- Explore the colorful streets of Buenos Aires with an expert guide
- Hike the foothills around the sleeping volcano of Cerro Tronador
- Follow winding boardwalks through the fairy-tale forests of Los Arrayanes
- Kayak along the peaceful waters of Lago Gutiérrez
- Learn to make traditional empanadas and other dishes in a family cooking class
|Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour
|Fly to Bariloche & the Lake District, Explore
|Bariloche Circuit Tour
|Isla Victoria & Los Arrayanes Forest Adventure
|Family Excursion to Cerro Tronador
|Kayak Tour of Lago Gutierrez, Fly to Buenos Aires
|Family-Friendly Cooking Class, Depart Buenos Aires
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Guided Neighborhood Tour
Welcome to the vibrant country of Argentina! South America's second-largest country is home to a rich history and an abundance of natural wonders—perfect for a family adventure. Your flight lands in Buenos Aires, and your 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 capital via a kid-friendly guided neighborhood tour. Meet your guide at the hotel and then head out via car, making your first stops at the lively Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada.
Learn about the history of these 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 the Plaza Dorrego market, where you'll find souvenirs, food stalls, and street performers to entertain the kids. Next, visit 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. Pass by the 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, where the star attraction is the Recoleta Cemetery. See where some of Argentina's most famous residents are buried, including actress and former first lady Eva "Evita" Perón. Your guide will then return you to your hotel, where you can explore more of the city on your own. You can take the kids to see some of the local parks, such as the Bosques de Palermo, or walk to the Teatro Colón opera house and take in its incredible architecture. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local parrilla (steakhouse) where you'll find delicious Argentine steaks and other dishes.
Day 2: Fly to Bariloche & the Lake District, Explore
This morning, you're off to northern Patagonia and the town of San Carlos de Bariloche—or just Bariloche to the locals. Your private transfer will collect you from your hotel in the morning and take you to the airport for the roughly two-hour flight. Once you arrive and get settled at your hotel, spend the rest of your afternoon exploring this charming town.
Nestled in the Andes mountains, Bariloche borders the glacial lake of Nahuel Huapi and is known for its Swiss alpine-style architecture (hence the nickname "Little Switzerland"), as well as scenic vistas and outdoor activities. If the kids are anxious to get out and about, head up to Teleférico Cerro Otto, a resort area that offers seasonal snow activities such as sledding and snowshoeing, a funicular, and an art gallery. You can also have lunch at the 360-degree rotating cafeteria while here, taking in the stunning views of the lake.
Later today, visit Bariloche's main square, where you'll find sights such as the Museum of Patagonia, the Nuestra Señora del Nahuel Huapi Cathedral, and the City Hall Building. The square offers peaceful lake views, and if you walk down its main street, Calle Mitre, the kids will go wild over the many chocolate shops you'll find here! Bariloche is considered Argentina's "chocolate capital," serving up some of the best artisanal chocolate in the country. You can learn more at the town's chocolate museum, which has guided tours and exhibits on the history of chocolate making, as well as a café and gift shop.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Bariloche Circuit Tour
See more of Bariloche with a guided circuito chico (short circuit) tour perfect for active families. You'll start at the shoreline of Nahuel Huapi, making your way to Bonita Beach, where Isla Huemul can be seen. From here, make for the foothills of Cerro Campanario, which rises nearly 3,500 feet (1,050 m) above sea level and has a chair lift that takes visitors to the summit. Let the kids enjoy this thrilling ride and see amazing views of Nahuel Huapi and Lago Perito Moreno, Laguna El Trébol, and the San Pedro and Llao Llao peninsulas.
Afterward, continue to the Llao Llao peninsula and see the renowned Llao Llao Hotel and historic San Bernardo Church. Cross the bridge over the Río Angostura, which takes you to a natural lookout point, then travel around Laguna El Trébol for more stunning water views. End your tour back in the city late this afternoon.
Day 4: Isla Victoria & Los Arrayanes Forest Adventure
Today's adventure takes you across the waters of Nahuel Huapi by catamaran or boat to reach the welcoming shores of Isla Victoria. Upon arrival, you can walk the small island's many gentle trails while discovering local flora and fauna. Visit Playa del Toro, which has cave paintings and a beautiful volcanic sand beach, or relax with the youngsters on one of the island's other beaches. The water here is crystal clear, with a gentle shoreline that makes it perfect for swimming and beachcombing.
Next, you'll head to the Quetrihué peninsula to visit Los Arrayanes National Park and its Arrayanes Forest, an enchanting woodland with an unusual ecosystem of both deciduous and coniferous trees. Arrayanes trees range from 10 to 30 feet in height (3 to 10 m) and have lovely small flowers, as well as strangely cold trunks and bark that the kids will find peels off easily in their hands. Walk along the family-friendly boardwalks, taking in the lush greenery of these ages-old specimens, then hop back on your catamaran or boat and head back to Bariloche in time for a late lunch.
Day 5: Family Excursion to Cerro Tronador
Today's adventure takes your family to Cerro Tronador, an extinct stratovolcano that is also Bariloche's highest peak. The mountain is covered with snow and ice year-round due to the glaciers at its summit, making for an especially picturesque view. Your driver will pick your family up from your hotel, and you'll drive along the scenic shores of Lago Gutierrez and Lago Mascardi, crossing over the Río Manso and arriving at Pampa Linda. Here, you'll find a lodge and camp area with a stunning panorama of the mountain.
Enjoy lunch here and let the kids say hello to the resident horses, then take an easy 5-mile (8 km) hike up to the foot of the mountain. Along the way, you'll see waterfalls and cascades among a vast, unspoiled wilderness, and the kids might even glimpse birds and other wildlife. The trail ends at the base of the mountain, where you'll have a clear view of the Ventisquero Negro (Black Glacier), named for its striking black color. After your hike, your driver will return you to your Bariloche hotel for the evening.
Day 6: Kayak Tour of Lago Gutierrez, Fly to Buenos Aires
Hit the water one of the Lake District's namesakes today with a family kayak tour of Lago Gutiérrez. Your guide will take you from your hotel to a campsite on the lake, where, after a safety briefing and equipment overview, you'll hop in your kayaks and set off.
This easy paddle tour is accessible for all ages, and the appropriate gear will be provided. Travel along clear and peaceful waters, passing snowcapped mountains and quiet beaches while sighting birds and other wildlife. Break for a snack on a nearby beach, then head back. Afterward, take a private transfer to the airport, where you'll catch a flight back to Buenos Aires to overnight.
Day 7: Family-Friendly Cooking Class, Depart Buenos Aires
Make the most of your last day in Argentina with a family cooking class. Whether you've got accomplished chefs in your family or just accomplished eaters, this culinary excursion takes you on a deep dive into the culture and cuisine of Patagonia. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the neighborhood of Boedo, a bohemian district with tons of restaurants and late-night tango shows. After a brief tour of the area, where you'll learn about local history and see the murals painted along the streets, you'll head to your host family's house.
Here, you'll take a cooking workshop where you and the kids will prepare traditional dishes such as empanadas (meat pastries) or carbonada (stew) while learning about the history behind individual recipes. Argentine cuisine uses many locally-grown products, including grains, fruits, vegetables, oils, and meat. At the end of class, sit down with your hosts to feast on your creations. Once you've had your delicious meal and thanked your hosts, it will be time to say farewell to Argentina, as your driver takes you to the airport and you catch your flight home or to your next destination. Safe travels!
More Great Patagonia Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Patagonia? Check out these other Patagonia itineraries, discover different ways to spend a week in Patagonia with your family, or explore the best time to visit Argentina.