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Adventure and Heritage of Southern Patagonia

from $3,550

In this trip you’ll get to discover the most emblematic places in Argentinian Patagonia, as well as the most amazing off-the-beaten-path spots. You’ll visit Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital of our country; Ushuaia, the end of the world city; El Calafate, where you’ll fin the well known Perito Moreno glacier; El Chaltén, known as the Argentinian trekking capital; and Los Antiguos, a beautiful town in Patagonia that is not usually included in classic tour circuits.

Duration: 18 days.

The price is per person in double base and in American dollars.

  • Reviews 1 Review
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Adventure, Cultural, Nature, Sports
  • Activity Level High
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Argentina!

    You’ll arrive at Ezeiza airport, Buenos Aires, where a private transfer will pick you up and take you to your hotel. You will stay in Palermo, a dynamic neighborhood for a night out. Today you will be free to discover the neighborhood by yourself. You will find numerous boutiques, restaurants and and trendy bars. Take your time to watch the remarkable streets art and to tour the parks.

  2. Day 2 Buenos Aires: Historic center/ Tango & Milonga

    In the morning a specialist guide will accompany you to discover the colorful streets of Caminito, in the neighborhood of La Boca. Then you will continue to the historic center of the city: Plaza de Mayo, the Cabildo, and finish in the bohemian area of San Telmo. (duration: 4 hours)

    A guide will join you in the early evening for an immersion in the Argentinian culture. This tour allows you to discover authentic tango by going to a ”milonga”, a tango ballroom where you can meet local tango lovers and even take a lesson to learn your first steps.

    Duration: 3 hours.

  3. Day 3 Buenos Aires / Ushuaia

    Today, get ready to fly to the southernmost city in the world! That’s right, you’ll arrive at the end of the world!

    You’ll have a free day to tour the city by yourself. You can go for a stroll around the old colonial houses and visit the Museum of the End of the World and the Maritime Museum in the former penitentiary in Ushuaia.

  4. Day 4 PN Ushuaia and Beagle Channel

    In the morning you will participate on a half day small-group guided excursion (maximum of 6 travellers) to the breathtaking Tierra del Fuego National Park, with its dramatic scenery, waterfalls, forests, mountains and glaciers including parts of the Fagnano and Roca lakes. The Senda Costera (Coastal Path), connecting Ensenada Bay to Lapataia Bay on Lago Roca, is a popular hiking trail within the park. You’ll have an english-speaking guide and the entrance tickets to the National Park are included.  The tour lasts around 6 hours.

    In the afternoon, you will join a group at Ushuaia pier to explore the Beagle Channel on a sailboat (or yacht, depending on the weather conditions). Onboard, you will enjoy panoramic views of the city while starting this adventure to the Sea Lions Island and the Cormorants Island. You will also see the Les Eclaireurs lighthouse and descend on H Island for a short trek where you will be able to interpret the importance of this particular environment. The tour lasts around 4 hours and you’ll have an english-speaking guide. Port taxes are not included (USD 1 approx.).

    You’ll return to the pier after an amazing navigation on the southernmost city in the world and afterwards go to the hotel on your own. 

  5. Day 5 San Pablo Cape and Rolito Ranch

    After breakfast, a transfer will pick you up at the hotel and take you on a new adventure to discover some of the unique pearls buried in this country. You will enjoy Lake Escondido, the small town of Tolhuin and, at noon, we will arrive at provincial road ”A”, where we will take a gravel road to the Atlantic Ocean and Cape San Pablo. At this point, we will climb to an isolated mountain with an abandoned lighthouse at the end. You will see the Desdemona, a big ship that has was abandoned 40 years ago.

    Later, we continue to Estancia Rolito; a charming ranch that keeps the spirit of a family business based on the tradition of sheep farming. You can also take the time to tour a portion of the magnificent 500-acre forest, following thick green paths and visiting the shed where there are woolen balls from the first mowing. In this tour lunch is included and you’ll be accompanied by and enligh speaking guide. After meeting the owners of the Estancia and learning about their story, we’ll return to the city.

  6. Day 6 Ushuaia

    You’ll have an early departure to Esmeralda Lake and Carbajal Mountain. This is one of the most beautiful and less visited places in Ushuaia. After a moment in Tierra Mayor Valley, you will start an intense walk through a colorful glacial lagoon. Afterwards, you will reach the panoramic peak of the mountain.

  7. Day 7 Flight to El Calafate and dinner in the footsteps of Tehuelche peopl

    In the morning, you’ll take off to El Calafate and the glacier region! Pay attention to the view while landing, as you will have the chance to see the Argentino Lake from the plane right next to the airport. 

    El Calafate is on the south shore of Lago Argentino and is the main gateway to the southern area of ​​Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and the incredible Perito Moreno Glacier, a well-known tourist attraction as well as Upsala Glacier and Fitz Roy Mountain, among others.

    At around 6 pm, your English/Spanish speaking guide will pick you up on a 4×4 and take you to the turquoise colored lake next to the city center. You will take a trail that offers an impressive panorama of the Andes to an archeological site where you will observe rock paintings from the pre-Tehuelche culture (more than 4000 years old!). You’ll enjoy a typical Patagonian dinner in the cave (included) before returning to El Calafate in the early evening. 

  8. Day 8 Patagonian Ranch and Perito Moreno glacier

    Get ready to live a memorable day! First you will go through the Patagonian steppes, arriving at a typical Estancia. You will discover the traditional activities of the Argentinian gauchos and enjoy a typical ”asado” (Argentinian barbecue) cooked right in front of you with the best wines of the country (included).

    After lunch in this memorable setting in the middle of the plains of Patagonia, you will navigate the South and Rico arms of Argentinian Lake to arrive at the wonderful Perito Moreno Glacier!  It is an enormous ice mass that covers a 250km area and is one of the most impressive glaciers in the world. It is easy to approach the front of the glacier by walking along the footbridges.

  9. Day 8 Kayak in La Leona River

    You’ll part at 7:30 towards the La Leona River. After an introduction, you will start kayaking in the river for 14 km (kayaks are for 2 people and it’s a low level of difficulty activity that doesn’t require any prior experience). Halfway, you will stop for a trekking on ”Cerro Los Hornos” which lasts about two hours. You will be able to observe petrified logs, fossils and one of the oldest formations on the planet. You’ll have a lunch break in one of the best viewpoints of the area (not included). Then, you will continue your kayak trip to the ”Arroyo Turbio”. You’ll return to El Calafate at 16:30.

  10. Day 10 El Calafate / El Chaltén

    You’ll take a bus to El Chaltén, the so called ”capital of trekking” in Argentina. After a 3-hour drive through the steppes of Patagonia, you will arrive at the village, where you can admire the famous Mount Fitz Roy. ”Chalten” is the name the Tehuelches gave to the area surrounding the hill that Perito Moreno later named ”Fitz Roy”. In the Aonikenk language, it means ”smoking mountain” and the natives, like many early explorers, thought was a volcano. In the afternoon, you’ll get to discover this scenic village and its surroundings on your own.

  11. Day 11 El Chaltén

    You’ll have a free day to hike around the Laguna de los Tres, one of the most beautiful in the area. It starts at the end of the main street San Martin, after the car park. A sign ”Senda al Fitz Roy” marks the starting point and, after about 5 hours excluding the stops (10.2 km), you will get to the end You’ll 1,170 meters above sea level. Mount Fitz Roy pops up in front of you and a turquoise colored lake stretches out at your feet. The path is fully marked and well laid out. You can have a picnic on your way up! 

  12. Day 12 El Chaltén / Los Antiguos

    You’ll have a free day for one of the possible self-guided walks in the area. 

    In the afternoon or at night, you’ll leave El Chaltén towards Los Antiguos, a small town located in the north of Santa Cruz province. You’ll will go through 650 km along the emblematic Route 40 and spend the night travelling. We suggest that you pack your own dinner.

  13. Day 13 Arrival at Los Antiguos

    You’ll arrive at Los Antiguos in the morning and check-in at your hotel. 

    You’ll begin your activities to discover another side of Patagonia, starting with the Natural Safari in the Zeballos River (full day). In the morning, you will leave Los Antiguos crossing the highest and most spectacular route of Southern Patagonia. You’ll arrive at Portezuelo Zeballos, around 1500m above sea level, a place that offers the possibility to watch flora and fauna of the region such as condors, South Andean deers and “choiques” (rheas). Afterwards you’ll return to your hotel in Los Antiguos.

  14. Day 14 Marble Chaples (full day)

    You’ll leave Los Antiguos heading west. Today you will be able to perceive the transition from the steppes to the valley. Once in Puerto Tranquilo, a small Chilean town, you will sail on the General Carrera Lake and get to know a unique natural sanctuary: the Marble Chapels, a series of caverns eroded by the lake. You’ll return to your hotel after this activity.

  15. Day 15 Hands Cave (full day)

    In the morning, you will head south on route 40 to get to the most important cave-art site of Patagonia, which is located in the deep canyon of Pinturas River. It is one of the most ancient artistic expressions of the South-American people and it was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will hike the Rio Pinturas Canyon and Tierra de Colores.

  16. Day 16 Los Antiguos / Caleta Olivia and return to Buenos Aires

    You’ll leave early to the Comodoro Rivadavia Airport. On the way, you will visit the Loberia of Caleta Olivia, where you will find more than 600 seals, as well as sea birds and cormorants. You will also be able to watch mussels, seashells and sea urchins on the rocks during low tide. 

    You’ll arrive at the airport at around 1 pm to take a flight to Buenos Aires. Once in Buenos Aires, you’ll take a private transfer to your hotel in the bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo. 

  17. Day 17 Buenos Aires

    You’ll take a bike tour with a local guide in the northern neighborhoods of the city. You’ll tour the aristocratic neighborhood of Recoleta (Plaza San Martín), the forests and lakes of Palermo and the Rosedal (rose garden), a city oasis. The activity lasts around 4 hours and you’ll have the rest of the day free to explore the city by yourself.

  18. Day 18 Last day in Argentina

    It’s about time to wrap up the last souvenirs and presents and to enjoy the atmosphere of the neighborhood!

    According to your flight schedule, a private transfer will drive you to Ezeiza International Airport.

    Have a good trip!

All about the Adventure and Heritage of Southern Patagonia.

In this trip you’ll have the unique opportunity to discover the Argentinian Patagonia.

The trip begins in the capital city, Buenos Aires, where you’ll spend two days. During this time you’ll go, on the one hand, to the neighborhood of Palermo, characterized by its parks, boutiques, bars, restaurants and a lot of street arte, and on the other hand, you’ll visit the historic area of the city: Plaza de Mayo, the Cabildo and the colorful neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca.

The next destination is Ushuaia, the end of the world city. Here, you’ll get to visit the amazing Tierra del Fuego National Park, navigate through the Beagle Canal and discover the Yámana archeological sites. You’ll also visit the Faro Eclaireurs, the Lago Escondido small town of Tolhuin. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the typical Estancia Rolito and observe local wildlife and flora of the island along with your guide. You’ll also discover the Laguna Turquesa and the Valle del Olum, one of the most beautiful and less visited places in Ushuaia.

In El Calafate You’ll participate on a 4×4 excursion, first with a unique view in the lake’s turquoise-colored waters, and later with an amazing view of the Andes, and you’ll reach an archeological site where you’ll get to observe cave paintings of pre-tehuelche culture (over 4000 years old!). Here, you’ll share a typical dinner, inside the cave! In El Calafate you’ll also visit an Estancia, where you’ll learn about the gaucho’s traditional activities and enjoy an “asado” (Argentinian barbecue). Later, you’ll navigate towards the amazin Perito Moreno glacier! You’ll reach the heart of Los Glaciares National Park to admire the breathtaking glacier.

Once in El Chaltén, you will be able to walk several self-guided paths in the Argentinian “capital of trekking”. You’ll reach places with amazing views, such as the Mount Fitz Roy or the Laguna de los Tres. Don’t worry, paths are perfectly signaled!

The trip continues toward Los Antiguos, a beautiful town in Patagonia that is not usually included in classic tour circuits. Here, you’ll participate on a Natural Safari in the Zeballos River, you’ll navigate in the Lago General Carrera and visit a unique natural sanctuary: the Capillas de Mármol. You’ll also go to the most important cave art place in Patagonia, in the deep Río Pinturas canyon. It’s one of the oldest artistic expressions that native South American peoples have left, and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The last stop of your trip will be right back where it started: Buenos Aires. Before departure, you’ll tour the northern city neighborhood by bike.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 17 nights accommodation in a double room

  • Breakfasts included in all hotels

  • Meals when mentioned as “included” in the itinerary

  • Guided tours and mentioned excursions, with English/Spanish speaking guide

  • Transfers to the airport (in private service when mentioned)

  • Bus tickets: from El Calafate to El Chaltén and from El Chaltén to Los Antiguos

  • Entrances to the National Parks mentioned

  • 24 hour agency assistance during your trip

  • Online payment fees

What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Air transport (national and international), optional

  • Meals (except when mentioned) and additional staff

  • Excursions indicated as optional

Local hotels, family homes and unique properties

At Mater we know that accommodation is much more than a place to sleep. It is an opportunity to experience the local culture. Because of this, our itineraries are designed to stay in local hotels and, whenever possible, have an experience in the family home.

The published price is in standard hotels, but we have options in superior and luxury category hotels. We work with inns, rooms, and charming hotels.

At Mater we always search for alternative activities to those usually chosen by large groups of tourists so that you can have more intimate and authentic experiences, without missing out on the most emblematic places in Argentina.

You’ll visit Buenos Aires and learn about its culture and the different neighbourhoods along with a local guide. You’ll continue your trip by visiting the most outstanding places in Argentinian Patagonia: Ushuaia, El Calafate and El Chaltén, along with guides specialized in nature. You’ll go to unconventional places where you’ll get an authentic encounter with the local peoples. You’ll also visit a region that’s far from the classic touristic circuit in the North of Santa Cruz province: Los Antiguos. This tour includes small-group activities so that you can have a better experience.

On top of our general sustainability policies (see here), there are some specific sustainable actions we take in this particular tour.

One of the main characteristics of sustainable tourism is the direct and genuine bond created with locals, generating a reciprocal cultural enrichment. 

In Buenos Aires you’ll get to know the secrets of this amazing city, accompanied by a local guide who specializes in the city’s culture and history.

In Ushuaia you’ll visit the well known Tierra del Fuego National Park with a guide that specializes in biodiversity who will give the visit a whole different perspective. In Cabo San Pablo, a little-known place in the Tierra del Fuego Island, you’ll take a walk on the beach while your guide explains the importance of protecting the places visited and their biodiversity. Furthermore, you’ll visit an estancia where its owners will tell you all about their rural life in Southern Patagonia. We also avoid using plastic for meals and buy our lunch boxes from local entrepreneurs.

In El Calafate you’ll participate in a 4×4 adventure to visit a Pre-Tehuelche archeological site and finish the day by having dinner in a cave with a small group of travelers and a local guide that specializes in local culture, to achieve a unique  perspective and cultural enrichment. Next, you’ll visit an estancia that still works as such (not only for touristic purposes)and learn about the different activities they do, such as sheep shearing. This generates an atmosphere of cultural exchange and authentic learning about the Patagonic pioneer’s traditions, agriculture and cattle raising. You’ll reach the perito Moreno glacier though an unconventional navigation, helping prevent overtourism. By doing this you’ll also get a unique perspective, making the navigation an experience itself. After, you’ll have a few days with loooots of trekking and kayaking in El Calafate and El Chaltén. In El Chaltén, known as the Argentinian trekking capital, you can walk on many different trails to discover the famous Mount Fitz Roy or the Cerro Torre, in addition to the amazing Lago Torre and the Laguna de los Tres.

The adventure continues in Los Antiguos, where you’ll visit natural monuments such as the Capillas de Mármol and you’ll get to discover the Cuevas de las Manos, an incredibly valuable archeological site of cave art, surrounded by by an unforgettable colourful landscape.

Reaching the end of the journey, you’ll return to Buenos Aires, where you’ll ride bikes touring the north of the city.

Buenos Aires – Ushuaia: 3.35h flight

Ushuaia – El Calafate: 1.20h flight

El Calafate – El Chaltén: 3hs on route

El Chaltén – Los Antiguos: 11hs on route

Los Antiguos – Aeropuerto de Comodoro Rivadavia: 6hs on route

Comodoro Rivadavia – Buenos Aires: 2.15h flight

The weather in Patagonia changes constantly, so there can be a lot of wind and and low temperatures even during the summer. We suggest that you take this trip between October and March, to avoid the coldest months.

Ushuaia has an average annual temperature of 5.7ºC (42ºF). During the summer, the average temperature is about 15ºC (59ºF) during the day, with colder mornings and night of about 10ºC (50ºF). 

In El Calafate, El Chaltén and Los Antiguos the average annual temperature is 7.5ºC (45.5ºF). January is the warmest month and the temperature during the day is about 15ºC (59ºF).

There are daily direct flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, and between Buenos Aires and Comodoro Rivadavia. Between Ushuaia and El Calafate, direct flight availability depends on the time of the year and are more frequent during the summer. 

Just like in any place that is daily visited by many tourists, in Buenos Aires and the Perito Moreno sidewalks we suggest that you pay attention to your personal belongings. We also recommend that you avoid having your phones or cameras permanently in display, avoid dark and lonely streets (mainly at night), and avoid wearing flashy jewelry. Ushuaia, El Calafate and El Chaltén are very small cities that you can travel unconcerned.

Buenos Aires has many traditions and you’ll find in each neighbourhood restaurants with their own identity. Gastronomy here is a mixture between “criollo” culture and cultures brought to Buenos Aires with immigrants, mainly Italian. Amongst the most traditional Argentinian meals, you should try empanadas and asado (Argentinian barbecue), yet the Argentinian capital is also a multicultural city with a wide range of gastronomic options, so you’ll be surprised by the large variety of foreign gastronomy.

In Patagonia, each region has its specialties. In El Calafate you cannot miss the Patagonian lamb and the “frutos del bosque”, a variety of berries such as cassis, blackberries, rosa mosqueta or the calafate! You can find these in desserts, spirits or marmalades. In Ushuaia you have to try the “centolla” (a kind of crab) and the black hake.

Overall Rating
5/5
Luisa
Reviewed On 04/11/2019
5/5

It was the trip of a lifetime!!! The organization was right on point and al the transfers and operators were punctual and as expected. The hotels were perfect... small, intimate, with perfect locations and the service was amazing. The local tours met all of our expectations and the guides were friendly and knowledgeable. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I would recommend without hesitation to anyone that wants to experience Patagonia!

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