25 days in South America Itinerary

25 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

25 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Bogota, Colombia
1
Bogota, Colombia
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h
2
Cartagena, Colombia
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h
3
Quito, Ecuador
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Guayaquil, Ecuador
— 1 night
+3
Fly + shuttle + ferry + bus:  4​h 30​min
5
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
— 3 nights
+2
ferry + shuttle + Fly:  10​h 30​min
6
Lima, Peru
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h
7
Arequipa, Peru
— 1 night
Fly:  1​h 30​min
8
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
+2
bus + foot + train:  3​h 30​min
9
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 2 nights
+4
train + foot + bus + taxi + Fly:  17​h 15​min
10
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 4 nights
Fly:  10​h 45​min
End: Bogota, Colombia

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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Mon): examine the collection at Casa de Moneda - Coleccion Numismatica del Banco de la Republica. On the 10th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: examine the collection at Museo Nacional de Colombia, admire the masterpieces at Museo Santa Clara, then see the interesting displays at Museo Internacional De La Esmeralda, and finally see the interesting displays at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro).

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Bogota road trip app .

La Paz, Bolivia to Bogota is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train, car, and bus. The time zone difference moving from Bolivia Time (BOT) to Colombia Time (COT) is minus 1 hour. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from La Paz in December; daily highs in Bogota reach 67°F and lows reach 46°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Parque Natural Chicaque
Highlights from your plan

4
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.
Get some cultural insight at Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver and Templo de Santo Domingo. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Aviario Nacional de Colombia and Centro Historico. When in Cartagena, make a side trip to see Playa Puntilla in Isla Baru, approximately 1h 05 min away. The adventure continues: explore the historical opulence of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, examine the collection at Casa Museo Rafael Nunez, admire the landmark architecture of St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral, and appreciate the extensive heritage of Bairro Getsemani.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Cartagena tour planning site .

You can fly from Bogota to Cartagena in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Bogota in December, expect Cartagena to be much warmer, temps between 89°F and 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Quito.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Parks

Side Trip

Isla Baru
Highlights from your plan
Aviario Nacional de Colombia ©
Aviario Nacional de Colombia
Barrio Getsemani ©
Barrio Getsemani
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver ©
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sun): explore the world behind art at Centro Cultural Metropolitano, admire the striking features of Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania, then see the interesting displays at Casa del Alabado, and finally explore the world behind art at San Francisco Museum and Convent (Museo Fray Pedro Gocial).

To find ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Quito trip maker .

Traveling by flight from Cartagena to Quito takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. When traveling from Cartagena in December, plan for little chillier days and much colder nights in Quito: temperatures range from 72°F by day to 56°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can travel to Guayaquil.

Things to do in Quito

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Casa del Alabado ©
Casa del Alabado
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania ©
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania
Convento De San Francisco ©
Convento De San Francisco

1
night
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil ©
Hills dotted with colorful houses and waterfront promenades typify Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and commercial center.
On the 16th (Mon), see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia San Jacinto del Morro. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Tue): steep yourself in history at Cementerio Patrimonial de Guayaquil, then take an in-depth tour of Museo Municipal de Guayaquil, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Schoenstatt Sanctuary.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Guayaquil trip planner.

Do a combination of taxi and flight from Quito to Guayaquil in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Quito in December, things will get a bit warmer in Guayaquil: highs are around 90°F and lows about 74°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Guayaquil

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia San Jacinto del Morro ©
Iglesia San Jacinto del Morro
Museo Municipal de Guayaquil ©
Museo Municipal de Guayaquil
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced

3
nights
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

Puerto Ayora ©
The largest settlement in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora offers visitors to the islands an array of facilities and things to do.
Escape the urban bustle at Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay and El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Fishing Charters & Tours and North Seymour Island. There's more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Charles Darwin Research Station and view the masterpieces at Galeria Aymara.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Puerto Ayora visit planner.

You can do a combination of flight, ferry, and bus from Guayaquil to Puerto Ayora in 4.5 hours. When traveling from Guayaquil in December, plan for little chillier days in Puerto Ayora, with highs around 82°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 72°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Lima.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Santa Cruz, North Seymour Island
Highlights from your plan
Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay ©
Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve ©
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve
Charles Darwin Research Station ©
Charles Darwin Research Station

1
night
Lima, Peru

Lima ©
Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): explore the world behind art at Museo MATE, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilica y Monasterio de Santo Domingo. On the next day, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, then admire the masterpieces at MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima, then get to know the fascinating history of San Isidro, and finally explore the world behind art at Museo Pedro de Osma.

To find maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Lima online itinerary planner .

Getting from Puerto Ayora to Lima by combination of ferry and flight takes about 10 hours. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Puerto Ayora in December: high temperatures in Lima hover around 75°F and lows are around 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can travel to Arequipa.

Things to do in Lima

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima ©
MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima

1
night
Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa ©
In an area dominated three imposing volcanoes, Arequipa vacations allow visitors to admire well-preserved colonial architecture in a dramatic setting.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de Yanahuara ( San Juan Bautista), then examine the collection at Santa Catalina Monastery, and then explore the world behind art at San Francisco Plaza, Church and Monastery.

For reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Arequipa sightseeing app .

You can fly from Lima to Arequipa in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Lima in December: high temperatures in Arequipa hover around 69°F and lows are around 51°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) so you can travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Arequipa

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Santa Catalina Monastery ©
Santa Catalina Monastery

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi and exploor. Get a sense of the local culture at Sacsayhuaman and Moray. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Sacred Valley of the Incas, explore the ancient world of Q'enqo, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Precolombino, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Cusco online trip maker .

Traveling by flight from Arequipa to Cusco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Arequipa in December, Cusco is little chillier at night with lows of 46°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Museums Spas

Side Trips

Moray, Sacred Valley of the Incas
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Moray ©
Moray
Sacred Valley of the Incas ©
Sacred Valley of the Incas

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Virgen Del Carmen, and then ponder the world of politics at Serpost. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at Museo de Sitio Manuel Chavez Ballon, then explore the ancient world of Winay Wayna, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Machu Picchu vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Museums Parks
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Winay Wayna ©
Winay Wayna
Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu ©
Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu

4
nights
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Copacabana Beach and Praia do Leme. Your inner history buff will appreciate Forte de Copacabana and Jerusalem Cultural Center. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Praia de Ipanema, kick back and relax at Reserva Beach, take in panoramic vistas at Morro Dois Irmaos, and see the world from above with a helicopter tour.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Rio de Janeiro journey planner .

Do a combination of train, bus, and flight from Machu Picchu to Rio de Janeiro in 17.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Machu Picchu to Rio de Janeiro is 2 hours. In December, plan for daily highs up to 87°F, and evening lows to 74°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema

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