This nine-night itinerary is designed to give you a deep dive into some of the highlights of Argentina’s Patagonia region. Patagonia is a vast wilderness region that spans the southern cone of South America, shared between Argentina and Chile and covering a diverse range of landscapes from glacial lakes to high Andean peaks and grassy steppes.
For this journey we have chosen three Argentinean destinations to give you an experience of some of the most iconic landscapes and best properties in the region. The route covers a spectacular variety of scenery and includes many different options for outdoor activities whilst also keeping the internal connections to a minimum so you can make the most of just enjoying the wide-open skies, fresh air and life-enhancing views in each location.
The trip starts in the Lake District, around Bariloche. The definition of picture-postcard-perfection, this region is home to the country’s oldest national park, and some of Argentina’s most famous vistas. Good infrastructure in terms of roads, cable-cars, ferry links and hiking trails, means that even in a short stay it is easy to see a lot here and our team will help you plan the perfect schedule of activities to take in the best of the ancient forests, great lakes and towering mountains via hikes and boat trips as well as more adventurous activities like mountain biking, kayaking or even paragliding.
You then head further south, deep into the land of the patagones, as the mythical giants said to once inhabit this land are known. The next stop is the Los Glaciares National Park by El Calafate, where you will have the chance to strap on crampons and trek on the Perito Moreno glacier, and finally you finish the trip in El Chaltén, Argentina’s unofficial capital of trekking. This region is home to the instantly recognisable jagged peaks of Mount Fitz Roy as well as hundreds of kilometres of easily accessible hiking trails for all levels. For seasoned mountaineers it also offers some of the best rock and ice climbing in the world.
What’s the route?
Routing your international flights in and out of Buenos Aires, on arrival you would connect straight to Bariloche where you stay for three nights. It is then a short connecting flight to El Calafate and finally a drive north from here to El Chaltén. Your final connection back to Buenos Aires would again be from El Calafate.
On arrival in Buenos Aires you will be met off the plane by a member of the airport staff who will give you VIP treatment and expedite you through customs and immigration via the diplomatic lines before taking you to collect your luggage and check-in for your onwards flight to Bariloche. Arriving in Bariloche your driver will be waiting to bring you along the scenic
lake road to your exclusive boutique hotel, set on a private beach overlooking Lago Nahuel Huapi. You will have a free afternoon to relax at the hotel, perhaps enjoy a gentle walk in the grounds or soak up the sunshine and fresh mountain air by the pool.
You will begin your stay in Patagonia with a gentle exploration of the highlights of the Bariloche region. Our guide will first take you to the Campanario chair lift, from the top of which you can enjoy some of the best views in Patagonia and get your bearings in the region. There is also excellent cake and hot chocolate at the mountain café at the top! You will then head back down to enjoy the views and nature of the “Circuito Chico”, a route which takes you along the southern shore of the lake. You will stop for a short hike through the forest ending by the lake where we will have set up a table for a gourmet picnic (including wine of course) overlooking the water.
There will be time to relax back at the hotel before finishing the day with a short sailing trip at sunset on a sheltered inlet of the lake just behind the peninsula where your hotel is located.
Today you will have another full day exploring Bariloche. The options for outdoors activities are endless, and for the more active today would be a good day to arrange for a full day, high altitude trek, perhaps to the Frey Refuge. Our recommendation is that today you enjoy a private boat trip on the lake, taking a motorboat across to Isla Victoria. We will bring mountain bikes on the boat so you can explore the car free sandy lanes of Victoria by bike. In the afternoon you will explore more of the hidden corners of the lake, discovering waterfalls of glacial melt water, ancient forests of arrayán myrtle and lenga beech trees and secluded sandy beaches. Your guide will leave you back at your hotel in time to perhaps indulge in some spa treatments and a pre-dinner glass of Malbec in the garden.
After a short transfer back to the airport in Bariloche you will board a direct 1.5-hour flight further south to El Calafate, in the heart of what is known as the glacier region. Your driver will meet you in arrivals and drive you out of town to your hotel which is located in a remote private estancia, surrounded by thousands of acres of uninhabited pristine Patagonian wilderness. Spend the afternoon settling in to your hotel or perhaps enjoying a short hike or horse ride with the hotel guides in the surrounding countryside.
On your second day in El Calafate it will be time to visit one of Argentina’s most iconic natural wonders - the Perito Moreno Glacier. Forming a spectacular wall of ice that regularly sheers off icebergs into the lake below, the Perito Moreno is part of a larger ice field spread between Argentina and Chile that is the third largest fresh water reserve in the world and also
one of the few glaciers in the world that is still growing, despite the impacts of climate change. After arriving in the national park your adventure will start with a 20-minute boat trip across the lake, up close views of the glacier’s front wall.
When you arrive on the far shore specialized bilingual mountain guides will be waiting for you to give you an initial briefing before you strap crampons on to begin your trek. The ice trek is approximately a 1.5-hour circuit that introduces you to the fascinating landscape of the glaciers: streams, small lagoons, gullies, crevasses and all variety of ice formations of the most incredible blues. The ice surface over which you walk is irregular, but firm and safe.
Today you will have a free day to enjoy the activities included at Eolo. The hiking from here is superb and there are also mountain bikes and horses available. Perhaps you might also just want to relax and treat yourself to a massage and a sauna while you soak up the views that you can enjoy from nearly every window on the property.
Your driver will meet you at the lodge after breakfast for the scenic route north towards El Chaltén and your lodge, located in a remote location in the private Los Huemules Reserve. The journey takes just over three hours so you will arrive in time for a late lunch and a gentle afternoon activity if you would like.
Your stay at Explora includes all activities that you can pick and choose from their extensive exploration menu. The expert mountain guides will meet with you on your first day to plan a full schedule tailored to your activity level and to make sure you see the highlights of the region. Activities include more relaxed 4x4 excursions and gentle low elevation hikes as well as full day hikes, ice treks, and even rock climbing, so there is something for everyone! The lodge is superbly located for you to enjoy the best of the Los Glaciares Nacional Park, the Southern Patagonia Mountain Range, the Los Huemules Nature Reserve as well as the iconic Mount Fitz Roy.
Transfer back to the airport in El Calafate where you will take a flight to Buenos Aires in time to connect to your departing flight home.