Visit South America and travel through Chile, Argentina and Brazil

Discover the spirit of the south on this enriching journey from Santiago to Rio de Janeiro. Kick back in picturesque Mendoza, sample culinary delights in Buenos Aires, experience the might of Iguazu Falls and live it up in beachside Rio. This trip delivers adventure and discovery as well as a healthy dose of indulgence, comfort and relaxation. Be immersed in the culture and traditions of these countries, which are rich in natural beauty and history. Rub shoulders with locals living a passionate life and see how this enthusiasm for living is infectious! If you want to experience the best of Chile, Argentina and Brazil then this trip is for you.

Start
Santiago, Chile
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Countries
Argentina,
Brazil
Themes
Explorer
Code
GPKRC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
1 231kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Soak up Chile's cosmopolitan delights in Santiago
  • Sip Argentina's trademark wine on a vineyard tour near Mendoza
  • Discover the elegance and charm of Buenos Aires
  • Be astounded by the might of Iguazu Falls
  • Wander Brazil's colonial cobblestone streets
  • See Brazil's iconic Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2015 to 31 May 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 June 2016 - 31 December 2016

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Chile.

An arrival transfer from the airport to your hotel is included in your tour. This complimentary transfers is only applicable on Day 1 of your Intrepid trip or if pre tour accommodation is booked through Intrepid (please advise flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided).

You can arrive at any time on Day 1 as there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting tonight. Your leader will leave a note at reception telling you where and when this important meeting will take place. Please ask a member of reception for this information. After the group meeting there is the option of joining the group for dinner.

Although Santiago covers a large area, the city centre is quite compact and easy to get around. Its centre is roughly triangular in shape and in its heart is the Plaza de Armas, the chief plaza and the cathedral. Panning out from here are wall-to-wall shops, restaurants and parks. For a more serene look at Chilean life, head out to the barrio Bella Vista, Santiago's 'Paris Quarter' or take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal. If the weather permits, you'll have impressive views over the city and the peaks of the Andes.

You have a free day to continue exploring Santiago or perhaps take an optional trip to Valparaiso, by the Pacific coast.

In Santiago our centrally located hotel has a restaurant and bar, and is situated in close proximity to downtown attractions. Rooms have air-conditioning and ensuite bathrooms.
Travel across the Andes by local bus (6-7 hours). On a clear day you may be able to spot Mt. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in America at 6,962 meters above sea level.

The time spent at the border crossing can vary from 1 to 3 hours depending on local traffic. Please make sure you have snacks and water for today and note that fresh fruit and deli products (cheese, ham, etc) have to be consumed before crossing to Argentina or disposed off at the border.

From June to August the border crossing between Chile and Argentina may be closed due to snowfalls. In that event the emergency fund may be needed to purchase a flight between Santiago and Mendoza.

Once in Mendoza there is no better way to spend the afternoon than going for a gentle stroll around Mendoza's tree lined streets. Choose a cafe along Sarmiento pedestrian street and watch life pass by sipping a coffee. The city centre is beautifully landscaped and full of trees, squares and parks.

On our free day here you will take an included winery tour. Mendoza is Argentina's most important grape growing region, producing 70% of the country's wine. Its exceptional climate produces excellent grapes, the region's signature variety is the Malbec.

At night head out to Aristides Villanueva Street which has lately become on the starting point of Mendoza's night life. Tonight why not try the most popular drink in town: Fernet with Coke, a bitter (very) alcoholic cocktail.

In Mendoza we stay in a centrally located hotel.
Today we fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires (approx. 1.5hrs). Upon arrival we transfer to a minivan for a 2hr drive to our Estancia stay in the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

During your time on the estancia you can do as much or as little as you desire. Activities may also vary depending on the day. You could go horse riding, work with the cattle, take a cooking class or learn more about the sport of polo. Alternatively you could laze by the pool and read or have a barbecue. 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.

All meals at the estancia are included.
Today we transfer back to Buenos Aires, perhaps South America's ultimate cosmopolitan city. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style all of its own, this is a city that will steal your heart. The Portenos (the local residents) are justifiably proud of their city which is comprised of distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own style.

The following day your leader will take you on an orientation walk, perhaps visiting San Telmo and its weekend antiques market and artists' displays, La Boca home to the world-class football team Boca Juniors, Recoleta or the Casa Rosada (Pink House) among other attractions.

In Buenos Aires we stay in a centrally located 3 star standard hotel.
Fly to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, our gateway to the mighty Iguazu Falls.

Over next two day we will visit both the Argentinian and Brazilian side of the falls. We travel into Brazil to visit the falls on Day 10 before returning to spend the night at our hotel in Puerto Iguazu.

Legend has it that a serpent god intended to marry a beautiful girl called Naipi. She escaped in a canoe with her mortal lover Caroba and in a jealous rage the god chased them, collapsing the river before them so that Naipi plunged over the falls to become a rock, while Caroba became a tree, forever unable to touch his love. A more scientific explanation is that the Rio Iguazu flows over a riverbed of basalt that ends where the lava cooled, leaving the water to fall. The falls were 'discovered' in the modern day by the Spaniard Juan Alvar Nunez, who named them Saltos de Santa Maria. The name we know them by today means 'Great Waters' in the Tupi-Guarani tongue.

At over 2 km long the falls are a series of cataracts. There are 275 falls in all, and with some reaching up to 80 m in height, they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara. For two different perspectives of the falls, we see them from the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. The Brazilian side offer grand panoramas while the Argentinian side is equipped with boardwalks that get so close to the thundering waters we are almost able to touch them. For a more adrenaline pumping falls experience, see them from below on a zodiac boat or take a helicopter ride, right over the top.
While in Iguazu our leader will take us on a visit to one of the few remaining Guarani communities - original inhabitants of this region.
We cross the border into Brazil on the morning on Day 12 and take a flight from Foz do Iguacu to Rio de Janeiro.
In Rio we are joined by a local guide for a tour of this marvelous city. Kick off with a birds-eye-view of the city at the base of the Statue of Christ. This enormous white statue keeps constant watch over Rio, offering sweeping 360 degree views of the city’s natural wonders: beaches, lagoons, forests, bays and mountains that seem to rise from the ocean.

Next, it’s time to trade in this tourist icon for something less visited, and step into a favela. Accompanied by our local guide we stroll the narrow alleys, meet some of the locals, learn about local life and dispel some of the myths about these vibrant communities.
The locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. In this heaving metropolis, set against the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay and surrounded by the slopes of Sugarloaf and Corcovado, it's hard not to be caught up in the passion of the city's residents (known as Cariocas).

The French were the first to settle here as they logged wood along the Brazilian coast, but they were soon driven out by the Portuguese, who built a fortified town named Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro and quickly amassed wealth during the gold rush of Minas Gerais. In the 19th century, the Portuguese monarchy fled from the threat of Napoleon in Europe and took up residence in Rio, where they built grand buildings that still stand today.

These days Rio is a fascinating and diverse city best known for its contrasting images of favelas (shanty towns) and the glitz and glamour of Carnaval.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport
Plane, Private minibus, Local bus
Accommodation
Hotel (11 nights), Estancia (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Orientation walk led by leader- Santiago
  • Full-day winery tour including lunch
  • Full-day Buenos Aires tour. It includes a visit to La Boca, Centro, San Telmo, Recoleta and lunch
  • Iguazu Falls - Brazil side tour
  • Guarani community visit
  • Rio de Janeiro city tour inc. Santa Teresa, Selaron Steps, Christ the Redeemer and Santa Marta favela

Dates

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Important notes

Please note that start and finish hotels for GPKRC are as follows:

JOINING POINT:
Hotel Loreto
Loreto 170
Santiago
CHILE

FINISH POINT:
Ipanema Inn Hotel
Rua Maria Quitéria, 27
Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro
BRAZIL

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide 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.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Chile, Argentina & Brazil trips score an average of 4.49 out of 5 based on 86 reviews in the last year.

Chile, Argentina & Brazil , January 2016

Chile, Argentina & Brazil , January 2016

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