Discover some of Argentina's top highlights on this 15-day journey to Buenos Aires and Patagonia! Unlike many itineraries, which only offer a single day in the capital, this trip features three full days in the city. See a tango show, go on a cycling tour, and immerse yourself in Argentine culture before flying south to Tierra del Fuego. Explore Ushuaia and its breathtaking surroundings before continuing to El Calafate and El Chaltén to see glaciers, visit a historic ranch, and hike through dramatic scenery.


  • See a tango show and enjoy dinner with wine pairings in Buenos Aires
  • Look for rare fossils in the otherworldly La Leona Petrified Forest
  • Boat to the towering ice walls of the Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Explore the hiking trails around Argentina's trekking capital, El Chaltén

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires, Explore the City Buenos Aires
Day 2 Sightsee in Buenos Aires, Tango & Dinner Show Buenos Aires
Day 3 Go on a Cycling Tour of the City Buenos Aires
Day 4 Fly to Ushuaia, Explore the Town Ushuaia
Day 5 Boat to the Penguin Colony on Isla Martillo Ushuaia
Day 6 Guided Trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park Ushuaia
Day 7 Discover the Lakes of Carbajal Valley  Ushuaia
Day 8 Hike to Laguna Esmeralda Ushuaia
Day 9 Fly to El Calafate, Visit the Glaciarium El Calafate
Day 10 Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Day 11 Visit the Upsala Glacier & Estancia Cristina El Calafate
Day 12 Explore the La Leona Petrified Forest, Transfer to El Chaltén El Chaltén
Day 13 Guided Hike to Laguna Capri El Chaltén
Day 14 Hike & Boat at Lago del Desierto El Chaltén
Day 15 Depart El Chaltén  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Explore the City

Tango performers dance in the street in La Boca, Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! Your adventure starts in the bustling capital city of Buenos Aires, known as the "Paris of South America." Transfer from the airport to your hotel and take some time to get settled before heading off on an afternoon tour. Your guide will start by showing you Plaza de Mayo, home to the national government palace and the Catedral Metropolitana. See the famous Obelisco and continue to nearby San Telmo, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods; it's famous for its bohemian atmosphere, street tango performances, antique shops, and cobblestoned streets.

La Boca is known for its brightly-painted houses, and Puerto Madero is on the riverside, with former industrial warehouses turned into elegant bars, restaurants, and offices. Palermo is home to many of the city's best bars, restaurants, and clubs, as well as picturesque parks and gardens. Recoleta is famous for its cemetery, where some of Argentina's most famous residents are buried—including Eva Perón, also known as Evita. After the tour, have dinner near your hotel—try an Argentine parrilla, or steakhouse—and get some rest before traveling onward tomorrow.

Day 2: Sightsee in Buenos Aires, Tango & Dinner Show

Stroll around Buenos Aires' colorful La Boca neighborhood

You'll have part of the day free to explore the city today. After breakfast, head to the Teatro Colón, one of South America's premier opera houses, which opened in 1908. Take a tour of the theater, with its horseshoe-shaped gallery and incredible acoustics, and the backstage, including the costume department. Then go for coffee and churros in Café Tortoni, one of the city's many classic cafés. Sample Argentine cuisine for lunch, then stroll around San Telmo, Puerto Madero, or La Boca.

In the evening, you'll attend a traditional tango show at a historic venue in San Telmo. Enjoy a classic Argentine menu with wine pairings as you watch dancers twirling to live music by a tango quintet. During the show, you'll learn about tango's roots and how the art form has developed over the years. You'll return to your hotel late in the evening to relax and get some rest.

Day 3: Go on a Cycling Tour of the City

Mausoleums in Recoleta Cemetery
Cycle past the famous mausoleums of Recoleta Cemetery

Today you'll explore the city on two wheels, soaking up its stunning architecture and bohemian culture. The cycling tour begins in the early afternoon. Over the course of three to four hours, you'll pedal through San Telmo, Puerto Madero, Retiro, Recoleta, and Palermo, stopping to visit parks and historic landmarks along the way. Your local guide will point out various points of interest during the tour, and you'll pause for coffee or a beer sometime in the afternoon.

Return to your hotel to rest, then go for an evening walk before sitting down for dinner at an Argentine restaurant. Do as the locals do, ordering empanadas, provoleta (a slab of grilled provolone cheese), and chorizo before moving on to the main course. Be sure to finish the evening with helado (ice cream) or any dessert with dulce de leche!

Day 4: Fly to Ushuaia, Explore the Town

Stroll along Ushuaia's picturesque waterfront

Transfer to the airport this morning for your flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Located on a bay in Tierra del Fuego, the city sits between the jagged peaks of the Martial Mountains and the silver waters of the Beagle Channel, where Charles Darwin famously sailed. After dropping off your things at your hotel, walk along the waterfront to marvel at the mountains and scenic shoreline.

Visit Ushuaia's Maritime Museum, housed in a building that was once a prison, or the Museo del Fin del Mundo (End of the World Museum). Located on the waterfront, this small museum features fascinating exhibits on the region's natural and Indigenous history. Alternatively, take a leisurely afternoon hike at Laguna Esmeralda, a beautiful turquoise lake outside Ushuaia. Then enjoy dinner in a local seafood restaurant—be sure to try the centolla (king crab). 

Day 5: Boat to the Penguin Colony on Isla Martillo

Time to visit some penguins
See penguins in the wild on Isla Martillo

Enjoy an adventure on the water today. On a boat tour, you'll sail across Brown Bay and the Beagle Channel, passing incredible landscapes and islands with colonies of sea lions and Magellanic penguins. Your destination is Isla Martillo, a rocky island populated by penguins. You'll be invited to hop off the boat and walk near them; though closer contact isn't allowed, you'll have some fantastic photo opportunities.

Continue the boat trip to the small village of Almanza, where you'll have a seafood lunch with a local family and learn about the fishing industry in the area. Then continue on a hike to the Río Lasifashaj, which features a picturesque waterfall. Sunset will be approaching slowly as you return to Ushuaia for a relaxing dinner and rest at the hotel.

Day 6: Guided Trek in Tierra del Fuego National Park

Hike to Lapataia Bay, where the Pan-American Highway ends

Today, you'll discover the natural beauty of Tierra del Fuego National Park. Your experienced guide will show you the best hikes, lakes, and lookout points, from seaside mountains to freshwater rivers to subantarctic forests and tranquil bays. Begin with a 4.3-mile (7 km) hike on a coastal path that follows the Beagle Channel. You'll have excellent views of the channel along the way and pass remnants of ancient settlements once occupied by the native Yámana people.

At the end of the hike, enjoy a delicious lunch with views of the Río Lapataia and Lago Roca. After lunch, you'll begin another walk on the La Lenga Trail, reaching the southernmost point of the Pan-American Highway before returning to the city of Ushuaia for the night.

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Day 7: Discover the Lakes of Carbajal Valley 

Carbajal Valley Lakes Tour
See snowcapped mountains on a tour of Carbajal Valley 

Today's excursion takes you through Tierra del Fuego's wild and breathtaking scenery. After a morning pickup at your hotel, you'll head out of Ushuaia on the picturesque Route 3. Your first stop takes you to the viewpoint of Carbajal Valley, where you can observe the remarkable influence of glacial movement on the landscape. After a quick stop at the Villa Las Cotorras Resort, continue to the legendary Andean mountain pass of Paso Garibaldi, where a panoramic postcard of lakes and mountains awaits.

Your 4WD journey begins here! Start descending through the forest on simple logging roads carved by the region's first lumberjacks. After a stop at Lago Escondido for some traditional Argentine drinks and snacks, continue to Lago Fagnano Lake to see the Magallanes Fault. This continental tectonic fault line helped to form prehistoric South America. Return to Ushuaia in the afternoon and enjoy a seafood dinner.

Day 8: Hike to Laguna Esmeralda

The turquoise waters of Laguna Esmeralda
Trek your way to the turquoise waters of Laguna Esmeralda

This morning, your guide will pick you up at your hotel, and you'll begin traveling north on the beautiful National Route 3. Heading away from the Beagle Channel, you'll discover one of the most remarkable valleys on the island. From here, you'll start a hiking adventure over a peat bog until reaching a forest full of native lenga trees. Cross beaver dams and follow a stream to reach the gorgeous Laguna Esmeralda. Relax and have a picnic while enjoying views of glaciers. Then head back along the same trail and return to Ushuaia.

Day 9: Fly to El Calafate, Visit the Glaciarium

Perito Moreno Glacier
Welcome to El Calafate, the gateway to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier

In the morning, you'll catch a 1.5-hour flight north to El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. El Calafate is also known for its location on Lago Argentino, Argentina's largest freshwater lake. After checking in at your hotel and getting settled, you'll have the afternoon and evening free to stroll around town and do some sightseeing.

Get ready for tomorrow's visit to the nearby glaciers by visiting the Glaciarium. This interactive museum offers hands-on displays and an ice bar where you can take a break for drinks. If you'd rather explore the outdoors, check out the birds at the Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve just outside of town. Stop in the quaint cafés and shops around El Calafate, then have dinner in a local parrilla (steakhouse) before getting some rest at your hotel.

Day 10: Experience the Perito Moreno Glacier

Dramatic views of Perito Moreno by boat
Admire Perito Moreno Glacier from a boat

Today's adventure takes you to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. As you enter the park, you'll have your first glimpse of the extensive ice mass that flows down from the Andes out over Lago Argentino, ending abruptly in a great wall that curves around the lake. Near the visitor's center, you'll have time to explore the boardwalks and viewing platforms offering sweeping views of the glacier.

Witness "calving," the awe-inspiring sight of ice breaking off the facade and crashing into the tranquil waters below. Then get ready to see the glacier from another perspective on a boat tour! The tour takes you close to the towering ice walls of the glacier, an unforgettable experience. During the excursion, you'll also take in beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. You'll return to El Calafate late in the day.

Day 11: Visit the Upsala Glacier & Estancia Cristina 

Visit the Upsala Glacier & Estancia Cristina [Classic Program]
Visit the Upsala Glacier and Estancia Cristina 

Another boat adventure awaits today. After an early breakfast, set sail from Punta Bandera at 9 am, gliding over the waters of Lago Argentino to reach the furthest possible point of navigation in the Upsala Channel. From this point, you'll enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the Upsala Glacier. Disembark at the historic ranch known as Estancia Cristina and go on a guided trek through the surrounding valley. The trail gradually ascends to an elevated lookout point offering sweeping views of the valley, Lago Pearson, and the towering Andes Mountains.

The highlight of the trek is the Río Los Perros Waterfall, which doubles as a fantastic spot for observing flowers and plant life, especially orchids. Return to Estancia Cristina and tour the grounds, including the small museum located in the old sheep-shearing shed, the water wheel, the chapel, and the main lodge. After a full day, boat back to El Calafate and relax in the evening. 

Day 12: Explore the La Leona Petrified Forest, Transfer to El Chaltén

Enjoy views of Mount Fitz Roy as you drive into El Chaltén

This morning you'll join your driver and set off along a scenic route to Argentina's trekking capital, El Chaltén. The 3.5-hour journey along the famed Route 40 features several points of interest. Stop at the historic La Leona Hotel, a guesthouse that once hosted the legendary American outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Then continue on to the La Leona Petrified Forest, home to 70 million-year-old petrified tree trunks and rare fossils. Dinosaur bones were unearthed here! 

You'll break for a picnic lunch midway through a guided forest hike. Then continue to El Chaltén. This small Patagonian village sits on the shores of Lago Argentino. Like El Calafate, it's a gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, with towering peaks rising 10,000 feet (3,048 m) above the windswept landscape. As you drive into El Chaltén, enjoy incredible views of Mount Fitz Roy.

Day 13: Guided Hike to Laguna Capri

Hike up to the shimmering waters of Laguna Capri

Wake up early and embark on a guided hike up to Laguna Capri. This 5-mile (8 km) excursion is the perfect introductory trek around El Chaltén. It only takes half a day and is packed with famous scenery, which includes mountains, valleys, glaciers, and of course, lagoons. Along the way, you'll also be treated to Instagram-worthy views of the Fitz Roy massif. 

The walk starts with a gentle climb out of the Río de Las Vueltas Valley, where El Chaltén is located. The first mile is uphill as you follow a trail up above the valley amid spectacular views. Continue through an old-growth Patagonian forest of lenga and ñire trees, home to much endemic wildlife. You might even spot the rare Magellanic woodpecker.

Eventually, you'll arrive at Laguna Capri, a high-altitude lake with incredible views of Fitz Roy in the distance. Spend some time here relaxing on the lakeshore and enjoying the surroundings. After a while, you'll get back on the trail and hike back to El Chaltén.

Day 14: Hike & Boat at Lago del Desierto

Boat on the calm waters of Lago del Desierto 

Today, you'll embark on another scenic circuit hike around El Chaltén—this time without a guide. In the morning, you'll transfer about a half hour by vehicle out of town and up a gravel road to Lago del Desierto. This scenic lake is famous for its deep-blue waters, surrounding Antarctic beech forests, and snowcapped mountains. From here, embark on a four-hour trek up to Laguna del Huemul, a mountain lake complimented by a glacier. During the hike, you'll enjoy 360-degree views of Lago del Desierto and the valley below.

Once at Huemul, you'll hop on a boat for a 40-minute ride around the lagoon. During this excursion, you'll pass waterfalls, hanging glaciers, and enjoy views of Fitz Roy's north face. After the boat tour, you'll hike back down the trail and return to El Chaltén.

Day 15: Depart El Chaltén

Take in one last view of the scenery before flying out
The adventure has come to an end. After breakfast, your driver will pick you up at your hotel and help you make your connection back to Buenos Aires to catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Best of Buenos Aires & Argentine Patagonia - 15 Days
Map of Best of Buenos Aires & Argentine Patagonia - 15 Days