National Park the key attraction for most visitors. For those wanting to explore it,

Millie Windeler, Ponders Travel “I was really impressed with the delicious food, friendly people and stunning scenery. I loved that there was a bit of everything, from outdoor adventures for active clients to spa resorts for those wanting to relax.”

El Calafate, close to the Chilean border, is the main resort. Located nearly 900 miles south of Bariloche and two hours away by plane, it’s a small, quaint town that’s quieter and more peaceful than its northern counterpart, surrounded by film-set scenery that spans reddish, desert-like rocks, towering green trees and steep, verdant hills. Among the park’s most famous

draws is Upsala Glacier, the second-biggest of its kind in the country and about three times the size of Buenos Aires. We got a glimpse of its mammoth scale on a tour from Estancia Cristina, a historic, remote ranch whose friendly, English-speaking team offer two-and-a-half-hour boat trips across Lake Argentino’s glacial, iceberg-dotted waters. Once there, clients can choose

Eileen Allan, Cresta World Travel “I loved El Calafate and Bariloche and would especially recommend the Llao Llao Hotel to those heading to the latter – it had spectacular views and the service was first-class.”

from various tours. We opted for the Discovery tour in a 4x4 and found ourselves jolting up steep, rocky dirt tracks surrounded by dry, Mars-like landscapes, before hiking up to a viewpoint that I haven’t quite been able to forget: a huge, solid strip of cerulean water, with a glaring field of jagged white ice just visible behind it. Almost as impressive was the lunch that followed: crispy baked empanadas (stuffed pastries) bursting with meat and cheese, deliciously tender lamb

The glacier is a mass of white shards pointing up like castle turrets, carved in mishmash formations, like cake icing gone wrong

stew, and flan casero covered in indulgently sweet, caramel-like dulce de leche that had me full for days. But the most memorable trip for

me was a visit to the Perito Moreno Glacier. This colossal spectacle, named after Argentine explorer Francisco Moreno, is one of the most-visited sites in the country and for good reason; picture one huge mass of white shards pointing up like castle turrets, carved in mishmash formations, like the icing on a cake gone wrong. Exploring it on a boat trip with Hielo

y Aventura gave us a chance to admire its intricate detail from just metres away as huge chunks of ice calved and crashed into the lake, and vivid blue blocks that had broken away floated by like shards of shattered glass. It felt surreal to say the least, like

Tricia Conroy-Smith, Off Broadway Travel “I was blown away by the scenery and how welcome we were made to feel in Argentina. It felt like a very safe environment and I loved all of it, but the Perito Moreno Glacier has to be my highlight – it was breathtaking.”

68 8 February 2018

ABOVE: Upsala Glacier

LEFT: Perito Moreno Glacier

stumbling upon the remains of the last ice age – which we were, effectively. Not that I’d come to expect anything less after 10 days exploring this vast, unspoilt land, where nature rules the roost and where such extraordinary sights – be it giant icebergs, expansive waters or vast, endless mountains – are just part of the plain old everyday. Book it: Latin Routes offers a tailor- made nine-night trip to Buenos Aires, Bariloche and El Calafate for £12,145 for two people including direct BA flights from Heathrow, domestic flights and accommodation at the Serena Hotel, Villa Huinid and Posada Los Alamos. The price includes private tours, a tango show and high tea in Buenos Aires, and visits to Estancia Peuma Hue, Estancia Cristina and the Perito Moreno Glacier, with transfers and an English-speaking guide throughout.


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