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Grand Tour of South America

14 days
The sophisticated cities of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are the perfect introduction to this continent of contrasts. You’ll also undertake thrilling outdoor adventures, such as admiring the Iguassu waterscape from every angle and embarking on expeditions of Incan sites, like the legendary Machu Picchu.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 26 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 3 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads, cobblestone streets and slippery walkways, with some hills.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Overnight flight

Board your overnight flight to Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Rio de Janeiro

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Brazil! Today, enjoy a cable car ride up Sugarloaf Mountain, then get to know Rio de Janeiro on a guided tour. 

• Halfway up the mountain, stop to take in scenic vistas of the Rio Yacht Club and Botafogo Bay

• Continue to the top of the mountain, soaking in panoramic views of the city, beaches and Atlantic ocean 

• Return to Rio to admire the city’s colonial architecture, including Carioca and Marchal Floriano Square, and visit the Metropolitan Cathedral

Day 3: Corcovado

  Included meals: Breakfast

Head to the top of Corcovado Mountain for a guided tour of the iconic peak.

• Hop aboard the cogwheel train, taking in the rainforest landscape of Tijuca National Park as you ride up the mountain 

• See the iconic Christ the Redeemer, a colossal Art Deco statue atop the summit

• Pass Rio’s white-sand beaches, including Ipanema and Copacabana

Iguassu Falls 2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Flight to Iguassu Falls

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Say goodbye to Rio and fly to the Argentine border, site of the thundering Iguassu Falls.

Day 5: Iguassu Falls

  Included meals: Breakfast

One of South America’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, Iguassu Falls is like no other place in the New World. 

• Drive through Iguassu National Park, a sub-tropical paradise 

• Walk through forested footpaths on the Brazilian side of the falls for panoramic views of the waters

• Cross Tancredo Neves Bridge into Argentina and view Devil’s Throat, the most famous section of the falls

Buenos Aires 3 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Flight to Buenos Aires

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly to Buenos Aires, and spend the afternoon getting to know the Argentine capital at your leisure.

Enjoy a free evening in Buenos Aires or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Tango Show & Dinner $125pp* Details

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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $135)

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Buenos Aires

  Included meals: Breakfast

Embark on a guided tour of the city where tango was born.

• Head to Plaza de Mayo to see the Casa Rosada, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo

• Pass through the historic neighborhood of San Telmo before exploring the colorful streets of La Boca

• Drive along 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest street in the world, to the beautiful parks of Palermo 

• Visit the aristocratic Recoleta neighborhood and the grave of Eva Perón

Day 8: Free day in Buenos Aires

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Spend the day exploring Buenos Aires on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Estancia Visit: Argentine Barbecue & Gaucho Show $155pp* Details

Head to Argentina’s countryside for a day at a traditional estancia, or ranch, where you’ll get to know the culture of the Pampas. You’ll be welcomed with empanadas, a local specialty, and Argentine wine, then have a chance to visit the estancia’s museum and church. Go for a horseback ride around the property or opt to hop in a small horse-drawn carriage, called a sulky. Later, enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch along with entertainment. Experience the folklore of the region through music, dance and horse-riding show as gauchos (traditional ranch hands) show off their skills in the center of the ring, or sortija.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $165)

Cuzco 2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Fly to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Cuzco via Lima and enjoy a free afternoon to acclimate to the altitude or start exploring on your own.

Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Explore Cuzco with a local as your guide.  

• Visit the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, the Incan Qurikancha temple and the fortress of Sacsayhuaman 

• Step into the city’s colonial-era Plaza de Armas, the ancient maze of Kenko and the ancient Incan baths at Tambomachay

Enjoy a free afternoon and evening in Cuzco or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Traditional Peruvian Cooking Class & Dinner $115pp* Details

Learn to prepare a traditional Peruvian meal from the expert chefs at one of Cuzco’s top restaurants on this culinary excursion. With the beautiful Andes Mountains as your backdrop, use locally sourced ingredients to create two authentic dishes, as well as exotic cocktails made with pisco, a Peruvian brandy. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious dinner in the restaurant. Please note: This excursion is seasonal and runs from November through March.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $125)

Machu Picchu 1 night Hotel info

Day 11: The Sacred Valley of the Incas

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

A local guide leads you on a full-day sightseeing tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.  

• Visit the well-known market town of Pisac, also home to notable Incan ruins

• Uncover the ruins of Ollantaytambo, once the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti

• Board a train bound for Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, passing through the spectacular mountain scenery of the dramatic Urubamba River Valley

Cuzco 1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Machu Picchu

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Explore the Lost City of the Incas on a walking tour led by a local guide. 

• Take in incredible views of the valley floor and soaring Huayna Picchu

• Discover the perfect stonework of the Temple of the Sun and take in the sights from the Temple of the Three Windows 

• Uncover the cave of the Temple of the Condor and marvel at the mysterious calendar of Intihuatana 

This afternoon, board a train back to Cuzco for a farewell dinner with your group.

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Lima & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly to the Peruvian capital this morning for an extensive tour of both modern and colonial Lima. 

• See the city’s cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Monastery of San Francisco, which houses a museum of religious art and 16th-century catacombs

• Enter the Huaca Huallamarca archaeological site

This evening, transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home. If you’re continuing on the tour extension, you’ll spend the night in Lima.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 14: Arrival at home

Arrive home this morning.

Add Lima & the Amazon $549 pp

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.

Lima 1 night Hotel info

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast

Fly to the Peruvian capital this morning for an extensive tour of both modern and colonial Lima.

The Amazon 2 nights Hotel info

Day 14: Flight to the Amazon

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Start your adventure in the Amazon with a flight from Lima to Iquitos. Then, explore the rainforest on an afternoon cruise. 

• Hop aboard a boat to watch for pink dolphins and piranha  

• Visit with members of the native community at a Yagua village, and view a blowgun-shooting demonstration 

• Arrive at your Amazonian lodge later today

Day 15: Amazon rainforest hike

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, take a hike through the Amazon rainforest. Enjoy free time to explore on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Amazon Canopy Walk $165pp* Details

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. A local shaman will explain how the 240 plants cultivated here are used for healing.

Must be booked 20 days before departure

Day 16: Local school visit & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

After a visit to the Franciscan mission town of Indiana and a stop at a local school, board your flight back to Lima, where you’ll connect for your flight home.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 17: Arrival at home

Arrive home this morning.

How's the weather?

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Iguassu, Brazil
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Cusco, Peru
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

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.

Baggage allowance

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).

Health

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.

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.

Cuisine

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.

Transportation

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.

Electricity

Brazil uses 110 volts. Peru and Argentina use 220 volts; an adapter is necessary.

Time zones

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.

Currency

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.

Please Note: If you will be exchanging U.S. dollar bills in Peru, we advise that they be in new condition, as most vendors will not accept bills if they are wrinkled or dirty.

Tipping

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.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/8/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: QC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

A gem of a Tour Director -Roberto

The tour to Cusco, Maachu Pichu and the Peruvian Amazon was wonderful!! One might think "how could it be otherwise?" When the weather was so perfect, the scenery absolutely incredible, the meals delicious, but I know that it took a great deal more than this. The planning and general arrangements were very well thought of. The tour director's part in the success, though was paramount. He was so passionate about his job and so proud of his country Peru that he showcased it for us in the best possible way. His good humour, patience with answering oft repeated questions, his flexibility in accommodating special needs and requests, arranging extra activities for us so we could take part and share in the experience. His tireless checking and fine tuning of details made it a very special holiday. Thank you from Lydia, myself and the group Roberto, we shall feel lucky to meet you again on some future trip.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/18/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Giancarlo

The Grand tour of South America was fantastic & exhausting. We certainly saw plenty, the hotels were terrific, good locations & always breakfast which is a BIG plus. The timing of flights (Some early morning wake ups; the trip home was exhausting), bus tours & dinners was done well Highlights: Iguassu Falls; just fantastic: this should always be done over 2 days, the hotel is GREAT. Could have easily spent another night there. Machu Picchu: incredible, great local guide, Paul; he is very passionate about his culture. Bus & train ride in & out of the sacred Valley is terrific. Shopping &lunch long the way was incredible. The trip into the Amazon rain forest was icing on the cake; just fantastic We left exhausted but with a lifetime of memories. tour director Giancarlo is among the BEST we had over many tours

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/6/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: VA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

"What a Wonderful Trip"

The South American tour: Brazil, Argentina, and Peru was to me an exciting, memorable and wonderful trip I've done in my life. I was lucky to be in a nice group of people and the best Tour Director, Roberto, who was there for us so knowledgeable, had all the patience, nice and well focused and ready with all the informations we all were excited to know and to hear. This is a good tour, it is worth going!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: TN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Buenos Dias South America

Amazing! Upon arriving in Rio Saturday morning we met our 1st time Go Ahead director Emiliano and were immediately taken by his knowledge, sense of humor and love for traveling. Off on a cable car ride to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain and Metropolitan Cathedral. a stroll along the Copacabana Beach and enjoying a Caipirinha at night. An amazing cogwheel train ride to stand next to the statue of Christ The Redeemer. an afternoon jeep tour of Favela/Rocinha and a breathtaking sunset on Copacabana Beach. Onto the "Big Water" Iguassu Falls on the Brazilian side and meeting our fabulous guide Paulo and the following day Devils Throat on the Argentinian side and literally feeling the the falls cover your body. We arrive in Buenos Aires, Emiliano's home and we feel his excitement. Viewing the Womens Bridge and enjoying a night out on our own at Cabana La Lilas, a treat for our director. A full day in BA, Pink Palace, Central Square, St. Francis Cathedral,La Boca,Carminta St. Plaza De Mayor and Recoleta Cemetery to view the grave of Eva Peron and enjoying lunch at Cafe Tortoni. Just because we could…A day in Uraguay,a ferry ride,lunch, and exploring the beautiful streets. Saying goodbye to Emiliano we are off to Cuzco and meeting the infamous tour director Roberto. off to the Inca Ruins, Basilica Cathedral, Chocolate Museum, Cathedral Santo Domingo, The Sacred Valley, and climbing Ollantaytambo elevation 13,000ft. and then there was Cuy guinea pig a Peruvian delicacy. and last but not least a train ride to Machu Picchu the highlight of our trip. Made it to the top! Oh, what a feeling! The trip of a lifetime with old friends, making new friends, and the best tour directors ever!!! Thanks Emiliano and Roberto!!!!

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1 / 4

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/4/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PR

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

The best experience

Never had such a great time!!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Lovely Introduction to South America

I'm so thankful that our group got to enjoy such beautiful sites and great weather in some of the liveliest, most vibrant places in the world. Machu Picchu, as expected, was the highlight of the tour, but the rest of Peru was amazing as well -- if you're looking for some funky souvenirs, make sure and save some money (and some room in your suitcase!) for the Peruvian markets. The rest of the spots were fantastic as well. Globally, there are plenty of famous landmarks that don't meet the hype, but I'm telling you that watching the sunset on Copacabana Beach is one of incredible moments that just make a person feel at peace. Apparently, it was the first time Emiliano, our director in Brazil and Argentina, had directed a tour with Go Ahead, but he was excellent, organized, and very kind. Our Peruvian director, Roberto, is, to my understanding, a veteran with Go Ahead, and I have no doubts that he worked tirelessly on our behalf, much to the benefit of the whole trip. I will mention that there were some strange dealings with Go Ahead concerning the Amazon extension -- it was cancelled for our particular group with no valid reason. The company told my friends from back home that there weren't enough interested people, but on the trip, we found that there were several other interested tourists. Roberto attempted to arrange an optional extension on the trip, but at such a short notice, it would have been quite a hassle, in addition to being extremely expensive. I was not planning on doing the extension in any case, but some of my friends were understandably frustrated with the company, and I thought I should post this review on their behalves.

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your recent Grand Tour of South America! We are so pleased that the sights and landmarks visited on tour lived up to the ‘hype’. We are thrilled to read that your Tour Directors were excellent and hard working. We take great pride in the individuals that we select to lead our tours, and are always happy to read positive comments such as these. Your Tour Directors informed us about the confusion regarding the cancellation of the Amazon Extension. There are cases in which certain extensions are unable to run if we do not have sufficient bookings from the group. We have looked through our records, and see that the extension was cancelled well before this the tour’s departure date (about 15 months before). Therefore, the tour was never actually sold with the option of taking the extension, as was explained to the group by the Tour Director while on tour. We understand that your Tour Directors, in cooperation with our Operations Team, did their best to arrange to run the extension last minute, but due to the high cost it was decided against. We apologize if this confusion had an effect on the on-tour experience. We thank you for your review, and hope to welcome you onto another Go Ahead tour in the future.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | July 28, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 5/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: VA

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Tour directors, 1 excellent, 1 poor

Excellent tour, compromised by poor tour director - Mariana..

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/6/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome Trip of a Lifetime!

This trip was a bucket list trip for me. I can't express how wonderful it was. From the best tour directors around, to the wonderful in city guides, to the food, the atmosphere, the hotels and everything in between, all I can say is wow! Thank you Go Ahead for the best experience ever!

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1 / 1

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 4/11/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Interesting Destinations

All of the tour destinations were very interesting however my favorites were Iguassu Falls and Machu Picchu. The tour was well run with knowledgeable tour directors, my favorite being the tour director in Brazil & Argentina. Most of the local tour guides were good. The Iguassu Falls and Machu Picchu local guides were excellent. The included meals were generally good however in at least one case lunch and dinner were spaced too close together. The optional Tango Show & Dinner was an excellent experience as was the optional Tigre Delta & Cruise. I was impressed with the quality of transportation provided on the local airlines. My biggest complaint regarding this tour was the 4:15 AM flight from Buenos Aires to Lima. As I recall we needed to leave the hotel around 2:00 AM. This was a killer and is why I would not recommend this tour to others. .

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1 / 6

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: ON

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous!

This Grand Tour along with the Amazon Extension was beyond our expectations. The sites and excursions that we experienced were excellent. Both tour directors were knowledgeable, friendly, eager to help and efficient!

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