Holiday in South America

The Grand Tour

The Complete South America Holiday

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Crossing the Continent...

23 days on holiday in South America for £4150pp

If time isn't a big issue then you will be able to really get to grips with the whole of the continent, and this 25-day holiday in South America gives you the chance to do just that, visiting Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil as you cross the continent from the Pacific coast of Peru to the shores of the Atlantic in Rio de Janeiro...

Outline Itinerary

  • Day One: Arrival in Lima
  • Day Two: Free Day in Lima
  • Day Three: Travel to Cusco, the ancient Inca capital
  • Day Four: City tour of Cusco
  • Day Five: Free day exploring Cusco
  • Day Six: Into the Sacred Valley
  • Day Seven: Tour of Machu Picchu
  • Day Eight: Back to Cusco
  • Day Nine: Travel to Puno
  • Day Ten: Across Lake Titicaca to La Paz
  • Day Eleven: Tour of La Paz
  • Day Twelve: Free Day in La Paz
  • Day Thirteen: Tour of the Salar de Uyuni
  • Day Fourteen: Fly to Buenos Aires
  • Day Fifteen: Tour of Buenos Aires
  • Day Sixteen: Free Day in Buenos Aires
  • Day Seventeen: Travel to Iguazu
  • Day Eighteen: Iguazu Falls (Argentina Side)
  • Day Nineteen: Iguazu Falls (Brazil Side) and on to Rio
  • Day Twenty: Tour of Corcovado & Tijuca Forest
  • Day Twenty-One: Mount Sugarloaf Tour
  • Day Twenty-Two: Free Day in Rio
  • Day Twenty-Three: Overnight Flight to the UK

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Detailed Itinerary

Day One – Arrival in Lima

Your holiday in South America will begin today with your arrival in Peru. We will meet you at the airport in Lima and drive you to your hotel in the stylish Miraflores area of the city for you to check in. Depending on your arrival time, you may just want to rest, but if you’re feeling up to it then we’d highly recommend taking a walk around the lovely Parque Kennedy and perhaps to one of our recommended restaurants to sample some of Lima’s world-famous cuisine.

Day Two - Free Day in Lima

We have given you the rest of today free for you to explore the city but if you would like us to organise something (perhaps a tour of Lima, or a visit to the pre-Inca ruins at Pachacamac) then of course we'd be very happy to help. The colonial centre of Old Lima is only a short taxi-ride away from your hotel, as are the beaches and cliffs of the Pacific coast.

options...
  • If you would prefer us to arrange a city tour of Lima for you, then just ask us for more information. There are a range of tours from walking or cycling around the colonial city, to gastronomic tours and cooking classes!

Day Three – Travel to Cusco: the Ancient Inca Capital

This morning we will take you back to the airport for a short flight up to Cusco, which was formerly the capital of the Incas. We take you to your hotel and then we have left the rest of the afternoon free for you to explore. Your hotel is centrally-located so although you will still be getting used to the altitude, you are perfectly placed to wander around this unique city, where Spanish colonial buildings stand right next to ancient Inca structures. In the evening it's worth trying out one of the restaurants around the buzzing Plaza de Armas as Cusco has some of the best food and nightlife in South America. (Breakfast included)

Day Four – Tour of Cusco

You will have a free morning, and then this afternoon we will pick you up for a tour of the main historical sites in and around Cusco. In the city itself we will visit the impressive Cathedral and the Inca Temple of the Sun, known as the Korikancha. We will then head out into the hills around the city to visit the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the temple complex at Kenko, the way station of Puka-Pukara and the Inca baths complex at Tambomachay. (B)

options...
  • This tour is usually by car, but we can arrange walking or horseback tours if you prefer

Day Five – Free time in Cusco

We usually like to give people some time to explore on their own, so today is up to you. You could visit the bustling local market, walk up to the bohemian San Blas district with its galleries and jewellers, or perhaps just sit back with a cup of coca tea and get those postcards written... Of course, if you’d prefer something more active then we’d be delighted to make some suggestions. (B)

options...
  • If you'd like to fit in some adventure on your holiday, how about spending today white-water rafting or mountain-biking?

Day Six - Tour of the Sacred Valley

Today will be spent away from the city as you journey into the Andes for a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba. As you wind your way along one of the beautiful valleys in the world, you will be able to visit the village of Pisac (including its famous market and temple) and the temple-fortress of Ollantaytambo. You really begin to feel the spirit of the Incas as you visit these extraordinary locations. But in many ways this is just preparation for... (B/L)

Day Seven - Tour of Machu Picchu

In many ways today is the climax to your Peru holiday. You will set off early in the morning to take the scenic train along the valley of the Urubamba to Machu Picchu, giving you the full afternoon at this breathtaking lost Inca city. Gazing down on this semi-mythical city, high up in the cloud forest is an unforgettable experience that will stay with you forever. You will stay overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes, at the foot of the mountain, so you can relax in the town's famous hot springs. (B)

Day Eight – Return to Cusco

You will have a free morning in Aguas Calientes today, so you can relax and enjoy the hot springs that give the town its name. Alternatively, if you purchase an extra ticket, you can head back up to Machu Picchu to experience sunrise from the sun-gate, or climb up to the Inca watch-tower on neighbouring Huayna Picchu for a new perspective on the site. However you choose to spend today, you will return by train to Cusco in the evening. (B)

Day Nine – Travel to Puno

After a well-deserved night’s rest, you will be taken to the bus station for a stunning coach journey to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. As well as the fantastic scenery, you will stop at the Inca temple of Wiracocha and the lithic museum at Pucara and La Raya, where your onboard guide will be on hand to answer any questions and suggest fantastic photo opportunities. You’ll also stop for a buffet lunch at Sicuani (which is included) before you arrive in Puno in the early evening. Although Puno is somewhat higher than Cusco, you should be pretty well-acclimatised by now so you can enjoy a wander around Puno, with the smell of grilled trout always floating through the Andean air! (B/L)

options...
  • This journey can also be made on the first-class Andean Explorer train or a short internal flight

Day Ten - Crossing Lake Titicaca

We will journey overland this morning to Copacabana, where we will then board the Hydrofoil and head out onto Lake Titicaca. The first stop will be Moon Island, to visit the Sun Virgins Temple, ‘Iñak Uyu’, before continuing on to Sun Island. Here we will visit the Inca “Grand Stairs” and the Sacred Fountain, where you can taste the water believed to give eternal youth and happiness. After lunch, and a short walk round the small handicraft market, we will head back to Copacabana and continue overland to Huatajata. On arrival, we will visit the Andean Roots Eco Village to learn about the culture and history of the region, where you can see some great replicas of the traditional mud huts which surround the area, as well as meeting some vicuñas, llamas and alpacas. Your will be dropped off this evening at your hotel in La Paz. (B/L)

options...
  • If you would like to spend a night staying overnight on the beautiful Isla del Sol in the middle of Lake Titicaca then just let us know! There’s no better way to experience the peace and tranquility of the Lake, or to experience the richness of the colours at sunset, and the purity of the night skies here...

Day Eleven – Tour of La Paz and Moon Valley

La Paz is famous as a city of contrasts, from the modern skyscrapers of the centre, through to the faded grandeur of the colonial churches and public buildings. Today’s half-day tour will allow you to see the highlights of the city such as the famous Witches Market and the best of the colonial architecture, before heading out of the city to the famous Moon Valley, where centuries of erosion have created some truly other-worldly landscapes that have to be seen to be believed. (B/L)

Day Twelve - Free Day in La Paz

You will have the whole of today to explore La Paz. It is like nowhere else in South America and filled with grand, if crumbling colonial architecture, which together with its Witches’ Market and Coca Museum, make it one of the most enjoyable cities to visit on the continent. (B)

Day Thirteen - Salar de Uyuni

This morning we will take you back to the airport in La Paz for a flight south to the tiny town of Uyuni, right on the edge of the incredible Uyuni Salt Lake. On arrival we will take you straight out for a full day tour of the Salar. You will visit the bizarre Isla Pescado, a cactus-covered island in the middle of a salt sea, and enjoy lunch right in the middle of the Salar, with the bright white salt flats extending as far as the eye can see, ringed by snow-capped volcanoes. It really is like nowhere else on earth and is a fantastic experience. After a full day on the Salar, we will head back to the Salt Hotel for an overnight stay here in Uyuni. (B/L)

Day Fourteen – On to Buenos Aires

After breakfast this morning we will pick you up from your hotel for your flight back to La Paz, where you will arrive just before 11am, in time to catch a connecting flight on to your next capital: the fantastic city of Buenos Aires in Argentina. On arrival we’ll meet you and take you to your hotel in the centre of town. You’ll be having a full city tour tomorrow, but you’re just a few blocks from all the main sites, as well as from restaurants and cafes, so you’re perfectly placed to head out and start soaking up the unique atmosphere of Buenos Aires. (B)

Day Fifteen - City Tour of Buenos Aires

After a free morning to relax after your journey, we will take you for a tour of the major sights in the city. We will visit the historic centre, including the famous Plaza de Mayo where the demonstrations by mothers of the ‘disappeared’ against the military government took place, as well as the Casa Rosada from whose balcony Evita addressed the crowds below. We will also visit the beautiful Cathedral before heading to the tango districts of San Telmo and La Boca, also home to the famous Boca Juniors football team. We will also visit the exclusive Palermo and Recoleta areas, with their leafy avenues and grand houses, superb restaurants and boutique shopping before ending up in the riverside district of Puerto Madero to enjoy some superb Argentinean cuisine with views over the river. (Breakfast included)

Day Sixteen – Free Day in Buenos Aires

We have left you with a full free day in Buenos Aires, so you’re not rushing around too much. There’s so much to see and do here that those who like to stay busy can explore the historical and cultural sights while others can sit back with a glass of wine or perhaps some excellent Argentinian ice-cream and relax in one of Buenos Aires' fabulous cafes... (B)

options...
  • We highly recommend dinner and a tango show whilst you’re in Buenos Aires, which we can arrange for you. Even if it’s not the kind of thing you’d usually enjoy: trust us, it’s one of the real highlights of any Argentina holiday!
  • And during the day, why not fit in a boat trip to beautiful Colonia, across the Rio Plata in Uruguay?

Day Seventeen – Fly to Iguazu

This morning we'll pick you up and take you back to the airport to catch a flight to Puerto Iguazu, on the border with Brazil. We'll be there to meet you and take you to your hotel in this small town, which is the jumping-off point for visits to the amazing Iguazu Falls. You'll arrive in the late afternoon so you have plenty of time to wander around and enjoy the laidback atmosphere of this sub-tropical town. (B)

Day Eighteen - Iguazu Falls (Argentina side)

We will enjoy your first visit to Iguazu Falls today, from the Argentinian side, where a system of walkways projects right out into the middle of the waterfall system, giving you the chance to get close to these natural monsters and really feel the pounding of the waterfalls all around you, including a chance to get right up to the base of the enormous section known as the Devil’s Throat. The sheer scale and force of the water is enough to literally take your breath away... (B)

options...
  • For an added taste of adventure, how about taking a white-water rafting trip on the Rio Iguazu?
  • Or if wildlife is your thing, why not arrange a short trek in the Iguazu National Park?

Day Nineteen - Iguazu Falls (Brazil side)

After breakfast this morning we will take you to re-visit Iguazu Falls, but this time from the Brazilian side of the falls. Here a long walkway along the canyon top allows you to appreciate the scale of Iguazu as you work your way along to a point giving you a panoramic view of the Devil's Throat, where 14 separate falls combine in a drop of 350 feet, sending spray over 100 feet into the air for a permanent rainbow. The Brazilian side of the falls guarantees you some amazing photos and really allows you to appreciate the breathtaking beauty of Iguazu Falls.

After a second morning at the Falls we will take you on to the airport here on the Brazilian side of the border to catch a flight across to the Atlantic coast and the fabulous city of Rio de Janeiro. You will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel in the stylish Copacabana area of the city in time to take a walk along the waterfront and perhaps to take in an evening meal on your first night here in Rio. Of course, since this is your first night on holiday in Brazil, then if you're feeling up to it then Copacabana is a great place for a night out... (B)

Day Twenty – Corcovado & Tijuca Forest Tour

You'll have some free time this morning to recover from your journey, and then this afternoon we will pick you up from your hotel and drive through Rio to the base of Mt. Corcovado. Here we will board a funicular railway which carries us up through the dense Tijuca Atlantic Rainforest to the top of the mountain and the base of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that has become one of the most famous symbols of Rio, and indeed Brazil. The views over the city from the top are absolutely amazing and it's the perfect way to get your bearings and pick out where to visit next! (B)

Day Twenty-One - Sugarloaf Mountain Tour

You’ll have a free morning to explore Copacabana, and then after lunch we’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you for a tour through downtown Rio. You will pass the famous Sambadrome, which is the heart of Rio’s annual Carnaval celebrations, and the Metropolitan Cathedral, which stands like an immense 80-metre-high pyramid. We will also enjoy some of the republican and old colonial buildings such as the Municipal Theater, the National Library and the National Museum of Fine Arts. We will finish this section of the tour in the neighbourhood of Urca, at the foot of the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, where we will board a cable-car heading first to Urca Hill. Here, at a vantage point of 215 meters, we’ll have beautiful views of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói Bridge, and Corcovado Mountain. A second cable car takes us the all the way to the top of Sugarloaf, from where you can enjoy the amazing view of Rio spread before you, with its hills, beaches, favelas and bays. (B)

Day Twenty-Two - Free day in Rio

A holiday isn't a holiday if you don't have a chance to relax so today is all yours - you could head to some of Rio's other neighbourhoods, such as Ipanema or the bohemian Leblon area. You could take a trip to the Maracana or head up into the hills to the arty Santa Teresa area, or even just relax in Copacabana and go for a stroll along the beach... (B)

Day Twenty-Three - Last day of your holiday in South America

You will have some free time this morning to make sure you haven't missed an inch of Rio, and then sadly your holiday in South America will be coming to an end, as we pick you up from your hotel to make sure your holiday ends perfectly by getting to the airport in plenty of time to catch the flight back home. (B)

Options for this South America Holiday

Trek the Inca Trail

Trek the Inca Trail – from £350pp

Going to Machu Picchu by train is an unforgettable thing to do, but if you would rather take the more authentic route you can trek in the Inca’s footsteps along the world famous Inca Trail. It takes three days to walk the trail and you arrive at the Sun Gate on your fourth day to witness the sun rising over this truly wondrous view of the ancient lost city.

Amazon rainforest

Amazon Rainforest – 3 days from £595pp

Get back to nature by adding on some time in the Amazon jungle. Just a short flight away from Cusco or Lima are a range of fantastic jungle lodges where you can immerse yourself in the full rainforest experience (in comfort!) with our experienced local guides, who’ll make sure you get the most out of the incredible wildlife to be found in deepest, darkest Peru...

Salar de Uyuni Glamping

Uyuni Glamping Upgrade - from £450pp

Any visit to the holiday including the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats is going to be incredible, but if you’d like to do it in truly fabulous style, then why not ask about our amazing Uyuni ‘Glamping’ option? Instead of staying in a hotel in Uyuni town, or even in one of the Salt Hotels, you can spend the night right on the edge of Salar in our deluxe safari-style tents. Fully-heated, with showers, an electric blanket on a 'proper' bed and even the attentions of a gourmet chef, it's a brilliant and different way to experience Uyuni.

Airstream Camper on the Salar de Uyuni

Uyuni Airstream Camper Upgrade - from £1300pp

Or for the ultimate in style and comfort on your Uyuni holiday, we can arrange for you to stay right in the middle of the Salar itself in a luxury Airstream Camper. We will take you out there in a 4x4 and then you will have the whole of the Salar to yourselves until we pick you up again in the morning. If you'd like to experience the Salar in all its splendour but without any distractions or other people around this is a simply amazing experience.

Buzios Beaches

Buzios Beach Break - 5 days from £550pp

If you're looking to add a bit of a beach break from Rio, look no further than the Buzios Peninsula. Just under two hours by car from Rio, the small town of Buzios is home to cobbled streets, lovely cafes and fantastic seafood restaurants, and it's all surrounded by miles of secluded sandy beaches with stunning warm, clear water. This is the ideal place to kick back, take a deep breath... and relax...

Visit to Colonia

Day Trip to Colonia – from £185pp

Just across the wide River Plate from Buenos Aires, the beautiful Uruguayan town of Colonia del Sacramento is one of South America’s real gems: the cobbled streets and colonial houses are like stepping back in time and a day spent here is the perfect contrast with the hustle, bustle and sophistication of Buenos Aires. This full-day trip takes you by fast boat across the Rio Plata to Colonia, where you’ll have a guided tour and then plenty of free time to wander and explore at your own pace before we pick you up and take you back across the river to Argentina.

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What's Included?

Our standard price for this holiday in South America is £4150 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.

That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees. It also includes breakfast every day and all other indicated meals.

We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2017.

International flights

So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.

We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.

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