Discover Argentina’s rare wildlife, colossal ice fields, and its most-enchanting capital city. From Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, the city at the end of the world, expert local guides lead you on nature-based hikes. Relish a rare and precious opportunity to walk with penguins, go whale watching, and explore the impressive Perito Moreno Glacier from the ever-shifting ice field. This 10-day itinerary is complemented by comfortable nights in upscale, well-located accommodations. All of the featured excursions, activities, and accommodations can be tailored in accordance with your personal wishes.
Your Patagonia Wildlife Safari is an adventure that begins in Argentina’s vibrant capital, Buenos Aires, a city that combines faded European grandeur with Latin passion. Be sure to head down 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest avenue in the world, passing the majestic ‘Teatro Colón’ opera house, the magnificent ‘Obelisco’, and ‘Casa Rosada’, the pink-colored government mansion with the iconic balcony from which Eva Perón famously addressed the throngs of impassioned supporters packed into Plaza de Mayo.
Visit local barrios such as La Boca, the graceful neighborhood of Palermo; and the Recoleta district. In the evening, enjoy a unique dining experience that cleverly blends exquisite food and wine, local culture, and social integration.
Walk With the Penguins
Arrive at Punta Tombo Provincial Reserve and walk among the Magellan penguins – you’ll have an up-close view of their habits and learn about these loveable creatures from your knowledgeable guide. These little guys share their habitat with other birds, such as king and rock cormorants, giant petrels, flightless steamer ducks, and black oystercatchers.
The city of Puerto Madryn is best known as the gateway to Peninsula Valdes, where the Southern Right Whale uses the waters for breeding and giving birth. Embark on a whale-watching boat trip in a zodiac, from which you’ll have an up-close and personal view of these enormous but friendly creatures. Keep an eye out for sea lions, cormorants, dolphins and killer whales, sea elephants, orcas, guanacos, rheas, foxes, maras, armadillos, and a diverse variety of birds.
Tucked within the Beagle Strait, Ushuaia is one of the most southerly cities on Earth, known as the ‘End of the World’. Take a taxi to the old airport, Aeroclub, for a great view of the city, bay, harbor, and mountains. Visit the museum, the naval neighborhood and the cemetery. See the exile prison and the Saint Christopher shipwreck beside the promenade.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Head to Tierra del Fuego National Park, which is the only park in Argentina that combines sea, mountains, rivers, forests, and peat bogs. Follow the hiking trails that wind through gorgeous coastal and fjord scenery with excellent opportunities to spot rare wildlife; visit Lago Roca – a seven-mile-long glacial lake surrounded by mountain peaks; or board the End of the World Railway for a scenic and emblematic journey through history.
Later, cruise into the center of the Beagle Channel, passing the famous Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, before continuing to Seal Island. Observe at least 10 different species of seabird at Isla de Los Pajaros, and set off on a mini-trek at the Bridge Islands with breathtaking views of the Beagle Channel at every bend of the trail. Admire a large colony of Magellan Penguins waddling about their daily business.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Arrive at the town of El Calafate, and visit Los Glaciares National Park, the largest national park in Argentina. Marvel at the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier and watch huge chunks of ice calve off the nearly 200-foot-tall glacier and collapse into the waters of the lake below. Keep your eyes peeled for Andean condors and buff-necked ibises. Optionally, you can go on a mini-trekking hike on the glacier’s surface for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Itinerary & Prices
Welcome to Argentina!
Welcome to Argentina! For most travelers, Buenos Aires is the entry point to Argentina… and what an entrance it is: this vibrant city feels almost European! Its cosmopolitan population of Italian, Spanish, French, and many other nationalities, combined with stunning architecture, cultural activities, and attractive neighborhoods with small shops, cafés, and international restaurants, make the atmosphere relaxed and welcoming.
Upon arrival, our local representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. After settling into your accommodation in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo, the rest of your afternoon and evening is free for you to spend at your leisure. We recommend exploring the area near your hotel where you’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere of this thrilling city stopping off at one of the nearby boutique cafés or lively wine bars. Having found somewhere for dinner and experienced one of South America’s top restaurant scenes, explore Buenos Aires’ nightlife at one of the local wine bars in Palermo, add an exclusive wine tasting to your itinerary or, take a leisurely stroll back to your hotel.
Tip: Porteños eat dinner late; usually restaurants will open their doors around 20:00.
Highlights of Buenos Aires
After breakfast, you are collected from your hotel for your city tour of Buenos Aires, discovering the history and modern life of this world-renowned city.
The tour provides an in-depth introduction to its architecture, the culture of its people, its anecdotes and secrets. Put simply, Buenos Aires is exceptional, dynamic, sophisticated, and overwhelming. An exquisite combination of a European atmosphere and the charm of Latin American cities. You will begin at the famous Plaza de Mayo, before venturing out to the old tango districts of Buenos Aires: Monserrat, San Telmo, and La Boca. You will then move on to the busiest areas – Puerto Madero, Retiro, and Plaza San Martin – and then, districts with wonderful green spaces and old residences: Palermo and Recoleta.
In the evening, you will enjoy a completely unique dining experience that cleverly blends exquisite food and wine, local culture, and social integration. Individuals, couples, families, and groups from all over the world are mixed around two 14 person banquet tables, which are led and entertained by two guides, and our friendly international team. Empanada making, juicy fillet steaks, boutique wines, alfajor making, and sharing ‘mate’ between new friends. There is no better place to be!
Meals (B, D)
Travel to Patagonia & Visit Punta Tombo
In the morning, your transfer will take you to the airport for your flight to Trelew.
You will be met at Trelew Airport ready to dive straight into the action as you head out towards the Punta Tombo Provincial Reserve. This 2-hour journey along Patagonian roads is utterly breathtaking. Arriving at continental South America’s largest penguin nesting ground you’ll be able to enjoy about 2.5 hours walking along the paths surrounded by waddling penguins. Walking among Magellan penguins is a unique experience – you’ll have an up-close view of their habits and learn about these loveable creatures from your knowledgeable guide.
This area also attracts several other birds, most notably: king and rock cormorants, giant petrels, flightless steamer ducks, and black oystercatchers. You’ll also be able to visit the Punta Tombo Interpretative Center which provides a great overview of the area and of course the penguins. If you’re traveling between September and April, over a million Magellan penguins (the largest population in the world) come here to lay their eggs.
Following lunch (not included) at the cafeteria or restaurant, your transfer will take you to your hotel in Puerto Madryn. The rest of your evening is free to spend at leisure. The city of Puerto Madryn is a modest beach destination, and from July to September, the visiting southern right whales take center stage – they can be seen from the town’s pier! Steeped in history, we recommend taking a stroll along Puerto Madryn’s shoreline where you’ll see statues of immigrants and the indigenous Tehuelche that pay tribute to the town’s history. This particular stretch of coastline is known for serving up some of Argentina’s best seafood! So tonight, we recommend going to one of the local seafood restaurants and ordering a delicious seafood platter.
Whale Watching & Peninsula Valdes Wildlife
You will set out early in the morning for the Peninsula Valdes Provincial Reserve. After a 1-hour drive, you will arrive in Puerto Piramides, before embarking on a boat trip. Every year between June and December, Peninsula Valdes plays host to one of the most amazing natural spectacles on Earth… whale-watching! From December to March you can also view sea lions, cormorants and dark dolphins (this tour is subject to weather conditions). Setting sail from Puerto Piramides in a zodiac you’ll have an up-close and personal view of these enormous but friendly creatures. Around 2,600 whales live around Peninsula Valdes! Between 300 – 400 come here every year as the waters near the shore are perfectly calm and shallow for their habitation. During the tour, keep an eye out for dolphins and killer whales.
Together with a small group, your expert guide will tell you all about the reserve’s wildlife, continuing as you view the rest of the Peninsula Valdes. You’ll head south through salt flats, that with any luck will shine a beautiful pink color, reflecting off the sunlight. Around midday, you arrive at Punta Delgada, where lunch (not included) will be served at El Faro resort. There you’ll have the opportunity to descend the cliffs and view lots of sea lions lazing around on the beach below.
Your guide will then accompany you along the eastern coastline where a large population of sea elephants lives. If you are very lucky, you’ll snap the perfect picture of an orca throwing itself on the beach, aiming for its afternoon snack. On the way to the area’s visitors center, you’ll have a good chance of coming across fauna such as guanacos, rheas, foxes, maras, armadillos, and a diverse variety of birds. Finally, you’ll arrive back at your accommodation in Puerto Madryn just in time for sunset. The rest of the evening will be free for you to enjoy more of the region’s famed seafood at a local restaurant.
Arrival in Ushuaia
Your day begins after breakfast, with a private transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia. As the southernmost city in the world, flying to Ushuaia is an adventure in itself as you touch down in the Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). It is right next to the legendary Beagle Channel which connects the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
After arriving and settling in at your accommodation, take a taxi to Ushuaia´s old airport, Aeroclub, for a great view of the whole city, bay, harbor, and mountains. Maybe stop off for a popular photo opportunity at the city’s famous welcome sign, proclaiming Ushuaia to be ‘at the End of the World’. We recommend taking time to visit the historical center of the city including the navy neighborhood, the cemetery, and the Saint Christopher shipwreck that can be seen beside the promenade. You will also pass by historical places such as the prison, school, and police station. After appreciating the Antarctic Explorers promenade, you can visit the End of the World Museum (visit and entrance not included – optional activity).
Stay in the city for dinner tonight as delicious king crab is the specialty here! With a full stomach, you can take a taxi back to your hotel and catch a good night’s sleep before tomorrow’s adventures.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning, as you’ll be heading out for a busy day in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Dress appropriately (layered clothes, hiking shoes, poncho, hat) and be prepared for any kind of weather. Your private transfer will pick you up from your hotel in Ushuaia to take you to the National Park.
Once at the National Park you can choose to ride the End of the World train or set off to do a bit of hiking before visiting the beautiful Roca Lake. You’ll then take a long, gentle hike alongside the Lapataia River which cuts right across the archipelago to the Chilean border. From here you can see Condor Hill, which forms a natural border between the neighboring countries. At the other side of the National Park, you’ll stop off at two stunning lagoons. Just as unique as their surroundings, these aren’t just normal lagoons – one is green and the other one black! The Tierra del Fuego National Park is made up of a series of peat bogs and small rivers dammed by the local beaver population, all adding to the rugged beauty of this unique destination.
In the afternoon, you will be driven to the port where you’ll begin by sailing into the center of the Beagle Channel, passing the famous Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, before continuing to Seal Island. As you might have already guessed, Seal Island unsurprisingly gets its name from the huge number of seals that can be seen relaxing on the land. Your journey down the Beagle Channel will continue to Isla de Los Pajaros (Bird Island), where you’ll be able to see at least 10 different species of sea bird. The boat will then head towards the Bridge Islands, where you’ll disembark and set off on a mini-trek, offering breathtaking views of the Beagle Channel at every bend of the trail. Afterward, you can admire a large Magellan Penguin colony waddling about their daily business. It’s worth noting that the best time of year to see the penguins is between November and March. After a full day exploring the Tierra del Fuego National Park and Beagle Channel, your transfer will take you back to your accommodation in Ushuaia where the rest of the evening is free to spend at your leisure.
Travel to El Calafate
It’s time to hit the road again as you make your way to your next destination, El Calafate, where you can explore the beauty and diversity of Argentina even further. Your private transfer will take you to the airport for your onward flight after breakfast.
If you are lucky enough to land in El Calafate on a clear, sunny day, you will have unforgettable views of the mountains and lakes from the plane before you land. We will take you from the tiny airport to your hotel in town. El Calafate is a nice little town in an otherwise desolate area, with one main street. Most of the restaurants and shops are centered here, and a few streets lead off of it. Get your bearings by strolling around town, perhaps picking out one of the local restaurants for lunch or dinner. It is often cold and windy here, so the lamb racks in the windows of restaurants, the lit fireplaces, and the view of other travelers sipping from their wine glasses will be sure to tempt you inside. If you have a full afternoon available and feel like some fresh air and a walk, then head down to the bottom end of town to the Laguna Nimez Nature Reserve. You have to pay a small entrance fee but there is a beautiful circuit taking you through shrublands and wetlands and down to the lake’s edge. You’ll see all sorts of unusual birdlife down there, and if you aren’t a seasoned bird watcher, you can always borrow a bird guidebook from the nature reserve office to help spot the different species of bird. In the evening take your time to just relax, enjoy dinner and get a good night’s sleep as tomorrow you’ll be visiting the Perito Moreno Glacier!
Visit the Perito Moreno Glacier
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven, as part of a small group, into the Patagonia Glacier National Park to the spectacular Perito Moreno Glacier. The views along the way are so beautiful you will find it hard to tear your eyes away from the dramatic landscape. Everything here is on a massive scale; with vast swathes of empty grassland and huge mountains – any sign of human inhabitancy looks tiny in comparison.
After about 50 miles you’ll start to catch glimpses of the Perito Moreno ice wall as the road twists and turns its way through the Patagonia National Park. Stopping at a good vantage point you’ll be able to soak up this incredible glacier from afar, before heading down to view it up close. The network of wooden walkways in the park allows you to get very close to the glacier wall. You will be able to see and hear huge chunks of ice breaking off and plunging into the icy waters below! After admiring this magnificent glacier from up-close, your guide will take you back to your accommodation in El Calafate where the rest of the afternoon and evening is free to spend at leisure. Optionally, you can add the mini-trekking hike on the glacier’s surface to today’s itinerary for a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience! (Please check with your travel specialist).
Leaving Patagonia behind
At the scheduled time we will pick you up at your hotel, and transfer you to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, we will wait for you to take you to your accommodation. You have the rest of the day to make the most of your time as you enjoy the city on your own!
Enjoy your final breakfast at the hotel in Buenos Aires, because it’s time to hit the road again as you make your way to your next destination, or return home.
Buenos Aires has 2 airports: Ezeiza and Jorge Newbery-Aeroparque. Many of the domestic flights leave from Jorge Newbery-Aeroparque airport which is located within the city. Travel safely to your next destination as you leave with unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.