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Fitz Roy
La Ruta Magica
Estancias along Ruta 40
in the Argentine Patagonia
18 Days
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Locally Hosted Independent Tour

Suggested Departure Day:
October - March

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ITINERARY (Subject to change without notice):

Wednesday - Depart USA: Depart Miami, New York or Los Angeles on overnight flight

Thursday - Arrive Buenos Aires: Morning arrival in Buenos Aires. Meet and transfer to the Four Seasons in the heart of fashionable Recoleta 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. This evening enjoy dinner and tango show at the Esquina Carlos Gardel. (DS)

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 Breakfast daily. 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)

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, with   four large lakes, many smaller lakes, snow-capped mountain peaks, distant glaciers and motorlaunch ride to visit a stand of alerces, trees that like our Sequoias live many hundreds of years. Late afternoon arrival at Lago Verde Wilderness Lodge 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."

Sunday - Los Alerces National Park:  Full day excursion exploring Los Alerces National Park with four large lakes, many smaller lakes, snow-capped mountain peaks, distant glaciers and motorlaunch ride to visit a stand of alerces, trees that like our Sequoias live many hundreds of years. (B,L,D)

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)

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)

Wednesday - Lake Posadas / Lake Pueyrredon – Lago Belgrano / Perito Moreno National Park: Morning departure south along Route 40 towards Perito Moreno National Park and the Estancia Menelik, with a privileged location close to the park. Staying at an estancia is the best way to experience the wild Patagonia.  The estancia’s living room offers a view of the San Lorenzo Mountain and there is a bookshelf of Patagonian stories that will give you the feeling of being home during your two night stay. (B,L,D)

Thursday -  Lago Belgrano/Perito Moreno National Park: Today you will enjoy a full day excursion visiting the Perito Moreno National Park, one of the wildest and most remote parks in Argentina. Extending over 115,000 hectares at altitudes over 2400 feet, the park includes eight large lakes and numerous smaller lakes and ponds. Between the lakes are permanently snow clad mountains, and outside the park but towering over it is Cerro San Lorenzo (11,118 feet), the highest peak in southern Patagonia. Lower parts of the park are steppe, and wildlife is abundant, including guanacos, foxes, flamingos, nandus, eagles and condors.(B/L/D)

Friday -  Lago Belgrano/Perito Moreno National Park - El Chalten: Head east back to Ruta 40 and then south, turning west along the shores of Lago Viedma, to El Chalten, on the edge of Los Glaciares National Park. You'll stay two nights at the Hosteria Senderos. (B/L/D)

Saturday -  El Chalten: Full day excursion exploring the northern end of Los Glaciares National Park. Several walks of varying difficulty take you to scenic overlooks and points. Weather permitting, you'll be surrounded by nature's perfection. (B/L/D)

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)

Monday - Estancia Helsingfors: Enjoy activities as included by Helsingfors such as trekking, walks, horseback excursions in the area or trekking/navigation to Laguna del Morro. Other options are also available through the estancia at an additional charge such as Navigation to Viedma Glacier or Brazo Moyano. (B/L/D)

Tuesday -  Estancia Helsingfors - Parque Nacional Los Glaciares: Drive east again along the shores of Lago Viedma back to Ruta 40 for the final leg south to El Calafate and then beyond to the Parque Nacional Los Glaciares and the Hotel Los Notros, located inside the park. (B/L/D)

Wednesday - Parque Nacional Los Glaciares: Today you can explore the southern end of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Choose from the menu of excursions as offered by Los Notros, including boat ride along the southern walls of the imposing Perito Moreno Glacier, the "pasarellas" (boardwalks) for changing vistas of the glacier. 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)

Thursday -  Parque Nacional Los Glaciares: Another day to enjoy these spectacular surroundings. Choose from a menu of excursions as offered by Los Notros. (B/L/D)

Friday -  Parque Nacional Los Glaciares / El Calafate / Buenos Aires: Morning transfer by Los Notros 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. You'll have the afternoon and evening to explore the cosmopolitan city at your own pace. (B)

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)

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


SAMPLE LAND RATE PER PERSON: (Rates subject to change without notice)
YEAR One person - single Twin Occupancy - P/P Triple Occupancy - P/P
2012 $24,980 to $ $26,480 $14,960 to $15,975 $14,340 to $15,250

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
$1000 in order to confirm To complete a total of 30% deposit upon confirmation of all space 65 days prior departure
After reservations confirmed If new documents are required
$100 per change $100 per change + $100 re-issue documents
Cancelled Between Up to 91 days 89 to 61  days 60 to 31 days 30 to 00 days
Fees Per Person $1000 30% 50% 100%
  • 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
  • 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 Septemb 18, 2012. Information & rates subject to change.
Responsibilities, Terms & Conditions