20789
Chile/Argentina
Wonders of Chile and Argentina: Patagonia, Iguazu Falls and Splendid Cities
Experience the glaciers, volcanoes and pristine lakes of Patagonia and explore Santiago and Buenos Aires as you discover what connects these two countries and what makes them unique.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20789RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
5,295
Flights start at
1,250
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14 days
13 nights
29 meals
11 B 12 L 6 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Depart from North America
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Santiago, Check-in, Orientation, San Cristobal Hill
Santiago
L,D
Hotel Atton Vitacura

Activity note: Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Morning: Road Scholar group flights arrive in Santiago. Proceed through Immigration, Baggage Claim, and Customs. After exiting the restricted arrivals area, participants should look for the Road Scholar representative who will be holding a Road Scholar sign (only applies to group flights). Transfer to the hotel for check-in. Early check-in is based on hotel availability and is at the discretion of the hotel. Participants will be able to store luggage at the hotel until their rooms become available. Early check-in can only be guaranteed by booking/paying for an additional night at the hotel. Those interested in reserving an additional night should contact the program provider at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance. Free time until the program orientation in the afternoon.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Program Orientation. Get to know your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Lecture: An Overview of Chile. Catch panoramic views of Santiago during a visit to San Cristobal Hill (a.k.a. Cerro San Cristobal). Board a funicular and travel uphill through the city's largest green space, the Parque Metropolitano, to reach the Terraza Bellavista on San Cristobal Hill. Once at the summit, take a deep breath and enjoy the spectacular views! Return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Time at leisure. Get a good night's rest in preparation for a full day of activities tomorrow.

DAY
3
Santiago City Orientation
Santiago
B,L
Hotel Atton Vitacura

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Lecture: A History of Chilean Wine. Chileans have produced fine wines for over a century, although the conquistadors also planted vines. The origin of today's world-class Chilean wines stems from cuttings brought over from French vineyards in the mid-19th century before their stock was decimated by disease. Later, the European vines were grafted onto disease-resistant American stock. Chilean growers, however, had the advantage of original, non-grafted vines from France as well as an ideal climate in the Central Valley. Orientation to downtown Santiago with a museum visit. Pedro de Valdivia founded the city on the Mapocho River in 1541 in the fertile Central Valley, but the hostile Mapuche almost wiped it out. Spaniards stubornly held out, establishing farms, ranches and mines. Return to the hotel.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy an orientation to greater Santiago to view local architecture, shops, and neighborhoods. The capital of Chile is a city where residents have traditionally looked to Europe as a model for architecture and culture.This influence can readily be seen in its stately palaces, plazas, parks and churches. Santiago is the country's colonial center, surrounded by 31 comunas or communities with their own municipal administration. Return to the hotel. Time at leisure.

Dinner: On your own, for a chance to explore local fare.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
4
Wines of the Casablanca Valley, Orientation to Valparaiso
Santiago
B,L
Hotel Atton Vitacura

Activity note: Valparaiso is located 70 miles northwest of Santiago. Driving time: approx. 1:20.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Depart for Valparaiso. Enjoy a railcar ride and walk in Valparaiso with a view of the harbor and city. Valparaiso is the country’s most important seaport, and now said to be the cultural capital of Chile. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is also host to the National Congress of Chile.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Afternoon field trip to a Casablanca Valley winery. Chile’s Casablanca Valley has developed an international reputation among wine connoisseurs for turning out deliciously crisp white wines. The Valley is located just 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean and less than 50 miles northwest of Santiago. As the nutrient-rich Humboldt Current makes its journey northwards from Antarctica, it moves up along the coast of Chile bringing cool ocean breezes. The cool Mediterranean-like climate in the area is perfect for producing high quality Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Riesling wines. Return to Santiago.

Dinner: On your own, for a chance to sample local fare.

Evening: Free time to explore Santiago's evening entertainment options.

DAY
5
Angelmo Fish and Craft Market, Huaso Demonstration
Puerto Varas
B,L,D
Hotel Cabaña del Lago

Activity note: Flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt takes 1:45 hours. Drive from Puerto Montt to Puerto Varas takes approx. 20 mins. Puerto Varas is 12 miles (20 km) north of Puerto Montt. **Airlines in Chile and Argentina are notorious for changing flight routes and schedules without much notice. In the event of flight delays or airline schedule changes, it might be necessary to adjust the timing of some program activities. Your group leader will keep you updated on any changes to your itinerary.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the airport. Board a flight to Puerto Montt (1:45 hrs). Founded by German settlers in the mid-19th century, Puerto Montt still retains a distinct middle European face, with Nordic and Alpine architecture. The city is best known as a gateway to the southern lakes of Chile, Chiloé Island and Chilean Patagonia. Located nearby is the fishing and ferry port of Angelmo. Excursion to the bustling Angelmo Fish and Craft Market.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer to the hotel and check-in. Time at leisure. Field trip to an equestrian farm for rodeo demonstration by local huasos (Chilean cowboys). Site lecture: Training a Show Horse, a Labor of Patience and Love.

Dinner: Enjoy a traditional meal at the farm.

Evening: Return to the hotel followed by free time.

DAY
6
Germanic History of the Area
Puerto Varas
B,L
Hotel Cabaña del Lago

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Lecture: German Immigration. Puerto Varas is nestled between the towering peaks of the Andes and the shores of Lake Llanquihue in Chile, twelve miles north of Puerto Montt. Puerto Varas is known for its spectacular views across Lake Llanquihue to the Andes Mountains. The area was settled by predominantly German immigrants in the middle of the 19th century, and remnants of their culture are evident in many small communities in the area. Puerto Varas, founded in 1854, served as an important port on the lake during this period. Because of the hilly land and curved shoreline the street plan is irregular, but the town displays a well-preserved concentration of European architecture. Excursion to German Museum with site lecture. Short walk through the small German town of Frutillar and its new performing arts theater.

Lunch: At a local farm with a site lecture.

Afternoon: Return to the hotel. Time at leisure.

Dinner: On your own, to explore local fare.

Evening: Time at leisure in Puerto Varas. Meet some of your new Road Scholar friends at one of the local watering holes for drinks and musical entertainment, try your luck at the town's casino, or enjoy a relaxing evening on your hotel's terrace admiring the twinkling lights reflected off the waters of Lake Llanquihue.

DAY
7
Petrohue Falls, Lake Crossing to Bariloche, Andean Highlands
Bariloche
B,L,D
Hotel Nahuel Huapi

Activity note: The lake crossing from Chile to Argentina takes approximately 9-12 hours and includes a series of boat and coach transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Field trip to the Petrohue Falls and begin your lake crossing journey to Argentina (across Lake Todos los Santos). The scenic crossing, from Chile into Argentina, takes approximately 9-12 hours from start to finish. En route to the lake crossing, participants will have the opportunity to visit the black rock waterfalls of Petrohué at the end of the Todos Los Santos Lake crossing. Petrohué Falls lies in the threshold of the mighty Osorno Volcano, and the unique falls are comprised of a series of oddly twisting chutes among crystallized black volcanic rock. The rock is particularly resistant to erosion, lending the falls a peculiar shape.

Lunch: En route to Bariloche.

Afternoon: Continue lake crossing with a series of boat and coach transfers. Arrive in Bariloche and transfer to the hotel. Bariloche is the primary city in the Argentinean Lake District and is a hub for accessing alpine resorts in the area as well as the Nahuel Huapi National Park. The area was once inhabited by Mapuche Indians, but after General Roca's brutal "Conquest of the Desert" campaign, both Argentinean and foreign settlers began to colonize the area. The land for the Nahuel Huapi National Park was set aside in 1904 to preserve local flora and fauna. The park is home to pristine Andean-Patagonian forests and rare animals like the huemul (Andean deer) and pudú (miniature deer). Many Germans, Swiss and northern Italians came to the region, leaving an indelible cultural influence. In the last 20 years, the area has experienced considerable growth in the resort industry owing to its natural beauty. Bariloche lies on the south shore of Lake Nahuel Huapi's eastern end. The city itself is a modern urban and commercial center set amidst a spectacular panorama of mountains and lakes.

Dinner: Soup and sandwiches at the hotel.

Evening: Time at leisure in Bariloche.

DAY
8
Bariloche, European Influences & Floating on Rio Limay
Bariloche
B,L
Hotel Nahuel Huapi

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast participate in a lecture on European Immigration and Settlement. We will continue our day with a scenic chairlift ride to Cerro Campanario and its look-out point, set high above Bariloche. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a coffee break at the on-site restaurant and appreciate the views of the city. A site lecture on the economic and agricultural activities in the region will complement this activity. Following the chairlift ride, enjoy visiting with a local immigrant family to learn about their experiences settling in Bariloche.

Lunch: At a restaurant owned and run by a local immigrant family.

Afternoon: After lunch we will drive approximately 30-minutes outside of Bariloche to a boat drop-off site on the Rio Limay. After receiving instructions and donning life-jackets we will board inflatable rafts in preparation for a leisurely "float" down the river. Our journey will take us past interesting volcanic landscapes and areas with rich bird life. After we get back to the hotel, we will have the rest of the day at leisure for independent explorations.

Dinner: On your own for a chance to sample local fare.

Evening: Time at leisure in Bariloche.

DAY
9
Orientation to Bariloche, Fly to Buenos Aires, Tango Show
Buenos Aires
B,L,D
Hotel Regente Palace

Activity note: The flight from Bariloche to Buenos Aires takes 1:05 hours. **Airlines in Chile and Argentina are notorious for changing flight routes and schedules without much notice. In the event of flight delays or airline schedule changes, it might be necessary to adjust the timing of some program activities. Your group leader will keep you updated on any changes to your itinerary.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Lecture: The Mapuche Indians and Early History of Argentina. Walking orientation of Bariloche, including the downtown museum.

Lunch: We will enjoy a light snack before heading to the airport to catch our flight to Buenos Aires.

Afternoon: Transfer to the airport to board a flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival we will transfer to our hotel, check-in and freshen-up in preparation for our evening activities. Lecture at the hotel: The Tango, So Much More than a Dance. A way of life for the people of the city, the tango pulsates with the lifeblood of romantic Buenos Aires. The dance has its origins in the brothels and tenements of late 19th-century Buenos Aires and was a synthesis of Spanish and Italian music, Negro candombe and bawdy Gaucho verse. It was popularized by legendary performers like Carlos Gardel, and soon spread from the fringes to the middle class, and then to the elegant salons of Buenos Aires. The tango has enjoyed a modern resurgence, and as the country's most famous cultural export it is a staple of Buenos Aires nightlife. To this day, Gardel has thousands of followers.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner and a tango show at a local restaurant.

Evening: Time at leisure.

DAY
10
Colon Theater, Evita Museum, La Boca, San Telmo
Buenos Aires
B,L
Hotel Regente Palace

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we will attend a lecture at the hotel before heading out into the streets of Buenos Aires to visit the world-famous Colon Theater and the Evita Museum dedicated to Argentina’s best-known former first lady. Lecture: Contemporary Argentina: a Social, Economic, and Political Overview. Since 1908 visitors have marveled at the imposing seven-story Teatro Colón, a truly world-class center for opera, ballet and classical music. The theater’s basement houses impressive workshops, costume designs and rehearsal studios. The majestic hall seats 2500 and has standing room for 1000. The Teatro is the site of regular Presidential Command Performances. The Museo Evita is housed in a historic mansion built for the Carabassa family during the early 20th century. During the late 1940s the Fundación Eva Perón bought the property and turned it into a shelter for homeless single mothers. Since there was no love lost between the Argentinean upper class and Eva Perón, many believe she purposely chose that site in order to slight the residents of this wealthy Palermo neighborhood. Evita, as she was affectionately called by her followers, was a polarizing figure during her years as First Lady and even after her death in 1952. The museum showcases her life and political history through photographs, clothing, and all nature of personal artifacts, providing a window into the life of a complex Argentinean public figure.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch we will take time to explore, on foot, Buenos Aires' colorful multicultural neighborhoods at La Boca and San Telmo. La Boca was founded by European immigrants, many of them from Italy, and is known for its vibrantly colored houses, artsy shops, and restaurants. Visitors interested in learning more about the tango should take a walk along Caminito street for a chance to witness street performers dancing to the sensuous music of Carlos Gardel and other famous tango crooners. San Telmo, the city’s oldest barrio, emerged from its working class roots to become an artsy, multicultural hub. Colonial buildings and cobbled stone streets stand in contrast to boutiques, hip restaurants, and bars. Every Sunday the Plaza Dorrego comes alive with vendors selling antiques as well as a multitude of street artists, tango dancers, and more during the famous San Telmo Antiques Market. After returning to the hotel, we will have the rest of the day at our leisure for independent explorations.

Dinner: On your own, to explore local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Recoleta, Fly to Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls
B,L,D
Amerian Portal del Iguazu

Activity note: The flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls takes 1:45 hours. **Airlines in Chile and Argentina are notorious for changing flight routes and schedules without much notice. In the event of flight delays or airline schedule changes, it might be necessary to adjust the timing of some program activities. Your group leader will keep you updated on any changes to your itinerary.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we will check-out of our hotel and then transfer to Recoleta to admire the neighborhood’s attractive architecture and visit its famous cemetery. Recoleta’s attractive plazas, parks, tree-lined avenues, and elegant turn-of-the-century architecture helped Buenos Aires earn the moniker “Paris of South America.” Expensive shops, elegant restaurants, and luxurious mansions and apartments cater to the country’s elite. A popular historical site in the area is the Cementerio de la Recoleta where important political figures and the rich and famous are laid to rest (including Eva Perron). The avenues and side streets of this grand necropolis are lined with elaborate mausoleums and statues.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer to the airport to board a flight to Iguazu Falls. Once we arrive at Iguazu, we will transfer to the hotel located between Puerto Iguazu and the Falls. Note: Activities while at Iguazu will focus entirely on the Argentinean side of the falls. This program will not spend any time in Brazil; therefore, no special visas are necessary. Pre-dinner lecture at the hotel: Iguazu Falls: Its Geology and Economic Significance.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Full Day at Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls
B,L,D
Amerian Portal del Iguazu

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This day will be spent visiting the Argentinean side of the Iguazu Falls. Board a park train for a scenic ride through the jungle, along the edges of the mythical waterfalls. This excursion takes us along the upper and lower trails of the Iguazu National Park, allowing you to get a closer look at some of the 275 falls that drop from the Iguazu River. Enjoy the fantastic wildlife and jungle that surrounds it. At the end of the trail, we will appreciate from a short distance, a view of the Devil’s Throat Cataract.

Lunch: At a local restaurant at the Falls.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will continue exploring the area around the Falls. We will return to the hotel late in the afternoon.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Fly to Buenos Aires, Program Concludes
In Flight
B,L

Activity note: Please have luggage packed and ready for hotel check-out today. The flight from Iguazu to Buenos Aires takes just under 2 hours. From Buenos Aires' domestic airport (AEP) to the international airport (EZE) is approximately 27 miles and usually takes just under 1 hour by bus.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, we will enjoy a brief walk to a local lookout point to get one final view of the beautiful waterfalls. The scenic spot is located at the confluence of the Parana and Iguazu Rivers and offers views of three countries: Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Once we return to the hotel, we'll have a bit of free time to ready our luggage for check-out.

Lunch: Early lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: We will transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Buenos Aires' domestic airport. Our South American journey comes to an end as we catch a final glimpse of Buenos Aires during our transfer to the international airport to board our overnight flight to the U.S. This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

DAY
14
Arrive to North America
In Flight