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View the seal and cormorant colonies as you sail across the Beagle Channel

Best of Chilean Patagonia: From Torres del Paine to Cape Horn

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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This unique 14-day land-and-sea expedition includes three days of exploring Torres del Paine, a jewel of Patagonia that teems with its iconic wildlife including Andean condors, guanacos, and rheas. Board National Geographic Orion to venture far beyond any tourist infrastructure. Kayak peaceful, pristine fjords; hike virgin trails; and discover incredible private parklands of this mythic, rarified land on this holistic Patagonia expedition.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Puerto Natales
Days 3-5 : Torres del Paine National Park
Day 6 : Torres del Paine National Park | Puerto Natales | Embark
Day 7 : Kirke Narrows | Exploring the Chilean Fjords
Day 8 : Tierra del Fuego, Chile: Karukinka Natural Park
Day 9 : The Chilean Fjords | Beagle Channel | Yendegaia
Day 10 : Cape Horn
Days 11-13 : Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina
Day 14 : Ushuaia | Disembark | Santiago

Highlights

  • Explore wild, windswept Isla de los Estados at the tip of South America
  • Transit the legendary Beagle Channel and see storied Cape Horn
  • Discover the wildlife-rich, iconic landscapes of Torres del Paine
  • Zodiac cruise and kayak through the breathtaking Chilean fjords

Ship

National Geographic Orion

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

View the seal and cormorant colonies as you sail across the Beagle Channel Boardwalk to the Cape Horn Monument Face to face with a fox at Torres del Paine Cahuelmo Fjord, Chile The blue waters of Torres del Paine

Day 1 Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago, Chile and check into your centrally located hotel. Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to your afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. Explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city.

Day 2 Puerto Natales

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today fly from Santiago to the outpost of Puerto Natales and check in to your outstanding hotel, the Singular, located on Última Esperanza (Last Hope) Sound. The sound got its name when 16th-century explorers tried and failed to find a route to the Pacific here. The hotel is a part of local history—a former sheep-processing plant converted to luxury hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a short exploration of the town, including a visit to the small but excellent Municipal Historical Museum, with exhibits on the region’s Native Americans and on its settler past. Have dinner at your hotel. 

Day 3-5 Torres del Paine National Park

  • Hotel
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Drive to Torres del Paine National Park, stopping at Milodón Cave, where the remains of an extinct giant sloth were discovered. Illuminating displays show the history of human habitation and wildlife of the region. Continue to monumental Torres del Paine, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve and a place of superlatives. The landscape is big, wide and sprawling, with razor-backed ridges, Andean condors, guanacos, foxes, and rheas. Regardless of where you are, the Paine massif draws your eye with its jagged peaks, including the famous “Horns” and the three towers for which the park is named. These granite mountains are topped with a thick layer of dark slate. Chileans themselves dream of visiting this magnificent park, and it holds a special place in their hearts as a symbol of wildness. During your days here, discover one of the most spectacular and wildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering 450,000 acres of glaciers, forests, grasslands, rivers, colorful lakes, and lagoons. Choose among a variety of excursions each day, ranging from a challenging hike to the base of the towers, to a shorter walk among guanaco herds to the edge of a lake, to a scenic drive to a waterfall and the “Blue Lagoon”, with views of the towers. Or ride horseback if you wish, in this most inspiring of landscapes. Leave here with the feeling you’ve really experienced an adventure. Your accommodations are at the outstanding Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, where your room has views of Torres del Paine’s imposing central massif. 

Day 6 Torres del Paine National Park | Puerto Natales | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Have a final morning to explore Torres del Paine. Then drive to Puerto Natales, where you embark National Geographic Orion.

Day 7 Kirke Narrows | Exploring the Chilean Fjords

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Be on deck to look for condors and other wildlife on your way out of Puerto Natales, as your ship transits the narrow sliver of water known as the Kirke Narrows - always a challenge to navigate because of the powerful currents that flow through its 650-foot wide pinch point. Today and during the following days you are treated to the spectacular features of an active glaciated landscape with hanging valleys and tributary glaciers. This region was navigated by Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition and it took most of November 1520 for his ships to find a way through the maze of channels that lie between the continental mainland and Tierra del Fuego to the south. Among the many possibilities are exploring Estero las Montañas, with a chance to go for an adventurous walk to a lake through beautiful muskeg and forest, with cypress trees coated with many species of lichens; and Bahía Ainsworth in Seno Almirantazgo, where you may go out by Zodiac and kayak and look for elephant seals.

Day 8 Tierra del Fuego, Chile: Karukinka Natural Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tierra del Fuego is one of Patagonia’s crown jewels. Visit its newest and largest protected area: Karukinka Natural Park. Established in 2004 through a gift from Goldman Sachs, Karukinka is one of the largest donations ever made for conservation. Your expedition has special permission from the Wildlife Conservation Society to visit this private reserve, which spans 1,160 square miles and harbors endangered culpeo fox, Andean condors, albatross, grebes, petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, and many other kinds of wildlife. Explore Jackson Bay, backed by a skyline of rugged mountains and look for wildlife including black-browed albatross that nest on one of the nearby small islands. You may walk a trail to a lovely waterfall and look for elephant seals resting on not only the beach but also high in the grass meadows and even in the small river draining the valley inland. 

Day 9 The Chilean Fjords | Beagle Channel | Yendegaia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore more stunning wilderness as you see the fjords and glaciers of the region by Zodiac, kayak, and on foot. A vast area of soaring, snowcapped mountains, gigantic glaciers, thousands of verdant islands, serene lakes, and waterfalls—the archipelago is scarcely touched by man. Take Zodiacs out to explore these protected waters and rugged shores, the blue and white of ice contrasting with greens of the forest highlighted by splashes of late-season flowering plants. Look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, grebes, petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm. Then sail the Beagle Channel to Yendegaia, a stunning wilderness that covers 95,000 acres on Tierra del Fuego. This newly established national park was formerly a private reserve. It has beech forests, mountains, and wild rivers. 

Day 10 Cape Horn

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit Cape Horn, near the southernmost tip of the South American continent, named in 1616 for the Dutch town of Hoorn. These waters are famously difficult to navigate, and over the centuries have been the graveyard of many ships, which before the opening of the Panama Canal had to round the Cape to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Of course, the ship uses its modern equipment to explore safely. Weather permitting, take Zodiacs ashore and walk to the top of the hill for panoramic views and to see the memorial placed there in 1992, showing an albatross in silhouette. 

Day 11-13 Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
You have been given special permission to visit extraordinary Staten Island, and National Geographic Orion is one of the only expedition ships ever allowed here. It’s a place of superlatives, barely touched in recent decades and visited primarily by a few scientists and those who man the tiny naval observatory. The island was named by Dutch explorers in 1615. Its mountainous, forested landscapes and rugged fjords are beautiful, and you can find a great deal of interest here. Your exact schedule remains flexible to take best advantage of conditions. See colonies of southern rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, many other water birds, and large assemblages of fur seals and sea lions. Also look for otters on landings ashore, and see the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel by the same name, along with the ruins of a penal colony, and perhaps an archaeological site occupied 1,500 years ago by Native Americans. There are chances to walk in the southern beech forests. These days are bound to stand out as a unique chance to explore a very remote place.

Day 14 Ushuaia | Disembark | Santiago

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Disembark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Take a charter flight to Santiago and connect to your flight home. 

National Geographic Orion

Puerto Natales - Hotels

Santiago - Hotels

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa

Per person starting at
$13,940
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1 Single
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 2 Cabin.
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Category 2
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Upper and veranda decks with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Upper deck with balcony
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Veranda deck - suite

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.

Please note: Cabin fare does not include charter flights from Santiago to Puerto Natales or Ushuaia to Santiago. Please contact us for charter flight rates.

Costs Include:
  • One hotel night in Santiago 
  • One hotel night in Puerto Natales
  • Three hotel nights in Torres del Paine
  • Shipboard accommodations
  • Meals indicated
  • Services of Expeditions’ Leader, expedition staff and expert guides
  • Entrance fees
  • All port charges and service

Not Included:
  • Immigration fees
  • Air transportation
  • Personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.
  • Gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion

Included

  • 13 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 12 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Jenna F

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

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