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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: Santiago to Guayaquil
Meals included: 49

Itinerary

Day 1. Depart London

Make your way to London Heathrow for your flight to Santiago.

    Day 2. Arrive Santiago (Chile)


    Welcome to Santiago, the capital of Chile. This afternoon explore the city’s landmarks on a guided tour, before enjoying a Welcome Reception tonight.
    Stay: Two Nights: The Singular Santiago

      Day 3. Santiago, Valparaíso, Freedom of Choice


      Today, travel to the picturesque seaside city of Valparaíso. There, tour the World Heritage-listed centre, and on a funicular ride, delight in stunning views of the bay and the colourful city below. Return to Santiago and this evening, select from a choice of restaurants for dinner.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 4. Santiago, Buenos Aires (Argentina)


      This morning fly to the lively Argentinian capital. Be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the fashionable Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires. This evening enjoy at leisure.
      Stay: Three Nights: Buenos Aires, Alvear Palace Hotel
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 5. Buenos Aires, Freedom of Choice


      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 croissants as you savour the atmosphere of this elegant café. Afterwards, visit the city’s oldest barrio (district), San Telmo, and enjoy 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. Tonight, choose where to dine from one of three restaurants.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 6. Buenos Aires, Freedom of Choice


      Today, perhaps head to the island town of Tigre on a river cruise, or explore the city on a walking tour. Alternatively, head to Teatro Colón, one of the finest opera houses in the world, or participate in a fun tango lesson. Later tonight, head 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 7. Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)


      Today, fly to one of the world’s most spectacular cities, Rio de Janeiro.
      Stay: Three Nights: Rio de Janeiro, Copacabana Palace
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 8. Rio de Janeiro

      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 downtown Rio, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach and much more. At sunset, delight in the opportunity to absorb truly exquisite views as you ride a cable car to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, situated at the mouth of Guanabara Bay. After time at the peak, head for Porcão Rio’s to sample Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha. Then enjoy a delicious Brazilian BBQ as you gaze out across the beautiful bay, backdropped by Sugarloaf Mountain.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 9. Rio de Janeiro, Freedom of Choice

      This morning, explore more of Rio de Janeiro during your chosen sightseeing activity. You may wish to embark on a tour through local favelas. Alternatively, take a full-day excursion to Petrópolis, The Imperial City of Brazil; or explore the beautiful Botanical Gardens and Tijuca National Park on a jeep tour. Another option is to enjoy a historical tour of Rio de Janeiro.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 10. Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls

      Board your flight to Iguassu Falls, an impressive system of waterfalls along the border of Argentina and Brazil. View the falls from up close, then enjoy an unforgettable Boat Ride Safari that takes in the spectacle of Iguassu Falls from beneath the thundering cascades.
      Stay: Two Nights: Iguassu Falls, Hotel das Cataratas
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 11. Iguassu Falls


      Today spend time in Argentina’s World Heritage-listed Iguassu National Park Land on the Argentinian side of the falls. 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.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 12. Iguassu Falls, Lima (Peru)


      Today, visit Parque das Aves Bird Park, and walk through giant aviaries, getting up close to a range of native South American birds including the iconic toucan. This evening, board your flight to Lima.
      Stay: JW Marriott Hotel Lima, Ocean View Rooms
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 13. Lima, Cusco, Chincheros, Sacred Valley

      This morning, 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 village 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, Luxury Collection by Starwood
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 14. Sacred Valley

      A full day tour exploring the Sacred Valley begins with a visit to the colourful markets of Pisac, a hilltop handicraft village that lies near ancient Incan ruins. Later, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you’ll visit the home of a local family to sample a typical Andean meal. This is a unique opportunity to meet the locals of the Sacred Valley and savour some authentic home-cooking. Afterwards, travel to the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, once a royal estate belonging to the Inca Emperor Pachacuti. Here, spend some time further 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 admire the mountainous Andean landscape as you travel to Machu Picchu. On arrival at the ruins, set off on a locally guided tour of the iconic Lost City of the Incas. This ancient Inca citadel was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire, and remained undiscovered in modern times until the American historian, Hiram Bingham, brought it to international attention in 1911. Today, it’s a World Heritage-listed site and the most familiar icon of the Inca World. After your time here, check in to your charming hotel.
      Stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 16. Machu Picchu, Cusco

      As you wake this morning, you’ll realise how close you are to the ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. You will have the opportunity to beat the morning rush and return to Machu Picchu to experience the site in true serenity at your own pace. Alternatively, relax and enjoy the comforts and facilities of your hotel. This afternoon, board PeruRail’s Vistadome for your return trip from Machu Picchu to Sacred Valley, then transfer by coach to Cusco. On board, you’ll watch the picturesque mountain scenery glide by. On arrival in Cusco check in to your luxurious hotel that exudes Spanish colonial charm.
      Stay: Two Nights: Cusco, Hotel Libertador Palacio del Inka, Luxury Collection by Starwood
      • 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, as well as the sacred sites of Koricancha and Cusco Cathedral. Afterwards, you can from choose from three restaurants for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 18. Cusco, Lake Titicaca

      This morning, 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 bar car, and be treated to a three-course lunch. On arrival in Puno, check in to your hotel by the lake.
      Stay: Two Nights: Puno, The Libertador Lake Titicaca, Lake View Rooms
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 19. Puno, Lake Titicaca

      Located on the border of Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the highest altitude lake in the world. This morning, travel by speedboat to the village of Liquina. Here, visit a special school project organised by APT, and spend time with the teachers and pupils. This afternoon, cruise to the home of the Uros people, a group of more than 40 man-made islands created from floating reeds and embrace the traditions of these pre-Incan people.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch

      Day 20. Lake Titicaca, Lima

      Fly to Lima, and this afternoon, enjoy a city tour conducted by a local guide. Visit the World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Lima and the Convent of Santo Domingo, one of the best preserved monasteries in the city. Tonight, enjoy one of South America’s most unique dining experiences for your special dinner at Restaurant Huaca Pucllana – set within the ruins of an archaeological compound. As you dine, take in amazing views of a colourfully illuminated adobe pyramid.
      Stay: JW Marriott Hotel Lima, Ocean View Rooms
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 21. Lima, Quito (Ecuador)

      Today, leave Peru and board your included flight to Ecuador’s capital, Quito. Be met on arrival and transfer to your luxurious hotel in the city’s historic centre.
      Stay: Two Nights: Quito, Casa Gangotena
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 22. Quito

      This morning, explore Quito’s World Heritage-listed Old Town on a guided tour. Here, marvel at the architecture of the Plaza and Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande), La Compañía de Jesús and the Museo de Arte Colonial. Then enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 23. Quito, Embark Galápagos Islands Cruise


      Fly to Baltra Island, and on arrival take a ferry to Santa Cruz Island, one of the best places in the archipelago to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The tortoises are easy to spot, lumbering around, eating grass and wallowing in the small pools. Afterwards, board your luxury yacht.
      Stay: Four Nights: Yacht La Pinta
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 24. Galápagos Islands Cruise, Santa Cruz Island


      Visit Eden Islet this morning, located off the coast of Santa Cruz, where you can observe blue-footed boobies diving into the water, reef sharks and frigatebirds. In the afternoon stop at the small island of Sombrero Chino and explore the wildlife along its 400-metre long trail, which begins at a crescent-shaped white sandy beach. The cove offers excellent swimming and snorkelling opportunities with white-tipped reef sharks and Galápagos penguins abound.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 25. Galápagos Islands Cruise, Bartolomé and Santiago Islands


      This morning, a Galápagos icon awaits, Bartolomé Island. Walk up a steep wooden staircase for gorgeous views, then aboard pangas, ride around Pinnacle Rock. After lunch, land at Sullivan Bay, the perfect place to see the volcanic origin of Galápagos while observing its wildlife.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 26. Galápagos Islands Cruise, Genovesa Island


      This morning in Genovesa Island, begin with an easy stroll to observe marine and land birds. There is an optional walk over lava and uneven terrain for dramatic views, or else return to the beach to enjoy swimming and snorkelling at this beautiful natural harbour. The afternoon starts with a very interesting panga ride along the cliffs before a captivating walk to the other side of this small island, observing large colonies of Nazca boobies, frigatebirds, storm petrels and the elusive short-eared owl.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Lunch
      • • Dinner

      Day 27. Disembark Galápagos Islands Cruise, Guayaquil

      Disembarking your ship this morning, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the ‘rearing in captivity’ program for giant tortoises. Afterwards, transfer to the airport to take a flight to Guayaquil.
      Stay: Guayaquil, Hilton Hotel
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast
      • • Dinner

      Day 28. Depart Guayaquil

      Today, your adventure concludes with a transfer to Guayaquil airport for your return flight to the UK.
      • Daily Meals Included:
      • • Breakfast

      Day 29. Arrive London

      Arrive London.

        Trip Highlights

        Your Holiday Price Includes

        • Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow
        • All flights within South America
        • Dedicated services of the same APT Tour Director throughout your tour
        • Enjoy the same APT Tour Director for land touring (Days 2-20)
        • Expert local guides in each country
        • All tipping and porterage
        • Explore the World Heritage-listed city of Valparaíso
        • Visit famous Café Tortoni for coffee in Buenos Aires
        • See Argentina’s most exclusive tango show at Rojo Tango
        • Enjoy a Boat Ride Safari at Iguassu Falls
        • Visit a Bird Park and see a toucan near Iguassu Falls
        • See traditional weaving in the Sacred Valley town of Chincheros
        • Enjoy lunch at a local Peruvian home in the Sacred Valley
        • Take the option to trek eight hours of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (own expense)
        • Travel aboard the Andean Explorer from Cusco to Puno
        • Visit a local school on Lake Titicaca, supported by APT

        Accommodation

        • Stay two nights at the brand-new Singular Santiago, in the historic area of Lastarria
        • Stay three nights at the five-star Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires
        • Stay three nights at Rio de Janeiro’s lavish Copacabana Palace
        • Enjoy two nights alongside stunning Iguassu Falls at Hotel das Cataratas
        • Stay two nights at the historic Casa Gangotena in the heart of Quito’s Old Town

        Dining

        • Includes 49 meals – 26 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 15 Dinners

        Map

        Photos

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

        Click for larger version

        Freedom to Choose

        APT’s Freedom Concept allows you to tailor your holiday to suit your interests and tastes.

        In Santiago, Buenos Aires and Cusco enjoy Freedom of Choice dining and  in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro enjoy Freedom of Choice Activities - See your Freedom of Choice selections here. Check the specific itinerary details for the Freedom of Choice touring activities on your South American holiday.

        Additional Information

        Optional Inca Trail Hike

        • The more adventurous can replace Day 15 touring with a eight-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. Must be pre-booked.

        Trip Notes

        • Prices include return flights from London Heathrow, all flights between Santiago and Guayaquil, and airport taxes
        • Airport taxes are subject to change
        • Prices listed above include a four-night cruise in a Double Cabin aboard the Yacht La Pinta, subject to availability at time of booking
        • Galápagos cruise and Quito extension is not escorted by an APT Tour Director but by a Galápagos Cruise Director and local guides in Quito
        • Supplements for Solo Travellers are available upon application

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