Length: 18 DAYS
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Dynamic and bustling, a city which seems never to sleep, Buenos Aires is one of the most exciting cities in Latin America. Tango was born here, restaurants serve an all manner of world cuisine, bars play the latest music, cafés spill on to the streets and nightclubs allow dancing throughout the night. Cultural hub of a society which traces its roots to European immigration, it is famous throughout South America for its theatres, museums and galleries. Gucci, Armani, Prada, to name a few, line the boulevards catering for the fashion conscious porteños, their offerings as stylish as anything found in the cities in Europe or North America.
Lima, "the City of the Kings," became the effective capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru, established 1560. Today, a visit to Lima may serve as a unique Peruvian experience that offers a glimpse into the Andean world, Spanish tradition and the country's modern aspect. Visit handsome old buildings and baroque churches that testify to the city's religious background and the Plaza de Armas, shared by the realms of the Catholic church, municipality and national government. The pre-Inca ruins of Pachacamac lie a short distance south of the city. Once a ceremonial site, Pachacamac has been the most important religious center of the Andean world since before the age of Christ. Stop and admire The Temple of the Sun and the Moon, Lima's outstanding museums, and Machu Picchu - a "Jewel in the Mist."
Brazilians say that God made the rest of the world in six days, and devoted the seventh to Rio. The jagged Sugarloaf rises from dark blue Guanabara Bay, with legendary beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema in the foreground, forested mountains behind. This great city has an enticing atmosphere of samba and fun, and its locals are as joyous as they are beautiful.
The Cuzco (Cusco) region of Peru combines Inca legacy with Spanish colonial architecture in an atmosphere at once provincial and sublime. The chaotic marketplaces where campesinos barter grain or potatoes for multi-colored fabric belie the mute spirituality of the Lost Cities, where Inca stonework conveys order and balance. Such diversity enhances this inspiring nine-day adventure. The blue sky radiates with an intensity achieved only at high altitudes (the city of Cuzco lies 11,150 feet above sea level), while the landscape offers its unique pattern of exacting agricultural grids and tangled jungle masses.
The Urubamba valley is also named the Sacred Valley. It begins in the Urubamba's village and continues to Macchu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is a fortress city of the ancient Incas, in a high saddle between two peaks 50 miles NW of Cuzco, Peru. The extraordinary pre-Columbian ruin consists of five sq. miles of terraced stonework link by 3,000 steps; it was virtually intact when discovered by Hiram Bibghan in 1911.
Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This area is the cradle of the Aymara civilization and the birthplace of the Inca Empire.
The Iguassu Falls borders the Argentine Province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Parana. The falls divides the river into the upper and lower Iguassu. The thunderous beauty of the falls meaning “big water” has 275 individual drops and was discovered by Spanish Conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in 1541.