Arrive In Buenos Aires
Welcome to Argentina! An English-speaking representative greets you at Ezeiza airport and takes you to the private car for the drive to the Four Seasons hotel in the fashionable Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. Having checked in and settled in to your room you can choose how to spend the remainder of the day. The hotel is within walking distance of many cafes and bars where you can rub shoulders with the locals and get a feel for life in the 'Paris of Latin America'. Alternatively, you might prefer to take things easy at the hotel, treating yourself to a spa treatment or enjoying a swim in the outdoor pool. Tonight you have a choice of dining options. You could stay at your hotel, or venture into Recoleta to try one of the restaurants there.
Guided City Tour
After breakfast you're ready to explore the city. Your guide meets you at the hotel to take you on a half day tour to help you get your bearings. First you head to Avenida 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world, named in honour of Argentina's Independence Day in 1816. There's time to admire the grand Teatro Colon opera house and walk around the Plaza de Mayo, site of Casa Rosada, the distinctive pink government house. The historic barrios of La Boca and San Telmo have a completely different atmosphere. From here you travel to the waterfront and the impressive Puerto Madero, recently regenerated and home to classy restaurants and cafes. Amongst the many ornate tombs in Recoleta cemetery your guide can point out the mausoleum of Eva Peron. Your tour ends in Palermo with its many parks. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own or relax at the hotel.
Hidden Buenos Aires Tour
This morning you have a valuable opportunity to explore 'hidden' Buenos Aires with the help of your local guide. The tour takes in neighbourhoods which rarely feature on the main tourist schedules where you can mingle with portenos, as the natives of the city are known. You may visit some or all of the following: Barracas, Neuva Pompeya, Parque Patricios and Boedo, districts of former factories, housing projects, attractive local parks and churches. Your guide can point out street art and cosy bars where you get a feel for life in the city past and present and can find out about different aspects of its history. Your guide can adapt the trip to your interests so be sure to liaise to get the most of your tour. The afternoon is at leisure, to return to some of your favourite spots or to unwind in luxury at the Four Seasons. This evening you are treated to dinner at Rojo Tango, a recreation of an early 20th century French cabaret where you watch a display of tango music and dance.
Fly To Ushuaia
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then, bags packed, you are driven to the domestic airport for the flight down to Ushuaia, which takes around three and half hours. On arrival you are transferred by private car to your new home, Los Cauquenes Resort and Spa, set on the shores of the Beagle Channel. The hotel has a pool if you feel like a reviving swim, plus a spa, sauna and jacuzzi, and you can admire views of the Beagle Channel from the glass covered winter garden as you relax. Later you have a tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park to get your first glimpse of the magnificent scenery you'll be enjoying in full tomorrow.
Lakes Off Road Tour
Rise and breakfast early then set off on your full day guided lakes tour. You board a 4x4 which enables you to explore areas you'd not otherwise reach. You travel through the Carbajal and Tierra Mayor valleys and on to the Garibaldi Pass where you stop to take in the panoramic views and capture some photos. From here you head to Lake Fagnano for a 40 minute walk to a lakeside refuge where you are offered tasty choripan to enjoy, a local sausage sandwich, followed by barbecued steak and salad lunch, washed down with your choice of water, soft drinks, wine or beer. All the while you can enjoy views of Tierra del Fuego. After a rest you get back onboard your 4x4 to travel to Lake Escondido and Hosteria Petrel where you have around an hour to explore on foot and enjoy a drink of coffee. At 5pm you begin the journey back to the city, arriving back at Los Cauquenes in the early evening.
Fly To El Calafate
Today you are driven back to the airport for the flight to El Calafate, which takes approximately 80 minutes. El Calafate is the gateway to Los Glaciers National Park and over the next few days you'll be marvelling at the scenery and enjoying a range of outdoor activities. For now, you can settle into your new hotel, Eolo Lodge, a luxurious Relais & Chateaux property, and enjoy its facilities which include a relaxation area with a massage room, sauna and jacuzzi and a cosy library. You stay on a full board basis so can enjoy dinner in the restaurant which specialises in regional produce combined with international techniques and presentation. As you'd expect in an establishment of this order, there is a choice of top-quality Argentinian wines to accompany your meal.
Perito Moreno Glacier
Following an early breakfast, you are collected from the hotel for the full day group trip to Perito Moreno glacier. The journey is almost 80kms but there are regular stops for photos and to stretch your legs. At Baja de las Sombras you transfer to a boat for the 20-minute crossing of iceberg-strewn Argentino Lake. Your guide greets you as you arrive on the opposite shore and leads the walk to the glacier. This takes you through forest and along the lake's edge to the Perito Moreno. Following a quick guide to walking on ice you put crampons over your shoes and set out on your glacier trek. This lasts about an hour, ample time to enjoy the views and experience and culminates in a toast using glacier ice! Later you return to the boat to cross the lake once more to your waiting vehicle. The tour lasts about nine hours and includes a packed lunch. You arrive back in time for dinner at Eolo.
At Leisure At Eolo
You have a free day to enjoy your pick of the available activities at Eolo. These include walks and treks near the hotel independently or with a guide, mountain biking in La Anita Valley following various tracks, and bird watching. These are offered to guests at no extra cost. Other options such as 4x4 trips and horse riding can be arranged for an additional charge. Of course, you are welcome to take life easy and remain in the hotel chatting to other guests, perusing books in the library and enjoying a soak in the jacuzzi, a sauna or massage.
Full board, breakfast
Fly To Bariloche
You are driven to the airport for the flight north to Bariloche in the Lake District, which takes just under two hours. Your next home is Llao Llao, one of the most famous hotels in Argentina. It has a magnificent setting by Moreno and Nahuel Huapi lakes against a backdrop of mountains and has 15 hectares of grounds and an impressive array of recreational facilities. You can go for a swim in the heated indoor-outdoor pool, treat yourself to a visit to the spa and enjoy a walk in the gardens. You are staying in a room in the original hotel building overlooking the lake so can enjoy marvellous views even as you unpack your bags. There are no fewer than five restaurants, so you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining.
Trekking In The Lake District
It's time to head out and enjoy some lake district scenery. Your guide meets you at around 10 this morning for the drive to El Tambo and the start of your trek. You walk at a gentle pace, travelling first through woodland and up a shallow slope to the first viewpoint, reached after about 50 minutes. From here it's a steady ascent through groves of lenga trees for some 40 minutes. Beyond the tree line there are panoramic views, and about three hours after the start of the trek you arrive at the summit. Here you can relax as you take in the vistas and enjoy a well-earned lunch of cheese, cold meats, sandwiches and salads. Fully rested you return by the same route and arrive back at the hotel. Total walking time is about six hours and this is judged a medium grade trek so you need to have a good level of fitness to enjoy it to the full.
Gourmet & Lakes Tour
Today's trip is entitled 'seven lakes: seven flavours', as you drive past Nahuel Haupi, Epejo, Correntoso, Villarina, Faklner, Machonico and Lacar lakes. The different views and locations are paired with different foods and drinks as you are served a sumptuous picnic of local dishes and your guides tells you about regional specialities such as Patagonian cheese, smoked game, chocolate, Araucaria nuts, seasonal vegetables and fruits, soups, mate tea, draught beer and wines. The drive resumes and a little later you arrive at Las Balsas, another Relais & Chateaux property. The hotel is in the pretty town of Villa La Angostura surrounded by 20 hectares of forest at the northern end of Nahuel Huapi Lake.
Fly To Buenos Aires For The Pampas
You have a free morning to take a stroll in the grounds or treat yourself to some pampering at the spa before you are driven to the airport in Bariloche for the 2-hour flight to Buenos Aires. On arrival you are transferred to La Bamba de Areco, one of the oldest estancias in Argentina's Pampas region, for a 2-night stay. Rural it may be, but you don't need to forego any creature comforts at this Relais & Chateaux establishment. You are staying on a full board basis so can sit down to a delicious gourmet dinner in the elegant country house dining room tonight,
At Leisure At La Bamba
You have a day at leisure at La Bamba. This is prime gaucho country and you can saddle up and explore the area on horseback or take a horse-drawn carriage ride as you prefer. There are mountain bikes at your disposal too. You can try your hand at Argentinian bowls, or, in the polo season, watch the international La Bamba de Areco team playing a game or during a practice session. The town of San Antonio de Areco is just a 15-minute taxi ride away where you can learn more about gaucho culture at the Ricardo Guiraldes Gaucho Museum, stroll along the colonial streets and watch skilled silversmiths at work. Back at the hotel it's easy to while away the time, take a dip in the swimming pool or enjoy a hot stone massage (pre-booking advised).
Transfer To Buenos Aires Airport
Enjoy breakfast and some relaxed downtime at La Bamba de Areco before you are collected for the 90 minute or so drive to Ezeiza airport to check in for your home-bound flight.
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