Review of G Adventures Tour: In Search of Iguassu – Buenos Aires to Rio

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In September I joined a tour from Buenos Aires with a leading travel company – G Adventures. Previously I’d spent 6 weeks travelling Peru and Bolivia on an adventure tour with a different company, and then 2 and a half weeks travelling solo across Argentina and Chile. Here’s a link to the G Adventures tour I took part in after making my way back to Buenos Aires: http://www.gadventures.com/trips/in-search-of-iguassubuenos-aires-to-rio/JBR/2013/.

The tour didn’t start off too well – partly my fault. We were due to meet on the 14th September at Hotel Carsson, I knew that much, but the problem was I wasn’t informed what time. Having spent an almost comical day in Tigre with a friend, at 8pm I finally jumped in a taxi from my hostel and headed into the hotel. Initial impressions were that it was the most sophisticated place I’d stayed in so far. I asked the kind man at reception about the G Adventures tour and he pointed me to a sign on a message board in the corner of the foyer. Apparently they’d all met and gone out for dinner at 6:30pm.

Well crap.

There was a number on the sign to ring the tour guide but it wouldn’t ring through. The receptionist tried as well but the same thing happened. There was no mention of where they’d actually gone, so in the end I resigned myself to a thrilling night watching Terminator and Mission Impossible in Spanish on the telly (sadly my initial idea to just hit the internet was thwarted – the only wifi available in the hotel had to be paid a fortune for).

Around midnight my new roommate returned and told me they’d all gone out for a lovely three course meal accompanied with a bounty of wine. She told me that people were planning to go to the market in San Telmo the next day and then a tango show in the evening. Having already been to the markets I decided I’d wait to meet people at the ferry crossing to Colonia the day after and instead spent the next day wandering around the natural history museum with guys from my old hostel. Initial mis-hap aside though, the rest of the G Adventures tour was great.

Here is my personal list of advantages and disadvantages I found when doing this tour:

Advantages

  • You visit absolutely stunning locations.
  • Takes the hassle out of sorting out transport.
  • Ideal if you’re nervous to travel alone.
  • Given insightful knowledge about the places you’re visiting.
  • Freedom to do what you like.
  • Mostly private transportation. No need to worry about your bag – though it did lack the sense of adventure because of this.

Disadvantages

  • Hotels. This is probably not a disadvantage at all if you like hotels. But after a mixture of camping and hostels 2 months prior to the G Adventures tour, I became accostomed to roughing it a little and much preferred the relaxed vibe of a hostel over the isolation of a hotel.
  • Feeling like a huge tourist.
  • Suggested optional activities are expensive.
  • It’s the luck of the draw whether you get on with your group or not.

And finally, here are the highlights of the In Search of Iguassu tour:

Buenos Aires

In Search Of Iguassu - Buenos Aires to Rio

Colonia

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Montevideo

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The estancia near Mercedes

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Iguazu Falls

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Ilha Grande

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Rio de Janeiro

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8 thoughts on “Review of G Adventures Tour: In Search of Iguassu – Buenos Aires to Rio

  1. Ah, this brings back so many memories of my time in S America last year! How amazing is Iguazu?! I think I would feel the same about staying in a hotel, although I’ve never done an organised tour like this. I guess if you make friends during the trip, a bit of privacy at night would be welcome!

  2. Ah yes I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve been looking into going to Colombia and Ecuador next. And I know, Iguazu’s breathtaking! I saw my first toucan there too which made it even more awesome haha. I also saw more spiders up there than the whole time I spent in the Bolivian Amazon!! They were all chilling by the lift!

  3. Hey Steph, was great to see your photos of the “in search of iguassu trip”! I am going on the same trip in January and was interested in how much money you spent outside the tour costs (i.e. food/drinks/activities/purchases)? I’m just trying to work out a ball park figure of how much i need to take with me. Thanks, any help would be appreciated! Cheers, Jordan

    • Hi Jordan. I am not sure of an exact figure of what I spent but I can have an estimate. Foodwise you’ve probably read that nothing is included apart from on the farmstay (food’s delicious). I found the group usually wanted to go for a meal out every night, so I would say budget £20-£30 for food and drink per day. Optional activities you should have a list for along with your trip details. The top optionals that most people did was the Rio city tour, Favela tour, Paraty party boat and also the Iguazu Falls boat ride (which I opted out of – pretty costly). Otherwise it’s up to you really what you enjoy spending your money on. I’d already done most of my souvenir shopping back in Peru and Bolivia 😉 Hope this helps. Enjoy your upcoming trip!

  4. Hi Stephanie,

    Thanks so much for writing about your travels- a friend and I are really interested in going on the same G Adventures trip. We were wondering, when did you go? What do you wish you knew about the trip before going? And finally, do you have any general tips on what to bring/do/see etc.?

    Again, thanks so much!
    Ksenia & Elen

    • Hi Ksenia, I joined the tour in mid September last year. I don’t think there’s really anything I’d wish I’d known before the trip. The website is pretty good for explaining all the details. I found that when you travel as a group you often all end up doing the same thing. The list of optionals is huge for this tour but there’s only a handful of those things listed that you will actually have time (or the energy) to do. My only tips would be – bring more spending money than what you thought and, don’t forget a waterproof!

  5. Hi Stephanie,

    I am thinking of doing this tour next February. I am female, going to be 21 travelling alone from Australia… do you think it will be safe? What safety tips can you provide? Also, do you have to speak Spanish?

    Cheers,
    Rovana

    • Hi Rovana – I have to apologise for the extremely delayed response to your comment. If you choose to do this tour with GAdventures you will be fine. It is highly organised and they do not tend to travel on public transport. However, when wandering around towns and cities, of course you should keep your wits about you and keep an eye on your belongings – it’s petty theft that you should watch out for in South America. The style of travel with GAdventures is very soft, so perfect for a first time traveller, like I was when I did it a few years ago.

      I didn’t speak Spanish when I was there at the time, but have since spent three months in Venezuela learning Spanish so I have much improved! For the sake of the tour you don’t really need any Spanish skills, but, it’s always polite to know a few words!

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