Signature South America Circle

From Santiago to Santiago
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Custom
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Discover the best of south South America on this 21-day handcrafted journey.

Explore Santiago, sample Chiles wines, and visit the vibrant coastal town of Valparaiso. Fly over the Andes to Buenos Aires to soak up more Latin vibes, there is tango, traditional BBQ and colourful city streets to be discovered. Feel the energy as you witness the spectacular Iguazu Falls, one of the natural highlights of South America.

The natural beauty of the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro with enchant you, before flying Lima Peru. Here, explore the local eats in Lima, the 'gastronomical capital of the Americas',  before travelling on to the heart of the Incan empire. Start gently, with time to acclimatize in the picturesque Sacred Valley, also a fascinating place to delve into the culture and farming practices of the locals, whose roots trace back to pre-Columbian empires. Visit colourful market stalls, explore Incan sites including Pisac, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa and Kinchiracay, as well as the remains of a giant Inca fortress, Ollantaytambo. You will be getting engrossed in the history and culture, and eager for more as you board your train bound for the iconic Machu Picchu. A private guided tour will help you appreciate the importance of these famous ruins.

The journey continues through the mountains and valleys, witness locals harvest salt using traditional methods at the Maras salt ponds then head to the capital of the ancient Incan Empire – Cusco. We have allowed plenty of time to explore with our expert local guides as well your own time to relax and soak up the atmosphere, as there is so much to enjoy -  restaurants, markets and cultural sites. 

Our Signature South America Circle offers you many wonderful highlights of South America over 3 weeks, and leaves you eager to come and explore more!

Viva's Best Bits...

In three weeks, you will experience some of South America's best cities, covering Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Peru and visiting the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Machu Picchu, Cusco and Iguazu Falls.

Handpicked hotels - stay in comfortable accommodation along the way, select from our standard, superior or deluxe options, including Casa Republica, our boutique hotel in bohemian Barranco, one of Lima's most vibrant districts! (superior programme).

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

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
Santiago

Arrival transfer in Santiago. This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay.

Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, lies in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Range. Founded in 1541, Santiago has been Chile’s capital since colonial times. It is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city and although it features many colonial buildings, it has grown into a modern metropolis and the cultural centre of the country.

Overnight in Santiago

Day 2
Santiago: City tour

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel for your tour of Santiago. Visit both the old and new areas of the city. Highlights include the Plaza de Armas, the city's central square and the heart of the city’s old colonial core. The Plaza de Armas is home to the beautiful 18th century Metropolitan Cathedral, the early 19th century Royal Court Palace that houses the Natural History Museum and the Central Post Office completed in 1882. We will continue along to Government Palace and there we will have the opportunity to walk through some of the most traditional streets and neighbourhoods. Visit Cerro Santa Lucia, the hill on which Santiago was founded in 1541, now a park with fountains and stairs leading to a fort and a panoramic viewpoint across the city. On completion of your tour, you will be taken to your hotel.

Please note this is small group tour and only operates in the morning.

Overnight in Santiago

Day 3
Santiago: Valparaiso & Casablanca

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and travel west towards the Pacific Ocean. Our first stop will be in the Casablanca Valley, famous for its many wineries and towns rich in Chilean traditions. These world-class wineries are located en route to Valparaiso and we will stop in at a cellar door to enjoy a premium wine tasting.

Valparaiso is one of Chile's largest coastal cities and was once an important port of its time in South América till the opening of the Panamá Channel in 1914. It is possible to find traces of history of European emigration throughout the streets and neighbourhoods.

Valparaiso was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also known as the cultural capital of Chile. Its charming and picturesque colourful houses hang from the hills that surround the city and create a natural amphitheatre where the historic port life blends with the cultural life on the hills. Our walk along the hills will invite us to discover the hidden treasures of the city such as art galleries, little coffees, breweries, graffiti, beautiful old houses, bars, and restaurants.

In the afternoon we will come back to your hotel in Santiago. Please note this is a small group tour.

Day 4
Santiago Buenos Aires

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight to Buenos Aires.

On arrival into Buenos Aires you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Buenos Aires, Argentina’s elegant, historic and cosmopolitan capital, is 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.

Once you have left the airport and started your journey into the city, your Spanish speaking driver will hand you a phone where you will be greeted, welcomed to Buenos Aires and explained your itinerary for the following days by our local amigo in English. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and be given all the tips to help you enjoy your stay while visiting the Paris of South America.

Overnight in Buenos Aires

Day 5
Buenos Aires

Highlights of Buenos Aires
You will be collected from your hotel for your three-hour tour visiting the most important highlights of the city of Buenos Aires. Discover the history of the Plaza de Mayo Square, the site of Argentina’s most important historical events - see its surroundings and the most emblematic buildings and learn all about them. Then enjoy Mayo Avenue and wonder in awe at the oldest residential neighbourhood in Buenos Aires: San Telmo. Live and feel the original Tango in the neighbourhood of La Boca: walk along Caminito Street and enjoy the Dancers and souvenir shops. See the mythical Boca Juniors soccer stadium. Contemplate the modernization of the city whilst traveling along Puerto Madero and its exclusive docks, full of excellent restaurants and large offices. Pass through the Retiro neighbourhood and move on to see Palermo and its most exclusive residential area before finally arriving at Recoleta. Here, discover the final resting place of Eva Peron, “Evita” and wander through Recoleta Cemetery where she is to be found. On completion of your tour, you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is a small group tour.

Free time in the afternoon

Fogon Asado
This evening you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Fogón to immerse yourself in their Asado Experience. From the chefs of the famous Uco Restaurant in Buenos Aires and Butterfly in Bariloche comes Fogón - a new way of living the traditional Argentine Asado, served with a twist. A closed-door dining experience awaits you that explores new ways of serving Argentine Asado classics. While seated at the bar you’ll see, feel and taste traditional and modern grill cooking techniques up close and personal as you sit with the chefs around the parrilla. Every Asado is unique but always includes the best cuts of meat available and fire roasted seasonal vegetables. The chefs have designed the tasting menu to combine new grill techniques with tried and true Argentine recipes that elevate the Asado to new heights. The wine pairing menu has also been designed to best enhance the flavours of the ingredients, while presenting you with some of the best boutique wines from Argentina. On completion of your experience, please make your own way back to your hotel.

Overnight in Buenos Aires

Day 6
Buenos Aires: San Isidro & Tigre Delta, Tango Show

Travel from the heart of Buenos Aires to the Tigre Delta in a catamaran, offering one of the best views of the city skyline (a view that surprisingly few people see, even locals). You will be collected from your hotel and taken to the city’s port to board a modern catamaran which will take you to the Tigre Delta. During the one-and-a-half-hour cruise you will be able to admire Buenos Aires from the Rio de la Plata (River Plate), its northern areas and the channels of the Delta, whilst enjoying refreshments on board. After the cruise, disembark at Tigre Pier and visit by vehicle Paseo Victoria, the most important neighbourhood in Tigre and then the Puerto de Frutos. You will soon find yourself in San Isidro where you will visit the town’s historical centre and Cathedral on foot while having a snack, and then finally you will see the city’s northern areas and the Presidential Residence in Olivos, before returning to the city.

The rest of your day is free to enjoy the sights and sounds of this world famous city.

This evening you will be collected from your hotel to experience a Tango Show with dinner at Aljibe Tango. Located in San Telmo, the venue is a restored conventillo (boarding house) and offers an intimate show featuring professional dancers and musicians. The show is accompanied by a traditional menu and Argentine wines. Due to the show commencing earlier than other venues, this is an ideal venue for families or those who want a taste of tango but not a late evening.

Dinner will be served from 7.00pm followed by the show commencing from 8.00pm. Please note timings are subject to change and will be confirmed directly to you. On completion of the show, you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is a small group tour.

Overnight in Buenos Aires

Day 7
Buenos Aires Iguazu

Today we transfer you to the airport for your flight from Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls.

Upon arrival you will be met & transferred to your hotel
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. The Falls are located where the Iguazu River cascades over the edge of the Paraná Plateau. The Falls can be viewed from both the Argentinian and the Brazilian sides, the Brazilian side offering a broader, panoramic view, with the Argentinian side offering a series of catwalks that allow you to experience the Falls from close range.

Overnight in Iguazu, Argentina

Day 8
Iguazu: Argentina Falls

Early morning pick up from your hotel for your full day of exploring the Argentine side of the falls. This tour always starts early in order to 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 one 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. Once you have finished all the circuits, return to the visitor centre where your vehicles will be waiting to transfer you back to your hotel. Please note there is some degree of difficulty as the path includes many stairs, particularly on the lower circuit. On completion of the tour, you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is small group tour and National Park Entrance Fee is included.

Overnight in Iguazu, Argentina

Day 9
Iguazu: Brazil Falls Rio de Janeiro

Today enjoy a half day tour of the Brazilian side of the falls. If you are staying on the Argentine side of the falls, you will be required to bring your passport as you will be crossing from Argentina into Brazil. You will be collected from your hotel and taken to the Visitors Centre. From here board one of the Park Authority’s tourist buses and enter the National Park. Equipped with panoramic windows, the buses are designed to maximize your views of the falls, while the walkways and steps provide you with great panoramic views of the Argentinian side of the falls. Views of the Floriana Falls, the Devil’s Gorge Canyon and the Iguazu River are spectacular and are guaranteed to impress. Please note this is a small group tour and National Park Entrance Fee is included.

*Optional - Add on a visit to the Bird Park, or why not book an amazing helicopter flight over the falls. Additional costs apply. Please ask for more details.

At the end of the tour you will be taken to the airport for your onward flight to Rio.

Upon arrival into Rio, you will be met & transferred to your hotel.
Known as the ''Cidade Maravilhosa'', or Marvellous City, Rio never fails to amaze with its sandy beaches, carefree lifestyle and unparalleled natural beauty. As the capital of Brazil until 1960, Rio is today one of the most culturally and economically prominent cities in the country, receiving more tourists than any other part of Brazil.

Overnight in Rio

Day 10
Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado & Sugarloaf

After departing from the hotel, the tour takes a scenic drive from Copacabana beach, continuing along Botafogo beach and passing the Palácio Guanabara, official residence of the State´s Governor, on the way to Corcovado Hill (704m), and the greatest national icon – The Christ Redeemer of Rio de Janeiro. Here, you will have time to enjoy panoramic views of Rio and appreciate the giant statue, which was recently named as one of the seven new wonders of the world. From here, the tour continues to the district of Urca and the world-famous Sugar Loaf, where you will board the first cable car to the top of Urca Hill (215m), which offers spectacular views of Guanabara Bay. A second cable car will take you on to the Sugar Loaf (395m), giving you a chance to take in the spectacular 360-degree views of the city and surrounds. Upon descending from the Sugarloaf, we pass through the famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema en route to a traditional Brazilian BBQ lunch at a local Churrascaria (lunch is included - all beverages are at your own expense).
Following lunch, the tour continues with a visit to the Maracanã Stadium (Bellini´s statue and Hall of Fame. Entry into the stadium is not included) and a stop at the Sambadrome. While in the city’s historic downtown area, you will have a chance to see the Duque de Caxias Palace, Itamaraty Palace, Tiradentes Square and Lapa Arches, followed by a visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral. From here the tour will also make a quick stop to visit the Selaron Stairs, an amazing urban work of art by the late Jorge Selaron.
Returning to the hotel along Aterro do Flamengo, we pass by the Monument to the Fallen in World War II and the beaches of Flamengo and Botafogo.
Lunch and all entrance fees (for Corcovado & Sugarloaf) are included.

Overnight in Rio

Day 11
Rio de Janeiro: Santa Teresa

Spend a half day today on a great historical tour of Rio de Janeiro in the company of a professional guide and transportation. This tour will take you through the colonial avenues, squares and back streets of the city, and your guide will explain the important historical, political and social events that shaped Rio into South America's most exciting city. Focusing on the period or architectural style, fine examples of Baroque constructions would be the 'São Bento' and 'Santo Antonio' Monasteries, which recall the times when Brazil was a colony of Portugal. The French influence can be seen from buildings that were built as early as the 19th century and examples include the Municipal Theatre and the Fine Art museum. The city's cultural and artistic diversity is showcased on various cultural institutions such as the Cultural Centre Bank of Brasil and the Brazil-France House. Some other features of this tour are the Selaron Stairs, Lapa Arches, Metropolitan Cathedral, Candelária Church, 'Praça XV', 'Arco do Teles', Olympic Boulevard and finally the Museum of Tomorrow. Please note this is a private tour of approximately 6 hours duration.

Rest of the day at leisure

Overnight in Rio

Day 12
Rio de Janeiro Lima

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight from Rio to Lima.

On arrival into Lima, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country's arid Pacific coast. Founded in 1535, its colonial centre is well preserved, but today Lima is 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. Lima is known as the “gastronomical capital of the Americas”, encompassing specialties from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to refined global fare. It even boasts several of the top restaurants in the world.

Overnight in Lima

Day 13
Lima City Highlights & Tastebud Tantaliser

Embark on a 4 hour walking food tour in Lima's Historic Centre. The tour starts with pick up from your hotel and the first stop is the city's most famous 'Plaza San Martin'. After taking in one of Peru's most famous plazas and a photo opportunity of the Gran Hotel Bolivar, we will head to Lima's very own Chinatown and to the biggest market of the city!

During this food tour, you will have the chance to taste popular on-the-go delicacies that locals devour. While trying some tasteful local treats, you’ll be learning more about Peru's history and interesting facts around the local – informal – economy and daily life in Peru.

In the historic center of Lima, you will get to observe Lima's most emblematic architectural masterpieces, of Spanish and Moorish heritage. It will also be a great opportunity for you to people watch and immerse yourself into a truly joyful local experience – we designed this food tour so that you could feel like a real Liman!

*Private tours can be scheduled to start between 10:00 and 15:00

*NB that this tour requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate
Overnight in Lima

Day 14
Lima Cusco - Sacred Valley

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

On arrival in Cusco, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where your representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel located in the Sacred Valley. Please note this service is with a driver only.

You have arrived to 3400m. Please walk slowly and take it easy, allow porters to assist with luggage if required. You will descend to 2700m on the 90 minute drive to the Sacred Valley Enjoy the spectacular local scenery and views of the Andes.

(NB Average altitudes - Cusco 3400m, Sacred Valley 2700m , Aguas Calientes 2050m, Machu Picchu 2400m)

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a region in Peru's Andean highlands which, along with the nearby town of Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu, formed the heart of the Inca Empire. Stretching roughly 60 kilometres from Pisac to Ollantaytambo, it’s an area of fertile farmland irrigated by the Urubamba River and Spanish colonial villages like Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

Overnight in the Sacred Valley

Day 15
Sacred Valley Full Day Tour

You will be collected from your hotel for a day of exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. The first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market and Inca Ruins. There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before heading uphill to the Pisac, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa and Kinchiracay ruins. Enjoy a fine buffet lunch in gardens overlooking the Valley.

Continue your journey along the River Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo. The town, which is dominated by a giant Inca fortress, is perhaps the best surviving example of Inca town planning and was the scene of a rare Inca victory over the invading Spanish. Transfer to your hotel for the night.

Full Tourist Ticket included in your programme
Full BTG: Valid for 10 days. It grants you entry into the following sites in and around Cusco & the Sacred Valley:
Cusco cathedral, Religious Art Museum, Church of San Blas, Regional History Museum, Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, Pisac ruins, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero,Pachacutec Monument, Performance of Andean dance and live music.

Overnight in the Sacred Valley

Day 16
Sacred Valley Machu Picchu

Today will be transferred from your hotel to Ollantaytambo train station.

You will travel by train from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes.

*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)

Private Machu Picchu Guided Tour:
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. Please be aware that your tour of Machu Picchu does not include an entry permit to Huayna Picchu (the iconic hill behind the Machu Picchu ruins). If you want to climb Huayna Picchu then you need to pre-book your permit at least 3 months in advance and an extra day in your itinerary due to new site visit regulations. Please contact your Destination Specialist if you would like to do this.

Overnight in Aguas Calientes

Day 17
Aguas Calientes - Maras and Moray Cusco

Travel from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo in this comfortable train, and let your feet have a 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.

Private Maras and Moray Tour
Today we will pick you up from Ollantaytambo train station for your Maras and Moray tour. Upon collection we will make a brief stop at your Sacred Valley hotel to collect your main luggage. The first stop will be Maras Salt ponds, believed to pre-date the Inca period, these shallow pools were dug into the mountainside which are filled with salt water from an underground spring from an adjacent mountain. Once the water evaporates, the salt is carefully collected and packaged up for sale. Witness locals harvest salt in the traditional way that has been practiced for well over 500 years. Situated roughly 7 km to the southwest of Maras, continue to Moray, which boasts an impressive Inca ruin of giant circular terraces that are believed to have been used for agricultural experimentation due to their exceptional irrigation system. On completion of this tour, you will be taken to your hotel in Cusco.

Cusco
Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.

Overnight in Cusco

Day 18
Cusco Walking Tour and Sacsayhuaman

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, 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).

Overnight in Cucso

Day 19
Free day in Cusco

Today is at leisure allowing you to spend time wandering the cobble-stoned streets of the ancient Inca capital. With treasures around every corner, Cusco is a wonderful city to explore on foot. Vibrant markets and stores give the traveller a plethora of shopping opportunities set amongst fine Inca and Spanish colonial architecture. The UNESCO World Heritage city is lined with history and ancient monuments, a truly enthralling city to spend time in.

Overnight in Cusco

Day 20
Cusco Santiago

Transfer from your hotel to Cusco Airport for your flight(s) to Santiago.

On arrival into Santiago you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city, lies in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Andes and the Chilean Coastal Range. Founded in 1541, Santiago has been Chile’s capital since colonial times.

Overnight in Santiago

Day 21
Santiago Depart

Depart any time. Transfer to Santiago Airport is included.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 31 Upgrade to superior or deluxe accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Accommodation in standard hotels
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily, and other meals as outlined in the included sightseeing tours
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing on a shared basis as outlined in the tour itinerary with English speaking guides
  • Included Copy 20 Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes Return
  • Included Copy 7 Iguazu Tourist Tax payable locally. Approx. ARS50 (USD3.40) per person. Subject to change
  • Included Copy 31 Tour can be done in reverse. Please ask for more details.
  • Included Copy 20 Internal flights as part of this itinerary*
  • Included Copy 20 Private airport transfers
  • Included Copy 20 Entrance fees & National Park fees, unless otherwise stated
  • Included Copy 7 International Flights, Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable), tips, travel insurance
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

Activities

  • Included Private guided tour of iconic Machu Picchu.
  • Included Wander the narrow cobble-stoned streets of Cusco.
  • Included Sample the local food in Lima, 'gastronomical capital of the Americas'.
  • Included Explore Santiago, sample Chiles wines and visit vibrant Valparaiso.
  • Included See the famous Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio.
  • Included Visit one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World; Iguazu Falls.
  • Included Experience a Tango Show in the home of Tango.
  • Included Explore the village of Pisac with its famous market and Inca Ruins.
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Duration

21 days

Price from

$6,704 $6,033 USD

Per person, sharing

Daily departures