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Puerto Natales, Patagonia

Exploring Patagonia’s National Parks From Puerto Montt to Tierra Del Fuego

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Resolution
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Set sail on a 17-day cruise, exploring Patagonia's National Parks from Puerto Montt to Tierra Del Fuego aboard the National Geographic Resolution. Embark in Puerto Montt. Experience Chiloé's culture and visit the UNESCO World Heritage wooden churches. Explore Pumalín's alerce forest and spot marine wildlife in Golfo de Corcovado. Choose between Aiken del Sur's picturesque trails or Coyhaique National Reserve's Andean landscapes. Marvel at the Pio XI Glacier and navigate the Kirke Narrows en route to Puerto Natales. Drive to Torres del Paine National Park for jaw-dropping vistas and wildlife encounters. Visit Karukinka reserve in Tierra del Fuego and sail the Beagle Channel. Disembark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city, before heading home.
Pier at Puerto Montt, ChileExperience whales up close during a whale watching boat tour around Chiloe IslandView the seal and cormorant colonies as you sail across the Beagle Channel View of a beautiful glacierGuanaco in Torres del PaineGuanaco in Torres del PainePuerto Natales on the Strait Of MagellanBeautiful port of Ushuaia, ArgentinaPuerto Natales, Patagonia
Highlights
  • Discover Chiloé's culture through its charming small communities
  • Explore Pumalín Park, home to ancient alerce forests
  • Spot marine wildlife in Golfo de Corcovado, including penguins
  • Journey through Coyhaique National Reserve's stunning landscapes
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Puerto Montt, Chile

Arrive in Puerto Montt and transfer to the Radisson Hotel Puerto Varas (or similar). In the early evening, gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel. 

Day 2: Puerto Montt | Embark

Enjoy a morning of exploration, and then relax and enjoy lunch before embarking on the ship in the afternoon. 

Day 3: Castro, Chiloé Island

Spend the day exploring Chiloé’s culture and natural history, including its attractive palafitos: colorful fishermen’s houses precariously built on stilts along the water’s edge. The town is full of little shops and a large open-air market where the Chileans show their indigenous wares such as alpaca sweaters and lapis jewelry. You may choose to visit Chiloé National Park to see its forests, wetlands, and wildlife, with a selection of longer or shorter walks. Alternatively, visit some of the welcoming small communities that dot the countryside and learn about a unique way of life. One of the unique features of the island’s history and culture is its wooden churches, collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The churches and many of the houses are covered in protective shells of wooden shingles in artistic designs. 

Day 4: Pumalín Douglas Tompkins National Park

Pumalín’s 750,000 acres in Chilean Patagonia are protected as one of the last areas where the unusual alerce forest remains. These huge trees are similar in dimension to California redwoods, with some specimens about 2,000 years old. The Pumalín Project was established in 1995 by the late American conservationist Doug Tompkins, who wanted to preserve some of the remaining virgin forests in Chile. Have a choice of walks in the park with naturalists in the forest, visiting a hidden waterfall, or climbing along a rushing stream and looking for forest birds along the trail. In the afternoon, head for the Golfo de Corcovado in search of marine wildlife, looking for Magellanic penguins, sooty shearwaters, dolphins, and—with luck—whales.

Day 5: Aysén | Coyhaique | Andes Mountains

Today offers a choice of two interesting excursions.  

You may decide to take a morning excursion to a nearby, exceptionally beautiful privately owned park, Aiken del Sur. The park has well-maintained trails, set in an evergreen forest with lovely waterfalls and lakes, including a 75-foot-high cascade. Bird possibilities include ringed kingfishers, woodpeckers, and a variety of forest birds. A Patagonian lamb barbecue (with vegetarian options) and entertainment by local musicians await at the end of the walk. 

Alternatively, take a full-day excursion to the Coyhaique National Reserve, driving up into a beautiful valley nestled in the Andes, with views of the snow-covered peaks. Entering the reserve, drive through an evergreen forest full of giant rhubarb and ferns to the transition zone of the deciduous Nothofagus forest. The starting point for the hike is Laguna Verde, “Green Lake.” Coyhaique National Reserve is home to three Chilean woodpecker species, passerines, diurnal and nocturnal predatory birds, and other animals such as pumas and foxes. After the hike, you’ll have a picnic lunch and visit the city of Coyhaique, seeing its central plaza and the artisans’ stalls, with excellent handicrafts. Then return to Puerto Chacabuco and National Geographic Resolution.  

Day 6-10: Inland Passage | Chilean Fjords

This huge region of incredible scenery provides days of adventure for you. A vast area of snowcapped mountains, gigantic glaciers, thousands of islands covered with forests and other vegetation, lakes, soaring granite walls, and waterfalls, the archipelago is untouched by humans except for a few fishing villages which perch at “the end of the world.” With a National Geographic Photography Expert and a certified photo instructor by your side, you’ll have boundless photo options.  

One of the many highlights is the Pio XI Glacier, the longest glacier in the southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica, running some 60 miles from the Patagonia icefield to the fjord where it noisily calves off gigantic ice masses, at a rate of one every several minutes. It is 2 miles wide and rises nearly 200 feet above sea level. Explore by Zodiac. These days offer multiple opportunities to hike and to use Zodiacs, kayaks, and undersea technology to explore the beautiful protected waters. En route to Puerto Natales, transit the Kirke Narrows, a dogleg between unforgiving rock bluffs.

Day 11-13: Puerto Natales | Torres del Paine National Park | White Narrows

From Puerto Natales, drive to the monumental Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere. The landscape is big, wide, and sprawling, with razor-backed ridges, Andean condors, flamingos, and rheas. It’s hard to imagine that the park could top the drive, but the Torres del Paine is an amazing sight: jagged granite mountains topped with a thick layer of dark slate. Discover one of the most spectacular and wildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering 450,000 acres of glaciers, forests grasslands, rivers, and colorful lagoons. Chileans themselves dream of visiting this magnificent park. You’ll be able to choose whether to hike or drive to some of the most scenic places in this great setting.  

Day 14: Tierra del Fuego: Karukinka Natural Park

Tierra del Fuego is one of Patagonia’s crown jewels. Established in 2004 through a gift from Goldman Sachs, Karukinka is one of the largest donations ever made for conservation. We’re thrilled to have 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, 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.  

Day 15-16: Chilean Fjords | Beagle Channel

Sail the Beagle Channel, named after HMS Beagle. The ship, commanded by Captain FitzRoy, surveyed the region between 1826 and 1830 and returned in 1833 with Charles Darwin on board.  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 the greens of the forest highlighted by splashes of flowering plants. Look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, grebes, petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm.  

Day 17: Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark | Santiago, Chile

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark today in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Have time to explore before proceeding to the airport for the charter flight to Santiago and homebound flights. 

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Resolution

National Geographic Resolution ship
NG Resolution Dining
NG Resolution Bar

Puerto Montt - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$11,500 2-3 travelers
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
Cabin
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Category 1
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 183 square ft. #406, 408, 411, 413, 415. Standard Cabin Amenities
Cabin
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Category 2
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 205 square ft. #410, 412, 414, 416-419, 421-427
Cabin
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Category 3
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft. #512-524
Cabin
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Category 4
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa, 205 square ft. #608, 610, 612, 613-623 Standard Cabin Amenities
Cabin
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Category 5
Bridge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft. #708, 709, 711, 713
Cabin
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Category 6
Bridge Deck—Junior Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed 344 square ft. #710
Cabin
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Category 7
Bridge Deck—Large Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed, bathtub, walk-in closet 430 square ft. #700-707, 712, 714-717
Cabin
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Category A Solo
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft. #504-510, 513
Cabin
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Category B Solo
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft. #604, 606, 609, 611
Included
  • 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 16 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Complimentary Parka - available only for the duration of the voyage.
  • Assistance by the onboard National Geographic Photography Expert
  • Access to the OM System Photo Gear Locker with the latest gear to try out on loan (aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet) 
  • Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits are available aboard the ship. Additionally, a selection of super premium wines and liquors is offered for purchase.
  • Crew gratuities
  • Complimentary Starlink-enabled Wi-Fi internet is available to all guests aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, enabling email, messaging, and social media.
  • Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
  • Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in the itinerary 
  • Selection of exploration tools curated to your destination, such as Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits, masks, and fins), and other state-of-the-art gear
  • Guidance and company of leading expedition staff
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary, both aboard and onshore. Meals are inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • Hors d’oeuvres inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • 24-hour access to snacks, premium coffees and teas, non-alcoholic beverages, and filtered water
  • Presentations on your destination by expedition staff and expert guest speakers
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • The services of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or paramedic  where available
  • Morning stretch classes and 24-hour access to exercise equipment where available
  • 24-hour access to lounges, observation decks, library stocked with regionally relevant literature, and other shared spaces 
  • Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi and phone services (except when indicated as included)
  • We strongly recommend our guests to take Travel Protection Plan. A Plan with comprehensive coverage to protect you from cancellation fees, costs incurred due to trip delays/interruption, damaged or lost baggage, medical assistance, and evacuation during your travels
  • Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), pre- and post-expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers (except when indicated as included)
  • Travel protection plans and passport, visa, and immigration fees 
  • Enhanced and premium Wi-Fi plans, which may enable video chat, web browsing, and streaming (connectivity permitting)

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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