Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
MANAUS, BRAZIL. Welcome to the capital of the Amazonas region. Located in the dense Amazon Jungle area, Manaus preserves images of its opulent past and is still a major port—even 1,000 miles inland! Meet your guide at 2 pm for a city tour featuring the famous OPERA HOUSE, completed in 1896 after 15 years of construction, and a LOCAL MARKET.
MANAUS–AMAZON JUNGLE. Floating past the clustered huts of locals living on the banks of the river, cruise down the Rio Negro to the MEETING OF THE WATERS. Marvel at the confluence of the dark-colored Rio Negro and the light chocolate-colored Rio Solimões, where the two rivers come together to form the mighty Amazon. For four miles, these two bodies of water flow side by side before they mix together. Later, disembark at a JUNGLE ISLAND (water level permitting) with fascinating native flora and fauna. This afternoon, arrive at the Ecopark Jungle Lodge on the banks of the Rio Negro inside the Amazonian rainforest. (B,L,D)
AMAZON JUNGLE. Enjoy a Naturalist-guided WALK to see the flora and fauna that thrive in the Amazon. After lunch, sail up the river to visit an AMAZON NATIVE CABOCLO VILLAGE to learn about their traditions, costumes, and culture. Also, try your hand at piranha fishing! Later, visit the MONKEY JUNGLE RESERVE, where researchers work to rehabilitate primates like spider, squirrel, woolly, and capuchin monkeys and reintroduce them to the jungle. This evening, venture back out on canoe with your Naturalist to appreciate the sounds of the jungle at night and look for small alligators (and other night creatures). (B,L,D)
AMAZON JUNGLE–RIO DE JANEIRO. This morning, depart the Ecopark for a flight to Rio.
RIO DE JANEIRO. Today, enjoy free time in Rio, then meet your Tour Director.
RIO DE JANEIRO. Sprawling between majestic granite peaks and the blue South Atlantic, Rio is a city of beauty, wonder, and energy. Guided sightseeing begins with a drive along Rio’s famed Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana Beaches. Take the cog railway 2,300 feet up to the summit of CORCOVADO to view the infamous Christ the Redeemer statue and 360-degree views of Guanabara Bay and the bustling city below. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own. Perhaps join an optional excursion to a nearby favela for a glimpse into the life of these colorful communities that nearly 25% of the people call home. Tonight, perhaps opt for a dinner at a local churrascaria, serving prime meats, seafood, and fish.
RIO DE JANEIRO. A free day in Rio allows you to relax on one of the beaches or take an optional excursion to the historic city of Petropolis to see the former summer palace of Emperor Pedro II.
RIO DE JANEIRO–IGUASSU FALLS. A morning flight takes you to Iguassu Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Journey to the Brazilian side of the FALLS to see the mammoth series of 275 waterfalls cascading over a precipice almost two miles wide and 250 feet deep. Walk into Devil’s Throat Canyon, where the clouds of mist, thundering roar, and 180-degree rainbows surround you—an unforgettable experience!
IGUASSU FALLS. Cross the border and visit the Argentine side of the FALLS. Begin with a short ride on the open-air ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN through the rainforest. A series of boardwalks takes you above the falls to see the water crashing down into the Devil’s Throat. Your afternoon is free to explore, or you may opt to visit the Bird Park, home to many species of indigenous birds as well as flora from the area.
IGUASSU FALLS–BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital. After settling into your hotel, an orientation tour familiarizes you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards, outdoor cafés, and charming shops.
BUENOS AIRES. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide focuses on the city’s landmarks, including the Colon Opera House and Plaza de Mayo, site of La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House) and Metropolitan Cathedral. Also, visit La Boca and San Telmo, one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods, and RECOLETA CEMETERY, where Eva Peron is buried. End your day with an Argentinean meal, followed by a sensuous TANGO SHOW.
BUENOS AIRES. Today is free for independent activities, or you can take an optional excursion to a local estancia (ranch) to experience the life of the gauchos (cowboys), as well as traditional dance performances and a barbecue lunch.
BUENOS AIRES–SANTIAGO, CHILE. Fly over the majestic Andes to Santiago, Chile’s scenic capital between the Pacific and the Andes. With a coastline more than 2,650 miles long, Chile is more than 10 times longer than wide. It has a distinctly European flavor accented with Latin flair, making Santiago one of South America’s most sophisticated and modern cities.
SANTIAGO. Your guided city tour introduces you to Santiago—the country’s political, commercial, and cultural capital. View La Moneda Government Palace and San Cristobal Hill with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. Also, see Club Hipico, one of the most renowned horseracing tracks in South America. Your tour ends at the city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, with a visit to the relic-filled CATHEDRAL. Your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, consider the optional Chilean Folkloric Dinner Show.
SANTIAGO. Today, enjoy a day at leisure. A trip to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar is highly recommended. A leisurely drive through the countryside and vineyards delivers you to Valparaiso, a city of 42 hills and the inspiration of many artists and poets. On to the chic seaside resort of Viña del Mar, full of unusual architecture and beautiful gardens. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner to celebrate your exciting Latin American vacation.
SANTIAGO–LIMA, PERU. Board a flight for Lima, Peru. Heralded as the “City of Kings” by Spanish conquistadors, Lima retains vestiges of its opulent past with its colonial buildings and world-class museums.
LIMA. Sightseeing today focuses on Lima’s colonial heritage. Visit the 11th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, with Spanish and Moorish architecture throughout. Continue to Plaza Mayor, where you will see the Government Palace that houses the presidential palace and the cathedral where the founder of Lima, Francisco Pizarro’s, remains are buried.
LIMA–CUSCO–SACRED VALLEY. Fly to Cusco high in the Andes and upon arrival, descend into the Sacred Valley. Stop at AWANAKANCHA and learn about the importance of camelids (llama, vicuña, alpaca, and guanaco) for Inca cultures. Continue to PISAC, a charming village with an infamous INDIAN MARKET—a great place to buy souvenirs! Later, arrive at your hotel nestled in the Sacred Valley.
SACRED VALLEY. Visit the village of OLLANTAYTAMBO and the Inca ruins of the same name. Explore the archaeological site that was the scene of the Inca resistance during the Spanish conquest. Next, visit a LOCAL INCA HOME to see life in a traditional village, which has been remarkably well preserved. Also, visit the SEMINARIO CERAMICS WORKSHOP to learn about Peruvian ancient and modern art. End your day at a local chicheria for a taste of a typical Inca drink in Peru called chicha.
SACRED VALLEY–MACHU PICCHU. Board the VISTADOME train that cuts a path through the Urubamba Valley bound for Aguas Calientes, the town closest to the “Lost City of the Incas.” Ascend the mountainside to the sacred refuge of MACHU PICCHU. Your guide recounts the many accomplishments of the Incas as you tour the ruins dating back to the 15th century.
MACHU PICCHU–CUSCO. This morning, enjoy some free time to explore the mountain town of Aguas Calientes; perhaps visit the local market, quaint boutiques, or take a walk along nearby trails. Later, return to Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire.
CUSCO. A guided sightseeing tour of Cusco focuses on the city that was once the political, military, and cultural epicenter of the Incas. Visit SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY and the CATHEDRAL in the Plaza de Armas, which houses a magnificent collection of artwork. Continue to the hillside overlooking Cusco for a visit to the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN. Also, see the ruins of Kenko and Puca Pucara before returning to Cusco.
CUSCO–LIMA. A short flight brings you back to Lima. Transfer to your hotel, and enjoy time to explore the city.
LIMA. Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning.