Chile and Argentina


Join Cross Cultural Journeys and Peter Siavelis, Wake Forest University Professor of Politics and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, on an amazing journey to experience richness of the social, political and cultural fabric of Chile and Argentina


Daily Itinerary:

We begin our journey in Santiago, the capital of one of Latin America’s richest countries. Chile was also one of the region’s most enduring democracies, before the advent of the brutal Pinochet dictatorship. As we get to know the city in depth, we will explore the fascinating process of the dictatorship and democratic transition and how Chile deals with its legacy of human rights abuses, with special comparison to Argentina. We will see the legacy of the dictatorship everywhere and explore how Chileans have dealt with it. We will also make a foray in to Chile’s wine country, recognized as one of the richest in the world and one that is aggressively taking on French and California producers.  Finally, we will head for the coastal city of Valparaíso (known as the San Francisco of Latin America, for its hills and maritime culture) and the resort city of Viña del Mar. We will meander through the colorful streets and labyrinthine hills of Valparaíso, taking in the stunning views of Chile's most important port, once a stop for all ships heading to the US west coast, before the Panama Canal was built. Here we will explore the world of Nobel Prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda, and visit his famous and inspirational Isla Negra coastal home.


We then move on to the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires, one of Latin America’s major capitals and the land of Tango, Evita, and vast Italian migration. We will sample the rich cuisine in this culinary capital, with an abundance of beef and Italian food, as well as the flourishing of new international restaurants. As we make our way through the city, we also will explore the phenomenon of Peronism, the cult of personality surrounding Eva Peron; Argentina’s dirty war, and the human rights movement centered on the famous Madres de la Plaza de Mayo and visit sites related to each.  We will take time to become familiar with the richness of Argentine culture with a daylong visit to an estancia (a traditional Argentine country estate) to experience Argentina’s gaucho culture first hand. You will return home with a understanding of Latin America different from that of most Americans, and one that reflects the richness of the cultures and societies of the southernmost countries in the Americas.


Day 1 | Thursday, January 5 | Santiago de Chile Arrive in Santiago and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon your bilingual guide will lead you on a tour highlighting Santiago’s most important historical sites, including the downtown area, the Plaza de Armas and the La Moneda Presidential Palace. You will visit some of the lesser-known barrios of Santiago including Republica and Concha y Toro, which were historically privileged neighborhoods and home to Santiago's high society. There will be time to walk around and take photos of the varied styles of architecture dating back to the 19th and early 20th century. Continuing through the cobblestoned Lastarria neighborhood, you will walk through the Parque Forestal and pass by the Bellas Artes Museum. For a panoramic vista of the city, you will visit the top of Cerro San Cristobal Hill, 984 feet above the city.  During the tour, you will have the option to visit one of Santiago’s most famous museums, La Chascona, former home to beloved poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda.* The whimsical residence provides a snapshot into the life and mind of Neruda, filled with art, eccentric collections, and even his Nobel Prize. Enjoy a welcome dinner together. Atton El Bosque Hotel or similar  (D)


*Please note that Fundacion Pablo Neruda does not permit purchasing tickets in advance, nor making reservations for visits. Visitors are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.


Day 2 | Friday, January 6 | Santiago de Chile Today we will get to know an important part of Chile’s history. First, visit the Museum of Memory and Human Rights located in Quinta Normal. The museum opened its doors in 2010 under the governance of Chile’s first female president Bachelet and has since been a high profile and must-visit cultural institution! The museum has a large number of documents, archives, innovative sight and sound presentations about the military coup and the human rights violations between 1973 and 1990. After the museum visit we will next drive through the city and arrive at El Mercado Central, Santiago’s famous seafood market, where you will witness firsthand the natural bounty of the Chilean seas. You’ll enjoy lunch at El Galeón, one of the best restaurants located inside the Mercado Central. After lunch we will head to the General Cemetery of Santiago, which has an estimated 2 million burials and it is therefore one of the largest cemeteries in Latin America. It was established in 1821 and a large number of influential Chileans have been buried here (former president Salvador Allende as well as musician Victor Jara). You can admire the impressive mausoleums, lush gardens and a large number of sculptures. Within the cemetery, we will also visit Patio 29, which is a potter’s field, used for clandestine burials after the coup d’état in 1973 by Augusto Pinochet. The site is now considered as a symbol for the human rights and the disappeared of the coup d’état (walking tour). We end the day (time permitting) with a visit to the former torture site Villa Grimaldi, now the Parque por la Paz. We stroll through the park, reading its plaques with poetic words remembering those who were killed there, and contemplating a sculpture dedicated to the victims. Atton El Bosque Hotel or similar  (B/L)


Day 3 | Saturday, January 7| Santiago / Valparaiso Your guide will meet you at your Santiago hotel to drive the ~90 minutes to Matetic Winery. A state-of-the-art winemaking facility, Matetic is designed to complement its beautiful natural surroundings. The winery incorporates organic and biodynamic agricultural practices and an architecture, which optimizes vinification. Grapes are handpicked and carefully examined to ensure only those of highest quality are used in the winemaking process. Wine & Spirits magazine has selected Matetic among its 100 Top Wineries in the World on more than one occasion, and the winery has been called a “great ambassador” for Chilean wine on the world stage. You will enjoy a tour and tasting of their distinctive wines. We drive towards Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda´s favorite place. The visit to the Nobel Prize winner’s house located in the coastal area of Isla Negra is an extraordinary experience; through a collection of more than 3.500 objects you can really feel the poet and his verses. Before your visit to the House-Museum enjoy a delicious lunch at the Restaurant “el Rincon del Poeta” with views to the sea.* In the late afternoon we drive to Valparaiso arriving around 6pm, one of the first Chilean cities founder by the Spanish and located overlooking the sea. Palacio Astoreca Hotel or similar (B/L)

*Please note that Fundacion Pablo Neruda does not permit purchasing tickets in advance, or making reservations for visits. Visitors are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Day 4 | Sunday, January 8 | Valparaiso Our tour will start in the downtown sector of Valpaiso, learning about the history of “Valpo” and its importance in South American trade and commerce. Century-old hillside ascensores (elevators) will transport you up into the city’s steep hills, where a labyrinthine maze of streets reveals brightly colored buildings, bohemian cafes and elegant restaurants, and spectacular views of the harbor below. Your tour will lead you on foot through two of the most famous and eclectic neighborhoods, Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre. In addition you will visit one of Pablo Neruda’s three homes-turned-museums, La Sebastiana. Lunch in Valparaíso or in Viña del Mar at one of the city’s top restaurants with a view. After lunch, you will continue your tour in the resort city of Viña del Mar, also known as “the garden city” for its lush gardens and palm-lined boulevards. You’ll pass by the “Reloj de Flores” (flower clock) and the sandy beaches while learning about the colonial history of the city as well as its contemporary flair. In the late afternoon, you’ll be transported back to your hotel in Santiago. Palacio Astoreca Hotel or similar (B/L)


Day 5 | Monday, January 9 |Valparaiso /Santiago / Buenos Aires Transfer in the early afternoon to the Santiago Airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Arrive in Buenos Aires, settle into the hotel and then visit the Evita Museum. Dine at a local restaurant within walking distance from your hotel. Casa Sur Bellini Hotel or similar (B/D)


Day 6 | Tuesday, January 10| Buenos Aires Following the history of the city of Buenos Aires and its striking different neighborhoods, this day highlights include the Main Square, the Plaza de Mayo with its neo-classical cathedral, colonial town-hall and the Presidential Palace, the “Casa Rosada”. At the Plaza de Mayo we will stop for a visit at the headquarters of the Association of Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo. The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo (Spanish: Asociación Madres de Plaza de Mayo) is an association of Argentine mothers whose children had "disappeared" during the Dirty War of the military dictatorship, between 1976 and 1983. They organized while trying to learn what had happened to their children, and began to march in 1977 at the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires holding photos of their disappeared loved ones, silently and nonviolently. They have been marching every Thursday for the last 38 years in front of the Casa Rosada presidential palace, in public defiance of the government's state terrorism intended to silence all opposition and they continue to fight for human rights and to seek justice. Then on to the old neighborhood of San Telmo with its narrow, cobbled-stone streets; La Boca with its multicolor tin houses and soccer stadium, the elegant Barrio Norte neighborhood, and Palermo with its wonderful parks and gardens, monuments and magnificent mansions. Tonight, an optional tango show at Gala Tango. Casa Sur Bellini Hotel or similar (B)


Day 7 | Wednesday, January 11 | Estancia San Antonio de Areco  Visit Estancia San Antonio de Areco with stops to visit town of San Antonio de Areco en route to the estancia. Nestled in lush farmlands, San Antonio de Areco is probably the prettiest town in the pampas. An easy drive from the capital, it welcomes visitors who come for the peaceful atmosphere and the picturesque colonial streets. The town dates from the early 18th century and to this day it preserves a great deal of the criollo and gaucho traditions, especially among its artisans, who produce very fine silverwork and saddlery. By day, men don the traditional boina (a kind of gaucho beret), while in the evenings locals head to the peña, a party with folk music and dancing. There are several silversmith shops, a gaucho museum and small local artist museum as well as typical pulperias (traditional gaucho bars and cafes). Our group will visit a local silversmith workshop, one of the country´s finest silversmith families.  Here we can see them work, using the same tools and techniques for more than 200 years, an art which intrinsically tied to the gaucho culture.Continue to the Estancia for lunch followed by a demonstration of gaucho horse skills, horse whispering and typical gaucho horse games. It offers a glimpse into the skills of the gauchos and their culture. In the late afternoon you will be transported back to Buenos Aires. Casa Sur Bellini Hotel or similar (B/L)


Day 8 | Thursday, January 12| Buenos Aires / Iguazu Falls  After breakfast, we transfer to the domestic airport for our morning flight to Iguazu Falls.  Today´s afternoon visit will focus on the Lower Circuit, which offers a more intimate experience with the landscape and deeper contact with nature. On this path, the visitor will “feel” the spirit of the forest: humidity, sounds, aromas, and the penetrating vapor that takes over the whole area. It is a circular path of about a mile that leads to 8 viewpoints of major importance. San Martin, Bossetti, Alvar Nuñez and the Dos Hermanas falls are some of them. Directly across from San Martín Island take a large open zodiac boat towards the Devil’s Throat Canyon. Nearing the base of the falls you will have an unforgettable experience under the full force of the water. You will enjoy close up views of the seven most important falls and the Brazilian National Park.


Note: Expect to get drenched. Dry bags provided (for Cameras, shoes etc). AGE RESTRICTION! Must be 12 yrs or older and is not appropriate for people with reduced mobility as there are approximately 100 steps to reach the embarkation area. Proceed to the hotel for check in and overnight. Loi Suites Iguazú Hotel or similar (B)


Day 9 | Friday, January 13 | Iguazu Falls / Buenos Aires / Home Your guide will lead you on a walk (1/2 mile) through the upper falls area that offers an overall panoramic view. You can observe on this circuit the Dos Hermanas falls, Chico, Ramirez, Bossetti, Adán y Eva, Bernabe Mendez and the Mbigua falls. You can also appreciate the arc formed by the San Martin, Escondido, Dos Mosqueteros, Rivadavia and Tres Mostqueteros falls. You then take the Park Train to Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat.) This linear cat walk is a little over a mile  (round  trip) and allows the visitor to enjoy the unique awe-inspiring, irreproducible Garganta del Diablo, the most impressive falls of the park.  The “horseshoe-shaped” falls, with a circumference of 500 feet and a height of 250 feet, fill the air with vapor as immense amounts of water surge over the rocks in a display of raw power, conferring a most unique experience that leads to 8 viewpoints of major importance. San Martin, Bossetti, Alvar Nuñez and the Dos Hermanas falls are some of them. Another show is given by the “vencejos”, characteristic birds exclusive to these falls, which throw themselves on a nose dive course, parallel to the falls, as if they wanted to meld with the water. Proceed to the airport for our mid afternoon flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, transfer to the international airport. Note: most commercial flights from Buenos Aires to the USA depart at 8:00 pm or later. (B)

Journey Details:


INCLUDED:  First class hotel accommodations (double occupancy); one group airport transfer in Santiago; one group airport transfer in Buenos Aires; in-country ground transportation starting in Santiago, Chile on January 5, ending at the airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 13. Trip leader Peter Siavelis; Wake Forest trip manager; English speaking local guides in Chile and Argentina; all entrance fees; air conditioned bus; full breakfast buffet daily at the hotel plus 4 lunches and 2 dinners (B/L/D per itinerary); tips for baggage at airports, hotels, group meals; preparation materials; personalized luggage tags; purified water on the bus.


NOT INCLUDED: Passport and/or visa fees; international air, including airfare between Santiago, Chile/Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires / Iguazu / Buenos Aires (to be added to final invoice); departure tax; alcoholic beverages; meals not on itinerary (B/L/D) per itinerary; tips to in-country guide, driver; additional travel insurance (recommended, information sent upon registration).
ACTIVITY LEVEL, MODERATE: This journey requires participants to be able to walk a couple hours each day, often on uneven surfaces and pathways. There are many times to rest but ability to keep up the group’s pace is essential. Most people find no issues with the activity level but those with any conditions should call our office to discuss their limitations.


Journey Leader:


Peter Siaveils is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at Wake Forest University.  He is also the founder and on-campus director of Wake Forest’s study abroad program in Santiago, Chile.  Peter received his PhD in Government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC and is an expert in electoral, legislative and presidential politics in Latin America (with a particular focus on Chile and Argentina).


His publications include books entitled The President and Congress in Post-authoritarian Chile, Pathways to Power: Political Recruitment and Candidate Selection in Latin America(edited with Scott Morgenstern), and Democratic Chile (also published in Spanish as El Balance), with Kirsten Sehnbruch.  Siavelis has also published numerous book chapters and refereed journal articles, writing on topics including candidate selection, election systems, democratic development, immigration, and Latin American politics. He has contributed to and been quoted in a number of media outlets including the New York Times, NPR, O Globo(Brazil) and is a contributor to major national Chilean newspapers such as La Terceraand El Mercurio.

Peter has lived for several years in Chile and Spain and has traveled widely in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has led student groups on semester and summer long adventures (Argentina, Chile, Venice, Vienna, and Vietnam), and has led a Wake Forest Alumni trip to Peru.  He loves Chile like a second home and is passionate about sharing his love and enthusiasm for the country with others



Wake Forest political science professor Peter Siavelis, an expert in Latin American politics, teaches an undergraduate class in the subject in Tribble Hall on Thursday, September 18, 2008.
buenos aires tango 09WS

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