Our 27-day Treasures of South America tailor-made tour is perfect for first-timers to the continent. You will be able to experience South America in comfort and style as we travel through Lima, Amazon, Cuzco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca in Peru followed by La Paz in Bolivia. Later continue to Santiago in Chile, before arriving in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The last destinations are the mighty Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires in Argentina. At all times, our guides will ensure the trip goes perfectly and impart their specialist knowledge, giving you greater insight into local history and culture.
Are you planning a family trip? Get some family and friends together and get exclusive discounts!
What makes us different?
On top of the main attractions, you will also see many hidden gems. We take you deeper into the jungle for an unforgettable 3-night Amazon experience.
Our crafted itinerary ensures plenty of time to see the highlights. We give you time to soak up the knowledge of the local guide as well as time to explore independently.
Your visit to a local community includes a donation of a water filer from Agua Pura, a community-based initiative from Contours Travel.
Stays of Distinction:
Our experienced staff has selected each suggested hotel for its ideal location and authentic character. From overlooking the mighty Iguazu Falls to staying at the heart of the Sacred Valley. All our selected hotels are four or five stars and offer memorable stays, great location and excellent service.
Welcome to South America! On arrival at Lima International Airport, you will be met by a Contours Travel Representative and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight at Villa Barranco by Ananay (Boutique)
Depart this morning on a half-day sightseeing tour of Lima. Visit colonial Lima’s downtown with its historic and traditional buildings: the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Metropolitan City Hall surround the Main Square. Continue to San Francisco church and monastery, a 17’s century jewel, recognised as human cultural heritage by UNESCO. Followed by the modern district of San Isidro and Miraflores, where you will have a view of the Pacific Ocean from the Parque del Amor (Love Park). This tour finishes with a guided visit of the Larco Herrera Museum. This is a fabulous private museum with an exquisite collection of gold and silver, treasures from ancient Peru. Many pieces in this museum are now world-famous after having been exhibited in the best museums around the world. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or join your Tour Director on his Discovery Walk.
This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner at Huaca Pucllana restaurant, an unparalleled setting, 1500-year-old adobe pyramid illuminated at night.
Fly to Iquitos for an unforgettable Amazon experience. A three-hour boat ride takes us to our remote jungle lodge built out of local materials. Rooms have private facilities with rustic comfort. Its’ strategic location guarantees the observation of monkeys, birds, sloths, pink dolphins, fish, caimans, etc., in their habitat. Spot birds such as parrot, kingfisher and cormorants.
Overnight at Muyuna Amazon Lodge (Tourist Superior)
During today’s canoe trips you can see many different monkeys and birds including the famous hoatzin. Take a night walk in search of huge frogs, anaconda’s favourite food. Tonight you will have a night boat ride to see caimans, nocturnal birds and mammals!
Navigate to the Amazon River where we observe and swim with pink river dolphins- a magical experience. On the way back to the lodge, you will see the biggest aquatic plant in the world, the famous Victoria Regia.
Fly to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incas. Take a scenic drive through the Andes down to your hotel located in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Balance of the day at leisure to help you acclimatise to the high altitude.
Overnight at Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba (First Class)
Depart this morning to Ollantaytambo, the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the Americas, for a visit of the ruins and the village. It is a charming town of Inca origins with amazing canals and cobblestone streets. At the top, not only there is an impressive ceremonial centre but also stunning views of the valley. Then visit the internationally renowned workshop of Seminario Ceramics. Free afternoon to explore the Valley on your own.
At a very leisurely pace start a full-day tour of the Sacred Valley with a visit to Chinchero. Enjoy a private weaving demonstration and see the ancient techniques that have been passed from generation to generation in the intimacy of a private house. Afterwards, drive to visit the unique Moray Incan agricultural laboratory. This complex is famous for its embedded amphitheatre formed by four concentric overlapping terraces.
Afterwards, you’ll experience a different side of Peru on your tour to Misminay, a small community located at 3,700mts above sea level on the Chinchero high plains. There, you will learn more about the Andean lifestyle, sharing with the local families some of their daily tasks such as ploughing or harvesting, depending on the time of year.
Transfer to the train station in Ollantaytambo for your 90 minute Vistadome train ride to the deserted city of Machu Picchu, the most renowned example of Inca architecture. Today’s visit to magical Machu Picchu will undoubtedly be a highlight of your trip! Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins & lunch at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge before taking a mini-bus back to Aguas Calientes where you will overnight.
Optional Express Inca Traill walk from km 104 entering Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate.
Overnight at El Mapi by Inkaterra (First Class)
Today is a free day to go back to the ruins at your own pace. Either early in the morning to watch dawn break and the mist to rise over the ruins, or walk back up along the Inca Trail to Sun Gate to find your special spot. If you prefer you could sleep-in and stroll around the charming town of Aguas Calientes. This afternoon we shall return to Cuzco by Vistadome train where you will have the opportunity of gazing the amazing landscape of the Valley through the glass ceiling carriage.
Note: as per regulations, if you want to hike the Wayna Picchu Mountain we need to pre-pay the ticket so please advise us when booking the tour.
Overnight at El Mercado (Boutique)
Enjoy a half-day walking tour of Cuzco visiting the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral and Koricancha Temple, walking along the cobblestones streets. Continue by car to visit the ruins of Kenko, Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman. Rest of the day free to continue exploring this amazing city on your own or ask us about a cooking lesson.
Today you will have a day at leisure to relax or explore this vibrant and historic city at your own pace. You will receive the Cuzco Tourist Ticket (or BTG, or ‘Boleto Turístico’) which gives access to the main sites.
Depart this morning on a full-day transfer and tour by bus across the altiplano to Puno, situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Entry fees to local sites along the way are included. This daily service from Cuzco to Puno steadily climbs up the Vilcanota Valley towards the headwaters of the Urubamba River and the highest point of the trip, Abra La Raya at 4321 metres above sea level. From Abra La Raya, it is a gradual descent into the opening grassy plains towards Lake Titicaca and eventually to down to the lake’s edge where Puno is nestled.
Depending on the day of the week, there is also a train available.
Overnight at Casa Andina Private Collection Puno (First Class)
This morning depart on a half-day excursion on Lake Titicaca visiting the remarkable floating islands. They are built on layers of totora reeds and are home to the Uros Indians who still live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or extend your tour with a visit to Taquile Islands.
Depart by bus skirting Lake Titicaca to Copacabana and visit the Cathedral and Main Square. Sail the Titicaca Lake on board of a catamaran to Sun Island, the legendary birthplace of the Inca Empire (buffet lunch onboard). Visit the Inca Garden, the Inti Wata Cultural Complex including the Ekako Underground Museum, the Pachamama agricultural Inca terraces, the Manco Kapac lookout and much more. Continue overland across the altiplano to La Paz.
Overnight at Europa (First Superior)
Depart on a half-day city tour of La Paz with a visit to the Witches’ Market where you’ll learn about local traditions and customs. Free afternoon to explore this fascinating city on your own.
Enjoy the morning at leisure to finish any last shopping or perhaps visit the famous Coca Museum.
After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago. On the way, board the new cable car; it is a fantastic way to enjoy the views of this chaotic city and surrounding mountains. Running at 4,000m above sea level, the cable car connects La Paz to neighbouring El Alto and is the highest cable car in the world. Continue to La Paz’s Airport. Fly to the cosmopolitan city of Santiago and transfer to our hotel.
Overnight at Cumbres Lastarria (First Superior Class)
Enjoy a full-day tour of Chile’s capital. Our panoramic tour will include the most important buildings and monuments, including Government Palace and the Plaza de Armas main square. Enjoy lovely city views from Santa Lucia Hill and visit the enormous Metropolitan Park, the largest urban park in Chile. Continue with a visit to the residential areas of Vitacura and Las Condes and explore Santiago’s more upmarket neighbourhoods.
Later we’ll visit one of Chile’s most renowned wineries with stunning views of the Andes. During your visit, your guide will explain the winemaking process from vine to bottle, giving you unique insight into one of Chile’s greatest exports.
Fly to Rio and transfer to your hotel, arriving in time for a stroll or a sundowner on Copacabana Beach.
Overnight at Miramar by Windsor (Deluxe Class)
Unique to Contours Travel! Enjoy a half-day tour to Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain. Ride a train across the Tijuca Forest – the largest urban forest in the world. Disembark at the top of Corcovado and marvel at the breathtaking 360° view over the city below. Continue to have lunch, followed by an afternoon at leisure to explore Rio on your own.
Enjoy your morning at leisure, we suggest a visit to the Rio Cathedral. Is often considered to be one of the most magnificent examples of artistic architecture in Brazil. Architect Edgar de Oliveira based its design on Mayan pyramids and gave the structure a conical shape. It is dedicated to Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of Rio, and houses the seat of the archbishop of the city.
Prepare yourself because this afternoon’s highlight will be the cable car ride tour to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain for a different 360° view of Rio including Guanabara Bay & its famous beaches. Drive through downtown passing by Rio’s traditional and historical sites including the Sambadrome, site of Rio´s famous Carnival parade.
Fly to spectacular Iguazú waterfalls, and tour on the Brazilian side. Transfer across the Argentine border to your hotel, set in the National Park with unique views to the falls. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, exploring the Park or relaxing in the pool watching the Falls.
Overnight at Melia Iguazu Resort & Spa (Deluxe Class)
Full-day tour of the Argentine Falls walking along the upper and lower trails for the best views of the falls. Experience the staggering power of the falls by riding the Iguazú River rapids, with the roaring waterfalls towering over your head (Prepare to get wet!) followed by a 4WD ride inside the jungle. Continue by train and on foot to the Devils Throat platform.
Overnight at Melia Iguazu Resort & Spa (Deluxe Class)
Morning at leisure. You can either keep on exploring the park or relax in your hotel. In the afternoon fly to Buenos Aires, the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight at Sofitel (First Class)
Depart this morning on a half-day tour of Northern area of Buenos Aires, and you will understand why Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of the Americas”. The tour includes Retiro, well-known for its mansions. Palermo, the largest neighbourhood with 17.4 km2. Visit ´Palermo Chico´ famous for its palaces and parks, ´Palermo Viejo´ and ´Palermo Soho´ trendy area for fashion, design and restaurants. Continue to Recoleta home to the renowned Cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. Feel like a local when you sit for a coffee in one of the most traditional ‘cafes’ of Buenos Aires.
This evening you will be taken for a private one-hour tango class followed by dinner and a tango show.
Today´s tour includes the Southern neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. Visit Plaza 25 de Mayo, Government House (La Casa Rosa) and City Hall; Stop at the most emblematic cafe of the city, the Cafe Tortoni. Continue to the colourful district of La Boca and the portside district of Puerto Madero. We will visit the old neighbourhood of San Telmo, with its cobbled streets. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own.
Say goodbye to South America this morning because today you will be transferred to the Airport for your flight back home via Santiago.