Buenos Aires Lifestyle and Puerto Madryn: Penguins, Whale Watching and Adoption
14 Nights / 15 Days
Explore the penguin capital of Argentina and take home a whale adoption certificate while you help protect them and their environment! Our program is any nature and animal lover’s perfect plan.
- Cruise in the “Tigre” Canal
- Tango performance
- Attend a Polo Game
- Peninsula de Valdes and Whale Adoption
Day 1 – Arrival
Arrive at Ezeiza airport where you will be met by your driver and transferred to your Hotel. The first day will be at leisure.
Day 2: Today you will visit the city’s neighborhoods such as historic San Telmo with its cobbled streets, arty La Boca, fashionable Palermo, and Puerto Madero. You will be able to taste true Argentine cuisine and see “Portenos” daily life. You will see highlights such as the famous Plaza de Mayo square, Casa Rosada and Recoleta Cemetery. Visit local museums according to your interests, such as the Evita Museum or MALBA, a museum of Latin American art. In the evening, you will take a tour of the Palacio Barolo building. A guided visit and the experience of observing the City of Buenos Aires from high above: a view that is illuminated by the antique lighthouse, to finish the tour with a solo cello concerto.
Day 3: In the morning, you will head to Tigre to enjoy a relaxing cruise on the canals of this “rural Venice,” passing gardens and upscale vacation houses. You will catch some beautiful attractions, like the San Isidro barracks, Olivos Port, University City, and River Plate’s Stadium, called “the Monumental”. You will visit the Puerto de Frutos (Fruits Port), a traditional market filled with colors and friendly vendors. Later, we’ll go to Victorica Road, with its different museums and perspectives of the river. On our way back, we will see the Olivos presidential residence and the different areas of the North of Buenos Aires. Transfer back to your Hotel for some relaxed time. This evening, attend a dinner and tango show to witness a performance full of passion and sensuality.
Day 4: Often referred to as the “sport of kings”, polo is a unique and captivating display of horsemanship once enjoyed only by royalty. You will be met by your private driver and taken to our polo ranch 45 minutes away from the city of Buenos Aires.
You begin the day with an informative talk about polo and its ponies while you taste some delicious empanadas and excellent argentine wine. You will visit the pony line to observe the polo horses that will be playing the polo match and our guide will explain to you how polo horses are selected for the sport, their blood lineages and how they are trained. You will learn about the rules of the game, the equipment used by the polo horse and the player and the different shooting techniques. You will attend a professional live polo match of 4 chukkas. With more than 30 horses in play, you will enjoy a fast-paced polo game!
For lunch, you will enjoy a complete barbeque that includes “Asado”, a grilled selection of meat and beef, accompanied by premium argentine wines. (there are also vegetarian options).
After spending some time walking through the beautiful countryside, you will take a polo lesson where you will learn to ride a horse, hold the mallet and hit the ball. You will end up sharing a mini polo match that will make you feel like a professional player! At the end of the day, you will have a relaxing horse ride throughout our curated trails specially designed for you to enjoy the campo Argentino and its surroundings.
Day 5: Meet your driver and transfer to the airport to fly to Trelew. Arrive and transfer to your hotel in Puerto Madryn. Rest of the day at leisure to explore the small town.
Day 6: You will head early in the morning towards Peninsula Valdes Protected Natural Area. After a one-hour drive, we will arrive at Puerto Piramides, where we will go on a whale-watching boat trip! Whales can be seen from June to the beginning of December and sea lions and cormorants from January to March. We will stay in Puerto Piramides for two hours for lunchtime. After lunch, you will visit the sea lion colony of Punta Piramides. After that, we continue to Punta Cantor in Caleta Valdés (Valdés Inlet). We are shown geological formations there and elephant seals. Then we go back to the Ameghino Isthmus, with its interesting interpretation center. On the way, we have good chances of coming across wildland fauna such as guanacos, rheas, foxes, maras (Patagonian hare), armadillos and, skunks. You will become a whale sponsor by choosing your favorite creature for adoption! The funds generated through the Whale Adoption Program are used to continue scientific studies that allow finding solutions to the problems faced by whales and transform them into actions for their conservation. The whales chosen for adoption have a unique and personal life story: which one will be yours? “Nube”, the tiny one, “Aoni” the movie star! “Manantial” the gentle mother, “Valentina” more than 50 yrs old, “Mochita” the sociable one. You will receive an Adoption Certificate plus the biography of your adopted whale and a record of their travels and personality.
Finally, we return to the city of Puerto Madryn at sunset.
Day 7: In the morning you will depart towards the Wildlife Reserve Punta Tombo, the world’s largest Magellanic penguin colony (Spheniscus magellanicus). Following a 2 ½ hour drive (180 km/112 miles) we arrive at the reserve. The visit will last approximately 3 hours and includes the trails of this amazing penguin colony, as well as the Punta Tombo Visitor Center. The Visitor Centre premises comprise a Café-Restaurant, Public Toilets and a walkway for the interpretation of the Patagonian winds. Enjoy a stroll through the fauna and flora and the path that gives way to the sea.
Day 8: Arrive in Buenos Aires and transfer to the Hotel.
Day 9: You will be transferred to the airport and fly to El Calafate where you will be met by your driver and transferred to your Hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the small town of Calafate and relax at your Hotel.
Day 9: Perito Moreno Glacier (Optional Trek on the Glacier!)
Leave El Calafate to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier stopping frequently to take photographs. Your guide approved by the National Park “Los Glaciares” will give you all the information about the surroundings, the history and the myth of this unique glacier. After entering the zone of Patagonian woods, we will stop in the curve of the sighs to enjoy the first view of Perito Moreno Glacier.
We will continue towards the footbridge where you will have enough time to walk along with the balconies in front of the glacier and enjoy the magnificent view. See (and hear!) icebergs calving from the glacier, and perhaps enjoy a shared cruise or opt to take a guided trek on top of the Perito Moreno Glacier itself.
Optional experience: Trekking on the glacier!
You will be met by your driver and transferred to the port. Once at “Bajo de las Sombras” port you board on a boat to cross the Lago Rico and arrive at the opposite shore after approximately a 20-minute navigation in front of the southern wall of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Once you disembark, you will be greeted by mountain guides, who will lead you to a shelter with sanitary facilities. From there, you will begin a brief walk along the shore of the lake, which includes a talk on glaciology in general and the Perito Moreno Glacier in particular. Upon reaching the edge of the glacier, the guides will form subgroups of a maximum of 20 people each and will fit you with crampons and helmets. Once on the ice, you will receive a brief safety talk and will begin the walk. Always with the help of our mountain guides, you’ll enjoy this natural ice paradise. The trekking difficulty is moderate, the route on the glacier lasts approximately one and a half hours, and in its course, you will be able to appreciate a variety of typical formations of glacier-like cracks, sumps, seracs, lagoons, etc. At the end of the walk, you’ll return to the shelter along a walkway crossing the lush Patagonian Andean forest. Shortly afterwards, you’ll board the boat to return to the port and see the glacier walls. This experience includes a one-hour guided visit to the walkways of the Perito Moreno Glacier, which is 7 km from the port. There, you’ll enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the glacier and walk along some of the self-guided paths.
This tour is oriented for people who enjoy nature, adventure and who want to live the experience of walking on the ice of the most beautiful glacier of the world!
Day 10: You will embark on a full-day journey to one of the most wonderful places in Southern Patagonia. Sailing aboard exclusive Cruise María Turquesa will enjoy the highest standard of comfort and gourmet cuisine, for a truly memorable experience. Enjoy southern Patagonia’s vast open steppe and the impressive peaks, glaciers and pale blue lakes. Visit the Upsala Canal and navigate to Herminita Peninsula – limit the navigation zone allowed by National Parks – take in the beautiful panoramic view of the Glacier while you enjoy a premium gourmet lunch onboard.
Day 11: Arrive in Buenos Aires and transfer to the Hotel. Farewell dinner.
Day 12: You will be transferred to the airport to take your flight back home.
Optional: Extension to Ushuaia
Day 11: Fly to Ushuaia where you will be met by your driver and transferred to your hotel. Commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. Transfer to your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. To explore the city of Ushuaia.
Day 12: Explore unspoiled landscapes of Tierra del Fuego, the territory located on the extreme southern tip of Argentina, just 11km from Ushuaia city. Today you will learn about the local ecosystem, the geography of the area and its interesting history, while your soul is captivated by the beauty of the landscapes as you breathe in the pure Patagonian air. You will go on Route 3 to the foot of Mount Susana, where the train station of the Southern Fuegian Railway, or Ferrocarril Austral Fueguino, is located. This railway was arduously built by the prisoners of Presidio del Fin del Mundo. You will have the chance to ride the End of the World Train. Beyond the sad story that frames this rail service, the Southern Fuegian Railway is a unique experience with incredible views. You will continue to Ensenada Bay. After a short hike through the trails of the park, immersing you in the ecosystem, you’ll reach an observation point with spectacular views of Redonda and Estorbo Islands, the opposite coast of the Beagle Channel and the Snowy Mountains of Cadena Sampaio in Chile. The second stop on this tour in Ushuaia is Lapataia Bay, the geographic point that marks the end of National Route 3, an important highway known as the Panamericana, which starts in Buenos Aires, exploring unforgettable roads surrounded by Magellanic forests and lakes surrounded by birds, marine mammals, and fish. At the same time, learn about the history of the Yámanas – the ancient indigenous people of the area – while observing the stunning sight of the end of the Andes, on the frontier with Chile.
Day 13: You will be able to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Beagle Channel and the majestic mountains that run along its shores. This nautical adventure, visiting Isla de Lobos (Sea Lion Island), will offer the perfect opportunity to see these sea mammals in their natural habitat, as well as to observe other typical Fuegian wildlife while enjoying an unforgettable experience exploring Ushuaia’s nature and marine life. You will embark on a boat to sail across Ushuaia Bay. As the boat moves away from the coast, enjoy amazing views of the city’s landmarks and the mountains that surround the island, such as Montes Olivia, Cinco Hermanos, Los Montes Escarpados, as well as estancias Fique and Túnel and the Encajondado River. A few minutes later, it will turn into the Beagle Channel, until it reaches Isla de los Cormoranes (Island of Cormorants) – home to the marine bird typical to this zone. Observe them hunting fish by diving into the water, before continuing your navigation to Isla de Lobos. Here you will get so see these amazing animals up close from many angles, and learn more about the habits of this colony of sea lions.
Finally, this maritime excursion will continue through the Beagle Channel to reach one of the most representative symbols of adventure travel: The Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, which in French means ‘enlighteners’ or ‘scouts’. This lighthouse is also known, incorrectly, as the Lighthouse at the End of the World – a reference to Jules Verne’s novel, which in turn refers to the San Juan Salvage. The Eclaireurs Lighthouse may not be the southernmost, but it is famous for its location and is the reference point for the channel. After visiting this famous landmark, return to Ushuaia.
Day 14: Arrive in Buenos Aires, transfer to your hotel and farewell dinner.
Day 15: You will be transferred to the airport to take your flight back home.