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Patagonia encompasses the southernmost provinces of Chile and Argentina and is an area of spectacular landscapes supporting a diverse and interesting flora. On this tour we are focussing on the southern provinces of Santa Cruz (Argentina) and Magallanes (Chile), where we explore a range of habitats from dry steppe to woodland and mountains. Leaders: Martin Sheader & Harry Jans.
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Petunia patagonica at Calafate

After arriving in Buenos Aires we fly south to the town of El Calafate, where we visit the surrounding mountains and the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier. Expect to see Oxalis enneaphylla, Oxalis laciniata, Benthamiella, Xerodraba, Calceolaria and orchids in bloom.

We then travel south, crossing the border into Chile at Cerro Castillo and head for our next venue, the renowned Torres del Paine National Park. The park is centred around the Torres del Paine massif, and includes a wide range habitats ranging from steppe to Nothofagus woodland, mountain slopes and exposed ridges. Here we hope to visit Sierra del Toro where we should find orchids, Primula magellanica, Leucheria, Menonvillea, Oxalis enneaphylla and Oxalis loricata. We spend a further day exploring the park.


We return to El Calafate travelling through the Patagonian steppe, with stops en route where we should see Anarthrophyllum desideratum, Petunia patagonica, Junellia and Oxalis in bloom. From El Calafate we explore the hills to the north of the Santa Cruz valley, before travelling west along Lago Viedma to El Chalten with its spectacular mountain scenery and rich floral communities. We then drive north-east to visit Lago Cardiel where we find a range of dryland flowers such as Neobaclea crispifolia and Austrocactus aonikenkensis.

We return to El Calafate and spend our final day travelling by boat through the iceberg-laden waters of Lago Argentino to visit Estancia Cristina and the Upsala Glacier.

The following day we fly north with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires before returning home.

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