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From the thundering waters of Iguazu Falls to the dry heights of Salta. From the vibrant city of Buenos Aires to the radiating blueness of Patagonia’s glaciers, enjoy the very best of Argentina in one brilliant self-drive journey.
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Fly overnight to the Iguazu Falls which straddle the Brazil/Argentina border. Flights will usually come in via Sao Paolo or Rio. Enjoy the Brazilian side of the falls today. Please note that international flights are quoted separately for this holiday.
Today is dedicated to the Iguazu Falls tour, where you will explore the Argentine side of the falls with your guide. In general terms, from the Brazilian side you get the best views, whereas on the Argentine side, you get closest to the falls. The falls are surrounded by a network of walkways and paths which allow you to walk above, beneath and even behind the massive curtains of water.
Transfer to the airport and fly up to Salta this morning. On arrival you are met by your guide, who will take you on a walking tour of the city known as Salta la Linda (Salta the beautiful). Later this afternoon collect your car and drive to your very comfortable and friendly hotel about 25 minutes outside the city centre.
You have the day to relax at the finca, or head out for some further exploration. Nearby there is a nature reserve which has abundant quantities of birdlife. If you like your food, you might spend the morning in the kitchen, helping to make empanadas or other food. Alternatively, head out with your guide to go for a hike in the mountains.
Set off on your journey to drive over the Piedra del Molino Pass and through the Los Cardones National Park to the mountain village of Cachi. The national park is particularly famous for its giant cacti which dot hillsides ranging in colour from dark green to deep red. This is a beautiful journey on unpaved roads so it's a slow drive with lots of stops.
Leaving Cachi, you follow the legendary Ruta 40 road down the Calchaquies Valley. The villagers in this area make their living from peppers so you will pass enormous stretches of red peppers drying in the sun. After passing through the village of Molinos, you will reach the Valley of the Arrows. As the sun sets, the mountains change colour, making for some of the most beautiful scenery of your holiday.
Cafayate is famously home to the highest vineyards in the world, particularly known for Torrontes white wines. This morning visit a local bodega with a special wine tasting lunch included.This afternoon enjoy a sunset hike through the Valley of the Shells. This valley is strewn with vast, bright red rocks, and at this time of day you have the evening sun making the whole valley glow.
Head back north to Salta this morning through more beautiful scenery. Dropping your car at the airport, you fly to Argentina's capital and make your way to your comfortable hotel in the heart of Buenos Aires' leafy district of Palermo. Set out later this afternoon for a guided tour of the city.
Enjoy the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city as you spend the day exploring its streets, equipped with our local information and advice. As a major cultural destination, there is no shortage of galleries and museums to keep you busy, as well as cafes dotted on every corner serving top notch coffee.
Leave the Argentine capital today and fly south to El Calafate. Upon arrival you collect your hire car and drive out to a beautiful old estancia, owned by the same family for four generations. Set in 12,000 hectares of mountains and nature on the shores of the Lago Argentino, here you will have the chance to experience the gaucho lifestyle, taking part in rural activities as well as exploring your surrounds by foot or by horse.
The day begins at the estancia at first light and finishes at dusk, so you can really get stuck in with the gauchos and experience their rural lifestyle first hand if you wish. Drive out this afternoon to the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of only three in Patagonia which is not retreating. Arriving later in the day also means you will be mostly avoiding any crowds.
Set off north today on a beautiful drive to the village of El Chaltén. The route will take you along lakes Argentino and Viedma with wonderful views of Fitz Roy. You stay in a comfortable lodge at the foot of Cerro Fitz Roy - here it really is all about the access to some of the best hiking in South America.
Meet up with your private guide to spend the day hiking under the granite walls of Fitz Roy to the turquoise waters of Laguna de Los Tres. The exact content of the day is flexible - your guide will be able to adjust the route according to your mood and energy levels.
Spend another day exploring the Fitz Roy area at your own pace. There are many self-guided trails you can follow or you could grab a taxi to take you further up the valley to visit the impressive Lago del Desierto.
Wave goodbye to Patagonia as you fly back north to Buenos Aires for your final night in South America. Head out for dinner and a good glass of wine this evening, making a toast to your trip.
Say adios to Argentina today as you transfer to the airport in order to catch your international flight home. If this quick summary has whetted your appetite for a tailor-made trip to Argentina, we'd love to talk to you about tailoring something that is just right for you. See below for various ways to get in touch or request a full PDF itinerary for more details of this trip.
This holiday is a thoughtfully-constructed and paced journey around Argentina. Though very much a trip dedicated to the great outdoors, the actual level of activity is largely up to you since you have private guides leading you for days in each of the main destinations.
Since you have your own car during this part of your trip your options are very open. It can be very much vehicle based or you can spend large parts of your time out and about on foot, exploring the dramatic landscapes. Equally you may choose to focus on the wines and vineyards, which is less active.
Buenos Aires is a place we like to have you explore on foot as much as is practical. The trip through El Calafate to the estancia and the Perito Moreno Glacier is basically about seeing and experiencing the everyday lives of people here and exploring the beautiful scenery around you. Of course, you have the very dramatic glaciers of the far south to visit too, and it is possible to hike on the surface of the glacier if you are feeling adventurous. You have a car to explore at your own pace here.
It is part of our job to get to know you, what you like or don’t like doing and any particular interests or requests that you have. We then advise you what we think is the best way to approach your trip, working with you to tailor it to you. It’s possible that what you have seen here is ideal for you, but equally we can tinker with it to get it just right if not.
Departs on a date to suit you, from September through April. Read more on our when to visit Argentina section
The price is per person based on two people sharing and includes:
First-class accommodation with breakfast and some lunches and dinners
Private airport transfers
Guided excursions as described
Cafayate wine tasting & finca lunch
Argentina Holiday Guide with personal recommendations
Argentina driving guide
Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout
International flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best routing is into and out of Buenos Aires (EZE).
The hotels and lodges on this journey are first class throughout and have been chosen for their character, service and location.
In Iguazú your hotel is in the Iryapu Forest natural reserve, a 600-hectare area on the banks of the Iguazú River and home to several thousand native species of flora, as well as hundreds of birds, butterflies and even monkeys. Your base in Salta is a beautifully rustic guesthouse and in Cayafate you stay in a hotel on a vineyard with a small swimming pool. In Buenos Aires you’ll sleep in a charming small hotel in the trendy Palermo area. One of the highlights will be the working sheep and cattle farm in Patagonia, owned by the same family for four generations.
For more details, please get in touch to request a detailed PDF itinerary.
An important way in which this trip benefits the local communities is by thoughtfully introducing you to the distinct cultures and which we find throughout the country. Doing this on a personal level allows you to make deeper connections and allows the locals to share their ways of life with you.
In Buenos Aires we like to try and get you here for a Sunday as that’s a day when markets spill into the streets and impromptu tango into the parks. We also provide detailed local advice and information to enable you to explore well when you have time on your own. Around Salta, any hint of Europe fades as the indigenous Andean cultures step to the fore. Traditional architecture, culture, music and food are very much the norm up here. Patagonia remains a place of gauchos who tend to live solitary lives riding across vast estancias. And yet, hospitality runs deep and sipping mate whilst sitting round a fire with lamb roasting over the coals is one of the great delights of life in southern Argentina.