This tour is a suggested itinerary designed by our specialist team! Choose this itinerary or alter it to design your own Journey.
Start your 22-day journey around South America in Lima to experience the 'Land of the Incas'. Spend some time in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, before experiencing the wonders of Machu Picchu plus the jungle in an Amazon lodge. Continue your journey to Argentina's majestic capital, Buenos Aires. Then the spectacular Iguazu Falls will be the icing on the cake ending in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most attractive cities in the world!
Please note that this tour has been designed for our clients in the UK, according to UK international flight schedules. If you are in Australia please refer to our South America Circle tour for a suggested itinerary that suits Australian flight connections, or contact our travel specialists and design your own itinerary.
*The UK pricing of this tour includes economy class RT tickets from London.
DAY 1: Lima TRF Airport - Hotel 1
Arrival into Lima and transfer to hotel.
DAY 2: Lima City Tour
We spend some time touring Lima, the Colonial ''City of Kings'' We visit a number of well -known sites including the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas, and the Catacombs located beneath the San Francisco Convent. This is a chance to appreciate Lima's magnificent Colonial architecture as well as vignettes of its pre-Colombian past.
DAY 3: Lima TRF Hotel - Airport
Transfer to the airport for your outward flight from Lima.
On arrival into Juliaca airport you will be transferred to your hotel in Puno, stopping on the way to take in the pre-Inca burial ground of Silustani. Here you can wander through the remarkable tombs built from volcanic stone, known as Chulpas which reach heights of up to 12 metres. Overlooking the beautiful lake Umayo, Sillustani is considered to be one of the most important necropolises in the world.
DAY 4: Puno Uros & Island of Taquile Traditional Vessel
Travelling by traditional vessel, we begin by visiting the Floating Islands of Uros, where the friendly locals continue to practice their traditional way of life, living by fishing. Situated four kilometres from Puno, the original inhabitants of these floating islands are said to descend from one of the most ancient peoples of the Americas. Their dwellings made of totora reed are built on the surface of Titicaca Lake. On our way back to Puno we stop at Taquile Island a place where time appears to have stood still. Around 350 Quechua-speaking families live here, operating a collective agricultural system dating from the 14th Century and renowned for their textiles - beautifully woven chumpis (belts), chullos (caps), and ojotas (sandals). Includes lunch Tour duration: 10 hours
DAY 5: Puno TRF Hotel - (Bus or Train Station)
Transfer to bus or train station for outward journey from Puno.
Arrival to Cusco and transfer to hotel.
Today is spent on the jaw dropping ride across the altiplano to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. This drive will take us through sleepy Andean villages, past spectacular snow capped mountains, sheer cliffs and rampaging rivers. Stops along the way include the atmospheric towns of Pucara and Andahuaylillas, and the pre-Inca ruin of Raqchi. Lunch and transfers to and from the bus stations in Cusco and Puno are included.
DAY 6: Sacred Valley Full Day Tour
Today, we explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. Our first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market, where you are sure to pick up a bargain! There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before we have a typical Andean lunch at a local restaurant (included). We then continue our journey along the River Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo. The town, which is dominated by a giant Inca fortress, is perhaps the best surviving example of Inca town planning and was the scene of a rare Inca victory over the invading Spanish. Includes lunch.
DAY 7: Cusco-Machu Picchu Return with Tour- Expedition
This is a train ride you will never forget, taking you through the spectacular Andes mountain range to the renowned Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival in Machu Picchu, you will have a guided tour of the ruins and monuments, such as the Main Square, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Cemeteries. The citadel was discovered in 1911 by the American explorer and Academic, Hiram Bingham. Many theories on the citadel exist, but most agree it was a holy site, hidden for centuries and never found by the invading Spanish. Includes:Guide and entrance fee. Also includes transfer from hotel to train station. The train ride will be shared with other passangers. Please be aware that your tour of Machu Picchu does not include an entry permit to Huayna Picchu (the iconic hill behind the Machu Picchu ruins). If you want to climb Huayna Picchu then you need to pre-book your permit. Please contact your sales consultant if you would like to do this.
DAY 8: Cusco City Tour w/ Partial BTG
We take a sightseeing tour through Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire. We visit the fascinating Koricancha Temple of the Sun, the 12-Angled Rock, and the Cathedral, built on the ruins of an Inca Palace. From here we head to the archaeological remains located around the city, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo the giant rock, the ancient site of Puca Pucara and finally the Water Temple of Tambomachay.
DAY 9: Cusco TRF Hotel - Airport New
Transfer to the airport for your outward flight from Cusco.
Arrival & Reception by Guide - Upon arrival, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we then drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business. We then take the two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas. The trip will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National ReserveÂ´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. Boxed Lunch. Orientation. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. Dinner. Caiman Search. We will be out at the riverâs edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
DAY 10: Refugio Amazonas Day 2
Breakfast. Oxbow Lake Visit: We will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws. Canopy Tower: A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely. Lunch. Farm Visit: Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops - just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. Ethnobotanical Tour: Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, UÃ±a de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others. Dinner. Tambopata National Reserve Lectures. Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
DAY 11: Refugio Amazonas Day 3
Breakfast. Parrot Clay Lick: A fifteen minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. From a blind you will see parrots and parakeets descend on most clear days to ingest the clay on a bank. Species such as Dusky headed and Cobalt winged Parakeet descend at this clay lick. With luck we will also see some or all of the following species in the early morning rush: Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Blue-headed Pionus, Severe macaw and Orange-cheeled (Barraband`s) Parrot. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in midmorning or early afternoon, when they are active. Lunch. Brazil Nut Trail and Camp: A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest's only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying. Mammal Clay Lick: Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets. Dinner. Night walk: You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
DAY 12: Lima TRF Airport - Hotel 1
Arrival into Lima and transfer to hotel.
Breakfast. Transfer to Airport: We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures. Flight back to Lima/Cusco depending on itinerary.
DAY 13: Lima TRF Hotel - Airport
Transfer to the airport for your outward flight from Lima.
Arrival into Buenos Aires and transfer to hotel.
This evening you will be transported back in time thanks to the La Ventana tango show. Enjoy the dancers, orchestras and local singers, while dining from the impressive menu that offers both local and international cuisine as well as an extensive list of Argentinean wines. At the conclusion of the show a bus will transfer you back to your hotel.
DAY 14: Buenos Aires: LIVE City Tour
A tour of Buenos Aires serves as a great introduction to this incredible city giving you a taste of its fascinating history, architecture, culture, inhabitants, anecdotes, and secrets. You will explore the busy centre, including the Plaza de Mayo, where the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace is located; the aristocratic North, including Recoleta Cemetery, best-known for holding Eva Peronâs grave; and the working-class South, such as the famous La Boca and San Telmo districts, heartland of the Tango.
DAY 16: BA Private Trf Hotel - Dom Airport or Port
Transfer to the airport or port for your journey from Buenos Aires.
Arrival into Iguasu airport and transfer to your hotel.
DAY 17: Iguazu Argentinean Falls
After an early morning pick up from your hotel, we travel to the Argentinean side of the Iguazu Falls. Beginning at the visitor centre, we take a ride on the Rainforest Ecological train before exploring the upper and lower circuit footbridges. The footbridges, which are raised off the jungle floor, provide panoramic views from above and below the falls. A visit to Devils Gorge arguably the most spectacular falls, is one of the dayâs highlights. During this trip, you will have some free time to explore for yourself. If you wish, you can choose to take a jet boat ride under the falls. *Only available to certain passengers as physical conditions are required* National park entrance fees included.
DAY 18: Rio Private Transfer Airport-Hotel Driver Only
Arrival into Rio de Janeiro and transfer to your hotel.
Today we see the falls from the Brazilian side of the border. After arriving at the visitor center, we board buses for a tour of the park. Equipped with panoramic windows, the buses are designed to maximize your views of the falls, while the walkways and steps allow you to get up close to the spray. Views of the Floriana Falls, the Devilâs Gorge Canyon and the Iguazu River are spectacular and are guaranteed to impress. National park fee included.
DAY 19: Rio Corcovado & Sugar Loaf with Lunch
Today we visit Rioâs most famous landmarks, Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Christ the Redeemer Statue. Each year over a million tourists visit the world famous PÃ£o de AÃ§Ãºcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain), which rises up from a small peninsula at the entrance of Guanabara Bay. The first cable-car takes us to the top of Urca Hill, some 215 meters above sea level and offers spectacular views of the entire bay and its islands. From Urca Hill, we continue in a second cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf. After lunch we visit the world famous statue of Christ which has recently been elected as one of the seven modern wonders of the world. At the foot of Corcovado hill we take a small train to the top where we are greeted with a spectacular panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro. Includes lunch.
DAY 20: Rio Free day
Today is free to enjoy the rhythm of this vibrant, bustling city. From spotting the âbeautiful peopleâ on the legendary beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, to exploring the famous favelas on a tour there is always something to do in Rio.
DAY 21: Rio Private Transfer Hotel-Airport Driver Only
Transfer to the airport for your outward journey from Rio de Janeiro.
|Buenos Aires, Cusco, Iguasu, Lima, Puerto Maldonado, Puno, Rio de Janeiro|