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BEST OF PATAGONIA – 13 Days

Taking in the view at Torres del Paine

Patagonia´s Perito Moreno Glacier

Loving life in Patagonia

FROM 1720 USD 13 Days/ 12 Nights
Highlights

El Calafate Tours
Hiking in Chalten
Torres del Paine National Park
Visit Puerto Natales & Punta Arenas
Travel to Ushuaia

BEST OF PATAGONIA – 13 Days

Tour Perito Monero Glacier, Torres del Paine, Fitz Roy & Ushuaia

Visit stunning glaciers, majestic mountains and pristine national parks in Patagonia on this 13-day adventure tour in Argentina and Chile. Starting in El Calafate and finishing in Ushuaia, you’ll take a boat trip  to Perito Moreno Glacier, hike in Chalten mountain ranges nearby Mount Fitz Roy, visit Torres del Paine National Park and make a road trip through Patagonian steppe to get to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. An ideal trip for those interested on experiencing the cultural heritage and adventurous natural beauty of Patagonia.

Day 1 – Travel to Patagonia: El Calafate

 

Today, Southern Patagonia welcomes you with open arms. El Calafate is a jumping-off point for adventure travelers who chace to unearth the most spellbinding natural wonders of Patagonia, like the Perito Moreno Glacier.

 

The Perito Moreno glacier is one of the only glaciers in the world that’s still advancing.  Though it’s not the only glacier in the area is the one that made the city of El Calafate famous worldwide. For many years now, El Calafate has been considered capital of the glaciers. Located at the shore of Lago Argentino (the southernmost, largest Patagonian lake) it’s also home of the Spegazzini glacier, which forms the natural border between Argentina and Chile, and the Upsala glacier, named Glaciar del Gigante (Giant’s glacier) upon its discovery and the biggest glacier that sits at the mouth of Lake Argentino.

 

Is El Calafate all about the glaciers? Well, yes and no…glaciers are main attractions that you can visit via hiking or a boat ride. But you have lot more to discover about Argentine rural culture. From Calafate you can also visit a typical Patagonian finca (ranch) and learn all about the gaucho culture  and enjoy a great asado (barbecue). You’ll soon realize that Calafate is much more than the gateway to the Perito Moreno glacier.  

 

Upon arrival you will be taken to the hotel and have the rest of the day to relax or explore the surroundings.

 

 

Say Hueque Tips

 

Take a look at our Calafate Travel Guide to find more practical information about the city. Our advice: if you feel like exploring a bit on your own, you can visit The Glaciarium Museum and learn about the history of glaciers and its first explorers. To get to the museum there is a transfer you can take at the Tourist Office.

 

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Day 2 – El Calafate: Perito Moreno Glacier Tour

 

In the morning, we’ll drive you to Glaciers National Park to take the 6 hour long Perito Moreno Glacier tour. Get prepared to play with the giants!

 

Glaciers National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981 and home to 200 approximately glaciers. Half of this park is occupied by the campo de hielo patagónico (Patagonian ice field), the largest ice field after Antarctica. You will travel 40 km (about 25 miles) from El Calafate to the park, enjoying the views of the Patagonian steppe. Once inside the park you will take the walkways to explore the different viewpoints, and you’ll feel really close to the Perito Moreno Glacier. If you’re lucky, you may get to see a piece of ice break off and fall from the glacier wall to sink forever into the lake.

 

During about one hour, a bilingual guide will provide you with all the information you might want to know…and things you might have never thought about. After this visit you will take a boat ride that will take you close enough to fully appreciate the 80 meter (262 feet) high ice walls of Perito Moreno! You’ll never feel closer to this gigantic and impressive natural masterpiece.   

 

 

Say Hueque tips

 

Have you ever imagined walking over the the back of a glacier? Well, if your answer is no, why don’t you take a look to the Mini Trekking on the Perito Moreno Glacier…We’re sure you won’t regret it.    

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Day 3 – Your free day at El Calafate

 

We told you that El Calafate is much more than haunting glaciers…today is your perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in rural culture of Patagonia.

 

Inside Glaciers National park, at the end of NR 15, after a 1 h 30 drive over a rubble road, sits Nibepo Aike Ranch one of the oldest and traditional Patagonian ranches of the area. It’s the only ranch that maintains sheep and Hereford cattle breeding as its main occupation. You can take a day trip to visit its 12 000, learn about its history, witness a shearing demonstrations and a test for horse reins. At the end of the day, a grilled lambed will awaits sizzling in its Patagonian traditional cross stake.

 

 

Say Hueque tips

 

Looking for things to do in El Calafate, we found a wide variety of activities and day trips to share with you. We write it all in our blog, “Travel Tales of Argentina”.

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Day 4 – From El Calafate to El Chalten: Patagonia hiking

 

During the morning you will take a public bus to start your 3 hour long trip to El Chaltén. You’ll travel along the famous Route 40, surrounded by the Patagonian steppe, pass through La Leona River, which connects Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma and where stands La Leona Road house, where the famous thieves, Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid hided for a month.

 

After discovering other rough gems of this particular landscape, you’ll reach El Chaltén. El Chaltén is the top rated hiking destination in Argentina. This charming little village sits at the foot of Fitz Roy Mountain and it’s surrounded by glaciers, lakes, rivers and forest. It’s also the jumping-off point for most hiking trails. A paradise for sunny walkers and hikers alike.

 

Enjoy your first afternoon of leisure in Patagonia to relax in the local brewery or explore the surrounding areas—Maybe stroll around a little waterfall…

 

 

Say Hueque Tips

 

Take a look to our favorite hikes in our Chaltén Travel Guide, and take note of our travel advices on how to visit the area.

 

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Day 5- Trekking in El Chalten: mountains and lakes (self guided)

 

Today be prepared for an exciting day into the wild. El Chaltén offers a wide range of options of hiking paths of varied difficulty. You can choose where and when to go, since paths are self-guided and very well marked and maintained.

 

From the main door of your hotel, you can go for a short 3 kilometres walk to Cerro Torre viewpoint—it will take you around 1 hour. Enjoy Rio de las Vueltas and lenga forest amazing views and be prepared to see all kind of birds—This is great woodpecker spotting opportunity!

 

For truly hiking lovers, continue all the way to Base Torre or go for the 8 hour long hike to the most impressive view to Fitz Roy Mountain and emerald waters of Laguna de los Tres. Though this hike  becomes difficult in the last bit, it’s totally worthy. A little secret: seize the day, wake up early and watch sunrise at the Laguna de los Tres to see Fitz Roy peaks turning red—A lifetime opportunity for nature lovers.

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Day 6 – Patagonia hiking: from El Chalten back to El Calafate

 

Enjoy an early walk around town or a short hike during the morning: you can walk to El Chorrillo del Salto, 3-4 hours away from the village, to visit some nice viewpoint, specially the one called Condors Viewpoint.

 

Bear in mind that in the afternoon you will board your bus back to El Calafate, so you need to be back in time.The 3 hour long driving back will be a good opportunity to rest or just relax enjoying the passing landscape at your window.

 

Once you arrive at El Calafate, the bus will leave you at your hotel. It’s your last evening in town, your last chance to try the tender and exquisite Patagonian Lamb or a heavenly tasting Calafate ice-cream. At Calafate, food options are varied: from veggie delicacies to the best demonstration of international cuisine. You can choose a fancy  restaurant or a traditional local tavern to spend an unforgettable time.

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Day 7 – Travel to Chile: from El Calafate to Puerto Natales

 

In the morning, you’ll make your way to the bus station to start your trip to Puerto Natales—Your Chilean journey is about to begin!

 

Things to take into account:  it’s important to be there half hour before the departure. Most hotels are walking distance from the bus terminal, but if you prefer to take a taxi, roughly you might spend usd 5/7. It is not allowed to take any fresh food, plants, seeds, etc. from Argentina to Chile. They are very strict, and fines can be high. If you are not sure if something is allowed or not, please declare it (they will provide you with a form) and they will inform you if you can carry it or not.

 

After this 5 hour long trip, you will cross hundreds of kilometres of green landscapes dramatically situated between the mountains. Once you arrive to Puerto Natales the guardian Milodon -the last ground sloth that walked the Earth 5000 years ago- will wave its bronze hand at the entrance of this picturesque town. You’ll make your way to your hotel (most are few blocks away from the bus station) and have time to explore this small town, the base to visit the world famous Torres del Paine National Park.

 

How to enjoy your first afternoon at Puerto Natales? You can walk along the shores of Magellan Strait or just relax in one of the little cafés in town while admiring its patchworked facade of colorful houses.

 

At Torres del Paine National Park there are no shops, so Puerto Natales will be your last chance to buy provisions for the next day. Shops don’t provide plastic bags so you’ll have to bring your own ecological bag or make some space in your hiking one.  

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Day 8 – Torres Del Paine tour

 

Today we’ll pick you up really early at your hotel to take you to the first stop of this 10 hour long adventurous trip: Milodon Cave, a mysterious natural monument where you’ll visit  three caverns and a rocky conglomerate called Silla del Diablo (Devil’s chair)—There’s obviously a spooky story behind this, you’ll learn all about…

 

After the first contact with these natural (and unnatural) wonders, we’ll take the road leading to Torres del Paine National Park, full of enchanting lake views (like Porteño and Toro), till the most spellbinding of them:  the Grey Lake, from which viewpoint you’ll get to the enormous Glacier Grey and make your first eye contact with the famous Paine Mountain Range. The jaw-dropping horns of Paine won’t be far away…  

 

You next stop will be at  Grey Lake sector: take a walk along the shore and see the peaks echoing its image in the icy waters. After this, we’ll go to a restaurant to have lunch (not included in our service).

 

The second part of the day, you’ll visit  Nordenskjold Lake viewpoint—get to see the emerald waters which marvel travelers of all ages, and Paine Waterfall. After driving by a sinuous road we’ll get to Amarga Lagoon area, the favorite spot to take the best pictures of Torres del Paine, before making your last stop at Sarmiento Lake viewpoint and heading back to Puerto Natales.

 

 

Say Hueque Tips

 

This is an incredible National Park! We made this awesome Torres del Paine Travel Guide for you not to loose any detail of this adventure.

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Day 9 – From Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas

 

Today you’ll make your way to the bus station of Puerto Natales to depart to Punta Arenas. Being there 30 minutes before the departure is the best to avoid any last minutes inconvenience. This is a 3-4 hour long trip through the steppe, crisscrossed by mountains and fjords waters. At your arrival to the bus station at Punta Arenas you’ll make your way to your hotel—you can walk or take a taxi for around 5-7 dollars.

 

Punta Arenas is the Chilean southernmost city, sited at the Magellanic Strait, and the leading port for Antarctic cruises and scientific research. Before the construction of the Panama Canal, Punta Arenas was the most important maritime crossroad between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, thus, the city grew as a commercial center surrounding by European-type buildings— It’s colourful houses, standing out from a backdrop of snow-capped mountains are a vision for sore eyes.

 

What to do in Punta Arenas? You can enjoy the evening by taking a 3 hour long city tour to visit the Mirador Hill and get the most gorgeous views of Magellan Strait, and the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum to see the craft master pieces made by the Onas, Yaganes and other natives of the area.

 

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Day 10 – From Punta Arenas travel to Ushuaia

 

In the early morning, you will make your way to the bus station to embark on a full day bus trip to Ushuaia. Take into account (as in day 7) that you’ll be crossing borders so keep in mind our previous advices.

 

This is a 12 hour long trip, crossing the Patagonian steppe: yellow and green grasslands, Chilean gauchos riding into the wild and grazing unworried sheeps will rolle on the square landscape of your window, till you reach the ferry crossing. It will take around 45 minutes to cross  the mythical Strait of Magellan and hit the road again to cross the border and finally enter to Tierra del Fuego Island in Argentine lands.

 

As the end-of-the world most famous city approaches, grazing sheeps will turn into wild guanacos and horses, snow capped mountains and evergreen woods will arise at the vicinity of Ushuaia. Once you get the “Southernmost City in the World” passport stamp, you’ll realize this intrepid journey through Patagonian remote roads was absolutely worthy.

 

Upon arrival in Ushuaia you will make your way to your hotel (taxis to and from the bus station should cost less than 10 dollars). Ushuaia is a small town, really easy to get around on foot. The Yamanas, its first inhabitants, called it Ushuaia which means “protected bay” in their language. Ushuaia was officially incorporated into the Republic of Argentina in 1884, and it soon became a penal colony, in order to establish a permanent Argentine settlement.

 

Take the afternoon to explore the town, learn of the region’s history at the Prisoner’s Museum or visit the Galleria of Fueguian History (its restaurant is also very nice!). Please, don’t forget the local gastronomy! Ushuaia is the best place to try the best seafood in Argentina.  

   

 

Say Hueque tips

 

You’ve got farther than ever in the globe…there two words you shouldn’t forget: Blake Hake and King Crab. Our Ushuaia Travel Guide will unveil the mystery.

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Day 11 – Ushuaia: Trekking & Canoeing in the National Park, Patagonia

 

Today we’ll pick you up to make a 8-10 hour long visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park, just 12 km away from the city and lying on the shore of the famous Channel sailed by Charles Darwin. Once at Ensenada Bay, you will have time to enjoy the view over the Beagle Channel before start hiking along the coast.

 

Six kilometers of wild trail await you where you’ll discover native flora and wild fauna. Discover the remains left by the Yamanas, the native inhabitants of the área. After this 3 hour hike, you will reach Lake Roca  where lunch will be served. After a full homemade picnic you will start the second part of this adventure.

 

Take your oar and plunge to start a 1 h 30 canoeing trip along Lapataia river (only available for children over 5 years old). Make all the way till Lapataia Bay,  where the Panamerican Highway and  National Route 3 ends at an awe-inspiring landscape. After discovering the unique vastness of this forbidding setting, we’ll take you back to your hotel to rest and enjoy another Patagonian evening.

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Day 12 – Patagonia Tours: Beagle Channel Cruise

 

In 1833 Charles Darwin sailed the Beagle Channel and discover something great. Today is your turn: become another explorer of this channel, primitively named Onashaga Channel since the Onas where its first sailers. You’ll make your way to the tourist pier (at downtown) to embark on a 3 hour long  boat trip  along the famous Channel (there’s a port tax of around 1-2 dollars you’ll have to pay).

 

You will gain panoramas of Ushuaia Bay where the city lies proudly crowned by the Martial Glacier. Unearth the diverse marine wildlife, such as cormorants (flying birds, closely related to penguins) and fur seals which frolic its time away on Alicia Island. Argentina standing at your left and Chili at your right, you’ll sail this natural border till reach the iconic end-of-the-world lighthouse, the ancient guard of the bay.

 

On your way back, you’ll stop at Bridges Island to walk a wildlife interpretative path, lear about Yaman’s history (the native inhabitants) and see the largest shelly deposits of the region. During the trip, you can enjoy a delicious hot chocolate with cookies or try the mate, the favorite Argentine drink. Once we get back to the port, you can make your way back to your hotel or stop by a local café or brewery to try the amber cream craft beer with a traditional Patagonian appetizer.

 

 

Say Hueque tips

 

Have you ever walk among penguins? If not, Ushuaia is your chance to fulfil that wanderlust dream…you can switch the Beagle Navigation to take the Magellanic Penguin Rookery tour on Martillo Island (from October to April at an additional cost) or add one day in Ushuaia to make both. At Martillo Island you will also see a very rare type of penguin only found in Antarctica: the yellow-crested penguin.

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Day 13 – Ushuaia: end of this Argentina & Chile adventure

 

Today we’ll take you to the airport where this travel adventure will come to this end. Don’t be discouraged! You can return whenever you want (we’ll welcome you with open arms) or…continue your trip towards the North area of Argentina, to the beautiful Salta region or the wine area in Mendoza. We have still a lot to offer!—check out our travelers’ favorite itineraries throughout Argentina and Chile.

 

 

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Included

Transfers and tours mentioned in the itinerary

Daily breakfast

Meals according to itinerary: lunch (day 11)

4 night accommodation in a hotel (El Calafate), 2 night accommodation in a hotel (El Chaltén), 2 night accommodation in a hotel (Puerto Natales, Chile), 1 night accommodation in a hotel (Punta Arenas, Chile), 3 night accommodation in a hotel (Ushuaia).

Bilingual guide (English / Spanish).

Round trip bus El Calafate / El Chalten / El Calafate

One way bus El Calafate / Puerto Natales

One way bus Puerto Natales / Punta Arenas

One way bus Punta Arenas / Ushuaia

Not Included

National Park Entrance Fees

International or domestic flights

Guides during your days in El Chaltén are not included  as the trails are well-marked. However, if you would like to be accompanied by a guide, please let us know at the time of booking and we will advise you of the additional cost.

Travel / Medical Insurance – To get a free quotation please follow this link: World Nomads

Accommodation & Prices

BEST OF PATAGONIA – 13 Days


INN/ B&B

USD 1720

CONFORT

USD 1965

SUPERIOR

USD 2400

*Prices in US Dollars.
*Valid until April 2019 (ask for prices in Christmas and New Year).

*The Perito Moreno Glacier mini-trekking tour is available from September – April.


*Prices are per person, based on 2 people in double occupancy. Single rates are available on request. Flights are not included in the price, but can be arranged on request.



Flights needed for this itinerary

No local flights are needed for this itinerary. Tour begins in El Calafate and ends in Ushuaia.

Estimated cost for the flights in South America: If you plan to visit other destinations in the region, local flights cost approximately $100 to $250 USD per segment (destination).
We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.

Included

Transfers and tours mentioned in the itinerary

Daily breakfast

Meals according to itinerary: lunch (day 11)

4 night accommodation in a hotel (El Calafate), 2 night accommodation in a hotel (El Chaltén), 2 night accommodation in a hotel (Puerto Natales, Chile), 1 night accommodation in a hotel (Punta Arenas, Chile), 3 night accommodation in a hotel (Ushuaia).

Bilingual guide (English / Spanish).

Round trip bus El Calafate / El Chalten / El Calafate

One way bus El Calafate / Puerto Natales

One way bus Puerto Natales / Punta Arenas

One way bus Punta Arenas / Ushuaia

Not Included

National Park Entrance Fees

International or domestic flights

Guides during your days in El Chaltén are not included  as the trails are well-marked. However, if you would like to be accompanied by a guide, please let us know at the time of booking and we will advise you of the additional cost.

Travel / Medical Insurance – To get a free quotation please follow this link: World Nomads

Trip Reviews

BEST OF PATAGONIA – 13 Days

Stefan Krämmer

Stefan Krämmer

(5 / 5)

I was surprised that everything was so well planned. I thought that my trip was quite complex and there was not a single time where something went wrong.

I found the website of Say Hueque on the internet and I appreciated the possibility to get a customized travel plan which included exactly what I wanted.

I appreciated the fact that I always got a feedback to my emails within a couple of hours - even during the evenings and weekends.

La Yegua Loca in Punta Arenas was outstanding: the rooms were very special and the onsite restaurant was really excellent. Also the staff was really helpful. The least favourite hotel was the Altos Hotel in Ushuaia - the view from the hotel was great but it was simply too far out from the city.

My favourite excursions were the ones in Argentina (Ushuai and El Calafate). The Argentinian guides were in both cases very knowledgeable and made sure that every participant felt safe. Even though I did not want to do the mini-trekking on the Perito Moreno glacier in the beginning it turned out that it was the highlight of my trip. Actually it is an experience you can only have in South America and I was very glad that I changed my mind and went on the excursion on the glacier.

The Argentinian guides on the Perito Moreno glacier were really professional. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the guide we had. The guides from Chile at Torres del Paine were friendly but a little bit like "cowboys".

I was surprised that everything was so well planned. I thought that my trip was quite complex and there was not a single time where something went wrong. Thank you very much to Agustin and Agostina.


18.11.18

Amad Doratotaj

Amad Doratotaj

(4 / 5)

Every day was fun and loaded with new experiences.

Hi there Patricia... I did enjoy my trip and happily will provide recommendations.

I think I first heard about your company through Trip Advisor.
The more I interacted with Silvia, during my research and fact-finding, the more I became comfortable with your company. She was excellent support during those early days of planning. I'm sorry to hear she is no longer with your company - I hope it was a mutually agreed separation.

Every day was fun and loaded with new experiences.

Of the hotels I enjoyed Los Cuernos most because the environment and staff were very casual, relaxed and fun to be with.
The excursions were all good and different. But, I love mountains most.

There were definitely some disconnect and miscommunication for our last day departing the Paine Lodge. We were told to expect to see people waiting for us at the other end of the lake (boat ride) -- no one was there and after hours of waiting around and asking from every bus driver and passenger and restaurant workers, TOTALLY concern that we had no way of getting out of there, we finally had our bus and three other bus exchanges before arriving at El Calafate. And we also were given vouchers by your partner at Puerto Natales to go from there back to Puerto Natales, which was not correct and at the time we did not know and we had to guess which instruction to follow. That all ended up being hours of stress and concern al MANY levels.


21.12.17

Helen and Ben Dewaele-Davies

Helen and Ben Dewaele-Davies

(5 / 5)

We had a lovely holiday! A big thank you to Say Hueque and all our wonderful guides!

Hi Marcela,

I'll put a review on trip advisor at the weekend to say what a lovely holiday we had and a big thank you to Say Hueque and all our wonderful guides, yourself included.

We first learned about Say Hueque by Google search. We liked the tour options, flexibility to change areas visited and hotel type, good description of day trips/ excursions available, easy to use web site and prompt response to any queries.

For me Iguazu was the highlight of travelling with you, for my husband El Calafate plus all our wonderful guides.

Our favorite hotel was our hotel in Bariloche - Amazing. The most beautiful room at the top of the hotel with stunning views. Lovely staff and a really cosy bar area. The free arrival drink was lovely. We also loved Clasico in Buenos Aires. Lovely bedroom and breakfast room and great breakfast. Probably Patagonia Rebelde. We loved to old style. Really comfortable and cosy. Lovely staff. Least favourite was Jasy in Iguazo- Poor quality.

My favorite excursion was the Argentinian side of Iguazu falls. For my husband Perito Moreno glacier. Both for the same reason that they were stunningly breathtaking. Wished we had done the ice trekking. Our regret was we didn't book this and didn't realize what it was/ how amazing it would be, until we arrived. We also really enjoyed our boat trip and hike in bariloche - the boat owner was fantastic. A lovely trip.

All our guides were great. Our first guide in Buenos Aires (Marcela) was lovely, really relaxed and it was more like having a friend with you than a guide but with all the knowledge. Margarita in Iguazu was amazing. Again so lovely and so friendly and really cared we had a great time. Our guide on the group tour for Perito was also fantastic - very knowledgeable and had a good sense of humour. We could not fault any of our guides.

Only place we had an issue with drivers was Bariloche so the local tour company could improve their drivers (first trip he was 30 minutes late and we were his first pick up) and the second day the other driver was 20 minutes late for the airport pick up. Perhaps a rough guide of excursion prices under each excursion description would be useful to help to decide which to do on free days.

Thanks again for a wonderful holiday
Helen and Ben


16.12.17

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BEST OF PATAGONIA – 13 Days
Testimonials

Stefan Krämmer

I was surprised that everything was so well planned. I thought that my trip was quite complex and there was not a single time where something went wrong.

Amad Doratotaj

Every day was fun and loaded with new experiences.

Helen and Ben Dewaele-Davies

We had a lovely holiday! A big thank you to Say Hueque and all our wonderful guides!

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