This 17-day trip through Patagonian Argentina provides a scenic, action-packed adventure. Begin in Buenos Aires for some sightseeing, before flying to Bariloche to do some trekking, rafting, and boating in the Lake District. Then, head to El Calafate to tour—and walk on—the incredible glaciers, and visit a local estancia. Next is El Chaltén, home of Mount Fitz Roy, where you can do some epic trekking to stunning lakes, followed by a visit to Ushuaia for more boating and trekking, along with an off-roading adventure and a trip to visit native penguins. The grand finale is dinner and tango back in the capital city.

Highlights

  • Go trekking and rafting on the Manso River from Bariloche
  • Walk on a glacier and take a boat through a bay of icebergs in El Calafate
  • Hike around Mount Fitz Roy and the stunning lakes of El Chaltén
  • Take an off-roading tour and visit native penguins in Ushuaia
  • Go sightseeing and dance the tango in Buenos Aires

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Buenos Aires & City Exploration Buenos Aires
Day 2 Private, Guided Tour of Buenos Aires Buenos Aires
Day 3 Fly to Bariloche Bariloche
Day 4 Lake District Trekking & Kayaking Bariloche
Day 5 Rafting on the Manso River Bariloche
Day 6 Transfer to El Calafate El Calafate
Day 7 Trekking in Los Glaciares National Park El Calafate
Day 8 Estancia Cristina Adventure El Calafate
Day 9 Transfer to El Chaltén El Chalten
Day 10 Trek to Laguna de los Tres El Chalten
Day 11 Trek to Laguna Torre El Chalten
Day 12 Transfer to Ushuaia Ushuaia
Day 13 Tierra del FuegoTrek & Canoeing in Lapataia Bay Ushuaia
Day 14 Lakes Off-Road Excursion Ushuaia
Day 15 Gable Island - Penguin Visit & Canoeing Ushuaia
Day 16 Return to Buenos Aires & Evening Tango Buenos Aires
Day 17 Depart From Argentina  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires and city exploration

Welcome to Buenos Aires!
Welcome to Buenos Aires!

Welcome to Argentina!

Upon arriving at the airport in Buenos Aires, your guide will drive you to your hotel in the city. Along the way,  collect all the information needed for your trip, including your itinerary. After settling into your accommodation, take some time to explore the capital city. 

Although there is a guided tour of the city scheduled tomorrow, you can spend your first few hours visiting some of the main sites. Start in the center, walking by the famously ornate theaters of Teatro Nacional Cervantes and Teatro Colón. Stroll the streets and appreciate the architecture of the buildings; stop to admire the Deco structure of Palacio Barolo. From here, visit Plaza del Congreso, which perfectly frames the city's congress building, or walk toward the port, passing through Plaza de Mayo and by the presidential palace, Casa Rosada.

Both of these areas are buzzing with activity. There are plenty of eateries lining the streets, too, so you can easily find a lively bistro or cozy restaurant for dinner.

Day 2: Private, guided tour of Buenos Aires

The vibrant neighborhood of La Boca
The vibrant neighborhood of La Boca

Today, explore some of the top spots in Buenos Aires on a private city tour. This tour can be adapted to your personal interests and tastes, which can be discussed with your guide beforehand.

Some of the areas and sites to consider include:

  • Plaza de Mayo is home to the national government palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. This historical, political, and foundational epicenter of the city is a great starting point for the city tour.

  • One of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires is San Telmo, which is a great area to visit if you're interested in tango and the arts. The antique markets, candle streetlighting, cobbled roads, and historic buildings with original facades and décor create a lovely bohemian atmosphere. Sundays buzz with activity as the main antique market comes alive around the Plaza Dorrego.

  • You can also visit La Boca, a neighborhood famous for its brightly-painted houses and coventillos (communal housing tenements). It's also home to the legendary Boca Juniors Football Club, where Diego Maradona made his name.

  • The city's youngest neighborhood is Puerto Madero, which is situated on the riverside along the Río de la Plata. This major gastronomic and business hub is situated in former commercial docks. Along the canals, these former industrial warehouses were converted into elegant bars, eateries, and offices during one of the most successful urban waterfront restoration projects in the world.

  • Palermo, the largest neighborhood, hosts huge parks and some of Buenos Aires' trendiest bars, clubs, and fashion boutiques. This neighborhood—which has nearly 350 acres of parks, lakes, and wooded areas—offers a peaceful retreat from the busy city.

  • The European style district, Recoleta, is home to an array of fashionable restaurants, cafés, boutiques, malls, and luxury hotels, which reside along tree-lined avenues. One of the main attractions, The Cemetary, is the final resting place for generations of well-known Argentineans, including Evita Peron.

After your personalized tour, head back to your hotel to relax. The evening is yours to continue exploring the city. Use your newly acquired knowledge to roam the streets and find the perfect eatery for a traditional Argentian dinner.

Day 3: Fly to Bariloche

Nahuel Huapi Lake in Bariloche
Nahuel Huapi Lake in Bariloche

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport to board your domestic flight to San Carlos de Bariloche, located in the Patagonian region of Argentina.

Upon arrival, a guide will meet with you and drive you to your hotel. 

Bariloche is located in southwest Argentina, in the heart of the country’s Lake District. Nestled on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi Lake and its corresponding national park, Bariloche offers travelers thrilling outdoor activities, as well as a pretty Swiss-style town full of chocolate shops and boutiques.

Once you are settled in your hotel, take some time to explore the town on your own. The evening is at your leisure, too. 

Day 4: Lake District trekking and kayaking

Go on a kayaking adventure through the Lakes District
Go on a kayaking adventure through the Lake District

Today, enjoy breakfast, and then its time to explore the Lake District. A wide variety of trails cross pristine forests, rocks, cliffs, alluviums, hills and extraordinary waterfalls with wonderful views over Gutiérrez and Mascardi lakes.

Several trails lead to different waterfalls, and longer circuits connect different viewpoints. Head out on a 1.5-hour trek along a path that will take you to the Mascardi Lake lookout and the Water Division,  an area filled with history. Enjoy your packed lunch and a rest at the top. 

After lunch, descend to Estancia Bay. Take a break, and after a short rest, meet up with local guides who will lead your kayaking tour in the national park. After an instructive talk about the equipment and kayak management, your guide will lead the way to the water.

Explore the wonderful crystalline waters and virgin coasts of Gutiérrez, and row back to the estancia. After the adventure, return to the city, and enjoy the rest of the day and night in Bariloche at your leisure. 

Note: This tour is available from November-April.

Day 5: Rafting on the Manso River

Conquer Class III-IV rapids on the Manso River
Conquer Class III-IV rapids on the Manso River

Enjoy a hearty breakfast, and then head out for an action-packed rafting excursion. A driver will pick you up at your hotel to drive along Route 258 to the southern limit of Nahuel Huapi National Park.

Have coffee on the riverbank and get outfitted in your gear. Then, the lead guide will conduct a safety talk before it is time to navigate the last Argentinian stretch of the Manso River, which shares a border with Chile. Navigate the best rapids through narrow canyons surrounded by native vegetation.  

In the first section, the tranquility of the river allows you to appreciate your surroundings. Enjoy the white-sand beaches and observe the waterfalls that fall from the top to the river. Then, you will notice the change in the river. In your raft, conquer exciting Class III-IV rapids through narrow canyons. Once you reach the Chilean limit by the Border Landmark, the tour concludes.  

The guide will lead the return to John´s Estancia by a new road that runs along an old trail of mule drivers. Next, enjoy a tasty Patagonian barbecue. Then, make your way back to Bariloche, arriving downtown around 7 pm.

Note: This tour is available from November-April, and participants must be 14 years of age with the ability to swim.

Day 6: Transfer to El Calafate

The Southern Patagonian Ice Field
The Southern Patagonian Ice Field

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up at the hotel for your private transfer to the airport to catch your flight to El Calafate.

El Calafate is a town near the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in Argentina and is mainly known for its famous Los Glaciares National Park, home to the amazing Perito Moreno Glacier and more stunning sights.

Upon arrival, a guide will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel, and the evening is yours to enjoy.

Day 7: Trekking in Los Glaciares National Park

Trek on a glacier in Los Glaciares National Park
Trek on a glacier in Los Glaciares National Park

This morning, have breakfast, and a driver will pick you up from your hotel. Take Route 11 toward Los Glaciares National Park, the base of today's adventure. 

By bus, head to Puerto Bajo de Las Sombras (Under the Shadows Port). Board a small ship to cross Rico Branch. On the opposite coast, meet with your tour guides. After a 20-minute walk through the forest, the guides will help you put on crampons, so you can walk directly on the ice. The trekking difficulty is moderate, and the ice surface you walk on is irregular, but is still firm and safe.

Back on the coast, navigate to the pier by ship, and move on (without your guides) to the lookout points or catwalks of the glacier. Enjoy the breathtaking views for about 45 minutes, before heading back to El Calafate for the night. 

Note: This tour is available August-May, and participants must be 10-65 years old. If you have a health condition, make sure you are cleared to join this excursion beforehand. 

Day 8: Estancia Cristina adventure

Take a boat tour by the glacier
Take a boat tour by the glacier

After breakfast, a driver will take you along Route 11 toward Punta Bandera Port. Board a catamaran around 8:15 am to sail among the icebergs through the Northern Branch and the Upsala Branch,toward the glacier.

The tour continues along the Cristina Branch. At 11 am, disembark at a small pier located about a half-mile away from Cristina Country Estate, a unique place for adventurous activities. Here, the group will be split up according to activity selection. You will spend approximately 6 hours on the estate. 

You can take an ATV and travel through mountain trails to explore a landscape that, until recently, was covered by glaciers, and is a place of great geological interest. Enjoy views of the eastern front of the Upsala Glacier, Guillermo Lake, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, and the Andes Mountain Range.

Or, embark on the Gully of the Fossils adventure, which requires a decent fitness level. Those who choose this activity have lunch scheduled during the tour, and will return to the estate to board the departure boat at 5 pm.

Arrival back at Punta Bandera Port is at approximately 7 pm. Then, head back to El Calafate to enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 9: Transfer to El Chaltén

El Chaltén
El Chaltén

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up from the hotel to drive you to El Chaltén by bus.

This small town is located about 134 miles away from El Calafate, at the north of Viedma Lake and at the foot of the famous Mount Fitz Roy. Along with incredible views, this is a great home base for outdoor activities, including high- and low-intensity trekking, or climbing vertical walls, which is ideal for the most demanding climbers.

Just 23 miles away is Del Desierto Lake, where you can see ancient woods, glaciers, and brooks that contradict its desert-centric name.

Also known as the Trekking Capital, El Chaltén offers a wide range of hotel services, ranging from the simplest (for backpackers) to those for more luxurious tourists. Upon arrival, get settled, and the rest of the day is yours to enjoy.

Day 10: Trek to Laguna de los Tres

Mount Fitz Roy and Laguna de los Tres
Mount Fitz Roy and Laguna de los Tres

After breakfast, embark on a classic, spectacular, and unforgettable trek spanning 8-9 hours that takes you to impressive scenery and through forests, until you arrive at the mystical Mount Fitz Roy. Take in the lagoons in different shades of blue, imposing glaciers, and campgrounds visited by famous international climbers.

This trek starts with a transfer to the trailhead at El Pilar, located 10.5 miles to the north of the town. The journey is enjoyable for the lovely views of the valley, alone. Start walking in a dense forest of lengas that protect you from the winds coming off the Continental Ice Field. From the start, you are able to spot lots of different glaciers, including Marconi, Eléctrico, Cagliero, and in the distance, toward Lago del Desierto, the Vespignani Glacier. The path is easy, as it’s quite flat, and the climbs are gentle.

Arrive at your first viewpoint, Piedras Blancas Glacier, and a bit later, leave the forest and enter a clearing where you can see several peaks in all their splendor—Saint Exupéry, Poincenot, MermozGuillaumet, and Fitz Roy. From here, continue for a few more minutes until you arrive at the Poincenot campground, located in beautiful lenga forest inhabited by countless varieties of birds, which will entertain you with their songs until you reach the campground Río Blanco.

Then, climb 1,300 feet in about an hour until you reach Laguna de los Tres. Upon arriving at the highest point on the path, you are rewarded with majestic views of Fitz Roy, the Glacier de los Tres, and its stunning lagoon. From here, circle Laguna de los Tres and head toward the viewpoint of the Laguna Sucia and its accompanying glacier.

After a rest and a bite for lunch, start the descent and walk back to El Chaltén. On the way back, take note of the varying landscape, crystal-clear streams, and Laguna Capri—a favorite spot for photographers. After visiting the lagoon, drop down into the valley where El Chaltén is located.

Day 11: Trek to Laguna Torre

Laguna Torre
Laguna Torre

Following breakfast today, embark on another classic walk out of El Chaltén that can’t be missed. 

With a guide, head off on the Laguna Torre footpath, and after a short climb, enter a small area of ñire woods. From here, the path starts to gain height and straighten up alongside the Fitz Roy River, until it arrives at a viewpoint of the river canyon and the Margarita Waterfall. The panorama presents the valley of the Fitz Roy River and its serpentine course, with the backdrop of the unique Mount Solo, the Adela Mountains, and the impressive Mount Torre. After about an hour of walking, arrive at the Mount Torre viewpoint. Then, walk for 2 hours through grand lenga forests, crossing old glacial moraines and wet plains formed by the previous courses of the river until you arrive at Laguna Torre. 

In this area, there is always the possibility of spotting a wide range of birds, including the Magellanic woodpecker. After a rest and lunch at the lagoon, start the trek back to El Chaltén

Day 12: Transfer to Ushuaia

Ushuaia, the 'Southernmost City in the World'
Ushuaia, the 'Southernmost City in the World'

After breakfast, your guides will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia, which is known as the “Southernmost City in the World." It's also the capital of the province of Tierra del Fuego.

Ushuaia was founded on October 12, 1884, by Commander Augusto Lasserre—who also inaugurated the subprefecture of Ushuaia—in order to protect the borders of this southern region. The city is located on the slopes of Martial Mounts and the Beagle Channel coast, which gives it a unique appeal, thanks to its colorful houses, mountainous backdrop, and the exceptional warmth of its inhabitants.

After settling into your hotel, walk along the city's waterfront, and take in the views of the mountains and glaciers. You can't miss a photo opp with the famous End of the World Sign or the views out near the airport. Enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants in the city's center.

Day 13: Tierra del Fuego trek and canoeing in Lapataia Bay

Boat along Lapataia Bay
Boat along Lapataia Bay

Early in the morning, leave for your full-day adventure into Tierra del Fuego National Park. This is one of the most frequently visited places in Ushuaia and the region. The park is truly a wonder; your guide will lead you to beautiful scenes of mountains meeting the sea, plus freshwater rivers and lakes mixing with saltwater bays and inlets.

On this tour, hike through the dense forests of the park, catching glimpses of wildlife, such as condors, eagles, foxes, and hares. Then, canoe down rivers and across lagoons, and make your way to the famous Lapataia Bay. Here, kayak or walk along the shore, pass by bird colonies, and keep an eye out for seals. Enjoy the wooden boardwalks that take you over the marshland, as well as the mountain peaks surrounding the bay.

Today's lunch is Argentine-style fare, including dishes like chicken breast stuffed with vegetables and onion dauphinoise potatoes. Your host will explain the park's ecological and human history as you sit and listen to the sounds of the bay, while sipping Argentinian red wine. 

In the evening, return to Ushuaia.

Day 14: Lakes Off-Road excursion

Visit hidden gems on the Lakes Off-Road tour
Visit hidden gems on the Lakes Off-Road tour

Following breakfast, a driver will pick you up at your hotel. The Lakes Off-Road tour is an animated, off-the-beaten-path way to discover the secrets hidden behind the Southern Andes. In a Land Rover Defender, navigate through the forest and across rivers while defying muddy tracks, and land by the shore of a lake with unique views. 

From above the Andes, take in the view of Lago Escondido (Hidden Lake), a little wonder that hides at the bottom of a valley. Then, head to the enormous Lake Fagnano, the day's main attraction. 

For lunch, enjoy choripan (a grilled Argentine sausage sandwich), prime beefsteaks, salad, and dessert, along with red wine and soft drinks.

After the adventure, return to Ushuaia and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Day 15: Gable Island - Penguin visit and canoeing

View the native penguins off Martillo Island
View the native penguins off Martillo Island

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up from your hotel. This full-day, active tour takes a group to ride, navigate, walk, and discover one of the roughest and most beautiful places in the Beagle Channel.

Leave Ushuaia and head eastbound. Upon arrival to Lasiphashaj River, move the inflatable canoes into the Beagle Channel. Your group will be provided with rubber boots, over pants, and lifejackets for the activity. 

Throughout the rowing journey, look out for wildlife, including a variety of different seabirds and sea lions on the way to Harberton

Board a motorboat and head toward Martillo Island. From the boat, view the native penguins in their breeding lair. The ride continues up to the main attraction of the day: the enormous Gable Island. Hike and get to know more of this gorgeous island, crossing over beaver dams and through the forest to reach the Beagle Channel shore to take the boat to Puerto Harberton, and then hop on the bus that will lead you back to your hotel. 

Lunch (including vegetarian options) and drinks for the day are included with the tour.

Day 16: Return to Buenos Aires and evening tango

Tango in Buenos Aires
Tango in Buenos Aires

In the morning, have breakfast, bid farewell to the incredible Tierra del Fuego region, and head to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. After settling into your hotel, take advantage of your final day by strolling the city's streets and enjoying local delicacies.

In the evening, your hosts will pick you up from the hotel for a memorable night of Argentine tango. This includes live orchestras with professional dancers and singers, as well as a delicious three-course dinner. 

After the show, return to your hotel.

Day 17: Depart from Argentina

Farewell, Argentina!
Farewell, Argentina!

It's time to say goodbye to Argentina. Enjoy one last morning in the country's capital city, then prepare for your departure. A private driver will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight.

Map

Map of Patagonian Adventures in Argentina: Bariloche, El Calafate, El Chaltén, Ushuaia, & More - 17 Days
Map of Patagonian Adventures in Argentina: Bariloche, El Calafate, El Chaltén, Ushuaia, & More - 17 Days