Experience South America’s amazing diversity, enjoying a private wine sampling in Chile; exploring Argentina’s “Little Switzerland”; Bariloche; and Buenos Aires, capital of the tango. Then, walk beside mighty Iguazu Falls, and visit one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World — the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
Day 1. Arriva Santiago, Chile
Arrive in Santiago, the charming capital of Chile, where you are met and transferred to your hotel, with guaranteed early check-in. This afternoon, embark on a city tour to Santiago. Drive past the Fine Arts Museum, built in the neo-classical style, and view Palacio de La Moneda, seat of the President of the Republic of Chile. Tour the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, and then continue to Plaza de Armas, site of the beautiful Metropolitan Cathedral. This evening, gather for a welcome briefing, followed by dinner at your hotel’s elegant restaurant
Day 2. Pucon / In the shadow of Villarrica Volcano
Fly to Temuco, gateway to the gorgeous Chilean Lake District. Then, journey overland to Pucón, a lakeside town renowned for its soothing hot springs and breathtaking views of Villarrica Volcano. Upon arrival at Vira Vira, tour the farm and visit the dairy and cheese factory located on the Hacienda grounds. Enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with locally grown produce. Afterward, float leisurely down the river or simply relax in your sumptuous accommodations. Tonight, meet with your hotel’s excursion manager to arrange your next day’s activities, tailored to your interests, such as trekking in the Cordilleras or hiking in a nearby natural park, kayaking on the Trancura River, or sailing on Villarrica Lake.
Day 3. Pucon / Heritage of the Mapuche
Start the day with an optional sunrise yoga session, and then explore your beautiful surroundings, choosing an activity among those available from your hotel. Or instead, opt to experience the mystic ambience of the ancient Mapuche territories on your own. Extending from southern Chile into western Argentina, they remain the home of Chile’s indigenous peoples whose collective history dates back to 600 BC. You may wish to ask for suggestions from Vira Vira’s guides, who are passionate about their work and excited to share their knowledge of the Mapuche’s heritage with you.
Day 4. Bariloche / Through Grand Andean Vistas
Today, journey through the Lake District, absorbing panoramic views of deep-blue mountain lakes, snow-capped volcanoes and ancient forests. Cross into Argentina around mid-day, and, after a stop in a cozy little mountain town, board a catamaran for a private cruise on Lake Nahuel Huapi (subject to weather conditions and port authority permission). Enjoy a light lunch served on board and arrive in picturesque Bariloche by early evening. Transfer to the Llao Llao Hotel, a National Historic Monument built in 1940 in the style of one of Canada’s grand mountain lodge hotels. Enjoy dinner at your hotel this evening.
Day 5. Bariloche / Exploring "Little Switzerland"
Hike through the scenic woodlands surrounding Bariloche to take in vistas of streams and lakes framed by snow-capped peaks that show why the region is called “Little Switzerland.” Pause along the way to try yerba mate — a local caffeine-infused drink. Then, make an artisan visit to a local brewery, meeting the brewmeister and enjoying a tasting.
Day 6. Buenos Aires / Tango lesson & show
After a leisurely breakfast, fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s stylish capital, and check in to your hotel. Then, experience a private tango demonstration and lesson from performers at the famed Rojo Tango, followed by a thrilling tango show performance and dinner at the Rojo Tango cabaret. Get caught up in the passion, precision and glamour of these renowned professional dancers, as they perform to the accompaniment of a live orchestra.
Day 7. Buenos Aires / Historical Buenos Aires
Today, visit the beautiful Teatro Colón, an opera house considered one of the five best concert venues in the world, owing to its incredible acoustics. Then, visit the beautiful parks of Palermo, the old quarters of San Telmo and the colorful La Boca district with La Bombonera, as well as some landmarks connected to the “Peronismo” legacy. After a light lunch at a traditional local café, stop at La Recoleta Cemetery, last resting place of Eva Perón, Argentina’s beloved and controversial former First Lady. Return to your hotel for dinner.
Day 8. Iguazu Falls / Up close to the devil's gorge
Fly to Iguazu Falls and, upon arrival, visit the Argentine side of the spectacular cataract. Board a train shuttle to the Cataratas Station, and disembark to walk through paths that lead along and above the falls. Beautiful flowers, ferns, tropical plants, butterflies and exotic birds add to the experience, which is highlighted by a visit to a suspended platform that extends 1,300 yards over the lush tropical basin at the very brink of the “Garganta do Diablo” (Devil’s Throat). Enjoy lunch inside the Iguazu National Park. This evening, cross the border to your hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls.
Day 9. Iguazu Falls / Birds of the Rainforest
Visit the Brazilian side of the falls today, joining your guide on a walking tour through the National Park of Iguazu to experience the incredible power of millions of barrels of falling water, as you are led to within arm’s length of the rumbling cascades. Next, stop at the Parque das Aves, an internationally recognized rescue and conservation center for birds, located in the nearby Atlantic Rainforest. Gather this evening for dinner at the hotel.
Day 10. Rio De Janeiro / Sugar loaf vistas
Fly to vibrant Rio de Janeiro, where you are transferred to your luxurious hotel, nestled on famous Copacabana Beach. Later, take a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain for breathtaking views, and stay for a Scenic Sundowner, sipping a refreshing cocktail as the sun sets over the sea.
Day 11. Rio De Jareino / Backtage at Carnival
Early this morning, travel to the heights of Corcovado (Hunchback) Mountain for a spectacular glimpse of Rio. Crowning Corcovado is the majestic statue of Christ the Redeemer, standing 120 feet high. Next, get a taste of the Carnival culture with a tour that takes you backstage to see the construction process of costumes and floats. Enjoy a chance to dress up in carnival costumes, learn some samba moves and join a percussion class. This evening, gather for a special dinner at a local restaurant in the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa.
Day 12. Depart Rio De Janeiro
Explore the downtown area of Rio and its impressive cultural heritage, visiting the São Bento Monastery, Candelária Church, Gonçalves Dias Street and many other points of interest. Stop for lunch at Confeitaria Colombo Restaurant, which features rich, Art Nouveau decor dating to its opening in 1894. Return to your hotel and relax with special late access to your room before transferring to the airport for your flight home.