My Dream Trip - Argentina: Following the Great Whale & Penguin Migrations8 days & 7 nights,
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Buenos Aires, Puerto Madryn & Peninsula Valdes
Join Latin America Senior Destination Manager Ignacio Vallin to discover the wildlife and rugged landscapes of southern Argentina on this adventurous Dream Trip. Begin your travels in cosmopolitan Buenos Aires before flying south to Patagonia. Search for right whale, elephant seal, dolphin and more in the rich waters off Puerto Madryn. Then spend three full days hiking, biking, bird watching and exploring the natural beauty of a remote coastal ranch on the spectacular Peninsula Valdes.
Day 1Arrive Buenos Aires
Upon arrival, you will be escorted to your hotel. You will have plenty of time to relax before this evening's welcome dinner and program briefing.Sofitel Buenos Aires - 1 Night (D)
Day 2To Puerto Madryn
This morning, embark upon your city visit of Buenos Aires, considered Paris of South America. Discover the Main Square, Plaza de Mayo, and its neoclassical cathedral, colonial town hall and the "Casa Rosada" (The Pink House), Argentina's Presidential Palace. Then it's on to the old neighborhood of San Telmo with its narrow, cobblestone streets; La Boca and its multicolored tin houses and soccer stadium; the elegant Barrio Norte neighborhood; and Palermo with its wonderful parks and gardens, monuments and magnificent mansions. Savor a typical Argentine lunch before heading back to your hotel. Later this afternoon, you will be escorted to the domestic airport for your short flight to Puerto Madryn.Hotel Territorio - 1 Night (B, L)
Day 3To Peninsula Valdes
The waters around Peninsula Valdes, including Golfo Nuevo, Golfo San Jose and Caleta Valdes, form the world's main right whale breeding grounds. Board a boat and head out on the water to search for enormous whale, dolphin, sea lion and elephant seal. You'll also visit the Caleta Valdes Natural Reserve as well as Punta Norte, a reserve for sea lion. Later, drive to the small village of Puerto Piramides, where you sail two miles out to sea for whale watching.Estancia Rincon Chico - 4 Nights (B, L, D)
Day 4 - 6Peninsula Valdes
Over the next three full days, enjoy the natural beauty and the varied wildlife of the peninsula. Sea lion and thousands of elephant seal have chosen these beaches for breeding and birthing; and whale, orca, penguin and dolphin are all sighted from the estancia's nine miles of coastline. You can spot a wide variety of inland and coastal birds, and see many of Patagonia's native terrestrial mammals. Group activities include wildlife-watching tours guided by biologists and professional naturalists, hiking trails of varying length and difficulty across the steppe and cliffs, mountain biking adventures, interpretation of native flora, bird watching, astronomy, discussions, and walks in the dunes and fields. Additional activities on the peninsula include whale and dolphin watching, visiting penguin colonies, snorkeling and scuba diving with sea lion, and exploring the scenic vistas of the cliff-lined coastline.Estancia Rincon Chico (B, L, D)
Day 7To Puerto Madryn
Today, enjoy one last chance to explore the peninsula with your guide before returning to Puerto Madryn for the night. This evening, savor a wonderful farewell dinner with your traveling companions.Hotel Territorio - 1 Night (B, D)
Day 8To Buenos Aires
After breakfast, bid farewell to Patagonia as you are escorted to the airport for your fight back to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival connect with your onward flight.(B)
Generally, road travel in Latin America is reasonably good, however conditions vary greatly between the modern capital cities and the more remote areas. When traveling off the beaten track, roads are frequently narrow, bumpy, pot-holed and have stretches which are not paved, or which are under reconstruction. In Costa Rica, northern Chile and Bolivia particularly, conditions are very dusty and / or bumpy, and the road journeys tend to be quite strenuous. Road conditions change throughout the year and heavy rain and extreme weather patterns can affect journey times. Types of vehicles vary according to the country visited and the numbers on a tour: on escorted groups, transport will usually be in the form of a European-style coach or, for smaller groups, may be by mini-bus. On individual journeys, transport will generally be by sedan car. In destinations where conditions require it, off road driving will be in 4 x 4 vehicles.
Internal Flights / Delays / Insurance: Many countries within Latin America have their own air pass and, wherever possible, our tours will be constructed with the appropriate air pass, which will minimize the costs of the internal flight. Please note that the majority of air passes have restrictions; therefore if you require an itinerary with full flexibility, please contact your tour consultant who will advise the additional cost to provide you with a more flexible ticket. Please also note that in certain cases we may not be able to book internal flights under an airpass. In this event a supplement may be payable.
Because of increased air traffic, government restrictions and/or changing weather conditions, flight delays have become more commonplace. These delays can cause problems with your holiday arrangements, and additional costs may well be involved. This may be in the form of added accommodation costs, transfers and/or onward tickets. If this should occur, everything possible will be done to minimize the inconvenience. Cox & Kings will endeavor to ensure that arrangements go as smoothly as possible. As services are paid for in advance any services missed due to delays and/or schedule changes are non-refundable. Please also bear in mind that many international flight tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. The insurance policy offered by Cox & Kings is designed to mitigate the costs and effects of such delays in certain circumstances and we strongly advise that you are insured against such eventualities.
Flight Amendments: Flights on these tours are in general quoted separately and use special airfare. These have certain conditions, which normally restrict changes of date, route and airline. Any such change made after a ticket has been issued will normally necessitate the purchase of a new ticket at the passenger’s expense.
Airport Departure Taxes: Most cities in Latin America levy a departure tax for passengers departing on international flights, which have to be paid in local currency or the equivalent in US dollars. Other cities within a country may also levy a small charge for departures on domestic flights. Occasionally, taxes may be included on your ticket and we will advise you accordingly. Since there is no standard charge between countries, and taxes are subject to change, it is not possible to list the taxes in this brochure. We will advise you of the current charge with your final documents, and our local agents will confirm the amount payable on arrival. Please ensure you keep enough local currency or US dollars to cover these taxes.
During some itineraries, it may be necessary to depart for excursions or transfers to the airport very early in the morning, sometimes before dawn. This is normally either due to the flight schedules within Latin America, or in order for us to maximize the opportunities for sightseeing during your tour. A number of flights to Latin America arrive / depart early in the morning and, while we will endeavor to schedule your tour with a flight which arrives / departs at a reasonable time, sometimes there is little or no alternative and early check-in / check-out times may be required.
Accommodation standards vary dramatically throughout Latin America. In the larger cities, the hotels we use are fully modernized and have excellent facilities, unless you choose to opt for the more colonial style property, where facilities may be limited. In some smaller cities and more remote areas, we try to offer the best hotels available. However, these may be quite simple - sometimes small colonial-style properties, in which rooms may vary in size - and often have relatively basic facilities. Please note, all rooms reserved on your tour are standard; however, if you wish to upgrade your room (e.g. to a lake or falls view, deluxe or suite etc.), please speak to your tour consultant, who will be able to advise you about the options and the applicable supplements.
Check-in & Check-out Times: For all group and individual tours, hotel check-in / out time is normally 3:00 pm, but this does vary between hotels.
Jungle Lodges & Remote Areas: Accommodation in some wildlife lodges in the Amazon rainforest, are not comparable to the better properties found in parts of Africa and Asia. Accommodation is often reached via narrow and unpaved roads, or by boat, and can be a long way from other civilization. Even when you travel off the beaten track with Cox & Kings, you can be sure that your accommodation is the best available; however sometimes the best hotel may be the only hotel, which may be very modest. In these cases, we feel that the inconvenience of such accommodation is outweighed by the experience of staying in these more remote areas.
Capital: Buenos Aires
Official Language(s): Spanish
Visa or Fees: No Visa required. A $140 reciprocity fee is due upon arrival to the Ezezia International Airport in Buenos Aires. This fee is paid once and is valid for the life of the passport.
Argentina is a land of stunning natural beauty, from the wild windswept fjords of Tierra del Fuego to the high plateau landscapes of the north. As well as lively cities and fantastic food and wine, Argentina offers two of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders in Iguazú Falls and the Perito Moreno Glacier.
What To See
The energetic capital of Buenos Aires is a fantastic place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere, catch an impromptu tango session, enjoy superb steaks in some of its many fine restaurants and sample the lively nightlife.
The plains of Patagonia can be divided into coastal Patagonia and inland Patagonia. In Inland Patagonia, at the foot of the Andes, lies Los Glacieres National Park with the Perito Moreno Glacier, an inspiring sight. Coastal Patagonia’s Peninsula Valdes offers excellent wildlife viewing, including the world’s largest penguin colony at Punta Tombo Reserve, and opportunities to see southern right whales, sea lions, elephant seals, guanacos and maras (Patagonian hares).
Further north around the town of Bariloche, lies the Lake District, a region of beautiful forests, lakes and mountains and a great place for outdoor activities.
The wine-producing town of Mendoza is a stylish city which enjoys a stunning location in the foothills of the Andes. It is possible to visit a number of the city’s world-class vineyards.
When To Go
Argentina’s seasons are reversed from the northern hemisphere’s. The best times to visit Buenos Aires are in spring and autumn. Mendoza and the Lake District are spectacular in autumn, when the leaves on the trees turn red and brown. For Patagonia, the best time to go is during the summer months (winter in US), as many services are unavailable in the winter.