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The Explorer
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Want a taste of Peru, Argentina & Brazil? This is it!Follow Incan footsteps in Machu Picchu & check out the jungle action in the Amazon. Dive into BA's cool vibes, before the fabulous home of Carnival, Rio.

Latin America
  • Duration: 18 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: 99.189D/220393
  • Starts: Cuzco, Peru
  • Finishes: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
You will Visit
  • Cusco
  • Sacred Valley
  • Aguas Calientes
  • Jungle Lodge
  • Puerto Maldonado
  • Lima
  • Buenos Aires
  • Iguassu Falls
  • Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cusco

Another day, another incredible Latin American destination to uncover; today it's sun up 'til sun down in Cusco. Shop for artisan jewellery and woodworks, roam the cobble-stone streets or just stroll the San Pedro markets eating cacao buds and sipping on coca leaf tea. Today really is what you make it as you’re in total control…except for dinner with the crew – that’s on us.

02

Day 2: Cusco to Sacred Valley

Heading out of Cusco and bound for the Sacred Valley on our private coach, this is where our journey into the ruins and mystique of this land truly begins. But first, llamas. An iconic symbol of Peru, we’ll be stopping off at a llama farm to show some love to these furry favourites up close, and we’re talking the whole humpback family – llamas, vicuna and alpacas. #llamaselfie achieved, we’ll then stop off to witness the ancient Incan art of weaving in practise by a group of talented local artisans. Throughout the journey, play close attention to your surrounds – there’s the chance to spot the Incan farming technique of terracing, as well as the ��salineras’ (salt mines). Want to know what the Peruvians do for fun? You’ll get the chance to play the traditional game of “Sapo”, and exactly what that entails we’ll leave to the imagination…
Our explorations of the Sacred Valley will begin with a guided tour of the Pisac and Ollantaytambo ruins. Our Local Guide will give you the d-l on both, visiting the circular terraced Pisac ruins first which date back to the 1400’s. Moving on to Ollantaytambo, base camp for those taking the trek tomorrow, we’ll appease dry mouths with some homemade Chica de Jora brew. This tiny town may be small in geographical terms, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in attitude, with artisan shops and cafes spilling out onto streets, and the roaring Urubamba river providing the perfect natural background noise. For those embarking on the Inca trail tomorrow this is your final chance to stock up on last minute essentials (socks, socks and more socks). For all others, spend your time soaking in the vibes, hanging with other travellers and just getting a feel for this iconic little town.

03

Day 3: Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes

For those embarking on our epic 1 day trek, we’ll catch the train to KM104 and the start of a day to remember. With just 3.5 hours on foot and 6-kilometres to cover, the enchanting site that awaits us will make it all worthwhile. Descending into the site we’ll take in Wayana Picchu 'Little peak' – the iconic peak you’ll have seen in every picture ever – marvelling at the incredible handiwork of the ancient Incas. Satisfaction levels at an all-time high and with a big ol’ smile on your tired face, we’ll head back to Aguas Calientes and a squishy hotel bed you couldn’t be more deserving of. For those not embarking on the Inca Trail,the morning is yours to enjoythe surrounding lush mountains of Aguas Calientes.
Can you feel the excitement mounting? Yep – those are pretty much the feels when Machu Picchu is quite literally on the horizon. This afternoon we’ll hop on the train to Aguas Calientes, a cute town in its own right complete with roaring river, quaint bridges and local haunts, but most famously known as the gateway town to Machu Picchu. We’ll meet up with those who opted for the one day trek, and basically spend the evening hyping each other up for what’s to come tomorrow.

04

Day 4: Machu Picchu to Cusco

Excitement levels at an all-time high, the day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here – it’s Machu Picchu time! Built around 1450 at the height of the Incan Empire, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the new world. We’ll be treated to a guided tour of the site taking in such wonders as the Temple of the Three Windows and Wayana Picchu (the peak you’ll of seen in every Machu Picchu image ever), and of course you’ll have some alone time to explore the area as only you can do. This is one big old tick off the life goals list, so enjoy every single second of it.
Back on the train we’ll de-brief on our once-in-a-lifetime experience as we head back to Cusco. Last time round was all about getting acquainted with the city, so now you’ve got you’re bearings you can really get lost amongst the market stalls and cobbled streets, maybe even going truly local by trying out a serving of cuy.

05

Day 5: Cusco

The last few days have been pretty full on, so today is all about seeking out some much needed r’n’r. Grab a lie in at the hotel then sip fresh mountain coffee in the Plaza de Armas, or maybe take a stroll around town to pick up an alpaca sweater or ten (they are super snuggly). Can’t shake that taste for adventure? We hear you.

06

Day 6: Cusco to Jungle Lodge

Saying a final farewell to Cusco, we’ll hop on our included flight over the Andes to the city of Puerto Maldonado. With the sound of macaws and toucans welcoming us in, this can only mean one thing…it’s jungle time.
A quick tour of the city will reveal colourful fruit stalls, open air markets and locals going about their day. But now we're back underway and we just want to get to the jungle…
What’s accessible only by boat, is made from wood and clay and surrounded by the sounds and colours of nature? Answer – our rainforest lodge, your blissful home for the night. We’ll work up a pre-dinner appetite by hiking to the canopy tower, then after a tasty home-cooked dinner continue our outdoor pursuits by heading out to spot caimans – a member of the alligator family native to the Amazon. Tonight promises to be one for the story bank as you fall asleep in your open-walled room to the exotic sounds of the surrounding jungle.

07

Day 7: Jungle Lodge to Puerto Maldonado

If the vibrant morning song of the jungle birds hasn’t roused you early doors, the prospect of the Tres Chimadas lake teeming with wildlife will. Our morning catamaran cruise will have us spotting prehistoric hoatzin birds and giant river otters. Satisfaction levels on high, the rest of the afternoon is all yours – canopy climbing or kayaking ticking any of the boxes?
Tired and hungry after another adventure filled day, we’ll head back to Puerto Maldonado to make camp for the night. After such an epic day of jungle antics, we’re guessing a good night’s sleep and some sweet group hangs are pretty high on the agenda.

08

Day 8: Puerto Maldonado to Lima

Today marks our last day in Peru before heading east to Argentina and Brazil, so how better to spend it than one last night in the city where it all began – Lima.
Options for your free evening in Lima are varied and endless. Maybe make for the trendy district of Miraflores, hang in Parque Kennedy or opt for one last plate of fresh to death ceviche in the city its best known for. One things for sure, we know you’ll be toasting your Peruvian leg with a final pisco sour, as tomorrow the nectar takes a decidedly red and rich turn as we enter Argentina.

09

Day 9: Lima to Buenos Aires

Who’s ready for a new country? That’s right globe trotters, we’re up, up and away again this morning (how many included flights is that now?) in the direction of the Country of Seven Continents. Everything about Argentina gives us the tingles, and we know you’re going to love it just as much as we do. But enough waving lyrical, we’ve got a new city to conquer…
South America’s most cosmopolitan city will spread out before us like a treasure box waiting to be opened as we descend on Buenos Aires, and with 4 nights to spend in the Argentinian capital damn right those are excitement butterflies in your stomach. If the 4.5 hour flight zonked you a bit (just be glad you didn’t do it overland) maybe keep it chilled in the afternoon, but for the balls of energy amongst you we’ve got plenty to keep you entertained. Want to dive straight in to the Argentine food scene? An optional Parilla tour will get you down and dirty with the good stuff, namely beer, pastries, steak, wine and ice cream. Tonight we’ll take it easy, ready for a big ol’ day of culture tomorrow.

10

Day 10: Buenos Aires

Well good morning Buenos Aires – who’s ready to go conquer this magnificent city? We’ll get you straight into the hustle of BA with a city tour of the best bits, we’re talking colonial mansions, the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca, the historic meets cosmopolitan vibes of Puerto Madero and San Telmo and more, all the while learning about the historic figures who made this city what it is today. Just hold back some of that new city energy for tonight. Oh yes, we’ve got a traditional tango show served over Argentine wine and melt in the mouth food on offer, and we know deep down you’ve got the moves…

11

Day 11: Buenos Aires

After our city tour yesterday, we’ll be feeling pretty acquainted with BA and ready to dive in and explore for ourselves. A good job really, as the next two days are yours to write your very own Buenos Aires love story. So, what to do? How about taste testing the traditional creamy cookies (alfajores), or scouting for antiques in the district of San Telmo. Feel like getting a little more active? One word – polo. The national sport of Argentina, polo is a pretty big deal, so here’s your chance to discover it for yourself. Catch a game, refuel over a tasty BBQ lunch, then jump on horseback and take tips from the pros. That might just be another big ol’ tick off that ever growing bucket list.

12

Day 12: Buenos Aires

Today is our last full day in Buenos Aires so time to really make it count. Ask your Trip Manager for any must do activities to tick off the list…or just a killer spot to sink a few café con leche and watch the city go by (we love the historic Café Tortoni). Tonight, why not make it all about the belly with our optional culinary experience. You’ll get the chance to make your very own empanadas from scratch, cook an Argentine steak perfectly to your liking, and devour yet more of those tasty little alfajores. And the wine? Well that will just keep on flowing, naturally…

13

Day 13: Buenos Aires to Iguassu Falls

Rise and shine Latin adventurers, we’ve got yet another included flight to catch – Brazil bound…
Landing in Puerto Iguazu we’ll hop over the border and dig or toes into Brazilian soil for the first time, clapping eyes on yet another astounding natural wonder. Listen out for all those oohhs and aahhs. A collection of 275 individual waterfalls, Iguassu Falls sprawls both Brazil and Argentina, with both sides offering up stunning UNESCO World Heritage parks and views. Today though, is all about the Brazilian side, and what better way to see the falls from every angle than with an optional helicopter ride, taking the term ‘birds eye view’ to a whole new level. Go on – treat yo’ self! For those keeping feet on the ground, take your time exploring the Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, then tonight we’ll pencil in some group hangs over caipirinha’s to debrief yet another action packed day.

14

Day 14: Iguassu Falls

Iguassu we’re not done with you yet! Yesterday was all about the Brazilian side, but today we’re hopping back over to Argentina to see what the deal is from this side of the falls. We’ll take a hike to the very edge of Devil’s Throat, the highest of the 275 falls, and for those keen there’s even the option to take to the water with a speed boat ride through the spray of the falls. Refreshing? Oh you could say that…With a full day spent here, take your time exploring, trying to figure out the age old debate – which side wears it better? Tonight, dinners packing a serious punch – we’ll be treating you to an authentic Brazilian BBQ dinner. Say hello to the meat sweats…

15

Day 15: Iguassu Falls to Rio de Janeiro

Catch you later Iguassu – Rio, we’re coming in hot…
If Rio known one thing, it’s how to p-a-r-t-y, so having fun in this life loving city is already a given. But first things first – let’s get acquainted with our surroundings a little better. After a quick orientation tour, the afternoon is then yours to explore as you please, though given our hotel's beachfront location, we reckon you'll only have one thing on your mind.

16

Day 16: Rio de Janeiro

Ready for another New Wonder of the World? Today will kick off with a visit to perhaps South America’s biggest icon – the Christ the Redeemer statue. Standing at an impressive 30m high (that’s 98ft) this religious monument casts an almighty shadow over the city below, and will be a moment you won’t be forgetting any time soon. Back in the city, the choice is yours as to how the rest of the day goes. Kick back on Copacabana amidst the football players and Capoeira masters, or maybe you’d prefer to ascend the 396 metres of Sugarloaf Mountain, or party Favela style with the locals. Tonight we’ve got yet another foodie experience to tempt you with, taking Brazilian BBQ to a whole new level of meat indulgence. Let’s do this!

17

Day 17: Rio de Janeiro

Excuse us while we cry into our caipirinhas – today is our last full day on tour. Sob. But before the emotions run too high, let’s make sure we see it out with a bang, Rio style. So, what have we got to tempt you with today? How’s about a boat cruise overflowing with cocktails and good times, or maybe go hand-gliding over the city to catch it in all its scenic glory. If those sweet Brazilian rays are calling you (or perhaps just the gorgeous bods in teeny tiny swimwear), opt to spend your last day kicking it on the beach, capirinha in hand of course. However you want to see out your trip, your Trip Manager is there to make it happen (and that includes watching the masters of football do it like no one else can, if a game’s in town). Tonight’s your last one with your Latin family, so make it one to remember…

18

Day 18: Rio de Janeiro

The time has almost come, but not before getting one last little slice of Rio with a favela tour this morning, getting a glimpse into the shanty town life of the city. The favelas are home to literally millions of Rio locals, and dot the surrounding hillside far into the distance. Back at the hotel, this adventure of epic proportion will finally come to an end. Hug it out with the new friends you now class as family, and damn right you’re already on those reunion tour plans. Europe next summer, anyone?

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • We always provide comfortable accommodation in a relaxed atmosphere - think comfy hotels, jungle lodges and bright communal areas for you and your new squad to relax and socialise
      Food
    • We'll get 25 of your meals (or 26 for the trekking option), you get the rest. You can expect to refuel with hearty breakfasts, luscious lunches and delicious dinners from us but we'll also give you the opportunity to sample some of the best local cuisine. You'll taste it all - from simple street eats to gourmet fare
      Staff
    • Don't fret, you'll be accompanied by the best Drivers, Trip Managers and English-speaking Local Guides around. Whether providing local knowledge or lols, our team members are people you can trust 100%. Not to mention your new squad of Contiki travel buddies
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Tour Highlights:
  • Arrive Cusco: City Walking Tour,Visit San Blas Koricancha and San Pedro Market
  • Cusco to Sacred Valley: Visit Llama Farm
  • Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) to Cusco: Visit Machu Picchu
  • Cusco: Included flight to Puerto Maldonado
  • Jungle Lodge to Puerto Maldonado: Locally guided jungle catamaran cruise
  • Puerto Maldonado to Lima: Included Flight to Lima
  • Lima to Buenos Aires: Included flight to Buenos Aires
  • Buenos Aires: City sightseeing tour of Buenos Aires,Tango show, lesson, dinner and wine tasting
  • Buenos Aires to Iguassu Falls: Included Flight
  • Iguassu Falls: See the Devils Throat,Taste delicious Brazilian BBQ,Visit Iguassu National Park ARG side
  • Iguassu Falls to Rio de Janeiro: Included flight to Rio de Janeiro
  • Rio de Janeiro: Visit Christ the Redeemer statue
  • Rio de Janeiro: Favela tour
  • Depart Rio de Janeiro: Favela tour