Discover the highlights of Argentine Patagonia on this exciting 10-day trip that features hiking on a glacier, boating through an ice field, kayaking on a pristine lake, and so much more! You'll start with a quick stay in Buenos Aires, watching tango dancers perform in the street and experiencing traditional café culture. Then catch a flight south to El Calafate, the jumping-off point for exploring Los Glaciares National Park. You'll trek on the surface of Perito Moreno glacier — an unforgettable experience — before enjoying the scenic drive to El Chaltén, a hot spot for hikers, rock climbers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Finish with a few days in Argentina's Lake District, tasting artisanal chocolates in charming Bariloche and kayaking through the crystalline waters of Lago Nahuel Huapi.

Highlights

  • Walk along the surface of Perito Moreno on a glacier hike
  • Sip cold cocktails inside Argentina's first ice bar
  • Hike around El Chaltén and enjoys views of the iconic Mt. Fitz Roy
  • Taste chocolates in Bariloche, located in Argentina's beautiful Lake District
  • Kayak around Lago Mascardi and finish the day with a nature hike
  • Watch tango dancers perform in the street in Buenos Aires

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
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 Boat Around Los Glaciares National Park El Calafate
Day 5 Enjoy the Scenic Drive to El Chaltén El Chaltén
Day 6 Hike to Laguna de Los Tres El Chaltén
Day 7 Discover the Charm of Bariloche Bariloche
Day 8 Go on a Half-Day Excursion to Isla Victoria Bariloche
Day 9 Kayak & Trek on Mascardi Lake Bariloche
Day 10 Depart Argentina - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires & Sightsee

The Obelisco in Buenos Aires
The Obelisco in Buenos Aires

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

The city of El Calafate, Argentina
Lakefront 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 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!

Day 3: See Perito Moreno Glacier

Hiking Perito Moreno, Argentina
Hiking on Perito Moreno

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: Boat Around Los Glaciares National Park

Get up-close views of the glaciers by boat
 Boating past glaciers in the national park

Aside from Perito Moreno, there are a number of other incredible masses of ice in Los Glaciares National Park. You'll have the opportunity to visit a few of these on a full-day boat excursion around Lago Argentino. You'll get so close to the glaciers' walls that you'll practically be able to reach out and touch them! From Punta Bandera Harbor, you'll board a modern catamaran and embark on your journey. As you travel north along the frozen waters of Lago Argentino, you'll travel between icebergs as you make your way towards the first site, Upsala Glacier. After crossing the Boca del Diablo, the narrowest part of the lake, you'll enter the Upsala Channel and shortly afterward reach the glacier. Your next destination will be towering Spegazzini Glacier. Entering the Spegazzini Channel you'll see Seco Glacier, a retreating wall of ice that is perpetually moving inland from the lakeshore. With ice walls 442 feet (135 meters) tall, just being near this towering behemoth is an unforgettable experience. The tour ends with the boat's return to Punta Bandera. Transfer back to your hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. 

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Day 5: Enjoy a Scenic Drive to El Chaltén

Welcome to El Chaltén with views of Mt Fitz Roy
El Chaltén's welcome sign framed by views of Mt Fitz Roy

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 6: Hike to Laguna de Los Tres

Laguna de los Tres
Aquamarine waters at 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 7: Discover the Charm of Bariloche 

Civic Center in downtown Bariloche
A square in downtown 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 8: Go on a Half-Day Excursion to Isla Victoria

Take a boat ride on the vivid blue waters of Lago Nahuel Huapi
The vivid blue waters of Lago Nahuel Huapi

Today you'll have the pleasure of sailing around Nahuel Huapi Lake on a half-day tour. First, you'll transfer to Puerto Pañuelo, where you'll board a catamaran cruise bound for Isla Victoria, an island on the northern end of the lake. Once on the island, you can enjoy it as you wish. There are plenty of hiking trails if you want to immerse yourself in nature — keep your eyes open for otherworldly trees, like Antarctic beeches with deep red bark and moss-covered roots. Some of these trees are more than 600 years old. Relax on the pebbly beach as you gaze out at the lake's crystalline waters. 

Get back on the boat and visit the Quetrihué Peninsula portion of Los Arrayanes National Park. This relatively small park is home to a vast arrayán (Chilean myrtle) forest. It's a sight to see, as the thin, red stalks of these exotic trees jut skyward like long fingers reaching for the sky. (Legend has it that Walt Disney got the inspiration for Bambi's forest after a visit to Los Arrayanes!) Wooden walkways cut through the park, so you can enjoy the forest at your own pace. 

Day 9: Kayaking & Trekking on Mascardi Lake

Enjoy lunch on the shore of Lago Mascardi
A gourmet lunch on the shore of Lago Mascardi

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 10: Depart Buenos Aires - End of Trip

Goodbye, Argentina!
A nighttime view over Buenos Aires

The tour comes to an end today. Transfer to the airport in Bariloche to catch a flight to Buenos Aires and make your connection out. Safe travels! 

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