Divided between Chile and Argentina, one step away from the end of the land, and two from the peninsula of Antarctica, Patagonia is a primeval land, which evokes a literary image of courageous expeditions, majestic landscapes and unspoiled nature.
From the idyllic Torres del Paine park to the Perito Moreno glacier, across the Patagonian Desert to the peaks of the Fitz Roy massif, discovering Patagonia means immersing yourself in a boundless territory, between legendary mountains and infinite horizons, immense glaciers and sleepy villages to “last frontier”.
Your individual journey to Patagonia includes two stopovers on almost all flight routes: in Madrid and in Santiago de Chile. Therefore, if you wish, there is the possibility of meeting in the group at both airports and continuing the journey together.
After arriving in Chile – more precisely in Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in the world and at the same time the southernmost point of our trip – we drive to the nearby hotel. There you have enough time to arrive in peace and to recover from the long journey. In the evening we get to know each other better over a meal together in the lively southern Chilean city and mentally prepare ourselves for the next few days.
Next four days are dedicated to the exploration of the Torres del Paine National Park, which we will photograph from sunrise to sunset in any weather condition that allows it.
The park is not only one of the best known of the 36 national parks in Chile, but also boasts one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in South America: the Cordillera del Paine. Its three needle-like granite mountains, which are up to 3,000 meters high, form the unmistakable and at the same time overwhelming symbol of the region. It is not only the breathtaking mountain landscape that makes the park so special. You will also be amazed by gigantic glacier masses, calming fjords, crystal-clear lakes, enchanted swamps, fairytale cypress forests – the southernmost in the world – and fresh grassy landscapes with colorful orchids. And that’s not all: shy pumas, lively rheas, majestic Andean condors and pretty guanacos live in the huge national park. You will notice: the diversity of this landscape is almost limitless, which is due in particular to its unique location between the Magellanic subpolar forest and the Patagonian steppe.
Overnight and dinner in the hotel near the park entrance.
Today we drive to the northernmost point of our joint photo tour: to El Chaltén, an idyllic Argentinian mountain village with a tranquil hippie character in Los Glacieres National Park. The small town gained worldwide fame in 2012, when the Austrian mountaineer David Lama managed to free climb the almost vertical granite face of Cerro Torre for the first time. We don’t want to go that high, but El Chaltén’s exposed location – in the middle of one of the most impressive mountain massifs in Patagonia – also makes it an ideal starting point for us to explore the region with our cameras. To get there, We cross the border into Argentina and travel about 400 kilometers through the Patagonian desert via the well-known Ruta-40 – the South American Route 66. During the panoramic drive, you can look forward to endless expanses of steppe, alternating plateaus and small river valleys and gorges. There is enough time to stop and unpack the camera, for example to photograph passing guanacos for eternity. Once the unmistakable peaks of Mount Fitz Roy, some 12,000 feet high, and the three spiers of Cerro Torres, 10,000 feet high, appear on the horizon, we know our destination is not far off. The two high The steep, smooth granite mountains of the Argentinian-Chilean Andes are only about four kilometers apart as the crow flies, giving a unique overall picture. After arriving at our hotel in El Chaltén, we recover from the long drive and enjoy a delicious dinner together.
Over the next three days we will seek the best photographic vantage points over the two prominent, distinctive granite towers of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre that reach far into the Patagonian sky. In order to get to the most spectacular vantage points at the foot of the mountain panorama, we will undertake some long hikes leaving our hotel well before sunrise to be ready in location when the sun comes up.
Alternating easy-to-reach locations and longer hikes, our goal is to explore the valleys that stretch towards the two legendary mountains, reaching the famous Poincenot base camp and the idyllic Laguna Torre.
After leaving El Chaltén and getting one last look at the peaks of the massif, we head south on Ruta-40 to the town of El Calafate, not far from the Patagonian Ice Field, making it an excellent starting point for our exploration of the icy Perito Moreno glacier. The fascinating giant made of ice is particularly impressive due to its unusual appearance: its five kilometer long front protrudes up to 60 meters out of the water. The total area of the glacier of about 250 square kilometers exceeds the size of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. Beyond the poles, it forms the largest glacier inland and is therefore an event of superlatives. Incidentally, the glacier is one of the few in the world that is constantly growing despite global warming, which is partly due to the climatic conditions prevailing in the national park.
We will not limit ourselves to observing the glacier as simple tourists from the well-known scenic balconies, but we will also embark on a short glacier hike to gain some stunning vantage points over the massive glacier.
After many eventful days in one of the most original and wildest landscapes on earth, we are now returning to Punta Arenas. During the approximately seven-hour drive, we cross the Chilean border again and drive along the coast on the Strait of Magellan. There will be time for some last shots of the desolated landscapes which exhaustively accompany the feeling of being at the end of the World.
After an unforgettable photo trip through Patagonia, it is unfortunately time to say goodbye to this beautiful region of South America. Together we make our way to the airport to start our journey home.
Note: We reserve the right to adjust the exact daily program on site at short notice, if necessary, in order to be able to respond to the respective weather and lighting conditions. With sunrise around 8:30 am, sunset around 8:15 pm and many kilometers of driving, it will be a busy schedule. In order to make the journey less stressful, we will ensure that you can take sufficient breaks.
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