Stay on a working ranch and see the world’s largest waterfall

Hug the eastern coastline of South America on a ten-day Lonely Planet Experience, powered by Intrepid. This down-to-earth adventure takes you from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro via Colonia del Sacramento, a working estancia and the spectacular Iguazu Falls. Embrace ranch life during your estancia stay and explore the grounds on horseback, wonder at the largest waterfall in the world and get a taste of Rio’s nightlife.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Destinations
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience
Code
GGBS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Soak up the cosmopolitan charms of Buenos Aires and explore the sights of its historic city centre on foot.

  • Spend three days at a working estancia (farm) in Uruguay, where you can spend your time getting involved in farm work, riding horses or simply relaxing in the sun.

  • Enjoy incredible home-cooking and hospitality during your estancia stay, and learn about Uruguay’s gauchos – legendary cowboys.

  • Stop in colourful Colonia del Sacramento, where vintage cars line the streets and an old drawbridge leads to the UNESCO-listed Old Quarter.

  • The mighty Iguazu Falls straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil, and you’ll cross the border to see it from both countries.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves some long travel days, including an overnight bus. The buses are well-equipped with comfortable reclining seats and on-board toilets. Snacks are provided but we recommend you also bring your own food in case you get hungry.

  • While at the estancia in Uruguay, you can choose to participate in the day-to day-activities of the farm as much or as little as you like. If you do choose to get involved, prepare for some early morning starts and to get your hands dirty when working directly with animals. The accommodation is multishare and meals are served family style. Please inform your booking agent if you have any dietary requirements.

Itinerary

Bienvenidos. Welcome to Argentina. Your Lonely Planet Experience begins with an orientation walk around Buenos Aires’ Microcentro district at 1 pm. Your leader will be waiting in the lobby of your joining point hotel. Pass by historic buildings along the Avenida de Mayo, including the Casa Rosada (Argentina's government house) and perhaps have a coffee in the traditional Cafe Tortoni. Stroll around the picturesque streets of San Telmo and its antique markets. Attend a group welcome meeting at 6 pm to prepare for the rest of your adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Welcome Meeting
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • DISCONTINUED Buenos Aires - Tango, Tango, Tango! Urban Adventures - USD90
  • Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD113
  • Buenos Aires - Gourmet Buenos Aires Food Urban Adventure - USD113
  • Buenos Aires - Polo day - USD185
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Today cross the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) to Colonia del Sacramento by ferry (approximately 1.5 hours). On arrival, enjoy free time to explore this charming colonial city, known as the oldest in Uruguay. The World Heritage-listed Barrio Historico (Old Quarter) is a great place to start. Stroll down the cobblestone streets and rub shoulders with locals as they sip their yerba mate (tea). Listen to the noisy parakeets in the Plaza Mayor, or comb Colonia’s small museums. For great views over the city, climb to the top of a 19th-century lighthouse that’s still in operation.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Colonia - Lighthouse visit - UYU25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today you will have to walk six blocks carrying your luggage from the ferry port to your hotel, and again tomorrow from the hotel to the bus station.
Today is a long travel day. Take a comfortable local bus from Colonia to Montevideo (approximately 2.5 hours). From Montevideo it's a further 5-hour journey to Tacuarembo by bus. The bus has reclining seats and you'll be provided with a typical Uruguayan snack, but as the bus doesn’t stop it's also recommended that you bring some extra snacks at your own expense. From Tacuarembo, take a 1-hour truck and 4WD journey to the ranch, where you can get to know your hosts.
Accommodation
  • Estancia (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 3-night stay on a working estancia including meals and activities
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Spend a few days experiencing life on a working Uruguayan farm. Although you’re welcome to relax and explore your surroundings at your leisure, you can also get involved wirh day-to-day jobs around the ranch. As a working farm, the digs aren’t fancy, but the incredible surroundings and hospitality are something special. Enjoy three home-cooked meals a day and the chance to ride horses, in true gaucho (cowboy) style.
Accommodation
  • Estancia (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Estancia - Horse riding - Free
  • Estancia - Horse riding - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Special Information
Accommodation is dormitory-style, hot water and electricity are only available for a couple of hours a day. If you sign up for any chores, they start at 7.30 am.
In the afternoon, bid farewell to your hosts and cross the border to Concordia in Argentina. Board a 12-hour overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu.
Accommodation
  • Overnight bus (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The bus has reclining seats and onboard toilets. Movies will be shown to keep you entertained. A simple dinner is also provided on board.
As soon as you arrive at Puerto Iguazu bus station this morning, take a minivan across the border into Brazil and head straight to the national park to witness the majestic Foz do Iguacu/Iguazu Falls. After some time spent admiring this force of nature, head to your hotel in Foz do Iguacu. Enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance & tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
Optional Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Helicopter ride - USD130
  • Iguazu Falls - Bird Park Entrance fee - BRL60
  • Iguazu Falls - Acquamania Water Park - BRL42
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Return to Argentina today to see Iguazu Falls from a different angle. Following a series of boardwalks, it’s possible to get so close to the thundering waters that you can almost touch them. At over two-kilometres long, Iguazu Falls are made up of over 270 separate cascades, with some reaching up to 80 metres in height. For a more exhilarating experience, take an optional Zodiac boat ride to the base of the falls! In the afternoon return to your accommodation in Foz do Iguacu in Brazil.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance & tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
Optional Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Boat ride - USD70
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take an included flight to Rio de Janeiro. Settle into your hotel room then head out with your leader for an orientation walk. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore at your own pace. Maybe head to Copacabana or Ipanema Beach or, if the time of year is right, check out a soccer game at the famous Maracana Stadium. You might like to take the tramcar up to the hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa or head up Corcovado Mountain, where you’ll find sweeping views over Rio from the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa Discovery Urban Adventure - USD59
  • Rio de Janeiro - Total Rio Tour Combo 2: Old Town, Sugarloaf & Urca Urban Adventure - USD149
  • Rio de Janeiro - Sugarloaf Mountain cable car - BRL116
  • Rio de Janeiro - Total Rio Tour Combo 1: Santa Teresa, Corcovado, Christ & Copacobana - USD149
  • Rio de Janeiro - Maracana football game (schedule dependent) - BRL150
  • DISCONTINUED Rio de Janeiro - Favela feelings Urban Adventure - USD49
  • Rio de Janeiro - Botanical Gardens - BRL15
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa tramcar - BRL20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your Lonely Planet Experience comes to an end after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Plane, local bus, Ferry, Overnight bus

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Estancia (3 nights), Overnight bus (1 night)

Included activities

  • Welcome Meeting
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
  • 3-night stay on a working estancia including meals and activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance & tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance & tour of the Argentinian side of the falls

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

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Important notes

START TIME:
This trip starts with an orientation walk at 1 pm on Day 1. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation. Speak to an Intrepid booking agent for more information.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip, but excludes Days 3,4 and 5 (estancia stay) and 6 (overnight bus). 

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays in providing this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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