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Argentina: Total solar eclipse image

Argentina: Total solar eclipse

with Oxford’s Professor of Astrophysics

5 to 16 December 2020: Visit cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, the stunning Argentine Lake District and the beautiful national parks of Welsh Patagonia, and learn from fascinating lectures by Professor Davies. Finally, observe a total solar eclipse from the foothills of the Andes.

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Itinerary summary

Saturday 5 December 2010 - Arrival day (Buenos Aires): For UK participants, the recommended non-stop flight from London Heathrow with British Airways departs around 10pm on Friday 4 December and arrives in Buenos Aires on Saturday around 9am. Other flights can be met on request.

Buenos Aires

Argentina's capital is a cosmopolitan city, often referred to as the Paris of South America, with fine hotels, shops, and colonial buildings. Different parts of the city have quite distinct flavours, from La Boca (where some of the oldest buildings are to be found, many brightly painted) to the Plaza de Mayo with its 'Pink Palace', the president's residence; cathedral; and town hall.

Spend 2 nights at the Hotel Loi Suites (in elegant Recoleta), where there will be a welcome dinner and Professor Davies will give an introductory talk.

Sunday 6 December: Take a half day city tour including iconic buildings and monuments such as the Casa Rosada (presidential palace),  elegant Recoleta district (famous for its cemetery with ornate mausoleums including that of Eva Perón), and the colourful streets of La Boca.

Welsh Patagonia - Los Alerces and La Trochita

The "Los Alerces" national park, near the town of Esquel and Welsh village of Trevelin, is beautifully set among a string of rivers and lakes in the foothills of the Andes. To the east the Chubut river has carved spectacular canyons in the arid Patagonian steppe.

7-9 December: Fly south to Esquel and spend 3 nights at a comfortable hotel. Excursions in this quiet and friendly town will include the Old Patagonian Express (La Trochita) a narrow-gauge steam engine; the Los Alerces national park with its forests of southern beech; the old mill at Trevelin; and even an introduction to Tehuelche Indian star legends.

Bariloche and the Lake District

Bariloche, in the centre of the stunning Lake District, on the southern edge of lake Nahuel Huapi, is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, quick-flowing streams and deep blue lakes, reminiscent of the Swiss Alps but on a grander scale.

10-11 December: Drive north and stay 2 nights in Bariloche at a lakeshore hotel (with pool). This whole area, much of it protected, is one of outstanding natural beauty with cascading rivers emerging into serene lakes and dense forest.

Northern Lake District - solar eclipse

San Martín de los Andes is a peaceful and charming town which lies at the northern end of the stunning 'seven lakes' route in the northern Lake District. In nearby Lanín National Park the Lanín volcano towers over nearby lakes, mountains and forests of monkey-puzzle trees. Popular activities include walking, riding, fishing, or golf.

12-14 December: Driven north along the scenic ‘seven lakes’ route to San Martín de los Andes, for 3 nights at two pretty guest houses. On 14 December drive 100km north into the centre of the zone of totality. The solar eclipse starts at 1143 and ends at 1435 with totality at 1305.

Tuesday 15 December: Fly back to Buenos Aires for a last night. Afternoon at leisure (perhaps some last-minute Christmas shopping!) before a farewell dinner and tango show.

Wednesday 16 December - departure day: Homeward or onward connections. A non-stop British Airways flight to the UK departs around 2pm, arriving at 7am on 17 December.


Prices start at £4,850 per person sharing a double/twin room, including internal but not international flights. Do contact us for availability, flight quotes, and booking conditions.

The trip scholar is Professor Roger Davies, Philip Wetton Professor and Director of the Hintze Centre for Astrophysical Surveys at the University of Oxford. See our trip scholar pages for further details.

This tour is for alumni of either Oxford or Cambridge Universities or those with a close connection to either.

The outline presented here was accurate when produced in October 2018 but we may need to add or omit visits; alter the length of stay in each place; or change routings to make the best connections. We reserve the right to substitute the trip scholar if they are unable to travel for reasons outside our control.

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