Explore the natural wonders of Chile and Argentina on this adventurous 15-day tour. Start in Chile's capital, Santiago, where you'll go on walking tours and wine tastings. Then, spend a week in Chilean and Argentine Patagonia whitewater rafting, hiking, and kayaking in majestic glacial landscapes. Fly to northern Argentina to see the UNESCO-listed Iguazú Falls, and end the tour in elegant Buenos Aires.

Highlights

  • Take a wine tasting tour through Chile's Colchagua Valley
  • Brave the rapids on a whitewater rafting adventure in Chilean Patagonia
  • See the majestic Iguazú Falls from up close
  • Experience Buenos Aires nightlife on a speakeasy bar hop

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santiago, Private City Tour Santiago
Day 2 Day Trip to El Yeso Reservoir Santiago
Day 3 Colchagua Valley Private Tour & Wine Tasting Santiago
Day 4 Santiago to Puerto Varas & Free Afternoon Puerto Varas
Day 5 Kayaking in Reloncaví Estuary Puerto Varas
Day 6 Navigating Todos los Santos Lake Puerto Varas
Day 7 Whitewater Rafting on the Petrohué River Puerto Varas
Day 8 Boat & Bus Transfer to Bariloche, Argentina Bariloche
Day 9 Kayaking on Nahuel Huapi Lake Bariloche
Day 10 Hiking in Nahuel Huapi National Park Bariloche
Day 11 Bariloche to Puerto Iguazú, Free Afternoon Puerto Iguazú
Day 12 Private Tour of Iguazú Falls Puerto Iguazú
Day 13 Biking & Kayaking in Iguazú National Park Puerto Iguazú
Day 14 Transfer to Buenos Aires, Speakeasy Tour Buenos Aires
Day 15 Private Buenos Aires Tour & Depart   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santiago, Private City Tour

Santiago de Chile historic center
Santiago de Chile's historic center
Welcome to Chile! A driver will pick you up for a private transfer to your hotel. After resting, begin a tour of Santiago's historic center. Start at Plaza de Armas, the focal point of the city's oldest neighborhood. See several colonial-era buildings, like the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral, an ornate structure with both Bavarian Baroque and neoclassical elements. Then, head to Palacio de la Moneda, home to the Chilean government.
 
Wrap up your exploration of the historic districts with a stroll around the stately old neighborhoods of Chile's "high society." Next, head out to Santiago's hills for a magnificent panoramic view of the mountains. Finally, wander through the city's western areas for a completely different vibe: impressive contemporary buildings that add a touch of modernity to this thriving capital. 

Day 2: Day Trip to El Yeso Reservoir

El Yeso Reservoir
El Yeso Reservoir near Santiago de Chile

Head out on an exciting day trip, stopping at the pretty town of San José de Maipo. Afterward, continue along the scenic Cajón del Maipo canyon, heading toward the Andes Mountains. Stop at the Tinoco Tunnel, an abandoned railway tunnel that is now a place of pilgrimage. According to legend, a young man passed away here, so locals leave gifts and come to ask his spirit for favors. 

Next, head to the El Yeso Dam, stopping at Cascaras Refuge. This settlement was created in the 1960s to house workers. Get a scenic view of the surrounding mountain peaks, the clear blue waters of the reservoir, and one of the area's most emblematic glaciers. Enjoy a glass of Chilean wine and light lunch in this stunning natural setting before returning to Santiago in the afternoon.

Day 3: Colchagua Valley Private Tour & Wine Tasting

Vineyard in Colchagua
Vineyard in Colchagua, Chile
The Colchagua Valley is known for its picturesque hills, sprawling haciendas, centennial grapevines, and modern high-tech wineries. Reputedly once part of the Inca Empire, this region later became a popular spot for Chile's elite families to build mansions. Many of these estates can still be found here today.
 
The geographic conditions in the valley create a unique microclimate ideal for producing different grape varieties. You'll visit three of these vineyards today, where you can enjoy the landscape and learn about how wine is made. You will also have the opportunity for a wine tasting and a delicious lunch at a local restaurant that serves regional specialties. 

Day 4: Santiago to Puerto Varas & Free Afternoon

Puerto Varas lake
Lake in Puerto Varas, Patagonia
Rise early for a flight to Puerto Montt in Chilean Patagonia. A driver will greet you at the airport and take you to the nearby town of Puerto Varas, set right on Lake Llanquihue.
 
Plan your trip to Argentina
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
Take the afternoon for some leisure time in Puerto Varas, sometimes called the "city of roses." Founded by German settlers in the mid-19th century, this lakeside town is known for its German-style architecture and scenic views. Walk around, stopping at local shops, bars, and restaurants. 

Day 5: Kayaking in Reloncaví Estuary

Kayaking on Reloncaví Estuary
Early morning on the Reloncaví Estuary
Get excited for a full-day adventure excursion that begins in the small town of Ralún. From here, you will paddle from the mouth of the Petrohué River along the Reloncaví Estuary. This fluvial landscape embraces the Alerce Andino National Park and flows into the ocean. You'll be kayaking in seawater, but the area is protected from large waves and tidal swells, so the activity is both safe and exciting.

Stop for lunch at a local eatery, then continue kayaking to Cochamó. In total, you'll kayak a bit over 9 miles (15 km). The stunning Yate Volcano will be in sight for most of the way, reflected on the inlet's bright blue water. 

Day 6: Navigating Todos los Santos Lake

Lago Llanquihue and Volcano Osorno
Llanquihue Lake and Volcano Osorno
Today, embark on a day trip centered around water. Skirt Lake Llanquihue, admiring the magnificent view of the Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes. Stop at the imposing Petrohué Falls, where you'll board a catamaran that will take you closer to the thundering wonder.

Continue to the famed Lago Todos los Santos (All Saints Lake), also known as the Emerald Lake due to the blue-greenish color of its water. Navigate to Peúlla, where you'll have free time for lunch and a relaxing walk about town before returning to Puerto Varas.

Day 7: Whitewater Rafting on the Petrohué River

Whitewater Rafting on Petrohue River
People whitewater rafting on the Petrohué River
Set off early for an adventure in Vicente Pérez Rosales, Chile's first national park. A driver will pick you up and take you to Ensenada, from where you'll board a raft on the Petrohué River. Flowing out from Lake Todos los Santos, the river makes its way to Reloncaví Fjord, surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes.

You'll raft 8.1 miles (13 km), taking in the views and enjoying the challenge of the whitewater rapids. Your guide will tell you the best places to stop for a swim or to jump off cliffs. Once you reach the end of your journey, you'll have snacks and pisco sour waiting for you. As for memories, you won't have to worry about that, since a professional photographer will take pictures of the experience.

Day 8: Boat & Bus Transfer to Bariloche, Argentina

The Argentinian town of Bariloche on Lago Nahuel Huapi
The Argentine town of Bariloche on Lago Nahuel Huapi
Prepare to cross into Argentina through both land and water. Sail across three beautiful lakes surrounded by the Andes Mountains, beginning in Puerto Varas, where you'll pass Lake Llanquihue to Petrohué. From there, sail to Peulla, once again navigating across Todos los Santos Lake. 

After lunch in Peulla, board a bus to Puerto Frías, in Argentina. Cross Lake Frías to Puerto Alegre. A third bus will then take you to Puerto Blest, followed by a boat trip on Lake Nahuel Huapi destined for Puerto Pañuelo. Complete the final leg of the journey on a bus to Bariloche. While the journey is complex, you'll be surrounded by natural beauty every step of the way. 

Day 9: Kayaking on Nahuel Huapi Lake

Kayak tour of Moreno Lake
Kayak tour of Nahuel Huapi Lake in Patagonia
Start the day with a private transfer to López Bay, and begin a kayaking tour of Nahuel Huapi Lake. Paddle through hidden bays for about an hour and a half before stopping at a secluded spot to enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. Rest while indulging in typical Patagonian cuisine, accompanied by Argentine wine and a tasty dessert. 

After the lunch break, continue paddling to a head trail. Then, begin hiking to the viewpoints of Brazo Tristeza, which provide an incredible panoramic vantage point over the lake, its islands, and the snowcapped Mount Tronador. The entire hike will take about two-and-a-half hours. Once you've descended, you'll be taken by private vehicle back to Bariloche, stopping at another famous viewpoint.

Day 10: Hiking in Nahuel Huapi National Park

Nahuel Huapi Lake in Argentinean Patagonia
Nahuel Huapi Lake in Argentine Patagonia
Spend the day in Nahuel Huapi National Park, and embark on a relatively easy hike to Mount López. Your local guide will teach you about unique local flora as you walk through well-defined trails. Take in the landscape from different vantage points until you get to the highest point of the trek. From here, look out across the vistas of Lake Moreno, famous for its Perito Moreno Glacier.  

Once you can tear yourself away from the view, it's time to start the descent. End the outing with an outdoor lunch and wine tasting by the lake, then transfer back to Bariloche, where you can rest before heading out to explore more of the town. 

Day 11: Bariloche to Puerto Iguazú, Free Afternoon

Devil's Throat in Iguazu Falls
Devil's Throat in Iguazú Falls
It's time to say goodbye to Patagonia and head to northern Argentina. A driver will take you to Bariloche Airport, where you'll board a flight to Puerto Iguazú via Buenos Aires. Once you've landed at your destination, you'll be taken to your accommodation.

Enjoy a free afternoon in the city. While mainly famous for its impressive falls—one of the largest in the world—the town has other attractions. Visit the Three Frontiers landmark, where you can see where the borders of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay meet. Or head to the port, the artisanal market, or the anthropological Mbororé Museum. To support a good cause, spend time at the Güira Oga animal rehab shelter.

Day 12: Private Tour of Iguazú Falls

Iguazu Falls from the Argentinian side
Iguazú Falls from the Argentine side
Spend the day on a private tour of the impressive Iguazú National Park. Preserving the ecosystem of the Paraná Jungle, its greatest natural treasures are the 275 waterfalls that make up Iguazú Falls. The popular landmark is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site.

Explore the Argentine side by taking advantage of the walkways. Cover the lower and superior circuits to get different vantage points of this wonder. The day's highlight will be the Devil's Throat, the largest waterfall in the region, which stands at an impressive 350 feet (107 m) tall. At the end of the private tour, dig into a traditional Argentine asado, or barbeque.

Day 13: Biking & Kayaking in Iguazú National Park

The calm waters of Iguazu River
The calm waters of the Iguazú River
Now that you've seen the falls, get deep into the lush landscape of Iguazú National Park by biking through it. Start at National Route 101, a dusty road where you can observe birds and enjoy the scenic beauty of the subtropical rainforest. Cycle to the Iguazú River and reward yourself with a delicious and healthy breakfast picnic.

Continue exploring the area by kayak, paddling downstream for about two hours until you reach the Surucuá Reserve. Here, hop back on a bike and do a 3.7-mile (6 km) circular path overlooking the river. Admire flora like palo rosa, palmito trees, and native bamboo. Stop for a restful lunch before returning to Puerto Iguazú, where you'll have a free evening.

Day 14: Transfer to Buenos Aires, Speakeasy Tour

Colorful houses in La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires
Colorful houses in La Boca neighborhood in Buenos Aires
This morning, a private driver will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to Puerto Iguazú Airport. Board a flight to Buenos Aires, the exciting capital of Argentina.

Rest in the afternoon and prepare for a fun night of hopping around closed-door bars that recreate the atmosphere and style of old-time speakeasies. To find them, you need an insider, so an expert bartender will guide you through the city's intriguing prohibition-style cocktail dens as you enjoy the flourishing underground nightlife circuit.

Day 15: Private Buenos Aires Sightseeing Tour & Depart 

Tango dancers in Buenos Aires
Tango dancers in Buenos Aires
Head out early on today's comprehensive private tour of Buenos Aires. Start at Plaza de Mayo, the city's foundational site, to see the Presidential Palace, the Cabildo town hall, and the neoclassical-style Metropolitan Cathedral. Then, admire French-inspired architecture in historic neighborhoods like Palermo Chico, Retiro, and Recoleta. Stroll down Avenida Alvear, dotted with high-end brand shops.

Next, see the trendier sides of the city, starting with Puerto Madero, whose old warehouses and silos now serve as chic restaurants and bars. Continue to San Telmo, which blooms with the air of creativity from its resident artists, and the colorful La Boca, whose distinctively joyous spirit makes it a local and traveler favorite. When the time comes, you'll say your goodbyes and head to the airport and board your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Chile & Argentina Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Chile and Argentina? Check out these other Chile itineraries and Argentina itineraries, or discover the best time to visit Chile and Argentina.

Map

Map of Chile & Argentina Discovery: Santiago, Patagonia, Iguazú & Buenos Aires - 15 Days
Map of Chile & Argentina Discovery: Santiago, Patagonia, Iguazú & Buenos Aires - 15 Days