Argentina tailor made holiday, 13 days
Description of Argentina tailor made holiday, 13 days
This tailor made holiday to Argentina and Patagonia follows a carefully crafted itinerary around some of the country’s finest national parks, remote lakes and cultural highlights. Starting in the country’s vibrant capital, Buenos Aires, take two days to enjoy this historic hub of music, dance and culture. From here you fly south to Bariloche in the heart of North Patagonia’s Lake District, enveloped by the soaring Cerros Catedral peaks, and gateway for many hikes in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Like so much of Patagonia, this is a landscape boasting snow capped mountains, evergreen forests and, of course, lakes.
From northern to southern Patagonia, take a flight to El Calafate which is gateway to the world famous, glacial gorgeousness of Los Glaciares National Park. A great way to see some of this is on a boat trip which takes you up close and personal to the vast Perito Moreno Glacier.
One final bus trip takes you to El Chaltén, which is the activity centre for those wanting to explore the Fitz Roy massif and, without doubt, some of the most spectacular mountain landscapes on the continent. There are many hiking trails to explore here that take you to remote lagoons, glaciers and within sight of some of the great peaks such as Cerros Fitz Roy and Torre, both soaring over 3,000m. Take a flight back from El Calafate to Buenos Aires to bring this Argentinian and Patagonian adventure to a close.
1 Reviews of Argentina tailor made holiday, 13 days
Reviewed on 09 Dec 2019 by Carolyn Brown
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Walking on our own in the Ushuaia national park
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Try to go on tours on your own rather than the organised ones. I don't know the flight schedules but it was a shame that almost always when we flew we were
unable to do anything else. The exception was El Calafate where we were able to spend the afternoon in the excellent bird reserve - which our tour organiser
hadn't mentioned to us.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
It is a large country and we took a lot of flights - which makes us feel bad. Previous holidays have encouraged re-usable water bottles (which we took) which could have been a good idea. Several local people were involved in the services we used, and the parks on the whole keep people away from the environment but let you see things. The walk to Esmeralda Lake is clearly damaging the peat bog, which is irreplaceable.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Argentina was wonderful. The individual tours were well-run but didn't feel hotels or tours were really tailored to our requests, it just felt like a standard tour.
The pickups worked smoothly (although we were almost too late to check in at El Calafate after waiting for a passenger for a long time, but the airport seemed
used to pulling people out of the queue!). Hotel Kenton on last night (Saturday) does not do room service on Saturdays, would have liked to have room service.
PlanetYour holiday starts in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, a huge, dynamic, city with a tight colonial core, elegant residential suburbs a refurbished port district and several culturally significant art-focussed neighbourhoods. As such, it is fascinating to visit but suffers from vehicle-generated pollution. You will explore the elegant quarters of Recoleta and Palermo by bike, thereby not making any personal contribution to the destruction of air quality, using quieter roads. This way you will learn about the city’s historical heritage and visit a few of the well laid-out urban parks.
Our policy is to offer you programmes using shared transfers or public transfers, cutting down on needless emissions. In fact, to minimise waste (and bring you a good-value holiday), where practical we’ve included excursions and transfers on a shared basis – you’ll be taking the public coach service in Patagonia from El Calafate to El Chaltén.
In the far south, this economical Patagonia adventure holiday visits the Los Glaciares National Park. The administrative body of this protected wilderness area of outstanding beauty, with its glacier-stubbed cobalt lakes, needle-sharp mountain peaks and wind-buffeted grassy plains, takes management of tourist visits extremely seriously. Los Glaciares National Park was created in 1937, and gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 1981. By paying the entrance fee to visit the park you are helping contribute towards the preservation and conservation of this fragile region.
You will visit the popular Perito Moreno Glacier, where you can get up close to the towering wall of ice. In order to maintain its UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the administration of the Los Glaciares National Park has adopted a programme fulfilling the Restructuring Plan for the Moreno Glacier area, necessitated by the impact of the increase in tourism. This restructuring includes road improvements, planning of visits through a new walkway system and services for visitors such as restaurants and toilets: all instated to enhance the site’s protection and the quality of the visit. While visiting the glacier’s site, you are helping to ensure the continuation of this policy, and your actual visit is guaranteed not to have a negative impact on the location.
The hotels we use in this holiday are all relatively small, mostly constructed in keeping with local architecture traditions. Las Marianas, in Bariloche in the lake district, occupies a renovated Austrian-style house in keeping with the Germanic architecture characteristic of the region. The small-and-friendly Sierra Nevada hotel in el Calafate is a two storey, Patagionian- style property in keeping with the ranch-style of buildings in the area around Lago Argentino.
The authorities in el Chaltén, the town which is a base for visits to the Fitz Roy massif, and thre Commission for the Environment have introduced a programme, Sello Verde Sostenible el Chaltén, which awards “stamps” to properties and companies which fulfil a series of eco-friendly targets including composting, recycling, the use of low-energy bulbs, recycled materials, advice for guests about water conservation. The hotel where you will stay there, La Aldea, has reached level 2 of this compliance.
PeopleAs is the case with all our private journeys, we adopt the services of locally recruited guides and drivers in each location in order to promote local employment. This also ensures that you have face to face contact with people who are intimately familiar with their environment and community, and have a vested interest in protecting it so as to ensure the future of tourism in their region. This will help to put a brake on the current tendency for people to leave their homes to seek work in the large urban centres, which harms the socio-economic viability of the countryside and smaller settlements and puts pressure on the infrastructure of the larger cities.
Our partner company in Argentina has an internal policy of donating recyclable items to a foundation which converts them into toys for deprived children. In 2015 they intend to support native members of the Huichi, Toba and Mapuche tribes as well as other artisan crafts people by purchasing and distributing small gifts created by these people both to support them financially and promote local culture. They support the Mapuche Community project where volunteers bringing medical aid and education to remote and impoverished native Indian communities.
Your economical holiday starts in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, a city where contrasting historical quarters are fused together to create a living historical narrative and unparalleled cultural variety. Your bike tour visits two of the quarters with well conserved colonial and belle époque architecture. These neighbourhoods have many locally owned retail, entertainment and food and drink outlets where your financial contribution will help the localities maintain their character and thrive.
Where possible, your accommodation is in independent, locally owned and operated properties, where the income filters through to the local community. In Buenos Aires you stay at Babel Suites in the Bohemian district San Telmo, a culturally-rich historic neighbourhood of art galleries, antique shops and tango bars with many locally owned retail, entertainment and food and drink outlets where your financial contribution will help the locality maintain its character and thrive.
You are visiting two small towns in Patagonia, El Calafate and El Chaltén, which rely on tourism to survive and maintain their communities. Both are fully conscious of the need to conserve the natural environment, the pristine condition of which is vital to the sustenance of the local economy and socio-economic health of towns and villages. By supporting the local tour companies, shops and eateries you will help ensure that the communities both thrive and are encouraged to continue putting eco-friendly practices in place.