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Santiago to Rio - Itinerary

Week 1: We start in Chile Santiago. From Santiago, set against the backdrop of the snow covered Andes, we head south, past vineyards and wineries to Pucon Lake District. You can hike up an active Villarica Volcano, (gas masks at the top), go white rafting then relax in thermal springs

Week 2: Argentina.  We cross to the Andes to Bariloche alpine resort, it’s a beautiful area for hiking and chocolate super markets, for those the chocoholics.  We head south through the vast grasslands of Patagonia.

In Los Glaciares Park is the massive Moreno Glacier, it’s 60 metres high and five kilometres-wide and is advancing slowly into Lake Argentinio.  Twenty storey high chunks of ice sporadically break from the ice face and tumble and roll into the lake.  You can walk across the top of the glacier and take a boat trip thru the lakes in front of it and other glaciers.

Week 3: In the Torres del Paine Park (Towers of Pain) are immense granite towers, which soar 2,000 metres above the national park.  We go hiking around the trails surrounding the peaks.

Week 4: [Week 11 weather permitting].  We cross the Straights of Magellan to the most southern tip of the habitable world - Ushuaia town in Tierra del Fuego.  You can take a boat to the Island of the Wolves in the Beagle Channel.  We turn north following the coast to Punta Tombo Park with over half a million nesting penguins. 

Valdez Peninsular is a marine park with sea lions and elephant seals.  On the Atlantic coast we stop on one of the sandy beaches near Bahia Blanca.  We cross the Pampas, a long flat plain; home of the famous Gauchos and big cattle country.

Week 5: Buenos Aires, we have a couple of days here to eat steak till you moo, go night clubbing and drink till you dance the Tango.
Uruguay Optional ferry across the River Plate for a visit to Montevideo.

Week 6: We follow the Parana River, to the Jesuit Missions; which were built in an attempt to save the Indians, these mission stations featured in the film The Mission with Jeremy Irons.

Iguassu Falls; one of the biggest waterfalls in the world, spreading over hundreds of cascades.  There are rainforest walkways below the falls and boats dart into the cascades below.

Week 7: We enter Brazil at Iguassu Falls and head north west to Bonito, where you can swim and dive in the crystal clear river and lakes and hike into forests to search for wildlife. The Pantanal is a large tropical wetland- organise treks out into the vast wetlands, home to birds and fish.

Week 8: Parati on the Atlantic Coast, relaxed historic coastal village without cars, take a schooner to the nearby islands.

Rio de Janeiro, Carnival & New Year’s Eve celebrations are great times to be here and party.

Other sights in Rio are the statue of Jesus Christ overlooking the city, map-like below, and the famous Copacabana & Ipanema Beaches.

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