From the subtropical waterfalls of Igauzú to the subpolar forests of Patagonia, experience all that Argentina has to offer on this 15-day itinerary. Begin with evenings of tango and folk music in Buenos Aires before flying to Iguazu Falls National Park to see the largest waterfall system in the world. Taste wines and olive oils from artisan producers in Mendoza, then fly south to El Calafate to see the natural wonders of Los Glaciares National Park.

Highlights

  • Experience a night of tango and parrilla in Buenos Aires
  • Feel the spray from Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world
  • Ride horses through the Andean foothills
  • Glide past the Perito Moreno Glacier on a boat tour

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires, Culinary Excursion Buenos Aires
Day 2 City Tour, Tango Show & Dinner at La Ventana Buenos Aires
Day 3 Day Trip to Estancia Santa Susana Buenos Aires
Day 4 Explore Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 5 Fly to Puerto Iguazu Puerto Iguazu
Day 6 Visit the Brazilian Falls & Parque Das Aves Puerto Iguazu
Day 7 Visit the Argentine Falls, Ecological Boat Tour Puerto Iguazu
Day 8 Fly to Mendoza Mendoza
Day 9 Vino y Oliva Experience Mendoza
Day 10 Ride Horses in Mendoza Mendoza
Day 11 Spa Day at Termas de Cacheuta Mendoza
Day 12 Fly to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 13 Discover the Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Day 14 Day Trip to Estancia Nibepo Aike  El Calafate
Day 15 Transfer to Buenos Aires & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Culinary Excursion

The famous Obelisco of Buenos Aires
The famous Obelisco of Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! Once you land in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and one of South America's most culturally rich cities, a guide will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. Afterward, you have the remainder of the day free to relax and explore.

Consider stopping by the Teatro Colón, one of South America's premier opera houses. Since its opening in 1908, the theater's neoclassical facade has marked it as one of the finest buildings in the city. Then, enjoy a stroll along Puerto Madero, an upscale waterfront neighborhood just outside the city center. When night falls, and dinnertime arrives, do like the locals do and enjoy a thick, juicy steak drizzled with chimichurri at a local parrilla (steakhouse). 

Day 2: City Tour, Tango Show & Dinner at La Ventana

A couple dances the tango onstage
A couple dances the tango onstage

Today, explore Buenos Aires' distinct barrios (neighborhoods) on a bus tour around the city. Start at the Plaza de Mayo, the site of popular demonstrations throughout Argentina's history. Continue through the charming streets of San Telmo, the colorful zinc houses in La Boca, the waterfront cafés of Puerto Madero, and the gardens of Palermo before ending the tour in Recoleta. While in this affluent barrio, visit the quiet Recoleta Cemetary, where notable Argentine figures like Eva Perón are buried.

After your tour, enjoy dinner and a show at La Ventana in the heart of San Telmo. Take in the building's beautifully restored interiors and admire over 30 performers as they sing, play Argentine folk music, and, of course, dance the tango, a form of ballroom dance with roots in African, European, and Argentine culture. If you want even more out of the experience, consider taking a tango lesson or enjoying a wine tasting at the venue.

Day 3: Day Trip to Estancia Santa Susana

The Gaucho people with a herd of horses
Gauchos leading a herd of horses
Leave the city behind today and visit an estancia, a large private ranch in the pampas (grasslands) north of Buenos Aires. During your visit, take a ride on horseback or in a cart and tour the property at your own pace. Enjoy an asado (Argentine barbecue) lunch before a show featuring folk music, dancing, and gaucho-style horseback riding skills. 

Day 4: Explore Buenos Aires

Men work on boats in the canals of Tigre, Buenos Aires
The canals of Tigre

Buenos Aires lies on the shores of Río de la Plata, but it's not the only gem along the waterfront. One option for your free day today is to take a boat tour up the coast past sights like San Isidro's Cathedral and the riverfront park Vincente López before docking at the port of Tigre. Once your guide wraps up their explanation of the town's far-reaching history, take advantage of your free time to visit museums and markets in Tigre before returning home by bus.

Day 5: Fly to Puerto Iguazú

Sunset over Iguazú Falls
It's time to say adios! to Buenos Aires for the moment and catch a flight to your next destination: Puerto Iguazú, home of the famous Iguazú Falls. To get there, your driver will transfer you from the hotel to the airport, where you'll be picked up and transferred once again by a private driver. Catch your breath and be ready to lose it again once you see the falls!

Day 6: Visit the Brazilian Falls & Parque Das Aves

A view of the falls from above on the Brazilian side
The Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls
Iguazú Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world, spans the border of Brazil and Argentina—today, experience the Brazilian side of the falls. A bus takes you from the Visitor Center to the beginning of the footbridge circuit around the park. Follow the path and take in the Garganta do Diabo (Devil's Throat), the largest of Iguazú Fall's 275 waterfalls. Take your time before catching the elevator back to the bus since these incredible sights are only viewable from the Brazilian side of the park.

While experiencing all that the Brazilian side of Iguazú has to offer, don't miss the Parque das, Aves, a bird sanctuary in nearby Foz do Iguaçu in Paraná, Brazil. The sanctuary sprawls across 40 acres (16 ha) of Atlantic rainforest and is dotted with aviaries housing more than 1,000 birds from around 143 species. Connect with native birds up close in one of the park's immersion aviaries, and spot the other wildlife that calls the park home, like caimans, anacondas, and butterflies.

Day 7: Visit the Argentine Falls, Ecological Boat Tour

one of the many walkways on the Argentine side of the falls
One of the walkways on the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls

A private transfer takes you from Puerto Iguazú to the entrance of the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls National Park today, where a professional guide will meet you. Explore both the lower circuit, where you'll feel the spray from the water and the upper circuit, which offers panoramic views of the hundreds of falls within the park. On the Argentine side, visitors experience the Devil's Throat from above—watch the water rush beneath your feet and disappear over the edge of the falls.

Later on, experience the quiet side of Iguazú Falls on an ecological raft tour along the Upper Iguazu River. During this 30-minute tour, check out the different islands dotting the water and learn about the flora and fauna that call the upper river home. Unlike other rivers in South America, the temperatures in the Iguazu River vary widely over the course of the year, creating a unique ecosystem for about 100 species of fish and other wildlife.

If you still haven't had enough of Iguazú Falls at this point—and who could blame you—consider taking a boat tour from the Lower Iguazu River up to the feet of the falls. After a guided truck ride along the Yacaratiá Trail, board a boat at Puerto Macuco and head across the river's rapids toward the falls. From the boat, you will not only get to see both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the waterfall system but truly understand its scale as you look up from the base of falls like San Martín and Tres Musqueteros.

Day 8: Fly to Mendoza

Most Mendoza vineyards have the benefit of the Andes as a backdrop.
Vineyard in Mendoza with the Andes Mountains in the background

It's time to head southwest to Mendoza, Argentina's main wine-producing region. Scenic Mendoza sits at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, which will serve as a backdrop to your time here. A private transfer takes you from your accommodations to Puerto Iguazu for your flight to Mendoza, where you'll be transferred to your hotel in town.

One way to experience the best of the region's wine is to join a wine tasting. Enjoy a variety of food selected to bring out the flavors of Argentine wines like malbec and torrontés. Or put a unique spin on a winery tour tonight by visiting Bodega Trapiche, a winery founded in 1883 that combines traditional and modern winemaking techniques. Check out the winery's Italian-inspired main building and sprawling vineyards during a night tour before dinner, where you'll taste three courses paired with different wines.

Day 9: Vino y Oliva Experience

view of a vineyard with grape vines in the foreground and the Andes in the background
A vineyard in Luján de Cuyo
Mendoza's climate supports not just winemaking but olive oil production as well. Enjoy the best of both worlds on a tour through Luján de Cuyo and Maipú. The tour begins with a wine tasting at Bodega Tempus Alba before stopping at Pasrai, a family-owned olive oil factory, to taste olive oils, olive pastes, and sundried tomatoes paired with homemade bread. Next, visit the longstanding Bodega Luigi Bosca, and end the day with lunch at the boutique winery Clos de Chacras inside an early 20th-century building.

Day 10: Ride Horses in Mendoza

View of people on horseback in the Andes
A group of people on horseback in the foothills of the Andes

Today, explore the countryside on horseback on a guided tour through the foothills outside of the city. If you're new to horseback riding, worry not—expert guides will teach you the basics of riding safely before you hit the trails and take in stunning views of the Andes Mountains in the distance. Cap off your day in the saddle with an asado and, of course, a glass of malbec.

Day 11: Spa Day at Termas de Cacheuta

Outdoor pools at the Hotel Termas de Cacheuta

As your time in Mendoza draws to a close, head out to Cacheuta to relax in the thermal pools at Hotel Termas de Cacheuta. Nestled between the Andes and the Mendoza River, the Termas de Cacheuta offers multiple ways to unwind, from natural indoor and outdoor pools to a lazy river featuring a tunnel and a waterfall. For the complete experience, stop for lunch at the hotel's restaurant or create a picnic of your own at the on-site store.  

Day 12: Fly to El Calafate

Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier

For the last leg of your trip, a private transfer will take you from your hotel to Mendoza Airport to catch a flight to El Calafate, a city in the southern Patagonian province of Santa Cruz famous for its proximity to some of Argentina's best glaciers in Los Glaciares National Park. Once you arrive, your driver will transport you to your accommodations in town.

Day 13: Discover the Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion
Perito Moreno Glacier

One of the best-known gems of Los Glaciares National Park is the Perito Moreno Glacier. What makes this glacier distinctive is its equilibrium—since it loses and gains roughly the same amount of ice each year, it stays the same size while other glaciers shrink or grow. Take in the beauty of Perito Moreno across over 1.5 miles (3 km) of walkways, where multiple levels of balconies offer exceptional views and photo-taking opportunities.

For an even closer look at the glaciers in the park, consider one of many boat rides across Lago Argentino. While some options focus on Perito Moreno, other full-day cruises take you past others like Upsala GlacierSpegazzini Glacier, and the Peinata Glacier and even offer the chance to hike in the forest onshore. Regardless of the route, you'll be sure to spot blue ice in the walls of the glaciers and huge icebergs floating in the calm water.

Day 14: Day Trip to Estancia Nibepo Aike

Nibepo Aike Estancia
Meet the sheep that live on a Patagonian estancia

Experience life on a Patagonian estancia on your final full day in El Calafate. Located on the shores of Lago Roca within Los Glaciares National Park, Estancia Nibepo Aike offers visitors the opportunity to learn about traditional ranching practices within the stunning Patagonian forests full of lenga and ñire trees. Take your pick of horseback riding, hiking by the lake, and sheep shearing demonstrations before gathering to enjoy a traditional meal: lamb grilled on a Patagonian cross stake.

Day 15: Transfer to Buenos Aires & Depart

View of the Puente de la Mujer at night in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires
Puente de la Mujer in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires
Today, you will be transferred to El Calafate airport to take your domestic flight to Buenos Aires and connect with your international departure. After a long, incredible trip to Argentina, remember that it's not adíos, but hasta luego!

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Map

Map of Argentina Highlights: Buenos Aires, Iguazú, Mendoza & El Calafate - 15 Days
Map of Argentina Highlights: Buenos Aires, Iguazú, Mendoza & El Calafate - 15 Days