Breakfast daily, 2 lunches; 4 three-course dinners including a churrascaria dinner in Rio, and a Tango and farewell dinner show in Buenos Aires
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL. Welcome to South America’s largest and most populous country. This afternoon, meet your Tour Director and fellow traveling companions for a drive along famous Ipanema and Copacabana Beaches to the base of 1,300-foot-high SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN. Ascend by cable car to its summit, where you can savor spectacular vistas of the city. Next, [LF] toast the start of a memorable vacation from atop Sugar Loaf Mountain with caipirinhas, a favorite Brazilian cocktail, during a welcome COCKTAIL PARTY.
RIO DE JANEIRO. Today, visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer crowning CORCOVADO MOUNTAIN, a rounded peak rising 2,300 feet from the bay below. Take the scenic cog railway ride to its top, where a 360-degree panorama affords sweeping views. Proceed to bustling downtown Rio. View the Sambodromo and visit the CATHEDRAL. This afternoon, you may wish to join an optional trip into a local favela to see where 20% of Rio’s population lives. Visits include a community center and a school. This evening, it’s off to a CHURRASCARIA for a feast of barbecued meats marinated and roasted over charcoal in true Brazilian style.
RIO DE JANEIRO. Enjoy a day of leisure or consider an optional trip to historic Petropolis, once the former summer palace of Emperor Dom Pedro II and now a mountain resort.
RIO DE JANEIRO–IGUASSU FALLS. A flight from Rio takes you to IGUASSU FALLS. Experience the clouds of spray, the incessant roar, and the surrounding luxuriant tropical growth that make this an unforgettable natural wonder. Head into Brazil’s Iguassu National Park to enjoy the magnificent panorama of waterfalls from the Brazilian side. Your Local Guide introduces the spectacle of this 2-mile-wide torrent. With some cataracts as high as 250 feet, Iguassu Falls is nothing short of hypnotic!
IGUASSU FALLS. Today, journey to the Argentine side of IGUASSU FALLS, where you will take the ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN and enjoy a closer perspective on a walking tour of the falls. Meander along the walkways from atop the falls, and enjoy an exhilarating perspective looking over the precipice of the falls as the water plunges to the rocks below. You will also have the chance to walk through the rainforest on the lower falls trails that will bring you up close to some of the smaller falls. Return to the hotel, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
IGUASSU FALLS–BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA. Today, fly to Buenos Aires. After arriving, an orientation walk acquaints you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards and outdoor cafés.
BUENOS AIRES. Your sightseeing starts in La Boca, a colorful district and site of the city’s first port. Take a short walking tour of this unique neighborhood and then on to San Telmo, famous for its late-colonial buildings and a popular gathering spot for artists. At Plaza de Mayo, see La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House) and the METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL, housing San Martin’s Mausoleum. Drive past the ornate Teatro Colón opera house before reaching RECOLETA CEMETERY, burial site of Eva Perón. Next, learn how to make a traditional Argentinean dish during your [LF] EMPANADA COOKING CLASS. After an afternoon at leisure, top off the evening at a famous TANGO CLUB. Start with a [LF] DANCE LESSON, followed by farewell dinner featuring Argentine steaks and other local specialties, and end with a show featuring flawless performances of Latin America’s most sensuous dance—the Tango!
BUENOS AIRES. EXCURSION TO THE PAMPAS. Today, head into the heart of the pampas (grasslands) and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of rural, country life at a working [LF] ARGENTINE ESTANCIA (ranch). After a traditional welcome with empanadas and local beverages, get acquainted with the lifestyle of real gauchos (cowboys) on a horseback ride or carriage ride through the pampas. Later, at lunch, enjoy a colorful feast, complete with world-renowned Argentine beef, salad, desserts, local wine, and live music and dance by the gauchos themselves. Top off the day with a horsemanship show by the gauchos before saying adios to the countryside and heading back to the city. (B,L)
BUENOS AIRES–SANTIAGO, CHILE. Fly over the Andes to Santiago, Chile’s capital, where you will be met at the airport by a Globus representative. This country is more than 10 times longer than wide, with 2,650 miles of beautiful Pacific coastline.
SANTIAGO. Step back into the 16th century as your Local Guide traces the city’s history and heritage. Start at La Moneda, the official Government Palace, before visiting the Plaza de Armas, the in square, with a visit to the 18th-century CATHEDRAL. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure. This evening, consider the optional Chilean Folkloric Dinner Show.
SANTIAGO–EASTER ISLAND. Fly from Santiago to Easter Island, considered the world’s largest open-air museum, boasting over 400 moai, ruins, and temples.
EASTER ISLAND. Spend the day exploring Rapa Nui (Easter Island) with a Local Guide. Your first stop on your private tour will be AHU VAIHU, where eight large moai lie in ruins. Continue on to AHU AKAHANGA. According to legend, this is the burial site of the first king of Easter Island (Hotu Matu’a). Next, at the RANO RARAKU quarry, you find 394 statues in various stages of completion. It appears that the moai production was abruptly abandoned, leaving us a frozen snapshot that reveals how the moai were carved out of volcanic rocks. At AHU TONGARIKI, see 15 beautifully restored moai, and at AHU TE PITO KURA, see the largest moai ever transported and erected. Last stop is the beach of Anakena, where King Hotu Matu’a first landed on Rapa Nui. (B,L)
EASTER ISLAND. Another full day to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site with your Local Guide. This morning, your private tour visits the Rano Kau volcano, with a caldera that contains one of the island’s freshwater lakes. At the nearby ceremonial village of ORONGO, see the restored houses and remains of an ancient ahu. Head to Ana Kai Tagata, an ancient cave with wall paintings on the rock. This afternoon, visit AHU AKIVI, with seven restored moais in the middle of the island. According to legend, the statues represent the seven scouts sent to Easter Island by King Hotu Matu’a. Finally, visit the PUNA PAU topknot quarry with its red scoria stone, where the pukaos on top of the moai were made.
EASTER ISLAND–SANTIAGO. Return to Santiago for a final night in Chile.
SANTIAGO. Your tour ends with breakfast this morning.