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South America History, Landscapes & Botanical Discvoeries with Patagonia Cruise

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Gardens from the Galápagos to Patagonia

Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio

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Discover the iconic sights, gardens and diverse landscapes of this incredible continent. Be amazed by the beauty of Patagonia, the wildlife of the Gálapagos Islands, the gardens of Burle Marx and the mighty Amazon Jungle. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTSA31
Duration: 31 days
Accommodation: Premium Cruise Ship & Hotels
Journey: Guayaquil to Rio de Janeiro
Meals included: 54

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Guayaquil, Ecuador

Be met on arrival to the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, known as the gateway to the Galápagos Islands, and transfer to your hotel. This evening meet your fellow travellers at a Welcome Dinner.
Stay: Guayaquil, Hotel Oro Verde
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Guayaquil to Galápagos

Fly to the Galápagos Islands and take a ferry ride to the main island Santa Cruz, your base for the next three nights whilst you explore the Galápagos National Park where Charles Darwin explored his theory on evolution.
Stay: Three Nights, Galápagos Islands, Finch Bay Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 3. Galápagos Islands

Enjoy a full day cruising the Galápagos Islands to see amazing birdlife, seals and iguanas as well as the adapted plants on each island. Explore with a naturalist guide.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 4. Galápagos Islands

Explore the Galápagos Island’s interior and highlands where you are most likely to see the giant tortoise and discover the incredible lava tunnels.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Galápagos to Lima

Depart the Galápagos for your return flight to Guayaquil and continue on to Lima.
Stay: Lima, Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 6. Lima to Amazon Rainforest

This morning we travel deep into to the heart of the Amazon Rainforest with its amazing flora. Visit the Inkaterra Reserva’s famous butterfly house, then have time to enjoy the lodge’s serenity and amenities before taking a guided tour of the rainforest at night.
Stay: Two Nights, Amazon Rainforest, Reserva Amazonica
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Amazon Rainforest, Freedom of Choice

You will have the opportunity to choose from a range of activities today, including a treetop walk in the jungle, a guided walk to learn about the medicinal plants of the Amazon, or simply relax within the ‘lungs of the world’.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Amazon Rainforest to Sacred Valley

Depart the Amazon and travel onto Sacred Valley via Cusco, the historic heart of the Inca empire set high in the Andean highlands. Enjoy free time this afternoon.
Stay: Aranwa Sacred Valley
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 9. Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu

This morning see and learn about the Inca agricultural terraces which are thought to have been built for ancient agricultural research purposes. Peru boasts over 3,000 different varieties of potatoes, and we visit the museum created in their honour. This afternoon take the train to Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu. The Incan ‘estate’ of Machu Picchu was built in the 15th century using dry-stone wall construction techniques and includes the ‘Temple of the Sun’ and the ‘Room of the Three Windows’. Enjoy time to explore the unforgettable site and afterwards enjoy a tour of the orchid garden.
Stay: Aguas Calientes, Inkaterra Machu Picchu
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 10. Machu Picchu to Cusco

Wake early to watch sunrise over Machu Picchu. Afterwards, take a train to Cusco, capital of the Incan empire.
Stay: Two Nights: Cusco, Hilton Garden Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 11. Cusco

Enjoy a morning walking tour of Cusco including the cathedral and San Blas district. This afternoon is free for you to explore the city at leisure.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 12. Santiago, Chile

This morning we will fly from Cusco to Santiago. Upon arrival we will check into our luxury hotel in Santiago’s historic centre.
Stay: Santiago, The Singular Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 13. Puerto Montt, Embark Cruise

After breakfast, we will fly to Puerto Montt where our elegant Small Ship, the MS Island Sky will be waiting for us.
Stay: 11 Nights, MS Island Sky
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 14. Puerto Montt

Leaving the ship we will head to the Vincente Perez Rosales National Park, the oldest in Chile and home to three commanding volcanoes. We will see the mighty Petrohue River and the rapids that crash through lava channels creating a series of magnificent waterfalls. We return to the ship via Puerto Varas, situated in a stunning location.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 15. Chiloe Island

Chiloe is Chile’s second largest island. Our visit ashore this mainly forested island will include Castro, one of the oldest towns in the Americas, known for its unique wooden architecture and stilted houses. You will also see the wooden cathedral of St Francis and the historic old quarter.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 16. Chilean Fjords, Punta Arenas and Flora of Torres del Paine National Park

During the next seven days we will enjoy some of the most stunning scenery imaginable. A true nature’s garden comes to life as we explore Patagonia, with its vast area of mountains, glaciers, fields of wildflowers, lakes and waterfalls. Our route will be managed by our experienced captain and expedition leader. From Punta Arenas we will travel to Magdalena Island to see the resident colony of Magellan penguins. We also hope to navigate the Kirke Narrows, that can only be sailed at low tide. At Puerto Natales, we enjoy a full day in South America’s largest national park, the Torres del Paine. Look out for yellow and white ‘tongues’ of the porcelain orchid and the periwinkle Patagonian edelweiss amongst many others plants.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 23. Cape Horn

We will make our way around Cape Horn, and weather permitting we hope to use our Zodiacs to land and enjoy a walk to the Magellan monument. This afternoon we sail the Beagle Channel. Here the mountains, still partly unmapped, drop as sheer, densely wooded cliffs into the channel and six glaciers flow from the 8,000 foot Mount Darwin into the sea. Penguins, dolphins and sea lions abound here in the channel.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch
  • • Dinner

Day 24. Disembark Ushuaia, Buenos Aires, Argentina

This morning we fly to Buenos Aires. Upon arrival, we’ll take in the sights including, the Colón Theatre, the Recoleta neighbourhood and the cemetery where the celebrated former First Lady, Eva Peron, known universally as ‘Evita’ is buried.
Stay: Three Nights, Buenos Aires, Hotel Emperador
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 25. Buenos Aires Private Gardens and Tango Show

Enjoy visiting some magnificent private gardens in the affluent neighbourhoods of Lomas de San Isidro, Pacheco and Pilar. This evening enjoy an exhilarating tango show.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 26. Estancia Visit

Venture out to a traditional estancia with parklands set out by Carlos Thays, a French-born botanist and architect. Thays is revered as the creator of many of the most celebrated parks and gardens in his adopted country of Argentina. Later, enjoy free time to relax.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 27. Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This morning we fly to Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival, enjoy a sightseeing tour through lush forests to the top of Corcovado mountain and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue where you’ll enjoy an exquisite view over the city.
Stay: Four Nights, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Bay Rio International Hotel
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 28. Rio de Janeiro Gardens

Visit Parque do Flamengo designed by architect Lota de Macedo Soares, and artist and garden designer Roberto Burle Marx. This afternoon visit one of South America’s most impressive Botanic Gardens, the Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro, which was laid out in the 19th century. The lush gardens, set over 140 hectares, include around 6,000 species including bromeliads, orchids, carnivorous plants and palms.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 29. Rio de Janeiro, Burle Marx Gardens

This morning visit Sitio, Roberto Burle Marx’s former home and garden outside Rio - sure to be a highlight. Afterwards explore Instituto Moreira Salles, an abstract modern garden he designed.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 30. Petropolis, Burle Marx Gardens

Take a tour to Petropolis outside of Rio, to visit Instiuto Samanbaia, featuring gardens designed by Burle Marx. The building was constructed in the 1700s, making it one of the oldest landmarks in the area. With tall windows, large wooden beams and stone floors, it is easy to imagine the colonial period during which it was constructed.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 31. Depart Rio de Janeiro

This morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Stay in the Galapágos Islands and learn about the unique flora and fauna
  • Stay in the Amazon rainforest
  • Learn about the history of the Incas
  • See World Heritage-listed Machu Picchu
  • Explore the spectacular Patagonia region and wildflowers on a Small Ship coastal cruise
  • Visit private gardens in Buenos Aires
  • See the sights of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero
  • Tour an estancia and parkland designed by Carlos Thays
  • Explore gardens designed by Roberto Burle Marx, including his home Sitio

Map

Included Experiences

  • All sightseeing as mentioned
  • Services of a Botanical Guide, Tour Manager, and Expedition Team including naturalists in Patagonia
  • Airport transfers on first and last day, tipping and porterage
  • 72 Meals - 30 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches and 25 Dinners
  • Internal South American flights as per the itinerary economy class
  • 11-night all-inclusive Patagonia Cruise
  • Stay in quality, centrally located hotels

Ship Floor and Deck Plan

MS Island Sky  

Enjoy the benefits of Small Ship cruising through Patagonia aboard the intimate MS Island Sky.

 

See the deck plans for MS Island Sky here

Additional Information

Discover the unique flora of South America in the spring

  • From the colourful cactus of the Galapágos Islands - where Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was spawned, to Patagonia’s kaleidoscopic steppes of wildflowers in Torres del Paine National Park, you will be amazed by the diversity of South America’s plant life in the spring. Along with your Botanical Guide, discover the indigenous species of incredible biospheres including the Amazon Rainforest, the Sacred Valley and the Argentinian pampas.

Fitness Level

  • High – Pace moves quickly with long days, multiple one and two-night stays as well as unexpected cultural challenges. A very good degree of mobility is required.

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Guests not flying to South America with LATAM will pay an internal flight surcharge.
  • Visas and vaccinations may be required for this tour.
  • This cruise is in partnership with our sister company.
  • Group Size - 15 to 25 guests

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