- Explore the colorful neighborhoods of Buenos Aires with an expert guide
- Walk alongside curious penguins at the Punta Tombo reserve
- See breaching southern right whales along the Valdés Peninsula
- Search out the tiny Commerson's Dolphin on a guided boat tour
|Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour
|Fly to Trelew, Transfer to Puerto Madryn, Explore the Valdés Peninsula
|Visit the Penguins of Punta Tombo
|Whale Watching Excursion to Puerto Pirámides
|Dolphin Sighting Tour, Chubut Valley Tour or Whales of Playa El Doradillo
|Return to Buenos Aires, Free Afternoon in the City
|Depart Buenos Aires
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour
Welcome to Argentina! This South American country is 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 a private 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, get better acquainted with the city's colorful neighborhoods via a guided tour.
Meet your guide at the hotel and then visit Plaza de Mayo, home to the National Government Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. Learn about the history of these important landmarks before moving on to San Telmo, one of the city's oldest districts. If you happen to be here on a Sunday, stop at their weekly market in Plaza Dorrego, where you'll find antiques, souvenirs, food stalls, and street performers to entertain the kids.
Next, stroll past the brightly-painted houses of La Boca. Soccer fans in the family will be thrilled to know that this is home to the legendary Boca Juniors Football Club, where the great Diego Maradona played. Walk along Caminito Street and see the famous Bombonera stadium, then head to Puerto Madero, formerly an industrial area that's now full of elegant bars and restaurants. End the tour in Recoleta, an upmarket area with restaurants, boutiques, and hotels. Visit the cemetery there and see where some of Argentina's most famous residents are buried, including actress and former first lady Eva "Evita" Perón.
Day 2: Fly to Trelew, Transfer to Puerto Madryn, Explore the Valdés Peninsula
It's time to head south to Patagonia and the magnificent Valdés Peninsula! After breakfast, a driver will take you to the airport, where you'll fly to the small city of Trelew. From here, take a private transfer to Puerto Madryn, a drive of approximately 50 minutes. This city is considered the gateway to the Valdés Peninsula, home to an important breeding population of the endangered southern right whale as well as southern elephant seals and sea lions. Your wildlife adventures officially begin tomorrow, but you can start exploring the sights around this coastal town after you get settled at your hotel.
If the kids are begging for some outdoor time, visit one of the nearby beaches, such as Playa Paraná, a pebbled beach that is popular with locals and tourists alike. The beach has a sunken ship just offshore, so you're likely to see lots of divers out on the water, as well as breaching whales or other wildlife. You can also learn more about the area's wildlife with a trip to Eccocentro, a clifftop museum that showcases the natural wonders of Patagonia. Exhibits include information on right whales, video presentations, an artificial tide pool, and a dedicated children's section.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Visit the Penguins of Punta Tombo
It's off to the nature reserve at Punta Tombo today, located in the province of Chubut and about 110 miles (177 km) from Puerto Madryn. The reserve is home to home to a large colony of Magellan penguins, and you and your family will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with them in their natural habitat. Your guide will meet you at your hotel, and you'll head out for a scenic three-hour drive along the coast to the reserve.
Make a stop at the Visitor's Center, where you can learn more about penguin life, as well as the history of the region, then receive a briefing from your guide about proper interaction with the penguins before starting your walk along the trails. These curious creatures are quite used to visitors and are unlikely to show alarm at your presence, but it's important to maintain a safe distance and not disturb any of the bird's nesting areas. You'll have a few hours to explore, and you can also grab lunch at the restaurant here before heading back to Puerto Madryn for the evening.
Day 4: Whale Watching Excursion to Puerto Pirámides
There's more wildlife in store as you immerse your family in the beauty of the Valdés Peninsula with a full-day whale watching excursion. You'll head to Puerto Pirámides with your guides and board a ship, setting sail along the coast. The crew will share information about the region and take you to an area where southern right whales can be found. Known for their gentleness and curiosity, the whales often come close enough to the boat for you to see the callosities, or calluses, on their skin! The kids might get the added thrill of seeing the whales pass under the boat, breach the water, or slap their tails.
Families interested in seeing the whales from a different perspective have the option of taking a submarine cruise. Departing from Puerto Pirámides, you'll board the "Yellow Submarine," a semi-submersible that allows you to observe the whales underwater. View the whales from one of the 40 cabin windows, an experience that feels more like you're diving with them through the ocean waters, or you can stand up on the open viewing deck and watch them swim and play.
Day 5: Dolphin Sighting Tour, Chubut Valley Tour or Whales of Playa El Doradillo
Get back on the water today with a boat tour that introduces you to one of the world's smallest dolphins, the Commerson's dolphin. These black and white oceanic mammals make their home in the coastal waters, feeding on the plentiful fish and crustaceans they find here. You'll depart from your hotel with your guide and drive to Rawson Port, where you'll board a boat and head out to the areas the dolphins usually reside, enjoying views of the playful creatures alongside seabirds and other wildlife.
After returning to the dock, you'll continue to the town of Trelew, where you'll tour the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio, one of Latin America's most important museums. The museum houses a collection of nearly 2,000 fossils, which include the world's biggest dinosaur—sure to thrill the kids! From here, you'll visit Gaiman, a small town on the Río Chubut with a wealth of history and interesting architecture that Welsh immigrants settled in the 19th century. Stop in at one of their tea rooms and enjoy a tasty snack of Welsh fruitcake before returning to Puerto Madryn.
If your family prefers to whale watch from shore today, consider Playa El Doradillo. The beach, which sits just a few miles from Puerto Madryn, is visited annually by southern right whales and their calves. The unusual coastal depth here attracts the whales close to the beach, making for perfect conditions to see them from shore. Your guide will take you on an easy hike along the nearby cliffs, treating you and the kids to sweeping views of the sea and countryside. At the beach, watch the whales swimming and breaching as they forage and play, then enjoy some snacks and hot beverages before heading back into town.
Day 6: Return to Buenos Aires, Free Afternoon in the City
Say your goodbyes to Patagonia as you transfer to the airport and head back to Buenos Aires for your last full day in Argentina. After your driver drops you off at your hotel, your family is free to explore more of the city. For educational fun, start at Museo Participativo de Ciencias (Science Participation Museum), which has interactive displays and activities, or Museo de los Niños, designed just for little ones, with exhibits on science, technology, and the environment. Older kids might also enjoy MALBA (Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires), which includes works by artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.
You can spend some time at Plaza de la República and see the Obelisco, a 221-foot (67 m) monument built by architect Alberto Prebisch, or walk to the Teatro Colón opera house and take in its incredible architecture. And if the youngsters in your group need to burn some energy, head to Parque Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires' oldest park. This nearly 1,000-acre (400 ha) green space in the Palermo neighborhood features tree-lined pathways, peaceful lakes, and a giant carousel. The kids can take a spin on the carousel or enjoy the play areas while you relax in the beautiful gardens.
Day 7: Depart Buenos Aires
It's time to say goodbye to Argentina! A driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport as you begin the journey back home or to your next destination. Safe travels!
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