Trip reference number: ITN-ARG001
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
Showcasing the best of Argentina's wildlife and natural beauty; this journey takes you from the vibrant capital city of Buenos Aires, to the Peninsula Valdes, to the Ibera wetlands (South America's 2nd largest wetland after the Pantanal), and ends at the thundering falls of Iguazu.
Buenos Aires, a city combining faded european grandeur with Latin flair, allows the discerning traveller to feel the heartbeat of Argentina. There is plenty of personality in this energetic metropolis to entice visitors from the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca, the impressive Recoleta cemetery, the drama of the tango halls and of course the delectable flavours of Argentinian steak and Malbec.
Next stop is the Valdes Peninsula; one of the best places to see whales, elephant seals, sea lions, penguins, cormorants, petrels and other bird species, the peninsula is a wildlife haven. It is the largest breeding ground for Magallenic penguins in South America whilst Punta Delgada is where the elephant seals and sea lions can be seen from cliffs, scattered across the beach below.
The vast Ibera wetlands located in the north east, accessed by plane to Posadas. Home to abundant wildlife, set out in search of capybara, caiman, monkeys, giant otters, anakonda and as many as 350 bird species. Best explored on foot, on horse back or by boat, experience the undying gaucho traditions of this area accompanied by the perfect partner...Mother Nature.
Complete this Argentina holiday experience at the amazing Iguazu Falls (stopping on the way history at the San Ignacio Mini Jesuit Missions). Look out for the vast array of wildlife including tropical birds, butterflies, monkeys and coatamundis.
Day 1 Depart London Heathrow for your overnight flight to Buenos Aires.
Day 2 Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the next 3 nights. The rest of the day is at leisure. Buenos Aires is commonly known as the “Paris of South America”, owing to its classical architecture, plazas, fountains and wide boulevards.
Day 3 With your private guide explore the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires. Visit some of the characterful neighbourhoods including the colourful district of La Boca with its quirky caminitos, upmarket Recoleta and trendy Palermo. You also visit the Plaza de Mayo flanked by the presidential palace (the Casa Rosada).
Day 4 Depart Buenos Aires today to fly to Trelew, the gateway to the Peninsula Valdes. Spend the next 2 nights in Puerto Madryn at Hotel Territorio.
Day 5 An early departure for Peninsula Valdes Provincial Reserve. After a one-hour drive, arrive to Puerto Pirámides where you have the opportunity to go on a whale watching boat trip (optional extra from June to December). From December to March, look out for sea-lions, cormorants and hopefully dolphins. After the boat trip, explore the south of the peninsula going through Salinas Grande and Chica. Upon arrival to Punta Delgada enjoy lunch at the El Faro resort (optional extra). Here, venture down the cliffs and walk amongst the many elephants seals scattered on the beaches. Continue to Punta Cantor along the eastern coastline of the peninsula to reach Caleta Valdés (Valdés Inlet) to take in the interesting geological formations. Look out for fauna such as guanacos, rheas, foxes, maras (Patagonian hare), armadillos and skunks. Return to the city of Puerto Madryn at sunset.
Day 6 This morning fly to Posadas and upon arrival you will be transferred to the charming Puerto Valle, approximately 55kms by road. Surrounded by a unique geography in the northern Corrientes Province, Puerto Valle offers exclusive access to the rich biodiversity of the Iberá Natural Reserve. Lakes, marshlands, wetlands against a backdrop of native forest and the Parana River mean the area is an absolute haven for wildlife. Through a variety of excursions, guests will get out and explore the best of the area by boat, kayak, horse back or on foot. Whilst staying at Puerto Valle you can rest assured you will enjoy exceptional food and a fantastic selection of Argentine wines.
Day 7 This is an ideal horseback riding country. From the saddle you can see lots of wildlife and riding is one the quickest, easiest and most pleasant ways to get to know this ecosystem. In the different habitats of this region, it is possible to find many different types of birds, including endangered species from the surrounding region that have found shelter here. We will learn about their behaviour, habitats, migrations, and problems caused by the degradation of their environment. The Iberá Natural Reserve is one of the largest freshwater reservoirs on the continent with 1.3 million hectares, it is home to more than 350 bird species.
Day 8 Head out again today and spot caiman, capybaras, pampa deer, marshland deer and neotropical otters; many of which can be observed at close quarters. Navigate the Paraná River by boat and tour waterways reaching into Paranaense forest. The forest is home to more than 50 tree species per hectare, an ecosystem ideal for birds and monkeys. When back at Puerto Valle enjoy the parkland surrounding the manor house, wander its organic gardens, relax by the pool or on a deckchair cocktail in hand overlooking the river as the sun sets.
Day 9 Full day transfer to Puerto Iguazu taking in the San Ignacio Mini Jesuit mission en-route built by the Jesuits in the mid 16th-century. This is the most outstanding archaeological and historical resort, which was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The mission was one of 30 towns that the Jesuits built for the Guaraní Indians in a region that is now shared by Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Continue the trip driving past jungle and native forest, tobacco and yerba, plantations to arrive at your hotel for the next 2 nights.
Day 10 Visit the Argentine side of the Iguazu Falls. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best protected areas in the continent. Take this opportunity to walk along the upper and lower paths and lookouts to admire the 275 waterfalls up close. At a height of up to 70 metres you will feel the mighty force of this natural wonder. One of the most spectacular view points is the Devil's Throat balcony where you can experience the sheer amount of water beneath your feet! As part of the Atlantic rainforest you will come in contact with the amazing variety of ferns, orchids, begonias, birds and butterflies.
Day 11 Cross the border this morning for your flight back to the UK, which will be via Sao Paulo (flight schedule dependent). If you would like to add an extra day on at the falls or continue onto Rio please let us know.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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