Grand Tour of South America 14 days
92.3% 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 cog-wheel 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 Argentinian 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 Lujan 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 have an overnight flight to Iquitos.
Extend Your Stay
Add 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.
Amazon2 nights - hotel info
Get acquainted with the indigenous Yagua
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Take a morning boat ride to the Yagua Indian Village where you’ll visit with the citizens of this community. This afternoon, take a walking tour of Indiana, a former Franciscan mission town. Later, sit down for a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.
Limafor a day - hotel info
Passport & Visa
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 date of your return home. A visa is also required for U.S. and Canadian passport holders to enter Brazil. You can obtain an individual visa through our recommended provider VisaCentral (www.visacentral.com/goaheadtours). Upon arrival in Peru, you will be given an Andean immigration card. Please keep this with you. You will need it for your trip to Machu Picchu. 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. In order to prepay for your reciprocity fee, please visit https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
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 health-care 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.
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. On the other hand, 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 towards European dishes with an Argentinian flair. Italian pastas and pizzas, German Schnitzels and British scones 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. 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.
Transportation / Walking on tour
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.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
Clothing and 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).
The Argentinian 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.
92.3% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
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.
This was more than a Grand Tour of South America. It was awesome! The trip got better as we went along and the extension to the Amazon was terrific. We figured we would not go back to go to the Amazon and are so thankful we went. Catching a piranha was great!
I would rate this tour excellent if it were not for the Uruguay trip, that was an awful experience. To start with half of the tour got first class on the ferry, which didn't seem fair since we all paid the same. The bus that picked us up was so dirty we couldn't see out of the windows some of the men on the tour cleaned the windows while the driver just watched. The Uruguay guide spoke no English which I thought very strange with a bus load of Americans. When we returned to Buenos Aires the bus they sent to pick us up wasn't big enough so 3 people walked back to the hotel. We saw no grand sights like advertized, we were very disappointed and felt ripped off as it was not a cheap excursion.
While the Grand Tour of South America was a valuable experience overall, many of us on the tour recognized that with the 11 flights involved, much time was spent getting up very early, getting to airports, waiting in airports, and in the air. Of course, some of what I was able to see from my window seat in the air was remarkable, such as the Andes and our descent into Cusco. In Rio, a very expensive experience for the brief stay, hours were also spent waiting in line for brief tram rides and views that could be appreciated in twenty minutes. The Rio stay was not worth the cost of the visa. Iguassu Falls alone was almost worth the high expense of the trip. The usual words are inadequate to express the power, magnitude and beauty of the falls. Spending two days appreciating the falls from both Brazil and Argentina was well worth the time. Buenos Aires offered a variety of experiences. However, one of my favorite experiences was strolling off the noise and repair work on Florida Street into the beautiful park with its flowering jacaranda and bottle trees as well as views of the city. While most of the tour group took an optional day trip to Uruguay, four of us took a taxi to the National and modern art museums, a park with a kinetic sculpture, and lunch along the waterfront, for me, a memorable day spent with new friends. Cuzco offered a totally different, and seemingly more authentic, experience that the prior two large cities with its more neighborly feel. From there, while getting acclimated to the 11,000 foot altitude, we visited two very beautiful Inca sites as a preparation for traveling to Machu Picchu. The train ride to Machu Picchu was part of the fun as we were served a small but elegantly presented brunch. The site itself, like Iguassu Falls, can only be described with words that sound cliche. Not only the ruins, but also the landscape are stunning. We discovered what superb architects and engineers the Incas people were. While Machu Picchu is far more vast than any photos can indicate, it is small compared to the surrounding mountains. Unfortunately, we spent little time getting acquainted with Lima. We used it mainly as a departure point for going to the Amazon and for leaving for home. The 15 of us who took the Amazon extension made a smart choice. I found it the most unique and valuable part of the whole tour. The size of the Amazon river, even at the western beginnings, is immense. We motored through Iquitos twice in an open bus, and we breezed on the Amazon in open speedboats to see pink dolphins and visit three villages, each different from the other. The resort was a comfortable place to stay, relax, walk, swim, eat and generally enjoy the last few days of the tour. Special thanks goes to Edwin, our tour director for the western side of the journey. He inspired confidence with his organization and energy, and his affability. Many other local guides offered tremendous information as well. Because this journey was one of my more complex travel experiences, there is so much more I could say, but for now, this is enough. Lee
Best of sousthamerica
I enjoyed this tour to the best of southamerica, I would rate my fav. places as 1) Iguazo Falls, 2)Rio de Janeiro 3) Machupichu 4) Lima 5) Buenos aires. I wish we had spent more time at Rio and less in buenos aires but all in all it was all good. The tour directors were very knowledgable and organized, always prompt and concerned for our well being ( there were 28 people in the group). This was my first escorted tour and I felt very secure being in countries I had never visited before. Hotels and transportation were as promised. I am looking forward to travel again!
Seeing Iguassu Falls and Machu Picchu was exhilirating! Pictures can't begin to show what feelings are experienced when standing at the foot of Christ the Redeemer in Rio or climbing steps in ancient ruins on our tour. Getting wet with spray from the falls made it real. The food was truly amazing as we tried local dishes of beef, lamb, chicken. alpaca and almost tried "guinea pig"!! We sampled corn beer and ate our weight in empanadas. The cultural aspect of tour was highlighted with tango show and folk dances of South America. The people were friendly whether working as gauchos on the estancia or on Peru Rail going to Machu Picchu.
Grand Tour of South America
The tour provided everything that I wanted. I travel with a tour group to assist me in getting to see sites of interest and assit in traveling in a foreign country, this tour provided all of that for me. This was my first tour with Go Ahead. I hesitate to refer this tour to friends because of the accomodations in Rio. The hotel was loud with noise from the streets which sounded rough, and the location was in a back ally where I would be uncomfortable recommending it to a couple or women. The tour director in Peru was very good overall. The tour director in Brazil and Argentina was poor in his organization and communications skills, but good in his knowledge of the locations.
Very good trip
Best of South America: Brazil, Argentina & Perú, was a very good trip, especially on Argentina and Perú. Maybe should be check the first part of Brazil tour, because I think that country is beautiful and has more to offer. But overall, it was a good tour.