Get an invigorating taste of South America’s south on a trip that takes you from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro. Let the sounds of samba, jazz and reggae wash over you and get swept up in the infectious energy of the locals. Stroll white-sand beaches in Rio, rummage through antique fairs in Buenos Aires and sample delicious culinary specialties wherever you go. In between these two vibrant cities, become immersed in spectacular wilderness - from the sprawling wetlands of Ibera to the astonishing Iguazu Falls, there’s a trove of natural beauty waiting for you.
Why you'll love this trip
Bienvenido! Welcome to Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is the ultimate cosmopolitan city, with Latin passion, European elegance and its own distinctive style. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Your leader will leave a note at the hotel reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. If you arrive early, why not visit San Telmo and its weekend antiques market and artists' displays – it's a great chance to acquaint yourself with some portenos (local residents). Alternatively, visit Recoleta (the grand cemetery) or perhaps Casa Rosada (the Pink House)
Meals Included There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy some breakfast, then embark on an orientation walk through this fantastic city. You'll be introduced to some of Buenos Aires' major sights – the likes of the Colon Theatre, the Obelisc and Plaza de Mayo. Along the way, learn a little more about Argentina's independence from Spain.
Enjoy one last morning in Buenos Aires before catching a short flight to Posadas, followed by a drive to Ituzaingo (approximately 1 hour). Ituzaingo will serve as your base to explore the beautiful Ibera Wetlands region in the north of Argentina. Spanning more than 15,000 square kilometres, the Ibera wetlands are roughly the size of Belgium, which gives you an idea of how much there is to explore. The biodiversity in incredible, and the swamps, lakes and lagoons are home to such creatures as otters, alligators, deer, wolves and black howler monkeys, just to name a few. Keep a look out too for those oddly noble-looking creatures, the capybaras. These cousins of guinea pigs are the largest rodents in the world.
Take part on a full day (approximately 8-10 hour) walking tour and car safari with a guide, tasty lunch and plenty of snacks. You might see any number of obscure species – maybe caiman or swamp deer, perhaps even an armadillo, or a flock of rhea (which are like a South American equivalent of an emu). Anacondas, though particularly hard to spot at certain times of the year, are also known to inhabit these wetlands. Keep an eye to the sky, as you're bound to catch a glimpse of some of the 350 bird species here, from the sharp-tailed tyrant to the gorgeous and garish yellow robin.
Enjoy some breakfast and prepare for a long travel day. From Ituizangó take a comfortable local bus to Puerto Iguazu (approximately 5 hours). As soon as you arrive at Puerto Iguazu bus station, you will take a minivan across the border into Brazil and continue to your hotel in Foz do Iguacu (approximately one hour, depending on traffic at the Argentina–Brazil border).
Here at Iguazu, you'll visit the mighty waterfalls from both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. At over 2 kilometreslong, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are over 270 falls in all, and with some reaching up to 80 metres in height, they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara. From the Argentinean side it’s possible to follow a series of boardwalks to get up close to the thundering waters – so close you can almost touch them. Later, visit a Guarani community for the rare opportunity to meet some of the region’s few remaining indigenous people. You might like to take a helicopter ride over the falls while you're here. This optional excursion gives you spectacular views of the falls and the lush green parklands that surround it.
Enjoy the magnificent panoramas on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Seeing the falls from this side has its perks, such as a view of San Martin Island which you don't quite get from the Argentinean side.
Travel by plane to Rio de Janeiro, the festive heart of Brazil. Settle into your hotel and then set out on an orientation walk with your leader. Rio is a fascinating and diverse city best known for its contrasting images of favelas (shanty towns) and the glitz and glamour of Carnaval. With free time, you can choose from many optional activities. Perhaps head to a football game, take a cable car ride between Praia Vermelha and the Sugarloaf Mountain for incredible views over town. For further options, chat to your leader.
The morning is free, so feel free to wander around and discover Rio before meeting the group for an afternoon tour that takes in Christ the Redeemer, Santa Teresa and the Selaron Steps.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
ILHA GRANDE OPTIONAL ACTIVITY:
Please note from October 2018 onward this activity will only run on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you wish to do this activity and your tour does not finish on one of these days you may need to book additional accommodation to allow for this activity. Pick up time for this activity is between 6am and 7:30am and does not return to Rio until approximately 8:30pm.
Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking. Flights are extra
Selected Dates up to April 2020