Hiking in a Thin Country

13 days
from
4 065 €
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Traveller ratings
4.5 / 5 from 8 reviews >
Moderate
Learn more
Trip code: 
TAW
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Walk through lunar landscapes in the Atacama Desert and get up close to the famous Towers of Paine

From the arid Atacama Desert in the north to the glacial landscape of Torres del Paine National Park in the south, Chile is an incredible destination for trekking. Walk on volcanic slopes, past glistening salt lakes and alongside remote, cactus-lined canyons. In Patagonia, where icy waters flow from dramatic mountain scenery, we see giant glaciers and hike in the shadow of the world’s second largest ice field. Four nights are spent staying in refuges, situated in privileged locations inside the boundaries of Torres del Paine N.P.

Highlights

  • Visit the wonderful city of Valparaiso on the Pacific Coast
  • Hiking in Patagonia and the Atacama Desert
  • Complete the famous W-Trek in Torres del Paine National Park
  • See the bizarre lunar landscape of the Moon Valley
  • Included excursion to El Tatio Geysers
  • Walk in Guatin Valley and Quebrada del Diablo
  • Expert local leaders and mountain guides

Key information

  • 8 nights hotels with en suite rooms, 4 nights mountain refuge with shared facilities
  • 3 daywalks and 7 shorter walks
  • Travel by internal flights and private/public bus
  • Altitude maximum 4500m, average 1000m
  • Easter Island extension available

What's included

  • 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - excluding refuges)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
+91 531 40 28
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

10

Pace:

Moderate: 5-6km/3-4miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths

Day by day breakdown
Day 18.0km/4.0miles
Day 210.0km/6.0miles
Day 48.0km/4.0miles
Day 519.0km/11.0miles
Day 622.0km/13.0miles
Day 716.0km/9.0miles
Day 86.0km/3.0miles
Day 105.0km/3.0miles
Day 114.0km/2.0miles
Day 126.0km/3.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Santiago; walking tour of the city.

    Clients on the group flight will usually arrive in the morning. A walking tour of the city tour is organised today (approx. 4 hours), visiting the squares and streets of the colonial centre and the Presidential Palace. We also visit San Cristobal Hill, on which a statue of the Virgin Mary stands. The summit of Cerro San Cristobal offers a birds-eye view of Santiago, the Andean Mountains and the Maipo-Valley. Without a doubt the best viewpoint in the city! Please note that due to the hotel check in time of 2pm and the fact that the group flight tends to arrive fairly early in the morning, it is common for the city tour to be conducted prior to hotel check in. This is decided depending on the wishes of the group. Land Only clients wishing to join the city tour would be advised to be at the hotel around 10 - 11am in order to be collected.
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Walking tour through Valparaiso and Vina del Mar.

    The historic World Heritage city of Valparaíso is Chile’s oldest port and home to the country’s National Congress since democracy was re-established in 1989. The Pacific coast is just a short 1.5 hour drive from Santiago and today’s excursion will give us an interesting insight into Chilean culture as well as a chance to stretch our legs on a short walk.

    The city’s many hills are covered in a glorious sprawl of multi-coloured houses, creating a spectacular panorama which can be enjoyed from a number of vantage points atop the hills. Walking the streets of Valparaíso becomes a great adventure as we encounter the residents of several neighbourhoods and soak up the quirky and bohemian atmosphere, something different to anywhere else in Chile. We’ll visit the former residence of poet and national treasure, Pablo Neruda, called La Sebastiana, and afterwards we’ll have lunch in one of the typical restaurants situated in the port area.

    Due to the steep terrain, the city is home to numerous funicular lifts that transport residents straight up and down the hillsides rather than them having to zigzag through the maze of buildings. Many of these lifts have fallen into disrepair and sit suspended in time and hidden amid the labyrinth. However there is a drive to restore as many as possible and we’ll be able to see several of the main functioning lifts. Our city walk will involve lots of steps and steep slopes.

    From Valparaíso we will continue along the coast to the beautiful beaches of Viña del Mar, named the Garden city for its many parks and green spaces. After stopping in the modern and contrasting surrounds of Viña del Mar, we will return to Santiago in the afternoon.

    Walking: approx. 10km (4-5 hours).
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Fly to Punta Arenas, drive to Puerto Natales.

    Transfer to the airport for our flight southwards (about 4 hours 40 mins) to Punta Arenas in the Magellanes region of Patagonian Chile. After arriving we will take a private transfer to the bus depot in Punta Arenas, from where we will take a public coach to Puerto Natales (approx. 4 hours). Today involves a lot of travel as we cover a large distance and enter a remote area of Patagonia. The benefit of doing all of this travel in one day is that tomrrow morning we can fit more activities into the day.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    To Torres del Paine National Park; walk at Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul.

    After breakfast we’ll depart Puerto Natales and drive on the gravel road to one of the most beautiful national parks on the planet - Torres del Paine. Starting at the Lago Sarmiento park entrance we’ll hike northwards to Laguna Amarga. This introductory outing in the park will hopefully feature some of the park’s unique flora and fauna, including ñandú (a type of large, flightless bird), indigenous foxes, and wild guanaco (similar in appearance to the domesticated llama). Additionally, we’ll see fascinating ancient rock paintings created by the region’s indigenous population. Following the hike, we’ll drive to Laguna Azul.

    Located in the east of the park, Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon) was discovered when the young pioneer Florence Dixie explored this remote area in 1879 and it became the first tourist destination in Torres del Paine National Park. From this glacial lagoon you can walk a path to Las Torres view point to enjoy a picture perfect view of the Torres peaks. Afterwards we will be transferred to the refugio (mountain refuge) in the ‘Las Torres’ area.

    Walking: approx. 8km (5-6 hours).
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 5

    Hike to base of towers.

    During the first couple of hours of today's hike we will climb upwards into the Asencio Valley, stopping occasionally to admire the marvellous views of Lake Nordenskjöld and Almirante Nieto Mountain (2,670m) behind us. After resting at Refugio El Chileno, we'll continue along the trail for about an hour and a half, passing through an age-old Lenga (Beech) forest and crossing streams to Campamento Torres. Here, we will turn sharply and climb steeply for about an hour up the side of the valley, through a rock-covered glacial moraine, to the 'Base Las Torres' viewpoint. This magnificent spot rewards us with memorable views of Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte, and Cerro Nido de Cóndor, before making our return down the mountain side and back to the refugio.

    Walking: approx. 18 - 19km (8 hours), reaching a maximum altitude of 1,000 metres.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Hike to the Grey Glacier.

    We transfer to the Pudeto area of the park, boarding a catamaran to cross the icy waters of Lake Pehoe. On arrival, our hike begins towards the Grey Glacier taking the beautiful 'Camino de los Vientos' (the Path of Winds). We reach our first viewpoint after around two hours, with the Grey Glacier in the distance and the giant, deep blue icebergs of Lake Grey below. Depending on weather conditions, the route continues to viewpoints where entire sections of the ice wall can often be seen collapsing thunderously into the lake. Overnight in Refugio.

    Walking: approx. 22km (6 - 8 hours) reaching a maximum altitude of 90 metres.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 7

    Hike to the French Valley.

    We set off this morning to hike to the French Valley with the intention of reaching the Italian Camp or the British Camp, depending on the wishes of the group. These names refer to the base camps of famous moutain expeditions that conquered the various rock faces of the Paine Massif. During our hike we should have magnificient views of the French Glacier and see the impressive natural amphitheatre created by the upper valley at the base of the Torres Massif.

    Walking: approx. 15 - 16km (7 – 8 hours), reaching a maximum altitude of 200 metres.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    Hike to Cuernos del Paine viewpoint; transfer to Puerto Natales then bus journey to Punta Arenas.

    Shortly after breakfast we return by catamaran across Lake Pehoe and complete a short hike around the Cuernos del Paine viewpoint. We depart the national park today and transfer to Puerto Natales to board a public bus to Punta Arenas.

    Walking: approx. 6km (2 hours) reaching a maximum altitude of 40 metres.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 9

    Fly to Calama; to San Pedro de Atacama.

    We take a morning flight to Santiago and then another on to Calama in Northern Chile. This is a long travelling day, that will likely require an early start depending on the flight schedules. On arrival in Calama, we transfer to the town of San Pedro de Atacama, our base to explore the region of the Atacama desert. En route there are spectacular views of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains).
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    City tour; afternoon walk amid the strange rock formations of the Cornizas and Moon Valleys.

    The morning is free to spend at your leisure, but there will be a short orientation tour of the town if you want to join. In the afternoon we'll trek in the Cornizas and Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna). This bizarre lunar landscape is set ablaze with colour at sunset, the strange rock formations framed by the Lincancabur Volcano. We'll stay until the sun goes down to enjoy the array of colours.

    Walking: approx. 5km (3 hours) reaching a maximum altitude of 2,500 metres.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Hike at Quebrada del Diablo; afternoon visit to Atacama Salt Flat and Toconao Village.

    After a short drive from San Pedro towards Puritama, we arrive at the starting point for our hike. We begin our adventure here with a short uphill hike towards the Quebrada del Diablo, the Devil's Gorge. During the walk we’ll experience extraordinary views of the colourful landscape. Finally we hike downhill through a winding canyon in the salt range created by natural water and wind erosion until we reach the fertile Catarpe Valley and drive back to San Pedro.

    This afternoon we visit the small town of Toconao, where the houses, church and bell tower are built from bricks of white volcanic stone. Today's final stop is Chile's largest salt lake, the Salar de Atacama. Rich in minerals, including borax and lithium, it is home to various species of flamingos as well as many other birds. The Laguna Chaxa, part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos, offers a terrific opportunity to get closer to these birds in their natural habitat. In the evening we return to our hotel in San Pedro.

    Walking: approx. 4km (3 hours)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Visit El Tatio Geysers; hike in Guatin Valley.

    In order to experience the El Tatio Geysers we’ll have to get up very early in order to arrival at the geyser field (located over 4300m/14,108ft above sea level) in time for sunrise! The fountains that shoot up to 10m/33ft high occur when the morning sun melts the nightly ice caps that form over the hot springs. The sun’s first rays reflect an array of colours as they mingle with boiling jets coming from the geysers to create strong contrasts of steam and light.

    On our return we shall go for a trek in Guatin Valley. This valley contains the confluence of two rivers, one coming from the Puritama thermal springs carrying earth and minerals in its warm waters, and the other being the Purifica River which flows down from its origin in the Andes. We take the road north from San Pedro and reach the archaeological site of Gatchi. From here we hike in to Guatin Valley, which means ‘Valley of the cacti’. The walk starts inside a creek and follows along the bank of the Vilama River. A profusion of cacti, different geological formations, small waterfalls, brooks, and rocks give the place a special attraction.

    Altitude is between 3.200-3.500 metres above sea level.

    Walking: approx. 6km (4 hours)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Transfer to Calama; fly to Santiago; End Santiago.

    We transfer to Calama for our flight back to Santiago. For those on group flights, these will connect back to the UK. Arrangements for land only clients will end at Santiago airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Easter Island (6 days / 5 nights)

Code: XAW

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 4,000km from the coast of Chile, is an island that still holds a very special magic and mystery. The Europeans discovered 'Rapa Nui', as the locals call it, on Easter Sunday and to this day it is simply referred to as Easter Island. But this island holds an intrigue far greater than one might imagine. So far from everything and everyone, isolated by the largest ocean in the world, it demonstrates a rich history, art, language and interestingly once even suffered a civil war ‐ all upon an island not 25 km across.

This 6 day extension will enable you to explore this triangular shaped island, with extinct volcanic cones in each of its three corners. Amidst an atmosphere of friendly Polynesian hospitality, the entire island is today an open‐air museum with approximately 900 Moai (statues), the tallest of which is 21m high. There is also the Orongo Village and many traditional cave dwellings open to view.

Please call for details (flight prices will be quoted separately to the price of the extension). Click here for the full webpage and access to the trip notes for this extension.

Essential Info

Visas

Chile

British, most European and most other nationalities, including Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders, do not require visas. All other nationalities should contact the nearest Chilean Embassy if in doubt. Citizens of Australia pay a fee on first entry into Chile by air (cash US Dollars only, no credit cards or cheques) $95 - valid for only 90 days). There is no fee for other nationalities at the time of writing. The one-time charge is valid for the life of your passport so keep the stub stapled in.

Vaccinations

Chile

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 7 lunches included.

Most of the included lunches are provided as box lunches and prepared by the various accommodations that we stay at to enable us to take these with us on the treks. One of the lunches in the Atacama will be taken at a local restaurant. Restaurants in Chile generally offer good quality local and international food. Beef is very popular in Chile, especially steak, and the majority of dishes tend to be quite meaty. In Patagonia, lamb takes over as the most popular meat. There is also delicious, freshly-caught fish and seafood in the areas closer to the coast. Service can be slow in restaurants so do not expect European standards.

Vegetarian food is available but options may be limited, especially in Patagonia. Please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. 

Weather

Santiago

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 3 (Moderate).

Please see the introductory pages of the trekking holidays brochure or our website for more important information on classification and grading. It is preferable to have some experience of varied walks in irregular terrain for this trek. Overall this is not a difficult trip as most of the walks are day-walks at low altitude. However, there are a few days at high altitude when in the north of the country and we will potentially reach 4,500m. In Torres del Paine the trails are good but they can be steep and rocky in places. 7 days walking. Altitude maximum 4,500m, average 1,000m. Travel by internal flights and private/public minibus.

Call us on
+91 531 40 28
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Refuges

You will spend 8 nights in hotels with en suite rooms and 4 nights in mountain refuges with shared facilities. Bed linen or sleeping bags are provided although you will need to rent towels. Alternatively, you could take your own towel with you. 

Single accommodation (available on request - excluding refuges)

Call us on
+91 531 40 28
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2016
    Melissa Haslam

    hiking in the thin country

    A great itinerary that covers large distances. Be prepared for long days of travel – both by road and air

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking within the Torres del Paine National Park and getting to see the Towers

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Miriam was the best group/trek leader I have ever had. With all the travel delays and personal hiccups some travelers experienced (unrelated to Exodus) she remained good humored, competent, highly efficient and resourceful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long days, lots of early starts and travel delays - pack a good book and your favorite music to help pass the time. Be aware that Chile is expensive. In particular the meals at the Refuges in Patagonia will need supplementing with your own snacks/energy bars.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The weather in Patagonia is highly changeable so be prepared for walking in all conditions. When you make it to the Towers take the time to sit and appreciate what you have accomplished, & for the weather to change....15 minutes made the difference between them being hidden by cloud to them being revealed. Depending on the fitness of the group, the estimated walking hours in the trip notes can be optimistic
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Paul Kelly

    hiking in the thin country

    excellent trip, tiring but worth ever minute.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    being in the Atacama desert when it rained for the first in a year !

    What did you think of your group leader?

    best Exodus leader we have ever had, competent, efficient, amiable, kept her head in many problems she had to deal with

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Chile is very expensive, must have patience when travelling by air, expect delays at airports. Lots of early mornings and late nights, get your sleep in before you go

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    fantastic scenery, great walks, good itinery
  • Reviewed November 2015
    Norman Maudsley

    Walking in a long thin country -Chile

    A excellent trip that covered a large distances around Chile, Be prepared for long internal flights & road travel & you will enjoy the culture and geology of this part of South America

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was most definitely our close up views of the magnificent towers of 'Torres de Paine, with the help of a magnificent day weather wise, certainly my personal highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We were lucky to have a experienced Chilean leader Mr. Felipe Retamalis traveling with our group for the full trip within Chile. This was to be his last trip guiding groups before he set out for the next stage of his life with his own cultural food business. Thanks for all your generous help and knowledge Felipe, I wish you all the best for your future.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Due to the wide range of climatic conditions encountered, ensure you are fit for the altitude and the long days walking within the Torres del Paine National Park. Take with you clothing you can layer for a wide temperature range, good Boots + Lightweight foot ware. Be prepared for the long flights and drives, it is worth it to experience this country.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it whilst you are young and fit I am the exception for most 69year olds. This is possibly my last long distance jaunt from Devon, UK. Good luck with your travels.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Charlie Ong

    Hiking in a Thin Country - fabulous!

    An amazing trip to a lovely country. The natural beauty is just outstanding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sight of Torres del Paine up-close when arrived at Mirrador del Paine and reaching the Campamento Britanico to view Los Cuernos and Glacier del Frances were the two inspirational moments of my trip! I cannot single out any of these as they are both TOP moments for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Felipe Retamales is an outstanding guide. Other than fulfilling the required check-list for a guide, he has shown great passion for the outdoors and his enthusiasm is very infective. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you Felipe for making my trip such a memorable one!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Ensure you have ample water (platypus hoser / reservoir - easier to manage), sun hat, sun lotion and sun glasses during your trek. Bring your daypack. Not forgetting a light jacket (wind proof or rain proof) as it's windy in Patagonia. Post trek ensure you re-hydrate (I use a powder electrolyte pack). Plasters in case blister on foot. Flip-flop as you'll be glad to aerate you feet post trek and for use in the refugios.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Bring Chilean pesos mostly as Chilenos prefers this and some US dollars.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Matt Newman

    Hiking in a Thin Country

    a really great way to spend 2 weeks. amazing scenery, interesting and knowledgeable group and expectations exceeded.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    seeing the towers of Torres del Paine in their beautiful glory under a blue sky after a decent stretch of the legs. it really was magnificent. i had seen so many pictures of these massive rocks but to be there in person was totally magic. the whole southern area of Chile (and Argentina) is really somewhere the outdoor enthusiast has to visit.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    excellent. his willingness to help the group and ensure we were all catered for was really commendable. however his ability to find fantastic places to eat, where the locals go, really helped make the trip. all meals in his chosen restaurants were superb. although i was also pretty hungry most nights after early starts and busy days!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    if you have seen somewhere you want to go in photos, just do it. the group experience really aids your time in these fantastic places.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    although a walking trip, we had a number of days without strenuous walks and even the days which were tougher there were opportunities to shorten your walking day if preferred. good to know you aren't under pressure to keep up with the whole group.
  • Reviewed March 2013
    Anonymous

    CHILE: HIKING IN A THIN COUNTRY

    An intense trip due to the distances covered and sights seen, sleep lost due to very early starts and some late arrivals. Walks may not start a.m. with recovery late in the afternoon due to moving around the country. Hotels are good, refuges range from good [Orsono Volcano] to poor [base of Torres del Paine], all have electricity and powerpoints. This trip provides more to see than any other of my previous ones, Peru, Ecuador, Nepal and Tibet. The local travel partner provides the best welcome pack I have seen, excellent information on each place and a map of Chile.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the viewpoint at the Torres del Paine viewpoint despite the wind and up and down trail, I was limping because Iberia denied me an aisle seat I had paid for, 13.5 hours trapped in the centre of the 'plane with the passenger infront reclined and sat on my legs wrecked my knee/hip. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Felipe Voigt handled the frequent transfers excellently and went to a lot of trouble to make sure I got an aisle seat on the return flight to Madrid [fortunately this was with LAN not Iberia, LAN were excellent also with the internal flights]. Everywhere we went Felipe made sure we knew what was necessary and answered all questions thoughtfully and fully, he provided good information on many topics, Geology/History/Economics etc.  

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be aware that the flights will be shown as being with Iberia but they code share with BA and LAN and all three struggle to take responsibility for problems picking seats and checking in. The trails in Patagonia are described as good but are often quite rough, especially on the Torres del Paine day which is described as strenuous but was tougher than many I have done on grade C trips, there is enough time to do this slowly as long as you are prepared to be at the back all day.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Wonderful country - go for it.
  • Reviewed December 2010
    Anonymous

    HIKING IN A THIN COUNTRY

    A lot of travelling but you get to immerse yourself among beautiful scenery in diverse landscapes. Stunning volcanoes, incredible mountain peaks and glaciers, and stark desert landscapes will imprint indelibly your mind's eye.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the 19Km round trip to the Towers of Paine on a stunningly sunny and clear day. Nothing can prepare you for the final and sudden view of the glacial lake below the three imperious spires. We were lucky to see so much wildlife. Highlights were  guanacos, vicunas, condors, flamingoes, a desert fox, an andean cat and comical viscacha.  For me - a flower fanatic - the plants of Patagonia were a delight especially two species of calceolaria endemic to the area.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ian was the perfect leader. He was knowledgeable, had a sense of humour, was easy going, managed the fast and the slow on walks with sensitivity, went the extra distance to make all our transferrances as smooth as possible, had excellent english, was a good organiser, and most important of all was patient!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't bother to pay extra for the Villarica volcano walk unless the chair lift is open and the weather is almost guaranteed to be good. You will not make the top and the rainforest walk is just as delightful; (we know this as we split up and did both options...).Make sure you are prepared for hot, cold, and windy conditions. You are likely to encounter all on this holiday!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go for it. Even the long days of travelling had something of merit at the end and holidays shouldn't all be about arriving. The first LAN airways box of goodies is a novelty but after 5 the same you want to throw them out of the window!
  • Reviewed January 2009
    Anonymous

    HIKING IN A THIN COUNTRY

    Fabulous country. Up with Nepal, Vietnam, Peru - all of which I've visited - for variety and beauty of scenery. Great people, great food, excellent guide. Also, feels very safe....you don't feel the need to be so alert/streetwise as (say) Peru or Morrocco.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going to the Towers of Paine. Seeing them in bright sunlight...which in Patagonia is not always guaranteed! Also, ascending Villarica volcano (an optional trip)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pablo was very enthusiastic, friendly, knowledgeable and proud of his country...a great guide, and a delight to travel with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    1. Take a camera with a big memory! 2. Definitely take the optional trip of ascending Villarica volcano...a tough haul, but definitely worth it - a feeling of real achievement, and great views from the top

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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