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Peru & Brazil Highlights: Machu Picchu, Iguassu & Rio


PRI12L
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,095
International flights quoted separately
This 2-country holiday combines the highlights of Peru & Brazil. Visit Lima & the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, before exploring the Sacred Valley & taking the train to the citadel at Machu Picchu. Then fly to the mighty Iguassu Falls in Brazil, surrounded by tropical rainforests, before ending your holiday in the vibrant city of Rio de Janeiro. All transfers included.
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Inca Ruins
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Iguassu Falls
• 
Rio de Janeiro
• 
Christ the Redeemer Statue
• 
Sugarloaf Mountain
• 
Corcovado Mountain
• 
Lima
• 
Cusco
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Inca Ruins
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Iguassu Falls
• 
Rio de Janeiro
• 
Christ the Redeemer Statue
• 
Sugarloaf Mountain
• 
Corcovado Mountain
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
This morning enjoy a city 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 Spain and it became the most important city in the region. Today you can see many imposing buildings from the colonial era with their intricate balconies, including Government Palace on the Plaza Mayor, where you can still watch the changing of the guard.
 
The beautiful cathedral on the main square, the Plaza de Armas, and building such as the President's Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, City Hall and the baroque Torre Tagle Palace a couple of blocks east of the main square, add to the city's charm. See the 17th century Santo Domingo church and monastery, that is today a World Heritage Site, before being transferred 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 3
Today enjoy a half day tour of the city of Cusco situated high in the Andes Mountains, followed by a visit to some of its ancient Inca ruins outside the city.
 
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. Explore the Plaza de Armas and the impressive Qurikancha (Temple of the Sun), whose walls and floors were once covered in sheets of solid gold.
 
Walk down well-preserved Loreto Street, and along Ahuajpinta Street you can see the remains of impressive Incan palaces as well as old colonial buildings such as the 16th century cathedral and the Museum of Colonial Art. 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 Saksaywaman on the northern outskirts, believed to have been both a military and ceremonial centre. We also visit the archaelogical site at Tambomachay (also known as the Incan Baths) and the excavated ruins at Q'inqu, before returning to town.
 
In the evening savour the local cuisine including a Pisco sour, the national drink. If you are feeling adventurous you can even try guinea pig - the local speciality.
Day 4
This morning join a small group tour to the Sacred Valley. Our first stop is at Awanacancha, where we visit an Andean textile centre that strives to keep traditional Incan textile art alive. Here we learn about the dyeing techniques and instruments used for hundreds of years in the weaving of these famous textiles - as well as close up views of lama, alpaca and vicuna.
 
We continue to the picturesque colonial village of Pisac in the Urubamba Valley. Here we visit the impressive Pisac archeological complex, a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples and terracing, before visiting the village's colouful Indian market.
 
After an included lunch in the Urubamba Valley, we end the day with a visit to 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.  Afterwards you will be dropped off at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
 
Note: You need to pack a small bag for this excursion, as large suitcases are not allowed on the train to Machu Picchu.
Day 5
Up early this morning to 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. We suggest you take a packed lunch (to avoid queues at the restaurant). In the late 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: You must take your passport today, as this will be needed to gain access to Machu Picchu 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 is substituted.
Day 6
Transfer 2-hours to Cusco Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Foz do Iguacu Airport and transferred to your hotel near one of the greatest waterfalls in the world and regarded as one of Latin America's most awe-inspiring sights.
 
The mighty Iguassu Falls straddles the border between Brazil and Argentina, 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.
 
Check into your hotel and relax close to these amazing tropical rainforests.
Day 7
Today enjoy a half day tour of the incredible Iguassu Falls, whose name means "Great Waters". The Brazilian side offers 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.
 
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 in Argentina, with the rest spreading out over a wide shelf that splits into hundreds of different waterfalls.
 
There are a series of walkways leading to the falls, with breath-taking views. You can also hope to see monkeys, toucans, parakeets and other wildlife in the rainforest.
 
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 8
Today enjoy a half day tour of the Argentinian side of the incredible Iguassu Falls, whose name means "Great Waters".
 
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 also hope to see monkeys, toucans, parakeets and other wildlife in the rainforest.
 
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 9
Transfer to Foz do Iguacu Airport 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 10
Today enjoy a half day tour to 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 11
Today enjoy a 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 12
At leisure to relax on famous Copacabana Beach.
Day 13
Transfer to Rio de Janiero Airport for your flight home.

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