- Tour the colorful, historic streets of Buenos Aires with an expert guide
- Experience real gaúcho life on a working Argentine estancia (ranch)
- Ride a vintage steam engine to the "End of the World" in Tierra del Fuego
- Meet the adorable feathered residents of Isla Martillo
- Trek along the icy glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park
|Day 1||Arrive in Buenos Aires, Explore||Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Guided Family City Tour, Tango Show & Dinner||Buenos Aires|
|Day 3||Fiesta Gaucha Experience, Tigre Delta Tour||Buenos Aires|
|Day 4||Fly to Ushuaia, Explore||Ushuaia|
|Day 5||Tierra del Fuego National Park & Train Ride, Beagle Channel Cruise||Ushuaia|
|Day 6||Walk with the Penguins of Isla Martillo||Ushuaia|
|Day 7||Fly to El Calafate, Mini Glacier Trek in Los Glaciares National Park||El Calafate|
|Day 8||Todo Glaciares Guided Family Excursion||El Calafate|
|Day 9||Estancia Cristina Guided Hike & Lunch||El Calafate|
|Day 10||Free Morning in El Calafate, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Explore
Welcome to Argentina, 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 your 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, it's time to start exploring the city.
You can start your self-guided tour with a walk through some of the city's colorful neighborhoods, such as Palermo, where you can enjoy charming cobblestone streets and a wealth of incredible street art. Palermo is also home to Bosques de Palermo, the largest park in the city and a great spot for the kids to stretch their legs and play. Visit the San Telmo neighborhood for its quaint cafés, and if you happen to be there on a Sunday, be sure to stop at their weekly market, where you'll find souvenirs, food stalls, and street performers to entertain the kids.
If the kids are interested in museums, consider the Museo de los Niños, which is specifically designed for little ones, with interactive exhibits that cover topics like science, technology, and the environment. Older kids might also enjoy MALBA (The Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires), which has a wide variety of art that includes works by famous artists like Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Tonight, do like the locals and have dinner at a local parrilla (steakhouse), where your family can try the best in Argentine meats and other traditional dishes.
Day 2: Guided Family City Tour, Tango Show & Dinner
Get better acquainted with the city today on a guided tour. Your guide will collect you from your hotel, and you'll set off to explore the local neighborhoods and historical landmarks. Start at the Plaza de Mayo, home to the National Government Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. Learn about the history of these important landmarks, then head to Plaza de la República and see the Obelisco, a 221-foot (67 m) monument built by architect Alberto Prebisch. You'll also visit the Cabildo (Old City Hall) and the Avenida 9 de Julio, one of the city's main streets, named in honor of Argentina's Independence Day.
Make your way to La Boca, an artsy district known for its brightly painted houses. Soccer fans in the family will be thrilled to know that this is the location for the legendary Boca Juniors Football Club, where the great Diego Maradona played. Pass through Puerto Madero, a former port area that's now one of the most exclusive residential areas in the city, then finish in the neighborhood of Recoleta, where the star attraction is the Recoleta Cemetery. See the extravagant mausoleums where Argentina's most famous residents are buried, including actress and former first lady Eva "Evita" Perón.
This evening, continue your family's education into Argentine culture with a tango show accompanied by dinner. Tango is considered the heart of Buenos Aires, and there's no better way to showcase the spirit and essence of the city than through this traditional music and dance. The show will take place at a local restaurant where, after enjoying a delicious meal, you'll see a spectacular presentation of this acclaimed dance performed by some of the city's best dancers, singers, and musicians.
Day 3: Fiesta Gaucha Experience, Tigre Delta Tour
This morning's excursion takes you to an estancia (ranch) called Santa Susana, located an hour outside of Buenos Aires. Learn about the lifestyle and history of the Argentine gaúcho (cowboy) as you spend the day at a working ranch, watching live horseback riding demonstrations, music shows, and dance performances of the tango and malambo.
The kids will get a chance to meet the horses and other farm animals, and you can take a family horseback tour or ride in a sulky (horse-drawn cart) around the property. Lunch will be served in the early afternoon with empanadas, barbecue, soft drinks for the kids, and local wines for the adults.
Later today, take a tour of Buenos Aires' Northern Zone, which includes the suburbs of Olivos, La Lucila, Martinez, and San Isidro. Visit San Isidro Cathedral, a magnificent depiction of neo-Gothic design, and see the rivers that make up the Lower Delta, taking in the gorgeous greenery surrounding the area. Finish in the province of Tigre, where you and the kids can visit the Museo de Arte de Tigre, which has a collection of 19th and 20th-century art, or the Sarmiento Museum, a glass-encased house that was once the residence of former president Domingo Sarmiento.
Day 4: Fly to Ushuaia, Explore
You're off to Patagonia today! Pack snacks and activities for this morning's four-hour flight south to Ushuaia. Nicknamed the "End of the World," this small town sits at the very tip of South America on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago and is considered the southernmost city on Earth.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
After you check in at your hotel, the rest of the day is free. If you want to explore at your own pace, the kids might enjoy a visit to the Thematic Gallery of the Historia Fueguina, where more than 120 character life-size figures take you through the history of the region. Or you can unearth the story of the scariest and most dangerous criminals at the Prison Museum.
Outdoor adventurers in the family might like to book a guided fishing trip, where you'll cruise the Beagle Channel and nearby rivers and try your hand at catching trout, salmon, or other fish. You can also hike up to the Martial Glacier, a fairly easy trek that rewards you with panoramic views of Ushuaia and the surrounding mountains. Later, be sure to explore the local gastronomy, as Ushuaia is known for its fresh seafood.
Day 5: Tierra del Fuego National Park & Train Ride, Beagle Channel Cruise
Your family adventure continues with a visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park. The park encompasses more than 240 square miles (629 sq km) and was nicknamed the "Land of Fires" by early explorers. Here you'll find stunning natural landscapes that include Andean-Patagonian forests, mountains that rise from the sea, and lakes that seem to go on forever. The park also marks the end of the Pan-American Highway that begins in Alaska and stretches more than 9,000 miles (15,000 km) before ending in the park.
You'll start at the End of the World Train Station. Here, you'll take a 60-minute steam engine ride into the park, which takes you past rivers, bogs, and the impressive Macarena Waterfall. Visit Ensenada, where the Andes mountains, sub-Antarctic forest, and the sea meet, and see the archaeological remains of the people who once lived here. Finish at Lago Roca (also known by its Indigenous name of Acigami) and Lapataia Bay, the official end of the Pan-American Highway. The park also has what is known as the last post office in America, where the kids can send postcards to family and friends from the end of the world!
For more wildlife viewing, take a catamaran ride along Ushuaia Bay and to the Beagle Channel, where you'll sail around Isla de Los Pájaros (Bird Island) and see various birdlife such as skuas, black-browed albatross, steam ducks, and gray gulls. Then visit Isla de Los Lobos (Sea Lion Island), where the kids can wave at the playful sea lions lounging along the shores. Finish your tour at Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, where your family will learn about the sinking of the SS Monte Cervantes that occurred here, as well as how the lighthouse came to be misnamed the "Lighthouse of the End of the World."
Day 6: Walk with the Penguins of Isla Martillo
Animal lovers in the family will love the chance to get up close and personal with local wildlife at a Magellanic penguin rookery. You'll travel via bus to Estancia Harberton, located about an hour's drive from Ushuaia. The farm was the first in the area, founded in 1886 by the Anglican missionary Thomas Bridges. From here, you'll board a boat and take a 15-minute ride to Isla Martillo. The island, which is on the Beagle Channel, is part of the estancia and is one of only three Magellanic penguin rookeries in Tierra del Fuego.
After you disembark, your guide will take you on a "walk with the penguins," sure to be the highlight of the day for the kids! See the penguins and their young in their natural habitat while your guide shares information on the penguins and their nesting areas. Families should keep in mind that visitors are not allowed to approach or feed the penguins, and silence is encouraged in order to prevent any disturbance to the bird's nesting habits or daily activities.
Day 7: Fly to El Calafate, Mini Glacier Trek in Los Glaciares National Park
Depart Ushuaia 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 1.5-hour flight north to El Calafate, which sits 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 for a guided "mini-trek" of the glacier.
Your guide will take you to Bajo la Sombra wharf, where you'll board a boat and cross the Rico Arm. Upon disembarking, you'll start your walk to the glacier. Before you begin your icy trek, you'll be outfitted with crampons for your shoes, and your guides will provide a briefing on safety and proper usage. Walk across the glacier, taking in the many crevices, drains, caves, and small lagoons along the way.
The hike takes about 1.5 hours, and families should keep in mind that it's not suitable for children under the age of eight and requires a moderate amount of physical fitness. Your return journey back to town will take you past towering glacier walls and give you an up-close look at the many shades of ice. Relax at your hotel in El Calafate tonight, or explore more of the town on your own.
Day 8: Todo Glaciares Guided Family Excursion
The kids will be excited to get back out on the water today as you explore some of the region's most breathtaking glaciers with a family-friendly Todo Glaciares (All the Glaciers) tour. You'll start at the port of Punta Bandera, located about 30 miles (47 km) from El Calafate, boarding a boat that takes your family along the north arm of Lago Argentino, heading toward Upsala Glacier and the Spegazzini Canal. Cruise by huge blue icebergs as your captain expertly navigates the boat close enough to see the variations of the glacier ice, then enter the canal.
See views of Dry Glacier, then sail to the front of Spegazzini Glacier. You'll also have a chance to see the nearby Heim Sur and Peineta glaciers. Disembark at the base of Spegazzini and Spegazzini Shelter, making the walk to the Bay of Glaciers. There are two trails to choose from, a short forest path with posted information about the glaciology, fauna, and flora of the region, and a longer mountain trail that takes you to panoramic viewpoints. Afterward, have lunch at the shelter and visit their gift shop, then return to the port.
Day 9: Estancia Cristina Guided Hike & Lunch
Head back to Punta Bandera and tour a local estancia today, learning about the history of the region, hiking to incredible glacier views, and enjoying a delicious Patagonian lunch. You'll depart from the port, cruising along the western front of Upsala Glacier and through Cristina Canal, disembarking at Estancia Cristina. The estancia was originally founded in 1914 by Englishman Joseph Masters and is named after his daughter, Cristina.
Begin the 6-mile (9.5 km) hike along the Feruglio range, then continue to the Upsala Glacier viewpoint, an exclusive panoramic point that offers endless views of Lago Guillermo and the glacier. After contemplating the beautiful scenery and letting the kids rest for a bit, you'll head back to the estancia. Have lunch, then visit their old shearing shed, now a museum, and learn about the history of the family. Before your return to El Calafate, you can also take a guided hike to the Río Caterina and the chapel there.
Day 10: Free Morning in El Calafate ,Depart
If you have time before your departing flight this morning, consider a visit to Laguna Nimez, an ecological reserve that's home to 80 different types of birds, including flocks of bright pink flamingoes. Grab your binoculars and meet up with your guide, taking an easy trek through the reserve as they point out wildlife while stopping at panoramic points that showcase the beauty of the region. In addition to flamingoes, you're likely to see other bird species like grebes, swans, ducks, and sparrow hawks, so tell the kids to keep their eyes peeled during the hike!