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Buenos Aires, Peninsula Valdes & Southern Patagonia: Combine highlights with a less-known region

Days: 10 | From: $5,710/per person

Explore the vibrant metropolis of Buenos Aires, then head south to Peninsula Valdes, a remote area of unspoiled scenery and exceptional wildlife. Finish your trip among the iconic peaks of Los Glaciares National Park, in the heart of Argentine Patagonia.

  • Includes accommodations at first class hotels that reflect the best of local culture
  • Includes excursions and tours with superb private guides
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We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Buenos Aires
    3 nights: explore Argentina's bustling capital city
  • Puerto Madryn
    1 night: visit the largest Magellanic Penguin colony in the world
  • Peninsula Valdes
    2 nights: search for elephant seals, whales, orcas, and other magnificent marine animals
  • El Calafate
    3 nights: stay in a unique estancia in picturesque Los Glaciares National Park

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

Customize this trip
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Day by day itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires viewed through a window

Arrive to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s colorful capital, where your private guide will take you to your boutique hotel in the fashionable Palermo district. This is one of the best areas of town for walking around, with charming boutiques and top restaurants.

Accommodations: Mine Hotel

This small, modern boutique hotel has an excellent location in the vibrant Palermo SoHo neighborhood, with many cafes and restaurants right outside the front door. The 20-room hotel offers a restaurant and a private green space with a garden and small pool; most rooms overlook this quaint backyard area.

Upgrades available: Legado Mitico, Alvear Palace, Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt, and others
Day 2:

Get to Know Vibrant Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires - Teatro Colon

Explore Buenos Aires with your private guide, a bilingual local who will take you through the city’s unique neighborhoods. Discover the charms of Palermo, the Recoleta, the Teatro Colon, the Plaza de Mayo, San Telmo, and La Boca. With your private guide, you have the flexibility to explore at your own pace and make detours and stops along the way.

After your tour, spend the rest of the day exploring on your own and trying out the city’s excellent restaurants – we’ll provide a list of our top recommendations!

Accommodations: Mine Hotel

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 3:

Relax and Explore the City

Argentina - Buenos Aires - Man play street music

Enjoy a day at leisure to delve into the city’s offerings; we’ll give you some of our favorite suggestions for things to see and do. We can also arrange privately guided day excursions to nearby sites, such as the town of Colonia, Uruguay (a well preserved 17th century Portuguese colonial town that is a UNESCO World Heritage site), or up to Tigre and the Delta (there are also biking excursions up to Tigre).

You might also enjoy an excursion to one of the traditional estancias of San Antonio de Areco, about 1.5 hours from Buenos Aires. This is an area that has preserved gaucho traditions more than any other in Argentina, and the estancias offer an in-depth experience in this fundamental aspect of Argentine culture and history.

Accommodations: Mine Hotel

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 4:

Fly to Trelew and Visit the Largest Magellanic Penguin Colony in the World

Patagonia Wildlife - Penguins

Fly south to the city of Trelew, where your private guide will take you to Punta Tombo, the largest Magellanic Penguin colony in the world. Walk among the penguins as they make their way between their colony and the ocean. Afterward, drive north to your hotel in Puerto Madryn, a place with excellent views of the Golfo Nuevo and occasional sightings of the migrating Southern Right Whales (between June and December).

Accommodations: Hotel Territorio

Territorio, located in the historic Puerto Madryn district, is a boutique hotel with 36 rooms, all boasting spectacular views of the sea. It provides a perfect launching point for excursions to the Península Valdés, known for its exceptional marine life and wildlife. The hotel restaurant serves Patagonian cuisine.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 5:

Travel to Peninsula Valdes, Home to a Variety of Marine Life

Peninsula Valdez - Elephant Seal

Enjoy a private ride to Peninsula Valdes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its exceptional marine life and fauna. From June to December you can board a zodiac boat and head out to observe one of the largest concentrations of Southern Right Whales in the world. Dolphins, orcas, sea lions, and other wildlife may also be viewed during your excursion. The animals migrate at different times of the year. Just let us know when you’d like to travel, and we’ll let you know what you can expect to see!

Accommodations: Estancia Rincon Chico

During the 1800s, a French sheep farmer came to Península de Valdés, located in the coastal region of Patagonia, and founded the Estancia Rincon Chico. Today, fifth-generation members of the same family own this charming, comfortable estancia. Its eight rooms tastefully portray the ambiance of a traditional Patagonian farmhouse. The estancia is one of the very few accommodations right on the Peninsula, and it offers privileged access to the elephant seal colonies, guanacos, and other wildlife that make their home here, as well as to the whale watching excursions just offshore that the region is famous for from September through December.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6:

Choose Your Adventure: Visit an Elephant Seal Colony, Go Whale-Watching, and More

Argentine Wildlife - Whale

Take advantage of the many excursions offered by your estancia, including a hike to a nearby Elephant Seal colony. A wide variety of other wildlife also makes its home on the Peninsula Valdes and can be observed during your excursions, including guanacos, Patagonian hares, and rhea (ostrich-like birds).

Accommodations: Estancia Rincon Chico

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7:

Fly to El Calafate, Land of Towering Glaciers

Argentina - Nibepo Aike - Estancia - Sheep Herding

Head back to Trelew in the morning, stopping en route at a traditional Welsh tea house. The Welsh have a long history in the area and have left their mark on the area’s culture and architecture. Afterward board your flight to El Calafate, gateway to Los Glaciares National Park in Argentine Patagonia. Head deep into the scenic countryside to your traditional estancia, a favorite among our travelers. Bordering the national park, this estancia offers a view into traditional Patagonian life and access to some rarely-visited and beautiful areas of Argentine Patagonia.

Accommodations: Estancia Nibepo Aike

Nibepo Aike was established as a functioning ranch at the beginning of the 20th century. Located on the southern bank of Lake Argentino, it has a privileged location inside Los Glaciares National Park. The estancia offers easy access, on horseback or via hiking or biking, to places with magnificent, off the beaten path views of the surrounding glaciers and mountains. The estancia has 10 guest rooms: eight double rooms and two triple rooms, all with private bathrooms. The dining room serves traditional meat and vegetable dishes made mostly from home produce.

*Includes: Breakfast, Dinner

Alternative lodging options: Estancia Helsingfors, Eolo
Day 8:

Up Close and Personal on Perito Moreno Glacier

Patagonia - El Calafate - Perito Moreno Glacier

Enjoy a unique excursion to the iconic Perito Moreno Glacier. You won’t just view the glacier from a distance – you’ll take a catamaran ride to the front of the glacier and do a short hike on the ice itself. (Crampons will be provided; this is a non-technical and non-strenuous walking excursion. We can also arrange more challenging and strenuous treks on the glacier.) Afterward, visit the viewing areas for great views of the glacier before returning to your estancia for a traditional Patagonian asado dinner.

Accommodations: Estancia Nibepo Aike

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9:

Free day on the Estancia: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Ranching Activities, or Relaxation

Argentina_El Calafate_Nibepo Aike hiking (photo credit Nibepo Aike and Daniel Wagner)

Enjoy a day to explore your estancia. This is an outstanding area for hiking and horseback riding, and the staff at Nibepo Aike will take you riding or help you find the best trails to hike. There are also typical ranching activities that vary by day, such as sheep-shearing.

Accommodations: Estancia Nibepo Aike

*Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10:

Depart for Home or Your Next Destination

Today you will say goodbye to your local guide and head to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

More Photos From This Trip

Buenos Aires BridgeBuenos Aires - Colored BuildingsArgentina - Buenos Aires - Puerto MaderoBuenos Aires - National Congress buildingMagellan Penguin in SunEl Calafate Patagonian GauchosPatagonia El Calafate EstanciaFresh snow on Perito Moreno glacier

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Add a few extra nights in Buenos Aires or Bariloche. We can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to historical sites, and active options such as hiking, biking, boating, and horseback riding.

  • Take part in a day of polo at an estancia outside Buenos Aires: Spend the morning on a horse learning the basics of this popular equestrian sport, enjoy a traditional lunch, then put your new skills to use in a relaxed polo match in the afternoon. Great for beginners and experienced riders alike!

  • Enjoy an extra day or two in El Calafate. There are plenty of great excursions and beautiful places to visit, such as the isolated Estancia Cristina, located next to the spectacular Upsala Glacier and only reachable by boat.

  • Spend some time at Estancia Helsingfors, a first class boutique property in Los Glaciares National Park. The estancia has a stunning location and remote feel, and is a great option for those who prefer to explore Patagonia with a higher emphasis on luxury.

  • Extend your visit with time at Iguazu Falls or the lovely Lakes District and Bariloche.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

Inquire About This Trip

Why Travel with Vaya?

We're TRUE specialists

South America is the only place we do trips, and no one knows our destinations better. Our smart and engaging specialists are all current or former U.S. expatriates with years of experience in the region.

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From the first phone call to after you get back, we’re here for you every step of the way. We listen, create, customize and advocate for you, and design experiences that go beyond the expected.

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Our discerning sensibility and good taste go beyond just choices in hotels and top guides; we have a walk the walk commitment to the environment and are genuine leaders in conservation efforts.