Best of South America
Rhythmic Rio de Janeiro, the simply astounding Iguazu Falls & unforgettable Buenos Aires; stay in 4 & 5 star hotels throughout
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|Style||Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of 15-24 likeminded travelers escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
24 travelers max, dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Highlights||Learn to Samba in Rio, Tango in Buenos Aires, relax on Copacabana Beach, visit a co-op market in Buenos Aires focused on sustainability, and marvel at one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world, Iguazu Falls!|
|Departs||New York Kennedy (JFK), Miami (MIA) (flight schedule)|
|Themes||Family Friendly, History & Culture, Nature & Wildlife, Premium|
|What to Expect||This moderately-paced, locally hosted tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness.|
|Already Booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including how to pay your balance due, passport & visa requirements, flight information, weather, and more.|
This 11-day South America tour package takes you to the best South America has to offer, from Brazil's sizzling city of Rio de Janeiro to the spectacular waterfalls of Iguazu, as well as a hop across the border to Buenos Aires, Argentina's "Paris of the South". Discover Rio's wonders, both natural and manmade, in markets and nightspots, rainforests and mountaintops. Nearly 300 waterfalls make up Iguazu Falls, surrounded by a lush rainforest. 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. Don’t miss this opportunity to travel to South America, reserve your spot today!
Dates, Prices & Options
Departure Dates & Prices
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Mon||Nov 21||2016||Thu||Dec 1||2016||$3399||Departed|
|Mon||Dec 5||2016||Thu||Dec 15||2016||$3399||Closed|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates. Contact us about prices and availability.
Options & Excursions
|Best of South America|
|Separately Paid Fees|
|Brazil Visa Fee1 (paid separately)||+$160|
1. All US citizens visiting Brazil must obtain a visa in advance of travel. Comprehensive visa instructions will be in included in the confirmation packages to all passengers. Visas can be obtained at your local consulate ($160) or via a visa service (approximately $250)
Flights & Departure Cities
|New York Kennedy (JFK)||+$100|
This package includes round-trip flights from the cities listed above, subject to availability. Please review the flight schedule, especially if you're booking connecting flights.
Coming from somewhere else? Unfortunately, we don't offer departures from cities that are not listed, but you can book your own connecting flights separately.
Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.
How to Make a Reservation
To make a reservation, simply select an available departure date and reserve online using our secure booking system. Or call one of our travel specialists at 800-555-5765, Mon–Fri 9:30–6:00 Eastern time. But first, check out our Things to Know section.
We only require a per-person deposit payment, which you can pay with your credit card or PayPal account. This deposit will be applied towards the cost of your package, and is generally non-refundable (details). The balance is due 75 days prior to departure (or within 72 hours, if you're booking less than 75 days prior to departure), and can be paid by credit card, PayPal, check or money order.
Day 1: Depart USA
- Depart USA on your overnight flight bound for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 2: Arrive Rio de Janeiro
Accommodations: 3 nights Windsor Atlantica Hotel, Rio de Janeiro. Included meals: Dinner
- Arrive in Rio de Janeiro and transfer to your hotel
- Afternoon colonial city tour
- Welcome dinner at local restaurant
Full Day Itinerary: Arrive early this morning in Rio de Janeiro, the most visited city in the southern hemisphere. Transfer from the airport to your centrally located hotel for check-in. Situated on the mouth of Guanabara Bay, Rio is home to some of the most famous beaches in world such as Copacabana and Ipanema. Aside from its beautiful shores, Rio is also a cultural hub containing a variety of museums, theaters, botanical gardens, parks and squares. By night, partake in Rio's famous barbeque and bustling nightlife.
This afternoon, enjoy a colonial city tour, visiting the narrow streets and old historical buildings of downtown Rio, Candelaria, Praça XV, the “Travessa do Mercado”, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Sambódromo. Continuing the visit to the exterior of Stadium Mario Filho, the largest stadium in the world, globally know as Maracanã.
This evening join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Corcovado
Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.
- Panoramic drive through Laranjeiras district and Cosme Velho
- Marvel at the Christ the Redeemer Statue on Corcovado Mountain
- Samba performance in the Leblon neighborhood
Full Day Itinerary: 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. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Return to your hotel for the balance of the day at leisure to enjoy the beach and Rio's festive atmosphere.
This evening, depart for a carnival spectacle in the Leblon neighborhood. You can relax to the rhythm of samba and feel the atmosphere of carnival. Enjoy a demonstration of all the Brazilian rhythms with several musicians and dancers and after the performance, join in the fun by dancing and mingling with the performers.
Day 4: Rio de Janeiro
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Full day at leisure or optional Sugar Loaf Mountain excursion
Optional Excursion: Half Day Sugar Loaf Mountain, $85. Take advantage of an optional morning tour to Sugar Loaf Mountain. 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 from the 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.
Day 5: Rio de Janeiro & Iguazu Falls
Accommodations: 2 nights Mabu Thermas & Resort, Foz do Iguaçu. Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.
- Transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguazu Falls
- Explore the Brazilian side of the waterfalls from the observation platforms
Full Day Itinerary: Your exotic trip to Brazil continues as you board your short flight to Foz do Iguaçu. Straddling the border of Argentina and Brazil, the Falls consist of 275 inlets and cataracts cascading down 250 feet, framed by multiple rainbows and mist that rises up to 500 feet in the air. Iguazu boasts the greatest average annual flow of any waterfall in the world.
You'll get a fantastic close-up view of the falls and their dazzling and awesome display of power on the Brazilian side of the falls. Walk along the pathways through the sub-tropical rainforest into a canyon for an incredible up-close view. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Day 6: Iguazu Falls
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Cross the border to Argentina
- Tour the Argentinean side of the waterfalls and see Devil’s Throat
- Return to Brazil and enjoy the balance of the day is at leisure
Full Day Itinerary: This morning, cross over into Argentina and travel through the rainforest to the most spectacular sight at Iguazu: Devil's Throat, a massive U-shaped cataract that measures 270' high, 490' wide and 2300' long. Upon seeing Iguazu, Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed "Poor Niagara!" You'll soon discover why this UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world! Later, return to your hotel for the balance of the day at leisure.
Day 7: Iguazu Falls & Buenos Aires, Argentina
Accommodations: 3 nights NH Lancaster, Buenos Aires. Included meals: Breakfast.
- Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires
- Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic orientation tour and walk by San Temlo market
- Continue to your hotel for check-in and the balance of the day is at leisure
Full Day Itinerary: After a morning of leisure, transfer from the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls across the border to the airport on the Argentinean side for your flight to Buenos Aires. Arrive in Buenos Aires, so often referred to as "the Paris of the South." Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic orientation tour of the neighborhoods and a walk by San Temlo Market, one of Buenos Aires most famous open-air markets. Continue to your hotel for check-in and the balance of the day is at leisure.
Day 8: Buenos Aires
Included meals: Breakfast & lunch.
- Morning city tour of Buenos Aires with lunch
- Enjoy an introductory Tango lesson and demonstration
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, set out on a tour of the city. Begin at the Plaza del 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, then to 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. 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. This evening, enjoy a demonstration and introductory dancing lesson in a traditional Tango Cabaret.
Day 9: Buenos Aires
Included meals: Breakfast & dinner.
- Full day at leisure or optional Argentinean cattle ranch with lunch
- Farewell dinner at a local restaurant
Full Day Itinerary: After breakfast this morning, explore Buenos Aires on your own, or embark on an optional full day excursion outside the city to the Argentine Pampas. Later this evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Optional Excursion: Full Day Estancia with Lunch, $150. Visit a traditional estancia (ranch), where you'll discover the life of the Argentine cowboys known as "gauchos." After a sumptuous barbecue lunch including delicious local wine, you'll enjoy a folkloric show with typical Argentine dance, song, and dress.
Day 10: Depart Buenos Aires
Included meals: Breakfast.
- Free time for last minute shopping
- Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight
Full Day Itinerary: Enjoy the morning at leisure for last-minute sightseeing and souvenirs. We recommend a stroll through the colorful streets and shops around your hotel to scout the amazing bargains that will make shopping for souvenirs (and that gorgeous leather bag) a pleasure.
Later today, transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to the USA.
Day 11: Arrive USA
- Arrive in the USA today
I just returned from Friendly Planet's Best of South Africa tour and still cannot believe the high level of service provided. Everything was so well coordinated from the time we checked into the airport at JFK to the time we returned. Our tour guides were exceptional, Pieter , our guide in Johannesburg cared for us like a family member. Our lodging arrangements were nothing but exceptional. I cannot say enough about my experience and I greatly recommend Friendly Planet. Thanks for making my journey enjoyable and affordable.
Marie Jean-Pierre, Weston, FL
Before You Book
- Do I need a visa or any other documents? Travel visas are required for this package. Please review the requirements.
- Should I get travel insurance? Protect your travel investment with our comprehensive policies.
- What's the fine print? Read the terms & conditions for this package.
- I'm traveling solo. Can you help me find a roommate? Yes, you can connect with other travelers to share a room and avoid single occupancy rates.
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at the time of travel.
More Common Questions
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Find everything you need to know before you go, including how to pay your balance due, and information about passport & visa requirements, flights, packing & luggage, weather, electrical standards, currency exchange, immunizations you should get, and more.