Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Tour to Authentic Patagonia
On this trip you will immerse yourself in the heart of the Atlantic, Andean and Austral Patagonia, its infinite lakes, steppes and glaciers. You will discover the flora, fauna and the rural traditions of local communities, the local gastronomy and the natural parks of the south of Argentina. A highlight of this trip will be the cultural exchange experience with a community of natives (mapuches) in Bariloche and the whale watching in Península Valdés.
Duration: 17 days
The price is in US dollars per person in double basis.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Day 1: Arrival at Argentina
Landing in Buenos Aires and transfer to the hotel (Palermo)
You will arrive in Buenos Aires and you will be transferred to your hotel in the neighborhood of Palermo.
Afternoon and free night.
Recommendation: At night, we suggest visiting a ”milonga”, a typical room where tango lovers meet every night to dance. This traditional dance is classified as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Discover what is the real Tango, the one practiced by the ”porteños” (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) during your free time.
Day 2: City tour
Visit to the historic center and South Neighbour (La Boca and San Telmo)
This morning, your guide will take you to discover the colorful neighborhood of La Boca, famous for its Caminito street, a true open-air museum, and then you will visit the historic center, observing different architectural styles, impressive domes and you will walk through its Haussmannian boulevards to end the tour in the bohemian neighborhood of San Telmo.
Rest of the day free to discover the capital.
Duration: The city tour lasts 3 hours.
Day 3: Welcome to Patagonia
Arrival in Puerto Pirámides
You will leave the capital on a flight to Trelew, you will be transferred to Puerto Pirámides, in the heart of the Valdés Peninsula. On the road you will enjoy the landscapes: steppes with impressive desert landscapes. After approximately 2 hours of travel, you will arrive at your accommodation, a charming inn located 150 meters from the beach.
Afternoon and free night to rest and walk around Puerto Pirámides.
Day 4: Discovering Puerto Pirámides
Excursion sighting of southern right whales
You will leave with a small group for an observation excursion of southern right whales, which you will be able to see swimming in the waters of the Valdés Peninsula between August and December. The captain and his crew will tell you about the coast, its ecosystem and the natural life cycle of these giant marine mammals.
Return to Puerto Pirámides in the afternoon. Free night.
Day 5: Arrival at Puerto Madryn
Exploring the wildlife and flight to Ushuaia
Together with your specialized guide you’ll learn about the wildlife of Peninsula Valdés. You’ll see penguins, sea lions, seals and whales from July to December.
At the end of the day, you will be transferred to Puerto Madryn, where you will spend the night before flying to the southernmost city of the world.
Day 6: Arrival at Ushuaia
Flight to Ushuaia and free afternoon
You will fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Free afternoon to explore the city or rest.
Recommendation: End of the World Museum – Maritime and Presidio Museum of Ushuaia – Plaza Islas Malvinas – End of the World Trail.
Day 7: Excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park
Exploring the park
In the morning you will make an excursion through the Tierra del Fuego National Park. You will be surprised with its unique landscapes, between lakes, forests and the magic of the end of the world.
You will make a simple walk of 2: 30hs to reach the Lapataia Bay, enjoying the incredible landscapes.
Return to Ushuaia.
Day 8: Navigation in the Beagle Channel
You will leave the pier for a navigation in the Beagle Channel. You will navigate to the lighthouse of the Eclaireurs, between Argentina and Chile and you will see colonies of sea lions and cormorants. You will visit the Harberton ranch, the oldest in the province, which used to shear sheep, and has maintained its original structure to this day. Then you will board a boat to the island of Martillo, with your specialized guide you will take a walk to observe the Magellanic and Gentoo penguins.
Return to Ushuaia at the end of the day.
Day 9: El Calafate
Sailing to Argentino Lake, visit an archeological site and patagonian dinner in a cave
You will arrive to the city of El Calafate, from where you will be transferred to your hotel.
As an optional, you will be able to make a unique excursion in 4×4 with your guide you will sail Argentino Lake and its turquoise waters, you will visit an archeological site where you will observe cave paintings of pre-Tehuelche culture (more than 4000 years old) and you will enjoy a patagonian dinner in the cave.
Day 10: Perito Moreno glacier
Full day at Nibepo Aike and sailing the glacier
You’ll have an early start today for a drive across the old estancias road on a small-group excursion. The guide will explain to you about the rural life of the Patagonian farms and the indigenous influence. Then, you will arrive at the Estancia and enjoy a typical barbecue with the best wines in the country (included).
After lunch, you’ll navigate the South and Rico arms of Lake Argentino and disembark at Las Monedas beach for a walk in the wood (low level of difficulty). After sailing again you will reach the Perito Moreno Glacier. It is an enormous ice mass covering a 250 square km area and is one of the most wonderful glaciers in the world.
It is easy to approach the front of the glacier by walking along the footbridges (free time, around 2 hours)Return to El Calafate during the evening by minibus.
Day 11: Sailing the Upsala Channel
Excursion in 4x4 and visit to Estancia Cristina
You will navigate through the Upsala Channel, between the icebergs and surrounded by magnificent landscapes with a view on the western front of the Upsala glacier, up to the landing point in the estancia. Typical lunch in the place. Then you will board a 4×4 to climb the mountain and enjoy the privileged view of the east face of the Upsala Glacier and Lake Guillermo.
Day 12: San Carlos de Bariloche
Cultural exchange experience with a community of native
Transfer to the airport where you will take a flight to San Carlos de Bariloche. Once there you will be transferred to a small rural community located in the heart of a valley, about 30 km from Bariloche.
You will be welcomed by the family who will tell you about the way of life of this community, its histories and customs, and you will participate in daily activities, such as the elaboration of farm cheeses, milking cows, etc. A family member will take you to walk around before returning to share the meal with your hosts.
Day 13: Discovering the life of the rural community
Return to San Carlos de Bariloche
After a local breakfast, you will go with one of your hosts for a walk in the surrounding mountains. When you reach the top, in addition to the spectacular view, you will see some condors. You will share a traditional ”barbecue” with your hosts before returning to Bariloche at the end of the afternoon.On arrival to Bariloche city, you will pick up the rental car for the following days.
Day 14: Touring the Seven Lakes Road
From Bariloche to San Martín de Los Andes
You will drive through Road 40 on a trip along the Seven Lakes Road to San Martin de los Andes, a spectacular road between mountains, forests and mirrored lakes.
We recommend stopping to discover the towns of Villa La Angostura, San Martin de los Andes and the Vulignanco waterfall, the Beautiful Lake or the Arrayán viewpoint in Lake Lacar.
Day 15: Return to Bariloche
From San Martín de Los Andes to Bariloche
You will take the route to Bariloche again.
Free afternoon to visit the city.
Recommendation: We suggest you take the ”Small Circuit” by car, the coastal circuit that will allow you to enjoy many points of view between the mountains and lakes of Llao Llao and Nahuel Huapi.
Day 16: Return to Buenos Aires
Flight to the tango city
Return to Buenos Aires, where you will have the last free night and the opportunity to enjoy the bohemian atmosphere of the San Telmo neighborhood where your hotel is located.
Recommendation: For the night, we suggest closing this incredible trip with a tango show.
Day 17: End of the trip
Transfer to the international airport according to your flight schedule.
The Authentic Patagonia Circuit is a trip through Austral, Andean and Atlantic Patagonia, it proposes to connect with the magic of nature and rural traditions of local communities. This trip starts with a tour of the city of Buenos Aires, through the historic center and the southern neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca.
The adventure continues towards the Atlantic Patagonia: Puerto Pirámides and Puerto Madryn, in the heart of the Valdés Peninsula, you will discover the steppes with desert landscapes and the fauna of the region, wolves and sea elephants and you can make an excursion to get up close to the famous southern whale.
The trip continues to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. There you will make a walk through the forests, trails and lakes of the Tierra del Fuego National Park and sailing through the Beagle Channel. You will have a field day in Estancia Haberton, the oldest ranch in the province and you will go to Martillo Island and see colonies of Magellan and Gentoo penguins.
The next destination is El Calafate. You will enjoy an 4×4 excursion through Lake Argentino and its turquoise waters, a visit to an archaeological site (with cave paintings of the pre-tehuelche culture) and a patagonian dinner in a cave. You will have a field day with equestrian demonstrations and a barbecue and sail through the Argentino Lake to get up close to the famous Perito Moreno glacier. You will sail through the Upsala Channel and have a tour in 4×4 to visit Estancia Cristina.
The trip continues to San Carlos de Bariloche. You will have an exchange cultural experience with a mapuche community, in a valley located 30km from the city. You will be receive by your host family and you will be able to collaborate in the rural activities of the community.
The last stop will be towards the Road of the Seven Lakes, where you will enjoy unique landscapes with forests, mirrored lakes and waterfalls, making different stops, from Villa La Angostura, to San Martín de Los Andes. You will rent a car to return to Bariloche and tour the city freely.
This trip ends in Buenos Aires, you will have your last free night to explore the city by your own taste.
- 16 hotel nights in a standard double room (unless otherwise indicated)
- 1 night of accommodation in full board
- Breakfasts in all accommodations.
- Meals when “included” are mentioned
- Ground transportation in place (in private service when mentioned)
- Transfers to the airport (in private service when mentioned)
- Guided tours and mentioned excursions, with guide in English / Spanish when not specified
- Tickets to national parks.
- Air transport (optional)
- Excursions indicated as “optional “.
- Personal meals and extras not mentioned.
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.
This tour includes small-group excursions so that you can get a better experience. You’ll visit the most outstanding places in Argentinian Patagonia: Península Valdés, Ushuaia, El Calafate and Bariloche, along with guides specialized in nature. You’ll go to unconventional places where you’ll get an authentic encounter with the local peoples.
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 Puerto Madryn you’ll see southern right whales, a natural spectacle, and participate on a group excursion to Península Valdés, a natural reserve where you’ll get to observe the richness of the region and respectfully watch some characteristic Patagonian animals, such as sea lions.
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. You’ll also get to see the Magellanic penguins in the Harberton estancia.
In El Calafate 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.
In Bariloche you’ll have the opportunity to travel the Route of the Seven Lakes, well known for passing between amazing lakes and mountains. You’ll also get to have a rural community travel experience with a local family that will be your host. You’ll get to participate in their day-to-day activities and share a delicious Argentinian “asado” (similar to barbecue) with an unforgettable view.
Buenos Aires – Trelew: 2.30hrs flight
Trelew Airport – Puerto Piramides: 2.00 hours of route
Peninsula Valdés – Puerto Madryn: 1.20h of route
Trelew – Ushuaia: 2.00hrs flight
Ushuaia – El Calafate: 1.30hrs flight
EL Calafate – Bariloche: 2.00 a.m. (if there is a direct flight) or 10.00 a.m. (stopover flight in Buenos Aires)
Bariloche Airport – Community: 1.00h of route
Bariloche – Buenos Aires: 2.20hrs flight
The weather in Patagonia changes constantly, so there can be a lot of wind and and low temperatures even during the summer. Yet, the fauna calendar must be taken into account when choosing a date to travel, given that not all animals are in the area all year round. For example, whales can be seen between June and November, while penguins are there from September to April. We suggest that you take this trip between October and March, given that the best season to visit Península Valdés starts in July but for all the other destinations this is still a very cold and windy season.
In Puerto Madryn and its surrounding weather is influenced by their closeness to the sea, with an average annual temperature of 13.4ºC (56ºF), but with warm summers where the temperature may reach 30ºC (86ºF).
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 the average annual temperature is 7.5ºC (45.5ºF). January is the warmest month and the temperature during the day is about 15ºC (59ºF).
In Bariloche the average annual temperature is 8ºC (46ºF), with winters that may reach -2ºC (28.4ºF) and summer days of 22ºC (71.6ºF).
There are daily direct flights between El Calafate and Ushuaia, between Buenos Aires and Bariloche and between Buenos Aires and Trelew. Between El Calafate and Bariloche, direct flight availability varies according to the season, you can usually find them during the summer months.
All cities visited are safe but, just like in any tourist place, we suggest that you pay attention to your personal belongings, especially in places crowded with tourists, such as the Perito Moreno sidewalks or the city center in San Carlos de Bariloche. In Buenos Aires when visiting neighborhoods such as La Boca, we suggest that you don’t keep your phones or cameras permanently in display, avoid dark and empty streets (especially at night) and don’t wear flashy jewelry.
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 Península Valdés you can try great seafood. 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. In Bariloche you can try the “curanto” a mapuche method to cook foods by burying hot rock in a pit. You should also know especially that Bariloche is known to be the city of chocolate, don’t miss out on them!