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Exploring 3 Countries: Peru + Argentina + Brazil


PPJ16L
16 NIGHTS
FROM £2,995
Per person sharing
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 private tour of historic Lima, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its well preserved architecture. Founded in 1535, it was re-named the "City of Kings" when it was conquered by the Spanish and became the most important centre in the region.
 
Our tour starts in the Miraflores residential district, where we stop at Parque del Amor (Lover’s Lane) with its magnificent views over the Pacific Ocean, before driving through the modern San Isidro business district, where we see the impressive Huaca Huallamarca, an adobe pyramid that was a sacred pre-Inca site.
 
We continue to the historic centre, where we visit the 17th century Santo Domingo Convent which is a World Heritage site. The remains of the patron saint of Peru, Saint Rose of Lima, are interred here as well as the remains of Saint Martin of Porres, the patron saint of people of mixed race.
 
On the Plaza de Armas (main square) you can see many imposing colonial buildings with their intricate balconies - including the Presidential Palace, where the changing of the guards takes place. See the beautiful Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall.
 
In the evening do try to taste a Pisco Sour, the nation's favourite drink.
 
Note: Lima Cathedral is not open on Sundays.
Day 3
Transfer to Lima Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Cusco Airport and transferred 2-hours to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
 
Check into your hotel in this region that is renowned for its many ancient Inca ruins, including the amazing citadel of Machu Picchu. Balance of the day is at leisure to rest and acclimatise to the altitude.
Day 4
Today enjoy a full day shared tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
 
We stop at the Racchi viewpoint, for one of the best views of the Sacred Valley. We then drive to the archaeological site at Moray, where the Incas built enormous circular agricultural terraces on steep hills by hauling topsoil up by hand from the lower land, thereby generating much higher crop yields than would have been possible at such high altitude. This site is believed to be a former agricultural laboratory, an astronomical observatory or a place of worship - or maybe all three.
 
We continue to the Maras Salt Pans, a complex network of nearly 5,000 pre-Inca salt pans that have been hand-harvested by local families for thousands of years. The salt is formed when water from a spring that permeates these pools is evaporated by the intense sun, forming thick crystals in a variety of colours. The naturally pink ‘Sal de Maras’ is one of the finest salts in the world, getting its beautiful hue from trace elements in the spring water.
 
After an included lunch in a local restaurant, we continue 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. The village itself is the best surviving example of Inca urban planning, with stone-paved streets that have been used since the 12th Century.
Day 5
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 (please expect queues for the bus). 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 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 with you today, as this will be needed to gain entrance, which is restricted to 4-hours (based on either a morning or afternoon schedule). It is mandatory to enter with a guide and you cannot take selfie sticks, tripods, umbrellas, food or alcohol onto the site. You may not wear high heels or hard soled shoes and smoking is prohibited. If you leave the sanctuary for any reason (eg for lunch), re-entry will not be permitted. Only one bag not exceeding 11 lb (5 kg) is allowed as hand luggage on the train, so your main bags need to be left in luggage store at either your Cusco or Sacred Valley hotel, for later collection by yourself or our ground handler. From January to June parts of the rail track may be impassable at times due to mud slides, when a bus transfer will be substituted.
Day 6
Today transfer 2-hours from the Sacred Valley to the city of Cusco.
 
Along the way we stop at Chinchero, a small picturesque Andean village that was an important Inca outpost at the end of the 15th Century. The villagers here have preserved their traditional Andean spinning and weaving techniques, so you can see textile artisans at work and learn about their techniques. You can buy handcrafts at the market in the town square, visit their small traditional church and see their Inca ruins.
 
On arrival in Cusco you will be dropped off at your hotel, with balance of day at leisure.
Day 7
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 (Note: not open on Sunday mornings & religious holidays).  
 
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 (meaning 'speckled falcon') 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 (meaning 'zigzag') where the sun, moon and stars were worshipped and Puca Pucara (the Red Fortress), 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, if you are feeling adventurous you can try guinea pig - a local speciality.
 
Note: Cusco is situated at high altitude (11,150 ft / 3,400 m). You will need to carry your passport to gain access to the site at Sacsayhuaman.
Day 8
Transfer to Cusco Airport for your onward flight.

Arrive at Lima Airport and make your own way (walking or by free shuttle) to your hotel situated in the airport complex.
Day 9
Make your own way (walking or by free hotel shuttle) 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 - the '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 theatres in the world.
Day 10
This morning enjoy a half day shared tour of Buenos Aires - a cosmopolitan city that has been 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 you will be collected for a 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 dinner, including mouth-watering Argentinian beef and Malbec wine.
Day 11
At leisure to explore more of Buenos Aires independently.
 
Alternatively enjoy a full day optional 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). Note: Ranch is closed on Mondays.
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 half day shared tour of the Argentinian side 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 also hope to see monkeys, toucans, parakeets and other wildlife in the rainforest.
Day 14
After checking out of your hotel, this morning cross the border for a private tour of the Brazilian side of the Iguazu Falls, with 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.
 
Afterwards transfer to Foz do Iguassu Airport for your onward flight.
 
Note: US passport holders will need a visa to enter Brazil.

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 15
Today enjoy a half day shared 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.
 
After descending by cog train, you will drive past some of Rio's most famous beaches - Leblon, Ipanema & Copacabana - before you are dropped off at your hotel, with afternoon at leisure.
Day 16
Today enjoy a half day shared coach tour of the exciting city of Rio de Janiero.
 
After a tour of the downtown area, we stop at the huge Metropolitan Cathedral (Cathedral of Saint Sebastian), built in the form of an ancient Mayan pyramid.
 
We then continue driving 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 over 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 17
Transfer to Rio de Janiero Airport for your flight home.

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