Patagonia is the outermost continental region of the Earth – raw, wild and majestic area in the southern parts of Chile and Argentina. Breathtaking rock towers rising out of nowhere, hundreds of mighty glaciers flowing into the ocean, stunning waterfalls, spectacular hanging glaciers, fearsome wind that reminds of the power of nature, unique fiords and emerald lakes, swift-flowing rivers and inimitable biodiversity! This is the only land area that is beyond description!
Welcome to the land of "the giants"! The world-famous navigator, explorer and dreamer Fernando Magellan named this wild region Patagonia - in his voyage round the world when he founded the historic Strait, named after him, he was puzzled by the tall inhabitants of this strange land, and called them "Patagons" on his native language.
In our journey we will reach to the most magnetic parts of the Patagonian Andes - National Park "Torres del Paine" in Chile and "Los Glaciares" in Argentina. We will peep in the mysterious life of the penguins on the island, we will visit the magnetic island of Tierra del Fuego and the southernmost city in the world - Ushuaia, we will be captured by the history especially when we pass along the mythical Strait of Magellan!
Flight from Sofia to Santiago, depending on the flight and the airline we choose.
We arrive in Santiago and transfer to a domestic flight to Punta Arenas Chile - the southernmost continental city in the world! Hotel accommodation and a walk downtown to visit the monument of Fernando Magellan! Punta Arenas is the largest administrative center on the shore of the Strait of Magellan and Magellanes province. It was founded on 18 December 1848. It is a center of extensive livestock area, petrochemical, forestry, woodworking and metalworking industries. Its population is over 130,000 people.
We catch an early bus (+ ferry for crossing the Strait of Magellan) to Argentine Ushuaia - the southernmost city on Earth! This is the long-awaited moment- setting foot on the legendary island of Tierra del Fuego! Finding the Strait of Magellan is one of the most amazing achievements in the history of search for new worlds and shipping! We cross the strait windblown by the typical Patagonian wind which is even more furious in the strait! The trip (bus and ferry - combined) is about 12 hours.
We go sight-seeing in Ushuaia and have a walk around the National Park "Tierra del Fuego" (Tiera Del Fuego). Tierra del Fuego is the southernmost archipelago in the world, located between the straits Drake and Magellan. The name was given by Fernando Magellan himself who, in 1520 found the way through the Strait of Magellan and built a noticeable number of Indians fires on the shore of the island. The archipelago comprises over 40,000 islands and Tierra del Fuego is one of them, the largest and most significant! The southernmost point is Cape Horn, which is the southernmost land before Antarctida!
We go back to Punta Arenas, still keeping the thought of being on the Edge of the World !!! The feeling is indescribable and with great happiness of the soul and light sadness we return to the starting point of the Strait of Magellan. In the evening we again walk through Punta Arenas, have a good rest in order to prepare for another meeting with the Strait! We are visiting the island Magdalene - the kingdom of penguins! :)
In the morning we board the ferry for a 2-hour trip to the home of Patagonian penguins! Magdalena Island is like Swiss cheese - Penguins chose the hostile wilderness, buffeted by winds to nest in the middle of the Strait of Magellan and raise their offspring there! This is a unique place where we could see the real life of the penguins! We even start feeling uncomfortable as we mess up in their area ... Far and wide thousands of penguins! One of the most emotional days in our journey, and in life! Penguins are monogamous and that adds some charm in this romantic view in the cold wasteland at the end of the world! We return for the third night in Punta Arenas and get prepared for a meeting with the and titanic Park "Torres del Paine"!
The seventh day marks our trip to the National Park "Torres del Paine" and reaching the hut Torres. We take an early bus to the town of Puerto Natales and from there another one to the park entrance. From this point starts our 2-3 hours walking to hut Torres. For the first time we will face with the primary part of Patagonia, we will see (if the weather is good !!!) the Towers del Paine! We'll see Patagonian cousins of llamas - guanaco. We will pass along spectacular canyons and waterfalls. And this is only the beginning :) The name Torres del Paine comes from the Spanish "Torres" - (Engl. - towers), and the part of the Andes, where these cathedrals are is called Cordillera del Paine.
The dream of many mountaineers, explorers and nature lovers will be in front of our eyes today! Trembled with excitement, our sleep will be uneasy the previous night! The symbol of Patagonia - the three towers (2600 m, 2800 m and 2850 m), so called the Blue towers will set upright a little more than an hour walking from the hut. A man could rarely see in their life such a spectacular and fantastic view! It is an one-kilometer slick plummet which touches glacier, the latter rests on the lake under the peaks. This is too unreal and unearthly to be described. We return to the hut and and go on to our next stop (4h.) - hut Kuernos, located under the other Kuernos del Paine towers. The road passes by the long Nordarnskyold lake that surrounds the National Park from the south.Accommodation in the hut where we enjoy the view to Kuernos del Paine, rising at almost 3-thousand vertical meters above us!
The day will offer the wildest passage of our entire stay in Patagonia! We will pass right under the towers Cuernos and will enter the French Valley. It is surrounded by dozens of magnificent peaks, hanging glaciers and waterfalls! In a few hours we will be in the heart of the park where we will feel the power of the Patagonian element and majesty!In the late afternoon we arrive at hut Paine Grande where we are going to accommodate for two nights.
Today a long yearning dream will come true - we will see the glacier Grey so close. It is the largest in the Torres del Paine National Park! Glacier Gray is part of the Southern Patagonian ice field. It is the third largest in the world after Antarctica and Greenland. Glacier Gray is stunningly beautiful and super huge! For a first time, if not all, most of us will see icebergs floating on the surface of the lake! Glacier "flows" into a lake (only 100m.a.s !!!) And from there on the wonders of the world start multiplying in front of our eyes!:) In the morning we get up earlier because we will head for an 8-hour round trip to Glacier Grey.In the evening we go back to the hut where will be hard for us to restrain our emotions of this grand, cold, titanic and captivating beauty - Gray!
In the morning we have a breakfast. It follows a short boat trip across the lake Pehoe. In fine weather, we can see the face of the National Park "Torres del Paine" - Cuernos towers – the view is famous all over the world! It is a memorable moment. After the boat adventure another great surprise awaits us – a maniac waterfall that will amaze us to perfection. Then we say "bye" to the Torres del Paine National Park. In the afternoon we return to Puerto Natales where we stay for the night.A walk around the town where we buy souvenirs from Chilean Patagonia
Today we will go back to Argentina and will move to the cities El Calafate and El Chalten, which represent a kind of gateway to other most respectable and stunning national park in Patagonia - "Los Glaciares" (The Glaciers). It is the home of the largest Patagonian dominant - Perito Moreno Glacier and the remarkable leader of Patagonia - Fitz Roy (3,405 m) and the amazing needle - Cerro Torre (3,102 m).Transfer Puerto Natales - El Calafate (3h) ; transfer El Calafate - El Chalten (2-3h)Accommodation in El Chalten, preparation for a long trek the next day. National Park "Los Glaciares" is an area that features an ex clusive beauty - with rugged, towering mountains chains, dozens of glaciers (the largest of them is the Perito Moreno) and numerous glacial lakes, including lake Argentino, 160 km long. At its furthest point are combined three glaciers that emit vapors in milky gray glacial water, which flows into the massive icebergs in the lake. The ice field is the largest ice mantle outside Antarctica. It has a total of 47 glacier and another 200 smaller glaciers, independent from the area of the main ice.
Today we will relish the giant of Patagonia - Fitz Roy, which is located on the border of Chile and Argentina! The peak was climbed for the first time in 1952. Ascent to this day are rare, which is due to the unstable Patagonian weather and hurricane winds, particularly from the Chilean territory. It is also popular with the name smoky mountains, often shrouded in mist and clouds.The passage takes about 4-5 hours in a direction which means total of 8-9 hours walking for the whole day. We get up early and take to the mythical lake "Lago de los Tres", which opens apocalyptic views to the Fitz Roy! The beauty of the Argentinia Patagonia will be in front of us! The turquoise mirror of the Lake deserves all dreams! It is important to know that the last one hour to reach the lake is a steep terrain. The ones feeling tired can stay and wait at the campsite under the lake. In the evening, we relax in the hotel and prepare for a new adventurous trip.
Today’s trek will be to the other pearl of Los Glaciares - Lake Torre with fantastic views towards one of the most inaccessible peaks in the world - Cerro Torre! The peak is extremely challenging for climbers all over the world! Its sharp needle is sunk in the common Patagonian. The first ascent was made in 1975, after many unsuccessful attempts! 10 years later happened the first winter ascent.We get up, have a breakfast and set off. Today will be an easier trip – we will walk around 6h total in both directions. We will merge with the harsh Patagonian scenery and will be astonished by its new miracles once again. In the afternoon we transfer to El Calafate and get into the mood of the Bohemian of Patagonia - Perito Moreno glacier!
The program includes transfer by a local company to the base of the glacier and various on-site services - travel by boat, stepping on the glacier, etc. The largest Patagonian glacier (called 'White giant') is located in the southern part of the vast Argentine lake. It constitutes one of the largest reserves of fresh water in the world! Named after the Argentine scientist and explorer Francisco Paskasio Moreno, the glacier is one of the 300 glaciers in the National Park "Los Glaciares"! Its landscape creates a feeling of incomparable grandeur and its periodic collapses of ice masses are one of the most impressive natural spectacles, which a man can see. The last four were in July 2008, 2006, 2004 and 1988. We bow our heads before this legendary champion among Patagonian glaciers and go back in El Calafate. This is a peculiar end of our Patagonian adventure. We are so emotionally charged that we can not even sadden by our return. Overnight in El Calafate and preparation for returning via Punta Arenas.
Early departure to Puerto Natales (3h), from there 3 hours to Punta Arenas. Gala dinner in Punta Arenas and a closure of our stay in Patagonia.
Fly to Santiago. Overnight
Days18 и 19
A transatlantic flight and landing in Bulgaria.
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