From Lima to Rio, traverse the beauty, charm and fun of South America

If you have a little more time up your sleeve and are looking for an in-depth journey through South America that doesn't skimp on any creature comforts, then this may well be the trip for you. Travelling from Lima to Rio through the sights and delights of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, see jungle depths, ancient ruins, mountain ranges, high-altitude wineries, sprawling plains, towering waterfalls and electric cities all wrapped up in a cultural experience like no other.

Lima, Peru
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
735kg pp per trip


  • Stay in an eco lodge in the heart of the Amazon
  • Discover the legends behind Machu Picchu
  • Sip fine wines in Mendoza
  • Discover the eclectic neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires
  • See Iguazu Falls from all angles
  • Get among the rhythm of Rio


Embark on a walking tour through the historical section of Lima with a local guide. Discovering the colonial beauty, ornate churches and buzzing cafe culture is a great way to start this South American adventure.
Swap a plane for a motorised canoe on the journey into the Amazon. Stay in an eco-friendly lodge and balance time between relaxing in among the forest green and going on exploratory walks with local guides to witness the flora and fauna of this enchanting region.
Get to know the city of Cuzco on a guided tour, checking out the Coca Museum, the San Pedro Market, the endless colonial buildings and some closer Inca ruins.
Situated in the lush Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo is home to an ancient Inca town and is a great place to learn more about the intricacies of Inca history. Visit a community on the way here to get a deeper insight into the local culture.
Travel to Aguas Calientes on a scenic train journey that follows the flow of the Urubamba River. If so inclined, take advantage of the town's name sake - a dip in one of the glorious hot springs.
Wake early to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu - a sight that will stay in the memory for a very long time. Be guided through these well-preserved ruins, marvelling at the ingenuity of the builders and the beauty of the spot they chose. After a fascinating morning, return to Cuzco and spend the next day exploring the city further and enjoying its great cafes and night-life.
Travel to Puno, Peru's folklore capital. Take a boat tour of Lake Titicaca, stopping at the Uros floating islands to witness these ingenious creations. Then enjoy an overnight stay in a local community and get to know this unique culture while helping in the kitchen or playing a make-shift game of football. The next morning, journey to Taquile Island before arriving back in Puno.
Cross from Peru to Bolivia, stopping at the fascinating archaeological site of Tiwanaku on the way to La Paz.
Catch your flight to Santiago. Spend time getting to know this spirited city, whether wandering through the charming Bella Vista area, taking a cable car up Cerro San Cristobal for wonderful views (weather permitting) or strolling through one of the many parks that are dotted through out the city.
Take a bus across the spectacular Andes to Mendoza. Famed for their wine-production, excellent food and remarkable scenery, this is a wonderful place to enjoy the finer things in life.
Fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires then take a drive to an estancia on the outskirts of the city. Contribute to the daily chores to learn about life on an estancia or simply relax and breathe in the fresh country air.
Leave the country behind and return to Buenos Aires - the city that loves to stay up late. Be guided through Buenos Aires on an orientation walk. Then, at your own pace, discover neighbourhoods like Recoleta, San Telmo and La Boca and the museums, parks, cafes and music venues that make this city so alluring.
See the Iguazu Falls from all angles - boardwalk, boat or even from a helicopter if you feel like splashing out. Go to both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides, and understand why this is one of Argentina's premier attractions. Culture is also on the cards with a visit to one of the few remaining Guarani communities, who were the original inhabitants of the area.
Fly to Rio where a bevy of fun, culture and samba beats await. Journey up to the Christ the Redeemer statue for incredible views over the city, take a cable car to Sugarloaf Hill, visit a favela to see another side of the city and soak up the sun on the beaches. There's nowhere as good to shake it up on the dance floor so perhaps go out for a night of boogying or revelling at one of the myriad nightspots Rio is famous for.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


25 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 7 dinners
Boat, Bus, Minibus, Plane
Estancia (2 nights), Hotel (18 nights), Jungle Lodge (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Catacombs - Lima
  • Coca Museum
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
  • Full-day winery tour including lunch
  • Guarani community visit
  • Guided tour of both Argentina and Brazil side of Iguazu Falls
  • Iguazu Falls - Brazilian side visit
  • Machu Picchu entrance and Guided Tour
  • Rio de Janeiro city tour inc. Santa Teresa, Selaron Steps, Christ the Redeemer and Santa Marta favela
  • Tiawanaku archaeological site and museum tour


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Important notes

The international flight between La Paz and Santiago on day 14 of this itinerary is not included in the price of this trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes


Our South America Traverse trips score an average of 4.05 out of 5 based on 21 reviews in the last year.

South America Traverse , November 2015

South America Traverse , November 2015