Wonders of Patagonia

Chile & Argentina

November 1-11, 2023 • 11 Days • Approx $6500

It has been more than 20 years since WAI’s last visit to Chile and we are excited to be building a new Adventure that features both the Chilean and Argentina side of Patagonia. This new itinerary is based on multiple scouting trips, intensive office research, and in-country contacts to feature the Wonders of Patagonia, in both Chile and Patagonia, as well as the Lake District and Valparaiso/Vina del Mar!

NOTE: Three internal flights are necessary during this itinerary and are not included in the above land price.
Day 2: Santiago to Punta Arenas
Day 7: El Calafate to Bariloche
Day 10: Puerto Varas to Santiago

A group booking for these 3 flights has been made for an additional cost of $714 per person. Travelers are welcome to book their own flights provided they match with flights we have booked for the group.

Easter Island Mysteries Optional Extension

November 11 – 15, 2023 • 5 Days • Approx $2500

The optional extension takes us on our first ever visit to Easter Island, famed for the mysterious massive stone heads (moai) carved by the Polynesian Rapa Nui, the indigenous inhabitants of the island.

NOTE: A 5 1/2 hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island and return is necessary and is not included in the above land price. Group bookings are not available but WAI is able to book travelers as individuals. Actual ticket prices can not be confirmed certain until the day of booking, and can fluctuate from day to day. We currently estimate this roundtrip flight to cost approximately $900 per person. More details will be provided on how to book and pay for this flight.

Tour Type: Classic Curated, High Adventure

Highlights from Patagonia

Watch the video to view a few highlights from Scott’s 2020 scouting trip in Patagonia.

Chile is a land of extremes! Hugging the west corner of the South American continent, it’s a long narrow sliver averaging just over 100 miles in width and snaking over 3000 miles from the north to its far southern tip at the bottom of the world. Some of its deserts, the driest on the planet, have not seen rain for decades. Further south, rainfall is measured in meters and the largest icefields outside of Antarctica and Greenland store surprisingly high percentages of the world’s fresh water. Its eastern flank is guarded by the soaring heights of the Andes; its western flank peers out over the Pacific, the world’s largest ocean.

Highlights:

  • The awesome spectacle of Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park with its calving glaciers, dramatic peaks, and abundance of wildlife
  • Patagonia’s rugged remoteness populated by condors, penguins, guanacos, and a few humans as well
  • Stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, 100 square miles of ice, the most spectacular of 48 glaciers fed by the massive Southern Patagonia Ice Field
  • Bariloche, Argentina, strung along the shores of glacially fed Lake Nahuel Huapi in the foothills of the Andes–an unimaginably gorgeous setting
  • The vibrancy of the Chilean capital of Santiago, set roughly in the middle of the country, yet culturally worlds away from the extreme north and south

 

Easter Island Mysteries Optional Extension

Easter Island has an outsized reputation relative to its size (63 square miles) and historical impact. Its name is derived from the fact that the first Europeans, Dutch explorers, arrived for a one-day visit on Easter Sunday in 1722. The original, local name of the island is Rapa Nui (Great Rapa) or Te Pitot e Henau (Navel of the World).

Its fame is derived from the oversized stone carvings of human heads (moai), of which there are more than 600. Original settlers are believed to have arrived from Polynesian islands to the west anywhere between 300 and 1200 AD and the carving of human heads is believed to be a reflection of their initial wealth on an island initially thought to have been a paradise abundant in trees, including the largest palm species on earth, birds, and of course fish and shellfish.

The fortunes of the Rapa Nui people waxed and waned as they fell prey to overpopulation, deforestation, European diseases, civil war, and even slave hunters from Peru and Bolivia. During a precarious period in the late 19th century, the population dwindled to less than 200. Though the island was annexed by Chile in 1888 and islanders became full Chilean citizens in 1965, this most isolated Polynesian people group has recovered. The current population is back up to approximately 3000 and efforts to retain their Rapa Nui language and culture have been successful.

Wonders of Patagonia: Chile & Argentina

Including:

  • Airport to hotel transfers on day of arrival and departure
  • Superior tourist-class hotel accommodations
  • All land transportation include airport transfers for three internal flights
  • 21 meals: All breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 3 dinners
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • Cultural and historical expertise of local guides throughout
  • All tipping for local guides, coach drivers, and group meals
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy; single accommodations will be available for a fee of $1075. We also provide a roommate matching service.

Activities/Visits to:

  • Museo Salesiano – Punta Arenas
  • Torres del Paine National Park
  • Mylodon Cave Natural Monument
  • Los Glaciares National Park
  • Seno Mayo Cruise to Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Small Circuit tour in Bariloche
  • Cruise to Victoria Island
  • Andean Lake Crossing by boat and bus
  • Guided walking tour of Puerto Varas
  • Museo Pablo Fierro – Puerto Varas
  • Valparaiso & Vina del Mar tour
  • More fun and educational stops than we can list

Optional Excursions

  • Half-day bus and walking tour of Santiago (Day 1)

 

Easter Island Mysteries Optional Extension

Including:

  • Superior tourist-class hotel accommodations
  • All land transportation
  • 9 meals: All breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 1 dinner
  • WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
  • Cultural and historical expertise of our local guide throughout
  • All tipping for local guides, coach drivers, and group meals
  • Pricing is based on double occupancy; single accommodations will be available for a fee of $390. We also provide a roommate matching service.

Activities/Visits to:

  • Guided Hanga Roa walk
  • Guided Orongo Rano Kau Walk
  • Guided Rano Raruku Walk
  • Rapa Nui National Park
  • Valparaiso & Vina del Mar tour
  • More fun and educational stops than we can list

Optional Excursions

  • Stargazing excursion – Day 3

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

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Important Info

Group Size

Maximum 24 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Superior tourist class hotels or better

Meals

Breakfasts included with a selection of lunches and dinners.

Airfare

International air not included. Travelers fly into and out of Santiago, Chile for both parts of this tour – Main tour and Optional Extension. Domestic air to be offered in a package separate from land services.

Transportation

Included. We use motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 40+ seats.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guide

Scott IsomScott Isom has had a passion for the outdoors ever since his childhood days spent exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River Gorge with his family. Scott has led tours on all 7 continents and is one of WAI’s busiest guides and on-site Adventure planners. Scott will be leading our Chile Adventure along with support from our excellent national guide.

Scott Burk loves traveling and sharing the adventure with others! Sharing the best of Europe, Northern Africa, Israel, and the USA, Scott has been leading Walking Adventures for 10 years and recently retired from a career as an air traffic control manager for the Portland, Oregon airport. In between tours, you’ll likely find Scott tending his expansive yard or reading the newspaper on the front porch with their dog, Titan.

Itinerary

NOTE: Portions of this itinerary have been planned via on-site scouting by WAI guides. Santiago, Bariloche, Puerto Varas, and Easter Island will be visited in early 2023 to update tour plans. Improvements to the itinerary below may therefore be implemented at that time.

Click on each day to reveal more details.

Wonders of Patagonia: Chile & Argentina

DAY 1-November 1: Arrive in Santiago (D)

Walk 1: Highlights of Santiago – 5 km, rated 1A

Travelers arrive in Santiago today for the beginning of our exploration of the spectacular South American region of Patagonia in both Chile and Argentina.

Our hotel is in the Providencia district, a welcoming area known for its restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, and quaint boutiques. Also nearby is expansive Metropolitan Park on San Cristóbal Hill, a perfect place to stretch your legs and take in views of the mighty Andes after a long flight.

Later this evening, our first official activity is a Welcome Orientation at our hotel followed by dinner together.

Travelers who arrive a day early, on October 31, are invited to join us today for an optional excursion in the Chilean capital of Santiago. This half day experience will combine walking and a bus tour to maximize our introduction to this fascinating Andean capital city. The Santiago region was first settled by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 and grew slowly until named as the capital of the new republic of Chile following the War of Independence from Spain in 1818. Several highlights on today’s tour are from the picturesque colonial period and include Government Palace, Plaza de Armas, Metropolitan Cathedral, University of Chile, and the National Library. Estimated price: $90 per person (minimum 15 travelers)

DAY 2-November 2: Santiago – Puerto Natales (BL)

We depart for Patagonia this morning, flying into the southern Chile city of Punta Arenas, situated on the fabled Strait of Magellan. This is the storied waterway linking Atlantic and Pacific Oceans first navigated by the renowned mariner Ferdinand Magellan in 1540 during his quest to be the first to circumnavigate the globe. Strategically situated Punta Arenas flourished as a coaling station for shipping until the early 20th century opening of the Panama Canal siphoned off the great majority of transoceanic shipping.

Following lunch and a brief tour of Punta Arenas we head north into Patagonia. Our home for the next three nights is Puerto Natales, a once sleepy fishing village that has blossomed as the base for visitors drawn by the outdoor magic of Patagonia and Torres del Paine National Park.

Dinner is on your own this evening from our centrally located hotel, set across the street from lovely Señoret Channel and the southern terminus of the ferry serving the phenomenal Chilean fjords.

DAY 3-November 3: Activities in Torres del Paine (BL)

Walk 2: Sarmiento Gate to Amarga Gate Walk – 7 km, rated 2B
Walk 3: Laguna Azul Walk – 6 km, rated 2B

Established in 1959, Torres del Paine (“Blue Towers”) but did not receive its current name until 1970.  Weather in this region can offer all four seasons in a single day, but November is the dry season and we are hopeful of seeing these stunning trademark towers, called “Cleopatra’s Needles” by an early English visitor.

Our first walk crosses the vast openness of the steppe below the towers offering marvelous views of the famous massive in clear weather. Encounters with wildlife are likely, including flamenco, gray fox, Andean condor, but especially the always-curious guanaco, one of four South American members of the camelid family.

From Amarga Gate, we drive north to Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon) for a picnic lunch and today’s second walk. The trail here skirts the northern bank of the laguna offering lakeside landscapes, views of the towers, and a strong sense of the end-of-the-world remoteness which drapes our every moment in Chilean Patagonia.

We return to Puerto Natales for the evening and dinner on our own.

DAY 4-November 4: Activities in Torres del Paine (BL)

Walk 4: Salto Grande & Mirador Cuernas Walk – 6 km, rated 2B
Walk 5: Lago Grey Walk – 6 km, rated 2C

We return to Torres del Paine this morning to enjoy two more highlights of the Park from two additional trails. First stop on the morning walks is Salto Grande, a pulsating waterfall on the Paine River which drains Nordenskjöld Lake into Pehoe Lake. Our trail continues to a viewpoint of the Cuernos del Paine, the Horns of Paine, a second remarkable series of peaks with distinctive sculpted surfaces, possibly even more photographed than the towers we saw yesterday. Wildlife is ubiquitous in the park and viewings are likely again this morning.

Following a break for lunch, our fourth and final walk in Torres del Paine is set at Lago Grey. Here, the trail takes us across a sandbank to circumnavigate a forested knob, the highlight of which is mirador Lago Grey, a viewpoint of the lake and the glacier by the same name at the north end.

We return to Puerto Natales having witnessed several faces, and likely several moods, of what is arguably Chile’s most famous national park.

DAY 5-November 5: Puerto Natales – El Calafate, Argentina (BL)

Walk 6: Mylodon Cave Walk – 2 km, rated 2B

Today is primarily a day of travel, from the Chilean side of Patagonia to the Argentina side. En route, we stop for a short walk at Mylodon Cave Natural Monument, a place of archeological significance. It was here that the world’s best-preserved remains of a Mylodon, a genus of a giant sloth (5000 pounds) that became extinct thousands of years ago, were discovered in 1895 by a German explorer.

Crossing the border into Argentina, we continue north to El Calafate, perched on the southern shores of glacially blue Lago Argentina. Like Puerto Natales, El Calafate has benefitted from its proximity to a Patagonian natural wonder, in this case the massive, world famous Perito Moreno Glacier.

The region is also known for its ranches (estancias in Spanish) that introduce visitors to the ways of the gaucho (South American cowboy) and the sheep herding culture and serve delicious lamb barbeques. We hope to provide an optional dinner this evening at a nearby estancia. Otherwise, dinner can be found a restaurants near our centrally-located hotel.

DAY 6-November 6: Activities from El Calafate (BL)

Walk 7: Toro Bay Walk – 1 km, rated 1B
Walk 8: Seno May Walk – 1.5 km, rated 2C
Walk 9: Perito Moreno Glacier Walk – 3.5 km, rated 2B

One of the tour’s most memorable days could be this day in Los Glaciares National Park, second largest in Argentina and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The massive ice cap in the Park feeds 40 different glaciers and is the largest ice cap outside Antarctica and Greenland.

After a short drive, we board a boat to navigate through Canal de los Tempanos and enter Seno Mayo (May Sound) of Lake Argentina, Argentina’s largest lake. Our first stop is a Toro Bay for a short walk through Patagonian Andean Forest of centennial cherry, cinnamon, lengas, and nires trees, and past a waterfall of impressive proportions.

Next we cruise to Cerro Negro for another short hike along a beautiful rushing stream. Mountain views and vistas of a hanging glacier add wonder to this section of trail above Seno Mayo.

Our catamaran then continues south for today’s main event. We disembark across from Perito Moreno Glacier for over three kilometers of walking along boardwalks strategically placed for panoramas of this magnificent glacier. Differing vantage points are offered, some closer and some from a distance, some higher and some closer to the ice. Perito Moreno is only one of three glaciers in Patagonia that is currently advancing. This river of ice is massive, over 30 kilometers in length, 5 kilometers wide at its face, and 8 kilometers deep in places.

At the face of Perito Moreno, the wall of ice is about 70 meters (230 feet) tall. Possibly due to the extreme weight of slabs of ice that tall, calving occurs frequently and can be spectacular.

The day ends with a bus ride back to El Calafate and dinner on your own while you contemplate the wonders of this day!

DAY 7-November 7: El Calafate – Bariloche, Argentina (BD)

Walk 10: Arrayanes Trail, 4 km, rated 2A

After several busy days in Patagonia, we start slower this morning. The early part of the day is free, and the area around our town is walker-friendly. Mid-morning, we bus to the airport for a flight north to San Carlos de Bariloche.

Bariloche is renowned as a premier ski destination in the South American winter and benefits from an enviable lakeside location. We arrive early afternoon and, after checking into our hotel, explore a delightful circuit around Llau Llau Peninsula bordered by Nahuel Huapi, a large glacial lake surrounded by the Andes Mountains, and Lago Perito Moreno. Stops during this bus/walk excursion include picturesque Hotel Llao Llao with San Eduardo Chapel, as well as a leafy stroll through stunning stands of Arrayanes trees to the shore of Perito Moreno Lake.

We enjoy dinner together this evening at our hotel in Bariloche in anticipation of a final day exploring Patagonia tomorrow.

DAY 8-November 8: Activities from Bariloche (BL)

Walk 11: Victoria Island Hike – distance and rating unknown

The bulk of today is devoted to imbibing the Andean Mountain and lake scenery of this northern Patagonia region. We cross Lago Nahuel Huapi by boat to Victoria Island enjoying walking trails and a mountain picnic, and cruising along the shoreline of Victoria Island. More details of this day will be provided after a February 2023 scouting trip.

DAY 9-November 9: Bariloche – Puerto Varas, Chile (BL)

We return to Chile today in unique fashion. Details for our crossing are still under negotiation but the traditional way to cross into Chile from Bariloche is through Chile’s Lake District. This is a region lacking in road infrastructure, so the slow but scenic solution is usually a combination of ships and buses. It’s a beautiful way to cross the Andes but we are also looking at an alternative that would allow a more efficient use of time.

What awaits us on the western side of the Andes is a land of snow-capped, conical volcanoes surrounded by lakes and virgin forests. In a candy cane thin strip of climates, topographies, and latitudes, this is yet another fascinating stripe of the candy cane unlike any we’ve seen elsewhere. It’s a bit like the volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest, albeit packed closer together, combined with the lakes of Northern Italy and the rainforests of New Zealand.

At the end of the day, we find ourselves in the town of Puerto Varas in a hotel on the shores of Lago Llanquihue looking across at two of the regions perfectly proportioned volcanoes, Osorno and Calbuco.

DAY 10-November 10: Puerto Varas – Santiago, Chile (BD)

Walk 12: Puerto Varas City of Roses Walk, 7 km, rated 2A

A long and interesting day of transit from Argentina yesterday is followed by an interesting walk starting directly from our hotel on the shore of Lago Llanquihue. The route through this delightful “city of roses” introduces us to its picturesque Germanic architecture with plenty of dramatic vistas across the lake to the region’s signature volcanic peaks. Along the way, we stop to visit Museo Pablo Fierro, an eclectic fairytale-like wooden building that fuses elements of German architecture and Chilote culture (from the Chiloe Archipelago south of Puerto Varas).

After lunch on our own, we depart for the airport and a flight north to Santiago. Here, we overnight at an airport hotel and look forward to a farewell dinner to socialize and reminisce about our Adventure together experiencing the Wonders of Patagonia!

DAY 11-November 11: Valparaiso Excursion and Depart Santiago (BL)

Travelers continuing on the optional Easter Island Extension fly this morning to Easter Island (see below).

Travelers returning to North American today fly out of Santiago late this evening. Meanwhile, join us for an excursion of a completely different type: a relaxing visit to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar set on Chile’s Pacific coast, just over an hour away.

Highlights in Valparaiso include multi-colored houses, off-beat architecture and street art, and a colorful system of funicular elevators from the early 20th century offering public transportation up and down the forty-odd hillsides on which this “Jewel of the Pacific” is built.

Just up the coast from Valparaiso is Viña del Mar, the “Garden City” famous for its beaches and numerous castles and 19th century mansions from its golden age.

Chile is also justly famous for its wine production, and we’ll be looking for an opportunity for a wine tasting on our return to the Santiago airport for evening flights to the northern hemisphere.

Thank you for sharing this exploration of the Wonders of Patagonia! We return home fascinated by our introduction to this long, pencil-thin country on the Pacific Coast of South America, impressed by scenes of the south and curious about other mysteries that lie in its northern latitudes.

Easter Island Mysteries Optional Extension

DAY 1-November 11: Santiago to Easter Island (BD)

Walk 1: Hanga Roa Moai Walk – 4 km, rated 1A

A short transfer after breakfast this morning prepares us for a flight across the Pacific to a mythical island lost in the mists of a mysterious past. We land at Easter Island’s Mataveri International Airport, the world’s most remote airport, 2336 miles across the Pacific from Chile’s western coast.

Nearby is our hotel for the next three nights in Easter Island’s on solitary town, Hanga Roa.

Upon arrival, travelers are invited for an orientation walk along the coast to see the Ahu Tahi moai, followed by dinner back at our hotel.

DAY 2-November 12: Activities on Easter Island (BL)

Walk 2: Orongo Rano Kau Walk, 6.2 km, rated 2B

After breakfast this morning, we head south to visit the island’s largest volcano, Rano Kau. On the western rim of the crater are the ruins of a settlement called Orongo, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the cliffs here overlooking the Pacific a strange competition was held over a period of about 150 years, the last race taking place in 1866 .

An annual contest was held conferring the title of “Birdman” on the winner, or the winner’s sponsor. The odd race involved scaling the dangerous 1000-foot cliffs, swimming shark-infested waters to a small offshore island, and finding the eggs of an elusive bird called the Sooty Tern.

Our walk wanders the ruins, then skirts the rim of the crater circling to the eastern edge before returning along the access road.

After lunch, activities for the afternoon will be announced but we expect to explore moai and cultural sites on the western side of the island.

A stargazing activity on the eastern side of the island may be available this evening. There can be no darker setting from which to study the Southern Constellations than the uninhabited side of one of the planet’s most remote islands. Estimated price: $100

DAY 3-November 13: Activities on Easter Island (BL)

Walk 3: Rano Raruku Walk – 7.5 km, 2B

Today is devoted to the eastern side of Easter Island. Our morning objective is another significant volcanic feature, Rano Raraku. This volcanic site provided the rough volcanic stone quarried to produce most of the island’s moai. As such, it is an excellent place to see moai in various states of completion. By far the largest moai on the island are also located here since keeping them on site removed the challenging obstacles of transportation.

Our local guide will have much to share about the history of the island and its moai during this visit which ends along the coast at Auh Tongariki, a remote area featuring 15 moai.

Following lunch back in Hanga Roa, you’ll have opportunities to see the northeast corner of the island, farthest away from our base in Hanga Roa.

This evening we hope to offer a cultural activity as an appropriate climax to our visit on this most remote Polynesian island.

DAY 4-November 14: Easter Island - Santiago (B)

The morning is free to explore Hanga Roa and perhaps support the local economy with any last minute souvenir purchases. A 5 1/2-hour flight returns us to Santiago this afternoon for our last night in Chile.

DAY 5-November 15: Depart Santiago (BL)

Flights to North American depart from Santiago late this evening. Meanwhile, join us for an excursion of a completely different type: a relaxing visit to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar set on Chile’s Pacific coast, just over an hour away.

Highlights in Valparaiso include multi-colored houses, off-beat architecture and street art, and a colorful system of funicular elevators from the early 20th century offering public transportation up and down the forty-odd hillsides on which this “Jewel of the Pacific” is built.

Just up the coast from Valparaiso is Viña del Mar, the “Garden City” famous for its beaches and numerous castles and 19th century mansions from its golden age.

Chile is also justly famous for its wine production, and we’ll be looking for an opportunity for a wine tasting on our return to the Santiago airport for evening flights to the northern hemisphere.

Thank you for sharing this Easter Island Mysteries optional excursion. We return home with a greater understanding and appreciation of this tiny Pacific island and its intriguing Polynesian heritage.

More Details

Click on each heading for more details.

How Do I Lock in My Place on This Adventure?

To register, a non-refundable $1000 deposit is required to hold your spot. Travelers who opt for the Easter Island Mysteries Optional Extension will also be charged for the roundtrip airfare required for this part of the tour (see How is Airfare Arranged below). A final payment is due 90 days before departure and is non-refundable after the due date. You will receive a prompt email from us a week or two in advance.

Soon after registration, an “Adventure Advice” email will be sent with critical information on flight arrangements as well as important steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review this Adventure Advice email.

Follow this link to read our full General Tour Conditions.

What is a Classic Curated Tour?

With help from local experts and walking guides, these itineraries are crafted with extensive on-site planning by WAI tour planners.

When planning Classic Curated Tours, our objective is to capture the essence of a destination—the history, culture, and natural wonders unique to that part of the world. We then build activities and walks that take us inside these characteristics.

Yes, these tours are educational, but they are also interactive and immersive; walking gets us off the bus and penetrates local cultures to not only see, but also touch, smell, and feel these special spaces.

Along the way, interactions with locals amplify the experience by sharing insights into the magic of that particular location.

Walk Ratings

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. Walks that are oriented more towards education may take longer due to stops for guide commentary. Nature walks, on the other hand, generally continue at a steadier pace because we’re stopping less to talk.In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion.

If you have questions about your ability to participate, please contact our office at [email protected].

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented on the table below:

INCLINE

  1. Minimal hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain: <200 feet.
    2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain: 200-1000 feet.
    3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain: 1000-2000 feet.

TERRAIN

  1. Almost entirely on pavement.
    B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
    C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).

How is Airfare Arranged?

Travelers will arrive into and depart from Santiago, Chile.

Travelers participating in the main tour only, Wonders of Patagonia, should arrive into Santiago on November 1 and depart on November 11. An optional pre-night in Santiago is offered in which case the traveler would arrive on October 31.

Travelers participating in the Easter Island Mysteries Optional Extension should plan to depart Santiago on November 15.

We recommend that you contact Laura Pfahler, the travel agent we work with, to help book your flight arrangements. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in an Adventure Advice PDF by email after you register for the Adventure.  Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving these flight details from us!

Laura Pfahler: 503.434.6401 or [email protected]

Three internal flights are necessary during Wonders of Patagonia and are not included in the tour price.
Day 2: Santiago to Punta Arenas
Day 7: El Calafate to Bariloche
Day 10: Puerto Varas to Santiago

A group booking has been made for an additional cost of $714 per person. Sign up for these flights when you register by selecting them under the Optional Excursions or Optional Services page of the registration. Travelers are welcome to book their own flights provided they match with flights we have booked for the group. Please contact us if you would like to book your own internal flights so we can provide you with the flights to book.

For Easter Island Mysteries, a 5 1/2 hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island and return is necessary and is not included in the tour price. Group bookings are not available for this flight but WAI is able to book travelers as individuals. Actual ticket prices can not be confirmed until the day of booking, and can fluctuate from day to day. We currently estimate this roundtrip flight to cost approximately $900 per person. To request this service, check the box under Optional Services for this flight to Easter Island. We will book this flight on your behalf provided the actual price does not exceed $1100. If flight pricing rises above $1100, we will contact you for your decision on whether to continue your plans to participate in the Easter Island segment.

Travel Insurance

WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. This is now especially true in the era of COVID-19, which is typically treated like any other illness for travel insurance purposes. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Laura Pfahler and Sharon Mitchell of World Travel Inc. are travel agents who provide air travel and insurance services to many WAI travelers.

Laura Pfahler: 503.434.6401 or [email protected]
Sharon Mitchell: 971.261.2091 or [email protected]

Check out Insurance Tips from World Travel for a short introduction to travel insurance. (NOTE: WAI receives no commission or financial remuneration from World Travel Inc.).

As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the SquareMouth.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.

Other options include:

Allianz
Betins
Travel Guard
Travel Insured International

WAI bears no responsibility for travel insurance benefits advertised by various credit card companies. If you are relying on this type of benefit for insurance, we advise you to verify coverage types and limits and that your purchase does in fact qualify you for this insurance.

NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). Travelers interested in purchasing “cancel for any reason” insurance coverage should be careful to check pricing and terms BEFORE they register for a tour. Recent changes in the international travel landscape has caused changes in the policies of some insurance companies, and made the purchase of this particular type of policy even more time-sensitive.

What if WAI Cancels the Tour?

Walking Adventures International reserves the right to cancel this tour departure with fewer than 12 participants, in which case registered participants would receive a 100% refund of payments received.

This refund policy contains one exclusion. Some suppliers require non-refundable deposits as a condition of booking services. Unforeseen circumstances can, in rare circumstances, force us to cancel a tour. Due to these supplier’s non-refundable policies, WAI attempts to retrieve as much of these deposits as possible but cannot guarantee a 100% refund. In cases where full refunds cannot be obtained for a cancelled tour, we will do our best to transfer unrefunded money as traveler credits to be applied to a future tour to that destination.

COVID-19 Policies for This Tour

WAI has relaxed health policies and currently requires no mitigation procedures (current WAI Coronavirus Policy). However, Walking Adventures International policy includes endeavoring to comply with any COVID-19 policies in place in the destinations through which we travel.

Chile has been slow to remove its COVID-19 restrictions. Current requirements involve either a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours from departure or a vaccination certificate showing proof of vaccination.

Policies for Easter Island are more stringent but were relaxed as of December 2, 2022 to require only proof of vaccination (on-site testing no longer required). Only vaccinated travelers are currently allowed to enter Easter Island. Upon arrival to Easter Island, travelers are subject to a period of vigilance for up to 5 days, which may include a follow-up visit or phone call from local health authorities or random antigen tests requirements.

Because the tour is nearly a year from this writing (December 3, 2022) further changes can be expected. WAI will update travelers upon learning of any changes.

Travelers participating in the Wonders of Patagonia and Easter Island Mysteries tour must agree to abide by policies in place at the time of travel.

What Happens Next?

Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome email and initial invoice notifying you of your tour balance and due date. All payments for the tour or optional services/excursions can now be made online.

Soon after registration, an “Adventure Advice” email will be sent with critical information on flight arrangements as well as important steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you review this Adventure Advice email.

A final payment is due 90 days before departure (August 3, 2023) and is non-refundable after the due date. You will receive a prompt email from us a week or two in advance. Please see our General Tour Conditions for the full terms and conditions for participation in this Adventure.

Around 2-3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final email packet with details of the program, including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.

Wonders of Patagonia and Easter Island Mysteries is sure to become an instant WAI classic. Few places on the planet offer such surprising diversity in nature and culture in such a pencil-thin package than this far away nation wedged between the Andes, ceiling of South American, and the nearby Pacific Ocean. We invite you to join us for this completely updated exploration of the Southern Chile, Patagonia, and Easter Island!