In just iover a week you can experience two major highlights of Argentina: Patagonia and Iguazú Falls. After enjoying a night in Buenos Aires, you'll fly to El Calafate and enjoy a luxury boat tour to the iconic Perito Moreno Glacier. Then you'll fly north to Iguazú to hike around both the Brazilian and Argentine sides of these massive waterfalls.

Highlights

  • Enjoy dinner and a tango show in Argentina's capital of Buenos Aires
  • Get up close to the massive Perito Moreno glacier
  • Take a luxury boat cruise on Lago Argentino
  • Explore Iguazú Falls, one of the largest waterfalls in the world

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 2 Walking Tour of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 3 Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 4 Explore Los Glaciares National Park El Calafate
Day 5 Glaciers Gourmet Boat Tour El Calafate
Day 6 El Chalten to El Calafate - Fly to Iguazú Falls Puerto Iguazu
Day 7 Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side) Puerto Iguazu
Day 8 Fly from Iguazú to Buenos Aires - Departure  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires

The famouos Obelisco in downtown Buenos Aires
The famouos Obelisco in downtown Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! Renowned as the "Paris of South America" and the "Queen of El Plata," the capital city of Buenos Aires is defined by passion. This is exemplified in the rich tango heritage and its citizens' limitless enthusiasm for fútbol (soccer), which is by far the country's most popular sport. 

When you arrive at the airport, your driver will be waiting to take you in a private car to your hotel where you can relax after a long flight. But make no mistake: the city will beckon you. So after a quick recharge, be sure to venture out into the welcoming arms of Buenos Aires and explore. 

When evening falls and dinnertime arrives, do like the locals and order a thick, juicy steak (Argentina has some of the best beef in the world) drizzled with the nation's famous chimichurri (a garlic, herb, and vinegar sauce). Know that Buenos Aires is a culture that thrives after dark, and it's not uncommon for locals to have dinner well past nine in the evening, especially on weekends.

Day 2: Walking Tour of Buenos Aires

The Teatro Colón
The Teatro Colón

After breakfast, you'll take an organized tour of Buenos Aires. During this three-hour walking excursion, you'll visit the neighborhood of Retiro plus stroll Avenida 9 de Julio—South America’s widest avenue. You'll pass through the historic city center, home to the Teatro Colón opera house, National Congress, Plaza de Mayo, and the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace). Then, visit the oldest neighborhood in the city, San Telmo. Afterward, you'll stop by B.A.'s original port, La Boca.

In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by a tango performance—one of Argentina's most famous cultural highlights.

Day 3: Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate

The city of El Calafate, Argentina
The city of El Calafate, Argentina

After breakfast, you'll head to the airport for a three-hour flight south from Buenos Aires 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. If possible, select a window seat to enjoy stunning views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field along the way.

Upon arrival, you'll transfer from the airport to your hotel for check-in. You can then spend the rest of the day relaxing or strolling around town and visiting its charming cafés and boutiques. You can learn about nearby glaciers at the Glaciarium, a multi-media center that has an ice museum, various interactive displays, and educational information regarding glaciers. Or, don a coat, boots, and gloves, to enjoy a drink at the museum's Glaciobar BrancaIt, Argentina's first ice bar.

Day 4: Explore Los Glaciares National Park

Perito Moreno by boat
Perito Moreno by boat

Today you will head to Los Glaciares National Park. As you enter this protected area, 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 and ends abruptly in a great wall of ice that curves around the lake. You may also witness "calving", the awe-inspiring sight of ice breaking off the facade and crashing into the tranquil waters below. Every time ice hits the water, a thundering crash echoes around the lake. 

Perito Moreno is not the only glacier in the area, but it is the most famous in the park. It is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world, which is what causes the calving of ice. After arriving, you can admire Perito Moreno from a number of different vantage points thanks to the network of wooden walkways around the glacier. You will also get the chance to see the massive ice wall up close on a boat tour. 

Day 5: Glaciers Gourmet Boat Tour

Take a luxury boat tour of Perito Moreno
Take a luxury boat tour of Perito Moreno

In the morning, you'll be picked up from your hotel and embark on a full-day boat cruise into Los Glaciares National Park. As the name of this tour suggests, this boat offers the highest standard of comfort plus a gourmet lunch, which will be served on board.

You'll travel throughout this UNESCO World Heritage Site, passing forests, lakes, and mountains, all within an area home to more than 200 glaciers. You'll see a few of these renowned pieces of ice, including Spegazzini, which rises 442 feet (135 meters) above sea level; Upsala, which has a surface area of 32 miles (53 km); and Perito Moreno, a massive glacier that is constantly advancing and calving, which is one of Mother Nature's most impressive sights.

Day 6: El Chalten to El Calafate - Fly to Iguazú Falls

Iguazú Falls in the afternoon light
Iguazú Falls in the afternoon light

In the morning, a driver will pick you up from your hotel in El Chaltén and take you to the airport in El Calafate. You'll then fly from the icy peaks of southern Patagonia to the rainforest jungles of northern Argentina's Misiones Province. Here you'll find the region's crown jewel: Iguazú Falls, the second-largest waterfall system in the world after Victoria Falls, in Africa.

After arriving in the city of Puerto Iguazú and checking into your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day free to relax. If you feel up for it, head out to the Landmark of the Three Frontiers, which marks the tri-borders between Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. You can also see the falls right away by visiting the Brazilian side, which offers a couple easily accessible viewpoints of this incredible natural phenomenon. 

In any case, you'll want to acclimate to the warmer weather (temperatures here can top 90°F in the summer months). Also, be on the lookout for exotic animals that call the area home, such as monkeys and coatis.

Day 7: Explore Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side)

Touring Iguazú from the Argentine side
Touring Iguazú from the Argentine side

After breakfast at your hotel, a driver will pick you up and drop you off at the entrance of Iguazú National Park, the Argentine side of the falls. This is where you will begin the day's adventure, a full-day tour that involves walking the three circuits that weave around the waterfall. Each of these offers different vantage points from which to view the water. 

The three circuits include:

  • The upper circuit (1 hour) is made up of 2,624 feet (800 m) of walkways elevated above the jungle floor to avoid disrupting the natural paths of indigenous fauna. On this route, you'll see the upper portion of Iguazú, including countless panoramic vistas of the surrounding cascades.
  • The lower circuit (2 hours) is 5,250 feet (1,600 m) long and is also made up of elevated walkways, which go directly below and around the falls. This circuit takes you near the base of the falls and right up to the crashing torrents of water. You'll be able to feel the magnitude of the waterfall from up close.
  • The Devil's Throat (2 hours) is the star of the show. A small tourist train leaves from the Cataratas Station and travels 18 minutes to Garganta Station, where you'll find restrooms, a snack bar, and the start of the path. You'll walk 3,937 feet (1200 m) over the river until you reach the viewing platform. From there you'll be able to peer 269 feet (82 m) down into the water, as the highest of Iguazu's Falls thunders all around you.

At the end of the tour, the driver will pick you up and take you back to your hotel.

Day 8: Fly from Iguazú to Buenos Aires - Departure

Farewell, Argentina
Farewell, Argentina

This morning, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. Then you'll head to the international airport where you'll catch your international flight back home. Until next time!

Map

Map of Classic Argentina: Patagonia & Iguazú - 8 Days
Map of Classic Argentina: Patagonia & Iguazú - 8 Days