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.
Exploring Patagonia means immersing yourself in a rugged, untamed, yet majestic landscape where solitude becomes an experience! Endless expanses, turquoise lagoons, spectacular mountain peaks, and gigantic glacier panoramas describe the wild beauty of this region.
Our journey begins in Chile – at the border of Tierra del Fuego – and takes us through the Patagonian desert along Ruta-40 to El Chaltén in Argentina.
Join us in conquering the legendary Argentinean National Park Los Glaciares, photograph the surreal ice formations of the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier, the famous Fitz Roy Massif, or let yourself be amazed by the majestic peaks in the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile.
Our internationally renowned landscape photographer & coach – Marco Bottigelli – will guid
Your individual journey to Patagonia typically includes two layovers: in Madrid and Santiago de Chile. If you wish, there’s an opportunity to meet up with the group at both airports and continue the journey together.
Upon arrival in Chile, specifically in Punta Arenas – the southernmost city in the world and the furthest point south of our trip – we head to our nearby hotel. Here, you’ll have ample time to settle in and recover from the long journey. In the evening, we’ll get to know each other better over a communal dinner in this vibrant southern Chilean city, setting the tone for the days ahead.
Our journey heads north the following morning, with our eagerly anticipated destination being the Torres del Paine National Park. This park is not only one of the most famous among Chile’s 36 national parks, but it also boasts one of South America’s most spectacular mountain groups: the Cordillera del Paine. Its three needle-like granite peaks, reaching up to 3,000 meters high, form the unmistakable and simultaneously overwhelming landmark of the region. The breathtaking mountain landscape is not the only charm of the park. Gigantic glaciers, tranquil fjords, crystal-clear lakes, enchanted swamps, fairy-tale-like cypress forests – the southernmost in the world – and fresh grasslands with colorful orchids will leave you in awe. And that’s not all: the vast national park is home to shy pumas, lively nandus, majestic Andean condors, and the pretty guanacos. You’ll notice: the diversity of this landscape is almost limitless, particularly due to its unique location between the Magellanic subpolar forest and the Patagonian steppe.
As our anticipation grows immeasurably, we take a short break in Puerto Natales – the last town before entering the national park – after about a three-hour drive. We enjoy a leisurely lunch there, calmly refuel for the upcoming tour, and make the final preparations for the next few days. Then we immerse ourselves in the impressive world of the Torres del Paine National Park. We reach our cozy hotel, which offers an unforgettable view of the surrounding mountain landscape, in the afternoon. From a viewpoint near the hotel, we get our first fantastic view of the sharp granite towers of the Paine Massif and look forward to photographing this mountain landscape from various locations and at different times of the day in the coming days. We enjoy a delicious Chilean dinner at the hotel and recover from today’s journey.
Over the next three days, we will explore the spectacular landscape of the Torres del Paine National Park together. Mighty granite rocks, bubbling waterfalls, and turquoise lakes create a mesmerizing scenario that fulfills every photographer’s dream. Our days start with a delicious breakfast. Early in the morning, we leave the hotel together to capture the nearby landscape in the most beautiful light at sunrise. We will spend the subsequent mornings in the Torres del Paine National Park exploring and enjoying Lake Pehoe and its surroundings. The lake is known for its radiant, turquoise glacier water. Many travelers report never having seen such an intense water color before. Imagine green peninsulas in the lake and the gigantic mountain rocks of the Paine Massif with its vertical granite needles, icy peaks, and steeply layered rock blocks as a background motif: an almost endless abundance of photo motifs! The spots carefully selected by our photographer promise changing perspectives and exciting views of this fascinating panorama. Afterwards, we return to the hotel for a break and lunch.
In the afternoon, we continue to explore the national park, refreshed and strengthened, until sunset. We also head to more distant destinations. For example, the gigantic Lake Grey with its rugged ice sculptures in the water awaits us. The lake is located at the foot of the massive glacier of the same name, the Grey Glacier, whose white-blue end of the glacier tongue can be easily recognized and photographed from a distance. Smaller ice blocks repeatedly split off from the gigantic ice mass: wonderful photo motifs that gradually glide onto the water surface and present themselves to us. We admire the roaring Salto Grande waterfall, which powerfully thrusts its blue shimmering masses of water into the Rio Paine, making it – along with playful rapids in the river – an attractive photo motif for us. On our tours, we also come across enchanted, beautifully blue-green sparkling lagoons, which we will dedicate ourselves to photographically in peace. Especially in calm weather, we can capture impressive reflections of the mountains in the water. Of course, during our tours through the park, we always keep an eye out for animal companions such as guanaco herds, which we are very likely to see. And perhaps our photographic luck is even so great that we can spot a puma in its natural habitat and capture it with our cameras. In the evening, we strengthen ourselves with a communal meal at the hotel and then discuss both your photo results from the Torres del Paine National Park and upcoming questions about photography in Patagonia.
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’ll seek the best photographic angles for the distinctive granite towers of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, which stretch high into the Patagonian sky. We’ll capture iconic scenes, such as the straight road leading to El Chaltén with the breathtaking mountain panorama in the background. To reach the most spectacular viewpoints at the foot of the mountain panorama, we’ll undertake varied hikes to both Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. We’ll set off in the dark to capture the beautiful morning light, covering approximately 20 kilometers each time. With only about 300 meters of elevation to overcome, these hikes are manageable with moderate fitness.
Our hike at the foot of the Fitz Roy Massif takes us along the untamed Las Vueltas mountain river, pausing frequently to capture the imposing panorama. We’ll admire the 20-meter-high Chorillo del Salto waterfall, capturing its unique beauty with flowing long exposures. We’ll also visit a hidden waterfall, a real insider tip from our photographer!
We’ll pass the sparkling Laguna Capri, offering crystal clear water and a beautiful natural panorama with a view of the mountains. We’ll focus particularly on the 3,000-meter-high Aguja Poincenot mountain, part of the massif, named in memory of the famous French mountaineer Jacques Poincenot.
The hike to the foot of Cerro Torre offers many unique natural spectacles. We’ll traverse enchanting valleys and mystical forests, leading to the highlight of this tour: the glittering glacier lake Laguna Torre. Nestled in untouched nature, with the glacier tongue of Torres and the gigantic high mountain Cerro Solo, the turquoise lagoon appears like a precious jewel, gently cradling small and large ice sculptures.
In the evenings, we’ll share the many impressions we’ve gathered during the day over dinner in the cozy and relaxed atmosphere of the hotel.
After bidding farewell to El Chaltén and casting a final glance at the peaks of the mountain massif, we head south on Ruta-40 to the town of El Calafate. Located close to the Patagonian ice field, it’s the perfect base for exploring the icy Perito Moreno Glacier. This fascinating ice giant impresses with its unusual appearance: its five-kilometer-long front rises up to 60 meters out of the water. With a total area of about 250 square kilometers, it surpasses the size of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, making it the largest inland glacier beyond the poles and a truly extraordinary spectacle. Witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of house-sized glacier chunks crashing into the water, creating massive waves. This spectacle occurs frequently, as the glacier front of the Perito Moreno Glacier sheds smaller and larger ice blocks several times an hour. Interestingly, despite global warming, this glacier is one of the few worldwide that continues to grow, thanks in part to the climatic conditions prevailing in the national park.
After a comfortable night in our hotel and a delicious dinner, we look forward to an impressive day ahead. The next morning, after breakfast, we start our tour to Patagonia’s most prominent glacier. From a distance, you’ll hardly believe your eyes at the sight of the towering, blue shimmering ice mass. Feel the raw power of nature as you stand on one of the many viewing platforms in front of the imposing ice wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Enhance this experience by joining us on a breathtaking guided glacier hike and subsequently approaching the massive glacier tongue even closer by boat. This tour guarantees the best perspectives on this almost surreal natural spectacle. With countless impressions and full memory cards, we return to the hotel in the evening, share our experiences, and enjoy a delicious communal dinner.
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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