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Wild Argentina

  • Iguassu Falls
  • Iberá Wetlands
  • Valdes Peninsula
  • Patagonia
  • Buenos Aires
Wild Argentina Wild Argentina
£ 9356

Argentina offers some of the wildest and untamed landscapes in all of South America and is home to some of its most diverse and impressive wildlife.

In our ‘Wild Argentina’ itinerary we have put together a route to showcase some of its most impressive wildlife destinations and also its pristine wilderness. From the awesome spectacle of Iguassu Falls – the world’s largest waterfall system – to the mountains and steppe of Patagonia, this itinerary is a mixture of well-known and ‘off the beaten path’ destinations.

You’ll have the opportunity to ride with gauchos, hike to see immense glaciers, explore the lagoons and tropical wildlife of the Iberá wetlands and head to the Atlantic coast in search of orcas, penguins and sea lions.

Staying in some remote and beautiful settings, Wild Argentina is the perfect itinerary for those looking to discover the wildlife and nature of the country.  

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    Detailed Itinerary
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    Day 1 Overnight flight from the UK to Iguassu Falls

    Board your overnight flight from the UK to Sao Paulo.

    Day 2-3 Iguassu Falls
    Iguassu Falls

    On arrival in Sao Paulo in the morning of day 2 you will need to change planes, pick-up your luggage and complete Brazilian entry procedures, before connecting onto your flight to Iguassu Falls.

    Met at Iguassu airport and driven to your hotel, which is inside the Iguassu National Park on the Brazilian side of the Falls. In the style of a traditional Portuguese mansion and a delightful pink colour, the Belmond Das Cataratas is the ideal place to start your holiday. There is a large outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a spa, but the main reason to stay is the hotel’s proximity to the falls and the wonderful views it has. 

    In the afternoon you will be taken on a private tour in the Brazilian National Park, exploring the trails which offer some wonderful panoramic views of the 250+ waterfalls. On your second day you will witness the falls from the Argentine National Park, on a full day tour which takes you on an upper and lower circuit of the falls and also to the hugely impressive ‘Devil’s Throat’. 

    Stay: Two nights at the Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas – bed & breakfast

    Day 4-6 Iberá Wetlands

    After breakfast on day 4 you will leave Iguassu and take a charter flight south, to the Iberá wetlands.

    More than 1.3 million hectares in the size, the wetlands are a mixture of marshes, lagoons, floating islands and forests. The area is the second largest freshwater wetland in the world (after the Pantanal in Brazil) and is home to an abundance of wildlife, including caiman, marsh deer, capybara and armadillo. A huge variety of birds can be seen in the area too, including species of eagle and stork.

    Over the next three days your home is a remote estancia, on the edge of the wetlands. Dating back to the nineteenth-century, the farm was restored and expanded by the late Douglas Tompkins, a conservationist and philanthropist, who with his wife Kristine have a number of conservation projects across South America.

    Tompkins and his team have removed the cattle from the fields and hundreds of miles of fences, and gradually have reintroduced species to the area, including the giant anteater, pampas deer and peccary.

    During your stay you will have unique access to the savannah and wetlands. Daily activities are included at the lodge, including wildlife safaris, nature trails and specialist birdwatching activities. You’ll also be able to ride horses with gauchos, take nature walks and go on boat and canoeing expeditions. 

    Stay: Three nights at Estancia Rincon del Socorro – full board

    Day 7

    Buenos Aires 

    Buenos Aires 

    A short charter flight will take you to Posadas airport, where you will board a commercial flight to Buenos Aires.

    This night is really a logistical stop, as you will have time to see the Argentine capital at the end of the holiday, but your hotel is in the fashionable neighbourhood of Palermo. Close to a number of excellent bars, restaurants and shops. 

    Stay: One night at the Legado Mitico – bed & breakfast

    Day 8-10 Northern Patagonia

    On day 8 you will begin your adventure in Patagonia, starting in the desert of northern-Patagonia, 

    You fly to the small town of Comodoro Rivadavia, where you will pick-up a hire-car and drive 180km north to your estancia on the Atlantic coast.

    You’ll be staying amongst a tiny community whose main industry is gathering seaweed and you’ll gain a fascinating insight into the local lifestyle – as well as visiting a petrified forest, going horse riding and hiking, mountain biking on nature trails and taking boat trips along the Atlantic coastline.

    On these expeditions you may well encounter dolphins and orcas as you sail towards huge colonies of penguins and sea lions. In season, southern right whales and elephant seals can be seen migrating to or from the Valdes Peninsula. Seabirds including cormorants, gulls, egrets, petrels and large numbers of Magellanic penguins are also on show.

    Stay: Three nights at Bahia Bustamante – full board

    Day 11-13 Valdes Peninsula

    The drive to Estancia Rincón Chico will take the best part of a day, but it is well worth it. 

    Located in the southeast corner of the Península Valdés with sixteen kilometres of coastline along the Patagonian Sea, it is one of the richest marine areas on earth harbouring populations of right whales, elephant seals, sea lions, orcas, penguins, and numerous species of birds and fish. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 and Biosphere Reserve in 2014 by UNESCO.

    The ranch is family run and over 120 years old. The first house was brought form England by boat in 1897 and has the feel of a historic English house. Since 2001 they opened their home to the public, to come and stay and experience the stunning nature and wildlife which is found there. 

    During your stay you can participate in a whole variety of activities, including wildlife watching explorations guided by the estancia’s bilingual biologists and naturalists. There are numerous beaches to explore, off-the-beaten-path hiking trails across the steppe, sand dunes and cliffs, numerous excellent wildlife viewing spots, horseback riding, mountain biking, birdwatching and visits to the ex-livestock facilities.

    Stay: Three nights at Estancia Rincón Chico – full board

    Important: Whale watching usually takes place between June and the middle of December, while penguin season is between September and March, elephant seals and sea lions can be seen all year round, dolphin watching is between December and March, and Orcas can be seen all year round – but more frequently from September to April. Birds and all the land fauna species can be seen all year round. September to March is an excellent time to visit because of the high concentration of animals on the beaches.

    Day 14-15 El Calafate

    An early start will see you drive to Trelew airport (230km), where you will drop-off the hire-car and board a flight south to el Calafate.

    El Calafate is best known as the gateway to the sensational 700,000 hectare Los Glaciares National Park. You will enjoy a private excursion to the mighty Perito Moreno Glacier, which is unique in that it is advancing rather than retreating. Every now and then a block of ice will break off from the glacier and come crashing dramatically into the water below.

    Stay: Two nights at the Esplendor El Calafate – bed & breakfast

    Day 16-17 Los Glaciares National Park

    After two nights in the el Calafate you will discover a more remote and historic part of Patagonia at Estancia Cristina.

    The estancia dates back to 1914 and is only accessible by boat. On the three hour boat journey you will stop to see Upsala Glacier, the largest glacier in all of South America but now sadly retreating rapidly.

    Estancia Cristina is deep inside the Los Glaciares National Park and is the starting point for a number of unforgettable excursions. The surrounding mountains are a mecca for hikers, plus there are horses, mountain bikes, 4×4 trips and even fly-fishing can even be organised.

    One of the most spectacular trails is a 14km hike through a fossilised canyon, which offers wonderful views of Upsala Glacier at the beginning. The estancia also has its own museum, which is well worth a visit.

    Stay: Two nights at Estancia Cristina – full board

    Day 18-19

    Buenos Aires 

    Say goodbye to the wilderness of Patagonia and return to Buenos Aires. After taking the boat from Estancia Cristina you will return to el Calafate airport for your flight to the Argentine capital.

    During your final two days in Argentina you will have the opportunity to sample some of the excellent bars and restaurants in Palermo and Recoleta.

    You will also have a fascinating tour led by a private guide revealing some of the city’s many highlights, from the cobbled streets and colonial splendour of San Telmo – the old quarter of the city – to the pretty district of La Boca, the Cathedral and Plaza de Mayo – home of the striking Casa Rosada (Government House).

    Stay: Two nights at the Legado Mitico – bed & breakfast

    Day 20 Overnight flight back to the UK

    After a leisurely morning you transfer to Buenos Aires International Airport for your overnight back to the UK, arriving the following day.

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    • We have travelled with TUTC six times, the most recent was to New Zealand last year. The trip was very well organised as usual, with excellent accommodation and a wide variety of experiences. We had booked to go to Australia with them this year but due to Covid this was cancelled, Ultimate handled the situation very professionally and promptly refunded the whole of our deposit without any quibble.

      DN, August 2020