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Join BirdNote on a trip to Chile and Argentina, November 2015

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Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay...

Join BirdNote's Adam Sedgley and Kate Godman
on a
culturally rich, two-week journey with Earthbound Expeditions!

Sip velvety smooth wines in the Maipo Valley, visit the seaside home of Pablo Neruda, discover amazing birdlife in Patagonia - including a colony of Magellanic Penguins - and stand in awe of the glaciers of Moreno. In addition, you’ll be treated to an evening tango performance and enjoy a concert in Argentina’s newly restored opera house, the Teatro Colon. Private tours of world-class museums, outings to colorful markets, and stunning bird habitats all blend to perfection. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind journey to Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay with BirdNote.

November 1 - 12, 2015
(with optional two-night extension to Iguazu Falls)


Journey at a Glance

Trip begins on November 1 in Santiago, Chile
3 Nights in Santiago, Chile
3 Nights in Patagonia, Chile
2 Nights in El Calafate, Argentina
3 Nights in Buenos Aires (with day trip to Colonia, Uruguay)
Trip ends evening of November 12 (return by November 13)
Post-tour option: 2 Nights in Iguazú Falls, on the border of Argentina and Brazil

Coscoroba Swans

What Makes this BirdNote Adventure Unique?

  • The fabulous birds of Patagonia
  • Santiago’s colorful covered fish market
  • Guided walks through Santiago’s museums and neighborhoods
  • Excursions to Pablo Neruda’s home in Valparaiso
  • Wine tastings in the Maipo and Casablanca wine regions of Chile
  • Walk amongst tens of thousands of breeding Magellanic Penguins
  • Tickets to the Santiago Philharmonic (TBA)
  • The towering glaciers of El Calafate, Argentina
  • The newly restored Teatro Colon opera house, Buenos Aires
  • A passionate tango performance
  • Ferry ride across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia, Uruguay
  • The lively San Telmo open-air market, Buenos Aires
  • A walking tour highlighting the life of Evita Peron
  • A wonderful group of BirdNote travel companions!

Your BirdNote Adventure Begins…

Day 1, November 1: Early arrival in Santiago

For those flying in on either the Delta or American Airlines flight, you’ll be greeted at the airport by your local Earthbound Expeditions guide and escorted to your beautiful, centrally located hotel. Spend some time freshening up before meeting your guide and host for a fascinating exploration of the heart of Santiago. Visit Santa Lucia hill, where Pedro de Valdivia founded the city in 1542, and walk to the oldest church in Santiago. See the charming neighborhood known as Paris-Londres. Visit the main square, Plaza de Armas, and enjoy lunch in the famous fish market. Tonight, join your BirdNote hosts and guide for a welcome dinner. Sleep in Santiago.

Day 2: An outing to the Maipo Valley
[Join BirdNote hosts before breakfast for nearby birdwatching or city photography.]

After breakfast, depart Santiago for the beautiful Maipo Valley. Pronounced “mah-EE-poa,” this is Chile's oldest and most productive wine-producing area. It's a subregion within the larger central valley region and lies just south of Santiago, Chile's capital city. Although Maipo isn't the largest area, it contains a considerable concentration of vineyards and a large representation of important producers, largely due to its proximity to Santiago. Ocean breezes and elevation provide a number of cool growing areas within the region. For the most part, this is red-wine country, with cabernet sauvignon the most celebrated and widely planted variety. There are also good examples of chardonnay, merlot, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, and sémillon being produced. Our tasting will be at the Viña Undurraga.

In the afternoon, we will return to Santiago to relax and freshen up before meeting this evening for dinner and an evening classical concert (details TBA). Sleep in Santiago.

Pablo Neruda's home

Day 3: Visit the home of Pablo Neruda
[Join BirdNote hosts for early morning birding or city photography.]

This morning, we make our way to the coast and visit the home and museum of Pablo Neruda, South America’s most famous poet. Born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto in southern Chile on July 12, 1904, Pablo Neruda led a life charged with poetic and political activity. In 1923, he sold all of his possessions to finance the publication of his first book, Crepusculario ("Twilight"). He published the volume under the pseudonym "Pablo Neruda" to avoid conflict with his family, who disapproved of his occupation. The following year, he found a publisher for Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada ("Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair"). The book made a worldwide celebrity of Neruda, who gave up his studies at the age of twenty to devote himself to his craft.

We will take advantage of this beautiful coastline to look for Inca Terns, Peruvian Boobies, and – with a little luck – Humboldt Penguins. We depart the coastal city of Valparaiso in the late afternoon and make our way back to Santiago. Time permitting, we’ll stop and enjoy another late afternoon wine tasting in the Casablanca Valley. Sleep in Santiago.

Punta Arenas

Day 4: Patagonia - Punta Arenas - Fjord Ultima Esperanza

Our morning flight will take us deep into Patagonia to the southern tip of South America, Punta Arenas.
Colorful Punta Arenas lies 3,090 kilometers to the south of Santiago de Chile. This picturesque city is the most important urban center in the Magallanes Region. Lying 260 kilometers from Puerto Natales and 230 kilometers from Ushuaia, Punta Arenas is the access gate to the Southern Region, also known as “the end of the world.”

Punta Arenas is the southernmost continental city in the world, and it represents a port for the booming bioceanic traffic. Its main attractions include the Mayorino Borgatello Salesian Museum; the Shepherds Monument, with its horse, its dog, and sheep; the local cemetery; the Patagonia Institute (a research center of the history and the resources of the region, along with the Memory Museum in its gardens); the Municipal Theater; Muñoz Gamero Square with its sculpture to commemorate the discovery of the Strait of Magellan by Ferdinand Magellan, as well as splendid works that preserve tradition such as Gran Hotel Cabo de Hornos (Cape Horn Grand Hotel), public buildings, and local corporation venues.

This afternoon, enjoy lunch and a guided tour of Museo Regional Braun Menendez. The museum is the former home of one of Patagonia's wealthiest families. Tapestries, furniture from France, Italian marble fireplaces, hand-painted wallpaper -- this veritable palace is a testament to the Braun family's insatiable need to match European elite society. Sleep in Punta Arenas.

Magellanic Penguin colony on Isla Magdalena

Day 5: A Day with the Penguins

After breakfast, we will take a boat trip to visit the protected Isla Magdalena, home to thousands of breeding Magellanic Penguins. This will certainly be an unforgettable experience.

In the late afternoon, we drive to Puerto Natales where we’ll spend the next two nights. Puerto Natales is a town with 18,000 inhabitants. The town is on the mainland, but channels link it to the sea. Puerto Natales is an active town with a tourist atmosphere and offers a variety of hotel, culinary, and expedition services. Sleep in Puerto Natales. (B, D)

Day 6: A day in Torres del Paine National Park

Torres del Paine National Park covers 181,000 hectares and has a wide variety of bird fauna, with about 100 visible species, including especially Andean Condor, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Lesser Rhea, Black-necked Swan, Chilean Flamingo, Spectacled Duck, Upland Goose, Magellanic Woodpecker, and Patagonian Sierra-Finch.

Andean Condor

Our visit to the park will include the gushing waterfall, Salto Grande, one of the prime attractions in the park. While its height is not overwhelming (it's about 50 feet tall), it has incredible power as it drains the Lago Nordenskjöld and feeds Lago Pehoé. In one of the easier hikes within the largely de-centralized park, you can view the falls from afar or get close to its brink. You’ll also peek into the deep blue waters of the Laguna Agmarga, Lago Nordenskjöld, and Lago Grey. After a full day of discovery, return to Puerto Natales. Relax and freshen up before meeting your guide and hosts for dinner. Sleep in Puerto Natales.

Day 7: East across Patagonia to Argentina

This morning, we depart Chile for Argentina. Our five-hour scenic drive will take us past mountain lakes and through beautiful pastures. We’ll stop where the scenery – and birding – are at their best and arrive in El Calafate, Argentina, in the late afternoon. Tonight, you will enjoy a fine Argentine steak. (Vegetarian dishes available.) Sleep in El Calafate.

Day 8: Perito Moreno Glacier

Undoubtedly, the biggest attraction in this corner of Patagonia is the Perito Moreno Glacier. This is an awesome giant, one of the great natural wonders of the world. At a time when virtually all the world's glaciers are retreating, the Perito Merino is advancing, albeit very slowly. As the ice pushes forward, large chunks break off the terminus, almost maintaining a state of equilibrium. It's the forward pressure of the ice that creates the groans and creaks, which make the ice seem almost a living creature. Add to that the exquisite beauty of the ice, its myriad shades of blue and near pristine state, and it's no wonder that, of all the glaciers in the national park, the Perito Merino is the one that is not to be missed.

Your day trip to the glacier includes lunch and a boat cruise below the glaciers. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Dinner included. Sleep in El Calafate.

Teatro Colon

Day 9: North to Buenos Aires

Arriving in Buenos Aires in the late morning, we’ll check in to our centrally located hotel and then set out to discover one of the world’s most stunning and culturally rich cities.

We’ll see the 16th century Plaza de Mayo with the “Casa Rosada” (government house), the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the old “Cabildo” (chapter house), which was once the Spanish headquarters for this region of South America. Traveling down the “Avenida de Mayo,” we arrive in historic Congreso Square, which leads to both National Congress and “Corrientes Avenue,” (also called “the street that never sleeps”). Near the National Congress, is the newly restored opera house known as the Theater Colon and the “avenue 9 de Julio” (the world’s largest avenue), known affectionately today as “La Boca.” This is the district of Bohemian Italian neighborhoods overflowing with colorful shops and lively cafes. Our journey culminates with a tour of the “Recoleta” and “Palermo” districts, where we’ll learn about the remarkable life story of Evita (Eva Peron). Before returning to the hotel, we’ll stop by the city cemetery to pay our respects to Argentina’s beloved artists and intellectuals. Rest and relax at the hotel before heading out for a traditional Argentine dinner. Sleep in Buenos Aires.

Day 10: An Excursion to Colonia—Uruguay!

This morning, we make our way to the port, where we’ll catch a ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay. We’ll cross the world’s biggest river, the “Rio de la Plata,” and in just over an hour, we arrive in what is commonly called the “Switzerland of South America” – Uruguay. Enjoy a private walk through the cobblestone streets of this colonial Portuguese town, after which we’ll have a wine tasting to toast our wonderful time in South America. After lunch, you’ll have free time to further explore this little gem on your own before we return on the ferry. Sleep in Buenos Aires.

San Telmo market

Day 11: Buenos Aires and San Telmo market
[Join BirdNote hosts for early morning birding or city photography.]

Today, enjoy one of the city’s great traditions, the Sunday market of San Telmo. This is where you’ll capture a true slice of Buenos Aires life, as you stroll past artisan stalls, entertaining street musicians, and talented dancers demonstrating the tango. Tonight, we’ll dine together in the Palermo district and enjoy a passionate tango performance. Sleep in Buenos Aires.

Day 12: A day in Buenos Aires / Late evening departure for the USA
Schedule TBA

Rufescent Tiger-Heron

For the birders in the group, we will arrange a morning visit to “Costanera Sur Ecologic Reserve” – one of the best areas for birding in Buenos Aires. If there’s water in the lagoons, we can expect to see Rufescent Tiger-Heron, White-faced Whistling-duck, Coscoroba Swan, and Wattled Jacana, in addition to a nice assortment of land birds. Return to our hotel by late morning.

Those taking the post-tour extension will fly out this afternoon to Iguazú Falls.*

Day 13 - November 13: Arrive Home

Our exquisite journey has come to an end. Return home with a lifetime of memories.

Toco Toucan

* Two-night Post-tour Extension to Iguazú Falls
-- $995 double occupancy

Straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazú Falls stretch close to two miles. And this adventure provides opportunities to see both the panoramic views and the adrenaline-rushing up-close-and-wet version. “Iguazú” is a Tupi Indian name meaning “great waters,” and upon seeing this mighty testament of nature, you are sure to understand why.

Day 12: Post-tour to Iguazú Falls begins

Transfer to the airport for your flight north to Iguazú Falls. Upon arrival, spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring the surrounding area. Sleep near Iguazú Falls.

Days 13: Iguazú Falls

Plush-crested Jay

Join a half-day tour of the Brazilian side of the national park for amazing panoramic views of the falls, stretching almost three kilometers – that's 1.7 miles! – long and containing more than 270 separate cascades. The green jungle, thousands of butterflies, muggy heat, and the roar of the falling water make this an unforgettable vista. Flocks of Great Dusky Swifts will be seen in the spray of the waterfall; colorful Toco Toucans and Plush-crested Jays can be found in the surrounding forest. It's possible to take an easy walk into the canyon of the Devil's Throat. Spend the next day hiking the Argentine side of the falls. A train ride, a bridge walk, and a hike to the bottom all offer spectacular, up-close views of the falls. There is also the option to take a 4WD to the lower part of the falls. Sleep near Iguazú Falls.

Day 14: Return flight home: Transfer to airport and fly to Buenos Aires. Return flight to the US departs from Buenos Aires at 11:00 pm tonight. Overnight flight to the US.

Day 15 - November 15: Arrive home with a lifetime of memories.

12 Days / 11 Nights (excluding round-trip air)
$4,950 - based on double occupancy ($1,275 - single supplement)
Journey begins on the afternoon of November 1 in Santiago, Chile
Journey concludes in Buenos Aires on November 12 (optional extension to Iguazu Falls concludes November 14)
Limited to 25 guests

Trip Includes:
•    A bilingual guide from Earthbound Expeditions as program manager
•    Twelve nights of accommodations in centrally located, 4-star hotels
•    Gratuities for your guide and driver
•    Transport by private mini-bus
•    Boat excursion to island penguin colony in Patagonia
•    Domestic flights within Argentina and Chile
•    Airport transfers in Argentina and Chile
•    Entrances to national parks in Patagonia
•    Private museum tours with informative local guides and local experts
•    All breakfasts and 12 additional multi-course meals featuring local cuisine
•    Tickets to both the Santiago Philharmonic and Buenos Aires Opera House
•    BirdNote alumni discounts applied towards future trips

Upland Goose

Not included:
Roundtrip airfare to South America (arriving in Santiago and leaving from Buenos Aires*), country taxes and entry fees, travel insurance, airline taxes and surcharges, personal expenses in preparation for your journey, and any items not listed in your BirdNote itinerary

* Earthbound Expeditions recommends the Delta flight to/from Atlanta or the American Airlines flights to/from Dallas or Miami

Save $275:
(1) Alumni save $100; (2) Refer a friend and save $75; (3) Pay your final balance by check and save $100

Questions: please call Earthbound Expeditions at 206.842.9775 or email BirdNote Director of Development at





Learn more about Earthbound Expeditions.

Torres del Paine National Park - Andrea Schieber
Coscoroba Swans - Anarrestidream

Paris-Londres - L.A. B. /lukas_y2k
Pablo Neruda's home - Alicia
Punta Arenas - Povl Abrahamsen
Magellanic Penguin Colony - Mor
Andean Condor Noah B Kaplan
Teatro Colon - Drew Waddell
San Telmo market - Alberto Gonzalez
Rufescent Tiger-Heron - Cláudio Dias Timm
Toco Toucan - Martin Heigan
Plush-crested Jay - Dario Sanches
Upland Goose - Daniele Colombo
Plush-crested Jay seen on Facebook - franalverja -Flickr Creative Commons