Sightseeing: In Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Scenic Highlights: Corcovado, Brazilian & Argentine sides of Iguassu Falls, La Boca, Recoleta Cemetery, Tango show, and San Cristobal Hill.
Local Guides for sightseeing in Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, and Santiago; services of a professional Tour Director.
Day 1Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Welcome to spectacular Rio de Janeiro, home to white-sand beaches and host to the Summer Olympics in 2016! Settle into your hotel and meet your Tour Director, who will have pointers for your free-time exploration.
Day 2Rio De Janeiro
Sprawling between majestic granite peaks and the blue South Atlantic, Rio is a city of beauty, wonder, and energy. Guided sightseeing begins with a drive along Rio’s famed Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana Beaches. Take the cog railway 2,300 feet up to the summit of CORCOVADO to view the infamous Christ the Redeemer statue and 360-degree views of Guanabara Bay and the bustling city below. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own. Perhaps join an optional excursion to a nearby favela for a glimpse into the life of these colorful communities that nearly 25% of the people call home. Tonight, your Tour Director hosts a welcome dinner at a local churrascaria, serving prime meats, seafood, and fish. Following dinner, perhaps opt for a fun outing to see a Samba show highlighting the Brazilian Samba and its dazzling costumes. (B,D)
Day 3Rio de Janeiro
A free day in Rio allows you to relax on one of the beaches or take an optional excursion to the historic city of Petropolis to see the former summer palace of Emperor Pedro II. (B)
Day 4Rio de Janeiro–Iguassu Falls
A morning flight takes you to Iguassu Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Journey to the Brazilian side of the FALLS to see the mammoth series of 275 waterfalls cascading over a precipice almost two miles wide and 250 feet deep. Walk into Devil’s Throat Canyon, where the clouds of mist, thundering roar, and 180-degree rainbows surround you—an unforgettable experience! (B,D)
Day 5Iguassu Falls
Cross the border for a visit of the Argentine side of the FALLS. Begin with a short ride on the open-air ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN through the rainforest. A series of boardwalks takes you above the falls to see the water crashing down into the Devil’s Throat. Your afternoon is free to explore, or you may opt to visit the Bird Park, home to many species of indigenous birds as well as flora from the area. (B)
Day 6Iguassu Falls–Buenos Aires, Argentina
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital. After settling into your hotel, an orientation tour familiarizes you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards, outdoor cafés, and charming shops. (B)
Day 7Buenos Aires
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide focuses on the city’s landmarks, including the Colon Opera House and Plaza de Mayo, site of La Casa Rosada (the President's Pink House) and Metropolitan Cathedral. Also visit San Telmo, one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods, and RECOLETA CEMETERY, where Eva Peron is buried. End your day with an Argentinean meal, followed by a sensuous TANGO SHOW. (B,D)
Day 8Buenos Aires
Today is free for independent activities, or you can take an optional excursion to visit a local estancia (ranch) to experience the life of the gauchos (cowboys), as well as traditional dance performances and a barbecue lunch. (B)
Day 9Buenos Aires–Santiago, Chile
Fly over the majestic Andes to Santiago, Chile’s scenic capital between the Pacific and the Andes. With a coastline over 2,650 miles long, Chile is more than 10 times longer than wide. With a distinctly European flavor accented with Latin flare, Santiago is one of South America's most sophisticated and modern cities. (B)
Your guided city tour introduces you to Santiago—the country’s political, commercial, and cultural capital. View La Moneda Government Palace and San Cristobal Hill with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. Also see Club Hipico, one of the most renowned horseracing tracks in South America. Your tour ends at the city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, with a visit to the relic-filled CATHEDRAL. Your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, consider the optional Chilean Folkloric Dinner Show. (B)
Today, enjoy a day at leisure. A trip to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar is highly recommended. A leisurely drive through the countryside and vineyards delivers you to Valparaiso, a city of 42 hills and the inspiration of many artists and poets. On to the chic seaside resort of Viña del Mar, full of unusual architecture and beautiful gardens. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a farewell dinner to celebrate your exciting Latin American vacation. (B,D)
Day 12Santiago–Lima, Peru
Board a flight for Lima, Peru. (B)
Sightseeing today focuses on Lima’s colonial heritage. Visit the 11th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, with Spanish and Moorish architecture throughout. Continue to Plaza Mayor, where you will see the Government Palace that houses the presidential palace and the cathedral where Pizarro’s remains are buried. (B,D)
Day 14Lima–Cusco–Sacred Valley
Fly to Cusco high in the Andes and upon arrival, descend into the Sacred Valley. Stop at AWANAKANCHA and learn about the importance of Camelids (llama, vicuña, alpaca, and guanaco) for Inca cultures. Continue to PISAC, a charming village with an infamous INDIAN MARKET—a great place to buy souvenirs! Later, arrive at your hotel nestled in the Sacred Valley. (B,D)
Day 15Sacred Valley
Visit the village of OLLANTAYTAMBO and the Inca ruins of the same name. Explore the archaeological site that was the scene of the Inca resistance during the Spanish conquest. Next, visit a LOCAL INCA HOME to see life in a traditional village, which has been remarkably well preserved. Also visit the SEMINARIO CERAMICS WORKSHOP to learn about Peruvian ancient and modern art. End your day at a local chicheria for a taste of a typical Inca drink in Peru called chicha. (B)
Day 16Sacred Valley–Machu Picchu
Board the VISTADOME train that cuts a path through the Urubamba Valley bound for Aguas Calientes, the town closest to the “Lost City of the Incas.” Ascend the mountainside to the sacred refuge of MACHU PICCHU. Your guide recounts the many accomplishments of the Incas as you tour the ruins dating back to the 15th century. (B,D)
Day 17Machu Picchu–Cusco
This morning, use your included second entrance to MACHU PICCHU to see the ruins at your own pace. Later, return to Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire. The remainder of your day is free to relax. (B,L)
A guided sightseeing tour of Cusco focuses on the city that was once the political, military, and cultural epicenter of the Incas. Visit SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY and the CATHEDRAL in the Plaza de Armas, which houses a magnificent collection of artwork. Continue to the hillside overlooking Cusco for a visit to the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN. Also see the ruins of Kenko and Puca Pucara before returning to Cusco. (B,D)
A short flight brings you back to Lima. Transfer to your hotel, and enjoy time to explore the city. (B)
Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)
Transportation: Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.