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Exploring 3 Countries: Peru + Argentina + Brazil


PRJ18L
18 NIGHTS
FROM £2,695
International flights quoted separately
Explore the highlights of Peru, Argentina & Brazil on this wonderful holiday that covers 3 countries. Visit Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu; the sophisticated city of Buenos Aires & the thundering Iguazu Falls. Complete your holiday relaxing in the exciting city of Rio de Janeiro, with iconic Sugarloaf Mountain & Copacabana Beach. All transfers included.
Photo Machu Picchu Iguazu Falls Rio de Janeiro Brazil Peru Argentina
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Temple of the Sun
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Buenos Aires
• 
Tango & Gauchos
• 
Iguazu Falls
• 
Rio de Janeiro
• 
Copacabana Beach
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Temple of the Sun
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Buenos Aires
• 
Tango & Gauchos
• 
Iguazu Falls
• 
Rio de Janeiro
• 
Copacabana Beach
Day 1
You will be met at Lima Airport and transferred to your hotel.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city - the largest in Peru and its gastronomical centre.
Day 2
Today enjoy a half day tour of historic Lima, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its well preserved architecture.
 
Founded in 1535, Lima was re-named the "City of Kings" when it was conquered by the Spanish and became the most important city in the region. On the main square, the Plaza de Armas, you can see many imposing colonial buildings with their intricate balconies - including Government Palace, where the changing of the guards takes place. See the beautiful Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall. The baroque Torre Tagle Palace, a couple of blocks east of the main square, adds to the city's charm.
 
Our next stop is the 17th century Santo Domingo Convent, which is also a World Heritage site. We then drive through the modern financial district of San Isidro for a tour of Huaca Huallamarca, a pre-Incan adobe pyramid.
 
Afterwards we head for the residential district of Miraflores, stopping off at the Parque del Amor (Lover’s Lane), with its incredible views over the Pacific Ocean. Balance of day at leisure.
Day 3
Transfer to Lima Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Cusco Airport and transferred to your hotel.
 
Check in, settle in and relax in this ancient Inca capital city set high in the Andes Mountains, that is today a World Heritage Site.
Day 4
Today enjoy a half day shared tour of the magnificent colonial city of Cusco, built on Inca foundations and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Comprising a fascinating mix of colonial churches, monasteries and extensive pre-Columbian ruins, almost every central street in this city has remnants of Inca walls.
 
We start with a visit to the impressive Temple of the Sun (Koricancha) whose walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold. On the site of this ancient Inca palace and centre of worship of the Sun God, the Dominicans ordered a church to be built, which survives to this day.  
 
We walk along the cobbled streets to the Plaza de Armas, the central plaza around which you will see many magnificent colonial buildings - including the Cathedral and the Church of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Walking down well-preserved Loreto Street you can see the remains of Incan palaces, as well as old colonial buildings. If you walk down Hatun Rumiyoc, a cobbled street near the Archbishop's Palace, keep an eye out for the famous 12-sided stone that fits so perfectly you can't even insert a coin.
 
We then leave the city and visit the impressive walled fortress of Sacsayhuaman on the northern outskirts, believed to have been both a military and ceremonial centre. This enormous Inca structure has massive walls of hewn stone and is strategically located on a hill overlooking the city. We also visit Qenko - where the sun, moon and stars were worshipped - and Puca Pucara, which may have been a "tambo" or rest and lodgings for the Inca. Finally we visit an art workshop, where you will be able to see artists working in silver, paint and wood - the perfect place to see Andean art.
 
After your tour why not try a Pisco sour - the national drink. If you are feeling adventurous you can also savour guinea pig - the local speciality dish.
Day 5
This morning we set out on a shared tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
 
Our first stop is at Chinchero, a small picturesque Andean village. Enter the home of a textile artisan, where you will see some of his original work and learn about his techniques and creative process.
 
We continue to significant Inca ruins dating from the end of the 15th Century and visit a beautiful traditional church. We also stop at the Racchi viewpoint, for one of the best views of the Sacred Valley.
 
After an included lunch we visit the citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to protect the northern entrance to the Sacred Valley from invasion, and later the centre of Incan resistance against the Spanish. The fortress and walled terraces of this town provide some of the finest examples of Incan architecture, with the six rose-coloured monoliths of the Temple of the Sun being particularly outstanding. The village itself is the best surviving example of Inca urban planning, with stone-paved streets that have been used since the 12th Century. At the end of your tour you will be dropped off at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Day 6
Today transfer to Ollantaytambo Station for the air-conditioned Vistadome train to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu - an amazing 1.5-hour journey to this magnificent mountain top city situated in a beautiful cloud forest, that was abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911.
 
This legendary "Lost City of the Incas" is without a doubt one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built on the summit of Machu Picchu (meaning "Old Peak"), on a natural saddle between steep forested mountains, it overlooks the deep canyon of the Urubamba River some 3,400 m above sea level. With its giant walls, terraces and ramps that appear to have been cut naturally out of the rock escarpments, Machu Picchu's history remains shrouded in mystery as the Incas did not leave any written records.
 
At the gateway town of Aguas Calientes, leave the train and board the bus for the 40-minute zig-zag ride up to this 14th century citadel for a guided tour. Here we visit the Main Plaza, Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, Royal Quarters, Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds. In the afternoon return by bus to Aguas Calientes and take the train back to Ollantaytambo Station, where you will be met and transferred back to your hotel.
 
Note: Entrance to Machu Picchu is restricted to 4-hours (based on either a morning or afternoon schedule). It is mandatory to enter with a guide. If you leave the sanctuary for any reason (eg for lunch), re-entry will not be permitted. You must take your passport today, as this will be needed to gain entry, and only one bag or rucksack not exceeding 5 kg (11 lb) is allowed as hand luggage on the train. From January to June, parts of the rail track may be impassable due to mud slides when a bus transfer will be substituted.
Day 7
Transfer 2-hours to Cusco Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Lima Airport and transferred to your hotel situated near the airport.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city.
Day 8
Transfer to Lima Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Buenos Aires Airport and transferred to your hotel in this exciting city, situated on the estuary of the Río de la Plata (or "River of Silver").
 
Check in and relax in this capital of Argentina, known for its wonderful architecture, tango dancing and rich culture, including the highest concentration of theaters in the world.
Day 9
This morning we suggest an optional half day tour of Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan city influenced by the many immigrants who helped form it and offering beautiful architecture, history and culture.
 
Our tour starts at the Plaza de Mayo, the historical, political and cultural centre of the city. Here you can see the Pink House (Presidential Palace), the Pyramid de Mayo and Metropolitan Cathedral. We continue down Avenida de Mayo, with its wide avenues and spacious green areas, past the Obelisk to the neighborhood of San Telmo, one of the oldest in the city with cobbled streets and colonial houses. Every Sunday an antiques fair takes place here around the Plaza Dorrego. The vibrant area is the centre for most of the tango parlors, restaurants and bars of the city.
 
Going further south, we visit the Italian port neighborhood of La Boca, with its colourful houses in Caminito Street and many “cantinas” (small restaurants). Also the trendy modern neighborhood of Puerto Madero, where the old piers have been converted into upmarket offices, apartments and restaurants with views of the Rio de la Plata. We visit the residential neighborhood of Palermo with its elegant mansions surrounded by spacious parks, before arrivinge in glamorous Recoleta, where there is the option to visit the famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, with its rich architecture (pay locally). Next to the cemetery is the church of Our Lady of Pilar, the Recolete Cultural Centre (originally a convent) and the Palais de Glace exhibition centre.
 
In the evening we suggest an optional Tango Show. Born in the brothels of the city amongst a racial mix of Gauchos, Italian, Spanish and African immigrants, this dance and its music originated as a combination of Cuban and Spanish rhythms, with some polka and African beat. Enjoy the show and included dinner, including mouth-watering Argentinian beef and Malbec wine.
Day 10
This morning we suggest an optional full day excursion to Santa Susana Ranch to admire the skills of the Argentinian Gauchos (cowboys) who live in these fertile pampas grasslands about 2-hours from the city.
 
With a distinctive culture that combines their European and Native American heritages, Gauchos play an important role in regional cultural tradition - including folk songs, dancing and equestrian shows of traditional gaucho skills, such as ring races, cuadreras (horse races) and entrevero de tropillas (horse games).
 
Named in honour of the wife of the original owner, this 1,200 hectare ranch focuses mainly on agriculture, with some cattle raising and horse breeding. On arrival you will be offered delicious empanadas (traditional meat pies) and Argentian wine. You will also have the opportunity of riding a farm wagon, or enjoying a walk on horseback, before tucking into a traditional asado (barbeque). This will be followed by a tango demonstration, folk dancing and an exhibition of Gaucho horsemanship, with roping and ring races.
 
Note: the ranch is closed on Mondays.
Day 11
Today we suggest an optional half day excursion to Tigre on the Parana Delta, situated 18 miles (30 km) north of Buenos Aires.
 
Leaving the city, we drive along the Rio de la Plata until we reach San Isidro, with its magnificent neo-gothic cathedral. We continue to Tigre, named after the jaguars that once roamed free here. At Tigre Pier we embarck on a 1-hour boat ride on this vast delta that is unique because its waters flow into another river, rather than into the sea, forming thousands of small islands covered with subtropical forests. Originally a haven for smugglers, today it is a place of recreation for the citizens of Buenos Aires where you can see yachting and rowing clubs, older mansions and modern wooden houses raised on stilts to avoid the flooding.
 
We disembark in Tigre before returning to Buenos Aires, with afternoon at leisure.
Day 12
Transfer to Aeroparque Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Puerto Iguazu Airport and transferred to your hotel located near one of the greatest waterfalls in the world, regarded as one of Latin America's most awe-inspiring sights.
 
The mighty Iguazu Falls, whose name means "Great Waters", straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil - although almost 80% of the falls are on the Argentinian side. It is situated in a huge tropical rainforest that has been declared a World Heritage site, with countless flora and fauna species.
Day 13
Today enjoy a full day tour to explore both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides of the incredible Iguazu Falls.
 
Comprising approximately 275 separate cascades, the falls form a curtain of foaming water that crashes over a vast granite amphitheatre and into the jungle below. Resembling a reversed letter "J", most of the Iguazu River plunges down through an area known as The Devil’s Throat, with the rest spreading out over a wide shelf that splits into hundreds of different waterfalls.
 
There are a series of walkways that lead above, below and behind the falls, with breath-taking views. You can hope to see monkeys, toucans, parakeets and other wildlife in the rainforest.
 
We also cross over to the Brazilian side of the falls, for panoramic views of the nearly 2-mile (3 km) cliff edge. We take an elevator down to the base of the waterfalls and stop at different viewing points.
 
The volume of water flowing over the falls varies greatly by season, depending on the rainfall. The heaviest rains are from December to February, when the flow of water is at its greatest, but many trails are closed then due to the rains. The shoulder seasons of March/April and August/September are generally regarded as the best time to visit, but the falls are a spectacular sight at any time of year.
Day 14
At leisure to explore more of the Iguazu Falls independently.
 
Many optional activities are available, including boat rides and nature walks in the national park. Adrenalin seekers can even abseiling down the sheer cliffs.
Day 15
Transfer across the border to Foz do Iguacu Airport in Brazil for your onward flight.

You will be met at Rio de Janiero Airport and transferred to your hotel in this iconic city - famous for its magnificent setting and enormous statue of Christ the Redeemer looking down from Corcovado Mountain - one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
 
Check into your hotel in the city that is renowned for its fabulous samba and bossa nova dancing, exciting carnivals and music festivals. Rio is also home to the magnificent beaches of Copacabana, Ipanema, Leblon and Barra da Tijuca.
Day 16
Today we suggest an optional half day tour to visit one of the world’s most famous landmarks.
 
We start by boarding the cog train from Cosme Velho Station to Corcovado Mountain. Enjoy the steep 20-minutes train journey through the dense Atlantic rainforest of Tijuca, with wonderful views of the lush tropical vegetation, and scenic landscapes of the city and its beaches below. Disembark and climb the steps or take the escalators to the base of the towering statue of Christ the Redeemer - one of the 7 wonders of the modern world - and enjoy its spectacular 360 degree panoramas.
 
Afterwards we descend by cog train and drive back along Rio's world class beaches of Leblon, Ipanema and Copacabana, before returning to your hotel with afternoon at leisure.
Day 17
Today we suggest an optional half day tour of the exciting city of Rio de Janiero.
 
We visit the vast Sambodrome exhibition space, where the famous Rio Carnival is held, and view the huge Cathedral of Saint Sebastian, built in the form of an ancient Mayan pyramid. We see Cinelândia Square with its historical buildings, including the Municipal Theater, the National Library and Museum of Fine Arts, and the enormous Maracana, one of the largest football stadiums in the world and the venue for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics. We also visit the colourful Seleron Steps.
 
Afterwards our tour continues as we drive past Flamengo Park, the largest public park in Rio, to one of the most famous symbols of the city - Sugarloaf Mountain. Here we travel all the way to the top, in two cable cars. The first cable car takes us to Urca Hill, a vantage point with beautiful views of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niterói Bridge and Corcovado Mountain. The second cable car takes us all the way to the top, with wonderful views of Copacabana beach, Santa Cruz fortress and the beaches of Niterói.
 
We return by cable car and transfer back to your hotel, with afternoon at leisure.
Day 18
At leisure to relax on famous Copacabana Beach.
Day 19
Transfer to Rio de Janiero Airport for your flight home.

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