Best of Patagonia … Covering Argentina & Chile
On South America’s southern frontier, nature grows wild, barren and beautiful. Spaces are large, as are the silences that fill them. For the newly arrived, such emptiness can be as impressive as the sight of Patagonia’s jagged peaks, pristine rivers and dusty backwater oases. In its enormous scale, Patagonia offers a wealth of potential experiences and landscapes.
Though now mostly paved, lonely RN 40 remains the iconic highway that stirred affection in personalities as disparate as Butch Cassidy and Bruce Chatwin. On the eastern seaboard, paved RN 3 shoots south, connecting oil boomtowns with ancient petrified forests, Welsh settlements and the incredible Península Valdes. Then there is the other, trendy Patagonia where faux-fur hoodies outnumber the guanacos. Don’t miss the spectacular sights of El Calafate and El Chaltén, but remember that they’re a world apart from the whistling solitude of the steppe.
- Day 1
Arrival Buenos Aires / Tango Dance Show
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our representative at the international airport and transferred to your hotel
Buenos Aires combines faded European grandeur with Latin passion. Sexy and alive, this beautiful city gets under your skin.
Steak, Wine & Ice Cream
BA's food scene is increasingly dynamic, but for many travelers it's the city's carnivorous pleasures that shine. Satisfying a craving for juicy steaks isn't hard to do in the land that has perfected grilling wonderfully flavorful sides of beef, washed down with a generous glass of malbec or bonarda. Parrillas (steakhouses) sit on practically every corner and will offer up myriad cuts, from bife de chorizo (sirloin) to vacio (flank steak) to ojo de bife (rib eye). But leave room for ice cream, if you can – a late-night cone of dulce de leche (caramel) helado can't be topped.
Art & Architecture
Look closely: this city is beautiful. Sure, it might look like a concrete jungle from certain angles, but stroll through the streets, paying attention to the magnificent architecture around you, and you'll soon be won over. Grand French- and Italian-style palaces grab the limelight, but you'll see interesting architectural details in the buildings of even low-key, local barrios.
Take a disco nap, down some coffee and be prepared to stay up all night – this city doesn't sleep. Restaurants get going at 9pm, bars at midnight and clubs at 2am at the earliest; serious clubbers don't show up until 4am. And it's not just the young folk who head out on the town in this city; BA's diverse range of bars, clubs and live-music venues offers something for everyone, from DJs spinning electronica to live jazz sets. Just remember you'll be doing it all very late.
BA's famous dance is possibly the city's greatest contribution to the outside world, a steamy strut that's been described as 'making love in the vertical position'. Folklore says it began in the bordellos of long-ago Buenos Aires, when men waiting for their 'ladies' passed time by dancing among themselves. Today, glamorized tango shows are supremely entertaining with their grand feats of athleticism. You'll also find endless venues for perfecting your moves, from milongas (dance salons) to dance schools. Be aware that some people become addicted – and can spend a lifetime perfecting this sensual dance.
After check in, rest for a while
Later in the evening transfer to tango house to enjoy dinner and show. Enjoy a show with music, singing and dancing. The dinner includes entrée, main course, dessert & drinks.
Tango Dance Show : The Tango tradition started at the end of the 19th century, and developed out of a mixture of various rhythms, which were originally danced in the poorer neighborhoods. Tango is reflecting the nostalgia and melancholy of the European immigrants and brought up some great musicians, such as Astor Piazzolla and Anibal Troilo.
Tango Porteño recovers and crystallizes the Tango essence in a unique place, a formerly movie theatre building that used to belong to the Metro Goldwyn Meyer Company. This venue combines the most refined atmosphere with the typical deco style of the golden days, great artists, unbeatable productions and first-class cuisine.
Overnight at Buenos Aires
- Day 2
Buenos Aires to El Calafate by flight / Transfer to El Chalten
After breakfast, transfer to airport and fly to El Calafate
Upon arrival at El Calafate, meet & greet by our representative, transfer to El Chalten … 125 miles / 200 kms. / 4 hrs.
Start to discover the best of Patagonia today by traveling to this famous mountaineering village in Argentina!
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 one of the best destinations of Patagonia by relaxing in the local brewery or strolling around a little waterfall …
There is a quick hike you can enjoy to warm up and discover El Chorrillo del Salto, just 1 hour away from the village. Reach its little waterfall encircled by native trees and flora, like the Patagonian Orchid.
Overnight at El Chalten
- Day 3
El Chalten / Guided hikes / Mountains and lakes
After breakfast today, we have a recommendation for true hiking-lovers — Trek all the way to Cerro Torre and Laguna Torre, one of the most famous hiking trails in Argentine Patagonia. Step into the wild for about 8 hours and 12 miles. This is a moderate-difficulty hike, but there is no steep climbing involved, so no previous experience is required!
The journey starts at a notable wooden sign which reads ‘Laguna Torre’ and features a woodpecker; you probably already saw the sign if you visited the Cerro Torre Viewpoint the previous day.
From there, you will continue through a stunning, multi-colored landscape; snow-capped mountains will rein over the native forest of lenga and nire trees.
You’ll pass by the De Agostini campsite and continue to the front moraine…you can hit the summit in 15 minutes!
From here you can descend to the lagoon and watch the floating icebergs, or continue to the Mascardi viewpoint, 1 mile up the hill.
Evening at leisure
Overnight at El Chalten
- Day 4
El Chalten to El Calafate / At leisure
After breakfast, transfer from El Chalten to your hotel in El Calafate
Named for the berry that, once eaten, guarantees your return to Patagonia, El Calafate hooks you with another irresistible attraction: Glaciar Perito Moreno, 80km away in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.
This magnificent must-see has converted once-quaint El Calafate into a chic fur-trimmed destination. With a range of traveler services, it’s still a fun place to be. Its strategic location between El Chaltén and Torres del Paine (Chile) makes it an inevitable stop for those in transit.
El Calafate flanks the southern shore of Lago Argentino. Its main strip is dotted with souvenir and chocolate shops, restaurants and tour offices. Beyond here, pretensions melt away quickly: muddy roads lead to ad hoc developments and open pastures.
January and February are the most popular (and costly) months to visit, but shoulder-season visits are growing steadily.
Once you arrive in El Calafate, we will drop you off at your hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure
Now is your chance to try some Patagonian food, 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!)
Overnight at El Calafate
- Day 5
El Calafate / Perito Moreno Glacier tour, meet the icy giant of Patagonia
After breakfast, we will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to Glaciers National Park to enjoy the 6-hour Perito Moreno Glacier tour.
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.
Overnight at El Calafate
- Day 6
El Calafate to Puerto Natales, Chile / The Best of Chilean Patagonia
After breakfast, your Chilean journey is about to begin with a drive to Puerto Natales … 165 miles / 260 kms. / 5 hrs. drive
After this 5-hour trip, you will have crossed hundreds of miles of green landscapes that are dramatically situated between the mountains.
Once you arrive to Puerto Natales, the guardian Milodon – the last giant sloth that walked the Earth 5000 years ago – will wave its bronze hand at the entrance of this picturesque town.
A formerly modest fishing port on Seno Ultima Esperanza, Puerto Natales has blossomed into a Gore-Tex mecca. The gateway to Parque Nacional Torres del Paine, this town feeds off tourism, an all-you-can-eat feast with unwavering demand.
Boutique beers and wine tastings have overtaken tea time, and gear shops have replaced the yarn sellers. While there are growing services that cater to international tastes, there's appeal in Natales’ corrugated-tin houses strung shoulder to shoulder and cozy granny-style lodgings. Most notably, in spite of a near-constant swarm of visitors, the town still maintains the glacial pace of living endemic to Patagonia.
Drop to hotel on arrival
You will have time to explore this small town, the base for visiting the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park, the best natural wonder of Chilean Patagonia.
How to enjoy your first afternoon in Puerto Natales ? … You can walk along the shores of Magellan Strait, or just relax in one of the little cafes in town while admiring the patchwork facade of colorful houses.
Overnight at Puerto Natales
- Day 7
Puerto Natales / Discovering Torres del Paine National Park
After breakfast today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel early in the morning to take you to the first stop of this 10-hour adventure-trip, Milodon Cave.
This natural monument, located 15 miles north of town, is composed of three caverns and a rocky conglomerate called Silla del Diablo (Devil’s chair), due to its chair-like shape.
Before getting to the caves, we will pass by La Silla del Diablo and learn about its mysterious legend… a story told by the oldest man in Patagonia who believed that the Devil appeared to those who came looking for him on dark nights.
We’ll keep on traveling to Torres del Paine National Park, and on the way, you’ll get to see Sofia Lagoon, Prat Range, Porteno Lake, and the stunning Grey Lake viewpoint. You’ll go over Serrano Bridge and continue to Grey Lake sector, where you’ll have time to walk along the shore.
Once you go back to the parking lot, we’ll take you to a restaurant to rest and have lunch (on direct payment)
After lunch, we’ll head to Salto Grande sector. You’ll visit Nordenskjold Lake’s viewpoint before continuing on a sinuous route to Amarga Lagoon area. We’ll also make a stop at Paine’s turquoise waterfall whose waters come directly from Paine River.
Heading back to Puerto Natales, we’ll stop at Sarmiento Lake viewpoint to take the last picture of the stunning Torres del Paine.
Overnight at Puerto Natales
- Day 8
Puerto Natales / Day at leisure
Day at leisure in Puerto Natales – Optional tour, Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers
This is your opportunity to continue exploring the best of Patagonia near Puerto Natales. Take a walk on the shores of Last Hope Sound and explore the little, picturesque town on foot.
Our favorite recommendation for this day is the boat trip to meet the Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers, where you’ll sail the fjords like the first pioneers of Patagonia and discover the natural wonders of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park.
This is a full-day trip where you’ll be in contact with nature and one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Chilean Patagonia.
Overnight at Puerto Natales
- Day 9
Puerto Natales to El Calafate / At leisure
After breakfast, drive back to El Calafate
Check in at hotel on arrival
Enjoy the rest of the day downtown, sipping on a local craft beer accompanied by a delicious Patagonian stew. Calafate ice-cream or a golden-caramel flan con dulce de leche will be your best choice for dessert.
Overnight at El Calafate
- Day 10
El Calafate to Buenos Aires / City Tour
After breakfast today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires
Upon arrival, meet & greet by our representative and Proceed with your city tour of Buenos Aires
Starts with visit to famous 9 de Julio Avenue, which is known as the widest avenue of the world. Pass by the beautiful Colon Theater, the cultural pride of Buenos Aires.
You then arrive at the main square Plaza de Mayo, which is surrounded by the Casa Rosada (Government House), the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo (first City Hall). Inside visit of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Continue to San Telmo, a historical neighborhood and the eldest district of Buenos Aires with many antique stores. On Sundays, a visit of San Telmo`s antique fair is a "MUST".
Your next stop is La Boca, a very colorful area of painted houses with the famous street Caminito.
The tour ends with the northern districts. Drive to the green area of Palermo with its parks and artificial lakes.
Then, visit Recoleta area which offers lots of elegant boutiques and restaurants.
At the cemetery of Recoleta you will find the grave of Eva Duarte, known as Evita. The mausoleums and pantheons reflect the architectural diversity emerging from the different cultural tendencies Argentina incorporated in its formation as a nation.
Overnight at Buenos Aires
- Day 11
Departure from Buenos Aires
After breakfast, morning at leisure
Later transfer to airport for onward flight
Round the year Destination ... Extension recommended to Brazil, Peru & Other Destinations across South America
Tour Inclusions [Best of Patagonia]
10 nights accommodation as stated
Transfers and tours mentioned in the itinerary
Flights : Buenos Aries - El Calafate - Buenos Aries
Round trip transfers : El Calafate / El Chaltén / El Calafate
Round trip transfers : El Calafate / Puerto Natales / El Calafate
Bilingual local guide (English / Spanish) during sightseeing
Notes on itinerary
All our itineraries are "Just for Ideas" ... We will get to know you and customise an itinerary just for you that matches your requirements ... dates of travel, category of hotels, preferred airline, flexibility in choosing sightseeing, mode of travel between cities, etc.
Many of our clients have us design more relaxing, slower paced holidays with more in-depth experiences whereas some simply want to visit various destinations and cover only the highlights.
Together, we will determine the ideal route, pace of travel, accommodations, levels of pampering, style of touring, sightseeing to be included, dining preferences, adventure levels, options to meet locals, dates of travel & much more ! and based on this arrive at a price.
Do feel free to get in touch with us by a quick call on +91 79 29602961 or a short mail on firstname.lastname@example.org ... Looking forward