- Walk the historic and colorful streets of the barrios of Buenos Aires
- Learn about and try your hand at gaucho life on a real working ranch
- Trek through rainforests and crashing waterfalls at Iguazú Falls National Park
- See calving glacier ice splash into the icy waters of Los Glaciares National Park
|Day 1||Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour||Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Experience Gaucho Life in the Countryside||Buenos Aires|
|Day 3||Boat Tour of the Tigre River Delta||Buenos Aires|
|Day 4||Day Trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)||Buenos Aires|
|Day 5||Fly to Puerto Iguazú, Tour Iguazú Falls (Brazil Side)||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 6||Tour Iguazú Falls (Argentina Side), Sunset Catamaran Ride||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 7||San Ignacio Ruins & Wanda Mines||Puerto Iguazú|
|Day 8||Fly to Bariloche, Free Afternoon||Bariloche|
|Day 9||Bariloche Circuit Tour||Bariloche|
|Day 10||Isla Victoria & Arrayanes Forest Sailing Adventure||Bariloche|
|Day 11||Fly to El Calafate, Free Afternoon||El Calafate|
|Day 12||Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion, Nautical Safari||El Calafate|
|Day 13||Ranch Day at Nibepo Aike Estancia||El Calafate|
|Day 14||Depart El Calafate|
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour
Welcome to Argentina! South America's second-largest country is home to a rich history and an abundance of natural wonders—perfect for a family adventure. Your flight lands in the capital city of Buenos Aires, and a private driver will collect you from the airport to transfer you to your hotel. After you and the kids have had a chance to rest and regroup, get better acquainted with this vibrant city via a guided tour.
Meet your guide at the hotel and then visit Plaza de Mayo, home to the National Government Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. Learn about the history of these important landmarks before moving on to San Telmo, one of the city's oldest districts. If you happen to be here on a Sunday, stop at their weekly market in Plaza Dorrego, where you'll find antiques, souvenirs, food stalls, and street performers to entertain the kids.
Next, stroll past the brightly-painted houses of La Boca. Soccer fans in the family will be thrilled to know that this is home to the legendary Boca Juniors Football Club, where the great Diego Maradona played. Walk along Caminito Street and see the famous Bombonera stadium, then head to Puerto Madero, formerly an industrial area that's now full of elegant bars and restaurants. End the tour in Recoleta, an upmarket area with restaurants, boutiques, and hotels. Visit the cemetery there and see where some of Argentina's most famous residents are buried, including actress and former first lady Eva "Evita" Perón.
Day 2: Experience Gaucho Life in the Countryside
Explore the Argentine countryside today with a visit to the traditional town of San Antonio de Areco. Your guide will first pick you up from your hotel in the morning and drive you inland as you enjoy sweeping views of the Pampas regions while you discuss the history of Argentina's gauchos (horsemen) and their lives.
Upon arrival in San Antonio de Areco, you and the kids will get a chance to stretch your legs with a guided tour around the main plaza, Ruiz de Arellano. Here you'll find beautiful colonial architecture and historic buildings like the parish of San Antonio de Padua, as well as museums that include Las Lilas, which has a selection of original paintings by Argentine illustrator and painter Florencio Molina Campos.
Afterward, continue to Estancia El Ombú de Areco. This gorgeous estancia (ranch) encompasses almost 750 acres (300 ha), and guests can choose between horseback tours or a ride in a sulky (horse-drawn cart) around the property. You'll also enjoy a delicious asado (barbecue) lunch with traditional Argentinia foods, accompanied by a folklore show, where the kids can see live demonstrations of gaucho skills and horsemanship.
Day 3: Boat Tour of the Tigre River Delta
Spend some time outside the city today, starting with a boat tour along the Tigre and San Isidro River Delta. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel, and you'll drive to the waterfront regions of Buenos Aires, starting at Del Libertador Av. Costanera, then continuing past the River Plate Stadium and the Presidential House of Olivos before arriving in San Isidro.
Take a quick stroll around town, where the kids can stretch their legs and the adults can enjoy some of the gorgeous 19th-century architecture, then continue to the San Isidro Pier, where you'll board your boat and cruise the canals and islands of the Tigre. See the labyrinth of streams that make up the river as your guide navigates the currents and sandbanks, pass by the historic residence of a former president, cathedrals and bridges, and watch the various boats that make up the daily traffic along the river.
Stop in Tigre Town to explore, visiting the Museo de Arte de Tigre, which has a collection of 19th and 20th-century art, or Sarmiento Museum, a glass-encased house that was once the residence of former president Domingo Sarmiento. End your day at Puerto de Frutos, the town's former fruit market that is now a place to shop for crafts, food, and fun souvenirs, then head back to Buenos Aires for the evening.
Day 4: Day Trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)
This morning, venture into another country, Uruguay, to visit Colonia del Sacramento, located across the Río de La Plata, just a short distance from Buenos Aires. Founded in the late 1600s, this charming city was once a Portuguese settlement, with historic buildings and neighborhoods that still reflect that era. You'll start at the pier in Buenos Aires and board a ferry—a ride of about an hour and 15 minutes.
Once you disembark, you'll begin your city tour with a walk around Barrio Histórico, a UNESCO World Heritage site with narrow cobblestone streets and a wonderful mixture of Portuguese, Spanish and post-colonial architecture. The kids will also love a visit to the Colonia del Sacramento Lighthouse. The 100-step climb inside the lighthouse isn't for the faint of heart, but at the top, you're rewarded with some amazing views of the town and surrounding countryside. Enjoy lunch in town before getting back on the ferry and returning to Buenos Aires.
Day 5: Fly to Puerto Iguazú, Tour Iguazú Falls (Brazil Side)
Your next destination is Puerto Iguazú, home to Iguazú Falls National Park and the largest waterfall system in the world. The park spans both Argentina and Brazil, and you'll get the opportunity to visit both. At the appointed time, your driver will collect you from your hotel and transport you to the airport for your two-hour flight. Upon arrival, you'll have some time to get checked in at your hotel, then it's off to see the Brazil side of the park.
Arrive at the park's visitors' center and board a bus, which takes you to a footbridge, where you'll disembark and continue on foot. Trek through an enchanting subtropical rainforest while the kids keep their eyes peeled for wildlife, such as toucans or even jaguars, eventually arriving at the Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat), the park's largest waterfall. You'll have time to take in the beauty of the falls and for some family photo ops before returning to the meeting point to board your bus.
On the way back to your hotel, make a stop at Parque das Aves, a 40-acre (16 ha) bird sanctuary in Brazil's Paraná province. The sanctuary provides care to more than 143 different species, with five immersive aviaries that house a total of more than 1,000 birds. See toucans and curassows up close, visit the parakeet nursery, and let the kids experience a flock of 100 macaws flying directly over their heads! The park also has resident butterflies, caimans, anacondas, and alligators.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Tour Iguazú Falls (Argentina Side), Sunset Catamaran Ride
Today's adventure takes you to the Argentina side of Iguazú Falls National Park. Your driver will take you to the park entrance, where you'll board a train, disembarking at the park's main trails. Walk the lower falls circuit—a somewhat splashy adventure that the kids are sure to find thrilling. Then head to the upper circuit and see panoramic views of the park's cascades, including the Devil's Throat, from a different angle. The Argentina side of the park lets you see this immense cascade from above, offering a unique view of the water rushing beneath you.
Return to Puerto Iguazú in time for a sunset catamaran ride. The tour starts at the port, where you'll sail toward the Triple Frontier—a tri-border area for Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. See the Río Iguazú flowing into the immense Río Paraná, then sail upstream and under the Tancredo Neves International Bridge. As the sun sets, you'll continue along the banks of the Iryapu Forest to the edge of Iguazú National Park. The tour then takes you back downstream, landing at the port in time for you and the kids to enjoy a walk along the waterfront and dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 7: San Ignacio Ruins & Wanda Mines
Step back in time at the ruins of San Ignacio Mini, located approximately 150 miles (240 km) from Puerto Iguazú. Jesuit missionaries originally established this 17th-century mission complex as part of their attempt to convert the Guarani people to Christianity. Declared a World Heritage Site in the 1980s, the ruins are some of the best-preserved in the region. Older kids and teens will be fascinated by the intricate construction and detail, and the younger ones might enjoy the visitor's center, where there are images and audio recordings that tell about the history of the area and its people.
On your way back to Puerto Iguazú, make a stop at the Wanda Mines, a series of caverns that is famous for its mines of stones such as agate, amethyst, topaz, and quartz. A local guide will take you into the mines, where you and the kids can see and touch (but not remove) the natural crystals and stones–sure to be a hit with any budding geologists or mineralogists in the family! The mine also has an on-site store where you can purchase jewelry made from the harvested stones.
Day 8: Fly to Bariloche, Free Afternoon
This morning, you're off to the Patagonian town of San Carlos de Bariloche—or just Bariloche to the locals. Your private transfer will collect you from your hotel in the morning and take you to the airport for your flight. Once you arrive and get settled at your hotel, spend the rest of your afternoon exploring this charming town.
Nestled in the Andes mountains, Bariloche borders the glacial lake of Nahuel Huapi and is known for its Swiss alpine-style architecture (hence the nickname "Little Switzerland"), as well as scenic vistas and outdoor activities. If the kids are anxious to get out and about, head up to Teleférico Cerro Otto, a resort area that offers seasonal snow activities such as sledding and snowshoeing, a funicular, and an art gallery. You can also have lunch at the 360-degree rotating cafeteria while here, taking in the stunning views of the lake.
Later today, head into town and visit Bariloche's main square, where you'll find sights such as the Museum of Patagonia, the Nuestra Señora del Nahuel Huapi Cathedral, and the City Hall Building. The square offers peaceful lake views, and if you walk down its main street, Calle Mitre, the kids will go wild over the many chocolate shops you'll find here! Bariloche is considered Argentina's "chocolate capital," serving up some of the best artisanal chocolate in the country. You can learn more at the town's chocolate museum, which has guided tours and exhibits on the history of chocolate making, as well as a café and gift shop.
Day 9: Bariloche Circuit Tour
See more of Bariloche with a guided circuito chico (short circuit) tour. You'll start at the shoreline of Nahuel Huapi, making your way to Bonita Beach, where Huemul Island can be seen. From here, head to the foothills of Cerro Campanario Hill, which rises nearly 3,500 feet (1,050 m) above sea level and has a chair lift that takes visitors to the summit. Let the kids enjoy this thrilling ride and see amazing views of Nahuel Huapi and Perito Moreno lakes, Laguna El Trébol, and the San Pedro and Llao Llao peninsulas.
Afterward, continue to the Llao Llao peninsula and see the renowned Llao Llao Hotel and historic San Bernardo Church. Cross the bridge over the Río Angostura, which takes you to a natural lookout point, then travel around Laguna El Trébol for more stunning water views. End your tour back in the city late this afternoon.
Day 10: Isla Victoria & Arrayanes Forest Adventure
Visit Isla Victoria, a small parcel located on Lago Nahuel Huapi. This is where you'll have the option to take either a catamaran or boat to the island. Upon arrival, you can walk the island's many trails while exploring flora and fauna or relax with the kids on one of the island's beaches. The water here is crystal clear, with a gentle shoreline that makes it perfect for swimming and beachcombing.
Next up is Los Arrayanes National Park and its Arrayanes Forest, a dense forest with an unusual ecosystem of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Arrayanes trees range from 10 to 30 feet in height (3 to 10 m) and have lovely small flowers, as well as strangely cold trunks and bark that the kids will find peels off easily in their hands. Head back to Bariloche in time for a late lunch, and enjoy your last night here with a walk around town.
Day 11: Fly to El Calafate, Free Afternoon
Depart Bariloche today for the spectacular mountains and glaciers of southern Patagonia's Los Glaciares National Park. Take a private transfer in the morning to the airport, and then hop a flight to El Calafate, a town located in the province of Santa Cruz, sitting at the edge of the park and the massive Perito Moreno Glacier. Upon arrival, a driver will transport you to your hotel, where you can relax for a bit before heading out to explore.
Start with a visit to Intendencia Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Los Glaciares National Park Administration Building), where you'll find educational displays about the glacier's namesake, Argentine explorer Perito Moreno, as well as the glacier itself. There are beautiful gardens here that the kids can run around and play in, with interpretive trails and examples of the equipment used by the workers.
If you'd like to do some souvenir shopping, El Calafate's Paseo de Los Artesanos market has handmade arts and crafts, or visit one of the many local artisan shops in the area. El Calafate is also home to several chocolatiers, where you and the kids can sample and buy some locally-made sweet treats! After sunset, walk along the city's main street, Avenida del Libertador, and take your pick of the many family-friendly restaurants and cafés for dinner.
Day 12: Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion, Nautical Safari
The day starts early with a private transfer to the western end of the Peninsula de Magallanes in Los Glaciares National Park. Here, you can spend some time on the 2 miles (3 km) of walkways that surround Perito Moreno Glacier, contemplating the glacier from various perspectives. The walkways sit at different levels, and you and the kids can peruse the more challenging lower balconies that sit closest to the glacier or stay on the upper walkways that are easily accessible for all ages.
For a more personal glacier encounter, you can also take a nautical safari tour, which departs from the Puerto Bajo Las Sombras on the Brazo Rico of Lago Argentino. You'll be able to see the icebergs from a closer vantage point and pass by the southern side of the glacier. As the boat passes by the immense icy wall, have your camera ready because you may see a chunk of ice breaking off and crashing into the water below!
Day 13: Ranch Day at Nibepo Aike Estancia
Enjoy a ranch day with a visit to Nibepo Aike Estancia. You'll depart El Calafate in the morning and head to the estancia, which sits on the shores of Lago Roca. Upon arrival, refresh with a picnic of delicious homemade pastries and hot beverages, then take a guided walk along the lake and around the ranch. The kids can meet the farm animals and will have plenty of space to run and play, and it's also not uncommon to see foxes and rabbits or catch a glimpse of a condor soaring overhead.
Visit the ranch's old shearing shed, which now serves as a museum, and see demonstrations of sheep herding, shearing, and milking, while learning about the farm's wool production. Watch the ranch hands showcase their horseback riding skills, or take an optional family horseback tour through the nearby Andean Patagonian forest. Afterward, enjoy a traditional lunch while observing the continuation of daily life on the ranch as the gauchos herd sheep and work around the farm. Return to El Calafate in the afternoon and enjoy your last evening in Argentina with some shopping or dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 14: Depart El Calafate
It's time to say goodbye to Argentina! After breakfast at your hotel, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport as you begin the journey either back home or to your next destination. Safe travels!
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