iExplore Patagonia Experience

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  • Privately Guided
  • Starting Price: $2,994
  • Length: 10 days
  • Operator: iExplore Exclusive
  • 1-800-267-33479am - 5:30pm Eastern
    Destinations: Central and South America, Argentina, Chile
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Tour Description

At the very end of the South American continent lies the land that Magellan and his chronicler Pigafetta named Patagonia while grounded on a desolate coast during the winter of 1520. This wild and isolated place has figured prominently in the exotic fantasies of armchair adventurers through the ages. Even though the area is large and comprises about a third of Argentina, one is still continually surprised by the wide range of spectacles available in this special area. It has some of the hemisphere's highest peaks, forests of strange primeval trees, several of the world's most noteworthy glaciers, and fossil-rich coastal cliffs explored by Darwin. The abundance of rare and entertaining wildlife is astounding!

Itinerary

Day 1: Buenos Aires

Upon arrival at the Buenos Aires international airport your chauffeur will be waiting to bring you to your hotel in the city. Known as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires is the city of the Tango, Maradonna and Evita Perón! Home to more than 10 million inhabitants spread over 40 different neighborhoods, the ´barrios´ each have their own character. From the 16th century a big stream of immigrants came from Italy, France and Spain and you can still find the influence of these countries in the neighborhoods where they established themselves. In the neighborhood of La Boca, come upon the rich Italian heritage. In San Telmo, you can find the real Argentinean culture with tango dancing in the streets and many antique stores. Recoleta has a fine French feel, with elegant houses, nice restaurants and a beautiful and famous cemetery. Palermo is an upcoming neighborhood with its many designer shops and grand green parks.

Vista Sol Design Hotel (B)

Day 2: Buenos Aires

Today you will discover the beauty and wonder of Buenos Aires by taking a private half-day city tour through the bustling capital of Argentina! You will see the symbol of the city, the obelisk, as you visit different squares such as Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martín, Plaza Congreso and avenues like Corrientes, and Mayo, 9 de Julio, among others. Explore the historical neighborhoods of La Boca, San Telmo, Montserrat in contrast with the elegant neighborhoods of Palermo and Recoleta, and the most modern: Puerto Madero.

In the evening you will enjoy a spectacular Tango & Dinner Show at El Querandi! Be mesmerized by this elegant dance accompanied by a live orchestra. A distinguished cast of professional dancers and singers make this the perfect after-dinner entertainment (Optional).

Vista Sol Design Hotel (B)

Day 3: Buenos Aires – Trelew – Puerto Madryn

You will be picked up at your hotel and brought to the national airport of Buenos Aires for your flight to Trelew. Upon arrival you are welcomed and brought to your hotel in Puerto Madryn. Puerto Madryn has a picturesque location on the bay ´Golfo Nuevo´ with a nice beach, a walking promenade and numerous restaurants and small shops. It is the gateway to Península Valdés and a favorite tourist area of Patagonia.

Hotel Tolosa (B)

Day 4: Puerto Madryn

You will visit Natural Patrimony of the Humanity, designated a UNESCO world heritage site for it's variety of unique terrestrial and marine fauna. We will pick you up early in the morning to let you discover the natural reserves and the tourist points of the protected area of Peninsula Valdés like the Centre of Interpretation Istmo Ameghino, the Island of the birds, the colony of sea lions in Punta Pirámides, and the tourist village of Puerto Piramides, where it is optional to do a Whale Watching tour (from June to December). We will also explore the Small and Large Salt lakes (which are among the greater depressions in America), the colonies of sea elephants in Punta Delgada, Caleta Valdés and Punta Cantor, and visit the Lighthouse of Punta Norte in the season of killer whales. On the way we will have the possibility of seeing terrestrial fauna like lamas guanacos, Patagonian hare, grey foxes, Patagonian piche or armadillos and Darwin’s rheas. During the full day tour you will be assisted by our guides who are experts in Patagonian nature.

Hotel Tolosa (B)

Day 5: Puerto Madryn – Ushuaia

You will leave Puerto Madryn in the morning to visit the greatest continental Reserve of Magellan’s penguin. Imagine walking between more than half a million penguins in Punta Tombo to gain an understanding of their habitat and way of life. The tour guide will accompany you during the long two hour walk as he gives you an interpretation about the life of the penguins and discovery in Patagonia.  In the evening you will travel towards Gaiman, the town where the Culture of the Welsh colony is best represented in Argentina, where you will have time to visit and if you want, taste the typical Welsh Tea and a delicious variety of cakes and homemade candies (optional). On the way back to the hotel, you will stop at Trelew to visit the Museum of the dinosaurs Egidio Feruglio, considered the most important of South America. This museum is well known for its collection of Patagonians fossils and dinosaur’s skeletons. At the end of the full day excursion you will be brought to the airport of Trelew for your flight to Ushuaia. Arrive in Tierra del Fuego to be welcomed and brought to your hotel.

Hotel Altos Ushuaia (B)

Day 6: Ushuaia

Today you will embark on a beautiful half-day boat trip down the famous Beagle Channel. During the navigation you will be surrounded by a magnificent environment of fjords. While enjoying the excellent panoramic view, navigate through the Paso Chico which is the beginning of the mythical Beagle Channel and pass by the fascinating Les Eclaireurs lighthouse. Nearby lays Sea Lion Island, where you will have the opportunity to see the sea lions up close!

In the afternoon you will leave Ushuaia by Ruta Nacional 3 towards the south. Cross Río Pipo and enter the Tierra del Fuego National Park, the southernmost National Park in the country. Here you can appreciate virgin nature with beech forests and an abundance of fauna. You will visit the Beagle Channel, Lago Roca, Río Lapataia and Bahía Laptaia. In addition, you will be able to interpret the existence of the Yámana (the aboriginals of this region) along the walking paths that run through the area.

Hotel Altos Ushuaia (B)

Day 7: Ushuaia – El Calafate

You are picked up and brought to the airport for your flight to El Calafate. El Calafate is beautifully situated on the Patagonian altiplano, just along the azure Lago Argentino. It was named after the typical bush of the area, known for its delicious fruit and thorny branches. The village is also known as the “Captial of the Glaciers” and is the starting point of Los Glaciares National Park, its forest, lakes and its best known asset: Perito Moreno Glacier. Upon arrival you are brought to your hotel.

Hosteria Posta Sur (B)

Day 8: El Calafate

Today you will visit the famous Perito Moreno Glacier in combination with making a real ice trek! The bus will pick you up from the hotel to bring you towards Bajo de las Sombras Harbour, where you will take a catamaran to cross the south branch of Lake Argentino, known as Brazo Rico. Once the boat reaches the opposite shore, the guides will lead you towards the glacier and before starting this exciting experience, they help you to put on the crampons. The hike takes two hours and after finishing you will return to the refuge to have lunch (optional). Finally, you will have one hour free, in which you can walk along the balconies in front of the glacier.

Hosteria Posta Sur (B)

Day 9: El Calafate

Today you will navigate on Lago Argentino! You will be brought from the hotel to Punta Banderas Harbor, from where the catamaran departs to sail across Lake Argentino towards Upsala Glacier. In addition to this glacier, you will marvel over the huge icebergs, some of which are bigger than the catamaran. At noon, you will disembark in Onelli Bay, one of the most beautiful points of this national park, where you will walk 800 m (a half mile) through the forest to reach Onelli Lagoon (assuming it is possible to dock at Onelli Bar, which depends on the amount of icebergs). From there, you will have an outstanding view of Bolados, Agassiz and Onelli glaciers. After that, you will board the catamaran to visit Spegazzini Glacier, the highest glacier in this national park. Following this you will return to your hotel.

Hosteria Posta Sur (B)

Day 10: El Calafate – Buenos Aires – Departure

At the right time you are picked up at the hotel and brought to the airport of El Calafate for your flight back to the Argentinean capital. Arrived at the national airport of Buenos Aires you are transferred to the international airport for your flight back home.

Departures

Depart any day! Contact an iExplore Adventure Consultant for details.

Pricing Information

Price per Person $2994 USD based on two people.

Single Room Supplement: $755 USD.

Price is valid through 12/31/13, subject to change.

Inclusions: Meet & assist at all airports in Argentina/Chile, transfers to/from hotels. accommodation in mentioned budget and/or comfort hotels in Argentina/Chile, including specified meals, all excursions specified in the program, accompanied by an English speaking guide.

Exclusions: Intercontinental & domestic flights, Argentinean/Chilean departure tax, non-specified meals, optional excursions and tips, entrance fees to National Parks unless otherwise stated.

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.

Options and Extras

Optional Excursion: Whale watching  $110 per person

Optional Excursion: Dinner and a Show at El Querandí, incl. regular transfer in/out $110 per person

 

Tour Notes

  • Full Day Peninsula Valdes is excluding whale watch excursion.
  • The whale season of Península Valdés runs from mid-June until mid-December.
  • The penguin season of Punta Tombo runs from mid-September until March.
  • Although no flights are included in the cost, you must book your flight from Trelew to Ushuaia to depart after 6:00 pm due to the Full Day Punta Tombo excursion
  • Half Day Beagle Channel excludes transfers to/from the Pier; including port tax.
  • Half Day Tierra del Fuego NP includes entrance fee National Park.
  • Full Day Minitrekking is only applicable for guests between the age of 10 and 65 and in good physical condition.
  • Full Day Todo Glaciares: depending of the amount of icebergs in Lago Argentino, the navigation route can be adjusted locally.