On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders
. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.
5 flights (2-4 hours each); 3 scenic land journeys (longest 6 hours).
On this tour we use a mixture of upper mid-range and first class properties.
Examples of hotels include:
• Rio de Janeiro: Hotel Windsor Miramar
• Iguazú National Park: Loi Suites
• Buenos Aires: Hotel Recoleta Grand
• Bariloche: Cacique Inacayal
• Puerto Varas: Cabanas del Lago
• Torres del Paine: Patagonia Camp (For 2020 departures we will use the fully inclusive program for all departures).
• Punta Arenas: Hotel Rey don Felipe
• Santiago: Hotel Cumbres Lastarria
On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.
Breakfast daily, dinner days 13-15.
• Rio de Janeiro: city tour including Sugarloaf and Corcovado mountain
• Iguazú Falls: Brazilian and Argentinian sides
• Buenos Aires: city tour
• Bariloche: Circuito Chico tour of lake district
• Bariloche: full day lake crossing from Argentina to Chile
• Torres del Paine National Park: boat trip to Glacier Grey
• Santiago: guided visit to a vineyard
Summary of nights
18 days, 17 nights: Rio de Janeiro 3; Iguazú 2; Buenos Aires 3; Bariloche 2; Puerto Varas 2; Torres del Paine 3; Punta Arenas 1; Santiago 2.
Included in the journey price
• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
There is a range of optional excursions which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $450 USD should cover participation in most of the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences. The list below is only a guideline, so please enquire with your tour leader for any further areas of interest:
• Iguazú Falls: helicopter ride over the falls or a boat ride up to them
• Buenos Aires: by boat across the River Plate to Uruguay
• Buenos Aires: by train to the delta town Tigre
• Buenos Aires: tango show
• Argentine lake district: the Circuito Chico route from Bariloche
• Puerto Varas: day trip to the island of Chiloé
• Torres del Paine National Park: certain hikes and tours of the park
• Santiago: visit Valparaiso
There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with another same-sex member of the group who is also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to have their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available, which carry a surcharge.
The unit of currency Brazil is the real, in Chile it is the peso chileno, in Argentina the peso argentine.
A budget of around $45 USD per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir for most of the tour. In Argentina this might be more like $50-60 USD. Although economic instability in Argentina means that prices can change frequently.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so a debit or credit card with a PIN is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by travellers who find them difficult to exchange as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).
Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $3 USD (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 and $6 USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
Departure tax is normally included in the price of the ticket.
Around Bariloche walks are along clear trails, undulating but not strenuous. In Torres del Paine all walks are optional. Hikes vary in length (between 2-8 hrs) and difficulty (some are easy and flat, others steeper and more challenging). Note that most walks are linear and along good paths, so you can follow them as far as you feel comfortable. Your tour leader can advise about which of the trails would be most suited to you. Throughout the Journey, there is time to relax and explore on your own if you wish. Be prepared for some early mornings, and for extreme weather conditions in Patagonia.
In Rio, Iguazú, Santiago and Buenos Aires, it can be very humid and temperatures high, frequently over 30°C during the height of the southern hemisphere summer (Jan-Feb). In these months rainfall totals are also high, though rain tends to fall as relatively short, heavy showers. Between them there is plenty of sun. October, November, March and April see temperatures between 15-25°C and a good deal of sunshine, although in Buenos Aires and Rio rain showers and stubborn cloud cover are also a feature of these months.
In the lake district, it can be hot (late 20s°C) during the southern summer but not unpleasantly so, with little rain, but rainfall can be copious in July and August there. It is chilly in winter, not unlike a British autumn.
The weather in southern Patagonia is notoriously unpredictable throughout the year. During the southern hemisphere summer (October to March) there may be everything from a blizzard to a heat wave. Strong winds and rain are possible at any time and it can get cold.
Clothing and special equipment
A daypack is advisable for carrying rainwear, snacks, books, tablet if you travel with one, and a water bottle.
In the southern summer you will need light, preferably loose clothing, shorts and sandals for Rio, Buenos Aires, Iguazú, the lakes and Santiago. The further south you go the less predictable the weather so your clothing should be appropriate for all seasons.
Those who feel the cold could bring thermal underwear. To ensure your comfort while walking in Patagonia, you should bring good waterproof walking boots (tried and tested so you don't get blisters) as well as a good water/windproof (not just shower-proof) jacket and trousers, a warm hat and a scarf.
The sun can be strong so take a hat with a visor, sunglasses and sun block.
If you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might want to bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.
Reduce plastic waste
Journey Latin America has partnered with Water-To-Go to offer JLA Group Tour passengers the opportunity to purchase 75cl filtered water bottles for a 50% discount. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink. Please call your contact at JLA to add it your booking and it will be delivered to your address. More information about this initiative can be found on our website here
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.
As of 2018, visitors to Brazil travelling on our holidays should be protected with a vaccination against yellow fever, and carry the corresponding certificate. In April 2013, the World Health Organisation Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation concluded that a single primary dose of yellow fever vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained immunity and lifelong protection against yellow fever disease, and that a booster dose is not needed.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require visas for entering Brazil, Chile and Argentina, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Other nationalities should enquire or check with the Brazilian, Chilean or Argentine Consulate. Even where visas are not required, there may be a reciprocity fee to pay (e.g. USA and Canada).
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally. Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.