Cultures and Contrasts of South America - 2015

5 out of 5 stars

16 days

from $7751 pp

Trip available from Oct 2015 to Mar 2016.
"Absolutely wonderful experience"
David , Jul 2014

An all-encompassing exploration of Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay – this trip showcases the highlights of South America from scenic Bariloche to the iconic city sites of Rio de Janeiro.

It’s insider moments like… stepping off the beaten path to meet those who live off the land – and experiencing local life as you lunch with them. Like in Chile, where you head into Maipo Valley to meet one of the vineyard-rich region’s winemakers. Tasting his produce over a gourmet lunch, it’s discovering the story behind the founder’s Italian roots, and fnding out how the family have blended age-old techniques with state-of-the-art innovation, helping turn Chile into a world-famous wine nation.

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Trip Itinerary

  • 1.


    Bienvenido a Santiago! On arrival to the airport, you will be met by a local host and taken to your luxurious downtown hotel. Get settled into your room or set out and explore the vibrant city of Santiago.


    InterContinental Santiago

  • 2.


    This morning, meet your A Local Expert for a city tour and a visit to the Central Market. Then head for the Maipo Valley, Chile’s most traditional wine-producing valley known for its premium wines. Visit an exclusive winery where you enjoy a gourmet Welcome Reception lunch of savoury regional dishes served alfresco on the beautiful grounds. After, meet the winemaker, your A Local Expert, for a personalised winery experience, from the vineyards to the bottling process. Finally, celebrate Chile’s proud wine-making traditions with a wine tasting.


    Full Breakfast,Welcome Reception

  • 3.


    Enjoy a day in Santiago on your own. Perhaps embark on an optional trip to the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso, site of a historic naval battle and the seaside resort of Vina del Mar. Your Travel Director will be happy to assist in planning any activities for your day. In the evening, gather for dinner at a favourite local restaurant in the Bellavista neighbourhood of the city.


    Full Breakfast,Regional Meal

  • 4.


    Fly south from the Chilean capital to Puerto Montt. Then it’s on to Puerto Varas for an orientation tour of the “City of Roses” on the way to your lakeside hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy before dinner in the evening


    Full Breakfast,Dinner with Wine


    Cabana del Lago

  • 5.


    An exciting day awaits as you cross the Andes via land and water. Your frst stop is the Petrohue River to see the burbling waterfalls cascade over black volcanic rock. Then cross Todos Los Santos Lake with the mighty Osorno Volcano looming in the background. Keep an eye out for the giant Andean condor gliding over the lake. Back on land, it’s time to sit back and relax as you drive by breathtaking landscapes of snowcapped mountains, gloriously green forests and sapphire blue lakes. Stop for a delicious lunch in pretty Peulla before crossing the border into Argentina and enjoying a cruise on majestic Lake Nahuel Huapi.


    Full Breakfast,Lunch



  • 6.


    Discover the natural wonders of one of Argentina’s prettiest areas, known as the “Switzerland of South America.” Meet your A Local Expert and travel along the “Circuito Chico” for spectacular views of forests, mountains and sparking waters in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Visit lovely Playa Bonita, soak up the scenery from the hilltop of St. Edward’s Chapel on the Llao Llao Peninsula, and ride a chairlift to the top of Cerro Campanario for sweeping views of the high peaks of Catredral and Tronador. Then, learn about Bariloche’s chocolate connection with a visit to the Chocolate Museum. After a briefng on almost 2,000 years of chocolate history, view the production area and sample a delicious array of this A Local Speciality. The rest of the day is free in Bariloche.


    Full Breakfast

  • 7.


    Fly from the edge of Patagonia to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening to explore on your own. See some of the sights of this lively and colourful city or enjoy a savoury meal at a local restaurant. Your Travel Director will be happy to assist you in planning your time.


    Full Breakfast



  • 8.


    Get acquainted with Argentina’s largest city and capital this morning with a guided visit. See the Plaza de Mayo and the iconic pink Casa Rosada. Then view the colourful and fashionable neighbourhoods of Teatro Colon, a landmark in Buenos Aires and a A Unique Insight. Take a backstage tour of the opera house, including the main function rooms and main stage. Drive along the stately Avenida 9 de Julio, said to be the widest street in the world, to the elegant Recoleta. Then see the impressive cemetery where Eva Peron (Evita), Argentina’s former frst lady, is buried. Later, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for an exclusive A Be My Guest experience in Palermo Soho. You will be welcomed by a local family and long-time residents of this nowtrendy neighbourhood in the fashionable Palermo Viejo. Be delighted as they wine and dine you with homemade family recipes. Discover the secrets of kneading country bread and watch as your hosts demonstrate the art of typical Argentinian crafts. Spending time with this lively family will create a long-lasting memory.


    Full Breakfast,Be My Guest Dining

  • 9.


    Cross the Rio de la Plata by hydrofoil this morning. On the Uruguayan side, a A Local Expert takes you on a tour through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic district of charming Colonia del Sacramento. After a leisurely Regional Meal at a local restaurant, enjoy time to stroll through the exclusive art galleries and shops on your own. Return by hydrofoil to Argentina later this afternoon.


    Full Breakfast

  • 10.


    Relish a day on your own in the “Paris of South America.” If you like, take an optional trip to a traditional Argentinian estancia (ranch) for the day; share a drink with the local gauchos (cowboys), marvel at their horsemanship during a lively equestrian show then feast on a traditional parrillada (barbecue) lunch. Tonight, linger over a Regional Meal and a chance for an authentic taste of world-renowned Argentinian beef! Cap of the evening by watching a sensual performance of the best tango dancers in Buenos Aires.


    Full Breakfast,Regional Meal

  • 11.


    Take a morning fight to Iguassu Falls, Argentina. Spend some time getting acquainted with the geography of this unique region at the Visitors Centre before entering Iguassu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the world’s largest waterfalls and to such endangered species as the giant otter and anteater. Board an open-air ecological jungle train and make stops along the way to take in diferent views and perspectives of the falls. Then take a walk on a protruding catwalk to see the cascades up close and view the thundering Devil’s Throat Falls. End your adventure by crossing the border into Brazil for a relaxing evening and dinner at your resort hotel.


    Full Breakfast,Dinner


    Iguassu Resort

  • 12.


    Head back into Iguassu National Park and spend the morning exploring the Brazilian side of the falls with a A Local Expert, including a scenic walk through the rainforest at the base of the falls. This afternoon board the short fight to Rio and transfer to your elegant oceanfront hotel in the heart of Copacabana. The evening is free for you to enjoy.


    Full Breakfast


    Miramar Hotel by Windsor

  • 13.


    Ascend Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car. From this vantage point the views are unforgettable of the city and bay. Back at the hotel, your afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps visit the bar that inspired the 1963 hit song Girl from Ipanema, or visit the Hippie Fair Crafts Market, an entertaining place to stroll for arts and crafts and people watch. Your Travel Director will gladly assist you with activities and things to do in the area.


    Full Breakfast

  • 14.


    Board a classic cogwheel train for the journey to the summit of majestic Corcovado, site of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Then continue your exploration of the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) and it’s many contrasts from the 18th century aqueduct and colonial Candelaria Church to the 20th century opera house, Sambodromo and city Cathedral. Tonight, why not join an optional outing and feel the spirit of Rio’s world-famous Carnival as you are treated to a lively extravaganza of Samba dance and music?


    Full Breakfast

  • 15.


    Much of the day is free for independent activities. Optional experiences include a visit to one of the nearby favellas, a harbour cruise or helicopter fightseeing over the city. Later this afternoon, head over to a nearby Samba school where a representative of the school, a A Local Expert, will give insight into how the school operates and how they prepare for Carnival week. You’ll also be able to view Carnival costumes and for those that desire, participate in a dance lesson accompanied by a musical Samba Trio and a few Mulata dancers. Afterward, visit a renowned churrascaria with amazing views of Rio and the ocean for a festive Farewell Dinner complete with a caipirinha mixing demonstration, a A Local Speciality.


    Full Breakfast,Farewell Dinner

  • 16.


    Your day is free until your transfer to the airport for your fight home, or perhaps choose to extend your stay in Rio de Janeiro. For your comfort, your room is reserved until 6 pm.


    Full Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Be My Guest

    Experience dinner at the home of a local family in the Palermo Soho neighbourhood.
  • Hidden Treasure

    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Expert

    Experience the wine-making process with a winemaker in Chile.
    For included sightseeting in Iguassu, Buenos Aires, Colonia del Sacramento, Bariloche, and Santiago.
  • Local Speciality

    See the Chocolate Museum and enjoy samples in Bariloche.
    Learn how to mix a perfect Brazilian Caipirinha.
  • Unique Insight

    Learn about the Teatro Colon opera house, a landmark in Buenos Aires since its construction in 1908.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Always Included

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Andean Lake District Crossing

    Explore Nahuel Huapi National Park; cruise the “Switzerland of South America.”
  • Bariloche

    Enjoy the surroundings of this lovely resort town.
  • Buenos Aires

    Visit the “Paris of South America,” the Evita Museum and Recoleta Cemetery and enjoy a Tango show.
  • Colonia del Sacramento

    Stroll in this UNESCO World Heritage city.
  • Iguassu Falls

    Explore the magnificent falls from Brazil and Argentina.
  • Puerto Varas

    Discover Chile's loveliest town.
  • Rio de Janeiro

    Enjoy a cogwheel train ride through Tijuca Forest and up Corcovado Mountain to see the Christ the Redeemer statue.
  • Santiago

    Delight in this cosmopolitan capital.


  • 8 evening meals:

    Be My Guest dinner
    buffet dinner
    Farewell Dinner
    3 Regional Meals
    2 three course dinners
  • 15 full breakfasts

  • 2 lunches:

    Including Regional Meal and 1 lunch.
  • Welcome Reception

    with light appetisers

Travel Highlights

  • A Trafalgar bonus: guaranteed late hotel check-out until 6 p.m. in Santiago on Day 16
  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • 14 nights' First Class accommodation
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • A Trafalgar bonus - all Intra-Air Flights: Rio de Janeiro to Iguassu, Iguassu to Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires to Bariloche, Puerto Montt to Santiago, including porter service at all airports.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your holiday to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Airport transfers are provided on the first and last day of your guided holiday

Airport Transfers

Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Optional Experiences


Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.



    Adult Price: $146.00 No visit to Rio de Janeiro is complete without experiencing the glamour and rhythm of a colorful samba show. Begin your evening with a delicious Brazilian BBQ dinner (drinks not included). Feel the spirit of Rio’s world-famous Carnival as you’re treated to a lively extravaganza of Samba song-and-dance. You’ll be caught up in the excitement of this cultural journey as you watch a light show and a stage full of beautiful dancers. This exciting mix of percussion and samba dance builds to a grand finale with a Carnival parade on stage. Total duration of this outing is five hours. Not available on Sundays.

    Adult Price: $140.00 Enjoy a few hours of hands-on fun as you learn to prepare traditional Brazilian recipes. Your instructor will guide you through the cooking process and afterward dine on your sumptuous creation. Whether you are a novice or cooking enthusiast, the outing promises to be fun and entertaining. Total duration is 4 ½ hours and there is a minimum of four participants to operate. Not available on Sundays.

    Adult Price: $70.00 Spend two hours sailing on Guanabara Bay in a schooner. Take in the beautiful views of Rio de Janeiro with Sugar Loaf Mountain towering in the distance. Pass the bay's islands and forts as you cruise by a picture postcard setting. Total duration of this outing is three hours and transfers are included to/from the wharf.

    Adult Price: $120.00 What could be better than a sightseeing tour of Rio de Janeiro from the air? Soar high over Rio with sweeping and unforgettable views of Sugar Loaf Mountain rising from Guanabara Bay. Take in spectacular views of Copacabana Beach, Copacabana fortress and Ipanema Beach. Total flight time is 6-7 minutes. Minimum of three guests required to operate.

    Adult Price: $55.00 Discover the charm and beauty of Santa Teresa, which originated around a convent during the 16th Century, as you wander by foot through the winding, narrow cobblestone streets. Once home to upper-class residents, Santa Teresa is now home to many artists with studios, galleries, museums and inviting eateries. Admire the bohemian atmosphere and beautiful architecture. Learn about the history of the area as you make your way around the neighborhood with your guide. Located on a high hill overlooking Rio, you'll have a perfect view of the city and bay below. Total durations is about 3 ½ hours. Minimum of 6 guests required to operate.

    Adult Price: $38.00 Visit one of Rio de Janeiro's hillside favelas on this half-day educational tour. See the day-to-day lifestyles of locals who live in Rocinha, one of Rio’s many dense favelas. Along the way stop at a community school and there is an opportunity to purchase handicrafts made by the children. With a local expert guide, you’ll travel inside the favela, interact with locals and gain a new understanding of Brazilian society.

Buenos Aires


    Adult Price: $150.00 Enjoy a great day as you head out into the pampas to visit an authentic 3,000 acre (1200 hectare) estancia (Argentinean Ranch) that dates back to the late 19th century. A BBQ will be served with a variety of meats and salads. After lunch, watch a folklore show complete with music and dance. Also, sit back, relax and watch typical activities of an estancia including a wonderful horse demonstration. Duration of this outing is approximately 7 hours. (Min. 10 guests)

    Adult Price: $78.00 Immerse yourself into the world of tango with a renowned maestro. Your lesson can be specially designed to suit your level of expertise from no experience to advanced. Your group lesson will be in the San Telmo neighborhood (Tango's birthplace) in a unique residence that features an eclectic architectural style and filled with art nouveau crafts and paintings. Total duration of the lesson is 90 minutes and dependent on at least five participants in the lesson. Transfers to/from the lessons are additional. (Your Travel Director can arrange a taxi). (Min. 5 guests)

    Adult Price: $90.00 Head to the northern outskirts of Buenos Aires to the lush countryside of the Tigre Delta on this outing. This area is a popular weekend getaway for Buenos Aires residents. The delta features pretty scenery, lovely summer residences, relaxing vibe, yachting and a chance to see another way of Argentine life. Your tour includes a cruise on the delta and if you are visiting on Saturdays, you can stroll through the local outdoor market. Total duration is about 4 hours. (Min. 10 guests)



    Adult Price: $71.00 A full day trip to the historic city of Valparaiso, designated a UNESCO World Heritage city in 2003. You will first travel through Chile’s wine country before arriving in bohemian Valparaiso, with its brightly colored buildings, hills and beautiful seaside setting. Later head north and visit the seaside resort of Vina del Mar, renowned for its beach setting and beautiful gardens. Total duration is 9-10 hours.
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