HIGHLIGHTS OF ARGENTINA & URUGUAY Combining Culture, Nature, Wildlife & the finer things in life This tour will offer you an in-depth experience of No...
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HIGHLIGHTS OF ARGENTINA & URUGUAY Combining Culture, Nature, Wildlife & the finer things in life This tour will offer you an in-depth experience of Northern Argentina and Uruguay. Discover the vibrancy and passion of Buenos Aires, explore the cobbled streets of historical Colonia de Sacramento, and discover Montevideo by bike. Spend a few days immersed in the Ibera Wetlands, viewing wildlife in Argentina’s most abundant natural reserve, journey into the past with the Jesuits and enjoy both the Argentinean and the Brazilian side of the incredible Iguazu Falls. Day 1. Buenos Aires Arrival & pre departure Upon arrival into Buenos Aires, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the tour hotel. Buenos Aires is one of the largest cities in Latin America, with many cultural offerings and is the ideal departure point to start our journey. Known as the Paris of the Americas, Buenos Aires combines a stately beauty with a rich culture. It is a charming city, a vibrant city, a passionate city. In the evening your tour will begin with a brief pre-departure meeting followed by a welcome dinner. Meals: Dinner Day 2. Buenos Aires Morning city tour, evening dinner & Tango show This morning we will set off on an urban adventure, a tour of Buenos Aires which includes visits to the historic Plaza de Mayo square, where you will find the famous “Pink House”; and the Metropolitan Cathedral, the final resting place of Liberator San Martin. Another highlight of the tour is a visit to San Telmo, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires, which was also a centre for immigrant settlers and still maintains most of its original architecture. Southwards, we reach the picturesque and colourful port neighbourhood of La Boca with its famous street, “Caminito”, whose architectural characteristics reflect the culture the European settlers, mainly Genovese sailors, who arrived on these shores at the end of the 19th century. We continue towards the newest district of Puerto Madero; passing through Palermo and finally reaching the district of Recoleta, the most sophisticated neighbourhood in Buenos Aires. The Recoleta Cemetery has rich architecture and holds the remains of important personalities of social and political Argentinean history, among who is Eva Perón (Evita). In the evening we will set out for a night to be remembered as we enjoy a fabulous dinner & tango show. Here you will be able to taste some delicious Argentinean dishes served with excellent wines while we enjoy the passion and charm of tango. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3. Buenos Aires San Telmo Markets We have the day today to explore the lively and colourful San Telmo market. The Feria de San Telmo began as a 270-stall antiques market in 1971, and has grown into a huge street bazaar that draws over 12,000 people every week. The heart of the antique wares are congregated around Plaza Dorrego but the entire outdoor market stretches down 13 blocks of the cobblestone Defensa Street and off onto a few side lanes from 9 am until 6 pm. Defensa Street is completely pedestrian and packed with entertainers jockeying for attention and an international array of street vendors who display their goods on the pavement. The offerings include antiquities from Argentina’s glory days, original art, funky clothing, homemade snacks, and pretty much everything else you can imagine! For non-shoppers the street fair offers plenty of free entertainment and some of Buenos Aires’ most interesting people watching. Meals: Breakfast Day 4. Colonia Cross the River Plate to Colonia Today we will take a ferry across the River Plate to Colonia de Sacramento in Uruguay. The huge River Plate draws water from approximately a fifth of the entire South American continent and is considered the widest river in the world. It is also the scene of the Battle of River Plate, the first major naval battle of World War II. Colonia is a small city founded by the Portuguese in 1680, at a time when Spain and Portugal were in the midst of conflict. For over a hundred years both Empires fought over it, until finally the Treaty of Saint Ildefonso awarded it to Spain. Today the Old City has a lot to say about its colonial past. Upon arrival we will enjoy lunch before setting off on a walking tour of the town. The picturesque streets of Colonia del Sacramento, the eldest city in the country, were recently declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The streets are often a setting for historical films due to their exceptional preservation. The past can still be felt in the city’s cobblestone streets and stone walls. Colonia complements its archaeological importance with natural beauty, the permanent company of the River and the symbolic monuments that stand out on the horizon such as the cathedral and the lighthouse. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5. Montevideo Wine touring on our way from Colonia to Montevideo. After a leisurely morning we set off towards Montevideo, taking a small detour to visit the lovely Bouza Winery. The winery is set in a magnificent landscape, surrounded by vines and native woods. Native plants and animals are diverse here due to the proximity of the Santa Lucia River and its outlet into the River Plate. The winery began as a family business, and great care has been given to all stages of the process, from the vineyard to the glass of wine. Bouza Winery was built around the existing structure of an old winery operating in the area since 1942, and was restored maintaining the original idea. The tour starts with a visit to the vineyards, and a chance to observe the abundant fauna and flora surrounding them, plus a collection of antique cars like a 1926 Ford T, Ford A, 1950 Citroen, 1960 Alfa Romeo Spider and 1926 train wagons. Followed by a visit to the cave for a wine tasting. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Day 6. Montevideo Montevideo bike tour. Today, for something a little different, we will take a bike tour around Montevideo. This is a fun and interesting way of getting to know the city and learn its history. We will visit the port area, the old city, Independence Square, Punta Carretas Lighthouse and Pittamiglio Castle riding along the coast with the sea at our sides. The afternoon is at leisure for you to wander around the city, soaking up the atmosphere and immersing yourself in the culture of Uruguay. Meals: Breakfast Day 7. Salto Travel to Salto, relax in Thermal Springs. Today we hit the road and drive north through the beautiful countryside of Uruguay towards our destination, Salto. Salto is Uruguay’s second-largest city and the most northerly crossing point to Argentina. It’s a relaxed place with 19th-century architecture and a pretty riverfront. In the evening you will have the opportunity to relax and unwind in thermal hot springs. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8. Ibera Wetlands Ibera Wetlands We set off early today and cross back into Argentina heading for the rich Ibera Wetlands. The Iberá Lake and marshlands are among the last natural paradises on earth. Visitors can get face to face with caimans, capybaras, swamp deer, pampas deer, howler monkeys, giant otters, anacondas, greater rheas and hundreds of birds. The wetlands cover over 13,000 km² of marshland with over 60 lakes. The nature reserve, founded in 1983, is located 800 km north of Buenos Aires. Due to its mild climate and isolation, the marsh is an area where wild animals are still the stars. Within Argentina and South America, the Iberá Wetlands are an ornithologist’s Mecca. Over 350 species of birds live in this virgin landscape and most of them can be spotted easily. We will arrive in the early afternoon and after settling in we will take a boat safari into different wetland areas to observe wildlife and Ibera’s birds face to face. We will have dinner and spend the night at Irupé Lodge. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Day 9. Ibera Wetlands Ibera Wetlands Easy trekking to the monkey jungle and along the pampas trail and the main wooden bridge of the park, visit the park museum and watch the introductory DVD about the biodiversity of the Wetlands. Lunch. In the afternoon you can choose one of the following excursions: Boat safari exploring the channels south of the wetlands where the largest caimans live and nest. Or horse-back ride from the lodge through the village and to the Caranday palm tree forests and reeds along the lakeside. Dinner and night at Irupé Lodge. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Day 10. Missiones Ibera Wetlands We will leave at a leisurely time this morning heading north towards San Ignacio, where in the middle of the Argentine rainforest stand the ruins of San Ignacio Miní, a seventeenth-century Jesuit mission complex. With the aim of converting the native Guaraní population, the Jesuits established 30 missions in an area of South America that now includes parts of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 11. Iguazu San Ignacio Jesuit Ruins, Wanda Mines The Jesuit Ruins of San Ignacio Miní have been declared a World Heritage Site and offer a true journey into the past, to the very beginning of colonization of the New World. This structure dates to the 17th century, when the Jesuit missionaries settled the region and the excellent preservation of the ruins allows us to see how the Guarani Indians were converted. We can also observe proof of a powerful religious syncretism in the arts and science. Our guide will explain the construction of the ruins, the life and customs of the Guaraní Indians, and how they were Christianized. After lunch we will continue towards Iguazu Falls, stopping to visit the Wanda Mines which are a deposit of semiprecious stones. You can visit the quarry, and see quartz crystal, amethysts, topaz, and agate in their “natural” state. There is a store to buy sculpted stones and jewellery should you wish. Late afternoon arrival to Iguazu Falls. The Iguazu Falls are considered to be the most impressive in the world, surpassing in grandeur both Niagara and Victoria. Some 275 separate cascades fall in a wild array over a winding 3 km cliff frontage into a gorge 60m deep, making it four times the width of Niagara Falls. Iguazu Falls is one of the top attractions in South America. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Day 12. Iguazu Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls Today we visit the Argentinean side of the Iguazu Falls. Located within the Iguazu National Park, one of the first protected areas in South America the falls have been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Take an open train on a 15-minute journey up to 'Cataratas Station', from where we will enjoy the paths and lookouts of the superior and inferior paths, admiring close up the imposing 275 waterfalls which plunge to the river from a height of 70 mts. Also marvel at the amazing variety of ferns, orchids, begonias, birds and butterflies. You will also have the option to do the “Nautical Safari”. This is a great and fun way to view the falls and to appreciate their height. Take a boat ride into face the San Martin waterfall, a wonderful and unforgettable experience. You will get wet but the boat driver will provide a dry bag for your cameras prior to entering the falls. Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Day 13. Iguazu Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls Today we head to Brazil and the Foz do Iguacu National Park, one of the largest vegetation reserves in Brazil. Walking along the paths on the Brazil side you will be surprised by the panoramic view of San Martin Island and the most imposing falls located on the other side of the border such as: the Bozzeti, Two Sisters, San Martin and the Three Musketeers, among others. Near the end of the path you will reach the lookout that offers an astonishing view of the Devil's Throat, situated only 150 mts away at this point. This wonderful scenery is rendered even more beautiful by the permanent rainbows that appear on the falls. We will also visit the Bird Park with more than 1020 birds from about 150 different species. It is a unique and unforgettable experience in which you will find amazing birds from all four corners of Brazil and from various parts of the world, many of them endangered. Inside the immersion aviaries we can feel the beat of wings from vibrant macaws and look into the eyes of a toucan. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner Day 14. Depart Transfer out At the appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight out. Meals: Breakfast

*** Arrangements Conclude*** Please note: This tour connects Northern Route 40 tour from Salta to Mendoza.

What's Included?  13 nights’ accommodation in comfortable tourist class hotels and guesthouses  Transport in our custom built all-terrain expedition vehicle  Approximately 13 Breakfasts, 9 dinners, 9 lunches  Service of an experienced western tour leader as well as local guides  Experienced Driver/Mechanic  All National Park Entrance fees

Activities (Included)  Buenos Aires City tour  Buenos Aires dinner & tango show  San Telmo Markets  Ferry across River Plate  Colonia city tour  Bouza Winery  Montevideo bicycle tour  Ibera Wetlands 3-day / 2-night package  San Ignacio Jesuit ruins  Wanda mines  Argentinean Iguazu Falls  Brazilian Iguazu Falls  Iguazu Bird Park

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