BUENOS AIRES – IGUASSU – RIO DE JANEIRO
Not only the capital of Argentina; it is also one of the 10 most important metropolises in the world and the centre of the political, economic and intellectual life of the country. This cosmopolitan city – with great European cultural influence – displays a refined taste in its cooking, in its ”boutiques” and in the elegance of its inhabitants. Almost 12 million people live there and can enjoy the plentiful night life visiting ”tango” bars, cabarets, discotheques, restaurants or eternally open bars. During the day, a wide variety of attractions is offered: museums, art galleries, tasteful shops, fascinating antiques, large green areas, parks, wide tree lined boulevards, clubs and sporting events. The Italian-Spanish descent of the inhabitants has formed this modern metropolis. Feel the flair, above all in the Italian old quarter La Boca and in the wide streets with cafes from the turn of the century. At the Plaza de Mayo, in the political centre of town, is the starting point of this tour through this exciting capital. The widest street of the world, the very famous opera house and also the shopping street Florida make Buenos Aires unforgettable.
The area’s major landmark is undoubtedly the magnificent IGUASSU FALLS, the world’s largest, formed by the Iguassu River which rises in Curitiba on the East and winds westward along 1,320 km through Parana State. Fifteen kilometres before joining the Parana River, the Iguassu overcomes an abrupt uneven ground and then, amidst an exuberant forest, hurls itself into 275 falls that cascade over a u-shaped precipice 2,700 meters wide, from an average height of 60 meters. At the curve of the U, called “Garganta do Diabo” (Devil’s Throat), the height is 90 meters, and the waters drop with incredible power – the world’s greatest volume of water flow per second. One side of the U stands in Argentine territory as also the Devil’s Throat, 1,900 meters of falls in total. At the other side Brazil displays 800 meter long falls. From both sides the view is superb, at any time of the year.
The Falls have been declared by UNESCO Humankind Patrimony. The Iguassu National Park, South America’s largest, covers 250,000 hectares of forest around the falls and is considered as one of the biggest forest resources in Latin America, home to more than 2,000 varieties of plants, over 400 species of birds, besides reptiles and insects. Butterflies, in the most varied colours, are so many that the indigenous tupi-guarani Indians named the area Valley of the Butterflies.
Founded in 1556, the city of St. Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro became the capital of the Colony of Brazil in 1776. In 1808 the Portuguese royal family fled Napoleon and settled in Rio. This brought a surge of progress and the city became the main cultural, political and economic centre of the Portuguese empire. In 1889, when the republic was proclaimed, Rio was confirmed as the country’s capital, which it remained until 1960, when the construction of the new capital, Brasilia, was founded.
Rio is situated in a 15-mile-strip of land, wedged between mountains and sea. There are some thirty miles separating downtown Flamengo, from far-flung Recreio, bordered on one side by the blue sea, on the other by verdant hills. Between them lies a colourful state of mind called CARIOCA, with almost 8 million locals who samba their way through life, relaxed and high-spirited.
That is just the way it should be in Rio, surrounded by natural beauty on all sides, with Christ the Redeemer perched on top of Corcovado blessing the city and Sugar Loaf, one of the most famous postcards of our country.
Day 1 Buenos Aires
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires transfer from the airport to the hotel.
Overnight in Buenos Aires
Day 2 Buenos Aires
After breakfast you will visit the most important sites during a city tour. You will drive to the Plaza de Mayo, with the Casa Rosada, the pink house, seat of the government, the Cabildo (town hall) and the Metropolitan Cathedral, home of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The tour goes on to the district of San Telmo. Until 1888 this part of the city was a river port, today San Telmo is one of the most modern and desired places to live in Buenos Aires. The worker district La Boca is famous for its colourful tin-houses and its history as living district of Italian seamen and dock workers in the 19th century. The Barrio Norte called Recoleta is the quarter of the rich of Buenos Aires. On the cemetery of Recoleta one will find the grave of Eva Duarte who became famous as Evita Perón. Continue along the widest avenue in the world, the Avenida 9 de Julio, to the Plaza Lavalle with the Federal Court of Justice and the Teatro Colón, to Palermo with its parks and gardens. Return to the hotel. Afternoon free at leisure – the following optional tour can be booked through our local office:
Optional: Visit to the San Telmo market in the afternoon, right after the city tour (without guide and without vehicle).
San Telmo is no doubt the best kept historical neighbourhood and eldest district of Buenos Aires. Here one has time to stroll around Plaza Dorrego, where each Sunday an antique market takes place. Tango couples are dancing on the street. Cafes invite to sit on their terrace and to relax by enjoying this nice scenery. Another attraction are the numerous antique shops, where you find the right souvenir to take back home.
Day 3 Buenos Aires
Day at leisure – the following day and evening optional tours can be booked at our office:
Optional: Full day visit of a typical Argentinean Estancia inclusive lunch. Excursion is subject to reconfirmation and can only be guaranteed depending on the number of participants.
Enjoy a complete day out in the pampas! After a 2 hours drive to Los Cordales we will reach the Estancia Santa Susana, where the guests will be welcomed by Gauchos with a drink. There is time to visit the Estancia and the daily life of the Gauchos will be explained. Sulky and horse rides will show you the charm of Argentine countryside, its scenarios, and the incomparable wild aroma. Then follows a rustic Barbecue (Asado) lunch with fine meat and sausages. After lunch, a folklore show will present regional music and dances. During the Fiesta Gaucha guests will experience these men’s agility with their horses on the Estancia. After the afternoon coffee and tea time you will return to Buenos Aires.
Optional: Evening visit to a Tango Show including dinner at the Restaurant Viejo Almacen.
Overnight in Buenos Aires (B)
Day 4 Buenos Aires – Iguassu
Transfer to the domestic airport for the flight to Iguazu. Upon arrival in Iguazu pick-up at the airport and transfer to the Argentinean National Park towards the Argentinean Falls. You will make a short stop at the Visitor’s Center and proceed from there along the Inferior Circuit, the down-river falls, to the Superior Circuit, the up-river cascades. The Ecological Jungle Train leads you to the most impressive observation point of the falls – The Devil´s Throat. After visit transfer to the hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls.
Overnight in Iguassu (B)
Day 5 Iguassu
In the morning visit of the Brazilian side of the falls. Walking along the paths following cascades and then along the catwalk that leads very close to the bottom of the Devil’s Throat to enjoy magnificent views. Take an elevator to go up to the road in order to board the coach which will bring back to the hotel. Afternoon at leisure to book optional excursions.
Overnight in Iguassu (B)
Day 6 Iguassu – Rio de Janeiro
Transfer to the airport and flight to Rio de Janeiro. Arrival in Rio and transfer to the hotel, Check In and time for a first stroll along Copacabana Beach.
This afternoon starts a half day beaches tour including a visit to the Corcovado statue. Leaving the hotel you proceed as far as Cosme Velho Station to board a cog-train for the ride through Tijuca Forest up to Corcovado Mountain. The train ride takes 20 minutes and is a wonderful opportunity for a closer look at the forest’s lush tropical vegetation and to enjoy scenic landscapes of the beaches and the city. Disembarking at the top of Corcovado and then proceeding up the steps will lead to the top lookout where the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer stands. After appreciating the breathtaking view unfolding below descend by train and continue passing by some of Rio’s beaches to the hotel.
Overnight in Rio de Janeiro (B)
Day 7 Rio de Janeiro
Day at leisure – the following optional tours can be booked at our local office:
Optional: Half day visit of Sugarloaf in the afternoon. Mount the famous sugar loaf mountain (440m above sea level) in a cable car. From here one has a spectacular view to the Corcovado with the Christ Statue, to Guanabara Bay and Niteroi Bridge. Experience a breathtaking sunset on the top, while the city of Rio is at your feet – an unforgettable experience.
Optional: Full day tour to Petropolis. Going on a scenic drive up Serra dos Orgaos Range across the Atlantic Forest’s lush vegetation through mountains and valleys as far as 850m high Petropolis. Visit of the Summer Palace and the Cathedral, and touring along that charming city’s highlights, such as the Crystal Palace, Santos Dumont’s House, old mansions and charming squares. (tour can also be booked including lunch)
Optional: Full day tour Tropical islands cruise with lunch. The tour leads southbound along the Green Coast until the quaint fishing village of Itacuruca. Here you board a fully equipped two-master schooner for a leisurely cruise on the placid green waters of Sepetiba Bay, studded with tropical islands. Stop at one of the islands for a refreshing dip and then proceed to an Island for a lavish tropical-style buffet-lunch with free time for swimming and relaxing on the beaches. Beverages are not included.
Optional: Rio by night – Show in the evening. Visit a folklore and Carnival show featuring skilled dancers, entertainers, samba bands and wonderful costumes in a wonderful display of Brazilian folklore and Carnival.
Overnight in Rio de Janeiro (B)
Day 8 Rio de Janeiro
Transfer to the airport for the departure flight. (B)
We offer you the following individual pre-programmes:
** 4 days Mendoza wine region from /to Buenos Aires
** 5 days Bariloche Lake district from/to Buenos Aires
We offer you the following individual post-programmes:
** Extensions nights at Sheraton Rio Hotel
** Beach Extension Buzios