13 days in South America Itinerary

13 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Washington DC, United States
Fly:  13 h 15 min
1
Cusco, Peru
— 2 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Train:  3 h 15 min
2
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 night
+4
Train + Foot + Bus + Taxi + Fly:  9 h 45 min
3
Santiago, Chile
— 1 night
Fly:  4 h 45 min
4
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  7 h
5
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 2 nights
Fly:  7 h
6
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + Foot + Bus + Train:  15 h 45 min
End: Washington DC, United States

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sun): admire the landmark architecture of Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, steep yourself in history at Sacsayhuaman, then admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Precolombino, and finally delve into the distant past at Tambomachay. On your second day here, take an in-depth tour of Museo Inka, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Museo de Vida Monastica - Monasterio de Santa Catalina del Cusco, gain insight with exploor, then contemplate the long history of Plaza de Armas, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia De Santo Domingo.

Discover how to plan a Cusco trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Washington DC, USA to Cusco is an approximately 13.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. When traveling from Washington DC in August, plan for a bit cooler days and much colder nights in Cusco: temperatures range from 70°F by day to 36°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
exploor ©
exploor
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Qorikancha ©
Qorikancha

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.
On the 11th (Tue), steep yourself in history at Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu.

To see other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Machu Picchu online vacation planner.

Do a combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Aug 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu

1
night
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.
On the 12th (Wed), take in the pleasant sights at Plaza de Armas and then walk around Cerro Santa Lucia. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at La Chascona, tour the pleasant surroundings at San Cristóbal Hill, then admire the landmark architecture of Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), and finally steep yourself in history at Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania.

For where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read our Santiago trip planner.

Getting from Machu Picchu to Santiago by combination of train, bus, and flight takes about 10 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or drive. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Machu Picchu to Santiago due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Santiago

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
Cerro Santa Lucia ©
Cerro Santa Lucia

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 14th (Fri): take in the history at Plaza de Mayo, wander the streets of Puerto Madero, then get a sense of history and politics at Casa Rosada, then take in nature's colorful creations at Parque 3 de Febrero, and finally admire the natural beauty at Jardin Japones. On the next day, admire the masterpieces at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, then make a trip to Cemiterio de Recoleta, and then admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Buenos Aires trip itinerary builder website.

You can fly from Santiago to Buenos Aires in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Santiago to Buenos Aires is 1 hour. In August in Buenos Aires, expect temperatures between 63°F during the day and 51°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero

2
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.
On the 16th (Sun), steep yourself in history at Parque Lage, then appreciate the history behind Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer, then kick back and relax at Praia de Ipanema, and finally admire the natural beauty at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. On your second day here, step into the grandiose world of Ilha Fiscal, browse the collection at Real Gabinete Portugues Da Leitura, then kick back and relax at Copacabana Beach, then kick back and relax at Pedra do Arpoador, and finally make a trip to Escadaria Selaron.

Before you visit Rio de Janeiro, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by flight from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Buenos Aires in August, things will get somewhat warmer in Rio de Janeiro: highs are around 79°F and lows about 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to fly to Fernando de Noronha.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Aug 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema

2
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.
On the 18th (Tue), get outside with Baia dos Porcos, enjoy the sand and surf at Baia do Sancho, and then see the sky in a new way at Aulas de Energia – Espaco Usina Solar Fernando de Noronha. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Praia do Sueste, kick back and relax at Fernado de Noronha Island, then contemplate the waterfront views at Buraco do Galego, and finally head outdoors with Morro dois Irmaos.

To find more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Fernando de Noronha trip site.

You can fly from Rio de Janeiro to Fernando de Noronha in 7 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Fernando de Noronha. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro in August, plan for a bit warmer nights in Fernando de Noronha, with lows around 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Fernando de Noronha

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Baia do Sancho ©
Baia do Sancho
Baia dos Porcos ©
Baia dos Porcos
Praia do Sueste ©
Praia do Sueste

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