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Patagonia

Darwin sailed through this area in the Beagle in the 1830s.  Many of his later theories were based on his observations while travelling through Patagonia.  Our tours focus on the environment and wildlife of this spectacular region.  Travelling by bus and boat, we will see glaciers, snow-capped volcanoes, ice blue lake systems and lush beech forests.  Wildlife abounds and commonly seen species include Darwin’s rhea, guanaco, grey fox, condor, skunks, armadillo and a variety of birds.  Marine species include dolphins, sea lions, Magellanic and Humboldt penguins, sea otters and a numerous waterbirds including the aptly named ‘flightless steamer duck’.

We will also discuss the history of human settlement in this harsh environment – ‘the uttermost end of the earth’.  Humans first occupied this area over 10,000 years ago toward the end of the last ice-age.  We visit several sites that were occupied from this time as well as the evidence left by early explorers and the first European settlers and discuss the impact their presence had on the local population. 

Highlights

  • The spectacular snow-covered peaks of the Andes;
  • Cruising the fiords of Southern Chile;
  • Viewing the Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate in Argentina;
  • Walking on the Glacier;
  • Spectacular Torres del Paine National Park;
  • Wonderful shapes of the ice bergs beached on Lago Grey;
  • The varied wildlife of Patagonia;
  • Beautiful blue lakes of Southern Chile;
  • The rugged Pacific Coast of Isla Grande de Chiloe;
  • World Heritage Listed timber churches of Chiloe;
  • Dine on local salmon and oysters, washed down with Chilean wine.

"Our business is in ruins..."