The Amazon, Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls, and Machu Picchu
17 Days/15 Nights
From $4,109 per person
(Dbl. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Observe fascinating plants and animals in the Amazon, the world’s largest rain forest. Enjoy panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro from atop of Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain. Relax on the beach, and experience the Samba music and sights and sounds of the city. In Iguazu, appreciate the majesty of the Falls from the Brazilian and Argentinian sides, and in Peru, discover the colonial history of Lima, and immerse yourself in the culture of the Incas in Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 16 nights (4 nights in Rio de Janeiro, 2 nights in Iguazu, 3 nights in Manaus, 3 nights in Lima, 3 nights in Cusco, and 1 night in Machu Picchu), and 24 meals (14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 5 dinners).
Best Time to Go: April-October.
Destinations: South America, Amazon, Brazil, Argentina, and Peru.
Interests: Adventure, Culture & History, Sun & Beach, and Wildlife Viewing.
Places Visited: Manaus & the Amazon, Rio de Janeiro, Iguazu Falls, Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu.
Day 1: Manaus.
Depart to Manaus via overnight flight.
Day 2: Manaus-Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge-Alligator Spotting.
After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our inbound services representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be met at the airport by our representative, and then driven to the pier for the one hour motor boat ride to the Amazon Ecopark Lodge. Upon arrival, you will have a reception with a local juice drink, check-in, and be shown to your room. Dinner and evening tour by canoe for Alligator spotting. Overnight at Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge. (D)
Day 3: Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge-Nature Hike-Visit with Native Amazonians.
Morning nature hike. After lunch, you will depart the lodge in paddle or motorized canoes accompanied by a bilingual guide to learn about the traditions and customs of native Amazonians. Overnight at Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge-Meeting of the Waters.
Today you will have a full-day Meeting of the Waters tour. You will depart early morning on board a double deck boat. The boat travels down the Rio Negro, navigating along the shores of the City of Manaus, allowing passengers to view the Amazonas Theater, the Port of Manaus, and the customs and interesting aspects of local life, including houses on stilts. The Meeting of the Waters is a spectacular junction of Rio Negro and Rio Solimões. The junction forms the famous Amazon River that runs all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The waters of the two rivers run together for about 7.50 miles (12 kilometers), side by side, without mixing. The phenomenon occurs due to the different temperature, density, and speed of the waters of the rivers.
The journey continues along the Amazon River to the Island of Terra Nova, where lunch will be served in a typical restaurant (buffet style, international and regional dishes). Depending upon the water level, a visit to a typical “caboclo” (local inhabitants) villa will be included (at Terra Nova Island) during this full day tour. (May not be available during the months of May, June, July and sometimes August, when the villa is flooded). During times when water level is high, lunch may be moved to a restaurant on “Lake January”, in which case there will be no visit to the villa. Overnight at Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 5: Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge-Monkey Forest-Manaus-Rio de Janeiro.
After breakfast, visit to the center for rehabilitation and re-introduction of wild animals (known as the Monkey forest). The center was created in 1991 with the intention of receiving animals which have been confiscated from illegal commerce. This is a joint project with the Municipal Secretary of Environment and Sustainability. In this center, the animals are initially put into quarantine to be evaluated and taken care of by a team of veterinarians and biologists. With a high success rate since the start, the animals manage to reproduce naturally, creating new families and ensuring survival of the species.
In partnership with the FFV (Live Forest Foundation), a non-profit institution overseen by Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge, a unique feeding system has been developed. Twice a day, (10:30 am & 3:30 pm), the animals receive supplements of their natural diet, ensuring that they are being fed the necessary nutrients. Check-out at 11:30 am, and transfer to Manaus for your return flight to Rio de Janeiro. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro. (B)
Day 6: Rio de Janeiro-Ginga Tropical Show.
Today you will have a free day to enjoy Rio de Janeiro. In the evening, you will see the Ginga Tropical Show at the Teatro Fashion Mall. The show perfectly combines a variety of Brazilian dances that developed from African rhythms via the slave trade and from the natives that lived in Brazil before colonization. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro. (B,D)
Note: The Ginga Tropical Show is available on Saturday evenings. We can offer an alternative activity for other nights of the week.
Day 7: Rio de Janeiro-City Tour-Christ the Redeemer Statue (Corcovado)-Sugarloaf Mountain.
This tour begins with a panoramic city tour of downtown Rio de Janeiro, passing by the Sambodrome and the pyramid-shaped Metropolitan Cathedral. You will pass Cinelandia square, and historical buildings such as the Municipal Theatre, the National Library, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Then, you will go to the Cosme Velho train station. The cog wheel train will climb up through the Tijuca Rainforest and bring you to the steps of the Christ the Redeemer Statue (Corcovado). At 2,300 ft. above sea level, you will have a breathtaking view of the City of Rio de Janeiro, the Guanabara Bay, Sugar Loaf Mountain, the nine mile Rio-Niteroi Bridge, the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, and the Atlantic Ocean. Barbeque lunch.
In the afternoon, you will drive along Rio’s famous beaches to the Praia Vermelha cable car station where you will be taken to the Urca Mountain (mid-way station) with its gardens and look-out points. Then, the second part of the ride will take you to the peak of Sugar Loaf Mountain, 1,300 ft. above sea level. Overnight in Rio de Janeiro. (B,L)
Day 8: Rio de Janeiro-Iguazu Falls (Brazilian Side).
Early morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Iguazu Falls. Upon arrival, you will have a 1 and ½ hour tour of the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. Located in Iguazu National Park, these spectacular falls are comprised of 275 individual cascades, and are more than 1.90 miles wide and 260 ft. high. You will walk along the main trail (one mile) on a catwalk above the lower Iguazu River to the series of falls that comprise the Devil’s Throat. Then you will take an elevator to an observation deck for a spectacular panoramic view of the falls. At the end of this tour, you will be transferred to your hotel on the Argentinian side. Overnight in Puerto Iguazu. (B)
Day 9: Iguazu Falls (Argentinian Side)-Great Adventure Tour.
In the morning, you will return to Iguazu Falls to view the falls from the Argentinian side and for the Great Adventure Tour. On the Argentinian side of the falls, you will visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the biodiversity of the jungle and the culture and history of the surrounding area. You can also take the Ecological Forest Train to the Garganta del Diable (Devil’s Throat) Station and the Cataratas Station, which will take you to the upper and lower circuits, and other walking trails.
In the afternoon, you will have the Great Adventure Tour. First, you will ride semi-rigid zodiac boats to reach the bottom of San Martin, Bosetty, Tres Mosqueteros and Canon de Garganta del Diablo falls and down the river rapids up to Puerto Macuco (two miles from the falls). Then, you will ride in an open jeep along the rainforest, observing the local flora and fauna with the aid of specialized guides. Overnight in Puerto Iguazu. (B)
Day 10: Iguazu Falls-Lima.
Transfer the airport for your flight Lima. After passing through immigration and customs, proceed to the reception area, where our inbound services representative will be holding a sign with your name on it. You will be greeted and then transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Lima. (B)
Day 11: Lima-City Tour.
In the afternoon, you will have a city tour of Lima. You will visit downtown Lima and see several examples of the Spanish architecture of the colonial period including the Plaza de Armas, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, and the Church of San Francisco and Catacombs. After that, you will see Huaca Huallamarca, a restored adobe pyramid dating from the pre-Inca period located in San Isidro. You will tour the upscale residential and commercial district of Miraflores and see the Parque del Amor, a seaside park with a huge statue of a kissing couple, before returning to your hotel. Overnight in Lima. (B)
Day 12: Lima-Cusco-City Tour.
Early morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. Because of the high altitude (10,912 feet above sea level), we recommend that you rest for a short period. In the afternoon, you will have a city tour that includes a walk-through of the Cathedral, the Koricancha (‘site of gold’), typical streets, and the four ruins that surround the city: the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, Kenko, Puca Pucara, and Tampumachay. Overnight in Cusco. (B)
Day 13: Cusco-Sacred Valley-Awanakancha-Pisac Market-Ollantaytambo.
Today you will have a full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The tour begins at Awanakancha, a living museum of the Peruvian Andes, where you can observe traditional textile dyeing and weaving techniques and the four types of camelids that are native to the region. You will also visit the Indian artisan market in Pisac and have lunch at a local restaurant (included). The last stop is the impressive Inca ruins of Ollantaytambo that served as both a fortress and ceremonial center, and is the site of a short-lived victory by the Incas over the Spanish. Overnight in Cusco. (B,L)
Note: The Indian market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from October to March, and daily from April to September. On the days of the week that the market is not open, you will be taken to the Inca ruins above the village.
Day 14: Cusco-Machu Picchu.
Early morning transfer to the train station for the ride to Machu Picchu, ‘the Lost City of the Incas’ (7,900 feet). This mountaintop citadel, which served as both a center of worship and an astronomic observatory, is located in the middle of the cloud forest overlooking the Urubamba River. There are both agricultural and urban areas constructed with the precision stonework that the Incas are known for. The agricultural area consists of terraces and food storehouses, and the urban area contains temples, squares, and royal tombs. Guided tour followed by lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Aguas Calientes. (B,L)
Day 15: Machu Picchu-Cusco.
This is a free day to explore Machu Picchu on your own. You may want to hike Huayna Picchu or enjoy another activity. Mid-afternoon, you will depart from Machu Picchu by train to Poroy Station in the Sacred Valley, and then be taken to your hotel in Cusco. Overnight in Cusco. (B)
Day 16: Cusco-Lima-Folkloric Dinner Show.
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight back to Lima. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the evening, you will enjoy a Folkloric Dinner Show at Dpaso Restaurant. Overnight in Lima. (B,D)
Day 17: Lima.
Check out at noon. Transfer to the airport for your return flight to your final destination. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
A Note About Your Free Day in Machu Picchu
On your free day, you will be on your own. If you choose to revisit Machu Picchu, you will need to purchase a second entrance ticket, which currently costs $74 per person. If you are staying in Aguas Calientes, you will also need to purchase a round-trip bus ticket ($28 per person) for transportation to the site. The first bus departs at 5:30 AM. As an alternative to visiting Machu Picchu again, you can hike Huayna Picchu (a +/- 60 minute hike), or partake in another activity. The cost for hiking Huayna Picchu is $13 (in addition to the second entrance ticket). At the end of the day (mid-late afternoon), you will walk to the train station for the return ride to Poroy train station, where our local representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Cusco.
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Airport/hotel transfers including baggage handling.
- Hotel accommodations including taxes and service charges.
- Excursion to Machu Picchu via Vistadome train.
- Other excursions as indicated on the itinerary including all applicable entrance fees.
- Meals as indicated on the itinerary.
- Local, English-speaking tour guides.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare.
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities, gifts, and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.
Rio de Janeiro
Group Private: All airport/hotel transfers are private. In Rio de Janeiro, the Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain excursion is a group tour for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodation levels. In Iguazu Falls, the tours of the Brazilian and Argentinian side are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodations. The Great Adventure Tour is a group tour. And, in Peru, the city tour of Lima, city tour of Cusco, Sacred Valley excursion, and Machu Picchu guided tour are group tours for single passengers and 3 Star accommodations, and private for 4 Star, 5 Star, and Deluxe accommodation levels.
Elevations: Cusco is 10,912 feet (above sea level), the Sacred Valley of the Incas is 8,944 feet, and Machu Picchu is 7,900 feet.
Passport/Visa: For Brazil, U.S., Australian, British, and Canadian citizens require a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry, an onward or return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the Brazilian embassy in their country before traveling. For Argentina, U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a valid passport (for the duration of your visit) and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Australian and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee of $100 and $75 respectively (subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations or other reasons) online, and must show proof of payment prior to arrival. The reciprocity fee for U.S. citizens has been suspended until further notice. For citizens of Australia, this fee covers unlimited entries to Argentina for 10 years, while citizens of Canada are charged the fee every time they enter the country (or $150 for multiple visits within five years). The fee can be paid online at ProvinciaNet.com.ar. You will need to register in order to make the payment. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the embassy of Argentina in their country before traveling.
Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.
To Book This Trip: We require a non-refundable deposit of $500 per person plus the cost of the international airfare (if we make the arrangements for you). The balance of the trip cost is due 60 days prior to departure.
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