Speak to a travel expert: +1-877-240-4770

The Best of South America


This is the South America Bucket List!
14 days starting at $2,879/Person
Ready to Book!

Why you'll love this Best of South America tour!

Often referred to as the best tour operators to South America, we’d like to think we’re well-positioned as experts of the continent. We’ll take you to some of the continents best tourist destinations as well as some hidden gems along the way.

We offer some of the best South America tours and this tour is certainly an all-rounder. If you’re looking to experience a little bit of everything on this extraordinary continent, then keep reading. This tour could be just for you!

With this South American adventure, you’ll come face to face with three World Wonders and the authentic highlights of Peru, Argentina and Brazil. The Inca ruins are stunning for both history buffs and casual visitors, Machu Picchu is other-worldly at sunrise, Buenos Aires’ tango culture is simply captivating, Iguazu Falls leaves everyone wanting more, and the cityscape of Rio de Janeiro is just spectacular, completely open to wild evenings out or leisurely strolls through the sunlit streets.

Our trip specialists and tour guides have dialed in all the secret stops that any local would approve of.

What you can expect in every tour:
  • Choose any date, all tours have daily departures
  • Hand picked guides specialized for every excursion
  • 7 regional offices with 24/7 in country support
  • Transfers with English guide to/from all airports
  • Local specialists who live and guide the destination
  • Personal dining recommendations for food lovers
  • Incredibly comfortable authentic accommodations
Your tour starts here!

14 Day Travel Itinerary

Our South America tours depart any day of the year, there are no fixed departure dates. It’s really simple, we’ve designed some of the best experiences that cover your “bucket list” must see activities in each destination.

You can trust in our 20 years of experience with South America private tours, that everything will run just like clockwork.

Itinerary
1
Day 1 - Lima

Arrival to the Capital of Peru

Here’s exactly what to expect from the first day of your tour to South America.

Lima may be the political capital of Peru, but when it comes to gastronomy, it is one of the capitals of the world! Food is certainly going to be a theme during your stay in Lima that is for sure. On arrival in this culinary paradise, your private guide will be waiting at the airport to assist you to the Lima´s Airport Hotel for check-in.

Unearth the city’s treasure trove of fantastic restaurants and bars at your leisure. Restaurants Astrid & Gaston or Central are just two of many in the city, which regularly rank among the top 100 in the world. Lima has some of the best eateries and food markets in Latin America, which you can explore while also taking in the history behind the streets, which house them.

Included: Transfer from Lima airport to your hotel; accommodation in Lima. (Meals – None).

Here’s exactly what to expect from the first day of your tour to South America.

Lima may be the political capital of Peru, but when it comes to gastronomy, it is one of the capitals of the world! Food is certainly ...

2
Day 2 - Lima

Lima like a local

Here’s what you can expect from day two of this South American tour.

This fascinating walking tour will help you gain a little insight into the local Limeño culture and history. After being picked up from your hotel at 9 am, the taxi will take you to the Miraflores market, where Peruvian merchants will enlighten you on the local produce and outline the different types of potatoes, corn, and fruits that can be found in Peru.

Feel free to grab some samples and don’t forget to try the coca leaves! Following a short meander through the market, you will then hop on the public bus ‘Metropolitano’ to the historic center, where you can admire grand colonial buildings.

The Historic Center of Lima has been the seat of the Colonial and Republican governments since the Spanish foundation of the city in 1535 and is also an important indigenous center. Until the 1940s, it also housed Peru’s richest and most influential families. As you stroll through the city center, pay attention to the changing style of architecture and the beautiful interior balconies.

Upon arriving in Plaza San Martin, you will taste some delicious Peruvian pastries before heading to the main square. There, you will stop by a small outlet of the ChocoMuseum and will receive fun facts and information about the process of transforming the cocoa bean into the delicious chocolate that you will be savoring.

Following this tasty treat, the tour will proceed to the Cordano Bar, where you will taste a typical Peruvian drink, the Chicha Morada, made from sweet purple corn. From here, you can either grab the Metropolitano bus back to Miraflores or you are welcome to stay in the historic center to continue exploring on your own terms.

Included: Private excursion with Guide, Public Transport, Chicha Morada and Food tasting; Accommodation in Lima. (Meals – Breakfast).

Here’s what you can expect from day two of this South American tour.

This fascinating walking tour will help you gain a little insight into the local Limeño culture and history. After being picked up from your hotel at 9 am, ...

3
Day 3 - Lima to Cusco to Sacred Valley

Arrival to the Sacred Valley

Our South American tours are always full of surprises, but the Sacred Valley shouldn’t be one of them. After eager anticipation, here’s what you’ll be getting up to on day three.

Private transfer to the airport. Take in a full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, alongside the Vilcanota River, where you will find native communities, impressive terraces, and many important archaeological sites.

In this tour, you will visit Pisac Indian Market, one of the most popular and picturesque of the indigenous markets in the Cusco region. Travelers from all over the world come to purchase all manner of textiles, ceramics, jewelry, ponchos, rugs, hats, gloves, Andean instruments, ceramics, alpaca, and woven llama clothing, and a host of lovely souvenirs. And although you can visit it every day, the Sunday market is magnificent, mass is celebrated in Quechua and the worthy “varayoc” (local authorities) attendance adds enrichment to the celebration.

Your tour of South America will continue to Pisac ruins, perched magnificently at the entrance to a great gorge, the citadel looks over the Urubamba Valley and the town of Pisac from above. Pisac was situated strategically along a road that connected the Inca Empire with the jungles of the east, and the site is an impressive reminder of just how advanced the civilization was in terms of building and agriculture.

Afterward, you will make a stop for lunch and in the afternoon you will visit the Inca town of Ollantaytambo, which has original Inca houses, streets, and the fortress towering above the village. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped off at your hotel.

Included: Private excursion with Transport and Guide, entrance fees; accommodation in the Sacred Valley. (Meals – Breakfast).

Our South American tours are always full of surprises, but the Sacred Valley shouldn’t be one of them. After eager anticipation, here’s what you’ll be getting up to on day three.

Private transfer to the airport. Take in a full-day excursion ...

4
Day 4 - Sacred Valley

Maras & Moray Trek & visit Ollantaytambo

All the best South America tours contain a little bit of hiking. This is what you can expect from day four.

You will be picked up from your hotel in the Sacred Valley, then transferred to one of the most unique places in the Sacred Valley called Moray, where you will discover how the Incas used the huge natural voids within the earth’s surface to build irrigated farming terraces. Be amazed by these natural formations and how nature has created different environmental conditions (also known as microclimates), which are replicated in greenhouses nowadays because of their favorable environments.

After visiting this incredible place, you will start hiking to Maras salt flats where you will learn all about this incredible destination and the process to extract the salt which is becoming famous around the world. After this, you will continue hiking to Pichingoto, where the vehicle will be waiting to take you to Ollantaytambo fortress, where your guide will explain about this wonderful place. Finally, you will be transferred back to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Included: Private excursion with transport, guide, lunch and entrance fees; accommodation in Sacred Valley. (Meals – Breakfast, Lunch) .

All the best South America tours contain a little bit of hiking. This is what you can expect from day four.

You will be picked up from your hotel in the Sacred Valley, then transferred to one of the most unique ...

5
Day 5 - The Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu

Train to Machu Picchu

This might be the activity you’ve been waiting for! Here’s what to expect on day five of your trip to South America.

After breakfast, your private transfer will pick you up from your accommodation in the Sacred Valley and take you to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo. Here you will be able to explore on your own, the impressive Inca ruins, where the Inca famously defeated the invading Spaniards.

The staggered agricultural terraces and intact fortresses show the Inca history in its rawest form and its ceremonial site will treat you to uninterrupted views over the Sacred Valley. We also recommend exploring the beautiful cobblestone streets, the colorful textiles, and charming cafes, before your train leaves for Machu Picchu. You can add an optional guide for Ollantaytambo who will be able to provide you with a deeper background and insight into Ollantaytambo and its fortress.

Boarding the train from the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes shaves 2 hours off what normally is a 4-hour journey from Cusco, beginning at the most beautiful part of the stretch, leaving from Ollantaytambo. You can just pack something light for your next 2 days and the rest of your luggage will be brought back to your hotel in Cusco.

Arriving at your hotel of choice in Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu, we recommend that you spend a few hours exploring this quaint little town, connected to the world by train. Situated in a deep gorge below Machu Picchu the charm of Aguas Calientes scattered in its cobblestone streets lined by small local restaurants and shops, enclosed by steep cliffs, a misty cloud forest, and two rushing rivers. We suggest having an early dinner tonight as tomorrow you’ll have an early start going to Machu Picchu at sunrise.

Included: Private transfer from Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo train station, train ticket to Aguas Calientes; accommodation in Aguas Calientes. (Meals – Breakfast, Dinner).

This might be the activity you’ve been waiting for! Here’s what to expect on day five of your trip to South America.

After breakfast, your private transfer will pick you up from your accommodation in the Sacred Valley and take you ...

6
Day 6 - Machu Picchu to Cusco

Machu Picchu Majesty

We’re confident that this is one of the best tours of South America, and on day six you’ll see why.

Your private guide will accompany you to the Guard Shack at Machu Picchu where you’ll get the best view of this World Wonder, as well as an extended tour and explanation of the history, surrounding areas, and the sacred legend of Machu Picchu. The Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu keeps a profound essence of sacred mystery, which harmonizes with the natural landscape. It’s a place of great scientific and cultural significance as an expression of the architectural development of Inca culture.

Taking the train from Aguas Calientes you’ll head through the dramatic landscape of the Sacred Valley until you reach Cusco. Having acclimatized to the altitude the last few days, Cusco’s altitude (11,150ft. above sea level) should be no problem at all at this point, allowing you to really get out and enjoy the town this evening, or get some rest at one of our lovely boutique hotels in Cusco.

Included: Half-day private guided tour of Machu Picchu with transport, private guide, and entrance fees, train ticket to Cusco; transfer from the train station to your accommodation in Cusco; accommodation in Cusco. (Meals – Breakfast).

We’re confident that this is one of the best tours of South America, and on day six you’ll see why.

Your private guide will accompany you to the Guard Shack at Machu Picchu where you’ll get the best view of this ...

7
Day 7 - Cusco

Cusco like a local

On day seven of this South America highlights tour you’ll head to the famed imperial city of Cusco.

Walk around the Imperial City of the Incas, starting at the local market of Cusco, where you will experience a bit of Peruvian Culture and daily Cusqueño life. In the market, you can find the best variety of vegetables, bread, and fruits in the country. Continuing this pleasant walk you’ll visit the impressive Colonial Cathedral in Cusco containing over 400 paintings from the Cusqueña School and several beautiful altars.

Afterward, you’ll visit Koricancha, which is considered a religious center of Cusco, as well as a geographical and political center. The Temple of Koricancha, was where the Inca paid homage to the Sun god called Inti. Qori means goldwork and Kancha means an enclosed space, bounded by walls.

Then you’ll walk uphill a bit to enter the artisan quarter of San Blas, where you’ll be able to appreciate a religious painting and many workshops where, if they are available, you can watch artisans in action. After this, you’ll return to your hotel.

Included: Private excursion with guide and entrance fees to Koricancha and the Cathedral; accommodation in Cusco. (Meals – Breakfast).

On day seven of this South America highlights tour you’ll head to the famed imperial city of Cusco.

Walk around the Imperial City of the Incas, starting at the local market of Cusco, where you will experience a bit of Peruvian ...

8
Day 8 - Cusco to Buenos Aires

Welcome to the capitol of Argentina

On day eight of one of the best South American tours, here’s what you can expect.

Private transfer to the airport. For most travelers, Buenos Aires is the entry point to Argentina… and what an entrance it is: this vibrant city feels almost European! Its cosmopolitan population of Italian, Spanish, French, and many other nationalities, combined with stunning architecture, cultural activities, and attractive neighborhoods make the atmosphere relaxed and welcoming. Spend some time exploring the neighborhoods with their small shops, cafés, and international restaurants.

After settling into your accommodation in the trendy neighborhood of Palermo, the rest of your afternoon and evening is free for you to spend at your leisure. We recommend exploring the area near your hotel where you’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere of this thrilling city. Stopping off at one of the nearby boutique cafés or lively wine bars.

Having found somewhere for dinner and experienced one of South America’s top restaurant scenes, explore Buenos Aires’ nightlife at one of the local wine bars in Palermo. Add an exclusive wine tasting to your itinerary or, take a stroll back to your hotel.

Tip: Porteños eat dinner late; usually restaurants will open their doors around 20:00.

Included: Private airport transfers in Cusco and Buenos Aires; accommodation in Buenos Aires. (Meals – Breakfast).

On day eight of one of the best South American tours, here’s what you can expect.

Private transfer to the airport. For most travelers, Buenos Aires is the entry point to Argentina… and what an entrance it is: this vibrant city ...

9
Day 9 - Buenos Aires

Tango & Highlights of Buenos Aires

After getting to know the city a little better on your own, day nine is all about hitting the main attractions in Buenos Aires.

Set off on a half-day walking tour with your private guide, learning all about the history and culture of beautiful Buenos Aires. Your guide will be a real porteño (resident of the city), who knows every barrio like the back of his/her hand. Together, you’ll head off to explore some of the city’s historical hotspots, as well as some of the favorite local hangouts of your guides.

It’s a great mix of experiences thrown into one. Getting an inside glimpse of Buenos Aires, you’ll go far beyond the guidebooks and swerve the tourist crowds, allowing you to see a different side of the city. At times, you’ll take public transport to cover the larger distances, while most of the tour will be on foot. After a few hours with your guide, the tour will finish at one of his/her favorite restaurants, where you can grab a well-deserved bite to eat (lunch not included). It’s a brilliant way to get a peek into the real porteño way of life.

Located in the heart of San Telmo, this historical refurbished ‘conventillo’ is a classic example of the Buenos Aires culture. La Ventana takes you back to older times. The interior architectural style has been preserved and creates an ideal setting for a unique experience: 32 performing artists, two tango orchestras, a folklore ensemble, dancers and singers, a menu of traditional and international cuisine, and an exquisite list of Argentinean wines and dinner.

Included: Walking city tour with private guide, dinner tango show; accommodation in Buenos Aires. (Meals – Breakfast, Dinner).

After getting to know the city a little better on your own, day nine is all about hitting the main attractions in Buenos Aires.

Set off on a half-day walking tour with your private guide, learning all about the history and ...

10
Day 10 - Buenos Aires to Iguazu Falls

North to Iguazu Falls

Here’s what you can expect from day ten of our best of South America tour.

Upon arrival at Iguazu’s Airport, your guide and transfer will be waiting for you. Diving straight into the action and wasting no time, your private guide will take you to begin your exclusive tour of the Argentinean side of Iguazu Falls. You’ll head towards the Iguazu National Park where you’ll climb aboard a small train at the entrance of the National Park and your first stop will be the ominously named Devil’s Throat (Garganta del Diablo) which standing at over 262ft. is the biggest waterfall in Iguazu.

Having soaked up the enormity of the Devil’s Throat your guide will take you along the wooden walkways and trails of both the upper and lower circuit.

With over 270 separate waterfalls and surrounded by the verdant jungle of Iguazu, exploring the Natural World Wonder of Iguazu is one of the most unforgettable moments. You’ll notice that the various trails that take you through the jungle, above and around waterfalls are built a few feet above the jungle floor and waterways. These raised platforms not only protect the natural habitat of the jungle wildlife but they will also take you to secluded viewpoints offering unimaginable views across the whole National Park.

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure while visiting Iguazu, we highly recommend booking the optional Great Adventure rafting tour that takes you right under the rainbows and mist of Iguazu’s waterfalls. Make sure to pack a change of clothes or swimwear and a watertight bag for your valuables because you will get wet!

After a full day exploring Argentina’s side of Iguazu Falls, you’ll head back to the visitors’ center and from there, your transfer will take you to your hotel in Iguazu where having settled in, the rest of your evening is free to spend at your leisure.

Included: Private transfer to Aeroparque Airport, private transfer to your accommodation in Puerto Iguazu; accommodation in Puerto Iguazu. (Meals – Breakfast).

Here’s what you can expect from day ten of our best of South America tour.

Upon arrival at Iguazu’s Airport, your guide and transfer will be waiting for you. Diving straight into the action and wasting no time, your private guide ...

11
Day 11 - Iguazu Falls

Argentinian side of the falls

On day eleven of your tour, you’ll explore a different side to Iguazu Falls.

See Iguazu Falls in real style by taking a private full-day tour to the Argentinean side of these incredible cascades. You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Puerto Iguazu and transferred to the Visitor Center in the National Park, where the adventure begins. From here, you can choose to hop on the train to Cataratas Station or set off along the scenic Green Trail that leads to the beginning of the Upper and Lower walkways. As you get closer and closer to the Falls, you’ll begin to hear the deafening roar of these mighty cascades. It’s heart-thumping stuff.

The Upper Circuit leads through the jungle to the falls, guaranteeing you gorgeous views with every footstep and ending with a panorama of the Falls that will leave you speechless. Next, the Lower Circuit is a twisting 1600 meters of mist-swirled catwalks giving you great views from both below and around the base of the Falls. Just watch out for the spray!

Afterward, you’ll set off for Garganta Station, where you’ll come face-to-face with the mighty Devil’s Throat, the largest and most powerful cascade in the area. It’s a sight that will knock your socks off. Once you have finished the circuits, you must go back to the Visitors Center where your transport will be waiting for your return.

Included: Private excursion to the Argentinean side of the falls with transport and guide, entrance fees; accommodation in Puerto Iguazu. (Meals – Breakfast).

On day eleven of your tour, you’ll explore a different side to Iguazu Falls.

See Iguazu Falls in real style by taking a private full-day tour to the Argentinean side of these incredible cascades. You’ll be picked up from your hotel ...

12
Day 12 - Iguazu Falls to Rio de Janeiro

Exploring Brazil's side and onto Rio

Here’s what you can expect from day twelve of your South America tour.

This morning, you’ll dive straight into the action and waste no time as your transfer and guide pick you up to take you to begin your tour of the Brazilian side of the Falls. Iguazu Falls border Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay and, today you’ll have a private guided tour of the Brazilian side.

Amidst a vibrant jungle of exotic trees and colorful butterflies, the Brazilian side offers a more panoramic view of the falls as well as an up-close and direct view of Iguaçu’s largest waterfall that stands at over 262 ft. Ominously known as the Garganta del Diablo (or Devil’s Throat), this is the waterfall that made Eleanor Roosevelt say, “Poor Niagara…”. Once the tour is completed we will take you to Foz do Iguaçu airport for your flight to Rio de Janeiro.

Once you’ve settled into your accommodation in Rio de Janeiro, the rest of the day is free to explore some of our favorite local spots. Stroll along the long boulevards next to the beaches of Ipanema, Leblon, and of course Copacabana while humming the song, ‘Girl from Ipanema’. Along the way, you’ll find plenty of huts selling delicious freshly squeezed juices and coconuts which will refresh you as you soak up the breathtaking cityscape of Rio de Janeiro and realize why the city is known as ‘The Marvelous City’!

Relax and watch the sunset at the beach before going out for dinner at one of the restaurants along the promenade. We recommend trying one of Brazil’s most famous and traditional dishes, feijoada carioca (a stew of beans with beef and pork served with white rice and farofa) washed down with a refreshing caipirinha cocktail or a local beer, Brahma and Skol are our favorites! Following dinner, you can go back to your hotel to relax or go to one of the local samba bars to dance the night away!

Included: Half day tour of Brazil’s side of Iguazu Falls with transportation and private guide, entrance fees to Brazil’s Iguaçu Falls National Park, transfer from Rio airport to hotel; accommodation in Rio. (Meals – Breakfast).

Here’s what you can expect from day twelve of your South America tour.

This morning, you’ll dive straight into the action and waste no time as your transfer and guide pick you up to take you to begin your tour of ...

13
Day 13 - Rio de Janeiro

Rio like a local

On day thirteen of your South America group tour, here’s what you should be expecting.

The tour starts at 9 am at the meeting point: in front of the famous “Copacabana Palace Hotel”, an icon of the ’30s / ’40s golden Copacabana years. After learning a bit about this place, you will walk a few blocks to get to the Subway Metro Station, main´s Carioca´s transport around the city every day. You will then reach the Municipal Theatre built on an eclectic style, located in the center of the city.

A few blocks away, you will find and jump in the Bondinho Santa Teresa, a cable car built in 1872 that runs on the top of an old aqueduct called Arcos da Lapa. After a few stations, we reach the bohemian neighborhood of Santa Teresa, passing by many old antique mansions. You will find here the Parque das Ruinas (closed on Mondays), an old Palace ruins that was rebuilt and became the center of many arts and cultural activities of the city with panoramic views in all its splendor.

If clouds allow, you will see from here the City Center, Sugarloaf, Guanabara Bay, and many others. A few Kodak moments later, you will get to the Selaron Colorful Stairs, a cultural main spot at Lapa neighborhood, the core of the Carioca´s nights. Finally, you will enjoy the Confiteria Colombo, an old Art Nouveau coffee store from the latest 1800, chosen as one of the ten most beautiful coffee stores in the world (closed on Sundays).

When this visit is over, you will either be dropped at the Sugarloaf to get into the cable car or take the metro back to the Copacabana Palace where the tour ends. Our guide will give you directions on how to get to the Christ the Redeemer by yourself in the afternoon or you can pre-buy your Christ the Redeemer entrance fee as availability can be disappointing during some periods.

Following the tour and returning to your hotel or heading straight for the beach, the rest of the day is free to spend at leisure. Tonight keep to the beachside restaurants and feast on a long list of salgadinhos (finger food) such as fried cod cakes, all washed down with a nice cold caipirinha careful though, their sweet and smooth taste packs quite a punch, so drink them with caution!

Included: Private excursion with a guide and public transportation; accommodation in Rio. (Meals – Breakfast).

On day thirteen of your South America group tour, here’s what you should be expecting.

The tour starts at 9 am at the meeting point: in front of the famous “Copacabana Palace Hotel”, an icon of the ’30s / ’40s golden ...

14
Day 14 - Rio de Janeiro

Leaving Rio...

It’s time to hit the road again as you make your way to your next destination where if you are planning to, you can enjoy exploring the beauty and vibrant, Carnival atmosphere of Brazil further.

Included: Transfer from hotel to Rio´s airport. (Meals – Breakfast).

It’s time to hit the road again as you make your way to your next destination where if you are planning to, you can enjoy exploring the beauty and vibrant, Carnival atmosphere of Brazil further.

Included: Transfer from hotel to Rio´s ...

Shared Experiences in Best of South America

We have over 20 years experience building relationships with a short list of some of the best hotels and guides in Central & South America, from 7 regional offices in Latin America. We always aim to offer our tour packages with as little impact with the culture, by using shared transportation and/or private “like a local” excursions using public transportation. Let us know your travel dates and destination preferences, and we’ll match you with YOUR PERFECT Latin America experience. 

Shared Hotels & Pricing

(Price estimate for 2 people traveling together)

Option 1: Comfort
$2,879 /person
View Comfort Hotels
Option 2: Superior
$3,429 /person
View Superior Hotels
Option 3: Luxury
$4,799 /person
View Luxury Hotels
Concerns about traveling during COVID-19?
At Class Adventure Travel, the safety and health of our team and travelers is our top priority. Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Central and South America have been confirmed, but are significantly fewer (aside from Brazil) than other regions and countries across the globe. Due to the recent pandemic, we have been redefined many of our travel itineraries and operational measures to help bring peace of mind while traveling with us in Latin America. The above tour packages can be organized with private transportation and a personal guide, to allow for social distancing while exploring destinations with our team. We are here for you. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do reach out so we can make sure your answers and mind are left at ease.

Any trip can be cancelled up to 2 weeks prior to arrival, if COVID-19 related.

$3,099 /person
Get a Quote

Customize your "Best of South America" tour or book this trip

Our World Experts offer full support and dedication to customizing this tour to fit you wishlist.
We can mix and match experiences, hotels and highlights to fit you budget and taste.