Home
Tours by Destination
Testimonials
Our Wildlife Blog
Request our Catalog
Contact Us

Review

Guests Comments


Far South Expeditions Reviews on TripAdvisor

Follow

Far South Exp 

Far South Expeditions profile at Google+ Far South Expeditions profile at Twitter Far South Expeditions profile at Facebook Far South Expeditions profile at Pinterest

Visit

Our Photo Galleries

Visit the photo galleries of Far South Expeditions

Browse

Our Tour Catalogue

browse-our-online-catalog

Request a printed copy

Learn About

Our Natural World

Read

Our Periodic Articles

Use

Our Secure Payment System 

For your convenience, all our tours can be paid with credit card, using our secure payment system and with no extra charge.

Pay by credit card using our secure payment system powered by WebPay Plus

FarSouthExp at iGoTerra
FarSouthExp @ Fat Birder / WAND


FALTA ENCABEZADO

HUMPBACK WHALES OF THE MAGELLAN STRAITS - ENCOUNTERS WITH PATAGONIA'S GENTLE GIANTS

 

Small-group, whale-watching and photo trip to southern Chile's Straits of Magellan. Enjoy of close encounters with these gentle giants amid the magnificent scenery of the pristine archipelagic regions of western Tierra del Fuego, in the most remote corners of Patagonia. During this expedition you will have the opportunity to see a large and interesting array of marine mammals and seabirds. Two nights at a scientific field station and one night besides the historic 'San Isidro' lighthouse.

4 days, 3 nights from Punta Arenas, Chile @ $1,200 p.p. | See new dates from December 2011 through April 2012.

 

Humpback Whales in the Magellan Straits, Ecounters with Patagonia's Gentle Giants

 

Humpback Whales of the Magellan Straits is a fascinating journey designed to discover some of the best-kept secrets of this imposing region of southern South America. This is a comprehensive natural history and nature photography journey to the mythic Straits of Magellan to find some of its most charismatic and usually elusive animals. At 'Carlos III' Island, located at the heart of the recently established 'Francisco Coloane' Marine Park, we will see its transient and conspicuous inhabitants, the Humpback Whales. We will see these grand creatures at close quarters as well as a large array of seabirds and marine mammals of the sub-Antarctic region. Also, we will visit remote penguin colonies as well as other seabird rookeries. South American Sea Lion and Southern Fur Seal as well as Peale's and Chilean Dolphin, and possibly Orca, are usually seen on this trip. We will be based one night at 'San Isidro' Lodge, located besides the homonymous and historic lighthouse and two nights at the domes of the research facilities of 'Carlos III' Island, the perfect location to see the Humpbacks and to study their behavior and feeding techniques.

 

Introduction

Chile's Whales and Pumas (Trip Code PAT05)

 

Trip Highlights

• Dedicated expedition to find, study and photograph Humpback Whales in the Straits of Magellan.

• A rich array of seabirds and marine mammals including penguins, albatrosses, petrels as well dolphins, sea lions and fur seals.

• The dramatic, unknown and pristine habitats of western Patagonia, seldom visited by tourists and with remarkable wildlife, scenery and historic highlights.

• In-depth 5-day photo natural history exploration of Torres del Paine National Park.

• Great local food and excellent nature lodges.

• Dedicated day and night searches for puma in and around Torres del Paine.

 

 

This program is operated as a scheduled departure, leaving on a set date.

 

The Difference of Traveling with Fantastico Sur Expeditions:

• Each of our trips to the Straits of Magellan have a maximum of 10-12 participants; for the Torres del Paine portion of the trip the maximum group size will be 6 participants.

• Great accommodations at conveniently located hotels and lodges, meaning shorter driving times to the wildlife sites.

• Superb dinning cuisine and memorable picnic lunches.

• Spacious vehicles that ensure a window seat to each trip participant.

• Each vehicle and driver we use has been authorized by the Chilean Transportation Authority.

• The service and expertise of a professional local birding/naturalist leader, who will look after every logistical aspect of “your” holiday.

• You will receive a free, signed copy of one of our great natural history books for Chile & Patagonia.

• … plus an useful pre-departure information package.

 

Whales and Pumas of Patagonia can be combined with one of the following optional extensions:

The Falkland Islands (8 days / 7 nights), penguin encounters, spectacular photo safari and nature trip to discover the wealth of seabirds and marine mammals of the "Galapagos" of the South Atlantic.

 

Map & Itinerary

Chile's Whales and Pumas (Trip Code PAT05)

Chile's Whales and Pumas | Trip Map

Day 1 • Punta Arenas | Drive to Port Famine| Zodiac trip to San Isidro Lodge | Hike to Bahía El Aguila (old whaling station remains) and San Isidro historic lighthouse

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel during the afternoon and immediately will transfer you to the historic site of Port Famine. Founded in 1580, this was the first settlement on the Straits of Magellan. Unhappily, the extreme nature of the climate proved incompatible with human habitation, and the entire population had perished in a short period of time. 250 years later, a British scientific expedition, aboard the Beagle and the Adventure, spent several months undertaking extensive exploratory journeys in the Chilean Fjords. It was here that Charles Darwin conducted several field trips. From here we will take a short zodiac ride (c. 30 minutes) to San Isidro Lodge, our base for the exploration of this branch of the Straits of Magellan. Depending on our arrival time we will make a short hike towards the remains of the whaling station of El Aguila Bay; this station was fully operational during the early XX century and together with the stations of Antarctica and South Georgia were the responsible of the virtual disappearance of several whale species of the Southern Ocean. Luckily and due to the presence of marine reserves, whales are coming back as we will witness during the following day. This afternoon you will also have the chance of exploring the sheltered and forested shoreline by kayak and learn with your guide about the intertidal creatures of this pristine rocky coastline.

San Isidro Lodge, San Isidro Bay (2*) (D)(G).

 

Day 2 • Boat trip to Carlos III Island | Rest of the day looking for Humpback Whales

Early in the morning we will board the motor yacht "Esturion" and start our navigation towards “Francisco Coloane Marine Park”, which protects the marine biodiversity of the western branch of the Straits of Magellan. The journey from our lodge to this great whale-watching spot takes between 5-6 hours and will be done using a sturdy and comfortable mortor yacht "Esturion". This magnificent area encloses Carlos III Island, which possesses a vast and unique biological diversity, due in part, to the mixing of the two oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), productive upwellings, the strong winds, the presence of glaciers and the dismembered coastline. This park hold a summer population of humpback whales (and occasionally Sei whale and Orca), which use these waters as feeding grounds. We will spend this night in the biological station, at very comfortable twin-bedded domes. We will have shared bathroom facilities at this location.

Eco-camp Carlos III, Carlos III Island (B,L,D)(G).

 

Day 3 • Carlos III Island

This morning we will have another whale-watching session aboard the zodiac boats and if we are lucky, we may see the endemic and scarce Chilean Dolphin while sailing these waters. We will also visit large breeding colonies of sea lions, fur seals and Magellanic Penguin. We will have a lecture by the scientist working on long-term population studies on these whales, and we will learn about several marking and identification techniques. We will have the whole afternoon to see these whales at close quarters and with no other visitors. This intimate experience will be enriched by the beautiful mountains, glaciers and pristine forests.

Eco-camp Carlos III, Carlos III Island (B,L,D)(G).

 

Day 4 • Faro San Isidro Lodge | Punta Arenas

After a successful experience looking for the diversity of marine mammals and seabirds of this park, we will make our journey back to San Isidro Lodge. Along the route we will discover the rich seabird diversity of these seaways; we will see Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrels, Chilean Skuas and cormorants as well as pods of Peale’s Dolphins and the ubiquitous South American Sea Lions. If time permits, we will have a field trip, equipped with hand glasses, to discover the lichen and moss rich biodiversity of the sub-Antarctic forests. During the afternoon we will be transferred back to Punta Arenas for overnight.

Hotel Diego de Almagro or similar, Punta Arenas (4*) (B,L,D)(G)

 

 

Codes: B=Breakfast; L=Lunch/Box-lunch; D=Dinner; G=Guide; *=Hotel Category

 

Accommodations

Chile's Whales and Pumas (Trip Code PAT05)

 

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

San Isidro Lighthouse Lodge, Straits of Magellan, Chilean Patagonia | © Fantastico Sur Expeditions, Chile

 

Eco-camp facilities, Carlos III Island, Francisco Coloane Marine Park, Straits of Magellan, Chile

 

Eco-camp facilities, Carlos III Island, Francisco Coloane Marine Park, Straits of Magellan, Chile

 

Eco-camp facilities, Carlos III Island, Francisco Coloane Marine Park, Straits of Magellan, Chile

 

Eco-camp facilities, Carlos III Island, Francisco Coloane Marine Park, Straits of Magellan, Chile

 

Eco-camp facilities, Carlos III Island, Francisco Coloane Marine Park, Straits of Magellan, Chile

 

M/Y Esturion, our vessel to navigate towards the Whale sanctuary of Francisco Coloane Marine Park

 

M/Y Esturion, our vessel to navigate towards the Whale sanctuary of Francisco Coloane Marine Park

 

M/Y Esturion, our vessel to navigate towards the Whale sanctuary of Francisco Coloane Marine Park

This charmingly rustic hotel provides a comfortable base from which to explore the park’s towering mountains, turquoise lakes, glaciers, ice fields and steppes. Las Torres is located 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the town of Puerto Natales and 230 miles (375 kilometers) from the larger city of Punta Arenas.

Each of the hotel’s many windows look out over the expansive steppe or snow-capped mountains surrounding it, including the trio of towers that gave the park its name. The hotel features 57 rooms, several sitting areas, two restaurants and a bar. The interpretive center located by the hotel’s reception desk lays out information about the rock formations and wildlife you may encounter on your excursions. In addition, the spa next door offers you the chance to unwind and rejuvenate after you return from your adventures.

The rooms of the hotel provide a cozy atmosphere, being the perfect setting to relax and enjoy after a long days excursion. Central heating, box spring beds, telephones and private bathrooms in a rustic yet elegant decoration provide the ideal ambience in our superior rooms for resting and preparing the next days activities. Several services are available in the relaxing environment of your room, with a simple call you have the possibility of enjoying massages, food, wine and drinks.

 

Departures & Rates

Chile's Whales and Pumas (Trip Code PAT05)

 

Dates and Rates for scheduled departures:

12% discount for our early 2010 trips applies if you book before December 30, 2009!

 

 Trip Code

 PAT05

 Trip Length

 9 days | 8 nights

 2010 Dates

 Tour A. March 19-27

 Price per person

 $3,386 $2,980 p.p. (app. £1,882, €2,008)

 Single Supplement

 Please inquire.

 Trips are guaranteed to depart with a minimum of 4 participants.

 Maximum group size 10 participants.

 
The above price is per person in US$, based on double occupancy. NOTE: Rates in GBP (£) and Euros (€) are only for reference.


Do you want us to arrange your flights from Santiago to Punta Arenas?

Domestic flights Santiago – Punta Arenas – Santiago (from $150 per person).

Duration of the flight: 3 hours (direct) / 4 hours (with a stop-over in Puerto Montt).


What the trip includes/excludes

The above price is per person in US$, based on double occupancy.

Single supplement will be added if single accommodations are requested.

The trip price includes: All accommodations, meals and guide services as stated in the itinerary, private ground transportation during the tour, boat trips to Magdalena Island, Balmaceda Glacier and Grey Lake, and park entrance fees.

The trip price excludes: Domestic flights (Santiago – Punta Arenas – Santiago), tipping, travel insurance, entrance tax to Chile, excess baggage charges, private excursions, à la carte dishes, snacks, drinks, laundry, telephone calls and anything else of a purely personal nature.

 

Tour Registration: To register for this tour, complete the Fantástico Sur Expeditions registration form and return it (by fax or email) with a deposit of US$ 500 per person. Full payment of the tour fee is due 90 days prior to tour departure.

 

Cancellation Policy: Notice of cancellation can only be accepted IN WRITING from the person who signed the booking form and takes effect on the day such noticed is received by us.

Refunds are made according to the following schedule:

If cancellation is made 120 days or more before departure date, the deposit less US$ 200 is refundable.

If cancellation is made between 120 and 60 days before departure, the deposit is not refundable, but any payments covering the balance of the fee will be refunded.

If cancellation is made fewer than 60 days before departure date, no refund is available.

This policy and fee schedule also applies to pre-trip and post trip extensions, as well as any transfers from one tour to another. We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance to protect yourself.

Slide Show

Chile's Whales and Pumas (Trip Code PAT05)

 

Check out our set of recent images from the Straits of Magellan and Torres del Paine.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 10:16
 
Regions and Destinations Interests  
     
Patagonia Tours Birding Tours Adventure Cruising
Torres del Paine NP
Tierra del Fuego
Wildlife & Nature Journeys
Puma-tracking
Perito Moreno Glacier
Cape Horn
Photography Tours
Mammal Tours
Chalten / Mt. Fitz Roy

Day Tours
Whale Watching
Chile Tours Cultural Tours Wildflowers
Atacama Desert Altiplano Wine Tours
Lake District Central Chile
Easter Island Robinson Crusoe Island
Chiloé Island
Antarctica & Southern Ocean
Antarctic Peninsula Falklands / Malvinas
South Georgia Island
Peru Tours
Machu Picchu Amazon
banner_turistas01.jpg