21 days in South America Itinerary

21 days in South America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South America trip maker

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Route & dates

Start: Wellington, New Zealand
Fly + Shuttle:  17 h 30 min
1
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  7 h 45 min
2
Lima, Peru
— 3 nights
Fly:  1 h 45 min
3
Cusco, Peru
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Train:  3 h 15 min
4
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 night
Train:  1 h 30 min
5
Ollantaytambo, Peru
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  7 h
6
La Paz, Bolivia
— 2 nights
Fly:  2 h 45 min
7
Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
— 3 nights
Fly:  13 h
8
Santiago, Chile
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  19 h
End: Wellington, New Zealand

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sun): take in nature's colorful creations at Parque 3 de Febrero, then examine the collection at Museo Del Bicentenario, then examine the collection at Fragata ARA, and finally engage your brain at Museo de La Plata.

For maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Buenos Aires road trip planning tool.

Wellington, New Zealand to Buenos Aires is an approximately 18- hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of train, taxi, flight, and shuttle; or fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 15 hours traveling from Wellington to Buenos Aires. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Wellington in November: high temperatures in Buenos Aires hover around 28°C and lows are around 19°C. You'll have a few hours on the 25th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Lima.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Museums Childrens Museums Parks

Side Trip

Museo de La Plata
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero
Museo de La Plata ©
Museo de La Plata
Museo River Plate ©
Museo River Plate

3
nights
Lima, Peru

Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nature & Wildlife Tours and MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima. Get in touch with nature at Parasailing & Paragliding and Reserva Nacional Lomas de Lachay. There's still lots to do: admire the masterpieces at Museo MATE, get engrossed in the history at Museo Larco, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church and Sanctuary of Saint Rose of Lima, and examine the collection at Museo del Automovil Coleccion Nicolin.

To see other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Lima online road trip planner.

Getting from Buenos Aires to Lima by flight takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Buenos Aires to Lima due to the time zone difference. In November, daily temperatures in Lima can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Thu) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Lima

Museums Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Reserva Nacional Lomas de Lachay
Find places to stay Nov 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima ©
MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima
Museo MATE ©
Museo MATE

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi, then steep yourself in history at Sacsayhuaman, then get engrossed in the history at Museo Historico Regional, and finally admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Precolombino.

For reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Cusco route planner.

You can fly from Lima to Cusco in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Cusco when traveling from Lima in November, with lows around 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Museums Wildlife
Find places to stay Nov 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Museo Historico Regional ©
Museo Historico Regional
Museo de Arte Precolombino ©
Museo de Arte Precolombino

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Sat): examine the collection at Museo de Sitio Manuel Chavez Ballon and then explore the ancient world of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Sun): admire the natural beauty at Mandor, explore the ancient world of Winay Wayna, and then stroll through Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu.

To see photos, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Machu Picchu trip maker.

You can do a combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a train; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) so you can catch the train to Ollantaytambo.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 1:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu
Mandor ©
Mandor
Winay Wayna ©
Winay Wayna

1
night
Ollantaytambo, Peru

Ollantaytambo ©
Retaining much of its centuries-old architecture, Ollantaytambo represents one of the world's finest examples of Incan city planning.
On the 2nd (Mon), get a taste of local nightlife at ALQA - Gallery of Andean Expressions and then admire the sheer force of Perolniyoq Waterfall.

For photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Ollantaytambo trip itinerary planning website.

You can take a train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Expect a daytime high around 24°C in December, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to travel to La Paz.

Things to do in Ollantaytambo

Nature Parks Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Perolniyoq Waterfall ©
Perolniyoq Waterfall

2
nights
La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz ©
Take a moment to catch your breath as you commence your holiday in La Paz.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Valley of the Moon and Huayna Potosi. Appreciate the collections at National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore and Museum of Musical Instruments - Museo Instrumentos Musicales de Bolivia. Change things up with a short trip to Puma Punku in Tiahuanaco (about 1h 10 min away). There's more to do: fly down the slopes at Chacaltaya Ski Resort and look for gifts at Green Hands.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our La Paz driving holiday app.

Explore your travel options from Ollantaytambo to La Paz with the Route module. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Ollantaytambo to La Paz due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Ollantaytambo in December, things will get little chillier in La Paz: highs are around 18°C and lows about 3°C. On the 5th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Rurrenabaque.

Things to do in La Paz

Parks Nature Winter Sports

Side Trip

Puma Punku
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Chacaltaya Ski Resort ©
Chacaltaya Ski Resort
Valley of the Moon ©
Valley of the Moon

3
nights
Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

Rurrenabaque ©
A holiday in Rurrenabaque is a great option for those interested in exploring the region's amazing natural biodiversity, breathtaking landscapes, and native cultures of the area.
Step off the beaten path and head to Escorpion Travels and Canopy Villa Alcira. Step out of the city life by going to River Yacuma and El Chocolatal Golf Eco Resort. There's more to do: look for gifts at La Cambita.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Rurrenabaque journey builder app.

Traveling by flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from La Paz in December: high temperatures in Rurrenabaque hover around 38°C and lows are around 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Rurrenabaque

Nature Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Escorpion Travels ©
Escorpion Travels
El Chocolatal Golf Eco Resort ©
El Chocolatal Golf Eco Resort
River Yacuma ©
River Yacuma

2
nights
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.
Casa de Isla Negra and Palacio Baburizza are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Museum-lovers will get to explore Museo Maritimo Nacional and Museo Historico Nacional. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Santiago: Paseo Yugoslavo (in Valparaiso) and Vina Santa Rita (in Buin). There's still lots to do: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepcion, learn about winemaking at Vina Santa Carolina, step into the grandiose world of Castillo Hidalgo, and stop by Barrio Italia.

For more things to do, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, read Santiago trip website.

Explore your travel options from Rurrenabaque to Santiago with the Route module. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santiago

Museums Wineries Nature

Side Trips

Valparaiso, Vina Santa Rita, Casa de Isla Negra
Find places to stay Dec 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Palacio Baburizza ©
Palacio Baburizza
Casa de Isla Negra ©
Casa de Isla Negra
Museo Maritimo Nacional ©
Museo Maritimo Nacional

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