Sensational Peru & Iguazu Falls
Colonial Lima, the Inca capital of Cusco & awe-inspiring Machu Picchu; then Brazil for the simply astounding Iguazu Falls
|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. (Some exceptions, including special promotional packaged, may accommodate up to 24.) More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departures||Group Size||16 travelers max|
|Themes||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. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.|
|Already booked?||Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.|
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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 visits to Lima and Cusco, travelers will experience the best of South America for a price that screams "amazing deal!"
- 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
- 9 nights accommodation in first class hotels
- 12 Meals: 9 breakfasts plus 1 lunch and 2 dinners
- Comprehensive touring program, including entrance fees
- Professional, English-speaking tour guides
- 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)
Why you'll love it
- Barter with locals selling handmade clothing, ceramics and more at the bustling Pisac Market.
- Acclimate to the high altitude of the Andes Mountains with a visit to Ollantaytambo, the last stronghold of the Inca resistance during the Spanish conquest of Peru.
- Explore the amazing 15th-century Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, believed to be constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti.
- Tour Cusco, the center of the Inca Empire and the location of Koricancha, an Inca temple covered in sheets of solid gold that conquistadors plundered for Spain.
- Discover the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, an engineering feat that astounds archaeologists.
- Feel the mist of 275 cataracts at Iguazu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.
- Journey through the rain forest to the most spectacular sight at Iguazu: Devil's Throat.
- Enjoy a traditional Brazilian dinner and entertaining folklore performance.
Itinerary at a Glance
- 1 Depart USA/Arrive Lima
- 2 Lima
- 3 Sacred Valley
- 4 Machu Picchu
- 5 Machu Picchu & Cusco
- Optional Excursion: Second Visit to Machu Picchu, $100
- 6 Cusco
- Optional Excursion: Chinchero & Maras or Moray, $105
- Optional Excursion: Tipon & Andahuaylillas, $85
- 7 Cusco & Lima
- 8 Lima, Peru/Iguazu Falls, Brazil
- 9 Iguazu Falls
- 10 Depart Iguazu Falls
Day 1 Depart USA/Arrive Lima
- Depart Miami on your flight bound for Lima, Peru
- Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel
- Please refer to your flight schedule for departure times, you must check in at the airport at least 3 hours prior to your flight's departure
Courtyard by Marriott Lima Miraflores or similar
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
Courtyard by Marriott Lima Miraflores or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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 Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas or similar Breakfast & dinnerFull 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 or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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 or similar BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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
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 or similar BreakfastFull Day ItineraryOptional 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 though 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.
$89 per person in 2019Optional Excursion: Tipon & Andahuaylillas, $85
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.
$75 per person in 2019
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
Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport or similar Breakfast & lunchFull Day Itinerary
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 hotelFull 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 performanceFull Day Itinerary
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
- Morning tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
- Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight via Lima, Peru
- Arrive in the USA tomorrow morning
BreakfastFull Day Itinerary
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.
Later this afternoon, bid farewell to sensational South America as you transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight back to the USA via Lima.
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.
Make the Courtyard by Marriott Lima Miraflores your home base during your trip to Peru. Featuring a fantastic location in Lima's Miraflores district, this superior 4-star hotel provides sophisticated lodging with service to match. The hotel places you within reach of many of Lima's most notable attractions, such as Parque Kennedy and the Barranco district. Whether you're in Lima for business or pleasure, the Courtyard Lima Miraflores can help you make the most of your visit.
The Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley has been referred to a true traveler's paradise. Indeed, with its red-tiled roof and well-kept green gardens, the Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley is as picturesque as the mountains and valleys that surround it. Inside, the hotel boasts some of the best amenities in the region—a luxury spa, a renowned gourmet restaurant, and its very own planetarium and observatory. Located in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, just 10 kilometers from Ollantaytambo train station, the Casa Andina Premium Sacred Valley is close to Machu Picchu and some of the other most important archeological sites in the region, such as Ollantaytambo, Pisac, Chincheros, Moray, and Maras.
El MaPi Hotel is located in the village of Machu Picchu Pueblo, a few steps from the town center and museum. The hotel is efficient, people friendly. and the design brings together a blend of classic, modern, and recycled materials.
Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport hotel is conveniently located just steps from the Lima International Airport. The modern hotel offers a restaurant, bar, fitness center, indoor pool, and spa. The hotel is 8 miles from Plaza Mayor de Lima, the birthplace of Lima, Archbishop Palace, Basilica Cathedral, and San Francisco Church. Spend an evening in Lima's contemporary culture and entertainment center, with its plethora of restaurants, coffee shops, nightclubs, and movie theaters.
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.
Conveniently located 13 miles from Iguazu Falls, 6 miles from Foz do Iguaçu Airport, and just 4 miles from the tri-border marker with Argentina and Paraguay, the Bourbon Cataratas offers a great base to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site that is Iguazu Falls and relax on a 605-acre property surrounded by lush tropical gardens.
In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.
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- What should I know before I go? We've compiled a comprehensive checklist, including information on how to pay your balance due, flights & transfers, packing & luggage, and more.
- Do I need a visa or other documents? Are there any entry requirements? Please review the visa & entry requirements.
- Can I make changes to my trip? Want to upgrade your seats? Stay a few extra days? Something else? Just ask!
- 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 time of travel.
- Should I purchase travel insurance? Yes! We recommend you purchase travel insurance to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. For your convenience, we offer a plan provided by Travelex Insurance Services.
- What's the fine print? Review the terms & conditions for this package.
- What should I know about Argentina? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Brazil? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
- What should I know about Peru? Check out our guide for practical travel tips, the best time to go, videos, and more.
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