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Private Journeys

Signature Brazil, Argentina and Chile: Coast to coast

15 days from £5,990pp

(based on two people sharing & excluding flights)

Brazil / Iguazu Falls / Argentina / Chile

Tom Parrott ©

Essentials

Transport

3 flights (longest 2hrs); 4 road journeys or transfers.

Accommodation

We have chosen upper mid range hotels and lodges with unique characteristics, outdoor activities or attractions.

Meals

Breakfast daily; dinner day 14;

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Summary Of Nights

15 days, 14 nights: Rio de Janeiro 3; Iguazú 3; Buenos Aires 3; Mendoza winery 2; Santiago 2; Winery 1.

Climate

In Rio, Buenos Aires and Iguazú December to March are the hottest and most humid months, with temperatures sometimes reaching 40°C, and rain which falls in brief, heavy showers. Santiago will be dry and hot, but less humid.

From June to September, temperatures are more moderate (18-23°C) and there is plenty of sunshine, but cold fronts can usher in periods of up to several days of cloud and drizzle. Iguazú can be quite chilly in winter when the temperature can fall as low as 2°C at night. It can snow in Santiago in winter (July/August).

The vineyards have more of a Mediterranean –type climate with hot dry summers. It can be cold in the mountains in winter, with bits and bobs of snow.

Clothing And Special Equipment

For day-to-day wear in summer you should take loose-fitting, breathable clothes. Comfortable shoes are important and sandals are useful. A sun hat, sun block and sunglasses are necessary, and you should take a light fleece for cool nights and a Gore-Tex layer, as well as swimwear, a towel, insect repellent and maybe a torch. In the spring, autumn or winter you might bring along a warm jumper, fleece or jacket. An umbrella or waterproof jacket is advised.

You might like to use binoculars for wildlife.  Brazil, Argentina and Chile all have an informal attitude to dress but if you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might want to bring something smart as well.

At the Iguazú Falls you can get very wet from the spray. You may wish to take dry clothes in a dry bag.

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.

Currency

The unit of currency in Brazil is the ‘real’ (plural reais); in Argentina it is the Argentine peso, in Chile the Chilean peso.

How To Take It

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number 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 additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques (American Express are the most widely accepted), though these are gradually falling out of use. Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

For our latest currency advice for Argentina please see our FAQs section.

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$50 per day should cover the cost of good quality meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the very best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

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.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential.

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Airport Taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey Grade

There are no long days of travel on this trip. There are two domestic flights by commercial jet.
This holiday is suitable for all but if you have a disability or other special requirements, please call us.

In the summer months of December to March the weather is extremely hot and humid, you might bear this in mind if travelling with small children or elderly persons.

Vaccinations

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.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Country info

When's the best time to visit Brazil?

Brazil is an all-year destination, but it’s a vast country: when you go will depend on your chosen itinerary and interests. Late Dec-Mar are the hottest months – very hot (over 40°C) from Rio northwards – and the local holiday season, so attractions can be very busy. During the Amazon’s wet season (Jan - Jun) it’s easier to get round by boat, the dry season is sunnier and better for wildlife-spotting but very hot. The Pantanal may be best avoided during the wettest months (Nov - Mar) when there are many mosquitoes. However this is the best time to visit the beaches of the south where it’s cool outside this period.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What's the official language of Brazil?

The official language of Brazil is Brazilian Portuguese; a more languid and musical version of Portugal's mother tongue. You will also find indigenous languages spoken in Amazonia.

How do I get local currency in Brazil?

The local currency in Brazil is the Brazilian Real. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs at airports and in larger towns and cities. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. Banco do Brasil, HSBC accept UK credit or debit cards allowing daily withdrawals of 1,000reais. Bradesco allows a lower limit. Other banks eg Banco 24horas do not accept foreign cards. Most towns have a Banco do Brasil. ATMs close at 10pm. Currency is also obtainable in banks and money exchanges.

What is the time difference between Brazil and UK?

The time difference between the UK and Brazil is GMT -3 hours. There is daylight saving from Oct- end Feb (approx) when clocks are put forward one hour.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Brazil?

Carnival offers 5 days of celebration in Feb/Mar. Live bands, costume balls, over-indulgence and general frivolity will take place in towns and cities all over the country. The best parades are in Rio, Salvador and Olinda.

Which countries combine well with Brazil?

Argentina: The crossing at Iguazú Falls is convenient for many visitors.  

Peru: There is a direct flight from Lima to Rio de Janeiro (5 hours) and to São Paulo (4-5 hours with many connections to other cities).

Country info

When is the best time to visit Argentina?

Argentina is so large it’s always a good time to go somewhere. The southern hemisphere summer is the reverse of our own, with Dec-Feb being high summer in Patagonia. Spring (Oct-Nov) and Autumn (Mar-Apr) can still be very pleasant and are quieter. While summers in the lake district are reliably warm and sunny, the further south in Patagonia you go the more unpredictable the weather. In Winter (June-Sept) some hotels in Patagonia close, while others stay open for skiers. Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Córdoba enjoy a Mediterranean-type climate, with cool winters and very warm summers. North-west Argentina (Salta and Jujuy) enjoy sunshine and warm temperatures year-round but are influenced by altitude and the high Andes, with occasional cold snaps (June-Sept) and a rainy season (Jan-Feb). Iguazú Falls and Misiones has a subtropical climate, although it can be chilly July-Sept.
For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Argentina?

The official language of Argentina is Spanish.

What is Argentina's official currency?

The official currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso. The largest value note is AR$2,000 (about US$2).
Cash is still widely preferred in Argentina so don’t rely solely on your cards. Taking your funds in a mix of formats (a supply of US$ cash to convert into Pesos locally, and your cards) is the best plan. In Buenos Aires and main tourist hubs cards are widely accepted but in more remote areas often only cash is accepted. You’ll also need cash for tips (eg if you pay for a restaurant meal with a card, tips are always left in cash).
We think it’s a good idea to keep an eye on Argentina’s exchange rates before you go. In addition to the official rate of exchange for converting your US Dollars to Pesos, Argentina also uses a parallel exchange rate for foreign tourists (sometimes called the MEP). This is about 15% better than the official rate. Some casas de cambio will automatically apply the better tourist rate when changing your money. Others will only apply the official rate. When changing money, denominations of US$50 and US$100 are preferred and you should make sure your notes are in perfect condition. It’s harder to change money at weekends and holidays, so plan ahead. Some businesses will accept US$ cash for payment if you’re out of Pesos.
Rates used to process credit/debit card transactions can vary between card issuers, but you should find you get something between the official and tourist rates. Check your statement.
We generally don’t advise using ATMs in Argentina. Although ATMs are available, local ATM fees are high and the amount you can take out is much lower than in the UK. At the time of writing, it is not clear what conversion rates are used for ATM transactions.
Try not to end up with a lot of leftover Pesos at the end of your time in Argentina, as it is difficult to change them to other currencies. You can spend them at the Duty Free shop at Buenos Aires airport.

What's the time difference between Argentina and UK?

The time difference between Argentina and UK is GMT -3 hrs. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar, but not every year.

Which other countries combine well with Argentina?

Chile, accessing the country by crossing the Andes over one of several scenic passes: from Salta in the northwest to the Atacama Desert, from Mendoza to Santiago, via the lakes crossing from Bariloche to Puerto Varas in the lake district and from El Calafate to Torres del Paine in Patagonia; Brazil, via the land crossing at Iguazú.

What are the festivals and other cultural or sporting events in Argentina?

Tango Festival: Buenos Aires, August.
Polo Open: Buenos Aires province, weekends in November.
Gaucho Festivals: The pampas, early November.

How do I adapt to the altitude in Argentina?

Whilst a typical holiday in Patagonia presents no challenges with altitude, Argentina’s north-western provinces offer a taste of the high Andes with some spectacular road trips on offer. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

Country info

When is the best time to visit Chile?

Thanks to its size and shape, Chile is a year-round destination. The southern hemisphere summer is the reverse of our own, with Dec-Feb being high summer in Patagonia. Spring (Oct-Nov) and Autumn (Mar-Apr) can still be very pleasant and are quieter. While summers in the lake district are generally warm and sunny, as a rule the further south in Patagonia you go the more unpredictable the weather. Santiago and Valparaiso have a Mediterranean-type climate, with very warm summers and cool winters (ski season is Jul-Aug). San Pedro de Atacama enjoys sunshine and warm temperatures year-round, influenced by altitude and the high Andes, with cool nights Jul-Sep and a chance of heavy rains in Jan-Mar. Easter Island has pleasant temperatures all year, warmest Oct-Mar, cooler Jun-Sep.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Chile?

The official language of Chile is Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Chile?

The local currency in Chile is the Chilean Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in larger towns and cities using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also many banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling are harder to find and frequently poor. Non-resident foreign guests at hotels in Chile do not normally pay the 19% VAT on most extras (such as food and drink consumed on the premises) if the bill is settled in US$ (cash or credit card) upon checking out.

What's the time difference between Chile and UK?

The time difference between the UK and Chile is GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar.

What countries combine well with Chile?

Bolivia, accessing the south of country from San Pedro de Atacama, travelling via salt lakes of the Salar de Uyuni; Argentina, crossing the Andes over one of several scenic passes: from the Atacama Desert in the north to Salta, from Santiago to Mendoza, via the lakes crossing from Puerto Varas to Bariloche in the lake district and from Torres del Paine to El Calafate in Patagonia.

What are the festivals, cultural and sport events in Chile?

Tapati festival, Easter Island is normally during the first 2 weeks of February with traditional music, dance and sports.

On New Years Eve Valparaiso has an impressive firework display.

What do I need to know about altitude in Chile?

Whilst a typical holiday in Patagonia presents no challenges with altitude, parts of northern Chile (Lauca National Park and parts of the Atacama Desert) offer a spectacular introduction to the high Andes, with several attractions at over 3,000m. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude. If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on  www.travelhealthpro.org.uk.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided excursion to Corcovado mountain
  • Guided tour to the Sugar Loaf mountain and Rio botanical gardens
  • Visit to the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls
  • Visit to the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls
  • Guided city tour of Buenos Aires with visit to Teatro Colón
  • Tour of Mendoza wineries
  • Guided walking tour of Santiago
  • Wine tasting at Matetic vineyard

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided excursion to Corcovado mountain
  • Guided tour to the Sugar Loaf mountain and Rio botanical gardens
  • Visit to the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls
  • Visit to the Argentine side of Iguazú Falls
  • Guided city tour of Buenos Aires with visit to Teatro Colón
  • Tour of Mendoza wineries
  • Guided walking tour of Santiago
  • Wine tasting at Matetic vineyard

What's not included in the price

  • Tips and gratuities
  • Meals other than specified
  • International flights to Latin America
  • Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
  • Optional excursions

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

Papagaio

Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration
Bartolome, Galápagos

Meet our team

Real Latin american experts

  • Kathryn
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Charlotte
    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

  • Hannah
    Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert

    Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.

  • Alex
    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

  • Lina
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

  • Sophie
    Sophie Barber - Travel Expert

    Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.

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