Brazil, Argentina and Chile luxury holiday
Description of Brazil, Argentina and Chile luxury holiday
Spend 16 days getting to know Brazil, Chile and Argentina, travelling from the Atlantic to the Pacific, experiencing natural wonders and lush rainforest, tasting amazing wines and exploring South America’s most impressive, exhilarating cities: Rio, Buenos Aires and Santiago.
This trip has been carefully designed to offer a balanced itinerary, including a mix of guided visits so you don’t miss a thing, interspersed with free days so you can explore at your own pace and follow your interests. We have hand-picked some fantastic accommodation, too, from a hotel bang on Copacabana beach in Rio, to the only hotel on the Argentinian side of the Iguazu National Park – so you can have the Falls to yourself in the early morning and late evening, outside the park opening times.
Begin in Rio, where there’s music on every street corner and football on every beach, all set against a backdrop of near-vertical granite mountains. Guided visits to Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain give you a perfect perspective on this sprawling, dynamic city. At Iguazu Falls, spend time walking around this thunderous landmark, where the river plunges over sheer granite cliffs, then venture into the Atlantic rainforest, just an hour’s drive from the Falls, for a real jungle experience, enjoying boat trips, bird watching excursions and nature walks.
Move on to Buenos Aires, an elegant, cultured and cosmopolitan city. Explore the port district of La Boca, where tango was born, with its cobbled streets and colourfully painted buildings. Take in the grand city centre and the bohemian quarter of San Telmo, full of quaint houses, antiques shops, tango bars and excellent restaurants.
Then it’s time to try some of the wine that Argentina famously produces, heading to the sunny vineyards of Mendoza. Visit a couple of wineries here then enjoy a spectacular drive into Chile, crossing the Andes and arriving in Santiago. Explore this fascinating city, where skyscrapers rub shoulders with fine historic buildings, before transferring to the Matetic winery, for wine tasting, great food and your final night on holiday.
As this trip is completely tailor made, you’re free to amend the length of stay, standard of accommodation and even the itinerary, to suit your preferred, personal style of travel and budget.
PlanetThis highlights holiday suggestion in Brazil, Argentina and Chile takes you to a few of the three countries’ iconic highlights, staying in good quality hotels which we judge to have made some efforts to be eco-friendly and institute policies aiming at sustainability. You excursions will familiarise you with iconic sights and a glimpse of the authentic lifestyle of the people who live there.
You stay at the Porto Bay International hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Across the Porto Bay Hotel chain has adopted and continues to implement measures which are to eco-friendly. For example, solar panels, low energy bulbs light sensors and more efficient white goods are being introduced. Refuse is recycled, and measures to reduce water and paper consumption are being evolved.
Rio itself, as a city, has woken up to the advantages of sustainable tourism and the municipal government has set out goals to clean up pollution and make the city a benchmark for sustainability and environmental preservation. The sewerage system has been expanded and the cycle network has doubled in size. Clean-up initiatives designed to tackle water pollution and sanitation issues have been evolved.
In Rio de Janeiro you will visit the Tijuca Forest, an area of reforestation on the slopes of Corcovado, the mountain hosting the Statue of Christ the Redeemer, by open top jeep, and your guide will inform you about how the vegetation was reclaimed from decline caused by agriculture.
You will move on to visit the monumental Iguazú Falls, one of the New (2011) Seven Wonders of World, which are located in the Iguazú National Park, designated by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1984. In 2013 UNESCO categorised the park, blanketed in tropical rainforest bursting with wildlife, as one of Exceptional Universal Value, devised to encourage collective protection of cultural and natural heritage. Your park entrance fee will be instrumental in efforts to give financial support to conservation efforts.
At Iguazú, your accommodation is at the Sheraton Iguazú Resort & Spa, which has been listed as sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance. The hotel is linked to the Starwood chain’s “Make Green Choice” Policy, where you can choose to help reduce the environmental footprint by foregoing full housekeeping for up to 3 days, in return for vouchers. For each night you can save, in this way, up to 49 gallons of water, 0,19KW of electricity, 25,000BTU of natural gas and 250g of cleaning products. The chain has a strict policy of sourcing local ingredients for food, and introducing declared environmental practices of energy and water conservation, waste minimisation and the use of eco-friendly cleaning products.
You move on to stay at Yacutinga Lodge, a pioneer in eco-tourism in Argentina. The lodge protects and manages one of the last refuges of Atlantic Rainforest on its property. It created the Yacutinga Private Wildlife Refuge and has planted over 30,000 native trees. In addition to recycling, there is careful management of non-renewable resources, some of which is transformed into native art. Many of their eco-friendly practices have been devised by themselves. Staff have been locally trained in conservation techniques.
Your holiday continues to the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, a huge, dynamic, city with a tight colonial core, elegant residential suburbs, a refurbished port district and several culturally significant art-focussed neighbourhoods. As such, it is fascinating to visit but suffers from vehicle-generated pollution. Your hotel is well located in the Recoleta district, meaning that you can easily explore many of the highlights on foot.
In the wine producing region around Mendoza, your hotel, Lares de Chacra, is a boutique hotel in a simple structure based on regional architecture using local Andean stone and wood, with a traditional wine cellar.
You continue to Chilean capital Santiago, a dynamic, multi-layered city at the foot of the snow-capped Andes, with a tight colonial core surrounded by elegant riverside suburbs, well-tended parks, dilapidated low-income quarters and industrial complexes. As such, it is fascinating to visit but suffers serious industrial and vehicle-generated pollution. You will explore the colonial centre on foot, thereby not making any personal contribution to the destruction of air quality. This way you will learn about the city’s historical heritage and visit a few of the well laid-out urban parks.
Also in Chile you visit the prestigious Matetic vineyard, which produces vines organically, avoiding the use of synthetic chemical products and uses natural methods such as crop rotation, the application of natural fertilizers to maintain the soil’s health, as well as natural methods to control weeds, insects and diseases. Instead of using fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, their management model is based on applying compost, favouring predator-prey relations so as to maintain a healthy and balanced vineyard. The gourmet restaurant serves innovative recipes using the freshest local ingredients.
PeopleAs is the case with all our private journeys, we adopt the services of locally recruited guides and drivers in each location in order to promote local employment. This also ensures that you have face to face contact with people who are intimately familiar with their environment and community, and have a vested interest in protecting it so as to ensure the future of tourism in their region. This will help to put a brake on the current tendency for people to leave their homes to seek work in the large urban centres, which harms the socio-economic viability of the countryside and smaller settlements and puts pressure on the infrastructure of the larger cities.
Our partner company in Argentina has an internal policy of donating recyclable items to a foundation which converts them into toys for deprived children. In 2015 they intend to support native members of the Huichi, Toba and Mapuche tribes as well as other artisan crafts people by purchasing and distributing small gifts created by these people both to support them financially and promote local culture. They support the Mapuche Community project where volunteers bringing medical aid and education to remote and impoverished native Indian communities.
Porto Bay Hotels, which operates your accommodation in Rio de Janeiro, supports cultural events in the community, especially in the fields of artistic and cultural education and events. Since 2012 the Group has donated to an organisation called “HOPE: Small Gestures Big Hopes” an umbrella charitable organisation assisting the underprivileged in social and medical fields. A contribution is made from a small charge to every room night sold.
The Sheraton Hotel at Iguazú Falls has a commitment to employing 100% of its staff locally and to supporting the development of the local community.
New communities in the area around Iguazú Falls have only been established in the past few decades, bringing employment but also some negative practices. Yacutinga Lodge is endeavouring to introduce the concept of environmental conservation and social responsibility in the area, with a Volunteers Programme and support for local schools. The lodge also supports the local indigenous Guarani community, encouraging them to adapt traditional activities to more sustainable practices. By staying here you are actively helping them devolve more of these projects.
In Santiago, Chile, you stay in the arty Lastarria quarter which since the 1990s has adopted a policy of restoration to preserve its traditional Bohemian character and the striking Spanish colonial façades. Hotels, restaurants and arts and crafts workshops outlets are creating a culturally significant neighbourhood with a strong sense of community and in 1997 it was declared an official Zona Tipica.
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