Argentina: Patagonia Explorer (15 days)
Patagonia encompasses some of the most spectacular mountain, glacial, and coastal scenery in the world.
This nature lover's paradise has a wide variety of unusual flora and fauna.
2017 Departure Dates & Costs
Daily departure based on 2 or more people
This itinerary may be modified to suit individual interest and travel preference
TOUR COST: $ 3,250 USD per person based on twin share, includes domestic flights
Single Supplement $ 660 USD
Additional nights in Buenos Aires can be added
DAY 1 BUENOS AIRES
Arrive in Buenos Aires where you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel. In the afternoon a walking city tour of approximately 3hrs visiting the highlights of Buenos Aires.
DAY 2 BUENOS AIRES - PERITO MORENO (B,L)
Transfer to the domestic airport for the flight to Comododor Rivadavia where we start our overland trip to El Calafate across some of the most beautiful landscapes of Patagonia. Most of the roads in this part are gravel and only a few kilometres in this trip are paved. We travel westbound to leave the Atlantic behind and start our approach to the Andes. We go first to Sarmiento, located between the two Patagonian lakes; Musters and Colhue Huapi. Lunch at a traditional cherry farm and visit to the Petrified Forest Reserve. Continue to Perito Moreno town to lodge in hotel Belgrano. (ET: 6hs driving; AD: 470km).
DAY 3 PERITO MORENO - LOS ANTIGUOS (B,L)
Early breakfast and departure along route 40 towards the "Cueva de las Manos" at Rio Pinturas, ancient rock paintings in a deep canyon, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Box lunch included. We retrace and turn west to reach the small town of Los Antiguos, on the shores of Lago Buenos Aires, the second largest lake in South America after Titicaca. Enjoy the view of the lake and distant mountains from the look-outs next to the hotel while the guide introduces you to the area. (ET: 4hs; AD: 220km).
DAY 4 LOS ANTIGUOS - PUERTO RÍO TRANQUILO (B,L,D)
We cross the border into Chile for a scenic drive along the southern shore of the big lake. The road negotiates deep canyons and enters the forests with superb views all the way, reaching the western end not far from the looming summits of the North Ice-field. An afternoon boat ride will take us to visit the 'Capillas de Marmol', a mushroom shaped island with wave-eroded marble caves, located minutes away from Puerto Tranquilo where we lodge and dinner at charming hosteria. (ET: 6hs; AD: 215km)
DAY 5 PUERTO TRANQUILO - EXPLORADORES VALLEY - COCHRANE (B,L)
We drive west along the recently build road in Exploradores valley, which is un-doubtfully one of the most spectacular valleys with snow-capped mountains, evergreen forests, torrential rivers and hanging glaciers. The road ends close to the imposing glacier flowing from 4058 m high Cerro San Valentin. A final 30 min hike through dense forest will bring us to the moraine for a breathtaking view of the glacier. Later, departure toward the south, the road borders the lake until its outflow into the Bertrand Lake to follow the mighty Rio Baker along its rapids and to reach Cochrane town, the last one before the South Ice-field. (ET: 5hs; AD: 217km)
DAY 6 COCHRANE - LAGO POSADAS (B,L,D)
After breakfast we drive west across the future Patagonia National Park. "Conservación Patagonica" bought in 2004, located 20 miles north of Cochrane in the heart of Chilean Patagonia, and bordering two national reserves; the area is home to one of the world's largest Huemul deer populations. The protection of this habitat has the potential to help bring this mammal back from the brink of extinction. That, combined with the natural beauty of the property's foothills and valleys along with sweeping views of the surrounding alpine mountains, provides an extraordinary opportunity to create a worldclass national park. Around noon we cross the border into Argentina at a seldom visited pass called Roballos. Before reaching our destination near the small town of Lago Posadas we catch the first views of Cerro San Lorenzo, the lone giant massif of 3706 m, the highest in the Argentine Patagonia. Finally the road meets the lakes Posadas and Pueyrredón. (ET: 220hs; AD: 6km)
DAY 7 LAKES POSADAS AND PUEYRREDÓN (B,L,D)
Lakes Posadas (green) and Pueyrredón (deep blue) are divided by a narrow landstrip that scarcely separate these two different colored lakes. They lay in a large glacier valley, dividing the plateau of Lake Buenos Aires from Cerro San Lorenzo massif. We spend the day exploring this beautiful valley and the surroundings. We'll visit the River Oro Canyon, its white waters descending from Cerro San Lorenzo, and the 'Arco de Piedra' (stone arch) among strange and colorful rock formations, wetlands and birds. (ET: 2hs; AD: 60km)
DAY 8 LAGO POSADAS - EL CHALTÉN (B,L)
After early breakfast we reach Route 40 for the final sprint to El Chalten, 590km south. The journey crosses the Patagonian vastness, interrupted only by the lonely Lago Cardiel. The big sky and the infinitive horizon can stimulate the appreciation of the area. We have lunch in a Patagonian style stop-over place. On the road there are great opportunities to observe diverse land mammals like guanacos, hares, red and grey foxes, armadillos and skunks. Birds of prey like falcons or eagles. The final 100km westbound features lake and glacier Viedma and the spires of Fitz Roy massif and Cerro Torre group. The vehicle that has been with us since Comodoro Rivadavia will leave us here. (ET: 10hs; AD: 580km)
DAY 9 EL CHALTÉN (B,L)
Full day trekking with a local English speaking trekking guide to the viewpoint of one of the most impressive mountain ranges of America: the Fitz Roy Massiv. According to the weather conditions the guide could propose a trek ether to Laguna de los Tres or to Laguna Torre. (ET: 7hs walking; AD: 14-24km)
DAY 10 EL CHALTÉN - EL CALAFATE (B)
Morning at leisure. Optional tours are available to take a boat ride, including a 1,5 hs trekking on the Viedma Glacier or do another short hiking in the Fitz Roy area. Alternatively relax in the surrounding nature. In the late afternoon transfer to the bus terminal and regular public bus to el Calafate. On arrival to El Calafate transfer to the hotel. (ET: 4hs; AD: 220km)
DAY 11 EL CALAFATE (B)
Excursion with local English speaking guide to the famous Perito Moreno Glacier, UNESCO World Heritage. Entrance fee is included. (ET: 8hs; AD: 170km)
DAY 12 EL CALAFATE - TORRES DEL PAINE NP (CHILE B,D)
In the morning departure with a regular excursion to Paine National. Entrance fee is included. Paine is a unique region of beautiful mountains and lakes and with abundant wildlife such as guanacos, ñandus, condors, pumas, flamingos and foxes. (ET: 8hs; AD: 350km).
DAY 13 TORRES DEL PAINE NP TREK (B,L,D)
This 7-9 hour-hike to the Torres del Paine Base is the most popular of all the activities performed in the National Park through well-signalized trails with slopes that rise the difficulty level from medium to high. The huge and splendid granite towers sculptured by the colossal strength of nature forces show their overwhelming beauty.
DAY 14 TORRES DEL PAINE - EL CALAFATE (B)
Morning Torres del Paine. In the afternoon we return to El Calafate. (ET: 8hs; AD: 350km)
DAY 15 EL CALAFATE - BUENOS AIRES* (B)
Transfer to El Calafate airport for the flight to Buenos Aires or your next destination.
Extensions can be booked on an individual basis.
Please contact us for additional information on this tour.