We’ve been after traveling to Patagonia for several years now
and we’ve been delaying it for multiple reasons but, finally, it’s
going to happen.
One of the points that was clear soon was when to
go, since one of the main attractions of this travel is watching the
fauna there, and graphics for the different species in Patagonia show
all of them are only available between October and November. The reason
for this is, mainly, whales leave in November and penguins start to
come in September.
Along these last years we’ve been thinking about
different options, thought in order to reduce the cost for domestic
flights as much as possible, since they were expensive due to the
monopoly Aerolineas Argentinas seems to have in the country. Among all
these options, the one that seemed we were going to take was changing
the name of this travel to “Chile” instead of “Argentina”, since
between North and South were way cheaper in Chile, so we could go to
Argentinian Glacier area by car. That was solving the problem for
Patagonia but was making going to Iguazu too expensive. This option was
finally discarded, and Chile will have its own dedicated travel in the
Fortunately, it seems that monopoly for domestic
flights we mentioned above is no longer there and we could find
reasonable rates for domestic flights, as you’ll see in the next
section, where we explain everything about our flights.
Argentina is a vast country, with a tropical North and with
the nearest cities to Southern Pole on its South. So, we needed to
discard a lot of it for a two weeks trip and focus on the places that
a must in our list. With this, we discarded areas as Bariloche, with
wonderful mountain and lakes landscapes, but it’s a type we’re familiar
with. The Pampa, big cities – except for Buenos Aires, which is a
needed stop as it is the hub for flights –, and some more isolated
Based in the number of days and how expensive were
domestic flights we selected only five areas of the country for this
travel: Iguazu and El Calafate are the top touristic places in
Argentina, Buenos Aires is an unavoidable stop, Peninsula Valdes was
chosen because of our wish of watching whales since we couldn’t do it
in New Zealand, and Salta for those dry Andean landscapes with llamas,
vicunas and alpacas.
It was when choosing the flights that we had to
make a change since there are no flights linking El Calafate with
Valdes Peninsula (Trelew) so, as we had to pass by Ushuaia, we’ll spend
a couple of nights there and remove Salta from the list. We’re looking
forward to seeing these landscapes in future travels to Chile or Peru.
At the end of the day we’ve got a tight trip, with
the minimum days for Iguazu and Peninsula Valdes. Three entire days in
El Calafate for the tours to Perito Moreno, sailing by the glaciers
and go to El Chalten, one day and a half for Ushuaia and two days for
Although all these trips are going to be by plane,
we plan to rent a car in Trelew to move around Peninsula Valdes at our
So, finally, the definitive route plan (number of day and
sleep) is the following, starting by October 19th of 2019:
2: Buenos Aires
3, 4 and 5: El Calafate
6 and 7: Ushuaia
8 and 9: Peninsula Valdes
and 11: Iguazu
12 and 13: Buenos Aires
The first thing to do is always purchasing the flights, since
day and time of arrival and leaving affects to the route. In this case,
besides, when we detected a good offer to Buenos Aires we could
check good rates for domestic flights with Aerolineas Argentinas as
well. This happened 7-8 months in advance.
When we detected a flight between Barcelona and
Buenos Aires with United Airlines by 640€ for dates in the range we
wanted we went for them. These flights had the singularity of having
two long connections (+15 hours) in New York in both directions. That
time was during the day, so we weren’t going to be able to rest in a
hotel, but we could afford it by removing one day to Buenos Aires.
Somehow, two days later, when holidays at work
were confirmed, a better offer appeared: cheaper and without these long
connections. British Airways allowed us to fly via London leaving in
both direction by noon and arriving by the next morning, so we got them
These are finally the return flights to Buenos
Aires with British Airways by 617€ per person:
DUB 15:40 LHR
19/10/2019 LHR 22:25 EZE
02/11/2019 EZE 14:20 LHR
03/11/2019 LHR 8:20
As mentioned above, domestic flights with Aerolineas
Argentinas, the ones around Patagonia, were at that moment at the best
rates I had ever seen in the previous years, so we got them too. These
are the flights with Aerolineas Argentinas:
Flight Buenos Aires - El Calafate by 109€ per
21/10/2019 EZE 11:55
Flight El Calafate - Ushuaia by 70€ per person:
25/10/2019 FTE 9:35
Flight Ushuaia - Trelew by 84€ per person:
27/10/2019 USH 10:50
Flight Trelew - Buenos Aires by 75€ per person:
29/10/2019 REL 7:10
Flights to Iguazu from Buenos Aires should wait for a few
more months because the low cost company we were planning to purchasing
them from, Flybondi, wasn’t still selling for October. It wasn’t until
May that we could purchase them but, by then, we had a better price
with LATAM and JetSmart. This last one allows us to spend the night in
Buenos Aires the last day in Iguazu, although it is using a different
airport in Buenos Aires: El Palomar. These are our final flights
between Buenos Aires and Iguazu by 70€ per person:
29/10/2019 AEP 14:00
31/10/2019 IGR 21:30
With this, the total cost for flights is like
617€ from the flights to Buenos Aires + 408€ from domestic flights =
1025€ per person.
We’ve focused mainly in location when looking for hotels for
these five areas of this travel. These have been our choices from Booking:
For Buenos Aires we wanted to use the same place for our two
stops: the first night in Argentina and the last two. The neighborhood
we’ve chosen to look for allocation is Recoleta, close to the places to
visit but, overall, looking the safest place in this city. We’ve booked
three nights at Up Recoleta Hotel, which costs us
59€ for the first night and 64€ for each of the last two. Total cost
for all three nights then is 187€.
El Calafate is the place where we’re going to
spend more time. We need allocation for 4 nights there and we have
chosen Posada Karut Josh for
them. We’ll pay 324€ in total.
We only need to spend two nights in Ushuaia for
our stop there. The most centric place we’ve found available is Paisaje del Beagle. The cost of
these two nights here is 87€.
The next stop following this chronological order
is our visit to Peninsula Valdes. As our priority there are the whales,
we had the idea of taking two nights at Apartahotel Raíces,
which is in the same beach where the boats for whale watching leave.
The rate is 63€ per night there but, finally, we only could take one
because of our early flight next day and having no option of delivering
the rented car if we’re not in Trelew the previous evening. So, for our
second night on this area we’ve booked at Patagonian Suites Express, by 60€
The last place we’re going to visit is Iguazu,
where we had in mind to spend three nights, but finally we’ve booked
two due to our night flight to Buenos Aires for the last day. We’ve
chosen Hotel Posada La Sorgente in Puerto
Iguazu for this by 96€ in total.
With this, the total cost for hotels on this
We don’ know if we’ll ended by renting a car in El Calafate
to go to El Chalten. We’ll decide this once there.
The one we’ve booked is the car for Peninsula
Valdes. We’ve chosen Rentacar for this, which quote is 6824 AR$ for two
days. We’ve already paid a deposit of 1137 AR$.
Somehow, once there, it was a local agency: Delsur DS.
Our experience with them has been great and they explained to us the
deposit we paid in advance is the comission for the website we used and
we could save it by contacting them directly.
From the tours we want to do in El Calafate we’ve already
booked and paid the trekking on Perito Moreno and transfer by 6500 AR$
per person. We’ve done it through Calafate.com. This is the only
taken in advance as it is the most demanded, so we’ve assured it for
the first day. Once there, we plan to take the sailing tour by the
glaciers and whether to take a tour to El Chalten or renting a car to
go on our own.
We’ve reserved in advance too the whale watching
tour in Peninsula Valdes, following the recommendation from our Hotel
as these tours get full pretty quick. We’ll pay 2475 AR$ once there,
with the discount already applied for going through the hotel.
The only other activity we’ve paid in advance is
the ballet for our first day in Buenos Aires at Colon Theater by 650
AR$ per person.
plan, then, is like this: