Days
16
Price from
$6,552CAD

Wine and dine on the culture of Chile and Argentina on a journey from Santiago via Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro

There are few better ways to gain insight into a country and its people than with a glass of wine. A sip provides a taste of the earth that has nourished and grown a people; of the natural elements that have both aided and hindered civilisation; and a taste of the hard work, talent, and love of the people themselves. This journey through Chile, Argentina and Brazil visits premier vineyard regions, lively cities and incredible landscapes. Artistic Santiago sets the tone for this trip, which travels through colourful Valparaiso and crosses into Mendoza - the home of Argentinian Malbec. Encounter the rural cowboy traditions on an estancia stay, then a tantalising mix of European and Latin flair in Buenos Aires. At the border with Brazil, we experience the magnificent might of Iguazu Falls, before finally arriving in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro.


Start
Santiago, Chile
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Countries
Argentina, Brazil, Chile
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSCAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Explore the vibrantly colourful port town of Valparaiso, where culture spills out into the streets and puppets come to life.

  • Experience traditional gaucho life with a unique retreat to an estancia ranch in Argentina. Watch a game of polo, then try it yourself.

  • Test your palate at a traditional lunch in Argentina’s malbec-producing wine region, Mendoza.

  • Explore the neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires, a lively, confident city. Watch the intimately fluid movements of a professional tango couple up close. Then try your luck at mastering the techniques and understanding the rhythm of this enthralling music and dance.

  • With two days at Iguazu Falls, you can marvel at this beauty from many different angles. The Argentinian side gets you up close and personal, while the Brazillian side unveils sweeping panoramas

  • Favelas may sit alongside mansions, but in the heaving metropolis of Rio, everyone’s invited to the party. This is your chance to immerse yourself in Brazilian culture, food and music

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are several orientation walks during this trip so there will be quite a lot of walking. The heat and humidity can also be quite extreme during the summer months, particularly in Buenos Aires. It’s important to always bring plenty of water, wear comfortable walking shoes and ensure you use adequate sun protection. Wearing layers is a good way to tackle the heat.

Itinerary

Welcome to Santiago, Chile. Set within a circle of snow-capped mountains, Santiago is vibrant, artistic and gourmet. Once arrived, take an included transfer to the hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early into Santiago, perhaps take a short walk to get your bearings of the city, with the Andes serving as a spectacular backdrop to your exploration.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Altiplanico or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please advise us of your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure for the complimentary airport transfer. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip 15 days ago in Lima on Rhythms of South America (PSRSC), or 23 days ago in Quito on South America in Depth (PSSIC).
Today at 10am get to know Santiago on a walking tour with a local guide (approximately 2.5 hours). You’ll discover more about the city that was founded in 1541 by the Spaniard, Pedro de Valdivia, and has experienced a turbulent history filled with native conflicts, floods and earthquakes. Head to the Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city and home to the cathedral, and walk through the central market to try some local specialities. Next, take the cable car to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for the best view of the city. Finishing the tour in the bohemian Bellavista neighbourhood. Tonight, take the chance to dine out at one of the city's famous restaurants and sample some local ceviche. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel Altiplanico or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free morning in Santiago. Perhaps visit the Mercado Central (Santiago’s celebrated fish market) to savour some breakfast empanadas with pebre, a delicious Chilean condiment of coriander, garlic, olive oil and peppers.

Later about 2pm head west towards the coast. Stop for a wine tasting on the way in the Casablanca Valley, located about 45 minutes outside of Santiago. Sitting on a coastal plain between the capital and Valparaiso, the valley is Chile’s fastest growing wine region, with its rich soil and perfect climate making it a wine lover’s paradise. This visit (approximately one hour) is focused more on the sustainability and organic goals of the vineyard and the characters of biodiversity rather than tasting wine. Nice to know however that this area is known for crisp Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but also for stunning reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah.

Continue (approximately 1.5 hours) through the lush green vineyards to the coast and the colourful city of Valparaiso, notable for its brightly hued houses spread across a series of hills overlooking the ocean. As a creative hub, the city has no shortage of options for a drink, so perhaps find yourself a place to sip some ancho reyes alongside locals for the evening.
Included Activities
  • Casablanca region - Tour of an organic & biodynamic vineyard including wine tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 at 9:30am with a local guide (approximately 3.5 hours). 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 it's 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 Teatro Museo, a local museum dedicated to the exposition of puppet and clown as form of art. This is a very characteristic part of the local culture which normally goes unnoticed by most travellers. These characters will come to life with a demonstration after a chance to explore the exhibition. Finish up around lunchtime, a perfect opportunity to plan your free afternoon.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
At 9am in the morning, travel through the Andes and across the Argentinean border by local bus to Mendoza (approximately 6 hours on the bus). Please note that crossing the border can take up to three hours depending on local traffic so it’s a good idea to bring plenty of water and snacks, as the trip may incur delays. On a clear day it may be possible to see Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas at 6,962 meters above sea level. Once in Mendoza, get to know the city with a gentle stroll around its tree-lined streets, or visit the local cafes and restaurants for some Argentinean fare.
Accommodation
  • Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
SEASONAL WEATHER CONDITIONS:
During the colder months, usually between May and August, the border crossing between Chile and Argentina may be closed due to snowfalls. In that event, your emergency fund may be needed to purchase a flight between Santiago and Mendoza.
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. Expect an 8:45am pickup today, visit several wineries and cellar doors to see and taste the quality for yourself. Afterwards about 1pm, stop at a closed door restaurant for an exclusive included lunch. Sit back and enjoy being served delicious food in this unique private eatery. Return to the centre around 3:30pm.

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. If you're feeling adventurous, try one of the most popular drinks in town: fernet with coke – an acquired taste and not for the faint-hearted!
Accommodation
  • Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This afternoon fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, which only takes around one and a half hours. On arrival about 6pm, travel in a minivan for just over an hour to a traditional estancia (ranch). This is where the group will be staying for the next couple of days. During your time here, you could go horse riding, take a cooking class or simply read a book. Estancias are ideal for relaxation and provide a great base for activities. Please remember that activities vary depending on the days that you are there. If in doubt, ask your trip leader for more information.
Accommodation
  • Estancia La Eloisa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 2-night stay at a traditional estancia
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today, your leader can assist the ranch staff to brief you about the sport Polo. This nail biting game will enthral and impress you; combining skill, endurance, elegance and danger! You may be lucky enough to see a game in action, but if not, you will still get to meet the horses up close and get a feel for the equipment and gear used.
Later, learn about the importance of leather in this region. A local gaucho (cowboy) will visit the Estancia to show the versatility of this material and all the different uses, such as bridals, whips, bracelets and belts. He will encourage you to learn a braiding technique so you hopefully you can make your very own leather souvenir. If there’s time, perhaps go for a swim in the pool to freshen up after a long day.
Accommodation
  • Estancia La Eloisa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Estancia - Leather workshop
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast travel back to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires (approximately 1.5 hours) to experience its old charm and cosmopolitan streets. 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 and possibly either La Boca or Recoleta. During the free afternoon, perhaps visit the elaborate tombs on display in the famous Recoleta Cemetery, 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.
Accommodation
  • Tango de Mayo Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Tigre day trip - USD60
  • Buenos Aires - Polo day - USD175
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day for you to explore Buenos Aires.
Accommodation
  • Tango de Mayo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
This morning at 10am, explore the city with a local guide (approximately four hours). Start with Plaza de Mayo and see the Casa Rosada ("Pink house"), then transfer to Recoleta and walk among the tombs and monuments of Recoleta Cemetery – the final resting place of some of the city’s most famous residents. Next, wander the cobbled streets of San Telmo and browse its famous antiques market and art displays. From here you'll take a private vehicle to La Boca and its well-known ‘Caminito’ district, before moving on to the lesser-known side of this colourful neighbourhood to visit an artist's gallery.

A home-made empanada lunch at a local social project is included today. After lunch, get ready to be captivated by Argentina’s most famous dance; the Tango. In a private space a professional Tango couple will explain the dance’s origin and history, as well as demonstrating the intimately fluid movements for you. You will then be invited to join an hour long beginner’s class to learn some of the basic techniques and understand the rhythm.
Accommodation
  • Tango de Mayo Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Half-day guided tour
  • Buenos Aires - Tango demonstration by professional dancers
  • Buenos Aires - Tango dance lesson
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today, usually around midday, fly to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, gateway to the mighty Iguazu Falls. Spend the next two days exploring the falls in depth, seeing them from both the Argentinean and Brazilian sides. The falls are two kilometres in length, and are made up of 275 waterfalls in total, some of which stretch up to 80 metres high. This makes them both higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls. The Brazilian side of the falls offers great panoramic views of them. For birds-eye views of the falls, you can take an optional helicopter flight over the top of them.
Accommodation
  • Hotel El Pueblito or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
Optional Activities
  • Bird Park - BRL40
  • Helicopter ride (min 3 people) - BRL430
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
For visa information purposes: You will be visiting the Brazilian side of the falls on Day 3 and returning to the Argentinean side to spend the night. You visit the Argentinean side of the falls on Day 4. Then on day 5 you cross back to the Brazilian side in order to take a domestic flight to Rio de Jainero.
Make an early start, 7:30am, to visit the Argentinean side of the falls today, which has boardwalks allowing you to get up close and personal with these towering rapids. Choose to get an even more exhilarating look at Iguazu with an optional zodiac boat ride below the falls. Later, about 3pm accompanied by your leader, have the opportunity to meet one of the few remaining original inhabitants of the region, the Guarani. Return to the hotel at approximately 5pm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel El Pueblito or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu - Guarani community visit
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today cross the border into Brazil and take a flight (two hours) from Foz do Iguacu to Rio de Janeiro. Witness the intense green of Guanabara Bay and the beauty of the surrounding slopes of the Corcovado and Sugarloaf that make Rio such a majestic place. Take in the ever-present Portugese influence here, which is especially apparent in the opulent buildings constructed when the Portuguese monarchy fled Europe under the threat of Napolean and took up residence here. Be struck by the contrast between this extravagance and the destitute poverty of the favelas. The white sands of Cobacapana and Ipanema beaches offer an equally interesting snapshot of local life. For some world-renowned live music, Lapa is the place to go and join the locals for some serious dancing.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Arena Copacabana or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Carnaval rehearsal (only available from June to Carnaval) - BRL80
  • Rio de Janeiro - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD30
  • Rio de Janeiro - Samba show - BRL200
  • Rio de Janeiro - Sugar loaf cable car - BRL76
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll be taken on a full-day guided tour that spans some of Rio's most iconic sights. Head up to Santa Teresa, a beautiful artistic neighbourhood situated on a hill overlooking the city. While walking the cobbled streets you'll discover eclectic architecture, art galleries and restaurants before stopping by the famous Selaron Stairs. Continue on to Corcovado for an eagle-view of the city from the base of Christ the Reedemer. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this enormous white statue stands over Rio, offering sweeping 360-degree views of the city’s natural wonders. Next, it’s time to experience a different side of the city, with a visit to the Santa Marta favela. Accompanied by your local guide, you'll head through narrow alleys, learn about local life and meet some of the people who make up this vibrant community. The tour will conclude at a local house in the favela, where you will taste the most authentic food the city can offer! Our local host Sallete will welcome you into her home with a readiness to answer questions, a smile and of course a caipirinha; the national cocktail made with cachaça, sugar & lime. Lunch will be a typical dish called Feijoada, a stew of black beans, kale and pork.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Arena Copacabana or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Guided tour including Santa Teresa and Selaron Steps
  • Rio de Janeiro - Christ the Redeemer entrance
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Marta Favela tour
  • Rio de Janeiro - Traditional feijoada lunch in the favelas
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Plane, Private vehicle, Local bus, Boat

Accommodation

Hotel (13 nights), Estancia (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
  • Casablanca region - Tour of an organic & biodynamic vineyard including wine tasting
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour
  • 2-night stay at a traditional estancia
  • Estancia - Leather workshop
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
  • Buenos Aires - Half-day guided tour
  • Buenos Aires - Tango demonstration by professional dancers
  • Buenos Aires - Tango dance lesson
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
  • Iguazu - Guarani community visit
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
  • Rio de Janeiro - Guided tour including Santa Teresa and Selaron Steps
  • Rio de Janeiro - Christ the Redeemer entrance
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Marta Favela tour
  • Rio de Janeiro - Traditional feijoada lunch in the favelas

Dates & availability

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Important notes

PASSPORT DETAILS:
The airlines require your full name as per passport & passport number to issue tickets. Please provide this information at time of booking.

ARRIVAL TRANSFER:
An airport arrival transfer is included. Please advise your arrival flight details at least 14 days prior to departure.

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS:
This trip includes a domestic flight. Argentina is particularly strict on excess baggage and usually enforces a maximum allowance of 15Kg for check in luggage.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A single supplement is available on this trip.

COMBINATION TRIP:
This trip is a combination of two of our most popular departures. As such the make up of your group and your tour leader may change on day 10.

TRIP CODE:
In 2016 this trip had the code PSCA

CHILE VISA:
If you are entering Chile at Santiago International Airport as a tourist, some nationalities are required to pay a reciprocity fee (Australians US$117). The fee does not apply to travellers arriving at other airports or entering the country via land borders.

ARGENTINA VISA:
The Argentine government charges a reciprocity tax which applies to Canadian and Australian citizens. The fee must be paid online prior to travel and a receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.

BRAZILIAN VISA:
Please note you may require a Brazilian Visa for this trip. Processing can take around 2-5 weeks at the discretion of the embassy or consulate. Please speak with your travel agent well in advance for further advice.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.