Wonders Of South America

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-PER010

From: £4810.00

Experience the best of South America with this exhilarating tailormade holiday through Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. Bringing together Peru's Inca past, the dizzying heights of La Paz, stylish Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro's iconic beaches, this epic journey encompasses the continents main attractions. 

Fly into Peru's capital city Lima for your first taste of Peruvian culture, before heading up into the Andes to the colonial city of Cuzco. With cultural Cuzco as your base you will travel by train to the incredible Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, discovering the history and magic surrounding this ancient citadel. Shimmering Lake Titicaca is reached by a scenic journey through the barren altiplano, dotted with llamas, alpacas and colourful locals selling their wares. On the Bolivian side of the lake visit the Sun and Moon Islands and admire the Cordillera Real (the Royal Range of the Andes) mountains. Take to the skies by cable car in La Paz for unique views and visit the intriguing Witches Market and Valley of the Moon. 

Jump across the border with a flight to Argentina landing in the energetic city of Buenos Aires. This bright city will sweep you off your feet as you dance the Tango and visit the vibrant districts of La Boca and San Telmo, walking down the streets dotted with colourfully painted houses. At Iguazu witness the colossal power of the 275 cascading falls, watching from the suspended platform which overlooks the Devil's Throat before crossing over to the Brazilian side. Here you will observe the vistas from the north side of the UNESCO site, exploring the tropical flora and fauna of the surrounding rainforest.

Leave behind this incredible nature for the exciting hustle and bustle of the iconic Rio de Janeiro. Journey up to Corcovado to see the city from the perspective of Christ the Redeemer, relax on the pristine beaches and take a tour of the historic centre, all while enjoying the cities cosmopolitan restaurants and bars.

With a host of options tailor made extensions in Brazil, such as staying in the charming costal town of Buzios, this holiday is a fantastic option for those who are visiting South America for the first time. Taking you to the most iconic sights and unique cultures this trip will leave you with a desire to come back and explore this remarkable continent again.

Itinerary

Day 1 Travel direct to the Peruvian capital of Lima with British Airways and transfer to the Barranco neighbourhood. Located by the Pacific Ocean this is a great area to stay with selection of restaurants and cafes with easy walking distance. Bohemian in style, Barranco is home to a host of museums and art galleries along with the pretty Bridge of Sighs near the main plaza. This narrow wooden bridge has inspired many Peruvian folk songs and one of the most photographed spots in Barranco.

Day 2 Lima is a city first founded as 'The City of Kings' in 1535 and subsequently made the capital in 1821 when Peru became independent from Spain. Explore the colonial area of the city with highlights including the Presidential Palace and Lima Cathedral situated around the grand Plaza de Armas main square. Take in the modern areas of Miraflores on the Costa Verde, finishing at the Larco Museum for an in-depth overview of centuries of Peruvian history. Learn about the Incas and the pre-Inca cultures of Moche and Chimu. There is also the option for lunch at the Larco Cafe overlooking he museums pretty colourful gardens.

Day 3 The heart of the Inca Empire is Cuzco, a wonderful city of historic charm. Meander the cobbled streets, admiring the well preserved buildings and colourful shops full of traditional fabrics and handicrafts. Visit the artists neighbourhood of San Blas, nestled on a steep hillside close to the Plaza de Armas with its classic architecture and narrow passageways. After dark the city comes alive. Learn about the traditional Peru drink pisco at the aptly named Pisco Museum or dine at the sophisticated MAP Cafe located within the Museo de Arte Precolombino.

Day 4 Explore Cuzco, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, awash with fascinating historic sights. Visit the majestic Cathedral located on the Plaza de Armas and Koricancha, an impressive example of how Inca and Hispanic cultures fused together. Perched on a hillside is the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, an imposing example of Inca architecture. The large granite blocks are held together without any type of cement or adhesive

Day 5 Discover the best of the Sacred Valley of the Incas on this full day tour. Visit the Inca's Balcony, a beautiful terrace with an impressive view of Chinchero, an indigenous town where they continue to live in a traditional way. Learn about their ancestral way and how they process wool and obtain the vibrant colours for their textiles. Ollantaytambo fortress is one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire and the town dates back to the 13th century. With its cobblestone streets and traditional values this is charming town to visit.

Day 6 A full day to experience the 'Lost City of the Incas', Machu Picchu and explore this spectacular citadel. From the Sacred Valley travel to Ollantaytambo train station for the journey through the Andes to the village of Aguas Calientes. From here travel by bus via the zig zag mountain road to the entrance of this magical site. Machu Picchu, meaning 'Old Mountain', is considered a World Heritage site by UNESCO and was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Learn about the history surrounding this iconic place and how it was discovered by American archaeologist, Hiram Bingham, in 1911.

Day 7 Free morning to visit the Machu Picchu archaeological complex. Explore some of the outlying places, like the Inti Punko, also called the “Doorway of the Sun” and take the opportunity to climb Huyana Picchu, a steep climb but well worth it for the spectacular views over the citadel. Find a quiet area and simply feel the mystical energy and imagine how this town would have looked at the peak of the Inca civilisation. In the afternoon embark the train, returning via the Sacred Valley, to Poroy, the key station outside Cuzco.

Day 8 Spectacular drive through the Andes Mountains to the town on Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. As you travel the altiplano, admire the wonderful scenery with the snowcapped mountain peaks. Visit Andahuaylillas, with its 17th century church adroned with angels and cherubs and Racchi ruins known as "The Temple of God Wiracocha". Before arriving to Puno climb to the highest point, La Raya at 4300m altitude. Take advantage of fantastic photo opportunities with these colourful locals against a dramatic mountain backdrop.

Day 9 Enjoy a full day tour to the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca, which straddles the border of Peru and Bolivia. From Puno, travel by bus to Juli, located by the shore of shimmering Lake Titicaca. From the port in Copacaba, board the hydrofoil for your cruise to Moon Island taking in a visit to the Sun Virgin Temple 'Iñak Uyu'. Next stop is Sun Island, and a stop for lunch at the Uma Kollu restaurant, with its spectacular views of the lake and the Cordillera Royal mountain range. Return to the mainland at Huatajata, visiting the Andean Roots Eco Village before continuing to La Paz.

Day 10 Explore this magical metropolis with its spectacular setting and feel the history unfolding on every corner. A highlight for many is the indigenous Witches Market famed for its unusual wares close to the elegant San Francisco church. The main square Plaza Murillo is home to the Presidential Palace and a unique clock that runs anti-clockwise. Stroll along with Calle Jean, a pretty colonial style street and take the new 'teleferico' cable car for specta...

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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