Experience the vibrant cultures and diverse wildlife of South America on a 16-day action-packed adventure to Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. Sip world-class wines in the sweeping vineyards of Mendoza, dance the tango on the streets of Buenos Aires, and stroll the golden sands of Rio de Janeiro. Then discover the continent’s wilder side amid the verdant wetlands of the Pantanal and the thundering cascades of Iguaçu Falls.
- Travel Style : National Geographic Journeys
- Service Level : Upgraded
- Physical Grading : 3 - Average
- Merchandising : New Trips
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Pablo Neruda Experience and Talk, Valparaíso
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Mendoza Wine Tour and Tasting Lunch, Mendoza
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Local Tango Lesson, Buenos Aires
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Rio Tour: Cable Car Ride and Samba School Visit, Rio de Janeiro
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Iguaçu Falls, Flora and Fauna Lecture, Iguaçu Falls. Arrival transfer. Estancia visit and farm fresh lunch. Buenos Aires city tour. Rio de Janeiro city tour. Pantanal guided wildlife excursions. Tour the Argentine and Brazilian sides of Iguaçu Falls. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Enjoy a traditional meal paired with local wines in Mendoza, Meet a local biologist in famed Iguaçu Falls, Take a tango lesson in Buenos Aires and samba your way around Rio, Seek out extraordinary wildlife in the Pantanal
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However, it is subject to change and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at the time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion, it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Important Notes:1. TRAVEL DAYS
This trip covers a lot of ground and there are a couple of long travel days. These travel days are always balanced out by relaxing, well-paced days to ensure full enjoyment and the visited destinations more than make up for any long travel experienced.
2. COMBO TRIP
Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.
In the winter season (May-August), it is still possible to make the ferry/bus Lake crossing in 1 day. However, in the rare instance of extremely poor weather, the trip may have to include an overnight along the way OR your CEO may decide to make the transfer by bus only. This would be a rare occasion, but if it is necessary, it is always in consideration of safety.
4. LUGGAGE WEIGHT ALLOWANCE
Please Note: Aerolineas Argentinas allows 1 piece of luggage that weighs up to 15kg on internal flights. If luggage is overweight, the airline charges 650 ARS at check-in (approx. 35 USD).
- Group Leader Description:All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, also known as the CEO (Chief Experience Officer). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
- Group Size Notes:Max 16, Avg 10.
- Meals Included:15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
- Meals:Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally, meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what, and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally, food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
- Transport:Private van, plane, 4x4, walking.
- Local Flights:All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
- Solo Travellers:We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Hotels (15 nts).
- My Own Room:Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1, please make your way to the joining hotel via your included transfer. Details on where to meet your transfer can be found in your voucher notes or on the G Adventures app.
If you have booked pre-tour accommodations through G Adventures, please note that you must contact us to confirm the included arrival transfer. Check-in time at your start hotel will be in the afternoon.
Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival transfer or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Argentina: +54 11 2150 2581
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 2150 2581
After hours Emergency number
From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 15 3425 0380
G Adventures Local Representative (Rio)
From Outside of Brazil: (0054) 9 11 3 425 0380
If using Brazilian SIM card purchased outside or Rio: 031 9 11 3 425 0380
If using Brazilian SIM card purchased in Rio: 9 11 3 425 0380
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.
- Packing List:Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
- Laundry:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:The currency in Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS), in Chile the Chilean Peso (CLP) and in Brazil, the Brazilian Real (BRL)
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.
You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Please bear in mind that the cost of living in the southern cone countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile) is much higher than the rest of South America, and in the case of Argentina, more comparable with Europe. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Tipping:It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is an opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week, can be used.
- Optional Activities:Mendoza
- Mendoza Cooking Class and Dinner
- Mendoza Wine Tour
- Cordón del Plata Hike
San Miguel de Monte
- Horseback Riding at Estancia
- Iguassu Falls Boat Tour (70USD per person)
- Iguassu Helicopter Ride (460BRL per person)
- Health:Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash, and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water-based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by a guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trip. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular, the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
- Travel Insurance:Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- Minimum Age:You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
- Max Pax:16
- Group Leader:Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Itinerary (16 days)
Arrive at any time. Your arrival transfer is included.
Travel south to the colorful seaside town of Valparaíso, where bright houses perch on the hills overlooking the South Pacific. During the city’s golden age in the late 19th century, it served as an important stopover for ships sailing the Strait of Magellan between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and attracted waves of immigrants from across Europe and the world. Accompany a local expert on a tour of the city’s elegant historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the home of Pablo Neruda, the famed Chilean poet, and wander narrow lanes to view spectacular street art. Enjoy free time to explore on your own before returning to Santiago.
This morning, drive into the Andes and cross the border into Argentina. Wind past verdant meadows and clear lakes, and spot the distant, snowcapped summit of Mount Aconcagua—the highest mountain in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. This afternoon, arrive in Mendoza, the heart of Argentina’s world-renowned wine country, a landscape of sun-drenched vineyards surrounded by striking grey peaks.
Spend the morning exploring Mendoza’s wineries with a local expert who will illuminate the local history of wine production and the distinctive flavor notes of various varietals. The region’s vintners are known for successfully experimenting with the cultivation of Malbec grapes at high altitudes. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch paired with some of the finest wines in the country, followed by time to relax on your own and sample other elements of Argentine cuisine.
Enjoy a free day to explore the city of Mendoza, the regional capital perched in the Andean foothills. Stroll along the city’s historic streets—wider than any other city in Argentina due to innovative reconstruction following a devastating 19th-century earthquake. Choose to visit more nearby wineries, take a cooking class, or set out on a hike in the surrounding hills. Or opt to relax with a glass of Malbec or chilled Torrontés at a park-side café and soak up the daily rhythms of Argentine life.
Catch a morning flight to Buenos Aires, and then transfer to a countryside estate, known as an estancia. Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch, then spend the afternoon exploring the working ranch, learning about the popularity of polo in Argentina, and chatting with gauchos, or local cowboys. Opt to head out on a horseback ride with an expert wrangler before returning to Buenos Aires for the evening.
Spend a full day exploring the “Paris of South America,” Argentina’s elegant capital city. Visit historic sites such as the Plaza de Mayo; the colorful, Italian-influenced La Boca neighborhood; and the spectacular Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón and several past Argentine presidents have been laid to rest. Enjoy a light dinner at one of many charming sidewalk cafés or restaurants before an evening tango lesson at a popular local venue known as a milonga. Choose to stay for the nightly gathering of neighborhood students and teachers who pair up to practice their steps.
Buenos Aires/Rio de Janeiro
Transfer to the airport and fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Enjoy free time to explore on your own then choose to join the CEO for an optional dinner.
Rio de Janeiro
Venture into the vibrant streets of Rio, founded by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century and now a thriving metropolis on Brazil’s southeast coast. Ride a cable car up Sugar Loaf Mountain to take in panoramic views of the city. Get a taste of the magic of Carnival at a samba school, where you’ll learn the history of the annual celebration, meet expert costumers, and pick up a few steps from performers.
Rio de Janeiro/Pantanal
This morning, fly to Campo Grande, our gateway to Brazil’s Pantanal. This spectacular region of winding rivers and grasslands is the world’s largest area of tropical wetland, and hosts the highest concentration of wildlife in South America. Transfer to your lodge at the edge of the wetland, the ideal base for exploring the extraordinary ecosystems of the Pantanal.
Spend a full day deep inside the Pantanal alongside an expert naturalist guide. Hike across low-lying grasslands and into dense forests teeming with wildlife. Keep an eye out for an abundance of unique creatures, including the endangered hyacinth macaw, howler monkeys, giant anteaters, capybaras, and the southern crested caracara. In the evening, search for caiman along the riverbanks and encounter nocturnal creatures that emerge under the cover of darkness.
Continue exploring this extraordinary ecosystem as you learn about efforts underway to protect big cats such as the rare Pantanal jaguar. Head out on hikes along the slow-moving tributaries of the Paraguay River. With luck, spot slithering anaconda, rare marsh deer, and the Brazilian tapir, and learn how the unremarkable apple snail acts as a keystone species in this complex and diverse environment.
This morning, return to Campo Grande and fly to Iguaçu; then check into our hotel located close to Iguaçu Falls, one of the largest waterfall systems in the world. Here, water crashes over a nearly two-mile span of cliffs, formed by a basaltic rift on the border between Argentina and Brazil. Clouds of mist from the falls soak the surrounding landscape, creating a lush tropical environment harboring several rare species, including tapirs and jaguars.
Visit the Argentina side of Iguazú Falls, standing amid the spray from the falls’ spectacular cascades, and set out on a hike along forest trails that wind directly over the cataracts known as the Devil’s Throat. Choose to explore by boat, gaining a unique perspective on the falls from below. In the evening, gather for a talk with a local naturalist to learn about the flora and fauna living around the falls, and the uses of local plants in traditional healing remedies.
Iguaçu Falls/Rio de Janeiro
Today, see the falls from a different angle during a trip to the Brazilian side. Take in panoramic views of the roaring cascades and stroll along scenic walkways winding in and out of lush tropical forest. Later, transfer to the airport and fly to Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro
Depart at any time.