Trip Region: South America
Country(ies): Chile, Argentina
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2615
Airfare Estimate: $1300
Nightlife: 8 • Activity: 7
Wine. Hiking. Beach Towns. Meat (or not, if you’re like Emma). Mountains. More Wine. If you don’t like these things, this may not be the right trip for you. But also if you don’t like those things, you should reconsider your life choices.
We’ll start our adventure in Santiago, roaming the streets of the picturesque town while downing our first few bottles of Chilean wine. We hear the city has top-notch restaurants, an incredible art scene, and beautiful parks – sounds like the whole package, right? We’ll hit up a few wineries en route and carry on to Valparaiso for the seaside cliffs and some fresh fish. Say goodbye to Chile because we’ll cross over into Argentina and attempt to pair the perfect wine with some authentic Argentine asado. We’ll hike through the Andes. We’ll drink and make you question whether your liver was really ready for business school. We’ll have some singalongs (Arjun has promised to bring his guitar along). If you want a low-key, beach trip, this isn’t the trip for you, but if you want a truly authentic, life-changing start to your business school experience, we’ll see you in Santiago.
Travel Day — Friday, Aug 17
Ready, set, go! You are free to depart from Ann Arbor after orientation activities are over at 5pm.
Day 1 — Saturday, Aug 18
Welcome to Chile! Get checked in, settled in, and we’ll hit the town for our group welcome dinner which begins at 6pm local time. After a glass (or glasses, ok fine bottles) of Chilean wine and a wander through Santiago’s town square, get some rest so you’re fully prepared for the adventure that awaits.
Day 2 — Sunday, Aug 19
We’ll wake up and drive to a wine tasting in the Casablanca Valley. We’re starting easy so the focus will be on organic and sustainable harvesting practices (I’m only half kidding, the tour guide says that). The valley is gorgeous and it’s one of the hottest new spots for wine in the world. When we’ve had our fill we will continue on to Valparaiso. The city is a fever dream. Think colorful houses, Bond-like casinos, mountains and beaches all around. Pablo Neruda’s favorite city.
Day 3 — Monday, Aug 20
Wake up and tour the city - especially the funiculars and chaotic port. Expect lots of great seafood and fresh drinks. At night we will head back to Santiago.
Day 4 — Tuesday, Aug 21
What’s old is new and new is old. We will have a leisurely breakfast followed by a deeper trip through the colonial core of the city before checking out some of the more modern moments of Santiago. Then, surprise!, it’s back to a winery in Pirque Valley for some more tastings. This time we are purely old-school with Bordeaux grapes and Chile’s oldest vineyards.
Day 5 — Wednesday, Aug 22
Road trip! Today is a significant travel day with a 6-hr long bus ride. Over the river / through the Andes to Mendoza, the wine capital of Argentina. Expect road snacks, team games, and a couple views of the highest peak in the Americas. Also expect Ricky to suggest strip poker. I’m just saying. Afternoon is a wander to Mendoza’s town market and renowned restaurant stop for some Argentinian fare.
Day 6 — Thursday, Aug 23
We doin’ work. Not really, it’s actually just walking, but by Day 6 we might all need to sweat some toxins. The day hike will take us into Aconcagua Provincial Park to visit the Horcones lagoon, and get the best views of Aconcagua ́s South Face. Basically this day can justify you wearing your Patagonia for the first time. Also big photo day; bring your A-game.
Day 7 — Friday, Aug 24
We done work - let’s relax, specifically in the world-famous vineyards of Mendoza’s Ujo Valley. We will taste wine, then taste wine, then enjoy a meal with wine pairings in the vineyards, then be driven home to your comfortable beds for a little late afternoon nap.You’re true Argentines now.
Day 8 — Saturday, Aug 25
BOOM - Buenos Aires b*tches. Quite simply the best place in the world* (*according to Nathan and anyone that likes fun). We’re flying over and landing in the afternoon, but don’t worry, BA doesn’t really wake up until 10pm, so get ready for some salsa, asado, and a late night of the best clubs Ricky is allowed in to (no promises).
Day 9 — Sunday, Aug 26
We’re exploring the city - from San Telmo to Recoleta to la Boca, we’re wandering. Buenos is called the Paris of South America for a reason. The afternoon will be a leader-curated walking tour of favorite city spots: opera house, museum, polo grounds, coffee shops, media lunas, snacks, sweets, streets, and drinks. Of course we will all rest up for our final night out. If you’re lucky we can visit the spot of Nathan’s first arrest outside an awesome club in Puerto Madeiro.
Departure Day — Monday, Aug 27
Lick your wounds from our last night on the town and say your goodbyes, because today we FLY! We check out from the hotel by 11am. See you back in Ann Arbor!
Ricky grew up outside Chicago, ironically, a mere 15 miles from Diana. However, he lived in Seattle for 4 years before Ross, working for the formidable, Amazon, where he he learned how to pull shots of espresso and obsess over vinyl. Ricky is an Erber and will happily talk to you about food, farming, and his leaf journal, which he plans to bring along for bedtime stories. He was voted “Best Shoulder to Cry On” in Middle School, and he is a great resource for easing the stress of the business school transition. He will definitely start speaking German after a few glasses of wine, which is completely worthless in a Spanish speaking country, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. He’ll be exploring the joys of wheat and barley this summer in St. Louis working for AB InBev. Dilly Dilly!
Nathan grew up in West Michigan but spent the last ten years trying to get as far away from the state as possible – naturally he has ended up in Ann Arbor. He got as far as Iraq before Ross, following some time in Connecticut, DC, Turkey, Lebanon, and Libya. If his life was a theme party, what would it be? Scotch, newspapers, and a deep sense of ambiguity. Find him if you want advice on: Argentina – he lived there at 19 and is absolutely spending the trip trying to recreate his youth (to be clear, he will give you his advice on anything, even unsolicited).
Arjun spent 25 years of his life in India and has spent the last year preparing for the corporate life in the US – though Nathan will tell you he spent his last year building an Indian mafia in the American midwest. He found his crown jewel here – the Two Hearted Ale, which he wants to start exporting to India. He is a musician-extraordinaire, and he and Diana plan to serenade the crew to sleep each night with promise of private Risky Business shows. He turns into a chocolate-cookie monster at noon; but for most of the remaining time – he’s a self-proclaimed ET/UFO expert – so expect to hear about conspiracies, cover-ups and the Ancient Astronaut theories (South America has tons of!).
Emma is from LA but has spent the last 10 years on a swing state tour of the US (Ohio, Pennsylvania, and now Michigan, what are the chances). Her LA roots only really come out when she lets it slip that she was an extra in an Oscar-winning film or that she’s been to the Red Carpet. Before Ross, she helped small businesses with their finances. She learned pivot tables by processing royalties for a hardcore music record label and FIFO inventory accounting by doing the books for a rad lady-owned butcher shop – definitely want first in first out on perishable meats (b school jokes, don’t worry, you’ll understand after Fall A)! She will tell you she is a vegetarian but you will absolutely find her chowing down on some Argentine steak (don’t let those pearly whites fool you). Emma studied Spanish for eight years, but always confuses the directional words so get excited to get lost have adventures!
Sierra is from Springfield, Illinois and often over hypes the rather boring hometown of Honest Abe. Prior to Ross, Sierra was a consultant and travelled constantly. Ironically, she also has a fear of using the restroom on planes and really doesn’t enjoy flying. Sierra was once described by her coworkers in two words as “custom salad”, although she is very much looking forward to the wine and steak dinners. Unfortunately, she is really terrible at learning names and will likely call everyone “hun” for the duration of the trip. Her friends in college admired her persuasive techniques on influencing everyone to be at a healthy level of intoxication and amplify the fun. Similar to Diana and Sookie, Sierra will constantly remind you of her Greyhound girl Swifty (no, she was not named after Taylor Swift or that Rick and Morty show). Lastly, she will talk to you for hours about anything Bravo, Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls, or foodie shows on Netflix. She’s fun, and definitely the most stable MBA2 on the crew. Seek her out if you need any real advise or help.
Diana hails from Chicago, and is one of the most passionate dog moms you’ll ever meet. She follows more dogs than humans on Instagram, and she’ll show you an uncomfortable number of pictures of her dog, Sookie (unsolicited, we may add). Her passion for animals started at a young age when she chose to express herself by wearing horse t-shirts every day of the 7th grade (okay, and the 8th grade, but we don’t need to advertise that). She was cool. Her need to overshare flows into other parts of life as well (especially if given an exorbitant number of Jameson shots), including her need to demonstrate her overly squishy nose to anyone she meets. All of this may sound like Diana is a really pleasant person to be around, but don’t get the wrong idea. She openly sasses most people, and she’ll refer to all trekkers as “trash monsters” or “garbage” at least 57 times throughout the trip (someone please keep track). She’s going to give the South a chance this summer (believe me, we’re all skeptical) when she pursues corporate strategy at Walmart (Fortune 1, BABY) in Arkansas.