Bookended by visits to roaring Iguazu Falls and sophisticated Buenos Aires, this adventure winds it’s way through the underrated nation of Uruguay. Camp on the shores of the Rio Uruguay, spot flamingos and capybaras in Santa Teresa National Park, taste the local drop in Montevideo and trek through the sand dunes of Cabo Polonio to Atlantic Beach, where seal lions abound. A truly unique experience is a two-night stay on a traditional Uruguayan ranch, where you’ll indulge in home-cooked meals, partake in a food workshop and enjoy an evening of regional music. Get off the beaten path and see a different side of South America.

Start
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Countries
Argentina,
Brazil,
Uruguay
Themes
Explorer
Code
GDOAB
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4 Max 22
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Get close to the mighty Falls of Iguazu
  • Experience life on a traditional Uruguayan farm
  • Be surrounded by sea lions at Atlantic Beach
  • Visit the imposing Fortaleza de Santa Teresa
  • Explore the cosmopolitan capital of Montevideo
  • Take a guided tour of Los Cerros de San Juan winery
  • Feel the heat at a Buenos Aires tango show

Itinerary

Border information: if you are joining in Foz do Iguaçu, you will most likely enter Brazil at Foz do Iguaçu Cataratas International Airport (IATA code: IGU).

There will be an important group meeting at 9:00am at the joining site - please look out at the reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

After the meeting we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearby Ciudad del Este.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Foz do Iguaçu before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Foz do Iguaçu.

In Foz do Iguaçu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.

Hotel for the night: Hostel Paudimar Campestre
Hostel Paudimar Campestre
Alameda Caibi 201
Remanso Grande
Foz do Iguaçu
Brazil
Tel - +55 45 3529 6061

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the phenomenal Iguazu Falls from the Argentine side, where you can get the closest views of Garganta del Diablo and explore the web of nature trails around the area's forests and waterfalls : Included in Kitty

See the mighty Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side, enjoying the incredible panorama of waterfalls and exploring the beauty of the area : Included in Kitty

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  

Visit the colossal Itaipu Dam, the second largest hydroelectric dam in the world : BRL 68

Take a short trip into Paraguay to experience the chaos of Ciudad del Este and pick up a bargain or two (price listed is for a return trip in a taxi) : BRL 60

Visit the Parque das Aves bird park near Foz do Iguaçu, a wonderful conservation project which provides an excellent home to over 1000 iconic birds from the region such as toucans, macaws and eagles : BRL 36 

Take an exhilarating speed boat ride around the base of the falls from the Brazilian side : BRL 66

Head on an adrenaline-fuelled speedboat trip to the base of the falls on the Argentine side - be prepared to get very wet! : ARS 350

Take an unforgettable 10-minute helicopter flight over the Iguazu Falls, enjoying a bird's eye view of one of the world's most incredible set of waterfalls : USD 125 

About Foz do Iguaçu:
Foz do Iguaçu (meaning "Mouth of the Iguazu River") is the Brazilian town nestled against the double-border with Argentina and Paraguay. The town is of course most famous as the base for exploring the incredible Iguazu Falls, and the Brazilian side of the waterfalls offers visitors a very different perspective - there are a number of cleverly constructed walkways that allow you to get right out over the water up close to some of the falls themselves, and you will often be able to see fantastic rainbows forming as the sun catches the spray. For the ultimate waterfall viewing experience, you can also organise helicopter flights from the Brazilian side, where you'll be taken out right over the falls to give you a breathtaking view of this natural wonder from a totally different perspective. There is also a fan static bird park in Foz, where you can see many of Brazil's native species including toucans and macaws. You can also visit the incredible Itaipu Dam, the world's second-largest dam (after the Three Gorges Dam in China) that stretches across the River Parana between Brazil and Paraguay, and a marvel of modern engineering.

About Iguazu Falls:
The Iguazu Falls, located on the Iguazu River between Argentina and Brazil, is the world's largest waterfall system and one of the most spectacular natural sights in the world! The name "Iguazu" originates from the native Guarani words "y" (meaning "big") and "uasu" (meaning "water") - the
Guarani legend says that the falls were created when a deity wanted to a beautiful mortal woman, but when she tried to escape away from him in a canoe with another man the deity sliced the river in two, condemning the water and the lovers to fall for eternity. Visitors can see the Iguazu Falls from both sides of the border - on the Argentinian side there are miles of trails and walkways through the forests and the many waterfalls along the southern banks, culminating in a kilometre-long walkway to the phenomenal "Garganta del Diablo (meaning "Devil's Throat"), the largest and most powerful section of the waterfall system. Millions of gallons of water thunder down violently to the bottom of the huge ravine, forming the most incredible display of power, rainbows, and spray! In the surrounding dense tropical jungle there are many varieties of brightly coloured butterflies and birds, and you can take an exhilarating motorboat ride up close to some of the waterfalls (if you don't mind getting soaked!).


Today we will take a day trip into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguaçu tonight.
Border information: exit Brazil at Tancredo Neves, enter Argentina at Tancredo Neves.

Today we will leave Iguazu and head to the Argentine town of Yapeyú. This small town was the birthplace of General Jose de San Martin, one of the principal leaders of several South American countries' struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.

In Yapeyú we will stay in a basic campsite on the shores of Rio Uruguay.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Visit the remains of the house of Jose de San Martin, one of the main liberators of South America and the Argentine national hero : Free

Border information: exit Argentina at Salto Grande, enter Uruguay at Salto Grande.

Today we cross into Uruguay and head to the Tacuarembó area - the traditional gaucho land of Uruguay. We will spend 2 nights in an authentic estancia to learn about the gaucho way of living. We will have a chance to learn how to prepare typical food from the area (and of course taste it!) and also enjoy some traditional music.

In Tacuarembó we will camp in the grounds of an estancia.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Enjoy an incredible 2-night stay at a traditional Uruguayan farm to gain a fascinating insight into the lives of the gauchos, take part in a cooking demonstration, and go to an evening of traditional local music : Included in Kitty

About Tacuarembó:
Deep in the heart of the beautiful northern Uruguayan region of Tacuarembó is a traditional working farm which is open to visitors to stay for 2 nights. During our time in the estancia we will experience a slice of life as a 'gaucho' (cattle rancher), including a food workshop where we will learn how to prepare the typical Creole food from the area, and a music evening to enjoy traditional music on the accordion and guitar. 

We head to the Atlantic coast and the Santa Teresa National Park close to the town of Punta del Diablo.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

The following day is a free day for optional activities such as exploring, hiking, relaxing on the beach, or wildlife spotting at the nearby Laguna Negra. The park’s star attraction is the impressive star-shaped hilltop fortress, Fortaleza de Santa Teresa, begun by the Portuguese in 1762 and finished by the Spaniards after its capture in 1793.

On our second full day here we have an included excursion to Cabo Polonio, one of Uruguay's hidden gems. Cabo Polonio sits on the tip of a moon-sliver shaped peninsula that extends into the Atlantic Ocean. The region has no electricity or running water for the few hundred houses. The principal attraction is the natural reserve of sea lions and the mobile sand dunes. The village is accessible only by walking through the dunes or by 4x4 vehicles (transport by 4x4s is included in the trip).

In Santa Teresa National Park we will camp in the national park.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Explore the beautiful coastal landscapes of Santa Teresa National Park and the ruins of its incredible colonial fort : Free

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Take a day trip across the phenomenal sand dunes to the remote settlement of Cabo Polonio, and explore its dramatic coastlines and beaches : Included in Kitty

About Santa Teresa National Park:
Santa Teresa National Park is a stunning area on Uruguay's Atlantic coast, containing forests, wetlands and large stretches of sandy beaches and coastal dunes. The National Park's main landmark is the huge Santa Teresa Fortress - an impressive hilltop fort that started construction under the Portuguese in 1762 and completed by the Spanish after their capture of the area in 1793. The fort is shaped like an irregular pentagon and was abandoned for nearly a century until restoration efforts were made in the 1940s. The area has some excellent sand dunes, most notably near Cape Polonio where several seals and sea lions reside.



Today we will head south to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

The following day will be free to explore Montevideo. The city has a mix of historical buildings and modern architecture and a main feature of the city is the Rambla (waterfront promenade) where locals frequently go for a stroll to drink their mate. Mate is the traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink sipped through a straw, particularly popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile.

In Montevideo we will stay in a comfortable hotel. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Freely explore the pleasant Uruguayan capital of Montevideo, its markets, colonial buildings, old city, and vast promenade along the coast : Free

Learn all about Uruguayan history and culture at some of Montevideo's many museums, such as the National Historical Museum, the Gaucho Museum, and the Museum of the Andes : Free

Get a deeper understanding of Montevideo on a free walking tour of the city from an enthusiastic local guide : Free 

About Montevideo:
Montevideo is the pleasant capital city of Uruguay, situated on the east bank of the Rio de la Plata, and is just about the southernmost capital city in South America (just below Buenos Aires)! Montevideo was founded in 1724 by the Spanish in order to strengthen their claim over the surrounding area and achieve supremacy of the Rio de la Plata over the Portuguese. The city has suffered invasion from Britain and Portugal and a civil war between two of the main independence revolutionaries during its short history, only settling to a relative peace in 1851. Montevideo is a lovely place to visit and explore, with most people's explorations being centered on the Ciudad Vieja area (the oldest part of the city) -this area includes many old buildings, several museums, art galleries, and nightclubs near Plaza Independencia, Sarandí Street and the Mercado del Puerto. 
This morning we head to Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest and most picturesque towns in Uruguay and a Unesco World Heritage site. The afternoon is free to explore the charming narrow cobbled streets of the Barrio Histórico and the pretty riverfront.

In Colonia we will stay in a lovely hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Discover the delightful UNESCO-listed colonial town of Colonia del Sacramento by freely exploring its cobbled streets, old buildings, and small museums : Free

About Colonia:
Colonia del Sacramento (usually shortened to simply 'Colonia') is one of the oldest towns in Uruguay, founded by Portuguese settlers in 1680. Rivalled by the Spanish settlement of Buenos Aires on the opposite bank, and undergoing constant occupations by the Spanish, Portuguese, and later Brazilian forces, the town finally became part of independent Uruguay in 1828. Not a single echo of this turbulent past can be seen today, as the old town is one of the most serene, laid-back and atmospheric places in South America. The town's historic quarter has an irregular street plan filled with old colonial buildings and tree-lined cobbled streets, and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The whole town is a wonderful place to freely explore and wander around for an afternoon soaking up the chilled atmosphere. 
Today we drive to the area of Las Cañas on the banks of the River Uruguay. On the way we will have an included guided visit to the vinyards of Los Cerros de San Juan, the oldest winery in Uruguay.

In Las Cañas we will stay in a riverside campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Take a fantastic tour around some of Uruguay's oldest vineyards, and taste some of the delicious wines produced here : Included in Kitty

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Relax on the popular white-sand beaches of Las Cañas on the banks of the Uruguay River : Free 

About Las Cañas:
Las Cañas is a bathing resort with pretty scenery on the shores of the Uruguay River. It's very popular during the summer when hundreds of people gather on the white sandy beaches, and the surrounding area contains some excellent vinyards.
Border information: exit Uruguay at Puente General San Martin, enter Argentina at Puente General San Martin.

This morning we go to visit the El Anglo Industrial Museum in Fray Bentos. This is the disused once-famous meatpacking factory called 'the kitchen of the world'. At its peak in the first half of the 20th Century, the factory employed 4,000 people a day to slaughter 6,000 animals from all over the continent. The meat was exported all over the world, but mostly to Britain. The tour will take you through the slaughterhouses, kitchens and meatpacking rooms and introduce you to the rich history of this factory and the story of globalisation and of the industrialisation of our food production. El Anglo is currently a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status. 

In the afternoon we cross back into Argentina and drive to the wonderful capital city of Buenos Aires.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

The following day is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Try some of Argentina's most delicious wines on a top-level wine tasting afternoon in Buenos Aires : USD 52

Learn all about the cuisine of Argentina on a food tour of Buenos Aires, visiting several incredible local top-class eateries that you won't find in the guidebooks! : USD 85

See a different side to Buenos Aires on a tour of its incredible street art with some of the local artists : USD 20

Freely explore the beautiful area of Palermo Viejo, see the incredible modern sculpture of Floralis Generica, and head out to the area's bars and restaurants at night : Free

Freely explore the cosmopolitan Argentina capital of Buenos Aires, or take a free walking tour of the city's highlights : Free

Try your hand at the art of tango dancing with a private lesson in Buenos Aires : USD 25

Head out to an exciting football game at La Bombanero, Diego Maradona's former home ground (when matches are scheduled) : ARS 300

Visit the strangely beautiful cemetery of Recoleta, the final resting place of many ex- presidents and Argentine icons, most famously including the tomb of Eva Peron:  Free 

Head out to an tango show in Buenos Aires' oldest cafe, the Gran Cafe Tortoni - seeing a slice of iconic Argentine culture in an ideal and intimate setting : ARS 320

Discover the beautiful back streets, antique shops, and thrift markets of the bohemian district of San Telmo : Free

Freely explore the fascinating streets of La Boca, home of the La Bombonera football stadium and the colouful artists' street of Caminito : Free

Discover the beautiful Teatro Colon on a tour around the theatre, or see one of its free afternoon performances (when available) : ARS 150 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Learn all about the fascinating history of the once-world-famous Fray Bentos meat factory on a guided tour, at one time the pride of Uruguayan industry which fell into decline after nationalisation and the formation of the European Common Market : Included in Kitty 

About Buenos Aires:
At the mouth of the River Plate estuary (where the Uruguay and Paraná rivers flow out into the Atlantic Ocean) lies the fabulous city of Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina. It's a buzzing, energetic city that often feels more European than Latin American, so much so that it's often referred to as "the Paris of the South". There is a huge amount to do see and do here, and it's a fantastic city to explore on foot and using the extensive metro system. Some areas to check out include San Telmo, a bohemian district full of charm, antique shops, street markets, and some excellent bars; Palermo, with its fantastic restaurants and nightlife; and Recoleta, the "Mayfair" of Buenos Aires and home to the La Recoleta cemetry, Eva "Evita" Perón's final resting place. The waterfront area known as La Boca is also worth exploring, a very photogenic district with its ramshackle buildings being painted in a rainbow of different bright colours. Everywhere you go you'll be surrounded by some fantastic architecture. The Plaza de Mayo is perhaps the most historically interesting, as this is the site of the Cabillo (original town hall), Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace) and the cathedral where the body of General San Martín lies. In the evenings, you are spoilt for choice - Buenos Aires has a vibrant nightlife, with a huge number of bars and night clubs to choose from. Restaurants here vary from cheap and cheerful to world class, and it's a great place to get stuck into some of Argentina's finest steak and red wine. Of course this is also the home of Tango, and there are many evening Tango shows you can buy tickets for or even take a dancing class yourself! 
Border information: exit Uruguay at Puente General San Martin, enter Argentina at Puente General San Martin. 
 
This morning we go to visit the El Anglo Industrial Museum in Fray Bentos. This is the disused once-famous meatpacking factory called 'the kitchen of the world'. At its peak in the first half of the 20th Century, the factory employed 4,000 people a day to slaughter 6,000 animals from all over the continent. The meat was exported all over the world, but mostly to Britain. The tour will take you through the slaughterhouses, kitchens and meatpacking rooms and introduce you to the rich history of this factory and the story of globalisation and of the industrialisation of our food production. El Anglo is currently a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage status. 
 
In the afternoon we cross back into Argentina and drive to the wonderful capital city of Buenos Aires.
 
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 
 
The following day is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.
 
In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel. 
 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
 
Try some of Argentina's most delicious wines on a top-level wine tasting afternoon in Buenos Aires : USD 52
 
Learn all about the cuisine of Argentina on a food tour of Buenos Aires, visiting several incredible local top-class eateries that you won't find in the guidebooks! : USD 85 
 
See a different side to Buenos Aires on a tour of its incredible street art with some of the local artists : USD 20 
 
Freely explore the beautiful area of Palermo Viejo, see the incredible modern sculpture of Floralis Generica, and head out to the area's bars and restaurants at night : Free
 
Freely explore the cosmopolitan Argentina capital of Buenos Aires, or take a free walking tour of the city's highlights : Free
 
Try your hand at the art of tango dancing with a private lesson in Buenos Aires : USD 25
 
Head out to an exciting football game at La Bombanero, Diego Maradona's former home ground (when matches are scheduled) : ARS 300 
 
Visit the strangely beautiful cemetery of Recoleta, the final resting place of many ex- presidents and Argentine icons, most famously including the tomb of Eva Peron:  Free 
 
Head out to an tango show in Buenos Aires' oldest cafe, the Gran Cafe Tortoni - seeing a slice of iconic Argentine culture in an ideal and intimate setting : ARS 320 
 
Discover the beautiful back streets, antique shops, and thrift markets of the bohemian district of San Telmo : Free 
 
Freely explore the fascinating streets of La Boca, home of the La Bombonera football stadium and the colouful artists' street of Caminito : Free 
 
Discover the beautiful Teatro Colon on a tour around the theatre, or see one of its free afternoon performances (when available) : ARS 150 
 
INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 
 
Learn all about the fascinating history of the once-world-famous Fray Bentos meat factory on a guided tour, at one time the pride of Uruguayan industry which fell into decline after nationalisation and the formation of the European Common Market : Included in Kitty 
 
About Buenos Aires:
At the mouth of the River Plate estuary (where the Uruguay and Paraná rivers flow out into the Atlantic Ocean) lies the fabulous city of Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina. It's a buzzing, energetic city that often feels more European than Latin American, so much so that it's often referred to as "the Paris of the South". There is a huge amount to do see and do here, and it's a fantastic city to explore on foot and using the extensive metro system. Some areas to check out include San Telmo, a bohemian district full of charm, antique shops, street markets, and some excellent bars; Palermo, with its fantastic restaurants and nightlife; and Recoleta, the "Mayfair" of Buenos Aires and home to the La Recoleta cemetry, Eva "Evita" Perón's final resting place. The waterfront area known as La Boca is also worth exploring, a very photogenic district with its ramshackle buildings being painted in a rainbow of different bright colours. Everywhere you go you'll be surrounded by some fantastic architecture. The Plaza de Mayo is perhaps the most historically interesting, as this is the site of the Cabillo (original town hall), Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace) and the cathedral where the body of General San Martín lies. In the evenings, you are spoilt for choice - Buenos Aires has a vibrant nightlife, with a huge number of bars and night clubs to choose from. Restaurants here vary from cheap and cheerful to world class, and it's a great place to get stuck into some of Argentina's finest steak and red wine. Of course this is also the home of Tango, and there are many evening Tango shows you can buy tickets for or even take a dancing class yourself! 
Border information: if you are finishing in Buenos Aires, you will most likely exit Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Buenos Aires. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales Team if you would like to arrange some extra nights of accommodation here after your trip. 
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Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Overland vehicle, Public bus, Jeep
Accommodation
Hotels (3 nights), Camping with facilities (10 nights), Bush camping (1 night)

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Trip notes

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