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Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Peru | Bolivia | Uruguay | Equador | Belize | Costa Rica

South America pulsates with a vibrant fusion of traditional and cutting-edge culture. While Buenos Aires is uniquely urbane with its southern European heritage, bohemian neighborhoods and the rippling essence of the tango, to the west and south, Patagonia and the rugged range of the Andes provide dramatic beauty, solitude and pristine lakes. A visit to an authentic estancia is a cultural must. A bit further west of this remote region and on the opposite side of the Andean divide stretches Chile with her fjords and vineyards. North of the cosmopolitan capital of Santiago and seaside cities of Valparaiso and Viña del Mar, one finds the spectacular desert landscapes of the Atacama with its resident pink flamingoes.

Still to the north, Peru is home to the archaeological wonder of Machu Picchu and ancient Incan city of Cuzco. Lima's trendy sophistication and unsurpassed culinary scene are not to be missed. From Peru, the mighty Amazon flows to and through the massive country of Brazil whose resource-rich terrains and tropical eco-regions, indigenous peoples, colonial cities, expansive beaches and natural wonders like Iguassu Falls have given rise to Rio's sultry sound of the samba.

In our short summary, we shouldn’t fail to mention the pre-historic archipelago and living laboratory of the Galapagos Islands, and the pacific beauty and biological diversity of prosperous Costa Rica. Discover the high-spirited wonders of our immediate neighbors. These remarkable countries - on our doorstep – are only the tip of the iceberg!

Peru, Bolivia & the Atacama - On Top of the World


Highlights: 

  • From the largest lake in South America to the driest place on earth, discover
    Peru, Bolivia
    and Chile at their most remote and most beautiful.
  • Explore pre-Columbian culture at Lima's Larco Herrera Museum.
  • Meet a traditional family on the Uros Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca.
  • Watch as land and sky seem to merge at night on the Uyuni Salt Flats.
  • Ride a funicular railway up San Cristobol Hill in charming Santiago.

 

As this is one of the driest areas in the world, the weather rarely changes from month to month. Go in June for the local Saint's Day festival, or in July for cooler nights. Best time to visit: July through March.

Day 1:  Arrive Lima, Peru - Belmond Miraflores Park - 2 nights (Ocean View Junior Suite) 
Upon arrival in Lima’s airport you will be met by your representative who will be waiting for you in front of international arrival’s door. From here, privately transfer to the Belmond Miraflores Park hotel. Belmond Miraflores Park is an excellent boutique city property with a very personal feel, located in the exclusive residential area of Miraflores. The hotel has incredible ocean views, a high standard of service typical of Belmond, and is ideally located for exploring the main sights, shops and restaurants. 

Day 2:  LimaBelmond Miraflores Park
Today, you will explore the city of Lima by way of a private city tour beginning with a visit to the Plaza Mayor, official center of the city and the original site upon which Lima was founded. Then visit the historic Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece. From the Cathedral, walk past the Presidential Palace where the soldiers guarding the palace offer an excellent photo op, then on to the Church of San Francisco and its library and collection of fine paintings and frescoes. 

Continue on to visit Larco Museum. This fascinating museum is located in a majestic mansion from the 18th century, built up over a 7th-century Pre-Columbian pyramid surrounded by gardens. It also holds the world’s largest private collection of Pre-Columbian ceramics (over 45,000 pieces). During a quick visit we are offered a glimpse of 3,000 years of ancient history. The exhibits are excellent, explanations in the display cases are remarkable, and your guide will enlighten you on the details of each piece. B

Day 3:  Puno, Peru - Titilaka Lodge - 3 nights (Dawn|Dusk Room)
After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to Lima airport to board your internal flight to Juliaca (Peru). Upon arrival, you will be welcomed at Juliaca Airport by our Guest Services Representative and driven to Titilaka Lodge. On your way to Titilaka, you will pass through Juliaca City and the lake's port city of Puno.

Titilaka is a tranquil oasis on Lake Titicaca, surrounded by the natural wildlife of the lake. As the lodge is next to the peaceful agrarian hamlet that shares its name, guests are able to witness the traditional lifestyles of the region's local villagers. Set between the rich contrast of dramatic red cordillera mountains, crisp skies and the intense lake, the Titilaka is a photographer´s paradise. Colorful sunsets, dramatic sunsets and crisp starry nights complement its unique location.

Upon arrival at the Lodge, check in, rest, and enjoy the scenery. Based on the region’s local cuisine and specially prepared for you, lunch is served from 12:30pm to 3:00pm. We recommend an afternoon siesta and plenty of liquids to help you acclimate to the altitude. Enjoy Teatime at 3:00pm, followed by activities near the lodge in the afternoon. Explore the lake and paddle through nearby Totora reeds as you choose from a selection of nautical activities including kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and sailing. Or, if you prefer, ride a bicycle through the fields of Platería, go for a walk along nearby rural paths, or observe local birds and the striking landscapes of Puno’s unique geography.

Evening cocktails are served starting at 6.30pm, followed by dinner from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, during which times you are welcome to join other guests in sharing the highlights of your experiences. B-L-D

Day 4:  Puno - Titilaka Lodge
If you wish, wake up at dawn and witness a magnificent sunrise or, rise at the time that best suits you before enjoying a healthy breakfast in bed or on the Lodge's terrace. In the morning your guide will take you by car and boat to visit the legendary Uros Floating Islands located near the protected Titicaca National Reserve. Here you will meet one of the traditional families that inhabit these unique islands.The Uro-Aymara peoples are a proud culture where men are skilled reed raftsmen and women expert textile weavers. Calling themselves kot-suña or “people of the lake,” the Uro-Aymara were once persecuted by other groups and forced to relocate to Lake Titicaca where they found refuge on man-made Totora reed islands. Thus, they consider themselves owners of Titicaca. The Uro-Aymara peoples claim to have black blood as they are supposedly immune to the cold. Learn more about these peoples’ history, their varying uses of Totora reed, and local practices and customs in your visit to one of these remarkable islands.

Explore the Quechua imagination in Taquile Island’s rich textile tradition. Recently declared a part of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Taquile’s textiles are emblematic of the local living culture. As the island enjoys a privileged microclimate, you’ll likely see men weaving wonderful textile pieces outdoors.

Treat your sensibilities to the grandeur of Puno’s deep blue skies contrasting with the land and merging with Lake Titicaca as Bolivia’s Cordillera Real, or Royal Mountain Range make up the background to your specially prepared outdoor picnic.

Return to the hotel around 5:30pm and enjoy cocktails starting 6:30pm before you sit down for your á la carte dinner around 7:30pm. B-L-D

Day 5:  Puno - Titilaka Lodge
Today is intended to be at leisure. Wake at dawn to a magnificent sunrise, or rise at an hour which suits you. After breakfast, select from an array of excursions and activities, and design your day as you wish.

For example, this morning, you might visit Lampa, a colonial-period architectural gem and historic Spanish colonial stronghold. Known as the ‘Pink City’ for the lively coloration of its town walls, Lampa invites travelers to visit its church, old mansions, and squares. Renown in the region for its architecture, the Lampa church is was built exclusively for the use of Spanish landowners. Explore its mysterious catacombs and impressive replica of Michelangelo’s “La Pietá.” Or, you might visit the villages of Juli and Pomato. Their churches were built during the Spanish conquest at the request of rival Catholic congregations, and the town of Juli came to be known as the “Little Rome of America” while Pomata grew famous for its baroque church, built entirely of red pumice stone, or piedra pómez roja. The churches display impressive architecture, including gold leaf altars - a technique unique to the time - as well as notable paintings of the vice regal period and large bells which can still be heard to this day.

If your stay at the Lodge coincides with one of the region's 12 local festivals, this is not to be missed. The best known of these feasts is that of the Virgin of la Candelaria, held each February. Storming Puno’s streets with vibrant dance and lively traditional wear made solely for the celebration, the Virgin of la Candelaria is the region’s most representative celebration. If your stay falls on a Saturday or Sunday, you may wish to experience the lively local marketplace. 

Return to the hotel for lunch and a siesta. After teatime, you can stroll across the Altiplano, bird-watch with a specialized guide, or take advantage of the exclusive opportunity to sail at more than 12,000 feet above sea level. At the Lodge's boathouse, choose from kayaks, Canadian canoes, paddle boards, and sunfish sailboats. Experienced Titilaka instructors are at hand to look over your safety and explain navigation procedures before you begin your nautical journey. 

Alternatively, bike the fields of Plateria. This biking excursion will become one of your most memorable bike rides. The fields of Plateria, the district where Titilaka is located, provide a perfect setting. Follow country roads along the grand lake and diverse terrains, where you will observe the local villager’s rural way of life. You will see them washing clothes, herding their animals and tending to their children. Return to the hotel for dinner at 7:30pm. B-L-D

Day 6:  Puno to La Paz - Hotel Casa Grande - 2 nights (Standard Room)
After breakfast, check out and commence an overland journey from Puno to Copacabana, Bolivia,
located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Once in Copacabana, visit the shrine of the Dark Indian Virgin. Then board a hydrofoil to Moon Island and visit Iñak Uyul, the Sun Virgins Temple. Continue to Sun Island where you will visit the Inca Grand Staircase and drink from the Sacred Fountain; taste the water believed to give eternal youth and happiness.

Lunch will be served at the Uma Kollu Archaeological Restaurant, next to the small handicraft market.

Your hydrofoil cruise continues to Cocotoni with a land transfer to Huatajata. Here, visit the Andean Roots Eco Village: the Altiplano Museum, handicrafts village, Mud Igloos, and mortuary towers of the Urus Chipayas. Continue on to meet the Limachi family, builders of the RA II and Tigris for epic expeditions across the Atlantic Ocean. En route, you will see Bolivia's elegant vicuñas, llamas, alpacas and the mythical Suri. Conclude your overland trip to La Paz on a road running parallel to the mighty snow peaks of the Andes. B-L

Day 7:  La Paz - Hotel Casa Grande 
This morning, embark upon a half-day city tour of La Paz and the Moon Valley. The curious City of La Paz and its surroundings can transport you to a mysterious past where any corner, any street, is a hidden treasure - a living history which treasures pre-Hispanic times with traditions and magic rites seen on its streets. The indigenous, colonial and modern areas, Indian Market, Witch Doctor's Market and breathtaking panoramas are all framed by the majestic "Illimani" mountain. Finally, visit the Moon Valley, a clay formation resembling the face of the Moon.

Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure to explore or shop for local crafts. B

Day 8:  La Paz to Uyuni - Hotel Luna Salada - 1 night (Standard Room)
After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to La Paz airport to catch your short flight to Uyuni. Upon arrival, you will be greeted to commence your adventure to the must-see white desert. Uyuni is the largest salt flat on Earth, located on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano (12.000 square km). The sound of silence makes the heart beat faster, and the surreal pentagons of crystalline salt, the pure sky, colored lagoons, the cacti and flamingos - all make you feel that there is no other place like this in the whole world!

Enjoy a picnic lunch at Isla Pescado, also called “Incahuasi” - an oasis with formations of algae and fossils. It is covered by thousands of giant columnar cacti, some more than a hundred years old, growing to a height of 40 feet. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending to the horizon creates an ideal setting for photograph hunters. After the tour, transfer to your hotel in Colchani. Tonight, revel in a fantasy of sparkling starlight, as land and sky seem to merge on the mirrored salt lake. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Luna Salada on the shores of the Uyuni Salt Lake. B-L-D

Day 9:  Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa - 3 nights (Tilo Suite)
Today, journey overland through the Altiplano to visit the Red Lagoon, famous for its pink flamingos. Continue to Sol de Mañana, a spectacular geothermal field. From here, proceed to the Green Lagoon for a perfect view of Licancabur Volcano. Travel on to Hito Cajón (Bolivia/Chile border) then on to your hotel.

The Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is a "village" resort near the ancient ruins of Pukara de Quitor, 3 kilometers from the famous oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. The Lodge enjoys a unique location at the base of the breathtaking Salt Mountains in the beautiful and fertile Catarpe Valley. Combining raw nature with comfort and convenience, Alto Atacama offers guests the perfect refuge in which to rejuvenate body and soul.

Tonight, enjoy a private candlelight dinner and guided stargazing beneath a night sky, stunning in its clarity and profusely filled with a wealth of celestial wonders. B-D

Day 10:  San Pedro de Atacama - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
You've two full days to enjoy the activities and facilities of Alto Atacama from archaeological exploration to horse trekking, biking, and stargazing. Every evening just before dinner meet the guides who will share with you the activities scheduled for the following day. They will assist you in choosing the best outing according to your interests. Activities are shared with other guests with an English-speaking guide.

For example, today you might head out into the Atacama Desert to the beautiful Cejar Lagoon. Bike to view its white edges of crystallized salt and intensely turquoise colored water. After lunch at the hotel, tour the Atacama Salt Flat, stopping briefly en route to visit the village of Toconao

The Alto Atacama is equipped with its own observation deck and telescope. With the assistance of a professional guide, view the planets, galaxies, major stars and constellations of the southern sky. B-L-D

Day 11:  San Pedro de Atacama - Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa
Today, stop at the village of Socaire, where you will meet a local farmer to see at firsthand the unique crops produced in the area. Continue to the high Andean lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques .. or stroll the streets of the oasis town San Pedro de Atacama, founded by the Spanish in 1577. 

In one of the most astonishing settings in the world, blend the luxury of water in the desert and the tranquility of being removed from the rest of the world. Six outdoor pools and an outdoor Jacuzzi overlook the beautiful Catarpe Valley and its red mountains. Stones from the surrounding desert form a wall of privacy around each of the pools. Invigorate body and soul at Alto Atacama's Spa after a day of desert exploration. 

This evening, gather around a campfire for a barbecue dinner and a performance of traditional Andean music and dance. B-L-D 

Day 12:  Santiago, Chile - The Singular Santiago - 1 night (Classic Room)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Calama where you will board your flight to Santiago. Upon arrival in Santiago, your guide will meet and escort you to your vehicle for direct transfer to your hotel.

The Singular Santiago: This intriguing new addition to Santiago's vibrant Lastarria area features a slightly left field mix of decoration that is very appealing. While the overall atmosphere is understated and classic, in the restaurant area there is a feeling of, at once, being in a gentleman's club and also a Hong Kong speakeasy. Step outside, and you will find yourself in Lastarria, brimming with lively cafés and a cosmopolitan air. It's an excellent choice to explore the older sights of the city while still having access to the more modern areas of the city. B

Day 13:  Depart Santiago
After breakfast and check-out, you will experience one of the most developed cities in South America. Santiago combines the urban and the classic, both in architecture and atmosphere. This heritage comes to life through iconic city sights such as the Moneda Presidential Palace, designed by the Italian architect Joaquin Toesca. From 1845 to 1930 the building actually served as a presidential residence. What were once grand living quarters are now the offices of Cabinet ministers. The Plaza de Armas is the city's most famous square, surrounded by important and beautiful buildings such as the Cathedral and Central Post Office. A few blocks away you'll find the Pre-Columbian Museum with over 700 exhibits of pre-Hispanic artwork and relics from diverse cultures including the Mayans, Aztecs and the Mapuches - from the south of Chile. Continue your visit at the Concha y Toro neighborhood with its charming colonial plaza and architecture.

One of the most important parts of the city is San Cristobal Hill. The hill is recognized as one of the largest urban parks, topped by a stunning 72 foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary. This tour shows you the different contrasts of the city, taking you on a trip through the Santiago of yesteryear to the modern metropolis it is today.

At the end of your private city tour, your driver will take you on to SCL/Santiago airport, where you will check in for your evening departure homeward bound. Adiós to the Andes as your delightful journey comes to an end. B

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