Between the wilds of Patagonia and the northern waterfalls of the Paraña region, Argentina delivers some of the world's most epic natural wonders. See it all on this two-week holiday for adventure lovers, which begins in Patagonia with hikes to historic ranches and boat rides to the massive Perito Moreno Glacier. Then, fly north to marvel at one of the world's largest waterfalls, Iguazú, before hopping over the border into Uruguay for some relaxing beach time on the sandy shores of Punta del Este.


  • Travel around the most famous glaciers in Patagonia, from Upsala to Spegazzini 
  • Hike around the iconic Fitz Roy Massif in the "trekking capital of Argentina"
  • Indulge in traditional Argentine cuisine and hike around the massive falls at Iguazú
  • See a tango show in Buenos Aires and take a boat trip up to the Paraná Delta
  • Spend a few days lazing on the best beaches in Uruguay at Punta del Este

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in El Calafate (Argentina), Astronomy Tour  El Calafate
Day 2 Boating & Hiking in Los Glaciares National Park El Calafate
Day 3 Day Trip to El Chaltén & Hiking El Calafate
Day 4 Trekking Around Cristina Estancia El Calafate
Day 5 Fly to Puerto Iguazú, Food & Culture Tour Puerto Iguazú
Day 6 Discover Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side) Puerto Iguazú
Day 7 Mountain Biking & Tour Mbya-Guaraní Villages Puerto Iguazú
Day 8 Fly to Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dinner & Tango Buenos Aires
Day 9 Fileteado Workshop in San Telmo, Canoe Trip in Tigre  Buenos Aires
Day 10 Day Trip to Temaikén Ecological Reserve  Buenos Aires
Day 11 Fly to Punta del Este (Uruguay), Beach Time Punta del Este
Day 12 Punta del Este Villages & Highlights Tour Punta del Este
Day 13 Day Trip to José Ignacio & Fishing Villages Punta del Este
Day 14 Transfer to Montevideo, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in El Calafate (Argentina), Astronomy Tour 

See the lights of El Calafate under the night sky—and peer up at the cosmos through a telescope

Welcome to Patagonia! This famous geographical region needs no introduction. It covers the entire southern cone of South America and features more rugged beauty and natural wonders than a Discovery Channel marathon. You'll arrive in El Calafate, in southern Argentina, which sits on the shore of Lago Argentino. It's the gateway to the massive Southern Patagonian Ice Field, home to Los Glaciares National Park and Perito Moreno, a 96-square-mile (250 sq km) ice formation that is one of the few advancing glaciers in the world.

Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will transfer you to your hotel. Rest up after your flight, and in the evening, you'll get a celestial introduction to Patagonia when you meet a guide for an astronomy tour. It's a half-day experience that begins with a trip just outside town to El Galpón del Glaciar

Enjoy dinner here amid panoramic lake views overlooking the lake, then head outside to the shore and do some open-air stargazing with a telescope. As you stare up at the cosmos, your astronomer guide will reveal insights about the galaxies, nebulae, and stars above—as well as the constellations and their mythology. After marveling at the stars and doing a bit of night photography, you'll return to El Calafate.

Day 2: Boating & Hiking in Los Glaciares National Park

Spend a day cruising around awe-inspiring glaciers like Spegazzini 

You're in for a full day of glacier fun as you leave early to explore Los Glaciares National Park. A car will pick you up from your hotel for the 37-mile (60 km) drive along a dirt road to the southern end of the park, where there's a jetty. Here, you'll board a boat, and after sailing for an hour, you'll disembark and begin a 1-mile (1.5 km) trek to the famous Lago Frías, which is only accessible on foot.

Once there, you'll hop in a boat and travel to the opposite side, where you'll continue on the next leg of the hike, which covers 4.3 miles (7 km). Trek through a lenga forest and across an ancient glacial valley until finally reaching the upper part of Lago Frías, which is dotted with icebergs. Though it takes much effort to get here, the rewards are worth it, as you'll enjoy prime views of the Dickson, Cubo, and Grande glaciers. After a break for lunch, transfer back to Lago Argentino and Punta Bandera.

There, board another boat and cruise by huge blue icebergs along the Spegazzini Canal. As you go, you'll pass massive, awe-inspiring ice floes like the Upsala and Spegazzini glaciers. You'll also witness the nearby Heim Sur and Peineta glaciers. At Spegazzini, you'll disembark for a short hike to the Bay of Glaciers. There are two trails to choose from: a short forest path with posted information about the region's glaciology, fauna, and flora, and a longer mountain trail that takes you to panoramic viewpoints. Afterward, you'll head to the port and return to El Calafate.

Day 3: Day Trip to El Chaltén & Hiking

The road into El Chaltén features an incredible view of the Fitz Roy massif

Wake up early and meet your driver for the three-hour transfer north up Patagonia's famous Ruta 40 to the town of El Chaltén, nicknamed "the trekking capital of Argentina." During the drive, there will be stops for coffee and to snap pics at mountain/glacier viewpoints. Also, if the skies are clear, on the ride into town, you'll witness incredible views of the iconic massif of Mount Fitz Roy

Once in El Chaltén, you'll embark on a scenic hike with an expert guide. The trailhead leaves right from town and is a low-difficulty hike that lasts about an hour and leads to Los Cóndores. This magnificent viewpoint offers panoramic vistas of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre, among other mountain peaks. Then you'll return to town and have lunch at a local restaurant.

After eating, the day's adventure continues with a hike northeast of El Chaltén into the gorgeous Río de las Vueltas Valley. You'll arrive at the Salto del Chorillo, a picture postcard waterfall that plunges over a rocky cliff into a crystalline lagoon below. Enjoy some time relaxing by the falls before hiking back to El Chaltén, meeting your driver, and transferring back to El Calafate.

Day 4: Trekking Around Cristina Estancia

Drive and hike around historic buildings and epic viewpoints around Cristina Estancia

Continue exploring the far corners of Los Glaciares National Park this morning as you transfer back to Punta Bandera. There, you'll board a ferry and ride along the Upsala Channel, continuing 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. A visit to the Folkloric Museum here (located in an old sheepshearing shed) offers insight into the history of the estancia. The surrounding scenery is gorgeous, too, as all around are panoramic views of snowcapped mountains, rushing rivers, glassy lakes, and ancient glaciers.

After the museum, you'll embark on a journey by 4WD over an unpaved road ascending into the mountains. Once you reach the Continental Ice Field Refuge, you'll exit the vehicle and begin a 20-minute walk with views of glacial landscapes and Andes peaks until you reach the Upsala viewpoint. Here, you'll have an unobstructed view of the eastern face of the Upsala Glacier as well as Lago Guillermo and the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. In the late afternoon, you'll return to the boat and begin the trip back to El Calafate.

Day 5: Fly to Puerto Iguazú, Food & Culture Tour

Argentine Experience
Kick off your time in Puerto Iguazú with fine Argentine wine and learn how to make empanadas

Say farewell to Patagonia and catch a flight to the far north and Puerto Iguazú, located at the tri-borders of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. This city is the gateway to Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest waterfall system in the world after Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls. Aside from the Patagonian glaciers you've just left, this is one of Argentina's most popular tourist destinations.

At the airport, a driver will pick you up to transfer you to your hotel. Then you'll have the rest of the day free. Be sure to take it easy and acclimate to the warmer weather—temps here top 90°F (32°C) in the summer months. Later, take part in an Argentine culinary and culture tour, where you'll be introduced to a wide variety of traditional foods—plus prepare a few yourself. Learn how to make authentic empanadas from scratch using traditional folding techniques.

You'll also learn to order steak like a local and prepare your own maté, an herbal tea that originated in this region and is the lifeblood of the country. Other goodies you'll sample include grilled provoleta cheese, sliced chorizo sausage, and homemade chimichurri sauce. Of course, throughout this culinary journey, you'll sip on fine Argentine wines, like its famous malbec. For dessert, try your hand at alfajores, delicious Argentine cookies made from biscuits, dulce de leche (caramel sauce), chocolate, and coconut.

Day 6: Discover Iguazú Falls (Argentine Side)

See the incredible Iguazú Falls from both the water and the land

Today, you'll experience the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls National Park on a guided tour. Stretching almost 2 miles (3 km) along the border of Argentina and Brazil, the falls are made up of roughly 275 different cascades, with heights up to 270 feet (82 m). Start at the park's Lower Circuit, which has elevated walkways directly below the base of the falls and features crashing torrents of water (don't forget your rain gear!).

Continue to the Upper Circuit along more elevated walkways featuring dozens of panoramic views of the falls. Follow the last trail to the incredible Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat), the largest of the park's cascades. From a viewing area, you can peer over the edge and see the thundering falls plunge 262 feet (89 m) to the river below (an experience not for the faint of heart).

Later, hop in a truck for a scenic ride through the rainforest to discover the native flora and fauna, which include monkeys, toucans, and coaties. Then, it's a 5-mile (8 km) drive in an all-terrain vehicle to Puerto Macuco. At the dock here, you'll hop in a boat for an exhilarating cruise. You'll ride almost 4 miles (6 km) through the Lower Río Iguazú, braving thrilling rapids as you head to the Garganta del Diablo Canyon, where you'll get an up-close-and-personal view of the falls. 

Day 7: Mountain Biking & Tour Mbya-Guaraní Villages

Yaguarete Road - Mountain Bike tour
Spot wildlife like native toucans in the lush Iryapú Forest
Plan your trip to Argentina
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Get a jump on the day as you meet your guide early, hop on a mountain bike, and hit the trail on a nature ride. After a brief orientation and safety instructions, you'll set off from the guard station on National Route 101 and bike for about 3 miles (5 km) along the red dirt Yaguarete Trail until you reach the shores of the Río Iguazu. During the ride, you'll stop at scenic viewpoints to spot local wildlife, like coatis, sloths, toucans, and hundreds of bird species. 

Upon returning to the station, you'll transfer to the nearby Iryapú Forest and visit several villages home to the Mbya-Guaraní community. During the tour, a native guide will accompany you along the trails, explaining the ancient customs that endure to this day, including hunting techniques, fishing, dancing, and spiritual rituals. Learn about the current ways of life and the history of the forest and its inhabitants, then return to Puerto Iguazú.

Day 8: Fly to Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dinner & Tango

Buenos Aires is filled with European-inspired architecture and grand plazas

It's a change of pace today as you swap the rainforest for one of South America's most dynamic cities. Your destination is Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, and after a two-hour flight, you'll meet your driver and transfer to your city center hotel. There's plenty to explore, with sights ranging from grand cathedrals and Parisian-style plazas to fine museums full of centuries-old artwork and historical relics. Perhaps spend the afternoon strolling the cobbled streets in the historic San Telmo neighborhood before relaxing back at your hotel.

In the evening, combine dinner with one of Argentina's most famous cultural traditions—the tango. You'll join a small group for an evening at Gala Tango, a distinguished dinner and dance club with French architecture and furnishings reminiscent of 1930s Argentina. Start with a tango lesson and master the basic steps with the help of a local expert. Then, sit back and watch the professional dancers while feasting on regional specialties and sampling a glass or two from the club's extensive wine list.

Day 9: Fileteado Workshop in San Telmo, Canoe Trip in Tigre 


This morning, you'll master the art of fileteado, a traditional Argentine style of artistic drawing and lettering specific to Buenos Aires. Meet your guide and a small group in San Telmo, where you'll head to Bar El Federal, one of the city's oldest cafés, dating to 1858. After coffee and a pastry, you'll tour the neighborhood's key sights, including the Parroquia de San Pedro González Telmo, a dual-spired Jesuit church built in 1734, before continuing to a local art studio.

Under the instruction of a master fileteador, you'll hear how fileteado originated in the old wagon factories of the city in the late 1800s and evolved around a set of core features: bright colors, elaborate fonts, and decorative items such as flowers and ribbons in the colors of the Argentine flag. After a demonstration, you'll get to create your own piece to keep and take home as a souvenir. 

Later, you'll head to the pier and board a boat for a one-hour trip up to the Paraña River Delta. Your destination is Tigre, a Venetian-style village whose small-town atmosphere contrasts with Buenos Aires' bustling energy. Once there, you'll hop in a wooden canoe for a leisurely paddle around the freshwater canals extending from Tigre. During this three-hour excursion, you'll pass riverine forests and sprawling manor homes overlooking the water. There will also be a stop for refreshments and a bite to eat before returning to Tigre's port and returning to Buenos Aires.

Day 10: Day Trip to Temaikén Ecological Reserve 

See native animals, like jaguars, at the Temaikén Ecological Reserve

Take a break from city life as you enjoy a full-day nature and wildlife tour at the famous Temaikèn Biopark. Located 45 minutes from the capital, in the town of Belén de Escobar, the name "Temaikèn" derives from the Indigenous Tehuelche words tem (earth) and aikèn (life) to mean "land of life."

There's something for everyone here, including an aquarium, cinema, botanical gardens, interactive exhibits, and restaurants. Visit the largest aviary in South America and see endangered animals such as the Patagonia frog, swamp deer, and the jaguar. There are also exhibits dedicated to animals from countries worldwide, including Africa, Asia, and Oceania. In the afternoon, your driver will take you back to Buenos Aires for your final night in the city.

Day 11: Fly to Punta del Este (Uruguay), Beach Time

Discover Uruguay's gorgeous beaches in Punta del Este

Today, you'll catch a one-hour flight from Buenos Aires into Uruguay and the coastal city of Punta del Este. From the airport, transfer to your hotel in this resort town, which is a popular getaway for Argentines looking for a beach holiday in summer. Once you settle in, you'll have the rest of the day to laze on Punta del Este's prized stretches of sand.

If it's water sports you're after, head to Playa Brava, with its iconic La Mano (The Hand) sculpture emerging from the sand, or Playa Montoya, known for its excellent surf and relaxed vibe. Meanwhile, Playa Mansa is ideal if a gentle swim and a laid-back afternoon are what the doctor ordered. 

Day 12: Punta del Este Villages & Highlights Tour

Explore the attractions of the Punta del Este peninsula, including the famous Casapueblo

Explore the neighborhoods and main attractions of the beautiful Punta del Este peninsula today with the aid of a local guide. Begin at the famous lighthouse for panoramic views across the bay, then head to the waterfront of La Brava. Explore the nearby former fisherman's village of La Barra, known for its laid-back bars, beach views, and fancy houses, and cross the wavy La Barra Bridge.

Continue through the Pinares neighborhood to nearby Punta Ballena. This charming town is known for Casapueblo, the former home of artist Carlos Paéz Vilaró, a gorgeous Greek-style villa with 13 floors and many terraces. Catch the spectacular sunset and return to your hotel, where the rest of the evening is yours to spend at leisure. 

Day 13: Day Trip to José Ignacio & Fishing Villages

See one of the famous lighthouses near Punta del Este, such as José Ignacio

Time for a tour of the peninsula's highlights and hidden gems. This morning, meet your guide, hop in the car, and set off on a day trip 25 miles (40 km) northeast from Punta del Este to the fishing village turned resort town of José Ignacio. On the way, you'll visit several small towns and villages, including Mantaniales, La Barra, and El Chorro. Eventually, you'll arrive in José Ignacio, home to world-class beaches. The crowd here is a fun mix of locals rubbing shoulders with the jet-set crowd. 

After relaxing on the famous Bikini Beach, continue to the picturesque José Ignacio Lighthouse to enjoy the southern Atlantic views, or go kitesurfing on Laguna Garzón. Pause for a fresh seafood lunch on the terrace of one of the waterfront grills, like the rustic Parador La Huella, and enjoy fresh seafood, then head to the Museo del Mar (Museum of the Sea), dedicated to the region's marine natural history. Toward the end of the afternoon, you'll transfer back to your hotel in Punta del Este. 

Day 14: Transfer to Montevideo, Depart

A boardwalk running along Punta del Este's famous waterfront
Time permitting, see a bit more of Punta del Este before catching your flight. Head to the waterfront and gaze at the luxurious yachts at the Punta del Este Port, or take a boat to the tranquil island of Isla Gorriti. After checking out of your hotel, your driver will take you two hours up the coast to the airport in the capital of Montevideo. There, you'll catch your flight home. Buen viaje—and onward to the next adventure!

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