Wilderness Argentina: Buenos Aires, Patagonia And Tierra Del Fuego

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-ARG010

From: £3535.00

From the grand boulevards and old-world architecture of Buenos Aires and the vast grassy plains of the Pampas to the staggering glaciers of Patagonia, this Argentina holiday gets you under the skin of this stunning land of extremes. Cosmopolitan Buenos Aires bursts at the seams with elegant European style architecture, winding around traditional neighborhoods, like the lively La Boca, where tango dancers spill out onto cobbled streets and the restaurant menus are stuffed with mouth-watering steaks. 

Head to the southern tip of the country to Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) where you'll find Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. From this sprawling port hub, explore the unspoilt wildernesses of Patagonia by venturing into the nearby national park - here gentle walks through the beech forest to the rocky shoreline. Cruise the Beagle Channel, a crossing on the bucket list of every aspirational explorer, to reach the final stretch of land before iconic Cape Horn. Spot South American fur seals, sea lions and huge colonies of cormorants and other birds as you sail closer to remote Estancia Harberton, a unique insight to the days spent working the land. 

Majestic Perito Moreno glacier, an imposing mass of ice surrounded by mountains and forests make for a spectacular day. Surrounded by the sound of silence listen out for the destructive noise as huge chunks fall from the glacier.

Nestled between the rivers Las Vueltas and Fitzroy rivers, the small frontier town of El Chalten is the perfect base for day walks. Trek the rocky path to the Laguna de los Tres viewpoint for magical shots of the Fitzroy Massif, a jagged peak overlooking a sparking lagoon. After an energising day in the mountains, kick back and reflect on your wilderness adventure by a warming fire as the sun dips below the horizon.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart London for your flight to Buenos Aires.

Day 2 Predominantly European in style but with a distinctly lively Latin spirit, Buenos Aires is a city where old-world architecture blends with the boldest flavours and fashions of South America. You’ll find street side parrillas serving up beef in a flash of fire and impromptu tango performances on sun-kissed plazas, while Michelin-starred restaurants and classic fin de siècle cafes share space on the city’s grand boulevards. Ease into city life in leafy Palermo Viejo, a neighbourhood of history. The famous Jorge Luis Borges and Che Guavara once lived in Palermo with the late Borges writing his first poem in this once quiet ‘barrio’. While the area attracts the crowds, it’s still possible to imagine Borges penning his first poem at one of the family-run corner cafes over a cortado or two.

Day 3 There are a host of historic treasures to discover, such as the emblematic Obelisk and the Plaza de Mayo, flanked by the cathedral and the Government building known as the ‘Pink House’. Wander the cobbled streets of colonial San Telmo or soak up the latin beats in colourful La Boca with tango dancers on the street. Indulge in the world famous dulce de leche ice cream at Freddo’s as you wander the parks of Recoleta or the famous cemetery and the final resting place of Eva Peron.

Day 4 Travel to the far south of Argentina and Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and capital of Tierra del Fuego. The region is true untouched wilderness with striking rugged mountain scenery. Learn about the first voyagers to this inhospitable region and how the area has developed with a visit to the End of the World museum. Tantalise your taste buds with the local seafood and in particular the famous king crab.

Day 5 Immerse yourself amidst the local flora and fauna native to this region in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Hike through the beech forest and rocky coastline of Senda Costera to find views of the Beagle Channel, where South America starts to tumble into the icy waters of Cape Horn. Keep your binoculars at the ready to spot native animals such as fuegian reddish foxes, beavers and many species of birds.

Day 6 Get closer to local wildlife with a cruise along the Beagle Channel and find swooping petrels and sea lions throwing themselves into the sea. Sailing along these southern waters towards the city of Puerto Williams, pass the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. The highlight is a stop at Martillo Island, where you’ll be greeted by a colony of chattering Magellan Penguins. Pull in at Estancia Harberton and learn about this Anglican mission over homemade stew or traditional English tea. Still in the same family after nearly two hundred years in operation you can take a guided tour around the homestead and learn about living off the land at this remote outpost.

Day 7 Continue your journey through southern Patagonia with a stay in the town of El Calafate. Situated on the shores of Lago Argentino, with an aura of calm, this remote town is named after the calafate bush. The delicious purple berries are said to promise your soul will return to Patagonia if you eat them. Spend your days sightseeing and taking in the fresh air of the great outdoors before retreating to your cosy base for a hearty dinner of Patagonian Lamb washed down with ruby red wine.

Day 8 Spectacular Perito Moreno glacier in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares is the main attraction in the region and deservedly so. This gigantic natural wonder is over 5km long, 35km long and 60m high and is one of the few glaciers in the world that is still growing. Sail along the south wall of the glacier to appreciate the ice contours and the wonderful vibrant blue colours . Stroll along the carefully constructed boardwalks for a different visual perspective and more photographic opportunities. For a truly breathtaking up close experience, please ask about minitrekking option on the glacier.

Day 9 The Patagonian steppe landscape stretches in all directions from the town of El Calafate and old fashioned estancias, steeped with history, dot the landscape. Step back in time at Estancia Cristiana, and learn how the early settlers overcame the barren land to forge a living from the land in this lonely and inhospitable area. Dating from 1914, you can visit their museum and old sheering shed, try your hand at fishing on the Caterina River or ride out on horseback to explore the Rio de los Perros.

Day 10 Four hours north of El Calafate is the small frontier town of El Chalten. Nestled between the rivers Las Vueltas and Fitzroy rivers, this is the perfect base for trekking and experiencing the beauty of the Mount Fitzroy section of Los Glaciares National Park. Well maintained trails allow the area to be explored independently. Around 40km from town, Lago Desierto is ideal for fishing and mountain biking or a scenic boat trip with spectacular mountain backdrop. After a day of activities relax with a cold local beer at the La Cerveceria Microbrewery.

Day 11 The sheer granite and snow glazed peaks of Mount Fitzroy are the ultimate trekking goal in the Southern Andes. Along its foothills you’ll find well worn rocky trails that meander through beech and ñires forest and fringe the Rio Blanco river. Take in the sparkling blue tinged Piedras Blancas Glacier, before the final hike to Laguna de los Tres viewpoint for magical shots of the Fitzroy Massif with its shimmering lagoon and glaciers.

Day 12

Day 13 Desolate steppe and miles of seemingly endless roads take you back to El Calafate for the return trip to Buenos Aires. Savour your final night in Argentina with a traditional asado style dinner of local meats, steak dipped in spicy chimichurri sauce, sweet breads and morcilla. Combine with a full bodied, deep red malbec from the Mendoza region and indulge with wonderful memories of your wilderness adventure.

Day 14...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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