The road to Patagonia’s Glaciers: from Calafate to Torres del Paine and Ushuaia
Idea of itinerary travel in Argentina and Chile in 14 days.
Drive on the southern roads from Calafate’s glaciers to Ushuaia’s great lakes: cross the Andes between Argentina and Chile in this spectacular journey to the end of the land. You can hike at every stop, take in the scenic views of the famous Torres del Paine and Perito Moreno glacier, before facing the wild winds of Tierra del Fuego. Explore nature in the rough.
Length of stay: 14 days
Kind: Our Roadtrips
Fix: For all public
Countries visited: Argentina, Chile
- Day 1 : Buenos Aires
- Day 2 : City Tour Buenos Aires
- Day 3 : Buenos Aires
- Day 4 : El Calafate
- Day 5 : El Calafate
- Day 6 : Estancia Mirador del Payne
- Day 7 : Hosteria Lago Grey
- Day 8 : Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas
- Day 9 : Punta Arenas
- Day 10 : Lago Blanco
- Day 11 : Tolhuin - Ushuaia - Canal de Beagle
- Day 12 : National Tierra del Fuego Park
- Day 13 : Ushuaia - Tango - Buenos Aires
- Day 14 : Buenos Aires
International Aiport Ezeiza
City Tour Buenos Aires
Estancia Mirador del Payne
Hosteria Lago Grey
National Tierra del Fuego Park
Your customized trip
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Day 1 : Buenos Aires
Meet your driver at Ezeiza International Airport – transfer to Buenos Aires in a private vehicle. Transfer with an English-speaking guide. Visit Buenos Aires (half day, walking tour).
Today, discover the political and historical centre of the capital . Start with the 9 de Julio Avenue , the widest in the world, dominated by the Obelisk , a symbol of Buenos Aires. You will pass the Colon Theatre , one of the jewels of the Argentine architecture, before arriving on the Capital main square, P laza de Mayo.
Your visit then takes you to San Telmo : this historical neighbourhood is a dynamic mix of tourists and locals: picturesque alleyways, old typical cafés, antique shops … This lively barrio is animated day and night – a famous flea market takes place every sunday around Dorrego square.
End your visit with the picturesque neighborhood of La Boca , with its small alley of El Caminito : painters, tango dancers and singers meet between the ancient colourful wooden houses.
Return to your hotel after the visit.
Excursion carried out with an English-speaking guide. Night at the Two Hotel in a standard room.
Day 2 : City Tour Buenos Aires
Visit Buenos Aires (half day, walking tour)
Guided tour of the Recoleta neighbourhood, characterized by many colonial houses, currently inhabited by powerful Argentine families. Enter the luxurious Pacifico Shopping Center with its typical 1889 French architecture with vaulted ceilings. This stunning place is a locals’ favourite.
Visit the Recoleta Cemetery , where many celebrities, writers and politicians rest. The most famous and revered even today is the tomb of Evita Peron , the legendary wife of President Peron .
Continue your visit in the Palermo neighbourhood, with leafy streets, small eateries and little shops, and take a stroll in the Tres de Febrero park inaugurated in 1875, the largest green area of the city.
Return to your hotel. Night at the Two Hotel in a standard room.
Day 3 : Buenos Aires
Transfer from your hotel to Buenos Aires Domestic Airport in a private vehicle. Domestic flight Buenos Aires* – Calafate.
*National o international airport depending on time schedule and availability. Car rental: Category G vehicle such as Renault Duster or similar
Unlimited mileage included. GPS included Pick up the vehicle at the airport. Permit to cross the border to Chile included Free day in El Calafate.
Enjoy your free time to try one of the following activities:
– Visit the Laguna Nimez Natural Reserve to enjoy the wilderness and observe the flamingos and the 80 other species of birds living there. This is an easy, 20-minute walk from the city center – duration of the visit: 2 hours.
– Visit the Interpretive Center which covers various themes such as paleontology, geology, anthropology and history.
– Rent an electric bike to explore the city.
– Have a drink downtown at the ice bar. Night at the Los Canelos hotel in a standard room.
Day 4 : El Calafate
Around 7:30 am, undertake the 40km journey to Punta Bandera, where you will embark for a day-long navigation. The boat takes you to the northern arm of Lake Argentino, watching the Spegazzini and Upsala glaciers, entering the bays and navigating between the icebergs floating about 20 km from the Upsala glacier.
Return to Punta Banderas and then to El Calafate.
Duration of the navigation: 5 hours on 250 passengers boats.
Cruise not included. Night at the Los Canelos hotel in a standard room.
Day 5 : El Calafate
Visit the Perito Moreno glacier.
Drive to the Perito Moreno Glacier located 80 km from El Calafate. In this exceptional natural environment, many gateways offer panoramic views of the glacier dominating the surrounding lenga beech forest. Walk on the foot bridges and observe the ice blocks detaching from the glacier. Short navigations can be booked (aprox 45 to 1 hour) to get closer to the iced walls.
Drive back to El Calafate. Night at the Los Canelos hotel in a standard room.
Day 6 : Estancia Mirador del Payne
This morning, leave El Calafate to travel to Puerto Natales in Chile.
You cross the Patagonian steppe and estancias.
After a two and a half hour drive, you reach the border checkpoint of Cancha Carrera – follow the procedures and controls.
Enjoy the Andean mountain range with the snow capped peaks and glaciers as you enter Torres del Paine National Park.
Night at the hotel Hostería mirador del payne *.
Day 7 : Hosteria Lago Grey
You will leave in the morning for a wonderful tour of the Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most beautiful of South America. Discover the most beautiful lakes in Patagonia (Pehoe Nordenskjöld, Sarmiento), with different lagoons and where you can see guanacos and other animals. End of the day by lake Grey, you spend the night at the Estancia Mirador del Payne.
Night at the Hosteria Lago Grey 4* in upgrade room lake view.
Day 8 : Puerto Natales - Punta Arenas
Drive from Torres del Paine National Park to Punta Arenas Airport where you leave your vehicle. On the way, you may observe the local wildlife.
Note : We suggest to leave about at least 6h before your flight.
Journey to Puerto Natales: From the entrances of the Park to Puerto Natales, about 1h30 drive.
From Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas: 230km Approximately 3 hours drive, stop at Villa Tehuelche for a half-way break.
Night in The Yegua Loca Boutique Hotel*, in a upgrade room with panoramic-view.
Day 9 : Punta Arenas
Suggested itinerary :
Ferry crossing from Punta Arenas to Porvenir (about 2h30). Crossing operated from Tuesday to Sunday, schedule subject to change depending on weather conditions.
Note: in case of bad weather, it is possible to take the ferry from Punta Delgada, located 170 km north of Punta Arenas: open every day of the week from 8:30 am to 1:00 am. Suggested itinerary:
A big day on the road awaits you. Leave the Magallanes region for the mythical Tierra del Fuego. You will frequently have the opportunity to stop and see the local fauna: guanacos, rheas, hares, wild geese, ibis, condors and many birds.
Head to Punta Arenas following the Strait of Magellan. The steppe becomes drier and drier as you approach the Strait area (Angostura).
A ferry trip of about 1h30 is necessary to cross the Strait of Magellan, before reaching Tierra del Fuego (delays for the crossing are quite frequent). Continue towards Porvenir and then Bahia Inutil, to reach your accommodation at Lago Blanco. The lake, 32 km long and 18 km wide, is famous for fishing. A peaceful haven, ideal for relaxing, walking, fishing and discovering the fauna and flora.
On the way, you can stop at the Parque Pinguino Rey (entrance not included), the only place where you can observe king penguins outside Antarctica. It is the second largest species of penguins after the Emperor penguins.
We advise you to take the ferry between Punta Arenas and Porvenir (2 hours crossing) to shorten the travel time. However, the ferry is subject to weather conditions and does not always work. You should book the day before your crossing. Overnight in the Hosteria Las Lengas .
Day 10 : Lago Blanco
This day is a chance to fish in Lago Blanco, crammed with trouts. You can also go for a walk around the estancia, or visit the Natural Park of Karukinka. Suggested itinerary: Leave Lago Blanco in the morning and head to Argentina.
Day 11 : Tolhuin - Ushuaia - Canal de Beagle
Drive until the National Road 3, travelling through the dense forests of lengas. The journey takes you alongside the great lakes of Tierra del Fuego such as the Escondido and the Fagnano Lakes. The Fagnano Lake is so big that some seabirds fly over it, disoriented and carried away by the winds – you might observe some albatrosses and petrels.
Drive on until the end of the land to reach Ushuaia.
100km – 01h00
Navigate the Beagle Channel : the 2h30 navigation takes you from Pajaros Island to the Lobos Island and the famous Eclaireurs Lighthouse. From the boat you can clearly observe the Royal and Imperial Cormorants, Albatrosses, sea lions and numerous bird species in their natural environment.
The cold waters of the channel reflect the Martial Mountain Range for a stark contrasted landscape.
Note 1: Be at the port aproximately 30min before departure.
Note 2: 2h30 navigation
Night at the Hosteria Patagonia Jarke in a standard room.
Day 12 : National Tierra del Fuego Park
Leave Ushuaia to discover Tierra del Fuego National Park: about 10km away, this park and its 63 000 protected hectares host a varied flora and fauna that resist to the cold climate and intense winds.
Follow National Road 3 until reaching Roca Lake – walk on its shores and the banks of the Lapataia river. The Condor Peak marks the border between Argentina and Chile. Drive on to Lapataia Bay, passing Laguna Verde and Laguna Negra (Green and Black Lagoons).
On your way, try to spot the many beavers dams that have overtaken the park – they were introduced many years ago and have proliferated for lack of endemic predators.
In the afternoon, explore the city of Ushuaia: visit the ex prison (now a museum), the maritime museum, walk along the coastline, or drive to the chairlift that leads to the Martial glacier: up there, a beautiful panoramic view over the Beagle Channel and Ushuaia can be expected.
20km – 00h40
Night at the Hosteria Patagonia Jarke in a standard room.
Day 13 : Ushuaia - Tango - Buenos Aires
Drop off your vehicle at the airport.
Domestic flight Ushuaia – Buenos Aires*.
*National o international airport depending on time schedule and availability.
Transfer from Buenos Aires domestic airport to your hotel in a private vehicle.
Tango Dinner Show
In “El Querandí”, enjoy an authentic and traditional tango show accompanied by a delicious dinner, in the intimate and exclusive atmosphere of the early twentieth century (1920s building entirely renovated).
Night at the Two Hotel in a standard room.