Leg 9, March 2022: Santiago to Buenos Aires
March 1st: Free day in Santiago.
Border information: if you are joining in Santiago, you will most likely enter Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (IATA code: SCL).
March 2nd: Today we will leave the bright lights of Santiago behind and head to San Javier, to take a wine tour at one of the famous vineyards of the region. After lunch, we will head to the laid back farming village of Buchupureo, on the Chilean coast, where we can relax by the beach for a couple of hours.
March 3rd: This morning we will continue our drive into the Chilean Lake District to the town of Pucon.
Tomorrow we will have a free day in Pucón to enjoy a range of optional activities, such as a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Pucón, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs.
March 4th: Free day in Putin for optional activities.
March 5th: Today we cross the Andes into Argentina and continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche via the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route).
Border information: Exit Chile at Mamuil Malal, enter Argentina at Mamuil Malal.
March 6th: 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.
March 7th: Today we cross back into Chile and drive to the rafting mecca of Futaleufú. From this point we will join the famous Carretera Austral, probably one of the most stunning roads in South America, surrounded in gorgeous mountain and forest scenery. Please note that the road from here to El Chaltén is rough and mostly unpaved meaning that the going is slow.
Border Information: Exit Argentina at Rio Futaleufú, enter Chile at Rio Futaleufú.
March 8th: Today we will leave Futaleufú and drive through the Chilean fjords to Queluat National Park. If time allows there is an optional walk to see the incredible hanging Glacier.
March 9th: Today we drive south through the magnificent Chilean scenery to the beautiful area of Cerro Castillo National Reserve.
March 10th: Today we have a free day to hike to the stunning turquoise waters of Laguna Cerro Castillo or to go horse riding.
March 11th: Today we will cross into Argentina's Patagonia region and continue our journey south along the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40).
Border Information: Exit Chile at Huemules, enter Argentina at Huemules.
March 12th: Today we will drive into the heart of the Patagonia region and reach the tiny town of El Chaltén, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.
March 13th: Enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, horse riding, and mountain biking
March 14th: Today we have a short drive to El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.
March 15th: 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.
March 16th: 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!
Border information: Exit Argentina and enter Chile at Cerro Castillo.
March 17th: This morning we plan to wake up early and to drive to the harbour to board a Catamaran to cross Lago Pehoe. We will then set up camp at Paine Grande, before continuing on our hike towards the look out for Glacier Grey. The walk returns by the same route.
March 18th: 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.
March 19th: 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 at Camp Central after approximately 5 hours hiking.
March 20th: 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, with great views of the iconic Towers.
Our hike today is approximately 8 hours for the return trip (20km). We will then spend a second night at Camp Central.
March 21st: Today we will have a full drive day, heading south to cross the Magellan Straits over to the island of Tierra del Fuego.
Tonight we will wild camp somewhere on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego.
March 22nd: Today we cross over to the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego and drive to the incredible port town of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world!
Border information: Exit Chile at San Sebastian, enter Argentina at San Sebastian
March 23rd: Today is a free day in the wonderful remote town of Ushuaia, with 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 for those with more time here.
March 24th: Today we start heading back north on a full day drive back across the Magellan Straits and up the Chilean side of the mainland.
March 25th: 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 a main highlight of the trip for many of our passengers and leaders! We will stop en route in Puerto Natales to stock up on supplies and pick up our local guides and cook who will accompany us during our time in the National Park.
March 26th: Today we will head north to reach the small town of El Chaltén, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.
March 27th: Today we will have a full day drive across the plains of Patagonia towards the South Atlantic coast.
March 28th: Today we continue our drive north up the Atlantic coast to the small town of Camarones.
March 29th: This morning we have an included visit to the incredible remote colony of Magellanic Penguins in Cabo Dos Bahias (Cape Two Bays), close to the town of Camarones. After seeing the phenomenal sight of thousands of penguins nesting on the shore, we will continue our drive north to the coastal town of Puerto Madryn.
March 30th: Today we will have a free day for optional activities in and around Puerto Madryn. There is the opportunity to take a tour to the Valdes Peninsular to see its desolate scenery and abundant marine life, head out on a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales, or perhaps go for afternoon tea in a Welsh tea house in the nearby towns of Gaiman or Trelew.
March 31st: Today we have a full day's drive heading north towards Buenos Aires. We will see a definite change in the landscape today as the vegetation becomes more and more lush and green as we come out of the Patagonia region and into the pampas of Buenos Aires.
April 1st: Another full day drive will take us across the beautiful grasslands of Buenos Aires province and to the cosmoplitan Argentine capital itself.