Argentina’s Glaciers, Wildlife & Jungle

This private trip combines four of Argentina’s most contrasting landscapes: the bustling capital of Buenos Aires, the famous peaks and glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park, the captivating whales, penguins and elephant seals of Peninsula Valdés, and the lush sub-tropical rainforest and crashing falls of Iguazú. This private trip combines four of Argentina’s most contrasting landscapes: the bustling capital of Buenos Aires, the famous peaks and glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park, the captivating whales, penguins and elephant seals of Peninsula Valdés, and the lush sub-tropical rainforest and crashing falls of Iguazú.
13 Days
$2,808

Argentina’s Glaciers, Wildlife & Jungle - 13 - $2,808

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires; City tour

Day 2: Tour of Tigre and San Isidro 

Day 3: Fly to El Calafate

Day 4: Tour to Perito Moreno Glacier

Day 5: Bus to El Chaltén

Day 6: Trek to Laguna de Los Tres

Day 7: Trek to Laguna Torre

Day 8: Fly to Trelew; Peninsula Valdes

Day 9: Optional activities on Peninsula Valdes

Day 10: Optional activities around Puerto Madryn

Day 11: Fly Trelew–Buenos Aires–Puerto Iguazú

Day 12: Tour of the Iguazú Falls (Argentinian side)

Day 13: Tour of the Iguazú Falls (Brazilian side); Fly to Buenos Aires

Start from Buenos Aires and end at Buenos Aires

Landmarks visited on Argentina’s Glaciers, Wildlife & Jungle

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires; City tour

Transfer from Buenos Aires Airport to your hotel and drop off your bags before enjoying your private 4hr guided city tour. Soak up the atmosphere at the Plaza de Mayo, the site of Argentina's most important historical events.

Next visit Mayo Avenue and the San Telmo district, the oldest residential neighbourhood in the city. Experience the original Tango on Caminito Street in the neighbourhood of La Boca and enjoy the dancers and souvenir shops. See the iconic Boca Juniors soccer stadium. Visit Puerto Madero and the docks, bustling with offices, bars and restaurants.

Pass through the Retiro neighbourhood and move on to see Palermo and its most exclusive residential area before finally arriving at Recoleta and its cemetery, the final resting place of Eva 'Evita' Peron.

Excursion: Private 4hr guided tour

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in Palermo


Day 2: Tour of Tigre and San Isidro

Today you can enjoy a small group tour to the Tigre Delta, travelling right from the heart of Buenos Aires by catamaran. You'll have some fantastic views of the city skyline from the River Plate, its northern areas and the channels of the Delta, whilst enjoying refreshments on board. Once in Tigre, you'll visit Paseo Victoria, the Puerto de Frutos, the historical centre of San Isidro, the cathedral and the Presidential Residence in Olivos, before returning to Buenos Aires.

This evening's highlight is the Argentine Experience: a unique blend of food, wine and interacting with local people. Learn how to make traditional empanadas, dine on grilled provolet cheese with sliced chorizo sausage, warm bread and homemade chimichurri. Order a steak in Spanish and make your own traditional mate. Your guides throughout the evening will answer all of your questions on Argentine cuisine and culture.

Excursion: Half-day shared guided tour to the Tigre Delta. Evening guided Argentine Experience

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Hotel in Palermo


Day 3: Fly to El Calafate

Today you'll be transferred to Buenos Aires Airport in plenty of time for your onward flight to El Calafate. Upon arrival at El Calafate Airport you will be met and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in El Calafate


Day 4: Tour to Perito Moreno Glacier

Today's tour takes you into the Los Glaciares National Park for spectacular views of the immense Perito Moreno Glacier. En route to the glacier you'll stop at the pier and take a short boat trip to the south wall of the glacier from where you'll get an amazing feel for its sheer size – more than 3 miles wide and over 20 stories high – a true highlight of Patagonia.

We'll organise a gourmet picnic lunch to enjoy on the walkways overlooking the glacier.

Note: The trip includes national park entrance fee, a picnic lunch to enjoy with views of the glacier, and the boat trip.

Excursion: Full-day excursion with a shared guide

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: Hotel in El Calafate


Day 5: Bus to El Chaltén

Take the morning public bus from El Calafate to El Chaltén where you will be met and taken to your hotel where you'll stay for the next three nights. For those itching to get out on the hiking trails, we'd recommend an afternoon trek to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. For those looking to relax, we'd suggest exploring this charming town and stopping at the chocolate shop/tea house and perhaps the craft beer pub.

Excursion: Public bus from El Calafate to El Chaltén

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in El Chaltén


Day 6: Trek to Laguna de los Tres

This is the most popular trek in El Chaltén, and it is certainly one of the most picturesque. It leads to the stunning viewpoint for Cerro Fitz Roy. 'Los Tres' refers to the three peaks that you can see from the laguna's shore: Fitz Roy (3,405m), Poincenot (3,002m), and Saint-Exupury (2,558m), but the view really is fantastic in every direction.

After a transfer to the trailhead at Hosteria El Pilar, your guide lead you through beech and nires forests bordering the Río Blanco for one hour, after which you'll get to the first viewpoint with superb views of Glacier Piedras Blancas.

In another 45mins you arrive at Poicennot camp, where you cross a bridge over the river into Río Blanco camp – a popular base for climbers. From here it's a steep trek, gaining 420m in altitude, to Laguna de los Tres viewpoint. The view of the Fitz Roy Massif, the lagoon and its glaciers, is stunning and just a few meters away, you can also get a very good view of the Laguna Sucia.

You then return to El Chaltén on a path that passes past the Laguna Capri viewpoint.

Excursion: Full-day, small group, guided excursion; 9hrs, 18km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: Hotel in El Chaltén


Day 7: Trek to Laguna Torre

Next to the Fitz Roy, this is the other major trek. It finishes with a beautiful view of one of the world's most difficult mountains to climb, Cerro Torre. The trail starts from the village, ascending alongside the river. After 20mins you get a view of the Fitzroy River Canyon with its tumbling waterfalls. From here on, you'll begin to get excellent views of Cerro Torre.

After resting at the first viewpoint, the hike continues for about an hour through a scenic valley, with a few undulations, to De Agostini Base Camp, where some of the world's best climbers make their base, waiting to climb the tower. After a few more minutes you reach the Laguna Torre, with great views of Cerro Torre, the Egger, Standhard and Bifida peaks, and the Adelas cord with its stunning glaciers spilling into the lagoon.

From here you head back down the same path, back to El Chaltén.

Excursion: Full-day, small group, guided excursion; 7hrs, 16km

Meals: Breakfast, picnic lunch

Accommodation: Hotel in El Chaltén


Day 8: Fly to Trelew; Peninsula Valdes

You'll be picked up at your hotel in El Chaltén and transferred to El Calafate Airport in ample time for your flight to Trelew. Upon arrival at Trelew Airport you'll pick up your rental car and drive towards Peninusla Valdes. This route will take you through the dry, desert-like scrubland of the Patagonian plains and on to Peninsula Valdes National Reserve which just out into the Atlantic Ocean.

You'll be staying for two nights on Peninsula Valdes, in the tiny town of Puerto Piramides, a coastal village located inside the national reserve. The town gets its name from the unusually-shaped cliffs that surround its sheltered bay, where the stratified, sandy-coloured rock forms layers of pyramid-shaped formations all around the coast. It's against this striking background that you'll be watching whales tomorrow.

After settling into your hotel you can take a wander around the village, visit one of the restaurants and perhaps order yourself a delicious seafood supper.

Length of self-drive: 157km on paved roads, 2.5hrs

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in Puerto Piramides


Day 9: Optional activities on Peninsula Valdes

Optional activities (not included in price of trip):

Option 1: If in season, you can take a whale-watching boat trip into the Puerto Piramides Bay. There are usually several excursions a day, starting at around 9.30am and then every couple of hours after that, so you can plan your day around one of these. This sheltered bay provides protection for the female southern right whales to raise their calves. During the breeding season (June to December) there are dozens of whales around the bay. These huge creatures are just incredible and come very close to the boat, so you really do get to understand their immense size.

Option 2: Scuba diving in different natural marine parks. Scuba-diving amateurs from all over the world come here to see varied marine fauna and flora, though be aware visibility is not always fantastic.

Option 3: Drive south east to Punta Delgada, on the Golfo Nuevo, where you can find the largest colony of elephant seals on the peninsula. There is also a former naval lighthouse here. The drive to Punta Delgada is 66km – just under 2 hours drive.

Option 4: Depart in the early morning north along Ruta Nacional 3 to Punta Norte Wildlife reserve (2hrs drive) and then just 17km further on at the shores of the San Matias Gulf is the Estancia San Lorenzo. This place is home to the most important Magellan penguin colony on the peninsula. A circular walking trail here gives you plenty of opportunities to watch the prancing, chattering, disputes, and nest making activities of these little fellows. You will also see guanacos, maras (Patagonia hares) and rheas. Try to get to the estancia around midday and stay for lunch, when good grilled lamb will be served. The estancia is open from September through to April. As you loop back around you will pass by Caleta Valdes, a privileged strip of beach, home to countless species representative of the local sea fauna.

Punta Norte is also famous as the site where orca and killer whales have developed a unique hunting technique for ambushing sea lion pups at high tide, momentarily beaching themselves in the process. The best chances of seeing orca are in March and April or September and October, though there is no guarantee of sightings.

Stay overnight at a hotel of your choice in Puerto Piramides.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in Puerto Piramides


Day 10: Optional activities around Puerto Madryn

Optional activities (not included in price of trip):

Option 1: In the early afternoon you could make a 3hr excursion to Cerro Avanzado in 4x4 vehicles visiting Puerto Madryn's southern coastline, crossing sand dunes, ravines and country paths en route to Punta Loma, a sea lion site.

Option 2: The remainder of the day could be spent visiting local museums such as the maritime museum with its interactive exhibitions teaching visitors about wildlife on the Golf Nuevo; the Museo Provincial de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanografico which gives visitors an up-close view of the biology of sea and land animals; and for those who want to learn about the natural history of the region there's the Ecocentro Museum, which sheds light on the marine ecosystem of Peninsula Valdes.

Length of self-drive: 92km on paved roads, 1-2hr drive

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in Puerto Madryn


Day 11: Fly Trelew–Buenos Aires–Puerto Iguazú

Today you'll head back to Trelew airport to drop off your rental car and catch your onward flight to Puerto Iguazú, via Buenos Aires. During the course of your two flights it's fascinating to watch how the landscape over which you are flying undergoes a dramatic change from the vast, arid Patagonian steppe to the humid, sub-tropical environment at Puerto Iguazú.

Flights: Trelew–Buenos Aires, 2hrs; Buenos Aires–Puerto Iguazú, 2hrs

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in Puerto Iguazú


Day 12: Tour of the Iguazú Falls (Argentinian side)

Set out early to beat the crowds and get the first train of the day to the Devil's Throat. There are walkways over the islands which lead you to a balcony over the Iguazú Falls and the most breath-taking view of the entire Devil's Gorge.

You'll then have plenty of time to walk the 800m of paths on the upper circuit giving you elevated and stunning panoramic views, as well as the 600m lower circuit below and around the falls. Both of these circuits are on suspended walkways which are above the jungle floor in order to protect the flora and fauna.

An optional addition to today's tour is the Great Adventure Boat Ride – an exciting truck ride of 8km through the jungle, following the Yacaratia trail to Port Macuco. From there you board motorboats which take you up through the Lower Iguazú rapids to the heart of the falls. Prepare to get wet!

Excursion: Full-day excursion with a shared guide

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel in Puerto Iguazú


Day 13: Tour of the Iguazú Falls (Brazilian side); Fly to Buenos Aires

Today your guide will take you to the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls for a morning tour, travelling between the various viewing platforms. Enjoy panoramic views of the Argentinian side of the falls, the lower Iguazú River and the Devil's Gorge Canyon.

After the tour is finished, you will have a shared transfer to Puerto Iguazú Airport in plenty of time for your flight to Buenos.

Excursion: Half-day excursion with a shared guide

Meals: Breakfast

Customer review background image

What our customers think

What a fun city! I wish we would have more time to explore the city but once our Palermo neighborhood woke up it was such a fun place to explore! We were very happy to have stayed there.

Chris Houck United States Of America December 2019

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

The base price of USD $2,808 per person is based on 2 people sharing a Standard 3-star hotel room

Upgrade to a Superior 4-star hotel room for an extra USD $510 per person

Upgrade to a Luxury 5-star hotel room for an extra USD $1,481 per person

Additional Notes

Flights – The itinerary has a degree of flexibility, depending on flight times.

Single supplement – Different single supplement prices apply, depending on the grade of hotel. Standard 3-star, USD $869; Superior 4-star, USD $1,379; Luxury 5-star, USD $2,019

Includes

  • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Accommodation: Buenos Aires (2), El Calafate (2), El Chaltén (3), Puerto Piramides (2), Puerto Madryn (1) & Puerto Iguazú (2)
  • Private airport transfers (Buenos Aires and Los Glaciares)
  • Shared airport transfers (Puerto Iguazú)
  • Small group city tour of Buenos Aires
  • Small group transfers and excursions (Los Glaciares and Iguazú)
  • Boat trip at Perito Moreno Glacier
  • National park entrance fee (Los Glaciares and Iguazú)
  • 4 days car rental (Chevrolet Prisma or similar) including airport pickup surcharge and insurance (excesses do apply) with 800km allowance (Peninsula Valdes)
  • Hotel and car hire taxes
  • Trip notes and route maps and hotel maps (Peninsula Valdes)
  • Concierge assistance 24/7 from our local offices (Buenos Aires, Puerto Iguazú, El Chaltén and El Calafate)

Excludes

  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Drinks during lunch or dinner
  • Any optional activities mentioned in the itinerary above
  • Personal equipment (see our recommended kit list)
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Gratuities/tips
  • International and domestic/in-country flights
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?