Southern Explorer

Comfort, Santiago to Rio de Janeiro

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

From natural wonders to some of the region’s most vibrant cities, experience the riches of South America on this comprehensive adventure that takes you from Chile to Argentina and Brazil. Enjoy the perfect combination of guided excursions and free time to explore the beauty of some of the world’s most breathtaking wonders—northern Patagonia and Iguassu Falls. Sip wine in Santiago, learn to tango in Buenos Aires and live it up in beachside Rio. Travel days are well paced and include short flights, allowing you the time to really experience the region’s highlights—in comfort and style.

What’s included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Afro-Brazilian Community Visit, Paraty Hands-on: Maipo Valley Wineries Tour, Maipo
  • Arrival transfer
  • Winery tour in the Maipo Valley
  • Half-day cultural tour with visit to Angelmó fish market and traditional curanto meal
  • Visit Petrohue Falls
  • ‘Cruce de los Lagos’ lake crossing by ferry
  • Buenos Aires city tour
  • Tour of Iguassu Falls from Argentina and Brazil
  • Visit an Afro-Brazilian community and enjoy a local meal
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Taste the best chilean wines at their source
  • Visit local villages and enjoy a traditional meal
  • Appreciate the beauty of the lake district by scenic ferry
  • Marvel at the mighty iguassu falls
  • Sip caipirinhas on a brazilian beach
  • Savour a local meal in an afro-brazilian community.

Itinerary

Day 1 Santiago Arrival day, no activities planned. The day is free to spend at your leisure exploring the city until our welcome meeting this evening. Santiago is Chile’s largest city and capital, with internationally recognized vineyards and Andean ski resorts very close by. Possible day trips include a trip to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, Chile’s premier beach resort, and to Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda’s seaside home. Additional Notes: Should you want more time to explore Santiago and do optional day trips, we highly recommend you book additional pre-nights. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 2 Santiago (1B) Head out on a full-day excursion to the Maipo Valley area for an in-depth look at the region that produces such fine quality wines. Chilean wine is top-notch, with only France and Italy selling more wine worldwide. Visit some of the vineyards that are not only well-known internationally, but best-equipped for attending to visitors and situated in the midst of stunning scenery. Learn more about the process from local experts, taste a range of wines including the Carmenere, Chile's signature grape. Included Activities: Maipo Valley Wineries Tour Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 3 Santiago/Puerto Varas (1B, 1L) There are few areas in the world that can match the Chilean Lake District for scenic grandeur. Enjoy picture perfect views from snow-capped mountains to deep-blue and emerald lakes, smoking volcanoes, forests and glaciers. Included Activities: Puerto Varas Cultural Tour Transport: Plane (1.50-2.00 hours, 996km) Private Vehicle
Day 4 Puerto Varas (1B) Today is free to explore on your own. Opt to take an excursion to Chiloé Island.
Day 5 Puerto Varas/San Carlos de Bariloche (1B) Travel by bus and ferry to Bariloche, Argentina. Visit the Petrohue Falls, then enjoy the sights from the ‘Cruce de los Lagos’, considered one of the most scenic cruises in the world. Additional Notes: The Approximate journey time today is 10-11 hours. This journey is by comfortable bus and scenic ferry and crosses the Chilean/Argentine Border. Travel time is approx. and based on time of year and weather conditions. During certain times of the year, the ferry cannot be used, in which case we will travel overland by bus. Included Activities: Petrohué Falls Visit Cruce de los Lagos Cruise Border Crossing (Chile - Argentina)
Day 6 San Carlos de Bariloche (1B) Bariloche in many ways resembles the alpine resorts of Europe. Sample a beef parrillada, or a variety of fresh salmon or lake trout, then work it off during a day hike around Cerro Catedral or while practicing your salsa at one of the town's salsotecas. Careful—Bariloche is also famous for its quality and quantity of chocolate!
Day 7 San Carlos de Bariloche/Buenos Aires (1B) Fly north to the buzzing metropolis that is Buenos Aires. Known as the ‘Paris of the Americas’, Buenos Aires is a vibrant city full of life. When you are done exploring, settle your weary feet and enjoy a drink in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants and you will begin to understand the contemplative Argentine way of life. Since Buenos Aires will be your last chance to try the succulent beef, chicken and chorizo parrilladas, dig in and enjoy! Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s), 1640km)
Day 8 Buenos Aires (1B) Free day to explore this charming city. Opt to visit San Telmo for the antiques market and street arts displays. Or the Posh Recoleta area, with its cafes, museums and cemetery, is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon.
Day 9 Buenos Aires (1B) Known as the ‘Paris of the Americas’, Buenos Aires is a vibrant city full of life. Visit the districts of La Boca, Recoleta, and San Telmo or catch a tango show at one of the many famous tanguerías. Wander the pedestrian walkways and see some dancing in the streets. Whatever you do, Buenos Aires is sure to leave lasting memories. Additional Notes: Transportation can very on this day, depending on the size of the group we may take taxis or private mini-bus, we may even jump on the very fast and convenient metro. Included Activities: Buenos Aires Guided City Tour
Day 10 Buenos Aires/Foz do Iguaçu (1B) Fly north to the Iguassu Falls area, near the borders of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Cross the border from Argentina to Brazil to experience the panoramic view of the falls. Spend around 3 hrs at the Brazilian side of the falls. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Argentina - Brazil) Iguassu Falls (Brazil Side) Guided Tour Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s), 1640km)
Day 11 Foz do Iguaçu (1B) Explore trails directly over the falls of the Devil's Throat — the highest and deepest of the falls. Other trails allow access to the stretch of falls across the forest on the Argentine side. Additional Notes: Note: If you have booked the Iguassu Falls Boat Ride Theme Pack, you will do it on Day 4 when visiting the Argentine side of the falls. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Brazil - Argentina) Iguassu Falls Visit Border Crossing (Argentina - Brazil)
Day 12 Foz do Iguaçu/Paraty (1B) Paraty's bay is filled with more than 65 tropical islands and dozens of beaches. Each offers something different, and are covered with vegetation that remains lush and colourful year-round. The bay's water is always the right temperature for swimming, diving, and snorkelling. Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 298km)
Day 13 Paraty (1B, 1D) Enjoy a visit to a nearby Afro-Brazilian community for a unique cultural interaction. Included Activities: Afro-Brazilian Community Visit
Day 14 Paraty/Rio de Janeiro (1B) Continue along the coast through superb scenery before rounding the cliffs at Vidigal. Get a first glimpse of one of the most memorable cities in the world: Brazil’s ocean-side jewel, Río de Janeiro. Enjoy any free time by exploring the wonders that this city has to offer from our centrally-located hotel in Copacabana. Opt to take a city tour. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 241km)
Day 15 Rio de Janeiro (1B) Depart at any time. Additional Notes: It is highly recommended to book post-accommodation in Rio on Day 8 to have another day to enjoy the sights of the city at your own leisure.
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