Best of South America

Best of South America

Depart:
Escorted or Private Tour-Land Only

15 Days/ 14 Nights

2019 Departures:

January 4 and 18
February 1 and 8
March 15 and 29
April 26
May 10 and 24
June 7 and 28
July 5
September 6 and 20
October 11
November 15

Peru - the "Kingdom of the Sun", encapsulates the essence of America, the "New World", in geography as well as in the mix of native Indian and European cultures. A country of antique cultures, where the traditional way of life of the Indians has still got validity; great scenic contrasts, perhaps the greatest treasure of the Americas. The Spanish conquistadors came in ruthless search of gold, although they never found their most elusive prize of all, the "Lost City of the Incas". Besides the impressive Inca ruins close to Cuzco and the "lost city" Machu Picchu, Peru is also home of the famous "Nazca lines", the Chulpa-grave buildings of the Colla at Lake Titicaca and witness of the bloody Spanish conquest. With its stunning variety in landscapes Peru is also one of the most spectacular countries on earth. Of 103 possible ecological zones on earth 83 are represented only in Peru.

Argentina, the second biggest state of South America, has a surface of 2.8 million square kilometers. The country has 33 million inhabitants and nearly half of them live in the surroundings of Buenos Aires, one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world. Argentina is a fascinating land of contrasts where the exceptional is almost commonplace. It is home to an abundant wildlife, enjoys a unique culture, and delights in an astonishing variety of landscapes from tropical rain forest in the north to the remote vastness of the Antarctic in the South. Three big landscapes form the country: the Andes in the west, the northern and western flatland as well as the wide plains of Patagonia in the South. The country that is stretched in length has three climatic zones: tropic in the north, moderate in the center and polar in the extreme South. The Indian aborigines only live in the north-western Andean region and in the north-east province of Misiones. The rest of the population is mainly composed of European immigrants. The official language is Spanish, but in bigger towns English is also quite common.

Brazil - with this term 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 the superlatives. Brazil, a country of immense proportions and contrasts, has a mysterious attraction for many people. With a surface of 8,5 million km., Brazil is approximately as big as Europe and covers half of the South American continent. The climate changes from the permanent warm, tropic north over all subtropical variants to the moderate South. Since the 16th century - when Portuguese have begun to settle in the country - Brazil had always a magic attraction on foreigners. First there was the gold and then rubber and coffee and today it is above all the rhythm and the exotic that attracts tourists. People over there show a lot of happiness, kindness and spontaneity. The biggest country of South America is a mirror of fascinating pictures.
Price per Person:
In a double room using tourist class hotels $3099
Single supplement $899

In a double room using first class hotels $3599
Single supplement $1279

This tour can be taken on a private basis any day for the following prices:

In a double room using tourist class hotels $4299

In a double room using first class hotels $4799
Package Includes:
14 nights hotel accommodation at chosen category all with private facilities:Tourist class hotels: Lima: Hotel La Hacienda Miraflores (standard room)-Yucay-Hotel Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado (standard room) Cuzco-Hotel Xima (standard room)-Puno-Hotel Jose Antonio (standard room)-Buenos Aires-Hotel Loi Suites Esmeralda (studio room)-Iguassu-Hotel Recanto Park (standard room)-Rio de Janiero-Hotel Windsor Plaza Copacabana (superior room)-First class hotels-Lima-Hotel Casa Andina Premium Collection Miraflores (superior room)-Yucay-Hotel Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness (colonial room) Cuzco-Hotel Aranwa Cusco Boutique (classic room)-Puno-Hotel Libertador Lago Titicaca (superior room)-Buenos Aires-Hotel Grand Brizo (comfort room)-Iguassu-Hotel Wish Resort (superior room)-Rio de Janiero-Hotel Windsor Excelsior Copacabana (superior room)
Breakfast each morning
3 lunches-drinks not included
1 box dinner
All transfers in South America
Lima city tour
Cuzco city tour
Machu Picchu Tour
Buenos Aires city tour
Tours of the Argentinean and Brazilian side of the Iguassu Falls
Rio de Janiero city tour
Entrance fees to the following-Peru: San Francisco Monastery Lima, Cathedral & Koricancha, Vistadome Ollanta/Aguas Calientes/Ollanta, Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes-Machu Picchu, Andahuaylillas, Racchi, Pucara. Brazil: Sugar Loaf, Iguassu National Park Brazil, Iguassu National Park Argentina
English speaking sightseeing
Hotel taxes and service charges
Itinerary
Day 1 Lima
Upon arrival you will be met and taken to your centrally located hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure in the Peruvian capital. Overnight in Lima.

Day 2 Lima
Today you will explore the city on a sightseeing tour through Lima. The Plaza de Armas with the beautiful buildings of the government Palace, the town hall, the Palace of the archbishop and the cathedral are still the most important places in town. After that you will visit the beautiful San Francisco monastery. 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. Mr. Rafael Larco Hoyle founded the museum on July 28, 1926, in the Chiclin sugar estate in Trujillo, naming it as his father as an expression of filial homage. In 1958 he moved the collection to Lima, installing the Museum in a Colonial house in the district of Pueblo Libre, where it currently functions. This locale was adapted to the characteristics style of the 18th century Colonial houses from Trujillo. The approximate 45,000 objects of the collection have been exhibited to the public in the Permanent Hall, Jewelry Vault and the Classified Storage Area ever since. The Halls of the Larco Museum are organized by subjects. The Metals, Ceramics, the Stones, the Culture, the Great Jewelry Vault and Textile Halls emphasize the technological aspects by Pre Colombian cultures. Finally the world's unique Erotic Hall gives you a glimpse of the fascinating sexual life of ancient Peruvians. Overnight in Lima.

Day 3 Lima-Cuzco-Yucay
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco.(not included). Transfer to the airport for the flight to Cusco. Upon arrival you will start the tour with a visit to Chinchero community located 28 km away from Cusco. 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 colorful 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 splendid view of the Sacred Valley. Afterwards you will enjoy a typical lunch at a local house, followed by the transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Yucay.

Day 4 Yucay-Ollantaytambo-Yucay
After breakfast you will have the morning at leisure. You can take one of the following optional excursions. Trekking to the terraces of Yucay (1h) 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. .Optional: Moray and Maras The excursion starts with a 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. **Remarks: Visits are not recommended during the rainy season (November to April). Urubamba River Rafting (3h, 1h30min in the river) At the given time you will be picked up from the hotel to be transferred to Pachar in the Sacred Valley of the Incas where your guide will be waiting for you ready with all the equipment. Here you will receive rafting equipment and a safety briefing (toilet facilities and changing rooms available). After a brief practice on the flat part of the river, you will start your journey on easy waters while admiring the spectacular views of the mountains and archaeological remains. Afterwards you will continue towards Ollantaytambo and its amazing Inca terraces. At that time you will experience class 2-3 rapids, to finish with "El Resbaladero" (The Slide), a strong class 3 rapid that includes waves and small whirlpools. You will then reach the river take out located in the community of Cachicata (Toilets available) just 10 minutes by car from Ollantaytambo. Biking in the Sacred Valley: Yanahuara (4h, 2h30min of biking) You will picked you up from your hotel be taken on a one hour drive to the Paucarbamba bridge. Here you will receive a safety briefing and will adjust your bikes for the ride. You will go through a trail following the Urubamba River, the sacred river of the Incas, until you reach the town of Pachar. From here you will take an easy descend through an ancient Inca trail that passes through farming fields and Inca terraces until you will get to the Inca bridge. Hiking, Ollantaytambo Cachicata (3h) Early in the morning, you will be picked you up from your hotel, on the way you will admire the imposing Urubamba range, along with potato fields to Ollantaytambo where Your hike will begin at the Inca Bridge over the Vilcanota River. Your hike starts going up an Inca trail through terraces and tombs, until reaching the base of one of the most important mountains of the area, the Apu Buena Negra, a granite geological formation. From this area you will have an impressive view of the Veronica Mountain, one of the most important in the Urubamba range, as well as a great view of the Pakaritampu pyramid, based on the agricultural terraces, and the town of Ollantaytambo and its fortress. Here you will enjoy a box lunch, followed by your descent while you admire breathtaking views in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and its beautiful typical little houses, its green corn fields, which are irrigated by the sacred river of the Incas. The hike ends at "El Rancho" in the nice community of Cachicata's. The houses in this community were built on stone foundations, using adobes (mud bricks) to build houses of only one or two stories high, all with roofs made of straw. Transportation will wait for you in the community of Cachicata, to take you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. In the afternoon you will enjoy a visit to Ollantaytambo, a typical Inca community. Towering above the town of Ollantaytambo you 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. Overnight in Yucay.

Day 5 Yucay-Machu Picchu-Cuzco
Transfer by bus 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, small buses drive up the steep mountain to the ruin town Machu Picchu. Called the Lost City of the Incas, this cultural heritage of mankind is a beautifully located impressive stone city constructed with a technique incredible for its era and even for present times. Stone upon stone, fitted together perfectly without any cement, with impressive delicacy, exquisite detail and discrimination worthy of the world's greatest palaces There are many theories about Machu Picchu, but one thing is for sure - it is one of the most impressive sites in the world. Extensive guided visit of the ruins and return by bus and train to the Sacred Valley. Transfer to your hotel in Cuzco. .

Day 6 Cuzco
In the morning your half-day city tour begins. You will be shown the exact center of the Inca 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. Then proceed to Sacsayhuaman, a ruin located approx. 3 km above Cusco. Sacsayhuaman also offers a fabulous view of the city. Afterwards visit the surrounding ruins. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Cuzco.

Day 7 Cuzco-Puno
A full day bus journey from Cuzco to Puno leads through the Peruvian highland along snow-covered peaks, passes up to 4.300 m above sea level and then goes down to Puno, which is right on Lake Titicaca. On route you will visit the town of Andahuaylillas, the ruins of Racchi, the small town of Pucara besides another Inca remains.The beauty and charm of Puno town is made up by its habitant's kind personality and by its mixture of typical Andean architecture that is to be found all way down from the sides of the hills until the bank of the Titicaca Lake. Its archaeological, cultural and architectural variety and richness owes Puno to the fact that it once had been inhabited by three different civilizations on the banks of the Titicaca Lake: Aymara, Quechua and Spanish. This multicultural origin has created a mestizo race that is also found in their artistic and cultural expression and especially in an incomparable folklore which is second to none and has made Puno the "Folklore Capital of Peru." The main attraction of Puno is Titicaca Lake, a must for any visitor. The Sacred Lake of the Incas is one of the most enigmatic places in the world. It is the highest navigable lake and combines beautiful sights, culture and history. Lunch in a typical restaurant en route is included. After arrival in Puno transfer to your hotel.

Day 8 Puno-Lake Titicaca-Lima
In the morning you will be taken on an excursion to Lake Titicaca to visit the Uros floating islands. The Aymara Indians build their houses over floating artificial islands that elaborate themselves on the waters of the Titicaca in which they inhabit in organizations and with ancestral customs. Continue to Taquile Island where you find numerous pre-Inca and Inca ruins and Inca terracing. The island is narrow, only about 1km wide, but 6-7km long. The people here still wear their traditional clothes and there is a co-operative shop on the Plaza where one can buy woolen goods of very fine quality. After lunch on Taquile Island back to Puno and take the flight (not included) to Lima. Boxed dinner included this evening. Overnight in Lima

Day 9 Lima-Iguassu
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguassu (not included). Upon arrival to Iguassu transfer to the hotel and check in. Iguassu, one of the biggest wonders of nature in South America, located amidst a sub-tropical forest in the triangle of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, a gigantic row of waterfalls goes down into the river Iguassu. Overnight in Iguassu

Day 10 Iguassu
You will leave your hotel on the Brazilian side by motor 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 Center 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 Devil's Throat. After visit transfer to the hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls. Overnight in Iguassu.

Day 11 Iguassu-Buenos Aires
Transfer from the hotel to the airport for the flight to Buenos Aires (not included). Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Buenos Aires is not only the capital of Argentina; it is also one of the 10 most important metropolises in the world and the center of the political, economic and intellectual life of the country. This cosmopolitan city, with great European cultural influence, displays a refined taste in its cooking, in its boutiques and in the elegance of its inhabitants. Almost 12 million people live here and enjoy the plentiful nightlife visiting tango bars, cabarets, discotheques, restaurants or eternally open bars. During the day, a wide variety of attractions are offered: museums, art galleries, tasteful shops, fascinating antiques stores, large green areas, parks, wide tree lined boulevards, clubs and sporting events. The Italian-Spanish descent of the inhabitants has formed this modern metropolis. Feel the flair, above all in the Italian old quarter La Boca and in the wide streets with cafes from the turn of the century. At the Plaza de Mayo, in the political center of town, is the starting point of this tour through this exciting capital. The widest street of the world, the very famous opera house and also the shopping street Florida make Buenos Aires unforgettable. This evening you will be taken for dinner and a tango show at the famous La Ventana tango house. Overnight in Buenos Aires.

Day 12 Buenos Aires
After breakfast you will be taken on a city tour. You will drive to 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 on to the district of 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 colorful tin-houses and its history as living district of Italian seamen and dock workers in the 19th century. The Barrio Norte called Recoleta is the quarter of the rich of Buenos Aires. In the cemetery of Recoleta one will find the grave of Eva Duarte who became famous as Evita Peron. 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 Colon, Overnight in Buenos Aires.

Day 13 Buenos Aires-Rio de Janiero
This morning transfer from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro (not included). Upon arrival in Rio transfer to your hotel, Rio de Janeiro founded in 1556, the city of St. Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro became the capital of the Colony of Brazil in 1776. In 1808 the Portuguese royal family fled Napoleon and settled in Rio. This brought a surge of progress and the city became the main cultural, political and economic center of the Portuguese empire. In 1889, when the republic was proclaimed, Rio was confirmed as the country's capital, which it remained until 1960, when the construction of the new capital, Brasilia, was founded. Rio is situated in a 15 mile strip of land, wedged between mountains and sea. There are some thirty miles separating downtown Flamengo, from far-flung Recreio, bordered on one side by the blue sea, on the other by verdant hills. Between them lies a colorful state of mind called CARIOCA, with almost 8 million locals who samba their way through life, relaxed and high-spirited. That is just the way it should be in Rio, surrounded by natural beauty on all sides, with Christ the Redeemer perched on top of Corcovado blessing the city and Sugar Loaf, one of the most famous postcards of the country. Overnight in Rio.

Day 14 Rio de Janeiro
Leaving the hotel and proceeding as far as Cosme Velho Station to board a cog-train or van for the ride through Tijuca Forest up Corcovado Mountain at 2,454ft 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, you will descend by train. The tour proceeds passing by Rio's world-famous beaches as far as the Urca District to board a cable car for a two-staged ascent up Sugar Loaf Mountain at 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 center and by other attractions such as the Candelaria Church, Saint Sebastian Cathedral, Lapa Arches, Municipal Theater, National Library, Fine Arts Museum, and by the Sambadrome, site of Rio's famous Carnival parade. This evening you can enjoy an optional Rio by Night show. Visit a folklore and Carnival show featuring skilled dancers, entertainers, samba bands and wonderful costumes in a wonderful display of Brazilian folklore and Carnival. Overnight in Rio.

Day 15 Rio de Janeiro-End or Tour
After breakfast you will be taken to the airport. You can extend your stay in Rio or take one of our many other tours such as to the famous beach resort of Buzios.

Additional nights available

Visa for Brazil is required and is not included.



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