Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Trace the Chilean coast from Chiloé Island all the way to Cape Horn aboard the National Geographic Explorer, and head overland to magnificent Torres del Paine National Park.
  • Be one of the few people to explore Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), located at the extreme end of South America. We have been granted special permission to explore here.
  • Hone your photography skills alongside a National Geographic photographer.
  • Venture through pristine wildlife reserves not readily accessible to the public, including the privately held Karukinka reserve in Tierra del Fuego.

Itinerary

Itinerary

From the wilds of Tierra del Fuego to the pinnacles of Torres del Paine National Park, experience Patagonia at close range aboard National Geographic Explorer. Trace Chile’s coast south from Puerto Montt, venturing deep into a maze of islands and glorious fjords. Pass incandescent icebergs and massive glaciers, and watch for elephant seals and Andean condors, humpbacks, dolphins, and penguin colonies. Encounter the incomparable landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park, and round Cape Horn in the wake of history’s great explorers. Cap off the adventure on Argentina’s Staten Island, coming face-to-face with nature’s magnificence in one of the most untouched places on Earth.

This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.

 

Days 1-2: U.S./Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago, Chile after an overnight flight and check into the Mandarin Oriental. Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to our guided afternoon tour of this vibrant city. We explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that ring the city.

Meals Included:Day 2 (Dinner)
Accommodations:Mandarin Santiago
Day 3: Puerto Montt

The next day, fly to Puerto Montt, the northern gateway to Chilean Patagonia. Weather permitting, take in views of snow-covered Osorno, a volcano that Charles Darwin saw erupt in 1835. After lunch, transfer back to Puerto Montt and embark the National Geographic Explorer.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:

National Geographic Explorer for the remainder of the voyage

Days 4-5: isla grande de Chiloé/Pumalín National Park

Spend the day exploring Chiloé’s culture and natural history. Visit the palafitos, colorful fishermen’s houses precariously built on stilts along the water’s edge or head to one of Chiloe’s parks to hike in the wilderness and experience the wilderness of Patagonia. The next day head into Pumalín National Park, whose 750,00 acres are home to some of the last forests of the huge and ancient alerce tree. Go on a forest walk with naturalists, discover a hidden waterfall, or take an energetic climb along a rushing stream.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 6-10: The Inside Passage and the Chilean Fjords

Sail into a vast wilderness of snow-capped peaks and mirror-like lakes, thick glaciers and islets blanketed with vegetation. In this pristine landscape, fjords cut between soaring granite walls and waterfalls splash down from high above. Set out to explore in Zodiacs and kayaks and on foot, and peer beneath the water using our undersea imaging technology. A highlight is the Pio XI Glacier, the longest glacier in the southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica. Encounter the ice first by Zodiac and then hike atop it. As the ship makes its way through the White Narrows, look for condors and other wildlife.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Day 11: Puerto Natales/Torres Del Paine National Park

From Puerto Natales, enjoy a breathtaking drive to Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, looking for razor-backed ridges, Andean condors, flamingos, and rheas along the way. This is one of the most scenic and wildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering 450,000 acres of glaciers, forests, and gem-colored lagoons, and crowned with the blackened, twisted pinnacles of the Torres del Paine mountains. Learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the park with our naturalists.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 12-13: Exploring Tierra Del Fuego: Karukinka Natural Park

Continue to the newest and largest protected area on Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka, meaning "our land" in the language of the ancient inhabitants. We have obtained permission to visit this private reserve, which harbors abundant wildlife, including the guanaco, the endangered culpeo fox, and the Andean condor.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 14-15: Exploring Tierra Del Fuego: Karukinka Natural Park

Continue to the newest and largest protected area on Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka, meaning "our land" in the language of the ancient inhabitants. We have obtained permission to visit this private reserve, which harbors abundant wildlife, including the guanaco, the endangered culpeo fox, and the Andean condor.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 16-17: Chilean Fjords/Beagle Channel/Cape Horn

Continue exploring the Chilean fjords. Board Zodiacs to explore protected waters and rugged shorelines, and look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, petrels, fulmars, and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm. Sail the Beagle Channel, and hike and kayak amid this region of beech forests, mountains, and rushing rivers. The next day, round the southernmost tip of South America: Cape Horn. Weather permitting, take Zodiacs ashore.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 18-20: Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina

We have received special permission to visit Isla de los Estados, whose wild, untouched landscapes are home to Magellanic penguins, fur seals, otters, sea lions, and countless water birds. Our exact schedule will remain flexible to take best advantage of conditions for exploring this natural wonderland. See the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel of the same name. The National Geographic Explorer is one of the few expedition ships to be granted access here, and the experience is bound to be unforgettable.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Days 21-22: Ushuaia/Buenos Aires/U.S.

Disembark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Take a charter flight to Buenos Aires and connect to your overnight flight home.

Meals Included:Day 19 (Breakfast, Lunch)