DAY 1 BUENOS AIRES
(Meal Plan: None)
Welcome to Buenos Aires, the ‘Paris of South America’. Upon arrival, you will be picked up from Ezeiza airport and privately escorted to your hotel to settle in.

DAY 2 BUENOS AIRES
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Today you’ll enjoy an exciting sightseeing tour of this impressive city. In the early part of the 20th century, Argentina was one of the richest countries in the world. The grand public buildings of Buenos Aires reflect this opulent era. The so-called ‘Paris of South America’ combines the atmosphere of a former European town with the features of a Latin American capital. Our guide will pick out some of the city’s highlights such as Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada; Caminito and Recoleta with its cemetery to illustrate the history of Argentina. Moving on to San Telmo, the oldest district in the city, you will walk along ancient cobblestone streets, admiring old colonial houses, churches and famous antique shops and ateliers. You will confirm that no area in the city evokes the old Porteno spirit as the artists’ quarter of San Telmo.

The remaining of your day will be at leisure.

DAY 3 BUENOS AIRES – PUERTO IGUAZU – FOZ DE IGUAZU
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Dinner)
Today, embark on a 3-hour flight to the Argentinian side of Iguazu: Puerto Iguazu. Once landed, you will be privately escorted to your hotel in the Brazilian side and enjoy the rest of your day off to meet the city.

DAY 4 FOZ DE IGUAZU
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch)
You head towards the Argentine side of Iguazu National Park for a day tour. The majority of the falls (approx. 80%) are on this side of the park covering an area 550 km². Enjoy a walk along the upper and lower trails. The lower circuit (1400m) has balconies with marvelous bottom-up views of the falls (the same falls that you see from above in the upper circuit). The superior circuit is about 650 m long with low degree of difficulty. This trail has six viewpoints with panoramic views of the falls. Between the two circuits, you will find the station to board the ecological train to reach the final station The Devil’s Throat. At this point, a bridge (2200 m roundtrip) leads out over the Iguazu River and small islands ending at the mighty Devil’s Throat. The Devil’s Throat is 150 m (490 ft) wide and the tallest of all the falls having a height of 82 m (270 ft). The bridge goes right out to the head of the falls, so be prepared for plenty of spray. Lunch is included today.

IMPORTANT: The upper circuit has a low degree of difficulty and ramps making it suitable for handicapped visitors. The lower circuit requires more physical effort due to its stairs. If you have any physical impairment, we recommend avoiding the last section of this circuit.

DAY 5 FOZ DE IGUAZU
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Half-day tour to the Brazilian side of the Iguazu National Park. You wander along the ‘Cataratas trail’ (distance 1.5 km/1 mile) and enjoy panoramic views of the falls, one of the more beautiful natural landmarks in all of South America. At the end of the trail a catwalk provides breathtaking views of the tallest waterfall, the ‘Devils’ Throat’. The tour ends at the top of the falls accessed through a panoramic elevator.

Experience the Iguazu Falls with a boat trip under the falls. Take a ride through the jungle in open jeep-towed vehicles, where orchids, bromeliads and butterflies can be seen. You then leave the vehicle behind and board the boat that takes you right up to the Three Musketeers Falls. Prepare to get wet (plastic bags are provided to protect your camera and belongings) and enjoy awe-inspiring views of rainbow arcs against a backdrop of the verdant rainforest as the roaring falls meet the river below.

IMPORTANT
Duration:  1 hour 45 minutes (boat tour lasts approx. 20 min).
The departures are offered every 10 minutes in boats with a capacity for 25 passengers.
Bring a change of clothes as you will get wet. Macuco provides lockers and changing rooms. The Macuco Safari excursion is provided on SIC basis (shared with other travelers) 

The remaining of your day will be at leisure.

DAY 6 FOZ DE IGUAZU – RIO DE JANEIRO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Today, embark on a 3-hour flight to the capital of Samba: Rio de Janeiro. Once landed, you will be privately escorted to your hotel and enjoy the rest of your day off to meet the city.

DAY 7 RIO DE JANEIRO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch)
Catch a first glimpse of the city today as you tour Rio’s best-known landmarks. The city is divided into a north zone and a south zone by the Serra da Carioca, steep mountains that are part of the Parque Nacional da Tijuca. These mountains descend to the edge of the city center, where both zones meet. Corcovado Christ statue on one of these mountain peaks, offers the best way to become familiar with the city’s geography – from there you have views of both zones. The statue Christ the Redeemer with its outstretched arms is after the Sugar Loaf the most famous sight of the city and a favorite motive on Rio’s postcards. After lunch (included) enjoy a sightseeing ride along Rios famous beaches Ipanema and Copacabana before taking a cable car to the top of the Sugar Loaf Mountain where you can get prime views from the city, Baia de Guanabara and the winding coastline. Lunch at a local churrascaria will be included.

DAY 8 RIO DE JANEIRO – LIMA
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
At proper time you will be picked up from your hotel in Rio de Janeiro and privately escorted to the airport for your next flight with destination Lima, the ‘city of the Kings’ and Southamerican gastronomic capital. Once there, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

DAY 9 LIMA
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Your sightseeing tour explores the modern districts of Lima and its historic center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. As you wander the main plaza and Plaza San Martin it is hard not to wonder about its diverse architecture. Your guide will introduce you to the city’s architectural heritage. We then proceed to Santo Domingo Monastery boasting fine carved choir stalls, the oldest of Lima. It was here that San Marcos University, the first in South America, was founded in 1551.  Your tour ends in the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.

The remaining of your day will be at leisure.

DAY 10 LIMA – CUSCO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Your visit to the Larco museum will take you on a journey into the legacy of pre-Inca cultures and the context in which they developed. The museum’s didactic galleries have been renovated in 2010, offering a detailed look at 3,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of pre Columbian art and have been displayed in the world’s most renowned museums. The museum itself is an attraction, since the colonial mansion housing the exhibition, was built on top of a pre-Inca pyramid from the 7th century.

Once done with your Larco Museum tour, you will be privately escorted to the airport for your upcoming flight to Cusco. After a 1.5 hour flight you arrive into the Incan city of Cusco where you will be transferred to your hotel to rest and slowly acclimatize.

DAY 11 CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY – CUSCO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch)
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for your tour to the Pisaq market in the Sacred Valley. Originally a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products, Pisaq has evolved to one of South America’s most famous souvenir markets. Make sure to sample some ’empanadas’ baked in traditional clay ovens. Then, enjoy lunch at “Casa Colonial” restaurant, located in the heart of Urubamba. Today you will enjoy a meal in an over 200-years-old restored colonial-style mansion with an elegant furnishings and a beautiful view of the main square of Urubamba. Chef René Rodríguez’s menu features traditional Peruvian dishes prepared using local organically grown ingredients.

Finally, visit to the fortress of Ollantaytambo where the Temple of the Sun (formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons) and the Terrace of the Ten Niches stand out. Return to your hotel in Cusco.

DAY 12 CUSCO – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch)
At a proper hour you will be transferred to Ollanta Train station. (only with Spanish speaking driver). The train ride takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu (unescorted train trip).

Once in Aguas Calientes you will be greeted by your guide who will assist you onto the shuttle bus to the entrance of the citadel. During your guided tour you will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction. The duration of your magical trip to one of the seven new wonders of the world will be 2.5 hours, after which you will make your way back out of the citadel with your guide. You will have free time to discover Aguas Calientes town at your pace and have lunch in a local restaurant (by your own)

At the proper time, return by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and then continue the trip to your hotel in Cusco city.

DAY 13 CUSCO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Your comprehensive city tour includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a most remarkable Inca building, the amphitheater of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located ‘red fortress’ that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area.

The remaining of the day will be at leisure.

DAY 14 CUSCO – PUNO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch)
A ten-hour bus trip takes you through picturesque Andean landscapes dotted by small villages and herds of llamas and vicunas. Your final destination is Puno, however you make three important stops along your way: the first one is Andahuaylillas known by its baroque church dating from the 17th century. Then your tour continues to Raqchi to visit the Viracocha Temple. This was the only Inca temple featuring cylindrical columns covered by fine clay layers. Lunch will be served in a typical restaurant en route. Then, you reach La Raya pass (4,335 m/ 14,172 ft) where you enjoy a panoramic view of the snow-capped Andes, before the last leg of the trip takes you to Puno on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

DAY 15 PUNO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch)
Your excursion by speed boat starts with a visit to one of the floating reed islands of the Uros before heading to iIsland of weavers Taquile. Unlike in the classic tour, this option offers a reduced time en route (e.g. 75 min from Taquile to Puno versus 2 hrs 30 min aboard the traditional boat) making your experience in the lake more pleasant. Your boat tour includes a meal prepared with local fish and fresh produce from the Andes.

DAY 16 PUNO – LA PAZ
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch)
Your tour today starts with an early transfer from your hotel in Puno to the bus station (with English-speaking guide assistance). You will then depart by bus to the town of Copacabana (without guide), where you will enjoy your lunch on the waterfront. Then, you will board a local boat and cruise Titicaca Lake to Sun Island. After disembarking you will visit the best-preserved Inca ruins on Sun Island, the Picocaina Temple. Later, you will be able to visit the community of Yumani, the ‘Fountain of the Inca’ and the legendary Inca Steps. After taking a few photos of the lake and enjoying the breathtaking view of Cordillera Real, you will board the local boat back to Copacabana. You will then visit the sacred Basilica of the ‘Dark Virgin’ before being taken to La Paz by bus and ferry. Once you arrived in La Paz, you will be transferred to your hotel (approx. arrival time 22:00 hrs – Bolivian time).

 

IMPORTANT: Elevations on Sun Island range between 3,800 and 4,000 m (12,467 and 13,123 ft) and there are only footpaths. Therefore, a reasonable degree of fitness is required for hiking on the island. This excursion is not recommended for the less mobile (there are no motorized vehicles). Pack light and bring essentials such as: sunblock, a hat and sunglasses.

DAY 17 LA PAZ
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Today you enjoy a sightseeing tour of La Paz. Tour highlights in the old town include the Plaza Murillo, the Witch Market, San Francisco Church and the Jaen Street. The city features the largest cable car system in the world and together with your guide you will have the chance to see La Paz from above on the so called ‘Teleferico’. To change scenery, your tour continues to the bizarre Moon Valley offering a unique landscape

DAY 18 LA PAZ – UYUNI – COLCHANI
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today you depart on a short domestic flight from La Paz to Uyuni. Upon arrival you will be welcomed at the airport and will have some time for breakfast (not included). The first stop is at the train graveyard in the outskirts of Uyuni. It has been reported that among them was the first locomotive to enter Bolivia and another allegedly robbed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Afterwards you enter the vast white Salar de Uyuni, a fantastic place for photography to visit ‘Incahuasi Island’ in the middle of the salt lake. The island seems to rise up out of nowhere and is covered with gigantic cacti, some 11m (36 ft) tall. You will spend time walking around admiring the unusual yet breathtaking landscapes. After a picnic lunch on the island you head back to Colchani to spend the night in hotel entirely made of salt where dinner will be included

 

IMPORTANT From December through March the likelihood of the salt lake being flooded increases and Incahuasi becomes often inaccessible. Consequently, the itinerary will be adapted. Still, during this time there are countless photo opportunities. The water covering the salt flats creates a mirror image of the sky and the clouds above.

DAY 19 COLCHANI – SILOLI  
(Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Leaving the salt flat behind you will be driven along the volcanoes range with their eternal snow to enter the Siloli desert.  The scenery on the drive is fantastic and takes you high up into the Andes through desert-type landscapes. There are stones sculpted by the wind – one of the most bizarre formations is the Stone Tree. You will get some of the continent’s most astounding sights in the Red Lagoon with its James flamingos. Dotted with white islands of massive borax deposits, the lake is tainted blood red due to a variety of algae which thrive in the salt water. The final stop is at the geothermal field Sol de Mañana to see multiple mud pots and fumaroles. You spend the night at a simple but tremendously atmospheric place – set in one of the most remote and starkly beautiful places on earth, on the edge of the Siloli desert.

DAY 20 SILOLI – SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
After breakfast you will be driven to the Bolivian/Chilean border, Hito Cajon. On the way you visit the Green Lagoon, at the foot of Licancabur volcano and the White Lagoon before reaching the checkpoint.

DAY 21 SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Discover the ancient petroglyphs of Yerbas Buenas and marvel at the colored rock formations of Rainbow Valley on this half-day guided tour from San Pedro de Atacama. You head north to visit the unique desert landscape of the Domeyko mountain range before you reach Yerbas Buenas petroglyphs (3,200m / 10,498 ft). Learn about the history of the people that inhabited the area thousands of years ago as you encounter curious volcanic rock formations. You then cross the ancient farmlands of Matancilla and reach Rainbow Valley, where you will gaze in wonder at the hills which are vividly colored in naturally occurring colors such as red, green, blue, gray and violet.

IMPORTANT Comfortable, warm clothes, sun hat and sunglasses are recommended. A moderate amount of walking is involved, please wear comfortable shoes.

This half-day tour (recommended in the afternoon) will take you through the Salt Mountain Range, a unique and spectacular geological wonder, created over many millennia as a result of the continually conflicting pressures of the Andes and the Cordillera de Domeyko. It is within this mountain range that you will find the Dinosaur, Death and Moon Valley, each filled with lookouts and views of the mountain range and its volcanoes. Making your way to the Moon Valley, you will visit the Central Crater to get a better view of the valley and the amphitheater before making your way to a viewpoint that overlooks the Three Marys – naturally occurring geological formations in the silhouetted shape of Mother Mary praying.  As the sun sets you will be  treated to a light-show of soft pink and red hues reflecting off the rock and petrified salt crystals in Death Valley. To celebrate this natural spectacle toast with a glass of Chilean wine and snacks.

DAY 22 SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
Depart early in the morning and make your way to one of the biggest geothermal fields in the world – the Tatio Geysers (a 2-hour drive) at 4320 m / 14,173ft. You will arrive at sunrise, the best time to observe the natural spectacle that takes place there every morning. Boiling water gurgles in the frozen ground and then emerges violently as steam plumes throughout the over 100 geysers, pools and fumaroles. Take some time to soak in one of the hot springs before you continue to your last stop in Machuca. You have some time to explore this tiny adobe village at your leisure, checking out its wooden San Santiago church and a handful of houses built with adobe, straw and cactus wood before your return.                                                  

IMPORTANT We recommend comfortable, warm clothing, sun protection and comfortable closed shoes (the temperature is always below zero). Those who want to try the hot springs should bring their swimsuit and a towel.

Not recommended for people with heart disease, high blood pressure, pregnant women and children under 6 years of age. We recommend that you eat only light food on the evening before and drink plenty of water and tea.

DAY 23 SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA – CALAMA – SANTIAGO  
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
In good time you will be transferred to Calama for an upcoming flight to the Chilean capital of Santiago.

DAY 24 SANTIAGO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
This morning you will enjoy a city tour through Santiago. You will take the modern cable car up the San Cristobal hill while enjoying the stunning views of the city and of the green recreational area below. After a 10-minute ride, you will reach the top of San Cristobal hill where you will be met with spectacular panoramic views over Santiago cityscape and the breathtaking Andes mountain range in the distance. On clear days you will get a great sense of the sheer magnitude of this metropolis. Take a look at the iconic landmark statue of the Virgin Mother Mary watching over the city before descending the hill with the cable car. Then you will be driven to the historic part of Santiago for a short walking tour, which takes you to ‘La Moneda’ – the seat of the president of Chile, the former national congress, the 18th-century cathedral and the main square with its colonial buildings.

IMPORTANT: The cable car does not operate on Mondays.

The remaining of your day will be at leisure.

DAY 25 SANTIAGO
(Meal Plan: Breakfast)
At proper time you will be picked up from your hotel in Santiago and privately escorted to the airport for your next flight back home and connections.

TOTAL SOUTH AMERICA

Take a journey through the best highlights of the Southern continent, from the mighty Iguazu Waterfalls to the imponent Machu Picchu or the grandious Uyuni salt flat followed by the geyser fields of Tatio in Chile; this trip takes you on a whirlwind of emotions and overall joy. 

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