GRAND TOUR OF SOUTH AMERICA WITH BRAZIL’S AMAZON, AREQUIPA & COLCA CANYON
23 Day Package from Manaus to Lima
Ruins. Vibrant cities. Natural scenery. Shopping. Dining. Gastronomic delights. Help! It all sounds like a lot to see and plan on one vacation. But don’t worry; leave it to Monograms to bring organization to your vacation desires and to allow you to see and experience it all—ancient ruins, postcard-perfect scenery, and fascinating South American cities offering cultural surprises, historic monuments, shopping opportunities, fun gathering places, and adventures for everyone. On this 22-day vacation, we’ve arranged your hotel reservations in each city, sightseeing, and daily breakfast (as well as seven lunches and six dinners). Plus, a one-of-a-kind feature is the Monograms Local Host®, here for you throughout your stay to help you truly experience the cities, sights and cultures.
This vacation includes some of South America’s most exciting and famous cities: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima & Cusco. You’ll arrive in Rio, where your Local Host will meet you at your selected hotel with a warm welcome and materials to familiarize you with the city. In fact, in each city, your Local Host will meet you on your first day to help you get settled, answer questions, offer suggestions, and help you feel comfortable, so you can start exploring immediately. The next morning, after an included breakfast, we’ll pick you up at your hotel for guided sightseeing with an expert local guide. In Rio, your private sightseeing includes a ride on the cog-wheel train to the top of Corcovado Mountain, home to the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. In Buenos Aires, your private tour includes the famous districts and the Cemetery of the Recoleta, burial site of Eva Person. Lima’s sightseeing features the historic city center and the Santo Domingo Convent with its relics. In Cusco, among many sites, your included sightseeing tour features the Santo Domingo Monastery, an important temple devoted to the sun, and the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, built in the early 12th century with some stones weighing more than 350 tons—built without the use of modern technology and machinery. On your tours in each city, your guides will share insider stories and little-known secrets that only locals know! Plus, you’ll have time in each city to explore on your own, so be sure to ask your Local Hosts for their suggestions on where to go, the best picture spots, and their favorite haunts for local food and drinks.
It’s not just the cities you’ll see on this vacation. Your package also includes beautiful Iguassu Falls, Machu Picchu, & Peru’s Sacred Valley. We’ve arranged for you to have a private tour of both the Brazilian & Argentine sides of Iguassu Falls, one of the Earth’s most breathtaking waterfalls. With its thunderous roar, cataracts as high as 250 feet, and rainbows formed in the mist, it cannot be captured in a photo. You must experience it! In Peru’s Sacred Valley, we’ve arranged for you to learn about the importance of the alpaca for Inca cultures at Awanakancha; to visit the market town of Pisac, where you can find local wares at bargain prices; and to visit Ollantaytambo, with some of the finest examples of Inca masonry.
No trip to Peru is complete without a visit to Machu Picchu, built in the 15th Century at the height of the Inca Empire and without a doubt one of the most magnificent settings in South America. You’ll receive an included tour, and if you desire, you’ll have the opportunity to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu and hike to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas, with your second included entrance to the ruins. Plus, you’ll have access to a Local Host in Machu Picchu—someone who can tell you the history and the culture like no one else.
And did we mention we’ve included the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu in your vacation package? It’s the best way to get to Machu Picchu. Between the sightseeing, transportation, guides, hotels, and meals we’ve arranged, we have saved you the cost of your time and the headaches by not having to figure out all of the travel details on your own.
* The “Starting at” or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. Pricing may vary on this date due to hotel availability. Some packages require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Monograms).ISHD
After arriving at your hotel, meet up for a PRIVATE CITY SIGHTSEEING to view the vestiges of Manaus’ glory days during the rubber boom. Your first stop will be the famous OPERA HOUSE, built in 1896 with materials imported from Europe. Next, visit a bustling local market filled with regional foods and wares.
Today your “Meeting of the Waters” CRUISE passes by the impressive British-built Custom House and the floating port. Cruise along the chocolate-colored Rio Negro to its confluence with the yellow-gray Rio Solimões, where the two rivers form the mighty Amazon. For four miles the differently colored bodies of water flow side by side and never mix! After lunch on the river, explore a JUNGLE ISLAND (water level permitting) with fascinating native flora and fauna. Later this afternoon, arrive at the Ecopark Jungle Lodge, situated on the banks of the Rio Negro inside the Amazon rainforest.
Accompanied by a Naturalist, enjoy a guided JUNGLE WALK that introduces you to the flora and fauna that thrives in the Amazon. After lunch, depart the lodge and sail up the river to visit a Caboclo’s native AMAZON VILLAGE to learn about their traditions, costumes, and culture. Also try your hand at piranha fishing! Later, visit the MONKEY JUNGLE RESERVE, where researchers work to rehabilitate captive primates and reintroduce them to the jungle. Here, you have the opportunity to see a feeding of spider, squirrel, woolly, and capuchin monkeys. This evening, maybe venture back out with your Naturalist via canoe into the flooded forest to appreciate the sounds of the jungle at night. Keep watch for small alligators (and other night creatures)!
This morning, depart your Amazon lodge for a flight to fabulous Rio. Welcome to South America’s capital of glamour—Rio de Janeiro! Your Local Host will be available with suggested activities during your free time.
Today, a private tour takes you to the Cosme Velho district, where you board a cog-wheel train that will take you through the lush tropical vegetation of Tijuca Forest to the top of CORCOVADO Mountain. This rounded peak rising 2,300 feet from the bay below is one of the New7Wonders of the World and home to the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. Enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree panorama, which affords sweeping views of the city and beaches below. The afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Enjoy a full day at leisure. Your Local Host will suggest an optional Jeep tour to the rainforest in the middle of the city, Tijuca National Park and its bird sanctuary. This afternoon you may elect to discover historic Petropolis, a mountain resort and site of the former summer palace of Emperor Dom Pedro II, or take an optional excursion to visit the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain.
Fly to IGUASSU FALLS. This masterpiece of nature encompasses 275 separate falls and spans almost two miles. This afternoon’s private tour is dedicated to enjoying the spectacle of this 2-mile-wide torrential downpour from the Brazilian side.
This morning, take the ECOLOGICAL JUNGLE TRAIN and tour the Argentine side of IGUASSU FALLS with numerous walkways that wind under the crashing water.
Fly to Buenos Aires, proud capital of the vast country that occupies most of the southern part of the continent. After arriving at your central hotel you will have time to become acquainted with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards and outdoor cafés. Enjoy an evening at leisure.
A PRIVATE SIGHTSEEING TOUR this morning starts in the colorful La Boca district, site of the city’s first port. Take a short walking tour of this unique neighborhood, then on to San Telmo, famous for its late-colonial buildings and a popular gathering spot for artists. At the Plaza de Mayo, see La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House) and the Metropolitan Cathedral, which houses San Martin’s Mausoleum. Drive past the ornate Colon Opera House before reaching the CEMETERY OF THE RECOLETA, burial site of Eva Perón. This evening, perhaps savor the city’s atmosphere on an optional dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a performance of Latin America’s most sensuous dance—the Tango!
Today is at leisure. Your Local Host will suggest an optional excursion to the Pampas. Experience Argentine country life as you visit an estancia (ranch). Get acquainted with the lifestyle of the gauchos and enjoy a barbecue lunch and the warm hospitality of your hosts before returning to the city.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima, where you will be met by your Local Host.
Your included CITY TOUR focuses on Lima’s rich colonial history as well as the modern city. Lima was the bastion of Spanish South America from its founding in 1535 until the independence of the South American republics in the early 19th century. See the Cathedral, where the remains of Francisco Pizarro are sealed in a wooden coffin, and the SANTO DOMINGO CONVENT to see the relics of three famous Peruvian saints—Santa Rosa de Lima, San Martin de Porres, and San Juan Macias.
Fly to Cusco, high in the Andes. Your GUIDED TOUR visits the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. It is said it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. At Plaza de Armas, see the cathedral before taking a short drive outside the city to the ruins of SACSAYHUAMAN with its intricate stone walls, the amphitheater of KENKO, and the red fortress of PUCA PUCARA.
Today, a short drive into the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, brings you to AWANAKANCHA to learn about the importance of the alpaca (llama) for Inca cultures, as well as the ancient weaving techniques still in use today. Continue to the market town of PISAC, where you can buy handmade rugs, alpaca sweaters, and jewelry at bargain prices. At the other end of the valley, visit OLLANTAYTAMBO to see some of the finest examples of Inca masonry.
Board a TRAIN TRIP bound for MACHU PICCHU and cut a path through the Sacred Valley to this “Lost City of the Incas,” discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. On a GUIDED TOUR, explore this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. For hikers, a brisk one-hour walk leads to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas.
A morning at leisure allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over MACHU PICCHU with your second included entrance to the ruins. Return to Cusco by train this evening, where your Local Host can recommend dining options for your free night.
Fly to Arequipa in the Chili River Valley and flanked by three snowcapped volcanoes: Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu. Known as the “white city,” Arequipa definitely does justice to its nickname, as its buildings are made of sillar, a white volcanic rock found throughout the area. The stone embellishes the facades of the city’s homes and churches. Upon arrival, a PRIVATE CITY TOUR of Arequipa shows off the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral before visiting the Jesuit CHURCH, considered the best example of the mestizo-baroque style. Continue to the residential districts of Yanahuara and Chilina, where you enjoy a magnificent view of Arequipa’s countryside and the Mount Misti volcano.
Depart for Colca Valley. Drive across Pampa Cañahuas within the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, the habitat of vicuñas and a variety of birds. Admire beautiful pre-Columbian terraces still being cultivated by native Collaguas. Stop for lunch in the town of Chivay. This afternoon, relax at LA CALERA hot springs
Today is free for independent exploration. Colca Canyon is an impressive geological formation carved out by the river as it descended between the mountains (made of largely volcanic materials) over millions of years. More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon is one of the deepest in the world. Observe the spectacular terracing, considered among the most extensive in southern Peru. These terraces, which allow cultivation and meticulously controlled irrigation of the steep slopes of the canyon, were built by Collagua and Cabana ethnic groups between the 9th and 14th centuries.
Proceed to CONDORS’ CROSS, an observation point where you can view these majestic Andean birds and enjoy the impressive panorama of the COLCA CANYON, one of the deepest in the world. Next, visit the towns of Yanque, Maca, Achoma, and Pinchollo. In the afternoon, return to Arequipa.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Lima.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.