54 days in South America Itinerary

54 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

54 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Fly:  18 h 15 min
1
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 4 nights
Fly:  2 h 30 min
2
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
— 2 nights
Shuttle + Fly:  4 h 30 min
3
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 4 nights
Fly + Bus:  5 h 15 min
4
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  3 h 45 min
5
El Calafate, Argentina
— 3 nights
Bus:  3 h
6
El Chalten, Argentina
— 3 nights
Drive:  11 h
7
Punta Arenas, Chile
— 3 nights
Fly:  5 h 45 min
8
Santiago, Chile
— 4 nights
Fly:  6 h 15 min
9
Cusco, Peru
— 4 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Train:  3 h 15 min
10
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 2 nights
+4
Train + Foot + Bus + Taxi + Fly:  5 h 15 min
11
Lima, Peru
— 3 nights
Fly:  4 h 30 min
12
Cuenca, Ecuador
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + Foot + Fly:  5 h
13
Puerto Villamil, Ecuador
— 3 nights
Ferry:  2 h 30 min
14
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
— 3 nights
+3
Bus + Ferry + Shuttle + Fly:  5 h
15
Quito, Ecuador
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + Foot + Train:  19 h 45 min
End: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

4
nights
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro ©
Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rio de Janeiro: Petropolis (Museu de Cera de Petropolis, Cervejaria Bohemia, &more). There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer, kick back and relax at Barra da Tijuca Beach, stroll through Praia de Ipanema, and step into the grandiose world of Ilha Fiscal.

For other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Rio de Janeiro online tour itinerary planner.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania to Rio de Janeiro is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern European Time (EET) to Brasilia Time (BRT) is minus 5 hours. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Cluj-Napoca in April; daily highs in Rio de Janeiro reach 33°C and lows reach 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Foz do Iguacu.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Museums Outdoors

Side Trip

Petropolis
Find places to stay Apr 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema

2
nights
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil

Foz do Iguacu ©
A gateway to the world-renowned Iguacu Falls, which spectacularly divide Brazil and Argentina, the modern, high-rise city of Foz do Iguacu can't help but play second fiddle to the natural wonder in its vicinity.
Foz do Iguacu is known for nature, zoos & aquariums, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire the sheer force of Iguazu Falls, get to know the resident critters at Parque das Aves Bird Park, take in the views from Ponte Internacional da Amizade, and browse the different shops at Shopping Mercosul.

For other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, read our Foz do Iguacu trip planner.

You can fly from Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguacu in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro in April, expect a bit cooler with lows of 20°C in Foz do Iguacu. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Foz do Iguacu

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Parque das Aves Bird Park ©
Parque das Aves Bird Park
Itaipu Dam ©
Itaipu Dam

4
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 historic sites, nightlife, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the different monuments and memorials at Cemiterio de Recoleta, wander the streets of Puerto Madero, admire the landmark architecture of El Ateneo Grand Splendid, and visit Palermo.

To find photos, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Buenos Aires trip planner.

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Foz do Iguacu to Buenos Aires takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or drive. While traveling from Foz do Iguacu, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Buenos Aires, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to travel to San Carlos de Bariloche.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods Shopping Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 9 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero

2
nights
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

San Carlos de Bariloche ©
Nestled against the foothills of the Andes, scenic San Carlos de Bariloche hugs the southern shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake and ranks among Argentina's top destinations for active outdoor vacations.
On the 15th (Wed), take a peaceful walk through Sendero de los Arrayanes and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Here are some ideas for day two: take some stellar pictures from Cerro Otto, look for gifts at Chocolaterie VanWynsberghe, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Circuito Chico, then walk around Parque Nahuelito, and finally browse the eclectic array of goods at Feria Artesanal Municipal.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the San Carlos de Bariloche road trip tool.

You can fly from Buenos Aires to San Carlos de Bariloche in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Buenos Aires in April, you will find days in San Carlos de Bariloche are slightly colder (17°C), and nights are colder (2°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) early enough to travel to El Calafate.

Things to do in San Carlos de Bariloche

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Apr 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi ©
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi
Circuito Chico ©
Circuito Chico
Cerro Otto ©
Cerro Otto

3
nights
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate ©
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.
Spend the 17th (Fri) exploring nature at Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. There's much more to do: get outside with Enjoy!, look for gifts at Vellon Negro, examine the collection at Glaciarium Museo del Hielo Patagónico, and learn more about the world around you at Museo Regional Municipal de El Calafate.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the El Calafate trip builder site.

Traveling by flight from San Carlos de Bariloche to El Calafate takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Traveling from San Carlos de Bariloche in April, you will find days in El Calafate are little chillier (9°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (9°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to El Chalten.

Things to do in El Calafate

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares ©
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares
Lago Argentino
Lago Argentino
Climbing Tours

3
nights
El Chalten, Argentina

El Chalten ©
Nestled up against the hills of the Los Glaciares National Park, El Chalten serves as one of the nation's most bustling hubs for hikers and backpackers heading out into the wild landscape of southern Patagonia.
El Chalten is known for nature, historic sites, and scenic drive. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the awesome beauty at Fitz Roy, hike along Laguna de los Tres, take in the dramatic scenery at Chorillo del Salto, and explore the activities along Laguna Capri.

To see ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, read El Chalten tour planner.

Traveling by bus from El Calafate to El Chalten takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 23rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Punta Arenas.

Things to do in El Chalten

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Laguna de los Tres
Find places to stay Apr 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Fitz Roy ©
Fitz Roy
Laguna de los Tres ©
Laguna de los Tres
Laguna Torre ©
Laguna Torre

3
nights
Punta Arenas, Chile

An erstwhile hub of the sheep wool industry, Punta Arenas has evolved into a gateway of sorts for hikers, cruise ship passengers, and adventure travelers heading out on the windswept lands of Chile's extreme southern reaches.
Punta Arenas is known for historic sites, museums, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: head outdoors with Strait of Magellan, get great views at Mirador Cerro De La Cruz, learn about all things military at Museo Naval y Maritimo, and make a trip to Plaza Munoz Gamero.

To see traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Punta Arenas visit planner.

You can drive from El Chalten to Punta Arenas in 11 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from El Chalten to Punta Arenas due to the time zone difference. In April in Punta Arenas, expect temperatures between 11°C during the day and 3°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Punta Arenas

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Apr 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Palacio Sara Braun ©
Palacio Sara Braun
Museo Naval y Maritimo ©
Museo Naval y Maritimo

4
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.
Santiago is known for shopping, parks, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at San Cristóbal Hill, admire the landmark architecture of Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), get engrossed in the history at Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, and look for gifts at Patio Bellavista.

To see where to stay, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Santiago visit planner.

You can fly from Punta Arenas to Santiago in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Santiago

Museums Shopping Parks
Find places to stay Apr 27 — May 1:
Highlights from your plan
La Chascona ©
La Chascona
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
Cerro Santa Lucia ©
Cerro Santa Lucia

4
nights
Cusco, Peru

Cusco ©
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Maras (Salinas de Maras & Moray) and Iglesia de Urubamba (in Urubamba). There's lots more to do: delve into the distant past at Sacsayhuaman, stop by Hilo, steep yourself in history at Tipon, and explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Precolombino.

For other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Cusco trip itinerary tool.

You can fly from Santiago to Cusco in 6.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Santiago to Cusco. May in Cusco sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 4°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Tue) early enough to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Tours Museums

Side Trips

Maras, Iglesia de Urubamba
Find places to stay May 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Qorikancha ©
Qorikancha
Plaza de Armas ©
Plaza de Armas

2
nights
Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu ©
A symbol of the Incan civilization, the abandoned city of Machu Picchu represents a must-see on a Peru vacation.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Wed): contemplate the long history of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu and then stroll through Los Jardines de Mandor. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Virgen Del Carmen and then take some stellar pictures from Intipuncu.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Machu Picchu online trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 7th (Thu) to allow time for travel to Lima.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu
Los Jardines de Mandor ©
Los Jardines de Mandor

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Fri): take an in-depth tour of Museo Larco, then don't miss a visit to Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor), then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, and finally stroll around Circuito Magico Del Agua. On the 9th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: walk around Parque Kennedy - Parque Central de Miraflores, wander the streets of Miraflores, steep yourself in history at Huaca Pucllana, then walk around Plazuela Chabuca Granda, and finally take a stroll through Barranco.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Lima trip planning app.

Traveling by combination of train, bus, and flight from Machu Picchu to Lima takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or drive. In May, daytime highs in Lima are 26°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Cuenca.

Things to do in Lima

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods
Find places to stay May 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Huaca Pucllana ©
Huaca Pucllana
Museo Larco ©
Museo Larco
Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) ©
Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)

3
nights
Cuenca, Ecuador

Cuenca ©
Packed with impressive colonial architecture and a historic town center, Cuenca stands as perhaps the most charming city in the nation.
On your second day here, pause for some serene contemplation at Mirador de Turi, explore the striking landscape of El Cajas National Park, contemplate the long history of Plaza de las flores, then admire the striking features of Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral, and finally contemplate the waterfront views at Rio Tomebamba.

For ratings, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Cuenca vacation planner.

Fly from Lima to Cuenca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Traveling from Lima in May, expect a bit cooler with lows of 13°C in Cuenca. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Puerto Villamil.

Things to do in Cuenca

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay May 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
El Cajas National Park ©
El Cajas National Park
Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral ©
Inmaculada Concepción Cathedral
Museo Catedral Vieja ©
Museo Catedral Vieja

3
nights
Puerto Villamil, Ecuador

Puerto Villamil ©
Located in the southeast of Isla Isabela, Puerto Villamil is home to the majority of the island's 2,200 inhabitants.
Puerto Villamil is known for nature, parks, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the geological forces at Sierra Negra, visit Los Tuneles, stroll through Concha de Perla, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Centro de Crianza Tortugas Gigantes Arnaldo Tupiza Chamaidan.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, read Puerto Villamil trip itinerary planning app.

Getting from Cuenca to Puerto Villamil by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Ecuador Time to Galapagos Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sat) to allow time to ride a ferry to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Puerto Villamil

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Sierra Negra
Find places to stay May 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Concha de Perla ©
Concha de Perla
Sierra Negra ©
Sierra Negra
Las Tintoreras ©
Las Tintoreras

3
nights
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

Puerto Ayora ©
The largest settlement in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora offers visitors to the islands an array of facilities and things to do.
Puerto Ayora is known for parks, nature, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Charles Darwin Research Station, make a trip to Santa Cruz Fish Market, explore the striking landscape at Las Grietas, and look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To see traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Puerto Ayora trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by ferry from Puerto Villamil to Puerto Ayora takes 2.5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Puerto Villamil to Puerto Ayora. May in Puerto Ayora sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Tue) so you can travel to Quito.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Santa Cruz
Find places to stay May 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Charles Darwin Research Station ©
Charles Darwin Research Station
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve ©
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve
Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay ©
Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay

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.
Step out of Quito to go to Cayambe and see Middle of the World, which is approximately 56 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania, admire the striking features of Basilica del Voto Nacional, take an in-depth tour of Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila, and deepen your understanding at La Ronda.

To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Quito trip builder site.

Getting from Puerto Ayora to Quito by combination of bus, ferry, and flight takes about 5 hours. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Puerto Ayora in May, with highs in Quito at 25°C and lows at 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Quito

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Middle of the World
Find places to stay May 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania ©
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco ©
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco

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