Argentina & Chile - Eclipse

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Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires

Upon arrival at the International Airport, make your way to our centrally located hotel (transfers available on request.) The remainder of the day is free to explore this beautiful city. In the evening, we have our introductory meeting and dinner. Overnight at NH Latino Hotel or similar accommodation in Buenos Aires.

 

Day 2: Buenos Aires Sites

We explore Argentina’s capital today beginning with neighborhoods like La Boca, which retains the spirit of Italian immigration and Palermo with it’s open green spaces and exclusive avenues.
Recoleta, marked by French style, is one of the classiest residential neighborhoods in Buenos Aires with great cultural activity and spaces dedicated to the arts. The Colon Theater, the National Congress and the Presidential Palace are some of the sites that we see. We take a trip through history to the Recoleta Cemetery to see the mausoleums and crypts of national heroes including Eva Peron.
In the late afternoon we have arranged for private tango lessons! We learn this sensuous national dance of Argentina in a typical district house and then enjoy dinner and a tango show. Overnight at NH Latino Hotel or similar accommodations.

 

Day 3: Tigre Delta

Today we have a full day excursion to Tigre and the 2000 km maze of waterways that make up the Tigre Delta at the confluence of the Rio Lujan and the Rio Tigre. The town was founded in 1820 and named after the local “tigres” (jaguars), which are now extinct.
There are antique shops, riverside restaurants and many beautiful old buildings including the lovely Argentinean Rowing Club. We will explore some of the Delta’s rivers and streams from the comfort of river boats, passing many of the “Belle Epoque” buildings, and the natural beauty of the Parana River Delta. This evening we will experience more of the cosmopolitan atmosphere that Buenos Aires is famous for. Overnight Buenos Aires

 

Day 4: Fly to Ushuaia, End of the World Museum

A morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Ushuaia, the southern most city in the world. This afternoon we take a sightseeing tour of the town to visit the Casco Antiguo – the port and steep streets that offer colorful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Beagle Channel. The visit ends with a visit to the Museum at the End of the World, located in one of the oldest buildings in the city. Overnight in Ushuaia.

 

Day 5: Tierra Del Fuego

Today we spend a full day to explore Tierra del Fuego National Park beginning with a hike along a beautiful coastal path which extends 7 km. Note: as the tour is provided in private, the hike could be shorter). We board an 18 person Zodiac in the beautiful Ensenada Bay. The captain navigates along the Channel to the Redonda Island with a view of rocky cormorants. Time to explore the island before we continue to Lapataia Bay, a secluded fjord at the north of the Beagle Channel, where we can see a variety of Argentine seabirds. At the end of the day we return to Ushauia.

 

Day 6: Penguin Rookery, Martillo Island

Today we continue our exploration of Tierra del Fuego; its history, its magnificent flora and fauna and its traditions. We drive to the historic estancia Harberton where we board our Zodiac and travel on the Beagle Channel to Martillo Island. The hour long hike on this island will show us the habits, characteristics and nesting grounds of the Magellanic & Gentoo penguins, who return to the island every year. The unique location of this island gives us the chance to view an incredible variety of sub- aquatic life, making it an amazing spot for seeing albatrosses, petrels, skuas, cormorants, vultures, South American terns, among other species.
Afterwards we return to Harberton and start the return trip to Ushuaia. Overnight in Ushuaia.

 

Day 7: To El Calafate

This morning we transfer to the domestic airport for our flight to EL Calafate, the gateway to Patagonia. This afternoon we’ll have time to explore this charming rural town. You may want to visit the Regional Museum and learn about the first settlers and the difficulties they had when they arrived in the area. Overnight in El Calafate.

 

Day 8: Perito Moreno Glacier

We begin our day at a lookout for some amazing panoramic views of the mountains and glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz province. The park is famous for the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the many glaciers that make up the Southern Patagonia Ice Field; the world’s third largest reserve of fresh water. At Perito Moreno we enjoy a boat cruise along the front of the glacier for a view of the glaciers rising 60 to 70 meters high. Return to El Calafate for overnight.

 

Day 9: To Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we drive to Torres del Paine National Park enjoying the spectacular scenery on the way. We will leave Argentina and arrive in Chile. Before the border we stop for lunch at a beautiful working estancia (sheep ranch), feasting on their organically grown produce. Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is one of the most remote, unspoiled and beautiful places on earth. Overnight at Torres Del Paine.

 

Day 10: Nordenskjold and Grey Lakes

We spend the day exploring Torres del Paine National Park including unique views of the towers and horns, as well as the colorful Nordenskjold and Grey Lakes with their pristine blue waters and icebergs. We have short walks during the day (an hours or so in length) and for those who wish for more walking, this can also be arranged. There is a variety of flora and fauna found in the park from grasslands to forests. Some of the fauna that populate the park include guanacos, rheas, condors, mountain lions, foxes and a wide variety of birds. Overnight at Torres Del Paine.

 

Day 11: To Puerto Natales

Today we explore the northern part of Paine National Park for yet more spectacular views of Chilean Patagonia. We then visit Mildeon Cave where, in the late 19th century, Captain Eberhard found bones and fur of a long extinct giant ground sloth. We continue onto Puerto Natales for our overnight.

 

Day 12: To Puerto Montt and Pucon

Enjoy the scenery as we drive to Punta Arenas for our short flight to Puerto Montt. We’ll drive onto Puerto Varas and if time allows, we’ll spend time in this charming town, which was originally settled by the Germans in the mid 19th century. We’ll continue onto Pucon for our overnight.

 

Day 13: Geometric Hot Springs

Our travels today take us to the Geometric Hot Springs, located in between ancient endemic forests, in Villarrica National Park. Located right beside the Aihúe spring, the 16 slate-lined thermal pools, united by wooden walkways, are naturally fed by heated waters ranging in temperature from 95° to 108°. Return to Pucon for our overnight.

 

Day 14: Villarrica Eclipse

We will have a full day trip to Villarrica Volcano area where the eclipse might be seen on midday. The exact activites to see the eclipse will be updated once the CONAF, an entity that governs the park, defines the specific place that will be open for observation.

The afternoon visit will be to the Parasite Craters of the Villarrica Volcano. The hike begins at approx. 4,000 ft. and offers both beautiful landscape and panoramic views of Villarrica, Caburgua and Huelipilum lakes, as well as the surrounding volcanoes of Villarrica, Quetrupillán and Lanin. Lenga forests alternates with Andean prairie and at the highest point we’re able to see 6 small volcanic craters. After an interesting explanation of the thematic volcanic activity in this area we descend through a volcanic lava canyon towards the Villarrica valley and lake. The return to our shuttle is approx. 1.5 hours on a flat walking path. Duration: 3 to 4 hours. Ovemight in Pucon.

 

Day 15: Santiago, Chile

Transfer to Temuco airport for a 1 1/2 hour flight to the capital, Santiago de Chile. Upon arrival, we take in the sights of the city – visiting the historic center, which includes the Presidential House “La Moneda” and Constitution Square, the ex-National Congress and Justice Tribunal buildings en route to the impressive Plaza de Armas.

We visit one of the world’s largest urban parks; San Cristobal Hill. This lush park includes a zoo, cable car, international gardens and restaurants. At the top of San Cristobal Hill, there are spectacular panoramic views of the city. Crowning the hilltop are beautiful tiered gardens and an impressive statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception that can be seen from most points in the city. Overnight in Santiago.

 

Day 16: Valpariso

Today we discover the exceptional beauty of Valparaiso, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003. Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal in 1914, the Port of Valparaiso was the most important in the South Pacific. Ships from around the world called here once they rounded Cape Horn or passed through the Strait of Magellan.

Here we explore a labyrinth of streets that stretch over the many tiered hillsides facing the bay and see an antique funicular that transports residents up and down the hills. We see the imaginative architecture and bright colors of the centenarian homes built by the first European settlers – most of which were English and German.

Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean as we visit the 21st of May Hill with its Naval Museum and barracks. Other highlights include the Turri Clock, Stock Exchange, and El Mercurio Newspaper building, as well as the "Plaza Sotomayor" with its impressive Naval Heroes Monument, ex-Intendencia and Justice Tribunal buildings. Contrasting the colonial elegance of Valparaiso is the "garden city" of Vina del Mar, also known as the "South American Riviera". Vina del Mar is renowned for its beautiful gardens, avenues lined with immense old trees, well-kept parks, popular resorts, long sandy beaches and holiday fun.

Enroute to Vina, we’ll see the impressive National Congress building, Plaza Victoria, and Santa Maria University that flank the coastal road. We’ll also see the summer Presidential Palace, Brunet and Wulff Castles, and the posh Vina del Mar Casino and Luxury Hotel. Overnight in Santiago.

 

Day 17: Wine Tasting in the Main Valley

Today we learn all about the history and magic of wine making in some of the most prestigious wineries in Chile. The valley of "Cajon del Maipo" (Maipo Canyon), frames this experience between its greenness and imposing mountains. Here it is possible to enjoy a tasting of excellent wines and their varieties, appreciating their quality and taking pleasure in their fruity scents. In this valley there are renowned wineries such as Cousiño Macul, Undurraga and Concha y Toro, amongst many others. We’ll visit one of the Caves del Maipo and learn about the wine making process while we walk around the vineyards, the production plants and seeing the final product bottled. Continue onto another winery for a tasting and time to take in the beauty of the winery. Return to Santiago for your final night and farewell dinner. Overnight in Santiago.

 

Day 18: Depart Santiago

After breakfast at the hotel we bid fond farewell to Argentina and Chile. Transfers to the airport are available on request.

 
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