- Admire the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier from steel walkways and by boat
- Learn about the workings of a Patagonian ranch with hands-on adventures
- Hike among the incredible mountains and lakes of Torres del Paine National Park
- See 3,500-year-old rock paintings and don headlamps to explore hidden caves
|Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Fly to El Calafate
|Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion, Nautical Safari
|Half-Day Ranch Adventure at Estancia Nibepo Aike
|Bus Journey to Puerto Natales (Chile), Free Time
|Panoramic Excursion to Torres del Paine National Park
|Archaeology & Caving Adventure at Estancia Ernesto Helmer
|Bus Journey to Punta Arenas, Fly to Santiago & Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Fly to El Calafate
Welcome to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina! Upon arrival, a driver will meet you and your family at Ezeiza International Airport and will drive you to Jorge Newbery Airport to catch a flight to El Calafate in the southern Patagonia region of Argentina. Once you arrive, a driver will pick you and the kids up and will take you to your hotel to relax after your journey.
Depending on the time you arrive and everyone's energy levels, you have some free time to explore and acclimatize in beautiful El Calafate, which is known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park. If you venture out for a meal, the local specialty is the calafate berry, which the kids can sample in desserts while you try it in the local liqueurs. You could treat everyone to a first meal of Argentine steaks or empanadas before you all get a good night's sleep ready in preparation for tomorrow's glacier adventures.
Day 2: Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion, Nautical Safari
The kids are sure to be excited this morning when you tell them that you're going to see the Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. Eat a good breakfast before you're picked up and taken to the Peninsula de Magallanes, where you can all look out over the majestic glacier from steel walkways. The walkways are at different levels and will allow you and the kids to gaze at the expansive ice mass from different angles. Make sure to grab a couple of memorable family photos here!
To complement your time on the walkways, you can also go on an hourlong nautical safari to see the glacier from the water. Departing from the Bajo las Sombras Port on Lake Argentino, the kids will discover how icebergs are formed as you witness the constant ruptures at the front of the glacier. The boat will then travel to the southern wall of the glacier, where you can watch thunderous landslides taking place.
Day 3: Half-Day Ranch Adventure at Estancia Nibepo Aike
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
There's plenty of fun in store today as the whole family learns about the workings of a traditional Patagonian estancia (ranch). Your driver will pick you up in the morning and take you along a scenic route known as the Camino de las Stays—tell the kids to look out for condors, foxes, sheep, and hares along the way. You'll travel for around 37 miles (60 km) before reaching the Estancia Nibepo Aike on the shores of Lago Roca, where you'll be welcomed with hot drinks and homemade pastries. Enjoy your snacks with a spectacular view of the Andes while learning about the ranch's history.
Once you've eaten, you'll be taken to the pens to watch sheep being herded to their paddocks and see milking time. Afterward, choose between a guided family walk around the lake and the ranch or a 45-minute horseback ride through the forest (for children aged eight and above), stopping at different viewpoints. Your tour ends in the old shearing shed, which is now a small museum, where you'll all watch a traditional sheep shearing session. Enjoy a meal of typical Patagonian roast lamb cooked on the quincho (barbecue) with salads and dessert before returning to El Calafate for a relaxing evening.
Day 4: Bus Journey to Puerto Natales (Chile), Free Time
It's time to leave El Calafate today and travel south to Puerto Natales, a small town in Chilean Patagonia near Torres del Paine National Park. You'll be picked up first thing by your driver and taken to the bus station to board your bus. The scenic journey will take around six hours, so pack snacks and plan entertainment for the kids. Once you arrive, a driver will meet you and take you to your hotel.
The kids will probably want to burn off some energy after your journey, and a good place to do this is on Puerto Natales' waterfront. You may spot some local wildlife here, which includes dolphins, sea lions, and birds such as black-necked swans and Andean condors. After your stroll, find a spot for dinner and try the local seafood. The fresh-caught salmon will be a safe bet for little ones, while more adventurous children may want to try the area's famous king crab or octopus.
Day 5: Panoramic Excursion to Torres del Paine National Park
Set out this morning for an action-packed day exploring the landscape of Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO-listed gem that's one of the largest and most-visited parks in the country. After a pickup at your hotel, your first stop will be the Milodón Cave, located 15 miles (24 km) north. The kids will love learning about how an explorer in 1895 found fragments of a giant extinct Mylodon here and can imagine what this giant bear-like creature must have looked like over 10,000 years ago. They'll also hear local legends about the Silla del Diablo (Devil's Chair) rock formation that you'll pass en route.
Once you've looked around, you'll continue north along the road to Torres del Paine National Park to reach Lago Grey, where you can take a family walk to the scenic viewpoint. Refuel at a local restaurant for lunch, then head to the park's Salto Grande sector, where the beautiful Lago Nordenskjöld and the thundering Paine Waterfall await. On the way back to Puerto Natales, make a final stop at the Lago Sarmiento viewpoint to grab some epic family photos with a backdrop of snowcapped mountains reflected in the glassy waters.
Day 6: Archaeology & Caving Adventure at Estancia Ernesto Helmer
Curious minds and aspiring archaeologists will love today's excursion, which starts with a transfer of 15 miles (25 km) north of Puerto Natales to the archaeological park located inside the Estancia Ernesto Helmer. The kids will learn how this distinctive landscape was once an ancient seabed as they imagine the steep cliffs and sweeping valleys underwater. Older ages can join a more challenging hike to the summit of Cerro Benítez here, one of the best places in the area to spot nesting Andean condors.
Next, it's on to the Cueva de la Ventana, where young explorers can don headlamps and brave the dark as they crawl into hidden caves to spot ancient stalactites and learn about how these magical-looking formations are created by dripping water and minerals. After this adventure, you'll walk through leafy forests to the Dos Herraduras lookout, where the whole family can learn about the region's earliest human history as you witness 3,500-year-old cave paintings on the rocky walls.
Day 7: Bus Journey to Punta Arenas, Fly to Santiago & Depart
Your great family adventure in Patagonia draws to a close today. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel in the morning to drive you to the local bus station, where you'll catch a bus back to Punta Arenas Airport in around three hours. From here, you'll take a flight to Santiago, where you can catch your flight to your onward destination. Safe travels!
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