7 Wonders of Latin America – Cities

  • Capitol Building in Havana
  • Cartagena Columbus Day Special
  • Cityscape of Cusco in Peru
  • Panama canal locks
  • Panorama of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • View of urban sprawl in Quito, Ecuador
  • Aerial view of Rio de Janeiro with Christ Redeemer

Rio Itinerary

DAY 1 | RIO DE JANEIRO
Arrival to Rio de Janeiro. A transfer to your accommodation is going to be organized. Depending on your arrival time you will have free time to relax or for some optional excursions

DAY 2 | RIO DE JANEIRO
The day starts with an excursion to the Corcovado, passing through the center. The Corcovado train station is the urban district “Cosme Velho”, which is located between the city center and Copacabana. By using this little train you will pass through the tropical forest Tijuca, the biggest urban forest in the world.

The Corcovado has a height of 710 meter and it is possible to scale it by using the train or the listed cog railway (approximately 2.3 miles). On the top it stands the monument of Christo enthroned, which can be seen at each time of the day from nearly every place of the city. From such viewing platform, you can enjoy one of the most spectacular panorama views in the world:  on one side the Sugar loaf, the beaches of Guanabara Bay and Niteròi, and the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema with the Laguna Rodrigo de Freitas on the other side.

After having lunch in the Brazilian Restaurant (included) you will be taken to the Sugar Loaf whose base station is located in the urban district of Urca that you will reach by passing the beaches “Praia do Botafogo” and “Praia Vermelha”. From there a cable-car system takes people up to the Sugar Loaf. There is a stop on the first hill called “Morro da Urca”, on which several gardens and panorama viewing platforms are located, before getting to the Sugar Loaf Hill, from where there is a spectacular view over Rio de Janeiro, its beaches and the bay “Guanabara”. At the horizon it is possible to see the Corcovado with Christ the Redeemer statue. (B,L)

DAY 3 | RIO DE JANEIRO
Today is a free day for relax or optional excursions. (B)

DAY 4 | DEPART RIO DE JANEIRO
Today, transfer to the airport for your departing flight (B)

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotel Accommodations at Windsor Excelsior
Rates Starting From:
Double: $741
Single: $1,089

Cusco Itinerary

DAY 1 | CUSCO
After a short but spectacular flight over the snowcapped Andes to the oldest inhabited city in the hemisphere, Cusco, at an elevation of 11,440 feet. Upon arrival a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and in registering.

Tour of Cusco and Nearby Ruins
Visitors are caught up in the excitement of touring the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, a delightful combination of Inca and colonial architecture. The tour visits important landmarks such us Cusco's Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church, Plaza de Armas and Koricancha “The Temple of the Sun”. This tour of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere also includes the nearby ruins of Kenko, Puca-Pucara, Tambomachay as well as the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an imposing example of Inca military architecture.

DAY 2 | PISAC MARKET AND OLLANTAYTAMBO ARCHAEOLOGICAL COMPLEX
Morning departure for a drive through the fertile countryside of the Urubamba Valley to the colonial village of Pisac where a unique Indian Market takes place daily. The variety of products offered is overwhelming, from pottery with reproductions of archaeological pieces, to all kinds of textiles, jewelry and Peruvian handicrafts. During your visit to this bustling marketplace you will have the opportunity to bargain with the artisans and indigenous traders. Grab the items you like, you will hardly see the same one again.

Continue to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex, the Incas built it as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. There are two distinct sectors: The religious and worship zone, and the residential area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center with probable military functions if one considers the walls and towers. There are also traces of ancient roads and aqueducts. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a "Living Inca Town" since the inhabitants maintain very old practices and customs. Lunch is included. (B,L)

DAY 3 | MACHU PICCHU
Morning train ride through the sacred valley of Urubamba to the "Lost City of the Incas," Machu Picchu. Perched 8,200 feet above the valley, it was hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungles for 400 years until discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Archaeologists believe that the Inca "Virgins of the Sun" took refuge from the Spanish Conquistadors here. Guided tour of the ruins upon arrival. Lunch is at the Belmond’s Sanctuary Lodge located just a few steps from the Inca citadel. (B,L)

DAY 4 | CUSCO | LIMA |  DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport for your departure to Lima and your connecting international flight. Arrive home full of great memories of the rich tradition of Colonial Lima, the snowcapped roaring Andean mountains and lush valleys, and the zig-zag road to the overwhelming sight of Machu Picchu, the amazing legacy the Incas. (B)

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotel Accommodations at Terra Andina
Rates Starting From:
Double: $904
Single: $1,112

Havana Itinerary

DAY 1 | HAVANA
Upon arrival, transfer to your elegant hotel in the oceanfront Vedado district, considered the Beverly Hills of Havana. Welcome to Cuba dinner at a privately owned restaurant. (D)

DAY 2 | HAVANA
After breakfast, enjoy a fascinating guided walk through Old Havana to admire the ongoing restoration transforming this UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the old city plazas, gleaming colonial places, the magnificent Capitolio and Plaza Vieja, with some of Havana’s finest vitrales (stained-glass windows).

Visit to the four main plazas. After lunch, continue to explore Old Havana. Visit the Rum Museum and one of Cuba’s image makers. See the enchanting colonial palaces in the old city center. Perhaps a visit to a cigar factory? Dinner will be at a privately owned restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 3 | HAVANA
This morning, visit Finca Vigia “Lookout Farm” in San Francisco de Paula. This was Ernest Hemingway’s winter home from 1939 to 1960. See the author’s 9,000 volume library, his yacht “Pilar” and the typewriter on which he wrote some of his greatest works. Learn about his life here during a talk with a docent. After lunch, visit the fishermen community of Cojimar. Next, drive to Jaimanitas to visit the home, studio and community art projects of José Rodríguez Fuster. He is the Cuban native artist specializing in ceramics, painting, drawing, engraving and graphic design. Dinner at a privately owned restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 | HAVANA
Today, meet with members of the Havana Compas Dance Company and compare notes on the performing arts in Cuba and the U.S. Next, we visit the Muraleando Project. Enjoy a musical show by the project. After lunch, visit the artist’s market of Almacenes San Jose. Enjoy free time in Havana. Cocktails and Farewell to Cuba dinner at a privately owned restaurant. (B,L,D)

DAY 5 | DEPART HAVANA
After breakfast, transfer to Havana’s Jose Marti Airport for the short flight to Miami. (B)

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotel Accommodations at Melia Cohiba Hotel
Rates Starting From:
Double: $3,599
Single: $4,598

Quito Itinerary

DAY 1 | QUITO
Arrival to Quito and transfer to the hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure.

DAY 2 | QUITO
Transportation will be provided from your hotel to Quito’s old town. The tour begins with a visit to the Independence Square, where the Presidential Palace, Archbishops’ Palace, the Cathedral and El Sagrario Church are located. You will also visit the Church of La Compañia (1605), with its amazing gilt altars, this is considered as one of the finest examples of baroque art in America, and the Moorish influence can be noted in the intricate designs carved on the magnificent red and gold columns and ceilings. Afterwards, you'll be taken to the church and monastery of San Francisco (1535); this is the oldest Ecuadorian church and the main altar inside is a spectacular example of baroque carving. There is also a fine collection of artwork, including paintings, sculptures and furniture dating back to the 16th century. Finally, you will drive up to the highest viewpoint of the city, “El Panecillo” hill, which is a beautiful place - where you can have a breathtaking view of the colonial and modern city of Quito. Also, at this place we can find an impressive monument of the winged Virgin of Legarda.

Afterwards, the tour goes to the Basilica Church and our guide will offer a brief explanation about the site. Then, you'll go to The Teleferico; this is built over an area of 160 hectares along the skirts of the Pichincha Volcano and the summit of Cruz Loma.  Its biggest attraction is the Teleferico itself, which gives to every visitor a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings including more than14 peaks of the Andes that is called the Volcanoes Avenue. The Teleferico reaches 4050 meters.  At the top, you can also do a short trek in the surroundings.

Later on, you will depart to the north part of the city, taking the Manuel Cordova Galarza Avenue, which will take you to the equinoctial line.  The French Geodesic Mission determined this line in the XVIII century. Meanwhile, you will be able to visit the city of “The Middle of The World”, where you can travel” from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere by just jumping across the equator.  After this, you'll continue with a visit to the “Intiñan” Museum (Solar Museum) where the main objective of this place is to rescue and revive the ancestral worldview of a geographic center and to establish an ethno-ecological habitat in this place. (B)

DAY 3 | QUITO | OTAVALO | QUITO
In the morning, we will depart from Quito to the north. On the way, we will stop at the Mirador of San Pablo (viewpoint). In Otavalo, the Otavaleños (natives) set up a market in which a bartering manner of shopping takes place.   This is one of South America's most famous Indian markets. It offers an excellent selection of woven tapestries, blankets, hand-knit sweaters, pottery and more. It is a paradise for souvenirs. In the afternoon, we will visit the town of Cotacachi where you will find leather items, continue to Cuicocha lake. Afterwards, return to Quito. (B,L)

DAY 4 | DEPART QUITO
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport to take the Galapagos or International Flight. (B)

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotel Accommodations at Patio Andaluz
Rates Starting From:
Double: $815
Single: $1,112

Cartagena Itinerary

DAY 1 | CARTAGENA
Upon arrival at the International Airport Rafael Nuñez, you will be met by our representative and will be taken to your hotel. Our guide will assist you at the hotel with the registration procedures (check-in) and give you a detailed itinerary of all the services included in your trip. You will also receive information about our office contact details including our 24-hour emergency phone number.

With its breathtaking colonial architecture, horse-drawn carriages and narrow cobbled streets, the city of Cartagena de Indias is one of the most exciting destinations in Colombia. This Caribbean colonial jewel was the first Spanish colony on the South American mainland and one of the main ports for the Spanish fleet which turned the city into an important center of trade in the 16th century. It is a city full of history which has been an inspiration for artists, writers, historians and musicians. This vibrant and colorful city throughout the years has enchanted tourists with its fairy-tale charms that invite people to linger and explore the city for days.

Check in and overnight at selected hotel in Cartagena.

DAY 2 | CARTAGENA - CARTAGENA'S  COLONIAL TOUR & REAL FOOD, REAL PEOPLE, REAL PLACES TOUR
The tour begins with a visit to the “Convento de la Popa”, where the city’s highest point is located and you can enjoy the best view of the beautiful city of Cartagena. This convent was built in the 17th century by the Augustinian Monks. Initially it was just a small wooden chapel, but later it was replaced by a strong construction which still remains.

Continue with a visit to the “Castillo de San Felipe”. This castle was built by the Spaniards in the 1600s and it is the greatest and strongest fortress ever built in a Spanish colony. Located at the top of San Lázaro hill, its purpose was to protect and guard the city’s landward side from any attack or invasion. This fortress provides a complex system of tunnels connected with strategic points to distribute provisions and facilitate a possible evacuation. Additionally, the tunnel’s architecture was built so that any noise would echo along them, in order to make internal communications easier and hear even the slightest sound of the enemies approaching.

Afterwards, a walk through “Las Bóvedas” is included. These 23 vaults were built in the 18th century and they are considered the last major colonial construction made within the city walls for military purposes. The vaults were used as storerooms for munitions and provisions by the Spaniards, and later on, they became jail cells. Nowadays, they are used as crafts markets where you can find handicrafts, antiques, galleries, jewelry, clothing and souvenirs, among other things.

At the end of the tour you will take a walk through the inner walled section of the colonial city. Discover Cartagena’s rich history and beautiful colonial architecture where you will admire the old houses, stunning balconies and different little squares. You will know more about the culture of Cartagena and its interesting architecture as you walk through the different cobbled streets and plazas; each street has a different story to tell. You will also see this city alive, with its students, vendors, and all the people that live there. (B)

NOTES: It is important to remember, when visiting churches, monasteries, and shrines, women should not wear shorts or miniskirts and men should not wear shorts.

In the afternoon, we invite you to enjoy a delicious and colorful experience where you will be able to taste some of the local flavors of the city and learn about its culture. This walking tour through the inner walled section of the colonial city will let you experience Cartagena like a local resident in a neighborhood where people live, eat and shop.

This experience takes you to discover different sites and people from the colonial city, with whom the local residents relate on a daily basis as they pass by and stop for breakfast, lunch, dinner or typical snacks.

Featuring seven authentic food stops with different delicious tastings, you get to escape the crowds and taste the best of what the city has to offer.

Along the way, your guide will entertain and tell you stories and insights into Cartagena’s culture and history. Take a break from being a tourist and discover the real Cartagena with us!

NOTES: This tour includes small tastings at different points of the colonial city and one bottle of water per person.

We limit this tour up to 10 passengers. By restricting this tour to such a small number, we can guarantee that you will have a more personal and intimate experience.

Transportation is not necessary for passengers staying inside the colonial neighborhood. Passengers staying outside the colonial city will have two transfers included in the tour.

DAY 3 | CARTAGENA - THE BOQUILLA MANGROVE SWAMP AND GETSEMANI WALKING TOUR
The tour begins with a visit to “La Boquilla”, an old fishing village located twenty minutes north from the city. This community was once a slave colony and it has been home to many Afro-Colombian inhabitants.

Once you arrive, you will find yourself on a stretch of beach located at a narrow peninsula flanked by the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea on one side and the "Ciénaga de la Virgen" – a large lake and mangrove swamp – on the other.

You will go on board a traditional wooden canoe steered by a native person and you will navigate around the tunnels of the mangrove swamps where you will be able to observe the fauna and flora that inhabits in this unique ecosystem.

After this visit, you will enjoy a walking tour through the Getsemaní district, an outer walled neighbourhood with Spanish colonial architecture. This was an extension of the “Centro Histórico” (down-town) and originally it was occupied by the working-classes back in the 16th I century, when Cartagena was ruled by the Spanish empire.

Getsemaní has experienced a 21st-century renaissance and nowadays, it is an authentic charming neighbourhood with colonial architecture, dance halls, graffiti art, historic buildings converted into boutique hotels, acclaimed restaurants, food vendors and public plazas, which combined creates an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. This area offers so much to do and see which makes visitors easily fall in love with the charm and style of Getsemaní. At the end of the tour, a soft drink will be provided. (B)

DAY 4 | DEPART CARTAGENA
Our guide will meet you at the lobby of the hotel and will take you to the Rafael Núñez Airport. We will assist you at the airport during the check-in at the airline counter to help you connect to your next destination. (B)

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotel Accommodations at Don Pedro de Heredia
Rates Starting From:
Double: $599
Single: $788

Panama Itinerary

DAY 1 | PANAMA CITY
Upon arrival to Tocumen International Airport, you will be greeted by a Panama

Great Adventures representative and transferred to your hotel in Panama City.

DAY 2 | CANAL LOCKS | CANAL AREA | CASCO ANTIGUO
Today, you'll be picked up and transferrd to visit Miraflores Locks, where interactive exhibits explain the history and workings of the Canal, its nature rich rain forest and waterways. For the “grand finale”, you will see–very closely, ships on their voyage through the famous Panama Canal Locks.You will then will continue on to see the Canal area.

On the way to the Colonial city, we will stop at the Canal Administration building and surroundings.

Later on, continue to the “Casco Antiguo”, home of the 17th century Church of the Golden Altar, ruins and restorations of colonial churches, convents and residences, Spanish dungeons, the Panama Canal museum and a French monument to the 22,000 who died attempting to build the Panama Canal, and complete the course, crossing into the modern city. (B,L)

DAY 3 | EMBERA INDIGENOUS VILLAGE
Today, early morning pick up and transfer to the Chagres National Park. Here, you will board a motorized dugout canoe and travel to the Embera indigenous village. Once at the village, you will be greeted with a brief explanation of their history and traditions, a performance of tribal dances, drums, and the Embera traditional lunch. You will learn about their relationship with nature, their handcrafts will be available for purchase, and you will also be able to experience having your body painted with the traditional “jagua”, a natural dye used by the village members to adorn their bodies.

Optional: You can continue up the river and walk approximately 600 meters to swim at the waterfall.

Tonight at 7:30 p. m., you will be taken to a Panamanian Restaurant to experience the tastes and traditions of Panama's countryside with traditional home style dishes and after dinner during the folkloric show, admire our famous National Costume of Panama “La Pollera”. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 | BOAT RIDE & PIPELINE ROAD
Let’s hit the road to Gamboa Town, aprox. 45 minutes away from Panama City, to begin with a nature adventure. During the hike at Pipeline road you will be looking for birds, monkeys, sloth, anteater and other mammals. You will continue with a boat ride spotting Snail Kites, Ospreys, monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles and more. The scenery for this adventure is the world's most famous manmade lake, Gatun, constructed between 1906 -1914 to make the Panama Canal a dream come true. Therefore, you will also experience navigating along with huge cargo ships on their journey through the Panama Canal. (B,L)

DAY 5 | BIO MUSEO & HANDCRAFT MARKET
The Biodiversity Museum: Panama Bridge of Life (also known as Biomuseo), contain 8 exhibitions that will mainly revolve around the origin of the Panamanian isthmus and its gigantic impact on the planet’s biodiversity. These exhibitions will be mainly led by the Smithsonian and the University of Panama. The building silhouette is the usual unusual Frank Gehry design, however unlike most of his designs, each panel is painted a different bright color. The reason for the bright colors were said to express its tropical location.

You will continue to the hand craft market where you will find crafts made by  natives Gunas, Emberas and other indigenous living cultures in Panama. (B)

DAY 6 | DEPART PANAMA CITY
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Tocumen International Airport for your departing flight. (B)

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotel Accommodations at Best Western Zen
Rates Starting From:
Double: $1,828
Single: $2,117

Buenos Aires

DAY 1 | BUENOS AIRES
Arrival in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina.

You will be welcomed by your private guide who will assist you with the transfer to your Hotel.

DAY 2 | BUENOS AIRES
In the afternoon, you will have a panoramic tour of this vivacious city, known as the “Paris of South America”. Drive along Avenida 9 de Julio, the world’s largest boulevard. Continue to Plaza de Mayo with the imposing Presidential Palace, Town Hall and other places of interest in this European-style city; visit the Tomb of EvitaPerón at the Recoleta Cemetery. En route drive by the historic Café Tortoni, considered by many to be the finest example of 19th century Buenos Aires, it was  selected by your CityGuides as one of the ten most beautiful cafes in the world. View the beautiful Teatro Colon Opera House; its design was inspired by the Opera Garnier in Paris. (B)

DAY 3 | BUENOS AIRES
Today is at your leisure for personal tours, relaxation or shopping.

Get ready for the night! On schedule is a Dinner & Tango Show Esquina Carlos Gardel Tango House, where you can enjoy local specialties while assisting to a real Tango Performance. (B,D)

DAY 4 | DEPART BUENOS AIRES
After breakfast in hotel, transfer to the airport for your departing flight. (B)

(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Hotel Accommodations at America's Tower
Rates Starting From:
Double: $623
Single: $812