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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 the lake to the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. It is a good base for exploring the southern part of the Lake District, touring around the lakes or sailing across them, active hiking, biking, kayaking and rafting, walking and birding in ancient forests, or just relaxing in wonderful scenery.

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

Buenos Aires

You arrive in Buenos Aires, probably in the morning after an overnight flight. You are met and taken to your hotel for a 2 night stay with the rest of your day free to relax.

DAY 2
B

Buenos Aires City

A morning tour of this cosmopolitan city. You visit some of its landmarks, such as the Plaza de Mayo and the Obelisk, and stroll along grand boulevards. On narrower streets you explore colourful San Telmo and La Boca, and the stylish Palermo with its beautiful parks and gardens, then the Parisian ambience of Recoleta, and the newly smartened dockland of Puerto Madero. The afternoon is free for you to discover the city by yourself.

DAY 3
B

El Calafate and Perito Moreno Glacier

This morning you are collected from your hotel for your 3h flight to El Calafate in Patagonia, where you are transferred to your hotel for a 3 night stay. You have the rest of the day free to explore the town: perhaps a walk to the shores of Lake Argentina, or a visit to the ‘Glaciarium’ ice museum and a drink in its ice bar.

DAY 4
B

Perito Moreno Glacier

Today you visit the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier, reached by road across the bitter beauty of the Patagonian steppe. As you approach the end of Lake Argentina the landscape becomes lush with trees (Antarctic beech, sour cherry, Chilean fire tree), colours changing with the season. At the park entrance you catch a first glimpse of the glacier: a massive expanse of swirling fractured ice sloping 30km down from the Southern Patagonian Ice Field high in the Andes. Trails and bridges bring you directly in front of the 60m wall of ice at the glacier’s foot, 5km wide. The glacier can reach the opposite shore, dividing the lake until destroyed by the pressure of water. Perito Moreno is growing and moving, creaking, crackling and exploding as great shards of ice plummet into Lake Argentina.

DAY 5
BL

Patagonian Estancia visit

A day in the country. You are driven on the ‘Camino de las Estancias’ back road to a typical Patagonian estancia by Lake Argentina. You stride or stroll with a local guide in rolling landscapes with views across the lake to the Andes beyond, by forests of lengas and nires. You will almost certainly see the austral parakeet (the most southerly parrot), plus patagonian hare, woodpeckers, caracara and eagles. Let us know if you would enjoy a horse ride–a lovely option at modest extra cost. While you are out on the land a ‘lamb on the cross’ is roasting by an open fire ready for lunch in the estancia’s quincho. The gauchos then show off their skills: riding, sheep herding, shearing or preparing and baling the wool. You return to your hotel in the mid/late afternoon.

DAY 6
B

To Bariloche and the Argentine Lake District

A final morning free to explore Calafate then you are driven to the airport to fly to Bariloche on the shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi in the Argentine Lake District. Ringed by hills and forests, the picturesque town has an Alpine feel. You are met and taken to your hotel either in the bustling centre or by the lakeside out of town.

DAY 7
B

Bariloche small circuit and Cerro Campanario

A morning tour around Bariloche and into Nahuel Huapi NP. There are wonderful views along the lake shore with a sprinkling of old houses built by pioneer settlers and a yacht club. Scenery and nature take centre stage with crystal clear lakes below forested hillsides. Take the chair lift up Cerro Campanario for stunning panoramic views across lakes and mountains. You visit a small village of Swiss settlers, returning to Bariloche with an afternoon free to relax, shop, or explore in or around the town.

DAY 8
B

Road of the Seven Lakes to San Martín de los Andes

A glorious day around the lakes. You first follow the Limay River through Nahuel Huapi and Lanín parks, stopping at the elegant resort of Villa La Angostura before joining the ‘Road of the Seven Lakes’: Correntoso, Espejo, Villarino, Falkner, Hermoso, Machónico and Meliquina. A stunning route brings you to San Martín de los Andes on the shores of Lake Lácar. Your return could be via Paso Córdoba or along Ruta 40 via Junín and La Rinconada.

DAY 9
B

Lake Crossing to Chile

A day of adventure. Catch the early transfer bus to the little dock at Puerto Pañuelo where your main luggage is checked-in for the trip and you board a catamaran cruiser across Lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Blest. Disembark and hop on the waiting bus for the short trip to Puerto Alegre to board a second boat across the vivid emerald waters of Lago Frías with a backdrop of towering volcanoes. Crossing the border into Chile on a country road, you continue to Peulla, an eco-village set in stunning countryside, where you stop for lunch. Back on the bus you drive to 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 volcanoes of Osorno and Tronador. Disembark at Petrohué for a short stop where the beautiful Petrohué Falls cascades along volcanic rock, before continuing by bus to Puerto Varas where you stay for 3 nights. A lot of logistics, but an amazing day.

DAY 10
B

Lake Llanquihue and Frutillar

Exploring the Chilean lakes, you visit Frutillar, a pretty town beside Lake Llanquihue, with gardens, colourful houses, tea rooms and a large theatre and concert hall on the lake shore. Frutillar is a perfect example of the traditions of its German settlers, as explained in the town’s colonial museum.

DAY 11
B

Free day in Puerto Varas

A free day to explore the scenic town of Puerto Varas in its lakeside setting. We can arrange extra trips for you: active hiking, biking, horse riding, or rafting, or touring south to explore Alerce Andino NP or the fascinating island of Chiloé.

DAY 12
B

To Santiago and the Central Valley

After a leisurely start you are transferred to Puerto Montt for your flight to Santiago where you are driven to your hotel for 3 nights; your guide can give you a brief rundown on places to visit close to your hotel. You may have free time to explore the city.

DAY 13
B

Santiago City

This morning your guide collects you for a tour of Santiago. You start with a visit to Santa Lucia Hill, where the city was founded in 1541. Historic buildings around the Plaza de Armas include the Cathedral, City Hall, National Historical Museum, and Central Post Office. The rest of your day is free: you might visit some of Santiago’s world-class museums and galleries, see p11.

DAY 14
B

Visit to a winery

Today you visit the Maipo Valley, Chile’s prime wine region. Stopping at two vineyards you learn about wine production, with wine tastings at either or both.

DAY 15
B

Across the Andes to Mendoza in Argentina

This morning you begin your second crossing of the Andes, on scenic mountain roads on a public bus or by a short flight. You are met in Mendoza and taken to your hotel for 3 nights.

DAY 16
B

Visit to vineyards around Mendoza

Today you are taken on half day visit to either the Luján de Cuyo or Maipu regions to visit a winery. You come into contact with the culture of the hard working European immigrants who used the irrigation techniques of canals and ditches inherited from the area’s indigenous inhabitants, the Huarpes, to transform a vast desert into a productive oasis. This sets the scene for the prestigious wineries of today that have become world-wide renowned for the quality of their wines. You will learn about traditional wine production methods as well as the latest technology and finish with some tasting of the region’s excellent wines. Amongst the wineries usually visited are the Vistandes, López, Viniterra, Cavas Don Arturo, Carmine Granata and Cavas de Weinert.

DAY 17
B

Free day in Mendoza

A free day in Mendoza. Optional excursions to other wineries are available locally, including by bicycle. We can arrange a trip (at extra cost) to explore key areas further afield, and would recommend the scenic Uco Valley whose higher altitude vineyards are among the foremost exponents of modern Argentine Malbec.

DAY 18
B

Buenos Aires

Transfer to the airport to fly to Buenos Aires, where you are driven to your hotel for a final night in Argentina. We can book a tango show tonight if you wish.

DAY 19
B

You are driven to the international airport for your 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, mix of shared and private tours 2 people sharing £3,595
Upper range hotels, mix of shared and private tours 2 people sharing £4,435
Top range hotels, mostly private tours 2 people sharing £7,350
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

Own Recoleta

Retiro

Situated in the heart of the Retiro shopping and commercial district of Buenos Aires, this 8 storey hotel has 77 recently renovated rooms. Each contemporary room has an electronic safe and air conditioning as well as Wi-Fi.

Own Recoleta
Relax
Days 3 - 5

Kau Yatun, El Calafate

El Calafate

Located 600 metres from downtown the hotel features a lobby bar and Restaurant. The 44 rooms are divided between Economy, Superior and Suites. All rooms have King Size beds, Wi-Fi, safe deposit box, DDN, DDI, desk, hairdryer, heating, shower, bath, hairdryer, minibar, telephone, alarm clock service. Suites also feature hydromassage. Approx. rooms sizes: Standard 22 sq mt, Superior 30 sq mt & Suites 40 sq mt.

Kau Yatun, El Calafate
Hotel exterior
Days 6 - 9

Cacique Inacayal Lake & Spa, Bariloche

Bariloche
rating

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

The Cacique Inacayal is located a short walk from the centre of town and next to Nahuel Huapi lake. It has 67 rooms, fully equipment with wi-fi, safe and modern bathrooms, whilst there is a 5th floor restaurant serving Patagonian dishes, and a spa with heated swimming pool and sauna.

Cacique Inacayal Lake & Spa, Bariloche
Exterior
Days 10 - 11

Cabaña del Lago

Puerto Varas

Located 5 blocks from the centre of Puerto Varas this 157-room hotel has some of the most beautiful views in Puerto Varas. All rooms which are divided between Standard, Superior and Suites (some with park view and some with Lake view) have en-suite facilities, mini-bar, Cable TV and electronic safe. The hotel also features a Spa with heated swimming pool, 2 panoramic terraces, hot tub located on the hillside of the park of the hotel, gym, restaurant, bar and roof terrace with full bar.

Cabaña del Lago
Superior room
Days 12 - 14

Plaza San Francisco

Santiago

Plaza San Francisco
Days 15 - 17

Bohemia Hotel Boutique

Mendoza

Located just 2 blocks from restaurants, bars and pubs, the hotel features 11 rooms on 2 floors all with private facilities. All rooms are decorated differently and come with Wi-Fi, Cable TV and Telephone.

Additional features: Wine Bar, Restaurant, Pool, 24-hour Concierge, Internet/Fax.

Bohemia Hotel Boutique
Double room
Days 18 - 19

Dazzler Recoleta

Recoleta

Dazzler Recoleta boats 414 modern rooms situated in the Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. There is an outdoor pool and sauna, as well as a fitness centre and free wifi throughout the hotel. Classic rooms have air conditioning and heating for cooler months, private bathrooms with bath tubs and an electronic safe.

Dazzler Recoleta
Swimming pool