Trekking in Patagonia
Paris, El Calafate, Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine NP - Los Glaciares NP - Buenos Aires
Organized by TrekTrek, Slovenia
Duration: 19 days
Group size: 11
Tour guide: Luka Poznič
Photographs presented were taken with Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera, originally taken in 2592 x 1944 (5 MPixel) resolution and downsampled for the web site to 1280 x 960. Original photos are also available on a DVD version. Most images were digitally adjusted for optimal color and contrast to compensate for exposure errors. There are a total of 561 photos in this gallery, additional 35 were not included.
Due to its size and number of photographs, the gallery is presented in multiple pages to make it easier to download and browse. If you would prefer to see the whole trip on a single page, it's available here. Warning, lots of thumbnails to load.
It goes without saying - click on any thumbnail for a larger picture.
Map of Patagonia
Close up map
For the journey we gathered at the Ljubljana Brnik airport, prepared for the first leg of travel to Buenos Aires via Paris, and we run into trouble right from the beginning. The Air France plane arriving from Paris was diverted to Zagreb due to thick fog at Ljubljana airport, and our Paris flight got cancelled. The airline arranged transfer to Paris via Muenchen, scheduled for a few hours later, but still allowing us to catch our connecting flight. Bad luck still hasn't run out yet though, the Muenchen - Paris flight was almost an hour late (yes, it was an Air France flight), and we got to Paris just minutes before the plane for Buenos Aires left. Despite sending a telex from Muenchen saying that we are coming, Air France staff on Charles de Gaulle airport took the route of least resistance. Instead of holding the plane, they stuck us in a hotel overnight and put on the next plane for Buenos Aires 24 hours later, creating some interesting logistical combinations for catching the last flight from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, sold out for some six months in advance. We couldn't have praised Air France enough...
|Air France is going to Zagreb,
and our flight is cancelled
|Muenchen - Paris flight is running late,
and we miss the Buenos Aires flight
Since we had a day to kill in freezing Paris instead of exploring Buenos Aires as originally planned, we tried to make the most of it and went sightseeing.
|On the Paris metro||The Seine river||Notre Dame Cathedral|
|Inside Notre Dame Cathedral|
|On our way alongside Seine riverbanks||The Pompidou Centre|
|Catching the feel of Paris in winter.
Probably catching a cold as well...
|Hôtel de Ville||Entering the Louvre|
|Promenade to the Place de la Concorde||The National Assembly||Place de la Concorde|
|Musée d'Orsay||Traffic on the Seine river||The Eiffel Tower||I'm not smiling here, I'm
just freezing my ass off
In the afternoon we hastily retreated to the warmth of our hotel, and in the evening were back at the Charles de Gaulle airport, to finally get ourselves to Buenos Aires.
|A terminal at Charles
de Gaulle airport
|Air France Airbus A330 getting
prepped for passengers
Buenos Aires - El Calafate - Puerto Natales
After 14 hours of night flight on a Boeing 777, we franticly disembarked at the Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport. After all the commotion with Air France, we were left with less than an hour of time to get our luggage, clear the customs, transfer to a smaller airport some 40 km away, and check-in on our last flight to El Calafate. There are no photos of the first Buenos Aires impressions, it was raining, and we were busy running.
|Finally at the Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, waiting
for the final flight to El Calafate
At least the El Calafate flight turned out to be considerably late as well. We made it with time to spare, and were back on schedule.
|Landing in El Calafate, the first impressions
of Patagonia's landscape while driving to the city
|The hostel in El Calafate
we kept returning to
in the next few weeks
|Taking on the
El Calafate streets
|El Calafate is a small and friendly town, serving as the main gateway for travelers visiting the nearby
Glaciers National Park, or proceeding south to the Chilean gem, Torres del Paine National Park.
We spent the night in the hostel, and the next day we are going by bus to Puerto Natales, Chile, the main hub for visiting Torres del Paine national park.
|Just outside of El Calafate is the Laguna Nimez bird reserve. Since we have a few hours of time left before taking
a bus to the Chilean town of Puerto Natales, we pay it a visit.
|Kelp geese||Teros||Black-faced ibis||Flamingos|
|Caracara||El Calafate is located at the banks of Lago Argentino, the largest lake in Argentina|
|In the afternoon, we are
on the bus and traveling
200 km south to Chile
|During 4 hours drive, we made a short stop on a small, lonely gas station. Most major roads in
Patagonia are typically wide but gravel, and journey is slow and bumpy. Seeing some tarmac is
luxury. Crossing the border to Chile was a tedious routine, apple-smugglers went undetected.
By the evening, we had arrived to Puerto Natales, sampled the local cousine at the dinner in one of the restaurants, and spent the night in one of the city hostels. The next morning we had a few hours left before catching the bus, and we went to see the town.
|Puerto Natales, Chile is a small coastal town of colorful tin and wooden houses,
and is regarded to be the basecamp town for visiting Torres del Paine.
|Strolling around Puerto Natales||If you have received a|
postcard from me, it came
from this post office
Next page: Torres del Paine NP