This photographic journey is led by professional photographer and author Sergio Ballivian, offering a superb teaching and learning workshop.
The goal of this photographic tour is to immerse ourselves in the heart and soul of Torres del Paine National Park, considered the 8th Wonder of the World! There are countless opportunities to photograph the rugged majesty of this living landscape from afar and up close. We will be hiking, sailing and driving to some of the most iconic locations where the character of this battered chunk of the southern Andes Mountains is bathed in special light and scoured by the winds of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap. Where the steppe meets the mountains and where the lakes lap at the feet of massive rock walls is where we will be each day from sunrise to sunset. We have the perfect locations, timed just right for the best light…all we need is mother nature to show us her treasures.
Duration: 12 days / 11 nights
Group Size Limit: 10
Check current group sizes and max. full price / person for each departure date. We can also create a custom departure dates!
We use TIER PRICING: more guests = lower price per guest. Pricing is in US $ dollars.
|TIER A||7-10 people||10,390 / per person|
|TIER B||5-6 people||10,950 / per person|
|TIER C||3-4 people||11,390 / per person|
|TIER D||2 people||11,990 / per person|
|TIER E||1 person||13,545 / per person|
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Located in the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic region, between the Andes Mountain range and the Patagonian Steppe, Torres del Paine National Park is considered the 8th Wonder of the World. We chose the autumn for this tour because the winds are much less prominent vs. summer, the crowds have disappeared, and the colors are peaking across the landscape. This is the quiet time in Patagonia, and we will be able to pick our spots for the best photos with plenty of elbow room. Come prepared for cool to chilly temps and superb-crisp autumn light!
The goal of this photographic tour is to immerse ourselves in the splendor of the park and capture its countless photographic opportunities from the towering walls of granite to the multi-colored lakes that dot the landscape, to the large estancias (ranches) located on the steppes that surround the park. We will be hiking, sailing, and driving to some of the most iconic locations where the character of this battered chunk of the southern Andes Mountains is bathed in the clean autumn light Patagonia is known for.
A characteristic of this rugged land at the end of the world are the winds that careen off the southern Patagonian Ice Cap, the second largest contiguous ice field in the world, which adds a plethora of photo ops every single day. Here is where fjords, glaciers, steep, rugged mountains, dense forests, and the rolling steppe meet. The park includes numerous peaks over 2,000 m / 6,560 ft tall including Paine Grande (2,834 m / 9,798 ft), Cerro Paine Grande (2,933 m / 9,623 ft), Cerro Paine Chico (2,679 m / 8,789 ft), Cordillera Escorpion (2,600 m / 8,530 ft) and many others which are easily visible from each other due to their proximity. Explore this magnificent place and let mother nature show you her best kept secrets.
Researched and designed, on-the-ground, by expert landscape photographer and author, Sergio Ballivian. This photographic tour explores the magical place where the Patagonian steppe meets the southern Andes mountains and where the alpine lakes lap at the feet of massive rock walls. Before arrival in Patagonia, Sergio will guide you in choosing the right clothing for the weather that Patagonia is known for. Tough and challenging conditions change every few hours, so expect 4 seasons in one day. With over 30 years of photographic and adventure guiding experience, he will make suggestions on the best photo equipment to bring to capture the vast landscapes and wildlife that are unique to southern Patagonia.
There are many good reasons Torres del Paine is considered the 8th Wonder of the World!
The trip begins in Punta Arenas, Chile in the Magallanes region (at sea level). Connections from Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires, Argentina are frequent, so getting here is easy.
We will spend a total of 2 nights in Puerto Natales (at the beginning and end of our trip) with prime accommodations in this historical port city. This is the starting point for any trip into Torres del Paine National Park and offers plenty of restaurants and amenities and supply options before heading into the park. The locations we will be visiting are a combination of viewpoints and access points where we can see the massive Cuernos of Torres del Paine from high above, at lake and river level and at the base of these massive rock walls. Our accommodations in the field will provide stunning and perfect jumping-off points to have a great variety of angles to catch the light caressing the peaks and the reflections on a variety of bodies of water.
Our routes consider the best time to be at the perfect location and the ease of accessing some of the more remote areas with comfortable accommodations nearby. Part of the plan is to hike to some areas that are only accessible via foot, but we also will sail to a few locations and drive for short periods of time from one prime location to another. We will spend more time enjoying the landscape and photography than driving to and from locations. During the journey, there will be time to rest, relax and review our images during the time we have at our comfortable lodges and hotels. The people in southern Patagonia are welcoming and hospitable and our local guides are experts in the region, well-versed in the weather, locations and always have a plan B in case our prime location is not perfect for our needs if the weather changes.
The itinerary below describes the day-to-day journey of what we will do and what we will see. After thoroughly scouting the region, we believe in our hearts that this combination of locations and timing will provide a truly unforgettable journey to Chile's southern Patagonia.
Questions and requests? please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Photographic Leader:
Sergio Ballivian was born in La Paz, Bolivia and lived abroad in the US, Canada and Spain for almost 35 years, with addresses in Washington D.C. and Boulder, Colorado and in La Paz. He graduated from the ACS high school in La Paz and studied in Sevilla Spain, and Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Dividing his time between the Andes and the Rocky Mountains, he continues pursuing adventures via 4×4, motorcycle, kayak or mountain bike. While in Washington DC, Sergio worked for 5 years in National Geographic in the Photography Department, supporting the photographers traveling around the world. Photography came into his world when he was 15 years old, falling in love with the photos he took, providing wonderful visual reminders of adventures that continue to this day.
Even after so many years, his love of adventure and exploration continues to grow every time he sees a place he does not know on a map. He has traveled in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile and also to Spain, Nepal and New Zealand. The love he has for his native land allows him to travel with clients for photography workshops, shooting documentaries and organizing expeditions. He started doing private photo tours more than two decades ago and leads photographic trips throughout the year to all corners of Bolivia and South America.
His latest venture is to publish photography books. Two recent books include; Altiplano – Where Earth and Sky Embrace (2015) and Madidi – An Uncertain Future (2017). His 3rd book is about the Bolivian Andes to be published in late 2024. His photography of landscapes, animals and people sheds light on unique places that need urgent protection. His work can be seen at: www.sergiophoto.com.
Sergio will be accompanied by another expert local guide during the whole tour, adding another level of expertise and knowledge so that your photographic journey will be fully supported in the region.
We will end our photographic journey on the 12th day at the Punta Arenas airport with a fond farewell and hoping our paths will cross again in the future.
We can run this trip from October to mid-May. The weather conditions will be different every few months, beginning with warmer in October and getting much colder closer to May. Please let us know your date preferences and we will create a custom departure date for you or your group.
You can check current group & dates using the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above.
Flights to Punta Arenas, Chile depart from most major cities in Latin America, usually routing via Santiago, Chile or Buenos Aires, Argentina, and arrive at various times of the day. Depending on your airline, you would arrive at different times on day 1 in Punta Arenas. However, we would highly recommend you arrive one day earlier in Punta Arenas in case of flight delays due to weather. Please let us know your flight info so we can coordinate pick-ups and other services. We can make all your hotel reservations that are not included in the 12-day tour.
International airfare is NOT included in this itinerary. For airline tickets, please contact our ticketing agent GEO Travel 1-210-225-7903.
Questions and requests? Please e-mail: email@example.com
Arrival in Punta Arenas, Chile (first day of tour)
Arrive in Santiago, Chile (SCL), transfer to domestic flight to Punta Arenas (PUQ). Pick-up at airport and transfer to hotel in Punta Arenas. After lunch and a brief rest, we depart south for a visit along the Atlantic coastline before dinner. We will dine together tonight at a local restaurant and get to know each other better. O/N Hotel Isla Rey Jorge (4*). (L, D)
Punta Arenas - Strait of Magellan Park - Estancia Rio Penitente
The Strait of Magellan Park is a protected area documenting and protecting the first Chilean settlement at the end of the world with the establishment of a crude fort made of local hardwoods. Considering the harsh weather in this part of world, it’s remarkable that most of the people in the area survived for many years before moving permanently to Punta Arenas (Sandy Point). After lunch in Punta Arenas, we drive north (2 hrs.) to a 100+ year-old sheep estancia for dinner. Overnight at Estancia Rio Penitente (4*). (B, L, D)
Estancia Rio Penitente - Puerto Natales
After a hearty breakfast and a visit around the natural escarpments above the Rio Penitente, we head north to Puerto Natales, the entrance city to Torres del Paine National Park. We should arrive in time for lunch. After checking-in at our hotel on the waterfront with stunning views of the Sound of Last Hope, we will head out to see some estancias and the rugged Andes mountains on the western horizon. After sunset we will return for dinner in Puerto Natales. O/N Hotel Costaustralis (4*). (B, L, D)
Puerto Natales - Torres del Paine National Park – Villa Serrano
It’s worth looking out your window in the morning to catch the sunrise illuminating the Andes to the west! After breakfast we depart north along a combination of paved and gravel roads until we arrive at the southern entrance to Torres del Paine National Park. Our basecamp for the next couple of days is at Rio Serrano, just outside the park boundaries that offer stunning views across the Serrano River towards the “horns” ...the iconic pointed towers cutting into the cold Andean sky. Depending on the current weather conditions we have lots of destinations to choose from, so we will make our decisions on what the finicky Patagonia weather bring to us. Dinner and overnight in Villa Serrano. O/N Hotel Del Paine (4*). (B, L, D)
Torres del Paine National Park (based in Villa Serrano)
There are fewer more pleasant events than sitting in the dining room looking at the sunrise across Rio Serrano and hitting the Torres del Paine while enjoying your coffee! We head out and see what the weather dictates today. Some of our objectives are Toro Lake, Nordenskjold Lake, and the Cisnes lookouts. Lunch en-route. We will find the best location for sunset based on what the weather gives us. There are lots of options to choose from. Afterwards we return to our hotel to freshen up and have dinner. O/N Hotel Del Paine (4*). (B, L, D)
Villa Serrano – Lago Grey sail – Villa Serrano
We depart early today so we can get the 2nd ship sailing on Lago Grey for the best light illuminating Grey Glacier in the late morning. This is a 3-hour sail on a very spectacular route, surrounded by the Andes and seeing the southern Patagonian Ice cap with your own eyes. You will feel it too, as the cold winds come across the ice cap and buffet the lake. No matter, the views are so stunning you will be concentrating on making beautiful photos instead. There are bathrooms and seating inside and hot drinks and snacks on board. After we dock and walk back to the departure point (45 minutes) we will have lunch. We return towards the heart of the park for the rest of the day and find another great location for sunset. We return to our hotel for dinner and rest. O/N Hotel Del Paine (4*). (B, L, D)
Torres del Paine National Park (based in Hosteria Pehoe)
As you will get accustomed to, the weather is hard to predict, much less nail down in southern Patagonia. Today we depart this hotel and head to another hotel, located on an island, in one of the most amazing locations in the park – Lake Pehoe! As you will see, we have lots of amazing viewpoints, routes, and trails to choose from to catch the best light on the iconic Torres del Paine massif. Lunch en route. We will get to the best location for sunset based on what the weather is doing. After sunset we return to our hotel to freshen up and have dinner. O/N Hosteria Pehoe (3*). (B, L, D)
Torres del Paine National Park (based in Hosteria Pehoe)
You don’t need to go far on this island to catch the sunrise at the top of the hill. Sunrises at this location are truly hard to beat, so don’t miss them. After breakfast we depart to the Condor Lookout, Salto Grande, and Pehoe Lookout. Lunch en route. In the afternoon we head to the Paine waterfall en-route to Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul. After sunset, we return to our island hotel for dinner. O/N Hosteria Pehoe (3*). (B, L, D)
Lago Pehoe - depart Torres del Paine - Estancia Tercera Barranca
After exiting Torres del Paine National Park, we make our way from Lago Pehoe and head northeast to a working Patagonia ranch, shooting landscapes en route. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. We arrive at the Estancia Tercera Barranca in the mid-afternoon with great views of the steppe and towers to the west. Here, we hope to meet with the gauchos, the cattle and sheep wranglers, who call this windswept region home. After checking-in we freshen up before dinner. O/N Estancia Tercera Barranca (4*). (B, L, D)
Estancia Tercera Barranca – Serrania de los Baguales
We have a fabulous opportunity to head to a mountain range deep into the Patagonia wilderness, the Serrania de los Baguales, the Wild Horse Range. We will take our picnic lunch with us. The rugged beauty of this range becomes apparent as we see massive rock walls, deep canyons cut by freezing Patagonia rivers and vast, open estancias as far as the eye can see. This is a rugged and beautiful land! Our plan is to find the best place to catch the sunset with great views of canyons where condors are seen flying and guanacos run wild and free. After sunset, we head back to the estancia to clean-up before dinner. O/N Estancia Tercera Barranca (4*). (B, L, D)
Estancia Terera Barranca - Torres del Paine Nat Park – Puerto Natales
We have our last morning in the area, so we head to say farewell to the gauchos we met a few days ago, located at an outpost at the foot of a canyon that is over 100 years old. As we drive south, keeping Torres del Paine on our right, we begin our journey back to Puerto Natales through wide-open steppe and massive estancias. This location has lots of wildlife, southern Rheas, foxes, Guanacos, geese, armadillo and much more. Our lunch will be at Cerro Castillo. We plan to arrive in Puerto Natales in the late afternoon. Our final dinner together in a local restaurant in Puerto Natales. O/N Hotel Costaustralis (4*). (B, L, D)
Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas (3 hr. drive) – fly to Santiago
Depending on your return flight from Punta Arenas (usually to Santiago), we depart at an appropriate time. The scenic drive takes 3 hours from Puerto Natales at a steady pace. Lunch will be in Punta Arenas before heading to the airport (30 minutes from downtown). Our planned arrival at the airport is 2 hours before your departure since you likely have an international connecting flight in Santiago. The flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago is 3.5 hours long. Upon arrival in Santiago, you will self-transfer (walk) to the international concourse for your connection back home. (B, L)
End of Sergio Photo Tours services.
Questions and requests?
please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Due to rapidly changing weather conditions, excursions are subject to change without prior notice as well as the order of the excursions in the program . If any activity is cancelled it will be replaced by another one.
As per the itinerary:
- hotel and hostel accommodations
- meals as noted (B,L,D)
- private transport
- bi-lingual guides
- airport transfers
- decades of experience and local knowledge
In order to make a reservation for a photo tour you can either fill in the form found in "BOOKING" and send it in directly from this website, you can e-mail us directly with any questions or call us. The procedure from beginning to end is roughly the following: 1. Initial contact from you to us via several methods; online form (below), e-mail, postal mail or by phone 2. We respond to your query and send you whatever information you may have asked for 3. You fill out the Trip Application Form and send in a deposit (non-refundable) for a specific tour 4. We acknowledge receipt of Trip Application Form and your deposit and send you a Receipt/Invoice for the balance due 5. We send the general Pre-Departure information packet so you can begin to make preparations (gear, visas, clothing, vaccinations, etc.) 6. You send in final payment (60 days before departure date) and required paperwork (Medical Form, Liability Release, copy of passport, Travel Arrangement Form) 7. We send you the Receipt/Invoice for all payments and any balance due (if any) and final itinerary 8. We communicate with you about any last minute requests or questions you may have 9. We meet you at the starting point of the photo tour 10. We all have a great tour and you make awesome images to cherish forever
YES! Anyone can book a single spot on any tour group at any time. These prices reflect the cost for one person, based on the total number of fully-paid people booked on a trip. If you have more people in your group and/or if the total number of people rises, the cost per person goes down. These prices are NOT based on a person or complete group bringing in a set amount of people on a tour
Final group size / price tier will be known 60 days before departure
Yes. You can check the current price tier for any group at any time. Every time we have a new booking we will update the price tier. The same goes if somebody cancels the trip.