Experience the best of South America with this exhilarating tailormade holiday through Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. Bringing together Peru’s Inca past, the dizzying heights of La Paz, stylish Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro’s iconic beaches, this epic journey encompasses the continents main attractions.
Fly into Peru’s capital city Lima for your first taste of Peruvian culture, before heading up into the Andes to the colonial city of Cuzco. With cultural Cuzco as your base you will travel by train to the incredible Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, discovering the history and magic surrounding this ancient citadel. Shimmering Lake Titicaca is reached by a scenic journey through the barren altiplano, dotted with llamas, alpacas and colourful locals selling their wares. On the Bolivian side of the lake visit the Sun and Moon Islands and admire the Cordillera Real (the Royal Range of the Andes) mountains. Take to the skies by cable car in La Paz for unique views and visit the intriguing Witches Market and Valley of the Moon.
Jump across the border with a flight to Argentina landing in the energetic city of Buenos Aires. This bright city will sweep you off your feet as you dance the Tango and visit the vibrant districts of La Boca and San Telmo, walking down the streets dotted with colourfully painted houses. At Iguazu witness the colossal power of the 275 cascading falls, watching from the suspended platform which overlooks the Devil's Throat before crossing over to the Brazilian side. Here you will observe the vistas from the north side of the UNESCO site, exploring the tropical flora and fauna of the surrounding rainforest.
Leave behind this incredible nature for the exciting hustle and bustle of the iconic Rio de Janeiro. Journey up to Corcovado to see the city from the perspective of Christ the Redeemer, relax on the pristine beaches and take a tour of the historic centre, all while enjoying the cities cosmopolitan restaurants and bars.
With a host of options tailor made extensions in Brazil, such as staying in the charming costal town of Buzios, this holiday is a fantastic option for those who are visiting South America for the first time. Taking you to the most iconic sights and unique cultures this trip will leave you with a desire to come back and explore this remarkable continent again.
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UK - Lima
Travel direct to the Peruvian capital of Lima with British Airways and transfer to the Barranco neighbourhood. Located by the Pacific Ocean this is a great area to stay with selection of restaurants and cafes with easy walking distance. Bohemian in style, Barranco is home to a host of museums and art galleries along with the pretty Bridge of Sighs near the main plaza. This narrow wooden bridge has inspired many Peruvian folk songs and one of the most photographed spots in Barranco.
Accommodation: Villa Barranco
Lima is a city first founded as 'The City of Kings' in 1535 and subsequently made the capital in 1821 when Peru became independent from Spain. Explore the colonial area of the city with highlights including the Presidential Palace and Lima Cathedral situated around the grand Plaza de Armas main square. Take in the modern areas of Miraflores on the Costa Verde, finishing at the Larco Museum for an in-depth overview of centuries of Peruvian history. Learn about the Incas and the pre-Inca cultures of Moche and Chimu. There is also the option for lunch at the Larco Cafe overlooking he museums pretty colourful gardens.
Lima - Cuzco
The heart of the Inca Empire is Cuzco, a wonderful city of historic charm. Meander the cobbled streets, admiring the well preserved buildings and colourful shops full of traditional fabrics and handicrafts. Visit the artists neighbourhood of San Blas, nestled on a steep hillside close to the Plaza de Armas with its classic architecture and narrow passageways. After dark the city comes alive. Learn about the traditional Peru drink pisco at the aptly named Pisco Museum or dine at the sophisticated MAP Cafe located within the Museo de Arte Precolombino.
Accommodation: Sonesta Cuzco
Explore Cuzco, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, awash with fascinating historic sights. Visit the majestic Cathedral located on the Plaza de Armas and Koricancha, an impressive example of how Inca and Hispanic cultures fused together. Perched on a hillside is the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, an imposing example of Inca architecture. The large granite blocks are held together without any type of cement or adhesive
Cuzco - Sacred Valley
Discover the best of the Sacred Valley of the Incas on this full day tour. Visit the Inca's Balcony, a beautiful terrace with an impressive view of Chinchero, an indigenous town where they continue to live in a traditional way. Learn about their ancestral way and how they process wool and obtain the vibrant colours for their textiles. Ollantaytambo fortress is one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire and the town dates back to the 13th century. With its cobblestone streets and traditional values this is charming town to visit.
Accommodation: Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay
A full day to experience the 'Lost City of the Incas', Machu Picchu and explore this spectacular citadel. From the Sacred Valley travel to Ollantaytambo train station for the journey through the Andes to the village of Aguas Calientes. From here travel by bus via the zig zag mountain road to the entrance of this magical site. Machu Picchu, meaning 'Old Mountain', is considered a World Heritage site by UNESCO and was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Learn about the history surrounding this iconic place and how it was discovered by American archaeologist, Hiram Bingham, in 1911.
Accommodation: El MaPi Hotel by Inkaterra
Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Free morning to visit the Machu Picchu archaeological complex. Explore some of the outlying places, like the Inti Punko, also called the “Doorway of the Sun” and take the opportunity to climb Huyana Picchu, a steep climb but well worth it for the spectacular views over the citadel. Find a quiet area and simply feel the mystical energy and imagine how this town would have looked at the peak of the Inca civilisation. In the afternoon embark the train, returning via the Sacred Valley, to Poroy, the key station outside Cuzco.
Cuzco - Puno (Lake Titicaca)
Spectacular drive through the Andes Mountains to the town on Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. As you travel the altiplano, admire the wonderful scenery with the snowcapped mountain peaks. Visit Andahuaylillas, with its 17th century church adroned with angels and cherubs and Racchi ruins known as "The Temple of God Wiracocha". Before arriving to Puno climb to the highest point, La Raya at 4300m altitude. Take advantage of fantastic photo opportunities with these colourful locals against a dramatic mountain backdrop.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Puno
Enjoy a full day tour to the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border of Peru and Bolivia. From Puno, travel by bus to Juli, located by the shore of shimmering Lake Titicaca. From the port in Copacaba, board the hydrofoil for your cruise to Moon Island taking in a visit to the Sun Virgin Temple 'Iñak Uyu'. Next stop is Sun Island, and a stop for lunch at the Uma Kollu restaurant, with its spectacular views of the lake and the Cordillera Royal mountain range. Return to the mainland at Huatajata, visiting the Andean Roots Eco Village before continuing to La Paz.
Accommodation: Hotel Europa
Explore this magical metropolis with its spectacular setting and feel the history unfolding on every corner. A highlight for many is the indigenous Witches Market famed for its unusual wares close to the elegant San Francisco church. The main square Plaza Murillo is home to the Presidential Palace and a unique clock that runs anti-clockwise. Stroll along with Calle Jean, a pretty colonial style street and take the new 'teleferico' cable car for spectacular views over the city. In the southern part of the city visit Moon Valley, a spectacular clay formation scenery resembling the face of the moon.
La Paz - Buenos Aires
Early morning departure from La Paz for your flight to Buenos Aires via Santa Cruz. Buenos Aires is the chic and vibrant capital of Argentina situated on the estuary of the River Plate and surrounded by fertile pampas plains. Recoleta is an upmarket neighbourhood with a wealth of old mansion style buildings, parks, museums and French architecture. Also in the area is the famous Recoleta cemetery, a popular attraction for those interested in the final resting place of Eva Peron. Wander the cemetery 'streets' admiring the impressive statues and marble mausoleums.
Accommodation: Recoleta Grand
Introductory tour to introduce you to the main highlights of this cosmopolitan city. Visit the Plaza de Mayo square, the Government House and the Congress Palace located in downtown before continuing to the diverse neighbourhoods. La Boca, the old port district, is by far the most colourful with the brightly painted tin and wooden houses. The area is vibrant and lively, with many shops, cafes and tango dancers in the street. In the evening enjoy a sensual tango show at Esquina Carlos Gardel, the typical Argentine dance made famous in the early 1900's.
Buenos Aires - Iguazu Falls
Depart Buenos Aires for the truly amazing Iguazu Falls which borders Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. An awe-inspiring sight, these vast falls are a highlight on any holiday. Spanning 3km, the power and noise of the cascades is astounding and form part of a larger national park. The lush Atlantic Rainforest which surrounds the falls is teeming with flora and fauna and is a wonderful extension. This area is particularly popular for birdwatching but you can also spot coatis, raccoons and capuchin monkeys.
Accommodation: Panoramic Hotel
Take in the sensational vistas in the national park on the Argentine side. Take the electric train through the national park to the start of the various walkways to the different viewpoints. Here you will be able to appreciate the scale of the 275 individual falls cascading into the river gorge. The most spectacular is the 1km suspended platform which overlooks the Devil's Throat. Perched over this amazingly powerful, concentrated torrent of water, this deafening casade plunges onto the ravine below whilst mist rises in a smoke like plume. A further option is to ride the rapids to the base of the falls on an exhilarating boat trip.
Iguazu Falls - Rio de Janeiro
Drive through the lush Atlantic rainforest to the start of the trail leading to the falls and the spectacular vista on the Brazilian side. When the waters are high the volume of the water is staggering. Explore the many trails, the rainforest and its spectacular flora before taking your flight to the spectacular city of Rio de Janeiro, the city of mountains, sea, samba, carnival and relaxed way of life. Ipanema Beach is not as built up as Copacabana and the sea here is decent for swimming to the beautiful city backdrop.Enjoy a cold caipirinha by the beach as the sun sets on a balmy summer evening.
Accommodation: Praia Ipanema
Rio de Janeiro
Visit the most famous highlights of Rio de Janeiro. Sitting atop Corcovado Mountain is the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the most emblematic sights in the city. On a clear day, the views over the city's natural harbour are mesmerising. Travel through man-made Tijuca Forest, an ideal environment to spot wildlife as you descend towards the curving beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. The massive volcanic cone of Sugar Loaf Mountain is reached via a two stage cable car with spectacular views. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Brazilian feijoada, listening to melodic samba rhythms.
Rio de Janeiro - UK
Day at leisure to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Rio de Janiero or visit the dowtown area around charming Santa Teresa. This inner suburb has many colonial and 19th century buildings set in narrow, curving, tree lined streets. Around the same area, visit the famous Selaron steps, an iconic stairwell covered in colourful, hand painted mosaic tiles created by Jorge Selaron.
Afternoon transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Pricing Information & Dates
17 day tour, from £4810 per person
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