56 days in South America Itinerary

56 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

56 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Brisbane, Australia
Fly:  22​h 15​min
1
Cusco, Peru
— 5 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Train:  3​h 15​min
2
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  20​h
3
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
— 5 nights
Ferry:  2​h 30​min
4
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
— 6 nights
+3
Bus + Ferry + Shuttle + Fly:  25​h
5
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
— 8 nights
Fly:  7​h
6
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 6 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
7
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
— 3 nights
Drive:  45​min
8
Iguazu National Park, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
9
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 5 nights
Fly:  5​h
10
El Calafate, Argentina
— 3 nights
Fly:  9​h 15​min
11
Santiago, Chile
— 5 nights
Fly:  18​h 15​min
End: Brisbane, Australia

5
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cusco: Salinas de Maras (in Maras) and Cerveceria Willkamayu (in Urubamba). Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Sacsayhuaman, get the lay of the land with Walking tours, get engrossed in the history at Museo Inka, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia De Santo Domingo.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Cusco route tool .

Brisbane, Australia to Cusco is an approximately 22.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 15 hours traveling from Brisbane to Cusco. When traveling from Brisbane in November, plan for slightly colder days in Cusco, with highs around 26°C, while nights are much colder with lows around 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Tours Parks

Side Trips

Cerveceria Willkamayu, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Salinas de Maras
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 5:
Highlights from your plan
exploor ©
exploor
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Sacred Valley of the Incas ©
Sacred Valley of the Incas

3
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Sun): make a trip to Plaza Manco Capac, explore the ancient world of Winay Wayna, and then get great views at Intipuncu. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the natural beauty at Los Jardines de Mandor and then delve into the distant past at Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu.

To see maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Machu Picchu trip planner .

Getting from Cusco to Machu Picchu by combination of bus and train takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) so you can travel to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Winay Wayna ©
Winay Wayna
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu

5
nights
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno ©
The capital of the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is located on easternmost island of the archipelago, San Cristobal.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is known for wildlife, museums, nature, historic sites, and adventure. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get a new perspective on nature at Interpretation Center, tour the pleasant surroundings at Cerro Tijeretas, don't miss a visit to Dona Pilo, and enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Chino Beach.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Puerto Baquerizo Moreno online holiday planner .

Explore your travel options from Machu Picchu to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno with the Route module. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to ride a ferry to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

San Cristobal
Find places to stay Dec 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Cerro Tijeretas ©
Cerro Tijeretas
Interpretation Center ©
Interpretation Center
Cerro Brujo ©
Cerro Brujo

6
nights
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

Puerto Ayora ©
The largest settlement in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora offers visitors to the islands an array of facilities and things to do.
Step out of Puerto Ayora with an excursion to North Seymour Island in Baltra--about 1h 20 min away. The adventure continues: stroll through Charles Darwin Research Station, take in the dramatic natural features at Las Grietas, view the masterpieces at Galeria Aymara, and experience rural life at Highland View Galapagos.

To find where to stay, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read Puerto Ayora itinerary planner .

Traveling by ferry from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Puerto Ayora takes 2.5 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can travel to Fernando de Noronha.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Santa Cruz, Bellavista, North Seymour Island
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Charles Darwin Research Station ©
Charles Darwin Research Station
Galeria Aymara ©
Galeria Aymara
Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay ©
Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay

8
nights
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Fernando de Noronha ©
With 21 lush islands scattered among pristine waters in the Atlantic Ocean, a Fernando de Noronha holiday is well worth the effort it takes to get there.
Fernando de Noronha is known for beaches, museums, wildlife, outdoors, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: kick back and relax at Baia do Sancho, tour the pleasant surroundings at Praia do Cachorro, head outdoors with Morro dois Irmaos, and explore the striking landscape of Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park.

To see traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Fernando de Noronha day trip planning website .

You can do a combination of bus, ferry, and flight from Puerto Ayora to Fernando de Noronha in 25 hours. The time zone difference moving from Ecuador Time to Fernando de Noronha Time is 3 hours. December in Fernando de Noronha sees daily highs of 35°C and lows of 29°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can fly to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Fernando de Noronha

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Baia do Sancho ©
Baia do Sancho
Baia dos Porcos ©
Baia dos Porcos
Morro dois Irmaos ©
Morro dois Irmaos

6
nights
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro ©
Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Change things up with a short trip to Imperial Museum in Petropolis (about 1h 25 min away). The adventure continues: appreciate the history behind Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer, admire the natural beauty at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, kick back and relax at Copacabana Beach, and stroll through Praia de Grumari.

To find reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Rio de Janeiro trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Fernando de Noronha to Rio de Janeiro takes 7 hours. The time zone changes from Fernando de Noronha Time (FNT) to Brasilia Time (BRT), which is usually a -1 hour difference. In December in Rio de Janeiro, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 27°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sun) early enough to travel to Foz do Iguacu.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Imperial Museum
Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema

3
nights
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil

Foz do Iguacu ©
A gateway to the world-renowned Iguacu Falls, which spectacularly divide Brazil and Argentina, the modern, high-rise city of Foz do Iguacu can't help but play second fiddle to the natural wonder in its vicinity.
Foz do Iguacu is known for nature, zoos & aquariums, historic sites, adventure, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the sheer force of Iguazu Falls, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Buddhist Temple, see the interesting displays at Museu de Cera Dreamland, and steep yourself in history at Marco Das Tres Fronteiras.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Foz do Iguacu trip planning tool .

You can fly from Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguacu in 2.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier evenings in Foz do Iguacu when traveling from Rio de Janeiro in January, with lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Iguazu National Park.

Things to do in Foz do Iguacu

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Parque das Aves Bird Park ©
Parque das Aves Bird Park
Devil's Throat ©
Devil's Throat

2
nights
Iguazu National Park, Argentina

Iguazu National Park ©
Iguazu National Park contains 672 sq km (259 sq mi) of fertile subtropical forests, but its main attraction is the majestic Iguazu Falls.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Thu): take in the dramatic scenery at Salto Bernabe Mendez and then admire the sheer force of Iguazu Falls. On the 8th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: discover the riches below the earth's surface at Wanda Mines, then explore the activities along Lago Urugua-i, then take in the dramatic scenery at Salto San Martin, and finally head off the coast to Isla San Martin.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Iguazu National Park trip itinerary planning app .

Traveling by car from Foz do Iguacu to Iguazu National Park takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Iguazu National Park can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Iguazu National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Wanda Mines, Lago Urugua-i
Find places to stay Jan 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Salto San Martin ©
Salto San Martin
Salto Bernabe Mendez ©
Salto Bernabe Mendez

5
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.
Buenos Aires is known for nightlife, historic sites, parks, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Cemiterio de Recoleta, admire the landmark architecture of El Ateneo Grand Splendid, take in the history at Plaza de Mayo, and shop like a local with Puerto Madero.

For ratings, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read our Buenos Aires trip itinerary maker app .

You can fly from Iguazu National Park to Buenos Aires in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Iguazu National Park in January, expect nights in Buenos Aires to be about the same, around 24°C, while days are slightly colder, around 33°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to El Calafate.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero

3
nights
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate ©
El Calafate tourism thrives mostly thanks to the city's proximity to a World Heritage-listed national park, famed for containing over 40 large glaciers.
Spend the 14th (Thu) exploring nature at Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Next up on the itinerary: get outside with Enjoy!, take in the dramatic natural features at Estacionamiento Pasarelas Glaciar Perito Moreno, explore the activities along Lago Argentino, and examine the collection at Glaciarium Museo del Hielo Patagónico.

For reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the El Calafate driving holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Buenos Aires to El Calafate takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from Buenos Aires in January, plan for much colder days in El Calafate, with highs around 17°C, while nights are slightly colder with lows around 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) early enough to travel to Santiago.

Things to do in El Calafate

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Jan 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares ©
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Lago Argentino
Lago Argentino

5
nights
Santiago, Chile

Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
Venture out of the city with trips to Concha y Toro (in Pirque) and Valle Nevado - Ski Resort Chile (in Valle Nevado). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at San Cristóbal Hill, take in the pleasant sights at Plaza de Armas, make a trip to Patio Bellavista, and examine the collection at La Chascona.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Santiago tour itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by flight from El Calafate to Santiago takes 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from El Calafate to Santiago. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Santiago

Museums Parks Shopping

Side Trips

Valle Nevado - Ski Resort Chile, Concha y Toro
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Food Tours
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
Cerro Santa Lucia ©
Cerro Santa Lucia

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