Boasting a rich cultural tapestry and more breath-taking landscapes than you can shake a hiking pole at, few can ignore the allure of South America. We’re utterly in love with the eclectic gems of this rough and ready continent, and to celebrate our infatuation our Latin-loving travel experts have devised this 16 day adventure that delves a little deeper into two of our favourite destinations. Romance might not be the first word that pops into your head when you think of South America; however, we’ve teamed the Andean peaks and secret valleys of Peru with the depths of Brazil’s jungles and sizzling streets of Rio, and created this stripped-back adventure with a touch of seductive indulgence that makes for the perfect honeymoon or unusual romantic escape.
Starting in Lima and the age-old French grandeur of Hotel B, you’ll begin your trip firmly embraced by style and comfort in the heart of the Peruvian capital’s chic district of Barranco. After catching some well-deserved rest, your Peruvian adventure begins with a culinary tour that dives straight into the cultural fabric of Lima. Walking amongst the atmospheric markets with a Peruvian food expert, you’ll taste your way across this charming city and uncover the gastronomic revolution that literally gives Lima its own unique flavour. When you’ve had your fill of ceviche (fresh raw fish marinaded in citrus) and causa (potatoes layered upon perfectly ripe avocados), you’ll spend the rest of your time in Lima at your own leisure, relaxing on the rooftop of Hotel B with a pisco sour in hand or venturing out to the streets to discover some of the area’s best museums.
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FEEL THE CULTURAL EMBRACE OF CUSCO
With Lima’s allures still lingering in your memory, on your final morning in the capital you’ll be privately transferred to the airport before being whisked off to start your cultural odyssey in the UNESCO cherished city of Cusco, where you’ll settle down for three nights amongst the opulent luxury of La Casona Hotel. Once settled in to the colonial grandeur of your 16th century mansion, the next three days are all about getting under the skin of Cusco and discovering the true spirit of this Incan capital. Starting with a privately guided tour to help you get to grips with the labyrinthine streets, you’ll be met by a local guide who will showcase the hidden gems of his beloved city. After enjoying the sights and smells of Cusco, the rest of your time in this capital of culture will be spent at leisure, where you can delve further into the interior of the city, or simply sit back and take-in the charms of the stunning La Casona Hotel.
THE SACRED VALLEY, STEP BY STEP
On your final morning in Cusco, you’ll be privately transferred to the sacred valley via the otherworldly Incan Ruins of Moray, where you will get your first insight into the world of the Incan empire that you’ll be exploring over the next four days. After visiting this sacred site, you’ll continue on to the epicentre of the Sacred Valley, where you’ll bed-down for one night amongst the romantic charm of the Sol y Luna hotel. Reminiscent of an ancient Peruvian village, this charming hotel offers the ultimate relaxation before your hiking adventure, and we’ll be putting you up in the revered premium Casita suite, where you can soak in your own private Jacuzzi and fully recharge your batteries.
HIKE THE INCA TRAIL TO MACHU PICCHU
After rising to a feeling of utter replenishment, today marks one of the most wondrous milestones of your journey, as you embark on the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With an experienced guide at hand, your next three days will be admittedly tiresome, but the rewards of your efforts couldn’t be more worth it. After two nights of camping within the verdant interior of the Peruvian highlands, your third day will complete your pilgrimage as you emerge amongst the mythological majesty of Machu Picchu. One of the seven new wonders of the world, there are truly no words to describe the sense of utter fulfilment as you gaze down upon this settlement in the sky, with its cratered archaeological ruins and jaw-dropping natural beauty. In fact, the views from the top of this ancient city are so sought after that we’ll have to book you in at least six months in advance to ensure that you can take part in this unique camp-hiking adventure.
Still reeling from your efforts, you’ll clamber back down to earth until you’ll reach Aguas Calientes and the Inkaterra Hotel, a gorgeous little town that hangs in the jaws of a verdant gorge and offers solace for tired limbs.
YOUR BRAZILIAN ADVENTURE BEGINS
But don’t get too comfortable, as when the sun rises on your final morning in Peru you’ll be privately transferred to Cusco airport before boarding your 7 hour flight to Foz do Iguaçu, where your South American adventure continues. After a swift transfer from the airport, you’ll arrive to the stunning Hotel das Cataratas, an elegant colonial palace that literally has the Iguaçu Falls in its back yard. Tired from your flight, we’ll leave the rest of the day at your own leisure, giving you time to indulge in your first taste of Brazilian cuisine at the Ipê Grill, or bathe in the balmy waters of the hotel’s stunning outdoor pool.
Feeling refreshed after a well-deserved rest, the next few days revolve around blissful exploration as you’re transported to the confluence of Brazilian and Argentinan beauty at the biblical Iguaçu Falls. Starting with a trip to the Brazilian side, you’ll wake early and stride across the labyrinthine trails, discovering endemic species of flora and fauna before reaching the stunning panoramic viewpoint that stretches across the entirety of the 240 falls. On your second day you’ll cross the Tancredo Neves Bridge and plunge into the Argentinian side of the Iguaçu National Park. After crossing the threshold, a short train journey will propel you deeper into the earthen heart of the National Park, where you will saunter across more meandering pathways before coming face to face with the largest waterfall in the park; ‘ Garganta del Diablo’, or The Devil’s Throat as it’s known by the locals.
A QUICK SKIP TO RIO
Waving goodbye to the tumultuous beauty of the Iguaçu Falls, you’ll be swept off on a two-hour flight for your dose of chic city living in Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival on the shores of Brazil’s enigmatic capital, you’ll be privately transferred to the antiquated luxury of the Fasano Hotel, our favourite Brazilian bolthole that settles you down in the loving embrace of Ipanema Beach. You’ll have the rest of the day at leisure, catching your breath before your embark upon your exploration of the Brazilian capital.
Once the fatigue is fought and you’re ready for Rio, your first full day in the city starts at the top, with a morning visit of the visceral icon of Christ the Redeemer. Gazing down from the 710 metre peak of Corcovado, you’ll be staring straight into one of the most moving sights on earth as the heart of Brazil bustles beneath you. With feet back on terra firma, you’ll continue with your half day tour of Rio, splitting your time between the dense urban hub of the city centre, the lush greenery of the Tijuca Forest and the honeycomb beach of Copacabana.
Your second day in Rio starts in the culturally fascinating fabric of the city’s vibrant street markets, where you can taste your way through a medley of exotic street food and test your bartering skills with the friendly locals. Fuelled by the fruits of the market, your next stop takes you to the dizzying heights of Sugar Loaf Mountain, another recognisable face in the Rio skyline that can be reached with a swift six-minute cable-car ride. After taking in yet more priceless vistas from the peak, you’ll dive back into the cultural heart of Rio with a visit to the bohemian centre of Santa Teresa, where the streets dance to an artful atmosphere and radiate the aroma of mouth-watering street food. Your final evening will be at your own leisure, allowing you to take your time and soak in the final moments of your epic adventure to Peru and Brazil.