The blog for you to GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY!!!!!

We’ll feature up to 3 destinations every two weeks. If you don’t want to do a package deal then have no fear because we can do most independently for you or what used to be call an ON YOUR OWN package.

 

 

 

Railtours Ireland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2020 - A Year to Explore Ireland Car Free, Carefree.

 

 

luxury on a private heritage train

New Years Greetings from all at Railtours Ireland First Class!

As we approach our 23rd year of operations we would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year!

 

2020 brings with it new goals, new opportunities and, in our case, new tours! We are very excited to announce that we have Three New Tours for 2020!

 

Our wide range of other tours are still up and running with vigour, but we have added 3 new additions to the host of Railtours Ireland First Class rail tours.

 

We are very excited to share them with you!


See Our Wide Range of Tours HereView Deal

 

luxury on a private heritage train

'All-Ireland Plus' Tour

Here at Railtours Ireland First Class, we love to hear your feedback so that we can continually improve our service and make your touring experience the best that it can be!

 

Our new 'All-Ireland Plus' Tour is a 7-day version of the 6-day All-Ireland Tour. The tour itinerary for our All-Ireland tour can be found here.

 

We know how tiring exploration and travel can be, no matter how comfortable the mode of transport. So, we have taken your comments and feedback on board and created a 7-day tour which allows for a later start on the final day of touring, while also taking in the best of Ireland in just one week!


Check Out The All-Ireland Plus Tour HereView Deal

 

luxury on a private heritage train

Medieval Banquet on the Shores of Galway Bay

If you have ever been lucky enough to visit us here on the Emerald Isle, we are sure that you will have either heard of or indeed witnessed the wilderness and savage beauty of Connemara in Co. Galway, on Ireland's West coast.

 

We are delighted to announce that we have created a new tour which takes in the beautiful surroundings of Connemara and Galway Bay, while also offering a unique, Medieval dining experience! Enjoy a four-course meal with live entertainment in the sixteenth-century Dunguaire Castle, situated on the shores of Galway Bay.

 

On Day 2, explore Connemara and Kylemore Abbey with your very own Railtours Ireland host.

 

We know that everyone has a different itinerary and bucket list and, for that reason, we offer two different versions of this tour; one departs from Dublin, while the other departs from Galway City.


See Our New Medieval Banquet Tour Options HereView Deal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Railtours Island First Class
16 Amiens Street, Dublin 1
Tel: +353 1 856 0045
Toll Free: 1-877-451-4783
Freephone (UK): 0800 328 2899
Email: 

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© 2019 Railtours Ireland First Class

 

 

Offer Ends Jan 31  |   

LOGO Viking Cruises

 

HERO Viking Cruises

 



Now through January 31, we are offering a free category upgrade, special cruise fares and the option to book now and pay later.


 

Featured Itineraries:
 

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Alaska & the
Inside Passage

11 Days | Vancouver to Seward

 

MAY-AUG 2021 Departures
Cruise from $4,799 per person,
plus Air from 
$499*
Ask for Offer UP01

 

Your clients can marvel at the soaring mountains and massive glaciers of Alaska, where charming seaside towns await. They will discover the world’s largest collection of totem poles in Ketchikan, Sitka’s mix of Tlingit and Russian culture, and the breathtaking fjords of Prince William Sound.


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South America & the
Chilean Fjords

18 Days | Buenos Aires to Santiago

 

NOV-DEC 2020; JAN-FEB, DEC 2021;
JAN-FEB 2022 Departures
Cruise from $5,999 per person,
plus Air from 
$1,599*
Ask for Offer UP01

 

Guests will experience a mix of Latin and European influences in Buenos Aires, birthplace of tango. They will visit penguin-filled Port Stanley, explore scenic Ushuaia and sail through the Strait of Magellan, passing rugged mountains and blue-tinted icebergs en route to Santiago.


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Australia & New Zealand

15 Days | Sydney to Auckland

 

NOV-DEC 2020; JAN-FEB, DEC 2021;
JAN-FEB 2022 Departures
Cruise from $5,799 per person,
plus Air from 
$1,799*
Ask for Offer UP01

 

This itinerary highlights the history and beauty of the these two fascinating countries. Guests will visit iconic Sydney, then call on vibrant Melbourne and explore Tasmania’s capital before sailing to New Zealand’s scenic eastern coast, visiting Christchurch, Auckland and more.


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In Search of the
Northern Lights

13 Days | London to Bergen

 

MAR 10, 2021; JAN-MAR 2022 Departures
Cruise from $4,799 per person,
plus Air from 
$799*
Ask for Offer UP01

 

Your clients will trace the stunning Norwegian coast and see snow-dusted landscapes, cities hushed in slumber and perhaps the luminous aurora borealis dancing in the sky. They can view the world’s northernmost botanical garden in Tromsø, and ancient rock carvings dating back to 4200 BC in Alta.


BUTTON View Itinerary


 

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From the Caribbean
to the Amazon

22 Days | San Juan to San Juan

 

NOV 2020; JAN 2021 Departures
Cruise from $6,999 per person,
plus Air from 
$399*
Ask for Offer UP01

 

Your clients can learn the fascinating penal history of French Guiana’s Devil’s Island before sailing the famous Amazon River, calling on historic riverside towns and perhaps catching a glimpse of the beloved pink dolphin. Plus, they will see the tropical treasures of Trinidad, Tobago, St. Lucia, Antigua and more.


BUTTON View Itinerary


 

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Tropical Treasures
of the Pacific

40 Days | Los Angeles to Sydney

 

JAN 4, 2021 Departure
Cruise from $14,999 per person,
plus Air from 
$999*
Ask for Offer UP01

 

Guests will call on beautiful Santa Barbara before cruising the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, where they will visit Kauai and Oahu before exploring French Polynesia’s idyllic Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti. Then they will cross the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia. Includes overnights in Auckland and Hobart.


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Northern Lights Explained

Join Dr. E.C. Krupp, director of Griffith Observatory, on a journey into a deeper cultural and scientific understanding of the aurora borealis—the natural phenomenon known as the northern lights. WATCH VIDEO

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Caribbean Batik

Using time-honored techniques perfected in the Far East and Africa, island artists produce distinctive garments with a Caribbean flair. Discover the steps they take to create these elaborate designs. WATCH VIDEO

 


 

 


 

 


*Offer UP01: Offer valid on bookings made from Jan 14 to Jan 31, 2020. Cruise from $4,799 per person based on May 29, 2021 departure of Alaska & the Inside Passage; Mar 10, 2021 departure of In Search of the Northern Lights in categories V2-DV5; cruise from $5,999 per person based on Dec 16, 2020 departure of South America & Chilean Fjords in categories V2-DV5; cruise from $5,799 per person based on Dec 9, 2020 departure of Australia & New Zealand in categories V2-DV5; cruise from $6,999 per person based on Nov 29, 2020 departure of From the Caribbean to the Amazon in categories V2-DV5; cruise from $14,999 per person based on Jan 4, 2021 departure of Tropical Treasures of the Pacific in categories V2-DV5; subject to availability; other categories may be higher, please call for details. FREE category upgrade from category V2 up to category DV5. Prices are in US dollars and for US residents only. Viking all-inclusive air with transfers available. Air does not have to be purchased to get cruise/tour offer. All fares reflect cruise taxes, port taxes and fees. Additional restrictions may apply. Book by Jan 31, 2020; pay in full 6 months prior to departure. Offer expires Jan 31, 2020.

Air Promo: $499 Economy air based on May-Aug 2021 departures of Alaska & the Inside Passage. $1,599 Economy air based on Nov-Dec 2020; Jan-Feb, Dec 2021; Jan-Feb 2022 departures of South America & Chilean Fjords. $799 Economy air based on Mar 10, 2021; Jan-Mar 2022 departures of In Search of the Northern Lights. $1,799 Economy air based on Nov 2020 departures of Australia & New Zealand. $399 Economy air based on Nov 29, 2020 departure of From the Caribbean to the Amazon. $999 Economy air based on Jan 4, 2021 departure of Tropical Treasure of the Pacific. Call for details. Air prices are per person based on cruise or cruise tour check-in date and include transfers. Air seats are limited; airfares are subject to change until full payment of air is received. Click here to learn more about airline baggage allowances and fees. Airfares vary on other gateways and departures. Air offers not valid on Alaska, Hawaii, San Juan and Mexico City; call for details. Ask for Offer UP01. Offer expires Jan 31, 2020.

 

 

 

LOGO Viking Cruises

 

HERO Viking Cruises

 

 

 




Call for details about special savings on Veranda and French Balcony staterooms.


 

Featured Itinerary:
 

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Grand European Tour

15 Days | Amsterdam to Budapest

 

MAY-JUN 2020 Departures
Cruise from $3,999 per person,
plus 
FREE Air*
Savings of $2,700 per person included
Ask for Offer GET20

 

Our most popular itinerary takes your clients through the heart of Europe. They will witness beautiful scenery as they cruise through The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Hungary; taste the region’s traditional cuisine; discover important World War II history; and sample Wachau Valley wines.


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Cologne Cathedral

Explore the history of this architectural masterpiece. Towering over the Rhine, this majestic Gothic cathedral has been a beacon for pilgrims from around the world for centuries. WATCH VIDEO

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Viking Weekly

Explore destination highlights, view photos from fellow travelers and catch up on the latest news from Viking. LEARN MORE

 

 

 


 


*Offer GET20: Offer valid on bookings made from Jan 16 to Jan 31, 2020. Cruise from $3,999 per person based on May & Jun 2020 departures of Grand European Tour in categories E & F; subject to availability; other categories may be higher, please call for details. Cruise savings of $2,700 per person based on May 2020 departures in category A. Prices are in US dollars and for US residents only. Viking all-inclusive air with transfers available. Air does not have to be purchased to get cruise/tour offer. All fares reflect cruise taxes, port taxes and fees. Additional restrictions may apply. Book by Jan 31, 2020; pay in full at time of booking. Offer expires Jan 31, 2020.

Air Promo: FREE international air based on May & Jun 2020 departures of Grand European Tour. Call for details. Air prices are per person based on cruise or cruise tour check-in date and include transfers. Air seats are limited; airfares are subject to change until full payment of air is received. Click here to learn more about airline baggage allowances and fees. Airfares vary on other gateways and departures. Air offers not valid on Alaska, Hawaii, San Juan and Mexico City; call for details. Ask for Offer GET20. Offer expires Jan 31, 2020.

 

SPECIAL CRUISE PROMOTIONS

 

 

$100 To Spend On Board for Everyone - Plus 50% Off Additional Guests


Book almost any of our award-winning vacations in any stateroom, and everyone in gets $100 to spend on board any way they like.

 

Save $500 per couple on 2020 Avalon Waterways From the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon (WAM)


Book a 2020 departure of "From the Inca Empire to the Peruvian Amazon" (WAM, WAMQ, WAME, WAMY) Avalon Waterways vacation now and receive $250 off per person on the cruise/land price.

 

Save $1,500 per couple on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises


Away from the hustle & bustle of busy highways, great rivers flow through beautiful landscapes. Experienced travelers agree that an Avalon Waterways river cruise is the most enjoyable & hassle-free way to discover & explore the sights.

 

Fly Free from select US cities on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe cruises


Away from the hustle & bustle of busy highways, great rivers flow through beautiful landscapes. Experienced travelers agree that an Avalon Waterways river cruise is the most enjoyable & hassle-free way to discover & explore the sights.

 

Single supplement waived on the cruise portion of 2020 Europe river cruises


Away from the hustle & bustle of busy highways, great rivers flow through beautiful landscapes. Experienced travelers agree that an Avalon Waterways river cruise is the most enjoyable & hassle-free way to discover & explore the sights.

 

Save $500 per couple (plus Free Air) on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises


Book now through December 16 and save $500 per couple on select 2020 Europe river cruises, plus free air!

 

Save $1,000 per couple on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Mekong river cruises


Book a select 2020 Avalon Waterways Mekong river cruise now and receive $500 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price.

 

Save $2,000 per couple on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Colorful India & the Ganges river


Book a select 2020 departure of Colorful India & the Ganges river on Avalon Waterways (WDK, WDKI, WDKQ, WDKE, WDKY) now and receive $1,000 off per person on the cruise/land price.

 

Save $3,000 per couple on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Colorful India & the Ganges river


Book a select 2020 departure of Colorful India & the Ganges river on Avalon Waterways (WDK, WDKI, WDKQ, WDKE, WDKY) to receive $1,500 off per person on the cruise/land price.

 

Save $750 per couple on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises


Book a select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise now and receive $375 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price.

 

Save $1,000 per couple on 2020 Avalon Waterways Galapagos Island cruises


An alluring adventure awaits you on your exotic journey to South America.

 

Save $1,000 per couple on select 2020 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruises


Away from the hustle & bustle of busy highways, great rivers flow through beautiful landscapes. Experienced travelers agree that an Avalon Waterways river cruise is the most enjoyable & hassle-free way to discover & explore the sights.

 

LOGO Viking Cruises

 

HERO Viking Cruises

 

 

 

 


 

Featured Itinerary:
 

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Waterways of the Tsars

13 Days | Moscow to St. Petersburg

 

MAY-AUG 2020 Departures
Cruise from $4,999 per person,
plus 
FREE Air*
Ask for Offer LED20

 

From the vibrant capital of Moscow to the magnificent city of St. Petersburg and the quaint riverside towns in between, this epic itinerary takes your clients to the heart of Russia so they can experience its highlights, people, culture and history.


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Hermitage Access

Experience St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, the unrivaled art collection of Catherine the Great, as you never imagined: with personalized, after-hours tours by expert curators. WATCH VIDEO

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Uglich Home Visit

Come with Karine to the Golden Ring city of Uglich along the Volga River. Here, you will step inside the home of babushka Nadya, who raises a glass to good health, prosperity and love. WATCH VIDEO

 


 

 

 

 


*Offer LED20: Offer valid on bookings made from Jan 15 to Jan 31, 2020. Cruise from $4,999 per person based on May-Aug 2020 departures of Waterways of the Tsars in categories DX-AX; subject to availability; other categories may be higher, please call for details. Best available stateroom up to category AX. Prices are in US dollars and for US residents only. Viking all-inclusive air with transfers available. Air does not have to be purchased to get cruise/tour offer. All fares reflect cruise taxes, port taxes and fees. Additional restrictions may apply. Book by Jan 31, 2020; pay in full by Feb 29, 2020 or within 90 days of departure, if earlier. Offer expires Jan 31, 2020.

Air Promo: FREE international air based on May-Aug 2020 departures of Waterways of the Tsars. Call for details. Air prices are per person based on cruise or cruise tour check-in date and include transfers. Air seats are limited; airfares are subject to change until full payment of air is received. Click here to learn more about airline baggage allowances and fees. Airfares vary on other gateways and departures. Air offers not valid on Alaska, Hawaii, San Juan and Mexico City; call for details. Ask for Offer LED20. Offer expires Jan 31, 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norwegian's Free At Sea now includes 30% off all cruises - fleetwide. Plus, balconies and above receive All 5 Free Offers —FREE Open Bar, FREE Specialty Dining, FREE Excursions, FREE WiFi, and FREE Kids (on select cruises).
Oceanviews receive 2 Free offers and Inside and Studios receive 1 Free offer.

 

PRINCESS GETAWAY SALE


Getaway Sale(#6276322)

 

Date(s): 10/1/2019 - 5/30/2020

During our Getaways Sale, get 50%? off second guests plus, fares from $69 for 3rd & 4th guests??. All getaways are 5-days or less making them a great escape at an even better value! Choose from select 1 to 5 day cruises sailing Winter 2019 - Spring 2020 to Mexico, California Coast, Canada & New England, and the Caribbean.

 

 

 

www.railtoursireland.com



The Original Rail Cruise and Manor House Tour

Departs Sunday, 20th September 2020 Price: €5999 (Approx. US$6839) per person sharing

Railtours Ireland First Class offers an exclusive rail cruise and manor house tour through Ireland on your own exclusive, private heritage train. Overnight in luxury five-star Irish manor houses, as well as city and country hotels. This all-inclusive tour is limited to 50 guests! We don't sleep on the train! We sleep in Manor Houses, Country Estates, and Luxury City Hotels!

Experience Dublin's Fair City before travelling by rail along the stunning East Coast to Waterford, Cork, Cobh and the Ring of Kerry. Enjoy an Irish night in Killarney before continuing on through the savagely beautiful countryside of Connemara in Co. Galway.

A unique Ireland vacation not to be missed!

Click for Details!


The All Ireland Tour

Price: from US$1,349 pps

Travel South, Southwest and North by train on a 6-day rail tour covering all our highlights - offering two nights in Killarney, two nights in Galway, and two nights in Dublin. This tour covers a large part of the Wild Atlantic Way and Causeway Coast. We head south to visit Cork, Blarney Castle & the Ring of Kerry, west to the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Aran Islands in Galway Bay and North to the Giants Causeway. FREE UPGRADES for your clients.

Click for Details!


The Giant's Causeway & Glens of Antrim
Price: €119 (Approx. US$136) per person

Travel to Belfast by rail on the "Enterprise Express" and enjoy a day tour to one of Ireland's most visited tourist attractions. A fascinating day out to the famed Antrim coast with its spectacular seascapes and coastal views. Explore the Giant's Causeway, Carrick-a-Rede rope Bridge & Dunluce Castle on this rail tour from Dublin.

Click for Details!


 


Book 2020 Tours at 2019 Prices. Book Before 31 December 2019 to Avail of 2019 Prices!


 

Railtours Ireland First Class 16 Amiens Street, Dublin 1.
Tel: +353 1 856 0045 Toll Free: 1-877-451-4783
Freephone (UK): 0800 328 2899
Email: 

 

 

 

SPECIAL LIMITED PROMOTION FROM ROYAL CARIBBEAN


30% Off Every Guest + Kids Sail Free(#6274732)

 

Date(s): 11/1/2019 - 5/31/2021

30% Off Every Guest + Kids Sail Free.


30% Off Every Guest + Kids Sail Free

 

 

 

 

Having trouble viewing the graphics? Go here.

 

 

TOURNAMENT OF ROSES PARADE ESCORTED TOURS

 

 

Tournament Of Roses


Starting At: $ 1949.00

5 Days, featuring: Los Angeles

 

Tournament Of Roses With San Diego


Starting At: $ 2469.00

8 Days, featuring: Los Angeles

 

California New Year's Getaway featuring the Tournament of Roses Parade

 

Starting At: $ 1999.00

Ring in the New Year with an exciting trip to southern California. Find Pasadena abuzz with preparations for the famous Tournament of Roses Parade and get a sneak-peek as final touches are put on the massive floats. Listen as select Parade Bands perform at a special Bandfest presentation. Celebrate the season with a New Year's Eve Gala Dinner Dance, with live entertainment and a champagne toast to the New Year. Enjoy prime viewing with reserved seating at the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Para...

 

 

 

 

 

QUICKIE GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY IN JANUARY


West Coast Getaway with San Diego(#5375286)

 

Prices Starting At: $ 649.00
+ 175.00 taxes/fees
Date(s): 1/22/2020 - 1/27/2020
Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEAT enrichment programs.

 

 

 

If you have problems viewing this email, please click here.

 

 

www.railtoursireland.com


The Original Rail Cruise and (Castle) Manor House Tour

Departs Sunday, 20th September 2020
Price: €5999 (Approx. US$6839) per person sharing

Railtours Ireland First Class offers an exclusive rail cruise and manor house tour through Ireland on your own exclusive, private heritage train. Overnight in luxury five-star Irish manor houses, as well as city and country hotels. This all-inclusive tour is limited to 50 guests! We don't sleep on the train! We sleep in Manor Houses, Country Estates, and Luxury City Hotels!

Experience Dublin's Fair City before travelling by rail along the stunning East Coast to Waterford, Cork, Cobh and the Ring of Kerry. Enjoy an Irish night in Killarney before continuing on through the savagely beautiful countryside of Connemara in Co. Galway.

A unique Ireland vacation not to be missed!

Click for Details!


2. The All Ireland Tour
Price: From €1179 (Approx. US$1349) per person sharing

Travel South, Southwest and North by train on a 6-day rail tour covering all the highlights - with two nights in Killarney, two nights in Galway, and two nights in Dublin. This tour explores a significant part of the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coast. We head south to visit Cork, Blarney Castle & the Ring of Kerry, west to the Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Aran Islands in Galway Bay and North to the Giants Causeway. 3 FREE UPGRADES for your clients.


Click for Details!

 


Waterford Crystal, Kilkenny City & the Suir Valley
Price: €119 (Approx. US$136) per person

Enjoy a full day tour of Ireland's Ancient East - in Ireland's sunny south east. This rail tour visits the ancient city of Kilkenny or as it is known "The Marble City". After which, it continues on to explore the historic Viking City of Waterford where we visit the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre. The tour returns to Dublin via the lovely Suir Valley. A day filled with the best of Ireland's Ancient East.


Click for Details!

 


 

Railtours Ireland First Class 16 Amiens Street, Dublin 1.
Tel: +353 1 856 0045 Toll Free: 1-877-451-4783
Freephone (UK): 0800 328 2899
Email: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Let's checkout the Southern Americas, Brazil and Chile!  See if any of these deals can inspire an South American adventure in you where you can getaway from your everyday!

 

Brazil

Brazilians exhibit a passion for life and exuberance of spirit that can only be a result of living in a country where it is always sunny, natural scenery abounds, and the party never stops. The long-lasting impression with which most visitors leave Brazil is of carefree, colorful people dancing and celebrating in the street parades at Carnival.

 

Tourists descending on the country's exciting cities, such as hedonistic Rio de Janeiro, can enjoy five-star hotels, shopping malls, pristine beaches, sunny skies, and bustling nightlife. Visitors to Brazil can live the high life without having to confront the hundreds of shantytowns (Favelas) where the poorest of the poor eke out a living in the shadows of the skyscrapers. However, favela tours, meals, and overnight stays are becoming increasingly popular as tourists have begun to explore safer neighborhoods for an authentic Brazilian experience. With booming mining, agricultural, and manufacturing sectors, Brazil has the highest GDP in Latin America and is expected to be one of the world's dominant economies by the middle of the century. Brazil also caters well for business tourism and is a favoured destination for conventions, congresses and expos, particularly the city of Sao Paulo, which is the country's largest city and the business capital of Brazil.

 

Being so vast, larger than the continental United States, Brazil is home to a variety of cultures and topographies. From the Amazon and Pantanal rainforests, to the urban jungle of Sao Paulo; From the wide open spaces of the central plateau around Brasilia and world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, to the secluded mountain towns of Minas Gerais; every experience combined results in an exotic and exciting Latin American holiday destination where the common denominators are samba, sunshine, sultry smiles, and soccer.

 

Key Facts

Language: The spoken language in Brazil is Portuguese; however Spanish and English are also used in the cities.

 

Passport/Visa: All visitors require passports that are valid for at least the period of intended stay in Brazil but we strongly recommend that passports be valid for six months after intended date of travel. Border control may well deny entry to holders of passports valid for the period of intended stay. Sufficient funds to cover their stay in Brazil, as well as a return or onward ticket and documentation required for further travel, are necessary for all travelers. Visa requirements vary from country to country.

 

Currency: The Brazilian currency is the Real (BRL). The US Dollar is also welcome in most tourist establishments. In the main cities, foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks or cambios. There is an extensive network of ATMs in the country and most major international credit cards are accepted.

 

Electricity: Brazil has a variety of electrical voltages, sometimes within the same city. The better hotels offer 220 volts, 60Hz. If not, transformers are available in electrical stores. Two-pin plugs with a grounding pin are standard.

 

Travel to Brazil

Brazil's attractions are equally divided between the urban and the natural; with the cultural delights of cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and the natural wonders of the Amazon and Pantanal rainforests, there's something to see and do in Brazil for just about anybody.

 

Every year, thousands flock to the world-famous Carnival in Rio, when the entire city is awash in parties, parades, music and dancing. Rio also features the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, which is one of the seven marvels of the modern world, and the architectural wonder Samba City. The mild climate of the major cities makes them an attractive destination all year round, with the coastal areas being even warmer and suited to year-round sunbathing. Brazil's major cities are known for their wild nightlife, with enough bars, clubs, dance halls, and parties to satisfy even the most hedonistic visitor.

 

Brazil's beaches are just as famous, with several (Ipanema and Copacabana) immortalised in song. There are several well-known nude beaches, including one in the relaxed town of Pinho. The southern beaches, including Praia Do Rosa, offer big waves that attract top surfers from all over the world between April and November. There are also many popular scuba diving spots that boast beautiful coral reefs, volcanic islands, caves, and shipwrecks.

 

Brazil is a huge country, with an area larger than the continental United States, and over half of that is rainforest. The Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, covers seven million square kilometres and is a wildlife and bird watching paradise, home to countless species of plants and animals you won't find in any other country. The pink dolphin, for example, is only found in the Amazon and its tributaries. You might also find jaguars, howler monkeys,

sloths, toucans and anacondas, among many other creatures.

 

Brazil's oceans are also teeming with amazing animals. Dolphin and whale watching are popular activities in places like Fernando de Noronha, and snorkelling in Bonito, which fittingly means 'beautiful', is a delight. Praia do Forte and other beaches are also good places to witness the hatching of sea turtles.

 

Climate in Brazil

Brazil's weather is quite diverse as there are five different climatic regions: equatorial, tropical, semi-arid, highland tropical, and subtropical. Cities such as Sao Paulo and Brasilia, on the plateau, have a mild climate with temperatures averaging 66°F (19°C). Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Natal, and Salvador on the coast have warmer climates balanced by the Trade Winds. Rio, for example, has an average temperature of around 80°F (26°C), which will climb to over 100°F (38°C) during the summer months, between December and February.

 

In the southern Brazilian cities of Porto Alegre and Curitiba, the subtropical climate is similar to parts of the US and Europe, with frosts occurring in the winter months, between July and August, when temperatures can fall below freezing. Summers are hot, however. Despite the popular image of the Amazon as a region of blistering heat, temperatures rarely rise above 90°F (32°C), and days are generally warm, wet, and humid. The region has two seasons: a rainy season (November to May) and a not-so-rainy season (June to October).

 

Health Notes

Hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended for all travelers. Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria are prevalent in Brazil, so insect repellent and protective clothing is essential. Malaria exists below 2,953 feet (900m) in most rural areas, and outbreaks of dengue fever occur frequently.

Visitors travelling from infected areas outside the country require a yellow fever certificate, and vaccination is recommended for those travelling to rural areas, as outbreaks have occurred in recent years. Tap water is heavily treated resulting in a strong chemical taste; however bottled water is freely available for drinking purposes. Typhoid vaccinations are recommended if travelers intend to spend a lot of time outside of major cities. Milk in rural areas is not pasteurized. Hospitals in the major cities are fairly good, but most doctors will want cash payment, even for travelers with insurance

 

Safety Notes

Brazil is politically stable and seldom a target for terrorist activities. In metropolitan areas, however, crime is a fact of life. Rio in particular is regarded as one of the most crime-ridden cities in the world and, although violent crime is generally limited to the slum areas, foreigners are advised to take precautions. Visitors should not attempt to visit slum areas (favelas) even on a guided tour. Violent crime is on the increase due to the establishment of drug and criminal gangs around Rio and Sao Paulo.

 

Muggings, often involving firearms, are frequent and visitors should dress down, conceal cameras, and avoid wearing jewelry and expensive watches. If threatened, hand over your valuables without resistance. Bank and credit card fraud is common, including card cloning from ATMs. Keep sight of your card at all times and do not use an ATM if you notice anything suspicious. Valuables should be deposited in hotel safes. Leave your passport and other valuables in a safe place but carry a copy and another form of photo ID, if you have one, with you at all times.

 

Thefts are common on public beaches and visitors should avoid taking valuables to the beach. The threat of personal attack is lower outside the main urban centres, but incidents do occur, and women should be aware that sexual assaults have been reported in coastal holiday destinations. Beware of unofficial taxis and those with blacked-out windows and be particularly careful on public transport in Rio, Recife, and Salvador.

 

adventure in brazil

 

 

South America Revealed with Me to We


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Tall and tan, and young and lovely-expect nothing else on Rio's gorgeous beaches, your launch pad to a South American adventure through vibrant capitals and the Inca heart of Peru.

 

Discover Rio de Janeiro


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Highlights of Brazil


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Brazil Explorer


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Grand Tour Of South America With Salvador


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18 Days, featuring: Sacred Valley-machu Picchu

 

South American Selection With Brazil's Amazon


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12 Days, featuring: Rio De Janeiro

 

Brazil, Argentina & Chile With Brazil's Amazon & Easter Island


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19 Days, featuring: Buenos Aires

 

Brazil, Argentina & Chile With Salvador & Easter Island


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18 Days, featuring: Santiago

 

13 Day Brazil's Natural Wonders


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Get closer to the exotic wildlife of Brazil than you ever imagined on this comprehensive tour of its big cities and sprawling natural spaces. Go deep into the Pantanal wetlands, meet tamarins at a conservation project, view Iguaçú Falls by helicopter and more.

 

Spirit Of South America With Amazon


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19 Days, featuring: Amazon Jungle-rio De Janeiro

 

South America Getaway


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9 Days, featuring: Iguassu Falls

 

South America Getaway With Santiago & Easter Island


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15 Days, featuring: Santiago

 

The Best Of Brazil & Argentina With Brazil's Amazon & Uruguay


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15 Days, featuring: Manaus-amazon Jungle

 

Rio De Janeiro & The Amazon


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Wonders Of Brazil


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Brazil Short and Sweet: Rio de Janeiro and Iguassu Falls


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For those with less time to spend, this program offers you two of the greatest destinations in all of South America - the vibrant, breathtaking city of Rio de Janeiro, and spectacular Iguassu Falls, boasting 275 majestic waterfalls.

 

==========================================================

Chile

A Chilean legend maintains that after God created the wonders of the world he had many pieces leftover. He had raging rivers, sprawling glaciers, valleys and soaring mountains, snow-capped volcanoes, sparkling lakes, beautiful forests and expansive deserts, icy fjords and sandy beaches. Rather than let all this beauty go to waste, he put them all together in a remote part of the world, and so Chile was born. A long narrow strip making up the western part of South America's tail, Chile is 2,610 miles (4,200km) in length and at most 115 miles (180km) wide.

 

Travelers are drawn to this country because of its multitude of natural attractions, from the stark northern deserts to the beautiful Lake District, and the dramatic mountains and fjords of Patagonia in the south. Chile is home to some superb National Parks, including the famous and mysterious Easter Island, and numerous activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Unlike much of South America, Chile's natural splendor is made accessible by great infrastructure and the outdoor adventure can be pleasantly interrupted by time in impressive urban hubs which make it clear that this is a country thriving economically and culturally.

 

Chile's European colonial heritage is evident throughout the country, and Chile's urban population is increasingly cosmopolitan, so that many travellers are surprised by how familiar and modern Chile feels in comparison to neighboring South American countries which still boast strongly indigenous lifestyles. Indigenous culture does still thrive in parts of Chile, however, and the more traditional enclaves juxtapose interestingly with the palpable European influence. The people are resilient, cordial and hospitable, from the fashionable capital city of Santiago to the isolated island of Chiloé.

 

Besides natural beauty and an interesting blend of cultures, Chile offers the visitor excellent wines and seafood, unique handicrafts and shopping, and a variety of characteristic architecture, making it a beautiful and memorable place to visit.

 

Key Facts

Language: The official language is Spanish.

 

Passport/Visa: A return or onward ticket is required. We always recommend that passports be valid for six months after intended period of travel. Extensions of stay are possible for additional 90 days for visa exempt visitors.

 

Currency: The local currency is the Chilean Peso (CLP), which is divided into 100 centavos. Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club and to a lesser extent, American Express, are accepted in most large shops and hotels. ATMs are widely available.

 

Electricity: Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs and round three-pin plugs are used.

 

Travel to Chile

The list of attractions in Chile is as long as the country itself. The best of these lie in the country's vast wilderness areas, although Santiago, the capital city, also has an impressive sightseeing offering, and the nearby city of Valparaiso is increasingly drawing global attention with its street art and bohemian atmosphere.

 

In Chilean Patagonia both Parque Nacional Laguna San Rafael and Parque Nacional Torres del Paine are among the most impressive scenic sites in the world, encompassing mountains, ice fields, glaciers and lagoons, all of which can be explored on extensive and well-maintained hiking trails. Interesting towns like Castro, Puerto Montt and Pucon provide springboards into The Lake District and Parque Nacional Chiloe, where the rivers, lakes and volcanoes promise a playground for adventure sports enthusiasts and the age-old Chilean folklore enchants the more cultural-minded.

 

Chile continues to amaze with weird and wonderful landscapes and natural features like the El Tatio Gyesers and The Valley of the Moon in the northern Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos.

Those willing to make a trip into yet more remote country can hop across to the mysterious Easter Island, where the giant stone Moai stare out to sea, guarding the ancient secrets of one of the most isolated places on earth.

 

Chile is truly one of the most diverse countries in the world and it is best to pick a region or two to explore to avoid travelling long distances - popular regions like Chilean Patagonia, the Lake District and the Atacama Desert can all easily occupy an entire holiday. Travelers should also note that Chile covers a number of different climate zones and there is no one best season to visit - trips should be scheduled according to the desired destination.

 

Climate in Chile

The territory of Chile extends from the tropics down almost to Antarctica, and from sea level up to breath-taking altitudes, therefore the country has a wide variety of climate zones. In the north there is hardly any rainfall and conditions are very hot and arid. The climate in central Chile is Mediterranean, with cool, wet winters between April and September. Average annual rainfall increases, and temperatures decrease, as one moves further south.

 

In Santiago average temperatures vary between 68ºF (20ºC) in January, the height of summer, and 46ºF (8ºC) in July, midwinter. In the extreme south the weather is cold and wet most of the year, with snow covering the mountains and the sky cloudy. Because the weather in Chile varies so much there is no ideal time to visit the country as a whole; depending on your desired area and activities the best time to visit Chile will change. However, in every season the country has something to offer which makes it a year-round travel destination.

 

Health Notes

There are no vaccination requirements for entry to Chile, but vaccination for hepatitis A is recommended and a typhoid vaccine may be recommended for long-term travellers who plan to visit rural areas and eat outside of hotels and restaurants. Water is generally safe in the cities, but should be treated in the rural areas; bottled water is widely available for drinking. Santiago is severely polluted and this could cause respiratory problems or eye irritations, particularly between May and August. Travelers visiting the Andes Mountains should be aware of altitude sickness, and ascend slowly to allow the body to adjust. Healthcare in urban areas is generally good, but hospitals and clinics are expensive and usually require payment in cash. Comprehensive travel health insurance is recommended.

 

Safety Notes

Chile is a politically stable country with few safety threats to travelers. Incidences of pick-pocketing and mugging are on the increase in big cities and travelers should take care of their belongings, especially around tourist areas and bus stations, and avoid walking alone late at night. Tourists should be particularly cautious in the Lake District as theft is on the increase, and muggings are becoming more common in popular walking areas such as Cerro San Cristobal, Cerro Santa Lucia and Cerro Manquehue. There has been an increase in reports regarding people receiving spiked drinks at nightclubs and bars, particularly in Santiago. Avoid any involvement in political protests and demonstrations, which take place from time to time. Chile has a landmine problem, mainly restricted to border areas adjacent to Peru and Bolivia. These areas are seldom visited by most travelers so landmines shouldn't be a problem but visitors are advised to stick to marked roads, obey all signs and seek the advice of local authorities if

travelling to the border areas of regions I, II or XII.

 

Adventure in Chile

 

 

Land of Contrasts: Chile


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Straddling the Pacific Coast for more than 2,500 miles, Chile offers an eclectic and extreme variety of topography and experiences ripe for exploration. Start near the center, in Santiago, the country?'s vibrant capital. Tour its highlights, delight in a cooking demonstration, and celebrate the national culture through music and dance. Visit the cultural capital of Valparaiso and the famed San Antonio Wine Valley before heading north to remote San Pedro de Atacama. Investigate this oasis in t...

 

Mysteries of Easter Island


Starting At: $ 8300.00

Located more than 2,300 miles off Chile's coast, remote Easter Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is inhabited by the ancestors of a sophisticated society that developed a millennium ago, and then disappeared, leaving an archaeological legacy of ancient stone villages, open-air sanctuaries and giant statues called Moai. Legend shrouds its mysterious megaliths called Moai, carved by the Rapa Nui people. Why these Moai were created and how they were moved to their present sites--as well as t...

 

Chile & Easter Island


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Discover Santiago


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Chile Explorer


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Argentina & Chile's Lake District With Santiago


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11 Days, featuring: Buenos Aires-bariloche

 

12 Day Chile & Uruguay Elite


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Savor the delicious wines of Chile and Uruguay on this stylish journey across South America. Sip wine with experts in the Casablanca and Colchagua valleys, admire pre-Colombian art in Santiago, explore charming Montevideo by bike, relax at an exclusive Uruguayan resort, and more.

 

14 Day Patagonia Highlights


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Discover the raw beauty of Patagonia on this thrilling journey across Argentina and Chile. Discover the massive Perito Moreno Glacier, explore the Patagonian wildlands from a remote lodge, appreciate the history and culture of Santiago and Buenos Aires, and much more on this light-action adventure.

 

South America Getaway With Santiago


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12 Days, featuring: Rio De Janeiro-iguassu Falls

 

Brazil, Argentina & Chile Unveiled


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12 Days, featuring: Rio De Janeiro

 

Wonders Of Chile


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Santiago & Atacama


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And for Cruises===>>>

Cruising around Chile

 

 

South America & the Chilean Fjords


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Ship: Viking Jupiter

Soak in the eclectic mix of Latin and European influences in Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango. Visit Port Stanley, home to more than one million penguins, before exploring the scenic surroundings of Ushuaia, the city at the "End of the World." Sail through the Strait of Magellan, passing rugged mountain peaks and blue-tinted icebergs en route to the vibrant city of Santiago.

 

South America & the Chilean Fjords


Starting At: $ 7799.00
Ship: Viking Jupiter

Soak in the eclectic mix of Latin and European influences in Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango. Visit Port Stanley, home to more than one million penguins, before exploring the scenic surroundings of Ushuaia, the city at the "End of the World." Sail through the Strait of Magellan, passing rugged mountain peaks and blue-tinted icebergs en route to the vibrant city of Santiago.

 

14 Days, Luxury Cruise from Ushuaia to Valparaiso


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Ship: Silver Explorer

 

Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan


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+ 389.17 taxes/fees
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Coral Princess, with more than 700 balcony staterooms, was custom built to navigate the historic Panama Canal. Be sure to try the Bayou Café and Steakhouse, which features New Orleans-inspired Cajun and Creole cuisine, join friends for cocktails and Movies Under the Stars® by the pool or try some decadent treats at the International Café.

 

Cape Horn & Brazilian Grand Adventure


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Island Princess® is your own private retreat on the sea. Whether you crave relaxation or exhilaration, you'll find the soothing Lotus Spa®, live entertainment, gourmet cuisine, casino gaming and more. And for a special treat, try the Bayou Café and SteakhouseSM, which features New Orleans-inspired Cajun and Creole cuisine.

 

Cape Horn & Strait of Magellan


Starting At: $ 996.00
+ 320.06 taxes/fees
Ship: Island Princess

Island Princess® is your own private retreat on the sea. Whether you crave relaxation or exhilaration, you'll find the soothing Lotus Spa®, live entertainment, gourmet cuisine, casino gaming and more. And for a special treat, try the Bayou Café and SteakhouseSM, which features New Orleans-inspired Cajun and Creole cuisine.

 

25 Night Rio De Janeiro To Cape Town Atlantic Endeavor Cruise


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Ship: Insignia

Our acclaimed Insignia has undergone a multimillion-dollar transformation to create a virtually new ship that is both sleek and elegantly charming. Her decks are resplendent in the finest teak, custom stone and tile work, and her lounges, suites and staterooms boast luxurious, neo-classical furnishings. Insignia offers every luxury you may expect on board one of our stylish ships.

 

14-Day South America from Santiago (San Antonio) (Eastbound)


Starting At: $ 1179.00
+ 408.09 taxes/fees
Ship: Norwegian Star

Your unforgettable adventure around the southern tip of South America begins the moment you depart Santiago. Consider ports Puerto Montt and Puerto Chacabuco a prelude to the main event. Marvel at breathtaking waterfalls and huge glaciers as you cruise the Patagonic Channels, Chilean Fjords and Straight of Magellan. Mingle among the real "March of the Penguins" in the Falkland Islands. Catch your breath and some multicultural European charm in Montevideo.

 

15-Day South America Explorer from Santiago (San Antonio)


Starting At: $ 529.00
+ 699.05 taxes/fees
Ship: Norwegian Star

Norwegian Star blends the relaxed Freestyle Cruising concept with cruises to the Caribbean, Europe, and Transatlantic. Onboard Norwegian Star features 15 delicious dining options, 11 bars and lounges, a sprawling spa, an always-exciting casino, plus tons of fun for kids of every age. So whether you're exploring Europe sipping piña coladas in the Caribbean, or cruising across the Atlantic, this ship offers it all.

 

14-Day South America Passage


Starting At: $ 1599.00
+ 435.00 taxes/fees
Ship: Zaandam

Designed to carry fewer guests while offering greater space, Zaandam is elegant and comfortable. Her décor is inspired by music and features musical instruments including signed guitars from Queen, Iggy Pop, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones and a Baroque-style pipe organ. While on-board, enjoy cooking shows and hands-on workshops with America's Test Kitchen. Rejuvenate at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Indulge at any of our fine dining venues. Category N - Flash Special: Book by Sunday 01/12/2020

 

Argentina & Chile Cruise


Starting At: $ 999.00
+ 333.62 taxes/fees
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

 

Chile To San Diego Cruise


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Ship: Celebrity Eclipse

Luxurious and upscale on every deck and at every turn, Celebrity Eclipse sets the standard for modern luxury vacations. Sail in style surrounded by stunning décor. Exciting Deal: Can only be booked 9:00 am EST Tuesday, Jan 07, through 11:59 pm EST Monday, Jan 13

 

15-Night Chilean Fjords Voyage


Starting At: $ 1999.00
+ 575.33 taxes/fees
Ship: Azamara Pursuit

Begin in San Antonio, Chile, then sail along the continent's eastern coast to Buenos Aires. This 15-day discovery includes longer (and later) stays and four luxurious days at sea, plus overnights in Buenos Aires and Punta Arenas, on the historic Strait of Magellan.Before embarking, spend the day in Chile's capital, Santiago-a city bursting at the seams with fascinating history and cultural life.

 

=======================================  SpotLight City

Santiago

The magnificent Andes provide an awesome backdrop for the sprawling Chilean metropolis of Santiago. The population of Chile's capital numbers more than five million but, with its pretty leafy suburbs and well-oiled infrastructure, it is not at all an intimidating city.

 

Santiago is a curious mix of skyscrapers and 19th-century European architecture, with some Spanish-style bungalows thrown in for good measure. Threaded through this architectural tapestry are numerous green areas, busy markets, and quaint old squares. Street life is vibrant, and adding to the vibe is the presence of numerous chic sidewalk cafes, outside of which traditionally dressed women hawk their wares hoping to catch the eye of the tourists. There are also some impressive museums, great accommodation options for all budgets, excellent restaurants and some good shopping opportunities. The public transport is very good, making getting around in the city centre a pleasure.

 

Santiago exudes an aura of health and wealth in the inner city and fashionable suburbs, with a distinctly cosmopolitan and first-world atmosphere, but those who explore beyond the thriving centre will find that the glittering skyscrapers slowly give way to shabby shantytowns. The city is also one of the 10 most severely polluted in the world, thanks to its position in a bowl of mountains, which comes as a surprise in a country known for its pristine natural landscapes. Luckily, air pollution is only likely to be a problem in Santiago in the winter months, peaking between May and August, and the city tends to be beautifully clear in the sunny summers.

Santiago is an excellent base for exploring the Central Valley of Chile, with the lovely wine country on its doorstep and the artistic port city of Valparaiso a short drive away. National parks and even ski slopes are also within easy reach. Visitors may find, however, that the delights of the city itself make them loathe leaving.

 

Climate for Santiago

The climate of Santiago is Mediterranean, with typically hot, dry summers and mild, moist winters. In summer, November to February, average temperatures hit highs of around 95°F (35°C). The summer months can be quite windy, with prevailing winds from the southwest. In winter, May to August, temperatures average around 57°F (14°C). Rain falls mainly during winter, which is a more humid season in Santiago. Snowfall is extremely rare in the city, although it is common in the Andes mountain range that looms above Santiago. Temperature inversions cause smog to be trapped in the valley for spells during the winter months, bringing heavy pollution. Unfortunately, the city is considered one of the most polluted in the world, largely due to its location in a natural bowl, and the smog is at its worst in winter. The best time to visit Santiago is in the summer months of December, January and February, although many people do visit in the winter to enjoy the skiing

 

Attractions in Santiago

There are many worthwhile things to see and do in Santiago for travelers. A fantastic way to start familiarizing yourself with this vibrant and busy city is to pay a visit to the Plaza de Armas, Santiago's central square. Many of the main attractions of Santiago are in walking distance of this classic colonial meeting space. There are also brilliant walking tours with a group called Spicy Chile who offers about three different walks a day to give tourists an introduction to the city. The guides are knowledgeable locals and the tours are free (although tips are expected).

 

There are a number of small but interesting museums in Santiago, the best of which is the Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art, a must-see for those interested in the ancient cultures of South America. Visitors travelling in Santiago with kids should also pop into the Museo Interactivo Mirador, a huge interactive museum with lots of educational activities and play areas. Another deservedly popular attraction in Santiago is Pablo Neruda's home: the late Nobel-winning poet's house is colorful, eccentric and romantic and worth a visit even for those unfamiliar with his poetry. It is called La Chascona, which means Tousled Hair, a name given in honor of his third wife.

 

San Cristobal Hill is a must for great views of the city and a refreshing dose of greenery and clean air. Santiago's parks and green spaces are a delight and it is never hard to find somewhere to relax in the shade. For not-so-clean air try the Mercado Central seafood market, a bustling market which offers a massive variety of seafood fresh from the ocean.

 

Many travelers stop off in Santiago as a base for adventures out in the surrounding mountains; it has become a renowned area for ecotourism and you can take your pick of exciting outdoor activities, including skiing, horse riding, climbing and hiking. If you are looking for a more mellow experience of the beautiful surroundings of Santiago then take a tour of the famous wine country just outside the city.

 

Plaza de Armas

The Plaza de Armas is both the heart of Santiago and the city's historical centre, a square hemmed in by impressive Spanish colonial public buildings, including the 18th-century Cathedral and elaborate main post office that was once the Spanish governors' residence. As with most colonial squares of this kind, and as the name suggests, the Plaza de Armas was designed to be the open space in which the armed forces of the city could gather to parade and to protect Santiago's most important buildings.

 

The square became the hub of administrative, commercial and social life when the city was founded in 1541, and today it remains the centre of life in the city. Never a dull place to be by day, with its constant activity and throngs of people entertained by buskers and local artists, the evenings are just as lively when passers-by can become embroiled in chess games on temporary tables set up under the trees.

 

This square is the point from which all distances are measured in Chile, and the central point for the grid pattern of the streets. Visitors should be aware of their belongings here as it is a popular target spot amongst pickpockets. The square is a useful starting point for sightseeing in Santiago as many attractions are close by.

 

Chilean Museum of Pre-Columbian Art

The Chilean Museum of Pre-Colombian Art is housed in the old Royal Customs House in Santiago. The collection is impressively large compared to many other museums in a similar vein, and it spans 4,500 years and about 80 pre-Colombian civilizations of South America. The Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, as it is known to locals, is a fascinating place to spend a few hours and is a great find for art and archaeology enthusiasts.

 

The exhibits are beautifully curated throughout four rooms set around a central courtyard. The collection provides an informative insight into the cultures of the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs and other proud civilizations of the continent, illustrating their artistic diversity and advancement.

It is worth paying extra for a guided tour though, because the labels are not translated into many languages and are not as comprehensive as some might like. The museum is a worthwhile attraction in Santiago, especially if travelers are not familiar with the intriguing ancient cultures on display.

 

Mercado Central

Santiago's colorful Mercado Central, housed in an 1872 wrought iron structure, has a fruit and vegetable market as well as a buzzing fish market where an assortment of glistening fresh seafood is packed onto the tables. Mussels, oysters and clams sit in buckets among an unidentifiable variety of crustaceans and tentacled creatures. The fishmongers demonstrate their skill at gutting and filleting amid a cacophony of frenzied buying. The best time

to visit is at lunchtime when a delicious sampling of the wares can be enjoyed in the happily chaotic atmosphere of the central hall.

 

There are many restaurants to choose from and often the smaller ones are the best - and a bit cheaper. Mercado Central can be a bit expensive because its popularity with tourists has grown so be on the lookout for bargains. It is crowded and chaotic, but the seafood is excellent and fresh, the architecture is interesting, and there is a festive feel to the place (partly thanks to the street musicians who frequent it). It is essentially a food market but there are usually some vendors selling souvenirs, jewelry and the like as well. Visitors are warned to stay aware of their possessions because markets of this kind are often targeted by pickpockets.

 

Cerro San Cristóbal

Cerro San Cristóbal is a 2,752-foot (860m) hill rising above central Santiago which, on a clear day, affords magnificent views of the surrounding city, all the way across to the Andes.

The easiest way to the top is by funicular, but there is also a teleférico (cable car), bus or hiking path leading up from the bottom through the forested slopes. There are many walkways and at the summit is the 70-foot (22m) high statue of the Virgin Mary to mark where the Pope held a mass in 1987.

 

There is also a zoo on the lower slopes, and picnic sites and two outdoor swimming pools spread throughout the park. The hill is situated within Santiago's biggest open space, the peaceful Parque Metropolitano; it makes for an escape from the hustle of the city. Visitors need a few hours to enjoy the park and on a sunny day the swimming pools are a delight.

 

Wine Country

Chilean wine enjoys a good reputation with sommeliers all around the world, with its popularity soaring in the last decade. Central Chile's Mediterranean climate is ideal for vineyards, and some of the best wine comes from the Central Valley, around Santiago. Wine tastings are a popular activity in Santiago, and there are many wineries to choose from. Valle de Maipo, Valle de Casablanca and Valle de San Antonio are the closest to the city, and there are nearly 30 wineries in Valle de Maipo alone. Wine country in Chile stretches for many miles along the coast, from Valle de Elqui in the north to Valle de Malleco in the south.

 

Chilean wine country is an especially beautiful region in the summer, and a great way to explore the area is on bicycles which can easily be hired in nearby towns. Some groups of wineries have banded together to offer established tours along 'wine routes', of which the circuit of the Colchagua Valley is the most popular. Many tour operators in Santiago offer wine tasting packages as well. There is much to delight sommeliers in the region but it is also a fun experience for the uninitiated.

 

Vina del Mar

Vina del Mar is a short bus ride from Santiago, right next to Valparaiso; in fact, travelers could be forgiven for thinking the two coastal cities are one and the same. Vina del Mar has a very different character to bohemian Valparaiso though - it is a safer, more manicured city celebrated for its fun resort culture, its malls and its beautiful beaches. Vina del Mar translates as Vineyard of the Sea, and the city's beautiful parks have earned it the romantic nickname of Ciudad Jardin, or Garden City.

 

Pretty Vina del Mar is a popular summer resort and weekend retreat for the wealthy inhabitants of Santiago and the beaches and casinos boom in the peak summer months between December and February. Like neighboring Valparaiso, the city boasts a rollicking nightlife and a good restaurant scene. Vina del Mar's beaches are its biggest asset but although they are very picturesque they are not always safe for swimming. Visitors should be careful not to underestimate the power of the waves and currents and should obey directives from lifeguards when they are present.

 

Valparaiso

Valparaiso, only 75 miles (120km) from Santiago, has a real bohemian spirit. It is an historic port city; in fact, in the 1800s it was the main shipping hub of the Southern Pacific, which brought wealth, floods of European immigrants, and that deliciously naughty atmosphere found in places frequented by sailors. Valparaiso clings to the steep sides of 45 hills along the coast, a tricky geography that makes epic staircases and quaint old funiculars integral to getting around.

 

The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a wealth of well-preserved historic architecture, but it is the very modern street art phenomenon which truly sets the place apart. The sheer amount of murals and graffiti, mixed up with grand old buildings, makes the whole city feel like a weird work of art. To add credence to this artsy atmosphere there are musicians busking on seemingly every corner and artists selling their work at improvised stalls all over the picturesque hillside districts.

 

Unsurprisingly, Valparaiso is renowned for its vibrant nightlife and there is a surplus of cool places to eat and drink in the city. Apart from taking in the art, colorful architecture and numerous pubs, travelers should be sure to visit the quirky home of beloved poet Pablo Neruda, which offers glorious views over the city as well as insight into his life