Essence of South America Tour | Tauck

Iguaza Falls, Argentina, picture by Tauck
Iguazú Falls

Essence of South America

12 Days | Rio de Janeiro to Santiago

The Essence of South America tour is one of Tauck’s most comprehensive South American tours with 12 days of in-depth discoveries of natural and architectural wonders throughout Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

On this unique travel experience, you’ll view the spectacular Iguazú Falls, sample the fine wines of Chile and famous Argentinian beef. Plus, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at Rio’s colorful Carnaval.

This vacation is available as a Small Group Tour,  limited to 24 guests and led by an experienced Tour Director. Tauck offers a collection of Small Group travel experiences.

Trip Highlights

  • A private visit to Teatro Colón Opera House, and dinner and a tango show
  • Private tour of Rio’s Samba City for a behind-the-scenes look at Carnaval costumes, floats and sensational samba dancing
  • Private cruise on Guanabara Bay for breathtaking views of Rio de Janeiro
  • Tour and gourmet lunch at a renowned Chilean winery
  • A visit to a silversmith and lunch at an estancia where gauchos demonstrate their skills
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Essence of South America Tauck Tour
Itinerary at a Glance

DAY 1: Arrive Rio de Janeiro

Transfer from the Rio de Janeiro International Airport to your hotel. Join Tauck for a welcome reception and dinner with traditional entertainment. (D)

DAY 2: Rio de Janeiro

Begin with a private boat cruise on Guanabara Bay. Then, take a cable car ride to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain. Enjoy a typical churrascaria barbecue lunch before returning to Rio. (B,L)

DAY 3: Rio de Janeiro

Excursion up Corcovado Hill by train to Tijuca National Park to see the world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer. Enjoy a walking tour of Rio’s historic downtown, then learn about Rio’s beloved Carnaval celebration on a visit to Samba City, including an exclusive samba performance. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Iguazú Falls

Visit the Iguazú Falls – 275 cascades spread in a horseshoe shape across two miles of the Iguazú River, straddling the borders of Argentina and Brazil. Today experience the Brazilian side, walking the catwalks along the falls for amazing views of the thundering water. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Iguazú Falls

Choose from several excursions today: Board a helicopter for a flightseeing ride over the falls; drive into the jungle for a jet boat ride to the base of the falls; or take a behind-the-scenes backstage tour of the Bird Park, a recovery and conservation center for exotic birds. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Iguazú Falls – Rio de Janeiro

Drive across the Tancredo Neves Bridge into Argentina where you will experience the Iguazú Falls from a different perspective. Enjoy lunch before an afternoon flight to Buenos Aires. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Rio de Janeiro

Join a local guide for a tour of the city. Visit to Plaza de Mayo, Metropolitan Cathedral and Casa Rosada, the colorful La Boca neighborhood and San Telmo District. In the evening, enjoy a tango show followed by dinner. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Rio de Janeiro

Venture out to the countryside to the artist community of San Antonio de Areco for a visit with one of the most famous silversmiths in the country and see the artists at work. Continue on to a traditional estancia (ranch) for lunch and a fascinating gaucho demonstration with a horse whisperer. (B,L)

DAY 9: Rio de Janeiro

Enjoy a privately guided, behind-the-scenes tour of Teatro Colón, the city’s seven-tiered opera house that first opened in 1908, and ranks among the best concert venues in the world. (B)

DAY 10: Rio de Janeiro – Millahue Valley

Take a morning flight to Santiago followed by a drive to the Millahue Valley in Chile and the final stop on your tour of South America. (B,D)

DAY 11: Millahue Valley

Immerse yourself in the beauty of wine country today with a choice of excursions: a guided horseback ride or a bicycle ride through the vineyards, or join a cooking class or a wine and chocolate pairing at the hotel. A farewell dinner features regional specialties. (B,L,D)

DAY 12: Millahue Valley – Santiago

Drive to Santiago this morning for a city tour and lunch at The Ritz-Carlton before driving to the airport for your return travels. (B,L)

Belmond Copacabana


Belmond Copacabana Palace | Rio de Janeiro
Overlooking Rio’s Copacabana Beach, the Art Deco-inspired hotel opened its doors to a celebrity clientele in 1923 and is ideally located minutes from the city center and Ipanema.

Belmond Hotel Das Cataras | Iguazú National Park, Brazil
Located inside Iguazú National Park, the hotel enjoys exclusive access to the sensational waterfalls in the evening and at dawn, when the park is closed to other visitors. Each of its guest rooms is decorated in a classic Portuguese style.

Alvear Palace Hotel, Buenos Aires
Opened in 1932, the Alvear Palace Hotel exudes Belle Époque splendor in the heart of Buenos Aires’ fashionable Recoleta neighborhood.

Vik Chile Millahue, Millahue Valley, Chile
This unique hotel is a collection of glass houses perched on a hilltop in the middle of the picturesque Millahue Valley, with the Andes Mountains in the distance.

Dates and Pricing

Multiple Departures | From $10,990 per person

Prices are per person, double occupancy for the itinerary as published, and subject to availability. Includes three private charter flights.

Contact us for more information about specific pricing, dates, and availability.


  • Tauck Tour Director and expert Local Guides
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
  • Meals as listed in itinerary
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers, service charges, taxes and porterage

About Tauck

Tauck prides itself on delivering outstanding personal service, uncompromising standards for quality, and a steadfast commitment to making the most of your vacation time – a brand promise Tauck made in 1925 and hasn’t deviated from since.

Tauck has developed longstanding relationships with its travel partners to bring guests incomparable travel experiences around the world. Expert Tauck Directors handle all your travel details seamlessly, and along with local experts, are extremely knowledgeable about the destinations you visit.

Contact us for more information about travel adventures with Tauck.

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