Photography In Patagonia with Thom Hogan The Mountain Splendor of Paine and Fitzroy
Trip Dates March 2 – 17, 2015
Photography in Patagonia The most compelling landmarks of Patagonia are our destinations on this lodge-based photography workshop and tour. We’ll start our trip with an intensive three-day workshop with photography instructor Thom Hogan at Helsingfors in Patagonia. After completing our refresher photography course and getting individual feedback on our techniques, we’ll continue further into Patagonia to begin our photography tour of the two primary parks in this massive area: Glacier National Park in Argentina and Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, El Chaltén (Mt. Fitzroy), Cerro Torre, Grey Glacier and the Paine Massif are the highlights of our visit, but you’ll be taken to a time and land that reveals much more than these famous and much photographed landmarks. The remoteness of the area means we’ll often have to hike to get our shots, but the early summer days this far south of the equator give us plenty of opportunity to capture the dramatic, soft light that makes Patagonian photography so rewarding. Most of our hikes are modest in nature (no more than three hours), though we’ll embark on at least two strenuous strolls on our trip (all day, double-digit miles). At the end of each day, we stay at some of the best small hosterias, lodges, and estancias in the region. Because of its remoteness and modest internal population, Patagonia is still relatively untrammeled and undeveloped (Glacier National Park gets perhaps 60,000 visitors a year, Paine twice that). But the same things that made Paine a Biosphere Reserve and which have attracted climbers, trekkers, and photographers in increasing numbers are now starting to trigger building of infrastructure in the front country. Now is the time to make your visit, before development and visitation get to levels that marginalize the experience. In the spirit of ecotourism, we try to use existing local facilities and operators who are committed to maintaining the natural experience and wonder of Patagonia. There are fancier places to stay (Explora in Torres del Paine, for example), but these often feel out of place and out of character with the landscape. When you get to the end of the road, as we often will in this tour, you shouldn’t expect (or want) to find a brand-name operation. Your primary goal on this tour should be to experience and photograph a wild and remote place at an intensely personal level. A key secondary goal that will be emphasized in the workshop that begins the trip is to improve your photographic ability when faced with such compelling scenery. Weather is always a wild card in Patagonia, but we usually get enough “good” days to make this a highly rewarding
experience. For this trip I’ve added an extra day in two key places to give us even more chances to catch those famous Patagonian skies. The constantly changing weather is one of the key factors that make photography in Patagonia so rewarding at times. Spouses are welcome on this trip, however it should be noted that this is not a casual, relaxing vacation at a five-star resort with a pool and room service. Spouses are expected to participate in hikes and should be forewarned that a photography group like ours can and will detour, spending long periods of time at one location when conditions are right. Since we’re usually in the middle of nowhere when that happens, about the only option for the non-photography participant is to enjoy the scenery, or sit in the bus and nap, read, or whatever else they might want to do in and around the bus. On days where we aren’t moving to a new location, we will usually have separate options for spouses, but those are all primarily active options. Last time I ran this workshop we had only one spouse along, but she thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and even got a private guided hike that none of the rest of us did. Photographers should be capable of carrying their equipment as much as 12 miles on strenuous trails (the only way to get the classic Towers shot in Paine is via an 18km round-trip hike with both significant elevation gain and a boulder field that must be climbed at the end). Much of our hiking will be much less strenuous, but this is a very active photographic tour. Few Patagonia landscape shots come right at the side of the road. You should be in good shape, have broken in your hiking boots, and be prepared to carry your photo gear, food, water, and inclement weather gear on your back. Finally, Patagonia covers a large area and access is sometimes via poorly maintained dirt roads. We’ll have a comfortable private bus for our trip that is larger than we actually need and allows a bit of spreading out. But we sometimes spend long periods of time traveling between key areas. The itinerary has been crafted to avoid constant bus travel and split our moves into manageable pieces, but you need to be capable of handling as much as six hours of bus travel on winding, bumpy roads.
Detailed Itinerary We encourage you to arrive a day or two early to rest up from the long flight from the States and enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening in Buenos Aires (most flights from the US arrive in late morning). This not only allows you to start the workshop and tour rested, but also gives you a buffer in case you have flight delays. Wilderness Travel can book an extra night at the group hotel for you. We offer an optional pre-trip photo tour (see below), and can even hook you up with a variety of optional tourism opportunities to occupy your extra day(s). Take in a soccer match, visit the museums, head to the opera, or just about any other metropolitan adventure you care to participate in. Optional Pre-Trip Extension (Buenos Aires) Morning or mid-day arrival at Buenos Aires International airport, where you are met by a driver to transfer to your hotel. In the late morning. we transfer to the famous mausoleum of Recoleta (resting place of Evita, among others), where we begin our photographic day in a target-rich but difficult environment. After lunch, we spend the afternoon in the colorful La Boca artist district. Dinner and a tango show are included. Overnight in Buenos Aires at Hotel Melia...L Photographic: moderate telephoto, wide angle, possible macro lens, all handheld (monopod possible, but not tripod). In La Boca you’ll be doing spontaneous street photography and need to be prepared to capture anything from an interesting still life to people interacting with street performers. In Recoleta the subjects are static and confined, and most of the successful shots are likely to be isolations of detail. Per-Trip Extension Cost: To Be Announced Day 1, March 2 Arrive El Calafate Arrive in El Calafate, a small town in the Santa Cruz Province on the banks of glacier-fed Lago Argentino. Transfer on your own to the Hotel Kau Yatun (the hotel offers a free shuttle), where check-in time is 2:00 pm. Calafate is the gateway to southern Glacier National Park and is named for the thorny calafate bush, which blooms in the spring with yellow flowers and in summer with tasty purple fruits (it is said if you eat the fruit, you’ll return to Patagonia!). Calafate has a bit of a wild west feel to it, and it’s an intriguing outpost on the edge of a great wilderness. This evening, the group will gather with Photography Instructor Thom Hogan and Trip Leader Rob Noonan for a Welcome Dinner. Overnight at hotel in Calafate...D Day 2, March 3 Estancia Helsingfors / Glacier National Park We board our private bus and drive to Estancia Helsingfors in the western region of Glacier National Park, driving around the side of Lago Viedma to get to this remote lodge. Once a sheep ranch, Estancia Helsingfors was built in 1906 in a spectacular location by Finnish pioneer Alfred Ramstrom. This is an intensive workshop day, so we’ll stop for photos any time something presents itself, or whenever our instructors can find some good teaching locations. This usually happens more frequently as we get closer to Helsingfors. We often see armadillos, hares, and a wide variety of birds—from rheas to caracaras—especially once we leave the rest stop at La Leona for the rarely traveled Route 21 along the southern shore of the lake. If clouds don’t get in the way, we’ll have opportunities for classic glacier panoramas as we near the estancia. Helsingfors lies on the shore of Lago Viedma, with wonderful vistas of the Viedma Glacier and a side view of Fitzroy. We’ll be looking for the classic alpenglow on Fitzroy near dinnertime. Overnight at Estancia Helsingfors (laundry service available)...BLD Photographic: Grab shots most of the day, but keep a good telephoto handy for wildlife spottings. Panoramic possibilities later in the day.
Day 3, March 4 Workshop Day / Estancia Helsingfors / Glacier National Park Birds, flowers, and water abound at Helsingfors. If the lake is calm, we’ll go for a short Zodiac ride along the untouched western shore of Viedma, looking for good views up the glaciers. We should also have plenty of time to work any fields of lupines and other flowers around the estancia, and perhaps some time along the stream that flows through the ranch, as well. A caracara family lives in the trees surrounding Helsingfors, so birders may wish to spend some time trying to find and photograph them. This will be a relatively easy day hike-wise. We’ll be in and around the estancia all day. Remember, you’ll be finishing up your intensive workshop work this day, so we’ll have a long review session in the evening. Overnight at Estancia Helsingfors...BLD Photographic: You’ll have chances at pretty much anything you’d like to do, from scenics to macro to bird photography to…well, use your imagination. Tripods. Day 4, March 5 Glacier National Park / Chaltén After a morning horseback ride (or a hike), we board our private bus and head to El Chaltén, a small, rapidly growing town and a world-famous climbing destination set within sight of the imposing form of the Fitzroy Massif. The city serves as the gateway to the northern reaches of the park and will be our home for three nights. On the drive, we enjoy sightseeing while looking for wildlife and scenic viewpoints. We should see a wide variety of birdlife, and with luck, maybe an Andean condor—the world’s largest flying bird—with its 12-foot wingspan. On arrival in Chaltén, we check into the Hosteria El Pilar, where we enjoy great views of Fitzroy in a relatively private setting (we’ll likely fill the hosteria). Many rooms have a view of the top of Fitzroy, and if we’re lucky, the peak will be out at sunset after we arrive. The Fitzroy Massif and the surrounding peaks rise at spectacular and seemingly impossible angles, sculpted from solid granite into fantastic spires and towers by the tremendous force of the region’s glaciers. This complex of peaks and “needles” captivates experienced mountain climbers from all over the world. Overnight at the Hosteria El Pilar (laundry service available)...BLD Photographic: grab shots from the bus, with a few stops for scenics along the way to our Hosteria. Day 5, March 6 Glacier National Park / Viedma Glacier Fitzroy faces east, so is an obvious sunrise location (though sunsets can also be good if the clouds are in the right location). The hardy photographers will be up early to see whether this is one of those days when the magic happens. Fortunately, it will be obvious from the front of the hosteria if it is, and there are plenty of reasonable scenic shots that can be framed within a few hundred yards of where we’re staying (though the base of the mountain is obscured by near foothills, the view is still impressive). Our first day in and around the park will feature a hike on the Viedma Glacier. A boat ride on Lago Viedma grants us close-up views of icebergs that have calved from the glacier. We approach the glacier itself on foot, a short hike of great geological interest as it reveals all the exposed rocks that were covered by ice until very recently. Reaching the lateral moraine, we view ice caves and overhangs in this dramatic and ever-changing landscape. Hiking time on the glacier is about two hours. Our hike ends in the mid-afternoon, with time to do some more photography before dinner back at the hosteria. Overnight at Hosteria El Pilar...BLD Photographic: grab shots from the boat, mostly scenic gear needed on the glacier (e.g. wide angle lens). Day 6, March 7 Today most of us will take a moderate hike that first leads us to a vista point called El Mirador, where on a clear day we’ll see excellent views of Cerro Torre and the picturesque valley leading up to it. Since the trail is relatively easy, most of us will continue on to the base of the mountains and the lakes that sit at the base of the glaciers (6 hours round trip walking time, plus time to photograph at Laguna Torre and eat lunch). While there will be opportunities to take a few shots along the way, the goal is to spend the majority of our photographic time at the laguna—during the hiking portion you’ll need to keep moving in order to cover the longer distance in a reasonable amount of time. In essence, the tradeoff is simple: potentially more impressive location at the expense of great exertion and less shooting time, versus a lesser location with plenty of shooting time and far less exertion. Overnight at Hosteria El Pilar...BLD Photographic: Mostly scenics, with mid-range zoom, wide angle, macro lens, and panoramic equipment. 5
There is a river duck that lives at the glacial lake, so a small, light telephoto should be considered. Tripods. Day 7, March 8 Calafate The morning is open for doing some last-minute photography in the area around El Pilar. Before lunch, we take the drive of about four hours back to Calafate, once again enjoying vistas of the steppes while looking for wildlife (it’ll be hard to pry Thom away from the lemon meringue pie at La Leona, though). We’ll be in the small town of Calafate by mid-afternoon, with possibly some time to explore the town and do some local shopping. Dinner is on your own in downtown Calafate. Overnight at Hotel Kau Yatun...BL Photographic: again, a travel day with grab shots. Day 8, March 9 Lake Crossing / Estancia Cristina A morning departure brings us to the lake pier for a crossing by catamaran of Lago Argentino. We navigate around drifting electric-blue icebergs and enjoy superb views of the headwall of the Upsala Glacier, South America’s longest, as we head to Estancia Cristina, set in a wonderfully remote location on the north arm of Lago Argentino. Surrounded by glaciers and the snowy peaks of the Andes, Estancia Cristina is a historic former sheep ranch accessible only by boat. Upon arrival, we have time for a twohour hike up a glacier-carved valley to view the Upsala Glacier from the eastern side, as well as the peaks of the Andes and part of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, before settling into our comfortable lodgings. We enjoy a fine meal and traditional gaucho welcome in this estancia at the end of the world. Overnight at Estancia Cristina…BLD Photographic: Again, on the boat, mostly grab shots, and probably towards the telephoto end, but scenic wide angle gear should be handy. Day 9, March 10 Cerro Carnero Hike Hiking right from the estancia, we head up a slope with fine views of the valley, then through a forest of lenga trees and waterfalls to the top of Cerro Carnero (2,133’), with its glorious views of the mountains, the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, and the many glaciers that feed into the Upsala. After a picnic lunch, we descend via an alternate path bordering Cristina Canal of Lago Argentino. Alternately, we can board a 4WD vehicle and travel on mountainous roads through a geologically interesting landscape that until recently was covered by glaciers. Heading out on foot, we explore a canyon where we can discover many marine fossils embedded in its striated walls. Return to Estancia Cristina for dinner and overnight…BLD Photographic: This is mostly a scenic day, so tripods, panorama gear, and wide angle lenses for sure; some small telephoto for random animal sightings. Day 10, March 11 Cascada Hike / Lake Crossing / Calafate A morning hike brings us along the eastern edge of the valley to the waterfall of the Rio de los Perros, with outstanding views of hanging glaciers. We return to the estancia and board a boat for a ride back across Lago Argentino to Calafate. Dinner is on your own tonight. Your Trip Leader will be happy to make restaurant recommendations. Overnight at Kau Yatun…BL Photographic: Definitely a scenic day, and one of those days when a waterproof camera might prove useful. Day 11, March 12 To Paine National Park, Chile Today is mostly a travel day, as we make the long move from the Argentinean side of Patagonia to the Chilean side. A scenic drive of about six hours brings us across the vast Patagonian steppes—looking much like the land just east of the Colorado Rockies. We’ll stop for one last view back at the Fitzroy peaks, but otherwise spend the middle of the day making time across the plains. After crossing into Chile late in the afternoon, we quickly reach the area where we finally see the famous granite that towers above the steppes on the Chilean side. Our accommodation is at Hosteria Lago Grey, set along iceberg-dotted Lago Grey...BLD Photographic: not really a photography day until we get onto the final 28k of road into the ranch where 6
the usual scenic items apply, and where you’ll also probably want a telephoto for the occasional wildlife shot. Day 12, March 13 Paine National Park / Lago Grey Our morning hike (about 3 miles, 2 hours) brings us along the beach on Lago Grey, dotted with icebergs of fantastic form and boasting magnificent glacier views. The weather will dictate our final choice of hiking routes while we are in Paine. Overnight at Hosteria Lago Grey in Paine National Park...BLD Photographic: Grey can be damp and wet, so bring your scenic gear and ways to protect it from the water. Day 13, March 14 Paine National Park This morning we’ll take a short hike (less than an hour) onto the point overlooking Lago Grey to get views of the icebergs that have calved off the glacier, with the glacier itself in the background. We’ll take our time on the main road back today, stopping at Salto Chico and taking some short hikes as we find new views of the Cuernos, plus guanaco and other wildlife. At the end of the day we end up at Las Torres, a wonderful lodge located at the base of the trail leading to the Paine towers (laundry service available)...BLD Photographic: mostly scenic day, with waterfalls and mountains our primary focus, so a wide angle lens for sure. But condors and guanacos are also likely, so a telephoto lens should be handy. Tripod. Day 14, March 15 Paine National Park We’re up before sunrise to get the classic valley shot of the towers. Depending on group interests and hiking abilities, after breakfast we usually make the classic ascent on trails that lead to the base of the three massive Paine towers. Directly below these towers is a beautiful glacial lake, and this is where most of the classic Paine shots you’ve seen were taken. But this will be our toughest hiking challenge: almost 12 miles round trip, with considerable ascent, including a 500-foot boulder field to climb to reach the edge of the lake. Thus, you need to travel light and be prepared for a tough walk. The weather will dictate our final choice of hiking routes. Typically, we hike 5-7 hours on moderate to steep trails. At the end of the evening, we’ll do a wrap up slide show....BLD Photographic: the hike is long and strenuous, so you’ll want to travel as light as possible (we can refill water, so only one water bottle usually is enough on this hike). A wide angle lens for scenics and a light telephoto for isolating detail once at the foot of the towers are probably all you need. Tripod. Day 15, March 16 Calafate After one last before-sunrise attempt at the towers, we come back for breakfast and pack up for a scenic drive of about six or seven hours that takes us back to El Calafate. We gather for a Farewell Dinner this evening. Warning: Thom often tries to sneak in yet another shooting location on this day, so don’t pack your equipment yet. Overnight at Kau Yatun...BLD Photographic: grab shots on our way out of the park and to Calafate. Days 16 Calafate / Depart Transfer to the airport in Calafate to connect with homeward-bound flights via Buenos Aires...B
Important Notes Lodging. While we’ve identified the places we intend to book, this is subject to change. While we’ve reserved the locations indicated, sometimes things like road closures, fires, and other unplanned events can get in the way. Equal or better lodging may be substituted when we can’t obtain our choice. As previous workshop students will attest, our facilities are first class throughout the tour. Meals. We’ve indicated which meals are provided each day with a B, L, and D (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, respectively) at the end of each day’s description. We’ve designated a small handful of meals “on your own” so that you can sample among the many excellent local restaurants in Calafate. You’ll need to budget for those few on-your-own meals. Most lunches we provide will be sack lunches so that we can stay mobile during the day. Breakfasts generally have both hot and cold options and are European style, for the most part. Our included dinners are full sit-downs that often turn out to be a mini-gourmet excursion through the Patagonian repertoire. Expect lots of meat, cheese and fruits in the diet, as that’s the primary cuisine in the area, but vegetarians can be accommodated if we know in advance. Wines, drinks, and sodas other than water, coffee, and tea, are usually optional and at your own expense. Laundry Service Available. Due to our fairly constant travel and the remoteness of some of our locations, only days on which this is indicated on the itinerary will you be able to drop off laundry to be cleaned (at your own expense; usually reasonable in price). Cleaned laundry is typically returned the following day after being picked up. Some of our locations do not allow you to do laundry in your room, and it will be difficult to pack enough clothing for the entire trip, so be sure to plan your packing list accordingly. A suggested packing list is in the Departure Notes you’ll receive after reserving your spot on the trip. Electricity. All of the lodging we plan to use (see above) has electricity available, though some limit the hours during which it is available (it’s normally turned off after midnight at El Pilar, and at 2:00 am at Las Torres, for example).Some places also only have one extra outlet in the room. You’ll need AC converters and equipment that can handle both 110 and 220 volt current, and the standard plugs used in Argentina and Chile (which differ, unfortunately). Make sure you bring extra batteries for your equipment, as you won’t always be able to fully charge everything every night. Weight. Internal flights within both Argentina and Chile have published weight limits in place for checked baggage (as low as 15kg, or about 33 pounds). Please make sure that you’re within those weight limits or be prepared to pay a weight penalty on each flight. Since we can get laundry done at most of our facilities, this isn’t the trip to bring your entire outdoor wardrobe with you. As long as your carry-on backpack fits in the overhead of an MD-80 or 737, you can usually load up the heavy photographic items in that. Make sure you have a lock for your photo backpack. Tripods of the size we would be using can’t be hand-carried onto planes in South America. Flights. El Calafate is accessible by a three-hour, 20-minute flight from Buenos Aires on Aerolineas Argentinas. You may want to book an extra hotel night in Buenos Aires on the way down and back, depending upon your choice of flights, and Wilderness Travel will be happy to do this for you and schedule the correct airport transfers. Also, note that Buenos Aires has two airports, one mostly International (EZE) and the other domestic (AEP). If you need help figuring out how to get to and from the trip start and ending points, call Wilderness Travel for help. When you book any flight independently, make sure Wilderness Travel gets a copy of your flight itinerary so that they can double check that the connections work and schedule the appropriate airport to hotel transfers you’ll want.
PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT This trip provides us just about every photographic opportunity we’ll ever encounter. Scenic vistas, small town street life, and wildlife abound. Almost ever other type of photography you can think of also is there if you look hard enough. Thus, you need to be prepared for almost anything. At a minimum you should consider bringing the following: 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
Wide angle lens for scenics Mid-range zoom for street and grab photography Telephoto that reaches to at least 200mm, preferably with VR/IS (300mm recommended), for wildlife and a few long scenic shots Macro capability for small flowers and detail Tripod that goes low Filters: graduated NDs for scenics, polarizer for skies, ND for water work All weather carrying system for your photo equipment Ground cloth and possibly kneepads, as the Patagonian steppes are filled with sticky burrs and other encumbrances
The photo instructor will send a more detailed discussion of an appropriate equipment list and carrying suggestions to each workshop participant prior to departure.
Leadership Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and of the incredible travel experiences that they make possible. One of the following Trip Leaders will guide the journey. For photos and bios of many of our Trip Leaders, go to www.wildernesstravel.com/about/our-leaders. WILDERNESS TRAVEL TRIP LEADER Rob Noonan is an accomplished naturalist with a degree in Environmental Studies from Prescott College in Arizona. He has guided Patagonia for a dozen years and knows Chile and Argentina thoroughly, from politics and economics to flora, fauna, and geology. As a naturalist, Rob has done ecological studies in the Grand Canyon, specifically on its bighorn sheep and falcon populations. An avid birder, Rob will point out dozens of the Patagonian bird species on our trip. Rob is also a rock climbing instructor with extensive search and rescue training, including work with the mountain rescue teams in Paine National Park in Chile and Glacier National Park in Argentina. “Patagonia’s flora and fauna are amazing—even the clouds are amazing. I want to help all my trip members learn about and appreciate the natural beauty we encounter all across Patagonia.” Rob currently lives in Flagstaff, Arizona. PHOTOGRAPHY INSTRUCTORS Thom Hogan has been teaching photography since leaving Backpacker magazine in 2000, where he was the editor. Formally trained as a filmmaker, Thom taught film and television courses at Indiana University, and has developed coursework in many of the visual arts. While primarily known as a writer and instructor, Thom’s imagery has appeared in a number of magazines, including Backpacker, Outdoor Photography, and Digital Foto. “Patagonia is South America’s Alaska. You’ll encounter stunning scenery that’s still at the edge of wild. It’s a place where remarkable images have been made, and it’ll be my job to help you do the same.” This will be Thom’s fifth trip to most of these areas in Patagonia. He currently lives in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Anthony Medici is Thom’s assistant, and is well versed in Thom’s unique teaching method. Anthony has worked with Thom on previous photo tours, including the previous Patagonia tour in 2008, so is experienced at handling students and is familiar with the areas we’ll be traveling through. Anthony is also an accomplished wildlife photographer in his own right, so those needing advice on photographing the birds and other animals we’ll encounter along the way will have an excellent source of information.
Trip Cost & Important Trip Details The exact costs are partially dependent upon how many participants we have, though we expect this trip to book fully. Costs are subject to change, unfortunately. Patagonia’s popularity and the fact that it is a relatively safe travel locale in today’s rather unsafe world, have the limited local resources constantly pushing up their prices to what the market will bear. Our tour organizer, Wilderness Travel, has as much clout as any, and will do its best to keep pricing surprises to a minimum. We’ll detail each of the possible costs in the following sections. BASIC TRIP COST (subject to change, as noted below) $7795 (13-15 participants) $8195 (10-12 participants) You’ll be charged a price depending upon the number of participants in the tour. As noted, we expect this trip to fill fully, however sometimes late cancellations are difficult to replace and might impact your final cost. These prices are estimated prices for the 2014/2015 season. We will do our best to maintain them but do reserve the right to adjust them if necessary. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT $1595 Single Supplement We may be able to accommodate one or two requests for single rooms in a trip with 15 or fewer participants. The small size of some of our lodging facilities dictates the maximum single facilities we can arrange— for example, single rooms are usually not available at Helsingfors, as our group will absolutely fill the lodging there. Thus, even if you opt for the single supplement, you might be required to share a room at Helsingfors. We try our best to match you with a suitable roommate if you are willing to share accommodations. The trip cost includes: ! ! ! ! !
All accommodations in comfortable hosterias, estancias, lodges, and hotels Welcome and farewell dinners Services of the Trip Leader and local guides Meals indicated in the itinerary (BLD) All land and water transportation, airport transfers, and baggage handling
What isn’t included is: ! ! ! ! ! !
Airfare to the start and end point (Calafate) from your home Other fees indicated in sections below Tipping and gratuities to trip leader and driver (see below) Photographic instruction (see below) Personal expenses (alcoholic beverages, sodas, laundry, etc.) Trip insurance (highly recommended)
Buenos Aires Pre Trip Extension Cost: To Be Announced
PHOTO WORKSHOP FEE $1299 (US$999 for previous byThom workshop students) This fee is only imposed upon the photographic participants (i.e. not on spouses of the photographic participants), and pays for the photographic instruction during both the workshop and tour portions of the trip. It also pays for incidental expenses associated with the workshop (we’ll let what those incidental things might be remain a surprise for now, but they’re sure to delight). ARGENTINA RECIPROCITY FEE Currently $160 for Argentina; must be paid in advance online. Please visit https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/ to start the process. In the bottom left-hand corner, click on “sign up” and follow the instructions. Your printed paid receipt must be presented at Immigration Control in Buenos Aires. The fees are valid for 10 years or the duration of the passport’s validity. TIPS AND GRATUITIES Trip leaders, local guides, and our bus driver work hard to make your trip enjoyable and safe. Due to the nature of their work, they also only work portions of the year, and do so for long hours and doing difficult jobs. It is customary, but entirely at your option, to tip the trip leader (usually in the realm of $150-200) and bus driver who’s with us most of the trip ($50). The photography instructor has asked that no tips be given to him—if you wish to express your pleasure with his efforts during the trip, he’s asked that you make a small donation to a non-profit organization that benefits Patagonia and its residents. EXPECTED AND TYPICAL COST $7795 (15-person land cost) $1299 Photo workshop fee $160 Argentina reciprocity fee (must be paid in advance on entry) $400 Tips and gratuities $150 Incidentals (alcoholic beverages, sodas, laundry, etc.) 8.5% of trip cost—Trip insurance (not required, but strongly recommended) $10,106 Total cost of trip from our meeting spot and back Yes, this is not an inexpensive trip when you consider all costs. However, this is a comfortable, once in-alifetime type of trip to a place that is still wild and remote, and one of the most rewarding places on the planet to photograph. Wilderness Travel is proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. We are happy to put you directly in touch with a past client that has traveled with us to Patagonia (and our photo instructor has traveled with Wilderness Travel eight times, which is one of the reasons he picked us). The photo instructor is also proud of the quality of his workshops and instruction, and can put you in touch with someone that has taken previous workshops from him. Indeed, we can put you in contact with students who did a very similar Patagonia tour in 2010. PAYMENT SCHEDULE $500 at time of reservation ($250 is not refundable) $500 120 days prior to departure Balance 60 days prior to departure Once you have signed up on the trip, Wilderness Travel will send you Departure Notes that include a complete packing list, relevant medical information, required travel documents, and a reading list, amongst other things.
HEALTH At present there are no specification immunization requirements for the areas we plan to visit. Bottled water is always available on this trip. Since we do quite a bit of hiking on this trip, you should be in good physical shape prior to departure. CLIMATE AND WEATHER With its deep southern latitude, you might expect Patagonia’s weather to be more “polar” than it really is. In fact, the austral summer temperatures are relatively moderate. From November through March the thermometer rarely drops below 40°F and often reaches into the low 70°s during the day. Still, the weather changes rapidly and is unpredictable. Rain, sleet, and snow can occur at any time— perhaps just a few hours before or after sunny skies and 70° temperatures. The enormous, unbroken stretches of ocean to the west and south of southern South America leave the Patagonian Andes exposed to the strong winds that circle the Antarctic continent, especially on the Chilean side. Wind is inevitable on any Patagonian journey and you should be prepared for it, too (a tripod that goes low and is very sturdy, for example). We’ll be traveling in what is the end of the Patagonia summer, but it can still feel like winter. You’ll need wind and rain gear with you at all times, and should bring layers of clothing that you can remove and add to as the weather changes on us. Note that the start of our trip is in Northern Argentina, where the hot temperatures and high humidity are usually more conducive to shorts and t-shirts. TOP REASONS TO ENROLL IN THIS PHOTO WORKSHOP AND TOUR 8. We respect the environment when we travel. As much as is possible, we try to reduce our impact on the places we visit. We practice Leave No Trace. We’ll be eco-savvy on our hikes and explorations. Our photography leader purchases wind power and methane conversation offsets to offset his business use of energy, including his workshops. We act in ways to make sure that the next photographer or adventurer to visit the area has the same opportunity you’ll have. 7. Great food, comfortable lodging. You shouldn’t have to worry about eating and sleeping (other than trying not to get too much of either!). And you won’t. We’ve picked places that are among the finest you’ll find in the region. In other words, the accommodations live up to the scenery. 6. Relaxed and informal. No need to get dressed up or put on airs. Our tour is designed to be informal, relaxed, and as worry free as we can make it. We’ll take the time to stop and smell—well, okay, shoot—the flowers. 5. Logistically easy. Seeing as many places in Patagonia as we’ll visit is logistically complex, but from the time you reach Buenos Aires to the end of the tour, you’ll find that we’ve dealt with the complexities and made it easy for you to take in the variety of experiences as this tour provides. You spent good money to book this tour, and we’ll make you think it was well spent. 4. The staff is top-notch. From start to finish, you’ll be stewarded by the best leaders in the business, and by local staff that is knowledgeable, engaging, and interested in seeing that your trip is as good as it can be. 3. Small group. While 15 people plus instructors and guides doesn’t at first sound like a small group, you’ll feel like it is by the end of this trip, especially since in some of the places we’ll stay we’ll have the place to ourselves. You’ll meet new people and make new friends. The previous Patagonia workshop group has its own private, active spot on the Web where we keep in touch, share thoughts and experiences.
2. Serious photographic instruction. Our photo instructor is well known for his intense, personalized approach to teaching. He’s picked locales for the workshop portion of the tour to give you a full workout, from street photography to wider-than-you-can-see landscapes, and is prepared to teach you how to approach and shoot them to produce photos your friends will long admire. 1. Patagonia is one of the most target-rich environments in the world for photographers. The two big Patagonian parks are on every serious landscape photographer’s Must Visit list. And for good reason. As you should be able to tell from the pictures used to illustrate this brochure, the terrain is unique, photogenic, and big. HOW DO YOU ENROLL? Reserving your spot on this trip is simple: call Linnea Peterson at Wilderness Travel (800-368- 2794 in the US, 510-558-2488 for international callers). She’ll help you reserve your spot by putting the US$500 reservation deposit ($250 non-refundable) on your credit card and sending you a trip application form to fill out and return. This is a first-come, first-served operation. We expect this trip to completely fill up, so we urge you to not delay in reserving your spot. On the other hand, do not reserve a spot unless and until you’re sure that you will take and can manage this trip, as you’ll almost certainly be depriving someone else from snagging one of the few openings. The photo instructor does not expect to offer a repeat of this tour any time soon, if at all. Caryn can answer all your Patagonia and logistical questions, and even suggest and book possible itinerary extensions if you’re interested. Caryn manages the South American trips for Wilderness Travel and has visited all the places listed on the itinerary, thus she can speak to specific needs or requests, or just give you a better idea of the facilities, staff, and activities at any of the places we’ll visit. If you have photographic concerns or questions, you can email them to the Photo Instructor at [email protected]
VISIT US ONLINE At www.wildernesstravel.com you can find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and special WT Expeditions that aren't listed in our catalog. You can also access a complete library of our detailed itineraries and browse the customized reading guides for each of our adventures.
Please be advised that California has established a Travel Consumer Restitution Fund under the California Seller of Travel Law, which took effect January 1, 1996. This fund is designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices by discount airfare ticket sellers or air charter operators. Unfortunately, this law does not cover non-California residents and, even in the case of California residents, it does not cover any foreign travel where the foreign “providers of transportation or travel services” are not in compliance with the Sellers of Travel Law (compliance being defined as registered as a Seller of Travel in California and a participant in the Travel Consumer Restitution Fund). Thus none of Wilderness Travel’s tours quality and we are required by law to advise each client that they are not covered by the California Travel Consumer Restitution Fund. California law requires sellers of travel to maintain a trust account or bond. This business has a trust account. California Seller of Travel #1007696-40. While as accurate as possible at the time of printing, this itinerary should be considered an approximate indication of the schedule and scope of activities and trip routing, rather than an inflexible schedule of events; it is subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control. This trip is subject to the Limitation of Liability and all the terms and conditions as detailed in the General Information section of the Wilderness Travel catalog.
Revised April 23, 2014