Argentina offers a combination of vast wilderness and diverse adventure which is difficult to match. The scale and power of the landscape ranges from the highest and most spectacular mountains of the western hemisphere; to the vast empty plains of Patagonia; to the humid subtropical jungles and world's most spectacular waterfalls at Iguazu.
In little more than two weeks Aqua-Firma will take you on a journey that will see you trekking with ice-axe and crampons at Perito Moreno: one of the planet's only advancing glaciers and surely one of it's most beautiful; to the 'refreshing' sensation of white water rafting close to the 4 km wide chasm that is Iguazu Falls.
Under the water's surface and you will find yourself eyeball to whisker with playful sealions in the rich waters of the Peninsula Valdes. For those who scuba dive, spectacular wrecks await you in deeper waters of the Gulfo Nuevo. With minimal previous experience, we can also take you to explore Patagonia's wild coast by sea kayak, sharing a marine mammals perspective of Patagonia.
Argentina's diverse wildlife provides constant company for adventure - this country is a land of very real Giants. Valdes coastline comes alive every summer with a huge gathering of 100 tonne Southern Right Whales. Year round elephant seals which can weigh up to 4 tonnes compete for beach space at sights around Valdes. During February and March Orcas, the ocean's most powerful predators launch themselves from the surf to grab unsuspecting sealion pups from the beaches of Punta Norte.
Stepping across the Patagonian border into Chile, we will take you to explore your trekking highlights in the Torres del Paine National Park, based from our unique eco-dome camps. Trekking routes here lie in the constant shadow of 2000m high vertical towers (the Torres), whilst overhead another giant, the Andean Condor, soars close of vertical mountain walls on wings 3 meters across. Torres del Paine also hosts Guanacos (wild relatives of the llama) and South America's largest Pumas, often referred to locally as mountain lions. Trekking possibilities in this Andean masterpiece are almost limitless and can be adapted and extended to fit your interests.
From glaciers to the dense sub-tropical rainforest, Iguazu Falls is home to racoon-like Coati's, Orange billed Toco Toucans and jewel like blue and yellow Macaws. Tiny swifts make their home beneath the Falls themselves that sometimes roar with 58,000 tonnes of water per second. Iguazu is explored from a jungle lodge on the Brazilian side of the falls where we incorporate white water rafting; but we discover both sides of the falls which provide very different perspectives of a world wonder it is difficult to take your eyes off. If you have time to extend your stay, we can incorporate further rainforest adventures including canoeing through the forest, rappelling from the forest canopy or mountain biking forest trails.
Want to visit Argentina in the Northern Hemisphere summer? That's winter in Argentina - South America's a snow playground with world class skiing and snow boarding in the shadow of Andean Peaks. Areas include Las Lenas in the wine lands of Mendoza, San Martin de los Andes and Cerro Catedral. Please Contact Us to discuss in greater detail and well arrange the rest!
Day 1: Fly to Buenos Aires
At the airport you will be met by your driver and transferred to our hotel in the centre of Buenos Aires.
Dat 2: Explore Buens Aires
Spend the day exploring Buenos Aires independently (guide and activities can easily be arranged if you wish), tango bars (milongas), magnificent restaurants and colourful markets and buildings of La Boca.
Early morning flight to Trelew, the access point for Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdes. Transfer to your boutique hotel in Puerto Madryn, overlooking the beautiful bay of the Golfo Nuevo. The rest of the day will be free to explore the town or relax in your comfortable surrounds!
Today we set out by boat across the Golfo Nuevo and head for Southern Sealion colony at Punta Loma. The Sealions are resident here year round. Donning wet suits, a mask and snorkel we slip into the Atlantic for a thrilling underwater encounter with curious and wonderfully adapted marine mammals.
An afternoon boat excursion takes us into the Gulf in search of seasonal marine highlights which depending upon the time of year may be Southern Right Whales, Orcas and schools of Commerson's Dolphins.
Scuba diving is also possible with sealions. A second dive is possible to arrange in the afternoon - the Golfo Nuevo offers some excellent wrecks just waiting to be explored.
Full day small group or privately guided exploration of the Peninsula Valdes World Heritage Site by guided vehicle. Elephant seals and Southern Sealion colonies visit the reserve seasonally to breed. Depending on the time of year Southern Right Whales and Orcas may be seen from the coast (see our regional guide to Argentina for best wildlife viewing periods or Contact Us to discuss your Argentina visit in greater depth).
Exploring the region from a different perspective we today arrange a morning of sea kayaking along the jagged coastline of the Peninsula Valdes.
Fly into El Calafate Airport where you will be met and transferred to a boutique hotel on a small hill overlooking El Calafate and the azure Lago Argentino.
Day 7: Perito Moreno Glacier
Today you join a full day excursion to the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the planet's few glaciers that is not in retreat. Watching the huge blocks of ice as they break away from the glacier's forward edge, around 60m high and 5 km wide, is a spectacular and emotive experience. Donning crampons and ice-gear we take a short guided ice walk on the vast creaking body of the ice sheet to see this remarkable natural wonder from a different perspective. In the evening you will return to El Calafate.
From El Calafate we can also arrange treks in a vicinity of the magnificent Fitzroy Mountain range in Los Glaciares National Park.
Day 8: Travel to Torres del Paine
Check out of our El Calafate hotel. From Calafate early in the morning transfer through wild Patagonian landscapes across the border into Chile via the frontier town of Puerto Natales. After lunch we continue into Chile and on to the spectacular mountains of Torres del Paine National Park. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and boasts wonderful vertical granite peaks, glaciers and lakes and some of Patagonia's finest wildlife. Guanacos, wild relatives of the Llama are a common site, as are Andean Condors soaring on 3m wings around the peaks. Pumas are much harder to spot but are nevertheless relatively numerous here.
Driving though stunning mountain scenery we arrive at our innovative eco-domes within the protected area, where you have the afternoon to relax and explore. The views from the eco-camp are spectacular, and the camp design is based on those of areas indigenous inhabitants - both practical and comfortable.
Today you will take a guided hike to the base of the Torres del Paine, sheer granite towers rising 2800m above a spectacular glacial lake. In the evening we return to our camp to relax after an action packed day in one of South America's finest National Parks. Lunch is included on our hike to the Torres.
After breakfast we set out by boat across the Pehoe Lake, heading for the North Western shore. Here you begin your day trek heading into heart of the Torres del Paine massif via the steep cut of French Valley. Crossing the French River and ascending the valley once again expansive vistas of the peaks open up around you, rugged geological formations with names such as the Fortress, The Sharks Fin and the Sword - it's easy to see why they've been given such titles! After a pack lunch and an optional hike to Britanico Viewpoint we return to the eco-camp, through grasslands, forests and across the Pehoe Lake. Back at our eco-camp you will enjoy a well deserved evening meal.
Extending your adventures are Torres del Paine
Torres del Paine has many fantastic hiking routes and few regions can match its scenic marvels and abundance of Patagonian Wildlife. Time in the park can easily be extended, with hikes, boat trips and horseback rides to places such as the Lago Grey and the Grey Glacier, the French Valley and the Salto Grande, (Great Falls). For those with the time we recommend extended treks within Torres del Paine, such as the 5 day 'W' route or the complete 9 day circuit of the park - please Contact Us to discuss this further.
Today you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to El Calafate Airport for your onward flight.
Fly back to Buenos Aires before changing flights and continuing North to border with Brazil and magnificent Misiones rainforest on the subtropical border with Brazil and Paraguay. Here, the Parana River tumbles into a vast canyon 4 kilometers wide (4 times the width of Niagara), dropping up to 58,000 tonnes of water per second into the canyon over 70 meters below. The sound and sight are quite stunning to behold. Iguazu is also one of largest remaining sections of Atlantic Rainforest, a unique forest eco-system isolated and distinct from Amazon further north. This region offers excellent bird and wildlife watching opportunities.
Upon arrival on the first day we check into our wonderfully situated boutique hotel, set within the rainforest in the Iryapú Nature Reserve.
Day 12: Explore the Brazilian side of the falls
Half day privately guided exploration on the Brazilian side of the Falls. The Brazilian Side offers a panoramic view of Iguazu.
Afternoon of white water rafting.
Day 13: Explore the Argentinean side of the falls
Full day privately guided exploration of the Argentinean side of the falls, walk the parks extensive trail system. Trails here get you right up to the cascades themselves and offer you the opportunity to view many of forest's resident species. Wildlife ranges from curious Racoon like Coatis to Orange billed Toco Toucans and jewel like Blue and Yellow Macaws.
Additional adventures such as caneoing, rapelling and rainforest mountain biking can be arranged if you have time to extend your stay.
Day 14: Fly to Buenoes Aires
Leaving the wilderness we transfer to local airport of Corrientes or Posadas and fly back to Buenos Aires. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The evening is free to explore the city and its lively nightlife.
You will be picked up from your hotel reception for a transfer to the international airport for you flight home.