Days 1 - 3
Situated deep in Patagonia’s snow-capped vistas, on the southern shore of Lake Argentino, El Calafate has become a key stopover for travellers headed to nearby Los Glaciares National Park. This icy wonderland is best known as the home of spectacular Perito Moreno glacier – a massive, shifting ice cap composed of dozens of smaller glaciers. Take a glacier tour, a helicopter ride, or a 4x4 excursion; hike and boat to your heart’s content; or visit one of the traditional ‘ranchos’ (estancias) to learn more about local culture (another great spot for this is the Centro de Interpretacíon Historico). A wonderful selection of restaurants and boutiques adds appeal; make sure to try the ‘alfajores’ cookies. Drink vodka, watch a movie, and learn all about ice at the impressive Glaciarium.
Days 3 - 6
Idyllically situated in the Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina’s Santa Cruz province, the village of El Chaltén is known as Argentina's trekking capital. It is a popular haven for outdoor enthusiasts with hiking opportunities abound for both advanced and beginner trekkers. Just an hour’s walk can lead you straight to the treasures of Los Glaciares National Park, which range from great glaciers to towering rocky summits and rolling forests. Founded in 1985, the town got its name from the Tehuelche word meaning ‘mountain that smokes’, because of the clouds that persistently sit atop the great peaks. The Perito Moreno Glacier and the Laguna de Los Tres, a picture-postcard mountain lake with the snowy backdrop of Fitz Roy peak, are the most visited sites.