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Overseas

South America

PATAGONIA
Southern Chile and Argentina
6-8 weeks: Nov-Jan

Lunchtime near Lake Grey, Torres del Paine

The only tour company listed as "highly recommended" in the 1998 edition of Lonely Planet's Trekking in the Patagonian Andes.

Serious backpacking without serious mountaineering.

Off the beaten track - our walks include places no other tour operator will take you.

For independent people who want a different kind of tour.

The pictures tell the story. You get spectacular mountain scenery, wildlife and a wilderness where you are often unlikely to see anyone but your walking companions.

Sunset on the Torres del Paine Photographing the Grey Clacier Up close with wild guanacos
Crossing the tundra on Navarino Island

Willis's Walkabouts has been running trips to Patagonia and elsewhere in South America since 1990. All our guides are based in Australia and speak Spanish. Highlights of most of our trips have included walks in Torres del Paine in southern Chile, Los Glaciares in southern Argentina, and in other parks further north. The Condor Circuit near Talca was a major new addition in January 2005. We've now done it three times and all agree that it's one of the best parts of the trip.

View of Mt Fitzroy from Lago del Desierto

Our knowledge of Spanish and of many of the local customs allows us to act as interpreters so that the group can eat in the same restaurants and stay in the same hotels as the locals. These will be reasonably priced, comfortable hotels and guest houses where we can relax and have a break between walks. This allows those taking part to gain a more intimate feeling for the culture and the people than is possible on most tours. We handle the hassles leaving you free to enjoy your holiday

The trips will be divided into a number of sections any of which may be done on its own. Although most participants are likely to be from Australia, people from other countries can meet the group in Santiago or at any other point on the itinerary. We will decide on an exact starting date after consulting with those who book early.

Be warned! Airfares from Australia to South America book out early. If you want a decent price, you may need to book four months or more before departure.

Terrain and difficulty This trip is not for the average tourist. We can neither control nor predict the weather, only accept it as it comes. If you do not want to take the necessary responsibility and/or you cannot obtain the necessary equipment, it is not for you. Good physical fitness and a good mental attitude are both necessary. If you have never carried a pack on an overnight walk, have never walked off trail, have never camped in cold, windy and wet conditions, it will be harder for you to cope with the likely conditions than for a person who has had the relevant experience. Past experience has shown us that a fit, experienced 70 year old may cope better than a fitter 25 year old who does not have experience in coping with adverse conditions.

What does it cost? Our fee will be A$1950 for the long trip and A$1500 for the shorter one. This covers the guide, who also acts as organiser and cook plus your evening meals on the walks. There will be an additional charge for liability insurance. This may be substantial. In addition, you will have to pay your share of all the expenses for food, accommodation, transport, etc. The guide will pay the same fees and fares as everyone else and will keep these as low as reasonable comfort, reliability and availability will allow. Our accommodation will cost anywhere from about US$15 to US$40 per night. Expect most of the places to be toward the low end of the range, but it might be nice to enjoy a bit of luxury once in a while.

See more pictures in our Patagonia Gallery.

Patagonia detailed trip notes.

For more information about this trip or to find out how to book email us for Patagonia Information

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Willis's Walkabouts, 12 Carrington Street, Millner NT 0810, Australia walkabout@bushwalkingholidays.com.au

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