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South America Traverse
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Your Example Itinerary
Swap a plane for a motorised canoe on the journey into the Amazon. Stay in an eco-friendly lodge and balance time between relaxing in among the forest green and going on exploratory walks with local guides to witness the flora and fauna of this enchanting region.
Get to know the city of Cuzco on a guided tour, checking out the Coca Museum, the San Pedro Market, the endless colonial buildings and some closer Inca ruins.
Situated in the lush Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo is home to an ancient Inca town and is a great place to learn more about the intricacies of Inca history. Visit a community on the way here to get a deeper insight into the local culture.
Today we travel by train along the Urubamba river to Aguas Calientes. Sitting at the base of Machu Picchu in a picturesque valley, Aguas Calientes takes its name from the numerous hot springs that are dotted throughout the area.
Wake early to see the sun rise over Machu Picchu - a sight that will stay in the memory for a very long time. Be guided through these well-preserved ruins, marvelling at the ingenuity of the builders and the beauty of the spot they chose. After a fascinating morning, return to Cuzco and spend the next day exploring the city further and enjoying its great cafes and night-life.
Travel by local bus through the dramatic scenery of the high altiplano to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. There will be a couple of stops along the way to pick up and drop off passengers. Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored.
Cross from Peru to Bolivia, stopping at the fascinating archaeological site of Tiwanaku on the way to La Paz.
Today is free for you to make your own way to La Paz Airport and fly to Santiago de Chile. Although Santiago covers a large area, the city centre is quite compact and easy to get around. The city's centre is roughly triangular in shape with the Plaza de Armas, the main plaza and home to the Cathedral, sitting in the centre. Panning out from here are wall-to-wall shops, restaurants and parks. For a more serene look at Chilean life, head out to Barrio Bella Vista, Santiago's 'Paris Quarter'. Use your free day to continue exploring Santiago or take a trip to Valparaiso by the Pacific coast.
Travel across the Andes by local bus. On a clear day you may be able to spot Mt. Aconcagua, the highest mountain in America at 6,962 meters above sea level. Once in Mendoza there's no better way to spend the afternoon than strolling around Mendoza's tree lined streets. Choose a cafe along Sarmiento pedestrian street and watch life pass by sipping a coffee. The city centre is beautifully landscaped and full of trees, squares and parks. On our free day here you'll take an included winery tour. Mendoza is Argentina's most important grape growing region, producing 70% of the country's wine. Its exceptional climate produces excellent grapes, the region's signature variety is the Malbec. At night head out to Aristides Villanueva Street, which has lately become the starting point for Mendoza's night life.
Buenos Aires Estancia Stay
Today, fly from Mendoza to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to a minivan for a 2hr drive to an estancia, on the outskirts of the city, where you'll stay the night.
The time at the estancia is free for you to do as much or as little as you want. You will be encouraged to participate on the estancia daily chorus, however you are also welcomed to sit back and relax in the serene surroundings. All meals at the estancia are included.
Leave the country behind and return to Buenos Aires - the city that loves to stay up late. Be guided through Buenos Aires on an orientation walk. Then, at your own pace, discover neighbourhoods like Recoleta, San Telmo and La Boca and the museums, parks, cafes and music venues that make this city so alluring.
See the Iguazu Falls from all angles - boardwalk, boat or even from a helicopter if you feel like splashing out. Go to both the Argentinian and Brazilian sides, and understand why this is one of Argentina's premier attractions. Culture is also on the cards with a visit to one of the few remaining Guarani communities, who were the original inhabitants of the area.
Rio de Janeiro
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