Buffet breakfast daily (B), 2 lunches (L), and 3 three-course dinners (D); Local Host service in each city; sightseeing with a Local Guide and transportation as outlined in the day-by-day itinerary (except intra-vacation flights, which are additional; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE).
Day #1 Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina. Welcome to Buenos Aires, proud capital of the vast country that occupies most of the southern part of the continent. After arriving at your central hotel you will have time to become acquainted with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards and outdoor cafés. Enjoy an evening at leisure.
Day #2 Buenos Aires–Mendoza. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Mendoza, where you will be met by your Local Host. The Mendoza region is the fifth-greatest wine producer in the world, has one of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, and boasts a temperate climate and radiant sun. (B)
Day #3 Mendoza. Today your private city TOUR focuses on the culture and history originating from the Spanish colonizers four centuries ago. It includes a visit to the oldest part of the city with its archeological remains of ancient buildings and ruins of San Francisco Church. Also visit the new city, Plaza Independencia, the Civic Center, and General San Martin Park with its lake and rose garden. (B)
Day #4 Mendoza. Mendoza has gained worldwide recognition for its production of award-winning wines and is the most prolific wine-making region in South America. Learn more about the industry and Mendoza’s famous Malbec on today’s private BODEGA TOUR. Travel into Mendoza’s agricultural oasis, where you have the opportunity to visit two different vineyards, learn about the wine-making process, and participate in wine tastings. (B)
Day #5 Mendoza–Buenos Aires. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires. This afternoon, Included SIGHTSEEING starts in the colorful La Boca district, site of the city’s first port. Take a short walking tour of this unique neighborhood, then on to San Telmo, famous for its late-colonial buildings and a popular gathering spot for artists. At the Plaza de Mayo, see La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House) and the Metropolitan Cathedral, which houses San Martin’s Mausoleum. Drive past the ornate Colon Opera House before reaching the CEMETERY of the Recoleta, burial site of Eva Peron. This evening, perhaps savor the city’s atmosphere on an optional dinner at a local restaurant followed by a performance of Latin America’s most sensuous dance—the Tango! (B)
Day #6 Buenos Aires. Today is at leisure. Your Local Host will suggest an optional excursion to the Pampas. Experience Argentine country life as you visit an estancia (ranch). Get acquainted with the lifestyle of the gauchos and enjoy a barbecue lunch and the warm hospitality of your hosts before returning to the city. (B)
Day #7 Buenos Aires–Ushuaia. Fly to the “End of the World,” Ushuaia, situated on the island of Tierra del Fuego. Once a secluded outpost and penal colony, Ushuaia is now a growing community thriving on timber, fishing, and tourism. This afternoon, visit TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK to learn about its bountiful flora and fauna. With the Chilean Andes as the backdrop, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. (B)
Day #8 Ushuaia (Embarkation). Embark on your 3-night CRUISE aboard the Stella Australis. The voyage will take you through channels, bays, fjords, and past massive glaciers, snowcapped mountains, and unexplored areas of incomparable beauty. (B,D)
Day #9 Cruising: Cape Horn & Wulaia Bay. Disembark in Cape Horn National Park (weather permitting) to see Cape Horn, a sheer, almost 1,394-foot-high rocky promontory where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans merge. In the afternoon, go ashore with your Naturalist in historic Wulaia Bay, once the site of one of the region’s largest aboriginal settlements. Here, walk through a Magellanic forest and keep an eye out for elephant seals! (B,L,D)
Day #10 Cruising: Piloto & Nena Glaciers. Sail through the intricate channels of Tierra del Fuego Island to reach Cockburn Channel. At Chico Sound, board Zodiac boats to explore Alakaluf Fjord, to see its beautiful waterfalls and the Piloto and Nena Glaciers from the sea. Learn about the formation of glaciers and their influence on the abrupt geography of the region’s channels. (B,L,D)
Day #11 Cruising: Magellan Strait–Magdalena Island–Punta Arenas, Chile (Disembarkation). This morning, go ashore on Magdalena Island (weather permitting). Located in the Strait of Magellan, it was an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers in the past. Here, see the immense colony of Magellanic Penguins during a walk to the lighthouse, which guides ships on their way through the strait. (In September and April this excursion is replaced by a Zodiac boat ride at Isla Marta to observe sea lions.) After our visit, sail to Punta Arenas and disembark. (B)
Day #12 Punta Arenas–Santiago. Fly to Santiago, Chile’s capital. This country is more than 10-times longer than wide, with 2,650 miles of beautiful Pacific coastline. (B)
Day #13 Santiago. Step back into the 16th century as your Local Guide traces the city’s history and heritage on today’s TOUR. Start at La Moneda, the official Government Palace, and nearby San Cristobal Hill with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. Your tour ends at the Plaza de Armas, the main square, with a visit to the 18th-century CATHEDRAL. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure. (B)
Day #14 Santiago. Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)