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Programs

Grand Tour Of South America

SKU: SIC GRAN SA

(Per person rates are based on double occupancy)

Information

An intense 14-day trip around South America. A blend of the principal cities and the natural world makes for an unbeatable adventure that combines cityscapes, rural scenery and living culture.

Please ask for our prices on this tour and other South American options.

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Tour Plan

Day 1 (Sunday): LIMA - INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS

Transport with a guide will pick you up from the airport at the agreed time and take you to your hotel. Lima is a modern city full of history, with approximately 10 million inhabitants, which is undergoing an exciting process of cultural and economic change. Its gastronomy is one of its principal attractions: the city has three establishments on that famous list of the world's best restaurants, and nine on the list of best restaurants in Latin America. Free day. Stay the night in your chosen hotel in Lima.

Day 2 (Monday): LIMA - CITY TOUR (HD) - CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY

Breakfast and a tour of Lima's old centre - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is full of fascinating historic buildings, emblematic balconies, some fitted with elaborate screens that enabled families to see what was going on in the street while remaining hidden. The tour starts in the Main Square, where you can appreciate the viceregal and republican-era architecture. The Main Square contains Lima cathedral, which was built in the 16th Century and took more than 80 years to complete; the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop's Palace and the Municipality or town hall Very near is the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion built on a site granted in 1535 to Captain Jerónimo de Aliaga by Conquistador Francisco Pizarro. It is the only home from that time that still belongs to the same family. A few blocks away is the church and convent of San Francisco, with its frescoes and library full of incunabula, the convent and church of Santo Domingo and La Merced church, containing the cross of Father Urraca. Concrete examples of religious syncretism and popular faith.

We continue to the Larco Museum in the traditional district of Pueblo Libre, a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built on top of a pre-Hispanic pyramid from the 7th Century. The museum has a magnificent collection of pre-Hispanic gold and silver, as well as items of erotic art. The tour ends in Love Park in the coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire the cliffs and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Return to the hotel. Transport will be provided to take you from your hotel at the agreed time to Lima airport. A representative will be there to help you. Flight to Cusco. Transport will be waiting for you at Cusco airport to take you to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. Overnight stay in your chosen hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Day 3 (Tuesday): SACRED VALLEY – PISAC- OLLANTAYTAMBO

Breakfast included. The tour begins in the market in Pisac, which sells products made by local residents. Beautiful alpaca textiles, musical instruments, paintings, sculptures, necklaces and replicas of ancient Incas items. The tour then continues to the Pisac archaeological site, the largest complex of terraces in the area and a masterpiece of agriculture from the Inca Empire. Lunch at a previously chosen restaurant and visit to the ruins at Ollantaytambo and nearby places of interest. This village is a typical example of Inca urban development and many of its residents still uphold the ancient traditions. Transport to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. Lunch is included. Overnight stay in your chosen hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Day 4 (Wednesday): SACRED VALLEY - MACHU PICCHU (FD)

Breakfast and transport to the station at Ollantaytambo to catch the train to Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo, which is the last stop before the most important archaeological sanctuary in Peru. Aguas Calientes has a railway station, a handicrafts market, restaurants and hotels of different categories for those who prefer to spend the night at the foot of the mountain and to climb it early in the morning. Finally, after a short bus journey you arrive at Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of engineering and architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Return to Aguas Calientes for Lunch at Café Inkaterra. Take the afternoon train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco. Stay overnight at your chosen hotel in Cusco.

Day 5 (Thursday): CUSCO - CITY TOUR AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES (HD)

Breakfast and visit to Koricancha or the Temple of the Sun built by Inca Pachacutec. When the Spanish arrived they built the Convent of Santo Domingo over it. Visit to the cathedral, the most imposing monument on the Main Square. Construction began in 1560 and it was completed in 1654: hundreds of stones were taken and transported from the fortress of Sacsayhuaman by the Ecclesiastical Council of that era. The rout continues to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most emblematic of Inca constructions (a few minutes from the centre of the city), built by Inca Pachacutec in the 15th Century. Quenqo, a complex used principally for religious purposes, where rituals relating to agriculture may have been performed. Puca Pucará or the Red Fort; and Tambomachay . Return to the hotel. Rest of the afternoon free. Stay overnight at your chosen hotel in Cusco.

Day 6 (Friday): CUSCO - LA PAZ - LAKE TITICACA: HUATAJATA

Breakfast. Transport and a guide will be provided to pick you up from your hotel at the agreed time and take you to the airport. Flight to La Paz. Meeting at the airport with the tourist guide and transfer to Huatajata on the shore of Lake Titicaca.

OPTIONAL TOUR: URU IRUITOS FLOATING ISLANDS

Hydrofoil cruise from Huatajata to the floating islands of Urus Iruitos and the Quewaya sustainable tourism project. Enjoy a cruise on Lake Titicaca among totora reed beds to the floating islands and sustainable tourism project, the preservation of a culture more than five thousand years old and a social project created to ensure its survival. Enjoy an impressive view of the Andes' Cordillera Real range. Stay the night at the Utama Hotel and cultural complex.

Date 7 (Saturday): LAKE TITICACA: HUATAJATA - SUN AND MOON ISLANDS - LA PAZ

Breakfast. Bus to Cocotoni. Hydrofoil cruise to direct to Sun Island, where you will take the Great Inca Stairway to the Sacred Spring: its underground waters grant youth and eternal happiness. Lunch is served in an agreeable archaeological restaurant called Uma Kollu, whose menu contains traditional dishes made from local ingredients. Then to Moon Island to visit the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun or Iñak Uyu, which remains unspoiled.

Hydrofoil to Copacabana on the shore of Lake Titicaca, where you will visit the Sanctuary and Statue of the Black Virgin, powerful symbols of the region's religious fervour and mysticism. The faithful bring colourful offerings as a demonstration of their beliefs.

Continue by road to your hotel in La Paz, enjoying views of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes.

Day 8 (Sunday): LA PAZ

Breakfast included. This one-day tour takes you through indigenous, colonial and contemporary areas, all beneath the gaze of the imposing snow-capped Mount Illimani. You will visit the fruit and vegetable markets and see the biodiversity with which Bolivia biodiversity. There is also an art and contemporary design market where impeccable handicrafts are made. The Witches' Market is an obligatory stop on the route: a perfect example of the syncretism prevalent in this country. There is also an excursion to the Valle de la Luna, whose clay formations resemble the surface of the moon. Here you can easily disengage from modern life and enter a parallel universe in another time and dimension. Stay overnight at your chosen hotel in the city of La Paz.

OPTIONAL TOUR: TOUR OF THE TIWANAKU RUINS

The Tiwanaku culture (1580 BC – 1000 AD) was one of the most important on the American continent, and it influenced those that followed it. The site contains the well-preserved ruins of La Puerta del Sol, the Kalasasaya temple and the Akapana pyramid, vestiges of a glorious past. The Tiwanaku culture was based on an agrarian economy and had an estimated population of 115 inhabitants. Agriculture was under the control of the Tiwanacota State and produced enough food to supply the urban centres and the administrative system. The Tiwanaku people had extensive knowledge of water management, architecture and medicine and they had a well-developed social organisation. An economic crisis caused by a lengthy drought caused the culture to collapse in about 1000 AD. The excursion takes five hours and plunges you into a past full of mystery and wisdom.

Stay overnight at your chosen hotel in the city of La Paz.

Day 9 (Monday): LA PAZ – BUENOS AIRES

Breakfast. Transport from your hotel to La Paz airport. Includes: transport, bilingual guide, assistance on arrival or departure and transfers. Flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina.

On arrival you will be met at Ezeiza International Airport by an experienced guide, who will introduce you to one of South America's most exciting cities. A private vehicle will take you to your chosen hotel. Afternoon free for resting and recovering from the flight. Stay the night at your chosen hotel in Buenos Aires.

OPTIONAL TOUR: TANGO SHOW AND DINNER
Day 10 (Tuesday): BUENOS AIRES

Breakfast and city tour. An exciting start to the tour of this cosmopolitan and vibrant city, with its unique blend of European and American elements. It is one of the world's largest ports, home to almost one third of Argentinians and an ever more popular destination for tourism. The spirit of Buenos Aires is present in its parks, cafés, streets, theatres, museums, markets and restaurants. Visit the suburbs of Norte, Palermo and Recoleta, the Teatro Colón (one of the world's five most important opera houses), the Plaza de Mayo surrounded by the Presidential Palace (La Casa Rosada), the Old Municipality and the Metropolitan Cathedral. You will also visit San Telmo, home of the aristocracy until the turn of the 19th Century. The tour ends in the colourful La Boca, a picturesque neighbourhood of Italian immigrants, and Puerto Madero, with its elegant bars and restaurants. Stay the night at your chosen hotel in Buenos Aires.

Date 11 (Wednesday): BUENOS AIRES-IGUAZÚ

Breakfast and transfer to the airport for the flight to Iguazú. Visit one of the country's most astonishing national parks and its waterfalls at the joint border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Transport to your hotel and time to relax by the pool. Stay the night at your chosen hotel in Iguazú.

Day 12 (Thursday): IGUAZÚ-RÍO DE JANEIRO

Breakfast included.

The native call the gigantic waterfalls on the River Iguazú "Great Water". These waterfalls form one of the most impressive natural sights in South America. During a guided walk on the Brazilian side the great waterfalls are always in view.

Transport to the airport for the flight to Rio. Afternoon flight to Rio.

You will be met by the tourist guide and taken to your hotel.

Overnight stay at your chosen hotel in Río de Janeiro

Day 13 (Friday): RÍO DE JANEIRO

Welcome to Rio: enigmatic, unruly, lively and cheerful. Here the day merges into night to the rhythm of the samba. The heat makes the beach a constant temptation and a constant source of conversation. The morning starts with a cable car trip to enjoy the impressive view from an altitude of 440 metres. You will see the beaches at Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, the city centre, the cathedral, the opera house and Avenida Rio Branco. Overnight stay at your chosen hotel in Río de Janeiro.

OPTIONAL AFTERNOON TOUR: HALF DAY CORCOVADO AND FLORESTA
Day 14 (Saturday): RÍO DE JANEIRO-INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Breakfast and transport to the airport.

Location

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