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 ...

Islas Taquile and Amantani Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTH AMERICA 100

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTH AMERICA 100 when enquiring for further details.

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Day 1: Rio De Janeiro

Welcome to Brazil! Upon arrival into the international airport you will be met by our local driver and transferred to your hotel where the rest of the day will be at leisure.

Days 2-7: Rio De Janeiro

The next days are at your leisure to explore. You'll soon find there is plenty to see and do. There are trips up Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car and Corcovado, with its famous Statue of Christ, for great city views. Another interesting journey is on the old tram system across the viaduct into the cobblestone neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. A walking tour of Rio's historic buildings is also a lovely way to pass an afternoon, or you may like to visit the Botanical Gardens or one of the famous beaches, such as Copacabana, Ipanema or Leblon. Lounge on white-sand beaches, explore the forest covered mountains or marvel at the iconic Cristo Redentor.

Day 8: Rio De Janeiro - Iguazu Falls (Argentina)

This morning we drive you to the airport for the short flight to Iguazu Falls (Brazil Side) Arriving here, meet our local driver who will take you on a tour of the Brazilian side of the falls, walking along catwalks that allow you to see the torrents of water at their most impressive. When complete we take you across to your hotel on the Argentina side.

Day 9: Iguazu Falls (Argentina)

Enjoy a 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 10: Iguazu Falls (Argentina) - Buenos Aires

Today a transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. Arriving here, a driver will take you to your hotel.

Day 11: Buenos Aires

This morning enjoy a guided 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. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore.

Days 12-18: Buenos Aires

The next days are free for you to explore the city, you can do wine tasting at some of the great cellars in the city, and you can also take a day trip by ferry to Uruguay well worth it seeing as you have so much time.

Day 19: Buenos Aires - La Paz

This morning we drive you to the airport for the flight to La Paz Bolivia. Arriving here, meet with our local driver who will assist you to your hotel.

Day 20: 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 21: La Paz

Enjoy the day at leisure today, you can organize with one of the many local operators near your hotel for mountain biking trips or hiking for today or just wander the city. (Organize these trips the day before as they all start early AM today)

Day 22: La Paz - Puno

You will be transferred from your hotel in La Paz to the bus station for your bus trip to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Arriving here, our local rep waits at the bus station to take you onto your hotel.

Day 23: Puno - Islas Taquile and Amantani

After breakfast board a yacht from Puno port for a shared cruise and tour around the floating islands of Uros. Inhabited by fishermen and hunters, these beautiful islands are made from totora reeds and were built in order to escape the imposition of invading cultures. Your cruise continues to the genuine island of Amantani, renowned for the fine crafts made by inhabitants. Enjoy lunch in the community before visiting the hilltop sanctuaries of Pachatata and Pachamama. You then settle into your home stay, meeting the family who will be your host for the night.

Day 24: Islas Taquile and Amantani - Puno

After breakfast bid a fond farewell to your home stay family and continue to the neighbouring island of Taquile. The peasant community of this island has kept intact the customs and traditions of their ancestors and a visit here is like taking a step back in time. After lunch visit archaeological ruins and soak up the immensity of Lake Titicaca – the world’s highest navigable lake – from the beautiful beaches that line Taquile’s shore. Later return to Puno.

Day 25: Puno - Cuzco

Today sample more of Peru’s modes of transport with a spectacular 10 hour rail journey to historic Cuzco. Passing the gentle, rolling Andean Plains where vicuña and alpacas roam freely, the train climbs to 4335m above sea level at La Raya, offering incredible views of the towering, snow-capped Andean mountains. During the journey you will be served a three course lunch in the dining car followed by coffee served in the observation-bar car. Arriving into Cuzco you will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 26: Cuzco

Today explore the ‘navel of the world’ and discover why it’s considered the archaeological capital of South America. Your shared city tour takes in the Incan streets of Loreto and Ahuajpinta where you’ll find the remains of impressive Incan palaces, as well as old colonial buildings such as the Catedral. Later in the day, head to the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the ruins of Kenko, Tambomachay and the Tambo de Puca Pukara.

Day 27: Cuzco

Known as the Sacred Valley, the area between Cuzco and Machu Picchu is littered with traditional Andean villages and fascinating Inca ruins. Today you explore the region starting with the textile centre of Awanacancha where the art of Incan textile is kept alive. Continue to the archaeological complex of Pisac, formed of a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples and terracing. Practise your bartering skills at the local market before stopping for lunch then continue to the impressive fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. (This evening your Inca Trail takes place in Cuzco around 6 pm)

Day 28: Cuzco - Inca Trail

Today of the trek begins with a 4 am drive to the start point. After, is a relatively easy walk of 13km and will prepare you for the trail’s highest pass, Warmiwanusca, at a height of 4,200m! The name translates as ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ and we’ll reach it by lunchtime on the second day of our trek.

Day 29: Inca Trail

After the high pass today we follow the trail downhill as it winds its way along old Inca stairs and ruins.

Day 30: Inca Trail

Trekking today we visit the ruins of Runkurakay, Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca with an overnight stop at Winay-Wayna.

Day 31: Inca Trail - Cuzco

We rise early this morning for the final walk to Machu Picchu where we greet sunrise over the famous ‘Sun Gate’. Explore this fabled lost Inca city on your own or simply take in the magnificence of the place. Discover the cloud-shrouded ruins of palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation. Towards the end of the day you’ll have the chance to relieve those tired muscles with a trip to the hot springs of Aguas Calientes. You’ll also have time to meander through the markets before returning to Cuzco by train.

Days 32-33: Cuzco

Enjoy today and tomorrow at your leisure in this fantastic city, highly recommend you spend one day catching a cheap taxi or local bus to the ruins of Piquillacta, here you won't find many tourists and can spend the day wandering around this ruined Pre Inca city, another day recommend you catch taxi or local bus to Tipon and conclude that day with eating the local pork delicacy in the town of Saylla which is the start and end point for a walk from the highway to Tipon ruins. If these did not take your fancy you can book horse riding trips, mountain biking, day hikes and more with one of the many local operators near your hotel.

Day 34: Cuzco - Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Early this morning board a flight to the remote jungle settlement of Puerto Maldonado - the starting point for our journey 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.

Days 35-36: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Today and tomorrow a wide variety of excursions are on offer as part of your stay from guided walks through the jungle to twilight river cruises and canoeing. Paddle in small wooden canoes or test your vertigo on a canopy walkway. Over the next three days 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. As daylight wanes share your daily experience of life in the rainforest with your fellow guests with the captivating sounds of the jungle your soundtrack.

Day 37: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon - Arequipa

Bidding farewell to the jungle head back to Puerto Maldonado by boat for your flight to Cuzco. Arriving here, we have a place you can leave your bags for a few hours so you can go wandering around, later a transfer to the station for the overnight bus to Arequipa. Long distance buses in Peru are surprisingly comfortable with excellent onboard facilities including video entertainment, complimentary snacks and roomy seats.

Day 38: Arequipa

Early morning arriving into the attractive city of Arequipa, a driver takes you to your hotel. Later in the day tour Arequipa and marvel at the spectacular scenery. From the Carmen Alto lookout enjoy the views of the three volcanoes surrounding the city before heading to the countryside to visit Inca terraces, famous temples and colonial houses. The day concludes with a visit to the Santa Catalina Convent. Practically an entire city within Arequipa, the convent comprises numerous streets and plazas, as well as cloisters that have remained intact despite the passing of centuries.

Days 39-41: Arequipa - Colca Canyon

For the next couple of days you will join a seat on coach tour. Over this time you will exploring the surrounding area including the Colca Canyon one of the world’s deepest canyons.

Day 42: Arequipa - Lima

This morning you will be transferred from your hotel to the airport in time for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight Lima.

Day 43: Lima

Spend the day on your own exploring the city.

Day 44: Lima

Sadly your epic journey has come to an end, we will drive you to Lima Airport in time for your flight home.