South America Explorer Escorted Vacation

Take this 15-day tour across South America and visit some of the most ancient and mystical parts of the world. On your journey you will experience the majesty of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, the monumental Iguassu Falls from both Brazil and Argentina, discover the mystery of the ancient Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, and experience the passion of the vibrant Buenos Aires. Immerse yourself in the South American culture that is as vast and varying as the Andes.

Guaranteed departures – 15-day/14-night package including Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Lima, Cusco, The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco and Buenos Aires. Package includes daily breakfast and your choice of accommodations at either Superior Tourist Class or First Class hotels.

Includes

  • Transfers per itinerary
  • Hotels per itinerary or similar
  • Meals per itinerary; (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
  • Sightseeing per itinerary
  • ASTA TOP Tour operator travel funds protection program
  • Touring by modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Train tickets per itinerary
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Emergency assistance

Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Optional tours
  • Local city taxes
  • Drinks during meals
  • Flights

Daily Itinerary

Day

1

Rio de Janeiro - Arrival

You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel.

Day

2

Rio de Janeiro - Sugar Loaf Day Trip

Enjoy a buffet breakfast at your hotel before being picked-up for your panoramic tour of downtown Rio, stopping at the Metropolitan Cathedral. Taking the Aterro do Flamengo, you will be transferred to the neighborhood of Urca where one of the largest symbols of the city is located: Sugar Loaf (entrance not included). Travel to the top in two stages via cable car, first to Urca Hill around 215 meters high, giving spectacular views of Guanabara Bay and its surrounding islands, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge and Corcovado Mountain. Next, board your second cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf, 395 meters high, and take in the breathtaking views of Copacabana beach, the Santa Cruz fortress and several beaches of Niteroi. Take the cable car back down the mountain and return to your hotel. Tonight, enjoy an optional Samba show known as Ginga Tropical, a multicultural Brazilian show that gathers various cultures of this tropical country. (B)

Day

3

Explore Rio de Janeiro

After breakfast, enjoy the city of Rio at your leisure to explore this amazing city on your own. We recommend an optional half-day tour of Rio’s world renowned beaches and the Olympic Park. This tour will give you a better understanding of the geography and topography of the city with its marvelous landscape – the city built between the sea and the mountains! Drive along the scenic road with beach views to Sao Conrado beach. Continue to Barra da Tijuca Beach – the longest beach in Rio at 18 km. Finally, enjoy a panoramic view of the Olympic Park, home of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. (B)

Day

4

Rio de Janeiro - Igaussu Falls

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Iguassu (ticket not included). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel for check-in before departing on your half-day tour of the Brazilian side of the magnificent Iguassu Falls. Head to the National Park of the Brazilian Falls (entrance included) and start your visit with the Main Center of the park. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the local ecosystem of the Falls before continuing on foot through the most important track of the park where you will enjoy an astonishing view of the waterfalls. From lithe local belvedere, you will have a privileged sight of both sides of the waterfalls before returning to the Main Center via the panoramic elevator. Perhaps join an optional tour of the local Bird Park to witness the 150 different species of exotic birds. (B)

Day

5

Iguassu Falls - Iguassu Falls, Argentina Day Trip

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before being transferred to Argentina. Travel across the Tancredo Neves Bridge over the Iguassu River, separating the border between Argentina and Brazil. Once in Argentina, you will take a scenic highway to the Argentine Iguassu Park (entrance included) where you will visit the Argentinean Falls, which take you to the very edge of the awe-inspiring Devil’s Throat, the largest of the Argentinean Falls. On your way back, stop at the “Three Borders” of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. (B)

Day

6

Iguassu Falls - Lima

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Iguassu Airport in Brazil to board your flight to Lima (ticket not included). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. A local representative will present you with a detailed welcome kit and explanation of your program. (B)

Day

7

Explore Lima

After breakfast, enjoy the morning at your leisure to explore the Colonial city of Lima. In the afternoon, join your half-day tour of the city and visit the modern and colonial parts of Lima, the “City of Kings,” starting with the Miraflores and San Isidro districts. Along the way, you will pass by a Huaca, or sacred site dating back before the Inca. There will be a stop at Parque del Amor, or Lover’s Park, in Miraflores to take in the magnificent view over the Pacific Ocean. The tour also includes the Historic Center in the Main Square where the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Municipality of Lima and the Cathedral are located. You will also enjoy a visit to one of the largest colonial-era convents. (B)

Day

8

Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley

After breakfast you will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Cusco (ticket not included). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to rest and adjust to the altitude. (B)

Day

9

Discover the Sacred Valley

Today you will discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas with a visit to Chinchero and the PARWA Center, where you can appreciate the beautiful textiles on display and possibly take one home. You will visit the Chinchero Church, built by the Spanish in 1607, and the ruins of Chinchero, an important Inca center with terraces and aqueducts. Continue to Racchi Viewpoint where you will witness panoramic views of the entire Valley. After, you will travel to Ollantaytambo, one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire and one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. Known as the “unique, living inca town,” Ollantaytambo is the best surviving example of Incan city planning, which has been continuously inhabited since the 13th century. Visit the market here and then, later in the day, you will board your train to Machu Picchu (ticket included). (B,L)

Day

10

Discover Machu Picchu

After breakfast you will visit on of the most important ancient centers of the world: Machu Picchu. You will be transferred to the archaeological site for your guided visit, complete with all of the history and mystery that surrounds this enchanting place. Once you’ve finished your tour, you will have some free time to explore the site on your own, relax, or meditate. When the time comes, you will descend to the town of Aguas Calientes for lunch and board the train later that afternoon for the return trip to Cusco (ticket included). Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (B,L)

Day

11

Explore Cusco

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and the rest of the day at leisure to explore this beautiful and charming colonial city. Don’t miss the Temple of the Sun, or Koricancha, the San Blas neighborhood, the Cathedral and the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman. You may consider an optional guided afternoon tour of Cusco complete with these highlights and many other examples of Inca and colonial-era architecture. (B)

Day

12

Cusco - Buenos Aires

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires (ticket not included). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. (B)

Day

13

Discover Buenos Aires

After breakfast you will join your guided city tour of Buenos Aires. You will discover the history of May Square, the site of the most important historical events and their protagonists since its foundation. Next, enjoy May Avenue and wonder in awe at the oldest residential neighborhood in Buenos Aires: San Telmo. Walk along its cobblestoned streets and discover the antique shops and picturesque buildings. Later, feel the passion of the original Tango in the neighborhood of La Boca; walk along Caminito Street and enjoy the dancers and shops along the way, as well as the famed Boca Juniors soccer stadium. Continue to the modernized city travelling along Madero Port and its exclusive docks, full of excellent restaurants and businesses. You will pass through the Retiro neighborhood and move on to see Palermo and its most exclusive residential area before finally arriving in Recoleta. Once there, discover the final resting place of Eva Peron, “Evita,” in the Recoleta Cemetery. Later in the day, experience the famed Buenos Aires nightlife and enjoy an unforgettable evening at Aljibe Tango for dinner and a show. Surrender to the magic of this city that never sleeps and to the charm of the overwhelming and sanguine music while enjoying the best of its varied epicurean options. (B,D)

Day

14

Explore Buenos Aires

Enjoy today at leisure and consider an optional full-day experience of traditional gaucho culture at Santa Susana Ranch. Home to the gaucho, or Argentinian cowboy, the humid pampa is one of the most fertile natural prairies in the world and is famous for its production of beef and grains. Only a few kilometers away from the city of Buenos Aires, the natural environment and beautiful landscapes will welcome you as warmly as the gauchos. You will be honored with the typical national asado, empanadas and excellent Argentine wines. The wild smell of the countryside will invite you to discover a charming hundred-year-old rural tradition in the midst of the 21st century. Folk song and dances, equestrian activities and unbeatable shows of traditional gaucho skills allow you to live the traditional lifestyle of the Argentinean ranch through the gaucho, the greatest symbol of these lands. (B)

Day

15

Buenos Aires - Return

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight home. (B)