Cross Continent and Deep Amazon Rainforest cruise
Tango, Afro-Brazilian rhythms, pan-pipes of the mountains... Latin America's music is every bit as diverse and fascinating as its landscape and people. This wide-ranging coast-to-coast tour offers everything from jungle adventure during an Amazon cruise to insights into life in Andean villages, from the great cosmopolitan cities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro to the designer architecture of Brasilia, and the lovely colonial cities of Salvador do Bahia and Cusco, plus the haunting, majestic ruins of the Inca Empire at Machu Picchu.
Day by Day Summary
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Days 1 - 4
Day 1 - Departure from the UK
Depart on Thursday evening for Buenos Aires, arriving the next morning.
Day 2 - Buenos Aires at Leisure
On arrival at Buenos Aires airport, you will be met by our representative who will take you to your hotel for 3 nights. You will have a short introduction to the local area around your hotel, which is also an opportunity for our guide to provide advice, explain your programme and answer any questions you may have. You have the rest of the day to relax after the long flight and start exploring the city on your own.
Day 3 - Buenos Aires City Tour
Full day tour of the "Paris of South America". We visit La Boca to see the brightly coloured houses in the famous 'Caminito', the Cathedral and the Presidential Palace with its famous balcony where Eva Perón and numerous presidents have made their public appearances. End the afternoon at Recoleta, famous for its European architecture, trendy shops and street cafes.
Day 4 - Buenos Aires at Leisure
Full day to explore on your own, a dinner and tango show in the evening are a must.
Days 5 - 6
Day 5 - Iguazú Falls, Argentinian side
Today you will fly up to Puerto Iguazú to walk along the trails of the Argentinian side of the awe-inspiring falls, surrounded by tropical rainforest; swifts dive into the falls catching insects, butterflies flit about and toucans fly overhead. Overnight at our hotel overlooking the waterfalls.
Day 6 - Iguassu Falls, Brazilian side
Spend the morning exploring the Brazilian side of the waterfalls for a panoramic view and relaxing at the falls. Take an afternoon flight to Rio de Janeiro for three nights.
Days 7 - 8
Day 7 - Full Day Tour of Rio de Janeiro
Full day tour including Rio's famous landmark, the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain, granting fabulous views of the city and Guanabara Bay. You will pass through the lush forest of Tijuca, with its tropical trees, waterfalls and pleasant shade, before visiting the historic Royal Palace and Cathedral in the centre of the city.
Day 8 - Rio de Janeiro at Leisure
Day at leisure to explore the city and enjoy the beaches of Rio.
Days 9 - 11
Day 9 - Flight to Salvador
Flight to Salvador da Bahia, a city of contrasts, where Catholicism and Candomblé live side by side. The exotic cuisine reflects the African influences, the Pelourinho district is full of colonial buildings, and the unique rhythms and dances come from the North-East.
Day 10 - City Tour of Salvador
We will visit the city's markets, churches and the colourful Pelourinho district with colonial buildings lining the cobbled streets, while your guide will tell you as much as possible about the city's long history and culture.
Day 11 - Salvador at Leisure
Day free to explore the city, its art galleries, museums, or take one of the many optional excursions.
Days 12 - 17
Day 12 - City tour of Brasília
Morning flight to the capital, Brasília, the ultra-modern capital, set out in the form of a primed bow and arrow, with the 'super-blocks' spanning out in large arches. We spend the afternoon visiting the main areas of interest including the Palacio de Alvorada and the famous Metropolitan Cathedral.
Day 13 - Manaus tour
Flight to Manaus, a booming city in the 19th Century with the arrival of the rubber barons. We will visit the grandiose Opera House, built during a period of sheer extravagance; hence the materials used are almost entirely European. We will also visit the Municipal Market where you can see the huge variety of exotic fruit and fish that can be found in the Amazon rainforest.
Days 14 - 17 - Cruise in the Amazon rainforest
Fly deeper into the heart of the Amazon, at Tabatinga and short drive to Leticia. Tour this isolated fishing port bustling with trade between Peru, Colombia and Brazil. Board our river boat for the Amazon river 4 night cruise to Iquitos with all meals and daily excursions included. The ship has a basic local design with three decks, cabins with private facilities and air-conditioning, a lounge and dining room, and a large observation sun deck with a bar for cool drinks at sunset after the day's excursions. Each day the guides will take you on excursions to observe the exuberance of the rainforest, the wildlife and witness how life is developing in the villages and farmsteads stranded along the remote riverbanks.
Days 18 - 19
Day 18 - Transfer to Lima
Disembark the river boat, explore Iquitos and transfer to the airport, bound for Lima. On arrival, once you have checked into your hotel, you will have an arrival welcome briefing with your guide.
Day 19 - Lima city tour
You will have a morning tour, visiting the grand colonial squares, including the historic Plaza de Armas, with buildings decorated with intricate wooden balconies and the Larco Herrera museum, which houses fascinating artefacts from pre-Inca and Inca times. The afternoon and evening is at leisure, a good opportunity to visit one of the sophisticated restaurants with excellent cuisine.
La Paz &
Days 20 - 23
Day 20 - Fly to La Paz
Transfer to the airport and fly to La Paz, the world's highest capital city (3,636m), where you stay for 2 nights. A bustling city settled in a large basin, where adobe houses cling precariously to the sheer sides.
Day 21 - City tour La Paz
Our tour of the city follows a maze of streets and alleyways to visit colonial squares, churches and streets lined with little shops selling wonderful weavings, traditional musical instruments and jewellery, before leading us to the witches' market, where charismatic ladies sell a range of herbs, bottled potions and amulets to cure all ills.
Day 22 - Lake Titicaca
A scenic road, with the snow-capped cordillera in the background, takes you to Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. We skirt the lake, catching glimpses of the locals working the Inca terraces with the help of oxen, and stop for lunch at the charming lakeshore village of Copacabana. Visit the church of Our Lady of Copacabana, Patron Saint of Bolivia and take a boat trip to Sun Island before crossing the border into Peru and continuing to Puno where you spend 2 nights in a hotel overlooking the lake.
Day 23 - Uros & Taquile Islands
We take a boat out to the floating reed islands of Uros. Although the Uros Indians of these islands have intermarried with Aymaras and no pure-blooded Uros exist, many of the inhabitants of the islands still practice the old traditions of fishing, trapping birds and living on the lake plants. The totora reeds which grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake are used for their boats, houses and islands. Continue by boat to the beautiful island of Taquile, 3 hours from the mainland. The island is rocky and requires a steep climb to the town. It is famous for its fine weavings and the traditional dress of the inhabitants.
Days 24 - 25
Day 24 - Andean Explorer Train to Cusco
Board the luxurious Andean Explorer Train to Cusco to cross the dramatic Andean landscape. You will sit at a table by the window, where lunch and afternoon tea will be served, as the route takes you through beautiful Andean landscapes, of snow covered mountains, past fields of grazing cattle, hot springs and small villages. Little stations crop up in the middle of the altiplano, or 'high plain', where local people wait to sell local food and handicrafts. On arrival in Cusco, you will be met by our representative and taken to your hotel in the Urubamba Valley "Sacred Valley of the Incas" for 2 nights.
Day 25 - Sacred Valley of the Incas Full Day Tour
On Sunday we will have a full day excursion of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Urubamba valley, affording stunning views of the fertile plains and Inca terracing. We visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, scaling the hill above a charming Inca village, and Pisac ruins, which provide us with some of the most impressive examples of Inca masonry. We continue to Pisac market, a colourful affair, where local food, alpaca weavings and handicrafts are sold. If there is time we may also drive up to Pisac ruins for a great view at sunset of the Urubamba valley below.
Days 26 - 27
Day 26 - By Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu
A spectacular train journey following the Urubamba River and culminating at the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Once at the ruins, you will have a private guided tour and the afternoon free, staying overnight in a nearby hotel.
Day 27 - Machu Picchu at Leisure
Morning free to explore Machu Picchu further or possibly climb Huayna Picchu or walk to Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, at the end of the Inca Trail. Afternoon Vistadome train back to Cusco, where you will stay for 3 nights.
Days 28 - 30
Day 28 - Cusco Tour
Morning visit of Cusco, the fascinating blend of Inca and colonial heritage. Beautiful colonial buildings rest upon Inca foundations unchanged over the centuries. We also visit the nearby Inca archaeological sites of Qenqo and Sacsayhuamán, an astounding megalithic structure, whose massive stones, weighing over 100 tons, fit together with incredible perfection.
Day 29 - Cusco at Leisure
A full day at leisure in Cusco to explore the city, relax, take an optional extra excursion, or simply enjoy the surroundings and atmosphere of this magnificent city.
Day 30 - Departure
Flight to Lima connecting with your return flight home, arriving the following day, Day 31.