22 days in South America Itinerary

22 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles, United States
Fly:  11​h 45​min
1
Cartagena, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
2
Medellin, Colombia
— 3 nights
Fly:  1​h 15​min
3
Bogota, Colombia
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  2​h 30​min
4
Quito, Ecuador
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
5
Santiago, Chile
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
6
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 3 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
7
Lima, Peru
— 3 nights
Fly:  10​h
End: Los Angeles, United States

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Walled City of Cartagena and then steep yourself in history at Plaza Santo Domingo. On the 12th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Sanctuary of Saint Peter Claver, then explore the historical opulence of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and finally look for gifts at El Centro Artesano.

For traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Cartagena route builder tool .

Los Angeles, USA to Cartagena is an approximately 12-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Los Angeles to Cartagena, you'll lose 3 hours due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Los Angeles in January, plan for a bit warmer days and warmer nights in Cartagena: temperatures range from 88°F by day to 75°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) early enough to travel to Medellin.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Walled City of Cartagena ©
Walled City of Cartagena
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas ©
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
Plaza Santo Domingo ©
Plaza Santo Domingo

3
nights
Medellin, Colombia

Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
Medellin is known for parks, museums, zoos & aquariums, historic sites, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the local highlights with Walking tours, stroll around Parques del Rio, observe the fascinating underwater world at Parque Explora, and pause for some serene contemplation at Templo Parroquial Jesus Nazareno.

To find photos, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Medellin tour planning website .

Getting from Cartagena to Medellin by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Cartagena in January, things will get little chillier in Medellin: highs are around 82°F and lows about 64°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Medellin

Parks Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
Walking tours
Laguna de Guatape ©
Laguna de Guatape

3
nights
Bogota, Colombia

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.
When in Bogota, make a side trip to see Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira in Zipaquira, approximately 54 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), take in the awesome beauty at Monserrate, have fun at Whee Institute, and pick up a one of a kind souvenir at El Cuchitril Second Hand Shop.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Bogota trip planner .

You can fly from Medellin to Bogota in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Medellin in January, expect nights in Bogota to be colder, around 44°F, while days are slightly colder, around 68°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel to Quito.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums Historic Sites Classes

Side Trip

Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Food Tours
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Monserrate ©
Monserrate

3
nights
Quito, Ecuador

Quito ©
High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
Quito is known for museums, historic sites, parks, shopping, and fun & games. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the landmark architecture of Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania, take in the spiritual surroundings of San Francisco Church (Iglesia de San Francisco), examine the collection at Museo Etnohistorico de Artesanias del Ecuador Mindalae, and gain insight at La Ronda.

To see photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Quito online tour itinerary planner .

Getting from Bogota to Quito by combination of flight and taxi takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Bogota in January, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Quito, with lows of 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Quito

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania ©
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania
Mitad Del Mundo ©
Mitad Del Mundo

3
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Santiago: Valparaiso (La Sebastiana & Paseo Dimalow). And it doesn't end there: 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, enjoy breathtaking views from Sky Costanera, and don't miss a visit to Patio Bellavista.

To see other places to visit, photos, ratings, and tourist information, read Santiago holiday planner.

Fly from Quito to Santiago in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Ecuador Time to Chile Time is 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Santiago

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trip

Valparaiso
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Patio Bellavista ©
Patio Bellavista
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
Cerro Santa Lucia ©
Cerro Santa Lucia

3
nights
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.
Buenos Aires is known for nightlife, historic sites, parks, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Cemiterio de Recoleta, take a stroll through Calle Defensa, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, and shop like a local with El Ateneo Grand Splendid.

To find out how to plan a trip to Buenos Aires, use our trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from Santiago to Buenos Aires in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Santiago to Buenos Aires. In January, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can travel to Lima.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero

3
nights
Lima, Peru

Lima ©
Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
Lima is known for parks, historic sites, museums, shopping, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take an in-depth tour of Museo Larco, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, shop like a local with Shopping Center Larcomar (Centro Comercial Larcomar), and admire the local landmark of Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor).

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Lima online trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Buenos Aires to Lima in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Buenos Aires to Lima, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. January in Lima sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 69°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Lima

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Huaca Pucllana ©
Huaca Pucllana
Museo Larco ©
Museo Larco
Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) ©
Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)

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