This comprehensive tour is a wonderful way to see so many of the stunning highlights of South America on one trip. Beginning in Lima, capital of Peru, you travel to Cusco and on to the Sacred Valley and amazing Machu Picchu. Then travel to Argentina staying in the stylish capital city Buenos Aires and taking a trip out to the magnificent Iguassu waterfalls. Your final stop on this Nature, Tango, Samba and the Incas tour is the colourful city of Rio De Janeiro to visit all the iconic sights.
Arrival in Lima
Your South American adventure begins when you arrive in Lima, the fascinating capital city of Peru. You will be met at the airport by one of our tour representatives and driven to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore on your own, take a tour and see some of the sights, or relax after the journey. Lima's Historic Centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and although you will visit it tomorrow on a walking tour you could always take the chance to experience it tonight.
After breakfast at your hotel take a walking tour seeing the Colonial buildings surrounding the Main Plaza, the cathedral, the Presidential Palace, City Hall and the Archbishop's Palace. Stroll down to San Francisco Church, then continue on to Casa Aliaga, the best preserved colonial mansion in the Americas. Later stop at Chinatown, known locally as Barrio chino, and a downtown area called Calle Capón, a name acquired during the Spanish Colonial period as it was the location of the market for castrated pigs.
Lima to Cusco
Today you leave Lima and fly to Cusco where you are met and taken to your next hotel. Then begin a tour with a visit to the Coricancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun . Then go to the cathedral, the most important building on the Main Square and one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in America, which is shaped as a Latin Cross. Next stop is at the Sacsayhuamán fortress to see the mysterious megalithic blocks that were used to build it. Finally visit the red fortress of Puka Pukara before returning to your hotel.
Cusco to the Sacred Valley
Your tour starts at Awanacancha Llama Centre to learn about the importance of llamas and alpacas to the Peruvian way of life. Then travel to Pisac to see its famous craft market and impressive complexes of terraces in the valley. After lunch, continue to the village of Ollantaytambo, a typical example of urban planning of the Incas. The fortress of Ollantaytambo is a major archaeological site that was a town for rest and lodging of long distance travellers. It is one of the most monumental works of the empire.
Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu
An unforgettable day today when you travel to Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world. Your adventure begins with a train ride to Aguas Calientes, the last stop before the entrance to the remains of the most important archaeological site in Peru. From here you are driven up to Machu Picchu to spend the rest of the day exploring the famous Inca ruins, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and enjoying the spectacular views from the top, before returning by train to Cusco.
Cusco to Buenos Aires
Today you leave Cusco and fly back to Lima before catching another flight to Buenos Aires, the stylish capital city of Argentina with possibly some time left in the day for seeing some of the sights. This evening you will be taken to see an incredible tango show performed by some of the city's best dancers and singers, while enjoying a delicious steak dinner. This is the perfect way to to experience Buenos Aires atits best, which is known as the city of tango.
A half day city tour today visiting the most important sites during which you will discover the magic of this cosmopolitan city seeing the magnificence of the Northern Quarters, Palermo and the beauty of its parks and buildings, Recoleta with its French-style architecture, bars and cafés, the imposing Colon Theatre, one of the five most important opera houses in the world, Plaza de Mayo with the Government House, the Old Town Hall and Metropolitan Cathedral, the colours of La Boca district and the fashion area of Port Madero.
Today after breakfast you are free to explore more of the city. But it is well worth taking a tour out into the typical landscape of the Argentina humid Pampa, one of the most fertile natural prairies in the world, famous for its meat and cereal production. On this trip you enjoy "empanadas" (meat pies) and "asado" (roast meat) and good local wines and are treated to a show with folk songs and dances and an exhibition of the gaucho's skills with riding, taming and the lasso.
Buenos Aires to Iguassu
After breakfast at you hotel you leave Buenos Aires today and are taken to the airport for your short flight to Iguassu.
You will see the spectacular waterfalls as you fly in and on arrival are picked up and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore, possibly taking a walk through the jungle and up to the Falls. One trip you can take is by boat when you get close to the cascade of falling water that was made famous in the film The Mission, which starred Robert De Niro.
A full day tour of the Argentinain side of the Falls awaits today. After a short ride on a tourist train through the lush forest, set off on foot to discover the upper and lower walking circuits of the national park. On the Lower Circuit you enter deep into the jungle, crossing streams and stopping at viewing galleries along the way to admire the falls and access the San Martin Island. The Upper Circuit is a series of bridges and platforms across the Upper Iguassu River which suddenly opens out into a breathtaking amphitheater of free-falling water called the Devil’s Throat.
Iguassu to Rio de Janeiro
This morning enjoy a half-day tour on the Brazillian side of the Falls. Take a long beautiful route, crossing a bridge over Iguazu River into the Iguaçu National Park. From there and bordering the river arrive at the falls where you get breathtaking panoramic views of the greatest waterfalls in South America. The path ends in a viewpoint right by the Floriano falls. Later you are picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport to catch a flight to your final destination of the tour, Rio De Janeiro.
Rio De Janeiro
A panoramic tour of down-town Rio today including passing the spectacular Sambadrome - an exhibition area for renowned Samba schools of Rio. Then a brief stop at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Cinelandia Square and the neighbourhood of Urca, where one of Rio's most iconic symbols is located - Sugar Loaf Mountain. You travel up the mountain by cable car, making a brief stop at a vantage point for photos and panoramic views of the city. On the way down you have views of Copacabana Beach and the beaches of Niteroi.
Rio De Janeiro
A day at leisure in Rio seeing more of the sights or take an optional half day tour to Corcovado and the Tijuca Forest.
On this tour you visit the world-famous statue of Christ the Redeemer, recently elected one of the seven modern wonders of the world. This huge statue stands proudly on the summit of Corcovado mountain overlooking and protecting the city. Arrive there by a small funicular train that climbs through the lush Tijuca forest to reach the summit of Corcovado. Then return by driving along Rio’s famous beaches Ipanema and Copacobana.
End of tour
Today your wonderful Nature, Tango, Samba and the Incas tour of South America comes to an end. After breakfast at your hotel maybe some time for more sightseeing or shopping before you are picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home. This comprehensive two week tour around Peru, Argentina and Brazil, seeing so many of the major highlights in all three countries, will leave you with lots of great memories.