(27 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)
Argentina, Chile, Peru
This exclusive, comprehensive private South America tour was designed for travelers who want to experience the best of Argentina, Chile and Peru. It features the top highlights in each country, including spectacular natural attractions such as Iguazu Falls, Perito Moreno Glacier, Torres del Paine and the Atacama Desert; the wonderful cities of Buenos Aires, Santiago, Valparaiso, Lima and Cusco; and the incomparable Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Completing the experience are private touring with expert local guides and accommodation at the finest and most exclusive hotels, lodges and resorts in each destination.
Begin in vibrant Buenos Aires. With your own private guide and driver, visit evocative neighborhoods filled with elegant architecture, historic attractions, excellent museums and other highlights. Browse lively markets. Wander the cobbled backstreets, and enjoy a tango performance at an intimate, upscale dinner theater. Take advantage of the exciting contemporary art and design scene, world-class restaurants and great shopping. One day, take a private excursion to an estancia (ranch) in the pampas to learn about gaucho culture and experience the traditional lifestyle. Alternatively, visit charming Colonia del Sacramento to tour the historic center of this former Portuguese colony and the oldest town in Uruguay. Or, take a private excursion to Tigre and the Parana River Delta to enjoy a relaxing private cruise on the canals of this “rural Venice,” passing gardens and upscale vacation houses.
Next, visit Iguazu Falls, one of the most spectacular natural attractions in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stay in the finest hotel in the area, and tour both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of Iguazu Falls. With your private guide, explore the hundreds of waterfalls streaming over high cliffs, travel through the jungle on an open train as butterflies flit about, and cruise up the Iguazu River for an unforgettable experience of the force of Iguazu Falls from below.
Continue to Bariloche, a resort town in the beautiful Lake District of northern Patagonia. Stay in the legendary Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, and take in views of the mountains and lakes in the surrounding national park. With your guide, enjoy a private cruise on the deep blue waters of Lake Nahuel Huapi to Victoria Island, learn about the indigenous history of the area, and dine on a gourmet meal of local food and wine. Also take gentle hikes to appreciate the beauty of the region.
Then, fly to El Calafate to experience southern Patagonia’s vast open steppe and the impressive peaks, glaciers and pale blue lakes of Los Glaciares National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One day, visit magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier—one of the few advancing glaciers in the world—to see (and hear) chunks of ice calving from it, and perhaps opt to take a guided walk on top of the glacier itself.
Transfer overland to Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. One of the most dramatic landscapes in South America, Torres del Paine is a wonderland of spiky mountains, green forests, roaring rivers, sapphire lakes and vivid blue glaciers. Choose from a number of daily excursions according to your interests. Options typically include scenic walks and hikes, seeing mountains and waterfalls, wildlife viewing, bird-watching, photography safaris, kayaking and boat rides on glacial lakes, visiting Patagonian ranches, exploring archaeological sites, looking for fossils, mountain biking and horseback riding.
Continue to Santiago, the capital of Chile, which is framed by the Andes mountains. One day, enjoy a private excursion to Valparaiso, a historic port city on the Pacific Ocean and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See colorful Victorian buildings on labyrinthine streets that climb steep hillsides, and perhaps take one of the many funiculars that connect the residential hills with the working waterfront. If desired, also enjoy wine tasting at a top winery in the Casablanca Valley wine region.
Next, visit the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, a remarkable landscape of salt flats, sand dunes, hot springs, geysers and volcanoes spread over a huge area. Choose from daily excursions and activities that include options such as seeing the Valley of the Moon, exploring different sections of the National Flamingo Reserve, walking on sand dunes, bathing in hot springs, stargazing, visiting traditional Andean villages, learning to identify petroglyphs, mountain biking, horseback riding, and venturing to the altiplano at dawn to watch the El Tatio geysers erupt and steam.
Return to Santiago, and enjoy private touring of the city’s highlights such as the historic center, colonial architecture and museums.
Next, fly to Lima, the cosmopolitan capital of Peru. Enjoy in-depth private touring focusing on the cultural and culinary highlights of Lima, such as visiting the impressive historic district (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), seeing spectacular pre-Colombian art collections, and taking a tasting tour through the city’s best food markets. Private cooking lessons can also be arranged, upon request.
Next, fly to Cusco, and transfer through the countryside to the beautiful Sacred Valley (Urubamba Valley), a river valley with the high peaks of the Andes towering overhead. During private touring with your own guide and driver, experience the best of the local culture, such as visits to indigenous markets and villages, meetings with renowned local weavers and artisans, and tours of outstanding Inca archaeological sites such as Ollantaytambo, Moray and Pisac. Perhaps also visit terraced salt evaporation ponds at Maras to learn how this natural resource is harvested by local people. Upon request, Artisans of Leisure can arrange additional activities such as pottery and weaving workshops, a private cooking lesson, a traditional pachamanca dinner, and soft-adventure activities including day hikes, river rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Spend one night near the breathtaking Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While touring Machu Picchu’s terraces, plazas and stone structures with your private guide, learn about the fascinating history of the site, and take in unforgettable panoramas of the Andes and the jungle. If desired, Artisans of Leisure can also arrange for you to climb Huayna Picchu, the steep mountain on the site that has Inca-built stairs to the top.
Return to Cusco aboard the luxurious Hiram Bingham train. Stay in Cusco’s most exclusive luxury hotel—a colonial-era palace with oxygenated rooms—in the heart of this fascinating UNESCO World Heritage-listed city. During private touring with your guide, walk through Cusco's narrow streets, and learn about the Inca and Spanish colonial history of the city. Opt to see important archaeological sites just outside of the city, such as Sacsayhuaman. Also visit markets, galleries, boutiques and the best artisan workshops. In the evenings, enjoy dining reservations at Cusco's top restaurants.
On the final day, fly back to Lima, where you will be assisted to the international terminal for your onward flight.