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PATAGONIA’S HIDDEN TREASURES: ESQUEL & LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK

from USD $7,275 / 15 days

Summary

  • Bariloche (3 Nights)
  • Esquel (3 Nights)
  • Los Alerces National Park (2 Nights)
  • Los Huemules Reserve (3 Nights)
  • Buenos Aires (3 Nights)

Overview

This travel adventure is designed for intrepid explorers seeking the hidden wonders of Argentina’s Northern Patagonia. Immerse yourself in the enchanting realms of Esquel and its surroundings, unveiling treasures within Los Alerces National Park, and the wilderness of Los Huemules Reserve. These secret destinations offer a great variety of natural marvels and cultural experiences, beckoning you to discover the lesser-known yet captivating facets of Patagonia.

The journey begins in Buenos Aires, where you’ll catch a glimpse of the city’s vibrant atmosphere before taking a flight to Bariloche, the primary gateway to Patagonia. There, you’ll explore scenic landscapes through invigorating hikes, sailings on Nahuel Huapi Lake, and thrilling rafting on the Manso River. The adventure continues with a stay at Los Alerces National Park, providing enriching experiences to delve into the heart of this expansive natural park.

Moving on, the city of Esquel offers insights into the cultural treasures of the Welsh Route, providing an opportunity for ancestral discovery amid its captivating surroundings. Finally, venture to the Los Huemules Reserve, once a historic cattle grazing ground, now transformed into a Mountain Reserve with a strong focus on sustainability. Embracing eco-friendly practices such as geodesic domes, recycled wood, and local hiring, the estate aims to honor Patagonia and its people.

To conclude this Patagonian odyssey, you’ll return to Buenos Aires for a cultural journey and Delta Exploration, a sprawling network of islands and waterways near the town of Tigre.

 

Itinerary

Day 1: Buenos Aires Arrival – Half-Day Private City Tour
Day 2: Buenos Aires – Bariloche – Afternoon at Leisure
Day 3: Bariloche – Scenic Bariloche with Hiking + Victoria Island Sailing
Day 4: Bariloche – Manso River Frontier Limit Rafting
Day 5: Bariloche – Journey to Los Alerces National Park
Day 6: Los Alerces National Park – “Naturalist for a Day” Experience
Day 7: Los Alerces National Park – Lake Safari & Ancient Forests – Esquel
Day 8: Esquel – Morning at Leisure + Welsh Route Exploration
Day 9: Esquel – Ancestral Adventure: Sierra Colorada & Rosario Lake Full-Day Tour
Day 10: Esquel – Los Huemules Reserve – Half-Day Introductory Hike to Pinar Hill
Day 11: Los Huemules – La Torta Full Day Trekking
Day 12: Los Huemules – Horse Riding & Mountain Biking Adventure
Day 13: Los Huemules – Buenos Aires – Asado Gourmet Experience
Day 14: Buenos Aires – Delta Tigre & Northern Buenos Aires Suburbs
Day 15: El Buenos Aires – Departure


Itinerary Details

Commence your journey in the metropolis of Buenos Aires, where our dedicated driver will await you upon your arrival at the airport. You’ll be staying at beautiful Nuss Hotel, nestled in the heart of Palermo Soho. This neighborhood is reminiscent of New York City’s Soho district, offering a fascinating blend of fashion, art, cuisine, and nightlife.

In the afternoon, join our local guide in exploring the diverse boroughs of Buenos Aires. Wander through the historical districts and lush green parks to uncover the stories of local figures and glide past iconic sites that have left an indelible mark on Argentina’s history. Delve into lesser-known aspects of Argentine tradition, immersing yourself in the captivating mosaic of local culture that offers profound insights into the vibrant heritage of this special destination.

Finally, wrap up your day by unwinding at the hotel or venturing out to discover some charming Argentinean restaurants nearby. Feel free to consult our guide for personalized recommendations!

Our private tours offer the flexibility to customize the itinerary according to your individual likes and interests. Feel free to share your preferences with us, allowing us to craft a personalized visit tailored to provide a meaningful experience for you. Additionally, although a car or van will be at your disposal for longer distances, we encourage you to explore the neighborhoods on foot. This way, you can immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, fostering a more intimate and authentic connection with the surroundings.

 

Meals: (no meals).
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers.

Hotel

Nuss Hotel

Today you’ll start your adventure in Argentine Patagonia, with the charming town of Bariloche as your first destination. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes, Bariloche is renowned for its stunning views of glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains, and lush forests – a real haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Our driver will take you to the airport for your flight to Bariloche. Upon arrival, you’ll have the afternoon at leisure to explore the city on your own, roam the stoned streets of the Casco area, savor delightful local cuisine, or simply relax at the hotel and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

 

Meals: Breakfast
Type of Service: Private transfers

 

Hotel

Nido del Condor Hotel

On your first full day in Bariloche, you’ll embark on a captivating hike at Cerro Llao Llao. You’ll walk through a stunning forest adorned with scenic viewpoints that offer perfect opportunities for capturing the breath-taking landscape of the lakes and mountains of Patagonia. After completing the hike (6 km / 3.7 mi. approx.), your journey continues to Cerro Campanario by vehicle. Along the way, there will be stops at various view points, including spectacular panoramic views of the Llao Llao peninsula. At Cerro Campanario, you can take a chairlift to the summit to enjoy one of the most exquisite vistas in the region.

After descending, you’ll continue to Puerto Pañuelo to hop on a Catamaran to Victoria Island through Nahuel Huapi Lake – one of the most beautiful and wide lakes in Argentine Patagonia.

When you arrive at Victoria Island, your guide will take you on a discovery walk through the captivating, forested haven teeming with native flora and fauna to uncover its most beautiful corners and relish panoramic views of the lake.

Next on your journey, you’ll visit a natural reserve situated on the Quetrihué peninsula at the southern end of Lake Nahuel Huapi. This forest is renowned for its abundance of Arrayán trees, distinguished by their cinnamon-colored bark and straight trunks. The intriguing aspect lies in the harmonious coexistence of these planted trees with the resurgence of native vegetation, creating a captivating blend that enhances the reserve’s allure. Wooden paths provide a serene means to navigate the forest, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquil and naturally beautiful surroundings.

To wrap up the day’s adventures, you’ll be guided back to the hotel for a well-deserved rest.

 

Meals: Breakfast & Snacks.
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers. along with shared Catamaran Sailing featuring VIP access.

Hotel

Nido del Condor Hotel

Today, prepare yourself for an exhilarating rafting adventure on the Manso River in Bariloche. Upon arrival at the valley, expert guides will provide a comprehensive safety briefing, equipping you with the skills and gear for the day ahead. Launch into the Manso River and paddle and splash your way down Class III and IV rapids for an adrenaline-packed experience!

At midday, you’ll have time to take a break for a riverside lunch amongst the natural beauty of the surroundings before return to the base in the late afternoon, where you can relax, share experiences, and enjoy refreshments.

 

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.
Type of Service: Shared activity in a small, reduced groups, shared guide, and transfers.

Hotel

Nido del Condor Hotel

Today you’ll head southwards towards the natural beauty of Los Alerces National Park. Your driver will pick you up to head to your first stop of the day, El Bolsón.

In El Bolsón, you’ll have the option to immerse yourself in the vibrant ambiance of the artisan fair – a treasure trove of local craftsmanship. From there, you’ll continue on your expedition towards the serene shores of Lago Puelo, where the mystical Forest of Shadows beckons with its enchanting allure.

Your journey then meanders through the picturesque landscapes to El Hoyo, home to the largest labyrinth in South America. Delve into the intriguing pathways of this mesmerizing maze, soaking in the beauty that surrounds you. Depending on the schedule and weather conditions, you may be able to visit to one of El Hoyo’s charming wineries, offering you a taste of local flavors and traditions.

This transition day from Bariloche to Parque Nacional Los Alerces seamlessly allows a blend of exploration, culture, and natural marvels. The park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, protects the most extensive forest of alerce (larch) trees in Argentina – the second oldest living trees in the world!

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch.
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers.

Hotel

Aura Lodge

Today you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of Los Alerces National Park with a unforgettable journey along its scenic trails. This experience is not just a nature walk but a unique chance to delve into the region’s rich biodiversity. As you traverse the park’s paths, you’ll encounter and learn about the diverse native flora and fauna that call this pristine wilderness home.

You’ll be provided with binoculars and a telescope to help you identify and spot some of the marvellous species here. Beyond that, you’ll also take part in a captivating photographic survey guided by a seasoned nature photographer.

The great thing about this tour is that it invites you to actively participate in Citizen Science! By collecting data and contributing to biodiversity documentation through various platforms, you become a vital part of ongoing global research.

This approximately 80-kilometer journey will be guided by both a forestry engineer and a tour guide, both experts in bird observation and native flora. As you absorb the breathtaking landscapes, your collected data will not only enrich your personal experience but also become a valuable contribution to a global statistical database.

Meals: Breakfast.
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers.

Hotel

Aura Lodge

Today, another exciting adventure awaits as you begin your journey at the pristine Lake Menéndez. Cross the picturesque Arrayanes River boardwalk and enjoy a short hike to Puerto Chucao. From here, you’ll board a boat to cross Lake Menéndez, reaching the enchanting northern arm’s coastline. Throughout this captivating journey, you can revel in extraordinary vistas of the southern wall of the Torrecillas Glacier, Grande Island, lush forests, and cascading waterfalls.

Upon arrival at Puerto Sagrario, disembark and step into an immersive hike that will lead you deep into the heart of Los Alerces National Park, safeguarding the ancient alerce. The trail unfolds, guiding you to explore Swan Lake, navigate the rapids of the Swan River, and culminate in a breath-taking encounter with the “grandfather” – an alerce exceeding 2,600 years in age, boasting a diameter of 2.20 meters and standing proudly at an incredible 57 meters tall!

It’s worth highlighting that the trail is thoughtfully equipped with new boardwalks, steps, viewpoints, and panoramic spots that not only provide you with an amazing experience but also helps to preserve the natural environment by minimizing human impact and reducing wear on the terrain.

As the day draws to a close, your journey will conclude in the city of Esquel.

Please note that all departures are subject to meteorological alerts for strong winds issued by the National Meteorological Service.

 

Meals: Breakfast & Box Lunch.
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers.

Hotel

El Coiron Hostería

Today, the morning will be yours to enjoy at your own pace—relax or explore the city center of Esquel independently.

In the afternoon, you’ll experience an enriching cultural activity that combines history, flavors, and landscapes of this unique area.  The journey begins in Trevelin, a mill town and a focal point of Welsh culture in Patagonia. Here, you can admire the century-old Bethel Chapel and the main square of Trevelin.

The itinerary progresses to the area of Nant and Fall Waterfalls, a protected natural area featuring three beautiful cascading falls: Larga, Mellizas y la Petiza (Long, Twins, and Small). Continuing towards Chile, you’ll encounter the Nant Fach Mill, a replica of the early 20th-century flour mills that thrived when this valley produced high-quality wheat. Explore the museum showcasing artifacts integral to the daily lives of the early Welsh settlers.

To conclude the journey, visit the Nant and Fall Vineyards, a family venture that has successfully produced wines of exceptional quality, pioneering the Trevelin Valley in this endeavor.

As the excursion concludes, indulge in a delightful Welsh tea-tasting experience before returning to your hotel in the city of Esquel.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Tea-tasting.
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers.

Hotel

El Coiron Hostería

Today, get ready for an immersive blend of trekking, culture, and gastronomy, each element infused with a distinct identity. You’ll embark on a journey through ancestral lands of the Sierra Colorada and Lago Rosario area, accompanied and guided by the Mapuche-Tehuelche descendants that reside here and keep their traditions alive.

You can choose to explore these lands on foot or horseback while your hosts will share their history and that of their ancestors. At Casita de Lala, Eva will welcome you to enjoy a local lunch with traditional corn stew or spit-roasted lamb, accompanied by homemade bread, water, wine, and dessert, depending on the season.

After lunch, your journey continues with a visit to the artisans’ house (Amuan Ñi Rukamó), where you can experience the art of weaving on a loom and purchase cosy woven products such as vests, scarves, socks, blankets, and more.

Next door, Albarino Chequehuala, the area’s only luthier, opens his home to showcase typical instruments of Mapuche culture crafted with his own hands. The musical ambiance accompanies you until snack time, where Doña Inés awaits with Ñaco (toasted flour) and traditional ember-cooked tortillas paired with herbal tea.

Throughout the entire experience, you’ll have the opportunity to exchange and learn words of the Mapuzungun language.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks.
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers.

Hotel

El Coiron Hostería

Today, seize the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely morning as you prepare for your transfer from your hotel in Esquel to Los Huemules Reserve.

This remarkable reserve, once a historic cattle grazing ground, has undergone a transformative journey into a sustainable mountain reserve. With eco-friendly practices such as geodesic domes, recycled wood, and local employment, the reserve is a tribute to Patagonia and its people.

Huemules presents a captivating tapestry of landscapes for you to savor, where each season brings new and enchanting hues to the panorama. Immerse yourself with curated trekking, horseback riding, and mountain biking excursions and explore distinctive circuits that unveil breath-taking scenery, all in the company of the vast Patagonian expanse.

Once at Los Huemules Reserve, you’ll able to choose from a wide range of activities according to your preferences, from hiking, and mountain biking to horse-riding.  For this itinerary, we’ve chosen an example guide but, as mentioned, activities can be personalized upon your arrival.

Once settled in, you’ll explore the area on a half-day hike to Pinar Hill, situated on the eastern side of Huemules. Traverse vast prairies and wander through millenary lenga and ñire forests, encountering a more youthful pine forest along the way. Revel in the constant backdrop of the majestic Western mountain chain and extensive views of the Percy River valley and the Esquel mountain chain to the east.

 

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner.
Type of Service: Private transfers and shared activities by Los Huemules.
Difficulty: Easy.

Hotel

Los Huemules Reserve

For your second day at Los Huemules, we’ve selected a full-day trekking adventure, but do keep in mind that you have the flexibility to opt for another activity if you prefer.

During this invigorating hike, you will explore vast lenga forests and tread upon ancient pathways once utilized by the region’s pioneering miners. As you traverse these historic trails, you’ll encounter remnants of old mining operations, abandoned settlements, railways, and fascinating machinery. The upward journey involves navigating steep ridges and conquering two low-altitude peaks before reaching the pinnacle, La Torta. Here, an awe-inspiring spectacle awaits you—a truly unforgettable 360-degree panoramic view encompassing the Los Alerces National Park, the glaciers of the Andes Cordillera, and the picturesque town of Trevelin nestled in the 16 de Octubre Valley. Additionally, you’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to witness the majestic flight of wild condors, adding a unique and captivating element to your experience.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch & Dinner.
Type of Service: Shared activities by Los Huemules.
Difficulty: Medium-High

Hotel

Los Huemules Reserve

On your last full day at Los Huemules, head to the mountains for a combination of mountain biking and horseback riding. However, as stated before, feel free to opt for an alternative activity if you have a different preference.

Commence with a moderately challenging mountain biking ride, featuring numerous ascents and descents as you traverse through the lenga forest, picturesque canyons, meandering creeks, and remnants of old forestry worksites beneath the cool shade of the trees. Here, you can experience the distinctive terrain, flora, and fauna that characterize the canyons and valleys of the magnificent Patagonian mountains.

After lunch, relish an easy half-day horseback riding excursion, providing a leisurely journey and the opportunity to serenely appreciate the unique scenery that envelops you. Following the initial ascent through the lenga forest, you’ll reach a verdant pasture area for cattle. Amidst this idyllic mountain setting, pause for a brief rest and capture unique photos that will become cherished memories.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch & Dinner.
Type of Service: Shared activities by Los Huemules.
Difficulty: Easy

Hotel

Los Huemules Reserve

As your adventure through the northern Patagonia region comes to an end, it’s time to journey back to Buenos Aires. Our local driver will be ready to meet you at the designated time for your flight back to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. Once at the domestic airport, our driver will be waiting to transport you to your hotel.

In the evening, prepare for a distinctive gastronomic experience: a closed-door “asado”. This cherished tradition is deeply ingrained in Argentine culture and promises a delight for your senses. The traditional barbecue is renowned for its exceptional tenderness and holds significant importance as a family ritual. This culinary journey aims to introduce you to the finest aspects of Argentine asado, presenting traditional meat cuts in innovative ways.

As you sample the tasting menu, a thoughtfully curated selection of premium local wines will expertly pair the flavors of each dish, offering an immersive and delightful dining experience.

Once the dinner concludes, you will be chauffeured back to your hotel.

Feel free to inquire about alternative activities such as a Tango lesson and show, or a food tour, among other exciting possibilities tailored to your preferences and flight schedule.

 

Meals: Breakfast.
Type of Service: Private Transfers.

Hotel

Nuss Hotel

Today invites you to discover an alternative side of Buenos Aires, venturing into the captivating Paraná Delta —one of the world’s largest deltas in the world. Spend the morning sailing through the green maze of channels and streams, taking in the nature of the islands and admiring riverside villas, Victorian docks, English gardens, and traditional rowing clubs.

Gain insights into the unique lifestyle of the “isleños,” learning about their traditions and culture. At midday you’ll have time to enjoy a delicious lunch at a restaurant on one of the islands (not included). After sailing, return to the Marina port to discover the area on foot through elegant residences in the northern suburbian neighborhoods. Keep an eye out for the impressive cathedral in the San Isidro neighborhood!

 

Meals: Breakfast.
Type of Service: Private guide and transfers.

Hotel

Nuss Hotel

As your Argentina journey comes to a close, take a moment to savor the diverse landscapes, immersive cultural experiences, and the unique charm that each destination has added to your travel adventure.

After a satisfying breakfast and checking-out, our driver will be ready to escort you to the airport. If you have a later flight, feel free to store your luggage at the hotel’s reception, allowing you additional time to further explore Buenos Aires until the designated transfer to the airport.

 

Meals: Breakfast.
Type of Service: Private Transfers.
End of Ecochile Services

2023-2024 SEASON RATES

Land Portion Pricing: Group of 2 people

Price per person
>> from USD 7,275 per person 

* Please note that international and domestic flights are not included in this price. Price based on double occupancy.

Included

  • Accommodation as listed in the itinerary or similar
  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals as listed above

Not included

  • International and national flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • PCR or antigen tests
  • Voluntary gratuities
  • Personal use items
  • Any other item (food, drinks, activities) not mentioned in the itinerary

PATAGONIA’S HIDDEN TREASURES: ESQUEL & LOS ALERCES NATIONAL PARK

Duration: 15 days

Price: from USD $7,275 / person

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