Trip Region: South America
Country(ies): Chile and Argentina
Partners Trek? No
Airfare Estimate: $1500
Structure: 3 • Lodging: 2 • Nightlife: 3 • Activity: 3
Do you like to sweat while being active outdoors but not while drinking in hot, smelly clubs? Well then, this trip is for you! If not, maybe you’d like to check out an Ibiza trek.
Here’s the Cliff notes version: Wine. Hiking. Waterfalls. Meat. Or not (if you’re like Andy). Mountains.
We’ll start our adventure in Santiago experiencing Chilean culture. We hear the city has top-flight restaurants, a renovated arts scene and gorgeous hillside parks—what more could you want? We’ll then traverse the Andes to visit wineries in Mendoza and attempt to pair the perfect wine with authentic Argentine asado (that’s barbecue-style food—yum). After we’ve mastered the art of wine tasting and pairing, we will end the trip exploring the largest waterfall system in the world. Along the way, we’ll seek answers to life’s greatest questions. Can you successfully drink Malbec from a Camelback? Should we invent a CaMalbec for that purpose? How do you pronounce Iguazu correctly? What Argentinian bird is bigger than a chicken? Is this the best MTrek to start your MBA career? The answer to the last question is obviously yes.
Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 20
Arrive in Santiago, Chile’s capital. We’ll all get settled in, have a drink and toast to an amazing adventure ahead. This will be a laid back day to rest a bit after you may or may not have watched every movie offered on the plane and neglected to sleep.
Day 2 — Monday, Aug 21
Today, we’ll be exploring Santiago on a walking tour (counting steps, anyone?). We’ll check out Bellavista, Santiago’s bohemiam quarter, and take a cable car up to the world famous Cerro San Cristobal to enjoy impressive views of the city. Obviously, wine tasting is on the agenda. We’ll visit Concha y Toro vineyard, one of Chile’s most famous.
Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 22
After seeing all of the sights in Santiago, we will embark on a bus trip with breathtaking views, crossing the spine of the Andes into Mendoza, Argentina’s wine country. Consider postponing your nap to enjoy the awesome scenery. After arriving in Mendoza, the evening will be free to explore the city and prepare our palates for all that Argentina’s most prolific grape-growing region has to offer.
Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 23
Here’s a high-level summary of the day: Winery.Winery.Winery.Winery.Meat.Meat.Meat. Today, we’ll visit several wineries and cellar doors. Did you know some consider cellar door the most beautiful word in the English language? Seriously. Look it up and we can discuss over a glass of Malbec. After taking in all that Medoza has to offer, we’ll eat some Argentine asado. If you’ve read this trip description carefully, you’ll already know this is delicious barbecue-style food.
Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 24
Another high-level summary of the day: Hike.Hike.Hike.Wine.Wine.Wine. Alpine picnic lunch.Mountains. We’ll have a full-day guided hike through the Mendoza River Valley, past snow-capped peaks, glittering lakes and rocky ravines (sounds like an opportunity for some great Instagrams). We’ll stop for a picnic lunch overlooking the valley. Wine will most likely make an appeareance at some point during the day.
Day 6 — Friday, Aug 25
Prepare to be amazed by the largest waterfall system in the world. Today we’ll be taking a quick flight to Iguazu Falls!
Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 26
We’re going to Brazil! This is not a drill. Today, we’ll be crossing the border to experience the Brazilian side of the falls. Betcha didn’t think you were going to three countries on this trek. Is your mind blown? We thought so. Here are some stats so you can brag to your friends: the falls are over 2 km in length and consist of 275 falls in total, some of which stretch up to 80 meters high. This makes them higher than Niagra Falls and wider than Victoria Falls.
Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 27
We’ll stick to the Argentinian side of the falls today and get up close and personal to the waterworks via a series of boardwalks. Apparently, the falls are a result of the serpent god M’Boy splitting the Argentinian river delta. Savage. We’ll probably hear more about this story today.
Day 9 — Monday, Aug 28
Let’s hike! Today we’ll walk the Macuco Trail and Arrechea Waterfall. The trail has the name of a South American bird that’s bigger than a chicken—wow. We’ll also have the chance to see cai monkeys in their natural habitat and, of course, more waterfalls. Flight to Buenos Aires takes off tonight.
Day 10 — Tuesday, Aug 29
Buenos Aires marks the conclusion of our South American adventure. Say goodbye to your fellow trekkers and awesome leaders. But don’t worry, it’s not that sad, we’ll be hanging out all the time in Ann Arbor.