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This South America tour features three of the continent's most exciting cities—Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Santiago—along with two of the world's most spectacular attractions, Iguassu Falls and Easter Island. At a relaxed pace, you'll enjoy guided sightseeing in each city as well as free time in Rio to sip caipirinhas and visit the famous beaches, in Santiago to people-watch at a lovely café with the snowcapped Andes Mountains as your backdrop, and outside of Buenos Aires to take an optional excursion to a local estancia (ranch). Your guided sightseeing tours include the cog railway in Rio de Janeiro that takes you 2,300 feet up to the summit of Corcovado Mountain to view the infamous Christ the Redeemer statue and 360-degree views of the city; Recoleta Cemetery, burial site of Eva Peron, in Buenos Aires; and a visit to the 18th-century Cathedral in Santiago.A highlight of this South America tour is a visit to Iguassu Falls, where you'll experience the falls on both the Brazilian and Argentine sides. Hear the water’s thundering roar, be awed by the rainbows formed in the mist, and enjoy the ecological jungle train that takes you through the rainforest for unforgettable views. But that's not all…you’ll travel to Easter Island, the most remote inhabited island on Earth and the largest open-air museum with 400 moais, ruins, and temples. You’ll marvel at the large statues in various stages of completion, enjoy the second-oldest volcano on the island, visit the topknot-quarry where all the pukaos that were placed on top of the moais were made, and much more. From the vibrant cities to the scenic beauty, this vacation to South America will leave you with vacation memories you'll cherish for life. For savvy, value-minded travelers, it's the perfect vacation.
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RIO DE JANEIRO Guided sightseeing, visit Corcovado to see the statue of Christ the RedeemerIGUASSU FALLS Guided sightseeing of the Brazilian and Argentinean sides of the falls; Ecological Jungle train rideBUENOS AIRES Guided sightseeing, visit Recoleta Cemetery; Tango show and dinnerSANTIAGO Guided sightseeing, visit the Cathedral; Farewell dinnerEASTER ISLANDTwo days of guided sightseeing; Visits to Ahu Akahanga, Rano Raraku, Ahu Tongariki, Ahu Te Pito Kura, Anakena, Rano Kau, Orongo, Ahu Vinapu, Ana Kai Tagata, Ahu Akivi, and Puna PauGuides:
PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTORNotes:
14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring
14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL. Welcome to spectacular Rio de Janeiro, home to white-sand beaches and host of the 2016 Summer Olympics! Settle into your hotel and meet your Tour Director, who will have pointers for your free-time exploration.
RIO DE JANEIRO. Sprawling between majestic granite peaks and the blue South Atlantic, Rio is a city of beauty, wonder, and energy. Guided sightseeing begins with a drive along Rio’s famed Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana beaches. Take the cog railway 2,300 feet up to the summit of CORCOVADO to view the famous Christ the Redeemer statue and 360-degree views of Guanabara Bay and the bustling city below. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own. Perhaps join an optional excursion to a nearby favela for a glimpse into the life of these colorful communities that nearly 20% of the people call home. Tonight, perhaps opt for a dinner at a local churrascaria, serving prime meats, seafood, and fish.
RIO DE JANEIRO. A free day in Rio allows you to relax on one of the beaches or take an optional excursion to the historic city of Petropolis to see the former summer palace of Emperor Pedro II.
RIO DE JANEIRO–IGUASSU FALLS. A morning flight takes you to Iguassu Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Journey to the Brazilian side of the FALLS to see the mammoth series of 275 waterfalls cascading over a precipice almost two miles wide and 250 feet deep. Walk into Devil’s Throat Canyon, where the clouds of mist, thundering roar, and 180-degree rainbows surround you—an unforgettable experience!
IGUASSU FALLS. Cross the border and visit the Argentine side of the FALLS. Begin with a short ride on the open-air ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN through the rainforest. A series of boardwalks takes you above the falls to see the water crashing down into the Devil’s Throat. Your afternoon is free to explore, or you may opt to visit the Bird Park, home to many species of endemic birds as well as flora from the area.
IGUASSU FALLS–BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital. After settling into your hotel, an orientation tour familiarizes you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards, outdoor cafés, and charming shops.
BUENOS AIRES. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide focuses on the city’s landmarks, including the Colon Opera House and Plaza de Mayo, site of La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House), and Metropolitan Cathedral. Also, visit La Boca and San Telmo, one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods, and RECOLETA CEMETERY, where Eva Perón is buried. End your day with an Argentinean meal, followed by a sensuous TANGO SHOW.
BUENOS AIRES. Today is free for independent activities, or you can take an optional excursion to a local estancia (ranch) to experience the life of the gauchos (cowboys), as well as traditional dance performances and a barbecue lunch.
BUENOS AIRES–SANTIAGO, CHILE. Fly over the majestic Andes to Santiago, Chile’s scenic capital between the Pacific and the Andes. With a coastline more than 2,650 miles long, Chile is more than 10 times longer than wide. It has a distinctly European flavor accented with Latin flair, making Santiago one of South America’s most sophisticated and modern cities.
SANTIAGO. Your guided city tour introduces you to Santiago—the country’s political, commercial, and cultural capital. View La Moneda Government Palace and San Cristobal Hill with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. Also, see Club Hipico, one of the most renowned horseracing tracks in South America. Your tour ends at the city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, with a visit to the relic-filled CATHEDRAL. Your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, consider the optional Chilean Folkloric Dinner Show.
SANTIAGO. Today, enjoy a day at leisure. A trip to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar is highly recommended. A leisurely drive through the countryside and vineyards delivers you to Valparaiso, a city of 42 hills and the inspiration of many artists and poets. On to the chic seaside resort of Viña del Mar, full of unusual architecture and beautiful gardens. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate your exciting Latin American vacation.
SANTIAGO–EASTER ISLAND. Today, board a flight for Easter Island, considered the largest open-air museum and boasting more than 400 moais, ruins, and temples.
EASTER ISLAND. Your first stop is AHU VAIHU, where eight large moais lie in ruins, followed by AHU AKAHANGA, said to be the site where bones of the first king of Easter Island (Hotu Matu’a) were buried. Next up: RANO RARAKU, where 95% of all moai were carved and you will find 394 statues remaining in various stages of completion. It seems as if production was abruptly abandoned, leaving a frozen snapshot of time. Visit the beautifully restored AHU TONGARIKI, the largest platform on the island with its 15 moai. See AHU TE PITO KURA, the largest moai ever transported and erected on an ahu (stone ceremonial platforms). Last stop is the beach of ANAKENA, where King Hotu Matu’a first landed on Rapa Nui. (B,L)
EASTER ISLAND. Visit RANO KAU, the second-oldest volcano on the island with a freshwater lake in its caldera. Continue to the ceremonial village of ORONGO to see the restored houses from the 16th century. At AHU VINAPU, see the fallen remains of the broken moai—the figures here are slightly different and have short legs. Next stop is ANA KAI TAGATA, a beautiful cave with wall paintings depicting the Manutara bird. This afternoon, visit AHU AKIVI, with seven restored moais built in the middle of the island. According to legend, these statues represent the seven scouts sent to Rapa Nui by King Hotu Matu’a. Finally, visit the PUNA PAU topknot-quarry, where all the pukaos that were placed on top of the moais were made.
EASTER ISLAND–SANTIAGO. Fly to Santiago for your connections to your homebound flight.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"Born and raised in Buenos Aires, I studied English in London, French in Paris, Italian in Siena, and Tourism with the focus on the American market in Rio de Janeiro. I have been a Tour Director for more than 30 years, and enjoy helping guests better understand the customs, cultures, and people. The friendships that are created within each group lead to an energy that revitalizes me, bringing happiness and satisfaction to the end of each tour."
BUENOS AIRES Kenton Palace (F)
EASTER ISLAND Hotel Otai (MF)
IGUASSU FALLS Recanto Park (F)
RIO DE JANEIRO Windsor Plaza (F)
SANTIAGO Atton Vitacura Santiago (F)