3408
Argentina
Patagonia: Hiking At the End of the Earth
Hike the ruggedly beautiful wilds of Patagonia with experts, learning about local wildlife, exploring a historic ranch and walking atop one of the largest glaciers in the world!
Not yet reviewed
Program No. 3408RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
5,742
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
14 days
13 nights
26 meals
11 B 9 L 6 D
DAY
1
Overnight Flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina
In Flight

Evening: Depart from various gateways in the US on flights to Buenos Aires.

DAY
2
Program Orientation, Introduction to Wine Tasting
Buenos Aires
D
Dazzler Recoleta

Activity note: Elevation in Buenos Aires: Sea level. Light city walking in Buenos Aires.

Breakfast: Breakfast will be provided on the international flight to Buenos Aires.

Morning: On arrival at the Ministro Pistarini International Airport (a.k.a. Ezeiza International Airport) participants will be required to undergo standard Immigration and Customs procedures. The local Road Scholar representative will be waiting--with a Road Scholar sign--for participants (group flights only) outside the secured/restricted arrivals area. Transfer to the hotel. Early check-in is based on hotel availability and is at the discretion of the hotel. Participants will be able to store luggage at the hotel until their rooms become available. Early check-in can only be guaranteed by booking/paying for an additional night at the hotel. Those interested in reserving an additional night should contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance. NOTE: The airport is located approximately 22 miles outside of Buenos Aires and the drive into the city normally takes about 45 minutes, depending on traffic.

Lunch: Lunch is on your own, with several options nearby. Please check with the hotel front desk or your group leader for suggestions.

Afternoon: Meet your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants at 4 p.m. during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Before dinner, enjoy an introduction to wine tasting hosted by a local sommelier. Until the 1990s, Argentina produced most of its wine for domestic consumption. Now, it is the world's fifth top producer and exporter of wine. The Malbec has become Argentina's signature red wine and consistently earns high ratings by international wine professionals.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant. Take the opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy some of the sights and sounds of Buenos Aires during a walk (approx. 5 blocks) to a local restaurant.

DAY
3
Buenos Aires, Exploration of Buenos Aires & Tango Show
Buenos Aires
B,D
Dazzler Recoleta

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning, join your group leader in a walking exploration of Buenos Aires. Some of the city's most famous historical sites are within walking distance of your hotel, including the Recoleta Cemetery (where Evita was buried) and the beautiful Colon Opera House.

Lunch: On your own, to explore local fare.

Afternoon: Continue with your exploration of Buenos Aires. Sometimes called the "Paris of South America," Buenos Aires is known for its sophisticated, cosmopolitan inhabitants and its non-Spanish European influences (Parisian architects designed many of the buildings). Stately mansions, broad boulevards, artists' quarters and lively sidewalk cafes bring to mind the grandeur of Europe.

Dinner: Tango show and dinner. A way of life for the people of the city, the tango pulsates with the lifeblood of romantic Buenos Aires. The dance has its origins in the brothels and tenements of late 19th-century Buenos Aires and was a synthesis of Spanish and Italian music, Negro candombe and bawdy Gaucho verse. It was popularized by legendary performers like Carlos Gardel and soon spread from the fringes to the middle class, and then to the elegant salons of Buenos Aires. The tango has enjoyed a modern resurgence and as the country's most famous cultural export it is a staple of Buenos Aires nightlife.

DAY
4
Flight to El Calafate, Transfer to El Chalten
El Chalten
B,L,D
Hotel Destino Sur

Activity note: Elevation at El Chalten: 1,325 ft The flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate takes about 3.5 hours. The drive from El Calafate to El Chalten will take approximately 4 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Free time to enjoy the many wonders of Buenos Aires before starting your Patagonian adventure. Late morning transfer to the airport for your flight to El Calafate (FTE).

Lunch: Light snack provided on the flight.

Afternoon: Upon arrival, we will start our 220 km drive north along Argentine Lake to El Chalten, a small highland town nestled between spectacular Patagonian mountains (the Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre). Box lunch will be provided on the transfer. Late afternoon/early evening arrival at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in town, near the hotel.

DAY
5
Lago Torre Hike, Views of Torre Glacier and Cerro Torre
El Chalten
B,L
Hotel Destino Sur

Activity note: Elevation at El Chalten: 1,325 ft. The hike to Lago Torre takes place on mostly undulating terrain and covers a distance of approximately 12 miles (600 ft approx. elevation gain). This activity takes between 7-8 hours with lunch break in between.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Today's hike to Lake Torre will begin from our hotel, following the Fitz Roy river valley on a good path. When we reach the first lookout point, we will be able to see great views of the Mount Torre-Adelas mountain range and the magical spire of Cerro Torre. We will continue our walk on undulating terrain towards Lake Torre and will arrive at one of the two camp sites used by climbers attempting the daring ascent of Cerro Torre. We will hike to the recent moraine around Lake Torre and climb over it in order to view the lake and the Torre Glacier tumbling into its waters. If the skies are clear, Cerro Torre's thrusting silhouette will surely make a lasting impression on all.

Lunch: We will enjoy our boxed lunch beside the lake.

Afternoon: Return to El Chalten.

Dinner: On your own, to explore local fare.

DAY
6
Hiking to Laguna de los Tres, Fitz Roy Massif
El Chalten
B,L
Hotel Destino Sur

Activity note: Elevation at El Chalten: 1,325 ft , Laguna de Los Tres approx. 3,000 ft.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: We will drive 17 km northwest to Hosteria El Pilar, the starting point for the trek that leads to the Fitz Roy base camp. We will follow the Rio Blanco until we reach the Poincenot Camp. From the camp, we will climb to the Laguna de los Tres-- a steep climb that will be rewarded by amazing views of the Fitz Roy massif and its surroundings. We will enjoy views of the Cerro Torre and its satellite parks as we hike and pass by camps used by climbers who come here to challenge the world's toughest mountains. This is a full-day hike with a challenging ascent during the trek from Poincenot Camp to Laguna de los Tres of approx. 1,300 ft. The hike will be done in a loop covering approximately 13 miles. The trekking guide will determine if you are able to make the optional climb to Laguna de Los Tres. If you are not able to make the climb, then you will hike back via the round trip route with the leader, meeting up with the group en route or back at the hotel.

Lunch: We will enjoy our boxed lunch beside the lake.

Afternoon: Return to El Chalten and attend a lecture at the hotel.

Dinner: On your own, to explore local fare.

DAY
7
Viedma Glacier Walk, Scenic Transfer to El Calafate
El Calafate
B,L
Hosteria La Estepa

Activity note: Elevation at El Chalten: 1,325 ft Elevation at Viedma Glacier: on same level as El Chalten. Boat ride from Bahia El Tunnel to Viedma Glacier takes approximately 1 hour each way. The glacier walk (using crampons) will cover a distance of approximately 1.25 miles. The drive from El Chalten to El Calafate should take approximately 3 and 1/2 hours. Activities include slow-paced walking on flat terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After breakfast, we will drive to Bahia El Tunel on Lago Viedma (approx. 45 mins). A boat will take us across a corner of the lake (one hour) to the snout of the Viedma Glacier, where it calves into the lake. We will disembark and walk atop the glacier with the help of simple crampons which the group leader will help mount on your boots. Site lecture: Glaciology.

Lunch: Boxed lunch in the area.

Afternoon: Transfer from El Chalten to El Calafate in the late afternoon. The small town of El Calafate is situated near the southern shores of Lago Argentino in Patagonia. Long before the creation of national parks began to attract visitors to the area, locals made a living from herding sheep and trading wool. By the late 1920s, the Argentinian government decided to promote settlements in the less populated areas of the country, leading to the official founding of the town of El Calafate. Arrive to hotel and check in.

Dinner: On your own, to explore local fare. Your program leader will be available to offer suggestions.

DAY
8
Perito Moreno Glacier, Visit to Glaciarium
El Calafate
B,L,D
Hosteria La Estepa

Activity note: Elevation at Calafate: 772 ft. Elevation at Perito Moreno Glacier: 574 ft. The drive from El Chalten to El Calafate should take approximately 4 hours. Activities include slow-paced walking on flat terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning we will have the chance to get close up views of one of the most famous geological sights in the world--the Perito Moreno Glacier. The glacier is located at the far end of Lago Argentino and approximately 75 km from El Calafate. Perito Moreno calves into Lago Argentino. Huge chunks of ice break off from the glacier and end up as icebergs in the lake. Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers that is stable, with seasonal fluctuations in the position of its snout.

Lunch: Boxed lunch in the area.

Afternoon: Before returning to the hotel, enjoy a visit to the Glaciarium museum with an on site discussion about Patagonia's glaciers. El Calafate’s Glaciarium is a modern museum devoted to educating and raising people's awareness of Patagonia’s ice fields and glaciers. Interactive exhibits are designed to stimulate all senses, pique interest, and move visitors on intellectual and emotional levels. The museum even includes a unique glaciobar—made entirely of sculpted ice—where visitors can sip cocktails and other beverages from sparkling glasses made of ice! Lecture at the hotel: Glaciology

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

DAY
9
Estancia Cristina, Upsala Glacier, Fossil Trek
El Calafate
B,L,D
Hosteria La Estepa

Activity note: Elevation at Estancia Cristina: 1,640 ft. The boat ride from Puerto Banderas to Estancia Cristina takes approximately 1.5 hours. Fossil Trek is primarily downhill and approximately 5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After a 30 minute bus trip to Puerto Bandera's harbor, we will board a boat to Estancia Cristina. The boat ride will take us via the Upsala Glacier, in the far north fjord of Lago Argentino. Estancia Cristina is located on one of the more remote arms of the lake. For many years English settlers made this their home and became well-known among explorers, climbers, and adventurers who used the estancia as a starting or finishing point for their excursions to the Ice Cap. Padre Agostini and Eric Chipton are two famous explorers who spent time at the estancia. Many of the estancias in Patagonia were settled in the late 19th century by hardy immigrants from a multitude of European countries. The harsh weather and landscape, and the remoteness of the region, made for challenging living conditions.

Lunch: Boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Enjoy a visit to the Costumbrista Museum at the estancia before boarding all-terrain vehicles and driving uphill to the continental ice shelter. A 30-minute walk on local trails will take us past the Upsala Glacier and Lake Guillermo for breathtaking views of the Andes and Southern Patagonian ice fields. Leave the Upsala Glacier lookout for an exciting downhill trek on the Fossil Canyon Trail back to the estancia, spotting well preserved fossils along the way such as Ammonites and Belemnites, exposed from the past by the glaciers mighty path. (Approximately 5 hrs). Late in the afternoon we will board the boat back to Puerto Banderas. Disembark at the harbor and transfer to Calafate.

Dinner: Hotel dining room.

DAY
10
Flight to Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego's Maritime History
Ushuaia
B,L
Hotel Tierra del Fuego

Activity note: Elevation at Ushuaia: Sea level. Slow-paced walking on flat terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia (USH) less than one hour. Arrive in Ushuaia and transfer to the hotel for check-in.

Lunch: Lunch en route.

Afternoon: Field trip to the Maritime Museum with a lecture on Ushuaia's maritime history (if the flight is delayed, activities will be scheduled for the day, we are flying back to Buenos Aires). Ushuaia's Maritime Museum occupies the building that was used as a national prison until it was closed in 1947. The historic building also houses the Prison Museum, the Antarctic Museum José Maria Sobral, and the Marine Art Museum. The museum devotes itself to preserving Tierra del Fuego's maritime history. Its collection includes scale models of ships and detailed information about the explorers, pirates, and indigenous people who sailed the waters around this southernmost region of Argentina.

Dinner: On your own, to explore local fare.

DAY
11
Hike & Canoe in Tierra del Fuego National Park
Ushuaia
B,L
Hotel Tierra del Fuego

Activity note: Elevation at Ushuaia: Sea level. Approximately 3.5 hours of light walking on park paths along the Beagle Channel, looking for local flora and fauna. Canoeing (1.5 hours) in rivers and lagoons to Lapataia Bay. Participants who do not wish to paddle can opt to take part in a Zodiac boat ride.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After breakfast, we will drive for 30 minutes down the Pan American Highway to its very end, at Tierra del Fuego National Park. Enjoy a full day of hiking and canoeing in the park. Park trails wind through forests of stunted beech trees along the edge of the Beagle Channel. Across the channel, it is possible to see the mountains of Chile's easternmost islands--Hoste and Navarino.

Lunch: Boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Continue with hiking and canoeing activities in Tierra del Fuego National Park. Return to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own, to explore local fare.

DAY
12
Estancia Harberton, Penguin Rookery, Laguna Esmeralda
Ushuaia
B,L,D
Hotel Tierra del Fuego

Activity note: Elevation at Ushuaia: Sea level. Boat ride from the estancia to Harberton Island takes about 20 minutes each way. Approximately 5 hours of moderate walking to a glacial lake and back on uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After breakfast transfer to Estancia Harberton (1.5 hr drive). Estancia Harberton was first established by British missionary, Thomas Bridges, and his wife in the late 1880s. The family-owned and operated ranch now accepts visitors who explore the estate for a chance to learn about rural life in the region. Some of the points of interest include the flower gardens, family cemetery, wood shop, boathouse, and woolshed. The working ranch also includes a nature museum, the Museo Acatushún de Aves y Mamíferos Marinos Australes, founded by American biologist Rae Natalie Prosser. Once at the ranch we will enjoy a 20 minute boat ride to Martello Island to observe its large penguin rookery. Disembark and walk on the island to observe penguins for 1 hour. The main attraction at Martello Island is its large colony of Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins. Also be on the lookout for skuas, cormorants, petrels, albatrosses, and seagulls attracted by the nutrient-rich waters around the island.

Lunch: Boxed lunch.

Afternoon: Transfer to Laguna Esmeralda, 19 km from Ushuaia. Begin the trek heading north towards the Sierra Alvear’s spectacular skyline featuring the striking Cerro Alvear to the northeast. After a gentle climb through the Lenga forest the trail meets a peaty bog along the Rio Esmeralda. Continue through a tiny valley beside the river, climbing over a crest to arrive at Laguna Esmeralda. Trek is 5 hrs to allow for a relaxed hike. Return and board the bus for Ushuaia.

Dinner: Farewell dinner.

DAY
13
Flight to Buenos Aires
In Flight
B

Activity note: The flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires usually takes 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel dining room.

Morning: After breakfast, enjoy some free time to do last minute packing or to rest before your flight to Buenos Aires.

Lunch: On your own, to explore local fare.

Afternoon: Transfer to the airport to catch flight to Buenos Aires. Because flight schedules in Argentina are prone to regular changes, our arrival time in Buenos Aires this afternoon may be fluid. Our flight will usually be directly into the international terminal at Ezeiza, in which case we need only cross the street to the other terminal. If our flight takes us into Aeroparque, the domestic terminal in the city, we will be transferred out to Ezeiza for our flight home.

Evening: This evening we'll depart for home on our overnight flight. This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

DAY
14
Return Flight to U.S.
In Flight