Buenos Aires to Rio Journey - 17 Days
If you’ve always wanted to experience the power of the Iguazu Falls and try your hand at ranching, then this is the trip for you, hands down, no contest. The only thing that makes this trip 10000x better is the fact that you get to chill out on the beautiful beaches of Ilha Grande and oh… you know, you only finish the trip in Rio. No biggie!
Countries Visited: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay
Is this trip for you?
- This is an organised group trip, group size from 1 - 16 people
- Age range from 18-39 year olds
- Accommodation will be a mix of dorms, estancia (ranch stay 3 nights), hotels (11 nights), and overnight bus (2 nights)
- Meals: 6 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- Some meals
- Transport on tour
- Local guides
- Buenos Aires orientation tour
- Stay on a working estancia including meals & activities (3 nights)
- Iguazu Falls- Brazil side tour and Argentina side tour
What's not included?
- Flights - We can help you with this - request a quote
- Travel Insurance- We can help you with this
- Food that is not mentioned on the itinerary
Day 1: Buenos Aires
Bienvenido a Argentina! Our epic trip is going to start with an orientation walk around the Microcentro at 1pm, so bring your walking shoes! We will then have a welcome meeting this evening at 6pm. There’ll be a note at reception about where the meeting will take place. If you’re going to be late, let the hotel reception know, since we’ll be taking your insurance and next of kin details at this meeting (ensure you have all this info for your tour leader!). If you’re going to be late, please do let the hotel reception know!
It’s highly recommended that you come a couple days early to make the most of this amazing city! Do ask us for details like booking extra accommodation!
- Gourmet Buenos Aires Food Urban Adventure - USD77
- Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD100
- Tango show - ARS1200
- Orientation Tour - Buenos Aires
Day 2: Colonia
Today we cross the Rio de la Plata (River Plate) to Volinia del Sacramento by ferry (this’ll take about 3 hours). Upon arrival, we’ll get some free time to explore this cute little colonial city, which is the oldest city in Uruguay. Start at Barrio Historico, which is World Heritage-listed. Head down cobblestone streets, chat with locals, and try their yerba mate (tea). Check out the noisy parakeets in Plaza Mayor, or try out the different small museums this city has to offer. If you’re one for the sweeping views, climb to the 19th century lighthouse that is still in operation to get that gorgeous picture in!
- Lighthouse visit - UYU16
Day 3: Montevideo
Today is just a small little three-hour bus ride to Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city. It still has a very laid-back atmosphere despite being the commercial and cultural centre of Uruguay. If you like, you can take part in a city tour once we arrive. You can also explore on your own- why not head down to Ciudad Vieja (Old City) and visit the Plaza Independencia, where you can also visit the underground Artigas Mausoleum. The Gaucho Museum is also highly recommended, or otherwise head to Mercado del Puerto to hang out with the creative artist and musicians.
- Gaucho Museum - Free
- City tour - USD25
Day 4: Estancia Stay
Today is just another five-hour journey to Tacuarembo- this bus is another one of those comfy buses, but the bus won’t stop so make sure you bring some food! From Tacuarembo we get a truck out to the ranch where we’ll be staying for a few nights!
- Horse riding - Free
- 3-night stay on a working estancia including meals and activities
Days 5-7: Estancia Stay
This is the real deal: we are now on a working Uruguayan farm! You can laze around and explore the surroundings, or you can fully immerse yourself in ranch life and help out on the day-to-day jobs. These jobs change with the day and with the season of course, so it’s hard to say exactly what you’ll be doing. But you’ll likely be herding sheep and cows, branding cattle, or injecting lambs with anti-worm medicine, to name a few.
If you think that you’ll get a nice luxurious ranch stay, think again! Accommodation is dormitory-style, and hot water/electricity are only available for a few hours a day. Chores start at 7.30am! What you can expect, however, is a genuine, warm Uruguayan welcome from your hosts, and some of the best food you’ll ever eat (because it’s hard to beat Uruguayan home-cooked food).
On the afternoon of the seventh day, we’re going to travel to Concordia in Argentina. From here, we’re going to take a 12-hour overnight bus to Puerto Iguazu. By now, you must be used to the comfy overnight buses of South America! Simple dinner will be provided on board, and movies will be shown to keep you entertained.
- Horse riding - Free
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner on all meals at the ranch
Day 7: Foz Do Iguazu
As soon as we arrive in Puerto Iguazu, we’ll go drop off our stuff at our hotel in Foz do Iguazu. This should take about an hour, but it all depends on the traffic. We’ll be closer to the Brazilian side of the falls from here, but we’re going to spend the next couple of days doing both the Argentinian and Brazilian side of the falls!
- Bird Park - USD26
- Acquamania Water Park - BRL42
- Helicopter ride - USD116
- Iguazu Falls - Brazil side tour
Day 8: Foz Do Iguazu
We’re going to head back to the Argentinian side of the falls today for a bit of a visit—we’ll get so close to the boardwalks, we’re basically touching the huge waterfalls churning over rocks! Sitting at over 2km long, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are 270 falls total, with a few reaching up to 80m in height. If you want the unforgettable views, you can take an optional helicopter flight over the falls (this will be at your own expense). We’ll return to Foz do Iguazu in the afternoon. If we have time, you can try and squeeze in a trip to the AcquaMania Water Park while we’re here!
- Great Adventure – BRL158
- Iguazu Falls – Argentina side tour
Day 9: Foz Do Iguazu
Today, we visit Iguazu from the Brazilian side. The panoramic views of the falls can be enjoyed from this side. After we’ve got our next FB profile pic in, we’ll start the long, 24-hour journey to Paraty. The first part of the trip is the 16-hour overnight bus from Foz do Iguazu to Sao Paulo. The bus is reasonably comfy, with the buses having toilets on board.
Day 11: Paraty
We arrive into Sao Paolo today, and we might have a few hours’ wait at the bus station until our next bus leaves. The second bus ride takes about 6 hours. Paraty is a World Heritage-listed site because it’s one of the world’s most well-preserved Portuguese colonial towns… it won’t be difficult to unwind here after our long journey!
Day 12: Paraty
Today we have a free day to explore Paraty. We wander along the town’s pedestrian-only streets, lined with cobblestone. It’s truly amazing- the streets become partly-covered in seawater at high tide! Maybe explore the rainforest trails in the surrounding park, rich in wildlife and waterfalls. Otherwise, you can choose to take a boat trip for scenic views of the loads and loads of islands along the coast. You can also take an excursion over to the village of Trindade, which has some of the best beaches you’ll ever see!
- Boat trip - BRL40
- Trindade excursion - BRL9
Day 13: Ilha Grande
Today, we get the local bus and ferry to the island of Ilha Grande (this’ll take about 5 hours). This is truly an island paradise, with pristine beaches and rainforests that have been largely untouched by tourist development. There aren’t any banks or ATMs on the island, so do make sure you bring plenty of cash with you. This used to be a pirate’s lair, a leper’s colony, and a prison for violent criminals… so the island truly has a fascinating history. You can still see the ruins of the prison today.
Days 14-15: Ilha Grande
We get two full days free to soak up the sun on this beautiful island. Make sure you walk along the rainforest trails to remote beaches. Top tip: Lopes Mendes and Aventureiro Beach are the most scenic ones!
Take an optional boat trip out to the Blue Lagoon and do a bit of beach-hopping along the way. There’s just so much to do here- eat fresh seafood, snorkel, swim… le sigh. Make sure you try out a caipirinha at a restaurant or bar in Vila do Abraao, the main town on the island.
- Boat trip to the Blue Lagoon - BRL70
Day 16: Rio de Janeiro
We get onto a boat and head to the port of Mangaratiba today, to take a minivan out to Rio de Janeiro. In total, it’ll take about 3.5 hours. From here… well.. YOU’RE IN RIO BABY!!! GO! EXPLORE! Go people-watching on Copacabana or Ipanema beach… take a tour of a favela, or maybe even watch a football match at the famous Maracana Stadium! You’ll probably want to take a tramcar up to Santa Teresa or head up Corcovado Mountain to kiss the feet of Christ the Redeemer. Take part in one of our many tours on offer, for they are great ways to see this exciting city! In the evening, you should definitely get the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain to watch the sunset. Then, head do the samba clubs of Lapa to … well, samba the night away!
- Maracana football match - BRL150
- Santa Teresa Discovery Urban Adventure - USD67
- Botanical Gardens - BRL6
- Corcovado, Christ Statue and Favela Urban Adventure - USD99
- Santa Teresa tramcar - BRL1
- Total Rio Tour Urban Adventure - USD156
- Sugar loaf cable car - BRL65
- Favela tour - BRL84
Day 17: Rio de Janeiro
Well, well, well. What a beautiful journey it’s been!! Sadly our journey comes to an end today. Hopefully, with the amazing people that you’ve met on tour and the locals that you’ve had the honour of meeting, you’ll walk away a far more enriched person.
There are no activities planned today, so you can leave the hotel at any time.