Peru, Argentina & Brazil Highlights

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Peru, Argentina & Brazil Highlights

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Description

Immerse yourself in three bold and rugged destinations on this tour. This 16-day adventure through South America will have you exploring the lofty ruins of Machu Picchu, perfecting your steps at a private tango class in Buenos Aires and sipping a caipirinha in Rio de Janeiro.

Trip Name
Peru, Argentina & Brazil Highlights
Last Updated
2019-12-14
Days
16
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Marvel at the scale and design of Machu Picchu on a guided tour of the ruins and during free time
  • Stop in at the incredible floating Uros Islands, constructed by the Uros people as a form of protective isolation in ancient times
  • Discover Buenos Aires, Argentina's ostentatious capital, and enjoy a private tango lesson from a professional dance couple
  • See the marvellous and breathtaking Iguazu Falls from both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides
  • Walk cobbled streets in Santa Teresa and gaze down at the city from the feet of Christ the Redeemer during a guided tour of Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS: Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout South America, however Peru in particular. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. We will do everything possible for these changes to be at little or no extra cost; however in such circumstances we find that travellers need to access part of, or the entire, emergency fund. Please read below for more information on this trip's emergency fund.

Day 1 - Lima
Welcome to Peru. On arrival to Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport you will be transferred to your hotel. Meet your leader and fellow travellers for a pre-trip briefing, usually held at 2 pm. Please check the noticeboard near the hotel reception for confirmation of the location and exact of the meeting. You will be required to provide your next of kin and insurance information during this meeting, so please make sure you have these on hand. After the meeting, your leader will take you on a brief orientation tour of the Miraflores area. Your in-depth city tour will be tomorrow morning. Lima has some of the best cuisine in South America and is especially renowned for its seafood. Perhaps sample Peru's national dish of ceviche this evening, raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers.
Day 2 - Sacred Valley of the Inca
Take a flight from Lima to lofty Cusco today, then make a two-hour minivan journey to Urubamba. Set in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Inca, Urubamba is a small town named for the river that cuts through the mountains and mainly functions as a transport hub and base from which to explore the surrounding ruins.
Day 3 - Sacred Valley of the Inca/Aguas Calientes
Some of the region’s most captivating historical sites are on the itinerary today. First up is the small town of Maras. Known for the thousands of individual salt pools set into the surrounding hillside that date back to Inca times, these white terraces stand out even in an environment known for its physical and man-made beauty. From here, continue to Moray, an Inca archaeological site on a high plateau featuring a series of concentric terraces that are sure to stun in their design and scope. Enjoy lunch at the small community of Chichbamba, then continue by train to the town of Aguas Calientes in preparation for tomorrow's visit to mighty Machu Picchu.
Day 4 - Machu Picchu/Cusco
Rise early for a 5.30 am for a 30-minute bus ride along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The first views of Machu Picchu against a backdrop of forested mountains will likely stun even experienced and worldly travellers. Enjoy a 1.5- to 2-hour guided tour through the magnificent ruins and learn about the site’s known history and the ancestral people of the region. 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 Inca 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. Later return by bus and train to Cusco, where you'll spend the night. At 3450 metres (11,150 feet) above sea level, it’s important to take time to acclimatize to the city’s altitude, so perhaps take it easy this evening.
Day 5 - Cusco
Today, enjoy a comprehensive guided tour of Cusco. This city is South America's oldest continuously inhabited city, and was the home of the Inca for two centuries before the Spanish invaded and built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. This tour includes a visit to the Cusco Cathedral with specialist guide, Professor Alfredo Hinojoza Galvez, a born and raised Cusconian and academic considered an icon in the colonial art and tourism world. Alfredo is uniquely placed to offer special insight into Cusco Cathedral, which is also a World Heritage site. Following the tour, perhaps ask you leader for a restaurant recommendation or seek out aji de gallina (creamy chicken) or Quechan classic causa (potato casserole).
Day 6 - Cusco
Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco at your own pace. Perhaps visit the San Pedro market in the morning and wander among the colourful produce and early-bird crowds. You could pick up some fruit and other snacks and make the 45-minute walk to Sacsayhuaman. Another incredible example of Inca ingenuity, Sacsayhuaman was an important religious site that features imposing stones stacked together to form a wall complex. Photographs do not do these towering walls justice. If you are still struggling with the altitude or simply prefer to relax, maybe take a seat at a cafe overlooking the Plaza de Armas and watch the world go by with a pisco sour or two.
Day 7 - Puno
Depart today for Puno, the ‘Folklore Capital of Peru’, which lies on the shore of vast Lake Titicaca. The journey will take around seven hours, though there will be a stop en route at Juliana, a lively town known for its traditional street dancing. Upon arrival in Puno at around 3.30 pm, take a lead-led orientation walk around town. Puno is known for the vibrant celebration of many festivals, particularly February’s Virgen de la Candelaria, a blend of town-wide feasting, Catholic devotion and flamboyant carnival. Even if your visit does not coincide with a festival, Puno is sure to delight with boundless joviality and good cheer year-round. In the evening perhaps head out for dinner with the group, your leader will be able to recommend some fantastic places to eat.
Day 8 - Lake Titicaca/Puno
Depart the hotel before 7 am and set off to explore Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable body of water in the world. Be enchanted by the striking scenery and encounter waterfront communities on a cruise around the lake today. Stop in at the incredible floating Uros Islands, constructed by the Uros people as a form of protective isolation in ancient times. Built completely from multiple layers of totora reeds, the structures are constantly replenished with fresh material as the reeds beneath rot away. Next call into Taquile Island, where knitting is a strictly male pursuit and women do the spinning, resulting in famed woollen handicrafts. Return to Puno for a final evening in the Altiplano.
Day 9 - Lima
Today, on the way to the airport, visit the crumbling chullpas (funerary tours) of Sillustani, the tallest of which is 12 metres. Spend some time wandering among the remnants of this pre-Inca cemetary and look closely for the ancient carvings that are still visible on many of the structures. Later, catch a flight to Lima. Perhaps head out for a final meal with your fellow travellers and toast to the adventure that has been.
Day 10 - Buenos Aires
Today, transfer to Lima Airport and take an included flight to Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. Depending on the time you arrive and transfer to your hotel, you might have some time to doscpver the city at your own pace. Perhaps you could explore the antique markets of San Telmo or browse the museums in the well-to-do neighbourhood of Recoleta. Keep in mind that your adventure continues with another meeting for the entire group so you can all get acquainted at 6 pm. Afterwards, perhaps head out and be swept away by the dance of love at an optional tango show.
Day 11 - Buenos Aires
Enjoy a morning exploring some of Buenos Aires sites with your guide, including the Recoleta Cemetery – the final resting place of some of the city’s most famous residents and walk among the tombs and monuments. Walk around 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. Next, wander the cobbled streets of San Telmo and finish the tour getting to know the most iconic place of Buenos Aires and maybe even Argentina: 'Plaza de Mayo'. Stop for a group lunch at a local NGO, Abriendo Caminos, a social project dedicated to empowering local women by teaching them how to make alfajores (a local delicacy) and employing them in the factory and selling Empanadas since 2001. 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. 
Day 12 - Iguazu Falls (Brazil)
Today, in the morning or late morning, fly to Puerto Iguazu in Argentina (2 hours), gateway to the mighty Iguazu Falls. 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.
Day 13 - Iguazu Falls (Argentina)
Make an early start, 7.30 am, to visit the Argentinean side of the falls today, which has boardwalks allowing you to get up close and personal with these towering rapids. Choose to get an even more exhilarating look at Iguazu with an optional zodiac boat ride below the falls. Later, at about 3 pm, you'll have to chance to accompany your leader on a visit to a Guarani community. Return to the hotel at approximately 5 pm.
Day 14 - Rio de Janeiro
Today cross the border into Brazil and take an included flight (two hours) 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. The white sands of Cobacapana and Ipanema beaches offer an interesting snapshot of local life. For some world-renowned live music, Lapa is the place to go and join the locals for some serious dancing.
Day 15 - Rio de Janeiro
It's an early start this morning, as we embark on a full-day guided tour of Rio. Starting at Corcovado Mountain for sweeping views over Rio from the base of the Christ the Reedemer statue before the crowds arrive. Discover the eclectic architecture, restaurants and art galleries of the artistic neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. Then continue on to by the famous Selaron Steps to see artist Jorge Selaron’s gift to the Brazilian people. Give your feet a break during a lunch stop at an incredible NGO called Gastromotiva, where creative dishes are made with donated produce and the cooks are marginalised members of the community given free culinary training. Finish the day with a walking tour of the Port area. This area, a little more off the beaten track, has been recognized for its cultural and historical importance as it was a main Port for the slave trade in Brazil. We will be joined by a local guide from the Pretos Novos institute, which aims to preserve the cultural heritage found in the Port area. On the walk, learn about the story of how the African slaves arrived to Brazil, the horrific conditions they endured on the journey over, how they were sold and, eventually, how they resisted and became free. Their story is intrinsically connected with the history of samba and Brazilian culture. Expect to be finished around 4 pm.
Day 16 - Rio de Janeiro
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. Please note that you are required to comply with any internal hotel check-out rules before departing.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
23-12-201907-01-2020AUD $ 7,270-
30-12-201914-01-2020AUD $ 6,906-
27-01-202011-02-2020AUD $ 8,975-
09-03-202024-03-2020AUD $ 9,150-
13-04-202028-04-2020AUD $ 8,885-
27-04-202012-05-2020AUD $ 9,240-
25-05-202009-06-2020AUD $ 9,150-
01-06-202016-06-2020AUD $ 8,885-
06-07-202021-07-2020AUD $ 8,885-
03-08-202018-08-2020AUD $ 8,885-
31-08-202015-09-2020AUD $ 8,885-
28-09-202013-10-2020AUD $ 8,885-
12-10-202027-10-2020AUD $ 8,885-
09-11-202024-11-2020AUD $ 8,885-
07-12-202022-12-2020AUD $ 8,885-
25-01-202109-02-2021AUD $ 8,885-
08-03-202123-03-2021AUD $ 8,885-
12-04-202127-04-2021AUD $ 8,885-
26-04-202111-05-2021AUD $ 8,885-
24-05-202108-06-2021AUD $ 8,885-
31-05-202115-06-2021AUD $ 8,885-
05-07-202120-07-2021AUD $ 8,885-
02-08-202117-08-2021AUD $ 8,885-
30-08-202114-09-2021AUD $ 8,885-
27-09-202112-10-2021AUD $ 8,885-
11-10-202126-10-2021AUD $ 8,885-
08-11-202123-11-2021AUD $ 8,885-
06-12-202121-12-2021AUD $ 8,885-

Accommodation

Hotel (15 nights)

Transport

Boat,Bus,Private vehicle,Plane,Train

Map