From: February 25 to March 9, 2018

Destination: Argentina and Chile

  • Adventures in Patagonia

    Patagonia is one of the most stunning, diverse, and sparsely populated places on earth. Shared by Argentina and Chile, it is known for its pristine wilderness, magnificent snow-capped peaks, dramatic granite spires, sparkling lakes, and immense glaciers. Its spectacular beauty has been preserved both by its remoteness and the parks that protect the outstanding landscapes. On this 13 day trip, we have picked out the places that will stay in your memory forever: the breathtaking mountain environs of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and stunning Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. Combining some days of longer hiking with easier days, we will immerse ourselves in the beauty and culture of this unique area. NOTE: An optional extension for a hiking trip to Easter Island is available. You can see the itinerary here. Maximum group size: 14
  • Sunday, February 25: Arrive Buenos Aires
    We'll meet today in Buenos Aires, a charming city that is easy to explore on foot or metro. Most flights arrive in the morning and we'll provide instructions for transfer to Hotel 725 Continental. You're free to spend the afternoon as you choose including joining the Adventures in Good Company guide in exploring the city. At 6:00pm we'll meet in the hotel lobby for introductions and a trip orientation. Later this evening we'll go out to dinner together and then get to bed early. Overnight Hotel 725 Continental in Buenos Aires (D)

    Monday, February 26: Travel to El Chalten
    Depending on flight schedules, we'll transfer today to the domestic airport for our 3 to 4 hour flight to El Calafate (cost of airfare is not included but we will coordinate buying the tickets). From there we transfer across the Patagonian steppes to the mountain town of El Chalten, often called Argentina's Trekking Capital. On a clear day, we'll have spectacular vistas of the Fitz Roy mountain range during our drive. We arrive in time to settle in, perhaps explore the small town a little, and share another dinner together. Overnight Hosteria Pudu Lodge or similar in El Chalten (D)

    Tuesday, February 27: Hike to Laguna de los Tres
    Our first day hike is to the lookout of Laguna de los Tres - a turquoise lagoon named because three glaciers drain into it. We head towards Fitz Roy massif, A UNESCO World Heritage Site, with breathtaking views of its iconic spires and peaks. We follow a beautiful trail to our first panoramic views of Mount Fitz Roy. Our trail then continues through forest and open areas to Rio Blanco, the Fitz Roy basecamp where climbers prepare to climb its 11,290-foot summit. From here it is a steep but worthwhile 1300 ft climb to Laguna de los Tres, a striking azure blue lake at the foot of the massif.  From the lake we have close-up views of the vertical rock walls of Fitz Roy's east face, the impressive spire called Poicenot Needle, and the dramatic blue of Piedras Blancas glacier. Retracing our steps, we return to the town of El Chalten for a well deserved dinner and night's rest. Hiking: 12.4 miles, 3100 feet elevation gain, 9- 10 hours (B, L, D)

    Wednesday, February 28: Hike to Pliegue Tumbado
    We walk where the Andean condors fly today. Loma means "hill" in Spanish and Pliegue Tumbado is the name of the grouping of hills at the top. This mountain, 4200 ft tall, is located immediately south of the Cerro Torre valley and offers spectacular views over the mountains, glaciers, and lakes. Our trail starts winding through shrubland and forest as it climbs the slopes of the mountains, arriving at a viewpoint with panoramic views of Fitz Roy, Torre, and the dramatic glacier valley in between both. If we go all the way to the summit, we start climbing a long but gentle path on scree and are rewarded at the top with views of Paso del Viento (Wind Pass) and some of the mountains rising from the Patagonian Icefield. After 6 to 8 hours of hiking we are back in Chalten by late afternoon. Hiking: 12 - 13 miles, 2400+ ft elevation gain, 6 - 8 hours Overnight Hosteria Pudu Lodge or similar in El Chalten (B, L, D)

    Thursday, March 1: Hike to Laguna de Torre and return to El Calafate
    One of the classic treks of El Chalten is to the cerro Torre Lagoon, at the foot of the amazing Adela range, Torre and Grande glaciers, and the incredible Cerro Torre. Mt. Torre is famous for its beauty, as well as for its climbing difficulty. Every year, countless expeditions attempt to reach the summit, but only a few succeed. In comparison to our first two days, our hike today is easier with gentler uphills. Evidence of its glacial past is everywhere as we cross terminal moraines and hike in an ancient glacial valley to a magnificent viewpoint of the area and have lunch with a view, weather permitting. Depending on time we may continue to Laguna Torre. In late afternoon we drive back to El Calafate. Hiking: 13 miles, 1900 ft elevation gain, 7 hours. Overnight Hotel Hainen or similar in El Calafate (B, L, D)

    Friday, March 2: Perito Moreno Glacier Visit
    Today we experience the Perito Moreno glacier, one of the world's few glaciers that is not receding. The stunning mass of tiny blue ice peaks at the terminus is even more awesome because of constant cracking sounds when pieces of ice break and crash into the water below. Most glaciers calve, or release ice, in deep water, but not Perito Moreno, where the calving rates are higher than on other Patagonian glaciers. Lago Argentino, the lake where Perito Moreno ends, is shallower than the bodies of water at the ends of most glaciers so the ice bergs don't melt as quickly, perhaps one reason why the glacier is still advancing. Hopefully we will see a car-sized chunk of ice calve into the lake below. Weather permitting, we'll have our lunch overlooking the glacier along an expansive boardwalk and view points, then take an hour-long boat ride on the lake for another close-up perspective.

    We return to El Calafate in the afternoon. If you are a dog lover, you might be interested coming with us to visit a center that has a unique way of helping street dogs, which are common in Patagonia. Otherwise, you'll have time to explore the many outdoor stores and artisan shops that offer handcrafts and regional products. Dinner is on your own tonight, with choices from number of great restaurants. Overnight El Calafate. (B)

    Friday, March 3: Travel to Torres del Paine
    After an early breakfast, we leave for a scenic drive of about seven hours through the spectacular landscape of the Patagonia steppes into Chile and Torres del Paine National Park. We'll see unique wildlife such as herds of guanacos (llama relatives) and lesser rheas (related to emus and ostrich). We'll also see the mountains that make the park famous -- Paine Grande, the Horns, Admiral Nieto and the Towers. After we settle into our lodging at the base of the Towers magnificent rock spires, we'll take a walk to get familiar with the landscape and perhaps, the wind. Overnight at Refugio Torres Central in Torres del Paine National Park. (B, L, D)

    Sunday, March 4: Beginning of W Trek, hike to Towers of Paine
    We start our trek today on the famous W, so named for the shape of the trails, hiking from lodge to lodge. First, we head up the Ascencio Valley to the Base of Towers of Paine lookout. The trail involves some steep sections and crossing a boulder field, just before the final lookout where the spectacular towers rise from a turquoise glacial lake. This is the basecamp from which expert climbers start their attempts to scale the sheer forbidding walls of Torres Norte, Central, and Sur. If the weather's right, we'll get that postcard-perfect photograph. We return on the same trail back to our lodge and a well-earned dinner. Hiking: 12 miles, 2520 ft elevation gain/loss, 8 - 9 hours. Overnight Refugio Torres Central (B, L, D)

    Monday, March 5: Paso Los Cuernos Trail
    After a hearty breakfast, we leave from our lodge and follow the Paso Los Cuernos (Step of the Horns) trail along the north shore of Lago Nordenskjold. With the soaring Horns of Paine massif on our right and the sparkling lake stretching on the left for our entire hike, it's a hard choice which way to look. We'll have a convivial dinner at our lodge, sharing stories with other hikers and sleep in double cabins tucked beside a waterfall or domes sleeping 8. Cabanas los Cuernos or Los Duomos Frances. Hiking 8 miles,
    328 ft elevation loss, 4-5 hours. (B,L,D)

    Tuesday, March 6: Hike French Valley
    Today we hike up and down the magnificent Valle del Frances (French Valley), considered by many to be the most beautiful part of the W trek. A dramatic and different view of sheer cliffs, hanging glaciers, and dramatic rock formations unfolds with every step. Periodically we hear avalanches crashing down from the glacier in the distance as we hike up to the final viewpoint in a naturally-formed amphitheater encircled by the park's most impressive formations: the Hoja (Blade), Mascara (Mask), Espada (Sword), Catedral (Cathedral), Aleta de Tiburon (Shark's Fin) and Fortaleza (Fortress), plus views of Paine Grande, the highest mountain in Torres del Paine at 2,884m (9,462ft). After coming back down the valley, we continue hiking across the steppe to our mountain lodge at Refugio Paine Grande. Hiking 14 miles,
    1630 ft elevation gain/2035 loss, 10 hours (B,L,D)

    Wednesday, March 7: Hike Laguna Grey
    We are at the last leg of the W, hiking today on rolling ups and downs above Lake Grey. We'll have impressive views of the Grey glacier, part of the Southern Patagonian Ice field, and the dramatic Paine massif. After we settle into our lodge, those who want a little more adventure can kayak for several hours past icebergs and the Grey Glacier, weather permitting (extra cost approx $90). Hiking 7 miles hiking,
    1000 ft elevation gain/loss, 4 hours. Overnight Refugio Grey (B,L,D)

    Thursday, March 8: Cross Lake Pehoe, travel to Puerto Natales
    This morning we'll retrace our path from yesterday back to the boat launch near Refugio Paine Grande and for our boat ride across Lake Pehoe. We'll meet back up with our transport for our hour and a half transfer to Puerto Natales and our final celebration dinner. Hiking 7 miles, 1000 feet elevation gain/loss, 4 hours. Overnight Hotel Weskar or similar (B,L,D)

    Friday, March 9: Travel to Punta Arenas and return to Buenos Aires or Santiago
    We leave early after breakfast for a 3 hour drive to the Punta Arenas airport by noon. Plan your flight after 2 pm; if you are flying directly home, you can return either through Buenos Aires or, if you want to join us in exploring Easter Island, plan to fly to Santiago, Chile. (B)

    NOTE: An optional extension for a hiking trip to Easter Island is available. You can see the itinerary here.  We need a minimum of 4 people for this extension to run. Please indicate on the registration page if you are interested. You will not be charged until the trip is confirmed.
  • $5250 (see this page for travel discounts) Deposit $400. Single supplements (only necessary if you want you own room and only available for the hotels, not the refugios) are $900.  Please make sure you understand our cancellation policies.

    NOTE: An optional extension for a hiking trip to Easter Island is available. You can see the itinerary here.  We need a minimum of 4 people for this extension to run. Please indicate on the registration page if you are interested. You will not be charged until the trip is confirmed.

    Trip Includes

    • Experienced guides, including a bilingual Argentinian guide and an AGC guide
    • 12 nights lodging: 7 in hotels or inns, and 5 in mountain refugios
    • Meals as detailed on the itinerary (12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners)
    • All transportation from our hotel in Buenos Aires to the Punta Arenas airport at trip end except for internal flights
    • Local National Park guides and associated gratuities
    • Entrance fees to the National Parks

    What's not included: International and domestic airfare, travel to our hotel in Buenos Aires or from Punta Arenas, alcoholic beverages, 1 lunch and 1 dinner as specified in the itinerary, guide gratuities (see above), and mandatory emergency evacuation insurance.

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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking to the fabled granite spires of Patagonia, including Fitz Roy, Cerro del Torre, and the Towers of Paine
  • Seeing the remains of the vast glaciers that carved out this land
  • Learning about the natural and human history of Patagonia
  • Gaining a firsthand experience of the scope, diversity, and majesty of this awe-inspiring area

Register for this trip today

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