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Insight Vacations Grand Tour of South America with Quito and Galapagos Islands Cruise (Luxury Gold - Summer 2018) (NALC)

28 Days from Quito to Rio De Janeiro Print
Tour Style: Insight Luxury Gold Tour
Luxury Gold USA, Canada & South America 2018
Visits: Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina

Witness the many cultures and contrasts of South America as Luxury Gold opens your eyes to a dazzling array of natural beauty, vibrant civilisations, and mystical ancient cities. In Rio de Janeiro, dine at the Michelin-starred Mee Restaurant, where Executive Chef Kazuo Harada will take you on a journey of the most sophisticated pan-Asian cuisine Meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, an expert in traditional weaving, to learn how the TreadRight Foundation is helping protect this ancient skill Set at the base of Ch'iqun Mountain and overlooking the Vilcanota River, the elegant Tambo del Inka hotel is a five-star retreat, designed in harmony with its exotic surroundings


  • Cusco: Sunday market in Chinchero, truly authentic and local. Visit the Salt Pans of Maras and learn about the ancient economy of the Inca empire revolving around caring for terraced salt pools.
  • Lake Titicaca: Stand on the floating islands of Uros and hear about the day to day struggle just to stay afloat on top of Lake Titicaca from family members who know no other way of life.
  • Kingston Family Winery: Be immersed in the cool climate wine culture that has made Chile famous.
  • Buenos Aires: Stand on the wide open Pampas of Argentina and along side the gaucho's cowboy lifestyle of the past.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Walk along white sand beaches humming the famous songs they are known for....Copacabana and Ipanema


  • All transfers 2 nights' accommodation in Quito at the 5 star historic Plaza Grande, 4 nights' accommodation on-board La Pinta Breakfast (FB) daily and 1 Dinner with wine (DW) plus all meals while cruising Services of English-speaking hosts Sightseeing as detailed in the itinerary


  • Buenos Aires: Distinguishable by its architecture and décor, the Alvear Palace Hotel is a hallmark of world class hotels.
  • Cusco: The stylishly decorated and luxurious JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is built atop ancient Incan ruins.
  • Iguassu: The luxurious Belmond das Cataratas is the only hotel inside the National Park and sits alongside the falls.
  • Lake Titicaca: Enjoy the sunsets on the lake from the only five-star hotel region, the Libertador.
  • Lima: Explore the very best of Peru's capital city at the JW Marriott Hotel Lima.
  • Machu Picchu: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel is an intimate Andean village with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways and 81 whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest.
  • Rio de Janeiro: With a prime location overlooking Copacabana Beach, the iconic Belmond Copacabana Palace offers an unforgettable stay.
  • Sacred Valley: The elegant Tambo del Inka will ensure an indelible stay.
  • Santiago: The Singular Santiago is a five-star luxury hotel located in the Lastarria section of Chile's capital.


  • Buenos Aires: Enjoy dinner is at Piegari Carnes.
  • Cusco: Dine at MAP restaurant, one of the city’s most prominent restaurants, situated on the patio of the Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. This contemporary Peruvian haute cuisine restaurant offers an artistic dining experience, candlelit for a dazzling evening ambiance.
  • Lima: Enjoy a Highlight Lunch at Amor Amar in a trendy, bohemian district.
  • Macchu Picchu: Learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Indulge in a classic buffet style lunch amid a lavish setting at the Belle Époque, Confeitaria Colombo.
  • Sacred Valley: Experience a caja china lunch, a popular way to create a delicious meal in Peru, cooked in a wooden box.
  • Santiago: Savour a Highlight Dinner at Cafe in Lasterria, Santiago's trendiest neighbourhood.
  • 21 Full Breakfasts (FB), 9 Lunches (L), 2 Lunches all with wine (LW) and 15 Dinners all with wine (DW).


  • Aguas Calientes: With a Local Expert, explore the cloud forest, visit a working tea plantation and an orchid farm.
  • Buenos Aires: With a Local Expert, your comprehensive city tour includes a visit to the splendid Belle Époque Teatro Colon.
  • Cusco: With a Local Expert, practice your bartering skills at a local market. Enjoy a fun challenge of purchasing items from the market (with money and a list supplied by your Travelling Concierge) for the best prices possible. All purchases are later donated to local needy families.
  • Iguassu Falls: Join a Local Expert for a spectacular walk past thundering curtains of water and misty rainbows on both Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the falls.
  • Lake Titicaca: Cruise the lake and learn about the lifestyle and customs of the local people, who bundle reeds from the lake to build floating platforms, houses and canoes.
  • Lima: Experience the beautiful 'City of Kings' through the eyes of a Local Expert.
  • Puno: Explore Sillustani to view the stone burial towers 'chullpas' that have dotted the shores since pre-Inca times.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Partake in a stunning show of extravagant costumes and enthralling music, songs and dances at Ginga Tropical.
  • Sacred Valley: Visit the Centre for Traditional Textiles, meet with the founder, Nilda Callañaupa, and learn how the Centre is working to empower Quechuan woman and men in the communities of Chinchero, Chahuaytire and Pitumarca by preserving and teaching textile traditions that had begun to disappear.
  • Santiago: Meet a Local Expert for a tour of the Chilean capital.


  • Lima: In the artistic district of Lima, meet artist Víctor Delfín at his workshop, best known for his monumental El Beso sculpture.
  • Machu Picchu: Join your Local Expert for a full day discovering the enigmatic 'Lost City of the Incas'.
  • Rio de Janeiro: Meet Bob Nadkarni, a local club owner, and hear how he created one of the most famous jazz clubs in all of South America, The Maze.


  • Be escorted by the crème de la crème of Insight Travelling Concierges - handpicked for every departure. This skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 guest coach, with extended leg room and an on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery right to your door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Travelling Concierge will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers on first and last itinerary day.

Insight Vacations Tour Itinerary

Day: 1 Arrive in Quito.
Welcome to Ecuador. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Day: 2 Quito Sightseeing.
(Relaxed Start) A drive north will take you to the Monument to the Equator. Here, you can experience the rare opportunity of standing in the Northern and Southern hemispheres simultaneously. Next, visit the Ethnographical Museum, which presents the history of the cultures of Ecuador. Continue to the historic centre of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Journey to the San Francisco Square, pass the church of La Compañia and see its ornate and richly sculptured façade. Continue on to visit one of the oldest streets in Quito, La Ronda. Later, enjoy dinner with wine in the historic Old Town at Theatrum.
Day: 3 Fly to the Galapagos Islands.
In the morning, fly to Baltra, in the Galapagos Islands, where you will be met and transferred to the Itabaca Channel. A ferry will take you across the channel to Santa Cruz Island, where you then head for the highlands to learn about the island’s ecosystems and biodiversity. After lunch, travel to El Chato Reserve to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. A short journey will take you to Puerto Ayora where you board La Pinta, your yacht for the next four nights.
Day: 4 Observe the fascinating wildlife.
In the morning, a panga (dinghy) will ferry you to Eden Islet to observe Blue footed boobies, reef sharks and frigates. There will be a chance to snorkel and, if weather conditions permit, ride in a glass-bottom boat to see the tiny island of Sombrero Chino. Upon return to Eden Islet, explore the beautiful surrounds and wildlife as you wander the 1,312-foot-long (400 metres) trail.
Day: 5 Bartolomé Island, Pinnacle Rock and Sullivan Bay.
In the morning, the Galapagos icon of Bartolomé Island awaits. Ascend a wooden staircase for spectacular views from the top before boarding a panga cruise around the colossal Pinnacle Rock. After lunch, the panga will take you to Sullivan Bay, a white, coral-sand beach that is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. It also has a trail running above a lava field that flowed here less than 100 years ago.
Day: 6 Explore Genovesa Island.
Begin your day with an easy stroll to observe marine and land birds, with options available for all travellers. In the afternoon, there is a panga ride alongside the cliffs before disembarking for a captivating walk to observe large colonies of Nazca boobies, Frigatebirds, storm petrels, and the elusive short-eared owl.
Day: 7 Onward to Lima.
Return to Baltra Island to disembark and be transferred to Baltra Airport for your flight to Lima, Peru. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (FB) Anticipated arrival time in Lima is 22:00.
Day: 8 Lima 'City of the Kings'.
(Relaxed Start) Experience Lima through the eyes of a Local Expert as you explore the UNESCO-listed, Historic Centre of Lima. Step onto the colonial balconies, with private-access, at the Archbishop's house. Your Highlight Lunch is at Amoramar in the bohemian district of Barranco. Visit the workshop of Víctor Delfín, one of Peru’s leading artists, before enjoying a hot chocolate or authentic café pasado and learning about Peruvian coffee with a barista. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine on the terrace at Huaca Pucllana.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 9 Lima and On To The Sacred Valley.
Board your flight to Cusco before continuing to Peru's Sacred Valley. Meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, a Quechua scholar, and president of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. Enjoy lunch with Nilda and learn about her mission to preserve traditional weaving techniques.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 10 Exploring the Sacred Valley.
(Relaxed Start) In the morning, head to the town of Maras to meet with a local family and learn about the arts and crafts of the region. View the spectacular terraced salt pans dating back to Inca times. Experience a typical caja china lunch, cooked in a wooden box, before witnessing a private Pachamama Ceremony, or 'Payment to the Earth', as a local shaman performs the centuries-old ritual.(Full Breakfast / Lunch)
Day: 11 Journey to Machu Picchu.
Visit the town of Ollantaytambo, a national archeological site. Settle into the Vistadome train for your scenic journey to Machu Picchu, before enjoying an included lunch upon arrival at your resort. Venture along nature trails with a Local Expert, through the fascinating cloud forest ecosystem. Discover a working tea plantation and the world's largest private collection of indigenous orchids. In the evening, learn how to blend the perfect pisco sour before dinner with wine at the hotel.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 12 Mysterious Machu Picchu.
The entire day is yours to discover the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu with your Local Expert.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 13 Return to Cusco.
(Relaxed Start) Return by train to Sacred Valley for a Highlight Lunch of traditional Peruvian meal cooked underground. Later, get up-close to llamas, alpacas and even the rare vicuñas, before arriving at your hotel.(Full Breakfast / Lunch)
Day: 14 Colonial Cusco.
(Relaxed Start) Join your Local Expert to explore the Temple of the Sun at Korikancha and cathedral, followed by the citadel of Sacsayhuaman. Set out for San Blas to visit a candle shop and learn about its importance to the locals. Later, a candlelit Highlight Dinner with wine is served at the reputed MAP restaurant.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 15 Lake Region of Peru.
Board your included flight to Juliaca and continue to Puno, along the shores of Lake Titicaca. Your lakeside hotel is on Esteves Island.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 16 The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca.
(Relaxed Start) Cruise Lake Titicaca to the floating islands of Uros before continuing to the island of Amantaní to enjoy lunch hosted by the local community.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 17 Puno, Back to Lima.
Head to Sillustani on the shores of Lake Umayo to explore the burial grounds, before your flight to Lima. At night, savour a sensational Highlight Dinner with wine at world-renowned Astrid y Gastón.(Full Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 18 Fly to Santiago.
Bid farewell to Lima as you fly to Santiago. In the evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine in nearby Lastarria, Santiago's trendiest neighbourhood.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 19 The Sights of Santiago, Valparaiso and Wine Country.
(Relaxed Start) Meet a Local Expert for a city tour before a visit to the UNESCO-listed port of Valparaíso and the boutique Kingston Family Winery in the Casablanca Valley for a tasting.(Full Breakfast)
Day: 20 Fly to Buenos Aires.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a leisurely morning before flying to Buenos Aires. In the evening, your Highlight Dinner with wine is at Piegari Carnes, known for its Argentine beef.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 21 Beautiful Buenos Aires.
(Relaxed Start) Get to know Buenos Aires with a Local Expert on a tour including Palermo, San Telmo and Recoleta. Enjoy views of the balcony, made famous by Evita Peron, and walk the colourful neighbourhood of La Boca. Visit the Belle Époque Teatro Colon. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine, live music, singers and dancers at Rojo Tango.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 22 Pampas, Estancias and Gauchos.
(Relaxed Start) Step into a world of riding boots and leather chaps at an Estancia, where you will be served a delicious asado Highlight Lunch with wine and a taste of the life of an Argentinian gaucho, or cowboy.(Full Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day: 23 The Falls of Iguassu.
Fly to Iguassu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the great natural wonders of the world. Your Local Expert will take you to meet a tribal representative of the indigenous Guarani people. Your luxurious resort is the only hotel inside the Brazilian Iguassu National Park. Enjoy dinner with wine at your hotel in the evening.(Continental Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 24 The 'Great Waters' of Iguassu Falls.
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert for a walk on the Brazilian side of the falls, see the panoramic view of San Martin Island and visit the Bird Park. Perhaps soar over Iguassu Falls on a helicopter ride?(Full Breakfast)
Day: 25 Rio de Janeiro, City of Sea and Samba.
Today, fly to vibrant Rio de Janeiro. Transfer to your hotel located on famous Copacabana Beach where your evening is free.(Full Breakfast)
Day: 26 Exploring Rio de Janeiro.
(Relaxed Start) Join a Local Expert on a cable car to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain. At Confeitaria Colombo, enjoy a Highlight Lunch with wine amid a lavish setting. In the afternoon, visit one of Rio's favelas before a stop at The Maze, an iconic jazz club. In the evening, a Highlight Dinner is served with wine at a traditional Brazilian steakhouse, followed by a show at the Ginga Tropical.(Full Breakfast / Lunch with Wine / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 27 A Farewell to Rio de Janeiro.
Join your Local Expert on a train ride up Corcovado Hill to Christ the Redeemer, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the evening, toast your journey over a Farewell Celebration Dinner with wine, at Michelin starred restaurant MeE.(Full Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day: 28 Depart Rio de Janeiro.
(Relaxed Start) A private transfer will take you to the Galeao Antonio Carlos Jobim International Airport.(Full Breakfast)

Available Room Types: Single, Twin, Triple

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