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Nandu: Peaks and plains of Patagonia

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The Nandú Journey explores the beautiful, remote and sometimes savage scenery of Patagonia in southern Chile and Argentina, and the diverse human and wildlife landscapes of these two very varied countries. 

From the gentle countryside, dense forests and snow-capped volcanoes of the Chilean lake district, the journey heads south to the bleak windswept scenery of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, crossing grassy plains, passing soaring granite peaks and creaking glaciers. By way of dramatic contrast you’ll savour life in the two capital cities; the elegant and European Buenos Aires, and cosmopolitan Santiago.

Holiday itinerary

UK clients depart on overnight flight arriving in Santiago, Chile the following day.

Day 1

Arrive Santiago. Walking tour of the city.

Day 2

Optional visits to local vineyards or the port of Valparaíso.

Day 3

Fly to Temuco, by road to Pucón, to explore the lake district.

Day 4

Optional visit to Huerquehue National Park or the opportunity to climb Villarrica volcano.

Day 5

Drive to Puerto Varas; visit the Petrohue Falls.

Day 6

Visit Chiloé Island.

Day 7

Fly to Punta Arenas, continue to Puerto Natales.

Day 8

By road to Torres del Paine National Park, 3 night stay.

Days 9-10

Walking in the park to see rivers and glaciers.

Day 11

Travel to El Calafate, Argentina, on the shores of Lago Argentino.

Day 12

Excursion to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

Days 13-14

Drive to El Chaltén. Walking in Los Glaciares National Park.

Day 15

Fly to Ushuaia, lively port on the southernmost tip of the continent.

Day 16

Walk in Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Day 17

Fly to Buenos Aires.

Days 18-19

City tour. Optional tango show or boat trip to Colonia, Uruguay.

Day 20

Depart for international flight or extension.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

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What our experts say

We designed the Nandu Journey to showcase the best of Patagonia’s epic scenery: from volcanic lakes and thermal springs to waterfalls, towering granite massifs and calving glaciers.  There are plenty of opportunities to hike and go horse-riding with ice trekking, white-water rafting, and volcano climbing optional excursions available too.

Alex Walker

Alexandra Walker

Travel Consultants

Places visited on this holiday

Nandu: Peaks and plains of Patagonia

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Santiago and the vineyards
Santiago and the vineyards
With a backdrop of snow-draped Andean peaks in a sunny fertile valley, Chile’s huge capital lies at the heart of the country. A multi-layered place of contrasting neighbourhoods it is worth getting to know.

There’s a tiny colonial heart which displays an often poignant history, offset by the glittering malls, skyscrapers and shady boulevards of a modern economy. Interspersed are European-style centres for shopping and eating out such as Italianate Bellavista and newly vibrant, villagey localities among which is trendy Lastarría. The surrounding Mediterranean landscape is the perfect setting for vineyards and wineries producing Chile’s well respected wines.
When's the best time to visit Santiago and the vineyards?
Santiago has a hot dry summer and cool winters with some rain and even snow. Spring and autumn (Sep-Oct and Apr-May) are pleasant times for a city visit. The vineyards are at their prettiest in spring (Sep-Oct) but a visit may be most interesting at harvest time (Mar-Apr).
What is the official language in Santiago and the vineyards?

Spanish.

How can I get local currency in Santiago and the vineyards?
Chilean Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs 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.
What's the time difference between Santiago and the vineyards and UK?

GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep/Oct to early Mar. 

What places combine with Santiago and the vineyards?

Valparaiso, colourful Pacific port growing in popularity among visitors, 106km (2hours by road); a beach wind-down in Chile’s principal resort, Viña del Mar (100km, 2 hours); a few days on Polynesian Easter island (5 hours direct by air); winter skiing in the family resort of Valle Nevado (65km, 1 hour 40mins by road).

How do I get to Santiago and the vineyards?

There are no direct flights from the UK, average flight time is 16 hours; a change of plane is required in Europe, Brazil or the USA.

What are the festivals and cultural events in Santiago and the vineyards?

Feria Internacional de Artesania: Nov; Parque General Bustamente, Centro, Santiago, the city’s best craft festival.

Feria Internacional del Libro: Nov, Machopo station, Santiago. A Hay Festival is imminent for Santiago – watch this space!

Fiesta de la Vendimia: Santa Cruz, Colchagua Valley, An annual grape harvest festival in early Mar. 

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Chilean Lake District (north)
Lake District North

It seems that each of the royal blue lakes in this region of chocolate-box prettiness is overlooked by its own snow-dipped volcano. On the lake shores are resort towns with an Alpine flavour and traditional villages of neat wooden cottages. The region is carpeted with pine forests and studded with youthful streams.

The north is dominated by the snowy peak of the volcano Villarrica towering over the lake of the same name. Pucón is a lively outdoor lakeside resort, a base for adventure activities. To the south there is a necklet of seven exquisite, sinuous lakes reached by a network of scenic roads. To the west, the watery river port Valdivia sits at the confluence of three rivers which debouch into the Pacific half way between Temuco and Puerto Montt. Oft isolated by geography, conflict and earthquakes, its hinterland is still best explored by boat. A lively university city, it has a multitude of cultural events celebrating its diversity.

When's the best time to go to Chile north Lake District?
The northern lake district has a temperate climate, with plenty of warm sun but also showers in summer, while winters can be cool and very rainy. Dec-Mar is very crowded with local holiday-makers. If you prefer a less lively atmosphere, spring and autumn (Mar-Apr, Oct-Nov) are good choices.
What's the official language of Chile north Lake District?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Chile north Lake District?
Chilean Peso. Notes can be withdrawn from ATMs in Pucón and Villarrica 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 at a lower rate; rates for euros and sterling are harder to find and also frequently poor.
What's the time difference between Chile north Lake District and UK?

GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, from Sep - Oct to early Mar. 

What places combine well with Chile north Lake District?

The southern lake district, centred on Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas, 322 km (5-6 hours by car); the Argentine lake district via the Lake Crossing from Bariloche in Argentina’s lake district to Puerto Varas; continue north by road.

How do I get to Chile north Lake District?

There are flights from Santiago to Temuco (75mins). Drive north from Puerto Montt or Puerto Varas in 5-6 hours (322 km).

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

Festival Cultural Mapuche: Villarrica, mid Feb. This celebrates the culture of the indigenous Mapuche Indians. There are many other summer events in the city, including music, rodeos and regattas.

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Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine

 

Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia is the pinnacle of Chile’s natural landscapes, fast becoming one of the world’s most popular places for walking holidays. Cuernos del Paine is a granite massif which has been sliced apart into needle-sharp spires by glaciers. Beyond are the vertical triple towers of the Torres del Paine. Wind-battered grasslands lead up to sheltered glacial valleys with flowery meadows; torrential rivers surging with ice are interlaced with glassy lagoons. Wildlife abounds everywhere, from geese to guanaco; condors and puma may be spotted, especially in the low winter season from April to October.

When's the best time to visit Torres del Paine NP?
The best months for hiking are Mar-Apr. Many hikers also visit in summer (Dec - Jan) along with non-trekkers so it can be very busy at that time. Days are long and mild then but it can be windy, as in spring (Sep - Oct). For non-hikers, a visit at any time is recommended outside the winter months Jun - Aug when it can be very cold and access routes can be blocked by snow. On the other hand, it is frequently less windy in winter and you have a better chance of spotting wildlife as there are few tourists around. Many facilities are closed then; however, each year, a few more stay open to cater for this off-season traffic.
What's the official language in Torres del Paine NP?

Spanish.

How canI get local currency in Torres del Paine NP?

Chilean Peso. Bring sufficient pesos for your needs from a previous larger destination.

What's the time difference between Torres del Paine NP and UK?

GMT -4 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer.
What other places combine with Torres del Paine NP?

Puerto Natales, picturesquely located town on Last Hope Sound which still has a frontier feel, famous for its black-necked swans, 3 hours by roadEl Calafate in the Parque Nacional de los Glaciares, Argentina (to visit the Perito Moreno glacier), 425km (7 hours scenic drive); the Aisén Region, a wilderness of little-visited forests and rivers north of the park, 4.5 hours drive to Punta Arenas then 1.5 hours by air the Chilean lake district (2 hours away by air from Punta Arenas).

How do I get to Torres del Paine NP?

Daily flights from Santiago take 3 hours 50mins to Punta Arenas, thence it is 3-5 hours by road to Torres del Paine.

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El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park
Perito Moreno Glacier
The vast ice fields in Los Glaciares National Park, southern Patagonia, are a primeval wilderness from which flow 13 huge glaciers into the waters of lakes Viedma and Argentino. Visitors can only see a small part of it, from bases which are surprisingly accessible, but get a real sense of the remoteness of this unpopulated region.  The emerald beech forest and the wind-strafed steppes framing the ice add to the landscape’s beauty. El Calafate is a small lakeside town with tourist facilities which still has a frontier feel. It’s the base for visits to the Perito Moreno, Upsala and Onelli glaciers.
When's the best time to visit El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park?
Weather-wise it’s best to visit in the summer (Dec-Feb) when days are long and mild, but at this time – especially Jan – the area is very crowded with both Argentine and foreign visitors. Mar/Apr or Sep/Oct can be sunny and clear, but it can be windy. In the winter months Jun-Aug it is very cold and access routes can be blocked by snow. Many facilities are closed then, too.
What's the official language in El Calafate?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in El Calafate?

Argentine Peso. There are a couple of banks with ATMs accepting foreign cards. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. There are also some money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash but rates are not good; you may be better off changing money in Buenos Aires or another large city before heading to El Calafate.

What's the time difference between El Calafate and the UK?

GMT -3 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, but this is announced ad hoc on a year-on-year basis.

What places does El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park combine with?
El Chaltén in the northern sector of the park, to visit the Fitz Roy massif, 215 km (3hrs); Peninsula Valdés (1hr 20 mins’ flight); Tierra del Fuego for visit to Lapataia National Park and Beagle Channel (flight 1.5hrs); Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, 210 km, (4-5hrs scenic drive).
How do I get to El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park?

Daily flights from Buenos Aires take 3.5hrs; from Ushuaia, 1.5hrs. You can reach El Calafate by road from Puerto Natales in Chile (5-6hrs).

What are the cultural events in El Calafate and Los Glaciares National Park?

Lago Argentino Day: El Calafate, 15 Feb, live music, barbecues and dancing.

Dia de la Tradición: El Calafate, 10 Nov, horse-riding presentations and barbecues. 

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Tierra del Fuego
Tierra del Fuego
This wilderness island – Land of Fire - sitting at the end of the world is separated from the southern Patagonia mainland by the Magellan Straits.  It is carved through by icy streams, waterfalls and glaciers, mantled by evergreen forests and carpeted with boggy, flower-speckled grassland. Framed by needle-sharp icy peaks, it’s a tortured landscape of incredible natural beauty. Ushuaia, clinging to its shores on the Beagle Channel, is a busy little port from which cruises depart for Antarctica; it still has a frontier feel and has an interesting history in its own right.
When's the best time to visit Tierra del Fuego?
This far south, you will benefit from long daylight hours and mild temperatures between Dec (when it is light until 1am) and the end of Feb, though you can have snow flurries at any time of the year. In the winter, snowy landscapes are beautiful here but hiking is not practical.
What's the official language of Tierra del Fuego?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Tierra del Fuego?

Notes in local currency can be withdrawn from the many ATMs along the main street of Ushuaia, calle San Martín, using a UK credit or debit card. A couple of banks also change money.

What's the time difference between Tierra del Fuego and UK?

GMT -3 hours.

What places combine well with Tierra del Fuego?

El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier, 564 km (50mins by air); most Antarctic cruises depart from Ushuaia; Buenos Aires (3.5hrs by air); a cruise to Punta Arenas in Chilean Patagonia on MV Australis.

How do I get to Tierra del Fuego?

Direct flights from Buenos Aires take 3.5 hours.

What are the festivals and cultural and sporting events in Tierra del Fuego?

The skiing season is Jun-Sep.

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Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires
Along with Rio, this is a city worth crossing the Atlantic for in its own right. Dynamic, stylish and nostalgic, it’s the continent’s most European city, but does not lack South American verve. Its contrasting neighbourhoods reveal colonial plazas, shady avenues, quirky antique fairs, street art, world famous theatres and football stadiums and spruced-up metropolitan port districts. Studded with extensive parks, cutting-edge boutique hotels, designer boutiques and a myriad of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, it’s a restless place, challenging to find your way around but well worth the effort. It’s the beating heart of Argentina, the hub for visits throughout the country.
When's the best time to visit Buenos Aires?

Buenos Aires is at its hottest Jan-Mar (very humid with tropical showers, occasionally over 40C during the day). It can be cold and cloudy Jul-Aug, so weather conditions are best for a visit in spring and autumn. Dec-Feb and Jul are local holiday times: Porteños head for the beach.

What's the official language in Buenos Aires?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Buenos Aires?

Argentine Peso.

Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Limits may be lower than your UK bank allows. Please note that in 2016 many of the ATMs were not functioning properly; we are recommending that for the moment you take a good supply of US dollars cash. There are many banks and money exchanges (casas de cambio) where you can exchange US dollars cash; rates for euros and sterling frequently poor. 

What's the time difference between Buenos Aires and the UK?

GMT -3 hours. Sometimes daylight saving is observed in the summer, but this is announced ad hoc on a year-on-year basis.

What places combine well with Buenos Aires?

Beach time in Mar del Plata (392 km by road, 5hrs); Colonia or Montevideo in Uruguay across the River Plate: travel by ferry, bus or plane; a stay on a working estancia in the pampa south and west of the city; Iguazú Falls (2hrs approx by air).

How long is the flight to Buenos Aires from the UK?

Average flight time is 14hrs 20mins on a direct flight from London. There are also flights requiring a change of plane in Europe or the USA.

What are the festivals and cultural and sports events in Buenos Aires?

Tango Festival: Aug. The world's – top tango festival, nine days  of concerts, shows, free classes, exhibitions, open-air milongas (Avenida Corrientes is closed for a massive display) and other tango-related festivities.

Opera season: Mar-Dec. Take in a concert or opera at the refurbished Teatro Colón which attracts internationally esteemed artists. 

Argentine Polo Open: Mid Nov-mid Dec. Polo is a passion for many Argentines. This is the year’s main attraction, taking place in Palermo’s 16,000 seater stadium.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today. Nandu: Peaks and plains of Patagonia

  • Atacama 4 days from £1,215pp

    The Atacama’s inhospitable desert landscape is harsh and rugged, but it echoes the legacy of its pre-Columbian inhabitants, while the volcanoes and geysers hiss into life. Oases splash the tawny landscape with vigorous vegetation. A few days here will give you a surprisingly varied experience of desert life.

    Day 1: Fly from Santiago to Calama (2hrs) and on to the Andean town of San Pedro de Atacama (2,450m). The town is easy-going, with adobe houses and an accent on outdoor activities. You’ll be staying at Hotel Altiplánico on the edge of town. Here you can take advantage of an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and terrace.

    In the late afternoon drive past spectacular rock formations to the Valle De la Luna (Moon Valley) where the lunar landscape is astonishingly photogenic. Huge sand dunes sweep across a panorama of salt-encrusted canyons, gullies and eroded rock sculptures. Walk up to the top of one to watch the valley at sunset - a dazzling palette of gold and reds. 

    Day 2: Today’s adventure takes you past Licancabur volcano to the village of Toconao, typical of the small oasis settlements of the area. Continue south, entering the Atacama salt flats, a national reserve. Pink flamingoes haunt the lagoons of the featureless white salt flats, and cacti stride towards the horizon.

    Day 3: Depart before dawn for a guided trip to Tatio geysers, at 4,300m the highest geyser field in the world. The geysers are a surreal sight at sunrise – blow-holes send jets of water and steam into a cloudless sky and, as the sun rises, the pools of water turn to shimmering silver. Later, you have time for a soak in hot springs (40°C). Please note that these can be closed for essential maintenence work.

    Day 4: Return to Calama airport to fly to Santiago to continue your holiday or connect with your international flight. (An overnight stay in Santiago may be required).
    UK clients arrive home the following day.

    Breakfast daily

  • Easter Island in depth 6 days from £2,274pp

    Polynesian Easter Island (Rapa Nui) lies 3,790km off the Chilean coast in the remote sub-tropical South Pacific. Windswept and grassy on one side, lushly vegetated on the other, and with a benign climate, it is famous for the clusters of huge enigmatic stone heads standing starkly against an azure skyline. Experience the unique atmosphere and friendly welcome.

    These few days on the island, with private excursions guided by enthusiastic experts in the field, will give you an insight-filled experience to satisfy your curiosity about the unique Rapa Nui culture. Triangular in shape, Easter Island measures no more than 8 miles at its widest point - with a huge, extinct volcanic crater at each of its extremes.

    Day 1: Fly from Santiago to Easter Island and continue to the secluded Hotel Altiplánico.  At 3km from the main town, Hanga Roa, it’s just a stone's throw from the ocean. Guest rooms resembling traditional boat houses are scattered over its tropical gardens. Facilities include a terrace and small pool.

    Day 2:  Full-day tour to introduce Easter Island's most iconic moai statues and intriguing archaeological heritage, encompassing the highlights of the island's north and east coast. There’s time to inspect the statues, explore a volcano and its extinct crater, and swim off a white-sand beach.

    Day 3: Explore geological and historic highlights in the south of the island. View 6 toppled statues, with admirable close-fitting Rapa Nui stonework. Continue to the quarry of the topknots, or 'hats', which adorned many of the moai, and on to view a 1km long collapsed lava tube used by early Easter Islanders as a dwelling. Next stop is the inland ahu (ceremonial platform) of Akivi, one of Easter Island's iconic and most photographed sites.

    Later visit Rano Kau, an extinct volcanic crater 1.6km across and 200m deep.  It is Easter Island's most spectacular natural attraction. Continue to Orongo, dramatically perched between the cliffs and the crater's edge, the site of the historic Birdman competition.

    Day 4: At leisure. You might take an optional 11km cliff-top walk which showcases the gloriously rugged coastline and volcanic landscape, with sweeping vistas across the Pacific Ocean. The hike ends at Anakena, a white coral beach.

    Day 5: Witness the citrus-hued sunrise at Ahu Tongariki. This vivid display of an artist's palette of colour can be especially memorable between October and April when the sun rises directly behind the 15-moai platform.Transfer to the airport and fly back to Santiago.

    Breakfast daily.

    You will need a positioning night in Santiago at either the beginning or end of your visit to Easter Island, depending on your itinerary. A stay at an airport hotel has been included in the cost.

  • Estancia 3 days from £763pp

    Throughout Argentina prestigious rural estates have been adapted to accommodate visitors. La Bamba is a colonial-style property oozing with atmosphere and history, restored to its former elegance in parkland, with a good-sized pool. A few days here will allow you to relax and savour life on the pampa prairies, while feasting off delicious food and wine.

    Day 1:  Transfer by road from Buenos Aires to the gaucho town San Antonio de Areco in the heart of the pampas (90mins). The town has a compact centre of cobbled streets and colonial buildings. The Río Areco cuts through, flanked by parks and linked by a pedestrian bridge leading to Gaucho Museum. Arrive at the Estancia La Bamba just outside town.

    Day 2: At leisure on the estancia. This colonial-style former post house harks back to more opulent times when these establishments were the backbone of a thriving economy. Following its acquisition by French proprietors, it has been renovated to an extremely high standard, and resembles a grand countryside chateau.

    Public areas are cosy and crammed full of plush sofas and old artefacts. The pulpería has a design based on the 18th-century bar which served as an inn for the gauchos, and bristles with atmosphere - open fires, brick walls, flagstone floors and deep sofas. Meanwhile, the  guest rooms offer large shuttered windows and luxurious beds.

    Activities include horse-riding, polo (experienced only), walking and carriage rides in the surrounding pampas.

    Day 3: Return to Buenos Aires to continue your holiday or to connect with your international flight.

    UK clients arrive home the following day.

    Dinner day 1, full board day 2, breakfast day 3.

  • Iguazu from Buenos Aires 3 days from £847pp

    One of the continent’s most awe-inspiring attractions, the Iguazú Falls – which straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil – is a vast basalt amphitheatre veiled by a curtain of foaming water which crashes through tangled sub-tropical jungle. This is one of the great must-see highlights of Latin America, indeed the world.

    Day 1: Fly from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú and continue to Hotel Sheraton, a luxury resort inside the national park, just a short walk from the falls.

    You’ll have a private guided tour of the falls from the Argentine perspective. A little train takes you to the Upper Walk. a sequence of causeways which links dozens of tiny, basalt islands at the top of the rock face. Myriad streams of the Iguazú river cascade over the lip of the precipice, and a succession of lookout points allows your gaze to follow the water as it plunges onto the rocks below.

    The train continues to a passarelle leading you across the river to the thunderous Garganta del Diablo with a spectacular vantage point over the thundering vortex below.

    Day 2: Guided tour of the Brazilian side of the falls. At the entrance to the national park you'll board a shared service to continue to the water’s edge. There's a 1km walkway with viewpoints - you get a panoramic view of the whole sweep of the cataracts, an entirely different experience from the Argentine side. Towards the end of the walk, there's an observation tower and a walkway at the bottom allows for a closer,(and much wetter) look.

    Day 3: Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires to continue your holiday or to connect with your international flight.

    UK clients arrive home the following day.

    Breakfast daily.

  • Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro 6 days from £1,753pp

    One of the continent’s most awe-inspiring attractions, the Iguazú Falls – which straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil – is composed of a vast basalt amphitheatre veiled by a curtain of foaming water which crashes through tangled sub-tropical jungle. Continue to Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, the continent’s most vibrant and colourful city.

    Day 1: Fly from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú and continue to Hotel Sheraton, a luxury resort inside the national park, just a short walk from the falls.

    Day 2: You’ll have a private guided tour of the falls from the Argentine perspective. A little train takes you to the Upper Walk, a sequence of causeways which links dozens of tiny, basalt islands at the top of the rock face. The myriad streams of the Iguazú river cascade over the lip of the precipice, and a succession of lookout points allows you to watch the water as it plunges onto the rocks below.

    The train continues to a passarelle leading you across the river to the thunderous Garganta del Diablo, with a spectacular vantage point over the thundering vortex below.

    Day 3: By road across the border to Brazil with a visit to the Brazilian side of the falls. There's a 1km walkway with viewpoints - you get a panoramic view of the whole sweep of the cataracts - an entirely different experience from the Argentine side. Towards the end of the walk, there's an observation tower and a walkway which leads out for a closer (and much wetter) look. Continue to Foz do Iguaçu airport and fly to Rio de Janeiro; transfer to your contemporary first class hotel, Hilton Copacabana.

    Day 4: The beaches of Rio are legendary. But the city also has a huge urban forest, a restored colonial centre and excellent restaurants. Music and sport are everywhere. A guided tour takes you to the foot of Corcovado mountain; the cog-wheel train journey starts here, climbing through the tropical Tijuca rainforest, with its abundant flowers and fruit trees, to the steps below the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. At 701m above sea level, it offers stunning views of the city.

    Day 5: At leisure to enjoy Rio. Highlights abound – the cable car ride up Sugar Loaf mountain, the serene botanical gardens, the artists' colonial quarter of Santa Teresa, downtown museums and art galleries, and the stupendous Niterói Bridge over Guanabara Bay.

    Day 6: Continue your holiday or transfer to the airport for your international flight.

    UK clients arrive home the following day.

    Breakfast daily.

  • Uruguay beach 5 days from £925pp

    This tiny, friendly country on the eastern shore of the River Plate, wedged between Brazil and Argentina, maintains a character of its own. It has lush soils supporting world-renowned beef cattle but is most celebrated by visitors for its glamorous golden beaches and plush hotels.

    Day 1: Fly from Buenos Aires to the glitzy resort of Punta del Este. Here, flashy high-rise blocks, luxury villas, top-notch restaurants and shopping malls line the seafront but your long-established hotel, L’Auberge, has a more traditional, European-style ambience.

    Days 2, 3: At leisure in Punta del Este. You can relax in the hotel’s grounds, taking advantage of facilities such as the tea-room, with its selection of mouth-watering waffles, the pool and the gym. The hotel sits in generous, well-ordered grounds 200m from the best stretch of sand in the resort.

    Day 4: Fly back to Buenos Aires and transfer to your hotel, the Buenos Aires Grand, in the affluent quarter of Recoleta.

    Day 5: Continue your holiday or transfer to the airport for your international flight.

    UK clients arrive home the following day.

    Breakfast daily.

  • Easter Island overview 5 days from £1,389pp

    Polynesian Easter Island (Rapa Nui) lies 3,790km off the Chilean coast in the remote sub-tropical South Pacific. Windswept and grassy on one side, lushly vegetated on the other, and with a benign climate, it is famous for the clusters of huge enigmatic stone heads standing starkly against an azure skyline. Experience the unique atmosphere and friendly welcome.

    These few days on the island, with group excursions led by local guides, will give you an overview of the wilderness landscapes and the unique Rapa Nui culture. Triangular in shape, Easter Island is about the size of greater London - each point of the triangle marked by a huge extinct volcanic crater.

    Day 1: Fly from Santiago to Easter Island and continue to your hotel, the O'Tai, a guesthouse in the centre of Hanga Roa, the main town on the island. It is a pleasant place set in large well-kept gardens, with a view of the sea in the distance.

    Day 2: Visit Vaihu, where many of the massive carved maoi heads lie before heading off to Akahanga, where a dozen standing moais - backs turned to the ocean - stand on a massive plinth. Move on to the Rano Raraku volcanic crater and Poike quarry where hundreds of Cyclopean heads litter the hillside, some finished others half-carved. It's an easy uphill walk to get to the crater of the volcano. Continue to the pink-sand beach of Anakena, where you can swim and enjoy your packed lunch, returning to your hotel late afternoon.

    Day 3: A bus takes you to the rim of the Rano Kao crater, where you go on foot to the ceremonial village of Orongo. It is here than the annual ceremony of the Bird Man or Tangata Manu would take place here among its stone-built houses and food stores. The object of the ceremony - or quest - was to find and bring back the first egg laid by the seabird manutara, a type of tern. Continue to the caverns of Ana Kai Tangata, where the islanders took refuge during times of war and where there are some pre-historic paintings.

    Day 4: Transfer to the airport and fly back to Santiago.

    Breakfast daily, picnic lunch day 2.

    You will need a positioning night in Santiago at either the beginning or end of your visit to Easter Island, depending on your itinerary. A stay at an airport hotel has been included in the cost.

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Please note

This tour stays in a Refuge for 3 nights whilst in Torres del Paine in order to make it as competitive as possible. This accommodation is based in single beds in dorm rooms of up to 6 people. We understand that this might not to be to everyone's taste so should you wish to upgrade your room for these 3 nights we are happy for passengers to stay at the nearby Hotel Las Torres. There will be supplement to pay and this is of course subject to availability, so please speak to one of our consultants for further information.

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