Safari in Argentina : Esteros del Iberá and Valdés peninsula – 1 > from the 1rst of July to the 15th of September
This trip is an invitation to discover the Argentinian fauna, from the tropical Esteros del Ibera to the patagonian Peninsula Valdes.
DAY 1 : BUENOS AIRES
Description: you will be greeted at Ezeiza airport by your guide and driven to your hotel to settle in. You’ll have the afternoon off, or if you prefer, an initial tour around Buenos Aires. At the end of the day, we’ll give you a detailed initial briefing around a map at your hotel. Lunch and dinner: not included. Accommodation: Legado Mitico Buenos Aires Hotel or equivalent.
DAY 2 : BUENOS AIRES / ESTEROS DEL IBERÁ / ESTANCIA RINCÓN DEL SOCORRO
Description: after a 2h30min private flight, you will be greeted at the runway of Estancia El Socorro. The estancia is an old cattle breeding estate (12,000 hectares), located on the shores of the Iberá wetlands. After lunch, you’ll take your first walk around the property, especially around the marshes inhabited by diverse species of birds such as capybaras and rheas. Then you’ll go on a nautical safari to take advantage of the last hours of the afternoon and the beautiful sunset, the time of day when the fauna is most active. The nautical safari starts at one end of the estancia, and is done on a boat with a maximum capacity of 6 people. The circuit lasts from 90 minutes to 2 hours. This area is the natural habitat of a surprising number of animals, including the marsh deer, the pampas deer, the capybara, the manned wolf, the broad-snouted caiman, the black caiman, the yellow anaconda and the South American marine otter, as well as a great diversity of birds. According to recent studies, the presence of land vertebrates in this region comprises around 85 species of mammal, 35 species of reptile and around 45 amphibians. Plus, no less than 250 species of birds have been spotted, 90% of which are autochthonous of the region.
Note: all meals at the estancia are prepared with fruits and vegetables from the organic farm on the property. The meat comes from animals bred in open grazing. Lunch, dinner and accommodation: Estancia El Socorro.
DAY 3 : ESTANCIA RINCÓN DEL SOCORRO / ESTEROS DEL IBERÁ
Description: today we’ll take you on a different nautical safari, this time early in the morning, offering a different experience to the previous day’s evening expedition. After the boat trip, a delicious asado will be served in the quincho (diner and viewpoint) with a beautiful panorama, at the end of the pier. The afternoon will be devoted to trekking or horseback riding, the best way to discover Esteros del Iberá’s ecosystem. Even for those who are not familiar with horses, you’ll have no trouble with horses since they are particularly docile and tame. The tours will be led by a guide. Lunch, dinner and accommodation: Estancia El Socorro.
DAY 4 : ESTANCIA RINCÓN DEL SOCORRO / ESTEROS DEL IBERÁ
Description: you may dedicate the day to going horse riding, mountain biking or visiting the neighboring Estancia Ibera, where you may get to know the local gauchos. This property is still fully functional and has 6,500 head of cattle. Those who prefer may enjoy the swimming pool and make use of the estancia’s amenities. Photographers and ornithology lovers will be able to indulge their passion with the hundreds of bird species that inhabit the surrounding area. Lunch, dinner and accommodation: Estancia El Socorro.
DAY 5 : ESTEROS DEL IBERÁ / BUENOS AIRES / TRELEW / PUNTA DELGADA
Description: after breakfast, you will be transferred in a private plane to Buenos Aires. There you will enjoy a magnificent lunch facing the Rio de la Plata, and then you’ll board a regular flight to Trelew. Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport and you will head to Punta Delgada, at the extreme south of Peninsula de Valdés. You will stop at the center dedicated to the wildlife of the area, located at the entrance of the peninsula. This surprising peninsula is separated from the continent by an isthmus which is 16 km (10 miles) long and 6.5 km (4 miles) wide at its narrowest. You will then head to the estancia for dinner. Distances: 2h30 flight from El Socorro to Buenos Aires, and 2 more hours to Trelew. From Trelew to Puerto Madryn, 66 km (41 miles) / 50 minutes. After lunch, 170 km (105 miles) 70 (43 miles) on dirt roads, until Punta Delgada, approximately 2h30. Lunch: in Buenos Aires, at the Gardiner restaurant or similar. Dinner and accommodation: Estancia Rincon Chico.
DAY 6 : PÉNINSULE DE VALDÉS / PUNTA DELGADA / ESTANCIA RINCÓN CHICO
Description: after lunch, you will go on your first 4×4 safari on the estancia’s paths. The excursion will take you to one of the private beaches of the property. The choice between the beach and trekking will depend on your desire to walk. All year round you’ll be able to get close to the southern elephants seals, as well as observing numerous birds: cormorants, Chilean skuas, oystercatchers, neotropic cormorants, flamingoes, Antarctic terns, and diverse specimens of land fauna – guanacos, rheas (a type of small ostrich), foxes, hares and armadillos. In the afternoon, the estancia’s guide will take you on a second safari to another private beach to enjoy the sunset, the best hour for photography fans. Lunch, dinner and accommodation: Estancia Rincon Chico.
DAY 7 : PUNTA DELGADA / PUERTO PIRÁMIDES / GOLFO NUEVO / PUNTA DELGADA
Description: you will meet your original guide and together you will set off on a boat excursion to the Valdès Intel. 35 km (22 miles) long, this thin strip of land is constantly advancing. Scientists predict it might close in 2022, since land gains terrain over the ocean and not vice versa. Along the walkways of Punta Canor, in front of the inlet mouth, you will be able to observe some elephant seals. It will then be time to head towards Puerto Pirámides to enjoy a tasty lunch at an inn and a nautical excursion onboard the Iris or Orion vessels. The second part of the afternoon you will sail out to open sea in the New Gulf, to get close to the southern right whales, without a doubt the most impressive encounter of the trip. You will also be able to observe dusky dolphins. Whales inhabit the area from June to December to mate and give birth, mainly attracted by the high concentration of food and the warm water temperatures. Up to 600 whales can sometimes be seen in the two gulfs of the Valdes Peninsula. Each excursion is different, but it is almost impossible not to spot several whales. The excursion ends at around 6 p.m. with the last light of the evening. After a brief tour, you will return to the estancia ready to enjoy an appetizer and then dinner. Duration: 125 km (78 miles) to Puerto Piramides, passing through the inlet, plus 71 km (44 miles) for the return trip. The boat ride lasts about 2 hours. Technical description: the Iris semi rigid vessel: 8.5 meters (30 feet) long, four stroke Yamaha engine (ecologic), 150 CV and replacement Yamaha engine 200 CV, capacity for 24 passengers. The Orion semi rigid vessel: 12.4 meters (40 feet) long, 2 four stroke Yamaha engines, 200 CV, capacity for 54 passengers, toilette. Lunch: The Paradise Lodge. Dinner and accommodation: Estancia Rincon Chico.
DAY 8 : PUNTA DELGADA / PUERTO MADRYN
Description: you will leave the estancia in the morning and head towards Puerto Madryn. Depending on the weather and your preferences you may choose between:
Option 1: nautical safari to see Commerson’s daulphins, a black and white type of dolphin, in Punta Castro, Rawson.
Option 2: land safari to Punta Loma to visit a colony of sea lions. These two safaris may be carried out all year round.
Option 3: visit the paleontology museum of Trelew, offering a wide range of activities created to simulate a trip back in time through life’s natural history. Then you’ll return to Puerto Madryn where you may enjoy the hotel spa or a walk along the seaside.
Note: option 1 is not included in the price. It must be booked and paid to your guide in situ. Options 2 and 3 can be combined and are included in the price. Distances: 170 km (106 miles) from Punta Delgada to Puerto Madryn, then 160 km (99 miles) of paved road, roundtrip from Puerto Madryn to Rawson (option 1), 25 km (15 miles) roundtrip for the Punta Loma Option 2, or 132 km (82 miles) if you choose only to visit the museum in Trelew. Lunch: in Puerto Madryn, at Barra Beach restaurant, with a view of the Gulf. Dinner and accommodation: Territorio Puerto Madryn Hotel.
DAY 9 : PUERTO MADRYN / TRELEW / BUENOS AIRES
Description: after lunch, your guide will drive you to Trelew Airport for the flight to Buenos Aires. Before leaving for Buenos Aires airport, you can take a tour around Buenos Aires and/or, according to your preference, go shopping. The leather-goods and gaucho articles shops offer typical and original products. The city tour goes through 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world with its 65 meter (213 feet) obelisk and Avenida de Mayo, which is well known for its buildings of Galician architectural influence. At Plaza de Mayo you will discover Casa Rosada, the president’s HQ. You can then visit the La Boca neighborhood with its colorful houses made from material recovered from ships, inspiration for painters and poets. You can then discover San Telmo, home to antique shops and traditional tango bars. Recoleta is a traditional residential neighborhood, where walking is a true pleasure due to its numerous parks and squares. To end the tour, you’ll visit Puerto Madero, the old city port which has recently been completely refurbished. Option:flight over Buenos Aires in a private helicopter. Get an unforgettable view over Buenos Aires from 200m in the air. A 30 to 45 minute tour, covering approximately 100km. Lunch: Gardiner restaurant or equivalent. Dinner and night: on the plane.