Day 1: Arrive Santiago, Chile
Day 2: Santiago city tour
Santiago: Founded in 1541, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The city is now home to a growing theatre and restaurant scene, a rising skyline, including the tallest building in Latin America, the Gran Torre Santiago.
Day 3: Fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Days 4-5: Explore Rio de Janeiro (Christ the Redeemer & Sugar Loaf Mountain)
Rio De Janeiro: Famed for Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, Christ the Redeemer statue (38 metres tall) atop Mount Corcovado and for Sugarloaf Mountain, a granite peak accessed by cable car to its summit. The city is also known for its sprawling favelas (shanty towns). Its raucous Carnival festival, featuring parade floats, flamboyant costumes and samba dancers, is considered the world’s largest. The city also has many excellent restaurants and museums and couple of days are needed to explore this famous city.
Day 6: Fly to Iguassu Falls and explore the Brazilian side of the Falls
Day 7: Iguazu Falls Argentine side and explore the Argentinian side of the Falls
Iguazu Falls: In a tropical region of magnificent rainforest and deep flowing rivers in the far north-east, you’ll see the mighty Iguazu Falls. The thundering waterfalls are an incredible sight and sound sensation. 3km wide and plunging 70m into the gorge that separates Brazil and Argentina and Paraguay. You can see the wide angle view of the falls from the Brazilian side and a up-close detail from the Argentinian side
Day 8: Fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 9: Buenos Aires city tour and Tango show in the evening
Day 10: Day at leisure in Buenos Aires
Day 11: Fly Buenos Aires/Mendoza for dinner in Mendoza
Day 12: Explore Mendoza's regions many wineries
Buenos Aires: Buenos Aires is a charming, sophisticated city with a strong European influence and culture. With its blend of Spanish, French and Italian architectural styles, its great variety of nightspots, and its cultural life, it is often referred to as the ‘South American Paris’. Enjoy dinner and a night of music and tango at Esquina Carlos Gardel, one of the excellent venues where typical songs and dances are performed.
Day 13: Fly via Santiago to Atacama to see San Pedro de Atacama
Days 14-15: Explore the Atacama desert region
The Atacama Desert: Located in northern Chile the Atacama Desert is the driest non-polar desert on earth, a virtually rainless plateau, with starkly beautiful landscapes of sand dunes, salt pans, lava flows and soaring volcanoes. The Valley of the Moon near San Pedro de Atacama is an area of dramatic land formations in fascinating colours and shapes. Visit the turquoise blue salt lakes 4,500m above sea level and the typical Atacama Indian village of Socaire. A dawn excursion to the El Tatio Geysers, high in the altiplano, is an amazing experience. In addition to dramatic landscapes the region is also home to a great variety of wildlife including; vicunas, guanacos, viscachas (which looks like a long tailed rabbit and is actually a rodent/chinchilla), andean geese and Andean gulls to name a few.
Day 16: Fly Atacama/Santiago/Lima, Peru
Day 17: Lima Sightseeing & optional cooking class
Day 18: Fly Lima to Puerto Maldonado for your Amazon lodge
Days 19-20: Explore Amazon Rainforrest AM & PM excursions
The Amazon Rainforest: The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, spanning an enormous 5.5 million square kilometres. It is one of the great wild places left on earth, home to thousands of species of fauna and flora shared by settlements of indigenous inhabitants.
Day 21: Fly Puerto Maldonado to Cuzco to see the Sacred Valley
Day 22: Explore a full day at the Sacred Valley
Day 23: Train Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu, to enjoy the stunning Andean scenery
Day 24: Morning at Machu Picchu, PM train to Cuzco
Days 25-26: Explore Cuzco, Sacsayhuaman
Machu Picchu: The fabled ‘Lost City of the Incas’, Machu Picchu is, unquestionably, the highlight of any visit to Peru. Built at the height of the Inca Empire’s power, then abandoned after Spanish conquest, the citadel lay hidden and untouched for almost five centuries, enshrouded by jungle and protected by its mountainous isolation high above the Urubamba River.
It may have been ‘lost’ to the world before being rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911 but the descendants of the Incas had always known its secrets. You can reach this wonderful site either by making the traditional trek along the Inca Trail or by rail from Cuzco to the town of Aguas Calientes.
Day 27: Bus or train from Cuzco to Puno
Day 28: Taquile and Uros Islands and Lake Titicaca
Day 29: Fly Juliaca to Lima and overnight at Airport hotel
Lake Titicaca: The highest navigable lake in the world and the legendary birthplace of the Inca civilisation, this sparkling jewel of the altiplano is deep and intensively blue and surrounded by limitless horizons. Visit the floating reed islands, home to the Uros Indians as well as the larger island of Tequile, renowned for its fine hand-woven textiles and clothing.
Day 30: Fly Lima to Quito for transfer to Hacienda
Day 31: Visit Otavalo Market
Day 32: Quito city tour
Day 33: Fly to Galapagos Islands to begin cruise
Days 34-36: Galapagos Islands cruise
Day 37: Fly to Guayaquil and conclude cruise
Day 38: Fly Guayaquil/Santiago
The Galapagos Islands: A trip to the Galapagos is so many things rolled into one – a cruise, a relaxing holiday and, foremost, a wildlife extravaganza. It truly is the experience of a lifetime, not only for birdwatchers or wildlife obsessives but for every traveller who has any interest in seeing the incredibly diverse and often unique species of birds, reptiles and mammals. The isolation of the islands and the minimal contact with humans has made the wildlife almost totally unafraid and allows visitors to see them at closer quarters. In addition to dramatic landscapes the region is also home to a great variety of wildlife including; vicunas, guanacos, viscachas (which looks like a long tailed rabbit and is actually a rodent/chinchilla), andean geese and Andean gulls to name a few.