Experience the best of South America on this unique journey. Get up close to the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos, see Machu Picchu’s Inca ruins, feel the power of the mighty Iguassu Falls and enjoy samba on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Visit themotorcyclers for more information about Peru.
We have gathered South America’s greatest experiences in one and the same trip – this is our proposal for the perfect South American trip for adventurous people of all ages. The journey starts in the Galapagos Islands where you get close to the Galapagos’ unique wildlife. After a four-day cruise, the journey continues to Cusco high up in the highlands of Peru. Here are colorful markets and charming small towns in the Sacred Valley and last but not least – the fantastic ruined city of Machu Picchu. You then fly on to perhaps the world’s most beautiful waterfall – Foz do Iguaçu, which you get to experience from both the Argentine and the Brazilian side. The trip ends with samba rhythms and beach life in wonderful Rio de Janeiro.
Day 1. Departure from Scandinavia
You fly from Scandinavia to Guayaquil where you arrive the same day. You will meet at the airport and drive to your hotel not far from there.
Day 2. To the Galapagos
You have an early morning transfer to the airport from where the flight to the Galapagos departs. You land on the island of Baltra and then drive on to the port where you board the catamaran Archipel which is your home for the next four days. ( F , L , M) Archipel 1 is a catamaran with room for 16 passengers in eight cabins. With Archipel 1 you get a unique boating experience on the Galapagos Islands. The advantage of riding a catamaran is that it is more stable in the water. It consumes only 1/3 of the fuel that a corresponding motorboat with 14 passengers would consume due to its weight. Weather permitting, it is also possible to turn off the engine completely, hoist sails and glide silently through the spectacular surroundings. There are dining areas both indoors and outdoors. In addition, there is a sun deck and an area for relaxation on the net that is clamped between the two hulls. The crew consists of five people and a skilled, English-speaking guide.
Day 3-4: Galapagos Cruise
The days on board the boat usually start with breakfast around 7.30 and then an update of the guide on the day’s program. Most often, the boat then docks off the coast of the island to be visited and out of consideration for animals and nature, you go with “panga” a small dinghy to land. When hiking on the islands, always hike the marked trails and follow the guide. A visit usually lasts between 2-3 hours before returning to the boat. Lunch is served on board while you go on to the afternoon destination. Now there is also time for some relaxation on the deck before the next excursion. The national park regulations say that you must leave the islands at the latest at 18.00 Dinner is served on board at 19.00. The guide tells about the next day’s program and you have since the evening to take it easy, read a book, have something to drink or think about & talk about today’s experiences together with fellow passengers. (F , L , M )
Day 5. Towards Peru
It’s time to leave the Galapagos and you drive to the airport on the island of Baltra just north of Santa Cruz to fly to the Inca capital of Cuzco in Peru. You have a night at an airport hotel in Lima before flying on to Cuzco. (if you want to extend your stay in the Galapagos with a few nights in eg Puerto Ayora, it is of course possible to arrange) The flight goes via Quito and Lima and you land the next morning. ( F )
Day 6. Arrival in Cuzco
You land in Cuzco which is beautifully situated in the mighty Andes at about 3400 meters above sea level. On a clear day, the approach to Cuzco is absolutely fantastic! You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel where you will stay for the next two days. The main rule today is to listen to your body. Take a cup of cocate, rest and allow the body to adapt to the high altitude. A good tip is to drink properly and preferably energy drinks – maybe supplement with a banana but avoid alcohol and heavy food today. ( F )
Day 7. On a voyage of discovery in Cuzco
You have the whole day on your own today. You can stroll down to the Plaza del Armas, Cuzco’s historic center and see San Blas teeming with life and activities. You will find nice small markets where you can buy both fruit and souvenirs. There are many good and nice restaurants – Peru is the number one food country in South America so take the opportunity to try and enjoy. ( F )
Day 8. Sacred Valley and Aguas Calientes
Today the journey goes towards the Sacred Valley which is a bit outside Cuzco. If it’s Sunday, the first stop is at the large Native American market in Pisac. Here, the women of the town sell their wares in their colorful garments. There is a large assortment of souvenirs such as ponchos, hats, mittens and of course pan flutes and other instruments. The next stop is the impressive fortress Ollantaytambo where you get an interesting tour and insight into history. You continue by train along the Urubamba River to Aquas Calientes which is the last stop before the fabled Machu Picchu. You walk yourself from the train station to your hotel which is about 10 minutes away. You have the afternoon and evening on your own. There is also a large, lovely market, lots of restaurants and cafes or anyone who wants can visit one of the hot springs in the area. (F , L )
Day 9. Machu Picchu and Cuzco
You meet up with your guide early in the morning to take the bus the short distance up to Machu Picchu. Your guide will take you on a four-hour guided tour of the ruined city and tell you about the place’s historical and religious significance. Next to Machu Picchu is the mountain peak Wayna Picchu which is 2720 meters high and then 360 meters higher than machu Picchu. From here you have a magnificent panoramic view of the entire ruin area. The trip there takes about an hour but it is a rooster hike with small steep steps and you must be in very good physical shape to be able to reach the top. Only a limited number of people are allowed to visit Wayna Pichu per day and you must apply for a permit and pay from home. At lunchtime the bus goes back to Aquas Calientes from where you take the train to Ollantayotambo and then bus the last bit to Cuzco. You meet and drive to your hotel. (F )
Day 10. Cuzco to Foz de Iguaçu
Today you leave Cuzco – you take a taxi on your own to the airport and fly to Foz de Iguaçu in Brazil. Here you meet and drive into the city and your hotel. A few kilometers before the rushing Iguaçu River crosses the state of Parana in Brazil, some of the world’s most beautiful and powerful waterfalls are formed – the Iguaçu Falls. There are a total of 275 waterfalls, some of them with a drop of 80 meters. They are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls! Here you can enjoy and experience the falls from the many viewpoints, paths and footbridges that blend into the landscape. ( F )
Day 11-12. On a voyage of discovery at Foz de Iguaçu
To see and experience the waterfalls properly, you almost have to see them from both the Brazilian and the Argentine side. On the Brazilian side you get a wider view and greater overview and on the Argentine side you walk on paths along the falls in a tropical environment and see the falls from different heights. You are so close that you can almost reach out and feel the water – if you are in that mood, you can take an excursion with a Zodiac boat out into the heart of the waterfalls, an adrenaline rush called duga. During these two days you will have the opportunity to experience the cases on both sides together with your guide in a small group. (do not forget to bring your passport when you go over to the Argentine side). ( F )
Day 13. Foz de Iguaçu to Rio de Janeiro
Today the flight continues to Rio de Janeiro. You will be met on arrival and driven to your hotel at Copacabana where you will have the rest of the day and evening on your own. ( F ) Rio de Janeiro is a wonderful mix of nature, culture and people. Emotions and love are in focus everywhere and are expressed in sambar rhythms, carnivals and why not during a football match at Ipenema or Copacabana!
Day 14. City tour of Rio de Janeiro
After breakfast you will be picked up by your guide who will take you around and show you Rio today. Enjoy the view from the city’s iconic landmark Sockertoppen – Pão de Açucar. A 396 meter high granite cliff that towers up on the coast north of Copacabana. You continue and experience the atmosphere in the neighborhoods Lapa and Santa Teresa. You end with Corcovade – the statue of Jesus on the 700 meter high mountain that beautifully spreads its arms sióm to embrace the city and its inhabitants. As a Swede, you feel a little extra blessed as the statue is made of cement from Cementa in Limhamn. ( F )
Day 15. On a voyage of discovery in Rio de Janeiro
Rio is full of adventure and you have the day off to explore on your own. You can book guided tours, eat well at the city’s restaurants or maybe just enjoy beach life at the classic Copacabana. ( F )
Day 16. Departure from Rio de Janeiro
You can extend the trip and stay in Brazil or go hiking around South America. You have no transfer but take a taxi to the airport and start the journey home to Scandinavia. ( F )
Day 17. Homecoming
One night at a mid-range hotel in Guayaquil
Three nights aboard a double-cabin boat
One night at an airport hotel in Lima
Three nights at Cuzco at a guesthouse
One night at Aguas Calientes at a mid-range
hotel Three nights at a hotel at Foz de Iguaçu
Three nights at a Copacabana hotel in Rio de January