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2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
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Patagonia Chile: Torres Del Paine + Whale Watching + Penguin + Birding Holiday, Falklands

Chile: Patagonia (Puerto Natales) + Falkland Islands
CRZ14S
14 NIGHTS
FROM £4,295
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Patagonia Chile Torres Whale Watching Penguin Birding Holiday Falklands

This holiday combines the glaciers & fjiords of spectacular Patagonia in Chile, where you will visit Torres del Paine National Park, navigate down Last Hope Sound & enjoy a whale watching boat ride from Punta Arenas. Then fly south to see the wildife, many penguin colonies and enjoy a birding holiday in the remote Falklands Islands. All transfers & specified activities included.

Patagonia Chile Torres Whale Watching Penguin Birding Holiday Falklands
• 
Patagonia Chile, Torres Del Paine
• 
Puerto Natales
• 
Last Hope Sound
• 
Torres Del Paine
• 
Punta Arenas
• 
Whale Watching
• 
Penguin Colony
• 
Falkland Islands
• 
Stanley & Volunteer Point
• 
Birding Holiday Falklands
• 
Patagonia Chile, Torres Del Paine
• 
Puerto Natales
• 
Last Hope Sound
• 
Torres Del Paine
• 
Punta Arenas
• 
Whale Watching
• 
Penguin Colony
• 
Falkland Islands
• 
Stanley & Volunteer Point
• 
Birding Holiday Falklands
Day 1
You will be met at Santiago Airport and transferred to the capital of Santiago de Chile.
 
Check into your hotel in this sophisticated and cosmopolitan city, situated in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andes Mountains and the beautiful Chilean Coastal Range.
Day 2
This morning enjoy a half day private tour of the modern city of Santiago. We start in the downtown area of this relatively compact city, where modern buildings have transformed the landscape, and visit Santa Lucia Hill where the city of Santiago was founded in 1541.
 
We continue to the Plaza de Armas in the heart of the old colonial city and bustling Ahumada Boulevard with its many shops, street performers and vendors. Here you will be able to see some beautiful Neo-classical buildings – including the 18th century Cathedral of Santiago and the early 19th century Royal Court Palace, which now houses the National History Museum. Also enjoy outside views of the Municipal Offices, the Post Office and the current Presidential Palace, La Moneda. You will have the opportunity to taste a ‘Pisco Sour’, see local handcrafts and walk through some of the more traditional streets of the city, before being dropped off at your hotel.
 
Your afternoon is at leisure to explore more of this lively city independently.
 
Note: Most museums are closed on Mondays.
Day 3
Transfer to Santiago Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Punta Arenas Airport and transferred 2.5-hours to Puerto Natales - the gateway to Torres del Paine National Park.
 
Check into your hotel in this former fishing town situated on the Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope) Sound.
 
Note: Your airport driver will only speak Spanish.
Day 4
This morning transfer to the jetty at nearby Puerto Bories for a full day excursion by boat to view the spectacular Serrano Glacier.
 
We navigate through the beautiful Last Hope Sound, passing remote cattle and sheep estancias (ranches) until we enter Bernardo O´Higgins National Park. At certain times of the year you may see sea lions taking refuge in the cliffs and Andean condors (the largest vulture) soaring high above the cliffs. You will also see cormorants and other sea birds.
 
The first glacier we see is the icy blue Balmaceda Glacier that is over 1,000 years old, but is now receding due to global warming. At the end of the fjord we disembark at Puerto Toro and walk 30-minutes each way through a tranquil indigenous forest to the foot of the astonishing Serrano Glacier, a fantastic natural wonder that is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. If you are fortunate you may see a large chunk of ice detaching and crashing into the waters below, a process known as "calving". If you have mobility issues and do not wish to walk to the glacier, there is a lookout point close to the jetty.
 
Afterwards we return to the boat, stopping on the way back at a traditional estancia to enjoy an included 'asado al palo' (typical Magellanic barbeque). We continue sailing back to Puerto Bories, arriving in the late afternoon.
 
Note: Wear good walking shoes and dress warmly for this excursion with a fleece, waterproof jacket, gloves, beanie and scarf as Patagonia often has four seasons in one day.  From May to September this excursion is only available on a Sunday.
Day 5
Today enjoy a full day shared excursion, driving 2-hours across the dry scrubland of the Magellanic Steppe to Torres del Paine National Park - a 242,000 hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its soaring mountains, electric-blue lakes and many glaciers.
 
We drive past Figueroa Lake and several large cattle estancias, which are home to the Chilean 'baqueanos' (also called 'huasos' or cowboys), who drink a distinctive caffeine-rich herbal tea known as 'mate', served in a round cup, and love to compete in local rodeos. Along the way we stop at the village of Cerro Castillo where you can see the Monument of the Horse sculpture, enjoy a coffee and buy typical handcrafts from the region. A variety of rare wildlife can be seen in these pampas (lowlands) including the elegant guanaco, a type of humpless camel related to the llama, and the lesser rhea which is related to the ostrich and emu. You may see giant condors soaring in the thermals, as well as eagles. Grey and red fox also live here, but are rarely seen.
 
After seeing our first postcard views of the Paine Massif across the waters of Lake Sarmiento, we enter Torres del Paine National Park. Here the landscape changes dramatically to spectacular turquoise glacier lakes frequented by marine birds, lofty waterfalls and magnificent granite mountain peaks covered by ice. The enormous Campo de Hielo Sur icecap gives the park four main glaciers - Grey, Dickson, Zapata and Tyndall. Two other glaciers descend from the west side of the central massif.
 
Weather permitting, from the viewpoint at Lake Amarga ('Bitter Lake') you will have one of the best views of the three granite Torres del Paine ('Towers of Blue') from which the park takes its name. Guanaco are plentiful on the open plains of the eastern sector of the park, as are their main predator - the puma (also called mountain lion, or cougar), but as they are nocturnal and have excellent camouflage they are rarely seen.
 
Our next stop is at the Lake Nordenskjold lookout, with its view over the different peaks of the Paine Massif, including the famous 'horns' (Cuernos del Paine) and Paine Grande, the highest mountain in the park at over 10,000 ft (3,050 m). We then take a 15-minute walk to the powder blue Salto Grande Waterfall that flows into Lake Pehoé, after which we stop for an included lunch.
 
In the afternoon we continue driving along this beautiful chain of glacial lakes to Grey Lake, where we walk across a hanging bridge over the Pingo River to its shores. From here you can walk 30-minutes each way to get closer views of the spectacular blue icebergs that have fallen from the Grey Glacier, which can be seen in the distance.
 
We then leave Torres del Paine, stopping on our return journey at the Milodón Cave on Benitez Hill, where the remains of several extinct animals have been found - including a sabre-toothed tiger, an American horse and a gigantic herbivorous mammal known as the milodon. We walk 30-minutes to the main cave which is 200 meters deep, 80 meters wide and 30 meters high and has a life-size replica of the milodon. You will also see stalactites. We return to Puerto Natales in the late afternoon.
 
Note: Sometimes this tour operates in the reverse direction. Shared day tours have a maximum of 30 people.
Day 6
Transfer 2.5-hours today from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas (meaning 'Sandy Point').
 
Check into your hotel in this very southern port, situated on the Strait of Magellan that links the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
 
Note: Your driver will only speak Spanish.
Day 7
Depart early from Punta Arenas harbour this morning on a Whale Watching boat ride into Francisco Coloane Marine Park, where you can view whales in season (November to April).
 
This remote and pristine section of the Strait of Magellan offers shelter to migrating humpback whales, after they have given birth off the coast of Colombia. You may also see orcas, sei whales, dolphins, fur seals and penguins.
 
Note: Wear a warm jacket, as it will be cold on the boat and take a sun hat, sun glasses, binoculars, sunscreen & camera. Take your own snacks & drinks. If you are not a good sailor remember to take preventative travel sickness tablets well in advance.
Day 8
Transfer to Punta Arenas Airport for your onward flight.
 
Note: Your airport driver will only speak Spanish.

You will be met at Mount Pleasant Airport and transferred 45-minutes to the settlement of Darwin, situated on Choiseul Sound on East Falkland Island (or the 'Malvinas' as they are known by Argentina).
 
Situated on the Patagonia shelf in the South Atlantic Ocean, this remote archipeago consists of 778 islands and islets, with the two largest being West Falkland and East Falkland.
 
Check in and enjoy the rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds found on this far-flung British Overseas Territory.
Day 9
Today explore the picturesque settlement of Darwin, named after the famous naturalist Charles Darwin, who visited the Falklands in the 1830s.
 
Enjoy a half day guided tour of the San Carlos, Goose Green and Darwin area to see some of the places that became household names during the 74-day Falklands War in 1982. Experienced guides will bring these events to life as you visit both the British and Argentinian war cemeteries, as well as many of the battlefields to gain insight into the fierce battle for the reinstatement of a British flag over Goose Green.
 
Going back some 200 years, you can also see remnants of the much earlier occupation by Argentinian gauchos (cowboys).
 
Afterwards relax on Darwin's waterfront, which is a great place for birding. Sightings of Night herons, Ruddy-headed geese and Blackish oystercatchers almost certain.
Day 10
This morning transfer to Darwin airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Bleaker Island.
 
The highlight of this island is its Rockhopper penguin colony of some 750 pairs, situated only a short walk from your cottage. On arrival enjoy an orientation tour of the island.
 
Note: As you will be flying in a light aircraft you must pack soft sports bags only, as rigid suitcases will not fit into the luggage pods. A baggage allowance of 15 kg (which includes your hand luggage) is strictly enforced for safety reasons. Excess baggage can be stored with our local representative.
Day 11
This morning enjoy an orientation tour of Bleaker Island, with its wonderful birds and marine life.
 
This island offers a large amount of wildlife in a very compact area, with the sites of most interest conveniently located close to the settlement. The highlight of the island is the Rockhopper penguin colony of some 750 pairs, situated only a short walk from your accommodation. Further south a Gentoo penguin colony and scattering of Magellanic penguins can be found.
 
Long Gulch is fringed with tussac grass which attracts many smaller birds such as Grass and Cobb’s wrens. Around 9,000 pairs of King cormorants form the main seabird colonies found along the cliff tops. These tussac areas also offer regular sightings of Black-chinned siskins, Dark-faced ground-tyrants, Falkland pipits and thrushes, Black-throated finches and Long-tailed meadowlarks.
 
Peales & Commersons dolphins can be found along the shoreline, as well as large numbers of Southern sea lions.
Day 12
This morning transfer to Bleaker Island airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Pebble Island, named after the semi-precious stones that are found here.
 
One of the larger outlying islands, Pebble Island offers diverse habitats ranging from large ponds to vast sandy beaches and rocky cliffs. It therefore offers shelter to a wide variety of marine birds and mammals, including thousands of Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins that breed here each summer, along with Southern sea lions.
 
The ponds on the east of the island, many within walking distance of your accommodation, are home to Chiloe wigeon, Grebes, Black-necked swans and a multitude of other waterfowl.
Day 13
Your guided tour of Pebble Island today can be tailored to your interests and offers ample opportunity to view the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery further afield.
 
Pebble Island also has something for the historian, as it played an important role in the Falklands War.
Day 14
This morning transfer to Pebble Island airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Stanley.
 
On arrival enjoy a full day private tour in a 4x4 vehicle to Volunteer Point. With its white sandy beach and turquoise waters, this are has a Caribbean feel - but  its iconic King and Gentoo penguins will remind you that you are in the Falklands. There is a host of other wildlife to be seen along the beach and on the lagoons, as well as spectacular scenery, as you traverse the north of East Falkland island.
 
 Afterwards check into your accommodation in the capital town of Stanley.
 
Note: A packed lunch and all entry fees are included today.
Day 15
Transfer 45-minutes to Mount Pleasant Airport for your flight home.