Buenos Aires - Calafate - Chaltén - Ushuaia - Torres del Paine
Upon arrival, we will drive you to the city and you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy Buenos Aires at your own pace. Buenos Aires is a marvelous, energetic, cosmopolitan city, full of color and different styles of architecture.
The capital of Argentina, and described as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires proudly embraces its title, and also shows off plenty of its own culture! Argentinians are usually eager to host visitors; if you walk the streets with a map, someone will surely stop and ask if you need directions…that’s just our spirit!
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, che! (“che” means “guy” in Argentina). For this first day, feel free to wander the cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes, enjoy the mouthwatering aroma of world-famous Argentine beef sizzling on an open parrilla (barbeque), and browse the local antique and artisan markets that offer plenty of bargain shopping.
In the morning we will pick you up from your hotel to enjoy our 5-hour Buenos Aires city tour—you will be swept away by the highlights of our beloved Buenos Aires! Over the course of a half-day you will have the chance to visit the historical and political center of the city; Plaza de Mayo and the Pink House (the presidential house).
Next, we’ll move on to San Telmo, with its cobblestone streets and the oldest residential neighborhood, and then to La Boca where Buenos Aires turns colorful and tango is ever-present. Come walk Caminito street and dance with the locals. The next stop is the chic and aristocratic Recoleta, where the big palaces remind us why Buenos Aires is called the “Paris of the South”.
In the evening we’ll pick you up from your hotel to take you to a mystical place where you’ll discover one of our most ancient traditions. Tango is more than our national dance… tango is our immigrant origins, the talent of our local artists, the sensuality of Argentine women and our way to deal with a broken heart; dancing our way through tragic, and yet eternal, love stories.
Tonight you will enjoy a 3-hour professional display of tango and music with a group of local artists on stage immersed in an elegant and alluring place. The manners, ambiance, clothes and dance steps which tango-lovers used to practice 100 years ago will come to life again and you will travel back in time for a night.
This spectacular tango show in Buenos Aires will be accompanied by delicious Argentine and international cuisine. Dinner is all-inclusive, beverages included so you can lose yourself in the ethereal taste of Malbec wine. At the end of the evening, around midnight, you will be driven back to your hotel, fully in love with the bohemian spirit of our incredible city.
Tango is, all in all, a cultural experience that’s deeply rooted in Argentine hearts. Where do regular people go dancing tango? There are an immense number of dance halls or milongas in Buenos Aires. Some of our favorites are La Viruta -beginners friendly- and Salon Canning -with more advanced clientele- in Palermo neighborhood. Tango has evolved a big deal in the past years, and now there are also LGBT milongas that encourage a most inclusive practice.
Today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the airport to take your flight to El Calafate, where your adventure tours in Patagonia begin.
Upon arrival, we will bring you to your hotel and have the remainder of your day to relax or explore the surroundings.
El Calafate is a starting point for adventure-seeking travelers who chace to unearth the most spellbinding natural wonders of Patagonia, like the Perito Moreno Glacier.
The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the only glaciers in the world that’s still advancing. Though it’s not the only glacier in the area, it’s the one that made the city of El Calafate famous worldwide. For many years now, El Calafate has been considered the capital of the glaciers. Located at the shore of Lago Argentino (the southernmost, largest Patagonian lake) it’s also home to the Spegazzini glacier, which forms the natural border between Argentina and Chile, and the Upsala Glacier, named Glaciar del Gigante (Giant’s glacier) it’s the biggest glacier that sits at the mouth of Lake Argentino.
But there is much more to see in El Calafate than glaciers. Make the most of your free day and discover other secret gems of the region.
Our recommended activities in El Calafate for your free day:
During the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to Glaciers National Park to enjoy your first adventure tour in Patagonia, a 6-hour visit to Perito Moreno Glacier.
You will travel about 25 miles from El Calafate to the park, enjoying the views of the Patagonian steppe. Once inside the park, you will take walkways to explore the different viewpoints, and you’ll feel unbelievably close to Perito Moreno Glacier. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see a piece of ice break off and fall from the glacier wall, sinking forever into the lake below.
Over the course of about one hour, a bilingual guide will provide you with all the information you might want to know…and things you may have never thought about. After this visit, you will take a boat ride that will bring you close enough to fully appreciate the 262-foot ice walls of Perito Moreno! You’ll never feel closer to this gigantic and impressive natural masterpiece. At the end of the day, we will drive you back to your hotel.
Have you ever imagined walking across the surface of a glacier? Well, this is your chance! The Mini Trekking tour will allow you to trek on Perito Moreno Glacier… This is one of our favorite Patagonia outings; we’re sure you won’t regret it. This is an optional excursion you can add to this day.
Today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and start a 3-hour trip to El Chaltén, the ‘Trekking Capital of Argentina’, and the hubs of adventure outings in Patagonia. You’ll travel along the famous Route 40, surrounded by the Patagonian steppe, and pass through La Leona River, which connects Lake Argentino and Lake Viedma, and where you’ll get to see La Leona Road house, where the famous thieves Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid hid for a while. After discovering some other gems along your journey, you’ll reach El Chaltén and we’ll drop you off at your hotel.
El Chaltén is the top-rated hiking destination in Argentina. This charming little village sits at the foot of Mount Fitz Roy and it’s surrounded by glaciers, lakes, rivers and forests. It’s also the jumping-off point for most hiking trails in the area. A paradise for sunny walkers and trekkers alike. Enjoy your first afternoon of leisure in Patagonia by relaxing in the local brewery or strolling around a little waterfall…
This is a little village, so we recommend that you take cash with you since ATM’s are not usual, and the few they may be, could be out of order. It’s better to be prepared! Though credit cards are accepted in Argentina, little grocery stores or restaurants may accept only cash.
Today, be prepared for an exciting journey into the wild. El Chaltén offers a wide range of hiking paths with varied difficulties. You can choose where and when to go, since paths are self-guided and very well-marked and maintained.
From the main door of your hotel, you can go for an easy 2-mile walk to Cerro Torre viewpoint — it will only take you around 1 hour. Enjoy the sounds of Rio de las Vueltas, take in some amazing views of the lenga forest, and be prepared to see all kinds of birds — this is a great woodpecker-spotting opportunity!
For true hiking-lovers, our next hiking favorite is Laguna de los Tres and the base of Mount Fitz Roy. Go for a medium-difficulty, 9-hour hike to the most impressive views of Rio de Las Vueltas valley. You’ll cross Del Salto Stream, with its icy waters cradled by orange-tinted rocks that frame the breathtaking views of Mount Fitz Roy. And here’s a little secret: you can also reach Laguna Sucia from Laguna de los Tres… it’s only a 5-minute walk away.
Though this hike increases in intensity during the last bit, it’s totally worth it. This is one of the best day-hikes in the world!
Seize the day, wake up early and watch the sunrise at Laguna de los Tres (see Mount Fitz Roy’s peaks turning red) — A true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can depart from the town of El Chaltén during the night or stay one night at Poincenot campsite, just 1 hour away from Laguna de los Tres.
Enjoy an early walk around town or a quick hike this morning. We recommend that you walk to El Chorrillo del Salto, 1 hour away from the village, and reach its little waterfall encircled by native trees and flora, like the Patagonian Orchid.
Bear in mind that in the afternoon you will board your bus back to El Calafate, so you need to be back in time. The 3-hour drive back will be a good opportunity to relax while enjoying the passing landscapes out your window.
Once you arrive in El Calafate, the bus will drop you off at your hotel. Now is your chance to try some tender Patagonian Lamb, or maybe a heavenly Calafate ice-cream. In Calafate, food options are varied and plentiful; from veggie delicacies to the best demonstration of national steaks, there really is something for everyone. You can choose a fancy restaurant for dinner, or a more traditional local tavern to spend an unforgettable night.
Now is your chance to try some tender Patagonian Lamb, or maybe a heavenly Calafate ice-cream. In Calafate, food options are varied and plentiful; from veggie delicacies to the best demonstration of national steaks, there really is something for everyone. You can choose a fancy restaurant for dinner, or a more traditional local tavern to spend an unforgettable night. If you want to try some creamy Patagonian craft beer all you have to say is: “Una birra por favor!” ¡Salud! (Cheers!)
In the early morning, we’ll pick you up to start your trip to Chile and your full-day visit to Torres del Paine National Park. It’s going to be a long day, but it’s worth every minute.
First, we’ll drive through the Patagonian steppe for 2hr 30min (you might be able to see rheas, guanacos, hare, and even condors!) until reaching the border of Chile in Cancha Carrera, where we’ll go through customs.
We’ll keep traveling through isolated and windy landscapes, occasionally dotted by guanacos and native green-orange-tinted bushes; you’ll truly feel the momentous solitude that characterizes Patagonia. Torres del Paine is a gift that keeps on giving; it will unveil its enthralling natural beauties little by little…
Along a winding road, we’ll make different stops to have a close-up view of various attractions like Cascada Paine (Paine Waterfall), Paine Range at Lake Sarmiento, and the Paine Horns at Lake Nordenskjold. Depending on the weather, we’ll depart on an hour-long walk to reach the lake and get closer to the striking mountain peaks.
At midday, after having stopped by the Lago Pehoé Viewpoint to gaze at the vastness of the French Valley, we’ll have our boxed lunch with this mountainous backdrop.
At the end of this dreamy travel experience, we’ll leave you at Laguna Amarga, where your transfer will pick you up and take you to your hotel inside the park.
Dressing like an onion is probably the key – since weather is so variable – always be ready for some rain, wind, and sun (an extra pair of socks can be crucial!). Bring some extra snacks and Ziploc bags (for taking your trash back), enough water, and sunblock too! Have it handy to use.
One thing to take into account: it is not allowed to take any fresh food, plants, seeds, etc. They are very strict, and fines can be high!
Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful protected areas of South America, and the best way to explore it is on foot. If you like hiking and nature, this should be one of the most incredible adventure tours during your trip to Patagonia. Depending on which area of the Park you are staying in, you will be able to explore different paths — please check with your travel advisor about which are the best options from your location
Our recommendation is to take a solo hike to Base de las Torres del Paine. This is the most famous hike in the park since it takes you to the base of the Paine Horns (8500 f.o.s.l.), a challenge for climbers all over the world. It takes 8-10 hours round-trip.
The first 2 hours of the trek are very tiring since you are walking up, leaving the valley where the Hosteria and Torres del Paine Refuge are located. You’ll cross Ascensio Valley, taking its winding path and gazing over Ascensio River until getting to the first stop, Refugio El Chileno. From here, you’ll continue for one hour through a lenga forest — the changing landscapes will combat any tiredness!
You’ll finally get to the moraine; the last beat of the trek, and the hardest. The last hour will be an uphill climb, but take your time, you’ll definitely make it to the top! Every effort will be compensated with breathtaking views of these massive granite mountains that grow past a blue lake and up to the sky.
Today, we’ll take you on a 5-hour ride from your hotel inside Torres del Paine National Park to your hotel in Punta Arenas.
Punta Arenas is the southernmost city in Chile, located on the Magellanic Strait, and is the leading port for Antarctic cruises and scientific research. Before the construction of the Panama Canal, Punta Arenas was the most important maritime crossroad between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, and thus, the city grew as a commercial center surrounded by European-style buildings. Its colorful houses, standing out from a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, are a sight for sore eyes.
You can enjoy the evening by taking a 3-hour city tour to learn about the history of the city, visit the Mirador Hill (and get the most gorgeous views of Magellan Strait), or stop by the Maggiorino Borgatello Museum to see the masterfully crafted pieces made by the Onas, Yaganes and other natives of the area.
In the early morning, you will get to the bus station to embark on a full-day bus trip to Ushuaia to continue with your adventurous tours through incredible Patagonia. Take into account that you’ll be crossing borders again today!
This is a 12-hour trip in a comfortable bus, equipped with reclining seats, where you’ll cross the Patagonian steppe. Look out the window and you’ll see yellow and green grasslands with Chilean gauchos riding into the wild and grazing unbothered sheep until you reach the ferry crossing. It will take around 45 minutes to cross the mythical Strait of Magellan and hit the road again to cross the Chilean border, finally entering Tierra del Fuego Island on Argentine soil.
As the famous end-of-the-world city approaches, grazing sheep will turn into wild guanacos and horses, with snow-capped mountains and evergreen woods arising at the entrance to Ushuaia. Once you get your “Southernmost City” passport stamp, you’ll realize that this intrepid journey through remote Patagonian roads was absolutely worth it.
Upon arrival in Ushuaia, you will journey to your hotel (taxis to and from the bus station should cost less than $10 US dollars). Ushuaia is a small town, and it is really easy to get around on foot. The Yamanas, the region’s first inhabitants, first called the area ‘Ushuaia’, which means “protected bay” in their language. Ushuaia was officially incorporated into the Republic of Argentina in 1884, and it soon became a penal colony, in order to establish a permanent Argentine settlement.
Take the afternoon to explore the town, learn about the region’s rich history at the Prisoners’ Museum, or visit the Galleria of Fuegian History (it has a lovely restaurant as well!). Please, don’t forget the local gastronomy! Ushuaia has the best seafood in Argentina.
This bus trip allows you to see the landscape of other, lesser-known parts of Chile, and will give you a much more complete perspective of the area. However, we understand that it is a long journey, and can be a very tiring day. For an additional cost, you can choose a less adventurous option; from Torres del Paine, you can drive back to El Calafate and then fly to Ushuaia.
Today we’ll pick you up for a 10-hour, moderate difficulty, adventure tour in Tierra del Fuego National Park, one of the highlights of Patagonia. The National Park is just 7.4 miles away from the city and borders the shore of the Beagle Channel, the famous channel discovered by Charles Darwin during his trip to Patagonia in 1883.
Once at Ensenada Bay, you will have time to enjoy the view over the Beagle Channel before you start hiking along the coast. Four miles of trail awaits you, where you’ll discover native flora, wild fauna and the remains left by the Yamanas, the native inhabitants of the area. After this 3-hour hike, you will reach Lake Roca, where lunch will be served.
After a full homemade picnic, you will start the second part of this adventure. Take your oar and plunge into a 1hr 30min canoeing trip along the Lapataia River (only available for children over 5 years old). Make it all the way to Lapataia Bay, where the Panamerican Highway and National Route 3 end at an awe-inspiring landscape.
After discovering the unique vastness of this stunning setting, we’ll take you back to your hotel to rest and prepare to enjoy the evening. This is your last adventure tour in Patagonia.
Make your way to the pier (located downtown) to embark on a 4-hour Beagle Channel navigation on a fully equipped boat with a capacity for up to 26 people. Argentina standing at your left and Chile at your right, you’ll sail this natural border until reaching the iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, which is still in operation.
On the way, enjoy uplifting panoramic views of Ushuaia Bay, crowned by the Martial Glacier’s diverse marine wildlife, such as cormorants (flying birds, closely related to penguins) and seals. Hop off on Bridges Island to explore its vegetation and visit the archeological remains of the Yámanas while accompanied by a specialized bilingual guide.
During the trip, enjoy bottomless hot cocoa and cookies, or try the mate (loose herbal tea), which is every Argentinian’s favorite drink. Once we get back to the port, you’ll make your way back to your hotel.
Your adventure tours to Patagonia finish today. At the appropriate time, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the airport to take your flight to Buenos Aires where we’ll be waiting to take you to your hotel. Enjoy your last evening sipping a fernet and coke (classic Argentine cocktail) in one of the many bars of Palermo Soho, eating a pizza in one of the traditional pizza parlors of Corrientes Ave. or dancing tango in a traditional milonga (tango house) where you can mingle with some locals!
If not, Ushuaia is your chance to fulfill that wanderlust dream…you can switch the Beagle Navigation to take the Magellanic Penguin Rookery tour on Martillo Island (from October to April at an additional cost) or add one day in Ushuaia to make both. At Martillo Island you will also see a very rare type of penguin only found in Antarctica: the yellow-crested penguin.
At the appropriate time, we’ll drive you to the international airport where you’ll take your flight back home, ¡buen viaje! (good trip!).
If you want to continue traveling, Argentina still has plenty to offer! Check out our travelers’ favorite trips to Argentina and Chile.
What to do on your last day in Buenos Aires?
How would you like to spend your last day of vacation? Here are some ideas:
PEACE OF MIND THIS IS A CARBON NEUTRAL TRIP
We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do.
When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible and meaningful ways of exploring South America.
It feels good to do it right. Learn more about our actions against climate change here.
FLIGHTS NEEDEDFOR THIS ITINERARY
Buenos Aires – Calafate – Buenos Aires
Flights in South America cost approximately $150 to $300 USD per segment (destination).
We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.
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