DAY 1: El Calafate
Arrival to El Calafate. Airport Pick up. Check in at selected accommodation.
DAY 2: Calafate
Breakfast .At 7.00 am Perito Moreno Glacier Full Day Tour: People from all over the world come to this remote place in Southern Patagonia to be a witness of the Ice Age. This is one of the moving glaciers in the planet, and a visit is not only worth, is a MUST.
You start from El Calafate early in the morning to enjoy landscape, nature, fauna and the wide variety of birds (trying to arrive to the glacier before everyone). Through the gateways you visit the north face of the Perito Moreno Glacier, in different viewpoints from different altitudes. The Perito Moreno Glacier has the size of the Buenos Aires city and is between 40 and 50 meters high. Due to the falling angle, it receives more ice than the ice that melts, so it advances, grows and breaks every now and then. Quite a unique thing to witness! Back to the hostel or hotel at 4-5 pm.
DAY 3: Calafate and Torres del Paine
At about 6 hs (6 am) : Torres del Paine Full Day Tour: The tour starts early from El Calafate and pickups different travelers from hotels and hostels. You will reach the border between Argentina and Chile at 10:00 hs. and make the customs procedures. Then you make a stop in "Cerro Castillo", a tiny town in the Chilean Patagonia just before entering the world famous national park. At 11:00 hs. you go on to the " Porteria Lago Sarmiento" one of the gateways of the park, where you stay there for a while to take photographs and to enjoy the amazing landscape of sharp peaks in the distance.
The you arrive to Laguna Amarga and stop a bit to pay the entrance to the Torres del Paine National Park (not included) and to catch more of this unforgettable beauty. You then go to the Nordenskjol Lake, from where you are going to admire the imposing sight to the Cuernos del Paine. Once you arrive to Pudeto you visit the Salto Grande waterfall where you do a light trek to get more involved with nature. At 17:00 hs. You will leave the National Park and make 3 new stops at selected viewpoints where you can appreciate the Paine Range in its glory. You arrive to Cerro Castillo at 18:00 and come back to El Calafate. Long tour but worth a visit!
DAY 4: Calafate
Free day to enjoy El Calafate, to take optional tours or to try a day in El Chalten for self guided treks.
DAY 5: Calafate-Rio Gallegos-Ushuaia
Check out 2 am. At 3 am, departure to Rio Gallegos, connecting another bus to Ushuaia at 8.30 – 9 am. Arrival in Ushuaia in the night. Check in at selected accommodation. (El Calafate to Ushuaia by plane paying a supplement – see price WITH flight!)
DAY 6: Ushuaia
Breakfast. At 9.00 hs, -Half Day Tour to Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego: This is the only Argentine National Park that combines sea, mountains and forests. This half day tour takes you to the end of all argentine routes passing by splendid local flora and fauna. On one side, snow capped mountains, and on the other side, the Beagle Channel. This National park is small if you compare it with other Patagonian parks, but it preserves many miles of fragile Andean Patagonian forests. A very young ecosystem (only 8 to 10 thousand years old!) that grew after the region was covered by the ice of last ice age. Take the chance to walk about the young trees, along the pebbles beaches of green and transparent waters and see if you can discover orange llao llaos or local small strawberries. Certainly this can be a calm and relaxing trip. If you want to do the full day trip with trekking and canoe you can pay a supplement to extend your adventure!
Back to Ushuaia at about 2 pm.
DAY 7: Ushuaia
Breakfast. At 14.00 hs, please go to the port for the Sea Lion Colony Half Day Boat Trip: You will leave the local port, in the direction of Alice Island (to the east) to see the colony of sea lions. Maybe a smelly moment but really interesting to see! Then you continue to the Birds Island where the king and imperial cormorants inhabit, impressive birds that are the “owners” of the channel. Nearby, you will enjoy the view of the Rock Cormorants on the cliffs. Then, you navigate towards the Sea Lions Island to catch, again, a glimpse of these funny animals. Finally, you find Les Eclaireurs lighthouse, which was made in 1919 and it´s the actual symbol of the city. You have to have it´s picture! Return to Ushuaia. Duration: 2:30 hours.
DAY 8: Ushuaia
Breakfast. Check out and Airport Drop Off
In El Calafate you will find yourself at the gateway to the majestic world of glaciers.
This town is near Lake Argentino, a green water surface covering 1,600 km2, with a length of 60 km and a width between 12 and 14 km. It also has great mysterious depths, like all lakes orginated from glaciers, ranging from 35 m in Feruglio, on the southern shore, to 300 m off the Avellaneda Peninsula.
El Calafate connects you with the most unknown and magical features of our geography. It is 316 km. from Río Gallegos, 185 m.a.s.l. and receives its name from the small bush calafate, indigenous of Patagonia. Its fruit is a delicious berry very good for the elaboration of jam. According to tradition, whoever eats calafate will return for more. But reality indicates that whoever visits Calafate wants to stay there forever.
It is a tourist resort of both national and international importance, since it is the start of all glacier circuits. It is an oasis of poplars, willows and pines at the border of the steppe.
This small town and all its magic are a must for lovers of glaciers.
El Calafate presents a dry climate, with an average maximum temperature of 19ºC, and an average minimum of -2º in winter. The length of the day changes according to season. In summer, the sun rises at 5.30am and sets at 11pm. In winter the day is shorter as there are only 8 hours of daylight.
El Calafate is the main supplier in the area. It has a population of around 8,000 inhabitants on a 155,000-hectare surface, with rivers and creeks draining into the Atlantic Ocean through the Santa Cruz River.
The Glaciers National Park covers a surface of some 600,000 hectares with 47 glaciers, such as the Viedma, the Moyano, the Marconi, the Upsala, the Agassiz, the Bolado, the Onelli, the Peineta, the Spegazzini, the Mayo, the Ameghino, the Moreno and the Frías, all of them located within the Atlantic basin.
El Calafate can be visited thanks to a significant bus fleet used for excursions and modern boats that allow you to enjoy the classical viewpoint of the Perito Moreno Glacier or the audacious expeditions to cross the glaciers from one side to the other. The International Airport of El Calafate, inaugurated on November 17, 2000 and located 23km away from the city, receives direct flights from Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Pto.Madryn, San Carlos de Bariloche, and Puerto Natales, among other cities.
In the southern end of the Republic of Argentina, on the Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego, there lies Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Located on the Beagle Channel, it takes its name -which means "bay overlooking the West"- from the yámana tongue.
Within the impressive frame made up by the sea, the forests, the lakes and the mountains, Ushuaia is a picturesque city with an important tourist services infrastructure, an elegant commercial center and an increasing social and cultural activity.
In its surroundings, Ushuaia offers unexplored untouched territories that invite visitors to discovery and adventure. Therefore, the main activities to be done in this privileged nook are related with nature. Some of them are hiking, horse riding, climbing and diving. Mount Castor Ski Resort is the the option offered by Ushuaia to the lovers of snow during the winter months.
But there is also a site reserved for beholding, such as the cruises and expeditions around islands, glaciers, bays and cliffs: not to be missed. The Tierra del Fuego National Park, with typical animal and vegetable species and important testimonies from the first settlers of the area, protects Lakes Fagnano and Roca, the channel and the southernmost subantartic forests.
Lured by the particular mysticism of its geography and its natural environment, tourists from all round the world visit Ushuaia every year, thus making it one of the most preferred destinations for unique vacations.