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explore patagonia
explore patagonia
explore patagonia
explore patagonia

Practical information

How to get there

Your international flight will need to arrive at Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport (EZE).  From the UK, British Airways have direct flights departing from Heathrow at 22.10 and arriving at 09.10 the next day (local time).  The flight time is 14hrs. Lufthansa offer flights from Manchester with a 1hrs 30min stop in Frankfurt.  KLM have flights from Edinburgh with a stop of 1hrs 45min in Amsterdam. Indirect flights have a total travel time of roughly 17 hours.

For travellers from the USA, American Airlines have a direct flight from New York departing at 21.55 and arriving the next morning at 09.40 (local time).  The flight time is 10hrs 45min.  American Airlines also offer direct flights from Miami and Dallas with similar times.  Indirect flights are available from Los Angeles and San Francisco with Latam, United and American Airlines.

On arrival in Buenos Aires, after clearing immigration and collecting your luggage, please look out for a member of our team in the arrivals area.  They will be holding a large KANDOO sign. Airport transfers are included and the journey to our hotel will take around one hour (34km).  Depending on the arrival time of the other members of your group you may be required to wait a short period of time before departure.  Fights to Buenos Aires from the USA and Europe all tend to arrive between 7am and 9.30am. 

Accommodation

Peaks of Patagonia Adventure

In Buenos Aires, El Chalten, El Calafate and Puerto Natales we will stay in comfortable 3-star hotels.  Rooms will be double or twin with en-suite bathroom.  We ensure that all the hotels we use are well located to allow you to get out and explore the area.

In Los Glaciares National Park we will be camping.  A 3 man tent is provided per two people along with a mattress and sleeping bag per person.  Your meals will be prepared at the campsite. A large dinning tent is provided for eating meals and as a communal space.  All crockery and cutlery is provided. There will be dry “long-drop” style toilets at the campsites but no showers so we advise you to pack wet wipes.  On our last night in the Fitzroy region we will stay at Laguna Condor Refuge in wooden chalets with twin or double en-suite rooms.

In Torres del Paine National Park we will be staying in mountain refuges.  Accommodation will be in dormitories with shared bathroom facilities and hot water showers. You will need to provide your own sleeping bag although this can be hired if preferred. Breakfasts and dinners will be taken in the shelters.

The Land of Fire Adventure

In Torres del Paine National park we will spend 1 night in a mountain refuge.  Accommodation will be in a dormitory of between 4 and 12 people with shared bathroom facilities.  All bedding is provided. 

On all other nights we will be staying in comfortable 3 star hotels in twin or double rooms with en-suite facilities. 

Pre-Trek Briefing

It is a requirement of joining any of our treks or climbs that you attend a pre-trek briefing before the tour begins. This gives our guide the opportunity to speak to you about your adventure, make sure you have all the right gear and sort out any last minute queries or concerns.  The briefing will be held in El Chalten on the evening of day 2.

Insurance

Before you can join any of Kandoo’s treks, you’ll need to insure yourself against accident, injury, and illness.

Your insurance must cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and repatriation if necessary. Make sure your insurer knows of your travel plans, and verify that your policy fully covers your trek, climb, and any other activities you will participate in. Specifically, for all our adventures in Patagonia, you need to be covered for trekking above 2000 metres. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses.

We ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf. You will also need to bring details of your insurance cover to the pre-trek briefing.

We recommend the global supplier of travel insurance, World Nomads. Make sure to choose the correct policy for the altitude you are trekking to.  Be sure to read the small print carefully for any policy you are considering - different policies provide different levels of cover, so make sure you understand what is and isn't included in your policy.

Eating and Drinking

Whilst camping in the Fitz Roy region your meals will be prepared at the campsites using fresh and locally sourced ingredients.  We will provide you with a dinning tent in which to take your meals and all crockery, cutlery, tables and chairs are provided.  Picnic lunches will also be prepared for you. 

In Torres del Paine National Park, breakfast and dinners will be taken at the mountain refuges and picnic lunches will be provided. Whilst staying in hotels in the larger towns, you can choose to eat at the hotel or go out and find a local restaurant.

Argentine cuisine consists mainly of meat.  More precisely, beef.  Argentina is renowned for the quality of its steak and it is a meat lovers paradise.  You will find grilled meats available everywhere including tripe, intestines and even udders.  Meat aside, the cuisine is a mix of Spanish, native American and Italian influences so vegetarians can always fall back on dishes like gnocchi, pasta and pizza.  In the large towns and cities, you will find all dietary requirements are catered for.  You may also have the opportunity to sample “Mate”, a Paraguayan tea made from a variety of holly and typical drank from a “bombilla”.

If you have special dietary requirements please inform us when booking your adventure.  We can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets and you are welcome to bring along your own gluten free produce.  Please be aware that in Torres del Paine you will need to carry any special food items yourself.

Whilst trekking, boiled and filtered water is available every morning for you to fill your bottles or bladder.  We recommend you also bring a water filter or purification system to allow you to refill at refuges or springs. All drinks, including water, are your own responsibility through out the trip.  We don’t recommend the use of plastic bottles which will need to be carried out and recycled. 

Luggage

Your main bag should be a flexible duffel bag or backpack of roughly 100 litres.  We request that you do not bring a rigid suitcase as they are more difficult to transport.  In addition, you will need a daypack of roughly 40 litres to carry with you each day.  This can be used as your hand luggage on international and domestic flights.  Whilst trekking we will leave our main bags in secure storage and carry with us only what we need during the trek.

Please be aware that on domestic flights in Argentina and Chile there is a maximum weight of 15kg on all checked luggage.  If your main bag weighs more than 15kg you may be asked to pay excess luggage fees which will be your own responsibility.

Lost or delayed luggage

We recommend that you wear your walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your carry-on luggage. If your luggage is delayed, we can then do our best to kit you out to start the trek on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost, our procedure is as follows: 

  • Establish what items are missing and a contingency plan for each critical item
  • If it reaches 6pm on the evening before starting the trek and your luggage has not arrived, we recommend buying and/or hiring items immediately as a precaution
  • We will take you to a shop where you can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush. You will be able to find everything you need in Buenos Aires or El Chalten.

We will do everything we can to help if your luggage is lost or delayed. Be sure to check your insurance policy coverage for lost luggage cover.

Medicine

Your guide will carry a first aid kit during the trip. However, we recommend bringing any medicine you feel you may need.  This could include:

-      Painkillers

-      Anti-diarrhoea tablets

-      High factor Sunscreen for lips and skin

-      Moisturizing cream for sunburn

-      Elastic bandage and regular bandages

-      Sanitary products

-      Water purifying tablets or filter

-      Mosquito spray

-      Blister bandage

Passports and Visas

As soon as possible after booking your tour, please provide Kandoo Adventures with your passport details (first name, last name, date of birth, passport number, issue date, expiry date) along with a photocopy of the photo page.  We need this information in order to book your domestic flights.

Your passport must be valid for 6 months after your departure date.

United States and UK passport holders do not require a visa to enter Argentina.  On arrival you will be granted a maximum 90 day stay in the country.  The same applies in Chile.  If you hold a United States or UK passport, you do not require a visa and are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. 

This information may be subject to change, without notice, by the local authorities. It is your responsibility to check the latest travel requirements and information before departure.

Currency

In Chile the currency is the Chilean Peso (CLP)

In Argentina the currency is the Argentine Peso (ARS)

For the latest exchange rates please visit www.xe.com

We do not recommend the use of traveller’s cheques as they are often impractical.  Bank cards are widely used for most things but it is best to use Visa as Mastercard is not commonly accepted.  Your guide will show you the best places to change currency at the best rate.  It is best to take Euros or Dollars with you and exchange locally.  The official exchange rate offered by banks and ATMs is not good. 

Tips

Tipping is common but not mandatory and should be based on the level of service you feel you have received.  The amounts below will give you an indication of how much to tip.  Please note that these amounts are for the entire group, therefor you should divide them by the total number of people in your party.

Guide: 15 – 20 US Dollars per day

Driver: 5 – 10 US Dollars per day

 As an example.  A guide may receive $15 per day x 10 days = $150.  Divided by 10 people in the group = $15 per person.

Weather

The weather in Patagonia is notoriously changeable and it is not uncommon for trekkers to experience four seasons in one day.  The region is also well known for its ferocious winds that can reach up to 120 miles an hour. 

The most common time to visit Patagonia is during the summer months of December to February.  At this time, you can expect daytime temperatures between 6 °C and 20 °C.  Night time temperatures could go as low as 0°C. The wind can be quite strong during the summer and there is always the possibility of rain.  However, when it is not raining the skies are generally clear providing great views.  The landscape is green, in the height of its growing season and there is plenty of wildlife about.

In Spring time (September to November), it is cooler with average temperatures between 3°C and 17°C.  Night times may still drop below zero and there is the possibility of strong winds and rain.  The advantage of visiting in spring is that there are far fewer people on the trails and the refuges and campsites will be much quieter.

In Autumn (March to May), it is starting to get really cold and there is the possibility of snow.  On the other hand, there is very few people around and it is a fantastic time to see wildlife such as pumas!  In winter, temperatures will rarely go above 5°C and night times will be well below freezing.  The landscape looks incredible under a layer of snow and ice but the conditions are extreme to say the least. 

Vaccinations

The World Health Organisation recommend the following vaccinations for travel to Argentina and Chile:

  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Diphtheria
  • Typhoid
  • Yellow Fever

It is your responsibility to check the latest health information before travelling.

Electricity

In Argentina and Chile mains electricity is 220v 50Hz.  There are two plug types.  3 flat prongs or two round prongs (Standard European style).  We recommend you purchase an adapter in Buenos Aires on arrival as they are very cheap and easy to find.

Geography

Patagonia is a sparsely populated region at the southern most tip of the Andes Mountain range, it covers parts of Argentina and Chile.  Well known for its mountains, fjords, lakes and glaciers in the west and deserts in the east.  It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and Atlantic Ocean to the east and to the south various bodies of water connect the two oceans.  The Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel are the most well known. 

The South Patagonia Ice Field is approximately 350km long and covers an area of 12,363 square kilometres.  It supports dozens of glaciers which flow either west into the Pacific or east into the Atlantic.  We will visit two of the most impressive of these glaciers, Grey Glacier which flows into Lago Grey in Torres del Pane NP and the Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares NP.  There are two volcanoes buried under the ice field, Lautaro and Viedma.  Due to their inaccessibility they are among the least researched volcanoes in the world.

Patagonia is home to a wide range of amazing wildlife including Mountain Lions, also known as Cougars or Puma.  Other species to look out for are the Patagonian Grey Fox, Guanaco, Patagonian Armadillo and the iconic Andean Condor.  There are 60 different mammal species in the region and nearly 400 different bird species. 

Get in touch Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team
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