Capture Stunning Images of Extraordinary Alpine and Glacial Landscapes— Wildlife, Too!
Frequently Asked Questions
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The best time to visit Patagonia is during the Southern Hemisphere summer months, which are November through March. The weather is warmer, skies are clear and it’s the height of the growing season, so vegetation is green and vibrant.
Patagonian summer days are long—the sun rises early and sets late. Temperatures range from 50–70°F during the day and drop into the 40s at night. Higher elevations such as Torres del Paine are cooler and may even experience frost at night. Rain is always a possibility, and strong winds are common, so pack layers to ensure you stay warm and dry.
Patagonia is home to a variety of fascinating species that have adapted to this mountainous region. Pumas, guanacos, red foxes, Patagonian grey foxes, maras, huemul deer, Andean condors, lesser rheas, black-browed albatrosses and many other bird species can all be found in Patagonia.
Our primary means of travel through Patagonia are private sprinter vans and comfortable minibuses with large windows and plenty of room for gear.
We’ll be in a mountainous, cool environment, and because of the high altitude, the sun may be stronger regardless of temperature. The weather in Patagonia is extremely variable—rain and wind are always a possibility—so come prepared with adequate layers, including a down jacket, fleece and lightweight, waterproof rain gear. Also pack a warm hat, gloves, a sun hat and sturdy hiking boots. Check out Nat Hab’s online Gear Store for some of the key items recommended for your adventure.
This trip is rated as moderate to difficult because, though most required hiking trips are moderate in terms of physical activity level, days are long and packed full of activities. Guests must be able to walk at least 3 miles over uneven and often rugged terrain. Walks typically range from 3–6 miles, and longer options are offered to guests who would like more strenuous hikes. There is a significant amount of time spent driving on this trip in order to cover as much of the vast region of Patagonia as possible, so travelers must be prepared for longer overland journeys. Trip participants should also be ready for variable weather, including high winds, intense sun and cold temperatures. Please click here for the detailed physical requirements of this Patagonia adventure.
Our accommodations place us amid Patagonia’s striking topography, near glaciers, mountains and other natural wonders. Lodges and hotels offer various amenities and are contemporary, while also incorporating Argentina and Chile’s rich cultural heritage. One of the highlights of the trip is our stay at EcoCamp Patagonia. With its distinctive geodesic domes set amid the towering peaks of Torres del Paine National Park, guests will enjoy their time at one of the world’s most renowned ecolodges.
Argentine food relies mainly on Mediterranean flavors, while Chilean food draws on traditional Spanish cuisine. Both cuisines incorporate indigenous ingredients to create a unique blend of seasonings and spices. Most regions of Argentina are known for their beef-oriented diet, where the meat is commonly breaded and fried or grilled and served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Chilean cuisine also highlights the fresh seafood caught along the coastline. And since Chile is one of the world’s largest wine producers because of its ideal geography and climate, fine wines accompany many meals. For dessert, don’t miss out on the Argentine specialty dulce de leche—a delightful confection served drizzled on cakes, cookies or ice cream. Empanadas—pastries filled with meat, cheese or corn—are a popular snack within both countries. While we will have various opportunities to try both Argentine and Chilean dishes, there will also be plenty of Western options available for guests.
Spanish is the official language of both Argentina and Chile. Argentine Spanish has a heavy Italian influence, and Chilean Spanish is spoken very rapidly and with more slang, which results in a different-sounding dialect. We recommend bringing an English/Spanish dictionary or phrase book so you can try some conversational phrases or words throughout the trip.
The national currency of Argentina is the Argentine peso (ARS), and the national currency of Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP). Though U.S. dollars are widely accepted throughout both Argentina and Chile, we recommend having enough local cash on hand for gratuities and other incidental purchases. You can exchange money at the international airport, hotels or casas de cambio to ensure a reliable exchange. Check the current exchange rate for USD to ARS here and for USD to CLP here. Most hotels, shops and restaurants we visit accept credit cards, and Visa and Mastercard are most widely accepted.
All of our accommodations (excluding EcoCamp Patagonia) provide Internet access, and Internet cafés are available in El Calafate and El Chalten. Cell phone service is sporadic or nonexistent in the more remote areas. With the focus of our trips on immersive nature experiences, Nat Hab encourages minimizing the use of electronics, so we ask guests to please refrain from using technology during group activities.
The minimum required age for this adventure is 14 years old because of full days and long transfers that can be difficult for youngsters. If you’re looking for a trip designed specifically for children, teens and families, check out our collection of Family Adventures to Costa Rica, the Galapagos Islands, Africa and more.
Yes! Families or friend groups can reserve entire departures on a private basis. Please call our office at 800-543-8917 to get details on group size and pricing.
Guests are responsible for booking roundtrip flights from their home city to El Calafate, Argentina. We recommend using Natural Habitat Adventures’ Travel Desk, as our Air Travel Specialists are intimately familiar with the requirements of our trips and can arrange the most efficient and cost-effective travel into El Calafate. Please check the Getting There & Getting Home section on the Dates, Prices & Info page for details on required arrival and departure times for this adventure.
Nat Hab is happy to reserve a hotel room for you in Buenos Aires or El Calafate before your Patagonia tour begins, but please note that pre-nights are subject to availability at the time of booking. Please speak with our Travel Desk if you’re interested in booking extra nights.