23 days in South America Itinerary

23 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fly:  6 h 15 min
1
Santiago, Chile
— 3 nights
Drive:  2 h
2
Santa Cruz, Chile
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  8 h
3
Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine), Chile
— 3 nights
Bus:  5 h
4
El Calafate, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h 45 min
5
Montevideo, Uruguay
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h
6
Punta del Diablo, Uruguay
— 3 nights
Bus + Taxi:  1 h 15 min
7
Cabo Polonio, Uruguay
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  11 h 15 min
End: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

3
nights
Santiago, Chile

Santiago ©
Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Vina Santa Rita and Kingston Family Vineyards. Step out of the city life by going to San Cristóbal Hill and Santuario de la Naturaleza el Arrayan. Change things up with a short trip to Vina Undurraga in Talagante (about 36 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: savor the flavors at Food & Drink, take in panoramic vistas at Grand Santiago Tower, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and step into the grandiose world of Castillo Hidalgo.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, go to the Santiago trip planning tool.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Santiago is an approximately 7.5- hour flight. You can also take a bus; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Santiago due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Santa Cruz.

Things to do in Santiago

Tours Wineries Parks

Side Trips

Vina Santa Rita, Vina Undurraga, Kingston Family Vineyards
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
Vina Undurraga ©
Vina Undurraga
Vina Santa Rita ©
Vina Santa Rita

2
nights
Santa Cruz, Chile

Santa Cruz ©
The Chilean city of Santa Cruz offers a view into the country's agricultural and pastoral heritage, with well-preserved colonial-era traditions and architecture.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): learn about winemaking at Clos Apalta Lapostolle, then do a tasting at MontGras, then do a tasting at OWM, and finally examine the collection at Museo Del Automóvil De Colchagua. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Museo El Huique, learn about winemaking at Vina Montes, then learn about winemaking at Vina Las Ninas, and finally take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see where to stay, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Santa Cruz trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Santiago to Santa Cruz in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of train and bus; or take a bus. January in Santa Cruz sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 15°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to travel to Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine).

Things to do in Santa Cruz

Wineries Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Museo Del Automóvil De Colchagua
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
MontGras ©
MontGras
Clos Apalta Lapostolle ©
Clos Apalta Lapostolle
Vina Montes ©
Vina Montes

3
nights
Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine), Chile

Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine) ©
Surrounded by towering mountains, shimmering lakes, and the region's rugged hills, Puerto Natales serves as a bustling jumping-off point for exploring the Torres del Paine National Park.
Take a break from the city and head to Mylodon Cave Natural Monument and Fishing Charters & Tours. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Bernardo O'Higgins National Park and Patagonia Line. There's still lots to do: explore the striking landscape at Glaciar Amalia, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, view the masterpieces at La Tehuelche, and look for gifts at Krea Noe.

For photos, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine) online attractions planner.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Santa Cruz to Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine) in 8 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Santa Cruz in January, you will find days in Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine) are cooler (18°C), and nights are slightly colder (11°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) to allow time to take a bus to El Calafate.

Things to do in Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine)

Outdoors Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Patagonia Line ©
Patagonia Line
Mylodon Cave Natural Monument ©
Mylodon Cave Natural Monument
Fishing Charters & Tours

2
nights
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate tourism thrives mostly thanks to the city's proximity to a World Heritage-listed national park, famed for containing over 40 large glaciers.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): stop by Vellon Negro, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then hunt for treasures at Paseo de Los Artesanos, and finally visit Avenida Libertador. On the next day, head outdoors with Enjoy!, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see reviews, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our El Calafate road trip site.

You can take a bus from Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine) to El Calafate in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Chile Standard Time (CLT) to Argentina Standard Time (ART), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Traveling from Puerto Natales (Torres del Paine) in January, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 15°C in El Calafate. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel to Montevideo.

Things to do in El Calafate

Outdoors Tours Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Avenida Libertador ©
Avenida Libertador

2
nights
Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo ©
With a rich cultural scene and plenty of developed beaches, Montevideo vacations appeal to a growing number of visitors from around the world.
Visiting Balneario Kiyu and Orange Bike will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Pizzorno Family Estates and Plaza Matriz. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Montevideo: Establecimiento Juanico (in Canelones) and Playa Solanas (in Punta Ballena). There's much more to do: visit Pocitos, take a stroll through Ciudad Vieja, make a trip to Mercado Ferrando, and step into the grandiose world of Castillo Pittamiglio.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Montevideo fast, fun, and easy.

Fly from El Calafate to Montevideo in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and ferry; or drive. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from El Calafate in January: highs in Montevideo hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to drive to Punta del Diablo.

Things to do in Montevideo

Parks Outdoors Wineries

Side Trips

Canelones, Balneario Kiyu, Playa Solanas
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Pizzorno Family Estates ©
Pizzorno Family Estates
Establecimiento Juanico ©
Establecimiento Juanico
Pocitos ©
Pocitos

3
nights
Punta del Diablo, Uruguay

Punta del Diablo ©
Formerly a sleepy little fishing town, Punta del Diablo has become a popular seaside getaway with a wealth of attractions natural and manmade.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa de Los Pescadores and Playa de la Viuda. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Santa Teresa National Park and Playa La Moza. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa del Rivero, tour the pleasant surroundings at Las Achiras Beach, identify plant and animal life at Cerro Verde e Islas de la Coronilla, and snap pictures at Puente Colgante.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Punta del Diablo trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Montevideo to Punta del Diablo in 4 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Montevideo to Punta del Diablo is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Cabo Polonio.

Things to do in Punta del Diablo

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Rocha, La Coronilla
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Santa Teresa National Park ©
Santa Teresa National Park
Playa de la Viuda ©
Playa de la Viuda
Playa de Los Pescadores ©
Playa de Los Pescadores

3
nights
Cabo Polonio, Uruguay

Cabo Polonio ©
The isolated hamlet of Cabo Polonio, part of Uruguay's remote Rocha province, offers a different take on a South American beach holiday.
Discover out-of-the-way places like La Pedrera and Playa de la Calavera. Get in touch with nature at Parque Nacional de Cabo Polonio and Balneario Punta Rubia. Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Los Botes (in La Paloma) and Puente Circular (in Rocha). It doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Medanos de la Barra de Valizas and visit a coastal fixture at Lighthouse of Cabo Polonio.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Cabo Polonio trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and taxi from Punta del Diablo to Cabo Polonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cabo Polonio

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Valizas, La Pedrera, Playa Los Botes, Puente Circular
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
La Pedrera ©
La Pedrera
Medanos de la Barra de Valizas ©
Medanos de la Barra de Valizas
Playa Los Botes ©
Playa Los Botes

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