If you want to experience the heart of Argentine Patagonia, come to Los Glaciers National Park. It's not only home to dozens of glaciers but the iconic Mt. Fitz Roy, too. This eight-day itinerary begins with your arrival in Buenos Aires before jetting off to Los Glaciers for trekking around Fitz Roy and even a hike across the surface of the region's most famous glacier: Perito Moreno.

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 Excursion to Upsala Glacier & Estancia Cristina El Calafate
Day 7 Free Day in El Calafate El Calafate
Day 8 El Calafate to El Chaltén El Chalten
Day 9 Hike to Laguna de Los Tres El Chalten
Day 10 Hike to Laguna Torre El Chalten
Day 11 Transfer to El Calafate - Fly to Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 12 Depart 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: Excursion to Upsala Glacier & Estancia Cristina

The view from Estancia Cristina
The view from Estancia Cristina

There's more activity in store for you today. Starting early, a driver will pick you and other passengers up from your respective hotels and transfer you 28 miles (45 km) to the port at Punta Bandera, located on Lago Argentino. The drive along this route is scenic and pleasant, affording sweeping views of the Patagonian countryside and the charming wooden houses that intermittently dot the landscape. 

Having reached the port, you'll board a modern ferry and embark on a journey on the Upsala Channel, passing towering icebergs along the way. As you reach the northern section you'll see the western front of the Spegazzini Glacier. At over 10 miles long and a mile wide, the length, breadth, and towering ice walls that define this ancient glacier are awe-inspiring. 

After taking the time to admire Spegazzini, you will continue sailing north and into the Cristina Channel. At the far end of this channel is the disembarking point for Estancia Cristina. Expect to arrive late morning. 

Estancia Cristina is one of the most impressive ranch-style lodges in the region. It was founded in 1914 by pioneers and built on a valley once covered by the Upsala Glacier. A visit to the Folkloric Museum here (located in an old sheep-shearing shed), offers insight into the history of the estancia. The surrounding scenery is nothing to scoff at either—all around are impressive panoramic views of snow-capped mountains, rivers, lakes, and glaciers. 

All told, you will stay here about six hours. Afterward, you'll embark on a 6-mile (9.5 km) journey by 4x4 over an unpaved road that ascends into the mountains. Upon reaching the Continental Ice Field Refuge, you will exit the vehicle and begin a 20-minute walk featuring views of glacial landscapes and Andes mountains until you reach the Upsala viewpoint. Here you will have an unobstructed view of the eastern face of the Upsala Glacier as well as Lake Guillermo and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. 

Day 7: 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 8: El Calafate to El Chaltén

Mt. Fitz Roy, near El Chalten
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 sampling El Chaltén's many restaurants and craft-beer bars.

Day 9: 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

Day 10: 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 11: Transfer to El Calafate - Fly to Buenos Aires

Goodbye, Patagonia
Goodbye, Patagonia

It's time to say farewell to Patagonia. In the morning a driver will transfer you from El Chaltén to the airport at El Calafate for your flight back to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you will transfer to your hotel in the city. After checking in you can head out and take advantage of any sights and activities you missed the first time around. 

Definitely don't miss two of the oldest neighborhoods in the city: San Telmo and La Boca. The former is famous for its cobbled streets and lively street markets while La Boca is home to La Bombonera (the football stadium where hometown heroes the Boca Juniors play) and colorful Caminito Street, where you can catch a street tango performance. 

Day 12: Depart Buenos Aires

Goodbye, Buenos Aires!
Goodbye, Buenos Aires!

Enjoy one last breakfast in Buenos Aires. When it's time to leave, a driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport for your flight home. Buen viaje! 

Map

Map of Los Glaciares & Fitz Roy - 12 Days
Map of Los Glaciares & Fitz Roy - 12 Days