Private Journeys

Active Argentina: Walking in Patagonia

14 days from £3,170pp

Argentina

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Essentials

Accommodation

In El Chaltén you stay in an alpine-style lodge at the base of snow-capped mountains. There is one night spent camping in tents on the M Trek.  In Ushuaia the accommodation is in a homely hotel/guesthouse used to receiving trekkers and travellers. 

During the trek in Tierra del Fuego you will spend two nights camping. The tents are lightweight and spacious – you can just about stand up in them. After a demonstration on the first night, you erect your own tent, whilst dinner is being prepared. In the rare instance that they blow over in a gale, the crew carry spare poles. 

N.B. Sleeping mats are provided but not sleeping bags – you need to hire one in advance. Our tip: bring an inflatable pillow.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Climate

Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is between May and September. In Santiago and Buenos Aires, temperatures can be cool (5°C – to 15°C). While sunshine is possible, so is rain. Spring and autumn temperatures, October to November and March to April respectively, are between 15 and 25°C and there is a good deal of pleasant sunshine. January and February are hot, around 30°C. 

In Los Glaciares and Tierra del Fuego National Parks the best months for hiking are March and April, when the autumn foliage is stunning. Many hikers also visit in summer – December to January – along with non-trekkers so it can be busy. Days are long and mild then but it can be windy, as in spring (September to October).

Clothing And Special Equipment

For towns and cities bring practical, comfortable clothing and a light-weight jumper. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate. 

In Los Glaciares National Park, for the M Trek we recommend a rucksack to carry your personal items, sleeping bag and lunch. All camping gear will be provided. (Note that you will be carrying your own personal gear during the 2 days of trekking).

In Tierra del Fuego, you carry your own personal gear, including your sleeping mat (we suggest a thermalite self-inflating mat rather than just a polystyrene one) and sleeping bag. Weight and size will be a factor in your choice but you should have a minimum 3 season bag, a 3/4 season one would be ideal, some very compact ones are available at specialist shops or on the internet. A blow up pillow is a nice addition for comfort.
You will also need light walking poles – Leki are an excellent brand – they both assist you on steep climbs and paths with loose stones, and help you keep your balance. 
Your backpack should be neither too big nor too small – you will be carrying it full on days one and three. Assemble the gear you are taking then you will have a good idea how big a sack you will need (probably around 60L).
It is essential to have good, well-worn and waterproof walking boots with good grip and ankle support. You may like to take a pair of light pumps to wear in the evenings.

Clothing for the Patagonia trekking should cater for the fact that you may come across any kind of weather conditions from balmy sunshine and 25 degrees to blizzards and gale force winds. Items you can wear in layers are best: start with some thermal underwear, then T shirts, long sleeved shirt, sweater, fleece and rain and windproof jacket. Take at least 2 pairs of trousers – if you have them, the kind which unzip into shorts are good because they save on space as you don’t need to take shorts as well. A couple of changes of underwear, several pairs of socks, hat, gloves and scarf/buff.  Don’t forget toiletries, a small towel (you can wash in the lake at the camp site), a water bottle, a torch, maybe a book to read and any medication. Put your gear in plastic bags to protect it from the rain. 

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in Latin America.

Currency

The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentine peso.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

How To Take It

For our latest currency advice for Argentina please see our FAQs section.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential.

Details of our recommended policy can be found at Briefing Dossier. 

Journey Grade

This is an active hiking trip. There are a couple of public bus rides, and three internal flights.

This holiday includes hiking in rocky and hilly terrain. You need to be fit but no special equipment or extra training are necessary. If you have a disability or other special requirements, please call us.

Be prepared for camping in basic, but comfortable tents.

Meals

Breakfast daily; lunch days 8; full board; 6, 7, 10, 11.

Summary Of Nights

14 days, 13 nights: Buenos Aires 2; El Calafate 2,  El Chaltén 3, El Calafate 1, Ushuaia 1, camping in Tierra del Fuego National Park 2, Ushuaia 1, Buenos Aires 1.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Transport

Three flights (longest 3.5hrs); 2 road journeys (longest 4hrs).

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Water To Go

We’ve partnered with Water To Go to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.

Country info

When is the best time to visit Argentina?

Argentina is so large it’s always a good time to go somewhere. The southern hemisphere summer is the reverse of our own, with Dec-Feb being high summer in Patagonia. Spring (Oct-Nov) and Autumn (Mar-Apr) can still be very pleasant and are quieter. While summers in the lake district are reliably warm and sunny, the further south in Patagonia you go the more unpredictable the weather. In Winter (June-Sept) some hotels in Patagonia close, while others stay open for skiers. Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Córdoba enjoy a Mediterranean-type climate, with cool winters and very warm summers. North-west Argentina (Salta and Jujuy) enjoy sunshine and warm temperatures year-round but are influenced by altitude and the high Andes, with occasional cold snaps (June-Sept) and a rainy season (Jan-Feb). Iguazú Falls and Misiones has a subtropical climate, although it can be chilly July-Sept.

What is the official language of Argentina?

Spanish.

What is Argentina's official currency?

Argentine Peso (updated Oct 2019)

Argentina is cash-orientated, although in Buenos Aires and main tourist centres cards are widely used. In remote areas you may find only cash is accepted. It’s best to take US Dollars cash and change these into Pesos within Argentina. This can be done at a Casa de Cambio (passport needed) and at some hotels. Many (mid-range and up) restaurants will also accept US Dollars for payment and give you change in Pesos. Tips are always paid in cash, even if you pay for a meal using a card.
Although ATMs are available in Argentina some clients have reported difficulties withdrawing cash so it’s best not to rely on them. Local ATM fees can be high and the amount you can withdraw is usually much lower than in the UK. When using an ATM with a debit card you may be offered a choice of account type from which to make your withdrawal. Select ‘credit card’ (not ‘checking account’ or ‘savings account’ options).
Check your insurance limit for carrying cash and avoid having lots of Pesos left over: these are accepted at the duty-free shop in Buenos Aires airport but outside of Argentina it’s hard to exchange unwanted Pesos.

What's the time difference between Argentina and UK?

GMT -3 hrs. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar, but not every year.

Which other countries combine well with Argentina?

Chile, accessing the country by crossing the Andes over one of several scenic passes: from Salta in the northwest to the Atacama Desert, from Mendoza to Santiago, via the lakes crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas in the lake district and from El Calafate to Torres del Paine in Patagonia; Brazil, via the land crossing at Iguazú.

What are the festivals and other cultural or sporting events in Argentina?

Tango Festival: Buenos Aires, August.
Polo Open: Buenos Aires province, weekends in November.
Gaucho Festivals: The pampas, early November.

How do I adapt to the altitude in Argentina?

Whilst a typical holiday in Patagonia presents no challenges with altitude, Argentina’s north-western provinces offer a taste of the high Andes with some spectacular road trips on offer. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Hike the Fitz Roy Mountain trek
  • ‘End of the World Trek’ in Tierra del Fuego

What's not included in the price

  • International flights to Latin America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Hike the Fitz Roy Mountain trek
  • ‘End of the World Trek’ in Tierra del Fuego

What's not included in the price

  • International flights to Latin America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • JimAshworth
    Jim Ashworth - Travel Consultant

    Jim first caught the Latin American travel bug in 2001 when he decided at the last minute to join a friend travelling around Central America – he hasn't looked back since.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

Meet the team