Days
27
Price from
$11,195AUD

From the Andes to the Amazon, South America dances to the beat of its own drum

Packed full of highlights, this journey showcases the diversity of wonders across the Andes and Amazon. At Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes, be immersed in the ancient culture of the Incas, visit the Sacred Valley and revel in the magnificent citadel ruins of Machu Picchu. At Lake Titicaca, we visit the floating Uros Islands before continuing to the lofty heights of La Paz. The Chilean capital of Santiago is home to some of Chile's most famous wineries and the lively neighbourhoods and late nights of Buenos Aires. At the border with Brazil, we experience the magnificent might of Iguazu Falls, before finally arriving in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From the 21st of January 2017 the itinerary of this trip will change.

To constantly improve our itineraries we take on all feedback from our previous travellers and local teams. As a result of this process, in 2017 we will be extending this itinerary out to 31 days in length in order to allow extra time exploring Suasi Island in Lake Titicaca and Valparaiso, near Santiago de Chile.

The new itinerary is now online,the 2017 trip code is PSRSC


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Countries
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Peru
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSRS
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
18 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Buenos Aires offers an eclectic mix of European, Cosmopolitan and Latin flavours, as well as a booming cultural and nightlife scene. Explore the neighbourhoods of this lively, confident city on a full-day tour with a local guide

  • Look for rainbows in the mist of the mighty Iguazu Falls from both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides, and visit a local indigenous community

  • Enjoy a day out on tranquil Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water, and explore the floating islands crafted by the indigenous Uru locals

  • In the early hours of the morning, soak up a sublime sunrise from the gates of Machu Picchu. Afterwards, take a guided tour of the ruins and explore the area in your own time

  • Discover the colonial charm, neoclassical plazas and stylish neighbourhoods of Santiago. This city is packed full of history and is a great place to explore on foot

  • Venture deep into the Amazon Jungle with your local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna, flora and wildlife in their natural habitat

Is this trip right for you?

  • The Amazon Jungle can be very hot and humid, so it's important to drink plenty of water and wear light cotton clothing. Make sure you also bring tropical-strength insect repellant.

  • While accommodation in the Amazon is clean, comfortable and ideally located, it's pretty basic compared with other accommodation throughout the trip. Please remember that this is a very remote part of the world. As there's no electricity at night, the rooms are lit with candles and kerosene lamps.

  • Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. Please see the ‘Fitness’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

Welcome to Lima, Peru. On arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel in the well-known coastal suburb of Miraflores. In the afternoon around 2 pm, there will be a welcome briefing at the hotel with your Peregrine tour guide. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. Later in the day your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre.

Flanked by streets of ornate mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral of Lima, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro. Visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains. Continue onto the Central market where you'll take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer, including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs. You'll also have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food. The tour will finish in Lima main square, with the option to go for an included dinner in Down Town or back to Miraflores. 



Accommodation
  • Antigua Mira Flores or Similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado today, which should take around two hours. You won't be escorted during the flight, but you will be taken to the airport in Lima and met at the airport in Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take you to their office in town where you'll leave the majority of your luggage in safe storage. You'll continue travelling with a small pack with only the necessary items for your next two nights in the jungle. Shortly afterwards, take a motorised canoe up river to your jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios region. Posada Amazonas is a rainforest lodge that's just a 45-minute boat ride from Puerto Maldonado.

The lodge is owned by the indigenous Ese-Eja community of Infierno, offering a 30-metre canopy tower that provides spectacular views of the vast expanses of forest, Tambopata River and endless opportunities to witness Amazonian wildlife. Every room overlooks the tropical rainforest allowing guests to enjoy this unique ecosystem, even during their down time. The rooms are built with local materials such as wood, bamboo, adobe mud and palm trees, with each room having a spacious private bathroom with hot water. Use your evening getting to know the community and relaxing.

Notes: Numerous kerosene lamps and candles provide lighting. Electricity and internet are only available in the common areas of the lodge.
Accommodation
  • Posada Amazonas lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning, head into the jungle of the Amazon with your local, multilingual guides, encountering magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. You may even spot an array of animals from macaws and monkeys to peccary, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach you about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants. After your hike finishes in the afternoon, you're then free to sit back and relax in the comfort of your lodge.
Accommodation
  • Posada Amazonas lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today, travel back to Puerto Maldonado before taking the short flight to Cuzco. This flight will be unescorted, however you will be taken to the airport in Puerto Maldonado and met at the airport in Cuzco. On arrival, your local guide will take you on a walking tour, including a visit to the Coca Museum - where you can learn about the infamous plant that has been an essential part of life for centuries in the Andes - and the local San Pedro market.

Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Fitness' sections in the trip notes for detailed information.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Coca Museum
Optional Activities
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Archeological Site, guided tour - PEN15
  • Cuzco - Cathedral Visit - PEN25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start today by visiting some of the surrounding archaeological sites with your local guide, including Q'enqo, Puka Pukara and Sacsayhuman. For art and history, the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum can only be accessed with a Boleto Turistico (a ticket that covers archeological and cultural sites), which is included in the cost of your trip. This ticket also gives you access to the impressive stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman, where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an idea of how highly developed Inca engineering actually was.

For lunch or mid-morning coffee and cake, head to Yanapay restaurant at 415 Ruinas St. This restaurant uses all its profits to support children in Cuzco through Aldea Yanapay and its social projects.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by private bus for around two hours through the Sacred Valley, on the outskirts of Cuzco. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, this fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Venture to a community in the valley to learn about the local lifestyle. If your visit coincides with market day (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday), spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos. Continuing on, drive 20 minutes to Ollantaytambo. On your full day tour of the Sacred Valley, you'll see evidence of the Incas' engineering skills in the ruins of ancient aqueducts, irrigation canals, dams on the Urubamba River, imposing sets of terraces and centres of worship dedicated to Pachamama (Mother Earth).
Accommodation
  • Samanapaq hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today is Aguas Calientas. Travel by train for around 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach town, where you can spend some free time in the afternoon exploring. Take a wander, grab some food or just relax in the comfort of your hotel.
Accommodation
  • Santuario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
In the early morning at 5.30 am, take a bus along the winding road for around 30 minutes to Machu Picchu. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. On arrival, take a one to two hour guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, and enjoy some free time afterwards to wander around on your own. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience.

After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well deserved shower and a Pisco sour. The rest of today and tomorrow will be free for you to continue exploring Cuzco.

Notes: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today enjoy free time to relax, shop or explore more of Cuzco's sights. Perhaps head to a cafe on the Plaza de Armas, or for those seeking an active adventure, try mountain biking in the hills surrounding Cuzco. Your included "full boleto turistico" will give you access to the archaeological sites of Qenqo and Tambomachay, on the outskirts of Cuzco.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by bus for around six hours to Puno, which will be more or less a full day's journey. This scheduled tourist service will take you on decent roads through spectacular mountain scenery, with the chance to stop at several sites along the way, including adobe Inca ruins. Along the way you'll also make a short roadside stop at La Raya, which at 4,335 metres is the highest point of your journey. Lunch will be included on a stop in the small town of Sicuani. Continue driving through the large sprawling town of Juliaca on your way to Puno.

Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.
Accommodation
  • Taypikala hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Puno sits on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Today take a tour of the lake by slow motorboat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros people built these islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes in ancient times. They're built completely from multiple layers of totora reeds, which grow in the shallows of the lake. Later on visit Taquile Island, on the Peruvian side of the lake, and peruse its residents’ renowned handicrafts, including woollen items.

Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation that works towards improving the living condition of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in this part of the world you have now come to know so well. Take a look at this short video for more information on this wonderful project: https://vimeo.com/154422813
Kusimayo is supported by the Intrepid Foundation which means you can donate to this project and your donation will be match dollar for dollar by the Intrepid Group. Please donate through our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo/
Accommodation
  • Taypikala hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Full Day Lake Titicaca tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by minivan to Desaguadero, where you'll cross the border into Bolivia. The first stop is the Peruvian migration office where you'll be asked to leave the bus and proceed through Peruvian migration. Then walk via a bridge to the Bolivian side, submit your passport at the Bolivian migration office and reboard the bus, which will continue to La Paz. About 30 minutes after crossing the border there's another stop where the army will again check your documents. Remeber to set your watch to the right time, as Bolivia is one to two hours ahead of Peru.

On your way to La Paz, stop at Tiwanaku for a guided visit. Tiwanaku archaeological site was where the Incas learned about building systems and agricultural practices. The sprawling ruins comprise of temples, courtyards, terraced pyramids, monolithic stone statues and gateways. The most famous structure is the Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun). From the ruins, it's less than a two-hour drive to La Paz, where you'll spend the night. Enjoy spectacular views of the city on your approach, due to its unique location in the middle of a vast volcanic crater.
Accommodation
  • Rosario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tiawanaku archaeological site and museum tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
At around 3,600 metres, La Paz feels like the top of the world - vying with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of commerce, finance and industry. Today, head out on an included orienation walk of the city with the rest of your day free to explore. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional. 
Accommodation
  • Rosario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You will need to book a flight from La Paz to Santiago for today. This flight is not included in the price of your trip and will need to be arranged separately. Please book an earlier flight today, as this evening you'll have a group meeting in Santiago at approximately 6 pm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Loreto or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you'll go on a walking city tour of Santiago with your guide. The city centre itself is quite small and simple to get around - the Plaza de Armas is at the heart of the city and is home to the cathedral. The rest of the city is a jumble of shops, restaurants and parks. A visit to Bella Vista, Santiago's Parisian Quarter, will offer a slightly more serene perspective on the Chilean capital. Similarly, taking the cable car to Cerro San Cristobal will offer you impressive views across the city and over the peaks of the Andes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Loreto or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, travel through the Andes and across the Argentinian border by local bus to Mendoza (approximately 6-7 hours). It’s a good idea to bring plenty of water and snacks, as the trip may incur delays. On a clear day it may be possible to see Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas at 6,962 meters above sea level. Please note that crossing the border can take up to three hours depending on local traffic. Once in Mendoza, get to know the city with a gentle stroll around its tree-lined streets, or visit the local cafes and restaurants for some Argentinian fare.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villagio or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning head out on a winery tour, which includes lunch. Mendoza is Argentina's most prolific and significant grape-growing region, producing nearly three-quarters of the country's wine. The climate produces an excellent variety of grapes, with the region's signature being Malbec. Visit several wineries and cellar doors, tasting Malbec, Torrontes and other local varietals along the way. In the evening, perhaps test how refined your palate is by attempting to pair the perfect wine with an authentic Argentine asado (barbecue-style food).
Accommodation
  • Villagio Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Leave Mendoza behind today and fly to Buenos Aires, which should take around one and a half hours. From Buenos Aires, travel for around two hours to a traditional Estancia (a rural estate), where you'll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Estancia Monte Viejo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
During your time on the estancia you can do as much or as little as you desire. Activities may also vary depending on the day. You could go horse riding, work with the cattle, take a cooking class or learn more about the sport of polo. Alternatively you could laze by the pool and read or have a barbecue. Estancias are ideal for relaxation and provide a great base for activities. Please remember that activities vary depending on the days that you are there. If in doubt, ask your trip leader for more information.
Accommodation
  • Estancia Monte Viejo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
From the Estancia, continue your journey to Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan epicentre of South America. Combining the passion of Latin America with the elegance of Europe and its own distinctive style, Buenos Aires is a city with an abundance of things to see and do. Each neighbourhood has its own character, and you'll notice that the local residents, or Portenos, are incredibly proud of their city. On arrival, your day is free to do what you like. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel Patios De San Telmo or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Coastal train - USD10
  • Buenos Aires - Tigre - USD60
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you'll be taken on a walking and driving tour of the city to visit a selection of notable places. The tour starts in San Telmo and is followed by the famous Plaza de Mayo. Continuing on, visit La Boca, where the world-class football team Boca Juniors train. You'll also stop and have lunch in a local artists house in La Boca. The last stop is at Recoleta Cemetery where you can see the graves of some of the countries most influential figures. Your evening is then free.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Patios De San Telmo or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Full-day guided tour. It includes a visit to La Boca, Centro, San Telmo, Recoleta and lunch
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you have a free day to explore Buenos Aires. Perhaps further explore the cobblestone streets of San Telmo and browse its antiques markets, then see the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada. In the evening, you might like to enjoy a tango show, a football match or a steak and glass of Malbec in one of the city’s fashionable restaurants.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Patios De San Telmo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll fly to Puerto Iguazu, from where you will explore the impressive Iguazu Falls (approximately seven hours). On arrival visit the Brazilian side of the falls, which offers great panoramic views of them, while the Argentinian (which you'll see tomorrow) allows to you to get up close and personal on boardwalks You can opt for a more exhilarating look at Iguazu via a zodiac boat ride below the falls or a helicopter flight over the top.
Accommodation
  • El Pueblito or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
Optional Activities
  • Bird Park - BRL28
  • Helicopter ride (min 3 people) - USD110
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you'll visit the Argentinean side of the falls. You have the opportunity to meet one of the few remaining original inhabitants of the region, the Guarani, on a visit to this community with your tour leader. The rest of your evening is free to do as you wish.
Accommodation
  • El Pueblito or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu - Guarani community visit
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today, cross the border into Brazil and take an early morning flight from Foz do Iguacu to Rio. The locals say that 'if God made the world in six days, he devoted the seventh to Rio'. The day is yours to do what you like. For relaxation and people watching, head to the beaches of Copacabana or Ipanema. If the time of year is right, check out a football game or a Carnival rehearsal. As evening approaches, perhaps take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain to watch the sunset.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ipanema Inn or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Carnaval rehearsal (only available from June to Carnaval) - BRL80
  • Rio de Janeiro - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD30
  • Rio de Janeiro - Samba show - BRL200
  • Rio de Janeiro - Sugar loaf cable car - BRL44
  • Rio de Janeiro - Favela tour - BRL84
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning embark on a full-day guided tour of Rio. Discover the eclectic architecture, restaurants and art galleries of the artistic neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. Stop by the famous Selaron Steps to see artist Jorge Selaron’s gift to the Brazilian people. Continue up to Corcovado Mountain for sweeping views over Rio from the base of the Christ the Reedemer statue, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Then experience a different side of the city with a visit to the Santa Marta favela to learn about local life and meet some of the people who make up this dynamic community.

In the evening, live music is the heartblood of the city, with everything from samba, jazz, bossa nova, hip hop, reggae and rock to the myriad of regional styles and fusions. Lapa is the place to go if you want to join locals for some serious dancing in the many dancehalls there.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ipanema Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Guided tour including Santa Teresa and Selaron Steps
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day so you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

26 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Plane, Private minibus, Local bus, Boat

Accommodation

Hotel (22 nights), Estancia (2 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Cuzco - Coca Museum
  • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
  • Full Day Lake Titicaca tour
  • Tiawanaku archaeological site and museum tour
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour
  • Buenos Aires - Full-day guided tour. It includes a visit to La Boca, Centro, San Telmo, Recoleta and lunch
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
  • Iguazu - Guarani community visit
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
  • Rio de Janeiro - Guided tour including Santa Teresa and Selaron Steps

Reviews

Our Rhythms of South America trips score an average of 4.44 out of 5 based on 18 reviews in the last year.

Rhythms of South America , July 2016

Nicole Giannasi

Rhythms of South America , July 2016

Richard Lintott

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Important notes

FLIGHT NOT INCLUDED
Flight from La Paz to Santiago on day 14 is not included in the tour cost and must be by client or agent.
Please consider booking international flights with Lan so you can book this flight on an airpass. Contact us for more information.
**Airport transfers are included for these flights, however we must have flight information, no later than 15 days out from departure**

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.
Please see the visa information on these trip notes for more information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.