Trip Region: South America
Country(ies): Chile and Argentina
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2675
Airfare Estimate: $1500
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.
Andy “I like when I can taste the danger” Kim
Andy was born and raised in Maryland, and did his undergrad at Wisconsin. Andy worked for The Humane Society of the U.S. before coming to Ross. He like animals, old people, the Packers, throwing stuff, weird “would you rather” questions, outdoor hot tubs in the winter, and eating until his stomach hurts. But not meat.
If his life was a theme party, what would it be? It would be a “roaring ’20s” party because he thinks they wore some dope clothes back then.
What would he do if he were invisible? Spook the heck out of his friends by slowly opening doors when they’re home alone.
Spencer "needs no nickname" MacGriff
Spencer always wanted to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex when he grew up; while he pretends he’s moved on, a small part of him still harbors some hope. In the meantime, he spent his childhood playing sports and generally causing mischief, before heading to college on the east coast and joining the military. While the Army sent him to exotic locales like Missouri and Kentucky, Spencer decided to take a break from jumping out of planes to head to b school. Best decision he’s ever made. On the trip, you’ll find Spencer hiking hard and drinking deep; seek him out if you’re feeling froggy.
If his life was a theme party, what would it be? Rat Pack: whiskey, cigars, skinny ties.
What would he do if he you were invisible? Travel! Free flights
Kathryn "call me Kitty Kat" Kennedy
Kat hails from the great state of Colorado – while she didn’t grow up skiing to school, as classmates typically ask, she enjoys all of the outdoor (and other) activities Colorado has to offer. In her former life she was a consultant and is known for answering questions with “it depends”, making spreadsheets for unnecessary activities, and creating visually-pleasing powerpoint “decks.” After braving Vietnam with her other fearless trek leaders, Emily and Kirsten, Kat decided that MTrek would be the perfect way to kick off life as an MBA2 – mostly so she could annoy her trekkers by using the phrase “I haven’t done that since Nam”. As the youngest trek leader, don’t be offended when she doesn’t understand your early 90s references.
If her life was a theme party, what would it be? TOGA. She was Greek after all.
What would she do if she were invisible? Eat Chipotle for free. Scare Andy Kim.
Kirsten “Just eating my tacos, minding my own business” Damon
Kirsten grew up about 3 miles from Emily, but neither of them knew this until they decided live together in Ann Arbor. Before business school, Kirsten worked at a law firm doing everything except being a lawyer. Her favorite thing about b-school is that she no longer has to wear stuffy business casual everyday. Thus she has regressed and now wears leggings and sweatshirts Monday-Friday (yes, even to Skeeps on Thursday night). On this trip, Kirsten will be the one that obnoxiously pretends to know all about what wines we’ll be tasting, but really has no idea. Listen carefully, she’ll tell you that all the malbecs have a hint of blackberry or plum.
If her life was a theme party, what would it be? Bachelor watch party. Want to have reunions over popcorn, wine and Bachelor in Paradise when we get back from MTrek? She’s already planning those parties.
What would she do if she were invisible? Go to all movies and watch for free – they’re so expensive these days!
Emily “not related to Vince” Lombardi
Emily was born and raised in Chicago and successfully survived two “Polar Vortexes” in the city. There’s really nothing she can’t handle. On the hiking trails, beware that she has a terrible sense of direction. Following her is likely a bad idea. A French major in college, Emily may respond “merci” every once in a while, but will fully embrace the Chilean and Argentinian culture (and wine and meat) regardless. Emily is a true Malbec fan and is beyond excited to join the trek and learn how to seem sophisticated by using big words to describe wines.
If her life was a theme party, what would it be? Boy Band. Only the best songs would be playing.
What would she do if she were invisible? Sneak into celebrity mansions. So curious.