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25 Day Best of South America with Galapagos Cruise

APT Tour & Cruise starting in Santiago and finishing in Guayaquil

Book online and enjoy exclusive savings on APT's 25 Day Best of South America with Galapagos Cruise. This unforgettable holiday takes in all the very best South America has to offer. Wander around the majestic Machu Picchu, marvel at the astounding Iguassu Falls and get up close to the unique wildlife of the Galápagos ...read more


Operator: APT
Type: Tour & Cruise (Premium)
Max Group Size: 28
Duration: 25 Days
From: Santiago to Guayaquil
Tour Code: ISG25
Reviews: Not Yet Reviewed
Visits: Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands
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Day By Day


Arrive Santiago (Chile)

Welcome to Santiago for the start of your enthralling adventure. The Chilean capital boasts one of the world's most incredible settings, situated in the Santiago basin and spectacularly flanked to the east by the snow-capped Andes mountain range. This afternoon, explore the city's iconic landmarks on a guided tour, before enjoying a Welcome Reception in the evening. Stay Two Nights: The Singular Santiago

Santiago, Freedom of Choice

Today, you have a choice of two sightseeing options, both of which include a delicious lunch. You might like to travel to the picturesque seaside city of Valparaíso. Here, embark on a tour of the World Heritage-listed Historic Quarter and, on a funicular ride, treasure views of the colourful buildings below. Alternatively, learn about the history of Chilean wine during a tour and tasting of aged wines amid the beautiful setting of Santa Rita winery. (B/L)

Santiago, Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Fly to the lively Argentinian capital. Be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the fashionable Recoleta barrio (district) of Buenos Aires. At your hotel, discover Argentina's national dance during a tango lesson, before indulging in a delicious selection of tapas. Stay Three Nights: Buenos Aires, Alvear Palace Hotel (B)

Buenos Aires, Freedom of Choice

Step out and discover Buenos Aires today. Your tour begins with a visit to the Avenida de Mayo, an avenue connecting with the city's main downtown square, the Plaza de Mayo. You'll also see Government House, made famous when Evita Perón stood on the balcony - a key moment in Argentinian political history. Next, enjoy coffee and a snack at the iconic Café Tortoni, a literati coffeehouse established in 1858. Later, explore the barrio of La Boca, with its colourful houses and charming pedestrian street, the Caminito. Continue on past the parks and tree-lined streets of Palermo and see La Recoleta Cemetery. Tonight, choose where to dine from one of three venues. Perhaps you'd like to learn the art of empanada making while feasting on an array of tasty Argentinian dishes during an interactive dinner party. You might prefer a relaxed evening at Fervor, a traditional Argentinian steak restaurant. Or, dinner and a tango show may be more your style. (B/D)

Buenos Aires, Freedom of Choice

Choose from three activities today. Perhaps head to the island town of Tigre where you can enjoy a cruise over the waterways of the Paraná Delta. You may like to explore the Parisian influence on Buenos Aires during a walking tour, or perhaps visit Teatro Colón to absorb the ambience and grandeur of one of the finest opera houses in the world. Afterwards, enjoy some free time to experience this proud city. (B)

Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

Fly to one of the world's most spectacular cities, Rio de Janeiro. Lapped by the Atlantic Ocean, flanked by mountains and drenched with white-sand beaches, the Carnival capital is known to be the beating heart of Brazil. On arrival, you'll be transferred to your hotel located on the famous Copacabana Beach. Stay Three Nights: Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Palace (B)

Rio de Janeiro

Today is sure to be a highlight as you make your way to Corcovado, the mountain famous for its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. Visit the statue and travel to the platform at its peak for stunning views over downtown Rio, Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach. At sunset, ride a cable car to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, stopping mid-way to enjoy a caipirinha while you admire the sweeping view. Return to ground level and spend the evening dining on a delicious Brazilian BBQ. (B/D)

Rio de Janeiro, Freedom of Choice

This morning, enjoy your selected sightseeing activity. You may wish to embark on a tour through local favelas - the Brazilian term for shanty town. Alternatively, set out on a colonial tour of the city. Or, perhaps enjoy a Jeep tour taking you deep into Tijuca Forest, past waterfalls and fragrant tropical fruit trees. Later, the evening is yours to spend at leisure, providing a fantastic opportunity to experience Rio de Janeiro's vibrant nightlife. (B)

Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Freedom of Choice

Board your flight to Iguassu Falls, an impressive series of waterfalls that straddles the border of Argentina and Brazil. You may wish to step aboard a boat ride safari and take in the breathtaking spectacle of Iguassu Falls from beneath the thundering cascades. Alternatively, embark on an awe-inspiring helicopter ride over the falls. Tonight, dine at the Ipê Grill within your hotel. Stay Two Nights: Iguassu Falls, Hotel das Cataratas (B/D)

Iguassu Falls

Today you'll spend some time exploring World Heritage-listed Iguassu National Park on the Argentinian side of the falls. You'll also ride the Rainforest Ecological Train through the forest to a series of walkways and viewing points. (B)

Iguassu Falls, Lima (Peru)

Visit Parque das Aves Bird Park, set just outside the national park. Walk through the giant aviaries and see a range of exotic bird species including the iconic toucan. Tonight, fly to Lima, the country's capital, for the starting point of your Peruvian discovery. Stay Two Nights: JW Marriott Hotel Lima, Ocean View Rooms (B)


Discover the World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Lima on a guided tour. Known as the 'City of Kings', here you'll see one of the best preserved monasteries in the city, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and experience an artful combination of lively local culture and colonial monuments. Afterwards, a visit to a private hacienda will showcase regional traditions. Arrive to the upbeat rhythms of live music and dance, before enjoying lunch and an elegant Peruvian Paso horse show. (B/L)

Lima, Cusco, Chincheros, Sacred Valley

Board a flight to the World Heritage-listed city of Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. On arrival, travel through the city by coach on the way to Chincheros, set high in the Andes. To the locals of the Andean highlands in Peru, weaving is an important way for preserving ancient traditions. During a traditional weaving demonstration, learn how the famously colourful materials of South America are created. Later, settle in to your hotel overlooking a river in the Sacred Valley. Stay Three Nights: Sacred Valley, Tambo del Inka, Luxury Collection by Starwood (B)

Sacred Valley, Freedom of Choice

With a leisurely start to the day perhaps explore your picturesque surrounds via one of the hotel's walking trails. This afternoon, you may select from two activities that showcase the traditions and culture of the local region. You may like to taste a range of local, handcrafted microbrews at the Sacred Valley Brewing Company. Alternatively, tour the workshops at a local ceramics studio where you'll meet the owner and learn how the artisans utilise ancient techniques to create beautiful ceramics and pottery. (B/D)

Sacred Valley, Maras, Moray

This morning, witness the dazzling sight of the Maras salt mines, where thousands of glistening salt pools spill over the side of a terraced slope. Venture down the steps to watch local families tend to the pools and learn how salt has been continually harvested from this site since the Inca Empire. Your next stop is the Moray archaeological site, a fascinating collection of ancient terraced fields which were likely used by the Incas for agricultural experiments. Descending to a depth of around 150 metres, the site resembles that of an ancient Roman amphitheatre. Here, enjoy enchanting views over the terraces during lunch at El Parador de Moray. (B/L)

Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu

Board PeruRail's Vistadome train and admire the mountainous Andean landscape outside your large windows as you travel to Machu Picchu, located more than 2,400 metres above sea level. On arrival at the ruins, set off on a locally guided tour of the iconic Lost City of the Incas. This ancient Inca citadel remained undiscovered in modern times until the American historian, Hiram Bingham, brought it to international attention in 1911. Today, it is one of the most famous World Heritage-listed sites. Stay: Machu Picchu, Sumaq Hotel (B/D)

Machu Picchu, Cusco

This morning you will have the opportunity to beat the morning rush and return to experience the site in its true serenity at your own pace. Alternatively, relax and enjoy the comforts and facilities of your hotel. This afternoon, board PeruRail's Vistadome train for your return trip from Machu Picchu to the Sacred Valley, then transfer by coach to Cusco. Aboard your train, you'll watch the picturesque mountain scenery glide by. On arrival in Cusco, check in to your hotel and absorb the Spanish colonial charm. Stay Two Nights: Cusco, JW Marriott Hotel (B/D)

Cusco, Freedom of Choice

A guided walking tour through Cusco this morning will take you to the stunning square in the city's historic heart, the Plaza de Armas, as well as the sacred sites of Koricancha and Cusco Cathedral. For lunch today, you may choose from three superb restaurants. Perhaps head to Limo Cocina Peruana and Pisco Bar for a taste of local Peruvian dishes; enjoy Italian cuisine at Incanto; or choose a fine dining experience as you savour an eclectic menu at the renowned MAP Café. This evening's Farewell Drinks offer the chance to swap stories with your fellow travellers before you depart the tour. (B/L)

Cusco, Guayaquil

This morning board your included flight from Cusco via Lima to Guayaquil in Ecuador. On arrival, transfer to your hotel before embarking on a tour of this bustling coastal city. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. (B)

Guayaquil, Baltra Island, embark Galapagos Island Cruise, South Plaza Island

Fly to Baltra Island and transfer to the dock to board the Yacht La Pinta. This afternoon set sail and enjoy your first afternoon outing to South Plaza Island where the turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Succulents, cactus and land iguanas serves as ground cover along the coastline. Stay Four Nights: Yacht La Pinta (B/L/D)

Galápagos Islands Cruise, Santa Fe Island & San Cristobal Island

This morning take a dinghy over to Santa Fe Island to a sandy white beach populated by colonies of sea lions. As you walk along the beach keep an eye out for Galapagos hawks perched atop salt bushes and The Santa Fe land iguana which are unique to just this island. After the walk swim and snorkel or ride the glass-bottom boat. This afternoon sail to San Cristobal Island and disembark at the islands capital and drive 40 minutes to the island's southern shore to Cerro Colorado and visit the breeding center for endangered giant tortoises. (B/L/D)

Galápagos Islands Cruise, San Cristobal Island

Landing at the Eastern tip of San Cristobal Island disembark and take a walk along the trail ascending from the beach, keeping a look out for frigates and colonies of bachelor sea lions. If conditions are favorable, there is the opportunity to swim and snorkel off the beach. In the afternoon a dinghy ride takes you to Cerro Brujo's expansive white coral beach for afternoon birdwatching and walking along the shores, that Charles Darwin walked upon back in September 1835. (B/L/D)

Galápagos Islands Cruise, Espanola Island

This morning at Punta Suarez take an exciting walk with the naturalist guide on the lava/boulder terrain and see the unique sea bird colonies, boobies, swallow-tail gulls, red-green-black marine iguanas and the famous lava formation known as the "blow hole". In the afternoon set sail for Gardner Bay, where there are plenty of activities to enjoy; relax on the beach, swim, snorkel, kayak or take a short walk and observe the sea lions, mockingbirds and finches. (B/L/D)

Santa Cruz, Baltra Island, Disembark Galápagos Islands Cruise, Guayaquil

Disembark Yacht La Pinta this morning, but before your Galapagos journey ends walk around the Charles Darwin Research Station. Transfer by bus across Santa Cruz Island then take a short ferry ride to Baltra where you will fly from the Galapagos Islands to Guayaquil. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner. Stay: Guayaquil, Hilton Hotel (B/D)

Depart Guayaquil

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

Trip Inclusions

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy a tango lesson and tapas at the Alvear Palace Hotel
  • Visit the iconic Café Tortoni for coffee in Buenos Aires
  • Savour a sunset cocktail at the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Enjoy lunch and a Peruvian Paso horse show at a private hacienda in Lima
  • See traditional weaving in the Sacred Valley town of Chincheros
  • Admire the stunning network of salt pools in Maras before lunch overlooking the Moray terraces
  • Option to trek eight hours of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Included Experiences

  • All flights within South America
  • The expertise of a dedicated APT Tour Director throughout your journey
  • Expert local guide in each country
  • All tipping and porterage

Fine Dining

  • Includes 43 meals - 24 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 11 Dinners

Outstanding Accommodation

  • Two nights at The Singular Santiago, in the historic area of Lastarria
  • Three nights at the grand Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires
  • Three nights at Rio de Janeiro's lavish Copacabana Palace
  • Two nights alongside stunning Iguassu Falls at Hotel das Cataratas
  • Two nights in Ocean View Rooms at Lima's stunning JW Marriott Hotel
  • Three nights in the Sacred Valley at the refined Tambo del Inka
  • Overnight stay at the Sumaq Hotel Machu Picchu
  • Two nights in the heart of the city at Cusco's JW Marriott Hotel

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Price includes all flights within South America and air taxes
  • A surcharge will apply if not flying with LATAM Airlines from Australia
  • Taxes are subject to change
  • Prices are for land, cruise and all flights with South America and air taxes only

Operator Details

APT Reviews: (223)
Cruises on Sale: 346
Budget: Luxury & Premium
Airport Transfers: Included
Types: Tours, River Cruises & Small Ship Cruises
Average Age: 45-60+ years
Destinations: Worldwide

Prices & Dates ($AU)

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