30 days in South America Itinerary

30 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

30 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Panama City, Panama
Fly:  5 h
1
Cartagena, Colombia
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + Taxi + Ferry + Bus:  12 h 15 min
2
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
— 4 nights
+4
Ferry + Foot + Fly + Foot + Fly:  16 h
3
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
Fly:  1 h 15 min
4
Arequipa, Peru
— 2 nights
Fly + Shuttle:  14 h 30 min
5
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
— 3 nights
Shuttle + Fly:  5 h 45 min
6
Santiago, Chile
— 2 nights
Fly:  6 h 45 min
7
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
— 3 nights
Fly:  5 h 15 min
8
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 1 night
Fly:  6 h 45 min
9
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 2 nights
Fly:  13 h 15 min
End: New York City, 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.
On the 7th (Sat), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver, take an in-depth tour of Museo del Oro Zenu, and then kick back and relax at Playa Blanca.

For other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Cartagena trip itinerary builder app .

Panama City, Panama to Cartagena is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or do a combination of taxi and flight. Expect a daytime high around 91°F in September, and nighttime lows around 78°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Blanca
Highlights from your plan
Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa ©
Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver ©
Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver
Templo de Santo Domingo ©
Templo de Santo Domingo

4
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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Galeria Aymara and Maki-Art Gallery. Explore hidden gems such as Reserva El Chato and Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay. There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Charles Darwin Research Station, admire the masterpieces at Galeria Exotico Ecuador, kick back and relax at Playa de los Alemanes, and take in the dramatic natural features at Las Grietas.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Puerto Ayora online journey planner .

Do a combination of flight, shuttle, ferry, and bus from Cartagena to Puerto Ayora in 12.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and ferry. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Cartagena in September, with highs in Puerto Ayora at 78°F and lows at 69°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Sat) to allow time for travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Santa Cruz
Highlights from your plan
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve ©
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve
Scuba & Snorkeling
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
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.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Qorikancha and Familia Gutierrez Arte Grafico del Peru. Get outdoors at Horseback Riding Tours and Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi. And it doesn't end there: explore the ancient world of Sacsayhuaman, steep yourself in history at Plaza de Armas, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Cusco tour planning tool .

Traveling by combination of bus, ferry, shuttle, and flight from Puerto Ayora to Cusco takes 16 hours. Traveling from Puerto Ayora in September, you will find days in Cusco are slightly colder (71°F), and nights are much colder (41°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Arequipa.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Spas Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Q'enqo ©
Q'enqo

2
nights
Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa ©
In an area dominated three imposing volcanoes, Arequipa vacations allow visitors to admire well-preserved colonial architecture in a dramatic setting.
On the 18th (Wed), see the interesting displays at Cathedral of Arequipa Museum, steep yourself in history at Historic Centre of Arequipa, take an in-depth tour of Museo Santuarios Andinos, then experience the excitement of Arequipa Massage, and finally get to know the fascinating history of Yanahuara. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa los Arcos, then admire the masterpieces at San Francisco Plaza, Church and Monastery, then examine the collection at Monasterio de la Recoleta, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church of San Agustin.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, read our Arequipa planner .

Traveling by flight from Cusco to Arequipa takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Cusco in September, Arequipa is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 49°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to San Pedro de Atacama.

Things to do in Arequipa

Museums Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Historic Centre of Arequipa ©
Historic Centre of Arequipa
Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa ©
Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa

3
nights
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

San Pedro de Atacama ©
Major archeological sites and a renowned museum remain the big draws in San Pedro de Atacama tourism, appealing to visitors interested in learning more about South America's pre-Columbian cultures.
Take a break from the city and head to Salar de Tara and Piedras Rojas. Get some cultural insight at Pukara de Quitor and Museo del Meteorito. Spend the 24th (Tue) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. The adventure continues: explore the activities along Laguna Chaxa, identify plant and animal life at Valle Arcoiris, see the sky in a new way at San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations, and admire nature's extreme beauty at Atacama Desert.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our San Pedro de Atacama sightseeing planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Arequipa to San Pedro de Atacama takes 14.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from Arequipa to San Pedro de Atacama, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler evenings in San Pedro de Atacama when traveling from Arequipa in September, with lows around 36°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to Santiago.

Things to do in San Pedro de Atacama

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Atacama Desert
Highlights from your plan
Piedras Rojas ©
Piedras Rojas
Salar de Tara ©
Salar de Tara
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
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.
On the 25th (Wed), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at San Cristóbal Hill, steep yourself in history at Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania, and then do a tasting at Vina Undurraga. Here are some ideas for day two: do a tasting at Concha y Toro, take in the spiritual surroundings of Templo Baha'i, and then see the interesting displays at La Chascona.

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Santiago trip itinerary site .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to San Carlos de Bariloche.

Things to do in Santiago

Wineries Parks Nature

Side Trips

Vina Undurraga, Concha y Toro
Highlights from your plan
Vina Undurraga ©
Vina Undurraga
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill

3
nights
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Nestled against the foothills of the Andes, scenic San Carlos de Bariloche hugs the southern shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake and ranks among Argentina's top destinations for active outdoor vacations.
Step out of the city life by going to Piedras Blancas and Kayaking & Canoeing. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and VanWynsberghe Chocolats. And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Catedral Alta Patagonis, delve into the lush surroundings at Sendero de los Arrayanes, see the interesting displays at Museo del Lago Gutierrez, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Parroquia San Eduardo.

To see where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the San Carlos de Bariloche holiday planner .

Getting from Santiago to San Carlos de Bariloche by flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Santiago to San Carlos de Bariloche, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 52°F in September, and nighttime lows around 31°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Mon) so you can travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in San Carlos de Bariloche

Outdoors Parks Winter Sports
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sendero de los Arrayanes ©
Sendero de los Arrayanes
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi ©
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): wander the streets of Recoleta, then take in the exciting artwork at Karina Chavin Espacio De Arte, then take a stroll through San Telmo, and finally wander the streets of Puerto Madero. Keep things going the next day: admire the architecture and history at Plaza de Mayo, admire the masterpieces at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, then take in nature's colorful creations at Parque 3 de Febrero, and finally explore the world behind art at Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Buenos Aires road trip tool .

You can fly from San Carlos de Bariloche to Buenos Aires in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. When traveling from San Carlos de Bariloche in October, plan for somewhat warmer days and much hotter nights in Buenos Aires: temperatures range from 69°F by day to 58°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Calle Defensa ©
Calle Defensa
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero

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.
Get some historical perspective at Ilha Fiscal and Parque Lage. Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil - CCBB Rio de Janeiro and Imperial Museum will appeal to museum buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rio de Janeiro: Petropolis (Museu de Porcelana de Petropolis & Museu Casa de Santos Dumont). And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Praia de Ipanema, take in the dramatic scenery at Trilha do Dois Irmaos, tour the pleasant surroundings at Copacabana Beach, and take in nature's colorful creations at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.

To see reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Rio de Janeiro travel route site .

Fly from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Buenos Aires in October: high temperatures in Rio de Janeiro hover around 82°F and lows are around 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Petropolis
Highlights from your plan
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Sao Bento Monastery ©
Sao Bento Monastery

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