Holidays

Antarctic Discovery – 8 days from $2,865

Antarctic Discovery – 8 days from $2,865

Purpose: Culture, Ecology & Adventure
No. of days: 8 days - 7 nights
First & Last Cities: Ushuaia, El Calafate
Other cities: Tierra del Fuego, Beagle Channel, Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine, Perito Moreno Glaciar
Starting cost:

Tierra del Fuego National Park, 7 miles south of the city of Ushuaia, was created in 1960 and covers an area of 156,000 acres from the southern end of the Cordillera de los to the coast of the Beagle Channel. In it you’ll find a synthesis of the biological wealth of the island of Tierra del Fuego and of its beautiful landscapes. The vegetation that characterized by wild vegetation of the steppe highlands subject to severe climatic conditions. The multiplicity and profusion of Tierra del Fuego, changing flora in each station, give color and texture to unique places such as Lapataia Bay, Lake Acigami and Ensenada Bay, where we can still find vestiges of the ancient inhabitants of the region (the Yamana) like mounds of shells of circular shape named "concheros", product of accumulated debris of molluscs they consumed. The park is inhabited by a limited variety of wild animals because of the inhospitable climate, comprising about twenty species of mammals and about ninety species of birds. Some species introduced by man such as the European rabbit, beaver, muskrat and grey foxes are causing, in some cases, serious impacts on the natural landscape.


Day 1: Ushuaya

Upon your arrival at Malvinas International Airport you will be met and assisted by our representative who will escort you to your hotel in Ushuaya. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to rest and relax after the long flight. Overnight at the hotel.

Note: If you arrive around noon you may do the National Park tour during the afternoon

Day 2: Ushuaya – Tierra del Fuego National Park, End of the World Train, Beagle Channel

Breakfast at the hotel before a drive to Tierra del Fuego National Park created in 1960, taking up a surface of 63,000 acres of Andean-Patagonian forest. Located 7.5 miles west of Ushuaia. The park is the only Argentinean national park with a seacoast (Beagle Channel). Its Lenga trees, Ñires (Antarctic Beech) and Cherry trees, rivers, lakes and ‘turbales' (swamps) frame amazing views of the channel. You will be able to fully enjoy nature going along paths of varied length and see different species of the local fauna. A short bus ride will bring you to the train station placed in the city campsite, at Pipo Valley. There, steam and diesel locomotives, with coaches fitted with large windows and heating, will be waiting for you to begin a trip through the “Fueguian” woods. The train allows you to visit the area where the convicts performed hard works and brings you to another area of the Park through the Cañadón del Toro area stopping at Macarena Fall for you to enjoy the peats and the woods along the trail. Following a road around the mountains we will see the peat bogs and the beaver dams before arriving at Lapataia River. Once you cross the river, you will have a nice view of Laguna Verde and the upland geese and ibis that come here every summer. We suggest you take a long walk along a path up to Laguna Negra or the Beavers Path, to know the work of these curious animals.  In Lapataia Bay it is possible to see the area where the old inhabitants of the Island left their testimony: the Yamana kitchen, an interesting archeological place. Before returning to Ushuaia stop in front of Lago Roca, whose color varies according to the weather. After the tour, we suggest you stay downtown and enjoy a typical lunch (not included). After lunch, sail from the touristic pier to the big Ushuaia Bay to reach the Beagle Channel, through Paso Chico. Visit Bridges Islands stopping at some of them to see the Cormorant colonies as well as the sea lions. During the navigation, going to the East, we will have spectacular views of the channel and the mountains surrounding the bay and appreciate many sea birds as skúas, gaviotas, albatross, petrels, ducks, cauquenes, charranes, etc. Finally arrive at Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse where the passengers learn the history of SS Monte Cervantes’ sinking. Sail back to pier and transfer to the hotel for overnight. [B]

Day 3: Ushuaya, Calafate, Puerto Natales (Chile)

Buffet breakfast at the hotel and rest of the morning at your leisure. Then you will be assisted on your transfer to the Maldivas International Airport for your flight to El Calafate. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to the city to board the bus for a 4-hour ride along unique landscapes. Accommodation at your hotel. [B]

Day 4: Puerto Natales – Milodon Cave, Torres del Payne

After breakfast board a bus for a 4-hour ride in direction of the Milodon Cave Natural Monument a gaping mouth whose stalactites appear like menacing teeth. The ground of the majestic cave is carpeted with a colorful mixture of green and red grasses. Outside, massive boulders and trees that look small in comparison to the cave’s entrance, decorate the landscape and, on the distance the imposing mountains seem to be the guardians of such a treasure. The cave was discovered in 1895 by a German explorer who found a well-preserved skin of a mammal, later identified as belonging to a Mylodon (land sloth) that gave the name to the Monument. The site includes several caves as well as a monolithic rock formation known as The Devil’s Chair (Silla del Diablo). After visiting the cave, continue to Torres del Payne National Park with its characteristic mountain peaks like natural skyscrapers, origin of the name Torres (Towers) del Paine. The mountainous massif is crowned by glaciers and surrounded by lakes whose aquamarine, emerald, turquoise, sapphire and lapis lazuli colors compete like in an eternal beauty contest. A microclimate holds a rich flora and many wild fauna that romps freely around lagoons and among beautiful woods of bearded trees. The characteristic black rock that crowns the Paine Horns is an account of the tectonics and icy forces that sculpted this massif. Something more than ten millions years ago, this kind of sedimentary rock covered wide areas in the region. Sometime the sediments had contact with the magma forming the granite rocks. For you comfort we have packed a lunch box that you may enjoy during your visit. Return to the hotel in Puerto Natales for overnight. [B/L]

Day 5: Puerto Natales, El Calafate (Argentina)

Breakfast at the hotel before boarding the bus for your trip back to El Calafate where you will be transferred to your hotel for overnight. [B]

Day 6: El Calafate – Perito Moreno Glacier

Enjoy early buffet breakfast at the hotel before being picked-up for a drive to Perito Moreno Glacier, about 50 miles away on a mostly paved road leading to Los Glaciers National Park. From the very beginning, the trip provides the traveller with amazing landscapes. First you will drive along Lake Argentino Lake and its Bahía Redonda (Round Bay) providing an unforgettable view. Along the way watch a great variety of birds, mainly black neck swams, flamingos, steam ducks, ‘gallaretas' and ‘cauquénes'. Then your eyes will be filled with the yellow color of the countryside, resulting from the local grass called ‘coirón' that may also be white. In the first 25 miles you will see the Patagonian steppe, and later, at the National Park's entrance, a rich tree vegetation belonging mainly to the ‘Nothofagus' family (Nothofagus Antartica or Ñires, cherry trees and Nothofagus Pumilio or Lengas), and a few cinnamon trees. The flowers, are varied in color but the Chilean Firebird (‘Notro' or Ciruillo), a plant native of the Andean Patagonian, stands out because of its intense red. Once at the Glacier, the majestic view will amaze you and will be one of those moments that you will never forget. Afterwards, we take the footbridges and sets of stairs to get a different view of the Glacier's front. For your comfort we have prepared a lunch box before leaving the hotel so you may enjoy lunch while in the park. After the visit we will drive back to the hotel for overnight. [B/L]

Day 7: El Calafate – Rivers of Ice

Have your buffet breakfast at the hotel and enjoy a free day to explore on your own or you may want to take the optional excursion to Rivers of Ice. [B]

Option[1] Rivers of Ice

You will be picked-up for a drive to Puerto Punta Bandera, some 30 miles from the city of El Calafate, to start your sailing at 9:00 a.m. Once on board, you will sail through the North arm of Lake Argentino until the Upsala Channel where you will find a spectacular Ice Barrier. From there you will observe any available panoramic view of the Upsala Glacier. Then, you will sail the Spegazzini Canal to see the Seco Glacier and reach the highest front of the Spegazzini Glacier National Park. For your comfort we have prepared a lunch box before leaving the hotel so you may enjoy lunch while on board. The return to the port will be at 4:00 pm approximately. From the port drive back to the hotel for overnight. [L]

The tour may be modified depending on weather conditions and safety decided by the captain of the boat.

Day 8: El Calafate, Buenos Aires, USA

Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel and get ready for your journey back home. Depending on your departure time you may want to schedule a morning tour of the city and the Walichu Caves. In the afternoon you will be  picked up for your transfer to Comandante Tola Airport to board your domestic flight to Ezeiza Airport to connect with your international flight back home. [B]

[B] = Breakfast | [B/L] = Breakfast and Lunch | [L] = Lunch



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