Welcome to Argentina!
The name “Argentina” comes from the Latin word “argentum” (silver) and has been used since the first so-called “Conquistador” from Spain came to the “Rio de la Plata” (Silver River). The country has 40 million inhabitants. Many Spanish, Italians, Germans and French immigrated to Argentina, making it the most European-influenced country of the subcontinent.
The country’s capital, Buenos Aires, is the center of the political, economic and intellectual life of the country. It is also the most elegant and busy city in all of South America and its 13 million inhabitants enjoy the plentiful nightlife visiting excellent restaurants, tango parlors, discotheques and social drinking establishments.
This cosmopolitan city, with its great European cultural influence, displays a refined taste in its cooking, in its boutiques and in the elegance of its inhabitants. Even with its modern construction and dynamic activity, it has managed to preserve old traditions and charming corners.
This is the birthplace of tango music, an incredible part of the ongoing lifestyle here. As a result, Tango is included in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity.
The atmosphere and the individual personality of each of the city’s neighbourhoods, the cordiality of its people and the wide selection of its cultural and commercial opportunities makes it a superb starting point for our private journey through the spectacular southern part of South America.
Today is set aside as an arrival day for all guests.
Each guest will be met at the airport by TrailFinders’ representative and transferred downtown to the hotel. Here, the tour leader will be available to assist with the check in process.
Our stunningly beautiful hotel is located in the modern Puerto Madero neighbourhood. The hotel is well-located within walking distance of Plaza de Mayo and San Telmo.

For those who would prefer to arrive prior to the first day of the tour, we can arrange one or more pre-tour nights at the starting hotel. We would be pleased to discuss this option with you at any time.
At an appropriate time today the tour leader will hold a short orientation session followed by a welcome happy hour.
Free for dinner at whatever time suits you best. Your tour leader will have suggestions for various types of restaurants near the hotel.
Overnight at the Hotel Faena.



Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we spend a full day exploring parts of this wonderful city.
We begin with a visit to the La Boca neighbourhood, home of the La Boca Juniors and the oldest and most colourful neighbourhood in Buenos Aires - a working-class enclave and artist colony. The area was settled and built by Italian immigrants that worked in the surrounding warehouses and meat-packing plants. The most famous street in La Boca is called Caminito (little path) and is the center of activity in the area. The street is commonly included on postcards for its multi-coloured houses. Many artists show off their work along the street.
From here we drive to the famous Avenida de Mayo that runs into the Plaza De Mayo, surrounded by the Casa Rosada (Government House), the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo, the first city hall built during Spanish rule. At the other end of Avenida de Mayo we will also see the Congress building.
From the plaza, we will enter the Metropolitan Cathedral, an imposing Neo-classical structure and Argentina´s main catholic church. The mausoleum of General San Martin (a national hero) is located inside the cathedral. Pope Francis used to celebrate religious services in this cathedral when he was Cardinal of Buenos Aires.
From here we head for the famous Café Tortoni, the oldest literati café in the city where we'll have lunch.
From here we continue on to San Telmo, a historical neighbourhood and the oldest district of Buenos Aires. Here, we can enjoy the antiques market and the lively Sunday atmosphere of street musicians and tango.
Afterwards we return to the hotel.
This evening we will enjoy dinner together at a French Cabaret and be introduced to the Tango!
The Tango tradition started at the end of the last century and developed from a mixture of various rhythms which were originally danced in the poorer quarters of the city. In the beginning, Tango was only danced by men, accompanied by flutes, violins and guitars. The flutes were later replaced by the "bandoneón" (a type of accordion), which gave the Tango its distinctive flavour. Reflecting the nostalgia and melancholy of mostly European immigrants, the tango introduced us to many great musicians.
The beautiful cabaret was created so as to bring back nostalgic times with the strength of an extraordinary show full of fantasy and sensuality.
Overnight at the Hotel Faena.



Breakfast at the hotel.
We will spend another day exploring more magnificent sites within this city. The actual timing and order of visits will be determined by our guide based on traffic patterns.
Today we will visit the amazing Colon Theatre, a famous 1908 Opera House that features the most important artists and musicians from all over the world. This is one of the world's best-known opera houses and the cultural pride of the "porteños" (as the inhabitants of Buenos Aires are called).
We take time to examine the interior of this beautiful building. Materials used in its construction were imported from around the globe and especially impressive is the “Salon de Oro” (Hall of Gold), where crystal chandeliers and opulent wall decorations create an elegant atmosphere.
We will stop for lunch at an appropriate time today.
We will also proceed to Recoleta, the quarter of the rich and one of the city’s most glamorous spots offering the Municipal Cultural Center, elegant boutiques and many excellent restaurants.
Recoleta is also well-known for its cemetery, the centre of this aristocratic neighbourhood, where famous politicians, explorers, priests, leaders, writers and poets have found their final resting place. The mausoleums reflect the architectural diversity emerging from the different cultural tendencies Argentina incorporated in its formation as a nation. The cemetery is considered to be one of the most impressive monuments in the entire country. We'll take time for a leisurely walk through the cemetery and visit the tomb of Eva Duarte, who became famous as Eva Perón (Evita).
We then return to the hotel.
Free for dinner at whatever time suits you best.
Overnight at the Hotel Faena.



Breakfast at the hotel.
At the required time today, we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Iguazu.
Iguazú Falls is located at the connection of the borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
The falls leave every visitor speechless. Imagine standing a few meters away from an impressive mass of water - a total of 275 falls dropping over 70 metres. Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) is the most impressive waterfall where the falling water gives the illusion of magical rainbows.
The National Park is full of exotic subtropical vegetation surrounding the falls. There are several plant species with giant trees, ferns, lianas and orchids, 400 species of colorful birds (toucans, parrots, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and butterflies, all with fascinating vivid colors and designs. There are also other fauna including jaguar, tiger-cat, foxes, tapir and monkeys.
Iguazu National Park was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and the nearby Jesuit Missions have been declared a Cultural Heritage Site.
Upon arrival of our flight, we will be welcomed at the airport and transferred to our hotel.
This evening we will begin by preparing our own wine-based cocktails with the assistance of our local hosts. We’ll also learn how to create our own empanadas using the traditional 'repulgue' technique and fill them with our gourmet fillings.
We’ll then enjoy a typical Argentine picada with grilled provolone cheese, sliced chorizo sausage and pork flank steak. Then we will move on to a 250 g tenderloin that has been dry-cured for 24 hours. Of course, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free options will also be available.
Our hosts will also teach us the best of Argentine cultures including preparation of Mate and Alfajores as well as some of their favourite hand-gestures.
Of course, our entire experience will include some wonderful Argentinian wines.
This will be a fun and dynamic way to enjoy our evening!
Overnight at Melia Iguazu Hotel Resort.



Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we take time to enjoy the amazing Iguazu Falls.
We first arrive at the visitor’s center and board a gas-propelled train at the main station, which takes us to the upper falls circuit and Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), the most prominent and one of the highest falls. Here we’ll enjoy the strategic lookout point resting on the side of the gorgeous waterfall.
From here we can walk more than 3 km along the Iguazu river canyon to appreciate the flora and fauna while we can feel the almost 270 individual waterfalls up close.
Buffet lunch will be included inside the National Park.
More information on our falls exploration will be available later.
Free for dinner tonight.
Overnight at Melia Iguazu Hotel Resort.



Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we transfer to the airport and catch our flight to Buenos Aires airport and our connecting flight to the Patagonian town of El Calafate.
This town has about 8000 inhabitants and is located on the shore of Lake Argentino. It is the entrance to Southern Patagonia and the amazing Los Glaciers National Park. With easy access to the Perito Moreno glacier, there is no better place to hang our hat for a few nights.
Upon arrival, we check in at the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this unique and interesting town.
Free for dinner.
Overnight at the Hotel Posada Los Alamos.



Breakfast at the hotel.
After breakfast, we drive westward to Los Glaciares National Park, a vast area of mountains, lakes and woods including a large portion of the Andes essentially under ice and snow.
The park’s name refers to the glaciers that are born on the ice caps; the largest continental ice extension after Antarctica. There are forty-seven big glaciers, thirteen of which flow westward to the Atlantic. There are also more than two hundred smaller glaciers.
The activities today will include a visit to the amazing Perito Moreno glacier which is 5 km wide and 60 m high above Argentino Lake. The face of the glacier is continually calving, creating an extraordinary show for visitors.
The glacier is one of the few in the world which is still advancing, forming a wall which often cuts off water flow from surrounding rivers. Every four or five years the water pressure is so strong that the face of the glacier breaks into multiple pieces, a truly overwhelming spectacle.
A box lunch is included and can be enjoyed in the park, surrounded by this amazing landscape.
On our way home, we'll visit the Glaciarium museum, the first museum in South America dedicated to the glaciers and Patagonia ice. The whole complex is a modern interpretation center which offers interactive displays as well as an authentic "Ice Bar".
Afterwards we return to El Calafate.
Evening free.
Overnight at the Hotel Posada Los Alamos.



Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we begin our drive at around 7 am and arrive at the Chilean border about four hours later.
Welcome to Chile!
Squeezed between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this unique ribbon of a country is 4,300 kilometres long and only a maximum of 180 kilometres wide. For many people, Chile is still an unknown place, but visitors are often surprised by its extremely rich, original and varied geographic features. Chile contains the driest desert of the world, abundant forests, huge and beautiful mountains, striking fjords and an abundance of glaciers.
Strong European influence can be seen everywhere and the culture and history makes the country a very attractive destination. Currently, Chile is one of the most developed and modern countries in South America.
After clearing customs, we continue onward to the famous Torres del Paine National Park where we check in to the Hotel Las Torres Patagonia, our home for the next three nights.
The hotel is the closest accommodation to the towers – only ten kilometres away – making it a natural location for the start of all visits to the mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers in the park. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, where guests can enjoy typical regional dishes prepared using fresh produce from the hotel’s own organic vegetable garden. As well, it has its own horses, vehicles and guides at the disposal of the guests during their stay. While we are in the park, all meals and excursions are included, along with an open bar!
Torres del Paine is South America's most famous national park, renowned for its geographical diversity and its unique beauty. A stay in the park offers the visitor a large variety of nature excursions through golden grasslands and mountain forests past turquoise lakes, waterfalls, massive glaciers & soaring peaks including the granite towers that give the park its name.
Our wonderful hotel has a complete choice of many different excursions including hiking and horseback riding activities and exploration of the diverse animal and plant species of this unique region. Each night, our guide will outline the activities for the following day which will depend on forecast weather conditions and the physical capabilities of our guests.
Our first excursion will take place this afternoon, after lunch.
Afterwards we return to the hotel for happy hour and dinner.
Overnight at Hotel Las Torres Patagonia.



Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we spend the entire day seeing more of what this amazing park has to offer by visiting its most famous attractions and enjoying some beautiful walks to learn more about the flora and fauna of the mountains that form part of the Paine Massif.
Lunch will be included.
We return to the hotel in the late afternoon in time for happy hour.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel Las Torres Patagonia.



Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we continue our morning and afternoon excursions which may include drives, walks or horseback riding in and around Nordenskjold and Pehoe Lakes and the Laguna Azul area.
Happy hour, dinner and overnight at Hotel Las Torres Patagonia.



Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we begin our drive southward to the city of Punta Arenas.
We’ll stop for lunch along the way.
The city was founded at the shores of the Magellan Strait in 1848. Upon arrival, if we have spare time this afternoon, we will likely take some time to drive through parts of the city, beginning by heading along Avenida Independencia seeing many monuments that were placed here. At one point we will reach Cerro La Cruz, a vantage point offering a sweeping view of Punta Arenas’ colorful roofs, the Magellan Strait and Tierra del Fuego Island in the background.
After a short photo stop we may drive through Punta Arenas to visit the Museum Salesiano that is administered by Salesian monks. Pictures exhibited on two floors give an impression of life in Patagonia in former times showing scenes of natives, tools, birds and animals of Patagonia.
We may also make a stop at la Plaza Muñoz Gamero with a memorial of Hernando de Magallanes in its center. It is surrounded by Native Americans. It is said that once you kiss the toe of a Native American, you will return to Punta Arenas.
Free for dinner.
Overnight at Hotel Cabo de Hornos.



Breakfast at the hotel.
The 50 to 75cm tall Magellan penguin lives in colonies along the Patagonian coastline.
Today’s excursion takes us to one of the most intact natural recreation areas of South America. About 25 miles north of Punta Arenas and about 6 miles offshore, Magdalena Island provides shelter for Magellan penguins, cormorants and numerous other species of birds.
Our tour starts with a two-hour ferry transfer crossing the Magellan straight. Once we arrive at the island we will find one of the biggest penguin colonies in southern Chile. About 62.000 couples of these interesting animals live here during the summer months.
Our stay on the island will offer us the experience of learning more about these entertaining birds and watch them in their natural surrounding, before the ship returns us to Punta Arenas.
You will likely be back in town in time to enjoy a lunch wherever you choose. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Enjoy!
Free for dinner.
Overnight at Hotel Cabo de Hornos.



Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we drive to the airport for our northbound flight to Puerto Montt.
Puerto Montt is situated at the gulf of Reloncaví and is an important fishing port and popular starting point for ships travelling in the archipelago to the south.
The city was founded by German settlers in 1852 and their influence still remains in the style of the wooden houses. Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas and the surrounding area is known as "Chilean Switzerland“, with its blue-green shining lakes, untouched rain forests, snowy volcanoes and rushing, crystal-clear waterfalls.
After arriving in Puerto Montt we'll enjoy a tour of the town. We'll pass along Costanera Avenue and continue to the observation point for a view of the city and Reloncavi Bay, Tenglo Island and the channels. We'll then pass through the town center and the main square and will also visit Angelmó, the traditional fish and seafood market in the port. While walking through the market we’ll enjoy an informal snack of empanadas and other local items.
We then drive to the town of Puerto Varas and check in for a two-night stay.
Free for dinner.
Overnight at the Hotel Cumbres Puerto Varas.



Breakfast at the hotel.
Our day begins with a drive along the Llanquihue Lake to the village of Frutillar. Here, we'll see historical German settlements where houses and beautiful gardens have been built similar to those of the German Black Forest region. We'll pass by the Lutheran and Catholic Churches and visit the Edmundo Winkler forest reserve.
We also visit the wonderful outdoor Colonial Settler's Museum with its exhibits on the first settler’s history in the region.
Free for lunch. There are many small restaurants and cafes in town.
After lunch we head back towards Puerto Varas enjoying views of the lake and the volcanoes Osorno, Calbuco and Puntiagudo in the background.
Free for dinner.
Overnight at the Hotel Cumbres Puerto Varas.



Breakfast at the hotel.
At an appropriate time today, we drive to the Puerto Montt airport and board our flight to Santiago.
The city of "Santiago de Chile" is situated inland and has the magnificent Andes mountains as its backdrop. Although it is a metropolis of six million inhabitants, it has the atmosphere of a smaller, manageable European city with limited skyscrapers and spacious estates.
Our hotel is located right downtown in the beautiful and modern Providencia area of Santiago.
Free for dinner at whatever time suits you best. Your tour leader will be able to recommend surrounding restaurants.
Overnight at the Hotel Le Reve Boutique.



Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning we leave Santiago and head westward into the Rosario Valley where we stop at Matetic vineyards. This unique family winery is situated in a glorious setting on a stretch of land blessed with a promising climate and favourable soils. In contrast to huge wineries in other areas, the family Matetic specializes in cultivating wines in accordance with organic production principles.
Upon arrival, we’ll tour the winery and then have a wonderful lunch at their restaurant.
From here we move on to the World Heritage port city of Valparaiso.
Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the city boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy. Immortalized in the words of Pablo Neruda, Chile's most famous poet, as the city that ‘goes to Paradise’ ("Va al paraíso"), it is one of Chile’s most charismatic and historic ports with its charming funiculars, colourful hillside houses and creative graffiti.
Here, we check in to our hotel which is perfectly situated for independent exploring on foot.
Free for dinner.
Overnight at the Hotel Palacio Astoreca.



Breakfast at the hotel.
This morning we'll explore some of the more interesting parts of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar.
We'll pass by the main square where we can view the honored monument of the Naval Battle of Iquique fought in 1879 and visit a few of the local historical buildings. We'll also have an opportunity to ride on one of the typical funiculars to go up to the top of the hill, overlooking the port of Valparaiso from which we can see the beautiful bay and the downtown district.
"Viña" is one of Chile's most fashionable beach resorts. The town, part of the greater Valparaiso area, was founded in 1874 as a weekend retreat and garden residence for the wealthy elite from Valparaíso and Santiago and it has remained a top beach destination ever since. The sight of “Viña’s” attractive homes, manicured lawns and golden beaches dotted with colourful surfboards is a contrast to the ramshackle streets of Valparaíso.
Here, we'll pass by the city's landmark, the Flower Clock (“Reloj de Flores”) as well as the casino as we head towards the famous beaches of Salinas, Reñaca, Los Lilenes and Concón. The street winds along the rocky pacific coast where waves break on stormy days. At the beach of Concón, one of the most beautiful and popular areas, fishermen offer their fish and seafood for sale. Summer houses and restaurants line the street all along the coast.
From here we will begin our drive back to Santiago. We’ll stop for lunch and wine tasting at the beautiful Casona Veramonte.
Upon arrival in Santiago, we check into our hotel. Welcome back!
Free for dinner.
Overnight at the Hotel Le Reve.



Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we spend a full day touring the most interesting parts of Santiago.
While the exact order of events today will be decided by our guide, we will likely begin by driving south through the downtown area, passing the Club Hípico, a beautiful horseracing track located in the oldest residential area of the city. Then we proceed alongside the Parque O’Higgins and also the Cousiño Palace, built between 1870 and 1878 for the wealthy Cousiño family.
From here we head along the famous Alameda, Santiago’s colourful main avenue, towards the heart of the city. On the way, we'll see the Chilean University, the San Francisco Church and Santa Lucia Hill, site of Santiago’s beginning in 1541.
We will visit the Pre-Columbian Museum which houses a collection of ceramics, ancient textiles and relics. Here we'll learn more about Chilean history.
Then we continue to the Plaza de Armas and the cathedral.
At an appropriate time we’ll visit the famous Central Market, the main market for fresh fish and seafood. This is an interesting building which dates back to the end of the 19th century, made of steel, built in London and brought by ship to Chile. We can all grab a quick lunch here since there are many small cafes serving a variety of Chilean favourites.
Afterwards, we continue the tour crossing the Mapocho River to reach the bohemian Bellavista district on the way to the San Cristóbal Hill. From one of the hill’s lookouts, we will have an unobstructed view of Santiago and the Andes Mountains.
To round off the day, we will pass through the modern residential areas of the city with their unique architectures and then return to bustling Providencia and to our hotel.
Afterwards we'll have some free time to get organized and do a bit of exploring before happy hour and dinner.
Farewell dinner together at a local restaurant.
Overnight at the Hotel Le Reve Boutique.



Breakfast at the hotel.
At an appropriate time today you will be transferred to the airport to check in for your flight home.

Note: for those who would like to add extra nights in Santiago or a pre-packaged 2 or 3 night stay in the Atacama area, we can arrange this. We would be pleased to discuss details of the various options.