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South America Impact Journey

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Track jaguars and pumas in the wild! Learn about efforts dedicated to wildlife protection and sustainable community initiatives, and savor locally-sourced farm-to-table meals.

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SPECIAL OFFER

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9.0*

ECO SCORE

8

PASSENGERS

15

DAYS

3/5

ACTIVITY LEVEL

S. America: Drink It In

An unforgettable 15-day impact journey exploring pioneering wildlife conservation projects aimed at protecting jaguars and pumas, followed by an opportunity to discover the community and sustainability projects at Vira Vira, including a locally inspired farm-to-table foodie adventure like no other. Discover the eclectic and sophisticated atmosphere of Buenos Aires. Explore Iberá Natural Reserve, and track the elusive puma across the vast Patagonian Steppe in Torres Del Paine National Park. Your adventure culminates in the spectacular Lake District, where you'll get a taste of the culture, and dine on wholesome farm-to-table dishes. Engage with the traditional Mapuche people and explore how this operator has enriched and sustained neighboring communities by implementing its model of responsible travel.
Offer
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Travel Curator’s Insights:

    • You’ll be hosted by an expert conservationist, who’s spent a lifetime contributing towards the protection of wild places, and who has some amazing stories to tell!
    • Enjoy three days of active (or not) R&R in the picturesque Araucanía region of Chile’s Lake District at this operator's stylish lodge.
    • Take advantage of this operator’s array of thrilling activities and passionate guides as you explore all the Lake District has to offer.

SPECIAL OFFER

Rates:
From $17,815 per person
Policies and protocols provided before you book.


Custom year-round dates to fit your schedule.

We recommend November through March!

Custom dates;
Hover here for more information.

Departures:

Trip Sustainability Awards 

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CARBON

Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.

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ENERGY

On the East African Energy Renewal Board

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EDUCATION

Runs local educational facilities for children.

Itinerary 

Day 1: Buenos Aires

Welcome to Argentina! Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, a representative will meet you and escort you to your waiting vehicle for the drive to Sofitel Hotel.


A vibrant, cosmopolitan city, Buenos Aires beckons travelers to indulge in its fine eateries, exceptional shopping experiences and electric nightlife. Argentinians are a proud people who strongly hold onto their many traditions. They are also incredibly accommodating in their hospitality and passionate about their cultural icons, in particular football (or soccer), and the sensual spectacle that is the tango. Food is also a highlight and Argentina’s cuisine is defined by beef, considered by many to be the best in the world.


Meet your host, Les Carlisle, who will regale you with stories of a lifetime spent in conservation, contributing towards the rewilding and transformation of wild places across three continents.


Day 2: Iberá Wetlands

Today your adventure continues in the Iberá Wetlands. You will be collected this morning after breakfast and driven to the airport in time to board your domestic flight to Posadas. Upon arrival you will be driven to Rincón del Socorro lodge. Enjoy a refreshing welcome drink and delicious lunch at the pool. In the afternoon your hosts will tell you about the geographic location, biodiversity and landscapes that makes these wetlands so unique.


You will also be introduced to the fascinating history behind the Rewilding Argentina Foundation: Iberá Project. Take a walk around the cattle ranch to soak in the history of the estancia and visit the organic fruit orchard and green garden, where you can learn about compost, planting crops and the pruning process. Enjoy easy companionship over snacks on the deck and fragrant herbal tea from the garden. Look out over the swamp; a great wildlife spot.


For your first introduction to the region’s diverse wildlife, visit the enclosure that is home to the red-leg seriema, an endemic predatory terrestrial bird that has all but disappeared in the south of the Wetlands. Go on a captivating guided night safari walk where your hosts will point out nocturnal wildlife before savoring a wonderful dinner around a blazing campfire.


Days 3-4: Iberá Wetlands

After a delicious breakfast, it’s time to look for the largest canine in South America, the maned wolf. Declared a natural heritage, it is one of many threatened species with which the Foundation works actively. Unfortunately, the population of the maned wolf had been decimated due to a mistaken association with the mythical ‘werewolf’.


Set out on a drive through diverse landscapes inhabited by rich wildlife as you travel from Rincón del Socorro to Posada Uguay, an inn inside the rustic Uguay Village. Upon arrival, hop in a kayak for a leisurely paddle on a canal that leads to the third biggest lagoon in Iberá, Fernandez Lagoon. Jump into a bigger boat and sail between floating islands looking for alligator and other resident wildlife. As the sun sets, enjoy drinks at the dock with views of the spectacular Fernandez Lagoon. Relish dinner beneath the starry Corrientes sky, aware of the nocturnal life quietly stirring around you.

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Day 5: Iberá Wetlands

After breakfast you will fly to San Alonso Island to visit the Yaguaretés Breeding Center. San Alonso Island is in the heart of the Iberá Wetlands, an old cattle ranch established on a sandy hill that has become a key site for the restoration of this ecosystem. Thanks to the work of the Foundation, this ambitious reintroduction aimed at bringing back species extinct in Latin America, has turned its attention to that magnificent predator, the jaguar. Listen to Les Carlisle and the scientists from the Foundation tell the fascinating tale of how the jaguar was brought back to Iberà, as you explore the biological station and the breeding center. Visit Yaguaretés monitoring center and find out more about the Jaguar Project, before using GPS tracking to attempt to find one of jaguars in their natural habitat.


Enjoy a scrumptious lunch enjoying the beautiful San Alonso outdoors (weather dependent), before a visit to the pre-release corral of the giant otter project, where you will also learn how the giant anteater is monitored using radio telemetry.


Upon your return to Rincón del Socorro, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers around a blazing campfire, toasting beneath the magical moonlight to your journey thus far and what tomorrow may bring.


Day 6: Santiago

This morning after breakfast you will be driven to Posadas Airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. From here you will be driven to the international airport for your flight to Chile. Upon your arrival in the capital city of Santiago, after a short walking transfer, you will check into the Holiday Inn Santiago Airport Hotel where you will enjoy an afternoon of rest and leisure.


Day 7: Patagonia

After breakfast board your three-hour flight to Punta Arenas, the gateway to Chilean Patagonia. Upon arrival in Punta Arenas, you will be collected for a scenic drive to Estancia Cerro Guido, an historic working farm situated on the slopes of the imposing Cerro Guido, in Patagonia. En route enjoy a selection of refreshments as well as the many picture-perfect photo opportunities, showcasing the gorgeous flamingos and other incredible birdlife along the Patagonian Steppes. The buildings at Estancia Cerro Guido were constructed by pioneers in 1920. Unwind in a beautiful room inspired by the original English-style of the era. Explore the Estancia’s greenhouses and orchards, visit the stables and discover the “chenque” or highest indigenous cemetery at the top of Cerro Guido opening a window to the Tehuelche culture.


After an eventful morning, it’s time to return to the Estancia for lunch, followed by an afternoon filled with either action or rest – your choice. This is your last day in Patagonia, from here you will be collected for your onward journey to the Lake District.

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Days 8-10: Torres Del Paine National Park

You will have three days to discover Patagonian wildlife in the company of puma and naturalist experts. Leaving from your hotel before dawn, enjoy a full-day, in the company of expert puma researchers and trackers, on an observation excursion where you will learn more about the wildlife conservation project. Discover the diverse fauna characteristic of Patagonia and the strategies that Cerro Guido ranch is developing to achieve respectful and coexisting livestock, with wild species. The puma population is monitored to ensure their survival, and scientists and researchers are discovering the unique behavioral patterns of this species. Spend the morning out in the field, accompanying the professional puma researchers and trackers, on their daily routine. A stop for breakfast is included.


Returning to the hotel for lunch, later that afternoon continue your observation and learning at ‘Casa Pumas’, the operation center of the conservation project. Upon arrival you will be met by the trackers for an exciting presentation and discussion before heading out again on one last night in the field.


On your third day exploring Patagonia, delight in a half-day trip into the renowned Torres del Paine National Park to discover its scenic wonders. Framed by the mighty mountains set between Torres del Paine, Cuernos del Paine, Mount Paine Grande and Mount Almirante Nieto, a great and diverse variety of fauna and flora, plus numerous lakes, glaciers, rivers, lagoons and endless landscapes, can be found within the national park’s 227,000 hectares (560,929 acres). Have your camera ready as you visit some of the park’s most renowned locations, including Laguna Amarga, Lake Nordenskjöld, Lake Pehoe, and Salto Grande and various picturesque viewpoints.


Day 11: Lake District

After breakfast you will be driven to Punta Arenas Airport for your flight to Puerto Montt. Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed by a representative who will drive you to Vira Vira. Once settled in, consider a scenic river excursion, gliding along clear waters toward Villarrica Lake, rewarding you with your first taste of the region. This experience is best enjoyed on the afternoon of your arrival, as it requires little physical effort and begins on the beautiful Liucura River right in front of the lodge. This tranquil excursion showcases pristine rolling mountains and native forests, whilst allowing you to observe water birds, and even trout and salmon darting through the river below. End with delicious picnic snacks before returning to the lodge.


During your stay, you will have several full days of activities arranged by the hotel. The area is a traveler’s dream when it comes to adventures and choice of activities. The many surrounding natural parks, the majestic Villarrica Volcano with its unbelievable views, water sports, horseback riding, and trekking in the foothills of the Andes, are a vital part of the experience at Vira Vira. You are encouraged to explore a new adventure or experience every day, with the aim of understanding the mystic ambience of these ancient Mapuche territories.


Days 12-14: Lake District

For the next three days, revel in the array of exciting activities to choose from that not only celebrate Vira Vira, but also its magnificent surroundings. The guides at Vira Vira are passionate about their work, and about the excursions on offer. With some thirty options available, choosing what to do may seem daunting. Our expert guides will help you pick and choose a full-day or half-day venture to remember, according to your personal preferences and interests.


For the thrill-seekers

Considered the adventure capital of Chile, the area around Pucón offers myriad outdoor activities, such as rafting, hiking, skiing, kayaking, catch-and-release fishing and fly-fishing. There is, however, far much more to this multifaceted destination. Among its many natural highlights are bubbling thermal springs and gorgeous national parks. Volcanoes, mountains, and lakes create one of the most beautiful natural sites Chile has to offer, and the ancient Mapuche territories are a wealth of unique traditions and culture.


Activities are centered on nature and adventure, with treks and horseback rides of various durations. There are also explorations of the nearby Villarrica Volcano, visiting its labyrinth of tunnels, or even reaching the summit. There are also several helicopter flights available, aimed at revealing the secrets of the region as you soar high above*.


For the cultural enthusiasts

Step into another culture with a fascinating visit to Doña Rosario’s ruka (house) in the local Mapuche community. Embracing traditional ways, watch her roasting organic wheat the way it has been prepared for centuries, and enjoy her delicious home cooked fare.

Get active and enjoy a game of Palin – a traditional Mapuche stick and ball game that originated in southern Chile. From here, meet Sandra Rojos and have the opportunity to visit her factory and watch her working the loom.


For the wellness warriors

Relish in a variety of wellness treatments, yoga classes or spa sessions that aim to revitalize and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.


For the foodies

Cuisine plays an important role in the Vira Vira experience. Relish a fusion of Chilean and ancient indigenous recipes, all created with the freshest seasonal ingredients, paired with the perfect wine for each dish. Every meal at Vira Vira is an adventure. Locally-inspired, sustainable, and wholesome, French-trained executive chef, Damián Fernández Dupouy freshly creates multi-course daily menus showcasing the regional flavors and seasonal specialties of southern Chile.


Enjoy a private tour of the on-site cheese factory (quesería). Local cheese maker Marisol Martinez is renowned for her wholesome, authentic and flavourful cheeses for the exclusive delight of our guests. The ultimate foodie delight, gain insight into the specific ways different cheeses, including Parmesan, Gruyère, Blue cheese and Camembert, are produced. Sample these cheeses after the tour in the ruka with a private cheese and wine tasting hosted by our knowledgeable sommelier.


Take a tour of the organic vegetable garden with chef Damián, learning about the fruits and vegetables grown here, all bursting with flavor. These bring the farm-to-table concept alive to create the most delicious dishes. Help him pick the very produce he will use to make your dinner. Following which, head across to the ruka, an additional venue with an interactive kitchen, used for private group dining, where chef Damián will do a cooking demonstration while preparing your dinner.


Other seasonal (winter) activities include skiing and snowboarding the slopes of Villarrica Volcano, slipping on some snowshoes and trekking through the pristine landscape, racing through the snow of an exhilarating snowmobile adventure*, or even trying your hand at dog sledding traversing through the white snow on a husky sledding expedition*.


With so many incredible experiences to choose from, no matter what you’re keen for over the next couple days, there is something for everyone.


*Please note that some of these experiences are at an additional cost.

Rates

Rates

Questions?

Image by David Maunsell

EIGHT TRAVELERS

This rate is for a group of 8 guests traveling together.

From in USD:

$17,815pp

Image by David Maunsell

FOUR TRAVELERS

This rate is for a group of 4 guests traveling together.

From in USD:

$20,857pp

Image by David Maunsell

SOLO SUPPLEMENT

For guests adventuring on their own.

From in USD:

$3,500pp

“This eco-passionate operator brings the wildlife of Chile and Argentina alive on this one-of-a-kind sustainability-focused adventure. Highly recommended!”

Joy Martinello, Founder

Questions?

Cancelation

What’s Included & Cancellation Policy:

WHAT'S INCLUDED:
Accommodation in the hotels indicated in the program; Full board basis (breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks) as well as all beverages (except premium wines and spirits) at Rincón del Socorro, Cerro Guido and Vira Vira; Breakfast at hotel in Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile; Excursions mentioned in the itinerary and according to the inclusive options available at each property; Assistance of expert guides on excursions; Arrival and departure transfers in each destination; Domestic flights in Argentina and Chile, international flight Buenos Aires / Santiago de Chile; Airport taxes; Luggage - 1 suitcase of 23 kg's and one item of hand luggage, per person; Conservation presentations by experts in Iberá and Patagonia; Jaguar sighting excursion in Iberá and Pumas in Patagonia, A group donation (USD $10,000) contribution to Fundación Rewilding Argentina

NOT INCLUDED:
International air tickets and taxes
Extra expenses at each property and excursions
Champagne, cognacs, fine wines, premium brand spirits and cigars
Gratuities for hotel staff, guides and drivers
Medical and travel assistance insurance
Any item or expense not mentioned in the itinerary

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