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.
4 flights (longest 2 hrs), 3 road journeys (longest 7 hrs with stops).
For our Discovery Journeys we aim to use good quality, value-for-money accommodation, in a mix of larger more modern and smaller family run hotels. All the properties we use are well maintained and rooms will have a private bathroom with hot water.
The focus of these trips is on getting outside, seeing the sights, and experiencing local restaurants and cafes, therefore a few hotels may not have evening dining facilities. If you prefer more luxurious accommodation, please see our classic tours collection.
Examples of the hotels include:
• Santiago: Hotel Torremayor Provedencia
• Puerto Varas: Park Inn by Radisson
• Bariloche: Hotel Kenton Palace
• Buenos Aires: Hotel Kenton Palace
• Puerto Iguazú: Mercure Iguazu Hotel Iru
• Paraty: Pousada do Principe
• Rio de Janeiro: Hotel Augustos
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.
• Santiago: walking tour
• Puerto Varas: Petrohue Falls
• Bariloche: guided mountain walk
• Buenos Aires: city tour
• Iguazú Falls (Argentine and Brazilian sides)
• Paraty: Schooner trip
• Rio de Janeiro: city tour with Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountain
Summary of nights
15 days, 14 nights: Santiago 2; Puerto Varas 2; Bariloche 2; Buenos Aires 2; Iguazú 2; Paraty 2; Rio 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
• Some domestic flight taxes
There are 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 $320 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:
• Santiago: visit the Pacific port Valparaíso and a vineyard
• Puerto Varas: excursion to Chiloe Island
• Argentine lake district: the Circuito Chico route from Bariloche
• Argentine lake district: guided walks
• Buenos Aires: by boat across the River Plate to Uruguay
• Buenos Aires: by train to the delta town Tigre
• Buenos Aires: tango show
• Iguazú Falls: overfly in a helicopter
• Iguazú Falls: gran safari boat trip to the falls
• Iguazú Falls: visit to the quirky bird park
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 in Chile is the peso chileno, in Argentina the peso argentino, and in Brazil the real.
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 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 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 visitors 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 $US2 (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 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
International departure tax from Rio de Janiero is normally included. Domestic flight taxes are approximatly $6 from Buenos Aires.
The pace of this trip is relatively fast; there are some early mornings and long days spent travelling (albeit with stops and fantastic scenery). You should consult your tour leader to make sure you undertake optional excursions which are best suited to you.
In Rio, Iguazú, Santiago and Buenos Aires, it can be very humid and temperatures high, frequently over 30°C, during the southern hemisphere summer. 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. It is chilly in winter (July and August), not unlike a British autumn, and rainfall can be copious at this time.
Clothing and special equipment
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 and your clothing should be appropriate for all seasons.
To ensure your comfort while walking in the lake district, especially outside the summer months, you should bring good waterproof walking shoes as well as a good water/windproof (not just shower-proof) jacket and trousers.
At the Iguazú Falls you can get very wet from the spray. You may like to take dry clothes in a bag and simply wear swimwear and flip flops,
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).
A daypack is advisable for carrying rainwear, snacks, books, tablet if you travel with one, and a water bottle. The sun can be strong so take a hat with a visor, sunglasses and sun block.
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 typhoid, polio, tetanus, hepatitis A and yellow fever. A yellow fever certificate may also be a compulsory requirement for onward travel and immigration purposes. The rules are complex and subject to change. We advise you check the most up to date information at www.iatatravelcentre.com. Please consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on malaria tablets. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health.
Holders of a full British passport do not require visas for entering Chile, Argentina and Brazil, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Other nationalities should refer enquire or check with the Brazilian, Chilean or Argentine Consulates.
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.