South America Highlights

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South America Highlights

Duration:
22 Days - 21 Nights
From:
AUD $ 6,699 AUD $ 6,499
p.p. Twin Share, Excludes Flights

Our South America Highlights package showcases the Galapagos Islands, Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Lake Tititcaca, Iguazu and Rio de Janeiro in only three weeks. This itinerary is ideal for travellers with a limited amount of time who want an action packed, affordable adventure through four of South America’s most stunning countries.

The experience begins in Ecuador with a five day Galapagos island exploration focused on wildlife viewing. The journey continues on to Lima, the capital of Peru and culinary capital of South America. After eating your way though Lima, next it is on to Cuzco to discover the ancient Inca Empire. Your journey in Peru also includes a two day train excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu. After visiting this world famous site, continue on to Lake Titicaca and experience the world’s highest navigable lake.

Over the next few days you will explore the breathtaking beauty of Iguazu Falls which boarders Argentina and Brazil. This stop includes visits to the national parks in both countries to see the falls. Last on the itinerary is Rio de Janeiro, South America’s most iconic city. Explore Copacabana beach, Sugar Loaf mountain and Christ the Redeemer as you wrap up a fast paced, affordable adventure through the highlights of South America.

This suggested itinerary is completely flexible – activities and departure dates will be modified to your personal travel preferencesContact us for an obligation free quote.

Overview

Day 1 Travel from Australia to Guayaquil via Santiago, overnight in Guayaquil
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Day 2 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Shuttle transfer to airport for flight to Galapagos, start Santa Cruz Express program
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Day 3 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Visit one of the spectacular islands North Seymour, Bartolome or another
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Day 4 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Visit one of the spectacular islands North Seymour, Bartolome or another
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Day 5 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Visit one of the spectacular islands Santa Fe or Plaza Island
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Day 6 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Visit Charles Darwin Station, transfer to airport for flight to Lima (via Quito)
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Day 7 Half day Lima city tour
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Day 8 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Private transfer to airport for flight to Cusco
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Day 9 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Half day city tour Cusco
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Day 10 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Full day tour to Sacred Valley, Pisac market and Ollantaytambo incl lunch
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Day 11 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Two day Machu Picchu tour by Vistadome train incl all transfers, lunch & guide
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Day 12 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Re-entry to the ruins after which you get a transfer back to Cusco
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Day 13 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Free day Cusco
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Day 14 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Bus transfer from Cusco to Puno incl lunch and entrance fees for visit sites en route
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Day 15 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Shared full day tour of Lake Titicaca incl lunch
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Day 16 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Private transfer to airport to connect with flight from Juliaca, via Lima to Iguazu Falls
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Day 17 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Half day Iguazu Falls on Brazilian side, incl entrance
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Day 18 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Full day Iguazu Falls on Argentinian side, incl entrance
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Day 19 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Transfer to airport, flight Iguazu to Rio
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Day 20 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Full day Corcovado & Sugar Loaf mountain tour incl lunch
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Day 21 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Half day Secrets of Old Rio
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Day 22 Breakfast Included at Hotel
Departure day with transfer to the airport in Rio for your connecting flight
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Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1 –  Arrival in Guayaquil

After your international flights into Guayaquil you get a shuttle transfer to the Wyndham hotel y for one overnight stay. (Flights not included in the price).

Day 2 – Travel to Galapagos, start Santa Cruz Express program

Vannesa GalapagosToday you will fly to the island of Santa Cruz (arrival at Baltra airport) to start your land based expedition.

After arrival the tour will take you to the highlands of the island with its green vegetation. Here you will stop to visit a Ranch. Next, you will be able to see Giant Turtles in their natural habitat. You will enjoy lunch at the ranch.

Optional activity: After lunch the tour will proceed to leave our “soul print” in the Galapagos Islands. You can also take part in a project of conservation on the island. The program consists in planting your own tree in Primicias Ranch. The tree will have your name on it and later on, you will receive a certificate for actively supporting the maintaining of the Galapagos’ ecosystem.
After this visit the tour will head to Puerto Ayora to check-in in a selected hotel.

Day 3 – Excursion to another island

Seymour IslandToday you will have the opportunity to make an excursion to another Island, in order to discover the diversity of the Galapagos Islands. The tour consists of a hike around the island and afterwards you can snorkel, swim or just relax. Based on availability we can confirm one of the following tours:

Bartolome Island: Discover amazing landscapes, and fascinating geological formations, here you will have great opportunity for snorkeling.

North Seymour Island: The main fauna species of this island are Land Iguanas and the Magnificent Frigate bird. This bird has an  incredible scarlet regular pouch. Also the blue-footed boobies birds and their particular courtship dance and sea lions surfing across the waves.

South Plazas: Small island but outstanding concentration of wildlife, dramatic cliffs, spectacular natural red carpet of algae and great contrasts to be seen.

Santa Fe: This Island has a lot of diversity. The lagoons of the Santa Fe Island provide an excellent place for snorkeling alongside colorful fishes, sea lions, giant tuna and even small sharks that are often sited in these environments.

Day 4 – Excursion to another island

Choose another island to visit today from the above options:

  • South Plazas
  • North Seymour
  • Bartolome Island
  • Santa Fe

Day 5 – Excursion to another island

Choose another island to visit today from the above options:

  • South Plazas
  • North Seymour
  • Bartolome Island
  • Santa Fe

Day 6 – Charles Darwin Station – fly back to Guayaquil

Galapagos TurtleAfter breakfast, we will head to the Charles Darwin Station. The center is the best source of information on habitats and local conservation, as well as other fascinating relevant statistics.
The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Centre. Here it is possible to view tortoises of varied sizes and shapes. Travelers here can freely walk and get their photos taken with the tortoises. Among other inhabitants at the center, you can see the land and marine Iguanas and different species of birds.
After this visit you will be brought to the airport for your fights to Lima via Quito (flights are not included in the pricing).

Apon arrival in Lima a private transfer will take you to your hotel in Miraflores.

Day 7 – Half day city tour of Lima

Credit: Carlos Ibarra – PromPeru

After breakfast there is a half day tour to explore Lima’s ancient history through its historical sites and museums. Morning highlights include visiting the Plaza de Armas (also known as Plaza Mayor), the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace), City Hall, the Basilica Cathedral of Lima, the House of El Oidor and the Larco museum.

The afternoon is at your leisure.

 

Day 8 – Private transfer to airport for flight to Cusco

Today you will travel from Lima to Cusco (flight not included in pricing) for which you will receive private transfers on both ends of your flight.

Overnight in Cusco.

Day 9 – Half day city tour Cusco

Cusco, the Archaeological Capital of the Americas, exists in the present and the past at the same time, being a living example of the meeting of two different age of culture. Visit to the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun, the Cathedral from the early 17th century, it is a fine example of colonial baroque art. Continue the excursion with the visit to the nearby ruins of Tambomachay with their water fountains; Kenko, the religious center; Puca-Pucara, the red fortress, and finally the fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

Afternoon at leisure, overnight in Cusco.

Day 10 – Full day tour to Sacred Valley, Pisac market and Ollantaytambo incl lunch

IMG_4005In the morning, you will visit Pisac, a picturesque town located 19.8 miles or 32km northeast of Cusco. Its colorful fairs also take place every day. Here merchants offer for sale all sorts of handicrafts, the most important of which are the textiles and ceramic goods such as ceremonial goblets called “Q’eros”, plates, ashtrays, necklace and replicas of pre-Hispanic pottery. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon you will visit the remarkable fortress of Ollantaytambo, built by the Incas. A very steep stone staircase leads into the fortress. Across an esplanade there is a temple with 10 niches, and beside it a block of partially unworked stones. Beyond another esplanade, six huge rectangular monoliths (estimated weight: 50 tons) form the Temple of the Sun. Vestiges of rooms are seen on top, and on the other side of the hill a four storey building, either a military school or prison.

Transfer to your hotel in Ollantaytambo town.

Day 11 – Two day Machu Picchu tour by Vistadome train incl all transfers, lunch, guide, overnight in Aguas Calientes

Credit: Gihan Tubbeh / PromPerú

Depart from Ollantaytambo Station via the Vistadome train arriving into Aguas Calientes station, upon your arrival into Aguas Calientes you will be transferred by bus to the gates of Machu Picchu for lunch at the Sanctuary lodge. After lunch you have a guided tour of the Machu Picchu site, you will then have free time to explore the site at your own leisure. Well known as ‘The Lost City of the Incas’, Machu Picchu was built around 1450, but abandoned 100 years later at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. In 1911 Hiram Bingham, an American historian discovered its existence with its classic Inca style. The main buildings of Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows, are located in the Sacred District of Machu Picchu.

Day 12 – Second excusrion day to Machu Picchu

Early in the morning, before all the other visitors arrive you will re-entry the ruins after which you get a transfer back to Cusco.

Overnight in Cusco.

Day 13 – Free day Cusco

Explore Cusco at your leisure.

Day 14 – Travel to Puno

Today you will travel from Cusco to Puno incl lunch and entrance fees for visit sites en-route. This city is located on the shore of Lake Titicaca and has been named as the ‘Capital Forklorica del Peru’ (Folklore capital of Peru) from its wealth of artistic and cultural expressions particularly dancing.

Day 15 – Shared full day tour of Lake Titicaca incl lunch

Uros Indians in Lake Titicaca (b) - photo courtesy of PromPeruFull day boat tour on lake Titicaca to Uros Islands and Taguile Island to visit floating reed islands and it’s colorful people. You will sail to Taguila island for lunch and a steep hike to The Plaza. At the end of the afternoon you will arrive back in Puno.

Day 16 – Travel day to Iguazu

Today you will be get a private transfer to the airport to connect with a flight from Juliaca, via Lima to Iguazu Falls. Overnight in Iguazu.

Day 17 – Half day Iguazu Falls on Brazilian side

Today you will spent a half day on a shared tour to explore the falls from the Brazilian side (entrance fee including). Overnight in Iguazu.

Day 18 – Full day Iguazu Falls on Argentinian side

iguazu-falls-argentina1The tour today leaves from the hotel to visit the Argentinean side of the Iguazú Falls, 67.000 hectares long, located within Iguazú National Park, one of the first protected areas of America. Entrance fee included, overnight in Iguazu.

Day 19 – Travel to Rio

After breakfast you will get a private transfer to the airport to connect with you flight from Iguazu to Rio (flight not incl in price) where you will stay for three nights.

Day 20 – Full day Corcovado & Sugar Loaf mountain tour incl lunch

Christ Redeemer, Rio, BrazilDepart from the hotel after breakfast to visit the most famous landmarks of the city and see the natural beauty of Rio de Janeiro from up above. Over a million tourists each year visit the world famous ‘Pão de Açúcar’, (Sugar Loaf Mountain), which has become an iconic symbol of the city of Rio de Janeiro. Rising up from a small peninsula at the entrance of Guanabara Bay, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of a concentrated, refined sugar loaf. The journey to the top is made in glass cable-cars.

The first cable-car takes passengers to the top of Urca Hill. It rises 215 meters above sea level and offers spectacular views of the entire bay and its surrounding islands. From Urca Hill, passengers continue in a second cable-car to the top of Sugar Loaf. With its 395 meters above sea level, offers a 360 degree view of the entire city. The views include Botafogo and Copacabana Beaches, Corcovado Mountain and downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Afterwards, descend the mountain and stop for a delicious lunch. From there passengers will be taken to the bottom of the Corcovado Hill. Embark on a comfortable train that ascends the mountain, where the statue of Christ the Redeemer is located 2,300 ft above sea level. The Christ statue is  known as the “wonder of Rio”. It was elected one of the 7 “New Wonders of the World”. Upon arrival at the top, guests can use the panoramic elevators or escalators to arrive at the foot of the statute. There, passengers can enjoy a panoramic view of Rio de Janeiro and discover why it is called the “Marvelous City”.

Day 21 – Half day Sectrets of Old Rio

This is a unique walking tour which gives visitors a feeling for the legends and stories woven around the narrow streets and old historical buildings of downtown Rio. The walk includes a visit to many interesting points, such as the São Bento Monastery, Candelária Church, Praça XV, the “Travessa do Mercado”, Imperial Palace (‘Paço Imperial’). The cultural center is located in the beautifully-restored Banco do Brasil. Visit the Casa França-Brasil, Ouvidor Street and Gonçalves Dias Street with the traditional Colombo Coffee Shop. The walk continues on down Uruguaiana Street, Carioca Square, and up to the Metropolitan Cathedral. Afterwards, passengers will meet their transportation that will take them back to their hotels.

Day 22 – Depart Rio

Today you will finish your South America Complete tour with a transfer to the airport of Rio to connect with your flight (flight not included in pricing).

Map

Inclusions

Included

  • All ground transportation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation in 3 star hotels (pricing based on a twin share room)
  • Daily Breakfast and additional meals where indicated in the itinerary
  • Shared day tours with an English Speaking guide
  • Access to Travel Just 4U Emergency Assistance Line available 24 hours a day

Not Included

  • Flights*
  • Additional Meals or Drinks
  • Personal Expenses
  • Galapagos Departure Card – $20 USD pp payable at airport departing Ecuador’s mainland
  • Galapagos Conservation Tax – $100 USD pp payble in Cash only upon arrival to the Galapagos
  • Tips (not mandatory, but they are customary in Latin America)

    *Note that we will quote flights for you when provided with your desired travel dates. Costs will vary depending on your travel dates. 

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