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South America Explorer

Overview

In Peru see a whole host of authentic cities and ancient sites and complete the challenging but highly rewarding Inca Trail up to the iconic Machu Picchu!

A flight over to Argentina lands you in the atmospheric and bustling city of Buenos Aires. Home to Tango, wine and a great atmosphere this electric city is one of the best cities to visit in the world! Immerse yourself in authentic neighbourhoods, tango dancing and some spectacular sightseeing.

Head to the border with Brazil to see the breath-taking Iguazu falls for an exhilarating ride in the water! (we said this tour had it all!)

Your final destination is Rio de Janeiro. Explore one of the most diverse and colourful cities in the world by taking a tour up to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain, reach the foot of Christ the Redeemer, hike through the jungle and much more!

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival - Cusco
Arrive in Cusco. Transfer with your guide to your hotel. You then have the day at leisure in Cusco for altitude adaptation.

Day 2: Cusco
After breakfast in the hotel, you have a free morning to relax. This afternoon embark on a tour of the city and nearby. Start by visiting one of the most impressive Inca sites: The fortress of Sacsayhuaman, from here you can enjoy a lovely view of Cusco. Continue with a visit to the historical centre, strolling through the elegant Plaza de Armas, surrounded by colonial buildings dominated by the majestic Cathedral. Visit to the Temple of Koricancha, an important site of worship of the Inca Empire. Your afternoon is at leisure to walk through the tiny streets of San Blas district.

Day 3: Cusco - Inca Trail Day 1: Piskacucho – Wayllambamba
Breakfast at the hotel, then you will be picked up in a comfortable private bus to the locality of Piskacucho, located 82km from the Cusco – Machu Picchu railway. The Inca based bridge is the check in point to enter the Inca Trail and the place where this exciting adventure in the Andes starts! You will start the walk towards the archaeological site of Llactapata, the largest ruins at the Inca trail, this walk is going to be gentle and a good warm up for the second part of the day. At Hatunchaca, enjoy a delicious lunch. After a brief rest restart the walk. Approximately 2 hours later you will arrive at the Andean community of Wayllabamba. This will be your first camp.

Day 4: Inca Trail Day 2: Wayllabamba – Warmiwañusca – Paqaymayu
Breakfast in camp. In the early morning, start the walk towards the highest point of the Inca trail, on this path you will have the opportunity to observe the different climates and micro-climates passing through the rain woodlands of Yuncachimpa and the grassy mountain of Warmiwañusca. After a slow ascent you will arrive at 4200msnm, which is the highest pass on this hike. Here you will have the opportunity to appreciate the greatness of the Andes. After a brief rest, restart the descent which will lead you to a place where a warm lunch will be waiting! Following lunch, resume the trek towards Paqaymayu, known as the river of the dawn, arriving at the camp for the night including dinner.

Day 5: Inca Trail Day 3: Paqaymayu - Chaquicocha – Wiñaywayna
Breakfast in camp. After breakfast, start the journey towards the archaeological site of Runkurakay, where you will have the opportunity to explore the area. You then retake the path and pass two high Andean lagoons arriving at the second highest pass at 3850msnm (12631 Ft.). This pass has the same name as the archaeological site previously visited. Decend to Sayacmarca or ‘Dominant Town’, where it is possible to enjoy an impressive view of the valley of the Aobamba. There the path ascends towards the clouded forest until Phuyupatamarca. This archaeological group possesses a beautiful ritual fountain, leafy vegetation and a spectacular panoramic view of the valley and river Urubamba. After a brief rest, start descending across the clouded forest via a series of long steps that takes you towards Wiñaywayna. Arrive at camp for free time to visit and to explore the surroundings!

Day 6: Inca Trail Day 4: Wiñaywayna - Machupicchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco
Breakfast in camp followed by an early morning trek of approximately two hours, up to Inti Punku's sector to admire the sunrise on the majestic city of Machu Picchu. From there, restart the descent to the city to reach the check-out point where there will be break of approximately 2 ½ hours. After the tour finishes there is free time to explore and discover by yourselves the mysteries of this enigmatic city. Later you will travel by bus to the settlement of Aguas Calientes and transfer by foot to the hotel located in the town. In the afternoon, bus transfer to Aguas Calientes town and take a train trip to Ollantaytambo station where a driver will be waiting for your transfer to Cusco.

Day 7: Cusco
Free day in Cusco to relax, recover from the trail and explore the city in your own time!

Day 8: Cusco – Andahuaylillas – Raqchi – La Raya – Pucara – Puno
This morning transfer to the bus station and depart to the city of Puno (8 hours approximately). You will stop along the way at Andahuaylillas, a small colonial town with a superb church, known as “the Sistine Chapel of the Andes”. Stop to visit the complex of Raqchi, the temple of Viracocha, which is built from mud and brick walls as high as 5 meters, and built on foundations of volcanic rock. Continue to La Raya, the highest point of the trip at 4,319 m above sea level. Stop in Pucara town, famous for its ceramics. Continue to Puno located on the shores of the huge Titicaca Lake, situated at 3,800 m above sea level. Late afternoon arrival followed by a meeting with your guide in the station and transfer to the hotel.

Day 9: Puno - Lake Titicaca Excursion
This morning, transfer to the port in Puno and depart on the speedboat "Titicaca Express"! Arrive at a secluded section of Taquile Island. Explore the less touristy and scenic area of Taquile Island (exclusive) and enjoy the pristine sandy beach. You have time to relax together and feel the serenity of Titicaca. Hike through a pre-Inca trail with spectacular landscapes of the island, visiting families of weavers to learn about their textile art & symbolism that has been declared by UNESCO as world heritage. After approximately 3 hours, leave the island. Arrive at the community of Santa Maria – Llachon, on the tip of the Capachica Peninsula, a very scenic off the beaten track destination. Welcomed by a small community, observe their traditions and participate in an ancient ceremony to learn about their magical world. Experience the preparation of "Pachamanca" a traditional way of cooking meat, fish and potatoes using underground ovens. For the more adventurous, there is optional kayaking along the coast of Llachon. Navigate to a remote area of the National Reserve of Lake Titicaca, and explore UROS Ccapi. These are considered as the last authentic floating islands, less commercial and rarely visited. The Uros are descendants of one of the oldest cultures in South America. Optional tours in reed boats are also available here. Depart back to Punfor. Arrival in Puno and transfer to hotel.

Day 10: Puno – Juliaca – Lima - Buenos Aires
After breakfast, transfer to Juliaca airport for your flight to Lima. Meet with your guide for a sightseeing tour of Lima. The tour includes downtown: the Cathedral of Lima where the tomb of Francisco Pizarro is exposed, San Francisco Convent & Catacombs one of the largest in the city, and Panoramic tour of modern Lima. Drop off at Larco Mar Shopping center in Miraflores district for free time. It is a nice place with bars, restaurants, shops and open space facing the Pacific Ocean. This evening, transfer back to the airport in Lima for your International flight to Buenos Aires. On arrival in Buenos Aries in the early hours of the morning. You will be transferred from the airport, with a guide, immediately to your hotel to relax/sleep!

Day 11: Buenos Aires
You have the whole day to relax and enjoy the exciting capital in your own time! During the evening enjoy a spectacular professional Tango Show in the birthplace of this romantic dance with dinner included.

Day 12: Buenos Aires
This half-day sightseeing tour is designed to show you the very best of Buenos Aires! This combined coach and walking tour encompasses the best sights the City of Tango has to offer. Start with the city’s symbolic Obelisk, erected in 1936 to commemorate Buenos Aires 400th anniversary. See colonial Spanish squares, such as Plaza de Mayo, Plaza San Martín, and Plaza del Congreso, home to the large-domed Palacio del Congreso. Travel down impressive Avenida Corrientes, leafy Avenida de Mayo, and the vast Avenida 9 de Julio. Explore commercial areas of Buenos Aires and discover Argentina’s favourite past-time at numerous soccer stadiums throughout the city.You will go to colourful neighborhoods to give you a more local feel for the city. See the brightly-painted houses of La Boca, first settled by Italian immigrants, explore the home of tango in bohemian San Telmo, and see the city’s first barrio at Montserrat. Discover a more sophisticated side to Buenos Aires in the upscale areas of Palermo and Recoleta, and get a feel for urban nature at leafy Lezama Park and landscaped Tres de Febrero Park. During this tour you will also be taken for lunch in the modern port area of Puerto Madero.

Day 13: Buenos Aires - Iguazu
Private transfer with a guide from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Iguazu (Argentinian side). On arrival, you will have a private transfer to your hotel. You have the rest of the day and night free to explore Puerto Iguazu.

Day 14: Iguazu
Full day tour of Iguazu waterfalls (Argentinean side) and enjoy the ‘Great Adventure’ tour where you will drive through the jungle and enjoy a speedboat trip on the river! Get up and personal with these magnificent waterfalls. Take a change of clothes as you will get wet!

Day 15: Iguazu - Rio de Janeiro
Today, you will have the experience of seeing the waterfalls from the Brazil side! This is a half day tour. In the afternoon, private transfer to the airport for your flight to Rio. Upon arrival in Rio, there will be a private transfer straight to your hotel.

Day 16: Rio de Janeiro
This tour contributes to the local reforestation project held by Babilônia community and the social aspects of visiting a ‘favela’ in Rio with nature and stunning landscapes. Hike through Babilônia - a pacified ‘favela’ close to Copacabana. During the tour you will see the everyday life of a ‘favela’ community and understand this other side of Rio. After that, the trail takes you to the top of the hill where you can see beautiful landscapes and unique sightseeing of Sugar Loaf Mountain, Corcovado (home to the Christ The Redeemer statue) and Copacabana Beach. The Atlantic Rainforest, where the trail is located, is the habitat of animals such as marmosets and the beautiful black-billed toucan that may appear to greet the visitors!

Day 17: Rio de Janeiro
Following hotel pick up in an open-air Hummer style jeep, guests will be taken to the stunning Tijuca Atlantic Forest, the largest urban forest in the world, with stops at the Chinese Vista with magnificent views of Ipanema and Copacabana beaches, Guanabara Bay and Niterói. After visiting the National Park, the tour continues up to the Corcovado Mountain, located at the Tijuca’s Forest, where the Christ Redeemer Statue is located. You can continue on to the top by panoramic elevators or escalators that arrive at the foot of the statue. Here, enjoy a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro, discovering why it is called the "Marvelous City”! From Corcovado, you can see the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and the Botanical Gardens. After lunch, the tour continues up to the Sugar Loaf Mountain. The first cable-car takes you to the top of Urca Hill. From Urca Hill, continue in a second cable car to the top of Sugar Loaf which rises 395 meters above sea level and offers a 360 degree view of the entire city and surrounding areas. The tour finishes with a visit to the Botanical Garden, which contains more than 6,000 different species of tropical and subtropical plants and trees.

Day 18: Rio de Janeiro
Morning in Guanabara Bay: Based on water volume, Guanabara Bay is the largest bay in the world, and holds several islands such as the Governor's Island, Whirlpool and Snake Island. To the west, lies Rio de Janeiro, and to the east the municipal district of Niteroi. Here you have the opportunity to see various landmarks such as the neighborhoods of Botafogo, Flamengo, and Urca, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Fort São Joao, Flagstone Island, Santa Cruz Fortress, Rio-Niteroi Bridge and more.

Day 19: Departure
Private transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Map

Essentials

Included:
  • Accommodation
  • Daily breakfast
  • Ground transport
  • Excursions/Activities mentioned in the itinerary (unless otherwise stated)
  • Bilingual guides
  • National Park, Natural reserves or museum entrance fees (Unless otherwise stated)
  • Not Included:
  • International flights
  • Internal flights (if applicable)
  • Airport taxes (if applicable)
  • Meals & drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips & personal expenses
  • Essentials

    Are you wondering about flights, deposits and other bits and pieces? Here are a few items of essential information that could help with the planning of your trip with Tango Tours. If you have any questions please just contact us.

    International Flights
    Getting to Latin America is straightforward from most areas of the world, but you may find that the choice is bewildering, or you’re not sure about the easiest route. Tango Tours are experienced in planning flights to Latin America as well as planning flights between Latin American countries, we are very happy to advise you on the different choices available. Because prices tend to increase closer to your departure date, we advise that you buy your international flight tickets as soon as you have made a decision about your tour. As an ATOL bonded tour operator, we can assist in your purchase of international flights. In fact, your entire tour can be protected under our ATOL licence by booking your international flight with us. Please note that flight tickets are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Internal Flights
    As with international flights, Tango Tours' friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to book your internal flights for you if required. For some itineraries, you need to arrive at a particular destination at a required time/date therefore, it is vital that you book the correct flights and times of arrival. Our ATOL licence will protect your whole tour if your internal flights are purchased through us. Please note that flights are non-refundable and 100% of your flight ticket price is payable on tour confirmation.

    Payments
    To confirm your booking with Tango Tours, we require a payment of 20% of the ground-based arrangements and 100% of all flights. The remaining balance of your tour is then payable 10 weeks prior to departure. For any bookings made within these 10 weeks, the full amount is payable.

    Accommodation
    Let us know what standard of accommodation you require for your tour - we offer a range of standards to suit your requirements. These are subject to availability.

    Activities
    We provide brief activity/excursion information in the itinerary. If you would like more in-depth details regarding any included activity/excursion then contact us! Please note: itineraries may be subject to change.