Best of South America

Plan your adventure

  • Travel to South America and discover Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
  • Tour Machu Picchu, enchanting Buenos Aires, Iguazú Falls and famous Rio de Janeiro in a 2-week itinerary.
  • Best time to travel: All year round
 

From North to South, from the city of the Incas to the Paris of the South, this 2-week South America travel itinerary will showcase the wide diversity of this incredible continent. Explore Machu Picchu’s ruins, take your first Tango lesson in Buenos Aires, feel the power of water at the immense Iguazú Falls and enjoy the paradise beaches of Rio de Janeiro. A trip specially designed for true wanderlusters! Come and see it all…  

 

Itinerary

Day 1

Travel to South America
The Sacred Valley

  • Transfer from Cuzco airport to your hotel in Sacred Valley - Day at leisure

 

  • Transfer from Cuzco airport to your hotel in Sacred Valley – Day at leisure

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.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • Why is Sacred Valley famous in Perú?

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.

 

Day 1

Day 2

Pisac and Ollantaytambo fortress
Sacred Valley

  • Full-day tour to Pisac and Ollantaytambo Fortress

 

  • Full-day tour to Pisac and Ollantaytambo Fortress

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.    

 

Day 2

Day 3

Visit the incredible Machu Picchu

  • Train to Aguas Calientes, base town to visit Machu Picchu
  • Tour to Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel

 

  • Train to Aguas Calientes, base town to visit Machu Picchu

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.

 

  • Tour to Machu Picchu, the Inca citadel

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.

 

Day 3

Day 4

Aguas Calientes, day at leisure
Travel back to Cuzco

  • Optional tour, Wayna Picchu hiking
  • Train to Cuzco

 

  • Optional tour: Wayna Picchu hiking

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.

 

  • Train to Cuzco

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.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • Optional free activities in Aguas Calientes

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.

 

Day 4

Day 5

Cuzco city tour and archaeological sites

  • City tour and archeological sites of Cuzco

 

  • City tour and archeological sites of Cuzco

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.

 

Day 5

Day 6

Continue with your travel itinerary to South America
Buenos Aires

  • Transfer from your hotel in Cuzco to the airport
  • Transfer from Buenos Aires airport to your hotel - Day at leisure

 

  • Transfer from your hotel in Cuzco to the airport

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.

 

  • Transfer from Buenos Aires airport to your hotel – Day at leisure

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! 

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • Our recommendations for your first day in Buenos Aires 

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.

 

Day 6

Day 7

Buenos Aires city tour & tango show

  • Half-day city tour through Buenos Aires
  • Dinner and tango show

 

  • Half-day city tour through Buenos Aires

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”.

 

  • Dinner and tango show 

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.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What you have to know about tango culture in Buenos Aires

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. 

 

Day 7

Day 8

Travel through South America
Time to visit Iguazú Falls!

  • Transfer from your hotel to the Buenos Aires airport

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to the Buenos Aires airport

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. 

 

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel  in Puerto Iguazú – Day at leisure

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.

 

Say Hueque Tips

Our recommended activities to explore and learn about Puerto Iguazú:

  • If you’re eager to explore the town, you can visit the “Hito tres fronteras”, a viewpoint west of the town center that stands high above the turbulent reddish-brown junction of the Iguazú and Paraná rivers, which also form the Triple Frontera, or Triple Border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
  • The Güirá Oga (the house of birds in native Guaraní language), the sanctuary for animals hurt by illegal hunting and trapping, is the best option for wildlife enthusiasts. 
  • For a true adventure, we recommend that you take a bike tour through the rainforest with a specialised guide. You will discover the flora and fauna, the sounds of the jungle, the trail of little native mammals and the traditions of the Guaranies.

  

 

Day 8

Day 9

Iguazú, Argentinian side of the falls

  • Tour to Iguazú Falls National Park, Argentian side

 

  • Wander Iguazú Falls National Park and meet The Devil’s Throat

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.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • Would you love to have a “Great Adventure”? 

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!).

 

Day 9

Day 10

Iguazú Fall, Brazilian side
Travel to Rio de Janeiro

  • Tour to Iguazú Falls, Brazilian side
  • Transfer from your hotel in Puerto Iguazú to the airport
  • Transfer from Rio de Janeiro airport to your hotel - Day at leisure

 

  •  Visit the Brazilian side of Iguazú National Park

 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.

 

  • Transfer from your hotel in Puerto Iguazú to the airport

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!

 

  • Transfer from Rio de Janeiro airport to your hotel – Day at leisure

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.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What to do in Rio de Janeiro?

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.

 

Day 10

Day 11

Santa Teresa, Corcovado & Tijuca Forest
Rio de Janeiro

  • Full-day visit to Corcovado, Tijuca Forest and Santa Teresa

 

  • Discover Corcovado, Tijuca Forest and Santa Teresa

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).

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • Which beaches you must visit in Rio de Janeiro?

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.

 

Day 11

Day 12

Visit to Sugar Loaf
Rio de Janeiro

  • Half-day Sugar Loaf tour

 

  • Half-day Sugar Loaf tour – Discovering the other side of Rio

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.

 

 

Day 12

Day 13

The end of your 2-week travel itinerary to South America

  • Transfer from your hotel to Rio de Janeiro airport

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to Rio de Janeiro airport

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.

 

Day 13

Prices per person

INN & B&B

From

USD 2379

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Confort

From

USD 2753

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Superior

From

USD 3309

View Superior Hotels

Luxury

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  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until April 2022 (ask for prices in Christmas and New Year).
  • Prices are per person, based on 2 people in double occupancy. Single rates are available on request.
  • Flights are not included in the price, but can be arranged on request.
  • We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you book with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset. We are working to create more sustainable, responsible and meaningful ways of exploring South America.

 

INCLUDED

  • Tours and transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • 2-night accommodation in a hotel (in Cuzco), 2-night accommodation in a hotel (Sacred Valley), 1-night accommodation in a hotel (Aguas Calientes), 2-night accommodation in a hotel  (Buenos Aires), 2-night accommodation in a hotel (Iguazú) and 3-night accommodation in a hotel  (Rio de Janeiro).
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Meals according to the itinerary: Lunch (day 3), dinner (day 7)
  • Tickets to Corcovado and Sugar Loaf, Qoricancha Temple, Monastery of Santo Domingo, Cusco Cathedral in Cusco, Moray archaeological remains, Maras salt deposits, Awana Kancha, Pisac Market, Ollantaytambo Fortress in the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.
  • Bilingual guide (English / Spanish)

NOT INCLUDED

  • International or domestic flights
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – To get a free quote please follow this link: World Nomads
  • Visa to enter Brazil: US, Canadian, Japanese and Australian citizens don’t require a visa to enter Brazil. For other nationalities please check requirements with the consulate of your country.
  • Iguazú Eco Fee: this is a mandatory tax that you have to pay once you get to your hotel in Iguazú. It’s about $5 usd per guest, per night, and it varies according to your hotel category. Only cash is accepted.   

 

FLIGHTS NEEDED
FOR 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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