Sensational South America
Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu & Iguazu Falls plus Rio de Janeiro optional extensionBook now online
While the main citadel of Machu Picchu will remain open throughout the maintenance, the hiking trails of Machu Picchu Peak and Huayna Picchu will be closed in April 2016.
|Style||Small Group Tour
24 travelers max, tour escorts & guides for some segments
|Departures||Scheduled Dates: Select a departure from April – September 2016|
|Departs||Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), Miami (MIA) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Larco Herrera Museum (Lima), Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Koricancha (Cusco), Iguazu Falls.|
|Themes||Family Friendly, History & Culture, Nature & Wildlife|
|What to Expect||This fast-paced, partially escorted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, and reaches high altitudes requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.|
|As Seen in|
Indisputably, Machu Picchu in Peru and Iguazu Falls straddling Argentina and Brazil, are two iconic South America destinations. They're tough to combine in one, affordable tour because for starters, they're on opposite sides of the continent. But that's no problem for Friendly Planet travelers with a week's worth of vacation and a desire to experience the best of South America for a price that literally screams "amazing deal!"
You'll visit Machu Picchu, Lima, Cusco, and Iguazu Falls. All flights, hotels, transfers and plenty of touring are included on this South American tour. And if you can stand just a tad more excitement, why not take advantage of your already-included airfare and enjoy 3-nights in fabulous Rio de Janeiro. Friendly Planet makes travel in South America easy and affordable. But hurry space is limited, so reserve your spot today!
Dates, Prices & Options
Departure Dates & Prices
Departures & Prices
per person, double occupancy*
|Fri||Jan 8||2016||Mon||Jan 18||2016||$3399||$3099||Closed|
|Fri||Feb 5||2016||Mon||Feb 15||2016||$3499||$3199||Closed|
|Fri||Apr 15||2016||Mon||Apr 25||2016||$3199||$2899||Available|
|Fri||May 13||2016||Mon||May 23||2016||$3199||$2899||Available|
|Fri||May 27||2016||Mon||Jun 6||2016||$3199||$2899||Available|
|Fri||Aug 19||2016||Mon||Aug 29||2016||$3199||$2899||Available|
|Fri||Sep 2||2016||Mon||Sep 12||2016||$3199||$2899||Available|
Want to stay longer? We may be able to arrange for you to stay later than the scheduled dates, including extra hotel nights and separate airport transfers. Contact us about prices and availability.
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS/PRECAUTIONS: The high altitude reached on this trip (Cusco is at 11,000 feet above sea level) as well as the considerable amount of walking involved, often on uneven terrain, requires that you be in good physical condition to enjoy this trip. We strongly suggest that you consult with your physician regarding any concerns as well as possible medications to ease the effects of the high altitude.
You will be arriving to Iguazu Falls (Brazilian side) from Peru, which is one of the Yellow Fever Countries. Therefore, you are required to present a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate when applying for the Brazil visa. When you arrive to Brazil, you may be asked to present a certificate of vaccination, and if you do not have one, you could be denied entry to the country. An exemption is granted under certain medical circumstances, so be sure to discuss this issue with your physician, or click here to find a local vaccination center.
Options & Excursions
|Separately Paid Fees|
|Brazil Visa Fee1 (paid separately)||+$180|
|Argentina Reciprocity Fee2 (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)
2. US passport holders arriving Argentina via surface are required to register and pay the reciprocity fee prior to travel through the following website: www.migraciones.gov.ar with a valid credit card. A printed receipt must be presented to immigration control upon arrival to Argentina as proof of payment. This is only necessary if you choose to participate in the optional excursion to the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls or otherwise enter Argentina on your own.
|Sensational South America|
|Single Room Supplement|
|All other departures||+$799|
|Machu Picchu 2nd Visit||+$80|
|Machu Picchu 2nd Visit Plus Huayna Picchu Entrance|
|All other departures||+$95|
|Chinchero & Maras (or Moray) Excursion||+$89|
|Tipon & Andahuaylillas Excursion||+$66|
|Rio de Janeiro Post-Tour Extension1|
|Rio de Janeiro Extension|
|Feb 5, Aug 19||unavailable|
|All other departures||+$1099|
|Single Room Supplement||+$549|
|Late check-out Rio de Janeiro - Day 132|
1. The Rio de Janeiro extension requires that your flights be confirmed separately by the airlines. Please note that it typically takes 3 to 5 business days to confirm your extension flights with the airline, and that we will notify you immediately upon confirmation of the flights. This extension also requires a minimum of 4 passengers to operate.
2. Late check-out on Day 13 is available on request for flights departing Rio de Janeiro in the evening.
Flights & Departure Cities
|Jan 8, Feb 5||unavailable|
|All other departures||included|
|New York Kennedy (JFK)|
|Feb 5, Sep 2||unavailable|
|All other departures||+$175|
|Los Angeles (LAX)|
|All other departures||+$300|
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.
Passengers departing New York (JFK) must check-in the night before the listed departure dates for their overnight flights arriving in the morning of Day 1. An additional hotel night is included to guarantee rooms will be ready for early check-in.
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 us 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/Arrive Lima. Your exciting journey to Peru begins today as you depart on your flight bound for Lima, Peru's diverse capital city, "City of the Kings." Upon arrival, after customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Accommodations: Atton San Isidro.
Passengers departing New York (JFK) must check-in the night before the listed departure dates for their overnight flights arriving in the morning of Day 1. An additional hotel night is included to guarantee rooms will be ready for early check-in. Please refer to the flight schedule for details.
Day 2: Lima. After breakfast, your exploration begins with a visit to the Larco Herrera Museum, boasting one of the greatest private collections of pre-Columbian artifacts. Its permanent exhibition includes a variety of colorful textiles, ceramics and jewelry, but perhaps its most interesting collection consists of ancient erotic artifacts. Next, enjoy some free time for lunch before embarking on a panoramic tour of Lima, driving by the Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral of Lima, the ornate Archbishop’s Palace and other buildings. You will also visit the fashionable districts of San Isidro and Miraflores with their beautiful parks and elegant residences overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Breakfast provided.
Day 3: Sacred Valley. After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board a short flight to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire (11,000 feet above sea level). Upon arrival, travel to nearby Pisac, a picturesque Andean village with a wonderful market. Here you'll have a chance to buy locally made ponchos, sweaters and other handcrafted clothing, ceramics and hand-painted beads. Enjoy browsing the "locals" section of the market, where villagers come from miles around, dressed in their traditional clothing, to barter and sell their produce.
Continue to Ollantaytambo (3,000 feet above sea level), located at the foot of spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley. The temple area is at the top of a series of steep terraces which helped provide excellent defenses. Stone used for these buildings was brought from a quarry high up on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, an incredible feat involving the efforts of thousands of workers. Afterwards, check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight. Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 4: Machu Picchu. It's a short drive from your hotel to the Ollanta railroad station where you'll board the Vistadome train that will take you through the lush Urubamba Valley, passing through stunning scenery en route to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular and enigmatic archaeological sites in the world. (8,000 feet above sea level)
Unknown to the outside world until archaeologist Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911, Machu Picchu is now the most recognizable symbol of the Incan Empire. Believed to have served as a country retreat town for Inca nobility, the complex consists of giant walls, terraces, and ramps constructed from precisely cut rock formations. This impressive architectural feat, in combination with its breathtaking natural setting amid mist-covered green mountains above the rushing Urubamba River, makes for a visually stunning, and even mystical, experience. Enjoy the remainder of the day and evening in Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu. Accommodations: Casa Andina Classic Machu Picchu. Breakfast provided.
Day 5: Machu Picchu & Cusco. Early this morning, there will be an opportunity to independently visit Machu Picchu for a second time, and for the more adventurous, to test their limits with a climb to Huayna Picchu, the sharp peak which towers above the citadel. (Entrance to Machu Picchu: $80 per person. Entrance to Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu: $95 per person. Price includes reserved ticket and roundtrip bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. Please contact us to reserve this option in advance as availability is limited.) This afternoon, journey back to Ollanta station by Vistadome train, then continue to Cusco by motor coach. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel for overnight. Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Cusco. After breakfast, enjoy a panoramic city tour of Cusco. You'll see the Plaza de Armas, center of the Inca Empire, where Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cusco. Here, you'll visit Cusco's beautiful 16th century cathedral. Then, just a few blocks away, you will discover the ruins of the Koricancha, an important temple built to honor Inti, the Incan sun god. When the conquistadors first arrived in Cusco, the temple was covered in sheets of solid-gold and adorned with golden statues, but within months of their arrival, the temple was stripped and the gold plundered as treasure for Spain.
Next, continue to the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an emblematic Inca construction built in the 15th century. The size of the fortress and its massive stones are remarkable, and the manner in which they were transported, cut, and laid is still a mystery. Next, travel to Puka Pukara, also known as the "red fortress", which is thought to have been a military stronghold. It has many rooms, courtyards, bathrooms, aqueducts, and towers to explore. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure or take advantage of an optional excursion to Tipon & Oropesa. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Tipon & Andahuaylillas, $66. This afternoon’s optional excursion begins with a scenic drive to Tipon, an impressive complex located 15 miles outside of Cusco. Tipon is an ancient marvel of engineering consisting of twelve agricultural terraces and an advanced irrigation system that is still used by the local population to this day. Next, continue to Andahuaylillas and visit the Church of San Pedro Apostol, considered the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” because of its ornate gold-leaf altar and beautiful artwork adorning its ceiling and walls.
Day 7: Cusco. Enjoy the day at leisure in this beautiful town in the high Andes Mountains. You may stroll through the main square, or wander through the many charming side streets. Alternatively, take advantage of an optional excursion to Chinchero and Maras or Moray. Breakfast provided.
Optional Excursion: Chinchero & Maras or Moray, $89. This morning’s optional excursion begins with a visit to the ancient village of Chinchero and its beautiful colonial church built upon the original foundations of Tupac Yupanqui Palace. Explore Chinchero’s artisan weaver’s complex, and discover the traditional techniques of weaving, dyeing and spinning. Next, depending on your departure date, you will visit Maras or Moray. During the dry season (May through late-November) visit the salt works of Maras, consisting of about 3000 small pools, constructed on a mountain side. The ancient Inca would irrigated these pools with brackish spring water and allow them to evaporate to produce salt for the empire. During the rainy season (late-November through April), visit the archaeological site of Moray consisting of enormous terraces in concentric rings which allowed ancient farmers to create diverse microclimates and harvest a variety of crops.
Day 8: Cusco/Iguazu Falls, Brazil. Very early this morning, your journey continues as you board your flight from Cusco to Lima connecting to Foz do Iguassu, Brazil. Upon arrival, and after customs formalities, transfer to your hotel for check-in. Accommodations: Bourbon Iguassu Resort or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Iguazu Falls. 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! 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.
This morning, 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 the canyon on the falls for an incredible up-close view. This evening, attend a regional folklore performance while enjoying a traditional Brazilian buffet dinner. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Optional Excursion: Iguazu Falls, Argentina Side (purchased locally). 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. Note: U.S. passport holders crossing into Argentina are required to pay $160 "reciprocity fee," payable online at www.migraciones.gov.ar. This must fee must be paid prior to departure from the USA and the receipt must be presented at the border.
Day 10: Depart Iguazu Falls. Enjoy the day at leisure, relaxing at the hotel, or exploring independently. Later this evening, bid farewell to sensational South America as you transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight back to the USA via Lima. Or, extend your stay and visit the marvelous city of Rio de Janeiro, on a 3 night post tour extension. Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Arrive USA. Your unforgettable South American adventure comes to an end as you touch down in the USA this morning.
Rio de Janeiro Optional Post-Tour Extension
Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare to visit Rio de Janeiro, the “happening” city of Brazil. Passengers taking the post-tour extension will arrive in the U.S. 3 days after the dates listed.
Day 10: Iguazu Falls/Rio de Janeiro. In the late morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival, transfer to your centrally located hotel near the famous Copacabana beach. Accommodations: Rio Othon Palace or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Rio de Janeiro.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: Tijuca Forest Jeep Safari (purchased locally). 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.
Day 12: Rio de Janeiro. Today is yours to explore marvelous Rio de Janeiro on your own. In the evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Optional Excursion: Sugar Loaf (purchased locally). 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.
Day 13: Depart Rio de Janeiro. Enjoy your final day in Brazil at leisure for last-minute shopping or relaxation. Later this evening, bid adeusl to South America and transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight back to the USA. The hotel check-out time will be 12:00pm (noon), late check-out is available for a supplement. Breakfast provided.
Day 14: Arrive USA. Your unforgettable South American adventure comes to an end as you touch down in the USA this morning.
My wife and I just got back from Peru. It's my 3rd trip with you, her first. We very much enjoyed our trip. She was impressed by the attention to detail; organization; and value. I wasn't surprised - I expected it. I was especially pleased with the tour guide we met at Cusco (Elvie). She was very good at attending to our needs and guiding us at Machu Picchu. She balanced educating us without being boring or dragging things out. The driver (Jesus) did an excellent job navigating narrow, mountainous roads.
Kenneth Dick, Tacoma, WA
Things to Know
- 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.
- Tips about traveling in Argentina? Check our Fast Facts to learn about the best time to travel, what to wear, what to buy, currency conversion, tipping, weather, voltage & plugs, immunizations you should get, and more.
- Tips about traveling in Brazil? Check our Fast Facts to learn about the best time to travel, what to wear, what to buy, currency conversion, tipping, weather, voltage & plugs, immunizations you should get, and more.
- Tips about traveling in Peru? Check our Fast Facts to learn about the best time to travel, what to wear, what to buy, currency conversion, tipping, weather, voltage & plugs, immunizations you should get, and more.
More Common Questions
- Booked Passengers Forms you need to complete & information you need to have.
- Make a Payment Pay your balance due.
- Flight Schedule Departure & arrival times for your international flights and details on booking connecting flights.
- Baggage Allowance On this program you are permitted one carry-on bag per person and one piece of checked luggage not to exceed 44lbs. The carry-on must not exceed 18" x 10" x 8" so that it fits under your seat or in the overhead compartment. Large luggage may be restricted on the train to Machu Picchu generally only one carry-on under 11lbs is permitted. Luggage exceeding this limit may be stored free of charge at the Ollantaytambo station.