South America Spotlight

Colca Canyon

Created by a vast geological fault, the Colca Canyon is thought to be the deepest canyon in the world measuring ...

El Calafate Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTH AMERICA 257

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTH AMERICA 257 when enquiring for further details.

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Day 1: Rio De Janeiro

Welcome to Rio and the start of your epic South American adventure! Upon arriving to lively Rio de Janeiro you will see our driver waiting to take you to your hotel.

Day 2: Rio De Janeiro

We enjoy a packed day tour exploring Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car and Corcovado, with its famous Statue of Christ, for great city views. In the afternoon enjoy an interesting journey on the old tram system across the viaduct into the cobblestone neighborhood of Santa Teresa where we enjoy a walking tour. The evening is at leisure to explore the beach or relax at the hotel.

Day 3: Rio De Janeiro

Enjoy the day at leisure exploring Rio in your own time.

Day 4: Rio De Janeiro - Iguazu Falls (Argentina)

Early morning catch the first flight to Iguazu Falls. Arriving here, we have arranged a scheduled full day excursion to the Argentinean side of the falls. A number of walking trails are available bringing you in front of or above the rapids. You’ll also see the dramatic Garganta del Diablo or Devil’s Throat, an awe-inspiring display of natural power.

Day 5: Iguazu Falls (Argentina) - Buenos Aires

Enjoy free time to explore the area I would highly recommended going back to the falls and this time take a walk on your own through the jungle and down to the base of the falls these paths are possible you will need to pay entry locally to get into the falls. Later a transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, where on arrival our driver is on hand to transfer you to your hotel.

Day 6: Buenos Aires

This morning join a scheduled city tour taking in the Neoclassical Metropolitan Cathedral, the unusual dusty pink Government House and the history-packed Plaza de Mayo. Head to the neighbourhood of San Telmo where street performers gather to display the sensuous dance of tango, and continue to La Boca, a colourful suburb popular with local artists. Wander the attractive streets of Palermo until you reach Recoleta and the famous cemetery of the same name. Spend the afternoon exploring in your own time.

Day 7: Buenos Aires - El Calafate

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to El Calafate, the starting point for excursions to one of Argentina’s most famous natural wonders – the Pertio Moreno glacier. On arrival, scheduled transfer to your hotel. Remainder of day free.

Day 8: El Calafate

Measuring 30km in length, the monstrous Perito Moreno glacier is a jagged mass of crevasses and towering columns of ice. It’s also unusual in the sense that it is actually growing in size and constantly moving forward. Today enjoy a full day scheduled excursion beginning at Brazo Rico where you will be able to spot floating icebergs and continuing with a nautical safari on Rico Lake for spectacular views of the ice walls.

Day 9: El Calafate

The following day is free for you to continue exploring the southern sector of Parque Nacional los Glaciares independently or enjoy some downtime at Lago Argentino.

Day 10: El Calafate - Ushuaia

This morning a scheduled transfer will take you to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and a particularly scenic one too, backed by dramatic, serrated peaks and fronted by the sea. Upon arrival a scheduled transfer will take you to your hotel.

Day 11: Ushuaia

Taking National Route 3 as part of a scheduled tour you’ll discover some of the regions most stunning natural sights including Pipo River, Ensenada Bay, Redonda Island, Roca Lake, Verde and Negra Lagoons and Castores Dam. Rich in flora and fauna, the park also offers ample variety of wildlife. Later in the afternoon board a ship in Ushuaia Bay for a scheduled cruise on the Beagle Channel. The cruise will reveal excellent views of Ushuaia as well as Olivia Mount and the Encajonado River. You’ll also see Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse and pass Pajaros Island where sun-seeking penguins and fur seals come to rest on the pebbly shores.

Day 12: Ushuaia

Enjoy a free day to explore Tierra Del Fuego National Park. Catch a taxi to the entrance from town, where several easy trails can be hiked inside the park. Look out for the brightly colored wild flowers that blanket the forest floor in season, “flag trees” that have been bent double by the incessant Patagonian winds, and red foxes.

Day 13: Ushuaia - Santiago

After breakfast today a scheduled transfer will take you to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires where you connect onto your flight destined for Santiago. Arriving here, meet our local driver who awaits to bring you to your hotel.

Day 14: Santiago

This morning join a scheduled tour of the city to discover Santiago. Walking to the Plaza de Armas gaze at the handsome colonial architecture including the grandiose Catedral Metropolitana, the Post Office and the Santiago City Hall. Continue to the Government Palace and the older neighbourhood of Plaza Concha y Toro marked by cobblestone streets and elegant 20th century mansions. In the afternoon head 35 minutes out of town to the Cousiño Macul Vineyard on a scheduled tour. Producing high quality wines in exclusive amounts, this vineyard is an excellent introduction to the wine production process and how technology is used alongside artisan traditions.

Day 15: Santiago - San Pedro de Atacama

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Calama. On arrival you will be transferred to the little oasis village of San Pedro de Atacama. After hotel check in enjoy a scheduled afternoon city tour with a visit to the outstanding Museo Arqueológico Gustavo Le Paige. Housing more than 380,000 artefacts including Neolithic tools, ceramics and gold and silver ritual masks, the museum is famed for its prehistoric mummies, notably the withered ‘Miss Chile’.

Day 16: San Pedro de Atacama

It’s an early morning departure today as you travel to the Geysers del Tatio for a picnic-style breakfast and a stroll around the geothermal fields to see the geysers and pools of boiling water and mud. Enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the hot springs before heading back to San Pedro de Atacama. En route stop at the small village of Machuca where home-made empanadas, sopaipillas, coffee and coca tea can all be sampled. Later in the afternoon head to the dramatic wind-eroded landscape of Valle de la Luna, you’ll get the opportunity to visit salt caverns and climb the sand dunes to marvel at the kaleidoscope of colours that appear over the Andes at sunset.

Day 17: San Pedro de Atacama - Uyuni / Salar De Uyuni Region

Morning collection from your hotel to head to the Bolivian border Hito Cajones. Once you arrive in Bolivia you will enjoy a very rare scenery dominated by the Licancabur volcano. The day is spent moving through some of the most incredible scenery on the planet taking in Valley of the desert Ladies, hot springs of Polque, Geysers of Sol de Mañana, Green Lagoon and Red Lagoon. We will continue the way towards Ojo de Perdiz where we will spend the night in the Tayka Desert Hotel.

Day 18: Uyuni / Salar De Uyuni Region

Today we will drive to the chain of lagoons Ramadita, Honda, Chiarkota, Hedionda and Cañapa. We will have a campestral lunch on the shore of one of the lagoons. During the afternoon we will go towards the Galaxy Cave. Then onto the Salar De Uyuni, Salar La Isla Pescado (Fish Island) great as it is visited by tourists. We will spend the night in the Tayka Salt Hotel.

Day 19: Uyuni / Salar De Uyuni Region

We will continue our expedition in 4X4 to Chantani where we will visit the pitchers museum. We will enjoy the impressive landscape. Then we will go back to the Salar at its center to the Incahuasi Island which is sited at the center of the Salar. This place is one of the biggest attractions for tourists. At the top of the Island we will find an extraordinary place with a 360 degrees overview on the Salar. Then we will continue to the Salt Pyramides near the village of Colchani. This will be our last stop on the Salar to make photos of the sunset. Half an hour later we will arrive to Uyuni.

Day 20: Uyuni / Salar De Uyuni Region - La Paz

This morning we head off to the airport for your flight to La Paz. Arriving here, a transfer brings you down into the city of La Paz.

Day 21: La Paz

Enjoy a full day tour of this scenic city - visit world-class museums like the Gold, Murillo and Costumbrista, explore traditional street markets and head up to the Mirador de Killy Killy for fantastic views over the city. Later on marvel at the geological formations of the Vally of the moon, 10km outside of town.

Day 22: La Paz - Cuzco

This morning we return to the airport and take a flight to Cuzco (Via Lima)

Day 23: Cuzco

Enjoy a group tour of what is considered the archaeological capital of South America, Cuzco is home to some of the finest examples of Inca history and architecture, which you will discover touring the sights of the Plaza de Armas, the Catedral and the Koricancha complex – a supreme example of Inca stonework. Head out further afield to tour the Kenko Amphitheatre, the fortified hunting lodge of Puca Pucara, the stunning imperial baths of Tambo Machay and the megalithic fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

Day 24: Cuzco - Aguas Calientes

(Private tour) This morning we drive to the archaeological complex of Pisac, formed of a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples and terracing. Enjoy a spot of shopping and practise your bartering skills at the local market before stopping for lunch. The day of touring concludes with a visit to the impressive fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo, then scenic train to Aguas Calientes where we spend the night.

Day 25: Aguas Calientes - Cuzco

No place in Peru quite captures the imagination like the legendary ‘Lost City’ of Machu Picchu. Nestled in a saddle between two forested mountains and surrounded on three sides by the Urubamba River, its location couldn’t be more awe-inspiring. The city itself is brilliantly preserved, a classical Inca-style complex of polished dry-stone walls and temples. This morning embark on a scheduled excursion to explore the citadel and the wonderful Temple of the Sun and magical Temple of the Moon on a three hour guided excursion. Other highlights include the fascinating Sacred Plaza and the elaborately carved Intihuatana rock. Lunch is provided at a local hotel before you return by train to Cusco.

Day 26: Cuzco

Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the fantastic city of Cuzco.

Day 27: Cuzco - Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Early this morning board a flight to the remote jungle settlement of Puerto Maldonado - the starting point for a scheduled excursion into the Amazon Jungle. A boat ride along the Madre de Dios River brings you to your jungle lodge where you will spend the next three nights in a beautiful cabaña. Enjoy the first of your included Amazon Excursions to discover the incredible rain forest.

Days 28-29: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

A wide variety of excursions are on offer from guided walks through the jungle to twilight river cruises. Sail in small wooden canoes or test your vertigo on a canopy walkway. Over today and tomorrow you will learn much about the Amazonian wildlife and its most colourful characters with excursions available to the Tambopata National Reserve, Gamitana Creek and the Inkaterra Ecological Reserve.

Day 30: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon - Lima

After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Lima. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you please – head out into town and discover Lima’s excellent dining options or hit the markets for some last minute souvenir shopping.

Day 31: Lima

Sadly your journey has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.