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Travelling from Rio to Santiago, this expertly-tailored group tour features some of the top historical sights, natural wonders, and cultural destinations that Brazil, Argentina and Chile have to offer. You even have the option of visiting an extra country, Paraguay, along the way. Travel alongside passionate explorers to encounter bucket-list must-sees like the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, the bustling Mercadão in São Paulo, Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires and the winelands of Mendoza at the foot of the mighty Andes. This is South America at its most vivid.
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Welcome to the first day of your Rio tour and the start of your South American tour adventure! Check in at the hotel and meet up with your tour leader late in the day. Then head off to a nearby Churrascaria (Brazilian BBQ restaurant) for an included welcome dinner to get acquainted with the folks who will be joining you on your epic Expat Explore tour of Brazil, Argentina & Chile!
After breakfast, embark on a full-day tour of Rio de Janeiro, led by a local guide. As one of Brazil’s most popular tourist destinations, Rio offers the perfect combination of sea, mountains and forests. With the assistance of the coach, drive main avenues and follow pedestrian paths on foot to explore the city at large. On the list of iconic attractions today are Christ the Redeemer statue on top of mount Corcovado, the Santa Teresa neighbourhood, and the famous Escadaria Selaron staircase. Over lunch the guide will help you to find an authentic local meal on the cheap. Tonight, head into town and kick back with a drink. Or join the optional group excursion to experience Rio’s nightlife.
Sleep in this morning and spend the day in Rio as you wish, or join the optional Rio Plus tour to explore more of the city. Sugarloaf mountain is a remarkable natural attraction and offers one of the most impressive views of Rio. Take the modern cable car all the way to the top, led by a local expert, and get breathtaking 360 degree views of the city, Christ the Redeemer statue and surrounding beaches. Then explore downtown Rio and its major cultural and colonial sights. See the Museum of Tomorrow, the Sao Bento Monastery, Kobra Mural and La Candelaria on the go. In the evening, you can head out to explore some more or stay in to relax.
Departing Rio, drive down the Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Brazil. In the morning sun, capture views of the Atlantic ocean and dense jungle stretching back miles from the coast. Disembark in Paraty, a beautiful colonial port town. Check into your hotel and set out to follow a local guide for brief orientation tour along cobbled streets and through 17th-century colonial houses. Beauty everywhere! This evening is yours to spend at your leisure. Alternatively, join in on an optional experience to dine at a local hand-picked restaurant.
The day is yours to explore as you wish - no schedule to speak of. As part of the Serra da Bocaina National park, Paraty is surrounded with steep valleys, beautiful mountain scenery, beaches, islands and waterfalls. Pure paradise for any nature-lover! You have the option to join a Passeio de Escuna Boat trip or a 4x4 Jeep tour. Or simply wander around the the historical old town with its gorgeous buildings, cobbled lanes and churches that tell the stories of Portuguese colonialism. Wholeheartedly embrace this opportunity; mingle with the locals, get lost and take a dip in the Atlantic ocean. Definitely try a Jorge Amado cocktail! It's made with a rare type of Brazilian spirit, Cachaça Gabriela, that one can only find here in Paraty.
This morning after breakfast we continue our journey to the mega city of São Paulo where we’ll spend one night. Welcome to Brazil’s most populous city and buzzing financial hub! Upon arrival, set out on a guided coach tour with a local guide to find out more about São Paulo. Also visit the famous Mercadão (a sprawling food market). If you like food, you’ll love this place! Spend some time browsing the fresh local products and other market foods like fruit juice and pastries, codfish and the well-known Mortadella sandwich. After a full day of exploring, settle in at the hotel early this evening. You have the option to have dinner at the hotel tonight.
Rise and shine! Take the shuttle to the Guarulhos Airport to board a flight to the Brazilian city of Foz do Iguacu. As soon as you arrive, head to the Iguaçu falls inside the Iguaçu National Park to explore! Iguaçu , Iguazu or Iguassu are all collective name for the waterfalls in the south of Brazil.
The word "Iguazú" is derived from the name the falls was once given by the native Guarani tribe. If translated 'I' means "water" and 'ûasú' means "big". This is the largest waterfall system in the world. Once inside (entry is included) you get the most incredible panoramic views of the waterfalls. There is even a pathway with viewpoints that take you to the very foot of the falls. After the tour, head back to the hotel. This evening includes a group dinner with Brazilian barbecue on the menu!
If you wish, spend today at your leisure in Foz do Iguacu. You can choose to book a thrilling helicopter flight over the falls, or visit to the bird park in Foz do Iguaçu. Parque das Aves is home to 150 species of birds, including owls, toucans, flamingos and macaws. Alternatively, join your tour leader and a local guide on a day trip to Paraguay. Departing after breakfast, cross the Ponte Internacional da Amizade (‘International Bridge of Friendship’) over the Paraná River to enter Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. Explore a new city and country as you visit the many shops and markets around. As part of the trip, visit the Itaipú Dam, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant. Also see the Monday Waterfall (Saltos del Monday) inside the lush Monday Municipal Park. The trip to Paraguay ends late in the afternoon before heading back to the Brazil side of the falls for the rest of the evening. Tonight you can choose to partake in a spectacular, world-famous Rafain show and dinner experience.
One more day in the Iguazu falls region! You have the option to join a guided tour to the Argentinian side of the Iguazu falls. This side of the border offers the incredible opportunity to see the falls up close and walk the walkways surrounding by the untamed beauty of nature. The tour includes a chance to explore the very essence of the Iguazu National park and explore the waterfalls and forest. Expect train rides (on a train powered by natural gas), as well as walks on the various wooden walkways: the Lower Trail, Upper Trail, and Devil’s Throat. It's an experience you can't quite get enough of: to marvel at the falls, hear the roar of the surging water and feel the mist on your skin. To see the most dramatic part of the falls you can join the Great Adventure optional that takes you to the foot of the great San Martin waterfall. Back in Foz do Iguacu this evening, you have the option to partake in a Brazilial family dinner experience!
Wake up early and leave after breakfast for the Puerto Iguazu airport. We’re heading for the “Paris of South America” - Buenos Aires. There’s no lunch stop included today, so be sure to stock up on snacks at the airport. Get transferred to the hotel on arrival, midafternoon. Today is the first of three days in Buenos Aires, so start exploring, or take it easy to charge your batteries. Dinner is included tonight at a restaurant around the corner from the hotel.
Today we explore the eclectic Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital. After breakfast, join the Buenos Aires City Tour with a local guide to discover the city’s major sights and neighbourhoods. By the end of the day you’ll be able to tick off these sights from your list: the famous Buenos Aires Obelisk, the widest south american avenue: Avenida 9 de Julio, the administrative center of the city, Plaza de Mayo, the colourful La Boca, the cobblestoned foundational San Telmo and Recoleta cemetery. After the tour you are free to hunt down a local meal of your choice. Be it a saucy steak or delicious pizza, Buenos Aires is known for its culinary delights. Be sure to break for “té” or “merienda”, the Argentinian version of afternoon tea. Portenos, as the locals are known, take it with Mate (the local tea made with yerba mate) or coffee and alfajores (cake filled with dulce de leche). This evening you have the option to join the party for dinner and Tango show
Today’s schedule is clear like the Argentine skies. Take your pick of a bunch of things to do in this booming Argentinian capital. Roam around the city, go for a tango lesson, or look for street art and graffiti. You can choose a day trip to visit a classic guest ranch (estancia) located in the untamed countryside of Buenos Aires. ‘Gaucho’ is the name for an Argentinian cowboy (also a national icon) and these cattle stations play a big part in Argentine economy and culture. A visit to this local ranch will give you a chance to witness the unique Estancia culture, taste the excellent food they cook here and see local folk dances. As always, you will be welcomed with open arms by the locals. Tonight there’s a group dinner booked at a local Argentinian restaurant. It might get late before we eat, because here we like to do as the locals do...
Take a morning flight westward to the base of the Andes Mountains and the city of Mendoza. You are now in the heart of Argentina’s wine capital with more than 150,000 hectares of vineyards in the region. Arriving in the early afternoon, immediately head out on a tour of the local wineries. The tour will showcase why Mendoza is one of the wine capitals of the world and give you the opportunity to taste the local wine. With the Andes mountain range lined up in the distance the views are just to die for. This evening you have the option to head to the city centre’s beautiful plazas for dinner. You’re sure to feel relaxed as you take in the laid-back pace, fresh air, and mountain vistas with a glass of Malbec in hand.
There’s a long day of travel ahead of us as we make our way to Santiago from Mendoza today. The road takes us over the Andes mountains and past the highest mountain in South America (and the Western hemisphere), Aconcagua. Stop for breaks and breathtaking views in the mountains en route. Cross the border and arrive in Santiago, capital of Chile, in the late afternoon. This evening you are invited to a group dinner.
Hola, Santiago! After breakfast at the hotel this morning, take a locally-guided tour of the city. As the beating heart of Chile, Santiago has a long list of attractions to see. On this tour, we’ll cover Santiago’s downtown area, the famous Alameda main avenue, Plaza de Armas, Santiago Cathedral and the Central Market. We’ll also get to Bellavista district, known for its bohemian history and San Cristobal Hill. The tour will finish around lunchtime and the afternoon is yours to explore at your leisure. This evening you can choose to join a group dinner at a local spot in town.
Today you have a clear schedule to explore Santiago exactly as you wish. Santiago offers various options that vary from cultural activities to nearby wineries and excellent foodie experiences. You have the option of a day trip to visit Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Depart after breakfast and travel to the captivating Pacific coast of Chile. Visit the coastal city of Valparaiso, a friendly and colourful village and UNESCO World Heritage site. Then head north, with lovely scenery at every turn, and find yourself in the resort city of Viña del Mar. This is another sparkling seaside village famous for its gardens, beaches and museums. Tonight you can pick and choose where you’d like to sit down for dinner. Perhaps in the hippy Bellavista district?
After a final night in Santiago and breakfast, we say adiós this morning. You have the option to take a transfer to the nearest airport, or talk to your tour leader about more excursions to take in and around Santiago. Have a safe onward journey!
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