Days
27

Capture the spirit of South America on this 27-day adventure from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires. Take a ride in a historical streetcar in Rio; be awestruck by the thundering Iguazu Falls; meander through the markets of Buenos Aires; discover ethereal flora and fauna in the Amazon; learn about the incas in La Paz; and stare up in awe at the Andes as you stroll the streets of Santiago. This is a journey rich in history, culture and beauty. From waterfalls to lush jungle, charming city streets to ancient Inca sites, be spellbound by the sights and sounds of South America.


Start
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Country
Argentina, Brazil, Peru
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSRB
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
(1 review)
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Experience the breadth of South America's diverse cities, from the cosmopolitan colours of Buenos Aires to the old-world charms of Cusco

  • Witness the crashing streams of Iguazu Falls, one of the world's true natural wonders

  • Delve into the Amazonian abyss beyond Puerto Maldonado to find one of the most pristine rainforests on the planet

  • Cruise across Lake Titicaca to visit the indigenous Uru people on their hand-built islands

  • Explore the ruins of Incan civilisations, including the mighty Machu Picchu

  • Indulge in Argentina's world-famous food and wine - not only in the vineyards of Mendoza but also on a traditional rural ranch stay

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2015 to 14 March 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Arrive in Rio and take your complimentary transfer to the Peregrine joining hotel.
This evening at approximately 6pm you will have a group welcome meeting. Please check the notice board in the reception area for confirmation of the time and place.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ipanema Inn or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Samba show - BRL200
  • Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD30
  • Carnaval rehearsal (only available from June to Carnaval) - BRL80
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Rio de Janeiro city tour inc. Santa Teresa, Selaron Steps, Christ the Redeemer and Santa Marta favela
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The next morning you will start the tour with a visit to the famed Statue of Christ, which presides over the city and enjoys expansive views across the forests, beaches, bays and mountains that surround the city. From tourist mecca to local favela, your next stop will take you through the narrow laneways of these vibrant communities. You will have the opportunity to meet some local people and learn more about life within a favela. The intense green of Guanabara Bay and the beauty of the surrounding slopes of the Corcovado and Sugar Loaf Mountain, make Rio a majestic place, locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. The Portuguese influence is ever-present here, especially in the opulent Portuguese buildings that were constructed when the Portuguese monarchy fled Europe under threat of Napolean and took up residence here. The contrast between the opulence of this architecture, the extravagance of Carnaval and destitute poverty of the favelas make this one of the most fascinating and diverse cities in the world. 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. The white sand beaches at Copacabana and Ipanema are certainly the best place for people watching.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ipanema Inn or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will fly to Iguazu Falls (approx. 1.5 hrs). From Foz do Iguacu airport we travel by minivan to visit the Brazilian side, which offers grand panoramas of the falls. Later, we continue across the border into Argentina and finish at our hotel in Puerto Iguazu. You can choose to get an even 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)
Optional Activities
  • Helicopter ride (min 3 people) - USD110
  • Bird Park - BRL28
Included Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Brazil side tour
  • Guarani community visit
  • Iguazu Falls - Argentina side tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will visit the Argentinean side, where you can get up close and personal with the powerful falls on boardwalks. Iguazu is two kilometres in length, and made up of 275 falls in total, some of which stretch up to 80 metres high. This makes them both higher than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls. You will have the opportunity to meet one of the few remaining original inhabitants of the region, the Guarani, on a visit with your tour leader.
Accommodation
  • El Pueblito or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
You will fly to Buenos Aires today, 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 magical city. Each neighbourhood has a distinctive style, and you will notice that the local residents, or Portenos, are incredibly proud of their city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Patios De San Telmo or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
  • Coastal train - USD10
  • Tigre - USD60
  • Polo day - USD175
  • Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
Included Activities
  • Full-day Buenos Aires tour inc. La Boca, Centro, San Telmo and Recoleta + lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will explore the city on a full-day tour with a local guide. 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 we take a private van 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 and enjoy an included lunch at local social project.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Patios De San Telmo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You will need to book a flight from Buenos Aires to Lima for today (this is not included in your tour cost) to start the Peruvian section of your tour. Please try and book an early flight as there's usually a group meeting today at approximately 2pm.

Welcome to Peru!

On arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport you will be transferred to your hotel in the well-known coastal suburb of Miraflores.
Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, it was from Lima that all Spanish territories in South America were governed. Few cities at that time could rival Lima’s power, wealth and opulence. However its glory days ended in 1746 when the city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake. Many of the colonial buildings were rebuilt and you will get a first-hand look at several of them on the tour. The striking Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas), flanked by some of the most important buildings in town such as the cathedral, the huge Government Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace, constitutes the heart of the city.
You will visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains.
Next we will visit the Central market where we will take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer including fruits, vegetables and even Guinea pigs. You will have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food.
Next we will visit China town which is close to the Market.
The tour will finish in Lima main square, with the option to go for dinner in Down Town or back to Miraflores.
In your spare time you might enjoy wandering around around Miraflores, visiting Parque del Amor (Love's Park) where you can enjoy a view aross Lima's beaches, or catching a taxi to visit the Gold Museum or the Larco Museum, which is renowned for its ancient pottery collection. Please remember that you must agree on a fare with the driver before catching a taxi, as the taxis here do not have meters. (Miraflores-Downtown approximately 10-15 soles). You may also want to visit the impressive National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Peru, which is home to a wonderful collection of cultural exhibits tracing the history, arts and accomplishments of the people of Peru, ranging from the original inhabitants of the land through to the Inca Empire and the Spanish conquerors.

Tonight you have an included group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Antigua Mira Flores or Similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cathedral - PEN12
Included Activities
  • Catacombs - Lima
  • Tips for services you receive as part of your trip including drivers, specialist local guides & porters (excluding your tour leader)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado (approx 2 hrs).
Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take us to their office in town where you'll leave most of your luggage in a safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for our next two nights in the jungle. Then take a motorized canoe up river to our jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area.
Accommodation
  • Posada Amazonas lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head into the jungle with your local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. You may spot everything 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 exploring the wilds, it's time to jump back in the canoe and return to Puerto Maldonado.
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), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps for light.
Please note that a reasonable degree of fitness and patience is required for this trip. It's not necessarily the distance of the Amazon walks however during the rainy season the walking tracks can become quite muddy and sometimes slippery. The lodge does provide 'gumboots' if required. Please also see the preparations section above for more information on appropriate clothing and footwear for this trip.
Accommodation
  • Posada Amazonas lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today we travel back to Puerto Maldonado before flying to Cuzco.
The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the Coca Musuem - where you can learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries - and the local San Pedro market.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
https://new.peregrineadventures.com.prd.internal/altitude-sickness
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cathedral Visit - PEN25
  • Coricancha Archeological Site - Cuzco - PEN12
Included Activities
  • Coca Museum
  • Orientation Walk - Cuzco
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
If you are interested in visiting the many museums of Cusco please be aware that you have the Boleto Turistico (Tourism Ticket) included, just ask your tour leader about this. This will also cover surrounding archaeological sites, for example Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum can only be accessed with a Boleto Turistico.
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. For more info on Aldea Yanapay visit: http://yanapay.facipub.com/
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley, known as Wilcamayo by the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been 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 stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an awesome picture of how highly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength.
You will visit a local community en route to Ollantaytambo,
The town of Ollantaytambo was built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning. This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish.
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.
Accommodation
  • Samanapaq hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Private bus to Sacred Valley and local community visit
  • Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today will be Aguas Calientas. You will travel by train for 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach town, where you can spend some free time exploring the natural hot springs after which the town was named.
Accommodation
  • Santuario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hot springs - PEN10
Included Activities
  • Machu Picchu entrance and Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Take a very early (5:30am) bus along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes) where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins. 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. MACHU PICCHU: While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. You will have a guided visit (approx 1.5-2 hrs) with plenty of free time afterwards. 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. WAYNA PICCHU: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today will be free for you to continue exploring Cuzco. Your included "full boleto turistico" will give you access to the archaeological sites of Qenqo and Tambomachay, in the outskirts of Cuzco.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We travel by bus to Puno (this is a full day journey) This scheduled tourist service will take you on good roads through some spectacular mountain scenery and you will stop at several sites along the way, including Inca adobe ruins. Lunch will be included on a stop in the small town of Sicuani. Along the way you will also make a short roadside stop at La Raya, which at 4335 metres is the highest point on 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. 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)
Included Activities
  • Full Day Lake Titicaca tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored. Take a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 12 months.
Accommodation
  • Taypikala hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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. Bolivia is one to two hours ahead of Peru. On your way to La Paz, you will stop at Tiwanaku for a guided visit. Tiwanaku archaeological site was where the Incas learned about building systems and agricultural practices. This 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 date 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. 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 is less than a two-hour drive to La Paz, where you'll spend the night. You will enjoy spectacular views of the city on your approach, due to its unique location in the middle of a vast volcanic crater that resembles a bowl.
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. It's not far from it and vies 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. 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 have an included leader led orienation walk.
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 is not included in the tour cost) Please try to book an early flight if possible as there will be a group meeting in Santiago at approximately 6pm. NB:TRANSFERS If you are taking a transfer with us and have arrived on an international flight, please leave by door 4 (not 3 nor 5) or a domestic flight, please leave by door 2 (not 1 nor 3) Welcome to Chile! There are no planned activities today, apart from the meeting this evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Loreto or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have an included tour of Santiago. The city centre itself is quite small and easy 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 on to the peaks of the Andes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Loreto or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel across the Andes by local bus (6-7 hours). On a clear day you may be able to spot Mt. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in America at 6,962 meters above sea level. Please note the time spent at the actual border crossing may take anything between 1 to 3 hours depending on local traffic. Please make sure you have snacks and water for today and note that fresh fruit and deli products (cheese, ham, etc) have to be consumed before crossing to Argentina or disposed off at the border. Once in Mendoza there is no better way to spend the afternoon than going for a gentle stroll around Mendoza's tree lined streets. Choose a cafe along Sarmiento pedestrian street and watch life pass by sipping a coffee. The city centre is beautifully landscaped and full of trees, squares and parks.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villagio or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Full-day winery tour including lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have an included winery tour today. Mendoza is Argentina's most important grape growing region, producing 70% of the country's wine. Its exceptional climate produces excellent grapes, the region's signature variety is the Malbec. At night head out to Aristides Villanueva Street which has lately become on the starting point of Mendoza's night life. Tonight why not try the most popular drink in town: Fernet and Cola, a bitter (very) alcoholic cocktail. In Mendoza we stay in a centrally located hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villagio or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Leave Mendoza behind and fly to Buenos Aires. From Buenos Aires we will drive (approx 2 hours) to a traditional estancia (a rural estate) where you will stay overnight.
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 work with the cattle (including branding, vaccinating etc), participate in a cattle auction or visit the local town, visit a cheese factory, play volleyball, soccer etc. Alternatively you could laze by the pool and read or have a barbecue.
Accommodation
  • Estancia Monte Viejo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will travel back to Buenos Aires, perhaps South America's ultimate cosmopolitan city. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style all of its own, this is a city that will steal your heart. The Portenos (the local residents) are justifiably proud of their city which is comprised of distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own style. Your leader will take you on an orientation walk, perhaps visiting San Telmo and its antiques stores and artists' displays, La Boca home to the world-class football team Boca Juniors, Recoleta or the Casa Rosada (Pink House) among other attractions
Accommodation
  • Hotel Patios De San Telmo or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD120
  • Coastal train - USD10
  • Tigre - USD60
  • Polo day - USD175
  • Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your tour comes to an end this morning. There are no planned activities, so flights can be booked out at anytime.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

27 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Boat, Bus, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel, Estancia (ranch house)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Rio de Janeiro city tour inc. Santa Teresa, Selaron Steps, Christ the Redeemer and Santa Marta favela
  • Iguazu Falls - Brazil side tour
  • Guarani community visit
  • Iguazu Falls - Argentina side tour
  • Full-day Buenos Aires tour inc. La Boca, Centro, San Telmo and Recoleta + lunch
  • Catacombs - Lima
  • Tips for services you receive as part of your trip including drivers, specialist local guides & porters (excluding your tour leader)
  • Coca Museum
  • Orientation Walk - Cuzco
  • Private bus to Sacred Valley and local community visit
  • 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
  • Full-day winery tour including lunch

Reviews

Our Around South America trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 1 review in the last year.

Around South America- Rio to Buenos Aires, July 2015

Hannelore McPherson

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Non-included flights:
There are two international flights on thjis trip that are not included in the price. Flight on day 7 from Buenos Aires to Lima and day 20 from La Paz to Santiago.

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.