Discover the delights of South America in Peru, Argentina and Brazil
There are many sides to South America, from the energy of the cities, the beauty of the lansdcapes and the spirit of its people. Discover it all on this trip that winds through the Inca heartlands and jungles of Peru, the enigmatic cities and natural wonders of Argentina and the dynamism of Brazil's vivacious Rio. See animals, meet locals, traverse trails and marvel at all the contrasts of this very special corner of the world.
Marvel at the mother of all Inca cities, magical Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins and free time to explore on your own
Enjoy plenty of time in gorgeous Cusco, the perfect place to launch into further outdoor adventures, or simply relax and take in mountain views
The floating reed islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are astounding in concept, construction and history. Take a boat tour on the world's highest navigable lake and stay with a local family there
Discover Buenos Aires, Argentina's sultry and sensual capital. Tour its best sights, then explore its many corners at your leisure, from the star-studded Recoleta cemetery to the tucked-away milongas (tango halls)
Explore the lush landscapes of the Ibera Wetlands in search of anacondas, otters, howler monkeys and a vast array of colourful birds
With included visits to Iguazu Falls from both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides, you'll get the most out of this jaw-dropping natural wonder
Finish in Rio de Janeiro, where you're free to stroll the sands of Copacabana, soar across town on the Sugarloaf Cable Car or delve into the city's pulsing nightlife
Is this trip right for you?
This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.
The facilities are basic at your homestay on Lake Titicaca. While creature comforts are few and far between while you're there, many travellers find the experience a rich and rewarding one.
There are several orientation walks and city tours during this trip, so there will be quite a lot of walking. It’s important to always bring plenty of water, wear comfortable walking shoes and ensure you use adequate sun protection. Wearing layers is a good way to tackle the heat.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm on Day 1. You will find more information about this at the hotel reception.
Straight after the meeting enjoy a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima.
If you arrive early in Lima, a walk around Miraflores is recommended. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively, go to Parque del Amor (Love Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other options are a tour to Pachacamac (approximately 30 kilometres from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum. Limenos (Lima's residents) are friendly and there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes to sample ceviche, a local seafood speciality.
Notes: This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.
Get up early and take an included flight to Cusco (approximately 1.5 hours), a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and the perfect base for outdoor activities and exploring Incan history. Spend a little time acclimatising to the high altitude (3,450 m) and then head out on an orientation walk with your tour leader. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally you’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There’s a small store where you’ll find various handicrafts and a variety of artisanal chocolate products. Tonight is free, perhaps head out for dinner your fellow travellers. Your leader will be able to recommend some good place sot eat!
Hotel (1 night)
Cusco - Orientation Walk
Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cusco (Transport & guides are not included) - PEN135
Cusco - Half Tourist Ticket Pass, which gives you access to selected archaeological sites in/around Cusco (transport & guides are not included) - PEN75
Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley (approximately 2 hours) on the outskirts of Cusco. This lush valley was known as Wilcamayo to the Incas and has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls. You will visit a community in the valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities. If your visit coincides with market day you can browse the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos, and perhaps practice your newfound language, Quechua. Later in the afternoon, board a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, which is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. This extra journey ensures that we can travel to Machu Picchu as early as possible tomorrow morning.
Take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes). This is your chance to decide for yourself whether Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility or is an ancient astronomical observatory. Enjoy a guided visit of the incredible site (1.5–2 hours) with plenty of free time afterwards to wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, return to Cusco.
Note: Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking climbs of Wayna Picchu.
Visiting Machu Picchu:
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.
Hotel (1 night)
Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
Sunrise at Machu Picchu: The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 5.30am. The estimated arrival time is between 6- 6.30am The sun rises at Machu Picchu at approximately 5.30am, therefore it's not possible to be there in time for sunrise.
Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cusco's sights, or simply rest your legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas. For those who can't get enough active adventure, a mountain bike adventure into the surrounding hills is recommended.
Travel by local bus across the spectacular Altiplano to Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approximately 6 hours). Mingle with the locals in this melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian cultures and see how traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. If you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, which see the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.
Take a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. Using the versatile totora reeds found in the shallows of the lake, the Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. To get a closer look at daily life in the Lake Titicaca region, you'll be welcomed into the home of a local community and stay the night. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities, communicating to them in Quechua or perhaps trying your luck with them at soccer.
Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation that works towards improving the living condition of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in this part of the world you have now come to know so well. Take a look at this short video for more information on this wonderful project: https://vimeo.com/154422813
Kusimayo is supported by the Intrepid Foundation which means you can donate to this project and your donation will be match dollar for dollar by the Intrepid Group. Please donate through our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo/
Depart your homestay this morning and take a bus to Juliaca airport (approximately 2 hours). In the afternoon take an included flight flight back to Lima (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes). Enjoy a last night out with your fellow travellers in Lima.
You will need to book a flight from Lima to Buenos Aires for today.
Bienvenido! Welcome to Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is the ultimate cosmopolitan city, with Latin passion, European elegance and its own distinctive style. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6pm. Your leader will leave a note at the hotel reception telling you where this important meeting will take place. If you arrive early, why not visit San Telmo and its weekend antiques market and artists' displays – it's a great chance to acquaint yourself with some portenos (local residents). Alternatively, visit La Boca (home to the world-class football team Boca Juniors), Recoleta (the grand cemetery) or perhaps Casa Rosada (the Pink House).
Hotel (1 night)
Buenos Aires - Coastal train - USD10
Buenos Aires - Tango show (ticket price depends on the location and inclusions) - USD90
Buenos Aires - Football game (ticket price depends on the game. Price range USD$120 - USD$250 pp) - Free
Buenos Aires - Tango, Tango, Tango! Urban Adventure - USD90
Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD111
Buenos Aires - Gourmet Food Urban Adventure - USD120
Enjoy some breakfast, then embark on an orientation walk through this fantastic city. You'll be introduced to some of Buenos Aires' major sights – the likes of the Colon Theatre, the Obelisc and Plaza de Mayo. Along the way, learn a little more about Argentina's independence from Spain.
Enjoy one last morning in Buenos Aires before catching a short flight to Posadas, followed by a drive to Ituzaingo (approximately 1 hour). Ituzaingo will serve as your base to explore the beautiful Ibera Wetlands region in the north of Argentina. Spanning more than 15,000 square kilometres, the Ibera wetlands are roughly the size of Belgium, which gives you an idea of how much there is to explore. The biodiversity in incredible, and the swamps, lakes and lagoons are home to such creatures as otters, alligators, deer, wolves and black howler monkeys, just to name a few. Keep a look out too for those oddly noble-looking creatures, the capibaras. These cousins of guinea pigs are the largest rodents in the world.
Take part on a full day (approximately 8-10 hour) walking tour and car safari with a guide, tasty lunch and plenty of snacks. You might see any number of obscure species – maybe caiman or swamp deer, perhaps even an armadillo, or a flock of rhea (which are like a South American equivalent of an emu). Anacondas, though particularly hard to spot at certain times of the year, are also known to inhabit these wetlands. Keep an eye to the sky, as you're bound to catch a glimpse of some of the 350 bird species here, from the sharp-tailed tyrant to the gorgeous and garish yellow robin.
Enjoy some breakfast and prepare for a long travel day. From Ituizangó take a comfortable local bus to Puerto Iguazu (approximately 5 hours). As soon as you arrive at Puerto Iguazu bus station, you will take a minivan across the border into Brazil and continue to your hotel in Foz do Iguacu (approximately one hour, depending on traffic at the Argentina–Brazil border).
Hotel (1 night)
Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
Here at Iguazu, you'll visit the mighty waterfalls from both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides. At over 2 kilometreslong, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are over 270 falls in all, and with some reaching up to 80 metres in height, they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara. From the Argentinean side it’s possible to follow a series of boardwalks to get up close to the thundering waters – so close you can almost touch them. Later, visit a Guarani community for the rare opportunity to meet some of the region’s few remaining indigenous people. You might like to take a helicopter ride over the falls while you're here. This optional excursion gives you spectacular views of the falls and the lush green parklands that surround it.
Enjoy the magnificent panoramas on the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Seeing the falls from this side has its perks, such as a view of San Martin Island which you don't quite get from the Argentinean side.
Hotel (1 night)
Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
Travel by plane to Rio de Janeiro, the festive heart of Brazil. Settle into your hotel and then set out on an orientation walk with your leader. Rio is a fascinating and diverse city best known for its contrasting images of favelas (shanty towns) and the glitz and glamour of Carnaval. With free time, you can choose from many optional activities. Perhaps head to a football game, take a cable car ride between Praia Vermelha and the Sugarloaf Mountain for incredible views over town, or explore the favelas with a local guide. Be sure to check out the Christ the Redeemer statue while you're here. For further options, chat to your leader.
Hotel Santa Clara (1 night)
Rio de Janeiro - Carnaval rehearsal (only available from June to Carnaval) - BRL90
Rio de Janeiro - Football game (ticket price depends on the game) - USD50
Today you'll see a different side to Rio, with a visit a local project in Leme. You'll take a nice and easy trek up to a favela in Leme (close to Ipanema) in Morro da Babilonia. It's a project sponsored by a big mall (Rio Sul) and the idea is to reforest the hill. The local guides are from the community and they are very passionate about what they do. It's an inspiring project to witness, and it'll five you very different views of Rio, taking in the back of Pao de Acucar mountain.
FLIGHT NOT INCLUDED
Flight from Lima to Buenos Aires on day 9 is not included in the tour cost and must be by client or agent.
Please consider booking international flights with Lan so you can book this flight on an airpass. Contact us for more information.
**Airport transfers are included for these flights, however we must have flight information, no later than 15 days out from departure**
PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes night 7 (Lake Titicaca, Homestay) & 11 & 12 (Ibera Wetlands) where you will be in shared accommodation.
On June 30th Peruvian authorities released a new list of regulations for visiting Machu Picchu, which came into effect from July 1st
The main points impacting our visits are:
On June 30th Peruvian authorities released a new list of regulations for visiting Machu Picchu, which came into effect from July 1st. The main points impacting our visits are:
1. There is now a time limit to visit the citadel. Morning visitors must exit the site by 12pm and afternoon visitors by 4.30pm
2. Visitors must complete a designated circuit, in one direction only. Exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted and, upon completion, visitor must exit the site. There is no allowance for personal exploration of the site any longer.
Overall we support these changes as they help preserve this invaluable archaeological site. While this somehow restricts the amount of time we are now allowed to spend in Machu Picchu, we’ll do all possible to maximise your time there and make sure you have the best possible experience.
These new regulations are affecting how much time our passengers can spend in Machu Picchu, in the past, after a 1-2.5 hour tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site unguided, this is not possible anymore.
Our only alternative is to make passengers explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun gate and Inka Bridge) before their guided tour starts (so about 2 hours before meeting the guide). Your Tour Leader will provide more information on what the group options are at the Welcome meeting.
Essential trip information
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.
A fun, informative, educational experience of three amazing countries. Well organised, great guides and of course all main aspects covered. Also enough free time to explore. A must for all to experience.
Review submitted 07 Jun 2018
Explore Peru, Argentina and Brazil trip reviews
Our Explore Peru, Argentina and Brazil trips score an average of 5 out of 5
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