Patagonia by Land & Sea
Before You Go
This expedition requires a moderate level of exertion. To best enjoy your experiences in Patagonia, you should be in good physical condition and be able to participate on nature hikes of one to five miles over rough or uneven trails. There will be opportunities for hikes of varied lengths. The weather in Patagonia is notoriously changeable; the Andes bisect the region and create a dramatic rain shadow effect to the east, with dry cold winds often sweeping down from the mountains. Along the coast temperatures will range between 40ºF and 70ºF, depending on the latitude. In the higher elevations, temperatures can dip below freezing at night and tend to climb into the 50sºF and 60sºF during the day. Be prepared for strong sun and high winds; even in the drier areas, rain should be expected at any time. By packing clothing that can be layered, you can ensure you will be prepared for the various conditions you may encounter on any given day.
Several days will entail long drives to reach remote wilderness areas; however the vehicles used are modern and comfortable and the roads are mostly paved and well-maintained.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
Activity Level & Accommodations
This expedition requires a moderate level of exertion. To best enjoy your experiences in Patagonia, you should be in good physical condition and be able to participate on nature hikes of one to five miles over rough or uneven trails. There will be opportunities for hikes of varied lengths. Several days will entail long drives to reach remote wilderness areas; however, the vehicles used are modern and comfortable and the roads are mostly paved and well-maintained, although roads in Torres del Paine National Park are unpaved gravel.
IMPORTANT: Any major health problem, disability, or physical condition that may require emergency care must be brought to our attention prior to the trip’s departure.
Eco Camp Patagonia is primarily focused on the conservation of the environment; therefore, although the restrooms are en suite, they run with compost amenities and use solar power for heated water.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain that the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to your final destination, if allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Transfers and assistance between airports and group hotels are arranged for participants arriving and departing on group dates. However, if you are arriving prior to the group arrival day and have booked additional night(s) at our group hotel, a transfer from the airport to the hotel will be provided.
Airlines change flight times frequently and our air department will send you any updates for flights booked through Zegrahm as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
Please contact Zegrahm at 1.800.628.8747, 206.285.4000, or 206.219.1641 should you encounter significant delays or problems en route. Proceed to your airline’s ticket counter or flight gate for immediate assistance. Advise Zegrahm of all changes to your arrival into El Calafate so that we may inform our Expedition Leader.
If you are booking your own flights or accommodation, please forward a copy of your flight itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions, as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program.
For your international flights El Calafate, Argentina and from Punta Arenas, Chile, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.
Internal Baggage Restrictions
Due to limitations on the flight to Ushuaia within this program, each participant is allowed 33 pounds (14 kilograms) of total weight for checked luggage. If necessary, additional checked baggage weight can be purchased at the airport.
PLEASE NOTE: Most airlines strictly enforce their baggage regulations. Excess baggage charges, which can be substantial, are the personal responsibility of each participant.
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend that you carry essential toiletries and prescription medications on board the flight, as well as a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary, so that you will be more comfortable in the unlikely event that your baggage is delayed in transit or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
The weather in Patagonia is notoriously changeable; the Andes bisect the region and create a dramatic rain shadow effect to the east, with dry cold winds often sweeping down from the mountains. Along the coast, temperatures will range between 40ºF and 70ºF, depending on the latitude. In the higher elevations, temperatures can dip below freezing at night and tend to climb into the 50sºF and 60sºF during the day. Be prepared for strong sun and high winds; even in the drier areas, rain should be expected at any time.
The following are average high/low temperatures ºF (ºC) in October for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Punta Arenas, Chile||58ºF (14ºC)||45ºF (7ºC)|
|El Calafate, Argentina||64ºF (18ºC)||49ºF (9ºC)|
|Ushuaia , Argentina||50ºF (10ºC)||36ºF (2ºC)|
As of May 2019, the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||678.50 Chilean Peso (CLP)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||44.42 Argentine Peso (ARS)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency, especially in El Calafate, if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card. Please have some cash available as a back-up; make sure bills are crisp, new, and without rips or holes. Also, ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs.
Please Note: As a reminder, itinerary related expenses have been included in the price of your trip. Therefore, we recommend that you carry most of your money in smaller denominations, and you do not need to bring a large amount of cash.
You will receive your pre-departure information—including a complete packing list and gear certificate—approximately five months prior to departure. Final documents—including a final itinerary, contact list, and staff biographies—will be sent approximately one month prior to departure.
The electrical current on board the Ventus Australis is 220-volt plugs. Plugs for both 220 volts and for 110 volts are found in the bathroom.
The electrical currents are as follows:
- Chile 220V/50Hz with electrical outlet type C & L
- Argentina 220V/50Hz with electrical outlet type C & I
PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage and don’t require a converter and adapter. Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, require heavy-duty converters rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
International flights are not included in the cost of expedition; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/El Calafate, Argentina and Punta Arenas, Chile/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
At this time, no inoculations or prophylaxes are required in conjunction with this expedition.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as we will not have access to pharmacies while in the remote areas of this expedition.
We suggest that you contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history. Your doctor may recommend a flu shot, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and other routine vaccinations. This will vary by guest and can only be advised by a medical professional.
If you are prone to motion-sickness, consult with your physician to determine the best remedy for you during our sail from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas.
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty as this can help prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. Take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun by bringing a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of our expedition includes $100,000 of emergency evacuation cover and $25,000 cover for medical expenses. If you would like request more information about this policy, please contact our office at 206.285.4000, or you can review the pamphlet given in your final documents package.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Your final documentation will include contact information for our hotels.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00 a.m. on the North American west coast:
|7:00 a.m.||Seattle, WA (PST)|
|10:00 a.m.||New York, NY (EST)|
|12:00 p.m.||Chile (CLST)|
Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.
Laundry service is available during our stay at the Posada Los Alamos and Singular Hotel. Please remember to have any laundry cleaned one day ahead so it will be returned in time for our group checkout.
Bring loose, comfortable clothing appropriate for the variable conditions you will encounter. Bring adequate sun-protective clothing and gear, including a hat or visor and sunblock, as we will be out for extended periods of time. Being out early in the morning or later in the evening will result in cooler temperatures, so dress accordingly. It is highly recommended to dress in layers for added comfort and wardrobe versatility. Please note that the wind can also be very high in Torres del Paine so adequate protection against the wind is highly recommended.
There will be opportunities for hikes of varied lengths, so bring sturdy, non-skid, waterproof walking or hiking boots. Please make sure your boots are well broken-in before you depart. Also, keep in mind that it is very likely we will encounter a rain shower on our excursions, as the weather in Patagonia is unpredictable. It is possible to experience all four seasons in one day, so be sure to pack accordingly.
Passport & Visa Requirements
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for at least six (6) months after you return home, through April 25, 2020. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of 2 blank pages available for entry/exit stamps in your passport. If your passport is nearly full, and you have insufficient pages for this expedition, then a new passport must be obtained. We suggest that you carry extra passport photos and a photocopy of your passport’s information page when you travel.
A visa is not required of U.S. nationals for this program for stays less than 90 days.
PLEASE NOTE: Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payments & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. A gift certificate to our Zegrahm Store will offer you the opportunity to purchase essential trip gear from our store. The certificate will be emailed to you approximately five months prior to departure. Please refer to the gift certificate for more details.