21 days in South America Itinerary

21 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Melbourne, Australia
Fly:  17 h 30 min
1
Santiago, Chile
— 1 night
Fly:  6 h 15 min
2
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
Fly:  15 h
3
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
— 1 night
Ferry:  6 h
4
Puerto Villamil, Ecuador
— 1 night
Ferry:  2 h 30 min
5
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
— 2 nights
+3
Bus + Ferry + Shuttle + Fly:  25 h
6
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly:  7 h
7
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 2 nights
Fly:  7 h
8
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + Taxi + Bus:  8 h 45 min
9
El Chalten, Argentina
— 1 day
+2
Bus + Taxi + Fly:  30 h
End: Melbourne, Australia

1
night
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.
On the 7th (Sat), take in the pleasant sights at Plaza de Armas. On the 8th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: walk around Cerro Santa Lucia, then examine the collection at La Chascona, then take some stellar pictures from San Cristóbal Hill, and finally admire the landmark architecture of Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana).

For other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Santiago road trip planning site .

Melbourne, Australia to Santiago is an approximately 17.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of flight and car. The time zone difference moving from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) (AEST) to Chile Time (CLT) is minus 14 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Santiago

Parks Nature Museums
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
La Chascona ©
La Chascona
Cerro Santa Lucia ©
Cerro Santa Lucia

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Salinas de Maras and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Get some historical perspective at Sacsayhuaman and Iglesia De Santo Domingo. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Plaza de Armas, delve into the distant past at Tambomachay, hike along exploor, and take an in-depth tour of Museo Inka.

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

Getting from Santiago to Cusco by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Santiago to Cusco due to the time zone difference. In November, daily temperatures in Cusco can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 8°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Wed) so you can travel to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors

Side Trips

Salinas de Maras, Sacred Valley of the Incas
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Qorikancha ©
Qorikancha
Salinas de Maras ©
Salinas de Maras

1
night
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno ©
The capital of the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is located on easternmost island of the archipelago, San Cristobal.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Thu): explore the striking landscape of Cerro Tijeretas. Here are some ideas for day two: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa de Oro, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado, and finally kick back and relax at Punta Pitt.

For other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno online travel route planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Cusco to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. Traveling from Cusco in November, expect nights in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to be warmer, around 25°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 31°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Fri) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Puerto Villamil.

Things to do in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

San Cristobal
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Cerro Tijeretas ©
Cerro Tijeretas
Punta Pitt ©
Punta Pitt
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
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.
On the 14th (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Puerto Villamil, take a memorable drive along Isabela Island Wetlands Complex, explore the activities along Laguna Salinas, tour the pleasant surroundings at Posada de flamengos, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Cristo Salvador, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Concha de Perla.

To find traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Puerto Villamil day trip app .

You can ride a ferry from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Puerto Villamil in 6 hours. Traveling from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Puerto Villamil, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Puerto Villamil

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Concha de Perla ©
Concha de Perla
Posada de flamengos ©
Posada de flamengos
Iglesia Cristo Salvador ©
Iglesia Cristo Salvador

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): stroll through Charles Darwin Research Station, view the masterpieces at Galeria Aymara, stroll through Black Turtle Cove, then explore the world behind art at Maprae, and finally get some thrills on the water with a speed boat tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Mon): get outside with Think Galapagos, then cast your line with a fishing tour, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve.

To find traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Puerto Ayora trip itinerary builder tool .

You can ride a ferry from Puerto Villamil to Puerto Ayora in 2.5 hours. The time zone changes from Galapagos Time (GALT) to Ecuador Time (ECT), which is usually a 1 hour difference. In November in Puerto Ayora, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 25°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Fernando de Noronha.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Santa Cruz
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Charles Darwin Research Station ©
Charles Darwin Research Station
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve ©
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
nights
Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Fernando de Noronha ©
With 21 lush islands scattered among pristine waters in the Atlantic Ocean, a Fernando de Noronha holiday is well worth the effort it takes to get there.
Escape the urban bustle at Baia do Sancho and Shark Diving. Next up on the itinerary: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, get outside with Morro dois Irmaos, enjoy the sand and surf at Fernado de Noronha Island, and hike along Trilha Costa Esmeralda.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Fernando de Noronha trip planning site .

You can do a combination of bus, ferry, and flight from Puerto Ayora to Fernando de Noronha in 25 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 3 hours traveling from Puerto Ayora to Fernando de Noronha. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Puerto Ayora in November, with highs in Fernando de Noronha at 35°C and lows at 29°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Fernando de Noronha

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Baia do Sancho ©
Baia do Sancho
Baia dos Porcos ©
Baia dos Porcos
Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park ©

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sat): explore the historical opulence of Ilha Fiscal, pause for some photo ops at Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer, tour the pleasant surroundings at Copacabana Beach, then enjoy the sand and surf at Praia de Ipanema, and finally admire the natural beauty at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Pedra do Arpoador, then take some stellar pictures from Leblon Beach, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Tijuca.

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Rio de Janeiro trip builder website .

You can fly from Fernando de Noronha to Rio de Janeiro in 7 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Fernando de Noronha to Rio de Janeiro is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Fernando de Noronha in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Rio de Janeiro, with lows of 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): don't miss a visit to Plaza de Mayo, take a stroll through Puerto Madero, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, take in nature's colorful creations at Parque 3 de Febrero, then don't miss a visit to Casa Rosada, and finally stroll the grounds of Cemiterio de Recoleta. On the 24th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get to know the fascinating history of Calle Defensa, then get to know the fascinating history of La Boca, and then explore the world behind art at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.

To see reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Buenos Aires online tour itinerary planner .

Getting from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires by flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Rio de Janeiro in November, with highs in Buenos Aires at 28°C and lows at 19°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) early enough to travel to El Chalten.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Nov 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero
Plaza de Mayo ©
Plaza de Mayo

1
day
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.
On the 25th (Wed), take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Sendero Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, hike along Laguna de los Tres, and then appreciate the extensive heritage of Laguna Torre.

To see photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our El Chalten trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Buenos Aires to El Chalten takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in El Chalten

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Laguna de los Tres
Find places to stay Nov 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Laguna de los Tres ©
Laguna de los Tres
Laguna Torre ©
Laguna Torre
Sendero Loma del Pliegue Tumbado ©
Sendero Loma del Pliegue Tumbado

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