Enchanting South America: Small Group Tour

From Buenos Aires to Cusco
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Small Group Tours
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Tour Description

The highlights of South America travel on our 16 day small group tour. Our Enchanting South America Tour packs an absolute punch, combining local culture with awe-inspiring natural and historical highlights. Ideal for those who want to savour the best of the continent in an organised, safe and totally fun small-group tour.

Start your journey with a few days’ meandering in exciting Buenos Aires, get totally drenched under the overwhelming force of Iguazu Falls and cap off your week in buzzy Rio de Janeiro, where world-class beaches, sensational landscapes and vibrant culture captivate all who visit.  Then fly to Lima, and discover the best of Peru, its history, its archaeology sites, fertile valleys and cobblestone streets with all its flavours and colours.

We will take you back to a time when the region was ruled by ancient civilizations. From exploring coastal Lima, where you experience life in the bohemian Barranco district, staying in an elegant republican era home, to life in the Andean mountains exploring the lands of the Incas. In the Sacred Valley, the pools of salt mines form a patchwork on the hillside, markets are full of fruits, vegetables and wonderful textiles, and there are historic towns and fortresses to be explored. A train journey winding along by the river sees us follow in the footsteps of earlier explorers, to discover Machu Picchu for ourselves, with an expert local guide to bring stories of the past alive. Cusco, where colonial architecture sits atop the remnants of Incan stonework, enjoy the mix of the Incan and Spanish influences as we explore the sights, and enjoy contemporary Peruvian food made with the best regional ingredients.

Time to discover more? There are our recommendations for extending your adventure: Lake Titicaca & PunoAmazon Jungle Peru, or Signature Galapagos Islands

 

Viva's Best Bits...

"Visit Iguazu Falls, one of the natural wonders of South America - A must do when in Iguazu, is the Great Adventure Boat Ride, so ask to add this on – and be prepared to get wet!" Emma, Team Viva

You will be hosted by an experienced local guide in each city, giving you an authentic local experience - including discovering secret speakeasy bars in Buenos Aires &visiting a community project in Rio.

Gain insight into the fascinating and colourful culture of Peru as you travel through the beautiful Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, deep into the heart of the Incan empire...including a private tour of Machu Picchu, plus plenty of time to explore.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Buenos Aires

ENCHANTING SOUTH AMERICA - SMALL GROUP TOUR
When there are 4- 9 travellers in the group, the tour will be hosted by an experienced local guide in each city.
When there are 9 – 20 travellers in the group, the tour will be hosted by an experienced guide for the duration of your tour in South America.


On arrival into Buenos Aires you will be meet and transferred to your hotel

Welcome to Buenos Aires, known as the “Paris of the South” due to its European atmosphere with glamorous avenues lined with fashionable shops and Parisian-style restaurants and cafes. Buenos Aires has emerged as one of the trendiest and most exciting cities in the world to visit. Considered by many to be the Latin American capital of fashion, design and architecture, Buenos Aires serves up a rich and intoxicating mix of culture, comfort and fun.

Tonight there will be a pre departure welcome meeting and a welcome dinner with the group.

Overnight in Buenos Aires
Meals included: Dinner

Overnight at Palladio M Gallery hotel or similar.

Day 2
Discover Buenos Aires

A tour of Buenos Aires serves as a great introduction to this incredible city giving you a taste of its fascinating history, architecture, culture, inhabitants, anecdotes, and secrets. Our expert, friendly guide will take you on and off the beaten track as you explore this vibrant & fascinating city.

This evening enjoy an intimate & passionate tango show, housed in a cosy wood-panelled 19th century building in the heart of Buenos Aires historic centre. Dinner included.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight at Palladio M Gallery hotel or similar.

Day 3
Buenos Aires, Street art & Speakeasy in Palermo

You will have some free time this morning to explore Buenos Aires at leisure before we head out in the afternoon for a fun behind the scenes experience of Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires is full of secret spots, that you'll discover if you get around with locals. We invite you to uncover some speakeasy bars in the neighborhood of Palermo. We start at a secret and beautiful ROOF TOP while sharing a beer, soda or cocktail. Then we’ll hit the streets to discover some real amazing murals, talk about their artists, exchange our feelings & thoughts towards their work. At the middle of our visit will do another stop, to taste a typical Argentinian drink. Done with hunting murals, we´ll end the night at a SPEAKEASY BAR totally secret! Have you ever been in a thematic Prison Bar or a Port Bar or a Railway Bar? You will love it!

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight at Palladio M Gallery hotel or similar.

Day 4
Buenos Aires Iguazu Falls

Today we depart Buenos Aires & fly to Iguazu Falls. Transfers & flights included. The spectacular Iguazu Falls that straddle the Argentine-Brazil border, are made up of 275 individual waterfalls lining a 2.7km wide horseshoe-shaped gorge.
In the evening relax and enjoy the rich rainforest surrounding out hotel or take some time to relax by the pool.

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight at Iru Mecure hotel or similar

Day 5
Explore the Argentinean Iguazu Falls

Full Day Private Iguazu Falls Tour. Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfalls system in the world, are truly awe-inspiring to behold, spanning the border between Brazil and Argentina. Though Brazil boasts better views of the falls, Argentina is blessed with about 80 percent of this natural marvel’s 275 separate cascades. Paved trails and catwalks wind their way around the falls—sometimes reaching within an arm’s length of the water—and a free train connects the main trailheads.

We like to start the tour early in order to try and beat the crowds and get the first train to the Devil’s Throat. There are walkways over the islands which take you to a balcony over the falls and the most spectacular view of the entire Devil’s Gorge. You will then have plenty of time to walk the 800 metres of paths on the upper circuit. These new suspended walkways are detached from the jungle surface so as to protect the fauna by preventing disruption of the natural trails. From this circuit you have a higher sight of the falls, providing you with a magnificent panoramic view. It takes around 1 hour to cover the upper circuit. The lower circuit contains 600 metres of walkways, also detached from the jungle floor, and has great views from below and around the falls. If you have booked - or would like to book locally - the boat trip under the falls, the guide will take you to the boarding point. Once you have finished all the circuits, you go back to the visitor centre where the vehicle will be waiting for you.

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight at Iru Mecure hotel or similar

Day 6
Brazilian Falls Rio de Janeiro

Today we explore the Brazilian side of the Falls. Iguaçu Falls (Cataratas do Iguaçu), the largest waterfalls system in the world, are truly awe-inspiring to behold. Though Argentina boasts longer trails around the falls, Brazil is blessed with the best views of this natural marvel’s 275 separate cascades, which span the border between the two countries. Take in full-frontal views of Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo), San Martin Island, and more from the short-but-sweet catwalks that wind their way around the Brazilian side of Iguaçu Falls. Though less forested and natural than the Argentinean trails, you’ll find significantly better panoramic views of Iguaçu Falls in all its unforgettable glory—and they even offer an elevator to a postcard-perfect viewpoint over Devil’s Throat, considered the most spectacular scene in the park.

After the tour, there will be time to visit the nearby Bird Park. The Bird Park (Parque das Aves) is an Integrated Conservation Center for Birds of the Atlantic Forest and the second most visited attraction in Foz do Iguaçu, where visitors can have close contact with Atlantic Forest birds in immersion ponds during a walk that connects the contact with nature and knowledge. Located near the Iguaçu National Park, where the Iguaçu Falls lie, the Bird Park is one of the largest bird parks in Latin America, whose main job is the conservation of the 120 species of birds of the Atlantic Forest in some danger of extinction.

Following this visit to the falls we will head to the airport for our onward flight to Rio De Janeiro.

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight at Hilton Copacabana Hotel or similar.

Day 7
Discovering Rio de Janeiro

An early start this morning aiming to beat the crowds. Starting at the bottom of Corcovado Hill, where you will ascend the mountain by vehicle. Climbing 4km through the world’s largest urban national park, the Tijuca Forest, you will arrive at the statue of Christ the Redeemer. After some time with the panoramic views, the tour continues via the bohemian neighbourhood of Lapa and its famous arches en route to Copacabana. You will have a traditional Brazilian BBQ lunch before visiting the famous Sugarloaf with views across the entire city, where we have some drinks and will enjoy the sunset.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight at Hilton Copacabana Hotel or similar.

Day 8
Rio, Beyond the beach

This morning we will visit a unique site in Rio, located inside one of its Favela communities.

For 21 years, Project Morrinho has told a story of community, authenticity and respect. Started in 1998 by two brothers in the Pereira da Silva community, this cultural space beautifully articulates the geography in which it was formed. A collection of thousands of broken and painted bricks forms different streets and neighbourhoods, all at home to a diverse population of personalities. What began holistically as a manifestation of the right to play has turned into an artistic revolution. Today, Morrinho is a collective and cultural community space that unites creativity, tourism, education and activism.
Our tour explores this work of cultural urban art and gives visitors a glimpse of the complexities and strong sense of community in the most overlooked elements of Brazilian society.

The afternoon is free to enjoy Rio at your leisure

This evening we will enjoy a lovely farewell dinner at a typical Brazilian restaurant.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

Overnight at Hilton Copacabana Hotel or similar.

Day 9
Rio de Janeiro Lima

Free morning to enjoy Rio at leisure
You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight from Rio to Lima.

Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country's arid Pacific coast. Founded in 1535, Lima is now a bustling metropolis and one of South America’s largest cities. The city is home to the various museums including the Museo Larco that houses a collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museo de la Nación, tracing the history of Peru’s ancient civilizations.

Our base will be the comfortable and elegant Casa Repulica boutique hotel. Located in the vibrant and bohemian Barranco district, one Lima’s premier neighbourhoods. Barranco came to light in the early part of the 20th century as a seaside resort for the wealthy aristocracy in Lima. During this “Republican era” our house was constructed. We continue with the Republican theme throughout the home and welcome you to come and celebrate Lima and Barranco’s unique history and charm, the perfect way to begin your stay in Lima.

With Peruvian food in the international spotlight for the best part of the last decade, Barranco is also home to the famed Chala and Cala restaurants, and many of Lima’s finest restaurants including Astrid and Gaston and Central are close by.

Transfer to your hotel in Lima
Meals included: None

Overnight at Casa República hotel or similar.

Day 10
Lima Walking Food Tour

Embark on a walking food tour in Lima’s Historic Centre. During this food tour, you will have the chance to taste popular on-the-go delicacies that locals devour while learning more about Peru’s history and interesting facts about the local economy and daily life in Peru.
Meals included: Breakfast, snacks on tour

Overnight at Casa República hotel or similar

Day 11
Lima - Cusco Sacred Valley of the Incas

Journey to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Today we leave the Pacific shores behind and head to the mountains of Peru. We fly from Lima, high over the Andes landing in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire.
Cusco sits at a height of 3,399 metres above sea level, so the best way to avoid altitude sickness is to drive about 1 hour and a half to the Sacred Valley, which is situated at a lower altitude, enjoying vistas of this fertile valley region along the way.
Along with Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu, lies the Sacred Valley, (also known as the Urubamba River Valley) that formed the heart of the Inca Empire. This region was an important for food production, in particular maize. Today its home to major archaeological sites and picturesque villages that have maintained their ancestral culture.
This evening enjoy a 3 course dinner at your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley hotel or similar.

Day 12
Sacred Valley, Exploring Maras & Moray

We make an early start for our explorations of this fascinating valley, rich in culture and stories. We explore the town of Maras, with an interesting mix of Inca and Colonial influence, as well as Moray, an impressive Inca ruin of giant terraces forming nearly perfect circles, believed to have been used for agricultural experimentation. We head to the Salineras de Maras salt mines, where, salt ponds are filled with natural underground salt springs that comes from the adjacent mountain. Observe how Andean villagers work and harvest the salt, a method going back to the time of the Incas. During the day we will take a break for lunch at a local restaurant.
Relax and enjoy another evening in the Sacred Valley.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley hotel or similar.

Day 13
Sacred Valley, Pisac & OIlantaytambo

The fertile river valley of the Sacred Valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. We continue our journey in the footsteps of the past. The first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market. The colonial village of Pisac sits at the base of the spectacular Pisac Ruins – a hilltop Inca citadel and fortress with impressive agricultural terracing. On market days Pisac comes alive with colour as locals from nearby hillside villages in traditional dress come to sell local fruit, vegetables, textiles, and other handicrafts. We wander around the colourful market stalls before having buffet lunch at a local restaurant.

Continue along the River Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo, a town dominated by a giant Inca fortress. Ollantaytambo is perhaps the best surviving example of Inca town planning and was the scene of a rare Inca victory over the invading Spanish.

All aboard to Machu Picchu! This afternoon travel from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu on board the comfortable Voyager Train, and let your feet rest. Enjoy an authentic Andean experience, while relaxing in modern and comfortable interior design illuminated by Latin American music. Comfortable seats with tables in front to share the journey with friends.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width). Your main luggage will be safely stored for you at your Sacred Valley hotel.

This evening is spent in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), the small township in the valley below Machu Picchu. Dinner at the hotel is included.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight at Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu Hotel or similar.

Day 14
Mystical Machu Picchu Cusco

An early morning start to catch the bus from Aguas Calientes, to Machu Picchu. You will be astonished by your first view of Machu Picchu, a stunning display of ancient architecture with incredible surroundings.

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site, located 2,430 metres above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley. It is the most famous of all Inca sites, but it was not until 1911 that it was brought to the world’s attention by the American historian Hiram Bingham. The Incas abandoned the city just prior to Spanish colonisation, the city was never pillaged and as a result the ruins are still in fantastic condition. With its location on a dramatic ridgeline surrounded by sheer cliffs and the Urubamba River on three sides, the city of Machu Picchu is a remarkable place to visit. Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and in 2007 it was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Enjoy a tour of the ruins and monuments, such as the Main Square, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Cemeteries.

The tour includes guided tour with local English-speaking guide and return bus from Aguas Calientes village. If you wish to climb the iconic hill of Huayna Picchu, please advise at the time of booking. Additional costs apply.

This afternoon travel by 360 Machu Picchu train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo, and by road to Cusco making a stop en-route to collect your main luggage.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width)

Meals included: Breakfast
Overnight at Casa Andina Cusco Premium Hotel or similar.

Day 15
Discovering Cusco

Today, explore the city’s fascinating history, from the Inca times to colonial rule to the present day. Wind through narrow cobble-stoned streets and visit the market of Cusco. Along the way, we get the chance to see the colonial buildings. Visit the fascinating Koricancha Temple of the Sun and the Cathedral, built on the ruins of an Inca Palace. From here, head to Sacsayhuaman, a former Inca fortress perched atop the hill above Cusco, it presents a work of impeccable engineering (gigantic carved rocks that fit with absolute precision).
Your afternoon is yours at leisure, enjoy wandering around the cobblestone streets, calling in at a local café for a coffee or perhaps check out the local chocolate museum.
Tonight, we come together for a fond farewell dinner, we walk to the nearby Calle del Medio restaurant to enjoy a 3-course dinner where you can experience the best of contemporary Peruvian food made with the best regional ingredients.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Overnight at Casa Andina Cusco Premium Hotel or similar.

Day 16
Farewell to the land of the Incas

After a final breakfast it is time to bid farewell as this is where our journey together ends. Transfer to the airport is included.

You may continue to travel to discover more of Peru, please ask us for our Amazon jungle, or Lake Titicaca and Bolivia add on programmes.
 Lake Titicaca & Puno
 Amazon Jungle Peru
 Nazca & Paracas from Lima
 Signature Galapagos Islands

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 15 nights accommodation with ensuite
  • Included Copy 31 Single room supplement
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Daily Breakfast, 3 Lunches & 6 Dinners
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Local tour guide in each destination
  • Included Copy 20 Guaranteed to depart with min. 4 people, maximum 20
  • Included Copy 20 All Airport transfers
  • Included Copy 20 Internal flights in South America as per itinerary
  • Included Copy 20 All entrance fees, national park fees on all day tours
  • Included Copy 20 Excursions & sightseeing as mentioned in the tour itinerary.
  • Included Copy 7 Iguazu Tourist Tax payable locally approx. USD 4, Gratuities, Laundry, Drinks, International flights
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

Activities

  • Included Discover secret spots in Buenos Aires on our street art and speak easy tour
  • Included Discover Iguazu Falls from both the Argentinean and Brazil side
  • Included Rio Experiences: Full Day Corcovado & Sugarloaf, traditional BBQ lunch
  • Included Train journey through the mountains to Machu Picchu
  • Included Watch the sunset from the famous Sugarloaf mountain
  • Included View toucans & other beautiful birds at the Brazil Bird Park
  • Included Sample the local food on a street eats tour
  • Included Visit Sacsayhuaman, the Koricancha Temple of the Sun and more
  • Included Explore the Salineras de Maras salt mines
  • Included Time to wander the charming cobblestone streets of Cusco
  • Included Learn about Project Morrinho, in one of Rios favela communities
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

16 days

Price from

$6,994 USD

Per person, sharing

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