Big city & Glaciers

Argentina

This whirlwind Argentina adventure will take you from the tango clubs of buzzing Buenos Aires to dazzling glaciers of Patagonia, with all kinds of eye-opening experiences in between. You’ll explore the elegant plazas and colonial boulevards of Buenos Aires, rich with Latino atmosphere, volunteer with community projects in the heart of the coty, spot whales from the dramatic clifftops of Peninsula Valdes and journey south into Patagonia, sailing through an otherwordly landscape of bright white icebergs set against clear blue skies and trekking on top of the famous Perito Moreno Glacier. It’s an incredible trip that mixes local culture with unbelievable scenery and more wildlife than you could possibly imagine.

The tours, hotels, day trips and suggestions in this tour are just an example of what we can do for you. Contact us to customize a trip especially for your group

Trip highlights

  • Wander through the atmospheric streets of Buenos Aires, one of the most captivating cities on the planet.
  • Lend a hand with your fellow students building a house for a family in real need.
  • Spot whales, elephant seals and penguins from the cliffs and beaches of Peninsula Valdes.
  • Trek along the top of the huge Perito Moreno Glacier and sail through the glassy waters of Patagonia.

Argentina 9 days / 8 nights

Adventure level: exciting!
Max group size: 40
Included
  • 8 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation on a full board basis.
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels completely free of charge for every 10 students in the group.
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide. All entrance fees included.

Detailed Itinerary

Days 1 & 2: Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires!

After settling in and freshening up, we start exploring the beating heart of Argentina. Buenos Aires is one of the most fascinating and beautiful cities on the planet, with a vibrant cultural life, dozens of atmospheric tango clubs, thousands of soccer fanatics and mouth-watering steakhouses around every corner. Wander along shady boulevards to colonial plazas, soak up the bohemian vibe of Palermo and watch the world go by from a streetside café.

On Day 2, you’ll head off on a city tour with a local guide, passing through the Italian neighborhood of Boca, home to the city’s famous soccer stadium. From there, you’ll hop on a bus to San Telmo, a working class area where the local Porteños gather for a nightly knees up. Afterwards, you’ll walk towards the beautiful Plaza de Mayo, complete with the pink building where Eva Peron stood on the balcony above the crowds. Next, you’ll swap to the metro and travel to Recoleta, an old fashioned district packed with stately homes. It’s a great way to get a feel for this incredible city.

Day 3: Lending a hand with the local community

Today, you’ll set off to support a local program called ‘Un Techo Para Mi Pais’, an organization that builds houses for families most in need. You’ll spend the whole day helping to build the house, learning about the community and getting to know the family that will soon call the house their new home. It’s an eye-opening and rewarding experience.

 

Days 4 and 5: Penguins and whales of Peninsula Valdés

On Day 4, you’ll leave the bright lights of Buenos Aires behind and take a short flight to Trelew. From here, you’ll continue to Puerto Madryn, perched on the shores of a calm gulf with crystal waters. It’s the perfect base to explore the cliff and beaches of Peninsula Valdés, packed with wildlife. The Southern Right whales migrate here in August and stay until December to give birth to their calves and nurture them until their journey to Antartica begins. Alongside the whales, you’ll see penguin colonies wobbling across the beaches, killer whales breaching in the waves and elephant seals lounging in the sunshine. When you first arrive in Puerto Madryn, you’ll set off to visit the Eco Center, balancing on the edge of a dramatic cliff. It’s a great way to begin your Peninsula Valdés experience.

On Day 5, you’ll explore the Peninsula in earnest, visiting the fascinating interpretation centre and keeping your eyes peeled for whales from the cliffs of Puerto Pirámides. Next, you’ll head south to salt flats that stretch for miles across the land and take on a fairytale pink colour in the sunlight. It’s mind-boggling stuff. After lunch, you’ll get closer to the wildlife, descending onto beaches crammed with barking elephant seals and watching dolphins play in the surf offshore. Most importantly, you’ll take a trip across the water in zodiacs to see the whales up-close and learn about their unique habits. On the way to the coastline, you might even catch a glimpse of guanacos, foxes, rheas, maras and armadillos.

 

Day 6: Blue skies and giant glaciers in Patagonia

This morning, you’ll fly south to the glistening wilderness of Patagonia, easily one of the most beautiful spots on the planet. Here, you’ll be dazzled by the mammoth Perito Moreno glacier, made of over 195 square kilometres of ice and explore Glacier National Park, home to 365 glaciers glinting in the sunlight. Over 30% of the national park is covered with frozen water floors. There really is nowhere quite like it. Not only this, but Patagonia is packed with snow-dusted mountains and rich, beautiful forests. It’s also home to Lago Argentina, the largest lake in Argentina.

When you arrive, you’ll check into your hotel in El Calafate, the welcoming traveller hub of Patagonia. It’s a lively, exciting place scattered with magnificent estancias that open their doors to visitors. In the afternoon, you’ll head for the Glaciarium, where you’ll learn all about the area from a 3D documentary and interactive exhibits. It’s a brilliant introduction to Patagonia.

 

Day 7: Exploring the Perito Moreno glacier

Today, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime, visiting the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and the awe-inspiring Perito Moreno Glacier. One of the most stunning glaciers on the globe, Perito Moreno stretches from the Continental Ice Field through colossal mountains to the waters of Lago Argentina. It’s mind-bogglingly beautiful. First, you’ll drive along the eastern side of the Magallanas Peninsula, stopping to soak up the dazzling scenery along the way and hiking along the tracks. You’ll gasp as vast chunks of ice crash into water, causing a thunderous echo and incredible waves.

Next, you’ll hop into a boat for a nautical safari to get a closer view of the glacier, docking to trek through the Magellan Forest on the other side of the shore. At the base of the glacier, you can explore ice caves and deep blue lagoons. Finally, you’ll pull on some crampons and trek across the top of Perito Moreno itself – the real highlight of this trip. It’s something that will stick with you forever.

Days 8 and 9: Back to Buenos Aires

Today, you’ll wave goodbye to the crisp blue skies and blinding glaciers of Patagonia, boarding a flight back to Buenos Aires for the final night of your trip. Back amidst the bright lights, boulevards and boutique cafés of the city, you can spend your day picking up souvenirs and feasting on some of the best steak in the world. On Day 9, you’ll check out of your hotel and head for the airport to begin your journey home, after a truly eye-popping adventure.

Practical Information

For this trip to Patagonia, it’s best to travel between September and December, as during these months it is summer in Patagonia and this is also the time of year that the whales arrive to Peninsula Valdes to mate and raise their babies.

In general: Argentina has opposite seasons to those in the Northern Hemisphere, with summer falling from December to February and winter from June to August. Given its size, Argentina experiences very different degrees of the seasons, depending on which part of the country you are in. For example, the winter months in Southern Patagonia are a flurry of snow and icy wind. This is not the time for hiking in the southern Andes or seeing the glaciers. However, if you are into snow sports, by all means wrap up warm and hit the slopes. Conversely, the winter months are the best time to travel in the north of the country when the fierce heat of summer abates. The center of the country can be visited at any time, though Spring and Fall are the prettiest times to visit both Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Spring is the all-out best time of year for nature spotting along the Patagonian Atlantic coast.

  • Day 1: Private arrival transfer from Ezeiza airport to hotel. Overnight.
  • Day 2: Authentic half day city tour – Buenos Aires Like a Local. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight (B,L,D).
  • Day 3: Private transfer from hotel to volunteer project Techo para mi pais. Full day building a house. Overnight (B,L,D).
  • Day 4: Private transfer from hotel to Aeroparque Airport for flight to Trelew (flight not included). Arrival transfer from Trelew Airport to hotel in Puerto Piramides. Private transfer from hotel to Eco Center and guided visit, all entrance fees included. Overnight Puerto Paramides hostal. (B,L,D)
  • Day 5: Morning zodiac whale watching tour. After lunch we explore the peninsula by private bus and we visit the penguin colony.  Full day private Peninsula Valdes tour, entrance fee to Peninsula Valdes National Park included. Overnight in Puerto Paramides. (B,L,D)
  • Day 6: Private transfer from hotel to Trelew Airport for flight to Calafate (flight not included). Private arrival transfer from Calafate Airport to hotel. Private tour to Glaciarium, all entrance fees and transport included. Overnight (B,L,D).
  • Day 7: Full day private Perito Moreno tour, including mini-trekking and all entrance fees to Los Glaciares National Park. Overnight (B,L,D).
  • Day 8: Private transfer from hotel to Calafate Airport for flight to Buenos Aires (flight not included). Arrival transfer to hotel in Buenos Aires. Overnight (B,L,D).
  • Day 9: Transfer from hotel to airport for international journey home. (B)
  • 8 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation
  • Full Board.
  • Full day building a house in Buenos Aires
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide.
  • All entrance fees included.
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels free of charge for every 10 students in the group.

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