Day 1, Santiago: Arrive this morning in Santiago de Chile, gateway to the Andes, situated between mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean. Your tour guide will accompany you to your hotel in the green heart of the city, Hotel Radisson. Your guide introduces you to this city nestled between mountains: enjoy a city tour visiting both the historic and modern centers of Santiago, as well as a trip to neighboring San Cristobal for a good look at the surrounding area. Dinner tonight is included.
Day 2, Santiago: In the afternoon enjoy an excursion to the Concha y Toro Winery, one of the most famous Chilean vineyards around the world. Located in the Maipo River canyon, planted with grapevines of the most noble French stock such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Pinot Noir and others. Founded in 1883 showing today a most modern technology in cooling equipment, stainless steel tanks, filters and oak casks which has lead to the making of exceptional wines.
Day 3, Valparaiso and Viña del Mar: Visit Valparaíso, the oldest port in Chile. Though no longer its largest port, it retains tremendous historical significance and beauty, as well as being home to the Chilean House of Assembly and Senate. The upper and lower parts of the city are connected through 16 funicular railways constructed around the turn of the century, a time when the city experienced tremendous growth. Parts of Valparaiso are considered to become a UNESCO heritage site. From Valparaíso, continue along the coast to the beautiful beaches of Viña del Mar, the Garden city, named for its many parks and green spaces.
Day 4, Santiago - Puerto Montt - Puerto: Fly from Santiago de Chile directly South to Puerto Montt, the capital of Lake District, founded in 1853 by German colonists on the site of an indigenous Mapuche community. Continue on to your hotel in neighboring Puerto Varas: Gran Hotel Colonos del Sur on the shores of Lago Llanquihue. The city gets its nickname from the tremendous variety of roses all over town. Your hotel has a small beautiful restaurant with lake view for your dinner, but there are many other places for you to choose from in Puerto Varas: Among the Merlin, Chile's best Fish restaurant South of Santiago.
Day 5, Puerto Varas - Bariloche: Set out this morning on the lake crossing over the Andes to Argentina, following along the shores of Lago Llanquihue with breathtaking views of the volcanoes Osorno and Calbuco. Stop at Petrohué Falls for some spectacular views. No words can describe the natural beauty of the area. You'll be speechless, the landscape awe-inspiring: Volcanoes, jagged mountains, crystal clear lakes - you'll expect Heidi on every Alpine meadow!
Next, cross Lago Todos Los Santos, with more spectacular views of Volcano Osorno and Tronador. Lunch stop in Puerto Peulla. Then continue up over the Andes pass and down to Lago Frio, as you enter Argentina! Board your second boat, then continue on a short bus journey to Puerto Blest, where you'll board your 3rd boat across Lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Panuelo. Upon arrival in Puerto Panuelo, continue to your Hotel Nevada Bariloche and check in to your superior room. The hotel is only a few steps away from Bariloche's many restaurants.
Day 6, Bariloche: Full day excursion, Tronador Mountain and Alerces Falls. Head south and up into the Andes, following the road along Lago Mascardi with its lush southern forest. After crossing the bridge of the calm River Manso, continue towards Laguna Los Moscos and Lake Hess where you’ll see a tremendous waterfall - Cascada los Alerces. Onwards in the direction of Tronador, a large mountain with three peaks thrusts forth: Argentino, International and Chileno. Argentina and Chile share these mountain peaks directly on the border of the two countries.
Day 7, Bariloche: Navigate a beautiful circuit today around the surroundings of Bariloche, the “Aspen of South America”, with emphasis on the lakes areas. Follow the lake shore of the spectacular Lago Nahuel Huapi. From Cerro Campanario, enjoy a 360 degree view of the surrounding lakes, islands and mountains. Descend and continue on to the peninsula San Pedro. In Llao-Llao, stop for a brief walk to see the Chapel of San Eduardo.
Day 8, Bariloche - Buenos Aires: Fly this morning to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires arrival, reception and transfer from the domestic airport to Hotel Pestana (ex-Murano) only one block away from the busy pedestrian street “Florida” and the famous shopping mall Galeria Pacifico. Opt upon arrival to be taken first to the San Telmo Sunday-only Antique market, undoubtedly the best in the Americas. Dinner and Tango show tonight is included.
Day 9, Buenos Aires: Today's city tour visits the 'old' district of San Telmo, the main residential area in colonial days, full of antique shops to the picturesque district of La Boca, 2 miles south of the main port area, on the west bank of the river Riachuelo. This former port from the turn of the century was settled by many Italians from Genoa who made their homes from corrugated iron sheets, painting them with all the colors of the spectrum. Along the colorful street of Caminito sit local artists, painting and selling their wares.
Day 10, Bariloche: After breakfast, opt to experience the life on an Estancia during a full day Fiesta Gaucha. On arrival at Estancia Santa Susana, you will be served an "empanada" and a glass of wine. Then take a stroll around the house and park on your own or enjoy a horse ride or a ride in an old wagon coach. Feast on a great "asado criollo" (BBQ), prepared by Gauchos over large open fires, served with salads, white and red wine, mineral water and/or beer. Along with dessert, witness a show of folklore music and dances of the Pampas. Finally, enjoy a Sortija and Cuadrera race. Evening transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Prices (year 2011):
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South America Chile Local Culture Cultural Journey Volcano Tours