Patagonia 2019

Ultimate Patagonia 2019

November 8–22, 2019

A photo exploration to the end of the earth

This Ultimate Patagonia adventure includes everything on your bucket list. In Argentina, visit the massive Perito Moreno glacier, enjoy world-class trekking in El Chaltén, and take a journey to the end of the world, crossing the Strait of Magellan before arriving at Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego. In Chile, explore one of the most famous national parks in the world: Torres del Paine. The itinerary is specifically designed for eager photographers looking to hone their skills with professional photography guides. If you’ve always wanted to embark on a comprehensive expedition to Patagonia—one of the world’s few remaining wilderness destinations—Ultimate Patagonia 2019 is for you!**

*The main tour is 14 nights, but by special request, we’ve added an optional photocultural extension in Buenos Aires—an additional three nights—for $975. This is noted in the below itinerary.

**This tour involves moderate to strenuous physical activity.

14 Nights*

8 to 12 Travelers

$7,450*

(If booked by May 31— normal price of $7,850 resumes June 1) (Double-occupancy; single supplement $1,175)

Itinerary

The adventure begins in Buenos Aires, where you’ll check into your hotel room in the afternoon, then meet your fellow travelers and tour leaders, Pablo, Wayde, and Matt. Next, Pablo will lead a walking tour around Plaza de Mayo. After the tour, you can choose to rest, or continue to practice your street photography with Wayde and Matt. Together we’ll enjoy an asado dinner at a local restaurant in the trendy barrio of San Telmo before getting plenty of rest for the travel day ahead.

Highlights

  • Tour group meet and greet (4 p.m. in lobby of Two Hotel)
  • Walking tour of Plaza de Mayo
  • Welcome dinner in San Telmo
  • Photography: street, architecture, portrait

Meals Included

  • Dinner in Buenos Aires

Accommodations

  • Two Hotel or similar

Important Notes

Transfer to hotel from EZE airport is included for those arriving on November 8. Additional pre-departure information will be provided to assist in coordinating your transfer.

Plan to arrive no later than 1 p.m. into Buenos Aires (EZE) to clear immigration, transfer to hotel, and settle in before our group meeting at 4 p.m. Any guests wishing to arrive before November 8 are welcome to contact us for assistance in arranging accommodations if desired.

We say adios for now to Buenos Aires bright and early as we make our way south to El Calafate on a domestic flight. The drive from El Calafate to El Chaltén offers many beautiful landscape photo opportunities as we first encounter the wild Patagonian steppe. Lago Argentino is always a highlight, and, if weather permits, we’ll catch our first glimpses of Mt. Fitz Roy and the Patagonian mountain range. In addition to stopping for landscape opportunities, we’ll be keeping our eyes out for guanacos, rheas, and possibly even the rare huemul or puma.

Highlights

  • Scenic drive from El Calafate to El Chaltén with photo stops
  • Arrival in El Chaltén
  • Photography: landscape, wildlife

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch in La Leona
  • Dinner in El Chaltén

Accommodations

  • Hosteria Senderos or similar

Important Notes

This travel day includes a domestic flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate. The flight is included with your tour.

We head into Los Glaciares National Park for one of the most beautiful treks of the trip. Stroll past braided glacial rivers into valleys with majestic mountainscape views, and through fragrant forests to arrive at Laguna de Los Tres for an eye-popping view of Cerro Torre and the Patagonian mountain range.

Highlights

  • Day trek to Laguna de los Tres
  • Optional predawn sunrise shoot
  • Photography: landscape, portrait, wildlife

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Pack lunch
  • Dinner at La Cervecería

Accommodations

  • Hosteria Senderos or similar

Important Notes

  • Trek distance: ~14 mi (23 km) round trip
  • Duration: 8 to 10 hrs
  • Elevation change: 2300 ft (700 m)
  • Difficulty: moderate to strenuous

Those participating in the predawn sunrise shoot will depart for the day trek early and will be joined by the rest of the group on the trail.

For those who may like assistance during the trek, we can help you arrange for porter services in advance.

For guests who have concerns regarding the physical activity levels of trekking in El Chaltén, alternative daytime photography activities can be arranged with advance notice.

Because weather patterns in Patagonia are particularly unpredictable, we’ll need to remain flexible on days when trekking is planned. Generally speaking, we’re going out rain or shine. However, we may occasionally have to rearrange treks within the itinerary or switch to a similar trail that’s safer or more accessible.

We venture back into Los Glaciaries National Park for another spectacular day trek. Today we visit Laguna Torre, which rests at the foot of Glaciar Torre and Cerro Torre creating a breathtaking view right where we’ll enjoy lunch. Like yesterday, opportunities for stunning landscape photography will be the highlight, but if we’re lucky we may catch a glimpse some of the native wildlife species, including condors, eagles, foxes, hares, or possibly even the rare huemul or puma.

Highlights

  • Day trek to Laguna Torre
  • Photography: landscape, wildlife

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Pack lunch
  • Dinner in El Chaltén

Accommodations

  • Hosteria Senderos or similar

Important Notes

  • Trek distance: ~12 mi (19 km) round trip
  • Duration: 8 to 10 hrs
  • Elevation change: 800 ft (240 m)
  • Difficulty: moderate

For those who may like assistance during the trek, we can help you arrange for porter services in advance.

For guests who have concerns regarding the physical activity levels of trekking in El Chaltén, alternative daytime photography activities can be arranged with advance notice.

Because weather patterns in Patagonia are particularly unpredictable, we’ll need to remain flexible on days when trekking is planned. Generally speaking, we’re going out rain or shine. However, we may occasionally have to rearrange treks within the itinerary or switch to a similar trail that’s safer or more accessible.

We enjoy a more leisurely pace today as we make our way from El Chaltén back to El Calafate, where we’ll overnight before our visit to the Perito Moreno glacier. Once in El Calafate, we’ll offer an optional walking tour inside the Laguna Nimez Bird Sanctuary. This will also be a good opportunity to shop for souvenirs and to restock on snacks and sundries. In the evening, we’ll offer a Lightroom session and photo review to begin processing photos from El Chaltén.

Highlights

  • Optional predawn sunrise shoot
  • Optional walking photo tour of Laguna Nimez Bird Sanctuary
  • Post-processing session #1
  • Photography: landscape, wildlife

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch in local restaurant 
  • Dinner at hotel

Accommodations

  • Calafata Parque Hotel or similar

Important Notes

For those who wish to participate in the optional sunrise photo shoot, we’ll be coordinating a predawn drive to a shooting location. Minimal hiking required.

Today we visit one of the most iconic landmarks in Patagonia: the massive Perito Moreno glacier. There are three options for exploring the glacier: strap on some crampons (provided) and head directly out onto the ice for a day trek, board a boat to see the face of the glacier up close, or make your way to the terrace balconies to get fantastic wide angle views from many different vantage points. Note that those who choose to head out on the day trek or the boat ride will still have an opportunity to check out many of the terrace balconies before we head back to El Calafate. On the way home, we’ll have the chance to stop and see flamingos that frequent the lakes this time of year.

Highlights

  • Visit the Perito Moreno glacier
  • See flamingos between El Calafate and Perito Moreno 
  • Photography: landscape, portrait, wildlife

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Pack lunch

Accommodations

  • Calafata Parque Hotel or similar

Important Notes

  • Ice trekking duration: 4.5 hrs total; 1.5 hrs on the ice
  • Activity level: moderate
  • Age limit: 10-65 years old

Total time at Perito Moreno is about 6 hours.

The boat ride to the face of the glacier is about a 1-hour round trip.

Dinner is not included this evening, to give guests a chance to dine in private if desired. We’ll recommend restaurants in El Calafate and provide transportation to and from the hotel.

We cross the border from Argentina to Chile today as we make our way into Torres del Paine National Park, where we’ll spend the next three days trekking and taking pictures of some of the most beautiful landscapes in Patagonia.

Highlights

  • Scenic drive into Torres del Paine (after border crossing)
  • Photography: landscape, wildlife, portrait

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch at border crossing
  • Dinner at Hotel Las Torres

Accommodations

  • Hotel Estancia El Ovejero Patagónico or similar

Important Notes

Guests will need their passports readily available, and will have the opportunity to exchange currencies at the border. No raw fruits, vegetables, meats, or wood materials are permitted to cross the border.

We embark on the eastern leg of the famous W trek, which takes us to the base of the large granite towers from which the park—Torres del Paine—derives its name. The trek winds its way up into the Ascencio Valley, through the lenga forest, beyond the stony cliff sides and glacial streams and, finally, up and over the craggy and narrow, boulder-ridden glacial moraine.  Complete with a turquoise glacial lagoon nestled below the beautiful granite towers, the scene at the top makes for picture-perfect landscape photography.

Highlights

  • Day trek to Mirador Base Las Torres
  • Photography: landscape, portrait, wildlife

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Pack lunch
  • Dinner at hotel

Accommodations

  • Hotel Río Serrano or similar

Important Notes

  • Trek distance: ~11 mi (18 km) round trip
  • Duration: 8 to 10 hrs
  • Elevation change: 2550 ft (775 m)
  • Difficulty: moderate to strenuous

For those who may wish to have assistance during the trek, we can help you arrange for porter services in advance.

Due to the steep, rocky nature of this trek, participants who might anticipate discomfort in their hips, knees, or ankles are encouraged to use trekking poles, which can be rented in advance if necessary.

For guests who have concerns regarding the physical activity levels of trekking in Torres del Paine, alternative daytime photography activities can be arranged with advance notice.

Because weather patterns in Patagonia are particularly unpredictable, we’ll need to remain flexible on days when trekking is planned. Generally speaking, we’re going out rain or shine. However, we may occasionally have to rearrange treks within the itinerary or switch to a similar trail that’s safer or more accessible.

We’ll venture back into Torres del Paine National Park, where we’ll be chasing the best light as we visit a number of different viewpoints in and around the park. Although we’ll be traveling mostly by car to cover as much ground as possible, this day may also require some walking/light hiking to reach the viewpoints from the road (max 2 mi / 3 km round trip).

Highlights

  • Chasing light to a number of miradores
  • Photography: landscape, portrait, wildlife

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Pack lunch
  • Dinner at hotel

Accommodations

  • Hotel Río Serrano or similar

Important Notes

  • Difficulty: easy

Because weather patterns in Patagonia are particularly unpredictable, we’ll need to remain flexible on days when trekking is planned. Generally speaking, we’re going out rain or shine. However, we may occasionally have to rearrange treks within the itinerary or switch to a similar trail that’s safer or more accessible.

We venture out of Torres del Paine National Park, but not before making a few breathtaking stops along the way for additional photography opportunities. We enjoy lunch overlooking Lago Grey, then continue our journey into the small Chilean town of Punta Arenas, where we’ll conduct a post-processing session at the hotel and then rest before our long journey to Ushuaia.

Highlights

  • Photo stops including sweeping views of Torres del Paine
  • Lunch overlooking Lago Grey
  • Post-processing Session #2 in the evening
  • Photography: landscape, portrait, wildlife

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch at Lago Grey
  • Dinner at hotel

Accommodations

  • Hotel Ilaia or similar

Today marks the longest travel day of the adventure as we make our way across the Patagonian steppe, crossing the border into Argentina and ultimately boarding a ferry to cross the Strait of Magellan on our way to Ushuaia, el fin del mundo—end of the earth! Ushuaia is considered the Southernmost city in the world, and you can get your passport stamped to prove it. The quaint Argentinian destination is home to Tierra Del Fuego National Park, beautiful mountainous seascapes, and abundant marine life—all prime photography subjects for us.

Highlights

  • Scenic views of the vast Patagonian steppe all day
  • Ride a ferry across the historic Strait of Magellan
  • Photography: landscape, wildlife, portrait

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Pack lunch
  • Dinner in Ushuaia

Accommodations

  • Cilene del Faro or similar

Important Notes

This will be a long travel day so make sure your batteries are charged (literally and figuratively) and you have plenty of water and snacks.

Guests will need their passports readily available, and will have the opportunity to exchange currencies at the border. No raw fruits, vegetables, meats, or wood materials are permitted to cross the border.

The Beagle Channel boat tour and the visit to Isla Martillo offer some of the best wildlife photography opportunities on the trip. Get ready to enjoy your time out on this beautiful subantarctic voyage! On the Beagle Channel, we’ll have the chance to encounter some wildlife, including cormorants and sea lions, while cruising along the picturesque Patagonian shoreline. At Isla Martillo we’ll visit a colony of migratory Magellanic penguins and if we’re lucky, we might even spot some additional species such as gentoo or king penguins.

Highlights

  • Cruise the Beagle Channel in search of local marine life
  • Visit a penguin colony at Isla Martillo
  • Photography: Wildlife, landscape, portrait

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch
  • Dinner in Ushuaia

Accommodations

  • Cilene del Faro or similar

Important Notes

We’ll be on boats for a significant portion of the day so remember to prepare by taking any preferred motion sickness remedies.

Today we offer an open day for guests to explore Ushuaia at their own pace. Options include visiting the local shops and museums in Ushuaia, taking a helicopter tour to view the beautiful mountain landscape from above (complete with a mountainside landing), visiting Tierra del Fuego National Park, exploring a hiking trail near the scenic La Cabaña Casa de Té, or kayaking in the Beagle Channel, among many others. The options are numerous and we prefer that our guests have the freedom to enjoy activities that best suit their tastes.

Highlights

  • Optional day tours in Ushuaia (not included)
  • Photography: landscape, wildlife, macro, portrait

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Dinner in Ushuaia

Accommodations

  • Cilene del Faro or similar

Important Notes

Local excursions on this day are not included in the tour price. Our guides will assist in coordinating ground transportation to and from your activities of choice, and will accompany our guests if possible. On certain excursions it may not be feasible for one of our guides to participate (for example, the helicopter tour).

We bid farewell to beautiful Patagonia and fly back to Buenos Aires, where we’ll enjoy a group dinner before we say goodbye to those guests who will not be joining for the photocultural portion of the adventure in Buenos Aires.

Highlights

  • Group dinner in Buenos Aires
  • Photography: street, architecture

Meals

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch
  • Dinner in Buenos Aires

Accommodations

  • Hotel Clasico or similar

Important Notes

The domestic flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires is included in your itinerary.

Today some guests will depart for their flight home.

For those staying, we’ll head out of Buenos Aires proper to enjoy a visit to a local estancia—an Argentinian ranch-style estate—where we’ll learn about traditional life in the Argentinian countryside, enjoy customary cuisine, and have plenty of photo opportunities as we explore the picturesque estate grounds.

Highlights

  • Traditional meals prepared on the ranch
  • Learn Argentinian folklore
  • Photography: portrait, landscape, architecture

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch at estancia
  • Dinner

Accommodations

  • Hotel Clásico or similar

Important Notes

Transfer to EZE from Two Hotel included for those departing

Today we’ll meet up with a local artist in his studio in La Boca, visit a few architectural and historical highlights in Recoleta, enjoy a performance and lesson from a local tango club, and then cap the night off with dancing at a local milonga.

Highlights

  • Group photo tour of La Boca
  • Visit to a local artist’s studio
  • Walking tour of Recoleta
  • Private visit and photo shoot with local tango club
  • Dancing at a local milonga (tango nightclub)
  • Photography: street, portrait, architecture

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Snacks provided at artist studio
  • Late lunch at Santos Manjares
  • Snacks provided at tango club

Accommodations

  • Hotel Clásico or similar

We’ll partake in two contrasting but equally energetic Sunday markets. In the morning the San Telmo market in Buenos Aires will give you a taste of the urban lifestyle, while in the afternoon the Feria de Mataderos on the outskirts of town will give you a more rural vibe and show you the way the locals do it. Then in the evening we’ll join some friends and family for a traditional Argentinian BBQ. We’ll eat, drink, dance, and relax in true Argentinian style—the perfect way to wind down an incredible trip!

Highlights

  • Visit an energetic, urban Sunday market in San Telmo
  • Explore a lesser-known but bustling rural market on the outskirts of town
  • Party like a local as we host our very own Argentinian BBQ and invite some friends
  • Photography: street, portrait, architecture

Meals Included

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Lunch in San Telmo
  • Argentinian BBQ for dinner

Accommodations

  • Hotel Clásico or similar

Important Notes

Vegetarian options will be available at the BBQ. Vegan options available on request.

Our journey comes to an end today as we head to the airport and say goodbye to this beautiful place!

Notes:
All activities are weather-dependent; if poor weather keeps us inside, we’ll practice photo editing and post-processing techniques.
For guests who have concerns regarding the physical activity levels of trekking in El Chaltén and Torres del Paine, alternative daytime photography activities can be arranged with advance notice.

Meet Your Guides

Matt Estrada

Principal and Photography Instructor

Wayde Carroll

Principal and Photography Instructor

Pablo Rincci

Organizer and Guide: Patagonia