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Rockhopper

Parks & Penguins

Featuring
spectacular Patagonia
and The Falkland Islands
"Where Nature Still Reigns"

26 days

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King Penguins


Locally Hosted Independent Tour

Suggested Departure Day:
Friday
October - April

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ITINERARY (Subject to change without notice):

Day 1 - Friday - Depart Miami: Evening departure on overnight flight to Argentina.

Day 2 - Saturday - Arrive Buenos Aires: Morning arrival. Your private car, driver and guide will be waiting to transfer you to the Alvear Palace in fashionable Recoleta for 2 nights with buffet breakfast daily. Day at leisure to explore at your own pace.  This evening you'll enjoy dinner and tango show at the "Esquina Carlos Gardel", the city's best tango house.

Day 3 - Sunday - Buenos Aires: Today you'll spend the day with your private car, driver and guide exploring the main points of interest in Buenos Aires, often called "The Paris of South America. Visit the Plaza de Mayo with the Casa Rosada (equivalent to our White House), the Cabildo and City Hall; drive down the widest avenue on earth, 9 de Julio, past the Obelisk and the famed Opera House. Visit historic San Telmo district with outdoor antique flea market on Sundays, newly renovated Puerto Madero, Palermo Park and historic Recoleta Cemetery. You'll have lunch en route, and perhaps time to explore the street fair at Recoleta. (B/L)

Day 4 - Monday - Buenos Aires - Bariloche: Your private car, driver and guide will transfer to the airport for flight across the Pampas to the edge of the Andes and the summer-winter resort town of Bariloche, on the shores of lake Nahuel Huapi. Upon arrival in Bariloche, your private car, driver and guide will be waiting to meet you and transfer you to the Hotel Llao Llao for two night stay. Accommodations will be in Superior Lake View rooms. (B)

Day 5 - Tuesday - Bariloche: Day at leisure to explore at your own pace. (B)

Day 6 - Wednesday - Bariloche - Peulla: This morning you'll transfer to the marina to begin the "Lake District Crossing" via a series of motorlaunches and motorcoaches. Board your modern motorlaunch and cruise Lake Nahuel Huapi in sight of snow-capped mountains and rich green forests, to Puerto Blest before continuing on across the Lake District via motorcoach and motorlaunch to Peulla. Overnight at Hotel Natura with dinner and breakfast included. (B/D)

Day 7 - Thursday - Peulla - Puerto Varas: Today you will continue on through the scenic Lake District. Board your catamaran at the Peulla pier and cruise Lago Todos Los Santos to Petrohue where your private car, driver and guide will be waiting for you.  Visit the Petrohue Falls and then drive to Puerto Varas for overnight at the Colonos del Sur overlooking Lake Llanquihue. (C)

Day 8 - Friday - Puerto Varas - Punta Arenas: In the morning your private car, driver and guide will transfer you to the airport at Puerto Montt for your flight southbound along the Andes to the southernmost city in Chile, Punta Arenas. Upon arrival, your private car, driver and guide will be waiting to transfer you to the Jose Nogueira Hotel in the heart of town.  This afternoon you'll enjoy a private tour of this historic town including a visit to the outdoor Patagonia Institute museum and the small but excellent Regional Museum. (B)

Day 9 - Saturday - Punta Arenas - Mount Pleasant - Stanley: Morning at leisure to explore Punta Arenas at your own pace.   Your private car, driver and guide will transfer you to the airport to check-in for your short 1 hour 20 minute flight across the tip of South America and the South Atlantic, to Mount Pleasant Airport on East Falkland Island.  After clearing immigrations and customs, your private car and guide will be waiting to transfer you 35 miles to the town of Stanley. En route you'll get your first encounter with the islands - the road is a combination of paved and gravel and the speed limit is only 40 miles per hour. In Stanley, check-in at the Malvina House Hotel for overnight stay.

ABOUT THE MALVINA HOUSE HOTEL: Malvina Felton gave her name to the original Malvina House back in the 1890's. The modern Malvina House, built in the late 1960's, was converted into a hotel in 1983 and has since been extensively renovated. Located on Ross Road, it is within easy walking distance to all points of interest. With 18 rooms, it is the largest of the two hotels in Stanley. All rooms have private bathrooms. There is a bar-lounge and the Conservatory Restaurant provides dining in a relaxing atmosphere of plants and shrubs in the renovated original 19th century conservatory, with full a la carte menu. Because it is THE place to dine in Stanley, reservations are suggested. Make arrangements with the hotel to store your large luggage while you travel in the Islands.

GETTING AROUND THE ISLANDS: FIGAS (Falkland Island Government Air Service) is the way to get around. FIGAS flies Islander aircraft - twin engine 9-seater aircraft with wings above the windows for excellent viewing as you fly at an average altitude of 500 to 1000 feet. There are weight restrictions - you are allowed only 14 kilos (28 pounds) of luggage; if you have more and IF there is weight allowance to carry it, you will be allowed to take it at an overweight charge; if weight allowances do not allow transport, it will be left behind. Therefore, pack to take only 28 pounds with you. You will also be weighed and seats in the aircraft will be assigned based on weight distribution.

In order to know what time your flight leaves and what routing it will take, listen to the radio the evening before. Flight schedules and passengers' names are announced following the news report. Generally flights leave Stanley around 8:30 AM so arrivals and departures at Camp destinations will be based on routing. Generally the hotel or lodge where you are staying will be paying attention to the flight announcements as it is their responsibility not only to pick you up or take you to the airstrip, but also to act as airstrip managers - put up the wind sock, open up the shed with the fire equipment, talk to the pilot on approach, swap paper work with the pilot, receive and deliver the mail for transport, etc.

Day 10 - Sunday - Stanley - Pebble Island: At the appropriate time your private car and guide will pick you up at the Malvina House and transfer you to the Stanley airport for your FIGAS flight to Pebble Island. Upon landing at Pebble Island airstrip, you'll be met by your local hosts from the Pebble Island Lodge and  transferred to the Lodge. This afternoon you'll have your first true Land Rover experience as your local guide takes you through seemingly impossible terrain and along almost invisible tracks to visit wildlife. (B/L/D)

One tradition you need to know right away and are asked to follow everywhere in Camp: be prepared to take your shoes off and leave them at the door; indoors you walk around in socks or slippers but your outdoor shoes stay outside the house. All houses have sun rooms facing north that provide a barrier between the outdoors and the inside and provide a comfortable way for this tradition to be followed.

ABOUT PEBBLE ISLAND: Pebble Island is 25 miles long with large expanses of marshland and inland fresh water ponds with some of the best conditions to view a great variety of fauna. Wild duck, grebe and black-necked swans are easily viewed. Colonies of southern sea lions are often seen along the beaches and rocky coast, as are four types of penguins: Gentoo, Magellanic, Rockhopper and in summer the Macaroni. The island has long sandy beaches, well suited to beach combing. The island is named for the semi-precious stones which are found along its coast - you can walk from one cove to another turning over pebbles, occasionally finding yellow or red stones polished by the endless action of the waves. Just a short walk from the hotel is Elephant Bay, one of the longest white sand beaches in the Islands, which serves as the airstrip during winter.

ABOUT PEBBLE ISLAND HOTEL: The hotel is situated in the settlement of the 22,000 acre farm and was originally the farm manager's house. It has been totally renovated and has 6 twin rooms and 1 single room, each with private bath. There is a large living room with peat burning fireplace and well stocked honesty bar. There is a dining room with meals featuring the fresh produce grown in their own gardens. There is also a gift-shop table with small collection of hats, t-shirts, sweat shirts and other souvenirs.

Day 11 - Monday - Pebble Island: Today you will explore more of the wildlife of the area, once again by 4WD land rover. You may also have time to walk to Elephant Bay or explore the small community. (B/L/D)

Day 12 - Tuesday - Pebble Island - Sea Lion Island: At the appropriate time today, your local hosts at the Pebble Island Lodge will transfer you to the airstrip for the FIGAS flight south to Sea Lion Island where your hosts will meet you at the airstrip and transfer you via short ride to Sea Lion Lodge. Once you are settled in, you will enjoy  an introductory visit of the island to point out areas of interest. In the afternoon you'll have plenty of time to return to the beaches or the inland lagoon for wildlife viewing. (B/L/D)

ABOUT SEA LION ISLAND: Sea Lion is the most isolated of the Falkland's inhabited islands and today boasts a resident population of only two persons but more than forty species of birds, southern elephant seals and southern sea lions. Measuring one mile wide by five miles long, it is a virtually flat island with spectacular beaches and rocky coastline. While it has an interesting human history, wildlife is the highlight. Over forty species of birds visit and nest on the island including one of the rarest birds of prey on earth, the Striated Caracara (called Johnny Rook locally), four species of penguins including Gentoos, Rockhoppers, Magellanic and occasionally the Macaroni; large tussac area with lagoon and many fresh water ponds are home to many small birds and ducks; the beaches are frequented by a variety of ducks, marine birds, the southern elephant seals and south american sea lions; fur and leopard seals can be seen at times and the beaches are patrolled by Orca killer whales. All in all, Sea Lion Island is a spectacular wildlife experience.

ABOUT SEA LION LODGE: Sea Lion Lodge is the only "purpose-built" lodge in the Falklands. Built in 1986, it's one of the world's most southerly hotels and one of the most remote. There are six twin bedded rooms, one double bedded room all with private bath; 2 single rooms share a bathroom. There is a comfortable lounge-TV room with extensive library of reference books and magazines and videos; a well stocked cozy bar-lounge and a dining room. Many wildlife sites are within walking distance and transportation to the far end of the island can be arranged.

Day 13 - Wednesday - Sea Lion Island: Day at leisure to explore the island at your own pace - linger as long as you want or move about at your own pace. Sea Lion Island is sure to delight you with its variety of wildlife within walking distance of the lodge. (B/L/D)

Day 14 - Thursday - Sea Lion Island - Stanley: At the appropriate time your local hosts will transfer you to the airstrip for your return FIGAS flight to Stanley.  Upon arrival, your private car and guide will be waiting to transfer you back to the Malvina House Hotel where you will stay for two nights. This afternoon you'll enjoy a private guided visit to the main points of interest in historic Stanley and make a stop at the small but outstanding Falkland Islands Museum. You'll have time to explore this town at your own pace. (B)

Day 15 - Friday - Stanley: Today you will visit Volunteer Point which boasts a colony of King Penguins and one of Gentoo Penguins with Magellanic penguins in burrows all along the area. Today is the epitome of travel in Camp. The first 30 miles are over all weather roads, and take about one hour. You'll pass stone runs and Mount Tumbledown. Then the road ends and the next 19 miles are by "track" through the countryside - up and down and along seemingly invisible tracks and along beaches, across streams - two hours of amazing travel. Volunteer Point's King Penguins are stately, almost elegant, with their orange muffs, scarf and lipstick. The brown balls of fluff of varying sizes are the babies, juveniles and teenagers and it's difficult to imagine how they grow up to be the aristocratic adults. Plenty of time to observe the King Penguins - they are curious fellows and it would not be unusual for them to saunter up to inspect you. You will also visit the Gentoo colony but today is mostly devoted to the King Penguins and land rover travel in Camp. Box lunch is provided. (B/BL)

Day 16 - Saturday - Stanley - Mount Pleasant - Punta Arenas: Day at leisure until mid-afternoon when your private car and guide will transfer you back to Mount Pleasant airport for departure flight on Lan Chile back to Punta Arenas. The hotel will hold your luggage until you are ready to depart so you'll have time to shop, take the Maritime History trail and explore at your own pace. Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, your private car, driver and guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel, the Jose Nogueira for overnight stay. (B)

Day 17 - Sunday - Punta Arenas - Paine Towers National Park: Morning at leisure to explore Punta Arenas at your own pace.   Early afternoon pick-up at your hotel by the Explora staff and van for five hour drive north to Paine Towers National Park and the Hotel Explora for four night stay. Your accommodations will be in a room with a view to the Torres del Paine and with a Jacuzzi. (B/D)

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NOTE: All meals (1/2 bottle of wine, beer or soft drink included with lunch and dinner) and all excursions are included during your stay. Each evening the guides will meet with you to describe the next day's excursions. They range from half day, easy excursions to full day, difficult excursions and include walks, hikes, treks, horseback riding and motorlaunch excursions. The excursions are designed to give you ample time to explore the beauties of the park.

Hotel Explora operates the same tours all year, subject to weather conditions.

Explora has set entry-exit dates. The program may have to be altered in order to coordinate Explora with the once a week only flights to/from the Falklands.


Day 18 - Monday - Paine Towers National Park: Today enjoy excursions as offered by the Hotel Explora. (B/L/D)

Day 19 - Tuesday - Paine Towers National Park: Once again, enjoy excursions as offered by the hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 20 - Wednesday - Paine Towers National Park: Once again, enjoy excursions as offered by the hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 21 - Thursday - Paine Towers National Park - Parque Nacional Los Glaciares: Morning transfer by Hotel Explora to the Cerro Castillo border crossing with Argentina where the staff from Hotel Los Notros picks you up and transfers you five hours across the Patagonian steppes to the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, an hour outside of Lago Argentino. Your three night stay at Hosteria Los Notros in the park includes all meals and a choice of daily activities. (B/D)

Day 22 - Friday - Parque Nacional Los Glaciares: Today you can choose form activities and excursions as offered by Hosteria Los Notros. (B/L/D)

Day 23 - Saturday - Parque Nacional Los Glaciares: Today you can choose form activities and excursions as offered by Hosteria Los Notros. (B/L/D)

Day 24 - Sunday - Parque Nacional Los Glaciares - Lago Argentino - Buenos Aires: Hosteria Los Notros will transfer you to the airport at Lago Argentino for your flight northbound to Buenos Aires.  Your private car, driver and guide will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel, the Alvear Palace, for overnight stay.  Tonight you may want to treat yourself to dinner at La Bourgogne, the only Relais Gourmand restaurant in all of South America; it's located right in the Alvear.  (B)

Day 25  - Monday - Depart Buenos Aires:   Day at leisure to explore at your own pace.  You can spend the day exploring the boutiques and leather shops along Calle Florida or in the fashionable Recoleta area.   Your room is paid for late check-out so you do not have to rush through the day.   At the appropriate time your private car, driver and guide will pick you up and transfer you to the international airport to check-in for your departure flight.  (B)

Day 26 - Tuesday - Arrive Miami: Morning arrival in Miami and make connections to your home city.

RATES and DETAILS:

SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON: (All rates subject to verification at time of confirmation of space.)
YEAR Single Occupancy Twin Occupancy - P/P Triple Occupancy - P/P
Sep 2011 - Mar 2012 $18,900 to $19,800 $13,900 to $14,600 Request
Sep 2012 - Mar 2013 estimate + 10%
NOTE: Triple rates based on single + twin at Explora en Patagonia & at all hotels in the Falklands except Sea Lion Island.
Plus Air fares and USA Departure Taxes
Rates subject to change without notice
PAYMENTS: By credit card; special form required & must carry Card Holder's signature
Deposit - Per Person 2nd deposit - Per Person Full Payment Due
$1000 in order to confirm To complete 30% deposit upon confirmation of all space 65 days prior departure
CHANGES:
After reservations confirmed If new documents are required
$100 per change $100 per change + $100 re-issue documents

CANCELLATIONS:

Cancelled Between Up to 91 days 89 to 61  days 60 to 31 days 30 to 00 days
Fees Per Person $1000 30% 50% 100%
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Highly reccomended
RATE INCLUDES:
  • Hotel accommodations as detailed, with hotel taxes and service charges
  • Meals as indicated, table d'hôte basis
  • Transfers as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Luggage handling at airports
  • Sightseeing as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • 4-night Hotel Explora en Patagonia program including all transportation from-to Punta Arenas, all meals and excursions, based on using Cordillera Paine room with private jacuzzi and view to Paine Towers
  • 3-night Hotel Los Notros program with all transportation, all meals and excursions, based on using Superior accommodations; upgrade to Deluxe accommodations available on request
RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • Air fares
  • USA and Foreign airport departure taxes
  • Chilean Reciprocity tax
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys (NOTE: Tipping is not customary in the Falklands)
  • Meals not specifically indicated as included
NOTE: Information was last updated January 01, 2012. Information & rates subject to change.

Responsibilities, Terms & Conditions