Grand South America - Luxury Gold

Grand South America (Luxury Gold - Summer 2018)

Duration: 22 days Visiting: Brazil, Chile, Peru, Argentina

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Witness the many cultures and contrasts of South America on this luxurious journey, showcasing a dazzling array of natural beauty, vibrant civilisations, and mystical ancient cities. Dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Rio de Janeiro, uncover the secrets of the Incas from a Local Expert at Machu Picchu, and marvel at breathtaking scenery along the way.

  1. Day 1

    Arrive in Lima, Peru.

    On arrival at Lima International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your luxurious hotel in Miraflores. At 18:00, join your Travelling Concierge for a Welcome Dinner and seaside views at CALA.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Lima City of the Kings.

    Experience Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert as you explore the UNESCO-listed, Historic Centre of Lima. Step onto the colonial balconies, with private-access, at the Archbishop's house. Your Highlight Lunch is at Amoramar in the bohemian district of Barranco. Visit the workshop of Víctor Delfín, one of Peru’s leading artists, before enjoying a hot chocolate or authentic café pasado and learning about Peruvian coffee with a barista. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner on the terrace at Huaca Pucllana.

  3. Day 3

    Lima and On To The Sacred Valley.

    Board your flight to Cusco before continuing to Peru's Sacred Valley. Meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua scholar, and president of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. Enjoy lunch with Nilda and learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring the Sacred Valley.

    In the morning, head to the town of Maras to meet with a local family and learn about the arts and crafts of the region. View the spectacular terraced salt pans dating back to Inca times. Experience a typical caja china lunch, cooked in a wooden box, before witnessing a private Pachamama Ceremony, or 'Payment to the Earth', as a local shaman performs the centuries-old ritual.

  5. Day 5

    Journey to Machu Picchu.

    Visit the town of Ollantaytambo, a national archeological site. Settle into the Vistadome train for your scenic journey to Machu Picchu, before enjoying an included lunch upon arrival at your resort. Venture along nature trails with a Local Expert, through the fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. Discover a working tea plantation and the world's largest private collection of indigenous orchids. In the evening, learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour before dinner with wine at the hotel.

  6. Day 6

    Mysterious Machu Picchu.

    The entire day is yours to discover the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu with your Local Expert.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Return to Cusco.

    Return by train to Sacred Valley for a Highlight Lunch of traditional Peruvian meal cooked underground. Later, get up-close to llamas, alpacas and even the rare vicuñas, before arriving at your hotel.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Colonial Cusco.

    Join your Local Expert to explore the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha and cathedral, followed by the citadel of Sacsayhuaman. Set out for San Blas to visit a candle shop and learn about its importance to the locals. Later, a candlelit Highlight Dinner is served at the reputed MAP restaurant.

  9. Day 9

    Lake Region of Peru.

    Board your included flight to Juliaca and continue to Puno, along the shores of Lake Titicaca. Your lakeside hotel is on Esteves Island.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca.

    Cruise Lake Titicaca to the floating islands of Uros before continuing to the island of Amantaní to enjoy lunch, hosted by the local community.

  11. Day 11

    Puno, Back to Lima.

    Head to Sillustani on the shores of Lake Umayo to explore the burial grounds, before your flight to Lima. At night, savour a sensational Highlight Dinner at world-renowned Astrid y Gastón.

  12. Day 12

    Fly to Santiago.

    Bid farewell to Lima as you fly to Santiago. In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner in Lastarria, Santiago's trendiest neighbourhood.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    The Sights of Santiago, Valparaiso and Wine Country.

    Meet a Local Expert for a city exploration before a visit to the UNESCO-listed port of Valparaíso and the boutique Kingston Family Winery in the Casablanca Valley for a tasting.

  14. Day 14

    Fly to Buenos Aires.

    Enjoy a leisurely morning before flying to Buenos Aires. In the evening, your Highlight Dinner with wine is at Piegari Carnes, known for its Argentine beef.

  15. Day 15 - Relaxed Start

    Beautiful Buenos Aires.

    Get to know Buenos Aires with a Local Expert on an exploration of the city including Palermo, San Telmo and Recoleta. Enjoy views of the balcony, made famous by Evita Peron, and walk the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca. Visit the Belle Époque Teatro Colon. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine, live music, singers and dancers at Rojo Tango.

  16. Day 16 - Relaxed Start

    Pampas, Estancias and Gauchos.

    San Antonio de Areco remains one of the prettiest towns in the Pampas District. Step into a world of riding boots and leather chaps at an Estancia, where you will be served a delicious asado Highlight Lunch and a taste of the life of an Argentinian gaucho, or cowboy.

  17. Day 17

    The Falls of Iguassu.

    Fly to Iguassu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your Local Expert will take you to meet a tribal representative of the indigenous Guarani people. Venture to the Argentinean side of the falls to see the unfathomable Devil's Throat. Your luxurious resort is the only hotel inside the Brazilian Iguassu National Park. Dine on a selection of traditional Brazilian barbecue or international cuisine at your hotel's restaurant.

  18. Day 18 - Relaxed Start

    The 'Great Waters' of Iguassu Falls.

    Join a Local Expert for a walk on the Brazilian side of the falls, see the panoramic view of San Martin Island and visit incredible Bird Park, which provides shelter for over a thousand birds, butterflies and reptiles from across South America.

  19. Day 19

    Rio de Janeiro, City of Sea and Samba.

    Fly to vibrant Rio de Janeiro and transfer to your hotel on famous Copacabana Beach. This evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner served at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse, followed by a show at the Ginga Tropical.

  20. Day 20 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring Rio de Janeiro.

    Join a Local Expert on a cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. At Confeitaria Colombo, enjoy a Highlight Lunch amid a lavish setting. In the afternoon, visit one of Rio's favelas before a stop at The Maze, an iconic jazz club.

  21. Day 21

    A Farewell to Rio de Janeiro.

    Join your Local Expert on a train ride up Corcovado Hill to Christ the Redeemer, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, toast your journey over a Farewell Celebration Dinner, at the Michelin starred MEE Restaurant.

  22. Day 22 - Relaxed Start

    Depart Rio de Janeiro.

    A private transfer will take you to the Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport, locally known as Galeao International.

Highlights

 

VIP EXPERIENCES

  • Lima: In the artistic district of Lima, meet artist Víctor Delfín at his workshop, best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Meet Bob Nadkarni, a local club owner, and hear how he created one of the most famous jazz clubs in all of South America, The Maze.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Aguas Calientes: With a Local Expert, explore the cloud forest, visit a working tea plantation and an orchid farm.
  • Buenos Aires: With a Local Expert, your comprehensive city exploration includes a visit to the splendid Belle Époque Teatro Colon.
  • Cusco: With a Local Expert, practice your bartering skills at a local market. Enjoy a fun challenge of purchasing items from the market (with money and a list supplied by your Travelling Concierge) for the best prices possible. All purchases are later donated to local needy families.
  • Iguassu Falls: Join a Local Expert for a spectacular walk past thundering curtains of water and misty rainbows on both Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the falls.
  • Lake Titicaca: Cruise the lake and learn about the lifestyle and customs of the local people, who bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes.
  • Lima: Experience the beautiful 'City of Kings' through the eyes of a Local Expert.
  • Machu Picchu: Spend a full day exploring the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, rediscovered by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911 after being forgotten for centuries. A Local Expert helps you understand the enigmatic fortress abandoned by the Incas in the 16th century.
  • Puno: Explore Sillustani to view the stone burial towers 'chullpas' that have dotted the shores since pre-Inca times.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Partake in a stunning show of extravagant costumes and enthralling music, songs and dances at Ginga Tropical.
  • Sacred Valley: Visit the Centre for Traditional Textiles, meet with the founder, Nilda Callañaupa, and learn how the Centre is working to empower Quechuan woman and men in the communities of Chinchero, Chahuaytire and Pitumarca by preserving and teaching textile traditions that had begun to disappear.
  • Santiago: Meet a Local Expert for an exploration of the Chilean capital.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING

  • Buenos Aires: Enjoy dinner is at Piegari Carnes.
  • Cusco: Dine at MAP restaurant, one of the city’s most prominent restaurants, situated on the patio of the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. This contemporary Peruvian haute cuisine restaurant offers an artistic dining experience, candlelit for a dazzling evening ambiance.
  • Included Quality Dining: 21 Breakfasts (BB), 11 Lunches (L) and 15 Dinners (DW).
  • Lima: Enjoy a Highlight Lunch at Amor Amar in a trendy, bohemian district.
  • Macchu Picchu: Learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Indulge in a classic buffet style lunch amid a lavish setting at the Belle Époque, Confeitaria Colombo.
  • Sacred Valley: Experience a caja china lunch, a popular way to create a delicious meal in Peru, cooked in a wooden box.
  • Santiago: Savour a Highlight Dinner at Cafe in Lasterria, Santiago's trendiest neighbourhood.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Relax in comfort on Luxury Gold’s air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom, onboard restroom and and complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy while travelling.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Included complimentary, private transfers are available on start and end dates, and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.

Accommodation

 

JW Marriott Hotel Lima

Lima (Contemporary) - Peru

Explore the very best of Peru's capital city at the JW Marriott Hotel Lima.

Tambo del Inka

Sacred Valley (Traditional ) - Peru

The elegant Tambo del Inka will ensure an indelible stay.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Machu Picchu (Traditional) - Peru

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean village with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways and 81 whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco

Cusco (Heritage) - Peru

The stylishly decorated and luxurious JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is built atop ancient Incan ruins.

Libertador Lake Titicaca

Puno (Traditional) - Peru

Enjoy the sunsets on the lake from the only five-star hotel region, the Libertador.

The Singular Santiago Lastarria Hotel.

The Singular Santiago Lastarria Hotel.

Alvear Palace Hotel

Buenos Aires (Heritage) - Argentina

Distinguishable by its architecture and décor, the Alvear Palace Hotel is a hallmark of world class hotels.

Belmond Hotel Das Cataratas

Iguassu (Heritage) - Brazil

The luxurious Belmond das Cataratas is the only hotel inside the National Park and sits alongside the falls.

Belmond Hotel de Cataratas, Iguassu.

Belmond Hotel de Cataratas, Iguassu.

Belmond Copacabana Palace

Rio de Janeiro (Heritage) - Brazil

With a prime location overlooking Copacabana Beach, the iconic Belmond Copacabana Palace offers an unforgettable stay in timeless luxury.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
1030 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 08 October, 2018

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    Trip: Awesome could not have been better.

    Service: Great customer service also Roberto our guide was amazing.

  • 05 October, 2018

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    Trip: Loved the cultural interaction!

    Service: Excellent

  • 21 September, 2018

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    Trip: The sites we went to were great! Good choices of places we went to plus great local guides. Peru was extensively covered. I just hoped that we could have spent more time in Chile, Argentina and Brazil. Of course, this would have added more days to the tour. Being in South America already, I wouldn’t mind staying for a few more days in each of these countries. Please consider that in your future itineraries.

    Service: The tour was well organized. We had an excellent traveling concierge, Roberto Campos, as well as great local guides who bombarded us with meaningful insights and information on the places and people/ countries visited. The pace was just right for us over 60 years old. The hotels and restaurants were great!

  • 21 September, 2018

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    Trip: Great itinerary, it gave us a taste of everything South American. Amazingly beautiful views, 5-6 star hotels/palaces with excellent service, good restaurants and great experiences like Tango and Samba shows and a visit of Lake Titicaca village.

    Service: We thoroughly enjoyed our South America trip. We highly recommend it. Our Tour Director Robert Campos was very attentive to the travelers' needs and fun as well. Our fellow travelers were a good group and I believe enjoyed the experience as well. There were a lot of special experiences which were unexpected like the dinners in amazing restaurants and the Tango and Samba Shows. The weather has been excellent everywhere we went bar one day considering we were there for nearly a month. Machu Picchu was enchanting! We found that the Peruvians are nice people especially in the countryside. Buenos Aires was beautiful and has tender and juicy beef! Rio de Janeiro was beautiful with never ending beaches but edgy! Santiago's Andes mountains never seem to end and we were fortunate to see it covered in snow! Chile has really good wines both whites and reds. Iguassu Falls was our favorite though because it never seem to end and amazingly beautiful. During the day trip/s we had not one but two rainbows and then because it was full moon one night, we experienced viewing the Falls at night, as they say once in a "blue moon" experience!

  • 07 September, 2018

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    Trip: Very well planned itinerary.

    Service: Perfectly organized tour...

  • 21 May, 2018

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    Trip: A trip full of good surprise experiences --daily. The brochure descriptions just cannot paint the picture this trip brings the traveler. The whole Cusco, Peru, centered experience was one adventure and exposure to the Inca empire after another. We came away with a much broader understanding of the history –and area. Oh yes, there was Manchu Pichu too!! And, behind the scenes, was the clever sequencing of site, hotel stays and visits selected to acclimate us travelers to the altitude. But this was barely the first half the trip. With the aid of modern jet travel, we then experienced distinctly different parts f South America. And in each location experiences were selected to allow some flavor of the area -beyond the big city –to come through.

    Service: Where to start? The hotels that were chosen were outstanding. The restaurants selected were fabulous. The attention to daily details, including the attention to each traveler’s needs, was great. The many experiences –really why we travel on these trips---were full of good surprises. In fact, one experience we probably had less opportunity for on this trip was time for our own discovery of our surroundings, including the meals we might find. We had some; just less. Our past Insight Vacations trips have each been very good. This Gold trip was just over the top. WE would definitely recommend others buy travel from Insight Vacations.

  • 19 May, 2018

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    Trip: Excellent itinerary!!!!!!

    Service: Excellent

  • 19 May, 2018

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    Trip: Machu Picchu, Uros Floating Islands, & Lake Titicaca, the Horse Ranch, Iguazu Falls, Buenos Aires, Copacabana and Rio de Janeiro were enjoyable, fun, and interesting to visit.

    Service: We have traveled internationally three times with Insight. In addition we have traveled with other tour companies. Robert Campus is one of the very best Tour Directors we have met. Robert is organized, provides great information regarding upcoming events, and made everyone feel comfortable at all times. Robert is one of those persons who is confident and has a positive demeanor at all times.

  • 18 May, 2018

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    Trip: Excellent Excellent Excellent

    Service: Excellent

  • 04 May, 2018

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    Trip: Wonderful destination to explore. Been on our bucket list for years. Breathtaking. Journey.

    Service: Excellent in all areas. Thoroughly enjoyed the tour and Robert was very professional.

  • 20 April, 2018

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    Trip: See remarks made earlier in evaluation

    Service: Why didn't we choose Insight sooner? My Wife, Paula, and I were always firm believers in "We can do it cheaper." However, planning our own experiences always turned out to be similar to a cacophony of a one man band. We tried to do everything. In the end we only exhausted ourselves, spent too much money, ate in sub par restaurants, slept in poor accommodations, and missed many worthwhile experiences. Enter Insight Gold Tours and Roberto Campos Agreda! Our tour to South America was synonymous to a symphony orchestra with our tour concierge, Roberto, as the conductor. We transitioned effortlessly from place to place, guided by well-informed local experts, dined in the finest restaurants, and relaxed in wonderful hotels. It was clear to our fellow travelers that Roberto devoted hours and hours to planning, adjusting and readjusting, confirming, coordinating, meeting individual needs, building group e'sprit de corp, and attending to countless minor details to assure our adventure was completely successful. Perhaps Insight Tours will develop an Amazon River excursion with Roberto as the travel concierge. If so, you can be sure Paula and I will be among your first guests.

  • 20 April, 2018

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    Trip: To stay overnight in Lima again half way through the trip was a total waste of time and effort. You somehow need to get people to Santiago the same day (even if late) from (I think it was Puno). I know there is probably no alternative but I would have to LATAM airlines are hopeless. We experienced lost luggage, cramped planes, a cancelled flight and departure delays.

    Service: Fantastic guide (Robert) and we saw everything we expected to with such great organisation.

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