Before You Go
Patagonia Wildlife Safari
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips on the water, and sometimes the weather. Please refer to your confirmation letter for the exact dates of your trip.
|MEETING PLACE:||Chile: Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales (airport or hotel)|
Argentina: El Calafate (hotel or bus station)
|MEETING TIME:||Punta Arenas: 9-11 AM or 3 PM|
Puerto Natales: 2:30 PM or 6 PM
El Calafate: 6:45-7:15 AM
|RETURN TIME:||Punta Arenas: 1:30 PM for flights after 3 PM|
Puerto Natales: 10:30 AM for flights after 12:00 PM
El Calafate: 2:30 PM (drop-off at bus station or hotel)
|TREKKING MILES:||Varies depending on selected hikes|
|TRIP LENGTH:||4-7 days|
An OARS representative will pick you up from either your hotel or the airport in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales.
For guests coming from Punta Arenas, we’ll stop in Puerto Natales, a small town on the shores of “Seno de Ultima Esperanza,” to enjoy a hearty local lunch.
The day ends with our arrival and overnight stay at our basecamp, nestled in the heart of Torres del Paine National Park, with a prime view of the majestic Torres.
Days 2 – 6
Refer to the trip page for a more detailed sample itinerary.
The Last Day of Your Trip
After another hearty breakfast, we’ll take a scenic ride back to Puerto Natales and on to Punta Arenas. The included transfer arrives at the Punta Arenas Airport at approximately 1:30 PM, in time to catch flights departing after 3 PM.
An early transfer service is available for an additional cost if you must catch an earlier flight (more details are below in the Travel Arrangements section, or ask your OARS adventure consultant for details).
Included in Your Trip Cost
- Skilled, professional guide service provided by our affiliate operator
- 3-6 nights accommodation at basecamp (based on double occupancy)
- Roundtrip ground transport between Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, or El Calafate (Argentina) to Torres del Paine National Park
- All meals from lunch on day 1 through breakfast on final day (and limited beverages offered with meals at basecamp)
- Activities as outlined in the itinerary
- Daily yoga while staying at the basecamp
- Entry fee for Torres del Paine National Park
- 27-oz Klean Kanteen water bottle
Not Included in Your Trip Cost
- Round-trip international and domestic (in Argentina & Chile) flights
- Pre- and post-trip accommodation and meals
- Single supplement fee (for single occupancy of a dome at the basecamp)
- Ground transport service outside of scheduled times (final day’s early transfer from the basecamp is available), private transfers, or transportation between the El Calafate bus station and the airport (additional fee)
- Any beverages not included with each meal at basecamp or from the bar at basecamp. Non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase from the bar at the basecamp.
- Trekking poles (wooden walking sticks are available at camp upon request)
- Insurance of any kind, including a travel protection plan or mandatory emergency medical & evacuation coverage
☐ Purchase Travel Protection: In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can learn more about the plan we highly recommend and get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0.
Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
☐ Trip Forms: Each participant will need to complete the required trip forms within two weeks of making a booking. Refer to your confirmation email for the link to the online forms. If you prefer to fill out paper forms, please let us know right away. If you are reserving within 90 days of departure, your forms must be completed immediately to ensure we can properly plan for your trip.
☐ Reserve flights, shuttles, and lodging: Verify with your adventure consultant that your trip has met minimum numbers prior to booking flights and/or reserving overnight lodging for the night before and after your trip, if applicable. It is important to make reservations early as rooms may be limited during peak travel periods.
☐ Whitewater Orientation: To increase your safety, we expect everyone to watch our Whitewater Orientation video before joining us.
☐ Physical Requirements: Your outdoor adventure will be an active participatory trip. Please inform us of any physical limitations you may have as soon as possible. If you exceed 260 pounds, please give us a call. Make sure you are exercising frequently in the months leading up to your trip and can meet our Essential Eligibility Criteria.
☐ Payments: Final payment is due in our office 90 days prior to your trip (refer to your invoice for final payment date). Please let us know if you would like us to automatically charge your credit card on file when final payment is due.
Travelers’ Responsibility Code
1. Read the pre-trip literature and arrive at the meeting place on time.
2. Understand the risks: your safety is ultimately your responsibility.
3. Treat your fellow guests and guides with respect and courtesy; harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.
4. Wear clothing and personal protective equipment suitable for the current conditions.
5. Listen to and follow the guides’ instructions.
6. Abide by the managing agency’s rules.
7. No drugs or alcohol during the day; alcohol is allowed in moderation in the evening.
8. Minimize your impact on the environment.
9. Your children are your responsibility!
Essential Travel Documents
U.S. citizens entering Chile must have a passport in good condition, valid for the period of their stay. If you hold a passport from another country, it is your responsibility to check with your embassy for entry requirements and details. If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement.
U.S. citizens do not need a visa for Chile or Argentina for stays less than 90 days. For citizens of other countries, please check with the Chilean and/or Argentinian consulate.
A Tourist Card (Tarjeta Unica Migratoria) will be issued for a stay of up to 90 days in Chile and in Argentina. The Tourist Card must be surrendered upon departure. Failure to submit this card upon departure may result in delays until a replacement is obtained. If lost or stolen, the Tourist Card must be replaced by Chile’s International Police (website is in Spanish only) at their nearest headquarters or the international airport prior to departure.
Traveling With A Minor
Chile has strict requirements for the entry/exit of minors under the age of 18. Even when the minor is traveling with both parents, the parents will be required to show evidence of their relationship to the child when departing the country. Please carry an original birth certificate or a certified copy of the original. A minor entering Chile as a tourist will generally not be required to present a written notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent(s) at the time of departure if the minor leaves with the same adult companion with whom the minor entered Chile. However, we recommend traveling with a written notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent in order to avoid misunderstandings and ensure a smooth exit out of the country. More information can be found on the U.S. State Dept. website.
MEETING PLACE & TIME
Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, Chile
Puerto Natales and Punta Arenas are two gateways to Chilean Patagonia and Torres del Paine Nat’l Park. Starting and ending your trip from Puerto Natales is convenient since it is a shorter 2-hour drive to Torres del Paine. The airport in Puerto Natales is Teniente Julio Gallardo Airport (PNT), but there are fewer daily flights compared to Punta Arenas.
There are more daily flight options into Punta Arenas’ airport, Presidente Carlos Ibáñez International Airport (PUQ). The transfer between Punta Arenas and Torres del Paine is approximately five hours.
We recommend you arrive one day early, overnight in Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales, and we’ll provide your pick-up from any hotel the morning of itinerary day 1. Pick-ups from hotels in Punta Arenas start as early as 9 AM and are as late as 11 AM, and the pick-ups in Puerto Natales are around 12:30 PM.
From Puerto Natales (day 1): If you intend to transfer to the base camp the same day your flight arrives, you’ll want to arrive by 2:30 PM to meet your transfer driver. Preferably, arrive a day early, overnight in Puerto Natales, and be picked up from your hotel the afternoon of itinerary day 1.
For your return to Puerto Natales (final day): If flying the same day, choose a flight departing after 12 PM (the transfer arrives at the Puerto Natales airport at approximately 10:30 AM). Earlier transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. If you plan to overnight in Puerto Natales, the included transfer will return you to any hotel at approximately 10:30 AM and you can depart anytime the following day.
From the airport in Punta Arenas (day 1): If you intend to transfer to the basecamp the same day your flight arrives, you’ll need to arrive before 11 AM if you intend to take the early transfer (departs PUQ at 11:30 AM) or before 3 PM if you intend to take the late transfer (departs PUQ at 3:30 PM). Preferably, arrive a day early, overnight in Punta Arenas, and be picked up from your hotel the morning of itinerary day 1.
For flights arriving before 9 AM, you can wait in the airport cafeteria/coffee shop, as the transfer driver arrives around 9 AM – look for the driver in the arrivals area. For flights arriving after 9 AM, the driver will meet you in the arrivals area. The vehicle will depart based on the arrival time of all guests.
For your return to Punta Arenas (final day): If you intend to use the included transfer and fly the same day, you’ll need to arrange a flight out of Punta Arenas after 3 PM (transport arrives at the airport at approximately 1:30 PM). Earlier transfers can be arranged at an additional cost. If you plan to overnight in Punta Arenas, the included transfer will return you to any hotel at approximately 2 PM and you can depart anytime the following day.
El Calafate, Argentina
Torres Del Paine can easily be combined with a visit to Argentina due to the proximity to El Calafate and Argentina’s Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Bus and shuttle transport options are available between El Calafate and the EcoCamp in Torres del Paine.
From El Calafate (day 1): After an overnight in El Calafate (your own arrangements), a shuttle will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the El Calafate bus station to board the public bus to Puerto Natales for a five-hour ride. A shuttle will meet you at the bus station and take you to the EcoCamp office where you will have some time for lunch in Puerto Natales. A shared, two-hour shuttle will transport you to Torres del Paine to arrive for dinner at the EcoCamp.
For your return to El Calafate (final day): Depart EcoCamp between 5:30 -6:00 AM on a shared shuttle to Puerto Natales. Board the public bus for a five-hour ride to El Calafate, arriving approximately at 2:30 PM. A shared shuttle will take you to your hotel in El Calafate. A separate transfer to the El Calafate airport can be arranged for an additional cost.
Airfare is not included in the trip price and must be arranged independently. LATAM, Sky, and Jetsmart Airlines each offer domestic service into Punta Arenas (PUQ); flights into Puerto Natales (PNT) are limited and not offered every day.
Let us know if you’d like assistance with arranging your international flight logistics. Our partners at Exito Travel specialize in international destinations and we’d be happy to obtain a quote from them on your behalf.
If you are delayed, catching up can be not only inconvenient but very costly. Remember, a full coverage travel insurance policy (as opposed to the minimum required medical evacuation insurance) may cover additional expenses due to travel delays.
During the summer months in Chile (northern hemisphere winter months) the time is 2 hours ahead of the U.S. East Coast and 5 hours ahead of the West Coast. (UTC/GMT -3 hours).
The Chilean Peso ($CLP) has common banknotes of $500, $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, $20,000, and coins of $1, $5, $10, $50, $100, and $500. For incidental expenses and purchases, it’s best to carry local currency, as U.S. dollars aren’t always accepted by merchants.
U.S. dollars and credit cards are accepted at the base camp for purchases at the bar, the souvenir shop, and gratuities. However, the location is remote, and at times credit payment payments aren’t able to process, so it’s a good idea to have cash available.
Chile is not inexpensive and most things are similarly priced to the U.S. ATMs are available at the airport in Santiago, Punta Arenas, and Puerto Natales – and in these towns, too. We recommend taking a small amount of cash into Torres del Paine to pay for drinks at the camp’s bar, souvenirs in the shop, tips for guides and staff, etc. Your last chance to use an ATM is in Puerto Natales.
Credit cards are widely used and accepted. The most commonly accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, and Diners Club. In medium-sized to large businesses, American Express is also honored. Exchange rates for credit cards are very convenient but check with your bank regarding foreign transaction fees. Some small, rural towns function solely on a cash-only basis, so have cash handy.
Health & Medical Info
Currently, if you fly direct between North America and Chile, no vaccinations are required. However, regulations and recommendations change frequently, so please check with the Centers for Disease Control for up-to-date information.
If you are taking any prescription drugs, be certain that you bring a sufficient supply to last through the trip. Do not pack these medications in your checked luggage. You will not find common American drugs in Chile.
The trip leader is responsible for the safety of all trip members, and he or she may evacuate or disqualify a trip member in the field if anyone’s safety is jeopardized. No refunds are given if a trip member has to leave the trip. Please be aware that hospital facilities for serious medical problems may at times be a long way away, that a doctor may not always be available, and that evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive.
Guides will carry a basic first-aid kit for emergencies, but you must bring your own personal first-aid supplies. Please discuss this matter with your doctor, as well as medications you should bring with you, such as antibiotics, painkillers, allergy medicine (EpiPens for allergic reactions to bee stings), etc.
If you require the use of a CPAP machine and intend to bring one with you, be sure to alert your OARS Adventure Consultant prior to your trip to let us know the dimensions of the machine, description of battery(s), and any protective case(s). Travel-sized CPAPs are readily available and often come with a battery kit. You must assess the power needs of your CPAP and bring the battery(s) needed to operate it for each night of your travels. We’re typically able to accommodate the transportation of your machine and accessories on the trip; however, please understand that despite efforts to protect your equipment we can’t guarantee your machine and accessories won’t suffer water or impact damage and therefore we recommend additional protective case(s) for your machine & accessories.
We need to know as soon as possible about any dietary restrictions we must consider in planning your trip. If you have food allergies or restrictions, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Beyond our standard menu, we can provide options for vegetarian, vegan, and many allergy-restricted diets. However, we cannot always provide the same diversity or sophistication for restricted diets as we do for our regular menu. Similarly, certain allergen-free snack foods are difficult or impossible to source in our location, so feel free to bring your own favorite snacks to supplement our provisions.
We cannot guarantee that cross-contamination from allergens will not occur during meal prep, and reserve the right to refuse service to anyone as it relates to safety, including the potential for a medical emergency caused by a severe food allergy. Also, due to the constraints of cooking for a large group in a wilderness setting, the availability of ingredients or specialty items in remote locations, and limited packing space, we are unable to cater to dietary preferences (likes or dislikes).
Tap water in camp is fine to drink and while trekking there are many clean water sources from which to fill your water bottle – your guide will indicate what sources are safe to drink from. The guides do not carry water filters, as locals consider the water clean from the source. However, because unfiltered water may cause gastrointestinal issues, consider bringing a filter, a water bottle that has a filter built-in to it, or purification tablets.
An aperitif is included each evening at the basecamp, along with a limited amount of wine with dinner. Drinks from the bar are not included – this consists of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. Purchases from the bar can be paid in cash (local Chilean Pesos) or by credit card (subject to inconsistent availability).
Toilets & BATHING
The basecamp offers shared community bathrooms for Standard Domes and private en suite bathrooms for Superior and Suite Domes. Toilets are composting pit toilets and all facilities provide hot water for showers.
Along the trail during the day, there are no toilet facilities. The common method is to dig a “cat hole” and cover it up. Therefore, you’ll want to carry a small amount of toilet paper with you. Carrying out used toilet paper is appreciated, and you will need to use a small paper or plastic bag (like those provided with your packed lunch) to carry it.
The Suite Domes, Superior Domes, and Community Domes have plug outlets for charging camera batteries, etc. Standard Domes do not. Hair dryers, electric razors, etc. are not permitted due to the large amount of electricity they consume.
Chile and Argentina are on a 220V AC system. If you plan to use a device that requires 110-120V, you may need a power converter. The outlets at the base camp are Type L. Electrical outlets around Chile and Argentina may vary between type L, C, and I; therefore, it’s likely your devices will require an adapter. We suggest you plan for each type of outlet and travel with a universal adapter.
Bringing the right camera equipment and film will determine the quality of your photographs. If you are an avid photographer, we recommend bringing a good digital or 35mm SLR camera to be used on land.
Electronics & Technology
The use of electronic devices, especially music players and flying drones, on your trip may represent an intrusion into the wilderness experience of your fellow guests. We ask that you please be mindful of the impacts on others and respect the wilderness nature of the trip.
Many of our guests travel with their smartphones even though there is no cell service. On a trip like this, there is always the risk of damage to smartphones and other electronic devices, even when they are stowed safely. If you intend to take your phone with you, consider investing in a small protective case.
The internet at our base camp is for emergencies only, but you’re welcome to use the internet at the nearby Welcome Center or the Hosteria las Torres, both a short walk away. Both locations charge an access fee. You can use the telephone at the base camp in case of an emergency. There is no cell phone reception.
If you want to call home from Chile, simply dial your home country’s international code plus the number you’re calling.
We recommend checking one week before your trip for an up-to-date weather forecast in Torres del Paine Nat’l Park. Being properly prepared for weather variations is an important factor in fully enjoying your trip.
|Air (High) °F||Air (Low) °F|
The vast unbroken stretch of ocean to the west and south of the South American continent leaves the Patagonian Andes very exposed to the saturated winds that circle the Antarctic landmass. Also, the influence of the strong marine currents and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field make the weather hard to predict.
In Torres del Paine in spring or early summer, fine weather may deteriorate almost without warning, bringing rain and possibly snow. Even in summer (December to March), you should come prepared for cold, strong winds (up to 130 km/hr) and rainfall. The summer’s average temperature is 52ºF (11ºC) (max: 75ºF/24ºC, min: 35ºF/2ºC).
Rest assured, however, that just as quickly as the weather turns nasty, it can become pleasantly warm! Night-time temperatures will most likely range from 20ºF to 30ºF to (–5°C to -1°C), depending on the weather.
We want you to be prepared and comfortable for your trip. Below you’ll find some general tips for how to dress and what to pack and a comprehensive packing checklist. The need for warm weather or cold weather items should be based on a reliable weather forecast leading up to your trip.
Clothing for physical activity should be quick-drying and made of synthetics or merino wool. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives of this outline. Weather conditions can vary considerably. It’s important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner base layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.
Start with long underwear and layer up with items like fleece, sweater, and rain gear. These additional layers can be subtracted depending on the weather and temperature.
This is where the rubber meets the road – take care in your choice. Sturdy, properly fitting footwear can make your trip much more enjoyable. If you’re buying new boots for this trip, be sure to break them in beforehand by wearing them as often as possible before your departure.
We recommend medium-weight, waterproof, sturdy trekking boots with a padded ankle, good arch support, and a lug sole traction. Your trekking boots should be well broken in, and suitable for prolonged walking on sandy and rocky terrain. Running shoes are NOT appropriate for this trip.
There are footbridges across all significant waterways, so you can typically expect not to have to submerge your feet when crossing waterways. However, heavy rains can cause smaller waterways (without a bridge) to run high, forcing trekkers to walk through water. For this reason, we suggest you bring a lightweight pair of sandals.
During the day—Ball caps are nice to protect you from the sun, but the wind can be a factor so you’ll want to bring a securing strap.
In camp—After a long day of activities, you will want to refresh and change into clean, comfortable clothing. You will want to have something dry and warm such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, and fleece. When the weather is cold, you’ll want a beanie-style hat to wear at camp. They are the perfect remedy for bed-head as you rise from your bed to secure your morning cup of coffee or tea, or for retaining warmth in the evening hours after the sun sets.
To Avoid Being Cold
Synthetic or Merino wool long underwear is a must-have. It can be worn under shorts, rain gear, T-shirts, etc., then stripped off when the chill of the morning has worn off. It keeps you warm even if it’s wet (which can happen), dries quickly and it’s compact enough to be stuffed into your daypack after you take it off. It can be layered under your rain jacket and pants. Be aware that cotton items do not insulate when wet; only synthetic and wool materials will keep you warm when wet.
Something warm for your top & bottom: Although the weather will probably be pleasant, you need to be prepared for inclement weather. Bring a good insulated or fleece top and bottom, along with a warm hat and gloves.
Rain gear is one of the essential items that all passengers should have no matter what time of year they are traveling. Look for a jacket and pants that are 100% waterproof, not just water resistant. A hooded jacket is recommended as well as good secure closures around your head, neck, wrists, and ankles.
Rain gear may be used in camp and on excursions. Ponchos are OK but tend to be clumsy and not adequate. It is important to have high-quality rain pants so the water does not run down your rain jacket and soak your pants.
Protecting yourself from the sun should be taken very seriously! In many cases, a long-sleeve shirt is the best method for preventing sunburn on your upper body. Lightweight long pants may also be appropriate to protect your legs. A hat, sunscreen, lip balm, and sunglasses are also a must.
A good headlamp is a valuable tool because it leaves your hands free. One can be helpful for evening visits to the toilet. There are excellent, moderately priced models available.
Bugs & Mosquitoes
Bugs and mosquitoes vary depending on location and time of year. It’s a good idea to come prepared with insect repellent. Long-sleeved shirts and pants may be desirable at times.
Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich-size Ziploc™ bags. These bags can store products during the day while you are on the river. Used pads or tampons can be disposed of in the trash at lunch or at camp. We provide some menstrual products on most trips for emergencies.
Equipment and Personal Items
☐ Backpack (day pack; 20 to 40 liters in capacity is recommended)
☐ Raincover for backpack (or internal bag to keep items dry)
☐ Sturdy water bottle and/or water bladder
☐ Trekking poles (inquire with your airline about travel restrictions)
☐ Headlamp (with batteries)
☐ Lightweight trekking towel and washcloth (Packtowl is a popular brand)
☐ Polarized sunglasses with securing strap (consider bringing a spare)
☐ Toiletries (toothbrush, soap, etc…)
☐ Sunscreen and lip protection: waterproof & SPF 30 or higher
☐ Moisturizing lotion
☐ Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin, eye drops, etc.)
☐ Plastic bags to organize/separate wet or dirty clothing
☐ Sunglasses (with securing strap)
☐ Emergency blanket (ultra-light, ultra-compact)
☐ Spare pair of glasses and/or contacts
☐ Cash for gratuities and souvenirs
☐ Trekking boots – sturdy, waterproof, with good ankle & arch support and lug-sole traction (running shoes are not appropriate for this trip)
☐ Light to medium-weight socks for trekking (merino wool recommended)
☐ Lightweight sandals for in camp and river crossings
☐ Lightweight shoes for in camp and day trips (optional)
☐ Socks for in camp
☐ Gore-Tex (or similar) water/wind-proof parka & waterproof pants
☐ Synthetic (polypro or Capilene) or Merino wool long-sleeve tops: 3 of varying weights
☐ Long-sleeved shirt (quick drying and light-colored to reflect the sun)
☐ Synthetic or merino wool long underwear bottoms: 1-2 pairs, light to mid-weight
☐ Medium to heavy-weight insulated or fleece jacket
☐ T-shirts and/or lightweight quick-dry tops: 2-3
☐ Undergarments: quick-drying
☐ Full-length pants, preferably of quick-drying synthetic fabric
☐ Hiking shorts, preferably of quick-drying synthetic fabric
☐ Pile/fleece pants, ideal for around camp
☐ Warm hat & gloves
☐ Scarf or “buff”
☐ Sun hat (ball cap or full-brimmed)
☐ Camera and accessories
☐ Swiss Army knife
☐ Small bags: stuff sacks, zip locks, or similar for organizing items in your duffel bag and/or luggage
☐ Gaiters (for muddy conditions, to help keep your feet dry and socks clean)
☐ Binoculars: small, lightweight
☐ Pocket-size Spanish-English dictionary
☐ Reading and writing materials
Packing Your Gear
We recommend traveling as light as possible without compromising your preparation for inclement weather and cool temperatures. Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to support personnel. On your international flight you may be allowed two pieces of luggage, but please check your airline for current guidelines—it changes from carrier to carrier.
The items you need to access during the day are carried by you, in a day pack. Items may include a water bottle or hydration bladder, rain gear, extra layers, camera gear, small personal first-aid, sunscreen, glasses, and more.
Each season about two percent of travelers arrive without their belongings. By the time the baggage is located and returned by the airlines, the trip is nearly over. We suggest you pack some warm gear—fleece, waterproof jacket, etc.—into your largest carry-on bag and do not check it. Pack everything else in your travel luggage. If you become separated from your checked luggage, you will have the essential items for your trip.
We recommend that you leave valuables at home. Once you reach the camp we can collect necessary items such as a wallet, passport, and credit cards and safely store them until the end of your stay.
- Find all the gear you need for your trip online in the OARStore and 15% of your purchase helps provide under-resourced youth with outdoor adventure experiences.
- Shop for the latest in top-quality clothing, footwear & outdoor gear at REI.
- Recommended Reading: The Best Patagonia Books to Read Before You Go
If you feel your guides have provided a very special trip for you, you may leave a gratuity with the trip leader to be shared among the staff. During your Patagonia trip, many people will have worked together to make sure your experience was the best it could possibly be. All staff receives fair compensation, and tips are optional. If you wish to show your gratitude by leaving a tip, we recommend the following amounts:
- Lead Guide(s) – between US$75-$125 per person, to be given to your guide directly
- Assistant Guide(s) – between US$40-$75 per person, given to your assistant guide directly
- Camp staff (waiters, chefs, chambermaids, maintenance staff) – between US$50-$75 per person, to be put in the tip box at camp
- Chauffeurs – between US$15-25 per person, given directly to your chauffeur
You’ll need to plan ahead for gratuities and bring cash – either US Dollars or Chilean Pesos.
In reviewing your statement, you’ll note a $1 per person per day donation to Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waterways worldwide. One hundred percent of these funds go directly to worldwide watershed protection, and your contribution is tax-deductible. Please notify our office if you would prefer to delete the donation from your balance.
Reservations and Deposits
A non-refundable deposit is required at the time of reservation based on the following:
|TRIP PRICE||DEPOSIT AMOUNT|
|Less than $2000/person||$500/person|
|$2000 – $3999/person||$800/person|
|$4000 or more/person||$1200/person|
Deposits may be made by check, money order, or Visa/Mastercard (American Express and Discover incur a 3% processing fee). Prices are in US Dollars, and all payments must be made in US Dollars. Payment of the deposit establishes your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions. Individual departures and trip capacity are strictly limited by the managing agency.
Canceling your trip after your deposit is processed will incur cancellation fees because OARS has absorbed costs on your behalf and will turn others away who would like to book the spaces we’re holding for you. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Accounts on which final payment has not been received 80 days before the departure date will be canceled without exception.
Cancellations and Refunds
Your deposit is fully refundable, less a 3% processing fee, for 7 days after you book when you submit a deposit 7 days or more before the final payment due date.
If you must cancel your reservation after the rescission period described above, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the schedule below. We regret we cannot make exceptions to the cancellation policy for any reason, including foul weather, poor air quality, wildfire activity, acts of terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. For these reasons, we strongly urge you to consider purchasing a travel protection plan.
|DATE OF CANCELLATION||CANCELLATION FEE|
|90 or more days before your trip||Deposit/person|
|89 to 45 days before your trip||50% of the trip price/person|
|44 to 0 days before your trip||100% of the trip price/person|
A one-time request to change your departure date is possible if 60 days or more prior to the departure and is subject to any rate change if moving to another season or accommodation type.
OARS International and the outfitter Cascada Expediciones reserve the right to cancel any trip due to insufficient registration or other factors that make the trip impractical to operate. Do not make nonrefundable travel arrangements unless you have spoken to your Adventure Consultant regarding the status of your trip.
If a trip must be canceled or postponed due to force majeure (factors outside the control of OARS), OARS will provide full credit for payments made toward future travel, or a refund less a 5% service fee plus any nonrefundable payments made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers. OARS will make good faith efforts to recover deposits made on your behalf to 3rd-party suppliers, however, we can’t guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made. OARS is not responsible for expenses incurred by participants in preparation for a canceled trip.
Under most circumstances, if you are of an adventurous spirit and in reasonably good health, you should have no problem enjoying an OARS International trip. People with medical conditions, including pregnancy, should have a physician’s approval before taking an adventure travel trip.
Because there are costs that you will incur if you cancel the spaces on this trip that we’re now holding for you, or in the event you need to be evacuated during the trip due to an unforeseen illness or injury, we strongly encourage our guests to purchase an optional travel protection plan. A travel protection plan may help reimburse the cost of your pre-paid, non-refundable payments in the event you are prevented from taking your trip for a covered reason. Trip participants must understand that in the event of an illness or injury on a wilderness trip, evacuation can be prolonged, difficult, and expensive. Learn more about the plan we recommend.
Please note: To be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your initial trip payment and you must be medically fit to travel at the time you pay for the plan.
In order to take part in this trip, each participant must have a minimum of Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage in place for the dates of the trip. This can be purchased as stand-alone coverage, independent of a comprehensive travel protection plan. You can get a quote for this type of policy by entering a Trip Cost amount of $0 when getting a quote.
Please note: By entering a Trip Cost amount of $0, the plan will not include Trip Cancellation coverage and you may not be eligible for Emergency Medical Expense benefits relating to any pre-existing conditions.
Liability Release / Assumption of Risk
Everyone is required to sign a standard liability release/assumption of risk form before the trip, confirming awareness that there are inherent risks associated with the trip. Due to the nature of the activities, a condition of your participation is that you will sign this form and return it to our office before the trip begins. Anyone who refuses to sign the form will not be allowed to participate, and consistent with OARS International’s cancellation policy, there will be no refund of the trip fees at that time.
Responsibility – An Important Notice
O.A.R.S. International, Inc., Cascada Expediciones, and cooperating agencies act only in the capacity of agent for the participants in all matters relating to transportation and/or all other related travel services and assume no responsibility however caused for injury, loss, or damage to person or property in connection with any service, including but not limited to that resulting directly or indirectly from acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, pandemics, strikes, theft, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulations, and discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the participants, including cancellation due to severe weather, insufficient bookings (this trip requires a minimum of 2 guests), and other factors. We may decide, at any time, to exclude any person or group for any reason we feel is related to the safety of our trips. We are experienced in accommodating people with various disabilities. Please give us an opportunity to make you feel welcome. We need to discuss any special requirements ahead of time.
OARS trips occur in areas where unpredictable environmental conditions are to be expected. To moderate dangerous situations for our guests and guides, all travelers must obey the rules and regulations as determined by the managing agencies and the Trip Leader and demonstrate reasonable consideration for other guests and OARS employees. We reserve the right to remove any guest from a trip if, in our opinion, that guest’s actions or behaviors pose a threat to the safety of her/himself or others, or if those actions or behaviors compromise the enjoyment of the trip for others. Should a guest be asked to leave a trip, there will be no refund for the unused portion, nor will OARS be responsible for additional expenses incurred by the guest for accommodations, return transport, change fees, etc. Prices subject to change without notice. OARS is an equal opportunity provider.
Cascada Expediciones, a travel partner of OARS. International, is the operator of this trip. Upon arrival, Cascada Expediciones staff will meet you and escort you throughout the program. These staff members are the very best and will strive to ensure your complete satisfaction.