Day 1 - Departure
Depart on Thursday on a daytime non-stop flight to Rio de Janeiro, arriving in the evening. You will be met at the airport by our representative who will take you to your hotel in the cosmopolitan beach area of Copacabana and Ipanema, staying for 3 nights. On arrival you will have an introduction to the local area which is an opportunity for our guide to provide advice, explain your programme, answer any questions you may have.
Day 2 - Half day Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Today you will visit Rio's most famous symbol, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, perched on Corcovado mountain. From here the views extend far out to tropical islands, Guanabara Bay with its beautiful beaches and the city, surrounded by lush green forest.
Day 3 - Rio de Janeiro at Leisure
Day at leisure to explore the city and enjoy the beaches of Rio. There is also a wide choice of optional excursions available, including a tropical islands cruise and a scenic mountain bus ride to the colonial city of Petropolis.
Day 4 - Iguassu Falls, Brazilian side
Today you fly to Iguassu, visit the Brazilian side of the Falls for a panoramic view, then cross the border to the Argentinean side, staying for 1 night.
Day 5 - Iguazu Falls, Argentinian side
Excursion to walk along the trails of the Argentinian side, around and above crashing waterfalls, surrounded by tropical rainforest where butterflies flit about and toucans fly overhead. In the afternoon flight to Buenos Aires for three nights.
Day 6 - Full Day Tour of Buenos Aires
Our full day city tour takes us to the Cathedral and the Presidential Palace, centre stage to numerous historic events as well as economic and political protests. Continue to La Boca, birthplace of the tango, to see the brightly coloured houses in the famous 'Caminito' and on to Recoleta, an elegant park with restaurants and street cafés.
Day 7 - Buenos Aires at Leisure
Full day to explore on your own, a dinner and tango show in the evening are a must.
Days 8 - Flight to Bariloche, Lake District of Argentina
Fly to Bariloche in the Argentinean Lake District on the shores of Lake Nahuel Huapi, surrounded by snow-covered peaks, pine forests and green valleys.
Day 9 - Full Day Tour of the Lake District
Full day tour of scenic lakes, mountains and walks along the forest trails with your experienced outdoor guide, visiting La Angostura and San Martin Los Andes.
Day 10 - Andean Lake Crossing to Chile
A glorious full day journey, over the Andes mountains and across three lakes into Chile. You will take a sequence of buses and boats through the mountains up to the border at the highest point. Stunning scenery of deep blue lakes reflecting the surrounding mountains, with slopes covered in lush forests. On arrival in Puerto Varas, transfer to your hotel for one night.
Day 11 - Flight to Santiago de Chile
Transfer to Puerto Montt and take the flight to Santiago. On arrival, transfer to your hotel where you stay for 3 nights.
Day 12 - Tour of Santiago
Morning city tour, visiting the 'Plaza de Armas' main square, the Presidential Palace and taking the funicular railway up to the San Cristóbal mountain, affording extensive views of the city below and the snowcapped Andes stretching into the distance. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 13 - Santiago at Leisure
Full day to further explore the city or take optional excursions to the Santa Rita vineyards, the coastal resort of Viña del Mar, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valparaiso or ramble in the mountains at the Cajón del Maipo.
Day 14 - Fly to La Paz
Transfer to the airport and fly to La Paz, the world's highest capital city (3,636m), where you stay for 2 nights. A bustling city settled in a large basin, where adobe houses cling precariously to the sheer sides. Spend the afternoon relaxing to avoid soroche (altitude sickness).
Day 15 - City tour La Paz
Our tour of the city follows a maze of streets and alleyways to visit colonial squares, churches and streets lined with little shops selling wonderful weavings, traditional musical instruments and jewellery, before leading us to the witches' market, where charismatic ladies sell a range of herbs, bottled potions and amulets to cure all ills. We continue to the Moon Valley, an area of sandstone, sculpted by wind and rain into bizarre land-formations.
Day 16 - Lake Titicaca
A scenic road, with the snow-capped cordillera in the background, takes you to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. We skirt the lake, catching glimpses of the locals working the Inca terraces with the help of oxen, and stop for lunch at the charming lakeshore village of Copacabana. Visit the church of Our Lady of Copacabana, Patron Saint of Bolivia and take a boat trip to Sun Island before crossing the border into Peru and continuing to Puno where you spend one night at a hotel by the lake.
Day 17 - Andean Explorer Train Journey to Cusco
Board the luxurious Andean Explorer Train to Cusco to cross the dramatic Andean landscape. You will sit at a table by the window, where lunch and afternoon tea will be served, as the route takes you through beautiful Andean landscapes, of snow covered mountains, past fields of grazing cattle, hot springs and small villages. Little stations crop up in the middle of the altiplano, or 'high plain', where local people wait to sell local food and handicrafts. On arrival at Cusco you will be met by your guide and taken to your hotel for 2 nights.
Day 18 - Sacred Valley of the Incas Full Day Tour
On our visit to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the road winds down into the Urubamba Valley, offering fabulous views of the Inca terracing and the fertile plains below. We visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, scaling the hill above a charming Inca village, and Pisac, remains of some of the finest examples of Inca masonry. We continue to Pisac's Sunday market, a colourful affair, where villagers come from miles around to barter and sell food, alpaca weavings and handicraft. If there is time we may also drive up to Pisac ruins for a great view at sunset of the Urubamba valley below.
Day 19 - Machu Picchu by Vistadome Train
Your day begins with a stunning train journey, following the course of the Urubamba River, and culmi...
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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