From Chile’s historic city of Santiago you’ll enter the untouched wilderness of Torres del Paine National Park, where sleeping in a yurt will give you the feeling of being part of the natural world. In Argentina a different wilderness awaits; this one covered in the great ice fields and ice blue lakes of Los Glaciares National Park and the peaks of the Andes – followed by the coastal scenery and fascinating wildlife of the Valdes Peninsula, the photogenic beauty of Argentina’s Lake District and the sophisticated Recoleta district of Buenos Aries.
London – Madrid – Santiago
Fly from London to Madrid in the evening to meet your connecting flight to Santiago, which arrives the following morning. You’ll be met and taken to your luxury hotel in the centre of Chile’s energetic capital, in a bohemian district ideal for touring Santiago’s historic and modern sights – like the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, La Moneda and the Government Palace.
You can also walk around Plaza de Armas, take in the views from Santa Lucia Hill, visit Bellavista and browse the market stalls and craft workshops of the Pueblito Los Dominics.
Stay: One night in a superior room in the Lastarria Boutique Hotel.
After the busy city, something completely different. You’ll fly over to Punta Arenas and drive into Torres del Paine National Park – a spectacular natural wilderness rich in indigenous wildlife and untouched forest.
You’ll be camping in a luxurious yurt so, as well as home comforts like a private bathroom and central heating, you’ll experience the sensation of being close to nature and the surrounding environment. Not to mention the stars – your yurt has a roof window perfect for gazing at the unpolluted night sky.
During the day you can go kayaking, stroll along wooden walkways through a lenga forest, explore the park and chill out beside sparkling forest waterfalls.
Stay: Three nights in a yurt at Patagonia Camp.
From Patagonia Camp you cross into Argentina where a real contrast awaits. You’ll be staying on a working sheep ranch that covers 165,000 acres, set within easy reach of the fabled Perito Moreno Glacier.
You can go horse riding, mountain biking, fishing and trekking, but surely the high points of your stay will be a nautical safari to the magnificent falls, and a private excursion to Los Glaciares National Park featuring glacier fed lakes, snow-capped peaks, primeval beech forests and ice-hiking across a landscape often called ‘the third pole’ for its massive landscapes, ice fields and vast glaciers.
Stay: Two nights at Hosteria Alta Vista.
Puerto Madryn, Valdes Peninsula
Today you’ll fly off to Trelew and Puerto Madryn to witness another dramatic aspect of Argentina. The South Atlantic coast is a medley of gulfs, bays, inlets and peninsulas populated by large colonies of South American sea lions, southern elephant seals, Magellanic penguins and cormorants.
Out at sea you’re likely to spot southern right whales, dolphins and orcas, whilst inland you’ll encounter rheas, armadillos, skunks, Patagonian hares, foxes and guanacos. Local seabirds include skuas, oyster catchers, gulls and petrels.
Stay: Three nights in the Hotel Territorio.
San Carlos de Bariloche
Fly over to Bariloche and you’ll be able to combine your love of nature with an appreciation of fine art. You’ll be staying in a renowned art hotel that features over 320 paintings and sculptures by famous local and international artists. Beyond the hotel’s galleries lie a glorious lake – complete with private launch – and the Nahuel Huapi National Park that is part of Argentina’s Lake District.
The region is a natural playground, so, depending on what time of year you visit, you’ll be able to go hiking through wild and uninhabited mountains, fishing and sailing in sparkling clear lakes fed by glacial water, horse riding, paragliding and, of course, skiing and snow-boarding in winter.
Stay: Three nights in a Nahuel studio at El Casco Art Hotel.
Now you fly back to the fashionable boutiques, the stylish restaurants and bars, the museums and galleries, the shops and markets of exciting Buenos Aires.
You’ll be taken to a chic, art hotel in the heart of the emblematic Recoleta area so you’ll be perfectly placed to make the most of Argentina’s buzzing capital – and to visit sights like Eva Peron’s grave, the antique fairs of San Telmo, the Teatro Colon and colourful La Boca. Not to mention restaurants that specialise in steak and fine wine, and venues offering tango demonstrations.
Stay: Two nights at the Casa Sur Art Hotel.