PATAGONIA

MAIN CONFERECE

23 FEBRUARY - 2 MARCH 2016

If you have already seen the regular highlights of South America join us on this tour of some more off-the-beaten-track  attractions and chose your own adventure.

Patagonia evokes the image of the last frontier. A fabled landscape of rugged peaks veiled in clouds, lush forests, glaciers that extend to the horizon tumbling into electric-blue lakes, endless steppes unpopulated for hundreds of miles; a herd of guanaco grazing nonchalantly. Join us and discover the breathtaking beauty of Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile. You pick the excursions and the pace to suit your interest, fitness and mood on the day.

Then cross to the Argentine side to be awed by dazzling glaciers calving into an emerald-green lake in Los Glaciares National Park.

Nature lovers – don’t miss out.


Tuesday 23 February 2016 -  Australia to Puerto Arenas

Depart Australia, flying via Santiago de Chile and arrive in Puerto Arenas, Chile, in the evening.

OR JOIN FROM OPTIONAL PRE TOUR IN ATACAMA DESERT


Wednesday 24 February to Saturday 27 February 2016 

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile      

Travel to Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Your home for the next 3 nights is the award winning Tierra Patagonia Hotel, which has been constructed of natural local materials to blend into the landscape and provide magnificent views of a pristine glacial lake and stunning backdrop of jagged mountain peaks.

Each day we will hold a conference session either in the morning or afternoon.

The remainder of the time you are free to choose your own adventure depending on your interest, fitness and mood on the day. You can hike, horse-ride, cycle or travel by van to explore lush forests, rugged mountains, glistening glaciers and sparkling lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Examine bizarre geological Jurassic era formations; marvel at cave paintings from the Aonikenk, hunter-gatherer native Indian inhabitants of 6,000 years ago. Admire the hardy local flora and be on the look out for the Patagonian BIG FIVE – the Guanaco (a bit like a llama), the elusive Puma, the South Andean deer or huemel, the majestic Andean condor and the Nandu (like an ostrich). This is paradise for bird watchers as there are 118 species in the park – happy twitching. If it is all too much, you can just spoil yourself at the spa.

In the evenings, share tales of adventures with your fellow delegates at the bar as daylight fades. Then enjoy a sumptuous dinner accompanied by the best Chilean wines.

Accommodation: Tierra Patagonia Hotel and Spa - 3 nights


Saturday 27 February 2016 - El Calafate, Argentina         

Travel to el Calafate , the capital of Argentina’s glaciers.  

Afternoon conference

This evening you are free to stroll the Av del Libertador General San Martin, the main street of the charming town. Poke around small boutiques boasting fine leather goods and local handicrafts. You will definitely need to taste some delicious caramel cookies (alfajores) and perhaps snuggle up in a furry cape to enjoy a vodka served in the ice bar at Glaciarium.

Accommodation: Hotel in el Calafate TBA


Sunday 28 February 2016 - El Calafate, Argentina         

Today enjoy a wonderful cruise on Lake Argentino, a deep emerald green, punctuated by icebergs of bizarre shapes and sizes. Stare in awe at the face of Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers – jagged and fissured in some places, pockmarked in others; at times dazzling white, at times a surreal blue where the ice is the oldest. Here and there are streaks of brown and black where the glacier has devoured rocks and boulders in its long slow journey from the Andes ice cap.

Enjoy lunch with this marvellous landscape as a backdrop and in the afternoon stretch your legs on an easy walk to capture a different perspective of the remarkable glacier. As the sun descends on your return journey and the golden rosy hues reflect off the ice, and the snow capped mountains are silhouetted against the deepening blue sky, you cannot but be amazed by the vast beauty of  Patagonia.

Accommodation: Hotel in el Calafate TBA


Monday 29 February 2016 - El Calafate, Argentina         

This morning visit the remarkable Perito Moreno glacier. Walkways and platforms provide vantage points for you to gaze at the 65 metre face – it feels close enough to touch. Suddenly you hear a crack like a gunshot or a deep thunderous rumble and fearsome roar as a piece of ice the size of a skyscraper calves form the glacial face and crashes into the lake. Awesome!

Then don your crampons for a trek across the glacier, under the watchful eye of our guides. Up close, the ice surface sparkles with tiny crystals, broken by deep turquoise shafts and pools formed by the action of dripping water. This is the perfect way to get to understand glaciology.

Afternoon conference

This evening Farewell Dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel in el Calafate TBA


Tuesday 1 March 2016 - El Calafate - Santiago          

Depart early afternoon to fly to Santiago via Buenos Aires arriving late at night.

Accommodation: Singular Hotel

 


Wednesday 2 March 2016  - in flight Santiago- Australia           

You have the day free in Santiago and we can arrange tours on request.

Night departure to Australia, arriving in Sydney on Thursday 3 March in the evening.


End of arrangements or Join optional post conference tour
Please note that this itinerary and costs may be subject to change.