Experience South America's last great frontier, from Patagonia's majestic fjords to dramatic Torres del Paine—renowned for its mountain peaks, glaciers, and thunderous waterfalls—during this journey of Argentina and Chile by land and sea.

Starting at: $7,769 * Includes airfare, taxes & all fees Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Smithsonian travelers in Torres Del Paine National Park, Chile. Credit: Alex Maureira  Hiking in Patagonia. Credit: Stephanie Wise  Lake Pehoe at Torres del Paine National Park  Patagonian Fox  Guanaco in Torres del Paine National Park  Torres del Paine National Park with guanaco  Beagle Channel  Cormorants and seals along the Beagle Channel  Cormorants along the Beagle Channel  Magellanic penguins  Osorno Volcano with Petrohue Falls, Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Chile  Travelers admire surreal ice formations. Credit: Peter Kibbee  Icebergs  Blazing fall colors of the Andes.  Credit: Diaz Luciano  Recoleta Cemetery  A couple dancing the tango

Patagonian Explorer

Argentina and Chile by Land and Sea

17 days from $7,769 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Experience South America's last great frontier, from Patagonia's majestic fjords to dramatic Torres del Paine—renowned for its mountain peaks, glaciers, and thunderous waterfalls—during this journey of Argentina and Chile by land and sea.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Patagonia was life-changing; unlike any other place on earth. 

- Jane V.

The Patagonian Explorer was all that we had envisioned and more! Amazing natural beauty, extremely well educated, enlightening lectures. We will travel with Smithsonian Journeys again. 

- Lynn and Tim P.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL VALUE

This tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.

Overview

Follow in the footsteps of intrepid explorers as you travel to the southernmost tip of South America. From the bustling cities of Buenos Aires and Santiago to the dramatic vistas of Torres del Paine and the Patagonian Channels, explore by land and sea and gain insight into the natural and cultural elements of this breathtaking region. 

Highlights Include

  • Buenos Aires: Capture the essence of Argentina by visiting well-known neighborhoods, the Latin American Art Museum, and a premier tango house.
  • Cruise of the Patagonian Channels: Sail for four nights aboard the expedition ship M.V. Stella Australis. Cruise the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle and Murray Channels to Cape Horn. You’ll also call at Magdalena Island, home to more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins.
  • Torres del Paine National Park: Enjoy three days exploring the park’s natural wonders—renowned mountain peaks, glaciers, turquoise lakes, rushing rivers, and thunderous waterfalls.
  • Chile’s Lake District: Experience the dramatic Petrohué Waterfalls and Osorno Volcano at Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park.
  • Santiago: Conclude your journey in the sophisticated Chilean capital, discover the old port city of Valparaiso, and attend a private winery tour. 

Patagonia was life-changing; unlike any other place on earth. 

- Jane V.

The Patagonian Explorer was all that we had envisioned and more! Amazing natural beauty, extremely well educated, enlightening lectures. We will travel with Smithsonian Journeys again. 

- Lynn and Tim P.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S., Arrive Buenos Aires

Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel to rest (rooms are ready for your early arrival) before this afternoon's welcome briefing. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner. (1B,1D) 

Days 3-4 — Buenos Aires

This morning’s city tour features lovely Palermo; the colorful bohemian district of La Boca; picturesque San Telmo; elegant Recoleta Cemetery; and historic Government House. Tonight visit the legendary Esquina Carlos Gardel, one of the city’s premier tango houses, for dinner and a performance. The next day enjoy a guided tour of Teatro Colón, the famed opera house. (2B,1D) 

Day 5 — Buenos Aires / Ushuaia

Fly today to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost urban center. After lunch on your own in this windswept city, embark on your ship in the late afternoon, then set sail through the Beagle Channel. (B,D) 

Day 6 — Cruising: Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay

See one of the world’s last unspoiled frontiers up close as you sail through Murray Channel and Nassau Bay. Watch for sea lions and Antarctic fur seals as you cruise to Cape Horn National Park. Later encounter sheltered Wulaia Bay on a guided walk. (B,L,D) 

Day 7 — Cruising: Pia Glacier / Garibaldi Glacier

Awaken this morning in Pia Fjord, home of the stunning Pia Glacier. Later board inflatable Zodiacs and go ashore for an up-close look at the glacier, a tumbling wall of ice that extends from the moun­taintops down to sea level.

After lunch on board, drop anchor in a nearby fjord for a shore excursion to Garibaldi Glacier, one of only three glaciers in Patagonia gaining mass. Here enjoy the opportunity to hike through the Magellanic forest, passing glacial waterfalls and viewpoints that overlook the glacier and fjord. (B,L,D) 

Day 8 — Cruising: Agostini Sound / Aguila Glacier

This morning cruise through several channels to enter the spectacular Agostini Sound, where you see massive glaciers flowing down the mountainside. Later take inflatable Zodiacs to Aguila Glacier, which you approach via an easy walk on the shore of a lagoon. (B,L,D) 

Days 9 — Cruising : Magdalena Island, Punta Arenas / Torres del Paine

Early this morning, visit Magdalena Island to observe an immense colony of more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins. End your cruise at Punta Arenas, and board your motorcoach for the journey to Torres del Paine National Park. (B,L,D)

Day 10 & 11 — Torres del Paine National Park

Today you encounter breathtaking Torres del Paine, a 700-square-mile World Biosphere Reserve and one of the most unspoiled and beautiful nature preserves on Earth. Spend the day exploring this unparalleled landscape of jagged peaks, ice-blue glaciers, turquoise lakes, rushing rivers, and thundering waterfalls, and enjoy lunch at magnificent Lago Grey.

The next day take an excursion that features Laguna Amarga, La­guna Azul, and Cascade Rio Paine. You’re sure to see some of the park’s only permanent residents: 106 species of birds and 26 species of mammals, includ­ing the beloved guanaco. (2B,2L,2D) 

Day 12 — Puerto Arenas / Puerto Montt

Travel by coach today to Punta Arenas, where you board a flight to Puerto Montt. Upon arrival transfer to your lakefront hotel in Puerto Varas. (B) 

Day 13 — Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park

An excursion to Chile’s oldest national park is highlighted by glacier-topped volcanoes, dense green forests, and cobalt lagoons. Visit conical Osorno Volcano and sprawling Petrohue Waterfalls. (B,L) 

Day 14 — Santiago

Fly today to the sophisticated Chilean capital. This afternoon take a city tour featuring the Plaza de Armas, the traditional city center. Tonight you are dinner guests in the homes of gracious Santiago families. (B,D)

Day 15 — Valparaiso

Today encounter the old port of Valparaiso, a one-time fishing village marked by colorful wooden houses and narrow streets; now Chile’s third largest city and cultural heart. En route visit a local winery for a private tour and tasting.

Tonight celebrate your adventure at a farewell dinner at a local Santiago restaurant. (B,D)

Days 16-17 — Santiago and Return to the U.S.

After a morning at leisure, enjoy an afternoon visit to La Chascona in the Bella Vista district, the home and museum of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda. Then have time to explore bohemian Bella Vista on your own. From here transfer to the airport for your overnight flights to the U.S. Arrive the next morning and connect with your return flights home. (1B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)