Santiago Arrive at any time. Your arrival transfer is included.
Valparaíso/Santiago Travel south to the colorful seaside town of Valparaíso, where bright houses perch on the hills overlooking the South Pacific. During the city’s golden age in the late 19th century, it served as an important stopover for ships sailing the Strait of Magellan between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and attracted waves of immigrants from across Europe and the world. Accompany a local expert on a tour of the city’s elegant historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the home of Pablo Neruda, the famed Chilean poet, and wander narrow lanes to view spectacular street art. Enjoy free time to explore on your own before returning to Santiago.
Santiago/Mendoza This morning, drive into the Andes and cross the border into Argentina. Wind past verdant meadows and clear lakes, and spot the distant, snowcapped summit of Mount Aconcagua—the highest mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. This afternoon, arrive in Mendoza, the heart of Argentina’s world-renowned wine country, a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards surrounded by striking grey peaks.
Mendoza Spend the morning exploring Mendoza’s wineries with a local expert who will illuminate the local history of wine production and the distinctive flavor notes of various varietals. The region’s vintners are known for successfully experimenting with the cultivation of Malbec grapes at high altitudes. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch paired with some of the finest wines in the country, followed by time to relax on your own and sample other elements of Argentine cuisine.
Mendoza Enjoy a free day to explore the city of Mendoza, the regional capital perched in the Andean foothills. Stroll along the city’s historic streets—wider than any other city in Argentina due to innovative reconstruction following a devastating 19th-century earthquake. Choose to visit more nearby wineries, take a cooking class, or set out on a hike in the surrounding hills. Or opt to relax with a glass of Malbec or chilled Torrontés at a park-side café and soak up the daily rhythms of Argentine life.
Mendoza/Buenos Aires Catch a morning flight to Buenos Aires, and then transfer to a countryside estate, known as an estancia. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch, then spend the afternoon exploring the working ranch, learning about the popularity of polo in Argentina, and chatting with gauchos, or local cowboys. Opt to head out on a horseback ride with an expert wrangler before returning to Buenos Aires for the evening.
Buenos Aires Spend a full day exploring the “Paris of South America,” Argentina’s elegant capital city. Visit historic sites such as the Plaza de Mayo; the colorful, Italian-influenced La Boca neighborhood; and the spectacular Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón and several past Argentine presidents have been laid to rest. Enjoy a light dinner at one of many charming sidewalk cafés or restaurants before an evening tango lesson at a popular local venue known as a milonga. Choose to stay for the nightly gathering of neighborhood students and teachers who pair up to practice their steps.
Buenos Aires/Rio de Janeiro Transfer to the airport and fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Enjoy free time to explore on your own then choose to join the CEO for an optional dinner.
Rio de Janeiro Venture into the vibrant streets of Rio, founded by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century and now a thriving metropolis on Brazil’s southeast coast. Ride a cable car up Sugar Loaf Mountain to take in panoramic views of the city. Get a taste of the magic of Carnival at a samba school, where you’ll learn the history of the annual celebration, meet expert costumers, and pick up a few steps from performers.
Rio de Janeiro/Pantanal This morning, fly to Campo Grande, our gateway to Brazil’s Pantanal. This spectacular region of winding rivers and grasslands is the world’s largest area of tropical wetland, and hosts the highest concentration of wildlife in South America. Transfer to your lodge at the edge of the wetland, the ideal base for exploring the extraordinary ecosystems of the Pantanal.
Pantanal Spend a full day deep inside the Pantanal alongside an expert naturalist guide. Hike across low-lying grasslands and into dense forests teeming with wildlife. Keep an eye out for an abundance of unique creatures, including the endangered hyacinth macaw, howler monkeys, giant anteaters, capybaras, and the southern crested caracara. In the evening, search for caiman along the riverbanks and encounter nocturnal creatures that emerge under the cover of darkness.
Pantanal Continue exploring this extraordinary ecosystem as you learn about efforts underway to protect big cats such as the rare Pantanal jaguar. Head out on hikes along the slow-moving tributaries of the Paraguay River. With luck, spot slithering anaconda, rare marsh deer, and the Brazilian tapir, and learn how the unremarkable apple snail acts as a keystone species in this complex and diverse environment.
Pantanal/Iguaçu Falls This morning, return to Campo Grande and fly to Iguaçu; then check into our hotel located close to Iguaçu Falls, one of the largest waterfall systems in the world. Here, water crashes over a nearly two-mile span of cliffs, formed by a basaltic rift on the border between Argentina and Brazil. Clouds of mist from the falls soak the surrounding landscape, creating a lush tropical environment harboring several rare species, including tapirs and jaguars.
Iguaçu Falls Visit the Argentina side of Iguazú Falls, standing amid the spray from the falls’ spectacular cascades, and set out on a hike along forest trails that wind directly over the cataracts known as the Devil’s Throat. Choose to explore by boat, gaining a unique perspective on the falls from below. In the evening, gather for a talk with a local naturalist to learn about the flora and fauna living around the falls, and the uses of local plants in traditional healing remedies.
Iguaçu Falls/Rio de Janeiro Today, see the falls from a different angle during a trip to the Brazilian side. Take in panoramic views of the roaring cascades and stroll along scenic walkways winding in and out of lush tropical forest. Later, transfer to the airport and fly to Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro Depart at any time.