Perú - Buenos Aires - Iguazú Falls - Brazil
Your 2-week trip through South America starts in Perú in the amazing region known as Sacred Valley. Upon arrival to Cuzco airport we’ll drive you to your hotel in Sacred Valley and you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore this enthralling Andean spot.
The Sacred Valley was a truly special place for the Inca civilization. Its many rivers and gorges, along with the fertility of their valleys, make this the most productive agricultural spot—the best corn in Peru grows here.
Continue exploring the Sacred Valley, and visit Pisac, famous for its craft market where you’ll find the most exquisite piece of jewelry, ceramic and textile craftwork. We’ll continue our trip visiting the archeological site of Pisac to admire the stone terraces built by the Incas, and last, we’ll head to Ollantaytambo to visit its stunning fortress. Admire the remaining towers and walls that used to keep safe the citadele and the royal guests that it used to host.
Your tour to Machu Picchu begins with a 4-hour train ride to Aguas Calientes. This town is also known as “Machu Picchu Pueblo” and is the last stop before entering the remains of the most important archaeological site in Peru. Machu Picchu means “Old Mountain” and is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
You’ll finally reach Machu Picchu (the ancient sanctuary and retreat for the Inca Pachacutec) after a short transfer by bus through the mountains.
Here, when we arrive at the exact destination that is the highlight of your South America trip, we will have those special moments which will most certainly be cherished forever.
Some of the places you can visit include the Intipunku, or “Sun Gate”, where the sun rises every day through a stone passageway, or the Inca Bridge, an incredible stone building that served as the entrance and exit of the citadel.
At the end of the tour you will take a bus back to Aguas Calientes and have lunch at ¨Cafe Inkaterra¨ in Machu Picchu. Enjoy your leisure time during the rest of the afternoon and a restful sleep in the town of Aguas Calientes.
In the morning we suggest that you return to Machu Picchu and continue exploring some of the many attractions of the citadel. In this second visit you can climb the Wayna Picchu (subject to space availability), which means “Young Mountain” as opposed to Machu Picchu, the “Old Mountain”. This ascent takes about an hour and its main attraction is the “Temple of the Moon”, a complex of underground structures likely to have been used by the elite.
In the afternoon you will head to the train station in Aguas Calientes and take the train to Cuzco where you’ll go by your own to your hotel.
If you don’t want to add any optional tour, take the day to visit the interesting town of Aguas Calientes, its historic Plaza de Armas, and the many local markets nearby. In these markets you can find various types of local handcrafts, typical food, and even different potions for finding love or keeping good luck on your side.
In the afternoon, we’ll pick you up at your hotel to start your Cuzco city tour with a visit to the Coricancha, also known as the “Temple of the Sun”, the construction of which was ordered by Inca Pachacútec (1438-1471) when he was a powerful Incan leader. This is where the Sun (Inti, in Quechua) was worshipped during the reign of the Inca Empire.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Cuzco contains the top examples of Incan architecture, which is based on their multiple uses of rock as the main building material. Machu Picchu is the most famous example of this practice.
We’ll continue on to visit the Cathedral, the most important building in the Main Square (construction lasted almost a century) and one of the most breathtaking Spanish colonial churches in America.
Our next stop will be the Sacsayhuamán fortress, an emblematic Incan piece of work, which protected the Holy City. It was built with giant megalithic blocks, the transportation and construction of which continue to be a mystery.
This day will end with a visit to some archeological main attractions. You’ll visit Qenqo, located just over 2 miles away from Cuzco City (where it is believed that agricultural rituals took place), to finish with the visit of the vestiges of Puka Pukara, the “red fortress”, located 4.5 miles away from Cuzco.
At the end of this full historical and natural immersion in Cuzco’s heritage, we’ll drive you back to your hotel.
Today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the airport to take your flight to Buenos Aires (via Lima), your next destination in your South America travel itinerary.
Welcome to Argentina! Upon arrival,we will drive you to the city and you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy Buenos Aires at your own pace. Buenos Aires is a marvelous, energetic, cosmopolitan city, full of color and different styles of architecture.
The capital of Argentina, and described as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires proudly embraces its title, and also shows off plenty of its own culture! Argentinians are usually eager to host visitors; if you walk the streets with a map, someone will surely stop and ask if you need directions…that’s just our spirit!
Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, che! (“che” means “guy” in Argentina). For this first day, feel free to wander the cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes, enjoy the mouthwatering aroma of world-famous Argentine beef sizzling on an open parrilla (barbeque), and browse the local antique and artisan markets that offer plenty of bargain shopping.
In the morning we will pick you up from your hotel to enjoy our 5-hour Buenos Aires city tour—you will be swept away by the highlights of our beloved Buenos Aires! Over the course of a half-day you will have the chance to visit the historical and political center of the city; Plaza de Mayo and the Pink House (the presidential house).
Next, we’ll move on to San Telmo, with its cobblestone streets and the oldest residential neighborhood, and then to La Boca where Buenos Aires turns colorful and tango is ever-present. Come walk Caminito street and dance with the locals. The next stop is the chic and aristocratic Recoleta, where the big palaces remind us why Buenos Aires is called the “Paris of the South”.
In the evening we’ll pick you up from your hotel to take you to a mystical place where you’ll discover one of our most ancient traditions. Tango is more than our national dance… tango is our immigrant origins, the talent of our local artists, the sensuality of Argentine women and our way to deal with a broken heart; dancing our way through tragic, and yet eternal, love stories.
Tonight you will enjoy a 3-hour professional display of tango and music with a group of local artists onstage immersed in an elegant and alluring place. The manners, ambience, clothes and dance steps which tango-lovers used to practice 100 years ago will come to life again and you will travel back in time for a night.
This spectacular tango show in Buenos Aires will be accompanied by delicious Argentine and international cuisine. Dinner is all-inclusive, beverages included so you can lose yourself in the ethereal taste of Malbec wine. At the end of the evening, around midnight, you will be driven back to your hotel, fully in love with the bohemian spirit of our incredible city.
Tango is, all in all, a cultural experience that’s deeply rooted in Argentine hearts. Where do regular people go dancing tango? There is an immense number of dance halls or milongas in Buenos Aires. Some of our favorites are La Viruta -beginners friendly- and Salon Canning -with more advanced clientele- in Palermo neighborhood. Tango has evolved a big deal in the past years, and now there are also LGBT milongas that encourage a most inclusive practice.
Today you will say goodbye to the big city and fly to the jungle; we’ll bring you to the airport to take your flight to Puerto Iguazú.
Upon arrival in Puerto Iguazú, we’ll drive you to your hotel, where you will have the afternoon to relax and enjoy the tropical climate and jungle setting. The small border town of Puerto Iguazú is the gateway to visit the impressive Iguazú Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, making it a must-see destination for any traveler visiting Argentina.
Our recommended activities to explore and learn about Puerto Iguazú:
Today you will visit Iguazú Falls, definitely another highlight of this 2-week travel itinerary through South America. In the morning our driver and bilingual guide will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the National Park, on the Argentinian side. Enjoy a 7-hour tour wandering through the rainforest!
The falls are surrounded by a humid subtropical forest where the exuberant vegetation is home to many different animals and birds. Our guide will help you spot some of them: ant birds, toucans, manakins, parrots, coatis, just to name a few of the most common birds. Lower and upper walkways weave in and around falls permitting up close and personal experiences with this magnificent spectacle of nature.
The Argentine side of the falls is filled with a myriad of paths and walkways and stairways which allow you to have an experience from many different perspectives. You will have the chance to meet “The Devil’s throat”: the largest of the falls and for many the most spellbinding. To get to the “Devil’s throat” you take the ecological train and then walk out along boardwalks. After walking and taking pictures of animals and plants, you will have some free time to eat lunch in this amazing environment. At the end of the experience, we will drive you back to your hotel.
The “Great Adventure” (gran aventura) is an optional tour you can add on this day. You will take an open air jeep through the rainforest and then a zodiac open air boat ride up the river to the base of the falls (there is a 100% chance that you will get soaking wet on this boat trip, so be sure to take some extra clothes!).
Your South America tour also includes a 4-hour visit to the Brazilian side of Iguazú Falls National Park. After breakfast, we’ll pick you up from your hotel to start the day. You’ll be crossing borders today so please, don’t forget your passport!
While Argentina has 80% of the falls on its side, Brazil has the best panoramic view. Prepare to fully appreciate the immensity of Iguazú Falls. Take your time to enjoy it and feel it, to stroll the different walkways and feel the spray of water in your face. Take the boardwalk over the Salto Santa María; it feels like walking on the water. Get closer to the “Devil’s Throat” and experience the power of the water! Although you’ll be looking into Argentina, your feet will be on the ground in Brazil! Where does Argentina start and Brazil end? Well, it’s time to walk the line.
Back from the footbridge, you’ll have some free time to use the restrooms, visit the gift shop and take a special elevator to an especially high viewpoint. At the end of the tour, we’ll drive you back to your hotel.
In the afternoon, we’ll drive you to the airport to take your flight to Rio de Janeiro, and start your exploration of Brazil, the land of happiness!
Upon arrival at Rio’s airport, we’ll be waiting to drive you to your hotel. Enjoy your leisure time today exploring this vibrant city — you have just arrived in one of the powerhouses of South America!
Many people think of Brazil as merely an amazing paradise beach… and they are not entirely wrong. But, this mysterious and passionate corner of the globe is much more than just a pristine sandy utopia…
Rio de Janeiro (‘River of January’ in Portuguese), which was classified as a Cultural Landscape by UNESCO, is a metropolitan gem tucked between the mountains and the sea. Rio is best-known for its bossanova (sultry Brazilian music genre), mouth-watering feijoada (a traditional bean and pork stew), refreshing caipirinhas (classic Brazilian cocktail), and the beaming smiles of its people.
The perfect place to try all these Brazilian classics is the bohemian Lapa neighbourhood which sits at the edge of the historical downtown hub. Enjoy the day mingling with locals in this incredible part of the city — stop by the Aqueduto da Carioca to take a picture with its magnificent white arches, and visit the Escalera de Selaron (Selaron stairway), a 215-step stairway decorated with tiles from all around the world. Find the beautiful images and messages hidden throughout its multicolored steps! Discover even more ideas on how to spend your time in the city in our Rio de Janeiro Travel Guide.
Today you will travel to the spellbinding Corcovado Hill, home to the famous Christ the Redeemer statue, which has achieved celebrity status around the world through each postcard sent by visitors from Rio!
After breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel in a jeep and take you on a 4-hour tour of Corcovado Hill, the rocky, 2329-foot guardian of Guanabara Bay. We’ll pass by Cosme Velho neighborhood, one of the most elegant places in Rio, and take the red cog train up to Corcovado Hill, crossing the dense vegetation of Tijuca forest.
From here you’ll start having your first taste of incredible views of the bay and the city! At the end of the railtrack, the granitic giant awaits. Christ the Redeemer stands on the top of Corcovado Hill with arms wide open, praying for the wellbeing of Rio de Janeiro.
From this privileged spot you will also see Sugarloaf mountain (another classic destination for travelers), the beautiful Southern beaches, and the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, whose waters support a gigantic floating Christmas tree during the holiday season.
At the end of this day trip, you’ll return in the cog train through the forest and back down the mountain. On our way back to your hotel, we’ll stop to discover the traditional Santa Teresa district, with its artisanal galleries and historic bondinho (an old-school trolley car).
Enjoy the rest of your leisurely evening mingling with some carioca beachgoers on the famous Copacabana Beach, where people from all around Rio gather to bath and play some beach sports, or relax in the ethereal Playa Vermelha, one of the most peaceful beaches of Rio, where you can walk the Claudio Coutinho trail and spot titi monkeys.
Today you will discover the other side of Rio de Janeiro, nicknamed Cidade Maravilhosa or “Marvelous City”. We’ll pick you up at your hotel to start a 4-hour city tour through downtown Rio, passing by cultural icons such as the Sambadrome and the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Get to know the traditional Cinelândia Square with its historical buildings, the Municipal Theater, the National Library and the National Museum of Fine Arts. After traveling through the verdant Flamengo Park (Aterro do Flamengo), we’ll take you to the neighborhood of Urca, which is home to Sugarloaf Mountain (Pão de Açúcar).The only way to the top is by taking a cable car!
The first cable car transports passengers up Urca Hill, which is more than 700 feet high and overlooks Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói bridge and Corcovado Hill. From this point, you’ll take a second cable car to the very top, reaching a height of approximately 1,300 feet above sea level. At the end of the tour we’ll drive you back to your hotel.
Time to say obrigado (thanks) for all these precious travel memories! Today we’ll pick you up to drive you to the airport, where you’ll take your flight to your next destination. If you’re not ready to throw in the towel just yet, take some trip-extension ideas from our comprehensive travel itineraries and keep on exploring other incredible travel destinations in South America.
FLIGHTS NEEDEDFOR THIS ITINERARY
Lima - Buenos Aires - Iguazu Falls - Rio de Janeiro
Flights in South America cost approximately $150 to $300 USD per segment (destination).
We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.
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