Pearls of South America

This luxury tour will take you on a journey through 3 countries - Colombia, Peru & Brazil. 

Colombia is a diverse country of coffee and culture, Peru is a land of mysteries, legends & ancient cultures, while Brazil boasts the fancinating Amazon jungle, wonderful beaches & cities with world-famous landmarks. 

Colombia boasts one of the biggest natural diversity from Latin America including green hilly landscapes with numerous waterfalls and ravines, tropical rain woods, volcanic mountains and desert areas.

This array is due to several altitudes that produce climes in such hues that allow you to join beaches and islands on the hot areas as well as cities and dreamy little towns in the intermediate climates and even the snow-capped mountains if you go to 4700 high. Each one of these sceneries sounds like the surrounding fauna which is sometimes endemic and in some places like the Amazonas become wild.

The history of this country becomes tangible in the mixture of indigenous languages, African music and European colonial architecture told in each popular dish, handicraft, fest and costume.

Peru is a land of mysteries, legends, and ancient cultures. Step into the past as you discover the country’s different traditions that people have preserved and still practice today. Surround yourself with impressive landscapes: from the arid desert and sand dunes on the coast, the snow-capped mountains and volcanoes in the Andes, to the lush Amazon rainforest. Indulge in incredible gourmet meals, fresh seafood and ceviche, or try unique fruits, different types of potatoes, and exquisite chocolate. Whether you enjoy culture, adventure, or nature, your experiences in Peru will become memories of a lifetime. 

Brazil – to the name one associates endless Amazon jungle, wonderful beaches, Rio de Janeiro, Carnival and samba. This is all correct but in reality, Brazil is much more: a huge country of superlatives. With a surface of 8,5 million km², Brazil is almost as big as Europe covering half of the South American continent, it has an estimated population of 209 million inhabitants and its official currency is Real (R$). The climate differs according to zone and altitude, but overall Equatorial and Tropical are the main ones along most of the territory, the highest temperatures occur in the Northeast area and the lowest in the lower lands of Southeast and South regions. Brazil, a country of immense proportions and contrasts, has an enigmatic pull on many people. Since the sixteenth century, when the Portuguese first settled in the country, Brazil has had this mesmerizing effect on foreigners. First there was gold, then rubber, followed by coffee and nowadays it is above all the rhythms and the rich culture that appeal to tourists. Brazilians tend to display a lot of happiness, kindness and spontaneity. The biggest country of South America is a mirror of fascinating pictures. 

Duration
18 days
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey

Trip highlights

  • Underground Salt Cathedral in Bogota
  • Gold Museum in Bogota

Upon arrival in Bogotá, transfer to your hotel.

Bogotá - The Colombian Capital was founded in 1538 by the Spaniard Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada under the name of Santa Fe. Here you meet both of the dilapidated colonial grandeur, and the seething vitality of a modern metropolis. The constant air, fresh morning, warm noon and cool evening makes you forget the fact that there are no seasons. In addition to the vast southern slums ancient buildings are located in quiet, old districts.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Sofitel Victoria Regia

Get to know Bogota´s most famous food market. In the heart of the city you find early in the morning a beautiful flower market in front. Enter the market place and smell, let surprise yourself from the different kind of fruits, vegetables, herbs, fish, seafood, chicken and meat. Take a break at one of the simple but delicious food stands to take the opportunity to try one of the typical meals of that region. 

Visit to the colonial part of the city, La Candelaria. Walk across the main Simon Bolivar square, along the governments buildings then visit to the Fernando Botero Museum, the well-known Colombian painter and sculptor.

Inside the Bank de la Republica you find the Gold Museum. The world’s largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold is dazzling, fertility figures, anthropomorphic containers, earrings, masks, helmets and medallions. Interspersed are masterpieces hewn from clay, stone, shell and textiles. The most famous treasure is a miniature golden raft with intricate figures that depict the inauguration of an ancient indigenous ruler; he is attended by a coterie of shamans and priests. The ruler throws priceless golden objects into the lagoon on which he floats, as an offering to the sun god, and his constituents honor him by tossing their own gilded possessions into the water. One of the highlights of the museum is the dark room. Inside, there is an illuminated hole in the floor with hundreds of glittering items. On the walls, in dim light, are countless gold objects. A shaman chants and you realize that you are looking into a lagoon filled with gold pieces, experiencing the ceremonial life of the ancient people and their rulers.

At the end of the day you will pass along the walls full of graffiti, the best of them tell you serious back ground stories.

Remark: Gold Museum is closed on Mondays. Botero Museum is closed on Tuesdays.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Sofitel Victoria Regia

At the agreed time, transfer to Bogota airport.

Upon arrival in Cartagena, transfer to your hotel.

Cartagena - was founded in 1533 by the Spaniard Pedro de Heredia. For a long time Cartagena was a hub of goods but also slaves. Only in 1822, Cartagena became independent. Today, Cartagena's old town is a gem of history. Outside the old town, the modern age has developed. Upstream island chains and beaches around the city make the city a popular tourist destination.

Buy your ingredients at the local Bazurto Market and prepare a traditional Colombian dish. The Bazurto market is a traditional open air vegetable, fish, meat, fruit, clothing and art market and belongs to Cartagena like La Popa Convent and the Castle of San Felipe. It is a very traditional market, barely visited by tourists. Let this “underground” part of Cartagena enchant you. Walk through a maze of alleys, where the guide will introduce you to all kinds of fruits, herbs, vegetables, fish, seafood and meat. Continue to a colonial house in the historical city center and start cooking your own lunch. After having learned all about the food culture of Colombia, you can enjoy colorful streets, winding alleyways and main squares of the old city during the time at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

A day of lesuire to stroll around Cartagena 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Sofitel Legend Santa Clara

Today you will fly from Cartagena to Lima. 

Lima, also known as the “City of Kings”, was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro. Located directly on the Pacific coast, Peru’s capital city is a melting pot of cultures where you will encounter people, flavors, and history from different regions. The bustling metropolis has something for all tastes and ages: indulge in exquisite, internationally-praised cuisine, catch some waves on the coast, visit museums, and stroll around the historical center or the bohemian district of Barranco.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel B Arts Boutique

Explore the Huaca Pucllana, an important ceremonial and administrative site for the Lima culture. Today, contemporary buildings surround these flattened adobe pyramids, taking you back to the 15th century.

Lunch at Huaca Pucllana restaurant. (beverages not included)

In the historical center, admire the colorful colonial architecture around the “Plaza San Martín” and the main square “Plaza de Armas”, where you can also see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and the Municipality. From here, visit the San Francisco Monastery and discover its underground maze of tunnels and catacombs. Finally, head to Lima’s contemporary districts, Miraflores and San Isidro, that combine beautiful parks, such as “El Olivar” and “Parque del Amor”, shopping centers, and modern architecture. End your tour at the Larco Museum and appreciate over 45.000 objects including pre-Columbian ceramics, textiles, gold and silver pieces. Don’t miss the museum’s famous and unique erotic ceramics collection from the Mochica culture. Here you will enjoy dinner at the museums restaurant (beverages not included).

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel B Arts Boutique

Enjoy a private cocktail class at Hotel B Arts Boutique. Learn how to prepare 3 great cocktails made with different star liquors: Pisco, Gin, and Rum. Taste each one with its perfect appetizer.

This experience with English-speaking guide is shared with 2-12 other participants.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel B Arts Boutique

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport, on arrival you will be welcomed at the airport and driven to Sacred Valley. 

In the Sacred Valley, visit the Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary, a Peruvian family’s organization dedicated to rescuing and protecting species that are mistreated or at risk of extinction like the Andean Condor, giant tortoises, parrots, and more. About 50km (31mi.) away, visit the Urubamba local market, where villagers come to exchange, sell or buy their products. Walk through the colourful stands and admire a wide variety of agricultural products, seeds, spices, and even meat and livestock. Enjoy lunch at your hotel. (excluding beverages).

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Belmond Rio Sagrado

Start your tour at Moray, a site with unique circular agricultural terraces. The pre-Inca platforms have underground irrigation channels, different soils, and changing temperatures, which made it ideal for a plant nursery and research center. Walk down 30m (98ft) and appreciate its ingenuity and splendor.

Then, visit Maras and admire over 3,000 salt ponds with a stunning view of the Andes Mountains in the background. To this day, a network of water channels fills the ponds, the water evaporates, and the salt is harvested by hand. Finally, explore the impressive ruins of Ollantaytambo, one of the few places where the Incas won a battle against the Spaniards. Climb up the platforms and enjoy the view above the village and onto the valley. Near the ruins, visit a typical home and learn about the unique way their family has lived for generations in the Sacred Valley.

Visit a typical house located in the town of Ollantaytambo, one of the oldest towns in the surroundings of Cusco and very often called the “last living Inca village of Peru”. Experience the unique way of living in the Sacred Valley in a family home owned for generations, located close to the entrance of the Ollantaytambo ruins.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Belmond Rio Sagrado

The Sacred Valley train design is inspired by the elegance of the 1920’s. On your way to Machu Picchu, you can savor a gourmet lunch; while a gastronomic feast will be offered for dinner on your way back from the Inca Citadel. Both meals include an appetizer, entrée and dessert, which may be accompanied by a glass of wine and delicate petit fours to be enjoyed in the Dining Car. Non-alcoholic drinks such as soft drinks, juices and one hot drink at the end of the meal are included.

In the morning, board the train and enjoy the stunning Andean views filled with small communities and snow-capped mountains in the Sacred Valley. When you arrive to Aguas Calientes, the small village nestled at the bottom of Machu Picchu, take the shuttle bus up to the ancient citadel. Learn about the Inca civilization, the site’s discovery, and the different theories on this mysterious and spectacular archeological site.

 

Machu Picchu is on every traveler’s bucket list: it is undoubtedly one of the “must-see” archeological sites in the world. The most remarkable site from the Inca Empire was never found by the Spaniards and was re-discovered during the 20th century. Since then, archeologists continue to investigate, excavate, and reconstruct the ancient city that used to serve as a political, religious, and administrative center. Temples, agricultural terraces, and archeological observatories enclose a history and a mystery that go back thousands of years.

After this exciting day, take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, board the train to Cusco and drive back to your hotel in Cusco.

You will be welcomed at the Poroy train station and driven to your hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Belmond Palacio Nazarenas

Start your Cusco City Tour in the “Plaza de Armas” and visit the impressive renaissance-style Cathedral. Make your way through small alleys edged with Incan walls until you reach Koricancha, the temple dedicated to the sun “Inti”. Believed to be the most important temple for the Incas, it was destroyed by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. Its foundations were used to build the Catholic Church Santo Domingo. Continue your journey into the past as you explore the different Inca ruins around Cusco. Your first stop is Sacsayhuamán, the Inca ceremonial fortress dedicated to the sun. Admire the gigantic rocks used to build the site and the way they were perfectly fitted together. Nearby, head to Qenqo, a temple carved in a gigantic monolith with tunnels and chambers that were hand carved by men thousands of years ago. Visit the Puca Pucara fort, an important a military checkpoint for Inca Empire. End your tour at the Inca Baths known as Tambomachay and learn about the aqueducts and channels that allow the water to flow naturally

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Belmond Palacio Nazarenas

Transfer from the Iguassu Airport to Hotel Belmond das Cataratas including bilingual guide assistance.

Foz do Iguassu is a small, busy city located at the confluence of the Iguassu and Paraná Rivers. Near the Brazil and Argentina borders, it is the gateway to the majestic falls, to great tax-free shopping in Paraguay, and to the Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas

From the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, you are footsteps away from the Iguassu National Park. Walk along the paths and appreciate the lush vegetation, butterflies, and cascades. Take the 1,5km (1mi.) path that leads you to an amazing panoramic view of the Devil’s Throat. From here, appreciate the incredible panorama of the other iconic sites in Argentina like Two Sisters and Bozzeti waterfalls, the Superior Circuit, and San Martin Island, where the movie “The Mission” was filmed.

 Leave the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas in Brazil and drive to the Iguazú National Park in Argentina. From the visitor’s center, take the train and go to the Upper Circuit as you appreciate the panoramic views of the falls. Arrive at the Devil’s Throat, the park’s most impressive and immense waterfalls. Measuring 150m (492ft.) long and 80m (262ft.) high; its horseshoe shape creates a stunning waterfall you will remember forever. From here, walk along the Iguazú River canyon for about 3km (1,87mi.) to the lower circuit as you admire the regional fauna and flora and feel the constant presence of the waterfalls.

**Remark: The tour leaves from the Belmond Hotel das Cataratas in Brazil.

For the border crossing, travelers need their passports and visas (if necessary).

Suggested Accommodation

  • Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas

Transfer in exclusive vehicle from hotel Belmond das Cataratas to Iguassu Airport including Bilingual guide assistance.

Transfer from the Airport to Hotel including bilingual guide assistance.

Rio de Janeiro is also called the “Marvelous City”. Located by the Atlantic Ocean, golden beaches adorn its shores backed with lush mountains. Enjoy life like the “cariocas” whose charisma is contagious.  Dance to the rhythms of samba and old-school “bossa nova”, sip on a caipirinha, and appreciate the incredibly diverse architecture. Visit iconic landmarks like Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain, sail around Guanabara Bay, or learn about history and art at one of city’s many museums.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Belmond Copacabana Palace

Drive to the Cosme Velho district where you take a cogwheel train through the Tijuca forest up the Corcovado Mountain. Along the way, appreciate the lush rainforest and the views. When you arrive at the top, admire the well-known Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the world’s wonders. From one of Rio de Janeiro’s most privileged belvederes, appreciate the panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. Make your way back down and end your tour with stops at the famous, white sandy beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, and Leblon and return to your hotel.

**Remark: If the cogwheel train is unavailable, access Corcovado Mountain in a city-certified van that departs from “Largo do Machado.

Leave your hotel and drive to the Botanical Garden. Located at the foot of Corcovado Mountain, the 140 hectares (346ac.) land houses over 6,000 tropical and subtropical plants and trees. During your visit, keep your eyes open for different bird species and monkeys. Learn about monuments that have historical, artistic, and archeological significance and visit the research center that has the country’s most complete botany library with more than 32,000 volumes.

**Remark: The Botanical Garden is open Mondays from 12:00-17:00h and Tuesdays to Sundays from 8:00-17:00h. It is closed on December 25th and January 1st.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Belmond Copacabana Palace

Leave your hotel and drive to Rio’s downtown area for your city tour. Walk along the cobblestone streets in old Rio as you appreciate the beautiful architecture. See the National Library, the Municipal Theatre, the Candelaria Church, and the Cultural Center. Then, step inside the Metropolitan Cathedral and appreciate its unique architecture and beautiful interior with floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows. Afterwards, drive to the Urca neighborhood where you will take two glass cable cars and appreciate the beautiful lush views surrounding the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain. From the top, see the spectacular views of Rio de Janeiro.

**Remark: Due to traffic in downtown Rio, the itinerary and sites visited are subject to change.

Drive to the charming Santa Teresa hilltop neighborhood. Walk around the winding narrow streets filled with colorful buildings, artists, and a bohemian ambiance. Pass by the “Largo das Neves” plaza and the “Nossa Senhora das Neves” Church. Then, walk towards the municipal park “Parque das Ruínas” where you can see an old historic mansion with art exhibitions and spectacular views of Rio and Guanabara Bay. End your tour at one of the city’s top attractions: the Selarón Steps. Made by Jose Selarón, the 215 colorful steps are covered in bright ceramic mosaics.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Belmond Copacabana Palace

Transfer from hotel to airport including bilingual guide assistance.