We will depart from Melbourne on our economy class flight to Santiago. As we will be crossing the International Date Line, you will gain an extra day. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.
Chile’s capital, Santiago is framed by the majestic Andean mountain range. Santiago was founded in 1541 by conquistador Pedro de Valdivia and is the fifth largest city in South America. Less than an hour from the city centre are world-class ski resorts and white-water rafting opportunities, famous beaches and the colorful port city of Valparaíso. Tonight we will have a welcoming function at the hotel, including our jumper presentation.
After breakfast we will depart on our Santiago City tour, visiting the Civic Centre, La Moneda Presidential Palace, Plaza de Armas (the capital’s main plaza), Catedral Metropolitana, Mercado Central, Huerfanos, Ahumada, Bellavista, Vitacura, Las Condes and Providencia.
One of the highlights of our tour will be a visit to Parque Metropolitano, home to Cerro San Cristóbal. From the top there is a beautiful view over the city and, on a clear day, the Andes.
This morning we will conduct a coaching clinic for children in Santiago. The opportunity to teach the skills of Australian football to local kids is an extremely rewarding experience and one of the highlights of the trip.
In the afternoon we will play our first match of the tour against the Santiago Saints. Lining up in the green and gold for the first time while listening to the national anthem is an awesome experience and one that you will never forget. Following the game we will enjoy an after-match BBQ with the Santiago Saints.
The morning is free to rest and recover from the night before. In the afternoon we will board our coach for our trip to the delightful city of Valparaiso. Poets, painters and would-be philosophers have long been drawn to Chile’s most unusual city. We will explore the spectacular faded beauty of its chaotic cerros (hills) and some of the best street art in Latin America.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Santiago airport, where you will board your flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival in Buenos Aires you will be transferred to your hotel.
More European than South American in flavour, Buenos Aires is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that boasts bustling streets, grand avenues, old-time cafes and stylish restaurants. For the tourist, Buenos Aires delivers. Wander cobbled streets, talk world politics and fútbol in atmospheric old cafes or tuck into one of the famous Argentinian steaks!
Today we will enjoy a city tour of Buenos Aires. The capital’s many attractions include 9 de Julio Avenida, the widest street in the world, Colon Opera house, the Obelisk commemorating the first founding of the city in 1536, Plaza de Mayo, Government House, Metropolitan Cathedral with the Mausoleum of General San Martin, the Cabildo, La Boca San Martin Square, Palermo Park and the famous Recoleta district.
Today is a free day to wander and explore this great city.
In the evening we will enjoy a traditional Argentine dinner, including the chance to sample some of Argentina’s finest wines. After dinner you will view the dance that Buenos Aires is famous for, the Tango. The performers will keep you enthralled with their dancing and the haunting tango music. Afterwards we will head out on the town, where you will have the opportunity to try out your new dance moves.
This morning we will depart Buenos Aires and travel by boat, across the Rio de la Plata, to Montevideo. The nation’s capital and home to nearly half of Uruguay’s population, Montevideo is a vibrant, eclectic place with a rich cultural life. Stretching 20km from east to west, the city wears many faces, from its industrial port to the exclusive beachside suburb of Carrasco.
Today we will enjoy a guided City Tour of Montevideo. Highlights include Ciudad Vieja (Montevideo’s Old Town), Plaza de Independencia, Palacio Salvo (once South America’s highest building), Mausoleo de Artigas, Montevideo Port, Punta Carretas, Carrasco and Rambla.
This morning we will conduct a footy clinic for children from Montevideo. As always our development clinics are a great experience for everyone involved.
In the afternoon we will play our second match of the tour against Uruguay. After the match we will enjoy a BBQ with our Uruguayan friends.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Rio.
Gaspar de Lemos set sail from Portugal for Brazil in 1501 and entered a huge bay in January 1502. Mistaking it for a river, he named it Rio de Janeiro. Rightly considered the world’s most exciting and most beautiful city, Rio is the crown jewel of Brazil. Nowhere else can you find the combination of spectacular scenery, fabulous beaches, exciting nightlife and, of course, beautiful people. The locals thrive on dance, drink, beach, sport and sun.
Upon arrival in Rio you will be transferred to your hotel. Tonight we will check out the legendary Brazilian nightlife!
After breakfast you will enjoy a panoramic tour of Rio’s beaches – Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon. We will drive along Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon and arrive at the bottom of Corcovado Hill where you will travel via train to the top of the mountain. Here the massive statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) overlooks Rio and its famous bay. At night, the brightly lit statue is visible from all over the city. After lunch we will take the cable car ride up to Sugar Loaf Mountain, located at the entry of Guanabara Bay. Two cable cars lift you 396m above Rio and the Baía de Guanabara. From here, Rio is the most dazzling city in the world!
Today is a free day to head to Copacabana beach and relax. We’ll take a Sherrin with us and see if any of the locals are up for a kick. A magnificent confluence of land and sea, Copacabana beach extends for some 4km, with a flurry of activity along its length: cariocas (residents of Rio) and tourists lining up for caipirinhas at kiosks; favela kids showing off their soccer skills; and beach vendors shouting out their wares among the tanned beach bodies.
Tonight we will enjoy our farewell function at the hotel, reflecting on the great memories and friends we have made in South America.
All good things must come to an end and unfortunately our tour of South America is no exception.
In the afternoon we will depart from Rio Airport for our flight back to Australia.