If the sheer delight of white-sand beaches, jaw-dropping waterfalls, the buzz of Rio and the café culture of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires sounds like you, then you’ve got the perfect combination of adventure, discovery and sun-seeking with this spectacular tour through Argentina and Brazil. At your own pace, you will discover two of South America’s greatest cities, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, as well as Iguazu Falls, the Ibera Wetlands and much more on this 16-day journey. On this tour, you’ll have plenty of free time in each city to explore and experience the varied restaurants, shops, and optional excursions. While in Buenos Aires, you’ll have the opportunity to visit everywhere from the elegant Recoleta neighborhood to the bohemian La Boca district. And while in Buenos Aires – a city where romance fills the air – no visit would be complete without experiencing tango, the world’s most sensuous dance. From there, traveling even deeper into Argentina, you will discover this nation’s best-kept secret: the north. Here, you’ll see why this region is capturing the hearts and imaginations of all those who visit. Argentina´s northern region is home to traditional estancias, the exotic wildlife of the remote Ibera Wetlands, and the incredible Iguazu Falls. At the falls, you will witness its 275 cascades stretching nearly two miles across – truly one of the most spectacular sights on Earth. Hear the deafening roar and admire the brilliant rainbows created by the clouds of spray, and take in the majesty of this wonder of the world. Not to be outdone, Rio will allow you to witness its iconic “Christ the Redeemer” statue on Corcovado mountaintop, sip a popular caipirinhas cocktail, and catch a vibrant samba show. From tango to samba, Spanish to Portuguese, and Malbec wine to caipirinhas, both of these countries are sure to impact you with their passionate zests for life. From vibrant cities to scenic natural beauty, these travel experiences in Buenos Aires, the Ibera Wetlands, Iguassu Falls and Rio de Janeiro will leave you with vacation memories that you will hold onto and treasure for life.
“The trip was excellent from beginning to end. The Isabella II was a fine ship and the crew and guides were all of the highest quality. I would recommend them to others. For us, the ship was the perfect size – not too small and not too large”
AM: Described as the “Paris of South America,” Buenos Aires proudly embraces this title, though this capital city shows off plenty of its own culture! Upon your arrival in Buenos Aires, you will be welcomed at the airport and privately driven to your hotel.
PM: Following lunch, you will have the remainder of the day free to begin exploring this vibrant and romantic city on your own – from its elegant historic neighborhoods to the cafe culture of laid back Buenos Aires.
AM: In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel for a fuller city tour of Buenos Aires. This will first take you to the historical and political center of the city, San Telmo, with its characteristic cobblestone streets. From there, you will find that the La Boca district is where Buenos Aires turns colorful, and tango is ever present. We will then proceed to the chic and aristocratic Recoleta area, where expansive palaces remind us that Buenos Aires was indeed once the “Paris of the South.”
PM: In the evening, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven (shared service) to one of Buenos Aires’ most emblematic cultural highlights: a tango dinner-show. Here, you will be treated to a spectacular demonstration of the finest national dancing, accompanied by delectable Argentinian cuisine …in addition to all the Malbec wine you wish. You will be driven back to your hotel at the end of the evening.
AM: Today will be a day of leisure for exploring the cobbled tree-lined streets of Palermo Soho in search of a one-of-a-kind Porteño fashion, sitting in a café and enjoying a perfectly aged glass of Malbec, or perhaps sipping yerba mate (local tea) out of your newly purchased mate gourd while people watching in one of the parks in the Palermo Bosques. It will all be up to you.
AM: This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the domestic airport for your flight to Posadas, an Argentine town in an area of jungles, wetlands, wild animals, isolated estancias (farms), gauchos and horses. The city is located near the Lago Esteros del Ibera, the second-largest wetlands in the world after Pantanal in Brazil. Ibera is also one of the most important fresh water reservoirs in the continent. You will stay at La Estancia, which is more like a family house than a hotel, as the homemade meals prepared here (included) will allow you to taste local flavors that are generally not served in restaurants. Located in this typical gaucho environment, La Estancia is the perfect base for exploring the area. Once settled in at La Estancia, you will have the afternoon free to explore the beautiful and secluded countryside on foot or on horseback.
AM: After breakfast we will travel to the Corriente Stream where an unforgettable day of wildlife watching will be ahead on the well-known floating islands of the Ibera lagoon. These floating “embalsados” are made of aquatic roots and sediments, while their thicknesses vary from a few centimeters to up to two meters, which allows 150-kg Marsh deer to easily walk on them. These islands are able to move from place to place due to the area’s strong winds, making the geography of the lagoon constantly change, which has given rise to many of its varied legends. In many parts of this tour, the engines can be silenced and – with the help of a pole – your boat can be directed along smaller creeks and through the aquatic vegetation. In these place, the greatest concentration of wildlife is found, including capybaras, Marsh deer, neo-tropical River otters, the two types of caimans, as well as a large variety of aquatic birds (350 species in all).
AM: In the morning, you’ll be picked up and driven back to Posadas. Once you arrive, you’ll take the public bus to Puerto Iguazu (300 km), a journey of about 5 hours.
PM: Upon arrival in Puerto Iguazu, you will be met and taken (private service) to your hotel, at which point you will have the afternoon free to relax and enjoy the jungle setting in this tropical climate.
AM: Today will be a real adventure, full of thrills and spills, and the falls is an absolute must for the adventurer at heart. After breakfast you will head out on a private, full-day tour to the Argentine side of Iguazu Falls, where you will have intimate views of this unforgettable section of the Iguazu River. An experienced guide will point out the hidden gems of this unique national park and will take you off the beaten path to show you the best views. Lower and upper walkways permit up close and personal experiences with this magnificent spectacle of nature. Trails through the 210 square mile reserve provide visitors with various views of the falls, especially the largest one: Devil's Throat. The ecological train ride is included in the tour; note, though, that on this boat trip there’s a 100% chance that you’ll get wet, as the falls provide a refreshing “natural shower.” Therefore, be sure to bring along some extra clothes if you want to go on this excursion. (There are also other optional excursions that you can take for an additional cost; these include the “Gran Aventura” and the shorter “Aventura Nautica,” which are boat trips right up to the base of the falls.)
PM: You will be taken back to your hotel in the late afternoon, where you can relax and unwind after this full day of adventure and before sitting down to dinner.
AM: After breakfast, you can enjoy a private, half-day excursion to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls, where you will enjoy the vast panoramic views of the falls in their entirety.
AM: This morning, you will be transferred (private service) to Foz de Iguaçu Airport to take catch your flight to Rio de Janeiro.
PM: Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you will be taken to your hotel (private service), at which point you will have the remainder of the day free to explore this vibrant city or to spend time relaxing by the beach. In Rio, you will discover an exotic mix of beach and mountains, colonial neighborhoods and modernist style, with the vibrant sound of samba everywhere. All of this earned the city a designation “The most beautifully sited city on the planet” in the book A Thousand Places to See Before You Die.
AM: In the morning you will be picked up (shared service) from your hotel to enjoy a half-day excursion to the Corcovado Hill, located in the Tijuca Atlantic Forest (the largest urban forest in the world). On this hill is the statue “Christ the Redeemer,” one of Rio’s most emblematic sites. Corcovado Hill, together with D. Martha Belvedere, is mandatory for any tour of Rio given the beauty of both locations. From the Corcovado, you can see the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, as well as the Rodrigo Freitas Lagoon and the Botanical Garden.
PM: In D. Marta Belvedere, the main attractions are the Maracana Stadium, Guanabara Bay and the Sugar Loaf. This excursion includes a brief walk in a forest trail up to the Cascatinha Falls.
AM/PM: In the morning you will depart on a half-day excursion (private service). This tour begins with a panoramic city tour from downtown Rio, passing by the Sambadrome and the Metropolitan Cathedral, whose pyramid form has an internal diameter of 96 meters and a height of 80 meters. You will also visit traditional Cinelândia Square, with its historical buildings; the Municipal Theater, the National Library and the National Museum of Fine Arts. After visiting the Aterro do Flamengo (“Flamingo Park”), you will be taken to the Urca neighborhood, the location of one of the city’s greatest and largest symbols: the Sugar Loaf. This visit is made in two stages by cable car. The first cable car takes passengers to Urca Hill, which is 215 meters high and has a beautiful view of Guanabara Bay, its islands, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge and Corcovado Hill. From this stage, a second cable car will take you up to the top, traveling another 395 meters to give way to a splendid view of Copacabana Beach, the Santa Cruz Fortress and some of the beaches in Niteroi.
AM: This morning, you will be driven (private service) to Rio’s international airport for your flight home or onward.
“The Samba cruise anyway was great, good boat, good food, amazing guide and friendly staff.”