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Day 1: Arrive in Buenos Aires
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, you are met and transferred to our centrally located hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore the city of Buenos Aires.
Day 2: Buenos Aires City Sites
We explore Argentina's capital today beginning with neighborhoods like La Boca, which retains the spirit of Italian immigration and Palermo with its open green spaces, exclusive avenues and first class bars and restaurants.
Day 3: Tigre Delta
Today we have a full day excursion to Tigre and the 2000 km maze of waterways that make up the Tigre Delta at the confluence of the Rio Lujan and the Rio Tigre. The town was founded in 1820 and named after the local "tigres" (jaguars), which are now extinct. There are antique shops, riverside restaurants and many beautiful old buildings including the lovely Argentinean Rowing Club. We will explore some of the Delta's rivers and streams from the comfort of riverboats, passing many of the "Belle Epoque" buildings, and the natural beauty of the Parana River Delta.
Day 4: Fly to Ushuaia, End of The World Museum
An early morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. This afternoon we take a sightseeing tour of the town to visit the Casco Antiguo - the port and steep streets that offer colorful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Beagle Channel.
Day 5: Tierra del Fuego, Beagle Channel
Today we have a full day to explore Tierra del Fuego National Park. The day begins with a 1-hour walk along a beautiful coastal path before getting into our canoes to explore Lapataia Bay. Lapataia Bay is a secluded fjord at the north of the Beagle Channel, and as such is surrounded by spectacular scenery. During our canoe journey, we can see a variety of wildlife and seabirds as we navigate the waters of the bay and its shoreline.
Day 6: Penguin Rookery, Martillo Island
Today, we continue our exploration of Tierra del Fuego; its history, its magnificent flora and fauna and its traditions. After breakfast, we drive to historic estancia Harberton, where we board our Zodiac and travel on the Beagle Channel to Martillo Island. On the island we have an hour hike with the guide, who will show and teach us the habits, characteristics and nesting grounds of the Magellanic & Gentoo penguins which return to the island every year. The unique location of this island gives us the chance to view an incredible variety of sub-aquatic life, making it an amazing spot for seeing albatrosses, petrels, skuas, cormorants, vultures, South American terns, among other species.
Day 7: To El Calafate
This morning we have some time to soak up the adventurous atmosphere of Ushuaia before flying to El Calafate, the gateway to Patagonia. This afternoon, we will have time at leisure to explore this charming rural town. You may want to visit the Regional Museum and learn about the first settlers and the difficulties they had when they arrived in the area.
Day 8: Perito Moreno Glacier
We begin our day at a look-out for some amazing panoramic views of the mountains and glaciers of Los Glaciares National Park in southwest Santa Cruz province. The park is famous for the Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the many glaciers that make up the Southern Patagonia Ice Field; the world's third largest reserve of fresh water.
Day 9: To Torres del Paine National Park
Today, we drive to Torres del Paine National Park, enjoying the spectacular scenery on the way. We will leave Argentina and arrive in Chile. Before the border, we will stop for lunch at a beautiful working estancia (sheep ranch), feasting on their organically grown produce. Torres del Paine National Park, in Chilean Patagonia, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is one of the most remote, unspoiled and beautiful places on earth.
Day 10: Nordenskjold and Grey Lakes
We spend the day exploring Torres del Paine National Park, including unique views of the towers and horns, as well as the colorful Nordenskjold and Grey Lakes, with their pristine blue waters and icebergs.
Day 11: To Puerto Natales
Today, we explore the northern part of Paine National Park for yet more spectacular views of Chilean Patagonia. We then visit Milodon Cave, where, in the late 19th century, Captain Eberhard found bones and fur of a long extinct giant ground sloth. We then continue on to Puerto Natales.
Day 12: To Puerto Varas
Some time for sightseeing on this leisurely travel day. Enjoy the scenery as we drive to Punta Arenas for our short flight to Puerto Montt and then transfer to Puerto Varas.
Day 13: Volcanoes and Petrohué Rapids
Weather permitting, today we will have breathtaking views of some of the many stunning volcanoes found in the Lake District. We drive along the lake towards the Osorno volcano, most likely one of the most beautiful cones in the world, due to its nearly perfect shape. On our way, we pass close to the Calbuco volcano with its blown-off top. As we drive up the Osorno, which may be still in the clouds, we will have better views of the Puntiagudo and Tronador volcanoes, the latter one being the highest peak in the area (over 11,000 ft) and on the border with Argentina.
Day 14: To Santiago
A short drive this morning takes us back to Puerto Montt where there may be time visit the Angelmo Flea Market before boarding our flight to the capital, Santiago de Chile. Upon arrival, we take in the sights of the city - visiting the historic center, which includes the Presidential House "La Moneda" and Constitution Square, the ex-National Congress and Justice Tribunal buildings enroute to the impressive Plaza de Armas.
Day 15: Valparaiso
Today, we discover the exceptional beauty of Valparaiso, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 2003. Prior to the construction of the Panama Canal in 1914, the Port of Valparaiso was the most important in the South Pacific. Ships from around the world called here once they rounded Cape Horn or passed through the Strait of Magellan.
Day 16: Wine Tasting in the Maipo Valley
Today, we learn all about the history and magic of wine-making in some of the most prestigious wineries in Chile. We visit a winery to watch the wine-making process, and take a walk around the vineyards, the production plant, the wine cellar and see the final product bottled.
Day 17: Depart Santiago
We say a fond farewell to our new friends today as we transfer to Santiago airport for our departure flight.
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