Days
39
Price from
$14,795CAD

Embrace the diversities of South America as you travel through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Packed full of highlights both natural and man-made, this journey across South America showcases a diversity of wonders spanning the Andes to the Amazon. In the Peruvian Andes hub of Cuzco 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, Bolivia, visit the floating Uros Islands before continuing to the lofty heights of La Paz. Further south, the Chilean hinterlands are home to some spectacular wineries while irrepressible Buenos Aires excels at nightlife. At the border with Brazil, experience the magnificent might of Iguazu Falls, before finally arriving in one of the world's most beautiful cities, Rio de Janeiro.

Please note the international flight from La Paz to Santiago on day 24 of this itinerary is not included in the tour price. Please contact us or your travel agent for flight details and costs.

Optional Hike Add-on:

On this trip you can opt to hike the 1-day Inca Trail. More information on this trek can be found in the itinerary section your trip notes. Please contact us if you are interested in this option.


Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Countries
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSSIC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • The active volcano of Cotopaxi is the highest in the world. Hike through Cotopaxi National Park towards the volcano's perfectly cone-shaped peak, looking out for wildlife along the way

  • Experience the untouched world of the Amazon rainforest. Stroll along jungle trails on the lookout for monkeys, parrots, otters and caymans, and sleep in a nature lodge lit by candles and kerosene lamps

  • Enjoy two included visits to Machu Picchu! One guided tour of the ruins and the second visit with free time to explore on your own

  • The floating reed islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are a marvel of concept, construction and history. Take a boat tour on the world's highest navigable lake, then spend a couple of nights on a private Island overlooking Lake Titicaca. Watch the sun go down at the highest point of the island while enjoying a truly memorable picnic and drinks

  • Join a specialist historian guide on one of you included visits to an archaeological site around Cuzco who will provide interesting insight and knowledge about Peru's history and culture

  • Explore the vibrantly colourful port town of Valparaiso, where culture spills out into the streets and puppets come to life.

  • Gaze over the dazzling city, mountains and bay of Rio de Janeiro from the foot of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue

Is this trip right for you?

  • Due to the high altitude of some of the places we visit on this trip, some travellers might experience altitude sickness. Please see the ‘Fitness’ section of the Trip Notes for more information about this condition.

  • Accommodation in the Amazon is likely to be more basic than what you might be accustomed to. Rooms are unpowered and the showers are cold water only. On the plus side, you'll have private en suites, romantic kerosene lamps and mosquito nets. Please remember that this is an extremely remote part of the world (which is what makes it so special).

  • The Amazon rainforest can be hot, humid and sticky. Please pack light cotton clothing and insect repellent.

Itinerary

Welcome to Quito, Ecuador! Your tour will begin with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with hotel reception or look on the reception noticeboard for where and when the meeting will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Quito is one of the most beautiful cities in South America, sitting at 2,850 metres above sea level, beneath the snow capped Volcan Pichincha. As we don't spend much time in Quito during the trip, why not arrive early and make the most of your time here? You'll be taken on a guided tour of Old Town and some of the famous sites tomorrow, but perhaps you'd like to explore Cotopaxi National Park, home to the country's famous volcano, or take the TelefériQo Cruz Loma, a gondola lift over the city.

Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit including Quito, Lima and Cusco, some people can suffer altitude sickness regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Fitness' sectionin the trip notes for detailed information.
Accommodation
  • Patio Andaluz Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you'll set out on a city tour. In addition to your tour leader you'll be accompanied by a specialist Historian guide who will provide you with an in-depth and unique perspectve of this city and its rich colonian history. In additon to visiting the popular sites of Quito, our expert guide will point out the otherwise unnoticed features and take you off the standard tourist trail to explore places not easily discoverable.

You'll explore Quito's Old Town with its countless churches, engrossing history and wonderful museums. Along the way you'll see La Compania de Jesus, the most beautiful church in the Americas, and Calle La Ronda, Quito's oldest street. Next, head north of the city for about 45 minutes to reach the Middle of the World monument, which was built by the French in the 17th century at the precise location of the equator. You'll enter the monument and then visit the local Inti Nan museum, where you can see different experiments to prove that you're at the Centre of the Earth.

After visiting the Equator line you will make a quick stop at a local sorbet shop. 'Helados de paila’ a sorbet prepared in large copper pans (pailas) kept cool on a bed of straw and ice, into which fruit, sugar and water is stirred. You will observe a demonstration of how the sorbet is made. Following this, you’ll have the opportunity to try some!

Later, travel past the Avenue of Volcanoes (approximately 2 hours) to a lodge in the Cotopaxi area where you'll spend the night.

Accommodation
  • Chuquirahua Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Equator line - Museum visit
  • Quito - Compañia de Jesus visit
  • Quito - Panecillo Hill
  • Quito - Intiñan Museum visit
  • Quito - Old Town orientation walk
  • Quito - Historian led city tour
  • Equator Line - Pan Ice Cream 'Demonstration and Tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today after breakfast travel approximately 2.5 hours to Quilotoa, a lake-filled dormant volcano. Although this stunning lagoon looks like a crater-lake, it's technically a caldera formed by the collapse of a volcano.
Quilotoa is located at an altitidue of 3900m. Be prepared with warm clothes as it can get quite cold!
You'll have the option to hike down to the lake. The Walk down hill takes approximately 40 minutes.
Please note that the the walk back up to the top can take up to 1.5 hours and is quite strenuous, mainly due to the sandy and steep path. Please speak to your leader if you're concerned about this as you may decide to stay at the top, go for a walk along the crater or simply relax and take in the stunning views.
After exploring Quilotoa, we drive back to the lodge (approximately 2.5 hours) and the remainder of your day is free.
Accommodation
  • Chuquirahua Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Quilotoa - Crater visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll visit the highest active volcano on earth, Cotopaxi. Soak in the incredible scenery of the area under formidable snow-capped peak, then hit the road again on your way to Banos. This town is a traveller's secret delight. It sits in a beautiful valley surrounded by green mountains, filled with waterfalls and hot springs.
Accommodation
  • Sangay Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cotopaxi - National Park visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you'll have an included visit to to the Devil's Cauldron waterfall.
Afterwards we'll drive up to Casa del Arbol, a treehouse on the edge of a canyon.
This afternoon you'll have some free time. On weekdays, experience peace and tranquility as you stroll through the town and its neighbouring hills, or perhaps go for a swim. On weekend, get to know the louder side of Banos when it fills with carnival-like festivals. For those who like to get active, Banos also has plenty of adventure sports available.
Please note, due to Peregrine's safety policy our leaders are only allowed to recommend or assist with activities that have been through our safety assesment.
Accommodation
  • Sangay Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Banos - Casa del Arbol visit
  • Banos - Devil's Cauldron visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leaving Banos today, you'll head to Cuenca, widely considered the most beautiful city in Ecuador. The drive takes approximately 7-8 hours, we'll arrive in the late afternoon.
Cuenca has an old-world ambience with historical streets, 16th and 17th century buildings, and a Cathedral erected by the Spanish in 1557.
The area was conquered by the Inca well before Spanish times and was said to be so beautiful that it rivalled Peru's Cusco. It's now a UNESCO world heritage site.
Accommodation
  • Victoria Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today starts witha a visit to Ingapirca ruins, Located about 1 hour away from Cuenca Ingapirca are the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador. Wander around the site and see the famous Temple of the Sun before returning to Cuenca.
Later, set off to discover Cuenca from a different perspective…from Genaro’s perspective! Genaros is a local “Cuencano” whose passion for Cuenca’s history, art and architecture is contagious. Let him show you some of Cuenca’s main attractions but also, be prepared to witness a side of this town that not many travellers have the opportunity to see.

Accommodation
  • Victoria Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuenca - Ingapirca Ruins
  • Cuenca - Leader Led Orientation walk
  • Cuenca - Historian led tour of old houses
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive through the mountains today (approximately 4-5 hours) until you reach the border with Peru. Here you'll be transferred to Tumbes Airport. You'll farewell your Ecuadorian leader before taking an included flight to Lima. Please note this flight will be unescorted, however you will be met by our Peruvian representative upon arrival at Lima airport.
The rest of the day will be free for you to relax or step out into this brand new city.
Accommodation
  • Antigua Miraflores or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tips for services you receive as part of your trip including drivers, specialist local guides & porters (excluding your tour leader)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the afternoon around 2 pm,there will be a welcome briefing at the hotel with your Peruvian tour leader. Here you will likely meet people who are joining the tour in Lima.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place.
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 ofLima'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. Next head away from the tourist trail and visit ‘Alameda de Chabuca Granda’ an area really only known to locals, it is a place wherepeople go as a treat to enjoy a variety local street food and authentic Peruvian desserts such as ‘Mazamorra Morada’ a sweet porridge made from purple corn or ‘Picarones’ Peruvian donuts made from local squash called Macre and sweet potatoes served with a sweet syrup, these are a must try whilst in Peru!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)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Lima - Guided tour Down town, Cathedral of Lima and The Catacombs
  • Lima - Alameda de Chabuca Granda - Street food tasting
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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, leave civilisation behind and venture deep into the Amazon rainforest by 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, and offers a 30-metre canopy tower that provides spectacular views of the vast expanses of forest, Tambopata River and endless opportunities to witness Amazonian wildlife. The lodge is eco-friendly and combines low-impact architecture with traditional native style. Rooms are simple, but comfortable with flush toilets (en suite), showers (cold water only). Use your evening for relaxing and getting to know the local community.

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 beating heart of the Amazon jungle with your local, multilingual guides, encountering magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. Spot monkeys leaping through the trees, see multi-coloured macaws gather at a clay lick, see thousands of swirling butterflies, and keep an eye out for a family of otters. The guides can also teach you about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants. After your hike finishes in the afternoon, it’s time to get back in the canoe and return to Puerto Maldonado. 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. Your leader will take you on a orientation walk of Cuzco today. Visit the Coricancha Temple which was the empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its walls. You'll take a tour with a specialist guide. Soon after head to the San Pedro market, where you can practice your bargaining skills
and take some colourful pictures. The tour will also stop at the Plaza de Armas in the heart of the city. Here you will see the main cathedral, built on top of an Incan palace and one of the city's greatest repositories of art. There are several impressive Incan ruins within the city.

Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit 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
  • Eco Inn or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Archeological Site, guided tour
  • Cuzco - Orientation Walk
  • Cuzco - Specialist Historian Guide
Optional Activities
  • Cuzco - Cathedral Visit - PEN25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
During your time in Cuzco today or the Sacred Valley tomorrow, a specialist Historian guide will lead one of your included tours to an archaeological site in the area. The Historian will provide interesting insight and knowledge about Peru’s history, people and cultures that made these sights so important in the world today. Later you will have free time to further explore Cuzco. Perhaps start by visiting some of the surrounding archaeological sites including Q'enqo and Puka Pukara. 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
Accommodation
  • Eco Inn 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 by the Incas, this valley was greatly treasured because of its climate, fertile land and the presence of the Urubamba (Sacred) River. Long the main source of food for the high Andes, maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls. At the Sacred Valley you will visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an impressive picture of how greatly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength. En route to Ollantaytambo you will visit a local community to gain a greater insight into the local lifestyle. Ollantaytambo was built over an ancient Inca town, the ruins of the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti. This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. It's a magnificent example of Inca urban planning and the perfect warm up for Machu Picchu. Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below. Today you’ll see lots of 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
  • Tanupa Lodge 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)
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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 the town. From here take a 30-minute bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu. where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins and tell you stories of its history and the ancestral people of the region. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you've seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty. The true purpose behind Machu Picchu may always be a mystery, since no historical records of the complex exist. In fact, none were made in the first place, since the Incas had no written language. Some historians have argued it was a place of spiritual worship; others, a military stronghold, and some even think it was a prison. Most archaeologists, however, believe it to be the 15th-century headquarters of ‘he who shook the earth’, Emperor Pachacuti. You will have a guided visit (approximately 1.5-2 hours), then free time to wander around.

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
  • Hatun Inti Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • 1 Day Inca Trail - Add-on (Must pre-book) - USD350
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
1-day Inca Trail

On this trip you can opt to hike the 1-day Inca Trail. It’s a great option for those wanting to experience trekking in Peru, but don’t want to do the full 4 days. This trek starts in from the train station known as “Km 104” and after a steep ascent, it follows the last portion of the Classic Inca Trail.
Trekkers enter Machu Picchu at the sungate in the afternoon where there will be some time to take a few photos before taking a short bus ride down to Aguas Calientes to spend the night and re-join the rest of the group. This trek is subject to permit availability, must be pre booked and will incur a surcharge.

Please see the below link for more information:
https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/peru/one-day-inca-trail

At 5:30 am this morning, take the bus back up the winding road to Machu Picchu to take in the sunrise over this incredible sight. On your second visit to the ruins you'll have free time to explore and take any photos you may have missed yesterday. Explore more of the extraordinary architecture of the many temples, palaces and living quarters, where the mortar-free design is particularly earthquake resistant and the stones are so precisely cut that to this day not even a knife fits between them. In the afternoon, will return by bus and train to Cuzco, where you'll spend the night. In the evening, perhaps head out for one last group dinner in the city.
Accommodation
  • Eco Inn 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.
Accommodation
  • Eco Inn or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by bus for around 6 hours to the tiny but unique town of 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. You will also drive through the large sprawling town of Juliaca on your way to Puno, which is a colourful and lively place renowned for its traditional street dancing, often performed in celebration of Catholic festive days in February each year. You will then arrive in Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture where traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, especially the Virgen de la Candelaria, 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
  • Hacienda Puno or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Be enchanted by the striking scenery and unique cultures on a cruise around Lake Titicaca today. As Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, the sun can be extremely strong, so make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Stop by the floating Uros Islands. The Uros people constructed these islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes in ancient times. They are built completely from multiple layers of totora reeds, which grow in the shallows of the lake. Next call into Taquile Island for some woollen handicrafts. On the island, knitting is strictly a male domain, while women do the spinning. In the evening, retire to the private island of Suasi where you'll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Suasi Island Eco Lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you will visit the cultural museum on the island. Here you will find maps, pictures of the Lake, and books about history of the lake and its communities. There are handicrafts and fabrics from the different groups that developed around the Lake, types of Andean grains like quinoa, and a chance to learn about the painting process of wool. Then you will navigate across the island in Canadian canoes, passing through totora reeds and observing lake birds such as Titicaca flightless grebe, Andean geese, black skimmer, Peruvian booby and many species of gulls. On 106-hectare Suasi Island, you may see mammals such as all four species of camelids (llamas, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos) and viscachas.

An easy late-afternoon walk (approximately 1-2 hours) will take you to the highest point of the island – the perfect place to witness an unforgettable sunset over the waters of Lake Titicaca. Enjoy a private picnic with drinks; a unique moment to soak in the beautiful landscape, appreciate the serenity, and if the clouds behave, watch the sun go down.
Accommodation
  • Suasi Island Eco Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suasi Island - Spectacular Sunset over Lake Titicaca, Picnic & Drinks
  • Suasi Island - Lake Titicaca Canoe Excursion
  • Suasi Island - Cultural Museum Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel back across the lake to Puno today. Enjoy a free night in Puno to explore, eat dinner at a local restaurant or relax in the hotel. Puno is famous for its festivals. If you're lucky, your visit might coincide with an evening parade, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.

Notes: 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
  • Hacienda Puno Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by minivan this morning to Desaguadero, where you'll cross the border into Bolivia (approximately 2.5 hours). 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. Remember to reset your watch, as Bolivia is one to two hours ahead of Peru. On your way to La Paz, stop at Tiwanaku for a guided visit (approximately 45 minutes). The archaeological site of Tiwanaku was the base of a great civilisation that began around 500 BC before mysteriously 'disappearing' around 1200 AD. It is believed that the ceremonial complex dates back to the 8th century AD and was once at the centre of a powerful and self-sustaining empire based in the southern Central Andes. It is also 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 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.
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 and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. 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. Today you'll embark on a city tour. Begin with a dramatic ride on the world’s highest 'urban' cable car, up at 13,000ft connecting La Paz with its twin city EL Alto, a challenging urban environment that is a mix of shacks, half finished buildings and church spires. Here you will visit some craft markets, selling goods made of alpaca wool, leather and other traditional materials, before visiting the Mercado de Hechiceria or Witches' Market. Browse the weird and wonderful stalls that sell everything from potions to incantations made from herbs. This witches market is rarely seen by tourists and is much more authentic than the smaller witches market in La Paz. Just outside the market is a street with dozens of types of doctors or shamans that, for a price, can tell of your future health, love, or career. Reboard the cable car to the south of the city and take a walking tour of the extraordinary landscape of Moon Valley. This isn’t a valley, but a maze of canyons and colossal clay spires. These rugged oddities, caused by erosion, make for staggering views. Stop at Mirador Killi Killi for one of La Paz’s most impressive viewing points, then National Museum of Ethnography back down at ground level. After lunch, the rest of the day is free. When the sun sets and the temperature drops, join the locals in seeking warmth in a bar or restaurant.

Notes: Please be aware that the order of your tour may change slightly according to weather, however you will still visit everything mentioned in the itinerary.
Accommodation
  • Rosario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz - Moon Valley tour
  • La Paz - Guided City tour
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.

Welcome to Santiago, Chile. Once you’ve arrived, transfer from the airport to the hotel (transfer is included). Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception.

Notes: Please advise us of your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided .Please leave the airport by Door 3.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Loreto or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please advise us of your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to departure for the complimentary airport transfer. If you’re taking a transfer with us and have arrived on a domestic flight, please leave through Door 2. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Today you will get to know Santiago on a walking tour with your guide. You’ll discover more about the city that was founded in 1541 by the Spaniard, Pedro de Valdivia, and has experienced a turbulent history filled with native conflicts, floods and earthquakes. During some free time, perhaps walk the avenues of old Santiago to the Bohemian neighbourhood of Bella Vista, Santiago's Parisian Quarter, which offers a slightly more serene perspective on the Chilean capital. Alternatively, ride the cable car to Cerro San Cristobal for a magnificent panoramic view of the city. Tonight, take the chance to dine out at one of the city's famous restaurants and sample some local ceviche. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel Loreto or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free morning in Santiago. Perhaps visit the Mercado Central (Santiago’s celebrated fish market) to savour some breakfast empanadas with pebre, a delicious Chilean condiment of coriander, garlic, olive oil and peppers. Later, drive (approximately two hours in total) west to the coast en route to Valparaiso, stopping for a wine tasting in the Casablanca Valley on the way. Sitting on a coastal plain between the capital and Valparaiso, the valley is Chile’s fastest growing wine region, with its rich soil and perfect climate making it a wine lover’s paradise. The area is known for crisp Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but also for stunning reds like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah. Continue through the lush green vineyards to the coast and the colourful city of Valparaiso, notable for its brightly hued houses spread across a series of hills overlooking the ocean. 
Included Activities
  • Casablanca region - Winery visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Listed as a World Heritage centre in 2003, Valparaiso used to be South America’s busiest port before the opening of the Panama Canal. It has since transformed itself into Chile’s most creative city. The ramshackle streets have long been home to artists, writers and musicians, and one doesn’t have to venture far to walk in on a performance. Today you’ll take a walking tour of the city with your leader. The hills of Cerro Concepcion and Cerro Alegre are dotted with kaleidoscopically coloured houses, with cobbled streets weaving sharply uphill and concealing all manner of galleries, restaurants and shops.

Stop for a picnic-style empanada lunch in one of the beautiful city squares, then you will visit the Teatro Museo, a local museum dedicated to the exposition of puppet and clown as form of art. This is a very characteristic part of the local culture which normally goes unnoticed by most travellers but that you will learn about while exploring the venue and exhibitions. These characters will come to life with a demonstration.

As a creative hub, the city has no shortage of options for a drink, so perhaps find yourself a place to sip some ancho reyes alongside locals for the evening.
Included Activities
  • Valparaiso - Puppet and clown museum
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
  • Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
SEASONAL WEATHER CONDITIONS:
From June to August the border crossing between Chile and Argentina may be closed due to snowfalls. In that event, your emergency fund may be needed to purchase a flight between Santiago and Mendoza.
Enjoy a stroll on a winery tour, visiting several wineries and cellar doors along the way. At the end, stop at a closed door restaurant for an exclusive included lunch. The chef will invite you to watch the food preparation, and then sit back and enjoy being served delicious food in this unique private eatery.
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. In the evening, perhaps test your palate by attempting to pair the perfect wine with an authentic Argentine asado (barbecue-style food). A visit to Aristides Villanueva Street after dark is a must if you enjoy a bit of nightlife. If you're feeling adventurous, try one of the most popular drinks in town: fernet with coke – an acquired taste and not for the faint-hearted!
Accommodation
  • Villagio Hotel Boutique or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires, which takes around one and a half hours. On arrival, travel in a minibus for around two hours to a traditional estancia (ranch). This is where the group will be staying for the next couple of days. Arrive in time for afternoon tea and explore the grounds.

During your time here, you could go horse riding, take a cooking class or simply read a book. 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 La Eloisa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • 2-night stay at a traditional estancia
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
A stand out activity will be watching the polo game, this nail biting game will enthral and impress you. This sport combines skill, endurance, elegance and danger. Next, learn how to play yourself! You will get to put on the gear, get pointers about how to hit, meet the horses up close and lastly put it all together by versing your group members.

Later, you will learn about the importance of leather in this region. A local gaucho (cowboy) will visit the Estancia to show you all the different uses and versatility of this material, such as bridals, whips, bracelets and belts. He will encourage you to learn a braiding technique so you hopefully can make your very own leather souvenir.

If there’s time, perhaps go for a swim in the pool to freshen up after a long day.
Accommodation
  • Estancia La Eloisa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Estancia - Leather workshop
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast travel back to cosmopolitan Buenos Aires (approximately 1.5 hours) to experience its old charm and cosmopolitan streets. Soak up the Argentinian capital’s irrepressible mix of European and Latin culture on an orientation walk with your leader. Visit Florida street, National Congress and the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada (Pink House) in the Plaza de Mayo. If there is time, your group may get to visit the Obelisk and possibly either La Boca or Recoleta.

You may also like to visit the elaborate tombs on display in the famous Recoleta Cemetery, attend a raucous football match, or gorge yourself on the city's sophisticated culture and food. Maybe spend the night in a tango bar, being seduced by the world's most passionate dance, or in one of the capital’s famous steakhouses.
Accommodation
  • Tango de Mayo Hotel or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Guided walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Coastal train - USD10
  • Buenos Aires - Tigre - USD60
  • Polo day - USD175
  • Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day to further explore Buenos Aires, tomorrow you have a full day city tour. Perhaps speak with your tour leader for some suggestions of things to do an see so that you don't double up on things included tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Patios De San Telmo or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Explore the city on a full-day tour with a local guide. You'll wander the cobbled streets of San Telmo and browse its famous antiques market and art displays, then continue to Plaza de Mayo and see the Casa Rosada. Walk among the tombs and monuments of Recoleta Cemetery – the final resting place of some of the city’s most famous residents. From here you'll take a private vehicle to La Boca and its well-known ‘Caminito’ district, before moving on to the lesser-known side of this colourful neighbourhood to visit an artist's gallery. A home-made empanada lunch at a local social project is included today.

After lunch, get ready to be captivated by Argentina’s most famous dance; the Tango. In a private space a professional Tango couple will explain the dance’s origin and history, as well as demonstrating the intimately fluid movements for you. You will then be invited to join an hour long beginner’s class to learn some of the basic techniques and understand the rhythm.
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
  • Buenos Aires - Tango demonstration by professional dancers
  • Buenos Aires - Tango dance lesson
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
  • Lunch
Today you will fly to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina, gateway to the mighty Iguazu Falls. You will spend the next two days exploring the falls in depth, seeing them from both the Argentinean and Brazilian sides. The falls are two kilometres in length, and are made up of 275 waterfalls in total, some of which stretch up to 80 metres high. This makes them both higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls. The Brazilian side of the falls offers great panoramic views of them. For birds-eye views of the falls, you can take an optional helicopter flight over the top of them.
Accommodation
  • Hotel 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
Special Information
For visa information purposes: You will be visiting the Brazilian side of the falls on Day 3 and returning to the Argentinian side to spend the night. You visit the Argentinean side of the falls on Day 4. Then on day 5 you cross back to the Brazilian side in order to take a domestic flight to Rio de Jainero.
Visit the Argentinian side of the falls today, which has boardwalks allowing you to get up close and personal with these towering rapids. You can choose to get an even more exhilarating look at Iguazu with an optional zodiac boat ride below the falls. Later, accompanied by your leader, you will have the opportunity to meet one of the few remaining original inhabitants of the region, the Guarani.
Accommodation
  • Hotel 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
This morning you cross the border into Brazil and take a flight from Foz do Iguacu to Rio de Janeiro. Witness the intense green of Guanabara Bay and the beauty of the surrounding slopes of the Corcovado and Sugarloaf that make Rio such a majestic place. Take in the ever-present Portugese influence here, which is especially apparent in the opulent buildings constructed when the Portuguese monarchy fled Europe under the threat of Napolean and took up residence here. You may be struck by the contrast between this extravagance and the destitute poverty of the favelas. For some world-renowned live music, Lapa is the place to go and join the locals for some serious dancing. The white sands of Cobacapana and Ipanema beaches offer an equally interesting snapshot of local life. 
Accommodation
  • Arena Copacabana Hotel 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
Today you'll be taken on a full-day guided tour that spans some of Rio's most iconic sights. Head up to Santa Teresa, a beautiful artistic neighbourhood situated on a hill overlooking the city. While walking the cobbled streets you'll discover eclectic architecture, art galleries and restaurants before stopping by the famous Selaron Stairs. Continue on to Corcovado for an eagle-view of the city from the base of Christ the Reedemer. One of the new Seven Wonders of the World, this enormous white statue stands over Rio, offering sweeping 360-degree views of the city’s natural wonders. Next, it’s time to experience a different side of the city, with a visit to the Santa Marta favela. Accompanied by your local guide, you'll head through narrow alleys, learn about local life and meet some of the people who make up this vibrant community.

The tour will conclude at a local house in the favela, where you will taste the most authentic food the city can offer! Our local host Sallete will welcome you into her home with a readiness to answer questions, a smile and of course a caipirinha; the national cocktail made with cachaça, sugar & lime. Lunch will be a typical dish called Feijoada, a stew of black beans, kale and pork.
Accommodation
  • Arena Copacabana Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Guided tour including Santa Teresa and Selaron Steps
  • Rio de Janeiro - Christ the Redeemer entrance
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Marta Favela tour
  • Rio de Janeiro - Traditional feijoada lunch in the favelas
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

35 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

Transport

Plane, Boat, Bus, Private vehicle, Canoe

Accommodation

Estancia (2 nights), Hotel (30 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights), Lodge (4 nights)

Included Activities

  • Equator line - Museum visit
  • Quito - Compañia de Jesus visit
  • Quito - Panecillo Hill
  • Quito - Intiñan Museum visit
  • Quito - Old Town orientation walk
  • Quito - Historian led city tour
  • Equator Line - Pan Ice Cream 'Demonstration and Tasting
  • Quilotoa - Crater visit
  • Cotopaxi - National Park visit
  • Banos - Casa del Arbol visit
  • Banos - Devil's Cauldron visit
  • Cuenca - Ingapirca Ruins
  • Cuenca - Leader Led Orientation walk
  • Cuenca - Historian led tour of old houses
  • Tips for services you receive as part of your trip including drivers, specialist local guides & porters (excluding your tour leader)
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Lima - Guided tour Down town, Cathedral of Lima and The Catacombs
  • Lima - Alameda de Chabuca Granda - Street food tasting
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Archeological Site, guided tour
  • Cuzco - Orientation Walk
  • Cuzco - Specialist Historian Guide
  • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
  • Suasi Island - Spectacular Sunset over Lake Titicaca, Picnic & Drinks
  • Suasi Island - Lake Titicaca Canoe Excursion
  • Suasi Island - Cultural Museum Visit
  • Tiawanaku archaeological site and museum tour
  • La Paz - Moon Valley tour
  • La Paz - Guided City tour
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Santiago - Half-day guided walking tour
  • Casablanca region - Winery visit
  • Valparaiso - Puppet and clown museum
  • Mendoza - Full-day winery tour
  • 2-night stay at a traditional estancia
  • Estancia - Leather workshop
  • Buenos Aires - Guided walking tour
  • Buenos Aires - Full-day guided tour. It includes a visit to La Boca, Centro, San Telmo, Recoleta and lunch
  • Buenos Aires - Tango demonstration by professional dancers
  • Buenos Aires - Tango dance lesson
  • 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
  • Rio de Janeiro - Christ the Redeemer entrance
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Marta Favela tour
  • Rio de Janeiro - Traditional feijoada lunch in the favelas

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Important notes

FLIGHT NOT INCLUDED
Flight from La Paz to Santiago on day 24 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**

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 10 & 11 (Amazon Jungle) and nights 30 & 31 (Estancia stay) where you will be in shared accommodation.

HIKE ADD-ON:
Your tour itinerary includes taking the train to Machu Picchu however on this trip you can opt to hike:
- The 1-day Inca Trail (day 16 of this itinerary) - Additional surcharge required.
Important: This option is subject to permit availability. Please contact your booking agent if you would like to book this option (the default itinerary does not include hiking, so you must specifically request this)
More information on this trek can be found in the itinerary section your trip notes.

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.