This 16-day itinerary highlights Argentina's most impressive natural wonders. It begins with city tours and tango shows in Buenos Aires, after which you'll jet south to Patagonia to explore its massive glaciers, hike near the iconic Mount Fitz Roy, and visit Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Finish in the far north, where you'll explore the largest network of waterfalls in the Americas at Iguazú Falls.


  • Enjoy walking tours and tango shows in Buenos Aires
  • See the famous Perito Moreno Glacier up close on a boat
  • Go trekking in Patagonia around iconic Mount Fitz Roy
  • Hike in Tierra del Fuego and cruise the Beagle Channel
  • Marvel at the thundering waterfalls in northern Iguazú

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires, Optional Activities Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires City Tour, Dinner & Tango Show Buenos Aires
Day 3 Boat Trip to Tigre Buenos Aires
Day 4 Fly to El Calafate, Optional Activities El Calafate
Day 5 Perito Moreno Boat & Walking Tour El Calafate
Day 6 Free Day in El Calafate El Calafate
Day 7 Transfer to El Chaltén El Chaltén
Day 8 Self-Guided Hiking in El Chaltén El Chaltén
Day 9 Return to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 10 Fly to Ushuaia, Optional Activities Ushuaia
Day 11 Hiking & Canoeing in Tierra del Fuego Ushuaia
Day 12 Beagle Channel Cruise Ushuaia
Day 13 Free Day in Ushuaia Ushuaia
Day 14 Fly to Puerto Iguazú Puerto Iguazu
Day 15 Iguazú Falls Tour (Argentine Side) Puerto Iguazu
Day 16 Fly to Buenos Aires, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Optional Activities

Buenos Aires' famous downtown is filled with landmarks, like the Obelisco

Welcome to Argentina! The second-largest country in South America marches to the beat of its own drum. While European influences define aspects of its culture, the spirit of this country and its people is pure Latin America. You'll see this dual identity firsthand when you arrive in the capital of Buenos Aires, renowned as the "Paris of South America." Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will be waiting at the terminal to transfer you to your hotel in the city.

BA is the economic and political heart of the country, and it boasts some of the most beautiful architecture and finest museums in Argentina. It's also the birthplace of the tango and home to the nation's most famous fútbol (soccer) teams. Make no mistake, this sport has earned the unyielding devotion of every Argentine, young and old. After checking into your hotel, you can dive into this rich culture on a self-guided tour.

Head to the city center and marvel at the impressive Baroque and neoclassical architecture. Highlight landmarks include 9 de Julio (the widest avenue in the world), the soaring Obelisco monument, and the Teatro Colón, which has consistently been ranked one of the great opera houses in the world since its opening in 1908. Later, when dinnertime arrives, head to a parrilla (steakhouse) and order a thick, juicy steak (Argentina has some of the best beef in the world) drizzled with chimichurri (a garlic, herb, and vinegar sauce).

Day 2: Buenos Aires City Tour, Dinner & Tango Show

Views of Teatro Colon
The Teatro Colón is one of BA's most famous buildings and one of the world's great opera houses

After breakfast, you'll meet a local guide for a highlights tour of Buenos Aires. During this three-hour excursion, you'll walk amid the historic architecture of the Retiro neighborhood and Avenida 9 de Julio. Highlights include the Congress Building and Plaza de Mayo, home to the pink-hued Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace). Then, walk along the upscale waterfront promenades of Puerto Madero to the oldest neighborhood in the city, San Telmo. Afterward, stop by La Boca, the city's original port.

In the evening, you'll return to San Telmo. Here, in the late 19th century, a new style of music was born that merged the country dances of rural Spain with other influences from newly arriving immigrants. The music was called "tango," and by the early 20th century, it had become famous worldwide. You'll see the magic of this genre live when you sit down for dinner, wine, and a live performance with musicians and dancers at one of the premier tango venues in the city.

Day 3: Boat Trip to Tigre

The canals of Tigre
Cruise along the canals of Tigre

In the morning, you'll leave Buenos Aires on a boat ride up the famous Río de la Plata. Relax on deck and enjoy the views of BA's skyline for about an hour until the waterway converges with the Paraña River Delta. Here, you'll enter a network of freshwater canals amid a series of islands. Eventually, you'll arrive at the port in Tigre, a Venetian-style village whose relaxed nature and small-town charm starkly contrast with Buenos Aires' bustling energy.

Spend the better part of the day here enjoying the sights. Highlights include Puerto de Frutos (a maze of craft markets, produce stalls, and artisanal goods) and the Museo de Arte, which features a grand collection of Argentine art spanning two centuries. The Naval Museum and the Museo de Maté are also worth a visit. The latter offers an overview and tasting of maté, an herb cultivated in the Paraná region of the country and used for tea.

Day 4: Fly to El Calafate, Optional Activities

Sunset in El Calafate
Sunset over Lago Argentino, in El Calafate

Get packed because a driver will meet you at your hotel in the morning for the ride to the airport, where you'll board a three-hour flight south to El Calafate. Known as the gateway to Argentina's glaciers, the city is located on the shores of Lago Argentino, the nation's biggest freshwater lake. Select a window seat to enjoy stunning views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field as you fly over it.

Upon arrival at El Calafate, another transfer will take you to your hotel. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing or wander around and enjoy the quaint cafés and souvenir shops around town. You can learn about nearby glaciers by visiting the Glaciarium, a multimedia center that has an ice museum, various interactive displays, and educational information regarding glaciers. Don a coat, boots, and gloves to enjoy a drink at the museum's Glaciobar BrancaIt, Argentina's first ice bar.

Day 5: Perito Moreno Boat & Walking Tour

View Perito Moreno up close on a boat tour
Hike to viewpoints overlooking Perito Moreno and see its massive ice walls on a boat tour

Meet your driver in the morning and head out on a tour of Los Glaciares National Park. The ride there takes about an hour, and as you enter the park, you'll catch your first glimpse of the majestic 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. Wait a bit, and you'll witness "calving," the awe-inspiring sight of ice breaking off the facade and crashing into the tranquil waters below.

While not the only glacier in the area, Perito Moreno is the star. It's unique in that it is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, which results in the calving mentioned above. Upon arrival, you can admire Perito Moreno from several different vantage points via the network of wooden walkways strategically situated in front of it. Even better, you'll hop on a boat and get up close to its massive ice walls, which reach heights of 198 feet (60 m). After a day on the water and wandering the boardwalks around Perito Moreno, you'll transfer back to El Calafate.

Day 6: Free Day in El Calafate

Take an excursion to Reserva Laguna Nimez.
Take a short walk outside town to Reserva Laguna Nimez

Today is yours to enjoy El Calafate however you like. If you want, book a luxurious spa treatment and spend the day relaxing. Perhaps choose an active adventure like horseback riding on a nearby estancia (ranch), or grab a paddle and hit the water on a kayak trip around the lake. Or spend the day hanging out in the cafés in El Calafate.

If you're up for a nature hike, take a 15-minute walk just outside town to the Reserva Laguna Nimez ecological reserve. This protected area is a haven for many species of birds, including the Chilean flamingo. There's a boardwalk here that leads to some of the best viewpoints in the reserve.

Another cool museum option in El Calafate is the Centro de Interpretación Histórica. Covering the history of Patagonia since the ice age, it offers fascinating information/exhibits on geography, glaciers, Indigenous peoples, dinosaurs, and other features of the region.

Plan your trip to Argentina
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Transfer to El Chaltén

The Patagonian mountain town of El Chaltén, with Mount Fitz Roy in the distance

After breakfast, a vehicle will pick you up for the three-hour drive north to El Chaltén. This town lies right above Lago Viedma and is a major hub in Patagonia for mountain hikes. If the skies are clear on the drive in, you'll have incredible views of Mount Fitz Roy, the toothlike 11,020-foot (3,359 m) granite mountain that looms over the town. Once in town, your driver will drop you off at your hotel. You can then embark on short hikes or spend time relaxing at one of El Chaltén's many cafés and craft beer bars.

Day 8: Self-Guided Hiking in El Chaltén

Admire the view from Laguna de los Tres
Admire the view of the Aguja Poincenot spire from Laguna de los Tres

El Chaltén is famous for its extensive network of well-maintained hiking trails leading through mountains, valleys, and lakes around Fitz Roy. Get an early start and embark on a self-guided tour along a trail of your choosing. If you have the energy, you can opt for a "day hike," which can last up to 11 hours, depending on the route. Trails lead right from town up through alpine forests and feature a diverse range of landscapes. One of the most popular full-day treks is to Laguna de los Tres, where you'll be rewarded with views of Fitz Roy and its Aguja Poincenot granite spire.

There are easier trails, too. You can head out on a short, 1.9-mile (3 km) walk through lenga forests and along the Río de las Vueltas. On this route, you'll see various endemic birds, such as woodpeckers. For even more mountain views, head to the Cerro Torre lookout. Or set out on a two-hour brisk hike amid native forest to the glassy waters of Laguna Capri, a lake at the foot of the mountains with unobstructed views of the Fitz Roy massif. At the end of the afternoon, hike back down to El Chaltén and reward yourself with a hearty dinner.

Day 9: Return to El Calafate

The iconic massif of Mount Fitz Roy, located near El Chaltén

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up for the ride back to El Calafate. After checking into your hotel, you can enjoy a free day relaxing in town and giving your muscles a break after all that hiking. Take this time to browse the local shops and dine at some fine local restaurants. Be sure to sample the local cuisine, like roast Patagonian lamb, and Argentine staples like rib-eye steak and empanadas. You'll want to wash it down with a glass or two of malbec from the Mendoza wine region.

Day 10: Fly to Ushuaia, Optional Activities

Early morning view of Ushuaia
Early morning view of the Beagle Channel and the town of Ushuaia

Pack your bags once again because in the morning, you're off to the airport for the 1.5-hour flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Located on a bay in the Patagonian region of Tierra del Fuego, the city lies between the jagged peaks of the Martial Mountains and the silver waters of the Beagle Channel. This is the waterway where Charles Darwin sailed the HMS Beagle almost 200 years ago. Upon arrival, a driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

After checking in, you can head out on a self-guided walking tour. You'll find the most activity in Ushuaia's colorful downtown area. There are cafés and restaurants where you can stop and try centolla (king crab), a regional specialty. If you like, stroll down the scenic waterfront and visit the Museo del Fin del Mundo (End of the World Museum). It's a small museum, but one that's packed with fine exhibits detailing the area's natural and Indigenous history.

Day 11: Hiking & Canoeing in Tierra del Fuego

Coastal trail in Tierra del Fuego
Hike along waterfront trails in Tierra del Fuego National Park

In the morning, a shuttle will pick you up at your hotel in Ushuaia for the drive into Tierra del Fuego National Park. There are many wonders within this 155,000-acre (62,726-ha) protected area, including subantarctic forest, dramatic lakes, and rugged coastline. 

Upon arrival in Ensenada Bay, you'll have a spectacular view of the Beagle Channel. Then embark on a 4-mile (6 km) guided coastal walk in which you'll get to observe the surrounding flora and fauna of the region. Interesting animals you might spot include woodpeckers, guanacos, and foxes. In addition, you can see traces of the Yamana Indigenous settlements that once existed here.

After about three hours, you'll arrive at Lago Roca, where a picnic lunch will be served. Then hop in a canoe and paddle down the Río Lapataia until you reach the southern end of the Pan-American Highway, the world's longest drivable road. This transcontinental route begins in Alaska and covers the entire length of the Americas. Here, you'll board another shuttle and transfer back to Ushuaia. 

Day 12: Beagle Channel Cruise

View of Ushuaia from the Beagle Channel
View of Ushuaia and the Martial Mountains from the Beagle Channel

After breakfast in Ushuaia, head to the pier to board a boat for a local cruise. Today's excursion sails through the Beagle Channel, one of the region's most important waterways. It was named after the HMS Beagle, a 19th-century British ship that once carried Charles Darwin to South America.

As you pass through the channel, you'll get breathtaking panoramic views of the city of Ushuaia and the entire bay. Be on the lookout for diverse marine wildlife, such as cormorants and sea lions, especially near the Lobo and De Los Pajaros islands. If the winds are calm, you can even hop ashore, collect giant shells, and look out to the opposite coast stretching across Chile and Argentina. Before returning to Ushuaia, see the famous Les Eclaireurs, the so-called "Lighthouse at the End of the World."

Day 13: Free Day in Ushuaia

Gentoo penguins on Isla Martillo
Take a walk with gentoo penguins on Isla Martillo

Today is yours to enjoy Ushuaia however you see fit. You can spend more time seeing the sights in town or join an organized excursion. One of the best day trips here is a boat ride to Isla Martillo, a rocky islet populated by Magellanic penguins. Another highlight is the half-day trek to Laguna Esmeralda, a turquoise lagoon beneath a hanging glacier. 

Day 14: Fly to Puerto Iguazú

Iguazú is the second-largest waterfall system in the world
Iguazú is the second-largest waterfall system in the world

In the morning, a driver will pick you up for the ride to the airport. There, you'll board a connecting flight that will take you from southern Patagonia's rugged forests and icy peaks to the mango trees and rainforest jungles of northern Argentina's Misiones Province.

Your destination is the town of Puerto Iguazú, which sits at the tri-borders with Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Nestled amid the tropical forests is Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest waterfall system in the world after Victoria Falls. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel and, if it's early enough, can take a half-day tour of the Brazilian side (as opposed to the Argentine side) of Iguazú. This is an excellent introduction to the falls, as the Brazilian side offers easily accessible viewpoints without the extensive walking required on the Argentine side.

Enjoy the falls as you acclimate to the warmer weather (temps here can top 90°F/32°C in the summer months). Also, be on the lookout for exotic animals, such as monkeys and coatis. 

Day 15: Iguazú Falls Tour (Argentine Side)

Touring Iguazú from the Argentine side
You can walk all around Iguazú Falls on the Argentine side

Today you'll come face to face with the grand spectacle of Mother Nature that is Iguazú. After breakfast, a driver will pick you up for the ride into Iguazú National Park, on the Argentine side of the falls. Here, you'll begin your full-day tour in the subtropical forest, home to many wildlife species. Your bilingual guide will point out some animals that live here, including coatis, capuchin monkeys, and various birds like antbirds, toucans, manakins, and parrots.

Continue the hike along both lower and upper walkways that weave around the cascades (prepare to get wet!). One highlight is traversing the boardwalk at the top of Iguazú to the famous Devil's Throat, one of the largest of Igauzu's falls. From a viewing area, you can peer over the edge and see the thundering falls plunge 262 feet (89 m) to the river below (an experience not for the faint of heart). At the end of the tour, a driver will pick you up and take you back to your hotel in Puerto Iguazú.

Day 16: Fly to Buenos Aires, Depart

Goodbye, Argentina!
View of Buenos Aires' Puerto Madero neighborhood at night

You've seen the sights and enjoyed some incredible Patagonian adventures. Now it's time to pack up the memories and head home. In the morning, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport, where you'll board a flight back to Buenos Aires in time to make your connecting flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Argentina for Adventurers: El Calafate, El Chaltén, Ushuaia & Iguazú Falls - 16 Days
Map of Argentina for Adventurers: El Calafate, El Chaltén, Ushuaia & Iguazú Falls - 16 Days