Tag Archives: patagonia


Patagonia—the name sounds mythical, Argentina’s El Dorado or Shambala. South America boasts some of the most dramatic mountain ranges on Earth, and none as impressive as Patagonia. Named for a legendary race of giants, the region has long captivated the hearts and minds of adventurers and travelers.

Willamette International Travel can arrange trips that take you to the center of this gorgeous, natural world. Whether you’re a hardcore adventurer or lover of luxury, we’ll make sure you find your niche. With such a vast expansive of territory and bases to choose from, there’s something for every type of traveler.

Here are just some of sample itineraries available to clients:

Trek the full W Circuit: 12 Days, Santiago to Puerto Natales. Built for physically active travelers (not mountaineers), this trip will take you through the magnificent Torres del Paine. Head out with specially trained leaders and camp out in the wild heart of Argentina. Visit the the French Valley and Grey Glacier around the famed W Circuit.

photo by Phil Whitehouse

Chilean Adventure: 8 Days, Santiago to Buenos Aires. Combine rich wineries of Santiago and the pristine beauty of Patagonia on this amazing tour. Hike through Chile’s Lake District, cleanse your palate at a winery tour, embark on a trek to Osorno Volcano and Petrohue Falls—all against the backdrop of the incredible Patagonia range. This trip balances wilderness and comfort, with full transfers, private van, short flights, and an experienced guide.

photo by pclw

The Best of Patagonia: 11 Days, Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires. Capture the best of Patagonia with this comfortable and exciting tour. See Patagonia at its most wild and untamed, while enjoying the comforts of a planned itinerary, comfortable hotels, and a small group experience. Day hike through Glacier National Park, and view the frozen cascades of Perito Moreno Glacier. Admire the gorgeous views of Laguna de los Tres and Monte Fitz Roy.

photo by Grace Courbis

Puerto Natales in Luxury: 4 Days, Puerto Natales. Want to enjoy the vistas without too much activity? Book a trip to Puerto Natales, gateway to the spectacular Torres del Paine National Park. Just three hours from Puna Arenas, this town has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1978. Stay at a hacienda-inspired countryside hotel and admire the natural beauty of the Balmaceda Glacier, Ultima Esperanza Bay, and the Paine mountain range. Venture out from your lodge and horseback ride through valleys, ride a boat up to the nose of glaicers, or day hike up into the world.

Our agents would love to share their expertise in travel and South America with you. Call us at 800-821-0401 or email info@wittravel.com for more information.

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Filed under Argentina, Chile, News, South America, Top Experiences In..., Travel by Backpack

Argentina – Adventures

Argentina is a vast country that has much to offer, if you are a resourceful traveler. From towering peaks and rolling vineyards to frosty sailings, there seems to be no end to the adventures to be had. Here are some terrific opportunities that you may consider on your Argentina trip. The best part is—you don’t need to be an expert or an Olympic athlete to take advantage of the natural beauty and fun activities all across the country!

photo by Miguel Vieira

Take a Catamaran along the Beagle Channel

Take a catamaran tour from Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel. Experience the frozen beauty of the southernmost tip of the Americas, and glimpse a world of wildlife and glaciers. Float by small islands and coastal scenery, and keep your eyes peeled for seals, sea lions, and coastal birds. Admire the photo opportunities of Bird Island and Seal Island, before making your way over to the 74-foot Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse.

photo by Phillip Capper

Ride up to the Andes

Experience the best of the Andes along part of the Pan-American Highway. Walk in the footsteps of Charles Darwin for some incredible vistas! A well-qualified guide will take you to the panoramas circling the highest mountain of the Americas—Aconcagua. Stop at various cultural sites along the way including Puente del Inca rock bridge and Las Cuevas. Chat with the locals in the high alpine villages of Potrerillos and Uspallata, and scan the archaeological remains at Picheuta.

Paraglide over Mendoza

In Mendoza and had your satisfying fill of Argentine wine? Clear your head and pump up your adrenaline with a paragliding excursion! With spectacular, unforgettable views of the city and the surrounding Andes, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Jump off the summit of Cerro Arco with an expert and let yourself soar like an eagle!

photo by Alex Proimos

Socialize with Gauchos

Experience Argentine culture at its heart—with local gauchos (cowboys). You’ll ride through the plans to a ranch and be welcomed by a reception at a pub with—what else?—empanadas and wine. Indulge in some traditional, succulent BBQ with locally brewed maté.

Enjoy the history of Santa Susana town and its museum and church, go on a horse-drawn carriage ride or horseback ride. During lunch, enjoy the lively tango and folk show, then the boleadoras, a performance of throwing weapons used by gauchos. Engage in the cowboy spirit while watching typical gaucho games of the ring race, animal herding, and the cuadreras race (a 400-meter horse race).

Ride a boat across the Rio de la Plata

Take a ferry from the Rio de la Plata into Uruguay. Enjoy a walking tour of the city of Colonia del Sacramento, a historic Uruguayan town just minutes away from Buenos Aires. Discover UNESCO World-Heritage architecture and enjoy a delicious lunch at your leisure. Wander around the historic quarter and take in the Portuguese-influenced city gate, drawbridge, lighthouse, basilica, and convent ruins.

photo by flopisubmarina

River Raft in Mendoza

Hop aboard with your fellow passengers and expert guide, and start paddling! Our preferred vendors offer a day rafting in Mendoza! Create a memorable excursion that will take you through the countryside of Mendoza to the town of Cordillerano de Potrerillos. With a professional guide, participate in this sport guaranteed to get your heart pumping, and learn to navigate level 3 and 4 rapids. Take home some unforgettable memories of racing through the Argentine torrent!

Teo Romera

Admire the Fuegian Lakes

Don’t have time for a full-length tour of Patagonia? Opt for a full-day tour to Lake Escondido and Lake Fagnano and uncover the stunning mountains and valleys of Patagonia. With a local guide and roundtrip transportation included, embark on a wild journey into the heart of the Fuegian region. Cross the rustic Garibaldi Pass, admire the curve of the gorgeous Andes, and delve into the local immigrant history. Your trip will conclude in Las Cotorras Valley, where you’ll indulge in a traditional lamb barbecue!

Willamette Intl Travel can arrange these trips and more well before your trip begins! Ask us about more opportunities abroad. Call us at 503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com.


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Welcome to a Month of… Argentina!

For the next few weeks, the Willamette International Blog will be focusing on one of our favorite countries in South America: Argentina. Much more than just a country of gauchos, beef, nostalgic sophistication, and wine country, Argentina is currently enjoying a booming tourist industry while keeping its cultural identity first and foremost. For this reason, many travelers are turning their attention to the nation of tango for a unique and treasured delight.

Today, let’s look at some of the highlights of a trip to Argentina:

Trek Patagonia. There are numerous trips that trek around the gorgeous mountain range of Patagonia. Trek through the Torres del Paine, the French Valley, the W trek, and the stunning, cracking Perito Moreno Glacier. Want to embark on a 2-week camping trip? Or do you prefer to stay in hotels between legs? Our vendors will accommodate you depending on your preferences and style of travel.

Visit Iguassu Falls. As mentioned in a previous post, Iguassu Falls is a stunning experience not to be missed on your trip to Argentina. Behold one of the fantastic natural wonders of the world. Ride on a speedboat across the falls from below and climb up to the hilltops to gaze on them from above.

Watch Live Tango.  Head over to the bohemian district of San Telmo in Buenos Aires to watch some local tango. Enjoy some fine Mendoza wine from a table of a milonga, or tango salon. Events are nightly, professionals and amateurs alike join in a social ritual that frames the Argentinian heritage. The experience is moving, dynamic, and enhanting—and is a great authentic highlight. If you’re brave, there are ample opportunities to join in or take lessons.

Pilgrimage to Gaiman. One of the few surviving Welsh colonies, Gaiman is a bubble of Welsh culture and history along the Chubut River. Drink tea with the descendants, walk around Welsh-style houses, and peek into the Museo Historico Regional and at its bilingual documents (Welsh-Spanish).

Visit the End of the World. Conclude your amazing trip to Argentina in Ushuaia, the tip of the world. Trek through the cold, dramatic beauty of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Enjoy the rugged glacier peaks and the colorful port town that once was a missionary outpost and then a prison.

Ride a Funicular in Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a charming, picturesque town by the sea. Wander through the labyrinthine streets, enjoy the pastel colors of the houses, and visit Pablo Neruda’s home.

Cruise to Chile. Cruise down the Chilean fjords with one of our tours. You can go for the day or spend more time in the rainforest and mountain beauties of Chile. Pass languidly by fishing settlements and amazing glaciers.

Glimpse Penguins in Punta Tumbo. Witness thousands of penguins on the beaches. Visit during nesting season to see the eggs hatch all over the place into tiny fluffy heads!

Horseback Ride in Salta. Head over to Salta, a bit off the beaten track. Visit the Canoa de Quebrada for the unusual rock formations and try red wine ice cream at Cafayate. This region is also famous for its pink sand, cacti, and a white wine called Torrontes.

Travel the Wine Roads of Mendoza.  Drive through the rustic roads of Mendoza and visit wineries. Nearly 80 wineries offer formal tours and tastings.

Ride a Train through the Clouds. The Tren a las Nubes will take you 434 km (269 mi) through tunnels, turns, bridges, and a viaduct. Cross the multicolored Lerma valley through the deep canyons of the Quebrada del Toro and the desert plateau of La Puna.

Several of our Agents have traveled and loved Argentina. Call us at 800.821.0401 or email info@wittravel.com for more details.

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Filed under Argentina, Features, South America