18 days in South America Itinerary

18 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Fly:  23 h
1
Cartagena, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly:  3 h 30 min
2
Bogota, Colombia
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
3
Lima, Peru
— 2 nights
+4
Fly + Taxi + Bus + Foot + Train:  12 h
4
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 day
+2
Train + Foot + Bus:  3 h 15 min
5
Cusco, Peru
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  1 h 45 min
6
La Paz, Bolivia
— 1 night
Fly + Shuttle:  12 h 45 min
7
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
— 1 night
Shuttle + Fly:  5 h
8
Santiago, Chile
— 3 nights
Fly:  23 h
End: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

1
night
Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena ©
The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): step into the grandiose world of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, get engrossed in the history at Museo del Oro Zenu, then examine the collection at Caribe Jewelry Museum & Factory, and finally discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa, then contemplate the long history of Plaza Santo Domingo, and then contemplate the long history of Walled City of Cartagena.

To see other places to visit, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Cartagena trip maker .

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Cartagena is an approximately 23-hour flight. You can also do a combination of shuttle and flight. The time zone changes from Gulf Standard Time to Colombia Time, which is usually a -9 hour difference. In April, daytime highs in Cartagena are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) so you can travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Apr 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Walled City of Cartagena ©
Walled City of Cartagena
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas ©
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
Plaza Santo Domingo ©
Plaza Santo Domingo

2
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Bogota ©
Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Mon): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira, then stroll around Parque 93, and then stroll through Monserrate. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a stroll through Barrio La Candelaria, examine the collection at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), and then browse the exhibits of DIBS by Culture Shock Colombia.

To see photos, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Bogota travel itinerary planner .

You can fly from Cartagena to Bogota in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Cartagena in April, expect Bogota to be much colder, temps between 22°C and 11°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can travel to Lima.

Things to do in Bogota

Shopping Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira
Find places to stay Apr 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira ©
Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira
Monserrate ©
Monserrate

2
nights
Lima, Peru

Lima ©
Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Wed): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, steep yourself in history at Huaca Pucllana, then take a stroll through Miraflores, then shop like a local with Shopping Center Larcomar (Centro Comercial Larcomar), and finally take an in-depth tour of Museo Larco. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of San Pedro Church (Iglesia de San Pedro), browse the exhibits of Galeria Indigo, and then head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To find maps, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, use the Lima trip itinerary maker app .

Getting from Bogota to Lima by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Bogota in April, things will get somewhat warmer in Lima: highs are around 28°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Lima

Historic Sites Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Huaca Pucllana ©
Huaca Pucllana
Museo Larco ©
Museo Larco
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco ©

1
day
Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu ©
A symbol of the Incan civilization, the abandoned city of Machu Picchu represents a must-see on a Peru vacation.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu, admire the natural beauty at Los Jardines de Mandor, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Virgen Del Carmen, and finally look for gifts at Mapi Art.

To find maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Machu Picchu trip itinerary website .

You can do a combination of flight and car from Lima to Machu Picchu in 12 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Los Jardines de Mandor ©
Los Jardines de Mandor
Mapi Art ©
Mapi Art

2
nights
Cusco, Peru

Cusco ©
Capital of the Inca Empire for three centuries, World Heritage-listed Cusco is now a major tourist destination, drawing nearly 2 million annual tourists with its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu.
On the 10th (Sat), wander the streets of San Blas, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Museo de Vida Monastica - Monasterio de Santa Catalina del Cusco, then explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Precolombino, and finally steep yourself in history at Sacsayhuaman. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Sun): view the masterpieces at Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco, then browse the eclectic array of goods at Mercado Central de San Pedro, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Cusco attractions site .

You can do a combination of train and bus from Machu Picchu to Cusco in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. In April, daily temperatures in Cusco can reach 23°C, while at night they dip to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to travel to La Paz.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Shopping Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Museo de Arte Precolombino ©
Museo de Arte Precolombino

1
night
La Paz, Bolivia

Take a moment to catch your breath as you commence your holiday in La Paz.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Mon): head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, then tee off at Golf Tours Bolivia-Day Tours, and then examine the collection at Museo de Textiles Andinos Bolivianos.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our La Paz road trip planning app .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Cusco to La Paz in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Cusco to La Paz. In April, La Paz is a bit cooler than Cusco - with highs of 17°C and lows of 1°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can travel to San Pedro de Atacama.

Things to do in La Paz

Outdoors Tours Museums
Find places to stay Apr 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Museo de Textiles Andinos Bolivianos ©

1
night
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

San Pedro de Atacama ©
Major archeological sites and a renowned museum remain the big draws in San Pedro de Atacama tourism, appealing to visitors interested in learning more about South America's pre-Columbian cultures.
On the 13th (Tue), look for all kinds of wild species at Río Putana and then look for all kinds of wild species at Salar de Tara. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the ancient world of Pukara de Quitor, witness a stunning natural landmark at Geyser del Tatio, take in the dramatic natural features at Valle De La Luna, then hunt for treasures at Feria Artesanal San Pedro de Atacama, and finally examine the collection at Father Le Paige Museum.

For photos, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the San Pedro de Atacama tour builder website .

Traveling by combination of flight and shuttle from La Paz to San Pedro de Atacama takes 11 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. When traveling from La Paz in April, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in San Pedro de Atacama: temperatures range from 28°C by day to 4°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can travel to Santiago.

Things to do in San Pedro de Atacama

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Salar de Tara ©
Salar de Tara
Valle De La Luna ©
Valle De La Luna
Geyser del Tatio ©
Geyser del Tatio

3
nights
Santiago, Chile

Santiago ©
Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
Step out of the city life by going to San Cristóbal Hill and Region IX Ltd. Shop till you drop at Central Market (Mercado Central) and Costanera Center. Step out of Santiago to go to Pirque and see Concha y Toro, which is approximately 48 minutes away. The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at La Chascona, admire the masterpieces at Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, take in the exciting artwork at E.N.D. Espacio Nacional de Diseno, and contemplate the long history of Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Santiago day trip planning site .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Santiago

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Concha y Toro, Region IX Ltd
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
La Chascona ©
La Chascona
Concha y Toro ©
Concha y Toro

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