Of earth’s 37 billion acres, very few are as stunning as those we savor on this trip, where the Andes explode upward into one of the world’s most spectacular mountain clusters. After a look at bustling Buenos Aires, we fly south to El Calafate, located beside a huge glacial lake. We enjoy a day in the company of the mammoth Moreno Glacier, watching it slowly calve into the turquoise Lago Argentino. Onward by boat to Estancia Cristina, set against the ice-draped mountains of remotest Patagonia. Isolated, unreachable by road, a wilderness within a wilderness, the estancia is a remarkable destination, a glorious place to wander, fish, ride horses, and revel in views of the massive peaks guarding the Patagonian Ice Cap and its runaway glaciers.
Then it’s on to the iconic Fitz Roys. Based from El Chaltén, a charmingly scruffy little town graced with fine hotels and restaurants, we spend a few days hiking in these stupendous, almost unearthly mountains, returning in the evening for festive dinners—and to pinch each other in confirmation this isn’t a dream.
Can’t imagine leaving Patagonia without setting foot in jaw-dropping Torres del Paine National Park? We’ve got a five-day extension to cap off your mountain explorations.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1: arrive in Buenos Aires, tour city
- Day 2: fly south to El Calafate, rambling on Moreno Glacier
- Days 3 & 4: boat to Estancia Cristina, hiking and horsebacking
- Day 5: morning at estancia, late-afternoon transfer to El Calafate
- Day 6: drive to El Chaltén and the Fitz Roys
- Days 7 & 8: hiking among the Fitz Roys
- Day 9: Viedma Glacier excursion, fly to Buenos Aires (or, if extending your trip to Torres del Paine, overnight in El Calafate; see below)
- Day 10: Buenos Aires, late flights home.
Extension to Torres del Paine:
- Day 10: drive from El Calafate across Chilean border to Torres del Paine
- Days 11 & 12: hiking in the Torres del Paine
- Day 13: return to El Calafate, fly to Buenos Aires
- Day 14: Buenos Aires, late flights home.