Patagonia


September 13, Last Day to Book!

November 11-20. $3950.

Can’t make it but interested in future trip opportunities?

What You’ll Experience

From November 11-20, 2016, we’re immersing 8 people in a landscape of wonder to thoroughly explore the place, and ourselves, together. We can’t think of anywhere better than Patagonia.

For the past year, we’ve been carefully designing, even testing, the itineraries and partnering with our favorite travel providers to bring you the best of Patagonia in one epic trip.

The days will be physically challenging but the evenings will be comfortable. You won’t find any camping on this trip. We’ll spend our days trekking, hiking, or kayaking in the wild but in the evenings, you’ll be comfortably seated around a fire, with wine or craft beer, discussing life with new friends.

This is not just a group tour through Patagonia. This trip combines adventure with creatively-minded people like you. We want to put you in an atmosphere of adventure to find meaningful experience with each other.

The W Circuit in Torres del Paine National Park

The W Circuit is the most popular hike through the famous Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Chilean Patagonia. With a total distance of about 70 kilometers, it skirts the mountains, lakes, and glaciers that make up the Paine Massif, or mountain range. Paine means “blue” in Tehuelche, the native language, and is pronounced “PIE-nay.”

Location: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Fitz Roy

At the northern end of Los Glaciares National Park lies the famous Mount Fitz Roy, one of the world’s most challenging mountains for climbing and mountaineering. Along with many of the peaks around it, the natives called it Chaltén, which means “smoking mountain” due to the clouds that normally surround it.

Location: Los Glaciares National Park, El Chaltén, Argentina

Perito Moreno Glacier

When you think of Patagonia, you probably think of glaciers. Perito Moreno Glacier is THE glacier. This must-see, must-experience mass of ice grows as much as it shrinks in a year, and if we’re lucky we’ll see it calve into the lake right before our eyes. There are three ways to experience this glacier: by boat, by boardwalks, and by trekking on it, and we get to do all three.

Location: Los Glaciares National Park, El Calafate, Argentina

Unique Accommodations

No camping on this trip. We’ve carefully selected a mix of atmosphere and just enough comfort to connect and rest easily at the end of long days spent on the trails.

New Friends Who Just Get You

Travel with like-minded people to connect over shared values and stay connected with them for life.

What others are saying

"I have hiked in some of the most beautiful places in the world, from New Zealand to the Dolomites in Italy to Banff Canada and many places in between. For people that live to experience mountains and adventure, trekking in Patagonia is a must-do. Some of the highlights include enjoying the rugged mountains & scenery, drinking the fresh no-need-to-treat water from the streams and waterfalls, hearing and seeing avalanches, watching glaciers calving, sharing pisco sours and wine with fellow like-minded travelers, and just getting away from today's technology (even though wifi can be found here and there). Doing all that while not only having deep meaningful conversations with Jackie but also lots of laughs has made that trip extremely special and something I would highly recommend to anyone."

− Susie, March 2016 departure

Trip Itinerary

We’re crossing off this bucket list item the right way.

10
Days
2
Countries
100
Kilometers
10
Travelers

Day #1: Arrive Punta Arenas Airport, Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park

Meet and greet at Punta Arenas Airport. From there we will make the trip to Torres del Paine National Park; the trip is about 5-5.5 hours of driving through the Patagonian steppe (desert), passing through Puerto Natales, a picturesque town located 70 miles from the park. We can keep an eye out for pumas as we approach our accommodations for the night.

Meals: Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres

Day #2: W Circuit, Mirador Base Torres

Our W Circuit begins with a steep ascent underneath the hanging glacier of Almirante Nieto (8,700 ft) with beautiful views of lake Nordenskjöld. After about an hour and a half we reach Refugio El Chileno, where we will have access to bathrooms. We will be able to refill water bottles along the trail, which continues through a millenary Lenga forest (1 hour) to the base of the moraine. One more challenging ascent (45 min) to the base of the towers. This lookout “Mirador Base Torres” or “Base of Torres del Paine” is one of the most impressive in the park. From here we can see Torre Sur (9,350 ft), Torre Central (9,200 ft), Torre Norte (8,530 ft) and Cerro Nido de Cóndor. We will return the same way we came up. Total 18km (11 miles).

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Las Torres

Day #3:W Circuit, Lago Nordenskjöld to Los Cuernos

The trail goes between the base of Almirante Nieto (part of the Paine Massif) and Lake Nordenskjöld’s turquoise waters, with many photo opportunities and places to picnic above the lake. After about 4-5 hours, we will reach the base of Los Cuernos where the Refugio is located. The cabins here are one of the most charming sites in the whole park, a perfect mountain oasis to rest and recover energy for tomorrow’s challenging trek into French Valley. Total 11km (7 miles).

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Cabins Los Cuernos

Day #4: W Circuit, French Valley

The first part of today’s trek winds up and down along the shore of Lake Nordenskjöld until we reach Campamento Italiano (Italian Camp). At this point we will leave our big packs and only take what we need to complete the out and back to French Valley. After ascending for about an hour, we will reach a lookout to observe the hanging French Glacier, which will most likely be avalanching before our eyes. From there, the trail continues up to Campamento Británico (British Camp) and the lookout considered by many as one of the most incredible spots on the Circuit. At Mirador Británico, you can see Paine Grande, Cerro Hoja, Cerro Máscara, Cerro Catedral, Cerro Aleta de Tiburón, Cuerno Norte, and more. We will return back to Italian Camp, and then hike on to the Pehoé sector, where Refugio Paine Grande is located.

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Paine Grande

Day #5:W Circuit, Kayaking at Grey Glacier

Trek to Refugio Grey. The trail goes through the western side of the Paine Massif with views of Grey Lake. After an hour and a half, we will reach Mirador Grey, where we can begin to see Grey Glacier. Once we reach the refugio and check in, we will begin our afternoon kayak excursion on Grey Lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Refugio Grey

Day #6: End the W Circuit, Welcome to El Calafate, Argentina

After breakfast, we will hike back out to Refugio Paine Grande and cross Pehoé Lake by Catamaran. Our driver will meet us on the other side at Pudeto Pier to take us across the border to El Calafate, Argentina. Here we will have a free evening, you will have the opportunity to get laundry done and explore the beautiful town of El Calafate.

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch

Accommodation: Kau Kaleshen

Day #7: Perito Moreno Glacier Trekking

After an early breakfast, we will depart for Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. The glacier excursion begins at Bajo de las Sombras port, about 6 km before the glacier balconies. Here we will enjoy a 20-minute boat ride across the Rico Arm, with breath-taking views of Perito Moreno Glacier’s front wall.

On the opposite shore, we will disembark to meet our specialized bilingual mountain guides, who will welcome us and lead us to a small shelter. After a short briefing, we will depart with our guides along the lake’s shore towards the edge of the glacier. Once on the ice, the guides will help us into crampons and explain how to walk with them.

The two-hour circuit that follows will introduce us to the fascinating landscape of the glaciers: the streams, small lagoons, gullies, crevasses and incredible blue ice formations. The trekking is moderate. The ice surface is irregular, but it is firm and safe. We will learn about flora, fauna and general glaciology of the region, as well as the particular phenomenons that happen with Perito Moreno Glacier.

We will return to El Calafate around 5pm for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Kau Kaleshen

Day #8:Welcome to El Chaltén, Argentina

After breakfast we will depart for El Chaltén, a picturesque mountaineering town located at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy at the northern end of Los Glaciares National Park. The drive to Chaltén is a great introduction to Patagonia. The journey takes us across the vast barren Patagonian desert, called the steppe, where we may see native guanacos (from the llama family) and rheas (from the ostrich family). At the halfway point, we will stop at La Leona, a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere used for centuries by travelers to stay overnight and get something to eat.

Upon arrival to Chaltén, we will have an optional short hike up to Mirador de las Águilas & de los Cóndores, for amazing views of town and the seven spires, weather permitting.

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hosteria El Puma

Day #9: Trekking to Mount Fitz Roy and Farewell Dinner

Hostería El Pilar is the starting point for this beautiful and classic walk in Los Glaciares National Park. We will begin by meandering through beech wood forests that lead us to our first views of the majestic Mount Fitz Roy and the glaciers and lakes that flow from it. As the landscape opens up before us, this view only becomes more expansive and dramatic. Eventually, we will reach one of the two campsites where climbers wait out the weather before attempting to climb Fitz Roy or the other peaks in the massif. At this point we will start a steep climb that leads us to Laguna de Los Tres, where we will have an incredible panoramic view. On a clear day, we will be able to see Lake Viedma in the distance and the steppe that flows to the end the horizon.

In the evening we will celebrate with a special farewell dinner experience.

Meals: Breakfast, Boxed Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Hosteria El Puma

Day #10: Departure Day, Transfer to El Calafate Airport

After breakfast we will depart for El Calafate airport, arriving around 12pm. Option to continue to El Calafate town. Tour ends.

Meals: Breakfast

12328280_1901593673400461_1791796231_nPatagonia, a mountainous, glacier and desert-covered region that stretches X miles from north to south, covers both southern Chile and Argentina. The Patagonian IcefieldX in the Andean region makes up the 3rd largest mass of connected ice in the world, behind Antarctica and Greenland. National Parks full of glaciers, rock spires, world-class hiking, and extreme elements bring this wild region at the bottom of the world straight to the top of many bucket lists.

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Torres del Paine National Park is one of the many pristine gems of Chilean Patagonia. Starting with the namesake towers themselves to the turquoise waters of Lake Nordenskjöld, to the spires of French Valley and the living, breathing Grey Glacier, trekking the W Circuit through Torres del Paine National Park is THE way to experience this wild paradise. A journey to Patagonia is simply not complete without the beauty and wonder of Chile.

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Just when you think the experiences and views of the Chilean side can’t get any better, we cross the border to Argentina. Perito Moreno Glacier, which gains as much ice as it loses in a year, offers travelers an other-worldly ice trekking experience of a lifetime. The famous Mount Fitz Roy, which inspired the original design of the Patagonia clothing company logo, lures elite climbers from all over the world to climb its tower. A couple of days in these mountains, topped off with a surprise farewell experience, completes this ultimate bucket list itinerary of Patagonia.

What’s Included

We’re taking care of you, every step of the way.

All Accommodations

We believe where you return at night is a key component to the travel experience so we find comfortable, clean, and memorable places to stay that allow us to connect further after a full day.

All Park Entrance Fees

We will be spending time in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile as well as Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. All entrance costs to these parks will be covered.

Most Meals

While most meals are covered, there will be just one dinner that you’ll get to explore El Chaltén to find, with the group or on your own. We think you’ll appreciate the chance.

Fun Activities

To be sure the day’s spent unforgettably, we partner with experienced, on-the-ground operators to deliver the most fun, and safe, daytime adventure activities.

Local Guide & Driver

We take care of you with private transportation from airport and back so you can concentrate on living in the present moment, connecting with others, and not worry about the logistical aspects of traveling within new frontiers.

Your Host

Jackie Nourse

Job Position

I’m Jackie, a world-traveling, salsa-dancing, food-loving, adventure-chasing, insatiable explorer. I’m the author of The Aspiring Travelers Handbook, founder and host of The Budget-Minded Traveler blog and podcast, and the creator of Traveling Jackie, my adventure travel blog.
When I first studied abroad in Costa Rica at age 18, I had no idea that it would lead to a life of travel for me, but I had seen and experienced enough to know that I couldn’t go back to my old life afterwards. Since then, I’ve jumped at every chance I’ve had to exercise my adventurous free spirit by seeing the world.

My ultimate goals are to inspire you to travel, to exercise your passions and challenge yourself on a daily basis, and be who you are meant to be. Life is too short to live vicariously.

Ready to Make Travel a Priority in Your Life?

Register Now!

Trip Price: $3950

Pay in FullSave $100

$ 3850

One time
  • Save $100 by paying in full now

Reserve

$ 850

Deposit
  • Remaining balance of $3100 due by September 1, 2016

Please note:

You can book your spot by emailing us directly at info@sphereadventures.com.

We will respond within 24 hours with your booking form and payment info.

A 3% fee will be added to all credit card payments.

Important Instructions:

This is a small group tour so space is extremely limited. Registration is on a first-come basis.

Once you’ve completed your payment, be sure to check the email you used for a booking form. Your spot is NOT guaranteed until we’ve received both your payment and booking form.

Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. A final invoice will be sent to you, by email, shortly before the due date.

Price Includes:

  • Meals as noted in itinerary
  • Accommodations as noted in itinerary, double occupancy
  • Local (bilingual) guide and driver
  • All ground and boat transportation as noted in itinerary
  • Grey Glacier kayak excursion
  • Perito Moreno Glacier trek
  • Park entrance fees

Price does not include:

  • Travel or medical insurance, immunizations, passports, or visas
  • Airfare or airport taxes
  • Baggage fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic beverages aside from what is noted in itinerary
  • Guide gratuities

Can I pay by credit or debit card?

Yes, however a 3% fee will be added to all credit card payments. You can use Paypal to reserve your spot with a credit and debit cards. (See PayPal section below)

Pay Using PayPal:

PayPal is accepted but PLEASE EMAIL US FIRST: info (at) sphereadventures (dot) com.

Can I send a check?

Yes! And you’ll save yourself the fee. Please make payable and mail check to: World Wide Web Works, PO Box 727 Truro, MA 02666

You can notify us that your check is in the mail by emailing info (at) sphereadventures (dot) com.

Cancellation Policy:

Whether or not you receive a partial refund depends on how far in advance of the tour you cancel. Our refund policy is covered below and in also outlined on the registration form that you’ll receive within 24 hours of booking. We try to issue refunds within 2 weeks. If we are traveling when you cancel, it may take longer than two weeks.

Refunds:

If you cancel your booking, it will result in the following charges:

  • Within 90 days of trip: No refund.
  • Up to 90 days prior to departure: 50% of deposit is refundable.
  • Deposit and trip payment transferable to new signup.

Have questions? Email us!

Traveler Information

We’ve done the research. Here’s what you need to know.

Airfare

Airfare is not included. Before purchasing your airfare, please check with us to ensure the minimum number of participants has been reached to operate the trip.

  • Arrival airport: Punta Arenas, Chile (PUQ). Please arrive by noon.
  • Suggested flight from Santiago: Nov 11, 2015
  • Departure airport: El Calafate, Argentina (FTE)
  • Suggested departure: Nov 20, 2015 – AFTER 2PM

Trip ends at noon (12pm) on November 20th  at El Calafate airport with optional transfer to El Calafaté town center. Please book your flights for 2pm or later.

Travel Insurance

Each participant must purchase travel insurance coverage, both for travel investment as well as medical coverage. Click here to read more about travel insurance. We use and recommend World Nomads.

*Please forward confirmation of your travel insurance to info@sphereadventures.com

Argentina Reciprocity Fee

As of March 24, 2016, the reciprocity fee required of US Citizens entering Argentina has been suspended. If you are Canadian, click here for reciprocity fee information. This must be completed prior to departure from Canada.

Single Occupancy

For this particular trip, single occupancy is not available. We will do our best to match solo travelers with same-gender roommates.

Physical Requirement

We will hike around 100km (more than 60 miles) over our 10-day trip. The longest day is 25km (15 miles), and the shortest days are 11km (almost 7 miles). You will carry your own pack while trekking for 3.5 of the 5 days on the W Circuit. A certain level of hiking proficiency and physical ability is necessary for this trip. We recommend getting some good hikes in beforehand and possibly some long runs or workouts to train for this amount of trekking. It’s also a great idea to practice being in your shoes or boots, as you will be in them for a majority of the time.

Packing List

How to Pack for the W Circuit Trek (small backpack around 30-40L):

  • Sturdy hiking shoes: boots or trail running shoes, whatever you are comfortable with
  • Flip flops
  • 2-3 pairs of socks that won’t slide down into your shoes and cause blisters
  • 1-2 pairs of pants: running tights and/or hiking pants
  • Base layer bottoms for early or late season: cotton leggings can double for sleeping in
  • Base layer long-sleeve top for early (Oct-Nov) or late season (Apr)
  • Mid-layer long sleeve (Smartwool recommended)
  • Quick-drying t-shirt: bring a couple of these if you’re going Dec-Mar
  • Packable down vest
  • Zip hoodie that can be taken on and off easily
  • Light jacket for a layer of warmth
  • Rain jacket
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Buff
  • Hat(s): beanie (winter hat) and possibly baseball cap/front brim of sorts
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Portable USB charger and backup batteries: outlets and electricity are scarce on the trail
  • Water bottle or bladder
  • Travel towel
  • Toiletries: only the essentials for what you need for a few days
  • Ear plugs, eye mask, sleeping pills: whatever you need to sleep in shared accommodations
  • Clothes to sleep in: ideally something that will stay clean and dry
  • Passport: you’ll need this to check in at all accommodations
  • Cash (no ATMs in the park) and credit card (the refugios accept credit cards)

Pack based on this list for the 5-day trek, add a few more tops, bottoms, and socks if you need to for the rest of the days. A 24-hour turn-around laundry service (paid) will be available once we reach El Calafate. You will be able to leave your extra luggage at the hotel during the W Circuit.

Take Note:

  • Trekking Poles: Opinion: unnecessary if you are used to hiking without them.
  • Trail Safety: Rescues are extremely difficult in Patagonia. Take your time, with steady steps, and take care of each other out there.
  • WiFi/Cell Service: WiFi is available for a fee at some of the refugios. Cell service ended at Puerto Natales, be ready to be off the grid during your trek.
  • Chile uses straight two-pronged outlets like North America, Argentina uses round  two-pronged outlets like Europe. Bring a plug adapter if necessary.
Can’t make it but interested in future trip opportunities? Get on the list and be first to know about where we’re going next!

YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT BY PURCHASING A SPHERE TRIP, YOU ACCEPT, AGREE, AND UNDERSTAND THAT TRIP DETAILS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. The itinerary is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered, nor does it form part of the contract between the client and the operator. Although the itinerary has been curated with care and details are provided in good faith, we may make improvements that stem from weather changes, local factors, past travelers’ comments, and our own research, to name a few examples. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Nevertheless, to ensure the most accurate itinerary, it is strongly advised that you review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. You also accept, agree and understand that there are inherent risks associated with physical activities you may participate in. Therefore, you expressly acknowledge and assume responsibility for such risk and that you alone are responsible for your decision to participate in such activities.