- Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and El Calafate: three destinations that combine grand adventure and 'ends of the Earth' landscapes.
- Take the time to explore and stay in accommodation that is in tune with the location.
- Your itinerary includes learning to tango in Buenos Aires, cruising the Beagle Channel as close as you can possibly get to the glaciers and visiting a ranch
- All our usual additional services, including our local Concierge, on call
Contact one of our Argentina specialists 020 3958 6120
THREE SIDES TO ARGENTINA
ON YOUR ITINERARYBuenos Aires - the Argentinian capital is vibrant and cosmopolitan. Buenos Aires is a South American capital with a European appearance, with its wide Paris-like boulevards. Described as the 'Capital of Feelings' by Spanish writer Manuel Vazquez Montalban, it has the most psychoanalysts in the world. With its 13 million inhabitants, it seems to stretch all the way to the Pampas across its 38 neighbourhoods, which include: San Telmo, a district full of retro cafes; La Boca, a bit rough around the edges and home of the tango; trendy Palermo; chic Recoleta; and the most recently renovated neighbourhood in the city, Puerto Madero, a symbol of Argentine nightlife where lofts with large balconies overlook trendy bars.
Tierra del Fuego - the Land of Fire. Places don't come - or sound - more adventurous. Ushuaia: the legendary 'End of the World' actually has a museum called 'Museo Del Fin del Mundo' - the End of the World museum. As you fly in, the view quickly fills with rows of Scandinavian-looking houses, interspersed with somewhat gloomy-looking modern buildings. But that doesn't matter, because here your gaze will be drawn out towards the surrounding scenery. You'll then escape along the Beagle Channel, a rite of passage for the great sailors heading towards the dreaded Cape Horn. Sail across the bay, heading for Sea Lion and Bird Island. Finally, you'll make you way to Tierra del Fuego National Park, which borders Chile.
Patagonia - The forests, lakes, peaks and glaciers here are quite simply majestic. In the Los Glaciares National Park, Perito Moreno, Upsala, Spegazzini, Mayo, Agassiz and Onelli glaciers, to name just a few, fill Lago Argentino with icebergs. The park is a paradise for hikers who, from the well-marked trails, can truly appreciate the towering tectonic movements that formed the Andes, as condors soar overhead.
Direct flight to Buenos Aires
Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
Private transfer and accommodation for three nights in the heart of the Palermo neighbourhood, a leafy area and one of the most pleasant 'barrios' (districts) in Buenos Aires. The hotel grounds are planted with trees and the trendy and cultured atmosphere encourages exploration. The decor has quite a Seventies feel, but with a beautifully simple design. The rooms exude clean, urban comfort. In the restaurant, you can choose between curries, fresh salads and light sandwiches. The large, outdoor swimming pool is a great place to relax. The spa also offers a wide range of massages and beauty treatments.
The itinerary includes a private guided tour to a few hotspots in Buenos Aires. You'll start off with the streets that the city centre is centred around: Avenida 9 de Julio, Avenida Corrientes and Avenida de Mayo. Then it's off to La Boca, a small, colourful and picturesque neighbourhood, the elegant Recoleta with its very distinguished cemetery, and finally the old San Telmo, with its rich architecture and numerous antique shops and dealers. This walking tour provides a true picture of the variety that makes Argentina's capital so special.
Then take two days to explore the Argentine capital at your own pace. In the morning, you might like to sip a cortado or a latte as you watch the merry-go-round of passers-by, and dog walkers pounding the pavements. Stroll around Recoleta, or in the centre in the Plaza de Mayo (stopping at the Gran Café Tortoni in the Avenida de Mayo is a must). Shopping in Calle Florida and Palermo Soho. And you'll head out to explore the city's newest neighbourhood, which has recently been renovated: Puerto Madero, a symbol of Argentinian nightlife, where lofts with large windows overlook trendy bars.
The itinerary includes immersing yourself in the Argentine tango scene with a local guide. Passionate about the tango, your guide frequents the best milongas and tango clubs. On your journey with them, you will embark on an evening dedicated to tango, first in a class with an Argentinian teacher, followed by dinner in an authentic setting watching a tango show, and then spend the evening in a milonga.
Option - A one-day idyllic getaway to Tigre, north of Buenos Aires, where 'Portenos' (the capital's residents) come to recharge.
Buenos Aires - Ushuaia
Private airport transfer and flight to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. Another private transfer to the port.
The itinerary includes a cruise on the Beagle Channel, which connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. You'll head down the Strait, reconnecting with the great tradition of sailing the Southern Ocean. The following is all part of the trip: pretty views of Ushuaia Bay, sailing around Bridges Island to see very rare plants, which grow only in this part of the world, then Bird Island, habitat of the Magellanic and imperial cormorants, and finally Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, located in the archipelago of the same name, where the ship Monte Cervantes - now a popular dive site - ran aground in 1930. You'll then return to Ushuaia via Paso Chico.
After the cruise, you'll take a transfer to the airport to pick up your rental car. Accommodation for three nights in a small hotel perched high up in the hills of Ushuaia. It's simple and understated but you'll enjoy stunning views of the Beagle Channel.
Take two days to explore the wild with a car and GPS to take you wherever your heart desires.
Must-see: Tierra del Fuego National Park, on the border with Chile. This is the end of the Earth. You can take a leisurely drive around the park (the maximum speed is 25 mph), and there are several car parks available. The entrance to the National Park can be accessed via National Route 3. There are many well-signposted hiking trails that vary in length and difficulty. Take a walk in the heart of the southern forest, over the rocks and along the beaches; this is where you may encounter beavers, foxes, seabirds, dams, and the Rio Pipo river. In addition to the national park, there are also the Fagnano and Escondido lakes around 60 miles from Ushuaia, which can be accessed via the Garibaldi Pass. These are real inland seas, whose deep blue hues contrast with the severity of the surrounding landscapes and the snow-capped peaks of the foothills of the Andes.
Ushuaia - El Calafate
Private transfer to the airport and flight to El Calafate, the gateway to the Los Glaciares National Park. Another private transfer and accommodation for three nights in a small charming location in a beautifully natural setting facing Lago Argentino. Built in wood and exposed stone, the hotel offers a cosy atmosphere and pleasant rooms. Downtown El Calafate is only a short drive away.
The itinerary includes a trip to De Punta Bandera port (30 miles from El Calafate), from where you'll embark on a cruise on the Lago Argentino, which is home to the large Andean glaciers. You'll head north to see Upsala, the largest of the glaciers, the front face of which is currently in rapid decline. Heading north, you'll sail among the icebergs that crash off the glaciers. Then it's off towards the Cristina Channel to get to the Cristina Ranch, where you can immerse yourself in the daily life of the Patagonian gauchos (cowboys). Learn about the history of their farming and lifestyles, and visit the small museum. You'll then take a 4x4 to the Upsala Lookout, from where you can enjoy breathtaking views overlooking the Upsala Glacier, Guillermo Lake and the Andes.
The itinerary includes a rental car with GPS for the day, which you can use to explore Perito Moreno, an icon of Los Glaciares National Park and a wonder of nature; it's a huge 197ft glacier that stretches for three miles along Lago Argentino. As you traverse the forest, you'll walk along various walkways offering astounding views of the glacier. Lunch is included. You'll have a typical Argentinean picnic called a picada, which is a popular way of eating in Argentina because it's so an enjoyable shared experience. You'll have a picnic, explore and, above all, enjoy the view. During the day, a one-hour cruise is also planned. The boat reaches about 620ft from where the glacier meets the Magellan Peninsular and circles around the south wall for around two miles, giving you a chance to see the blocks of ice that break away so regularly - it's absolutely perfect for a photographer to get that killer shot.
Option - Riding around the Lago Argentino area to make the gaucho experience last a little bit longer.
El Calafate - Buenos Aires
Private transfer to the airport and return flight to Buenos Aires, where you'll stay for one last night in the chic Recoleta district. The hotel combines beautifully contemporary design with raw materials, such as wood and concrete. Although modern features really take centre stage here, this doesn't mean that such a futuristic hotel lacks charm; in fact, it's the complete opposite. Enjoy admiring the artwork here, and appreciate that Argentina's wine cellars deserve their reputation. The facilities, a warm reception and the geographical location complete this enticing combination.
Option - Spending your last evening in Buenos Aires with locals.
Buenos Aires - Return flight
Private transfer to the airport and catch your flight home. Direct overnight flight, arriving the next day.
A la carte
A DAY IN TIGRE
Located to the north of Buenos Aires, Tigre is a lovely place to visit, flanked by many canals. There are no cars here, just 'lanchas' (boats) that pull their way lazily along the canals winding through the town. The traditional houses are built on stilts to prevent flooding caused by the ebb and flow of the rivers. Many Buenos Aires residents own beautiful second homes here, and come at the weekend to recharge their batteries away from the bustling capital. You'll explore the town on foot, then, after lunch, you'll set off on a walk in the Delta towards Rio de la Plata, before reaching Puerto Madero, a modern architecture hotspot in Buenos Aires, where a car will pick you up and take you to your hotel.
Option - Departing from Buenos Aires with a private guide.
RIDING IN THE Lago Argentino REGION
Journeying through the region on horseback like a Patagonian gaucho is one way of really immersing yourself in local culture. The scenery in the region is gorgeous - you have views of the snow-covered Andes, glittering glaciers and vast, windswept steppes rich with wildlife. From the ranch you can enjoy panoramic views of the Lago Argentino and the Laguna de los Pajaros Nature Reserve. You'll then cross the valley to the Río Centinela and its estuary that feeds into the lake. Your return trip to the ranch will be alongside the lake, overlooking the imposing landscape of the Cordillera and the ice blocks from the Upsala Glacier.
Option - With a private guide
Buenos Aires by night
Accompanied by a local guide, you'll discover the city nightlife and all its fashionable hotspots in the Palermo district. This is the sort of place where a little local knowledge goes a long way, and your guide will take you to a locally-acclaimed restaurant, a hipster food joint and a private members-only speakeasy-style bar.
IF YOU WANT TO TRAVEL FURTHER AFIELD - PENINSULA VALDES
A treasure of Atlantic Patagonia, Peninsula Valdes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its coastline is home to exceptional populations of elephant seals, fur seals, killer whales and many species of seabirds. On land there are cows, guanacos, Patagonian hares and Darwin's rhea. This is also where the southern right whale breeds from September to December. It is perhaps here, facing the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ochre soil and bright blue sky, that the feeling of being at the end of the earth is most tangible.
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