- Kandoo Ultimate
Arriving in Buenos Aires early in the morning we transfer to the Hotel Dazzler Recoleta (1 hour transfer). After some time to settle in at the hotel we will meet our local guide and set off for a tour of the city. We visit the picturesque Boca district and tour the flea markets of San Telmo. Meals are not included today so you are free to grab a bite at the hotel or any of the local restaurants, a great opportunity to get a glimpse of local life in Argentina.
This morning after breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight down to Ushuaia where our guide will meet us at the airport. On arrival we transfer to our hotel (20mins) and have lunch before heading to the tourist port for a 3 hour boat tour of the surrounding area. Heading first for the Beagle Channel, we have superb views of the city, coast line and surrounding mountains. We sail south west to approach the island of Los Lobos, where we can observe sea lions in their natural environment and continue to Bird Island with its colonies of Magellan and Imperial Cormorants. Passing by "the scouts" lighthouse, where the ship Monte Cervantes sank in 1930, we continue to Martillo Island where we can observe the penguin colony that visit between November and March.
Today we have the whole day to explore and enjoy the magnificent Tierra del Fuego National Park. The park was created in 1960, offering protection to 68,909 hectares of marine, forest and mountain environments. The kelp geese are a symbol of the national park and can be found in the coastal areas along with albatross, oyster catchers and the flying steamer duck. In the forests you can spot austral parakeets, woodpeckers and thorn-tailed rayadito. In all there are over 90 different bird species in the park along with mammals such as guanaco and fuegian foxes.
Leaving the hotel after breakfast, we head for Bahia Ensenada, the starting point of our trek along the Beagle Channel. We pass through forests of Lengas, Guindos and Nires trees as we follow the coast line and gaze over the water to distant peaks. Jumping back in the vehicle we continue to Lago Roca where we will have another short walk and lunch by the lake. In the afternoon we will visit beaver dam and Lapataia Bay, located at the very end of National Road 3, 3063km from Buenos Aires. We return to our hotel in Ushuaia in the late afternoon.
Today our adventure moves on to its next stage as we transfer to the airport and head north to El Calafate (1 hour 30 mins). Here we will be spending the night in a hotel in the middle of town and we have free time to explore. There is a good range of shops if you feel like picking up some souvenirs or you can take a walk around the Nimez Lagoon, a heaven for various bird species and just a short 2km walk from town.
This morning we board a local bus and travel through the Argentinian pampas to the border with Chile. At the border, after completing formalities, we will need to change vehicles before continuing to the town of Puerto Natales. In the afternoon we follow a trail to the small peak of Cerro Dorotea. From the top there is magnificent panoramic views of Seño Ultima Esperanza, literally translated as the “fjord of the last hope”. The navigator Juan Ladrillero named the fjord in 1557, because he felt it was his last chance to reach the Strait of Magellan. The fjord ends in a glacier and does not reach the strait. On a clear day we can also the see the peaks of Torres Del Paine in the distance. We spend the night in a hotel in central Puerto Natales.
Torres del Paine National Park was established in 1959 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1978. “Paine” means blue, a reference to the colour of the glaciers and lakes that have made the park so famous. We leave Puero Natales and take a leisurely drive north into the park, stopping along the way at numerous viewpoints that showcase the jaw dropping landscape. We will visit Lago Sarniento, Laguna Amarga for views of the "Torres", the waterfalls at Salto Grande, Weber Bridge, Nordenskjold for views of Cuernos du Paine and Grey Beach. In the afternoon we will reach Laguna Amarga and settle in to our refuge for the evening.
Today we have the opportunity to hike to the foot of the world famous Torres del Paine. Our first objective is Refugio Chileno, after a flat start the trail starts to climb up the Ascencio valley and is moderately steep in places. The scenery surrounding us is breath taking right from the beginning. After 2 – 3 hours the trail descends into forest and we find the refuge and campground on the banks of the river. Beyond the refuge we follow an easy track by the river for 3km before starting a difficult and strenuous climb to Mirador las Torres. The trail is steep and rocky with large boulders scattered about the mountainside, a demanding ascent even for experienced hikers. At the top the reward is staggering. You are standing at the foot of the Torres del Paine, the three granite towers that give the park its name. Raising 4000ft into the sky above you, their distant peaks are reflected in the lake at your feet. After taking some time to contemplate the majesty of our surroundings, we turn back and begin our descent. This is a tough day of strenuous hiking, for anyone who does not want to climb to the foot of the towers an alternative walk on the banks of Lake Saramiento can be arranged.
In the afternoon we take a private transfer to our hotel near to the Argentine border, and settle in for a well earned rest.
Today we say farewell to Chile as we board a local bus and cross back into Argentina. We reach El Calafate around midday and stop for lunch before boarding a second bus to El Chalten. El Chalten is a town filled with gauchos, trekkers and mountaineers, a bustling place with the slender towers of Cerro Torre and Fitz Roy raising up above the town. On arrival we transfer to hotel Lunajuim, our base for the next 3 nights, and have some free time to rest or explore.
Here in El Chalten we are in northern most section of Los Glaciares National Park, home to the striking peaks of Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre among others. Today we will be hiking to Laguna de los Tres for staggering views of Fitz Roy. Our trail meanders through forests and clearings and passes by the beautiful Laguna Capri. We slowly draw closer and closer to the shear granite pinnacles touching the sky over 2000m above us. After a steep final ascent over glacial moraine, we are rewarded with our first view of Laguna de los Tres. The hanging glaciers of Fitz Roy cascade down into the water and the vertical rock walls of the mountain rise above the ice. It is often possible to hear the creaking and cracking of the glacier as it makes its slow descent down the mountainside and into the freezing waters at our feet. We will spend some time at the lake to soak up the immensity of our surroundings before returning to El Chalten.
We head off into the mountains again today to get up close and personal with another iconic peak, Cerro Torre. The hike to Laguna Torre at the foot of the mountain should take 3 to 4 hours and we will aim to reach the lake in time for lunch. A truly spectacular location for a picnic! Depending on the weather conditions it may be possible to continue along the Fitz Roy river to the Maestri Viewpoint for even more staggering views of Cerro Torre. In the afternoon we return to El Chalten.
This morning we transfer to the bus station in El Chalten and return to El Calafate in time for lunch. From there a private transfer takes us to the beautiful Galpon del Glaciar, an Estancia Patagonica (traditional sheep ranch) where we will be spending the night. The estancia sits on the shores of Lake Argentino, on the road to Perito Moreno Glacier, the scenery could not be more perfect. In the afternoon there will be a tour of the estancia and its facilities, a special opportunity to learn what life is like for those who live and work in this extreme corner of the world. An unforgettable experience.
This morning at the estancia there is a choice of activities after breakfast. For bird lovers, a 2 to 3 hour walk on Lago Argentino is a great opportunity to spot some of the 90 plus bird species that call this region home. Alternatively, you could take a horse riding trip from the ranch and soak up the scenery from the saddle.
In the early afternoon we depart for the Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is considered the biggest attraction in Argentinian Patagonia. Stretching for 19 miles as it falls from the Patagonian Ice Cap into the waters of Lago Argentino, the wall of ice looms 240ft high. Gigantic ice boulders break away and fall dramatically into the otherwise peaceful waters of the lake. You will have the opportunity to do a boat tour which is highly recommended, the views of the glacier wall from the water are staggering. In the late afternoon we drive to our hotel in El Calafate.
Today we transfer to the airport in El Calafate for our flight back to Buenos Aires. Free time to explore the city one last time before our journey home.
Transfer to the international airport for our international flight.
details in this programme are regularly updated but unforeseeable and
unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the
adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational
conditions, changes to the itinerary may be made. For safety reasons, we
reserve the rights to interrupt your participation at any time if your
technical level or fitness is deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger
to yourself or to those around you. Under no circumstances would this give rise
to a refund or compensation.
Argentine cuisine consists mainly of
meat. More precisely, beef. Argentina is renowned for the quality of its
steak and it is a meat lovers paradise.
You will find grilled meats available everywhere including tripe,
intestines and even udders. Meat aside,
the cuisine is a mix of Spanish, native American and Italian influences so
vegetarians can always fall back on dishes like gnocchi, pasta and pizza. In the large towns and cities, you will find
all dietary requirements are catered for.
You may also have the opportunity to sample “Mate”, a Paraguayan tea
made from a variety of holly and typically drank from a “bombilla”.
If you have special dietary requirements
please inform us when booking your adventure. We can cater for vegetarian and gluten free diets and you are welcome to
bring along your own gluten free produce.
Please be aware that while hiking, you will need to carry any special
food items yourself.
Boiled and filtered water is available
every morning for you to fill your bottles or bladder. We recommend you also bring a water filter or
purification system to allow you to refill at refuges or springs. All drinks,
including water, are your own responsibility through out the trip. We don’t recommend the use of plastic bottles
which will need to be carried out and recycled.
This adventure has been designed with
your comfort in mind. On 11 of the nights you
will be staying in comfortable 3-star hotels in either a twin or double room
facilities. The names of your hotels will be updated on your itinerary at 12 weeks before departure.
On day 11, we will be
staying in Estancia Galpon del Glaciar. This former sheep ranch provides double or
rooms with complimentary toiletries, private seating areas and beautiful views.
Bag Weight: 15kg
Please be aware that on domestic flights
in Argentina and Chile there is a maximum weight of 15kg on all checked
luggage. If your main bag weighs more
than 15kg you may be asked to pay excess luggage fees which will be your own
We do not recommend the use of traveller’s cheques as they are often impractical. Bank cards are widely used for most things but it is best to use Visa as Mastercard is not commonly accepted. Your guide will show you the best places to change currency at the best rate. The official exchange rate offered by banks and ATMs is not good as these are controlled by the government and reflect the poor rate of the Argentinian peso. You will therefore find that it is best to take Euros or Dollars with you and exchange locally with "arbolitos" or use specific banks that offer 'Blue Dollar' exchange. See our Argentina Travel Guide for more information on this.
The amounts below will give you an indication of how much to tip. Please note that these amounts are for the entire group, therefore you should divide them by the total number of people in your party. You will be provided with a Tip Recommendation three weeks prior to departure with recommended tips based on the number of people in your group.
Guide: $20 US Dollars per day
Driver: $5 – $10 US Dollars per day
Buenos Aires Tour Guide: $10 (Peaks of Patagonia and Land of Fire only)
Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!Contact us