On this South America tour, experience some of South America's most exciting cities, gorgeous natural wonders, and famous historic sites. You'll overnight in Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Cusco.Enjoy guided sightseeing in each city: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, and Cusco. Take the cog railway 2,300 feet up to the summit of Corcovado Mountain to see the infamous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio; visit Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón is buried, in Buenos Aires; explore the 18th-century Cathedral in Santiago; visit Lima's 11th-century San Francisco Monastery; and explore Cusco’s Cathedral, with its important collection of artwork. Also, enjoy a spectacular Tango show in Buenos Aires. You’ll also have a free day in Rio, Buenos Aires, and Santiago to explore on your own.Tour highlights include Iguassu Falls and Machu Picchu. Witness Iguassu Falls from both the Brazilian and Argentine sides. You'll marvel at the 275 waterfalls spanning almost two miles, the thundering roar of the falls, and the 180-degree rainbows that surround you. At Machu Picchu, stand in awe as you witness these 15th-century ruins and learn about the Incas' accomplishments. Set in a majestic setting, it is nothing short of spectacular!While in Peru, you'll also visit other Inca ruins, including Ollantaytambo and the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, where you'll see an amazing example of Inca masonry. You’ll also have a chance to visit an Indian market, a local's home and to learn why camelids (llama, vicuña, alpaca, and guanaco) are important for Inca cultures.Historic sites, beautiful scenery, vibrant cities, and time to explore on your own—all of this and much more await you on this value-minded South America tour. It's a vacation of a lifetime!
- South America
- Small group tours
- Cosmos escorted tours
Day 1: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL.
Welcome to spectacular Rio de Janeiro! Check in to your hotel and meet your Tour Director, who will have pointers for your free-time exploration.
Day 2: RIO DE JANEIRO.
Sprawling between majestic granite peaks and the blue South Atlantic, Rio is a city of beauty, wonder, and energy. Guided sightseeing begins with a drive along Rio’s famed Leblon, Ipanema, and Copacabana beaches. Take the cog railway 2,300 feet up to the summit of Corcovado to view the famous Christ the Redeemer statue and 360-degree views of Guanabara Bay and the bustling city below. Your afternoon is free to explore on your own.
Day 3: RIO DE JANEIRO.
A free day in Rio allows you to relax on one of the beaches or take an optional excursion to the historic city of Petropolis to see the former summer palace of Emperor Pedro II.
Day 4: RIO DE JANEIRO–IGUASSU FALLS.
A morning flight takes you to Iguassu Falls, one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. Journey to the Brazilian side of the falls to see the mammoth series of 275 waterfalls cascading over a precipice almost two miles wide and 250 feet deep. Walk into Devil’s Throat Canyon, where the clouds of mist, thunderous roar, and 180-degree rainbows surround you—an unforgettable experience!
Day 5: IGUASSU FALLS.
Cross the border for a visit to the Argentine side of Iguassu Falls. Begin with a short ride on the open-air Ecological Jungle Train through the rainforest. A series of boardwalks takes you above the falls to see the water crashing down into the Devil’s Throat. Your afternoon is free to explore, or you may opt to visit the Bird Park, home to many species of endemic birds as well as flora from the area.
Day 6: IGUASSU FALLS–BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital. After settling into your hotel, an orientation tour familiarizes you with the “Paris of South America” and its wide boulevards, outdoor cafés, and charming shops.
Day 7: BUENOS AIRES.
Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide focuses on the city’s landmarks, including the Teatro Colón Opera House and Plaza de Mayo, site of La Casa Rosada (the President’s Pink House), and Metropolitan Cathedral. Also visit La Boca and San Telmo, one of Buenos Aires’ oldest neighborhoods, and Recoleta Cemetery, where Eva Perón is buried. End your day with an Argentinean meal, followed by a sensuous Tango show.
Day 8: BUENOS AIRES.
Today is free for independent activities, or you can take an optional excursion to visit a local estancia (ranch) to experience the life of the gauchos (cowboys), as well as traditional dance performances and a barbecue lunch.
Day 9: BUENOS AIRES–SANTIAGO, CHILE.
Fly over the majestic Andes to Santiago, Chile’s scenic capital between the Pacific and the Andes. With a coastline more than 2,650 miles long, Chile is more than 10 times longer than it is wide. With a distinctly European flavor accented with Latin flair, Santiago is one of South America’s most sophisticated and modern cities.
Day 10: SANTIAGO.
Your guided city tour introduces you to Santiago—the country’s political, commercial, and cultural capital. View La Moneda Government Palace and San Cristobal Hill with its landmark statue of the Virgin Mary. Also see Club Hipico, one of the most renowned horse-racing tracks in South America. Your tour ends at the city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, with a visit to the relic-filled Cathedral. Your afternoon is at leisure. This evening, consider the optional Chilean Folkloric Dinner Show.
Day 11: SANTIAGO.
Today, enjoy a day at leisure. A trip to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar is highly recommended. A leisurely drive through the countryside and vineyards delivers you to Valparaiso, a city of 42 hills and the inspiration of many artists and poets. On to the chic seaside resort of Viña del Mar, full of unusual architecture and beautiful gardens. This evening, enjoy dinner on your final night in Santiago.
Day 12: SANTIAGO–LIMA, PERU.
Board a flight for Lima, Peru. Heralded as the “City of Kings” by Spanish conquistadors, Lima retains vestiges of its opulent past with its colonial buildings and world-class museums.
Day 13: LIMA.
Sightseeing today focuses on Lima’s colonial heritage. Visit the 11th-century San Francisco Monastery, with Spanish and Moorish architecture throughout. Continue to Plaza Mayor, where you will see the Government Palace that houses the presidential palace and the cathedral where the founder of Lima, Francisco Pizarro’s, remains are buried.
Day 14: LIMA–CUSCO–SACRED VALLEY.
Fly to Cusco high in the Andes and upon arrival, descend into the Sacred Valley. Stop at Awanakancha and learn about the importance of camelids (llama, vicuña, alpaca, and guanaco) for Inca cultures. Continue to Pisac, a charming village with a famous Indian market—a great place to buy souvenirs! Later, arrive at your hotel nestled in the Sacred Valley.
Day 15: SACRED VALLEY.
Visit the village of Ollantaytambo and the Inca ruins of the same name. Explore the archaeological site that was the scene of the Inca resistance during the Spanish conquest. Next, visit a local Inca home to see life in a traditional village, which has been remarkably well preserved. Also, visit the Seminario Ceramics Workshop to learn about Peruvian ancient and modern art. End your day at a local chicheria for a taste of a typical Inca drink in Peru called chicha.
Day 16: SACRED VALLEY–MACHU PICCHU.
Board the Vistadome train that cuts a path through the Urubamba Valley bound for Aguas Calientes, the town closest to the “Lost City of the Incas.” Ascend the mountainside to the sacred refuge of Machu Picchu. Your guide recounts the many accomplishments of the Incas as you tour the ruins dating back to the 15th century.
Day 17: MACHU PICCHU–CUSCO.
This morning, enjoy some free time to explore the mountain town of Aguas Calientes; perhaps visit the local market, quaint boutiques, or take a walk along nearby trails. Later, return to Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire.
Day 18: CUSCO.
A guided sightseeing tour of Cusco focuses on the city that was once the political, military, and cultural epicenter of the Incas. Visit Santo Domingo Monastery and the Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas, which houses a magnificent collection of artwork. Continue to the hillside overlooking Cusco for a visit to the Temple of Sacsayhuaman. Also, see the ruins of Kenko and Puca Pucara before returning to Cusco.
Day 19: CUSCO–LIMA.
A short flight brings you back to Lima. Transfer to your hotel, and enjoy time to explore the city.
Day 20: LIMA.
Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning.
Touring with Cosmos
A forward-thinking young Italian named Antonio Mantegazza started it all back in 1928, when he purchased a rowboat to transport visitors across Lake Lugano in Switzerland. Big things come from small beginnings and as Antonio grew his business their sister company Globus was born, and from that came Cosmos in 1961.
Across the decades there were some questionable brochure covers as well as fashion choices, but most of all it was fantastic holidays at great prices. And while they’ve ditched the flares and polo necks, they’re still determined to give you superb holidays at the best prices.
They want to take you on your best holidays, full of memorable experiences and pinch-yourself moments in thrilling destinations around the world. Whether you’re cruising down a jungle river in Thailand, standing on a lava field in Iceland, or stargazing in the deserts of Western USA, they want to place you in these perfect settings.>
Cosmos offer a huge selection of tours, from classic, platinum or small group escorted tours, to private groups and single centre tours. Travel with like-minded people and get the best access to the must-see sights, and the local favourites you might have missed. Touring is a great way to see the world: they'll take away the admin and organisation headaches of your holiday, and all you have to do is soak up all the history, culture and experiences.