Subject: Re: Patagonia help needed
Susie- My husband and I are going to Patagonia with Butterfield and Robinson at the beginning of February. Their trip starts in Calafate, Argentina and finishes in Chile in Punta Arenas after a 3 night stay at explora. B&R is at the high end for group adventure travel, although I wouldn't describe them as glitzy. The company and their guides are the best, but they are expensive.

Backroads has at least 2 trips - one I think is in the Lake District, rather than Patagonia. Also, I think at least one of their trips is classified as multi-sport. You might also take a look at Mountain Travel Sobek, although I think they do some camping.

We've done a few group hiking trips - Canadian Rockies with Country Walkers, the Dolomites with Walking Softly and quite a few years ago we hiked in Switzerland with Wanderweg Holidays. We also did the guided Milford Track hike in New Zealand. Group size is important - you don't want too few people and you don't want too many. I'd say 9-10 is about ideal. It's also good if the company offers multiple options for the day - ultimately people are at different levels of fitness and endurance. Get the detailed day by day itinerary for any company you are considering. For me, the choice of lodging is important, although some people are more flexible on that.

Good luck with your planning - let me know if you have any questions.

Leslie Chicago