Patagonia Photo Tour
April 12 - 23, 2019
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 for one of the most unique/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 is one hike on this itinerary that is a 3-mile hike one way. The first mile is steep, and the rest of the way is fairly level. The path is worn and easy to negotiate, and we have plenty of time and no one is in a rush. Jim has included this in the itinerary because at the end of the trail the photography is simply out of this world. The views of Fitz Roy with a waterfall in the foreground is 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 this hike, and if you do that you can photograph the mountains, birds, and macro subjects close by our minibus.
The skies are incredibly clear in the Southern Hemisphere, and on cloudless nights this gives us wonderful opportunities to photograph the stars. This is also a great time to photograph the exquisite colors of autumn. April is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, and the intense red colors of beech trees mix beautifully with the oranges, yellows, and greens of other species of trees.
In Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, Jim has hired a guide who tracks pumas. We will spend two days in search of wild pumas as well as taking in the unparalleled views of the Southern Andes.
Day 1, Friday, April 12. Leave your home country on the day or evening before -- on April 11 -- to arrive in Buenos Aires on the 12th. Take a taxi to our airport hotel to overnight and rest from the long flight. Tomorrow we fly onward to El Calafate, so when you book your roundtrip flight, it should be from your home city to Buenos Aires, and then Buenos Aires to El Calafate and return. We will have a welcome dinner at 7pm, and this is a good time to discuss the upcoming trip and to ask Jim any questions about photography you might have. Overnight Howard Johnson Hotel & Convention Center Ezeiza.
Day 2, Saturday, April 13. Today we fly to El Calafate, Argentina (airport code FTE) today and take a taxi to the hotel to rest from the long flight. 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 3, Sunday, April 14. 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 4 - 6, Monday - Wednesday, April 15 - 17. 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. We photograph Fitz Roy at sunrise and sunset, we will also shoot the incredible Capri Lagoon, two dynamic locations in Cerro Torre area, amazing waterfalls, deep canyons, and beautiful forests with a lot of macro opportunities as well as a chance to practice long exposures with falling water. Overnight Chalten Suites Hotel.
Days 7 - 10, Thursday - Sunday, April 18 - 21. 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, Monday, April 22. After breakfast we 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, Tuesday, April 23. 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 14, 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 13, and items of a personal nature.