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'Andean Circle'

What makes this trip special?

Night at the Tango

Night at the Tango

Tango Show

A taster of Buenos Aires famous nightlife at one of the cities traditional Tango houses. This evening will feature some first rate musicians, dancers and singers as well as a typical Argentine meal. Performances go on into the early hours, and showcase the very best of one of Argentina's most famous exports.

Paris of the Americas

Paris of the Americas

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a truly cosmopolitan city with influences from all over the world. Grand Avenues and 19th century architecture earn Buenos Aires the nickname of the 'Paris of the Americas', but its own identity is just as apparent in each barrio you visit. Buenos Aires' most famous export is the world renowned Tango, and visits to the traditional venues are still possible today.

Picture perfect Perito Moreno

Picture perfect Perito Moreno

Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno remains one of Argentina's most popular tourist attractions. From the wooden walkways opposite the ice you are able to get close enough to hear the cracks and strains of this vast mass of ice as it slowly advances through the valley. From the higher viewpoint you are able to not only see over the surface of the glacier, but also all the way down the cliff faces sitting above the lake.

Journey to a remote Estancia

Journey to a remote Estancia

Estancia Cristina

Estancia Cristina is an isolated and traditional Patagonian estancia locted across Lago Argentino from El Calafate. A visit here includes a navigation over Argentina's largest lake, and views of the Upsala glacier before seeing the workings of a traditional rural ranch.

'Seven Lakes' route

'Seven Lakes' route

Villa La Angostura to San Martin de los Andes

This iconic journey through some of the countries most famous lakes is a panoramic overview of the region. The first stop takes you around the largest lake on the route, the Nahuel Huapi, but you will also pass smaller hidden gems in forested valleys along the way. En route you have the option to stretch your legs and walk some trails or even swim in some of the quieter lakeside bays.

Journey across the Andes

Journey across the Andes

Andean lakes crossing

This full day crossing of the Andes gives you some of the highlights of both the Chilean and Argentinain lake districts all in one journey. Via a combination of land and water navigate three difference lakes, pass between the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes, and also see the Petrohué falls.

Volcanoes and lakes

Volcanoes and lakes

Puerto Varas & the Chilean Lake District

Puerto Varas is a small town on the shores of Lake Llanquihue with stunning views across to the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. A great base for exploring the region, there is a huge array of activities to suit the sedentary or more active traveller.

Bodegas of Mendoza

Bodegas of Mendoza

Wineries of Luján de Cuyo, Maipú and Uco Valley

A combination of the altitude, sunny climate and fertile soils make the areas to the south and west of Mendoza some of the largest producers of wine in the continent. A typical visit to one of the wine valleys will involve looking round two or three bodegas with an extensive tasting session in each. For those looking to fully commit to the wine route, affluent city suburbs such as Lares de Chacra or Maipú now offer some excellent accommodation options close to the vineyards.

Itinerary map for Argentina 'Andean Circle' holiday

Itinerary

  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Buenos Aires
  • 2 Buenos Aires
  • 3 El Calafate
  • 4 El Calafate
  • 5 El Calafate
  • 6 Bariloche
  • 7 Bariloche
  • 8 Bariloche
  • 9 Puerto Varas
  • 10 Puerto Varas
  • 11 Santiago
  • 12 Santiago
  • 13 Santiago
  • 14 Mendoza
  • 15 Mendoza
  • 16 Buenos Aires
  • 17 Buenos Aires
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Andean Circle'

DAY 1

Arrive Buenos Aires

You arrive into Buenos Aires this morning after an overnight flight into Argentina's capital city. At the arrivals terminal a guide greets you and takes you to your chosen hotel where you stay for the next two nights. You have the rest of the day at leisure to relax after the long flight, though if you would prefer to have you half day city tour today then this can changed from the morning of day two, to this afternoon.

DAY 2
B

Buenos Aires city tour

Today you are taken on a half day tour of this elegant cosmopolitan city. You visit some highlights such as the Obelisk and the historic Plaza de Mayo, and stroll down broad avenues, such as 9 de Julio, lined by impressive buildings. You stop in the colourful quarters of San Telmo and La Boca before continuing with a drive through stylish Palermo with its beautiful parks and gardens, Recoleta, and the modern neighbourhood of Puerto Madero.

DAY 3
B

To El Calafate

This morning you are met at your hotel and taken to the smaller domestic airport, called Aeroparque Jorge Newberry in time for your flight to El Calafate. The flight takes around 3 hours and on arrival in Patagonia you are transferred to your hotel for a stay of three nights. You have the rest of the day free free to explore the town independently and you may wish to take a walk to the shores of Lago Argentino on the edge of town, or perhaps build in a visit to the glaciarium ice museum. This is a modern structure that offers a good introduction to this glacial region of Argentina through some interactive videos whilst your entrance fee also includes entry to the sub zero temperature glacial 'ice bar' for a cold drink. There are free shuttles from the centre town, or in a taxi the drive takes around 10 minutes.

DAY 4
B

Perito Moreno Excursion & Nautical safari

Today you visit the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier located within the Los Glaciares National Park. The first part of the journey takes you across the bitter beauty of the Patagonian steppe. Gradually the landscape becomes more lush with trees such as Antarctic beech, sour cherry, the red Chilean firetree, their colours changing with season. Eventually you then arrive at the park entrance, and have a dramatic first glimpse of the Perito Moreno glacier; like a frozen river for as far as the eye can see. One of the few glaciers in Patagonia that is still growing, you can walk along a network of trails and footbridges to get closer to the ice walls and to hear the creaking and cracking of shards of ice plummeting into the water. Seeing the glacier from the wooden walkways is awe-inspiring enough for some, but there is also the option to board a small boat and see the glacier from the water level, or even put crampons on and hike over the frozen surface.

DAY 5
B

Estancia Cristina Trekking Cañadón de los Fosiles

An early start today to reach Puerto Bandera in time to board your boat for a cruise across Lake Argentina towards the Upsala glacier and Estancia Cristina. Nestled amongst a setting of glaciers, snow capped peaks and lakes of outstanding beauty the estancia has proudly stood since 1914 and was founded by Joseph Percival Masters, an Englishman who came to Patagonia in search of fortune by the working the lands around Lake Argentina. Arriving at Estancia Cristina in the late morning, you are taken to visit the Continental Ice Sheet for impressive views of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, including the Eastern face of the Upsala Glacier, Lake Guillermo, and the Andes Mountain Range. You then hike through the Cañadón de los Fósiles, a unique valley where marine fossils that have been uncovered by glacial activity can be seen. In the late afternoon you travel back to Puerto Bandera and then continue on to El Calafate to arrive in the late afternoon.

DAY 6
B

To Bariloche

You have the morning at leisure in Calafate before this afternoon you are transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Bariloche, and the greenery of the Argentine lake district. The town is located on the shores of the Lago Nahuel Huapi and is the main destination in the region for both summer and winter tourism. Surrounded by hills and forests, the picturesque town has an Alpine feel to it, and you are met on arrival and taken to your accommodation either in the bustling centre or on the road out of town at the lakeside.

DAY 7
B

Bariloche: the short circuit

Today you have a half-day tour in the surrounding area of Bariloche and an introduction to the Nahuel Huapi National Park. There are wonderful views along the lake shore where there are a sprinking of old houses built by pioneer settlers, the Yacht Club and the Melipal neighbourhood. As you leave the town the scenery and flora takes centre stage, with cypress forests, maitenes, coihues and ñires. Take the chair lift up to the top of Cerro Campanario, where at an altitude of 1,050m there is a stunning view across the landscape. From here you visit a small village built by Swiss settlers before returning to Bariloche. You then have the afternoon free to relax at your hotel or for independent shopping/sightseeing in town or around the lake.

DAY 8
B

Road of the Seven Lakes to San Martín de los Andes

Today you leave Bariloche and travel north following the Limay River on route 237 through the Nahuel Huapi and Lanin National Parks. The first stop off point is the village of Villa La Angostura before joining the ‘Road of the Seven Lakes’ - Correntoso, Espejo, Villarino, Falkner, Hermoso, Machónico & Meliquina. After a stunning drive you arrive in San Martín de los Andes on the shores of Lácar Lake. Your return route to Bariloche can be either through Paso Córdoba or along National Route 40 via Junín de los Andes and La Rinconada.

DAY 9
B

Lake Crossing: Bariloche to Puerto Varas

This morning you are transfered by bus to Puerto Pañuelo in time to board a catamaran and cruise across Lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Blest where you disembark and travel the short distance by bus to Puerto Alegre. Here board your second boat to Puerto Frías crossing the vivid emerald coloured waters of Lago Frías with an impressive backdrop of towering volcanoes. Crossing the Argentina/Chile border, you continue by bus to Peulla, an eco-village set in stunning countryside, where you stop for lunch. After lunch you board a bus to Petrohué and board your third and final vessel for your cruise across Lake Todos los Santos. From the boat you have vistas across the lake to the snow-capped Osorno and Tronador volcanoes. Disembark at Petrohué for a short stop at the beautiful Petrohué falls that cascade down volcanic rock before continuing by bus to Puerto Varas where you stay for two nights.

DAY 10
B

Visit to Frutillar

Depart from your hotel to visit Frutillar, a pretty town located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue with its gardens, colourful houses and tea rooms. Frutillar is a perfect example of the traditions of the German settlers who colonised this region, and whose legacy is reflected in its architecture and cuisine, and you will learn of the local heritage with a visit to the German Colonial Museum. The town is also home to one of the most modern and largest theatres in South America, the Teatro del Lago (Lake Theatre).

DAY 11
B

In Puerto Varas

Today you have a full final day at leisure in the lake district. There are a large variety of active excursions available in the area from mountain biking and horseriding to white water rafting and hiking. Within a day trip distance is the Alerce Andino National Park to the south of the town, whilst towards Puerto Montt and across the water is the fascinating island of Chiloe. This is Chile's largest island with a National Park of it's own and curious wooden churches in its largest town, Castro. If you prefer to have a day to relax today though, then you can simply enjoy the picturesque town and the lakeside setting.

DAY 12
B

To Santiago

After a leisurely start today you are transferred to Puerto Montt in time for your flight to north to Chile's capital city, Santiago. You are met out of the arrivals area at the airport, and transferred to your hotel in town where you stay for 3 nights. Depending on the time of your flight, you may have some time this afternoon to explore the city independently. Otherwise, your English speaking guide can give you a brief rundown on places to visit close to your hotel.

DAY 13
B

Santiago City Tour

Your tour starts with a visit to Santa Lucia Hill, the spot where Santiago was founded by Pedro de Valdivia in 1541 and is now an attractive park in the centre of the city. You continue to the Plaza de Armas with its historic buildings such as the City Hall, the National Historical Museum, the Central Post Office and the Cathedral. You visit Club Hípico, Chile’s oldest thoroughbred horse racing track, and the University district. Your tour ends with a visit to a handicraft shop specialising in lapis lazuli, an intensely colourful semi-precious stone found only in Chile and Afghanistan. You have the rest of the day free to relax or exlplore some more of the city, perhaps visiting some of the world class museums and galleries on offer the Chilean capital.

DAY 14
B

Maipo Valley

Today you visit the Maipo Valley, Chile’s most widely cultivated wine producing valley and home to world renowned vineyards such as Viña Cousiño Macul, Viña Undurraga and Viña Concha y Toro. Stopping at two vineyards you learn about the history of wine production in Chile, today's wine industry and of course have the opportunity to sample some of the region's wines.

DAY 15
B

Across the Andes to Mendoza

This morning you you begin your second crossing of the Andes, either via a scenic public journey or by a brief flight into Argentina. you arrive into Mendoza and are transferred to your hotel where you stay for 3 nights. The city of Mendoza is the largest city in the province by the same name, and this fertile section of Andean foothills is best known for it's wine production.

DAY 16
B

Mendoza City tour and wineries

Today you explore Mendoza and surrounding countryside with your English speaking guide. Nestled against the foothills of the Andes, the snow-capped peaks of the towering mountains gleam in bright blue sky. Along the cities wide tree-lined avenues, locals gather at their favourite café for a morning espresso while students scurry off to lectures. You visit the Iglesia de San Francisco, the site where Mendoza was founded in 1561 and where ruins recall the devastating earthquake of 1861. You walk to the Plaza de Independencia, the city's largest plaza and then on to Plaza España, the most colourful and pretty of Mendoza's many flower-filled plazas. Continuing along the lake shore, you pass some of Mendoza's grandest houses, until you reach Parque General San Martin where you walk to a statue of the park's namesake and victor over the colonial Spanish. The tour ends in the quiet neighbourhood of Challao where you visit the shrine to the Virgin of Lourdes. This afternoon you discover some of Mendoza's most famous produce as you leave the city behind you and venture into the dusty countryside. The province is home to more than 800 wineries and today you visit two vineyards in either the Lujan de Cuyo region or the Maipu region, two areas often referred to as "the Land of the Malbec". Here you learn how Mendoza and wine have been entwined since the first Spanish settlers, the influence of Italian migrants and how the industry has changed so dramatically in the past decade. Of course a visit to a vineyard would not be complete without sampling its produce.

DAY 17
B

Free day based in Mendoza

Free day based in Mendoza where optional excursions to other wineries are available locally. You may wish to explore with a driver and guide, or alternatively you can explore the area by bicycle for an alternative way to see the countryside. If you would like to explore some of the production areas slightly futher afield, then the the Uco Valley is an area that in recent years has experienced a growth in wine production. Positioned at a higher altitude than the vineyards closer to Mendoza, Uco Valley's loftier height intensifies the grape; a malbec from this area is characterised by its deeper purple colour and intense violet-like aromas. The vineyards in this region tend to be more experimetal with their grapes and you will have the opportunity to sample wine which blends grapes grown at different altitudes and produces a complex wine.

DAY 18
B

To Buenos Aires

Today trasnfer to Mendoza airport in good time for your flight to Buenos Aires. You arrive into Aeroparque Jorge Newberry domestic airport in the centre of the city, and are transferred to you nearby hotel for one final night in Argentina. You are at leisure for the remainder of the day, and may perhaps this evening choose to visit one of the traditional Tango venues of the city for an evening of music and dancing.

DAY 20
B

Depart Argentina

Today your are transferred to the Ezeiza International airport in time for your return overnight flight back to the UK.

Guide prices for 'Andean Circle'

Seasonal, possible: October to end of March

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Mid-range hotels, shared excursions 2 people sharing £4,695
Mid-plus range hotels, shared excursions 2 people sharing £5,225
Upper-range hotels, shared excursions 2 people sharing £5,665
Top range hotels, private excursions 2 people sharing £9,780
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Argentina and Chile, including flights within and between them
  • all accommodation
  • all meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • all excursions described
Prices do not include:
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • transatlantic flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes

Customer reviews for 'Andean Circle'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average

Seasonal information for 'Andean Circle'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
2 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
3 El Calafate 17°C rainfall 19mm
4 El Calafate 17°C rainfall 19mm
5 El Calafate 17°C rainfall 19mm
6 Bariloche 22°C rainfall 29mm
7 Bariloche 22°C rainfall 29mm
8 Bariloche 22°C rainfall 29mm
9 Puerto Varas 20°C rainfall 76mm
10 Puerto Varas 20°C rainfall 76mm
11 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
12 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
13 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
14 Mendoza 31°C rainfall 35mm
15 Mendoza 31°C rainfall 35mm
16 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
17 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Andean Circle'

Days 1 - 2

Hotel Pulitzer

Buenos Aires

The Pulitzer is a modern hotel located in the centre of Buenos Aires. Rooms are equipped with safe, minibar, airconditioning and free high speed wifi whlist there is a downstairs bar that serves lights meals and drinks throughout the day. Up on the 7th floor there is a swimming pool and even a gym where it is possible to book in for a massage.

 

 

Hotel Pulitzer
Hotel exterior
Days 3 - 5

Hotel Sierra Nevada

El Calafate

This is a lakeside hotel with attractive gardens running down towards the shore of Lago Argentino. Rooms are a little dated, but are equipped with cable TV, private bathroom and heating for the colder months, whilst there is wifi in the communal areas, a small gym and bikes which are free to hire.

Hotel Sierra Nevada
Hotel gardens
Days 6 - 8

Edelweiss, Bariloche

Bariloche

This is good option for staying in the centre of Bariloche town. Some rooms offer views of Lake Nahuel Huapi, and there is a spa and indoor swimming pool as well as a Restaurant and bar.

Edelweiss, Bariloche
Standard Room
Days 9 - 11

Puelche

Puerto Varas

Hotel Puelche is located a few blocks from dowtown Puerto Varas, facing lake Llanquihue and with views of Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. All 21 rooms (divided into Premium and Superior Rooms) at the hotel have private bathrooms, hairdryers, safety deposit boxes and minibar. Facilities at the hotel include a restaurant and spa.

Puelche
Exterior of the hotel
Days 12 - 14

Hotel Providencia

Providencia

A newly renovated, 75 room traditional hotel with a garden swimming pool and fitness centre, conveniently located near the Providencia metro station and close to the entrance to the Cerro San Cristobal. Rooms have cable TV, A/C and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on site, as well as pleasant gardens and food is served in the terrace area by the pool.

 

Hotel Providencia
Double room
Days 15 - 17

Finca la Azul Casa de Huéspedes

Uco Valley

This is an attractive, modern guest house with just 6 rooms on an artisan winerery in the fashionable Uco Valley on RN89. All rooms have a view across the vines to the Andes, private bathrooms with bath tubs, TV, WiFi, A/C and heating with wood burning heaters, organic toiletries. In the restaurant there is home cooking served familiy style, whilst private wine tasting can be arranged in their cellar. There is also an outdoor swimming pool for guests to use.

Finca la Azul Casa de Huéspedes
Double room
Day 18

Hotel Pulitzer

Buenos Aires

The Pulitzer is a modern hotel located in the centre of Buenos Aires. Rooms are equipped with safe, minibar, airconditioning and free high speed wifi whlist there is a downstairs bar that serves lights meals and drinks throughout the day. Up on the 7th floor there is a swimming pool and even a gym where it is possible to book in for a massage.

 

 

Hotel Pulitzer
Hotel exterior