Enjoy the rare privilege of face-to-face encounters with two of the world’s last great frontiers: the majestic fjords and glaciers of Southern Patagonia, on a small-ship cruise; and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine on a three-night stay at the park. Along with a visit to Santiago, discover the remarkable diversity of this South American nation.

Starting at: $9,282 * Price includes special offer * 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 along the Beagle Channel  Cormorants and seals 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

Chile’s Patagonian Frontier

16 days from $9,282 | includes airfare, taxes and all fees

Enjoy the rare privilege of face-to-face encounters with two of the world’s last great frontiers: the majestic fjords and glaciers of Southern Patagonia, on a small-ship cruise; and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine on a three-night stay at the park. Along with a visit to Santiago, discover the remarkable diversity of this South American nation.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Enjoy the rare privilege of face-to-face encounters with two of the world’s last great frontiers: the majestic fjords and glaciers of Southern Patagonia, on a small-ship cruise; and the dramatic scenery of Torres del Paine on a three-night stay at the park. Along with a visit to Santiago, discover the remarkable diversity of this South American nation.

Highlights Include

  • Punta Arenas: Visit to Fuerte Bulnes, a reconstructed 19th-century Chilean fort perched on a promontory jutting out into the Strait of Magellan, and the Nao Victoria Museum, which contains a historically accurate replica of the Nao Victoria, one of the ships from the Spanish fleet that discovered the meeting point between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  • Cruising Patagonia: Witness the stunning Patagonian scenery of mountains and glaciers during a five-night cruise. Pass through the Strait of Magellan and stop at Magdalena Island, home to more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins.
  • Torres del Paine National Park: Spend two full days exploring the park’s glaciers, mountain peaks, turquoise lakes, and rushing rivers and waterfalls.
  • Santiago: Savor Chile’s capital during a city tour, winery tour and tasting, and visit to the old port of Valparaiso, a one-time fishing village now Chile’s third largest city and cultural heart..

Limited to 20 Smithsonian Journeys guests.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S., Arrive Punta Arenas

After arriving in Punta Arenas today, transfer to your hotel, where you have the afternoon at leisure. Early this evening, meet your fellow travelers, Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Tour Director at a briefing about the journey followed by a welcome dinner.  (1D) 

Days 3 — Punta Arenas and Embark Ship

Begin your touring with a visit to Fuerte Bulnes, a reconstructed 19th-century Chilean fort perched on a promontory jutting out into the Strait of Magellan. This outpost was originally built by the forces of President Manuel Bulnes Prieto to prevent other nations from colonizing this area of Chile, and you have time to explore here before returning to Punta Arenas. After lunch on your own, embark the ship this afternoon for the first of five nights on board. (1B,1D) 

Day 4 — Cruising: Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley

After a journey south through the Strait of Magellan, navigate several other channels before reaching Pia Fjord, home of the stunning Pia Glacier. This massive wall of ice descends from the mountains into the strait, and your first view of the glacier is a truly unforgettable experience. Continue your day with a cruise through the majestic “Glacier Alley.” (B,L,D) 

Day 5 — Cruising: Cape Horn and Wulaia Bay

Today see up close one of the world’s last unspoiled frontiers, perhaps glimpsing sea lions and Antarctic fur seals along the way as you cruise to Cape Horn. At the spot where the Atlantic and Pacific merge, the sheer promontory of Cape Horn rises some 1,400 feet from the roiling waters below. This afternoon take a guided walk along sheltered Wulaia Bay. (B,L,D) 

Day 6 — Cruising: Aguila Glacier

This morning cruise through several channels to enter 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) 

Day 7 — Cruising: Parry Fjord and Ainsworth Bay

Heading eastward today, you are treated to more breathtaking scenery before, and during, your exploration of Parry Fjord. One of the easternmost fjords in Chilean Patagonia, Parry sits surrounded by the snowcapped mountain peaks of the Darwin range. Enjoy lunch on board, then cruise back the way you came, where you spend time admiring the similar beauty of Ainsworth Bay. Here disembark for a hike through the sub-Antarctic Magellanic forest to a local beaver dam. (B,L,D) 

Days 8 — Cruising: Magdalena Island, Punta Arenas, Torres del Paine

Early this morning visit Magdalena Island, home to an immense colony of more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins. Take some time to observe the penguins and also to visit the lighthouse that to this day guides ships navigating through the Strait of Magellan. Then return to Punta Arenas, where you board your motorcoach for the six-hour journey to Torres del Paine. Reach your lodging early this evening and dine there tonight. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Torres del Paine National Park 

Today 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 thunderous waterfalls. A highlight: your visit to magnificent Lago Grey, site of massive Grey Glacier and of the hotel where you stop for lunch. (B,L,D) 

Day 10 — Torres del Paine National Park

See more of Torres del Paine’s pristine wilderness today, enjoying a box lunch amidst the dramatic scenery. Highlights include visits to the crystalline Amarga and Azul lagoons, and the glacial waterfall Cascade Rio Paine. Clear days at Laguna Azul present panoramic vistas of the park’s namesake, the three massive granite Paine Towers. Throughout the day 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. Dine together tonight at your hotel. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Torres del Paine National Park and Punta Arenas

Travel by coach back to Punta Arenas today, stopping en route to enjoy lunch in Puerto Natales, a port city located at the opening of Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope) Sound. Upon returning to Punta Arenas, visit the Nao Victoria Museum, which contains a historically accurate replica of the Nao Victoria, one of the ships from the Spanish fleet that discovered the meeting point between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. (B,L,D)

Day 12 — Punta Arenas and Santiago

Fly today to the Chilean capital, and transfer to your hotel upon arrival. (B,D)

Day 13— Santiago

You have a full day to explore Chile’s capital, with time for both lunch and dinner at leisure. Highlights of your touring include Parque Forestal, a green retreat styled after Parisian parks; the Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s traditional city center surrounded by grand buildings including the Central Post Office and Cathedral Metropolitana; and the majestic La Moneda Palace, the seat of government built during 18th century. (B)

Day 14 — Valparaiso 

Today encounter the old port of Valparaiso, a one-time fishing village now Chile’s third largest city and cultural heart. Tonight celebrate your adventure at a farewell dinner at a local Santiago restaurant. (B,D)

Day 15-16 — Santiago and return to the U.S.

Late this morning visit a local winery, where you enjoy a tour of the vineyards and a wine tasting. Return to Santiago, where you enjoy an afternoon visit to the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, known for its art and artifacts from Chile and across the Americas.

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. (B)

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