If you've only got a week to spare for an active vacation, make it a thrilling journey through Argentine Patagonia that deftly combines adventure and luxury. Start with some sophistication in Buenos Aires as you enjoy cooking classes and wine tastings, then fly to Patagonia and El Calafate to pay a visit to the country's most famous glacier, Perito Moreno. The trip culminates in El Chaltén, the trekking capital of Argentina, with full-day hikes around granite peaks and whitewater rafting adventures.


  • Sip fine malbec in Buenos Aires and learn to make flaky empanadas
  • Cruise up to Perito Moreno's massive ice walls and watch glaciers "calving"
  • Brave the whitewater of the Río de las Vueltas on a rafting expedition
  • Hike around the glacial lakes and rocky peaks of Los Glaciares National Park

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires, Cooking Class & Wine Tasting Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires North Side Bicycle Tour, Fly to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 3 Day Trip to Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Day 4 Transfer to El Chaltén, Whitewater Rafting Excursion El Chaltén
Day 5 Full-Day Hike to Laguna de los Tres El Chaltén
Day 6 Full-Day Hike to Laguna Torre El Chaltén
Day 7 Morning Hike to Mirador de los Cóndores, Transfer to El Calafate, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Cooking Class & Wine Tasting

Toast the first night of your trip with a private malbec tasting experience

Welcome to Argentina! Though this quick itinerary focuses mainly on Patagonia, it kicks off with city fun on the streets of romantic Buenos Aires. The nation's capital is famous for its Euro-inspired architecture and cool barrios (neighborhoods). See for yourself when your personal driver takes you from the airport into the city and the chic Palermo Soho neighborhood, one of the oldest enclaves in Buenos Aires, filled with trendy bars, cafés and boutiques.

You'll be staying at Duque Hotel Boutique & Spa. This 4-star accommodation is in an impeccably restored early 20th-century building that blends classical architectural elements with modern design. The elegant rooms feature hardwood floors, baths with rainwater showers, and plush beds with high-quality linens. Feel free to relax after your flight in the outdoor pool and Jacuzzi or unwind with a massage and/or facial at the on-site spa. The personalized concierge can also offer a curated list of recommendations in the city.

In the evening, head to a local kitchen to participate in a private empanada-cooking workshop. Empanadas are those savory, flaky South American pastries that have been perfected in Argentina. Learn to make them from scratch, followed by a wine tasting of the country's famed malbec. Originally from France, this black-skinned grape became synonymous with Argentina, where bottlings from Mendoza turned it into a household name. The host will reveal the history of winemaking in the nation and how Argentina's three main viticulture regions (Patagonia, Mendoza, and Salta) differ when it comes to flavor profiles.

Day 2: Buenos Aires North Side Bicycle Tour, Fly to El Calafate

Ride through Buenos Aires' colorful neighborhoods, like La Boca, on a bicycle tour

There's a lot of Buenos Aires to discover, and you've only got this morning to do it. Luckily, you'll maximize efficiency by traveling around the city on a bicycle. This 10-mile (16 km) route will take you through San Telmo and La Boca—the two oldest neighborhoods in the city. The latter is the site of Buenos Aires' original port and the birthplace of tango music. Today, it's most well known for its historic (and colorful) Caminito Street. La Boca is also home to La Bombonera, the most famous futból stadium in the country.

Continue riding to the Retiro neighborhood and its historic plazas. Pass the boutiques along Avenida Alvear on your way to Recoleta and its world-famous cemetery. Amid the grand mausoleums, which inter some of Argentina's most noteworthy historical figures, one grave stands out: Eva ("Evita") Peron's. The tour finishes in the trendy Palermo neighborhood at expansive parks designed by renowned landscape architect Charles Thays.

Then, transfer to the airport for the 3.5-hour flight to Patagonia and El Calafate. Sitting on the shores of Lago Argentino, this town is the main base for trips into the vast Los Glaciares National Park and one of its star attractions, Perito Moreno Glacier. Your driver will take you just outside town to Xelena Hotel & Suites. This 5-star hotel sits on the lakeshore and features comfortable and well-equipped rooms overlooking the water. Other welcome amenities include an indoor pool with lake views, plus a Jacuzzi and a luxury spa offering beauty treatments and aromatic therapies.

Day 3: Day Trip to Perito Moreno Glacier

The walkways in Perito Moreno
Hike along walkways offering stellar vantage points of Perito Moreno

Wake up early and embark on a full-day adventure into Los Glaciares National Park. Meet your private guide and driver in the morning and transfer about west to Perito Moreno. It's a scenic 1.5-hour drive during which you'll pass natural landmarks like Redonda Bay, home to a variety of exotic waterbirds, including black-necked swans and flamingoes.

Continue to the national park's entrance, where you'll be treated to your first glimpses of Perito Moreno. This expansive glacier flows down from the Andes over the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino, ending in a great wall that curves around the lake. Spend 1-3 hours exploring the boardwalks and snapping photos of the glacier from different vantage points. If you're lucky, you'll witness "calving"—an event where massive portions of the glacier wall break off and crash into the icy waters below.

After lunch, you'll see Perito Moreno up close as you board a boat and cruise over to the massive ice walls on the glacier's southern face. At points, these walls reach 230 feet (70 m) high. After marveling at Perito Moreno and snapping more photos, you'll return to the pier and transfer back to El Calafate.

Day 4: Transfer to El Chaltén, Whitewater Rafting Excursion

Your base for trekking adventures in Los Glaciares National Park (photo courtesy of Los Cerros del Chaltén)

In the morning, you'll hop in your private car and transfer three hours north to El Chaltén. Nicknamed "the trekking capital of Argentina," this town lies on the Río de las Vueltas—which you'll experience very shortly. For now, you'll check into Los Cerros del Chaltén. This 5-star boutique hotel enjoys a prime location in Los Glaciares National Park. Its spacious, chalet-style rooms offer panoramic views of the Fitz Roy and Torre mountain ranges, and the many amenities include a bar/lounge, library and game room, on-site spa, Jacuzzi and sauna, and a gourmet restaurant serving up traditional Patagonian cuisine.

After dropping off your bags, you'll meet a rafting guide and embark on an adrenaline-pumping adventure down the Río de las Vueltas. The small-group excursion starts at the rafting base camp, where you'll learn the basics of team paddling and how to use a dry suit. Once everyone is comfortable and properly equipped, you'll hop in the raft and descend Las Vueltas on a route that covers about 10 miles (16 km).

The first section is gentle, which allows time to get accustomed to paddling and the movement of the river. A little while later, you'll enter the rapids zone and really feel your heart pumping. The exhilarating ride is punctuated by the beautiful scenery of the river canyons and their unique rock formations. At the end of the rafting trip, you'll transfer back to El Chaltén.

Day 5: Full-Day Hike to Laguna de los Tres

Don't forget your camera because the mountain views from Laguna de los Tres are epic
Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Wake up early and meet your private guide for your maiden trek in El Chaltén. The route you'll follow covers 12 miles (20 km) and takes 8-9 hours to complete. Your destination is Laguna de los Tres, a gorgeous lagoon offering panoramic views of three peaks: Fitz Roy, Poincenot, and Torre. During the hike, you'll also stop at incredible viewpoints looking out to the Piedras Blancas Glacier. When you arrive at the lagoon, you'll break for lunch and have time to relax before returning to El Chaltén.

Day 6: Full-Day Hike to Laguna Torre

Guided Hike to Laguna Torre
Follow the river around granite peaks until you reach Laguna Torre, where chunks of glacial ice float on its surface
Hit the trail once again this morning on a privately guided trek up to Laguna Torre. This 7-8-hour route will take you along the river, through lush green lenga forests, and around blue lagoons until you reach the lakeshore. Sitting at the foot of Cerro Torre and fed by glacial meltwater, the views of the surrounding peaks are incredible. After a break to relax and snap photos, you'll set off on the hike back down to the trailhead and return to your hotel, where you can head straight to the spa or soothe your muscles in the Jacuzzi.

Day 7: Morning Hike to Mirador de los Cóndores, Transfer to El Calafate, Depart

A mountain twilight settling over El Chaltén
Though it's your final day in Argentina, the fun isn't over yet. Spend one last morning exploring the natural beauty of El Chaltén on a brisk hike. Along with your private guide, you'll set off on an easy, 2-3 mile (3-5 km) out-and-back trek up to Mirador de los Cóndores. The route leads to the top of a hill overlooking the town below (a great spot for photos). Another similar quick hike takes you to the Mirador Las Aguilas viewpoint, which overlooks the vast Patagonian steppe and the immensity of Lago Viedma. Afterward, transfer back to El Calafate's airport and catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Active Luxury Trip to Argentine Patagonia: Buenos Aires, El Calafate & El Chaltén - 7 Days
Map of Active Luxury Trip to Argentine Patagonia: Buenos Aires, El Calafate & El Chaltén - 7 Days