Argentina & Chile - Cities, Glaciers & Desert
Buenos Aires – El Calafate – Torres del Paine – Santiago – Atacama DesertDiscover some of the most beautiful scenery on earth while exploring Southern Patagonia’s lakes, mountains and glaciers. Explore vibrant Buenos Aires and take in a tango show before heading south to El Calafate and the Los Glaciares National Park. Cross into Chile to spend time exploring Torres del Paine National Park’s jaw dropping landscapes where a variety of outdoor activities are on offer. See the highlights of Santiago before an adventure in the wilderness of the Atacama Desert. An enthralling combination of natural wonders and cosmopolitan cities.
- Explore the fascinating neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires and take in a tango show
- See the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentinean Patagonia
- Spend time exploring Chile’s famous Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia with its granite towers, glaciers and windswept plains
- Take in the view of Santiago from San Cristobal Hill
- Marvel at the lunar landscapes of the Atacama Desert with its geothermal geysers and hot springs, salt flats and lagoons
Visually rewarding itinerary to see the highlights of Southern Patagonia and the Atacama Desert
Fly overnight from the UK to Buenos Aires.
Overnight: In flight
Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Combining European influences with a fiery Latin American passion, vibrant Buenos Aires is one of the world’s great cosmopolitan cities. Head out with your guide to discover the distinct feel of the city’s various neighbourhoods (or ‘barrios’), from the cobbled alleys and colonial architecture of San Telmo, to trendy Palermo and the colourful bohemian houses and streets stalls of La Boca. Explore the city’s bustling heart including the pink hued Casa Rosada (presidential palace) which dominates Plaza de Mayo, before a visit to the fascinating Recoleta Cemetery – Eva Peron’s final resting place. In the evening head out for a dynamic live tango show and dine on fine Argentine steak washed down with local Malbec.
Overnight: Buenos Aires
Fly to El Calafate, the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park in the heart of Argentinean Patagonia. This vast region of ice fields and glacial lakes, mountains and forests is some of the most dramatic scenery anywhere on earth. Visit the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier, a huge river of ice 30 km long which is still advancing, and hear the awe-inspiring cracking sounds of the constantly shifting ice. Take a boat across Argentino Lake for breathtaking views of the glacier’s front wall, before donning crampons for a guided walk of the incredible terrain.
Overnight: El Calafate
Transfer by road across the border into Chile, a journey of around 6 hours, to your chosen base at Torres del Paine National Park.
This vast national park is Patagonia’s crown jewel, renowned for the three towering granite pillars after which it takes its name. The beautiful and varied scenery ranges from majestic mountains, icy lakes and huge glaciers to beech forest and open Patagonian steppe. The whole area is a trekkers paradise, with leisurely walks to scenic viewpoints as well as more challenging hikes like the ‘Base of the Towers’ ascent on offer. There are numerous ways explore the park, whether by horseback, 4X4, bike or water – with sailing and kayaking towards the glacier on Grey Lake a particular highlight. Wildlife roams the unspoilt terrain freely, from the guanaco and puma to the myriad bird species such as the mighty condor and flamingo – the birdwatching and photography expeditions are particularly rewarding. After active days, retreat to your lodge to unwind enjoy wonderful Chilean food and wine.
Overnight: Torres del Paine
Transfer to Punta Arenas airport and fly to Santiago. With the snow-capped Andes offering a spectacular backdrop, Chile’s often overlooked capital is well worth a visit. Enjoy a guided city tour exploring the historic Plaza de Armas, with its impressive Presidential Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral, before delving into the country’s cultural history at the Pre-Columbian art museum. Hit the bustling central fish market for a seafood lunch then wander through the arty Bellavista neighbourhood, before taking the cable-car up San Cristobal Hill for fantastic views of the city and surrounding mountains. Spend the evening wining and dining in one of bohemian Lastarria district’s fantastic restaurants.
Fly north to Calama for a stay in the Atacama Desert. The driest desert on earth, the Atacama’s lunar landscapes, spouting geysers, thermal springs and salt flats are a stark contrast to Patagonia. Stay in frontier-like town of San Pedro de Atacama, with hiking, cycling and climbing excursions among the ways to explore the area’s outstanding natural beauty. Take a sunrise trip to the El Tatio Geysers to see the huge natural steam columns rising from the bubbling geothermal pools; gaze in wonder at the surreal rock formations of the Valle de la Luna and enigmatic dunes of Valle de la Muerte; walk the trails around the National Flamingo Reserve at the sky turns red at sundown. By night, the clear desert skies offer the ultimate stargazing extravaganza.
Overnight: Atacama Desert
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK (via Santiago).
From £4,890 per person
Price is based on travel in mid season and on 2 people sharing. Includes international flights from the UK, accommodation and all transfers and excursions as listed.
All of our itineraries are tailor-made to your specific requirements and therefore prices do vary. The above is an indication only. Prices will vary depending on the season of travel and the standard of accommodation used. Please contact us for a quotation and to discuss your holiday requirements in more detail.