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Grand Tour of South America

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tour Style: Luxury
22 Days from $10,280 per person

Witness the many cultures and contrasts of South America as Luxury Gold by Insight Vacations opens your eyes to a dazzling array of natural beauty, vibrant civilisations, and mystical ancient cities.

 

In Rio, dine at the Michelin-starred Mee Restaurant where Executive Chef Kazuo Harada will take you on a journey of the most sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine. Meet Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez, an expert in traditional weaving, to learn how the TreadRight foundation is helping protect this ancient skill. Set at the base of Ch'iqun mountain and overlooking the Vilcanota River, the elegant Tambo del Inka hotel is a five-star retreat designed in harmony with its exotic surroundings.

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  1. On arrival at Lima International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your luxurious hotel in Miraflores. At 19:00 join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Reception with drinks and seaside views at CALA.

    meal(s):WD
    hotel:Belmond Miraflores Park Lima Hotel (2 nights).
  2. Experience Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert as you are introduced to the beautiful 'City of Kings'. Explore the UNESCO listed Historic Centre, view the imposing cathedral and visit the San Francisco Monastery with its shadowy catacombs. A Highlight Lunch is served in the trendy, bohemian district of Barranco at Amor Amar. Continue exploring Barranco and visit the workshop of Victor Delfin, one of the leading sculptors and painters in Peru, best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture unveiled in 1993. Then over a hot chocolate or authentic café pasado, listen to an expert barista spill the beans on Peruvian coffee. As evening falls, the restaurant terrace at Huaca Pucllana overlooks the illuminated ruins of a 1500-year-old pre-Inca pyramid. In contrast, the cuisine at your Highlight Dinner is 'new Andean', exquisitely executed by one of the capital's celebrated chefs.

    meal(s):FB, HL, HD
    hotel:Belmond Miraflores Park Lima Hotel
  3. Board your flight for Cusco and drive to Peru's Sacred Valley, the fertile homeland of the Incan Empire. Visit the colourful, traditional Sunday market in the town of Chinchero. Then, meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua and scholar, president of the Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Enjoy lunch with Nilda and learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques and why weaving in Peru is much more than just an art form. Later, check in to your luxurious resort and relax before dinner at the hotel.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Sacred Valley (2 nights).
  4. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading to the town of Maras to meet with a local family, giving you the unique opportunity to learn about the local arts and crafts of the region. View the spectacular terraced salt pans dating back to Inca times. Families have passed down this pool of salt pans for generations and today maintain them in much the same way they did long ago. Experience the ways in which they care for these salt pans and how their way of life depends on this tradition. In Moray, view the strange circular terraces, a sort of Incan amphitheatre said to have been used for agricultural experiments. Experience a typical Peruvian meal, a caja china lunch of fresh vegetables and slow-roasted meats, all cooked in a wooden box. After lunch, witness a private Pachamama Ceremony, or 'Payment to the Earth', as a local shaman privately performs the centuries-old ritual that expresses reverence to the Earth as a source of life.
    meal(s):FB, L
    hotel:Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Sacred Valley.
  5. Visit to the town of Ollantaytambo, a National Archeological Site. Settle into the panoramic viewing cars of the Vistadome train for the scenic journey to Machu Picchu. Lunch is included upon arrival at your resort. Soak in nature trails winding past waterfalls and gardens as your Local Expert explains the fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. Discover a working tea plantation and the world's largest private collection of indigenous orchids. In the evening, learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour before enjoying dinner at the hotel.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (2 nights).
  6. Today, you have the entire day to discover the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu. Meet your Local Expert for a walk through the enigmatic 'Lost City of the Incas'. Witness the great Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana, believed to be an ancient sun clock. After lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, there is more time to explore the archaeological site at your own pace before dinner.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.
  7. Return by train to the Sacred Valley and let your taste buds be tempted by a Highlight Lunch at a Pachamanca Feast, a traditional Peruvian meal cooked underground. At a local camelid farm, get up close and personal with llamas, guanacos, alpacas and even the rare vicuña, known for their soft wool. Arrive at your hotel, only steps away from the Plaza de Armas.
    meal(s):FB, HL
    hotel:JW Marriott El Convento, Cusco (2 nights).
  8. Join a Local Expert to explore Cusco and its surroundings. Visit the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha and Cathedral, followed by the formidable citadel of Sacsayhuaman, made of gigantic boulders. Visit the local market where you can practice your bartering skills. Set out for San Blas, Cusco's artisan centre, where you visit an unusual candle shop and learn about its importance to the locals. After, enjoy some free time on the Plaza de Armas for shopping, In the evening, enjoy a candlelit Highlight Dinner at the reputed MAP restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, HD
    hotel:JW Marriott El Convento, Cusco.
  9. Board your included flight to Juliaca. Then drive to Puno, nestled along the majestic shores of Lake Titicaca. Arrive on Esteves Island and your lakeside hotel before dinner.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Libertador Lake Titicaca (2 nights).
  10. Cruise Lake Titicaca to the famous floating islands of Uros. Here the locals bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes. Learn about their lifestyle and customs before continuing to the island of Amantani, known for its weaving and gorgeous landscape. After lunch, there is time to explore before returning to Puno.
    meal(s):FB, L, D
    hotel:Libertador Lake Titicaca.
  11. Head out to Sillustani on the shores of Lake Umayo, where the ancient Colla people interred their kings and nobility in enigmatic 'chullpas' or funerary towers. After exploring these impressive burial grounds, enjoy a scenic drive back to Juliaca for your flight to Lima. As the sun sets, be treated to a sensational Highlight Dinner with wine at world-renowned Astrid y Gaston. 

    meal(s):FB, L, HD
    hotel:Belmond Miraflores Park Lima Hotel
  12. Bid farewell to Lima as you fly to Chile's capital city of Santiago. This evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner at Cafe Lasterria, set in Santiago's trendiest neighbourhood.
    meal(s):FB, HD
    hotel:The Singular Hotel, Santiago (2 nights).
  13. Meet a Local Expert this morning for a city tour of the Chilean capital, including bustling Plaza de Armas, San Francisco Church and the busy Central Market. Head for the UNESCO-listed port of Valparaiso and spend some time at the boutique Kingston Family Winery located in the Casablanca Valley. Enjoy an introduction to their exquisite cool climate wines and a tasting.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:The Singular Hotel, Santiago.
  14. Enjoy a leisurely morning to explore Santiago further. Fly to Buenos Aires, the vibrant capital city of Argentina, and arrive at your hotel, the celebrated Alvear Palace. This evening, your Highlight Dinner is at Piegan Carnes, known for its Argentine beef.

    meal(s):FB, HD
    hotel:Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires (3 nights).
  15. Get to know Buenos Aires with a Local Expert. Your comprehensive city tour includes the city's best neighbourhoods, including Palermo, San Telmo and Recoleta, where a visit is made to the famous cemetery. Enjoy views of the balcony made famous by Evita Peron, and walk down Caminito Street in the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca. Visit the splendid Belle Époque Teatro Colon. As night falls, a delicious Highlight Dinner with live music, singers and the electrically-charged dance of the Rojo Tango is an experience not to be forgotten.
    meal(s):FB, HD
    hotel:Alvear Palace, Buenos Aires.
  16. With its narrow colonial streets, churches, bars and museums, San Antonio de Areco remains one of the prettiest towns in the Pampas District. Step into a world of riding boots and leather chaps at the stunning La Bamba de Areco Estancia, which has been reserved exclusively for your enjoyment. Enjoy a delicious asado Highlight Lunch and a taste of the life of an Argentinian gaucho, or cowboy, as they demonstrate their legendary equestrian skills. Back in Buenos Aires, the evening is free.
    meal(s):FB, HL
    hotel:Alvear Palace.
  17. Fly to Iguassu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the great natural wonders of the world. You are in for a unique treat as your Local Expert takes you into a community of indigenous Guarani people. Meet the tribal representative and learn about daily life in the jungle. Head for the Argentinian side of the falls, where the meandering catwalks follow the booming waters to the unfathomable Devil's Throat. Located right alongside the tumbling waters, your luxurious resort is the only hotel inside the Brazilian Iguaçu National Park. Enjoy exclusive access to this magnificent sight in the evening when the park is closed to other visitors. Enjoy dinner at your hotel this evening.
    meal(s):CB, D
    hotel:Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Iguassu (2 nights).
  18. Join a Local Expert for a spectacular walk past thundering curtains of water and misty rainbows on the Brazilian side of the falls. Explore the base of the falls and see the impressive panoramic view of San Martin Island. Visit the Bird Park to see several native species in their natural habitat. Perhaps soar over Iguassu Falls on a thrilling helicopter experience. Your Travelling Concierge will be happy to assist you in planning the rest of your day.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Belmond Hotel de Cataratas, Iguassu.
  19. Today, fly to vibrant Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to your hotel located on famous Copacabana Beach. The evening is free.

    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro (3 nights).
  20. Join a Local Expert for a spectacular day of sightseeing in Rio. A cable car takes you to the lofty heights of Sugarloaf Mountain. At the Confeitaria Colombo, enjoy a classic buffet-style Highlight Lunch amid a lavish setting. In the afternoon, you are in for a unique experience—a guided visit to one of Rio's favelas, the multitudinous cascades of shanty towns that coat the city's hillsides. See what daily life is like in a favela and interact with the residents before a stop at the Maze, an iconic jazz club. In the evening, a Highlight Dinner is served with wine at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse, followed by a show at the electric Ginga Tropical. 

    meal(s):FB, HL, HD
    hotel:Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro.
  21. Join your Local Expert on a narrow-gauge train ride up Corcovado Hill to the open arms of Christ the Redeemer, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, toast your journey over a Farewell Celebration Dinner with wine, at Michelin starred restaurant MEE.

    meal(s):FB, CD
    hotel:Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro.
  22. A private transfer will take you to the Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport. Hotel check-out time is at noon. Alternatively, you may choose to extend your stay in Rio de Janeiro.
    meal(s):FB
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30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Intra-Air Included

Prices include economy airfare for any intra-trip flights required by this itinerary. For trip specific terms and conditions, please refer to the Dates & Prices tab.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
23 Feb 18 16 Mar 18 $11,285$10,280pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Mar 18 13 Apr 18 checkmark $11,285$10,280pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
20 Apr 18 11 May 18 $11,285$10,280pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
10 Aug 18 31 Aug 18 $11,285$10,280pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Sep 18 28 Sep 18 checkmark $11,335$10,325pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 Oct 18 9 Nov 18 $11,335$10,325pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Nov 18 14 Dec 18 $11,335$10,325pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $4,350.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $259 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

Intra-Air: Prices include economy airfare and related charges between Lima - Cusco, Cusco - Juliaca, Juliaca - Lima, Lima - Santiago, Santiago - Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires - Iguassu Falls, and Iguassu Falls - Rio de Janeiro, and require the purchase of round trip flights on LATAM between your gateway city and the itinerary's start and end gateway cities. If flying with another airline between your gateway city and the itinerary's start and end gateway cities, the above prices will be higher. 

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 20 Full Breakfasts (FB) and 1 Continental breakfast (CB), 4 Highlight Lunches (HL), 7 Lunches (L), 1 Michelin Highlight Dinner (MHD), 6 Highlight Dinners (HD), 6 Dinners (D) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD).

Included Highlights

Signature Experiences

  • Lima: Over a hot chocolate or authentic cafe pasado, learn the secrets and discover the unique flavour of Peruvian coffee with an expert barista.
  • Lima: Experience the beautiful 'City of Kings' through the eyes of a Local Expert.
  • Macchu Picchu: Learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour.
  • Lima: In the artistic district of Lima, meet sculptor and painter Victor Delfa­n, best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture, at his workshop.
  • Sacred Valley: Visit the Centre for Traditional Textiles, meet with the founder, Nilda Callaaupa, and learn how the Centre is working to empower Quechuan woman and men in the communities of Chinchero, Chahuaytire and Pitumarca by preserving and teaching textile traditions that had begun to disappear.
  • Santiago: Visit Kingston Family Winery, a small boutique winery located in Casablanca Valley for an introduction to and tasting of their exquisite wines.
  • Sacred Valley: Visit a local Maras family who offer a variety of authentic and regional craft workshops.
  • Sacred Valley: Witness the spectacular terraced salt pans, called Salinas de Maras and learn how the care of them is a family tradition in the region.
  • Sacred Valley: Learn of the importance of ancient rituals to the people of the Sacred Valley as a local shaman performs a a centuries-old ritual just for you that expresses reverence to the Earth.
  • Sacred Valley: Enjoy stunning scenery from the panoramic viewing cars of the Vistadome train.
  • Aguas Calientes: With a Local Expert, explore the cloud forest, visit a working tea plantation and an orchid farm.
  • Machu Picchu: Join your Local Expert for a full day discovering the enigmatic 'Lost City of the Incas'.
  • Sacred Valley: At a local camelid farm, meet llamas, guanacos, alpacas and even the rare vicua and enjoy an insight into how their soft wool is used to make beautiful woven textiles.
  • Cusco: Join a Local Expert to explore the Temple of Korikancha, Sacsayhuaman and the cathedral.
  • Cusco: With a Local Expert, practice your bartering skills at a local market. Enjoy a fun challenge of purchasing items from the market (with money and a list supplied by your Travelling Concierge) for the best prices possible. All purchases are later donated to local needy families.
  • Lake Titicaca: Cruise the lake and learn about the lifestyle and customs of the local people, who bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes.
  • Puno: Explore Sillustani to view the stone burial towers 'chullpas' that have dotted the shores since pre-Inca times.
  • Santiago: Meet a Local Expert for a tour of the Chilean capital.
  • Buenos Aires: With a Local Expert, your comprehensive city tour includes a visit to the splendid Belle Epoque Teatro Colon.
  • Iguassu Falls: Be welcomed into the community of the indigenous Guarani people, meet the tribal representative and learn about daily life in the jungle.
  • Iguassu Falls: Join a Local Expert for a spectacular walk past thundering curtains of water and misty rainbows on both Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the falls.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Experience sightseeing with a Local Expert and a cable car journey to the lofty heights of Sugarloaf Mountain.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Meet Bob Nadkarhi, a local club owner, and hear how he created one of the most famous jazz clubs in all of South America.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Journey up Corcovado Hill to the open arms of Christ the Redeemer and magnificent views over the legendary bay.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Partake in a stunning show of extravagant costumes and enthralling music, songs and dances at Ginga Tropical.

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  • U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Peru must have a current passport valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Brazil will also need an entry visa.  We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.

  • You will be using the Brazilian real, Chilean and Argentinian peso, and Peruvian sol on your vacation. It’s generally a good idea to carry some cash on you while you travel; however, you will be able to pay with your debit or credit card in many places and will likely find a better exchange rate once you’ve arrived in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine. Brazilian cuisine varies by region but the country’s most popular dish by far is feijoada, a rich stew of black beans and several cuts of meat that is typically served with rice, sautéed greens and orange slices. Brazil’s national cocktail is the caipirihna, made with cachaça, lime, and sugar cane.

    Argentine cuisine is known for its traditional asado (Argentine barbecue) and many beef-oriented dishes. Empanadas filled with meat and cheese make a delicious meal or snack with a glass of local malbec.  For an inexpensive lunch, try a choripan sandwich made with chorizo. Pizza and pasta dishes are also popular and reflect the influence of Italian immigrants on the country’s cuisine. For something sweet, try any dessert served with creamy dulce de leche.

    Chilean cuisine reflects Spanish influences and traditional indigenous dishes, many of which are seafood oriented due to the country's long coastline.  Maize and quinoa accompany many meals, served along side barbecued or stewed meats. 

    Peruvian food is a colorful mix of cultural influences and flavorful ingredients. Sample popular specialties including seafood ceviche – the country’s national dish –stir fried beef, potatoes with spicy cheese sauce, and stuffed peppers. And there’s nothing quite like a South American pisco sour cocktail prepared with lemon juice, egg white, and pisco liquor.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Sturdy walking shoes are important. Insect repellant and sunscreen may come in handy, as well as a light jacket and reusable water bottle. A more formal outfit will serve you if you plan on dining out in nicer restaurants.  Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • When dining out at restaurants it is appropriate to leave up to 10 percent gratuity.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Rio De Janerio

Helicopter Sightseeing Flight Departing From The Lagoon

Adult Price: $230.00 | Child Price: $230.00

What could be better than a sightseeing tour of Rio de Janeiro from the air? Soar high over Rio with sweeping and unforgettable views of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Jardim de Alah, Ipanema Beach, Arpoador Rock, Copacabana Fort, Copacabana Beach and Vermelha Beach overlooking Sugarloaf. Length of flight - About 8 minutes. (Minimum 3 Guests)

Iguassu Falls

Helicopter Sightseeing Over Iguassu Falls

Adult Price: $179.00 | Child Price: $179.00

Enjoy aerial views of both the Brazil and Argentina sides of the falls, national park and surrounding jungle. Capture great photos of the rivers flowing through what seems like never-ending forest! Fly close above the 275 waterfalls and the Iguassu River below while viewing Devil's Throat (the largest waterfall in the region). Your pilot will circle around the falls to allow each passenger to shoot photos from every possible angle. Length of flight - About 10 minutes. (No Minimum)

Iguassu Falls

Macuco Safari

Adult Price: $131.00 | Child Price: $66.00

Begin this adventure in open-air wagons as you work your way through lush sub-tropical forests. Then hike down the canyon where the Macuco Falls tumble over basalt cliffs into the Iguassu basin. Here, board a custom-designed inflatable motorboat for a 20-30 minute exhilarating ride to the base of the falls. Total duration approximately 2 hours. (No Minimum)

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