Both Chile and Argentina are known for their spectacularly beautiful scenery, and this holiday showcases the very best of the Lake District which lies across both countries. Begin in Buenos Aries where you explore the historic centre and famous areas like Recoleta with a private guide and take in a sultry tango show at Esquina Carlos Gardel with dinner. Bariloche on Lake Nahuel Huapi is your Argentine Lake District base for three days, from where you can trek through verdant forests and explore the sparkling lakes by boat. From here you travel by bus and catamaran to the Chile border through stunning scenery. The Chilean Lake District is a land of gorgeous lakes and scenic dairy cattle farms, dotted with ice-capped volcanoes. Your base here is Puerto Varas which overlooks Lake Llanquihue and Osorno Volcano. The trip ends in Santiago where there is time to visit a winery and explore the capital's highlights. A lovely introduction to the highlights of Chile and Argentina makes this a great introduction for older children.
Day 1 Depart the UK for your overnight flight to Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Day 2 On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in the Palermo Soho neighbourhood where you will find many restaurants, bars and entertainment. Legado Mitico has only 11 rooms, each with a unique decor, inspired by characters in Argentina's historic and cultural past. This is your base for the next three nights. Rest of day at leisure.
Day 3 With your private guide spend the morning exploring the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires with its European influences. Start at the historic Plaza de Mayo flanked by the Government Palace (Pink House), the Cabildo and the cathedral before moving onto the historic area of San Telmo. One of the oldest districts in the city with many colonial houses and cobbled streets, San Telmo is also synonymous with tango. La Boca is the colourful port neighbourhood where you find the most photographed street in the city – Caminito. The area is also home to the stadium where the famous ‘Boca Juniors’ football team. Drive past the regenerated dock area of Puerto Madero towards Recoleta, perhaps the most sophisticated neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, and the cemetery where the famous Eva Peron is buried. Spend the evening at an authentic tango show and enjoy dinner at the classic Esquina Carlos Gardel. Your private driver will take you to and from the venue so relax and enjoy the show with a few glasses of delicious Argentine wine.
Day 4 Free day for further exploration of this lively, cosmopolitan city or visit some of the shopping malls for fantastic leather products.
Day 5 Transfer to the airport for the short flight to San Carlos de Bariloche in northern Patagonia. The next three nights are spent at the Alma del Lago hotel, located on the outskirts of Bariloche town. From the hotel admire the striking views of Nahuel Haupi Lake and stroll into town to indulge in the local chocolate specialities.
Day 6 Free days to explore the Argentine Lake District. Perhaps take a boat trip on Lake Nahuel Huapi to Isla Victoria, enjoy some trekking or just relax at your hotel taking in the spectacular view. Bariloche town features a host of chocolate shops and even a Museum of Chocolate whilst the area is also home to wines from the Rio Negro, the southernmost wine region in Argentina. Try the light bodied Pinot Noir.
Day 8 Depart your hotel for Puerto Panuelo, for the short boat ride across Lake Nahuel Huapi to Puerto Blest. Continue by bus to Puerto Alegre, where a catamaran will take you to the Argentine customs post at Puerto Frias. You then enter Chile by bus, taking you through unspoilt Valdivian Forest to Peulla for lunch. Continue from Peulla by boat (2 hours) across Lake Todos Los Santos with spectacular views of the conical volcano Osorno to Petrohue. Here there is time for a short walk to see the famous Petrohue Falls. The full day crossing ends at Lake Llanquihue, one of South America’s largest lakes, overlooked by Puerto Varas where the crossing finishes. Located just 5 minutes from the main square, Hotel Patagonico, overlooks Lake Llanquihue and Osorno Volcano.
Day 9 Two free days to explore one of the most beautiful areas of Chile. Lago Llanquihue is the second largest in Chile and is overlooked by the perfect cone of Osorno (2680m) and the shattered cone of Calbuco (2015m). Aside from numerous outdoor activities including volcano climbs there is also the opportunity to visit the towns founded by German settlers in 1852 such as Puerto Octay. For the more adventurous, visit Chiloe Island, a wild, unique environment.
Day 11 Transfer to Puerto Montt for the flight to Chilean capital Santiago, a cosmopolitan city flanked by the Andes. Cumbres Lastarria is a wonderful base in the bohemian area of Lastarria. Visit the market stalls, sip a coffee at a pavement cafe and explore the diverse neighbourhoods of this modern city.
Day 12 With your private guide explore the historic centre of Santiago including the sites around the Plaza de Armas - the Cathedral, National History Museum and the Central Post Office. From the bohemian area of Barrio Bellavista visit Parque Forestal and Santa Lucia Hill for fantastic vistas over the city. Afternoon at leisure or we can include a visit to a local winery, the most famous being Concha y Toro.
Day 13 Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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