South American Odyssey: Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Machu Picchu & More

Learn the Samba in Rio and the tango in Buenos Aires, climb to Machu Picchu and go wine tasting in the vineyards outside of Santiago on this journey to the best of South America.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22885RJ
19 days
Starts at
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at

At a Glance

The rhythm of samba and the icons of Rio de Janeiro: Corcovado, Sugar Mountain and Copacabana Beach. The pounding waters of Iguazu Falls. The glint of sunlight illuminating the ruins of the Incas in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. The Colorful and classic neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and the culture of Argentina’s Gauchos. Cosmopolitan Santiago, the Pacific coast of Chile and lush vineyards all set against the imposing backdrop of the Andes. On this journey from the extraordinary coast of Brazil to the mountaintops of the Peruvian Andes, feast your senses on the natural, ancient and contemporary wonders of South America.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Elevations up to 11,000 feet in Cusco, Peru. Walking and standing up to two miles a day in a variety of conditions.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore the highlights of Rio de Janeiro and take in the awesome splendor of Iguazu Falls from both the Argentine and Brazilian vantage points.
  • Walk among the remains of the ancient Inca civilization in the Sacred Valley and at Machu Picchu, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Discover Argentine culture in Buenos Aires, the “Paris of the South,” with a tango lesson and the colorful neighborhood of Recoleta.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Stone Offerings
by Mike Torrey
Torrey captures the dramatic setting, solitude and intricate construction of the Inca site of Machu Picchu in 100 striking color photographs taken over a few days at summer and winter solstice.
by Regis St. Louis
An excellent, colorful primer to the country and its history, covering the varied landscapes, diverse cultures and regional customs, including carnaval and soccer.
Lonely Planet Buenos Aires
by Lonely Planet
The best of Buenos Aires is included in this practical guide, along with a pullout map and insider recommendations on shopping, eating, sleeping and day trips.
Cataratas del Iguazu
by de Dios
This foldup, laminated card shows seven maps of the falls, Puerto Iguazu, park and region.
Forgotten Continent
by Michael Reid
Economist editor Reid draws on his years in the cities, presidential palaces and shantytowns of Central and South America in this portrait of a region rich in oil, farmland and culture, with consideration on its prospects in the face of globalization.
The Machu Picchu Guidebook
by Ruth M. Wright, Alfredo Valencia Zegarra
With maps and site plans, a segment on new discoveries, a wildlife section and a fold-out full color painting of the city as it may have looked during a solstice celebration in 1530.
Buenos Aires, A Cultural History
by Jason Wilson
An exhilarating, erudite guide to Buenos Aires as it has been portrayed by writers, poets and thinkers; serves well as a guidebook, too, with a street map and detailed neighborhood descriptions.
The Incas
by Carmen Bernard
Featuring archival drawings and photographs, a chronology and chapters on Atahualpa, the Conquistadors and Hiram Bingham, this handy book (previously published as People of the Sun) illuminates the daily life, monuments and history of the Incas.
Tropical Nature
by Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata
Two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists offer a lucid portrait of the tropics through 17 marvelous essays that introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforests.
The Brazilians
by Joseph Page
A clear, comprehensive and compelling introduction to Brazil, covering politics, history, economics, ecology, conservation and culture.
Inca Trail: Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Cusco Map
by Lima 2000
This fact-filled map shows the whole of the Sacred Valley, from Cusco to Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, on one side, and, on the reverse, the area surrounding the sanctuary in splendid, topographic detail (1:50,000). It's the best map for those making the trek from kilometer 88 to the site and an excellent choice for those exploring by bus or train.
Lost City of the Incas
by Hiram Bingham
This first-rate adventure story by the man who brought Machu Picchu to the attention of the world 100 years ago is not just a gripping tale of exploration and archaeology, it also sets the scene for any visitor to the site.
Cloud Forest, A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness
by Peter Matthiessen
Matthiessen recounts with wit, insight and style his odyssey to the Amazon and Andes, including Machu Picchu and Tierra del Fuego.

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