Day 1 : Arrival in Rio de Janeiro
- Upon arrival at the airport in Rio de Janeiro, meet a Latin America For Less representative for a transfer to your confirmed Rio de Janeiro hotel.
- Check in and ease into South America vacation. Rest at your hotel or start exploring this vibrant city on your own.
Day 2 : Christ The Redeemer Half-Day Tour
- Start your Brazil adventure with a private half-day tour up Corcovado, the mountain in the middle of Rio de Janeiro famous for its massive Christ the Redeemer statue.
- The tour rides through Laranjeiras, one of the city’s oldest residential districts, and into the traditional Cosme Velho neighborhood. Here, you will board a mountain train for a scenic trip through the Tijuca forest, the largest urban forest in the world.
- At the top, 2,300 feet above sea level, spectacular 360-degree views of the city and its famous beaches are there to greet you. Soak up the scenery and admire the 130-foot tall religious statue, voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
- Return to your Rio de Janeiro hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Day 3 Arrival in Lima
- Upon arrival at the Lima airport, meet our Peru For Less representative and walk or take a short car ride to your airport hotel.
- Overnight in Lima.
Day 4 : Arrival in Cusco
- Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Cusco.
- Upon arrival at the Cusco airport, meet our Peru For Less representative for the 20-minute drive to your hotel in the historic center. As you approach the oldest sections of the city, gorgeous examples of Spanish colonial architecture will draw your eye. Look closely and you might see the remains of Inca stonework – these are the former palaces and temples of the former Inca imperial capital.
- After check-in at your Cusco hotel, you have the rest of the day to start exploring the city on your own. Remember to take it easy on this first afternoon since Cusco is located at 11,300 feet in elevation. Most travelers acclimate within 1-2 days and have no trouble with slow-paced activities. Wander about the main square, visit a museum, or stop by one of the many shops or cafes. Don’t miss out on the chance to sample Peruvian cuisine in one of Cusco’s many casual and/or fine dining restaurants.
Day 5 : Cusco City Tour
- Spend the morning at your leisure. This is a good time to explore some of Cusco’s less-visited attractions including the famous San Pedro Market, the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, or one of Cusco’s many fine museums. Get a glimpse of Peru’s long artistic heritage at the Museum of Pre-Columbian Art, hone your knowledge of the Inca Empire at the Casa Concha (“Machu Picchu Museum”), or make your own chocolate from scratch at the Choco Museum.
- In the afternoon, meet our expert Cusco guide to tour the city’s must-see attractions. Stops include the Cusco Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas, the fabulous Temple of the Sun or Qoricancha, the gargantuan ruins of the Sacsayhuaman fortress/temple overlooking the city, as well as the ruins of Q’enko, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay nearby.
- In the late afternoon, return to your Cusco hotel and spend the evening at your leisure. Enjoy the local cuisine and the splendor of Cusco at night, the surroun
Day 6 : Sacred Valley Tour
- Explore the beautiful Peruvian countryside with a full-day tour of the magical Sacred Valley, home to several royal estates of Incan emperors. First, visit the town of Pisac, famous for its bustling indigenous market and for the beautiful Inca ruins on the hillside overlooking the city. In the market, browse stalls brimming with beautiful handicrafts and handwoven garments. In the center of the market, village women in traditional dress gather to buy and sell local fruits, vegetables, and other natural products. While exploring the Pisac ruins above, wander narrow paths with walls of spectacularly cut stones and enjoy stunning views of the village and the Sacred Valley below.
- After Pisac, stop for lunch (not included) at a buffet restaurant to sample a variety of Peruvian and international dishes near the town of Urubamba. The town is named after the sacred river (whose upper stretch is called the Vilcanota) that flows through the valley, on its way to Machu Picchu and eventually the Amazon jungle.
- Next, visit the spectacular fortress of Ollantaytambo. These magnificent Inca ruins that cling to the hillside were part of the royal estate of the Incan emperor Pachacuti. Later, during the Incas’ heroic resistance against the Spaniards, a great battle was fought, during which the Spaniards were repelled by the guerrilla emperor Manco Inca. The small town of Ollantaytambo at its base still has Inca houses, making Ollantaytambo the only Inca city that is still inhabited today.
- The tour ends at your comfortable hotel in the Sacred Valley. If you’ve selected a hotel in Ollantaytambo, you can explore the former Incan town at your leisure, which still boasts mountain water coursing through Inca-built gutters in the center of its streets and where many of the inhabitants still speak the Incan language, Quechua.
Day 7 : Machu Picchu
- After breakfast at your Sacred Valley hotel, take a train to Machu Picchu, the hidden Inca citadel. This 2.5-hour train journey is one of the finest in the world. Much of the path winds along the rushing Vilcanota river and snakes through gorges cut into the bases of massive mountainsides, offering passengers dramatic views of the Andean landscape as the train descends from high altitude plains down through the cloud forest. The foliage dramatically changes as the train approaches the meeting point of the Andes and the Upper Amazon rainforest, providing visitors an intimate view of one of the most spectacular transitions in the world.
- The train arrives in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu, which is surrounded by tall granite cliffs and a cloud forest inhabited by orchids and hummingbirds. Meet our representative at the train station gates and walk to the bus station for a 20-minute ride up to the secluded Inca citadel high atop a mountain ridge.
- Next, meet your expert, English-speaking guide for a 2-hour tour of the most important sites in Machu Picchu, including the Intihuatana (Sun Stone), the Sun Temple, and the Room of 3 Windows. Machu Picchu is ranked as one of the “must see” archaeological sites in the world. Royal palaces, temples and astronomical observatories cling to a granite spur some 2,000 feet above the valley floor, affording spectacular views of the cloud-wreathed Andes and the Urubamba River far below.
- After your tour, you have the option to explore more of the ruins on your own and capture some final photos.
- In the late afternoon, take a comfortable train back to Cusco and then meet our driver for a transfer to your Cusco hotel for the evening.
- Want an extra day at Machu Picchu? Customize this package to include an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. The next morning, make a second visit to get your fill of the enigmatic citadel and then return to Cusco in the evening.
*Optional: Hike up Huayna Picchu, the peak overlooking the Machu Picchu ruins. This hike is steep and takes about 3 hours round trip to complete, but affords spectacular views of the surrounding Andes and views over the Machu Picchu citadel from above. Numerous Inca burials have been found in cavities on this mountain.
Day 8 : Arrival in Puno
- After breakfast at your hotel, meet our representative for a transfer from the bus terminal for your journey to Puno.
- Travel to Puno aboard a comfortable tourist bus. The ride lasts 9-10 hours and includes a stop for lunch, as well as guided visits to several ruins and tourist sites along the way.
- Upon arrival in Puno, meet our Peru For Less representative at the bus station for a transfer to your hotel. Many of our recommended hotels are located along the lakeshore and away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, so you will be able to take in views of the lake as you rest and relax. Spend the remainder of the evening at your leisure, resting at your hotel or exploring Puno on your own.
Day 9 : Travel Back to Brazil
Day 10 : Travel Back to Johannesburg