For many adventurers, the allure of travel is in the land itself.
- Wildlife & Polar
Wildlife & Polar highlights
- Types of Holiday
Popular Cultural Holiday
This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
The Patagonian landscape is unique - varying from arid semi-desert, turquoise blue glacier lakes and white granite mountains. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone with an interest in trekking.
The ice trek on the Viedma Glacier was a particular highlight.
Exodus excel in finding good local partners, and in particular Pepe was a standout leader for the group - excellent communication skills, cheerful and affable, and really looked after us.
There is no portering in Torres Del Paine, so think carefully about packing (it is easy to overpack) - base layers, socks, fleece, waterproofs (I used the waterproof as a windbreak over the fleece and didn't take a down jacket) and water bottle are essentials and a travel towel is very useful too. Leave space at the top of your rucksack to delayer when it gets sunny. Personally, I found a 25 litres pack enough but some trip members took 35 litre packs.
You can leave the rest of your luggage for the other treks in the hotel in El Calafate.
Please be aware the glacier trek runs depending on weather conditions (no rain, not too much wind).
This trip was fantastic! Even though we didn't see many of the most famous views due to the cloud (there's always an element of luck where mountain weather is involved) it was still an awe inspiring place. The mountain scenery was dramatic and atmospheric in the mist and the lakes in Torres del Paine were the most beautiful shades of blue and turquoise that changed in the light. No two days of walking were the same, the landscape was varied and we never tired of seeing another glacier or the condors soaring above us again.
It would be impossible to pick just one! The mountains appearing and disappearing through the mist in the French Valley was eerie and beautiful. Seeing the lenticular clouds forming above Los Cuernos also sticks in the mind. But I think my favourite moment was at the estancia when we hiked up to a ridge where the condors nested and saw them soar beneath where we were standing. I could've watched them all day! And the even without the condors the view of Lago San Martin from the ridge was stunning.
Pepe was fantastic... His knowledge about the region was impressive and his enthusiasm and passion for trekking were inspiring. He obviously spent a lot of time making sure everything was organised for us and the trip ran smoothly, though he did this so discretely it would've been easy not to notice. Pepe made sure that everyone got what they wanted out of their trip, whether that was to take it slow, soak in the scenery and take lots of pictures, or to set a more challenging pace. And because we were always with local guides no one was unaccompanied. But most importantly Pepe was brilliant fun, we had a great laugh!
The packing instructions seemed a bit complex but you should take a holdall or pack with all your gear, then when you go to Torres del Paine to do the point to point trek you can leave this behind securely and only bring what you need for the W-trek in a smaller back pack (~30L-40L capacity). Prepare for all weathers and heed the advice to wear layers.
I was initially worried about joining the group on my own but after the first evening any worry I had was forgotten. We all got on well and everyone was really inclusive. Finally, although all the local guides who joined us for certain parts of the trip were fantastic, Sarah and Camilla who were our guides in Torres Del Paine were particularly fantastic! Much like Pepe they were enthusiastic both about the place they worked and about Treking. And they were brilliant fun.
The breath taking landscapes/views, whether you were sitting in the bus or hiking.
Don’t forget to look up!
Seeing Las Torres from a distance as we were driving into Chile and then actually getting to the base . It was same feeling when I saw and climbed to the base of Mount Fitzroy.
Xavier was everything that you want in a guide and more. He was knowledgeable, organised, very friendly, accommodating, possibility the most patient and considerate guide I have met!
Our other guides, Paula and Sebastian, were equally excellent.
The trip notes are confusing, as my fellow hikers have suggested,
- Activity Level of 5 is very valid and nothing to do the accommodation nor the fact that you need to carry you stuff for a few days as suggested by the guy I spoke to in Sales.
- you definitely need a bigger pack, max 40L, rather than a day pack
- you will have to carry kit in your pack for all weathers so layer up. We had good weather but it did include sunshine, rain, snow and lots of wind
- Essentials to pack, definitely bring a pair of flipflops/jandles/tongs/crocks, pain killers, dry bags
- ATMs are rare so load-up with dollars
Don't be put of my the long hikes, the views are so worth the effort.
At the end of the hike there is usually a cold beer or nice glass of wine to look forward.
Yes, taking a mix of dollar denominations is the best idea for this trip. Taking cash is fine, as long you exercise the same degree of common sense you would at home. The leader will best advise you on changing it once you arrive. ATMs are becoming more common but you shouldn't rely on them 100%, in case there are any problems.
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
Unpredictable! One thing you can be sure though is the wind - Patagonia is famous for it. Due to proximity of the sea the climate in Patagonia is actually relatively mild. The temperatures don't go very low in winter and don't jump up in summer. Eastern Patagonia (Argentinean side) tends to be a bit warmer because of the warm equatorial current reaching the coast there. Summer is usually dry and rather sunny. Temperature during the day could reach the low 20s but it is more likely to be in the high teens. In the night it drops to 5-10 degrees. The Chilean side (e.g. Torres del Paine National Park) is definitely wetter - you can expect rain any time. It is also a few degrees colder as the west coast is washed by a cold current.
Karol Rogacki - Americas Operations
Because of the distances involved, and the road conditions, some drives can feel long. However, there are ample opportunities to stop so you can grab something to eat or use the toilet. A long lunch stop is also within the itinerary, so you should have plenty of chances to stretch your legs!.
Karol Rogacki - Customer Operations
There is always a lot to see and do in Patagonia, either as part of the trip or as an extra optional activity. If you are interested in maximising your time there, you need to budget accordingly. Full details for optional activities are in the detailed trip notes and, as costs for some items can be high, you need to ensure you have allowed for everything you would like to do.
Karol Rogacki - Americas Operations
Most clients are eligible to travel via the US under the US Visa Waiver Programme, however to do this you must register for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority). This must be done prior to departure - more details can be found at www.exodus.co.uk/usvisa.
Rebecca Caldicott - Customer Operations
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