Experience the best of Chile and Argentina with two fantastic feature stays. Sleep in a historical house in downtown Santiago and in Art Nouveau elegance in Buenos Aires.. Sample some of the world’s best wine at its source with the expert guidance of an oenologist during a full day tour of three renowned wineries in Argentina’s malbec-producing wine region, Mendoza.. Uncover the history of Rio during a full-day tour, including a guided walk around Rio’s Port area with a local researcher to learn about the area’s history as slave-trade centre.. Travel through South America with experienced local leaders and gain an unmatched understanding of local cultures through interactions with the Guarani community near Iguazu Falls.
Soak up the warmth and charm of Chile, Argentina and Brazil on a 15-day Premium adventure. Pick up the tempo in artistic Santiago, travel through colourful Valparaiso, cross into Mendoza – the home of Argentinian Malbec, then get swept up in the tantalising mix of European and Latin flair in Buenos Aires. At the border with Brazil, experience the magnificent might of Iguazu Falls, before finally arriving in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro. Travel with passionate local leaders who will reveal the sights, sounds and tastes of their homelands.
Welcome to Santiago, Chile. Set within a circle of snow-capped mountains, Santiago is vibrant, artistic and gourmet. On arrival, take an included transfer to the hotel where your adventure will begin with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Your feature stay accommodation for the next two evenings is the fabulous Altiplanico Bellas Artes. Converted from a historical house built in 1909, the hotel focuses on stylish architecture and creative interior design while retaining the welcoming spirit of the home it once was. The hotel’s enviable location serves as a perfect base for your first explorations of Santiago. If you arrive early, perhaps head out and explore the delightful Parque Forestal that’s just steps from your front door. After your meeting, it’s time to get acquainted with Santiago’s fantastic food scene during a welcome dinner with your leader and group. From baked casserole to razor clams cooked in parmesan cheese, Chilean food is hearty, fresh and most of all, delicious.
Get to know the city on a tour with a local guide who’s an expert on all things Santiago. Your guide will peel back the many layers of the city’s history, beginning at the main square of Plaza de Armas where you’ll hear the tales of the foundation of Santiago and its turbulent past. Continue to La Moneda Palace, the home of Chile’s presidential office, where your guide will fill you in on the country’s complicated political history. From here take the short drive to Parque Bicentenario, created in 2011 to commemorate 200 years of independence. Walk through the gorgeous grounds and discuss the cultural identity of Chileans today. Today’s lunch will be a celebration of Santiago’s finest produce. Stop by a local eatery and sample some excellent cheese, ham and wine – a taste of which will take you straight to the heart of Chilean culture. The rest of the day is free for your own explorations.
Enjoy a free morning in Santiago. Perhaps make a visit to the Mercado Central, Santiago’s celebrated fish market. Begin the journey to Valparaiso, stopping off for a wine tasting on the way in the Casablanca Valley. Sitting on a coastal plain between the capital and Valparaiso, Casablanca Valley is Chile’s fastest growing wine region, with rich soil and a perfect climate for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Visit a vineyard that is focused on sustainable and organic viticulture, as well as producing outstanding wines. Continue to the colourful Valparaiso, notable for its brightly hued houses spread across a series of hills overlooking the ocean. Your hotel for the next two nights has been delighting guests since 1885 and sits in the historic heart of the city. Enjoy an introduction to pisco atop its marvellous rooftop and take in unbeatable views of Valparaiso. Afterwards, perhaps head out and find yourself a place to sip some ancho reyes alongside locals for the evening.
Listed as a World Heritage centre in 2003, Valparaiso used to be South America’s busiest port before the opening of the Panama Canal. It has since transformed itself into Chile’s most creative city which you'll learn more about on the walking tour today with a local guide. The ramshackle streets have long been home to artists, writers and musicians so there is no shortage on visual inspiration to prompt some questions about its background. The hills of Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre are dotted with kaleidoscopically coloured houses, with cobbled streets weaving sharply uphill and concealing all manner of galleries, restaurants and shops. Later on, visit the Lukas Museum which houses the collection of original works by the cartoonist, illustrator and chronicler Renzo Pecchenino, Lukas. Dinner this evening will be at an iconic local restaurant credited with the invention of chorrillana. This legendary Chilean dish is made up of french fries topped with beef, eggs and fried onions, and there’s no better spot to try it than at its birthplace.
Travel through the Andes and across the Argentinean border by private vehicle to Mendoza. Along the way, stop and take in views of Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas at 6962 meters above sea level and see the so-called Inca Bridge, a naturally-formed structure that appears to melt into a river amid the mountainous landscape of Mendoza. Once in Mendoza, get a first taste of the city on a gentle stroll around its tree-lined streets with your leader.
Mendoza is Argentina's most prolific and significant grape-growing region, producing nearly three-quarters of the country's wine. The climate produces an excellent variety of grapes, with the region's signature being Malbec. Today you will get to experience this internationally renowned wine at its source during tours and tastings at three world-class and innovative wineries, each with its own distinct style and flavour. Meet with an expert oenologist and gain inside knowledge on the varieties of grapes and different production methods used at each winery, and sample award winning bottles just as spectacular as the surrounding Andes mountain landscape. After the tastings, settle in for a special closed-door gourmet lunch at one of the wineries. Enjoy several courses paired with wines carefully selected to bring out the flavours in the wonderful food. In the evening, perhaps test your palate by attempting to pair the perfect wine with an authentic Argentine asado (barbecue-style food). A visit to Aristides Villanueva Street after dark is a must if you enjoy a bit of nightlife.
This morning fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, then transfer to your impressive boutique accommodation. Built in 1913, the historic hotel is located in the centre of the city with a spectacular dome rooftop bar. In the afternoon, soak up the Argentinean capital’s irrepressible mix of European and Latin culture on an orientation walk with your leader. Visit Florida Street, National Congress and the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada (Pink House) in the Plaza de Mayo. If there is time, your group may get to visit the Obelisk as well. The evening is free to explore. Be seduced by the world's most passionate dance at a tango bar, attend a raucous football match, or gorge yourself on the city's sophisticated culture and food.
Today you will head north of Buenos Aires to explore the city of Tigre and its surrounding delta region. First, do as the locals do and catch the subway to San Martin square, then set off on a bicycle tour around Puerto Maldero and the Buenos Aires Ecological Reserve – where inhabitants of the city come for a peaceful escape and fresh air. Hop on a train to Tigre and get to know the city during a walking tour. Visit the local fruit market, follow the river along the stunning Paseo Victorica street and stop by the Tigre Art Museum to admire the European inspired building. Next, take a public boat through the third-largest river delta in the world, watching local life play out on the water as you go, then stop off on an island to enjoy a delightful homemade lunch. Take some time to swim, kayak or just sit back and soak in the beautiful island surroundings. Transfer back to Buenos Aires and spend an evening at leisure.
Enjoy a free day for your own explorations of Buenos Aires. You may like to head to your hotel’s rooftop bar and enjoy sweeping views of Buenos Aires with a cocktail in hand. At 6pm tonight, a meeting will take place in your hotel to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your adventure. After the meeting, learn what local life looks like in Buenos Aires and head to the home of a porteno (inhabitant of Buenos Aires) for a traditional Asado feast. Chat to your friendly host about all things Argentina while enjoying a fantastic spread of barbecued meats, provoleta cheese and plenty of local wine. If you’ve been swept up in the frenetic rhythm of Buenos Aires, perhaps keep the evening going with a post-dinner tango show.
This morning you’ll discover Buenos Aires’s history, cultural influences and iconic sites during a walking tour with your leader. First stop is the Plaza de Mayo to visit the original town hall, as well as the presidential palace known as the Pink House. Walk around La Boca and its ‘Caminito’ district, before moving on to the lesser-known Barracas neighbourhood and stop in at a local NGO to learn about their agroecological model of food production and community collaboration. Help prepare a meal – much of the ingredients for which are grown in the co-op garden – and then dine on the results, including alfajores (classic South American cookies) for dessert. Continue the tour in Recoleta Cemetery, a labyrinth of ornate mausoleums. After a stop at the grave of Eva Peron, head to Palermo to see beautiful parks and the Floralis Generica – a huge metal flower. The afternoon is free for further explorations. Regroup in the evening for a true taste of Argentine culture. Head to a traditional conventillo, an urban house with a large patio, and enjoy an exclusive tango performance by two professional dancers who have been working together for more than 15 years. The dancers are passionate about preserving and sharing the art of tango, and the performance will be followed by a fantastic beginner’s class so you can experience part of Argentina’s cultural heritage first-hand. Learn about the style and history of the dance and pick up a few moves you can take home with you.
Iguazu Falls - Brazilian side
This morning, transfer to the airport and board a flight to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina. Powerful, captivating and completely beautiful – coming face to face with the Iguazu Falls is sure to leave you awe-struck. You will spend the next two days exploring the falls in depth, seeing them from both the Argentinian and Brazilian side. While you are flying into Argentina, today will be spent exploring the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. At over two kilometres in length, and made up of 275 waterfalls in total, Iguazu is higher than Niagara Falls and wider than Victoria Falls. The Brazilian side of the falls offers unforgettable panoramic views, which you’ll get to spend time taking in today. For an eagle-eye view of the falls, you can also opt to take on an optional helicopter flight.
Iguazu Falls - Argentinian side
Rise and shine for an early departure to the Argentinian side of the falls today, where you will be able to get up close to this incredible feat of nature. There is a system of boardwalks on the Argentinian side of the falls that allow you to access some incredible viewing points, or you could choose to take an optional zodiac ride beneath the cascades for an even more exhilarating perspective. This afternoon you will have the special opportunity to join your leader for a visit to a Guarani community, one of the few remaining original inhabitants of the region. Meet with a member of the community and visit an interpretation centre to learn about the native tools used for daily activities. Your host will show you around the community and provide insight on the Guarani way of life while explaining how they have preserved their traditions on the edge of one of the world’s most popular attractions. Return to your hotel for an evening at leisure.