South America Contrasts

20 Nights / 21 Days

Day 1    Lima

Upon your arrival in Lima, transfer to your hotel.

 Day 2    Lima (B)

Tour of the "City of the Kings".You will start in the Huaca Pucllana archeological center that operated between the 5th  and 8th centuries.Proceed to the historical center,see the Plaza Mayor surrounded by the Government Palace, the City Hall,

the Cathedral and the archbishop's Palace.Proceed to the San Francisco Monastery,a masterpiece of Colonial architecture.Drive through the residential districts of Miraflores and San Isidro where you will enjoy a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean.Afternoon at leisure.

 Day 3    Lima –Cuzco (B)

Transfer from your hotel to the airport.Upon arriving in Cuzco you will be transferred to your hotel.Remainder of the morning at leisure.

This afternoon explore the magical capital of the Incas on a tour including a visit to Plaza Regocijo,Plaza de Armas,the Cathedral and the Santo Domingo Convent Monastery. The Santo Domingo monastery was built over the Koricancha temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold sheet and filled with golden representations of nature. Then walk around the old town with its very narrow streets.After seeing the most interesting sites of the city, you will drive to the countryside outside Cusco to visit some of the remarkable Inca ruins in the area: the cult centre of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko,the Inca Baths of Tambomachay and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara.

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Amazon Extension

Extend your itinerary for a 2 night visit to one of our jungle lodges near Puerto Maldonado in the Peruvian Amazon. Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado for a 2 nights stay, then fly to Cuzco .Separate itinerary available on request. Additional cost USD595 per person 3 star, $680 4 star, $835 5 star  

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Day 4    Chinchero Market & Ollantaytambo (B,L)

Explore the impressive Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, which dominates the ancient town. Next stop is Chinchero Market, the most authentic and colourful market in Peru, at over 4000 metres above sea level set in fabulous scenery.  This is the real Andes.  After plenty of time to browse, bargain and take great photos, continue to the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Pisco where you enjoy a panoramic walk along the original Inca pathway and terraces to the town below.  After lunch visit the impressive inca site of Ollantaytambo with its ancient village lying below-just as it was back in Inca times .Stay overnight in this beautiful valley.

Day 5     Train to Macchu Picchu (B)

It’s up early for one of the world’s great train journeys from Ollyantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.  Passing through fabulous scenery we travel towards the jungle.  Arrive at Aguas Calientes and catch the bus up to Machu Picchu.

Suddenly it is spread out before you like a giant picture postcard.  Enjoy a 2 hour guided tour, explore on your own and discover the mysteries of this lost civilisation and admire their workmanship and the unique location of this magical citadel. Return by bus down the zigzag mountain road to Aguas Calientes at the base of Macchu Picchu.

Day 6    Machu Picchu- Cuzco (B)

The opportunity for another optional return visit to see Machu Picchu at sunrise.  This afternoon return by train to Cuzco and transfer to your hotel.

Day 7    Cuzco- Arequipa (B)

Morning at leisure in Cuzco

This afternoon transfer from the hotel to the airport and connect by air to Arequipa. Transfer to your hotel.

Day 8    Arequipa (B)

This morning  a city tour of Arequipa, also known as 'the White City'because of the white volcanic rock,sillar, used in its constructions.You will visit the beautiful Santa Catalina convent, founded in 1580.This convent is an almost self-sustained village,made up of houses for the nuns and their servants,cloisters, plazas and narrow streets,kitchens,refectory and laundry. From there proceed to the Jesuit Church,where you will be impressed by the beauty of its facade,considered the best example of the mestizo baroque style in Arequipa. The ancient vestry is particularly beautiful with its cupola and walls covered in murals that recall the jungle.The ancient Jesuit seminary is famous for its beautiful principal cloister. After visiting the Main Plaza continue to the residential districts of Yanahuara and Chilina,where you will have a magificent view of Arequipa's countryside and the Misti volcano.

Day 9    Arequipa- Colca (B)

Early morning departure for a 2 day overland trip to the Colca

Valley.Drive across Pampa Canahuas within the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, the habitat of herds of vicunas. Admire beautiful pre-Columbian terraces where native Collaguas still work.

Day 10    Colca-Puno (B,L)

Early departure to'Condors'Cross',observation point from where you can view these great Andean birds.Impressive panorama of the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world (3,000 mts/9,800 ft)Then departure overland across the altiplano to Puno.

Day 11    Uros Island (B,L)

Enjoy a complete day of sailing in Titicaca Lake, the highest navigable lake in the world. Depart early in the morning for the floating islands of Uros, where the inhabitants still live as they did centuries ago on floating islands they make with the totora reeds that grow on the lake.  Continue sailing towards Taquile  Island  for  a 30 minute  hike towards its small town inhabited by Quechua  speaking natives who have, over the generations, developed   both  an  efficient and original social system as well as a refined handweaving  technique.  Lunch will be served in a local house that serves as a restaurant. After lunch we will explore the island and you can appreciate the magnificent views of Lake Titicaca.  After this trek you will embark and return to Puno

Day 12    Puno – La Paz (B,L)

Travel from Puno by bus, crossing the border into Bolivia. Continue to Copacabana where you visit the magnificent church and the Patron Virgin Mary of Bolivia. Depart Copacabana by motor boat to visit the sacred island of the Incas- Sun Island. Enjoy a picnic box lunch .Visit of the most important archaeological sites at the Sun Island: Pilkocaina, the Fountain and the Inca Staircase, then return to Copacabana

Continue by bus to the city of La Paz. On the way to La Paz, you will cross the strait of Tiquina, which is the narrowest part of the Titicaca Lake, dividing the small side (Wiñaymarka) and the big side (Chucuito). The drive goes though the high plateau reaching the first most important city of Bolivia, La Paz late afternoon

Day 13    La Paz (B)

Morning tour of  La Paz and surroundings transports you to a mysterious past where any corner, any street, is a hidden treasure where adventure begins…a living history which can not release the pre Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic rites spread out in the streets: Native, colonial and modern areas, Indian Market, Open Air Museum of Tiwanaku, Witch Doctor's Market & breathtaking panoramas framed by the majestic “Illimani”.Also visit the mysterious Valley of the Moon on the outskirts of La Paz. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 14    La Paz – Buenos Aires (B)

An early start as we say ‘adios’ to the Andes and fly to Buenos Aires.

Transfer to your hotel.

Day 15    Buenos Aires (B)

Morning tour visiting the most outstanding sites. Departing from the Hotel to get to 9 de Julio Ave. the widest in the world, past the famous Colon Opera house, the Obelisk commemorating the first founding of the city in 1536 to get to Plaza de Mayo (May Square), and the buildings surrounding it: Government House, Metropolitan Cathedral with the Mausoleum of General San Martin, Argentina’s greatest national hero and the Cabildo, the colonia town hall built in 1751. Then on to La Boca, typically Italian district, where first italian immigrants settled and ‘Caminito’ street. The tour continues to Buenos Aires port area, past San Martín Square towards Palermo Chico residential district and Palermo Park with its jacaranda and palo borracho trees which flower in the spring and late summer. The ride continues to Recoleta elegant district to visit Recoleta Cementary where the famous are laid to rest (including Eva Peron). Return to the hotel along the stylish Alvear Ave.

Afternoon at leisure

Day 16    Buenos Aires (B)

Day at leisure to explore the city or perhaps visit a local estancia or a day trip across to Colonia, Uruguay

Day 17    Buenos Aires – Iguazu (B)

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Iguazu.

First transfer to the Argentine side of the falls. These falls defy description!   Gasp at the majesty of the world's most spectacular waterfalls.  Set in pristine rainforest with countless birds and butterflies, Situated on the borders of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil they plunge in a series of gigantic waterfalls over 3kms long and more than 80 metres high.  The thunderous roar of crashing water and the multicoloured mist is natural beauty at its best.  It is undoubtedly one of the world's most impressive sights – see the mighty Devils Throat. Transfer across to the Brazilian town of Foz do Iguacu where you stay overnight.

Day 18    Iguacu Falls – Rio de Janeiro (B)

This morning visit the Brazil side for an amazing and very photogenic panoramic view of these magical falls. Connect to the airport for your flight to Rio.

Transfer to your hotel in Copacabana

Day 19    Rio de Janeiro (B)

Welcome to Rio de Janeiro – river of January – is a beautiful city full of vibrant people.  Brazilians say “God made the world in 6 days – the 7th day he devoted to Rio”.   Stunning views from famous Sugar Loaf Mountain as begin our sightseeing by local bus and gondola. 

This afternoon enjoy the cogwheel train straight up the mountainside to the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer (Corcovado) and even more stunning views.

Day 20    Rio de Janeiro (B)

Day at leisure .Today enjoy the famous beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana and a ride on the local bus is not to be missed.   Enjoy the scenery - and I mean the people - and the atmosphere.  Browse through the famous Ipanema Hippie Fair and admire the Brazilian arts and crafts – maybe buy a bargain or two.

Day 21    Rio de Janeiro (B)

You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight

Dates & Prices:

Departures:   Daily

Prices are per person in USD                              

2015                                                    3 Star              4 Star               5 Star

Jan-Dec

Double / Twin               $4750             $5395               $6720

Single Room Supplement               $1625             $2075               $2995