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HomeTSC Summer Expedition, 2018

Texas Ski Council Summer Expedition Trip
Patagonia, Chile • October 24-Nov 2, 2018

$2750 All-Inclusive Ground 

per person, double occupancy
Includes domestic air during the trip
Accommodations at superior hotels for 7 nights

16 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 5 dinners

Comprehensive sightseeing as per itinerary below

Airport transfers

Ground transportation to and from all included activities as indicated on itinerary

Tour director throughout

Experienced, English-speaking tour guides

One large checked luggage (44 lbs or less) and one small carry-on

Porterage at hotels and airports 
Single Supplement additional
International Air is available for approx. $2000 (preliminary, for budget purpo
se only)


Optional Pre-Trip excursion to Easter Island
Oct 21-25, 2018
$2600 All-inclusive Package

per person double occupancy.  Air is included
Single supplement additional

Optional Post-Trip extension to
the Wine region of Mendoza, Argentina
Nov 1-4, 2018
$1300 All-inclusive Package

per person double occupancy.  
Single supplement additional


Trip Leader: Thomas Sun

exsocal@gmail.com • 818-259-0129






The Main Tour Itinerary

 

A Bucket-List trip to the land at the end of the Earth, unspoiled by man.

Day 1: Depart USA

 

Today please make your way to the airport to catch your overnight, international flight to Santiago, Chile


 

 Welcome to Santiago, the capital of Chile and the country’s largest city! Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the Santiago’s vibrant city center for your introductory tour of the city.

 

Meals:             Dinner

Hotel:              Atton Vitacura


 

Early this morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas. Considered the “City at the End of the World,” Punta Arenas is the main harbor of the Straits of Magellan.

Estancia Cerro Negro Visit

En route to Torres del Paine National Park, stop at Estancia Cerro Negro. You will be greeted with a welcome drink, your first Pisco Sour, and then learn about the sheep shearing process and see a sheep get sheared. Watch the shepherd dogs of the estancia round up the sheep and learn more about estancia life. Enjoy a BBQ lunch, and then continue on your journey to arrive at your hotel located inside the National Park.

The balance of the day is at your leisure to unpack and relax. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.

 

Meals:             Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel:              Hotel Las Torres Patagonia 


 

Today, enjoy a full-day excursion in Torres Del Paine National Park, one of the most spectacular scenic regions of Patagonia. Featuring cascading waterfalls, roaring creeks, shimmering majestic blue lakes, and jagged spires of mountains, today’s excursion is sure to be a highlight of your trip. Discover the unique fauna which include guanacos, foxes, swans, and many bird species.

 

Choose from two full-day excursions which are approximately 7-10 hours and vary in level of difficulty. Depending on the activity you select, your lunch may be a box lunch created by the chefs at your hotel which will include local Chilean specialties. The two optional excursions below are included in your tour at no additional cost.

 

Optional Full-Day Paine & Glacier Grey – Low/Medium Difficulty – free

This excursion gives guests the fullest introduction to Torres Del Paine National Park in the shortest amount of time. This road trip into the heart of the park features stops at scenic overlooks, short easy hikes to natural landmarks, and a wonderful lake cruise to Grey Glacier.


 

Optional Valle del Frances – Medium Low/Medium High Difficulty – free

Venture into the famous Valle del Frances. After a 45 minute drive from the hotel, board a catamaran and take a short cruise across Lake Pehoe. Disembark and begin your trek, which is relatively flat. Guests have the option of turning back around here, or continuing on upwards to various distances based on the interest of the group.

 

 

Meals:             Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel:              Hotel Las Torres Patagonia 


 

After waking up in Torres Del Paine National Park and enjoying breakfast at the hotel, you will have the choice to relax, take your own independent hike from the hotel, or join an optional tour (additional cost).

 

After enjoying lunch at the hotel, board the motorcoach and cross the border into Argentina. Arrive in El Calafate and enjoy some time in this quaint town with restaurants and shops. Enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant tonight.

 

Meals:             Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel:              Hotel Kosten Aike 


 

Los Glaciares National Park Tour 

Today, enjoy a must-see for all visitors to Argentina: a visit to Perito Moreno Glacier at Los Glaciares National Park. It forms part of the Patagonian Continental Ice Field from which 13 glaciers descend on the Atlantic side to slow into the Viedma and Argentino lakes. The continuous pieces of wall breaking off the glacier will astonish you should you be lucky to see it!

 

 

 There are a series of boardwalks at varying levels that you can walk on to view the glacier from different perspectives. If you opt out of the glacier trekking tour, you will enjoy a delicious lunch at a restaurant inside the park. Afterwards you may sign up for an optional cruise around the glacier.

 

For those who wish to go ice hiking on the glacier, you will break off from the group after entering the National Park and you will follow a separate schedule (see optional tours). You will be provided with a boxed lunch instead of the restaurant lunch. You will conclude your day at the same boardwalks that the rest of the group visited earlier this morning.

 

Return to your hotel and enjoy dinner and a night at leisure at one of the many restaurants or bars that El Calafate has to offer!


 

Return to your hotel and enjoy dinner and a night at leisure at one of the many restaurants or bars that El Calafate has to offer!

 

Meals:             Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel:              Hotel Kosten Aike 


 

Today, fly from El Calafate to Buenos Aires, often referred to as “the Paris of South America.”

 

Recoleta Walking Tour

Enjoy a two-hour walking tour in the posh Recoleta neighborhood where your hotel is located.

 

The rest of the night is at leisure, and you may wish to participate in an optional added dinner for those who are interested in tasting a delicious dinner at one of the very best Italian restaurants in all of Buenos Aires which incorporates Italian dishes with an Argentinean touch.

 

Meals:             Breakfast 

Hotel:              The BRICK by MGallery Collection  

 

Buenos Aires City Tour

Today, see the highlights of Buenos Aires including the widest avenue in the world, the Colon Theatre, the Plaza de Mayo, and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Visit San Telmo, a historical neighborhood and the oldest district of Buenos Aires which is home to many antique stores. Continue to Palermo with its parks and lakes, and finally stop at La Boca, a very colorful neighborhood of painted houses and tango dancing in the streets!

 

This afternoon, relax or select from one of the numerous optional activities available such as a bike tour around the ecological reserve in Buenos Aires, an Argentine wine tasting, an Argentine cooking class, tango lessons, or a tour of the Tigre Delta with a boat excursion.

 

This evening, rejoin the group for an included dinner and tango show at one of the most classic tango clubs in Buenos Aires. Enjoy dinner in a private room at the tango house, and then join other guests for a tango performance open to the public.

 

Meals:             Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel:              The BRICK by MGallery Collection  



 

Today is at leisure. Explore Buenos Aires independently, or select an optional tour for a guided tour of this beautiful city. Later, transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

 

Meals:             Breakfast 

Hotel:              -  

 

Day 10: Arrive in USA

 

Those who are skipping the Mendoza extension will arrive in the USA early this morning.

 

Meals:             - 

Hotel:              -  


Optional Easter Island Pre-Trip Itinerary


A Bucket List Trip to an island in the middle of nowhere, known for its giant stone statues.



Day 1: Depart USA

 

Today, please make your way to the airport to catch your overnight, international flight to Santiago.

 

Meals:             -

Hotel:              -

 

Day 2: Santiago to Easter Island

 

Welcome to Santiago, the capital of Chile and the country’s largest city! Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to the Santiago’s vibrant city center for your introductory tour of the city.

 

Santiago Introductory Tour

Today’s highlights include The Alemeda, or Santiago’s main avenue; the gorgeous Palacio Cousiño which was built by Luis Cousiño for his wife Isidora; the bustling Central Market; and San Cristobal Hill where you can enjoy panoramic views of the city below. To round off your tour, drive through the residential areas of the city to appreciate the local architecture.

 

Head back to the airport late this afternoon for your flight to Easter Island. After arriving late tonight, you will be transferred to your luxury hotel less than 10 minutes from the airport.

 

Meals:             -

Hotel:              Hotel Hanga Roa Ecovillage & Spa

 

Day 3: Easter Island

 

Easter Island Tour

Drive to the south coast and see Ahus Vaihu in the bay of Hanga Te’e and Akahanga where the famous king Hotu Matua is said to have been buried. Proceed to Rano Raraku where there are almost 900 stone statues at the slopes of an extinct volcano/crater lake. Visit on to Ahu Tongariki, the most recent and biggest restoration on Easter Island – over 15 Moais have been restored. See the beach of Anakena and have the opportunity to enjoy the warm waters.

A box lunch will be included today. This evening is at your leisure.


 

Meals:             Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel:              Hotel Hanga Roa Ecovillage & Spa

 

Day 4: Easter Island

 

Easter Island Full-Day Excursion

After breakfast, embark on a full-day excursion. Drive up to the extinct volcano Rano Kau. On the way you will have a view of nearly the entire island and its distinct geological features. Next you will see a ceremonial village called Orongo where the birdman competition took place. See the petroglyphs common within this culture and enjoy the breathtaking views of the three islets: Motu Nui, Motu Iti, and Motu Kao Kao. You will also see some cave paintings and (not restored) pre-Inca artifacts in Ahu Vinapu. After returning to the hotel, the balance of the day is at your leisure.

 

Meals:             Breakfast

Hotel:              Hotel Hanga Roa Ecovillage & Spa

 

Day 5: Easter Island to Santiago

 

This morning and the early afternoon are at leisure. Take this time to rest and relax, or join a short optional excursion from the hotel. Transfer to the airport for your mid-afternoon flight to Santiago where you join the main trip group. Arrive in Santiago after dinner tonight. Tomorrow morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Patagonia.

 

Arrive in Santiago late in the evening of Day 2 on the main itinerary. Join the group for their Day 3 flight to Patagonia.

 

Meals:             Breakfast

Hotel:              Atton Vitacura



Optional Mendoza Post-Trip Itinerary

 

Day 1: Buenos Aires to Mendoza

 

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Mendoza, the land of sunshine and good wine. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour of Mendoza.

 

Mendoza City Tour

Colonized by the Spanish four centuries ago, Mendoza is a green city within a desert. Visit Pedro del Castillo Square, the oldest part of the city, and see the ruins of San Francisco church. Continue down tree-lined streets and cross into the new area of the city. Proceed to the Hill of Glory, a place for a wonderful panoramic area of the city.

 

Enjoy a night at leisure and hopefully sample some local wines!

 

 

Meals:             Breakfast 

Hotel:              Hotel Diplomatic

 

Day 2: Mendoza

 

Wine Tour

After breakfast, visit one of the best wine regions of South America. You will be led by a local wine expert as you visit wineries in either the Maipu or Lujan de Cuyo areas. This is the home of the Malbec grape, a popular red wine. Enjoy a wine tasting session and learn about the production process. Lunch will be included at the winery. After a full-day of winery visits, you will return to your hotel and enjoy a night at leisure.

 

Meals:             Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel:              Hotel Diplomatic

 

Day 3: Depart Mendoza

 

After breakfast, enjoy a morning and early afternoon at leisure. Your flight will likely depart around 5pm. If you would like to join an optional half-day hiking tour, you may do so before departing Mendoza for your evening flight back to the USA via Santiago.

 

Meals:             Breakfast 

Hotel:              -  

 

Day 4: Arrive in USA

 

Very early this morning you will arrive in the USA where you can connect to your home town if applicable.

 

Meals:             -

Hotel:              -  


Optional Tours

 

 

Short Horseback Ride  $40 USD per person

A low difficulty horseback ride appropriate for beginners. This ride will last approximately one hour / 2 miles. 

 

Cerro Paine Horseback Ride  $80 USD per person

This horseback ride follows a steep trail climbing up the western slope of Cerro Paine. This should not be taken by beginner riders. The altitude reaches approximately 5,000 feet and will offer spectacular views and the opportunity to see and hear a variety of birdlife. The ride will last approximately 4 hours / 4 miles.

 

Salto Grande Hike  $45 USD per person

After a forty-five minute drive, reach the National Park’s lake district. Join a local National Park guide and hike on a relatively easy trail for approximately two hours. See some of the park’s astounding highlights including Sendero Mirador Cuernos, Lake Nordenskjold, and Salto Grande, a raging aquamarine cascade that channels water between Lake Nordenskjold and Lake Pehoe. Note that you may experience high winds during this trek! The entire experience should last approximately 4 hours.

 

 

Ice Trekking  $160 USD per person

After arriving in the Los Glaciares National Park, you will separate from the group and board a short boat ride. Disembark the boat and take a short hike to reach the glacier. Spikes will be hooked onto your shoes and you will walk on the Perito Moreno glacier for approximately two hours. A box lunch will be provided and you will also be awarded with a drink at completion of your trek. The maximum age permitted for this tour is 65 and travelers should be physically fit.

 

Perito Moreno Boat Navigation  $45 USD per person

Gain an entirely different perspective of the famed Perito Moreno glacier by viewing it from different angles and getting closer to the glacier! Hopefully you will witness falling pieces.

 

 

Italian Dinner  $110 USD per person

Minimum of 15 travelers required to operate

Enjoy dinner at one of the most famous Italian restaurants in Buenos Aires! You will be transported to this lovely restaurant and back to the hotel after your meal. With a strong Argentine influence, this restaurant incorporates blends of the two commonly found cuisines in this city. You will be served a three-course dinner with a half bottle of wine per person. The tiramisu is reportedly a must! Coffee and soft drink also included.

 

 

Tango Lessons  65 USD per person
Maximum of 35 people at a time

Learn the basic step of the tango! Don’t worry, a welcome drink will be included in the class to help you loosen up. You will enjoy a 90 minute class with a tango instructor.

 

Wine Tasting  $110 per person

Maximum of 35 people at a time

Enjoy an exclusive wine tasting with a sommelier. You will be able to taste representative wines from various regions of Argentina.

 

 

Optional Morning Tours

Bike Tour Around Ecological Reserve  $95 per person

Minimum of 5 travelers required to operate

Take a 1.5 hour bike ride (approximately 6 miles) around an ecological reserve in the heart of Buenos Aires! You will be provided with a bike, helmet, and bottle of water as well as medical assistance insurance.

 

Half-Day Tigre with Cruise  $120 per person

Drive to the northern district and outskirts of the city to get to Tigre, a charming region where many have summer homes. Enjoy a cruise along the innumerable channels of the delta to see hundreds of islands.

 

Optional Afternoon Tours

Argentine Cooking Lessons  $130 per person

Minimum of 15 travelers required to operate

Discover the wonders of Argentine cuisine! Late morning or early this afternoon, you will learn with the guidance of a well-established chef how to make various types of empanadas including a desert version. You will be able to enjoy eating them while accompanying them with Argentinean wines. The class itself will take approximately 2 hours.

 

Day 11: Mendoza

 

Quebrada Del Salto Hike  $110 USD per person

Minimum of 10 travelers required to operate

Depart from your hotel after breakfast for an area called Potrerillos, located about forty-five miles outside Mendoza. Located in the Andes range, the area is surrounded by mountains and local vegetation and is a base for various activities and sports. You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and your hike will take you to a waterfall. The hike will last approximately 2 hours (+/-) depending on the fitness level of the group. Groups larger than 10 people will be divided so that group size will not exceed 10 people. Bottled water and granola bars included. Return to the hotel after the hike and in due time, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight back to the USA.

Hotels

 

Easter Island

Hotel Hanga Roa Ecovillage & Spa

Optional 3-night pre-trip

 

Av. Pont S/N

Isla de Pascua, Chile

Tel: + 56 2 2957 0141

 

This 4- star hotel features natural, earthy rustic décor. The hotel is located in a privileged part of Easter Island on the main promenade of Rapa Nui, close to the center of the island. This will allow you to easily be inserted into the local community and learn more about their customs. You are also located less than 10 minutes away from the airport, allowing for an easy arrival and departure. This hotel is locally categorized as a 5-star property though by US standards it is a 4-star hotel.




 

Santiago

Atton Vitacura

1 night

 

Av. Vitacura 3201 Vitacura

Santiago, Chile

Tel: + 56 2 2944 7800

 

This 4.5 star contemporary and modern hotel is located within the Vitacura. Updated and recently renovated, this hotel is centrally located in the city center with close access to the airport for your brief stay in Santiago. The Citadino Restaurant is close by the lobby and is a spacious, lovely venue to welcome you to South America for your welcome dinner.


 

 

Torres Del Paine Park

2 nights

 

Hotel Las Torres Patagonia

Region of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica

Chile

Tel: + 56 6 1236 0280

 

This 4 star hotel is located inside the park. With an incomparable location by the Ascencio Valley and the famous Paine massif, there are astounding views all around. The hotel is strategically positioned at the “W” and “O” trails, providing wonderful access to trekking routes. The lodge is located on the grounds of the only working ranch in the National Park.


 

El Calafate

2 nights

 

Hotel Kosten Aike

Gdor. Moyano 1243

El Calafate, Santa Cruz, Argentina 9405

Tel: + 54 29 0249 2424

 

A charming 4.5 star small hotel located in the heart of El Calafate. This smaller, quaint hotel property offers a home-like feel and is located only two short blocks from the town center lined with shops and restaurants.


 

 

Buenos Aires

2-nights

The BRICK by MGallery Collection

Posadas 1232

Buenos Aires, Argentina 1011

Tel: + 54 11 4819 1100

 

Located in Recoleta, the most upscale neighborhood of Buenos Aires, this 5-stay luxury property is newly renovated and well located. This neighborhood is filled with greenery, upscale shops, and restaurants.


 

Mendoza

Optional 2-nights Post

Hotel Diplomatic

Avenida Belgrano 1041

Mendoza, Argentina

Tel: + 54 261 405 1900

 

This 5-star hotel is strategically located in the most convenient and valuable par tof the city, with amazing views of the Andes Mountains.





*Price quoted is per person, ground only, double occupancy. Single supplements extra. Does not include airfare or meals other than specified. All details of this trip, including final costs, are subject to change.  DISCLAIMER: Los Amigos is a non-profit organization and our trips are run entirely by volunteer members. Please understand that travel is more complicated today than ever before. Weather factors, airline industry changes, fuel costs, acts of God, business mergers, security threats, health epidemics, and other factors are all outside of our Club's control and may impact this trip itinerary and final costs. Please contact your trip leader for detailed information on our limited refund policy. We encourage everyone signing up for this trip (or any Los Amigos trip) to purchase Travel Insurance.  Los Amigos is not responsible for any loss, injuries or illness incurred on any trip.