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Essence of South America

12 days with Tauck   Rating: Deluxe

Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Arrive Rio de Janeiro 
Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Belmond Copacabana Palace. A transfer is included from Rio de Janeiro International Airport to Belmond Copacabana Palace, an Art Deco landmark overlooking Copacabana Beach. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner with traditional entertainment. (D)

Day 2 Santiago and a Winery Lunch 
Arise in amazing Rio for an unforgettable excursion up Corcovado Hill by train to Tijuca National Park to see the world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer. Enjoy a walking tour of Rio's historic downtown, including the Cathedral and other Belle Époque landmarks, and lunch at the famous Colombo Tea Room. Then discover the passionate nature of Rio’s beloved Carnaval celebration, which draws visitors from around the world each year, on a visit to Samba City – where a local guide leads you on a behind-the-scenes look at the business of Carnaval and the creation of its dazzling costumes and floats, which includes an exclusive samba performance. Spend the evening as you please on your own in Rio tonight. (B, L)

Day 3 Sugarloaf Mountain and a cruise 
Dramatic scenic views await at the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain after your two-stage cable car ride takes you up a quarter mile into the air to see what the birds see as they fly over Guanabara Bay and the city of Rio. Feast on a typical churrascaria barbecue lunch before returning to Rio for a private boat cruise on the bay below. Enjoy seaside glimpses of beautiful beaches, historic forts, a modern museum, outlying islands and the city skyline before joining us for dinner at a renowned local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Day 4 Fly to Iguaçu Falls 
Taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, Iguazú Falls was named a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site and one of the “New Seven Wonders of Nature.” You’ll have to visit two countries to get a complete look at the falls – 275 cascades spread in a horseshoe shape across two miles of the Iguazú River, straddling the borders of Argentina and Brazil. Today experience the Brazilian side, walking on paved trails with a local guide to the catwalks along the falls for amazing views of the thundering water. Your hotel is ideally located inside the national park with nature’s wonders as a welcome showpiece. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Discover the Falls your way 
Immerse in the natural splendors of the park your way today on a choice of excursions. Board a helicopter for a flightseeing ride over the falls; drive into the jungle for a jet boat ride to the base of the falls and “shoot the rapids” on the way back to the dock; or take a behind-the-scenes backstage tour of the Bird Park, a recovery and conservation center for exotic birds, where you will meet and perhaps feed toucans, flamingos and more. After time at leisure to do as you like, work up an appetite for our private tasting dinner tonight that immerses you in the culinary history of the different regions of Brazil. (B, D)

Day 6 On to Argentina 
Drive across the Tancredo Neves Bridge over the border into neighboring Argentina where you will experience the falls from a different perspective. Take a walk along the “Superior Circuit” to “Devil’s Throat” on metal grated walkways and up steps for stunning views, before lunch and an afternoon flight to Buenos Aires. Settle in at the elegant Alvear Palace Hotel, a city landmark since 1932 and the “grande dame” of Buenos Aires hotels. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Buenos Aires Sights / Tango as Art 
No doubt about it, Buenos Aires defines “sizzle”... and you’ll discover why today when a local guide shows you the city. First up is a visit to Plaza de Mayo, Metropolitan Cathedral and Casa Rosada (government palace) where you’ll see the balcony made famous by Evita Perón. Explore the colorful La Boca neighborhood, which is both a working class barrio and artist colony, and then enjoy lunch in the San Telmo District, a mix of colonial-style homes, narrow lanes, artist lofts and hip bars. This evening, experience the allure of the infamous tango when a superb show follows dinner in Buenos Aires. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Visit a silversmith and a horse ranch 
Experience time-honored Argentine traditions today as you venture out to the countryside to the artist community of San Antonio de Areco for a very special visit with one of the most famous silversmiths in the country. The Draghi family have created priceless pieces in pure silver for celebrities and local gauchos alike and today you will have the opportunity to see the artists at work. Continue on to a traditional estancia (ranch) for lunch and a fascinating gaucho demonstration with a horse whisperer. Your evening is free to enjoy Buenos Aires as you like. (B, L)

Day 9 Teatro Colón and a day to explore Buenos Aires 
Today begins with a privately guided, behind-the-scenes tour of Teatro Colón, the city’s seven-tiered opera house that first opened in 1908, and ranks among the best concert venues in the world. Its opulent stained glass, marble staircases and excellent acoustics recently underwent a three-year refurbishment. The remainder of the day is free to explore Buenos Aires as you please. (B)

Day 10 Fly to Chile 
A morning flight touches down in Santiago in time for lunch in a local restaurant. Drive south on the Pan-American Highway to the Millahue Valley in the heart of Chile’s famous winelands for a two-night stay. Your hotel is acclaimed for its unique architectural design and on-site winery; enjoy dinner at your leisure tonight. (B, L, D)

Day 11 Chilean Wine Country, your way  
Immerse in the beauty of wine country today as you choose how you want to spend the morning. Saddle up for a guided horseback ride through the vineyards or pedal your way on a bicycle through vines meticulously grown and cared for. Or join us for a cooking class or a wine and chocolate pairing at the hotel. Everyone meets up for a wine pairing lunch before a tasting tour at the winery. A farewell reception and dinner features regional specialties and incredible scenic views. (B, L, D)

Day 12 Travel home from Santiago 
Tour ends: Santiago. Drive to Santiago this morning for a city tour and lunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago, where day rooms have been reserved for you before your flight home. A transfer is included from The Ritz-Carlton, Santiago to Santiago Airport. Allow a minimum of three hours for flight check-in. (B, L)
All This Included
From the eastern coast of Brazil to Argentina and the western coast of Chile, explore the essence of each destination with unique travel experiences that bring you to the best each country has to offer.  One of our most comprehensive South American tours inspires with 12 days of in-depth discoveries of natural and architectural wonders throughout Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Spend multiple nights in world-class cities at fine hotels in the heart of each city. View spectacular Iguazú Falls , sample the fine wines of Chile and famous Argentinian beef; get a behind-the-scenes look at Rio's colorful Carnaval; feel the passion and the heat of the tango and the samba; meet a silversmith and much more.
  • On-Tour Air included (3 flights)
  • Three nights in Rio de Janeiro on Copacabana beach, featuring dazzling oceanfront views
  • A three-night stay in Buenos Aires featuring a private visit to Teatro Colón Opera House, and dinner and a tango show
  • Private tour of Rio’s Samba City for a behind-the-scenes look at Carnaval costumes, floats and sensational samba dancing
  • Private cruise on Guanabara Bay for breathtaking views of Rio de Janeiro
  • A tour and gourmet lunch at a renowned Chilean winery to discover the secrets of Chile’s fabulous wine during two nights in Santiago
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
  • 28 meals; gratuities to local guides, service charges, taxes and porterage
  • A special visit to a silversmith and lunch at an estancia where gauchos and a horse whisperer demonstrate their skills
  • A walk along the base of thundering Iguazú Falls during two nights at a hotel with views of the waterfall
Rio de Janeiro: Belmond Copacabana Palace
Iguazú Falls: Belmond Hotel Das Cataras
Buenos Aires: Alvear Palace Hotel
Santiago: Vik Chile Millahue
  • Tour has optional activites which may incur additional costs.
  • January 11 & 25, February 8 & 22, March 8, October 4 & 18 and November 1 are small group departures, averaging 24 Tauck guests.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Tauck terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.