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Small Group Tours

Treasures of South America

Peru, Amazon, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Argentina

27 days

Summary

Our 27 day itinerary is perfect for first-timers to the continent. Experience South America in comfort and style as we travel through Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Your Tour Escort will ensure the trip goes perfectly, whilst local guides will impart their specialist knowledge, giving you greater insight into local history and culture.

DEPARTURE DATES FROM SYDNEY
Friday, 1 September 2017
Friday, 6 October 2017
Friday, 3 November 2017
Sunday, 11 March 2018
Sunday, 15 April 2018
Sunday, 9 September 2018
Sunday, 28 October 2018

What makes us different?

Genuinely Small Groups
Our group departures have a maximum of 16 guests, which allows you to connect with people and places on an intimate level. A smaller group also means more opportunities to bond with your fellow travellers and create lasting friendships.

Off-the-beaten-track Destinations
On top of the main attractions, you will also be shown many hidden gems. We take you deeper into the jungle for an unforgettable 3 night Amazon experience. Your Contours Travel Tour Director will take you to their favourite spots on exclusive Discovery Walks throughout your tour.

No Rushing
Our itineraries have been designed to ensure plenty of time to see the highlights, soak up the local culture and explore independently.

Responsible Tourism
Your visit includes a donation to Contours Travel’s supported community-based initiative: Agua Pura.

Stays of Distinction
Each hotel has been selected by our experienced staff for its ideal location and authentic character. From overlooking Lake Titicaca to staying at the heart of Recoleta, our selected hotels are all four or five star and offer memorable stays and excellent service.

Highlights

  • Small groups (maximum 16 passengers)
  • Donate a water filter to a remote community in the Andes. Learn about their culture while you help install them.
  • Welcome dinner at Huaca Pucllana with incredible views of this unique ruins
  • Swim with Pink River dolphins, fish for piranha and spot three- toed sloths on your three night Amazon immersion
  • Spend three nights in the Sacred Valley with more time to acclimatise & explore this beautiful region
  • Visit the workshop of famous Andean artist, Pablo Seminario
  • Private weaving demonstration by a local cooperative in Chinchero in the intimacy of their own home
  • 1st class Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • Full day guided tour of Machu Picchu & 2nd day entrance included to explore at leisure
  • Ride the world’s highest urban cable car in La Paz
  • Private tango lesson in Buenos Aires followed by dinner & spectacular tango show

Inclusions

  • Return economy class flights from Australia to South America (all taxes included)
  • All internal economy class airfares within South America (all taxes included)
  • 26 nights accommodation in First Class hotels & rustic Amazon Lodge
  • 42 meals: 26 (B) Breakfasts, 9 (L) Lunches, 7 (D) Dinners included
  • Expert English-speaking local guides and tour director
  • Ground transportation in private A/C vehicles
  • Tips for local guides and drivers
  • All entrance fees to local sights & national parks
  • Donation of a Water filter to a community in the Sacred Valley
  • Unique hand-crafted travel wallets & luggage tags made in Bolivia exclusively for Contours Collections
  • 24 hour assistance by our local offices in South America

Special Offer


The per person price for the Treasures of South America tour is $15,299 per person departing from Sydney. Early bird discount of $500 if booked with deposits paid prior to 29th of September.

ITINERARY

Day 1 FRI Lima

Welcome to South America! On arrival at Lima International Airport you will be met by a Contours Travel Representative and transferred to your hotel where you will meet your fellow travellers and Tour Director.

Overnight at DoubleTree by Hilton El Pardo (First Class)

Day 2 SAT Lima

Depart this morning on a half day sightseeing tour of Lima. Visit colonial Lima’s downtown with its historic and traditional buildings: the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Metropolitan City Hall surround the Main Square. Continue to San Francisco church and monastery, a 17’s century jewel, recognized as humanity cultural heritage by UNESCO. Followed by the modern district of San Isidro and Miraflores, where you will have a view of the Pacific Ocean from the Parque del Amor (Love Park). This tour finishes with a guided visit of the Larco Herrera Museum. This is a fabulous private museum with an exquisite collection of gold and silver, treasures from ancient Peru. Many pieces in this museum are now world-famous after having been exhibited in the best museums around the world. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or join your Tour Director on his Discovery Walk.
This evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner at Huaca Pucllana restaurant, an unparalleled setting, 1500 year old adobe pyramid illuminated at night.

Meals: BD
DoubleTree by Hilton El Pardo (First Class)

Day 3 SUN Lima/Iquitos

Fly to Iquitos for an unforgettable Amazon experience. A three hour boat ride takes us to our remote jungle lodge built out of local materials. Rooms have private facilities with rustic comfort.
Its’ strategic location guarantees the observation of monkeys, birds, sloths, pink dolphins, fish, caimans, etc., in their own habitat.
Spot birds such as parrot, kingfisher and cormorants.

Meals: BLD
Overnight at Muyuna Amazon Lodge (Tourist Superior)

Day 4 MON Iquitos

During today’s canoe trips you can see many different monkeys and birds including the famous hoatzin. Take a night walk in search of huge frogs, anaconda’s favourite food. Tonight you will have a night boat ride to see caimans, nocturnal birds and mammals!

Meals: BLD
Overnight at Muyuna Amazon Lodge (Tourist Superior)

Day 5 TUE Iquitos

Navigate to the Amazon River where we observe and swim with pink river dolphins- a magical experience. On the way back to the lodge, you will see the biggest aquatic plant in the world, the famous Victoria Regia.

Meals: BLD
Overnight at Muyuna Amazon Lodge (Tourist Superior)

Day 6 WED Iquitos/Sacred Valley

Fly to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Incas. We start our adventure with a scenic drive through the Andes down to your hotel located in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Balance of the day at leisure to help you acclimatise to the high altitude.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay (First Class)

Day 7 THU Sacred Valley

Depart this morning to Ollantaytambo, the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the Americas, for a visit of the ruins and the village. It is a charming town of Inca origins with amazing canals and cobblestone streets. At the top there is an impressive ceremonial centre for the worship of water and a fortress that protected the entry to the low part of the valley.
We then visit the internationally renowned workshop of Seminario Ceramics. Free afternoon to explore the Valley on your own.

Meals: B
Overnight at Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay (First Class)

Day 8 FRI Sacred Valley

At a very leisurely pace we start a full day tour of the Sacred Valley with a visit to Chinchero where we will enjoy a private weaving demonstration and see the ancient techniques that have been passed from generation to generation in the intimacy of a private house.
Afterwards we drive to visit to the unique Moray Incan agricultural laboratory. This complex is famous for its embedded amphitheatre formed by four concentric overlapping terraces.
Afterwards you’ll experience a different side of Peru on your tour to Misminay, a small community located at 3,700mts above sea level on the Chinchero high plains. There, you will learn more about the Andean lifestyle, sharing with the local families some of their daily tasks such as ploughing or harvesting, depending on the time of year.

Meals:BL
Overnight at Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay (First Class)

Day 9 SAT Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu

Transfer to the train station in Ollantaytambo for your 90 minute Vistadome train ride to the deserted city of Machu Picchu, the most renowned example of Inca architecture. Today’s visit to magical Machu Picchu will undoubtedly be a highlight of your trip! Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins & lunch at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge before taking a mini-bus back to Aguas Calientes where you will overnight.
Optional Express Inca Traill walk from km 104 entering Machu Picchu at the Sun Gate.

Meals: BLD
Overnight at El Mapi by Inkaterra (First Class)

Day 10 SUN Machu Picchu/Cuzco

Today is a free day to go back to the ruins at your own pace. Either early in the morning to watch dawn break and the mist to rise over the ruins; or walk back up along the Inca Trail to Sun Gate to find your special spot. If you prefer you could sleep-in and stroll around the charming town of Aguas Calientes. This afternoon we shall return to Cuzco by Vistadome train where you will have the opportunity of gazing the amazing landscape of the Valley through the glass ceiling carriage.
Note: as per new regulations, if you want to hike the Wayna Picchu Mountain we need to pre-pay the ticket so please advise us when booking the tour.

Meals: B
Overnight at Costa del Sol Ramada (First Class)

Day 11 MON Cuzco

Unique to Contours Travel! Enjoy a half day walking tour of Cuzco visiting the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral and Koricancha Temple, walking along the cobblestones streets. Continue by car to visit the ruins of Kenko, Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman. Rest of the day free to continue exploring this amazing city on your own or join your Tour Director on his Discovery Walk.

Meals: B
Overnight at Costa del Sol Ramada (First Class)

Day 12 TUE Cuzco

Today you will have a day at leisure to relax or explore this vibrant and historic city at your own pace. You will receive the Cuzco Tourist Ticket (or BTG, or ‘Boleto Turístico’) which gives access to the main sites.

Meals: B
Overnight at Costa del Sol Ramada (First Class)

Day 13 WED Cuzco/Puno

Depart this morning on a full day transfer and tour by bus across the altiplano to Puno, situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Entry fees to local sites along the way are included. This daily service from Cuzco to Puno steadily climbs up the Vilcanota Valley towards the head waters of the Urubamba River and the highest point of the trip, Abra La Raya at 4321 metres above sea level. From Abra La Raya, it is a gradual descent into the opening grassy plains towards Lake Titicaca and eventually to down to the lake’s edge where Puno is nestled.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Casa Andina Private Collection Puno (First Class)

Day 14 THU Puno

This morning we transfer down to the pier of your hotel and depart on a half day excursion on Lake Titicaca visiting the remarkable floating islands – built on layers of totora reeds – home to the Uros Indians who still live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Meals: B
Overnight at Casa Andina Private Collection Puno (First Class)

Day 15 FRI Puno/La Paz

Depart by bus skirting Lake Titicaca to Copacabana and visit the Cathedral and Main Square. Sail the Titicaca Lake on board of a catamaran to Sun Island, the legendary birth place of the Inca Empire (buffet lunch on board). Visit the Inca Garden , the Inti Wata Cultural Complex including the Ekako Underground Museum, the Pachamama agricultural Inca terraces, the Manco Kapac look out and much more. Continue overland across the altiplano to La Paz.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Europa (First Superior)

Day 16 SAT La Paz

Depart on a half-day city tour of La Paz with a visit to the Witches’ Market where you’ll learn about local traditions and customs. Free afternoon to explore this fascinating city on your own.

Meals: B
Overnight at Europa (First Superior)

Day 17 SUN La Paz/Santiago de Chile

Enjoy the morning at leisure to finish any last shopping or perhaps visit the famous Coca Museum.
After lunch you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Santiago. On the way we will board the new cable car, a fantastic way to enjoy the views of this chaotic city and surrounding mountains. Operating at a height of 4000m above sea level, the cable car connects La Paz to neighbouring El Alto and is the highest cable car in the world. Continue to La Paz’s Airport. Fly to the cosmopolitan city of Santiago and transfer to our hotel.

Meals: B
Overnight at Atton El Bosque (First Class)

Day 18 MON Santiago de Chile

Enjoy a full day tour of Chile’s capital. Our panoramic tour will include the most important buildings and monuments, including Government Palace and the Plaza de Armas main square. Enjoy lovely city views from Santa Lucia Hill and visit the enormous Metropolitan Park, the largest urban park in Chile. Continue with a visit to the residential areas of Vitacura and Las Condes and explore Santiago’s more upmarket neighbourhoods.
Later we’ll visit one of Chile’s most renowned wineries with stunning views of the Andes. During your visit your guide will explain the wine making process from vine to bottle, giving you special insight into one of Chile’s greatest exports.

Meals: B
Overnight at Atton El Bosque (First Class)

Day 19 TUE Santiago de Chile/Rio de Janeiro

Fly to Rio and transfer to your hotel, arriving in time for a stroll or a sundowner on Copacabana Beach.

Meals: B
Overnight at Windsor Leme (First Class)

Day 20 WED Rio de Janeiro

Unique to Contours Travel! Enjoy a half day tour to Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado Mountain. Ride a train across the Tijuca Forest – the largest urban forest in the world. Disembark at the top of Corcovado and marvel at the breathtaking 360° view over the city below. Continue to have lunch followed by an afternoon at leisure to explore Rio on your own.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Windsor Leme (First Class)

Day 21 THU Rio de Janeiro

Unique to Contours Travel! Enjoy your morning at leisure, we suggest a visit to the Rio Cathedral. Is often times considered to be one of the most magnificent examples of artistic architecture in Brazil. Architect Edgar de Oliveira based its design on Mayan pyramids and gave the structure a conical shape. It is dedicated to Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of Rio, and houses the seat of the archbishop of the city.
Prepare yourself because this afternoon’s highlight will be the cable car ride tour to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain for a different 360° view of Rio including Guanabara Bay & its famous beaches. Drive through downtown passing by Rio’s traditional and historical sites including the Sambadrome, site of Rio´s famous Carnival parade.

Day 22 FRI Rio de Janeiro/Puerto Iguazu

Fly to spectacular Iguazú waterfalls, and tour on the Brazilian side. Transfer across the Argentine border to your hotel, set in the National Park with unique views to the falls. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure exploring the Park or relaxing in the pool watching the Falls.

Meals: B
Overnight at Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Spa (Deluxe Class)

Day 23 SAT Puerto Iguazu

Full-day tour of the Argentine Falls walking along the upper and lower trails for the best views of the falls. Experience the staggering power of the falls by riding the Iguazú River rapids, with the roaring waterfalls towering over your head (Prepare to get wet!) followed by a 4WD ride inside the jungle. Continue by train and on foot to the Devils Throat platform.

Meals: B
Overnight at Sheraton Iguazu Resort & Spa (Deluxe Class)

Day 24 SUN Puerto Iguazu/Buenos Aires

Morning at leisure. You can either keep on exploring the park or just relax in your hotel. In the afternoon fly to Buenos Aires, balance of the day at leisure. Your Tour Director will be on hand to take you on a Discovery Walk.

Meals: B
Overnight at Esplendor Plaza Francia (First Class)

Day 25 MON Buenos Aires

Unique to Contours Travel! Depart this morning on a half day tour of Northern area of Buenos Aires and you will understand why Buenos Aires is known as the “Paris of the Americas”. The tour includes Retiro, well-known for its mansions. Palermo, the largest neighbourhood with 17.4 km2. Visit ´Palermo Chico´ famous for its mansions and parks, ´Palermo Viejo´ and ´Palermo Soho´ a newly trendy area for fashion, design and restaurants. Continue to Recoleta home to the renowned Cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. Feel like a local when you sit for a coffee in one of the most traditional ‘cafes’ of Buenos Aires.
This evening you will be taken for a private one-hour tango class followed by dinner and a tango show.

Meals: BD
Overnight at Esplendor Plaza Francia (First Class)

Day 26 TUE Buenos Aires

Unique to Contours Travel! Today´s tour includes the Southern neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires. Visit Plaza 25 de Mayo, Government House (La Casa Rosa) and City Hall;Stop at the most emblematic cafe of the city, the Cafe Tortoni. Continue to the colourful district of La Boca and the portside district of Puerto Madero. We will visit the old neighbourhood of San Telmo, with its cobbled streets. The rest of the day is free to explore on your own or join your Tour Director on a Discovery Walk.
Tonight you will have a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers.

Meals: BD
Overnight at Esplendor Plaza Francia (First Class)

Day 27 WED Buenos Aires

Say goodbye to South America this morning because today you will be transferred to the Airport for your flight back home via Santiago.

Meals: B

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