Patagonia's Mountain Landscapes

Torres del Paine, Fitzroy Massif & Cerro Torre in Autumn

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At the southern tip of South America lies an area surrounded by the South Atlantic on its east, the storm-ridden South Pacific on its west, and to its south the tempestuous, Antarctic-influenced "Southern Ocean."
The land is Patagonia, a vast windswept semi-arid plateau that encompasses over one-third of Argentina and Chile. Little changed since its discovery by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520, Patagonia is an immense natural reserve offering an array of alluring wildlife and scenic habitats to tempt the naturalist and outdoor photographer.

"The trip to Patagonia exceeded my expectations in every way! Simply stunning locations, and we were always at the right place at the right time—I've taken the best photos of my life! Our tour leader was fantastic, as was our local guide and everyone else involved. I wish I was headed out on another Van Os tour tomorrow!"
- A. Steedman

Comparable in size to Washington, Oregon and California, the flat temperate desert plain of Patagonia rises to meet the jagged granite spires of the Southern Andes. Verdant forests, fed by the meltwaters of an 8,000-square-mile ice cap to the west, surround pristine lakes that are considered to be among the world's most beautiful. Images of craggy snowcapped peaks lie reflected in the cold, blue water. Massive glaciers grind on their slow course, calving blue icebergs into jewel-like lakes.

Our Patagonia tour concentrates on panoramic landscape and wildlife imagery in two incredible national parks. We shoot in the spectacular mountainous region of the Andes at Los Glaciares National Park where we should have outstanding photo opportunities at the Fitzroy Massif (11,073 feet) and Cerro Torre (10,280 feet). In the Patagonian autumn, beech forests provide a fiery colorful contrast to the landscape.

Photographing in PatagoniaThe second photographic highlight is our days spent at the foot of the dramatic peaks of the "Towers" and "Horns" of Torres del Paine National Park. The tumultuous weather of the southern hemisphere's autumn season produces a wide variety of dramatic lighting conditions. We have plenty of time to photograph these magnificent mountains in the wondrous light of sunrise and sunset. At "Paine" we have reserved convenient accommodations at Pehoe Lodge for four nights, offering comfortable rooms, good meals and affording views of ineffable beauty. At Lago Grey we shoot pinnacles and peaks not seen from other areas of the park. Unwary Patagonian foxes and guanacos provide exciting wildlife photography experiences—and it is not uncommon to see condors, eagles and other birds of prey during our travels. We also organize a photo session of gauchos driving horses across grasslands.

Join us for a journey to a place called a "Living Eden" in a stunning documentary filmed for public television. The mountains of Patagonia provide some of the world's most inspiring scenic photography and are a destination all serious nature photographers should shoot at least once in a lifetime!


Check out Jeff Vanuga's trip report from our latest Patagonia photo tour
For Trip questions or to enroll give us a call at (206) 463-5383

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Depart on overnight flights to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Day 2 (Apr 16, 2022)

Arrive in Buenos Aires and transfer to our hotel. Afternoon visit to Costanera Sur Wildlife Preserve and Palermo Lake. (D)

Day 3

We fly to El Calafate and drive to El Chaltén, located at the foot of the Fitzroy Massif, where we are based for four nights. Along the way we photograph spectacular steppe landscapes. After arriving at our lodge we drive along the west side of Las Vueltas River and visit a picturesque waterfall surrounded by incredible autumn-colored beech trees. (Morning snack at the airport on your own, LD)

Patagonia mountains and lakeDays 4–6

The jagged spine of the Andes is the backdrop for this—one of the world's most magnificent wilderness areas. We are provided with awesome views of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre. Amidst these granite spires we should see Andean condors gliding effortlessly. Each morning we look for sunrise light on these spectacular massifs from different locations along Las Vueltas Canyon, shooting mountains, clouds and the rich colors of the austral autumn. (BLD)

Day 7

Following sunrise photography, we drive to El Calafate. Afternoon photography at Laguna Nimez Wildlife Reserve, time permitting. (BLD)

Day 8

Explore one of South America's most spectacular and active glaciers, the Perito Moreno, as it flows into the southern arm of Lago Argentino. Here we can closely observe great chunks of chill-blue ice calving from the glacier into the lake. (BLD)

Day 9

We depart early for Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. We drive a new scenic road traversing ranches, grasslands, forests and mountainous terrain. We arrive at Torres del Paine in the afternoon and start our exploration of this amazing national park. (BLD)

Guanacos PatagoniaDays 10–14

We have five full days in Torres del Paine where the famous and utterly captivating granite massif consumes our attention with the constant play of light across its sheer vertical walls. The compelling grandeur of these jagged peaks is complemented by the fiery colors of autumn foliage and by the abundant and relatively unwary wildlife within the park. (BLD)

Day 15

After a morning shoot in Torres del Paine we drive to El Calafate and take a late evening flight to Buenos Aires. (BL, Dinner airport snack on your own)

Day 16 (April 30)

After a morning rest and lunch, we photograph a tango dance before departing to the international airport for late evening flights home. (BL)

Day 17

Arrive home.

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Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Patagonia's Mountain Landscapes

Apr 15, 2022 - May 01, 2022


A deposit and completed and signed Registration Form are required to reserve a place for you on a Joseph Van Os Photo Safari.


All prices are quoted in US dollars and all payments must be paid in US dollars. For deposits only, we accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Final payment of the trip fee is due 120 days priors to departure and must be paid by check or bank transfer. Trip deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

We must receive written notice of your cancellation, at which time cancellation fees in the following amounts apply:

If Written Cancellation is Received:
90 days or prior:
89 to 61 days prior:
60 or fewer days:
Cancellation Fee:
100% of deposit
50% of entire trip fee
100% of entire trip fee

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason whatsoever. Trips are sold as a package only. This policy also applies to tour extensions and independent travel arrangements. Cancellation fees are not transferable.

Protect your travel investment and purchase a trip insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage. A trip insurance brochure will be sent with your enrollment confirmation. A CANCEL FOR ANY REASON policy is available.

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking for several miles over uneven trails, stepping from a small boat to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations—all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire with our office before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants and you agree to inform our office in writing if changes in your health occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's or trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements. “Meatless” meals are normally available at most locations. Due to the remote nature of many photo locations, and the growing diversity of today’s dietary trends, participants requiring special food items are encouraged to bring their own.

Tour members are asked to refrain from smoking with or near the group.

Participants will receive three emails before the trip departs: 1. Initial Tour Information sheet confirms the deposit and provides pre-departure information. 2. Invoice/Practical Information provides clothing and photo gear recommendations, climate data, applicable health advisories and reading list. Visa information will also be included (if applicable). 3. Final Tour Information includes arrival instructions, itinerary revisions (if any), hotel addresses, trip telephone contact information and participant list. We provide the trip leader's telephone number(s) and/or e-mail address with final documents so you can inquire about special photographic questions you may have regarding your trip. We welcome your calls or e-mail messages to

Information supplied upon enrollment describes the specific costs that are included in your trip fee. Generally these costs include lodging in double room occupancy, all meals (specified in the itinerary as BLD denoting breakfast, lunch or dinner), ground transportation during the trip in vans or small busses, air transportation as specified, meal and baggage tipping, and guide services provided by the trip leaders. Not included are airfare or other transportation from your home to the trip staging location, airport departure taxes, insurance, alcoholic beverages and bar expenses (plus bottled water and soft drink expenses on international tours outside of North America), tips and gratuities to local guides abroad, phone calls, passport or visa expenses, laundry or items of a personal nature. Gratuities to Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris trip leaders are optional and always appreciated. Rates are based on group tariffs; if the trip does not have sufficient registration, a small party supplement may be charged.

Single accommodations are available for a supplemental cost in many locations; see the pre-departure trip information or call our office for details. You will be charged the single supplement fee if you desire single accommodations or if you wish to have a roommate, but one is not available. In some remote locations, clients with single rooms are infrequently compelled to share a room due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, appropriate per diem refunds will be made reflecting the direct cost of the single room at the facility where clients are required to share. There is no additional single supplement fee on ship-based cruises, if you request a roommate and one is not available.

Cost increases may occur unexpectedly due to rising costs of airfares, ground transport, fuel surcharges, accommodations and currency fluctuations, among others. Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. may be compelled to amend prices, and we reserve the right to do so without prior notice. An increase in trip prices shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of funds paid for the trip other than as determined by the terms of our cancellation policy.

Whenever possible, our trip participants are lodged in comfortable, modern hotels. We select among the best available accommodations, but refrain from extravagance. Some interesting photographic destinations are far removed from modern amenities, however, and where necessary we will be accommodated in rustic country inns, cabins or tented camps.

Meals are always a special part of our trips for the camaraderie they engender and the opportunity they provide to try new foods from different areas. Depending on the trip and specific locale, participants order restaurant meals from the full menu or, less frequently, table d'hôte. Some trips include picnic lunches in the field. Fruit juice for breakfast and coffee or tea are included with the meals. Soft drinks are included with meals on tours within North America. Participants are responsible for their own bar tab (including bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages on tours outside of North America) at restaurant lunches and dinners.

Our itineraries are intended as examples only. Participants should allow for flexibility due to changes in weather, natural history or cultural events, or other logistical arrangements deemed necessary by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. or our leaders.

The second tour leader (and any subsequent additional leaders) listed for each trip on the website will be added as the group size warrants. If only one space remains on a trip, and logistics permit, we accept two persons traveling together, even if it exceeds the trip maximum.

Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. and/or their Agents act only as agents for the passenger (trip participant) in regard to travel including, but not limited to, sightseeing, meals, lodging, transportation, and all other services whether by railroad, motorcar, motor coach, boat, ship or aircraft or other conveyance, and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned either by reason of defect in any vehicle or for any reason whatsoever, or through the acts, bankruptcy or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the trip.

They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay, cancellations or changes in flights or other tour services, and by force majeure including sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine, epidemics and outbreaks, or other causes.  All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as trip fees provide for arrangements only for the times and locations stated. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely.

The right is reserved to 1) substitute hotels of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary or transport where deemed necessary, or caused by changes in flight schedules or equipment substitution; 2) cancel any trip prior to departure due to low enrollment, in which case full refund of the paid trip funds will be given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non-refundable air tickets, visa fees and medical related expenses; 3) At the company’s sole discretion, suspend or postpone any trip due to force majeure in which case the trip may be rescheduled, or a refund issued less any non-refundable deposits paid to tour component providers on behalf of the passenger, or a travel credit given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non-refundable air tickets, visa fees and medical related expenses; 4) substitute trip leader(s) for the leader(s) originally specified, in which case the substitution is not a basis for participant cancellation or refund other than provided by our normal cancellation policy; or 5) accept or retain any person as a member of any trip.

Trip prices are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of publication and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein.

A Registration Form including the Enrollment Conditions and Release and Assumption of Risk sections must be signed by each participant prior to the commencement of the trip. Participation by any trip member will be declined in the absence of the signed Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section, with no trip fee refund. No modification to the Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section will be accepted.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this agreement, the enrolling trip participant(s) agree(s) to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, the enrolling participant(s) agree(s) to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington. Certain ship owners require the use of pre-printed ticket forms that limit the ship owner's and operator's liability. When such tickets are used, the passenger is bound by the terms of these tickets with respect to the passenger's legal relationship to the owners and operators of the ship, their agents (Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc.), and the ship's crew.

Patagonia's Mountain Landscapes: Easy Activity Level

Trip Details
Apr 15 - May 01, 2022
Fee: $8,595 from Buenos Aires, Argentina*
Deposit: $1,000
Limit: 16 participants
Activity Level: Easy
*Internal flights arranged at additional cost; approximately $600
  • Shoot the landscapes and wildlife of two of the most spectacular mountain photography destinations—Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks
  • More than five full days at Torres del Paine in two different locations
  • Capture soaring granite mountain peaks, massive glaciers and pristine lakes
  • Prime time for austral fall colors of southern beech trees
  • Photograph unwary guanacos, foxes and birds
Tour Leaders
Jeff Vanuga

Jeff Vanuga

Diego Punta Fernández

Diego Punta Fernández

And local leader

Our in country guide, was worth her weight in gold! This trip was well worth the money. The tour leader and the guide worked together to get us to the best locations for the light and conditions. Mother Nature was kind to us on the wind and weather as well.
—L. Gertie

The scenic treasures of Patagonia have long been a photographic dream destination for me. The Joseph Van Os tour itinerary, tour leader, local guides, tour transportation and lodging—all combined to make the tour an unforgettable adventure that exceeded all my expectations.
—M. Naney