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'Coast to Coast across Argentina and Chile'

What makes this trip special?

Paris of the Americas

Paris of the Americas

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is a truly cosmopolitan city with influences from all over the world. Grand Avenues and 19th century architecture earn Buenos Aires the nickname of the 'Paris of the Americas', but its own identity is just as apparent in each barrio you visit. Buenos Aires' most famous export is the world renowned Tango, and visits to the traditional venues are still possible today.

Waterfalls in the jungle

Waterfalls in the jungle

Iguazú Falls

Dividing Argentina and Brazil this network of 275 individual drops is the largest waterfall system in the world. Walkways enable close up views, whilst trails within the park can also take you to more panoramic vistas. You can visit the falls from both Argentina and Brazil, as each offers a different perspective on the immense power of these falls.

Cobbled streets and rustic charm

Cobbled streets and rustic charm

Humahuaca Ravine

Through the ravine of Humahuaca you will come to the small town by the same name. Authentic adobe houses line the cobbled streets of what was once a tiny Andean village.

Andean Village

Andean Village

Cachi

Set between the Cachi and Calchaqui rivers this is a village of cobbled streets, mud brick houses and an ancient church. In this corner of Northwest Argentina, the Puna highland desert meets fertile valleys, and is a great base to explore the more off the beaten track parts of the region.

Red rocks and white wines

Red rocks and white wines

Cafayate

Cafayate is a small town in the Valles Calchaquíes and is Argentina's second most well known area for producing wine. Predominantly a white wine producing area, the torrontés grape remains its best known variety and there are a selection of vineyards in and around the town. The journey from Salta is worth the visit alone, as you pass the impressive red rock formations along the ruta 68.

Salt Flats and Lagoons

Salt Flats and Lagoons

Salar de Atacama and Altiplanic Lagoons

10km south of San Pedro de Atacama lies this 3000 km2 area of salt pans. The plains are formed by streams from the high Andes that are unable to escape and evaporate leaving just these mineral deposits. On the Salar you will find lagoons that are home to dozens of flamingos that are attracted to the colourful waters.

Vintage Chile

Vintage Chile

Colchagua Wine Valley

One of Chile's premier wine making areas, Colchagua is best known for its red grape varieties. There are both modern and more rustic wineries scattered around the valley, showcasing the different types of production in the area. Whilst you can visit the wineries all year round, March is the traditional harvest season and annual festival of the grape.

Poetic port-town

Poetic port-town

Valparaiso

Chile's unique second city of Valparaiso is now an UNESCO world heritage site made famous by its colourful hilltop neighbourhoods and rickety funicular railway elevators still in active use. The town's most famous resident and Nobel literature prize winner Pablo Neruda, was hugely influenced by the town. His former home 'La Sebastiana' has been preserved much as it was: a worthy pilgrimage for those new to his poetry and those who have made it part of their lives.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Coast to Coast across Argentina and Chile'

DAY 1
B

Fly to Buenos Aires

You arrive into Buenos Aires this morning after an overnight flight into Argentina's capital city. At the arrivals terminal a guide greets you and takes you to your chosen hotel where you stay for the next two nights. You can leave your bags at the hotel and you are then taken out for a tour of of this elegant cosmopolitan city. You visit some highlights such as the Obelisk and the historic Plaza de Mayo, and stroll down broad avenues, such as 9 de Julio, lined by impressive buildings. You stop in the colourful quarters of San Telmo and La Boca before continuing with a drive through stylish Palermo with its beautiful parks and gardens, Recoleta, and the modern neighbourhood of Puerto Madero. You return to your hotel later this afternoon.

DAY 2
B

Day trip to an estancia

Today you venture into the Pampas, the cultural heartland of Argentina and the birthplace of the gaucho where you visit an estancia for a full day experience of the Gaucho way of life. For lunch you tuck into a hearty and traditional 'asado' where the meat is expertly cooked over flames and charcoal to create a tender, delicious yet simple meal. For the adventurous there is the opportunity to have a short horse ride.

DAY 3
BD

Evening at the Tango

Today is a free day for independent sight-seeing. Depending on what you visited during your walking tour and your own personal interests you might choose to visit one of Buenos Aires many museums and galleries (MALBA collection of modern art, Evita Museum, National History Museum, Bellas Artes Museum). Alternatively, you might prefer to visit the city's Costanera Sur Eco-reserve home to a variety of flora and fauna (particularly birds) Or simply marvel at the architecture, stop for a coffee at Argentina's oldest café, the beautifully grand Café Tortoni or wander the San Telmo flea markets. Later in the evening you are then taken to see a tango show at one of the cities famous theatres. Dinner is served followed by an unforgettable show, featuring first rate musicians, dancers and singers which revive the original styles and melancholic rhythms of the world renowned tango.

DAY 4
B

Fly to Iguazu

This morning you are at leisure for one final morning in Buenos Aires until at the agreed time you are picked up and taken to the airport for your flight north to the town of Puerto Iguazu in the Missiones province jungle, and on the borders with Brazil and Paraguay. You have three nights in this jungle setting and on arrival your guide introduces you to the town before taking you to your hotel.

DAY 5
B

Argentine falls

Today you visit the Argentine side of the falls. You are driven to the entrance of the park where you board the small Rainforest Ecological Train which winds through the National Park dropping visitors off at the various walkways. Visit both the lower circuit catwalk, a 1.5 km loop offering views of smaller but still impressive falls such as Ramirez and Bosetti and the upper circuit catwalk, a short trail in the forest above the first few waterfalls. You are then taken to visit the spectacular Devil's Throat from a different angle along a flat walkway suspended over the Upper Iguazu river. The lookout point at the end of the catwalk offers stunning views over this side of the falls, and some of the best photo opportunities from this side of the border.

DAY 6
B

Brazilian falls

This morning you are collected from your hotel and taken on a tour of the Brazilian side of the falls. You start off at the modern visitors centre at the entrance to the National Park which has a small museum with interactive exhibits, information and facts about the falls. Next head to the start of the ‘Waterfall Trail’, a 1.2 km paved path dotted with superb panoramic viewpoints, culminating in a catwalk that leads you to the base of the almighty Devil’s Throat cascade, a sheer mass of thundering water and undoubtedly the most impressive part of the falls. You have plenty of time to take photographs and enjoy the views, before returning to Argentina and your hotel for a final night in this tropical setting.

DAY 7
B

To Salta

This morning transfer with your driver to the airport and fly on to Salta in north west Argentina. A guide is waiting for you at the airport arrivals area to take you to your hotel and then on a sightseeing tour of the city. Salta was founded by the Spanish in 1582 and that displays this heritage in its well preserved colonial architecture making it quite distinct from other large cities in Argentina. The tour gives you an overview of the main sites such as the historic centre, the Plaza 9 de Julio with its monument to the 19th century hero General Arenales, the Cathedral, the San Francisco Church, the San Bernardo convent, and the San Bernardo Hill where you take in a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. Continue to San Lorenzo, a pleasant town whose tree lined streets of large houses and lush gardens are surrounded by a verdant nature reserve making it a peaceful residence of choice, just 10 km from the city centre.

DAY 8
B

Humahuaca Ravine

Today you set out to vist Purmamarca village known for its Hill of Seven Colours. The hill is formed by a complex geological process, and is a breathtaking rock of sedimentary layers whose minerals create stripes of earthy ochres, pastel maroons, soft greys, rust reds and bruised purples. You continue your journey to Tilcara to visit the Archaeological Museum and the pre-Inca Pukará fortress. Crossing the Tropic of Capricorn you reach Huacalera where you can appreciate the amazing colours of the La Pollera del Coya Hill. Next visit Uquía whose picturesque Church houses the only collection of 17th Century paintings of the Cuzco School that represent Arquebusier Angels, angels represented with a musket instead of the usual sword. Arrive at Humahuaca for a visit to its important Church and the impressive Independence Monument by the sculptor Soto Avendaño. Later you continue to San Salvador de Jujuy where you visit the Cathedral, renowned for its pulpit carved in wood and gold, and the Flag Hall, home to an important National Flag given to the town by General Belgrano in 1812. Return to Salta by Route 9, a road which cuts through abundant subtropical vegetation, travelling via El Abra of Santa Laura, La Cienaga dam, Las Maderas and Campo Alegre before finally reaching Salta through Vaqueros, a small town that takes its name from the cowboys who once owned these lands.

DAY 9
B

Calchaquies Valleyes Cachi - Cafayate

Today you are driven on mostly unpaved winding roads south-west from Salta at first alongside the oasis of the Rio Calchaqui valley then up through impressive stands of ancient cacti to arrive at the photogenic remote adobe village of Cachi where you stop for lunch (payable locally) and perhaps pop into the small archeological museum. In the afternoon you are driven down the extremely rough and winding but very scenic section of Argentina's famous Route 40 road passing the small historic settlements of Seclantas, Molinos, Angastaco, San Carlos and Animana, then down through breathtakingly dramatic arid mountain scenery to arrive at the end of a long day in the wine growing city of Cafayate where you stay for one night. You'll be able to reward yourself with a glass of the excellent local produce.

DAY 10
B

Cafayate - Salta

In the morning visit one or two of Cafayate’s wineries which are renowned for the production of wines from the Torrontes grape. You then begin your return to Salta travelling through the Lerma Valley with its historic towns before reaching the Quebrada de las Conchas (Shells’ Ravine) with its impressive rock formations that have been carved by wind and water erosion into features such as the Amphiteater, the Devil’s Throat, the Toad and the Castles. You stay here in Salta for one more night before travelling on into Chile.

DAY 11
B

By bus across into Chile

Today you embark on your longest travel day on the itinerary, as you cross over from Argentina into Chile on a public bus service that links the two countries. The travel time for this bus journey is around 10 1/2 hours with stops, and the route will take you from the lush green valleys around Salta to the high altitude altiplano in Chile. When you arrive into San Pedro de Atacama you are met from the bus station and taken to your hotel before then in the evening having the opportunity to do some star gazing and experience some of the clearest skies in the world. Your guide shows you how to navigate through the night sky and you have the chance to spot phenomena such as Moon craters, Saturn’s rings, star clouds, galaxies and other wonders of the universe. The centre has the largest telescope park of any public observatory in South America and so you are well placed to marvel at the Southern skies' stars.

DAY 12
B

Archaeological Tour

Today you cover a total of just 38km in a vehicle so as to avoid another day involving too much travelling with an archaeological tour of the region. You start with a visit to the Pukará de Quitor, a pre-Hispanic stone fortress which dates from the 17th century. The fortress is one of the most important archaeological sites of the area and the site of one the first clashes between the Spanish ‘conquistadores’ and the local inhabitants. Continue with a visit to Tulor, a well preserved ancient construction and possibly one of the first settlements of the Atacama Salt Flat. Finish with a visit to the Church of San Pedro before heading back to your hotel.

DAY 13
B

Tatio Geysers and Machuca Villages and a visit to the Moon & Death Valleys

Today is an early start for a pick up at dawn (approximately 04:30) when you depart towards the Altiplano reaching an altitude of 4,320m to visit the Tatio Geysers, one of the world’s most important geothermal fields. Because of the area’s extreme cold temperatures you can see different geothermal manifestations of fumaroles and geysers that can reach heights of up to 10m. On the way back you stop briefly in the wetlands of Putana where you can see different species against the backdrop of the Colorado Volcano. Finally on way back into San Pedro visit the village of Machuca whose typical Altiplanic architecture is exemplified by its church. In the afternoon set out to visit some of the most dramatic scenery yet. You drive to the Moon Valley where natural mineral sculptures, such as ‘Las Tres Marías' pepper the lunar-like landscape. From here you continue to Death Valley, with its impressive salt formations where you watch the sunset over the warm terracotta land at Kari viewpoint, one of the highest points of the Salt Mountain Range. The afternoon light is the perfect time to observe the surreal setting, and you return to San Pedro in the early evening.

DAY 14
B

Atacama Salt Flat & Altiplanic Lagoons

This morning you visit the Atacama Salt Flats, one of the world’s largest where you might spot up to three species of native pink flamingos at the Chaxa Lagoon. You then continue to an altitude of 4,300m to reach the fantastic scenery of the Meñiques and Miscanti lagoons. You pause for lunch in Socaire, a tiny desert settlement before continuing to Toconao where you visit its main square, a bell tower built in 1750 of cactus wood and the Church of San Lucas.

DAY 15
B

Fly south to Santiago

Today you are transferred to Calama airport and fly south to Chile's capitral city, Santiago. On arrival your guide and driver take you to your centrally located hotel and give you an introduction to the city, and specifically to the area where you are staying pointing out nearby restaurants and places to visit.

DAY 16
B

Chilean Art & Museums

Today you set out into Santiago to visit some of the city's best museums and galleries. You start at the Pre-Columbian Art Museum which houses an extensive collection of pieces from throughout the Americas. Next you visit the National Museum of Fine Arts, the oldest museum of its kind in South America and home to a collection of Chilean and South American paintings ranging from colonial works to contemporary art. From here you venture in to the Bellavista neighbouhood, a bohemian part of the city with lots of independent restaurants, boutiques and galleries. Here you visit ‘La Chascona’ which was once the Santiago home of Chile’s famed poet, Pablo Neruda and today is maintained as a museum. The house has retained Neruda’s eccentric style and is a love letter to the sea, where he was at his happiest.

DAY 17
B

Visit to the Colchagua wine valley

Today you have the chance to visit one of Chile's most fertile wine producing areas in the Colchagua Valley. The first stop is the Colchagua Museum, with the most complete private collection of wine in the country. After lunch you continue to the Santa Cruz winery for a full tasting of their produce and from here there is a cable car to some indigenous villages where the Aymara, Rapa Nui and Mapuche Cultures have been recreated. To end your day you visit the Automobile Museum, an exhibition of a large collection of vintage cars, dating from the 1890’s to the 1980’s beofre you arrive back into Santiago in the late afternoon.

DAY 18
B

Drive to Valparaiso

Today you complete your full east to west, coast to coast navigation of the continent as you drive 1 1/2 hours to Valparaiso. This colourful and characterful city is Chile's largest port town, and is of huge significance culturally and geographically. When you arrive into Valparaiso you are taken on a walking tour of this charming city that oozes creativity. You set off from Prat Pier and walk through Sotomayor Square where a monument commemorates the Battle of Iquique, an important naval confrontation during Chile’s War of the Pacific against Peru and Bolivia. Hop onto El Peral lift, one of 15 distinctive funicular elevators still operating in the city, which takes you up to Paseo Yugoslavo and Cerro Alegre. As you wind your way through the colourful streets, pick out your favourite artworks; the city's walls have been given over urban street artists. Walk down hill to the ‘plan’ of Valparaiso, the name given to the flat areas of the city, and take the trolleybus to Plaza Aduana and take another lift to where your vehicle awaits to take you back to your hotel.

DAY 19
B

Depart Chile

You are free in Valparaiso until the agreed time when you are taken to the airport back in Santiago for your flights on to the UK or your next destination.

Guide prices for 'Coast to Coast across Argentina and Chile'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
mid-range hotels, shared excursions 2 people sharing £4,380
Prices are per person and include:
  • all land transport within Argentina and Chile
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • all excursions as described
  • domestic flights
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • airport and departure taxes

Customer reviews for 'Coast to Coast across Argentina and Chile'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average

Seasonal information for 'Coast to Coast across Argentina and Chile'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
2 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
3 Buenos Aires 29°C rainfall 100mm
4 Iguazu Falls 32°C rainfall 171mm
5 Iguazu Falls 32°C rainfall 171mm
6 Iguazu Falls 32°C rainfall 171mm
7 Salta 28°C rainfall 173mm
8 Salta 28°C rainfall 173mm
8 Humahuaca 24°C rainfall 51mm
9 Cafayate 27°C rainfall 48mm
9 Cachi 23°C rainfall 46mm
10 Salta 28°C rainfall 173mm
11 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
12 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
13 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
14 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
15 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
16 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
17 Colchagua 29°C rainfall 7mm
17 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
18 Valparaíso 23°C rainfall 3mm
19 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Coast to Coast across Argentina and Chile'

Days 1 - 3

Hotel Pulitzer

Buenos Aires

The Pulitzer is a modern hotel located in the centre of Buenos Aires. Rooms are equipped with safe, minibar, airconditioning and free high speed wifi whlist there is a downstairs bar that serves lights meals and drinks throughout the day. Up on the 7th floor there is a swimming pool and even a gym where it is possible to book in for a massage.

 

 

Hotel Pulitzer
Hotel exterior
Days 4 - 6

Hotel Saint George

Iguazu

A comfortable, mid-range hotel located in the centre of Puerto Iguazu 17km from the Iguazu falls. Each of the 100 rooms have private bathrooms, A/C, cable TV, mini-bar and hair-dryers. Facilities include two swimming pools, heated jacuzzi, dry sauna and massage room, gift shop, games room, gym and free Wi-Fi internet access in the lobby and bar. The 'Doña Maria' restaurant serves local and international cuisine whilst there is also a snack bar by the swimming pool.

Hotel Saint George
Pool area
Days 7 - 8

Del Antiguo Convento

Salta

Centrally located in the historic part of the city the Hotel del Antiguo Convento has Standard, Superior and Executive rooms all with en-suite facilities, a/c, heating, TV and Telephone. Additional features of the hotel are the Confitería (Snack bar), a small outdoor pool, a gym and free Wi-Fi.

Del Antiguo Convento
Outdoor Patio
Day 9

Vinas de Cafayate Wine Resort

Cafayate

This wine resort is located around 2km from the centre of Cafayate, within a vineyard at the foot of the San Isidro hill. There are 22 rooms and all have a private bathroom with tub, heating and air conditioning as well as mini bar and TV. There is a wine cellar on site that hosts tastings, and a swimming pool with lovely views over the vineyards and towards Cafayate.

Vinas de Cafayate Wine Resort
Standard room
Day 10

Del Antiguo Convento

Salta

Centrally located in the historic part of the city the Hotel del Antiguo Convento has Standard, Superior and Executive rooms all with en-suite facilities, a/c, heating, TV and Telephone. Additional features of the hotel are the Confitería (Snack bar), a small outdoor pool, a gym and free Wi-Fi.

Del Antiguo Convento
Outdoor Patio
Days 11 - 14

Poblado Kimal

San Pedro de Atacama

Centrally located the Poblado Kimal is a good mid-range option. With 21 rooms (20 standard and 1 superior with Jacuzzi) made of adobe and wood these are distributed around and remind of an ancient village. Each room has en-suite facilities, mini-bar, heating and fan. The hotel also has Wi-Fi, parking and a pool. Meals are taken at the Restaurant located at the Hotel Kimal (opposite).

 

Poblado Kimal
Cabin exteriors
Days 15 - 16

Hotel Providencia

Providencia

A newly renovated, 75 room traditional hotel with a garden swimming pool and fitness centre, conveniently located near the Providencia metro station and close to the entrance to the Cerro San Cristobal. Rooms have cable TV, A/C and free Wi-Fi. There is a restaurant on site, as well as pleasant gardens and food is served in the terrace area by the pool.

 

Hotel Providencia
Double room
Days 17 - 18

Gran Hotel Gervasoni

Valparaíso

A quirky, characterful and historic building near Cerro Concepción on the Gervasoni Walk. Originally a private house built by European immigrants in the late 19th century the public areas retain their high Victorian décor and furnishings. With its steep wooden staircases (no lift) and commanding views over Valparaiso town and out to the bay you might think you are on a ship. There are 15 rooms each with en-suite (4 of which with hydro massage) facilities, central heating, satellite TV and Wi-Fi all individually decorated. Rooms vary in size and some have views to the sea. There is a breakfast room with a nice terrace, a restaurant and a wine cellar.

 

Gran Hotel Gervasoni
Hotel entrance