Three relaxed weeks exploring the very best of Peru, Argentina and Brazil. An adventure we designed for an EliteVoyage client, who will soon swap European winter for South American summer.
Including Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, Sugarloaf Mountain, dancing the tango and the salsa, spa relaxation and a luxury sleeper train across the Andes!
Start in Lima & the Amazon
Lima has flight connections via Madrid, Paris or Amsterdam. It’s one of the world’s great cities for foodies. There are over a dozen world-class restaurants, including two of the top 11 from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. So stay at Miraflores Park and dine exceptionally well.
Then fly to the Amazon and cruise through the iconic rainforest. Jaguars, caimans, quetzals, toucans, a million new impressions with every passing hour. The Amazon is a feast for the senses. It’s not a place of high luxury though, so do your adventure element here first, before the more decadent experiences.
Now Explore the World of the Incas
Machu Picchu is the famous lost citadel. It’s only one famous part of an immersive Incan experience. First fly to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas. Stay at Palacio Nazarenas or Monasterio, two Belmond hotels with spas, oxygen-enriched air and authentic historical details.
From Cusco it’s easy to explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a playground to cultivate to your interests. Outdoor experiences, Incan ruins, colourful markets, shaman ceremonies, romantic picnics and much more.
Take the Belmond train from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu (there is no road, so the only viable alternative is a four-day hike). And stay at Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel that’s actually located at the lost citadel. Enjoy an afternoon and morning in the ruins – such a world wonder is deserving of your time.
Cross the Andes by Luxury Sleeping Train
From Cusco you can travel back to Lima and fly to your next South American destination. Our client wanted something different, so we recommended the only luxury sleeper train in South America.
It’s a beautiful journey across the Andes from Cusco to Lake Titicaca and the charming old city of Arequipa. The train is operated by Belmond, the same people who operate the Venice Simplon Orient Express.
The quality of the train and overall experience is comparable. Instead of travelling between European cities, you’re travelling through landscapes where few other people venture.
Dream Holiday in South America?
Now to Argentina
Dancing the tango in an atmospheric “milonga.” Spending a day on a ranch, horse riding with gauchos (Argentinian cowboys) and feasting on traditional barbecue. Hot air ballooning above the Argentine Pampas and then watching Boca Juniors at La Bombanera.
Buenos Aires is great because there’s a vibrant city to explore, plus easy day trips. You can even go to Uruguay for the day. Our client loves wine so we added three days in Argentina’s wine capital Mendoza, the home of new-world Malbec.
You could choose to fly south to Patagonia instead. Or travel north to Salta and the rainbow mountains. But even if you only spend a few days in and around Buenos Aires, you will enjoy an authentic and varied Argentinian experience.
Make a Stop at Iguazu Falls
No written superlatives can prepare you for coming face to face with Iguazu Falls. Nothing can compare to the sound of such thunderous roaring water. Helicopter above the falls, take a boat below the falls, walk alongside the water and find a little jungle escapism at your lodge.
Think of Iguazu as the ultimate layover destination.
Iguazu Falls is split between Argentina and Brazil. There are domestic airports on both sides, so a stop at Iguazu is an easy and spectacular way to combine Argentina with Brazil.
End in the Iconic City of Rio
Embrace the famous experiences first. Like a Caipirinha on the Copacabana, a helicopter ride past Sugarloaf and ascending to Christ the Redeemer.
Rio is so much fun. With a local guide you can explore colourful local neighbourhoods, dance the samba, dine at top upscale restaurants, and feel the energy of a city that truly doesn’t sleep.
Not many people know about the area around Rio. It’s home to some stunning beaches and islands, places far more tranquil than the throbbing city. So perhaps you prefer a penthouse suite overlooking the Copacabana and a complete Rio experience. Or perhaps you want some downtime to end your South American adventure.
Your South American Adventure
When Europe becomes cold South America heats up. Winter is the best time to explore this continent. You can’t explore it all in two or even three weeks, but South America is a destination of wonders that will get under your skin. You will be back. And you will come home with more stories your friends and colleagues can’t even imagine.
Do you want to explore South America?