Buenos Aires to Rio Unplugged (IGGRS)

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Buenos Aires to Rio De Janeiro 17 days.

Trip notes navigation

  • Trip code : IGGRS
  • Trip length : 17 Days
  • Trip starts in : Buenos Aires
  • Trip ends in : Rio de Janeiro
  • Maximum group size : 16
  • Meals : 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Accommodation : Estancia (3 nts), Hotel (11 nts), Overnight bus (2 nts)
  • Transport: Bus, Ferry, Overnight bus

daily-itinerary1

Day
1

Buenos Aires

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Argentina.

We start with an orientation walk around Buenos Aires at 1pm

Your welcome meeting will then be in the evening at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Accommodation

Hotel Two or similar (1 nt)

Day
2

Colonia

Travel by ferry across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia in Uruguay (up to 3 hrs).

The charming colonial city of Colonia del Sacramento is the oldest town in Uruguay. The World Heritage-listed Barrio Historico is situated on a peninsula and is a great place to get your bearings. Stroll down the cute cobblestone streets and rub shoulders with locals as they go about their day continually sipping from their cup of mate (tea). The Plaza Mayor is especially lovely, with loads of parrakeets in its palm trees. The town has many small museums to poke around in.

 

 
Accommodation
 
Hotel Romi or similar (1 nt)

 

 
Day
3

Montevideo

Continue on by local bus to Montevideo (approx 3 hrs).

Montevideo is Uruguay's capital and by far its largest city. This is the commercial and cultural hub of the country, but despite all the trimmings of a modern metropolis it retains a laidback atmosphere and has lots of students. Most of the interesting buildings and many good museums are in the Ciudad Vieja, home to the Plaza Independencia with its eerie underground Mausolea Atigas mausoleum. There are ok beaches to chill out on or visit the Mercado del Puerto where artists and musicians hang out.

There's plenty to see on a stroll around town as well. There's the clash of attractive architectural styles, cafes playing tango music, buzzing markets, pretty plazas and interesting museums to explore.

Accommodation

Hotel Los Angeles or similar (1 nt)

Day
4-7

Estancia Stay

Travel to Tacuarembo by bus (approx 5 hrs). The bus has reclining seats and you'll be provided with a typical Uruguayan snack, although it's recommended you also bring your own food as the bus doesn't stop. From Tacuarembo, it's a further hour by truck and 4WD to the ranch.

Our stay on a local estancia is the real deal as we spend a few days experiencing a working farm. If you are up for it, you can fully involve yourself in the day-to-day jobs (which change according to any given day and the season) and may include herding the sheep and cows, branding cattle, and marking and injecting the lambs against worms.

Don't expect luxury: things are simple down on the ranch - the accommodation is dorm style, there's only hot water and electricity for a couple of hours a day and the working day starts at 7.30am (although you are free to laze around and just relax). What you'll get is a warm Uruguayan welcome from our hosts, some of the best home-cooked food you have ever tasted and the chance to experience real farm life.

On the afternoon of your last day at the ranch we travel to Concordia in Argentina to take a 12-hour overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu. The bus has reclining seats, toilets, shows movies and a simple dinner is provided on board.

 
Accommodation

 

Estancia (3 nts), Overnight bus (1 nt)

 
Day
8-10

Iguazu Falls

As soon as we arrive at Puerto Iguazu bus station on the morning of Day 8, we take a minivan across the border into Brazil and continue to our hotel in Foz do Iguacu. This takes about an hour depending on traffic at the Argentina-Brazil border.

Close to the borders with Argentina and Paraguay, Foz do Iguacu is Brazil's gateway to the Iguazu Falls.

During our time in Iguazu we will visit the Argentinian and Brazilian side of the falls. We travel back into Argentina to visit the falls on Day 9 before returning to spend the night at our hotel in Foz do Iguacu.

At over 2 km long, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are over 270 falls in all, and with some reaching up to 80m in height, they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara. Legend has it that a serpent god intended to marry a beautiful girl called Naipi. She escaped in a canoe with her mortal lover Caroba and in a jealous rage the god chased them, collapsing the river before them so that Naipi plunged over the falls to become a rock, while Caroba became a tree, forever unable to touch his love. A more scientific explanation is that the Rio Iguazu flows over a riverbed of basalt that ends where the lava cooled, leaving the water to fall. The falls were 'discovered' in the modern day by the Spaniard Juan Alvar Nunez who named them Saltos de Santa Maria. The name we know them by today means 'Great Waters' in the Tupi-Guarani tongue.
From the Argentinean side it’s possible to follow a series of boardwalks to get up close to the thundering waters - so close you can almost touch them.

Take a helicopter ride over the falls - a spectacular way to get a feel for the immense size of the waterfalls and a great view of the greenness of the surrounding park.

From the Brazilian side you can see the falls in their full glory with grand panoramas.

On our last day in Iguazu, we start a 24 hr journey to Paraty. The first leg of this journey is from Foz do Iguacu to Sao Paulo (approx. 16 hrs).

This overnight bus is quite comfortable. You can expect the seat to recline to a more comfortable position than you would expect on a plane. These buses normally have a toilet.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Cassino or similar (2 nts), Overnight bus (1 nt)

 

 

Day
11-12

Paraty

On arrival in Sao Paulo we may need to wait a couple of hours at the bus station until our next bus to Paraty departs (approx. 6 hrs).

Sitting between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Paraty is one of the world's best preserved Portuguese colonial towns. This World Heritage-listed town was originally settled in 1531 on the opposite side of the river but in the 17th century the Indians who lived on the current site were driven away and the town moved. Paraty later became a booming port town, famous for its sugar cane liquor but after the abolition of slavery it was slowly forgotten. With the opening of new roads, the town was 'rediscovered' and declared a national monument.

The patron saint of Paraty is Our Lady of the Medicines. Three hundred years ago a wealthy benefactor donated land for a church in her honour. In return, she asked only for an annual mass. Each year a wooden effigy of the virgin, adorned with silver is carried in a procession through the town during the Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios.

At high tide, some of Paraty's cobblestone streets are partly covered in sea water, adding to the rustic, colonial charm. The water of the bay is always right for swimming and the surrounding national parks are filled with trails, wildlife and waterfalls.

Accommodation

Pousada Sonho Meu or similar (2 nts)

Day
13-15

Ilha Grande

Head by local bus and ferry to our island getaway on Ilha Grande (approx 5 hrs).

Ihla Grande is an island untouched by development, a paradise of tropical beaches and virgin rainforest. The island has a fascinating history, as it was variously a pirate's lair, a leper colony and a prison for violent criminals. The oppressive ruins of the prison can still be visited.

Trails through the forest lead to beautiful and remote beaches, like the Praia de Lopes Mendes, reputedly Brazil's most attractive beach. Spend time contemplating the sandy beaches with a caipirinha in hand or snorkelling and swimming in the beautiful warm waters.

Spend a day beach-hopping on a boat tour of Ilha Grande Bay all the way to the Blue Lagoon. There are plenty of opportunities to stop for fresh seafood and to swim and snorkel through the crystal clear waters.

Accommodation

Pousada Cachoeira or similar (3 nts)

 
Day
16-17

Rio de Janeiro

Take a boat to the small port of Mangaratiba (approx 1 hr), then board a minivan to Rio (approx 2.30 hrs).

The locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. In this heaving metropolis, set against the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay and surrounded by the slopes of Sugarloaf and Corcovado, it's hard not to be caught up in the passion of the city's residents (known as Cariocas).

The French were the first to settle here as they logged wood along the Brazilian coast, but they were soon driven out by the Portuguese, who built a fortified town named Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro and quickly amassed wealth during the gold rush of Minas Gerais. In the 19th century, the Portuguese monarchy fled from the threat of Napoleon in Europe and took up residence in Rio, where they built grand buildings that still stand today.

These days Rio is a fascinating and diverse city best known for its contrasting images of favelas (shanty towns) and the glitz and glamour of Carnaval.

The northern slopes are where most of the favelas reside, while the southern zone is for the middle classes and the rich. To get oriented, or to just look on in awe, head to the top of Sugar Loaf by cable car for some incredible views.

Another view not to be missed is from the feet of Christ the Redeemer, standing atop Corcovado with arms open wide.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Accommodation

Hotel Toledo or similar (1 nt)



included1

 

  • Orientation Tour - Buenos Aires
  • 3 Night Traditional Estancia Stay
  • Iguazu Falls - Brazil side tour
  • Iguazu Falls - Argentina side tour

optional-extras

 
  • Tango show - ARS1050
  • Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD96
  • Gourmet Buenos Aires Food Urban Adventure - USD77
  • Lighthouse visit - UYU16
  • City tour - USD25
  • Gaucho Museum - Free
  • Horse riding - Free
  • Helicopter ride - USD116
  • Bird Park - USD26
  • Acquamania Water Park - BRL42
  • Great Adventure - BRL158
  • Boat trip - BRL40
  • Trindade excursion - BRL9
  • Boat trip to the Blue Lagoon - BRL70
  • Sugar loaf cable car - BRL65
  • Favela tour - BRL84
  • Botanical Gardens - BRL6
  • Santa Teresa tramcar - BRL1
  • Maracana soccer game - BRL126
  • Rio de Janeiro tour including Corcovado, Christ Redemer and a favela visit - Free
  • Santa Teresa Discovery Urban Advenutre - USD62
  • Total Rio Tour Urban Adventure - USD156
  • Corcovado, Christ Statue and Favela Urban Adventure - USD99

not-included1International flights, departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

tripgrade1

Basic

Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

 

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

Style Facts

  • Enjoy a destination in depth and comfort
  • Tourist class hotels and family homestays
  • Both private and local transport
  • A number of included activities and meals throughout
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.visa1A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.Please click here for more information.

medical-preparation1We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended. 

Money1Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
 
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement latertravel-insuranceYou must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information.

responsible-travel1Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.For further information about responsible travel please click here.

 

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