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Trip Type : Group Tour
South American Odyssey tour

South American Odyssey

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4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
16 days
From: $ 4,199 $ 262 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • San Cristobal Hill (Santiago)
  • Picturesque Bariloche
  • Buenos Aires City Tour
  • Tango Show (Buenos Aires)
  • Iguassu Falls
  • Sugar Loaf Mountain (Rio)
  • Copacabana (Rio)

Short Description

Enjoy your South American trip by visiting Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Have a chance to learn South America’s passionate dance. Discover nature and culture of Buenos Aires, Bariloche and Santiago.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Santiago
End City Rio

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip airfare from Miami via LAN and TAM Airlines (NYC departure add $100)
  • Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
  • All intra-South America flights & ground transportation
  • Accommodations at Deluxe & Superior First Class hotels
  • 19 meals: 13 buffet breakfasts (B), 1 lunch (L), 5 dinners (D)
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours and admission fees
  • English-speaking Tour Director and local guides

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Itinerary

 

Day 1: Depart USA.

Your fascinating journey to your glorious South America tours begin as you depart this evening on your overnight flight bound for Chile.

Day 2: Arrive Santiago (Chile).

Meals: Dinner

Morning arrival in Santiago, the bustling capital of Chile, located between the Pacific Ocean and the majestic Andes. On arrival, ride up to the top of San Cristobal Hill for a bird’s eye view of the city and the Andean mountain range. Later, learn more about Santiago’s charms and history from a local expert that leads you on a tour of the Plaza de Armas, the city’s main square and the nearby Cathedral. You’ll also see the Palacio de la Moneda and the Bohemian section of Bellavista. Your tour concludes upon arrival at your upscale hotel where the balance of the afternoon is at leisure. Tonight join your Tour Director and fellow travelers for a briefing followed by a welcome dinner. Hotel Atton Vitacura

Day 3

Meals: Breakfast

Full day at leisure to explore independently. We recommend an optional excursion to discover the enchanting towns of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso on the Pacific Coast as well as Chile’s thriving wine making industry.

Day 4: Santiago/Puerto Montt/Puerto Varas.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Today board a short flight to the southern port city of Puerto Montt, gateway to the Chilean Lake District. Upon arrival, enjoy a magnificent lookout over the city and bay before driving to the nearby charming village of Puerto Varas. Arrive at your charming hotel, conveniently located within walking distance of the magnificent lake. On a clear day, you’ll enjoy a view of Mount Osorno, a beautiful snow-covered volcano. Dinner tonight is at your hotel. Radisson Hotel Puerto Varas

Day 5: Lake Region/Bariloche (Argentina).

Meals: Breakfast

Today’s unforgettable excursion is reputed to be one of the most scenic in the world. Traverse the Andean Mountains through the Lake District from Chile to Argentina. Enjoy dramatic landscapes, spectacular emerald green lakes, gushing waterfalls, snow-capped volcanoes and dense forests. The breathtaking scenery unfolds as you journey along winding roads overlooking the magical lakes of Chile’s Puyehue National Park into Argentina’s equally amazing Nahuel Huapi National Park. Arrive in quaint Villa Angostura and embark on a boat ride to view the striking Arrayanes Forest with its rare and ancient Myrtle trees. Proceed on your journey along the magical lake towards the picture-perfect town of Bariloche. Hotel NH Bariloche Edelweiss

Day 6

Meals: Breakfast

Set in idyllic scenery reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, Bariloche is a splendid lake-side town, easily explored from your centrally located hotel. An included walking tour features a visit to the engaging Patagonia Museum. Later, explore on your own, relax or shop for knit woolen sweaters and delicious locally made chocolate. Or you may wish to enjoy an optional “Small Circuit Tour”, recognized by National Geographic as one of the 10 most scenic drives in the world.

Day 7: Bariloche/Buenos Aires.

Meals: Breakfast

Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, often called “Paris of the South”. The city is a great mix of European heritage and Latin spirit, evident in architecture, culture and lifestyle. Drive through the Avenida 9 de Julio, the world’s widest avenue, to your downtown hotel. MGallery Brick Hotel (formerly Caesar Park)

Day 8

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

On this morning’s guided tour see the Plaza de Mayor, the famous Opera House and the historic La Boca district. Proceed to the elegant Recoleta district and the cemetery where Evita Peron is buried. Afternoon at leisure. Tonight, you are our guest for a delicious dinner and an exhilarating tango show, South America’s passionate dance.

Day 9

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Travel outside the city on a full day excursion to the Argentine Pampas. Visit an estancia (ranch) and enjoy a sumptuous barbecue lunch followed by a Gaucho Fiesta, complete with gaucho riding and folklore show.

Day 10

Meals: Breakfast

A full day at leisure. Why not take a “behind the scenes” tour of the ornate Colon Opera House, visit the shops lining the renowned Florida Street, or relax in one of the many outdoor cafes and parks. You may also enjoy the optional half day Tigre Delta tour on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and enjoy the beautiful rivers, streams, and numerous green islands.

Day 11: Buenos Aires/Iguassu Falls (Argentina/Brazil).

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

(Argentina/Brazil). After breakfast board a short flight to the Argentinean side of Iguassu Falls. You’ll soon discover why this is considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world! Set at the border of Argentina and Brazil, the falls consist of 275 inlets and cataracts that send their cascades roaring 250 feet below. Enjoy a ride on the ecological train through the rainforest for a spectacular close-up view of the falls. Proceed to your deluxe hotel which is set amidst lush tropical gardens. Mabu Thermas Grand Resort

Day 12

Meals: Breakfast

Today view the dramatic Brazilian side of Iguassu Falls and lush sub-tropical vegetation on an included morning tour. The afternoon is free for independent activities, shopping or relaxing at your hotel’s poolside.

Day 13: Iguassu/Rio de Janeiro.

Meals: Breakfast

Today fly to Rio de Janeiro, often described as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Sprawling between lush tropical mountains and the exquisite beaches of the Atlantic, Rio’s natural beauty and the warmth of its people will win your heart. This afternoon ascend imposing Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car to the 1300-foot summit for stunning views of the city and surroundings. Later drive along white-sanded beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and arrive at your luxurious hotel! Hotel Windsor Atlantica

Day 14

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

A day at leisure to explore on your own, shop for authentic gemstones and souvenirs, or head to the beach. You may also join a full day excursion to the picturesque mountain resort of Petropolis. Tonight, celebrate with your fellow travelers at a festive dinner.

Day 15: Depart Rio

Meals: Breakfast

On this morning’s tour, a cog railway takes you through the rainforest up Corcovado Mountain, a 2300-foot peak crowned by the landmark statue of Christ the Redeemer. The views from the top of the mountain are dazzling! The balance of the day is at leisure for independent pursuits or relaxing by your hotel’s pool before transferring to the airport for your overnight return flight.

Day 16: Arrive USA.

Your exciting South American vacations end as you arrive in the USA this morning in either Miami or New York.

Availability

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Price From $ 4,199
Price Per Day: $ 262 per day
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Start DateEnd DateDouble StandardAvailabilty 
Oct-07-2019Oct-22-2019$ 4,199Limited Reserve
Oct-28-2019Nov-12-2019$ 4,299Limited Reserve
Nov-11-2019Nov-26-2019$ 4,399Limited Reserve
Dec-02-2019Dec-17-2019$ 4,399Limited Reserve
Dec-26-2019Jan-10-2020$ 4,499Limited Reserve
  • Deposit Price: $ 300
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 799

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4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 657
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South American Odyssey

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Trip of a lifetime

5.0
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Trip of a lifetime and excellent guide; loved Fernando. Guides all had so much knowledge and definitely would love to go on another trip with Smart Tours.
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Fantastic trip

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Fantastic trip What did I like best? All of it. Memories for a lifetime.

This is a combination review of SmarTours South American Odyssey 16 Day Escorted Tour and the South American destinations themselves

3.0
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The actual tour was 14 days because of overnight flights. We visited Chile, Argentina and Brazil. We were a cohesive group of 17 travelers in our 50’s-70’s from Canada, U.S., Cayman Islands and Nicaragua. SmarTours uses above par hotels with breakfast included. All except one, the Mabu Beach Resort in Iguassu, were excellent. Mabu was just average. I like that SmarTours tells you exactly what is and is not included. There are never any surprises. I think they provide good value for the cost of the tour. We covered a lot of ground in three countries. Much time was spent getting to and from airports and in flying, but that’s expected when you are visiting so many sites within a two week period. I think SmarTours should market this as a slow paced group tour for less active adults. Some of the walking tours were at a crawl.

A few history basics of why I chose SmarTours: I traveled with SmarTours to China a couple of years ago. We had a fabulous tour director/guide, Harry, who was with us all the time. In some cities we had local step-on guides also. This was the first escorted tour I ever took. I am usually an independent traveler.

My second trip with SmarTours was to Cuba in June 2016. We had a tour director who spoke no Spanish and badgered the group about being on time and rationed the one water bottle each of us was allowed per day. Cuba tourism is tightly controlled for Americans. I assumed she was required to be with us even though her personality was unsuited to the profession. She should’ve been working in the back office rather than face to face with people. Thankfully we had a fantastic local Cuban guide also who assumed many responsibilities that weren’t hers because the SmarTours tour director was so negligent.

I figured I’d give SmarTours another chance and took them to South America. Again we had a tour director. I then discovered that SmarTours’ policy is to always have a tour director wherever you go. She was worthless. I will not name her. She spoke neither Spanish nor Portuguese and conveyed no knowledge of the countries we visited even though she had been to them 20 some odd times. Her only concern was to be on time and tell us where we could get the best chocolate. She made herself seem important by insisting we were incapable of getting our own boarding passes or following a local tour guide around on our own. I think most travelers are capable of checking into a hotel on their own and receiving their own room keys from the front desk. Since we always had local tour guides too, I’m sure they could’ve told us what time to meet for the tour. Our tour director knew most of the local guides from previous visits. Several of them were second rate and obviously were in their jobs too long and became stale, but more of that later because a couple of local tour guides were outstanding. I have refrained from naming the second rate local tours guides and only named the good ones. I have also refrained from naming the tour director.

On to the destinations:

1. Santiago: Hotel Atton Vitacura – fine, modern, on outskirts of city in an upscale business/office/residential district with several moderately priced to expensive restaurants nearby. Metro is a walkable mile away. We were in Santiago two days.

Day 1 was a combo bus/walking tour for a couple of hours in A.M. upon arrival from our overnight flight from New York City or other Canadian/U.S. airports. Most of us were pretty exhausted but a city tour upon arrival was in the itinerary. Our local guide was OK, neither great nor awful but unmemorable with no time for questions. Remainder of day free and we slept until included dinner in hotel.

Day 2 was a free day. Everyone in the group except me took the optional tour to Valparaiso, Vina de Mar and a winery ($85). Instead I took the Metro (felt totally safe and was easy to navigate) to downtown Santiago and took a free walking tour with Franco on Wednesday, April 5, at 10 A.M. “Free Walking Tour of Santiago.” From the previous day’s tour I felt I lacked a sense of the city and really hadn’t spent any time there. Franco was professional, knowledgeable with perfectly clear English and the model of what a tour guide should be unlike the local tour guide provided by SmarTours the previous day. Franco was interesting, funny and attuned to the group of about 20 of us. When I left him after 4 ½ hours I felt I had a good understanding of Chilean people, Santiago and Chile and the history of the country in general.

2. Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas, Chile: Day 3. We flew from Santiago to Puerto Montt early in the day. SmarTours local guide, Christian Ruz, met us at the airport. He was one of the best guides we had with a wealth of knowledge and readily answered all of our questions. Puerto Montt is an industrial seaport based on the fishing industry and is the entry point in Patagonia for southern Chile and the Lake District. It was settled by German immigrants in the mid-1800’s and there is still a strong German influence. I enjoyed the short stop in town to listen to a girls’ school’s marching band performance. Lots of stray dogs who bark/sing along with the music. We were rushed onto the bus without having any time to walk around the town after the band’s performance. We then drove to the neighboring town of Puerto Varas, totally tourist driven with an upscale resort feel to it. Our hotel, the Radisson, all wood and stone and beautiful in an understated way, was right in town, opposite lake, but it was rainy, cold and cloudy so we couldn’t take advantage of the views of volcanic Mt. Osorno. A few of us walked in the town but it seemed to only have shopping and the supermarkets were the highlight. Dinner at the hotel was included. Presentation pretty. Food just so so.

3. Crossing the Andes to Angostura and Bariloche, Argentina: Day 4. We crossed the Andes by bus via the Lake District from Chile to Argentina. Long ride. Lots of checkpoints (immigration and customs) along with way. The most exciting part was getting stuck in a freak early April snowstorm when approaching the top of the Andes. Our two drivers and tour guide Christian saved us by jacking up the rear of the bus and putting chains on the tires and we eventually got out of the snow drifts. These poor guys were wearing light jackets and didn’t even have gloves. It doesn’t normally snow here until later in June. Our first stop in Argentina was in Angostura, where we walked on a boardwalk through the Arrayanes Forest filled with myrtle trees famed for their cinnamon colored hollow trunks. We also took a boat ride on the lake. Pretty. Later on we arrived in Bariloche for two nights at the Edelweiss Hotel – good in town location with plenty of restaurants to walk to. Unfortunately we chose Girula Pizza & Pasta that we were recommended to. Awful. Tasteless food, terrible and slow service that got the orders wrong, not worth the money. A real tourist trap. Bariloche is a summer lake and winter ski resort town with numerous lodging options. Hardly anyone outside the hotels speaks English.

4. Bariloche, Argentina. Day 5. After breakfast our local tour guide, Alexandra, provided a valuable talk with map references on the history of Argentina. She then led us on a very short walking tour of the town plaza. The rest of the day was free. SmarTours offered an optional excursion (The Small Circuit Tour $79) but my companion and I decided to do much of what was offered on our own instead. Any time we could escape the slow pace of the tour group we did. Getting the sube (bus pass) for local Bariloche buses was an ordeal of visiting at least eight sites that supposedly sold it but didn’t until we found one that did. My companion spoke Spanish and had she not we would’ve had a hard time communicating. We took city bus #20 to Cerro Campanario and mistakenly got off a few stops too early and wound up at the chair lift site so we didn’t get to hike up the mountain as planned. There is no trail at the chair lift site – just a steep cutaway up the mountain -- so make sure you get off at the later stop if you want to hike up the mountain. Nevertheless the round trip chair lift was a great ride and views from the top of the mountain were gorgeous. Nice little café too. We began walking back to Bariloche (18 km.) intending to catch the #20 bus on its return but a lovely young couple we met at the top of the mountain saw us walking on the country road and gave us a lift back to Bariloche. A great experience of meeting local people. We went to dinner at a small restaurant around the corner from the hotel. Huacho – good food, price, service. Try the provolenta.

5. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Day 6. After breakfast we flew to Buenos Aires where we met our local tour guide, Natalia, who provided clear and concise commentary on our way to the MGallery Brick Hotel in the Recoleta section of the city, the best hotel we stayed in on our South American Odyssey. We spent four wonderful nights there. The hotel was across from an American style mall (Bulridge) with numerous food options from McDonald’s to Argentinean gourmet food and wine bars.

Day 7 began with terrific breakfast and service at the hotel followed by a combo bus/walking tour by Natalia that included the Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosado, Recoleta Cemetery, Calle Florida. It was too much on the bus off the bus and we probably could’ve easily walked to many of the sites, especially considering the horrendous traffic. She took us to La Boca also and we definitely needed the bus to get there. The afternoon was free and a few of us continued walking in the Microcentro on our own in the rain ending up taking an informative tour of the opera house, Teatro Colon. Dinner with tango show was included by SmarTours. Very enjoyable.

Day 8 we traveled outside the city to the Santa Susana Ranch, an estancia on the Pampas, and visited the on-site house museum, rode horses and were entertained by a gauchos riding and a folklore show. Lunch was tasteless barbecue, a disappointment to all.

Day 9 was free. We did not take the optional Tigre Delta tour offered by SmarTours ($79). Instead my companion and I spent 3 ½ hours with a Buenos Aires Greeter (Cicerones), Paola, who is part of the Global Greeter Network. She was knowledgeable and easy to talk to. We walked from our hotel along Avenue del Libertador through Recoleta and Palermo. Greeters are not tour guides. They show you a neighborhood like a person who lives there. We spontaneously participated in a healthy exercise dance group in the park and had lunch in a local café and got a feel for what it is like to live in Buenos Aires. She left us at the Museo Evita, a worthwhile place to visit. Then we took a local bus to Puerto Madero where we got lost in a mass of traffic and construction so never got to see that area but it was fun exploring where we wandered. Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan, sophisticated, spacious, European feeling city. I wish we had more time there.

6. Iguassu Falls, Argentina. Day 10. We took an early morning flight to Iguassu Falls and our fabulous local guide, Nuxa, met us at the airport. This gal is a pro and emits an immediate love of what she does. Her intelligence and knowledge and clarity of description and “got it all togetherness” was evident immediately. She knew the ins and outs of getting us into the national park quickly especially since the place was crowded with Easter holiday family vacationers. The falls – ah, breathtaking! This was a highlight of our trip. Don’t believe what anyone says in superlatives. They are only touching the surface of the spectacularness. We were fortunate to have perfect weather. Later in the day we crossed the border to Brazil and arrived at our hotel, the Mabu Resort. Mabu is a large mass market family resort and after having been at the MGallery Brick Hotel in Buenos Aires it was a disappointment. If you don’t partake of the pool and water sports there is little else to do. You can walk in the resort grounds or cross the road (be patient as there are no traffic lights and cars speed by continuously) and visit the mall with standard mall stores and a large food court. Dinner was included at Mabu and you got the feel the resort skimped on everything they could and just wanted to fill you up without providing quality food.

7. Iguassu Falls, Brazil. Day 11. Nuxa led us on an early morning entry to the park again using her expertise to negotiate around the crowds. The Brazilian side is more impressive. Each time we rounded a corner the view was more spectacular than the previous one. Both Argentinean and Brazilian sides of the falls are in national parks and what’s nice is the naturalness of forest surrounding you with only a trail or boardwalk interrupting nature, none of the commercialism of Niagara Falls. The afternoon was free and three of us decided to stay in the park and do the Macuco Safari, a jeep ride into the forest which leaves you at the funicular down to the Iguassu River where you board a high speed zodiac and take a thrilling ride into the Three Musketeers Falls. Three times -- or was it four -- our driver sped us under. We got drenched, laughing the whole way, and it was great. If you plan to do something else afterwards, take a change of clothes. Lockers are provided. We took a taxi back to the hotel. Came to about $5USD each. In the evening several of us attended the Rafain Folklore Song and Dance Dinner Theatre highlighting the culture of numerous South American countries. We expected it to be hokey but instead the buffet dinner and show was top notch. They even transport you to and from your hotel as part of the deal. Very worthwhile to do.

8. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Day 12. Morning flight to Rio and our local guide, met us at the airport. We drove straight to Sugar Loaf Mountain and waited with the hordes of visitors to ascend the double mountain cable cars to the top. By the time we got to the top it was dark. Amazing views. Our hotel, Hilton Windsor Atlantico, a top hotel, fronted Copacabana Beach. We had great views from our high floor room. We wanted to get a light dinner in the neighborhood but the immediate area of the hotel is seedy, dirty, rundown, and the smell of garbage on the street waiting to be picked up was overpowering. All very unappealing so we returned to the hotel.

Day 13 I took an optional SmarTours tour by our local guide to the restored dock area and part of downtown. I am quoting verbatim from SmarTours description, “Rio Historical & Olympic Tour plus Hippie Fair ($76 per person) Historical tour of downtown Rio, including a visit of N. S. de Montserrat Abbey (St. Benedict Monastery). A panoramic tour explaining the main and historical buildings, and a walking tour of the renovated waterfront área of Praça Maua (square), called “Orla Conde” , with new museums, famous “Cobra graphite”, and Olympic fire . After the tour, back to south zone of Rio to visit the Hippie Fair (One of the largest fairs of handicrafts, paintings and varieties of Rio de Janeiro).”This was the only optional tour I chose to partake of because I was so psyched from all I was told of the danger of being in Rio alone without being part of a tour group. There was no Olympic Tour, nor new museums, not Cobra graphite or Olympic Fire.” In fact, the tour we took hardly fit the description of what we saw. SmarTours offered this ridiculously expensive rip off bus/walking tour, totally disjointed, with lots of details but the big picture was missing. The local tour guide was doing a job that he obviously was bored with. He didn’t even have communication skills; e.g., started talking before all of us caught up with him, frequently didn’t face the group as he spoke, and spoke too low to be heard. It seemed a lot was made of a big nothing and a waste of time. Because this was Easter Sunday of Easter week everything was shuddered as we drove through downtown and not a soul was walking there. Reminded me of the movie, “On the Beach” from the 1960’s. Very eerie. We visited the two churches, one of which was the new cathedral. He rushed us there. We couldn’t figure out what the point was of taking us into a bank building without explaining why any of the exhibits were there (the phone booths, the VW van.) The tour was supposed to be from 8 A.M. to 2 P.M. but it ended at 11:45 A.M. at the Hippie Market in Ipanema. We had an hour for the market and that was plenty of time and then took the bus back to our hotel.

A group of us went up to the rooftop café for lunch. Very nice. Views. Weather. All fine. After lunch three of us walked the length of Copacabana Beach. Saw futvolleyball, soccer in a volleyball court, and other activities. Got a bit of the local flavor. Very enjoyable. Felt completely safe during the day but we were told it is not safe at night or very early morning. Excellent dinner at the hotel was included tonight. Would’ve been nice had our tour director summed up and spoke about the trip or made some toasts since this was our last full day but she did nothing.

Day 14 was a morning trip to Corcovado, 20 minutes in the train up the hill to Christ the Redeemer statue. We had about half an hour there and when one of the tour members asked why such little time our tour director said something like there’s nothing to see but the statue. There are maps and reading material up there plus you need time just to study the statue. Very impressive especially the lady sitting outside the chapel who lent visitors rosaries if they wanted to pray. Rare to see something like that. No monetary motive. From Corcovado we were dropped either at our hotel or in Ipanema in the downtown shopping district. We chose Ipanema. Several of us went to the H. Stern Jewelry Factory and took the tour of jewelry making. Interesting. No high pressure sales at the end as there is at some other factory tours. Then a bunch of us went to the Girl From Ipanema Café for lunch. Fun especially since our tour guide told us a bit about her and how the song got written. And lastly walked on Ipanema Beach before taking the H. Stern free shuttle back to our hotel. Ipanema is more upscale than Copacabana. I had just enough time to pack before we headed to the airport for our flight home.

BOTTOM LINE: I am not cut out for escorted tours and being treated like I am in kindergarten. I enjoyed being in South America. Visiting three different countries gave me an understanding of how different they are. The tour could’ve been outstanding if we had excellent guides throughout but we did not. We had local guides everywhere, even taking us to the airport and checking us in. In my opinion, the tour director was useless.
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Exelent

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Excellent Tourhttp://webgraphic.us/photography/buenos-aires/index.htmland Tango just WOW...http://webgraphic.us/photography/tango/index.html

south american odyssey

5.0
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Meals5.0
Another excellent tour with Betty Levin and the professional staff at smarTours. I was amazed at all the sites we visited, the very nice hotels, the wonderful meals. And we had a great group of travelers who joined us, people literally from all around the U.S. and the world. Their varied travel experiencesadded a dimension to our tour which made it even more interesting. I'll be back for another tour soon.
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Loved South America

4.0
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wonderful trip. of us took the South American Odyssey the middle if January. Our Guide, Alex was wonderful. He was knowledgable, personable, and lots of fun. He made each day fun and full of energy. The itinerary was very good including cities, Iguazu Falls, the Lake District and a day on the Pampas. Absolutely loved Buenos Aires and to my surprise, Rio was my least favorite. I highly recommend this trip and hooefullly you will have Alex to make it even better.
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Optional Activities

Santiago

Full Day Vina del Mar, Valparaiso, and Winery Tour ($85 per person)

Enjoy a lovely full-day excursion exploring Chile’s enchanting Pacific Coast and the thriving wine making industry. Travel through lush countryside to Viña del Mar, Chile’s oceanfront sophisticated summer resort. Continue to Valparaiso, Chile’s second largest city where 17 steep hills tower over the port, abuzz with activity. This picturesque city has twisted cobblestone alleys and ancient ascensores, electric cable cars that climb into hillside neighborhoods and afford splendid sea views. Walk through the colorful streets and stop at one of the charming seaside restaurants where you may have lunch at your own expense. This afternoon visit William Cole Vineyard in Chile’s famous wine growing region. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the winery and a wine tasting before departing back to Santiago. (A minimum of 5 participants required)

Buenos Aires

Tigre Delta Morning Excursion ($72 per person)

The Tigre Delta, located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, with its rivers, streams and numerous green islands is one of the most attractive areas for visitors. The continuous sediment of the Parana River, which gives the river and estuary their particular brownish-red color, forms the Delta Islands. After arrival, enjoy a delightful one-hour ride on a comfortable boat along the water passageways. En route to the Delta, you will cross the Northern suburbs of the city, where you’ll see some of the most exclusive mansions facing the river. (A minimum of 5 participants required)

Rio de Janeiro

Petropolis plus Hippie Fair Full Day Tour ($70 per person)

Enjoy a perfect excursion to the picturesque mountain resort of Petropolis, old summer home to the Brazilian Imperial Family. You’ll enjoy a scenic drive on private Macro Bus from busy Rio through the mountains and the valleys surrounding the city to quaint Petropolis that enjoys a breezy mountain climate and commands magnificent views from its unique position high atop the hills at 2500 feet above sea level. En route, you’ll enjoy a delightful stop for tasty Brazilian bananas before visiting a chocolate factory. Then, visit the Imperial Museum, once the Summer Palace of Brazil Emperors, whose collections feature jewels and works of art once owned by the Imperial Family as well as the Crown and Scepter of Brazils last Emperor.  You’ll also visit the Old Cathedral and have some time to enjoy the charming village square and elegant mansions. To cap off your full-day excursion, you’ll visit the lively Hippie Market in Ipanema, where you’ll have some time to explore, before returning to the hotel. (A minimum of 8 participants required)

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

  • Round-trip airfare from Miami via LAN and TAM Airlines (NYC departure add $100)

Group Size:

Standard Group

Accomodations

  • Rio de Janeiro: Windsor Atlantica Hotel
  • Iguassu Falls: Mabu Thermas Grand Resort
  • Buenos Aires: MGallery Brick Hotel (formerly Caesar Park)
  • Bariloche: Hotel NH Bariloche Edelweiss
  • Puerto Varas: Radisson Hotel Puerto Varas
  • Santiago: Atton Vitacura

Cancellation Policy:

Full Payment due 90 days before departure. Failure to make final payment on time may result in automatic cancellation of reservation and loss of deposit.

 

Changes to the original reservation will result in a $150 change fee per person per change. No changes allowed within 90 days of departure.

 

Cancellation charges per person are:

  • Up to 90 days before departure: $300
  • 89-60 days before departure: $1000
  • 59-45 days before departure: $1500
  • 44-30 days before departure: $2000
  • 29 days or less before departure: No refund.
  • All cancellations must be received in writing.

 

We recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance. Insurance premium is non-refundable and cannot be transferred from one departure to another in the event of a reservation change.

Trip ID#:

smartours-SAM

Meals Included:

13 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch and 5 Dinners

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