39 days in South America Itinerary

39 days in South America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South America route planner

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Route & dates

39 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Melbourne, Australia
Fly:  25​h
1
Cusco, Peru
— 2 nights
+2
bus + foot + train:  3​h 15​min
2
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 night
+2
train + foot + bus:  10​h 30​min
3
Puerto Maldonado, Peru
— 4 nights
4
Cusco, Peru
— Few hours
Fly + bus:  1​h 45​min
5
La Paz, Bolivia
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 45​min
6
Uyuni, Bolivia
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  12​h 30​min
7
Mendoza, Argentina
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  2​h
8
Santiago, Chile
— 4 nights
9
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 5 nights
10
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
— 2 nights
+3
ferry + foot + bus + Fly:  7​h
11
Iguazu National Park, Argentina
— 2 nights
12
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 5 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Melbourne, Australia

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Spas & Wellness. Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): view the masterpieces at Xapiri and then delve into the distant past at Tambomachay.

To find traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Cusco trip builder app .

Melbourne, Australia to Cusco is an approximately 25-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 15 hours traveling from Melbourne to Cusco. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Melbourne in December; daily highs in Cusco reach 24°C and lows reach 9°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Spas Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Tambomachay ©
Tambomachay
The Company of Jesus Church ©
The Company of Jesus Church

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 14th (Sat), admire the natural beauty at Los Jardines de Mandor and then delve into the distant past at Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take some stellar pictures from Intipuncu, look for all kinds of wild species at Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu, snap pictures at Inca Bridge, then look for gifts at Mapi Art, and finally admire nature's wide array of creatures at Mariposario de Machupicchu.

To see traveler tips, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Machu Picchu trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Puerto Maldonado.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Inca Bridge
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu
Los Jardines de Mandor ©
Los Jardines de Mandor

4
nights
Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Puerto Maldonado ©
Puerto Maldonado sits at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios Rivers in the Amazon rainforest.
Explore hidden gems such as Panthera Sanctuary and Colorado Macaw Clay Lick. Get outdoors at Tambopata National Reserve and Lago Sandoval. And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Amazon Shelter, get great views at Mirador de la Biodiversidad, delve into the lush surroundings at Amazon Rainforest, and take in the views from Puente Billinghurst.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Maldonado day trip site .

You can do a combination of train and bus from Machu Picchu to Puerto Maldonado in 10.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Puerto Maldonado

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Tambopata National Reserve, Amazon Rainforest
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Lago Sandoval ©
Lago Sandoval
Tambopata National Reserve ©
Tambopata National Reserve
Amazon Shelter ©
Amazon Shelter

few
hours
Cusco, Peru

Cusco ©
To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Cusco attractions planner.

Traveling by flight from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Expect colder temperatures when traveling from Puerto Maldonado in December; daily highs in Cusco reach 24°C and lows reach 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to La Paz.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Q'enqo ©
Q'enqo

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 Scree Rush and National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore. Get outdoors at Chacaltaya Ski Resort and Zipline. There's lots more to do: explore the ancient world of Tiwanaku, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Andean Culture Distillery, stop by Mistura - Manifestacion Creativa, and have fun at Urban Rush Bolivia.

To see where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the La Paz day trip app .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Cusco to La Paz in 2 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cusco to La Paz, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Cusco in December, with highs in La Paz at 18°C and lows at 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to travel to Uyuni.

Things to do in La Paz

Outdoors Tours Parks
Find places to stay Dec 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Chacaltaya Ski Resort ©
Chacaltaya Ski Resort
Tiwanaku ©
Tiwanaku

3
nights
Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni ©
Emptiness surrounds the desert outpost of Uyuni, the gateway to the world's largest salt flats.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): step off the mainland to explore Isla Incahuasi and then take in the dramatic natural features at Salar de Uyuni. On your second day here, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia San Cristobal Lipez, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then examine the collection at Train Cemetery.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Uyuni road trip website .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from La Paz to Uyuni takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from La Paz in December, you will find days in Uyuni are little chillier (13°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (13°C). You'll set off for Mendoza on the 26th (Thu).

Things to do in Uyuni

Parks Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Salar de Uyuni ©
Salar de Uyuni
Isla Incahuasi ©
Isla Incahuasi
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza ©
Famed for its neat vineyards and thriving wine production, Mendoza remains the place to visit for a pleasant combination of relaxation and recreation.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Virgen de Lourdes, do a tasting at Bodegas Nieto Senetiner, do a tasting at Bodega Roberto Bonfanti, learn about winemaking at Bodega Chandon, then learn about winemaking at Bodega Norton, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Nuestra Senora del Perpetuo Socorro. On your second day here, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario de la Virgen de Lourdes, learn about winemaking at Bodegas Lopez, then do a tasting at Bodega Tierras Altas, then learn about winemaking at Bodega Carmelo Patti, and finally do a tasting at Bodega Benegas.

To see reviews, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Mendoza road trip planning website .

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Uyuni to Mendoza takes 12.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and bus; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Bolivia Time (BOT) to Argentine Time (ART) is 1 hour. When traveling from Uyuni in December, plan for much warmer days in Mendoza, with highs around 37°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sun) to allow time for travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Mendoza

Wineries Historic Sites

Side Trips

Maipu, Santuario Virgen de Lourdes
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Bodega Roberto Bonfanti ©
Bodega Roberto Bonfanti
Bodega Chandon ©
Bodega Chandon
Bodegas Nieto Senetiner ©
Bodegas Nieto Senetiner

4
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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Hacienda Picarquin and Iglesia de Sewell. Escape the urban bustle at San Cristóbal Hill and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Change things up with these side-trips from Santiago: Concha y Toro (in Pirque), Vina Undurraga (in Talagante) and Sewell (in Machali). The adventure continues: see the interesting displays at La Chascona, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced, and contemplate the long history of Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Santiago online trip itinerary maker .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Mendoza to Santiago takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Mendoza to Santiago. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Santiago

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Machali, Concha y Toro, Vina Undurraga, Hacienda Picarquin
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Vina Undurraga ©
Vina Undurraga
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
Concha y Toro ©
Concha y Toro

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.
Get in touch with nature at Parque 3 de Febrero and Reserva Natural Otamendi. Get some cultural insight at Puerto Madero and San Telmo. Venture out of the city with trips to Museo de La Plata (in La Plata), Basilica de Lujan (in Lujan) and Reserva Natural Urbana (in Castelar). And it doesn't end there: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral Metropolitana, admire the masterpieces at Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, appreciate the extensive heritage of La Boca, and admire the landmark architecture of El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

To find reviews, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Buenos Aires route planner .

Getting from Santiago to Buenos Aires by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Santiago to Buenos Aires, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In January, daytime highs in Buenos Aires are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can catch the ferry to Colonia del Sacramento.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trips

Basilica de Lujan, Parque Nacional Ciervo de los Pantanos, Reserva Natural Urbana, Museo de La Plata
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Catedral Metropolitana ©
Catedral Metropolitana
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento ©

2
nights
Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Colonia del Sacramento ©
Sleepy cobbled streets lined with pastel-colored houses lead down to the water in Colonia del Sacramento.
On the 8th (Wed), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Ana, don't miss a visit to Centro Cultural Bastion Del Carmen, wander the streets of Plaza Mayor, then visit a coastal fixture at Colonia del Sacramento Lighthouse, and finally take a stroll through Barrio Historico. On the 9th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: snap pictures at Puerta de la Ciudadela, don't miss a visit to La Calle de los Suspiros, explore the ancient world of Bastion de San Miguel, then take a leisurely stroll along Paseo de San Gabriel, and finally contemplate the long history of Plaza de Toros.

Find out how to plan Colonia del Sacramento trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Getting from Buenos Aires to Colonia del Sacramento by ferry takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel to Iguazu National Park.

Things to do in Colonia del Sacramento

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Santa Ana
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Puerta de la Ciudadela ©
Puerta de la Ciudadela
La Calle de los Suspiros ©
La Calle de los Suspiros
Plaza Mayor ©
Plaza Mayor

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): admire all the interesting features of Wanda Mines, then admire the sheer force of Salto San Martin, then take in the dramatic scenery at Salto Bernabe Mendez, and finally step off the mainland to explore Isla San Martin. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas del Iguazu.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Iguazu National Park fast, fun, and easy.

Getting from Colonia del Sacramento to Iguazu National Park by combination of ferry and flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or drive. When traveling from Colonia del Sacramento in January, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Iguazu National Park: temperatures range from 37°C by day to 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Iguazu National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Wanda Mines
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Salto Bernabe Mendez ©
Salto Bernabe Mendez
Salto San Martin ©
Salto San Martin

5
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.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazareth and Catedral de Sao Pedro de Alcantara. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Praia de Itauna and Castelo de Itaipava. Get out of town with these interesting Rio de Janeiro side-trips: Saquarema (Igreja de Nossa Sra. da Conceicao & Morro da Cruz Viewpoint) and Santa Cruz da Barra Fortress (in Niteroi). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Praia de Ipanema, stroll through Barra da Tijuca Beach, pause for some photo ops at Corcovado Christ the Redeemer, and admire the striking features of Ilha Fiscal.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Rio de Janeiro travel route planner .

Fly from Iguazu National Park to Rio de Janeiro in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. Expect somewhat warmer evenings in Rio de Janeiro when traveling from Iguazu National Park in January, with lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Saquarema, Petropolis, Fortaleza de Santa Cruz da Barra
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazareth ©
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Itauna ©
Praia de Itauna

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