Highlights of South America with Galápagos Cruise - From the UK
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At a glance
The price displayed includes flights as stipulated in the itinerary, and does not include travel insurance, additional transfers, or pre and post accommodation.
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
End Destination
Day 1
Depart London
Make your way to London Heathrow for your flight to Santiago.
Day 2
Arrive Santiago (Chile)
Be met on arrival in Santiago, the vibrant Chilean capital. Situated in the Santiago basin, this metropolis is spectacularly flanked by the Andes and enjoys some of the most magnificent settings of any city in the world. Transfer to your hotel before enjoying a guided city tour, taking you to Santiago’s lively and historic central square, the Plaza de Armas. Then this evening, enjoy a Welcome Reception.
Day 3
Santiago, Valparaíso
Today you’ll experience a day-trip to the picturesque port city of Valparaíso, one of the South Pacific’s most important seaports. On arrival here, set out on a sightseeing tour of the World Heritage-listed town centre. Then enjoy a drive up into the surrounding hills to absorb the stunning vistas of the bay and the colourful city below. Later, return to Santiago and spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Day 4
Santiago, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Departing Santiago this morning, transfer to the airport and fly to the elegant capital city of Buenos Aires in Argentina. On arrival, check into your hotel and settle in before enjoying the remainder of your day at leisure.
Day 5
Buenos Aires
Your in-depth sightseeing tour of Buenos Aires begins this morning at the Avenida de Mayo. See the pink Casa Rosada (Government House), the city’s cathedral and the Cabildo, Buenos Aires’ first city hall. Like a Local - visit Café Tortoni, an amazing coffeehouse with a rich history. Here, indulge in a coffee and a selection of Spanish delicacies. Later, explore the Italian-influenced barrio of La Boca and its famously colourful pedestrian street, the Caminito. Then travel along Avenida 9 de Julio, considered to be the widest avenue in the world. A Taste of Buenos Aires - at Esquina Carlos Gardel this evening, you’ll indulge in an authentic Argentinian dinner while taking in an exhilarating tango performance, representing a fine and enthralling tradition of passionate music and movement.
Day 6
Buenos Aires
Armed with the insight and advice provided by your Travelmarvel Tour Director, today is yours to relax or head out to explore the fascinating city of Buenos Aires’ many highlights independently. Enhance Your Journey: perhaps try your hand at a fun tango dance class; head to the town of Tigre and embark on a leisurely cruise through the diverse ecosystem of the Paraná Delta; or visit an estancia (ranch) for a full-day adventure, featuring horseback riding, folk music and lunch.
Day 7
Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
With the morning at leisure, explore Buenos Aires as you please. Later, fly to Rio de Janeiro, where the evening at leisure offers you the chance to dine at one of Rio’s many superb restaurants.
Day 8
Rio de Janeiro
Soak up Rio de Janeiro’s unique vibe with most of the day at leisure. Lapped by deep-blue ocean, flanked by mountains and lush rainforest, and drenched with white-sand beaches, life here pulsates to an intoxicating rhythm. Later, embark on a romantic sunset cable car ride to the majestic peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, where sublime vistas across Rio await. A Taste of Rio de Janeiro - head to a local steakhouse to sample Brazil’s national cocktail, the Caipirinha, before enjoying a delicious Brazilian BBQ as you gaze out across beautiful Guanabara Bay, which is backdropped by Sugarloaf Mountain. Enhance Your Journey: today, perhaps join us for a leisurely tour through the local favelas, which are situated within the rich barrio (district) of São Conrado. During the tour you will see the local area and gain an insight into the way of life here. Alternatively, perhaps consider setting off on an enthralling guided tour of some of Rio’s most significant historical sights.
Day 9
Rio de Janeiro
After breakfast at your hotel this morning, head to Corcovado, a mountain that is famous for its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer, which is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This is the largest Art Deco statue in the world, standing at some 30 metres tall, and upon viewing this wonder you will understand why it has become an icon for both Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. While here, visit the statue and travel to the platform at the mountain’s summit for stunning views over downtown Rio de Janeiro, Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach and much more. The rest of the day is yours to relax or further explore this the exhilarating sights and sounds of Rio. Enhance Your Journey: tonight, you may like to experience Rio’s nightlife or take in a spectacular samba show.
Day 10
Rio de Janeiro, Iguassu Falls (Brazil and Argentina)
Fly from the bustling city of Rio de Janeiro to the natural splendour of Iguassu Falls, a system of 275 waterfalls, on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Experience the majesty of Brazil’s World Heritage-listed Iguassu National Park at your leisure. You might like to walk through lush subtropical rainforest to take in breathtaking panoramic views of the falls. Later, you’ll have the opportunity to cross into the Argentinian side of the falls and enjoy them from a different perspective.
Day 11
Iguassu Falls
On the Argentinian side of the falls, ride the Rainforest Ecological Train to a series of walkways and viewing points, including one leading to the 82-metre-high Devil’s Throat, one of the most spectacular falls. Enhance Your Journey: perhaps board a speedboat safari and learn about the flora and fauna of this region.
Day 12
Iguassu Falls, Lima (Peru)
Today heralds the start of your Peruvian discovery, as you fly from Iguassu Falls to Lima. Enhance Your Journey: before you depart Iguassu Falls, perhaps learn about native birds at Parque das Aves or visit Itaipu Dam, the world’s largest dam.
Day 13
Lima, Cusco, Chincheros, Sacred Valley
This morning you’ll fly to the World Heritage-listed city of Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Travel through Cusco to Chincheros, a city set in the stunning Andean highlands. Like a Local - during a traditional weaving demonstration, see how the colourful materials of South America are created by local people, and learn of their importance in preserving ancient traditions. This evening, enjoy dinner at your leisure. Special Stay - soak up the ancient Andean atmosphere and relax in comfort at the premium Aranwa Sacred Valley.
Day 14
Sacred Valley
Your Sacred Valley experience begins this morning with a visit to the unique markets of Pisac, which is a hilltop handicraft village located near various Inca ruins. A Taste of the Sacred Valley - visit the children’s project, Munaychay, and enjoy a delicious traditional lunch cooked in a Peruvian earth oven. Your sightseeing in the Sacred Valley then continues with a visit to the Ollantaytambo archaeological site. This ancient Inca royal estate, not far from Cusco, showcases historic feats of engineering and agricultural terraces. Later, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore at your own pace.
Day 15
Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
Like a Local - today board the Vistadome train and soak up the spectacular Andean landscape through the panoramic windows as you head to Machu Picchu, located some 2,400 metres above sea level. On arrival at the ruins, enjoy a locally guided tour of the Lost City of the Incas, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Machu Picchu was built around 1450, at the height of the Inca Empire, and abandoned just over 100 years later. The site remained undiscovered in modern times until American historian, Hiram Bingham, brought it to international attention in 1911. Today, it is a World Heritage-listed site and the most familiar icon of the Inca Empire. After time here, return to town and check into your charming hotel.
Day 16
Machu Picchu, Cusco
As you wake this morning, you’ll realise just how close you are to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Perhaps revisit Machu Picchu to make your own discoveries and appreciate the majesty of this ancient wonder. Later, re-board PeruRail’s Vistadome train for your scenic return journey through the Peruvian Andes back to Cusco. On arrival, check into your hotel. Special Stay - experience the timeless style and central location of Palacio del Inka during an unforgettable two night stay. Then enjoy the evening at your leisure to perhaps discover the local cuisine at a nearby restaurant or simply unwind at your hotel.
Day 17
A guided walking tour through Cusco this morning will take you to the square that lies in the city’s historic heart, the Plaza de Armas. During your tour, you’ll visit the sacred site of Koricancha and the beautiful Baroque church of Santo Domingo. Both fascinating sites provide insight into the unique fusion of ancient Andean and Western European culture. As you wander through Cusco’s narrow cobblestone streets, be sure to stop and take the time to examine the walls. At the bottom of the walls you’ll notice remnants of buildings, built by the Incas, which consist of large stones that have been perfectly fitted without the use of any grout. They are truly something to behold. Following free time to explore, you’ll enjoy a delicious Peruvian dinner and a traditional folklore show at the Tunupa Restaurant Bar and Grill this evening.
Day 18
Cusco, Lake Titicaca
This morning, you’ll take a coach to the city of Puno, which lies approximately 3,800 metres above sea level on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Along the way, you’ll stop at the small town of Andahuaylillas, which is known for a picturesque chapel that is often referred to as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Andes’ thanks to its impressive frescoes. During your journey, you’ll also make a stop for a hearty buffet lunch. On arrival in Puno, check into your hotel, situated in front of Lake Titicaca. Enjoy time at leisure this evening to relax by the shores of this sacred lake or to familiarise yourself with the local area.
Day 19
Lake Titicaca
Located on the border of Peru and Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is situated at 3,800 metres above sea level, making it the highest navigable lake in the world. Lake Titicaca has long been considered to be a sacred place for Inca civilisations, as it is said in Inca mythology that the first Inca king, Manco Cápac, was born here. Like a Local - after breakfast this morning, set off on a cruise over the lake to the remarkable home of the Uros people - who live on a group of more than 40 manmade islands created from floating reeds. On this truly unforgettable trip, you will enjoy an insight into the Uros’ unique way of life and experience the spectacular scenery that characterises this region. In the evening, return to your hotel for a delicious dinner.
Day 20
Lake Titicaca, Lima
After flying back to Lima today, enjoy a guided tour of the World Heritage-listed Historic Centre of Lima. A Taste of Lima - this evening, indulge in a special Farewell Dinner at Restaurant Huaca Pucllana, set within the ruins of an archaeological compound beside a colourfully illuminated adobe pyramid. As you dine, re-live the experiences of your tour with your fellow travellers.
Day 21
Lima, Quito (Ecuador)
Departing Peru today, fly to Quito, Ecuador’s historic and charming capital. On arrival, transfer to your premium hotel.
Day 22
Today takes you on a guided tour of Quito, including its historic Old Town. Here, marvel at the architecture of the Plaza and Monastery of San Francisco, the Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande), La Compañía de Jésus and the Museo de Arte Colonial. Tonight, enjoy the evening at leisure and perhaps experience the flavours of South America at one of Quito’s many superb restaurants.
Day 23
Quito, Embark Galápagos Islands Cruise
Fly to San Cristóbal Island, the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago and one of the few islands to have a permanent settlement. On arrival, transfer to your ship and enjoy an introductory talk. After lunch, set out cruising past Punta Pitt, an eroded tuff cone, whose walking trail provides spectacular views of the shoreline. This region is an important nesting area for many bird species, including the famous blue-footed boobies, as this is the only location where you will find all three species of this spectacular bird. Stroll along the stunning coastline or perhaps capture the astounding vistas from an enjoyable panga ride. This evening, relax and enjoy dinner on board.
Day 24
Galápagos Islands Cruise
This morning, enjoy a panga ride to Santa Fe island, an idyllic sandy-white beach populated by many sea lions. Look out for the land iguana unique to this island, amid the giant prickly pear cactus. Perhaps snorkel the pristine waters or alternatively, enjoy a glass-bottom boat ride. Following lunch, continue to South Plaza Island, whose surrounding turquoise waters contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. Beyond, a carpet of scarlet Sesuvium succulents protects a grove of prickly pear cactus. Yellow-grey land iguanas sit beneath the luminescent green cacti, waiting patiently for pears to drop. Along the coastline, keep an eye out for sea lion colonies, while frigatebirds, Swallow-tailed gulls and shearwaters glide by this magical setting.
Day 25
Galápagos Islands Cruise
Disembark your ship at Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island. Tour the Charles Darwin Research Station, which is involved in Galápagos Island conservation. See giant Galápagos tortoises, the largest known living species of tortoise and other native creatures. Then, perhaps go hiking, mountain biking or kayaking in Tortuga Bay, before returning to your ship for dinner.
Day 26
Galápagos Islands Cruise
Explore Punta Suarez and enjoy a wildlife walk. Continue to Española Island and Gardener’s Bay to see an array of wildlife. Look out for sea lions, marine iguanas and sea turtles. While birds include hood mockingbirds, warbler finches and many more.
Day 27
Disembark Galápagos Islands Cruise, Guayaquil
Disembark your ship at Baltra Island and then transfer to the airport for your flight to Guayaquil. Enjoy a delicious Farewell Dinner later this evening.
Day 28
Depart Guayaquil
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Day 29
Arrive London
Arrive back in the UK today.
Additional Information
Additional Information

Hike The Famous Inca Trail

  • The more adventurous can replace Day 15 touring with an eight-hour hike to iconic Machu Picchu at an additional cost, before rejoining the group for dinner at your hotel. Revisit Machu Picchu the next morning for your guided tour. Must be pre-booked. Subject to availability. Please enquire for details
Your Holiday Price Includes
  • Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow
  • All flights within South America
  • Dedicated services of a Travelmarvel Tour Director from Days 2-20
  • Expert local guides in each country
  • Unique Insider Experiences
  • All tipping, transfers and luggage porterage within South America
Trip notes
  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Your Galápagos and Ecuador extension (Days 21-28) will not be escorted by a Travelmarvel Tour Director, instead enjoy the expert services of local guides and M/V Santa Cruz II staff
  • Supplements for solo travellers available on application
  • Prices include air taxes, but supplements may apply
  • Please note that internal flights included in the itinerary are based on flying Internationally with LATAM Airlines. Internal flights must be booked by Travelmarvel. A surcharge will apply if flying with any other carrier
  • Prices are for land, cruise and internal flights within South America only.  International flights, and flights not specified are not included in the fare
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