Grand Tour of South America
Amazonian rainforest, Incan ruins, colonial towns, white sandy beaches and outstanding wildlife: the wonders of South America make for incredible experiences. Take this journey visiting five amazing countries starting off in the Amazon jungle before cruising the Galapagos Islands. Visit the 'Lost City of the Incas' at Machu Picchu and experience the indigenous culture at Lake Titicaca; marvel at the mighty waterfalls of Iguazu and embrace the beautiful cities of Quito, Cuzco, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. You'll love the rich history and vast range of cultures, colours and sights, all in comfort and style.
On this journey you will enjoy the following special experiences:
• Stay in an eco-lodge in the pristine Amazon rainforest Experience the wonders of the Amazon rainforest staying at the famous Sacha Lodge with the only canopy walk in the Ecuadorean Amazon, a birdwatching tower and butterfly house.
• Experience an Inca offering At Lake Titicaca experience an Inca offering to Pachamama (Mother Earth) ceremony led by a poncho-clad Shaman.
• Learn to dance the tango in Buenos Aires Learn to dance the tango and enjoy a delicious dinner followed by a multi award-winning tango show.
• Be immersed in the ancient history of Peru Visit the marvellous Larco Herrera Museum located in an 18th century mansion, surrounded by beautiful gardens. We will see the museum's amazing archaeological collection.
Welcome Back Offer If you have travelled on one of our Journeys before, we would like to offer you a saving of $400 per couple (or $200 per person) if you book this journey.
Day 1: Auckland > Santiago Evening flight from Auckland. On arrival in Santiago we transfer to our hotel.
Day 2: Santiago > Quito (B) Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Santiago followed by a flight to Quito and transfer to our hotel.
Day 3: Quito (B,D) Explore this charming city, once the northern capital of the Incan Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening enjoy a special welcome dinner.
Day 4: Quito (B) A day to explore the city or perhaps visit the famous markets at Otavalo.
Day 5: Quito > Amazon Jungle (B,L,D) We take a short flight over the Andes into the Amazon jungle. Then we transfer by river to the stunning Sacha Lodge set in primary rainforest.
Day 6 & 7: Amazon Jungle (B,L,D) Spend our days on nature walks, twilight river excursions and discovering the incredible birds, butterflies and wildlife. Other activities include piranha fishing and a treetop canopy walk, a great place to watch the sunset! Superb naturalist guides will help bring this incredible environment alive!
Day 8: Amazon Jungle > Quito (B) Transfer by river, then fly to Quito. We stay overnight at an airport hotel.
Day 9: Quito > Galapagos Islands (B,L,D) Fly to the Galapagos and transfer to our wonderful expedition ship, the Santa Cruz II. This afternoon, enjoy an excursion to see lagoon birds and swim or snorkel from a beautiful white beach.
Day 10: Galapagos Islands (B,L,D) Spend the morning at Buccaneer Cove, home to a range of marine birds and some impressive geological formations. In the afternoon visit Puerto Egas to see amazing lava formations. This site is a great place to witness the marine iguana. Swim or snorkel with sea lions and marine turtles.
Day 11: Galapagos Islands (B,L,D) See Rabida Island and the very rich marine and bird life including Darwin's finches and marine iguanas. This is another great spot for snorkelling. In the afternoon visit Bartolome Island which has many breathtaking views. Then take a zodiac ride around Pinnacle Rock to spot the Galapagos penguins.
Day 12: Galapagos Islands (B,L,D) Visit Tower island and moor inside a collapsed volcanic crater. Once ashore marvel at the incredible range of birdlife. In the afternoon we will visit Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island, rich in bird and marine life. Here we will swim, snorkel, kayak or enjoy a glass bottom boat ride.
Day 13: Galapagos > Lima (B) Our final morning includes a real highlight, visiting the giant tortoise in their natural habitat in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Then we fly to the mainland and connect to Lima.
Day 14: Lima (B) A full day of great sightseeing in this historic city, including the wonderful Larco Herrera Museum.
Day 15: Lima > Sacred Valley of the Incas (B, D) Short flight to Cuzco, and then transfer to the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas, situated at a lower altitude which will help us to acclimatise.
Day 16: Sacred Valley of the Incas (B,L) A full day exploring this very picturesque valley. Visit the Pisac market and the Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo. A special lunch complete with a Peruvian Paso Horse show is included.
Day 17: Sacred Valley of the Incas > Machu Picchu (B,L,D) Travel by train to Machu Picchu, the incredible 'Lost City of the Incas'. A visit to this awe-inspiring ancient city is one you won't forget! We will have lunch and then enjoy a guided tour around this archaeological site. Dinner and overnight in our luxury hotel.
Day 18: Machu Picchu > Cuzco (B) Return by train and visit the famous weaving village of Chincheros on our way back to Cuzco.
Day 19: Cuzco (B) Morning tour of historic Cuzco including the beautiful Cathedral and the impressive Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman. We enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore.
Day 20: Cuzco > Puno (B,L) Luxury train to Puno. Overnight at our lakeside hotel.
Day 21: Lake Titicaca (B,L,D) Cruise Lake Titicaca and overnight on a comfortable catamaran with private facilities. Enjoy a fascinating visit to Isla del Sol, where several traditional communities live today. It is also the birthplace of the Incas.
Day 22: Lake Titicaca > La Paz (B,L) Continue across the lake, then by road to La Paz. We'll see some amazing views of the Andes.
Day 23: La Paz (B) Morning tour to the markets of the most 'Indian' of South American capital cities. Also visit the mysterious Moon Valley and the world-famous ceramics artist Mario Sarabia.
Day 24: La Paz > Rio de Janeiro (B) We fly via Santiago arriving in Rio early evening.
Day 25: Rio de Janeiro (B) Visit the historical centre of old Rio, then take two cable cars to the summit of Sugarloaf. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 26: Rio de Janeiro (B) Visit the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer which towers over the city and later pass Rio's famous beaches. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Day 27: Rio de Janeiro > Iguazu Falls (B) Fly to the mighty Iguazu Falls and tour the Brazilian side. Visit a superb bird and wildlife park before a transfer to our 5 star hotel situated within the National Park in Argentina.
Day 28: Iguazu Falls (B) Morning tour to the famous Devil's Throat and an afternoon free to enjoy the beautiful National Park around the hotel.
Day 29: Iguazu Falls > Buenos Aires (B) Fly to elegant Buenos Aires and transfer to our hotel.
Day 30: Buenos Aires (B) We tour Buenos Aires, the 'Paris of the Americas'.
Day 31: Buenos Aires (B,D) Explore, shop or relax in this great city. In the evening we will enjoy a special farewell dinner and tango show.
Day 32: Buenos Aires > Auckland (B) Transfer to the airport for our flight home via Santiago.
Day 33: In Flight
Day 34: Auckland
• Economy class airfares ex Auckland • A World Journeys host • Accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels and lodges • Accommodation in a Horizon Deck Explorer Cabin on the Santa Cruz II - cabin upgrades are possible at additional cost and are subject to availability • Transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary • Meals as indicated • Gratuities
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Departs 26 August 2018
26 August 2018
Booking conditions A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 per person is required, with the balance due 28 May 2018. As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory.
A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 per person is required, with the balance due 28 May 2018. As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory.
Not included • Items of a personal nature.
• Travel insurance (mandatory)
• Visas (if applicable)
• Optional activities
• Airline and airport taxes
• A Galapagos Islands National Park fee of US$100 per person is payable on arrival
• Items of a personal nature. • Travel insurance (mandatory) • Visas (if applicable) • Optional activities • Airline and airport taxes • A Galapagos Islands National Park fee of US$100 per person is payable on arrival
Gratuity In the countries we are visiting, tipping is customary. For a hassle-free journey, tipping is included and will be handled by the World Journeys host.
In the countries we are visiting, tipping is customary. For a hassle-free journey, tipping is included and will be handled by the World Journeys host.
My Grand Tour of South America was everything I had dreamed it would be and more. The stay in the Amazon was magical. The only place in the world where I have been able to see more stars at night than in New Zealand.
An Amazing Adventure
We did have an absolutely wonderful time on our Grand Tour of South America. It was an amazing adventure and we loved every minute of it. We have had many people ask us what we considered a highlight but we have not been able to single out anything as everything we experienced was so special in its own way. The one thing we both agree on that was particularly wonderful was the great organisation and care that World Journeys took of us. From contacting Elly at the beginning and booking the trip, the notes and preparation details we received before we left and the impeccable care Chris took of us while we travelled with him. Also Chris's informative notes on the history of each country while we were on the road were another bonus and very much appreciated. We also enjoyed the company, the wisdom and knowledge of the local guides and drivers who looked after us so well and showed such passion for their special part of the world from its history to its people and customs. They were delightful and we definitely learned so much from them. We definitely found it a very busy and quite physical trip, it certainly is not a resort style holiday but we love adventure style holidays so that was not a problem for us. We just needed a lot of rest when we got home!!
Geraldine and Graeme
Every day was a highlight simply because every day was a new adventure!
The travel documents were excellent...probably the best we have ever received. Every day was a highlight simply because every day was a new adventure. If I really, really had to choose a favourite, it would probably be the salt ponds which we visited unexpectedly. There we were high up in The Andes, and we came upon these beautiful pink and white ponds glistening in the sunshine ...filled by a tiny spring that has been delivering warm salt water from the centre of The Andes for thousands of years...the sense of timelessness took my breath away. All of the harvesting is done by hand, in the same manner that it has always been done. When I almost closed my eyes and looked out over the ponds, it was as if time had stood still...magic! I kept thinking of the pink and white terraces that were destroyed when Mt Tarawera erupted. I imagine visitors to those terraces must have had a similar reaction when they saw them for the first time. I cannot think of anything that needs improvement. Because it was a very busy trip, often with early starts, I chose to think of it as an expedition rather than a holiday, and took each day as it came. Chris was fantastic...he took care of everything and I didn't even have to think...simply the best! This was the first journey I have ever been on where I have completely absolved myself of any responsibility for time and place...to the point I often didn't know what we were doing from day to day until Chris told us...perfect! The local guides were great...Chris knew and had a warm, friendly relationship with many of them which meant they went the extra mile for us. Some of the hotels were great and others were superb...no complaints at all. The Galapagos Islands were so unexpectedly different from what we anticipated that simply being there was astonishing. The boat was great and so were the crew.