Grand Tour of South America14 days
95.0% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
Savor the diversity and beauty of South America, from cosmopolitan capitals to ancient Incan ruins. The sophisticated cities of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are the perfect introduction to this continent of contrasts. In between your city explorations, you’ll undertake thrilling outdoor adventures—admire the Iguassu waterscape from every angle and embark on an expedition of Incan sites, including the legendary Machu Picchu.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
11 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Argentinian wines & Brazilian barbecue
The beach scene & bossa nova in Rio
Lush greenery & spectacular scenery at Iguassu
Surprising, sophisticated Buenos Aires
The history & mystery of Machu Picchu
Pisac’s colorful local market
Overnight Flight1 night
Rio de Janeiro2 nights - hotel info
Take in the “marvelous” vista from Sugarloaf Mountain
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Cable car, Metropolitan Cathedral
This morning arrive in Rio de Janeiro, the Marvelous City. A Go Ahead representative greets you and escorts you to your hotel. After settling in, join your Tour Director for a cable car ride to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, the peak that greets entrants to Guanabara Bay. Looking out from nearly 1,300 feet above the waves, you’ll be able to see out for miles, soaking in panoramic views of the South American landscapes. Then, pass by downtown Rio’s vast collection of colonial buildings on your way to explore the Metropolitan Cathedral. Later, mingle with your group at your welcome dinner.
Ramble around Rio from Corcovado to Copacabana
This morning, board a cogwheel train and travel to the top of Corcovado Mountain, where you’ll stand next to the statue of Christ the Redeemer, one of the modern Wonders of the World. Spend the rest of your day as you please, hopping among Rio’s white-sand beaches or just sitting back and basking in the sun.
Iguassu Falls2 nights - hotel info
Feel the falls rushing down from hundreds of feet and miles around
One of South America’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, Iguassu Falls is like no other place in the New World. Here, over 275 cascades rush and churn, spread across just over one mile of land. First, drive through Iguassu National Park, a subtropical paradise, to the Brazilian side of the falls. Walk through forested footpaths for panoramic views of the waters. In the afternoon, cross Tancredo Neves Bridge into Argentina to take in the largest and most famous section of Iguassu Falls: Devil’s Throat.
Buenos Aires3 nights - hotel info
Taste the unique European flavor of the Argentine capital
Today fly to Buenos Aires and begin exploring the city. Known as “the Paris of the South,” Buenos Aires is renowned for its elegant culture. A city of immigrants, it weaves multitudes of people, cuisines and cultures into a vibrant and modern tapestry. After getting acquainted with the capital, join your group for an included dinner.
Tour the bodegones, hear the music, dance the tango
Optional Excursion - Tango Show & Dinner
Embark on a guided tour of Buenos Aires and get to know the city where the tango was born. Begin at Plaza de Mayo, continue on to the colorful streets of La Boca and end your tour in Recoleta, where you’ll visit the grave of Eva Perón. Tonight, opt to attend a tango performance and dinner.
Tango Show & Dinner $115* pp
Relax and enjoy the show as accomplished tangueros perform their national dance. Accompanied by live music, the elegant dancers will transport you to a bygone era. You’ll also enjoy a dinner featuring regional specialties and Argentine wine.
Delve deeper into BA or enjoy a day on the Tigre Delta
Optional Excursion - Tigre Delta & Cruise
Take a day to discover the ins and outs of Buenos Aires. Or, opt to take a cruise on the Tigre Delta.
Tigre Delta & Cruise $85* pp
This morning, travel by bus through the northern coastal neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, including prestigious Olivos, home of the Argentine presidential palace. Continue through the affluent and architecturally rich districts of San Isidro and San Fernando to Tigre, where you will board a one-hour cruise on the Luján River, taking in the lush tropical vegetation of the Parana Delta. Explore the vast maze of canals and tributaries dotted with old residences, vacation homes and restaurants before returning to Buenos Aires by bus.
Cuzco2 nights - hotel info
Contrast Cuzco’s colonial architecture and Incan ruins
Optional Excursion - Cuzco by Night
On a guided tour of Cuzco, visit the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, the city’s colonial-era Plaza de Armas, the Incan Korikancha temple, the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the temple of Kenko and the ancient Incan baths at Tambomachay. This evening, experience another side of Peruvian culture at our optional outing, Cuzco By Night.
Cuzco by Night $45* pp
Peru’s diverse culture comes alive in the heart of Cuzco. Admire the glowing lights of the city as you stroll to dinner at a local restaurant. After arriving, feast on a buffet of Peruvian specialties, featuring an array of authentic dishes. While you eat, you'll be entertained by a native folk show, showcasing the region’s traditional music and dance.
Aguas Calientes1 night - hotel info
Feel the spirit in the Sacred Valley of the Incas
A local guide leads you on a full-day sightseeing tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Uncover the famous ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo and visit several local market towns. Board a train bound for Aguas Calientes, passing through the spectacular mountain scenery of the dramatic Urubamba River Valley.
Cuzco1 night - hotel info
Explore the ancient temples and green terraces of Machu Picchu
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Explore the Lost City of the Incas, discovering the Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Three Windows, cave of the Temple of the Condor and mysterious calendar of Intihuatana. After lunch board a train for a ride back to Cuzco for a farewell dinner with your group.
Limafor a day - hotel info
Descend into Peru’s captivating seaside capital
Cathedral of Lima, Church of San Francisco, Huaca Huallamarca
Arrive this morning in Lima, Peru’s diverse capital. After hotel check-in, a local guide leads you on an extensive tour of both modern and colonial Lima. This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight home. If you’re going on the tour extension, you’ll overnight in Lima.
Extend Your Stay
Add the Amazon $499*
One of South America's most magnificent natural wonders, the Amazon is the biggest forest in the world and home to the single greatest concentration of life on the planet. Hike through a part of this stunning landscape, take a boat ride to an indigenous Yagua village and visit a former Franciscan mission town.
The Amazon2 nights - hotel info
Venture into the green depths of the Amazonian rainforest
Optional Excursion - Amazon Canopy Walk
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning, take a hike through the Amazon rainforest reserve or opt for an Amazon canopy walk. Later, sit down for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.
Amazon Canopy Walk $145* pp
Go deep into the Amazon with a treetop walk. The day starts with breakfast under the palm-thatched roofs of the ExplorNapo Lodge on the Napo River. Next, hike to the spectacular Canopy Walkway for a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest, taking in the lush plants and wildlife along the way. Afterward, enjoy lunch and a visit to the ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Garden, which has 240 plants cultivated by local shaman who will explain their practices of Amazonian natural healing.
Limafor a day
Passport & Visa Requirements
In order to enter Brazil, Argentina and Peru, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the reentry date. Additionally, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in advance in order to enter Brazil. You may choose to obtain your individual visa by applying directly to the Brazilian consulate or by using a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral. In accordance with Argentine law a reciprocity fee must be paid prior to your departure. For U.S. citizens the charge is $160 USD per person and for Canadian citizens $75 USD per person. To prepay your reciprocity fee, please visit the Argentine National Immigration Directorate online. An Andean Immigration Card is required to visit Machu Picchu and will be issued to you upon arrival in Peru. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.
Clothing & Packing Tips
Light, loose-fitting, comfortable clothing is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are recommended for sightseeing. Binoculars may be handy for a closer look at wildlife and views from Iguassu Falls and the Peruvian highlands. Insect repellent is strongly recommended on excursions to Iguassu Falls, Iguassu National Park, the Incan ruins and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Bring a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear. If you plan to visit an elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, remember to bring something more formal to wear. Also, it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).
Travelers should be aware of high-altitude conditions in Peru. The altitude of Cuzco is 11,000 feet. Travelers (especially those with heart or lung conditions) are encouraged to take precautions and consult with their personal healthcare providers before undertaking high-altitude travel. The best way to prevent “altitude sickness,” which sometimes results in headaches and nausea, is to make sure that you are well hydrated throughout your stay. Sightseeing of Machu Picchu and the Incan ruins also involves walking on some uneven terrain, and travelers should be in reasonable shape. While no vaccinations are required, it’s always advisable to check with your doctor at least eight weeks prior to departure.
Brazil uses 110 volts. Peru and Argentina use 220 volts; an adapter is necessary.
Important Health Tips
In order for you to stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:
- Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing teeth.
- Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
- Bring a small first-aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication and any prescription medications.
The cuisine of Argentina is distinctive in South America because it is closer in style and flavor to Italian, Spanish, French and other European cuisines rather than the other Latin American cuisines. Also, since Argentina is one of South America’s major food producers, mainly in meat, corn, soybean and dairy products, its cuisine tends more toward European dishes with an Argentine flair. Italian pastas and pizzas, German Schnitzels and British scones and tea sandwiches are as common as the indigenous fare. Perhaps the most common dish is the asado, or barbecue, a series of salt-rubbed meats, ribs and chorizo sausages cooked over a fire pit on a series of metal grills and crosses. For dessert, try dulce de leche, a sweet honey-and-milk paste used to fill any number of heavenly pastries. Since Brazil is the largest country in South America, its cuisine varies from region to region. Some staples, like beans, coconut, dende oil, codfish and shrimp, can be found throughout. Another favorite throughout the country is the caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, made with cachaça (distilled from sugar cane, like rum), sugar and lime. Peruvian cuisine features a blend of indigenous and European (mainly Spanish) tastes. Typical dishes on the coast include shellfish, sea bass and scallops, often marinated in lemon juice, chili peppers and onion and served with potato or corn. Highland dishes are heartier, also featuring corn and potatoes, usually with roasted meat.
Round-trip flights arrive in Rio and depart from Lima. Flights from Rio to Iguassu Falls, from Iguassu Falls to Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires to Cuzco and from Cuzco to Lima are also included in your trip cost. Most other transportation is by private motor coach. Rio de Janeiro is a large, busy city; local buses are the best way to travel around town. Buenos Aires is a large city set up on a grid, much like New York City. While most of the city is pedestrian-friendly, you can always hop on the metro or bus to get around town.
Argentina and Brazil are both one hour ahead of New York from October to April, and are the same time as New York from April to October. Peru lies in a similar time zone but does not observe daylightsavings time. Therefore, Peru has the same time as New York from October to April, and is one hour behind New York from April to October.
The Argentine peso, the Brazilian real and the Peruvian sol are the currencies you will use on your tour. ATMs, which are widely available in major cities (mostly on the Visa and Plus international networks), are the most cost-effective way to get cash. We also recommend that you take credit cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
95.0% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
best falls every
had a great time,the only thing i did'nt like the last day spending a day at airports,other than that loved the trip and the fellow travelers made it fun we looked after everyone that makes it a great trip.great people.....
South America Potpourri
Great places, great faces. The guides and people are really fun and genuine. Starting with Rio there are lots of things to see and do, Redeemer, Sugarloaf, Parrots park, city fun life. We had a really fabulous time at the beach with all the amenities, drinks, lounge chairs fun, cheap service, deals from vendors, weather, beach, ocean swimming in the ocean, soo fun. Iguassu Falls, Really have to see it. Guides have lots of choices for you. Hotel, pool, hot tub, just great. Buenos Aires, city action, walk around, eat out pizza, go to La Boca, dry your clothes. Cusco via Lima, should have brought some air from Buenos cause you are at 11,000 feet now. This is the hoppiniest spot you will ever end up in. Ruins galore, out of this world eating, Sacred Valley, Manchu Picchu, railroad trips. All places are so different. Amazon, best yet, you can't imagine how much fun you can have there.
Memorable trip with great experiences.
I loved this trip, the tour directors (Santiago & Roberto) were great and there was never a dull moment. So many memorable experiences: Ipanema Beach, Iguassu Falls, Buenos Aries, Machu Picchu & the Amazon. My biggest complaint about Goahead in the past has been about the provided meals; not so this time, there were lots of them and they were fantastic! The steak in Buenos Aries was unforgettable. If you like a fast pace tour, book this one with confidence, you will have a blast!
Two directors and then there was a guide
This was one of the busiest, most interesting of my Go Ahead tours to date. I had a wonderful time with a great bunch of fellow travellers and two directors. The tour included almost everything I wanted to see in South America. It ran from strolling on Ipanema beach in Rio and shopping in Buenos Aires to crawling over awesome Inca riuns and slogging through the Amazon rain forest. It was awesome! As the venues were diverse, so were the personnel; two local guides stand out for me, Eder in Iguassu Falls and Louis in Buenos Aires. Eder was probably the best local guide I've experienced. Louis on the other hand was definately the very worst. This man had a superior attitude that was quite tiresome. He was constantly talking about his own education and that of his family while expounding on his unfavourable opinion of the less fortunate in society. During the delta cruise, I went out on deck to avoid his boring diatribe about himself and his opinions. We had two directors on this trip, Santiago and Roberto. Santiago was with us in Brasil and Argentina; a very helpful and good director. Then we went to Peru and met Roberto. I have been on a lot of tours with Go Ahead and other companies and this man is without a doubt the very best tour director I've experienced to date.
The sites, guides and organization were exceptional. Luis and Roberto were both excellent guides and made all the transfers easy. Special recognition should go to Roberto and the driver (Mario) for their help during the transportation strike around Cuzco which allowed our trip to continue on schedule. We have taken trips with Goahead before and this was certainly one of the best. Rio, Iguassu, Buenos Aires, Cuzco,Machu Picchu, The Amazon, I can't believe we saw it all. Paul and Laurie Conrad
Want to sum up a couple of the highlights. Rio de Janeiro in my estimation will not be ready for the World Soccer Cup or the Olympics. City is poor and crime is rampant. Iguassu Falls was awesome from Brazil and Argentina vantage point. Buenos Aires is beautiful and vibrant. Also, full of pick pockets. Markets in Cusco and Mazan were interesting and gave us a good taste of the indigenous people and how they live and eat. Our tour director in Peru Roberto and driver Mario turned a possible dangerous event into an experience of a life time. I am referring to the strike in Cusco that blocked all the main roads in and out of Cusco. Roberto walked 1.8 miles to the local town to get a police escort for our bus that had been sabotaged by the strikers. Mario changed 3 tires with 14 punctures due to the strikers not wanting us to exit Cusco. Because of their courage and professionalism we made it through to Machu Picchu to catch the last train and save what may have been a lost day. The decision was also made to leave Machu Picchu later than scheduled the next day to avoid the second day of the strike. The plan worked and we arrived back in Cusco for a late dinner. The extended trip to the Amazon was well worth the extra time and money spent.
BEST SITE & GUIDE
I HAVE TO GIVE KUDOS TO EDWIN WHO WAS OUR GUIDE IN PERU. HE WAS THE BEST WE HAD & TRULY DID WHAT I WOULD EXPECT OF A GUIDE. OF COURSE, THE BEST SITE OF THE TRIP WAS MACHU PICCHU. WE HAD A FEW PEOPLE WHO GOT SICK IN PERU DUE TO HIGH ALTITUDE, BUT IF YOU GO, DRINK THE COCO TEA. IT WORKED FOR ME!!! I WAS DISAPPOINTED IN RIO & BUENOS AIRES. THE LATTER JUST SEEMED LIKE A PLACE TO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY. LA BOCA WAS NICE, BUT WE WERE ONLY THERE ABOUT AN HOUR & SINCE I WAS ALONE, I DIDN'T WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE ON A TAXI. IGUASSU FALLS IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. THEY GO ON & ON & ON. WE WERE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE RAINBOWS THE DAY WE WERE THERE. GORGEOUS SIGHT. MACHU PICCHU WAS JUST AMAZING TO SEE & REALIZE NONE OF OUR BUILDINGS WILL LAST ANYWHERE NEAR THAT LONG. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE DAYS IN PERU & FEWER IN BUENOS AIRES. ALSO, IT'D BE BETTER IF MACHU PICCHU WERE THE 1ST TOUR AS WE WERE ALL PRETTY TIRED BY THE TIME WE GOT THERE AT THE END OF THE TRIP.
Touring South America
Go Ahead did a very good job handling logistics and selecting interesting places. The tour directors Luis and Roberto made sure everything went smoothly. I would recommend this tour to anyone who likes to see quite a bit over a short period.
A Great Experience
If you are looking to "sample" Brazil and Argentina and Peru this is for you! Though the information presented by the guides and the tours within the countries, we gained an excellent understanding of the cultures and histories of places visited. The food was incredible and the total experience was what I was looking for. Be prepared to face the effects of high altitude and seek the advice of your physician before traveling.
Buenos Aires and Peru
Buenos Aires and Peru portion of the tour were great. We didn’t make it to Barzil because we didn’t get a visa. Would have appreciated if Customer Relations would have followed-up with us to make sure we understood in addition to a passport a visa is required for Barzil.