A life of adventure is not complete without making the great pilgrimage to Patagonia. This two-week escape begins in Chile's capital, Santiago, and continues south for trekking and outdoor excursions in Torres del Paine—one of the most famous national parks in the world. Then head north to Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina, where you'll marvel at Perito Moreno Glacier, hike around the granite pillars of Mount Fitz Roy, and finish the journey with city tours and cowboy experiences in Buenos Aires.

Highlights

  • Experience two national parks: Torres del Paine & Los Glaciares
  • Go on private trekking expeditions around the epic Mount Fitz Roy
  • Enjoy city and sightseeing tours in Santiago and Buenos Aires 
  • Visit a working gaucho ranch and dine on barbecue and local wine

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago (Chile), Walking Tour Santiago
Day 2 Casablanca Wine Tour Santiago
Day 3 Fly to Puerto Natales, Transfer to Torres del Paine Torres del Paine
Day 4 Torres del Paine Activities Day 1 Torres del Paine
Day 5 Torres del Paine Activities Day 2 Torres del Paine
Day 6 Torres del Paine Activities Day 3 Torres del Paine
Day 7 Transfer to Puerto Natales, Bicycle Tour Puerto Natales
Day 8 Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Dinner at Rancho Aparte El Calafate
Day 9 Day Trip to Los Glaciares National Park & Perito Moreno El Calafate
Day 10 Day Trip to Estancia & Glaciers El Calafate
Day 11 Transfer to El Chaltén, Trek to Laguna Capri El Chaltén
Day 12 Day Hike to Laguna de Los Tres El Chaltén
Day 13 Fly to Buenos Aires, Sightseeing Tour Buenos Aires
Day 14 Gaucho Experience at El Ombú de Areco Ranch, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago (Chile), Walking Tour

The Plaza de Armas has been Santiago's central square since its founding in the 16th century
Welcome to Chile! The southern end of this South American nation makes up half of the famous Patagonia region, and the main transport hub to reach it is the nation's capital, Santiago. But this metropolis of around seven million people is more than a transit center. Nestled amid soaring Andes peaks, it's a dynamic city with a rich history dating to its founding in 1541.
 
After transferring to your hotel from the airport, you'll head out to discover Chile's cultural highlights. Your expert local guide for this city tour is an architecture and history buff who will lead you to the most colorful neighborhoods filled with awe-inspiring landmarks. Must-visit buildings include the La Moneda Presidential Palace and the Plaza de Armas. The latter is the city's main square, filled with historic buildings like the 19th-century Palace of the Royal Court and the Catedral Metropolitana, an impressive neoclassical building that dates to 1753.

After all that walking, you'll no doubt have worked up an appetite, so the next stop is at Mercado Central, a municipal market dating to 1872. Here, you can stop in at a small restaurant or food stall to sample some of the freshest fish and seafood in the city. After refueling, continue to neighborhoods including República, Concha y Toro, and Lastarria—each featuring a distinct atmosphere. End the day with a bit of culture as you visit the National Museum of Fine Arts and La Chascona, the former home of poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda.

Day 2: Casablanca Wine Tour

Hit the wine trail to taste some of the best varietals in Chile

Today, head one hour west of Santiago to Valle de Casablanca. This fertile valley near the Pacific Coast is ideal for growing grapes, as the sea breezes come in from offshore, providing the perfect weather conditions for them to thrive. It's also an area famous for producing organic, all-natural wine grapes.

You'll tour three wineries on this trip. One highlight vineyard you'll likely visit is Emiliana. It's recognized for its commitment to organic and biodynamic farming practices, focusing on sustainable viticulture and winemaking. The result is a diverse selection of top-quality varietals that range from chardonnay and sauvignon blanc to pinot noir and carmenère. The tour includes a stroll around the grounds and facilities—plus a tasting of different wines. Afterward, you'll return to Santiago.

Day 3: Fly to Puerto Natales, Transfer to Torres del Paine

Get ready for multiple adventures in Torres del Paine National Park

Transfer back to the airport this morning and take a three-hour flight south into Patagonia and Puerto Natales. This port town on the Última Esperanza Sound is the base for excursions into Torres del Paine National Park, a legendary protected area that covers 700 square miles (1,810 sq km) and is renowned for its circuit treks. From Puerto Natales, hop in a shuttle for the two-hour drive north to the park. Then, settle into your hotel, located adjacent to Torres del Paine.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing and preparing for the adventures ahead. Perhaps embark on a brief horseback tour around the hotel property and enjoy the sight of the famous Paine Massif in the distance. In the evening, have dinner at the hotel and then get to bed early—you've got a big day tomorrow.

Day 4: Torres del Paine Activities Day 1

Transfer to your luxury camp and then hit the trail in Torres del Paine
Rise and shine! It's an early start as you transfer from your hotel to the park entrance and head into Torres del Paine. Your immediate destination is the wilderness camp, where you'll spend the next few nights. Don't let the word "camp" fool you—this collection of glamorous yurts sits on the shores of Lago del Toro, and each unit is spacious, comfy, and features en suite bathrooms and central heating. There's even an on-site restaurant. The camp also organizes a wide array of nature excursions, which you'll take advantage of each day you're here.
 
This morning, for example, you'll have your choice of adventure in Torres del Paine. Activities include kayaking, fishing, scenic driving tours, and hiking/trekking in the park. At the end of the day, return to camp and relax at the restaurant, which offers a variety of typical Patagonian food with a gourmet touch, such as Patagonian lamb, Austral salmon, and more.

Day 5: Torres del Paine Activities Day 2

Embark on a day trip to see the lakes of Torres del Paine

Strap on your hiking boots once again for a jaunt around the park. If you like, you can make it a lake tour to visit some of the most impressive bodies of water in Torres del Paine. A van ride will take you to Sarmiento, the second-largest lake in Torres del Paine. From there, you can embark on a full-day hike, during which you'll pass through native lenga forests, walk along shimmering lagoons, and even stop at a local estancia for a break.

Then, continue hiking amid exotic Patagonian flora and fauna. Be on the lookout for guanacos, orchids, owls, woodpeckers, and other wildlife. The last leg of the hike will take you up to a summit offering panoramic views of the Paine massif to the north and Lago del Toro and prairies to the southwest. At the end of the day, you'll return to the vehicle and transfer back to your hotel.

Day Six: Torres del Paine Activities Day 3

Patagonia Camp Activities Torres del Paine
Patagonia Camp Activities Torres del Paine
It's your last full day of adventures in Torres del Paine! If you haven't already done so, you can embark on the 11.2-mile (18 km) trek up to Mirador Base Torres, the most popular day hike in the park. You'll start by following a trail up Mount Almirante Nieto, which features stunning views of Lago Nordenskjöld and the Asencio Valley below. After two hours of hiking, you'll reach Refugio & Camping Chileno, where you'll break for lunch.
 
Then it's another hour of hiking past ancient lenga forests until you arrive at a moraine. The next part is a 45-minute hard scramble to the top and Base Torres. In this spot, three granite pillars jut out of the ground over a silver lagoon and make for the best view in the park. You'll also see the towering peaks of nearby Torre Sur, Torre Central, Torre Norte, Condor's Nest, and Glacier Torre. The trek ends when you hike back down the mountain.
Plan your trip to Patagonia
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Transfer to Puerto Natales, Bicycle Tour

City Bike Tour Puerto Natales
Ride through the town streets and along the waterfront outside Puerto Natales
Say goodbye to Torres del Paine, as this morning, you'll meet a driver for the transfer back to Puerto Natales. But the outdoor adventures aren't over yet, as after checking into your hotel, you'll hop on a bicycle for a guided tour. This three-hour ride will take you along the tranquil streets to the scenic waterfront and onto country roads, where you'll be treated to sweeping views of the Paine Massif.
 
There will be a snack break at an old pier over the water and a stop in the craft village of Ether Aike where you can browse artisanal items and souvenirs. The end of the ride will lead you back to the center of town, and from there, you can make your way to the hotel.

Day 8: Transfer to El Calafate (Argentina), Dinner at Rancho Aparte

El Calafate is a laid-back Patagonian town on Lake Argentino
Enjoy a full breakfast because you've got a full day of traveling ahead. In the morning, transfer to the bus station and board a coach for the 6-7-hour ride north across the border into Argentine Patagonia. It's a long journey but a scenic one, as you'll travel alongside vast Patagonian steppe landscapes famous for their desolate beauty.
 
Eventually, you'll arrive in El Calafate. Sitting on the shores of Lago Argentino, this town is the main base for trips into the famous Los Glaciares National Park and one of its star attractions, Perito Moreno Glacier. When you arrive, you'll check into your hotel and have the rest of the day free.
 
In the evening, head into town for a dining experience celebrating rustic yet gourmet Patagonian cuisine in all its glory. Take a seat at Rancho Aparte, a Patagonian ranch home converted into a closed-door restaurant where guests are treated to 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 9: Day Trip to Los Glaciares National Park & Perito Moreno

Marvel at the massive ice walls of Perito Moreno from boardwalk viewpoints
Get ready for a memorable, full-day adventure into Los Glaciares National Park. Meet your driver in the morning and transfer about west to Perito Moreno. It's a scenic 1.5-hour drive during which you'll pass natural landmarks like Redonda Bay, home to a variety of exotic waterbirds, including 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. Here, amid a network of boardwalks and viewpoints, you'll be treated to your first glimpses 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.
 
Spend 1-3 hours exploring the boardwalks and snapping photos of the glacier from different vantage points. 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. After lunch, you'll have more time to explore Perito Moreno (including an optional boat ride to its southern face) before transferring back to El Calafate.

Day 10: Day Trip to Estancia & Glaciers

Delve further into the heart of Argentine Patagonia on today's adventure

More exciting Patagonia adventures are in store today. After an early breakfast at your hotel, a driver will pick you up 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 a mile (1.6 km) wide, this ancient ice mass is nothing short of awe-inspiring. 

Then, continue north into the Cristina Channel, arriving in the 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 estancia's history. The surrounding scenery is gorgeous, too, filled with snowcapped mountains, rushing rivers, glassy lakes, and ancient glaciers. Enjoy a guided walk around the estancia before transferring back to El Calafate.

Day 11: Transfer to El Chaltén, Trek to Laguna Capri

Laguna Capri
Laguna Capri is one of the most popular hiking destinations around Mount Fitz Roy
Meet your driver early for the 3-4-hour transfer north to El Chaltén. This town lies just above Lago Viedma and is a major hub in Patagonia for mountain hikes. If the skies are clear during the drive, you'll have incredible views of the granite massif of Mount Fitz Roy.
 
Upon arrival, your driver will drop you off at your hotel. There's no time to rest, however, because you'll then meet a guide, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a trek up to Laguna Capri. This 5-mile (8 km) jaunt is the perfect introductory hike around El Chaltén. It only takes half a day and is packed with famous scenery, like mountains, valleys, glaciers, and lagoons. Along the way, you'll also be treated to Instagram-worthy views of the Fitz Roy massif. 
 
The hike back to El Chaltén is mostly downhill, and when you arrive, you'll have the evening free to relax. If you like, take a walk around town and pop in at one of El Chaltén's many cafés and craft beer bars. 

Day 12: Day Hike to Laguna de Los Tres

Admire the view from Laguna de los Tres
It's a long trek up to Laguna de los Tres, but the rewards are worth the effort

Wake up early and head out on a full-day guided hike. The route you'll follow today covers 12 miles (20 km) and takes 8-9 hours to complete. The destination is Laguna de los Tres, a gorgeous lagoon from which you'll enjoy panoramic views of three peaks: Fitz Roy, Poincenot, and Torre. During the trek, you'll also stop at incredible viewpoints looking out to the Piedras Blancas Glacier. When you arrive at the lagoon, you'll break for lunch and have time to relax before descending back to El Chaltén.

Day 13: Fly to Buenos Aires, Sightseeing Tour

Tango dancers in Buenos Aires
Check out local culture in the historic streets of San Telmo and La Boca
Say goodbye to Patagonia because this morning, you'll transfer back to El Calafate and the airport for the flight to Buenos Aires. Including transfers, it will likely be a full-day journey. Upon arrival at the local airport in the city center, you'll transfer to your hotel.
 
After settling in, there should be just enough time left to enjoy a tour of Argentina's dynamic capital. Meet your local guide in the city center, which abounds with the city's famous Baroque and neoclassical architecture. Highlight landmarks you'll visit include the Congress Building, Plaza de Mayo, Avenida de Mayo, and the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace).
 
Continue along the upscale waterfront promenade of Puerto Madero to the oldest neighborhood in the city, San Telmo. Afterward, you'll stop by adjacent La Boca, the city's original port. It was here in the 19th century that newly arriving immigrants created the nation's most famous musical genre: tango. Later in the evening, you can enjoy dinner at one of the city's famous parillas (steakhouses) to celebrate your time in the country.

Day 14: Gaucho Experience at El Ombú de Areco Ranch, Depart

Before departing Argentina, spend a day on a working cattle ranch and enjoy a traditional BBQ
Argentina has a rich frontier history that remains well-represented in its famous gaucho (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 driver for the 72-mile (117 km) transfer northwest to San Antonio de Areco. This bucolic town is the heart of Argentina's gaucho (cowboy) 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 (Argentine 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 the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Argentina Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Argentina? Check out these other Patagonia itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in Patagonia, or discover the best time to visit Patagonia.

Map

Map of Patagonia Escape in Chile & Argentina - 14 Days
Map of Patagonia Escape in Chile & Argentina - 14 Days