(Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, El Chaltén, El Calafate)
(Torres del Paine)
Explore Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia through the lens of your camera with National Geographic photographer Tommy Heinrich on this exclusive cruise and tour Dec 7, 2013. Led by Heinrich and specialists, learn the secrets to nature photography and trek pristine wilds. Visit Buenos Aires, El Chalten, El Calafate, Torres del Paine, Punta Arenas, Ainsworth Bay, Pia Glacier, Cape Horn and Ushuaia. Cruise iceberg filled waters to a world of jagged peaks and glistening glaciers aboard the Stella Australis. Take photos of penguins, cormorants and elephant seals. Return home with a camera full of amazing photos and memories for years to come. With only 1 departure, this desirable adventure will sell fast, BOOK NOW.
A private airport transfer with a professional driver and English-speaking guide is included (between Buenos Aires' hotels and domestic airport or vice versa)
Hotel Madero is placed in the wistful and scenic Puerto Madero area, and is a beautiful hotel to stay in while getting to know the fiery city of Buenos Aires. The 197 rooms offer a vast space in which one can relax and unwind, with great views. The culinary skills of the French chef at Madero's Red Resto & Lounge, are showcased via French specialties fused with international. Spend time at the bars, sipping on cocktails, or drop by the pool for a refreshing swim.
Depart from the illustrious Plaza de Mayo, where you will visit the Pink House, truly the President’s office (he works but doesn’t live there); the Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. You will then head for San Telmo, once the residential district chosen by the primitive Buenos Aires aristocracy, where you will visit San Telmo’s lovely cobbled streets, stopping by Plaza Dorrego, one of the most traditional spots. On weekends, an antique fair takes place in this square, where you can purchase anything from art and antiques to old magazines and records. The next stop is at Avenida de Mayo, a Paris-inspired boulevard that opened to the public in 1894 where you will make a stop at the mythical Café Tortoni, founded in 1858 and traditionally frequented by artists, intellectuals and politicians. After a snack at the Tortoni, you will board the A-train, South America’s first subway service, built in 1914. The stations have been preserved exactly as they were back then.
The port district of La Boca is one of the city’s most characteristic spots. In La Boca, stop by the mythical Caminito Street, an outdoors museum dedicated to tango and soccer. Leaving La Boca behind, pay a visit to Puerto Madero, a rather contrasting port district. Puerto Madero is nowadays Buenos Aires’ most modern and sophisticated area, and the spearhead of an urban renovation project started in 1991 with the revamping of a series of huge warehouses and silos.
Next, head for Retiro, where you will observe the splendid Plaza San Martin, and once in Recoleta, visit Avenida Alvear, where one can find the top designer houses in the world. In Plaza Francia, visit the Colonial Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, the second oldest in town. Next to it we find the celebrated Recoleta Cemetery, where many of the greatest personalities in Argentine history are buried, Eva Perón included. Finally, head for Palermo, one of the city’s most proteic neighborhoods. There, first visit Palermo Chico, similar in its spirit to Recoleta; then, travel to Palermo Hollywood and finally visit Palermo SoHo, the Buenos Aires version of New York City’s namesake district, full of boutiques, designer stores, trendy restaurants and bars.
Then visit Belgrano, one of the loveliest residential neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. There, you will see the Barrancas de Belgrano, a beautiful, lush park built on a series of slopes, the exotic Barrio Chino (Chinatown), which is located a few blocks away, and the Parroquia de la Inmaculada Concepción, popularly known as “the round church” because of its Renaissance-style shape. Ending your visit, you will head for the Costanera Norte (Northern Promenade), where you will see a different view of the river. Lunch is included with your tour.
Relax on your direct flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Please note: Flight rates and availability are subject to change until booking.
Enjoy a private transfer between the airport and Iguazu in the company of an English-speaking guide, and a private vehicle with a professional driver.
The Sheraton Iguazu enjoys the enviable location of being by the incomparable sight of the Iguazu Falls which can be seen torrential downwards and is in plain view from the hotel rooms and lounging areas. The guest rooms are attractive, with attentive staff ensuring a great stay. When dining at the hotel, you may well find yourself spellbound by the sheer grandeur of the natural forces surrounding you, as the gardens and water in this region are in such abundance. The international buffet and Argentinean barbeque offered at the hotel are enjoyable and should not be missed. Be sure to also try the hotel's spa treatments and facilities, such as the tennis court and fully-equipped gym.
Experience the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls from Misiones, the area which borders Brazil. After being picked up by your English-speaking guide and private vehicle, you will be transferred to Iguassu Park to take a train to the walkways. Marvel at the Iguassu Falls as you make your way along the path system. Stop by "Devil's Throat" and get up close to the falls. At the end of the tour you will return to your hotel.
The Argentine National Immigration Directorate (DNM) has launched an online method of payment to enable payment of the reciprocity fee via credit card. Travellers can now pay this fee through the Provincia Pagos payment system. US, Australian and Canadian citizens can pay the reciprocity fee before entering Argentina by accessing the following websites: www.provinciapagos.com.ar and www.migraciones.gov.ar.
How can I pay the Reciprocity Fee Online?
1.Register at www.provinciapagos.com.ar and obtain an entry code. 2.Complete the form including personal and credit card details . This information and the entry code will be sent electronically to the DNM. 3.After payment is processed, print the receipt. 4.Upon arrival in Argentina, go to the DNM Office and present the printed receipt. 5.The receipt will be scanned by DNM staff and the data will be validated to enable entry to Argentina.
Subject to change without notice.
Enjoy a private airport (International) transfer with professional driver and English speaking Guide.
Group transfer to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires, for your flight to El Calafate
Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate. The flight duration is approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes.
Upon arrival in El Calafate, the group will transfer to El Chalten.
At the very doors of El Chaltén, within Los Glaciares National Park, at the foot of the Fitz Roy Hill, Senderos Hostería is waiting for you. Of typical Patagonian architecture, inspired in antique farms from 1920 and with all the modern hotel comfort, Senderos Hostería offers guests the unique experience to feel and live this outstanding spirit reflected in decoration and mainly shown by the warm and personalized service of its professional staff. The 21 rooms and other spaces in Senderos Hostería have been designed to offer guests warmth, privacy and peace of mind during their stay. Senderos Hostería, the ideal place to live Your experience in Patagonia.
Today we do our first walk in the area, to the basecamp at Fitz Roy. A short drive takes us to the beginning of the trail in Rio Electrico. A gentle walk along the river affords fantastic views of the Piedras Blancas glacier. We arrive at Rio Blanco, basecamp for most Fitz Roy expeditions. Here there is an option to hike 400m up the hill to one of the highlights in Patagonia, the Laguna delos Tres, an isolated lagoon surrounded by Glaciers.
In the afternoon we walk down to Capri Lagoon with stunning views of Fitz Roy (3405 m) and then continue to our Hosteria in El Chalten. (walk approx 7 hrs).
Located 200km north of El Calafate, El Chaltén is a small mountain village in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. It is located in the riverside of Río de las Vueltas, within the Los Glaciares National Park at the base of Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains, both popular for climbing. For this reason this village is well-visited by trekkers and climbers.
This morning we start our trek to Cerro Torre base-camp hiking to Capri Lagoon down by the trail to Madre e Hija Lagoons through a dense forest following the Fitz Roy River. We reach the Mount Torre Valley and the Laguna Torre glacier. The impressive massif of Mount Torre rises 3128m above us. (walk approx 5hrs).
Walk back to El Chalten and continue on to El Calafate.
The Xelena Deluxe Suites are seated near the lakes of El Calafate, a small village in Patagonia in close proximity to the Perito Moreno Glacier. The hotel offers 71 beautifully decorated rooms promising rich spaciousness. The views are breathtaking, as you can take in the grandeur of the lake from their bedroom. Dine at the hotel restaurant or bar, or in one of the local restaurants in town. The regular shuttle bus or a short stroll into town will allow you to get to know the simplicity of El Calafate. The main attraction in this area is the Perito Moreno glacier, one of the world's third largest reserves of fresh water. Make use of the hotel's fitness room and relaxation facilities if you are so inclined.
Full day Excursion to the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few advancing glaciers in the world. Huge icebergs from the glacier calve into the lake below. The roar of the gigantic ice rocks falling and crashing into the waters of the channel is a unique experience. Walk along the paths to view the Glacier from different viewpoints.
We depart early morning from El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, through a spectacular landscape of the Patagonia steppe where plenty of wildlife could be seen. Cross the border at Cancha Carrera and continue to the North surrounded by magnificent scenery. Arrive at our hotel, located in front of the Massif with stunning views of the Horns & Towers.
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa is a casual but luxurious design hotel with 40 guest rooms. The hotel ambiance is Patagonian, one that radiates warmth, safety and togetherness; all things desired by those who've spent their day in the Patagonian outdoors. The hotel sits on a bluff where the vast pampas meet Lake Sarmiento, and enjoys a magnificent view of Torres del Paine peaks on the other side of the lake. The photo at the bottom of the page is of Lake Sarmiento and our beach and view. Much consideration and care was given so that Tierra Patagonia's architecture would complement the patterns, flow and geology of its priviledged location. The essence of the interior decoration is authentically Patagonian, with hand-crafted furnishings and details using natural materials from the region and the highest quality workmanship.
The best way to experience the National Park is by visiting its most famous highlights. Enjoy beautiful walks, surrounded by the flora and fauna of the park, and the marvelous mountains that form part of the Paine Massif. We'll see Salto Grande and Salto Chico, Lake Nordeskjold and finally Lago Grey.
Take some time this morning to photograph the park before driving south to Punta Arenas. We'll head directly to the Port where we board the Stella Australis Cruise ship at 6:00 pm.
The captain and crew give a welcome cocktail reception on board, and afterwards the ship departs for the journey through one of the most captivating wilderness regions in the world: Southern Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego.
Whether you have come to the Patagonian region to explore all of its wild attractions or you prefer to wine and dine on exceptional cuisine, you can find all that you are looking for on the Stella Australis. The cruise ship offers you a spacious cabin with plush bedding, storage options, and a lounge area. In addition to the room’s amenities passengers enjoy a view of the crisp ocean waters and the snow white mountainous skylines. Your accommodations in the “uttermost End of the Earth” will be aboard the beautiful Stella Australis ship, accompanied by expert guides who will make your trip an unforgettable experience.
At dawn, we continue navigating through Almirantazgo Sound, arriving at Ainsworth Bay, inside the Alberto De Agostini National Park. From a distance we may see the Marinelli Glacier which descends from the Darwin Mountain Range, and we will learn how life begins after the retreat of the ice. We will also take a walk to discover a beaver dam in the marvelous subpolar Magellanic forest. On the beach, we will try to see elephant seals, but we cannot guarantee this as the precise location of the colony is unpredictable. Later, we sail to Tuckers Islets, and after lunch we board the Zodiac boats to view Magellanic Penguins (which only live in the Southern Hemisphere), and Cormorants. In September and April this excursion is replaced by Brookes Bay where we land for a short walk to approach a glacier.
We will be navigating along the Northwest arm of the Beagle Channel to reach Pia Fjord, where disembarking is scheduled. We will take a short hike to a panoramic viewpoint from which we can appreciate the spectacular Pia Glacier whose main tongue extends from the mountain tops down to the sea. After this unforgettable experience, our sailing will continue along the Beagle Channel through the majestic “Glacier Alley”.
We sail through the Beagle and Murray channels to reach Cape Horn National Park, where we will disembark (weather permitting). Cape Horn is a sheer, 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory, and in the past it was the only entrance to the Pacific Ocean. This place is known as the “End of the Earth”, and it’s the last territory before Antarctica. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. In the afternoon, we go ashore in historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region’s largest Yamana aboriginal settlements. Charles Darwin landed here on January 23rd, 1833, during the voyage of the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for the mesmerizing beauty of its vegetation and geography. We will walk through a Magellanic forest of Lengas, Coihues, Canelos, ferns, and other native vegetation to reach a look-out point.
Arrival at Ushuaia, Argentina’s most important city on Tierra del Fuego, and the southernmost city in the world. We begin disembarkation at 8:00 am, enabling you to get an early start on visiting the city and national parks, and on continuing your trip through Patagonia.
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and wanted to tell you we had the time of our lives! Everything turned out perfectly. Guides were fun, on time and informative. The excursions were great for an active family and, of course, amazing.
I can't tell you what was our favorite. The boys enjoyed exploring the mountains in El Chalten (they called it Mountain running) while Mohan and I relaxed in the beautiful hotel. I thought after the glacier trek it can't get any better - but it kept surprising me and amazing me. My personal favorite was the horseback riding. I thought afterwards after everything we have seen the bike tour would have to be a let down - NOPE - it also was so exciting and our guide was a hoot! We had great weather for each activity (I know there is a bit of luck involved with that one).
Meals were amazing and after so many active excursions no guilt in pigging out.
I am so happy we took a little risk and went out of the way with our vacation this year. We will have this with us for a life time.
Thank you again,
Laura, Mohan, Ryan, and Nathan
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
Happy New Year!
GREAT trip! The brochure you sent to us the week before we set off was marvelous -- the pages are marked and worn with us referring to it so often! We were very pleased with every aspect that you set up for us including the airport pick-up and drop off and the tour of Quito and environs on Friday. Our guide spoke excellent English, the driver was courteous and we felt safe and well-informed throughout the day. The transfer to the Eclipse team was super easy and the flight to Guayaquil and trip to the boat went off without a hitch.
We're still going through the 500+ photos that I took and the 1700+ photos that my son took, but I promise to send a few to you in the next week or so. Galapagos was a fabulous trip and the Eclipse was a terrific way to navigate the islands. Gave them a 10 on their feedback form and would recommend Eclipse very highly.
Mark Dornfeld ,
November 11, 2013
"My wife and I had a wonderful trip, we really enjoyed ourselves. All the accommodations that you booked for us were exceptional and our drivers and guides were lovely. We had great weather the whole trip and only lost one activity due to high winds. As you know this is a beautiful part of the world so my camera was snapping all the time. We would definitely use your services in the future for this type of travel. Thanks for all you help and expertise........be well.....m.d."
Jack Gregory ,
November 11, 2013
I wanted to give you a little feedback on our recent trip to Peru.
In a word – EXCELLENT – especially the high quality people you work with in Peru. We have taken tours all over the world, S. Africa, France, England, Vietnam, China to name just a few, and the service we received in Peru was far beyond and of the other experiences we have had. The attention to detail was very much appreciated, picking us up at the airport, taking us back to the airport and complete, hassle free, handling of all our details truly made this a stress free experience.
Special thanks to:
-The entire reservation system and the people I came in contact with that process...every detail accounted for
-The people that looked after us in Lima
-Andre, the young man in Cusco who faithfully phoned every night just to make sure the day went well, my wife was well and that we knew what we had to do the next day.
-The Sumaq hotel in Aquas Calientes...you can tell the level of service by the details...I watched a waitress hold a high stool for a lady to prevent her from tipping backwards as she got on the stool, the lady didn’t even know the waitress did it....that’s client care.
-Especially Mariela, the tour guide in Cusco...highly knowledgeable, passionate, personable and shows great care for the people she guides.
Hainsworth Sherry ,
November 05, 2013
Clients were very impressed. Guides were amazing and accommodation was beyond expectations. They will definitely travel with you again and they have highly recommended Kensington Tours.
Hope I can work with you again the in the near future.
Scott Parks ,
November 05, 2013
Sandy and I are back from Peru and had a wonderful time. Kensington seems to have the best contacts in each country and Peru was no exception. I wanted to take the time to give you some specific feedback on each segment of out trip.
The “Hotel B” in Lima is fantastic. It’s an old house that has been turned into a small Hotel. The people are great and the location in Barranco is just what we like.
The Inkaterra Amazonica is probably the best place place to stay in the Amazon region. The rooms give a real feel of the sounds of the rain forest.
The hotels in both Cusco and Aquas Calientes were perfect with great locations. We added an additional day in Aquas Calientes which gave us three days in Machu Picchu. For us, this was well worth it and gave us the time we wanted to see all aspects of Machu Picchu. Pictures did not do justice to the site, although we got some great pictures.
The trip to see the Nasca Lines was, also, worth the time. Our guide added some side trips including lunch at a local winery which we really enjoyed. The Hotel Paracas was an unexpectedly high quality resort and a great way to end our trip.
Thanks for your help we look forward to next year
June Murray ,
August 20, 2013
"Buenas Noches Brandi-
I filled out the survey but I wanted to send you a note to say thank you. Our trip was the stuff lifelong memories are made of and I mean every part of it. From our time spent in Quito, to the Safari Camp and Isla Isabela. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the staff at our accommodations and the expertise of all our guides (most especially Tanya Helmig at the Safari Camp). We hope to go back for an extended stay.
I have attached 2 photos for you of Bart and I. I think the joy is clearly evident- thank you for making it possible.
Barbara Mackey ,
July 22, 2013
"We just completed a family trip to Costa Rica, with three families traveling from different locations. All the coordination efforts were made easily and efficiently by our Kensington representative, Brandi Merchant, who was wonderful; an absolute delight to work with. All the accommodations were first class and the guides knowledgeable and very punctual. We will be using Kensington again!
Cindy Thoene ,
July 22, 2013
What an AMAZING trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously…the trip of a lifetime!
We returned late on Thursday and had out of town visitors through the weekend and we are just now unpacking and getting back to non-vacation reality.
I will share my feedback and get pictures sent to you soon.
Thanks for everything….truly a perfect trip!
July 24, 2013
Our trip was wonderful, we had a great time, wish we could have spent more time. In fact, I now know I would have spent more time in Cuzco and the Machu Picchu area.
Machu Picchu was fabulous.
Margot, our guide, and the driver, were absolutely wonderful, low key, very personable, very accommodating, really good. We didn't end up with enough time on the last morning in Cusco to finish the tour, but got a feel- of Sacsayhuman, Qengo, Koricancha. We saw Ollayantatambo, and went to Moray and Maras, and Wayra ranch which was also outstanding, on the next day, but did not do Pisac and the market. We got tired and ran out of time so cut a couple things. Louis the coordinator was good as well.
Would love to go back and learn more some time.
The coordinator in Lima was extremely nice too, and very helpful.
In fact, we loved the food, the people and everything. The Libertador Palacio , the Tambo del Inka and the Sanctuary were indeed outstanding hotels. LAN was all on time, great service.
Thank you again for all your help.
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