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ESSENCE OF SOUTH AMERICA

Peru, Chile

** From $9950/pp

Day 1: Lima

Welcome to Lima, Peru. On arrival at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in the well-known coastal suburb of Miraflores. In the afternoon around 2 pm, there will be a welcome briefing at the hotel with your Peregrine tour guide. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We’ll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you’re going to be late, please inform hotel reception. Straight after the meeting your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city’s historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral of Lima, which houses the remains of Lima’s founder, Francisco Pizarro. The Cathedral is closed on a Sunday, so we’ll only see it from the outside. Visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains. Continue onto the Central market where you’ll take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer, including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs. You’ll also have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food. Next head away from the tourist trail and visit ‘Alameda de Chabuca Granda’ an area really only known to locals, it is a place where people go as a treat to enjoy a variety local street food and authentic Peruvian desserts such as ‘Mazamorra Morada’ a sweet porridge made from purple corn or ‘Picarones’ Peruvian donuts made from local squash called Macre and sweet potatoes served with a sweet syrup, these are a must try whilst in Peru! The tour will finish in Lima main square, you may choose to stay in Down Town for dinner or take the included transfer back to Miraflores.
Accommodation
Hotel Antigua Miraflores or Similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Lima – Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs
Complimentary airport arrival transfer
Lima – Guided tour Down town, Cathedral of Lima and The Catacombs
Lima – Alameda de Chabuca Granda – Street food tasting
Optional Activities
Lima Home Cooked – Urban Adventures – USD74
Lima – Night Bites & Sights – Urban Adventures – USD45
Lima Coast Biking Tour – Urban Adventures – USD45

Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information
•Please advise us of your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure for the complimentary airport transfer. If you can’t arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you’re able to attend. We’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
•Some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip 8 days ago in Quito, Ecuador on South America in Depth (PSSIC).
•If you wish to take part in any of the optional activities mentioned below, you will need to book additional accommodation prior to the tour start date as there won’t be any spare time on day one once the tour has commenced. Urban Adventures: If you are interested in any of the Urban Adventures listed you will need to contact Urban Adventures directly here: www.limaurbanadventures.com or + (51) 994 688552.

Day 2: Puerto Maldonado (Amazon Jungle)

This morning starts nice an early with a transfer to Lima airport at approximately 5.30 am. Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado today, which should take around three hours, including a 30-45 minute stop in Cusco (During this stop you will not disembark the plane). The flight will arrive into Puerto Maldonado airport just before midday. Take a short drive to the lodge’s office in town. Upon arrival at the jungle lodge office you will be provided with a small duffle bag to pack your personal items required for the duration of your jungle stay. The remainder of your items will be stored securely in the office. From the office it’s about an hour drive to the Port of Inferno. Leave civilisation behind and venture deep into the Amazon rainforest by motorised canoe, up river to your jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios region. During the boat journey you will be given a packed lunch provided by the lodge. Upon arrival at the lodge it’s a 15-20 minute walk, you won’t be required to carry your bags. Once you arrive there is time to unpack and unwind before a short orientation and briefing. After dinner your local jungle guide will take you out into the jungle on a night walk.
Accommodation
Posada Amazonas lodge or similar (Feature Stay) (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Special Information
•Luggage Limit: Due to boat transfer to the jungle lodge the maximum weight limit for the Amazon is 12kg.
•Amazon Lodges: Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas lodges are both owned by the indigenous Ese-Eja community of Infierno, the lodges both offer a 30-metre canopy tower that provides spectacular views of the vast expanses of forest, Tambopata River and endless opportunities to witness Amazonian wildlife. Rooms at the lodges are simple but comfortable. They are built using local materials such as bamboo, adobe mud and palm trees. Rooms, don’t have regular doors for the entrance and bathroom, instead traditional curtains are used. Each room opens out to the rainforest, providing a true jungle experience. Rooms are equipped with flushing toilets, showers (on occasions water may be cold due to remoteness of lodge), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps. Electricity and internet are only available in the common areas at designated times. Please note that drinks and tips are not included.

Day 3: Puerto Maldonado (Amazon Jungle)

This morning starts nice and early. At about 430am you will visit the Oxbow Lake. The activity begins with a walk through the jungle. It will take you approximately 30-40 minutes to reach the Lake. Once at the Lake you’ll board a catamaran to take a slow ride around. Keep your eyes peeled for Squirrel Monkey troops that sometimes forage in bushes at the edge of the lake. Overhead, spectacular Scarlet and Red and Green Macaws and parrots are a regularly seen as they fly over the Lake. After the boat ride you’ll take the same path back to the lodge, arriving late morning at approximately 11am depending on the groups pace. Soon after you’ll head back out on a 20 minute walk through the rainforest to a clay lick frequented by 7 to 10 species of parrots and parakeets. While watching from a blind, you’ll be able to get very close to view the Dusky-headed and Cobalt-winged Parakeets, Chestnut-fronted Macaws with Mealy, Yellow-crowned, Blue-headed, and Orange-cheeked Parrots. After this you’ll walk back to the lodge for lunch. There will some free time until mid-afternoon when you’ll head out for the final activity of the day. A twenty minute boat ride downriver from the lodge brings you to Centro Nape, a traditional community clinic that produces medicines from rainforest plants and administers them to patients who either cannot afford to receive treatment in town or prefer traditional medicines An Eseeja nativa from the Community of Infierno will take you on a unique tour of Centro Nape to explain the uses of various medicinal plants. Head back to the lodge around 6 pm and enjoy some free time before dinner. After dinner head out on an optional night jungle walk.

Accommodation
Posada Amazonas lodge or similar (Feature Stay) (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 4: Cusco

This morning at about 8 am travel back to Puerto Maldonado before taking a short flight (approximately 35 minutes) to Cusco. The flight will arrive into Cusco at approximately 1.30 pm. After settling in at the hotel, embark on a casual walking tour around the hotel and Plaza de Armas with your tour leader. This tour will also include a visit to the Cusco Cathedral with specialist guide, Professor Alfredo Hinojoza Galvez. Alfredo was born and raised in the city of Cusco. He studied at the National College of Sciences of Cusco and later studied Administration and Tourism at National University San Antonio Abad del Cusco (NUSAAC), where he graduated in 1983. He then pursued a Masters in Colonial Art at NUSAAC. Alfredo has served as Dean of the College of Tourism and he has published eight books, including a guidebook for the Touristic Tour of the East Valley. Alfredo is considered an icon among colonial art and tourism students for his impressive career spanning 30 years. Alfredo will be uniquely placed to offer special insight into Cusco Cathedral, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Accommodation
San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Cusco – Orientation Walk
Cusco – Coricancha Temple entrance fee
Cusco – Cathedral tour with Specialist Historian Guide
Cusco – Cathedral Entrance Fee
Optional Activities
Cusco – Pre-Colombian Museum – PEN20

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
HEALTH
Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the ‘Is This Trip Right For You?’ and ‘Fitness’ sections in the trip notes for detailed information.

Day 5: Cusco

Your leader will take you on walking tour of Cusco today. Visit the Coricancha Temple for a tour with a local guide. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its walls. Soon after head to the San Pedro market, where you can practice your bargaining skills and take some colourful pictures. The tour will also stop at the Plaza de Armas in the heart of the city. Here you will again see the main cathedral (this time from the front only), built on top of an Incan palace and one of the city’s greatest repositories of art.

Accommodation
San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Cusco – Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
Cusco – Inca Museum – PEN10

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Luggage for the next 2 days:
Due to a luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu you will be required to pack all necessary items for the next 2 days into a smaller bag. The remainder of your luggage will be stored securely in the Cusco hotel.

Day 6: Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo)

This morning travel by private bus for around two hours through the Sacred Valley, on the outskirts of Cusco. Known as Wilcamayo by the Incas, this valley was greatly treasured because of its climate, fertile land and the presence of the Urubamba (Sacred) River. Long the main source of food for the high Andes, maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls. You will visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an impressive picture of how greatly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is the ultimate example of the Inca’s military strength. En route to Ollantaytambo you will visit multiple workshops in the Chichubamba community to gain a greater insight into the local lifestyle with an included lunch and visit to some local workshops. After the community visit, continue on to Ollantaytambo.
Ollantaytambo was built over an ancient Inca town, the ruins of the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti. This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. It’s a magnificent example of Inca urban planning and the perfect warm up for Machu Picchu. Ollantaytambo’s archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below. Today you’ll see lots of evidence of the Incas’ engineering skills – in the ruins of ancient aqueducts, irrigation canals, dams on the Urubamba River, imposing sets of terraces and centres of worship dedicated to Pachamama (Mother Earth). Late afternoon head to the hotel in Ollantaytambo and settle in for night.

Accommodation
Hotel Tika Wasi Valley or similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Cusco – Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cusco (Transport & guides are not included)
Sacred Valley – Local community visit and lunch
Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch

Day 7: Aguas Calientes

Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today is Aguas Calientas. Depart the hotel just after 7 am and travel by train for around 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach the town. From here take a 30-minute bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins and tell you stories of its history and the ancestral people of the region. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you’ve seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty. The true purpose behind Machu Picchu may always be a mystery, since no historical records of the complex exist. In fact, none were made in the first place, since the Incas had no written language. Some historians have argued it was a place of spiritual worship; others, a military stronghold, and some even think it was a prison. Most archaeologists, however, believe it to be the 15th-century headquarters of ‘he who shook the earth’, Emperor Pachacuti. You will have a guided visit (approximately 1.5-2 hours), then free time to wander around.

Accommodation
Hotel Hatun Inti or similar (1 night)

Optional Activities
1 Day Inca Trail – Add-on (Must pre-book) – USD380
Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
SAFETY:
Due to Peregrine’s internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.

TREK:
On this trip you can opt to hike the 1-day Inca Trail. It’s a great option for those wanting to experience trekking in Peru, but don’t want to do the full 4 days. This trek starts in from the train station known as “Km 104” and after a steep ascent, it follows the last portion of the Classic Inca Trail.
Trekkers enter Machu Picchu at the sungate in the afternoon where there will be some time to take a few photos before taking a short bus ride down to Aguas Calientes to spend the night and re-join the rest of the group. This trek is subject to permit availability, must be pre booked and will incur a surcharge.
Please see the below link for more information: peregrineadventures.com/en-au/peru/one-day-inca-trail.
Day 8: Machu Picchu/Cusco
Depart the hotel at around 5.30 am this morning and take the bus back up the winding road to Machu Picchu arriving at Machu Picchu around 6:30 am. On your second visit to the ruins you’ll have free time to explore and take any photos you may have missed yesterday. Why not take a walk up to the iconic sungate and take that postcard picture! Further explore more of the extraordinary architecture of the many temples, palaces and living quarters, where the mortar-free design is particularly earthquake resistant and the stones are so precisely cut that to this day not even a knife fits between them. Before midday take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy some lunch in town and perhaps have head to the local artisanal market to pick up some souvenirs. Later take an afternoon train to Ollantaytambo arriving late afternoon. From Ollantaytambo, take a private transfer back to Cusco arriving around 7 pm, just in time for dinner.

Accommodation
San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Machu Picchu – Entrance and Guided Tour
Optional Activities
Machu Picchu Site Museum – PEN25

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
MACHU PICCHU
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 5.30 am. The estimated arrival time is between 6- 6.30 am The sun rises at Machu Picchu at approximately 5.30 am, therefore it’s not possible to be there in time for sunrise.

Day 9: Cusco

Today enjoy free time to relax, shop or explore more of Cusco’s sights. Perhaps head to a cafe on the Plaza de Armas. There are many optional activities available in Cusco, please refer to the list below and speak with your tour leader if you wish to book any of these in.
Accommodation
San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)

Optional Activities
Cusco – Pisco Making – Urban Adventures – USD36
Cusco – Stand Up Paddle Boarding – USD75
Cusco – Visit a local Musician’s house – USD40
Cusco – Art Trail workshop – USD59
Sacred Valley – Via Ferrata & Zipline – PEN265
Sacred Valley – Mountain Biking – USD120

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 10: Puno

Depart the hotel just after 7 am this morning. Travel by bus for around 7- 7.5 hours to the tiny but unique town of Puno. This direct tourist service will take you on decent roads through spectacular mountain scenery. You will also drive through the large sprawling town of Juliaca on your way to Puno, which is a colourful and lively place renowned for its traditional street dancing, often performed in celebration of Catholic festive days in February each year. Arrive in Puno at around 330 pm located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture where traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, especially the Virgen de la Candelaria, so if you’re lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians. Head to the hotel in Puno and settle in. Shortly after your leader will take you on an orientation walk of Puno town. This evening perhaps head out for dinner with the group, your leader will be able to recommend some great places to eat.

Accommodation
Hotel Hacienda Puno or similar (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Bus from Cusco to Puno: This journey is on a direct bus service there are no toilet stops, however there is a toilet on board the bus. The bus company does provide you with a snack upon boarding, however we do recommend packing a few extra snacks and a drink bottle in your day pack for the ride.
Day 11: Lake Titicaca/Suasi Island
This morning, we leave the hotel just before 7 am and set off to explore Lake Titicaca. Be enchanted by the striking scenery and unique cultures on a cruise around Lake Titicaca today. As Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, the sun can be extremely strong, so make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Stop by the floating Uros Islands. The Uros people constructed these islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes in ancient times. They are built completely from multiple layers of totora reeds, which grow in the shallows of the lake. Next call into Taquile Island for some woollen handicrafts. On the island, knitting is strictly a male domain, while women do the spinning. At approximately 1 pm, retire to the private island of Suasi where you’ll spend the next two nights. This afternoon you may want to venture out on a walk around the Island or why not head to the spa and book in a massage. Tonight, enjoy an included dinner at the lodge.

Accommodation
Suasi Island Eco lodge or similar (Feature Stay) (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Special Information
Luggage for the next 2 days:
Due to a luggage restrictions on the boat you will be required to pack all necessary items for the next 2 days into a smaller bag. The remainder of your luggage will be stored securely in the Puno hotel.

Day 12: Suasi Island

This morning you will visit the cultural museum on the island. Here you will find maps, pictures of the Lake, and books about history of the lake and its communities. There are handicrafts and fabrics from the different groups that developed around the Lake, types of Andean grains like quinoa, and a chance to learn about the painting process of wool. An easy late-afternoon walk (approximately 30 minutes) will take you to a nice spot to witness an unforgettable sunset over the waters of Lake Titicaca. Enjoy a private picnic with drinks; a unique moment to soak in the beautiful landscape, appreciate the serenity, and if the clouds behave, watch the sun go down. Tonight, enjoy your final (included) dinner at Suasi Lodge.

Accommodation
Suasi Island Eco lodge or similar (Feature Stay) (1 night)

Included Activities
Suasi Island – Spectacular Sunset over Lake Titicaca, Picnic & Drinks
Suasi Island – Cultural Museum Visit

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Special Information
Luggage for the next 2 days:
Due to a luggage restrictions on the boat you will be required to pack all necessary items for the next 2 days into a smaller bag. The remainder of your luggage will be stored securely in the Puno hotel.

Day 13: Puno

Just before 1 pm travel back across the lake to Puno. The boat journey back to Puno is about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Enjoy a free night in Puno to explore, eat dinner at a local restaurant or relax in the hotel.

Accommodation
Hotel Hacienda Puno or similar (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
LUNCH:
The lodge will provide you with a packed lunch today. It will be available from about 12 pm, you may choose to enjoy this prior to departing the island or during the boat journey

Day 14: La Paz

This morning depart the hotel at approximately 7 am. Travel by minivan to Desaguadero (approximately 2.5 hours), where you’ll cross the border into Bolivia. The first stop is the Peruvian migration office where you’ll be asked to leave the bus and proceed through Peruvian migration. Then walk via a bridge to the Bolivian side, submit your passport at the Bolivian migration office and reboard the bus, which will continue to La Paz. About 30 minutes after crossing the border there’s another stop where the army will again check your documents. Remember to reset your watch, as Bolivia is one to two hours ahead of Peru. On your way to La Paz, stop at Tiahuanaco for a guided visit. The archaeological site of Tiahuanaco was the base of a great civilisation that began around 500 BC before mysteriously ‘disappearing’ around AD1200. It is believed that the ceremonial complex dates back to the AD800 and was once at the centre of a powerful and self-sustaining empire based in the southern Central Andes. It is also where the Incas learned about building systems and agricultural practices. The sprawling ruins comprise of temples, courtyards, terraced pyramids, monolithic stone statues and gateways. The most famous structure is the Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun). From the ruins it’s a two-hour drive to La Paz, where you’ll spend the night. Enjoy spectacular views of the city on your approach, due to its unique location in the middle of a vast volcanic crater.

Accommodation
Hotel Rosario or similar (1 night)

Included Activities
La Paz – Tiawanaku archaeological site and museum tour
Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 15: La Paz

At around 3600 metres, La Paz feels like the top of the world and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz’s indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional.
This morning at about 9 am you’ll embark on a city tour. Begin with a dramatic ride on the world’s highest ‘urban’ cable car, up at 13,000 feet connecting La Paz with its twin city El Alto, a challenging urban environment that is a mix of shacks, half-finished buildings and church spires. Here you will visit some craft markets, selling goods made of alpaca wool, leather and other traditional materials, before visiting the Mercado de Hechiceria or Witches’ Market. Browse the weird and wonderful stalls that sell everything from potions to incantations made from herbs. This witches market is rarely seen by tourists and is much more authentic than the smaller witches market in La Paz. Just outside the market is a street with dozens of types of doctors or shamans that, for a price, can tell of your future health, love, or career. Reboard the cable car to the south of the city and take a walking tour of the extraordinary landscape of Moon Valley. This isn’t a valley, but a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires. These rugged oddities, caused by erosion, make for staggering views. Stop at Mirador Killi Killi for one of La Paz’s most impressive viewing points. Next head to the main square and Plaza Murillo. After lunch, the rest of the day is free. When the sun sets and the temperature drops, join the locals in seeking warmth in a bar or restaurant.

Accommodation
Rosario Hotel or similar (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
Please be aware that the order of your tour may change slightly according to weather, however you will still visit everything mentioned in the itinerary.

Day 16: Santiago
Welcome to Santiago, Chile. Set within a circle of snow-capped mountains, Santiago is vibrant, artistic and gourmet. On arrival, take an included transfer to the hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We’ll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early into Santiago, perhaps take a short walk to get your bearings of the city, with the Andes serving as a spectacular backdrop to your exploration.

Accommodation
Hotel Altiplanico or similar (1 night)

Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Special Information
Please advise us of your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure for the complimentary airport transfer. If you can’t arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you’re able to attend. We’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may have started their trip 15 days ago in Lima on Essence of South America (PSSEC) or on Rhythms of South America (PSRSC), or 23 days ago in Quito on South America in Depth (PSSIC).

Day 17: Santiago

Today at 10 am get to know Santiago on a walking tour with a local guide (approximately 2.5 hours). You’ll discover more about the city that was founded in 1541 by the Spaniard, Pedro de Valdivia, and has experienced a turbulent history filled with native conflicts, floods and earthquakes. Head to the Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city and home to the cathedral, and walk through the central market to try some local specialities. Next, take the cable car to the top of Cerro San Cristobal for the best view of the city. Finishing the tour in the bohemian Bellavista neighbourhood. Tonight, why not take the chance to dine out at one of the city’s famous restaurants and sample some local ceviche.

Accommodation
Hotel Altiplanico or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
Santiago – Half-day guided walking tour
Santiago – Cerro San Cristobal Funicular

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 18: Valparaiso
Enjoy a free morning in Santiago. Perhaps visit the Mercado Central (Santiago’s celebrated fish market) to savour some breakfast empanadas with pebre, a delicious Chilean condiment of coriander, garlic, olive oil and peppers. At about 2 pm head west towards the coast. Stop for a wine tasting on the way in the Casablanca Valley, located about 45 minutes outside of Santiago. Sitting on a coastal plain between the capital and Valparaiso, the valley is Chile’s fastest growing wine region, with its rich soil and perfect climate making it a wine lover’s paradise. This visit (approximately one hour) is focused more on the sustainability and organic goals of the vineyard and the characters of biodiversity rather than tasting wine. Nice to know however that this area is known for crisp Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but also for stunning reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah. Continue (approximately 1.5 hours) through the lush green vineyards to the coast and the colourful city of Valparaiso, notable for its brightly hued houses spread across a series of hills overlooking the ocean. As a creative hub, the city has no shortage of options for a drink, so perhaps find yourself a place to sip some ancho reyes alongside locals for the evening.

Accommodation
Casa Galos Hotel or Similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Casablanca region – Tour of an organic & biodynamic vineyard including wine tasting

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 19: Valparaiso

Listed as a World Heritage centre in 2003, Valparaiso used to be South America’s busiest port before the opening of the Panama Canal. It has since transformed itself into Chile’s most creative city which you’ll learn more about on the walking tour today at 9.30 am with a local guide (approximately 3.5 hours). The ramshackle streets have long been home to artists, writers and musicians so there is no shortage on visual inspiration to prompt some questions about its background. The hills of Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre are dotted with kaleidoscopically coloured houses, with cobbled streets weaving sharply uphill and concealing all manner of galleries, restaurants and shops. Later on, visit the Lukas Museum which houses the collection of original works by the cartoonist, illustrator and chronicler Renzo Pecchenino, Lukas.

Accommodation
Casa Galos Hotel or Similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Valparaiso – Guided City tour
Valparaiso – Pisco Sour workshop & Sunset
Valparaiso – Lukas Museum

Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 20: Mendoza
At 9 am in the morning, travel through the Andes and across the Argentinean border by local bus to Mendoza (approximately 6 hours on the bus). Please note that crossing the border can take up to three hours depending on local traffic so it’s a good idea to bring plenty of water and snacks, as the trip may incur delays. On a clear day it may be possible to see Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas at 6962 meters above sea level. Once in Mendoza, get to know the city with a gentle stroll around its tree-lined streets, or visit the local cafes and restaurants for some Argentinean fare.

Accommodation
Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)

Meals Included
Breakfast

Special Information
SEASONAL WEATHER CONDITIONS:
During the colder months, usually between May and August, the border crossing between Chile and Argentina may be closed due to snowfalls. In that event, your emergency fund may be needed to purchase a flight between Santiago and Mendoza.

Day 21: Mendoza
Mendoza is Argentina’s most prolific and significant grape-growing region, producing nearly three-quarters of the country’s wine. The climate produces an excellent variety of grapes, with the region’s signature being Malbec. Expect an 8.45 am pickup today, visit several wineries and cellar doors to see and taste the quality for yourself. Afterwards about 1 pm, stop at a closed door restaurant for an exclusive included lunch. Sit back and enjoy being served delicious food in this unique private eatery. Return to the centre around 3.30 pm. In the evening, perhaps test your palate by attempting to pair the perfect wine with an authentic Argentine asado (barbecue-style food). A visit to Aristides Villanueva Street after dark is a must if you enjoy a bit of nightlife. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the most popular drinks in town: fernet with coke – an acquired taste and not for the faint-hearted!

Accommodation
Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Mendoza – Full-day winery tour – Includes lunch
Mendoza – Closed-door restaurant lunch
Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch

Day 22: Estancia Stay

This afternoon fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, which only takes around one and a half hours. On arrival about 6 pm, travel in a minivan for just over an hour to a traditional estancia (ranch). This is where the group will be staying for the next couple of days. During your time here, you could go horse riding, take a cooking class or simply read a book. Estancias are ideal for relaxation and provide a great base for activities. Please remember that activities vary depending on the days that you are there. If in doubt, ask your trip leader for more information.

Accommodation
Estancia La Eloisa or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)

Included Activities
2-night stay at a traditional estancia

Meals Included
Breakfast
Dinner

Day 23: Estancia Stay

Today, your leader can assist the ranch staff to brief you about the sport Polo. This nail biting game will enthral and impress you; combining skill, endurance, elegance and danger! Meet the horses up close and get a feel for the equipment and gear used. Later, head into the kitchen to take part in an mmpanada workshop! Empanada’s are an Argentinean staple that resemble a small pie. They can be sweet but are most commonly savoury. During the workshop you will learn how to make the dough and a traditional filling from scratch. At some point today a local gaucho (cowboy) will pop in to the ranch for a chat.

Accommodation
Estancia La Eloisa or similar, Feature Stay (1 night)
Included Activities
Estancia – Polo workshop
Estancia – Empanada Making Workshop
Polo workshop

Meals Included
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

Day 24: Buenos Aires
After breakfast travel back to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires (approximately 1.5 hours) to experience its old charm and cosmopolitan streets. Soak up the Argentinean capital’s irrepressible mix of European and Latin culture on an orientation walk with your leader. Visit Florida street, National Congress and the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada (Pink House) in the Plaza de Mayo. If there is time, your group may get to visit the Obelisk and possibly either La Boca or Recoleta. During the free afternoon, perhaps visit the elaborate tombs on display in the famous Recoleta Cemetery, be seduced by the world’s most passionate dance at a tango bar, attend a raucous football match, or gorge yourself on the city’s sophisticated culture and food.

Accommodation
Tango de Mayo Hotel or Similar (1 night)

Included Activities
Buenos Aires – Orientation walk
Optional Activities
Buenos Aires – Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) – USD60
Buenos Aires – Football game (ticket price depends on the game) – USD80
Buenos Aires – Polo Day – USD170
Meals Included
Breakfast

Day 25: Buenos Aires
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Please not that you must comply with any of the hotel’s internal check-out rules. If you’re planning to stay on in Buenos Aires we can assist you in booking extra accommodation (subject to availability).