October 2022 tour, “Patagonian Rail & Cruise.”

Written by Peter Lauffer
November 30, 2022

We got ready for an adventure of a lifetime in Patagonia! Turquoise lagoons surrounded by lofty, granite pillars and only accessed by beautiful hiking trails; Magellanic and king penguins that will keep you entertained with their chatter; tranquil yet magical boat rides through untouched waters; glaciers that tower as high as apartment buildings and calve house-sized bergs into icy waters - no doubt, you’ll have an unforgettable journey in Patagonia!

Our Patagonia Adventure starts at the Alameda Railway Station in Santiago de Chile

Our recent Patagonian Rail & Cruise tour was an incredible experience! We had the chance to explore Santiago and its surroundings before hopping on the Alameda Railway Station. From there, we traveled by train 300km southward to Talca, where we changed to the historical "Ultimo Ramal" for the scenic train journey to Constitucion. It was a journey like no other!

The Autoferro "El Ultimo Carril" in Gonzales Bastias
Inside the "Ultimo Carril" Ferrobus between Talca and Constitucion

Puerto Varas was the start of our fantastic journey south! We traveled the breathtaking "Carretera Austral" using ferries along the way until we reached Yelcho, a little paradise in northern Patagonia with a feel of Switzerland. And if that wasn't enough, the journey to Esquel in Argentina offered an Alpine panorama with high, snowcapped peaks and wild white water rivers!

Ferry on the "Carretera Austral" between Hornopiren and Leptepu
Lake Yelcho from the Yelcho Lodge
Tulip field near Travelin between the Argentine Border and Esquel

Esquel is the home of the iconic “Old Patagonian Express” or “La Trochita,” and it's an experience like no other! Take a ride on the steam train from Esquel to Nahuel Pan, and you'll be taken on a magical journey through one of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of Patagonia. The old railway carriages, pulled by a steam locomotive, offer a unique and unforgettable experience!

The Old Patagonian Express near Nahuel Pan
La Trochita at Esquel Station

The lakes around Bariloche are breathtaking! We couldn't stay there as long as we wanted to, but we made the most of it. Unfortunately, the flight connections between Bariloche and El Calafate are not optimal because Aerolineas Argentinas cut the direct link between the two destinations, which is why we lost a full day in Bariloche. But after an overnight stopover in Buenos Aires, we finally made it to El Calafate. The village has a great blend of Northern European influences, making it an exciting place to visit and explore.

Chairlift to Campanario Hill near Bariloche
View over Lake Nahuel Huapi from Campanario Hill near Bariloche

Get ready for an adventure of a lifetime at the Perito Moreno Glacier! Located only a 2-hour drive away, you'll be able to witness the incredible 40-meter-high Icefall falling into lake Argentino, an unforgettable experience you won't find anywhere else in the world. Make sure to hop on a short cruise along the towering ice masses while you're there; it’s the perfect way to appreciate your visit fully!

Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Perito Moreno Glacier

The Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is just a short trip (4 hours drive) away from El Calafate! It's one of the most beautiful places in Patagonia. We were so lucky with the weather; it was perfect for our short hikes and scenic drives. Planning activities in Torres del Paine can be tricky because of its unpredictable weather.

Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Serrano River and Torres del Paine Mountain Range
Mylodon Caves near Puerto Natales

We had a fantastic time exploring the Mylodón Caves in the morning and then headed to Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas. We started the last part of our incredible journey here: a Australis Cruise around Cape Horn to Ushuaia in Argentina! We could visit the stunning Pia Glacier during the cruise and even land at Cape Horn - an experience I'll never forget!

Stella and Ventus Australis vessels near Pia Glacier
Cruising onboard Stella Australis
Cape Horn

We were excited for the last train ride to the End of the World in Ushuaia! The “Tren del Fin del Mundo” is an old prisoner train, and the surroundings of Ushuaia are stunning. After our last night at the Hotel Cauquenes, we had to say goodbye and continue our journey home.

Tren del Fin del Mundo in Ushuaia
It would be a pleasure to meet you on my Patagonia Tour 2023

Get inspired by some photos of this amazing trip:
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