- Get to know Buenos Aires on a walking tour
- Trek along the surface of a glacier at Perito Moreno
- Explore the mountain trails around El Chaltén
- Visit charming Bariloche, the capital of Argentina's beautiful Lake District
- Boat to Isla Victoria and see the famous Myrtle Forest
- Enjoy a picnic lunch served on the shores of Lake Mascardi
|Day 1||Arrive in Buenos Aires & Sightsee||Buenos Aires|
|Day 2||Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate||El Calafate|
|Day 3||See Perito Moreno Glacier||El Calafate|
|Day 4||Enjoy a Scenic Drive to El Chaltén||El Chaltén|
|Day 5||Hike to Laguna de Los Tres||El Chaltén|
|Day 6||Discover the Charm of Bariloche||Bariloche|
|Day 7||Boat to Isla Victoria||Bariloche|
|Day 8||Kayak on Mascardi Lake||Bariloche|
|Day 9||Depart Argentina - End of Trip|
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires & Sightsee
Welcome to Argentina! The capital city of Buenos Aires is known as the "Paris of South America," thanks to its mix of European architecture and Latin American culture. When you arrive at the airport, a driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the city center. Buenos Aires is the birthplace of tango, and you'll have the chance to see tango dancers performing to live music as you explore downtown. Head south into the neighborhood of San Telmo, walking along cobblestoned streets — this is a great area to soak up the city's historic charm, stop in a traditional café, browse through the antiques at the elegant Mercado San Telmo marketplace, and sit down for dinner at a classic parrilla (steakhouse).
Day 2: Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate
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 trip. 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. Learn about the region's glaciers at the Glaciarium, a multimedia center featuring an ice museum, interactive displays, and educational information. Then enjoy a drink at the museum's Glaciobar BrancaIt, Argentina's first ice bar — be sure to bundle up, as it's chilly inside!
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Day 3: See Perito Moreno Glacier
Get ready to explore Los Glaciares National Park. As you enter the park, you'll catch your first glimpse of the majestic glacier known as Perito Moreno. This expansive ice mass flows from the Andes Mountains into the waters of Lago Argentino, ending abruptly in a great wall curving around the lake. View the glacier from one of the park's many viewing platforms, accessible via a network of catwalks that run along the shores of the lake, offering the best vantage points. With a little luck and patience, you may witness "calving," the inspiring sight of ice breaking off the glacier's edge and crashing into the calm waters below.
Believe it or not, you'll be trekking on top of this glacier today! Your excursion involves walking over the ice, fully outfitted with crampons and an ice ax. Traversing Perito Moreno is an amazing adventure, and a perfectly safe one, as you'll be accompanied by certified bilingual guides who know the terrain. Enjoy the thrill of crossing over deep blue ice crevices and hiking over meltwater streams as you see the glacier up close.
Day 4: Enjoy a Scenic Drive to El Chaltén
After breakfast, head to the bus station in El Calafate to board a bus to El Chaltén. Grab a window seat and get ready to enjoy the incredibly scenic northbound journey that covers 124 miles and takes around three to four hours. You'll ride along Ruta 40, the famous Patagonian highway that cuts through great expanses of barren steppe and reveals views of snowy peaks on the horizon. El Chaltén sits at the foot of the iconic Mount Fitz Roy and is nicknamed "Hiker's Paradise," due to the abundance of mountaineering options around. Tomorrow you'll get out and explore, but for today, just relax in town and have a beer or a meal in one of several cozy restaurants and bars that cater to outdoor enthusiasts.
Day 5: Hike to Laguna de Los Tres
Put on your hiking boots this morning — it's time for a full-day, 16-mile (26 km) excursion into Los Glaciares National Park. El Chaltén is the perfect starting point, as there are a number of trailheads just outside of town, many of which lead to Mt. Fitz Roy. Your destination today is Laguna de los Tres. This glassy body of water earned its name — which translates to "Lake of the Three" — because it offers prime views of three peaks. In addition to Fitz Roy, you can see Poincenot and Torre from here. You'll follow a trail that leads up through alpine forest. At the top, take in views of the valley below and Piedras Blancas Glacier. Hike back to El Chaltén for a relaxing evening.
Day 6: Discover the Charm of Bariloche
In the morning, you'll leave your hotel in El Chaltén and transfer to El Calafate by bus. From there, you'll catch a flight north to San Carlos de Bariloche, the main city in Argentina's Lake District. This region is home to some of the most impressive scenery in the country. Founded in 1902, the city of Bariloche is located on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi, part of the larger Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. (The name comes from the Mapuche indigenous group who originally inhabited the area.) The lake straddles the Chilean border, with the city of Bariloche located on the southeast shore.
After checking in at your hotel, go for a walk around town, enjoying its alpine architecture, waterfront plazas, chocolate shops, and upscale restaurants, many housed in chalet-style buildings. If you have the energy for another activity, ride a cable car to the top of Cerro Campanario. Located just outside town, the view from atop this mountain is nothing short of breathtaking. Enjoy panoramic views of Lago Nahuel Huapi and the snow-covered mountains surrounding it. Alternatively, visit the five-star Hotel Llao Llao, one of the finest hotels in Argentina. The grand hotel, sitting on a small peninsula overlooking the lake, is the embodiment of mountain luxury. Stop in for a full afternoon tea service with decadent desserts!
Day 7: Boat to Isla Victoria
In the morning, leave your hotel on a private transfer to Puerto Pañuelo. From here, you'll sail the clear waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by landscapes of snow-capped mountains and green forests. Your destination is Isla Victoria, a long thin island in the middle of the lake. Victoria Island is protected, but visitors are allowed to enter on guided tours to appreciate its unspoiled wilderness. Enjoy a nature hike through pine forests and the wildlife reserve. This area is home to native red deer, golden pheasants, and many other animals.
You'll then hop back on the boat and continue to the Quetrihué Peninsula, where you'll find the famous Myrtle Forest. Myrtle trees (also called arrayán trees) are a unique Andean species with smooth, cinnamon-colored bark. They're often covered with white flowers, which lends them an otherworldly quality. The myrtles on this peninsula are also unusual for their large size.
As the sun begins to set over the mountains, you'll return to shore and transfer back to your hotel. Have dinner in town before getting some rest.
Day 8: Kayak on Mascardi Lake
Today is a special day featuring kayaking on Lago Mascardi, a nature trek through the forest, and a gourmet picnic served on the lakefront. The adventure begins with a pick-up at your hotel, followed by a 45-minute drive south along the famed Ruta 40 to get to the lake. Your first destination is a lakeshore campsite owned by the local indigenous community. Here you'll get into your kayak and begin paddling for Playa Leones, a beautiful pebble beach on Mascardi.
Once you arrive at this tranquil beach, you'll be able to relax on shore and enjoy the surrounding wilderness. Afterward, you'll embark on a hike through native forest until you reach a secluded lagoon. Then it's time to head back to Playa Leones, where you'll enjoy a gourmet lunch with water views. Finally, you'll kayak back to the starting point and return to Bariloche in the late afternoon. The evening is yours to enjoy — many excellent restaurants, chocolate shops, cafés, and bars await!
Day 9: Depart Argentina - End of Trip
Today the trip comes to an end. Head to the airport to make your way to your next destination. Safe travels!
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