Day 1: New Zealand – – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Today, depart New Zealand for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Please note – hotel check-in time is generally not before 4pm
Some flights may depart 1 day prior.
Day 2: Rio de Janeiro (B,D)
Today is a free day of leisure to explore Rio de Janeiro at your own pace. Tonight, attend an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager on the exciting adventure that awaits you in South America, followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers at a typical Brazilian ‘Churrascaria’.
Day 3: Rio de Janeiro (B)
Begin the day with an ascent by a scenic cog railway to the summit of Corcovado Hill. Here, at 2,400 feet above the city stands the 125 foot tall statue of Christ the Redeemer. The Christ statue that embraces the entire city is one of the seven “New Wonders of the World”. See the 360-degree sweeping view of the city and understand why Rio is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Afterwards, continue along Rio’s famous beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema before returning to your hotel.
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro (B)
Enjoy a day of leisure. Why not watch the volleyball and soccer matches on the beach, shop for local crafts, or linger at a waterfront café to just “people-watch”.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): join the not-to-be-missed glass cable car ride that takes you to the top of iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, symbol of the city, where you’ll see the stunning panorama of the beaches, Corcovado Mountain, downtown Rio and Guanabara Bay.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Carnival and Samba Experience – visit one of the top Samba schools in the city and learn what made the Samba & Carnival icons of Brazilian national identity.
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro – – Iguassu, Brazilian Falls (B,D)
Depart Rio this morning on a flight to Iguassu Falls. Upon arrival, walk along the winding pathways on the Brazilian side of the majestic and awe-inspiring Falls, one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Iguassu consists of over 275 separate cataracts across a span of two and one-half miles, wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls and more dramatic than both. Stand in awe at the unforgettable panoramic views before crossing the border to Iguazu, the Argentinean side of the Falls. After a day filled with unforgettable memories, return to the hotel and enjoy a typical Argentine dinner.
Day 6: Iguazu, the Argentinean Falls (B)
After breakfast, your adventure continues this morning on the Argentinean side of the Falls. A rail car takes you to the top of the Falls on the Upper Circuit,* and you will walk to the Lower Circuit where the power of nature surrounds you. Continue along the catwalks to Devil’s Gorge – stand in amazement as you gaze at spectacular “Devil’s Throat” the most magnificent of all of the cataracts. View, photograph and feel the spray of the thundering waters, one of nature’s most impressive achievements and a unique experience for your senses. Spend the rest of the day exploring the natural treasures of Iguazu National Park, designated a World Heritage Site for its rare and endangered flora and fauna.
* Please note – in order to access the falls, you are required to walk over uneven surfaces, followed by a series of narrow boardwalk paths. The paths feature many sets of stairs and can be slippery due to the mist.
Day 7: Iguazu – – Buenos Aires (B)
This afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires. Its beauty is apparent with its elegant architecture, wide tree-shaded boulevards, striking monuments and sprawling parks. Spend the rest of the day at leisure to get acquainted with the “Paris of South America” and its distinct European flavour. Enjoy the evening at leisure. Why not treat yourself to an Argentine beef dinner at one of the city’s many superb steak restaurants.
Day 8: Buenos Aires (B)
Discover the cities highlights this morning on a tour that includes the Plaza de Mayo, Metropolitan Cathedral and Casa Rosada (government palace); see the balcony where Eva and Juan Peron made their speeches. Then, to the colourful La Boca neighbourhood, a working class barrio, and the old quarters of San Telmo and Caminito, a mix of colonial style homes, narrow lanes, artists’ lofts and very trendy cafes. Drive to the Recoleta Cemetery, final resting place of many of the wealthiest and most important Argentine historical figures. The grounds here cover more than four city blocks, filled with tombs adorned by works of local and international sculptors, and more than 6,400 mausoleums including the tomb of Eva “Evita” Peron, always heaped with flowers and letters from adoring fans. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring some of Buenos Aires neighbourhoods and fabulous collection of shops before this afternoon’s tango lesson with professional Argentine Tango dancers.
Day 9: Buenos Aires (B,D)
Today enjoy a full day of leisure to revisit some of your favourite places in the city. This evening, enjoy a “Farewell to Argentina” dinner with your group at a delightful local restaurant.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Gaucho Party at the Santa Susana Ranch. Get ready for a rustic experience at a typical Argentine ranch (estancia), dedicated to agriculture and the breeding of cattle and horses. After a tour of the grounds, enjoy a typical barbecue lunch, followed by a folklore show with live music and dancing.
Day 10: Buenos Aires – – Lima, Peru (B)
Bid farewell to your Tour Manager and transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Please note – due to flight schedules, some departures will use an evening flight to reach Lima.
Day 11: Lima City Tour (B)
This morning’s tour of Lima, with its 2000 years of history, begins at the colonial centre of the city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its historic buildings surrounding the splendid Plaza Mayor. View the impressive Palace of the Archbishop with its fine carved balcony, the opulent Government Palace, official residence of the President, and the 16th century Cathedral of Lima whose first stone was laid by Pizarro. Continue to the 17th century Monasterio de San Francisco complex with its magnificent tiles, ornate carved ceilings, exceptional paintings and world-renowned library. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Pachacamac Pre-Inca Ruins tour – visit the archaeological site of Pachacamac, one of the largest religious centres in pre-Inca times on the Peruvian coast.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Evening Larco Herrera Museum with dinner – experience one of Lima’s most magnificent museums by night that also includes a light supper. Admire the world’s largest collection of pre-Columbian masterpieces and a stunning exhibition of gold and priceless jewels.
Day 12: Lima – – Cusco (B)
Depart Lima this morning and fly to Cusco in the Peruvian Andes. This ancient capital of the Inca Empire is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in this historic city and spend the rest of the day acclimating to the altitude.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Half Day Cusco Ruins which explores some of Cusco’s most unique Inca Ruins
Please note – due to the high elevation, travel in the Peruvian highlands may cause some passengers to experience the temporary effects of altitude sickness. If you have any concerns please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure from Australia.
Day 13: Machu Picchu (B)
An early start today for our morning transfer to Sacred Valley’s Ollanta Station to board The 360° Train. We travel through misty peaks to the astonishing ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas”, designated by UNESCO as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Spend the morning viewing the unforgettable wonders of this 15th century retreat, abandoned nearly 100 years later with the arrival of the conquistadors. See the highlights of the site including the imposing Temple of the Sun, the House of the Priest, the Sacred Plaza and the intricately carved rock likely used as a sundial by the ancient Incas. The images of this significant archaeological site will be a long-lasting memory. Return to the Sacred Valley in the early evening and transfer to your hotel in Cusco for overnight
Please note – the approximate time spent at the ruins of Machu Picchu is 2 hours.
Day 14: Cusco (B,D)
Enjoy this morning at leisure in the “Imperial City” of Cuzco. Take time to explore some of the city’s stunning sights or shop for some of the finest handicrafts and textiles in all of Peru. In the afternoon, depart for a tour of Cusco, view the impressive Colonial Cathedral, which contains over 400 paintings from the Cusqueña School in addition to colonial art. Continue on to visit the Koricancha, the Temple of the Sun, once the most important religious site of the Incas, whose walls and floors were allegedly once covered by sheets of solid gold. Tonight, join your fellow travellers for a buffet dinner, featuring delectable Andean specialties.
Day 15: Cusco – Raqchi – Puno (B,L)
A long drive today but extremely rewarding. Depart Cusco early in the morning, enjoying spectacular scenery as you drive through the Andes mountain range and the Andean plains to Puno on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. In this area, South American llamas and alpacas graze on the immense plateaus and plains. En-route visit the 15th century Temple of Wiracocha, with its elaborate stonework, the largest Inca temple ever discovered. Today, Raqchi remains home to many farmers, ranchers and artisans. Then, arrive at pristine Lake Titicaca sitting majestically at 12,500 feet above sea level, backed by the snow-capped peaks of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real range. This is the highest navigable lake in the world and South America’s largest fresh water lake. A boxed lunch will be provided today.
Day 16: Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca (B)
This morning, an excursion by boat transports you from Puno to the fascinating Uros Floating Islands where the indigenous people of the area, the Uros, live on islands that dot the lake. The Uros live very much the same way as their ancestors did and still follow the ancient customs and traditions. These islands are completely manmade structures, using the totora reeds from the lake to build the islands and houses. Return to Puno for the remainder of the day at leisure.
Optional Tour (at own expense, refer fine print): Sillustani Tombs, the pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo. The tombs here are built above the ground in tower-like structures called chullpas, vestiges of the Colla people before they were conquered by the Incas in the 15th century.
Day 17: Puno – – Lima (B,D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Juliaca for your flight back to Lima. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight, bid farewell to your Tour Manager and fellow travellers at a special Farewell Dinner with Peruvian specialties.
Day 18: Lima –– New Zealand (B)
Today at the appropriate time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
Day 19: In-flight
Day 20: New Zealand
Arrive home today.