Patagonia is five times more breathtaking than any photo shows it to be. At around 3500m high, its highest peaks don’t carry such a grand label when compared to mountains like Denali, Everest or Aconcagua. But Patagonia’s icy towers rise from just below 1000m, often climbing as much as 2500m in sheer vertical height. It takes a few days before you can look at the peaks without having your mind completely vacated by the immense grandeur; The palette of autumn colors you can see in a single Beech tree is more than in most countries’ entire flora; The twilight colors from Alpine glow to soft warm light lasts almost 2 hours in which the peaks are painted in a variety of intense pinks, oranges and reds; The air is crisp and the rivers and lakes are unrealistically clear.
Apart from the obviously amazing landscape, human presence is minimal because Patagonia’s location is it’s best asset. It is situated only a few hundred kilometers from the Antarctic Circle on a part of the South American mainland that is like a narrow peninsula in the frigid southern seas. When you drive between the towns you can drive for 100km and see absolutely nothing more than a few farmsteads. It is great comfort to visit such pristine locations and not see a booming population that you know will inevitably lead to its destruction.
There are three main attractions in the area: namely Torres del Paine NP on the Chilean side and Perito Moreno Glacier and El Chalten on the Argentinian side. C4 Photo Safaris will be visiting all of them on this photo expedition. Both parks are unique, but in both you will find an abundance of ice-strewn turquoise lakes, towering ice-capped peaks, waterfalls and Magellan Beech forests. These are all the elements needed for landscape photography heaven.
We will be visiting in the peak of Autumn to witness one of nature’s most amazing displays of foliage colors. Torres del Paine is a very large park with a great variety of foregrounds from waterfalls to rocky lake shores to dwarf lenga trees all with the dominant black and grey Cuernos del Paine peaks in the background. It too is a favorite amongst wildlife photographers for capturing wild guanacos against the backdrop of alpine peaks.
Perito Moreno is one of the largest glaciers on earth measuring 20+ stories high and 6km wide. It is also one of very few glaciers on earth that are advancing and that is its most attractive aspects. It’s thunderous groaning and cracking can be heard for kilometers away as it moves over the earth below. Every few minutes chunks of ice the size of a bus break off and drop into the water below in an amazing explosion of water and ice.
El Chalten is known as the hiker’s paradise, but it also offers a few more convenient locations to shoot. Its paths are all excellently maintained and there is an amazing variety of lake shores, forests and waterfalls within both driving and walking distance. It’s all dominated by the serrated teeth of the Cerro Torre and the two giant granite monoliths known as mount Fitz Roy and The Poincenot.
From the description you read about Patagonia you quickly realise that it is one of the most wonderful landscape photography destinations in the world and exactly why C4 Photo Safaris has assembled the best landscape photography team to lead you through this wonderland of landscape and nature photography.
Why not experience the Iguazu Falls as an optional extensions.
Being a photographer, Diego will gain the group access to areas not normally visited by regular visitors.
Diego is an active naturalist and professional photographer. After traveling during many years through Latin America and Europe, getting to know each diverse culture and landscape, he finally chose Patagonia as the place where to develop his interests in constant touch with nature. As an enthusiastic member of Aves Argentinas (local partner of BirdLife International), he is co-founder of the El Chaltén Birdwatchers Club and he spends many days in assorted trips in search of birds, all over Argentina and other destinations. The daily practice of mountaineering and photography, frame this concern about conservation with a very deep knowledge of the area. Licensed Trekking Guide and certified Wilderness First Responder, he has developed and he participates on many conservation projects in Santa Cruz Province and in the local community as well. He also teaches bird watching courses all along South Patagonia. Diego has been the co-author of a series of photographic booklets and publications of several Patagonian national parks. Since 1998, Diego lives in El Chaltén, at the foot of Mt. Fitz Roy, leading trekking, birding, and photographic trips all through South Patagonia and Antarctica.
Shem Compion is the founder and owner of C4 Photo Safaris. He uses his intricate knowledge of travel in Africa, its wildlife and fantastic photographic locations to give you the best photographic tour experience you will ever have. Shem grew up roaming the wilds and this interest in Nature led to him studying a National Diploma in Nature conservation and Wildlife Management.View Profile >
Leave your long lens at home: When you photograph with Hougaard it is with a wide-angle lens and a tripod. For here is a young man who will open your eyes to the world of landscape and seascape photography. He got his first camera when he was 19 and it instantly turned his life around. Within a year of shooting as a hobby he had excelled and learned so quickly that he dropped all his previous career plans to pursue a career in nature photography.View Profile >
We start the tour in the town of El Calafate where you will be accommodated in the Hotel Mirador del Lago. You will be met at the Airport and transferred to the hotel by a C4 Photo Safaris representative. El Calafete is the gateway to Patagonia and is a suitable town for you to arrive a few days early if you so wish.
You will leave the Mirador Hotel at 6:30 AM for visiting Los Glaciares National Park (1 hour drive), where we can photograph Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the few glaciers on Earth still advancing. (The Park offers a wide system of boardwalks, trails and balconies from where you can photograph the glacier’s front from different levels. Boat trip along the southern face of the glacier included.
At 12:00 PM drive to Torres del Paine National Park, crossing the border with Chile at Cancha Carrera Pass. After 6 hour drive with stops in route and customs arrive to Torres del Paine. You will be staying at the Hotel Rio Serrano for 4 nights.
Five full days exploring Torres del Paine National Park, visiting Paine Cascades, Laguna Amarga, Lago Grey, Salto Grande and unique opportunities for sunrise and sunset shots of the mountains the views of the “Horns” of Paine from Pehoe lodge are¬ outstanding!
The last 2 nights in this fabulous region will be spent at Lago Grey Lodge, in the southwestern corner of Torres del Paine National Park, where we will shoot pinnacles and peaks that are not seen from other sections of the park, and also photograph new wildlife species, such as Patagonian red foxes, the elusive and endangered huemul or Andean deer, black-chested buzzard-eagles and Magellanic woodpeckers. A boat trip along the Grey Glacier is also included.
Drive to El Chaltén across the Patagonian steppes, with stops along the route for photography (about 8 hour drive). Arrive to our hotel at El Chaltén, a village located at the foot of Mt. Fitz Roy’s Massif. We will have an afternoon shoot in the area, visiting a waterfall surrounded by Patagonian beech forest with vibrant autumn colours. We will be staying at Hotel Destino Sur for 3 nights.
Sunrise shots of Fitz Roy’s Massif and Cerro Torre from the Las Vueltas Canyon and drive to Lago del Desierto, with stops for shooting the vibrant autumn colors around waterfalls, lake Condor and at the foot of the north face of Mt. Fitz Roy.
Last day of photography in the area. Weather permitting, you can hike up to Lake Capri, a small mountain lake where you can photograph Mt. Fitzroy and other peaks reflected on its surface at sunrise. At 5:00 PM drive back to El Calafate. Clients will have the option of doing sunrise hikes to Lago Torre ( 4 hours) or Lago de los Tres (5 hours) for a sunrise or doing a multi-day hike to both the lakes.
Drive to El Calafate, where you will be staying at the Mirador Del Lago hotel for 2 nights. Second visit to Perito Moreno Glacier.
Transfer to the airport to board the flight to Buenos Aires and connect with the international flights home. This is unfortunately the end of the Patagonia C4Photo Tour.
Mirador del Lago Hotel is the option recommended by Tremun Hotels for guests seeking a high level of comfort and culinary excellence with the best views of El Calafate.
Standing in front of the glacier overwhelms the senses and lifts the spirit. It is an incomparable experience that you can’t afford to miss. We want you to witness this natural wonder while enjoying the comfort and warmth that we provide in an unparalleled environment made unique by its location and infrastructure.
Located on Lake Argentino on 2 acres of greenery lined with poplars and only 500 meters from downtown El Calafate, Mirador del Lago Hotel is the perfect starting point for unforgettable excursions. In this unique environment are 68 elegantly appointed rooms with an insurmountable view of the lake and the Andes mountain range. There are two categories of rooms, Economy and Superior. Our Special Suite, an elegant 70 sq. m. suite with high-quality furnishings and a large balcony overlooking the lake, is also available for those discerning guests.