If you're looking for an adventure of a lifetime, Patagonia is the place to go in 2024! Nestled on the south tip of South America shared by Chile and Argentina, Patagonia offers beautiful landscapes unlike any other. From stunning mountains to powerful bodies of water and majestic glaciers, this vast region allows travelers endless opportunities for exploration. Join us as we take a journey to some of the world's most remote places and discover secrets hidden there just waiting to be uncovered. Whether you’re looking for off-the-beaten path hikes or the chance to disconnect and be inspired by breathtaking sunsets over crystal lakes, come along with us as we explore what Patagonia has in store!
Trip specific FAQ
Below we're answering some of the most frequently asked questions about our March 2024 Patagonia trip including dates, cost, payment schedule, fitness level, activities we'll be completing, and more.
What are the dates of the trip?
March 15-22, 2024
What is the cost?
$2895 per person for the first 10 sign-ups. After that, it's $3095 per person.
How physically fit should I be for this trip?
This is a hiking-centered trip, so attendees should have a moderate fitness level. I know that's hard to gauge, so we'll provide you with some fitness training tips and plans to ensure you're comfortable and confident heading into the trip. The detailed itinerary has information about the specific hikes if you'd like to look at each on AllTrails to get a better idea of elevation gain and distance and read reviews of other people who have hiked the same trail. This trip has three main hikes: 4, 14, and 13 miles. I know that sounds daunting, but most people can complete the hikes with proper training and preparation. We're big believers in people being a part of the entire experience, so if a few slower hikers struggle with parts of hikes, Chris and I will stay behind and keep you company and motivated the whole time. :)
What's the weather like in Patagonia?
Patagonia is known for cold and windy weather due to its super southern location at the tip of South America. Remember that because Patagonia is in the southern hemisphere, their seasons are opposite ours here in the USA. So March is the end of their summer, and heading into their fall. As their summer goes on, the winds supposedly lessen, making March an ideal month to visit. Don't worry; we'll provide you with a good packing list and help you through whatever questions you may have about what to pack to stay warm in Patagonia.
What time zone is Patagonia in?
El Calafate, Argentina (where you arrive and depart) is two time zones ahead of the USA's Eastern Standard Time (EST). If you live in the USA, you can expect the time zone jet lag to be minimal, especially if you're from the east coast!
What are the hotels like?
The hotels are clean and rated as 3-star hotels. You can expect them to be well-equipped, clean, and comfortable. The detailed itinerary lists a hotel name for each night, which you can look up and read reviews on. The hotel listed isn't guaranteed to be the one we stay at, but it is the one that Trova aims to book for us each night. If that one is already booked when our group's reservation is made, we'll go to a similar hotel option in the same city. Trova always has a list of first, second, and third-choice hotels, which are all comparable and very similar.
Will I have a roommate at the hotel?
If you're traveling with a spouse, partner, best friend, parents, etc., you can expect to room with one another without any additional fee. If you're traveling solo, you'll have the option to pay a bit more to have a private room; otherwise, you'll be assigned to a room with someone of the same gender as yourself.
We had great experiences at the hotels in Iceland during our 2022 group trip through Trova. We've heard great things about the Patagonia accommodations from other group hosts, so we anticipate solid accommodations.
What does the trip cost include/not include?
The price does not include airfare, a few meals, and any extra spending for snacks and souvenirs during the trip. The cost includes airport transfers to and from the airport to the hotel, 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners. Note: The detailed itinerary says a few extra sack lunches are included during the hikes in addition to the 2 noted at the top of the itinerary. We're waiting for clarification from Trova on this. For details and clarification about the itinerary, you can check it out here.
Is the whole payment amount due at one time?
No, you can choose to pay for your trip over a few months. Due to the shorter amount of time leading up to this trip (we're just under nine months now), participants will have less time than usual to spread out payments. We wish we could give everyone longer, but these are Trova's rules and we chose March dates because of the better weather. All trip payments should be in 90 days prior to departure (so December 15, 2023).
What airport do you fly into for the trip?
You'll fly in and out of El Calafate, Argentina (FTE). This is a tiny airport and can be pretty expensive. You have a few different options when booking plane tickets to FTE.
You can book a direct roundtrip from your home airport to El Calafate. This will likely be the most expensive option but the easiest to navigate. This might be your best option for nervous and inexperienced travelers since the transfers will likely be straightforward.
You could book a round trip from a larger airport hub, which would likely mean a cheaper fair. Looking at different cities across the USA, it appeared that NYC and Miami had the most affordable fairs due to Aerolineas Argentinas (Argentina's major airline) flying in and out of there. You could book a ticket from your home airport to the larger airport hub with a cheaper ticket to El Calafate.
You could book a roundtrip ticket from the USA to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then a domestic flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate. Buenos Aires is a much larger airport, and you're more likely to snag a decently priced flight into there than into El Calafate.
If you plan to go with option 2 or 3, please arrange plenty of time between flights if something goes wrong. When you book different tickets for different legs of a journey, the airlines won't help you if you miss your second leg if there's a delay, a plane issue, etc. It would help if you were comfortable transferring airports and/or having long layovers alone. These are just a few suggestions we have. As it gets closer to time, we're happy to help y'all navigate flights and/or connect you with others flying from your neck of the woods beforehand so you can coordinate traveling together if that interests you.
We always recommend using Google Flights to help you figure out the best ticket prices and strategies.
Itinerary for our Patagonia trip
This is a very hiking focused trip given that Patagonia's best spots are accessed by trail. Part of what makes this place so incredible is its remote location and hiking will get you up close and personal with some of these amazing views and places. Some of the hikes are all day expeditions which you'll see in the official detailed itinerary. Another important note about the itinerary is that we cross the Chile/Argentina border twice. Border crossings can take a while in some places, so there's a buffer of time in there just in case we have any snags along the way (unlikely, but customs can be finicky). The day we cross the borders the ride between the two towns is only about 3 1/2 hours but there is extra time allotted for the crossing itself.
Something we really loved about this itinerary is that the long hike days are balanced by off-days when we have to drive a bit more and cross borders giving our muscles and joints time to relax and recuperate. Be sure to take a look at the official Trova detailed itinerary with more information about the schedule and timing of each activity.
Activities during our Patagonia trip
Our March 2024 Patagonia trip is rated as a 4 of 5 with one being the easiest the five being the most strenuous. I know 4/5 sound daunting, but with a bit of preparation and training, most people will be able to make this trip happen! If you're still unsure whether or not you're in good enough physical shape to complete the hikes, checkout more specific information about each Patagonia trek down below.
Laguna de Los Tres Hike
The Laguna de Los Tres hike, located within the Los Glaciares National Park, is perhaps one of the most rewarding treks in Patagonia. The trail offers an incredible view of Mount Fitz Roy, the iconic granite tower named after the captain of the HMS Beagle. Though it's a challenging hike, this out and back 14 mile hike offers breath-taking panoramic views of the blue lagoon surrounded by stark, glacier-capped peaks make it worth every step. The trail is dotted with beautiful flora and fauna, and if you're lucky, you might spot an Andean condor soaring above. The Laguna de Los Tres hike is truly an unforgettable part of any Patagonian adventure.
The Base Las Torres Trek is an essential highlight of any trip to Patagonia. Located in the heart of Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, this trek is a challenging yet rewarding journey that culminates in a stunning view of the iconic Torres Del Paine towers. The trek typically takes a full day, covering approximately 12 miles of diverse landscapes including lush forests, rushing rivers, and rocky mountain terrain. The final leg of the trek is quite steep, but the breathtaking vista of the three granite towers standing majestically above a turquoise glacial lake more than compensates for the exertion. It's a spectacle that leaves even the most seasoned adventurers in awe. Remember to pack your camera, as this is a view you won't want to forget!
*The Perito Moreno Glacier Ice Trek is optional for an additional fee.
Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in Patagonia. Located within the Los Glaciares National Park in the southwest of Santa Cruz Province, Argentina, it is one of the most important tourist attractions in Argentinian Patagonia. This massive ice formation, an advancing glacier that spans over 96 square miles and reaches a height of 240 feet above the surface of Lake Argentino, is a breathtaking sight to behold. Unlike most of the world's glaciers that are retreating, Perito Moreno is still growing. The glacier's sheer size, stunning blue ice, and the thunderous sound of massive ice chunks calving into the lake make it a must-see destination on any Patagonian itinerary. Trekking on the glacier itself offers an unforgettable experience, allowing adventurers to walk on the ice and explore deep blue crevasses, ice caves, and small lagoons.
On day 2 of our Patagonia trip we'll have two different hike options: Cerro Torre or Mirador de los Cóndores y Águilas ur guide will decide for us which hike will be the better option on the day we are hiking. Both are comparable in distance and elevation, but we're going to give you a rundown of each hike below so you'll be sure to know what to expect.
Cerro Torre is a 3.7 mile out and back trail near El Chaltén, Santa Cruz. This hike is incredibly rewarding for its relatively short distance. This hike is very popular but it's no wonder given the incredible views and relatively easy accessibility.
The Mirador de los Cóndores y Águilas hike, located in El Chaltén, Argentina, provides a unique opportunity to witness the breathtaking beauty of Patagonia from the vantage point of its majestic birds of prey. This relatively short and accessible trek leads to a scenic viewpoint where you can often see Andean condors and Black-chested Buzzard-eagles soaring above the panoramic landscape. With a backdrop of towering peaks, azure-blue lakes, and expansive plains, the hike offers an unparalleled perspective of Patagonia’s natural splendor.
Our Patagonia trip wouldn't be complete without the guided bus tour through the sensational Torres del Paine National Park. This leisurely excursion gives everyone a chance to relax their hiking muscles while soaking in the park's diverse landscapes. From the comfort of our coach, we'll marvel at the towering granite peaks, sprawling pampas, and sparkling blue glaciers. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for Patagonian wildlife, including the guanacos (a relative of the llama) and the majestic Andean condors. It's a scenic journey that captures the essence of Patagonia's natural beauty in a uniquely accessible way. Be sure to have your cameras ready for some fantastic photo opportunities!
Los Glaciares National Park Tour (including Nautical Safari boat tour)
The day will begin with a boat ride along the towering face of the glacier – experience the calving of the glaciers as the ice pops, cracks, and breaks away into the water. Your Guide will lead you through the walkways to get a closer look at this jaw-dropping ice field from various viewpoints. Something interesting about this glacier vs. many others in the world is that this one is still growing and getting bigger each year!
Before embarking on your journey to the heart of South America, arm yourself with essential knowledge about this awe-inspiring destination. In this "Patagonia FAQ" section, we will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Patagonia, from the best time to visit, to what to bring, and what you can expect from this once-in-a-lifetime adventure with us. With this information at your fingertips, you can feel confident about traveling to this remote location for the first time whether solo or with your best friend.
Where is Patagonia?
Patagonia is located in the southernmost part of South America, straddling both Chile and Argentina.
Is Patagonia a country?
No, Patagonia is not a country; it is a region in South America that spans the lower sections of Argentina and Chile.
Who owns Patagonia?
Patagonia is not owned by any one person or entity; it is a geographic region divided between the sovereign nations of Chile and Argentina.
How to get to Patagonia?
Reaching Patagonia can involve a variety of travel methods, depending on your point of origin. For most international visitors, the journey typically begins with a flight to Buenos Aires in Argentina or Santiago in Chile. From there, domestic flights can be taken to various destinations within Patagonia, such as El Calafate or Ushuaia in Argentina, or Punta Arenas in Chile. Alternatively, for those with more time, long-distance buses or self-drive options offer a chance to experience the breathtaking landscapes of Patagonia en route.
Where is Patagonia located on a map?
Patagonia is located on the southern tip of South America, stretching across both Argentina and Chile, with the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Atlantic Ocean on the east.
What to do in Patagonia
Patagonia offers a kaleidoscope of experiences for the intrepid traveler. Nature lovers can bask in the region's staggering natural beauty, exploring the vast pampas, towering mountain ranges, turquoise lakes, and ancient forests. Adventure enthusiasts can indulge in an array of activities, from trekking and mountain biking to kayaking, horse riding, and glacier hiking. Wildlife aficionados can spot diverse species, including the Andean condor, guanaco, puma, and Magellanic penguin, while culture vultures can dive deep into the rich history and traditions of the indigenous Mapuche people. No matter your interests, Patagonia provides an array of unforgettable experiences that cater to every type of traveler.
During our March 2024 Patagonia trip we'll participate in some of Patagonia's most iconic hikes, a glacier boat tours, and guided tours through Patagonia's best national parks.
When to visit Patagonia
The best time to visit Patagonia is during the Southern Hemisphere's summer months, from November to March, when the weather is warmest and the days are longest. During this period, temperatures range from 40°F to 65°F, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and exploring the region's stunning landscapes. It's also the best time for spotting wildlife, as many species are active during these warmer months. However, it's important to note that weather in Patagonia can be unpredictable, so it's always a good idea to pack for all conditions, regardless of when you visit.
Do I need a guide for Patagonia?
While it is possible to explore Patagonia independently, having a guide can significantly enhance your experience. Local guides have in-depth knowledge of the area, including the best trails to hike, the ideal time to visit certain attractions, and hidden gems that you might miss on your own. They are also well-versed in the local flora and fauna, which can add depth to your wildlife spotting pursuits. Moreover, guides can ensure your safety during activities like glacier trekking that require specific expertise. Therefore, especially for first-time visitors or those planning to undertake strenuous activities, hiring a guide for your Patagonia trip is highly recommended.
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We're Chris and Sara
A creative husband and wife duo from a small-town in Tennessee with passion for all things travel. Checkout the links below to join us on our past, present, and future adventures!