We continue to travel to places inspired by writers. And today, remembering Jules Verne’s novel “Children of Captain Grant”, we set off for Patagonia.
Video: World of Adventures – The Best Vacation in Patagonia. Travel to Patagonia “.
So, we start our expedition from the Frankfurt Airport, where we have flight to the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires.
After arriving at Buenos Aires Airport, we are going to the hotel located in the center of the city to relax a bit after a long flight, and in the evening we have meeting with the organizers of our expedition.
Today we will devote to acquaintance with the city and its sights.
And of course we are going to visit the Gran Café Tortoni – the oldest café in Buenos Aires!
For the first time, this cafe opened its doors for visitors in 1858. And now it is very popular place among locals and tourists. It is believed to serve the best coffee in Buenos Aires!
It was beyond our strength to be in Buenos Aires and not try a real Argentinean steak, and, on the recommendation of our guide, we go to Café de los Angelitos.
One of the main attractions of the city is the La Boca quarter. The quarter’s business card is the pedestrian street El Caminito, which was once a railway terminal, and is named after the popular tango song “Caminito”, written in 1926.
At the end of the day, we head to the Gran Café Tortoni again for an evening tango show.
Buenos Aires is a very interesting city, but we have to go. Patagonia awaits us! We go by plane to the city of Esquel.
Esquel is located in the foothills of the Andes in the northwest of Chubut province of Argentine Patagonia.
Here, on the border with Chile, there is a border crossing, where we go. And tomorrow, in Chile, on the Futaleufu River, we will have an unforgettable rafting experience with rapids of the 5th and 6th categories.
There are very picturesque places around the town of Futaleufu, and the day before we informed our Chilean guide Hernan that we decided to abandon the hotel and ask him to set up a tent camp so that we could live in tents for the next three days in the wild. Hernan and his friends prepared a camp for us in a secluded place in the middle of a virgin forest in a day. And many thanks to him for that!
Morning has come and we go rafting.
So, we start rafting down the Futaleufu River. Our “commander” is Hernan, and his friends are on the insurance on the catamaran and kayak. Good luck to us!
Video: “World of Adventures – Best Rafting in Chile. River Futaleufu “.
Yes! It was unforgettable! It was one of the best rafting in our life! Thanks to Hernan, his professionalism helped us complete the entire route without incident.
After rafting, Hernan announced a surprise!
Yes! Hernan surprised. On the eve, passing by, we saw that some people were cooking a lamb on the coals. But we couldn’t even imagine what it was for us! This was not on the program, just Hernan wanted us to make a pleasant gesture.
After tasting the delicious meat, we go to our camp to relax a bit, share our impressions and prepare for tomorrow’s trip back to Argentina.
The emotions we experienced today, the amazingly beautiful sunset, the wonderful Chilean wine did not let us fall asleep, and we, in this warm company, sat by the fire until late at night …
And we are in Argentina again! This time we go to the south of Patagonia along the famous Ruta 40 road to the province of Santa Cruz, to Lake Buenos Aires.
In these parts of distant Patagonia, in the vicinity of the city of Los Antiguos, there is the southernmost cherry plantation in the world.
After a little bit of cherries from a local plantation, we set off further south to a canyon on the Pinturas River.
Here is one of the most extraordinary and ancient places in Argentina – the Cueva de las Manos cave, which has preserved drawings dating from the 9th – 13th millennia BC.
This name, translated from Spanish, means “cave of hands”, and this is no coincidence, since most of the cave paintings depict colored prints of the palms of those very hands.
Colored silhouettes of open palms are superimposed on each other and form a bright wall mosaic.
Numerous animal drawings have also been preserved on the walls of the cave.
After exploring the cave, we decided to go down to the canyon to walk along the Pinturas River.
A walk through the canyon helped us relax a little before the long journey to the amazingly beautiful Posadas and Pueirredon lakes, located at the edge of the southern Andes, northwest of the province of Santa Cruz.
These lakes are of glacial origin. For example, Lake Pasadas is fed by rapid glacial rivulets, the waters of which are supplied by glaciers with various minerals, which give the lake an incomparable amazing azure color.
Lake Pueirredon, with crystal clear blue waters, is separated from Lake Pasados by a narrow isthmus. It is much deeper, and through the Baker River system it connects with the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
And, as usual, a short walk completes our stay in this amazing place.
And this is a completely unexpected meeting! Seeing an armadillo in the wild is a real stroke of luck!
Today we head further south of Patagonia, to the small town of El Chalten. We will spend the whole day on the way, and the outlandish landscapes of Argentine Patagonia will fill the boring road with a lot of impressions.
And this is the lowest place in Argentina, here 40 meters below ocean level!
A small snack, and again on the road.
By the end of the day, not without adventure, we finally got to the town of El Chalten. This neat little town in the province of Santa Cruz is located on the border with Chile, in the Los Glaciares National Park.
Los Glaciares National Park, as a corner of untouched wilderness, was founded relatively recently, in 1937. The main purpose of its creation was to protect the unique mountain landscapes of the Andes, almost a third of which are covered with glaciers.
And the main mountain peaks of the park: Fitzroy and Cerro Torre, with their harsh splendor, attract millions of tourists here, and are considered one of the most difficult to climb peaks on the planet.
Good weather is not a frequent visitor to this area, and today Mount Fitzroy is covered by a thick veil of clouds, and in order not to return to El Chalten, we decided to stay in a tent camp set up on the shore of a mountain lake.
In the morning, the clouds cleared away, and the panorama of the Torre Lagoon opened in front of us in all its glory.
And then, along the glacier, we head to the foot of the Serra Torre mountain range.
Video: “World of Adventures – Cerro Torre. Laguna Torre. Super trekking. Patagonia”.
This is not the end of our acquaintance with the Los Glaciares National Park. Our Moscow friends Gennady Martens and Armen Karakhanyan organized a five-day expedition for us. On this route, no more than seven groups are allowed per year. We have to overcome more than fifty kilometers from Lake Witch, through the Passo Norte pass, to Lake Argentino, and this will be the most difficult stage of our expedition.
So, from Lake Witch we start our five-day route, good luck to us!
First overnight stay on the eastern shore of Witch Lake. With the onset of darkness, the air temperature dropped to zero, and the constant wind and rain added to our problems, since we did not manage to dry the wet clothes.
In the morning we will climb with a difference in height of more than five hundred meters, and considering that our backpacks weigh about 25 kilograms, everything becomes not so simple.
Ahead of us, an amazing place opened up, this is a dead forest. There are no paved paths here, so our guide Diego has to make a new route.
And again a steep ascent, this time along the waterfall, to the first pass. Down there by the lake, we will set up our second camp.
And we have to go. Ahead of us is an acquaintance with a glacier slowly sliding down from the peaks near the Passo Norte pass.
And now, finally, we got to the glacier at the Passo Norte pass. An amazingly beautiful place!
After a little rest by the glacier, we continue along the picturesque gorge of the Passo Norte pass, to our next camp.
The landscape changes dramatically, and we find ourselves in a real dense forest.
Here, at the edge of the forest, surrounded by snowy peaks, we will set up our next camp.
And again on the road! Today trekking is not difficult, just one long ascent to the plateau, from where a magnificent panorama of the Los Glaciares National Park opens.
Next, we will have a rather comfortable gentle descent to Lake Argentino, with an intermediate overnight stay. There, at the Christina station, our five-day expedition will end.
Video: “World of Adventures – Patagonia. Extreme hike. Passo Norte pass “.
In conclusion, I would like to express special gratitude to our guide Diego. It must be admitted that without his professionalism this expedition would hardly have taken place.
From Cristina station, on a comfortable boat, we go to another attraction of the Los Glaciares National Park – the Perito Moreno glacier.
The glacier was named after the Argentine scientist Francisco Moreno and is the largest after the glaciers of Antarctica and Greenland.
Its ice field is 30 km long and 4 km wide. The glacier created a natural dam on Lake Argentino. Thanks to this, the water in its southern part is 30 meters higher than in the northern one, so ships ply along the lake from which you can take a closer look at these huge blocks of ice.
Video: “World of Adventures – Perito Moreno Glacier. Patagonia”.
And again our path lies in the south of Patagonia. This time we again cross the border with Chile, and go to the Torres del Paine National Park.
The park’s stunning mountain landscapes are so magnificent that they are unparalleled in the world, and are considered one of the most impressive creations of nature.
The park was founded in 1959 and got its name from the three needle-like granite mountains of Torres del Paine located in its central part with a height of 2600 to 2850 m.
This unique miracle of nature was formed over 11 million years ago as a result of global tectonic processes and the movement of huge masses of ice. Areas of rocks in contact with magma today have turned into granite mountains, which continue to grow under the influence of the colossal pressure of the earth’s interior.
We will spend three days in the park, and the best way to experience its magic is to hike through its territory. And our first trek to the peaks of Torres del Paine.
Video: “World of Adventures – Torres del Paine. Chile”.
On the second day we went to the Gray Glacier.
And finally, we will visit the French Valley (Valle Frances), it can be safely ranked as one of the most interesting places in the Torres del Paine National Park.
The closest town to Torres del Paine National Park is Puerto Natales. From here we head towards the Strait of Magellan.
And then by ferry we will cross the Strait of Magellan to the island of Tierra del Fuego – Tierra del Fuego.
Evening falls and we stop for the night in a cozy house of a traditional Argentinean ranch.
The main occupation of local farmers is sheep breeding, with most of the wool and animal skins being exported.
Our next stop is in the Tierra Mayor Valley. Here, in the cozy lodge of the Solar del Bosque, we will stay overnight.
And in the morning we will have a walk in the valley and meet the beavers living here.
Not far from our hotel, dog sled racing enthusiasts have set up a kennel and a hotel for real Huskies. As a business, it is much more profitable than sheep breeding. The cost of one well-trained dog for racing can go up to twenty thousand US dollars.
Ushuaia is the southernmost city on our planet. It is believed that it is here that the End of the World is located, or as the locals call it, Fin del Mundo. From here to Antarctica is only 900 kilometers
This picturesque town, surrounded by a ridge of snow-capped mountains, is quite small, but, nevertheless, it has all the necessary tourist infrastructure.
So we settled in a cozy hotel Posada Fueguina. Here we will spend two days getting to know the sights of the city and its environs.
Video: “World of Adventures – Ushuaia. The southernmost city in the world. Tierra del Fuego “.
Today, on a comfortable boat, we go to Martillo Island or, as it is also called, Penguin Island.
This small rocky landmass is found in Beagle Channel and is home to several penguin colonies.
Here you can meet Magellanic penguins. More than 1000 of their nests are located right on the shore.
Adults of this penguin species reach 70-80 cm in height and 5-6 kg in weight.
Their back is black, the chest is white, with two or one black stripes on the neck, and the head is black with a wide white border extending from behind the eye.
Magellanic penguins are a monogamous species. Permanent couples have been around for many seasons.
During the mating season, the male attracts the female with cries that are more like a donkey’s roar.
Magellanic penguins can live up to 20 years, unless of course they become the prey of marine predators. And on the shore, their chicks and eggs are threatened by feathered predators – gulls and skuas.
Gentoo penguins can also be found on the island. These are the largest flightless seabirds after the imperial and royal ones.
Males weigh up to 9 kg, and females up to 7.5 kg, while the growth of adults reaches 75-90 cm.
This rare penguin in South America can only be seen on Martillo Island.
Video: “World of Adventures – Penguins of Tierra del Fuego. Patagonia”.
The weather is fine today and we are going for a walk to the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
This conservation area is located eleven kilometers west of the city of Ushuaia, where Lapataya Bay enters the narrow Beagle Channel and encompasses mountains, glacial valleys, and a relict coastline.
In inflatable boats we will take a boat trip along the Río Lapataia river.
Rafting down the river was not particularly difficult, and we enjoyed the surrounding landscapes of the virgin nature of the park with great pleasure.
A farewell dinner at our hotel restaurant concludes today.
Sincere company, pleasant memories, excellent cuisine, excellent Argentine wine, what else is needed to meet tomorrow at the End of the World!
So our 28-day expedition has come to an end. We all managed to do this difficult path together through all of Patagonia, from the Futaleufu River in the north to Ushuaia in the south. And thanks to our children’s writers, who have instilled in us a spiritual craving for travel, feel like real pioneers. And thank God that Patagonia, sung by Jules Verne, was largely able to survive to this day in its original form.
Adventure World – Film: “Journey to the End of the World” Patagonia