Grade

Moderate

Accommodations

Hotel

Max Altitude

67 m

Air Ticket

Not Included

Whether you want to explore the fashion and arts districts, or fancy more the ornate churches, cobblestone streets, and authentic culture, Argentina packs the full punch. Welcome to the birthplace of Tango, and the home of the worlds 3rd largest concentration of ice, there is literally something for everyone from trekking a glacier to exploring river canals.  This is the type of place that just seeps into your soul, and you’re never quite the same after having been.

DAY 1
BUENOS AIRES

Meet & greet at Ezeiza International Airport. Private transfer to HOTEL with English speaking guide.

Overnight at hotel in Buenos Aires for 2 nights.

SUGGESTED ITINERARYFOR TRAVEL UNRIVALED

BUENOS AIRES(2n)–IGUAZU FALLS (1n) -EL CALAFATE(3n)–BUENOS AIRES (1n)

ARGENTINA

Our journey begins in The Palermo residential neighbourhood: with its quiet curvy streets, wonderful parks and rose gardens, monuments, lovely town-houses and city mansions it is an oasis to the city. It holds the city’s zoo and the Botanical Gardens. Today Palermo has developed new areas under popular names such as Palermo Soho and Palermo Hollywood where signature designers have their trendy boutiques offering clothes, home accessories and more. The area offers an array of dining options: think chic and gourmand.

Next we head to the posh Recoleta District. Stroll along Avenida Alvear, the most palatial street in Buenos Aires. With its elegant architecture and tree lined promenades, this distinct area was once home to the porteño aristocracy who gave it buildings such as the Pereda Palace (Brazilian Embassy), the Ortiz Basualdo Palace (French Embassy), Unzué de Casares Palace (Jockey Club) and more.

A visit to Recoleta Cemetery, an amazing above-ground cemetery lined with mausoleums and statues, is a must. This is the final resting place of Eva Duarte. Known throughout the world simply as Evita, she is perhaps Argentina’s most famous figure. The neighbouring El Pilar Church is one of the city’s oldest and most beautiful churches with its wonderful woodcarvings and silver altar from Alto Perú.

The historical and financial centre of Argentine politics, referred to as “la city” by locals finds its heart at the famed Plaza de Mayo and Casa Rosada (the presidential palace). From here the Avenida de Mayo leads to the National Congress building. The avenue is flanked by architectural gems and the historical Cafe Tortoni, a legendary coffee house that still attracts diverse crowd of intellectuals and tango aficionados.

Towards the banks of the river plate, Puerto Madero, once the old city docklands, is a completely updated area with modern buildings and avant-garde restaurants.

San Telmo, the old quarters of the city, keeps the traditional charm of its colonial houses, cobblestone streets, churches, museums, antique shops and the renowned Sunday market of antiques in Plaza Dorrego.

La Boca grew around the first Port in Buenos Aires. It was inhabited by immigrants, and gave birth to the Tango. Today its colourful buildings on the popular “caminito” street give it character with street dancers and souvenir shops. The area has grown as a cultural centre of artistic activities and is also popular with football (soccer) fans who visit the famous Boca Juniors Bombonera Stadium.

OPTIONAL VISITS DURING CITY TOUR:

BEHIND THE SCENES OF COLON OPERA HOUSE (50 MINUTES)

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the Colón Theatre, praised by Pavarotti for its flawless acoustics. The world famous Colón Theatre is the heart of opera, ballet and concert life in Buenos Aires. Hiding a secret in every single corner of its impressive building, a guided tour of the theatre takes guests to discover its century old history, the legendary artists who performed on its stage and the polemic shutdowns it suffered over the years.

The Theatre’s sublime architecture stands out in every single detail, captivating guests with its luxurious flights of stairs, sculptures and stained-glass windows. The building incorporates a great many styles that are associated with European theatres. Do not miss the Salon Dorado (Golden Room).

DAY 2
BUENOS AIRES Breakfast at Hotel FULL DAY AT LEISURE or OPTIONAL FULL DAY PROGRAMMES
FULL DAY WITH THE GAUCHOS AT ESTANCIA LA BAMBA Delve into the gaucho culture with a full day at a traditional “estancia” (ranch) in the outskirts of Buenos Aires and come close to the local traditions and history in a calm atmosphere surrounded by nature. Argentina’s wealth came from its farmlands producing quality cattle as well as agricultural goods. A visit to a traditional ranch provides a glimpse of life on the pampas where the gauchos (cowboys) take pride in their coin-studded belts and baggy pants, and offers the chance to join in and share the country’s farmland customs, traditions and asados. As one of the oldest estancias (ranches) in Argentina dating from the 1830s, La Bamba de Areco is a 90-minute drive out of Buenos Aires on the Camino Real (royal road) that originally connected the capital city to Northern Argentina. At the heart of the area that gave birth to the gaucho (horseman or cowboy), La Bamba became a pioneer in opening its doors to welcome guests and today its renovated facilities keep its original charm intact. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with homemade empanadas (traditional turn-over pies) and invited to explore the premises: strolling around the gardens, visiting the local “gaucho” museum and the church. Lunch invites guests to savour a typical argentine asado (barbeque) with a variety of cuts of beef and salads paired with argentine wine and then guests are invited to saddle up for a leisurely ride on traditional horse-drawn carriage or enjoy horseback riding in the company of gauchos. FULL DAY VISITING THE NORTHERN SUBURBS AND EL DESCANSO ISLAND Head North from town to the tranquil, residential areas of Olivos (where the Presidential Residence is located) and San Isidro with its neo-gothic cathedral, beautiful historical area with colonial architecture which nowadays also houses contemporary properties. Continue to Tigre and be marvelled by its beautiful canals, elegant promenades and aging buildings. The Tigre Delta is a tribute to a time gone-by. Sale past classic casonas, big rambling houses that were built at the end of the 19th century as meeting places and weekend getaways for the aristocracy. Watch rowers past by as wooden speedboats chug there way taking passengers or housing a floating grocerie store! The islands are covered with exhuberant vegetation: note the amazing variety of trees and flowers. Lunch finds us at Isla El Descanso, a private weekend retreat. Isla el Descanso is a paradise-like island nestled in the intricate water canals of the Delta of the River Plate. Featuring lagoons, channels and designer gardens dotted with outdoor works of art, it welcomes those who want to experience nature & outdoors only a 90-minute voyage out of downtown Buenos Aires. Enjoy a 90-minute leisurely walk around El Descanso Island discovering the grand variety of species that cover its gardens and frame impressive pieces of art and sculptures as they hide secret spots, quiet sanctuaries and give home to a myriad birds. The programme includes lunch with Argentine cuisine specialties that are enjoyed al fresco, weather permitting. Return to Tigre Port and ground transfer back to Hotel. EVENING PROGRAMME: DINNER & TANGO SHOW It has been said that only in Buenos Aires could the tango be born. Only in this city of immigrants could music of such emotional depth spring forth and take hold of a population. In the early days, tango was most often heard in brothels and seedy cafés and the dance was performed by two men. Today, the tango remains an important part of Argentine culture, although not quite as prevalent as during its peak in the early part of the 20th century. While a few clubs still reflect the glamour and passion of the Gardel era, more often the spirit of tango is captured in small milongas tiny and bars where an aging porteño sings of a love long-lost. Tango is still everywhere to be found in Buenos Aires ranging from Florida street in downtown and the San Telmo antique market on Sundays to the fancy shows which offer a more modern, but no less impressive, vision of the tango. Get ready to watch dancers embraced in passion as they dance to the strong beat of Tango. The show is paired with a three-course dinner and wine.
DAY 3
BUENOS AIRES
Breakfast at Hotel Private transfer with English speaking guide to airport for flight: Buenos Aires (AEP) / Iguazu (IGR) 1:40 hs flight Meet and greet at Iguazu airport. Private transfer with English speaking guide from Iguazu airport to the Hotel. Overnight at hotel in Iguazu Falls for 1 night. FULL DAY IGUAZU NATIONAL PARK (Argentine side) Cataratas del Iguazú is home to roaring waterfalls and colourful wildlife in the heart of the jungle. A towering mass of spray and thundering waters, “Iguazú” means “big water” in the language of the semi-nomadic Guaranís who inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century. It has been described as a shimmering necklace of 275 separate falls divided by emerald-green jungle islands that stretch nearly 4 kilometres (2.5 miles). At its largest and most dramatic conjunction, the water is whipped into thick creamy clouds that tumble through rainbows of light. The resulting spray rises so high that, from a distance, the falls almost seem to be travelling in two directions. These breathtaking natural falls are truly worthy of their place among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The Argentina side of the Iguazu Falls will take one full day to explore since the falls can be from a number of angles: the Lower trail, Upper trail, and Devil’s Throat: Lower Trail: over a kilometer (1/2 a mile) of paths run across individual falls of immense natural beauty. The misty air takes guests into charming corners of the jungle to admire begonias, orchids, ferns and palms with flocks of parrots, toucans and countless butterflies. From the Lower Circuit (optional) guests can navigate to San Martin Island where a circuit of paths goes to some of the less-visited falls. Upper Circuit: catwalks literally hang over the falls offering a breathless sight. The paths are often dotted with lizards squirting past, monkeys jumping from branch to branch and colourful parrots and butterflies. Garganta del Diablo: chug along on the ecological train as you take in the chirping sounds of birds and wildlife in the forest. At Estación Garganta stroll over the pathway that leads to a fantastic lookout point hanging over the most spectacular fall: Devil’s Throat. Gallons of water plunge and sprout back up as an eternal cloud of mist creates blazing rainbows. This trail is in full bloom at dusk when the light gives it a special aura. NOT-TO-BE-MISSED: if you happen to be at the falls during full moon, a clear night will offer a magical experience as the moon casts a blue circle of light over the falls.
DAY 4
IGUAZU / EL CALAFATE
Breakfast at Hotel Private transfer to Iguazu Airport for flight: Iguazu (IGR)- El Calafate (FTE). 6:25 minute flight (with stop in Buenos Aires) Private transfer from El Calafate airport to HOTEL with English speaking guide and check-in. Overnight at in El Calafate for 3 nights OPTIONAL LATE AFTERNOON PROGRAMME: VISIT TO ESTANCIA NIBEPO AIKE INCLUDING DINNER Located within the Los Glaciares National Park, Estancia Nibepo Aike still keeps the charm of the pioneering Patagonian Estancias. Initially named La Jeronima, Nibepo Aike spreads across over 12.000 hectares limiting with the Southern Arm of Lago Argentino and extending as far as the border with Chile. Framed by the imposing Andes mountain range, the estancia once raised sheep as its main activity. Nowadays it still keeps small herd but is focused on breeding Hereford cattle. The buildings feature typical Patagonian architecture. Guests are invited to enjoy a sheep shearing demonstration, unique in its type, as it is carried out manually as it was done at the beginning of the 20th century. Traditional Patagonian dinner: lamb cooked on an iron cross. Note: Estancia Nibepo Aike is located 56 kilometres away from the Hotel.
Day 5
EL CALAFATE
Breakfast at Hotel 7:15 am: depart to Puerto Bandera for: ESTANCIA CRISTINA DISCOVERY PROGRAMME Estancia Cristina is located in Los Glaciares National Park, in the Northwest end of Lake Argentino. Secluded within a natural paradise, it was founded by an English family in 1914. It can only be accessed by boat, cruising approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes (or 3 hours when sailing to it past icebergs and visiting the Upsala glacier). A full day at Estancia Cristina guarantees the perfect combination of nature, adventure and leisure. A programme fit for everyone: those in search of adrenaline packed activities as well as guests who prefer to unwind and just enjoy the setting will find what they want at Estancia Cristina. From quiet afternoon walks discovering the history behind the property to more active trekking and 4WD rides, there is so much to discover. The remoteness and untouched beauty of La Cristina is priceless. The Andes Mountain range, the glaciers and Lake Argentino are the scenery for an unforgettable experience. DISCOVERY PROGRAMME We depart Punta Bandera harbour and navigate the Northern arm of Argentino Lake upto the entrance of Bahía Onelli. We continue sailing to the Cristina channel and reach the Estancia to enjoy the Discovery Programme: get ready for a visit to the museum and old shearing shed where you are introduced to the history of the Estancia. A short guided walk to Caterina River and Chapel follows as we also stroll across the estancia’s historical sites. A 4WD ascent drives us to the continental ice refuge travelling 9.5 km on a mountain trail enjoying the scenery which is of huge geological interest since until recently it was covered by glaciers. From the refuge we walk about 20 minutes over eroded terrain until we reach the Upsala glacier to intake the most impressive sights of the oriental front of the glacier, Lake William, the Patagonian ice field and the Andes range. We will return to the estancia by 4x4 wheel drive. Schedule • 07:45 am: embarkation at Punta Bandera Port (depart Hotel one hour in advance ti arrive on time) • 08:00 am: boat departure. Sailing through the Northern arm to the entrance of Bahía Onelli and then onto Cristina channel. • 12:00 am: arrive at Estancia Cristina. • 06:00 pm: Embark in Estancia Cristina • 08.00 pm: arrive at Punta Bandera port. • 08.30 pm: Arrive in downtown for dinner. NOTE: the order of the activities described is subject to change. Guests can enjoy lunch between activities. (lunch is not included. It can be organized at the Estancia or guests can bring a box lunch) Level of difficulty: average / 4WD - DURATION: 3 hours / Drop: 550 m.s.n.m. OPTIONAL TOUR: MARIA TURQUESA CRUISE - “GLACIERS GOURMET EXPERIENCE PROGRAMME” Guests are met at their Hotel and driven from El Calafate to Paraje Punta Bandera where private dock “La Soledad” houses the Maria Turquesa Cruise. Boarding takes place at 8:30 or 9.00 am (according to the season) and navigation begins northwest, crossing Punta Avellaneda and Boca del Diablo, the narrowest passage in the lake (close to 800 metres wide). After a two-hour navigation, the presence of multi-shaped ice floes in different hues of blue anticipate the proximity of the Upsala glacier. Under good weather conditions, the stunning glacier can be seen at a distance. Navigation continues southwards along Lago Argentino, sailing the Spegazzini Canal to reach the Spegazzini glacier. A close view of the glacier allows guests to observe the grandeur of its front walls rising between 80 and 135 metres (262 - 443 feet) above lake level. Lunch is served amidst this stunning landscape. Towards the afternoon, the Cruise arrives at Puesto de Las Vacas, a secluded, quiet bay on the Spegazzini Canal. The cruise engines are stopped to enjoy nature in its purest state while enjoying a hike coordinated by professional guides. The hike leads to beautiful viewpoints offering panoramic views. Once back onboard, the return trip sails across Brazo Norte to “La Soledad” pier (arrival at 6:00/6:30 p.m. according to the season). NOTE: The itinerary is subject to changes based on the captain’s criteria to guarantee passenger and crew safety.
Day 6
EL CALAFATE
Breakfast at Hotel. FD PERITO MORENO GLACIER Be an eyewitness of the active Perito Moreno glacier as massive chunks of ice crack off and crash into the chilly waters of Lago Argentino below—one of Mother Nature's most dramatic shows of power! Los Glaciers National Park is an area of exceptional natural beauty, with rugged, towering mountains and numerous glacial lakes, including the great Lago Argentino. Skirt the lake along a meandering road as you are driven across the Patagonian steppe from El Calafate to the entrance of the National Park. The road is long but scenic (about two hours) and the destination is well worth the ride! Five kilometres of breathtaking glacial walls guarantee standing in awe at this colossal beauty. Expect loud thunder-like echoes as massive lumps of ice plunge into the water. The visit begins at Brazo Rico where you will be able to spot floating icebergs. Continue walking along the catwalks with fantastic views of the entire face of the glacier. Measuring 30km in length and as tall as a 12-storey building, the monstrous Perito Moreno is a jagged mass of crevasses and towering columns of ice. The Perito Moreno Glacier owes its popularity to the continuous movement of its ice mass, resulting from a cyclical forward and backward pattern. This particular “behavior” brings about the accumulation, fracture and breaking-off of massive blocks of ice. With thunderous noises, these blocks break off and float away as icebergs along the Témpanos Channel (Iceberg Canal). The gradual breaking off and subsequent lake leveling becomes a breathtaking sight which can be witnessed every few years. OPTIONAL: TREK THE GLACIER! Embark at the “Bajo de las Sombras” port to sail 20-minutes across the Rico Arm, enjoying breathtaking views of the face of the Perito Moreno glacier. Disembark at the opposite shore where guides lead the way to a small shelter and then towards the edge of the glacier. Time to put crampons on and dig their metal spikes into the ice for a good grip! Possibly a one-in-a-lifetime experience, walking on one of the only three advancing glaciers in the world is truly special. Hues of blue surround: ice is clear but due to its reflection properties, it appears blue. Expect to walk up and down hill, across cracks and around sinkholes. Even taste glacial water ... or whisky “on the glacial rocks” as you enjoy priceless views of the surrounding mountains. A final short walk across the forest brings you back to the shelter. IMPORTANT - MINITREKKING Limitations: Due to the degree of effort and difficulty in this trek it is only open to participants between 10 and 65 years of age. Restrictions also apply to the following: overweight people: (criteria applied to determine this = weight in Kg higher than double of the height in cm minus 100; e.g. 1,70m in height; 170 minus 100= 70 x 2 = 140). Pregnant women; people with any degree or kind of physical or mental disability that could affect their attention, marching or coordination; people who suffer from cardiovascular illnesses of any nature; those with diminished cardiac or vascular capacity or using stents, pacemakers or other prosthesis or taking anticoagulant medication; evidence of grade III varicose veins (those that are protuberant and evident); cardiac arrhythmia; any form of respiratory disability: COPD, asthma, emphysema, etc Season: this programme is available from beginning of August until the beginning June.
Day 7
EL CALAFATE / BUENOS AIRES
Breakfast at Hotel. Private transfer with English speaking guide to airport for flight: El Calafate (FTE) / Buenos Aires (AEP) 2:40Hhs Private transfer from Buenos Aires domestic airport (AEP) to the Hotel. Overnight at HOTEL for 1 night.
Day 8
BUENOS AIRES
Breakfast at Hotel. Private transfer from the Hotel to Buenos Aires International airport (EZE) for the departure flight.
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