• Overview
  • Photos & Video
  • Pricing
  • Dates
  • Hotels
  • Extensions
  • Trip Reviews
  • FAQ

Explore the highlights of famed Los Glaciares National Park of Argentine Patagonia on this classic adventure. Unlike more extended Patagonia tours, this itinerary is designed specifically for travelers with a limited timeframe. Begin in elegant Buenos Aires, where you will spend a full afternoon exploring the capital before flying to the heart of Patagonia. Enjoy a full day of exploration on the pristine Perito Moreno glacier, with an option to don crampons and hike on the glacier. Experience Patagonia's stunning mountains, crystal clear lakes and hike two classic treks to Mt. Torre and to Mt. Fitz Roy. Our Classic Patagonia Adventure is an excellent introduction to all that the region has to offer.

Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE BUENOS AIRES

Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, a Southern Explorations guide will meet you and take you to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure, enjoying the many sights and sounds of this sophisticated metropolis. If you like, add in our Four Balconies tour extension for an excellent guided overview of the capital.

Day 2 BUENOS AIRES - EL CALAFATE - EL CHALTEN

Morning transfer to the aiport for your flight to El Calafate and El Chalten, the gateway town of Fitz Roy. If the weather is clear, this three to four hour drive is a beautiful part of your Patagonia tour, filled with vistas of the Fitz Roy mountain range. Upon arrival in Chalten, transfer to your hotel. After getting settled, enjoy an hour's hike to Piedras Blancas glacier on your own, an ideal warm-up for some of the Patagonia trekking ahead. You'll travel through a beech forest where you may see the amazing Magellanic woodpecker and view the Marconi glacier, the gateway to the Continental Icecap. Alternatively, you may choose a five-hour roundtrip hike to Cerro Polo on your own instead, which offers a panoramic view of the Poincenot, Fitz Roy, Cerro Torre and the Continental Icecap. Overnight at your charming hotel. (B,D)

Day 3 CERRO TORRE HIKE

After breakfast, you will start a full day of hiking a Patagonian classic: Mt. Torre, famous for its beauty but also for its climbing difficulty. This is the pinnacle of trekking Patagonia. Every year, countless expeditions attempt to reach the summit, but only a few succeed. After a half hour of hiking, you reach the viewpoint of the Fitz Roy River and Margarita waterfall. Continue for another 30 minutes until you reach the Mirador del Cerro Torre, a lookout facing the Cerro Torre and Adelas ranges. From this point, the trail descends into the valley. The trail ends on the shores of Laguna Torre, offering a stunning view of Mt. Torre surrounded by the Egger and Standhard spires and the Adelas range as a backdrop together with the glacier Torre. You will have time to enjoy the view, eat lunch, and rest before returning on the same trail to the town of El Chalten. (B, L)
Patagonia Hiking Details: 11-12 miles / Elevation gain: 1,000-1200 ft / Average time: 7 hours

Day 4 HIKE FITZ ROY & LAGUNA DE LOS TRES

Today's segment of trekking Patagonia includes a full-day hike to the Laguna Capri base camp (Fitz Roy base camp). The hike towards Fitz Roy features spectacular views of the massif. The peak was sacred and venerated by local Tehuelche groups who believed the mists enshrouding it were volcanic ash, calling it Chalten (God of Smoke). You will begin hiking south from El Pilar, passing Laguna Piedras Blancas on the way to Laguna de los Tres, at the base of Mt. Fitz Roy. Three glaciers drain into this emerald lagoon with majestic Mt. Fitz Roy towering above. Stop en route for lunch and then resume the hike to Laguna Capri, where the image of Mt. Fitz Roy is reflected. You'll enjoy spectacular views of the sweeping Patagonian steppe and Fitz Roy, highlights of any Patagonia tour. After a full day of hiking, return to your hotel for a good meal and night's sleep. (B, L)
Patagonia Hiking Details: 13-14 miles / Elevation gain 2200-2300ft / Average time: 9 hours

Watch a Video »
Day 5 EL CHALTEN - EL CALAFATE

After breakfast, you'll have time for more Patagonia hiking including a short trek from town to view Mt. Torre. In the afternoon, a private van will transfer you to El Calafate where you'll have the rest of the day and evening to tour this charming city on your own. Overnight at a local hotel. (B)

Optional Self-Guided Tour: Glacier Museum Approximate Fees: Museum - $20 (80 Argentine Pesos); Roundtrip bus - $6 (25 Argentine Pesos) For those interested in learning about the formation and recession of glaciers during their Patagonia tours, a visit to the Glaciarium is a must. This one-of-a-kind ice museum is located six miles outside El Calafate. To get there, every hour on the hour, buses leave from the center of town. After exploring the history of the Patagonian ice fields, you may cap off this memorable experience with a drink at the museum’s Glacio Bar. The entire bar including the drink cups, tables and chairs are made entirely of ice.

Watch a Video »
Day 6 PERITO MORENO GLACIER - EL CALAFATE

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your El Calafate hotel. An hour long bus ride takes you to the Bajo de las Sombras port on the shore of Lake Argentino. From there, you will board a comfortable boat for a 20 minute navigation across the lake. The cruise offers incredible views of the Perito Moreno glacier with its massive front wall of blue ice and surrounding field of icebergs. Following a beach landing, you’ll stop at a small shelter where the trekkers will be divided into groups of less than twenty. A short walk along an ancient beech forest takes you to the edge of the glacier, a prime location for photographing this spectacular natural wonder. You will be fitted with crampons and receive a safety briefing from your guides before beginning an unforgettable two hour trek on the glacier, with time for photos and a lunch break. This moderate trek will take you past small streams, lagoons, crevasses, and other ice formations as you explore the fascinating landscape of the Perito Moreno glacier. After completing the trek, you will embark on the boat for the return trip across the lake. A short bus ride brings you to an elaborate boardwalk system located across the lake from the glacier. From here you will be able to view and photograph the glacier from many angles, and possibly witness icebergs calving thunderously into the lake. In the late afternoon, you will return to your hotel for another comfortable night's rest. (B,L)
**The upper age limit for the mini-trek portion of this trip is 65, regardless of fitness level.  Click here for the alternative tours available.**

Watch a Video »
Day 7 EL CALAFATE - BUENOS AIRES - HOME

Your tour of Patagonia ends with a morning departure for El Calafate in time to connect with your flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival transfer to the international airport. (B)

Weather

When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Due to the country's geography and location, Argentina & Patagonia offers a wide variety of climates. The Argentine mainland is mostly temperate, with seasons reversed from those in the northern hemisphere. The northern areas of Salta and around Iguazú are tropical, while southern Patagonia's weather is often cold and windy and always unpredictable.

Winter (from the end of June to the beginning of October) may be cold with some rain in certain areas of Argentina, while the Northwest enjoys sunny days and warm temperatures.

Summer (from December to March) is hot and sometimes humid in Buenos Aires; warm and dry in the Northwest with intermittent summer rains; and cold but sunny and sometimes windy in Patagonia.
 

BUENOS AIRES

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN69-833.9
FEB67-814.2
MAR67-784.9
APR58-713.5
MAY53-652.8
JUN47-582.2
JUL47-582.4
AUG48-612.6
SEP51-642.6
OCT56-704.4
NOV61-764.1
DEC66-813.8
*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

EL CALAFATE

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN45-650.5
FEB42-650.3
MAR37-610.5
APR32-541.0
MAY28-451.2
JUN27-410.8
JUL29-391.0
AUG33-430.8
SEP44-500.6
OCT37-560.5
NOV41-610.4
DEC44-640.6

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

USHUAIA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN41-571.5
FEB51-561.8
MAR39-542.1
APR36-492.2
MAY32-432.1
JUN29-401.9
JUL28-391.4
AUG30-421.8
SEP32-461.6
OCT36-501.4
NOV38-531.4
DEC40-561.7

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

BARILOCHE

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN43-700.9
FEB42-710.9
MAR39-661.2
APR35-582.1
MAY33-505.3
JUN30-445.5
JUL29-435.1
AUG30-464.6
SEPT31-512.3
OCT34-571.5
NOV38-631.0
DEC41-671.3

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

MENDOZA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN64-901.4
FEB62-871.3
MAR57-811.1
APR50-740.5
MAY42-660.2
JUN35-600.2
JUL35-590.3
AUG38-650.1
SEP70-430.3
OCT51-770.4
NOV57-840.6
DEC63-881.0

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

SALTA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN61-817.0
FEB61-796.4
MAR59-774.6
APR54-731.4
MAY46-700.3
JUN39-660.1
JUL37-680.2
AUG39-720.2
SEP45-750.8
OCT52-791.0
NOV57-812.5
DEC61-825.4

*Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


 

 

 

Maps

Discover Argentina

Classic Patagonia

Pricing
Per Person
$2,795
Domestic Airfare:
$550 Airfare: Buenos Aires/ El Calafate - El Calafate/Buenos Aires (subject to change)
 
Single Supplement: $925
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.
Included in tour cost
  • All land and sea transportation during the itinerary
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear
  • Reciprocity fee

Classic Patagonia

Trip Dates
Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
Sunday, October 8, 2017 to Saturday, October 14, 2017
Available
Sunday, October 22, 2017 to Saturday, October 28, 2017
Available
Sunday, November 5, 2017 to Saturday, November 11, 2017
Available
Sunday, November 19, 2017 to Saturday, November 25, 2017
Available
Sunday, December 3, 2017 to Saturday, December 9, 2017
Available
Sunday, December 24, 2017 to Saturday, December 30, 2017
Sold Out
Sunday, December 31, 2017 to Saturday, January 6, 2018
Sold Out
Sunday, January 14, 2018 to Saturday, January 20, 2018
Available
Sunday, February 4, 2018 to Saturday, February 10, 2018
Available
Sunday, February 18, 2018 to Saturday, February 24, 2018
Available
Sunday, March 4, 2018 to Saturday, March 10, 2018
Available
Sunday, March 18, 2018 to Saturday, March 24, 2018
Available
Sunday, April 1, 2018 to Saturday, April 7, 2018
Available
Sunday, October 7, 2018 to Saturday, October 13, 2018
Available
Sunday, October 21, 2018 to Saturday, October 27, 2018
Available
Sunday, November 4, 2018 to Saturday, November 10, 2018
Available
Sunday, November 18, 2018 to Saturday, November 24, 2018
Available
Sunday, December 2, 2018 to Saturday, December 8, 2018
Available
Sunday, December 23, 2018 to Saturday, December 29, 2018
Available
Sunday, December 30, 2018 to Saturday, January 5, 2019
Available
Sunday, January 13, 2019 to Saturday, January 19, 2019
Available
Sunday, February 3, 2019 to Saturday, February 9, 2019
Available
Sunday, February 17, 2019 to Saturday, February 23, 2019
Available
Sunday, March 3, 2019 to Saturday, March 9, 2019
Available
Sunday, March 17, 2019 to Saturday, March 23, 2019
Available
Sunday, March 31, 2019 to Saturday, April 6, 2019
Available
El Calafate
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
El Chalten
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Buenos Aires
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day

Multi-Day

Our trip was marvelous from start to finish. Southern Explorations is the only way to really enjoy Patagonia. Because the territory is so vast, having everything planned maximized our experience and minimized the logistical aspects and associated worry. This was our second trip with Southern Explorations and will definitely take another one. - Anne Whitehair (Private Patagonia Lakes & Glaciers)

Luxury Patagonia’ exceeded our every expectation. The arrangements, the accommodations, the guides, the food as well as every location visited were as close to perfect as one could hope. The care and assistance from Southern Explorations prior to our departure was meticulous and informative. We will never forget this trip – one of the best in our lives. - Rosemary and Geoff Pierson, Massachusetts (Patagonia)

This was a trip of a lifetime. The highlight was the Explora Lodge with unbelievable hikes and horseback riding. Also, the Perito Moreno Glacier was fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing. - Kyle Craig, Colorado (Patagonia)
 

Everyone at the SE office was helpful and returned calls promptly. We just cannot say enough about how enjoyable our entire trip was. - Kathy & Peter Brackett (Argentina)

My father and I really loved Luis. He is just a super dependable, humble, smart and kind person. We invited him to dinner with us twice at Los Cerros because we enjoyed his company so much. My father and Luis spent most of dinner sharing stories about their passion for the mountains and discussing all the same books they’ve read about climbers who’ve climbed thee highest peaks around the world. I even had lunch with Luis in Buenos Aires while he was home for the holidays. Please make sure that Luis knows how much we appreciated him as a person as well as his skills as a guide. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide. We enjoyed all the hotels. The staff at the Sheheun in El Calafate were very attentive and kind. I liked the fact that it was a few blocks out of the main street. We had a lovely view from our room. I cannot say enough about Los Cerros. The hotel was lovely. Everyone on staff was so friendly - the airport transfer driver, the wait staff, the receptionists, and the manager. They treated both my father and I like royalty and yet like family. I really hope to return. I thought the entire staff with whom I had contact at Southern Explorations - Jonathan, Justin, Eric and Marisa - were incredibly competent, communicative and genuinely enthusiastic about what they do. I felt from the very beginning that I could trust you folks. I just had a good feeling about you all. Thanks so much. It was an unforgettable trip with my dad. - Virginia Roberson (Patagonia)

 
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The Hosteria del Fuego in Ushuaia was our best experience. I have never slept so well while on a trip. All accommodations exceeded my expectations, however. We especially enjoyed the picnic lunch in Ushuaia. Also, the tea in Gaiman was outstanding. We would definitely consider Southern Explorations again if they offered a trip to a desired destination. We have a lot of other places we want to go, though, so wouldn’t know when we might go back to South America. - The Rambow Family, Houston (Patagonia)

We just returned from our South American adventure this morning, but I wanted to write you to thank you for helping us put together a fantastic vacation. Our friends called it the 'trip of a lifetime', that included the 'hike of a lifetime' and the 'kayak paddling day of a lifetime' for them. You made it so easy to have a great adventure. Thanks again for all your help. - Heidi and Michael Rotberg (Argentina Mountains & Wineries)  

Thank you for planning an amazing trip for us. Everything was beyond wonderful... and ran so smoothly. We so enjoyed our guides...who took us on harder hikes, just like we wanted. We especially loved El Chalten... and of course the Eolo Hotel. I think the glacial hike was one of the most beautiful walks we have ever taken. So appreciate all the effort your agency put into our trip. I WILL definetely travel with you again. - Lisa Goldman (Luxury Patagonia) 

It was a wonderful trip and Southern Explorations really did a marvelous job of putting everything together for us. Thank You. We have had nothing but fantastic memories and have spoken to many people about Southern explorations and what a nice job you guys did putting everything together. Peru and other South America ventures will happen. I will be in touch. - Steve Andryk (Wisconsin) (Luxury Patagonia)

We were extremely pleased with the services provided by Southern Explorations...not only the extensive itinerary for Patagonia, but also the care and attention to detail that was delivered at every step of the way. It sure made this trip easy for us...everything was extremely well organized. We enjoyed the variety of activities and loved the guides....they were truly outstanding. - Joyce & Garry Mammel, Canada (Patagonia)

Southern Explorations created an amazing custom trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth. They worked with us to fine tune the details of what our perfect vacation to Patagonia would be. The reservations, the accommodations, the transfers and the guides were spot on, very informative and professional. Will we use Southern Explorations for our next trip to the southern hemisphere? You can be certain of that. - Jim Balsitis and Kathy Kalp (Patagonia)

I chose Southern Explorations for the combination of interesting itineraries and your high rating on customer satisfaction. I made the right choice. I will gladly recommend you to others. - Pat Harding, Texas (Iguazu, Lakes District, Mendoza & Santiago)

From arrival to departure this trip, from an organizational stand point, felt like a ballet… seamless and fluid. We couldn’t have done it without you – Thanks Southern Explorations! - Lori Schrader, New York (Patagonia)

Our experience planning a trip to Patagonia in South America with Southern Explorations exceeded my highest expectations!  Everything was incredibly well organized, the hotels they booked for us were very nice, the guides and people who transported us all spoke our language (English).  When my husband got very sick and we had to alter our plans,  they were on top of rebooking flights and canceling excursions, and handled all of the logistics for us.  I would highly recommend the services provided by Southern Explorations, and will certainly use them for all future travel planning that we do!! - Kristi Holland, Alabama (Patagonia)

Our words to describe our trip are Spectacular, Exciting, and Remote! We got to see basically everything we had hoped for, and more! - Ann Huston, California (Patagonia)

My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed all the activities in Patagonia and Southern Explorations made the trip smooth and easy. From the hotels, to the food, to the guides, and the outings, we loved it all. We would recommend it to all our friends and family! - Miriam Derman, Illinois (Patagonia)

 

Argentina - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a variety of pre-planned tours online and we’d love to design a custom trip just for you. Take a look at what we have online, then call an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the trip that best fits your timeframe, budget and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion, but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Argentina?
A: Argentina’s large size and geographic orientation means it covers many climatic zone and different areas are better to visit during different times of the year. In the south, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego are best visited from October through April. In the north, the season is inversed and your best time to travel is from April through November. Buenos Aires and the wine country around Mendoza can be visited year round.
Q: What is the weather like in Argentina?
A: The weather ranges from temperate summers and cold, snowy winters in the south to rainy summers and dry, warm winters in the north. You will find a detailed weather chart on the Overview page of each trip. You can also call your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the weather trends for your trip.
Q: What is a typical day like in Argentina? 
A: The typical day varies widely from trip to trip, but all tours will have full days with guided exploration. There will be time for rest and relaxation, as well as independent exploration of the cities and towns we visit. Due to the remote nature of Argentina’s most scenic areas, some long travel days will be required.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Argentina? 
A: As long as you are able to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace and comfortably navigate uneven terrain, you will be able to enjoy most of our tours. Some of our more adventurous tours include activities like kayaking, ice climbing and hikes up to 12 miles. Please check the physical ratings on our trip pages or contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to see if a particular itinerary is a good fit for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Argentina?
A: Because of the vast size of Argentina we recommend at least seven days. If you wish to visit multiple regions within Argentina we recommend 12 days or more.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning a trip at three to nine months in advance, but if you want to stay at very specific luxury hotels or travel over a holiday then we recommend planning nine months to a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: The guides on all of our tours are experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related field. The guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid. We tend to use the same guides as they are accustomed to the trips we offer and understand the Southern Explorations commitment to quality.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 4-star hotels in Argentina and the occasional 3-star property, provided they meet our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price is listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Argentina.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Our Argentina trips are generally limited to 8 travelers, although some areas (all-inclusive lodge stays and cruises) may require that we form larger groups with other travelers.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal, which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.
Q: I read about a “Reciprocity Fee” to enter Argentina, do I need to pay that?
A: There is no longer a “Reciprocity Fee” required for travelers carrying US Passports. However, travelers with Canadian and Australian passports will need to pay $92 and $100, respectively. For details on making this payment please contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator.