The Best of Peru and Brazil
14 day holidays in Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu and Rio for £2450pp
What can we say about Machu Picchu that hasn't already been said? Clinging to the mountain-tops, high in the Andes, surrounded by lush forests and steep cliffs, this lost Inca city is truly one of the wonders of the world, so wouldn't it be nice to combine it with holidays to South America's other top sights?
This itinerary does just that, so you can include Machu Picchu, the fabulous Rio de Janeiro and a holiday in Iguazu Falls, all in one fantastic trip.
- Day One: Arrival in Lima
- Day Two: Travel to Cusco, the ancient Inca capital
- Day Three: City tour of Cusco
- Day Four: Free day exploring Cusco
- Day Five: Into the Sacred Valley
- Day Six: Tour of Machu Picchu
- Day Seven: Back to Cusco
- Day Eight: Fly to Iguazu Falls
- Day Nine: Iguazu Falls (Brazil Side)
- Day Ten: Iguazu Falls (Argentina Side)
- Day Eleven: Fly to Rio, Corcovado Tour
- Day Twelve: Mount Sugarloaf Tour
- Day Thirteen: Free Day in Rio
- Day Fourteen: Overnight Flight to UK
Day One – Arrival in Lima
Your holiday in South America will begin today with your arrival in Lima. We will meet you at the airport 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 – 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 Three – 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)
- This tour is usually by car, but we can arrange walking or horseback tours if you prefer
Day Four – 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. In the evening we will have a short briefing session before we start our trek tomorrow, and if we have arranged an extra porter for you, we will pick up the items they will carry at the same time. (B)
- If you'd like to fit in some adventure on your holiday, how about spending today white-water rafting or mountain-biking?
Day Five - 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 Six - 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 Seven – 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 Eight – Fly to Iguazu
After breakfast this morning we'll pick you up and take you back to the airport to catch a flight to the Brazilian town of Foz do Iguacu. We'll be there to meet you and take you to your hotel in this small town, which is the jumping-off point for holidays in Iguazu Falls. You'll arrive in the late afternoon so you have plenty of time to wander around and enjoy the laidback atmosphere of Foz. (B)
Day Nine - Iguazu Falls (Brazil side)
This morning your holiday in Iguazu Falls will begin for real, as we take you for your first visit to these incredible waterfalls. Higher than Niagara Falls, and wider than Victoria Falls, Iguazu will take your breath away with its spectacular beauty and awesome power. We will visit today from the Brazilian side, where a long walkway along the canyon top allows you to appreciate the true scale of Iguazu from above. You'll get some fantastic photos of your holidays in Iguazu Falls, as you work your way along to a viewpoint giving you a panoramic vista of the famous Devil's Throat, where 14 separate falls combine in a single 350-foot drop, sending spray over 100 feet into the air for a dramatic permanent rainbow. (B)
Day Ten - Iguazu Falls (Argentina side)
Today we will cross the border into Argentina for your second visit to Iguazu Falls, this time from the Argentinian side, where a system of walkways project right out into the middle of the waterfall system, allowing you to get close and really feel the power of the waterfalls all around you. Most people feel that this experience trumps even the amazing views of yesterday... (B)
- For an added taste of adventure on your holiday in Iguazu Falls, how about taking a white-water rafting trip on the Rio Iguazu?
- Or if wildlife is your thing, you can extend your holidays in Iguazu Falls with a trek in the Iguazu National Park...
Day Eleven – Travel to Rio and Corcovado Tour
After breakfast this morning we will take you to the airport for the short flight over to the Atlantic coast of Brazil and the fabulous city of Rio de Janeiro! We'll take you straight to your hotel in the stylish Copacabana area of the city and then this afternoon we will pick you up 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 Twelve - 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 Thirteen - 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 Fourteen - Last day of your holiday in South America
After a final free morning to make sure you haven't missed an inch of Rio, your holiday in South America will sadly come to an end today. We’ll pick you up from your hotel to make sure your trip ends perfectly by getting to the airport with plenty of time to catch the flight home. (B)
Options for our South America Holidays
Buzios Beach Break - 5 days from £520pp
If you’re looking to add a bit of a beach break on to your holiday in Iguazu Falls & 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...
Paraty Beach Break - 5 days from £545pp
Or if you'd prefer a beach break with a side order of colonial culture, then a great choice is the small colonial town of Paraty. Nestling on the Atlantic shore, this small town was originally a shipping town for Brazil’s gold mines and is graced with lovely colonial architecture but the grand houses and cobbled streets are filled with cafes and galleries these days, while the coast around is dotted with secluded coves with warm clear waters and golden sands. This place is all about relaxation, so how you spend your time here is entirely up to you – you can enjoy the delights of Paraty itself, or even catch a boat around the coast to enjoy your own slice of tropical paradise.
Amazon Rainforest – 3 days from £575pp
Get back to nature by adding on some time in Peru's Amazon jungle to this holiday in South America. 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...
Trek the Inca Trail – from £295pp
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.
Our standard price for these holidays to Iguazu Falls, Rio and Machu Picchu is £2450 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 lunch on your Sacred Valley tour, and breakfast every day.
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 special national holidays, this price is valid for the whole of 2014.
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.