Argentina,

Amazing Argentina Off the Beaten Track

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Tailor-Made Tour
15 Days
From £6178
GEOIP Not Available
Culture and Archaeology
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

15 Days from £6178
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Prices based on flight fares at the time of costing & may vary. Please ask for a definitive quote

Reef & Rainforest have designed an exciting journey through some of Argentina’s lesser known but nevertheless fascinating regions and locations. After a short time in Buenos Aires, stay at a historic, homely estancia on the seafront in Bahia Bustamante with over a thousand nesting Magellanic penguins and masses of other seabirds as near neighbors. There follows the spectacular Los Glaciares National Park for walks on an advancing glacier and a stay at a traditional Patagonian farm to experience the daily life of the locals. Return to the north and venture out to Jujuy province on a day trip from Buenos Aires for the very different landscape and archaeology that Cachi has to offer. Finally enjoy the world-class wines of the Cafayete region and relax before your journey home, replete with lasting memories of amazing Argentina.

Full Itinerary

Price from £6178
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in Buenos Aires

Met on arrival in Buenos Aires and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon there will be a city tour. The tour will include visits to the blue-collar neighborhood of La Boca where tango originated, San Telmo where the city was first founded, the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, the Metropolitan Cathedral and Recoleta with its French architecture and 19th century cemetery where Eva Peron is buried.

Staying at Hotel Bel Air. Includes Breakfast.

Day 2
Bahia Bustamante

Transfer to the airport and fly to Comodoro Rivadavia. Met on arrival and transfer to your estancia. Afternoon organized group activities could include a walk through the petrified forest, a visit to 1,000-strong nesting colonies of Magellanic penguins, a boat trip to offshore islands to see nesting seabirds and a visit to a sea lion colony.

Staying at Estancia Bahia Bustamante. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Bahia Bustamante

A full day of guided group activities in the company of other guests staying at the estancia. Trips could include visits to the huge penguin and southern sea lion colonies, bird watching in Malaspina Cove, walks in the petrified forest and a typical Patagonian ranch. It is also possible to explore the coast and countryside on mountain bikes or foot: horse riding and sea kayaking are also available.

Staying at Estancia Bahia Bustamante. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Bahia Bustamante

Another full day of activities from the estancia.

Staying at Estancia Bahia Bustamante. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
El Calafate

Transfer to the airport at Trelew and fly to El Calafate. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Estancia Nibepo Aike. Includes Breakfast.

Day 6
Los Glaciares National Park

Full day exploring the magnificent Perito Moreno glacier in Los Glaciares National Park. The excursion will begin with informative walks around the side of glacier, and later an exhilarating mini ice-trek on the glacier itself to gain a new perspective on this mighty force of nature. There will also be a boat trip along the huge wall of the glacier at a safe distance for a chance to see massive blocks of ice break off and crash into the lake to form icebergs.

Staying at Estancia Nibepo Aike. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 7
Los Glaciares National Park

Transfer to Lago San Martin and Estancia El Condor, passing through some sensational Andean landscapes. The glacial meltwater causes the unusual turquoise coloration of San Martin Lake whose location high within the mountains creates a stunning vista.

Staying at Estancia El Condor. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
El Condor

A full day of guided excursions from the estancia could include treks either on horseback or foot through different altitudes and environments, including native southern beech and coniferous forests, typical Patagonian ranchland, mountains and cliffs with views over the beautiful lake.

Staying at Estancia El Condor. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
El Condor

Another day of guided activities.

Staying at Estancia El Condor. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Salta

Transfer to El Calafate and fly to Salta (via Buenos Aires). Met on arrival and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Legado Mitico. Includes Breakfast.

Day 11
Salta

Set off from Salta on a full-day tour of Jujuy Province. Visit the village of Purmamarca at the base of the Hill of Seven Colours, an amazing series of huge polychromatic geological serations. Continue to Pucara de Tilcara, an ancient pre-Inca fortress. Finally, reach the village of Humahuaca in historic Quebrada de Humahuaca valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with evidence of human occupation going back 10,000 years. Return to Salta on a winding road called Abra de Santa Laura, admiring ever-changing views of the surrounding landscape.

Staying at Legado Mitico. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 12
Cachi

Transfer, with stops en route, to the town of Cachi, passing through Quebrada de Escoipe, also known as Three-Coloured Gorge because of its mixed geology. Then pass through Cuesta del Obispo at an altitude of 3,457 meters and descend to Los Cardones (Cactus) National Park, created to protect the high density of cactuses and the habitat of puma and guanaco. Stop to enjoy the spectacle of hundreds of cacti set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks – a great photo-opportunity. On arrival in Cachi, explore the sleepy town with its archaeology museum and old church built of mud brick covered by a roof made of cactus.

Staying at La Merced del Alto. Includes Breakfast.

Day 13
Cafayete

Transfer to Cafayete across yet more geologically fascinating landscapes for a guided tour and tasting session at a local winery. Cafayete is home to the only true native varietal Argentine grape, the sweet and fruity Torrontes. The town is situated at 1,660 metres and has a combination of temperature and humidity ideal for the local deep, fruit-flavoured wine.

Staying at Vinas de Cafayate Wine Resort. Includes Breakfast.

Day 14
Buenos Aires

Transfer to Salta airport via Quebrada del Rio de las Conchas. Fly to Buenos Aires in the mid-afternoon. Met and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Hotel Bel Air. Includes Breakfast.

Day 15
Depart Buenos Aires

Transfer to the airport and catch your overnight flight home.

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Argentina Buenos Aires and La Pampa

Hotel Bel Air

Overview

Located in a grand period building in the elegant Recoleta district of Buenos Aires, Hotel Bel Air has 77 spacious en suite rooms and suites. It is just a 10-minute or so walk from the city centre and star attractions such as the Colon Theatre, La Recoleta cemetery and main square.

Each room is equipped with a telephone, individual climate control, safe and cable TV.

Services include a restaurant, wine bar, Café and lounge, business centre and small exercise room.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
77
Facilities

Restaurant and wine bar, lounge, laundry service, gym, currency exchange, luggage storage, safety deposit box, concierge services, Wi-Fi is available but at a charge, and air-conditioning throughout.

Optional Activities

Tango tours, city centre tours.

Argentina Salta and the North West

Vinas de Cafayate Wine Resort

Overview

This hotel nestles amongst vineyards beneath rocky San Isidro Hill, just under two miles north of the centre of Cafayate. The 22 rooms in standard and superior categories have balconies, central heating, air-conditioning, safety deposit box, and ensuite bathrooms with bathtub. Most of the rooms are set around a lovely central square with fountain. The superior rooms also have a TV and minibar.

The hotel does not produce its own wine but has an extensive wine cellar and can host custom wine tastings.

The service is attentive and friendly and the multilingual staff can provide assistance with arranging local tours.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
22
Facilities

Restaurant, wine cellar, room service (not 24 hours), lounge with fireplace, library and TV with DirectTV, outdoor swimming pool, WiFi, laundry service, mountain bikes for guest use, organic garden to supply restaurant.

Optional Activities

Mountain biking, wine tasting.

Argentina Patagonia

Estancia Bahia Bustamante

Overview

Estancia Bahia Bustamante was built in the 1960s to provide a base for seaweed harvesting and the extraction of colloids for the production of Malvic hair gel, among others. It now serves as an excellent base from which to explore the diverse fauna, both inland and marine, with which this region is blessed. The atmosphere is friendly and informal and the dedicated owner, Matias Soriano, often guides guests personally on wildlife watching walks: if not, then one of his expert guides will have the pleasure.

A generator – switched off overnight and when guests are out on excursions – provides the electricity, so battery recharging needs to be carefully planned. There is a computer available in the lounge for guests to use, and Wi-Fi is available in the communal areas when the generator is on.

There are six guest houses by the sea, each with two twin rooms, living room, bathroom and heating. Delicious, freshly prepared meals accompanied by good wines are served in the Proveeduria, the old grocery store which also contains a small museum, games room, bar and living room with a small library. There are also four simpler ‘steppe houses’ located on the edge of the village.

The coast of Bahia Bustamante and Malaspina Cove has the greatest diversity of seabirds in all Patagonia, with 21 breeding colonies. There are two endemic species – Chubut steamer duck and Olrog’s gull – found in large concentrations, a Magellanic penguin colony numbering 100,000 individuals, and significant colonies of blue-eyed and rock cormorants.

There is an incredibly rich marine fauna around the coastline, with around 3,500 sea lions and many orcas and dolphins. Right whales and elephant seals can also be seen on their way to and from the Valdes Peninsula.

Other attractions close by for guests to visit includes a petrified forest, the seaweed industry and archaeological sites, and a visit to a typical Patagonian ranch. Bikes are available for guest use and horse riding and kayaking can be arranged for an additional charge.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
12
Facilities

Free Wi-Fi in the communal areas, heating and electricity are only provided during certain times of day. There is also a games room, bar, library, and lounge area. A computer is available in the lounge for guest use.

Local Wildlife

Breeding sea bird colonies including a colony of over 100,000 Magellanic penguins, blue-eyed and rock cormorants and the endemic Chubut steamer duck and Olrog’s gull. 3,500 southern sea lions, dolphins and sometimes elephant seals, orcas and southern right whales can be seen along the coast.

Optional Activities

Hikes, boat trips, visit to the petrified forest and a typical Patagonia estancia (ranch), bikes are available for guest use and horse riding and kayaking are also available.

Argentina Patagonia

Estancia El Condor

Overview

Built in 1912, authentic Estancia El Condor offers a unique insight into the area’s traditional way of life. It is one of the remotest places to stay in the Patagonian steppe and situated next to the beautiful Lago San Martin.

It takes about five hours to reach the estancia from El Calafate, but it is one of the most beautiful routes in the region and offers outstanding mountain vistas almost the entire way.

The remote location means that facilities are quite basic. There is electricity, heating for several hours each evening and no internet connection.

El Condor is primarily a 40,000 hectare working farm and the service is that of a homestay where you feel part of the family and can immerse yourself in the culture of this region.

The rooms are basic but comfortable and clean. There is a dining room with open fire where the meal of the day will be a delicious homemade Patagonian dish, and a well-stocked library with books on the natural history and culture of the region.

Surrounding the property is a mix of high mountain peaks, forests, canyons, lakes inhabited by a range of Patagonian wildlife, including many pairs of nesting Andean condor. Most of the activities involve horseback riding, trekking or hiking. Fly fishing can also be arranged.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
6
Facilities

Dining room with open fire and well-stocked library with books on the natural history and culture of the region.

In the evening the house is centrally heated and during the day it is warmed by open fireplaces. The electrical system is 200V produced by a generator at night (from 8pm to midnight). Hot water is available 24 hours, and a laundry service is also available.

Optional Activities

Horse riding, trekking, photography, condor watching and fishing.

Argentina Salta and the North West

La Merced del Alto

Overview

La Merced del Alto is a period-style hotel close to the historic town of Cachi in the scenic Calchaqui Valley, not far from Los Cardones National Park.

The hotel features elegant patios, corridors and resembles a traditional local manor house despite being only built in 2007. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, massage and spa treatment room, and free Wi-Fi throughout the building.

There are 14 sparingly furnished rooms in total including one suite. Each room has a view of the mountains or the peaceful gardens, and private bathroom with deep-soak bathtubs, free Wi-Fi, safe and a desk and seating area.

The outdoor swimming pool affords wonderful mountain views and its restaurant serves particularly well prepared and presented national cuisine with a generous choice of wines.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
14
Facilities

Restaurant, lounge, bar, laundry service, outdoor swimming pool, spa and massage and treatment room, safety deposit box.

Optional Activities

Although the scenery is attractive, there’s not a lot to do in the area: the hotel essentially is a good stopping point while doing the classic north-western circuit of Argentina.

Argentina Patagonia

Estancia Nibepo Aike

Overview

Situated on the southern arm of Lago Argentino within the Los Glaciares National Park, Nibepo Aike is a traditional Patagonian estancia occupying 12,000 hectares. Once devoted to sheep farming, its chief activity today is breeding Hereford cattle of which it has developed a prestigious herd.

The estancia was first settled by a Croatian, Santiago Peso, at the start of the 20th century and has a fascinating history. Today Adolfo, Santiago’s grandson, runs the estate and ensures all guests’ needs are catered for.

Nibepo Aike’s old main house and buildings are of typical Patagonian construction, with the main house modified to provide guest accommodation. There are 10 simple en suite bedrooms, a living room with log fire and a rustic dining room serving tasty homemade meals made with meat from the estancia’s herd and vegetables from their vegetable garden.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Dining room, living room, heating and gardens.

Optional Activities

Activities could include a variety of hikes and horse rides, or participating in the daily estancia tasks which, depending on the season, might include livestock herding or breaking in Criollo horses. Mountain bikes are also available for use free of charge.

Route Map

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Estancia Bahia Bustamante: -45.126087, -66.537188
Hotel Bel Air : -34.594665, -58.388105
Estancia Nibepo Aike: -50.565221, -72.865110
La Merced del Alto: -25.110550, -66.177997
Estancia El Condor: -49.083268, -72.550522
Vinas de Cafayate Wine Resort : -26.076283, -66.002338

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

British Airways has direct daily flights from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires. There are also flights from the UK on Air France via Paris, Air Europa and Iberia via Madrid, TAM via Sao Paulo, and Lufthansa via Frankfurt.

Best Visited:

January to January

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

John Melton

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965