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Glaciers, Uruguayan Gauchos & Iguazu

This 56 day overland tour journeys from Rio De Janeiro to Santiago through Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay

  • Duration: 56 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Supplier Tour ID: JSU 2/249526
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro
  • Finishes: Santiago, Chile
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Ilha Grande
  • Paraty
  • Brotas
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Bonito
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Yapeyú
  • Tacuarembó
  • Montevideo
  • Colonia
  • Buenos Aires
  • Monte Hermoso
  • Puerto Madryn
  • Camarones
  • Jaramillo
  • El Calafate
  • Torres Del Paine National Park
  • Tierra Del Fuego
  • Ushuaia
  • Argentinian Patagonia
  • El Chaltén
  • Los Glaciares National Park
  • Cueva De Las Manos
  • Rio Pinturas
  • Bariloche
  • Pucón
  • Santiago

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely enter Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Gale o International Airport (IATA code: RIO/GIG).

Welcome to the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Rio de Janeiro before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.

02

Day 2-3: Ilha Grande

Today we will leave Rio behind and travel by truck to the stunning island retreat of Ilha Grande. We will leave our truck behind for a couple of days and take a ferry, so you may wish to pack a small overnight bag. There are no private cars or banks on the island, so you will need to bring cash along with you and be prepared for a short walk with your bags to the hostel.

We will stay in a comfortable hostel.

Estimated drive time - 5 hours.

03

Day 4-5: Paraty

Today our journey begins with a short drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic!

We will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours

In Paraty we will stay in a hostel.

04

Day 6-7: Brotas

Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.

In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

The following morning if time allows we may have an opportunity to go rafting. Afterwards we will continue our journey towards the Pantanal, bush camping en route with no facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

05

Day 8-9: Southern Pantanal

Today we have an early start to meet our guide in Campo Grande, and then drive on to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!

In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.

06

Day 10-11: Bonito

After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal and drive to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We have a full day in Bonito to take part in some incredible optional activities. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!

In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.

07

Day 12-13: Foz do Iguaçu

Today we have a full drive day south to the city of Foz do Igua u.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-12 hours.

The following day we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also time for optional activities such as taking a helicopter ride over the falls, visiting the incredible Itaipu Dam, or to quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearby Ciudad del Este.

In Foz do Igua u we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities.

08

Day 14: Iguazu Falls

Today we will take a day trip into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point. We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will either return to our base in Foz do Igua u or stay in Puerto Iguazu in Argentina.

09

Day 15: Yapeyú

Border information: exit Brazil at Tancredo Neves, enter Argentina at Tancredo Neves.

Today we will leave Iguazu and head to the Argentine town of Yapey . This small town was the birthplace of General Jos de San Mart n, one of the principal leaders of several South American countries' struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire.

In Yapey we will stay in a basic campsite on the shores of Rio Uruguay, or alternatively bushcamp further along the route.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours

10

Day 16-18: Tacuarembó

Border information: exit Argentina at Salto Grande, enter Uruguay at Salto Grande.

Today we cross into Uruguay and head to the Tacuaremb area - the traditional gaucho land of Uruguay. We will spend 3 nights in an authentic estancia to learn about the gaucho way of living. We will have a chance to learn how to prepare typical food from the area (and of course taste it!) and also enjoy some traditional music.

In Tacuaremb we will camp in the grounds of an estancia.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

11

Day 19: Montevideo

Today we will head south to the Uruguayan capital Montevideo. The following day will be free to explore Montevideo. The city has a mix of historical buildings and modern architechture and a main feature of the city is the Rambla (waterfront promenade) where locals frequently go for a stroll to drink their mate. Mate is the traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink sipped through a straw, particularly popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile.

In Montevideo we will stay in a comfortable hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

12

Day 20: Colonia

This morning we head to Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest and most picturesque towns in Uruguay and a Unesco World Heritage site. The afternoon is free to explore the charming narrow cobbled streets of the Barrio Hist rico and the pretty riverfront.

In Colonia we will stay in a lovely hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

13

Day 21-22: Buenos Aires

Today we will hop on the ferry across to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. The truck will drive around by road and rejoin us later in the day.

Day 22 is a free day to explore the city and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel, breakfast is included.

14

Day 23: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are finishing in Buenos Aires, you will most likely exit Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Welcome to the cosmopolitan Argentine capital of Buenos Aires! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Buenos Aires before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel.

15

Day 24: Buenos Aires

Today is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

16

Day 25: Monte Hermoso

Today we begin our journey from Buenos Aires will a full day drive across the pampas and grasslands of the province.

Tonight we will wild camp en route, possibly in the coastal village of Monte Hermoso.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

17

Day 26: Puerto Madryn

Today we continue our journey south with a full day drive to the coastal town of Puerto Madryn.

In Puerto Madryn we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

18

Day 27: Puerto Madryn

Today we will have a free day for optional activities in and around Puerto Madryn. There is the opportunity to take a tour to the Valdes Peninsular to see its desolate scenery and abundant marine life, head out on a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales, or perhaps go for afternoon tea in a Welsh tea house in the nearby towns of Gaiman or Trelew.

19

Day 28: Camarones

Today we will drive south along the coast and have an included visit to the incredible remote colony of Magellanic Penguins in Cabo Dos Bahias (Cape Two Bays), close to the town of Camarones. After seeing the phenomenal sight of thousands of penguins nesting on the shore, we will head to the nearby small town of Camarones.

In Camarones we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

20

Day 29: Jaramillo

From Camarones we set off on an all day drive following the South Atlantic coast.

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

21

Day 30: El Calafate

Today we leave the coast behind and head west across the country to the town of El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

In El Calafate we stay in dorm beds in a lovely hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

22

Day 31: El Calafate

Today we will head out on an included full day guided visit to view the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most spectacular sights in Patagonia.

23

Day 32: Torres Del Paine National Park

Border information: Exit Argentina at Cerro Castillo and enter Chile at Cerro Castillo.

Today we will drive to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty in the world and the main highlight of the trip for many of our passengers and leaders! We will stop en route in Puerto Natales to stock up on supplies and pick up our local guides and cook who will accompany us during our time in the National Park.

Tonight we will camp at Camping Pehoe, a stunning campsite inside the National Park with incredible views of Los Cuernos mountains, which we will refer to as our 'base campsite'.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

24

Day 33: Torres Del Paine National Park

From September 2018, the full W-Walk will be included as part of your trip Kitty.

Embark on the full W-Walk with a local guide. Places at the campsites are limited by the National Park, so we book them in advance of your trip. We will be trekking the W-Walk from West to East, to enjoy the spectacular views.

This morning we will wake early and transfer by truck for the morning Catamaran, to cross Lago Pehoe. We will then set up camp at Paine Grande, before continuing on our hike towards Glacier Grey.

You can choose to hike to the first look out to enjoy views of the Glacier (approx 4hrs round trip) or to continue to the second look (approx 8hrs round trip)!! Both walks return by the same route.

25

Day 34: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we depart from our camp at Paine Grande and hike into the stunning French Valley. In the afternoon, we will make our way to Camp Cuernos.

The hike is approximately 8 hours.

26

Day 35: Torres Del Paine National Park

Today we have a slightly easier day, we will hike from Camping Cuernos along the edge of Lago Nodenskjold, around Almirante Nieto and stay just outside Valley Ascencio. We will arrive an Camp Central after approximately 5 hours hiking.

27

Day 36: Torres Del Paine National Park

This is our final day of the W-Walk and the most spectacular. The day begins with a steady climb from our camp site up Rio Asencio. Be prepared for the final hour which is a relatively steep scramble up to the Tarn and Mirrador Las Torres, affording great views of the iconic Towers.

We will transfer back to Camping Pehoe, our base camp at the end of the day.

Our hike today is approximately 8 hours for the return trip (16km).

.

28

Day 37: Tierra Del Fuego

Today we have an early start to leave Torres del Paine and head south to cross the Magellan Straits onto the island of Tierra del Fuego.

Tonight we will wild bush camp somewhere in the desolate wilds of the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

29

Day 38: Ushuaia

Border information: Exit Chile at San Sebastian, enter Argentina at San Sebastian

Today we cross over to the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego and drive to the incredible port town of Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world!

In Ushuaia we stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

30

Day 39-40: Ushuaia

We will have two free days in the wonderful remote town of Ushuaia, with plenty of time for optional activities such as a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, boat trips to see the scenery and wildlife of the Beagle Channel, or heading out horse riding along the coast.

31

Day 41: Tierra Del Fuego

Border information: Exit Argentina at San Sebastian, enter Chile at San Sebastian.

Today we start heading back north and back onto the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego. Here we will visit the small King Penguin colony that have recently set up home at the remote Bahia Inutil (Useless Bay).

Tonight we will wild camp near Bahia Inutil.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

32

Day 42: Argentinian Patagonia

Border information: Exit Chile at Integracion Austral, enter Argentina at Integracion Austral.

Today we continue our journey north, crossing the Magellan Strait back to the mainland and then heading across the Argentine border.

Tonight we will wild camp at a stunning ancient crater called Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon).

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

33

Day 43: El Chaltén

Today we will continue north, overlanding across the Patagonian steppe and to the tiny town of El Chalt n, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.

In El Chalt n we stay in dorm beds in a hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

34

Day 44-45: Los Glaciares National Park

We will have three free days to enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking and walking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier, horse riding, and many other fantastic options.

35

Day 46: Cueva De Las Manos

Today we start heading north again with a full day drive along the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40).

We will arrive in the Rio Pinturas area, where we have an included visit to the mysterious Neolithic cave-art site of Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), some of the most well-preserved ancient art in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tonight we will wild camp near the Cueva de las Manos.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

36

Day 47: Argentinian Patagonia

Today we continue north along the legendary Ruta 40.

Tonight we will wild camp somewhere around the area of Tecka.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

37

Day 48: Bariloche

Today we continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche in Argentina's Lake District. We will see a definite change in the landscape today as the vegetation becomes more and more lush and green as we come out of the Patagonia region and into the forests of the Lake District.

In Bariloche we stay in dorm beds in a friendly family-run hostel outside of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

38

Day 49-50: Bariloche

We will have two free days to enjoy the beautiful mountain town of Bariloche and the stunning surrounding lakes, mountains and forests. We have the options to explore the area by foot, mountain bike, kayak or boat.

39

Day 51: Pucón

Border information: Exit Argentina at Mamuil Malal, enter Chile at Mamuil Malal.

Today we cross the Andes into Chile and continue our journey to the stunning town of Puc n via the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route).

In Puc n we will stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

40

Day 52-53: Pucón

We will have two free days in Puc n to enjoy a range of optional activities, including a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Puc n, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs.

41

Day 54-55: Santiago

Today we have a full day drive north to the cosmopolitan Chilean capital of Santiago and tomorrow we have a free day to explore.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

42

Day 56: Santiago

Border information: if you are finishing in Santiago, you will most likely exit Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Ben tez International Airport (IATA code: SCL).

Today is a free day to explore the cosmopolitan Chilean capital.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Santiago. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • 2 night wildlife safari into the Pantanal
    • 2 full days to discover the unbelievable Iguazu Falls
    • Enjoy an incredible 3-night stay at a traditional Uruguayan farm to gain a fascinating insight into the lives of the gauchos, take part in a cooking demonstration, and go to an evening of traditional local music
    • Guided full day trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    Accomodation
    • 45% Camping - 55% Hotels
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