¡Bienvenidos a Buenos Aires! Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital is known for its vibrant arts scene and rich architectural heritage, cherished by its warm and welcoming residents.
Your South American adventure begins upon arrival at Ezeiza Airport (EZE), where you’ll meet your tour representative and transfer to your conveniently located hotel, situated on the impressive Avenida 9 de Julio.
This evening, gather with your fellow travellers for a three-course welcome dinner and tango show at Café de los Angelitos. Savour the flavours of Buenos Aires and find yourself captivated by the thrilling dance born in Argentina.
Wake to a hearty breakfast before setting off to explore Buenos Aires with your expert tour guide. Visit Buenos Aires’ oldest public square, the Plaza de Mayo, and gaze upon the pink facade of the Presidential Palace or ‘Casa Rosada’. Admire the historic town hall, the Cabildo, dating back to the 17th century, and marvel at the grand neoclassical facade of the Metropolitan Cathedral.
From the Tudor-style mansions of the rich and famous in Palermo Chico to the opulent Parisian-style houses of exclusive Retiro and Recoleta, the city’s influences shift between barrios. Stroll through peaceful Plaza San Martin, where Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges once walked, then wander down Avenida Alvear to the spectacular Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar – one of the city’s oldest churches. Pay a visit to the grave of Eva Peron – former First Lady and beloved Argentine actress – on a trip to La Recoleta Cemetery.
Make your way to the riverside barrio of Puerto Madero – a revival over the past 30 years has put this popular and modern area on the map for locals and travellers alike. Pass through the bohemian San Telmo neighbourhood, known for its stylised murals and bustling street markets, and discover its long and winding history. Continue south to the colourful port area of La Boca and stroll the Caminito, where dancers keep the tradition of tango alive in the streets from which it originated.
Return to your hotel this evening for a well-earned rest in premium comfort.
Rise for a refreshing breakfast, then depart for the historic town of San Antonio de Areco and a day in gaucho country. These nomadic horsemen, iconic figures in Argentina for centuries, would ride through the region, working at one ranch before travelling onward to the next.
Take a tour of the village upon arrival, then make your way to the Estancia ‘El Ombu de Areco’. Named for the majestic resident ombu tree – a beloved mainstay of the Pampas grasslands – this late-colonial house features a covered gallery and beautiful cascading steps. Climb into the saddle or hop into a carriage to ride across the sprawling grounds, enjoying empanadas and birdwatching along the way. For lunch, tuck into a typical Pampas barbeque of fine meats, then relish your dessert with a folk music performance and gaucho horse demonstration.
Return this evening to your Buenos Aires hotel for a restful night.
Check out of your Buenos Aires hotel and head to the airport for your onward flight to Puerto Iguazu, where you’ll meet your local English-speaking guide. Waste no time as you set out to see the jaw-dropping Iguazu Falls. Marking the Triple Frontier – the converging borders of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay – this humbling natural wonder is composed of some 275 dramatic cascades. With over 80% of the waterfalls on the Argentine side of the border, your visit to Iguazu National Park is the prime introduction to this grand spectacle. Take a small train through the park, stopping to admire the falls on the upper and lower circuits, following the walkways to the very top for a truly incomparable view.
The park is home to innumerable endemic species, including the playful giant otter, and you’ll have an abundance of flora and fauna to appreciate on your way to the ultimate Iguazu experience – a trip to the suspended platform at the brink of the gargantuan ‘Devil’s Throat’.
Later, cross the border into Brazil and check in at your stunning hotel for the evening.
Fill up with breakfast at your Foz do Iguacu hotel, then join a safari through the national park. Follow your guide along the walkways of the Brazilian side of the falls, then board an open-sided jeep for a drive through the jungle in search of the diverse local wildlife. Transfer to a boat for a thrilling ride into the spray of the crashing waterfalls, taking one last chance to admire the natural grandeur from a different perspective.
Later, transfer back to your hotel for an evening at rest.
This morning, it’s time to transfer to the airport for your flight to magical Rio de Janeiro. Home to over six million ‘cariocas’ or Rio natives, Rio is known as the holiday capital of Brazil. One of South America’s most picturesque cities, its white-sand beaches and winding favela streets offer a plethora of opportunities for discovery.
Check in at your well-appointed hotel on the iconic Copacabana Beach, then join your local guide for the journey to high-reaching Sugarloaf Mountain – so named for its resemblance to the traditional form for refined sugar. Take the cable car to the top of this 395-metre-high rock, offering incredible 360-degree views of the city, green islands and surrounding mountains.
This morning, travel along the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and take the small train up Corcovado Hill to the towering figure of Christ the Redeemer – an awe-inspiring statue named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Weave through the Tijuca National Park, the largest urban forest in the world, then stand in awestruck wonder at the incredible views from the top.
This afternoon, make you way to Samba City for a tour of the imaginative, artistic roots of Carnival. Witness the production process of these vibrant and detailed costumes and floats, visiting warehouses and exhibitions detailing the history of samba and the world-famous Carnival parade. Welcomed with a refreshingly zesty caipirinha – Brazil’s national cocktail – you’ll have the chance to don the carnival costumes and feel the music of the world’s biggest carnival celebration.
Today is yours for the taking, with the sprawling wonder of Rio at your feet. Wander the colourful streets in search of mouth-watering feijoada or churrasco, then sink your toes into the beautiful sands of Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. With your hotel in the middle of the action, you can spend your afternoon soaking up the South American sun for as long as you desire.
Wave goodbye to charismatic Brazil and take your flight to Lima, Peru’s coastal capital. Called the ‘City of Kings’, Lima is renowned for its brilliant culinary scene, world-class museums and galleries, and extraordinary history.
Upon arrival you’ll be transferred to your elegant hotel in the heart of the city’s shopping district. Spend your evening at leisure.
Take the morning to explore lively Lima, starting at the Main Square, where you’ll admire the Government Palace and the City Hall – a collection of structures demonstrating the city’s colonial influence. Step inside the numerous chapels of the magnificent Cathedral of Lama, uncovering Peru’s religious history as you study the varied architectural styles evident in the cathedral’s construction. Continue to the 17th-century San Francisco Convent and descend into history in the catacombs below.
Follow your English-speaking guide on a tour of the renowned Museo Larco, home to a collection of approximately 45,000 pre-Columbian objects. From glittering gold and shining silver jewellery to erotic ceramic art, the museum’s collection covers over 3,000 years of Peruvian history. Later, return to your hotel and spend the rest of your day freely.
After breakfast, it’s time to transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, you will travel approximately 90 minutes north to the lush hinterland of the Sacred Valley. As you travel, you’ll see golden maize crops peeping over terraces carved high into the valley walls — for centuries, the region has been one of the agricultural lynchpins of the Andes. Stop along the way to explore the vibrant town of Pisac, known for the fine jewellery, ceramics and textiles that fill its artisan markets.
Continue to Hacienda Huayoccari, a traditional farming estate distinguished by spellbinding views over the Sacred Valley. Savour a spectacular lunch of farm-fresh produce, drawing on the culinary traditions of Peru – expect trout and tuna causa, Andean white corn soup and pork chops with fava beans.
Continue to your welcoming hotel in Urubamba, the heart of the Sacred Valley. After checking in, you’re free to acclimatise and discover this UNESCO World Heritage-listed city.
After breakfast, drive through the lush Urubamba Valley and visit Emperor Pachacuti’s colossal stone fortress-temple of Ollantaytambo. Notable as a site where the invading Spanish lost a major battle against the Inca, your tour will take you through the ruins of the archaeological complex and its imposing fortifications.
Visit an organic farm to learn more of the region’s major crops and cultivation practices, then sit down to a traditional pachamanca meal, cooked under hot stones in an earthen oven.
This afternoon, continue to the Salt Pans of Maras – a collection of thousands of shallow salt pools that mark over 500 years of continuous salt extraction.
Later, return to your cosy accommodation for a peaceful evening in this astounding valley.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast, then transfer to Ollantaytambo train station for your Vistadome service to Machu Picchu. Admire the soaring Andes from your glass-roofed carriage, before arriving in the picturesque Peruvian town of Aguas Calientes. Take the bus up to the mysterious citadel, then follow your guide on a journey through one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Breathe deeply in the mountain air and stand in awe of the astounding Andes, listening to your guide as you seek to unearth the archaeological treasures of the ‘Lost City of the Incas’.
Later, transfer back to the train for another panoramic journey through the valley on your way to Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire. Check in at your central hotel and spend your evening unwinding after a day of ancient adventure.
Set high in the Peruvian Andes, Cusco wears its layered history on its sleeve. Spanish colonial design and narrow cobblestone streets sit alongside intricate Inca architecture.
Kick off the day with a guided tour of Cusco. Discover the archaeological remains of Sacsayhuaman citadel and study the precise stonemasonry required to construct this elevated site. Return to the city centre for a stroll through the Main Square, where you’ll stand in awe of Cusco Cathedral, built atop an Inca Palace and combining Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles. Round out your tour at the Temple of the Sun, Coricancha, known for being one of the most important temples of the Inca capital.
This evening, bid farewell to Peru with a sumptuous dinner of Peruvian cuisine at MAP restaurant, situated in the central courtyard of the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art.
Rise early for an energising breakfast, then transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago via Lima. Chile’s cosmopolitan capital city, Santiago is a bustling mix of innovative design, colourful nightlife and panoramic views of the surrounding Andes.
Take a private transfer to your central hotel, situated in the prestigious Barrio El Golf, known as ‘Sanhattan’. Here, you may spend your evening at leisure in your elegant accommodation, or hit the pavement to discover a neighbourhood of world-class cuisine and a thriving live arts scene.
Get acquainted with this bright and welcoming city as you take a guided tour through heritage buildings and cobbled streets, starting at Santiago’s historic centre. From the Plaza de Armas, your guide will lead you through the civic district to the stunning colonnades and soaring ceilings of the Metropolitan Cathedral and onward to the Palacio de La Moneda, the seat of the President of Chile.
Delve deeper into the stately structures of Santiago’s oldest neighbourhoods, then take the scenic cable car up San Cristobal Hill for a look at the towering Virgin Mary statue and glittering views of the cityscape.
Rise and shine for your transfer to the gorgeous surrounding Maipo Valley wine region. This fertile valley sits alongside the steady-flowing Maipo River. Visit the renowned Santa Rita Winery, founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez Concha and declared a national monument.
Taste the finest Chilean wine, including the coveted cabernet sauvignon, as you learn about the traditional use of French and American oak barrels and the modern production techniques that give these wines their distinct body. Later, return to your Santiago hotel for your final evening spent at leisure.
After one last breakfast, it’s time to take your private transfer to Santiago Airport (SCL) where your grand tour of South America concludes.