Private Tour of Chile & Argentina
Argentina & Chile : Wine and Fjords Tour
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Situated on Argentina’s stunning Rio de la Plata coast, Buenos Aires is a thriving portside capital defined by a rich history, vibrant culture, and strong European influence - thus nicknamed the Paris of South America. Countless museums covering a cornucopia of subjects; an active theatre culture; carnivorous buffets second to none; sensuous tango performances; a mosaic of architecture; and shops to fit all fancies – all these facets and more make up the seductive blend that is Buenos Aires. Some of the city’s highlights include the buzz of the La Bombonera Stadium; tango and milonga venues like the Bohemian La Catedral; and heritage architecture such as that at the Cementerio de la Recoleta, where visitors can wander through a ‘city’ of massive statues and marble mausoleums. Don’t miss the International Festival of Independent Cinema and the vibrant annual Pride Parade.
Widely regarded world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia is a strikingly beautiful destination on the southern coastline of Tierra del Fuego Island, backed by mountains and facing onto Beagle channel. The city’s elegant commercial centre offers a variety of cultural and entertainment activities, while its natural location means that adventure enthusiasts are spoilt for choice, with kayaking, skiing, hiking and sailing all on offer. For a more serene excursion, boat cruises are a popular way to view the glacier off Ushuaia’s coast.
The southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Cape Horn, is a breathtaking sight known for its danger. Notorious as a sailor’s graveyard, with icebergs, strong currents, and harsh winds, some 800 shipwrecks lie in the surrounding waters. While yacht race participants and solo sailors may find themselves negotiating the rough waters, organised expeditions (with the blessing of fair weather) round the Cape and stop off on Horn Island, for an experience that has been described as pure paradise. This is also a stopping point for some cruises on their way to Antarctica.
Resting in the foothills of Argentina’s Andes Mountain Range, Mendoza has a rich gastronomic heritage, and produces some of Argentina’s most exceptional wines and olive oil. Gourmands can participate in tours and tastings at the many wineries and sample delicious local cuisine at the laid-back cafes. The city also boasts a number of historic attractions, most notably the Museo Fundacional which displays the town’s progress through human evolution, and the Museo Historico General San Martin which honours Jose de San Martin, the general who liberated Argentina from the Spanish. Other highlights include: charming, well-kept parks; bustling, fountain-adorned plazas; and the opportunity for picturesque hiking, skiing and rafting in the nearby Andes. Several exquisite churches and art-deco architecture add to the town’s landscape.
Buenos Aires Province
Argentina’s most populous and a diversely multicultural region, Buenos Aires Province takes its name from the country’s capital city of Buenos Aires, which has since become independent of the province. Visitors to Buenos Aires Province can look forward to exploring its lively capital city, La Plata, which features an impressive array of museums and cultural sites. Those looking to escape the city can head inland to discover the province’s picturesque farming settlements, such as San Antonio de Areco, Tandil and Mercedes. Other popular attractions include a number of charming little seaside resorts, such as Pinamar and Villa Gesell, and of course the Sierra de la Ventana mountain range, known for its spectacular natural scenery and excellent opportunities for outdoor adventure.
The Pampas are verdant, low-lying grasslands that cover roughly 77 000 square kilometres of land between the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, extending mostly across Argentina, but also sections of Uruguay and Brazil. With its fertile plains, the region is an important agricultural hub, and also supports some unique animal species, including the Pampas deer, the Pampas fox and the elegant crested tinamou. The Argentinean Pampas are the home turf of the ‘Gaucho’ – the original South American cowboy; an excellent winemaking culture; a wonderful culinary scene; and extraordinary silver-making. Highlights of the area include famous salami and craft beer in Tandil, and the pretty historic town of San Antonio de Areco, which makes a convenient day trip from Buenos Aires and has a thriving 'gaucho' and 'criollo' tradition.
Tierra del Fuego National Park
The world-famous Tierra del Fuego National Park is situated on the Argentine part of the island of Tierra del Fuego and was the first shoreline national park established in Argentina. The park is famous for its sublime views, fascinating history and unique environment. Featuring bright turquoise fjords, green forests close to the coast, and lush valleys created by parallel mountain ranges, the stunning scenery offers breathtaking views and extraordinary photographic opportunities, especially from the renowned lookout point at Lapataia Bay. History enthusiasts can see the ‘concheros’, circles where mollusks accumulated, showing that there were ancient yamanas aboriginal tribes living in the area hundreds of years ago (their main food was seafood). The remarkable Canadian Beavers can be seen from a distance along with their incredible dam systems, which have played a significant role in the environment.
Situated in Argentinian Patagonia, the region known as ‘Atlantic Patagonia’ is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. The remarkable landscape is characterised by magnificent fjords, glittering bays and secluded inlets meeting the lowlands of the Pampas. This spectacularly scenic area is home to the famed Valdes Peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its marine life, in particular for the orcas that beach themselves to hunt sea lions. This wild Patagonian coastal area offers visitors an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. Other popular activities include swimming at the pristine northern Las Grutas Beach and diving in the crystal-clear waters of Argentina’s diving capital, Puerto Madryn. Don’t miss the Cabo Dos Bahias Nature Reserve inhabited by an enormous penguin colony and countless birds, sea lions, and walruses.
The Argentine section of Southern Patagonia is a phenomenal place where sheep outnumber humans at the end of the world. It is known for its icy windswept landscapes, vast expanses of remote empty Patagonian Steppe and diverse wildlife. This scenic remote landscape is home to the region’s top highlights: the Torres del Paine National Park which spills over into Chile and the Los Glaciares National Park, which both feature deep fjords, snow-dusted mountains, expansive glaciers and ancient forests. Visitors to this area can enjoy some of the most beautiful natural attractions in the world including: the annual rendezvous of the Southern Right Whale at the rugged Peninsula Valdes and the stunning Patagonian Ice Fields boasting colossal glaciers. Popular activities include: hiking, camping, whale watching, mountaineering, climbing and horse riding.
Extending across part of both Chile and Argentina at the southernmost tip of South America, the remote and stunningly scenic region of Patagonia offers some of the most awe-inspiring hiking trails in the world. It is made up of distinct regions, each with its own unique beauty. Southern Patagonia is home to huge glaciers, with the enormous Glaciar Perito Moreno creeping forward up to two metres a day, causing building-size icebergs to detach. Central Patagonia is covered by a wilderness of rainforests and coastal plains, while northern Patagonia is scattered with the cobalt lakes and lush valleys of the Lakes District and Araucania. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the largest forests of ancient Alerce in the world (up to 4000 years old) at the Parque Nacional Los Alerces.
Las Condes is found within the greater Santiago Metropolitan Region in central Chile. Nicknamed ‘Sanhattan’ (along with neighbouring district Vitacura), Las Condes is an affluent area home to some good cultural sights in addition to some of the continent’s largest skyscrapers. Check out Santiago’s glitzy CBD around Boulevard Nueva Las Condes, before visiting the Museum of Chilenidad (found in the beautiful patronage house of Santa Rosa de Apoquindo) and the Cultural Centre of the Counts, which features rotating temporary exhibitions. Take a walk through flower-filled Araucano Park to recharge your batteries, and then shop for exquisite handicrafts at Pueblito Los Dominicos, before visiting the Cerro Calan Observatory to learn more about its impressive collection of telescopes. Finally, note that – with more than 500 restaurants to choose from – Las Condes is a gourmand’s delight.
Resting in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andes and the Chilean Coast Range, Chile’s vibrant, cosmopolitan, capital city of Santiago is famous for its beautiful parks, wealth of historical attractions, and as a hub of modern arts and culture. The Cerro San Cristobal Park, the largest green space in the city, lies on a hill and is reached by a funicular ride. It offers visitors stunning sweeping views of the city, as well as a picturesque botanical garden and two huge swimming pools. The colonial Plaza de Armas, the old town centre, is a delight to explore with its numerous Neoclassical buildings and museums, most notably the home-turned-museum of renowned poet Pablo Neruda. Visitors to Santiago can soak in wonderful live performances, concerts and art displays at numerous galleries and centres such as the Centro Gabriela Mistral, named after Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral.
The region of Central Chile contains the capital city of Santiago, with its pulsating energy and vibrant cultural scene, as well as some fantastic out-of-the-way destinations and astounding natural sights. Pichilemu is one of the continent’s premiere surfing destinations, while the UNESCO-listed Valparaiso - with its gorgeous hillside setting, colourful buildings and historic harbour area - is one of Chile’s most-loved places to visit. For outdoors and adventure lovers, the region is home to a number of fine ski resorts (such as Valle Nevado and Portillo), incredible walking and hiking trails in the waterfall-rich Radal Siete Tazas National Reserve and some appealing coastal destinations, like Renaca, Vina del Mar and Cobquecura. Cobquecura also offers convenient access to the island of Loberia, which is famous for its impressive wildlife, including large numbers of sea lions and seals.
The Andes are the longest continental mountain range in the world, stretching for 7000kms. The southern tip of this majectic mountain range lies south of Llullaillaco in Argentina and Chile and is home to the Southern Andean steppe, a unique ecoregion defined by its cold desert climate and tough montane grasslands and shrublands. Because of these chilly, arid conditions much of the vegetation here is endemic (unique to the region). Some of the larger mammals that have adapted to this harsh environment include the puma, the Andean fox and two relatives of the llama - the vicuna (the national animal of Peru) and the guanaco.
Mendoza Wine Region
The name Mendoza is synonymous with wine. Surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful Andean scenery, the Mendoza Wine Region is known for its vast vineyards, a wide variety of exceptional wines, and spectacularly majestic scenery. The landscape features desert terrain and mountain vistas interspersed with lush Visitors can look forward to sampling the regions vast selection of world-famous, award-winning vintages including a variety malbecs at an endless array of fantastic wineries. Other popular activities include: white-water rafting, rock-climbing skiing, horse riding and other adventures in the nearby Andes. Don’t miss the opportunity to hike several magnificent peaks on the Cordon del Plata reaching over 6000 metres above sea level and take on the highest peak in the Americas, Mt Aconcagua.