Whether it's one week in a wider tour of South America or a once in a lifetime 3 week adventure in Patagonia, planning your itinerary carefully means you can really make the most of your time. We help all our clients do this, identifying travel, accommodation and activity options for each and every day.
If you've got a specific National Park or destination in mind but aren't clear what to do with the rest of your time in the region then let us know - we can suggest ideas, based on an in-depth understanding of travel times, accommodation options and activities.
For lots of inspiration and information, don't forget to visit our Patagonia holidays page where you can find out more about combining your trip with a cruise to Antarctica and see Patagonia's top spots.
Different ways to see Patagonia
There are a number of different ways of exploring a region as vast as Patagonia. What's your style?
A) Patagonia Tours
in 2 or 3 weeks you can explore lots of different National Parks and destinations across the region. Some say the downside of this is larger groups and a lot of packing and unpacking your bags, but it's a great way to see the incredible variety that Patagonia offers.
B) Finding a base
After a week of hiking, kayaking or travelling across the region you might want to settle in to one beautiful location and use it as a base for a few days. We work with a number of Estancias, Hotels and Adventure Lodges many of which are located right in the heart of a National Park. You can use these as a base for day hikes, kayaking, white-water rafting or horse riding; or maybe you just want to kick back and rest your legs for day.
C) Multi-day adventures
For some Patagonia is all about the wilderness and it's all about getting out there into the wilds of Tierra del Fuego or onto the Patagonian IceCap itself. We'll help find trips, tours and expeditions from 3 or 4 days to 3 weeks.
Swoop Patagonia's principles for Itinerary planning
The right adventure for you
First and foremost we're about helping you find the right adventure activities for your experience and appetite for adventure. Patagonia offers a huge range of experiences and opportunities and not everyone is right for everyone. The more you tell us about what you're into, what you've done and what you dream of doing the better we can tailor things for you.
The journey, not just the destination
One of the things Swoop always tries to do is make those journey times part of the adventure. Some examples include:
- instead of taking the bus from Puerto Natales to Torres del Paine National Park would you like take the boat/kayak up the beautiful fjord of Last Hope Sound, check out the Balmaceda glaicer and get your first glimpse of the Towers of Paine from the Rio Serrano?
- travelling from Punta Arenas (key hub and airport in South Patagonian Chile) to Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego could either be a series of transfers and expensive flights, a unique 12 hour bus journey, or an incredible 4 day cruise taking in some of Patagonia's best glaciers, fjords and wildlife, not to mention taking in the infamous Cape Horn. Which one is right for you?
- If you're travelling from El Chalten to Torres del Paine why stop in a large town when you could stay in an authentic local Estancia?
Precious Time - the devil's in the detail
Most of our clients have between 2 and 4 weeks in Patagonia and we know how precious that time is. We can help you to plan things so that there's no dead time - time to relax of course, but no afternoons lost because the bus timetable didn't quite fit with your plans. It's also important to ensure that your itinerary fits the dates and times of any kayking or trekking trips that you're thinking of joining.
We normally put together detailed day-by-day itineraries including details of flights, ground travel, accommodation, contingencies and activity departure times.
We take real pride in making sure we get the details right.
Finding the balance
It's always tempting to try and squeeze as much as possible into a trip, especially when it's on the other side of the world. But we all know from experience that you need to find the balance. We believe we can give you objective and informed advice on finding the right balance between adventure and relaxation, and between whistle-stop tours across the whole region and time to get to know one National Park really well.
If you have the luxury of a 3 month visit to the region and good Spanish you can probably 'wing-it'. But for most people careful day-by-day planning will ensure that they really make the most of their visit. The journeys across Patagonia from one destination to another can be very rewarding in themselves but you need to allow the right amount of time and planning for specific departure times can be crucial.
Getting Swoop Patagonia's help
We extend our Itinerary Planning service to any client booking any part of their trip through Swoop Patagonia. We typically find the best way to do this is:
1. tell us a little about yourself and your plans:
- which regions or activities you're interested in? Or, if you'd like some ideas check out our Patagonia Guide or blog.
- about yourself, what you'd like to do, how much adventure/relaxation are you looking for? Where else have you been? What did you enjoy most?
- when are you travelling? have you got any fixed dates?
2. we'll talk through a few ideas and options over the phone or Skype to get your feedback
3. we'll send a detailed day by day itinerary with recommendations for operators/guides, as well suggestions for where you might consider travelling independently or trekking self-guided