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The treasures of South America tour will take you to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Peru. Come join us and experience this fascinating continent!
The highlights on this tour are: Buenos Aires; Iguassu Falls; Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach; Peru's Sacred Valley of the Incas; Machu Picchu; Cuzco and Lake Titicaca.
Hotels quoted are tourist, superior and first class categories (similar to 3*, 4* and 5* categories). The hotels we use are clean, safe, with private facilities and are centrally located.
Santiago is Chile’s elegant capital beautifully situated at the foot of the majestic Andes Mountains Range. The majestic Andean Mountain Range can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Santiago is one of the few capital cities in the world which has easy access both to ski slopes and beaches. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Santiago - Tuesday
A morning tour of charming Santiago, the tour will include the main attraction spots of this lovely city, such as the Santa Lucía hill, the Civic District and Historical Santiago; the Club Hipico (one of the most beautiful horse racetrack in Latin America) and the Presidential Palace, also known as La Moneda and the National Museum. The latter visit will enable us to relate to a not so distant past of a conservative society and its most relevant historical events and turning points. Later on we will visit Santiago uptown financial district.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco via Lima.
On arrival at Cuzco airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Spend the remainder of the day relaxing and adjusting to the altitude.
Cuzco is a city combining several different cultures and many kinds of architecture. Spend the afternoon at leisure, exploring its winding cobbled streets that transport visitors through its rich and beautiful past.
Morning at Leisure. In the afternoon enjoy a city tour which includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas; and the Koricancha Temple. Just outside Cusco, visit the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testimonial to the Incan architectural skills. Compiled of massive stones (one weighs 125 tons!) you are challenged to try to slip a piece of paper between the cracks of these blocks, cut and fitted together with incredible precision without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. This ancient fortress where the greatest battle between the Spanish and Incas took place overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco and the spectacular lush countryside. Also visit Qenqo (“The Labyrinth”), an Incan shrine dedicated to the Earth Mother; the small fortress of Puka Pukara; and Tambomachay, a sacred bathing place.
Visit Ollantaytambo, the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the Americas. With its narrow streets, complete with canals unchanged since Inca times, displays its ancient heritage. Visit the colourful Indian market in Pisac to see a blend of colour, tradition and people. After lunch enjoy a scenic drive along the Urubamba Valley, “the Sacred Valley of the Incas”, to visit the Inca ruins that lie above the town of Pisac 31 km. overlooking the Vilcanota river. Fortresses, urban complexes, temples and well preserved Andean terraces built by the Incas all make up an imposing and unforgettable sight. Spend the night at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Today is set aside for an experience you will never forget, as you transfer to the station and travel by train (Vistadome) through lush valleys and terraced hillsides, following the course of the tumbling Urubamba River to the hidden “Lost City of the Incas” – spectacular MACHU PICCHU. Reputed to be the Incas’ last refuge from the Spanish, Machu Picchu remained undiscovered until 1911. Your guide will explain the intricate layout of the city, as you marvel at the remains of the watchtower, magnificent palaces, temples, tombs, and rock-hewn steps. This afternoon is yours to explore the ruins at your own pace, and perhaps walk up to the Sun Gate (Intipunko) for a panoramic view of this mysterious lost city. Lunch included. The rest of the day is yours to explore more of the ruins or the quaint town of Aguas Calientes, at the base of the mountain. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
It is said that Machu Picchu is a place of great spirituality, and the ultimate spiritual moment of the day happens at sunrise. This morning therefore there is an option to rise early and view the world’s most spectacularly situated ruins at sunrise (entrance & transfers not included). Perhaps climb to the summit of Huayna Picchu or up to the Sun Gate for panoramic views. This afternoon, you will take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and board the train to Cuzco, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
This morning begins your fantastic journey by road across the Altiplano (high plateau) to PUNO. A totally fascinating experience, with Indians in different local garb crowding the platforms at every stop, selling food and handicrafts. En route, you may also view Alpacas, Llamas and perhaps Vicuña - native animals of the Altiplano. Arriving into PUNO early evening and transfer to your hotel.
NOTE: First Class Package includes the First Class Train from Cuzco to Puno. Superior and tourist can also request to travel by train at an additional cost.
In the morning overland transfer to Copacabana. You will visit the churches of Pomata & Juli and the local market. You will travel on a hydrofoil cruise on the world’s highest navigable lake: Lake Titicaca. We will stop at Moon Island and visit the Sun Virgins Temple Iñak Uyu. We will then, continue to Sun Island & visit the "Pilcocaina" Sun Temple. Lunch included. Afternoon will be at leisure to explore the surroundings & enjoy a Cross Cultural Integration with the Native Community. Overnight at Sun Island.
Today we will visit the Inca Staircase & Sacred fountain, taste the sacred water believed to give eternal youth & happiness. Lunch will be at "Uma Kollu" an archaeological restaurant and it’s also possible to visit a picturesque handicraft market.
Continue to Huatajata, a small port on the shores of Lake Titicaca, where you will vist the Altiplano Museum, where a state of the art audio system will explain in your own language the cultural heritage of the Aymaras and the Incas, their traditions and wisdom, the colonial time and even the Jacques Cousteau Expedition to the Lake. Watch the handicrafts and fisherman villages, the Mud Igloos and Floating Island of the Urus Chipayas culture, which was born on the southern part of the Bolivian High Plateau, meet the Limachi family of the RA II and Tigris for Thor Heyerdhal epic expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean and visit to the local market. Drop off will be at your hotel in La Paz.
Today you will join a half day city tour of La Paz and the Moon Valley.
The City of La Paz and its surroundings can transport you to a mysterious past where any corner, any street, is a hidden treasure where adventure begins a living history which treasures the pre Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic on its streets. The Native, colonial and modern areas, Indian Market, Witch Doctor's Market & breathtaking panoramas are all framed by the majestic "Illimani" mountain. You will also visit the Moon Valley, a clay formation resembling the face of the Moon.
Morning transfer to the airport to join your flight to Lima. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Reminder of the day at leisure.
LIMA, capital of Peru, was founded by the great conquistador, Francisco Pizarro in 1535, and soon became the capital of the extensive and tremendously wealthy, Peruvian Vice Regency of Spain. By the end of the 16th Century it had grown into a city of fine palaces and churches and the cultural centre of the southern hemisphere. Today, Lima still retains the essence of Spanish colonialism.
Today you will be taken on a half day tour of Lima’s principal attractions, including the Government Palace in the colonial setting of the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, and the modern residential suburbs of Miraflores and San Isidro with their lovely homes and gardens.
This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to BUENOS AIRES, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Buenos Aires, ‘the Paris of South America'. Porteños, as the residents are called, number around 13 million and have a rich and diversified cultural identity. Here Italian and German names outnumber Spanish, the lifestyle and architecture are more European than any other city in the Americas. The architecture of Buenos Aires has quite a French influence and the streets, tango bars and cafes give the city a very elegant and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Why not join the Porteños for a coffee at one of the charming cafes, or at a steakhouse for a cut of fine beef for which they are world renowned.
A morning tour of Buenos Aires, during which you will see the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada (Government House), Cabildo (Old City Hall), the City Hall, the monumental Congress Building set in its impressive Square. Other highlights are the 9 de Julio Ave, the widest in the world; the Colón Theatre, Argentina’s famous Opera House, which stages the most important artists and musicians from all over the world. We will also visit the picturesque La Boca district, which resembles a typical Italian neighborhood, Palermo Park and the historical Recoleta Cemetery, with its ornate memorials. Afternoon at leisure for you to explore this cosmopolitan city.
In the evening you will enjoy a nice dinner with a traditional Tango show.
NOTE: Transfer from your hotel to Show back to your hotel is on shared basis.
Day at leisure.
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to IGUAZU FALLS.
Iguazu Falls surpass in grandeur both Niagara and Victoria Falls and form the frontier between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Ranking among Latin America’s true nature treasures, Iguazu Falls offer a spectacular highlight to any visit to Brazil or Argentina. The word Iguassu in the local Indian language means “big water”, and with a length of over 3.5Km and a height of 78 meters, the falls certainly live up to their name!
On arrival at Puerto Iguazu Airport/Argentina side you will be met and on the way to your hotel located in Brazil, you will enjoy a tour of the Argentinean falls. Your hotel is located in the Brazilian side of the falls.
NOTE: First Class Package includes staying at Das Cataratas Hotel (by Belmond luxury hotels) inside the Brazilian Iguassu Falls National Park - just opposite the Falls.
Superior and Tourist Package: Hotels are located outside the National Park and upgrade to Das Cataratas Hotel available on request and at an extra cost.
This morning you will be taken on a tour of the Brazilian side of the falls. Afternoon at leisure.
NOTE: First Class Package guests won't have a tour to the Brazilian Falls because your hotel (Das Cataratas) is located in front off the Brazilian Falls and you can visit it at your time.
In the morning will be transferred at the Iguassu airport in Brazil for your flight to RIO DE JANEIRO. On arrival in time for the weekend in Rio you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Copacabana.
There is no city like Rio - beautiful beaches, beautiful people, Carnival and nightlife. Sightseeing today includes the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, and a journey to the summit of Corcovado Mountain to see the 36 metre high statue of Christ the Redeemer, whose outstretched arms embrace stunning views of Rio’s mountains, harbour and beaches. Lunch today will be at a local restaurant.
After lunch, continue your sightseeing with an ascent of Sugar Loaf Mountain by cable car for superb views of one of the world’s most beautiful harbours.
NOTE: The BFirst Travel Specialists suggest our clients to split this full day tour over two half day tours at no additional cost. Please check with your specialist if you are interested in this option.
Day at leisure to enjoy a day at one of Rio famous beaches.
Perhaps you could join one of the optional tours (at additional cost) in Rio:
Cultural tour of Rio visiting historical places; or
Petropolis full day tour - where the Brazilian Royal Family spent their summer holidays during the monarchy years in the 1800's. One can still visit their summer Palace in Petropolis.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home or to another destination.