Highlights of South America tour inspires with in-depth discoveries of the many wonders. From the western coast of Chile to the eastern coast of Brazil by way of Patagonia, the Andes and through some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery. Discover the best of a trio of world-class South American cities – Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. Cross the Andes and cruise on lovely lakes in full view of those mighty mountains. View spectacular Iguazu Falls from both Brazil and Argentina. Sample the fine wines of Chile and famous Argentinean beef; get a behind-the-scenes look at Rio’s colorful Carnival; feel the passion and the heat of the tango and samba.
Day 1 – Welcome to Chile
Your South America tour begins at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago at 6:30 PM. A transfer from Santiago Airport to The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago is included. Please join us for our welcome cocktail reception and dinner tonight.
Day 2 – Spectacular Santiago and world-renowned wines
On your first full day in South America tour the city of Santiago up-close and from a scenic hilltop perch. Visit the historic and lively Plaza de Armas, with its fountains, sculptures and intriguing people-watching opportunities, and go inside the San Francisco Church and Monastery, reputed to be among the oldest in Chile. Ride the funicular up San Cristóbal for a panoramic view of city sights before venturing outside of the city on a wine-tasting excursion. You are in for a treat with a gourmet lunch and winery tour celebrate generations of wine-making traditions. The remainder of the day is at leisure in Santiago.
Day 3 – Gateway to Patagonia
Patagonia is said to be one of the most beautiful areas on Earth. Fly from Santiago to the Patagonian port city of Puerto Montt, founded by German immigrants in 1853. Continue on through the rolling countryside of scenic Patagonia, viewing lovely lakes and mountains, to Puerto Varas, the lakeside “city of roses,” where the influence of those German settlers is seen in both architecture and beautiful gardens. Explore the interesting sights of this charming city on your own and have dinner at your leisure in your hotel.
Day 4 – A day full of adventure in the Andes
Begin your two-day crossing of the majestic Andes Mountains, one of the most eagerly anticipated adventures on any South America tour, with a walk to Petrohué Rapids and a sail across Lago Todos Los Santos to Peulla, a paradise for nature lovers situated in the midst of Vincent Perez Rosales National Park. Choose to see the park on a 4 X 4 vehicle excursion, from the back of a horse, or on a zip-line ride through the treetop canopy. Spend the night in a lakeside wilderness lodge and have dinner à la carte this evening.
Day 5 – Adios, Chile! Hola, Argentina!
Continue on through the stunning mountain peaks & alpine scenery of the Andes. After crossing the border into Argentina, take a short cruise across Lago Frias before boarding another boat for a cruise on Lago Todos Los Santos; keep an eye out for Andean condors floating above the surrounding mountains. Arrive at the luxurious Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, located in a spectacular area known as the “Switzerland of South America”.
Day 6 – Your day, your way
Every South America tour should include a leisurely day to spend doing just what you please and today’s the day. There are many amenities and activities to enjoy at your resort including tennis, swimming, sailing, archery, spa treatments, Pilates and tango lessons, among others. If you decide to do some more exploring of Nahuel Haupi National Park on your own, you might enjoy taking the chairlift to the top of a high hill to take in the magnificent, 360-degree views of the Andes’ soaring mountain peaks and the lake below. Or, discover the ski-resort town of Bariloche, the largest city in the Lakes District and famous for its chocolates, as you wish.
Day 7 – Buenos dias, Buenos Aires
After lunch, fly to the “Paris of South America,” beguiling Buenos Aires, as your South America tour adventures continue. Dinner tonight is at your home for the next three nights, the Sofitel Buenos Aires, set among boutiques, antique shops and intimate galleries in a tranquil district of the city.
Day 8 – Cosmopolitan delights in Argentina’s Big Apple
Guided city sightseeing includes the famous Plaza de Mayo, surrounded by some of the city’s most famous landmarks; the Colon Opera House where legendary stars such as Maria Callas, Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti have performed; the Metropolitan Cathedral; and the pink La Casa Rosada, which is the Presidential Palace and seat of the executive branch of government. Today’s lunch at the historic Café Tortoni entices with a taste of the rich cultural history of this centuries-old coffee house, founded in 1858. This afternoon, drive through the Embassy District and see the stately Avenida 9 de Julio, said to be the widest street in the world, en route to a visit to the tomb of Evita Peron in the unique and impressive Recoleta Cemetery, famous for its elaborate marble mausoleums. Dinner is on your own tonight – you may want to take the opportunity to sample one of the city’s famous Argentine beef at dinner!
Day 9 – The art of living in Buenos Aires
Discover the heart of Latin American art during a fascinating visit to the Museo de Arte Latinamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) showcasing the private collection of Eduardo Costantini. View more than 200 works by Latin American artists from the 20th century to the present day, including works by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Antonio Berni. Freshen up for an evening of dinner and dancing! Enjoy a sumptuous dinner and experience the power and passion of the traditional tango, the beloved dance of Argentina, at Rojo Tango, considered to be among the finest tango shows in Buenos Aires.
Day 10 – In Argentina, it’s Iguazu
See more of the city this morning, culminating in a visit to La Boca, a colorful bohemian barrio (neighborhood) whose early settlers included many immigrants from Italian cities such as Genoa; it retains a distinctly European flair. No South America tour would be complete without experiencing one of nature’s greatest wonders. Fly from Buenos Aires to the Argentinean side of the mighty Iguazu Falls – deeper and twice as wide as Niagara Falls – for a two-night stay. As you explore Iguazu National Park, you’ll be amazed by the sheer size of the falls and the natural beauty that surrounds them. Wherever you look, the views are breathtaking. Your hotel is set in the heart of the national park; dine tonight at the hotel’s restaurant, boasting wonderful views of the thundering waters!
Day 11 – Explore Iguazu National Park
Spend the day exploring the natural treasures of Iguazu National Park, designated a World Heritage Site for its rare and endangered flora and fauna. Guided hikes take you to the Superior and Inferior Circuit and Devil’s Throat, through which the falls’ largest volume of water passes. The afternoon is free for you to do as you wish. Your hotel concierge can tell you about the optional boat rides, helicopter excursions and hikes that are available here.
Day 12 – In Brazil, it’s Iguaçu… Fly to remarkable Rio
Cross the Tancredo Neves Bridge from Argentina to Brazil to view the famous falls from a different perspective this morning. Within Brazil’s Iguaçu National Park, you’ll find 275 cascades that form a waterfall a mile-and-a-half long. You’ll never forget your walk through the rainforest at the base of the falls. Later, fly to rollicking Rio de Janeiro and your oceanfront hotel on beautiful Copacabana Beach.
Day 13 – Rio, the colorful capital of Brazil
Arise in amazing Rio for an unforgettable excursion up Corcovado Hill by train to Tijuca National Park, and then by gondola to see the world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer… a true highlight of your South America tour! Next up is a trip back down to Rio’s historic center to view the intriguing new cathedral and many of the city’s Belle Epoque architectural treasures. Later, discover the passionate nature of Rio’s beloved Carnaval celebration, which draws visitors from around the world each year, on a visit to Samba City – where a local guide leads you on a behind-the-scenes look at the business of Carnaval and the creation of its dazzling costumes and floats, which includes an exclusive samba performance. A two-stage cable car to the 1,390-foot summit of iconic Sugarloaf Mountain rewards with stunning views.
Day 14 – Journey Home
Tour ends: Rio de Janeiro. Spend your last day in Rio as you wish, browsing in the city’s museums and shops or savoring the sights on Rio’s beautiful beaches.