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9-Day In The Footsteps of The Gaucho: Argentine Estancia Adventure

9-Day In The Footsteps of The Gaucho: Argentine Estancia Adventure

9 days

9-Day In The Footsteps of The Gaucho: Argentine Estancia Adventure
from $3995 USD

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Get to know the life of the Argentine cowboys, or "gauchos" in the tranquility of a ranch surrounded by the most incredible scenery. Stroll through uninhabited forests, appreciate nature's contrasting colors and gaze upon the impressive mountains of Argentina's Patagonia. Explore the spots most tourists miss by discovering hidden glaciers and adventuring to where nature's maximum beauty is displayed.

This itinerary fully immerses you to the Argentine culture and the history behind it. It's a one-of- a-kind combination that includes the Andes vast forests, crystal lakes, enormous glaciers, and mountains that reach the clouds. This trip gives you the opportunity to simply admire the sheer and profound beauty that is Patagonia.


Day 1: Arrival in Buenos Aires and Transfer to Estancia El Ombu de Areco (LD)

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El Ombú de Areco is a historical estancia (ranch) just over an hour's drive from downtown Buenos Aires in San Antonio de Areco, birthplace of the gaucho tradition. The Late-Colonial style mansion, built in 1880, offers visitors a magnificent setting for an unforgettable stay. You will be accompanied by one of our guides, who will tell you all the historical facts and interesting highlights of this lands and characters. Today you have a variety of options for activities; you can go horseback riding,hiking, or sightseeing in an old-fashioned carriage. This is an ideal place for prime bird watching and observing typical ranch-style activities such as herding animals and milking cows. In the evening, you will enjoy dinner, as well as a musical performance and some folkloric dance. Meals Included: Full Board (drinks included only during meals).

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Luxury Accommodations: Estancia El Ombu de Areco

Day 2: Activites at Estancia El Ombu de Areco (BLD)

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Today, you will have the morning to participate in any activities you did not get to the day before. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a Gaucho perform some folklore songs with the guitar or a traditional “Doma India”, an ancient demonstration that used to happen between the Gaucho and horses. This intimate act displays the commitment and relationship between the man and the animal,showing trust and loyalty. Meals Included: Full Board

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Luxury Accommodations: Estancia El Ombu de Areco

Day 3: Buenos Aires to El Calafate: Estancia Nibepo Aike and Perito Moreno Glacier (BLD)

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In the morning you’ll have a private transfer that takes you to the airport for your flight to El Calafate. Welcome to Southern Patagonia! El Calafate is located in the Patagonian steppe, dry and dramatic. It is on the border of Lago Argentino (Argentina’s biggest lake), considered capital of the glaciers. It is the gate to visit worldwide known Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the only glaciers in the world that is still advancing. After an appropriate time you will leave on a full day excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier (private service), in Los Glaciers National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1981 and home to one of the most awe inspiring landscapes in Argentina; Perito Moreno Glacier is a site to behold. A bilingual guide will be with you to share information about the glacier and the surrounding area. On arrival, you will have the chance to enjoy stunning views of the glacier from the nearby walking trail and lookout areas. But not just that, you will also be taken on the Perito Moreno Glacier boat cruise which brings you close enough to fully appreciate the enormity of the 80 meter-high ice walls! In the early evening, you will be transfer to Estancia Nipebo Aike. Once you check – in and have a look at the facilities, you will be prepared a traditional, homemade dinner of Patagonian lamb and fresh garden vegetables. Duration: 6 hours Recommendation: We highly suggest that you try to take an early flight in the morning, so you can arrive at mid-day, and take advantage of the day and the activities plan on the itinerary. Meals Included: Full Board


Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Estancia Nibepo Aike

Day 4: Horseback excursion to the Third of April Lagoon and Puesto Cachorro (BLD)

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The ride starts early in the morning, with the climb up the Cordon de los Cristales (Crystal mountain range), which lies behind the main house. The higher you go, the more clearly the Argentino lake`s arms stand out. Once you reach a clearing, the track plunges into the Patagonian Andean woods. You will pass between lenga and guindos trees (Magellan beeches), riding along old tracks where the great sheep drives used to pass. On coming out of the dense woodland the way will opens out into the Valley of the Río Cachorro. Notros (Chilean firebush) and calafate bushes here are unusually tall. You will start descending towards the lower land until you`ll come to the riverbed. Surprise views of the Frías glacier start to appear in the distance. Riding between rocks and pasturelands and avoiding the marshlands, you`ll reach the corrals of the Río Cachorro (Cachorro River) outpost where the rangers might be working with the livestock. After a picnic lunch you`ll continue horseback riding to the 3 de Abril lagoon, a habitat of flamingos and black-necked swans, Cauquén (upland goose) and steamer ducks. Passing the lake, you`ll arrive to the outpost, and after unsaddling, there will be time to enjoy the surroundings and the cosiness of the refuge. A wood-fired stove and a brick clay oven, with the gentle light of the lantern, passing the mate round, the evening meal will be prepared while tales of adventures are shared. Meals Included: Full Board (evening meal and overnight at the outpost).

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Estancia Nibepo Aike

Day 5: Horseback Riding and Lake Argentino Southern Arm (BLD)

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Early in the morning, you’ll start your horseback riding along the shore of the lake until you'll reach the main buildings of the estancia, about 18km from the refuge. You will arrive in time for lunch with a typical Patagonian lamb roasted at the stake over charcoal embers, which will be ready just as the riders arrive. You will have the rest of the afternoon free, to relax and enjoy the facilities of the Estancia. Meals Included: Full Board

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Estancia Nibepo Aike

Day 6: Say Goodbye to Estancia Nipebo Aike - Transfer to Estancia Helsingfors (BLD)

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In the morning you will have a regular transfer back to El Calafate, once in downtown; you will take another private transfer to Helsingfors Ranch. Set in a charming lodge in Los Glaciares National Park and surrounded by lush woods, Hosteria Helsingfors boasts 9 luxury rooms in an exquisite setting often compared to a JRR Tolkein's Lord of The Rings stories. If you’re not too tired, you can explore around the area, and later you’ll set off on a hike to the Peninsula del Viento, (Wind Peninsula) An ancient livestock trail leads us towards Punta Del Viento, the first viewpoint of the arm of Moyano. It is a simple walk that has great views of the town and the grove of Sequoias. Along the way we visit the ruins of the House of Alfred Ramstrom, who was the first settler in the area. The Moyano“arm” goes into the mountains and to the East lays the immensity of the Viedma Lake with its celestial waters; the characteristics of the glacial lakes can be seen arriving on the shores. Level of difficulty: Easy, Distance of hike: 6 Km, Maximum height reached during hike: 200 meters above sea level, Amount of total time: 3 hours, In the evening, there will be a sophisticated welcome: original cuisine accompanied by the ranch winery’s very own selection of wines.

**Note: This day that you are returning to El Calafate, we highly recommend getting some cash, as you might find that on the following Estancias to come, if you want to pay additional services, credit cards are not accepted.**

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Elite Accommodations: Estancia Helsingfors

Day 7: Trekking to the Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon) (BLD)

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The day will be started on a path that leads out from the lodge and goes into the valley of the Rio Alfredo (the same river that feeds the lodge’s energy). You will begin to slowly hike up the Cerro Huemul, accompanied by the melody of the bubbling river. After around forty minutes of hiking, you’ll reach a panoramic viewpoint where you can see the magnitude of Cerro Fitz Roy coming out from the huge Lago Viedma. The walk continues plunging into the valley which becomes increasingly narrower, surrounded by Cordon Huemul and peaks that reach 2700 meters; the glacier of the Blue Lagoon you will already be able to see on the horizon of the valley. The trail then enters a forest where it is common to see guanacos and vultures curious to observe visitors approaching. Level of difficulty: Intermediate, Overall distance: 16 km, Maximum height reached: 850 m, Overall time on foot: 5 h 30 min, Meals Included: Full Board

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Elite Accommodations: Estancia Helsingfors

Day 8: Estancia Helsingfors/ Laguna de los Tres /Trekking to HosterĂ­a El Pilar (B)

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In the morning, you will take a private transfer to the Laguna de los Tres, where the vehicle will continue to the lodge to bring the luggage. Meanwhile, you will begin hiking on foot to appreciate the close-up view of Fitz Roy’s granite walls. The view here is spectacular: on one side you see the lagoon and the glaciers, and on the other you see the steppe of El Chalten and the Lago Viedma in the background. After enjoying the view, you will continue climbing up a zig-zagging path to reach a 500-meter drop and arrive at Rio Blanco camp. We will continue the journey along a path that runs along the White River, which allows us to better perceive the different sounds of nature and, after 2 and a half hours walk, will arrive at the Inn. The El Pilar lodge is located in the Valle del Rio de las Vueltas, only 17km from El Chalten. Its location is distinguished by being isolated from the most frequented areas and be the starting point of many hiking trails: Lago del Desierto & Glaciar Huemul, Casa Madsen, Piedra de Fraile, Laguna de los Tres, Glaciar Piedras Blancas. In the evening, you will have a sophisticated dinner at the ranch. **Recommendation: The transfer from Helsingford Ranch to Hosteria El Pilar, it will be a long stretch to do, with no stops. So we`ll recommend the day before, reserve a box-lunch with the ranch.** Meals Included: Breakfast

Meals included: Breakfast
Luxury Accommodations: Hosteria El Pilar

Day 9: Deaprture (B)

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You will have the first part of the day free to roam about and explore. In the afternoon, there will be a private transfer to take you to the local airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. After that, you will have transfer connection to the International airport to take your flight back home Meals Included: Breakfast

Meals included: Breakfast


9-Day In The Footsteps of The Gaucho: Argentine Estancia Adventure
from $3995 USD
*** Contact Us for other itinerary and lodging options! ***

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)

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