South America Sensations Tour (25 days)
25 days duration
This morning you make your way to the airport for your flight to South America. As you cross the Date Line you ‘gain’ a day, so you arrive into Santiago also on Saturday. You will be transferred to your hotel for your first evening.
This morning we will take you on a city tour of Santiago. We will visit the Plaza de Armas (Main Square), the 16th century Cathedral, City Hall and National Congress Buildings and the Moneda Presidential Palace. We also see O'Higgins Park, featuring the former Chilean Military Academy and the Santa Lucia Hill where the foundation of Santiago took place in 1542. (B)
This morning you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima, Peru. On arrival you are met and taken to your well-appointed hotel where we stay for two-nights. Lima, “The City of the Kings”, is a very beautiful city. It was the first seat of the Government of Spain in 1535 and still has many well preserved buildings from Colonial times. (B)
This morning we are taken on a tour of Greater Lima, visiting the three distinct historical periods of this capital city: Pre-Columbian, Colonial and Modern. The tour visits the Franciscan Monastery and the Casa Aliaga (an Inca Tours exclusive in Australia!), one of South America’s oldest Spanish homes and still inhabited by descendants of the original family. After seeing the Government Palace and the Plaza de Armas we drive through the elegant residential tree-lined avenues of San Isidro and Miraflores, to Parque del Amor with its views of the Pacific Ocean. (B)
This morning we are taken to Lima Airport for our flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Basin, near the border of Peru and Bolivia. On arrival we are met and driven to the river dock. A half hour journey down the Madre de Dios River by motor canoe brings us to the start of the trail. The walk to the lodge takes about an hour. The trail takes us through a flooded forest of 30 metre high Mauritia Palms.
After lunch and a siesta, we board a catamaran and set off to explore Sandoval Lake. Here in the flooded forest, it is possible to drift beneath babbling red-bellied Macaws as they return to the forest for the night. We are returned to the lodge at nightfall for dinner. (BLD)
We have an early excursion on the lake for a possible encounter with the lake’s giant otters. Most of the water birds around the lake actively fish in the early morning as well and we may see some prehistoric-looking Hoatzins. These odd, leaf-eating birds are the size of chickens and sport bare blue faces, red eyes and punk rock type crests. After breakfast we set off into the cool canopy of the tall virgin forest to see some towering wild Brazil Nut Trees. (BLD)
This morning we are taken back to Puerto Maldonado Airport for our flight to Cuzco. On arrival we are met and driven to our hotel at a lower altitude in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here we spend two relaxing nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy this most stunning destination. (B)
This morning we visit the famous Inca Fortress of Ollantaytambo. From here we are taken to the traditional Indian Market of Pisac where you have time to bargain with the local Indians for their fabulous weavings and ceramics. Afternoon at leisure. (BL)
This morning we are taken to Ollanta Train Station for our two-day excursion to Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas” as it is known. We follow the Urubamba River on one of the world’s great train journeys. On arrival at Aguas Calientes township, we take the shuttle bus up to the Machu Picchu ruins for a comprehensive tour of the site.
Our accommodation tonight is in Aguas Calientes, the village below the ruins—an absolute highlight in itself! (BLD)
Your morning is at leisure to further explore Machu Picchu without the hassle of large crowds. This afternoon you make your way to the train station for our return journey to Cuzco: the Inca capital. On arrival we are met and taken to our hotel for two fabulous nights.
Cuzco is the archaeological capital of the Americas and the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Massive Inca-built stone walls line most of Cuzco’s central streets to form the foundations of Colonial and modern buildings. (B)
This morning we are taken on a tour of Cuzco that includes the Main Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, the Temple of the Sun (Koricancha), as well as other city highlights, such as the local markets. The tour then visits the most important Inca Ruin on the outskirts of Cuzco: Sacsayhuaman. (B)
This morning we are taken to the train station for our Orient Express journey across the Andean Altiplano, via the La Raya Pass, one of the highest rail pass in the world, and on to Juliaca. This journey takes about 10 hours and will provide a wonderful insight into life as it has been for hundreds of years. We experience some of the world’s most spectacular views and the only area in the world where the Vicuna still exist in large numbers.
On arrival in Juliaca we are met and taken to our Puno hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca. (BL)
Early this morning we are taken to Copacabana with a visit the churches of Pomata and Juli on the way. On arrival at Copacabana we undertake a short tour of the shrine and local market before boarding the hydrofoil to travel to the Moon Island. Here we enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Titicaca before visiting the Sun Virgins Temple: Inak Uyu.
Later we continue to the Sun Island where we visit the Sun Temple and undertake a panoramic trek to our lodge for tonight. Your afternoon is at leisure to visit the local community. (BLD)
Today we visit the Inca stair case and sacred fountain to touch the water that is believed to give eternal youth. Prior to taking the hydrofoil to Huatajata we have lunch and visit a small handicraft market. On arrival in Hautajata we make a visit to the Andean Roots Eco Village and Altiplano Museum where we hear about the cultural heritage of the Aymaras and the Incas, their traditions and wisdom.
Later we are driven to our hotel in La Paz for two nights. (BL)
This morning we undertake a tour of La Paz and the spectacular Moon Valley. We visit the Indian and Pagan sacrificial markets, Calle Jaen with its museums, San Francisco Church, Plaza Murillo, National Congress, the Cathedral, Presidential Palace, Obrajes, Calacoto and finally, the unusual formations of the Moon Valley outside of La Paz. (B)
Today we are taken to La Paz Airport for our flight to Lima. On arrival we connect with our flight to Iguazu Falls in Argentina. On arrival we are met and taken to our hotel for two fabulous nights. (B)
Iguazu Falls is considered by many as the most impressive water falls in the world and surpassing in grandeur both Niagara and Victoria. Some 275 separate cascades fall in a wild array of spray over a winding 3 km cliff frontage into a gorge 60 metres deep. One of the most spectacular of the falls is aptly named “The Devil’s Throat”. After breakfast we are taken on a comprehensive walking tour of the Argentine side of the falls.
Later we are taken to the banks of the Iguazu River where we board our powerful inflated boat for an incredibly spectacular ride up the river to the base of the falls. (B)
This morning we visit the Brazilian side of the falls for a panoramic walking tour. After lunch you can choose from one of the included tours listed below. Later we are taken to the airport for our flight to Rio de Janeiro. On arrival we are met and taken to our hotel located on Copacabana for three nights. Rio sweeps 20 kms along the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea. The combination of dark blue sea, studded with rocky islands and the tumbling mountains with expanses of bare grey rock is very impressive. Brazilians say: “God made the world in six days, the seventh He devoted to Rio”. (B)
TOUR 1: Visit a local bird sanctuary to see a wide variety of South American species.
TOUR 2: Undertake a seat in coach tour to the ITAIPU Dam and Hydroelectric Plant.
This morning we are taken on a tour to Corcovado and the Statue of Christ. The tour passes by Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon to Cosme Velho, where the modern funicular train is boarded for the 20 minute ride high up to the top of the 770 metre high Corcovado Mountain. The Christ the Redeemer Statue is one of Rio’s most famous landmarks. It is 37 metres high, weighs 1,100 tons and has a 360 degree view of the entire area below, encompassing the city, the bay, the mountains and the sea within a circle of up to 160 kms. The Tijuca Rain Forest and the famous beach suburbs of Barra and Sao Conrado are seen on our way back to the hotel.
Tonight we are taken to one of Rio’s most popular restaurants for a typical Brazilian dinner. Later we enjoy Rio’s best Samba Show outside of Carnival! (BD)
In the afternoon we visit the old city of Rio before being taken to the Sugar Loaf Mountain, located uniquely above the entrance to Guanabara Bay. It is reached by a spectacular 2-stage cable car ride that offers a beautiful view of the city and its beaches from high above Rio. On arrival we enjoy a cool drink as the sun sets over the emerging lights of the city below. (B)
This morning we are taken to the airport for our flight to Buenos Aires. On arrival we are taken to our hotel for a three-night stay. (B)
Buenos Aires is the Argentine capital and the most fashionable city in South America, with many beautiful parks and plazas. Portenos, as the locals call themselves, are fun loving people who enjoy their way of life. This morning we are taken on a city tour during which we see the Casa Rosada, City Hall, the Congress, the Cathedral, the Colon Theatre, Avenue 9th July (the world’s widest street) and the historic Italian La Boca District. This evening we dine at and enjoy the city’s superior Tango Show. (BD)
Today is at leisure. If you would like to do an optional tour, we offer a seat in coach tour to a Gaucho farm in the pampas, including a BBQ lunch. (B)
This morning we are taken to Buenos Aires Airport for our flight back to Sydney. (B)
You arrive home late today. Welcome Home!
All prices are subject to currency fluctuations, additional airline charges and changes in costs from ground suppliers. We reserve the right to vary any part of the tour at our sole discretion as circumstances may require.
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