Road Scholar : Home
Finis Terrae: Exploring the Wilds of Southern Patagonia

Program Number: 20614RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/22/2013 - 12/6/2013; 1/7/2016 - 1/21/2016; 1/21/2016 - 2/4/2016; 2/4/2016 - 2/18/2016; 2/9/2016 - 2/23/2016; 3/3/2016 - 3/17/2016; 10/20/2016 - 11/3/2016; 11/3/2016 - 11/17/2016; 11/17/2016 - 12/1/2016; 12/6/2016 - 12/20/2016;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Argentina/Chile
Price starting at: $6,296.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 33; 12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners    

With pink granite towers, colossal glaciers, emerald-colored fjords and a bleak and beautiful steppe, it is no wonder Chile’s and Argentina’s Patagonia has been inspiring travelers and explorers for centuries. Make your own voyage to the southern tip of South America, as you connect with the beauty of Patagonia via an expedition vessel from Tierra del Fuego National Park to Cape Horn and in an eco-camp in the heart of Patagonia’s rugged wilderness. By sea and on foot, learn about the landscape, abundant wildlife and hearty residents who call the “End of the Earth” their home.


• Sail the icy waters around the tip of the continent, past breathtaking glaciers to Cape Horn National Park.
• Enjoy the rugged wilderness of Torres del Paine National Park in an eco-camp.
• Discover the food, wine and vibrant culture of Buenos Aires and Santiago.

Activity Particulars

Active program, includes walking, hiking and getting in/out of a Zodiac.

Date Specific Information

11-22-2013, 1-7-2016, 1-21-2016, 2-4-2016, 3-3-2016, 10-20-2016, 11-3-2016, 11-17-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


Please note that February 9, 2016 departure starts in Santiago, Chile and ends at Buenos Aires, Argentina and runs in reverse order. The outline of our program will be as follows and please refer to the Daily Schedule portion of our website for more details. Arrival Santiago, 2 nights; flight to Punta Arenas (Chile) and coach to Torres del Paine (Chile), 3 nights; coach to Punta Arenas (Chile) and embark M/V Stella Australis, 4 nights; disembark at Ushuaia (Argentina), 1 night; flight to Buenos Aires (Argentina), 2 nights; departure.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


Please note that December 6, 2016 departure starts in Santiago, Chile and ends at Buenos Aires, Argentina and runs in reverse order. The outline of our program will be as follows and please refer to the Daily Schedule portion of our website for more details. Arrival Santiago, 2 nights; flight to Punta Arenas (Chile) and coach to Torres del Paine (Chile), 3 nights; coach to Punta Arenas (Chile) and embark M/V Via Australis, 4 nights; disembark at Ushuaia (Argentina), 1 night; flight to Buenos Aires (Argentina), 2 nights; departure.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Buenos Aires (Argentina), 2 nights; flight to Ushuaia, 1 night; embark M/V Via Australis, 4 nights; coach to Torres del Paine (Chile), 3 nights; flight to Santiago, 2 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from U.S.
1 night
Arrival Buenos Aires (Argentina)
2 nights
Flight to Ushuaia
1 night
Embark M/V Via Australis
4 nights

Begin in Buenos Aires and get a feel for the city’s uniquely European character at the Opera House and Plaza de Mayo. Learn about the soul of Argentina through the lasting influence of Evita, delicious regional wines and of course, the Tango. Venture to the dramatic beauty of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Waterfalls, mountains and glaciers set an amazing backdrop for stunning endemic flora and prolific birdlife. Embark our expedition vessel and set sail through the Murray Channel to reach Cape Horn National Park — known as the “End of the Earth.” Voyage to Garibaldi Fjord on the southern coast of Tierra del Fuego for an incredible excursion through Patagonia’s cold jungle and a hike through the forest up to a glacial waterfall. Take a Zodiac to explore Alakaluf Fjord, and learn about the formation of glaciers. Weather permitting, go ashore on Magdalena Island and learn about the large colony of Magellanic Penguins.

Disembark Punta Arenas (Chile)
Coach to Torres del Paine
3 nights
Coach to Punta Arenas, flight to Santiago
2 nights
Return overnight flight
1 night

Journey to the Chilean side of Patagonia at Torres del Paine National Park, where you’ll spend three nights in an eco-camp. Walk the shores of stunning Lake Pehoe and admire views of Los Cuernos. Visit the furious Salto Grande falls, where the waters of Lake Nordenskjold pour out, and enjoy lectures on the geological history and animals of the Southern Andes. Then on to Santiago, where you visit the Museo Colonial and end your adventure discussing Chilean cuisine over tapas.

Buenos Aires: Comfortable hotel. Ushuaia: Hotel with views of Beagle Channel. M/V Via Australis: Expedition cruise ship with 64 cabins (call or go online for cabin category descriptions). Torres del Paine: Eco-camp in the heart of the national park. Santiago: Comfortable hotel.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Gabriel Martin

Gabriel Martin was born in Buenos Aires in 1973 and has lived in Patagonia since 1989. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of Patagonia and a Ph.D. in natural sciences from the University of La Plata. He is currently a researcher with the Argentine Scientific Council, a professor of mammalogy, and assistant professor in ecology. His main focus is on the systematics, distribution and conservation of South American marsupials (opossums). Gabriel has extensive field experience as a paleontologist and mammalogist, mostly in Patagonia. He has worked as a group leader for Road Scholar in Argentina and Chile since 1999 and in Antarctica since 2005.
Meals and Lodgings
   NH Latino Hotel
  Buenos Aires, Argentina 2 nights
   Los Acebos Hotel
  Ushuaia, Argentina 1 night
   MV Via Australis
  At Sea, Argentina 4 nights
   EcoCamp Patagonia
  Torres del Paine National Park, Chile 3 nights
   Hotel Torremayor
  Santiago, Chile 2 nights
 NH Latino Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The NH Latino Hotel is located in downtown Buenos Aires, within walking distance of the Obelisk, Plaza de Mayo Square, Teatro Colón, and Florida Street.
  Ship Information: 0
  Contact info: Suipacha 309
Buenos Aires,   Argentina
phone: +541143216700
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, coffee/tea maker, soundproof windows, direct-dial phone, balcony, TV, alarm clock, desk with lamp, Internet access, safety deposit box, hair dryer, and minibar. Cots/roll-aways upon request.
  Facility amenities: Currency exchange, baggage hold, 24-hour front desk, 24-hour room service, elevators, wakeup service, wheel chair access, restaurant, café bar, laundry services, conference room, sauna, massage services, fitness center, and WiFi.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Room type and prices are subject to hotel availability. For more information, please contact the Program Coordinator at 1-800-866-7111 or

 Los Acebos Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This modern hotel enjoys scenic views of the Ushuaia Bay and the Beagle Channel and is conveniently located less than 3 miles from the Ushuaia airport.
  Contact info: Av. Luis Fernando Martial 1911, Camino Al Glaciar Martial
Tierra del Fuego
Ushuaia,   Argentina
phone: +54 -2901-430710/8
  Room amenities: All rooms feature magnificent views of Beagle Channel or snow-capped Andes mountains. Guest rooms have international direct dialing, radio/alarm clock, hairdryer, private bathroom and wall to wall carpet.
  Facility amenities: 24-hour front desk, babysitting services, bar, restaurant, concierge desk, room service, safe-deposit box at front desk, tour desk.
  Smoking allowed: No

 MV Via Australis
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The MV Via Australis was built in 2005 and is able to hold up to 136 passengers in its 64 comfortable, outside cabins.
  Ship Information: Construction year: 2005 Passenger capacity: 136 5 Decks (Patagonia deck/B – Magallanes deck/A-Tierra del Fuego Deck/AA – Cabo de Hornos/AAA-Darwin Deck) Total cabins: 64 B Cabins (Patagonia Deck): 7 A Cabins (Magallanes Deck): 10 AA Cabins (Tierra del Fuego): 18 AAA Cabins (Cabo de Hornos): 29
  Contact info: 0000000000000
000000000,   Argentina
phone: +877-678-3772
  Room amenities: Carpeted floors, bedside lamps, safety deposit boxes, onboard phone, small dresser, private baths with shower and hairdryer. Smoking only allowed on outer decks.
  Facility amenities: Dining room, bar, lounges, panoramic deck and gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 EcoCamp Patagonia
Type: Lodge
  Description: This unique lodge is comprised of geodesic domes and takes its inspiration from dwellings once used by the ancient nomadic peoples of Patagonia. Every aspect of the camp's design was carefully planned to provide attractive and comfortable facilities with minimal impact to the local environment. Meals are served in the dining room, in a community dome, and the menu is a blend of Chilean and international cuisines prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. Guests have priviledged views of Torres del Paine National Park's breathtaking scenery, including the towering granite towers, from the comfort of their own domes or while lounging on the camp's terrace. The EcoCamp takes pride in being the first ISO14001 and ISO 9001 certified hotel in Patagonia. Energy for the camp is generated by solar panels and a micro-hydro turbine (power is 220 V AC). The domes are made of renewable materials and a sophysticated recycling system handles lodge waste.
  Contact info: 000000000000000
Torres del Paine National Park,   Chile
phone: +800-901-6987
  Room amenities: Each Suite Dome (300ft² area) has comfortable bedding, a low-emission stove, a fully-equipped private bathroom with a state of the art composting toilet and a propane heater. Electricity is limited inside the domes, so hairdryers are not permitted (laptops and cameras are ok to charge). Ceiling windows are perfect for star gazing from the comfort of your cozy bed. An enclosed verandah provides a nice place to read or dry wet clothes inside your dome, while an outdoor terrace offers an inviting place to enjoy a glass of wine and chat after a full day of activities. Smoking is only allowed outdoors.
  Facility amenities: Dining room, bar, library, shop, a barbecue platform, and a terrace with lounge chairs. Raised walkways connect the domes.
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Hotel Torremayor
Type: Hotel
  Description: Comfortable hotel located in the Providencia neighborhood in Santiago, near stores and restaurants.
  Contact info: Av. Ricardo Lyon 322
Santiago,  00000 Chile
phone: +56-2-2342000
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, minibar, Internet access, TV, telephones, hair dryer, and safety deposit box.
  Facility amenities: Cafe, cocktail bar, conference facilities, pool, lounge, restaurant, room service, business center, laundry service, and currency exchange.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Subject to availability. Room type and rates are subject to availability. Please contact the program coordinator, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or for information on availability and rates.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Morning arrivals to Buenos Aires. Lunch at hotel starts at 1:30 p.m. You will be staying at NH Latino Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Evening departures from Santiago. Hotel check-out by 6 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel Torremayor the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Chile and Argentina charge U.S. citizens an $160 USD (per person) entrance fee (a.k.a. reciprocity fee). Chile's fee can be paid upon arrival at the international airport, but Argentina requires its fee to be paid online PRIOR TO ARRIVAL. Participants will need to pay Argentina's entry fee with a credit card at one of the following sites: or . We strongly suggest reviewing the following tutorial prior to submitting your reciprocity fee payment: Passengers must present a copy of the official payment receipt with a valid passport upon arrival in Argentina. The receipt will be sent electronically by Argentina's immigration service to the email address submitted during the payment process. Please note that the official receipt contains a bar code and is titled "Tasa de Reciprocidad/Reciprocity Rate."
  Parking availability:
Not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Buenos Aires
  Transportation to site: Taxi services are available outside the airport terminals at the Ministro Pistarini de Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. If you choose to hire a taxi, it is strongly recommended that you book and prepay your transportation at one of the taxi booths available outside the secured baggage claim/Customs area of the airport. The travel time from the airport to downtown Buenos Aires is approximately 45 minutes.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Santiago
  Transportation from site: Taxi services are available at the hotel. If you wish to hire a taxi, please ask for assistance at the hotel's front desk.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Leave the U.S./Overnight Flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
(Friday, November 22)
 Evening: Board international flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Day 2: Arrivals in Buenos Aires, Argentina/Program Orientation/Opera House/Wine Tasting.
(Saturday, November 23)

Note: Travelers must undergo standard immigration and customs procedures upon arrival in Argentina. This includes showing proof that the Argentinean entry fee was paid online prior to entry. Officials at the immigration counter will only accept copies of the official receipt as proof of payment. The receipt contains a bar code and is titled "Tasa de Reciprocidad/Reciprocity Rate." The fee must be paid online prior to arrival at or at

 Morning: Arrivals at the Ministro Pistarini de Ezeiza International Airport. Proceed through Immigrations and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport and meeting the Road Scholar representative in the arrivals hall.

Transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Early check-in is based on hotel availability and is at the discretion of the hotel. Participants will be able to store luggage at the hotel until their rooms become available. Early check-in can only be guaranteed by booking/paying for an additional night at the hotel. Those interested in reserving an additional night should contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or for assistance.

NOTE: The airport is located approximately 22 miles outside of Buenos Aires and the drive into the city normally takes about 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
Free time until the program orientation in the afternoon.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Program orientation.
Lecture: Buenos Aires: The Heartbeat of Argentina.

Field trip to the Teatro Colon.

Since 1908 visitors have marveled at the imposing seven-story Teatro Colón, a truly world-class center for opera, ballet and classical music. The current building replaced the original Teatro Colon that was located in front of the Plaza de Mayo from 1857-1888. Some of the highly acclaimed artists who have graced the theater’s stage include Enrico Caruso, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Yo-Yo Ma, Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, Mikhail Barishnikov, and Vaslav Nijinski.

Before dinner, enjoy a wine tasting at a local cellar/bar. Learn about some of Argentina's famed regional wines.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: NH Latino Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Buenos Aires -
Plaza de Mayo, La Boca and Recoleta/Tango Show.

(Sunday, November 24)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Orientation to Buenos Aires with stops at Plaza de Mayo, La Boca and Recoleta. On-site lectures by the group leader will discuss the cultural influence of immigrants in Buenos Aires and the phenomenon that is Evita.

Visit one of the city's oldest cemetery's in the wealthy Recoleta neighborhood for a look at Eva Peron's final resting place.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own, in Recoleta, to enjoy local fare.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to explore Buenos Aires on your own.

Lecture: The Tango, A Symbol of the Spirit of the City.
 Dinner: Depart for a local restaurant for dinner and a Tango and Folkloric Show.
Accommodations: NH Latino Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Ushuaia -
Fly to Ushuaia/Introduction to Tierra del Fuego/Typical Fuegian Dinner.

(Monday, November 25)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Ushuaia. The flight takes approximately 3 hours and 35 minutes.

Ushuaia is one of the southernmost cities in the world and the principal starting point for most expeditions to Antarctica. It is located on the main island in Tierra del Fuego, overlooking Ushuaia Bay and the Beagle Channel. Anglican missionaries moved to the area in the 1870’s and were the first foreigners to permanently live in the archipelago. Until then, the lands had been inhabited by the Yamana people (also called Yahgan). Sadly, the indigenous population began to decrease as more and more European immigrants moved to the area in search of gold, sheep farming opportunities, or missionary work. Not much is left of the Yamana these days, save the name Ushuaia; their name for the area.
 Lunch: Snacks will be provided during the flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Ushuaia and transfer to the hotel.

Lecture: Historical Overview of Tierra del Fuego and its Nautical Past.
 Dinner: Typical Fuegian dinner at local restaurant.
Accommodations: Los Acebos Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Ushuaia -
Tierra del Fuego National Park/Maritime Museum/Embarkation on MV Via Australis.

(Tuesday, November 26)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Field trip to Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Argentina's Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, located approximately 7.4 miles west of Ushuaia, was the country's first shoreline park. Native forests of lengas, coihues, ñires, canelos, and mossy foliage are home to guanacos, foxes, and muskrats. Short trails follow the southern edges of the park, providing visitors with scenic views of the Ensenada and Lapataia Bays, and the famous Beagle Channel. Sea birds are abundant along the coast and include albatross, terns, geese, ducks, and gulls. Also be on the lookout for condors, Magellanic woodpeckers, and Austral conures. A 5 mile trail that leads west from Bahia Ensenada passes through an area of archaeological importance; grass covered shell mounds left by the Yamaná (a.k.a. Yahgan) inhabitants hundreds of years ago.
 Lunch: Enjoy a typical lamb barbecue.
 Afternoon: After lunch, pay a visit to Ushuaia's Maritime Museum.

During the early 20th century, the Argentine government established a prison in Ushuaia, deciding that its remote location would make escape virtually impossible. The prisoners were used to build the town and establish a railway (now called the End of the World Train). Although the prison was closed in 1947, the buildings still remain and are now part of a naval museum. Visitors can still see some of the original structures built by prisoners while touring the older sections of the city. The museum displays include scale models of ships and historic information about Tierra del Fuego’s indigenous people and the European pirates and explorers who sailed to this remote part of South America.

Transfer to Ushuaia's port to begin embarkation procedures on the MV Via Australis.
Enjoy a cocktail reception hosted by the MV Australis' captain and crew.
 Dinner: On board the MV Australis.
 Evening: Ship departs from Ushuaia and sets sail.
Accommodations: MV Via Australis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay.
(Wednesday, November 27)
 Breakfast: On board the MV Via Australis.
 Morning: This morning we will navigate through the Murray Channel and Nassay Bay on our way to Cape Horn National Park.

Group leader lecture: Life at the End of the Earth.
 Lunch: On board the MV Via Australis.
 Afternoon: Disembark at Wulaia Bay (weather permitting) for a walking exploration of Cape Horn National Park. Walk through a Magellanic forest of lengas, coihues, canelos, ferns and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point.

Cape Horn is located in the southern part of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago and is considered by most to be the southernmost point in South America. The gale force winds, strong currents, and unpredictable weather around Cape Horn make it especially challenging to sail these waters. This was an important route for trade ships until the Panama Canal was completed and began operating in 1914.

Optional activity (at additional cost): kayaking in Wulaia Bay with the ship's expedition guides.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: On board the MV Australis.
Accommodations: MV Via Australis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Pia Glacier and Garibaldi Glacier.
(Thursday, November 28)
 Breakfast: On board the MV Via Australis.
 Morning: This morning the ship will navigate the Beagle Channel and Pia Fjord in preparation for activities around the Pia Glacier.

Disembark near Pia Glacier. A short hike to a local lookout point will culminate in spectacular views of towering mountains and glaciers.
 Lunch: On board the MV Via Australis.
 Afternoon: Enter Garibaldi Fjord along the southern coast of Tierra del Fuego. Disembark and take part in an exhilarating excursion through Patagonian forests to reach a waterfall of glacial origins. Don't forget to bring your camera! The site offers spectacular views.

Participants who wish to skip the hike and remain on the ship will have an opportunity to view the Garibaldi Glacier from the outdoor decks.

Group leader lecture: Anecdotes from Darwin's Wanderings in Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia.
 Dinner: On board the MV Australis
Accommodations: MV Via Australis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Piloto and Nena Glaciers/Agostini Sound and Aguila Glacier.
(Friday, November 29)
 Breakfast: On board the MV Via Australis.
 Morning: Sail through Cockburn Channel and drop anchor at Chico Sound. Board Zodiac boats and navigate the icy waters of the Alakaluf Fjord to admire cascading waterfalls and the Piloto and Nena Glaciers as they make their way towards the ocean. Take special note of the deep blue color of Piloto Glacier; a natural phenomenom caused by the ice's absorption of red light and the reflection and scattering of blue light.

Naturalist lecture: Formation of Glaciers and the Geography of the Fuegian-Patagonian Channels.
 Lunch: On board the MV Via Australis.
 Afternoon: Sail to Agostini Sound (a.k.a. Agostini Fjord) and its spectacularly beautiful scenery. From this vantage point it will be possible to view glaciers flowing down from the mountains. Head to Aguila Glacier and disembark at a local beach. Admire the local landscape and acquaint yourself with the region's vegetation during an easy walk along the shoreline, ending at a viewing spot in front of the Aguila Glacier. Learn about Patagonia's cold rainforest and the powerful natural forces that helped shape the lands in this remote region.
 Dinner: On board the MV Via Australis.
Accommodations: MV Via Australis
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Strait of Magellan/Magdalena Island/Disembark at Punta Arenas/Torres del Paine National Park.
(Saturday, November 30)
 Breakfast: On board the MV Via Australis.
 Morning: Weather permitting, disembark at Magdalena Island located in the Strait of Magellan. A walk to the local lighthouse will take us past the island's large colony of Magellanic penguins. Magdalena Island was first declared a forest reserve in 1967, before being reclassified as a national park in 1983. The park is home to unique vegetation including fuinques, arrayáns, tiacas, female mañios, tineos, quilas, tepas, voquis, and coicopihues. Although resident Magellanic penguins tend to steal the show with their comical appearance and noisy antics, visitors should not overlook the island's other interesting inhabitants. Mammals found in the park include marine and river otters, guiñas, pudús, sealions, and fur seals. Bird lovers will not be disappointed-- Magdalena also has a rich avian population which includes petrels, cormorants, ducks, gulls, sandpipers, tyrant flycatchers, thrushes, and plovers.

Return to the ship and set sail for Punta Arenas.
Disembark at Punta Arenas around 11:30 a.m.

Punta Arenas was originally set up directly on the sea, but later moved inland to a more hospitable spot along the Las Minas River. Once established, Punta Arenas grew as a port town and as a penal colony. Today, the city is vibrant and modern and serves as a gateway to both Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia--two regions notoriously rich in natural wonders.

Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park via Puerto Natales. Snacks will be provided on the bus to help tide us over until we stop for lunch at Puerto Natales. The drive from Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales takes approximately 3 hours and from there to the camp in Torres del Paine is another 2 hours.

Upon arrival in Puerto Natales, stretch your legs during a short exploratory walk down the city's quaint streets before sitting down for a hearty lunch at a local restaurant, featuring local cuisine.
 Lunch: Late lunch at a local restaurant in Puerto Natales.
 Afternoon: Continue the transfer to Torres del Paine. Along the way, admire Patagonia's breathtaking vistas, framed by snow-peaked mountains and rolling plains dotted with guanacos.

En route, visit the Monumento Natural Cueva de Milodon; a massive prehistoric cave where the remains of a giant ground sloth were discovered in the 1890s. The site is located in a transition zone, where forests and arid plains meet, and is home to a large number of bird species.

Arrive at the camp in Torres del Paine National Park and check-in.
 Dinner: At the camp dining room.
Accommodations: EcoCamp Patagonia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Torres del Paine - Western Lakes.
(Sunday, December 1)
 Breakfast: At the camp dining room.
 Morning: Drive across Torres del Paine National Park enjoying views of Paine Grande and its snowy peaks, as well as Los Cuernos – the famous mountain with black granite horn-like spires. Walk along the shores of stunning Lake Pehoe and visit the furious Salto Grande Falls which pour the waters of Lake Nordenskjold into Pehoe. The walk continues over the gentle Nordenskjold trail until reaching its picture-perfect lookout point. After returning to the vehicle, back at Lake Pehoe, drive south to a beach along the shores of glacial Lake Grey.
 Lunch: Box lunch by the lake.
 Afternoon: After lunch, walk around Lake Grey to have a better view of the glacier.
Leader-led site lecture: The Geological History of the Southern Andes.

Drive back to the camp.
 Dinner: At the camp dining room.
Accommodations: EcoCamp Patagonia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Northeastern Torres del Paine.
(Monday, December 2)
 Breakfast: At the camp dining room.
 Morning: Start the day with a drive towards Laguna Azul, in the northeastern side of the national park. Stop to take photos of the gorgeous landscapes and the local flora and fauna along the road, including a stop at Paine Waterfall.

Once at Laguna Azul, hike to a lookout point where there is a panoramic view of the lagoon and the famous granite towers that give the park its name. Continue along the eastern side of Lago Sarmiento, to the calcium formations on the lake’s shores where guanacos are often seen.
 Lunch: Box lunch in the park.
 Afternoon: After lunch, walk to Paso Las Corneas for beautiful views of Rio Paine, Lake Pehoe and the Paine Massif.
Leader-led site lecture: The Animals of the Southern Andes.

Return to the camp.
 Dinner: At the camp dining room.
Accommodations: EcoCamp Patagonia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Transfer to Punta Arenas/Fly to Santiago.
(Tuesday, December 3)
 Breakfast: At the camp dining room.
 Morning: Say farewell to Torres del Paine and begin transfer to Punta Arenas. En route stop at Puerto Natales for coffee & snacks.
 Lunch: Late lunch at a local restaurant in Punta Arenas.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the airport to catch a late afternoon flight to Santiago.
 Dinner: Light meal served on the flight to Santiago.
 Evening: Arrive in Santiago and transfer to the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Torremayor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Santiago -
Plaza de Armas/Pre-Columbian Museum/San Cristobal Hill/Introduction to Local Cuisine.

(Wednesday, December 4)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Lecture: Chile, the Sleeping Giant of South America.

Visit to the Plaza del Armas and the Pre-Columbian Museum, followed by a funicular ride up to San Cristobal Hill for panoramic views of Santiago and a site lecture. Site lecture by local guide: European Influences in the Growth and Development of Santiago.
 Lunch: On your own to explore local fare. There are many dining options around the base of San Cristobal Hill, in the Bella District.
 Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore the city at your leisure.

Pre-dinner social hour at a café in the Las Tarrias neighborhood of Santiago for a leader-led discussion on the cuisine of the region. Try some tasty local tapas (appetizers) while sharing stories of your independent explorations of Santiago earlier in the day (drinks at own expense).
 Dinner: On your own to try local specialties.
Accommodations: Hotel Torremayor
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 14: Winery Visit/Farewell Lunch/Departure Flights to U.S.
(Thursday, December 5)
 Breakfast: At the hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Field trip to a local winery around Santiago. Learn about local viniculture and participate in a wine tasting.

Chileans have produced fine wines for over a century, although the conquistadors also planted vines. The origin of today's world-class Chilean wines stems from cuttings brought over from French vineyards in the mid-19th century before their stock was decimated by disease. Later, the European vines were grafted onto disease-resistant American stock. Chilean growers, however, had the advantage of original, non-grafted vines from France as well as an ideal climate in the Central Valley. Chilean wines are becoming more and more popular around the world as they continue to win prizes at prestigious international wine tasting competitions.
 Lunch: Farewell lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel, followed by time at leisure to get some rest, enjoy hotel amenities, and/or do some last minute packing.

Late afternoon refreshments at the hotel before heading out to the airport to catch international flights to the U.S.
 Evening: Transfer to the international airport to catch overnight flights to the U.S.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Arrivals in the U.S.
(Friday, December 6)
 Arrive To: International flight arrivals to the U.S.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Chile & Easter Island

Author: Carolyn McCarthy, Jean-Bernard Carillet, Kevin Raub, & Greg Benchwick

Description: One of the best travel guides to Chile. Chile’s 2666-mile coastline features a great variety of environments such as the nearly waterless Atacama, the Mediterranean central valley, a mountainous but temperate lakes district, and Patagonia’s spectacular alpine glaciers and fjords. So whether you’re interested in exploring colonial Santiago, the vineyards of middle Chile or the enigmatic monuments of Easter Island, this guide will enhance your travels.

Patagonia: Natural History, Prehistory & Ethnography at the Uttermost End of the Earth

Author: Colin McEwan, Luis A Borrero, & Alfredo Prieto

Description: This is the story of the first hunter-gatherers to colonize the lower half of South America. The first European contacts led to tales of a race of giants and, ever since, Patagonia has exerted a special hold on the imagination. Tragically, by the mid-twentieth century, the last remnants of the indigenous way of life had disappeared forever. The essays in this volume trace a largely unwritten history of adaptation, survival, and extinction. Accompanied by 110 striking photographs. 192 pages.

A Wildlife Guide to Chile

Author: Sharon Chester

Description: Chester's splendid guide, featuring 120 color plates, covers the wildlife, plants and natural history of Chile from the Atacama Desert and Patagonia to Easter Island and Antarctica.

Dusk on the Camp: A Journey in Patagonia

Author: Sara Mansfield Taber

Description: Taber and her husband lived in Patagonia in 1978-79 and in 1984-85 at an isolated camp on the coast to study whales. Initially confident of their own self-sufficiency, they were soon driven by the early winter evenings, the relentless winds, and the isolation to seek company, befriending local families. A moving picture of the Patagonians’ warmth and stoicism in the face of loneliness and unceasing hard work.

In Patagonia

Author: Bruce Chatwin

Description: Chatwin's classic account of his journey through the "uttermost part of the earth." Evocative descriptions, notes on the history of the region, and remarkable anecdotes from a remote and starkly beautiful part of the world. “A travel book to stand on the shelf with Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, and Paul Theroux.” —The New York Times Book Review.

Insight Guide Argentina

Author: Insight Guides

Description: This handsome guide is a profusely illustrated overview of the country, featuring concise essays by well regarded authors on natural history, politics and culture. With hundreds of photos and excellent maps.

Insight Guide Chile

Author: Insight Guides

Description: In the style of Insight Guides, this book provides a good overview of Chile, featuring concise essays by well regarded authors on natural history, politics and culture.

Lonely Planet Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay

Author: Lonely Planet

Description: Written in the great tradition of Lonely Planet guidebooks, this publication provides a good overview of the history and cultures of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. It also has useful travel advice, maps, and suggestions on interesting places to explore.

Lonely Planet Trekking in the Patagonian Andes

Author: Carolyn McCarthy

Description: Contains 276 pages of containing route descriptions that range from day trips to multiday treks. Maps, information about distances, permits, and levels of difficulty are a helpful guide for the traveler interested in exploring the southern regions of Argentina by foot.

Map of Lake District, Araucania: Argentina & Chile

Author: Zagier & Urruty Maps

Description: This regional map (1:400,00) covers the mid-section of Chile and Argentina from Bariloche across to Puerto Montt and Temuco.

Moon Handbook Patagonia

Author: Moon Handbooks

Description: This practical guide covers where to go and what to do in southern South America from Puerto Montt and the Lake District to Perito Moreno, Torres del Paine and Tierra del Fuego. With chapters on Santiago and Buenos Aires.

Natural Patagonia, Argentina and Chile

Author: Marcelo D. Beccaceci

Description: An informative photographic journey through the breathtaking landscapes and wildlife of Patagonia, featuring 120 color photographs, presented in Spanish and English.

South American Explorer Chilean Fjords Map

Author: Ocean Explorer Maps

Description: A handsome map of southern South America (1:4,800,000) with a detailed map of the Chilean Fjords (1:2,200,000) on the reverse. Includes Santiago and Buenos Aires.

The Last Cowboys at the End of the World, The Story of the Gauchos of Patagonia

Author: Nick Reding

Description: An intimate portrait of a year on a cattle ranch in southern Chile, the tough life out in the field, cowboy culture, and the trials and tribulations of running a remote estancia. In the third section of the book, Reding tells of Duck and Edith abandoning the ranch on Rio Cisnes for Coihaique, the nearby regional capital. He interweaves stories and interviews with the colorful (and troubled) cast of characters on the ranch.

Travels in a Thin Country, A Journey through Chile

Author: Sarah Wheeler

Description: British author Sarah Wheeler deploys her wit, intelligence and powerful investigative skills on the Republic of Chile in this insightful travelogue.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768