39 days in South America & Central America Itinerary

39 days in South America & Central America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock trip planner

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1
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 4 nights
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2
Sao Paulo, Brazil
— 3 nights
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3
Cordoba, Argentina
— 2 nights
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4
Santiago, Chile
— 4 nights
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5
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
— 4 nights
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6
Cusco, Peru
— 5 nights
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7
Bogota, Colombia
— 2 nights
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8
Cartagena, Colombia
— 2 nights
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9
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
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10
Puerto Madryn, Argentina
— 2 nights
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11
El Calafate, Argentina
— 2 nights
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12
Ushuaia, Argentina
— 3 nights
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4
nights
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Marvelous City

Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Camboinhas Beach and Instituto Moreira Salles - IMS Rio. When in Rio de Janeiro, make a side trip to see Costao de Itacoatiara in Niteroi, approximately Niteroi away. There's much more to do: appreciate the history behind Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer, contemplate the long history of Parque Lage, enjoy breathtaking views from Mirante Dona Marta, and stroll through Praia de Ipanema.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Rio de Janeiro trip itinerary planner.

Chicago, USA to Rio de Janeiro is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. Traveling from Chicago to Rio de Janeiro, you'll lose 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Chicago in October, you will find days in Rio de Janeiro are a bit warmer (32°C), and nights are much warmer (24°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to travel to Sao Paulo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Beaches

Side Trip

3
nights
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Land of Drizzle

Don't let the city's nickname--"Land of Drizzle"--dampen your spirits during a trip to Sao Paulo.
Explore hidden gems such as Temple of Solomon and Estacao Pinacoteca. The adventure continues: walk around Parque Ibirapuera, go for a walk through Igreja Chagas do Serafico Pai Francisco, admire the masterpieces at Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, and examine the collection at Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo.

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Sao Paulo route maker website.

Fly from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro in October, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit cooler in Sao Paulo, with lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Cordoba.

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Spas

2
nights
Cordoba, Argentina

The Learned One

History lives on in the streets of Cordoba, Argentina's second-largest city.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Paseo del Buen Pastor, see the interesting displays at Colegio Nacional de Monserrat, then see the interesting displays at Museo Historico de la Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, then contemplate the long history of Museo Historico UNC Manzana Jesuitica, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia y Convento Santa Catalina de Siena. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the landscape on two wheels at Parque del Kempes, then make a trip to Paseo de Sobremonte, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de Los Capuchinos.

To see reviews, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Cordoba trip itinerary maker site.

Fly from Sao Paulo to Cordoba in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Sao Paulo in October: highs in Cordoba hover around 20°C, while lows dip to 19°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Cordoba

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Trails

4
nights
Santiago, Chile

City of the Island Hills

Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Food Tours and Vina Santa Carolina. Saddle up on the 12th (Mon) and explore with a tour on horseback. There's much more to do: admire all the interesting features of Cerro Santa Lucia, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at San Cristóbal Hill, examine the collection at La Chascona, and pause for some serene contemplation at San Francisco Church.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Santiago trip builder.

Fly from Cordoba to Santiago in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Cordoba to Santiago. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Thu) so you can travel to San Pedro de Atacama.

Things to do in Santiago

Tours · Outdoors · Parks · Neighborhoods

4
nights
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Atacama Desert and Valle Arcoiris. Take a break from San Pedro de Atacama with a short trip to Cementerio de Toconao in Toconao, about 38 minutes away. There's still lots to do: contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Chaxa, take in the dramatic natural features at Valle De La Luna, delve into the distant past at Pukara de Quitor, and don't miss a visit to Mirador de Kari, Piedra del Coyote.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read San Pedro de Atacama vacation tool.

Traveling by flight from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in October, and nighttime lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in San Pedro de Atacama

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

5
nights
Cusco, Peru

Imperial City

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Cerro Colorado Vinicunca and Horseback Riding Tours. Spend the 23rd (Fri) behind the viewfinder with an inspiring photography tour. And it doesn't end there: delve into the distant past at Sacsayhuaman, contemplate the long history of Tipon, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Precolombino, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see maps, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Cusco tour itinerary builder website.

Fly from San Pedro de Atacama to Cusco in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from San Pedro de Atacama to Cusco due to the time zone difference. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from San Pedro de Atacama in October: highs in Cusco hover around 24°C, while lows dip to 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Cusco

Tours · Historic Sites · Parks · Outdoors

2
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Athens of South America

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.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, then walk around Parque de Usaquen, then admire the landmark architecture of Torre Colpatria, and finally see the interesting displays at Casa de Moneda - Coleccion Numismatica del Banco de la Republica. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Teatro Colon Bogota, then get advice or help at Luis Angel Arango Library, and then get your bearings at Biblioteca Virgilio.

To find photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Bogota trip website.

Fly from Cusco to Bogota in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 22°C in October, and nighttime lows around 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Mon) early enough to travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Bogota

Parks · Museums

2
nights
Cartagena, Colombia

City of Heroes

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 27th (Tue): make a trip to Plaza de los Coches, then don't miss a visit to Torre del Reloj, then make a trip to Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, and finally let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour. Keep things going the next day: take in the spiritual surroundings of Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa, steep yourself in history at Walled City of Cartagena, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and finally don't miss a visit to Casa del Diablo.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Cartagena tour itinerary app.

Getting from Bogota to Cartagena by flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect warmer temperatures when traveling from Bogota in October; daily highs in Cartagena reach 38°C and lows reach 30°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Wed) so you can travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites · Tours · Spas

Side Trip

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
On the 29th (Thu), get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Bahai Temple. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, then make a trip to Independence Square, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

Plan a trip to Panama City easily and quickly by telling Inspirock to suggest an itinerary.

You can fly from Cartagena to Panama City in 5.5 hours. In October, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) so you can travel to Puerto Madryn.

Things to do in Panama City

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Historic Sites

2
nights
Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Whales and penguins frolic in the waters of Puerto Madryn, one of Argentine Patagonia's most important port cities.
On the 1st (Sun), get outside with Napra Club, then take in the waterfront at Muelle Luis Piedra Buena, and then identify plant and animal life at Peninsula Valdes. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Museo de Gemas, then enjoy the sand and surf at Costas de Patagonia, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Centro Nacional Patagonico -- CeNPat.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Puerto Madryn trip simple and quick.

Getting from Panama City to Puerto Madryn by flight takes about 19 hours. Traveling from Panama City to Puerto Madryn, you'll lose 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to travel to El Calafate.

Things to do in Puerto Madryn

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

2
nights
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate tourism thrives mostly thanks to the city's proximity to a World Heritage-listed national park, famed for containing over 40 large glaciers.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): catch some excitement at Estancia 25 de Mayo, get a new perspective on nature at Museo Regional Municipal de El Calafate, then head outdoors with Enjoy!, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Onelli Glacier. Keep things going the next day: cast your line with Estancia Cristina and then pause for some serene contemplation at Santa Teresita del Nino Jesus.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the El Calafate road trip planner.

Getting from Puerto Madryn to El Calafate by flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: fly; or drive; or take a bus. In November, daytime highs in El Calafate are 14°C, while nighttime lows are 13°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can travel to Ushuaia.

Things to do in El Calafate

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks

3
nights
Ushuaia, Argentina

End of the World

Often called the "End of the World" because of its position on the southernmost tip of South America, the expanding city of Ushuaia serves as both a busy commercial port and attractive tourist hub.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): pause for some photo ops at Plaza Malvinas, then take an unforgettable tour with a helicopter tour, then get outside with Outdoor Activities, and finally make a trip to Galeria Tematica Historia Fueguina. Keep things going the next day: learn more about the world around you at Acatushun Museum, head off the coast to Isla Martillo, then pause for some photo ops at Monumento Antiguos Pobladores de Ushuaia, and finally grab your bike and head to Ushuaia Bay.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Ushuaia trip itinerary planner.

Getting from El Calafate to Ushuaia by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from El Calafate in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Ushuaia, with lows of 3°C. On the 7th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Ushuaia

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Brazil travel guide

4.4
Beaches · Landmarks · Specialty Museums
Land of Brazilwood
The largest country in South America and the biggest Portuguese-speaking nation in the world, Brazil remains best known for its soccer tradition and annual Carnaval. Most visitors on holiday in Brazil come for the country's outstanding beaches, music, wildlife, and diverse neighborhoods, each one boasting its own distinct character, atmosphere, and way of life. A tour of Brazil reveals a vast land of great natural and human diversity, from its sprawling rainforest wildernesses, to its busy urban centers. There are plenty of things to do in Brazil, from basking on its coastline to chasing the samba scene or catching a picturesque sunset from one of the country's lush mountaintops.

Central Argentina travel guide

4.2
Landmarks · Churches · Specialty Museums
Whether you're taking a trip to Central Argentina for business, adventure, or romance, this area encompassing three provinces and over 7 million people promises to show you how to eat like royalty, ride like a gaucho, and celebrate local culture like a native. The three provinces--Santa Fe, Entre Rios, and Cordoba--boast a lively economy based on the production of grain, milk, cattle, vegetable oils, and agricultural machinery. In an area known for its distinct cuisine and local festivals, visitors on a vacation in Central Argentina rarely skip a chance to discover the Andes on horseback, stock up on authentic leather goods, and sample some of the country's finest wines.

Chile travel guide

4.3
Landmarks · Parks · Specialty Museums
Land of Poets
Squeezed between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, geographically diverse Chile is a long, thin stretch of land encompassing some of the world's driest deserts in the north, and some of its largest glacial fields in the south. Though most Chile holidays include some form of adventure in the vast wilderness areas, the country also contains charming cities providing plenty of urban things to do and see. Many tours of Chile include at least a brief visit to the country's lush wine regions, where backyard vineyards compete with sprawling estates producing some of the world's most respected whites and reds.

Peru travel guide

4.6
Historic Sites · Parks · Landmarks
Land of the Incas
In a country renowned for its pre-Columbian archeological sites, no Peru vacation would be complete without an adrenaline-inducing hike to Machu Picchu, World Heritage-listed symbol of the once-mighty Incan Empire. Aside from visiting these spectacular ruins set against the backdrop of photogenic mountain peaks, most holidays in Peru also include an exploration of the country's pretty cities, boasting well-preserved colonial architecture and a slew of modern buildings housing fine museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Ideal for active vacationers, Peru trips are also tailor-made for gourmands, as the country's eclectic cuisine blends tasty influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Colombia travel guide

4
Historic Sites · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
Diverse in terms of landscapes, climates, and cultures, Colombia remains one of South America's least explored tourist destinations, overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbors. Combining the best of what the continent has to offer, a vacation in Colombia allows you to blend outdoor adventures with tours of picture-perfect cobblestoned towns dating back to the colonial era. Tourists on a Colombia holiday can easily hop from sun-kissed coastal spots to the hilly coffee-growing region, where thriving plantations quickly give way to a landscape of snow-covered volcanic peaks and the paramo--alpine ecosystems sheltering some of the rarest plants growing above the continuous forest line.

Panama travel guide

4.1
Landmarks · Historic Walking Areas · Shopping Malls
With a lively banking sector and a booming tourism industry, Panama remains one of the most powerful nations in the Americas, though it's also one of the smallest by land area. The country boasts coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so it's not surprising most Panama holidays include some form of seaside entertainment. With outstanding beaches all over the country, it's easy to find an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, dive, fish, sail, or simply kick back on the sand with a few cold drinks. The country's best-known landmark and one of the world's most significant shipping routes, Panama Canal tops most tourist itineraries--many choose to see this engineering wonder by traveling the length of it by train.

Patagonia travel guide

4.1
Bodies of Water · Geologic Formations · National Parks
Sparsely populated and largely untamed, Patagonia is equally appealing to photographers, nature lovers, adrenaline seekers, and fans of long road trips through desolate regions far from the noise and pollution of big cities. Many Patagonia vacations start in thriving Neuquen, the region's largest center and a major hub of Argentina's fruit production. Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, is another important stop on most Patagonia tours, serving as a base for excursions across the region and trips to Antarctica. While its urban centers provide modern comforts, Patagonia's main appeal remains its vast, remote stretches, crossed by a network of paved roads linking old oil boomtowns with ancient forests and nature reserves.