26 days in South America Itinerary

26 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

26 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Fly:  11​h 30​min
1
Cartagena, Colombia
— 5 nights
Fly:  7​h 30​min
2
Quito, Ecuador
— 5 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
3
Cusco, Peru
— 6 nights
Fly + taxi:  6​h
4
Uyuni, Bolivia
— 2 nights
Drive:  13​h 30​min
5
Copiapo, Chile
— 3 nights
Fly:  18​h 15​min
End: Sao Paulo, Brazil

5
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.
Change things up with a short trip to Playa Blanca in Isla Baru (about 1h 05 min away). The adventure continues: make a trip to Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, take in the spiritual surroundings of Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa, contemplate the long history of Plaza Santo Domingo, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Cartagena online trip planner .

Sao Paulo, Brazil to Cartagena is an approximately 11.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Sao Paulo to Cartagena is minus 2 hours. In October, Cartagena is somewhat warmer than Sao Paulo - with highs of 38°C and lows of 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel to Quito.

Things to do in Cartagena

Outdoors Historic Sites Tours

Side Trip

Playa Blanca
Highlights from your plan
Walled City of Cartagena ©
Walled City of Cartagena
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas ©
Plaza Santo Domingo ©
Plaza Santo Domingo

5
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Quito side-trips: Otavalo (Mercado 24 de Mayo & Peguche Wasi), Termas de Papallacta (in Papallacta) and Cuicocha (in Cotacachi). Spend the 13th (Tue) among the fascinating landscape of Cotopaxi National Park. There's much more to do: admire the striking features of Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania, get in on the family fun at Nayon Xtreme Valley, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at San Francisco Church (Iglesia de San Francisco), and appreciate the extensive heritage of Quito Old Town.

For ratings, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read Quito journey maker website .

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 October, plan for a bit cooler days and much colder nights in Quito: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 17°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Quito

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trips

Otavalo, Termas de Papallacta, Cuicocha, Cotopaxi National Park
Highlights from your plan
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania ©
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania
Cuicocha ©
Cuicocha

6
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.
Explore Cusco's surroundings by going to Salinas de Maras (in Maras) and Pisac (in Pisac). There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Sacsayhuaman, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia De Santo Domingo, see the interesting displays at Museo de Arte Precolombino, and admire the landmark architecture of Centro Historico De Cusco.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Cusco road trip site .

Traveling by flight from Quito to Cusco takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Quito in October since evenings lows in Cusco dip to 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can travel to Uyuni.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Salinas de Maras, Pisac, Sacred Valley of the Incas
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Centro Historico De Cusco ©
Centro Historico De Cusco
Plaza de Armas ©
Plaza de Armas

2
nights
Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni ©
Emptiness surrounds the desert outpost of Uyuni, the gateway to the world's largest salt flats.
When in Uyuni, make a side trip to see Museo de la Llama y la Sal in Colchani, approximately 1h 20 min away. There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape at Salar de Uyuni, contemplate the geological forces at Tunupa Volcano, see the interesting displays at Train Cemetery, and step off the mainland to explore Isla Incahuasi.

For maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Uyuni driving holiday planner .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Cusco to Uyuni in 6 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone changes from Peru Time (PET) to Bolivia Time (BOT), which is usually a 1 hour difference. When traveling from Cusco in October, plan for much colder days in Uyuni, with highs around 8°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Copiapo.

Things to do in Uyuni

Nature Parks Museums

Side Trip

Museo de la Llama y la Sal
Highlights from your plan
Salar de Uyuni ©
Salar de Uyuni
Isla Incahuasi ©
Isla Incahuasi
Tunupa Volcano ©
Tunupa Volcano

3
nights
Copiapo, Chile

Copiapo ©
Surrounded by the Atacama Desert, Copiapo receives very little rainfall and owes its existence to the mining industry.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Copiapo: Museo Minero de Tierra Amarilla (in Tierra Amarilla) and Caldera (Iglesia de San Vicente de Paul, Parque Paleontologico De Caldera, & more). There's lots more to do: admire nature's extreme beauty at Desierto Florido, get outside with Bahia Cisne, appreciate the history behind Locomotora Copiapo, and hike along Cerro Bramador.

To see where to stay, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Copiapo tour site .

Explore your travel options from Uyuni to Copiapo with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Copiapo

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Caldera, Museo Minero de Tierra Amarilla
Highlights from your plan
Bahia Inglesa ©
Bahia Inglesa
Parque Paleontologico De Caldera ©
Parque Paleontologico De Caldera
Parque Alliyay ©
Parque Alliyay

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