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Patagonia Hiking

Feb 28 - Mar 11, 2021

12 days | Chile | alumni UBC Travel Club

Experience Patagonia’s pristine beauty from the Magellan Strait to the windswept pampas, to iconic Torres del Paine, the Beagle Channel and remote Navarino Island, southernmost human settlement in the world.

Patagonia holds an incredible power over me, calling me back repeatedly for over twenty years. I am so excited to share some of my favourite and most special places and experiences with a small and select group of intrepid travellers.

In many ways, southern Patagonia is similar to where I live, on British Columbia's outer coast. Our complex and stunning geography is mirrored across the equator: a landscape of verdant islands and hidden inlets and turbulent channels, all crowned by mountains capped by glaciers which, in Patagonia, cascade all the way down to the sea.

However, in spite of how similar Patagonia and the Pacific Northwest may be in terms of ge-ography, they are absolute contrasts in character: southern Patagonia is astonishingly wilder, more raw, more untamed. This is in part due to an accident of plate tectonics, which has tem-porarily placed the continent of Antarctica centered over the southern pole. This allows winds and currents to swirl around the southern part of our globe, unimpeded but for South Ameri-can's southern tip - accounting for Patagonia's infamous winds and unpredictable weather. You will find no majestic stands of cedar down here: in Patagonia, the trees grow on a slant. (In fact, I myself have at times been forced to stand on a slant!)

Southern Patagonia is truly a land of extremes, and that holds for the wildlife too. Here, we find guanaco (a wild relative of the llama), and huemúl, a stocky and very secretive sort of deer, and ñandú, a giant flightless bird similar to an ostrich. And speaking of birds and ex-tremes - not only do we have the chance here to spot both of the world's largest flying birds (by weight, the condor; and by wingspan the albatrosses), we may also encounter birds we as-sociate with Antarctica, such as penguins, alongside birds we associate with the tropics, like parrots and hummingbirds.

The human history here is equally fascinating, and we will have many opportunities to investi-gate it: from visits with the descendants of the world's southernmost indigenous people, the canoeing Yagán, to retracing routes explored by Magellan and Darwin, to visiting a working sheep estancia.

Since my first hiking trip to Patagonia, two decades ago, I have returned here numerous times: as a photographer and photojournalist, as a route planner on expedition races, as a participant on scientific expeditions on land and at sea, as a tour guide, and to work with the Yagán people to bring a book of their traditional knowledge to print. (And of course, to continue with more crazy hiking adventures!)

As Patagonia becomes an increasingly trendy travel destination, the boundary of the region called “Patagonia” seems to be creeping ever northward. However, the place that calls me, and the region that this travel itinerary covers, is the real Patagonia, the original Patagonia - what the locals call southern Patagonia. It is a harsh yet compelling place

Southern Patagonia is not an easy place to travel through. You need a true spirit of adventure to make it here: the weather, in particular, can generate many surprises. I am truly excited about formulating this travel itinerary, using my insider's knowledge and drawing on my years of experience here, to capture this sense of adventure while sharing some of the most amazing and memorable experiences that southern Patagonia has offered me.


Jackie Windh
 


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alumni UBC Travel Club Alumni Expeditions
Tour Cost (per person):
US$5795  (Incl. taxes and gratuities)
Group Size:
14 - 16 participants
Reserve my spot now!

What’s included: Airport transfers, internal flights and ground transporation, accommodation based on double occupancy, most meals, all activities and entrance fees, services of specialized English-speaking hiking guides, gratuities for escort, local guides, drivers, hotels, and group meals, taxes, fully escorted by Jacqueline Windh

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
1Meet in Punta Arenas
2Magdalena Island Magellanic Penguin Colony
3San Isidro Lighthouse Hike
4Towards Torres del Paine and the pampas
5Torres del Paine: Laguna Azul, Laguna Cebolla Hike (16km)
6Torres del Paine: Grey Glacier (4km hike)
7Torres del Paine: Fauna Trail (8km), Mirador Los Cuernos (8km)
8Caves and Condors
9Short flight to Navarino Island
10Navarino Island: Beagle Channel Hike (5 km), Omora Park
11Navarino Island: Dientes de Navarino (5km)
12Transport to your choice of Punta Arenas or Ushuaia, depart
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Your Tour Leader

Jacqueline Windh is a PhD geologist who spent nearly two decades working in gold and copper exploration on three continents. In 2000, she moved away from the mining industry and into a field with a gentler imprint on the planet, and since then she has been working as a freelance writer, photographer and broadcaster. Jackie has been travelling to Patagonia for two decades in a range of capacities.

Email Us

Or call 1-800-387-1483 with any questions or to reserve your spot!

alumni UBC Travel Club Alumni Expeditions
Tour Cost (per person):
US$5795  (Incl. taxes and gratuities)
Group Size:
14 - 16 participants

What’s included: Airport transfers, internal flights and ground transporation, accommodation based on double occupancy, most meals, all activities and entrance fees, services of specialized English-speaking hiking guides, gratuities for escort, local guides, drivers, hotels, and group meals, taxes, fully escorted by Jacqueline Windh

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Patagonia Hiking

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