DAY 1 – SAT. Dec. 5: ARRIVE BUENOS AIRES
Your tour begins in Buenos Aires, the capital of the nation. This romantic city is often referred to as ‘the Paris of South America’ because of its French-style architecture and elegance. Meeting assistance upon arrival and transfer to Hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Buenos Aires nightlife provides its own inhabitants and visitors with numerous entertainment possibilities. This evening following a tour briefing you will attend an unforgettable tango show performed by the best dancers and singers, while enjoying a delicious meal. This is the perfect way to live Buenos Aires, the city of tango. Return to the hotel. MADERO HOTEL (Superior Room) – D
DAY 2 – SUN. Dec. 6: BUENOS AIRES TOURING
Breakfast at the Hotel. Sightseeing tour of Buenos Aires that allows you to discover the magic of this cosmopolitan city, capital of Argentina. The magnificence of the Northern Quarters, Palermo and the beauty of its parks and buildings, Recoleta with its French style architecture, bars and cafes; the imposing Colon Theater, one of the five most important opera houses in the world; Plaza de Mayo (May Square), the Government’s House (The Pink House), The Old Cabildo (Town Hall) and the Metropolitan Cathedral; San Telmo, residence of the aristocracy until the turn of the XIX century. The colors of La Boca, picturesque quarter of Italian immigrants; and the fashion area of Port Madero with its many bars & restaurants round off this excursion.
Your afternoon is at leisure to explore the city on own. We recommend visiting Planetario Galileo Galilei or other places of interest to you. Given that most people are used to a different hemisphere, this planetarium in Buenos Aires offers an all new celestial experience. Shaped like the planet Jupiter, this eye-catching space museum is located in the beautiful parks of Palermo. Planetario Galileo Galilei offers a 360-degree space show, astronomical courses, and various exhibits.
This evening, you may want to spend some time seeing the milongas (tango dances) in San Telmo, gaze at the huge monuments such as the Obelisk on Avenue 9 de Julio and sip fine wines at fancy restaurants in Palermo.
MILONGA is a social event or location for tango dancing—More simply, milongas are tango dance parties. People who dance at milongas are known as milongueros. When a group of people goes tango dancing, they go to a milonga. Milongas are informal gatherings where regular folks dance tango ~ they’re often held in social clubs, restaurants, or bars. And the good news is: there’s a milonga going on every night of the week in Buenos Aires! This is the city for learning how to dance tango. MADERO HOTEL (Superior Room)- BL
Day 3 – MON. Dec. 7: BUENOS AIRES / IGUASSU – Brazilian side of Falls
After breakfast, transfer & fly to Puerto Iguazú in the northeast corner of Argentina today. The mighty Iguazú Falls straddles the border of Argentina and Brazil, and the group will be visiting the falls from both sides. The falls are over 2 km in length and consist of 275 falls in total, some of which stretch up to 80 metres high. This makes them higher than Niagara Falls and wider than Victoria Falls.
This afternoon enjoy a half day guided tour to explore the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Drive to the Brazilian National Park side of the falls, crossing the Brazilian border. You may want to look at some authentic Brazilian hand-made crafts before starting the short drive through subtropical, lush jungle with spectacular palm trees and lianas until you reach the proper start of the Iguazú Falls Walk. At the beginning take time to marvel at the panoramic view of the enormous Iguazu Falls emerging in front of you in all their spectacular magnificence. Walk the 1,200 meters long footbridge to experience this natural wonder from a different perspective. You will discover that these falls across the river – although they belong to Argentina – can only be seen from the Brazilian side. Take a panoramic elevator to get an even more impressive sight of this amazing scenery. Return back to your hotel in the evening. LOI SUITES IGUAZU HOTEL (Jr. room)- BD.
As of July 1st, 2017, all guests visiting Iguassu Falls are required to pay an eco-tax designed to help fund the preservation of the surrounding region. This tax cannot be prepaid, and is instead collected at your Iguassu Falls hotel upon check-in. This tax applies to all travelers and costs $20 ARS (Argentine Pesos) per person, per night for a maximum of two nights.
Day 4 – TUE. Dec. 8: ARGENTINIAN SIDE OF THE WATERFALLS / BUENOS AIRES/ TRELEW
After an early breakfast, visit the Argentinean side of Iguazu today allows you to get up close to the waterfalls via a series of boardwalks. According to Guarani legend, Iguazu Falls was created when the serpent god M’Boy, enraged by the betrayal of a chieftain’s daughter who was promised to him, split the river in half. Taking a Zodiac boat ride to the base of the falls is an exhilarating experience.
Transfer to airport after the tour & fly this afternoon to Trelew connecting via Buenos Aires. Trelew, a name of Welsh origin meaning “people of Lew” in honor of Lewis Jones, a pioneer of Welsh colonization in Chubut. The city’s history is closely linked to the Welsh settlement in the province, which began in 1865. Meeting assistance upon arrival and Transfer to Hotel. Rest of the evening is free. RAYENTRAY HOTEL (Standard Room)- BD
Day 5 – WED. Dec. 9: TRELEW / PUERTO MADRYN
After Breakfast tour Trelew. Visit The Paleontological Museum Egidio Feruglio (MEF). More than 1700 Fossil pieces and 30 specimens of Dinosaurs displayed in the halls are accompanied by scale models and explanatory posters as well as video projection narrating the beginning of life on this planet. The “MEF” is now one of the most important scientific institutions in the country and an undisputed international reference in paleontology, both for discovery and research as for the samples that are presented. Tour includes behind the scenes visit of the museum accompanied by the resident scientist. The Celtic origin of the first Welsh immigrants left its mark in the picturesque town of Gaiman. The diversity of creeds of these settlers originated the construction of more than 30 chapels, many of which are still standing. Drive around town to learn about Welsh history. Being populated by people of Welsh origin, AFter Lunch at local restaurant visit the Astronomical Observatory and Planetarium before proceeding to Puerto Madryn. The quaint coastal town of Puerto Madryn is the gateway to wonderful Peninsula Valdes and Patagonia’s prime wildlife spotting experiences. PIREN HOTEL (Sr & Jr. Room)- BL
DAY 6 – THU. Dec. 10: PUERTO MADRYN- Puerto Piramids Excursion
Breakfast at the Hotel. The whale watching trip starts from a small village called Puerto Piramids. Going along the coast on both sides, the first stop is at La Lobería (sea lion colony), which is closer to Puerto Pirámids and has got 2000 specimens of whales. Sail along the coast allows us to watch many cormorant colonies. They build their nests against the cliff and there they also breed and raise their babies. Cruise also offers opportunity to observe and photograph other specimens of the coastal bird fauna. The engines are stopped when the ship gets far from the coast, silence interrupted only by the sounds of penguins, seagulls, gulls and cormorants. Something silvery and white jumps next to the ship and the strong sound of a body splashing the sea are heard. To complete this feast some dolphins always show up to jump and play in complete freedom along the Whales. Enjoy lunch at the village before returning to Puerto Madryn. PIREN HOTEL (Sr & Jr. Room)- BL
Your afternoon is at leisure or take an optional tour from the following:
Note: Advance reservations are required due limited availability.
DAY 7 – FRI, Dec. 11: PUERTO MADRYN- Peninsula Of Valdes Excursion
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, we will spend the day exploring the riches of the Valdes Peninsula. A harsh yet spectacular environment, this remote peninsula is a haven for Patagonian marine and terrestrial wildlife including massive colonies of South American Sea Lion and Southern Elephant Seal. The abundance of afterbirth and young pups here attracts the attention of several scavengers and predators, including the striking Killer Whales that are known to beach themselves along this coastline to capture prey, as well as Southern Giant Petrel and unique Snowy Sheathbill that forage through the remains. The rocky coastline may hold Imperial and Rock Shags alongside the commoner Neotropic Cormorants.
Estancia San Lorenzo- Land of Penguins
San Lorenzo is a sheep farm stretching over 5,000 hectares has a 4600 meter long coastline on the San Matias Bay. On the property there is an awesome breeding colony of Magellanic penguins with approximately 200,000 penguins including both adults and juveniles. Together with Magellanic penguins, San Lorenzo offers the possibility of observing elephant seals, guanacos, rheas, owls, cavies and a great diversity of birds. Eventually, also Right whales and orca can be sighted. The activities offered by Estancia San Lorenzo will bring you closer to nature. There are also places to spot fossilized giant oysters. After lunch at the Farm house enjoy walk amongst the Penguins.
The Valdés Peninsula is renowned for its large population of marine wildlife but with over 180 different bird species migrating to the peninsula or living here throughout the year, it’s also one of the most important birding destinations in Argentina. Expect to see: South American, royal and sandwich terns, Black-browed albatross, Southern giant petrel, Blackish and American oystercatchers, Magellanic penguin, Brown skua, Variable hawk, Great egret, Turkey vulture & Burrowing parrot
Return back to Hotel in Puerto Madryn in the evening. PIREN HOTEL (Sr & Jr. Room)- BL
DAY 8 – SAT, Dec. 12: PUERTO MADRYN / LAS GRUTAS
Breakfast at Hotel and enjoy a morning of leisure exploring town on own. After Lunch, travel to Las Grutas, a beach resort located in the Atlantic coast of the province of Río Negro, Its beauty resides in a beach sheltered by the cliff, and mainly the warmth of its waters, which can reach 25 degrees Centigrade in some areas. No doubt it’s the hottest beach village on the Patagonian coast. Its main attractive consists of its magnificent beaches, white sand and deep blue, transparent waters. Being in the very heart of San Matías Gulf, and having medium sized cliffs, this place has little or no wind at all, something incredible for Patagonia. Upon arrival, check in to your Hotel.
After an early dinner (on own) embark on a Stargazing tour. Take turns looking at the southern sky through the telescope and seeing for yourselves how night becomes day through an infrared viewer as our guide explains the stars, milky-ways & more. Return to Hotel in Las Grutas after the tour. RIVIERA HOTEL (Standard room)- BL
DAY 9 – SUN, Dec. 13: LAS GRUTAS – Free day
Breakfast at the Hotel. Time free for independent activities or take optional tours from following:
Join fellow tour members in the evening to visit our exclusive eclipse viewing site so participants can familiarize themselves and also for accompanying astronomy experts to review weather reports and any related effect/changes to our viewing plans/site. Join for a pre-eclipse dinner & briefing by our Astronomy & other experts. RIVIERA HOTEL (standard Room)- BD
DAY 10 – MON, Dec. 14: LAS GRUTAS – 2020 Total Solar Eclipse watching
After Breakfast walk to our exclusive eclipse viewing site scouted by our Eclipse experts. Arrive early with plenty of time to set up for the eclipse. From our exclusive site you can view 2 minute 8 seconds of eclipse where the Sun elevation will be 72 degrees above the northern horizon. It will take about 2 hours 51 minutes for the entire eclipse process. Las Grutas generally experiences clear skies in December nevertheless a bus will be at our disposal to travel along the eclipse path to seek out a clear location for viewing, if needed. A leisurely day to observe the eclipse beginning at 11.55 AM, totality occurs at 1:18 PM and the partial phases end at 2:45 PM. Buffet Lunch, water, soft drinks & Snacks, tables and chairs are provided at the viewing site. Return to hotel after the eclipse and rest of the day is free for independent activities or take an optional tour. This evening join fellow tour members for a celebratory Dinner & a report by our Eclipse experts. RIVIERA HOTEL (Standard room) -BLD
DAY 11- TUE, Dec. 15: LAS GRUTAS / EL CALAFATE
Depart Las Grutas early this morning (Box breakfast provided) for Trelew airport to board flight to Calafate. a town near the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in the Argentine province of Santa Cruz. It’s mainly known as the gateway to Los Glaciares National Park, home to the massive Perito Moreno Glacier. Meeting assistance at El Calafate Airport and transfer to hotel. HOTEL MIRADOR DEL LAGO (Lake view room)- BD
The afternoon is free to explore following on own:
LAKE NIMEZ: A short 15 minute walk from the center of El Calafate is an ecological reserve, Lake Nimez. The area is protected, and is a haven for a great variety of birds, of which the largest and most fascinating is the Chilean flamingo. The reserve is also a microcosm of the Patagonian landscape, encompassing examples of the plants and wildlife of wetlands, desert steppe and the shores of Lake Argentino. There is a self-guided boardwalk which takes visitors around the whole reserve.
CENTRO DE INTERPRETACIÓN HISTÓRICA: Within the town of El Calafate itself, is the history museum, which details the natural history of the surrounding area. It covers the history of Patagonia since the ice age, including useful information on glaciers, as well as dinosaurs, extinct animals, indigenous peoples, and the formation of other geographical landscapes. The exhibits are presented across a range of mediums, such as models, photos and real-life archaeological discoveries. The exhibit information is in both Spanish and English, and is accessible for children and adults.
DAY 12- WED. Dec. 16: EL CALAFATE / USHUAIA
After Breakfast visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, located within the Glaciers National Park, 80 km from El Calafate. The Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the main natural beauties of Argentina. Due to its wonder it has been declared by UNESCO a World Natural Heritage site in 1981. Arriving at the Glaciers’ balconies, you will spend about 4 hours walking along pathways and admiring it from different viewpoints. Framed by a beautiful landscape of mountains, lakes and forests, the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the most spectacular scenes of nature. It owes its fame to its continuous movement, which produces a cyclical phenomenon of advance and backward motion with amazing ice toppling. Return to the hotel in time for lunch. Board late afternoon flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city of the world. Meet and greet at Ushuaia airport and transfer to hotel. This evening we suggest visiting the Old Prison Museum and walking along the seashore over the Beagle Channel. LOS CAUQUENOS RESORT & SPA (Superior Beagle Channel View Room)- BL
DAY 13- THU. Dec. 17: USHUAIA – Tierra del Fuego National Park
Journey outside of Ushuaia to ride `The End of the World Train’ and visit the magnificent Tierra del Fuego National Park. The scenic train ride, venturing deep into southern Patagonia, offers you the chance to soak in the memorable scenery of Tierra del Fuego National Park from the comfort of your seat. As the steam train chugs along, keep an eye out for the national park’s many native birds. Along the journey you’ll stop at a few fascinating places, such as Macarena Waterfall and an abandoned sawmill.
Tierra del Fuego National Park, the only one with maritime coast in the country. Within its 63,000 hectares, we’ll find fire bushes, beech trees, ñires, box-leafed barberries and flowers such as orchids, violets and other species. Bordering the mountains we’ll follow a road were peat bogs and beaver dams can be appreciated. After crossing the Lapataia River, we will have a magnificent view of Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) and the upland geese and ibis that come here every summer. A walk along the path up to Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon) or the Beavers’ Path will be suggested at that point. At Lapataia Bay (end of National Route No. 3) we’ll appreciate the testimony of the original inhabitants of the Island (the Yamanas) in an interesting archaeological site: the “concheros”. On the way back to Ushuaia, we’ll make a brief stop at Lake Roca, whose color varies according to the weather. LOS CAUQUENOS RESORT & SPA (Superior Beagle Channel View Room)- BD
BIRD WATCHING: Tierra del Fuego is a desolate, barely-inhabited archipelago of islands that stretch down as far as Cape Horn. As a result of its lack of human settlement, Tierra del Fuego is a paradise for birdwatchers. On the lagoons and lakes of Tierra del Fuego, expect to see: Magellanic and two-banded plover, Chilean flamingo, White-rumped sandpiper, Ruddy-headed and upland goose, Great horned owl, Black-necked and coscoroba swans
DAY 14 – FRI. Dec. 18: USHUAIA – CRUISE ON BOARD AUSTRALIS
Breakfast at Hotel and time free to explore town on own until you board the M/V Stella Australis late this afternoon.
After a welcoming toast and introduction of captain and crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of planet Earth. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as we turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste islands. ON BOARD AUSTRALIS CRUISE- BD
DAY 15- SAT. Dec. 19: AUSTRALIS CRUISE – Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay
Around the break of dawn, Stella Australis crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition — and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland — Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the “End of the Earth.” The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a light keeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument (currently awaiting repair after being damaged by fierce winds).
Cape Horn Bird watching: Expect to see- King penguin, Flightless and steamer ducks, Imperial, king and rock cormorants, Kelp goose, Magellanic oyster catcher, Southern giant petrel & Black-browed albatross
Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain Fitzroy in the 1830s during their voyages on HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station — which is especially strong on the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area — passengers have a choice of three hikes (of increasing degrees of difficulty) that ascend the heavily wooded mountain behind the bay. On all of these you stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic viewpoints overlooking the bay. ON BOARD CRUISE- BLD
DAY 16- SUN. Dec. 20: AUSTRALIS CRUISE – Garibaldi Glacier
Overnight we continue our Patagonia glacier tour around the western end of Tierra del Fuego via the very narrow Gabrial Channel, Magdalena Channel and Cockburn Channel. After rounding the remote Brecknock Peninsula, the Australis cruise tacks eastward and enters the Beagle Channel again. By morning we are entering Pia Fjord and boarding the Zodiacs for a shore excursion to Pia Glacier.After disembarking we take a short hike to gain a panoramic view of the spectacular glacier, which extends from the mountaintops down to the sea or a longer much more difficult walk up a lateral moraine of the old Pia Glacier. No one knows for certain how the hulking mass of snow and ice got its feminine moniker, but one theory says it was named for Princess Maria Pia of Savoy (1847-1911), daughter of the Italian king
Making our way further west along the Beagle Channel, we enter another long fjord and drop anchor near Garibaldi Glacier for another shore excursion. Garibaldi is one of only three glaciers in Patagonia gaining mass rather than staying the same or slowly shrinking. This time we hike through virgin Magellanic forest to a glacial waterfall, a towering wall of ferns and moss, and spectacular viewpoints looking down on the glacier and fjord. The walk is demanding — very steep, negligible trail, rough footing — and not for everyone. For those who choose to stay on board, our captain will point the bow towards the beautiful sky blue Garibaldi Glacier so everyone can enjoy the panoramic view from the upper decks.ON BOARD CRUISE- BLD
DAY 17- MON. Dec. 21: AUSTRALIS CRUISE- Agostini Sound – Águila Glacier
Early in the morning, we will sail through the Cockburn Channel and enter Agostini Sound. From there it is possible to see the glaciers that descend from the middle of the Darwin Mountain Range — some of them reaching the water. This morning, we will disembark and go for an easy walk around a lagoon, which was formed by the melting of the Águila Glacier. We will reach a spot right in front of that glacier with stunning views. In the afternoon, we will approach the Condor Glacier via Zodiac — and hopefully see some of the abundant Andean Condors in the area. ON BOARD CRUISE- BLD
DAY 18- TUE. Dec. 22: AUSTRALIS CRUISE- Magdalena Island – Punta Arenas (Chile) / SANTIAGO
After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. In September and April — when the penguins dwell elsewhere — this excursion is replaced by a ride aboard Zodiacs to Marta Island to observe South American sea lions. After a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 11:30 AM.
Transfer to airport where you will board flight to Santiago. Upon arrival walk to the Hotel across from the airport. Rest of the evening is free. HOLIDAY INN AIRPORT HOTEL – B
CRUISE NOTE: The shore excursions described in the itineraries can usually be carried out without any problems. Nevertheless, the ship-owner holds the right to alter, change or skip certain portions of the itinerary without prior notice, whether motivated by the passengers’ well-being and safety, by the appropriate protection of the environment, or in case of any extraordinary event, unforeseeable circumstance or force majeure. For this reason, departures or arrival may be subject to change. Furthermore, sighting of birds and other species cannot be guaranteed as their exact location is variable by nature.
DAY 19- WED. Dec. 23: DEPART SANTIAGO
Breakfast at Hotel and time free until your international flight homewards. B
OR Extend your stay in Chile, Peru etc. Ask ACTC Travel experts to assist with tour extension.
Supplement for Cruise cabin upgrades:**
**Subject to availability. Early bookings are recommended
OPTIONAL TOURS: Puerto Madryn
OPTIONAL TOURS: Las Grutas
PLEASE NOTE: Group air rates from major US cities will be negotiated with the airlines and offered to participants (usually 11 months prior to departure). Airlines may require purchase of International air to receive low domestic travel (internal Argentina) rates or rates may be combined for both International and Domestic Argentina travel.
Arrival transfer in Buenos Aires is included for participants arriving on group travel flights or at same time as group travel airline. Those making own International travel arrangements can either join at Hotel on own or purchase a private transfer. Additional costs apply. Higher rates for Internal Argentina flights may also apply (subject to Airlines rules)..
PAYMENTS & TERMS
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