Exploring Icons in Argentina and Brazil
Argentina and Brazil are a perfect combination and this two-week trip takes in their iconic landmarks. Start at Buenos Aires for a dose of tango and superlative steaks. Then witness the mighty Iguazu Falls before heading to Rio's most famous beach, Copacabana. You can unwind in stylish Buzios by the sea.
Itinerary at a glance:
- Visit a traditional milonga (tango dancefloor) in BA and learn the moves with a local instructor
- Stay at the foot of the Iguazu Falls with exclusive access
- Discover Rio de Janeiro with a private guide
- Explore Brazil's best beaches from a stylish retreat in Buzios
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When To Travel
All of the holidays we create are completely tailor-made to you
Day 1: Fly to Argentina
Your flight leaves London in the late evening so remember to charge the iPad for the 14-hour overnight flight. Before you go we'll send you a tailor-made playlist to get you in the mood.
Day 2: Arrive Buenos Aires
Touchdown into Buenos Aires at breakfast time and a private chauffeur transfer will be waiting to take you to your hotel in the elegant district of Recoleta.
After unpacking and freshening up, you will be met by your private guide for a stroll around the surrounding European-style architecture, grand monuments and manicured parks. This evening, we've reserved a table in a local parilla (grill) specialising in velvety soft steak and ample Malbec, the red wine grape that flourishes in Argentina.
Day 3: Buenos Aires Beats
Wake up for a day of exploring Buenos Aires with a private guide who knows the city inside out.
Recoleta cemetery is a wonderful place to wander with stately pillars, ornate gravestones and elaborate crypts. Keep your eye out for Eva Peron's final resting place, one of the most evocative in the cemetery. You can explore antiquities of a different kind in the cobbled San Telmo, boasting the largest flea market in the city with artisanal craftwork, oil paintings and chandeliers. Last stop is La Boca barrio (neighbourhood), alive with brightly coloured facades and energetic buskers. This afternoon, take a whirl around a traditional milonga (tango dance floor) where you can learn the basic moves with an expert. It's a perfect warm up for a night on the tiles.
Day 4: Brazil Bound
After breakfast, a private chauffeur transfer will take you to the airport in good time for your flight to Iguazu in Brazil.
On landing, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel at the foot of the mighty Iguazu Falls. After checking in, spend time exploring the tropical walkways and cascades of water. Those who want to relax can soak up the jungle chorus from a poolside sun lounger and then sip on a caipirinha as the sun goes down.
Day 5: Iguazu Falls
Spend the day exploring this awe-inspiring natural wonder.
After breakfast, your naturalist guide will take you to the Argentinian side of the falls, arguably the more striking side. Take a gas-propelled train up to its highest and most impressive waterfall circuit, the Devil's Throat, where you can marvel at its sheets of thundering water from a 3,600ft high catwalk. Your guide will take you around a number of nature trails where you may come across raccoon-like coatis, exotic-looking butterflies (there are around 700 types here), iguanas and toucans. You'll also be able to get close to the falls and feel the sheer force from a viewing platform. Be prepared to get wet.
- Take a thrilling boat ride to the foot of the falls
- Visit the bird park
- Helicopter rides over the falls
Day 6: Copacabana
Wake up bright and early to explore the Brazilian side of the falls.
Your hotel has access to the walkways before the national park opens so you can savour its breath-taking sights all to yourself before your private transfer to Iguazu Airport. Fly to Rio and on arrival, a private chauffeur will take you to the city centre where your beachfront hotel awaits. Spend the rest of the day lying by the rooftop pool, caipirinha in one hand, book in the other or take a stroll along the tiled promenade and soak up the stylish carioca beach life.
Day 7: Roll Up Rio
You may want a light breakfast, as your first stop today is a local fruit and vegetable market where you can stock up on every exotic fruit imaginable.
Your savvy private guide will whisk you to the base of the Corcovado Mountain to board the funicular train that ascends through jungle-clad scenery - keep your camera at the ready. At the top, the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue stands 2,330ft tall and you can revel in panoramic views of the city hugging Rio's hilly contours. Descend to the Santa Teresa district to lap up its artsy vibe and brightly tiled Selaron stairs. We recommend stopping for a cold beer and feijoada (meat and bean stew) at one of the charming local restaurants. Your day ends with a cable car ride up the Sugarloaf Mountain, another of Brazil's picture perfect landmarks. Arrive just in time to watch the sun set over the crescent bays below.
Day 8: Hilltop Hikes
Today you can gain a different perspective of Rio from Dois Irmaos (Two Brothers) hill - forest-clad twin peaks that tower above Leblon Beach.
This morning your guide and driver will take you into the hills to hike along a lush network of trails frequently visited by monkeys and colourful butterflies. As you weave around the mountainside, you'll be treated to glorious views of the sprawling city below and glistening blue sea. The summit, offers the best panoramas of all, over rolling emerald greenery and Rio's white beaches. After spending some time soaking up the sights, head to the neighbouring Vidigal favela for unparalleled insight into community life while you navigate the maze of alleyways and steep hillside houses.
Day 9: Along the Emerald Coast
This morning a private chauffeur transfer will take you north-west of Rio to the stylish seaside retreat of Buzios.
Once a coastal hideaway frequented by the likes of Brigitte Bardot, today this former fishing village still evokes 60s-era St Tropez. Check in to your boutique hotel by the sea and enjoy a fresh fish lunch overlooking turquoise waters. Heaven.
Day 10 & 11: Buzios
Spend the next two days unwinding on some of Brazil's best beaches - there are 26 in total to explore. Discover rocky coves, sun-swathed sand, emerald shallows and pretty promenades lined with cafes.
There's a beach for every style and mood whether you want to wind surf, canoe or simply swim in tranquil seas. One day you may like to take a boat trip along the coast stopping for dips in the warm water. We can also organise a beach buggy for you and delicious picnic lunches should you want to venture to the more remote coves on the peninsula. Or go for a saunter into town and treat yourself to a chocolate crepe. It's a people-watching paradise and although its streets can become busy, no need to fret, we'll reserve tables at the best restaurants for you.
Day 12: Homeward Bound
You have the morning to lap up some last-minute sun before saying goodbye to the sea. In the afternoon, a private transfer will take you to Rio de Janeiro in good time for your international flight home this evening. The direct overnight flight takes 11-and-a-quarter-hours.
Day 13: Arrive UK
Your flight lands in London at lunchtime.
Ollie is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.