See the highlights of Argentina's south on a two-week itinerary that deftly combines outdoor adventures with luxury accommodations. Dive in with city tours of Buenos Aires and visits to rustic Argentine estancias before flying to the Patagonian Lake District for hiking and fly fishing excursions. Continue south to the mighty glaciers of El Calafate and on to the "end of the world" in Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. Toast the end of your trip back in the capital, sipping malbecs and savoring the local fare.


  • See the highlights of Buenos Aires on two wheels during a bike tour
  • Hike the woodlands and shores of the Lake District in Nahuel Huapi National Park
  • Explore a historic Patagonian ranch on horseback near El Calafate
  • Cruise past sea lion and penguin colonies on the Beagle Channel 
  • Feast on Argentine cuisine, from roast lamb in Patagonia to steaks in Buenos Aires

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires (Argentina), City Bicycle Tour  Buenos Aires
Day 2 Day Trip to San Antonio de Areco & Estancia el Ombú Buenos Aires
Day 3 Fly to Bariloche, Family Dinner With Locals Bariloche
Day 4 Cerro Catedral & Refugio Frey Hike Bariloche
Day 5 Day Trip to San Martín de los Andes Bariloche
Day 6 Fly Fishing Experience on the Río Limay  Bariloche
Day 7 Fly to El Calafate, Dinner at Rancho Aparte El Calafate
Day 8 Day Trip to Perito Moreno & Kayaking El Calafate
Day 9 Day Trip to Estancia Cristina & Horseback Ride El Calafate
Day 10 Fly to Ushuaia, Tour the World's Southernmost City Ushuaia
Day 11 Cruise the Beagle Channel to Isla Martillo  Ushuaia
Day 12 Off-Roading & Trekking in Tierra del Fuego National Park Ushuaia
Day 13 Fly to Buenos Aires, Evening Wine Tasting Buenos Aires
Day 14 Dine at Don Julio, Depart Buenos Aires  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, City Bicycle Tour

Stay amid old-money luxury in the Recoleta neighborhood (photo courtesy of Palacio Duhau)

Welcome to Argentina! South America's second-largest nation is a treasure trove of natural wonders, not least of which is its Patagonia region. Most of your itinerary takes place in the wilds of this famous frontier, but it begins in the concrete jungle of Buenos Aires. The Argentine capital is known as the "Paris of the South," captivating visitors with its mix of Baroque and neoclassical architecture, endless nightlife, and succulent churrasco (grilled beef). Your personal driver will pick you up at the airport for the ride to the city's north and your hotel, located in the upscale Recoleta neighborhood.

Amid its old-money splendor is Palacio Duhau. In addition to the Park Hyatt suite of 5-star hotels, Palacio Duhau occupies a historic complex that seamlessly combines classic architecture with modern sophistication and a touch of Belle Époque chic. The opulent rooms and suites deliver the utmost in comfort and amenities, such as king beds and marble baths. They also offer views of the central courtyard and manicured gardens. Other highlights include a spa/wellness center and two world-class restaurants serving haute cuisine.

After checking in, hop on a bicycle for a privately guided 10.5-mile (17 km) tour. It begins in the south with a ride around San Telmo and La Boca, the two oldest neighborhoods in the city. The latter is the site of Buenos Aires' original port and the birthplace of tango music. Continue along San Telmo's cobbled streets on your way to Plaza de Mayo. This historic square is where the city was founded in the 16th century and is the site of the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace). After snapping photos, you'll finish the ride in the upscale waterfront neighborhood of Puerto Madero and then return to your hotel.

Day 2: Day Trip to San Antonio de Areco & Estancia el Ombú

Private Gaucho Full Day Tour at El Ombú de Areco Ranch
Get in touch with your inner gaúcho (cowboy) on a visit to a historic estancia

Argentina has a rich frontier history that's represented in its enduring gaúcho (cowboy) culture. To fully appreciate Argentines' mastery of cattle ranching and horsemanship, it's necessary to visit a working estancia (ranch)—which is exactly what you'll do today! In the morning, meet your private driver for the 72-mile (117 km) transfer northwest to San Antonio de Areco. This bucolic town is the heart of gaúcho country and still retains its equestrian and silversmith traditions.

Your destination is right outside San Antonio, at Estancia El Ombú. This colonial-style mansion was built in 1880 and sits on expansive green grounds, offering visitors an authentic Argentine countryside experience. Once here, there's a variety of options for activities: you can go horseback riding, hiking, or sightseeing in an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage. The estancia is also a working farm, and you can observe typical ranch-style activities such as herding animals, branding cattle, and milking cows.

A highlight of the day is sitting down to a traditional asado (barbecue). Enjoy grilled meat and empanadas paired with Argentine wine while being entertained by horse shows and traditional folk dancing. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Buenos Aires and your hotel.

Day 3: Fly to Bariloche, Family Dinner With Locals

Stay in a lakeside hotel with a luxurious spa (photo courtesy of Villa Beluno)

Time to head south! Return to the airport this morning for the 2.5-hour flight south and Argentina's famous Lake District. You'll arrive in the alpine city of Bariloche, which was founded by Swiss immigrants in 1902 on the shores of Lago Nahuel Huapi. The name, which means "jaguar island," comes from the Mapuche Indigenous people who once inhabited the area.

A driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you just north of the city to a peninsula on the lakeshore. Here, you'll check into the Villa Beluno Hotel & Spa. This 4-star, resort-style hotel occupies an expansive and elegant villa nestled in the peaceful countryside. Ideal for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, the spacious, chalet-style rooms feature hardwood floors, ample natural light, and lake views backed by snowcapped peaks. Amenities include an enticing infinity pool, solarium, and day spa where you can take the edge off your day of traveling with a relaxing massage.

Later, you'll receive a warm introduction to the Lake District's culture and cuisine when a local family invites you into their home for dinner. Over the course of the evening, you'll join your hosts in the kitchen and see what goes into preparing an authentic Patagonian meal. When it's ready, everyone will sit down and enjoy the food along with some stimulating conversation and great Argentine wine. After eating, you'll say goodbye to your new friends and return to your hotel.

Day 4: Cerro Catedral & Refugio Frey Hike

Head up into the high mountains above Bariloche and stop at the Refugio Frey mountain hut

Lace up your hiking boots because this morning, you'll join your private guide for a trek up to the towering peak of the Cerro Catedral massif. The starting point is a ski resort at the base of the mountain, where you'll hop on a chairlift for the ride up to a station at 6,561 feet (2,000 m) above sea level.

Then, hit the trail on a rocky path for an hour. This section is steep, but there will be stops to hydrate and enjoy views of Mount Tronador, Cerro Negro, and the Valle del Arroyo Rucaco mountain valley. The hike becomes easier and faster for the next two hours until you arrive at the Schmoll and Toncek lagoons. These mark the entrance to the Frey Valley, known for its otherworldly red granite rock formations.

Break for lunch on the shores of the Toncek beneath the surrounding jagged peaks. Before embarking on the return trek to Cerro Catedral, you'll stop at Refugio Frey mountain hut to learn some regional alpine history. Then, hike back down the mountain on a trail passing through rich lenga forests. Eventually, you'll reach the ski center parking lot and catch a transfer back to Bariloche.

Day 5: Day Trip to San Martín de los Andes

Explore even more of the Lake District on a road trip to its most famous mountain towns

In the morning, you'll meet your private driver for a full-day road trip to experience the majesty of the Lake District. You'll follow the scenic Seven Lakes Road, a 66-mile (107 km) road that connects the lake towns of San Martín de los Andes and Villa La Angostura. On this jaw-dropping route, you'll see magnificent landscapes as you pass through two national parks. These include rich coihue forests and azure lakes like Falkner, Escondido, and Nahuel Huapi.

As you pass one such lake, Correntoso, you'll arrive in the small town of Ruca Malén. Then, continue on to San Martín de los Andes, a charming town located on the shores of Lago Lacar. After visiting the town and snapping photos around the impressive waterfront, you'll return to Bariloche in the afternoon.

Day 6: Fly Fishing Experience on the Río Limay 

Private Limay River Fly Fishing
Reel in prized catches, like brown trout, while fly fishing on the Río Limay 
It's another early start as you meet your guide at the crack of dawn this morning for a full day of fly fishing. Just an hour east of Bariloche is your destination: the Río Limay. This waterway's clear waters, diverse insect hatches, and varied fishing conditions provide an excellent environment for fly fishing. In fact, the waters here are home to the largest brown and rainbow trout in northern Patagonia. After a full day of angling on the river with the help of a private guide, you'll return to your hotel.
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Day 7: Fly to El Calafate, Dinner at Rancho Aparte

Opt for a swim indoors or time spent lazing by the outdoor pool (photo courtesy of Xelena Hotel & Suites)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the two-hour flight deeper into Patagonia and El Calafate. Sitting on the shores of Lago Argentino, El Calafate is the main base for trips into the famous Los Glaciares National Park and one of its star attractions, Perito Moreno Glacier.

Your driver will take you to the eastern outskirts of town and Xelena Hotel & Suites. This 5-star hotel sits right on the lakeshore and features comfortable, quiet, and well-equipped rooms overlooking the water. Other welcome amenities include an indoor pool and a heated outdoor pool with lake views, plus a Jacuzzi, sauna, and a luxury spa offering beauty treatments and aromatic therapies to rejuvenate the body and mind.

Later, return to town for a dining experience that celebrates rustic, gourmet Patagonian cuisine. Take a seat at Rancho Aparte, a ranch home converted into a closed-door restaurant serving home-cooked meals from fixed menus. Highlights include regional specialties like roast Patagonian lamb and goulash with gnocchi pasta, all prepared with organic ingredients from local farms. Of course, the menu is paired with some of the finest wines in Patagonia and throughout Argentina.

Day 8: Day Trip to Perito Moreno & Kayaking

Don't just observe Perito Moreno—paddle near its massive walls in a kayak

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime into Los Glaciares National Park. Meet your private driver in the morning for the transfer west to Perito Moreno. It's a scenic 1.5-hour drive during which you'll pass landmarks like Redonda Bay, home to various exotic waterbirds, like black-necked swans and flamingoes.

Continue cruising across the vast Patagonian steppe until you reach the national park's entrance, surrounded by beech and oak forests. Once here, you'll have a couple of hours to explore the network of boardwalks offering prime views of Perito Moreno. This expansive glacier flows down from the Andes over the turquoise waters of Lago Argentino, ending in a great wall that curves around the lake. At points, these walls reach 230 feet (70 m) high. If you're lucky, you'll witness "calving"—an event where massive portions of the glacier wall break off and crash into the icy waters below. 

Around 11 am, hop in a kayak and get a closer view of this marvel of Mother Nature as you paddle across the lake to Perito Moreno. You'll get within a few hundred meters of its massive ice walls, which reach 230 feet (70 m) high. At around 3 pm, you'll transfer back to El Calafate. 

Day 9: Day Trip to Estancia Cristina & Horseback Ride

Take a horseback ride around one of Patagonia's oldest ranches (photo courtesy of Estancia Cristina)

More memorable Patagonia adventures are in store today. After an early breakfast, your driver will pick you up at the hotel for the 28-mile (45 km) drive to the port at Punta Bandera, on Lago Argentino. There, you'll board a ferry and ride along the Upsala Channel, passing towering icebergs as you go. When you reach the northern section, you'll see the western front of the Spegazzini Glacier. At over 10 miles (16 km) long and 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, this ancient ice mass is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

After admiring Spegazzini, continue north into the Cristina Channel, arriving at the far end by late morning. You'll disembark at Estancia Cristina, one of the most impressive ranches in the region. It was founded by pioneers in 1914 and built on a valley once covered by the Upsala Glacier. Upon arrival, you'll meet a guide and hop in the saddle for a horseback ride around the area—expect plenty of delightful mountain views.

Later, you'll visit the Folkloric Museum. Located in an old sheepshearing shed, it offers insight into the history of the estancia. After a walk around to admire the panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, running rivers, glassy lakes, and ancient glaciers, you'll transfer back to El Calafate.

Day 10: Fly to Ushuaia, Tour the World's Southernmost City

Relax after your flight with views over the Beagle Channel (photo courtesy of Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa)

Pack your bags once again because, in the morning, you'll transfer to the airport for the 1.5-hour flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Located on a bay in the Patagonian region of Tierra del Fuego, the city lies between the jagged peaks of the Martial Mountains and the silver waters of the Beagle Channel. This is the same waterway where Charles Darwin sailed the HMS Beagle almost 200 years ago. A driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the mountains just north of town, where your hotel is located.

Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa is a 5-star accommodation within the Cerro Alarkén Nature Reserve. The luxurious rooms are outfitted with plush beds and baths with rainfall showers, plus windows offering spectacular views of the mountains, forests, and sea. You can enjoy even better views of the Beagle Channel with a swim in the outdoor infinity pool, and there's also an indoor heated option. The on-site spa offers a range of treatments, and when you're feeling peckish, head to the hotel restaurant, La Cravia, which serves local and international dishes with an emphasis on Patagonian cuisine.

After checking in, you'll meet a local guide for a private walking tour around Ushuaia's compact city center. Highlights include the Maritime Museum, housed in a building that was once a prison, or the Museo del Fin del Mundo (End of the World Museum). Located on the waterfront, this small museum features fascinating exhibits on the region's natural and Indigenous history. There will be ample opportunity to do some shopping on Avenida San Martín, plus you can stop in at a local seafood restaurant—be sure to try the centolla (king crab). 

Day 11: Cruise the Beagle Channel to Isla Martillo

See Magellanic penguins waddling around Isla Martillo

Wildlife lovers rejoice! Today, you'll board a private boat and set sail along the Beagle Channel to view some of the region's most exotic animals. Enjoy the mountain and coastal views as you pass Isla de los Lobos, a rocky islet that's home to large herds of sea lions. You'll have ample opportunity to view these creatures and take plenty of photos.

Continue to Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island), a natural seabird habitat, home to cormorants and imperial shags. It's a birder's dream, so keep your binoculars close. The furthest you'll venture is Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, located on the northernmost of a chain of islands of the same name. Here, you can see the Monte Cervantes, an ocean liner that sank in 1930. There are also views across the channel to Estancia Remolino (a remote ranch), Isla Gable, and the naval base at Puerto Williams (located on Isla Navarino, Chile). 

Eventually, you'll reach Isla Martillo, where you can observe large colonies of gentoo and Magellanic penguins. Witness these flightless birds in their natural habitat while your guide shares information about their habits and nesting areas. Keep in mind that visitors are not allowed to approach or feed the penguins, and silence is encouraged in order to prevent any disturbance to the bird's nesting habits or daily activities. At the end of the day, you'll cruise back to the port and return to your hotel.

Day 12: Off-Roading & Trekking in Tierra del Fuego National Park 

Venture deeper into Tierra del Fuego National Park on today's private 4WD tour

Eat a hearty breakfast and lace up your hiking boots because a full day of outdoor excursions awaits. Specifically, you'll venture into the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park. Within the park's 243 square miles (630 sq km) are some of the wildest and most rugged landscapes in Patagonia.

Meet your private driver/guide and hop in a specially outfitted 4WD vehicle durable enough to handle the park's backroads. Then, drive into the park to a trailhead. There, you'll embark on a brisk hike through sub-Antarctic forests to landmarks like the Río Lapataia. After a few hours, you'll arrive at Lapataia Bay. Located in the Beagle Channel, this bay sits at the end of the Pan-American Highway and National Route No. 3. Here, get back in the vehicle for the ride back to Ushuaia. 

Day 13: Fly to Buenos Aires, Evening Wine Tasting

Sample the fruits of Argentina's world-famous wine culture

Say goodbye to Patagonia this morning as you transfer to the airport in Ushuaia and catch a 3.5-hour flight north back to Buenos Aires. A driver will be waiting at the airport to transfer you back into the city and Palacio Duhau. Spend a few hours relaxing before gearing up for your final evening activity in Argentina. You've enjoyed many thrilling outdoor adventures these last couple of weeks; now it's time to kick back and raise a glass to toast these memorable experiences.

At the appropriate time, you'll transfer to a restaurant in the trendy Palermo Soho district for a wine tasting. Argentina is the fifth largest producer of wine in the world, with many different varieties being cultivated that reflect the country's different immigrant groups. These include the famous malbec from the French and bonarda from the Italians. This delectable experience includes a tasting of six wines paired with fine cheeses and charcuterie. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 14: Dine at Don Julio, Depart Buenos Aires

A legendary lunch to conclude a legendary adventure
Cap your adventure with one more dazzling meal to enjoy Argentina's world-famous beef. Lunch today will be at Don Julio, one of the finest parrillas (steakhouses) in the country and ranked one of the world's 50 best restaurants. This is a coveted reservation, as the restaurant is booked solid for months ahead of time. A table will be waiting specifically for you, and you'll sit down to enjoy sizzling grass-fed beef drizzled in the famous chimichurri sauce and paired with a robust glass (or two) of Argentine malbec. After the meal, you'll transfer to the airport and catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Luxury Argentine Patagonia Discovery: Buenos Aires, Bariloche, El Calafate & Ushuaia - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Argentine Patagonia Discovery: Buenos Aires, Bariloche, El Calafate & Ushuaia - 14 Days