We venture into Tambopata Candamo National Reserve this morning and hike through the jungle to Lake Sandoval. Here we'll head out by canoe in search of the endangered river otter, red howler monkey and blue and yellow macaw. We return to the lodge for lunch before taking a motorised canoe to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Interpretation Centre. Here we learn about its construction and the Inkaterra Asociación's conservation projects. We'll cross the 7 hanging bridges connecting the treetops and enjoy the breathtaking vistas. Keep an eye out for the white-throated toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, squirrel monkeys and the three-toed sloth.
We then descend to the forest floor and cross the wooden bridge over the swamps, learning about the flora and fauna of this flooded ecosystem. This evening we'll discover another side of the rainforest on a nocturnal walk before returning to the lodge for dinner and some relaxation time. (B/L/D)
Our first stop for the day is the San Pedro Market - a huge, open-air market with an eclectic variety of produce and interesting wares for sale. This is a great stop for freshly squeezed juices and beautiful pastries, or maybe you'd like to try the local delicacies of roasted guinea pig or soup with a jawbone garnish. We'll then explore the fascinating fortress of Sacsayhuaman, one of the best known Inca ruins in the Cusco vicinity before visiting the religious complex of Qoricancha, which contains the Temple of the Sun. It served as the main astronomical observatory for the Incas and was considered home by 4,000 priests and their attendants. Later we tour the 17th century Cusco Cathedral – the façade of which is a fine example of colonial baroque architecture.
Special Experience: Learn how to make the deliciously sweet and sour cocktail, Pisco Sour. For decades it has been regarded as the signature drink of Peru. (B)
A magical day ahead. This morning we take an early Vistadome train ride through the Urubamba Valley to the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu! On arrival in Aguas Calientes we check into our eco-resort before taking a local bus up the mountain to the entrance. Our guide will give us an in-depth introduction and description of the site and we'll also have the opportunity to explore the ruins at our own pace afterwards.
Alternatively, if you have chosen to undertake the optional Inca Trail (must have been pre-booked at time of tour booking), you will have an early start, taking a train to the ‘Km 104' station where your trek commences. For those on the trek, the first site along the way is the incredible archaeological complex of Chachabamba. From here the trail ascends for 8 kilometres. At approximately the 4 hour mark we arrive at the impressive ruins of Wiñay Wayna built into the steep countryside.
As we continue, we'll enjoy magnificent views of the Urubamba River valley and the Choquesuysuy archaeological complex. We continue along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle for another hour or so, until we arrive at the picturesque Sun Gate of Inti Punku - a wonderful photo opportunity. The trek ends in the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. Our guide will take us through this mind-blowing site, pointing out the most important parts of the ancient civilisation. (B/D)
This morning is at leisure. You have the option to return to Machu Picchu for a second visit to enjoy the beauty of this ancient phenomenon before the crowds arrive. We'll then return to Ollantaytambo via the Vistadome train. On our way to Cusco we'll stop at Chinchero and visit the temple, which is built on the Inca walls of the Inca Tupac Yupanqui Palace. The temple is made up of Inca stone structures, which were used as foundations for colonial construction and shaped its design.
Optional Excursion: Your tour already includes one visit to Machu Picchu; however, you may wish to take a second visit to explore this phenomenon further. Alternatively, you may wish to also incorporate a climb up to Huayna Picchu (considered to provide the best view over Machu Picchu). Please note both options include entry into Machu Picchu and transportation (guide not included). If you choose the Huayna Picchu option, entry to the peak is also included. Half day Machu Picchu only - from $84pp US. Half day Machu Picchu incl. Huayna Picchu – from $102pp US
Please Note: Huayna Picchu has a limited number of tickets available each day, with two times available to visit – 7.00am and 10.00am. There is a restriction of only 200 visitors per time slot. These usually sell out well in advance and it is unlikely it will be possible to arrange entry upon arrival into Aguas Calientes. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you purchase your entrance ticket online in advance to secure entry. However, it is important to note that this option is non-refundable even if entry is cancelled due to bad weather. If possible, we recommend booking the earlier time slot, visiting Huayna Picchu first prior to touring the Inca site. The online option will only secure your ticket to Huayna Picchu and entrance to Machu Picchu; the return bus from Aguas Calientes will be in addition and will need to be arranged locally. (B)
This morning we'll visit Museu Do Amanhã, which translates to the Museum of Tomorrow. This science museum was designed by Spanish neofuturistic architect, Santiago Calatrava on the waterfront at Pier Maua. We'll enjoy some time to explore the different exhibits, which focus on sustainable cities and an ecological world. This afternoon is at leisure to relax or explore some more at our own pace. You may wish to visit the beautiful botanical gardens or simply stroll along Copacabana Beach, watching the world go by. We'll enjoy a group dinner this evening at Fogo de Chao.
Optional Excursion: This guided walking tour traces the route of open-air artwork located in some of Rio's oldest neighbourhoods, from the original settlement of Praça XV to the recently renovated Porto Maravilha. This area's historical importance can be told by its monuments, statues, art installations, murals, and graffiti. Candelária Church, the Olympic Pyre, Maua Square and Rio's Art Museum (MAR) are some of the highlights in this 4km walk. The amount of walking can be established by your interests and conditions. Most museums close on Monday in Rio. Entrance in any of the sites can be included for an added cost. Includes driver and guide. 4 hours – from $85pp US
Optional Excursion: This tour starts in the historical centre of Rio de Janeiro. The architecture of Praça XV, Arco dos Teles, the França-Brasil House (Old Alfândega), the São Bento Monastery, and the Lapa Arches are prime examples of buildings from the Colonial era. The Banco do Brasil Cultural Museum, Municipal Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts and the Public National Library are examples of architecture from the Imperial era. Next stop on the tour is the neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. This traditional neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro is home to mansions from the beginning of the 20th century, built mainly by the English who sought out this region for its mild climate. Nowadays, it is a hotspot for artists and eccentrics. The antique cable car still runs through the narrow streets as the main form of collective transportation. Includes transportation on a seat-in-coach basis. 4 hours – from $46pp US (B/D)
Today we fly to Iguazu Falls! Straddling the borders of Brazil and Argentina, Iguazu Falls is one of the world's biggest waterfalls with a total of more than 240 individual falls. The waterfalls are surrounded by lush rainforest. They are more than 3 kilometres wide and 80 metres high, making them wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls. After our arrival, we'll see the Brazilian side of the falls and travel the canyon path, discovering the panoramic views over San Martin Island. We will get wet, so bring a spray jacket!
Our next destination is Parque das Aves Bird Park, set in 12 acres of beautiful rainforest and home to more than 150 species of birds, including colourful macaws, toucans and flamingos. This afternoon there is the option to take a helicopter flight over the falls. This can be organised locally through your guide and is at your own expense. Optional Excursion: Departure is from the entrance of the Iguazu National Park (Brazilian side) and can be taken when doing the Brazilian Falls tour. Please advise your guide if you are interested in this tour. (min 2/max 4 participants per helicopter) 10 minutes – from $173pp US (B)
Discover the wonders of Peru
Experience the excitement of Rio and feel the thunder of Iguazu Falls
Dance the night away in grand Buenos Aires