Private Journeys

Signature Southern Chile, Argentina and Brazil: Natural wonders of Patagonia and the Iguazu Falls

16 days from £5,410pp

Chile / Argentina / Iguazu Falls / Patagonia

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Essentials

Transport

Four flights (longest 4hrs); 2 scenic road journeys (longest 6hrs).

Accommodation

Here you stay in relatively large, contemporary-style hotels at the top of the mid-range category; but on the whole they are anything but bland, with interesting features. The rooms are well equipped and have private bathrooms and heating/air-conditioning. All have excellent locations, and were chosen because they are well positioned for visiting the local sights.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 2, 3; dinner day 9; full board days 4, 5.

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

16 days, 15 nights: Santiago 2; Torres del Paine 3; El Calafate 2; Buenos Aires 3; Iguazú 2; Rio de Janeiro 3.

Optional Excursions

There are a number of half, full-day or longer excursions or activities you may wish to consider in order to customise your holiday to cater for your interests. Please contact us to discuss these further or to add them to your itinerary before you depart. A selection of these include:

  • Buenos Aires:  boat trip to Uruguay to visit colonial town of Colonia, from Buenos Aires.
  • By road or train to Tigre in the delta from Buenos Aires.
  • Cable car up the Sugar Loaf mountain in Rio.

Currency

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

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, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). 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$40-50 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the 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

In Torres del Paine all walks are optional. Hikes vary in length (between 2 and 8hrs) and difficulty (some are easy and flat, others steeper and more challenging). Be prepared for some early mornings, and for extreme weather conditions in Patagonia.

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.

Climate

Winter in the Southern Hemisphere is between May and September. In Santiago, Rio and Buenos Aires temperatures can be cool (5°C to 15°C). Sunshine is possible, but so is rain if cold fronts come tumbling in. 

Spring temperatures, October to November and March to April are between 15°C and 25°C and there is a good deal of sunshine, although in Buenos Aires rain is not uncommon. January and February are hot, around 30°C. 

The weather in Patagonia is notoriously unpredictable throughout the year, with up to four seasons in one day. In summer you benefit from long daylight hours; in winter snow may block some routes and it is dark by late afternoon: at this time however there can be long calm spells with sunshine as well as storms. The shoulder season in April-May and September-October can be very windy.

Clothing And Special Equipment

You will be exposed to just about all the climates the continent can offer, so will need a range of layered clothing. A day pack is essential for carrying rainwear (umbrella in the hot summer months), snacks, books and a water bottle. To ensure your comfort while walking in Patagonia, you should bring a good pair of walking boots or shoes as well as a good waterproof top, trousers and a warm hat and a scarf. 

The sun can be strong so take a hat with a visor, sunglasses and sunblock. 

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.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Water To Go

We’ve partnered with Water To Go to offer Journey Latin America clients a 50% discount on 7cl filtered, reusable water bottles with every booking. 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.
Contact your Travel Consultant for more information and to include the purchase in your booking.

Country info

When's 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.

What's the official language of Chile?

Spanish.

How do I get local currency in Chile?

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?

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: normally during the first 2 weeks of February with traditional music, dance and sports.

New Year’s Eve, Valparaiso: impressive firework displays.

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

  • Walking tour of Santiago’s historic heart
  • Full day excursion to two vineyards in the Maipo valley
  • Excursions and activities in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Visit Perito Moreno glacier, boat cruise in the lake below the ice wall
  • Walking city tour of Buenos Aires, visit Teatro Colon
  • Tango show with dinner, Buenos Aires
  • Visit to Argentine side of Iguazú falls
  • Full day visit to Brazilian side of Iguazú falls
  • Guided tour of Corcovado mountain (Christ the Redeemer)

What's not included in the price

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

  • Walking tour of Santiago’s historic heart
  • Full day excursion to two vineyards in the Maipo valley
  • Excursions and activities in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Visit Perito Moreno glacier, boat cruise in the lake below the ice wall
  • Walking city tour of Buenos Aires, visit Teatro Colon
  • Tango show with dinner, Buenos Aires
  • Visit to Argentine side of Iguazú falls
  • Full day visit to Brazilian side of Iguazú falls
  • Guided tour of Corcovado mountain (Christ the Redeemer)

What's not included in the price

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

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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

Real Latin America Experts

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    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.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant

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

Meet the team