From: March 6 to March 18, 2016

Destination: Argentina and Chile

  • Adventures in Patagonia

    Patagonia is one of the most stunning, diverse, and sparsely populated places on earth. Shared by Argentina and Chile, it is known for its pristine wilderness, magnificent snow-capped peaks, dramatic granite spires, sparkling lakes, and immense glaciers. Its spectacular beauty has been preserved both by its remoteness and the parks that protect the outstanding landscapes. On this 13 day trip, we have picked out the places that will stay in your memory forever: the breathtaking mountain environs of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and stunning Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. Combining some days of longer hiking with easier days, we will immerse ourselves in the beauty and culture of this unique area. Maximum group size: 14

     "I knew way too little about Argentina and Chile, so my knowledge expanded exponentially about that little corner we got to see. The highlights were being with fabulous women, seeing those fantastic peaks, open spaces, clear air, stars and having wonderful guides." CC, New York
  • The following is our intended itinerary. However, as is true on any adventure, it may be modified due to weather, new opportunities, or Mother Nature's whims.

    March 6: Arrive El Calafate

    We'll meet at the El Calafate airport at 3PM and transferred across the Patagonian steppes to the town of El Chalten. Yes, you'll be jet-lagged and likely you'll sleep most of the way, but since you'll be returning on the same road in a few days, it won't really matter. We'll arrive in time to settle in before meeting our local guide and sharing the first of many meals together. Undoubtedly we'll get to bed early. Overnight Hosteria Pudu Lodge or similar in El Chalten (D)

    March 7:  El Chalten - Camp Poincenot
    After yesterday we'll enjoy a more relaxed morning, with time to reorganize our gear with just what we need for the next three days. Carrying only the clothing we need for the next three days, our trek into Los Glaciares National Park starts. We follow a beautiful trail next to "Las Vueltas" river leading us to our first panoramic views of Mount Fitz Roy. It's about 4 hours to our permanent tented camp at Camp Poincenot. Our tents here are large igloo type tents for three that we'll share with one other person. After settling in we'll have time to explore the surrounding area. Dinner tonight is in our dining tent, with a table and chairs. If the skies are clear, we'll get our first view of some of the Southern Hemisphere Constellations such as the southern cross and southern crown. Overnight at Poincenot Camp in Los Glaciares (B, L, D)

    March 8: Mount Fitz Roy, Laguna de los Tres
    Early risers can see one of the most unforgettable sights in Patagonia: the rays of the rising sun setting the pink granite walls of Fitz Roy ablaze. But even if you like to sleep in, today's spectacular hiking is full of amazing sights. The trail starts through forest and open areas to Rio Blanco, the Fitz Roy basecamp where climbers prepare to climb its 11,290-foot summit. From here it is a steep but worthwhile 1300 ft climb to Laguna de los Tres, a striking azure blue lake at the foot of the massif.  From the lake we have close-up views of the vertical rock walls of Fitz Roy's east face, the impressive spire called Poincenot Needle, and the dramatic blue of Piedras Blancas glacier.  Each wall rises something from 1800 to 4500 feet above the surrounding glaciers. Fitz Roy, 11200 feet above sea level, is considered the "King of Patagonia" and one of the three most beautiful mountains on Earth. After about 4-5 hours of hiking total, we return to camp.  Overnight at Poincenot Camp in Los Glaciares (B, L, D)

    March 9: Cerro Torre - Torre Lagoon - El Chalten
    This morning we hike for about 3 - 4 hours (including a lunch stop) around Laguna Capri and past Madre e Hija (Mother and Child) Lagoons, through a dense forest following the Fitz Roy River down into the Torres Valley. The trail runs along beech forest, bogs, and shrubland. From the valley, a short hike takes us to Laguna Torre, enclosed by moraines and full of ice floes from the Glacier Grande calving in its west side. Although we have seen Cerro Torre off and on during today's hike, the viewpoint from here is spectacular: we can clearly see its vertical walls and the mushroom-shaped ice cap that make it one of the world's most difficult climbs. We'll then return to El Chalten for a hot shower and a hearty dinner. About 6 - 7 hours hiking total. Overnight Hosteria Pudu Lodge or similar in El Chalten (B, L, D)

    March 10: El Chalten - Loma del  Pliegue Tumbado
    This mountain, 4200 ft tall, is located immediately south of the Cerro Torre valley and offers some of the most spectacular views over the different mountains, glaciers, and lakes that make this area so alluring. Our trail starts winding through shrubland and forest as it climbs the slopes of the mountains, arriving at a viewpoint with panoramic views of Fitz Roy, Torre, and the dramatic glacier valley in between both. If we go all the way to the summit, we start climbing a long but gentle path on scree and are rewarded at the top with views of Paso del Viento and some of the mountains that stick out from the Patagonian Icefield. After 5 to 8 hours of hiking we are back in Chalten by late afternoon. Overnight Hosteria Pudu Lodge or similar in El Chalten (B, L, D)

    March 11: El Chalten - Viedma Ice Trek
    After a relaxed morning we'll transfer to Bajo Las Sombras port at about 11am. Sailing across Viedma Lake, we first see the glacier as it pours down the valley below the peak of Huemul Mountain. The face of the Glacier is a huge blue ice wall that rises as much as 131 feet above the level of the lake. We arrive at a rocky ridge next to the Viedma Glacier, get off the boat, put on crampons, and begin our 1.5 hour trek on the ice. Far more than just a walk, this is an opportunity to learn about glaciology from our knowledgeable guides and to see the beauty of this glacier in particular. Overnight Hosteria Pudu Lodge or similar in El Chalten (B, L, D)

    March 12: El Chalten - El Calafate
    Early this morning after breakfast we take the bus back to El Calafate, arriving about 1 pm, with the rest of the day free to cexplore the town. El Calafate is a major tourist town with many outdoor stores and artesan shops that offer handcrafts and regional products, and either taking some time to explore the streets or shopping are good options. Overnight Hosteria Puerto san Julian or similar in El Calafate (B)

    March 13: El Calafate - Torres del Paine
    An early morning departure and scenic drive of about six hours takes us through the spectacular landscape of the Patagonia steppes into Chile. Here we enter Torres del Paine National Park, with its unique wildlife and magnificent rock spires soaring above the plains. Approaching the Park, we see the different mountains that the park is famous for: Paine Grande, the Horns, Admiral Nieto and the Towers. Once in the Park, we'll go for a short 1 to 2 hour walk to get familiar with the landscape, the wind, and the rich wildlife: guanacos, lesser rheas, condors, and all types of wetland and buzzard birds are common here, as well as lots of flowers. Back in the bus, we reach our camp at the foot of Paine massif. This camp has full sanitary facilities including running water and showers. Overnight camp at Los Torres in Paine National Park (B, L, D)

    March 14: Paine Towers - Ascensio River Valley
    We dedicate this day to one of the most spectacular and classic trails in the park: the Torres Trail. We'll get an early start from camp, starting with crossing the Ascencio River on a suspended bridge and then ascending the slopes of the Almirante Nieto Mount on a steep but well-maintained trail. After an hour ascent we reach the Ascensio River Valley, a narrow V-shaped alpine valley. A gentle downhill leads us to Refugio Chileno, a cozy and comfortable mountain lodge, which can be a good
    turnaround point for those not interested in doing a full day hike. There expert climbers wait good weather conditions to climb Las Torres. We walk along the river side and inside the beech forest before a final steep climb on moraine take us to the Towers viewpoint: a glacially-fed lagoon with the three towers rising vertically 3000 feet from the glacier. This is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular views in Torres del Paine National Park and the true challenge of rock climbing here becomes apparent. Returning the same way, it's about a 7.5-9 hour trek total. Overnight camp at Los Torres (B, L, D)

    March 15: Crossing Lake Pehoe - French Valley
    Early in the morning a one hour drive takes us to Port Pudeta to board the catamaran that takes us across Pehoe Lake to the Pehoe Refuge area. After leaving unnecessary clothing at our mountain hostel there, we set out on the French Valley trail for the Del Frances Valley. This is a beautiful mountain valley that is flanked by The Horns to the east and the impressive Paine Grande (the tallest peak in the park at 10006 ft) to the west. The trail skirts Paine Grande's south slopes and Lake Skottberg to reach the hanging bridge on the French River, about 2.5 hours of continuous ups and downs. This breathtaking location is at the foot of both the southeast face of Paine Grande to the west and the Horns, with their characteristic black sedimentary topping, to the east. We will continue walking for about another hour to the Italian camp to reach stunning viewpoints over the area. The drama of the area is accentuated by the patches of snow and ice that break off to cascade down Cerro Paine's face. After lunch and photos we retrace our steps back to Lodge Paine Grande where we spend the night. This trek takes about 5-6 hours. Overnight at Lodge Paine Grande, a hostel type lodging with shared bedrooms and bathrooms (B, L, D)

    March 16: Grey Glacier Viewpoints
    Another unforgettable day dedicated to the Grey Glacier, an impressive 16 mile long glacier with 115 square miles of surface. The Lake Grey trail leads from Pehoe valley across ridges to reach Grey Valley. This magnificent valley flows down 150 miles from the Patagonian Icefield, where calving produces the many blue icebergs that sail over Grey Lake, the color a product of its glacial origins. Our trail skirts the lake, going up and down the western slopes of Paine Grande, offering some of the most impressive sights of the Park. From the high sections of the trail, different viewpoints allow us to see the south end of the lake where the blue icebergs gather, the mountains rising far in the distance above glaciers Grey and Tyndall. We reach the main viewpoint, a rocky point about 2 hours away from Pehoe, with views over the Lake and Glacier Grey and the surrounding glaciers and mountains. We come back along the same trail, crossing bogs, shrublands and forest. Overnight at Lodge Paine Grande (B, L, D)

    March 17: Torres del Paine - Punta Arenas
    We take the first boat back across Lake Pehoe and then board our bus. Our first stop is the quaint fishing village of Puerto Natales, where we;ll make at least a brief stop before continuing on to Punta Arenas, the southernmost city in Chile. Tonight we'll go out to a nearby restaurant for a final farewell dinner, raising a glass to our adventures and each other in this very special part of the world. 7 hours of driving. Overnight Hotel Bustamante or similar in Punta Arenas (B, L, D)

    March 18: Punta Arenas airport
    Our Patagonian adventure ends this morning after breakfast. There will be one group transfer to the airport in the morning. If you would rather return to El Calafate for more adventure or for your flight home, let us know and we can help you arrange it. (B)
  • $4595 (see this page for travel discounts) $400 deposit. A single supplement (only necessary if you want to be assured of a room to yourself) is $575. You can see our cancellation policies here.

    Trip Includes

    • Experienced guides, including a bilingual Argentinian guide and and Adventures in Good Company guide
    • 12 nights lodging: 6 in hotels or inns, 2 in mountain refuges, and 4 in full camps
    • Meals as detailed on the itinerary (12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners)
    • All van and bus transport within Patagonia
    • All activities on the itinerary, including the Viedma glacier walk
    • Gratuities for camp staff and guides who are with us for less than three days
    • Entrance fees to the National Parks
    • Airport transfers (on days included in the itinerary)
    Not included: international airfare to El Calafate and from Punta Arenas, guide gratuities (except as noted above), beverages, 1 lunch, 2 dinners, Argentina entry fee ($160), optional excursions
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking to the fabled granite spires of Patagonia, including Fitz Roy, Cerro del Torre, and the Towers of Paine
  • Seeing the remains of the vast glaciers that carved out this land
  • Learning about the natural and human history of Patagonia
  • Gaining a firsthand experience of the scope, diversity, and majesty of this awe-inspiring area

Register for this trip today

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