Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Chile.
Welcome to Chile, South America’s longest and narrowest country, with more than 2,650 miles of beautiful Pacific coastline. Depart at 2 pm and enjoy a tour of [LF] SANTA RITA WINERY, founded in 1880 with the finest of French vine stocks. See the wine cellars, the beautiful vineyards, and learn about the wine-making process. You will get the chance to taste, design, blend, bottle, cork, and label your own wine during your visit. Wrap it up with a wine tasting and bring home the bottle that you created.
Day 2 Santiago.
After breakfast, embark on a CITY TOUR with a Local Guide who will show you the highlights of this great city of colonial and contemporary contrasts. See the horseracing track in the oldest residential part of the city, the famous Alameda, Santiago’s colorful main avenue, San Francisco Church, and Santa Lucia Hill. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit LA VEGA CENTRAL MARKET to learn about typical food in Chile, including steaming pots of cazuela and humitas, similar to tamales! Top off your sightseeing with a terremoto drink at a local pub and a visit to Cerro San Cristobal for a stunning view of Santiago and the Andes. (B,L)
Day 3 Santiago–Punta Arenas–Puerto Natales.
Depart Santiago and fly to Punta Arenas on the Straight of Magellan, gateway to Chile's Patagonia. Head south from Punta Arenas to FORT BULNES, a historical reconstruction of the first fortified settlement on the Strait of Magellan. With a local historian, tour the fort originally built in 1843 and see the church, houses, barracks, and old shipwrecks. Continue to Puerto Natales, your home for the next three nights. (B)
Day 4 Puerto Natales. Excursion to Torres del Paine National Park.
Venture into TORRES DEL PAINE, one of the most spectacularly scenic regions in the world. Spanning a massive area, it was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978. Cascading waterfalls, roaring creeks, shimmering lakes, and jagged mountains are just a part of what Paine offers. During your visits to see the famous sites, including Los Cuernos, Lago Pehoe, Salto Grande, and Lago Grey, you are guaranteed to get a glimpse of some of the park’s fauna, such as herds of guanacos, foxes, swans, and birds. Also visit the legendary MILODÓN CAVE, where prehistoric fossils dating back 14,000 years ago, including those of a saber-toothed tiger and a gigantic sloth weighing over a ton, have been found. (B,L)
Day 5 Puerto Natales. Chilean Fjords Cruise.
Today, enjoy a full-day CRUISE on Seno Ultima Esperanza (“Last Hope Fjord”), visiting the spectacular Serrano and Balmaceda Glaciers, which are only accessible by boat. See the incomparable landscape of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, Chile’s biggest natural reserve. Arriving at the end of the fjord, disembark and hike through unspoiled, cold rainforest to the foot of the Serrano Glacier. Enjoy the beautiful views and rugged landscapes! Lunch will be served at a nearby hostería (inn). (B,L)
Day 6 Puerto Natales–El Calafate, Argentina.
After breakfast, depart for El Calafate, a lovely village on the southern shores of Lake Argentino. Originally a simple sheltering destination for wool traders, today El Calafate serves as the entry point for the UNESCO Natural Heritage Site of Los Glaciares National Park. (B)
Day 7 El Calafate. Glacier Cruise & Estancia Visit.
Today, a CRUISE on Lago Argentino takes you up close for views of icebergs and UPSALA GLACIER, one of the longest in South America at over 35 miles long. Disembark at a historic ranch, ESTANCIA CRISTINA, on the shores of Lago Argentino. Whether you prefer a quiet day of touring and history or more adventurous activities, like trekking or exploring by 4-wheel-drive vehicle—the choice is yours during your ranch visit. (B,L)
Day 8 El Calafate. Excursion to Perito Moreno Glacier.
A must for all visitors to Argentina is a visit to PERITO MORENO GLACIER in LOS GLACIARES NATIONAL PARK. Forming part of the Patagonian Continental Ice Field, from which 13 glaciers descend on the Atlantic side to flow into the Viedma and Argentino Lakes, this glacier is one of the few in the world that is still advancing. During your walking tour along the catwalks, marvel at the breathtaking glacier views and with some luck, see the ice calve into the waters below. (B)
Day 9 El Calafate–Ushuaia.
After breakfast, fly to Ushuaia, Argentina—the end of the world! You’ll have the opportunity to see the Andes Mountains from a [LF] CRUISE along Beagle Channel. Bask in the feeling of being in the southernmost city in the world, and watch for sea lions, albatrosses, skuas, and other interesting Patagonian fauna. Arrive at MARTILLO ISLAND, where you have the chance to see a colony of Magellan penguins! (B)
Day 10 Ushuaia. Tierra del Fuego National Park Excursion.
Today, discover TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK, the southernmost national park in the world. Hike around the park, escorted by an expert Naturalist. With stops at Bahia Lapataia, Lago Roca, and Bahia Ensenada, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate ecosystems here. (B,L)
Day 11 Ushuaia–Buenos Aires.
Fly to Buenos Aires today, the “Paris of South America” and capital of Argentina. Fabulous food, shopping, and architecture all converge here to create a distinctly Latin vibe. Tonight, enjoy a [LF] WINE TASTING led by a local sommelier at an exclusive Cava, where you will try some famous Argentine wines, followed by dinner in this intimate setting. (B,D)
Day 12 Buenos Aires.
Your guided sightseeing starts at Plaza de Mayo to see La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House) and the METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL, housing San Martin’s Mausoleum. Drive past the ornate Colon Opera House before reaching RECOLETA CEMETERY, burial site of Eva Peron. Next, in La Boca, a colorful district and site of the city’s first port, take a short walking tour of this unique neighborhood, then continue to San Telmo, famous for its late-colonial buildings and a popular gathering spot for artists. Top off the evening at a famous TANGO CLUB, where instructors are ready to lead a [LF] TANGO LESSON, followed by a farewell dinner of Argentine steaks and other local specialties. End the night with a show featuring flawless performances of Latin America’s most sensuous dance—the Tango! (B,D)
Day 13 Buenos Aires.
Your tour ends with breakfast this morning. (B)