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FITZvu.jpg (38059 bytes) RUTA 40 EXPLORER
La Ruta Magica
Estancias along Ruta 40
in the Argentine Patagonia
19 Days
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Locally Hosted Independent Tour

Suggested Departure Day:
Wednesday

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ITINERARY (Subject to change without notice):

Day 01 - Wednesday - Depart USA: Depart the USA on overnight flight to Buenos Aires.

Day 02 - Thursday – Arrive Buenos Aires: Morning arrival in Buenos Aires. Meet and transfer to the Four Seasons next to the fashionable Recoleta district for overnight with buffet breakfast. Afternoon city tour of Buenos Aires, often called "The Paris of South America". Drive down the widest boulevard on earth, 9 de Julio, past the Obelisk commemorating 400 years of history, past the Colon Opera House and many other places of interest in this sophisticated European style city.

Day 03 – Friday - Buenos Aires - Bariloche: Morning transfer to the airport for flight across the pampas to the edge of the Andes and the summer-winter resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche. Meeting and transfer to the Llao Llao Resort and Spa for overnight stay with buffet breakfast. This afternoon you'll drive through town and out along the Nahuel Huapi Lake on the "Circuito Chico" routing for spectacular vistas of the forests, mountains and lakes. (B)

Day 04 - Saturday – Bariloche - Los Alerces National Park: Today the adventure begins. Depart Bariloche heading south along Ruta 40 via El Bolson, El Hoyo, Epuyen and Cholila to Los Alerces National Park and the El Aura Lago Verde Lodge. Late afternoon arrival for two night stay. (B/L/D)

ABOUT RUTA 40:  (Taken from "Argentina Handbook" by Footprint Handbooks)
"Route 40 is to Argentina what the Trans-Alaska Highway is to North America or the (now largely disused) Trans-Amazon Highway is to Brazil. Route 40 is a trunk road which runs along the eastern edge of the Andes, virtually from the frontier with Bolivia in the north almost to Tierra del Fuego in the south.

"Over 5000 kilometers long, one third paved, the rest ripio or dirt, it runs through practically every type of climate from boiling hot to freezing cold and through all kinds of surroundings, ancient and modern, indigenous societies and modern cities. At the Abra del Acay (4,895 meters) it even climbs to an altitude higher than Mount Blanc. And, on top of all this, it provides access to several national parks and other wonders such as Mount Aconcagua and the great glaciers of the southern lakes."

Day 05 - Sunday - Los Alerces National Park:  Full day excursion exploring Los Alerces National Park with a number of lakes, rivers and streams of crystal-clear water, ancient bamboo, cypress and myrtle trees, and birds and mammals of diverse species. Originated in 1937, the park was established to preserve the last refuge for one of the most long-lived trees in the world: alerces (lahuan), trees that like our Sequoias live many hundreds of years. (B,L,D)

Day 06 - Monday - Los Alerces National Park – Los Antiguos: Today is a long day but one filled with varied scenery. Ruta 40 is paved for the first several hundred kilometers and then turns into "ripio" (gravel and-or dirt). The further south you go, the fewer signs of civilization and the more wide open the spaces. To the south of Lake Buenos Aires and on the shores of the river bearing the same name, lies the city of Los Antiguos, immersed in the surroundings of a prodigious landscape where rivers, a lake and snow-capped peaks stand out. Overnight at the Hosteria Antigua Patagonia on the shore of Lake Buenos Aires. (B,L)

Day 07 – Tuesday - Los Antiguos – Lake Posadas/Lake Pueyrredon: Morning departure south along Ruta 40 almost to Baja Caracoles where you will visit the Cueva de las Manos in the Rio Pinturas Canyon, itself a spectacular site at 810 feet deep and 1440 feet wide. In the cave's four galleries are over 800 paintings of human hands of which all but 31 are of the left hand. There are also images of guanacos and cameloids. Painted in red, orange, black, white and green, they are interesting even to those who don't think they're interested. The oldest paints are estimated to be 10,000 years old. Then continue towards Lake Posadas and the Estancia El Suyai, located on the shore of Lake Pueyrredon for overnight. (B/L/D)

Day 08 - Wednesday - Lake Posadas/Lake Pueyrredon – Lake San Martin: Today you’ll journey to a place off the beaten track for a two-night stay at the Estancia El Condor on Lago (Lake) San Martin. The estancia is a historic property with a spectacular setting surrounded by beautiful scenery and set in a 40,00ha reserve. (B,L,D)

Day 09 – Thursday - Lake San Martin: Today you can enjoy excursions as provided by the estancia. There is horse riding and trekking, taking you through breathtaking scenery, with picturesque cascades, rivers, beech forests and turquoise lagoons.  There are rides and treks suitable for all levels. (B/L/D)

Day 10 – Friday - Lake San Martin - El Chalten: Today you will continue on to El Chalten, a small mountain village on the edge of Los Glaciares National Park. You'll stay two nights at the Hosteria Senderos. (B/L)

Day 11 – Saturday - El Chalten: Full day excursion exploring the northern end of Los Glaciares National Park. Cerro Torre and Cerro Fitz Roy mountains are both popular for climbing and as such are well-visited by trekkers and climbers. Although mountaineering opportunities abound, there are several walks of varying difficulty that take you to scenic overlooks and points. Weather permitting, you'll be surrounded by nature's perfection. (B/L)

Day 12 - Sunday - El Chalten - Estancia Helsingfors: Today drive from the northwestern side of Lago Viedma almost around the lake to the southwestern corner and the Estancia Helsingfors, a total of only 180 but scenic kilometers. Panoramas include towering Cerro Fitz Roy, Lago Viedma and Viedma Glacier. You'll spend two nights at Estancia Helsingfors. (B/L/D)

Day 13 – Monday - Estancia Helsingfors: Enjoy activities as included by Helsingfors. Among the favored things to do are trekking, walking and horseback riding, which provide a marvelous way to embrace the magnificent scenery surroundings the estancia. Other options are also available through the estancia at an additional charge such as Navigation to Viedma Glacier or Brazo Moyano. (B/L/D)

Day 14 – Tuesday - Estancia Helsingfors – El Calafate: Drive east again along the shores of Lago Viedma back to Ruta 40 for the final leg south to El Calafate and the EOLO, Patagonia’s Spirit, set between El Calafate and the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. (B/L/D)

Day 15 – Wednesday - El Calafate: Today you will explore at the southern end of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Drive into the national park to visit the Perito Moreno Glacier, standing 240 feet above sea level. Walk along the boardwalks enjoying changing vistas of this massive glacier and take a motorlaunch ride along the front of the glacier. There is optional mini-trekking and Big Ice treks on the glacier. Inquire if you are interested as there are age restrictions and additional cost. Perito Moreno has been referred to as a "growing glacier" but in reality it is a stable glacier. It is truly spectacular. (B/L/D)

Day 16 – Thursday - El Calafate: Today’s full day excursion begins with an early morning transfer to Puerto Bandera to embark on the motorlaunch for a cruise to the northwest end of Lago Argentino to Upsala Glacier. Cruise in front of its massive façade and then continue navigating up the Cristina Channel to the historic Estancia Cristina. Enjoy a visit to the museum in the old sheering shed and then board an all-terrain vehicle for a drive along 9.5 km of mountainous roads to the Continental Ice Shelter. A 30 minute walk takes you to the viewpoint to enjoy another vista of the Upsala Glacier, Lake Guillermo, the Andes and the Southern Patagonia icefields. 

Day 17 – Friday - El Calafate - Buenos Aires: Morning transfer by Eolo to the airport at El Calafate for return flight northbound to Buenos Aires. Meeting and transfer to the Four Seasons for overnight with buffet breakfast. This evening enjoy a dinner and tango show at the Gala Tango (B/D)

Day 18 – Saturday - Depart Buenos Aires: Day at leisure to continue exploring at your own pace. Your room is paid for late check-out so no need to hurry through the day. Evening transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight. (B)

Day 19 – Sunday - Arrive Miami: Morning arrival in the USA, clear immigrations and customs and make connections to your home city.

RATES and DETAILS:

SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON: (Rates subject to change without notice)
YEAR Single Occupancy Twin Occupancy - P/P Triple Occupancy - P/P
2017 Request $19,995 - $22,500 Request
2018

Estimate 10% increase

Plus Air fares and USA Departure Taxes
PAYMENTS: By credit card; special form required & must carry Card Holder's signature
Deposit - Per Person 2nd deposit - Per Person Full Payment Due
$1500 in order to confirm To complete a total of 30% deposit upon confirmation of all space 65 days prior departure
CHANGES:
After reservations confirmed If new documents are required
$100 per change $100 per change + $100 re-issue documents
CANCELLATIONS:
Cancelled Between Up to 91 days 89 to 61  days 60 to 31 days 30 to 00 days
Fees Per Person $1500 30% 50% 100%
TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE: Highly recommended
RATE INCLUDES:
  • Hotel accommodations with hotel taxes and service charges, with private facilities where available
  • Meals as indicated, table d'hôte basis
  • Transfers as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Luggage handling at airports
  • Sightseeing as indicated, with English speaking guide
  • Surface and overland travel as indicated, with English speaking driver-guide
RATE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • Air fares and USA Departure taxes
  • Foreign airport departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys, ship's personnel
  • Meals not specifically indicated as included
NOTE: Information was last updated March 30, 2017. Information & rates subject to change.
Responsibilities, Terms & Conditions