Group - Discovery

Nandu: Peaks and plains of Patagonia

20 days from £4,900pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Chile / Argentina / Patagonia

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Essentials

About Our Group Tours

To find out more about how our group tours including group sizes, solo travellers and why to choose us. Please click here.

Tour Leader

On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.

Summary Of Nights

20 days, 19 nights: Santiago 2; Pucón 2; Puerto Varas 2; Punta Arenas 1; Puerto Natales 3; El Calafate 2; El Chaltén 2; Ushuaia 2; Buenos Aires 3.

Accommodation

For our Discovery Journeys we aim to use good quality, value-for-money accommodation, in a mix of larger more modern and smaller family run hotels. All the properties we use are well maintained and rooms will have a private bathroom with hot water.

The focus of these trips is on getting outside, seeing the sights, and experiencing local restaurants and cafes, therefore a few hotels may not have evening dining facilities. If you prefer more luxurious accommodation, please see our classic tours range.

We use the following properties on this tour:

• Santiago: Almasur Providencia
• Pucón: Hostal Geronimo
• Puerto Varas: Hotel Puelche
• Punta Arenas: Almasur
• Puerto Natales: Hotel Vendeval
• El Calafate: Hotel Kapenke
• El Chalten: Cumbres Nevadas
• Ushuaia: Hostal del Bosque
• Buenos Aires: Kenton Palace

On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.

Transport

4 flights (longest 3.5hrs). We use a mixture of private and public vehicles for the road transport. Where the journeys are done by public transport (4 in total) we use comfortable tourist coaches.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 6 and 16 and dinner day 6.

Optional Excursions

On this tour the price includes excursions in all the places you visit as per the itinerary. There will however likely be some free time when you may choose to take part in an optional excursion. These are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America, however we are more than happy to advise you of what is on offer in advance of your holiday so you can best plan the excursions that suit you.

Travelling Alone

There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with another same-sex member of the group who is also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to have their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available, which carry a surcharge.

Trip Suitability

Although not a walking holiday the nature, location and environment mean that the main activities of the tour do take place on foot. Hikes can vary in length (between 2 and 10 hrs) and difficulty (some with steep ascents or more uneven terrain). Note that most walks are linear and along good paths, (although some can be slippery in wet weather), so you can follow them as far as you feel comfortable. All trekking excursions are optional and your tour leader is always on hand and with the help of the local guides will always try and make sure that all levels of ability can be catered for and alternatives offered. In other locations such as Pucón in the Chilean Lake District and El Chalten in Argentina, there is more flexibility as you are within a small town, however, the main purpose of staying in these beautiful locations is the incredibly scenic walks that are accessible within the surrounding countryside.

Climate

This holiday only operates from October through to March. As a broad overview Chile and Argentina have the opposite seasons to the UK, meaning November to February tend to be the warmest summer months. The further south you travel in the country the cooler it gets, although this varies with altitude. A comprehensive overview of the weather in all the regions you are visiting can be found in our Destination pages. Our Travel Experts can answer your questions on climate and further details will be sent with your confirmation documents.

Clothing, Equipment and Luggage

A daypack is essential for carrying rainwear, snacks, books/tablet and a water bottle. To ensure your comfort while walking in Patagonia, you should bring good waterproof walking boots/shoes (tried and tested so you don’t get blisters) as well as a good water/windproof (not just shower-proof) jacket and trousers, a warm hat and a scarf. Some walkers find hiking poles helpful, and binoculars are useful for bird and wildlife spotting. Bring a hat with a visor, sunglasses and sun block. Because the weather can be changeable, we recommend wearing layered clothing for excursions.

Money

Please see the Country Info tab on this holiday for our latest currency information and advice about how to take your spending money. Tipping in Latin America is almost always done using cash. It is customary to tip tour leaders, local guides, drivers, boat crews and other service providers such as restaurant staff and porters. Full tipping guidelines are sent with your confirmation documents as is advice on local costs.

Health, Entry Requirements and Insurance

For health information on travelling to Chile and Argentina including recommended vaccinations, please see https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

All Latin American countries have specific entry regulations related to Covid 19. Please also check our Travel Hub for further information.

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports should be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Other nationalities should enquire with us or check with the consulates.

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on the Travel insurance website.

Our full briefing dossier contains more information on vaccinations, visas and insurance and will be provided with your final travel documents or can be requested from your travel consultant at any time.

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. The largest value note is AR$2,000 (about US$2).
Cash is still widely preferred in Argentina so don’t rely solely on your cards. Taking your funds in a mix of formats (a supply of US$ cash to convert into Pesos locally, and your cards) is the best plan. In Buenos Aires and main tourist hubs cards are widely accepted but in more remote areas often only cash is accepted. You’ll also need cash for tips (eg if you pay for a restaurant meal with a card, tips are always left in cash).
We think it’s a good idea to keep an eye on Argentina’s exchange rates before you go. In addition to the official rate of exchange for converting your US Dollars to Pesos, Argentina also uses a parallel exchange rate for foreign tourists (sometimes called the MEP). This is about 15% better than the official rate. Some casas de cambio will automatically apply the better tourist rate when changing your money. Others will only apply the official rate. When changing money, denominations of US$50 and US$100 are preferred and you should make sure your notes are in perfect condition. It’s harder to change money at weekends and holidays, so plan ahead. Some businesses will accept US$ cash for payment if you’re out of Pesos.
Rates used to process credit/debit card transactions can vary between card issuers, but you should find you get something between the official and tourist rates. Check your statement.
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.
Try not to end up with a lot of leftover Pesos at the end of your time in Argentina, as it is difficult to change them to other currencies. You can spend them at the Duty Free shop at Buenos Aires airport.

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

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.

What's included in the price

  • Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified

Included Excursions

  • Santiago: walking tour of the city
  • Lake district: Petrohué Falls
  • Lake district: Chiloe Island
  • Torres del Paine: 2 full days in the park to explore by vehilcle and foot
  • Los Glaciares National Park: guided walks
  • Los Glaciares National Park: Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Ushuaia: Tierra del Fuego National Park expedition
  • Buenos Aires: guided city tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and insurance
  • Meals other than specified
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
  • All land and domestic air transport
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified

Included Excursions

  • Santiago: walking tour of the city
  • Lake district: Petrohué Falls
  • Lake district: Chiloe Island
  • Torres del Paine: 2 full days in the park to explore by vehilcle and foot
  • Los Glaciares National Park: guided walks
  • Los Glaciares National Park: Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Ushuaia: Tierra del Fuego National Park expedition
  • Buenos Aires: guided city tour

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and insurance
  • Meals other than specified
  • 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.

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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.

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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.

  • Maggie
    Maggie Wilson - Travel Expert

    Maggie visited Latin America on her first backpacking trip when she was 19. Since then, she has taken every opportunity to travel, and has managed to explore a lot of the region in subsequent trips.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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