Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park

Chile and the Falkland Islands

17 days From £8,995

23 November 2019

In one of the most exciting holiday packages that Brightwater Holidays has ever offered, we combine Chile, that amazing ‘land of contrasts’ with snow-capped volcanoes, towering glaciers and spectacular flora and fauna, with the unique thrill of travelling to the remote Falkland Islands.

We begin in the Chilean capital, Santiago, a huge city of shining skyscrapers and beautiful parks. We tour the National Park of La Campana (in the footsteps of Charles Darwin) before flying south to Punta Arenas and the Torres del Paine National Park. Two full days are set aside to do justice to the extraordinary range of plants, birds and animals to be found here in the magnificent desolation of Patagonia, and we have also included a boat trip to Lake Grey and the Grey Glacier.

We then fly from Punta Arenas to the Falkland Islands, situated 400 miles off the coast of South America in the South Atlantic Ocean. The Falklands offer fresh air, big skies and an abundance of wildlife, much of which is very tame and approachable – we will discover that the penguins have no hesitation in coming up to investigate visitors! There are also elephant seals, sea lions and albatross among other birds and animals and in the course of our stay we will visit several different islands providing endless photo opportunities and an unforgettable experience of life on these unspoilt and proudly British islands.

What's included?

  •  Flights
  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary

Led by...

Colin Crosbie

Colin Crosbie

Former curator of RHS Garden Wisley and one of our most popular guides, Colin has led tours to a wide variety of destinations. He is particularly looking forward to identifying the vast range of plants to be found on this tour!

Book Now £8,995 Deposit: £899.50 Single supplement: £1,400

Tour highlights:

  • Travel to Volunteer Point on the Falkland Islands to see the largest colony of breeding King penguins
  • Visit La Campana National Park, a site that Charles Darwin has visited on several occasions
  • View endemic plants and wildlife at Torres del Paine National Park
  • Explore Sea Lion Island
  • Take in the local atmosphere in Santiago, capital of Chile

Tour details

Dates 23 November 2019 - 9 December 2019
Duration 17 days
Cost £8,995 Deposit: £899.50 Single supplement: £1,400 Balance due by 31 August 2019
Activity Level Challenging
Tour code BWCHI19A

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

23 November 2019: Itinerary

We depart from London on an overnight flight to Santiago, Chile. 

On arrival at the airport in Santiago we will be met and transferred to our hotel.

In the afternoon we depart on a half day tour of historical Santiago, Chile’s capital city. We will see the neoclassical La Moneda Palace, the seat of the government; the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by the 18th century cathedral, the National Historical Museum and the central post office notable for its lobby. We continue to the Parque Forestal and the bohemian area of Bellavista, where we climb San Cristobal Hill which offers excellent views of Santiago and the Andes beyond.

Meals include: Dinner

After breakfast this morning we depart for a full day excursion to La Campana National Park at Ocoa, to the north west of Santiago in the coastal ‘cordillera’ mountain range of Quillota province. The park is dominated by the mountains of La Campana and El Roble, both over 2000m above sea level. The National Park was created in 1967 to help preserve one of the most important ecosystems of the region, Mediterranean Esclerophic Scrub is now a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The park’s vegetation is predominantly made up of native esclerophic woods, such as Peumo, Quillay, Boldo, Litre, from which appear wonderful examples of native Oaks – the densest and largest in central Chile – and the endemic Jubaea chilensis or Chilean Palm. The area was also made famous by the English naturalist Charles Darwin who visited Campana on several occasions and was particularly taken with the views from the summit - on clear days it is possible to see the whole width of Chile from the coast to the high Andes around Aconcagua. Evening at leisure.

Meals include: Breakfast

Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and transfer to Santiago airport for our flight to Punta Arenas. We will be met on arrival and transferred to Torres del Paine National Park. As we drive though the vast Patagonian steppes we will take the opportunity to look for some of the great array of plants endemic to this dry region of Patagonia as well as surrounding regions of southern Argentina and the Falkland Islands.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we have a full day excursion to Torres del Paine National Park, where we can expect to find a very interesting array of plant species. Our first encounter with this stunning place will lead us to find striking species such as various Lady's Slippers of the genus Calceolaria including C. biflora and the striking C. uniflora. We will visit low-growing patches of Antarctic Beech (Nothofagus antarctica) and arid sectors with the presence of the endemic shrub Paramela (Adesmia boronioides). On the wildlife side we can expect to see herds of Guanaco (a relative of the Llama), Andean Deer and Culpeo Foxes. Pumas are relatively abundant here but we will need to be lucky if we are to spot one.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following breakfast we transfer to the Grey area and take a boat trip across Lake Grey, which is fed by the Grey Glacier. Smaller inflatable boats will take us up to the glacier itself.

Later we continue our exploration of the Torres del Paine National Park and aim to discover representative species of the Patagonian steppes. We will try to find, among several others, the tiny Patagonian Alstroemeria (Alstroemeria patagonica) or the conspicuous Oxalis (Oxalis enneaphylla), both of which have a very restricted range. This afternoon we will continue across vegetative formations with the highest plant diversity of the whole region of southern Chile, known as the pre-Andean Mesophytic Scrub. Extensive shrubby areas hold stunning species such as the Chilean Fire-Bush (Embothrium coccineum) or the fragrant Escallonia (Escallonia rubra). We will also look for the most beautiful orchids of the region including Chloraea magellanica, Codonorchis lessonii and Gavilea littoralis. The grandeur of the scenery should make for a truly memorable day in this magnificent Biosphere Reserve.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and transfer to Punta Arenas where we will stay overnight at the Hotel Cabo de Hornos (or similar). A packed lunch is included today. The remainder of the day and the evening are at leisure.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Following breakfast, we check out of the hotel and transfer to Punta Arenas airport for our flight to Mount Pleasant International Airport on the Falkland Islands. On arrival we will transfer to Stanley, the islands’ capital.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we depart for the airport from where an internal flight will take us to Sea Lion Island, the southernmost of the inhabited islands in the archipelago, lying southeast of East Falkland. On arrival we will have an introductory tour of the island will help familarise us with the wildlife locations, which are all within reasonable walking distance of our lodge, after which we are free to explore at leisure. Sea Lion Island is a significant breeding site for a variety of birds including Falkland Steamer Ducks, Ruddy-headed Geese, Gentoo, Southern Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, Southern Giant-petrels and Sooty Shearwaters. As the name suggests, Southern Sea Lions also breed here, along with Southern Elephant Seals. Some 56 species of flowering plants have been recorded, including the Fuegian Violet which is found nowhere else in the Falklands.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Following breakfast our exploration of Sea Lion Island continues. 

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy your breakfast. We transfer to the airport and fly to Saunders Island, one of the largest islands in the archipelago, with mountainous terrain, albatross colonies and a variety of penguin colonies, including King and Rock Hopper penguins. Once again we will have an introductory tour before transferring to our accommodation.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We have a full day excursion exploring Saunders Island, including a visit to The Neck and The Rookery to see wildlife including King, Gentoo, Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins; a colony of Black-browed Albatross, elephant seals, sea lions, dolphins, the inquisitive Johnny Rooks and other birds of prey and Southern Giant Petrels. Whales can also be seen blowing offshore. 

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we depart on an internal flight to Stanley. The remainder of the day is free to explore this little town of around 2000 inhabitants, which replaced Port Louis as the islands’ capital in 1845. 

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we depart on a full day excursion to Volunteer Point, travelling overland in 4x4 vehicles. Volunteer Point is a stunning 3-mile long beach which is home to the Falklands’ largest colony of breeding King penguins, along with Gentoo and Magellanic penguins. The birds are generally very tame and approachable and will not hesitate to come up and investigate their visitors!

 

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we transfer from Stanley to Mount Pleasant Airport for our flight to Santiago, Chile, where on arrival we will be met and transferred to our hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast

Following breakfast we return to Santiago Airport for our international overnight flight back to London.

Meals include: Breakfast

On arrival in London the group will disperse or make onward connections.

23 November 2019: Additional Info

23 November 2019: Accommodation

23 November 2019: Enquiries

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