Grand South America

Grand South America (Summer 2019)

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

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Andean peaks, Amazonian rainforests and Incan ruins treat you to a mystical world of natural beauty, vibrant civilizations, other-worldly relics and colonial towns. Savour the mouthwatering delights of local cuisines, including dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Rio de Janeiro and a selection of Peruvian delicacies at the esteemed Astrid y Gastón in Lima.

  1. Day 1

    Arrive in Lima, Peru.

    Welcome to Peru! On arrival at Lima International Airport, you will be greeted and transferred to your luxurious hotel in Miraflores. You can relax before meeting your Travelling Concierge at 18.00 for a Welcome Dinner, where you'll have the opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers over wine and dinner at Amoramar, in the trendy bohemian district Barranco.

  2. Day 2

    Lima City of the Kings.

    Experience the cultural metropolis of Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert. A mix of modern high rises and ancient temples, you'll delve into the history of the fascinating City of Kings. Explore the UNESCO-listed Historic Centre of Lima, view the cathedral, and visit the Monastery of San Francisco. A Highlight Lunch is served at CALA, known for mouth-watering Peruvian favourites. Experience Lima Your Way and visit the workshop of Víctor Delfín, one of Peru's leading artists best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture, or take a guided visit to MATE-Museo Mario Testino, created by one of the world's most influential photographers.

  3. Day 3

    On To The Sacred Valley.

    Board your flight to Cusco and continue on to Peru's Sacred Valley. Visit the colourful market in the town of Chinchero. Afterwards, meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua scholar, president of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, and a recipient of a TreadRight Foundation grant. Have lunch with Nilda and learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques and how she has succeeded in bringing weaving once more to the forefront of her community. Later in the afternoon, check in to your luxurious spa resort.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring the Sacred Valley.

    In the town of Maras, you'll meet with a local family who will explain ancient salt mining techniques. Visit the spectacular terraced salt pans and where you will have a chance to participate in the ancient tradition. The salt pans, dating back to Inca times, have been passed down through families for generations and today are maintained in much the same way as they were long ago. Dine the local way as you feast on a typical Peruvian meal, a caja china lunch of fresh vegetables and slow-roasted meats, all cooked in a wooden box. After lunch, witness 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.

    Today you'll visit the town of Ollantaytambo, a national archeological site set on the Urubamba River. Afterwards, board your first-class seats on the Vistadome train for your scenic journey to Machu Picchu village. Enjoy lunch at your rejuvenating resort followed by a guided exploration of its nature trails and fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. One for tea lovers, the afternoon will be spent discovering a working tea plantation, before viewing the world's largest private collection of indigenous orchids. In the evening, learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour before enjoying dinner with wine at the hotel.

  6. Day 6

    Mysterious Machu Picchu.

    No trip to Peru would be complete without visiting the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Pichu. With Luxury Gold, you’ll arrive at this striking archeological site before the crowds of day-trippers. Meet your Local Expert for a guided exploration through the enigmatic Lost City of the Incas, rediscovered only 100 years ago by archaeologist Hiram Bingham. See the great Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana, believed to be an ancient sun clock. In the afternoon, enjoy time to explore Machu Picchu at your leisure or return to your resort. After a full day of discovery, enjoy a delicious dinner with wine, where you can share stories of your day with fellow guests in the serenity of your tranquil hotel.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Return to Cusco.

    Bid goodbye to Machu Picchu as you travel through the Sacred Valley by train en route to Cusco. Stop for a traditional Highlight Lunch and savour a sumptuous Pachamanca Feast of Peruvian cuisine cooked underground. After lunch, get up-close to llamas, guanacos, alpacas and even the rare vicuñas before arriving at your hotel in Cusco, steps away from the Plaza de Armas.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Colonial Cusco.

    Join your Local Expert to explore Cusco, where you'll check out the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha, the cathedral and the citadel of Sacsayhuaman. Shop like the locals do at the San Blas artisan centre. Enjoy free time for shopping on the Plaza de Armas, where you can stock up on a few souvenirs. In the evening, enjoy a candlelit Highlight Dinner with wine at one of the city’s most prominent culinary scenes, the MAP Restaurant in the central Museum of Pre-Colombian Art.

  9. Day 9

    Lake Region of Peru.

    Board your included flight to Juliaca and continue to Puno, nestled along the majestic shores of Lake Titicaca. The peaceful, lakeside Libertador Hotel on Esteves Island is your home away from home.

  10. Day 10

    The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca.

    Cruise Lake Titicaca to the floating islands of Uros, where locals bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes. On Amantaní Island, join the local community for a lunch of regional specialties. Afterwards, you can explore local handicrafts before returning to Puno, where you can relax until your evening dinner with wine.

  11. Day 11

    Puno, Back to Lima.

    Head to Sillustani on the shores of Lake Umayo to explore the impressive burial grounds, before your flight to Lima. Savour a sensational Highlight Dinner with wine at the world-renowned Astrid y Gastón. In the ambiance of a magnificent San Isidro hacienda, Chef Gaston Acurio Jaramillo – the father of modern gastronomy in Peru – dreams up innovative dishes for you to enjoy.

  12. Day 12

    Fly to Santiago.

    Bid farewell to Lima as you fly to Santiago, Chile's capital and largest city. In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner and get a taste of Chile.

  13. Day 13

    The Sights of Santiago, Valparaiso and Wine Country.

    Meet a Local Expert for an in-depth city exploration before visiting the UNESCO-listed port of Valparaíso. Visit the boutique Kingston Family Winery in the Casablanca Valley for a local wine tasting. Return to Santiago for the evening.

  14. Day 14

    Fly to Buenos Aires.

    Enjoy a leisurely morning before flying to Buenos Aires, where you'll spend the next couple of days. This evening, taste famed Argentinean beef, a local specialty, during a Highlight Dinner with wine at Piegari Carnes.

  15. Day 15

    Beautiful Buenos Aires.

    Get to know Buenos Aires with a Local Expert as you explore the neighborhoods of Palermo, San Telmo and Recoleta. View the balcony made famous by Eva Peron, the former First Lady of Argentina, and walk the colourful streets of La Boca. Experience Buenos Aires Your Way with a visit to the regal Belle Époque Teatro Colon theatre or the historical Barolo Palace. Experience an electrifying evening of live music, singers and dancers at Rojo Tango during your Highlight Dinner with wine.

  16. Day 16 - Relaxed Start

    Pampas, Estancias and Gauchos.

    Experience a Candelaria del Monte, a working farm in the Argentine Pampas. Step into a world of riding boots and leather chaps at the 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. Venture to the Argentinean side of the falls to see the unfathomable Devil's Throat with your Local Expert. Dinner is served at your luxurious resort, the only hotel inside the Brazilian Iguassu National Park, where you'll choose from a selection of traditional Brazilian barbecue or international cuisine.

  18. Day 18 - Relaxed Start

    The 'Great Waters' of Iguassu Falls.

    Wake up inside the park and beat the crowds. Join a Local Expert for a walk on the Brazilian side of the falls, where you'll witness panoramic views 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 iconic Copacabana Beach, famous for its three-mile stretch of golden sand and bustling energy. Settle into the local way of life, with a Highlight Dinner at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse followed by a lively samba show at 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, for breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Savour a Highlight Lunch at Confieiraria Colombo, a century-old cafe in a lavish setting. Explore a different side of Rio as you visit one its favelas, with a special introduction to Bob Nadkarni, founder of The Maze, an iconic jazz club and community hot spot.

  21. Day 21

    A Farewell to Rio de Janeiro.

    Join your Local Expert on a train ride up Corcovado Hill to Christ the Redeemer, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and modern wonder of the world. Toast your journey over a remarkable Celebration Dinner at the exceptional, Michelin-starred MEE Restaurant. Asian and Brazilian flavours come together through innovative dishes served up by executive chef Kazuo Harada.

  22. Day 22

    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: Meet painter, sculptor and local legend, Víctor Delfín, best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture in Parque del Amore, Miraflores. Explore his oceanview workshop in the arts district and chat with Victor as he shares stories about his life.
  • 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.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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.
  • Aguas Calientes: With a Local Expert, explore the cloud forest, visit a working tea plantation and an orchid farm.
  • Sacred Valley: At a local camelid farm, meet llamas, guanacos, alpacas and even the rare vicuña and enjoy an insight into how their soft wool is used to make beautiful woven textiles.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Puno: Explore Sillustani to view the stone burial towers 'chullpas' that have dotted the shores since pre-Inca times.
  • Santiago: Meet a Local Expert for an exploration of the Chilean capital.
  • Buenos Aires: With a Local Expert, your comprehensive city exploration includes a visit to the splendid Belle Époque Teatro Colon.
  • 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.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Partake in a stunning show of extravagant costumes and enthralling music, songs and dances at Ginga Tropical.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING

  • Macchu Picchu: Learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour.
  • Sacred Valley: Delight in a Pachamama feast prepared in an underground oven and served in an exquisite garden in Ollantaytambo.
  • Cusco: Dine at MAP restaurant, one of the city’s most prominent restaurants, situated on the lively, modern 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.
  • Lima: Savour an innovative selection of Peruvian cuisine during a Highlight Dinner at Astrid y Gastón, among South America’s most famous restaurants.
  • Santiago: Visit Kingston Family Winery, a small boutique winery located in Casablanca Valley for an introduction to and tasting of their exquisite wines.
  • Buenos Aires: At San Antonio de Areco, one of the prettiest towns in the Pampas, enjoy a delicious asado lunch at La Bamba de Areco Estancia and a glimpse into the life of an Argentinian gaucho during an equestrian show.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Your Farewell Celebration Dinner is served at the Michelin-starred MEE Restaurant, the vision of celebrity Chef Ken Hom and led by Executive Chef Kazuo Harada.
  • Dining Summary: 21 Breakfasts (B), 11 Lunches (L) and 15 Dinners (DW).

LUXURY HOTELS

  • Lima: Explore the very best of Peru's capital city at the JW Marriott Hotel Lima.
  • Sacred Valley: The elegant Tambo del Inka will ensure an indelible stay.
  • Machu Picchu: 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.
  • Cusco: The stylishly decorated and luxurious JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is built atop ancient Incan ruins.
  • Lake Titicaca: Enjoy the sunsets on the lake from the only five-star hotel region, the Libertador.
  • Santiago: The Singular Santiago is a five-star luxury hotel located in the Lastarria section of Chile's capital.
  • Buenos Aires: Distinguishable by its architecture and décor, the Alvear Palace Hotel is a hallmark of world class hotels.
  • Iguassu: The luxurious Belmond das Cataratas is the only hotel inside the National Park and sits alongside the falls.
  • Rio de Janeiro: With a prime location overlooking Copacabana Beach, the iconic Belmond Copacabana Palace offers an unforgettable stay in timeless luxury.

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.
  • Enjoy the comfort of 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.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • 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 speciality representing the destination.
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included 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.

Mandarin Oriental Santiago.

Santiago (Traditional) - Chile

The Mandarin Oriental Santiago is known as one of the most luxurious hotels in Santiago. It is located in the exclusive neighbourhood of Las Condes and offers spectacular rooms and award-winning restaurants.

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 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 4.4 out of 5 based on
1026 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 30 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: the itinerary was detailed. it was not rushed in the morninglike other tours which start at 6 in the morning.

    Service: fantastic customer service. Our Tour Manager Roberto campos was unbelievable. We have traveled with many tours including four with Insight. He was by far the best of all.

  • 30 November, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: love the accommodation and the food

    Service: Very hard working travel concierge

  • 17 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The service was excellent thanks to our tour director Roberto Campos. With his enthusiasm, energy and experience, he ensured that the tour ran smoothly and all the nitty gritties were attended to without us having to worry about the logistics. All we had to do was to sit back, relax and enjoy the trip.

    Service: The service was excellent thanks to our experienced and dedicated tour director Roberto Campos. Full of energy, enthusiasm and knowledge, Roberto anticipates the needs of passengers and is able to think out of the box when issues arise. Except for an overbooking problem with LATAM Airlines for our flight from Lima to Cuzco, the logistics of the tour ran smoothly. We were able to enjoy our tour to the fullest extent without having to worry about timings and logistics, all of which were efficiently handled by Roberto.

  • 16 November, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: comprehensive, well covered

    Service: great, very good local guides and overall tour manager, elegant hotels

  • 16 November, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: very good except in rio, include optional tours, too much time spent in the Maze. others can be included like selaron steps and sambodromo. provide flexibility in itinerary depending on weather conditions, the visit to corcovado could have been done after the sugar load mountain visit if the weather forecast on the following day is raining

    Service: the accommodation, expertise of the local tour guide and overall tour manager are excellent. the itinerary is also outstanding and manageable, not too stressful. included meals should have variety, for not included esp during airport transfers, advice is required where to buy the food. a lot of free time in rio i understand given that the tourists are tired already. for optional (must to see in rio but not included), better to include in the optional tour, luxury gold also to handle, the trip to corcovado was raining, but the trip to sugar loaf was ok, provide more flexibility to change the itinerary depending on the weather conditions, tango in argentina was changed from gala to rojo without informing the tourist of the change. thanks that luxury gold made a refund of USD200 but we have paid for it already, should ensure that we stick to the itinerary.

  • 20 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Tried to do too much , to many airports. The first two weeks we had 40 people on the tour. Too many.

    Service: The customer service was excellent. Robert our tour guide was outstanding. Though when we first arrived in Lima there was no one to meet us at the airport.

  • 20 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: On the whole the itinerary was well planned. It would have been good to have some hot breakfast on days when we have to leave at 6am. Day 15 (Beautiful Buenos Aires) is too long. The optional-Macuco Safari ride was exhilarating.We had a wonderful group of 23 travelers and all took part despite the rain.

    Service: Our Travel Concierge (Roberto Campos) service is outstanding. Always around to deal with any issues and steps ahead with our itinerary. The local guides were engaging, enthusiastic tn sharing and some also humorous The hotels were all five stars and the meals very good, though can be a little slow in serving..

  • 08 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Awesome could not have been better.

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

  • 05 October, 2018

    TRIP:
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    Trip: Loved the cultural interaction!

    Service: Excellent

  • 21 September, 2018

    TRIP:
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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

    TRIP:
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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

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very well planned itinerary.

    Service: Perfectly organized tour...

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