Hiking, Kayaking and Road Trip in Argentina

Hiking, Kayaking and Road Trip in Argentina

This is the ultimate journey through Argentina’s unique and varied nature. Hike on the Perito Moreno Glacier and in Patagonia at Fitzroy. Kayak at Bariloche and end with a road trip to Salta, Purmamarca and Salinas Grandes. In addition, the big city awaits you with a bike ride in Buenos Aires and a bus along the famous Route 40.

According to proexchangerates, Argentina’s famous Route 40 stretches for a full 5,140 km, from Santa Cruz in southern Argentina to Jujuy in the north. During this trip you will see the main sights, from Patagonia with its huge glaciers and crystal clear, icy waterside to Bariloche’s infinite beauty to the colorful nature in the north of Salta.

The focus is on the completely incomparable nature. Argentina is the world’s eighth largest country, so you can expect big differences between nature in the south and north. But that is exactly what makes Argentina such a fantastic country.

Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia

Departure from Scandinavia to Argentina.

Day 2: Arrival in Buenos Aires

At Buenos Aires Airport you can easily take a taxi to your hotel where you have three nights.

Day 3: Bicycle ride in Buenos Aires

A bike ride around Buenos Aires is a great way to get a small overview of this giant city. Your local guide will tell you about the city and history during the tour. You cycle in colorful La Boca and the historic parts of central Buenos Aires. You can do this excursion either in the morning or in the afternoon – just tell us what suits you best. ( F )

Day 4: Buenos Aires

Everyone loves Buenos Aires and rightly so. Here the cafés are visited by coffee-drinking bohemians, the streets are teeming with loud football fans and the dance floors are filled with passionate tango dancers. Argentines are both a relaxed and temperamental people and at the same time they are formal and relaxed. Buenos Aires is also a dynamic city. You can easily retreat and reflect on the day’s experiences at one of the countless cozy cafés in the city or visit one of the many green areas. In the artistic district of San Telmo, part of the charm of the colonial era is preserved in the cobbled streets and the low buildings. Here you can buy unique souvenirs at the Sunday market from various art and antique stalls. The city consists of many different districts that can be discovered separately, so set aside plenty of time to go on exploration trips. In the center is the pedestrian street Florida which has many trendy shops. In the evenings, the street becomes full of life. Street vendors try to sell their wares by spreading them on carpets on the street and you can also see and hear many street musicians playing music. You can also visit the modernized port area of ​​Puerto Madero where the renovated warehouses now house modern restaurants. San Telmo’s narrow cobbled streets are especially interesting on Sundays when the antique market takes over almost the entire district and people dance tango and play music. La Boca is a major tourist magnet with its colorful houses. The colors used are remnants of paints used to paint ships. This is also where the famous football stadium La Bombonera is located. It is the home arena for Diego Maradona’s old club, Boca Juniors, and is an arena that can offer exciting football matches. Check out the tournament schedule and take a tour of the stadium. South American football is a real experience. Retiro and Recoleta are also modern neighborhoods with many beautiful houses. The large cemetery where Eva Peron is buried is also here. Going to see a tango show is also a must in Buenos Aires. Tango was invented towards the end of the 19th century and is a mixture of different rhythms that were danced in poor neighborhoods. From the beginning, the tango was banned due to its sensual style, but today it is not only a large part of Buenos Aires’ musical history but also an important symbol for the whole country. Enjoy a special “porteña” music evening at one of the city’s excellent tango venues where traditional songs and dances are performed. Find your own place or let us help you. (F )

Day 5: Buenos Aires – Calafate

On this day, the journey leaves Buenos Aires for Calafate. In Calafate you check in at the hostel. The rest of the day you have time to explore the small town. It is a nice town with many restaurants and shops where you can buy all kinds of hiking equipment. During the day, the city is relatively quiet, but when everyone returns from the day’s excursions later in the evening, there is suddenly life on the streets. ( F )

Day 6: Short hike on Perito Moreno

This day awaits a fantastic hiking trip on the Perito Moreno Glacier. You will be picked up at the hostel and driven to Perito Moreno. The hike takes about an hour and along the way you have a unique and unique view of Argentina’s largest lake, Lago Argentina, with the Andes in the background. Just walk at a reasonable pace and enjoy the view and nature. Soon you will get a first glimpse of one of the few glaciers in the world that does not decrease in size. The vast majority of glaciers in the world are shrinking at an ever faster pace, but Perito Moreno has for many years been considered stable. After a short boat trip across Lago Argentina, you will meet your “glacier guide” and be equipped with a kind of shoe with spikes that are attached to your regular shoes. The spikes allow you to stand on the glacier without slipping. You are going on a glacier hike! A little over half an hour of hiking on the fantastic glacier awaits. If you thought a glacier was just white or transparent, it’s time to rethink! The sun is reflected in the crystals and creates fantastic colors. You are completely surrounded by ice and in clear weather you can see where the glacier begins, far up the mountain. The glacier often calves, so from time to time you hear large pieces of ice that break off and fall into the lake with proper plaque. But do not worry, the guide knows what he is doing. He feels the ice like an old friend. It can be a bit chilly to walk around on the ice, but luckily a packed lunch awaits in a small hut with unique views of the glacier. Feel free to sit outside and watch the ice, there are good chances that you will see a calving. In the afternoon you can visit “The Balconies” which are the more touristy viewpoints around Perito Moreno. But despite all the tourist buses, it’s worth it. The views are phenomenal and put an end to a wonderful day before returning to Calafate. (F )

Day 7: Calafate to El Chaltén

You take the bus north to El Chaltén. The journey takes three hours and the landscape is fantastic so take the opportunity to enjoy the view. As you start approaching El Chaltén, you get a first glimpse of Mt. Fitz Roy and what a sight it is! The Andes tower on the horizon and are a sharp contrast to the otherwise flat landscape you went through. El Chaltén is the “hiking capital” of the southern parts of Argentina. The small town is easy to get a grip on and as in Chalten, it is nature that is at the center of all activities around here. All the popular hikes start almost in the middle of the city and they are clearly excellent so you can easily do day hikes on your own. Also visit the small national park center on the outskirts of the city where you can get good maps of the various walks. ( F )

Day 8-9: Hiking around El Chaltén

The most popular day hike in El Chaltén is the hike to Laguna de los Tres, where you have a phenomenal view of Mt. Fitz Roy. The hike takes eight hours (incl. Return) and can only be recommended if the whole day is available. Most of the hiking trail is relatively easy to access, but some sections are more strenuous. As a reward for your efforts, you will see a fantastic view once you arrive. If you do not want to spend the whole day hiking, there are also other shorter hiking trails that are also incredibly beautiful and offer great views. El Chaltén has something for everyone! ( F )

Day 10: By night bus from El Chaltén via Box 40

Now a beautiful bus journey awaits on the legendary Route 40. You travel from El Chaltén by night bus but the departure to Perito Moreno Village is in the morning and you arrive the next day. Bring good music, maybe a movie on the tablet and plenty of space in the camera. It may seem a little strange to spend almost two days on a bus, but this is how you really get to experience Route 40. Argentina is a big country and there is no better way to experience it than on the fantastic long-distance buses! ( F )

Day 11: By bus from Perito Moreno to Bariloche

You arrive by bus in the morning to Perito Moreno Village, where you now change buses for further travel to Bariloche. On arrival you go to your hotel and stay here for three days.

Day 12: Kayak at Bariloche

You almost simply have to kayak when you are here in Bariloche and therefore a half day trip with a kayak and guide is booked on Lago Gutierrez. You do not need to have paddled before to be able to both participate and enjoy the journey around this beautiful glacier lake surrounded by snow-capped mountains. If you want, you can also upgrade the tour to a full or multi-day tour. ( F )

Day 13: Bariloche

San Carlos de Bariloche, commonly known as Bariloche, is perhaps the most beautiful city in Argentina. The city is surrounded by lakes and mountains and the landscape is therefore a bit reminiscent of Switzerland. There are a variety of excursions and activities you can take part in. A wonderful full day hike goes for example from Villa Catedral and up to Refugio Frey which is located on a lake in the mountains at the foot of Cerro Catedral. The hike is a bit physically demanding and good shoes are a must. If you want to make the hike a little easier, you can take the ski lift on the way up. Circuitin Chico is a famous tour of about: 60 km. You can take the tour in either a rented car or take part in an organized excursion. Many people take the trip by bike because the landscape during the first and last 12 km from and to Bariloche is fairly flat, but the rest of the way is in a fairly hilly landscape. But the trip is definitely worth the effort and you will surely use the camera diligently. During one of the days we have included a trip to San Martin de Los Andes and the seven lakes. The fantastic views take turns. Here are beautiful lakes, forested mountains with snow on top, cities, farmland and desert landscapes. In other words, the landscape here is incredibly varied. From Bariloche, follow the road around Lake Nahuel Huapi to the cozy little town of Villa La Angostura. Here a short stop is made before the journey continues along a winding gravel road through the forest. A short hike takes you to the beautiful Cascada Nivenco waterfall where you can enjoy your packed lunch. You then continue back along the same road and on towards the town of San Martin de Los Andes which is located on the vast lake Lago Lacar. The return trip goes via Junin de los Andes and for a short distance you follow Box 40. The last part of the trip is performed towards the end of the day when the sun is low and creates a beautiful light on the uneven and sculptural rocks. Do not miss this fantastic opportunity. It really is a magnificent experience. (F )

Day 14: By flight from Bariloche to Salta

From Bariloche you fly on to Salta in northern Argentina. You will be met on arrival and driven to your hotel. Salta was founded by the Spaniards in 1582 and has a rich cultural life with numerous galleries and museums. Enjoy a stroll through the cobbled streets of the central parts of the city and see the beautiful colonial palaces and cathedrals. It is almost a must to dine at a Peña, a restaurant serving local cuisine and music on Balcarce Street. ( F )

Day 15. On a voyage of discovery in Salta

You have the day on your own in Salta and can, if you want, book a day trip to Cafayate which is the wine region here in Salta. You book the excursion from home and it is a very nice trip that goes through the beautiful area of ​​Quebrada de las Conchas with its fantastic rock formations. In Cafayate you of course visit a wind farm and there is also the opportunity to visit San Bernardo, a hill that rises 200 meters above Salta itself with fantastic views of the city. Salta is also the starting point for the impressive train journey Tren a las Nubes which starts in Salta (1,187 masl) and goes via 21 bridges, 13 viaducts and 21 tunnels to the La Polvarilla viaduct (4,220 masl). ( F )

Day 16: Road trip from Salta to Purmamarca via Salinas Grandes

Today you pick up your rental car and start your four-day road trip in northwestern Argentina. It is pre-booked overnight so you just need to enjoy the journey and decide for yourself what you want to see and experience. Set course for Quebrada del Toro. Slowly you reach higher altitudes and during the day you reach all the way up to 4100 masl. Stop in the small town of San Antonio del los Cobres, high on the mountain plateau. This is where “Tren a las Nubes” ends. Continue on and now the altitude begins to be felt – the air becomes thinner and it affects breathing. Now the landscape consists of plains surrounded by mountain peaks. In the distance you see a large, white area, it is Salinas Grandes – the great salt flats and an almost unreal sight. The route continues via the Cuesta de Lipán hairpin curves to the small town of Purmamarca where you will spend the night. It is a nice feeling to stay here when all the other tourists go back to Salta and the calm descends over the streets and squares. Watch the sun set over the colorful rock formations and then have a good dinner at one of the nice local restaurants. (F )

Day 17: Road trip from Purmamarca to Humahuaca

You have the whole morning to enjoy Purmamarca. Take a trip up into the mountains or why not sit down by the city’s small square and see how life here slowly comes to life. The local merchants set up their tables to meet the tourists who come and the restaurants get ready for lunch guests. You decide when you take the car and set course for Humahuaca. You can make a stop at Tilcara where you can see a partially rebuilt Inca fort before arriving at the small, charming Humahuaca which is located at the next 3000 masl. Here you have time to explore the surroundings with its many markets. You can also walk the 126 steps up to the Freedom Monument but take it carefully as you are high up in thin air. Do you feel tired and dizzy take a banana or if possible drink some sports drink and listen to your body!

Day 18: Road trip in and around Humahuaca

Today you can explore Quebrada de Humahuaca; a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a very picturesque place surrounded by mountains in all sorts of colors. Small Native American villages are scattered throughout the area, all with larger or smaller markets. One of the height attractions here in the valley is “the mountain of the seven colors” and which is quite literally a striped mountain in seven different shades. To get there, however, you must have a 4wd and cost about 10 USD per person and this excursion can be bought locally on site.

Day 19: Road trip from Humahuaca to Salta

Enjoy the morning in Humahuaca and then head back to Salta when it suits you. Here you return your rental car and return to the hotel. The rest of the day is on its own.

Day 20: Return trip

It is now time to say goodbye to Argentina and start the journey home again. ( F )

Day 21: Return to Scandinavia

Return to Scandinavia after fantastic experiences in South America!

Overnight stays

Eighteen nights in a hotel / B&B

Hiking, Kayaking and Road Trip in Argentina