Our deluxe version of the traditional lake crossing is a well-paced itinerary, featuring fascinating excursions, unique activities and posh accommodations. The tour focuses on the cultural aspects of both Argentina and Chile with activities ranging from a tango show in Buenos Aires to a visit to the mythical island of Chiloe to a tour of the Chilean wine country. The enchanting Lake District provides the perfect scenario for a few days of relaxation against a backdrop of the Andes Mountains.
Arrive in Argentina (Buenos Aires)
After clearing customs and immigration, proceed to the reception area, where our guide will be holding a board with your name on it. You will be greeted with a "Bienvenidos a Argentina" and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to rest and relax after the long haul flight or take a first glimpse of the city on your own.
The Paris of South America (Buenos Aires)
This morning our guide will pick you up at your hotel and escort you on a three-hour visit of South America's most elegant capital city. You will tour the most important landmarks in the city including Plaza de Mayo Square, Casa Rosada (Government House), the Cabildo (old City Hall), the monumental Congress building and its square, 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest in the world, and the Colon Theatre, one of the most famous opera houses in the world. Then learn about the traditions and unique character of Buenos Aires and its inhabitants through a visit to the picturesque Italian neighborhood of Boca, Palermo Park, and the historical Recoleta area and its famous cemetery where Evita Peron is buried. In the evening enjoy an exhilarating tango show. The Tango has been defined as the most sensual of all dances. The impressive lyrics, traditional instruments and sensuous moves have catapulted it to one of the most admired genres in the world. The show takes place in a traditional intimate café and includes a delightful dinner featuring traditional dishes and Argentinean wines. (B,D)
Hanging out with the Gauchos (Buenos Aires)
The Pampas is an immense territory that covers most of the central part of the country, somewhat similar to the Midwest prairies. This is the most traditional land in Argentina, a land of small friendly towns, ancestral recipes, prosperous ranches known as haciendas, and proud gauchos (Argentinean cowboys) eager to show you their customs and dexterous riding skills and folklore. Today we decide to leave the city behind, head for the prairies and spend the day out in the company of the gauchos, learning about cattle breeding activities, attending a demonstration of gaucho skills and a folk show, taking rides on carriages or on horseback, and tasting homemade empanadas and the succulent "asado", a sort of barbecue prepared in traditional Gaucho fashion. In the evening we return to the city. (B,L)
Diving into the Lake District (Bariloche)
It is hard to describe the beauty and magnificence of the Lake District. Anybody who has visited the region will mumble at finding the right words only to realize that there are no words that can describe it. Let’s just say that this is a region of ancient forests of birch and myrtle trees crisscrossed by meandering pristine rivers and interspersed with lakes of myriad hues, so clear that the surrounding snow-capped peaks can’t stop staring at their reflection all day long. German pioneers started populating the district in the beginning of the 20th century. They built settlements along rivers and lakes, introducing their characteristic architecture and customs that still prevail to this day. Upon arrival in Bariloche, you will be transferred to your hotel. Balance of the day at leisure. Overnight (B)
Basking in the Lake District (Bariloche)
Enjoy another full day to experience this piece of paradise at your own pace. Trekking, hiking, boating, horseback riding, fishing, rafting and mountain biking are all available here. Or you may just kick back and relax, enjoy the peace and tranquility, admire the magnificent vistas, or indulge with a soothing massage. (B)
Lake crossing to Chile (Puerto Varas)
The Lake Crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas is one of the most incredible day trips in the world. By bus, catamaran and boat, we cross the Andes on a unique itinerary that includes drives along millenary forests, sailing through magnificent lakes of emerald green and clear blue waters, crossing mountain passes and visits to roaring waterfalls, all under the imposing presence of the perpetual snow-capped peaks and volcanoes of the Andes range. At the end of the day, upon arrival in Puerto Varas, a local representative will transfer you to your hotel in the city. (B,L)
At leisure (Puerto Varas)
Free day to rest after yesterday's long day or explore the Chilean Lake District. The colonial city of Frutillar and Los Alerces National Park are two popular destinations as is the quaint Angelmo Cove, a traditional fishing village. In the evening, you may want to go for a stroll around the lake and admire the German architecture and savor the delicious sweets made from traditional European recipes.(B)
Chiloe, the mythical island (Puerto Varas)
The island of Chiloe is a world apart when compared to its German-influenced neighbors. Isolated during long periods of time, the island is shredded in an aura of mystery intensified by its rich mythology, superstitions and unique folklore. Locals still live in wooden stilt houses and moss-covered churches dating from the 17th century can be seen everywhere (the oldest one was built with wooden pegs instead of nails). A pleasant 30-minute ride on the local ferry will take you to the island of Chiloe. Once on the island, amble along the ancient streets of the fishing village of Dalcahue, visit the unique cathedral, the original palafitos and the handicraft market in Castro and finally check out the colonial fortresses in Ancud. Lunch is a savory array of fresh seafood and Chilean specialties. (B,L)
To the capital city (Santiago)
Today we leave the incomparable Lake District and head for Santiago, the Chilean capital. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel followed by a free day that you can devote to walking around Santiago's colonial downtown area, do some shopping in some of South Americas best malls, and have dinner in the trendy restaurants of Las Condes district. (B)
The cradle of Chilean Wines (Santiago)
We leave Santiago and start heading south towards the beautiful Maipo Valley, where the famous Concha y Toro winery is located. Founded in 1883 it sits amidst a beautiful park next to the old family mansion La Chascona, which dates back to the 19th century. Escorted by a local guide we tour the vineyards and then continue with a comprehensive presentation of the winemaking process. At the end of the tour we will enjoy a wine tasting of the different wines offered by Concha y Toro. Return to Santiago in the late afternoon. (B)
Free day in Santiago. In the evening depart Chile
You have a final day to explore the city at your own pace. Visit the elegant galleries and boutiques, have coffee at the chic cafes, or visit Pablo Neruda’s house in the Bellavista neighborhood. In the evening you will be transferred to the airport in time for your departure flight. We wish you a pleasant trip back home and hope to enjoy your company in another exciting adventure very soon. (B)
From: $2,488 per person in double occupancy
June Special : Book any 2010 departure and receive a $75 per person discount!
Duration: 11 Days / 10 Nights
Departures: Daily from September through April
Type of services: Private throughout except for the Lake Crossing, which is operated on a group basis.
Highlights: A private guided tour and Tango show in Buenos Aires; visiting a typical Argentinean ranch; the pristine Lake District and mesmerizing lake crossing excursion; the mythical island of Chiloe; the Chilean wine country.
Travel documents: American citizens only need a valid passport for traveling to Argentina and/or Chile.
Inclusions: All ground transportation at the destination; lodging, meals and tours per itinerary; hotel taxes; English-speaking assistance.
Not included: International and domestic airfares; airport departure taxes; tips of any kind; incidentals at hotels; any meals not included in the itinerary; alcoholic beverages; souvenirs.
It is the travelers responsibility to have all proper travel documents which can include passports and foreign visas. Learn more here: Passport & Visa Information
Travel Insurance is highly recommended to protect your travel investment and for any emergencies that could occur while traveling. Learn more here: Travel Insurance
All rates are “From Prices”
and correspond to the lowest season in the year.
Expect moderate to high increases for high season
and holiday periods. Low season dates vary from
destination to destination. Please inquire for details.
All rates on this website are per person and based
on double occupancy, unless otherwise indicated.
If a hotel included in a program is not available
at the time of the reservation, we will substitute
it for a hotel of similar category.
Room and cabin upgrades are available at most hotels
and cruises. Please inquire at the time of reservation.
Most programs can be customized.
All itineraries are subject to change without notice.