The Best of South America

From a thrumming megacity to the tranquillity of a UNESCO World Heritage National Park, this 'best of" South America trip showcases the highlights of Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

Your adventure begins in riotous Rio de Janeiro, soaking up the Copacabana culture, learning to salsa and mixing up a caipirinha (or two); then decompress in Iguassu National Park's rainforest, marvelling at the powerful Devil's Throat Falls. A quick hop to Buenos Aires sees you dining with the locals and admiring the colours of the La Boca neighbourhood, before Santiago wows you with its excellent regional wines and beautiful architecture.

Extend your exploration with an optional four-day voyage along the Brazilian Amazon and a four-day exploration of Easter Island.

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Product Info

Duration: 12 days

Destination: South America

Company: Trafalgar

Tour Highlights: Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, Santiago

Sightseeing Highlights:

  • City tour of Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Santiago
  • Visit the Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf, Corcovado and Iguassu Falls
  • See the Church of San Francisco

What's included?

  • Internal flights – Rio de Janeiro to Iguassu, Iguassu to Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires to Santiago
  • 12 nights first class accommodation
  • Hand-picked insider experiences
  • Dining highlights
  • First class travel highlights
  • VIP entry to many sights
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Expert Travel Director and separate driver
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with wifi in most countries
  • Optional experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
  • Late checkout guaranteed until 6pm on day 13 in Santiago


Day 1

Arrive Rio de Janeiro (4 nights)

Bemvindo ao Rio de Janeiro. On arrival at the airport, you will be met by a local host and taken to your lovely oceanfront hotel (check-in time 3 p.m.). Relax, get settled and enjoy your hotel's superb location overlooking Copacabana Beach.

Day 2

Rio de Janeiro Sightseeing

Enjoy a leisurely morning before joining your Travel Director for an exploration of the cidade maravilhosa (marvellous city) and its many contrasts, from the 18th century aqueduct and colonial Candelaria Church to the 20th century opera house, Sambodromo, and city cathedral.

Ascend Sugarloaf Mountain via cable car for astounding bay and city views followed by a festive Welcome Reception with your Travel Director and fellow travellers. (Full Breakfast, Welcome Reception)

Day 3

Rio de Janeiro Sightseeing at Leisure

Journey by cogwheel train to the summit of majestic Corcovado, site of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Back down the mountain, see the song-inspiring Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. The rest of the day is at leisure. This evening, learn to mix the national cocktail, the caipirinha, with a Local Specialist and indulge in a traditional Regional Meal barbecue at a local churrascaria. (Full Breakfast, Regional Meal)

Day 4

Rio de Janeiro at Leisure

Enjoy a full day to explore the wonders of Rio on your own.

Optional activities include a tour into the nearby favelas, a sailboat cruise and a helicopter flight over Copacabana Beach. (Full Breakfast)

Day 5

Rio de Janeiro – Iguassu Falls (2 nights)

Relax and enjoy a free morning for independent activities. This afternoon, visit a Samba school, with a Local Specialist, to see how the school operates and prepares for Carnival week. See Carnival props and should you desire, join a Samba dance lesson. Afterward, head to the airport for the short flight to Iguassu Falls. These 275 separate falls cover nearly two miles along the Iguassu River. This evening, enjoy a convivial dinner with your companions at the hotel. (Full Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6

Iguassu Falls Sightseeing and at Leisure

Enter Iguassu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and meet your Local Specialist to explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu, including a scenic walk through the rainforest to the base of the falls. After lunch at a restaurant overlooking the falls, return to your hotel for a leisurely afternoon at your resort. You may wish to join an optional activity such as a jetboat ride to the base of the falls or a helicopter flightseeing tour. (Full Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7

Iguassu Falls – Buenos Aires (3 nights)

Cross the border into Argentina and board the open-air ecological jungle train for a different perspective of the cascades and walk along a scenic catwalk to see the thunderous Devil's Throat Falls. Then fly to Buenos Aires, a city renowned for its boutiques, fine dining and museums. (Full Breakfast)

Day 8

Buenos Aires Sightseeing and at Leisure

Embark on an in-depth tour with a Local Specialist to see the Casa Rosada, Metropolitan Cathedral and other government buildings; the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca; San Telmo and lovely Palermo.

See the Teatro Colon, a landmark in Buenos Aires and a Cultural Insight. Take a tour of the Opera House, including the main function rooms and the main stage. Lastly, visit the Recoleta Cemetery where Argentina's former First Lady, Eva Peron (Evita), is buried. This evening, get ready for a festive Regional Meal and a chance to savour renowned Argentinian beef followed by a sensual tango dance performance. (Full Breakfast, Regional Meal)

2Day 9

Buenos Aires at Leisure

A full day at leisure—explore on your own or perhaps take an optional trip to a traditional estancia (ranch) and learn about the life of a gaucho (cowboy) while enjoying a barbecue lunch and equestrian show.

This evening, enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest experience in Palermo Soho. You will be welcomed by a local family and long-time residents of this now-trendy neighbourhood. Be delighted, as they wine and dine you with homemade family recipes in the kitchen. Discover the secrets of kneading country bread. Watch as they demonstrate the art of typical Argentinian crafts. Spending time with this lively family will be a memory you won't soon forget. (Full Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining)

Day 10

Buenos Aires – Santiago (2 nights)

Bid "Adios" to Buenos Aires and say "Hola" to Santiago as you fly west across the Andes to the Chilean capital. Travel through this vibrant city before settling into your hotel, situated in the heart of one of Santiago's most beautiful neighbourhoods, and a prime location close to charming boutiques, bars and restaurants. This evening is at leisure. (Full Breakfast)

Day 11

Santiago Sightseeing and at Leisure

This morning meet your Local Specialist and embark on a tour of this vibrant city, travelling past Club Hipico—the regal racetrack—and sprawling Parque O'Higgins.

Drive along Alameda Avenue past the Church of San Francisco and the University of Chile on your way to the dynamic Plaza de Armas with its fountains and sculptures. View the Palacio de la Moneda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Central Market. Head up San Cristobal Hill for panoramic views of the city and the snow-capped Andes. Your afternoon is free or you may choose to join an optional trip to the Maipo Valley, Chile's wine-producing region known for its premium wines. Visit an exclusive winery and meet the winemaker for a personalised winery experience, from the vineyards to the bottling process. Celebrate Chile's proud wine-making traditions with a wine tasting. This evening, gather with your travel companions for a festive Farewell Dinner. (Full Breakfast, Farewell Dinner)

Day 12

Depart Santiago

Say hasta luego to Chile and transfer to the airport for your onward travel arrangements. Choose to extend your stay at the InterContinental Santiago or with an exciting optional extension to the Brazilian Amazon or Easter Island if you wish. (Full Breakfast)



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