Experience Argentina's geographical extremes and admire the beauty of nature on this far-reaching 15-day itinerary. Explore the barrios of Buenos Aires and both sides of Iguazú Falls before heading south to Patagonia. Look for wildlife as you travel across lakes, seas, and glacial ice in Puerto Madryn, Ushuaia, El Calafate, and El Chaltén before returning home with memories that photos could never do justice to.

Highlights

  • Explore both the Brazilian and Argentine sides of Iguazú Falls
  • Spot southern right whales breaching in Peninsula Valdés
  • Witness icebergs calving from the Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Hike to the beautiful, secluded Laguna Torre in Patagonia

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires, Northern Buenos Aires Tour Buenos Aires
Day 2 Southern Buenos Aires Tour, El Fogón Dinner Experience Buenos Aires
Day 3 Fly to Puerto Iguazú, Explore the Brazilian Falls Puerto Iguazú
Day 4 Explore the Argentine Falls Puerto Iguazú
Day 5 Fly to Puerto Madryn Puerto Madryn
Day 6 Explore Península Valdés, Whale Watching Experience Puerto Madryn
Day 7 Fly to Ushuaia Ushuaia
Day 8 Hike & Canoe in Tierra del Fuego Ushuaia
Day 9 Fly to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 10 Minitrekking on Perito Moreno Glacier El Calafate
Day 11 Perito Moreno Boat & Walking Tour El Calafate
Day 12 Transfer to El Chaltén El Chaltén
Day 13 Laguna Torre Hike El Chaltén
Day 14 Fly to Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 15 Depart Buenos Aires  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires, Northern Buenos Aires Tour

Street view of the Cabildo of Buenos Aires on a sunny day
The Cabildo in Buenos Aires
Welcome to Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital of Argentina! After a private transfer from the airport to your hotel, a guide will lead you on a tour of the city's northernmost barrios (neighborhoods). Take in the sprawling parks of Palermo and the quiet Recoleta Cemetary in European-esque RecoletaRetiro rounds out the tour with elegant mansions, upscale shops, and monuments to Argentina's history like those found in Plaza San Martín. Then, head back home to rest up for the journeys to come.

Day 2: Southern Buenos Aires Tour, El Fogón Dinner Experience

Tour Southern Buenos Aires
A colorful street in La Boca, Buenos Aires

Your guide will lead you through the other side of the city today, starting with the Plaza de Mayo, home to the famous Casa Rosada. Continue to San Telmo, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city packed with antique markets, and compare it to Puerto Madero, the youngest neighborhood whose bars and eateries line former commercial docks along Río de la Plata. The tour also passes through La Boca, a district famous for its brightly-painted buildings and the legendary Boca Juniors Football Club.

In the evening, sample some local flavor by eating an asado (Argentine-style barbecue) at El Fogón, a restaurant exploring new ways of serving Argentina's asado classics. Bar seating surrounds an open kitchen, allowing guests to see different parrilla (grill) techniques up close and personal. This cena (dinner) is sure to be a memorable experience and a twist on a typical night out at a steakhouse.

Day 3: Fly to Puerto Iguazú, Explore the Brazilian Falls

View of Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side with a rainbow over the water
View of Iguazú Falls from the Brazilian side
It's time to travel via private transfer and plane from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú, home of Iguazú Falls, the largest water system in the world. The falls span the border of Argentina and Brazil, and you'll see the Brazilian side today. Due to its location, this side offers a unique point of view of the lower Iguazú River, the vast cascade known as Garganta do Diabo (Devil's Throat), and the constant rainbow formed by the water vapor stirred up by the falls.

Day 4: Explore the Argentine Falls

a boat approaching iguazu falls
A boat approaching Iguazú Falls

Today, visit the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls. Unlike the Brazilian side, there are many possible routes to take through the park here. Consider the 2.4-mile (4 km) hike to the Garganta del Diablo, the Upper Trail, which passes above major falls to a panoramic view of the Brazilian side, or the Lower Trail to get as close as possible to one of the water system's 275 waterfalls.

If you still haven't had enough of Iguazú Falls at this point—and who could blame you—consider taking a boat tour from the Lower Iguazu River up to the feet of the falls. After a guided truck ride along the Yacaratiá Trail, board a boat at Puerto Macuco and head across the river's rapids toward the falls. From the boat, you will not only get to see both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the waterfall system but truly understand its scale as you look up from the base of falls like San Martín and Tres Musqueteros.

Day 5: Fly to Puerto Madryn

Colony of sea lions lying on a beach inside a cove near Puerto Madryn
A colony of sea lions on a beach near Puerto Madryn
After saying goodbye to Puerto Iguazu, fly to Puerto Madryn via Buenos Aires, where a private transfer will take you to your new accommodations. Located in the Patagonian province of Chubut, Puerto Madryn is the gateway to Península Valdés, a nature reserve that hosts sea lions, fur seals, and southern right whales, and is a pleasant coastal getaway in its own right. Explore the area tonight before heading out to spot marine life tomorrow!

Day 6: Explore Península Valdés, Whale Watching Experience

Whale breaching near Puerto Madryn
Whale breaching near Península Valdés
After breakfast in Puerto Madryn, a driver will pick you up at your hotel for an exciting full-day tour of both the land and the sea. The tour starts at Istmo Ameghino Interpretation Center on Península Valdés to get some background on the variety of fauna you may see today. In the spring and summer, the peninsula is home to mating southern right whales, sea lions, and several species of birds. Keep your eyes peeled for these visitors during a boat tour from Puerto Pirámides through Gulfo Nuevo.

Later on, head to Estancia San Lorenzo, a traditional sheep ranch in the area. Enjoy a meal of typical lamb on a spit, and then visit the largest Magellan penguin reserve in the world, situated just over 4 miles (7 km) from the farmhouse. You'll head back to Puerto Madryn at sunset, where you can take one last peek at the sea for a breaching whale.

Day 7: Fly to Ushuaia

view of Ushuaia from the water
Mountains meet the sea in Ushuaia
Your day begins with another flight, this time to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and the capital of the province of Tierra del Fuego. Once you arrive, spend the rest of the day exploring. Located between the slopes of the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is known for its colorful houses, mountainous backdrop, and the exceptional warmth of its inhabitants.

Day 8: Hike & Canoe in Tierra del Fuego

The shores of Lake Acigami with mountains in the background
The shores of Lake Acigami
Today, immerse yourself in nature at Tierra del Fuego National Park! The nearly 5-mile (8 km) guided hike along the Senda Costera (Coastal Path) allows you to get to know a paradise recovered where the mountains can be reached from the shore of the sea, and the freshwater of rivers and lakes coexists with the marine coast. After lunch, it's time to paddle in an inflatable canoe from freshwater Lake Acigami (formerly Lake Roca) down the very slow-flowing Lapataia and Ovando rivers to the sea in Lapataia Bay. 

Day 9: Fly to El Calafate

Perito Moreno Glacier
Perito Moreno Glacier
Once again, private transfers take you to and from the airport as you travel from Ushuaia to El Calafate. Known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, this city on the turquoise shore of Lago Argentino is the perfect home base for this leg of your trip. Tonight, consider visiting the Glaciarium to learn more about the natural wonders you'll visit throughout your stay, or just relax with a craft beer at a local brewery.

Day 10: Minitrekking on Perito Moreno Glacier

Minitrekking
See the glacier up close on a mini trekking expedition
Experience a glacier up close and personal on this guided trip to Perito Moreno, one of the most famous glaciers in Patagonia. Enjoy views of forests and mountains on the ride over and catch a sneak peek of the glacier on a boat ride across Lago Rico to the beginning of your hike. After putting on your crampons, you'll step onto Perito Moreno itself to admire crevices, moulins, and lagoons of blue glacial water. On your return journey, stop at the nearby footbridges for a panoramic view of the glacier you just climbed.

Day 11: Perito Moreno Boat & Walking Tour

Dramatic views of Perito Moreno by boat
Dramatic views of Perito Moreno by boat

Revisit Los Glaciares National Park and Perito Moreno today as you visit the walkways facing the glacier and take a boat tour of Lago Argentino. Upon arrival, admire Perito Moreno from several different vantage points along the wooden walkways. Wait a bit, and you'll witness "calving," the awe-inspiring sight of ice breaking off the facade and crashing into the tranquil waters below. Even better, get up close to the glacier's wall and glide alongside the newly-formed icebergs during the boat tour portion of your trip.

Day 12: Transfer to El Chaltén

A road in the foreground leads to the Fitz Roy Mountains in the background
A road leading to Monte Fitz Roy

A shuttle service will pick you up at your hotel in El Calafate and drive you three hours to your accommodations in El Chaltén, where you'll meet your guide and start one of the most emblematic hiking trips in this area.

This half-day hike starts with a gentle climb out of the valley Río de Las Vueltas and winds its way up the valley side, giving you a stunning view of the glacial landscape. Continue hiking through a Patagonian forest made up of lenga and ñire trees; you may also even spot a rare Magellanic woodpecker. At Laguna Capri, enjoy the fantastic views of the lake and iconic Monte Fitz Roy in the distance. Follow the same trail back to El Chaltén, ready for a well-deserved beer or hot chocolate!

Day 13: Laguna Torre Hike

Laguna Torre with Cerro Torre in the background
Views across Laguna Torre
Spend the day hiking to Laguna Torre for some of the most impressive views in Patagonia. Start in El Chaltén and pass through a ñire forest and glacial valley before arriving at Mirador del Torre, a gorgeous viewpoint. Pause to take in the magnificent views of Cerro Torre, the Adela Mountain Range, and surrounding glaciers before hiking on to Laguna Torre. At the lake, spot huge icebergs from the Torre glacier and visit the Agostini Campground, a former base camp for elite climbers from all over the world. 

Day 14: Fly to Buenos Aires

Crowds fill the streets at San Telmo market
A street market in San Telmo
As your trip starts to wind down, private transfers take you to the airport to fly to Buenos Aires, where you'll be taken to your accommodations in town. If you have the time, get a private transfer to the heart of San Telmo to enjoy dinner and a show at La Ventana. Take in the building's beautifully restored interiors and admire over 30 performers as they sing, play Argentine folk music, and, of course, dance the tango, a form of ballroom dance with roots in African, European, and Argentine culture.

Day 15: Depart Buenos Aires

Aerial view of the Plaza de la República and Obelisco in Buenos Aires
Aerial view of the Plaza de la República and the Obelisco
Enjoy one last morning in Buenos Aires, and then prepare for your departure. A private driver will transfer you to the airport in time for your international flight, and it'll be time to say adios, Argentina!

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Map

Map of North to South in Argentina: Buenos Aires, Iguazú Falls, Península Valdés & Patagonia - 15 Days
Map of North to South in Argentina: Buenos Aires, Iguazú Falls, Península Valdés & Patagonia - 15 Days