Best of Brazil & Peru – 14 Days
Itinerary Overview: Brazil offers the spectacular and colorful Rio de Janeiro and the awe-inspiring Iguassu Falls. In Peru, enjoy the interesting capital, Lima and discover the Inca Civilization in its ancient capital, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley. Plus experience the amazing Inca site of Machu Picchu. Our Classic Itineraries are designed to allow you to first, travel independently and not as part of a group, second, have a prearranged itinerary so that you have everything is reserved for you in advance and third, ensure you see the highlights of the destination.
Experience two distinctly different countries with their many diverse attractions, Brazil, and Peru. Start off in Brazil’s most colorful city, Rio de Janeiro, the Samba capital with a stay of 3 nights. You will have a city tour which will include the Sambadrome, the Metropolitan Cathedral and Cinelandia Square, home to the Municipal Theatre, the National Library, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Also visit the neighborhood of Urca and have a cable car ride up Sugar Loaf Mountain enjoying exceptional views. Next head to Corcovado Mountain and after a cog railway journey, enjoy the breathtaking views from the top. You will have a free day to see how the local Cariocas spend their time on the world renowned exotic beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema. Or perhaps travel into the mountainous hinterland beyond Rio to the city of Petropolis, the summer retreat of Brazilian emperors with its old mansions and charming squares.
Then it’s on to Iguassu Falls which border Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Stay 2 nights on the Brazilian side. Take in the outstanding panoramic views from the Brazilian side of this natural phenomenon. Consider an optional helicopter ride to enhance your experience.
Cross the border early next morning into Argentina and travel on the train along the Sendero Verde (Green Trail) to the Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), the apex of the mighty Iguassu Falls Later have a half hour walk along a trail which takes you deep into the jungle.
Fly then to Lima, the capital city of Peru for a 2 night stay. Here you will spend time at the Aliaga House where 18 generations of the same family have resided. It is the oldest house in the Americas and this visit will be like stepping back in time. Also enjoy the Larco Museum which houses a remarkable chronological set of galleries tracing the 3000 years of Peruvian pre Colombian civilization.
Fly next to Cusco, the former capital of the Inca civilization and a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a 3 night stay. Tour some of Cusco’s’ nearby archeological sites including the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas and strategically located at the top of a hill overlooking the city of Cuzco. Then continue to Qenko, which means labyrinth, where the sun, the moon, and the stars were worshipped. Afterwards, it’s on to Puca Pucara, which supposedly served as an inn where the Incan emperor and his entourage would have rested and lodged for the night. The last set of ruins is at Tambomachay where important water veneration rites may have been carried out.
On a guided walking tour of Cusco by night, discover the delights of this city with its well preserved Spanish Colonial architecture visiting ancient Incan temples, night markets and night life spots before finishing up at the Pisco Museum to take part in making the national drink, the Pisco Sour. This is followed by dinner at a local Peruvian restaurant.
Leave Cusco and head to the Sacred Valley for a 2 night stay. En route, visit the people of Chinchero, a typical picturesque village known for traditional Andean weaving techniques. You will attend a seminar to see how the locals spin and weave using traditional Andean techniques that they have preserved. You can also have a go at making your very own cloth to take home with you.
Pass through unspoiled and picturesque Andean communities on your way to the Incan agricultural experimental center of Moray, famous for its sunken amphitheater. The site was an Inca agricultural research station watered by complex irrigation systems. Next continue to the impressive Maras salt pools. An amazing view is offered of the evaporating ponds used for the extraction of salt.
You then continue on down the valley to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex built as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a “Living Inca Town” since the inhabitants maintain ancient practices and customs with the town itself being a living museum of Inca construction, irrigation, and housing.
The next day, you visit the local community of Misminay and participate in local farming activities, learn ancestral techniques, and use farming tools that date back to pre-Inca times. You can also participate in an offering to the earth and enjoy a traditional lunch made by the community women from ingredients organically grown in their fields.
From Ollantaytambo, board the Vistadome train on the journey through the valley to Machu Picchu. The train is surrounded entirely by glass and the carriages have large panoramic windows offering incomparable scenic views and numerous opportunities to capture amazing pictures of the surrounding Andean Mountains. Arrive at Aguas Caliente 6 kilometers/3.5 miles from the Machu Picchu site. Machu Picchu was an Inca citadel consisting of a complex of palaces, plazas, temples, and homes. Although it was originally built in the 15th Century, it was not discovered by Westerners until 1911, hence it is known as “The Lost City of the Incas”. It is interestingly built in astronomical alignments. Stay overnight at Machu Picchu. After an early breakfast, return to the ruins and enjoy more time at your leisure. You can climb Wayna Pichhu, the famed peak that frames Machu Picchu and walk to the Inca Bridge or to the famous Sun Gate. Later, take the train back to Cusco where you will have one more night.
Your Brazil and Peru vacation ends the next morning. Please read further for detailed itinerary.
Daily Itinerary Details
Day 1 – Rio de Janeiro – On arrival into Rio, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, the Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 2 – Full day Private Corcovado and Sugar Loaf tour with Lunch – You begin with a drive through downtown Rio, passing by the Sambodrome, the Metropolitan Cathedral, in pyramid form, with internal diameter of 96 meters and height of 80 meters. Visit the traditional Cinelandia Square with the many historical buildings, the Municipal Theatre, the National Library, and the National Museum of Fine Arts. Visit the neighborhood of Urca where one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks sit: Sugar Loaf. The journey by cable car is made in two steps. The first cable car takes passengers to Urca Hill which is 215 meters high and from where one can have a beautiful view of Guanabara Bay and its islands, the Rio-Niteroi Bridge and Corcovado Hill. It is then onto the Sugar Loaf itself where panoramic views of the city airport, downtown Rio, Christ the Redeemer in the distance and Copacabana Beach are all on offer. Taking a cog railway to the summit it is a short walk through the many stalls selling all incarnations of the statue to arrive at the country’s most recognizable site and yet another world icon, the statue of Christ the Redeemer. With stunning views all over Rio it is a photo opportunity not to be missed and never forgotten.
Day 3 – Rio de Janeiro at leisure – Tonight it is suggested you visit the Fogo de Chao Botafogo Restaurant and Ginga Show (not included in the trip price). Besides the Brazilian cuts meats served on a nonstop style at table and typical side dishes, the restaurant has an assorted buffet with salads, hot dishes including seafood, fish, and sushi bar.
Day 4 – Rio de Janeiro to Iguassu Falls
After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Iguassu Falls (flight not included in trip price). On arrival into Iguassu you are met and transferred to your hotel, the Belmond Das Cataratas, the only hotel located inside the Iguassu Falls National Park on the Brazilian side. After checking in your will explore the Brazil side of the falls. Taller than Niagara Falls, twice as wide with 275 cascades spread in a horseshoe shape over nearly two miles of the Iguassu River, Iguassu Falls are the result of a volcanic eruption which left yet another large crack in the earth. During the rainy season of November – March, the rate of flow of water going over the falls may reach 450,000 cubic feet (12,750-metres cubed) per second. These matter of fact details do nothing to describe the grandeur of the falls, the tremendous amount of water (an average of 553 cubic feet per second) thundering down 269 feet, the tropical location and the sheer beauty that led Eleanor Roosevelt to say, “Poor Niagara.” Four times the width of Niagara Falls, Iguassu Falls are divided by various islands into separate waterfalls. The optional Macuco Safari and or the helicopter ride above the falls – available ONLY on the Brazilian side of the falls – are highly recommended (own expense).
Day 5 – Iguassu Falls, Argentina visit – Crossing the border early morning into Argentina, today is spent walking amongst the falls. The tour begins at the Visitor Center where you board the train at Central Station, some 400 metres away from the main gate. The train travels along Sendero Verde (Green Trail) finishing at Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat) Station, the starting point of your journey. You will walk via the catwalks out and over the river, finally reaching Devil’s Throat, the apex of the mighty Iguassu Falls. It is a 70-metre-deep point where several branches of the Iguazu river converge, causing a violent but spectacular sight. You will return to the station and re board the train to the Visitor Centre, and then to the start of the Upper Trail Walk. The Upper Circuit is a half-hour walk along a 1200 meter trail, with a low degree of difficulty and no stairs, which takes you deep into the jungle and over the precipice of the many falls on the Argentinean side. Enjoy lunch at La Selva restaurant before returning to Brazil and your hotel.
Day 6 – Iguassu Falls Brazil to Lima Peru – After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima Peru (flight not included in trip price). On arrival into Lima you are met and transferred to your hotel, the Belmond Miraflores Park. After receiving your VIP welcome kit, the remainder of the day is free to relax.
Day 7 – Lima – The Aliaga House is as old as Lima itself. When conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the capital city on Jan. 18, 1535, he gave the plot adjacent to that of the Government Palace to his trusted ally Jeronimo de Aliaga, so they could be neighbors. Eighteen generations of the Aliaga family have resided in the same mansion ever since – it’s been renovated continuously, but it’s the oldest house in the Americas. Jeronimo’s descendants currently live in a modern annex, but much of the original main house is on display. A visit to Casa Aliaga is to truly step back in time! Food and more importantly, good food is key to any travel experience. Peru was named World’s Leading Culinary Destination at the World Travel Awards in 2012. When you combine this with a rich cultural history you have a perfect “fusion” for good food and unique dining. The Larco Museum is one of Limas most famous attractions and a recommended site to visit when in Lima. Dine at the museum’s world class restaurant and enjoy a Pisco Sour (typical South American cocktail), entree, main meal, and desert before exploring the museum with your guide. The museum houses a remarkable chronological set of galleries tracing the 3000 years of Peruvian pre Colombian civilization.
Day 8 – Lima to Cusco – After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your flight to Cusco, the ancient Incan capital (flight not included in trip price). On arrival into Cusco, you are met and transferred to your hotel, the Belmond Hotel Monasterio. The remainder of the day is free to relax and begin adjusting to the altitude.
Day 9 – Cusco – This morning, tour some of Cuscos’ nearby archeological sites. Start off at the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas. It is strategically located at the top of a hill overlooking the city of Cuzco. What a view of the city you will have! Then, it’s off to Qenko, which means labyrinth, and where the sun, the moon, and the stars were worshipped. Afterwards, it is onto Puca Pucara, which it is speculated may have served as an inn where the Incan emperor and his entourage would have rested and lodged for the night. The last set of ruins is at Tambomachay, where important water veneration rites may have been carried out. Tonight, with your guide walk the streets visiting ancient Incan temples, night markets, nightlife spots before finishing up at the Pisco museum where you take part in a lesson on making Pisco Sour, Peru’s National drink! Then onto one of our unique dining experiences. Travelers from around the world come to Peru to explore the Andes Mountains and visit the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu near Cusco. Whether you have an adventurous trek planned or want to travel in luxury, dining at Cusco’s first-class restaurants should not be missed. Located between the Andes and the nape of the clouds, Cusco offers an impressive selection of restaurants, and eateries to suit everyone’s budget. We choose only restaurants known for their high quality of food, service, and overall presentation and that give you a taste of the city’s culinary fusion and traditions.
Day 10 – Cusco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas – Today you visit the people of Chinchero, a typical picturesque village in the valley northwest of Cusco, known for traditional Andean weaving techniques. This traditional Andean town is known as ‘the birthplace of the rainbow’, and offers Inca ruins, Andean village houses, an elaborate colonial church built on Inca foundations. Attend a seminar to witness how the townsfolk spin and weave using traditional Andean techniques that they have preserved. You can also try your hand at what you have seen, making your very own cloth to take home with you. Pass through unspoiled and picturesque Andean communities on your way to the Incan agricultural experimental center of Moray, famous for its sunken amphitheater, made up of four circular terraces, which appear to fade away into the earth like an artificial crater. The site was apparently an Inca agricultural research station filled with fertile earth and watered by a complex irrigation systems, designed for experimenting with crops at various altitudes. You will continue onto the impressive Maras salt pools formed by water emerging from a lake inside the mountain in the Urubamba Valley. An amazing view is offered of the evaporating ponds used for the extraction of salt. Learn about ancestral techniques, which are still used, in agricultural, irrigation and salt-recollection tasks, as well as in Andean festivals and rites. You then continue on down the valley to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex. Conjectures suggests the Incas built it as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. There are two distinct sectors: The religious and worship zone, and the residential area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center with probable military functions if one considers the walls and towers. There are also traces of ancient roads and aqueducts. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a “Living Inca Town” since the inhabitants maintain ancient practices and customs with the town itself being a living museum of Inca construction, irrigation, and housing. Lunch is at a beautiful country estate on the shores of the Urubamba River.
Day 11 – Misminay Local Community Visit – Today you visit the local community of Misminay and participate in local farming activities, learn ancestral techniques, and use farming tools that date back to pre-Inca times. After lunch, the community will show you how they make textiles from the collection of wool and natural dyes. You can also participate in an offering to the earth (a rite that honors mother earth) and enjoy a traditional lunch made by the community women from ingredients organically grown in their fields.
Day 12 – Machu Picchu – Today board the Vistadome Train for the ride through the Sacred Valley of Urubamba to the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu. Perched 8,200 feet above the valley, it was hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungles for 400 years until discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Archaeologists believe that the Inca “Virgins of the Sun” took refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors here. One of the world’s greatest wonders, Machu Picchu, your adventure starts in the city of Aguas Calientes, where you leave the train, walk through a maze of markets in the heart of town and then board a bus that drives you to the Machu Picchu site. This is an experience you will never forget. Your tour includes every nook and cranny of this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Afterwards, there is some free time for you to explore the site on your own, to relax, or to meditate. At the agreed upon hour, you will have lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge which is also your accommodation for the night.
Day 13 – Machu Picchu to Cusco – After an early breakfast, return to the ruins and enjoy time at your leisure. Climb Wayna Pichhu (must be pre booked and entrance not included in trip price) – the famed peak that frames Machu Picchu, walk to the Inca Bridge or to the famous Sun gate, or simply sit and soak in the magic that is Machu Picchu. Lunch at the Sanctuary lodge before a mid-afternoon return to Aguas Calientes for your train journey back to Cusco. On your arrival into Cusco you are transferred to the ULTRA luxury hotel of the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas.
Day 14 – Onward Travels – After breakfast, you are transferred to the Airport for your onward travels. We hope you enjoyed your vacation.
All 5 star luxury Belmond Hotels
Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
2 visits to Machu Picchu
Unique dining experiences
All private transport
PRIVATE TOURS: Rio City Tour, Iguassu Falls Brazil and Argentina side, Lima City Tour, Aliaga House Lima, Larco Museum and dinner, Cusco Incan sites, Sacsayhuaman Ruins, Chincheros Weaving town visit, Moray and Maras visit, Ollantaytambo Inca town visit
PRICE EXCLUDES: TravelKatz can build these items into your final costs to make this trip All-Inclusive.
Items of a personal nature
OTHER INFORMATION: Our supplier is able to offer a savings of up to $800US per couple.
TERMS & CONDITIONS: Rates are per person in a double room. Single rooms available on request. Itinerary and hotels cannot be altered. To take advantage of the built in savings this tour CANNOT be altered. Pre- and Post- tour days however can be added.
While thinking about travel to South America, experience the food, culture, and tucked away areas not often visited by the everyday traveler. Traveling to and visiting a private residence will immerse you into the culture not often seen. DON’T FORGET TRAVEL INSURANCE!
Contact Kathryn or Sandra for more information and pricing for your trip to Brazil and Peru by calling 352-277-7300 or visit www.travelkatz.com or email either [email protected] or [email protected].