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Cultures and Contrasts of South America

21 Days 4 Countries 6 Cities

Explore the music, cuisine and cultures of South America as you journey through Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

"Absolutely wonderful experience"


About this trip

Rio, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, Santiago – the famous icons and secret highlights of Brazil, Peru and Argentina are uncovered, on this comprehensive journey of discovery.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like... stepping onto your private Zodiac boat to explore the Rio Serrano with an expert local, who'll explain the origins of the Southern Ice Fields as you take your first steps onto the Glacier Pio XI.

Trip type: Discoveries i

Trip code: LCAC

20 Nights


35 Meals
  • 20 breakfasts.

  • 5 lunches (including Be My Guest).

  • 10 dinners (including Be My Guest).

On trip-transport

No further information available

Cultures and Contrasts of South America

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive Rio de Janeiro (4 nights)

Bemvindo ao Rio de Janeiro. On arrival at the airport, you will be met by a local host and taken to your lovely oceanfront hotel (check-in time 3 p.m.). Relax, get settled and enjoy your hotel's superb location overlooking Copacabana Beach. 

Windsor Atlantica

2. Rio de Janeiro Sightseeing

Enjoy a leisurely morning before joining your Travel Director for an exploration of the cidade maravilhosa (marvellous city) and its many contrasts, from the 18th century aqueduct and colonial Candelaria Church to the 20th century opera house, Sambodromo, and city cathedral. Ascend Sugarloaf Mountain via cable car for astounding bay and city views followed by a festive Welcome Reception with your Travel Director and fellow travellers.

Full Breakfast
Welcome Reception

3. Rio de Janeiro Sightseeing and Free Time

Journey by cogwheel train to the summit of majestic Corcovado, site of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Back down the mountain, see the song-inspiring Copacabana and Ipanema beaches. The rest of the day is at leisure. This evening, learn to mix the national cocktail, the caipirinha, with a Local Specialist and indulge in a traditional Regional Meal barbecue at a local churrascaria.

Full Breakfast
Regional Meal

4. Rio de Janeiro Free Time

Enjoy a full day to explore the wonders of Rio on your own. Optional activities include a tour into the nearby favelas, a sailboat cruise and a helicopter flight over Copacabana Beach. Tonight you are free to explore on your own.

Full Breakfast

5. Rio de Janeiro – Iguassu Falls (2 nights)

Relax and enjoy a free morning for independent activities. This afternoon, visit a Samba school with a Local Specialist to see how the school operates and prepares for Carnival week. See Carnival props and should you desire, join a Samba dance lesson. Afterward, head to the airport for the short flight to Iguassu Falls. These 275 separate falls cover nearly two miles along the Iguassu River. This evening, enjoy a convivial dinner with your companions at the hotel.

Full Breakfast
Iguassu Resort

6. Iguassu Falls Sightseeing and Free Time

Enter Iguassu National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and meet your Local Specialist to explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu, including a scenic walk through the rainforest to the base of the falls. After lunch at a restaurant overlooking the falls, return to your hotel for a leisurely afternoon at your resort. You may wish to join an optional activity such as a jetboat ride to the base of the falls or a helicopter flightseeing tour.

Full Breakfast

7. Iguassu Falls – Buenos Aires (3 nights)

Cross the border into Argentina and board the open-air ecological jungle train for a different perspective of the cascades and walk along a scenic catwalk to see the thunderous Devil's Throat Falls. Then fly to Buenos Aires, a city renowned for its boutiques, fine dining and museums.

Full Breakfast
InterContinental Buenos Aires

8. Buenos Aires Sightseeing and Free Time

Embark on an in-depth tour with a Local Specialist to see the Casa Rosada, Metropolitan Cathedral and other government buildings; the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca, San Telmo and lovely Palermo. See the Teatro Colon, a landmark in Buenos Aires and a Cultural Insight. Lastly, visit the Recoleta Cemetery where Argentina's former First Lady, Eva Peron (Evita), is buried. This evening, get ready for a festive Regional Meal and a chance to savour renowned Argentinian beef followed by a sensual Tango performance.

Full Breakfast
Regional Meal

9. Buenos Aires Free Time

A full day at leisure—explore on your own or perhaps take an optional trip to a traditional estancia (ranch) and learn about the life of a gaucho (cowboy) while enjoying a barbecue lunch and equestrian show. This evening, enjoy an exclusive Be My Guest experience in Palermo Soho. You will be welcomed by a local family and long-time residents of this now-trendy neighbourhood. Be delighted, as they wine and dine you with homemade family recipes in the kitchen. Discover the secrets of kneading country bread. Watch as they demonstrate the art of typical Argentinian crafts. Spending time with this lively family will be a memory you won't soon forget.

Full Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining

10. Buenos Aires – Santiago Sightseeing (2 nights)

Bid “Adios” to Buenos Aires and say “Hola” to Santiago as you fly west across the Andes to the Chilean capital. Meet your Local Specialist and embark on a tour of this vibrant city, travelling past Club Hipico—the regal racetrack—and sprawling Parque O'Higgins. Drive along Alameda Avenue past the University of Chile on your way to the dynamic Plaza de Armas with its fountains and sculptures. Head up San Cristobal Hill for panoramic views of the city and the snowcapped Andes. Later, settle into your hotel, situated in the heart of one of Santiago's most beautiful neighbourhoods, and a prime location close to charming boutiques, bars and restaurants. This evening is at leisure.

Full Breakfast
InterContinental Santiago

11. Santiago Sightseeing and Free Time

Today, set out on a tour of Valparaiso city, formerly a major stopover for ships travelling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Enjoy a tour of Casas del Bosque winery followed by a savoury lunch. Later, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant with your fellow travellers.

Full Breakfast
Dinner with wine

12. Santiago – Lima (2 nights)

This morning, fly from Santiago to Lima, dubbed the “City of Kings” by conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Take some time to relax and get settled in to your hotel in fashionable Miraflores.

Full Breakfast
Hilton Miraflores

13. Lima Free Time and Sightseeing

Late this morning, a special experience is waiting to welcome you to beautiful Peru. Meet Ignacio Barrios, a young chef who has already worked alongside many of Peru's award-winning chefs, as well as internationally. Visit a local market where Ignacio will explain how Peruvian fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat are the bases of diverse Peruvian cooking. Afterward, visit Ignacio's cooking school where you will see a demonstration on how to prepare some of Peru's most popular foods including quinoa and fruit salad. Then enjoy a Be My Guest lunch of typical Peruvian dishes, such as aji de gallina and lomo saltado, created just for you by Ignacio and his sous chefs. After lunch, meet your Local Specialist and start your city tour of the highlights of Lima. Enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of Lima's ancient districts and visit the Church of San Francisco, the most notable group of colonial buildings in the city. Its unique wooden cupola of Moorish design covers the imperial staircase. Explore the impressive underground catacombs, a religious art museum and extensive library. This evening is yours to enjoy at leisure.

Full Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining

14. Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley

Fly to Cusco this morning. On the drive to the Sacred Valley, stop to meet a Shaman who will perform a Pago a la Tierra (Payment to Mother Earth) ceremony, an ancient ritual of the Andean culture and Cultural Insight to welcome you to Cusco and bless your trip. Afterward, stop to visit an animal rescue sanctuary in Cochahuasi, another Cultural Insight, where animals such as vicuñas, alpacas, llamas, and Andean condors are being protected and rehabilitated. Here you will also learn about the natural dyeing techniques native weavers from different areas use as they show their various weaving styles and way of dress, a Cultural Insight. Enjoy a box picnic lunch before exploring the vibrant handicraft market of Pisac. Visit a local chicheria to learn about chicha, a Cultural Insight and favourite drink of the Andes. Arrive at your luxurious valley retreat in the heart of the Andes this afternoon.

Continental Breakfast
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel and Wellness

15. Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu

Head toward Machu Picchu aboard the Vistadome train (light snack included). Panoramic views of the valley and mountains are sure to delight. Once you arrive at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, explore the stunning ruins of this once-great fortress with a Local Specialist. Visit the great Temple of the Sun, the House of the Priest, the Sacred Plaza and the intricately carved Intihuatana. Later, if you're interested in participating, a cooking class will be offered by the hotel's head chef where you will learn how to prepare Peruvian ceviche and mix the perfect pisco sour. Dinner is at the hotel this evening.

Full Breakfast
Sumaq Machu Picchu

16. Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco (2 nights)

Return to Machu Picchu and continue your exploration on your own. Perhaps hike up to the Gate of the Sun for stunning views. Then travel back to the Sacred Valley by train and visit the Inca stronghold of Ollantaytambo. This evening is free to explore Cusco or simply enjoy the amenities of your elegant five star hotel.

Full Breakfast
Palacio del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel Authentic Accommodation

17. Cusco Sightseeing and Free Time

Meet a Local Specialist and begin the day with a visit to Sacsayhuaman, an impressive site of ruins towering over Cusco and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then visit the Cathedral, a stunning example of colonial architecture that was completed in 1694 after over 100 years of construction. Also visit bohemian San Blas, a unique neighbourhood with artisan shops and craft workshops. Stroll the cobblestone streets and admire the Incan Walls. This morning, see the most important temple in the Inca Empire, the Temple of Korikancha. Enjoy a walking tour with a Local Specialist who shares stories about one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the western hemisphere. Afterward, visit a favourite restaurant in Cusco for a lunch of local cuisine. Then meet an anthropologist, your Local Specialist, from the renowned National University of Antonio Abad in Cusco and gain an insight into Peru's history, geography and culture. This evening, savour a your choice dining experience, giving you the option to eat at one of several local restaurants.

Full Breakfast
Your Choice

18. Cusco Sightseeing – Juliaca – Puno (2 nights)

Fly to Juliaca and meet with a Local Specialist to learn about daily life on the Peruvian Altiplano before transferring to Puno along the shores of magnificent Lake Titicaca. Relish the lake at sunset for breathtaking views not soon forgotten.

Full Breakfast
Libertador Lake Titicaca

19. Lake Titicaca Excursion

Discover the floating Uros Islands on lovely Lake Titicaca aboard a cruise with a Local Specialist. The islands are constructed out of reeds by the native Uros Indians. Embark on a private tour of Taquile Island to meet the local Quechua-speaking villagers, renowned for their knitting and weaving techniques. Learn more about the culture of the people living on the island and enjoy a Regional Meal before some free time this afternoon. Perhaps join an optional outing to a pre-Incan burial ground at sunset. Tonight, dinner is at a local restaurant in Puno.

Full Breakfast
Regional Meal

20. Puno – Juliaca – Lima

This morning, your journey continues with a flight to Lima. Take advantage of some free time this afternoon. Tonight, experience one of Lima's most renowned museums after dark. Visit the Larco Museum, full of pre-Columbian artefacts such as jewelry, ceramics and pots that offer insight into the cultures of ancient Peru. You'll then sit down to a gourmet Farewell Dinner of Peruvian dishes, while you overlook the museum's beautiful gardens; a night of great food and culture celebrating your Peruvian holiday.

Full Breakfast
Farewell Dinner
Hilton Miraflores

21. Depart Lima

Say hasta luego to Peru and transfer to the airport for your flight home, or if you like, extend your stay at the Hilton Miraflores.

Continental Breakfast
Full Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Be My Guest
    with a local family in Palermo Soho and Chef Ignacio in Lima.

  • Local Specialists
    in Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima, Machu Picchu, Cusco, at a local Samba School, the National Museum of Antonio Abad, Temple of Korikancha, Juliaca and at Lake Titicaca.

  • Cultural Insights
    at an animal rescue sanctuary, the Teatro Colon, with a blessing from a Shaman, learn about chica and the natural techniques of local weavers.

  • Authentic Accommodation
    Palacio del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco, Peru A mansion dating back nearly five centuries, this elegant Authentic Accommodation is an iconic representation of old world Cusco surrounded by the historic city centre.

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from our brochure

What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Lima and Cusco

    • Visit the Christ the Redeemer statue, Iguassu Falls, Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Central Market, the Church of San Francisco, Machu Picchu, Sacsayhuaman Cathedral, the Temple of Korikancha, Lake Titicaca and the Larco Museum

What's Included


    • 20 breakfasts.

    • 5 lunches
      (including Be My Guest).

    • 10 dinners
      (including Be My Guest).

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

    • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday

    • VIP entry to many sights

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing

    • 20 nights' First Class accommodation

    • A Trafalgar bonus: Guaranteed late hotel check-out in Santiago on Day 21

    • A Trafalgar bonus – all Intra-Air Flights: Rio de Janeiro to Iguassu, Iguassu to Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires to Bariloche, Puerto Montt to Santiago, including porter service at all airports

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience

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Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.

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Love... Travel

"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.

Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 7 Reviews

  • Trip:


    Service rating : We are always pleased with Trafalgar services. I've recommended it to my families & friends.Product : Our South American tour with Trafalgar is a great experience. Our tour directors are excellent, the places we visited are amazing.

  • Trip:


    Service rating : I just answered this above.Product : The pace is fairly laid back and easy in Brazil, Argentine and Chile. Once you get to Peru you feel like you are either on an airplane. bus, train or boat the whole time. It is quite demanding. I realize there is a lot to see and do and a lot

  • Trip:


    We had a great time. We would like to see if you can recognize your travel director Ms Barbara (Peru travel director) for taking excellent care of her all the customers.

  • Trip:


    Good service allround

  • Trip:


    Service rating : Very experienced company. Arrangements all went to plan and felt in safe hands.Product : Exceeded expectations on most aspects. Hotels generally very good and well located, knowledgeable and personable tour director, excellent local guides, and interesting range of optional

Cultures and Contrasts of South America

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21 Days, 4 Countries, 6 Cities

Cultures and Contrasts of South America

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i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

    • Crossovers: These departures will operate per the 2016 brochure. Hotels and inclusions may vary. Please inquire at the time of booking.
    • Land and Intra Air prices include economy air and air-related charges for flights between Rio de Janeiro-Iguassu Falls, Iguassu Falls-Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires-Santiago, Santiago-Lima, Lima-Cusco, Cusco-Juliaca and Juliaca-Lima and require purchase of round-trip air travel on LATAM between your gateway city and the itinerary's start and end gateway cities (ticket number required). If flying with another airline between your gateway city and the itinerary's start and end gateway cities, the above prices will be higher. For up-to-date information, visit
    • Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.
    • Festive Departures: We've arranged a Christmas celebration for this departure.
    • Trafalgar offers a selection of optional Itinerary Extensions to customize your vacation in South America. Please note, you cannot book these extensions online. To book and for more information, please contact your local Travel Agent or Trafalgar directly. For more information about the optional extensions offered on this program, please go to
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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