Family Adventure in Patagonia: Penguins & Glaciers

Plan your adventure

  • Explore Buenos Aires at your family own pace and discover the traditions of locals. 
  • Fly to Patagonia and discover the Perito Moreno Glacier and the National Park at “the end of the world” in Ushuaia. 
  • Best time to travel: From October to April

Land in Buenos Aires, the capital that never sleeps. Then fly to Calafate, the famous gateway to the glaciers in southern Patagonia, and finally to Ushuaia, the only Argentine city behind the great Andes Mountain Range. In this 10-day family adventure itinerary to Patagonia you will hike through stunning landscapes and meet the little lords of the southernmost lands: the Magellan penguins!

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to your family adventure itinerary
Buenos Aires

  • Transfer from the airport to hotel in Buenos Aires
  • Discovery at city with a local guide

 

  • Transfer from the airport to hotel in Buenos Aires

Upon arrival in Buenos Aires you will be met at the international airport and take a private transfer to your hotel. No matter how early you land in the morning, your room will be ready for you upon arrival: early check-in is guaranteed. You’ll receive our Argentina Challenge Adventure Kit, the perfect tool to generate engagement between your children, the places they visit, the people they meet, and you!

 

  • Discovery at city with local guide

How do locals interact with their city? The best way to figure it out is to walk side-by-side with them… get prepared to take your first Buenos Aires walking tour, and start discovering the city at your own pace with a local guide.

Our guide will pick you up at your hotel and, over the course of 2 hours, you will wander the neighborhood together. Depending on your hotel’s location and your personal interests, you can choose to explore either the Northern area of the capital, the aristocratic face of the city, filled with magnificent architecture, or the green spaces and bohemian culture of the trendiest area of the city. It’s up to you!

Enjoy the unscripted moments of chit-chat with your tour guide… and with other locals who you meet along the way! After all, we are all lovely people. The icing on the cake will be tasting our world-famous ice-cream! We recommend trying the dulce de leche ice-cream flavour… you won’t go back to vanilla. By the end of this tour you will have acquired a clearer picture of the neighborhood in which you’re staying; where the main supermarkets, pharmacies, and money exchange houses are located. 

 

Why your kids will love it

“Why are there graffitis everywhere? And why do people move their hands like crazy when they talk?” Your kids will be glad to have a new person (besides mom and dad) to calm their curious minds. Our local guide, specialized in family trips, will be more than pleased to answer their questions in a didactic and friendly way.

 

Why you will love it

It’s a personalized tour so you will be able to explore the city at your own pace, focusing on the personal interests of each member of the family. 

Day 1

Day 2

Traditional city tour and bike in Buenos Aires

  • Half-day city tour in Buenos Aires
  • Bike city tour
  • Optional dinner and tango show in San Telmo

 

  • Half-day city tour in Buenos Aires

Continue with your urban exploration, taking a 5-hour historic tour through the city’s ornate architecture with a private car at your disposal. We’ll pick you up at your hotel to spot the most important sites of the city and learn some fun facts, like why the Presidential Palace is pink, or the reason that houses in La Boca are so colorful.

Visit San Telmo, the oldest residential neighborhood, with its classic cobblestone streets, and La Boca, where Buenos Aires turns colorful and tango is ever present; come to walk Caminito Street and dance with the locals. If you’re a soccer enthusiast, you’ll learn all about Argentina’s favorite fútbol (soccer) teams.

Why is soccer such a passion for Argentinians? Well, only a true Argentinian can answer that question. Continue your full cultural immersion learning about our rich history as you speak with locals (known as Porteños) and learn fun facts about our fascinating past. At the end of your tour, we’ll take you back to your hotel.

 

  • Bike city tour

In the afternoon, get ready to explore the city on two wheels. Departing from Palermo district, start your bike tour to discover the Northern region of Buenos Aires, where you’ll find the famous Recoleta Cemetery, the Floralis Generica, and the biggest green areas of Buenos Aires.

Stop at Recoleta cemetery and leave your bikes to walk through the amazing tombs and mausoleums, 90 of which have been declared historical monuments. Dare your kids and find the exact place where the mythical Evita Perón (one of our first female political leaders) rests, or David Alleno’s tomb, the cemetery keeper that saved money during his whole life in order to be buried with the most important characters of Argentine history.

Continue your bike-ride to the park that houses the incredible Floralis Generica, the giant metallic flower of Buenos Aires, where you’ll stop to have a snack while watching this breathtaking sculpture actually move! Taste some traditional Argentine maté (herbal tea) and the alfajores (finger-licking sandwich cookies).

We’ll keep riding on to explore Palermo Woods, the biggest green area of Buenos Aires, where you’ll have a close-up view of the beautiful Planetarium and enjoy a typical Porteño lunch from one of the many food trucks spread all over the area. We’ll return to our departing spot after 5 hours of family fun. 

 

  • Optional dinner and tango show in San Telmo

At night, you have the opportunity to enjoy a special evening at one of the traditional tango houses of Buenos Aires in San Telmo, the oldest neighborhood of the city, where all tango dancers used to gather. Taste Argentine Malbec wine paired with a juicy steak, and enjoy a 1-hour tango and folklore show with the best dancers and musicians in Buenos Aires. We also offer a babysitting service in case you would love to have an exclusive romantic dinner. 

 

Why your kids will love it

The kids will have a lot of fun watching the street performers and tango dancers in Caminito, discovering the spooky alleys of Recoleta Cemetery, and biking the city with Mom and Dad.

 

Why you will love it

You’ll be able to explore the city in a relaxing way (with a vehicle at your disposal) during the morning, and then get active in the afternoon with the bikes. Bike tours are the best option if you’re interested in an easygoing family activity that pleases everyone. It’s also a safe and healthy way to connect with the city of Buenos Aires.

 

Day 2

Day 3

Argentina’s rural culture
Estancia “El Ombú de Areco”

  • Full-day visit to a traditional estancia near Buenos Aires

 

  • Full-day visit to a traditional estancia near Buenos Aires

Today, we’ll pick you up at your hotel to begin a 9-hour visit to this time-honored ranch. Learn about the gaucho culture and traditions, strolling around the beautiful old streets, museums and ancient pulperías (grocery stores) in San Antonio de Areco before heading to El Ombú.

Argentina is famous worldwide for its fútbol players, but also for the vastness of its green-tinted fields best known as ‘La Pampa’. That endless land at the edge of the horizon is still home to the descendants of the first gauchos (Argentine cowboys), who still care for and work the land as their ancestors taught them to.

There are still some estancias (ranches) that preserve the gaucho traditions, and are located in picturesque towns within Buenos Aires’ province. One of the most alluring estancias is El Ombú de Areco, a colonial style working ranch built in 1880 that is located in the town of San Antonio de Areco, where gaucho traditions are still palpable all around. 

Once you’re in the estancia, enjoy a typical asado (barbecue) before either a horseback ride in nature or a relaxing bike ride. For those who like to take things slow while on vacation, there is a peaceful swimming pool (only available in summer) and many sunny relaxation areas where you can take la siesta (an afternoon nap). At the end of the day, we’ll take you back to your hotel in Buenos Aires.

 

Why kids will love it

They will enjoy having free time for some unscheduled exploration of the area before enjoying one of the many available activities. They will be in contact with locals and their traditions, hear the enchanting sound of the guitarra criolla (creole guitar), and witness the tight bond between a gaucho and his horse in a unique spectacle called Doma India (a non-aggressive form of horse training).

 

Why you will love it

Walking through the old town in San Antonio de Areco will be like taking a time machine back to the colonial era. Also, the comforting facilities of El Ombú will provide adults with some quality relaxation time to unplug from the rapid pace of daily life. 

 

Day 3

Day 4

Start your family adventure itinerary to Patagonia
El Calafate

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport / Transfer from the airport to your hotel
  • Optional tours - Visit to a Patagonian estancia

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport / Transfer from the airport to your hotel

 

Today we’ll pick you up from your hotel in Buenos Aires and drive you to the airport to take your flight to El Calafate and start your family Patagonian adventure! Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport and take a private transfer to your hotel. No matter how early you get to the hotel in the morning, your room will be ready for you upon arrival: early check-in is guaranteed. 

 

  • Optional tours – Visit to a Patagonian estancia

 

El Calafate is a starting point for adventure travelers who desire to unearth the natural wonders of Patagonia, like Perito Moreno Glacier. But is El Calafate only about the glaciers? Well, yes and no… though glaciers are the main attraction, you will also have plenty to discover about Argentina’s rural, indigenous culture. 

Start your family adventure trip to Patagonia with a visit to a traditional Patagonian ranch. Depart from your hotel in a minivan headed towards Glacier National Park. Leave El Calafate behind and travel for 1hr 30mins with the snow-capped Cerro Frías as your backdrop. Once inside the National Park, make your way to Nibepo Aike Ranch, the only ranch in the area that has maintained the traditions of sheep-shearing and Hereford cattle-breeding as its primary focus.

Enjoy an inviting hot drink and a delicious snack in the classic quincho (rustic dining room)! Walk the coast of Lago Argentino, watch how a real gaucho (the Argentine cowboy) works the shearing shed, and view a unique demonstration of gaucho horsemanship. Depending on the day’s activities, you might help milk the cows, herd sheep, or learn the history behind the founders of the estancia. At the end of the day, return to the quincho, where a mouth-watering grilled lamb awaits, sizzling over the traditional Patagonian fire pit. Take the same road and transportation to return to El Calafate.    

 

Why your kids will love it

The kids will have varied options for outdoor activities to discover the terrain, the native fauna, and to be in contact with locals. They will also get to taste some homemade traditional dishes— this is the perfect time to leave hamburgers and french fries behind!

 

Why you will like it

This is your opportunity to immerse yourself in some famous, wild Patagonian landscapes, and to come into true contact with nature, speak with locals, and enjoy a delicious asado (barbecue).

 

Day 4

Day 5

Mayo Trek Boat Trip & ice bar
El Calafate

  • Full-day Mayo Trek boat trip - Discover the Perito Moreno Glacier!
  • Visit to the Glaciarium Museum

 

  • Full-day Mayo Trek boat trip – Discover the Perito Moreno glacier!

Start off the day with a pick up at your hotel, and travel to Puerto Bandera to embark on an 8-hour nautical safari where you’ll discover the secluded glaciers and waterfalls of Glacier National Park that can only be reached by boat!

Sail Mayo Channel and disembark at Toro Bay to hike through the Patagonian forest; your specialized guide will tell you about the vegetation of this area (very different from other varieties inside the park) and show you the ancient cherry tree and its 10-foot-diameter trunk. Tell your kids that they can call it El Abuelo (grandpa), as locals have nicknamed it, and prepare yourselves to discover a waterfall!

Set sail again towards Cerro Negro (Black Hill), where you’ll do a soft, half-mile hike to the base of the hill to admire the massive Black Glacier. Enjoy your free time in this place that not many travelers have seen, before departing for our third stop, the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. As the boat passes by the immense icy wall, put on your beanie and grab your camera, because you may see a piece of ice breaking off and crashing into the water below!

Finally, you’ll disembark at Puerto Moreno, where you can enjoy your free time wandering across the traditional catwalk circuit that surrounds the glacier before sailing back to Puerto Bandera.

 

  • Visit to the Glaciarium Museum 

On your way back to El Calafate make a stop at the Glaciarium Museum and learn about the history of the glaciers and their first explorers. Interactive screens, a synchronized projection, and the natural sounds of ice caves playing throughout the museum’s hall will totally immerse you into the glaciers’ fascinating history. At the end of your tour, visit the fascinating Ice Bar, where you can take a sip from a glass made completely of ice. At the end of the experience we’ll drive you back to El Calafate.

 

Why your kids will love it

The special boat trip is always a thrilling and memorable part of the El Calafate trip, especially for the youngest members of your family! They will feel like little sailors and explorers of the lake. Plus, this tour is the perfect combination of short navigations and hikes, which will keep little explorers entertained and active. The superhero capes, gloves, and boots they will have to wear in order to enter the Ice Bar at the Glaciarium Museum will be a perfect end to a day full of fun!

 

Why you will love it

Apart from the amazing landscapes, you’ll enjoy the comforts of free-flowing tea and medialunas (Argentine croissants) on-board the tour boat. Also, you’ll get to see the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier up-close, passing right by its huge ice wall, and end your visit with a modern multimedia museum.

Day 5

Day 6

Day at leisure in Calafate with your family

  • Optional tour to Cerro Frias adventure hub
  • Optional walk to Laguna Nimez

 

  • Optional tour to Cerro Frias adventure hub

For your free day in El Calafate, if you’re still wanting to get active and visit another highlight of the area, we recommend that you visit Cerro Frías, an outdoor activity center. We’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you 20 minutes outside of Calafate to Alice Ranch in Cerro Frías.

This ranch still maintains its traditional activities, its cattle, and its natural guanaco reserve. Enjoy any of the activities offered at the ranch: 4×4 rides to explore the area, horseback riding along beautiful slopes, or gliding down South America’s longest zipline. There’s an option for all ages and interests! 

At the end of the day, enjoy lunch or dinner in the elegant quincho (this is the typical place to gather and cook asados, the Argentine barbecue), and during tea time, enjoy maté (Argentine herbal tea) and traditional Argentine pastries. At the end of this 6-hour tour, we’ll drive you back to El Calafate to have some relaxing family time. 

 

  • Optional walk to Laguna Nimez

If you would prefer to stay in town, you definitely must stop by Laguna Nimes, an ecological reserve which hosts 80 different types of birds, including the Chilean Flamingo, and includes a fun, little hike that’s perfect for kids! Then, enjoy a hearty lunch at Buenos Cruces restaurant; try the guanaco meatloaf or the nut-crusted trout while your kids run around in the play area.

 

Day 6

Day 7

Continue your 10-day family adventure to Patagonia
Ushuaia

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport / Transfer from the airport to your hotel
  • Short city tour to see Ushuaia

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport / Transfer from the airport to your hotel

Today we’ll pick you up from your hotel in El Calafate and drive you to the airport to take your flight to Ushuaia. The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia is nestled between the Andes and the famous Beagle Channel, and will welcome you and your family with open arms. Ushuaia is a small town which is really easy to get around on foot. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in the city.

 

  • Short city tour to see Ushuaia

Get ready for your 2-hour city tour, introducing you to the most important viewpoints, from North to South. Follow your local guide through the waterfront promenade, reach the former government house and the End of the World Museum and learn the stories of the first inhabitants of the area. Walk the historic neighbourhoods, and get the best views of the bay and the Beagle Channel.

Along the way, your guide will tell you about how this secluded spot on Earth became populated after 300 years of hard work, and after having hosted the most dangerous criminals in the famous End of the World Prison which is now a museum. Return to your hotel to enjoy some leisure time.

At night, don’t forget to try out the local gastronomy! Ushuaia is the best place to eat seafood in Argentina, so be sure to taste the Blake hake and the King Crab.

 

Why your kids will love it

 Your kids will be glad to have a new person (besides mom and dad) to satisfy their curious minds. Our local guide, specialized in children and family tours, will be more than happy to answer their questions in an engaging and friendly way. 

 

Why you will love it

This is a private tour, so you will be able to explore the city at your own pace, focusing on the personal interests of each member of the family.

 

Day 7

Day 8

Hiking and paddling in Tierra del Fuego National Park

  • Full-day visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park

 

  • Full-day visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park 

Prepare to explore the Tierra del Fuego National Park for 8 hours, and discover the wildest and most beautiful destination in Ushuaia. Our guides will direct the whole family through the most breathtaking secrets of this national gem.

We’ll drive 40 minutes outside of downtown Ushuaia to reach the park, where we’ll start with a moderately difficult 3-hour hike through the Costera Path, discovering the remains and relics of the Yamanas. Reach the immense Lake Roca (whose waters flow between Argentine and Chilean territory) and have lunch in a conditioned dome.

After a safety and technical talk, you and your children can grab the oar and plunge into a 1 hr 30 min canoeing trip along Lapataia River. Make it all the way to Lapataia Bay, where the Panamerican Highway and National Route 3 end at the true end-of-the-world. From there, return to your hotel in Ushuaia to enjoy the rest of the evening.

 

Why your kids will love it

They are sure to enjoy a full day exploring the park, in complete contact with nature. Jumping rabbits and full rainbows are frequent spectacles in this magical place. They will learn about flora, ecology and geology in an exciting and engaging way, all while exploring some of the most photogenic sites in Argentina.

 

Why you will love it

This is a very special place for travelers of all ages. Standing over Lapataia Bay, staring down the icy Beagle Channel, you will get to experience the rewards of all good adventures…play with your kids in the wild and amazed them by telling they’re far away from home…more than ever, at 10.000 miles of Alaska!

 

 If paddling seems a bit too adventurous for your family, you can switch for a ride in the Tren del Fin del Mundo (the Train to the End of the World), a kids’ favorite.

Day 8

Day 9

Beagle Channel boat trip and penguins

  • Boat trip in the famous Beagle Channel
  • Visit Harberton Ranch and walk among penguins

 

  • Boat trip in the famous Beagle Channel

Set sail and spend the day navigating the famous Beagle Channel! During this 8-hour trip, you will make stops to some truly intrepid islands.

The first stop will be Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island) where even the youngest explorers will have the chance to see flocks of Imperial Cormorants, one of the rarest species to find, according to birdwatchers. Can you tell the difference between a Cormorant and a Penguin? Challenge your kids to develop their observation skills and learn more about the local fauna.

Afterwards, you will venture to Isla de los Lobos (Island of the Wolves), where South American sea lions will be witnessed lounging lazily on the rocky shore. Arriving at the archipelago, the famous Les Eclaireurs lighthouse will come into view. Don’t miss this iconic photo opportunity!

 

  • Visit Harberton Ranch and walk among penguins

The journey will continue until you reach the Harberton Ranch, after passing by the Chilean town of Puerto Williams on Navarino Island. At the ranch, you’ll hop aboard another boat and travel to Isla Martillo where you will enjoy an hour-long guided stroll amongst Magellanic and Gentoo penguins (always a favorite for youngsters). Once back at the Estancia, there will be time for lunch and visiting the Acatushún Museum to learn more about the marine wildlife of Tierra del Fuego.

 

Why your kids will love it

WALKING WITH PENGUINS! That’s all we have to say about this… but we would also recommend challenging them to see how many different kinds of birds they can spot and identify at Isla de los Pájaros! Then, tell them to take their best picture of a yawning sea lion.

 

Why you will love it

When the boat embarks from the shore, you will discover a different view of Ushuaia: the pincers of land that protect its bay, and the snow-capped mountain that guard its back. Have fun with your kids spotting wild animals from the deck! The visit to the Magellanic Penguin is a unique experience to get closer than ever to these curious and super cute animals.  

 

Day 9

Day 10

The end of your family adventure itinerary in Patagonia

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport

 

  •  Transfer from your hotel to the airport

At the appropriate time, you will be taken to Ushuaia airport to board your flight. Your family vacations to Patagonia are over! Time to return home…but not empty-handed! After this 10-day transformative journey you’ll learn a ton about Buenos Aires, Patagonia, yourself, and your kids. The result: lots of family memories to treasure. Start planning your next travel adventure with your family, we have much more ideas for you…

Day 10

Prices per person

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  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Price per person family base – 4 passengers

– Price for teen (age: 13-18) $ 2429

– Price for child (age: 2-12) $ 2173

  • Valid until April 2022 (ask for prices in Christmas and New Year).
  • Prices are per person, based on 4 people in 2 double-occupancy rooms. Single rates are available on request. Flights are not included in the price, but can be arranged on request.
  • 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.

INCLUDED

  • 3-night accommodation in a hotel (Buenos Aires), 3-night accommodation in a hotel (Calafate), 3-night accommodation in a hotel (Ushuaia)
  • Daily breakfast
  • Transfers & transportation  mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals according to itinerary: Lunch (day 2, 3, 8, 9) 
  • Entrance to Estancia Harberton
  • Entrance to Museums 
  • Bilingual guide (English/Spanish)
  • Argentina Challenge Adventure Kit

NOT INCLUDED

  • International or domestic flights
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – To get a free quote please follow this link: World Nomads

 

FLIGHTS NEEDED
FOR THIS ITINERARY

Buenos Aires ­– El Calafate – Ushuaia - Buenos Aires

Estimated cost for the flights in South America: If you plan to visit other destinations in the region, local flights cost approximately $100 to $250 USD per segment (destination). We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.

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