This vacation through Patagonia, Incan ruins, Tierra del Fuego, and around Cape Horn is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
About the Tour
Full of unearthly beauty, the wild spaces at the end of South America are some of the last of their kind. On this 18-day locally-hosted tour, you'll cruise through Chilean fjords and the Strait of Magellan, stand among the ruins of Machu Picchu, and experience some of South America's most exciting cities. With the expert advice of your professional Tour Director and Local Hosts, you'll enjoy your journey to the fullest.
- Ride the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
- 4-night cruise through the Straits of Magellan aboard the Stella Australis
- Hotel accommodations for 13 nights
- 27 meals
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Private tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park
- Excursion to the Sacred Valley
- Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, and Cusco city tours
- Services of local hosts
Day 1 - Arrive Buenos Aires, ArgentinaWelcome to Buenos Aires, proud capital of the vast country that occupies most of the southern part of the continent. Your hotel is available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 - Buenos AiresA private sightseeing tour this morning starts in the colorful La Boca district, site of the city's first port. Take a short walking tour of this unique neighborhood, then on to San Telmo, famous for its late-colonial buildings and a popular gathering spot for artists. At the Plaza de Mayo, see La Casa Rosada (the President's Pink House) and the Metropolitan Cathedral, which houses San Martin's Mausoleum. Drive past the ornate Colon Opera House before reaching the Cemetery of the Recoleta, burial site of Eva Peron. This evening, perhaps savor the city's atmosphere on an optional dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a performance of Latin America's most sensuous dance-the Tango! (B)
Day 3 - Buenos Aires-UshuaiaFly to the “End of the World,” Ushuaia, situated on the island of Tierra del Fuego. Once a secluded outpost and penal colony, Ushuaia is now a growing community thriving on timber, fishing, and tourism. This afternoon, enjoy a private tour Tierra Del Fuego National Park to learn about its bountiful flora and fauna. With the Chilean Andes as the backdrop, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. (B)
Day 4 - Ushuaia (Embarkation)Embark on your 4-night cruise aboard the Stella Australis. The voyage will take you through channels, bays, fjords, and past massive glaciers, snowcapped mountains, and unexplored areas of incomparable beauty. During the night, traverse the Beagle Channel to cross from Argentina into Chilean waters. (B, D)
Day 5 - Cruising: Cape Horn & Wulaia BayDisembark in Cape Horn National Park (weather permitting) to see Cape Horn, a sheer, almost 1,394-foot-high rocky promontory where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans merge. In the afternoon, go ashore with your Naturalist in historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region's largest aboriginal settlements. Here, walk through a Magellanic forest and keep an eye out for elephant seals! (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Cruising: Pia & Garibaldi GlacierOvernight, continue around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial, Magdalena, and Cockburn Channels to Pia Fjord. Here, board the zodiacs for exploration of Pia Glacier. Take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea. In the afternoon, drop anchor near Garibaldi Glacier to see one of only three glaciers in Patagonia that is gaining mass rather than staying the same or slowly shrinking. Hike through virgin Magellanic forest to a glacial waterfall, a towering wall of ferns and moss, and spectacular viewpoints looking down on the glacier and fjord. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Cruising: Agostini Sound, Aguila Glaciers & Condor SoundSail through the intricate channels of Tierra del Fuego to reach Cockburn Channel. At Agostini Sound, board Zodiac boats to explore Aguila Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by Patagonia's sub-Antarctic rainforest. Walk around the edge of the lagoon near the base of the glacier and keep an eye out for the condors that can sometimes be seen here. Learn about the formation of glaciers and their influence on the abrupt geography of the region's channels. In the afternoon, cruise Condor Sound via Zodiac and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - Cruising: Magellan Strait-Magdalena Island-Punta Arenas, Chile (Disembarkation)This morning, go ashore on Magdalena Island (weather permitting). Located in the Strait of Magellan, it was an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers in the past. Here, see the immense colony of Magellanic Penguins during a walk to the lighthouse, which guides ships on their way through the strait. (In September and April this excursion is replaced by a Zodiac boat ride at Isla Marta to observe sea lions.) After our visit, sail to Punta Arenas and disembark. (B)
Day 9 - Punta Arenas-SantiagoFly to Santiago, Chile's capital. This country is more than 10-times longer than wide, with 2,650 miles of beautiful Pacific coastline. (B)
Day 10 - SantiagoLocated in the center of the country and perched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, Santiago has evolved as the country's political, commercial, and cultural capital. Step back into the 16th century on your private city tour as your Local Guide traces the city's history and heritage. Start at La Moneda, the official Government Palace, and nearby San Cristobal Hill with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. Your tour ends at the Plaza de Armas, the main square, with a visit to the 18th-century Cathedral. (B)
Day 11 - Santiago-Lima, PeruTransfer to the airport for your flight to Lima, where you will be met by your Local Host. (B)
Day 12 - LimaYour included city tour focuses on Lima's rich colonial history as well as the modern city. Lima was the bastion of Spanish South America from its founding in 1535 until the independence of the South American republics in the early 19th century. See the Cathedral, where the remains of Francisco Pizarro are sealed in a wooden coffin, and the Santo Domingo Convent to see the relics of three famous Peruvian saints-Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Porres, and San Juan Macias. (B)
Day 13 - Lima-CuscoFly to Cusco high in the Andes. Your guided tour visits the Santo Domingo Monastery, previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. It is said it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. In the Plaza de Armas, see the Cathedral before taking a short drive outside the city to the ruins of Sacayhuaman with its intricate stone walls, amphitheatre of Kenko, and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. (B)
Day 14 - Cusco-Sacred ValleyToday, a short drive into the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, brings you to Awankancha, where you will learn about the importance of the alpaca (llama) for Inca cultures as well as the ancient weaving techniques still in use today. Continue, to the market town of Pisac. Handmade rugs, alpaca sweaters, and jewelry can be bought here at bargain prices. At the other end of the valley is Ollantaytambo. Here, some of the finest examples of Inca masonry can be seen. (B, L)
Day 15 - Sacred Valley-Machu PicchuBoard a train bound for Machu Picchu and cut a path through the Sacred Valley to this “Lost City of the Incas,” discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. On a guided tour, explore this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. For hikers, a brisk one-hour walk leads to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas. (B, L, D)
Day 16 - Machu Picchu-Sacred Valley-CuscoA morning at leisure allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco, where your Local Host will recommend options for your free time. Perhaps visit the Inca Museum or wander through the artisan district of San Blas. (B)
Day 17 - Cusco-LimaFly to Lima, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 18 - LimaYour vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Hotel accommodations include the Pulitzer Hotel (Buenos Aires), Cilene Del Faro (Ushuaia), Cabo De Hornos (Punta Arenas), Best Western Premier Marina Las Condes (Santiago), Casa Andina Select Miraflores (Lima), Sonesta Hotel (Cusco), Sonesta Posadas del Inca (Sacred Valley), El Mapi by Inkaterra (Machu Picchu)
M/V Stella Australis
Indulge in first class Chilean travel onboard the Stella Australis. You'll have to opportunity to relax on this spacious cruise ship, with a beautiful atmosphere, and fine dining. Once you embark on your Patagonia adventure, enjoy the comfort of cabins that provide you with incredible ocean views and lavish decor. Wine and dine, mix and mingle, and enjoy fabulous entertainment on your Patagonia vacation. The Stella Australis provides amazing customer service, excitement, beautiful scenery, and exceptional cuisine.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfill the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
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