The Grand Tour: Argentina
This 13- day itinerary takes in the 'Paris of the South' (BA), vast pampas, a few days horsing around on an estancia (ranch), and the magnificent Iguazu Falls.
Itinerary at a glance
- Pedal through Buenos Aires' fanciest neighbourhoods on a private bike tour
- Spot wildlife in national parks
- Visit the meeting point of three nations at the Iguazu Falls
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Day 1: Buenos Aires
You will land in Buenos Aires and, after you have cleared customs and collected your bags, will be met by our representative on the ground for a private transfer to your hotel.
We imagine you'd like to freshen up after your flight, so after an early check-in (arranged by us) you will have the rest of the morning at leisure. To truly stretch your legs after a long flight, this afternoon you will be met at your hotel by your cycle guide for a four-hour private bike tour of Recoleta and Palermo - two of Buenos Aires' smartest neighbourhoods. This evening you can sample some of the city's finest food, and our detailed destination Dossier is full of recommendations for restaurants serving the juiciest steaks and more.
Day 2: Buenos Aires
This morning you will be met at your hotel by your expert guide for a private tour of the elegant fin-du-siecle neighbourhoods that gave Buenos Aires the nickname 'the Paris of South America'.
You will begin in the oldest area of the city, San Telmo, wandering charming cobbled streets and colonial squares. Here you will discover the beginnings of the city, nose around antique shops and make a quick pit-stop for coffee in one of the neighbourhood's cafes, which act as a time capsule from the early twentieth century, when BA was a melting pot of European immigrant culture. Your tour will end at the beautiful Recoleta Cemetery, resting place of Argentine legends such as Eva Peron. After your tour, you will be privately transferred back to your hotel to spend the rest of the day at leisure - we recommend consulting your Dossier again for our favourite things to do and places to eat in the city.
Day 3: Street Art and Tango
This morning you will be met at your hotel by one of our expert guides for a privately guided three-hour Graffitimundo tour of Buenos Aires.
Graffitimundo is a not-for-profit organisation which promotes Buenos Aires' thriving urban art scene and supports local artists. Your expert guide will reveal the extraordinary history of the city's vibrant urban art culture, from its fiery political origins to the modern context in which Buenos Aires has become one of the world's most exciting cities for street art. After your tour, you will be privately transferred back to your hotel to spend the afternoon at leisure, before a private transfer to a local restaurant for a dinner - washed down with plenty of Argentinean Malbec, naturally - and a display from some of the best tango dancers in the world.
Day 4: Penguin Spotting
This morning you will check out of your hotel and be privately transferred to Buenos Aires domestic airport for the two-and-a-half-hour flight to Trelew.
Once you have collected your luggage, you will be met by our representative on the ground for the two-and-a-half-hour private transfer to Punta Tombo Penguin Rockery, home to the largest colony of Magellan penguins in South America, which reaches over half a million birds during peak times when the baby penguins start to hatch in November. One of the greatest features of this reserve is the fact that you can literally walk among the penguins, follow them and learn their habits, see how they feed their young, observe their courtship rituals, their fights to defend their territories, how they build their nests and their comically characteristic waddle to and from the sea.
Once you've had your fill of penguins, you will be transferred to your hotel to spend the evening at leisure.
Day 5: Peninsula Valdes
Early this morning you will be met at your hotel by an expert guide and privately transferred to Peninsula Valdes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a day of wildlife spotting.
After crossing a narrow isthmus between the Gulfs of San José and Nuevo you will enter the park. Continue down the road to Caleta Valdes, where you will find a colony of southern elephant seals - although you'll hear them long before you see them! Your guide will explain how this particular colony became the only continental reproductive colony in the world. As you move around the peninsula, you will pass salt marshes and small villages, before arriving at the bay of Puerto Piramides, where the dark shapes of southern right whales can be seen from the shore. At the end of the day you will be privately transferred back to your hotel.
Day 6: Internal Flights
Today is a day of travelling to reach the Ibera Wetlands.
After breakfast this morning, you will check out of your hotel before the 40-minute private transfer to the airport. From here you will take a two-hour flight to Buenos Aries before a short wait for your hour-and-a-half flight to Posadas. After clearing customs, you will be met by your driver for a private transfer to your estancia hotel, arriving in time for a late dinner.
Day 7 – 8: Iberá Wetlands
For the next two days you will be staying on a working estancia, complete with gauchos (cowboys) and cattle.
Your enthusiastic expert hosts will be on hand to help you plan the next two days of activities, which range from lazing by the pool - highly recommended - to boat trips on the Wetlands.
- Kayaking on the Parana River
- Boat trip on the Wetlands at sunrise or sunset with a picnic of local delicacies and mate, a local favourite caffeine drink
- Horse rides
- Bike rides
- The Monkey Trail - an excursion to hunt for howler monkeys in the Paranaense Forest
- Visit to the nearby caiman farm and tree nursery
- Laguna Valley excursion
Day 9: Jesuit Ruins
This morning you will check out of the estancia after breakfast before being met by your expert guide for the five-hour private transfer to Iguazu Falls.
On the way, you will stop at the ruins at San Ignacio Miní - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - for a privately guided tour. Your guide will explain how the Jesuit mission was built by Spanish conquistadors in 1610, destroyed in 1817, and rediscovered in 1897. After your tour you will hit the road again for the rest of the journey to your hotel at Iguazu Falls, stopping for lunch on the way.
Day 10: Iguazú Falls
This morning you will be met, walking boots and all, by your expert guide for a full day tour of Argentine National Park - including the Iguazu Falls, where Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina meet.
After entering the park, your guide will take you around the Circuito Superior and the Circuito Inferior. Here they will explain how a geological fault brought the colossal falls into being, as you look out onto the sister waterfalls Salto Bossetti and Dos Hermanas while standing feet away from Garganta del Diablo (Devil's Throat en Espanyol). Later this afternoon, you will join a 4x4 tour of the parks, which will take you through the rainforest until you're right beneath the falls.
After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Day 11: Home Time
Today it is sadly time to wave adios to Argentina as you check out of your hotel and head home.
Ollie and Kate B are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.