This amazing South America trip packs in amazing highlights from four countries - Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile! With plenty of overland travel, you’ll be able to witness landscapes that vary from the desert to salt flat, snow-capped peaks to shimmering lakes. Pay a visit to the Inca city of Machu Picchu and explore Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Next, head over to Lake Titicaca for a hydrofoil cruise to see floating reed Islands of Uros, Sun Island and Moon Island and go on a llama trek to your hotel! Next stop: Bolivia and the world’s highest city – La Paz. Heading for the Bolivian Altiplano, you’ll visit the remarkable Uyuni Salt Flats where vast expanses of white are punctuated by oases of tall, spiky cacti. Make the spectacular border crossing over the Andes to colonial Salta in northwest Argentina, where you’ll take a self-drive to explore this scenic and culturally rich part of the country that’s had little European influence. Finally, cross into Chile for a few days in San Pedro de Atacama, where you’ll visit more dramatic landscapes including the eerie Moon Valley and Death Valley. With nights spent in charming, boutique properties and many guided tours, this trip guarantees you don’t miss the highlights!
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
When you arrive in Lima, you’ll meet your guide and driver at the airport who will take you to your hotel in Miraflores to check in for a 1-night stay. Along the way, they will tell you about the city and what it offers visitors. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to rest or spend a little time exploring the capital.
You will be collected from your hotel in the morning and taken by private transfer to Lima airport for your flight to Cusco. Once you land, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel in the historic centre of Cusco, to check in for a 1-night stay.
This afternoon, we’ve included a guided tour of Cusco which visits al the main sights, including some interestingly archaeological sites just on the outskirts of the centre.
Enjoy breakfast, and afterwards, you will take a guided tour into the Sacred Valley, which is bursting with Inca heritage. You’ll visit some of the important archaeological sites, including the magnificent Ollantaytambo fortress, as well as local markets, where artisans sell their traditional handicrafts. Lunch is also included in a local restaurant.
At the end of the tour, you will be driven to your hotel in the Sacred Valley where you will check in for a 1-night stay.
Today you’ll visit Machu Picchu! Start the day with breakfast, check out, then you’ll be driven to Ollanta train station to catch the train to Aguas Calientes, the last stop before reaching Machu Picchu. Today you’ll just be travelling with a day bag as your main luggage will be driven to your hotel in Cusco while you’re at Machu Picchu.
When you arrive in Aguas Calientes, you’ll be met by your local guide who will accompany you on the twenty-minute bus ride to Machu Pichhu. You’ll have a fascinating guided tour of the citadel and also have some time to spend exploring on your own.
At the end of the tour, catch the bus back to Aguas Calientes and grab some lunch in one of the many restaurants. You’ll have some free time to explore here before catching the train back to Cusco in the late afternoon. In Cusco, you’ll be driven to your hotel by private transfer and check in for a 1-night stay.
Today you’ll be driven to Cusco bus station to board a bus to Puno that will take you through the breath-taking scenery of the Andes. The bus stops at three places; Andahuylillas, a town known for its church which is dubbed the Sistine Chapel of America. Your journey will continue to Racchi to visit the Temple Wiracocha and then Sicuani, where you will have lunch. You’ll briefly stop at La Raya, which at 4,313m is the highest point of the journey. You’ll reach Puno in the late afternoon where you will be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel on the lake shores where you will check in for a 2-night stay.
After breakfast, you’ll be met by your driver and guide and taken to the port of Puno to board a boat for a journey across the lake to visit the Uros floating islands and Taquile Island.
The people of Taquile Island or Taquileños are known for their colourful knitting and weaving and because they make some of Peru’s best hand-made textiles. You’ll have lunch on Taquile Island and spend a few hours relaxing on the shores of Lake Titicaca before boarding the boat back to Puno and your hotel.
This morning you’ll be driven by shared transfer to Copacabana, on the Bolivian shores of Lake Titicaca.
You’ll be taken for a guided tour of the shrine of the Dark Indian Virgin - a basilica dedicated to the patron saint of the town, before boarding a hyrdrofoil cruise over to Sun Island. Here you’ll visit the Pilcocaina Sun Temple then you’ll take a little llama trek (walking beside your llama!) to your hotel on Sun Island where you will check in for a 1-night stay.
Enjoy breakfast you’ll have the morning to relax or explore then around noon; you will join a small group tour and drive to the Inca Grand Stairs and the Sacred Fountain. Lunch is included today at the Uma Kollu archaeological restaurant, plus a visit to a local market.
In the afternoon, you’ll cruise over to Moon Island to see the Sun Virgin’s Temple, then continue to Cocotoni and overland to Huatajata. You’ll have a guided tour of the main highlights before heading to your next hotel in La Paz, where you will check in for a 2-night stay.
Today we’ve included a private tour of La Paz including a spectacular cable car ride over the city, followed by a visit to the eerie Moon Valley. In this city, every corner and street offers a hidden treasure from pre-Columbian times so you’ll explore the indigenous, colonial and modern areas, the Indian Market and the Witch Doctor's Market, with every view framed by the majestic "Illimani" mountain that towers above the city.
Today you’ll be collected and driven by private transfer to La Paz airport for your flight to Uyuni to visit the famous salt flats.
Once you land, you’ll be met and taken by private transfer to your salt hotel (made entirely of salt!) by the shores of the Uyuni salt flat, and check in for a 1-night stay.
Today you’ll be collected after breakfast and taken for a tour to the Uyuni Salt Lake and Isla Incawasi. Uyuni is the largest salt flat on Earth, located high on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano, offering unrivalled examples of Andean scenery.
You’ll have lunch on Isla Incawasi, an oasis in the salt lake. This strange oasis is dominated by fossils and covered by thousands of giant columnar cacti - some over one hundred years old that have grown to over 12m in height! You’ll have amazing views over the vast, pure, white salt flats under and endless blue sky –an ideal place for photography enthusiasts.
After the tour, you’ll be driven to a local hotel in Uyuni where you will spend the night.
This morning, you’ll be driven to the train station to board a train to Villazon followed by a private transfer to La Quiaca, a town on the border between Bolivia and Argentina.
After immigration, you’ll be driven by private transfer to your hotel in Salta where you will check in for a 1-night stay.
Today, you’ll pick up your rental car and make the 180 km drive to Molinos in north-western Argentina.
This region boasts stunning and diverse scenery and is culturally rich, with a strong Quechua and Aymara influence, in contrast to the European feel in other parts of Argentina. When you get to Molinos, check in your hotel for a 2-night stay, with two free days to explore the area.
Today you’ll drive to Cafayate, 120km to the south. This area is known for its reddish rock formations and the plentiful pretty vineyards that dot the land. This region has become known as Argentina’s second centre for quality wine production after Mendoza.
When you arrive, check in to your hotel for a 2-night stay, with free days exploring the region and taste the various wines produced here.
This morning you’ll leave Cafayate behind and drive 200km back to Salta, to drop off your rental car and will check in your hotel for a 1-night stay.
Why not spend the afternoon strolling around the beautiful colonial centre of the city, visiting the cafes and enjoying some people-watching?
After breakfast, you will be driven to the bus terminal to catch a bus to San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile. The journey is about 9 hours but can be longer depending on the border crossing. However, the buses are very comfortable, and the stunning scenery you will pass will make this a very enjoyable trip!
Once you reach San Pedro the Atacama, you’ll be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel where you will check in for a 4-night stay.
Today you’ll have some free time to rest and relax after your journey! Later in the day, you’ll join a small group and take a guided visit to the Death and Moon Valleys. You’ll see some amazing, eerie, moonscapes and at the end of the day, you’ll catch an amazing sunset over these vast, incredible sand and rock formations.
After breakfast, take a tour of San Pedro followed by a visit to the 3,000-year-old pre-Columbian village of Tulor. The archaeological remains here are the oldest evidence of human settlement in this valley.
After lunch, you’ll continue to the village of Toconao and the Atacama Salt Lake, an ancient inland sea characterised by stunning rock formations and crystalised salt. In the late afternoon, you will be taken back to your hotel to spend the evening at leisure.
Today is an early start, but it’s worth it! We suggest bringing some warm clothing for today’s excursions as temperatures at this kind of altitude and time of day can be quite low. You’ll be picked up before dawn and driven to El Tatio geysers, a geothermal field surrounded by impressive peaks. By visiting in the morning, you’ll be able to see a fantastic contrast of the steaming geysers against the chilled morning air, which creates columns of steam.
We’ve included a packed breakfast, followed by a visit to the village of Machuca. You will return to San Pedro late morning and will have a free afternoon.
You’ll be collected from your hotel today, then taken by shared transfer to Calama airport for your flight back home.
Peru can be visited all year round. However, the best weather around Machu Picchu is in the summer months where it also gets much busier with tourists.
May to October might be the best season for the Altiplano and Desert if you want clear blue skies and drier conditions, however, bear in mind that it is also the time when temperatures will be lower especially at night in the highlands and the desert.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
21 nights in 4* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: