Galapagos / Argentina / Chile

Galapagos, Patagonia Tour

17 days | 16 nights
Private tour
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Tour Description

Jam-packed with opportunities for wildlife spotting and urban exploration, this 17-day Galapagos & Patagonia tour combines the natural and historical attractions of Ecuador, Argentina and Chile in one grand adventure.

Hike the Twin Craters, explore the secluded lagoons and mangroves of Isabela Island and snorkel alongside giant sea turtles in impossibly clear waters during your four days on the Galapagos Islands.

Then soak in the Argentine culture in Buenos Aires, where you will enjoy a tango show and learn the gaucho — or cowboy — culture at a ranch in the Campana district. Make El Calafate on the shores of Lake Argentino your base as you make your way to the Perito Moreno glacier, and embark on a five-hour cruise to the Uspala and Spegazzini glaciers. Sail across the Ultima Esperanza Fjord to the Bernando O’Higgins National Park and marvel at the natural landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park.

Get acquainted with Chile with a stay in the cultural and political capital of Santiago de Chile, and cap off your journey with a relaxing beach excursion to the resort city of Vina del Mar.

Destinations

Multi-Country

Trip at a glance

Visits

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: Santa Cruz Island: Highlands, Isabela Island: Flamingo lagoon, Tintoreras, Cabo Rosa Tunnels. Depending on availability: North Seymour Island, Bartolome Island, South Plaza Island, Santa Fe Island

ECUADOR: Quito

ARGENTINA: Buenos Aires, One Tango Show, One Gaucho Tour, El Calafate

CHILE: Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Santiago

5 NATIONAL PARKS: the Galapagos, Tierra Del Fuego (Argentina), Los Glaciares (Argentina), Torres Del Paine National Park (Chile), Bernardo O'higgins (Chile)

6 GLACIERS: Perito Moreno (Argentina), Spegazzini (Argentina), Upsala (Argentina), Balmaceda (Chile), Serrano (Chile), Grey (Chile)

3 CRUISES: Beagle Channel (Argentina), Lake Argentino (Argentina), Ultima Esperanza Fjord (Chile)

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL TO QUITO, CITY TOUR

Morning

Arrival at Mariscal Sucre, Quito International Airport.

Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide.

Transfer to the city center and check-in at your hotel.

Afternoon

Discover with your guide the least-altered and best-preserved Latin American capital.
Take a walk to visit the colonial churches and monasteries of this urban jewel, the first city in history to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Starting at Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential Palace your visit will include the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall.
Ramble through the city's old streets on your way to El Sagrario church and its exquisitely carved stone façade and step inside the awe-inspiring church of the Society of Jesus.
Walk on to the Convent and Church of San Francisco, one of the greatest religious buildings on the South American continent.
Drive up to the top of the Panecillo hill for breathtaking panoramic views of Quito.

Evening

Overnight in Quito. 

Day 2 FLIGHT TO BALTRA, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND: HIGHLANDS, TWIN CRATERS, GIANT TORTOISES

Morning

Transfer from your hotel to Quito airport for your direct flight to the Galapagos (2 hours 10 min).

Arrive at Seymour Airport on Baltra Island this morning and meet and greet your Certified National Park guide and fellow passengers at the arrivals hall. Then, on a shared bus, reach Itabaca Channel where you will take a five minute ferry ride to the northern reaches of Santa Cruz Island.

Afternoon

Visit the Highlands where you'll trek with your guide to see the Twin Craters, crossing lava tunnels and visiting a private ranch to observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

Transfer to your hotel

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at the hotel on Santa Cruz Island. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 3 ISABELA ISLAND: GIANT TORTOISES BREEDING CENTER, MORENO POINT, POZA DE LOS FLAMINGOS, LAS TINTOREAS ISLETS, SNORKELING

Morning

Set sail to Isabela Island on a two-hour speedboat journey at 6:30 this morning. At 4,640 sq. km, Isabela is the archipelago's largest island, and almost four times the size of Santa Cruz, encompassing a wealth of biodiversity and natural attractions. Its wetlands are laced with lagoons, swamps, and mangroves, and are recognized for their migrant bird populations, one of which is the emblematic flamingo. Visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Breeding Center, where endangered Galapagos Giant Tortoises are cared for and live in captivity. Moreno Point on Isabela's western shores reveal tidal lagoons and extensive lava fields and give visitors the opportunity to observe herons, frigatebirds and green turtles. Its shrub dotted landscape is unique for the candelabra cacti that reach impressive heights of up to seven meters, which towers above surrounding mangrove bushes and saltwater lagoons fringed with seagrass. Your first destination on Isabela Island this morning is Poza de Los Flamingos, where you will marvel at the distinctive color of these migratory birds that change as they transform from chicks to adults.

Afternoon

Visit Las Tintoreras this afternoon, a group of islets just off the shores of Puerto Villamil, named for its population of white-tipped reef sharks that are frequently spotted resting in its surrounding calm and clear waters. After a dry landing, walk along the nature trail with your guide, keeping your eyes peeled for sea lions and marine iguanas that live in this shark channel, continuing along the mangrove-lined shoreline. Then enjoy a zodiac ride to observe Galapagos penguins and blue-footed boobies before taking to the waters for some snorkeling.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 4 CABO ROSA TUNNELS, SNORKELING, RETURN TO SANTA CRUZ

Morning

A popular day trip from Puerto Villamil, the Cabo Rosa Tunnels are widely recognized for its biodiversity and tunnel-like lava formations that have taken shape over hundreds of years. Reach this uninhabited islet this morning on a one-hour boat journey, and engage in some light hiking on lava rock with your guide, observing the endemic vegetation and varieties of birds. A favorite site for snorkelers, dive into the crystal-clear waters to observe giant sea turtles, sea horses, and manta rays up close.

Afternoon

In the afternoon we will take the ferry back to Santa Cruz Island and head to your hotel.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 5 BARTOLOME ISLAND, NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND, SOUTH PLAZAS ISLAND OR SANTA FE ISLAND

Depending on navigation and availability conditions, you will spend the day on one of the four islands below:

Bartolome Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht and begin your 20-minute journey to the Daphnes, a pair of twin volcanic islands. Bird lovers will swoon at the sight of masked boobies, tropical birds and frigates, before continuing on the yacht for 90 minutes to the tiny 1.2 sq. km island of Bartolome. After a dry landing, climb to the top of a small cone with your guide, gaining 114 meters in altitude, and observe a dramatic landscape of lava fields, volcanic cones, and lunar-like craters. Following your visit, sail to Sullivan Bay, a favorite destination on this island hopping tour because of its unique geological characteristics. Situated on the southeastern end of Santiago Island, you will land on a sparkling white sand beach by wet landing, where you will spend some leisurely time swimming and snorkeling among the tropical fish, sea turtles and rays. Witness Sullivan Bay's contrasting geological features on an easy walk across its wild terrain, and contemplate the relatively young landscape of black lava flow, collapsed craters and volcanic hornitos, feeling the ropy lava beneath your feet as you explore. Return to the Itabaca Channel and transfer to your hotel by bus for your 5 PM arrival.

North Seymour Island
Depart from your hotel early this morning, and by bus, reach the Itabaca Channel where you will board the yacht. A 45-minute journey will transport you to North Seymour, a small and flat 1.9 sq. km island formed by the uplifting of underwater volcanic lava. Following a dry landing on the island's rocky coast, learn about the 72 land iguanas that were introduced to North Seymour in 1932 to colonize the island on a two-hour tour with your guide. Captain Alan Hancock and his crew transported these undernourished iguanas from Baltra Island in the hopes that they will thrive in better conditions on North Seymour. And in 1934 just two years later, the species was identified to have adapted without issues. Walk the arid boulder-strewn landscape, and follow along an easy circular path that takes you past the most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds in the archipelago. If conditions are optimal, spend some time discovering the area's marine wildlife as you snorkel. Depending on availability, head to Mosquera Islet to observe its large colonies of sea lion sunbathe or splash in the water, or head to the white coral sands of Bachas Beach on the northern shores of Santa Cruz, a beach that earned its name after World War II when the American army abandoned their barges on the beach. If conditions permit, swim or snorkel among the marine wildlife here before reaching your hotel at 4:00 pm.

South Plazas Island
By bus this morning, depart from your hotel to the Itabaca Channel to board your boat and sail 20 minutes to Punta Carrión where you will have to opportunity to witness birds and sea turtles, and snorkel in a small cove. Then, sail for approximately 90 minutes towards South Plaza Island off the eastern shores of Santa Cruz. Despite its small size, South Plaza is recognized for its outstanding collection of wildlife species, and after a dry landing, you'll have the opportunity to embark on a 90-minute walk to witness one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galapagos, land iguanas and masked boobies, as well as discover the island's rugged landscape. Return to the boat for lunch and reach Puerto Ayora for a 4 PM arrival at your hotel.

Santa Fe Island
From the dock of Puerto Ayora, the yacht will sail 90 minutes to Santa Fe Island - one of the oldest in the Galapagos archipelago at an estimated four million years. With a wet landing on the beach, embark on a 90-minute walking tour with your guide to explore the island's 24 sq. km, keeping your eyes peeled for sightings of Galápagos hawks, fork-tailed gulls and migratory birds. Situated between Santa Cruz and San Cristobal, Santa Fe also boasts a diversity of endemic species, like the Santa Fe land iguana, Galapagos Mockingbird, and rice rat. Its landscape is unique for its population of the large prickly pear cactus, Opuntia Echos, which feeds Santa Fe's land iguanas. If conditions permit, enjoy a relaxing swim or snorkel in the shimmering waters of Barrington Bay as hawks fly overhead, keeping your eyes peeled for rays, tropical fish and marine tortoises. Sail back to Santa Cruz for the evening and return to your hotel at 4 pm.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch included

Day 6 FLIGHT TO QUITO, FLIGHT TO BUENOS AIRES

Morning

Transfer to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island for your onward journey.

Direct flight to Quito (2 hours 30 min).

Afternoon

Flight to Buenos Aires (5 hours 50 minutes).

Evening

Arrival at Ezeiza, Buenos Aires International Airport.

Meet and greet with your English-speaking guide.

Transfer to your hotel in the city center (45 min).

Overnight at your hotel in Buenos Aires.  

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 7 SOUTHERN BUENOS AIRES CITY-TOUR, TANGO SHOW

Morning

Discover the historical center on a guided walking tour that will take you through the emblematic Plaza de Mayo and stop for pictures in front of la Casa Rosada, the pink Presidential Palace. 

Drive to San Telmo, the city's oldest neighborhood with its many busy cafes, tango parlors and antique shops lining the cobblestone colonial streets. A neighborhood much loved by local artists and dancers. 

Take time to tango around the colorful 'El Caminito' street museum, once home to Italian immigrants. 

Afternoon

Afternoon at leisure. 

Evening

At about 8pm, transfer to a traditional café where you will spend the evening (10 min).

Dinner at a hundred-year old tango institution in the capital followed by a 1h30 tango-show.

At about 11pm, transfer to your hotel (10 min). 

Overnight at your hotel in Buenos Aires. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Dinner Tango Show

Day 8 NORTHERN CITY TOUR & GAUCHO PARTY

Morning

Visit La Recoleta Cemetery, home of over 6,400 graves, famous for being Eva Perón's resting place. 

Drive along the exclusive Alvear Avenue and stop at the Alvear Hotel, one of the most luxurious and distinguished hotel in Argentina. 

After this quick tour, your driver and guide will pick you up to go to the Estancia Santa Susana, a ranch located in the Campana district. (1 hour 10 min). 

These ranches or 'estancias' have preserved their traditional form, with the impressive homesteads where the owners still live and its adjoining farming facilities used by the local gauchos. 

The term 'gaucho' refers to the original horse-riding shepherds of the South American pampas. 

Nowadays, there are no gauchos as such but many people in the countryside identify with the national heroes of the high plains and keep the South American cowboys's customs alive and still wear their traditional attire. 

Afternoon

During your visit of the 'estancia' you will be treated to a great horse show and be invited on a short horseback ride on the open Argentinean pampa. 

Drive back to Buenos Aires (1 hour 10 min). 

Evening

Free evening

Overninght at your hotel in Buenos Aires. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch at the Estancia

Day 9 FLIGHT TO EL CALAFATE, PERITO MORENO GLACIER, LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK

Morning

Morning transfer to the airport. Assistance for check-in. Direct flight to El Calafate (3 hours 15 min). 

Arrival at El Calafate on the shores of Lake Argentino, transfer to your hotel (20 min), check in. 

Meet with your private driver and guide and drive along Lake Argentino (the largest freshwater lake in the country) towards Los Glaciares National Park (90 min). 

Arrival at Perito Moreno glacier, named after the Argentinian explorer Francisco Moreno Pascacio. 

Afternoon

Easy hike on the boardwalk to get different views of the 18-mile long (30 km), 3-mile wide (5 km) Perito Moreno glacier. Get your camera ready and listen for the roaring glacier dropping blocks of ice causing mini-tsunamis in their fall. 

1-hour boat ride to get a really close view of the walls of the glacier. 

End of the afternoon, drive back to El Calafate (90 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in El Calafate. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 10 FULL DAY CRUISE TO USPALA AND SPEGAZZINI GLACIERS

Morning

Transfer to Punta Bandera (45 min). Board your 5-hour cruise to the Uspala and Spegazzini glaciers located inside Los Glaciares National Park. 

37 miles (60 km) long, 3 miles (5 km) wide and 230 feet (70 metres) tall, the Upsala glacier is the largest in this park and the longest in South America as its ice spreads over 300 square miles (780 km²). 

The access to Upsala glacier is often limited because of the amount of ice on the passage, as result of glacier melting. 

Afternoon

On your way to the Spegazzini glacier, enjoy the views of the Onelli and Agassi glaciers and the occasional iceberg. 

Arrival at the Spegazzini glacier with its impressive wall towering up 135 metres (440 feet). 

Disembark and transfer to your hotel in El Calafate. 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in El Calafate. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch onboard

Day 11 ROAD TO PUERTO NATALES

Morning

Transfer to the bus terminal (10 min). 

Enjoy the scenic bus ride to Puerto Natales (3 hours 30 min). 

After about 2 hours at the border with Chile, you will have to get off the bus for customs and immigration control. 

Remember that it is forbidden to bring fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products and any type of home-made food to Chile. 

Afternoon

Arrival in the afternoon at Puerto Natales in Chile. 

Free afternoon for souvenir shopping. 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Natales. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 12 FULL DAY SIGHTSEEING CRUISE TO BALMACEDA & SERRANO GLACIERS, BERNARDO O'HIGGHINS NATIONAL PARK

Morning

Morning pick up at your hotel and 5-minute drive to the pier to board the '21 de Mayo' cruise ship. 

Sail across the Ultima Esperanza Fjord where sea lions and cormorants can often been spotted (2 hours 30 min). 

You will first stop at the foot of the Balmaceda glacier, before another short sail to the Bernando O’Higgins National Park. 

Hop off for a 15-minute easy hike through native forest on your way to the foot of the Serrano glacier. 

Afternoon

After lunch, sail back to Puerto Natales (2 hours). Late afternoon arrival. 

Evening

Free evening

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Natales. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Typical lunch at Estancia Perales

Day 13 FULL DAY TOUR TO TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK, GREY GLACIER AND BEACH

Morning

Your guide and driver (pool service) will pick you up at your hotel. 

After a 40-minute drive, visit the milodon cave and learn about the paleontological and archeological morphology of the area, once home to the extinct milodon. 

Stop at Sarmiento Lake before entering Torres del Paine National Park. As you enter the National Park you will get spectacular views over the Laguna Amarga ('Bitter Lagoon') where you can take photographs of the Las Torres del Paine mountains. 

After a 30-minute drive, stop for a 15-minute hike to get to the impressive Salto Grande, a majestic emerald waterfall that feeds onto lake Pehoe.

Afternoon

Walk through Grey beach (30 min) to get views of the distant the Grey glacier. 

Drive back to Puerto Natales (2 hours).  

Evening

Free evening

Overnight at your hotel in Puerto Natales. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 14 RETURN TO SANTIAGO

Morning

Transfer to the bus station (10 min). 

At about 3pm, departure by bus on your own from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas airport (3 hours 30 min). 

Afternoon

Flight to Santiago (4 hours), arrival early in the evening. 

Transfer to your hotel in Santiago (30 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at the hotel in Santiago. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 15 FULL DAY TOUR OF SANTIAGO

Morning

Discover Chile's largest city and capital, its cultural and political centre, Santiago de Chile. 

Learn about Chile's history at historical places such as the Constitution Square located next to the Moneda Palace. 

Set foot on other key squares in the city, the Libertador Bernardo O’Higgins Square and the Plaza de Armas (Main Square). 

Stop at the Central Market, a busy, colorful and traditional fish and food market. 

Afternoon

Drive along Balmaceda Park and the Mapocho river to the old train station, an Eiffel-inspired building, Estación Mapochol is now a cultural center. 

Drive up San Cristobal Hill (2280 ft - 690 m) for breathtaking views over the whole city. 

At the end of the day, drive back to your hotel (30 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Santiago. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 16 VALPARAISO, VIÑA DEL MAR

Morning

Drive north west (75 miles - 120 km) to the coastal cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. 

Relax in Vina del Mar, a picture-perfect beach resort city also referred to as Garden City. 

Transfer to Valparaiso (20 min), Chile's busiest port, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2003. 

Afternoon

Ride one of the funicular tramways up the city's steep hill for extensive views of the port and beyond. 

Take a leisurely stroll on one of the 45 hills to experience Valpo's street art and its bohemian and poetic atmosphere. 

Drive back to Santiago (1 hour 40 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Santiago. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 17 DEPARTURE FROM SANTIAGO

Morning

At the indicated time, private transfer to Santiago airport (30 min). 

Check-in assistance. 

International flight. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Services

What's included

Meals

Full board plan
16 breakfasts + 7 lunches + 1 tango-show dinner

Transportation

Boat
Shared boat excursions in the Galapagos Islands
Bus
Regular bus trips for El Calafate/Puerto Natales and Puerto Natales/Punta Arenas
Car
Private driver and premium car for all transfers and visits except in the Galapagos Islands
Cruise
3 cruises: Beagle Channel (Ushuaia), Lake Argentino (El Calafate), Ultima Esperanza Fjord (Puerto Natales)

Orientation

Guide
Private English-speaking guide for all visits except in Torres del Paine and in the Galapagos Islands / Shared English-speaking guide in Torres del Paine and in the Galapagos Islands

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees to mentioned sites

What's not included

  • Domestic Flights:
    • Quito to Baltra
    • Baltra to Quito
    • Buenos Aires to El Calafate
    • Punta Arenas to Santiago de Chile
  • Regional Flights:
    • Quito to Buenos Aires
  • International Flights
  • Buenos Aires Tourist Tax Fee (charged by the hotel)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Prices


Important notes

Each guest must strictly follow the Galapagos National Park Rules: 

  • Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife
  • Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you
  • Never feed wildlife, as this can cause health problems
  • Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife
  • Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park Department
  • It is your responsibility not to introduce food, animals, or plants into the Archipelago. Cooperate fully with all environmental inspection and quarantine officials during your visit.
  • Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is illegal and must be reported
  • Practice “leave-no-trace” principles in order to maintain the beauty of the environment
  • Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat
  • Smoking and/or campfires are strictly prohibited within the Galapagos National Park

When traveling to Patagonia, we recommend you bring:

  • a warm and waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex)
  • a pair of gloves
  • a wool hat, a scarf
  • quality sunglasses
  • sunblock
  • a daily backpack
  • hiking/walking waterproof shoes
  • binoculars
  • a medical kit
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