London – Buenos Aires
Fly direct from London to Buenos Aires. You’ll be met and taken to your stylish boutique hotel in Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital, in the upmarket neighbourhood of Recoleta. You’ll be ideally placed for touring the area’s top attractions, including the famous cemetery – the final resting place of Eva Peron – and the National Museum of Fine Arts.
A private guide will show you around the city’s diverse districts, from posh Recoleta with its elegant architecture and tree lined promenades, all the way to San Telmo, the old quarter of the city where you’ll find colonial houses, cobbled streets and antique shops.
Stay: Two nights in an executive room at the Serena Hotel – bed & breakfast
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego
Leaving the bustling city behind you’ll fly over to Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, and be transferred to your five-star hotel.
Tierra del Fuego is home to some of Argentina’s most breath-taking landscapes, featuring stunning glaciers, huge mountain peaks, glistening lakes and untouched forests. From your hotel you have a superb view of the famous Beagle Channel, a passage frequented by penguins, cormorants, sea lions and passing whales.
Stay: One night in a superior beagle channel view room at Los Cauquenes – bed & breakfast
Now it’s time to board your five-day Patagonia cruise. Aboard the sleek MV Ventus Australis, you will embark on an unforgettable voyage from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas in Chile. You will sail through some of the planet’s most remote regions, taking in astonishing scenery, fascinating histories and impressive wildlife along the way.
The first night will see you crossing the legendary Beagle Channel into Chilean waters. You’ll navigate the Murray Channel and the following morning cross through Nassau Bay into Cape Horn National Park – dubbed by past sailors as the ‘End of the Earth’. Here, weather permitting, you will go ashore to discover the 425-metre high rocky cliff that is Cape Horn, before crossing back over Nassau Bay to anchor at Wulaia Bay. You can learn about the region’s human history at the museum in the old radio station, and hike through Magellanic forests to reach stunning viewpoints.
The third day of cruising takes you back through the Beagle Channel to the magnificent Pia Fjord. Here a shore excursion will show you the breath-taking Pia Glacier, before continuing west to the Garibaldi Glacier. Your glacier tour continues the next day, sailing into Agostini Sound where you will walk around a lagoon to get a stunning view of the Aguila Glacier.
On your final day aboard the Ventus Australis you will cruise into the Strait of Magellan and drop anchor at Magdalena Island. Land excursions will show you a small museum inside a century-old lighthouse, a variety of bird species and, depending on the time of year, a huge Magellanic penguin colony or South American sea lions.
Stay: Four nights in a category ‘A’ cabin aboard Ventus Australis – including all meals, drinks and excursions
Torres del Paine
You will disembark at Punta Arenas and be transferred to Patagonia Camp in Torres del Paine, a World Biosphere Reserve rich in glacial lakes, meandering rivers, granite peaks and evergreen forests.
You’ll be camping in a luxurious yurt so you’ll experience the sensation of being close to nature without having to forgo modern comforts like a private bathroom and central heating. Not to mention the stars – your yurt has a roof window perfect for gazing at the unpolluted night sky. Using the camp as a base you can go kayaking, stroll along wooden walkways through lenga forest, explore the park and hike to the Cordillera Paine mountain range.
Four nights in a yurt at Patagonia Camp – including all meals and excursions
From Patagonia Camp you cross into Argentina where a real contrast awaits. You’ll be staying in an estancia set in a picturesque valley within the Los Glaciares National Park, with snowy mountain peaks as a backdrop.
You’ll be able to wander through pastures filled with horses, sheep and cattle grazing on purple lupine flowers, go horse racing, meet gauchos, watch sheep shearing demonstrations and dine on mouth-watering barbecued lamb and beef. Enjoy a private excursion to Los Glaciares National Park which offers snow-capped peaks, primeval beech forests, glacier fed lakes and trekking across a landscape often called “the third pole” for its massive ice fields.
Stay: Three nights in a superior room at Estancia Nibepo Aike – full board with shared activities
This morning you will fly back to Buenos Aires, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the lively Palermo Soho neighbourhood. Your final evening in the city can be spent at Faena Hotel’s “Cabaret” room where you will enjoy dinner and watch the incredible Rojo Tango show. With a live orchestra, fantastic dancers, traditional Argentine cuisine and a selection of local wines, there is no finer way to end your adventure.
Stay: One night in a superior room at Legado Mitico – bed & breakfast
Buenos Aires – London
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your direct, overnight flight to London, arriving in the morning.
I am unable to express sufficiently my thanks and admiration for the constant care and organisation you put into this journey.- DH, Argentina, 2012