Adventure - Art - Culture - Juniors Abroad at George Fox

Argentina/Chile

Faculty: Jonathan Andregg
Meeting Time: W - 6:30 - 9:00 PM

From the cultural hubs of Buenos Aires and Santiago to the driest deserts of Chile, the mountaintops of the Andes and the rainforest waterfalls on the borders of Brazil, experience South America in all its beauty and complexity.  

We’ll begin our trip in Buenos Aires, a place like no other to understand the history and culture of Spanish colonialism.  We’ll also get to spend a day experiencing the life of the gauchos on a traditional Argentinian ranch with horseback riding and asado barbecue.  We then travel to the Brazilian border and the rainforest surrounding Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world.  We cross Paraguay, one of the quietest and least visited countries in Latin America to see ecological wonders while ziplining and rappelling at Eco Reserva Mbatovi.  We continue on to Chile, where we will experience the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places in the world, seeing the incomparable salt flats and geyser fields.  After visiting Santiago, the capital and cultural center of Chile, we cross a high mountain pass in the Andes mountains back into Argentina where we will see the highlands surrounding Mendoza just below Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. We will visit Cordoba, a city in central Argentina that is perfect for immersion in Argentine culture and the history of the Jesuits in South America.  We return to Buenos Aires before returning home with new memories and an expanded appreciation for a diverse and complex continent.

Beware: You must be in good physical shape and be prepared for serious hiking, high altitudes, and adventure!

Preliminary Itinerary

DAY 1: TRAVEL

After an early flight out of PDX, we will arrive late in the day in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

DAY 2: BUENOS AIRES

Full day tour of Buenos Aires: we’ll see the historical city center full of beautiful churches, the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, the Evita Balcony, and City Cathedral.  We’ll have coffee at the oldest and most beautiful cafe in Buenos Aires, Cafe Tortoni, founded in 1858, we’ll see the widest avenue in the world, Avenida 9 de Julio and the Buenos Aires Obelisk. We will have lunch at a traditional Argentine restaurant.  

Afternoon: we’ll spend some time in the Recoleta, a neighborhood of old mansions and we’ll wrap up the day at the Recoleta Cemetery, the resting place of Eva Peron.

DAY 3: BUENOS AIRES

In the morning, we will visit El Zanjon de Granados, a recently discovered series of tunnels in the oldest part of Buenos Aires, giving a unique time-capsule view into the earliest history of the city.

Afternoon: free time to explore the city.

Evening: After dinner, we will experience a show at the Teatro Colon, considered by National Geographic to be one of the ten best opera houses in the world.

DAY 4: A DAY AT AN ARGENTINE CATTLE RANCH

We will travel just outside Buenos Aires to a ranch in the Pampas lowlands to experience the life of the gauchos, with a chance to enjoy horseback rides and traditional Argentinian asado barbecue.

DAY 5: IGUAZU FALLS

We will take a short flight early in the morning to Puerto Iguazu.  We will take the whole day to explore the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world. Overnight in Puerto Iguazu, just across the river from both Paraguay and Brazil.

DAY 6: IGUAZU FALLS - ASUNCION, PARAGUAY

We will travel via Brazil across Paraguay to Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay

DAY 7: ASUNCION

We will experience the relatively unknown (for American tourists) city of Asuncion. We will see the Palacio de los Lopez, Museo del Barro, and stroll down La Costanera, the promenade popular with the locals.

DAY 8: ECO RESERVA MBATOVI

We will visit a beautiful park southeast of Asuncion that is ecologically diverse, being home to Chachi, an almost extinct fern, armadillos, and native rabbits.  The more adventurous can sign up for a 344-foot long zip line and cliff rappelling adventure.

DAY 9: ASUNCION - CALAMA, CHILE

We fly from Paraguay across the Andes mountains to Chile, arriving in Calama in the morning and visiting the Valley of the Moon in the afternoon. 

DAY 10: ATACAMA DESERT

We will spend some time exploring the Atacama Salt Flats, one of the driest and most unforgiving deserts in the world. Many areas only receive 1 mm of rainfall a year. Our guides will let us explore this stunning area for the day.

DAY 11: ATACAMA DESERT

We will spend another day exploring the Atacama desert, this time focusing on the geyser fields of El Tatio and the small village at Machuca. Return to Calama

DAY 12: CALAMA - SANTIAGO

We’ll say farewell to the desert and fly south to Santiago, Chile’s capital. 

DAY 13: SANTIAGO

As a change from the dryness of the Atacama, we will enjoy the beautiful gardens at the city’s Cerro Santa Lucia.  In the afternoon, we’ll see some of the best artifacts from pre-Columbian South America at the Museo Chileno de Arte Preocolombino

DAY 14: FREE DAY IN SANTIAGO

A day to relax and enjoy one of the most interesting cities in South America - spend the day as you would like - shopping, visiting museums, or catching up on some sleep.

DAY 15:  CAJON DEL MAIPO

Just south of Santiago is a massive gorge on the Maipo river where many Chileans go for outdoor excitement.  El Morado glacier, San Jose volcano and some hot springs will be some of the attractions.

DAY 16:  SANTIAGO

Today we will see the magnificent views from the Costanera Center, or Gran Torre Santiago, the largest skyscraper in Latin America standing at just under 1000 feet.

We will also tour the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, dedicated to the history of the authoritarian regime under the Pinochet regime of the 1970s and 80s.

Night tour of the Cemeterio General de Santiago - a little macabre perhaps, but a riveting tour of this 200+ acre cemetery where over two million people are buried.

DAY 17:  BUS FROM SANTIAGO, CHILE - MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

We will take a bus across the Andes Mountains back into Argentina. We will see stunning views and take in the changing landscape across one of the most important mountain ranges in the world. 

DAY 18: RAFTING ON THE MENDOZA RIVER

We’ll have a chance to try out the Class III rapids on this wild river that irrigates one of the prime wine regions in Argentina just below the slopes of Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere.

DAY 19: MENDOZA - CORDOBA

We’ll fly across the heart of Argentina to Cordoba, the second largest city of Argentina, is well known for how well it has preserved the architectural legacy of Spanish colonial days. The afternoon will be spent visiting highlights of the city: Plaza San Martin, the Jesuit Apple, a UNESCO world heritage site, and Iglesia de los Capuchinos.

Day 20: CORDOBA

Cordoba is one of the places to fully experience the historical role of the Jesuits in South American history. Today, we’ll see Colonia Caroya, a place still inhabited by immigrants from Northern Italy, the baroque church of Estancia Santa Catalina and beautiful villages of Sierras Chicas.

DAY 21: RETURN TO BUENOS AIRES

Cordoba, while being a place to experience the history of Argentina, is also a university town with a growing arts and cultural vibe. We’ll have some time to explore the city on our own before catching an evening flight back to Buenos Aires.

DAY 22: RETURN HOME

We’ll fly back to Portland with many new memories.