This kid-friendly tour is perfect for outdoorsy families looking for adventure, Argentine-style. Kick off with some cultural fun in bright and buzzing Buenos Aires, then nip over the border to Uruguay's quaint Colonia del Sacramento before flying south to El Chaltén to enjoy three days of extraordinary Patagonian hiking. Head to El Calafate next to explore lakes, glaciers, and ancient cave art before trying cowboy life on for size in San Antonio de Areco.


  • See the best of Buenos Aires on a fun, family bike ride
  • Master the art of the empanada in a kid-friendly cooking class
  • Hike the scenic trails of Los Glaciares National Park
  • Cruise up close to the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Get a taste of gaúcho life on two working ranches 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires Highlights, Tango Show & Dinner Buenos Aires
Day 3 Paraná River Delta Cruise, Culinary Experience & Cooking Class Buenos Aires
Day 4 Day Trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay) Buenos Aires
Day 5 Fly to El Calafate, Transfer to Chaltén & Argentine Patagonia El Chaltén
Day 6 El Chaltén Self-Guided Hike (Day 1) El Chaltén
Day 7  El Chaltén Self-Guided Hike (Day 2) El Chaltén
Day 8 El Chaltén Self-Guided Hike (Day 3) El Chaltén
Day 9 Transfer to El Calafate, 4WD Lakes & Caves Tour El Calafate
Day 10 Perito Moreno Glacier Tour El Calafate
Day 11 Explore Los Glaciares National Park El Calafate
Day 12 Ranch Day at Nibepo Aike Estancia El Calafate
Day 13 Fly to Buenos Aires, Transfer to San Antonio de Areco & Estancia  San Antonio de Areco
Day 14 Return to Buenos Aires, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires

Teatro Colon
Take the kids for a behind-the-scenes tour of Buenos Aires' world-renowned Teatro Colón

Welcome to Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires! Famous for its architecture, food, fútbol, and, of course, the tango, this lively city makes a great starting point for any family trip in the region. Your private driver will meet you at the airport and transport you to your city accommodation. Once you've settled in, get your first taste of the capital. If the kids need to let off steam, head for one of the city's expansive parks— the Parque Tres de Febrero is bound to appeal with its green areas, paddle boating, and a carousel.

Alternatively, if you're up for discovering the city's cultural side, visit the Teatro Colón. This world-renowned opera house isn't just considered one of the most beautiful but also arguably the most acoustically superior on the globe. It's worth stopping by just to see its neoclassical exterior. Still, a guided tour will allow you to see the elegant interior—and the kids will love the chance to see the costume department and ballerina's dressing rooms up close. After the tour, head to nearby Puerto Madero for a stroll. The upscale waterfront neighborhood has plenty of restaurants—the perfect area to round your day off with a parrilla (steakhouse) dinner. 

Day 2: Buenos Aires Highlights, Tango Show & Dinner

 Buenos Aires Bike Tour
See a live tango show at a 19th-century coffee house

Pull on your comfortable shoes this morning for a walking tour of the city highlights. Get the cameras ready to take family photos at iconic sights like the Obelisco and the Plaza de Mayo. Beginning at Avenida 9 de Julio, the world's widest boulevard, your guide will talk you through the city's history as you head into its distinctive neighborhoods, from cobblestoned San Telmo to colorful La Boca and Recoleta, where you'll visit the surprisingly beautiful city-within-a-city of aristocratic mausoleums. 

Alternatively, save your walking shoes for later in the trip and see the city's best via a fun, family-friendly bike tour. Cruise through the city's most famous neighborhoods, pausing at their highlights. You also have the bonus of a tour of the city's Ecological Park, a peaceful wetland area popular with birdspotters—if they're lucky, the kids will even spot some turtles. Make the most of the city's food truck scene for lunch—with options like empanadas and ice cream, you'll have no trouble pleasing the younger ones.

Close to dinner time, head to Café de los Angelitos. A center of Buenos Aires culture for over 100 years, this coffee house has been host to some of the city's most colorful political and artistic personalities since it opened its doors in 1890. It's come a long way from its dirt floor origins in the days of hosting compadritos (swaggerers) and malandras (scoundrels); you'll find an elegant three-level venue here now. There's still plenty of color, though, both in the delicious food and the nightly tango demonstrations. Locals tend to dine late in Buenos Aires, and that goes for the kids, too—if the show starts too late for your little ones, there are also daytime options throughout the city. 

Day 3: Paraná River Delta Cruise, Culinary Experience & Cooking Class

Learn to make empanadas
Learn to make traditional empanadas with the kids

After breakfast, take the family to see the sights from the water with a private tour of the Paraná River Delta, one of the world's largest deltas. Handy to Buenos Aires, this will nevertheless feel like you've entered a different world as you cruise the river network that functions like roads for this area. This varied tour will take you through colonial quarters such as San Isidro, where you'll see impressive 18th-century mansions and South America's only neo-Gothic cathedral, and quieter areas where you'll find local fishermen and their families going about their days. 

After your tour, recreate some of the most kid-friendly elements of Argentine cuisine with a private family cooking class. Learn the art of repulge (a folding technique) as you make your own empanadas. You'll also learn how to create other famous dishes, such as chimichurri, to accompany your dinner of fine local steak, and the meal will be rounded off with alfajores, delicious cookies filled with dulce de leche. Along with your meal, you'll have the chance to taste delightful malbec wines—salud!

Day 4: Day Trip to Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)

Colonia del Sacramento Premium (Uruguay)
Nip over the border to quaint Colonia del Sacramento for the day

Just across the border with Uruguay, and an easy ferry ride from Buenos Aires, lies Colonia del Sacramento. Originally a black market port providing a handy way to avoid Spanish taxes, this Portuguese-founded city is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's valued principally for its Barrio Historico (Historic Quarter), which contains an appealing mix of Portuguese, Spanish, and post-colonial architecture. The tree-lined, cobblestoned streets, historic housing, and picturesque convent ruins will enchant you and the kids.

A great way to explore the highlights is with a walking tour—or follow your nose. Don't miss the Calle de Los Suspiros (Street of Sighs), lined with postcard-perfect 17th-century houses. If you have spare time, step into one of the historic quarter's many reasonably-priced museums—you can find fascinating exhibitions here ranging from colonial history to Indigenous culture and paleontology. Head to a restaurant near the marina for a fresh seafood lunch and stroll along the beach before heading back over the border. 

Day 5: Fly to El Calafate, Transfer to El Chaltén & Argentina Patagonia

Mt Fitz Roy
The landscape around El Chaltén is famed for its beauty

Get the family up bright and early today—you're heading to the airport for your three-hour flight to El Calafate. Your driver will meet you at the airport there and take you to your accommodation in El Chaltén, the small but charming village base for those hiking in the Los Glaciares National Park.

Once you've settled in, head out for a wander and buy or hire any additional hiking gear you need. Pop into the Information Center for maps and up-to-date information about routes—a small flora and fauna museum is also attached. In the evening, take your pick of the town's restaurants before heading back to your accommodation to rest up for tomorrow. 

Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: El Chaltén Self-Guided Hike (Day 1)

Chorrillo del Salto
Take a short hike to the scenic Chorrillo del Salto 

The next few days will be a trip highlight for your nature-loving family members, with some of the world's best hiking on the cards and multiple bird and wildlife species to spot. There's an abundant array of trails heading out from El Chaltén, suitable for pretty much any age and skill level. If your kids are on the younger side, or you want to ease into things with walks of two to three hours, then there are three great options.

Cascada Margarita will take you along a gentle forested slope to panoramic views of Mounts Torre and Fitz Roy, while the trail to the Los Cóndores and Las Águilas viewpoints gives you and the kids a great chance to see condors as they fly between the river valleys of De Las Veultas and Fitz Roy. For a cool and shady walk, try the Chorrillo Del Salto trail, which will take you through a forested hillside to an impressive 66-foot (20 m) waterfall. Try one or two of these walks, then enjoy a well-earned dinner at one of the town's delicious restaurants before turning in for the night.

Days 7: El Chaltén Self-Guided Hike (Day 2)

Follow family-friendly trails today for more scenic hiking

After a hearty breakfast, head to the De Las Vueltas River Valley, just a short distance from El Chaltén. Here, you'll find a couple more great family-friendly trails. For another easy, two-hour walk, take the route to Laguna Azul. Located in a private natural reserve on a local estancia, this attractive and varied trail will take you over rivers, through native forest, past a waterfall, and finally to a crystal-clear lagoon surrounded by mountain peaks—the perfect spot to linger for a picnic.

For an even more spectacular option, try the Piedras Blancas trail. This hike is longer, at about four to five hours, but it's still graded easy. The way is mainly forested, so you and the kids will have plenty of opportunities to spot birdlife like woodpeckers, house wrens, and white-throated tree runners. Look to the west for views of Mount Chaltén's peak and northern face. About two hours in, you'll reach the viewpoint, where you'll see the spectacular seracs and icefalls of one of Mount Fitz Roy's lowest glaciers, Piedras Blancas. 

Day 8: El Chaltén Self-Guided Hike (Day 3)

Hiking El Chalten
Hike amid remarkable scenery in Los Glaciares National Park

This morning, head to the end of the De las Vueltas River Valley, to the Lago del Desierto, where you can find two easy but spectacular hiking options. If you and the kids feel tired after the last few days, opt for the two-hour Huemul Glacier walk. This small glacier is also the most accessible, and you can walk right up to the turquoise lagoon below it. Along the way, you'll pass through native lenga forest and enjoy remarkable views of the river valley and Mount Fitz Roy—make time to take a few more family photos!

For a more strenuous option, head to Laguna Larga, a four to six-hour trek. You'll begin with a boat trip across Lago del Desierto, after which you'll ascend through lush forest. Turn, and you'll see fantastic views of the lake and the Vespignani Range behind you. As you descend to Laguna Larga, you'll pass through peaceful, untouched lenga forest. Keep going along the trail, and see which kid can find the milestone that marks Argentina's border with Chile first. Make your way back in time to catch the evening sailing across Lago del Desierto. 

Day 9: Transfer to El Calafate, 4WD Lakes & Caves Tour

Laguna Nimez, El Calafate
Bird lovers are sure to enjoy the sanctuary at Laguna Nimez

After breakfast, your driver will take you back to El Calafate, where your family will spend the next two nights. The drive is about 2.5 hours, but you'll stop on the way for a three-hour 4WD tour along the shore of Lago Argentino. The kids will love the excitement of going off-road over the steppes, and the tour will captivate each family member. With panoramic views of the Andes and Lago Argentino in the background, you'll learn about the region's Indigenous culture and hear tales of the daring of the first colonial explorers.

The tour highlight is a series of caves and rocky eaves, where your guide will lead you to Paleolithic rock paintings over 4,000 years old. You'll break for a picnic lunch inside one of the caves—let the kids have fun imagining what it was like to be a Paleolithic family preparing and eating food on this very site. Your food will be a little different, though—choose between a tasty lamb or vegetable dish, and accompany it with wine or juice before rounding the meal off with a delicious dessert. Afterward, head back on the road toward El Calafate and your accommodation. 

Day 10: Perito Moreno Glacier Tour

Perito Moreno Glacier Excursion
Get up close to the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier

Today brings the opportunity to experience one of Argentina's biggest draws, the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier. There are several activity options, depending on your family's age and skill levels. The basic tour is a 1.5-hour hike through mixed terrain and lush forest, culminating in 1.9 miles (3 km) of sturdy walkways that will allow you to appreciate the glacier's south wall from multiple angles. Next, rest your legs as you get a close-up view via a boat tour that will take you within feet of the glacial wall, enabling you to see every detail. 

If your kids are eight or older, consider adding on the mini trekking tour, a 1.5-hour walk on the glacier wearing crampons. You'll get unsurpassed views of the glacier's crevasses, seracs, drains, and small lagoons. Alternatively, those with kids 12 or over can take a kayak tour to the front of the glacier. Whichever experience you opt for, you're assured a memorable trip. Once you've explored the glacier to your heart's content, your driver will transport you back to your accommodation in El Calafate. 

Day 11: Explore Los Glaciares National Park 

Todo Glaciares Navigation
See glacial ice up close today in Los Glaciares National Park

There's more to discover in Los Glaciares, and today is your family's chance to do just that. Rise early for a bus trip to Punta Bandera—from here, you and the kids will sail the north arm of Lago Argentino, crossing to the Upsala Channel, where you'll navigate between the spectacular icebergs that calve from the Upsala Glacier before heading to Spegazzini, an impressive glacier with walls of up to 440 feet (130 m). At the base, you'll disembark and walk a scenic forest trail to your lunch venue, where you can take a break, refuel and enjoy the view. There's also a souvenir shop and the option of a short alpine hike.

Alternatively, you can pair your tour of the glaciers with a trip to a historic local ranch, Estancia Cristina. This option includes a 5.9-mile (9.5-km) hike to a viewpoint over Upsala Glacier, as well as a traditional farmhouse lunch and tour of a colonial-era shearing shed museum where you'll learn more about pioneer life. You'll also hike to the Río Caterina and the historic chapel. After your tour, your driver will transport you back to your accommodation.

Day 12: Ranch Day at Nibepo Aike Estancia

Half day Ranch day at Nibepo Aike Estancia
Get a taste of farm life on the Nibepo Aike Estancia

Whether or not you opted for a taste of ranch life yesterday, today brings your family the perfect opportunity to dive deeper into rural Argentina with a day at Nibepo Aike Estancia. Also located in Los Glaciares National Park, this is a fully operational ranch on the shores of Lago Argentino. On the way there, get the kids to keep their eyes peeled for condors, foxes, hares, and sheep. Your host will welcome you and the kids with hot drinks and pastries while you learn about the estancia's history. 

Head out to get a taste of farm life and see sheep being herded and milked, then choose between a walk or horseback ride around the southern arm of Lago Argentino. Your guide will talk you through the landscape formations caused by glacial action and help you spot the wildlife around you. The tour ends in a shearing shed, where you and the kids can see historic shearing methods close up before heading out to the corrals to watch a riding demonstration while the chores of daily ranch life continue around you. Round the day off with a tasty meal of roast lamb before your driver takes you back to El Calafate.  

Day 13: Fly to Buenos Aires, Transfer to San Antonio de Areco & Estancia 

Experience life as a gaúcho on a traditional estancia

You and the kids may feel like experienced gaúchos by now, but today, you'll be heading to the heart of traditional pampas (plains) living and gaúcho folklore in Argentina: San Antonio de Areco. The day begins with a private transfer to El Calafate Airport. From here, you and the kids will fly to Buenos Aires, where a driver will meet you and transport you to San Antonio. The colonial township has plenty to see, from pulperías (traditional gaúcho bars) to a renowned silversmith museum and the must-see Ricardo Güiraldes Gaucho Museum.

After exploring a little, it's time to head to the estancia. You'll be welcomed with a magnificent picada (a beautifully arranged tray of cheeses, cold cuts, and other finger foods), followed by an asado (barbecue)—the perfect opportunity to enjoy farm-fresh beef cuts grilled to perfection. You'll also be treated to a demonstration of the region's traditional music and dance. Options to explore the estancia afterward include horseback riding, taking a horse and cart, or walking. Observe the seasonal activities on the ranch (you and the kids might even be invited to help out!), or relax and soak in the rural sunset before heading to your rooms for the evening. 

Day 14: Return to Buenos Aires, Depart

The kids can enjoy a final morning on the ranch before your departing flight

Sadly, it's the last day of your family trip. Enjoy a final taste of pampas life—if your flight isn't too early, linger over breakfast in the peaceful rural setting, then head out for another ride or walk. The kids will love another chance to make friends with the local animals. At the appointed hour, your driver will pick you up and transport you directly to Buenos Aires Airport. Buen Viaje!

More Great Patagonia Itineraries

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Map of Outdoor Family Fun in Buenos Aires & Argentine Patagonia - 14 Days
Map of Outdoor Family Fun in Buenos Aires & Argentine Patagonia - 14 Days