Buffet breakfast daily (B); 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 in Salvador, Brazil. Welcome to Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia. Situated on a peninsula overlooking Todos los Santos Bay, this is thought by many to be the “Soul of Brazil.” Here you will be met by your Local Host.
Day #2 Salvador. Guided SIGHTSEEING showcases the Upper City. View the district’s well-preserved 17th- and 18th-century buildings, representing some of the finest colonial architecture in all of the Americas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the 17th-century Jesuit CATHEDRAL, the baroque CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS, and the AFRO-BRAZILIAN MUSEUM that houses objects highlighting the strong African influence on the Brazilian culture. The balance of your day is free to explore. (B)
Day #3 Salvador–Rio de Janeiro. This morning, possibly visit the Mercado Modelo, a must for securing wonderful souvenirs and experiencing the true Bahian life. Later, transfer to the airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro, South America’s capital of glamour! Your Local Host will be available with suggested activities during your free time. Tonight, you may opt to join an outing to a fun churrascaria for a feast of barbecued meats marinated and roasted over charcoal in true Brazilian style, followed by a Samba show, where the sheer vitality of this country explodes in a colorful extravaganza. (B)
Day #4 Rio de Janeiro. An included city TOUR takes you to bustling downtown Rio, where modern office towers stand next to relics of the Portuguese colonial past. View the Sambodromo and the Cathedral before visiting 300-foot-high SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN. Ascend by cable car to its summit, where you can savor spectacular vistas of the city and beaches. The afternoon and evening are at leisure. (B)
Day #5 Rio de Janeiro. Enjoy a full day at leisure. Your Local Host will suggest an optional Jeep tour to the rainforest in the middle of the city, Tijuca National Park and its bird sanctuary. This afternoon you may elect to discover historic Petropolis, a mountain resort and site of the former summer palace of Emperor Dom Pedro II. (B)
Day #6 Rio–Iguassu Falls. Fly to IGUASSU FALLS at the crossroads of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. This masterpiece of nature encompasses 275 separate falls and spans almost two miles. The afternoon is dedicated to enjoying the spectacle of this 2-mile-wide torrential downpour. With some cataracts as high as 250 feet, it’s nothing short of hypnotic. The clouds of spray, the incessant roar, and the surrounding luxuriant tropical growth make this an unforgettable natural wonder. (B)
Day #7 Iguassu Falls. This morning, take the Ecological Jungle TRAIN and tour the Argentine side of IGUASSU FALLS with numerous walkways that wind under the crashing water. (B)
Day #8 Iguassu Falls–Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fly 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. (B)
Day #9 Buenos Aires. Included SIGHTSEEING this morning 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. Spend the afternoon at leisure. 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 #10 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 #11 Buenos Aires–Santiago, Chile. Depart this morning on a scenic flight over the Andes before arriving in Santiago, Chile’s capital. This country is more than 10-times longer than wide, with 2,650 miles of beautiful Pacific coastline. (B)
Day #12 Santiago. Located in the center of the country and perched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes, Santiago has evolved as the country’s political, commercial, and cultural capital. Step back into the 16th century on your guided TOUR as your Local Guide traces the city’s history and heritage. 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. This evening, consider the optional Chilean Folkloric Dinner Show. (B)
Day #13 Santiago. The day is free for independent activities. You may want to take advantage of an optional excursion to the beautiful coastal region west of Santiago. Drive through the undulating hills of Chile’s wine country to the historic port of Valparaiso, and continue along the coast to nearby Viña del Mar. This chic seaside resort with palm tree-lined avenues and lovely villas truly deserves the sobriquet “Pearl of the Pacific.” (B)
Day #14 Santiago. Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)