Connect with the legend and lore of one of the world’s most remote and remarkable islands, delving into the ancient culture of the Rapa Nui who once prospered on this land. Our first stop on this mystical adventure is Ahu Akivi, where we’ll enjoy a private guided excursion with our Local Specialist to view its seven Moai statues, facing the ocean. Learn about their astronomically precise location and how they were placed there to use their mana to protect the inhabitants of the nearby village. Continue to ancient Ahu Hanga Poukura to see the tumbled Moai statues that stand as a testament to ancient battles. Then, visit the Puna Pau quarry with its red scoria stone.
Embark on a privately guided excursion with our Local Specialist to the southern coast and witness the perfectly preserved ceremonial Ahu Vaihu in the bay of Hanga Te'e. Set out with your boxed picnic lunch and proceed to Rano Raraku, a quarry of almost 900 stone statues - 397 of them still located at the slopes of the Rano Kau volcano. Visit Ahu Tongariki, the largest ahu on the island, then continue to the eastern coast and visit Ahu Te Pito Kura with its Paro Maoi, the largest maoi statue ever erected. Afterward, visit scenic Anakena beach, where the king first set foot on the island.
Journey to the UNESCO-listed Rapa Nui National Park. Join a private excursion with our Local Specialist up the extinct Rano Kau volcano. Admire views of the island from its slopes, then drive to the village of Orongo, where you’ll view petroglyphs revealing the local culture. Later, catch a glimpse the three islets of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao on the opposite coast. Then it’s on to Ahu Vinapu for further evidence of the pre-Incan architectural influence. Our final stop is at the Ana Kai Tangata to view the ornate cave paintings from its mouth. Return to your hotel this afternoon before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Santiago (flight not included in holiday price).
Connect with the cosmopolitan verve of the Chilean capital, Santiago. Spend the day on your terms discovering the unique personalities of each of the city’s diverse barrios. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travel companions for a Welcome Reception.
This morning’s city tour with a Local Specialist includes a stop at the ornate wrought-iron Central Market where we’ll see the catch of the day and stroll past pop-up restaurants serving local favourites. We journey to wine country, visiting an exclusive winery in Casablanca Valley for a gourmet lunch served alfresco in exquisite surrounds. Connect With Locals and meet the winemakers for a personalised winery experience, followed by an opportunity to taste the fruit of his labours. Spend the rest of the evening at leisure.
We fly south to the coastal city of Puerto Montt, then continue to Puerto Varas for a tour of the 'City of Roses' with our Local Specialist against the backdrop of snow-capped volcanoes. Later, we make our way to our hotel on the shores of Lake Llanquihue where we’ll enjoy the rest of the day at leisure and an included dinner.
Look forward to a day of pinch me moments as you cross the Andes via land and water. Our first stop sees us watch the burbling waters of the Petrohue River cascade over black volcanic rock. We’ll cross Todos Los Santos Lake, keeping a keen eye out for giant Andean condors as the mighty Osorno Volcano with its white cap looms in the background. Admire the soul-stirring landscapes en route to Peulla where we’ll enjoy lunch. Then, cross the border into Argentina and cruise the glacial waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi. We’ll arrive in Bariloche this evening.
Soak up the sights and sounds of the 'Switzerland of South America' this morning, breathing in the fresh alpine air. We’ll meet our Local Specialist and travel along the 'Circuito Chico' for spectacular views of forests, mountains and sparkling waters in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Visit the beach playground of Playa Bonita, soak up the scenery from the hilltop of St. Edward's Chapel on the Llao Llao Peninsula, and ride a chairlift to the top of Cerro Campanario for sweeping views of the high peaks of Catedral and Tronador. Dive Into Culture and indulge in the rich flavours of chocolate during a visit to La Chocolaterie Van Wynsberghe, then spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Leaving spectacular Patagonian landscapes behind, we fly to the passionate Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires. This evening, we’ll Connect With Locals, joining our Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Be My Guest experience dinner with a local family in Palermo Soho. Savour traditional flavours and homemade family dishes, then discover the secrets of kneading country bread. Our unforgettable local encounter continues as we watch family members engage in an elegant Tango performance.
Immerse yourself in the seamless mix of European elegance meets Latin energy. We’ll join a Local Specialist to see some of Buenos Aires’ most notable sites, including the Plaza de Mayo and iconic pink Casa Rosada. View the fashionable neighbourhood of La Boca, admire the opulent façade of Teatro Colon and drive along the stately Avenida 9 de Julio to the elegant Recoleta cemetery, where Argentina’s most famous sons and daughters have been laid to rest. We pay homage to the beloved former first lady of Argentina, Eva Peron, before enjoying an afternoon at leisure. This evening, we indulge in the delicious flavours of Argentine beef, the authentic tastes of world-renowned Argentinian beef. Dive Into Culture later, watching the sensual, stirring moves of a traditional Tango performance.
Get a taste of life as a porteño this morning, embracing the energy of this passionate South American hub on your terms. Perhaps, admire the works of Degas, El Greco and Van Gogh at the Museum of Bellas Artes or stroll around the colourful stalls that line one of the local markets. Take to the countryside and consider spending the day at a traditional estancia (ranch) for the Fiesta Gaucha (festival of the cowboy), where you’ll be entertained by a lively equestrian show and enjoy a traditional parrillada (barbecue) lunch.
Journey to the thundering cascade of Iguassu Falls, where we’ll meet our Local Specialist for a visit to the UNESCO-listed Iguassu National Park. Board an open-air ecological jungle train delving deep into its subtropical rainforest. Walk along the catwalk peering down into the swirling waters of Devil’s Throat Falls. We’ll cross the border into Brazil for an evening at leisure and dinner at our resort.
Rediscover the 'Big Waters' and return to Iguassu National Park, where you’ll join a Local Specialist who will guide your discovery of the Brazilian side of the falls. Walk through the rainforest at the base of the falls and peer at its majesty through the powerful spray. We enjoy an evening at leisure.
We bid farewell to the falls and fly to sultry Rio de Janeiro. You’ll be transferred to your hotel overlooking the colourful Copacabana Beach.
Begin your exploration of the cidade maravilhosa (marvellous city) with your Local Specialist, ascending Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car for astounding bay and city views. Then return to the city for a tour with our Local Specialist before spending the rest of the day at leisure.
Board a classic cogwheel train for the journey to the summit of majestic Corcovado, site of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We join our Local Specialist to explore more of the city’s iconic sights. Later this afternoon, we’ll Connect With Locals during a visit to a local Samba school where we’ll gain insights into how the school prepares for the pageantry of Carnival week. View the colourful costumes and immerse yourself in the rhythms of Samba as you participate in a dance lesson. This evening, Dive Into Culture and experience the flavours of churrascaria linger at our Farewell Dinner. As our hosts demonstrate how to mix the perfect caipirinha, we toast to an epic South American journey. Saude!
Fit in some last-minute exploring and souvenir shopping until your transfer to the airport for your flight to Manaus, the Brazilian gateway of the Amazon. You’ll be transferred to your hotel before embarking on a city tour that will reveal the wealth of the city’s former rubber barons. Visit the grand Palacio Rio Negro with its displays reflecting traditional Amazonian culture, then discover the floating harbour and nearby Customs House. Admire the metallic architecture of the vibrant Mercado Municipal, based on the Les Halles marketplace in Paris and see the Renaissance opera house, constructed during the city’s golden age.
We journey upstream today to see first-hand the tremendous 'Meeting of the Waters'. Watch how the dark waters of the Rio Negro merge with the sandy brown water of the Solimões and then flows eastward to the Atlantic. After lunch, consider joining an optional canoe trip down a smaller tributary and try your hand at piranha fishing, or simply immerse yourself in your jungle surrounds. Later, we transfer to our lodge on the banks of the Rio Taruma.
Walk beneath the towering canopy of the world’s largest rainforest – the life-source of Planet Earth and an area of exceptional biodiversity. We’ll embark on a guided walk this morning with our Local Specialist, keeping a keen eye out for shy capybara or the giant coils of the anaconda as it naps on the branches of a tree. Connect With Locals as you immerse yourself in the culture, rituals and heritage of the native Amazonians gaining first-hand insight into their day-to-day lives, then return to your lodge for dinner against the backdrop of cicadas, bulldog bats and Screaming Piha, the signature sound of the Amazon.
Visit Monkey Forest, a rehabilitation centre and wildlife refuge, where we’ll see rescued monkeys interact with each other, for your MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Then return to Manaus Airport as your Amazon experience comes to an end. Guests joining from Icons of South America or South America Landscapes will end their holiday at Manaus Airport for their flight home (not included on trip price on post-trip extension). Airport arrival will be at 11 a.m., please be aware when booking your flights.