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Argentina North & South

Waterfalls, vines and glaciers | View photos »

From the thundering waters of Iguassú 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 journey.

16 day trip described, guide price £5,190pp i

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Feefo-gold

Map of the area

"Spectacular scenery"

"Spectacular scenery"

The scenery was spectacular (60 m high glaciers and water falls – you cannot do better than that) and we saw some terrific wildlife. Terry D

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Sample itinerary

Travel to South America

Fly overnight to the Iguassú 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.

Explore the Argentine side of the Iguassú Falls

Today is dedicated to exploring 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.

Travel to Salta and visit the city

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.

Get to know your surroundings

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 road trip to Los Cardones

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.

Travel beautiful Ruta 40 to Cafayate

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.

Visit a bodega, watch the glowing sunset

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.

Fly to Buenos Aires

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.

Explore the city at your own pace today

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.

Fly south to El Calafate and stay on a hundred year old estancia

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.

Spend the afternoon at the Perito Moreno glacier

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.

Drive north to El Chalten

Set off north today on a beautiful drive to the village of El Chalten. The route will take you along lakes Argentino and Viedma with wonderful views of Fitzroy. You stray in a comfortable lodge at the foot of Cerro Fitzroy - here it really is all about the access to some of the best hiking in South America.

Guided day of hiking

Meet up with your private guide to spend the day hiking under the granite walls of Fitzroy 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.

A day of independent walking

Spend another day exploring the Fitzroy 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 Desert.

Return to Buenos Aires

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.

Travel home

Transfer to the airport today in order to catch your international flight home. Again, please note: international flights are quoted separately for this holiday.

About this trip

Summary

From the thundering waters of Iguassu 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 journey.

How adventurous?

Activity
1 2 3 4 5
Comfort
1 2 3 4 5
Culture
1 2 3 4 5

Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Level of activity

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.

To get the most from the stunning landscapes of the Salta region it is great to get out into the hills on foot. Walking routes are not long or particularly challenging though the altitudes can be high, making progress somewhat slower than you might be used to.

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.

The southern hemisphere summer is the only time of year we can offer this trip in full. That means from September through April, during which time the days are long and the weather is at its best.

At this time of year, the Iguassu Falls are likely to be hot and humid – being in the jungle this is true for most of the year. In Salta temperatures are mitigated by the altitude so days are likely to be pleasantly warm with cool evenings. Bear in mind that February is usually the wettest month. This can mean that some roads are trickier to pass but the landscapes can be at their most beautiful.

Patagonia’s weather, by contrast, is notoriously fickle so there is never any guarantee of warm, dry conditions. In fact, it’s far safer to assume that you will encounter wind, rain, sun and snow at some stage in your journey. If you are in luck though, daytime temperatures in high summer (January) can reach the mid-20s in Patagonia.

Level of comfort

The hotels and lodges on this journey are first class throughout and have been chosen for their character, service and location. Full details of the accommodation we use are included in our detailed itinerary - call us for a copy.

Level of culture

What marks this holiday out is the sheer variety of landscapes and cultures – from the rainforests of Iguassu to the glaciers of Patagonia, the people change too. From the grandeur of Buenos Aires with its Franco-Italian influences, to the indigenous peoples of high Andean villages and the gauchos of Patagonia’s vast plains.

They say you can’t understand a country without knowing its capital city. Your private guide will help you uncover the best of Buenos Aires, and 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. Your guide leads you on a loop to the south of Salta, including traditional crafts, modern winemaking and the ever-delicious food.

As you head south into Patagonia proper you reach some of the very last parts of the world to be inhabited. In truth, apart from some early cave paintings, the signs of human habitation come from the 19th century onwards with the enormous cattle ranches – cause of much of the deforestation in the area.

To this day it 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.

Practicalities

We have a detailed itinerary for this trip, as set out above. If you would like a copy, please get in touch and we can email it over to you.

Ultimately though, this is a tailor made trip so we would love to have time to talk to you in order to send the most appropriate proposal to you. It might be that the holiday is perfect as it is (we certainly love it) but equally, you might need a shorter trip or want to see Antarctica or cross the border into Chile. We are here to help you make the perfect trip – it’s not our job, it’s our vocation.

In the form set out above, the holiday price includes accommodation, breakfasts, internal flights and transport, guided activities, excursions and entrances as set out in the detailed itinerary. Naturally, on each and every one of our holidays, we include Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout, along with the reassurance of our financial protection and safety auditing.

Flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best flight routings are to fly into Rio de Janeiro (airport code: GIG) or Sao Paolo (airport code: GRU) and out of Buenos Aires (airport code: EZE).

Departs

Departs on a date to suit you, from September through April.

Next steps...

Contact us today to start planning your own personal adventure

01273 676712

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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Book Send me exclusive content » The road through Salta The surrounds of the Iguassu Falls in Brazil/Argentina Boat ride under the Iguassu Falls The beautiful central square of Salta Making empanadas for lunch in Salta, Argentina Los Cardones national park near Cachi in Argentina Drying peppers in Argentina's north west region Valley of the Shells near Cafayate Panorama of Buenos Aires Tango performers on the streets of San Telmo, Buenos Aires Estancia Nipebo Aike near El Calafate Perito Moreno glacier in El Calafate, Patagonia Stunning view of Mount FitzRoy The fantastic mountain landscapes of Fitzroy in Argentine Patagonia Pathways in Fitzroy National Park Tango classes, Buenos Aires Reading the papers in Buenos Aires