20 days in South America Itinerary

20 days in South America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South America trip planner

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Route & dates

Start: Durham, United States
+6
Bus + Foot + Fly + Taxi + Bus + Foot + Train:  22 h 15 min
1
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 day
+2
Train + Foot + Bus:  3 h
2
Cusco, Peru
— 2 nights
Fly:  8 h 45 min
3
Santiago, Chile
— 1 night
Fly:  5 h 30 min
4
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 1 night
Fly + Shuttle:  5 h 15 min
5
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
— 1 day
Fly:  2 h 30 min
6
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 2 nights
Fly:  7 h 45 min
7
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
— 2 nights
Fly:  11 h 30 min
8
Bogota, Colombia
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
9
Cartagena, Colombia
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + Foot + Bus:  10 h
End: Durham, United States

1
day
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 29th (Thu), see the interesting displays at Museo de Sitio Manuel Chavez Ballon, browse the eclectic array of goods at Mercado de Artesanias, then stop by Mapi Art, then get great views at Intipuncu, and finally take in the views from Inca Bridge.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Machu Picchu online visit planner.

Durham, USA to Machu Picchu is an approximately 20- hour combination of bus, flight, and train. You can also do a combination of train, bus, and flight; or do a combination of bus, flight, and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Shopping Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Inca Bridge
Highlights from your plan
Mapi Art ©
Mapi Art
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu
Inca Bridge ©
Inca Bridge

2
nights
Cusco, Peru

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.
On the 30th (Fri), delve into the distant past at Q'enqo, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and then hunt for treasures at Mercado Central de San Pedro.

For where to stay, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read Cusco vacation planning site.

Traveling by combination of train and bus from Machu Picchu to Cusco takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. In August in Cusco, expect temperatures between 70°F during the day and 36°F at night. You will leave for Santiago on the 31st (Sat).

Things to do in Cusco

Spas Shopping Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Spas & Wellness
Q'enqo ©
Q'enqo
Mercado Central de San Pedro ©
Mercado Central de San Pedro

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sun): contemplate the long history of Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania, see the interesting displays at La Chascona, then take in the awesome beauty at San Cristóbal Hill, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Templo Baha'i. On your second day here, learn about winemaking at Vina Undurraga, hunt for treasures at Central Market (Mercado Central), then contemplate the long history of Biblioteca Patrimonial Recoleta Dominica, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Costanera Center.

For traveler tips, maps, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Santiago route app.

Getting from Cusco to Santiago by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Cusco to Santiago due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) so you can travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Santiago

Nature Shopping Parks

Side Trip

Vina Undurraga
Highlights from your plan
Vina Undurraga ©
Vina Undurraga
Templo Baha'i ©
Templo Baha'i
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill

1
night
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.
On the 3rd (Tue), take a stroll through Recoleta, view the masterpieces at Karina Chavin Espacio De Arte, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Calle Defensa, and finally stop by Puerto Madero. On the next day, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, then take in nature's colorful creations at Parque 3 de Febrero, then admire the masterpieces at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and finally admire the architecture and history at Plaza de Mayo.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Buenos Aires itinerary builder tool.

You can fly from Santiago to Buenos Aires in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Santiago to Buenos Aires due to the time zone difference. In September, daytime highs in Buenos Aires are 64°F, while nighttime lows are 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to travel to Foz do Iguacu.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes ©
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero

1
day
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.
On the 5th (Thu), browse the different shops at Shopping Catuai Palladium, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Buddhist Temple, and then see the sky in a new way at Astronomy Polo Casimiro Montenegro Filho.

For other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Foz do Iguacu trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and shuttle from Buenos Aires to Foz do Iguacu in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Buenos Aires in September, things will get somewhat warmer in Foz do Iguacu: highs are around 81°F and lows about 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Thu) so you can travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Foz do Iguacu

Shopping Museums Childrens Museums
Highlights from your plan
Shopping Catuai Palladium ©
Shopping Catuai Palladium
Astronomy Polo Casimiro Montenegro Filho ©
Astronomy Polo Casimiro Montenegro Filho
Buddhist Temple ©
Buddhist Temple

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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Fri): explore the historical opulence of Ilha Fiscal, stroll through Praia de Ipanema, and then look for gifts at BarraShopping. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Sao Bento Monastery, kick back and relax at Copacabana Beach, then browse the different shops at Rio Sul Shopping Center, then contemplate the long history of Fortaleza de Santa Cruz da Barra, and finally view the masterpieces at CRAB - Centro Sebrae de Referencia do Artesanato Brasileiro.

For reviews, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Rio de Janeiro online tour itinerary planner.

Fly from Foz do Iguacu to Rio de Janeiro in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Foz do Iguacu in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Rio de Janeiro, with lows of 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) to allow time to fly to Fernando de Noronha.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Beaches Historic Sites Parks

Side Trip

Fortaleza de Santa Cruz da Barra
Highlights from your plan
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Fortaleza de Santa Cruz da Barra ©
Fortaleza de Santa Cruz da Barra

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Praia do Cacimba do Padre and Baia dos Porcos. Step out of the city life by going to Baia do Sancho and Projeto TAMAR Fernando de Noronha - Patrocínio PETROBRAS. Next up on the itinerary: enjoy the sand and surf at Boldro Beacch, tour the pleasant surroundings at Fernado de Noronha Island, explore the activities along Buraco do Galego, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Capela de Sao Pedro.

To see photos, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Fernando de Noronha trip planner.

Getting from Rio de Janeiro to Fernando de Noronha by flight takes about 7 hours. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Fernando de Noronha, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro in September, plan for a bit warmer nights in Fernando de Noronha, with lows around 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Fernando de Noronha

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Praia do Cacimba do Padre ©
Praia do Cacimba do Padre
Conceicao Beach ©
Conceicao Beach
Fernado de Noronha Island ©
Fernado de Noronha Island

2
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Bogota ©
Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
On the 11th (Wed), pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira, buy something for everyone on your list at Centro Comercial Cento Chia, and then look for gifts at Garabato Libreria. Here are some ideas for day two: browse the fresh offerings at Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao, admire the masterpieces at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica, and then take in the awesome beauty at Monserrate.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Bogota trip builder app.

Traveling by flight from Fernando de Noronha to Bogota takes 17.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Fernando de Noronha Standard Time to Colombia Standard Time is minus 3 hours. While traveling from Fernando de Noronha, expect slightly colder days and colder nights in Bogota, ranging from highs of 67°F to lows of 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Fri) to allow time for travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Bogota

Shopping Museums Nature

Side Trips

Chia, Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira
Highlights from your plan
Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira ©
Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica ©
Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica

3
nights
Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena ©
The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver. Here are some ideas for day two: contemplate the long history of Walled City of Cartagena, get engrossed in the history at Museo del Oro Zenu, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Templo de Santo Domingo, and finally stop by Milenio Joyeria.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, use the Cartagena trip planner.

You can fly from Bogota to Cartagena in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Bogota in September, with highs in Cartagena at 91°F and lows at 78°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Mon) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Playa Blanca
Highlights from your plan
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver ©
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver
Templo de Santo Domingo ©
Templo de Santo Domingo
Walled City of Cartagena ©
Walled City of Cartagena

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