This route brings together some of Patagonia’s world-renowned ecosystems whilst also giving a good dose of city life. Start with a tour of Buenos Aires, the home of Tango, before flying down to the scenic Patagonian town of El Calafate. From here you will visit the monumental Perito Moreno glacier and Glaciers National Park, where you can hike amidst glacial lakes, forests and the towering granite monoliths of El Chaltén, Cerro Torre and Fitzroy. Stay at a traditional estancia before travelling over to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Here you can enjoy hiking, cycling and nature watching before flying from Puerto Natales to Santiago to end your journey.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Argentina, Chile
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Physical Level Physical Level Moderate
Season Season September - May

Suggested itinerary

Explore cultural Buenos Aires

Explore cultural Buenos Aires

Day 1–3 in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the mother of all Argentinian cities, with amazing French and Italian architecture, a food scene that covers much more than just steakhouses and nightlife that doesn’t get started until 2am. This is the perfect place to begin or end your Argentinian adventure.

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Tango in Buenos Aires

Tango in Buenos Aires

Explore the brightly coloured buildings, shacks, and graffiti art of La Boca by wandering through its narrow streets, stopping to watch a Tango show in the square. This neighbourhood is a cultural centre with lots to experience, including museums, Tango courses and milongas. Its offers a real contrast against the fashionable district of Palermo and popular sights such as Teatro Colon and Plaza de Mayo.

Get a taste of El Calafate

Get a taste of El Calafate

Day 4 in El Calafate

The scenic town of El Calafate has many shops and eateries that offer products made from sweet Calafate berries, Patagonia’s famous fruit with many health benefits. There are also some fantastic restaurants where you can enjoy the famously tender Patagonian roast lamb washed down with an Austral beer.

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Experience frontier living

Experience frontier living

Gaucho (cowboy) culture is alive and well in Patagonia. Spend a couple of nights on a working estancia (ranch) and get stuck in with shearing sheep and long rides through the open country on horseback.

Go off-grid in Glaciers National Park

Go off-grid in Glaciers National Park

Day 5–6 in Glaciers National Park

The UNESCO World Heritage Glaciers National Park is home to more than 300 glaciers covering 217 miles, as well as mountain peaks, 15,000-year-old lakes and plenty of wildlife. Visitors come to marvel at Perito Moreno, the world’s only glacier to still be growing, or to go hiking around El Chalten.

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Admire Perito Moreno glacier

Admire Perito Moreno glacier

As you stand on the boardwalk marveling at this gigantic glacier, which covers around 250 sq km, you will hear the creaks as it slowly moves. A chunk may even crash into the waters below. As one of 48 glaciers fed by the Patagonian Ice Field in the Andes, Perito Moreno is arguably the most impressive. Enjoy some relaxed trails or even walk on the ice itself.

Visit Chaltén and Fitz Roy

Visit Chaltén and Fitz Roy

Hot on the heels of nearby Torres del Paine, Argentina’s Fitz Roy Range (inside Glaciers National Park) is a contender for the most impressive hiking landscapes. The country around El Chaltén is truly jaw-dropping, with options for self-guided day hikes or multi-day camp-outs.

Get adventurous in Torres del Paine National Park

Get adventurous in Torres del Paine National Park

Day 7–8 in Torres del Paine National Park

Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is renowned for its trekking and hiking, with excellent infrastructure for day hikes and multi-day treks. While the popular W and Circuit treks steal all the glory, other lesser-trafficked routes are available. Take a hike to one of the many viewing points from which you can get a panoramic view of the towering granite peaks and local wildlife — including guanacos, rheas and Andean condors.

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Birdwatching in Patagonia

Birdwatching in Patagonia

What Patagonia lacks in megafauna it more than makes up for in rare bird life. There are Magellanic penguins on the Valdes Peninsula, Andean Condors soaring above Torres del Paine, flamingos in Tierra del Fuego, and much more everywhere else. Bring your binoculars!

Santiago

Santiago

Day 9–11 in Santiago

Surrounded by hills, energetic Santiago is the beating heart of Chile and home to 40% of its people. The best way to explore Santiago is simply by strolling around its unique neighbourhoods, starting with the museum, malls and architecture of the Centro.

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Climb San Cristobal Hill in Santiago

Climb San Cristobal Hill in Santiago

Take the cable car or walk up to San Cristobal Hill for a stunning panorama of the city. It’s a great way to see the city before going on to explore its vibrant street art, galleries, beautiful parks and colonial architecture up close, perhaps via a bike tour. Look out for Plaza de Armas and La Moneda Presidential Palace.

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