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Argentina landscape panorama mountains

Hit South America for a December adventure | Argentina & Chile


It didn’t take much to persuade our Marketing Manager, Cami to break away from her annual ski/surf holiday and book a trip to the tropical destination of Bali this July. Since returning it’s clear that the international travel bug has bitten her big time. Next on her list? Back to the ice but replacing ski slopes for the towering glaciers of Argentina and slippery penguin colonies of Chile.
Decorative torn edge

Plotting my next move…

Now I’ve overcome my fear of long haul flights I want to get out and see the world past Europe. I’ve got my heart set on a visit to South America next December (2016), in particular Argentina and Chile. The start of winter tends to leave me feeling a tad deflated, knowing the winter nights are drawing in.  So what could be better than booking up a trip of a lifetime and having something extraordinary to look forward to. The hardest part is deciding between Argentina or Chile – or both!

Argentina Tierra del Fuego lake
Argentina Patagonia landscape mountains

So what makes December so good?

The Rickshaw team have recommended I travel in December. Apparently, it’s the best time to visit both Argentina and Chile. Argentine Patagonia because of the towering glaciers, mountain lakes and dazzling white snowy plains, a sure-fire way to enjoy a white Christmas. And Chile with its varied and rugged landscapes and different climate zones which means a spot of winter sun.

Christmas Day in the Argentine wilderness

I would like to spend Christmas day surrounded by an endless blue of ice, a snowy wilderness. In my mind I can almost hear the gentle lapping of the Lago Argentino waters against our boat as we sail through the tips of icebergs.  I imagine it to be so still and peaceful, almost as though the silence is wrapping me up and drawing me in close.

Argentina Perito Moreno glacier
Argentina Perito Moreno glacier people hiking

Strap on a crampon for a glacier trek

To tap into my adventurous side I’m keen to strap on my crampons and feel the ice creak under my feet while traversing across the glacier – if I’m lucky I might even see a shelf of ice drop into the sea, apparently it’s pretty epic.

The itinerary I’m keen to do is part of a two week round trip of Argentina, starting in the warmer climes of Buenos Aires, then heading south to Patagonia before making my way back up through El Chalten and the lakes of The Andes.

Penguin spotting at the edge of the world in Chile

But then spending Christmas Day surrounded by penguins sounds equally as exciting, and in the words of our Chile Specialist, Ross – “you gotta love a penguin!” Magdalena Island, off the coast of Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan, is renowned for its huge colony of Magellanic penguins. And Puntas Arenas itself sounds like a town with an interesting history!

Chile Punta Arenas wildlife penguins
Chile Torres del Paine landscape mountains

Vineyards and volcanoes, mountains and lakes

Being of Norwegian descent there’s nothing I like more than losing myself in the mountains and on the fjords, to see familiar vistas but in a completely different setting in Chile would be such an exciting change.

To get a real feel of Chile I’ve got my eye on a two week itinerary including a stop at the vineyards of Maipo Valley, a visit to Villarico Volcano and its volcanic lake, then heading to see the penguins in Chile’s southernmost tip before making my way up to rugged Torres del Paine in Chilean Patagonia and then ending in the colourful city of Valparaiso.

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Once I’ve made my mind up (the hardest part!) I can get on with booking my land arrangements and securing my accommodation. When flights are released in January 2016 I can jump on any early booking deals. Easy. That way it’s much easier to spread the cost out between now and autumn next year.

Chile Atacama Desert tourist on rock overhang