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FarSouthExp @ Fat Birder / WAND

We are Birders - We are Leica

We are Birders - We are Leica

Torres del Paine By Fantastico sur Expeditions

Fully flexible, all-inclusive wildlife and photo trip, based in two lodges of the park, with private transportation and naturalist guide. Available from September 2009 through May 2010; daily departures from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile.


A very tame Chilla Fox against the magnificent mountain backdrop of Torres del Paine, Chile © Fantástico Sur Expeditions


Torres del Paine Connoisseur is the most comprehensive itinerary to discover the wildlife and landscapes of this marvelous nature destination. The itinerary features a 4-night residency in the park, based in two different lodges, located in very contrasting parts of the park. This is a private wildlife and photo safari, entirely led by a naturalist guide from our company. The program includes private transportation, naturalist guide services, park entry fees, accommodations and meals. This package offers you privacy and full flexibility to pursuit your particular interests; if you are a nature photographer, a birder, a botanist, or simply a nature enthusiast, this journey of discovery is for you!


Trip Highlights

• A comprehensive 5-day visit to UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Torres del Paine National Park.

• Superb accommodation in two great lodges located in very contrasting regions of the park.

• Photo excursions to special locations for sunrise and sunset shots.

• Fascinating wildlife including Andean condors and guanacos, Chilean flamingoes, foxes and rheas.

• Discover and photograph the delightful array of native mountain flora.

• Boat trip to Grey Glacier, one of the most outstanding ice formations in the Patagonian Andes.

• Optional visit to Mylodon Cave, a remarkable geological formation of striking paleontological interest.


This program is operated as a custom trip (flexible option which runs on a date you choose giving you more privacy).

This is available upon request for individuals or small private groups.


The Difference of Traveling with Fantástico Sur Expeditions:

• Fully flexible, hotel-based, all-inclusive trip with private transportation and naturalist guide.

• Great hotel-based accommodation, superb dinning cuisine and memorable picnic lunches.

• Spacious private vehicle 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 naturalist leader, who will look after every logistical aspect of “your” holiday.

• Top-class spotting scopes will be available for the use of our guests for a better observation and study of the wildlife and landscapes.

• You will receive a free, signed copy of one of our great natural history books for Torres del Paine and Patagonia.

• …plus an useful pre-departure information package (maps, wildlife checklists and more).


Torres del Paine Connoisseur can be combined with one of the following optional extensions:

Tierra del Fuego & Cape Horn Expedition Cruise (4 days / 3 nights ; 5 days / 4 nights);

The Falkland Islands (8 days / 7 nights), penguin encounters;


Trip Itinerary

Torres del Paine Connoisseur - Trip Map


Day 1 • Reception at Punta Arenas airport – Transfer to Puerto Natales (c. 3-4 hour drive) – Drive to Torres del Paine (c. 1.5 hours)

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Punta Arenas or will receive you at the airport (no later than 11am). Afterwards, we will head to the picturesque coastal town of Puerto Natales. There are gorgeous views of the Ultima Esperanza (Last Hope) fjord with tens of stunning Black-necked Swans feeding along the shore. During the afternoon, we will aim towards Torres del Paine by using the “new” gravel road. There are several view points along the way, with great vistas to the huge Lake Toro and its turquoise-colored waters, the magnificent Paine mountain Massif and the Patagonian ice field at the distance.

Hotel Río Serrano or similar, Torres del Paine (4*)(L,D)(G).


Day 2 • Torres del Paine National Park (western sector) – Lake Grey – Optional Boat trip to Grey Glacier (c. 3 hours)

Today we will explore the southern and western regions of this huge national park, which comprises in total an extent of 600,000 acres. (242,242 ha). The landscape is dominated by the omnipresent Paine Massif, a magnificent set of rugged peaks, formed out of granite and sedimentary rock. The long-gone Indians of Patagonia gave the name Paine, meaning “blue”, presumably referring to its remarkable coloration when observed at a distance. We will have the opportunity to explore the Nothofagus or southern Beech forests and its diversity of plants and animals; we will try to see Magellanic Woodpecker, Austral Parakeet and the shy Andean Deer or Huemul, if we are lucky. Lago Grey is certainly one of the highlights of the day; we will be marveled by seen the contrasting mosaic of towering mountains, glaciers, wetlands, steppes and forests. There is an optional boat trip excursion through the icy waters of the lake towards the impressive and actively calving front of the Grey Glacier.

Hotel Río Serrano or similar, Torres del Paine (4*)(B,L,D)(G).


Day 3 • Torres del Paine National Park (eastern side)

This morning we will have an early start in order to be ready to photograph the Cuernos del Paine or Horns with the first light. With the right lighting, the mountain base turns in orange colors and the scene become very dramatic with peculiar lenticular clouds moving fast over the peaks. At the eastern corner of Sarmiento Lake, we will reach a location that commands the most incredible views of the towering peaks of Las Torres, the pinnacles from which the park takes its name. As we move around the park, you shall observe confiding herds of Guanaco, most southerly camelid, the curious-looking Lesser Rhea and our first Andean Condors along the road.

Hotel Las Torres or similar, Torres del Paine (4*)(B,L,D)(G).


Day 4 • Torres del Paine National Park (side) – Laguna Azul

Before dawn, we will be heading towards the eatern part of the park, in order to see a glorious Patagonian sunrise and hopefully to take good shots of the granite peaks with the first light. Today, we will time to photograph the wildlife as well as to bird and botanize in the rich wetlands, steppes and hillsides of the part of the park. The fast-flowing Paine river may produce Torrent Duck.

Hotel Las Torres or similar, Torres del Paine (4*)(B,L,D)(G).


Day 5 • Drive to Puerto Natales (c. 2-3 hours) – Lunch at a sheep farm (shearing show and barbecue) – Drive back to Punta Arenas (c. 3 hours)

Early in the morning we will visit the eastern side of the park to enjoy the views of one of the impressive waterfalls of Paine river and if is clear, of the fabulous granite columns of the Paine massif from Laguna Amarga. From here, we will head back to Punta Arenas where our trips ends. (B,L)(G)


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



Check out our set of images Hotel Las Torres and Hotel Serrano and their comfortable facilities.

Hotel Las Torres, Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia

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.

Hotel Río Serrano, Torres del Paine National Park, Chilean Patagonia

The hotel gets its name after the sinuous Serrano River, which is born in the waters of Toro Lake and flows into Ultima Esperanza Sound. Its unique location, facing the Torres del Paine Massif and surrounded by an astonishing natural setting, gives the perfect amalgam of design, quality and comfort, keeping in mind the fragile ecosystem.

The hotel is surrounded by a breathtaking natural beauty which has spectacular view from all our facilities. The spacious areas give emphasis to elegance and quality assuring a quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

The hotel has 95 rooms. The decoration of Rio Serrano Hotel is both warm and cosy with architectonical lines that merge fineness and rustic. They have been designed to provide that unique home atmosphere. Wood and stone make the perfect blend, that together with a fireplace set scene of pure relaxation.


Departures & Rates

2009 | 2010 Dates:

Available from September 2009 through May 2010; Meet/Depart: Daily departures from Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile. Optional transfers to/from El Calafate, Argentina available (Please inquire).

Trips are guaranteed to depart with a minimum of 2 participants.


Rates for Custom departures (you choose the date):

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

 Trip Length 5 days | 4 nights
 Number of people 2-3 4+
Single Supplement
 Price per person
 $2,355 $2,073
 $2,218 $1,952

 US$ 492

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


Do you want us to arrange your stay in Punta Arenas?

Book our Torres del Paine Explorer program and you will get a 15% discount on the room rates. Our recommended hotels in Punta Arenas:

 Hotel  Diego de Almagro
 Cabo de Hornos  Rey Don Felipe
 Double Room
 $165  $210  $200
 -15% discount
 $141  $179  $170
 Single Room
 $150  $190  $155
 -15% discount $128
 $162 $132

(Prices includes breakfast and complimentary airport transfers)


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

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

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


What the trip includes/excludes

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 trip to Grey Glacier, and park entrance fees.

The trip price excludes: Domestic flights, 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

Check out our set of images from recent trips to Torres del Paine.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2011 10:29