Welcome to Argentina and its lively capital, Buenos Aires! Known as the ‘Paris of South America’ Buenos Aires is an intriguing mix of grand boulevards and classic European style architecture combined with an irresistible South American vibe. Founded in the 16th century on the shores of the Rio de la Plata, Buenos Aires literally translates to ‘fair winds’ and it has grown and flourished since its early beginnings. Now, one of the most visited cities in South America, its most defining characteristic is its many varied neighborhoods, explore these on foot and take a stroll along the city streets to soak up the colorful atmosphere.
Our small group tour of Argentina and Brazil begins this evening with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant where we have an opportunity to meet our small group tour leader and fellow travelers.
A bustling city of almost three million people, Buenos Aires is both cosmopolitan and elegant at the same time. Our sightseeing today begins with a city sights tour, including the widest avenue in the world, the 9 de Julio Avenue; a visit to the Colon Opera House; the Obelisk, which commemorates the founding of the city in 1536; Plaza de Mayo and its buildings - Government House, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Town Hall. Next, we head to the Italian district of La Boca and visit Caminito Street, a colorful street museum, then on to the elegant district of Recoleta and the Recoleta Cemetery where Argentina's famous Eva Peron was laid to rest.
The afternoon is yours to further explore this fascinating city before our evening dinner, tango show and lesson. We learn more about the art of tango, the popular dance form born in Argentina, and its importance to Argentina.
[Breakfast and Dinner]
Today we leave the big city behind as we head out of Buenos Aires to one of Argentina's traditional estancias, Estancia El Ombu, located in the Pampas. When the Spanish first arrived in Argentina, the Pampas was an immense area of rough grassland, extending from Buenos Aires for hundreds of kilometres. The early Spanish explorers soon settled on the land and built grand estancias in the extravagant style of their homeland. A dedicated horse breeding ranch, General Richieri built Estancia El Ombu in the 1880s near the picturesque town of San Antonio de Areco, the birthplace of gaucho traditions.
We enjoy a typical hearty Argentinian asado (barbeque) lunch and in the afternoon, there is the opportunity to do some horseback riding through the charming countryside or take a horse-drawn carriage ride before our return to Buenos Aires.
[Breakfast and Lunch]
Enjoy a full day at leisure in Buenos Aires to explore or take an optional day trip to the cobblestone streets of Colonia del Sacramento, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed city in Uruguay. This will be at your own expense and needs to be booked at least a day in advance with your tour guide.
This morning we fly to the incredible Iguazu Falls. Straddling the borders of Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls is one of the worlds biggest waterfalls with over 240 individual falls. The waterfalls are surrounded by lush rainforest and are over 2.7 kilometres wide. The falls can be visited from both the Argentinian and Brazilian side and the views from each perspective are unique yet equally impressive.
Upon our arrival, we visit the Argentinian side of the falls and take the ecological train to the observatory at the edge of the largest waterfall in the park, the Devils Throat. Here, we experience the spectacular vista of five of the waterfalls as they thunder over and plummet deep into the Iguazu River below.
A morning of incredible natural beauty awaits as we take the walking trail that descends deep into the canyon for panoramic views of the 240 falls and enjoy the glass elevator ride up the cliff face for an exquisite view from the upper deck. Both the Argentinian and Brazilian national parks that encompass the falls protect the most significant remaining rainforest in the southern 'cone' of South America and have been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This afternoon we enjoy a visit to the Parque das Aves. This famous bird park gives visitors the opportunity to experience the native flora and fauna up close. Take a wander through the myriad of trails through the park and marvel at the wonderful native Brazilian bird species, some of which are on the endangered list.
Welcome to the colorful and flamboyant cultural capital, Rio de Janeiro! Not its administrative capital, nor its largest city, yet Rio de Janeiro is possibly Brazil's most well-known city and offers visitors magnificent views, beautiful beaches, a thriving cultural scene, Sugarloaf Mountain, great cuisine and friendly locals.
We have one last opportunity to the see the Iguazu Falls before our flight to Rio de Janeiro. After we check in to our hotel, the remainder of the day is yours to explore this vibrant city. We regroup this evening for dinner at Lorenzo Bistro, a local restaurant offering delicious French-Italian cuisine.
[Breakfast and Dinner]
We spend a full day discovering Rio de Janeiro today. Our day begins with a visit to possibly the most iconic sight in Rio, the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer. We arrive at the bottom of Corcovado Hill, where we take a small train ride to the top of the mountain and Christ the Redeemer statue, located 710 metres above sea level. Here, we enjoy panoramic views of Rio spread out below us. We continue on to Sugar Loaf Mountain, jutting out at the entrance of Guanabara Bay. The journey to the top of Sugar Loaf is made in glass cable cars over two sections, offering unparalleled views of downtown Rio, its beaches, Corcovado Mountain and surrounds. Later, we drive through downtown, stopping at the Municipal Theatre and the Cathedral.
This morning is all about experiencing Rio's famous Carnival with a behind the scenes Carnival tour at one of the Samba schools to learn about its history. Here, we also have an opportunity to try on some of the costumes! We learn about the level of artistry and imagination involved in the creation of the Carnival and witness the construction and production process of the 15 floats and more than 6,000 costumes.
After, we pay a visit to the Selaron Stairs or Escadaria Selarón, leading from the Convento de Santa Teresa to Rua Joaquim Silva. Each stair is unique and made from a combination of ceramic, mirrored and other tiles from all over the world.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure for you to relax or further explore this bustling city before our wonderful farewell dinner this evening. Unlike most other restaurants, Fogo de Chão restaurant offers guests the chance to sample everything on the menu, with unlimited servings of 15 different delectable cuts of fire-roasted meats and a sumptuous buffet of fresh salads, vegetables and side dishes.
[Breakfast and Dinner]
Today is at leisure before our return flight. We say farewell to new friends and the incredible countries of Argentina and Brazil before transferring to the airport to begin our journey home.
You need to be at the airport three hours prior to your scheduled flight departure due to Brazil’s security screenings.
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