15 Days - 14 Nights
Buenos Aires, Iguazu, Salta, Jujuy & Calafate
Navigation on Lake Argentino (El Calafate)
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15 days - 14 nights
Day 1 - Arrival to Buenos Aires
Welcome to Argentina. Reception and transfer from Ezeiza International Airport (Buenos Airtes City) to the hotel.
Day 2 - Classic City Tour of Buenos Aires
This City tour takes in the most emblematical places of Buenos Aires, visiting the National Congress, Plaza de Mayo together with the bordering Presidential House, the Casa Rosada, the Cathedral and the colonial Cabildo. We see the newly renovated and awesome Teatro Colón, historically one of the world's most important opera houses. Barrios with history, like San Telmo, that have nightly venues to dance the Tango or milongas, or La Boca, where lived the first immigrants, the great majority of Spanish and Italian origin, where we take some time in Caminito. Other barrios to visit are the residential barrio of Palermo with its trees and beautiful parks and Puerto Madero, the newest and most modern of them all where they reconstructed the dock warehouses that were abandoned to become one of the most exclusive barrios. La Recoleta is another barrio on our excursion with its famous cemetery bordered by fine cafes and restaurants, together with the colonial Church of Pilar.
Day 3 - Navigation in the Delta del Río Paraná
In order to get to the water station of Tigre we take a bus to the north and this passes the various parks of Palermo, the Jorge Newberry airport and the River Plate football stadium. In Tigre we take a boat in the Delta del Río Paraná entering into the 'Venice' of Argentina where the labyrinth of canals is the streets of the Delta servicing the many houses and restaurants. The Delta del Río Paraná starts in the province of Entre Rios and has three important divisions, the Delta Superior, Medio and Inferior, which in total cover an area of 16.500 square kilometres mostly covered by subtropical jungle. The area is full of islands, rivers and creeks where you can see the wild native flora and fauna.
The closer to Tigre the more 'urban' and busy are the waterways and more dense the population, albeit most of the houses are used for vacations. Once we disembark we go by the coast train to the exclusive barrio of San Isidro. This coast train was inaugurated in the 1990s and runs along the border of the Río de la Plata over a stretch of 16 kilometres with 11 stations and is the newest train infrastructure in Argentina. It passes through the barrios of some exclusive residential north zones such as Vicente López, San Isidro, San Fernando and Tigre and many luxurious houses can be seen en route. In San Isidro we visit the Gothic Cathedral built in the early 1900s and its historical foundations. On the return to the City we can see the Presidential Residence of Olivos.
Day 4 - Departure to Puerto Iguazú
Breakfast in the Hotel. Transfer to domestic airport. Reception and transfer from Iguazú Airport to the hotel.
Day 5 - Iguazu Falls: Argentina
We will do one of the most interesting excursions through the hanging bridges, which will lead us to visit the stunning Falls from the Argentine side. Then we will get to the Devil's Gorge and be dazzled by its rough waters, a nature spectacles at a height of 80 meters. In the Lower Area (Circuito Inferior) we will enjoy the rich wildlife around us, as we go down the flight of steps where we can watch the spectacle offered by this water curtain surrounded by thick vegetation. We will pass by Álvar Núñez Fall, from where we will enjoy the first views of the Devil's Gorge. Following the path, we will find San Martín Island and the homonymous Fall. Finally, at the end of trip we will find Bosetti and Dos Hermanas Falls. We can stay and appreciate this spectacle of waters and get refreshed since the steam from the waves breaking on the rocks will spray us completely.
We will continue our trip, this time in the Upper Area (Circuito Superior), where we will go around the same falls but from a different point of view of the Falls and their surroundings. Besides, we will get close to our next destination, the most stunning, which will guide us through the roaring of the water currents. We will get to the Devil's Gorge's station by train, and start our trip around the islands, and thus, have a wider view of this great nature "mistake" in the middle of the forest created, according to a legend, by the angry God of Iguazú River.
Full Moon (optional in Argentine Falls) We will enjoy this unique trip at night with a full moon, which will allow us to appreciate the sounds and secrets of Misiones forest. We will leave on the Ecologic Train and head for Devil's Gorge Station, where we will capture the first sounds of nature, which creates a magic and mysterious environment. The spectacle offered by the Falls, with the rainbow that appears from the waters with the moon reflection, will completely dazzle us. Besides, once within this overwhelming environment, we will get the movements and sounds of the animals that go for their food. After such a magnificent experience, we will return by train to the travelers' center.
Day 6 - Iguazú Falls: Brazil
Here we will have a very beautiful trip through the only hanging bridge of 1 km to enjoy the view of Iguazú Falls from the other side, the Brazilian region. During this trip we can also learn more about the fauna and flora, enjoy a unique landscape of the falls since the area is more open regarding falls because most of them are on the Argentine side and form a water curtain of 2.700 meters wide. So from this side we will be dazzled by the beauty of the Devil's Gorge to the full.
Besides, this place is home to rare wildlife species, some of them in danger of extinction such as giant otters, anteaters, jaguars, red deer and yellow alligators. We will also see native flowers such as orchids, bromelias and thousands of butterflies.
Note: We have to bear in mind that this trip is available only 5 days per month during the full moon; two days before, two days after, and during that period. We have also to take into consideration that the capacity for this activity is limited and, of course, it depends on the weather conditions that day. If you want to see other excursion options in Iguazu, click here: Tours in Iguazu.
Day 7 - Salta - City Tour
We will start our tour along the city from the nice 9 de Julio Square, so eye-catching because of its decorated coloured quarries and its fruited trees which leave a nice fragrance in the salteño air. From the square we will be able to have a first vision of its history and colonial past, as we will be surrounded by old buildings such as the Cabildo, the Cathedral, the Church of San Francisco, the Convent of San Bernardo de las Monjas Carmelitas, one of the oldest buildings in the city which was the entrance door to the convent and it is made of carob wood that was carved by the natives in 1762; its old houses complete the historical quarter, which are today very important monuments.
Then, we will go to the impressive and most recognised hill in the salteña city: Cerro San Bernardo. Before getting to it, we will tour along the streets, getting to Güemes monument, an argentinian general who is known because of its ideals of freedom, dispise to materialism and his love to his Motherland. We will get to San Martín Park where we will find the cable railway station, our means of transport to get to the hill so we can have an amazing panoramic of the city and its surroundings, with the hills at the background.
After the ascent, we will continue to a really charming place, which is chosen by many tourists because of its wonderful natural attractions and the different activities to do: the summer village of San Lorenzo, where we will find the Quebrada, an ideal place to spend the day at the edge of the river, listening its relaxing sounds. We will enjoy our way to it, as we will go through flowered Gardens, mansions and castles which are surrounded by small hills and where we can do (horse) riding, trekking and pic-nic. We will go back to the city, going through the Handmade Market (Mercado Artesanal) first, where we will be able to get some souvenirs from this beautiful city, such as silver and pottery pieces, rustic fabric of llama wool, craftwork in leather, among others.
Day 8 - Quebrada de Humahuaca
Breakfast at the hotel. Today a full day of history and landscapes will be waiting for us, as we will do the circuit to Quebrada de Humahuaca, where we will visit its prehispanic villages which date from hundred years ago and some are so well kept that they shows us its original buildings and houses, so we can visit and tour closer around them.
In first place, the Quebrada de Humahuaca was declared a Natural and Cultural Heritage Mankind in 2003.
We will start by crossing the Siancas Valley through Gral. Güemes town to tour a sugar cane, tobacco, cotton farming area, among others and we will get to the bordering province of Jujuy and its capital in a valley of 155 kilometres extense, which is surrounded of multicoloured mountains and hills, an arid vegetation area and río Grande. We will get into an area of an amazing variety of brown, green, ocres and reddish tonalities. We will continue to Yala, a summer village which is located in the middle of the mountains, rivers and lagoons, with guest houses and weekend houses, there is also the Potrero de Yala Provincial Park which preserves the Lagunas de Yala (Yala Lagoons) where some birds´ species can be watched. We will start ascending the quebrada, going through villages which are kept like the ancient years and they make an unforgettable postal through the landscapes.
We now arrive at Purmamarca, a picturesque town located at the foot of the impressive and unic Cerro de los Siete Colores, which surprise us with its amazing ranges that mixes with the environment tranquility, its vegetation and the blue sky, apart from the hundred ruins of the first villages in the region. We will continue to Maimará, a town which is exactly in the centre of the quebrada, there we will be able to appreciate la Paleta del Pintor (Painter´s Palette), with is multicoloured hills which honours its name; Posta de Hornillos where we will find a museum to live and be witnesses of the prehispanic life; we will go to Tilcara, a famous village because of its caves and its small church, which is one of the oldest ones in the area. We will enjoy some regional and exquisite dishes and then, we can do a tour where the craftsmen are so we can buy some native souvenirs, rustic fabrics made of llama and vicuña, with the company of those kind and thankful people.
Day 9 - Calchaquíes Valleys through Cafayate
We will to Calafate city, going through impressive landscapes that change on every curve we make in wonderful colours like the reddish hills, ochre colour of the grass, grey stones and green cactus. We will get ready to descend through the valleys. We will make a stop in Alemanía, a lonely town, but we cannot miss the visit so we can admire its old country houses between green hills, the train station which doesn´t work anymore and now we can see the beautiful work of the craftsmen who invite us to bring a nice souvenir from this town.
We will be wondered as soon as we watch those rare and eye-catching shapes, going through Quebrada de las Conchas, where we will be able to see figures such as the Devil´s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), the Amfitheater (Anfiteatro) a wonderful place where we can perfectly hear the echo of any sound and it is here where many festivals take place, such as the folklore; another shapes are the Obelisk (Obelisco) which makes a lonely crag, the Castles (Castillos) of an intense red colour which reminds the castles in the medieval times, the Yesera with its light sandstone formations, the House of Parrots (Casa de los Loros) named like this because there are stone walls which are the habitat for great flock of parrots during the summer; the friar (Fraile), the toad (Sapo) and the impressive Devil´s Throat in Salta, shaped as a human trachea and also called like that because of its colour.
We will continue to visit the Archaelogical Museum, a place where there is a great quantity of objects which belonged to native villages. Many people have been investigating, making excavations, restorations and exhibitions about them. We will get to Dique Cabra Corral, next to Coronel Moldes, an ideal place to practise water sports, then we will go through some towns dedicated to the farming activities such as El Carril, where we will find many stock-tobacco companies and also fig tree, walnut tree and peach tree fields; La Merced, with its cleany streets and green spaces which make it so picturesque, and Cerrillos. All these towns belong to Valle de Lerma, where there are treasures which come from mines that were found and they are hidden somewhere between the hills, according to local stories. We will be pleasured to taste some wineries´wines.
We will continue our journey from Cafayate, by visiting the Calchaquí Valleys. We will visit the Cathedral "Nuestra Señora del Rosario" which contrast with the multi – coloured hills in the background and then we will cover the most traditional wineries in this beautiful city between valleys and hills of an impressive green colour, which is the most important one in the Calchaquí Valleys because of its "torrontés" wines above all, an ideal place because of the temperature and humidity to the development of this kind of grape with a sweet and fruited taste, together with their goat cheese. The name of the city was given because of an old native settlement which means "Bury of sorrows or sadness" (Sepultura de las Penas).
Day 10 - Calchaquíes Valleys through Cachi
Breakfast at the hotel. We will do the way around through the Calchaquí Valleys, this time through Cachi, driving between extremely lovely landscapes. During our tour to this charming town, we will be able to see beautiful tourist spots in particular, starting in Quebrada del Escoipe, almost a wild region followed by the homonymous river and it crosses several Bridges until getting to Cuesta del Obispo. This last one is also a nature work, as we start the ascent by a twisted and cornice road, where we will be surrounded by impressive green coloured hills, an indescribable view together with the vegetation, in contrast with the sky. The highest point in this way is Piedra del Molino, to 3348 metres above the level of the sea and, from where we will have a unic panoramic of the Quebrada del Escoipe.
Two kilometres before getting to Piedra del Molino, we will be able to appreciate the sign which says that we are in Los Cardones National Park that protects its vegetation, such as Neblina, Monte, Puna and Alta Montaña bushes. Some fauna like the taruca, vicuña, guanaco, puma, red fox, wild cat, Wessel, quirquincho, condor, carpintero de los cardones, ututo lizard, coral, yarara, among others, are preserved in this national park.
After coming through the highest point, Piedra del Molino, we will arrive at Valle Encantado, a place where shapes and colours are mixed and where the action of the wind and water sculpt the landscapes with curious shapes and reliefs. There we will find a small lagoon and cave paintings. Of course, if we are lucky, we will be able to watch condors flying through the sky. Later on, we will get to a small soft mountainside valley covered of bushes, which is eaten by the cattle, that we are surely going to cross during the tour. If we continue a few kilometres more, we will appreciate an enclosed basin and El Hervidero lagoon, the favorite place to graze by the guanacos.
The Tin Tin Straight Line (Recta de Tin Tin) will be another unforgettable spot in our tour as we will watch it along the way we go, as it is a perfect straight line of 18 kilometres, from where we will be able to watch a great quantity of thistles and looking at our right we will see the Tin Tin Hill and at our left we will see the Negro Hill. We will go through this old inca road so we can get to Payogasta where we will be surprised with the red and reddish pepper plantations, now descending to Cachi town, which is located at the base of Nevado Hill between the homonymous river and Calchaquí. There we will go for a walk along the streets watching its dazzled white buildings, its houses made of adobe and paving streets, but the town stresses more because of its kindness and warm contact that the local people give. We will return to Salta in the afternoon.
Day 11 - Departure to Calafate
Breakfast in the Hotel. Transfer to Salta Airport. Reception and transfer from Calafate Airport to the hotel.
Day 12 - Visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier
Early in the morning we make our way to the most famous glacier in the world. It was declared as a Heritage Humanity in 1981 by UNESCO and it is considered unique for many characteristics such as its continuous advance, its comfortable access to its best viewpoints and the possibility to walk over it. The name was given in honour of the great explorer of the Patagonian area, Perito Francisco Moreno.
We walk along the edge of the southern side of the Argentino Lake, before crossing the rivers Centinela and Mitre, at the same time we discover post card views of the pre Andean Mountain Chain. We arrive to Brazo Rico and enter Los Glaciares National Park. While we tour along the Rich Lake we see the huge blocks of ice drifting along and walk until we have a full panoramic view of this giant glacier. If the weather conditions are favourable, we can have the privilege of attending this unique spectacle in the argentinean Patagonia... the ice landslides from the southern falls in which huge ice floes cover the homonym channel as they are accumulated there or in the Brazo Rico.
Here it is possible to get to know the glacier from different panoramic and viewpoints by walking the footbridges whilst we are informed about its history, characteristics and settings. In the afternoon we return to the Hotel.
Note: The Perito Moreno is a glacier in continuous advance; this is different to the great majority of such giant glaciers that are in a severe regression. In its advance it surrounds the cold waters of the Brazo Rico, that are origined from the Argentino Lake which causes some pressure over the ice that make the level of water increase in that part of the lake and has the effect of generating a tunnel of almost 45 metres through which flows from the Brazo Rico and in to the Argentino Lake. The continuous erosion by these waters causes parts of the dome to collapse producing fantastic spectacles.
Navigation across the Rich lake – Nautical Safari
We leave from the 'Bajo de las Sombras' Port to begin this navigation that complements the visit by the footbridges to the Perito Moreno Glacier and has a time lapse of one hour. There we can see well the southern edge of the glacier. The same as for the Brazo Rico and the Brazo Sur of the Argentino Lake, they are transformed by the glacier into dykes. We navigate the Rich Lake marveling at the imposing face of the glacier that reaches up to 60 metres high. Here we get closer to the confluence between the colossal ice structure and the Magellan Peninsular before continuing, for approximately 3 kms, the length of the southern wall.
This is the major attraction spot and the most awaited moment by all the visitors: the landslides of enormous blocks of ice during the summer season that are related to other typical formations such as crevices, 'seracs' and their bluish tints. We have the opportunity to take photos and capture this emotional experience.
Day 13 - Navigation across the Argentino Lake
Today a navigation between giant ice structures in Los Glaciares National Park is waiting for us. We firstly travel to Punta Bandera (Flag point) in order to make an early embarkation to start our trip on the Argentino Lake, the biggest and most southern of all the Patagonian lakes in the argentinean region. It covers an area of 1466 kms2 and has a depth ranging from 150 to 500 metres.
We begin our navigation by the north branch of the lake, visiting the Spegazzini, Onelli, Bolado and Agassiz Glaciers, these last ones located in the Onelli Bay, moreover we get closer to the Upsala Glacier. This glacier integrates an area surrounded by other glaciers which covers 850 km2 and its walls reach until 80 metres high. Its name comes from the University of the same name in Sweden that was the first one in starting a study about the surrounded area, in the twentieth century. On the other hand, the Spegazzini Glacier is the highest inside the national park at 135 metres and is located on the homonym branch of the Argentino Lake.
We disembark in the Onelli Bay, only if the ice conditions allow us because the large icebergs can block the entrance to the boat and it is always risky for the crew. Onelli leaves us amazed with the presence of an ancient Patagonian forest populated with different species of trees such as ñires, canelos and lengas. We might be lucky if we watch the giant condors that inhabit the Andean Mountain Chain. Meanwhile, we make a walk to a unique place where the confluence of the Agassiz, Bolados and Heim Glaciers into the Onelli Lagoon takes place. In our return we see the front of the Spegazzini Glacier. If you want to see other excursion options in Calafate, click here: Tours in Calafate.
Please note: There could be ice falls from the Upsala Glacier that leave giant icebergs which could block the navigation to the Onelli Bay. This natural hazard could make difficult the landing. When this happens the boat crosses the waters of the Ice floe Channel to go on the northern position of the Perito Moreno Glacier.
Day 14 - A day in the country inside Los Glaciares National Park (Nibepo Aike)
We visit an estancia that is located inside the National Park. After the welcoming we go to the Brazo Sur of the Argentino Lake watching and enjoying the amazing views to the glaciers and the different levels of water that have eroded the rocks. It is possible to verify the different folds of rocks that were produced by sediments. On our way we discover an ancient forest of nothofagus, that is the habitat for the caranchos, eagles, maras etc. We will be able to enjoy how skillfull are the country men with their control and love for their horses (generally, they are local breeding animals), manual shearing of the sheeps, how to classify the wool and how to bale it.
Then, we visit the old quarters of the estancia and its organic garden. We can have roast lamb or a country barbecue for lunch together with special salads prepared with fresh vegetables from its gardens and homemade desert. Once we are rested, we return to our walk so we can get to a unique panoramic point from where we can see two branchs of the Argentino and the beautiful Roca Lake. The Perito Moreno Glacier finishes both in the Brazo Rico and the Brazo Sur of the Argentino Lake. This valley is not very often seen and its southern access is the less visited of the Southern Ice Fields.
Day 15 - Return to Buenos Aires - Ezeiza International Airport
Breakfast in the Hotel. Transfer from the hotel to the Airport of the Calafate. Reception in the Metropolitan Airport Jorge Newbery and transfer to the International Airport of Ezeiza to take us the international flight. End of our services.