Four flights (longest 4hrs); 2 scenic road journeys (longest 6hrs).
Here you stay in relatively large, contemporary-style hotels at the top of the mid-range category; but on the whole they are anything but bland, with interesting features. The rooms are well equipped and have private bathrooms and heating/air-conditioning. All have excellent locations, and were chosen because they are well positioned for visiting the local sights.
Breakfast daily, lunch days 2, 3; dinner day 9; full board days 4, 5.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
- Walking tour of Santiago’s historic heart.
- Full day excursion to two vineyards in the Maipo valley.
- Excursions and activities in Torres del Paine National Park.
- Visit Perito Moreno glacier, boat cruise in the lake below the ice wall.
- Walking city tour of Buenos Aires, visit Teatro Colon.
- Tango show with dinner, Buenos Aires.
- Visit to Argentine side of Iguazú falls.
- Full day visit to Brazilian side of Iguazú falls.
- Guided tour of Corcovado mountain (Christ the Redeemer).
Summary of nights
16 days, 15 nights: Santiago 2; Torres del Paine 3; El Calafate 2; Buenos Aires 3; Iguazú 2; Rio de Janeiro 3.
Included in the journey price
- Services of our team of experts in our London office.
- Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
- All land and air transport within Latin America.
- Accommodation as specified.
- Meals as specified.
- Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
- International flights to Latin America
- Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket.
- Tips and gratuities.
- Meals other than specified.
- Optional excursions.
There are a number of half, full-day or longer excursions or activities you may wish to consider in order to customise your holiday to cater for your interests. Please contact us to discuss these further or to add them to your itinerary before you depart. A selection of these include:
- Buenos Aires: boat trip to Uruguay to visit colonial town of Colonia, from Buenos Aires.
- By road or train to Tigre in the delta from Buenos Aires.
- Cable car up the Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio.
The unit of currency in Chile is the Chilean peso; Argentina has the Argentine peso; and in Brazil the Brazilian ‘real’ (plural reais).
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$40-50 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier
Travel insurance is essential.
Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.
In Torres del Paine all walks are optional. Hikes vary in length (between 2 and 8hrs) and difficulty (some are easy and flat, others steeper and more challenging). Be prepared for some early mornings, and for extreme weather conditions in Patagonia.
Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is between May and September. In Santiago, Rio and Buenos Aires temperatures can be cool (5°C to 15°C). Sunshine is possible, but so is rain if cold fronts come tumbling in.
Spring temperatures, October to November and March to April are between 15°C and 25°C and there is a good deal of sunshine, although in Buenos Aires rain is not uncommon. January and February are hot, around 30°C.
The weather in Patagonia is notoriously unpredictable throughout the year, with up to four seasons in one day. In summer you benefit from long daylight hours; in winter snow may block some routes and it is dark by late afternoon: at this time however there can be long calm spells with sunshine as well as storms. The shoulder season in April-May and September-October can be very windy.
Clothing and special equipment
You will be exposed to just about all the climates the continent can offer, so will need a range of layered clothing. A day pack is essential for carrying rainwear (umbrella in the hot summer months), snacks, books and a water bottle. To ensure your comfort while walking in Patagonia, you should bring a good pair of walking boots or shoes as well as a good waterproof top, trousers and a warm hat and a scarf.
The sun can be strong so take a hat with a visor, sunglasses and sunblock.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - If flying to the US, or via the US, you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.