Argentina is a wonderful country for a family adventure. It counts with impressive contrasts, distributed across its 23 provinces and the city of Buenos Aires. It’s the eighth-largest country in the world, with multiple destinations to visit. Below you will find a potential itinerary, focused on Patagonia, Buenos Aires, and Iguazu Falls.
The purpose of this post is to trigger some ideas that help you to continue planning your trip. The itinerary is prepared for families with children over 10 years old. However, if you travel with younger kids, there still being lots of things to do!
When to visit Argentina
This itinerary is thought to match the winter break in the northern hemisphere, which usually is somewhere between December and January. Those months are summertime in Argentina, ideal for your Argentina family adventure! Concerning the length of the trip, in order to accompany the school holidays, we set a reference of 2 weeks.
Days 1-3: Buenos Aires, culture and entertainment
Upon arrival, we suggest you take a private city tour, in order to get to know the highlights of the city. Then relax, and sleep early to get ready for the following days.
The idea is to stay three nights in Buenos Aires, which means two full days, plus the arrival day with the city tour.
During one of the full days, you can visit the green areas and parks through a personalized bike tour. For instance, biking around the Palermo forests, with its garden with thousands of roses, and the Planetarium, is a great idea.
The other full day, you could spend it in the countryside, doing activities such as those mentioned below:
- Visit a ranch with a strong gaucho tradition, including barbeque and outdoor activities such as horseback riding.
- Visit the theme Park “Temaiken”, an important bio-park with incredible fauna.
- Navigate among the thousands of islands of the Tigre Delta, including some kayaking.
For the evenings, you might attend a Tango Show (some of them are addressed mainly to adults), and enjoy the delicious local cuisine. There is an experience called “The Argentine Experience”, which is a mixture between a cooking lesson, dinner, and entertainment. Ideal to go with the family!
Days 3-6: Ushuaia, at the end of the World!
Even though it doesn’t hold the title of “Southernmost city of the World” anymore, everything there is about it, and you can reach it easily with a direct flight from Buenos Aires. We suggest you to stay three nights, and your itinerary could include the following experiences:
- Half-day excursion to the National Park Tierra del Fuego, which gathers samples of most of the elements of the Fuegian ecosystem.
- Half-day navigation on the Beagle Channel, visiting the Birds & Sea Lions islands, and the lighthouse Les Eclaireurs.
- Semi-full day (6 hours) excursion to the Harberton Ranch and the penguin Rookery of Isla Martillo. You can walk among penguins for about 1 hour, enjoying an unforgettable experience! Generally, you do this after a half-day excursion.
- Full-day excursion to the lakes Fagnano & Escondido (heart of Tierra del Fuego), including some soft canoeing, soft trek, off-road circuits in 4×4, and lunch in a private shelter in the middle of the forest.
Just out of curiosity: the new southernmost city in the world is called Puerto Williams (Chile), and is just a few kilometers south of Ushuaia, on the opposite side of the Beagle Channel.
Days 6-9: El Calafate
Welcome to the Land of Glaciers!
A short flight (about 1 hour) connects Ushuaia with El Calafate. We suggest you to explore the area in about 3 nights, and in case you count with more days, to include El Chalten (Fitz Roy and Torre Mounts: mainly trekking activities), which is a village located 220 km away (at least 3 additional nights).
During your stay in El Calafate, a potential itinerary could be:
- Upon arrival, enjoy an afternoon at the Patagonian Ranch Nibepo Aike, including some horseback riding while you learn about the gaucho’s culture in the zone.
- Dedicate one of the full days to visit the incredible Glacier Perito Moreno, and add the optional mini trekking on top of the ice!
- During the other day, you could do one of the navigations on Lake Argentino, such as the one that goes to Glaciers Spegazzini and Upsala
Days 9-12: Bariloche
San Carlos de Bariloche is a city located in the heart of the Patagonian Lake District of Argentina. The lake district has similar features as the Alps, including picturesque villages, beautiful forests, lakes, rivers, and mountains.
There is plenty of things to do in the area, and a potential itinerary could be:
- Half-day visit to the surroundings of Bariloche (a.k.a. “Short Circuit”), including great panoramic views such as the one from the Campanario Hill (you reach with a chairlift).
- Rafting experience to the border with Chile, including barbeque in a ranch in the middle of nature, and the sensation of being surrounded by pristine rivers and beautiful landscapes.
- Navigation on Lake Nahuel Huapi, combined with a visit to the iconic Arrayans forest. Maybe you could include Villa La Angostura on this day.
- Kayak on Lake Moreno, or adventure activities in the area.
During high season, there are usually daily direct flights from Bariloche to El Calafate.
Bariloche is also ideal for a road trip holiday!
Days 12-14: Iguazu Falls
Enjoy the beauties of one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World!
Invest one full day to visit the Argentinean side of the Falls, where are more of the water jumps.
During that full day, visit the different trails of the National Park Iguazu. Do as well the navigation on the zodiac along the Devil’s Canyon (near some water jumps). The cherry on the cake for this day will probably be the views from the balcony that heads to the Devil’s Throat (the largest waterfall in the park).
On the other day, visit during half a day the Brazilian side of the Falls, where you can add a visit to the bird’s park.
From Bariloche to Iguazu Falls there are usually no direct flights (mainly through Buenos Aires).
Day 15: Departure
On day 14 return to Buenos Aires, and overnight in the most convenient area. Transfer to the airport on day 15, in order to board your flight back home.
Note: from Foz do Iguassu (Brazilian side of the Falls), you might also find some good connections to fly back home.
The advice of a local expert
Argentina has also many other destinations to visit, such as Mendoza, Salta, or the Ibera Wetlands. We offer custom tours, and would love to hear about your plans, in order to make the best out of your Argentina family adventure!