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South America Sojourn

South America Sojourn

South America Sojourn

HIGHLIGHTS

Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls, Uyuni Salt Flats, Machu Picchu

FROM

US$8480

DURATION

30 Days

Why choose this trip?

This unique South America holiday will give you an insight to the variety of fascinating cultures and scenic highlights, such as Rio, the Amazon, Machu Picchu and the amazing Colca Canyon and condors. Plus moving off the beaten track to northern Argentina, the Atacama desert and the shimmering salt lakes of Bolivia. If you only ever think you will visit South America once, or if you are looking for an overview, before deep exploration, this tour will be the perfect starting point for you. It can can be combined with the Galapagos Islands or further travel to Colombia or Central America.

What’s the Activity level?

This trip is designed for people who are moderately fit and are prepared to be more active than on a coach tour. There is walking involved most days, as we prefer to show you the cities on foot, which will add to the enjoyment of the tour. All the Inca sites have lots of steps. This can be a little tougher with the altitude in areas like Cuzco, Puno and the Sacred Valley but we take it easy, and give you time to acclimatise. There is a flat 3km walk through the rainforest to get to the Amazon Lodge. Here gumboots are provided if it’s wet, and your bags will be carried by porters. You only carry a day pack. You’ll be responsible for moving your own luggage from your hotel room to reception areas.

What’s the transport and accommodation like?

Be prepared to travel on a variety of transport from planes to motorised canoes, trains and private vans. There are a couple of long bus rides on comfortable long distance coaches. Accommodation is comfortable 3 star standard with private facilities and plenty of local charm. Hotels are chosen for their safety, location, ambiance and friendly staff. If you enjoy unique journeys and look forward to special experiences, this will be the trip of a lifetime.

*All our tours are non-smoking

TRIP SUMMARY

Duration: 30 days from Rio to Lima
Trip focus: A moderately active sightseeing trip exploring the highlights of South America
Accommodation: 26 nights hotels, 3 nights Rain Forest lodge
Transport: Flight, bus, train, boat and van
Group size: Maximum 12 + S.E.T. tour leader, Minimum 6
Single supplement: US$1435
**Internal Airfares subject to change. If not arriving with Lan Airlines, an airfare surcharge applies. Please ask for a quote

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Spectacular Samba show
  • Corcovado and Sugar Loaf tours in Rio de Janeiro
  • Iguazu Falls – Brazilian and Argentine sides
  • Buenos Aires city tour and tango show
  • 4WD excursion in Bolivia through the Uyuni Salt Lakes and coloured lagoons
  • Colca Canyon excursion and entry to hot springs
  • Full day guided tour of Lake Titicaca
  • Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu guided tour
  • Cusco cooking class and city tour
  • Guided tour of the Uros Islands and Taquile Island on Lake Titicaca
  • Eco Lodge Amazon Excursion (3 nights)
  • Lima city tour and Shantytown community project visit
  • Bilingual tour leader throughout and local guides for excursions
  • All flights within South America, all transport and accommodation
  • Tip pool of US$120 per person for local guides and drivers
  • The cost of entry fees for all scheduled tours
  • Local payment of US$500
  • All breakfasts, plus meals as listed

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, souvenirs etc
  • International flights.
  • Travel insurance, visas and vaccinations
  • Tips for your tour leader

PAYING LOCALLY:

Many of our tours involve a local payment, which is included as part of your overall trip cost, and is deducted off the amount you pay to us prior to departure. These funds are then paid to your leader upon arrival in cash on day one of the trip, and put towards local expenses. In some developing countries the transferring of funds is at times problematic and many small hotels and operators only deal in cash payments. This in turn helps us support small local businesses, rather than turning to large operations.

All prices are approximate and subject to currency fluctuations until final payment has been made.

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL DAY RIO DE JANEIRO

Arrive in Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to your hotel and meet your tour leader. As most flights from New Zealand arrive late in the evening, we have nothing planned tonight, so relax: the adventure begins tomorrow.

Meals Included: None

DAYS 2 & 3 – RIO DE JANEIRO

We have a morning briefing on the adventure ahead. Then there’s time to sunbathe and swim at Copacabana or Ipanema Beach, before trying the local cuisine and night life. Rio by night – enjoy a dazzling show featuring Brazilian folkloric music, Carnival costumes and dances, with special emphasis on the world famous “Samba”. We take you to Corcovado, Statue of Christ the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf. From the gigantic statue of Christ the Redeemer enjoy one of the most wonderful views of Rio de Janeiro: the beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon; the Lagoon and Sugar Loaf, which are nothing short of breathtaking.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts and 1 Dinner

DAYS 4 & 5 – IGUAZU FALLS

Transfer to the airport for our flight to the most beautiful and spectacular waterfalls in the world –Iguassu Falls. Enjoy a half day tour on arrival of the Brazilian side of the falls, then transfer to the Argentine side and our family run hotel in Puerto Iguazu. In the morning visit the spectacular “Devils Throat”. There are many walkways to explore on both the upper and lower circuits, and plenty of wildlife to see. Late in the afternoon on our last day, we fly to Buenos Aires.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts

DAYS 6 & 7 – BUENOS AIRES

This exciting cosmopolitan City, often known as the ‘Paris of the Americas’ is a mix of colonial architecture and European influences – and a shoppers paradise. Our hotel is steps away from the major shopping area of Recoleta. We’ll take you on a full day insightful walking tour of Buenos Aires visiting the Plaza de Mayo, then on to the colourful Bohemian district of La Boca with it’s many artists and street markets. This evening will feature a spectacular Tango show with dinner. A must while you are in BA!

Enjoy a free day in Buenos Aires. Maybe visit the Recoleta cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, or stroll the alleyways and shops that make up Buenos Aires.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts and Dinner

DAY 8 – SALTA

We take an early morning flight up to Salta and enjoy a walking tour in the afternoon.
Salta is truly one of the most beautiful cities in northern Argentina. However, the itinerary will depend on the very changeable flight schedules. We have the option of going to a local ‘Peña Restuarant’. Loved by locals as much as by visitors they serve up wonderful regional food and have live shows of traditional dancing. This area is also know for its fabulous Torrontes wine and is the northernmost wine region of Argentina. This is also the first ascent to altitude over 2500m.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAYS 9 & 10 – TILCARA & TRAVEL TO BOLIVIA

We have a free morning in Salta before heading north towards Bolivia and spend the night in Tilcara.

We then continue towards the Bolivian border and spend the next night in Tupiza. We’ll find ourselves off the beaten track, exploring canyons of multi coloured rocks and surreal eroded formations. We need to be a little flexible with the itinerary due to conditions en-route and the border crossing, but you will be well rewarded. Tupiza is a great place to relax before our 4 wheel drive adventure towards the Salar de Uyuni begins. It’s a great place to further acclimatise for the higher altitudes ahead.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts

DAYS 11 & 12 – UYUNI SALT FLATS 4WD SAFARI

Today is an early start to our Bolivian 4WD adventure towards Uyuni and the incredible Salt Flats (Salar de Uyuni). We will visit the famous train cemetery, Uyuni Salt Flats and the fascinating Inca Huasi (Fish Island) with the tallest cactus in the world and great views over the Salar. After lunch we will visit the mummies of Conquesa, and head to the village of San Juan.

The following day we head South, visiting the lagoons of Cache, Hedionda, Chiarkhota and Honda. We then continue onto Laguna Colorada, visit the geysers Sol de Mañana, passing by Lagoon Chalviri and head north towards the village of Villamar.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners

Special note. This is a true 4WD adventure across some rugged terrain and high altitude. The itinerary can be subject to change at short notice, due to climatic conditions, and is a guideline only.

DAY 13 – UYUNI TO LA PAZ

Continuing our 4WD safari, we will visit the Valley of the Rocks and the Necropolis of Tomas Lakjas. Arriving in Uyuni for a late flight to La Paz. Once in La Paz, we’ll transfer to our hotel for a well earned good nights rest.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 14 – LA PAZ

Today we enjoy a 1/2 day city tour of La Paz which begins with an excursion to the Moon Valley, located 10 km from downtown of La Paz. These impressive formations, composed mainly of clay, were created by the persistent erosion of mountains by the areas strong winds and rains. Then we will take the cable way and enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the city. Finally, we will visit the Historic Centre of La Paz where we will visit Witches´ Market (here, we will understand the Andean way of thinking and the mystery), San Francisco Church, Murillo Square, Executive Palace, Legislative Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral and Killi Killi Viewpoint.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAYS 15 & 16 – PUNO & LAKE TITICACA

Leaving La Paz, we drive via the Bolivian version of Copacabana located on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake (3860 m above sea level) to Puno. Enjoy spectacular Altiplano scenery along the way, with plenty of photo stops and a chaotic but interesting border crossing. The next day after breakfast we board our boat to explore the lake. Visit the fascinating floating reed islands of the Uros people, where houses, schools, boats and the islands themselves are made of the Tortora Reed. Continuing on to Taquile Island for an insight to this unique communal culture, before returning to Puno for the night.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts

DAYS 17 & 18 – COLCA CANYON AND CONDOR VIEWING

We’ll drive across the Altiplano towards the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world with a staggering total depth of 3270m! Home to the famous Andean Condor. View these birds close up, as they soar above us while on the edge of the canyon. Visit local villages still inhabited by people of the Collagua and Cabana cultures, soak in thermal baths and sample the life, music and spectacular scenery. We continue onto Arequipa.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts

DAY 19 – AREQUIPA

You will wake up in Peru’s most beautiful city Arequipa. Arequipa exhibits delightful colonial past and a lovely spring like climate. Situated under the volcano “El Misti”, stroll around the city enjoying the local museums, churches, the gorgeous Santa Catalina Monastery and sample some of the many superb regional dishes.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAYS 20 & 21 – SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS

Today we fly from Arequipa to Cusco, where we head out to the beautiful Urubamba Valley (Sacred valley of the Inca’s), visiting a weavers village or local market on the way, depending on flight times. This is an exciting mix of local culture and your first experience of an ancient Inca site. Pisac Inca site and vibrant Pisac market, along with Ollantaytambo, are all in the Sacred Valley, so we’ll try and maximise time so as to best explore the area and Inca ruins.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts

DAY 22 – MACHU PICCHU

A highlight of the trip is taking a scenic train ride through spectacular mountain vistas to Aguas Calientes. After that transfer by coach to Machu Picchu – the “Lost City of the Incas”. Machu Picchu, rediscovered by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911, is one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. After our guided tour of Machu Picchu we return to Cuzco late in the evening.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Special note: Due to new visiting rules we try to take the afternoon option of 12.30 to 17.30. This means a long but rewarding day, with a late arrival back to Cusco. Visiting time subject to change.

DAYS 23 & 24 – CUZCO & PERUVIAN COOKING CLASS

A half day tour today reveals the ancient city which was known by the Incas as the “Navel of the World”, and we also visit the surrounding Inca site of Sacsayhuaman. Cuzco is an exquisite mix of Incan and Spanish colonial influences. We have a free day to explore Cuzco and enjoy the special atmosphere. Browse in the many craft shops, enjoy a coffee overlooking the plaza, or relax in the courtyard of your colonial style hotel. The day is yours. Late in the afternoon, you will enjoy a fascinating Peruvian cooking class overlooking the city of Cusco. Dinner tonight will be the results of your cooking experience.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts and 1 Dinner

DAYS 25 to 27 – AMAZON RAINFOREST LODGE

After a short flight, we arrive in the steamy Amazon town of Puerto Maldonado, where we’re met and taken to our lodge. Firstly we travel by boat from the Tambopata Port to the lodge trail head. Then we walk 3km to the stunning Sandoval lake. Finally canoed across to the lodge.
Amazon lodge – Nature walks, canoeing, medicinal plants and their uses, wildlife videos and lectures will have you enthralled. We have the chance to see spider, capuchin and howler monkeys, macaws, sloths, giant river otters which are resident in the lake, hummingbirds, caimans and a vast variety of insects. The lodge’s unique location is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

Meals Included: 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches and 3 Dinners

DAYS 28 & 29 – LIMA

We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado. A short flight takes us to Lima via Cusco. We will take you on a short orientation walk in the neighbourhood of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We explore the historic centre of Lima and see the contrasts as we head out to the hillside Shantytowns and community project that we help support. Our final dinner will feature regional Peruvian specialties.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts and 1 Dinner

DAY 30 – DEPARTURE DAY OR CONTINUE TO THE GALAPAGOS

Today is departure day.

Meals Included: Breakfast

**Ask us about joining on tours to the amazing Galapagos Islands

TESTIMONIALS

TrainSightseeingBoatWildlife WatchingCultural ExperiencesNatureFood and CookingPlaneHikingBus

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Start with the sights & sounds of Rio and the famous Samba
  • Experience a dazzling Tango Show in Buenos Aires
  • Visit the thundering Iguazu Falls and national park
  • Explore off the beaten track coloured canyons of Nth Argentina
  • Travel over the shimmering salt lakes of Uyuni and visit fascinating La Paz
  • Watch condors soaring close overhead and walk along the world’s deepest canyon
  • Experience the Uros floating reed islands & the unique culture of Taquile Island, Lake Titicaca
  • Visit the lost City of the Inca’s – Machu Picchu
  • Indulge in fine Latin American cuisine including Andean specialities
  • Explore the city of Cusco and Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Travel deep into the Amazon rainforest near Puerto Maldonado and spot exotic wildlife
  • End with an insightful city tour of Lima, “City of Kings”

DATES

Start Date End Date Availability Cost
21st Jul 2021 20th Aug 2021 AVAILABLE US$8,480
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