Grand Tour of South America
South America is home to some of the planet’s most exciting cities and sublime landscapes.
South America is home to some of the planet’s most exciting cities and sublime landscapes. On this 16-day adventure, you’ll experience the best that the continent has to offer. In exuberant Rio, you can relax on the world-class beaches and summit Mount Corcovado, home to the imposing Christ the Redeemer statue. Visit the magnificent Iguassu Falls, a natural wonder that once prompted Eleanor Roosevelt to exclaim, “Poor Niagara!” Then, ride the open-air Ecological Jungle Train through the rainforest of Iguassu National Park. In Buenos Aires, often called the “Paris of the South,” you can tour the artistic La Boca neighborhood, sample Argentinian wine, and learn the tango. Fly to the Peru’s seaside capital city of Lima: a whirlwind of history, high-rises, Spanish flair, and indigenous flavor. Explore Cusco, South America’s oldest living city, and visit the Sacred Valley. Pet llamas and see how Peru’s famous textiles are made at Awana Kancha. Hike to Machu Picchu, the spectacular Incan ruins seated high in the Andes. With the services of a professional Tour Director and Local hosts throughout your travels, you'll get the most out of your South American adventure.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation by rail and motor coach
- Hotel accommodations for 15 nights
- 18 meals
- Scenic rail excursions
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Visit Iguassu Falls and take the Ecological Jungle Train
- Visit Peru's Sacred Valley
- Tour the Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo
- Visit an Argentinian estancia (ranch) and enjoy a barbecue lunch
- Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima, and Cusco city tours
- Services of local hosts
Day 1 - Arrive in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Welcome to South America's capital of glamour—Rio de Janeiro! Your Local Host will be available with suggested activities during your free time. Tonight, you may opt to join an outing to a fun churrascaria for a feast of barbecued meats marinated and roasted over charcoal in true Brazilian style, followed by a Samba show, where the sheer vitality of this country explodes in a colorful extravaganza.
Day 2 - Rio de Janeiro
Today, a private tour takes you to the Cosme Velho district, where you board a cog-wheel train that will take you through the lush tropical vegetation of Tijuca Forest to the top of Corcovado Mountain. This rounded peak rising 2,300 feet from the bay below is one of the new Seven Modern Wonders of the World and home to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. Enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree panorama, which affords sweeping views of the city and beaches below. The afternoon and evening are at leisure. Tonight you may opt to join an outing to a fun churrascaria for a feast of barbecued meats that are marinated and roasted over charcoal in true Brazilian style, followed by a Samba show, where the sheer vitality of this country explodes in a colorful extravaganza. (B)
Day 3 - Rio de Janeiro
Enjoy a full day at leisure. Your Local Host will suggest an optional Jeep tour to the rainforest in the middle of the city, Tijuca National Park and its bird sanctuary. This afternoon you may elect to discover historic Petropolis, a mountain resort and site of the former summer palace of Emperor Dom Pedro II, or take an optional excursion to visit the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain. (B)
Day 4 - Rio & Iguassu Falls
Fly to Iguassu Falls. This masterpiece of nature encompasses 275 separate falls and spans almost two miles. This afternoon's private tour is dedicated to enjoying the spectacle of this 2-mile-wide torrential downpour from the Brazilian side. (B)
Day 5 - Iguassu Falls
This morning, take the Ecological Jungle Train and tour the Argentine side of Iguassu Falls with numerous walkways that wind under the crashing water. (B)
Day 6 - Iguassu Falls & Buenos Aires, Argentina
Fly to Buenos Aires, proud capital of the vast country that occupies most of the southern part of the continent. After arriving at your central hotel you will have time to become acquainted with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards and outdoor cafés. Enjoy an evening at leisure. (B)
Day 7 - Buenos Aires
A private sightseeing tour this morning starts in the colorful La Boca district, site of the city's first port. Take a short walking tour of this unique neighborhood, then on to San Telmo, famous for its late-colonial buildings and a popular gathering spot for artists. At the Plaza de Mayo, see Casa Rosada (the President's Pink House) and the Metropolitan Cathedral, which houses San Martin's Mausoleum. Drive past the ornate Colon Opera House before reaching the cemetery of the Recoleta, burial site of Eva Peron. This evening, perhaps savor the city's atmosphere on an optional dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a performance of Latin America's most sensuous dance—the Tango! (B)
Day 8 - Buenos Aires
Today is at leisure. Your Local Host will suggest an optional excursion to the Pampas. Experience Argentine country life as you visit an estancia (ranch). Get acquainted with the lifestyle of the gauchos and enjoy a barbecue lunch and the warm hospitality of your hosts before returning to the city. (B)
Day 9 - Buenos Aires & Lima, Peru
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima, where you will be met by your Local Host. (B)
Day 10 - Lima
Your included city tour focuses on Lima's rich colonial history as well as the modern city. Lima was the bastion of Spanish South America from its founding in 1535 until the independence of the South American republics in the early 19th century. See the Cathedral, where the remains of Francisco Pizarro are sealed in a wooden coffin and with its eerie burial crypts. (B)
Day 11 - Lima & Cusco
Fly to Cusco high in the Andes. Your guided tour visits the Santo Domingo Monastery, previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. It is said it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. In the Plaza de Armas, see the Cathedral before taking a short drive outside the city to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman with its intricate stone walls, amphitheatre of Kenko, and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. (B)
Day 12 - Cusco & Sacred Valley
Today, a short drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas brings you to Awankancha, where you will learn about the importance of the alpaca (llama) for Inca cultures as well as the ancient weaving techniques. Continue, to the market town of Pisac. Handmade rugs, alpaca sweaters, and jewelry can be bought here at bargain prices. At the other end of the valley is Ollantaytambo. Here, some of the finest examples of Inca masonry can be seen. (B, L)
Day 13 - Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu
Board a train bound for Machu Picchu and cut a path through the Sacred Valley to this “Lost City of the Incas,” discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. On a guided tour, explore this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. For hikers, a brisk one-hour walk leads to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas. (B, L, D)
Day 14 - Machu Picchu & Cusco
A morning at leisure in Machu Picchu allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco, where your Local Host will recommend options for your free time. Perhaps visit the Inca Museum or wander through the artisan district of San Blas. (B)
Day 15 - Cusco & Lima
Fly to Lima, where the remainder of the day is at your leisure. (B)
Day 16 - Lima
Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|Departs Daily between 9th August 2019 and 14th September 2019||$3,495||
|Departs Daily between 26th August 2019 and 8th September 2019||$3,409||
|Departs Daily between 15th September 2019 and 30th September 2019||$3,409||
|Departs Daily between 1st October 2019 and 10th November 2019||$3,439||
|Departs Daily between 15th November 2019 and 30th November 2019||$3,439||
|Departs Daily between 1st December 2019 and 18th December 2019||$3,409||
|Departs Daily between 20th December 2019 and 23rd December 2019||$3,409||
|Departs Daily between 3rd January 2020 and 18th February 2020||$3,659||
|Departs Daily between 2nd March 2020 and 31st March 2020||$3,669||
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: Departs daily between 9th August 2019 and 14th September 2019 from $3,495, daily between 26th August 2019 and 8th September 2019 from $3,409, daily between 15th September 2019 and 30th September 2019 from $3,409, daily between 1st October 2019 and 10th November 2019 from $3,439, daily between 15th November 2019 and 30th November 2019 from $3,439, daily between 1st December 2019 and 18th December 2019 from $3,409, daily between 20th December 2019 and 23rd December 2019 from $3,409, daily between 3rd January 2020 and 18th February 2020 from $3,659, daily between 2nd March 2020 and 31st March 2020 from $3,669
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NOTE: Due to the Carnival holiday, departures with overnights falling in Rio de Janeiro from February 9 to 13, 2018 are on request only and will have a supplemental cost if available.