Argentina’s Patagonia & the Omaguacas

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $9,795
  • Length: 15 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: Central and South America, Argentina
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Tour Description

Experience the majesty of Argentina’s natural wonders on a life-changing journey of discovery. Begin in vibrant Buenos Aires and explore its wide avenues, chic shops and glamorous nightlife. Take a tango lesson and absorb the romantic rhythms. Then fly south to see the rugged lands of Patagonia. Step aboard a boat to watch the magnificent Southern Right Whales. Travel to Glacier National Park and ascend to the continental ice sheet for spectacular views of the glaciers and mountains. Visit a small Omaguaca Indian village where local craftsmen display their colorful works of art. Then explore the Calchaquí Valley and the city of Cafayate, where you will savor rich local wines.

  • Learn sensuous Tango steps at Buenos Aires’ historic Café Tortoni
  • Observe the wildlife colonies of hundreds of sea lions, penguins and sea elephants
  • Tour incredible Glacier National Park by foot, boat and 4-wheel-drive vehicle
  • Watch a glacier “calve” right before your eyes
  • Sip a drink at the first Ice-Bar in Argentina
  • View the incredible breadth of the Patagonian Continental Ice Field
  • Take a nautical safari to the Icebergs Channel
  • Explore the expansive Salinas Grandes salt flats
  • Take in the stunning landscape of colors at the Calchaquí Valley
  • Taste wine through the Cafayate wine country

Itinerary

DAYS 1 - 3

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, often referred to as “the Paris of South America,” is a place of contradictions - a European face and a Latin soul. On Day 3 drive through lovely San Telmo - the best-kept historical neighborhood and the birthplace of the tango. Visit La Boca, a most colorful area. At Avenida de Mayo, we stop at the famous Café Tortoni. Founded in 1858, Café Tortoni is the oldest coffee shop in Argentina, with a rich history and list of past and present patrons including everyone from politicians to artists and entertainers. Jump in and join the tradition by taking a tango class at the café. Then explore the Recoleta area, one of the city’s richest and most glamorous spots. At Esquina Carlos Gardel, enjoy the rhythms of the tango as you dine on traditional and international cuisine.

Palacio Duhau - Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires

DAY 4

Punta Delgada Puerto Pirámide or Puerto Madryn

Early this morning drive to the airport for your flight north to Trelew. October and November departures are met upon arrival and driven to the small village of Puerto Pirámide. Here, board a boat for an exciting whale-watching excursion to view the magnificent Southern Right Whale. Every year, they arrive in Valdés Peninsula in June and stay until December. (Our February departure will instead visit nearby Puerto Madryn. Explore the area’s beautiful beaches and see the local colony of more than 800 seals that live on the sandbank of Punta Loma.)

Faro Punta Delgada, Punta Delgada

DAY 5

Puerto Madryn

Depart Punta Delgada this morning and travel along the coast through Punta Cantor to Caleta Valdés, where we stop to visit the elephant seal station. This beach houses a colony of hundreds of the creatures. Next, continue north through Punta Norte, a fauna reserve and natural protected area. Proceed to Estancia San Lorenzo, to see the largest penguin rookery on Peninsula Valdés. The pride of the San Lorenzo Estancia, this colony shelters an average of approximately 200,000 Magellan Penguins. After lunch, drive back south to Puerto Madryn, viewing the steppe which teems with life and is home to a wide variety of animals.

Territorio Hotel, Puerto Madryn

DAYS 6 - 8

El Calafate

A small, scenic village located on Lake Argentino, El Calafate sits adjacent to the southern end of the Andes. On Day 7 embark at Punta Bandera for a 3-hour boat ride to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares (Glacier National Park). Travel through Argentino Lake, cruising among icebergs and taking in the stunning mountain scenery overlooking the western front of the upsala Glacier, one of the largest in the park. Disembark at Estancia Cristina and take a guided tour of the Costumbrista Museum. Next, travel in all-terrain vehicles, ascending six miles over mountain roads to the continental ice sheet for a spectacular view revealing the front of the upsala Glacier, Lake Guillermo, the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and the Andes Mountains.

On Day 8 enjoy another full-day exploration to Perito Moreno Glacier in the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. En route pass impressive Patagonian Andean lakes, forests and mountains. After touring the glacier and park by land, board your boat at Bajo Las Sombras for an hour cruise across Lake Rico, the southern arm of Lake Argentino. Pass beside icebergs that have calved off the south wall of the Perito Moreno. Your cruise reaches the Icebergs Channel, where the boat stops at a safe distance from the glacier, allowing you to watch in amazement as walls of ice fall right before your eyes - a spectacular view!

Los Sauces Casa Patagonica Hotel, El Calafate

DAY 9

Salta

Salta derives its name from the Aymara word sagta meaning “very beautiful”. Founded in 1582, Salta is now the provincial capital, and is a handsome city with some of the best-preserved colonial architecture. Today the city is also known for its wonderful handicrafts. Tonight, enjoy a festive reception and dinner featuring local wine, empanadas and special entertainment - a chorus troupe adorned with local costumes.

Legado Mitico Salta, Salta

DAY 10

Purmamarca

Arrive at the lovely town of Purmamarca in time for lunch. A small and inviting Indian village founded in 1594, little has changed since then. The main attraction of the square is the colorful market, where local craftsmen display their skills. In the afternoon, continue your climb, up the Lipán Slope road to the Salinas Grandes salt flats. Explore this unusual and vital area and learn about the old techniques of salt exploitation.

Hotel Manantial del Silencio, Purmamarca

DAY 11

Tilcara Salta

Today, visit the Indian ruins at the Pucará de Tilcara National Monument, where evidence of human habitation can be traced back more than 10,000 years. See the partially reconstructed Indian fortification showing living quarters, pens for llamas, trails, terraces and burial sites. Wander through the botanical garden and the archeological museum with its display of more than 5,000 historical pieces from various Indian cultures. After lunch in Tilcara, continue the drive back down to Salta. upon arrival, tour the highlights of the city including the neo-classical cathedral, historic 9-de-Julio Square, Archbishop’s Palace, the 18th-century Cabildo and the lively arts and crafts market.

Legado Mitico Salta, Salta

DAYS 12 - 15

Cachi, Cafayate, Buenos Aires Depart for Home

Set at the confluence of Rio Calchaquí and Rio Cachi, Cachi has preserved its colonial style and has mixed it with the heritage of its primitive inhabitants. Continue exploring the Calchaquí Valley, reaching your last stop, Cafayate, by late afternoon. Cafayate, “land of sun and good wine,” is the most important city in the valley, and is famous for its wine production. Savor the flavors of Cafayate as you visit some of the local wineries and learn about their winemaking methods.

On Day 14 arrive at the Salta airport in time for your flight to Buenos Aires. Arriving at Aeroparque, the domestic airport, you will be transferred to Ezeiza International Airport for your flight home (arriving the following day) or on to your next destination.

Patios de Cafayate Hotel Spa, Cafayate

NOTE:

 

High altitude. This journey spends one night in Purmamarca at 7,200 feet and a full day in the Salinas Grandes (salt flats) that reach up to 12,000 feet. The high altitude will affect your blood pressure and breathing. Caution must be observed.

Departures

Pricing Information

February 16, 2012

From $9,795.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,150.00 single room supplement.

October 4, 2012

From $9,795.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,150.00 single room supplement.

November 1, 2012

From $9,795.00 per person double occupancy.

From $2,150.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
  • Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
  • A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
  • Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
  • Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers
  • Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
  • TheTravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance

*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

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Tour Notes