Contact Us

Private Journeys

Signature Patagonia: Glaciers of Chile and Argentina

17 days from £7,980pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Argentina / Chile / Patagonia

iStock ©

Essentials

Transport

4 flights (longest 5hrs); 2 scenic road journeys (longest 4-5hrs); 1 boat and bus lake crossing (12hrs).

Accommodation

This holiday offers good mid-range accommodation, from functional, modern and well-equipped hotels in the towns and cities to agreeable lakeside properties and a larger but excellent, well located lodge in Torres del Paine with staggering views.

Meals

Breakfast daily; dinner day 2; lunch day 8, full board days 9-11.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Summary Of Nights

17 days, 16 nights: Buenos Aires 3; Tierra del Fuego 2; El Calafate 3; Torres del Paine 3; Puerto Varas 2; Bariloche 2; Buenos Aires 1.

Currency

The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentine peso, in Chile it is the Chilean peso.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques (American Express are the most widely accepted), though these are gradually falling out of use. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

For our latest currency advice for Argentina please see our FAQs section.

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of US$35-50 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. 

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Trip Suitability

There are several flights and some drives of up to 5hrs, but the road surface is generally good. The excursions mostly require moderate fitness.

In Torres del Paine National Park all walks are optional. Hikes vary in length (between 2 – 8hrs) and difficulty (most are easily followed and relatively flat).  If you find time to walk around Bariloche, trails are undulating but not strenuous.

Be prepared for some early mornings, and for extreme weather conditions (mainly down South). However, throughout the holiday, there is time to relax and explore on your own if you wish.

Climate

Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is between May and September. In Buenos Aires, temperatures can be cool (5 to 15°C). While sunshine is possible, so is rain. Spring temperatures, October to November and March to April are between 15 and 25°C and there is a good deal of pleasant sunshine. January and February are hot, around 30°C.

The lake district has weather not dissimilar to our own, but a bit sunnier in summer and rather rainier in the winter months.

The weather in the far south is notoriously unpredictable throughout the year. During the southern hemisphere summer (October to March) there can be blizzards or heat waves.  The adage “four seasons in a day” is very apt here. In winter days are short and snow is not uncommon but it is rarely much below freezing, because of the moderating influence of the sea.

Clothing And Special Equipment

Even in stylish Buenos Aires, dress is casual or smart casual except for the classiest restaurants. For the holiday as a whole you will need a variety of clothing, from light trousers, shorts, cotton dresses, skirts or T shirts through to fleeces and waterproof outer shells. A hat and gloves are advisable for the far south.

A day pack is essential for carrying rainwear, snacks, books and a water bottle.  The sun in summer can be strong so take a hat with a visor, sunglasses and sunblock. Some walkers find hiking poles helpful and binoculars are useful for wildlife spotting.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: polio; tetanus; typhoid; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Country info

When is the best time to visit Chile?

Thanks to its size and shape, Chile is a year-round destination. The southern hemisphere summer is the reverse of our own, with Dec-Feb being high summer in Patagonia. Spring (Oct-Nov) and Autumn (Mar-Apr) can still be very pleasant and are quieter. While summers in the lake district are generally warm and sunny, as a rule the further south in Patagonia you go the more unpredictable the weather. Santiago and Valparaiso have a Mediterranean-type climate, with very warm summers and cool winters (ski season is Jul-Aug). San Pedro de Atacama enjoys sunshine and warm temperatures year-round, influenced by altitude and the high Andes, with cool nights Jul-Sep and a chance of heavy rains in Jan-Mar. Easter Island has pleasant temperatures all year, warmest Oct-Mar, cooler Jun-Sep.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Chile?

The official language of Chile is Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Chile?

The local currency in Chile is the Chilean Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in larger towns and cities using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also many banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling are harder to find and frequently poor. Non-resident foreign guests at hotels in Chile do not normally pay the 19% VAT on most extras (such as food and drink consumed on the premises) if the bill is settled in US$ (cash or credit card) upon checking out.

What's the time difference between Chile and UK?

The time difference between the UK and Chile is GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar.

What countries combine well with Chile?

Bolivia, accessing the south of country from San Pedro de Atacama, travelling via salt lakes of the Salar de Uyuni; Argentina, crossing the Andes over one of several scenic passes: from the Atacama Desert in the north to Salta, from Santiago to Mendoza, via the lakes crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche in the lake district and from Torres del Paine to El Calafate in Patagonia.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Chile?

Tapati festival, Easter Island is normally during the first 2 weeks of February with traditional music, dance and sports.

On New Years Eve Valparaiso has an impressive firework display.

What do I need to know about altitude in Chile?

Whilst a typical holiday in Patagonia presents no challenges with altitude, parts of northern Chile (Lauca National Park and parts of the Atacama Desert) offer a spectacular introduction to the high Andes, with several attractions at over 3,000m. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on  www.travelhealthpro.org.uk.

Country info

When is the best time to visit Argentina?

Argentina is so large it’s always a good time to go somewhere. The southern hemisphere summer is the reverse of our own, with Dec-Feb being high summer in Patagonia. Spring (Oct-Nov) and Autumn (Mar-Apr) can still be very pleasant and are quieter. While summers in the lake district are reliably warm and sunny, the further south in Patagonia you go the more unpredictable the weather. In Winter (June-Sept) some hotels in Patagonia close, while others stay open for skiers. Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Córdoba enjoy a Mediterranean-type climate, with cool winters and very warm summers. North-west Argentina (Salta and Jujuy) enjoy sunshine and warm temperatures year-round but are influenced by altitude and the high Andes, with occasional cold snaps (June-Sept) and a rainy season (Jan-Feb). Iguazú Falls and Misiones has a subtropical climate, although it can be chilly July-Sept.
For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Argentina?

The official language of Argentina is Spanish.

What is Argentina's official currency?

The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso.
Money matters in Argentina are a bit complicated due to the volatile economic situation and very high inflation and the situation is changing all the time. As a rule though, cash is always king in Argentina, much more so than in the UK and other Latin American countries. You will usually get the best value locally by using cash. In Buenos Aires and some tourist hubs cards are accepted but even there you'll find having cash very handy. In more remote areas often only cash is accepted. Taking your funds in a mix of formats (a supply of US$ cash to convert into Pesos locally, and your cards) is usually a good plan. Do of course check your insurance limits for carrying cash.
In addition to the official rate of exchange, parallel rates exist within Argentina to convert US dollars into Pesos, such as the 'MEP'. On 13 December 2023 a major devaluation of the official rate of exchange narrowed the hitherto very wide gap between the official and parallel rates. It pays to keep an eye on the official rate: you could still end up getting substantially more (or less) for your money, depending on which rate is being used, both when changing money and using your credit/debit cards. If you do use your card, bear in mind the exchange rates used can vary between card issuers. Visa cards are generally the most widely accepted locally.
Changing small amounts at a time is wise both for security, and to avoid having lots of Pesos left over (outside of Argentina it’s hard to offload unwanted Pesos). Unlike in other countries, larger dollar bills (US$100, US$50) are favoured. Lower denominations will get lower rates. US dollars cash may be accepted if you are out of Pesos, but again check the rate being used. (Some lower US$ denomination notes are useful for situations where you are out of Pesos and can pay using dollars). It’s harder to change money at weekends, so plan ahead. We always advise against changing money on the street.
We generally don’t advise using ATMs in Argentina. Although ATMs are available, local ATM fees are high and the amount you can take out is much lower than in the UK. At the time of writing, it is not clear what conversion rates are used for ATM transactions.
Tips are always given in cash (even if you pay for a meal using a card).

What's the time difference between Argentina and UK?

The time difference between Argentina and UK is GMT -3 hrs. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar, but not every year.

Which other countries combine well with Argentina?

Chile, accessing the country by crossing the Andes over one of several scenic passes: from Salta in the northwest to the Atacama Desert, from Mendoza to Santiago, via the lakes crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas in the lake district and from El Calafate to Torres del Paine in Patagonia; Brazil, via the land crossing at Iguazú.

What are the festivals and other cultural or sporting events in Argentina?

Tango Festival: Buenos Aires, August.
Polo Open: Buenos Aires province, weekends in November.
Gaucho Festivals: The pampas, early November.

How do I adapt to the altitude in Argentina?

Whilst a typical holiday in Patagonia presents no challenges with altitude, Argentina’s north-western provinces offer a taste of the high Andes with some spectacular road trips on offer. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided tour of Buenos Aires including Recoleta Cemetery
  • Tango show with dinner, Buenos Aires
  • Beagle channel cruise, Tierra del Fuego
  • Excursion in Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Guided excursion to Perito Moreno glacier and boat trip on the lake
  • Full day tour to Estancia Cristina and the Upsala Glacier viewpoint
  • Excursions and activities in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Picturesque full day Andean boat crossing to Bariloche, via Petrohue waterfalls

What's not included in the price

  • International flights to Latin America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided tour of Buenos Aires including Recoleta Cemetery
  • Tango show with dinner, Buenos Aires
  • Beagle channel cruise, Tierra del Fuego
  • Excursion in Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Guided excursion to Perito Moreno glacier and boat trip on the lake
  • Full day tour to Estancia Cristina and the Upsala Glacier viewpoint
  • Excursions and activities in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Picturesque full day Andean boat crossing to Bariloche, via Petrohue waterfalls

What's not included in the price

  • International flights to Latin America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration
Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Sallly
    Sally Dodge - Travel Expert

    A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.

  • Kathryn
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Juliet
    Juliet Ellwood - Travel Expert

    After graduating with a degree in Anthropology and History and having been fascinated by Latin America since childhood by the book featuring photos of Nazca, Juliet first visited the region in 2003. Since then, Juliet has visited the majority of countries in Latin America but has particularly extensive experience with Peru, a country she loves for many reasons but not least, its incredible archaeological richness and delicious food!

  • Mary
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.

  • Charlotte
    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

  • Alex
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

0 1 2 3 4 5