Sightseeing: In Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Scenic Highlights: Corcovado, Brazilian & Argentine sides of Iguassu Falls, La Boca, Recoleta Cemetery, Tango show, and San Cristobal Hill.
Local Guides for sightseeing in Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, and Santiago; services of a professional Tour Director.
Day 1Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Welcome to spectacular Rio de Janeiro, home to white-sand beaches and host to the Summer Olympics in 2016! Settle into your hotel and meet your Tour Director, who will have pointers for your free-time exploration.
Day 2Rio De Janeiro
Sprawling between majestic granite peaks and the blue South Atlantic, Rio is a city of beauty, wonder, and energy. Guided sightseeing begins with a drive along Rio’s famed Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana Beaches. Take the cog railway 2,300 feet up to the summit of CORCOVADO to view the infamous Christ the Redeemer statue and 360-degree views of Guanabara Bay and the bustling city below. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own. Perhaps join an optional excursion to a nearby favela for a glimpse into the life of these colorful communities that nearly 25% of the people call home. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a welcome dinner at a local churrascaria, serving prime meats, seafood, and fish. Following dinner, perhaps opt for a fun outing to see a Samba show highlighting the Brazilian Samba and its dazzling costumes. (B,D)
Day 3Rio de Janeiro
A free day in Rio allows you to relax on one of the beaches or take an optional excursion to the historic city of Petropolis to see the former summer palace of Emperor Pedro II. (B)
Day 4Rio de Janeiro–Iguassu Falls
A morning flight takes you to Iguassu Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Journey to the Brazilian side of the FALLS to see the mammoth series of 275 waterfalls cascading over a precipice almost two miles wide and 250 feet deep. Walk into Devil’s Throat Canyon, where the clouds of mist, thundering roar, and 180-degree rainbows surround you—an unforgettable experience! (B,D)
Day 5Iguassu Falls
Cross the border for a visit of the Argentine side of the FALLS. Begin with a short ride on the open-air ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN through the rainforest. A series of boardwalks takes you above the falls to see the water crashing down into the Devil’s Throat. Your afternoon is free to explore, or you may opt to visit the Bird Park, home to many species of indigenous birds as well as flora from the area. (B)
Day 6Iguassu Falls–Buenos Aires, Argentina
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital. After settling into your hotel, an orientation tour familiarizes you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards, outdoor cafés, and charming shops. (B)
Day 7Buenos Aires
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide focuses on the city’s landmarks, including the Colon Opera House and Plaza de Mayo, site of La Casa Rosada (the President's Pink House) and Metropolitan Cathedral. Also visit San Telmo, one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods, and RECOLETA CEMETERY, where Eva Peron is buried. End your day with an Argentinean meal, followed by a sensuous TANGO SHOW. (B,D)
Day 8Buenos Aires
Today is free for independent activities, or you can take an optional excursion to visit a local estancia (ranch) to experience the life of the gauchos (cowboys), as well as traditional dance performances and a barbecue lunch. (B)
Day 9Buenos Aires–Santiago, Chile
Fly over the majestic Andes to Santiago, Chile’s scenic capital between the Pacific and the Andes. With a coastline over 2,650 miles long, Chile is more than 10 times longer than wide. With a distinctly European flavor accented with Latin flare, Santiago is one of South America's most sophisticated and modern cities. (B)
Your guided city tour introduces you to Santiago—the country’s political, commercial, and cultural capital. View La Moneda Government Palace and San Cristobal Hill with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. Also see Club Hipico, one of the most renowned horseracing tracks in South America. Your tour ends at the city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, with a visit to the relic-filled CATHEDRAL. Your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, consider the optional Chilean Folkloric Dinner Show. (B)
Today, enjoy a day at leisure. A trip to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar is highly recommended. A leisurely drive through the countryside and vineyards delivers you to Valparaiso, a city of 42 hills and the inspiration of many artists and poets. On to the chic seaside resort of Viña del Mar, full of unusual architecture and beautiful gardens. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a farewell dinner to celebrate your exciting Latin American vacation. (B,D)
Day 12Santiago–Easter Island
Today, board a flight for Easter Island, considered the largest open-air museum and boasting over 400 moais, ruins, and temples. (B).
Day 13Easter Island
Your first stop is AHU VAIHU, where eight large moais lie in ruins, followed by AHU AKAHANGA, said to be the site where bones of the first king of Easter Island (Hotu Matu’a) were buried. Next up: RANO RARAKU, where 95% of all moai were carved and you will find 394 statues remaining in various stages of completion. It seems as if production was abruptly abandoned, leaving a frozen snapshot of time. Next, visit the beautifully restored AHU TONGARIKI, the largest platform on the island with its 15 moai. See AHU TE PITO KURA, the largest moai ever transported and erected on an Ahu. Last stop is the beach of ANAKENA, where King Hotu Matu’a first landed on Rapa Nui. (B,L)
Day 14Easter Island
Visit RANO KAU, the second-oldest volcano on the island with a freshwater lake in its caldera. Continue to the ceremonial village of ORONGO to see the restored houses from the 16th century. In AHU VINAPU, see the fallen remains of the broken moai—the figures here are slightly different and have short legs. Next stop is ANA KAI TAGATA, a beautiful cave with wall paintings depicting the Manutara bird. This afternoon, visit AHU AKIVI, with seven restored moais built in the middle of the island. According to legend, these statues represent the seven scouts sent to Rapa Nui by King Hotu Matu’a. Finally, visit the PUNA PAU topknot-quarry, where all the pukaos that were placed on top of the moais were made. (B)
Day 15Easter Island–Santiago
Fly to Santiago for connections to your homebound flight. The flight from Easter Island arrives in Santiago late this evening and may require a post night in Santiago, depending on international flight schedules. Please check the flight schedule before booking your international flight. (B)
Transportation: Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.