Classic Patagonia (13n/14d)

The Plaza de Mayo is a highlight of Buenos Aires

The Plaza de Mayo is a highlight of Buenos Aires

DAY 01: Buenos Aires
Arrival at Ministro Pistarini Internacional Airport. In the afternoon, City Tour – 3 hours approximately. The tour starts in the historical Plaza de Mayo (Mayo Square) around which the most traditional places stand out: Casa Rosada (Pink House or House of Government), Presidential Site, the Cabildo, first city council of Buenos Aires and the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral). It is there where Avenida de Mayo (Mayo Avenue) begins, well known for its architectural buildings. It ends in Plaza del Congreso opposite the Palacio Legislativo (Law Courts). The tour goes along the wide 9 de Julio Avenue with its eight lanes separated by wonderful small squares full of sculptures and fountains, until reaching the majestic Teatro Colón (Colón Theatre) an ideal place for lovers of poetry, music and ballet. Going towards the south, we find the picturesque and colourful neighborhood of La Boca with its well known street called “Caminito” dating from 1883. The tour continues across the traditional neighborhood of San Telmo, with its colonial houses, its cobblestone streets and its peculiar antique shops which gathered around Plaza Dorrego (Dorrego Square) every Sunday spread hundreds of local art pieces. From that point, the tour continues to the north visiting the residential Palermo area, the Planetarium, the Polo fields, the Racetrack and the Zoo. Recoleta is the most sophisticated neighborhood in the city, with its restaurants, cafés, night clubs and shops. However, the most typical thing in this corner of the city is the Recoleta Cemetery where the remains of historical celebrities can be found as for example the mythical Eva Peron’s. Return to the hotel.

DAY 02: Buenos Aires
Free day to carry out independent activities. Late in the afternoon, the tour begins to the southern area of the city to enjoy a classical place in Buenos Aires, the spectacle in a traditional “tanguería” in the city. The best soloists and dancers will offer an incredible show with the music, poetry and sensual dancing of Tango, an authentic symbol of Buenos Aires. In a comfortable environment and enjoying an extraordinary service, you can taste the most exquisite typical Argentine meals, being the first-quality meal the specialty, accompanied by exquisite Argentine wines. Following the style of the greatest orchestras of Tango of the 40´s, a group of marvelous artists invites us to a luxury journey along the best music of the city. Tango, with its intimate and profound poetry will be reflected in the voice of the best interpreters. At the end of the show, you will return to the hotel.

DAY 03: Buenos Aires / San Carlos de Bariloche
You will be taken to Jorge Newbery Airport – local airport- to take a flight towards Bariloche. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day will be available to carry out independent activities.

DAY 04: San Carlos de Bariloche
In the morning, half-day excursion, Circuito Chico and Punto Panorámico (Small Circuit and Panoramic Point/View). The tour starts with a brief visit to the city of Bariloche, located in the heart of the Argentine Patagonia. Bordering Lago Nahuel Huapi and among a frame of constant scenery and vegetation change, you encounter infinite and spectacular views: Isla Huemul (Huemul Island), Cerro Campanario (Campanario Hill), Lago Perito Moreno (Perito Moreno Lake), San Pedro and Llao Llao Peninsulas, Cathedral and Otto Hills, among others. Return to the hotel.

DAY 05: San Carlos de Bariloche
Full day excursion to Puerto Blest and Cascada de los Cántaros (Blest Port and Cántaros Waterfall). The tour begins in Bariloche and after traveling 25 kms, you arrive at Pañuelo Port where the navigation towards Blest Port begins. Crossing the Blest branch of Nahuel Huapi Lake, the most important and deepest of the seven branches of the lake, you continue among sceneries similar to the Norwegian fiords. This is the result of hundreds of years of glacier activity. The greens are gradually accented towards the west where the Valdiviano Wood shows its splendor. At the end of Blest Branch, you go by a wooden path directing to Río Los Cántaros Waterfall. Once this visit is finished, you embark again and return to Pañuelo Port and continue till Bariloche.

DAY 06: San Carlos de Bariloche / El Calafate
Transfer to the airport to take a flight to El Calafate. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day free to carry out independent activities.

DAY 07: El Calafate
Full day excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier with Nautical Safari. The tour starts in El Calafate, then crosses the Patagonian plateau until reaching Buenos Aires Hill and later borders the south coast of the Argentine Lake until entering Los Glaciares National Park. A few kilometers further, “Bajo de las Sombras” is located, embarking point of the Nautical Safari, a brief navigation which will let you enjoy the beauty of the Perito Moreno Glacier from a short distance. Once on land, the excursion continues until the “pasarelas” (footbridges) along the two fronts of the glacier. Return to El Calafate.

DAY 08: El Calafate
Full day excursión Navegación Todo Glaciares (All Glaciers Navigation) – Upsala, Onelli and Spegazzini Glaciers. A fantastic navigation across the North Branch of the Argentine Lake which permit the view of magnificent ice floes across its waters, coming from the great glaciers of the area. Approximation to Spegazzini Glacier which stands out due to the height of its front: 90 meters above lake level. A distance forward, you disembark and after a brief walk across the Andean-Patagonian wood, you arrive at Onelli Lake in which hundreds of little ice floes coming from Onelli, Agassiz and Bollados Glaciers are gathered which make this scenery one of the most amazing places in the South of Argentina. On the return, the journey will continue along the front of Upsala Glacier, the biggest glacier of the National Park with its almost 600 km2 of surface. Return to El Calafate.

DAY 09: El Calafate / Ushuaia
Transfer to the airport to take a flight to Ushuaia. Arrival and accommodation. In the afternoon, marine excursion to Isla de los Lobos (Sea Lions Island) – duration: 3 hours. You set sail from the tourist quay, navigating across the waters of the Ushuaia Bay with the frame of the city as a backdrop. In the centre of the Beagle Channel, you navigate along the archipelago formed by Alicia Island, inhabited by an important colony of imperial cormorants. During the journey, you will have the opportunity to see the majestic black browed albatrosses, skuas, steamer ducks or alakush, and several varieties of seagulls. The navigation continues its course across this channel towards the area of Les Eclaireurs Archipelago. In this archipelago you will find the Sea Lions Island in which you will be able to observe the two most typical species of sea lions in the channel (one and two hair sea lions). In another island, a lighthouse named after the archipelago was built. It was exactly in this area where in 1930 the Buq e Crucero Monte Cervantes (Warship) was sunk. Return to Ushuaia.

DAY 10: Ushuaia
Half day excursion in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Located at 11 km in the west side of the city along National Route Nº3, it was created in order to protect the northern area of the Sub-Antarctic wood. It has 63,000 hectares and it is different from other national parks since it is a mixture of forests, mountains and ocean. Red foxes, “cauquenes”, woodpeckers, ducks and more than 90 species of birds are part of this southern fauna which can occasionally be observed during the journey. There is also the possibility of seeing some introduced species: beavers and rabbits. The lenga, ñires and morello cherry forests, the peat valleys and a great variety of lichens make this scenery of a rich flora. As an alternative, you can travel on the old steam train which in the early 19th century was used to take the prisoners of the old prison in Ushuaia to the clearing area.

DAY 11: Ushuaia / Trelew / Puerto Madryn
Transfer to the airport to take a flight to Trelew. Then you continue until Puerto Madryn. Arrival and accommodation. Rest of the day free.

DAY 12: Puerto Madryn
Full day excursión to Península Valdés. The journey continues towards the northeastern area, entering the area of Península Valdés through the Carlos Ameghino Isthmus where the Interpretation Centre is located. There, visitors will be able to know details about the history, avifauna and land and marine fauna of this sanctuary of nature. The journey continues along gravel roads, typical of this area, until reaching Caleta Valdés or Punta Norte, continental place of Sea Elephants. During the whole journey, you will find out the natural inhabitants of Península Valdés: rheas, guanacos, maras, piches, foxes, skunks, eagles, Patagonian owls, etc. The excursion continues with a visit to Puerto Pirámide, a picturesque village located in the New Gulf, with crystal clear waters which make it a paradise to divers and naturalists. In the period from June to December, time when Right Whales mate to have their babies, navigations are arranged so that you can get near these amazing species in modern boats. The village has some restaurants where you can taste typical meals with sea fruits and international menus. Among the months of December and March, there are visits to Punta Pirámide, place one-hair sea lions. On the return, along the coasts of the San José Gulf and with fixed binoculars, you can see the avifauna of the Birds Island, located at 800 mts away from the shore. You will be able to observe flamingoes, swans, skuas, petrels, seagulls, gulls, Antarctic doves, etc. in their natural habitat. Then you arrive at Puerto Madryn, disembarking point of the first Welsh settlers in Chubut in 1865. The path goes by the only Aluminum Plant in Argentina – Aluar-, the Industrial Fishing Park, the quay of profound waters, Almirante Storni, where tourist and international transport loading ships are tied up. Later arrival at Trelew, last place of the excursion.

DAY 13: Puerto Madryn / Puerto Madryn
Excursion to Punta Tombo. The tour begins in Madryn and goes to the south, going through the Patagonian plateau until reaching the Dos Pozos spot where remains of stone constructions of the first offices of the telegraph of the region can still be appreciated. In this area, near the sea, the natural vegetation has characteristics different from the Patagonian fauna: rheas, guanacos, maras, piches, foxes, skunks, eagles, Patagonian owls, etc. After going through “La Perla” Manor, where in shearing times (Sept-Oct) you can see different country tasks, you arrive at Punta Tombo Reserve, the biggest continental penguin breeding site in the world, having a colony of Magellan Penguins of approximately 1,000,000 species. A few minutes after the arrival, the spectacle on both sides of the path is a big surprise: thousands of penguins in activity, fixing caves, building nests, going to the sea to look for food. Return to Trelew to take a flight to Buenos Aires. Arrival and accommodation.

DAY 14: Buenos Aires
Free day until going to Ezeiza Airport to take a return flight. End of services.

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