An itinerary encompassing the best of Patagonia, from the wild Valdes Peninsula in Argentina to a spectacular cruise in the Chilean fjords landing at the legendary Cape Horn. Starting in vibrant Buenos Aires and taking in the cosmopolitan capital city of Santiago and the World Heritage area of Valparaiso, this is the top-and-tailed total Patagonian experience.
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Arrive in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires and transfer to LOI Suites Recoleta, Buenos Aries for two nights on B&B basis. Enjoy an afternoon private guided walking tour of the Recoleta area, including a visit to the tomb of the iconic Eva Peron.
Half day guided city tour to see the best of the sights. Optional afternoon visit to the colourful La Boca area. This evening, try out one of the superb meat restaurants, where succulent cuts are cooked on open grills.
Transfer to domestic airport and fly to Trelew, gateway to Patagonia and the Valdes Peninsula. Drive to Puerto Madryn for three nights B&B at Territorio Hotel.
Full day wildlife tour to Valdes Peninsula. Drive into the World Heritage national park and visit San Jose Fort Museum Then see elephant seals in the creek at Caleta Valdes. Look out for storks, guanaco, armadillos, hares, foxes, rhea and eagles. Opportunity to take a boat trip out to the bay of Puerto Piramides where southern right whales come to feed from July/August to December. Penguins nest between September and March and orca are around during the same period; they are particularly active in April. Birds, dolphins, sea lions and elephant seals can be seen all year round.
Full day tour south to Punta Tombo to visit the largest colony of Magellenic penguins on the continent. Here, you can walk amongst the birds, which have no fear of humans. Look out for orca and seals close to the shore.
Transfer to Trelew and fly to El Calafate. Met and driven to Torres del Paine National Park. Four nights at Tierra Patagonia Hotel on full board basis, including non-premium drinks. Depending on time, take a two hour scenic and wildlife walk from the hotel before dinner. One full day or two half day excursions included, with others optional.
Drive out in the morning for a 2.5-3 hour scenic walk to see ancient cave paintings and look out for guanacos, foxes and condors. Afternoon, take a horse ride to Segunda Barranca where sheep shearing may be in progress. Alternative half day options are available.
A strenuous full day walk of 18km with immense scenic rewards. Climb for about 90 minutes to Campamento Chileano and then for about the same time up through forest and across loose moraine to a classic lookout towards the Torres del Paine. Lunch, then careful, four-hour return. Evening relaxation in luxury and comfort.
A full day scenic trip into the park including an optional (extra charge) boat excursion on Lake Grey and sail towards Grey Glacier. See ice floes and feathery nothofagus woods and maybe the endangered huemul deer. A great trip to see lots of the park in one day.
After breakfast an early road transfer to Punta Arenas. Check-in & embarkation on MV Stella Australis for your five night Patagonia & Cape Horn expedition. Full expedition programme including Zodiac landings lead by expert guides guarantee close encounters to wildlife, glaciers and scenery. Informal topical lectures, full board basis including open bar on board ship.
Cross the Magellen Strait to Porvenir on Tierra del Fuego. Visit the interesting museum and then travel to see theonly king penguin colony on South America. On over the border into Argentina to the Atlantic coastal town of Rio Grande for overnight stay.
We arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina this morning and disembark for a land tour south for a gaucho experience and Patagonian ‘asado’ BBQ at Estancia Las Hijas. Then through Magellenic Forest and backdrop of lakes and snow-capped mountains to the port of Ushuaia. Look out for birds and flocks of guanco on the way. Board Stella Australis and set sail with a farewell to Ushuaia.
Sailing across Nassau Bay to the southernmost island in the archipelago and Cape Horn. Disembark and visit the end of the earth. Sail back into the beautiful Wulaia Bay, site of Darwin’s and Fitzroy’s endeavours. Land and walk in the forested landscape and enjoy amazing views.
Re-enter the Beagle Channel into the Alberto de Agostini National Park. Sail into the spectacular Glacier Alley, flanked by sheer, saw-toothed mountains. Land near Aguila Glacier and spend time exploring, with condors soaring above and lots of other birdlife to spot amongst the amazing scenery.
Awake in the Magellan Strait and anchor off Magdelena Island. Walk through a massive Magellenic penguin colony to the museum housed within a historic 1902 lighthouse. Many bird species are found on the island and spotted from your walk. Disembark and transfer to airport for flight to Santiago. Transfer to Singular Hotel for a three night stay bed & breakfast.
Full day excursion to Isla Negra on the Pacific coast, then to the World Heritage site of Valparaiso, where brightly coloured buildings overlook the famous port. Onwards to the garden city of Vina del Mar and return to Santiago through the vineyard valley of Casablanca. Lots of options for dinner tonight.
A half hour drive from the city leads to Yerba Loca, from which you can take a day’s guided walk (pack lunch included) along a well-marked trail to a spectacular glacier, enjoying amazing views of the central Andes and viewing local fauna and flora.
After breakfast a transfer to Santiago airport for your onward independent or return travel.