Holidays

Wonders of the South - 9 days From $2,659

Wonders of the South - 9 days From $2,659

Purpose: History, Culture, Ecology & Adventure
No. of days: 9 days - 8 nights
First & Last Cities: Buenos Aires, El Calafate
Other cities: Perito Moreno Glacier, Rivers of Ice, Puerto Natales, Torres del Payne
Starting cost:

The Perito Moreno glacier, the eighth wonder of the world, is located in the outskirts of El Calafate. The town also gives access to a multitude of mountains of ice forming the Glaciars National Park, declared by Unesco as "Heritage of humanity", and makes it a privileged touristic location in the world. The city takes its name from the small shrub "calafate", typical of the Southern Patagonia. Located 200 miles from Río Gallegos, and on the south bank of Lake Argentino in the Andes, El Calafate is a picturesque small town of 4000 inhabitants where streets have a particular charm, characterized by low buildings, warm and rustic houses that contrast against a blue landscape that merges with the sky. It’s a haven of peace and greenery and an important tourist center because all the glacier circuits start from there.


Day 1: Buenos Aires

After you pass customs and immigration at Ezeiza International Airport you will be met and assisted by our representative who will escort you to your hotel in Buenos Aires. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to rest and relax after the long flight. A visit to Buenos Aires is not complete if it is missing a nightlife experience in a fashionable night spot so, this evening you will be driven to La Ventana, a typical restaurant, to enjoy an Argentinean dinner and dance to the sound of the sensual tango music. If you are a dance aficionado you may take a tango lesson but you need to reserve before departure. Return to the hotel for overnight. [D]

Day 2: Buenos Aires

After a buffet breakfast at the hotel you will encounter with one of the biggest urban concentrations in the Southern Hemisphere. We'll visit the bohemian and colorful neighborhood of Italian immigrants - La Boca -, the historical May Square (Plaza de Mayo) surrounded by the Government House (Pink House), the Metropolitan Cathedral and the ancient City-Hall, seat of the former Spanish Viceroys and continue along May Avenue, of strong Spanish influence, until we get to Congress Square facing the National Parliament. Then we drive along Callao Street until the intersection with Corrientes Avenue, the never-sleeping avenue, up to the most emblematic symbol of Buenos Aires, the Obelisk, passing by one of the widest avenues in the world, namely, 9 of July Boulevard as well as the famous Colon Opera House. Our next target is the new Puerto Madero neighborhood and the most fashionable district of the city: Recoleta, with a scent of French charm and the spacious and oxygenating Palermo Parks for a relaxing stroll. We'll also visit its artistic cemetery, where Evita Peron´s tomb is, among others of the former prominent local characters. Return to the city center. The rest of the day is at leisure to continue your discovery of Buenos Aires. Overnight at the hotel. [B]

Day 3: Buenos Aires, El Calafate

Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel and get ready to be picked up for your transfer to Aeroparque Airport to board your domestic flight to El Calafate. At Comandante Armando Tola Airport you will be met by our representative and assisted on your transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Depending on your arrival time you may want to schedule a tour of the city and the Walichu Caves. [B]

Day 4: 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 5: 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] River 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 6: El Calafate, Puerto Natales (Chile)

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and have your luggage ready for the start of your adventure into Chilean Antarctic region. Board the bus for a 4-hour ride along unique landscapes. Accommodation at your hotel.  [B]

Day 7: 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, the landscape is decorated by massive boulders and trees that look small in comparison to the cave’s entrance 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 Payne. 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 8: Puerto Natales, El Calafate (Argentina), Buenos Aires

Breakfast at the hotel before boarding the bus for your trip back to El Calafate where you will be transfreed to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires Aeroparque Airport where you will be met and assisted on your transfer to your hotel in Buenos Aires for overnight. [B]

Day 9: Buenos Aires

Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel and get ready to pack your bags as soon you will be picked up and assisted on your transfer to Ezeiza International Airport to board your international flight back home. [B]

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



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