Little House on the Cerrado
Think of this trip as South America’s best Europe impression. Santiago’s got sass and vineyards, Pucon has hiking and whitewater rafting. Argentina’s Lake District boasts skiing (and lakes), Bariloche does chocolate and chateaux. And Buenos Aires? She just knows she all class.
Live out your Motorcycle Diaries fantasies (minus the hot actor and the motorcycle). Whether you’ve read the book or seen the movie (we don’t judge) there’s no doubt Che Guevara’s story has inspired many a Latin American adventure.
Day 1-2 - Santiago - overnight bus
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Santiago.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting in the evening of Day 1 (usually at 6 pm). You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Although Santiago covers a large area, the city centre is quite compact and easy to get around. The city's centre is roughly triangular in shape with the Plaza de Armas, the main plaza and home to the Cathedral, sitting in the centre. Panning out from here are wall-to-wall shops, restaurants and parks. For a more serene look at Chilean life, head out to Barrio Bella Vista, Santiago's 'Paris Quarter'.
Your leader will take you on a walking tour of Santiago visiting the Plaza de Armas in the city's historic centre, the Central Market with its colourful seafood restaurants and the Palacio de la Moneda, the seat of government and presidential residence. Perhaps take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal. If the weather permits you'll have impressive views over the city and the peaks of the Andes.
Use your free time wisely. Try some local wine and indulge in a terremoto in Santiago's drinking den, La Piojera. Terremoto means 'Earthquake', and you might feel a little shaky after the mix of sweet-wine and pineapple ice-cream served in a one litre glass.
Maybe tour the vineyards, including Concha y Toro, and taste some local wine
Catch a comfortable overnight bus to Pucon (approx 10 hrs) on the evening of Day 2.
Day 3-5 - Pucon
In the heart of the Lake District and set on the foot of the active Volcan Villarrica, Pucon is every outdoors fanatic's dreamland. Mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hiking, climbing, horse riding - you name it, you can do it in Pucon. There's even a casino inside the luxurious Hotel del Lago and busy nightlife.
Pucon is a thrillseeker's dream. Hike up a volcano, go mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hiking, climbing, horse riding, or whatever else you can think of to get your adrenaline pumping. If adrenaline isn't your thing, blow off some steam in one of the many bars of restaurants. You have two full days (after your arrival day) in Pucon to enjoy the optional activities.
Day 6-7 - San Martin de los Andes
Travel by local bus across the Andes to San Martin de los Andes in the Lake District of Argentina. Hopefully you will arrive in San Martin de los Andes before 4pm, but that depends on the border crossing.
Nested on the shores of Lake Lacar and surrounded by the majestic Lanin National Park, San Martin de los Andes is one of Argentina most picturesque towns.
What to do in town varies depending on the season. The best way to discover the natural wonders of San Martin is hiking. Lanin National Park has many treks to keep you busy for a few days. In winter, Chapelco ski resort offers some of the best sport in the area.
San Martin de Los Andes plays host to heaps of optional lakeside pursuits....or skiing.....or trekking....or sleeping!
Day 8-10 - Bariloche - overnight bus
Travel to Bariloche (approx 3hrs).
A year-round playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all types, Bariloche sits on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi. Outdoor activities range from skiing on the peaks of Cerro Catedral (in season), to hiking or biking around its base.
One of Bariloche's renowned pastimes is dining: find a comfortable café and try the fresh salmon or lake trout, or even a hearty beef parrillada. The town is famous for its handmade chocolates and there are some really spectacular displays in the local chocolate shops.
Be warned, Bariloche is well known for its fine chocolates. A tour to one of the main chocolate factories is a great way to try the many flavours available before settling for a kilo of your favourite.
Cerro Otto is one of locals' favourite lookout points. You can hike or bike to the top or travel via a cable car. At the summit there's a revolving café which offers 360° views of the breathtaking surrounds.
On the last day in Bariloche we take an overnight bus to Buenos Aires (approx 25 hrs including stops along the way). The bus is semi-cama, meaning that seats recline to a far more comfortable position that you would expect on a plane . There's a toilet on board.
Day 11-13 - Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires must be the ultimate cosmopolitan city. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style all of its own, this is a city that will steal your heart. The Portenos (the local residents) are justifiably proud of BA, which is comprised of distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own style.
If you're in Buenos Aires for a weekend, visit San Telmo for its antiques market and artists displays. La Boca, settled by waves of immigrants who built brightly painted buildings, is home to the world-class Boca Juniors football team. Recoleta is the place to browse museums with Buenos Aires' well-to-do. There are many sights in the heart of the city with churches, cathedrals and historic buildings aplenty.
Take a guided orientation walk around the Microcentro district, passing some of the historic buildings along Avenida de Mayo, including the Casa Rosada (Argentina's government house) and the impressive Palacia Barolo.
Vegetarians, look away. Everyone else, your first order of business is to find the nearest parrilla (steak house) and order a big, plump, juicy piece of the world's best steak.
When you've finished exploring, settle down at one of the many streetside cafes and prepare yourself for a night of tango at one of the many milongas.
The trip ends on Day 13 and there are no activities planned for this day.Breakfast
What to Know
Gecko's tour leader, local guides, transport, sightseeing, meals and entrance fees as indicated.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, entrance to Sugarloaf, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 24 Sep 2014 - 06 Oct 2014 Fully Booked US $1,510 On Sale Sale: US $1,359 Closed 22 Oct 2014 - 03 Nov 2014 Available US $1,320 Book Now 05 Nov 2014 - 17 Nov 2014 4 places left US $1,565 Book Now 19 Nov 2014 - 01 Dec 2014 1 place left US $1,520 Book Now 26 Nov 2014 - 08 Dec 2014 Available US $1,280 Book Now 17 Dec 2014 - 29 Dec 2014 3 places left US $1,520 Book Now 31 Dec 2014 - 12 Jan 2015 Available US $1,540 Book Now 28 Jan 2015 - 09 Feb 2015 Available US $1,510 Book Now 11 Feb 2015 - 23 Feb 2015 Available US $1,510 Book Now 25 Feb 2015 - 09 Mar 2015 Available US $1,510 Book Now 11 Mar 2015 - 23 Mar 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 08 Apr 2015 - 20 Apr 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 22 Apr 2015 - 04 May 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 06 May 2015 - 18 May 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 20 May 2015 - 01 Jun 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 27 May 2015 - 08 Jun 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 03 Jun 2015 - 15 Jun 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 17 Jun 2015 - 29 Jun 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 24 Jun 2015 - 06 Jul 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 01 Jul 2015 - 13 Jul 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 15 Jul 2015 - 27 Jul 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 29 Jul 2015 - 10 Aug 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 12 Aug 2015 - 24 Aug 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 26 Aug 2015 - 07 Sep 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 09 Sep 2015 - 21 Sep 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 23 Sep 2015 - 05 Oct 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 07 Oct 2015 - 19 Oct 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 21 Oct 2015 - 02 Nov 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 28 Oct 2015 - 09 Nov 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 04 Nov 2015 - 16 Nov 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 18 Nov 2015 - 30 Nov 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 02 Dec 2015 - 14 Dec 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 09 Dec 2015 - 21 Dec 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 16 Dec 2015 - 28 Dec 2015 Available US $1,465 Book Now 30 Dec 2015 - 11 Jan 2016 Available US $1,465 Book Now
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
Little House on the Cerrado
Louisa - Toowoomba, QLD, 24 Jun, 2011
Veronica was wonderful - compassionate & friendly. Claudio was good - gave everyone individual attention, and was a great source of local information.