Iguazu Falls

Iconic South America: Argentina, Brazil & Peru

Nature & Wildlife
Active Travel
Land-Based Expeditions
Iguazu Falls

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Iconic South America: Argentina, Brazil & Peru

This sweeping journey highlights some of South America’s most iconic sites! Begin with front-row seats to view the amazing spectacle of Iguazu Falls, then discover the gracious architecture and passionate vibe of cosmopolitan Buenos Aires. After learning to Tango, set off for Lima, the one-time center of Spain’s empire in the Americas. Continue to the Sacred Valley where you will find grand monuments from the Inca Empire, including legendary Machu Picchu.

Daily Itinerary

Iconic South America: Argentina, Brazil & Peru Itinerary

  • Day
    1

    Depart Home City / Iguazu, Argentina

    Depart on your independent flight to Iguazu. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to the Belmond Das Cataratas Hotel, your home for the next two nights. Join your fellow travelers for a journey to the Itaipu Dam, a Modern Wonder of the World. Holding back the force of millions of tons of water, this marvel of engineering will stun you with its size. Return to the hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight. (L,D)

  • Day
    2

    Iguazu

    Today, you will visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the awe-inspiring Iguazu Falls. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Argentinean side of the falls is located within an ecological reserve teeming with rare and unique flora and fauna, stunning vistas and, of course, the spectacular falls themselves. Touring both on land and on the river itself, immerse yourself into the wonder of this natural work of art. The largest of the falls is known as Devil’s Throat and marks the border between Argentina and Brazil. From a balcony over this turbulent portion of the river, you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the powerful wall of water just feet in front of you. To complete your experience, climb aboard a boat for a memorable excursion under the falls before enjoying a delicious dinner featuring folkloric dancers from the region. (B,L,D)

  • Day
    3

    Iguazu, Brazil / Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Take in one more must-see angle of the falls by taking a short trip across the border to Brazil. The panoramic view from this side allows you to see the entire falls, a breath-taking experience that must be seen to be believed. After lunch in the Brazilian National Park, transfer to the airport for your afternoon flight to Buenos Aires. From Buenos Aires' Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport, you’ll be met and transferred to the Tango de Mayo Hotel, your home for the next two nights. Once checked in, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore Buenos Aires. This vibrant city is a fascinating blend of ancient and modern, concrete and color. As you explore, you’ll spot Italian and French architectural influences interspersed with vivid murals, cozy barrios and connecting it all, a distinctly Argentinian passion. A free evening gives you the opportunity to delve into some of the flavors of Argentina, perhaps choosing to try one of Buenos Aires’ famous steakhouses. (B,L)

  • Day
    4

    Buenos Aires

    On today’s full-day tour you’ll experience some of the city’s most iconic sites, including La Boca’s colorful Caminito. A one-of-a-kind street museum made up of brightly painted buildings, this historically and culturally important ‘little walkway’ features 19th-century homes built by some of the approximately six million immigrants who came to Argentina between 1880 and 1930. Many of those immigrants settled in La Boca, supplementing the available housing supply by crafting their own houses in what’s known as the conventillo boquenese style, which used shipyard supplies as construction materials. Restored and enlivened in the 1950s by a group of neighbors including famous Argentine painter, Benito Quinquela Martin, and believed to be the birthplace of the Tango, this street still captures the vibrant spirit of Argentina. After La Boca, you’ll drop in for a visit at a local artist's gallery before wandering the cobbled streets of San Telmo, Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhood, and finish the tour by getting to know Argentina’s most famous square, the Plaza de Mayo. The focal point of Argentina’s political life, this square has seen many demonstrations and been the backdrop for many moments in Argentina’s storied history and features many of the city's notable landmarks. Enjoy a lunch of empanadas at Abriendo Caminos, an NGO-run social project dedicated to empowering local women. After lunch, get ready to be captivated by the drama and passion of the Tango. Join a professional Tango couple as they explain the dance’s origin and history and demonstrate the intimately fluid movements for you. You will then be invited to join an hour-long beginner’s class to learn some of the basic techniques. (B,L)

  • Day
    5

    Buenos Aires / Lima, Peru

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon in the ‘City of Kings,’ head to the Museo Larco, which houses the world’s largest and most important collection of ancient Peruvian artifacts. Some of the most famous galleries display ancient erotic art and extraordinary pieces of gold and silver jewelry. With a new understanding and appreciation for the past, venture into modern-day Lima for a tour of the city. Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, Lima once governed over all the Spanish territories in South America. Few cities at that time could rival Lima’s power, wealth and opulence, until, in 1746, its glory days ended when the city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake. The striking Plaza Mayor is the heart of the city and home to some of the most important buildings in town, including the cathedral, the huge Government Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace. From there, continue to the nearby San Francisco Monastery. After a day of discovery, transfer to the Dazzler Miraflores Hotel for overnight. (B)

  • Day
    6

    Lima / Cusco / Sacred Valley

    After a leisurely morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, depart overland for the Sacred Valley, the former capital of the Incan Empire, and check in to your hotel for the next two nights, the Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness. The Sacred Valley’s combination of a temperate climate and fertile plains offer an unusual abundance for the high Andes and you can still see how the Incas sculpted the mountain flanks with vast contour terracing and irrigation channels.

  • Day
    7

    Sacred Valley

    This morning, meet with the local community to learn about their lifestyle and, if your visit coincides with market day, spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads and warm ponchos while maybe practicing some of the local language, Quechua. For lunch, enjoy a cooking demonstration of Pachamanca, a Peruvian dish baked using hot stones and local ingredients. Continue to the ruins of Pisac where you will learn about different aspects of Inca culture, including the masterful stonework and impressive terraces. There will be the opportunity to pick up some souvenirs as you wander through the nearby town’s local market, known for its multi-colored textiles, local foods and indigenous clothing. (B, L)

  • Day
    8

    Ollantaytambo / Aguas Calientes

    This morning, transfer to the town of Ollantaytambo. A magnificent example of Incan urban planning, Ollantaytambo is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. The ruins represent the peak of the Inca empire, and include an amazing rock formation that resembles the Inca god Viracocha. Afterwards, board the train for a scenic ride to Aguas Calientes. Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes is cut off from all roads to the outside world and is known for the stunning jungle cliffs that surround its eponymous hot springs. Check in to El Mapi by Inkaterra for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

  • Day
    9

    Machu Picchu

    This morning, drive up the winding road to Machu Picchu accompanied by a guide who will take you through the ruins and tell you stories of its history and the ancestral people of the region. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains is a truly breathtaking experience. The true purpose behind Machu Picchu may always be a mystery — with no written language, the Inca produced no historical records. Some historians have argued it was a place of spiritual worship; others, a military stronghold, and some even think it was a prison. Most archaeologists, however, believe it to be the 15th-century headquarters of ‘he who shook the earth,’ Emperor Pachacuti. The rest of the day is at leisure to walk around the town or enjoy the activities and facilities of the hotel. (B,D)

  • Day
    10

    Machu Picchu / Ollantaytambo / Cusco

    In the morning, take the train back to Ollantaytambo and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. After this, transfer to Cusco. En route, you will visit the Inca Ceremonial Center of Sacsayhuaman, an enormous structure of huge, perfectly-fitted stone that overlooks the city of Cusco. It is said that it took over 10,000 workers 50 years to build this imposing complex, and its original purpose remains the subject of archaeological debate. Our hotel for the next two nights is the Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel. (B,L)

  • Day
    11

    Cusco

    This morning, enjoy an interactive walking tour of the center of Cusco, experiencing the vivid mix of Inca and Spanish cultures that exist in this one-of-a-kind city. After a visit to the Stone of Twelve Angles at the Inca Roca Palace, a masterful example of Incan stonework, you’ll explore the Qorikancha temple, considered the most important temple of the Inca Empire. According to archaeologists, it housed over 1000 priests and attendants and was built over an Inca palace dedicated to the worship of the Sun. Then, head to the heart of the city, the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by colonial arcades and four churches, including the beautiful Cusco Cathedral. Construction of this enormous cathedral began in 1559 and took nearly a century to complete. Inside, find nearly 400 colonial paintings, including many from the unique Cusco school, which blends European devotional painting styles with indigenous palettes and iconography. Finally, explore the San Pedro Market where you will find vegetables, meats, herbal medicines, many local handicrafts, delicious local cheeses and chocolates. A great place to purchase some souvenirs, the market is also where many locals go to eat ‘mystery soups.’ The most popular amongst the locals tend to unusual, containing ingredients like frog or everything from nose to tail of various animals. (B)

  • Day
    12

    Cusco / Home

    After a morning at leisure, enjoy a farewell lunch in a local restaurant then transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight. (B,L)

Things to Know

What is included in the Iconic South America: Argentina, Brazil & Peru trip?

Accommodations on group dates
Excursions, activities, and meals as listed in the itinerary
Services of experienced English-speaking guides
Arrival and departure transfers between the group hotel and airport regardless of day or time
Selected beverages included with lunch and dinner
Potable water
Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

Accommodations

brazil pantanal accommocations hotel das cataratas

Belmond Hotel das Cataratas

Belmond Hotel das Cataratas is the only hotel located within Iguacu National Park, with world famous Iguacu Falls just a stroll away. As the only hotel within the national park, guests are able to enjoy exclusive access to the falls each morning before the park opens. The hotel features a large swimming pool and is surrounded by tropical gardens where delicate orchids grow. Due to the spray from the cascading waters of the falls, the area is very lush and there is abundant tropical vegetation. The Itaipu Restaurant offers a selection of both traditional Brazilian delicacies and international cuisine. 24-hour room service is also offered. The Bar Tarobá is ideal for an early evening drink, which can be taken inside or on the outdoor veranda. The hotel has 102 superior rooms located throughout the property, all featuring free Wi-Fi access, polished wooden floors, air-conditioning, LCD TV, DDD and DDI direct dial telephone, mini-bar, individual safe, radio alarm clock, hairdryer, and 110 volt sockets for shavers.

Tango De Mayo Hotel

Tango de Mayo Hotel

Tango de Mayo Hotel is located in the heart of the Avenida de Mayo, a short distance from many historic attractions, the Opera House, and Av. 9 de Julio. Set in a renovated Art Nouveau building designed by the Italian Architect Fausto di Bacco, you’ll appreciate the grace and style of a bygone era the moment you enter. The hotel has 59 thematically decorated rooms with views of the city, handmade Fileteado Porteno details by a recognized artist, cable TV, spacious safety boxes, and free WiFi in rooms and public areas. A concierge, 24-hour reception, and room service are available. The hotel restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; while a fitness area and outdoor bar located on the 6th floor offer breathtaking views of the city. 

Dazzler Miraflores Hotel

Dazzler Miraflores Hotel

All rooms offer a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and a refrigerator, and free WiFi. Amenities include a 24-hour front desk, rooftop terrace, pool, and a concierge. Ideally located close to some of Lima's most popular landmarks, such as Faro de la Marina and Costa Verde, you will also be close to some fantastic restaurants, such as Maido, Madam Tusan, or Wa Lok.

Machu Picchu Aranwa Sacred Valley

Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness

Built on the riverside lands of an ancient 18th century hacienda, wake up each morning at the Aranwa Hotel amidst mesmerizing views. Rooms at this newly built hotel in the Sacred Valley feature wireless internet access, climate controls, flat-screen TV, 24-hour room service and a host of other amenities.

El Mapi by Inkaterra

El Mapi by Inkaterra

Situated in the heart of Machu Picchu town, the stylish rooms of El Mapi feature large windows to let in the light, cotton bathrobes, herbal amenities and a 32-inch cable TV. El Bar serves tasty tapas, piscos and fine organic wines. The café offers a breakfast buffet with smoothies and Belgian waffles, and serves salads and soups made with fresh natural ingredients. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas. Extra oxygen is available upon request.

Machu Picchu Aranwa Cusco

Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel

The Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is the essence of luxury and comfort in the heart of the Inca city. Built in a colonial mansion of the 16th century, it displays paintings of the Cusco school, colonial sculptures, and carvings that transport you to a different time. Its elegant rooms, equipped with intelligent oxygen system and gardens are complemented by friendly service. It is located two blocks from the Main Square.

Field Leaders

Dennis Osorio

Dennis Osorio

Amazon Cruise Expedition Leader

An avid birder, Dennis Osorio holds a master degree in hotel and tourism management with a concentration in Sustainable Tourism. After completing guide training in South Africa, his passion for travel and wildlife led him back home to Peru to seek a position in the Amazon, and in IE he found the perfect match to his commitment to conservation and the environment. Dennis is a guarantee of success to any expedition in the Amazon.

Amazon expedition leader Guillermo

Guillermo Knell

Amazon Cruise Expedition Leader

Amazon Expedition Leader Guillermo Knell is a trained biologist with a Master’s Degree in Ecotourism who has a wealth of experience in sustainable tourism development and project management. As the International Programs Field Manager for The Field Museum of Chicago, Guillermo conducted biological inventories, field research and coordinated field logistics in his native Peru as well as in Cuba. While working with Development Center of the Amazonian Native People, Guillermo evaluated natural and cultural activities for potential tourism development, and worked with native communities from Machiguengas, Urarinas, Iquitos and Piros ethnic groups on sustainable development projects. Guillermo has more than 20 years of extensive experience working as a naturalist guide across the Peruvian Amazon and in the Andes, plus was heavily involved in showcasing the various environments and indigenous people of Peru in documentaries for Discovery Channel and the BBC.

From: $7,990 per person
Duration
12 Days, 11 Nights
Guest Capacity
14 Guests
Trip Type
Land
Expedition Destinations

Trip Highlights

  • Savor fantastic views of thundering Iguazu Falls from both Argentinian and Brazilian sides, and embark on an unforgettable cruise under the falls.
  • Enjoy a guided exploration of Machu Picchu and survey the ruins of Ollantaytambo & Sacsayhuaman. Tour the highlights of Buenos Aires and learn to tango during a beginner’s lesson.
  • Browse Cusco’s colorful San Pedro Market, a wonderful opportunity to purchase a variety of local handicrafts.
  • Stay in beautiful boutique hotels throughout your journey, including the gorgeous Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas, perched on the edge of Iguazu Falls.