• Pisac market Sacred valley Peru trip september

The Best of South America Tour

For an insight into South America in just two weeks, take our Highlights of South America tour. Visit the very different cities of Lima and Cuzco in Peru, Buenos Aires in Argentina and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Be amazed by the Inca ruins, notably Machu Picchu. Gaze in awe at the magnificent natural landscapes of the Andes, Lake Titicaca and Iguazu Falls. From floating reed islands on Lake Titicaca to the Andean Inca ruins, from the art deco cafes in Buenos Aires to the glamorous beaches of Rio, these iconic destinations will keep you enthralled.

Please see 2020 group tour departure dates below, private tours depart daily, on request.

17 January

28 February

13 March

17 April

15, 29 May

12, 26 June

10, 24 July

07, 21 August

18 September

09 October

06, 20 November

Duration
15 days

Guide Price

 £5,199  pp
Options
Private or Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
a large waterfall over some water with Iguazu Falls in the background

Trip highlights

  • Spanish heritage of colonial Lima
  • On Incas footsteps in Cuzco
  • Magical Machu Picchu
  • Crossing Lake Titicaca
  • Feel the tango in Buenos Aires
  • Awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls

Upon arrival into Lima, transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Casa Andina Premium Miraflores or similar

Today you will explore the city on a sightseeing tour through Lima. Visit the The Plaza de Armas with the beautiful buildings of the government Palace, the town hall, the Palace of the archbishop and the cathedral. These are still the most important places in town. After that you will visit the beautiful San Francisco monastery which displays the largest collection of religious art in America. The highlight of this convent is the visit of the underground vaults known as “catacumbas” or catacombs.

Proceed through the modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores and to the Coastline enjoying the view over the beaches of Lima and the Pacific Ocean. Afterwards enjoy a guided visit of one of the Lima’s most noted museums, the Rafael Larco Herrera Archaeological Museum which houses the world’s largest private collection of Peruvian pre-Columbian Art., there are approximately 45,000 historic objects.

In the afternoon there is an optional tour (to be booked before departure), where you can visit the a water park followed by dinner. Visit the Parque de la Exposición, one of the biggest waterparks that exists within a city. There you can marvel at different shapes of fountains illuminated with different colors with the highlight of each evening being the music show at the biggest fountain with the water dancing to the rhythm of the tunes. After the show you will stop at a famous restaurant in Barranco to enjoy a buffet dinner and a show of traditional folk dances. This tour is only possible Tuesday to Sunday.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Casa Andina Premium Miraflores or similar

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival you will start the tour with a visit to Chinchero community located outside of the city. Here are the remains of what was the royal hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, as well as beautiful colonial temples built on Inca’s foundations. However, its main attraction is its Sunday market originally dedicated to the people of the valley to barter their products. This colourful and lively market still fascinates people with its variety of handicrafts and textiles made in true pre-Columbian style.

Then you will be transferred to “El Mirador de Racchi” where you will have a lovely view of the Sacred Valley, afterwards you will then transfer to your hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Sacre Valley Hotel & Wellness or similar

Today you will visit Ollantaytambo which is a typical Inca community. Towering above the town of Ollantaytambo we will find the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. Steep stone terraces rising from the edge of town lead up to the fortress ruins at the top of the hill. A stone stairway leads up through the terrace walls, allowing visitors to step out on them. One of the best-preserved areas lies north of the Hanan Huacaypata square: an area of 15 blocks of houses built on top of carved stone walls. Lunch will be in a local restaurant. 

If you wish to do something in the afternoon, the following is available:

- Moray and Maras
The excursion starts with the visit to Moray, a little Andean community which is famous for its embedded amphitheater, formed by four circular terraces which seem to disappear into the interior of the puna, like an artificial crater. Evidences seem to suggest that Moray was an important Inca agricultural research center. Finally, you will be transferred to visit the Salt Mines of Maras. With the salt which is tapped by exposing salt water that bubbles to the surface from a spring called Qoripujio in men-made wells to the sun, people earn their living. The view of this complex of nearly 3,000 wells is spectacular. The local people demonstrate the ancient techniques to visitors, even allowing you to participate. Visits are not recommended during the rainy season of November to April.

- Trekking to the terraces of Yucay
An easy and relaxing hike to enjoy nature. Behind the Plaza of Yucay you will see an impressive group of terraces that follow the outline of the mountain and are still in use by the locals. The trail will take you to witness also the old Inca´s aqueducts used for the irrigation of the agricultural terraces.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Sacre Valley Hotel & Wellness or similar

Transfer to the train station of Ollantaytambo where the tour starts by train that goes through the fertile plain of the Urubamba valley and on to Aguas Calientes. From there it is just a short bus ride to the ruin town of Machu Picchu on the steep mountainside. Enjoy a guided visit of around 2 hours of the ruins and return by bus and train to Ollantaytambo station before being transferred to your hotel in Cuzco.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique or similar

Today you will start for a half day city tour. You will be shown the exact centre of the Incan Empire, the Plaza de Armas. There one can find the cathedral built on the ruins of the ancient Inca Palace. The cathedral borders on other churches on both sides. Next stop will be the old town with its magnificent renovated colonial buildings; some of them are being used as hotels.

Proceed to Sacsayhuaman, a ruin site located approx. 3km above Cuzco. Sacsayhuaman also offers a fabulous view over the city. Afterwards visit the surrounding ruins.

The Afternoon is as your leisure. 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique or similar

A full day bus tour from Cusco to Puno leads through the Peruvian highland along snow-covered peaks of the Andes, small villages and reaches its highest point in La Raya at 4,300m above sea level. On route you will visit the town of Andahuaylillas, the ruins of Racchi and the small town of Pucara. Lunch in a typical restaurant en route is included. Upon arrival in Puno transfer to your hotel. The full day transfer is shared with international travellers and accompanied by a bilingual English/Spanish speaking guide.

Suggested Accommodation

  • GHL Hotel Lago Titicaca or similar

In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Puno’s dock where you will depart towards the Uros Islands on Titicaca Lake. The Uros are 40 small floating islands made of packed totora (reed), located within the Titicaca National Reserve. Here the inhabitants of the lake, the Uros, live just as their ancestors did, maintaining their customs and idiosyncrasies. 

After visiting the Uros Islands we will continue by boat to Taquile Island. There are no roads or electricity in Taquile and the locals have maintained their traditions and culture and many still wear traditional dresses. The Taquileños are known for their high-quality handicrafts, especially for the knitting, which is exclusively performed by males. In the main square there is a cooperative shop, selling woollen goods and hand-woven items, as well as a small church. A typical lunch at Taquile Island is included.  Afterwards transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Lima. A box dinner will be provided during the transfer.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Casa Andina Premium Miraflores or similar

Transfer from the hotel to the airport of Lima, flight to Iguazu and transfer to the hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Wish Resort Golf Convention or similar

You will leave your hotel on the Brazilian side by coach and cross the Iguassu National Park towards the Brazilian Falls. You walk along the paths following the cascades and then along the catwalk which leads you very close to the bottom of the Devil’s Throat. You will enjoy magnificent views. Afterwards you take an elevator to go up back to the road, and there you will board the motor coach which will take you to the Argentinean side of the falls.

You will make a short stop at the Visitor’s Centre and proceed from there along the Inferior Circuit, the down-river falls, to the Superior Circuit, the up-river cascades. The Ecological Jungle Train leads you to the most impressive observation point of the falls – The Devils Throat. After, visit transfer to the hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Wish Resort Golf Convention or similar

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for the flight to Buenos Aires. Arrival in Buenos Aires and transfer to the hotel.

Afterwards you will be taken to the tango house Viejo Almacén, because visiting a Tango Show is a MUST when you are in Buenos Aires!  (This is a shared transfer). 

El Viejo Almacén became a unique place thanks to its historic location and an authentic style nourished by popularity built through the years. Every night its doors are open to enjoy an impressive tango show performed by prominent interpreters of the tango scene, a demonstration of Andean music, as well as exquisite cuisine. The Tango tradition started at the end of the 19th century, and developed out of a mixture of various rhythms, which were originally danced in the poorer neighborhoods. Tango is reflecting the nostalgia and melancholy of the European immigrants and brought up some great musicians, such as Astor Piazzolla and Anibal Troilo.

You will enjoy a show with music, singing and dancing. The dinner includes entrée, main course, dessert & drinks. After the tango show return to the hotel, arrival around midnight.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Grand Brizo Buenos Aires or similar

During the city tour you will see the Plaza de Mayo, with the Casa Rosada (the pink house), seat of the government, the Cabildo (town hall) and the Metropolitan Cathedral, home of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires. The tour goes then onto the district San Telmo. Until 1888 this part of the city was a river port, today San Telmo is one of the most modern and desired places to live in Buenos Aires. The worker district La Boca is famous for its colourful tin-houses and its history as living district of Italian seamen and dock workers in the 19th century. The Barrio Norte, also called Recoleta, is the quarter of the rich of Buenos Aires. On the cemetery of Recoleta one will find the grave of Eva Duarte who became famous as Evita Perón. Continue along the widest avenue in the world, the Avenida 9 de Julio to the Plaza Lavalle with the Federal Court of Justice and the Teatro Colón. After you will return to the hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Grand Brizo Buenos Aires or similar

Transfer from the hotel to the airport for the flight to Rio de Janeiro. Arrival in Rio and transfer to the hotel. 

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Windsor Excelsior or similar

Leaving the hotel and proceeding as far as Cosme Velho Station to board a cog-train for the ride through Tijuca Forest up Corcovado Mountain at 748m (2.454 ft) high. The train ride takes 20 minutes and is a wonderful opportunity for a closer look at the forest’s lush tropical vegetation and to enjoy scenic landscapes of the beaches and city. Disembarking at the top of Corcovado and then proceeding up the steps that lead to the top lookout where the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer stands. After appreciating the breathtaking view unfolding below, passengers will descend by train. The tour proceeds passing by Rio’s world-famous beaches as far as Urca District to board a cable car for a two-staged ascent up Sugar Loaf Mountain at 390m (1.280 ft) high. Then coming down and proceeding along Guanabara Bay and Flamengo Park as far as downtown.

Visit the downtown area, passing by the financial and business centre and by other attractions such as the Candelaria Church, Saint Sebastian Cathedral, Lapa Arches, Municipal Theatre, National Library, Fine Arts Museum, and by the Sambadrome, site of Rio’s famous Carnival parade.

- Optional tour: Rio by night (to be booked before departure)
Visit a folklore and Carnival show featuring skilled dancers, entertainers, samba bands and wonderful costumes in a wonderful display of Brazilian folklore and Carnival.

 

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Windsor Excelsior or similar

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Included

  • Regional flights within Latin America
  • Accommodation as detailed with private facilities (in case of early transfer breakfast cannot be guaranteed)
  • Meals included as detailed
  • Services of an English speaking guide, transfers and tours on a seat-in coach basis
  • All entrance fees and government taxes

Not included

  • Domestic departure taxes
  • Optional excursions
  • Tips for the guide and driver
  • International Flights