South America Adventure: Chile, Argentina & Uruguay - 2018

Santiago • Santa Cruz • Montevideo • Colonia del Sacramento • Buenos Aires • Iguassu Falls • Rio de Janeiro

  • IN COSMOPOLITAN BUENOS AIRES, ENJOY A GALA TANGO NIGHT & DINNER
  • EXPERIENCE CHILE’S CELEBRATED WINE CULTURE & VINTAGES DURING A VISIT TO COLCHAGUA
  • VIEW THE STUNNING SPECTACLE OF THUNDERING IGUASSU FALLS FROM BOTH THE ARGENTINEAN AND BRAZILIAN SIDES
  • EXPERIENCE THE GAUCHO CULTURE OF URUGUAY ON A VISIT TO A WORKING ESTANCIA (RANCH)

The Best Value in Deluxe Travel — Guaranteed!

NEW FOR 2018: Now including gratuities for local guides & drivers!
FREE Single Supplement available on every departure — limited availability.
Small Groups: Never more than 16-24 travelers – guaranteed!
BEST EXCHANGE RATE IN YEARS: YOUR DOLLAR GOES FURTHER HERE
 

How can you capture South America's rich tapestry of welcoming people, sophisticated cities, mouthwatering cuisine, and passionate music in one itinerary? Experience them in a small group with us and find out! We show you the undiscovered gems and highlights of South America travel — Santiago, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro, Chile's wine country, Colonia, and Iguassu Falls. And with just 18-24 travelers in your group, you can experience the little things that make the best South America travel memories: an exclusive wine tasting, a private tango lesson, lunch in a local home, and much more. Only Vantage Adventures includes three nights in Uruguay, a tiny, European-flavored country, where you'll witness a fascinating gaucho demonstration at a rural estancia. Comfortable, centrally located hotels make for a relaxing stay, and our unmatched small group value on this South America adventure puts the continent's rich cultural tapestry well within reach.

This is your chance to experience the best of South America travel on one comprehensive and enhanced journey. You won't want to miss out on this incredible itinerary, which includes visits to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and two Wonders of the World sites. Join us in 2018 for our fascinating South America adventure at the best value in deluxe small group travel!

Itinerary at a Glance

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Santiago

Your South America adventure begins with an overnight flight to Chile. Upon arrival in Santiago, you’ll be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel for an early check-in. Afterward, embark on a walking tour of Santiago that contrasts the past and present highlights of the city, including a visit to the famous Alameda — Santiago’s bustling main avenue — and the Plaza de Armas. This evening, our small group will get better acquainted over a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.

Or, if you crossed another destination off your bucket list by joining our extension to legendary Machu Picchu and Peru, you'll meet up with the base tour on Day 2.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 3:

Santiago, Chile

You are at leisure to explore Santiago today from the convenience of your downtown hotel. Or take advantage of our optional full-day tour to Valparaiso, one of the most important seaports on the South Pacific and the second-largest city in the country. Set in a natural amphitheater overlooking the sea, the city boasts a historic quarter that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 19th-century architecture and urban planning. Today, Valparaiso is renowned as an educational center and lively center of Chilean culture. We’ll see its highlights on our tour and enjoy lunch in one of the best restaurants in Valparaiso.

Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Valparaiso

Valparaiso

  • Approximate Cost: $199 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 8 hours
  • Location: Chile
  • When: Full Day with lunch

Join us on a full-day optional tour to Valparaiso, one of the most important seaports on the South Pacific and the second-largest city in Chile. Set in a natural amphitheater overlooking the sea, the city boasts a historic quarter that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 19th-century architecture and urban planning. Today, Valparaiso is renowned as an educational center and lively repository of Chilean culture. We’ll see its highlights — including Latin America's oldest stock exchange, the continent's first volunteer fire department, and Chile's first public library — on our tour and enjoy lunch at one of the best restaurants in Valparaiso.


DAY 4:

Santiago / Santa Cruz

Today, we’ll transfer to Santa Cruz, the capital of Chile’s wine-growing region. Settle into your balcony room at our small, colonial-style hotel and enjoy lunch on your own. We regroup this afternoon for a visit to the Museum of Colchagua, which houses the largest collection of pre-Columbian art in Chile, followed by a walking tour of Santa Cruz. Cultural Discovery: This evening, learn how to concoct a traditional Chilean pisco sour before our dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5:

Santa Cruz, Chile

Unforgettable Moment: This morning, you'll enjoy a visit to a local winery in the Colchagua Valley, where we’ll discover the region’s fine vintages. Our winery experience includes a presentation about the region's soil and climate, the history of wine, and the wine-making process. We’ll also savor an included tasting of the winery's offerings, including Carménère, a traditional Chilean grape. Our tour continues with a cable car ride to Cerro Chaman for stunning views of the valley and vineyards. Here, if you wish, you can tour replicas of houses of the indigenous people of Chile and discover how they lived in harmony with nature, their rituals and beliefs, and how they inspired the local wines. 

Cultural Discovery: Then, join a traditional Chilean family in their home for a lesson on how to make empanadas, a savory Latin American pastry, followed by an intimate lunch and conversation about fruit production in the area. Later, gain an understanding of life in rural Chile as we set out for a visit to the town of Lolol, located in an area reminiscent of the American West. During our town tour, you’ll see sites such as the historic central plaza and church. After arriving at our hotel this evening, the rest of your day is at leisure.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 6:

Santa Cruz / Santiago / Montevideo

Today, we transfer back to Santiago, where we’ll catch a flight across the Andes to Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital and largest city. This Latin American jewel has a true international flavor, with colonial, art deco, and neoclassical architecture interspersed with outdoor cafés. Upon arrival, we’ll transfer to our centrally located hotel. Dinner is included at the hotel this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 7:

Montevideo, Uruguay

Discover Montevideo's monuments, parks, and gardens today on a walking tour of the Old City, then board a bus to visit the Cathedral, and Constitution, Independence Squares, and other monuments. We’ll also view the Congress Building, an immense structure that is the pride of Uruguay. We’ll also ride past El Prado, a lovely neighborhood and home to one of the oldest parks in the city. Cultural Discovery: We’ll enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant before continuing on to the Gaucho Museum to learn about Uruguay’s cowboy traditions. Housed in the ornate Palacio Heber, this museum displays a superb collection of historical gaucho artifacts, including horse gear, silver work, and whimsically designed bombillas

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 8:

Montevideo / Colonia del Sacramento

Our South America travel itinerary gets us closer to Argentina today while remaining on the Uruguayan side of the widest river in the world, Rio de la Plata. We depart Montevideo and begin a scenic drive through the flat Uruguayan plains known as the pampas to Colonia del Sacramento. Cultural Discovery: On the way, we’ll visit an authentic working estancia (ranch) for a variety of activities, including a carriage ride around the property, interacting with real gauchos (cowboys) and learning about their traditions. We’ll also enjoy lunch here with a traditional asado, a gaucho-style barbecue, and a demonstration of how to make mate, a South American herbal tea. Following the ranch visit, we’ll continue on to Colonia del Sacramento, a historic port with a rich Spanish and Portuguese history. Stroll along the magical cobblestone streets of its historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 9:

Colonia del Sacramento / Buenos Aires

After breakfast this morning, we’ll join the locals on the high-speed ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Buenos Aires. Once we check in to our luxury hotel, you’ll have the afternoon to pursue your own interests in Buenos Aires, one of South America's cultural capitals. Take time to discover why this lively city represents the rich past and heritage of this continent. Cultural Discovery: This evening, learn how to tango during a private lesson, and enjoy dinner and a fiery tango performance at El Viejo Almacen, the oldest tango hall in Buenos Aires. The tango show includes multiple variations of the dance, from the most traditional performances to modern acrobatic styles, as well as orchestra solos and tango singers.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 10:

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Our Buenos Aires adventure continues as we embark on a city tour that includes the Plaza de Mayo, the Casa Rosada, and La Boca, a colorful and lively neighborhood. Cultural Discovery: We'll cap off our city tour with lunch at the famous Café Tortoni. The quintessential Porteño café, Tortoni was founded in 1858; it’s majestic ambiance, intricate moldings, and marble-topped counters have beckoned artists and scholars alike for over a century. Later, we’ll return to the hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure.



Included Meals:

Breakfast  & Lunch

DAY 11:

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today, we explore Buenos Aires’ opulent Recoleta neighborhood. As we stroll the elegant Avenida Alvear, we'll admire the grand mansions and green oases. We’ll also enjoy a guided tour of the renowned La Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Peron and other luminaries are interred. Adjacent to the cemetery is the Recoleta Fair, an open-air handicraft market where you will have time at leisure to browse. We will regroup this evening for dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 12:

Buenos Aires / Iguassu Falls

We fly to awe-inspiring Iguassu Falls National Park this morning, located on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Our first views of the park will be from the Argentinean side, where we'll marvel at varied views of the falls found on the Lower Trail. Then, explore further as we walk the Upper Trail, where you'll enjoy an eye-popping vantage point as we literally walk over the water! After enjoying lunch in the park on your own, we'll cross the border to the Brazilian side and check into our centrally located hotel for dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 13:

Iguassu Falls, Brazil

Today, we explore Iguassu Falls from the Brazilian side, which features a spectacular panoramic view. Unforgettable Moment: We’ll begin with a walking tour that includes views of Devil’s Throat, the largest of Iguassu’s 275 waterfalls, where torrents crash into a narrow canyon. The tour will end at Puerto Canoas, where you'll enjoy for lunch on your own. Cultural Discovery: After dinner in the hotel this evening, join us for an authentic South American night out on the town; head to a nearby venue for drinks and a lively dance show, the perfect way to envelop yourself in the spirited culture of this unique region.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 14:

Iguassu Falls / Rio de Janeiro

Today we'll transfer to the airport for the final leg of our adventure. Located in a beautiful natural setting, Rio de Janeiro is tropical, musical, and spectacular. Unforgettable Moment: This afternoon, we’ll arrive in this colorful city and ride a cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain — the granite peak that overlooks the city, where we’ll enjoy sweeping views of the bay, the curve of the Copacabana, and the peak of Corcovado before heading to our hotel in the heart of world-famous Copacabana beach. This evening will be at leisure, with dinner on your own. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 15:

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Set off on a scenic ride aboard a cog rail train through the Tijuca Forest to the top of Corcovado Mountain, site of the huge Christ the Redeemer statue — one of the New Seven Wonders of the World — for the best view of Rio de Janeiro. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Rio at your own pace. Tonight, reminisce about your experiences in South America with your small group during a Farewell Dinner at the hotel.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAYS 16-17:

Rio de Janeiro / Overnight flight / Return home

Spend the morning at leisure enjoying the hotel's unbeatable location in the heart of Copacabana Beach, or gain an insider’s understanding of life in Rio on an optional tour to one of the city’s favela neighborhoods. We'll enjoy our last views of Rio as we transfer to the airport for your flight home (arriving in the U.S. on Day 17).


Included Meals:

Breakfast
Optional Tour: Favela Tour

Favela Tour

  • Approximate Cost: $75 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3 hours
  • Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • When: Half-day tour

Join us for this illuminating experience as you enjoy an insider's view of Brazil. This tour introduces you to another Rio within the city: the favela. There are close to 950 favelas in Rio, mostly located on former public areas on the hillsides. They are now home to approximately 20% of Rio's population, and remain a mystery to outsiders. The purpose of this tour is not only to explain what favelas are, but to give you a whole new understanding about different aspects of Brazilian society.

You'll visit the favelas of Vila Canoas and Rocinha, the largest in the country. Picturesque from a distance, once closer they reveal their complex architecture, developing commerce, and friendly people. This tour changes their reputation of areas related only to violence and poverty — for example, most Samba schools participating in the Carnival parade come from favelas. No need to be shy, you are welcome there and the locals support your visit. If you really want to understand Brazil during your South America vacation, don't leave Rio without having done this fascinating tour.


Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary. That hotel ratings are based on the Hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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