Chile, Argentina & Brazil

Experience the distinctive world cities of Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Discover Iguassu Falls as well as Argentina's wine regions and more.

Chile, Argentina & Brazil Enrichment Series

(Countries Visited)

Argentina

,

Brazil

,

Chile


(Interest Type(s))

Adventure Travel


(Tour Length)

13 Days


Tour Highlights

Starting at: $9,250
  • Explore one of South America’s peak experiences, Iguassu Falls, from two countries — Argentina and Brazil
  • Discover some of Chile’s most recognizable wine appellations come from some of the oldest vineyards in Maipo Valley, an area that stretches south from Santiago
  • In Mendoza, Argentina, explore the wine country with private visits to several prominent wineries
  • Spend a day at a traditional Argentinean estancia, El Rosario del Areco, dating from the late 1800s
  • Enjoy all the energy and activities of three classic Latin cities… Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro

Day 1:  Arrive Santiago, Chile
Welcome to Chile.  Upon arrival, you are greeted by your Big Five representative, assisted and transferred to your hotel.  This afternoon, enjoy a half-day city tour of Santiago, a sophisticated city of color and contrast.  Take in the classic city landmarks - the old district with its provincial atmosphere; the European-style modern districts of Vitacura, Las Condes and Providencia; the Spanish colonial churches, gardens, and government palaces off the Plaza de Armas.  See the energetic racetrack, university, and gracious estates dating from the 17th century.  Rising above the streets of the capital, Cristobal Hill offers panoramic views of Santa Lucia, site of Santiago’s founding in 1541, and the crumbling ruins of a 16th century fort.  Discover the extensive collection of artifacts in the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art set up in a handsome colonial building, the Palacio de la Real Aduana (Royal Customs House).  The collection includes intricately crafted ceramics, metals, textiles and wooden items.  Tastefully presented and meticulously cared for, displays show a unique insight into the lost cultures of the Mayans, Aztecs, Incas and many other groups that once dominated this vast continent.  (Museum is closed on Monday).  Ritz Carlton Hotel – Club Room

Day 2:  Santiago – Wine Country – Santiago
The wineries in the valley below Santiago are some of the oldest in Chile.  Here you'll find most of the largest, oldest and best-known vineyards in the country.  One of the most recognizable of Chile's wine appellations is the Maipo Valley, an area that stretches south from Santiago, and is the focus of your excursion to the wine country today.  Begin at Aquitania Winery, a relatively new boutique, Bordeaux-style winery, a low-yield winery focusing on top quality wines utilizing the terroir concept.  Then proceed to Chile's third-largest winery, Viña Santa Rita, which played an important historical role in Chile's battle for independence.  In 1814, 120 soldiers led by revolutionary hero Bernardo O'Higgins hid here in the cellars.  Paula Jaraquemada, who ran the estate, refused to let the Spanish enter, saving the soldiers.  At the center of Santa Rita's Maipo Valley estate, the lovely colonial hacienda now serves as the winery's headquarters.  Enjoy lunch at the winery’s restaurant, La Casa de Doña Paula, before exploring the winery's cellars.  Built by French engineers in 1875 using a lime-and-stone technique, the fan-vault cellars have been named a national monument.  The barrels that were once used to age the wines are more than 120 years old and are made of raulí wood.  Today, however, the wine is aged in stainless-steel towers.  (Aquitania and Santa Rita are both open from Tuesday to Friday).  You will return back to Santiago later in the afternoon.  Ritz Carlton Hotel – Club Room (B,L)

Day 3:  Santiago / Mendoza, Argentina
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Argentina.  Upon arrival in Mendoza, you are met and transferred to Cavas Wine Lodge, a unique lodge at the foothills of the Andes and an ideal base to explore Argentina’s winelands.  The lodge is attractive to both wine lovers and those looking for a relaxing and revitalizing getaway.  Mendoza's sun-kissed vineyards and mountain vistas rival Napa (California) and Stellenbosch (South Africa).  Although just 20 minutes' drive from downtown Mendoza, Cavas Wine Lodge sits amid a tranquil, 14-hectare vineyard with views of year-round snowy peaks.  The underground cellar is stacked with dozens of Argentina's most notable labels.  Other vineyards such as Catena Zapata, Norton and Finca La Anita are conveniently nearby.  Locally produced olive oils, herbs and spices enrich the kitchen's quite exceptional output.  The lodge even has wine-therapy treatments available in the modest spa.  The main house remains faithful to Spanish colonial traditions.  Sunlight floods into the cavernous sitting room and lobby, where guests can play the Schiedmayer & Soehne grand piano.  Each room is actually a 90-square-meter adobe-walled apartment positioned among the vines.  Inside, a sitting room, discreetly equipped with flat-screen TV, CD/DVD player, cordless phone and Wi-Fi, leads to a bedroom and a bathroom with twin basins, a stand-alone bath and separate shower.  Each apartment opens on to its own Andes-facing patio with plunge pool.  On the roof, a chill-out mattress provides 360-degree views of the bodega.  Cavas Wine Lodge (B,D)

Days 4 & 5:  Mendoza
Your stay at Cavas Wine Lodge includes private visits to wineries in the area:  Catena Zapata, Chandon, Achaval Ferrer, Altavista, Dominio del Plata -Susana Balbo-, Fabre Montmayou, Dolium, Ruca Malen, Chakana, Norton, Terrazas, Séptima, Eduardo Pulenta, Sottano and Carlos Pulenta Vistalba.  There is also an optional day of sports for those who elect to go whitewater rafting, play 18 holes at nearby golf courses, bike, ride a horse in the Andes or go on sightseeing/cultural tours.  Each day, lunch is included in the vineyards, inside a winery or a restaurant.  For dinner, you may choose from the a-la-carte menu at participating restaurants, with the liberty of dining at one of six restaurants in Mendoza:  Cavas Wine Lodge, La Bourgogne Vistalba, Carlos Pulenta’s new winery, Francis Mallmann’s 1884 inside Bodega Escorihuela, Club Tapiz from well known chef Max Casá or Bistro M at Park Hyatt Mendoza.  (Beverages, including water, are not included with lunches or dinners).  Take time to really relax with a complimentary one-hour massage per person or get energized with complimentary access to the fitness center, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.  Cavas Wine Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6:  Mendoza / Buenos Aires
Enjoy a leisurely morning before you transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, where you are welcomed on arrival and transferred to your hotel.  This vivacious capital has a multi-faceted personality, from sophisticated European-style architecture, gardened parks and broad boulevards, to a pulsating tango nightlife and unique local neighborhoods of great character and charm.  This afternoon you’ll enjoy a half-day tour of one of the largest urban concentrations in the Southern Hemisphere.  Begin with the historic Plaza de Mayo, surrounded by Government House, Metropolitan Cathedral and the old city hall, once the seat of Spanish Viceroys.  Continue along May Avenue and notice the prominent Spanish influence.  From Congress Square facing the national parliament, drive along Callao Street to the intersection of Corrientes Avenue and the most emblematic symbol of Buenos Aires, the Obelisk.  You pass by one of the widest avenues in the world, namely, 9 of July Boulevard, as well as the famous Colon Opera House on your way to one of the most fashionable districts of the city, Recoleta.  It is noted for its French charm, spacious Palermo Parks, and for the cemetery, where Evita Peron and other prominent citizens are buried.  Take in the eccentric, bohemian neighborhood of La Boca, established by Italian immigrants.  Park Hyatt Buenos Aires – Park Deluxe King (B)

Day 7:  Buenos Aires
Today’s focus is a full-day excursion to an Argentinean estancia.  El Rosario del Areco, only about 71 miles away from Buenos Aires, is a typical colonial farmhouse that has been completely renovated and reflects a distinct family atmosphere.  The main house, built in 1892, is surrounded by a 14-hectare park that includes stables and two swimming pools.  After arriving at the estancia, sample the delicious, traditional empanadas, meat pastries that are either oven-baked or deep fried.  Explore the grounds on foot or take the opportunity to ride a horse.  Horse-carriage rides are available.  See a display of the gaucho riding style that has developed over the centuries.  The main priority is comfort as these Argentinean cowboys can spend many hours in the saddle.  The very pace of the horse itself is gentle, with a particular easy loping canter that both horse and rider can keep up for hours, if necessary.  After a drive, sit down at long trestle tables to enjoy a lunch of the famous asado – beef and ribs roasted slowly over a charcoal or wood fire; preceded by chorizo or black sausages accompanied by Argentinian wines.  After a relaxing day in the countryside, return to Buenos Aires and your hotel.  Park Hyatt Buenos Aires – Park Deluxe King (B,L)

Day 8:  Buenos Aires
The day is at leisure for you to pursue your own interests, whether that’s distinguished museums or world-class shopping.  An array of optional tours is also available, and can be arranged locally through our representatives.  We recommend a tour to the Tigre Delta, an exclusive resort area of summer residences, yachting and rowing clubs.  Here you can enjoy a boat ride through the rivers and streams of the Parana-Delta to view hundreds of islands covered in luxuriant vegetation.  Enjoy an evening of fine food and sultry tango in an Art Noveau-inspired room that harks back to the luxurious salons of late 19th century era.  The tango was made famous in Argentina.  In Buenos Aires, the tango evolved from the mixture of local and imported influences.  In the neighborhood of Abasto, Argentina’s undisputed tango idol, Carlos Gardel (late 1800s – 1935) lived and danced.  The restaurant “El Chanta Cuatro,” which opened in 1893, was famous for its tango dancers.  More than a century later, people still come here to learn and watch tango performed.  Park Hyatt Buenos Aires – Park Deluxe King (B,D)

Day 9:  Buenos Aires / Iguassu Falls, Brazil
You transfer to the airport to fly to the magnificent Iguassu Falls.  You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.  Even before the Spanish reached South America’s greatest waterfall in 1541, the local Indians had named it Iguaçu, great waters.  A fitting description of these falls - all 275 of them!  The two-mile wide curtain of water crashing 300 feet over a series of precipices into a spray-filled gorge ranks among one of the peak experiences of South America.  Explore the falls from the Argentine side that has a visitor center that features a patio with restaurants, souvenir shops, an amphitheatre and a space dedicated to the park´s ecosystem.  The entrance fee includes two train tickets and a boat ride that crosses over to the San Martin Island.  There is also an exhibition, in Spanish only, about the history of indigenous people of this region.  The train terminal is at Central Station, some 400 meters away from the main gate.  Here is where the first leg starts – you can either ride the train or take a 20-minute walk along Sendero Verde (green trail).  Either way, you reach Cataratas Station, the starting point to the Upper Circuit.  The Upper Circuit is a half-hour walk along a 1200-meter trail – with low degree of difficulty and no stairs – that goes deep into the jungle, where you encounter breathtaking views of the falls.  You will have much closer views at the different observation points toward the end of the trail.  The Lower Circuit requires more physical effort because of its stairs, but it can be done if you take it slowly, resting at the different viewpoints.  On this trail, you will also walk deep into the jungle, crossing streams.  The Lower Circuit goes all the way down to the river, where the boat crosses over to San Martin Island.  On the way down, balconies offer marvelous bottom-up views of the falls.  Please note: If you have any physical impairment, do not attempt this last section. The second leg of the train ride leaves from Cataratas Station and goes to Garganta del Diablo Station, a small area with refreshments and restrooms.  The trail goes across several branches of the upper Iguazu River, deep into the rainforest.  Visitors see a variety of birdlife such as the amazing toucans.  Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s throat) is a 70-meter-deep pot where several branches of the Iguazu River converge, causing a violent rush of water.  A balcony set up at the border allows tourists to enjoy this amazing experience.  After your tour, you will then be transferred across the border to your hotel which is located in Brazil.  Das Cataratas Hotel – Superior Room (B)

Day 10:  Iguassu Falls / Rio de Janeiro
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of the falls from the Brazilian side.  A trail winds towards the falls from the area in front of the Das Cataratas Hotel.  At its end, an elevator provides speedy access to a viewing platform at the foot of the falls.  Focal point of the falls, best seen from above, is the Devil’s Throat, a horseshoe-shaped gorge in mid-stream, over which seems to pour most of the Iguassu River at the phenomenal rate of 13,000 cubic meters a second.  Transfer to the airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro.  Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel.  Rio is a city that will amaze, delight and fascinate you.  From the sun-drenched beauty of its white sandy beaches to the generous hospitality of the people, Rio offers a combination that is hard to match.  It is at once both a tropical beach resort and a sophisticated city.  Hotel Fasano – Deluxe Ocean Front Room (B)

Day 11:  Rio de Janeiro
This afternoon, enjoy a city tour of Rio and Sugar Loaf Mountain.  Rio de Janeiro was the capital of the most important Portuguese colony abroad.  In the 1820s, it became the capital of Portuguese Brazil when the Portuguese royal court fled Portugal because of the threat of an invasion by Napoleon.  Your tour explores these facets of the city.  Discover the French influence as seen in the city’s architecture and its counterpart, the Portuguese interpretation of the baroque movement, which finds its best example in the São Bento Monastery, founded at the first few days of Rio as a settlement in 1546.  It became a basilica in 1596.  In tune with this European influence, Rio’s modern architecture has set the trend for the building of Brasília, Brazil’s modern capital.  Sugar Loaf is known world over as the iconic symbol of Rio.  It is reached on a very short two-stage cable car ride.  The first stage, Morro da Urca, has a restaurant, amphitheater, helipad for scenic rides and offers lovely views of the Yacht Club and Botafogo Bay.  The second stage travels up to Sugar Loaf, named for the similarity to the loaves of sugar that were commonly used by the Portuguese at the time.  The all-encompassing views from the 270-meter high lookout are unrivaled, and this is the only site where you enjoy a full view of Copacabana beach.  Hotel Fasano – Deluxe Ocean Front Room (B)

Day 12:  Rio de Janeiro
Today you will have a private tour of Tijuca Forest and Corcovado Mountain.  Tijuca Forest is the largest urban forest in the world.  It covers the hills of Rio and is easily accessible from the city.  You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Tijuca Forest.  Enter through the tree farm where the contrast between the "Stone Jungle" and a tropical forest in the middle of a city is dramatic.  Stop at Vista Chinesa to take pictures, and to learn about the reforestation project taking place in the Tijuca Forest and the importance of the Atlantic jungle.  See the Emperor's Table, where the imperial family used to picnic, Cascatinha Waterfall, Mayrink Chapel, tropical vegetation, and vibrant butterflies and birds.  You may also see monkeys and sloths.  Set out for a one-hour trek along an easy trail to explore the botany of the area.  This is a favorite weekend spot for the city-dwellers to get into nature.  You end your trip with a visit to the famous, 120-foot statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain.  At Corcovado train station, you will board the cogwheel train for a 15-minute ride up to the statue's base.  Once there, at an elevation of 2,400 feet, take in the marvel of  construction of the statue, and enjoy magical vistas of Rio, its beaches and Guanabara Bay, fanning out in a magnificent 360 degree panoramic view.  After lunch, the balance of the day is at leisure to explore the city independently.  Hotel Fasano – Deluxe Ocean Front Room (B,L)

Day 13:  Rio de Janeiro / Depart
Today you are free to pursue your own interests.  Shop, lounge on the beach, or take an optional trip to Petrópolis, the Emperor Dom Pedro II's summer home, or perhaps take a schooner cruise to the islands south of the city for a day of secluded beach combing.  For your convenience your room is available until 6:00 pm.  Later this evening you will be transferred to the airport for your late night departure.
Hotel Fasano – Deluxe Ocean Front Room / Day Room (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancy:  Starting from $9250

Internal Airfare (subject to change until ticketed):  $835

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