Grand Tour of South America
22 days from £4,799 per person
The mysterious Inca city of Machu Picchu. Breathtaking Iguazu Falls. The stunning lake-lands of Chile and Argentina. Exhilarating Rio de Janeiro. Our epic journey through four South American countries covers myriad iconic sites. But aside from the heady highlights, there’s a rich culture and colonial elegance to unearth - and some of the most amenable locals you’ll meet on your travels. Soak it all up with a glass of the local firewater and an empanada or two.
Your holiday includes:
16 excursions and visits
- City tours of Lima, Cuzco, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro (including Corcovado and Sugarloaf Mountain)
- Visits to Sacred Valley (including fortress of Ollantaytambo and Pisac village); Sacsayhuaman ruins; Lake Llanquihue; Vicente Perez Rosales National Park; and Nahuel-Huapi
- Excursions to Machu Picchu; Valparaiso & Viña del Mar
- Winery tour and tasting
- Puerto Montt orientation tour
- 2 visits to Iguazu Falls
- 19 nights in hotels and 2 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
- International and regional flights as detailed. Prices are based on return flights with LATAM Airlines from London Heathrow via Sao Paulo. Supplements may apply from other airports
- 22 meals: 19 breakfasts (days 3-21) 2 lunches (days 5 & 9) 1 dinner (day 20)
- Portable audio headset system on excursions
- Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service
- Titan tour manager and local guide
- Travel in destination by coach
Day 1 UK - In flight
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Lima.
Upon arrival, we transfer to the Jose Antonio Hotel (4-star) or Four Points by Sheraton Miraflores (4-star).
Jose Antonio Hotel (4-star) or Four Points by Sheraton Miraflores (4-star), Lima
A tour of Lima begins with a walk around the Plaza Mayor, the city’s historic heart, where the surrounding buildings have been given a new lease of life thanks to a decade of painstaking restoration and renovation. We visit the 18th century cathedral, and continue by coach to view the Archbishop’s Palace, City Hall and Baroque Government Palace. We also pass San Francisco Monastery, with its stunning Mudéjar-style interior and hugely significant library of parchments dating from the 15th century, sitting on top of an extensive network of underground chambers once used as the city’s cemetery. We stop at the Larco Museum, which details the development of pre-Columbian societies. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Lima - Sacred Valley
We transfer to Lima Airport for a LAN flight into the Inca heartland of Peru. We land in Cuzco, the high altitude capital of Incan civilisation, and travel onwards to the Sacred Valley, a river-carved area of flat, fertile land which sustained many ancient towns and villages. We visit the well-preserved fortress of Ollantaytambo, sophisticated 16th century stronghold of Inca resistance against the Spanish, and the village of Pisac, noted for its lively market and stone Inca buildings, before arriving at our hotel, the Sonesta Posadas Yucay Hotel (3-star).
Sonesta Posadas Yucay Hotel, Sacred Valley (3-star)
One of the standout highlights of Latin America - and indeed world travel - is Machu Picchu. Every aspect of our full day excursion is memorable, from the train that winds its way up the Sacred Valley to the breathtaking first sight of this legendary mountaintop city and the fascination of exploring its atmospheric ruins in the company of a knowledgeable guide. As you do so, take some time to imagine the excitement of American archaeologist Hiram Bingham (a possible inspiration for the film character Indiana Jones) who, in 1911, became the first ‘outsider’ to experience the majesty of Machu Picchu since its abandonment at the time of the Spanish Conquest. There is plenty of time to appreciate the glory of this Inca citadel before we retrace our steps back into the Sacred Valley.
Sacred Valley - Sacsayhuaman - Cuzco
The ruins of another Inca fortress at Sacsayhuaman offer a wonderful, panoramic vantage point on Cuzco and the surrounding plains and mountains. From here, Inca warriors launched forays against Spanish-controlled Cuzco in the 1530s and the blocks used in its mighty walls well demonstrate the masterful stonework of that civilisation - though they each weigh up to 200 tonnes, they are so precisely cut and aligned that a single piece of paper will not fit between them. We take some time to absorb the site and its views before proceeding to Cuzco, for a city tour and time at leisure to admire its fine colonial architecture independently. Our hotel is the Xima Cusco Hotel (4-star).
Xima Cusco Hotel (4-star)
Cuzco - Santiago
It is time to bid farewell to Peru and fly south via Lima to Santiago. Upon arrival in the evening, or early the following morning we transfer to the Plaza San Francisco (5-star) for the first of three nights.
Plaza San Francisco, Santiago (5-star)
Though it may not quite enjoy the reputation of many of the continent’s other illustrious cities, Santiago is a delight to explore - a city of splendid colonial buildings sitting cheek by jowl with modern towers, all framed by the majestic, snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Our tour commences at the National Museum, and also takes in Santiago’s historic centre, the bohemian Bellavista district and San Cristobal Hill, presenting superb city and mountain views. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Valparaiso - Viña del Mar
A full-day excursion north of Santiago introduces two contrasting cities. Valparaiso, Chile’s main port city built over 42 hills, has in places a strong British character from the 19th century days of empire when Britain was Chile’s biggest trading partner. The port’s turbulent past included piratical raids and, over many years, heavy fortifications were established to protect the city and its cargoes. The historic quarter is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Viña del Mar could scarcely be more different - a popular, yet peaceful summer resort noted for its fine beaches, pristine parks and private gardens. En route back to Santiago, we stop at an award-winning winery for a brief tour and a tasting session with an expert sommelier.
Santiago - Puerto Varas
Today we fly to Puerto Montt, gateway to the Chilean Lake District founded by German colonists in 1852. We make a short tour of the city, enjoying views of Angelemo Bay and Reloncavi Bay, and then continue to the town of Puerto Varas, overlooking the vast Lake Llanquihue - covering more than 850km, the lake is the fourth largest in Latin America. In this magnificent setting, we stay at the Cabanas del Lago (4-star).
Cabanas del Lago, Puerto Varas (4-star)
Puerto Varas - Vicente Perez Rosales National Park - Nahuel-Haupi National Park - San Carlos de Bariloche
A long - but unforgettable - day of scenic exploration takes us across lakes and through the dramatic Andes Mountains into Argentina and the city of San Carlos de Bariloche. We begin our journey tracing the south shore of Lake Llanquihue to Petrohue, a small town from which departs a catamaran, crossing Lake Todos los Santos in Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. The lake was created many centuries ago, when volcanic eruptions prevented water from the Petrohue River draining into Lake Llanquihue. We disembark at Peulla, with free time for lunch, then it is onwards by road across the Andes and the Perez Rosales Pass into Argentina. We cross two further lakes by boat - Lake Frias and the immense, glacier-carved Lake Nahuel Haupi - and make a final transfer to San Carlos de Bariloche, where our base for two nights will be the Hotel Edelweiss (4-star).
Hotel Edelweiss, San Carlos de Bariloche (4-star)
San Carlos de Bariloche
We take a scenic tour of the region, stopping at the foot of the Campanario Mountain, the Llao Llao peninsula and the Angostura River, in the shadow of the Lopez Mountains. Your afternoon is free to explore San Carlos de Bariloche which, thanks to the influence of Swiss, Austrian and German settlers, somewhat resembles a European alpine resort.
San Carlos de Bariloche - Buenos Aires
After a second morning to enjoy Bariloche, we board a flight to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, we transfer to the Pulitzer Hotel (4-star), our comfortable base for three nights.
Pulitzer Hotel, Buenos Aires (4-star)
The ‘Paris of the South’, Buenos Aires is a city of simmering excitement and a tango heartbeat. Our morning tour begins at the Plaza de Mayo, lined with grand buildings including the Presidential Palace, Casa Rosada, Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. We then continue to San Telmo, a former port area now transformed into one of the city’s most desirable residential districts, and La Boca, a district famous for its colourful tin houses and Italian immigrant history. Finally, we visit the walled cemetery of Recoleta to view the elaborate mausoleums and resting places of Argentinean luminaries, including Eva Peron.
Free for you to explore Buenos Aires further. Alternatively, why not join an optional full day excursion to a typical Argentinean Estância to learn about the daily life of the gaúcho, South America’s answer to the cowboy.
Buenos Aires - Iguazu Falls
A further flight takes us to the World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls, a series of 275 distinct waterfalls on the Iguazu River, which forms a stunning natural border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Taller than Niagara and twice as wide, Iguazu Falls are an unforgettable sight - we view them from the Argentinean side today, presenting an awe-inspiring aspect of thunderous cascades set against a lush jungle backdrop, before crossing into the fourth and final country on this amazing tour, Brazil. The Hotel Bourbon Cataratas (4-star) hosts us for two nights.
Hotel Bourbon Cataratas, Iguazu Falls (4-star)
A further day in the environs of Iguazu Falls, this time on the Brazilian side, where carefully constructed walkways and viewing points yield breathtaking panoramic vistas - a photographer’s delight! Relax or explore independently this afternoon.
Iguazu Falls - Rio de Janeiro
A further flight delivers us to Rio de Janeiro (possibly indirect). Upon arrival, we transfer to the Windsor Excelsior (4-star) for the first of three nights.
Windsor Excelsior, Rio de Janeiro (4-star)
Rio de Janeiro
The ‘samba city’ of Rio de Janeiro is another ‘must-see’ of world travel. Our full day tour includes a cog-train ride through the Tijuca Forest to the summit of ‘hunchback’ Corcovado Mountain, appreciating far-reaching views from virtually the same perspective as the iconic Statue of Christ the Redeemer, set in an eternal, open-armed embrace of the city, recently voted one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. We also pass some of the famous beaches and ascend the equally iconic Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car for more outstanding city views, this time with Christ the Redeemer in sight.
Rio de Janeiro
Free to relax and make your own discoveries in Rio before a farewell dinner at a popular churrascaria restaurant this evening.
Day 21 Rio de Janeiro - In flight
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Day 22 UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.