Argentina’s Glaciers, Wildlife & Jungle

Combine 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 Valdes, and the lush rainforest and crashing falls of Iguazu.

13 Days

$3,008

Argentina’s Glaciers, Wildlife & Jungle - 13 - $3,008

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Enjoy a three hour private guided city tour of Buenos Aires, including soaking up the atmosphere at Plaza de Mayo, seeing the mythical Boca Juniors soccer stadium and walking along Caminito Street
  • Explore the Los Glaciares National Park for immense views of the Perito Moreno Glacier 
  • Enjoy the charming town of El Chalten before trekking to Laguna de los Tres, the most popular trek 
  • Drive towards the Valdes Peninsula which will take you through the desert-like Patagonia plains onto the Peninsula National Reserve
  • Travel on the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls for an afternoon tour before enjoying panoramic views of the Argentinian side of the falls 



Start from Buenos Aires

Landmarks visited on Argentina’s Glaciers, Wildlife & Jungle

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires

Transfer from the airport to your hotel and drop off your bags before enjoying your three hour private guided city tour. Soak up the atmosphere at Plaza de Mayo, the site of Argentina's most important historical events. Visit Mayo Avenue and San Telmo, the oldest residential neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. Live and feel the original Tango in the neighbourhood of La Boca: walk along Caminito Street and enjoy the dancers and souvenir shops. See the mythical 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, the final resting place of Eva "Evita" Peron and wander through the grand Recoleta Cemetery where she is to be found.

Excursion: Half day private guided tour

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, Palermo


Day 2: Half Day Tour of Tigre and San Isidro

Enjoy a small group tour to the Tigre Delta, travelling from the heart of Buenos Aires by catamaran. You will have some of the best 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, 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 the locals. Learn how to make traditional empanadas, dine on grilled provolet cheese with sliced chorizo sausage, warm bread and homemade chimichurri. Order steak (reputedly the best in Argentina!) in Spanish and make your own traditional mate. A convivial atmosphere and great food! Your guides throughout the evening will answer questions on Argentine cuisine and culture.

Excursion: Half day shared guided tour to Tigre / Evening guided Argentine Experience

Meals: Breakfast, dinner

Accommodation: Hotel, Palermo


Day 3: Travel to El Calafate

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

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, El Calafate


Day 4: Perito Moreno Excursion

Your tour takes you into Parque Nacional Los Glaciares for views of the immense Perito Moreno Glacier. En route to the glacier you stop at the pier for a short boat trip to the south wall of the glacier. From the water level 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 can organise a gourmet picnic lunch to enjoy on the walkways overlooking the glacier. The trip includes national park entrance fee, a packed lunch to enjoy with views of the glacier, and the boat trip.

Excursion: Full day excursion with a shared guide

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Hotel, El Calafate


Day 5: Transfer from El Calafate to El Chalten

Take the morning public bus to El Chalten where where someone will be waiting to meet you and assist you to the hotel for the next three nights. For those raring to get out on the hiking trails, we recommend an afternoon hike to Loma del Pliegue Tumbado. For those looking to relax, we suggest exploring this charming town and perhaps dropping by the chocolate shop / tea house and the craft beer pub!

Excursion: Public bus from El Calafate to El Chalten

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, El Chalten


Day 6: Trek to Laguna de los Tres

This is the most popular trek in El Chalten, and it is certainly one of the prettiest. It leads to the 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 is magnificent around all 360 degrees. After a transfer to the trailhead at Hosteria El Pilar, your guide lead you through a beech and nires forest bordering the Rio Blanco, and after 1 hour you get to the first viewpoint with excellent views of the Piedras Blancas Glacier.

Forty five more minutes and you arrive at the Poicennot camp, where you cross a hanging bridge over the river into Rio Blanco camp, a base for climbers. From here, it is a 420 vertical metre hike up to the Laguna de los Tres viewpoint. The view of Fitz Roy Massif, the lagoon and its glaciers, is spectacular. A few meters away, you can also get a very good view of the Laguna Sucia. Then return to El Chalten on a path that passes past the Capri Laguna lookout. Excursion: Full day, small group, guided excursion, 9 hours, 18km

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Hotel, El Chalten


Day 7: Trek to Laguna Torre

Next to the Fitz Roy, this is the other major trek, which ends 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 20 minutes you get a view of the Fitzroy River Canyon, and see beautiful waterfalls. From here, you begin to get stunning views of Cerro Torre.

After a rest at the first viewpoint, the hike continues for about an hour through a beautiful valley, with a few undulations, to De Agostini Base Camp, where some of the world's best climbers make base, waiting to climb the tower. After a few minutes more you reach the Lagoon Tower, with a magnificent view of Cerro Torre, the Egger, Standhard and Bifida peaks, and the Adelas cord with its stunning glaciers spilling into the lagoon. Then head back down the same path.

Excursion: Full day, small group, guided excursion, 7 hours, 16km

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation: Hotel, El Chalten


Day 8: Travel to Peninsula Valdes

You will be picked up at your hotel for a door to door shuttle transfer to El Calafate airport, in plenty of time for your flight to Trelew. Upon arrival at Trelew airport you'll pick up your rental car and drive towards the Valdes Peninsula. This route will take you through the dry, almost desert-like scrubland of the Patagonia plains and on to the Valdes Peninsula National Reserve which extends out into the Atlantic Ocean. You'll be staying two nights 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-like formations all around the coast. It's against this striking backdrop that you'll be seeing the whales tomorrow! After settling into your hotel you'll be able to take a stroll around the village, visit one of the restaurants and maybe order yourself a delicious seafood dinner.

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

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, Puerto Piramides


Day 9: Free Day in Puerto Piramides/Valdes (Whales / Diving / Penguins)

Optional activities (not included):

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, and 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 experience their sheer size.

Option 2:

Scuba Diving - In Puerto Piramides you can take excursions to different natural marine parks. Scuba-diving amateurs from all over the world are delighted to see a varied marine fauna and flora, though visibility is not always as good as it could be.

Option 3:

An alternative option is to drive south east to Punta Delgada, on the Golfo Nuevo, where you can find the largest colony of elephant seals on the peninsula and also a former naval lighthouse which now operates as a luxury lodge and restaurant - Faro Punta Delgada. You will be welcomed at the lodge, where you can have lunch, as well as spend time exploring the marine life on the beaches. The drive to Punta Delgada is 66km - just under 2 hours drive.

Option 4:

An early departure north along Ruta Nacional no.3 to Punta Norte Wildlife reserve (2 hours drive) and then just 17km further on at the shores of the San Matias Gulf you have the Estancia San Lorenzo. Here you can find the most important Magellan penguin colony on the peninsula. A circular trail here gives you plenty of opportunities to watch the prancing, discussions and disputes, and the 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 will be open from September through to April. As you loop back around you will pass Caleta Valdes a privileged strip of beach dwelled by countless species representative of the sea fauna.

Punta Norte is also famous as the site where orca/killer whales have developed an extraordinary hunting technique for ambushing sealion pups at high tide, momentarily beaching themselves in the process. The best chances of seeing orca are March-April or September-October, though there is no guarantee of sightings. Overnight in Puerto Piramides at your selected hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, Puerto Piramides


Day 10: Puerto Piramides to Puerto Madryn (Sealions / Maritime Museum)

Optional activities (not included):

Option 1:

In the early afternoon you may like to 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 can 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 the Valdes Peninsula.

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

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, Puerto Madryn


Day 11: Explore Iguazu Falls

Today you head back to Trelew airport to drop off your rental car and catch your onward flight to Iguazu. You'll be met at the airport (must arrive before midday), and your guide will take you to the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls for an afternoon tour travelling to the viewing platforms. Enjoy panoramic views of the Argentinian side of the falls, the lower Iguazu River and the Devil's Gorge Canyon.

Excursion: Half day excursion with a shared guide

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, Iguazu


Day 12: Full Day Tour of the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls

Start early to beat the crowds and get the first train to the Devil's Throat. There are walkways over the islands which take you to a balcony over the falls and the most spectacular view of the entire Devil's Gorge. You will then have plenty of time to walk the 800 metres of paths on the upper circuit giving you elevated and magnificent panoramic views, as well as the 600 metres lower circuit providing below and around the falls. The circuits are on walkways suspended above the jungle floor to protect the flora and fauna.

Great Adventure Boat Ride - an optional addition to the Argentinian Falls Tour After an exciting truck ride of 8 km through the jungle following the Yacaratia trail to Port Macuco, you board the motor boats which take you up the Lower Iguazu rapids to the heart of the falls. Prepare to get wet!

Excursion: Full day excursion with a shared guide

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Hotel, Iguazu


Day 13: Transfer to the airport

Today you will be transferred to the airport in plenty of time for your onward flight.

Shared transfer to airport

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $3,008 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.

The price based on Standard Hotels is USD $3,008 per person 

The price based on Superior Hotels is USD $3,426 per person 

The price based on Luxury Hotels is USD $4,838 per person 

Includes

  • 12 nights accommodation in Buenos Aires (2), El Calafate (2), El Chalten (3), Puerto Piramides (2), Puerto Madryn (1), & Iguazu (2)
  • Meals as stated (excluding drinks unless stated)
  • Private airport transfers (Buenos Aires & Los Glaciares)
  • Shared airport transfers (Iguazu)
  • Small group city tour (Buenos Aires)
  • Small group transfers and excursions (Los Glaciares & Iguazu)
  • Boat trip at Perito Moreno Glacier
  • National Park entrance fee (Los Glaciares & Iguazu)
  • 4 days car rental (Chevrolet Prisma or similar) including airport pickup surcharge and insurance (excesses do apply) with 800km allowance (Valdes)
  • Hotel & car hire taxes
  • Trip Notes & Route Maps & hotel maps (Valdes)
  • Concierge assistance 24/7 from our local offices (Buenos Aires, Iguazu,El Chalten & El Calafate)

Excludes

  • Any optional activities mentioned in the itinerary above
  • Flights
  • Meals not indicated in itinerary
  • Personal expenses and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses

Questions about this Trip?