Best of Peru, Argentina & Brazil


There are many sides to South America, from the energy of the cities, the beauty of the lansdcapes and the spirit of its people. Discover it all on this trip that winds through the Inca heartlands and jungles of Peru, the enigmatic cities and natural wonders of Argentina and the dynamism of Brazil's vivacious Rio. See animals, meet locals, traverse trails and marvel at all the contrasts of this very special corner of the world.

21 days, from

$7,148

per person

GROUP SIZE

12 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: GGKPC
Style: Comfort
Theme: Explorer
Print itinerary

Details

Countries Visited:  Argentina Brazil Peru
Accommodation: Hotel (20 nights)
Transportation: Plane , Train , Private vehicle , Public bus , Boat
Meals: dinners, 19 breakfasts
Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Opt to trek the 1-Day Inca Trail, an excellent option for those wanting to experience trekking in Peru, but don’t want to do the full four days.

  • Cusco is a great city to explore on foot. Enter a bygone era as you explore the ancient Incan ruins dotted all over the city

  • A trip through Peru wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour around the ruins as well as plenty of free time to discover it on your own

  • Spend a full day exploring the floating islands of Lake Titicaca and Taquile Island, with the chance to meet the local Uru people

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

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

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

  • Favelas may sit alongside mansions, but in the heaving metropolis of Rio, everyone’s invited to the party. Immerse yourself in Brazilian culture, dance and music

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Lima

Kick off your adventure in Peru's coastal capital. The tour begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm where you'll meet your leader and fellow travellers. Please check the noticeboard near the hotel reception for confirmation of the location of the meeting. After this important meeting, head out on a walking tour of the vibrant Miraflores area with your tour leader. Enjoy free time to explore at your own pace,  then perhaps meet back up with the group for an optional dinner. Whether you dine with the group or sample the city's renowned food scene on your own, don't miss sampling Peru's national dish, ceviche (raw rish marinated in lime juice, often served with hot peppers). If you're not a fan of seafood, there are plenty of other excellent options on offer. Ask your tour leader for advice.

Day 2: Paracas

Begin the day with a guided walking tour of Lima's historic centre. Stroll atmospheric streets flanked with ornate mansions, palaces and Spanish colonial churches, taking in Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral of Lima, the San Francisco Monastery and the central market. Your leader will guide you through the market where you'll find vendors selling a variety of fresh produce, as well as more unusual fare like cuy (better know as guinea pig) – a Peruvian delicacy! Head away from the tourist trail and visit Alameda de Chabuca Granda. This pedestrian strip is where Limenos (locals from Lima) go for street food and entertainment. Later on, travel by minivan to beautiful Paracas (about 4 hours).

Day 3: Nazca

Wake early and make your way to Paracas' port, where you'll board a boat bound for Islas Ballestas. The islands are home to an abundance of wildlife including pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos, sea lions and even penguins. Have your camera handy, as there's a good chance you'll get up close to the wildlife on this 1.5 to 2 hour boat tour. Keep in mind that the port is sometimes closed due to weather conditions between June and September. If this happens during your trip, an alternative land-based tour of the Paracas National Reserve will be arranged instead.

After some awesome wildlife-viewing, hop in a private van and drive one of the world's most mysterious archaeological sites, the Nazca Lines. It's about a three-hour journey, but we may stop at the oasis town of Huacachina along the way. Nazca’s origins date back to the 2nd century BC. Thanks to the dry desert conditions found here, mummies, textiles, ceramics and other relics have been remarkably well-preserved, providing archaeologists with clear snapshots of the highly developed, pre-Inca civilisation that once resided here. Climb to the viewing platform, or perhaps take an optional flight over the lines for the best experience. The flight is 30 minutes long and covers the 26 figures scattered throughout the desert.

Day 4: Arequipa

Travel about nine hours from Nazca to Arequipa by private vehicle. Standing at the foot of El Misti Volcano and oozing the best of Spanish colonial charm, Arequipa vies with Cusco for the title of Peru's most attractive city. Built out of a pale volcanic rock called sillar, the old buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname - the 'White City'. The main plaza, with its cafes and nearby cathedral, is a lovely place to while away the day.

Day 5: Arequipa

Get to know this beautiful city with the help of a local guide. Visit the main plaza, Santa Catalina Monastery, San Ignacio Chapel and the suburb of Yanahuara. Afterwards, you're free to explore Arequipa at your own pace. Perhaps return to the main square to take a closer look at its lovely cathedral, cafes and eateries. You may also like to visit the Juanita Museum, which houses Peru’s famous ‘Ice Maiden’, the Inca mummy of a girl who died in the 1440s. Ask your tour leader for other tips on how to make the most of your free afternoon.

Day 6: Puno/Lake Titicaca

Travel by minivan to Puno, a town located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. It's a long drive (about five hours), but the dramatic views of Peru’s highlands, the Altiplano, make it an exceptionally scenic one too. As you approach Puno, stop to pay a visit to the ruins of Sillustani. Tucked between small villages on a beautiful peninsula near Lake Umaya, the pre-Inca ruins are comprised of circular towers called chullpas that served as burial sites for noble men. It's about a 45-minute drive from here to Puno. Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan indigenous culture. Traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here earning to town the title of Folklore Capital of Peru. If you’re lucky enough to arrive during a festival, you’ll be treated to an elaborate parade of costumes and dances.

Day 7: Lake Titicaca / Puno

Start the day with a tour of Lake Titicaca. Sitting 3820 metres above sea level, it holds the title of highest navigable lake in the world. Hop in a motorboat and learn about the spiritual significance the lake holds for the Quechua while cruising across its waters. Stop off at Uros Titinos, floating islands made entirely from layers of totora reeds. As you'll find out, the islands are constantly under construction; as the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. Reeds are used for making everything on the island, including the boats used to travel to the mainland, which can last up to 12 months. Continue to Taquile Island, where the locals make their livelihood out of textiles. Here, knitting is strictly a male domain, while women do the spinning. To reach the main part of the island, there is a one-hour uphill walk on a paved path with great views of the lake. Sit down to an optional set lunch consisting of a local staple – nutritious quinoa soup – washed down with a cup of muna tea (Andean mint tea). After a brief stay, a descent of about 500 steps brings you back to the boat, which will take you back to Puno (about three hours).

Day 8: Cusco

Take a scenic bus ride across the Altiplano towards Cusco (about six hours by public tourist bus). Cusco is the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city and here, colonial buildings are built upon foundations remaining from Inca times. Set out to discover some of Cusco's lesser-known sights on a guided walking tour. Visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, San Pedro market, the main square, 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. End the walking tour at Cusco's Chocolate museum where you'll get to sample a decadent cup of hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. There’s a small store where you can browse handicrafts and artisanal chocolate products.

Day 9: Cusco

Enjoy a free day in Cusco, the heart and soul of Peru. You may like to visit the city’s many museums and archaeological sites with a boleto turistico (tourism ticket). This includes the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum, Qosqo Native Art Museum and the Inca ruins of Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The most easily accessible among these sites is Coricancha, which was once the Incan empire's richest temple until the Spanish built a Dominican church on top of it.

Day 10: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Set out by private bus through the Sacred Valley. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the valley has been a source of livelihood to the locals for hundreds of years. You’ll see maize crops covering the terraced valley walls and the sacred river beneath. Just outside Cusco, make a stop to visit the Inca fortress, Sacsayhuaman. Overlooking 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 and engineering ingenuity. For lunch, visit a community that live in the valley and learn about the local lifestyle and language. If it’s market day, you may have the opportunity to browse the local handicrafts such as beads and ponchos. Continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo where you’ll spend the night. If there’s time you may like to see the town’s archaeological site, which includes remnants of an Inca city and soaring views over the present-day settlement.

Day 11: Aguas Calientes

This morning, catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (about 90 minutes). The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. Enjoy a free afternoon, you may like to while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs at Aguas Calientes.

One-Day Inca Trail:
If you're the active type, you can choose to trek the One-Day Inca Trail today. Keep in mind, you must pre-book this option at least 30 days prior to departure. If you choose this option, the day begins bright and early with a 6:30 am train ride to the starting point. With a local guide leading the way, the trail will lead uphill and downhill, passing a few archaeological sites along the way. See Chachabamba and Winay Wayna (2680 metres), also known as 'Forever Young'. This impressive complex is consider by many to be most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail, and is made up of a terraced argicultural centre, religious sector and urban sector. From here, it's about a one-hour  trek to Intipunku (the Sun Gate), where (weather permitting), you'll enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu. Depending on how long the trek takes, you'll have time to snap some pics and look around before taking a short bus ride down to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) where you'll re-join the group and spend the night at a hotel.

Day 12: Machu Picchu/Cusco

Take an early bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters, before the group returns to Cusco.

Day 13: Cusco

Enjoy free time to delve deeper into all Cusco has to offer. Those with weary legs may want to simply grab a coffee from a cafe at Plaza de Armas and do some people-watching.

The Manos Unidas cafe is a great choice for a meal. In addition to serving up delicious food, this central pizzeria also provides vocational training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For those still seeking an active adventure, the hills that surround Cusco are well-suited for some mountain biking. Ask your tour leader for advice on optional activities and how to make the most of your free day.

Day 14: Lima

Take a short flight from Cusco to Lima. Upon arrival, the day is free to spend how you wish. Visit some of the sites you missed at the beginning of the trip or perhaps do some last-minute souvenir shopping. While there are no activities planned for today, why not gather the group for one final night out on the town. Your tour leader will be happy to offer tips on how to make the most of your last day.

Day 15: Buenos Aires

Say ‘hasta luego’ to Lima and board a flight today to Argentina’s fiery capital, Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is the ultimate cosmopolitan city, with Latin passion, European elegance and its own distinctive style. Your adventure continues with another welcome meeting at 6pm. Your leader will leave a note at the hotel reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. Argentinians enjoy dining late so there will be plenty of time after the welcome meeting to take up any of your leader’s restaurant suggestions for those wishing to sample Argentina’s world-renowned steak.

Day 16: Buenos Aires

Today explore Buenos Aires on a full-day tour with a local guide. Starting in Plaza de Mayo, we will visit the Cabildo, the Colonial Town Hall, the metropolitan cathedral and the Presidential Palace. Wander the cobbled streets of San Telmo, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires, then onto La Boca where we will visit the iconic Caminito Street, which gives the neighbourhood its distinctive spirit. We will then continue to the Barracas neighbourhood, which is a charming area off the well-trodden tourist path. We will stop for lunch at a local NGO that has a market selling produce grown less than 30 minutes away by small producers. You will have the opportunity to learn about the history of this project, and the purpose of this cooperative while getting hands on making empanadas or pizzas for lunch, followed by the quintessential Argentinian sweet treat – alfajores. After our lunch, we will continue towards Retiro and Recoleta, where we will learn about the local wealthy families of Argentina, who sought to build a small‐scale Paris in the heart of Buenos Aires. Then we’ll visit the unique Recoleta Cemetery, a true labyrinth of ornate mausoleums. There, we’ll make a stop at the grave of Eva Peron, one of the country’s most recognizable icons. We will also see the Floralis Generica, a huge metal flower located in Palermo. We’ll see French palaces in Palermo Chico and beautiful parks designed by Carlos Thays. After your day of sightseeing, your evening will be free to spend as you wish.

Day 17: Iguazu Falls (Brazilian side)

Fly to Puerto Iguazu in the northeast corner of Argentina today. The mighty Iguazu Falls straddles the border of Argentina and Brazil, and the group will be visiting the falls from both sides. The falls are over 2km in length and consist of 275 falls in total, some of which stretch up to 80m high. This makes them higher than Niagara Falls and wider than Victoria Falls. Head across to Brazil to admire panoramic views of the waterfalls. Take an optional helicopter flight over the top of the falls for a more panoramic view. Tonight, spend the night in a hotel in Foz do Iguazu (Brazil).

Day 18: Iguazu Falls (Argentinian side)

A visit to the Argentinian side of Iguazu today allows you to get up close to the waterfalls via a series of boardwalks. According to Guarani legend, Iguazu Falls was created when the serpent god M’Boy, enraged by the betrayal of a chieftain’s daughter who was promised to him, split the river in half. For a more exhilarating experience, take an optional Zodiac boat ride to the base of the falls. Visit a Guarani community to meet some of the region’s few remaining indigenous people. Return to our hotel on the Brazilian side of the falls.

Day 19: Rio de Janeiro

Take an early morning flight from Foz do Iguacu to Rio. The locals say that 'if God made the world in six days, he devoted the seventh to Rio'. The day is yours to do what you like. For relaxation and people watching, head to the beaches of Copacabana or Ipanema. If the time of year is right, check out a football game or a Carnival rehearsal. As evening approaches, perhaps take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain to watch the sunset before getting sweaty with the locals in the samba clubs of bohemian Lapa.

Day 20: Rio de Janeiro

It's an early start this morning as we embark on a guided full day tour of Rio. Starting at Corcovado Mountain for sweeping views over Rio from the base of the Christ the Redeemer statue before the crowds arrive. Discover the eclectic architecture, restaurants, and art galleries of the artistic neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. Then continue to the famous Selaron Steps to see artist Jorge Selaron’s gift to the Brazilian people. The evening is free for you to spend as you wish, perhaps ask your leader where they recommend for great caipirinhas and nighttime views.

Day 21: Rio de Janeiro

Today your adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day so you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you wish to stay on in Rio please advise at the time of booking and we can arrange additional accommodation and Urban Adventures activities for you.

21 days, from $7,148

to book call 1-844-205-6226


Privacy Preference Center