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Before your Antarctica exploration, why not cross a few incredible natural wonders off your bucket list and add another country to your passport? Travel to spectacular Iguassu Falls National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of 275 thundering falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Second in size only to Victoria Falls, this series of cataracts once prompted Eleanor Roosevelt to take pity on her country’s most famous falls, saying “Poor Niagara!” as she gazed upon mighty Iguassu. All the falls are impressive, but the most spectacular is the Devil’s Throat, the 2,300-foot-long spectacle that separates Argentina and Brazil.
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Fly to Iguassu, Brazil
Today, leave the U.S. behind and fly overnight to Iguassu Falls.
Day at leisure in Brazil to acclimate
Upon arrival, you’ll transfer to your hotel. Settle in with a day at leisure; tonight, enjoy dinner at the hotel alongside your fellow travelers.
Behold the Devil’s Throat and take a thrilling Macuco Safari boat ride
Begin your explorations today on the Brazilian side of the falls, taking in spectacular panoramic views. Start with a walking tour with magnificent views of Devil's Throat, where torrents crash into a narrow canyon from three sides. You'll have free time to enjoy lunch on your own before your next wet and wild adventure: a Macuco Safari Boat Ride.
First, a 4x4 vehicle will bring you through the dense rainforest where you’ll view flowers, birds, and butterflies. As you pass through the undergrowth, your jungle guides will point out orchids, palm trees, bromeliads, and centenarian trees. Then, board special speedboats bound for Iguassu’s gorge, where falls thunder in from three sides and where you can snap some amazing photos. Then, get ready to get wet! Your experienced river pilots, who know these waters extensively, will give you a thrilling ride through some of the rapids, guiding you right up next to the splashing cascades. (Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, casual clothes, and prepare to get soaked! If you prefer not to get wet, a dry option is also available.) Dinner is on your own tonight.
Explore the Argentinean side of Iguassu
After breakfast, experience the Argentinean side of the falls from the Upper Trail, where we’ll enjoy an eye-popping vantage point as we literally walk across the water! After lunch in the park on our own, enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Tonight’s dinner will be a treat: a delicious meal with a lively samba show.
Join the base tour in Buenos Aires
Later this morning, you’ll transfer to the airport and fly to Buenos Aires to join the base tour.
Treat yourself to a Polynesian island experience in the “navel of the world” on a pre-trip extension to Easter Island. This Chilean territory, locally known as Rapa Nui, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Easter Island is world-renowned as the one and only home of the mystifying moai statues. This extension is your opportunity to enhance your understanding of Polynesian culture. Encounter these mystical talismans up close and disentangle history from legend. Who created these statues and how? Whatever happened to Rapa Nui’s ancestors?
Fly to Santiago de Chile
Today, you will depart the United States for an overnight flight to Santiago de Chile.
Arrive in Santiago and spend the day at leisure
After arriving in Santiago, you’ll be transferred to the hotel for an orientation. You’ll have the afternoon to rest or walk around the city. Dinner will be provided at the hotel.
Fly to mystical Easter Island
Today, you'll head to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. After checking into your hotel, set off on an afternoon tour of Hanga Roa, the island’s main town and capital. You’ll visit a family museum to learn about the Rapa Nui people from a local resident. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
Touring the island’s architectural hot spots
Spend a full day touring the island’s famed moai and other archaeological hotspots, starting with Ahu Vaihu. At this ancient temple, you’ll find moai toppled over — the result of tribal conflict, family rivalry, or perhaps even local superstition.
Next, you’ll see the Rano Raraku volcanic crater, a former moai quarry. Word has it that there are statues still waiting to be freed. You’ll view the moai in full glory at Ahu Tongariki, the island’s largest ahu platform.
At Anakena Beach, you have the chance to go for a refreshing swim with these towering statues in view. Ahu Nau is known for having the island's most intricately carved moai. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and the evening at your leisure.
Explore Orongo and Ahu Vinapu
You’ll head south of Hanga Roa for this morning’s tour. Orongo, the ruins of a sod-and-stone house settlement, is situated between the Rano Kau crater and cliffs above the Pacific Ocean. Your next stop is the archaeological site of Ahu Vinapu, where even more mysteries unravel.
Following leisure time for lunch, we’ll reconvene for an afternoon tour of Ahu Akivi, Rapa Nui’s legendary seven scout moai. Stop in Puna Pau on the way back to examine the red scoria rock used to make moai topknots.
Weather permitting, you'll enjoy a rustic picnic dinner tonight at Tahai, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Visit the most interesting post office on Earth, then fly to Santiago
Following breakfast at the hotel this morning, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight back to Santiago. Along the way, you'll pay a visit to Easter Island’s post office, the farthest location from any other post office on the planet. Browse the unique postcards and pick up Easter Island’s stamp.
After arriving in Santiago, you'll have the rest of the day to spend at leisure.
Join the base program
Join the rest of the Vantage group to begin your Antarctic expedition.
Enhance your understanding of Polynesian culture — and treat yourself to an exotic island experience in the “navel of the world” — on a post-trip extension to Easter Island, a Chilean territory and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rapa Nui, as it’s locally known, is distinguished worldwide as the one and only home of the mystifying moai statues. This extension is your opportunity to encounter these mystical talismans up close and disentangle history from legend. Who created these statues? How? Why? And what happened to them?
Fly to Santiago, Chile's historic capital
Fly to Santiago this morning. Upon arrival, a panoramic tour reveals the city’s colonial and contemporary highlights. You’ll have a chance to stroll down the famous Alameda, the city’s bustling main avenue, and explore the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by the 18th-century Metropolitan Cathedral, the stunning white Central Post Office, and the National History Museum — itself an historical monument. Enjoy your included dinner at a local restaurant.
Today, you'll head to the airport for your flight to Easter Island. After checking into your hotel, embark on a tour of Hanga Roa, the island’s main town and capital. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening. Cultural Discovery: You’ll visit a family museum to learn about the Rapa Nui people from a local resident.
Spend a full day touring the island’s famed moai and archaeological hotspots, starting with Ahu Vaihu, the site of an ancient temple. You’ll find moai toppled over, the result of tribal conflict, family rivalry, or perhaps even local superstition. Next you’ll see the Rano Raraku volcanic crater, a former moai quarry — there are even statues still waiting to be freed. You’ll view the moai in full glory at Ahu Tongariki, the island’s largest ahu platform. At Anakena Beach, you may go for a refreshing swim with moai in sight — Ahu Nau Nau is known as the island's most intricately carved statues. Later, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
The epic sights of Orongo and Ahu Vinapu
You’ll head south of Hanga Roa for this morning’s tour. Straddled between the Rano Kau crater and cliffs above the Pacific is Orongo, the ruins of a sod-and-stone house settlement. Who knows what mysteries you’ll solve at your next stop, the archaeological site at Ahu Vinapu? Following leisure time for lunch, reconvene for an afternoon touring Ahu Akivi, the seven scout moai of Rapa Nui legend. Stop in Puna Pau on the way back to examine the red scoria rock used to make topknots for some of the moai. Tonight, weather permitting, you'll enjoy rustic picnic dinner at Tahai overlooking the endless Pacific Ocean.
Following breakfast at the hotel this morning, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight back to Santiago. Along the way, you'll pay a visit to Easter Island’s post office, the furthest location from any other post office on the planet, where you can browse the unique postcards and pick up Easter Island’s stamp. After arriving in Santiago, you'll have the rest of the day to spend at leisure.
Fly overnight to the U.S.
Enjoy your last morning in Santiago at leisure after breakfast at the hotel. This afternoon, we’ll check out of our hotel and transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to the U.S.
When Eleanor Roosevelt first laid eyes on Iguassu Falls, she is famously said to have uttered, “Poor Niagara”! It’s easy to understand what overwhelmed the First Lady. This torrent of water separating Brazil and Argentina plunges over 200-foot-high cliffs in a roaring fury of water. (In fact, Iguaçu translates roughly from the local Tupi-Guarani into “great water.”) Judging from Ms. Roosevelt’s reaction, you’ll want to extend your expedition to view Brazil’s other breathtaking natural wonder. Explore the cataracts from both countries, getting as close to the falls as the spraying mist allows. Join us on this thrilling adventure!
Explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls
Transfer to Iguassu Falls to explore its Brazilian side. We’ll take a walking tour with incredible views, including the Devil’s Throat. This is the largest of the falls, where torrents crash into a narrow canyon. The tour will end at Porto Canoas, where you’ll be free to have lunch on your own.
We'll keep the adventure rolling into the afternoon with the Macuco Safari Boat Ride. An open trolley will whisk you through dense rainforest for vistas of flowers, birds, butterflies, and ages-old trees. Then, get your waterproof camera ready, as we embark on speedboats bound for Iguaçu’s gorge. Your experienced river pilots will give you a thrilling ride through the rapids, guiding you right up to the splashing cascades. (Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as you will likely get soaked!)
After drying off and enjoying some time to get ready, we’ll dine at the hotel this evening.
Discover the Argentinian side of Iguassu
Today’s discoveries take us into Argentina for more views of Iguassu Falls, the world’s largest waterfall system, with 275 falls in less than a two-mile radius. Our first views of will be from the Upper Trail, which offers a premium vantage point of this natural wonder as we literally walk across the water! Lunch is on our own in the park.
Tonight, we’ll embrace the spirit of Brazil with a night on the town. On the menu are drinks and a lively samba dance show. You’ll learn more about this vibrant dance and music genre, which originates from African religious traditions, as well as other regional dance forms.
Today, you’ll board your return flight home to the U.S.