Sensational South America
Special 8: Machu Picchu, Iguazu, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires
- Day 1: Arrival in Rio de Janeiro
- Day 2: Christ The Redeemer Half-Day Tour
- Day 3: Arrival in Puerto Iguazú
- Day 4: Iguazú Falls Tour
- Day 5: Arrival in Buenos Aires & Tango Show
- Day 6: Buenos Aires City Tour
- Day 7: Arrival in Cusco
- Day 8: Cusco City Tour
- Day 9: Sacred Valley Tour
- Day 10: Machu Picchu Tour
- Day 11: Departure from Cusco
South America is a continent of staggering beauty and remarkable social and cultural diversity. If you’ve never been, but have always wanted to, this 11-day tour package lets you sample the highlights and is sure to inspire you to come back for more.
In Brazil, you’ll visit the carioca capital, Rio de Janeiro, and from the base of the 130-foot-tall statue of Cristo Redentor, you’ll get fantastic views of the legendary city skyline. Moving on to the border of Brazil and Argentina, you’ll experience the spectacular roar of Iguazu Falls as thousands of gallons of water crash through the verdant forest.
It’s on to South America’s most culturally sophisticated city, Buenos Aires, a must-see for lovers of fine architecture, sultry tango, and exquisite meals featuring steak and wine. With stops at Recoleta, La Boca, and San Telmo, your city tour will give you a taste of the Argentine capital’s enchanting appeal.
Finally, you’ll fly high up the Andes to explore fascinating ruins, local markets, and cultural traditions that honor the legacy of Peru’s ancient civilizations. From Cusco and the Sacred Valley, a train ride will take you into the misty cloud forest that shelters the great masterpiece of the Inca Empire: Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Arrival in Rio de Janeiro
Upon arrival at the airport in Rio de Janeiro, meet a Latin America For Less representative for a transfer to your confirmed Rio de Janeiro hotel.
Check in and ease into South America vacation. Rest at your hotel or start exploring this vibrant city on your own.
Day 2: Christ The Redeemer Half-Day Tour
Start your Brazil adventure with a private half-day tour up Corcovado, the mountain in the middle of Rio de Janeiro famous for its massive Christ the Redeemer statue.
The tour rides through Laranjeiras, one of the city’s oldest residential districts, and into the traditional Cosme Velho neighborhood. Here, you will board a mountain train for a scenic trip through the Tijuca forest, the largest urban forest in the world.
At the top, 2,300 feet above sea level, spectacular 360-degree views of the city and its famous beaches are there to greet you. Soak up the scenery and admire the 130-foot tall religious statue, voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Return to your Rio de Janeiro hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Day 3: Arrival in Puerto Iguazú
Transfer to the airport for your flight from Rio de Janeiro to Puerto Iguazú.
Upon arrival at the airport, meet our Argentina For Less representatives and transfer to your confirmed hotel in Puerto Iguazú.
Enjoy the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel or exploring Puerto Iguazú on your own.
Day 4: Iguazú Falls Tour
Discover Argentina’s most spectacular natural phenomenon on a thrilling full-day Iguazú Falls tour.
The day begins with a drive to the Iguazu Falls National Park. The Iguazú Falls tour includes hikes along the Upper Circuit, taking you to elevated walkways leading to the edge of the major waterfalls comprising the system, and the Lower Circuit, a circular route allowing for incredible views of the waters crashing down from high above.
Later, board the Ecological Jungle Train to the Devil's Throat, one of the most impressive falls of the park. Walk along the spacious balconies along the edge of the falls to get a closer view of the falls.
Although the Devil's Throat Tour and Upper Circuit are mostly flat, the Lower Circuit involves a lot of stairs, so be prepared for some effort!
In the afternoon, return to your Puerto Iguazú Hotel. Relax and enjoy the rest of your day in Puerto Iguazú at your leisure.
Day 5: Arrival in Buenos Aires & Tango Show
After breakfast this morning, meet your transfer to the airport for your flight from Puerto Iguazú to Buenos Aires.
Upon arrival in Buenos Aires, meet our Argentina for Less representative and transfer to your confirmed Buenos Aires hotel.
Spend the remainder of the afternoon at your leisure. Resting at your hotel or explore Buenos Aires on your own.
In the evening, discover the delights of tango at one of the most exclusive Buenos Aires tango houses, Tango Porteño. Enjoy a delicious gourmet dinner while musicians and professional tango dancers perform on stage. Tango shows in Buenos Aires are similar to Broadway shows, with a live orchestra accompanied by professional tango dancers.
Day 6: Buenos Aires City Tour
Enjoy an exciting half-day Buenos Aires tour for a quick look at the city's highlights. The tour start in the city center, on the beautiful Plaza de Mayo surrounded by the Casa Rosada (Government House), the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the splendid Cabildo, which served as City Hall under the Spanish colonial rule. Continue on to Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires' modern financial district, to learn about the fascinating transformation of this lively neighborhood. Your next stop is La Boca, home to the famous Bombonera soccer stadium that in many embodies Argentina's passion for soccer.
In the San Telmo neighborhood, the heart of tango, learn about the history of this beautiful, sensual dance that has become the symbol of Argentinean culture. Finally, pay a visit to Palermo and Recoleta, the city's upscale neighborhoods where Porteños (inhabitants of Buenos Aires) come to indulge in high class shopping and gourmet cuisine.
The tour ends at your hotel. Continue exploring the city on your own or rest and relax before your visit to Cusco.
Day 7: Arrival in Cusco
Prepare for your journey to Peru! Meet your transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco via Lima.
Upon arrival at the Cusco airport, meet a Peru For Less representative for the drive to the historic center. As you approach the oldest sections of the city, gorgeous examples of Spanish colonial architecture will draw your eye. Look closely and you might see the remains of Inca stonework - these are the former palaces and temples of the former Inca imperial capital.
Remember to take it easy on this first evening since Cusco is located at 11,300 feet in elevation. Most travelers acclimate within 1-2 days and have no trouble with slow-paced activities. Wander about the main square, visit a museum, or stop by one of the many shops or cafes. Don’t miss out on the chance to sample Peruvian cuisine in one of Cusco’s many casual and/or fine dining restaurants.
Day 8: Cusco City Tour
Spend the morning at your leisure. This is a good time to explore some of Cusco’s less-visited attractions including the famous San Pedro Market, the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, or one of Cusco’s many fine museums. Get a glimpse of Peru’s long artistic heritage at the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, hone your knowledge of the Inca Empire at the Casa Concha (“Machu Picchu Museum”), or make your own chocolate from scratch at the Choco Museum.
In the afternoon, meet our expert Cusco guide to tour the city’s must-see attractions. Stops include the Cusco Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas, the fabulous Temple of the Sun or Qoricancha, the gargantuan ruins of the Sacsayhuaman fortress/temple overlooking the city, as well as the ruins of Q'enko, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay nearby.
In the late afternoon, return to your Cusco hotel and spend the evening at your leisure. Enjoy the local cuisine and the splendor of Cusco at night, the surrounding hills twinkling with lights and the sky overhead littered with stars.
Day 9: Sacred Valley Tour
Explore the beautiful Peruvian countryside with a full-day tour of the magical Sacred Valley, home to several royal estates of Incan emperors. First, visit the town of Pisac, famous for its bustling indigenous market and for the beautiful Inca ruins on the hillside overlooking the city. In the market, browse stalls brimming with beautiful handicrafts and handwoven garments. In the center of the market, village women in traditional dress gather to buy and sell local fruits, vegetables, and other natural products. While exploring the Pisac ruins above, wander narrow paths with walls of spectacularly cut stones and enjoy stunning views of the village and the Sacred Valley below.
After Pisac, stop for lunch (not included) at a buffet restaurant to sample a variety of Peruvian and international dishes near the town of Urubamba. The town is named after the sacred river (whose upper stretch is called the Vilcanota) that flows through the valley, on its way to Machu Picchu and eventually the Amazon jungle.
Next, visit the spectacular fortress of Ollantaytambo. These magnificent Inca ruins that cling to the hillside were part of the royal estate of the Incan emperor Pachacuti. Later, during the Incas' heroic resistance against the Spaniards, a great battle was fought, during which the Spaniards were repelled by the guerrilla emperor Manco Inca. The small town of Ollantaytambo at its base still has Inca houses, making Ollantaytambo the only Inca city that is still inhabited today.
The tour ends at your comfortable hotel in the Sacred Valley. If you've selected a hotel in Ollantaytambo, you can explore the former Incan town at your leisure, which still boasts mountain water coursing through Inca-built gutters in the center of its streets and where many of the inhabitants still speak the Incan language, Quechua.
Day 10: Machu Picchu Tour
After breakfast at your Sacred Valley hotel, take a train to Machu Picchu, the hidden Inca citadel. This 2.5-hour train journey is one of the finest in the world. Much of the path winds along the rushing Vilcanota river and snakes through gorges cut into the bases of massive mountainsides, offering passengers dramatic views of the Andean landscape as the train descends from high altitude plains down through the cloud forest. The foliage dramatically changes as the train approaches the meeting point of the Andes and the Upper Amazon rainforest, providing visitors an intimate view of one of the most spectacular transitions in the world.
The train arrives in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, which is surrounded by tall granite cliffs and a cloud forest inhabited by orchids and hummingbirds. Meet our representative at the train station gates and walk to the bus station for a 20-minute ride up to the secluded Inca citadel high atop a mountain ridge.
Next, meet your expert, English-speaking guide for a 2-hour tour of the most important sites in Machu Picchu, including the Intihuatana (Sun Stone), the Sun Temple, and the Room of 3 Windows. Machu Picchu is ranked as one of the “must see” archaeological sites in the world. Royal palaces, temples and astronomical observatories cling to a granite spur some 2,000 feet above the valley floor, affording spectacular views of the cloud-wreathed Andes and the Urubamba River far below.
After your tour, you have the option to explore more of the ruins on your own and capture some final photos.
In the late afternoon, take a comfortable train back to Cusco and then meet our driver for a transfer to your Cusco hotel for the evening.
Want an extra day at Machu Picchu? Customize this package to include an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. The next morning, make a second visit to get your fill of the enigmatic citadel and then return to Cusco in the evening.
*Optional: Hike up Huayna Picchu, the peak overlooking the Machu Picchu ruins. This hike is steep and takes about 3 hours round trip to complete, but affords spectacular views of the surrounding Andes and views over the Machu Picchu citadel from above. Numerous Inca burials have been found in cavities on this mountain. Please let your Travel Advisor know if you’d like to add this to your itinerary.
Day 11: Departure from Cusco
After breakfast at your hotel, meet our representatives at your hotel and transfer to the airport for your journey home or on to your next destination.
Alternatively, choose one of our other exciting Cusco tours or Sacred Valley excursions, or browse our full range of Peru travel destinations to make the most of your vacation.
|3 Star||4 Star||5 Star|
|$ 2509||$ 2999||$ 3669|
|3 Star||4 Star||5 Star|
|$ 3939||$ 4909||$ 6219|
- 2 nights in Rio de Janeiro, 2 nights in Puerto Iguazú, 2 nights in Buenos Aires, 3 nights in Cusco and 1 night in the Sacred Valley in hotels based on US standards
- All tours stated in the itinerary with English-speaking guides
- Ground transportation and entrance fees
- Breakfast at all hotels
- Trains: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco (Vistadome Train for 5-star and 4-star packages / Expedition Train for 3-star packages)
- Lunches or dinners (unless otherwise specified)
- Airport taxes
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