Go hiking amid the breathtaking beauty of Patagonia, taking in views of pristine glacial lakes, iconic snowcapped peaks, and dramatic glaciers as you learn about the region's natural wonders.

Starting at: $6,995 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Couple relaxing after a hike  Hiking in Torres del Paine National Park  At Torres del Paine  Guanaco in Torres del Paine National Park  Guide leading a group in Patagonia  Torres del Paine National Park  Hiking towards Monte Fitz Roy in Los Glaciares National Park  Happy hikers
  View of Cerro Fitz Roy, Los Glaciares National Park  Hiking through Los Glaciares National Park  Taking a break at Perito Moreno, Los Glaciares National Park  Admiring Perito Moreno   Hiking in Patagonia. Credit: Stephanie Wise  Hiking in Patagonia  Hiking in Patagonia

Hiking Through Patagonia

15 days from $6,995

Go hiking amid the breathtaking beauty of Patagonia, taking in views of pristine glacial lakes, iconic snowcapped peaks, and dramatic glaciers as you learn about the region's natural wonders.

or Call 833-254-6678

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

Hotel Cabo de Hornos

Punta Arenas, Chile

The stylish Hotel Cabo de Hornos is located in the center of Punta Arenas, only a few blocks from the Strait of Magellan. The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant, bar, and lounge; library; fitness center; laundry service; and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each of the hotel’s 110 guest rooms are decorated with local woods and plush carpets, and feature private bath with separate tub, writing desk, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel Costaustralis

Puerto Natales, Chile

The chateau-style Hotel Costaustralis enjoys an ideal location along Última Esperanza Sound, with views of the sea and the Andes Mountains. Amenities of the 110-room hotel include a restaurant, bar, and wine cellar; laundry service; and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. Each guest room has private bath with hairdryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Number of nights: 1

Hotel Lago Grey

Torres del Paine , Chile

Surrounded by the beauty of Lake and Glacier Grey, this hotel is ideally located to enjoy the majestic scenery.

Number of nights: 2

Estancia Cerro Guido

Torres del Paine , Chile

This working estancia includes 15 comfortable guest rooms for an intimate experience in a spectacular setting.

Number of nights: 3

Hotel Destino Sur

El Chalten, Argentina

This rustic-chic hotel lies in a valley in Southern Patagonia and was built with cypress, beech, and local stone. Charming rooms include hand-woven rugs, wood floors, and colorful accents.

Number of nights: 3

Posada Los Alamos

El Calafate, Argentina

In a distinctive timber and stone building, this elegant hotel features cozy rooms with refined, country-style furniture. Amenities include a wine cellar, lounge, and cocktail bar with fireplace.

Number of nights: 2

Activity Level

Activity Level 4:  Active 

Expectations: This trip is part of the Smithsonian Active Journeys collection. These trips feature a daily schedule of physical activities—such as walking, hiking, kayaking, rafting, or bicycling—in addition to activities designed to offer cultural or historical context. Each trip entails a different level of physical expectations. As some trips are more difficult than others, please review the following activity level description—and feel free to contact an Active Journeys Specialist to discuss the trip at more length—to ensure this Active Journey is right for you.

For this trip, daily walks and hikes of 2 to 14 miles (from two to seven hours a day) are taken at an active pace over varied terrain that ranges from city streets to rocky, steep trails with significant gain or loss. Sturdy hiking boots, hiking poles for steep ascents and descents, and day packs for daily necessities are a must. Some days feature a historic site associated with the walk, such as a prehistoric cave, culinary highlight, or meeting with a local archeologist or paleontologist.

Support vehicles are limited while hiking, but most days offer longer and shorter options based upon the group’s fitness and interests. It is often feasible to skip a day’s activities and relax at the hotel, if desired. During vehicle transfers, transport is by 15-passenger van. There is one long transfer day from Chile to Argentina that takes approximately 7 hours with stops along the way. Accommodations feature city hotels, comfortable lodges, and a working ranch (estancia).

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, expect a vigorous pace, are comfortable participating in up to seven hours of walking/hiking per day, and enjoy a physical challenge.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

In Patagonia (Penguin Classics)
By: Bruce Chatwin
The masterpiece of travel writing that revolutionized the genre and made its author famous overnight An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Bruce Chatwin’s exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. Fueled by an unmistakable lust for life and adventure and a singular gift for storytelling, Chatwin treks through “the uttermost part of the earth”—that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome—in search of almost-forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy. An instant classic upon publication in 1977, In Patagonia is a masterpiece that has cast a long shadow upon the literary world.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Whispering Land
By: Gerald Durrell
Fans of Gerard Durrell's beloved classic My Family and Other Animals (the inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu on Masterpiece PBS) and other accounts of his lifelong fascination with members of the animal kingdom will rejoice at The Whispering Land. The sequel to A Zoo in My Luggage, this is the story of how Durrell and his wife's zoo-building efforts at England's Jersey Zoo led them and a team of helpers on an eight-month safari in Argentina to look for South American specimens. Through windswept Patagonian shores and tropical forests in Argentina, from ocelots to penguins, fur seals to parrots, Durrell captures the landscape and its inhabitants with his signature charm and humor.
Moon Patagonia: Including the Falkland Islands (Travel Guide)
By: Wayne Bernhardson
Your World Your Way! Patagonia's staggering landscapes, titanic glaciers, and rugged mountains evoke mystery and inspire self-discovery. Explore the ends of the earth with Moon Patagonia.What You'll Find in Moon Patagonia:Expert author and world traveler Wayne Bernhardson shares his perspective on his favorite place on earthFull-color guidebook with vibrant, helpful photosDetailed directions and maps for getting around and exploring on your ownStrategic itineraries, including The Best of Patagonia, Wildlife Encounters, Explore the Natural World, Glacier Gazing, and Classic Patagonia Road TripsActivities and ideas for every traveler: Hike the glacier of Perito Moreno National Park, or glimpse Patagonia's pre-Colombian past at Cueva de las Manos. See penguins and marine mammals off the coast of the Falkland Islands, or visit Chile's lakes district, home to the Mapuche people. Savor authentic asado at a local ranch, and go horseback riding through the Torres mountains. Sample seafood in Santiago, or take in tango in Buenos AiresIn-depth coverage for Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Northern Argentine Patagonia, The Chilean Lakes District, Aisén and Continental Chiloé, Southern Argentine Patagonia, Magallanes, Argentine Tierra del Fuego, and the Falkland IslandsAccurate information, including background on the landscape, culture, history, and environmentHandy tools such as travel tips and safety information in an easy-to-navigate format, all packaged in a book light enough to fit in your daypackWith Moon Patagonia's practical tips, myriad activities, and an insider's view on the best things to do and see, you can plan your trip your way.
Patagonia & Tierra Del Fuego Travel Ref. Map 1:2M/1:750K
By: ITMB Publishing
There is not a lot of change on this latest edition of our ITM map of Patagonia. Argentina is undergoing an economic slump and developments have slowed down. The all weather road network in southern Argentina experienced a significant growth rate under the previous administration, so it is much easier to get around than in the past, but further improvements will have to await improved fiscal resources within the country. Much of Hwy 40 is now paved, to the relief of bus drivers, and the highway between Calafete and Ushuaia is now paved. The airports at both cities now meet international standards. This map has a new ISBN, as we have used up all the numbers from our old prefix and want to retire those numbers as titles come up for renewal.

Maps & Guidebooks

Los Glaciares National Park Travel & Trekking Guide: Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre, Patagonian Ice Cap, Patagonia, Calafate, Chalten
By: Colin Henderson
Travel & Trekking Guide. A highly updated guide for trekking and mountaineering in the very famous National Park of Patagonia. Covers specially the area of El Chalten, El Calafate, Mount Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre and Southern Ice Cap. Summaries and photos by the author.Guia de viaje y trekking en ingles para cubrir las actividades de aventura en la capital del trekking de la Argentina.
Insight Guides Argentina
By: Insight Guides
Insight Guides: Inspiring your next adventureArgentina is the eighth largest country in the world and also one of the most beguiling and diverse. Be inspired to visit by the new edition of Insight Guide Argentina, a comprehensive full-color guide to this fascinating and dramatically beautiful country, from the alluring capital Buenos Aires to the wide-open spaces and glacial landscape of Patagonia.Inside Insight Guide Argentina:A fully-overhauled edition by our expert South America author.Stunning, specially-commissioned new photography that brings this fascinating country and its people to life.Highlights of the country's top attractions, including the thrilling Iguazú Falls, the colourful Quebrada de Humahuaca and the immense Perito Moreno glacier in our Best of Argentina.Descriptive region-by-region accounts cover the whole country from the colonial charms of Buenos Aires to the wine-growing region of Mendoza and the Cuyo.Detailed, high-quality maps throughout will help you get around and travel tips give you all the essential information for planning a memorable trip, including our independent selection of the best restaurants.About Insight Guides: Insight Guides has over 40 years’ experience of publishing high-quality, visual travel guides. We produce around 400 full-color print guide books and maps as well as picture-packed eBooks to meet different travelers’ needs. Insight Guides’ unique combination of beautiful travel photography and focus on history and culture together create a unique visual reference and planning tool to inspire your next adventure.‘Insight Guides has spawned many imitators but is still the best of its type.’ - Wanderlust Magazine

History, Culture & Exploration

Forgotten Continent: A History of the New Latin America
By: Michael Reid
A newly updated edition of the best-selling primer on the social, political, and economic challenges facing Central and South America Ten years after its first publication, Michael Reid’s best-selling survey of the state of contemporary Latin America has been wholly updated to reflect the new realities of the “Forgotten Continent.” The former Americas editor for the Economist, Reid suggests that much of Central and South America, though less poor, less unequal, and better educated than before, faces harder economic times now that the commodities boom of the 2000s is over. His revised, in-depth account of the region reveals dynamic societies more concerned about corruption and climate change, the uncertainties of a Donald Trump-led United States, and a political cycle that, in many cases, is turning from left-wing populism to center-right governments. This essential new edition provides important insights into the sweeping changes that have occurred in Latin America in recent years and indicates priorities for the future.
Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine
By: Susan Alcorn
Patagonia Chronicle: On Foot in Torres del Paine enables readers to gain a sense of the rewards and challenges of travel south of the 40th parallel in Chile and Argentina--in the area known as Patagonia. Through a combination of journal entries, interviews, historic documents, and essays on subjects unique to the region, the reader samples the richness of the land and its peoples past and present. In addition, readers will find a wealth of practical information including tips on pre-trip planning, transportation, and accommodations.The book is for anyone contemplating a hike in Chile's most famous park. Hikers en route to Torres del Paine will benefit from the detailed park information. They'll find descriptions of the accommodations, trekking routes, and trails as well as maps, time and mileage charts, suggested itineraries, and a trail elevation profile.However, Patagonia Chronicle is more than a guide to trekking in that spectacular park: it casts a much larger net. As such, this book will appeal not only to hikers, but also to travelers of all stripes. Besides Torres del Paine, readers discover the gateway towns that most Patagonian travelers enjoy exploring such as: Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, and El Calafate. They visit Los Glaciares National Park--home of Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy.Travelers will also find insider information about touring Chile's and Argentina's more temperate Lake Districts and several other national parks inside and outside of Patagonia. They'll learn about Ushuaia--the "End of the World," and hub for visits to Antarctica. And, because most travelers to Patagonia will spend some time in Santiago or Buenos Aires on their way farther south, they'll find the colorful chapters on those capital cities helpful.Finally, an underlying question raised in the book: how to gauge the risks and confront the fears that must be overcome when seeking adventure in unknown territory can be helpful and inspiring to any hiker, backpacker, or climber. In Patagonia Chronicle we learn that the author wants to backpack the Torres del Paine back country circuit, but she knows that the trek can range from a moderate activity to a life-threatening one--depending on the extremely unpredictable weather. In life there are always demons to slay: how does one decide when to continue on and when to turn back?Dec 14, 2016 alert *** campsites in Torres del Paine now require reservations ***.
Patagonia: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination)
By: Chris Moss
Patagonia is the ultimate landscape of the mind. Like Siberia and the Sahara, it has become a metaphor for nothingness and extremity. Its frontiers have stretched beyond the political boundaries of Argentina and Chile to encompass an evocative idea of place. A vast triangle at the southern tip of the New World, this region of barren steppes, soaring peaks and fierce winds was populated by small tribes of hunter-gatherers and roaming nomads when Ferdinand Magellan made landfall in 1520. A fat...
Perito Moreno National Park (Spanish Edition)
By: Antonio Vizcaino, Douglas Tompkins
Where the windswept Patagonian steppe meets the Andes, and the massive unclimbed south wall of Cerro San Lorenzo looks down on the Lacteo Valley: Perito Moreno National Park is a stronghold of wild nature. In a region so alluring that is has become synonymous with beauty at the end of the Earth, Perito Moreno National Park is an icon of Patagonia. Named in honor of revered early conservationist Perito Moreno, the “John Muir of Argentina,” this relatively little visited park is a magnet for intrepid travelers and ambitious alpinists. Legendary businessman and philanthropist Douglas Tompkins (founder of The North Face) contributes the book’s foreword.In a book as grand as the natural area it celebrates, Perito Moreno National Park presents a stunning collection of images of the park by renowned landscape photographer Antonio Vizcaíno. With supporting essays from experts on the park’s natural and cultural history, this elegant volume offers an armchair tour of one of the world’s most scenic and unsullied landscapes. For all of who dream of Patagonia, Perito Moreno National Park is a ticket into the heart of the wild.
Estancias, Great Houses and Ranches of Argentina
By: Maria Saenz Quesada
This book presents more than thirty estancias (ranches) from all over the country. The diversity of styles in the architecture, interiors, parks and gardens of these Argentine rural buildings accounts for a unique fusion of Creole and European traditions.Xavier A. Verstraeten's photographs colourfully capture the charm of everyday life in these settings. Maria Seenz Quesada, historian, gives a delightful account of their evolution since the XVI Century, their extraordinary age of splendour a century ago and the important role they play today. Additional antique photographs in black and white help revive Argentine rural legends and reality.

Travel, Biography & Memoir

Rounding the Horn: Being the Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives--a Deck's-eye View of Cape Horn
By: Dallas Murphy
Fifty-five degrees 59 minutes South by 67 degrees 16 minutes West: Cape Horn—a buttressed pyramid of crumbly rock situated at the very bottom of South America—is a place of forlorn and foreboding beauty that has captured the dark imaginations of explorers and writers from Francis Drake to Joseph Conrad. For centuries, the small stretch of water between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula was the only gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It's a place where the storms are bigger, the winds stronger, and the seas rougher than anywhere else on earth.Dallas Murphy has always been sea-struck. In Rounding the Horn he undertakes the ultimate maritime rite of passage, and brings the reader along for a thrilling, exuberant tour. Weaving together stories of his own nautical adventures with long-lost tales of those who braved the Cape before him—from Spanish missionaries to Captain Cook—and interspersing them with breathtaking descriptions of the surrounding wilderness, Murphy has crafted an immensely enjoyable read.
Voyaging: Southward from the Strait of Magellan
By: Rockwell Kent
Rockwell Kent is one of America's most famous graphic artists. He was also an avid traveler. Kent was especially fascinated by remote Arctic lands and often stayed for extended periods of time to paint, write, and become acquainted with the local inhabitants. Between 1918 and 1935, he wrote and illustrated several popular books about his travels. Voyaging, originally published in 1924, is the engaging story of Kent's sailing voyage to Tierra del Fuego. Kent is a charming writer and keen observer of both the land and its people. The book is beautifully and generously illustrated with Kent's distinctive woodcuts.The first edition was published to great critical acclaim. New Republic wrote, "the land lives. A land where roses are as big as sun-flowers, where gales gnaw against bleak cliffs . . . At the end of the earth, there is the paradox of the dwarf and the giant." The Nation said, "Kent has caught the wild beauty of this ominous region -- iron crags ringed with the froth of blown surf, wind-tortured trees, distant peaks incrusted with dazzling snow; but out of the very heart of this bewildering beauty emanates a sense of unseen presences appallingly, implacably hostile to man."
Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness
By: Peter Matthiessen
A classic work of nature and humanity, by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927-2014), author of the National Book Award-winning The Snow Leopard and the new novel In Paradise Peter Matthiessen crisscrossed 20,000 miles of the South American wilderness, from the Amazon rain forests to Machu Picchu, high in the Andes, down to Tierra del Fuego and back. He followed the trails of old explorers, encountered river bandits, wild tribesmen, and the evidence of ancient ruins, and discovered fossils in the depths of the Peruvian jungle. Filled with observations and descriptions of the people and the fading wildlife of this vast world to the south, The Cloud Forest is his incisive, wry report of his expedition into some of the last and most exotic wild terrains in the world.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Uttermost Part of the Earth
By: E. Lucas Bridges
Originally published: New York: Dutton, 1949.
Travels in a Thin Country: A Journey Through Chile
By: Sara Wheeler
Squeezed between a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is 2,600 miles long and never more than 110 miles wide--not a country that lends itself to maps, as Sara Wheeler discovered when she traveled alone from the top to the bottom, from the driest desert in the world to the sepulchral wastes of Antarctica. Eloquent, astute, nimble with history and deftly amusing, Travels in a Thin Country established Sara Wheeler as one of the very best travel writers in the world.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Literature

Night Flight (Harbrace Paperbound Library, Hpl63)
By: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Stuart Gilbert
In this gripping novel, Saint-Exupéry tells about the brave men who piloted night mail planes from Patagonia, Chile, and Paraguay to Argentina in the early days of commercial aviation. Preface by André Gide. Translated by Stuart Gilbert.

Natural History & Field Guides

A Wildlife Guide to Chile: Continental Chile, Chilean Antarctica, Easter Island, Juan Fernández Archipelago
By: Sharon Chester
This is the first comprehensive English-language field guide to the wildlife of Chile and its territories--Chilean Antarctica, Easter Island, Juan Fernández, and San Félix y San Ambrosio. From bats to butterflies, lizards to llamas, and ferns to flamingos, A Wildlife Guide to Chile covers the country's common plants and animals. The color plates depict species in their natural environments with unmatched vividness and realism. The combination of detailed illustrations and engaging, succinct, and authoritative text make field identification quick, easy, and accurate. Maps, charts, and diagrams provide information about landforms, submarine topography, marine environment, climate, vegetation zones, and the best places to view wildlife. This is an essential guide to Chile's remarkable biodiversity. The only comprehensive English-language guide to Chile's common flora and fauna The first guide to cover Chile and its territories--Chilean Antarctica, Easter Island, Juan Fernández, and San Félix y San Ambrosio 120 full-color plates allow quick identification of more than 800 species Accompanying text describes species size, shape, color, habitat, and range Descriptions list size, distribution, and English, Spanish, and scientific names Information on the best spots to view wildlife, including major national parks Compact and lightweight--a perfect field guide
Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica.
By: Martin R. de la Peña, Maurice Rumboll
South America, though home to about one-third of the world's bird species and twice as many endemic families of birds as any other continent, has the world's sparsest population of birdwatchers. Birds of Southern South America and Antarctica illustrates and describes all the known species--more than 1,000 of them--in a vast swath of this underexplored birder's paradise, from Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, and Uruguay to parts of Antarctica. Just some of the birds it covers are teals, tinamous, chachalacas, conebills, cuckoos, macaws, parakeets, parrots, penguins, nightjars, hummingbirds, ovenbirds, tyrants, and tanagers. The habitats range from torrid rainforests and cloudforests to grasslands, the world's driest desert, second highest mountain range, and ice caps. The 97 color plates depict each species' male in breeding plumage, with the female and young often shown as well. On the facing page are concise textual descriptions of each species, highlighting not only salient physical features and behavioral patterns but the calls or songs of each. Casual birders and ornithologists contemplating a journey to the region, or simply interested in a one-volume overview of its bird life, will not want to miss this book.
Los Glaciares National Park : Flora and Fauna : Pocket Guide
By: María Cecilia Costa, Diego Punta Fernández
Los Glaciares National Park - Flora and Fauna : Pocket Guide Authors:Diego Punta Fernández and María Cecilia Costa Size folded 8"" x 3.5"", Size opened 8 x 33.5"" Laminated paper English and Spanish Designed as a travel companion for visitors throughout remote and natural landscapes, we would like these pocket guides help you to discover some of the most distinctive features that make the southern tip of South America a unique and remarkable region. -134 high-quality pictures -60 birds -6 mammals -64 plants -Common names -Scientific (latin) names -Families -Habitats -Natural sizes
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • Expertise of select speakers, Adventure Guide, and local guides throughout the tour as described in each itinerary
  • All gratuities for all tour staff
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents Only)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • International and in-country airfare and departure taxes
  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s) and medication(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Communication charges (e.g. phone, internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments must be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full by the tour operator. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing accommodations. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised at the time of final invoicing.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on the date of written notice. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

This policy also applies to pre and post tour extensions. If we cancel a Tour, we will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by participant in his/her preparation for the Tour (e.g. nonrefundable airline tickets, visa fees, if applicable, clothing, equipment and medical expenses, etc.).

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance.

If you have scheduled your own airfare and it is delayed or if for any reason you are prevented from joining the tour on the scheduled departure date and time, or if you choose to leave the tour early, we cannot provide a full or partial refund or credit toward a future tour.

Smithsonian Journeys reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrollment and when a U.S. Department of State Travel Warning is issued for the destination.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance

Basic medical and evacuation travel protection is purchased on your behalf (Tour cancellation is not included in this plan). Optional Tour-cancellation protection is available at an additional cost and is strongly recommended. For more information about and to enroll in the option available through Travel Guard, visit the “Travel Insurance” section of our website at www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys.

Travel Documents

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, the tour operator will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

Smithsonian Journeys strives to offer programs that optimize our travelers' time and enjoyment, and we want participants to be aware of the physical requirements involved. By registering for a Smithsonian Journeys tour, the participant certifies that he/she is physically fit and does not have a condition that would limit mobility or trip participation. Participant further certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. For Tours that take place at higher elevations (above 5,000 feet), participant certifies that he/she does not suffer from a respiratory, cardiac or circulatory disorder. Participant must notify tour operator of any medical issues well before departure. We reserve the right in our sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Tour at any time during the Tour. In the event of removal from a Tour, refunds are not given. Hospital facilities or appropriate medical facilities or doctors are often unavailable and evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. We assume no liability regarding provision of medical care. Participants will receive appropriate health information and provide the tour operator with his/her medical history and any dietary restrictions as requested on the Personal Information Form. On certain designated Tours, a Physician Certificate must be signed by the participant’s physician and returned to us within 30 days after the participant receives it.

Each tour carries an activity rating from Level 1- Level 5. For the most satisfying experience (and in fairness to your fellow travelers), please carefully review the itinerary and physical requirements for your specific trip. If you have questions about the physical demands of your itinerary, call us at 833-254-6678.

Please be aware that healthcare standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform tour operator in writing of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Program Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, and services for any stated in the itinerary. We will not be responsible for providing any reimbursement for delays in the Tour due to bad weather, trail conditions, river levels, road conditions, transportation delays, or government intervention.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Accommodations (hotels, lodges, tents, etc.) are always reserved for single participants, however, the number available on a tour may be limited. Therefore, we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender to share with you. If a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operator will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability. Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy 

For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

Responsibility Statement

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer travelers a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, and safety of our travelers.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

Responsibilities of Participants

Participant is responsible for understanding the conditions as described in the Tour Itinerary and selecting a Tour in consultation with us that is appropriate to his/her interests and abilities. In addition, the participant should prepare for the Tour by reading the Tour Itinerary and supplemental Tour information in the pre-Tour materials and bringing the appropriate clothing and equipment as advised in those materials. The participant should also consult his or her physician to determine his/her suitability for the Tour and to discuss any over the counter or prescription medicines he/she should consider taking in the case of Tours which travel to higher altitudes. Screening for fitness (for Tours rated “Level 4 or Level 5”) is made during the confirmation of booking. In addition, we strongly urge all participants to review any State Department warnings, alerts, advisories, and destination specific information at www.travel.state.gov as well as specific health information for their destination at www.cdc.gov.