Company : Oasis Overland
Duration: 6 weeks to 2 months
Approx Costs: 1250 to 1500 £ Pound (UK)
This overland adventure is an outdoor lover's dream
This overland adventure is an outdoor lover's dream
... with the best Patagonia has to offer: hike to the top of a volcano and peer into its crater in Pucon, climb ice and trek on a glacier in El Chalten, raft the Futaleufu's class five rapids by the Carretera Austral, see the incredible Perito Moreno glacier near El Calafate, challenge yourself to the famous 'W' Trek in Torres del Paine, and visit the world's most southerly city, Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego.
Then see the southern Atlantic wildlife on the Valdes Peninsula before a well-earned steak and glass of red wine in Buenos Aires, Argentina's cosmopolitan capital. Take in the majestic Iguazu Falls and join the party in Rio as it heats up for the 2016 Summer Olympics!
Days 1 to 6
Leaving Santiago, we pass small villages and deep blue lakes with mountains towering above us as we wind through Chile's Lake District. Pucon, an outdoors centre in its own right, will be our base for the next few days from where it is possible to organise whitewater rafting, water sports, horse riding and one day hikes up nearby Villarrica Volcano. Ascending the Andes via some spectacular mountain passes we arrive in Bariloche, Argentina. This very popular holiday destination for Argentineans is the top ski resort on the continent and also has several hiking trails and a great nightlife.
Days 7 to 14
Heading further down through Argentina into the deep south on a good dirt road we enter the vast wilderness of Patagonia. The perpetual wind makes it difficult for trees and plants to grow, so for a while we are faced with endless grassland. However our long drive will soon be rewarded with the stupendous views that Los Glaciares NP provides - it also has the largest glacier in the world and here we have the option to take a boat ride up close to Moreno Glacier, almost 200 ft high. Torres del Paine NP is another area of outstanding beauty where huge granite cliffs dominate the landscape. A good way to explore the area is either hiking or by horseback.
Days 15 to 24
We continue south towards the wild and hauntingly beautiful land at worlds end, the island of Tierra del Fuego. We cross by ferry and visit the most southerly town in the world Ushuaia, from where we can view the green waters of the Beagle Channel and the snow clad peaks beyond. We now cross to the Atlantic coast of Patagonia and visit one of the marine sanctuaries. Penguins, Sea Lions, Elephant Seals, Sea Birds and sometimes Whales can be seen. Following the excellent paved roads north along the coast we pass through some quite affluent towns. One, Puerto Madryn, was the landing place over a century ago for the first group of Welsh settlers that subsequently colonised and now farm the surrounding area. We traverse the vast Pampas grasslands, South America's cowboy country, where gun-toting gauchos on horseback look after vast herds of cattle.
Days 25 to 32
Travel to Argentina is not complete without a visit to the countries capital, and so we follow the coast to Buenos Aires. A few days in this smart cosmopolitan city and you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in Europe. There is plenty to do, museums, horse racing, football matches, shopping, tango dancing for the confident, restaurants that serve the best steak in the world, and many plazas with cafes to sit and observe Argentinean life go by. From here you will also have the opportunity to travel across the Rio Plata by ferry to Montevideo & Colonia de Sacramento to visit Uruguay.
Days 33 to 38
Continuing through Argentina we visit the region between Argentina and Paraguay that is home to many Jesuit Missions built in the 16th century to convert the Guarany Indians. We visit the ruins of San Ignacio before crossing the border into Brazil, where we also cross from Spanish to Portuguese, and it is time to get our tongues around a new linguistic challenge! The Iguazu Falls form the natural border between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls they are an awe-inspiring place to spend the next three days before we continue on with travel to Brazil. The lush tropical forest surrounding the falls has many walking trails leading to smaller hidden falls, ideal to refresh from the steaming heat and abounding with parrots, toucans, woodpeckers and colourful plants. Here you can also undertake a number of optional activities such as rafting, helicopter flights and mountain bike riding.
Days 39 to 46
Next stop is Bonito where we can swim and snorkel in some of the clearest rivers and lakes in the world. Spectacular walks in the mountainous forests may reveal wildlife that includes monkeys, alligators and anaconda. We begin our travel to Brazil in earnest as we journey on to the Pantanal region where we organise treks and horserides out into the vast wetlands which is home to over 600 species of birds and 350 kinds of fish, piranha being common, as well as an abundance of reptiles and animals. Try your hand at Piranha fishing too!
Days 47 to 51
We now head to the coastal village of Parati. This unspoilt and picturesque town has remained fundamentally unaltered for three centuries. Cars have been banned from its cobbled streets that run down to the seashore, instead mountain bikes are used and are a good way to get around. Another great way to explore the secluded islands of this pristine coastline is taking a sailing trip in one of the traditional schooners. Our final drive takes us to the hedonistic playground of Rio de Janeiro, where the folk are raring to party out of their minds and live purely for the moment. The Carnival and New Years Eve celebrations are always chaotic, crowded and fun and a must during any stint of travel to Brazil!
Trip Price: £1895.00 + Local Payment: US$950.00
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