Argentina

Argentina – Glaciers & Wildlife

14 days / 13 nights - Buenos Aires • Iguaçu Falls • Puerto Madryn • Peninsula Valdes • El Calafate • Ushuaia

Become an adventurer in the Patagonia Wilderness – one of the most remote and beautiful environments in the world. Visit the best of nature’s attractions in Argentina. From the tango bars and heaving streets of Buenos Aires, head to the striking mountain scenery, vast open plains, dramatic ice fields and advancing glaciers of Patagonia.

Buenos Aires • Iguaçu Falls • Puerto MadrynPeninsula Valdes • El Calafate • Ushuaia

 

  • Buenos Aires – the city that never sleeps;
  • The waterfalls of Iguaçu – the Argentine side and Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls;
  • Puerto Madrin – one of the most vibrant cities in Patagonia, with a beautiful coastal avenue overlooking the huge natural amphitheater of Nuevo Gulf;
  • Peninsula Valdes – a natural sanctuary with a great variety of marine fauna;
  • El Calafate – a complete interactive experience about the Patagonian Ice Field and the local glaciers;
  • Ushuaia – the city at the end of the world.

 

Tour available as:
• Private car – Includes English-speaking local tour guide and pre-booked accommodation.

Day 1 – Buenos Aires
Founded in 1580, Buenos Aires is today the largest city in South America. Also known as the city that never sleeps, as its many and varied around-the clock attractions never fail to surprise and impress first-time visitors and are a source of recurring pleasure for those returning to the city.
Meet & greet on arrival to Buenos Aires International airport (EZE). Forty five minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Assistance with hotel check in.

 

Day 2 – Highlights of Buenos Aires 
Meet your guide at the hotel lobby for a half day tour of the city.
A fascinating 4-hour tour of the elegant turn-of-the-century districts that earned Buenos Aires the soubriquet of the Paris of South America. From the charming cobbled alleys and colonial architecture of San Telmo to the Colorful Boca district, along to the Plaza de Mayo, dominated by the Casa Rosada (Government House), the Nación Bank, the Cathedral and original Parliament House, up the leafy Avenida de Mayo towards the imposing grandeur of the Palace of Congress and then on to finish at the historically fascinating Recoleta Cemetery, you will discover the facts, stories and anecdotes that make up the colorful tapestry of the history of Buenos Aires. This evening enjoy a dinner & Tango show!

Tango Night
Enjoy a typically Argentine first-class meal, be it the traditional steak, chicken or Patagonian lamb with a mouth-watering array of salads as well as any of a number of excellent pasta dishes before settling down for a tango show which includes some of the best-loved songs, music and dances performed by skilled musicians and dancers.

 

Day 3 – Buenos Aires
Full Day at leisure to enjoy the city at your own pace or take an optional tour.

Suggested Tour: Full Day Estancia La Bamba de Areco (or similar)
This is one of the oldest Argentine estancias (ranches). Its main building with a guard tower, stables and 200 year old park are part of the history and birthplace of the Gaucho or argentine cowboy.
La Bamba de Areco is a 1,5 hour drive out of downtown Buenos Aires, in the outskirts (13 km away) of the historical town of San Antonio de Areco, the birthplace of the gaucho. After arriving at the estancia and sampling the traditional empanadas (turn-over pies) lunch is served. Enjoy the famous asado with slabs of tasty beef and ribs roasted slowly over a charcoal or wood fire, paired with a variety of salads and washed down with exquisite Argentine wines.
After lunch you are welcomed to visit the grounds on foot or take the opportunity to ride round on horseback, enjoying the comfortable sheepskin cushioning the saddle with the reins resting in one hand. If you would rather relax and enjoy the peaceful environment there is an outdoor swimming pool available. A demonstration of gaucho skills can be organized upon request to share some of their time-honoured customs and folksong and dance.

 

Day 4 – Argentine side of Iguazu National Park
After breakfast meet your guide at the hotel lobby for a transfer to the domestic airport for a flight to Iguazú Falls. Twenty minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Assistance on flight check in.
After a 2 hour 20 min flight from Buenos Aires domestic airport, arrival at Puerto Iguazú local airport (IGR-Argentine side). Meet and greet. Twenty minute drive to Hotel in a private vehicle with a bilingual guide.
For your first view of the falls, walk to the Argentine side of the Iguazú National park and stroll along the lower Circuit. An exciting adventure combining jungle and waterfall sightseeing. The tour begins with a 4WD open truck drive across the rainforest, along the Yacaratiá Trail sighting flora and wildlife. After an 8 km (5 mile) truck ride, a short climb of stairs leads to the platform where we embark on a thrilling boat ride upstream along the Canyon of the Iguassu River to approach Devil’s Throat Canyon, San Martín Island and the main falls: Three Muskateers, San Martín and Bosetti.

 

Day 5 – Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls 
The Brazilian side of the falls offers a more panoramic view than the close up on the Argentine side, with a walkway that descends past several overlooks to a catwalk over the falls, allowing guests to really get a sense of the power of the rushing water (prepare for a soaking if you choose to go all the way out). From the end of the main walkway, an elevator whisks guests back up to street level at the top of the cliff (there’s also a trail up to the street for those who prefer not to wait in line for the lift).

 

Day 6 – Puerto Madryn & Peninsula Valdes
Transfer to Puerto Iguazú Airport (IGR) for flight to Trelew (REL) via Buenos Aires
Departure of transfer from the Hotel to Puerto Iguazú Airport (Argentine side). Twenty minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Assistance with flight check in.
The first Welsh colony in Argentina. The busy port of Madryn today serves as the main base from which to explore the vast expanses of Patagonia. Transfer from Trelew airport to the hotel in Puerto Madryn. Fifty minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Assistance with hotel check in. Re-confirmation of onward flight.

 

Day 7 – Peninsula Valdes
A full day’s visit to the Peninsula, leaving Puerto Madryn early to drive north through the flat grey expanse of Patagonian steppes where you might see an occasional rhea –South American ostrich- or guanaco or small deer.
Transfer to a Posada/Estancia in Puerto Piramides or Punta Delgada.

 

Day 8 – Puerto Madryn
Full Day tour to Estancia San Lorenzo. Head north to San Lorenzo sheeping station, a traditional farm in the area, where, apart from being offered the typical Patagonian lamb on spit, we will visit the Magellanic penguin reserve situated 7km far from the farm-house. We will also visit the Punta Norte Reserve with its natural habitat for sea-lions and elephant seals and where the orcas’ intentional running aground can frequently be observed. They use this strategy to feed on sea-lions’ pups. From here we head for Punta Cantor to watch elephant-seals and the eastern coastline of the Peninsula with Caleta Valdes remarkable features. On our way back to Puerto Madryn, we will stop at the Carlos Ameghino Isthmus visitor’s centre. Along the road, we have good chances of coming across land fauna such as guanacos, rheas, foxes, maras, armadillos, and also a variety of birds. Finally we return to Puerto Madryn at sunset. Transfer back to Puerto Madryn.

 

Day 9 – El Calafate
Transfer from the hotel to Trelew airport (REL) to El Calafate (FTE). Fifty minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Asssistance with flight check in.
Transfer from Calafate airport (FTE) to the hotel. Twenty minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Assistance with hotel check in.
This afternoon visit the Glaciarium Museum. Glaciarium opened its doors to visitors in mid January 2011 as the first glacier museum in Latin America. It is located in the outskirts of El Calafate, on the shores of Lago Argentino and on the road that leads to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. Glaciarium is a state-of-the-art museum designed to offer El Calafate visitors a complete interactive experience about the Patagonian Ice Field and the local glaciers.

 

Day 10 – El Calafate
Full-day tour to the Perito Moreno Glacier through the National Park, a beautiful drive of some two and a half hours with stops to enjoy the view, including the Corner of Sighs, where you get your first full view of the Glacier.

 

Day 11 – El Calafate
Day at leisure to take optional tours:

Full day all Glaciers Tour
The boat trip to visit this natural monument of prehistoric times leaves from Puerto Banderas gliding across the Iceberg Channel (Canal de los Témpanos) past large wind-sculpted icebergs with smooth and glowing surfaces glittering blue as light refracts from the billions of ice-crystals.
The Upsala Glacier is the largest glacier in the southern Patagonia ice field even though it has suffered severe losses during the last years. It is 50 km long and 10km wide. As we approach it across the lake’s choppy waves a brown smudge in the middle of the ice wall can be noticed, a medley of rocks, sand and clay dragged down by smaller glaciers feeding into the Upsala which became trapped many thousands of years ago.
After crossing Boca del Diablo, the narrowest section in the lake which leads to its northern arm, the navigation continues west as the landscape changes with forests and mountain tops with “hanging” glaciers coming into view. Then the boat sails between gigantic ice floes that witness the retrieval of this glacier. The extraordinary effects of nature have produced huge chunks of ice to detach in different areas forming a notable and unique ice barrier.
The return trip continues entering the Spegazzini canal where the highest glacier in the park is found: the Spegazzini glacier which is impressive for its sheer 110 meters height and 25 kilometres in length. The Spegazzini was named after botanist Carlos Spegazzini who conducted the first studies of the local flora.
Further on the southern arm leads to the face of the Perito Moreno glacier where one can appreciate its walls striking up from the lake. Important: guests are NOT allowed to descend from the boat.
Finally, after 6-hour navigation the boat arrives back at Puerto Banderas.

 

Upsala Glacier & Estancia Cristina Discovery
The legendary Estancia Cristina is found within Los Glaciares National Park, at the foot of the majestic Cerro Norte (North Mountain), in the valley of the Caterina river, one of Patagonia’s most fascinating yet less known valleys, a preferred access to the Patagonian Ice-Field. Its strategic location was of vital importance to numerous explorers and adventurers who travelled these lands and stopped here for provisions and assistance.
The journey to La Cristina takes us across the Lago Argentino (Lake Argentino) among icebergs and mountains and past the imposing Upsala Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park.
Enjoy the incredible scenery and the feeling of being in a secluded get-a-way as you come close to the culture and history of the pioneers of this remote land. This full day program offers different alternatives to suit those who prefer a quiet day of touring and history as well as the more adventurous who like trekking and riding in a four wheel drive vehicle. All options begin at the port known as “Puerto de la Cruz”, 47km. from downtown El Calafate. The ship leaves from Punta Bandera and we sail across Lago Argentino to the Avellaneda Peninsula passing through the Devil’s mouth all the way to the Upsala glacier. Here we stop to admire the colossal ice front and surrounding icebergs. The navigation then continues until we enter the Cristina canal to disembark at the beach of the old Estancia Cristina.

 

Day 12 –Ushuaia
Transfer from the hotel to the Calafate airport (FTE) for a flight to Ushuaia (USH). Twenty minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Assistance with flight check in.
The city at the end of the world, the town of Ushuaia lies on the shores of the Beagle Channel, a community which depends variously on fishing, heavy industry and tourism for its livelihood.
Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Ten to fifteen minute drive in a private vehicle with bilingual guide. Assistance with hotel check in. Re-confirmation of onward flight. Suggested optional tour for this afternoon:

Helicopter overflight – Ushuaia Overflight
Guests are driven from downtown Ushuaia to the city’s original airport. Before boarding the Helicopter guests are briefed on security rules.
Step onto the chopper and we take off heading west for a spectacular view of the Beagle Canal and Susana Mountain. Flying east we enjoy a panoramic view of the city, the impressive peaks of the Andes Mountain Range, the Martial Glacier and Mountains Olivia and Cinco Hermanos. We overfly the local port and finally land at the airport.
Guests are then driven to downtown Ushuaia or their Hotels.

 

Day 13 – Ushuaia
Half day tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park including the End of the World Train.
One of the two narrow-gauge tracks left in Argentina, the Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino used to ferry prisoners from the island’s prison stronghold into the National Park to fell and chop trees. The “Trencito de los presos”, the Little train of the prisoners departs from the Fueguino railway station (8 km away from Ushuaia) with the stationmaster’s shrill whistle and steams slowly along the Pipo river until it reaches the Macarena waterfalls. A native Indian camp can be viewed at this point, recreated on the basis of evidence provided by today’s descendants of the tribes as well as documentation left by the early settlers. The train continues into the National Park with its stunning views of Mount Susana, the Martial Glacier.
Afternoon half day boat tour along the Beagle Channel.

 

Day 14 – Ushuaia
Transfer from the hotel to Ushuaia airport for a flight out of Ushuaia back home or to the pier to board the Australis Cruise on a 3 or 4 night cruise to Puenta Arenas in Chile.
Ushuaia is the gateway to many Antarctica cruises as well as the Unique Australis crusie from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas in Chile in a 3 or 4 nights program.
We suggest this extension which gives a great opportunity to combine Chilean and Argentinean PATAGONIA.

For Australis Cruise – Ushuaia click here

Start free associating on the word ‘Argentina’, and it’s quickly apparent why the country has long held travelers in awe: tango, beef, gauchos, fútbol, Patagonia, the Andes. The classics alone make a formidable wanderlust cocktail.

Mix together a beautiful European-like city with attractive residents (call them porteños), gourmet cuisine, awesome shopping, a frenzied nightlife and top-drawer activities, and you get Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan metropolis with both slick neighborhoods and equally downtrodden areas – but that’s part of the appeal. It’s an elegant, seductive place with a ragged edge, laced with old-world languor and yet full of contemporary attitude.

Voted as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, Iguazu Falls is undoubtedly the most visited place in Misiones and one of the most imposing natural attractions in Argentina and the World.

The gateway to Península Valdés, Puerto Madryn bustles with tourism and industry. It retains a few small-town touches: the radio announces lost dogs and locals are welcoming and unhurried.

Lying on Argentina’s barren eastern Patagonian coast, Peninsula Valdes is home to some of the country’s richest wildlife. Elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, right whales, guanacos, armadillos and foxes are almost guaranteed sightings during their high seasons.

Named for the berry that, once eaten, guarantees your return to Patagonia, El Calafate hooks you with another irresistible attraction: Glaciar Perito Moreno, 80km away in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

A busy port and adventure hub, Ushuaia is a sliver of steep streets and jumbled buildings below the snowcapped Martial Range. Here the Andes meet the southern ocean in a sharp skid, making way for the city before reaching a sea of lapping currents.