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Value Argentina: Explore Patagonia

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The world's most spectacular wildernesses can be hard to reach. Not so in Argentine Patagonia, just a short drive away from the airport at El Calafate you enter the stunning Los Glaciares National Park. This budget holiday includes walks in some of the loveliest landscapes in the country including the volcano-dotted lake district.

Your trip begins and ends in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, considered to be Latin America's most European city, with its wide boulevards, colonial architecture and café society. Fly onto the Alpine-style resort town of Bariloche in the lake district, where you can explore the snow-dusted mountains, lakes and evergreen forests along gentle walking trails. From here you continue south to the windswept landscape of Patagonia, where you get up close to the vast Perito Moreno Glacier, which calves huge chunks of ice into the water below. El Chaltén is the jumping off point for explorations of the Fitz Roy region of Patagonia, which offers you the chance to admire some of the most dramatic mountain scenery on the continent.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires. Transfer to your hotel.

Day 2

Biking tour of stylish quarters of the capital.

Day 3

Fly to Bariloche, lake district (northern Patagonia), transfer to hotel.

Day 4

Guided excursion to Cerro Otto.

Day 5

At leisure in the lake district.

Day 6

Fly to El Calafate (southern Patagonia), transfer to hotel.

Day 7

Visit Perito Moreno glacier; boat cruise on the lake.

Day 8

By bus to El Chaltén; assistance to your hotel.

Days 9-10

At leisure in the El Chaltén district, optional activities.

Day 11

Return to El Calafate by public bus.

Day 12

Transfer to the airport and fly to Buenos Aires. Transfer to hotel.

Day 13

Transfer to airport.

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What our experts say

This is one of our more affordable holidays to Argentina, and Patagonia particularly, which is famously quite an expensive destination. If you’re on a budget but would still love to see this part of the world then this is the right holiday to consider – you’ll see the highlights such as Perito Moreno glacier and the Lake District as well as spend time in the fun-filled capital, Buenos Aires.

Jamie

Jamie Swan

Travel Consultants

Places visited on this holiday

Value Argentina: Explore Patagonia

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Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Along with Rio, this is a city worth crossing the Atlantic for in its own right. Dynamic, stylish and nostalgic, it’s the continent’s most European city, but does not lack South American verve. Its contrasting neighbourhoods reveal colonial plazas, shady avenues, quirky antique fairs, street art, world famous theatres and football stadiums and spruced-up metropolitan port districts. Studded with extensive parks, cutting-edge boutique hotels, designer boutiques and a myriad of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, it’s a restless place, challenging to find your way around but well worth the effort. It’s the beating heart of Argentina, the hub for visits throughout the country.
When's the best time to visit Buenos Aires?

Buenos Aires is at its hottest Jan-Mar (very humid with tropical showers, occasionally over 40C during the day). It can be cold and cloudy Jul-Aug, so weather conditions are best for a visit in spring and autumn. Dec-Feb and Jul are local holiday times: Porteños head for the beach.

What's the official language in Buenos Aires?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Buenos Aires?

Argentine Peso.

Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. Please note that in 2016 many of the ATMs were not functioning properly; we are recommending that for the moment you take a good supply of US dollars cash. There are many banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling frequently poor. 

What's the time difference between Buenos Aires and the UK?

GMT -3 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, but this is announced ad hoc on a year-on-year basis.

What places combine well with Buenos Aires?

Beach time in Mar del Plata (392 km by road, 5hrs); Colonia or Montevideo in Uruguay across the River Plate: travel by ferry, bus or plane; a stay on a working estancia in the pampa south and west of the city; Iguazú Falls (2hrs approx by air).

How long is the flight to Buenos Aires from the UK?

Average flight time is 14hrs 20mins on a direct flight from London. There are also flights requiring a change of plane in Europe or the USA.

What are the festivals and cultural and sports events in Buenos Aires?

Tango Festival: Aug. The world's – top tango festival, nine days  of concerts, shows, free classes, exhibitions, open-air milongas (Avenida Corrientes is closed for a massive display) and other tango-related festivities.

Opera season: Mar-Dec. Take in a concert or opera at the refurbished Teatro Colón which attracts internationally esteemed artists. 

Argentine Polo Open: Mid Nov-mid Dec. Polo is a passion for many Argentines. This is the year’s main attraction, taking place in Palermo’s 16,000 seater stadium.

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Argentine lake district
Nahuel Huapi Lake
It’s part of Patagonia, but with a touch of Switzerland or Scandinavia. Argentina shares a picture-book-perfect lake district with Chile on the other side of the Andes, linked by one of the continent’s most exquisite passes, the Lakes Crossing.  It’s a popular yet unspoilt region of sleeping snow-stifled volcanoes, dark sapphire lakes fringed by dense forests, small Alpine-style towns and scenic drives. Its multitude of national parks offer outdoor activities from hiking to fishing and cycling to horse riding. There’s a European-style cuisine of fondues, creamy cakes and cool blond Bavarian-inspired beers.
When's the best time to visit the lake district of Argentina?
The main towns of the lake district are full of visitors in the summer months Dec-Feb, when the weather is at its best. Mar-Apr and Sep-Nov can be lovely seasons with rich autumn colours and blossoms respectively, and the towns and hotels won’t be bursting at the seams. Winter (Jul-Aug) is the ski season.
What's the official language in the lake district of Argentina?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in the lake district of Argentina?

Argentine Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs along calle Mitre in Bariloche and calle San Martín in the town of San Martín, using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows.

What's the time difference between the lake district of Argentina and the UK?

GMT -3 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, but this is announced ad hoc on a year-on-year basis.

What other places combine well with the lake district of Argentina?
Chile’s lake district, a full day trip by boat and road across the Andes; Mendoza in the wine producing region, twice weekly flights (1hr 45mins; El Calafate and Ushuaia in southern Patagonia, sporadic service in summer only (1hr 40mins) or via Buenos Aires.
How do I get to the lake district of Argentina?

There are many daily flights from Buenos Aires to Bariloche (2hrs 10mins) and 3 flights a week from the capital to San Martín (2hrs 20mins).

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El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park
Perito Moreno Glacier
The vast ice fields in Los Glaciares National Park, southern Patagonia, are a primeval wilderness from which flow 13 huge glaciers into the waters of lakes Viedma and Argentino. Visitors can only see a small part of it, from bases which are surprisingly accessible, but get a real sense of the remoteness of this unpopulated region.  The emerald beech forest and the wind-strafed steppes framing the ice add to the landscape’s beauty. El Calafate is a small lakeside town with tourist facilities which still has a frontier feel. It’s the base for visits to the Perito Moreno, Upsala and Onelli glaciers.
When's the best time to visit El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park?
Weather-wise it’s best to visit in the summer (Dec-Feb) when days are long and mild, but at this time – especially Jan – the area is very crowded with both Argentine and foreign visitors. Mar/Apr or Sep/Oct can be sunny and clear, but it can be windy. In the winter months Jun-Aug it is very cold and access routes can be blocked by snow. Many facilities are closed then, too.
What's the official language in El Calafate?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in El Calafate?

Argentine Peso. There are a couple of banks with ATMs accepting foreign cards. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also some money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash but rates are not good; you may be better off changing money in Buenos Aires or another large city before heading to El Calafate.

What's the time difference between El Calafate and the UK?

GMT -3 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, but this is announced ad hoc on a year-on-year basis.

What places does El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park combine with?
El Chaltén in the northern sector of the park, to visit the Fitz Roy massif, 215 km (3hrs); Peninsula Valdés (1hr 20 mins’ flight); Tierra del Fuego for visit to Lapataia National Park and Beagle Channel (flight 1.5hrs); Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, 210 km, (4-5hrs scenic drive).
How do I get to El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park?

Daily flights from Buenos Aires take 3.5hrs; from Ushuaia, 1.5hrs. You can reach El Calafate by road from Puerto Natales in Chile (5-6hrs).

What are the cultural events in El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park?

Lago Argentino Day: El Calafate, 15 Feb, live music, barbecues and dancing.

Dia de la Tradición: El Calafate, 10 Nov, horse-riding presentations and barbecues. 

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El Chalten and the Fitz Roy Massif
Fitz Roy
The vast ice fields in Los Glaciares National Park, southern Patagonia, are a primeval wilderness from which flow 13 huge glaciers into the waters of lakes Viedma and Argentino. The dark beech forests, gem-clear lagoons and the lonely steppes skirting the ice-capped towers of the Fitz Roy massif in the northern area of the park add to the beauty of this ideal landscape for hikers. El Chaltén is a small purpose-built town with tourist facilities and the principal base for visits to the area.
When's the best time to visit El Chalten and the Fitz Roy Massif?
The best months for hiking are Mar-Apr, when autumn foliage is stunning. Many hikers also visit in summer – Dec-Jan - along with non-trekkers so it can be very busy at that time. Days are long and mild then but it can be windy, as in spring (Sep-Oct). In the winter months Jun-Aug it is very cold and access routes can be blocked by snow, and facilities closed. 
What's the official language of El Chalten and Fitz Roy Massif?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in El Chalten and Fitz Roy Massif?

Argentine Peso. Bring sufficient pesos for your needs from a previous larger destination.

What's the time difference between El Chalten and Fitz Roy Massif and UK?

GMT -3 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, but this is announced ad hoc on a year-on-year basis.

What places combine well with El Chalten and Fitz Roy Massif?

El Calafate in the southern sector of the park, to visit the Perito Moreno glacier, 215 km (3-4hs); Tierra del Fuego for visit to Lapataia National Park and Beagle Channel (flight from El Calafate 1.5hrs); via El Calafate to Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, 425 km, (7hrs scenic drive).

How do I get to El Chalten and Fitz Roy Massif?

Daily flights from Buenos Aires take 3.5hrs to El Calafate, thence it is 3hrs by road to El Chaltén; from Ushuaia the flight to El Calafate is 1.5hrs.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

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Please note
Explore the dates and prices of this unique holiday to Latin America.

Due to flexible pricing and minimum room night requirements during peak times (such as New Year, Carnival and Easter) we may not always present all the dates we have available.

If your ideal travel date is not shown, call us on 020 8747 8315, or click on the 'Make an Online Enquiry' button to the right.

Prices exclude international flights at the beginning and end of the trip.

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Value Argentina: Explore Patagonia

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