Patagonia Perito Moreno Glacier

Walking in Argentine Patagonia: from Buenos Aires to the End of the World

With 12,000 years of continuous history, Patagonia still holds a fascination few travellers have encountered. 90% of its vast steppe-like land is in Argentina with the remaining 10% in Chile. This unique territory borders three oceans and is inhabited by barely 2 million people, occupying an area more than four times larger than the United Kingdom.

Over 17 days, Kudu Travel’s sixth South American itinerary takes in the vastness of Argentine Patagonia. On ten of those days, we walk in Patagonian national parks.

From the vibrant capital of Buenos Aires, we travel 1,000 miles to the heart of the Nahuel Huapi National Park in the Argentine Lake District. After a flight 900 miles further south, we explore the Los Glaciares National Park. With half its 600,000 hectares covered in giant icefields and glaciers flowing off the edge to feed the lakes below, visiting the park is travelling back in time to the Ice Age.

Our penultimate stop is the southernmost city of Ushuaia set on the Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego.

Lastly, we drop in on the Welsh enclave of the Chubut Valley where 6,000 Welsh speakers enjoy a bucolic life among a thriving Spanish community first explored by 153 hardy and desperately ill-equipped people who landed at what is now Puerto Madryn in 1865.

L, D included

After meeting at Buenos Aires airport at midday, we have a road transfer of some 40 mins to our central hotel. In the afternoon, we stroll through the historic neighbourhood of San Telmo and the renovated waterfront area of Puerto Madero. Buenos Aires, founded in the 16th century as Holy Mary of the Fair Winds (thus its modern name), was once the richest city in South America and has been the scene of many political battles and upheavals.

B, L, D included

We continue our exploration of Buenos Aires by walking to the Plaza de Mayo passing the presidential palace, known as Casa Rosado and the Metropolitan cathedral. We make our way through the commercial district to Plaza de la Republica and the impressive Teatro Colon, one of the world’s great opera houses.

B, L, D included

We take a 2-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Bariloche, the gateway to the Nahuel Huapi National Park in the Argentine Lake District at the foot of the Andes. We stay for two nights in an hotel on the southern shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi. During our orientation walk, we discover the characteristic Andean-Swiss architectural style, built in the 1940s using cypress and larch wood and locally quarried tuff, with examples such as the lake front Cathedral of Our Lady of Nahuel Huapi and the nearby Centro Civico.

B, L, D included

We walk on trails in the native forest and enjoy views of the lake with its meandering lagoons and the snow-covered peaks of the surrounding mountains rising straight from the water. The gastronomic highlights of San Carlos de Bariloche, named after a German-Chilean shop owner, Carlos Weiderhelm, and still home to German and Italian schools and a Swiss colony, feature chocolate, trout, lamb and craft beers.

B, L, D included

A midday flight to El Calafate brings us to Southern Patagonia and the Los Glaciares National Park. The park was established in 1937 to preserve the 47 glaciers within its area and awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1981. From the airport, we head for El Chaltén in the northern sector of the park. We drive for 3 hrs, partly along the scenic National Route 40, which runs through Argentina, parallel to the Andes for more than 5,000 km. Approaching El Chaltén, we have views of the Lago Viedma with the Viedma Glacier in the distance and, weather permitting, Cerro Fitz Roy, the iconic 3,405 m mountain named in honour of HMS Beagle’s captain, Robert Fitzroy.

B, L, D included

Our morning birdwatching walk introduces local bird species such as the Upland goose, Black-faced ibis and Southern lapwing. In the afternoon, we visit the museum housed in the first house built in the area around 100 years ago by a Danish pioneer. As we walk, we are rewarded by outstanding Andean scenery with snow covered rugged peaks. Hearty eating in a local restaurant is a fitting end to our second day in this famed walking region.

B, L, D included

Our destination today is the Perito Moreno Glacier, named after the prominent Argentine explorer, Francisco Pascasio Moreno. Rare amongst the glaciers around the world, it is considered stable by glaciologists. The glacier is 30 km long, 5 km wide and on average, over 70 m deep. We spend the afternoon accessing different viewpoints on foot, using dedicated trails, hoping to witness the glacier calving, the process of ice sheets breaking off the edge of the glacier. We spend the night in an hotel in El Calafate, a small administrative town on the shore of Lago Argentino.

B, L, D included

We board a catamaran for a scenic two-hour journey into a northern branch of the enormous Lago Argentino. We make a detour into the Upsala Channel to see the terminus of the Upsala Glacier and by lunchtime we are at the remote Estancia Cristina, established in 1914 by an English sheep farming couple, Joseph and Jessie Masters. After settling into our exclusive accommodation, we have an option to stretch our legs while we birdwatch and look for spring wildflowers.

B, L, D included

Our programme today starts with a 4WD drive to a viewpoint with closer views of the Upsala Glacier, Lago Argentina and the Cerro Norte Peak (2,730 m/9,000 ft). We continue on foot as our walk (13 km) descends through a valley of multi-coloured seabed deposits with many fossils. In the afternoon, we have some free time to enjoy the unique setting and to visit the estancia museum in the old sheep shearing shed or enjoy a very gentle ride on horses expertly guided by experienced gauchos.

DAY 10
B, L, D included

Our 12-km walk follows a path used for moving cattle and takes us to another viewpoint with panoramic views of the lake, estancia and the mountain range behind. Condors may fly overhead and orchids are also a possibility. In the afternoon, perhaps reluctantly, we rejoin civilisation by boat and minibus and return to our hotel in El Calafate.

DAY 11
B, L, D included

We take a flight to Ushuaia, the capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego on the shore of the Beagle Channel. Our base for 3 nights will be a modern 4-star hotel in the city centre, with views of the Channel in front, mountains behind and skies that regularly feature rainbows at this edge of the world.

DAY 12
B, L, D included

We spend the morning walking in the Tierra del Fuego National Park on trails in the native sub Antarctic forest. In the afternoon, we visit the Maritime Museum, housed in one of the buildings of the original penal colony established in 1902 and now within Ushuaia’s naval base. It has displays on the indigenous Yamana and Ona population; the history of the penitentiary and Antarctic explorations..

DAY 13
B, L, D included

We take a 2.5 hour boat trip on the Beagle Channel looking out for sea lions and sea birds, such as cormorant, albatross and petrel. The afternoon is dedicated to visiting the atmospheric Estancia Harberton, established in 1886 by missionary Thomas Bridges, the first white man to settle in Tierra del Fuego, and still maintained by his descendants.

DAY 14
B, L, D included

We continue our journey with a flight to Trelew (literally Lew’s town) in Chubut province and a short transfer to Gaiman. Here we learn how the desolate Patagonian steppe was turned into villages of red brick houses surrounded by fertile fields by 19th century Welsh settlers who, in a typically Welsh manner, made friends with the local Tehuelche natives who, in turn, helped them survive the harsh climate.

DAY 15
B, L, D included

A two-hour drive takes us to the area of Punta Ninfas on the southern side of the Golfo Nuevo bay, known as a gathering place of the Southern Right Whale during their breeding season. Here we are also most likely to see Humbolt penguins. A remote French-built early 20th century estancia is a fitting venue for our final lunch in Patagonia.

DAY 16
B, L, D included

Finally, a domestic flight delivers us back in Buenos Aires. Following some free time for individual pursuits, we have our farewell dinner. We may proceed to a milonga to watch or even take part in genuine tango dancing.

DAY 17
B included

A late morning airport transfer concludes our journey.

This itinerary is subject to amendments if required following airline schedule changes.

Trip Price, per person sharing:
£8,223.25 until 16th February 2024
£8,445.50 until 16th May 2024
£8,667.75 until 16th August 2024
£8,890 after 16th August 2024
£1,500 deposit per person
£1,620 double for single room supplement

Please note that the single use supplement is imposed by the hotels and not by Kudu Travel. If you are willing to share, but no other suitable guest books on the trip, we regret that the supplement will be payable.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation for Days 1 through 17, on a twin shared basis
  • Meals with wine at dinners and restaurant lunches, as listed in the daily notation
  • Land and water transportation, as described
  • 5 scheduled internal flights, as described
  • Entrance, sightseeing and National Park fees, except during free periods
  • Services of specialist local guides and drivers, plus Kudu Travel tour leader
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff (appreciation for your Kudu tour leader is at your discretion)
Price does not Include

  • Flights to and from Buenos Aires
  • Trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  • Immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  • Passport, visa and health documentation
  • Personal expenses (laundry, alcohol, other than wine with dinners, free time activities, etc.)
  • Transport and transfer of excess baggage
  • Argentina and Chile departure tax, if any

On Kudu trips, you will only need money for postcards, presents to take home, the odd G & T or an irresistible ice cream. Festival and opera tickets, museum and gallery entrances, National Park fees, all meals (with a very few exceptions specified in individual itineraries), wine with lunch and dinner, access to specialist books carried by the guides, gratuities for porters and hotel and restaurant staff, boat rides, train trips, internal flights, wine tastings, 4WDs with drivers, the services of skilled local guides and trackers etc are ALL INCLUDED in the cost of your holiday.

We are confident that, like previous very satisfied guests, you will discover that our tours give you excellent value for money.

  •  2 +1 nights in Buenos Aires, in a 4 star hotel
  •  2 nights in a Bariloche, in a 4 star hotel
  •  3 nights in El Chalten, in a 4 star hotel
  •  1 + 1 nights in El Calafate, in a 4 star hotel
  •  2 nights in the remote and exclusive Estancia Cristina
  •  3 night in Ushuaia, in a 4 star hotel
  •  2 nights in Gaiman, in a guesthouse

Tour Leader
Neill van den Berg was born in Hackney to a Scottish mother and Dutch father and has lived in Holland since the age of 6. His 11 years in the Dutch Marines took him to many places and during the past decade as a tour leader, he has travelled on every continent. He regularly guides extended tours to South America, including Patagonia and Peru. In his free time, he enjoys star photography, hiking and ancient history.

Visa and Health Requirements
Visitors from the UK, EU, USA and Canada currently require a valid passport, but not a visa, for entry to Argentina. If you are a national of any other country, please check visa regulations with your nearest Embassy of Argentina.

Normally, there are no specific and/or compulsory health requirements for entry to Argentina, but you are advised to consult your doctor at least 6 weeks before you travel about updating your immunisation against Hepatitis A, polio, tetanus and typhoid, or anything else they may consider advisable. You may also wish to check the advice given to travellers by the Department of Health and the FCO

It is essential, and a condition of booking, that you protect yourself with a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip. Follow this link for a quote for a policy available to UK residents.

If you are already insured or a non-UK resident, please inform us of your policy at the time of booking.

Size of Party
This trip will run with a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 14 guests.