Icons of South America

Buenos Aires, Argentina
20 Days from $7,105 per person

A trip across South America's most influential and intoxicating countries—the icons of Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina are brought to life by Insiders and unique experiences.

 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like… feeling the beats of South America at a churrascaria barbecue restaurant in Rio and see how Argentinian Tango should be danced at Lina and Gaspar's home in Buenos Aires. It's meeting other locals passionate about sharing the traditions of their homeland.

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Tour Pace: Comfortable
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  1. Bienvenidos a Lima, founded in 1535 by conquistador Francisco Pizarro who dubbed it the “City of Kings.” A local host will greet and take you to your hotel in San Isidro, one of Lima's exclusive neighborhoods bustling with shops and restaurants.
    hotel:Novotel Lima
  2. Kick back, relax and enjoy your morning at the hotel, or perhaps venture out to do some exploring on your own. At lunchtime, meet your Travel Director and head to Casa Diez Canseco, the private home of an illustrious Lima family, and meet the friendly owner for a Welcome Reception and Be My Guest lunch. Learn about the history of your hosts' ancestors and tour his historic home before celebrating your arrival in Peru with a sumptuous home cooked meal of traditional Peruvian delicacies. After lunch, bid farewell and spend the afternoon exploring Peru's capital with your Local Specialist. Immerse yourself in the colonial splendor of Lima's Historic Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the expansive Plaza de Armas with its impressive cathedral and the stately government palace. Then see the Church of San Francisco and discover its hidden catacombs and splendid architecture. The evening is yours—perhaps try one of Lima's renowned seafood restaurants.
    meal(s):FB, BG
  3. Take a morning flight to Cusco and head for the Sacred Valley. Stop at Awanakancha, a living museum of the Peruvian Andes, and Cultural Insight, where you can see and interact with llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. Enjoy a picnic box lunch before visiting the vibrant market of Pisac where local Quechua people come to sell their produce and handicrafts. Spend some time browsing the stalls, sip a cup of coca tea to help you acclimate to the altitude and keep your ears open for roving bands playing the traditional music of the Andes. Later this afternoon, arrive at your lovely hotel, a former 18th century colonial-style monastery, surrounded by beautiful gardens in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Learn about Peruvian weaving as you observe centuries-old methods of spinning, dyeing and weaving Andean traditional textiles. Discover this Cultural Insight with Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez, a Quechua scholar and recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. This evening, enjoy a convivial dinner with your traveling companions at the hotel.
    meal(s):CB, L, D
    hotel:Sonesta Posadas del Inca Yucay
  4. After breakfast, head to Ollantaytambo to visit this famous Inca stronghold built from immense blocks of stone. Learn about Inca history as you tour the ruins of the hilltop fortress. Next, board the Vistadome train for the journey to the great citadel of the Incas (light snack included). Panoramic windows allow you to appreciate the incredible scenery as you follow the Rio Vilcanota to the town of Aquas Calientes. Upon arrival, take a short ride up to the entrance gate and begin your exploration of one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. With a Local Specialist, visit the ruins of this once-great fortress built in the 15th century and abandoned nearly 100 years later with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. See the highlights of this UNESCO World Heritage Site—the great Temple of the Sun, the House of the Priest, the Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana, an intricately carved rock most likely used as a sundial by the ancient Incas. Dinner is served at the hotel.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:El Mapi by Inkaterra
  5. Return to Machu Picchu to continue exploring on your own. If you're feeling adventurous, hike up to the Gate of the Sun for stunning views over the fortress and the valley below. Or view the incredible stonework and amazing feats of engineering required to transport the huge blocks of stone to the top of this isolated mountain. In the early afternoon, board the train to the Sacred Valley. Then head toward the great colonial city of Cusco by coach. On the way, stop at a local chicheria for a taste of chicha, a Cultural Insight, and learn how this Peruvian corn beer is made only by local women.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Novotel Cusco
  6. This morning, embark on a tour of Cusco, the "Imperial City", and the capital of the Incas during their reign. This lively city, rich in history, bears marks of both the Inca and Spanish who came after them. Enjoy an introduction to the highlights of the city with a Local Specialist, including the incredible baroque Cathedral on the main Plaza de Armas at the heart of the city. Delve deeper into the history of this ancient place at the 17th century Church of Santo Domingo, which was built atop the foundations of the Inca Temple of the Sun, often referred to as Korikancha. Just outside of town, visit the ruins of the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, perched on a hill overlooking Cusco, and see nearby warehouses where the Incas stored their grain. Spend the rest of the afternoon on your own. This evening, gather for a Regional Meal at a local restaurant, enjoying delicious Cusquenian dishes and ancestral dance performances.
    meal(s):FB, RM
  7. Fly back to Lima late this morning and enjoy an afternoon on your own to do some more exploring, pick up souvenirs or just relax. Later, meet a Local Specialist and curator at the Larco Museum, which houses the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art in the world, and learn about the evolution and cultures of Ancient Peruvian societies. Then gather with your traveling companions for an alfresco dinner in the museum's garden restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, DW
    hotel:Novotel Lima
  8. Today, fly from Peru to Chile. Welcome to Santiago, the fifth largest city in South America. On arrival in Peru, you will be taken to your luxury hotel in fashionable Las Condes.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:InterContinental Santiago
  9. This morning, meet your Local Specialist for an exciting tour of the city and a visit to the Central Market. Then head for the Casablanca Valley, Chile's wine-producing region known for its premium wines. Visit an exclusive winery where you will enjoy a gourmet Regional Meal lunch served alfresco on the beautiful grounds. After, meet the winemaker for a Cultural Insight and a personalised winery experience, from the vineyards to the bottling process. Then celebrate Chile's proud wine-making traditions with a wine tasting. The evening is at leisure. Perhaps try a restaurant in the trendy Bellavista District.
    meal(s):FB, RM
  10. Fly south from the Chilean capital to Puerto Montt, one of Chile's beautiful coastal ports. Then it's on to Puerto Varas for a tour of the "City of Roses" on the way to your lakeside hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy before an included dinner in the evening.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Cabana del Lago
  11. An exciting day awaits as you cross the Andes via land and water. Your first stop is the Petrohue River to see the burbling waterfalls cascade over black volcanic rock. Then cross Todos Los Santos Lake with the mighty Osorno Volcano looming in the background. Keep an eye out for the giant Andean condor gliding over the lake. Back on land, it's time to sit back and relax as you drive by breathtaking landscapes of snowcapped mountains, gloriously green forests and sapphire blue lakes. Stop for a delicious lunch in pretty Peulla before crossing the border into Argentina and enjoying a cruise on majestic Lake Nahuel Huapi. Arrive in Bariloche this evening.
    meal(s):FB, L
    hotel:NH Edelweiss Bariloche
  12. Discover the natural wonders of one of Argentina's prettiest areas, known as the “Switzerland of South America.” Meet your Local Specialist and travel along the “Circuito Chico” for spectacular views of forests, mountains and sparkling waters in Nahuel Huapi National Park. Visit lovely Playa Bonita, soak up the scenery from the hilltop of St. Edward's Chapel on the Llao Llao Peninsula, and ride a chairlift to the top of Cerro Campanario for sweeping views of the high peaks of Catedral and Tronador. Then, learn about Bariloche's chocolate connection with a visit to the Chocolate Museum. After a briefing on almost 2,000 years of chocolate history, view the production area and sample a delicious array of this Cultural Insight. The rest of the day is free in Bariloche.
    meal(s):FB
  13. Fly from the edge of Patagonia to the vibrant city of Buenos Aires. Join your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for an exclusive Be My Guest in Palermo Soho. You will be welcomed by a local family and long-time residents of this now-trendy neighborhood in the fashionable Palermo Viejo. Be delighted as they wine and dine you with homemade family recipes. Discover the secrets of kneading country bread and watch as your hosts demonstrate the art of typical Tango. Spending time with this lively family will create a long-lasting memory.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Emperador Buenos Aires
  14. Get acquainted with Argentina's largest city and capital with a Local Specialist. See the Plaza de Mayo and the iconic pink Casa Rosada. View the colorful and fashionable neighborhoods of La Boca, San Telmo and Palermo. Stare in awe at the famous Teatro Colon, a landmark in Buenos Aires. Drive along the stately Avenida 9 de Julio, said to be the widest street in the world, to the elegant Recoleta, the impressive cemetery where Eva Peron (Evita), Argentina's former first lady, is buried. The afternoon is free for you to relax or explore further. This evening, linger over a Regional Meal with an authentic taste of world-renowned Argentinian beef. Cap off the evening by watching the best Tango dancers in Buenos Aires perform, a Cultural Insight, and experience the passion and power of Argentina's beloved traditional music.
    meal(s):FB, RM
  15. Relish a morning and afternoon to pursue your own interests in the 'Paris of South America.' The possibilities are endless. Visit one of the country's finest museums at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, visit a local market or for a different side of Argentina, perhaps take a trip into the countryside to spend the day at a traditional estancia (ranch) for the Fiesta del Gaucho (festival of the cowboy), complete with a lively equestrian show and a traditional parrillada (barbecue) lunch.
    meal(s):FB
  16. Take a morning flight to Iguassu Falls, Argentina. Meet your Local Specialist for a visit to Iguassu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to one of the world's largest waterfalls and to such endangered species as the giant otter and giant anteater. Board an open-air ecological jungle train and bask in the majesty of the many different views and perspectives of the falls. Along the way, take a walk on a protruding catwalk to get an up-close view of the cascades and view the thundering Devil's Throat Falls. End your adventure by crossing the border into Brazil for a relaxing evening and dinner at your resort.
    meal(s):CB, D
    hotel:Wish Resort Golf Foz de Iguassu
  17. Return to Iguassu National Park and spend the morning exploring the Brazilian side of the falls with a Local Specialist, including a scenic walk through the rainforest at the base of the falls. This afternoon board a short flight to Rio de Janeiro and transfer to your elegant hotel overlooking pristine Copacabana Beach for a free evening.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Miramar by Windsor
  18. Meet your Local Specialist and ascend Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car. From this vantage point, the views of the city and bay are unforgettable. The afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps take an optional cruise on Guanabara Bay viewing Rio's picturesque city skyline and Sugarloaf Mountain from the water.
    meal(s):FB
  19. Board a classic cogwheel train for the journey to the summit of majestic Corcovado, site of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Then, accompanied by your Local Specialist, continue your exploration of the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) and its many contrasts from the 18th century aqueduct and colonial Candelaria Church to the 20th century opera house, Sambadromo, and city cathedral. Later this afternoon, head over to a Samba school where a representative of the school will give a Cultural Insight into how the school operates and how they prepare for Carnival week. You'll also be able to view Carnival costumes and for those that desire, participate in a dance lesson accompanied by a musical Samba Trio and Mulata dancers. This evening, visit a renowned churrascaria for a festive Farewell Dinner complete with a caipirinha mixing demonstration.
    meal(s):FB, FD
  20. Your day is free until your transfer to the airport or choose to extend your stay in Rio de Janeiro at the Miramar by Windsor. For your comfort, you room is reserved until 6 p.m.
    meal(s):FB
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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.

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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • 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

Meal Summary

19 nights' accommodations, 19 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 9 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Cultural Insight

  • Visit a living museum in Awanakancha, meet local weavers, learn about chica, enjoy a wine tasting, sample chocolate in Bariloche, at a local Samba school and watching a Tango performance in Buenos Aires.

Be My Guest

  • at Casa Diez Canseco and in Palermo Soho at the home of a local family.

Local Specialist

  • in Lima, Machu Picchu, Cusco, at the Larco Museum, in Santiago, Bariloche, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires and Rio.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Orientation of Puerto Varas
  • Visit the Christ the Redeemer statue, Pisac, Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Chile's wine country, Sugarloaf Mountain and Corcovado
  • Cruise in Chile's Lake Region
  • Scenic drive through the Sacred Valley
  • Iconic train journey aboard the Vistadome train
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price AvailabilityPrice
4 Mar 17 23 Mar 17 checkmark $7,760$7,105pp
$7,760 $7,105 pp
9 Sep 17 28 Sep 17 checkmark $7,760$7,105pp
$7,760 $7,105 pp
7 Oct 17 26 Oct 17 $7,760$7,105pp
$7,760 $7,105 pp
4 Nov 17 23 Nov 17 $7,760$7,105pp
$7,760 $7,105 pp
2 Dec 17 21 Dec 17 $7,760$7,105pp
$7,760 $7,105 pp

Crossovers: These departures will operate as per the 2016 itinerary; hotels and inclusions may vary.

undefinedFestival Departures: A Christmas celebration is arranged for this departure.

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 $2,395.

Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $209 per person.

Land and Intra Air prices include economy air and air-related charges for flights between Lima-Cusco, Cusco-Lima, Lima-Santiago, Santiago-Puerto Montt, Bariloche-Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires-Iguassu Falls and Iguassu Falls-Rio de Janeiro and require purchase of round-trip air travel on LATAM airline between your gateway city and the itinerary's start and end gateway cities (ticket number required). If flying with another airline between your gateway city and the itinerary's start and end gateway cities, the above prices will be higher.

Note: On the train to Machu Picchu, only hand luggage (overnight bag) can be taken. Your suitcase will be securely stored and returned to you in Cusco.

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

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil, Argentina, Chile 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.

    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 liqueur.

    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. 

  • 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.

Reviews

Extend your vacation with a pre-itinerary 5 day Peruvian Amazon package, including 3 nights in a jungle lodge.

Prices for the extension start at $1,269* per person twin share (single supplement $250).

Prices include internal flights. Please note that guaranteed room share is not available on this extension.

DAY 1 ARRIVE LIMA
Fly to Lima, Peru (international flights not included). Upon arrival in Lima, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free.
Wyndham Costa del Sol, Lima Airport

DAY 2 LIMA - PUERTO MALDONADO - CORTO MALTES AMAZONIA (3 NIGHTS)
This morning fly to remote Puerto Maldonado, then enjoy a journey on the Madre de Rios river to your jungle lodge. Get your first taste of the rainforest as your expert guide introduces you to the trees, medicinal plants, insects and animals that call the jungle home. Before dinner take a short caiman-spotting expedition aboard a small boat.
(FB,L,D) Corto Maltes Amazonia

DAY 3 AMAZON EXPLORATION
Enjoy breakfast then watch monkeys cavorting through the trees of Monkey Island. A short boat ride takes you to the Tambopata Candamo National Reserve. Disembark and hike through the jungle, admiring towering green walls of vegetation, the cacophony of birds, and the light filtering through the forest canopy. Arrive at Sandoval Lake where you might spot a wide variety of birds, monkeys, giant river otters, black caimans, or even the elusive anaconda. Enjoy a sunset over the lake before returning to the lodge for dinner.
(FB,L,D)

DAY 4 AMAZON EXPLORATION
Enjoy the morning at leisure to stroll the lodge grounds or take a swim. Later immerse yourself in local culture with member of the Ese'eja tribe and visit a local farm to learn about traditional agriculture. This evening relish your last dinner in the rainforest and watch the stars come out.
(FB,L,D)

DAY 5 CORTO MALTES AMAZONIA - PUERTO MALDONADO - LIMA
Enjoy a dawn excursion this morning to a popular feeding grounds for parrots. After breakfast bid farewell to the Amazon and head back to Puerto Maldonado for your flight to Lima. In Lima, join the rest of your tour group for Day 1 of Icons of South America.
(FB)

 

*Prices are accurate as of 18 October 2016.

Extend your vacation with a post-itinerary 4 day Brazilian Amazon extension package, including 2 nights in a jungle lodge.

Prices for the extension start at $1,295* per person twin share (single supplement $275).

Prices include internal flights. Please note that guaranteed room share is not available on this extension. 

DAY 1-19 Operate per Icons of South America Itinerary

DAY 20 RIO DE JANEIRO - MANAUS
Say farewell to your tour group in Rio de Janeiro and fly to Manaus, Brazil. Upon arrival, you will be taken to your hotel before taking a city tour. Visit the grand Palacio Rio Negro, the former home of a rubber baron that is now a museum dedicated to preserving the traditional Amazonian culture. Discover the floating harbor and nearby Customs House, the vibrant Mercado Municipal, and the famed Opera House.
Tropical Manaus Hotel

DAY 21 MANAUS - AMAZON ECOPARK JUNGLE LODGE (2 NIGHTS)
This morning travel upriver to the famous "Meeting of the Waters" and see the dark waters of the Rio Negro mix with the brown waters of the Solimoes, as the river flows east to the Atlantic. After lunch, you may choose to take an optional canoe experience down a tributary river and try your hand at piranha fishing, or stay and relax in the jungle atmosphere.  Later this afternoon, transfer to your lodge on the Rio Taruma.
(FB,L,D) Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge

DAY 22 AMAZON EXPLORATION
After breakfast take a guided walk through the rainforest. As you enter the dense jungle, imagine how the early Amazonian explorers felt. Perhaps you'll spot a capybara, the world's largest rodent, or glimpse a sleeping anaconda in a tree. Next you will visit the home of native Amazonians to learn about their culture and way of life. This evening, take to the river and go on a moonlit search for caiman. 

DAY 23 AMAZON - MANAUS - RIO DE JANEIRO
Visit Monkey Forest, a rehabiliation center and wildlife refuge, to watch monkeys eat and play.  Afterwards, say goodbye to the Amazon and return to Manaus Airport for your flight to the USA.

 

*Prices are accurate as of 19 October 2016.

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