Day 1/2 – ARRIVE RIO DE JANEIRO
Bemvindo ao Rio de Janeiro! Upon arrival early morning on Day 2, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your luxurious oceanfront hotel where you can enjoy the morning at leisure. Spend the afternoon with your Tour Director exploring the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) and its many contrasts, from the 18th century aqueduct and colonial Candelaria Church to the 20th century Opera House, Sambodromo, and city Cathedral. Stretch your loegs in lovely Flamengo Park before ascending Sugarloaf Mountain via cable car for astounding views over the city and the bay.
Day 3 – RIO DE JANEIRO SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME
Board a classic cogwheel train for the journey to the summit of majestic Corcovado, site of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. After admiring the panoramic views, head back down the mountain for a chance to learn about Brazil’s precious gemstones. You’ll be fascinated by the creative process you watch precious metals and rough gemstones transformed into works of art. See the song-inspiring Copacabana and Ipanema beaches on your way back to your hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure before joining your traveling companions for dinner at a local churrascaria where you will learn about and taste caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail.
Day 4 – RIO DE JANEIRO FREE TIME
Enjoy a full day to explore Rio on your own, or choose from an array of optional outings; take a half day journey by jeep and foot into the lush Tijuca National Park, the world’s largest urban rainforest; perhaps explore Petropolis, the Imperial City of Brazil; or cruise emerald Sepetiba Bay, stopping at a pristine island for lunch and swimming.
Day 5 – RIO DE JANEIRO – IGUASSU FALLS
Brazil is world renowned for its vast array of gemstones. This morning, you’ll learn and watch the fascinating creative process as precious metals and rough gemstones are transformed into works of art. Then take flight to magnificent Iguassu Falls, straddling the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Iguassu National Park boasts some of the world’s largest and most impressive waterfalls and is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.
Day 6 – IGUASSU FALLS SIGTHSEEING & AT LEISURE
Enter Iguassu National Park and spend the morning exploring the Brazilian side of the cascades with a loacl guide, including a scenic walk through the rainforest at the base of the falls. After lunch at a local restaurant, return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps visit the Parque das Aves – a tropical bird preserve that’s home to more than 500 species of Brazilian birds; or embark on an optional excursion into the lush Macuco rainforest where you get acquainted with the flora and fauna of the jungle and then cruise the river to see the falls from below.
Day 7 – IGUASSU FALLS – BUENOS AIRES
Cross the border into Argentina and spend some time getting to know the geography of the area at the Visitors Center. Take a walk along a scenic catwalk and board the open-air Ecological Jungle Train for a different perspective of the mighty falls and view the thunderous Devil’s Throat Falls. They fly to Buenos Aires and arrive at your hotel close to all the hustle and bustle of the capital city; renowned international designer boutiques, fine dining venues, museums, cultural pursuits, modern theaters and the famous Teatro Colon.
Day 8 – BUENOS AIRES SIGHTSEEING & AT LEISURE
Embark on an in-depth tour of the passionate city where the tango was born. See the Casa Rosada, Metropolitan Cathedral and other government buildings; world-renowned Teatro Colon; the colorful neighborhood of La Boca; San Telmo with its famed outdoor market and lovely Palermo, home to fashionable cafes and verdant parks. Visit elegant Recoleta, the museum dedicated to Argentina’s former first lady Eva Peron (Evita) as well as the impressive cemetery where is buried.
Day 9 – BUENOS AIRES AT LEISURE
Relish a day at leisure in the “Paris of South America.” The possibilities are endless! Take advantage of your included “hop-on, hop-off” sightseeing ticket to further explore on your own. Delve into one of the country’s finest museums at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, set in a lovely park in the Recoleta neighborhood. Follow in the footsteps of Argentina’s most revered writer, Jorge Luis Borges, as you browse the many bookstores of Buenos Aires and sip a coffee at the famed Cafe Tortoni. As an option, you can visit the UNESCO World Heritage city of Colonia del Sacramento across the Rio de la Plata in Uruguay. And if you’d like to experience a different side of Argentina, choose an optional trip into the countryside to a traditional estancia (ranch).
Day 10 – BUENOS AIRES – SANTIAGO
Bid adios to Buenos Aires and say “hola” to Santiago as you fly west across the Andes to the Chilean capital. Settle into your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure to begin your exploration.
Day 11 – SANTIAGO SIGHTSEEING
Meet your local guide and embark on a tour of this vibrant city, traveling past the Club Hipico – the regal racetrack – and sprawling Parque O’Higgins. Cruise along Alameda Avenue, past the church of San Francisco and the Univerty of Chile, on your way to the vibrant Plaza de Armas with its fountains and sculptures. View the Palacio de la Moneda and stop at the bustling Central Market. Visit San Francisco Church and Monastery, reputed to be one of the oldest in Chile. Continue your tour with a drive up San Cristobal Hill for panoramic views of the city and the snow-capped Andes. Then head for Maipo Valley, the most traditional wine-producing valley in Chile with the best conditions for premium wines. Enjoy a tour of the winery and meet expert winemakers. Later, return to Santiago and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Day 12 – SANTIAGO AT LEISURE
Enjoy a day at leisure in Santiago. Perhaps join an optional trip to Valparaiso, once known as “Little San Francisco” by the sailors who made it a frequent stopover on the long voyage between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans; then take the coastal road to see the graceful mansions, white-sand beaches and historic casino of the seaside resort of Vina del Mar.
Day 13 – DEPART SANTIAGO
Say hasta luego to Chile and transfer to the airport for your flight home.