10 days/9 nights: Starts and ends Punta Arenas
Paine National Park in southern Chile is a paradise for photographers and nature lovers: the fauna, flora and landscapes are unique.
The trip is limited to 8 people and open to anyone who has a passion for photography. It is designed to allow quality time at fabulous locations within the splendour of Torres del Paine National park in southrn Chile, with accommodation, food and logistics all taken care of.
Our photographic safari takes in some of the highlights of Paine including the Grey glacier, the vivid blue and green Lago Pehoe, and the superb views over the Towers and Horns, central to the massif.
Days spent in the park will be filled with breathtaking views of rock spires, snow covered peaks, shimmering glaciers, jewel coloured lakes and sun scorched grasslands dotted with wildflowers. Wildlife abounds here and you share the trail with guanacos, Darwin’s rhea, condors, Chilean flamingos, fox, buff-necked ibis, swans, geese, woodpeckers and even once in a while the elusive South American puma.
The photography sessions will be led by Bruce Percy. Bruce is an internationally-travelled and published photographer who also contributes articles to the Outdoor Photography magazine. He has visited and photographed Patagonia many times and has the knowledge to help you make the most of this photographic workshop.
|Day 1:||Arrive in Punta Arenas, dinner and overnight in hotel (D)|
|Day 2:||Transfer from Punta Arenas to Torres, dinner and night in Tyndall (B,L,D)|
|Day 3:||Photo Workshop, Lago Grey, evening meal and night in cabins at Tyndall (B,L,D)|
|Day 4:||Photo Workshop, Lago Pehoe, evening meal and night in Estancia Tercera (B,L,D)|
|Day 5:||Photo Workshop, Laguna Armaga, evening meal and night in Estancia Tercera (B,L,D)|
|Day 6:||Photo Workshop, Paine. Transfer to el Calafate in afternoon. Night 3* Hotel Kapenke or similar (B)|
|Day 7:||Sailing to Onelli and Upsalla Glaciers. Night in Hotel Kapenke as above (B,L)|
|Day 8:||Sunrise Photoshoot, Perito Moreno Glacier, Hotel Kapenke as above (B,L)|
|Day 9:||Transfer to Punta Arenas (B)|
|Day 10:||Tour ends (B)|
Accommodation, meals as listed (excluding drinks), transport to and from Torres del Paine national park, park entry fee, boat trip on Lago Grey, photographer/tutor (Bruce Percy).
Flights (we can look for these), transfers in and out of Punta Arenas, insurance, tips and additional personal expenses, drinks.
Evening meal, Hotel.
Lunch in Puerto Natales. Night in Tyndal.
We will head up to Lago Grey to shoot at the edge of the lake towards Glacier Grey and commanding views of Paine Grande. We may take the optional boat trip up to the face of Glacier Grey (if it is running). Night in Cabins at Tyndall.
We will shoot in and around Lago Pehoe in the morning as there are stunning views of the Paine Massif from the edge of the lake. In the afternoon we will Transfer to Estancia Tercera for night and pass through the eastern side of the park. All meals included (wine/drinks available at extra cost).
Morning shoot at Laguna Armaga with commanding views out towards the Torres. There are plenty of opportunities to experience Guanaco at this side of the park and we may shoot Cascada Paine. Night at Estancia Tercera as above. All meals included (wine/drinks available at extra cost).
Another chance to shoot the Torres in the morning. Transfer to el Calafate in Afternoon where you have some free time to yourself for the rest of the day. Night 3* Hotel Kapenke or similar.
Night back in El Calafate and free time to shop and try out many of the restaurants the town has to offer. Hotel Kapenke as above.
Afternoon onwards free with time to relax and strolling around town. Hotel Kapenke as above.
With a stop in Puerto Natales for short break.
The days are short in winter, but this has plenty of benefits. Because the sun is low in the sky all day it means we have beautiful light lasting all day and it's possible to make great photos even at mid day.
Sunrise is late at 9am allowing for more time in bed while sunset is early at 4:50pm, meaning we'll be back at our hotel in time for dinner and some well earned time off in the evenings.
7:00am - 9:00am
On location for sunrise.
9:00am - 10:00am
10:00am - 12:00pm
Mid morning shooting
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lunch on location.
1:00pm - 5:30pm
Late afternoon shooting where we will stay out until after sunset and twilight has finished.
7:00pm - 8:00pm
8:00pm - onwards
We pick you up from Punta Arenas airport/hotel and take you to a hotel for a night in Punta Arenas before the trek. You can access Punta Arenas via flights from Santiago, or overland and by ferry. Please ask for help and advice if needed.
Bruce will explain the logistics on a day by day basis, as you go along. There will be early rises in the morning, as you need to be up before sunrise on certain days, to get the best light for photographs.
After the trip has finished, we can help to book hotels in Patagonia, transfers, buses, flights etc. There is no issue with altitude for this trip and no acclimatisation required.
A minimal level of fitness is required for this trip, but please be aware that you will be in wild surroundings, sitting and/or standing for sustained periods, while taking photographs. You will not walk far, but you may be required to walk over rocky or steep terrain to reach good photo points.
Meals are varied and wholesome and include fresh salmon and local fish, pasta, chicken, beef, lamb and some local Chilean meals. Fresh salad is served every night. Local wine is served with dinner and all meals are prepared for guests.
Packed lunches are prepared by you at breakfast and are carried with us. These consist of sandwiches (e.g. tuna, cheese, ham, peanut butter, salami), fresh fruit, trail mix, chocolate, biscuits, snacks etc.
Breakfast is normally hot and cold cereals, toast, jams, marmalade, coffee, tea and juice, although if possible, a cooked breakfast is served.
Vegetarians can be well catered for and clients should indicate their requirements at the time of booking.
Meals in estancias will be eaten in the restaurant or with the family. Food will consist of lamb, beef, chicken or salmon with fresh vegetables or salad accompanied by rice or potatoes. The restaurants in the refugios offer a lively atmosphere and wholesome food. However, the quality can vary depending on the number of people in the refugio, the staff on duty, the date of the last food delivery, the weather and the functioning of the generator.
Comfortable, authentic and welcoming estancias and hotels all of which have been chosen for their beautiful location, great view and/or cultural appeal.
We can arrange (or assist with) your flight to Patagonia at competitive rates through our ATOL-bonded agency.
When booking flights, we can advise you of the best routes and options, and quote for you. Best routing will depend on your overall plan for travel in Patagonia. The most direct route in is via Santiago on Chile, and then fly on to Punta Arenas. There are overland and sea options in Chile too.
Alternatively, you can fly into Buenos Aires, possibly overnight here, then on to El Calafate, overnight here, then bus to Puerto Natales the next day. We can book hotels, buses etc for you if you wish.
As International/Internal flights are often not through ticketed (i.e. two different airlines, check when booking) any delay or flight schedule change could result in you missing connecting flights. You may incur rebooking or other additional costs for which we cannot accept responsibility.
Please contact us for flight advice especially if you do make a connection on the same day. It is important to purchase a through ticket and not separate tickets for connections, so that you are covered for any delays.
Please note all airline schedules are subject to change and are out of our control.
All transport used is private.
It is a condition of booking any of our holidays that you have comprehensive travel insurance. It is your responsibility to ensure you are covered for medical and personal accident risks for the part of the world you intend to travel and the activities involved. This cover should include repatriation costs, air ambulance and helicopter rescue. It is also advisable to ensure there is adequate cancellation cover as all deposits paid are non-refundable.
We work with Travel & General Insurance Services Limited, and they can assist you with competitive travel insurance to specifically meet your needs on your holiday with us.
To arrange cover simply click here (UK residents only).
Should you decide not to purchase this insurance, you must provide us with details of your alternative insurance with or before your final payment
As you head south, temperatures drop a little and it can be better to go in the Austral summer (Oct-March). Daylight hours are much longer at this time, with Nov-Feb being popular times to visit. October and March can be very colorful and vivid with less visitors, but weather can be more blustery.
The Lake District, northern Patagonia, has temperate climate can be said to resemble that of the UK, with rain possible but also enjoying long spells of fine, fresh weather in the summer.
In Southern Patagonia, the weather is, putting it mildly, variable, and variable on a daily basis. It is usually cool and windy all year round but seldom does the temperature fall below freezing point. Some days start with snow and end in balmy sunshine. It is always interesting, and can range from 10°C-20°C in the summer, although the wind can make it feel chilly.
Winter visits to these southern areas are possible, but many hotels close and not all trips are possible. Daylight hours can be very short, but the lack of visitors can greatly improve chances of seeing wildlife in parks such as Paine.
Passport (check expiry date), Money (debit/credit cards - note some banks require advance notice of travel), Local currency (US Dollars can be easily exchanged in Chile, sterling/Euros much harder), Airline tickets or booking codes, Emergency phone numbers for your travel insurance, local operator and booking agent
Soft holdalls or duffel bags are preferable to hard cases with wheels, day pack for your personal items while hiking (camera, water bottle etc) *On riding trips you will be provided with a saddle bag for this purpose* Luggage tags so your bag is easily recognizable
A few lightweight, easily washable items (layering is always best), Midweight fleece or wool sweater, Midweight fleece or sweat pants, Hiking pants, lightweight, synthetic and loose fitting (those that convert to shorts can be useful), Shorts for warmer days, Long sleeved shirts or or long tees for layering - always choose a synthetic layer close to the skin, T-shirts, again for layering - choose a synthetic, breathable layer close to the skin, Underwear, Hiking socks and liners are good to help prevent blisters, Cotton socks for travelling etc, Woollen hat for warmth during chilly evenings or cold days, Set of thermals for cool night, Scarf or neck warmer for windy days, Sun hat or visor to protect from the sun, Waterproof, windproof (gortex is best) outer rain proof layer (full rain proof not just shower proof), Waterproof trousers/pants (again gortex is best although can be expensive so not essential) Insulated warm jacket, down or similar is best and they pack up very small and light, Sturdy, well broken in, ankle supporting, waterproof hiking boots with good tread, Comfortable shoes for travel and around estancias, Warm fleece or nylon gloves
One litre water bottle, Torch (flashlight) - even in estancias and refugios, the generator can gets switched off at night, Sunglasses and retainer strap, Sun block and lip balm, Toiletries (ladies should bring tampons as they are impossible to find in the park), Small washcloth, Antiseptic wipes or hand sanitizer gel, Any personal medication, Insect repellent, Trekking poles (if required, these are hard to find locally),Travel alarm, Camera and charger, memory card, batteries, Electrical adapter plug (Chile uses a 2-pin 220 volt outlet), Spare contact lenses or glasses if necessary, Spanish phrasebook or dictionary, Swiss army knife, Small camping pillow, Small binoculars, Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper (recommended for refugios), Reading and writing materials, Ziplock plastic bags (always seem to come in useful), Gaiters, ankle high for hiking, Swimsuit (for the hardy!)
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