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Ice Trek, Patagonian Glaciers

Argentina - Discovery – Self-guided –10 days / 9 nights

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Highlights…:

• Hike on Viedma glacier and discover Perito Moreno glacier ;
• Take the famous Route 40 from El Calafate to El Chalten ;
• Trek in El Chalten, the national capital of trekking ;
• Reach Fitz Roy, the sacred granite mountain of Patagonia ;
• Visit an Estancia and meet the famous Argentine gauchos.

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Encounters : box black box black box withe box withe box withe -  Trekking : box black box black box black box withe box withe

 

 

Starting from $ 2199 USD*

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Live an unforgettable experience in full contact with nature, visiting some of the mythic mountains and glaciers of Patagonia. In the National Park of Los Glaciares you can see, photograph, and even trek on different glaciers.
Perito Moreno Glacier remains one of the most dynamic in the world. You will hear the creaking and rumbling of the ice as it cracks and advances. If you are lucky you will witness a large chunk of ice cracking off and crashing into the chilly waters of Lake Argentino.
Viedma Glacier, less well-known and therefore less crowded than Perito Moreno, is the biggest in Argentina and one of the most impressive of Patagonia. Trek on this glacier to appreciate its sheer size, beauty, and massiveness.

 

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ITINERARY…

Day 1 – BUENOS AIRES, THE CITY THAT LOOKS AND FEELS EUROPEAN
Arrival by international flight
After landing in Buenos Aires, our driver will transfer you to your hotel, located in the city centre. An English speaking member of our team will guide you through the most picturesque areas: El Caminito and San Telmo, at the origins of Tango, then the ancient harbour, heart of the city. At night, take a walk in Puerto Madero area, an old harbour reconverted into a business area.
  • Transport : private transfer - 45 min + pubblic transport
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals: none
Day 2 – BUENOS AIRES, GREAT AVENUES AND LARGE PARKS
A free day for you to continue exploring Buenos Aires on your own. You can choose to take a walk downtown to the Pink House (Government) and Congress, or enjoy the parks and nice buildings of Recoleta and Palermo. In these neighbours you will find interesting museums as well as Plaza Francia’s craftsman fair and Tango dancers. 
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals: breakfast
Day 3 – PATAGONIA PURE NATURE…
Flight Buenos Aires > El Calafate
Bus El Calafate > El Chalten
Transfer to the airport for your flight to El Calafate. From there a bus will take you directly to El Chalten, a colourful town on the edge of Los Glaciares National park, where you are scheduled to arrive at the end of the afternoon. On the way, get the chance to observe the turquoise waters of Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma and take a first glance at Viedma glacier and the granite peaks of Mount Fitz Roy. The rest of the day is yours to walk the streets of this village and enjoy some nice viewpoints.
  • Transport: regular bus service - 3h
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals : breakfast
Day 4 – THE FITZ ROY, MAJESTIC SUMMIT
Hike to Lake Torre for some stunning views of Mount Torre, a major challenge for best climbers. The lake, fed by Mount Torre’s glacier, lies at the foot of this incredible 1000m high granite tower, with its famous needle shaped pea,k surmounted by an ice cap. The Fitz Roy, also known as Cerro Chalten, is very arduous to climb.
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals : breakfast
  • Trekking : 5 - 7h depending on the trail
Day 5 – VIEDMA ICE-TREK, ICE RIGHT UNDER YOUR FEET !
Leave at 7:45 am from your hotel to board a cruise on Lake Viedma. Navigate along the coast to admire the impressive Fitz Roy and Huemul, reaching the icy walls of Viedma glacier standing about 40m high. Disembark close to the glacier, put on your crampons and start exploring this incredible world of ice: turquoise lagoons, sinkholes, cracks, ice caves and crystal clear water. Get amazed by the different shapes and colours. A unique experience of Perito Moreno away from the crowd.
  • Transport: English speaking group service - 30 min + navigation
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals : breakfast
  • English speaking guide
Day 6 – MEET THE FITZ ROY
Bus El Chalten > El Calafate
Early departure for a hike at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy with its peaks and glaciers. Walk along turquois lakes before returning to El Chalten. A beautiful trek to discover the hanging Piedras Blancas Glacier and move along the shores of the lagoons Madre and Hija and De los Tres, all set in a magnificent scenery and wildlife. Leave El Chalten by bus in the late afternoon to arrive in El Calafate in the evening.
  • Transport: regular bus service - 3h
  • Accommodation: bed & breakfast
  • Included meals: breakfast
  • Trekking : 6 - 7h easy hike
Day 7 – GLACIERS AND ICEBERGS 
Leave at 7:15 am from your hotel and start a cruise on Lake Agentino and its calm blue coloured waters. The navigation runs between fjords and floating icebergs of spectacular size and forms. Finally, you will approach the majestic fronts of the Glaciers Upsala and Spegazzini. Return to El Calafate at the end of the afternoon.
  • Transport: English speaking group service - 1h45
  • Accommodation: bed & breakfast
  • Included meals: breakfast
  • Entrance to the park not included (25 USD p.p.)
Day 8 – PERITO MORENO AND THE GAUCHOS
Experience the famous Perito Moreno Glacier, the most active glacier in Patagonia. With some luck you will hear the terrible cracking noise and possibly observe a massive block of ice falling into Lake Argentino. Return to El Calafate by midday. Transfer to the traditional Estancia of Nibepo Aike, lost in the middle of the grassland. In this farm you will go through the daily rural tasks of branding cattle, sheep-sharing, herding of sheep. You can also choose to ride a horse or walk around to discover the beautiful surroundings, and amazing views. At night, enjoy a typical dinner with a folkloric show.
  • Transport: regular bus service - 3h + English speaking group service + van - 1h30
  • Accommodation: Estancia
  • Included meals : breakfast and dinner
  • Entrance to the park not included (25 USD p.p.)
Day 9 – ESTANCIA – EL CALAFATE – BUENOS AIRES
Flight El Calafate > Buenos Aires
Free time in the morning to visit and learn more about the Estancia and the Gaucho lifestyle. Transfer to the airport in the early afternoon for your flight to Buenos Aires. Our driver will take you to your hotel.
  • Transport: English speaking group service - 1h30
  • Accommodation: hotel**
  • Included meals : breakfast and lunch
Day 10 – FINAL DAY IN ARGENTINA
Departure of your international flight
Free time in the capital city. Three hours before your international flight, a transfer vehicle will pick you up at your hotel to take you to the airport.
  • Transport : private transfer - 45 min
  • Included meals : breakfast
End of your adventure in Patagonia

This program is only given as an indication. TransHumans reserves the right, directly or through its local partners, to replace transportation, accommodation, itinerary, as well as dates and departure times, without the participants being able to claim any compensation.

Dates and prices

PRICES 2016 (in USD per person)

N° of participants  2   3  4  5  6  7  8
 Price per person ($)  2515  2515  2315  2315  2250  2250  2199

The price includes:

  • Domestic flights : Buenos Aires > El Calafate > Buenos Aires;
  • Ground transfers as mentioned in the program ;
  • 5 nights in hotel**, 3 nights in family run hotel, 1 night in estancia - double room ;
  • Lake Argentino navigation ;
  • Excursion on Viedma Glacier ;
  • Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier ;
  • All the meals mentioned in the programme ;
  • A road book with all the information necessary for the smooth running of your stay ;
  • A mobile phone to be in contact with us 24/7 ;

The price does not include:

  • International flights ;
  • Entrances to the national park Los Glaciares (USD 25 p.p.) on day 6 and 9  ;
  • Drinks and personal expenses ;
  • The comprehensive insurance and repatriation assistance.

... and more generally all that is not mentioned in « the price includes » section.

Some important facts about us

  • National flights are included ;
  • Transfers to/from airport/hotel/airport are included ;
  • Accommodation is included and selected based on quality and hygiene ;
  • Local partners are fairly compensated ;
  • 3% of the price of your trip goes directly to support a local educational project for cultural and environmental development .

Practical Information

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Accompanying English and Spanish speaking guides
The day of your arrival, you will be received by an English speaking member of our staff. He/she will hand you a road book and a mobile phone, allowing you to be in contact with us 24/7 if needed. If specified in your program, he/she will also accompany you around the capital, giving you the basic practical information about the country or countries you are visiting.
During excursions, you will be accompanied by a certified Spanish speaking guide, often also speaking English.

When to travel to Patagonia 
The best season for visiting this part of Argentina is from November to March included (summer and springtime in the southern hemisphere). Temperatures are pleasant and rainfall less abundant, making this period ideal for trekking and other outdoor activities. The climate can be capricious in Patagonia, with fierce winds, rain and clouds scurrying across the sky at a fast pace, constantly displaying the extraordinary scenery in a new light. It is not uncommon to have sunshine, wind, rain and even snow on a single day, even during summertime. The key is to layer for cold weather, take off layers when the day gets warmer and wear waterproof clothing.

Besides this season, two recommendable months are July and August. These are very cold months in Patagonia but the weather normally stabilize in this period with many beautiful sunny days and little wind!

Local Transportation

Travelling by bus is the most popular and cheapest way to discover the country. Classes range from Semi-Cama to Cama Suite with wider seats which are reclining to a horizontal position, almost like being in bed. Distances are long and it takes more than 40 hours bus ride from El Calafate to Buenos Aires. Bus lines connect major cities together. The buses run at an average speed of 80 km/h. For long distances, the plane remains the most convenient mean of transportation.

NOTE : TransHumans offers the option of booking for you the international flight ticket; we will seek and book for you the best deals. Price may vary depending on the time of purchase but normally range between USD1000 and USD1600.

Formalities

PASSPORT & VISA : A valid passport is sufficient for most European and US citizens; a tourist visa will be issued at entry to the territory. If the stay exceeds the three months, it will be necessary to apply for a visa at the Embassy in your country. However, U.S. citizens must pay a USD160 reciprocity fee prior to arrival in Argentina. Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
REMINDER : Make copies of all your important documents (passport, flight tickets, insurance, and credit card). Leave one copy of each at home and pack one with you.


EQUIPMENT

GOOD GEAR WILL ALLOW YOU TO BETTER ENJOY YOUR TRIP…

Clothing : 
Given the relatively wet weather prevailing in the region, it is essential to have waterproof trousers and jacket with you in your bag. Also bring warm clothes since evenings and nights are often chilly. Wearing layers of clothes can be a good idea to easily adapt to the weather conditions. Typical layers include: t-shirt, sweater, fleece, wind/water proof layer. We highly recommend lightweight, quick-drying technical clothing. Avoid rain capes as they easily get stuck to branches with the wind. 
Remember to take with you waterproof hiking shoes, hat, gloves and sunglasses (minimum lens category 3!)!

Miscellaneous
-Toiletry bag (biodegradable products are preferred) 
-Small quick-drying towel 
-Sunscreen lotion
-Insect repellent DEET (+ 40% for good protection). Also useful against fleas which can be a nuisance for people with sensitive skin.
-Head torch (with spare batteries and bulbs) 
-Bottle and/or camel bag  
-Pocket knife (checked luggage) 
-Money belt or pouch to safely store your passport, currency, credit cards, personal papers, insurance papers. 
-A copy of your passport. 
-Power sockets in Argentina are type C and I; Voltage: 220 V ; Power sockets in Chile are those commonly find in Europe type C and Italy type L; Voltage: 220 V.
Medical Kit : 
-Antidiarrheal medication (i.e.smecta and imodium)
-Antihistamine 
-Plasters, sterile dressings and antiseptics 
-Medicine for pain or fever (such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen) 
-Elastic adhesive bandage 
-Anti-inflammatory ointment or cream
-Water purification tablets 
NOTE : Most of these products are also available in local pharmacies.

Luggage : Please arrange your belongings in two bags : 
-Small backpack (capacity 25/40 litres).This is your hand luggage you will take with you on the plane as well as every day during hikes, excursions and transfers. 
-Large waterproof backpack to check-in (capacity 60 to 90 litres). 
-Large plastic bag to protect from moisture your belongings in your backpacks.


HEALTH
Vaccines
The country does not present any health risks, and the water is potable almost everywhere. No vaccine is mandatory for Argentina, but some are recommended:
-Tetanus-diphtheria
-Polio
-Pertussis
-Hepatitis B
For children and those born before 1980: measles, mumps - rubella.

Other risks

In recent years shelters and hotels in Patagonia have seen the proliferation of small bed fleas, despite regular cleaning being carried out. These bugs tend to be a nuisance only on sensitive skin. Regular insect repellent is also effective against fleas.

Medical Assistance

Medical care is excellent in most tourist areas in Argentina. For more remote areas, in case of urgent medical assistance, contact your Embassy in Buenos Aires. We highly recommend you to contact your insurance as soon as possible.

Responsible Tourism

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

Our Vision & Commitment

Cultural awareness is very important to us. Sensible to the local cultural traditions and beliefs, the beauty of the landscapes and the biodiversity of the ecosystems, we choose to limit the negative impact of our activities on the local environment. In addition to designing trips that aim at preserving the natural, cultural and social resources of the territories in the long term, we also include the concept of “Territorial Compensation”. The idea of Territorial Compensation is to help local people protect and conserve their ecosystem, enhance their cultural heritage and develop sustainable projects for their territory.

Based on this concept of Territorial Compensation, TransHumans donates 3% of the total price of each trip to this cause. The money goes directly into a solidarity fund that finances our ERECA program (Education Relative à l'Environnement et aux Cultures Aborigènes), an environmental and cultural program. Since 2007, we have supported various projects aimed at training and awareness-raising for the local communities.

If you want to know more about this+ : http://www.transhumans.fr/en/solidarity-project-transhumans