Eschew the uneventful resorts for an 11-day adventure in Patagonia that will be the vacation you never forget. It begins in Argentina with city tours and a day trip to a river town. Then you'll fly to Patagonia and not only tour the most impressive glacier in the region—Perito Moreno—but go on hikes around the most famous mountain in the area: Fitz Roy.

Highlights

  • Discover Buenos Aires on a walking tour
  • Visit the colorful river town of Tigre
  • Take a boat tour of Lago Argentino, in El Calafate
  • Hike across the surface of Perito Moreno
  • Visit El Chaltén and trek near the base of Fitz Roy

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore Buenos Aires
Day 2 Walking Tour of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 3 Buenos Aires to Tigre Buenos Aires
Day 4 Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 5 Perito Moreno Glacier Hike El Calafate
Day 6 Free Day in El Calafate El Calafate
Day 7 El Calafate to El Chaltén El Chalten
Day 8 Hike to Laguna de Los Tres El Chalten
Day 9 Hike to Laguna Torre El Chalten
Day 10 El Chaltén to El Calafate & Return to Buenos Aires - Departure Buenos Aires

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires - Explore

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" and the "Queen of El Plata." Famous for its mix of European ambiance and Latin American culture, it's the birthplace of the tango and abounds with cobbled streets and beautiful Baroque architecture.

Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will transfer you to your hotel for check-in. Once you've had the chance to rest, you can head out and explore. The city center is your best starting point.

Day 2: Walking Tour of Buenos Aires

The Teatro Colón
The Teatro Colón

After breakfast, you'll take an organized tour of Buenos Aires. During this three-hour walking excursion, you'll visit the neighborhood of Retiro plus stroll Avenida 9 de Julio—South America’s widest avenue. You'll pass through the historic city center, home to the Teatro Colón opera house, National Congress, Plaza de Mayo, and the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace). Then, visit the oldest neighborhood in the city, San Telmo. Afterward, you'll stop by B.A.'s original port, La Boca.

In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal accompanied by a tango performance—one of Argentina's most famous cultural highlights.

Day 3: Buenos Aires to Tigre

The canals of Tigre
The canals of Tigre

Today you'll travel up Río de la Plata where it converges with the Paraña River Delta, located about an hour north of Buenos Aires. During the boat ride, you'll enjoy views of the city skyline as you enter a network of freshwater canals and sail among the islands that make up this unique region. The main port is in Tigre, a Venetian-style village whose small-town and relaxing atmosphere contrast with Buenos Aires' bustling energy.

On the waterfront, you'll find Puerto de Frutos, a maze of craft markets, produce stalls, and artisanal goods. The Museo de Arte features a grand collection of Argentine art spanning two centuries. The Naval Museum and the Museo de Maté are other highlights worth a visit. The latter offers an overview and tasting of maté, an herb cultivated in the Paraná region of the country and used for tea.

Day 4: Fly from Buenos Aires to El Calafate

The city of El Calafate, Argentina
The city of 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 way.

Upon arrival, 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. You can learn about nearby glaciers at the Glaciarium, a multi-media center that has an ice museum, various interactive displays, and educational information regarding glaciers. Or, don a coat, boots, and gloves, to enjoy a drink at the museum's Glaciobar BrancaIt, Argentina's first ice bar.

Day 5: Perito Moreno Glacier Hike

Hiking Perito Moreno, Argentina
Hiking Perito Moreno, Argentina

After breakfast, you'll head to Los Glaciers National Park to go trekking on Perito Moreno Glacier. On this full-day excursion, you'll walk over Perito Moreno's surface while equipped with crampons and an ice ax. It's a perfectly safe activity, as you'll be accompanied by certified bilingual guides. So enjoy crossing deep blue ice crevices and hiking over meltwater streams as you experience Perito Moreno up close and personal. 

After your expedition on the glacier, you'll have plenty of time to appreciate it from one of the many viewing platforms in the park. These platforms are accessible via a network of walkways that run along the shores of the lake. They offer sweeping views of the glacier, making for great photo opportunities.

Day 6: Free Day in El Calafate

Reserva Laguna Nimez
Reserva Laguna Nimez

Today is free to enjoy El Calafate however you choose. You can book a luxurious spa treatment and spend the day relaxing. Perhaps embark on an active adventure like horseback riding at a nearby ranch or take a kayak trip on the lake. You could also tour Reserva Laguna Nimez, a protected area 15 minutes walking distance from town and which is home to exotic birds like the Chilean flamingo. Or simply spend the day hanging out in the cafés around town.

Day 7: El Calafate to El Chaltén

Mt. Fitz Roy, near El Chaltén
Mt. Fitz Roy, near El Chaltén

In the morning, you're off on a three-hour drive to El Chaltén. If the skies are clear, you'll find incredible views of Mt. Fitz Roy, the toothlike 11,020-foot (3,359-meter) granite mountain that looms over the town. El Chaltén is regarded as a hiker's paradise due to the proximity of Fitz Roy and other mountaineering options in the area.

Upon arrival, you'll check into your hotel and have the rest of the day to acclimate to the region. Perhaps take a walk in town before a relaxing evening out at one of El Chaltén's many restaurants and craft-beer bars.

Day 8: Hike to Laguna de Los Tres

Laguna de los Tres
Laguna de los Tres

Put on your hiking shoes because 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 them leading up to Mt. Fitz Roy.

The destination today is Laguna de los Tres. This glassy body of water earned its name, "the lake of the three," because from its shores you have prime views of three peaks: Fitz Roy, Poincenot, and Torre. To arrive there, you'll follow a trail that leads up through alpine forest and features beautiful views in its own right, particularly of the valley below and Piedras Blancas Glacier

Upon arrival at the lake, you'll take some time to enjoy the rewarding views before descending back down the mountain.

Day 9: Hike to Laguna Torre

Dawn at Laguna Torre
Dawn at Laguna Torre

Today you'll set off on a guided hike from El Chalten to another gem of Patagonia: Laguna Torre. This lake sits at the foot of the granite peak of Cerro Torre and is fed by glacial meltwater. The trail you'll follow will take you through bright green lenga forests and around blue lagoons until you reach the shores of Laguna Torre.

After spending some time at the lake admiring the views, you'll return to El Chaltén along the same path. The total distance of this hike is 15 miles (24 km), and it takes about six hours to complete. 

Day 10: El Chaltén to El Calafate & Return to Buenos Aires - Departure

Goodbye, Patagonia
Goodbye, Patagonia

It's time to say goodbye to Patagonia and Argentina. Today a driver will meet you and take you from El Chaltén to the airport in El Calafate for your flight back to Buenos Aires. At the appropriate time, you'll transfer to the international airport and catch your flight home. Until next time!

Map

Map of Los Glaciares & Fitz Roy - 10 Days
Map of Los Glaciares & Fitz Roy - 10 Days