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Sat 03 Nov - Thu 15 Nov 2018

In aid of NSPCC

NSPCC

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Insurance

Safety

Visa

Money

Group Size

Vaccinations

Flights

Typical Day

Accomodation and Toilets

Climate and terrain

Clothing and equipment

Food & Drink

Training and training weekends

Leadership

Phone and WiFi

Responsible Tourism

Level of Difficulty

The Patagonia challenge is graded as challenging due to the rough terrain, the trekking on the glaciar, and basic facilities. A good level of fitness and regular training is required for this challenge. The more prepared you are for this challenge, the more you will enjoy it. Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be able to complete the trek as long as they train regularly over a period of at least three months leading up to it, so as to build up stamina and endurance. Don’t forget that the temperature and the weather will be very different from the UK and that you will be exercising constantly for a number of days. You can tell your supporters that on your Patagonia Trek Challenge you will be:
•    Trekking for 5 days consecutively over long distances and fighting the winds and bad weather conditions of the Patagonian Mountains.
•    Trekking at altitudes of up to 1,200m
•    Potentially experiencing cold weather conditions below zero degrees
•    Sleeping in locations with very basic facilities

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge.
If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy.  This should include protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure; the specific activities on your challenge including trekking at high altitude (up to 3000 meters); medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) specifically for this trip covering helicopter evacuation.
If you choose not to purchase the Charity Challenge recommended travel insurance policy when you book, we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of its participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. In a nutshell, Our Challenge Safe brand formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the activity itself. Your welfare is paramount!
In terms of your Patagonia Trek Challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:
•    You will be trekking for 5 days consecutively over long distances and fighting the winds and bad weather conditions of the Patagonian Mountains.
•    You will be trekking at altitudes of up to 1,200m
•    It will be very windy and cold especially at nights.
•    You will be sleeping in locations with very basic facilities
•    You will be crossing the Perito Moreno Glacier using crampons. No technical trekking experience is needed, but you will need to be in good physical conditions and not injured. Your trek guide will assess your fitness levels and determine whether you will do this trek or not.

Visa

You must hold a full ten-year passport with at least six months to run from the end of your expedition. Airlines may not carry passengers holding passports with less than 6 months validity. As a British national, you don’t need a visa to enter Argentina as a tourist. On presentation of a valid British passport you will normally be granted a 90-day stay in the country.
If you’re travelling to Argentina for any purpose other than tourism, contact the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in London.

 

Money

Currency: Argentina uses the Argentine Peso.  For up to date currency exchange, go XE.com. GBP can be exchange at Buenos Aires airport and in the city.
Credit Cards: These are accepted in all major hotels, banks and stores in Argentina. Credit card receipts from stores and restaurants will be priced in Argentine Peso, although you will be billed in the currency of your own country with the official exchange rate having been taken into consideration
ATMs: There is an extensive network of ATMs where visitors can use.  You should check with your bank before departure that your card can be used overseas and what the charges will be, as UK cash cards are not always accepted by Argentinean cash machines. It is wise to take sufficient funds in cash for periods away from the major cities.
How much to bring: You will not need a large amount of money during this trip and other than at the start and end of the challenge, you will be in the rural areas away from any foreign exchanges or banks. You will only need money for tips, additional food & drink, gifts & souvenirs, and for any other additional activities that you wish to do specially in Buenos Aires. On average we recommend around £300.
Tipping: Tipping is personal and at your sole discretion. You should only tip if you feel that you have received good service. We recommend approx. GBP 10 per person per challenge day and this should be given to the expedition leader at the end of the trip who will advise you how to distribute it among the support team.

 

Group Size

Each Group is intended to be a minimum of 10 people in order to run and a maximum of approximately 16 people.

Vaccinations

For up to date vaccination information, please check the Travel Health Pro website: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Charity Challenge cannot provide medical information or advice, and would encourage you to visit your GP or travel nurse to discuss your vaccination requirements. Your GP may ask questions about your specific itinerary so it may be useful to take a copy of this with you. 

Flights

You will be making a return journey from London Heathrow indirectly to Calafate, Argentina. A copy of your e-ticket will be issued to you upon departure at London Heathrow along with your luggage labels and a Charity Challenge t-shirt

Typical Day

During the trekking days you will rise early and pack up before breakfast, then trek carrying your bags for 6-8 hours. There will be a picnic lunch on route and plenty of time to stop and view the remarkable scenery. The evenings are spent in basic, though beautifully located, camps and refuges where the food and facilities are fairly simple.

Accomodation and Toilets

In Buenos Aires, we will be staying in a local 3* local hotel. During the trek we will be staying in campsites, refuges and lodges. The accommodation in campsites will be sharing with someone of the same sex. The accomodation in refuges and lodges might be with more people of your group since the rooms are from 4 to 8 beds. If you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with, please ensure you submit this information at the time of booking or email challenges@charitychallenge.com
Foam sleeping mats and sleeping bags are provided, but do take your own if you require extra comfort.
 

Climate and terrain

The best season for trekking in Patagonia is between October and April.  Daytime temperatures can reach 35ºC in Buenos Aires and around 22ºC in Calafate. Night times, especially when in Calafate and the trekking area can go down from single figures to below zero. You must be prepared for the worst, as mountain weather conditions are extremely unpredictable.

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, waterproof, well-worn in boots will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some really good quality walking socks. You don’t need a clean pair every day, but enough to make sure you have dry socks each morning. The benefits of a comfortable day sack cannot be underestimated, so make sure that you train with this. Other essentials are high quality Gore-Tex waterproof and windproof  jackets and trousers, technical/wicking t-shirts rather than cotton shirts, and a down jacket for the evenings in camp and your summit day/night. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here  and once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Food & Drink

During the day a typical packed lunch provided might consist of fruit juice, fresh fruit, sandwiches, etc. The evening meal at the campsite, lodges and refuges will be a starter with some cheese, olives, bread, a main with some beef, chicken or salad, rice, potatoes and vegetables and some fruits for desert. Dinners will vary from day-to-day and so not all will include soft drinks. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies.

Training and training weekends

This challenge is graded ‘Challenging’, which means that a good level of fitness is definitely required! We recommend that you have significant experience of trekking within the UK before departure. Don’t forget that the temperature and the altitudes are different from the UK. While strength is important, endurance training should be your primary focus. Walking up hills and climbing stairs are both ways to condition your lower body. Begin slowly, without the weight of a pack, eventually adding weight as you increase your training pace. Take long hikes (6-8 hours) with a weighted pack, up and down hills or on small mountains (weigh your pack with water containers and pour out the water before your descent to minimise knee stress). Also see our Fitness Training page.

Training weekends

We offer superb training weekends across various locations in the UK, from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon. These training weekends not only help you become physically prepared for the challenge, but our experienced instructors and leaders will talk you through your clothing and equipment, camp craft, health and wellbeing, trekking skills (walking on different terrain/at altitude/at night/using walking poles), teamwork on expedition and many more themes designed to make you get the most out of your challenge. The weekends are great ways for you to get out into the mountains of the UK, while also meeting other Charity Challengers and sharing your experiences. To read more about our training weekends, including dates and prices, check out our dedicated page.

Leadership

We employ a number of first aid qualified challenge leaders, all of whom speak fluent English. They will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group. Your local challenge leader will meet you at your arrival to Calafate, although you will be met by a Charity Challenge representative in Buenos Aires until you check in at your hotel and get your next day flight to Calafate.

Phone and WiFi

You will have mobile phone and internet signal during your stay in Buenos Aires, and the main cities El Chalten and Calafate. After that, you will have extremely limited mobile phone or internet reception during your trek.

Responsible Tourism

Charity Challenge is committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and works closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that challenges continue to benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. 

Charity Challenge ensures that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection. For more information about our Responsible Tourism practices, you can visit the Responsible Tourism section of Charity Challenge's website and read the latest policy. 

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ATOL protected

We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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