Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here
to go to our general FAQ
, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs.
Terms and Conditions
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions
page before signing up for this program.
GEEO Program Confirmation Process
We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to firstname.lastname@example.org
. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
- If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
- If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
- IMMIGRATION RECEIPT: When you go through Chilean arrival immigration you will receive a receipt with the initials PDI. This is your Tarjeta Unica Migratoria receipt. Do not lose it! You will need it in order to leave the country.
- SANTIAGO SAFETY: If you decide to spend time in Santiago, you should be especially careful when wandering around Santiago on your own, particularly at night. Tourists are easy prey for individual pickpockets or groups of two or more people working as a team on the streets. Pay particular attention to anyone who "accidentally" spills anything on your clothes or belongings (mustard, etc.) and then apologizes and offers to help clean up. They will clean you out instead! Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveler's checks, and cash you won't be using in the hotel's safety deposit box. Most locals are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!
- TREK DIFFICULTY: You will hike around 40 miles on the 4-day, 3-night W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park. Altitude sickness is not a concern on this trek, as the W Trek is under 1000m (3000 ft). You will be hiking up or down steep terrain. GEEO's executive director Jesse Weisz hiked the W Trek in January of 2019. He feels the hike was similar in difficulty to the Inca Trail. He feels it can be completed by people of moderate fitness levels. He would recommend training ahead of time to get your legs and heart ready for the long days. The biggest variable is the weather. There is the potential that you will be hiking in high wind and driving rain, with the scenic views unseeable in the clouds. There is also the potential you will have beautiful sunny days in the 60s F, which is perfect hiking weather. Most likely you will get a bit of both. It is important that you follow the packing list so you can handle all weather conditions. If you forget an item, don't worry, as you can purchase pretty much anything in Puerto Natales as they have lots of hiking and camping gear stores, but the prices will be significantly higher. If you sign up for this hike and can't handle it, you will have the ability to abandon it on day 1 or day 2, but will have to pay the extra expenses incurred on alternative transportation, meals and accommodation. From Day 3 to 4 you will need to hike through the rest of the way. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact Jesse at email@example.com.
- CAMPING/HIKING EQUIPMENT: The tents, ground pads and sleeping bags for this trek are included in the cost of the trip. You will not need to carry any of these items. You can rent rain pants and trekking poles for a reasonable rate in Puerto Natales. We recommend trekking poles for most people.
- PACKING FOR THE HIKE: During the trek you will stay at different campsites each night. We recommend using a (roughly) 32-liter bag for the W Trek to carry your personal items you need for that day. See packing list below for more details.When you arrive in Puerto Natales, you will be loaned a large dry (waterproof) bag to pack the items that you will need at night on the trek. This bag will be brought to each campsite by vehicle, boat and/or horse. You will only have to carry it for at most 10 minutes at a time. You are permitted to pack 4 KG of your personal items in these bags. See packing list below for more details.
- FOOD, SNACKS AND WATER: During the trek, each morning you will be given a bagged lunch, which typically contains a sandwich, apple, snack bar and chocolate bar. You will carry this with you until the group stops to eat. You will have to pack out any trash created. Dinners will be served at the campsites. You might want to snack while on the trek: Power bars, Cliff bars, trail mix, etc. Jesse went through about 6 of these a day and packed a supply of them in the dry bag to restock his day bag with each morning. Our recent group said the lunch was plenty and did not need so many snacks. We also recommend bringing electrolyte powder, such as Nuun tablets.Your guide will recommend using a 1 liter (32 ounce) water bottle, like a Nalgene. You will be able to refill this in glacial streams throughout the hike. If you like to drink a lot of water, you may want to also carry a second bottle, maybe .5 liters. Some people prefer hydration bladders with straws. These work well for the purposes of this trip, but you may want to bring a smaller bottle with you as it can be hard to fill a bladder in a moving stream. The guides will tell you that that water is safe to drink. If you don’t trust them and want to be extra cautious, feel free to bring a filter, UV purifier, etc. Jesse didn’t purify his water and was fine.
- INTERNET: You will have internet available on all nights, besides at the first campsite. At the two other campsites WiFi is available for a fee. Do not expect a phone signal while on the trek between campsites.
Group Leader Description
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventures' group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
On the trek you will have two trekking guides, who are in addition to your G Adventures tour leader. The three of them will allow the fast hikers to move as fast as they wish and the slower hikers to move at a slower pace.
Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page
. If you want to room alone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
to request a single room.
If you are arriving to Puerto Natales airport, you can take a taxi into town for approximately 25,000 CLP (38 USD).
As there are only a few flights per week to Puerto Natales, you may find it more convenient to arrive at Punta Arenas airport, which is 3 hours away from Puerto Natales but has daily flights.
A taxi from Punta Arenas is approximately 115,000 CLP / 175 USD (3 hours travel time). There are also public transport options. Bus Sur has 7 buses from the airport per day and travel time is 3.5 hours. Buses Pacheco also have a couple of buses per day. Tickets cost about 8000 CLP/ 12 USD per person and operate between 7 am and 7 pm, some days there is a later bus at 9 pm as well. (http://bussur.com/?lang=en)
If you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS:
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Local Time)
From outside Argentina: +54 11 2150 2581
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 2150 2581
After hours Emergency number
From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 15 3425 0380
If you are unable for any reason to contact G Adventures' local office please call their Toronto office: Toll-free from North America: 1 888 800 4100; Outside North America: +1 416 260 0999
Please read this article
on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. Many people assume that the weather is hot in South America, but in Patagonia the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a rolling suitcase or backpack, whichever you find easiest to handle. A good size daypack (32 liters is our suggestion) is also essential.
Camping equipment for the "W" trek is provided and included in the cost of your trip. A sleeping bag and mat are also provided. You may leave the bulk of your gear stored in Puerto Natales. While hiking you will only need to carry your daypack with supplies for the duration of each day.
Note: The best clothing for trekking is either wool or synthetic materials in layers, as this is quick-drying and can keep heat in better. We suggest a base-layer, then a mid-layer such as a light fleece jacket or similar, then a windproof and waterproof layer.
LATAM Chile allows 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 23 kg (50 lbs) on internal flights, plus one carry-on and one personal item. See LATAM's fees for overweight luggage here
Health & Safety
Available for Rent:
- N95/KN95 Face masks (at least a few just in case there is an outbreak within your group)
- Hand sanitizer
- Quick Covid Test/Antigen Tests (at least 3)
Day Pack (Items you will carry or wear while hiking):
- Walking poles (3000 CLP per day)
- Windproof rain jacket (4000 CLP per day)
- Windproof rain pants (2000 CLP per day)
Dry Bag (Items you will pack in the dry bag, which will be delivered to your campsite each night):
- Windproof rain jacket (Men’s and Women’s)
- Packable down or synthetic down jacket (Men’s and Women’s)
- Walking poles (If you don't own any, we recommend renting them)
- Windproof rain pants (Men's and Women's)
- Thermal long sleeve top (We recommend 1 lightweight and 1 mid-weight to deal with different weather. Leave one in the drybag, one in your pack, depending on the weather that day. Men's and Women's lightweight. Men's and Women's mid-weight)
- Synthetic or wool T-Shirt (Men's and Women's)
- Quick-drying hiking pants (Men's and Women's. If you prefer convertible, Men's and Women's)
- 2 pairs of hiking socks, 1 in your bag, another on your feet (Men's and Women's)
- Waterproof hiking boots (Or trail runners. It depends on how much ankle support you want. Buy these in person at a store so you can test them out.)
- Winter Hat (REI has lots of options)
- Sun Hat
- Wind/waterproof hiking gloves (These light gloves are great for hiking, in Men's and Women's)
- Sun Block (3 ounces should be enough)
- SPF Lip Balm
- Raincover for backpack (some packs have an included one. If not, try to find one made by the manufacturer. Worst case get one of these, small or medium)
- Sunglasses (If possible, get ones that wrap around to block out wind)
- Water bottle or a water bladder with straw (1 to 2 liters)
- Snacks (1 to 6 protein bars a day. You can buy them individually or get a big box)
- Toilet paper (Each campsite has bathrooms with toilet paper. This is just if you need it while hiking)
- Electrolytes (One or two of these)
- Ziplock bag
- Basic first aid kit (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids, blister tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking. The guides will patch any blisters you get with their own supplies.)
Other Items (You can leave these in Puerto Natales while you are hiking):
- Light travel pillow (Or you can use clothing)
- 3 pairs of underwear
- 3 pairs of wool hiking socks (Men's and Women's)
- Pants for wearing at the campsite (Men's and Women's)
- T-Shirt for wearing at the campsite
- Thermal top for wearing at the campsite
- Lightweight sneakers for wearing in the evening
- Headlamp (or the flashlight on your phone)
- Snack refills
- Quick-dry camping towel (This one in Medium or Large)
- Basic Toiletries, like shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc (These are handy)
- Cash for tipping and buying items/drinks at the campsite
- Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
- AirTags or Tile trackers
- Packing cubes
- Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet (Optional)
- If you travel to Santiago, personal clothing for shorts and t-shirt weather
- Personal clothing for Puerto Natales, where it will cool during the day, cold at night.
- Bathing suit (There is a spa in Puerto Natales that is a great place to get a massage after the trek)
- Reading material
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- EUR/USD cash
- Credit or debit card
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. If you want to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Passports and Visas
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ
for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double-check the information we provide below by searching here
Please make sure you have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for the entry and exit stamp.
Americans do not need a visa to travel in Chile for stays shorter than 90 days. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.
You will each receive an immigration receipt upon arrival in Chile. It will look like a credit card receipt and you should keep it in your passport. Please do not lose this as you will need it to leave the country.
You will be bringing your passport with you on the trek.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.
You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of U.S. Dollar cash and cards is best. Please bear in mind that the cost of living in the southern cone countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) is much higher than the rest of South America and more comparable with Europe. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
We do not recommend bringing traveler's checks as they are difficult to change in the country.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, that have been heavily marked, or that are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100 USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is an opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-$10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
For the trek, we recommend tipping at least $25 USD per person to your lead guide and $10 USD to the assistant guide. There will also be a tip of $5 per person for the trek driver and a possible tip for the staff at the first campsite.
Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a budgeting guideline, $25 per person per week can be used.
We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!
We find the best prices for flights are often available 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. We advise that you wait until this trip is confirmed before booking non-refundable and non-changeable flights.
GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed.
Your trip begins and ends in Puerto Natales, Chile. Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Puerto Natales. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, but we strongly urge you to arrive by 6:00 p.m. on Day 1 for our group meeting.
Plugs and Converters
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Chile uses a Type C- European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an "Input" line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, "Input: 100-240V" means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can't handle the different voltage, you'll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
- The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury. Sometimes the accommodation is not air-conditioned.
- We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
- You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
- Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities.
- We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
- Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
December/January is summertime in the Southern Hemisphere. If you decide to spend time in Santiago, you can expect daytime temperatures in the 80s and 90s F with lows in the 50s to 70s F. On the trek, the weather can greatly vary. It will be cooler, with highs in the 60s and 70s F and lows the 40s and 50s F, with a chance of high wind and rain.