Essence of South America

Has anyone been on this tour recently? Just wondering what people have to say about it. My husband and I are thinking about the Dec. 13, 2019 tour.


  • I’d love to take this tour soon, we always a odes doing it because it took so long to get a visa for Brazil, up to three months, but since this summer, there is no longer a need for a visa.

  • edited September 2019

    We didn’t think this was the best one we’ve been on. We enjoyed Rio and LOVED Iguacu Falls — both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. All in all we thought it was ho hum. You are very dependent on the weather in Bariloches and the trip through the Andes mountains could’ve been almost anywhere in the world. We did stay at a spectacular hotel in the park on the Argentinian side of Iguassu Falls.

    Upon reflection, we thought seeing Buenos Aires, Iguacu Falls, and Rio would be just fine. Santiago was somewhat interesting, but not worth the trip. The first outing to a winery was loooong with lots of traffic and not really worth the trouble, gaucho demonstration aside.

    Please bear in mind that everyone experiences these trips differently, but we felt we could’ve spent our money better elsewhere. Still with Tauck, of course. 😄

  • Thanks for your comments, MCMAJ. I agree with you that everyone experiences these things differently. Just curious, which one is the best you’ve been on? We loved our trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

  • Ellie g - Kenya & Tanzania hands down! It was like being in a National Geographic documentary, and I’m pretty sure it will always be the best one. Our next favorite was China. Who knew that would be such a fabulous trip. We’re going to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand this December and I can hardly wait. We love trips to places with cultures so different from ours. Someday, I’ll get my husband to India! But first, Jordan & Egypt in 2020. Tauck really does these cultural trips well. If they ever get back to Istanbul, I’m there!

  • I really appreciate your comments. We have been on safari in South Africa, Zambia and Botswana and that was hands down our best trip ever. Hope to make it to Kenya and Tanzania. Also have done a Nile cruise- fabulous. Istanbul- loved it. Hope you can get there some day. China and India are also on the bucket list. I think you may have helped us decide which way to go here. Thanks again. Happy Trails!

  • We did this trip in February, 2015, which isn't really recent. We loved it. It was our first Tauck tour. Chile was our favorite country. Iguacu Falls was probably the highlight, although our stay at Lago Lago was outstanding, perhaps because the weather was stunning. Rio was our least favorite, but that could have been because it was at the end of the tour and also because the heat was intense (101!).

  • Thanks, Sugarcreek.

  • We were thinking of taking this tour now there is no longer a need to get a visa for Brazil. It was supposed to take about three months to get a visa for Brazil and we could not be without passports for that long.
    We took the Patagonia tour last November and it begins In Santiago. We arrived a day early, went to an interesting museum of a famous artist, writer, can’t remember who it was now but I may have mentioned it on my trip review on that part of the forum. We walked to the top of a local gardens view for views of the whole city. We also went to a winery via trip advisor and it was lovely, yes the traffic is heavy but who could not find the sites interesting along the way and chatting to the driver, A flavor of how chaotic many Southern American cites’s all part of the fun and interest to is. We had a lovely lunch at a great wine bar just at the back of the hotel where I chose a really yellow-colored wine that smelled like blue cheese but tasted wonderful. I was talking to a wine snob recently and they seemed impressed I had tried that type of wine.
    We have so many Tauck favorites. Everywhere is so different, it’s hard to compare trip with trip and some may seem of less good value but the prices vary in so many parts of the world. Interestingly the only one we have felt was sub par was down to the tour director who was past his sell by date and a bit lazy. We met a couple on another tour who had had the sameTD In the same area of the US three years before and they were staggered he was still working for Tauck. New Tauck customers were put off Tauck by him, not good.

  • I am interested in this tour with friends in 2021 when I'll be 70 yo. I'm wondering if altitude will be a problem for me??

  • Have you checked what the highest altitude is on the tour page, I haven’t. Generally speaking, age has nothing to do with how a person copes with altitude, it seems to be a genetic thing. My husband and son, both fit, cannot cope with high altitude.

  • British Generally speaking, age has nothing to do with how a person copes with altitude, it seems to be a genetic thing.

    Yes and no. What you say is true of altitude sickness, but not true of "regular" acclimitization (fatigue, shortness of breath, etc.) to altitude, which is related to age, physical fitness, etc.

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