Offering to show you the highlights of not one, but two of South America's 'must-go' destinations, this tailor-made holiday makes it easy to get under the skin of both Brazil and Peru. All the icons are included: experience mist-cloaked Machu Picchu; get to know the Inca City of Cuzco; stand at the edge of thundering Iguazu Falls; soak up the sun on Copacabana Beach whilst admiring a view that features Corcovado Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Delve into the bustling capital city of Lima and explore the diverse variety of museums, galleries and restaurants. The Inca capital of Cuzco in the Andean Highlands showcases a treasure chest of colonial charms to a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Meander the cobbled streets, discovering colourfully dressed local people showcasing their crafts. The Sacred Valley, a lush fertile region is home to remote villages, Moray agricultural crop terraces and Maras salt pans along with Inca ruins such as Ollantaytambo.
Take in the scenery of the Sacred Valley as you travel in comfort by train to Aguas Calientes, gateway to famous Machu Picchu. Here the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ will mesmerise you with its spectacular setting and intriguing history.
On the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, dramatic Iguazu falls is truly breathtaking. Admire the 275 separate waterfalls crashing into the canyon floor and get drenched in the mist. Your final stop on this Peru and Brazil holiday is world famous Rio de Janeiro, home to Copacabana Beach. Rio de Janeiro has the theatrical backdrop of lush wooded mountains and stark towering rocks set by the deep blue ocean.
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UK - Lima
Depart the UK for your direct, daytime flight to Lima arriving early evening. A bustling, vibrant city, Lima is a perfect introduction to the charms of Peru with a variety of museums, galleries, restaurants to explore. Upmarket Miraflores is a residential neighbourhood, located by the Pacific Ocean coast and ideal for a short say. There are plenty of dining options near your hotel, along with some of the best options in the city. The coastal path, the Parque de Amor (Park of Love) and the Larcomar shopping centre are all within walking distance.
Accommodation: Courtyard by Marriott, Miraflores
The historic centre is located around the Plaza de Armas, flanked by the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Metropolitan City Hall, historic and traditional buildings. Visit the Santo Domingo convent and monasterio, a XVII century jewel and an impressive pink building recognised by UNESCO as a cultural heritage site. After a short visit to the modern and business district of San Isidro continue to the impressive Larco Musuem to learn about the wonders of Ancient Peru. The museums collection consists of more than 45,000 artefacts and depict up to 5,000 years of Peruvian history, including the Moche, pre-Inca civilisation.
Lima - Sacred Valley
Depart the coast for the beautiful Andean Highlands. To ease acclimatisation the first two nights are spent in the lower altitude of the Sacred Valley. A lush fertile region, this key area for the Incas is still home to a number of towns and villages where they maintain typical traditions. Local indigenous people well know for their intricate weaving and colourful dress, symbolic of the region. Admire the steep valley walls and the patchwork of fields, scattered around the landscape. Life in the valley is centred around the Urubamba River, one of the most important in the Cuzco region.
Accommodation: Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa
There are a number of attractions in the Sacred Valley including colourful markets, Inca ruins, traditional towns whilst the more active can enjoy white water rafting on the Urubamba river or trekking. Rainbow recommends a trip to Maras & Moray. The impressively deep amphitheatre-like terraces of Moray are emblematic of traditional Inca farming terraces. Each level offers a slightly different eco-system allowing a variety of crops to be grown in small area. Neaby Maras is a spectacular sight with thousands of salt pans, used for extraction purposes since Inca times. The fortress in Ollantaytambo is well worth a visit and is the best surviving example of Inca planning.
Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu
Ollantaytambo railway station is the departure point for the scenic journey journey on board the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. As you travel through the Sacred Valley, admire the panoramic mountain scenery until you reach the town of Aguas Calientes. The final part of the journey to Machu Picchu is by bus which trundles up the steep, switchback road to the entrance gates. An extensive ancient city, the citadel was discovered in 1911 by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham and has been painstakingly restored to its current condition. Learn about the the Inca history and the different areas of this ancient settlement.
Accommodation: Casa del Sol
Machu Picchu - Cuzco
Return to the citadel, a further opportunity to explore at your own pace. Climb the steep stairs of Huayna Picchu, or trek to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), the famous first view from the final day of the iconic Inca Trail trek. Aguas Calientes is a bustling tourist hub with a plethora of handicraft shops, restaurants and cafes and well worth a short browse. The return journey on the Vistadome train takes you to the town of Poroy, around 30 minutes from the Inca capital of Cuzco, a magical city of cobbled streets, museums and historic buildings. Central to city life is the impressive Plaza de Armas flanked by the Cathedral.
Accommodation: Aranwa Cuzco
Koricancha Temple, an old Inca palace and main centre for the worship of the sun god, Inti was once the richest temple in the Inca Empire. The masterful stonework is some of the finest in Peru. On the Plaza de Armas, visit the Cathedral with its wonderful display of colonial art. The Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman is perched on a hilltop overlooking the city. Constructed of intricatly interwoven huge stone blocks, the site is constructed of three large terraces with zig-zag design, thought to resemble the teeth of a puma. As the sun sets, meander the cobbled streets soaking up the city's unique spiritual energy.
Cuzco - Iguazu Falls
Arrive to the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls early evening. One of South America's most impressive natural wonders, these powerful falls mark the border between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Irrespective of when you visit Iguazu, the 275 separate waterfalls including the roaring Devil's Throat on the Argentine side, will not fail to impress. The area was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in1986 and is best visited in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds. Around the falls the Atlantic rainforest environment is home to a varity of fauna including deer, coati and a sub-species of the capuchin monkey. It is also a rewarding area for birdwatchers.
Accommodation: Bourbon Cataratas
From your base there is ample time to discover both the Brazil and Argentine sides of the falls. On the Brazil side, follow the Cascadas Trail taking you high above the Rio Iguazu for spectacular views towards Argentina. Cross the border and discover the extensive circuit of walkways for a variety of vistas. The most famous view is from the walkways towards the 'Devil's Throat' platform. Feel the thunderous river beneath you before it crashes over the rock edge to the gorge floor. There is also the option for a thrilling boat ride under the falls, get drenched as you feel the powerful spray.
Iguazu Falls - Rio de Janeiro
The world famous city of Rio de Janeiro is a melting pot of culture, fantastic vistas and 'beautiful' people. You will never forget your first view of the Copacabana beach curve, framed by the lush undulating mountains, overlooked by Corcovado, Statue of Christ. Stroll along the esplanade of Copacabana Beach, a narrow strip of land squeezed between the ocean and the mountains. Beyond Copacabana, discover the beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, a little more sophisticated, quieter and better for swimming. Historic Rio, around Santa Teresa, boasts many colonial and 19th century buildings along narrow, curvig, tree-lined streets.
Accommodation: Windsor Miramar
Rio de Janeiro
Explore the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro by open-air jeep. Drive to the base of Corcovado, Statue of Christ taking either the funicular train or steps to the base of this famous statue. A breathtaking view awaits. A man-made forest Tijuca is cooler than the lower elevation beach area. Soak up more spectacular views at Vista Chinesa, a pagoda-style belveder. Famous Sugar Loaf Mountain, at the entrance to Guanabara Bay, is reached by a two part cable car to the summit. On the return to Copacabana, stop at the Botanic Gardens, a huge cultivation centre for exotic plants.
Rio de Janeiro
Soak up your final dose of sun on Copacabana beach or visit the historic centre. With a charming atmosphere visit famous Confeitaria Colombo, a cafe which dates back over 100 years and features original belle epoque decor. For a truly sensational finale to your trip why not include a breathtaking helicopter trip over the city, a real way to truly appreciate the magical setting of this city set on a alluring natural harbour. Late afternoon transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Pricing Information & Dates
12 day tour, from £3745 per person
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