What to Expect
Is This Adventure Right For You?
Each Vantage Adventure is designed to help you fully experience local culture and to get out and explore while keeping active. We find these are the two most fulfilling and rewarding ways to transform any trip into an adventure, and into the experience of a lifetime. To that end, we’ve rated each trip to indicate the level of cultural immersion and physical activity, with “1” being the lowest and “3” being the highest.
- You must be able to walk 1-2 miles unassisted in most cities and 2-3 miles in Iguassu Falls (Argentina side)
- Travelers using wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility aids are not suited for this adventure
- 7 locations in 15 days
- One 1-night stay in Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Your South America travel itinerary includes 7 destinations in 14 nights, with 2 nights in Santiago, 2 nights in Santa Cruz, 2 nights in Montevideo, 1 night in Colonia del Sacramento, 3 nights in Buenos Aires, 2 nights in Iguassu Falls, and 2 nights in Rio de Janeiro.
Most flights to/from South America travel are overnight. There are 3 internal flights: Santiago to Montevideo, Buenos Aires to Iguassu Falls (Argentina), Iguassu Falls (Brazil) to Rio de Janeiro
- Uneven cobblestone streets in Colonia del Sacramento & sidewalks in disrepair in Buenos Aires
- Metal catwalks - on the Argentina side - and steps - Brazil side - which can be slippery when it rains - at Iguassu Falls
- Travel by private, air-conditioned motorcoach
- Over 5,000 miles in 15 days with three internal flights (2.5 hours from Santiago-Montevideo, 1.5 hours from Buenos Aires-Iguassu and 1.5 hours from Iguassu-Rio de Janeiro) and a ferry (45 min. by hydrofoil) crossing over the Rio de la Plata (Colonia del Sacramento-Buenos Aires)
HOTELS: Our hotels are first class to deluxe international standard properties with unique local charms. We especially selected them with a focus on convenient locations in order to make the best of each destination.
- In Santiago, Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Rio (all of them national capitals), you will be within walking distance of the main attractions and restaurants.
- 2 nights in the Colchagua Valley, the heart of Chile’s wine industry.
- 1 night in the Old Town of Colonia del Sacramento, (UNESCO) Uruguay; giving you the chance to explore its colorful streets with no crowds, beating herds of day tourists.
- 2 nights at the centrally located Panoramic Grand Hotel in Puerto Iguassu - Argentina side of the falls - with views of Iguassu River.
- 2 nights at the JW Marriott Rio, in the heart of world-famous Copacabana Beach, with amazing ocean views.
FOOD: The cuisine is one of the highlights of this adventure, as varied and eclectic as the destinations themselves, so get ready to be dazzled! You will have the chance of enjoying a cooking lesson and home-hosted lunch in the wine country of Chile as well as a traditional gaucho BBQ style in the pampas of Uruguay, among other treats. Special dietary needs/requests can often be accommodated.
South America travel requires little to moderate cultural adjustment for most travelers. The different people, customs, foods, culture, and history are what make South America such a rewarding destination. The main adjustment can be related to timing of meals, which are typically served later than in the US.
All sightseeing is on air-conditioned coaches with guides. Moderate walking required throughout your South America adventure. In Iguassu Falls, there is walking on well-maintained trails and catwalks daily, with both days being approximately a 2-mile walk at Iguassu. In Rio there is a gondola ride to the top of Sugar Loaf and a cog train ride on Corcovado. There is the possibility of long lines to clear customs, particularly when entering Brazil. Please note that the streets in Colonia del Sacramento are all cobblestones, and this area can only be visited on a walking tour.
WHAT TO WEAR:
We strongly urge you to pack at least one full change of clothes, your camera gear, all medications, changes of socks and underwear, your important travel documents, and other irreplaceable/urgent items in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is delayed.
DETAILS ABOUT YOUR FLIGHTS:
Your flight to South America will connect through one of several U.S. gateway cities. You may have a shorter or longer layover there, depending upon your home city and the flight schedule to South America. Your South America vacation also has 3 internal flights: Santiago to Montevideo, Buenos Aires to Iguassu Falls, and Iguassu Falls to Rio de Janeiro. The only long motorcoach days are from Santiago to Santa Cruz, from Santa Cruz back to Santiago for your flight to Montevideo, and the full-day tour to Colonia in Uruguay. However, each of these days includes stops and sightseeing along the way.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health is advising that all travelers going to regions with risk of yellow fever receive the yellow fever vaccine. It is not required for your South America vacation, but recommended for Iguassu. The vaccine should be taken 10 days prior to entering the infected region by those people over 6 months of age and those who do not suffer from a weakened immune system. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov
or call toll free 1 (800) 232-4636.
3 destinations in 6 nights: 3 nights in Sacred Valley, 2 nights in Cuzco, 1 night in Lima. If you are taking the optional pre-extension, you will take an overnight flight from the U.S. to Cuzco, connecting through Lima. The extension has 2 internal flights: Lima to Cuzco and Cuzco to Lima. Most sightseeing is on air-conditioned coaches with guides and on Vistadome train. There is moderate to heavy walking at Ollantaytambo and at Machu Picchu, with steps, climbing of stairs, walking on cobblestones and uneven terrain. High altitudes in Machu Picchu (8,000 feet) and Cuzco (10,657 feet).
- 3 destinations in 7 days: 3 nights in the Sacred Valley, 2 nights in Cuzco, 1 night in Lima
- Overnight flight from the U.S. to Cuzco, connecting through Lima and one domestic flight: Cuzco to Lima
- Most sightseeing is on air-conditioned coaches and on a Expedition/Vistadome train with a Vantage Adventure Leader from Peru
OPTIONAL POST-EXTENSION: Rio de Janeiro
- 2 additional nights in Rio de Janeiro with ocean view rooms; same hotel as on base program.
- All sightseeing and exploration is traveler’s choice. No City Host.
- Airport transfer and return flight to U.S. included for those who booked airfare through Vantage Adventures.
Temperatures can be quite hot and humid, particularly at Iguassu Falls during their summer months (November–March). Please refer to Vantage’s wheelchair and handicapped traveler policy as this journey does have some physical limitations and many venues are not wheelchair accessible, particularly on the Cuzco and Machu Picchu optional pre-extension. Chile applies a comprehensive sanitary legislation through its Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) enforcing the prohibition to carry plant or animal products and by-products by travelers. You must declare all products of plant or animal origin you are carrying upon entering Chile. Non-compliance with this is subject to a fine.