A Grand Patagonia Tour in Argentina and Chile by Land & Cruise

A 11 day trip to Argentina & Chile 
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The blue ice formations of ancient glaciers in Patagonia will fill your eyes with the endless possibilities of the earth’s natural wonder. Your handmade Patagonia tour in Argentina and Chile by land and cruise lets you witness the breathtaking beauty of snowcapped Andean mountaintops sweeping into the Beagle Channel at the edge of the South American continent. The icy cliff of Perito Moreno glacier descends into the depths of Lago Argentino. Quaint chocolate shops provide decadent flavors and indulgent displays. Venture across tranquil bays and along stunning canals on a luxurious cruise, taking you from Argentina to Chile, where you can absorb the dramatic scenery of Patagonia.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Buenos Aires, El Calafate, Ushuaia, Cape Horn, Wulaia Bay, Magdalena Island, Punta Arenas, Santiago 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Brilliant Buenos Aires 

The city of Buenos Aires has an alluring energy that immediately embraces you upon arrival. The 47 neighborhoods known as barrios each has a distinctive character setting themselves apart from one another. The promise of a passionate tango and colorful artistry moves through the cityscape. Your private transfer meets you at Ministro Pistarini International Airport and escorts you to a lavish hotel in the beautiful neighborhood of Recoleta. Casa Rosada, a grand colonial building framing the Plaza de Mayo was erected in the 19th century and houses the President of Argentina. The pale pink color stands out against the crowds of people moving through the square and along the splendid building facades and domes lining Avenida de Mayo. The Italianate portico creates a radiant border to the square. You settle into your comfortable accommodation, allowing yourself to be swept up in the energetic lifestyle of the city.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Desirable Buenos Aires

In the morning, local bakeries fill with the aroma of fresh bread and crispy filo dough. Chocolate stores place elegant displays in their windows to entice passersby. Locals sit at café tables lining the sidewalk and enjoy an early morning cappuccino on their way to work. The pace is both fast and relaxed, balanced with people with places to go versus locals that take the time to indulge in the flavors of the city. The day is yours to bask in the wonders of Buenos Aires as you desire, taking in the eclectic neighborhoods of the city or venturing to the town of Tigre for a luxurious cruise along the Paraná Delta.

The narrow cobblestone streets of San Telmo provide insight into the history of the city. San Telmo is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Narrow cobblestone streets line colonial style buildings. Art studios and galleries add layers of color and vibrant life to the neighborhood. A bohemian ambiance encompasses the neighborhood. On Sundays, the city brims with antique markets. Hundreds of stalls offer handmade chairs, historic lamps, and exuberant wood-carved tables. The aroma of freshly cooked sausage drifts along Calle Defensa. In Plaza Dorrego, tango dancers shuffle their feet to an sublime beat, hypnotizing the crowds.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, accommodation

Day 3: The Presence of Patagonia

Patagonia is an incredible presence in Argentina. The image of glowing glaciers and rugged mountaintops are inspiring. At breakfast, the scent of freshly brewed coffee accompanies the succulent flavors of a medialuna, a small and sweet crescent-shaped pastry similar to a croissant. Your private transfer greets you at the hotel, ready to take you to the airport for your flight to El Calafate. Buenos Aires continues to pulse with treasures, waiting for your return, from the stunning colors of the neighborhood of La Bocca to the tranquil greenery of the Palermo district.

When you arrive in El Calafate, your private transfer greets you at the airport. The city has an alpine atmosphere. Pine doorframes decorate the façade of the stone buildings on the main avenue known to the locals as Libertador. The scent of chocolate emanates from the numerous chocolate shops in the heart of town, each specializing in a different decadent treat. Outside of town, the Nimez Lagoon Natural Reserve decorates the countryside. The lake rests at the foothills of the nearby mountain range. Flamingos graze in the water, using their webbed feet to rustle up the soil in search of food. Their pink plumage reflects in the stoic lake.   

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 4: Enriching El Calafate

On the southern edge of El Calafate, the waters of Lago Argentino gently brush against the quiet shores. The lake is the largest freshwater lake in Argentina, encompassing a surface area of 546 square miles. The waters run through Glaciers National Park. After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel. You are eager to venture into the national park to see the stunning natural wonder of Perito Moreno Glacier. Sour cherries grow in the brush. The bright red color of the notro flower stands out from the lush greenery. You reach the visitor center and find the circuit of walkways facing the glacier.

The Iceberg Channel, which separates the shore of the visitor center from the glacier, is named for the large chunks of ice that break free from the glacier and fall into the water. Venturing along the walkway provides you with an unparalleled view of the landscape, allowing you to take in the impressive ice field that stretches for 19 miles, along with expanding to three miles at its widest point. The ice shimmers an ineffable blue in the sunlight. The glacier is one of three glaciers in the region that is expanding instead of contracting. The air is cold against your skin. The ice rises out of the water before your eyes at an average of 240 feet. Witnessing the glacier up close is something you will never forget.  

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Reaching the End of the Continent

In the morning, you sip on a fresh espresso and recall the natural grandeur of the previous day. Flamingos and wild ducks linger on the shores of Lago Argentino outside of town. The familiar, enticing aroma of chocolate returns to the streets of El Calafate. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and leads you to Comandante Armando Tola International Airport for your flight southbound to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. The city nestles between the dramatic slope of the Andes Mountains and the reflective waters of the Beagle Channel. The San Juan del Salvamento Lighthouse has earned the nickname “Lighthouse at the End of the World.”

The octagonal wooden building has a gray metal roof and a large window from which a magnificent light illuminates the coastline. The city bustles with locals and visitors from around the world eager to witness the wild terrain Patagonia or venture farther south on a cruise to Antarctica. Remnants of Ushuaia’s past as a remote fishing village remain in the form of secluded neighborhoods, and numerous fishing boats cast in colorful paint. Picturesque homes with small and well-tended gardens add to the allure of the streets and combine with the elegance of newer homes built in a Swiss-chalet architectural style.   

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 6: The Light of Tierra del Fuego

The layered colors of the sunrise have soft tones that gently brighten the landscape and water of the Beagle Channel. Streams roll down the snowcapped mountains and feed into the canal. After breakfast, your guide greets you in the lobby and leads you onto the exceptional grounds of Tierra del Fuego. European explorers named the landscape after noticing the numerous campfires of the Yaghan people alighting the shores.

Today, the national park is an exceptional preserve of the natural flora, fauna, and the dramatic scenery of waterfalls, forests, mountains, and glaciers encompassing 240 square miles. Magellanic woodpeckers pound their beaks into the trees of the forest, establishing their territories. Sea lions lounge on the boulders near Ushuaia. Wildflowers blanket the forest floor with petals of bright reds, yellows, and pinks that contrast the verdant leaves of the grass and trees. You can hear the Rio Pipo rushing along the grassy banks. Shells collected by the indigenous Yaghan tribe continue to speckle the landscape, a reminder of the cultures that came before. 

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Crossing Borders

Wake up in your luxurious room with a view of the secluded shores of the Patagonian landscape. The water outside your window is azure. Mountains roll against the skyline in the distance. You reach Cape Horn, a rocky bluff that rises 1,394 feet above sea level. The windswept earth rolls upward to the rugged boulders protruding from the summit overlooking the water. Pockets of greenery glow against the craggy outcropping. Continue onward to Wulaia Bay, one of Chile’s southernmost water passages.

The famous HMS Beagle, which carried Charles Darwin on his voyage in the 1830s, sailed through the channel and landed on the shores of a Yamana settlement. The lush forests brim with vegetation. Streams meander along the forest floor and rush over large rocks, smoothing the rough edges. Your guide leads you to a viewpoint where you can look out over the bay. The water is calm. Snow blankets the summits of the mountains in the background. The trees rustle in the gentle breeze. The tranquil natural atmosphere around the bay is enchanting.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Patagonian Passageways

Wake up to the modern luxuries of your cruise ship, while also being surrounded by the unadulterated landscape of the ancient world. Today you travel through Agostini Sound, which separates the Cordón Navarro and the Monte Buckland mountains, both of which are connected to the extensive Cordillera Darwin. The ice field extends over 890 square miles. From the water, you can see glaciers sweeping across the mountainside and spilling into the sea. The glaciers look as though a tumultuous river has frozen in place.

The boat docks and you follow your guide to the shore, venturing to the Aguila Glacier. The pebbled shores and mountainous landscape fades underneath the shimmering ice of blanketing glaciers. The Aguila Glacier rises across the stoic lagoon. Once in front of the glacier’s edge, you can feel the cool air deriving from the icy surface. Bright blue cracks break through the white surface. The sun reflects off of the lagoon and the glacier’s surface for a brilliant and unmistakable light. The magnificent scenery looks as though it belongs to an entirely different world.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 9: A Penguin’s Life for You

In the morning, South American sea lions bask on the shores of Marta Island and sunbathe. Austral dolphins arch out of the water with playful calls to one another before splashing back down. The scent of fresh espresso fills the dining room at breakfast. After your meal, the ship weighs anchor near the shores of Magdalena Island, which is located in the heart of the Strait of Magellan. The island is known for its vivacious colony of Magellan Penguins. Once on the island, your guide leads you on a walk to the lighthouse. Seagulls glide over the shores.

The lighthouse is perched on a hill overlooking the beaches. The island is home to more than 150,000 penguins, making it one of the major colonies across the world. Witnessing the penguins in their natural and unencumbered environment is majestic. The Magellanic Penguins can grow up to 30 inches tall and weigh more than 14 pounds. Their white and black striped face gives them a definitive look. Their rigid wings allow them to swim faster underwater. Their movements imitate birds flying through the air.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 10: Soulful Capital of Chile 

In the morning, the markets of Santiago erupt with excitement. La Vega market fills with the eclectic colors of organic produce farmed from around the country. The aroma of rich chilies and freshly squeezed juices fill the marketplace. After breakfast, your guide meets you at the hotel, eager to show you around the city like a true Santiaguino, a local of Santiago. Businessmen in flashy suits fill downtown. They stroll into cafes before settling into the office and order a café con piernas, or “coffee with legs.”

Mercado Central is housed in a wrought-iron building erected in the late 19th century. Vaulted ceilings carry the sounds of the market to shape a lively cultural center where locals of the city congregate throughout the day. A plethora of restaurants offers Chilean specialties. Vendors display fresh seafood caught that morning. Some restaurants even offer to cook the fish that the purchaser just bought, offering a true embodiment of dining upon freshly caught seafood. The aroma of grilled vegetables and tomato stew fill the main gallery. From the top of San Cristobal Hill, you have a view of the city bordered by the rolling snowcapped peaks of the Andes, a perpetual reminder of Chile’s natural beauty.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, tour, accommodation

Day 11: Returning from the Edge of the World

Mercado Central opens in the morning, with vendors eager to display the catch from earlier that morning. The bohemian ambiance of the Bellavista district emanates from the charming cafes and colorful streets. Gondolas drift along subtly, ferrying people to the top of San Cristobal Hill. At breakfast, you bask in the quiet luxuries of the city, taking in the understated beauty of Santiago one last time. Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after your meal. Soon you will make your way to Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport for your flight home, looking out the airplane window for one last view of the Andes Mountains and the vibrant life of the city.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer 

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized Patagonia tour packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $300 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $250 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $220 per person per day

The customized package will include accommodations, airport transfers and other transportation within Patagonia, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24x7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.