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14 days/11 nights:

Andes, wine and waterfalls

Highlights of this tour:

Santiago de Chile, the Andes Mountains, Mendoza, the Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu wine regions, Salta, Humahuaca Gorge, ‘The Mountain of the Seven Colours’, ‘The Artist’s Palette’, Cafayate, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires.

This package holiday includes the following:

  • Flights from the UK to Santiago de Chile, with transfer(s) en route
  • Flights from Buenos Aires to the UK, with transfer(s) en route
  • 3 domestic flights in Argentina: Mendoza – Salta – Puerto Iguazu – Buenos Aires
  • Transfers from and to airports (in small, international groups)
  • 11 nights’ accommodation in good hotels incl. breakfast
  • Individual tour, however, all excursions are in small international groups with local English speaking guides
  • Telephone hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Daily departures

The following package of excursions are included:

  • Guided tour of Santiago de Chile
  • Visit to the wine-growing regions of Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu
  • Full-day excursion to the Andes mountains, with attractions including: ‘The Mountain of the Seven Colours’
  • Visit to vineyards in Cafayate
  • Excursion to Iguazu, the biggest waterfalls in the world – visiting both Argentine and Brazilian sides
  • Half-day tour of Buenos Aires
  • Admission tickets to the attractions mentioned

Single room supplement: £470
Discounts are available for groups of 6 or more people

Choose this tour because…

This trip is packed with visits to wonderful towns and magnificent, varied countryside, with the colourful Andes Mountains, deliciously scented vineyards and giant waterfalls as the backdrop. The tour starts in the Chilean capital, Santiago de Chile, where tall skyscrapers and modern architecture contrast sharply with charming, historical buildings. You then move on to Argentina, where you will visit the famous wine-producing regions of Mendoza and Cafayate for a thorough introduction to the whole process. You will visit the delightful town of Salta, with its well-preserved colonial buildings, and the Humahuaca and Conchas Gorges, famous for their geological rock formations in a host of colours. One of the absolute highlights is without a doubt your visit to Iguazu Falls, which are set in an area of rainforest comprising a rich variety of flora and fauna. The journey ends in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, which many people call South America’s answer to Paris. Here you will visit all the best-known sights and attractions, and will have the chance to experience an authentic Argentine tango show before heading back home.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Chile

Departure day, where you will fly to Santiago de Chile with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival in Santiago de Chile

When you land in Santiago de Chile you will be met in the arrival hall by our driver, who will take you to your hotel.

Chile has a population of 16 million people – and 6 million of them live in Santiago. The Chilean capital enjoys a beautiful location, backed by the snow-clad Andes mountains to the east and the coastal mountain range to the west. Santiago is a modern and inviting metropolis, with tall skyscrapers and charming quarters; moreover, some of the finest vineyards in the world are located just outside the city.

Overnight stay: Hotel Diego Velazquez

Day 3: Guided tour of Santiago

This day is devoted to a guided tour of the city, taking in all the main sights. During the tour, you will have the chance to enjoy a panoramic view out over the Bellavista quarter, which is the cultural heart of Santiago with its colourful buildings, cafés, restaurants and art galleries – as well as musicians and theatrical troupes performing in the streets. You will visit the central market with its fresh foods, the former railway station – Estación Mapocho – that is now a cultural centre, the Museo de Bellas Artes art museum, which is a copy of the Petit Palais in Paris, and the Santa Lucia hill, from where there is a magnificent view out over the city. It is believed that this is actually the place where Santiago de Chile was originally founded by Valdivia. It is then time to visit the central Plaza de Armas square, Cerreo Central which is home to the most efficient postal service in South America, the largest cathedral in the country, built in Baroque style, the historical museum that presents the history of Chile, the congress building where the legislative assembly of Chile sat until it was closed in 1973, and the Presidential Palace – Palacio de la Mondea – where President Allende committed suicide during the military coup in 1973.

You will also have the chance to experience the modern part of Santiago de Chile – also known as ‘Sanhattan’, after the Manhattan district of New York, with its tall skyscrapers and beautiful green areas. Before the tour comes to an end, you will have the opportunity to visit Faba, the applied art shop that has specialised in making jewellery of the rare blue stone called lapis lazuli, which is only found in Chile and Afghanistan.

Overnight stay: Hotel Diego Velazquez

Day 4: By bus across the Andes mountains, Santiago de Chile – Mendoza

The time has come to cross the Andes mountains, and the coach trip will take most of the day. You will pass through a variety of landscapes, with verdant valleys giving way to more barren mountain scenery. The trip reaches a maximum altitude of 2,720 metres above sea level on the Argentine border. Towards the end of the day, you will start to glimpse the first vineyards – evidence that Mendoza is nearby.

The city of Mendoza was founded by the Spanish invaders in the 1560s, making it one of the oldest settlements in Argentina. You will note that the city seems to have a special love for fountains, trees and green spaces. In the late 1800s, Mendoza attracted large numbers of French and Italian settlers, who built irrigation systems with financial support from the provincial government. As a result, the area developed into one of the leading agricultural regions in the country. Known as the ‘land of sun and wine’, Mendoza accounts for 70 per cent of Argentina’s wine production, making it the leading wine-producing region in the country. For example, it is the biggest Malbec producer in Chile. Malbec translates loosely as ‘bad mouth’ and this type of grape typically produces sour, poor-quality wine. In Mendoza, however, it produces one of the very finest red wines in the world, because the combination of height above sea level, the chemical composition of the soil and the dryness of the climate is perfect for this grape.

Overnight stay: Hotel Argentino

Day 5: Wine trip

This entire day is spent visiting the wine-growing regions of Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu, where you can find out more about the work practices of the early immigrants, including the irrigation techniques they used to convert the vast expanse of desert into a productive oasis. You will visit two vineyards that still use traditional methods, but backed by the very latest technology for producing wine. You will learn about the different methods and the entire process, from harvesting the grapes until the bottles are packed and labelled. There will, of course, also be time for a little taster or two…

Overnight stay: Hotel Argentino

Day 6: Flight to Salta

It is now time to fly to the town of Salta in the north of Argentina. When you arrive in Salta, you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel.

Salta enjoys a delightful location, nestled among the mountains. It is an incredibly charming town dating back to 1582, with well-preserved buildings clearly showing the influence of Spanish colonial style, low houses and cobbled streets around its large green square.

Overnight stay: Hotel Ghala

Day 7: Humahuaca

The day is reserved for a full-day excursion to the deep gorge of Quebrada de Humahuaca, through which the famous Rio Grande flows. The trip takes you through the village of Purmamarca, where you will have the opportunity to stroll along the narrow streets and to visit the local church and the local arts and crafts market. The highlight of the visit is, of course, ‘The Mountain of the Seven Colours’, whose remarkable multi-coloured appearance is due to the effects of sun and wind, combined with the various minerals in the soil.

You will then continue on to the town of Tilcara, to visit the old Pucara ruins, the archaeological museum and the monument to the Tropic of Capricorn in Huacalera, before travelling to the small town of Uquia to see the local church and its paintings of arquebusier angels.

You will arrive in Humahuaca around noon; the highlights here include the local church and the monument to independence. There will then be time to admire the magical ‘Artist’s Palette’, rock formations in a range of dazzling colours that provide the backdrop for the town of Maimara. It is then time to make your way to San Salvador de Jujuy, where you can visit the cathedral and the old town hall. Finally, you will return to Salta along route no. 9, which leads through a landscape of lush subtropical vegetation.

Overnight stay: Hotel Ghala

Day 8: Cafayate

Today you will be visiting Cafayate. The trip takes you along route no. 68, passing through the Lerma valley with its historical towns, until you reach Quebrada de las Conchas, where wind and water have carved the rocks and cliffs into a variety of weird and wonderful formations. In Cafayate, you will also visit vineyards famous for their production of Torrontes wine. After lunch, you will return to Salta where the rest of the day is yours to do with as you wish.

Overnight stay: Hotel Ghala

Day 9: By plane from Salta to Puerto Iguazu

It is now time to leave the Andes mountains behind and chart a course for Puerto Iguazu, which is located close to the borders with Paraguay and Brazil, and where visits to nature delights such as waterfalls and rainforest await.

Overnight stay: Hotel Saint George

Day 10: Iguazu Falls from the Argentine side

The Iguazu Falls are the biggest in the world and consist of 275 falls of various sizes along a 2.7 km stretch of the Iguazu river. They are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Many of the waterfalls merge together, sending water crashing down over the cliffs, which form the shape of a horseshoe and tower up to a height of 85 metres. Although perhaps not as famous as Niagara Falls in North America the Iguazu Falls are both bigger and more impressive. The volume of water flowing through Niagara is an impressive 2.8 million litres per second, but this is dwarfed by the flow at Iguazu, which reaches a staggering 6.5 million litres per second. It is said that when she saw Iguazu for the first time, former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt blurted: “Niagara is just a dripping tap.”

Today, you will be visiting the Argentine side, where you can cross walkways to the most impressive section of the falls and look down into Garganta del Diablo (the Devil’s Throat). You can then continue along the upper and lower walkways to view the magnificent falls from above and below. The rainforest around the falls is the habitat of unique flora and fauna, including orchids, ferns, begonias, a host of different birds and butterflies, and giant lizards.

Overnight stay: Hotel Saint George

Day 11: The Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side, and flight to Buenos Aires

Today, you will be visiting the Brazilian side of the falls, crossing the bridge that links the two cities, and, after a mandatory customs check, continuing into the national park. As you will be crossing an international border, you will need to bring your passport with you.

Most of the waterfalls are on the Argentine side, but the view is best from the Brazilian side, where you can make your way along walkways and bridges to view the falls from various angles. Keep an eye out for the small coati, looking on inquisitively. An elevator provides access to a platform by Garganta del Diablo (the Devil’s Throat), where you will be enveloped in the mist from the falls and can admire the stunning view with its permanent rainbows.

In the afternoon, you will be driven to Puerto Iguazu Airport to catch your flight to Buenos Aires. On arrival, you will be met by a driver who will take you to your hotel.

Overnight stay: Hotel Merit San Telmo

Day 12: Tour of Buenos Aires

The day is given over to a guided tour of Buenos Aires, taking in the very best of the city: Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martin and Plaza Alvear – the most famous squares in Buenos Aires, with sights including the Presidential Palace and the statue of José San Martin, one of the only heroes to have earned respect in Argentina; La Boca – the workers’ quarter, where the houses are painted in strong, contrasting colours; San Telmo – the oldest part of the city, now the artists’ quarter; 9 de Julio Avenida – the broadest boulevard in the world, home to the Obelisco, the famous hallmark of the city; Puerto Madero – the new harbour area with its delightful cafés and restaurants; Avenida Corrientes – the amusement quarter with its theatres and cinemas; and Recoleta – the famous cemetery, which is the final resting place of celebrities including Eva Perón, better known as Evita.

The evening is yours to do with as you wish, so you can enjoy the delights of Buenos Aires for yourself.

Overnight stay: Hotel Merit San Telmo

Argentine dinner and tango show can be arranged:

Day 13: Return flight

You will be collected from your hotel and driven to the airport to start your trip home. You will fly to the UK with connecting flights along the way.

Day 14: Return trip

Return flight to the UK.

Highlights of this tour:

Santiago de Chile, the Andes Mountains, Mendoza, the Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu wine regions, Salta, Humahuaca Gorge, ‘The Mountain of the Seven Colours’, ‘The Artist’s Palette’, Cafayate, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires.

This package holiday includes the following:

  • Flights from the UK to Santiago de Chile, with transfer(s) en route
  • Flights from Buenos Aires to the UK, with transfer(s) en route
  • 3 domestic flights in Argentina: Mendoza – Salta – Puerto Iguazu – Buenos Aires
  • Transfers from and to airports (in small, international groups)
  • 11 nights’ accommodation in good hotels incl. breakfast
  • Individual tour, however, all excursions are in small international groups with local English speaking guides
  • Telephone hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Daily departures

The following package of excursions are included:

  • Guided tour of Santiago de Chile
  • Visit to the wine-growing regions of Lujan de Cuyo and Maipu
  • Full-day excursion to the Andes mountains, with attractions including: ‘The Mountain of the Seven Colours’
  • Visit to vineyards in Cafayate
  • Excursion to Iguazu, the biggest waterfalls in the world – visiting both Argentine and Brazilian sides
  • Half-day tour of Buenos Aires
  • Admission tickets to the attractions mentioned

Single room supplement: £470
Discounts are available for groups of 6 or more people
ENQUIRE NOW
14d/11n: Andes, wine and waterfalls
Adults  Chd. u/12 y.

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