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Peru, Iguazu Falls & Buenos Aires

Colonial Lima, the Inca capital of Cusco & awe-inspiring Machu Picchu; Brazil's astounding Iguazu Falls; then urban exploration in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. More of these packages
Tour escorts & guides for some segments
Departures Group Size 16 travelers max
Themes History & CultureNature & Wildlife
Activity Level Moderate
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.
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Indisputably, Machu Picchu in Peru and Iguazu Falls, straddling Argentina and Brazil, are two iconic South American destinations. They're difficult to tie into one affordable tour since they're on opposite sides of the continent, but that's no problem for Friendly Planet! All of this combined with the excitement of urban exploration in Buenos Aires, and visits to Lima and Cusco, travelers will experience the best of South America for a price that screams "amazing deal!"

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round trip airfare from Miami via LATAM Airlines, including taxes & fees
  • All intra-South America flights
  • All ground transportation & transfers
  • Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • 12 nights accommodation in first class hotels
  • 15 Meals: 12 breakfasts plus 1 lunch and 2 dinners
  • Comprehensive touring program, including entrance fees
  • Professional, English-speaking tour guides

Optional add-ons

  • Optional second visit to Machu Picchu or opportunity to climb to Huayna Picchu
  • Exciting excursions from Cusco to Tipon & Andahuaylillas and/or Chinchero & Maras (or Moray)
  • Optional excursions in Buenos Aires feature a dinner & Tango performance, Tango lesson & wine tasting, and a full day visit to a traditional Estancia

Why you'll love it

  • Visit the Andean village of Pisac and barter with the locals at the bustling market for their handmade clothing, ceramics, and more.
  • Admire the breathtaking natural setting of Machu Picchu amid mist-covered green mountains above the rushing Urubamba River.
  • Witness one of the greatest natural wonders of the world: Iguazu Falls, consisting of 275 inlets and cataracts cascading down 250 feet.
  • Enjoy a traditional Brazilian dinner paired with an entertaining folklore performance.
  • Indulge in dulce de leche and alfajores as you stroll through the famous San Telmo Market.
  • Explore the underground tunnels of El Zanjon de Granados and learn about the earliest settlements in Buenos Aires.
  • Learn the history and techniques used to create the accordion as you visit a workshop and museum.

Itinerary at a Glance

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA/Arrive Lima

  • Depart Miami on your flight bound for Lima, Peru
  • Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel

Marriott Courtyard Miraflores

Day 2 Lima

  • After breakfast visit the Larco Herrera Museum
  • Enjoy some free time for lunch
  • In the afternoon embark on a panoramic tour of Lima

Marriott Courtyard Miraflores Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Plaza de Armas, 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 historic buildings. You will also visit the fashionable districts of San Isidro and Miraflores with their beautiful parks and elegant residences overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Day 3 Sacred Valley

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco
  • Explore Pisac Market and shop for unique crafts
  • Continue to Ollantaytambo and tour the fortress and ruins

Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary

This morning, 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 (9,160 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.

Day 4 Machu Picchu

  • Transfer to Ollanta station to board the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • Enjoy a guided tour of the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu

El MaPi Hotel Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Alpacas, 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, The train ride passes 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.

Day 5 Machu Picchu & Cusco

  • Morning at leisure or optional second visit to Machu Picchu
  • Return to Ollanta station by Vistadome train then transfer to Cusco by bus

Novotel Cusco Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Machu Picchu in the late afternoon

Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore the quaint town of Aguas Calientes, revisit the citadel at Machu Picchu or trek to the top of Huayna Picchu on an optional excursion. This afternoon, journey back to Ollanta station by Vistadome train, then continue to Cusco by motor coach. Upon arrival, check into your hotel for overnight.

Optional Excursion: Second Visit to Machu Picchu, $100
Huayna Picchu

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: $100 per person. Entrance to Machu Picchu & Huayna Picchu: $115 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.

Note: We are not able to secure your ticket for the Machu Picchu Second Visit and Huayna Picchu entrance until we receive your valid passport information. Tickets are only issued by the Peruvian authorities upon receipt of valid passport details.

Day 6 Cusco

  • Day at leisure or join one (or both!) optional excursions

Novotel Cusco Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Plaza de Armas, 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 one, or both, optional excursions!

Optional Excursion: Chinchero & Maras or Moray, $105

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, dying 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 3,000 small pools, constructed on a mountain side. The ancient Inca would irrigate 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 micro climates and harvest a variety of crops.

Optional Excursion: Tipon & Andahuaylillas, $85
Tipon Ruins

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 Apóstol, considered the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” because of its ornate gold-leaf altar and beautiful artwork adorning its ceilings and walls.

Day 7 Cusco & Lima

  • Morning city tour of Cusco
  • Visit the Sacsayhuaman Fortress & Puka Pukara
  • Afternoon at leisure in Cusco for last minute shopping and exploration
  • This evening transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima

Hotel Costa Del Sol-Ramada Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Puka Pukara ruins

After a leisurely 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.

Then, visit the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an emblematic Incan 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.

Return to Cusco for lunch at a local restaurant. The balance of the afternoon is yours to explore Cusco and shop for last minute souvenirs. Why not make your way to the San Blas neighborhood, known as the "Balcony of Cusco"? Here you'll find excellent workshops and art shops of some of the best artisans specializing in goldsmithing, pottery, and wood and stone carving. This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, cross the sky bridge and check in at your airport hotel.

Day 8 Lima, Peru/Iguazu Falls, Brazil

  • Return to the airport via the sky bridge for your flight to Iguazu Falls, Brazil
  • Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel

Mabu Thermas Grand Resort or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

This morning, return to the airport via the sky bridge for your flight to Foz do Iguassu, Brazil. Upon arrival, and after customs formalities, transfer to your hotel for check-in.

Day 9 Iguazu Falls

  • Full day tour of Iguazu Falls on the Argentinean side
  • Brazilian dinner with folklore performance

Mabu Thermas Grand Resort or similar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Iguazu Falls panorama

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.

After going through international customs control, cross the Tancredo Neves Bridge between Brazil and Argentina. Once in Argentina, 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. Continue to the upper Argentinean falls, including the San Martin falls.

This evening, enjoy a traditional Brazilian dinner with a folklore performance.

Note: Today's tour requires you bring your passport.

Day 10 Depart Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Arrive Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • Morning tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires
  • Free evening or join an optional excursion

Vitrum Hotel Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Woman admiring Iguazu Falls

Today, you'll get a fantastic close-up view of the falls and their dazzling and awesome display of power starting 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.

Then, transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival and after customs formalities, transfer to your hotel for check-in and overnight.

Optional Excursion: Dinner & Tango Show, $85

This evening, enjoy dinner and an exciting performance of the tango, Argentina's passionate national dance. Journey through the development and evolution of the tango from its inception in the 19th century until today.

Day 11 Buenos Aires

  • Explore Buenos Aires on a guided city tour
  • Evening at leisure or join an optional excursion

Vitrum Hotel Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
La Boca, Buenos Aires

After breakfast, depart for a city tour of Buenos Aires.  Discover the heart of the city, Plaza de Mayo, surrounded by the Cabildo (Town Hall), the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace) and other historic buildings. Then, visit the world-renowned San Telmo Market and sample dulce de leche and traditional alfajores.

Next, view the 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest avenue in the world, Corrientes Avenue, known for its theaters and night life, de Mayo Avenue, with its strong Spanish influence, and Florida Street, where you might glimpse a tango demonstration in the street.  Continue to the old port of La Boca, to see its famous colorfully painted houses on Caminito Street and to Puerto Madero, the newest and most modern neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

After free time for lunch, head to La Recoleta and learn why Buenos Aires is considered the Paris of Latin America. This exquisite and refined neighborhood has many monuments and museums, and of course Recoleta Cemetery, where Evita Perón is buried. Return to the hotel, or linger in the area independently exploring the lively markets before making your way back independently.

Optional Excursion: Tango Lesson & Wine Tasting, $195
Tango dancing

This evening, dive into the local culture and take part in a private tango lesson, instructed by professional dancers.  Afterwards, taste your way through the Argentinean Wine Route! Learn about the different terroirs, climates, and geographies of some of the most prestigious wine making areas. Sample varietals from various zones, each paired with exquisite regional food tastings.

Day 12 Buenos Aires

  • Full day at leisure to explore independently
  • Or, join an optional excursion

Vitrum Hotel Breakfast

Optional Excursion: Argentinean Estancia with lunch, $115
Folklore show, Pampas of Buenos Aires

Journey outside of the city today to discover the life of the gauchos in the Pampas of Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed with wine and empanadas, followed by a tour of the estancia. Explore the countryside and take in the landscapes during a sulky (horse-drawn cart) ride, or for the more adventurous on horseback!

After a traditional asado, barbecue lunch, enjoy a folklore show highlighting traditional song and dance and exciting displays of gaucho horsemanship.

Private transportation will be provided to and from the estancia. The activities at the ranch are shared.

Day 13 Depart Buenos Aires

  • Explore the archaeological site of El Zanj├│n de Granados
  • Visit an accordion workshop and museum
  • Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight, via Lima, arriving in Miami tomorrow morning


Full Day Itinerary
El Zanjón de Granados

This morning, learn about Buenos Aires' earliest settlements during a guided tour of El Zanjón de Grandos, a mansion that is almost 200 years old and located above underground tunnels that made up the first water system of the colonial city.  Then visit an accordion workshop and museum for an introduction to the techniques used to produce them.

Bid farewell to Buenos Aires this afternoon as you transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight, via Lima, arriving in Miami tomorrow morning.

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.

A Yellow-fever certificate of vaccination is not required for entry into Brazil, however due to the presence of yellow fever throughout much of Brazil it is highly recommended to obtain a yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days prior to travel. Remember to bring mosquito repellent and lots of sunscreen.


Marriott Courtyard Miraflores

More information

Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley

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El MaPi Hotel

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Novotel Cusco

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Hotel Costa Del Sol-Ramada

More information

Mabu Thermas Grand Resort
Mabu Thermas Grand Resort
First Class

Located near Iguaçu National Park, and drawing hot springs from the Guarani Aquifer -one of the world’s largest underground freshwater reservoirs- the Mabu Thermas Grand Resort is the perfect place to relax, and to jumpstart your exploration of one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature: Iguazu Falls.

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Vitrum Hotel
Vitrum Hotel
First Class

Located in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo Hollywood, the Vitrum Hotel offers an ideal location to enjoy this culturally rich section of Buenos Aires. The area around the hotel is teeming with bars and restaurants, bookstores and art galleries, theaters and dance studios.

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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