Tour Summary

  • Tour Interest: Birding
  • Tour Type: Fly-Drive
  • Tour Dates: Runs on request
  • Tour Duration: 8 Days – 7 Nights
  • Starts/Ends: Starts in Calafate ends in Ushuaia.
  • Best time to go: October to March
  • Prices: Based on group size

Tour Features

Patagonia is home to a wide variety of iconic birds. It hosts roughly 60 species almost restricted or endemic to the region. The Andes in western Patagonia are not as high as they are further to the north, and unlike the subtropical Andes of Argentina and Chile, they are not dry, but host extensive southern beech forests instead and of course, their own particular fauna and flora, with spectacular birds, like Magellanic Woodpecker –the second largest woodpecker on Earth–, three species of owls and many others.

The endless steppes of Patagonia are home to quite unique birds too. These flat, open plateaus offer the perfect setting for bird watching. Many migrants are possible in this habitat, and finding mixed flocks of odd matching ‘partners,’ like for instance Tawny-throated Dotterel and Chocolate-vented Tyrant, is usual here. There are also several habitat specialists, with birds like Patagonian Tinamou and Lesser Rhea standing out, but there’s also a great diversity of passerines, including several species of ground-tyrants, a couple of miners, sierra finches, and many others.

The southernmost tip of the American Continent is a land of oceanic islands and channels. This is also the place where the Andes turn eastwards and into the ocean, where they run underwater to re-emerge several miles away from the mainland, forming the South Atlantic islands, including Isla de los Estados, the Falklands and South Georgia.

Tierra del Fuego is a very particular part of Patagonia, as it is home to a wide variety of seabirds. Penguins, cormorants and many other sea-bounded birds do nest along the Beagle Channel, while shearwaters, petrels and albatross of many species dwell the channels and fjords of this remote part of the planet. This is also a fantastic place to explore the timeberline, the place where the Andean Woods reach the barren lands of the highest peaks of the Andes, which –as mentioned before– are not so high here, allowing birders to try for specialties, including White-bellied Seedsnipe, Grey-flanked Cinclodes, Yellow-bridled Finch and Ochre-naped Ground Tyrant – all possible further north in Patagonia, but in rather inaccessible areas.

This tour is special for keen birders hoping to make the most of their visit to south-western Patagonia, looking for regional specialties in every possible habitat. It requires some mountain hiking in Tierra del Fuego, to look for White-bellied Seedsnipe, so tour participants must be fit enough to cope with this half-day walk up to the mountains. Otherwise, the tour can be tweaked to make it less strenuous, but some species would be missed.

Some Birds We’ll Look For

El Calafate & El Chaltén: Lesser Rhea, Patagonian Tinamou, Black-faced Ibis, Andean Condor, Chilean Flamingo, Torren Duck, Bronze-winged Duck, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Cinereous Harrier, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Magellanic Plover, Least Seedsnipe, Austral Parakeet, Austral Pygmy Owl, Chilean Flicker, Austral Canastero, Short-billed Miner, Cinnamon-bellied Ground Tyrant, Chilean Elaenia, Many-colored Rush Tyrant, Grass Wren, Austral Thrush, Patagonian Mockingbird, Short-billed Pipit, Grey-hooded Sierra Finch, Yellow-winged Blackbird and Long-tailed Meadowlark.

Ushuaia: Gentoo Penguin, Magellanic Penguin, Black-browed Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel, Southern Fulmar, Sooty Shearwater, Common and Magellanic diving petrels, Ashy-headed, Upland and Kelp geese, Flying and Fuegian streamer ducks, Chilean Hawk, White-throated Caracara, Magellanic and Blackish oystercatchers, White-bellied Seedsnipe, Snowy Sheathbill, Dolphin Gull, Chilean Skua, Lesser Horned Owl, Magellanic Woodpecker, Grey-flancked, Dark-bellied and Buff-winged cinclodes, Ochre-naped Ground Tyrant and Yellow-bridled Finch.

  • Day 1 – Afternoon meeting at El Calafate Airport. Drive to town and birding Laguna Nímez. O/N El Calafate.
  • Day 2 – Full day birding Los Glaciares National Park. O/N El Calafate.
  • Day 3 – Drive to El Chaltén, birding en-route. O/N El Chaltén.
  • Day 4 – Full day birding El Chaltén. O/N El Chaltén.
  • Day 5 – El Chaltén to El Calafate and flight to Ushuaia. O/N Ushuaia.
  • Day 6 – Full day birding north of Ushuaia, specially looking for birds above the timberline. O/N Ushuaia.
  • Day 7 – Morning birding Tierra del Fuego National Park. Afternoon birding Beagle Channel. O/N Ushuaia.
  • Day 8 – Afternoon transfer to the airport. Tour conclusion.

Great tour for combining with:

What’s Included?

Private transportation for all transfers and excursions. Accommodations on a twin/double basis. Single supplements on request. Full time Trogon Tours’ leader to accompany the group from day 1 on arrival in El Calafate airport to day 8 on departure from Ushuaia airport. Local guides where required by law. All breakfasts, lunches, box-lunches and dinners, from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8 of the tour. No drinks included. Admission fees to all national parks and nature reserves. Motor catamaran excursion on the Beagle Channel.

What’s Not Included?

International and domestic airfares and airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurants personnel, etc. Drinks with your meals. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified under “What is included?”

When to go

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    The specialist who designs your trip will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.


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