Patagonia Photo Tour (sold out)
April 23 to May 4, 2017
Visit the photo gallery
If you have a passion for nature photography, and landscapes in particular, Patagonia is beyond compare. The Southern Andes are so spectacular that words just don't even come close. The mountains are so big, and so captivating, that it's hard to stop staring at them. Join Jim and fellow photographer/guide Greg Boratyn for this epic autumn Patagonia workshop to the tip of South America and capture unparalleled beauty. This is a land of stunning jagged peaks, crystal clear lakes, raging waterfalls, and massive blue glaciers, and you will see it during the peak of autumn colors. This is a photographic paradise. The photo tour includes both Argentina and Chile, and in addition to stunning landscapes the bird photography is excellent. Birds like the Andean condor, austral parrot, black-necked swan, and southern caracara are often seen.
There are two hikes on this itinerary that are not difficult but they are long. One is a six-mile hike one way and the other is a 3-mile hike one way. We have plenty of time and no one is in a rush, but we make these treks because at the end of the trails the photography is simply out of this world. The views of the Andes with waterfalls or lakes in the foreground are not to be believed. You have to be in reasonably good physical condition to do this. We will take only what's necessary for good landscape photography, plus some food and water, so our backpacks will be light. It is possible to opt out of these hikes, and if you do this you can photograph the mountains, birds, and macro subjects close by our minibus.
The skies are incredibly clear in the Southern Hemisphere, and this gives us wonderful opportunities to photograph the stars. The Milky Way is stunning, and if you like star trails, we can do that, too. We will have some moonless nights at this time of the month, thus there won't be any light pollution.
Day 1, Sunday, April 23. You arrive in El Calafate, Argentina (airport code FTE) and transfer to the hotel to rest from the long flight. You will probably have to leave your home country on the day or evening before -- on April 22 -- to arrive in El Calafate on the 23rd. Allow at least 4 hours between the flight to Buenos Aires, the main hub in Argentina, and El Calafate. We will meet as a group in the evening to discuss the upcoming trip and answer any questions about photography you may have. This is a good time to make sure your batteries are fully charged, your sensor is free of dust, and your lenses are clean. Overnight Patagonia Queen Hotel, El Calafate.
Day 2, Monday, April 24. One of the most impressive glaciers on the planet is the Perito Moreno Glacier in El Calafate. Seen from any angle it is utterly spectacular. There are many vantage points, and each one yields pictures that are unique. The intense color of the blue ice looks otherworldly against a blue sky, and if it's overcast the intensity of the compacted glacial ice is even more saturated. If we get lucky, we may see some ice calving where huge chunks of ice, some 300 feet high, break off and collapse into the water. The sound is like thunder -- you'd never forget it. We stay until sunset to watch the changing light on the surreal landscape. You can arrange an optional 'walking on the ice' tour for $115 that lasts 3 to 3 1/2 hours where you can see and photograph (and walk into) blue ice caves, and there are places where you can see rivers under the glacier. Overnight Patagonia Queen Hotel, El Calafate.
Days 3 - 6, Tue. - Fri., April 25 - 28. One of the iconic shots of the Southern Andes Mountains is the awesome granite monolith, Fitz Roy (named after Robert FitzRoy, the captain of the HMS Beagle that carried Charles Darwin to South America). Today spend 1/2 day driving to the town of El Chalten which is our base of operations for the next three days. In addition to photographing Fitz Roy at sunrise and sunset, we will also shoot the incredible Capri Lagoon, two dynamic locations in Cerro Torre area (easy 2 to 3 hour hike each way), amazing waterfalls, deep canyons, and beautiful forests with a lot of macro opportunities. Overnight Chalten Suites Hotel or Hotel Cumbers Nevadas (which hotel we use depends on when they close for the winter season).
Days 7 - 10, Sat. - Tue., April 29 - May 2. We leave early this morning for the drive across the mountains (on paved road) to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. It takes much of the day, but it's well worth it because the Chilean side of the Southern Andes is simply spectacular. Right from our hotel you'll have a million dollar view of the famous 'towers', and with a turquoise lake as a foreground, you'll take award winning images. Each sunrise and sunset we will be in a special location to take advantage of the beautiful lighting. One of the great vantage points is Laguna Amarga where the massive peaks are reflected in the surface of the lake. There is a good chance we will see guanacos, gray fox, Andean condors, austral parrots, and more. Overnight Hosteria Pehoe.
Day 11, Wed., May 3. After breakfast we head head back to Argentina, and in the late afternoon we have a critique session where the group can share their pictures and receive constructive comments on them. Overnight Patagonia Queen Hotel, El Calafate.
Day 12, Thu., May 4. After breakfast transfer to the airport for the flight back to Buenos Aires and your onward flight home, knowing that you've taken outstanding images that will make your friends back home green with envy!
Tour cost: $6750. Includes all lodging, all ground transportation beginning April 24, all breakfasts, welcome dinner, farewell dinner, park entrance fees, photo instruction, and critiques.
Single supplement: $1000.
Not included: International and domestic airfare, all lunches, all dinners except the welcome and farewell dinners, alcoholic beverages, visa and/or reciprocity fees for Argentina and Chile, trip insurance, taxi fare from the El Calafate Airport to the hotel on April 23, and items of a personal nature.