7 Days - 6 Nights
Ushuaia & Calafate
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7 days - 6 nights
Day 1 - Ushuaia
Arrival at the airport of Ezeiza, Buenos Aires. Transfer to the airport of Buenos Aires. Reception at the airport of Ushuaia and transfer to the hotel.
Day 2 - Beagle Channel Navegation & Tierra del Fuego Park National and Train of the End of the World
Beagle Channel Navegation
Breakfast at the Hotel. We take a trip to the Beagle Channel. Our leaving point is in the Ushuaia Bay, which is on the banks of the City of the same name, entering the Canal by the Paso Chico. In old times the Reverend Thomas Bridges said that the 'Ushuaia Bay' means the 'the calm water bay'.
The Beagle Channel, situated at the south of the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego, was originated from glaciers and it covers an area of 180 kms, it joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was baptised by Captain Fitz Roy in honour of the ship "Beagle' on which was the Lieutenant Murray who discovered the Canal in 1930. It is now the political frontier between Argentina and Chile. As in the Ushuaia Bay, the Beagle Canal offers a variety of sea birds and mammal marine life, where it is possible to watch skuas, black capped albatross, cauquenes, seagulls, etc. The crossing goes until the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. This has a conical tower of over 11 metres and is 22.5 metres above the sea level. The lighthouse name was given by Captain Luis Fernando Martial and that was after the place where it is located.
The journey continues to the naval station Isla de los Lobos Marinos (Sea Lion Island) where we will be able to watch one and two hair seals and the cormorants settlements. Following our route we navigate to the Isla de los Pájaros (Bird Island) a place where we can see settlements of Magellan and Imperial Cormorants as well as enjoy more than 20 species of other marine birds. Both Islands are part of the Bridges Archipelago.
Optional - Disembarkation on the Bridges Islands: It is possible to ask for a landing on the Bridges Islands during this navigations, in which we can have a trekking of half an hour with the guides assistance while we go along the paths of one of the Bridges Islands to see the Concheros Yámanas (Yámana shells), relics of an old indigenous tribe.
Tierra del Fuego Park National and Train of the End of the World
During the afternoon we will go to Tierra del Fuego National Park which highlights for being the only park with sea coast because it is located at the shore of the Beagle Chanel. Outside Ushuaia, we will go through the Valley of Pipo River to get to the entrance. We will get on board the Train of the End of the World which is outside the Tierra del Fuego National Park where we start in the Central Station until getting to the Tierra del Fuego National Park Station. We will have the excellent opportunity to meet the Southern Fueguino Railway which travels along one of the routes that were used in the past by thousands prisoners who obey everyday their routine in those legendary woods. The journey starts over the embankment that the prisoners made a long time ago, going through the Cañadón del Toro so then we can ascend a steep surrounding the Pipo River until getting to the "Cascada de la Macarena" Station where we will hace the possibility to descend to the restoration of a native camp or we can have the option to appreciate the amazing panoramic view of the fall´s source.
The train´s horn give us the signal that we have to continue with the journey to get into the sub-antarctic woods. Surrounding the Pipo river and the "turbales" area where the moss Sphagnum grows, the train ends the journey when it arrives at the Park´s Station where we will descend to continue with the tour. Once we get into into the Tierra del Fuego National Park which was founded in 1960 and it is located in the region of the patagonic woods and the Andean mountain chain. Our tour goes to Ensenada Bay where we will be able to see the Redonda and Estorbo islands and the Montes Nevados in front of them which belong to the Sampaio mountain chain in Chile. Then we get to Roca Lake.
We continue the way while we are surrounded by lengas, ñires and guindos woods until getting to the bridge of the Lapataia river, an ideal area to do trekking as there are many paths such as the Paseo de la Isla, Roca Lake, Black Lagoon, etc. We will go through a winding way where we will find the Green and Black Lagoons, this last one is an impressive "turbal", until flowing in the Beavers´ dike which will guide us to Lapataia Bay.
Day 3 - Fagnano & Escondido Lakes
Today we will visit the Fagnano and Escondido Lakes located in the center of the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego. We will leave in the morning, we will travel through the Olivia River valley to the North. We will enjoy the landscape that the Olivia River Valley offers us, to reach the Carbajal Valley viewpoint, from there we will obtain incredible panoramic views of the forests, peatlands, and mountains. On the way to the lakes we will be able to appreciate the facilities of Cerro Castor, considered the southernmost in the world, and worldwide known for the quality of the snow and its long season which lasts from mid-June to mid-October.
We will continue the route to reach another beautiful viewpoint, the Garibaldi Pass, located at 430 meters above sea level. from there we will be able to appreciate the beautiful view of Lake Escondido. We will descend bordering the mountains appreciating the Reserve "heart of the island", a protected natural area. We will arrive at the Argentine Naval Prefecture of the beautiful Fagnano Lake, a place where the beauty of the calm waters, the forest and the stories of the ancient loggers and settlers of the area mix, from there we will enjoy Lake Fagnano from its margins. We will return after noon and we will go to the Carbajal Valley area, we will stop at one of the restaurants to enjoy the renowned and exquisite Cordero Fueguino, (lunch is optional). We will return to the city in the afternoon.
Day 4 - Knowing Ushuaia - Departure to Calafate
We will do a very special tour in the morning as we start knowing the magic of the city of Ushuaia which is very famous for being recognized as the "End of the World" (also known as the most southern city of all). We will also visit the Museum of the End of the World which started working in 1979. It was firstly for families and then became part of the heritage in Ushuaia. This museum shows its collections in five different rooms where there are glasses that honour those people linked with the local history such as the explorers, natives, etc. We will know the main and most famous attractions that Ushuaia has: the old Recidivists´ Prison which is known because of its exciting and strong history, every year many visitors go visiting it because of its prison architecture and also because of its history. It is important to higlight that it worked from 1900 to 1947 and the city started growing more and more around this prison where today many and important cruises and transatlantic.
We will enjoy the building, its corridors and even today we can feel the pain the people suffered. This militar prison worked firstly in the Staten Island in San Juan de Salvamento, then it was transferred to CooK Port until it was settled in Ushuaia for humanitarian reasons. It accommodated sentenced people like the anarchist Simón Radowitsky or Cayetano Santos Godino known as the big eared shorty or the writer Ricardo Rojas. We will visit the Port, the Paseo del Centenario, an excellent panoramic spot where there is the monument for the Ushuaia´s Centennial and then, the Beban House an important architectural heritage, which was bought in Sweden and made in Ushuaia between 1911 and 1913 by Don Tomas Beban. Is one of the most ambitious buildings in the city.
Transfer to Ushuaia Airport. Reception and transfer from Calafate Airport to the hotel.
Day 5 - 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 6 - 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 7 - Return to Buenos Aires
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to Calafate Airport. End of our services.