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Patagonia Explorer – Adventure, Wildlife & Waterfalls

$3,595.00

PENINSULA VALDES. EL CALAFATE. EL CHALTEN. IGUAZU FALLS.

Argentina has been enchanting travellers for a long time: tango, wine, gauchos, fútbol, Patagonia, the Andes, and Iguazu Falls. Studded with outstanding natural wonders and abundant wildlife, Argentina is a vast and varied land. Tapering from the Tropic of Capricorn towards the tip of Antarctica it encompasses a mind-boggling diversity of terrains, from the the glaciers of Patagonia to the thunderous, tropical waterfalls of Iguazu. With spectacular landscapes, amazing hiking, plentiful wildlife, and rich culture, this Patagonia Explorer Tour will not disappoint intrepid travellers.

For those who come to Patagonia, an encounter with such emptiness can be as awesome as the sight of jagged peaks, penguin colonies, pristine rivers, and massive glaciers. This fascinating Patagonia tour encompasses Argentina’s allure.

This adventure is fully customizable and can be adjusted to best suit your taste, style, and travel needs.

AVAILABLE ON A CUSTOM BASIS FOR 2 OR MORE TRAVELLERS JUN to MAR.

Category:

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Highlights Include:

  • Searching for whales, dolphins and orcas in Peninsula Valdes
  • Kayaking around the Perito Moreno Glacier near El Calafate
  • Strolling pathways around the thundering Iguazu Falls
  • Trekking with world-class viewpoints near El Chalten
  • Hiking in Los Glaciares National Park
  • Learning about life in Patagonia
  • Visiting a massive penguin colony near Puerto Madryn

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DAY 1 – Buenos Aires
Welcome to Buenos Aires! Seductive and cultured, sophisticated yet earthy, eclectic but with a strong identity, it never bores, seldom sleeps and invariably mesmerizes its visitors. Influenced by the great European cities, Buenos Aires nonetheless has its own distinct personality enhanced by proud traditions, including football, tango and mate.

Arrival to Buenos Aires International Airport in Ezeiza, and private transfer to the Hotel. As today is arrival day, there are no planned activities.

Meals: -/-/-
Hotel: BA Hotel

DAY 2 – Buenos Aires to Puerto Madryn (Patagonia)
In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel in Buenos Aires and brought to the AEP domestic airport to take your next flight to Puerto Madryn. You will have the rest of the day free to roam and discover the city. We can recommend restaurants and city tours.

The gateway to Península Valdés, Puerto Madryn is Patagonia’s star destination for marine wildlife watching (June to mid-December). With a beachfront location, it’s also a pleasant place in itself.

Upon arrival in Puerto Madryn a driver will be waiting for you to bring you to your four-star hotel, The Dazzler Hotel, where you will stay for 3 nights. The Dazzler Hotel offers services such as a spa, free Wi-Fi, flat screen TV’s and in-room massage services. Rooms with ocean views are available upon request. Breakfast is included.

Return to the Hotel.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: The Dazzler Hotel

DAY 3 – Peninsula Valdes & Whale Watching (Full Day Tour)
During circuit, we will cover approximately 380 kms inside the fauna reserve boasting the greatest biodiversity in the centre region of Patagonia. Peninsula Valdes was deemed a UNESCO Word Natural Heritage Site in 1999. Península Valdés is a site of global significance for the conservation of marine mammals. It is home to an important breeding population of the endangered southern right whale as well as important breeding populations of southern elephant seals and southern sea lions. The orcas in this area have developed a unique hunting strategy to adapt to local coastal conditions.

We will visit the Interpretation Center Istmo C. Ameghino in which we will be able to appreciate an exhibition on fauna, flora and geology of the place.

Whale Watching (1.5hrs): We continue to Puerto Pirámides, a touristic village from which the boats departs for whale watching from June to December and the nautical trips in Summer. While you are whale watching, keep your eyes open for the endangered Right Whales, Orcas and seals. The captain and the specialized crew will introduce passengers to the interpretation of the coastal and marine ecosystem, and they will be assisted by bilingual auxiliary staff on board. This 1.5hour navigation is extraordinary experience as you learn about the biological cycle of the whales: mating, birth and breeding of the whale calf.

Caleta Valdés and Punta Cantor, depending on the time of year, provide opportunities to watch sea lions, elephant seals and Magellan penguins (from September to February), and a unique landscape given by this particular geological formation.

During the drive, you may also witness terrestrial fauna such as: llamas, guanacos, Patagonian mara, armadillos, and grey foxes.

Be sure to: Dress in warm clothing (waterproof outer layer), bring a waterproof bad for camera equipment, sunscreen

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: The Dazzler Hotel

DAY 4 – Punto Tombo & Penguin Rookery (Full Day)
After an early breakfast, depart for a full day excursion (730am departure). In this excursion we will visit Punta Tombo, the most important Magellanic penguin colony in South America (approximately 500 000 penguins). For the bird lovers, you will have the chance to observe seagulls, skuas, giant petrels, cormorants and oystercatchers from the shore. Due to the expanse of the steppe region, there are also a wide variety of mammals such as: llamas, guanacos, Patagonian maras, foxes, to name a few.

During this excursion we will also visit the Port of Rawson, in which you will be able to enjoy an optional navigation to visit the Commerson’s Dolphin, also known as Patagonia Dolphin.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: The Dazzler Hotel

DAY 5 – El Calafate
After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel in Puerto Madryn and brought to the airport for your flight to El Calafate, Patagonia. You will have the rest of the day free to roam the city! We can recommend restaurants, city tours and activities.

El Calafate is a town near the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz. It’s mainly known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, home to the massive Perito Moreno Glacier, whose ever-shifting icy landscape is popular for hiking and sightseeing. A modern interpretive center called the Glaciarium serves as a primer on the region’s numerous glaciers.

After arriving in El Calafate (FTE) a driver will be waiting to bring you to your four-star hotel, the KOSTEN AIKE, where you will stay for THREE nights. The Kosten Aike hotel is just a nine minute picturesque walk away from the Argentino Lake. Services include breakfast, TV, Wi-Fi, a spa with Jacuzzi and sauna.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: Kosten Aike

DAY 6 – Perito Moreno Kayaking
After breakfast (8am), depart El Calafate for a unique experience at the Perito Moreno Glacier. Come discover the Perito Moreno Glacier, a UNESCO Site, by kayak, giving you a different perspective. We assure you, it will be something you remember forever. Upon arrival at the National Park the experience begins at the meeting point of the Perito Moreno Kayak Experience, located near the main parking lot, where our team will give you a brief about the experience. Here you will get dressed (dry suit, thermal suit, boots, life jackets) and our expert kayak guides will inform you about everything related to safety and they will explain how to paddle these amazing glacial waters. Previous kayaking experience is not necessary. Once ready, head out in kayaks from Beach of the Floes, paddling towards the face of the glacier. From here you can truly appreciate the magnitude of the glacier with its 60m high wall in front of you. Approach until about 600 meters away. The kayaking experience lasts for about 1.5hours.

With a picnic lunch, you will also be able to stroll along the boardwalks to appreciate the colours and sounds of the glacier.

Meals: B/L/-
Hotel: Kosten Aike

DAY 7 – South Glacier Adventure (Oct to May)
After breakfast, enter the world of glaciers by travelling along Route 15 (the old route of estancias) and from the Sectional Roca Lake of the Glacier National Park. Nearby the Estancia Nibepo Aike we embark on the boat Fonzo Ranger SR-90 to navigate through the south arm of the Argentino Lake heading south ending at land. Entering unexplored territory. Crossing Frias Lake in a motorize rubber boat and finally the hike to the Big Glacier. Embrace the beauty and serenity. A glacier valley, with changing environments and exposed glacier landscape. Finally we reach the amphitheater of the Big Glacier. Here we enjoy a picnic lunch with views of the Cube and Dickson Glacier as well. The hike includes nearly 6 hours of walking for 14km of distance – medium technical requirement. Share a few yerba mates, return on Route 15 enjoying the sunset along the drive.

Meals: B/L/-
Hotel: Kosten Aike

DAY 8 – El Calafate to El Chalten
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the bus terminal where you will take a comfortable bus to El Chalten, the Trekking Capital of Argentina. Upon arrival at the bus terminal in El Chalten you will be transferred to the four-star DESTINO SUR HOTEL, where you will stay for THREE nights. The hotel offers spa and restaurant services. Breakfast is included. Rest of the day free.

El Chaltén is a village within Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina’s Santa Cruz province. It’s a gateway to trails surrounding the peaks of Cerro Torre and Mount Fitz Roy to the northwest.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: Destino Sur Hotel

DAY 9 – Laguna de los Tres Trek (Full Day)
Perhaps the most spectacular and unforgettable trek of the region.  A trek that takes you past some impressive scenery and through forests until you arrive at the mystical Mount Fitz Roy; admiring lagoons of different shades of blue, imposing glaciers and campgrounds visited by famous international climbers.

This trek starts with a transfer to the trail head at El Pilar, located 17km to the north of the town. The journey itself is enjoyable for the lovely views of the valley, the Río de Las Vueltas, that we drive along, and constantly present the impressive Cordón de Los Cóndores. After about 20 minutes we start to see Mt Fitz Roy from a different angle. We start walking in a dense forest of lengas, that protect us from the winds coming off the Continental Ice Field. Right from the start we are able to see lots of different glaciers – Marconi, Eléctrico, Cagliero and in the distance, towards Lago del Desierto, the Vespignani glacier.

The path is easy as it’s quite flat and the climbs are gentle. We arrive at our first viewpoint, Piedras Blancas glacier and a bit later we leave the forest ending up in a clearing where we can admire in all their splendour the peaks of “S”, Saint Exupéry, Poincenot, Fitz Roy, Mermoz and Guillaumet. From here we continue for a few more minutes until we arrive at Poincenot campground, located in beautiful lenga forest inhabited by countless varieties of birds, which will accompany us with their song until we reach the campground Río Blanco. This is the base camp for the most adventurous climbers who will attempt to conquer these granite masses. We then climb 400m in about an hour until we arrive at Laguna de los Tres. On arriving at the highest point on the path, we are rewarded by the majestic views of Fitz Roy, the glacier de los Tres and its lagoon.  The grandeur of this location makes you feel very insignificant. From here we circle Laguna de los Tres and head towards the viewpoint of the Laguna Sucia and its glacier. Again, the breathtaking views are unforgettable.

After a rest and a bite for lunch, we will start the descent and walk back to El Chaltén. En route we go past some varying landscape, crystal clear streams and we pass by Laguna Capri – a favorite spot for photographers. After visiting the lagoon we drop down into the valley where El Chaltén is located.

Having had such an exciting day, why not relax in the town having a beer made in the town’s microbrewery or a hot chocolate with some homemade cake?

What to bring: Rucksack, Water, Snacks, Warm layers, Sunglasses, Waterproof jacket, Gloves, Hat, Sunscreen, Sturdy footwear.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: Destino Sur Hotel

DAY 10 – Laguna Torre Trek
One of the classic treks that just can’t be missed in El Chaltén is the Laguna Torre Trek. From here we find an impressive view of the Torre massif, the Adela range, Mount Solo and their respective glaciers. The footpath will take us through a wide range of landscapes, ranging from wide glacial valleys to dense forests stopping at great panoramic spots.

From El Chaltén we head off on the Laguna Torre footpath and after a small climb we enter the woods. From here, the path starts to gain height and straighten up alongside the Fitz Roy River until it arrives at a viewpoint of the river canyon and the Margarita waterfall.

The panorama presents the valley of the Fitz Roy River and its serpentine course with the backdrop of the unique Mount Solo, the Adela range and the impressive Mount Torre. After about an hour of walking we arrive at the Mount Torre viewpoint. Here we will make the most of the magnificent views of Mount Torre, the Adela range and glaciers and have a short break. We then walk for 2 hours through grand lenga forests, crossing old glacial moraines and wet plains formed by the previous courses of the river until we arrive at Laguna Torre. In this section there is always the possibility of spotting a wide range of birds, including the Magellanic woodpecker.

At Laguna Torre it is usual to see huge icebergs, ice which has fallen off the Torre glacier face. It is also the source of the River Fitz Roy. This river may be crossed by using the Tyrolean rope; it’s used by the climbers to access Torre glacier and to get to the base of the mountain they plan to climb. You will also be able to visit the Agostini campground that used to be a base camp for climbers from all over the world. This walk in springtime is lovely, as we are able to see a large variety of wild flowers endemic to Patagonia. After a rest and lunch at the lagoon, we start the trek back to El Chaltén

What to bring: Small back pack, Water, Warm hat, Sunglasses, Waterproof jacket, Fleece, Gloves, Sun block, Trekking boots.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: Destino Sur Hotel

DAY 11 – Iguazu
In the morning you will be picked up to take the bus back to El Calafate. Upon arrival in El Calafate, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Puerto Iguazu.

Straddling Argentina and Brazil and consisting of over 250 separate cascades, Iguazú Falls (or Cataratas) are quite simply the world’s most dramatic waterfalls. Set among subtropical forests of Parque Nacional Iguazú in Argentina, and Parque Nacional do Iguaçu in Brazil, the Falls tumble for a couple of kilometres over a complex set of cliffs from the Río Iguazú Superior to the Río Iguazú Inferior below.

Once arrived at the airport you will be picked up by a van to go to your four-star hotel, the ALDEA DE LA SELVA LODGE, where you will stay for TWO nights. The Aldea de la Selva Lodge has a pool and Jacuzzi. Breakfast is included. Rest of the day free.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: Aldea de la Selva Lodge

DAY 12 – Iguazu Falls and The Grand Adventure

This tour takes you to visit part of the Iguazú National Park – one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World – It preserves 67.000 ha. of giant trees, vines and ferns living with multi-coloured butterflies, birds and other mammals all of them part of the rich local flora and fauna.

The park was declared Natural World Heritage in 1984, due to its scenic beauty and the great biological diversity of the subtropical jungle with the falls at the heart of this Park. We start the visit at the Local Museum and continue the tour with the Lower Trail, heaps of spectacular fall as well as a panoramic view of San Martin island and the Union Fall. Later we walk the Upper Trail shifting along walkways located above major falls up to the majestic “San Martin Fall” from where we have a panoramic view of the Brazilian falls.

Finally, we take the Train of the Jungle up to Devil’s Throat station. From there, after 1,000 meters walk along the catwalks, we come to the dizzying Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) an incredible display of natural forces in which 1800 cubic metres of water per second hurtle over a 3km semicircle of rock into the river canyon 70m below.

The Grand Adventure includes a up close an personal boat ride to the base of the falls! The Great Adventure is unique, and combines the whole essence of the Iguazu National Park in one ride: the jungle and the waterfalls. It starts by entering the jungle from the “Sendero Yacaratía” trail with special transportation that allows a panoramic view of the environment along with experienced guides that give a lot of explanations as well as the legend of this spectacular place.-
After an 8 km truck ride, we arrive at the Puerto Macuco Base, which is 100 meters away from the Infirmary and Service Station, and 100 meters of stairs ahead is the floating platform where the second part of this ride begins.

With motor-boats, we take visitors 6 km through the Canyon of the Iguassu River, until the falls, with 2 km of rapid rivers. After enjoying the view from the calm side of San Martin Island we sail to the “Tres Mosqueteros” waterfall, at that point, the Brazilian and Argentinean sides and the Devil’s Throat can be clearly appreciated. After that, we sail along the shore of the island until we get to the most exciting part where we face the San Martin waterfall, a wonderful and unforgettable experience, for it’s the largest waterfall any motor-boat can approach safely.
The landing is at the base of the lower circuit where visitors reintegrate the trails.

*Ticket to National Park included.
*Lunch not included.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: Aldea de la Selva Lodge

DAY 13 – Brazilian Side of Iguazu Falls to Buenos Aires

Early pick up from the hotel. Half day excursion to the Brazilian waterfalls and in the afternoon you will be taken to the airport for your return to Buenos Aires.

You will visit the Foz de Iguacu National Park – Brazilian National Park, – DECLARED ONE OF THE NEW SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD –
From this side of the Park you can enjoy the best views of the falls that are in the Argentinean side, the walkways will allow you to get close to the falls and discover the strength of nature.

*Ticket to National Park included.
*Lunch not included.
** VISA is required for Americans, Canadians and Australian citizens

Drop off at IGR airport for flight return to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, private transfer to the DAZZLER PALERMO HOTEL, where you will stay for one last night. Breakfast is included.

Meals: B/-/-
Hotel: Dazzler Palermo Hotel

DAY 14 – Departure Day

Pick up after breakfast at your hotel and private transfer to EZE International Airport.
Meals: B/-/-

Interested in visiting Salta or staying longer in Buenos Aires? Extend your visit or we can customize this itinerary. Contact us.

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Tour Inclusions:

  • 13 nights accommodation based on double occupancy
  • All transportation as per itinerary (domestic flights, vehicles for excursions, transfers, etc)
  • 13 breakfasts, 2 picnic lunches
  • Guiding services as per itinerary
  • Sightseeing and tastings as per itinerary
  • All applicable taxes

Tour Exclusions:

  • International flights (can be arranged through us [email protected])
  • Domest flights (can be arranged through us)
  • Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through us [email protected])
  • Tips (house keeping staff, meals on own, etc)
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Transportation and services not mentioned

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Buenos Aires – Dazzler Palermo Hotel
Puerto Madryn – Dazzler Hotel
El Calafate – Kosten Aike
El Chalten – Destino Sur
Iguazu – Aldea de la Selva Lodge

*Please note that all hotels are subject to change without notice.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Pricing & Date” tab_id=”1449223591510-29ce0fb2-4171″][vc_column_text]Date: Custom Dates available between June and March