CHILE..Puerto MonttBarilocheFrom Buenos AiresTo Buenos AiresTo SantiagoEl CalafatePerito MorenoGlacierPunta ArenasUshuaiaARGENTINA--- LAKE CROSSING EXTENSION ... eolo The setting is enchanting; the views across the silent, empty Patagonian steppes linger in the mind long after you've left. You'll be isolated on a remote working farm which cleverly combines the feel of an estancia ranch with the design of a modern, top-notch hotel (left). Excursions to nearby attractions can be arranged. In keeping with the atmosphere of Eolo's undisturbed, solitary setting there is no TV in your room. Instead, guests can unwind in the lounge, library, sauna and indoor pool. You'll be able to hear yourself think.Patagonia of Argentina and Chile 15 days, 12 nightsBuenos Aires 3 nights, Ushuaia 2n, El Calafate 3n, Torres del Paine 3n (standard), 4n (superior*), Santiago 1n.*Superior is 16 days, 13 nights, spends 4 nights at explora en Patagonia (see pp144-145) Day 1 Fly from the UK to Buenos Aires. Days 2-4 At leisure in the capital, including a city tour. Evening visit to a tango show with dinner. Days 5&6 Fly to Ushuaia on the Beagle Channel, in the shadow of a hand of jagged mountains. Excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park (p160). The unique vegetation here enhances the beauty of its mountains, lakes, creeks and gorges. Shared catamaran trip down the channel. Day 7 Fly to El Calafate, on the shores of Lago Argentino. Day 8 Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier. Day 9 Optional boat trip on Lago Argentino to historic Estancia Cristina, near the Upsala Glacier. Days 10-12 Drive over the border to Chile's Torres del Paine National Park (pp144-145). Stay at one of the lodges inside or on the edge of the park. Day 13 Drive to Punta Arenas (5hrs) and fly to Santiago (or Puerto Montt?see alternative below). Day 14 Fly to the UK arriving day 15. Prices from £2,468pp (standard). Standard with lake crossing extension from £2,996pp. Superior from £4,346. Superior with lake crossing extension from £5,002. Lake crossing extension to Argentina 19 days, 16 nightsAs above, but on day 13 fly to Puerto Montt and continue as follows: Puerto Varas 1 night, Bariloche 2n, Buenos Aires 1n.Day 13 Fly to Puerto Montt, overnight at lakeside Puerto Varas, within sight of Osorno Volcano. Day 14 Cross the Andes from Chile to Argentina through the lake district to Bariloche. Day 15 At leisure in Bariloche (p162). Day 16 Fly to Buenos Aires. Day 17 Fly to the UK arriving day 18. (Superior, day 19). Regular departures from the UK 020 8747 8315 / journeylatinamerica.co.uk bookings, consultant advice and additional information 159 Eolo surpassed all my expectations. Staff were extremely helpful. Accommodation and facilities were of the highest quality. AW, WisbechBelow Perito Moreno glacier-the wall of ice is 60m high. On the shore, you are close enough to hear the ice cracking: periodically a spire the size of a cathedral crashes, in apparently slow motion, into the lake.Torres del PaineNational ParkTierra del FuegoNational ParkEOLOISTOCKPHOTO.COM
cruceros australisDAVID NICHOLSRemote Patagonia For most of us, all of Patagonia is remote. But it's surprisingly easy to go beyond the main towns serving tourists, El Calafate on the mainland and Ushuaia on the island of Tierra del Fuego, to explore deeper into this wilderness territory. These days, national parks can be visited by road from cosy inns, and here you'll find some of the most visually striking walking opportunities on the continent. If you'd rather discover the region in even more comfort, there are cruises which penetrate the bays and fjords right up to the walls of the glaciers.South of the Straits of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego is a mountainous island wilderness steeped in a fascinating human history of hardship and heroism. There are forests of mossy, twisted trunks, peat bogs and hidden creeks. Ushuaia (left), the departure port for cruises to Antarctica, and its environs have a number of good hotels and family guesthouses welcoming visitors.Just a half-hour's drive from Ushuaia you can hike through seemingly remote, little-visited virgin territory, with ancient forests, tortured rock cliffs, tumbling streams and blue-tinged glaciers. We offer a 3-day guided camping trek along guanaco trails here which really feels like a voyage of discovery.A four hour drive from El Calafate (p158) is the small mountain resort of El Chaltén, starting point for hotel-based drives and day walks and also for the 4 day M Trek, undertaken in the shadow of the icy crags and perpendicular towers of the Fitz Roy Massif (right). In spite of the proximity to some of the region's highest peaks this is relatively low-altitude trekking, with nights spent camping and at simple guesthouses.160 Argentina australis What more congenial a way to cross between Argentinean and Chilean Patagonia than to meander by ship via Cape Horn, from the Straits of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego? Stella Australis and Via Australis (see also p142-143) are expedition cruise ships which weave their way through the network of channels and islands between Ushuaia and the Chilean city of Punta Arenas, with a daily programme of onshore excursions. Weather permitting, the ships will disembark at the Cape Horn National Park, one of the most savage, most storm-buffeted places on Earth. Autumn (April-May) colours in the Fitz Roy massif.