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HomeTours to Central and South AmericaArgentinaGlaciers, Lake District & Capitals
15 days

Glaciers, Lake District & Capitals

Discover the exciting capitals of Argentina and Chile combined with the breathtaking scenery of the Perito Moreno Glacier and cosy Bariloche, surrounded by lakes and snow-capped mountains.

Glaciers, Lake District & Capitals Glaciers, Lake District & Capitals
15 days

Glaciers, Lake District & Capitals

Discover the exciting capitals of Argentina and Chile combined with the breathtaking scenery of the Perito Moreno Glacier and cosy Bariloche, surrounded by lakes and snow-capped mountains.

Choose this tour because…

This trip is a mix of big city holiday and nature odyssey. Treats to look forward to include a visit to Buenos Aires – the capital of Argentina and home of the tango – which is often referred to as ‘South America’s answer to Paris’ on account of its broad boulevards, magnificent buildings and charming quarters. You will also experience picturesque countryside when you stop by the turquoise water of Lago Argentino lake, with its incredible blue glaciers, and call in at the captivating city of Bariloche, which is sometimes called ‘the Switzerland of the Andes’ due to the sheer beauty of the surrounding countryside: deep blue lakes, rivers and snow-capped mountain peaks.

The journey draws to a close in Chile, where you will have the chance to experience the magnificent countryside during a visit to the Petrohué falls and the deep green lakes ringed by mountains and volcanoes. To round off your trip, you spend two nights in the Chilean capital Santiago de Chile, where the towering skyscrapers make a striking contrast to the delightful historical buildings and green parks.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flights from the UK to Buenos Aires
  • Flights from Santiago de Chile to the UK
  • 2 domestic flights in Argentina: Buenos Aires – El Calafate – Bariloche
  • 1 domestic flight in Chile: Puerto Montt – Santiago de Chile
  • Transfers from and to airports (in small, international groups)
  • Bus and boat transport across the Andes mountains: Bariloche – Peulla – Puerto Varas
  • 12 nights’ accommodation in good hotels incl. breakfast
  • Individual tour, however, all excursions are in small international groups with local English speaking guides
  • Telephone hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Daily departures

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Half-day tour of Buenos Aires
  • Full-day excursion to the Los Glaciares National Park, featuring the Perito Moreno Glacier
  • Guided tour of Bariloche and the surrounding area
  • Guided tour of Santiago de Chile
  • Admission tickets to the attractions mentioned
See all pictures
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Flight to Argentina

Departure day, where you will fly to Buenos Aires with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Guided tour of Buenos Aires

You will be met in the arrival hall by our driver, who will take you to your hotel. The city is known as South America’s answer to Paris on account of its elegance, its broad boulevards, charming quarters and magnificent buildings, both antique and modern. The atmosphere here is magnificent, with charming café lifestyle, the pulsating beat of the metropolis and the melancholy tango culture. You will be spending three nights in this wonderful city, so there will be plenty of time to visit the different areas and soak up the ambience.

Day 3: Tour of Buenos Aires

This morning, you will be picked up from the hotel and given an exciting introduction to Buenos Aires on a 3-hour guided tour of the city.

You will visit the historic neighbourhoods of La Boca and San Telmo. In the old working class district of La Boca, you will discover beautifully painted houses in a palette of bright colours. The oldest district, San Telmo is now an exciting artists’ neighbourhood. You will also visit the Palermo and Recoleta neighbourhoods as well as the more modern area of Puerto Madero, which is the newer harbour area offering an array of cafés and restaurants.

The city tour continues with the world’s widest boulevard, 9 de Julio Avenida, with the famous landmarks Obelisco and Corrientes Avenida, which is where the city’s theatres and cinemas are gathered, including Teatro Colón, the beautiful opera house.
You will also see many of the city’s magnificent squares, including Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martin and Plaza Alvear.

The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 4: Buenos Aires
Day 5: Flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate

Leaving the capital behind, you head south-west to El Calafate to experience a host of magnificent natural delights. The city enjoys a wonderful location, nestling among the Andes mountains by the beautiful turquoise waters of the Lago Argentino lake.

Day 6: The Perito Moreno glacier

The day is given over to a full-day trip to the Los Glaciares National Park, which stretches over an area of 6,000 km2 close to the border with Chile. The park features on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, and comprises the Lago Viedma lake and mountains in the north, as well as the three large glaciers – Upsala, Viedma and Perito Moreno – in the south.

The excursion crosses the Patagonian steppe before entering the national park itself. You will visit Lago Argentino, the largest freshwater lake in Argentina with a surface area of 1,466 km2. The area is famous for its rich birdlife, and you may be lucky enough to spot some pink flamingos. The impressive, blue-hued glacier known as Perito Moreno is 60 metres high and 4 km long. It is visible from a great distance and the coach will stop at several vantage points along the way before reaching the glacier itself. Right up close, you can hear the loud crashes that huge chunks of ice make when they fall off the active glacier and tumble into the lake. It is a truly impressive sight, so it is not hard to understand why UNESCO chose to include the park on its World Heritage list. The glacier is named after the Argentine adventurer Francisco Perito Moreno, who was one of the first people to explore the southern reaches of Argentina in the late nineteenth century.

Day 7: El Calafate

There are no excursions planned. The day is therefore yours to explore the delights of El Calafate for yourself.

Day 8: Bariloche

You will be collected from the hotel and driven to the airport for your flight to Bariloche. When you land, you will be met by a driver who will take you to your hotel.

Bariloche is located on the border with Chile, and is often called the ‘Switzerland of the Andes’. The city is famous for its flora and fauna, and it is surrounded by deep blue lakes, broad rivers and snow-capped mountains. It is without doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Day 9: Guided tour of Bariloche

The day begins with a half-day excursion. The tour starts at Ezequiel Bustillo Avenue, which follows the shores of the Nahuel Huapi lake. The route brings you to the beautiful Playa Bonita beach, from where you can see Huemul island in the centre of the lake, before continuing on through the magnificent scenery to Campanario Hill. You will then ride a lift to the peak (1,050 masl), from where you can enjoy the impressive view out over the capital city of San Carlos de Bariloche and the rest of the region, whose features include the Nahuel and Moreno lakes, the El Trebol lagoon, the San Pedro and Llao Llao peninsulas and the four mountains called Otto, Lopez, Goye and Catedral. Another point of interest is Victoria Island, whose myrtle bushes are said to have inspired some of Walt Disney’s advisers when they were designing the backgrounds for the film Bambi.

As you pass along the Llao Llao peninsula, take the time to admire two architectural gems: the San Eduardo chapel and the Llao Llao hotel, which lay forgotten for years but has now been painstakingly restored and reopened. The tour then continues alongside Pañuelo harbour and crosses the bridge that spans the Angostura River that links the Nahuel Huapi and Moreno lakes. The next stop is Panorama Point, from where there is a magnificent view of Moreno lake and the Llao Llao peninsula. The return trip to Bariloche takes you across the bridge over Moreno lake and along the shores of El Trebol lagoon to Ezequiel Bustillo Avenue.

The afternoon is yours to do with as you wish.

Day 10: Peulla

It is now time to leave Argentina behind and head for Chile. You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to Puerto Pañuelo, where a catamaran is waiting to carry you across the waters of Lago Nahuel Huapi lake to Puerto Blest – a trip of about an hour. When you arrive in Puerto Blest, a bus will be waiting to drive you to Puerto Alegre on the banks of Frias lake. From here, you will sail across the deep green lake – which provides an astounding view of the snow-capped Tronador mountain, 3,491 masl – to Puerto Frias, which is set in beautiful verdant surroundings. You will then continue on by coach through the majestic Andes mountains to the city of Peulla. During the trip you can enjoy the lush vegetation and the view of the snow-clad Tronador mountain with its nine glaciers. The route takes you through Perez Rosales National Park to Peulla, which is located on the banks of the Lago Todos los Santos lake.

Day 11: Puerto Varas

The morning is yours to do with as you wish, so make the most of the opportunity to explore this beautiful place.

The afternoon will see you sailing on a catamaran across Lago Todos los Santos, also known as ‘the emerald lake’ on account of the deep green colour of its water. During the trip, sit back and admire the view of the snow-clad volcanoes Osorno, Tronador and Puntiagudios. After a voyage of around two hours, the catamaran will dock at Petrohué, where you can visit the impressive Petrohué Falls. You will then continue on your way by bus, following the shores of Lago Llanquihue lake against the impressive backdrop of the Osorno volcano and the Calbuco landscape. Your destination for the day is Puerto Varas, which enjoys a truly idyllic location next to the lake, with the snow-capped volcanoes in the background. Puerto Varas is a beautifully preserved town, founded in 1854 by German immigrants – as is clearly reflected in the local architecture.

Day 12: Santiago

In the morning, you will be picked up at the hotel and driven to Puerto Montt Airport to catch your flight to Santiago de Chile, the capital city of the country. You will be met at the airport by our driver, who will take you to your hotel.

Chile has a population of 16 million people – and 6 million of them live in Santiago. The Chilean capital enjoys a beautiful location, backed by the snow-clad Andes mountains to the east and the coastal mountain range to the west. Santiago is a modern and inviting metropolis, with tall skyscrapers and charming quarters; moreover, some of the finest vineyards in the world are located just outside the city.

Day 13: Guided tour of Santiago

This day is devoted to a guided tour of the city, taking in all the main sights. During the tour, you will have the chance to enjoy a panoramic view out over the Bellavista quarter, which is the cultural heart of Santiago with its colourful buildings, cafés, restaurants and art galleries – as well as musicians and theatrical troupes performing in the streets. You will visit the central market with its fresh foods, the former railway station – Estación Mapocho – that is now a cultural centre, the Museo de Bellas Artes art museum, which is a copy of the Petit Palais in Paris, and the Santa Lucia hill, from where there is a magnificent view out over the city. It is believed that this is actually the place where Santiago de Chile was originally founded by Valdivia.

It is then time to visit the central Plaza de Armas square, Cerreo Central which is home to the most efficient postal service in South America, the largest cathedral in the country, built in Baroque style, the historical museum that presents the history of Chile, the congress building where the legislative assembly of Chile sat until it was closed in 1973, and the Presidential Palace – Palacio de la Mondea – where President Allende committed suicide during the military coup in 1973.

You will also have the chance to experience the modern part of Santiago de Chile – also known as ‘Sanhattan’, after the Manhattan district of New York, with its tall skyscrapers and beautiful green areas. Before the tour comes to an end, you will have the opportunity to visit Faba, the applied art shop that has specialised in making jewellery of the rare blue stone called lapis lazuli, which is only found in Chile and Afghanistan.

Day 14: Start of the trip home

The time has finally come for you to bid farewell to Argentina and Chile. You will be driven to the airport to catch your flight back to Europe. You will fly to the UK with connecting flights along the way.

Day 15: Return trip

Arrival in the UK.

Single room supplement £830
Discounts are available for groups of 6 or more people
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Contact travel consultant Neil Smith

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