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2021 Splendours of South America

The ultimate South America small-group holiday experiencing many of the highlight locations, natural beauty and spectacles of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil

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TOUR OVERVIEW

Packed full of highlights, this journey showcases the diversity of wonders across the Andes and Amazon. At Cusco, in the Peruvian Andes, be immersed in the ancient culture of the Incas, visit the Sacred Valley and revel in the magnificent citadel ruins of Machu Picchu. At Lake Titicaca, visit the floating Uros Islands before continuing to the lofty heights of La Paz. The Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires is home to some of Sth America’s most lively neighbourhoods and classical architecture. At the Argentinian border with Brazil, experience the magnificent might of Iguazu Falls, before finally arriving in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro!

Our NEW 2021 “Splendours of South America” is the ultimate, bucket-list South American trip for those wanting to experience the natural beauty and spectacles of  some of the main highlights of South America.

Be inspired by the beauty and immensity of the Amazon and the might of the waterfalls of Iguazu. Be overwhelmed by the iconic site of the lost Inca city Machu Picchu perfected amongst towering peaks in the Andes. Be impressed by the sights and sounds of locals in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Journey on the gentle shores to the Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca and enjoy magnificent views from a teleferique over Bolivia’s high capitol, La Paz , Meander through the vibrant an colourful streets of La Boca in exciting Buenos Aires watching impromptu street tango performances.  Finish with three nights in colourful and iconic Rio de Janeiro with it’s beaches, samba and spectacular views from it’s cable-car and iconic Christ Redeemer Statue.

We take many of the major, must-see highlights of South America and put them together into one unique adventure. Internal flights included to shorten long drive days yet enough time travelling in full-0sized coach or iconic trains tao enjoy the spectacular scenery.

HIGHLIGHTS (23 days Lima to Rio de Janeiro)

  • Lima welcome Highlight Dinner
  • Lima half-day Walking/Driving Tour with expert Local Guide (incl. entry to Santo Domingo Church)
  • Internal  Sth American flights i) Lima to Puerto Maldonado ii) Puerto Maldonado to Cusco iii) La Paz to Buenos Aires iv) Buenos Aires to Iguazu v) Iguazu to Rio de Janeiro. Group tranfers for all internal Sth American flights included
  • Canoe journey to Amazon accomodation, guided walk through Concepcion Trails and dusk canoe wildlife and ecosystem excursion on Madre de Rios River
  • Tambopata National Reserve Amazon walk/trek and dugout canoe excursion
  • Motorized canoe excursion to Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Center
  • Night-time Amazon rainforest adventure
  • Puerto Maldonado Butterfly House
  • Visit rustic Chinchero in Sacred Valley incl Maras Salt Ponds and circular terraces of Moray
  • Sacred valley local hacienda/working farm visit incl. local lunch
  • Ollantaytambo Inca private site visit with local guide
  • Machu Picchu 360 train ride Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientas
  • Machu Picchu Inca Site half-day private visit with local guide
  • Inca Ceremonial Center of Sacsayhuaman in Cusco
  • Cusco site-seeing with local guide.
  • Highlight dinner Cusco
  • Full day Lake Titicaca excursion incl. boat ride to Uros floating island and Taquile Island, Peru
  • Tiahuanaco archeological site visit with local guide, Bolivia
  • Moon Valley excursion, Bolivia
  • La Paz city tour with local guide incl. teleferique to Kili Kili viewpoint
  • La Paz highlight dinner
  • Buenos Aires two, half-day city tours with local guide incl. city centre Recoleta Cemetery, La Boca, Caminto and San Telmo districts
  • Buenos Aires empanada making demonstration and lunch
  • Buenos Aires highlight Tango Show
  • Iguazu Falls Argentinian-side full-day tour incl. exciting boat ride to base of falls
  • Iguassu Falls Brazil-side visit incl. Bird Sanctuary Visit
  • Rio de Janeiro two half day city tours incl. Christ Redeemer Statue and Sugarloaf peak cable car visits.
  • Copacabana and Ipanema Beach plus Lapa Arches and Selaron Stairs visits
  • Macarena Stadium and Sambadrome visits
  • Highlight final dinner and Samba show

Other Inclusions

  • Welcome drink in Lima
  • Individual Arrival and Departure airport transfers Lima and Rio de Janeiro
  • Stunning Amazon River nature and wildlife scenery
  • Sacred Valley drive, Peru
  • Cusco to Lake Titicaca drive incl. drive through Juliaca city
  • Stunning drive Lake Titicaca to la Paz
  • Group photo (one per couple/single)
  • Hotel porterage (on departure from each hotel)
  • Local Tour Directors in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil
  • All tips to Tour Directors, Tour Drivers, local guides and included restaurants

Tour Pace

Plenty of relaxing two-night stopovers and two, three-night stops.  This is to ensure you won’t feel so burnt-out by the end of the trip! Some earlier starts to enjoy the wonders of the Amazon. Free-time to explore at your own pace in each location for those who are more independant and don’t want to have their hands held at every moment.

Five flights included within Sth America to avoid too many long drive days mixed with some travel time on full-sized coaches to enjoy the scenery of many key locations.  Too many inclusions to mention!

QUICK FACTS

DURATION

23 Days

COUNTRIES

Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil

DEPARTURES

Sunday 4th to Monday 26th April, 2021

 

PRICING

AU$13,990pp Twin/Double Share

AU$2,650 Single Supplement

AVAILIBILITY

As at Nov 2019:   Places available, tour selling!

TOUR MAP

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 / Sun April 4 2021 START LIMA

Welcome to Lima!

Upon arrival at Jorge Chavez International Airport, your driver awaits to transfer you to the hotel. Settle in and rest up, then meet your tour leader for a welcome briefing before we taste our first flavours of South America with dinner in a local restaurant.

Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city’s attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centre.                                                                                                               (HD)

ACCOMMODATION: Lima 2 Nights – Dazzler by Wyndham Miraflores

Day 2 / Mon April 5 2021 LIMA

This morning we delve into the sprawling metropolis of Lima, beginning with views of the magnificent pre-Inca Huaca Pucllana pyramid which offers an insight into the city’s ancient culture. Next we take in the colonial side of Lima seeing the Cathedral, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Municipal, and plethora of glorious monuments.

Later, we visit the Convent of Santo Domingo, where the relics of three Peruvian saints are conserved. We finish our touring in the modern section of this great city visiting the district of Miraflores and the Larco Mar shopping mall which rests on the seafront cliffs and showcases not only a myriad of shops, but also spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and Parque del Amor.

The rest of the day is yours to explore more of this UNESCO World Heritage Site city at your leisure.                                                                                     (BB)

Day 3 /  Tues April 6th 2021 – LIMA to AMAZON/PUERTO MALDONADO

Leaving Lima this morning we board a flight to Puerto Maldonado, gateway to the Southern Amazon jungle. We board a motorised canoe for the short journey along the Madre de Dios River to our accommodation, a lodge on the banks of a natural ‘cocha’ or lake, a place rich in ecosystems, tropical plants and beautiful wildlife.

Enjoy lunch produced with local organic ingredients and native flavours before we take a guided walk-through the property’s many nature trails, learning about the rainforest, its uses, transformations by mankind, and importance to the planet.

This evening we take to the water again, navigating the Madre de Dios River at twilight to discover its ecosystem, Amazonian creeks and nocturnal wildlife before returning for dinner.  (BB,L,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Puerto Maldonado 2 nights – Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion (Cabana)

Day 4 / Wed April 7th 2021 AMAZON/PUERTO MALDONADO

Tuck into a nutritious buffet breakfast in preparation for a trek into the Tambopata National Reserve. We’re headed to Lake Sandoval and along the way we’ll learn about the reserve’s extensive biodiversity, conservation efforts and the lake’s formation. Taking a dugout canoe across this mirror-like oxbow lake, we hope to spot wildlife like the endangered giant river otter, blue and yellow macaw, black caiman, and one of the world’s biggest fresh water scaled fish, the paiche.

After lunch at the lodge we make our way to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway where we take to the treetops for breathtaking views of the rainforest canopy. Ascending one of the two 30m towers and crossing the hanging bridges, we pause on observation decks and feel the hum of the rainforest. With nearly 400 species of birds in the area we’ll spot white-throated toucans, woodpeckers, and trogons, but also keep an eye out for squirrel monkeys and the three-toed sloth. After descending from the canopy we traverse a 200m wooden bridge over swampland discovering the fauna and flora of this flooded ecosystem.

Tonight we explore the Amazon rainforest on foot, seeking out nocturnal animals with their intriguing behaviour patterns, and listening to the sounds of this hidden world.            (BB,L,D)

Day 5 /  Thurs April 8th 2021  PUERTO MALDONADO/AMAZON to SACRED VALLEY

Leaving our lodge sanctuary we return to Puerto Maldonado with time to visit the Butterfly House, a conservation project showcasing a significant number of Peru’s nearly 3700 butterfly species. Next we take to the skies ourselves for a fascinating flight to Cusco, which sees us constantly ascending to Cusco’s altitude of 3399m.

On arrival we transfer to our hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Sacred Valley was undoubtedly a key area of settlement to the Incas; its combination of agreeable climate and fertile plains bestow an unusual abundance for the high Andes. Here the Incas sculpted the mountain flanks with vast contour terracing and irrigation channels.                                           (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Sacred Valley 2 nights – Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado (Superior Room)

Day 6 /  Fri April 9th 2021 – SACRED VALLEY

Today we head to the small rustic town of Chinchero, a hidden treasure that many visitors miss boasts an impressive display of Inca architecture, ruins and megalithic carved rocks, home to the famous Peruvian weaving. We continue on through some of the most scenic spots in the Sacred Valley to the ancient Maras Salt Ponds. Here the Incas built terraces to capture and harvest the salt that flows from the salty springs that emerge from the hillside. Later in Moray, we discover the huge circular agricultural terraces that were built by the Incas on limestone sinks, an agricultural laboratory of sorts used to determine the optimum conditions for each species in varying altitudes.

Later at a local hacienda we gain an insight into local farming, learning firsthand about the production of Cusco Giant White Corn and hacienda life, and enjoying a rustic ‘farm to table’ lunch. Our day finishes with free-time to relax back at our hotel.                (BB, L)

Day 7 /  Sat April 10th 2021 – SACRED VALLEY to AGUAS CALIENTAS

We begin today visiting the ruins of Ollantaytambo; this extraordinary site is home to a massive Inca fortress, hillside terraces and an amazing rock formation representing the Inca god Wiracocha.

Then we take to the rails on a scenic train ride like no other aboard Inca Rail’s ‘The 360°’. This unique rail journey through the Andean landscape to Machu Picchu is truly beautiful, with the train featuring tall panoramic windows and an observation outdoor carriage from which to take it all in.

We wind from the Sacred Valley to descend gradually along the edge of the Urubamba River, finally reaching the cloud forest and arriving in Aguas Calientes, a modern little town close to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu.                          (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Aguas Calientas 2 nights – El Mapi by Inkaterra

Day 8 /  Sun April 11th 2021 – AGUAS CALIENTAS – MACHU PICCHU

Today brings the ultimate archaeological site visit to Machu Picchu. We take a short bus ride up a steep, zigzagging road bringing us to the impressive Lost City of the Incas Long thought to be the stuff of legends, Machu Picchu’s remains were discovered only in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Standing 2,430m above sea-level, and surrounded by tropical mountain forest, Machu Picchu is probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire and our expert local guide will show us the most important sectors of this great Inca City, including the great Intiwatana (solar clock), Sun Temple, urban and agricultural sectors, which all seem to be clinging to the gravity-defying rock escarpments as if cut naturally in the rock escarpments.

After lunch we zig zag our way back to town for an afternoon at leisure.town by bus. The rest of the day remains at leisure.            (BB,L,D)

Day 9 /  Mon April 12th 2021 AGUAS CALIENTAS to CUSCO

The first hours of the morning are at leisure. If you wish, make a second visit to Machu Picchu early in the morning. At the appropriate time, board the tourist train back to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival to the train station, you will be transferred back to Cusco.

On the way back, visit the huge “Inca Ceremonial Center of Sacsayhuaman”. This enormous structure overlooks the city of Cusco. Its constructions are amazing, with huge rocks perfectly fitted. It is said that it took over 10,000 workers 50 years to build it. The origin of the temple of Sacsayhuaman is still today unknown. The archaeologist attributed its construction to the Period of the Inca Pachacutec.

Later,  we settle into our hotel.        (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Cusco 2 nights – Sonesta Cusco (Superior Room)

Day 10 /  Tues April 13th 2021  CUSCO

Cusco is our focus today, where we enjoy a guided walking tour through the vibrant centre, unearthing the mixture of Inca and Spanish cultures, wandering the cobblestone streets and discovering the Stone of Twelve Angles at the Inca Roca Palace and The Temple of Qoricancha. In the heart of the city the Plaza de Armas is surrounded by colonial arcades, carved wooden balconies and four churches; we visit the beautiful Cathedral to discover its fine examples of colonial baroque art.

Lastly we arrive at the bustling San Pedro Market to find vegetables, meats, local cheeses (which you should certainly try), chocolates, herbal medicines and many local handicrafts. The rest of the afternoon is free to take advantage of your Cusco Tourist Ticket which is valid at many museums and archaeological sites. Of course you may also like to nestle into one of the city’s many cool cafes and watch the world go by.

Tonight we dine at a restaurant overlooking the main square enjoying some lively local music.          (BB,HD)

Day 11 / Wed April 14th 2021 – CUSCO to PUNO/LAKE TITICACA

Today we hit the road travelling to Puno via spectacular mountain scenery and passing through colourful and lively Juliaca which is renowned for its traditional street dancing, often performed in celebration of Catholic festive days.

We arrive in Puno nestled between the mountains and shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at over 3800m above sea level. Puno is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in Peru. After check-in, there’s plenty of time to acclimatise to the altitude before we meet for dinner.   (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Puno 2 nights – Sonesta Posada del Inca Puno (Lake View Room)

Day 12 / Thurs April 15th 2021 – PUNO/LAKE TITICACA

Lake Titicaca is home to the famous Floating Islands of the Uros, an amazing archipelago of man-made totora reed islands, inhabited by the Uros, descendants of one of the oldest cultures of the continent.

Our full day boat tour gives us an insight into how today’s inhabitants continue to live as their ancestors did. We continue on to Taquile Island whose 2,200 residents are known for their ancestral skill in weaving, their pre-Columbian constructions and lovely countryside. On this island, we’ll find fine handwoven textiles and clothing, which are regarded as among the highest-quality handicrafts in Peru.

We take in a typical lunch in a local rustic restaurant before setting sail back to Puno.      (BB,L)

Day 13 / Fri April 16th 2021 – LAKE TITICACA to LA PAZ

Bid farewell to Peru and our Peruvian tour leader as we arrive at the border town of Desaguadero. We clear the immigration process to enter Bolivia where our expert Bolivian tour leader awaits ready to whisk us away to the archaeological site of Tiahuanaco, the base of a great civilisation that began around 500BC before mysteriously disappearing around AD1200. Thought to be where the Incas learned about building systems and agricultural practices, the sprawling ruins comprise of temples, courtyards, terraced pyramids, monolithic stone statues, gateways, and the most famous structure, the Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun).

From the ruins we make the two-hour drive to the Bolivian capital of La Paz, where we remain at high altitude in the southern Central Andes.     (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: La Paz 2 nights – La Casona Boutique

Day 14 / Sat April 17th 2021 – LA PAZ

We spend this morning discovering La Paz starting with Moon Valley, a unique geological area where erosion has formed a large collection of sandstone monoliths shaped over thousands of years, creating a truly lunar surface scene.

Next we visit a typical Indian market, the famous Witch Doctor’s Market, and the San Francisco Colonial Church. The tour continues to the Plaza Murillo where the Cathedral, Palacio del Congresso Nacional and Palacio Quemado hold centre stage. We then visit the famous colonial street Calle Jaen with its brightly plastered 18thcentury houses, before finally heading to the lofty heights of Killi Killi to see this jostling city from on high.

Tonight we join the hustle and bustle with dinner at a local restaurant.      (BB,HD)

Day 15 /  Sun April 18th 2021 – LA PAZ to BUENOS AIRES

Leaving Bolivia we board our flight to Buenos Aires where our local Argentinian tour leader greets us and introduces us to this vibrant and passionate city.

Born on the banks of the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires is a city of contrasts showcasing grand European avenues alongside neighborhoods that literally taste of tango and the exciting rhythm of a milonga, a popular Argentinean dance. We’re here to discover the city’s intense cultural life, gastronomic offerings and incomparable night life!      (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Buenos Aires 2 nights – Tango de Mayo (Superior room)

Day 16 / Mon April 19th 2021 – BUENOS AIRES

Enjoy a morning exploring Buenos Aires with our guide, including the intriguing tombs and monuments of the Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of some of the city’s most famous residents.

We take a walk around La Boca and its well-known ‘Caminito’ district, before moving on to the lesser-known side of this colourful neighbourhood to visit an artist’s gallery and stop for lunch at a local restaurant.

Tonight we step out and visit the city’s legendary Piazzolla Tango, a beautiful art-nouveau theatre where Astor Piazzolla’s music comes to life accompanied by some of the best performers in Argentina.  Enjoy an evening of sophistication, elegance and style, exquisite dishes and a soirée full of the tango´s magic, spirit and passion.                                                 (BB, L, HD)

Day 17 / Tues April 20th 2021 BUENOS AIRES

Today our guide take us on a stroll through the cobblestone streets of San Telmo, the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires, and home to colonial buildings, quaint shops, antique stores and tango parlors.

We finish up our tour getting to know the most iconic, and oldest, public square of Buenos Aires, Plaza de Mayo, the site of the May Revolution. Next up it’s time for a culinary experience like no other as we master the art of correctly closing empanadas before sitting down to enjoy authentic Argentine cuisine, combined with local boutique wines.

After lunch, feel free to keep exploring the city on your own.   (BB,L)

Day 18 / Wed April 21st 2021 – BUENOS AIRES to IGUAZU FALLS

We farewell Buenos Aires and board a flight to Puerto Iguazu which lies on the border between Argentina and Brazil.

Iguazu is the gateway to the famous Iguazu Falls and after checking-in the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore the town at your own pace before we meet up again for dinner.                     (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Iguazu (Argentina) 2 Nights – Loi Suite Iguazu (Superior Room)

Day 19 / Thurs April 22nd 2021 – IGUAZU FALLS

Today is dedicated to the breathtaking Iguazu Falls that span nearly 3km and have to be one of the most awe-inspiring sights on the planet. These massive waterfalls are divided between Argentina and Brazil and today we’ll be visiting the Argentinian side.

We gain a deep perspective of the waterfalls, recently named one of the Seven Wonders of the World, by taking to the three walking trails. On the lower circuit we view of the falls from below, feeling part of the natural surroundings, and sensing their great magnitude. The upper circuit takes us above the falls for a different perspective.

Later we take an adventure boat ride seeing highlights such as Devil’s Throat and the San Martin Falls. Be prepared to get wet as we sail into the splash zone and ride over choppy rapids before hiking up to a vista point, and riding an off-road vehicle through the jungle.             (BB)

 

Day 20 /  Fri April 23rd 2021 – IGUAZU FALLS to RIO DE JANEIRO

Continuing our Iguazu Falls experience, today takes us to the Brazilian side for a completely different perspective and a panoramic view of the entire falls. In the Iguazu Falls Parque das Aves (Bird Park) we walk through the subtropical forest which is a refuge and sanctuary for many bird species, including macaws, golden parakeets, harpy eagles, and toucans. Displays also include other animal life such as reptiles, snakes, and tarantulas.

On finishing our tour we transfer to Iguazu Airport to make tracks for Rio de Janeiro. Truly breathtaking from the moment we arrive, Rio, or Cidade Maravilhosa (the Marvelous City) is nestled between lush, green mountains and crystal clear seas. The city is full of energy and rhythm, and a carefree spirit evident on the iconic beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema.                        (BB,D)

ACCOMMODATION: Rio de Janeiro 3 nights – Arena Copacabana (Deluxe Room)

Day 21 / Sat 24th April 2021 – RIO DE JANEIRO

Our touring of Rio begins with a scenic drive to Corcovado Hill and the national icon, Christ the Redeemer. We take in the sweeping panoramic views of Rio and marvel at the giant statue, then continue to the district of Urca to board the first cable car to the top of Urca Hill (215m), which offers spectacular views of Guanabara Bay. A second cable car takes us to the world famous Sugar Loaf (395m) for spectacular 360-degree views of the city and surrounds.

Tonight we learn more about Brazilian culture with a show that takes us on a rhythmic tour celebrating the indigenous tupiniquin people, Brazil’s iconic music and dances like the Lambada, Carimbó, and Bossa Nova, and of course the world-famous Carnival.      (BB)

Day 22 / Sun 25th April 2021 – RIO DE JANEIRO

This morning we head to Maracanã Stadium, a must for any football fan, to see the statue of Bellini, a national treasure.

We then visit the Sambadrome, the stadium purpose built for the city´s iconic Carnival parade. Passing through the historic centre, we see the Lapa Arches and make a stop to visit the Selaron Stairs, an amazing urban work of art by the late Jorge Selaron. Returning to the hotel along Aterro do Flamengo, we pass by the Monument to the Fallen in World War II and the beaches of Flamengo and Botafogo.

Tonight, to celebrate our big South American adventure, we enjoy a farewell dinner at a local churrasqueria restaurant where food is cooked in the traditional churrasco, or barbeque, style.     (BB,HD)

Day 23 / Mon 26th April 2021 – END RIO DE JANEIRO

Our wonderful “Splendours of South America” adventure finishes after breakfast.

Enjoy further time in Rio or continue your holiday onto your next destination. Thanks for travelling with us and all the best with your onwards journeys!   (BB)

Splendours of South America 2021 Video

DEPARTURES

Sunday April 4th, 2021

PRICING

AU$13,990 per person twin share (23-day tour)

AU$2,650 Single Supplement

HOW TO BOOK

Please contact us directly at info@quovadisholidays.com or 1 800 722 311 (within Australia) or +61 1 800 722 311 to request a Booking Form or more details