reñaca. You can have lunch at one of the nearby seafood restaurants before returning to Santiago. 

Day 3: Fly to Puerto Natales, Transfer to Torres del Paine

Go "glamping" at South America's first luxury eco-camp (photo courtesy of Patagonia Camp)

Get ready for Patagonia! Leave the capital behind this morning as you transfer to the airport for the three-hour flight south into Patagonia and Puerto Natales. This small port city on the Seno Última Esperanza (Last Hope Sound) is famous as a base for nature excursions. At the airport, another driver will take you 1.5 hours north to Torres del Paine, the crown jewel of Chile's national parks. This legendary protected area covers 700 square miles (1,810 sq km) and is renowned for its circuit treks.

Your accommodation is located just a few miles outside of the park. Perched above the shore of Lago Toro, Patagonia Camp offers a glamorous camping experience that immerses you in the beauty of Patagonia. Not only was this the first luxury camp in South America, but its eco-friendly yurts integrate seamlessly into the surrounding landscape, leaving almost no carbon footprint. The yurts are equipped with comfy beds, central heating, and en suite baths; but the best part is that the camp lies right on the doorstep of Torres del Paine, offering quick access to park activities and adventures.

Day 4: Torres del Paine Activities: Mirador Base Torres Trek

It's a full-day hike to Base Torres, one of the best views in Torres del Paine

After an early camp breakfast, you'll head out for a full day of adventures in Torres del Paine. During your time here, Patagonia Camp will organize each day's activities according to your interests. The scenic hiking trails here are near limitless, and you can opt to trek between the park's famous lakes, like Pehoé and Nordenskjöld, or see more highlights at one time on a driving tour in a 4WD vehicle.

Probably the most famous day hike is the 11.2-mile (18 km) trek up to Mirador Base Torres. This self-guided adventure begins with an ascent along a trail up Mount Almirante Nieto, which features stunning views of Lago Nordenskjöld and the Asencio Valley below. After two hours of hiking, you'll reach Refugio & Camping Chileno, where you'll break for lunch.

Then it's another hour of hiking past ancient lenga forests until you arrive at a moraine. The next part is a 45-minute hard scramble to the top and Base Torres. In this spot, three granite pillars jut out of the ground over a silver lagoon and make for the best view in the park. You'll also see the towering peaks of nearby Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte, Condor's Nest, and Glacier Torre. The trek ends when you hike back down the mountain.

Day 5: Torres del Paine Activities: Glaciers, Valleys & Lakes

See the massive ice floes of Patagonia on a day trip to Grey Glacier

If you like, spend today visiting the park's famous glaciers. One option is a hike to the French Valley—look up, and you'll see its famous hanging glacier overhead. Another option is a trip to Lago Grey. Here, you'll board a catamaran to Grey Glacier, a massive ice floe in the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Cruise across the lake until you get close to the glacier, where you'll have fantastic views of its massive ice walls (a prime photo opportunity!). Following the boat tour, you'll take a short guided hike along a windswept beach and through the forest. Then, return to the camp in time for dinner.

Day 6: Torres del Paine Activities: Horseback Rides, Kayaking & Hiking

One of the best ways to explore Torres del Paine is on horseback
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For your last day in Torres del Paine, you'll again have your choice of activities. If you haven't done so already, hop in the saddle for a scenic horseback ride or hit the water on a kayak tour. There's also the option for a half-day trek to Salto Grande, a raging aquamarine waterfall that channels water between the lakes of Nordenskjöld and Pehoé. The rest of the tour involves a 3.7-mile (6 km) hike around a great panorama of landscapes featuring the peaks of Los Cuernos and Paine Grande with its French Glacier hanging down.

Day 7: Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Dinner at Rancho Aparte

Spend the day enjoying the hotel's indoor pool and hot tub (photo courtesy of Xelena Hotel & Suites)

Say goodbye to Chilean Patagonia as you break camp this morning and head north with your driver to El Calafate. It's a five-hour drive, and along the way, you'll stop for a customs check at the border crossing into Argentina. Eventually, you'll arrive at the scenic town of El Calafate. Sitting on the shores of Lago Argentino, this is the main base for trips into the famous Los Glaciares National Park and one of its star attractions, Perito Moreno Glacier.

Your driver will take you to the eastern outskirts of town and Xelena Hotel & Suites. This 5-star hotel sits right on the lakeshore and features comfortable, quiet and well-equipped rooms overlooking the water. Other welcome amenities include an indoor pool as well as a heated outdoor pool with lake views, plus a Jacuzzi, sauna, and a luxury spa offering beauty treatments and aromatic therapies to rejuvenate the body and mind.

You can spend the remainder of the afternoon relaxing by the pool and enjoying a massage. Dinner will be a special affair at Rancho Aparte, a ranch home converted into a restaurant where guests are treated to home-cooked meals from fixed menus. Highlights include regional specialties like roast Patagonian lamb and goulash with gnocchi pasta, all prepared with organic ingredients from local farms. Of course, the menu is paired with some of the finest wines in Patagonia and throughout Argentina.

Day 8: Day Trip to Perito Moreno & Nautical Safari

You haven't seen a glacier as marvelous as Perito Moreno

Today, you'll enjoy a memorable full-day adventure into Los Glaciares National Park. Meet your private driver in the morning and transfer about west to Perito Moreno. It's a scenic 1.5-hour drive during which you'll pass natural landmarks like Redonda Bay, home to a variety of exotic waterbirds, including black-necked swans and flamingoes.

Continue cruising across the vast Patagonian steppe until you reach the national park's entrance, surrounded by beech and oak forests. Here, amid a network of boardwalks and viewpoints, you'll be treated to your first glimpses of Perito Moreno. This expansive glacier flows down from the Andes over the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino, ending in a great wall that curves around the lake. At points, these walls reach 230 feet (70 m) high.

After marveling at the glacier from the boardwalks, you'll hop on a boat to see it up close. This nautical safari departs from the Puerto Bajo Las Sombras on the Rico arm of Lago Argentino. As you cruise toward the southern side of the glacier, you'll pass by icebergs floating in the water. Keep your camera ready, as once you get near the walls, you might see a chunk of ice breaking off and crashing into the water below (a process known as "calving"). At the end of the day, you'll transfer back to your hotel.

Day 9: Day Trip to Estancia Cristina & Trekking

Visit a historic ranch on the wild frontiers of Patagonia (photo courtesy of Estancia Cristina)

After an early breakfast, your driver will pick you up at the hotel for the 28-mile (45 km) drive to the port at Punta Bandera, on Lago Argentino. There, you'll board a ferry and ride along the Upsala Channel, passing towering icebergs as you go. When you reach the northern section, you'll see the western front of the Spegazzini Glacier. At over 10 miles (16 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, this ancient ice mass is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

After admiring Spegazzini, continue north into the Cristina Channel, arriving at the far end by late morning. You'll disembark at Estancia Cristina, one of the most impressive ranches in the region. It was founded by pioneers in 1914 and built on a valley once covered by the Upsala Glacier. A visit to the Folkloric Museum (located in an old sheepshearing shed) offers insight into the estancia's history. After a walk around the property to admire the panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, running rivers, glassy lakes, and ancient glaciers, you'll transfer back to El Calafate.

Day 10: Transfer to El Chaltén, Laguna Torre Hike

Experience secluded luxury on the shores of Lago del Desierto near El Chaltén (photo courtesy of Aguas Arribe)

Leave El Calafate this morning on a three-hour drive north to El Chaltén. Nicknamed "the trekking capital of Argentina," this town lies on the Río Las Vueltas. Like El Calafate, it's a gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, with towering peaks rising 10,000 feet (3,048 m) above the windswept landscape. If the skies are clear during the drive, you'll have incredible views of the granite massif of Mount Fitz Roy. And though it's filled with cool cafés and craft beer bars, El Chaltén often feels overcrowded with travelers and trekkers. That's why you'll stay 23 miles (37 km) north of town at Aguas Arriba.

This expansive lodge sits on Lago del Desierto and occupies 1,700 acres (688 ha) of pristine Patagonian wilderness. The cozy rooms with lake views are spacious and well-equipped, but the real star is its proximity to Los Glaciares National Park, featuring southern beech forests that are ideal for nature hikes. The lodge serves gourmet meals in its elegant dining room with wraparound windows overlooking the water, and when the sun is out, you can also dine on the lakefront terrace.

After dropping off your bags, you'll hit the trail with a private guide on a popular trek up to Laguna Torre. This relatively short route (3-4 hours) will take you along the river, through lush green lenga forests, and around blue lagoons until you reach the lakeshore. Sitting at the foot of Cerro Torre and fed by glacial meltwater, the views of the surrounding peaks are incredible. After a break to relax and snap photos, you'll begin set off on the hike back down to the trailhead and return to your hotel.

Day 11: Full-Day Hike to Laguna de Los Tres

Make your way up to another pristine glacial lake on today's memorable hike

Wake up early and meet your private guide once again for an epic, full-day trek. The route you'll follow today covers 12 miles (20 km) and takes 8-9 hours to complete. Your destination is Laguna de los Tres, a gorgeous lagoon from which you'll enjoy panoramic views of three peaks: Fitz Roy, Poincenot, and Torre. During the hike, you'll also stop at incredible viewpoints, looking out to the Piedras Blancas Glacier. When you arrive at the lagoon, you'll break for lunch and have time to relax before descending back to El Chaltén. Back at your lakeside lodge, savor your last night amid the wilderness of Patagonia.

Day 12: Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentine Dinner Party

Get bird's-eye views over the Argentine capital from your 5-star hotel's rooftop (photo courtesy of Alvear Palace)

Bid a fond farewell to Patagonia as you transfer back to El Calafate and the airport this morning for the three-hour flight to Buenos Aires. Argentina's chic capital is known as the "Paris of the South" due to its abundance of Baroque and neoclassical architecture. You'll discover these romantic streets over a couple of days of city tours and cultural activities.

Upon arrival at Ezeiza Airport, you'll transfer to your accommodation: the Alvear Palace. This 5-star luxury hotel in the city's old-money Recoleta district enjoys a central location close to historic landmarks (like the famous cemetery where Evita is buried). It's also the model of timeless elegance, mixing classic French opulence with modern urban style. The grand suites feature crystal chandeliers and Argentine art hanging on the walls, while luxurious amenities include a rooftop heated pool and afternoon tea service. If you're tense after the flight, head to the spa for a massage and/or body exfoliation.

Cap the day with a one-of-a-kind Argentine culinary experience. Join a local chef to learn how to make the country's signature dishes, from empanadas (savory pastries) to maté (the national tea). During the class, you'll master the repulgue (folding) technique to seal an empanada and learn which spices and herbs make an authentic chimichurri sauce. Round out your culinary adventure with a tasting of robust malbec wine and snacking on tantalizing alfajores, the dulce de leche-filled cookie that's the perfectly sweet end to a traditional Argentine feast.

Day 13: Buenos Aires Sightseeing Tour

The Recoleta Cemetery is a highlight of any city tour
The Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of some of Argentina's most famous historical figures
Immerse yourself in Buenos Aires this morning on a private tour of some of the highlights of the city's north side. Meet your guide in Retiro, which is famous for its historic plazas. Do some window shopping as you stroll the boutiques on Avenida Alvear back to Recoleta and its world-famous cemetery. Amid the grand mausoleums, which inter some of Argentina's most noteworthy historical figures, one grave stands out: Eva (Evita) Peron's. The tour finishes in the trendy Palermo neighborhood at expansive parks designed by renowned landscape architect Charles Thays.

Day 14: Day Trip to Tigre & Lunch, Depart Buenos Aires

Lunch will be served in an elegant restaurant situated in a museum overlooking the river

It's your last day in Argentina, but the adventure isn't over quite yet. This morning, meet your private guide and transfer along the mighty Río de la Plata to the point where it converges with the Paraña River Delta. This region, located about an hour north of Buenos Aires, is comprised of a series of islands and waterfront communities. There, you'll enter a network of freshwater canals, eventually arriving at Tigre, a Venetian-style village.

During the tour, you'll stroll Tigre's waterfront, stop in at the cafés and bistros, visit museums, and experience this riverside gem any way you like. Lunch will be at Il Novo Maria del Luján, a white-tablecloth restaurant overlooking the river that serves seafood and steaks. The restaurant's opulent building is a historic landmark that also houses Tigre's Museum of Fine Arts. Later, you'll transfer back to Buenos Aires to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Ultimate Luxury Exploration of Patagonia: Chile to Argentina - 14 Days
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