Adventurers’ Paradise: An Active Exploration of Argentina & Chile Tour

A 12 day trip to Argentina & Chile 
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From the glacier’s slick and undulating surface to the thin grass blades of the Patagonian pampas, the plump grapes of Chilean vineyards to the echoing sounds of tango in Buenos Aires, your customizable Argentina, and Chile itinerary offers ecstasy for adventurers and luxury for comfort seekers, for an unparalleled in-depth journey of landscape and culture. Watch as icebergs calve away from soaring glacial walls. Bask in the pristine panorama of breathtaking mountains. Indulge in succulent aromas while gauchos barbecue on the prairies. From colonial architecture to scenic bike rides, Argentina and Chile offer you the journey of a lifetime. 

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Buenos Aires, El Calafate, Los Glaciares National Park, Torres del Pain National Park, Rosario Valley, Casablanca Valley, Viña del Mar, Valparaiso, Santiago 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Buenos Aires – Urban Explorers’ Delight

Buenos Aires is a city of passion and movement, discovery, and charm. The high rises connote the familiar image of modernity, looming over neo-classical architectural designs of celebrated streets and neighborhoods in which locals and visitors reminisce of a city once referred to as the Paris of South America. A herbaceous aroma emanates from the sycamore trees lining the tranquil, elegant avenues of the Recoleta district as the sounds of tango enrich the colorful corrugated houses of the La Boca neighborhood.

Your flight lands at Ministro Pistarini International Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon your arrival. Vibrant dresses, suits, and handbags fill the display windows along the arcades of Calle Florida. The pedestrian-friendly promenade fills with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee with steamed milk and dulce de leche sandwiched between delicate shortbread cookies. You settle into the comforts of your luxurious accommodation located in the heart of the city with a view of the endless movement and life of the streets.   

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Buenos Aires – Adventurous Buenos Aires

In the morning, the doors to Malba, the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, opens to the city. The gray-scale on the walls allows the paintings and sculptures to speak for themselves, with the vibrant colors bursting with the neutral hues of the museum interior, including works from famous Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera. Your guide greets you after breakfast, eager to lead you through the fabled neighborhoods of Buenos Aires. The city boasts more than 47 barrios, with ambiance along the streets offering a distinctive environment and experience. Your urban expedition brings you to the masterful movement of La Boca, a neighborhood known for boisterous soccer fans and the captivating sounds of tango.

Cafes set out tables along the pedestrianized cobblestone streets. Traditional homes with corrugated walls are painted vivacious yellows, reds, and blues. Musicians play tango on the sidewalk as locals perform for passersby, utilizing the open space and the movement of each other to showcase the quintessential dance of the city. Artists capture the spectacles of the day on canvas, utilizing the elegant light, passionate dance moves, and collections of color for endless inspiration. After your tour ends, you continue to follow the adventures of the city, this time within a private dance studio to learn the secrets of tango.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 3: El Calafate – Near the Glacier Rim

In the morning, traditionalists of the city venture to a local cafe to sip decadent coffee textured with thick, steamed milk, and dusted with chocolate and cinnamon. Authors Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares would take the time to enjoy the coffee and each other’s company as the café filled with the aroma of buttery, flakey pastries and the bustling sounds of the surrounding conversation. After breakfast, your private transfer meets you in the hotel lobby and escorts you to the airport for your flight to El Calafate in Argentinian Patagonia.

Box-leaved berries grow amongst the evergreen trees framing the town. In the spring, the bushes blossom with bright yellow flowers contrasting the emerald hues of the trees. The main street Avenida del Libertador General San Martín contains shops decorated with knotted-pine doorways resembling traditional alpine homes. Your flight arrives at Comandante Armando Tola International Airport, where your private transfer greets you at baggage claim. The sweet aroma of chocolate emanates from the chocolateries along the main avenue. Indulge in the beauty and comfort of your hotel overlooking the reflective waters of Lake Argentino.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 4: El Calafate – Walking on Ice

The main street circumventing El Calafate carries a hint of sweet treats in the morning air, with visions of alfajores, soft dulce de leche cookies, offering stunning displays in the café windows. Your guide greets you at the hotel after an early breakfast and leads you to the shores of Lake Argentino, the largest freshwater lake in Argentina, encompassing more than 545 square miles, with an average depth of nearly 500 feet. Your ferry leading you along the lake’s Rico Arm offers pristine views of the mountains.

The clear, icy-blue water reflects the peaks along the stoic surface. Pass in view of the front walls of Perito Moreno Glacier, which average 240 feet above the water. The staggering ice walls embody the unspoiled image of the glacier, along with the immensity of the glacial body. Icebergs poke their tips out of the surface of the lake, representing the massive ice calving away from the walls each year. After the ferry docks, your guide leads you along the icy surface for a guided walk on the natural treasure.

You can hear the crampons digging into the ice as you walk, offering stability against the slick top. The glacier has a surface area that covers nearly 100 square miles and contains the world’s third largest freshwater reserve. The black striations of the edging mountain peaks frame the pristine white ice. You pass over meandering ravines shaped by rainwater over the course of thousands of years, leading to small lakes along the ice glistening an iridescent blue. 

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

Day 5: Torres del Paine – Over the Patagonian Ridges

In the morning, the aroma of crepes fills the dining room. The cuisine has become a staple of Patagonian cuisine often stuffed and topped with sweet forest fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. You meet your private transfer after breakfast to begin your journey through Patagonia and over the Chilean border to reach Torres del Paine National Park. The waters of Argentino Lake continue to mirror the neighboring mountains. Pink Andean flamingoes speckle the shore, contrasting their feathers with the shimmering blue water. The rugged terrain surrounds you with evergreen trees, soaring mountaintops covered with snow, and switchback roads lead you through the breathtaking landscape of Patagonia.

The aroma of pine spices the air. You cross the border into Chile and find the dramatic view of Cordillera Paine, a mountain group reaching an altitude of more than 9,460 feet above sea level. You can spot the granite peaks of the mountains resembling horns over the glistening waters of Lake Pehoé. The pure landscape resembles a postcard reflecting in the mirror-like waters. You continue until reaching the secluded luxuries of your accommodation overlooking the shores of the remarkable lake with an unfettered view of the Paine Massif.

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

Day 6: Torres del Paine – At the Heart of Torres del Paine

In the morning, the aroma of rich hot chocolate provides an extra layer of your sensory feast as you enjoy the view of the lake and mountains through the wide windows of the dining room. The alpine ambiance provides ample comforts. The Paine Massif lingers on the opposite shores of Lake Pehoé with granite pillars shaped by rising magma more than 13 million years ago. The glacial erosion gave the monoliths their contemporary silhouette surrounded by snowcapped peaks and the remaining glaciers of the last ice age.

The day is yours to enjoy the endless array of activities your mountain resort offers, from horseback riding to trekking. You take to the trails for a half-day walking tour to Toro Vista Point. The evergreen trees and jade-colored moss dissipate as you ascend the trail to an altitude of more than 300 feet above where you began. The Chilean fire tree rustles in the chilled breeze. The bush, known in Spanish as Notro, has a dense root mass and vivid red flowers resembling pockets of fire contrasting the green leaves.

Edelweiss, more commonly known for their position in the European Alps, grow with flowers similar to daisies and tulips. The golden stamens with splashes of pastel offer a sense of delicate beauty to the surrounding drama. Timid guanaco, a relative of the llama, graze on the short mountain grass. Their graceful, slender necks extend as they reach down to the grass and look up to see your unique, unfamiliar humanly frame. The lookout offers fabulous views of the shores of Lake Toro and the mouth of the Serrano River as framed by the peaks of Ferrier and Donoso mountains.

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

Day 7: Torres del Paine – To Reach Paine Towers

The cool morning breeze carries the aroma of blossoming flowers in the summer and spring. The mountains maintain their shimmering white snowcap year round. At breakfast, you indulge in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolaty flavors of your fresh-brewed coffee. From the window, you can see the outline of a herd of guanacos grazing along the distant banks of Lake Pehoé. Your guide meets you after the meal and escorts you into the countryside, beginning your trek along a sandy ravine overlooking the shores of Lake Toro.

The spiced aroma of pine remains in the air, embellished with the scent of freshwater drifting from the lake. You follow your footsteps from the previous day, passing between the evergreen trees and jade hues of the moss. The trail begins to toughen, as the view of the Paine Massif grows closer. Tall and slender trunks of lenga and Antarctic beech trees surround you. South Andean deer graze on the mosses and low-lying branches of the trees.

Bucks average a height of 35 inches tall and can weigh nearly 200 pounds. The Chilean Flicker roosts in the trees and pecks against bark in search of food. The drilling sound echoes throughout the forest. You reach Toro Heights at an elevation of nearly 1,150 feet above the Serrano plain. The view of the Paine Massif is unforgettable, with the pristine ice of Grey Glacier wrapping over the silver granite mountains. You have an unparalleled view of the Paine Towers soaring above the massif and the teal waters of the Grey Lake.

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

Day 8: Torres del Paine – Thrills on Horseback

After breakfast, you take to the plains and riverbanks around Torres del Paine National Park on a horseback riding adventure. You saddle-up and mount a calm, attentive horse following your knowledgeable guide across the landscape. The smooth ride takes you away from the wild grasses near the edges of Lake Pehoé. Deer and guanaco hide amongst the rising trees of the neighboring forest. Purple and blue lupines rustle in the gentle breeze along the grasslands. Locals harvest the beautiful flower for food, boiling or cooking the petals and stems as an alternative to soybeans.

Wandering through the dramatic wilderness on horseback offers a sense of tranquility, allowing you to pay attention to the surrounding marvels while following your guide. You can hear the waters of Las Chinas River rushing over the pebbles and boulders along its banks. Pass through the waters with the horses kicking up cold droplets onto your legs. The marvelous snowcapped mountains contrast the open blue sky. You stop at a local estate where a fire roars to life at the heart of an outdoor stone hearth. Gauchos encourage you to participate in the barbecue as large slices of meat and potatoes roast to perfection with the aroma sweeping across the pampas. 

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

Day 9: Rosario Valley – Traveling the Wine Country

The rolling landscape around Torres del Paine is marbled with the graceful white petals of the streaked maiden flower. Their bell shape accentuates the lilac stripes outlining each petal. The sweet aroma embellishes the beauty of the pristine countryside in the spring and autumn. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Punta Arenas for your flight to Santiago. The Patagonian city brushes against the shores of the Strait of Magellan. Remnants of the city’s former glory stand in the center in the form of Plaza Muñoz Gamero.

The opulent mansion of Casa Braun-Menéndez frames the plaza and overlooks the central statue commemorating the 400th anniversary of Magellan’s journey around the world. The mansion belonged to the wool baron Jose Menendez, for whom the manor is named. Your private transfer collects you upon arrival at Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport and escorts you into the enchanting countryside of the Rosario Valley. Your resort is located within a renovated colonial home, providing a sense of historical presence garnished with modern amenities. The close proximity to the sea provides an aroma of alpine spice and a breeze hinted with briny allure amongst the vast rows of vineyards leading to the pine trees.

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

Day 10: Rosario Valley – Journey of the Vine

The cool breeze of the valley rustles through the leaves along the vines sweeping across the estate. At breakfast, the aroma of toast with orange marmalade fills the air, accompanied by a sweet cup of coffee. Your guide greets you at the hotel and accompanies you on a bicycle ride through the preeminent wine-growing region of Chile, taking you from the Rosario Valley to neighboring Casablanca Valley. The foothills of the Andes Mountains roll along the edges of the valley, framing the landscape and offering a unique variety of soils in which to grow grapes.

The breeze continues into midmorning, providing a refreshing reprieve from the Chilean sun. You reach your first stop at a vineyard, which helped to establish Chile at the forefront of winegrowing across the world. The estate encompasses more than 360 acres with over 90 acres dedicated to newer crops waiting to yield. Your guide leads you through the vines, where you touch your fingers to the waxy peel of the dangling grapes. The leaves have a coarse texture and often shade the grapes from the spreading sunlight.

The vineyard is divided by grapes and segmented by the soil, with the variety of the nutrient-rich earth adding to the flavors of the wines produced. The cellar is cool and contains an Old World charm amongst the stacked oak barrels. Follow your guide to the tasting room to sample the celebrated wines cultivated on the property, discovering the beauty of the Cabernet Franc. The aroma of black currant accompanies a hint of spice, leading to a firm, lingering finish. 

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

Day 11: Rosario Valley – Excursion to the Sea

The sunlight washes over the lush vines and burgeoning grapes stretching across the estate. After breakfast, you make your way to the Pacific coast to discover the enchanting promenades of Viña del Mar and the captivating hills of Valparaiso. Locals and visitors venture to the beaches bordering downtown with a skyline of graceful hotels overlooking the cobalt waters and splashing waves. The aroma of sea bass and lobster cooked over an open flame emanates from the seaside restaurants offering views of the golden sands. Soaring, manicured palm trees line the wide, elegant boulevards of Viña del Mar.

The colonial roots of the city date back to the 1870s with antique character preserved in the colonial homes. The French architecture of Palacio Rioja embodies the grandeur of the city’s former glory and contemporary charm. The Fonck Museum of Archeology and Natural History is situated inside another former colonial mansion. The only Easter Island Moai on mainland South America decorates the forecourt. The interior galleries offer insight into the history of the indigenous people around Chile and Easter Island with displays of Mapuche silverwork and ceramics crafted by the Moche. The sea breeze drifts through the city, offering a refreshing reminder of your proximity to the water.

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

Day 12: Rosario Valley – Farewell, Santiago

Santiago is the bustling capital of Chile. Businessmen rush along the streets of Downtown in the shadows of the high-rise buildings imitating the bordering rolling peaks of the Andes Mountains. The scent of coffee drifts out of the cafes along the bohemian neighborhood of Barrio Lastarria. Students and artists venture to a quiet courtyard café for modern twists on popular Chilean dishes, including decadent cappuccino. You have time before your flight to explore the diverse streets of Santiago, from the colorful produce stands and fishmongers around the central market to the pristine views of the city from atop Cerro San Cristobal.

For a literary tour of Santiago, you make your way to La Chascona, the home of famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The edifice stands atop a hill and represents the poet’s love of the sea. The interior contains a dining room modeled after a ship’s cabin and a living room resembling the interior of a lighthouse, offering views over the cobbled streets below. When you are ready, you continue to Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, airport transfer

Price

Starting Price 

$2,995
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.