Starting at USD $2490* per person in double occupancy; additional fees apply for single occupancy
For over two decades now, UNESCO has distinguished Argentina by registering certain wonders of natural and cultural relevance on its World Heritage Site list. UNESCO World Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the cultural patrimony of Buenos Aires and Cordoba, and the natural resources in Patagonia from the Atlantic Ocean to the Andes. You’ll see Puerto Madryn, and one of the most important wildlife reserves in the world for its wide variety of marine fauna — whales, sea elephants, sea lions, and penguins, as well as Calafate and the incredible beauty of the glaciers.
Available to start on Saturdays in Buenos Aires, or customize your itinerary.
* Price includes all tour features and is subject to change before tour confirmation due to seasonal variations
Welcome to Argentina! Your 1stClassArgentina local host will meet you at Ezeiza International Airport. Your guide will introduce you to Buenos Aires, the Paris of the Southern Hemisphere. Downtown accommodations at Hotel Pestana Buenos Aires.
This afternoon, we invite you on a panoramic Buenos Aires City tour. At first glimpse, we have a typical postcard-of-Buenos-Aires view: The Obelisco on 9 de Julio Avenue and boulevards. Afterwards, we go to Plaza de Mayo, the city founding center. The sites and buildings bearing the greatest historical relevance are there. You may observe them by taking a walk around the square: The Cabildo of Buenos Aires, the old municipal authority and building; The Metropolitan Cathedral; the Casa Rosada (pink house) Presidential headquarters; and the Palacio de Gobierno de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (City Hall building). Continuing south, we would soon enter San Telmo and La Boca, the oldest neighborhoods of the city with centuries-old churches, markets and museums.
Now heading North, we drive through the newest borough, Puerto Madero, the newly revitalized old city port that has become known for its gastronomic delights, with several options for buffet and a-la-carte dining: typical Argentinean cuisine as well as Asian, Italian, Brazilian, and American comfort food. Lastly, we visit elegant Recoleta for a walking tour at the Cemetery, where you can see, among others, Eva Perón, Adolfo Bioy Casares and Facundo Quiroga's vaults.
Only a few minutes from your hotel, today’s tour starts at the Square of Lights, represented by the oldest masonry in the city, built in the 17th century by the Jesuits, who came to the new world preaching religion and education. The Jesuits built numerous buildings, many of which are still preserved: Church Of San Ignacio, with astonishing religious art, and declared a National Historic Monument; the Prosecutor's office of The Missions; The House of Rent; and the Prosecutor's Residence. After the Jesuits’ expulsion, in 1767, these buildings seated famous institutions: the old headquarters of the University of Buenos Aires Academy of Medicine and Department of Exact Sciences, and the Room of Representatives-Legislature and National Congress. In 1822, the newspaper El Argos named it “La Manzana de las Luces," because of the illuminist doctrine delivered by the educational institutions thereof. The architectural group presents strange tunnels built during the 18th century to connect it with other buildings of the surroundings. The original function was the defense of the city, and afterwards they became useful for smuggling.
A few blocks away, San Telmo Fair is one of the most important attractions offered by the City. In the heart of San Telmo, at Dorrego square the scene turns into a very crowded place where more than 250 booth-stands are displayed to sell peculiar articles — “antiques and stuff.” The surrounding bars put their tables on the street and all the area is crowded by musicians, singers, tango dancers and mimes, among others.
Tonight, enjoy a gourmet Dinner and a 1st Class Tango Show at Señor Tango.
Depart from the pier towards Colonia del Sacramento, on the opposite shore of one of the widest rivers in the world, Rio de la Plata. Arrival in Uruguay and customs crossing.
Our first stop is for lunch at “Lo de Renata”, a local restaurant featuring Uruguayan cuisine. Right afterwards, we invite you discover this picturesque town, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A visit to the historic center of Colonia del Sacramento is like a walk back in time. Founded in 1680 by the Portuguese, this old colonial town is renowned for its cobbled, winding streets and colorful houses reminiscent of old Lisbon.
We begin by the "Door of the Ciudadela”, in front of the “Square of 1811”, heart of the civic and historical surroundings. Next, the magical and matchless "Street of Sighs" and all along its narrow streets and houses alternating with small bars, excellent restaurants, art and craft shops, museums (Portuguese, Municipal, Indigenous, Tile and Spanish, with 1USD entrance fee), and a large yacht harbor. By 7 p.m. the ferry returns to Buenos Aires.
Transfer to local airport and flight departure to Cordoba, in the heart of the country, the second city in importance, due to its wealth and population, modern and industrial, with a lively university population. It’s located on the Rio Suqua, extending over a vide valley, with the Sierras visible in the west. The city has been an important trade center since the area was colonized in the 16th century, and it retains an unusually fine set of colonial buildings at its heart.
Reception and transfer to the hotel Amerian Cordoba Park.
Visiting Cordoba, you will discover the contrast that exists between modern buildings and its well-preserved historic and cultural wealth. Beautiful parks and museums must be admired as well as its architectural heritage; the Jesuit block. The Jesuit block includes the Compaña's church, the Capilla Doméstica (local chapel), the Priests’ Residence, the Rectorado (former Colegio Máximo of the Compaña de Jesús), as well as its administrative offices, the university council, the Salón de Grados, the Biblioteca Mayor (main library), and the Colegio Montserrat. These 17th-century establishments are National Historic Monuments and were declared World Heritage Sites in 2000.
The Jesuits settled in Córdoba in 1599, in the area granted by the Cabildo (Old Town Hall), where there was a little hermitage since 1589, which was not big enough to house the clergy, students, and their faithful. In 1606, they began the construction of these buildings known today as Manzana Jesutica.
The Jesuit estancias (ranches) in the Province of Córdoba, which are still in good condition thanks to a well preserved and carefully executed architecture, are a unique example of the productive organization of the Jesuit priests in Argentina. They can be visited within a 150-mile-long circuit through picturesque mountain roads (by request).
Although history shows that these ranches were acquired by the Jesuit Order for economic reasons, namely to finance the order’s schools and colleges, they “also participated in a missionary purpose, and thus became centers of religious dissemination.”
There are several natural reserves with various species of marine fauna along the Patagonian coast, but none of them offers such a spectacular concentration of wildlife as the Peninsula Valdés. The gate or isthmus Ameghino to the peninsula is located 35 miles north of Puerto Madryn. Right at the gate there is a viewpoint (with binoculars) for observation of the “Bird’s Island” (cormorants, gulls, terns and herons) on Gulf San Jose’s waters, right across the Isthmus. The peninsula is also a meeting point for the southern right whales (Franca Austral), which arrive here to complete their breeding cycle between May and December. 1-hour trips to watch the southern right whales depart from Puerto Pirámides and offer the best approaches to these friendly creatures.
Continuing onto another place in Peninsula de Valdez, about 45 miles further east, we reach Punta Delgada, an old military base abandoned several decades ago with a lonely lighthouse still working today. Next to the lighthouse you will start the walk for observation of sea lions and elephant seals. It is the only place in the peninsula where, accompanied by local guides, you approach the beach and could go very close to these huge animals. Lunch is served the restaurant next to the lighthouse.
Punta Tombo is the most important Magellan penguin colony within Patagonia. It is 2 hours south of Puerto Madryn with half of the way on gravel roads through typical Patagonian farms. The scenery is surrounded by the distinctive lonesome and arid landscapes of the Patagonian Plateau. Of course, there are also lambs, as well as guanacos and choiques (ostriches), maras (Patagonian hares), foxes, and martinetas.
Punta Tombo was created in 1977 to protect the penguin species. It is carefully designed to assure observation and a very close approach without affecting their environment. The penguin families are generally under the bushes and they also walk around everywhere going to and coming from the sea, in order to get food and nourish their babies, who wait in the nests.
Next, we head to Gaiman, a cute little village that rememorizes the Welsh immigration to Patagonia. Gaiman offers Welsh-style constructions from the beginning of the 20th century and the chance to taste some delicious “Welsh Tea.” The Welsh Tea is a ceremony that the people of the Chubut Valley have incorporated to their identity. The first settlers lived in communities and would share teatime with its neighbors. For that occasion, they would bring a dish and people would have a family-style teatime with lots of pastries, cakes and tea sandwiches. It is now served on very elegant china, family style, and includes the aromatic tea infusion, followed by assortments of welsh cakes, apple pie, lemon pie, nut and chocolate cakes, homemade bread and scones, local butter and delicious regional jams and jellies.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to El Calafate, anice touristy village with a little over ten thousand inhabitants that live and work around the tourist industry next to Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the world’s largest active continental glaciers. Declared it a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of its breathtaking beauty and its unusual behavior.
El Calafate is nestled at the base of the cliff on the shore of the vast Lake Argentino. It is surrounded by small farms that grow vegetables and fruit trees forming a belt around the small urban centre. Reception and immediate transfer to the hotel. Accommodations at Hotel Posada Los Alamos.
Today’s sightseeing is an overland trip to The Perito Moreno Glacier. We get there by minivan in about an hour. The glacier offers an obnoxious ice river, 2-miles wide and 300-feet high along its front wall, with a 5-km descent of a glacial tongue onto the lake. This creates a unique phenomenon, when after periods of 4-to-8 years the tongue of the glacier advances down enough to block the lake and reach the opposite margin. After resisting the pressure of the lake’s currents, it brakes and falls, offering the most spectacular natural phenomena. Travelers from all over the world gather to witness the scene, with its thunderous noises and magnificent ruptures.
The tour includes an hour’s navigation. After walking the paths right across the glacier, depart from the Moreno pier and sail along the Canal de los Tempanos to observe the north wall of the glacier.
Transfer to El Calafate airport and fly to Buenos Aires International Airport for your connection flight, returning home with lots of pictures and great memories!
Talk to your Travel Consultant about Iguazu Waterfalls and the Jesuit Missions in the Northeast, The Humahuaca Ravine and Talampaya Park in the Northwest. Please call us at (800) 240-9189 for a free consultation!