Itinerary

Highlights of South America 2018
Date:
February 14, 2018 - March 16, 2018
Meeting point:
Stuart, FL (KSUA)
Length:
31 days / 30 nights
Mileage:
10,540 NM
Day 1 - Wednesday, February 14: Stuart, Florida → Cartagena, Colombia (1,005nm)

Air Journey will welcome you at Stuart's Witham Field Airport for a briefing before embarking on the first leg of our journey.

Fly to Colombia (there will be an optional technical stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica) – one of the most ethnically diverse nations in South America – for our visit to Cartagena, undeniably one of Latin America’s most beautiful cities lost somewhere in time between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, with the Caribbean sea as a sparkling backdrop. Sir Francis Drake laid siege to the city but the fortress walls and cannons remain, making the area within the old walled city a living museum.

Hotel : Sofitel Santa Clara
Welcome cocktail and Dinner included
Day 2 - Thursday, February 15: Cartagena, Colombia

Enjoy a full day tour to experience Cartagena’s colonial charm with its tiled roofs, balconies and flower-filled courtyards and relive history in the old walled city, the Ciudad Amarullada, where we’ll explore the four sectors, each one with a peculiar story to tell: San Diego, La Matuna, Getsemani and Santo Domingo. The tour will include a walking tour and a city tour to enjoy the highlights of this beautiful city.

Hotel : Sofitel Santa Clara
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 3 - Friday, February 16: Cartagena, Colombia → Iquitos, Peru (860nm)

Fly to Iquitos situated on the banks of the Amazon River in the heart of the northern Peruvian Amazon region.

Transfer to Iquitos’ Main Wharf where the M/V Aria awaits you. Once onboard, you will appreciate the low-key luxury atmosphere of the M/V Aria. Enjoy the view from the Upper Deck as we leave Iquitos behind.

Over the next three days, you will also sail along some of the largest tributaries of the Amazon, as well as the mighty Amazon itself. You are embarking on a magnificent adventure to places visited by only a very few.

Amazon River Cruise

The 130-foot-long, M/V Aria is the ultimate luxury cruise ship on the northern Amazon River in Peru.

Built in 2011 to the highest standards of modern small ship cruise lines, it is fully air conditioned throughout and all the

suites on the Aria Amazon are comparable to a 5-star hotel with private baths, luxury toiletries and fine linen bedding to lull you to sleep under the stars of the Amazon. From the gourmet Peruvian cuisine to the crystal and china service at dinner, the amenities onboard the Aria Amazon will treat you to an intimate but luxurious Amazon River cruise.

Three highly trained interpreter Amazon River guides will take you on as many as three expeditions a day, aboard comfortable motorized skiffs. They will give you both the big picture of life on the Amazon, and will point out the multitude of small details that make the region special - a howler monkey hidden in a tree, a vivid butterfly resting on a leaf, a bird, such as the endangered harpy eagle, enjoying the tranquility of the Amazon basin.

Hotel : M/V Aria
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 4 - Saturday, February 17: Amazon River

The locals call Yacapana Islands "The Islands of the Iguana" because of the large number of these reptiles - like tiny

dinosaurs - which inhabit them. Amazon folklore says that if you touch an iguana, you will develop some of its characteristics and, as no one wants to look like them, these animals are well protected. We will also see the famous

Amazon River dolphins, pink or gray, along our route. Amazonian people believe that these dolphins possess the power to turn into men and women of great beauty.

After breakfast you will board a comfortable skiff to sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Life jackets, ponchos, rubber boots, and fresh water are always available in our private boats. As you float down the Yarapa, past the occasional fishermen paddling in their canoes, keep your binoculars ready to spot wildlife: terns, tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloth share this wonderful world with us. Upon arrival at Lake Moringo, use your hooks to try to catch some of the ferocious piranhas and other fish species. As you fish, trained naturalist guides will tell the story of the lake and its inhabitants.

In the late afternoon we will sail on to Lake Clavero where villagers paddle in their traditional dugout canoes. You may wish to swim in the lake’s calm waters and visit the community to interact with our Amazonia neighbors who will be pleased to welcome you.

Hotel : M/V Aria
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 5 - Sunday, February 18: Amazon River

This morning board the skiffs to explore a fascinating black water stream, part of the vast Amazon flooded forest within the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guides will tell you about the jungle as you explore what scientists call a "gallery forest," because of its dense vegetation that creates a tunnel of leaves. As you explore this type of riparian vegetation, watch above for parrots, macaws, and fluffy monk saki monkeys.

In the late afternoon you will take a magical journey through the "Jungle of the Mirrors," where towering trees are reflected in the dark river. Move on to Dorado River where you may observe enchanting parrots, macaws and a variety of primates, unperturbed by our presence. As you make your way back to the Aria Amazon, you may see alligators, frogs and fishing bats.

Hotel : M/V Aria
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 6 - Monday, February 19: Disembark M/V Aria at Iquitos, Peru → Trinidad, Bolivia (825nm)

This morning we will disembark the Aria Amazon early for a private transfer back to the Iquitos airport to retrieve our airplanes.

Fly to Trinidad. Situated just 14 degrees south of the Equator, Trinidad is a modern town despite its colonial architecture and colonnaded streets.

Hotel : Campanario Hotel
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 7 - Tuesday, February 20: Trinidad, Bolivia → Iguazu, Argentina (880nm)

Fly to one of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls: the Iguazu Falls. Situated within the Iguazu National Park, the Sheraton Iguazu offers spectacular views of the Iguazu Falls.

A UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the Iguazú Falls and are a must-see. The falls extend over 8,858’, with over 260 waterfalls reaching 230’ high.

The forests host hundreds of wildlife species, however, wildlife sightings are limited for most because many of the creatures are nocturnal - and those that are not are easily hidden by the dense rainforest growth. Still, you will spot a number of interesting wildlife species including colorful birds (such as toucans and parrots) and striking butterflies.

Hotel : Meliá Iguazú
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 8 - Wednesday, February 21: Iguacu Falls, Brazil

We’ll take a boat tour up-river through the canyon to the base of the Falls to see the great horseshoe known as “Devil’s Throat”. Rainbows, blue sky, mist and profuse water punctuate this natural spectacle. View “The Three Musketeers” – the three main streams of the lower Falls. You’ll get close enough for a quick and refreshing shower! The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or explore on your own.

Hotel : Meliá Iguazú
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 9 - Thursday, February 22: Iguacu Falls, Argentina→ Buenos Aires, Argentina (585nm)

Fly to the beautiful city of Buenos Aires - capital of Argentina. Transfer to the Four Seasons  for our three-night stay.

This is an ideal location to relax and enjoy great shopping.

Hotel : Four Seasons Buenos Aires
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 10 - Monday, February 23: Buenos Aires, Argentina

We will take a morning tour to discover the elegant and cosmopolitan Buenos Aires including the Recoleta Cemetery (where Eva Peron rests), Plaza 5 de Mayo and the large Parisian type avenues that testify the city’s incredible past wealth.

Lunch is open for you to discover the charming bistros around the Recoleta area. The remainder of the day will be free to explore on your own and if you wish, indulge in some great shopping.

This evening we will enjoy dinner and a Tango performance - a delight not to be missed!

Hotel : Four Seasons Buenos Aires
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 11 - Saturday, February 24: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today is free to explore this beautiful city on your own. Dinner is not included tonight so you may experience a typical local restaurant of your choice.

Hotel : Four Seasons Buenos Aires
Breakfast included
Day 12 - Sunday, February 25: Buenos Aires, Argentina → San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina (710nm)

Fly to San Carlos de Bariloche, a city that stands out for its architectural features and for being located in a privileged region due to the beauty of its landscapes made up of mountains, woods, lakes, glaciers and an exuberant flora.

An ecologic paradise, the Llao Llao Hotel and Resort is situated on a small hill within the National Park Nahuel Huapi. Enjoy exquisite panoramic views of the wonderful Patagonia landscape – limpid lakes, majestic Andean peaks, and colorful larch and cypress forests.

Hotel : Llao Llao Hotel & Resort
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 13 - Monday, February 26: San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Enjoy magnificent scenery on a half-day city scenic overview tour in the morning. Along the way we’ll pause at several scenic lookout points including López Bay and "Punto Panorámico" (panoramic lookout). At Cerro Campanario, enjoy a chairlift ride offering a panorama of green and white mountain peaks permeated by clusters of blue lakes. We’ll arrive back at the hotel in time for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure.

Hotel : Llao Llao Hotel & Resort
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 14 - Tuesday, February 27: San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina → Punta Arenas, Argentina (710nm) → Puerto Natales, Chile (100nm) to Torres del Paine

Fly to Puerto Natales with a stop in Punta Arenas to refuel. Enjoy beautiful sightseeing along the way while we transfer to the Tierra Patagonia. Located in the furthermost south of Chile, the hotel is surrounded by nature, in splendid isolation, overlooking Lake Sarmiento and the towering peaks of Torres del Paine National Park which was named a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978.

You’ll consult with the head guide at the beginning of your stay to select the best excursions for you, taking into account individual interests and fitness levels.

Hotel : Tierra Patagonia
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 15 - Wednesday, February 28: Torres del Paine, Chile

Today a choice of selected tours will be available to either explore the lakes and glaciers, enjoy several waterfalls, or hike on one of the many tranquil trails. Excursion options include walks, treks, horseback rides, bicycle rides and scenic tours.

Hotel : Tierra Patagonia
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 16 - Thursday, March 1: Torres del Paine, Chile

Enjoy the remaining day with hiking or sign up with the hotel for a full day tour.

Hotel : Tierra Patagonia
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 17 - Friday, March 2: Torres del Paine to Puerto Natales → Puerto Montt, Chile (615nm) → Santiago, Chile (495nm)

Transfer back to Puerto Natales and fly to Santiago. There will be a technical stop in Puerto Montt to refuel.

Our flight will follow the rugged coast of Chile. Admire the peaks of the Andes and see the well-manicured slopes of Chile’s famous wine region and land in the sophisticated and very European city of Santiago.

Upon arrival, we’ll transfer to the Ritz Carlton, our home while in Santiago.

Hotel : Ritz Carlton Santiago
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 18 - Saturday, March 3: Santiago, Chile

On our tour this morning we will discover the highlights of Chile’s capital.

The afternoon is free for shopping or to take an optional tour to the Maipo Valley wine district and a visit of the Vina Tarapaca Winery.

Hotel : Ritz Carlton Santiago
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 19 - Sunday, March 4: Santiago, Chile → Calama, Chile (660nm)

Fly to Calama, located 60 miles northwest of San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis in the desert, Valley of the Moon.

We have selected our hotel Tierra Atacama, a deluxe hotel near San Pedro de Atacama, to enjoy excursions which will capture profound landscapes, natural events and inhabited places that bare the ingredients and surprises that make the experience unforgettable. Select your tours with the hotel (included).

Enjoy the casual and friendly ambiance at the hotel such as a seat in a private corner by one of the terrace fire pits, lounge next to the pool or relax on one of the shady outdoor decks. When night falls, take in the brilliant stars, bask in the peace and wonder that is the Atacama Desert.

Hotel : Tierra Atacama
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 20 - Monday, March 5: Calama, Chile

Your tour guide will be available to help you select from numerous tours available including walking and hiking, biking, volcano climbing, horseback riding, bird watching, as well as excursions by vehicle to the more remote areas of the area.

Excursions include visits to remote lagoons, red rock formations, salt flats, volcanos, geysers, Moon Valley, petroglyphs, and small villages where you’ll meet local families.

In the evening, experience astronomy in the starry desert! Tierra Atacama together with the Ahlarkapin Observatory offers an astronomy excursion that gives guests a unique chance to discover the southern skies while learning about its scientific and ancestral significance.

First guests will observe the sky with the naked eye and later discover amazing visualizations through one of the largest private telescopes in the area to observe planets like Mars and Saturn.

Hotel : Tierra Atacama
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 21 - Tuesday, March 6: Calama, Chile

Your tour guide will be available to help you select from numerous tours available including hiking, trekking or biking.

Over the Quitor hill, a short distance from San Pedro are the ruins of the Pukará (fortress), constructed by the atacameños to defend themselves from other inhabitants of South America. Built on the summit of a hill overlooking the San Pedro River, Pukara de Quitor is an ancient Indian fortress whose construction dates back to the XII century. It was declared a national monument in 1982.

Hotel : Tierra Atacama
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 22 - Wednesday, March 7: Calama, Chile → Arequipa, Peru (400nm)

Fly to Arequipa (its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) known as the White City (Ciudad Blanca) due to its many colonial-era buildings made from sillar - a white volcanic rock. Its religious, colonial, and republican architectural styles blend European and native characteristics into a unique style called “Escuela Arequipeña".

Hotel : Libertador
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 23 - Thursday, March 8: Arequipa, Peru

Discover colonial Arequipa with a local guide who will introduce us to some of the city’s most important historical sites. Visit several districts including Cayma and Vallecito, and explore landmarks like the 17th-century Recoleta Convent and the colonial-era Casa del Moral. We’ll also enjoy fabulous views of Arequipa and its spectacular scenery from the Carmen Alto viewpoint.

Hotel : Libertador
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 24 - Friday, March 9: Arequipa, Peru, to Cusco, Peru

Today we will fly to Cusco on a commercial flight (cost of round trip ticket not included).

Enjoy an afternoon city tour including the Santo Domingo Convent Monastery – the legendary Koricancha “Site of gold”, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral.

After seeing the most important sites of the city, we’ll drive out in the countryside to visit the cult centre of Sacsayhuaman, a name which means "satisfied falcon". Located at the head of what the Incas thought of as the puma-shaped city of Cusco, this mountaintop site overlooking Cusco was once a fortress and hosted one of the fiercest battles between the Incas and their Spanish Conquistadors. The fortresses' zigzag ramparts form the teeth of the "puma" and contain rocks weighing as much as 300 tons.

Afterwards, we will visit the Pre-Columbian Art Museum. This museum is housed in a beautiful colonial manor and the collection it exhibits includes ceramica, gold, silver, shell and wood artifacts.

Hotel : Hotel Monasterio
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 25 - Saturday, March 10: Cusco, Peru

There will be an early morning departure to board the Orient Express luxury train “Hiram Bingham” for our visit to Machu Picchu. View spectacular scenery while you enjoy a delicious Brunch onboard.

You will arrive at the Lost Citadel of the Incas where you will be able to visit this stunning place. Take a guided tour of the citadel, stroll by the archeological site before enjoying an afternoon tea at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge Hotel.

As the sun goes down, you will return to the station for departure aboard the Vista Dome train. Back on board, you will be accorded VIP treatment with a cocktail accompanied with live entertainment. After that you will be escorted to the dining car for a 4 courses gourmet dinner making your trip to Machu Picchu an unforgettable experience.

Hotel : Hotel Monasterio
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 26 - Sunday, March 11: Cusco, Peru

Today is at leisure to relax or explore on your own.

Hotel : Hotel Monasterio
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 27 - Monday, March 12: Cusco, Peru, to Arequipa, Peru → Trujillo, Peru (665nm)

This morning we will fly back to Arequipa on a commercial flight (cost of round trip ticket not included) to retrieve our airplanes. Then fly to Trujillo where we will transfer to the De Sol y Barro Sanctuary Lodge.

Hotel : De Sol y Barro Sanctuary Lodge
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 28 - Tuesday, March 13: Trujillo, Peru

With our local guide we’ll explore the ancient world of the pre-Incan Moche and Chimu civilizations. We’ll visit the Temple of the Moon (Huaca de la Luna) to learn the history and significance of the terraced temple, built by the Moche out of adobe brick. Then we’ll visit Huaco el Dragon, the Temple of the Dragon, built for religious and ceremonial purposes by the Chimú people who lived in northern Peru from about 900 to the 1400s.

We’ll continue to Chan Chan, the former Chimú capital. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the largest pre- Columbian city in South America and was the center of Chimú political and cultural life from approximately 900 to 1470, when the Incas arrived and conquered the city.

Hotel : De Sol y Barro Sanctuary Lodge
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Day 29 - Wednesday, March 14: Trujillo, Peru → Manta, Ecuador (435nm) → Tolas, Nicaragua (775nm)

Today we’ll follow the Pacific coast of Central America to Nicaragua.

At Mukul you’ll discover things on Nicaragua’s stunning Emerald Coast that you simply can’t find anywhere else - like biking through the forest, golfing along the fringes of the jungle and seashore, or luxuriating in the Mukul Spa!

Hotel : Mukul Resort
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 30 - Thursday, March 15: Tolas, Nicaragua

Today is at leisure to relax or explore on your own. Choose from the optional activities available at the resort including biking through the rain forest, golfing in the jungle or on the ocean-shore, and day-tripping to the historic village of Granada.

Hotel : Mukul Resort
Breakfast and Dinner included
Day 31 - Friday, March 16: Tolas → Key West, FL (820nm)

As the end of the voyage is within reach, one must only look back thirty-one days to understand an accomplishment of a life time. Not only will you have circumnavigated an entire continent, but more importantly, you will have experienced all three of the ancient cultures, seen countless world wonders and enjoyed great accommodations, all while being escorted through bureaucratic troubles with would plague such an attempt without Air Journey’s assistance.

After a most extraordinary and unique lifetime adventure one could ever hope, we will make our way back to the US to clear US customs in Florida.

Breakfast included