Epic Patagonia + The Falkland Islands
It boasts glaciers, grasslands, mountains, deserts, sweeping steppes and infinite sky. It inspires and thrills, provokes and calms, challenges and teaches. It is a place, not a country. It is Patagonia – place of raw power, endless possibility, pervasive colour and profound silence – except for the whirling wind-song, that is.
Patagonia, with its tantalizing spirit and larger-than-life landscapes has always pulled dreamers, daredevils and diehard adventurers into its embrace. Maybe you've also heard its silent call, felt its magnetism, yearned to experience its isolation. Well, why resist any longer? Come there with us.
We'll show you iconic National Parks – Torres Del Paine and Los Glaciares – that typify the magnificence of Patagonia. If you feel inclined, hike to a postcard viewpoint of the soaring 'Torres'. Stroll the labyrinthine boardwalks of Los Glaciares and find the face of peerless Perito Merino glacier.
You'll pass through endless steppes, wondering at their enduring character. Guanacos and rheas will strike a pose for you; condors will check you from above.
Midway through our mainland adventure we'll journey eastward to the offshore Falkland Islands. Awaiting you here is a collection of aptly named islands – East, West, Sealion, Bleaker – with stark rolling landscapes, blustery rugged beaches, cosy hospitality and a complicated, contested history. But the islands' star attraction is its penguins. Top ranking goes to the Kings, close relative of Antarctica's Emperors. Imagine being hosted by 1,700 or more of these regal beauties at your own, almost private, reception. While your back is turned Gentoos will scuttle home pretending not to see you and Magellanics will dive into their burrows hoping you don't see them. Too late, got your picture! The Macaronis and Rockhoppers will just plain ignore you.
You'll watch elephant seals and sealions wrangle on the beaches and rollick in the tussock. Prolific birdlife will have you seeking that rare sighting, that magic in-flight photo. And a troll through the Falklands' history will leave you thoughtful.
You could just ponder how much you'd love to visit Patagonia and the Falkland Islands. Or you could come south on Mirrabac's inaugural tour to this fascinating region and live your dream.
30 October - 21 November 2019
Hotels – Lodges – Hosterias
Depart Auckland, New Zealand
*includes return economy airfares Auckland
Depart Australia (Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne)
*includes return economy airfares Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne
*price subject to change due to airfare and exchange rate increases
Punta Arenas – 'Sandy Point', intriguing far-south Chilean city and 'stepping stone' to our great adventure.
Cueva de Milodon – prehistoric home of a giant cave-dwelling sloth.
Torres Del Paine National Park – three iconic granite 'Torres', flanked by the Paine Grande and Los Cuernos, form the spectacular Cordillera del Paine.
Grey Lake and Glacier Grey – glacial lake sporting a huge ice façade on the edge of the vast Southern Patagonia icefield.
El Calafate – pretty lakeside town, tourist mecca of tempting shops and enticing cafés, chocolateria and heladería.
Glaciarium Museum – extensive and illuminating introduction to the world of ice.
Los Glaciares National Park and Perito Moreno Glacier – spellbinding, daunting, mesmerizing…there are not enough superlatives for this wonder in ice.
El Chaltén – charming, rustic Argentinean outpost, Patagonia's hiking capital.
Mt Fitz Roy and Cerro Torres – two of the most rugged and impressive peaks in the Patagonian Andes.
Andean Fauna – soaring condors, skittish guanacos, elusive pumas, fearless foxes, armoured armadillos and numerous others.
Falkland Islands – East, West, big, small, isolated and sparsely populated, the archipelago's islands are some of the world's most fascinating.
Falkland Fauna – sleepy sealions, cantankerous elephant seal, plentiful bird species and, en masse, the ubiquitous penguin.
Penguins – King, Gentoo, Magellanic, Rockhopper and Macaroni all hang out on various Falkland islands.
Stanley – the Falklands' capital and only town, steeped in history and heritage.
Historic Dockyard Museum – fine galleries dedicated to maritime exploration, natural history, the 1982 Falklands War and legendary Antarctic exploration.
Goose Green – site of the first land battle in the 1982 War.
Straddling the lower reaches of both Chile and Argentina, Patagonia shares its southerly latitude with no other landmass – next stop, Antarctica! Of course the dramatic region sports plenty of ice itself. In fact, the vast Southern Patagonian icefield is the world's third largest ice sheet after Antarctica and Greenland. And the Falkland Islands are considered the best place, besides Antarctica, for feeding your penguin fetish. Can you imagine a better 'two-dreams-in-one' opportunity than Mirrabac's small-group Epic Patagonia + Falkland Islands tour? You should grab it now.