Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 7 three-course dinners including a welcome dinner and a churrascaria dinner with Samba show in Rio, and a Tango and farewell dinner show in Buenos Aires
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Welcome to South America’s largest and most populous country. This afternoon, meet your Tour Director and fellow traveling companions for a drive along famous Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches to the base of 1,300-foot-high SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN. Ascend by cable car to its summit, where you can savor spectacular vistas of the city. Next, toast the start of a memorable vacation at a local restaurant with caipirinhas, a favorite Brazilian cocktail. Cap off the evening with a welcome dinner.
Day 2 Rio de Janeiro
Today, visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer crowning CORCOVADO MOUNTAIN, a rounded peak rising 2,300 feet from the bay below. Take the scenic cog railway ride to its top, where a 360-degree panorama affords sweeping views. Proceed to bustling downtown Rio. View the Sambodromo and visit the CATHEDRAL. This afternoon, you may wish to join an optional trip into a local favela to see where 20% of Rio’s population lives. Visits include a community center and a school. This evening, it’s off to a CHURRASCARIA for a feast of barbecued meats marinated and roasted over charcoal in true Brazilian style. Later, experience a SAMBA SHOW, where the sheer vitality of this country explodes in a colorful extravaganza.
Day 3 Rio de Janeiro
Enjoy a day of leisure or consider an optional trip to historic Petropolis, once the former summer palace of Emperor Dom Pedro II and now a mountain resort.
Day 4 Rio de Janeiro–Iguassu Falls
A flight from Rio takes you to IGUASSU FALLS. Experience the clouds of spray, the incessant roar, and the surrounding luxuriant tropical growth that make this an unforgettable natural wonder. Spend the afternoon enjoying the magnificent panorama of waterfalls from the Brazilian side. Your Local Guide introduces the spectacle of this 2-mile-wide torrential downpour, with some cataracts as high as 250 feet—it's nothing short of hypnotic!
Day 5 Iguassu Falls
Today, journey to the Argentine side of IGUASSU FALLS, where you will take the ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN and enjoy a closer perspective on a walking tour of the falls. Meander along the walkways from atop the falls, and enjoy an exhilarating perspective looking over the precipice of the falls as the water plunges to the rocks below. You will also have the chance to walk through the rainforest on the lower falls trails that will bring you up close to some of the smaller falls. Return to the hotel, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 6 Iguassu Falls–Buenos Aires, Argentina
Today, fly to Buenos Aires. After arriving, an orientation walk acquaints you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards and outdoor cafés.
Day 7 Buenos Aires
Your sightseeing starts in La Boca, a colorful district and site of the city’s first port. Take a short walking tour of this unique neighborhood and then on to San Telmo, famous for its late-colonial buildings and a popular gathering spot for artists. At Plaza de Mayo, see La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House) and the METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL, housing San Martin’s Mausoleum. Drive past the ornate Colon Opera House before reaching RECOLETA CEMETERY, burial site of Eva Peron. Next, learn how to make a traditional Argentinean dish during your [LF[ EMPANADA COOKING CLASS. After an afternoon at leisure, top off the evening at a famous TANGO CLUB. Start with a DANCE LESSON, followed by farewell dinner featuring Argentine steaks and other local specialties, and end with a show featuring flawless performances of Latin America’s most sensuous dance—the Tango!
Day 8 Buenos Aires. Excursion to the Pampas
Today, head into the heart of the pampas (grasslands) and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of rural, country life at a working ARGENTINE ESTANCIA (ranch). After a traditional welcome with empanadas and local beverages, get acquainted with the lifestyle of real gauchos (cowboys) on a horseback ride or carriage ride through the pampas. Later, at lunch, enjoy a colorful feast, complete with world-renowned Argentine beef, salad, desserts, local wine, and live music and dance by the gauchos themselves. Top off the day with a horsemanship show by the gauchos before saying adios to the countryside and heading back to the city.
Day 9 Buenos Aires–Ushuaia (Embarkation)
Fly to Ushuaia, the “End of the World,” situated on the island of Tierra del Fuego. Embark on a 3-night CRUISE aboard the Stella Australis through channels, bays, fjords, and past massive glaciers, snowcapped mountains, and unexplored areas of incomparable beauty.
Day 10 Cruising: Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay
Disembark in Cape Horn National Park (weather permitting) to see Cape Horn, a sheer, almost 1,394-foot-high rocky promontory where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans merge. Later, go ashore with your Naturalist in historic Wulaia Bay, once site of one of the region’s largest aboriginal settlements. Walk through a Magellanic forest and watch for elephant seals!
Day 11 Cruising: Agostini Sound & Águila Glacier
Sail through the intricate channels of Tierra del Fuego to reach Cockburn Channel. At Agostini Sound, board Zodiac boats to explore Águila Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by Patagonia’s sub-Antarctic rainforest. Walk around the edge of the lagoon near the base of the glacier and keep an eye out for the condors that can sometimes be seen here. Learn from your Naturalist about the formation of glaciers and their influence on the abrupt geography of the region’s channels.
Day 12 Cruising: Magellan Strait–Magdalena Island–Punta Arenas, Chile (Disembarkation)–Santiago
This morning, go ashore on Magdalena Island (weather permitting). Located in the Strait of Magellan, see the immense colony of Magellanic penguins during a walk to the lighthouse that guides ships through the strait. In September and April, this excursion is replaced by a Zodiac boat ride at Isla Marta to observe sea lions. Cruise to Punta Arenas, disembark, and fly to Santiago, Chile’s capital.
Day 13 Santiago
Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning.