stella asutralis cruise argentina travel - patagonia adventurers

Southern Lands Adventurers

Idea of itinerary travel in Argentina in 15 days.

This itinerary will introduce you to the true Patagonian culture, through encounters and adventures in incredible natural landscapes! Start in Buenos Aires, where you will meet the inhabitants of the Boca neighbourhood and the tangueros of Palermo. Fly to Patagonia, in the extreme south of the Continent, a very isolated region home to the most beautiful glaciers.

 

On board the Australis, a 5-day cruise, explore the southern waters with specialized guides who will introduce you to the geological, ethnological and biological characteristics of the End of the World. On the itinerary: the fjords of Tierra del Fuego, the Strait of Magellan, Tuckers islets, the Glaciers Alley, Wulaia Bay.

 

Disembark at Cape Horn if the weather allows it, to meet its guardians, who live there all year round. Finish this spectacular expedition in Ushuaia – connect with nature and the starry skies staying in a comfortable dome. The best introduction to Patagonia, sharing the authentic lifestyle of its inhabitants and pioneers.

Length of stay: 15 days

Kind: Southern Cruises

Fix: For all public

Countries visited: Argentina, Chile

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Day 1 : International Aiport Ezeiza

Meet your driver at Ezeiza International Airport – transfer to Buenos Aires in a private vehicle. Transfer with an English-speaking guide. Visit Buenos Aires (8h excursion)

Buenos Aires is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city. Start your visit by the political and historical centre of the capital around the Plaza de Mayo , before visiting the picturesque neighborhood of La Boca , host to the small alley of El Caminito and its ancient colourful wooden houses.

Visit Los Pibes del Playón cooperative

Los Pibes del Playon was created as a cooperative in the aftermath of the 2001 economic crisis, to produce the first hand-made alfajores in Buenos Aires (typical argentinian biscuits). Its members run various solidarity activities in the neighbourhood. Visit the cafe, taste the alfajores and listen to the story and experience of this place told by its participants.

In the early afternoon, visit San Telmo, one of the oldest neighbourhoods with an intact Porteño atmosphere : galleries, antique shops, indoor market… Famous outdoor fleamarket every sunday. Visit the National Museum of History to learn about the highlights of Argentine history since independence.

Return to the hotel in late afternoon. An English speaking guide will acompany you during your city tour. Night at the Cassa Lepage Hotel in a standard room.

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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 Cassa Lepage Hotel in a standard room.

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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. Transfer from El Calafate Airport to your hotel in a private vehicle. An English speaking guide will acompany you during your transfer. 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. Dinner with Gabo

The Rancho Aparte experience offers the opportunity to savour a home-cooked meal in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The Chef opens the doors to his home, a small house overviewing El Calafate.

What Gabo says: Travel through the encounters you make – and what best way to get to know us than sharing a meal, listening to some nice music, making new friends while living a different experience. I will make yourself feel at home, come meet me in Rancho Aparte

3-course meal, 1 non-alcoholic drink and 1/2 bottle of wine per person included. Night at the Mirador del Lago hotel *.

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Day 4 : El Calafate

Departure for the Nibepo Aike estancia, located 55km away from El Calafate.

This Estancia was founded by Croatian pioneer Don Santiago Peso, who settled on these lands in the early 20th century. Located in Los Glaciares National Park, the estancia lives off cattle and sheep farming. The visit offers an insight into the history of this area and allows the visitor to discover an authentic Patagonian Estancia lifestyle – observe the rural tasks which are now open to the public, such as the traditional demonstration of sheep shearing.

Choose among the activities the Estancia offers to its guests: horseback riding to Cerro Cristales, where you can admire the Perito Moreno glacier, walks through the typical fauna and flora of Patagonia…

If you stay during the fishing season, you can try your luck at Lake Roca – Patagonia is flyfishing’s paradise.

Night at Estancia Nibepo Aike in a standard room with full board.

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Day 5 : Estancia Nibepo Aike

Morning at the Estancia with activities.

Departure from the Estancia after lunch at 14h15 and arrival in El Calafate around 15h30. This morning, enjoy a shearing demonstration and gauchescas tasks before a delicious traditional lunch.

After lunch, embark on a small boat (18 people max) to navigate across Lake Argentino’s Brazo Rico. You will then navigate upon the Brazo Rico on the Argentinian Lake (Lago Argentino). Disembark for a 20 minutes walk in a beech forest, to reach an exclusive viewpoint over the southern side of the Perito Moreno glacier. After admiring the view, go back to your boat to take in the southern face of the Moreno Glacier while enjoying a whiskey on glacier ice and chocolates.

You then disembark and head to the catwalks along the glacier to enjoy all fronts and ice cracks, outside mass hours.

At the end of the day, we return together to the city of El Calafate (drop off at your hotel). Entrances included. Night at the Mirador del Lago hotel *.

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Day 6 : El Calafate

Transfer in a private vehicle from El Calafate to Punta Arenas (Chile). An English speaking guide will acompany you during your transfer. Check in at 1398 Costanera del Estrecho Ave. (Arturo Prat Port) in Punta Arenas between 13h00 and 17h00 (1-5 PM) on the day of your [Australis cruise](https://www.australis.com/en/exploring-patagonia/excursions/) departure.

Board the vessel at 6 PM. After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the remotest corners of planet Earth. During the night, you will cross the Strait of Magellan and enter the labyrinth of channels alongside the Patagonian coasts. The twinkling lights of Punta Arenas gradually fade into the distance as you enter the Whiteside Canal between Darwin Island and Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.

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Day 7 : Strait of Magellan

By dawn the ship is sailing up Admiralty Sound (Seno Almirantazgo), a spectacular offshoot of the Strait of Magellan that stretches nearly halfway across Tierra del Fuego. The snowcapped peaks of Karukinka Natural Park stretch along the north side of the sound, while the south shore is defined by the deep fjords and broad bays of Alberto de Agostini National Park. We go ashore at Ainsworth Bay, which harbors copious bird life and a colony of southern elephant seals which can sometimes be spotted from the Zodiacs. Two guided excursions are available: one is along the edge of a stream, peat bog and beaver habitat to a waterfall-and-moss-covered rock face tucked deep inside a pristine sub-polar forest; the other is a more strenuous hike along the crest of a glacial moraine. Both afford views of Marinelli Glacier and the Darwin Mountains.

Leaving our Ainsworth Bay tour behind, we sail west along the sound to the Tucker Islets. After lunch, we board the Zodiacs again for a close-up view of the Magellan penguins that inhabit the tiny islands. More than 4,000 penguins use Tucker as a place to nest, give birth and nurture their chicks. Many other bird species also frequent the area including king cormorants, oystercatchers, Chilean skuas, kelp geese, dolphin gulls, eagles and even the occasional Andean condor. In September and April — when the penguins live elsewhere — this excursion is replaced by a short walk to a glacier at nearby stunning Brookes Bay.

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Day 8 : Tuckers Islets

Overnight we sail around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a Pia Glacier tour. After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier.

No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king.

Back onboard the ship, we continue east along the Beagle Channel through an area called Glacier Alley. Living up to its name, the passage features a number of impressive tidewater glaciers flowing down from the Darwin Mountains and Darwin Ice Sheet on the north shore. Most of them named after European countries — Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France.

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Day 9 : Pia glacier

During the morning we cruise across Nassau Bay into the remote archipelago that includes Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition — and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland — Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the End of the Earth. The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a lightkeeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument.

In the afternoon we navigate the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands and drop anchor at historic Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain FitzRoy in the 1830s during their voyages on the HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station — which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area — passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooden mountain behind the bay. On all of these you will be strolling through an enchanted Magellan forest of lengas, coigües, canelos, ferns, and other endemic fauna to reach a panoramic viewpoint overlooking the bay. Before leaving Wulaia Bay, drop something into the wooden mail barrel inside the museum – letters or postcards meant to be hand delivered by future travelers – an ancient mariner tradition revived by Australis.

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Day 10 : Ushuaia Harbor

Transfer from the port to your hotel in Ushuaia in a private vehicle. An English speaking guide will acompany you during your transfer. Half day excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park with a private guide and vehicle. Located only 11 km from Ushuaia, its 63.000 hectares protect lakes, lagoons and rivers.

Drive out of the city passing by the slope of the Susana Mount, site of the Southern Fuegian Railway – a short stop is made if you are interested in riding the train.

You then reach the Pipo River Valley leading to Ensenada Bay, where you can observe the Redonda and Estorbo Islands and the Beagle Channel across, bordered by the snow-white Mountains of the Sampaio Chain (Chile). You reach the Roca Lake and Lapataia River.

Drive on to the other end of the Park until Lapataia Bay to discover the Green Lagoon and Black Lagoon, large growing peat bogs. Pass by the beaver dams before returning to Ushuaia for lunch time.

Excursion of approximately 4 hours. The following morning we sail into Argentine waters and dock in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city.

Arrival at 08:30 a.m. or 9:30 am according to date of departure.

NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the shipowner holds the right to alter, change or skip certain portions of the itinerary without prior notice, whether motivated by the passengers’ well-being and safety, by the appropriate protection of the environment, or in case of any extraordinary event, unforeseeable circumstance or force majeure. For this reason, departures or arrival may be subject to change. Furthermore, sighting of birds and other species cannot be guaranteed as their exact location is variable by nature. An English speaking guide will acompany you during your tour. Entrance fee to the National Park included. Night at the Tierra de Leyendas Boutique Hotel in standard room.

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Day 11 : Ushuaia

Trek to the Vicinguerra Glacier

Departure in a small group with your English-Spanish speaking mountain guide to the Andorra valley (8km from Ushuaia).

You start the hike through the typical peatlands of Tierra del Fuego, before arriving at the Laguna Los Tempanos which will surprise you with its milky blue color and its great beauty.

Hike on until the Vinciguerra glacier which feeds the lagoon, where you can enter one of the glacial caves.

Moderate level – 7/8 hours – 16km – +850m

Small group of maximum 6 people. Night at the Tierra de Leyendas Boutique Hotel in standard room.

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Day 12 : Domos de la Estancia

Guille and his family welcome you to their Domos de la Estancia .

Enjoy the natural setting and the activities offered on site in this little corner of paradise (half day excursions included in the price).

Discover the typical landscapes of Tierra del Fuego during treks, horseback riding or mountain biking, accompanied by the local English-Spanish speaking guide:

– Natural Reserve Corazón de la Isla for nature lovers and/or trekkers.
– Cabo San Pablo and the Desdémona boat
– Road 0
– Estancia Ines (not included)
– Trout fishing (not included)

Glamping night at Domos de la Estancia in a warm dome in full board. Shared transfer from Ushuaia to the Domos de la Estancia included (about 2 hours).

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Day 13 : Domos de la Estancia

Guille and his family welcome you to their Domos de la Estancia .

Enjoy the natural setting and the activities offered on site in this little corner of paradise (half day excursions included in the price).

Discover the typical landscapes of Tierra del Fuego during treks, horseback riding or mountain biking, accompanied by the local English-Spanish speaking guide:

– Natural Reserve Corazón de la Isla for nature lovers and/or trekkers.
– Cabo San Pablo and the Desdémona boat
– Road 0
– Estancia Ines (not included)
– Trout fishing (not included)

Glamping night at Domos de la Estancia in a warm dome in full board.

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Day 14 : Domos de la Estancia

Domestic flight Rio Grande – Buenos Aires*.

*National o international airport depending on time schedule and availability. Shared transfer from the Domos de la Estancia to Río Grande included. Transfer from Buenos Aires domestic airport to your hotel in a private vehicle. Night at the milonga, ballroom for tango aficionados

Step into the intimate atmosphere of the milonga to observe the tango etiquette at ease while sipping champagne: men cross eyes with seated women to invite them. A small nod means yes, and dancers then meet directly on the floor. The atmosphere is warm and lively at the tables, between visitors and regulars.

Note : the exact time and place of the milonga may vary depending on the day – some start at 7pm, others at 11pm, and a few continue till dawn, ending with hot coffee and fresh croissants! Transfer to the milonga Evening accompanied with an English speaking guide. Night at the Legado Mitico Buenos Aires hotel in standard room Clasica .

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Day 15 : Buenos Aires

Transfer from the hotel to Ezeiza International Airport in a private vehicle.

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