Patagonian Highlights Moderate South America Argentina Chile Patagonia Andes Andes Mountains Buenos Aires Patagonia Torres del Paine Discover the spectacular wilderness of southern Chile and Argentina.. Rugged, snow-capped mountains stand imposingly amid the wild south of Argentina and Chile, fringed by huge icy lakes and windswept grasslands. In the distance shy guanacos roam and a few hardy gauchos tend their many sheep. We discover the sheer-sided peak of Mount Fitzroy and the immense Perito Moreno Glacier, where chunks of ice are often seen cracking into the water. Our journey culminates in Ushuaia - the most southerly city in the world. Renowned for world class trekking and outdoor activities, the raw natural beauty of Patagonia never fails to astound. Travel by minibus, private coaches and 2 internal flights3 daywalks of up to 8 hours durationGroup normally 6‐16, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs10 nights standard hotels and 2 nights comfortable hotels 18 99 https://www.exodus.co.uk/tripnotes/aaa/84440 Travel by minibus, private coaches and 2 internal flights3 daywalks of up to 8 hours durationGroup normally 6‐16, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs10 nights standard hotels and 2 nights comfortable hotels While this trip is graded Moderate, we recommend you have a reasonably good level of fitness to really enjoy the hiking opportunities available. All of these are non-compulsory day walks and do not exceed 20km. We have two internal flights on this trip to reduce driving but there are still some long drives. The longest drive is when we cross the border from El Calafate to Torres del Paine and when travelling south from Cerro Sombrero to Ushuaia.In terms of altitude ‐ the highest point reached on the tour is on day 9 on the walk to the Towers of Paine. The lookout point situated at 886 metres above sea level. This day walk can take up to 9/10 hours depending on weather conditions and speed of the group.There are 2 internal flights included in the itinerary, normally using the services of Aerolineas Argentinas. Please be aware that the timings of the internal flights can be quite erratic and there can often be last minute schedule changes. Depending on the availability of these flights, there may be a supplement to pay. Hotels & Lodges We use a good standard of hotels throughout the trip. In El Chalten we stay in a simple but clean lodge with en-suite twin rooms. Laundry facilities are available in El Calafate and Ushuaia. https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/node/accommodation/images/32382.jpg?t=1FZGNG There will be a local leader, drivers and local guides where needed. All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners included.Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style and are included. The accommodation will arrange packed lunches for days when we are trekking. There is a variety of good, quality food on offer in local restaurants and cafes usually for relatively low prices (although the refuge that we stay in for the standard itinerary in Torres del Paine is the exception as facilities here are limited). Vegetarians are catered for throughout the trip, but please ensure that you advise us before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf. We use a combination of internal flights and private coaches.Please be aware that the timings of the internal flights can be quite erratic and there can often be last minute schedule changes. Depending on the availability of these flights, there may be a supplement to pay. Travelling flight inclusive from London: 15 daysThe group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.Flights from LondonWe normally use the scheduled services of Air Europa (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.Internal flights during the trip are normally with Aerolineas Argentinas.Internal flights are used from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and Ushuaia to Buenos Aires (subject to change and availability). Travelling land only: 13 days starting and ending in Buenos AiresYour trip normally starts at our accommodation in Buenos Aires in the morning of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure. Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.A shuttle bus from the airport to the city costs around £10 (US$15).The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £35 (US$53) should you decide to make your way independently. Since Patagonia is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons there are the opposite to those in Europe. Trips to Patagonia are therefore organized between October and April, to take advantage of the longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures. During these months the temperatures in Buenos Aires reach a maximum of 30ºC, El Calafate/Torres del Paine/Punta Arenas around 15ºC and in the extreme south, in Tierra del Fuego, 14ºC. These are the daytime maximums and the average figures are likely to be a little lower than this. The nights can go down as low as freezing but often remain around mid single figures. The Patagonia summer tends to be dry although rain cannot be ruled out, particularly in the mountainous regions along the Chile/Argentine border. Patagonia is renowned for its wind and it is not unheard of to experience all four seasons in one day! Good sturdy shoes or walking bootsWarm clothes including windbreaker, jackets and waterproofsSun hat and a warm hatGlovesFlashlight or head torchSunglasses (particularly for glacier walks)Small daypack for walks and sightseeingIn Chile, the import of crop and animal products is strictly regulated in order to avoid vermins, plagues, and the diffusion of non-native plants and animals. Fresh fruits and vegetables cannot be imported. If you happen to be carrying such products they must be thrown away before getting to customs or declared and then handed over to be destroyed. You will be required to complete a declaration on arrival into Chile and luggage will be checked. Failure to comply with this legislation will result in large fines and time-consuming difficulties with the border authorities. Please ensure you are not carrying these goods on arrival to avoid this problem.Internal flights in the destination country are subject to a weight limit of 15kg.If the luggage weighs between 16-23kg, the extra charge per flight is 650 Argentine pesos (Approx. £30GBP).Please note this cannot be organised prior to check in. Towel (only necessary in the basic refuge in Torres del Paine but can be hired locally for US$2 per person per night). We recommend that you take most of your spending money in US Dollars cash, since Sterling and Euros are hard to change and the rates of exchange are likely to be poor. We also recommend keeping the money in US Dollars, changing as and when necessary. Larger notes of $50 USD and $100 USD are more widely accepted than smaller denominations. It is always wise to have some local currency for buying meals, snacks, incidentals etc. We recommend not exchanging money at Buenos Aires airport, and if you do make sure it's very little. Your tour leader will give you more information on exchanging currency as you go along but do bear in mind that exchange facilities can be limited particularly as at times you'll arrive or leave an area outside of banking hours. Torn, damaged or marked bills can be refused so please make sure all your notes are clean and no too old. Please note that any leftover Argentine Pesos at the end of the trip cannot be changed back to Dollars so only change the amount that you are likely to spend.We suggest that you allow about US$20 per meal (excluding alcohol) to eat at restaurants throughout the trip ‐ you may find that Chile is more expensive than Argentina.For most flights there is an airport tax that can only be paid as you depart. This is currently approx. US$6‐8 for each domestic departure in Argentina (rates vary according to the airport). An international departure tax of US$18 may also be payable at Buenos Aires airport for your return flight, although it is increasingly common that this is being included in the ticket cost. Taxes are payable in local currency or US dollars where applicable. Optional Excursions (approximate costs, depending on group sizes)You will need to pay for most of these excursions in cash, please note that prices are correct at the time of writing but are only approximate. Optional excursions are also subject to availability, and we cannot guarantee availability, especially in peak season. Please speak to your tour leader with a bit of notice in order for them to help you book activities.Buenos Aires-Buenos Aires Tango show & dinner from US$60 (Shared transfers)El Calafate-Full day Mini trekking (includes shared transfers) US$215.- + US$30 National Park fee National Park fee. *Excludes lunch. Age limit: 10-65yrs. Duration 11hs total.-Full day Big Ice Trek (includes shared transfers) US$385.- + US$30 National Park fee. *Excludes lunch. Age limit: 18-50yrs. Duration 14hs total.-Full day Glaciers (Upsala + Moreno with lunch) US$210.- + US$30 *Mon/Wed/Fri/Sunday 07.15hs to 19.45hs. -Half day Estancia Nibepo Aike with lunch or dinner US$110 + US$25 for a short horse ride around the estancia. -Full day Estancia Nibepo Aike with 3hr horse ride & lunch US$210. *Departs daily at 8.30am but needs 2 pax minimum.Tierra del Fuego-Beagle Channel boat trip (three hours) US$70-Beagle Channel boat trip to see Penguins (six hours) US$95/100-Full day 4x4 excursion (eight hours) US$110 *Includes lunch Shortly after arrival the leader will suggest to the group that they donate approx. $50-70 USD towards a kitty. This money is then used for tipping local guides, hotel porters etc. and will be distributed by the leader. The amount will vary depending on the group size but the tour leader will keep a receipt with the details of where the kitty has been spent. To show your appreciation for local staff that accompany the trip, you may want to tip when good service has been delivered. Tipping is entirely at your discretion, but it has become customary in this part of the world. We suggest around US$ 5 per day for the tour leader and US$ 3 – 4 per day for the driver. Travel insuranceSingle accommodation (available on request) Visas or vaccinationsAirport transfers for Land Only bookings https://www.exodus.co.uk/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/au/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/at/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/be/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/ca/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/dk/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/fi/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/de/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/is/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/in/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/ie/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/il/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/mt/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/nl/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/nz/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/no/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/za/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/kr/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/es/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/se/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/ch/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/tr/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodustravels.com/ae/argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa /argentina-holidays/culture/patagonian-highlights/aaa https://www.exodus.co.uk/sites/exod/files/styles/panopoly_image_original/public/node/itinerary/images/map-_aaa.jpg?t=1NTZAC&itok=WrMgtzpu Culture Natural Wonders Multi-Country Holidays Culture Bestsellers Multi-Country Culture Holidays Torres del Paine National Park, including a hike to the base of the Towers of PaineAmazing glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park with an optional boat trip at Moreno GlacierThe stunning granite peaks of Fitzroy Massif and Cerro TorreTravel to the world's southernmost city - UshuaiaThe vast, wind-blown expanses of the Patagonia Steppe Free time to explore Buenos Aires, Argentina's beautiful and cosmopolitan capital Start Buenos Aires; walking tour. Fly to El Calafate; to El Chalten. Los Glaciares N.P.; daywalk to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp. Optional activities; to El Calafate. Visit Perito Moreno Glacier; optional boat trip. Free day in El Calafate. To Torres del Paine N.P. Day walk to the Torres del Paine. To Tierra del Fuego. To Ushuaia, the end of the world! Walk in Tierra del Fuego N.P.; optional visit to penguin colony. Fly to Buenos Aires. End Buenos Aires. Those on the group flight will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in Buenos Aires. Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel this afternoon. Our local leader will meet us today for a briefing and take us on a short walking tour of the city, discovering its wealth of history and culture. The evening is free for you to choose one of the many excellent restaurants, most serving the legendary Argentine steaks!Accommodation: Deco Recoleta Hotel or similar This morning we fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) to the small mountain town of El Chaltén. The town enjoys a beautiful location in Los Glaciares National Park with breathtaking views of Mount Fitzroy and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar breakfast We set off amidst incredible mountains and valleys for a day walk. First we hike to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp with amazing views of the striking massif ahead. In the afternoon we continue to the picturesque Laguna de los Tres, a glacial lake whose still waters reflect the three main peaks of the range. This is a full day of walking over fairly rough terrain, but with impressive, rugged scenery along the way.Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar breakfast,lunch Today has been left free to enjoy an additional trek or an optional excursion in this area. In the late afternoon we transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) back to El Calafate.Accommodation: Hosteria Koi Aiken or similar breakfast Today we visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. This immense jagged sheet of ice stretches over 3 miles across Lago Argentino and rises 200ft out if its cold waters. It is the fastest moving glacier on the planet and the eerie creaks and thunderous groans add a certain atmosphere of anticipation. Every so often an office block sized chunk of ice calves from its face into the water below before slowly floating down the lake as a giant iceberg. An optional boat trip gives an even greater appreciation of the immense scale of this wonder.Accommodation: Hosteria Koi Aiken or similar breakfast,dinner We will spend a second day here to allow exploration of the town's surroundings. It is possible to take a gentle walk along Lago Argentina to see birdlife (including flamingos), or a slightly more demanding hike for some fantastic views stretching over the Patagonian Steppe and towards the mountainous border with Chile. Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion to a local Estancia or to Todo Glaciares - this navigation includes Upsala Glacier, Bahia Onelli (where pieces of glacier are floating in the water) and the Spegazzinni Glacier. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.Accommodation: Hosteria Koi Aiken or similar breakfast After breakfast we have a long drive (approx. 8-9 hours) across the border into Chile before we arrive in one of the world's most beautiful national parks, Torres del Paine (please note that due to local regulations we must change buses at the border). From here we will meet our Chilean guide and drive around some of the park. We may have time after we check-in for a short walk next to Laguna Amarga or Laguna Azul, which offer great panoramic views of the Paine Massif and the striking granite Horns of Paine.Accommodation: Hosteria Pehoe or similar breakfast,dinner Without a doubt, one of the biggest highlights of the park is to hike up to the base of the Towers of Paine. The walk itself is beautiful, trekking through forests and offering some fantastic views across the park. This is a reasonably difficult and long trek, and the last section is steep with rocky terrain, so you need a reasonably good level of fitness and confidence. The reward on reaching the small lake at the base of these sheer granite peaks however, makes the long walk well worthwhile. Note that adverse weather conditions can make this walk much harder - your group leader will give a briefing the night before and answer any questions you may have on the route. Once we finish the trek we will take the transfer (approx. 2 hrs) to Puerto Natales. Accommodation: Hotel Lady Florence Dixie or similar breakfast,lunch After breakfast we will have some free time before a fairly long transfer in the afternoon, through dramatic scenery to Cerro Sombrero. This journey involves a short ferry crossing over the Magellan Straits. We advise you to take plenty of water and some snacks for the journey (approx. 7-8 hours). In the evening we'll have dinner together at the hotel in the small town of Cerro Sombrero.Accommodation: Hosteria Tunkelen or similar breakfast,dinner Tierra del Fuego (The Land of Fire) is named after the original inhabitants who used to light bonfires to ward off the winter chill. Crossing the island we'll have views of the most southerly part of the Andes before catching our first glimpses of Ushuaia at the end of the world! This is a long driving day (approx. 7-8 hours) but we use a private bus to make the journey more comfortable. We should arrive at our hotel mid-afternoon depending on weather conditions and traffic.Accommodation: Hotel Ushuaia or similar breakfast We'll spend this morning in the stark wilderness of Tierra del Fuego National Park, walking amongst the varied terrain, flora and fauna. In the afternoon there is an optional boat ride along the Beagle Channel to see marine wildlife including penguins, Sea lions and many species of water bird including a flightless duck! We are also afforded fantastic views of Ushuaia and its backdrop of often snow-capped peaks as we head out on the boat. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.For those wanting more adventure or not wishing to trek, an optional half-day 4WD excursion will be on offer which will take us deep into the wilds of Tierra del Fuego where any more conventional transport would fail to reach, including the remote Lakes Fagnano and Escondido (please note it is not possible to see penguins on this tour).Accommodation: Hotel Ushuaia or similar breakfast Depending upon the flight time, we may have some free time this morning in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. There are great views from the hills leading up to the Martial Glacier and some small shops to pick up souvenirs. Ushuaia has just one museum, housed in the former prison, which is definitely worth a visit. We fly back to Buenos Aires and usually arrive in time to visit one of the excellent tango shows in the old quarter of San Telmo (optional) and enjoy a last group meal together.Accommodation: Deco Recoleta Hotel or similar breakfast Depending on the time of your flight home you may have another chance to see more of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. After last night's tango show we might be tempted to learn a few steps, or watch it in the streets and plazas - particularly in the old quarter of San Telmo. A visit to the grave of Evita in the remarkable Recoleta Cemetery, said to be the most expensive real estate in the world, is possible. Those on group flights will leave today for the flight back to London. breakfast 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinnersAll accommodationAll transport and listed activitiesTour leader throughoutInternal flights for all bookingsFlights from London (if booking incl. flights) All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners included.Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style and are included. The accommodation will arrange packed lunches for days when we are trekking. There is a variety of good, quality food on offer in local restaurants and cafes usually for relatively low prices (although the refuge that we stay in for the standard itinerary in Torres del Paine is the exception as facilities here are limited). Vegetarians are catered for throughout the trip, but please ensure that you advise us before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf. Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Depart London. Start Buenos Aires; walking tour. Fly to El Calafate; to El Chalten. Los Glaciares N.P.; daywalk to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp. Optional activities; to El Calafate. Visit Perito Moreno Glacier; optional boat trip. Free day in El Calafate. To Torres del Paine N.P. Day walk to the Torres del Paine. To Tierra del Fuego. To Ushuaia, the end of the world! Walk in Tierra del Fuego N.P.; optional visit to penguin colony. Fly to Buenos Aires. Depart Buenos Aires. Arrive London. Those on the group flight will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in Buenos Aires. Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel this afternoon. Our local leader will meet us today for a briefing and take us on a short walking tour of the city, discovering its wealth of history and culture. The evening is free for you to choose one of the many excellent restaurants, most serving the legendary Argentine steaks!Accommodation: Deco Recoleta Hotel or similar This morning we fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate and transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) to the small mountain town of El Chaltén. The town enjoys a beautiful location in Los Glaciares National Park with breathtaking views of Mount Fitzroy and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar breakfast We set off amidst incredible mountains and valleys for a day walk. First we hike to Cerro Fitzroy Base Camp with amazing views of the striking massif ahead. In the afternoon we continue to the picturesque Laguna de los Tres, a glacial lake whose still waters reflect the three main peaks of the range. This is a full day of walking over fairly rough terrain, but with impressive, rugged scenery along the way.Accommodation: Hosteria Los Nires or similar breakfast,lunch Today has been left free to enjoy an additional trek or an optional excursion in this area. In the late afternoon we transfer (approx. 3-4 hours) back to El Calafate.Accommodation: Hosteria Koi Aiken or similar breakfast Today we visit the Perito Moreno Glacier. This immense jagged sheet of ice stretches over 3 miles across Lago Argentino and rises 200ft out if its cold waters. It is the fastest moving glacier on the planet and the eerie creaks and thunderous groans add a certain atmosphere of anticipation. Every so often an office block sized chunk of ice calves from its face into the water below before slowly floating down the lake as a giant iceberg. An optional boat trip gives an even greater appreciation of the immense scale of this wonder.Accommodation: Hosteria Koi Aiken or similar breakfast,dinner We will spend a second day here to allow exploration of the town's surroundings. It is possible to take a gentle walk along Lago Argentina to see birdlife (including flamingos), or a slightly more demanding hike for some fantastic views stretching over the Patagonian Steppe and towards the mountainous border with Chile. Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion to a local Estancia or to Todo Glaciares - this navigation includes Upsala Glacier, Bahia Onelli (where pieces of glacier are floating in the water) and the Spegazzinni Glacier. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.Accommodation: Hosteria Koi Aiken or similar breakfast After breakfast we have a long drive (approx. 8-9 hours) across the border into Chile before we arrive in one of the world's most beautiful national parks, Torres del Paine (please note that due to local regulations we must change buses at the border). From here we will meet our Chilean guide and drive around some of the park. We may have time after we check-in for a short walk next to Laguna Amarga or Laguna Azul, which offer great panoramic views of the Paine Massif and the striking granite Horns of Paine.Accommodation: Hosteria Pehoe or similar breakfast,dinner Without a doubt, one of the biggest highlights of the park is to hike up to the base of the Towers of Paine. The walk itself is beautiful, trekking through forests and offering some fantastic views across the park. This is a reasonably difficult and long trek, and the last section is steep with rocky terrain, so you need a reasonably good level of fitness and confidence. The reward on reaching the small lake at the base of these sheer granite peaks however, makes the long walk well worthwhile. Note that adverse weather conditions can make this walk much harder - your group leader will give a briefing the night before and answer any questions you may have on the route. Once we finish the trek we will take the transfer (approx. 2 hrs) to Puerto Natales. Accommodation: Hotel Lady Florence Dixie or similar breakfast,lunch After breakfast we will have some free time before a fairly long transfer in the afternoon, through dramatic scenery to Cerro Sombrero. This journey involves a short ferry crossing over the Magellan Straits. We advise you to take plenty of water and some snacks for the journey (approx. 7-8 hours). In the evening we'll have dinner together at the hotel in the small town of Cerro Sombrero.Accommodation: Hosteria Tunkelen or similar breakfast,dinner Tierra del Fuego (The Land of Fire) is named after the original inhabitants who used to light bonfires to ward off the winter chill. Crossing the island we'll have views of the most southerly part of the Andes before catching our first glimpses of Ushuaia at the end of the world! This is a long driving day (approx. 7-8 hours) but we use a private bus to make the journey more comfortable. We should arrive at our hotel mid-afternoon depending on weather conditions and traffic.Accommodation: Hotel Ushuaia or similar breakfast We'll spend this morning in the stark wilderness of Tierra del Fuego National Park, walking amongst the varied terrain, flora and fauna. In the afternoon there is an optional boat ride along the Beagle Channel to see marine wildlife including penguins, Sea lions and many species of water bird including a flightless duck! We are also afforded fantastic views of Ushuaia and its backdrop of often snow-capped peaks as we head out on the boat. Please ask your tour leader and they will help you to arrange it.For those wanting more adventure or not wishing to trek, an optional half-day 4WD excursion will be on offer which will take us deep into the wilds of Tierra del Fuego where any more conventional transport would fail to reach, including the remote Lakes Fagnano and Escondido (please note it is not possible to see penguins on this tour).Accommodation: Hotel Ushuaia or similar breakfast Depending upon the flight time, we may have some free time this morning in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. There are great views from the hills leading up to the Martial Glacier and some small shops to pick up souvenirs. Ushuaia has just one museum, housed in the former prison, which is definitely worth a visit. We fly back to Buenos Aires and usually arrive in time to visit one of the excellent tango shows in the old quarter of San Telmo (optional) and enjoy a last group meal together.Accommodation: Deco Recoleta Hotel or similar breakfast Depending on the time of your flight home you may have another chance to see more of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. After last night's tango show we might be tempted to learn a few steps, or watch it in the streets and plazas - particularly in the old quarter of San Telmo. A visit to the grave of Evita in the remarkable Recoleta Cemetery, said to be the most expensive real estate in the world, is possible. Those on group flights will leave today for the flight back to London. breakfast 12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinnersAll accommodationAll transport and listed activitiesTour leader throughoutInternal flights for all bookingsFlights from London (if booking incl. flights) All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners included.Hotel breakfasts are normally buffet-style and are included. The accommodation will arrange packed lunches for days when we are trekking. There is a variety of good, quality food on offer in local restaurants and cafes usually for relatively low prices (although the refuge that we stay in for the standard itinerary in Torres del Paine is the exception as facilities here are limited). Vegetarians are catered for throughout the trip, but please ensure that you advise us before you travel so that we can make the necessary arrangements on your behalf. 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Los Glaciares National Park, Fitzroy Massif hike and Cerro Torre. We then travelled down the Ushuaia - the world's most southern city and took an optional boat trip out to penguin island before travelling back to Buenos Aires. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Fitzroy & Torres Del Paine hike are difficult but the views when you get to the top are amazing! What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was an excellent guide - one of the best I've had. He was very knowledgable about the history of Argentina in all the areas that we visited. He was always upbeat & calm - especially during the COVID-19 outbreak he ensured that we were well informed for our travel back home. The whole trip was very well organised with no disappointments!!! Do you have any advice for potential travellers? The hikes are long and difficult, Be prepared for all weather; take good gear and be prepared to use it! There are some long travel days which can't be avoided if you want to experience the best of Patagonia so bring a book or download some movies / music / podcasts in advance for the coach journeys. 2020-03-18 Patagonian highlights This is a fab holiday to see the best of Patagonia in as condensed a time as possible. It's tiring with some long travel days but the highlights make it worth it. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Three top days. 1 - The Mount Fitzroy Massif. It's s gentle walk apart from the ascent up the morraine (about 400m in 1 km which is tough). We had great weather and the views at the top make it worthwhile. The guides are supportive and encouraging. Expect to see condors and be refreshed by topping up your water bottle from glacial streams. 2 - The Perito Merino glacier. We were mesmerised by watching the glacier and saw a couple of carvings which sounded like gunshots. This is a relaxing day as you can go as far or little on the balconies to observe the glacier. Again we had fab weather which helps but isn't essential on this day. 3 - The Torres del Paine. We would say this is challenging in terms of the length of the walk and the climb at the end but oh boy is it worth it! If you are in doubt about your fitness level I wouldn't worry so long as you have staying power. Again the guides are patient and will go at your pace. We were really lucky with the weather again and the scenery at the top is amazing. What did you think of your group leader? Luciano was very enthusiastic and helped to make each day as rewarding as possible. He will make arrangements for those who don't want to walk and gives you alternative options. He was always there to help with any problems and advise on good restaurants. He's a meat man and loves his steak and will help you out with ordering if needed. He speaks a little quickly so you might have to ask him to repeat himself sometimes. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? We went out a couple of days earlier than the rest of the group and had 2 days in Buenos Aires. We're glad we did this so that we could adjust to the time difference, get over the travelling and see something of BA before we flew down to El Calafate. Be prepared for WIND+++. Patagonia is like no other place I've ever been for experiencing wind. Although we had good weather you should expect rain, hail, snow and sunshine all in one day so make sure you have appropriate gear. There's not a lot of down time on the holiday but if you're prepared for that it's not a problem. We didn't get the option of walking on the glacier but had a lovely boat trip instead to see 2 waterfalls fed by glaciers. If you do this trip you don't need to do the optional afternoon boat trip on the day that you visit the Perito Moreno glacier. We found that most places in Argentina and Chile take credit cards and US dollars although you should be aware of the exchange rate to ensure you're getting a good deal. We changed our US dollars to Argentinian pesos at the airport on arrival for a reasonable exchange rate. You don't need many Chilean pesos and again you can get these when you cross the border into Chile. Chile tends to be more expensive than Argentina. It's usually better value to buy 1 bottle of wine between 2 of you in Argentina than 2 large glasses! If you're eating a steak ask for a tenderloin (our fillet). It can be divided between 2 of you if one steak is too big. The only reason we've given the holiday 4 starts instead of five is because we thought the food would be of a higher standard and one of the hostels had very dirty linen. However, this was changed immediately when we complained. If it was just based on scenery we would have given five stars. Although we saw lots of guanacos, horses, sheep and cows, it's not a holiday where you're going to spot a lot of wildlife. Is there anything else you would like to add? Do it! It's probably best to do some hill walking before you go so that the 2 big walking days aren't a struggle. We had a really nice bunch of people on the trip which obviously increased the enjoyment but you can keep yourselves to yourselves if you wish. 2020-03-07 Stupendous! More than lives up to the title "Highlights" - 10 days concentrated on the best of Patagonia (with a half day in Buenos Aires before and after). Stunning views, great treks, towering glaciers, turquoise icebergs, and penguins too. What's not to like? 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? So many! Both the two treks - hard work (about 13/14 miles but very do-able if taken at a steady "patagoinian plod"), steep / rough trails in places but very rewarding especially finally getting to the top for the fantastic picture postcard views. The literally endless skies driving across the plains The towering ice wall of the Perito Moreno glacier - listening to the cracks and and trying to spot the ice calving off. The pengiuns - walking so comically on land but shooting like torpedoes through the crystal clear water And the warm medialunas at almost every hotel at breakfast (yum) What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was brilliant - more than lived up to great ratings from previous trips Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Argentina - despite what the trip notes say, don't change lots of money at the airport on arrival - the exchange rate is very poor (58 to the US$ in Jan compared with up to 75 to the US$ if paying in hard currency). All the additional trips could be paid for in US dollars cash. There are change places in BA which offer better rates than the airport You'll need cash for meals but larger / touristy restaurants often took US$. Go on the optional trips - the full day iceberg trip from El Calafete and the half day penguin trip from Ushuaia were well worth while. And cost less than the trip notes if you don't eat meat... vegetarians (especially strict ones) will have relatively thin pickings, but no worse than other meaty countries. You won't go hungry but bring a stash of oatcakes / nuts / similar (surprisingly not too plentiful even in larger supermarkets) if needed. Is there anything else you would like to add? We were INCREDIBLY lucky with the weather - it was often windy but we only had one day of rain (when we arrived in Usuhaia). January may be their summer but it's the southern equivalent of northern England / southern Canada, with similarish temperatures. Make sure to take plenty of layers to cope with any eventuality. 2020-02-09 Patagonia Delight Full-on trip taking in Buenos Aires and both the Chilean and Argentinian regions of Patagonia. We had an outstanding tour leader, Pepe, whose enthusiasm, organisation skills, high energy and can-do attitude made for a tiring but memorable trip. Walking in the Chilean Torres del Paine was particularly memorable as was visiting the penguins near Ushuaia in their natural habitat on the Isla Martillo (well worth the additional cost to do this excursion). The weather was very kind to us throughout and we were granted glorious views of both the Chilean and Argentinian peaks on our full-day walks. Even in the early summer at the start of December Ushuaia was cool and windy - you’ve been warned! Don’t hesitate to go now as Patagonia is becoming increasingly popular and despite its vastness a lot of land is privately owned and not easily accessible to walkers. The walks you can do such as Fitzroy and Torres del Paine can therefore appear surprisingly busy considering how remote they are. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Visiting the penguins in their natural habitat during the optional excursion to Isla Martillo near Ushuaia. Only 20 people are allowed on their island at any one time, together with a local guide/warden, so you feel really privileged to be there. What did you think of your group leader? Outstanding. Pepe was first class in the way he led the group and went out of his way to try and ensure everyone had the holiday they wanted. Pepe never waiverd in doing his best to ensure everyone had a great time and knew what was happening everyday. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Yes, the final 1 hour of the long walks to see the Torres del Paine and Fitzroy peaks is in my opinion a level 4, rather than the moderate level 3 rating. Both are short but sharp inclines over uneven terrain so you need to be agile in picking your way along the rocky paths. Both are well worth it if, like us, you get lucky and are afforded blue sky’s and no rain! Is there anything else you would like to add? Go now! 2019-12-17 Patagonia Enjoyable trip. Guide was excellent. Hotels were variable. Food was variable 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Day boat trip in the Glacier national Park What did you think of your group leader? Excellent. He worked hard and everything ran like clockwork Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Don't pay in dollars. Make sure you change to local currency. 2019-12-16 A great experience A lot of travel but the rewards are well worth it. The scenery highlights are outstanding and provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The towns and cities visited en route are characterful and offer a great opportunity to see a different approach to life. Our guide’s knowledge and enthusiasm kept us stimulated throughout. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Seeing the peak of Mount Fitzroy close up in bright sunshine after a long, at times challenging, ascent on foot was the stand-out highlight. This was closely followed by relaxing on a beach by the Perito Moreno glacier and a beer in probably the most southerly bar in the world. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier is warm and gregarious with a good sense of humour. His knowledge of the history, geography and nature of his country is extensive. He is passionate about his homeland and its culture and is keen to share traditions with the group. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Be aware that this trip entails a lot of bus travel; many early morning starts; some basic accommodation and very little “free” time. As always on this type of tour, be aware that tipping for guides and drivers is not included and will come to around $100 per head. Is there anything else you would like to add? Several of the hotels used on this trip were well below the standard that I expected for the price paid. Some barely had running water; many did not have showers which functioned efficiently and one was positively dangerous. The most comfortable hotel that we stayed in was 2 miles outside the town meaning that we had to catch taxis which was inconvenient. The accommodation overall was a disappointment and would make me consider using other tour groups in future. All other aspects of the holiday were exactly as described. 2019-11-30 Patagonia is unpredictable The weather is unpredictable and Argentina is huge, so there's a lot of traveling and different temperatures to deal with, but it's unmistakably unlike anything we're used to in Europe. Winds like you wouldn't believe! From glaciers to jungle (if you do the Iguazu extension as I did) and a big city in-between ... It has it all. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Going on the optional boat trip to see glaciers, and Iguazu. They leave you speechless, awestruck and a little overwhelmed. What did you think of your group leader? Tomas del Toro I think is an exceptional being. His energy and enthusiasm will make you smile and motivate you to keep going and ignore the wind and rain of Patagonia, when it happens. His attention to detail, general knowledge and expertise, humanity and humility will exceed your expectations of what you think the trip will offer. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Do it! 2019-11-12 Grab your camera ....... big skies, mountains, lakes, glaciers and wildlife! Two weeks to sample Patagonia with long days hiking through beautiful scenery and the chance to view outstanding natural features and wildlife. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? The views at dawn of the Torres del Paine Massif. What did you think of your group leader? Tomas was more than excellent. He was very attentive to all the group and their needs. He gave us a great deal of information and led the tour very well. His only fault was I think he tried too hard to please everybody. Oh, and he does talk a lot! Do you have any advice for potential travellers? The trip notes are not always updated and itineraries can change. Pack light. You're only allowed 15kg hold luggage on the internal flights - but you can carry 8kg as hand luggage. The airline does not always enforce its rules though. Research beforehand. More options are available for your free days than may be obvious. Expect crowds on the most popular hikes and attractions. The Perito Moreno Glacier expects half a million visitors a year but only 2,000 tourists get to La Leona Petrified Forest ! Take a good camera with a wide angle lens as the landscapes are stunning. Try to get up early for the dawn light and enjoy the sunsets. Wildlife can be elusive and more often spotted from the minibus. See the penguins! Breakfasts are meagre but expect your waistline to expand: we dined out every evening and meal portions are huge! ATM in Argentina restrict you to 4,000 ARS and cost a lot to use. But Santander Rio have branches in all the towns we visited. If you have an account, it gives you a much better rate. Spend a few days in Buenos Aires if you have the chance. It's pretty safe and easy to get around. There's some lovely Art Nouveau architecture, a lively café-culture, craft markets at the weekend, fine Opera and bookshops, tango dinner dances and lots of urban art. We recommend a 5-hour cycle trip: Hidden Graffiti And Urban Art Tour. Is there anything else you would like to add? We were expected to contribute to a kitty at the start of the tour for tips. This and the gratuity for our tour leader added considerably to the overall cost of the holiday and the amount of cash we needed to carry. While I agree we should reward good service, I felt this was excessive on occasions. We would have liked to have had longer to enjoy the El Chalten area and the Torres dal Paine. Maybe at the expense of the long journey down to Tierra del Fuego. 2019-03-29 Amazing Patagonia An amazing trip. We were blessed with excellent weather which made it all the more special. The hikes were incredible with stunning scenery. The food and wine weren’t bad either! 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? The three hikes: Torres del Paine Laguna de los Tres Lomo del Pliegue Seeing the Milky Way from the hotel in Torres del Paine. The glacier boat trip. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was great. Dependable and knowledgable. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? There are some long driving days as per trip notes. Also the hikes are not gentle. Most are uphill most of the way and moderately difficult in areas. If you’re keen on ice climbing on the glacier book we’ll in advance. Currency: a mix of US dollars and pesos is best as not all places accept dollars. Get pesos out of cash machine but there is a charge. A few of us did a scenic flight in Ushuaia as the weather was so good. Reasonably priced and worthwhile. Book ahead. Suggest having a few days in Buenos Aires at the end to unwind and see the city in a relaxed pace. Even better - Xavier can organise kayaking trips in the Tigre delta which is a great way to get away from the hussle and bustle. When you arrive in Pueto Natales you’ll be wiped out and won’t want a fancy meal... ask about the pizza bar/restaurant along the road. Pizzas were amazing - and big. The beer is good too. Left overs served a great mid-morning snack the next day. 2019-03-23 Very happy with whole experience Our guide Xavier really brought to life for us the quirks and beauty of Buenos Aires and the Patagonia region. Everyone in the group was having a great time. The region is full of stunning scenery and interesting history and Exodus organised this in such a way as to allow us full enjoyment without any accompanying hassle. Food and accommodations were of a good standard although the plumbing in the Cyan Rocaleta was unreliable and Exodus may want to feed back to the hotel on that (shower unavailable on first stay because the switch between bath and shower not working, and water temperature could not be reduced on the second stay and we had to wait 1/2 hour for maintenance to come and fix it). However, this was a tiny, tiny glitch in a wonderful holiday that fully met and exceeded our expectations. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? First steak in Buenos Aires....seeing birds and animals in the wild...fighting the wind on the fossil walk...seeing the Milky Way...hand print from 6,500 years ago on cave wall... What did you think of your group leader? The best! Xavier is warm, direct, likeable, entertaining, thoughtful and a true professional. He obviously loves the region and his work. We couldn't have wished for a better tour guide. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Keep a journal otherwise the whole trip will be a blur and you will lose many memories. Binoculars would have been useful. 2019-03-21 Patagonian Adventure From the vast, isolated Patagonian Steppe to the gorgeous Andes mountains, delicious steaks and empanadas, challenging but rewarding hikes, weather prone to dramatic changes within 15 minutes, glaciers, penguins, pumas, and guanacos galore.... this trip has it all. Upon returning home, we pulled out our roadmap of the region (thanks again for giving us yours, Xavier!!!) and talked about what else we’ll see when we come back one day. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? For me it was completing the first hike. Not only did we have perfect skies and weather for our views of Mt. Fitz Roy and glaciers off in the distance during this hike, but as a new hiker I definitely had a sense of accomplishment that I could actually do this in the first place. My husband would say the hike in Torres del Paine was most rewarding, as he thought the trail and views were better (I didn’t partake unfortunately, but was instead treated to a more private tour of the park with two other members of the group who also weren’t up for the arduous trek that day). We also booked an extra excursion during our free day in El Calafate to hike on Perito Moreno Glacier that we both agree ranked as another favorite part of the trip. We missed our way more fun Exodus group, but still had a blast drinking from glacial streams, hopping over crevasses, and silently eating lunch on the middle of the glacier while listening for distant avalanches. Pictures don’t do Patagonia justice — it’s unbelievably beautiful, and every viewpoint was in its own way an inspiration. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was amazing! I had been hoping to have him as a guide as previous reviews really raved about him and we were not disappointed one bit. From being very open with us, to having all the best advice of what to eat, to saving us at the last minute in the little ways (like giving us a copy of the roadmap that we missed out on, or arranging for some trekking poles for us on a moment’s notice) to the bigger stuff (taking one in our group to the doctor to make sure everything was all right after a bad fall, or frantically making sure we were all checked in on our flight to Buenos Aires after an airline strike the day before) he really worked hard to make sure everyone had an enjoyable experience. This is only our second Exodus trip but we can tell Xavier is a high-caliber guide. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? A few things: 1) The full-day hikes really are tough. Poles are a must if you don’t want to feel completely wiped out. Also, just as an FYI, they are both around 14 miles with 3000 to 4000ft of elevation gain (starting from a fairly low elevation though) with a lot of that gain being in some rather steep, shorter sections. I wish I had trained ahead of time so that I could have participated in all the hikes, including the free day one the *entire* group went on in El Chalten except for us. 2) Breakfast in most places is going to be toast with a few small pieces of ham & cheese that you might be really sick of by the end of the trip. Pack extra snacks if this is a concern! 3) Cash only in most places, no joke. Especially with the fluctuations in the Argentinian economy these days, your cards are mostly unwelcome. There’s a bank in the EZE airport right by the customs doors (before or after — we went after) that has a very fair exchange rate and, if I remember correctly, takes GBP as well as USD. In Chile, cards are accepted everywhere except the middle-of-nowhere toilet stops you’ll desperately need, so you only need a small amount of Chilean pesos. 4) If your heart is set on a glacier walk in El Calafate or a penguin walk in Ushuaia, these things sell out early. Let your guide know days in advance you’d like to book these (with the hopes of getting a spot), or book them yourself ahead of time. Note that the penguin walk may make you miss out on the morning walk in Tierra del Fuego though, so choose wisely! 5) A lot of times in restaurants, Xavier was nice enough to give us a taste of what he’d ordered. You’d think after a couple times we’d realize he was routinely ordering the best dish and copy him but alas we did not. So my advice to you is — if he’s your guide — ask what he’s having before you order. The man knows what to pick! Is there anything else you would like to add? Not really — just have fun if you choose to go on this trip! Accept that the bus rides can be a bit long and uneventful, and that you’ll need plenty of cash on this trip, and then roll with any inconveniences that might arise. You’re in the middle of nowhere a lot of the time and it’s amazing how well orchestrated the trip actually is considering that. 2018-11-19 Fabulous trip A fabulous trip to Patagonia. A great group, super guide and fabulous scenery every day. My sister recommended that I take this trip as it was one of her favourites and I agree with her. It will stay in my memories for a long time. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? There were many candidates but the day walk to the Torres del Paine just about wins the prize. The views were spectacular and we were exceptionally lucky with the weather so could see the towers very clearly. What did you think of your group leader? We were very lucky to have such an experienced guide as Xavier. He ensured that everything about the trip went smoothly and always focussed on our needs. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Get fit beforehand as the treks are hard but we’ll worth the effort, 2018-11-13 Amazing sights in Patagonia What a fantastic itinerary Exodus have put together for this trip. From bustling Buenos Aries with its steaks to die for to stunning sunrises on Mt Fitzroy, we experienced it all. Another highlight was Perito Moreno The worlds quickest moving glacier ringed by the snow capped Andes, A quick hop across the border to Chile brings you face to face with the mind blowing Torres Del Paine National Park before ending at the worlds end Ushuaia and it’s penguins and brilliant wildlife. Without doubt the trip of a lifetime. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Seeing the granite horns in the Torres Del Paine National Park, for as long as i can remember I’ve looked in awe at the mountains in magazines but to see them face to face was a dream realised. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier, was good in lots of ways, friendly and as helpful as he could be, often going out of his way to ensure others enjoyed their holidays. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Take hundreds of pictures and soak in that amazing scenery. Is there anything else you would like to add? No 2018-11-12 Patagonian Highlights This trip was all that we had hoped for- and more. We travelled a lot, yet each day brought us something new & exciting. Fantastic awe inspiring scenery, wonderful wildlife (condors & even a puma, to name but a few) & such lovely people, Such a beautiful country. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? The ascent to the bases of Mount Fitzroy and Torres del Paine in glorious weather, along with viewing the Mereno Glacier at such close proximity plus seeing a puma so close to where we were walking What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was such a great leader. He was so enthusiastic & knowledgable about his country & worked so hard to ensure we had a really good holiday. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Go for it! You won’t regret it. Well worth the effort & all the travelling 2018-11-12 A brilliant holiday This has been a successful trip in every sense. We are well travelled with Exodus and this ranks high in our experiences. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? It is hard to choose one but high up on the list of memorable things: * walking in spectacular mountain scenery - Mount Fitzroy, Torre, Torres del Paine (great weather helped no doubt); * standing close to the Perito Merino glacier listening to the cracks and groans of the ice as lumps fell away; * seeing the local wild life - many birds, guanaco, fox, hare armadillo, penguins, seals and even a puma!; * experiencing the Patagonian wind en route to Torres del Paine. For location certainly one of the most memorable hotels we have stayed. * the coach drives which gave a clear picture of the vastness of the grasslands in this part of the world. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was a star! His local knowledge of all aspects of Argentina and Chile is extensive. He shared this willingly with the group at large or with individuals. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he went out of his way to make sure that things went well and that the group was having a good time. He was always ready with recommendations for an optional visit, for somewhere to eat, for what we would need for any part of our trip. He also wanted to know about us as individuals and told us about himself (not always the case with Exodus leaders in my experience) Do you have any advice for potential travellers? There are a couple of things: * layers of clothes are the order of he day. The weather is changeable (we had snow, rain and sunshine all in one day!) and it can be very cold. * "water for the coach drives as well as something to nibble on@ was helpful advice we were given. * for photographers don't forget a spare battery and extra cards - the scenery is spectacular. * for those who are not used to eating red meat, don't worry. We had plenty of options when it came to choosing what to eat. On the other hand don't miss out on the steaks - they are seriously large but delicious. 2018-11-12 AAA - Patagonian Highlights Saw a lot of Argentina and Chilean Patagonia . Trip Notes accurately reflected the activity days, the two long walks are challenging and taking trekking poles is a must ( if you normally use them ) . The end couple KMs of both walks are steep uphills so may be a bit harder for some. However you can turn back / drop out of the final section if you wish . 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? No one moment comes to mind. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier Espil is passionate and friendly . He gave detailed information at all times but left us to make our own decisions with that info. i.e. suggested places to eat , when to change money , restaurant pricing and food selection . Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Be aware that ATMs are very temperamental with UK chip & Pin cards. sometimes they work , mostly they dont . This might be obvious at start of transaction or you might get taken all through security , down to cash amount selection and then a message appears saying transaction disallowed. Everyone in group ( British cards ) had issues in several locations. Only Bank of Patagonia in El Calafte and Ushuaia allowed cash withdrawals without any issue whatsoever . There is only 1 ATM in El Chalten , at tourist office and it spent most of its time out of service / rejecting cards ( British / French / Australian ) . Current - Nov 2017 - restaurant exchange rate was 17 or 18 Argentine dollars to USD. So you could pay for things in USD cash at that unofficial exchange rate and receive any change in Argentine money . Some restaurants do not take USD in denominations below 20 USD and apparently high denomination notes 50 USD / 100 USD are the preferred denomination when changing money at bank / exchange office. Is there anything else you would like to add? Apparently Xavier is a fan of Colmans mustard , so if you have bit of luggage space spare I am sure a jar would be appreciated ! Be aware for internal Argentina flights hold luggage is 15KG and this is enforced . Its worth double checking on web site of Aerolineas Argentina , but dont get caught out having to pay excess luggage fees - they are not cheap . 2017-12-05 Patagonia at its best This was a great non-stop trip with Xavier, who was a wonderful guide. The trip exceeded our expectations because of Xavier’s in depth knowledge. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? The mountain days, the included glacier visit and the guided walk in Tierra del Fuego were all equally inspiring, and the tango show made a great finale. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was the best tour guide we have been on holiday with. He was permanently cheerful, enthusiastic, responsive to the whole group’s and individual needs and great fun to be with. Xavier also had excellent relationships with the local guides, who were all equally enthusiastic about their specialisms. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? These are the things which are described very accurately in the trip notes. We did experience four seasons in a day: snow, sun, torrential rain, high winds, calm etc, so you need lots of adaptable clothing and waterproofs. The two day walks and the additional day walk the group did were long with step sections over rocky paths (all the walks were 20km long). The travel days by bus were very long. Everything on the whole trip, except wine, was on a par with London prices (this is not a cheap destination). Add about 10% to the guide prices given in the trip notes. You can complete the trip with dollars, with no problems then with non-functioning ATMs or restaurants which won’t take credit cards. The downside of this means travelling with large amounts of cash. (There is no need to take Chilean pesos.) We travelled out a day earlier to enjoy Buenos Aires; we wished we had taken two extra days because there is so much to do in Buenos Aires. Is there anything else you would like to add? Remember that this is South America. You need a patient and relaxed attitude to everything to enjoy this holiday. 2017-11-08 Wonderful highlights of this beautiful area I booked this trip as a land only holiday as part of a wider trip to Chile and Argentina I was undertaking. I'm so glad that I did ensuring I could enjoy the key parts of the National Parks of Argentina along with the excellent logistics of being part of an organised group with a top notch tour leader. It exceeded my expectations. Well done Exodus. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? For me the most inspiring part of the trip was the two full day walks we did at Mt Fitzroy and Torres del Paine. Despite not having clear weather conditions, we were able to make challenging ascents and to enjoy the key 'money shot' views of each iconic natural landmark just as the clouds broke. With the sun shining through each was revealed just at the right time making the efforts to hike up really worth it. hard work on the feet and knees but so rewarding. What did you think of your group leader? Our group leader was Xavi. An Argentinian who was proud of his country, really knowledgeable, friendly and wanting so much to ensure we all had a great time and got as much out of our trip as we could. He was able to share the history and social context of places we visited as much as the geographical and natural world that we were experiencing. Very honest on how things would be each day, which additional tours were worth the money in the relevant weather conditions and with a superb sense of humour that was really endearing. One of the best group leaders I have ever come across. On our first day in Patagonia, he welcomed us with preparing the mate for all os us to taste and share. To do this may be part of showing us Argentina, however in his culture its an honour to be offered and to receive the mate cup. Lovely gesture. Xavi also had to deal with an individual in the group who was disruptive in their comments and attitude at many times. Despite this challenge he was professional at all times, ensuring that he balanced the needs of all and preventing the nonsense of one person from affecting the enjoyment of the holiday for the others. Thats quite a skill and he did it wonderfully. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? If you are considering this trip I would; Ensure you are fit and capable of the two long days walks and consider taking walking sticks to assist you. Pack plasters for walking blisters Keep your packing light as the internal flights only have 15kg checked baggage limits. However excess baggage rates are really reasonable. Extend your trip at the beginning or end by an extra two days minimum to make the most of Buenos Aires 2017-02-18 Even better than expected! A wonderful mix of mountains, lakes, glaciers, wildlife, vast landscapes, huge steaks and friendly people. This was the fulfilment of a long-held dream, made very special by our brilliant guide, Xavier. The climbs to Fitzroy and to the Torres del Paine are fairly demanding, but well within the capacity of anyone experienced with walking in the Lake District or Snowdonia. Regrets? If only we could have stayed longer in El Chalten and Torres del Paine - but this is a 'highlights' trip. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? There were many! Sunrise on Fitzroy; walking on the Viedma Glacier (don't be put off by warnings of a difficult approach- it's very well supervised and very well worth doing); the 'wild frontier' feel of El Chalten; the remoteness of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel...... Pretty much the whole trip is inspirational. And we were so lucky with the weather. What did you think of your group leader? Brilliant. Xavier is informative, funny, hard-working and attentive. Excellent inter-personal skills. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Some details in the trip notes are awry: The optional boat trip from El Calafate to see icebergs and glaciers does not include a visit to the Perito Moreno glacier. There is an over-emphasis on taking dollars - we could have paid for pretty much all of it in pesos. The dollar costs of options are rather out-of-date - they cost quite a bit more. On reading previous reviews it's clear that some travellers need to take on board that this trip does involve two long walking days that cover rough, steep terrain - be prepared! Is there anything else you would like to add? We discovered that there were fixed tent sites near the refugio in Torres del Paine N.P. We wonder if there could be a camping option, as communal 'sleeping' in small rooms can be difficult and uncomfortable. 2017-01-26 Patagonian Highlights An excellent trip with the opportunity to gain a real perspective of the scale of Patagonia. This trip offers a diverse range of environments from Buenos Aires to the Steppe to the mountains and Peaks of Torres deal Paine. There is a lot of overland travel but this is all part of the experience. The food and accommodation were superb. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Loved seeing icebergs calving off the Perito Merino glacier and hiking in the very windy Torres del Paine to see the Granite towers. What did you think of your group leader? The group leader was outstanding. Highly knowledgable of both Argentina and Chile. He had a great sense of humour and was very willing to accomdate the different interests of the group. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Take mostly Argentine Pesos, some US dollars and some Chilean Pesos. Additional trips can be paid for in dollars. Food is more expensive than at home so you will need a reasonable amount of spending money. Is there anything else you would like to add? Might be worth flying direct. Air Europa were appalling and very rude. I don't tend to complain about things but I did on this occasion. Make sure you take a bottle of water on the long flight to Buenos Aires as they only served two drinks on the whole flight! 2017-01-08 Patagonian Highlights Our first group holiday! A fantastic experience, well organised by our guide, Xavier. From the initial group meeting at the hotel in Buenos Aires till the final day, the trip well planned. Yes, there were some long travel days and the major treks were challenging but the Trip Notes reflected things accurately. The scenery was fantastic and this was matched by the sense of achievement felt on completion of the long treks (well maybe the day after!) 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Seeing the sunrise on Mount Fitzroy.........or maybe hearing the thunderous cracks of the ice at Perito Moreno glacier. Very difficult to pick a single highlight.SFYUp What did you think of your group leader? Great, Xavier was laid back but hit all the right spots, keeping the group working well. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Pay attention to the Trip Notes and don't underestimate what you are taking on. Is there anything else you would like to add? It was a privilege to take part in this trip, absolutely jaw-dropping at times 2016-12-27 Patagonian Highlights Beautiful scenery, friendly locals and lovely food! The walking was challenging (and we don't think the trip notes really described what we were letting ourselves in for) but well worth it for the views and the sense of achievement at completing the walks. We had an amazing trip. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Reaching the base of the Torres del Paine. Seeing (and hearing) ice calve from the Perito Moreno Glacier. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was great. He had a really good sense of humour and was calm and relaxed whilst being incredibly organised. We felt we were in very safe hands. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Definitely take lots of layers that you can easily carry in your backpack (including a thin waterproof jacket). Walking poles are really helpful for the steep downhill sections on the two major hikes. We had really good weather for both the walks (base of Mount Fitzroy and Torres del Paine) but you should be aware that if it rains heavily then both the walks would be very difficult and/or too dangerous to attempt. The Viedma Glacier has receded significantly in the last three months and we got the distinct impression that it was felt by the local guides that reaching the glacier (in order to be able to walk on it) was no longer safe. This optional excursion may therefore be unavailable or inadvisable. We decided not to do it as we felt it probably was not without risk. The cost of the optional excursions is increasing all the time so take plenty of US dollars. There is no need to change US dollars for Chilean pesos as the three days in Chile have lots of included meals and most places take US dollars anyway. Take blister plasters as they cannot be bought in Argentina or Chile. The guides will be really grateful if you donate any left- over plasters when you leave as they think they are great and cannot buy them. Is there anything else you would like to add? We thoroughly enjoyed this holiday and would definitely recommend it - we had an amazing time. However, we are not walkers/trekkers and we were a bit surprised at the physicality and technical difficulty of both the walks. We had not appreciated that from the trip notes. Perhaps the trip notes could spell it out a little more clearly that both walks have very steep sections with big boulders and/or loose shale which are likely to be a challenge for most and definitely will be a new and challenging experience for those of us who are not experienced trekkers. Xavier (and Edmundo the local guide in Chile) were so amazingly good at their jobs and experienced that we did not doubt that we would make the trek safely but we really were shattered! 2016-12-11 Great Patagonian Adventure Fantastic scenery. Both the included walks were quite hard, but you can go at a slow pace, and the view at the top was worth it. Travelling to the end of the continent was a highlight too. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? The Perito Moreno glacier is just so impressive, especially the noise when a bit breaks off. Do the optional boat trip (wrap up!). What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was an excellent group leader. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Not all the hotels have hairdryers, so if that is important to you, bring your own. Bring walking poles for the two walks. I enjoyed the Todos Glaciares boat trip from El Calafate, a restful way to see 2 more glaciers, and floating ice. In Ushuaia it's worth doing the longer boat trip to see the penguins, the catamaran actually "parks" on the beach (you dont get off ) - you can see the penguins fairly close up. Even though there were some long bus days - especially to get to Ushuaia, I didnt find them too arduous, and we had regular stops along the way. Just make sure you have a few good books to read, and I used a neck pillow too for the odd kip. Do bring wine/beer to the refuge, it will save you loads. Is there anything else you would like to add? I would recommend this trip, and give yourself some extra days in Buenos Aires if you can take the extra time off. Argentina is quite expensive, and prices for the optional trips are going up all the time, so budget for more money rather than less. 2016-12-05 Out of this world! This really was an amazing trip from start to finish! The itinerary is so well planned out and although there are longer journeys, it is all worth it for the amount of beautiful places that you visit and the ground that you cover in 2 weeks. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? I cannot pin point this to only 1 moment. Both of the walks to Mt Fitzroy and Towers of Paine were truly incredible. They are not easy but they are worth every single step as you are constantly surrounded by breath taking scenery! Also our visit to the Moreno Glacier was brilliant and we were lucky to see giant parts of the glacier falling into the water. The thunderous sounds were so impressive. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was a brilliant tour leader all the way through. Not only was he extremely passionate and knowledgeable he was also a lot of fun and kept us laughing throughout. Even on the long bus journeys he kept us smiling! He was also spot on with recommending the best wine to go with our dinner. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? The walks are not easy so I would really recommend making sure you have a good level of fitness before you travel. The first walk to Mt Fitzroy is a full days walk and is 21 kms and the walk in Torres Del Paine is 18 kms. There is quite a steep climb to reach both viewing points for about an hour or so but there is no rush and everyone went at their own pace. I recommend coming prepared with some entertainment for the long journeys. Although if you finish your book like I did the scenery you drive through never gets boring! If you like wine in the evening I recommend buying some in Argentina before you travel to the refuges in Torres Del Paine as it is really expensive there. Is there anything else you would like to add? This really is a wonderful trip with incredible scenery and delicious food! I don't think I will ever taste steak like that again. 2016-04-27 Patagonian highlights A wonderful trip I would definitely recommend if you like barren landscape, mountains and glaciers. The itinerary was well thought out and even though there were long stretches travelling on the mini bus, this allowed for a great overview of Patagonia. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? The Fitzroy Massif and Moreno glacier were stunning. Having said that I also enjoyed the varied scenery in general which varied from mountainous to barren wind swept plains. The wildlife was very exciting especially spotting the condors and the full day boat trip in Ushuaia was worth it for seeing the penguins and sea lions. The food in restaurants throughout the trip was excellent not mentioning the wonderful Argentinian wine. What did you think of your group leader? Our group leader Xavier was fantastic, friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. He did a really good job suggesting and booking restaurants for the group to eat out in the evening although it was left to individuals whether to join in or not. He introduced us to 'mate' a herbal tea drunk from a special 'cup' with a metal straw which is shared amongst friends which we often had on our bus journeys. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Although I am an experienced walker, walking each year in the Swiss Alps on challenging paths, I found the treks quite hard. This was not because the treks were difficult but more due to the pace set by the fitter and faster walkers. Xavier was very good though walking at the back of the pack and there was always the possibility of turning back at certain points for those wishing to stop. Is there anything else you would like to add? All the accomodation was good even the basic hotels and refugio. The places were all very clean and comfortable. 2016-02-14 Amazing Patagonia Patagonia has been on my travel "to do" list for quite some time now. I was particularly looking forward to the amazing scenery on offer - Fitzroy, Torres del Paine, Moreno Glacier, plus sampling some of the legendary steaks and wines that Argentina is famous for. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? I have more than one moment - the Fitzroy hike was amazing as was the Torres Del Paine hike - this is pretty strenuous, particularly the last part. All that hard work is well worth it for the views to be had. Plus, we had amazing weather on our trip, so we had clear views on both hikes. What did you think of your group leader? Luciano was brilliant. His passion for this part if his country came across to us so well. He was knowledgeable in all aspects and was an excellent tour guide. His restaurant recommendations were excellent too - I have never had so much amazing food (and wine) in one trip Do you have any advice for potential travellers? There are some long drives on this trips - the main one being the journey from Torres del Paine to Ushuaia. But, they are broken up with interesting stops along the way, so it never seemed that long overall. Put a couple of extra holes in your belt so you can loosen it as the trip goes on! - if you like your steak, wine and desserts, you will be very well catered for this country ! Is there anything else you would like to add? An all round amazing trip that I would highly recommend to anyone. 2016-02-12 Patagonian Highlights We decided on Patagonia as Sandy had been there 11 years ago and had trekked around most of the Torres Del Paine. Things had changed - the roads were all (mostly) completed and the villages and towns had expanded. The highlights had not changed and we were fortunate to have good weather throughout all the walks. The road journeys were long and dusty but an essential part of conveying the scale and size of the Patagonian Steppe. The reward of arriving at the Torres del Paine and Ushuaia erased the discomfort of the journey! Overall we were hugely impressed by the organisation and the leadership. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Getting to the base of the Torres del Paine after a long, hard 4 hour + trek and the first view of the Perito Merino Glacier - the pictures do not convey its magnificence! What did you think of your group leader? Our group leader, Luciano, was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He was always very concerned about our welfare and very keen to involve us in everything 'Patagonian'. Everything he did was with a smile and nothing was too much for him. We hope to see him in England sometime. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Be prepared for the long drives with plenty of water and snacks. There are interesting stops on the way and the arrival at the end of the journey is well worthwhile! Is there anything else you would like to add? The long drive to Ushuaia and 'The End of the World' was the icing on the cake. We had a beautiful nature walk through the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Many contrasts of scenery on the way. 2016-02-12 A very beautiful place We travelled to Patagonia in the group, departing November 16th 2015. I had waited a long time to visit and was not disappointed. There was a lot of travelling to do, but it is such a vast area, this was ineviatble and the long days by bus were limited to two on rough roads. Fortunately, the weather was good and this only enhanced the stunning scenery. Generally, the accommodation was good, Calafate is worth mentioning as I thought the accommodation was exceptional and staff extremely friendly- and had the best room views from my perspective. The activities were well considered and there were lots of opportunities to stop and admire your surroundings. Most memorable will always be the long walking days, because there was no rush and they took you to places of incredible beauty. Buenos Aires was an interesting city, with hidden gems for us, which included an area to have luch and watch tango in the day time. I would struggle to find fault with this trip, only that it would have been easy to extend and stay for longer. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? As I had waites for so long to visit, just being there was inspirational. Our walk to Mount Fitzroy was a particularly good day. Great weather and stunning scenery all around you. Our entire group made it up to the highest point and the views up there were fantastic. I particularly recommend continuing the walk down to the lakeside and a small lake hidden from view, which was the most beautiful colour. The mountains framed by the two colours was just brilliant. A good day, all tired but hopefully happy . What did you think of your group leader? Our leader was completely full of energy and although he did not know the city so well, his knowledge of the countryside was very good. I found him very good humoured and funny. He was helpful and if he had overlooked minor things at times, there was a good vibe most of the time. Our leader went out of his way to try and cope with everyones needs as best he could. We will keep in touch via facebook Im sure. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? There are some long travelling days and those visiting should remember that the way to get the best views involve long hikes at times, so have all the most comfortable gear to do this. Local guides were good, with at least two who were excellent in El Calafate and Ushuaia. Is there anything else you would like to add? I would recommend this trip as you never became fed up of just looking out the window. 2016-01-19 Spectacular and worth the distances travelled Fantastic scenery, massive distances to travel in between though, but worth it for Fitzroy, Moreno, Torres del Paine etc. The excellent rating is in part due to the luck we had with weather, even down as far south as Ushuaia. There were only two proper trekking days though, maybe some options to do more would have been good, and an extra day if Chile for the Grey Glacier would have justified the miles in a minibus. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Clear blue skies at the top of Torres del Paine, stunning. What did you think of your group leader? Luciano was great, right balance of sorting things, getting involved, and standing back when other guides were leading. 2015-11-20 Patagonia Highlights It is a bit of an effort to get to Patagonia but it is worth it. The Andes are majestic and the glaciers mesmerising. A two week tour really is not enough time to do justice to the area. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Getting up to the lake at the base of Fitzroy. It was a tough hike especially the last bit, but it was so beautiful up there. If you get the right weather you will never forget the view. What did you think of your group leader? Denis was a friendly and helpful leader, but sometimes his organizational skills were a little unorganized. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Try and push for an early start on the days of the main hikes. It will give you more time to go at your own pace. Take walking poles if you have them as the walks are hard. At Torres del Paine we set off (late) in really nice weather, but by the time we got to the top it was snowing, it was 1 degree centigrade, and we couldn't see anything. Check on the currency situation before you go. Make sure you have large denomination US$ bills to exchange to get the best rates. It is worth adding on a few days to see Buenos Aires and make a trip across to Colonia (Uruguay). Is there anything else you would like to add? As a vegetarian I was concerned about food on the trip. However, there are several good places in Buenos Aires which are easy to find on Google. The included food at the refuge was better than I expected and the hotel food in Calafate was very good. From Torres to Ushuaia and in Ushuaia itself there was not much choice on offer, so take some standby snacks for those days. 2015-03-27 Patagonian Highlights Thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We were a small group of nine people. Pepe our leader was very good and kept us up to date with all the schedules and where we would be walking to on the day as sometimes due to weather conditions changes needed to be made. I went on the upgraded trip (no camping) and I found all of the hostels and hotels very comfortable and the staff were accommodating. Some of us were lucky to see ice being calved from the glacier - that was amazing. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Walking on the glacier and being mesmerised by the stunning colours of the icebergs and glaciers. Walking in the Tierra del Fuego National Park Hiking to the base camp of Fitzroy What did you think of your group leader? Pepe was very good group leader. He was very informative, had a good command of the English language. He was resourceful in arranging trips and booking tables at restaurants at short notice for us. Pepe had a good sense of humour and kept us entertained. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Be prepared for the very long road trips in the mini bus. Is there anything else you would like to add? I recommend anyone to attend a tango show. 2015-03-04 Patagonia Highlights 2015 A very good holiday about as far away from the grey British winter as it is possible to get. But the weather was much better than I was expecting- sunshine almost every day and very little rain. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Being among the Southern Andes in good weather. or Standing on the water front in Ushuaia watching the sun go down - without being cold... What did you think of your group leader? Very good. Never seemed to be in any trouble or under stress and even seemed to be enjoying himself most of the time. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? The two day walks which are part of the itinerary of the trip (Mount Fitzroy and Torres Del Paine) both involve significant climbs, but are well worth the effort. Very limited time in Buenos Aires if you use the group flight Is there anything else you would like to add? The latest edition of the trip noes (2015) received about 2 weeks prior to departure appears to be in need of a serious review - in particular the optional trips offered were significantly different. 2015-01-31 Patagonian Highlights (AAA) Jan 2015 A great trip. Patagonia is a large area but this trip hits the highlights- Fitzroy, Petito Moreno glacier, Torres del Paines NP, and Ushuaia. The minibus trips from El Calafate to Torres del Paine (1 day) and from TdP and Ushuaia (2 days) are long but there are stops for pictures, short walking, food so not too bad. Our group agreed that hikes should be considered as moderate- both have parts that aren't bad but both have parts that are steep and rocky so more challenging. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Seeing Mt Fitzroy and the Torres del Paine for the first time. The boat trip on Beagle Channel. Petito Moreno glacier calving ice. Also the group we had was fantastic and clicked very well. They were very supportive of everyone on the more challenging portions of the treks. The group made the trip even more special. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was great! Arrangements were flawless, needs were met, and he always was available for issues. One member of our group become ill and had to go home and Xavier took care of everything. If you get Xavier as your leader, you will be very happy. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Be prepared for changeable weather. Parts of the hikes (treks) are moderate so make sure you are prepared physically for them. If those parts are too challenging, you can always stop and go back down and wait for the group to continue the hike (trek). Taking it slow is no problem. Local currency and US dollars are taken almost everywhere for optional trips and food. For taxis in Buenos Aires, use local currency. When leaving Argentina, if you depart from Ezeiza International Airport, arrive earlier than normal at home as check in can be a bit slow. 2015-01-26 Recommended but lots of driving All in all, a good way to get orientated with a highlights reel of southern Patagonia's best bits. Which are surely right up there with the world's most spectacular scenery. Be aware, however, that in an area as huge as Patagonia, there are some seriously long drives required to get between the various scenic hotspots and not a great deal of free time between. Although these journeys never seemed to drag too badly due to the epic scenery passing by outside the bus windows and were offset by the days hiking in various National Parks. All in all, a really good trip. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Seeing the majestic Fitzroy Massif rising magically above the barren Patagonian Steppe as we drove away from El Calafate and towards El Chalten. I'd waited decades to see this sight for myself and the weather gods smiled, to put it mildly, so it more than exceeded my impossibly high expectations. The Beagle Channel penguin colony was also a delight. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was great, one of the best tour leaders I have ever had. Constantly cheerful and relaxed, nothing was too much trouble and he made an effort to acquaint us with important Argentine traditions including asado and his constant mate drinking. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Bring some good books and one of those inflatable travel pillows for the number of long bus journeys involved. Also worth packing your trekking poles if you have them as some of the walks whilst not too tough do feature some slightly tricky trails at times. Is there anything else you would like to add? Some previous reviews have been critical of the two nights spent at the rifugio in Torres del Paine NP. Yes, the food is not brilliant and you have to share rather cosy dorms with fellow Exodus people for a couple of nights. But the location is great and I personally enjoyed the variety and sense of adventure after so many consecutive nights in (admittedly pretty comfortable) hotels. So don't let that put you off. The only annoyance for me was the quick morning's visit to Tierra del Fuego NP. I realise time is tight but it was a shame not to be able to do a proper day hike in such a famous national park. Personally I would edit the schedule if I was Exodus to make such a walk possible. 2015-01-26 Patagonian Highlights I had wanted to go to Patagonia for years and finally took the plunge and booked this trip - it certainly didn't disappoint! There's a lot of travelling and so much crammed into the two weeks that it flies by. The overnight stays in Buenos Aires that bookend the main activities were brilliant, and it was nice to start and finish with a blast of heat. The walking surprised me by being no more difficult than some of the longer Lake District/Scottish Munro type walks, and the gear I had was more than adequate. Food and drink were delicious and drinking tap water all the way caused no problems - Argentinian steaks, Patagonian lamb and Malbec were favourites. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? I loved Torres del Paine; we walked up to a viewpoint in the park and took some glorious shots of the massif with clouds and lakes in perfect conditions - I would have ideally liked another day here to simply sit and stare; the hike up to the base of the towers the next day was strenuous but taken in three parts so that all could cope. The final pull up the moraine was easier than I had expected and the rewards at the glacial lake well worth the effort. The famous Patagonian winds were in evidence all the way - take sunglasses for protection from the grit constantly blowing in your eyes! The hike to Fitzroy was equally awe-inspiring; our two guides Mauro and Johnny were a great team even producing flasks of tea at the lunch stop, and the circular route gave us some stunning and memorable views. On Christmas Day itself, we walked in the Tierra del Fuego National Park, saw the end of the world and then sailed down the Beagle Channel to meet the penguins - an unforgettable and epic day. To finish off in BA on Boxing Day with a tango show was the icing on the cake (!) What did you think of your group leader? Dennis was constantly on the go, checking optional excursion availability and the next day's arrangements, I'm sure he was completely exhausted at the end of the trip. But he always had a smile and a joke for us, and lots of information about the areas we were travelling through. He also very kindly took 4 of us up an unnamed mountain behind El Calafate on his day off, for which we are eternally grateful as it added some views of the Uppsala glacier we would otherwise have missed as well as a gathering of 14 condors above some weathered sandstone. Beautiful! Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Do it! Patagonia is an amazing place and you will remember the mountains until the day you die. We encountered no animosity (a la Jeremy Clarkson and friends) and enjoyed some truly inspirational scenery. One caveat; if you change your dollars for pesos in BA anywhere other than the banks (not a great rate) they will not change it back at the airport on departure - you need your receipt as evidence. Some of us got around this by touting our pesos to the bank queue and offering a favourable rate... probably not entirely legal. Is there anything else you would like to add? I am so glad I went, travelling alone can be daunting but I met a great group of people and made some good friendships with like-minded people - and learnt a lot from the photographers and bird-watchers; thanks guys! 2015-01-05 Patagonian Highlights Fantastic mountain scenery enjoyed through great walks, accompanied by perfect weather conditions of clear blue skys and warm sunshine in a part of the world where the phrase "four seasons in one day" is often used. If you like red meat you are in for a treat, medium rare cooked stakes to die for and the lamb ain't bad either. I am not used to a what appeared a joint and rake of lamb in the one dish. All washed down with plentiful amounts of exceedingly good Malbec, the good value of the wine only makes you drink more but well it is a holiday afterall. There are some long drives but to see the best of what Patagonia has to offer, it is a great way to travel. You have a long drive on day 10 and, when you get to the ferry strong winds may delay that 2km trip across the water for 2.5 hrs but don't worry, the cafe has plenty of beer. A the end of the trip back in Buenos Aires, which on its own has beautiful architecture and worth a return trip to spend a few more days enjoying the sights, a tango show is a great way to finish the trip with a great stake and more of that Malbec. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? A difficult one to answer but if I had to pick one it would be the walk to the base of Mount Fitzroy. The walk in starts in the forest with glimpses of the glacier through the trees. Then there you hear the noise of the glacier moving. After 3 hours you have the choice to continue a steeper climber to base or rest for 2 or maybe 3 until the rest of us return. If you do proceed it is well worth it and the guide has one further surprise for few extra strides. On the way down and the walk back the the town the views just get better at every turn. The walk is about 28k but don't let that put you off, it is well worth it and you have to walk past all the pubs before getting back to the hotel. As I mentioned it is difficult to pick one moment as there are other great days to accompany the Mount Fitzroy walk. What did you think of your group leader? The tour leader was great: kept you well informed about the days activity; relevant facts about each area; practical information useful for all of us and there to help and resolve little problems when they arose, very cool and unflustered. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? You do need to pack for all weather conditions but as experienced, you may not always need them all. Do pack your walking boots or shoes they will get plenty of use and well worth it. The full day walk in Torres Del Paine is where the moderate activity level of trip is appropriate the but don't bank on a good hearty meal of wholesome food in the evening at the refuge, bring what allowable food you can into Chile you quite likely to appreciate it to stave off hunger. Don't forget the alcohol either, wine and beer, you will save a fortune. Is there anything else you would like to add? Very pleased to have chosen to go on this trip, no regrets but I would recommend taking note of the advice above to offset one of major talking points of the trip. Enjoyed the variety offered, at times I felt like I was on one of the walking holidays, but that's fine I really enjoy them as well. The scenery is some of the best I have seen in the world. I know I have mentioned the Malbec a few times, but I don't have a drink problem, I didn't spill a drop. 2014-12-03 Patagonian Highlights This was a great holiday. We had a good bunch of people who "clicked" almost immediately. We had a fantastic leader who made everything so much better. The views were outstanding. Even the long bus rides didn't seem that bad. Lots of breaks to stretch our legs 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Seeing Torres de Paine so close after the bit of a scramble to get to them. What did you think of your group leader? Fantastic. One of the best that I have ever had. Knowledgeable and very personable. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Do not under estimate the difficulty of the 2 treks- Fitzroy Paine and Torres de Paine. They are not gentle strolls! Is there anything else you would like to add? Refugio at Torres de Paine- the food there needs to be upgraded to something edible. The bunk beds are very comfortable and the showers are clean and have lots of hot water so no complaints there. But the food! I have stayed in refuges doing the Tour de Mont Blanc so I have a comparison. There the food was simple but well cooked and delicious. Surely they could do better. 2014-12-01 Patagonia Highlights Having just returned from this trip, I would highly recommend it for others wanting to see the highlights of Patagonia. The scenery was beautiful and the walks (especially the one in Torres del Paine) was fantastic, despite seeing four seasons of weather in one day! 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Torres del Paine National Park - I'd love to return to do more walks in it. Perito Moreno Glacier - was spectacular The Malbec wine and huge steaks! What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was a excellent guide. He was easy going and everything was very well organised. He was extremely informative and nothing was too much trouble for him. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Take plenty of waterproof and wind proof clothes. Take lots of $, as the ATM machines are not very reliable and the banks went on strike when we were in Ushuaia! If you can afford the time, I would recommend getting to Buenos Aires a few days before the tour starts or after it finishes, as it's a great city to spend extra time in. 2014-11-19 PATAGONIAN HIGHLIGHTS This was a fantastic experience which we wouldn't have been able to replicate travelling by ourselves. The scale and the vastness of Patagonia was truly beyond our imagination. However, sharing this with a great group of people and led by an excellent guide, allowed us to get the most out of the adventure. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Without doubt both Claire and I felt that reaching the viewpoint at Torres del Paine was wonderful. We were lucky with the weather that day and, although the wind did blow, the sky was clear and the views were better than any photograph because we were there! It was a longish day with the last hour being a stiff climb up across a boulder slope but that made the achievement even more worthwhile. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was an exceptional guide. Nothing was too much trouble and he had a great range of knowledge. He was also an expert in recovering lost items that some of us left in buses, aeroplanes and hotels. He allowed us to be completely relaxed because despite his easy going nature, his organisational skills were exceptional and this meant we always left on time and had no problems with any leg of the travels. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Be prepared. Have proper footwear and clothing for ALL weathers. We had sushine in Buenos Aires and snow in Ushaia. Temeratures ranging from 28C to freezing. And did I mention the wind? Is there anything else you would like to add? Overall this is a fantastic trip and I hate to gripe but we thought that the food in the Refugio at Torres del Paine was poor although the accommodation there was OK. Good job we brought plenty of wine. Otherwise this trip can be highly recommended, especially if you are as lucky as us in having such a fantastic group of people to travel with. 2014-01-12 PATAGONIAN HIGHLIGHTS A splendid trip that truly captured the highlights of Patagonia. 5 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Seeing the Torres del Paine, which are so iconic, was terrific. Even though it snowed on the hike, it was still a wonderful day. Fitzroy was a close runner-up. And Magellan Strait, of course -- a very ordinary strip of water with such huge historical importance (and besides, Magellan was one of my childhood heroes). What did you think of your group leader? Couldn't ask for a better leader than Xavier. When a trip goes smoothly, you know it is the result of a lot of hard work; and he did it. Great pride in his country and always happy to discuss Argentina with curious foreigners. We learned a lot from him. The local guides at various stops were uniformly excellent; they made the trip so much more interesting. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Take plenty of layers; the weather really can change quickly. Take plenty of US dollars, get to BA a few days early and find a way to convert to pesos at a good rate, not the official one. Take binoculars or a good long lens for your camera; lots of wildlife to focus on. Is there anything else you would like to add? The long bus rides, often on gravel roads surprised us, but the buses were very good, and the long rides are just a price you have to pay to cover the vast expanses of Patagonia. You wouldn't get that sense of the country through flying in or taking a cruise ship into places like Ushuaia. It's worth it. 2013-11-23 PATAGONIAN HIGHLIGHTS (Nov 2013) Great trip if you are into walking and mountains and dont mind long bus journeys. The scenery is worth it. 4 What was the most inspirational moment of your trip? Enjoyed all - the treks to the base of Fitzroy (especially back to Laguna de los Tres which is very like the Cairngorm area of Scotland) and to base of Torres del Paine (in a snowstorm); the short walk in Tierra del Fuego, the 3pm cruise on the Beagle Channel to Penguin Island. But if I had to choose then the two best moments were: - *Trekking on the Viedma Glacier on a gloriously sunny but cold day with an excellent guide team who provided and fixed crampons on everyone and helped you see into crevasses –complemented nicely the following day in Los Glaciares National Park walking around the boardwalks surrounding the Moreno Glacier. * The panorama from the top of Cerro de los Cristales (1282M), Lago Roca on a beautifully sunny clear day seeing Lago Argentina, Glacier Perito Moreno, and Torres del Paine without any cloud in a brilliantly blue sky. What did you think of your group leader? Xavier was a really nice, helpful guy who was passionate about his country and very conscientious in ensuring we enjoyed the holiday. He readily engaged in conversation and was very informative in that context. He was particularly great helping us to sort transport etc re climbing Cerro Cristales on our own. Could possibly have been more forthcoming with general information about Argentina and Chile to the group as a whole especially when on the long bus trips. Do you have any advice for potential travellers? Take dollars – can exchange readily. We got some Argentinean and Chilean currency from M&S before we left at a good exchange rate. In Chile 19% tax is added if you pay for a meal in pesos rather than dollars. Safe airport taxi system –Taxi Ezeiza – in the middle of the airport lobby. You pay at the desk (can pay in dollars) and then wait till escorted outside to your taxi. We also used this system back to airport- our group leader booked for us, told us the price and we paid the driver (try to have right amount or round up). Be aware of pickpocket scam in Buenos Aires – walking up Belgrano we were sprayed by something that looked like birdshit from behind. A nice middle aged lady offered me paper/water to clean up. She had some mates. As you clean up however your gear is stolen. Fortunately my husband was wise to the scam (I’d forgotten about it) and shouted to me to walk on. We cleaned up at the Hotel Dazzler where they told us a client had had his wallet stolen by this method the previous week. It’s not an urban myth. Pack for Scottish winter walking in the Cairngorm using a layered system (so if its warmer than what we experienced you’re covered). We had beautiful weather in general (plus one snowstorm that was actually fun) but were grateful for warm gear. Buenos Aires was variable (windy and wet when arrived, sunny and warm when left). Trekking poles are really useful. Wi-Fi was available at the hotels we stayed at throughout the trip but was slow. If you don’t already use What’s App get it for texts and photos (free under wifi). Most of the museums in Buenos Aires only have Spanish captions. Subway system good and cheap though told to wear backpack to front on it. If you have extra time in Buenos Aires, a day trip to Colonia in Uruguay by ferry is enjoyable. We went by Busquebus, booking on a Sat for a day trip on the Sunday. We also went a day trip to the Tigre Delta which was interesting. Train from Retiro Station then commuter bus to Tres Bocas. Some short walks there and two restaurants. Tigre has an Art Museum housed in a beautiful French Style Building – worth seeing. At El Calafate Laguna Nimez Bird Reserve is worth visiting. However if you are into walking try to do the Cerro de los Cristales climb at Lago Roca (CalTur bus at 8.30 am returns at 6pm 200 pesos). Quite hard going but worth it for the views if weather kind to you. From Lago Roca private campsite walk up to junction turn left, walk by path to Rock Paintings on right then just before a road leading off on the left to the lake there are two posts (minus the signboard) on the right that mark the start of the route. About 40 yds from these into the walk you’ll see another marked signpost. Route is obvious till near top where there can be snow. Scree at top but it is ok especially if you have poles. Allow 7 hrs round trip. Watch the weather especially winds at the top. Foodwise: difficult for vegetarians but if you can eat fish its fantastic. Really enjoyed Ayres Patagonicos El Chalten (informal, good food good music), La Tablita, el Calafate and Hotel Las Torres in Torres del Paine. Is there anything else you would like to add? We were lucky and had great weather overall. Recommendations are very much weather dependant. 2013-11-23 false 84440

Hvor eventyret begynder

Vinder af National Geographic Traveller’s 2021 Reader Awards

I næsten 50 år har Exodus arrangeret  utrolige eventyrferier rundt om i verden. Gennem årene er vores passion for eventyrrejser og opdagelser kun vokset. Hvad der startede i Himalaya, er udvidet til en række af 600+ små gruppe og selvguidede ture til 100+ lande rundt om i verden.

Rejser for dig, som vil opleve, har en eventyrer i maven.. Hos Exodus handler eventyrrejser ikke kun om at tage folk med på fantastiske ferier, det handler også om at give tilbage til de mennesker og rejsemål vi besøger. Det er derfor, vi har introduceret People, Places and Planet-planen for at sikre, at vores eventyr er Natur Positive.

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