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Antarctica's White Wilderness 2015

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Trip Extensions

Pre-trip: Bariloche, Argentina: Patagonian Andes & Lakes

Majestic peaks rise above glittering lakes in Bariloche, a nature-lover’s playground. The rugged landscapes of Patagonia and the influence of German culture combine for an Alpine experience in the foothills of the Andes. From a working ranch to a local brewery, we'll experience the vibrant culture that thrives in Argentina’s “Little Switzerland.” And we'll take in the area's natural beauty from lofty viewpoints.

It's Included:
Roundtrip airfare from Buenos Aires to Bariloche
Accommodations: for 1 night in Buenos Aires, 4 nights in Bariloche
10 meals: 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners
Included tours: Campanario Hill, craft brewery, mountain hike, horseback riding in a Patagonian ranch
Exclusive services of a resident Grand Circle Program Director
All transfers
Services of a resident Grand Circle Program Director
All transfers
Now included for 2015:
Gratuities for local guides and motorcoach drivers on your extension and all optional tours
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    Depart the U.S. this evening for an overnight flight to Buenos Aires.

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    You arrive in Buenos Aires today and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, you’ll embark on an orientation walk through the neighborhood surrounding your hotel. The vibrant spirit of Buenos Aires will be perfectly apparent as you get to know your environs here in Argentina’s thriving capital city.

    This evening, you’ll get to know your Program Director and fellow travelers over a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. From pasta to the finest grilled meats, the palate-tempting choices in this cosmopolitan city vary widely but are united in their fresh flavors, and offer a perfect introduction to the region.

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    Today, we trade man-made skyscrapers for a natural skyline as we depart Buenos Aires after breakfast for our flight to Bariloche, during which we can gaze out the windows at the frosted peaks that surround this lakeside city nestled in the foothills of the Andes. Set along the banks of the 40-mile-long Lake Nahuel Huapi, San Carlos de Bariloche—as the city is more formally known—is the gateway to Patagonia’s Lake District, and has a distinctly alpine flavor indicative of its strong Central European influence. This is most apparent in the wood and stone architecture of the city center, which—along with its status as an international skiing destination—helps give Bariloche the nickname “Little Switzerland.”

    Upon arrival, you'll join your Program Director for an orientation walk around the neighborhood of your hotel, followed by an included dinner.

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    This morning, you'll explore Bariloche, starting with a guided tour of the city before venturing out into the surrounding countryside. At Campanario Hill, enjoy a chairlift ride up this picturesque peak, climbing high above the tree line for a panoramic view of Patagonia's striking scenery. Take in the beautiful collage of deep green foliage and snowcapped mountains mirrored in the region’s azure lakes before enjoying another leisurely chairlift ride back to level ground. After that, join your fellow travelers for a hike up to a lookout point of Nahuel Huapi Lake.

    Later, witness how Bariloche’s land and culture come together when we see how locally grown ingredients are used to brew beer at a family-owned craft brewery. Considering the strong German influence in Bariloche, it's no surprise that locals are experts at transforming their region’s fresh hops, barley, and pristine water into a variety of beers and ales using artisanal methods passed down from generation to generation. Savor lunch at the brewery after we observe the brewmasters at work.

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    This morning, you'll visit a mountain refuge on Otto Hill that reveals the area's natural beauty as you enjoy sweeping vistas of shimmering lakes and jagged peaks. After a mountain hike, you'll have lunch at the refuge, and then return to Bariloche where you have the rest of the day free for you to make your own discoveries.

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    This morning, we'll visit an estancia—a working sheep ranch—on the Patagonian steppe. We'll learn about the local way of life and then mount up for a horseback ride that lets us experience this traditional local mode of transportation. Then we'll enjoy an included lunch, including a traditional lamb barbecue.

    We return to our hotel this afternoon, and the balance of the day is at leisure in Bariloche. Or, join us for a relaxing optional excursion to the Limay River. 

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    • Meals included:

    Following breakfast this morning, you fly to Buenos Aires to meet your fellow travelers and set out to explore Antarctica's White Wilderness.