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Enchanting South America

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Overview

Join us on this wonderful journey exploring South America's most incredible destinations. Marvel at Machu Picchu and the mighty Iguazu Falls, experience the cosmopolitan cities of Buenos Aires and Santiago, the beaches and vibrancy of Rio de Janeiro and sample some of the region's most amazing food in Peru.

Our small group tour of just 20 is perfect for those looking to travel with a group of like-minded individuals. We have left no stone unturned in giving you the best value group travel trip in the market. 

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Trip Code: LATSENSA

Travel Style: Small Group Tour

Location: South America: Buenos Aires, Iguazu Falls, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Puno, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Amazon, Santiago.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • Experience some of the most amazing destinations in South America, from vibrant and bustling cities like Rio to incredible natural wonders like the immensely biodiverse ecosystems of the Amazon. 

  • This itinerary will take you to many amazing sights and cities but will still leave plenty of time for exploration.

  • Discover an incredibly diverse array of cultures, from the Afro-Portugese infusions of Brazil to the ancient Inca heritage and rural Andean lifestyles of Peru. 

  • This itinerary is perfect for combining other experiences in South America, such as the incredibly contrasting landscapes of Chile or the one-of-a-kind wildlife experiences of the Galapagos Islands

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

On arrival into Buenos Aires you will be met and transferred to your hotel

This tour is operated under our group travel brand, Viva Expeditions. Viva specialises in guided small group tours to Latin America.

Tonight there will be a pre departure welcome meeting. Details confirmed upon arrival.

Arrive Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, Argentina’s elegant, historic and cosmopolitan capital, is known as the “Paris of the South” due to its European atmosphere with glamorous avenues lined with fashionable shops and Parisian-style restaurants and cafes. Located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires has many fascinating neighbourhoods to explore including the colourful and lively La Boca, home to art galleries and tango shows; San Telmo with its restored mansions and antique stores and Recoleta, the city’s most exclusive area.

Buenos Aires

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 Peron’s grave; and the working-class South, such as the famous La Boca and San Telmo districts, heartland of the Tango.

Afternoon is at leisure.

Buenos Aires City Tour

This evening enjoy an intimate & passionate tango show, housed in a cosy wood-panelled 19th century building in the heart of Buenos Aires's historic centre. The building has a colourful history as it was once a meeting point for poets and students. After being abandoned in the late 1970s, the bar was beautifully restored and reopened in July 1992 as El Querandí Tango Hall. The show, directed by Claudio Campos with musical arrangements by Ado Falasca, smoothly charts the history of Argentina's most authentic artistic expression from its origins to the modern day. With one of the most varied à la carte menus you will find at a tango show, the dinner is very good, and the show, at just over an hour long, is the perfect length. The three house singers, six dancers and four musicians put on a great show.

At the conclusion of the show a bus will transfer you back to your hotel.

Querandi Tango Show

Today is free to enjoy the sights and sounds of this world famous city.

Head to the famous San Telmo antiques & tourist markets for some great shopping.

Or why not enjoy a day trip over the River Plate to the beautiful city of Colonia with its UNESCO World Heritage Listed historic centre.

Or head out of city on day a day trip to the Tigre Delta or an Estancia. There are many options. Please ask your Travel Advisor for more details as advance reservations may be required.

Buenos Aires - Free day

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the domestic airport for your flight from Buenos Aires.

*Please note the Iguazu Tourist Tax will now be charged on check out at all Iguazu hotels. The amount is currently ARS50 (USD3.40) per person per stay. Please note this tax is subject to change without prior notice.

Afternoon is at leisure

Buenos Aires to Iguazu

After an early morning pick up from your hotel, we travel to the Argentinean side of the Iguazu Falls. Beginning at the visitor’s 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 Devil’s Gorge arguably the most spectacular falls, is one of the day’s highlights.

Iguazu Falls: Argentinean

Today we see the falls from the Brazilian side of the border. After arriving at the visitor centre, 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 Devil’s Gorge Canyon and the Iguazu River are spectacular and are guaranteed to impress. National park fee included.

Afterwards you will be taken to the Bird’s Park. The bird park was created in 1994, and built with concern to deliver optimum for reproducing animals as well as ensuring the preservation of 16 hectares of native forest. It is an ecological sanctuary located 300 meters from the entrance to the Brazilian National Park, It has more than 900 birds of 150 different species, with most Brazilian birds. They are in huge cages of 630 square meters, where waterfalls and vegetation are recreated, so that birds find their natural habitat.

The visit is done through trails within these nurseries, allowing observe species that rarely could be seen during a sightseeing tour. Besides birds, you can see butterflies, reptiles and mammals.

After the tour you will be transferred to the airport for your flight from Iguazu

On arrival in Rio de Janeiro, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Iguazu Brasil Falls & Bird Park to Rio

Known as the ''Cidade Maravilhosa'', or Marvellous City, Rio never fails to amaze with its sandy beaches, carefree lifestyle and unparalleled natural beauty. As the capital of Brazil until 1960, Rio is today one of the most culturally and economically prominent cities in the country, receiving more tourists than any other part of Brazil.

Arrival in Rio de Janeiro

After an early pick up from the hotel between 7:00 & 7:30am, the tour makes its way to the bottom of Corcovado Hill, where we ascend the mountain by vehicle. Climbing 4km through the Tijuca Forest, the world’s largest urban National Park, we will arrive at the statue of Christ the Redeemer. After taking in the panoramic views we continue to the Maracana Stadium.

We also pass the Sambadrome and the Metropolitan Cathedral, before passing through the bohemian neighbourhood of Lapa and its famous arches en-route to Copacabana. We have a traditional Brazilian BBQ lunch before visiting the famous Sugarloaf Mountain with views across the entire city. After descending the mountain, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Included: All transport, tickets and entry fees, lunch (beverages not included). Approximate duration of tour: 8 hours.

Corcovado & Sugarloaf

Today is a free day for you to relax on one of Rio’s famous beaches such as Ipanema or Copacabana, or explore the city further at your leisure.

Tonight we enjoy a wonderful evening together over dinner in Rio at a local restaurant.

Rio: Free Day

Free morning to enjoy Rio at leisure

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight from Rio to Lima.

On arrival into Lima, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Rio de Janeiro to Lima

Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country's arid Pacific coast. Founded in 1535, its colonial centre is well preserved, but today Lima is a bustling metropolis and one of South America’s largest cities. The city is home to the various museums including the Museo Larco that houses a collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museo de la Nación, tracing the history of Peru’s ancient civilizations. Lima is known as the “gastronomical capital of the Americas”, encompassing specialties from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to refined global fare. It even boasts several of the top restaurants in the world.

Lima

Today is spent touring Lima, the Colonial ‘City of Kings’. On the city tour we will visit a number of well-known sites including the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas as well as 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.

Note: The Cathedral is closed on Easter Sunday 21 April 2019.

Lima City Tour

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight from Lima.

On arrival at Juliaca airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Puno, stopping on the way to take in the pre-Inca burial ground of Sillustani. Here you can wander through the remarkable tombs built from volcanic stone, known as Chullpas 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.

Lima to Puno via Sillustani

Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. It is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano and an important agricultural and livestock (llamas and alpaca) region. It sits at an altitude of over 3,800 metres and is a picturesque hillside city and a melting pot of the Aymara and Quechua culture.

Arrival in Puno

At 7:00 am you will be met and transferred to the port where you will board a fully equipped speedboat with on board service to head to Taquile Island. Disembarking at a secluded part of the island, we explore a scenic and less touristy area of Taquile Island (exclusive). Enjoy a pristine sandy beach where you will have plenty of time to relax and feel the serenity of Lake Titicaca. We then hike along a pre-Inca trail with spectacular landscapes of the island, visiting families of weavers to learn about their textile art and symbolism. In 2005, "Taquile and its Textile Art" were proclaimed "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by UNESCO.

After 3 hours on Taquile, we leave the island for the short 25 minute journey to the community of Santa Maria-Llachon, on the tip of the Capachica Peninsula. This is a picturesque off the beaten track destination. We are welcomed by the small Quechua speaking community and introduced to an intensive cultural experience, observing the traditions of the community and participating in an ancient ceremony to learn about their magical world. Then experience the preparation of "Pachamanca", a traditional way of cooking meat, fish and potatoes using underground ovens, and one of the main dishes of Peruvian cuisine. Enjoy these delicacies in a small, but scenic restaurant. For the more adventurous there is an optional kayak along the coast of Llachon.

After lunch we leave Santa Maria and 35 minutes later we arrive at a remote area of the National Reserve of Lake Titicaca to explore Uros Ccapi. These are considered to be the last authentic floating islands, less commercial and little visited. The Uros are descendants of one of the oldest cultures in South America. There are optional tours in reed boats before we depart back to Puno at 15:25 pm.

On arrival back into Puno at 16:30pm, you are transferred to your hotel.

Full Day Titicaca Uncovered

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the bus station for the journey from Puno to Cusco.

The spectacular journey from Puno to Cusco takes you across the Altiplano. The drive takes you 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 is included and you will arrive in the famous city of Cusco in the early evening.

Approximate duration of drive: 10 hours.

On arrival into Cusco, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Puno to Cusco

Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.

Arrival in Cusco

Take a sightseeing tour through Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire. Visit the fascinating Qorikancha Temple of the Sun, the 12-Angled Rock and the Cathedral, built on the ruins of an Inca Palace. From here head to the archaeological remains located around the city, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo (giant rock), the ancient site of Puca Pucara and finally the Water Temple of Tambomachay.

Afternoon at Leisure

Cusco City Tour

Today, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. The first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market. The colonial village of Pisac sits at the base of the spectacular Pisac Ruins – a hilltop Inca citadel and fortress with impressive agricultural terracing. On market days Pisac comes alive with locals from nearby hillside villages in traditional dress selling local fruit and vegetables as well as handicrafts. There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before a typical Andean lunch at a local restaurant.

Continue your 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. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to the train station in Ollantaytambo to take the train to Aguas Calientes. Lunch is included.

Dinner tonight is at leisure. Your guide will recommend local places to eat.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width)

Sacred Valley Full Day Tour

An early morning start for your first sights of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site, located 2,430 metres above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley. It is the most famous of all Inca sites, but it was not until 1911 that it was brought to the world’s attention by the American historian Hiram Bingham. The Incas abandoned the city just prior to Spanish colonisation, the city was never pillaged and as a result the ruins are still in fantastic condition. With its location on a dramatic ridgeline surrounded by sheer cliffs and the Urubamba River on three sides, the city of Machu Picchu is a remarkable place to visit. Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and in 2007 it was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. You will be astonished by your first view of Machu Picchu, a stunning display of ancient architecture with incredible surroundings. Enjoy 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. Tour includes guided group tour, and return bus from Aguas Calientes village.

**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. **Due to new regulations at Mach Picchu, our entry permits allow us to explore Machu Picchu between 6am-12noon. If you require longer, additional fees apply. Please ask for more details. Subject to change at any time.

Machu Picchu – Return to Cusco

Later in the afternoon we travel by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at Ollantaytambo Train Station, we will transfer by road back to your hotel in Cusco.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width)

Machu Picchu to Cusco

Today is at leisure allowing you to spend wandering the cobble-stoned streets of the ancient Inca capital. With treasures around every corner, Cusco is a wonderful city to explore on foot. Vibrant markets and stores give the traveller a plethora of shopping opportunities set amongst fine Inca and Spanish colonial architecture. The UNESCO World Heritage city is lined with history and ancient monuments, a truly enthralling city to spend time in.

This evening, enjoy dinner and show in a nearby restaurant.

Cusco: Free Day

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado.

Upon arrival at Puerto Maldonado, you will be met to transfer by land and a 45-minute boat journey to Posada Amazonas. Check-in to your unique three-walled bedroom to truly experience the Amazon. Climb the staircase to the 30 metre scaffolding canopy tower, allowing exceptional treetop views of the Tambopata River winding through dense jungle. Look out for toucans, parrots and macaw flying overhead. Lectures are provided in the evening focusing on ecotourism projects.
3 nights Posada Amazonas, Superior room.

Cusco to Peru Amazon

After breakfast we head to Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake, 30 minutes by boat and then a 45 minute hike from the lodge. At the lake we set out in a catamaran, keeping a look out for giant river otters, caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. There is a resident family of 9 giant river otters here.

After lunch at the lodge, an informative Ethnobotanical Tour will be conducted by a local group who run a small medicinal clinic using forest plants.
The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose to attend their small clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants.

In the evening after dinner, there is an optional night walk to find nocturnal animals by the reflection from their eyes in the flashlights, whilst listening to the hive of activity at this time.

Peru Amazon

Enjoy the spectacle of a clay lick just a short walk from the lodge to see dozens of beautifully coloured parakeets and parrots. Later, trek from the lodge on the Ceiba Trail for two hours, studying the natural history of the rainforest with your knowledgeable guide. Following lunch, take a boat downriver to the community of Infierno to visit their farm of Amazon crops.

Peru Amazon

Transfer Boat - Posada Amazonas to Tambopata River Port. Transfer Tambopata River Port to Puerto Maldonando.
Depart Posada Amazonas by boat along the Tambopata River to Puerto Maldonado for your departure flight. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.

On arrival into Lima, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Peru Amazon to Lima

Depart Lima with wonderful memories of your time in South America. Transfer to Lima Airport is included.

*Selected International Flights Included

**Entend your stay with a trip on a Galapagos Cruise, Explore Northern Peru, a stopover in Santiago with wine tours or more... Please ask your Travel Advisor for more details.

Depart Lima – Tour Ends

This is a suggested itinerary. All Tailor-Made journeys can be customised to suit. Add in additional highlights, spend more time in areas of particular interest to you, or extend your journey to visit other regions of Latin America or Antarctica.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not undertake an incredible journey to the world’s most remote wilderness? A 10-day Antarctica adventure will take you to the final frontier, take to the icy waters in a zodiac, be enthralled by ice-capped vistas and magnificent glaciers and introduce yourself to a host of Antarctic wildlife including penguins, seals and whales. Find out more.

  • Explore the Chilean capital of Santiago, before heading to Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most spectacular parks in South America. Head to El Calafate on the edge of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field and from here visit the world famous Perito Moreno Glacier. Find out more

  • Why not add on a tour to the Galapagos at the end of your South American journey, spending 4 days exploring the beautiful archipelago that abounds with fascinating wildlife? Amidst spectacular volcanic scenery you will see a myriad of birds and animals from lava lizards to blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, frigatebirds and giant tortoises. Find out more

WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Departing Ending Duration
27 Sep 2019 18 Oct 2019 22
10 Jan 2020 31 Jan 2020 22
20 Mar 2020 10 Apr 2020 22
17 Apr 2020 08 May 2020 22
15 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 22
05 Jun 2020 26 Jun 2020 22
17 Jul 2020 07 Aug 2020 22
04 Sep 2020 25 Sep 2020 22
02 Oct 2020 23 Oct 2020 22
Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Private airport transfers
    Accommodation with breakfast daily 
    Internal flights as indicated in itinerary
    Sightseeing with English-speaking guide
    Other meals where stated
    International flights ex Auckland, Sydney or London only with LATAM

    Exclusions

    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 
    Gratuities for guides/drivers
    Beverages
    Any items not mentioned as included

  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Your Destination Specialists will turn your South America adventure dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first-hand experience, our Destinations Specialists will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore remain culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE