Itinerary Highlights
    • Take a private tour of Buenos Aires with a local guide
    • Experience the magic of Argentina’s Lake District
    • Hike between ancient trees and enchanting waterfalls in multiple national parks
    • Enjoy mesmerising mountain views on horseback while staying in an estancia
    • Travel on a historic steam train through magnificent Patagonian landscapes

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There’s nowhere better than Patagonia to showcase the power of nature. Lush forests, glacial lakes and magnificent mountains are all par for the course in this region long-loved by adventurers and explorers. But despite Patagonia’s vastness, travellers tend to follow the same circuits, so we’ve designed a trip that lets you experience everything it has to offer without making you feel like you’re just another tourist. Whether in the calm of an estancia, the shadow of snow-capped mountains or beside the crackling fireplace after a waterfall hike, you’ll experience the magic of heading off the beaten track during this two-week trip.

Begin in Buenos Aires, where a private tour of the pulsating capital will let you in on its secrets.
One flight and a short drive later, you’ll find yourself in San Martín de los Andes, with Lake Lácar as your neighbour and the Lanín National Park as your garden. After two days exploring native forest and enjoying one of the region’s best restaurants, you’ll wind your way along the Road of the Seven Lakes to Villa La Angostura, bordering Nahuel Huapi Lake, Los Arrayanes National Park and the ski slopes of Cerro Bayo. Your road trip continues to San Carlos de Bariloche, a Swiss-style town located between vibrant forest-covered mountains and the icy waters of the lake. Route 40 then leads you through desert expanses to Esquel and the Los Alerces National Park. You’ll take in rushing rivers, cascading waterfalls and forests of thousand-year-old Patagonian cypress trees aboard a historic steam train. You’ll say your farewells to Patagonia in the tranquillity of Villa Lago Rivadavia before returning to Buenos Aires by plane. Throughout the trip, your hire car, GPS and Original Travel app give you the freedom to explore at your own pace. And if you need anything while you’re away, our in-country Concierge is always on hand to help.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAYS 1 & 2

DIRECT FLIGHT TO BUENOS AIRES

Your two-week adventure in Argentina begins today. After being whisked through airport security thanks to our fast-track services, relax in the airport lounge before boarding your overnight, 14-hour flight to the capital city. When you land in Buenos Aires the following morning, you’ll be privately transferred to your accommodation in the lively Palermo district. This trendy neighbourhood is full of cobbled streets, small restaurants, bars, designer boutiques and green parks. Your accommodation for the next two nights is an eco-conscious hotel complete with a small rooftop swimming pool where you can cool off before or after exploring the bustling city.

DAY 3

LOCAL TOUR OF BUENOS AIRES

So you can get to know the city a little better today, we’ll arrange for you to take a tour of the capital with a local guide. In the company of an expat who knows Buenos Aires like the back of their hand, you’ll spend half a day immersing yourself in its culture between street food markets and secret spots. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about the daily life of the porteños (port city locals).

After the tour, you have the rest of the day to spend at your leisure: stroll through the Cementerio de la Recoleta and the chic neighbourhood of the same name; get lost in the pretty cobbled streets of San Telmo, known for its antique shops; explore the Caminito street museum in the colourful La Boca neighbourhood; go window shopping in Palermo or treat yourself to a unique piece by a local designer; go for an Argentinian wine tasting; visit the fantastic Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts); stroll through the city centre to explore the Plaza de Mayo, the city’s social and political epicentre.

While you’re here, don’t miss a visit to some of the city’s milongas: meeting halls where locals of all ages come together to dance tango and milonga (very similar to tango). There are all sorts of milongas, from traditional to modern, from touristy to hidden gems, and they can include both beginners classes and performances by the pros. Your Concierge will direct you to some of the city’s best, the ones that form an integral part of the city’s culture and daily life.

DAY 4

FLIGHT TO SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES

It’s time to head to Patagonia, so you’ll take a private transfer back to the airport and board your flight to Chapelco, which takes two hours and 20 minutes. When you arrive, you’ll pick up your hire car and drive to San Martín de los Andes, which overlooks Lake Lácar at an altitude of 2,950ft.

We’ll arrange for you to explore the surroundings of this beautiful lake in the Lanín National Park, specifically the village of Quila Quina. Founded in the 1940s, the village is a combination of private properties and land belonging to the indigenous Mapuche community. Around it, admire some of Patagonia’s most beautiful landscapes during a walk through the oak and cypress forests that border the Arroyo Grande river. As you walk, you’ll come across a beautiful waterfall and beyond that, some equally beautiful beaches. You’ll then refuel with a mate, an energising hot drink that’s loved by locals.

While you’re here, carve out some time to watch the sunset from the Mirador de los Arrayanes. About 15 minutes’ drive from San Martín de los Andes, you’ll find this incredible spot where you can see the colours of the sky reflected in the peaceful waters of the lake. Afterwards, head back to your cosy hotel, which is complete with rustic décor and a small swimming pool.

DAY 5

EXPLORE SAN MARTIN DE LOS ANDES

Today is yours to spend however you please, and there’s plenty of activities to choose from: return to the Lanín National Park and visit the village of Junín de los Andes en route, which houses a beautiful church and Mapuche cultural centre; have a picnic on the shores of Huechulafquen Lake –the largest in the park – as you enjoy views of blue waters and impressive waves; between December and February, head to Puerto Canoa for a lake cruise with the Lanín volcano as a backdrop; bathe in the emerald waters of Lake Paimún; explore the region's native forest, home to coigüe trees and calafate shrubs; or hike to the El Saltillo waterfall.

This evening, there’s a table in one of San Martín de los Andes’ best restaurants with your name on it, so prepare to tuck into a delicious meal accompanied by a glass of Argentinian wine.

DAY 6

DRIVE TO VILLA LA ANGOSTURA

If you like, begin this morning with a private kayak trip on the peaceful waters of Lago Machónico. Alternatively, treat yourself to a lie in before hopping back into your hire car and driving for two hours until you reach Villa La Angostura. The route takes you via the Camino de los Siete Lagos (Road of the Seven Lakes), a portion of national road that snakes alongside seven of the region’s most sublime lakes: Correntoso, Espejo, Escondido, Villarino, Machontoso and Lacar. This magical route crosses the incredible landscapes of the Andes until your eyes land on another lake, Nahuel Huapi, which marks your arrival at Villa Angostura. Perched at an altitude of 2,850ft, this city stretches along 12 miles of Route 40, and is a place to enjoy nature during all seasons: in winter, you can take advantage of the boutique Cerro Bayo ski resort; when it’s warmer, it’s a great place for hiking, fishing and water sports.

You’ll spend one night here in the residential area of Puerto Manzano, in a small, charming hotel on the shores of the lake. This cosy spot is moments from the bay where the boats leave for the Parque Nacional Los Arrayanes, and from the breakfast room and living room, you’ll have great views of the surrounding forest. When you arrive, relax on the terrace or in the pool if it’s sunny, or cosy up on the sofa beside the fireplace. This evening, enjoy a typical Argentinian meal in the restaurant.

DAY 7

HIKE IN LOS ARRAYANES NATIONAL PARK

Before you move on from this picturesque town, take a stroll through the pleasant city centre to make the most of its restaurants and shops. You’ll also find the Capilla Nuestra Señora de la Asunción here, a 1930s chapel built in the region’s typical architectural style, along with the Residencia Messidor, a small castle designed by Alejandro Bustillo that overlooks the lake. The town’s port, Puerto Angostura, has a beautiful beach, while the surrounding area is home to several majestic waterfalls nestled among lush vegetation. The Santa Ana y Dora waterfalls (164ft) form an impressive arc that you can walk behind, and the Rio Bonite Waterfall (115ft) falls into a magical emerald pool.

We’ll also arrange for you to cross the lake for a hike in the Los Arrayanes National Park, which covers the entire Quetrihué Peninsula. The park owes its name to the impressive arrayan tree, which has smooth, cinnamon-coloured bark and white flowers. The greatest concentration of these trees is clustered in the El Bosque area which resembles an enchanted forest and houses trees that are 600 years old. This is also where you’ll find the park office and the starting point for a seven-and-a-half-mile hike to the tip of the peninsula. The trail should take around three hours in total, and you can take two small detours en route to reach the Brazo Norte and Bahía Mansa viewpoints. The latter overlooks the turquoise waters of Villa La Angostura beach.

After your hike, you’ll drive on to the alpine town of San Carlos de Bariloche, where you’ll spend two nights in another hotel on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. You’ll have direct access to a small beach at the lake, along with a private wood whose pathways lead to a beautiful waterfall. This afternoon, enjoy a dip in the pool, a massage or a forest walk before a dinner of Patagonian cuisine in the restaurant.

DAY 8

EXPLORE SAN CARLOS DE BARILOCHE

Surrounded by fir forests and snow-capped mountains, San Carlos de Bariloche, or simply ‘Bariloche’, is more reminiscent of Switzerland than Argentina – they even make chocolate here. It’s popular among Argentinians for winter sports and après-ski vibes, while in summer it’s loved by mountain bikers and horse riders.

While you’re in the area, we’ll arrange for you to spend the day at an estancia, an ecolodge nestled in the Nahuel Huapi National Park – the largest in Argentina – just 40 minutes south of Bariloche. Nearly 500 acres of forest and breathtaking mountain views await you here. On horseback and on foot, you’ll explore this corner of paradise as you wind your way between streams, waterfalls and woods full of wild animals.

DAY 9

ESQUEL VIA LEGENDARY ROUTE 40

Before you leave today, don’t miss hiking part of the Circuito Chico route on the Llao Llao Peninsula, which begins on the south shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi. At the foot of Cerro Campanario, a chairlift takes you 3,300ft higher to enjoy panoramic views of the region: distant mountains covered with groves and surrounded by the lake. Here, an almost mystical aura reigns over the landscapes.

You’ll then take the road to Esquel via the legendary Route 40. First, you’ll cross the blue waters of lakes Gutiérrez, Mascardi and Guillelmo before reaching the hippie village of El Bolsón. The road then crosses desert expanses against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, winding through mountain ranges and green landscapes until you reach Esquel, where you’ll spend the night. Your simple hotel is located in the heart of the city close to the main square. For dinner this evening, we’ll book you a table at one of the city’s best restaurants.

DAY 10

ALL ABOARD THE PATAGONIAN EXPRESS

All aboard! Today you’ll take a train trip on the Viejo Expreso Patagónico (Old Patagonian Express), nicknamed ‘La Trochita’. You’ll travel on this old steam locomotive on a track just 30 inches wide, hence the nickname which means ‘the narrow track.’ Immortalised by the American novelist Paul Theroux in The Patagonian Express, this train was once used to transport goods and played a vital role in the region’s development. In the blink of an eye (and a thunderous horn), this experience immerses you in the Patagonia of the pioneers.

Afterwards, don’t miss a visit to the Welsh village of Trevelín, a pioneer town with an interesting museum housed in one of the region’s first mills. Here, you can visit the flour mill and take a walk through the forest to the Nant y Fall waterfall. Of course, sampling the wines of the surrounding vineyards is a must when in this region, and a great activity to round off your day with before heading to Laguna Zeta to see the sunset, a haven of peace and biodiversity just a few miles from Esquel.

As the day draws to a close, hop back in the car and make the short drive to Los Alerces National Park, about an hour away. You’ll spend two nights here in a small hotel nestled within nearly 300 acres of protected nature. When you arrive, cosy up on the sofa beside the crackling fire before a comfortable night’s sleep.

DAY 11

EXPLORE LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK

Created in 1937, the Los Alerces National Park is the fourth largest in Argentina, 463,400 acres of clear lakes, rushing rivers, gushing waterfalls and incredible forests; in Alerzal, a 1,000-year-old cypress forest, the trees can grow to 230ft and live for over 3,500 years. This pristine natural site is watched over by the majestic Torrecillas glacier.

The park is part of the UNESCO-recognised Andino Norpatagónica Biosphere Reserve and is a great place to hike: the Cerro Cocinero trail leads you to one of the region’s highest peaks; the Laguna del Toro trail crosses the Andean forest of Patagonia that’s full of cypress, coigüe and ñire trees; and the Laguna Escondida trail climbs through the forest offering you beautiful views of Lakes Verde and Menéndez along the way.

DAY 12

DRIVE TO VILLA LAGO RIVADAVIA

Today you’ll drive to Villa Lago Rivadavia, about an hour and a half away. Your last night in Patagonia will be spent in a small, intimate hostería surrounded by nature. You’re still less than an hour from the park and Lago Verde here, so you can continue to explore the region today before returning to your accommodation to relax in the hot tub with a view.

DAY 13

RETURN TO BUENOS AIRES

It’s time to head back to the capital, so you’ll drive back to San Carlos de Bariloche where you’ll return your hire car and board a flight to Buenos Aires. When you land, you’ll be privately transferred to your hotel in the historic district of San Telmo. Your last night in Argentina will be spent in a historic hotel full of Argentinian art. Head to the rooftop terrace for a drink, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, before dinner in the excellent restaurant to round off your trip.

DAYS 14 & 15

RETURN FLIGHT

Sadly it’s time to return home today. You’ll be privately transferred to the airport before boarding your flight back to the UK, which will land the following day.

A la carte

SAN MARTÍN DE LOS ANDES – GUIDED KAYAKING ON LAKE MACHONICO

Located at the foot of the Andes in the province of Neuquén, Lago Machonico is about 17 miles from San Martín de los Andes. Once here, you’ll take your seat on a kayak and begin discovering this special place from the water, surrounded by incredible landscapes of coniferous and Fagaceae forests. Part-way through the trip, you’ll stop on a beach to recharge your batteries while enjoying some empanadas.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £5,215 to £6,170 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £5,650 per person.
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