38 days in South America Itinerary

38 days in South America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South America visit planner

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Route & dates

Start: Lyon, France
Fly + Drive:  29 h
1
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 3 nights
+2
Train + Foot + Bus:  3 h
2
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
Fly:  6 h
3
Uyuni, Bolivia
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Bus:  13 h 15 min
4
Valparaiso, Chile
— 4 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  12 h 45 min
5
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  6 h 30 min
6
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 4 nights
Fly + Shuttle:  5 h 15 min
7
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
— 4 nights
Fly:  10 h 15 min
8
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
9
Porto de Galinhas, Brazil
— 4 nights
Fly:  6 h 30 min
10
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 6 nights
Fly:  16 h 45 min
End: Lyon, France

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 2nd (Sun): delve into the distant past at Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo and then hunt for treasures at Mercado de Artesanias. Keep things going the next day: get great views at Intipuncu and then contemplate the long history of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu.

For maps, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Machu Picchu trip itinerary website.

Lyon, France to Machu Picchu is an approximately 26-hour combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 6 hours traveling from Lyon to Machu Picchu. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo
Find places to stay Dec 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu
Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo ©
Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu

3
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.
Popular historic sites such as Sacsayhuaman and San Blas are in your itinerary. Escape the urban bustle at Salinas de Maras and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Step out of Cusco to go to Urubamba and see Cerveceria Willkamayu, which is approximately 1h 25 min away. The adventure continues: steep yourself in history at Plaza de Armas, hunt for treasures at Mercado Central de San Pedro, and look for gifts at Hilo.

To see maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Cusco trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by combination of train and bus from Machu Picchu to Cusco takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In December, daily temperatures in Cusco can reach 24°C, while at night they dip to 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can travel to Uyuni.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Salinas de Maras, Cerveceria Willkamayu
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Salinas de Maras ©
Salinas de Maras
Plaza de Armas ©
Plaza de Armas

2
nights
Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni ©
Emptiness surrounds the desert outpost of Uyuni, the gateway to the world's largest salt flats.
Take a break from the city and head to Salar de Uyuni and Photography Tours. Take a break from Uyuni with a short trip to Museo de la Llama y la Sal in Colchani, about 54 minutes away. There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Isla Incahuasi, see the interesting displays at Train Cemetery, and learn more about the world around you at Museo Arquecologia y Antropologico de los Andes Meridionales.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read Uyuni planning app.

You can fly from Cusco to Uyuni in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Peru Standard Time (PET) to Bolivia Time (BOT) is 1 hour. When traveling from Cusco in December, plan for a bit cooler days and a bit warmer nights in Uyuni: temperatures range from 13°C by day to 13°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can travel to Valparaiso.

Things to do in Uyuni

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Museo de la Llama y la Sal
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Salar de Uyuni ©
Salar de Uyuni
Isla Incahuasi ©
Isla Incahuasi
Photography Tours

4
nights
Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso ©
Navigating through a maze of colorful streets winding up and down steep hills remains an integral part of any Valparaiso tour.
Get in touch with nature at Reñaca and Canopy El Canelo. Get some historical perspective at Paseo Gervasoni and Paseo Yugoslavo. Explore Valparaiso's surroundings by going to Casa de Isla Negra (in Isla Negra) and Emiliana Organic Vineyards (in Casablanca). The adventure continues: examine the collection at La Sebastiana, admire the striking features of Edificio Luis Cousino, explore the historical opulence of Wulff Castle, and take an in-depth tour of Museo Mirador Lukas.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Valparaiso trip builder tool.

You can do a combination of car, flight, and bus from Uyuni to Valparaiso in 13.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Uyuni in December, expect nights in Valparaiso to be about the same, around 15°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 24°C. You'll set off for Los Glaciares National Park on the 14th (Fri).

Things to do in Valparaiso

Historic Sites Parks Museums

Side Trips

Vina del Mar, Casa de Isla Negra, Canopy El Canelo, Emiliana Organic Vineyards
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Paseo Gervasoni ©
Paseo Gervasoni
Emiliana Organic Vineyards ©
Emiliana Organic Vineyards
Reñaca ©
Reñaca

2
nights
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Los Glaciares National Park ©
A World Heritage Site, Los Glaciares National Park contains a giant ice cap that feeds 47 vast glaciers.
On the 15th (Sat), explore the striking landscape at Glaciar Spegazzini and then explore the striking landscape of Perito Moreno National Park.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Los Glaciares National Park day trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Valparaiso to Los Glaciares National Park. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Valparaiso to Los Glaciares National Park. While traveling from Valparaiso, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Los Glaciares National Park, ranging from highs of 16°C to lows of 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Los Glaciares National Park

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Perito Moreno National Park
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Perito Moreno National Park ©
Perito Moreno National Park
Glaciar Spegazzini ©
Glaciar Spegazzini

4
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Parque 3 de Febrero and Peru Beach. Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Puerto Madero and Recoleta. Next up on the itinerary: explore the different monuments and memorials at Cemiterio de Recoleta, visit La Boca, take a stroll through Palermo, and take in the history at Plaza de Mayo.

For photos, ratings, and tourist information, read our Buenos Aires trip builder tool.

Getting from Los Glaciares National Park to Buenos Aires by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and train; or take a bus. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from Los Glaciares National Park in December: highs in Buenos Aires hover around 33°C, while lows dip to 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to travel to Foz do Iguacu.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Peru Beach
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Palermo ©
Palermo

4
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Buddhist Temple and Marco Das Tres Fronteiras. Head to Kapadokya and Cataratas JL Shoppingfor some retail therapy. There's lots more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Iguazu Falls, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Mosque of Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, see human ingenuity at work at Itaipu Dam, and get to know the resident critters at Parque das Aves Bird Park.

Plan my Foz do Iguacu trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from Buenos Aires to Foz do Iguacu by combination of flight and shuttle takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. December in Foz do Iguacu sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 24°C at night. On the 24th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Fernando de Noronha.

Things to do in Foz do Iguacu

Parks Historic Sites Nature
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Buddhist Temple ©
Buddhist Temple
Marco Das Tres Fronteiras ©
Marco Das Tres Fronteiras

3
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.
Igreja Nossa Senhora dos Remedios and Fort of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao will appeal to history buffs. We've included these beaches for you: Praia do Sueste and Boldro Beacch. The adventure continues: head outdoors with Baia dos Porcos, tour the pleasant surroundings at Praia do Cacimba do Padre, contemplate the waterfront views at Buraco do Galego, and kick back and relax at Porto de Santo Antonio Beach.

For more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Fernando de Noronha trip planner.

You can fly from Foz do Iguacu to Fernando de Noronha in 10.5 hours. Traveling from Foz do Iguacu to Fernando de Noronha, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Foz do Iguacu in December, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Fernando de Noronha, with lows of 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Thu) so you can travel to Porto de Galinhas.

Things to do in Fernando de Noronha

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Baia dos Porcos ©
Baia dos Porcos
Praia do Sueste ©
Praia do Sueste
Fernado de Noronha Island ©
Fernado de Noronha Island

4
nights
Porto de Galinhas, Brazil

Porto de Galinhas ©
You're in for a treat on your beach holiday to Porto de Galinha.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Muro Alto Beach and Praia dos Carneiros. Get outdoors at Vila de Porto de Galinhas Beach and Cupe beach. There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Pontal de Maracaipe, stroll through Praia De Maracaipe, explore the gorgeous colors at Piscinas Naturais de Porto de Galinhas, and stop by Nata Artesanato.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Porto de Galinhas trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Fernando de Noronha to Porto de Galinhas takes 3.5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Fernando de Noronha to Porto de Galinhas. December in Porto de Galinhas sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 29°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Porto de Galinhas

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Praia dos Carneiros
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Muro Alto Beach ©
Muro Alto Beach
Vila de Porto de Galinhas Beach ©
Vila de Porto de Galinhas Beach
Praia dos Carneiros ©
Praia dos Carneiros

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.
Head to Shopping Leblon and Centro Cultural Cariocafor plenty of shopping. Visit Parque Lage and Ilha Fiscal for their historical value. Go for a jaunt from Rio de Janeiro to Petropolis to see Catedral de Sao Pedro de Alcantara about 1h 30 min away. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Praia de Ipanema, explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Tijuca, admire the natural beauty at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Leblon Beach.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Rio de Janeiro online tour planner.

Fly from Porto de Galinhas to Rio de Janeiro in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Catedral de Sao Pedro de Alcantara
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 6:
Highlights from your plan
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Sugarloaf Mountain ©
Sugarloaf Mountain

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