Marvel at Argentina and Chile’s scenic and wildlife highlights as you journey across the immense treeless plateau of picturesque Patagonia.
Explore the lakes and glaciers around Calafate, and the stunning peaks and burgeoning wildlife of Torres del Paine, before travelling to Ushuaia at the southern end of Tierra del Fuego. The best, however, is saved until last – with the astonishing marine life of the Peninsula Valdés.
Day1: Depart UK
Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires.
Days2-3: Arrive Buenos Aires; city tour & optional tango show
This morning, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Buenos Aires is a very vibrant city and an afternoon a city tour is included for you to discover and learn more about the Argentinian capital.
The next day you head out on a birdwatching trip at the Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve, where one can find up to 90 different species including the unusual black-necked swan. In the evening you may opt for a dinner with tango show (optional).
Accommodation: Hotel in Buenos Aires, 2-nights
Days4-5: Fly to El Calafate; excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier
Today you transfer to the airport and fly to El Calafate from where you will transfer to your accommodation. A full day excursion to the famous UNESCO site of Perito Moreno Glacier will bring the glacier to life with its thundering sounds.
Accommodation: Calafate Parque Hotel, 2-nights
Days6-8: Transfer to Torres del Paine National Park (Chile)
Today you cross the border to Chile as you travel to Torres del Paine National Park (about six hours' drive). The towering mountains are your base for three days with plenty opportunities of optional activities such as trekking or horseriding to the base of the towers.
Accommodation: Hosteria Las Torres, 3-nights
Day9: Transfer to Puerto Natales
This morning there will be a further opportunity to explore the beautiful national park of Torres del Paine before transferring to Puerto Natales for an overnight stay.
Accommodation: Coastaustralis Hotel Patagonia, 1-night
Day10: Transfer to Punta Arenas
Drive to Estancia Olga Teresa for lunch to see condors nest, then continue to Otway Bay penguin colony before reaching Punta Arenas for an overnight stay.
Accommodation; Hotel Cabo de Hornos, 1-night
Days11-13: Bus across Magellan Strait to Ushuaia; walks in Lapataia National Park & on Martillo Island
Today you will take a bus across the Magellan Strait to Ushuaia in Argentina.
Over the next three days you can explore Ushuaia and its surroundings. A boat trip to the Beagle Channel brings you close to cormorants and sealions and walks in Lapataia National Park and Martillo Island are a real wildlife treat! Look out for delights such as North American beaver, muskrat, grey fox, austral parakeet, South Andean deer and southern river otter.
Accommodation: Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel, 3-nights
Days14-15: Fly to Trelew & continue to Puerto Madryn; explore Valdes Peninsula
Today you transfer to the airport and fly to Trelew - from there it is a one hour to Puerto Madryn. This is your base to visit Valdes Peninsula, well-known for the northern right whales migration (September to December). In the area you are also likely to see interesting species including the soft guanaco, magellenic penguin, elephant seal and even orca.
Accommodation: Hotel in Trelew, Puerto Madryn or Peninsula Valdes, 2-nights
(Most accommodation in the Valdes area is in the cities of Trelew or Puerto Madryn, although there are a few limited options on the Peninsula itself).
Day16: Visit Punta Tombo penguin colony; fly to Buenos Aires
Today you will visit Punto Tombo penguin colony before returning to Buenos Aires for a final night in Argentina.
Accommodation: Hotel in Buenos Aires, 1-night
Day17: Depart Buenos Aires
After a free morning, transfer to the airport for an overnight flight back to the UK.
Day18: Arrive UK
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 18 daysfrom £5,095 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 16 daysfrom £3,945 pp
Single supplement: From £1,265
When to go: Oct-Apr
Located on the shore of Lago Argentino, the small town of El Calafate is the gateway to the UNESCO site of Los Glaciares National Park, an area mostly covered by giant icefields. The five kilometre mouth of Perito Moreno Glacier towers 70 metres above the water, creating thunderous noises as blocks of ice break off.
Chilean Patagonia’s premier attraction is a scenic mix of craggy peaks, glacial lakes, icefields and green valleys – a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The omnipresent Paine Massif, a magnificent set of rocky spires formed from granite and sedimentary rock, dominates the landscape.
Where: Magallanes Region
Ideal for viewing: Andean condor, South American grey fox, guanaco, puma, South Andean deer
Excellent for: Wildlife photography
Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands, lies far south of Buenos Aires in a dramatic position overlooking the Beagle Channel. The world’s most southerly city is surrounded by the wilderness and lakes of Tierra del Fuego, a perfect location for activities and wildlife watching.
Argentina’s foremost wildlife site is a flat peninsula at the northern end of Patagonia, lined with sandy beaches and rocky shelves. The beaches are home to prodigious numbers of marine wildlife, including the only colony of elephant seals on the South American mainland. Birdwatching is good year round.
Where: Chubut Province
Ideal for viewing: elephant seal, lesser rhea, mara, orca, southern right whale
Excellent for: Whale watching
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
This deluxe estancia-style lodge is located between El Calafate and Perito Moreno glacier, on a 3,000 hectare estate with wonderful views over Lago Argentino. The property has 17 suites, all with different views, and offers activities such as wildlife and bird watching, star gazing, walking and horse riding.
This historic building close to Puerto Natales has been meticulously transformed into a stunning, award-winning, luxury hotel that blends old and new in a triumph of design, and has been declared a national historic landmark. All its spacious rooms and suites have huge picture windows overlooking Last Hope Sound.