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Best of South America with Galapagos Cruise

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Luxury Cruise of the amazing Galapagos Islands.

Includes return flights from the UK. Explore the amazing highlights of South America from Buenos Aires and Rio to the many attractions in Peru and Ecuador. Conclude you trip with a 4 night cruise around the world-renowned Galapagos Islands. View complete itinerary

Trip code: ISG29F
Duration: 29 days
Accommodation: Premium Hotels and Resorts
Journey: Buenos Aires to Guayaquil
Travel style(s): Escorted Vacations, Ocean Cruising
Meals included: 50

Itinerary

Day 1. Depart UK

Make your way to London Heathrow for your flight to Buenos Aires.

    Day 2. Arrive Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    Be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel before a Welcome Reception this evening.
    Stay: Three Nights: Buenos Aires, Alvear Palace Hotel

      Day 3. Buenos Aires

      A guided tour of Buenos Aires begins with a visit to the Avenida de Mayo. See the pink Casa Rosada (Government House), the city’s cathedral and the Cabildo, the first city hall. Next, visit the city’s iconic Café Tortoni, a famous literati coffeehouse established in 1858. Here, you’ll enjoy coffee and empanadas as you savour the atmosphere of this elegant café. Afterwards, visit the city’s oldest barrio (district), San Telmo, and enjoy ample time to stroll around the charming square. Later, explore the Italian-influenced barrio of La Boca, with its colourful houses and picturesque pedestrian street, the Caminito. As you then drive along Avenida 9 de Julio, you’ll see the iconic Teatro Colón (Opera House). Continue on to see the parks, gardens and tree-lined streets of Palermo and visit La Recoleta Cemetery. Afterwards, enjoy some free time before heading to the Philippe Starck-designed cabaret, Rojo Tango, for dinner, drinks and the most exclusive tango show in the city.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 4. Buenos Aires, Freedom of Choice

      Today, perhaps head to the island town of Tigre where you can enjoy a cruise over the waterways of the Paraná Delta. You may like to visit an estancia (ranch), for a full-day Fiesta Gaucha featuring horseback riding, folk music, dance and lunch. Alternatively, enjoy a tour of the studios of some of the renowned local artists; or perhaps head to Teatro Colón to absorb the ambience and grandeur of one of the finest opera houses in the world. Tonight, choose where to dine from one of three restaurants. Perhaps enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at Sorrento Recoval; savour an Argentinian BBQ at El Mirasol de la Recova; or sample Italian fare at Piegari Restaurant.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 5. Buenos Aires, Iguassu Falls (Argentina and Brazil)

      After breakfast this morning, board your flight to Iguassu Falls, 275 falls situated on the border of Argentina and Brazil that has the second highest annual flow of any waterfall system in the world. Land on the Argentinian side of the falls and ride the Rainforest Ecological Train through forest to a series of walkways and viewing points, including one located directly over the 82 metre-high Devil’s Throat. Afterwards, travel into Brazil and on to your hotel, located just a stroll from the falls. This evening, you’ll dine at the Ipê Grill located within your hotel.
      Stay: Two Nights: Iguassu Falls, Hotel das Cataratas by Orient-Express
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 6. Iguassu Falls

      Today, enjoy time in Brazil’s World Heritage-listed Iguassu National Park. View the falls from close to the base of Devil’s Throat, then visit Parque das Aves Bird Park. Walk through giant aviaries, getting up close to a range of native South American birds. Afterwards, enjoy a Boat Ride Safari to view spectacular Iguassu Falls, before enjoying an afternoon at leisure.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 7. Iguassu Falls, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

      After breakfast today, fly to one of the world’s most spectacular cities, Rio de Janeiro. At sunset, absorb truly exquisite views as you ride a cable car to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain. After time at the peak, head for Porcão Rio’s to sample Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha, before enjoying a delicious Brazilian BBQ.
      Stay: Three Nights: Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Palace by Orient-Express
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 8. Rio de Janeiro, Freedom of Choice

      Enjoy your chosen Freedom of Choice Sightseeing activity today. You may wish to embark on a Jeep tour through two friendly local favelas. Alternatively, take a full-day excursion to Petrópolis, 'The Imperial City of Brazil'; or experience the beauty of the Botanical Gardens and Tijuca National Park on a Jeep tour. Another option is to enjoy a historical tour of Rio de Janeiro. After your chosen activity, enjoy the evening at leisure to relax or explore.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 9. Rio de Janeiro, Freedom of Choice

      Today, travel to Corcovado, a mountain that’s famous for its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Visit the statue and travel to the platform at its peak for stunning views over Rio de Janeiro, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach and much more. Tonight, choose from our Freedom of Choice Dining options.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 10. Rio de Janeiro, Santiago (Chile)

      Say farewell to Brazil after breakfast this morning as you board an included flight to Santiago. The Chilean capital boasts one of the world’s most incredible settings, situated in the Santiago basin and spectacularly flanked on the east by the snow-capped Andes mountain range. On arrival, check in to your five-star hotel before enjoying the evening at leisure to do as little or as much as you please.
      Stay: Two Nights: Grand Hyatt Santiago
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 11. Santiago, Valparaíso

      On a guided tour of Santiago today, explore the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Plaza de Armas. Later, travel to the picturesque seaside city of Valparaíso. En route, stop at a winery in the Casablanca Valley for a tasting. At Valparaíso, enjoy lunch and a tour of this World Heritage-listed port-town. A drive up the steep hills affords stunning views of the bay and the colourful city below. Afterwards, return to Santiago for an evening at leisure.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 12. Santiago, Lima (Peru)

      Board a flight from Santiago to Peru’s capital, Lima. Here, you’ll enjoy lunch at Brujas del Cachiche. Later, join a city tour conducted by a local guide. Visit the World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Lima and see the catacombs of the monastery of San Francisco that link the religious sites of Lima.
      Stay: JW Marriott Hotel Lima, in an Ocean View Room
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 13. Lima, Cusco, Chincheros, Sacred Valley

      Today, fly to the World Heritage-listed city of Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. On arrival, travel through the city by coach on the way to Chincheros, a lovely city set high in the Andean highlands. During a traditional weaving demonstration, learn how the famously colourful materials of South America are created.
      Stay: Two Nights: Sacred Valley, Tambo del Inka Resort and Spa
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 14. Sacred Valley

      A full-day tour in and around the Sacred Valley begins with a visit to the colourful markets of Pisac. Later, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you’ll visit the home of a local family to sample a typical Andean meal. Afterwards, travel to the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo to explore this former Incan royal estate. Then, spend some time as you wish discovering the Sacred Valley before returning to your hotel.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 15. Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu

      Board PeruRail’s Vistadome train and travel to Machu Picchu. On arrival, set off on a locally guided tour of the iconic Lost City of the Incas.
      Stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 16. Machu Picchu, Cusco

      Enjoy the opportunity to return to Machu Picchu this morning and experience the site in true serenity at your own pace. After lunch, board PeruRail’s Vistadome for your return trip from Machu Picchu to Cusco through the Andes.
      Stay: Two Nights: Cusco, Libertador Palacio del Inka
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 17. Cusco, Freedom of Choice

      A walking tour of Cusco this morning will take you to the square in the city’s historic heart, the Plaza de Armas. You'll also stop at the sacred sites of Koricancha and Santo Domingo Cathedral. Afterwards, enjoy lunch at one of three venues: the Limo Cocina Peruana and Pisco Bar for a taste of local Peruvian dishes; superb Italian cuisine at Incanto; or perhaps the renowned MAP Café. Spend the afternoon exploring at your own pace.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 18. Cusco, Lake Titicaca

      Board the Andean Explorer for a day-long rail journey into the highlands and on to Puno, almost 4,000 metres above sea level. Travelling in Andean Explorer Class (first-class), the start of your trip is dominated by the Andes mountains towering over the valleys below. Later, you’ll reach the Andean Plains, home to wild vicuña and alpaca. On the way, enjoy access to the lounge car and the open-air observation car, and be treated to a three-course lunch.
      Stay: Two Nights: Puno, Libertador Lake Titicaca, in a Lake View Room
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 19. Puno, Lake Titicaca

      Today, travel by speedboat to the village of Liquina where you’ll visit a local school sponsored by APT. Then, on the Capachica Peninsula, enjoy great views and a local lunch. This afternoon, cruise to the a group of more than 40 man-made islands created from floating reeds that is home to the Uros people.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 20. Lake Titicaca, Lima

      After flying back to Lima, transfer to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure to explore the city. This evening, enjoy dining at Lima’s unique Restaurant Huaca Pucllana - set within theruins of an ancient archaeological compound.
      Stay: JW Marriott Hotel Lima, in an Ocean View Room
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 21. Lima, Quito (Ecuador)

      Board your included flight to Ecuador’s capital, Quito, then transfer to your luxurious hotel.
      Stay: Two Nights: Hilton Colon Quito
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 22. Quito, Otavalo

      Take a guided tour of Quito’s World Heritage-listed Old Town before heading to nearby Otavalo. Here, enjoy a tour of the markets, filled with handmade goods and colourful Indian textiles, and see how the locals weave before returning to Quito.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 23. Quito, Galápagos Islands Cruise

      Fly to Baltra Island to begin your unforgettable exploration of the Galápagos. On arrival, transfer to your boutique ship for lunch. Later, board a Zodiac to Black Turtle Cove on Santa Cruz Island, one of the most beautiful marine sites in the Galápagos. Here, explore the maze of tranquil inlets, a nursery site for turtles, rays and sharks as well as a nesting site for sea birds. Return to your ship for a welcome cocktail and dinner.
      Stay: Four Nights: MV Eclipse, Main Deck Stateroom Cabin
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 24. Galápagos Islands Cruise

      Land at Rábida Island, where red volcanic rocks surround a beautiful stretch of red sand beach, and a colony of sea lions shares the island with a pelican nesting site. Afterwards, cruise to Puerto Egas, Santiago Island, and perhaps go swimming and snorkelling in one of the islands’ best spots, keeping watch for turtles and rays.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 25. Galápagos Islands Cruise

      Take an optional excursion to Tagus Cove and perhaps go hiking or kayaking. After, look out for dolphins and whales as you cruise for Punta Espinoza. Here, get up close to some of the most unique Galápagos species, including the flightless cormorant, marine iguanas and sea lions.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 26. Galápagos Islands Cruise

      After breakfast on board this morning, disembark at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island. Here, watch for sea turtles nesting at the foot of Alcedo volcano and wild roaming Galápagos tortoises which like to feed within the area’s dense vegetation. You may come across some of the fascinating species of wildlife such as land iguanas, boobies and penguins. Afterwards, take the opportunity to go snorkelling in deep water among turtles as well as a wide variety fish, or you may prefer to take a Zodiac ride along Punta Vicente Roca to study some of the Galápagos’ spectacular geological rock formations. Keep a watch as you may be fortunate enough to see Nazca boobies, pelicans, swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and penguins.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 27. Galápagos Islands Cruise, Guayaquil

      Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking at Puerto Ayora. Here, take a tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station and learn about the scientific research conducted here. After, transfer to the airport for your return flight to Guayaquil. Tonight enjoy a special Farewell dinner.
      Stay: Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 28. Depart Guayaquil

      Today, your amazing South American adventure concludes with a transfer to Guayaquil airport for your onward flight.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 29. Arrive UK

      Arrive into the UK.

        Trip Highlights

        Your Holiday Price Includes

        • Fully inclusive cruising with APT - all this is included in your holiday price
        • Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow
        • All flights within South America
        • Enjoy the services of the same APT Tour Director for all land touring (Days 1–20)
        • Expert local guides in most locations
        • All tipping and porterage
        • 22 nights in luxury accommodation
        • Small ship cruising aboard the MV Eclipse for four nights
        • Visit famous Café Tortoni for coffee in Buenos Aires
        • See Argentina’s most exclusive tango show at Rojo Tango
        • Visit a Bird Park and see a toucan near Iguassu Falls
        • Enjoy a Boat Ride Safari at Iguassu Falls
        • Enjoy a wine tasting followed by a tour of Valparaíso, including lunch
        • See traditional weaving in the Sacred Valley town of Chincheros
        • Enjoy lunch at a local Peruvian home in the Sacred Valley
        • Travel aboard the Andean Explorer from Cusco to Puno
        • Visit a school near Puno supported by APT followed by a local lunch on the shores of Lake Titicaca

        Galápagos Cruise Experience

        • Cruise Director on board
        • All excursions with naturalist guides
        • All meals, Galápagos National Park fees and tipping included

        Freedom to Choose

        • In Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Cusco

        Accommodation

        • Stay three nights at Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires
        • Enjoy two nights alongside Iguassu Falls at Hotel das Cataratas by Orient-Express
        • Stay three nights at Rio de Janeiro’s lavish Copacabana Palace by Orient-Express
        • Stay in an Ocean View Room at the JW Marriott Hotel Lima for a total of two nights
        • Enjoy two nights in the Sacred Valley at the Tambo del Inka Resort and Spa

        Dining

        • Includes 50 meals - Enjoy 26 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches and 14 Dinners, including:
        • A BBQ and Caipirinha at Porcão Rio’s in Rio de Janeiro
        • Dinner at Lima's Huaca Pucllana Restaurant

        Map

        Photos

        Experience the vibrant colours of Caminito in La Boca, Argentina.

        Click for larger version

        Additional Information

        Optional Inca Trail Hike

        • The more adventurous can replace Day 15 touring with a five-hour hike to Machu Picchu, before rejoining the group for dinner at your hotel. Revisit Machu Picchu the next morning for your guided tour and morning tea.

        Trip Notes

        • Prices include return flights from London Heathrow, flights between Buenos Aires and Quito, and airport taxes
        • Airport taxes are subject to change
        • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
        • Galápagos cruise and Quito extension is not escorted by an APT Tour Director but by a Galápagos Cruise Director and local guides in Quito

        Request a Brochure

        View a brochure online or request it be posted to you.

        Current Local Weather

        • Moderate rain
          Cape Adams14°C | 58°F
        • Sunny
          Buenos Aires24°C | 75°F
        • Sunny
          Sucre18°C | 64°F
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