23 days in South America Itinerary

23 days in South America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South America journey planner

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Route & dates

23 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles, United States
Fly:  11 h 45 min
1
Cartagena, Colombia
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
2
Bogota, Colombia
— 3 nights
Fly:  10 h 45 min
3
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 2 nights
Fly + Bus:  1 h 30 min
4
Sao Paulo, Brazil
— 4 nights
Fly:  10 h 15 min
5
Cusco, Peru
— 4 nights
Fly:  7 h
6
Cuenca, Ecuador
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  1 h 30 min
7
Quito, Ecuador
— 3 nights
Fly:  11 h 45 min
End: Los Angeles, United States

2
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.
Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa and Caribe Jewelry Museum & Factory are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver and Plaza Santo Domingo will appeal to history buffs. There's lots more to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, steep yourself in history at Walled City of Cartagena, look for gifts at El Centro Artesano, and don't miss a visit to Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.

To find where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Cartagena tour itinerary planner.

Los Angeles, USA to Cartagena is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Pacific Standard Time to Colombia Time is 3 hours. When traveling from Los Angeles in December, plan for a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in Cartagena: temperatures range from 89°F by day to 76°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Outdoors Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver ©
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver
Scuba & Snorkeling
Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa ©
Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa

3
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.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Barrio La Candelaria and Gold Museum (Museo del Oro). Change things up with these side-trips from Bogota: Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira (in Zipaquira) and Laguna de Guatavita (in Tierra Negra). There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Bogota driving holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Cartagena to Bogota takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Cartagena in December, expect Bogota to be cooler, temps between 67°F and 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira, Laguna de Guatavita
Highlights from your plan
Barrio La Candelaria ©
Barrio La Candelaria
Laguna de Guatavita ©
Laguna de Guatavita
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Copacabana Beach and Leblon Beach. Get a sense of the local culture at Praia de Ipanema and Pedra do Arpoador. There's lots more to do: delve into the lush surroundings at Parque Nacional Tijuca, take in nature's colorful creations at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, appreciate the history behind Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church of Our Lady of the Candelaria.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Rio de Janeiro day trip planning site .

Traveling by flight from Bogota to Rio de Janeiro takes 11 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. The time zone changes from Colombia Time (COT) to Brasilia Time (BRT), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Traveling from Bogota in December, you will find days in Rio de Janeiro are a bit warmer (87°F), and nights are warmer (74°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Sao Paulo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema
Parque Nacional Tijuca ©
Parque Nacional Tijuca

4
nights
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo ©
Don't let the city's nickname--"Land of Drizzle"--dampen your spirits during a trip to Sao Paulo.
Get some historical perspective at Matriz Basilica Nossa Senhora Aparecida and National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida. For shopping fun, head to Paulista Avenue or Mercado Municipal de São Paulo. Venture out of the city with trips to Visita monitorada noturna na Basilica (in Aparecida) and Juquehy Beach (in Sao Sebastiao). The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo and see the interesting displays at Museu Do Futebol.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Sao Paulo fast, fun, and easy.

Getting from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo by combination of flight and bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Rio de Janeiro in December: high temperatures in Sao Paulo hover around 82°F and lows are around 67°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Aparecida, Juquehy Beach
Highlights from your plan
Juquehy Beach ©
Juquehy Beach
Matriz Basilica Nossa Senhora Aparecida ©
Paulista Avenue ©
Paulista Avenue

4
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Tambomachay and Museo de Arte Precolombino. Shop till you drop at Ekekos San Blas - Arte & Colores and Museo Maximo Laura. Go for a jaunt from Cusco to Ollantaytambo to see Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo about 1h 50 min away. And it doesn't end there: contemplate the long history of Sacsayhuaman, wander the streets of San Blas, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia De Santo Domingo.

To see ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Cusco tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Sao Paulo to Cusco by flight takes about 10.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Brasilia Time to Peru Time is minus 2 hours. When traveling from Sao Paulo in December, plan for a bit cooler days in Cusco, with highs around 69°F, while nights are much colder with lows around 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 3rd (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Qorikancha ©
Qorikancha
Plaza de Armas ©
Plaza de Armas

2
nights
Cuenca, Ecuador

Cuenca ©
Packed with impressive colonial architecture and a historic town center, Cuenca stands as perhaps the most charming city in the nation.
On the 4th (Mon), steep yourself in history at Plaza de las flores, pause for some serene contemplation at El Carmen de la Asuncion Church, explore the wealth of natural beauty at El Cajas National Park, then shop like a local with Art Cuenca, and finally take in the exciting artwork at MAKI FairTrade. On the next day, examine the collection at Museo Remigio Crespo Toral, look for all kinds of wild species at Parador Turistico El Chorro de Giron, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Cuenca trip planner.

You can fly from Cusco to Cuenca in 7 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and car; or drive. In January, Cuenca is a bit warmer than Cusco - with highs of 73°F and lows of 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can travel to Quito.

Things to do in Cuenca

Museums Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trip

Parador Turistico El Chorro de Giron
Highlights from your plan
Art Cuenca ©
Art Cuenca
El Cajas National Park ©
El Cajas National Park
Museo Remigio Crespo Toral ©
Museo Remigio Crespo Toral

3
nights
Quito, Ecuador

Quito ©
High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
On the 6th (Wed), relax and rejuvenate at Termas de Papallacta, see the interesting displays at Casa del Alabado, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania. Keep things going the next day: take a peaceful walk through Maquipucuna Reserve, then take an in-depth tour of Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila, and then admire the masterpieces at Centro Cultural Metropolitano.

For where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Quito trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Cuenca to Quito takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daytime highs in Quito are 72°F, while nighttime lows are 57°F. On the 8th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Quito

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Termas de Papallacta
Highlights from your plan
Casa del Alabado ©
Casa del Alabado
Catedral Metropolitana de Quito ©
Catedral Metropolitana de Quito
Termas de Papallacta ©
Termas de Papallacta

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