Updated: Oct 5, 2021
I went on the G Adventures Rio to Buenos Aires tour in February 2019 and it was such a fantastic trip. It was my first time visiting South America and the tour was a great introduction to what South America has to offer. I had always wanted to visit South America but was concerned about my safety. One thing I must say about G Adventures and their tours is that they ensure you feel safe 100% of the time no matter what country you are in. This was more than the case in South America and, as I didn’t have to worry about my safety, it meant I enjoyed the trip more.
Rio de Janiero
The tour started in Rio de Janeiro which has always been a place on my bucket list – in large part due to Christ the Redeemer! Despite having just two nights in the carnival city, I managed to do everything I had planned to do including a full city tour. The full city tour included Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Selaron Staircase (Escadaria Selarón) and Rio de Janeiro Cathedral. It was a fantastic tour of Rio’s most well-known landmarks with Christ the Redeemer being my third wonder of the world – I’m aiming to see all seven by the time I’m thirty! There is also an included tour of a favela but a week before we arrived in Rio there were some devastating floods in the favelas which means we were unable to visit them. We also got to experience a night out in Rio which was so much fun and I’m so glad I got to experience the night life in such a fun, diverse and welcoming place.
After our two nights in Rio we headed to the island Ilha Grande. Ilha Grande is one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever visited and it is so picturesque. We were given the choice of what to do on the island and there were so many options to pick from. I chose the day trip boat tour in which we did some snorkelling through the luscious turquoise waters and then we were taken to a neighbouring island to spend the day relaxing, sunbathing and eating! If you are visiting Brazil, you have to go to Ilha Grande – it is one of the most beautiful islands I’ve ever visited!
Paraty, known for its cobbled streets and cachaça distilleries, was the next destination on our trip. Our whole group opted for a boat party in which we spent the day on a boat drinking Brazil’s famous caiprinha’s, swimming in the sea and having a BBQ – looking back now it really was the best day! During our time in Paraty we also visited a local cachaça distillery where we had a tour of the distillery and sampled some of the different flavours – and also encountered a very large spider!
Iguassu Falls are made up of 275 different cascades, falls and drops and is the world’s largest waterfall system. I’d always seen pictures of Iguassu Falls but seeing them myself with my own eyes really was breath-taking. We took a flight to Iguassu Falls which meant we got to avoid a very long bus journey! As well as walking around and looking at the falls I opted to take a boat tour to see the falls from below. I thought it would just give me a different perspective to see the falls but the boat actually took us so close to them that we got drenched – absolutely soaking wet! Other optional activities at Iguassu Falls were skydiving and a helicopter ride over the falls. I didn’t do either of these but some of the group did and they all said it was a once in a lifetime experience.
Next up was a trip to a local estancia (ranch) in Uruguay. This was one of my highlights of the tour. We were able to experience rural life in Uruguay which was something I’d learnt about at school but I never thought I’d get the opportunity to stay on a ranch myself. The time on the ranch was an opportunity to relax and reflect on the trip so far. We had the most delicious BBQ and spent most of the time relaxing in the hammocks. A particular highlight for me was the horse ride we went on around the surrounding areas of the ranch – it was just so peaceful and it really made me feel like I was a part of the ranch.
Next up in Uruguay was the capital Montevideo. The accommodation in Montevideo was excellent and luxurious. I opted for the city bike tour in which, similar to Rio, we were taken to many of Montevideo’s most well-known landmarks and areas. As we only had one full day in Montevideo the bike tour allowed me to see so much of Uruguay’s capital in a short period of time. In the evening too we also went to a Club Atlético Peñarol football match. The opportunity to go and watch a football match in South America was not something I was going to miss and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The atmosphere was something else, the fans were so loud and supportive of their team and the match itself was full of goals.
Colonia was our stop off point between Montevideo and Buenos Aires. We all went on a guided walking tour of Colonia which was fascinating to hear about its history and culture. We spent the evening at a bar, listening to local music and enjoying what was one of the last few nights of the tour.
Buenos Aires was the final stop of our tour and one of the places I was most looking forward to visiting. We had two days in Buenos Aires and I wanted to make the most of it. We explored many local areas including La Boca and we went to see the football stadium of the Boca Juniors which is one of Argentina’s most popular teams. In the evening we had a tango lesson in which two professionals taught us the basic steps and then afterwards we watched the show whilst enjoying a classic Argentinian dinner and some red wine! During our time in Buenos Aires we also went on a tour of many of the popular landmarks including the massive BA sign in the centre of Buenos Aires and the Floralis Generica which is a large metallic floral sculpture. We also got to experience a night out which was lots of fun! Buenos Aires was a place that I could see myself living one day so I’m so glad I got to visit it on the tour.
Overall, I’d highly recommend this tour to anyone considering travelling to South America for the first time. It was a perfect introduction to South America and I loved it so much that I’m already looking at more G Adventures tours in South America for the future!