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|Itinerary at a Glance
Best of South America
|5||Buenos Aires & Iguazu Falls|
|7||Iguazu Falls & Rio de Janeiro|
|8||Rio de Janeiro & Corcovado|
|9||Rio de Janeiro|
|10||Rio de Janeiro/depart Brazil|
|Manaus & Amazon Extension|
|11||Rio de Janeiro & Manaus|
|12||Manaus & Amazon|
|Style||Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Highlights||Plaza de Mayo, the Obelisk, La Boca and Recoleta in Buenos Aires; Iguazu Falls; Copacabana Beach and Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.|
|Included in the Price|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, locally hosted tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. The Amazon extension is moderately-paced, and includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness.|
This 10-day South America tour package takes you to the best South America has to offer, from Buenos Aires, Argentina's "Paris of the South" to the cool waterfalls of Iguazu, and a hop across the border to Brazil's sizzling city of Rio de Janeiro. Highlights of Argentina's capital include the presidential palace and former home of Juan and Eva Peron, the widest avenue in the world, and exquisite French architecture. Nearly 300 waterfalls make up Iguazu Falls, surrounded by a lush rainforest. Discover Rio's wonders, both natural and manmade, in markets and nightspots, rainforests and mountaintops.
Meena and I immensely enjoyed the tour, guide and the company of many friends. The hotel accommodations and the meals were superb. The Lake Crossings to Argentina and the Iguassu Falls were spectacular views. We plan to take China and Egypt tours with Friendly Planet soon. We have been talking to many of our friends to join us in 2008 vacation adventure with Friendly Planet, who makes exciting excellent arrangements, worry-free. Looking forward to the companionship and friendship during our 2008 vacation.
Ram & Meena Ramachandran, Richmond, Virginia
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Day 2: Buenos Aires. Arrive early this morning in Buenos Aires, so often referred to as "the Paris of the South." Upon arrival you will be transferred to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy your first day in Buenos Aires at leisure, becoming acquainted with your new surroundings. Accommodations: Sheraton Liberator Hotel.
Day 3: Buenos Aires. After breakfast this morning, set out on a tour of the city. Begin at the Plaza de Mayo, the historic and political center of the city. You'll see the Casa Rosada, the presidential palace from which Juan and Eva Peron spoke to throngs of adoring Argentineans. Continue to the Obelisk landmark on the Avenue 9 de Julio, the widest avenue in the world.
Later, walk through the crowded Florida Street, a true shopper's paradise. Pass through the colorful neighborhood of La Boca and the charming San Telmo area. Buenos Aires is a city of neighborhoods, each with its own flavor, but everywhere the people are warm and welcoming. Admire the French architecture in the exquisite Recoleta neighborhood, including the beautiful Cemetery of La Recoleta, where Evita Peron is buried. It is one of many ironies of this complex city that Evita, heroine of the poor, is buried in the city's most elegant (and expensive) section. Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Buenos Aires. Today is yours at leisure to explore this fascinating city on your own. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion. Enjoy an optional tour of nearby Tigre. This beautiful town, situated on an island in the Paraná Delta, was first settled by Europeans and has become a fashionable weekend spot, with its grand architecture, antiques shops, riverside restaurants and pubs, a casino and a small amusement park. Enjoy a catamaran ride through the labyrinth of islands and islets along the delta, which is lined with countless marinas and English-style rowing clubs, humble dwellings and elegant mansions from the "Belle Époque", small hotels and upscale lodges, teahouses and picnic sites.
Day 5: Buenos Aires & Iguazu Falls. Your exotic trip continues as you board your short flight to the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls. With 275 waterfalls embedded into the rocks, Iguassu Falls are the largest in the world and are surrounded by a luscious rainforest. Visit one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, Iguazu Falls on the Argentian side, including the Devil's throat. Then, transfer across the border to the Brazilian side, for check-in at your hotel, located near the entrance of the Foz do Iguaçu park. Accommodations: Bourbon Iguassu Resort or Mabu Resort. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Iguazu Falls. This morning, visit the Brazilian side of these magnificent waterfalls. You will get incredible up-close views of the cascading water and beautiful rainbows that rise into the mist. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to enjoy the facilities at the hotel or take part in optional tours that are available locally. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Iguazu Falls & Rio de Janeiro. After a morning at leisure to relax, transfer to the airport for your short flight to Rio de Janeiro, the most visited city in the Southern Hemisphere. Situated on the mouth of Guanabara Bay, Rio is home to some of the most famous beaches in world like Copacabana and Ipanema. Aside from its beautiful shores, Enjoy the remainder of the day in Rio at leisure, becoming acquainted with your new surroundings. Accommodations: Porto Bay Rio Internacional Hotel. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Rio de Janeiro & Corcovado. Your tour today begins with a panoramic drive through the Laranjeiras residential district and the quaint Cosme Velho. Board the cogwheel train for a 15-minutes ride through the Tijuca rainforest, the largest urban forest in the world, on your way to Corcovado Mountain. View the most famous landmark of Rio de Janeiro, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, which was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Take in the spectacular view of the city below. Return to your hotel for the balance of the day at leisure to enjoy the beach and Rio's festive atmosphere. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: This afternoon take advantage of an optional jeep tour of the Tijuca Forest, the largest urban forest in the world. As you travel through the forest you will have the opportunity to see a variety of exotic flora and fauna including beautiful tropical flowers and playful monkeys. You will also stop at the famous Chinese Lookout, where you will have a magnificent view of Rio's greatest landmarks, including Sugar Loaf Mountain and Guanabara Bay. You will also make a stop at Pepino Beach, renowned for its hang gliders soaring along the coast.
Optional Excursion: Take advantage of an optional morning tour to Sugar Loaf Island. Passing by the Sambodrome, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Cinelandia Square and Flamingo Park, you will be taken to the neighborhood of Urca where one of the greatest symbols of the city is located: Sugar Loaf Mountain. Your visit is made in two steps by cable car. The first cable car will take you up Urca Hill, where you will have a beautiful view of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge and Corcovado. The second cable car will take you to the top of Sugar Loaf, where you will find a splendid view of Copacabana beach and the Santa Cruz fortress.
Optional Excursion: This evening, after dinner on your own, take advantage of an optional Plataforma Show. This unforgettable performance combines authentic Brazilian folklore, traditional dances and live music.
Day 10: Rio de Janeiro/depart Brazil. Today is yours to explore this marvelous city on your own. Your unforgettable journey through South America comes to an end as you board your overnight return flight back to the USA. Alternatively, continue your exploration with an exciting optional extension to the Amazon.
Day 11: Arrive USA. Your Rio adventure comes to an end as you arrive in the USA early this morning.
Take advantage of your already-included international airfare by joining our extension to the Amazon, for a special opportunity to visit the famous rainforest and the amazing "Meeting of the Waters" where the Negro and Solimões Rivers meet and form the Amazon River.
Day 11: Rio de Janeiro & Manaus. This morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Manaus, gateway of the Amazon. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred by car to the pier, and then by boat to your lodge. This evening, there will be a welcome drink and briefing. Accommodations: Amazon Ecopark Lodge. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 12: Manaus & Amazon. After an early breakfast, depart by boat with a naturalist guide to see the "Meeting of the Waters", and see the phenomenon where the dark waters of the Rio Negro join the brown waters of the Solimões and flow together for miles before their waters mix. Later, return to your lodge. This evening, after dinner, depart on a canoe safari with a naturalist guide to observe the river by night, and perhaps even spot the nocturnal Amazon alligator. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 13: Amazon. Today's excursions will include exploring the waterways and hiking jungle trails, all the while learning about the magnificent and diverse flora and fauna of the Amazon. Visit a local Amazonian "caboclo" family and learn about their traditions. You can even go piranha fishing!** Breakfast, lunch and dinner provided.
Day 14: Amazon & Manaus/USA. This morning, visit the "Monkey forest," where rescued primates are cared for in partnership with the Live Forest Foundation and the Amazon Ecopark Lodge.**
Your adventure comes to an end as you transfer to Manaus by boat and then onto the airport for your onward flight to the USA. Breakfast provided.
** Order of activities may vary depending on local conditions.
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