32 days in South America Itinerary

32 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

32 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fly:  11​h 15​min
Cusco, Peru
— 5 nights
+2
bus + foot + train:  3​h 15​min
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 4 nights
Drive:  10​h 15​min
Copacabana, Bolivia
— 2 nights
Fly:  10​h 30​min
Santiago, Chile
— 5 nights
Fly:  8​h 45​min
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
— 2 nights
bus:  5​h 45​min
El Chalten, Argentina
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 45​min
El Calafate, Argentina
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + taxi + bus:  7​h 30​min
Puerto Madryn, Argentina
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 4 nights
Fly + bus:  6​h
End: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

5
days
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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Pre-Columbian Art Museum and Qorikancha. Your inner history buff will appreciate Sacsayhuaman and Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo. Take a break from Cusco with a short trip to Salinas de Maras in Maras, about 1h 20 min away. The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Plaza de Armas, get engrossed in the history at Museo Inka, stop by Hilo, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Catedral del Cuzco o Catedral Basilica de la Virgen de la Asuncion.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read Cusco trip itinerary maker site .

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Cusco is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Brasilia Time (BRT) to Peru Time (PET), which is usually a -2 hour difference. When traveling from Rio de Janeiro in December, plan for a bit cooler days and colder nights in Cusco: temperatures range from 23°C by day to 9°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

#Historic Sites, #Museums, #Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo, Salinas de Maras, Sacred Valley of the Incas
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Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Salinas de Maras ©
Salinas de Maras
Plaza de Armas ©
Plaza de Armas

3
days
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.
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu and Winay Wayna will appeal to history buffs. Visiting Los Jardines de Mandor and Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu will get you outdoors. And it doesn't end there: explore the ancient world of Intipuncu, take in the awesome beauty at Phutuq K'usi, and take in the natural beauty of Banos Termales de Cocalmayo.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Machu Picchu planner .

Traveling by train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Copacabana.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

#Parks, #Historic Sites, #Nature

Side Trip

Banos Termales de Cocalmayo
Accommodations
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Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Winay Wayna ©
Winay Wayna
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu

1
day
Copacabana, Bolivia

Copacabana ©
The town of Copacabana represents the largest Bolivian settlement on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in the continent.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Tue): explore the activities along Lake Titicaca.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Copacabana online itinerary planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Machu Picchu to Copacabana. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Machu Picchu to Copacabana due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Copacabana

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Lake Titicaca ©
Lake Titicaca

4
days
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.
Museum-lovers will get to explore Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino and Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania. Take a break from the city and head to Cajon del Maipo and Valle Nevado - Ski Resort Chile. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at La Chascona, get engrossed in the history at Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, make a trip to Cerro Santa Lucia, and take some stellar pictures from Sky Costanera.

To see maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Santiago trip planning site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Copacabana to Santiago. In December in Santiago, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 14°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can travel to Los Glaciares National Park.

Things to do in Santiago

#Museums, #Parks, #Winter Sports

Side Trips

Cajon del Maipo, Valle Nevado - Ski Resort Chile
Accommodations
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Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino ©
Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino
La Chascona ©
La Chascona

1
day
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Los Glaciares National Park ©
A World Heritage Site, Los Glaciares National Park contains a giant ice cap that feeds 47 vast glaciers.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Tue): explore the striking landscape at Perito Moreno Glacier.

To find photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Los Glaciares National Park day trip planning site .

You can fly from Santiago to Los Glaciares National Park in 9 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Santiago to Los Glaciares National Park, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect cooler weather when traveling from Santiago in December: highs in Los Glaciares National Park hover around 16°C, while lows dip to 15°C. You will leave for El Chalten on the 19th (Wed).

Things to do in Los Glaciares National Park

#Parks, #Nature
Accommodations
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Perito Moreno Glacier ©
Perito Moreno Glacier

3
days
El Chalten, Argentina

El Chalten ©
Nestled up against the hills of the Los Glaciares National Park, El Chalten serves as one of the nation's most bustling hubs for hikers and backpackers heading out into the wild landscape of southern Patagonia.
Step out of the city life by going to Cerro Fitz Roy and Laguna Torre. There's lots more to do: take in the awesome beauty at Sendero Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Capri, get great views at Mirador del Torre, and hike along Miradores Los Condores y Las Aguilas.

For photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our El Chalten trip itinerary builder .

You can take a bus from Los Glaciares National Park to El Chalten in 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time for the bus ride to El Calafate.

Things to do in El Chalten

#Parks, #Nature, #Trails
Accommodations
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Cerro Fitz Roy ©
Cerro Fitz Roy
Laguna Torre ©
Laguna Torre
Laguna Capri ©
Laguna Capri

1
day
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate ©
El Calafate tourism thrives mostly thanks to the city's proximity to a World Heritage-listed national park, famed for containing over 40 large glaciers.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): contemplate the waterfront views at Lago Argentino and then make a trip to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

To see more things to do, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read El Calafate trip website .

Traveling by bus from El Chalten to El Calafate takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In December, daily temperatures in El Calafate can reach 16°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. You'll set off for Puerto Madryn on the 24th (Mon).

Things to do in El Calafate

#Parks, #Nature
Accommodations
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Parque Nacional Los Glaciares ©
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Lago Argentino
Lago Argentino

4
days
Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Puerto Madryn ©
Whales and penguins frolic in the waters of Puerto Madryn, one of Argentine Patagonia's most important port cities.
Step out of the city life by going to Punta Tombo National Reserve and Ecocentro. We've included these beaches for you: Playa El Doradillo and Costas de Patagonia. Step out of Puerto Madryn to go to Trelew and see Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Playa La Cantera, appreciate the history behind Monumento al Indio Tehuelche, and engage your brain at Museo Provincial de Ciencias Naturales y Oceanografico.

To find maps, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Puerto Madryn road trip planning website .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from El Calafate to Puerto Madryn takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from El Calafate in December; daily highs in Puerto Madryn reach 10°C and lows reach 10°C. On the 28th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Puerto Madryn

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Beaches

Side Trips

Punta Tombo National Reserve, Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio
Accommodations
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Punta Tombo National Reserve ©
Punta Tombo National Reserve
Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio ©
Playa El Doradillo ©
Playa El Doradillo

4
days
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires ©
Cultural capital of South America, Buenos Aires remains one of the largest cities on the continent, serving as a point of departure for exploring the rest of the country.
Get a sense of the local culture at Buenos Aires Latin American Art Museum (MALBA) and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Get some historical perspective at Plaza de Mayo and Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo. And it doesn't end there: take a stroll through Puerto Madero, get a taste of the local shopping with El Ateneo Grand Splendid, don't miss a visit to Recoleta Cemetery, and examine the collection at Museo de la Pasion Boquense.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Buenos Aires trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Puerto Madryn to Buenos Aires takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Puerto Madryn in December, plan for much hotter days and a bit warmer nights in Buenos Aires: temperatures range from 33°C by day to 23°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

#Historic Sites, #Neighborhoods, #Museums
Accommodations
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Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes ©
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Plaza de Mayo ©
Plaza de Mayo

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