- Explore Lima’s exclusive art world and dine at Central Restaurant, ranked no.2 in the World's Top 50 Restaurants list for 2022.
- Complete the one-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and explore the iconic ruins of one of the world's most important archaeological sites.
- Take in the charm of historic Cusco with a unique private tour of the city’s undiscovered sites, away from the tourist trail.
- Discover the marvels of La Paz, Bolivia’s high-altitude capital, with a private city tour and visit to the gallery of Gaston Ugalde.
- Explore the largest salt flat on Earth – the Salar de Uyuni – traversing the vast expansive in a luxury private 4x4 vehicle.
- Stay in Cartagena - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - before arriving by private yacht to a paradise island
Luxury South America Trip Overview
Absorb the true spirit of the continent with a luxury South America trip shaped by visits to three of its most iconic landmarks. This vibrant 14-night adventure has been expertly curated with a meticulous selection of regional flights to unlock the three distinct countries in just two weeks.
Beginning on the coastal cliffs of Lima, you’ll start your luxury travel to South America with a glimpse into some of Peru’s most exclusive private art collections, before sampling the extraordinary molecular dishes of Central Restaurant – where a much sought-after table will await your arrival.
This private Peru tour then gains tantalizing momentum, as you head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas meeting the pioneer of indigenous weaving techniques – Nilda Callañaupa – witnessing her team of local women in action; hiking the magnificent one-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most important archaeological sites; and exploring the charming, cobbled city of Cusco.
You’ll next find yourself in Bolivia, and the high-altitude city of La Paz which straddles the Altiplano at 3,900 meters (12,795 feet) above sea level. Discover the parodies of this bustling metropolis, where old meets new, before reaching the largest salt flat on Earth – the Salar de Uyuni. Here you’ll travel overland, in a private luxury 4×4 vehicle – taking in the breathtaking beauty of this ethereal landscape with a private guide. And at night, stay in a luxury campervan driven onto the prehistoric lakebed, sleeping under one of the most unpolluted skies on the planet.
Finally, this luxury South America trip will whisk you to Cartagena, a vibrant and bustling city steeped in colonial history. Explore Cartagena’s Old Town – a Unesco World Heritage Site – and its maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bright bougainvillaea, and huge churches in leafy plazas. Dine and dance in the many lively haunts where the Caribbean beats carry you happily into the early hours, before sailing away on a private yacht to the tropical peninsular of Barú. A paradise island, here white sandy shores, turquoise waters, and a luxe 5* suite await you for the two final days of this private South American vacation.
As ever, this luxury South American tour is only a guide. Aracari can curate a bespoke vacation handpicked to suit your particular travel taste and style.
- Day 1
LimaView on map
Arrival in Peru
Your Aracari representative will welcome you to your luxury South America trip. As you might expect from our standard of luxury travel to South America, you will be greeted on the runway tarmac as you alight from your plane.
You’ll be presented with your welcome pack, before being whisked off to your hotel, where we will assist with all check-in procedures. Overnight at Hotel B.Accommodation options
- Day 2
LimaView on map
Explore two rarely visited private collections of influential Peruvian art in the charming district of Barranco before heading for dinner at Central Restaurant.
Today, you’ll be collected from Hotel B by our specialist art guide. Our specialist art guides are leading researchers and professors in their subject area. They have written books, held lectures, and made ground-breaking discoveries about the many different cultural antiquities displayed in the private collections you are about to visit.
The first stop will be the charming Pedro de Osma Museum in the district of Barranco. Once the home of a Peruvian aristocrat and passionate collector of viceregal art, Pedro de Osma, Pedro de Osma Museum is a beautiful early 20th-century mansion. Today, the house has been lovingly restored into a private museum, housing an invaluable collection of Peruvian art, spanning from the 5th to the 18th century.
This intimate, family-run museum is most famously known for its collection of viceregal art – with whole rooms dedicated to different features of the style, such as Madonna’s and archangels. However, the museum also has an incredibly rare and exclusive display of antiquities that remains relatively undiscovered by the public. This collection of fascinating artefacts contains pottery, metalwork, and textiles from multiple Peruvian cultures, dating from as far back as 500 BC – such as the Quero ceramic vases of the Tiwanaku culture. A rare and highly exclusive experience during a luxury private Peru tour, this small, tranquil museum contains almost the entirety of Peruvian history.
For lunch, you’ll head for an early lunch in Barranco at the intimate Isolina restaurant. Enjoy an authentic Peruvian lunch in a relaxed atmosphere before moving on to the afternoon’s activity.
Walking with your Specialist guide through the charming streets of Barranco, you’ll arrive at your next artistic adventure: Casa Liébana. It’s at the gates of the magnificent Liébana villa, that you’ll be received by Joaquin Liébana – a prominent artist in his own right, and one of the sons of the late Jaime Liébana, owner of this exquisite home and its fine collection of Peruvian art.
The Liébana family have been longtime friends of Aracari for many years, and so our guests are afforded the luxury of visiting this appointment-only art collection, accompanied by the unrivaled knowledge of Joaquin Liébana himself. Jaime began collecting art in the 1970s and is now considered to be one of the most important collectors of Peruvian folk art – both traditional and contemporary.
As well as his expansive collection of work from other artists, Jaime Liébana was himself an artist and master carpenter – receiving critical acclaim for his work, especially his wooden furniture designs. In fact, one of the first rooms you’ll visit inside Casa Liébana will be a space showcasing his pieces, some of which are available for sale. And alongside Jaime’s own pieces, you’ll also find a selection of contemporary artworks by his successful artist sons, Mateo and Joaquin, who followed in their father’s creative footsteps as a painter and sculptor respectively.
Once you’ve concluded this unmissable experience for those seeking luxury cultural travel to South America, you will return to your hotel.
Here you’ll have the option to relax and unwind, before being collected for your evening meal reservations at Central Restaurant – home to some of the best food in South America. Famous the world over, Central was recently ranked No. 2 in the World's Top 50 Restaurants list for 2022. This gastronomic haven delivers ambitious and worldly fusion from chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz, whose signature menu is a series of modern, molecular dishes showcasing ingredients native to Peru.
After you’ve eaten, you’ll be taken back to your hotel for a restful night ready for the next day of adventure.Accommodation options
- Day 3
Lima - CuscoView on map
Fly to the historic city of Cusco and visit the most accomplished weaver in the region, Nilda Callañaupa – Director of the ‘Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco’, an NGO devoted to the preservation of indigenous weaving techniques, before checking into a luxury eco-retreat.
Today as you continue your luxury travel to South America, you’ll fly to Cusco, assisted by our representatives in Lima who will take care of all check-in procedures for your domestic flight. Then in the mountainous region of Cusco, you will be met by another member of our team and be driven to the region of Huayoccari.
In Huayoccari, you’ll experience an entirely authentic insight into the history of textiles in the region. You’ll learn how in the Andes, weaving is a language, and that fine weavings were as precious as gold during the time of the Inca Empire. And how more than twenty-five years ago, Nilda Callañaupa, a local from Chinchero, recognized that precious history was being lost.
Back then, many of the weavings sold to visitors were inauthentic and dyed with artificial colors, rather than with natural dyes, as is the traditional method. In a bid to prevent this from happening, Nilda, a master weaver herself, founded CTTC (Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco). Since then, CTTC has done extraordinary work in the region. And during your visit to Huayoccari, you’ll witness some of the most authentic textile techniques in all of Peru. Meeting with Nilda herself – who is the most accomplished weaver in Cusco – as well as her team of local weavers creating some of the country’s finest textile work.
Once the experience has finished, you’ll have the chance to purchase textiles from Nilda and her team of traditional weavers. This is an incredibly rare opportunity and one you are unlikely to find anywhere else – the chance to purchase such authentic Peruvian textiles and knits made by methods invented by the Incas.
For this evening’s overnight stay, you’ll be transferred to Los Qolqas. Burrowed in the heart of the Sacred this eco-retreat is found nearby to the town of Ollantaytambo. As part of this private South America tour, Aracari guests will spend the afternoon and night here, immersed in the natural beauty of the magnificent mountainous surroundings and marveling at relics left behind by lost civilizations.Accommodation options0
- Day 4
Inca Trail - Machu PicchuView on map
Alight a Vistadome train to the village of Aguas Calientes, before spending a magical day hiking the one-day Inca Trail to the magnificent Machu Picchu, a wonder of the ancient world. Overnight at Belmond Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge.
Today you’ll board a Vistadome train headed for Machu Picchu, featuring spectacular panoramic windows offering impressive views of the surrounding valley. Alternatively, you can upgrade to the Hiram Bingham luxury train to Machu Picchu – and of course, we can also arrange private charter train services. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours to Aguas Calientes, where you will then begin the one-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu accompanied by a specialist Aracari guide.
This one-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu allows you to arrive at the world-famous ruins by foot and avoid the usual crowds that arrive by train and bus. Most of the trek is uphill with a fair number of precipices and covers approximately 12km (7.5 mi), which is about five hours of hiking. On the way, you will visit Wiñay Wayna, a remarkable Inca site that is only approachable on foot.
Upon arrival at Machu Picchu, you will enter the ruins with time to take in the fantastic views. Set among mist-shrouded mountains, this man-made marvel has become a symbol of the ingenuity and prosperity of one of the most expansive empires in Latin American history: the Incas.
Tonight, you’ll stay in the nearby Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, ready for an early morning start.Accommodation options
- Day 5
Machu Picchu - Cusco View on map
Return early to Machu Picchu with a private guide, hiking to Huayna Picchu, a viewpoint offering spectacular panoramic views before alighting the luxury Hiram Bingham train.
Return to Machu Picchu with your guide early in the morning, hiking to Huayna Picchu. Offering spectacular panoramic views, Huayna Picchu rises 260 meters (850 ft) higher than Machu Picchu. The Incas built a trail up the side of the mountain, and on its top, temples, and terraces.
Afterward, take the bus back to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo for your private transfer to Cusco, taking approximately 2 hours. Or, upgrade to the luxurious Hiram Bingham train for your ride to the ancient city. Then check in to the blissful Palacio Nazarenas Belmond hotel in Cusco for an evening of restful relaxation.Accommodation options
- Day 6
CuscoView on map
Explore the charming, cobbled streets of ancient Cusco and discover its fascinating history before an exclusive private tour of its hidden secrets. In the evening, dine at the chef’s table at the atmospheric Cicciolina.
You’ll start your exploration of Cusco on foot, beginning at the Plaza de Armas, the Main Square which is marked by the exquisite Spanish Colonial architecture and ornamentation imposed by Spanish colonists to exert religious and political influence. From here you’ll visit Koricancha, the ‘Sun Temple’, and the Cathedral - a repository for Cusco’s colonial art.
You’ll head next to the colorful San Pedro Market and the charming neighborhood of San Blas, before finally arriving at Sacsayhuaman, an Inca citadel atop a hill, on the outskirts of the city. Not only are the imposing terraces of masterful stonework a sight to behold, but the vistas overlooking the sienna rooftops of Cusco provide a whole new perspective to the city you’ve just traversed.
After lunch, you’ll begin your discovery of the lesser-visited Cusco sites. As in every city, there are famous sights and there are those which are hidden gems only known to connoisseurs or visitors who have more time and want to cover the less obvious. As you’d expect from luxury South America travel with Aracari, these are the sort of sights included in this experience.
During this leisurely visit, you will have the opportunity of exploring the culture, art, and architecture of this historic city through the centuries, as you stroll along its cobblestoned streets and peek into the interiors of small museums, convents, and archaeological sites you would have otherwise not noticed.
This evening, dine at the atmospheric Cicciolina. A Cusco institution for almost 20 years, this tapas restaurant and wine bar can be found in a magical setting overlooking the terracotta tiles of the city. Expect a menu of European dishes made with local Andean ingredients, making for delicious fusion and a wonderful way to spend an evening during this private Peru tour.Accommodation options
- Day 7
Cusco - Juliaca - La Paz View on map
Fly from Cusco to Juliaca and cross the Bolivian border in a chauffeured vehicle before reaching the high-altitude capital of La Paz, the city that touches the clouds, and check into the design-centric MET hotel.
This morning, you will catch the short flight from Cusco to Juliaca, the nearest Peruvian airport to the Bolivian border. As you’d expect from luxury travel to South America, you’ll be greeted by your Aracari guide and driver and provided with delicious refreshments before continuing to the next part of your journey.
In a spacious luxury vehicle, you’ll be driven from Juliaca to the Bolivian capital of La Paz – which takes just four hours. Once you arrive in the city, you’ll check into the MET Hotel, a design-led retreat in the heart of a bustling metropolis. Home to the capital’s first outdoor rooftop bar, MET Hotel offers guests the chance to sip on a signature cocktail whilst taking in scenic views over the mountainous city.Accommodation options
- Day 8
La Paz - UyuniView on map
Wake early to catch a flight to Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s most expansive salt flats – where you’ll sleep in a luxury campervan driven onto the prehistoric lakebed, under one of the most unpolluted skies on the planet.
Today you’ll fly from La Paz directly to Uyuni, the gateway to the Salar de Uyuni. A must-see for any kind of luxury travel to South America, these otherworldly Salt Flats are a tantalizing experience, where the landscape creates mind-binding illusions.
Your home for the next two days will be a luxury Airstream campervan, permitting the unforgettable experience of staying on the prehistoric lakebed itself and sleeping under one of the most unpolluted skies on the planet.Accommodation options
- Day 9
UyuniView on map
Spend a full day exploring the largest salt flat on Earth – the Salar de Uyuni – traveling the vast expansive in a luxury private 4x4 vehicle; one of the experiences during luxury trips to South America.
The largest salt flat on Earth, Salar de Uyuni affords visitors stunning scenery unmatched anywhere else in the world. Covering 12,000 square kilometers (4,633 square miles) of Bolivian Altiplano, the vast salt flats are an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon and highly photogenic at any time of year. In the dry season, surreal pentagons of the bright white crystalline salt form, while in the rainy season, the salt flats see a layer of water develop which acts as a natural mirror, reflecting the sky for a fantastic, other-worldly visual display.
In the dry season, you’ll see the bubbling ojos del sal ‘eyes of the salt’ and can reach Incahuasi Island, notable for its giant cacti. A short walk here on a petrified coral path offers views, before enjoying a picnic lunch in the middle of the salt flats. In the rainy season, thanks to the layer of water covering the crystalline salt you cannot drive across the salt flats but rather enjoy the spectacular ethereal sight and photography opportunities produced by the salt flats when it has rained. You can also visit the mummies of K’aka. Your exact route will be adapted to the weather conditions and season at the time of your luxury travel to South America. To round off the day, admire the sunset over the salt flats.
The unobstructed expanse of the isolated salt flats makes night-time stargazing a truly spellbinding experience, as the full breadth and immensity of the night sky can be observed and appreciated – an additional experience available during this luxury South America trip.Accommodation options
- Day 10
La Paz - LimaView on map
Leave the mesmeric salt flats behind and fly to La Paz where you’ll have the afternoon and evening at leisure before catching a late-night flight to Lima.
Once you arrive in La Paz – your Aracari guide will be able to connect you to an activity of your choosing. Should you wish to unwind by the hotel pool or opt to explore more of this fascinating city during your luxury South America trip, we’ll be happy to make all the necessary arrangements. Our recommendation for lunch or an early dinner would be Gustu, La Paz – the city’s highly acclaimed foodie haven.
Your connecting flight to Lima is in the early hours, around 4 am. The flight takes just 1 hour 45 minutes, and upon your arrival in Lima, you’ll be whisked off to the Costa del Sol Hotel which is found within Lima airport itself. Here you will have access to a day suite where you can catch up on your sleep until late morning. Then in the afternoon – you’ll fly direct to Cartagena.Accommodation options
- Day 11-12
CartagenaView on map
Soak up the atmosphere of Cartagena; by day, explore the walled colonial town, a UNESCO World Heritage site – and by night dance in lively salsa bars where Caribbean beats carry you happily into the early hours.
As your vacation continues, you’ll now cross into the third country of this luxury South America trip: Colombia. Cartagena is a vibrant place bursting with color and Caribbean energy. It’s a historic city, superbly preserved lying within an impressive 13km of centuries-old colonial stone walls. Cartagena's Old Town is a Unesco World Heritage Site – a maze of cobbled alleys, balconies covered in bougainvillea, and huge churches found in leafy plazas.
You’ll soak up the atmosphere of this captivating city with private walking tours by day, and by night dance the night away in lively salsa bars where Caribbean beats carry you happily into the early hours.
Your two overnight stays in Cartagena will be spent at the charming Casa San Agustin– a boutique hotel housed in a colonial mansion within the historic town center. From the original frescoes in the hotel’s library to the centuries-old wood-beamed ceilings found in its handful of suites, Casa San Agustín evokes Cartagena’s rich 17th-century history – making it the perfect place to immerse yourself in the city.
- Day 13-14
Cartagena - BaruView on map
Arrive by private yacht to the tropical island of Barú unwinding at the marvelous 5* Sofitel Baru hotel found on a private stretch of Calablanca beach, one of the longest and most unspoiled on the continent.
Today, you’ll board a private speedboat to the beautiful Isla Barú, a former peninsula south of Cartagena, Colombia. Warm Caribbean waters lap the white sandy shore, making this one of the most sublime beach areas in all of South America.
Your stay on the island will be hosted by the Sofitel Baru Calablanca Beach Resort – a hotel painstakingly designed to seamlessly blend into this rare natural haven. The gentle caressing breezes, stunning vistas, and soft white sands surrounded by turquoise waters are an unmissable highlight during a luxury South America vacation that passes through the region.
Inside the hotel, the feel is slick minimalism. The space is expansive, with more than 180 rooms in total, although you’d be forgiven for thinking the number was half of that because of the hotel’s clever layout. You’ll find no less than five swimming pools, scattered across the landscape to create a spacious feel, whereby guests are never concentrated in one particular area of the hotel. There are several restaurants too, offering a variety of local and international cuisine.
Tastefully decorated with luxury modern amenities, the hotel rooms vary in size from a supreme double to a large penthouse suite of 120 sq mt. Regardless of size, however, each room has beautiful uninterrupted views of the coast, to be enjoyed from private balconies. There are also plenty of adjoining rooms throughout the property, which makes this the perfect place to enjoy as a family with children.
Spend your final two days exploring the grounds of this marvelous 5* hotel, unwinding on the long white sandy beach, Calablanca, one of the longest and most unspoiled beaches on the continent.
- Day 15
Baru - Cartagena - DepartureView on map
With direct flights to the US and Europe from Cartagena airport – today you can make your home without having to suffer several connecting flights. Just one of the many reasons this luxury South America trip is the ideal solution for a private family getaway.
Aracari specializes in tailormade travel. Here are just some of our further trip suggestions. Contact us for more bespoke ideas to inspire your travels.
Journey pricing as of 2023
Basic Pricing - US$15,000 per person
This is a sample journey and can be tailored to your interests and travel style.
- Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
- Cost is per person for this 15-day itinerary
This journey is based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy, excluding flights (international and domestic).
- Includes all specified services in the journey description
- All transfers and entrance fees
- A welcome pack on arrival including: a pre-loaded cell phone to contact your travel consultant at any time, a printed booklet packed with insider tips alongside your detailed journey and up-to-date recommendations on dining and shopping
- Hand-selected English-speaking guides
- Specialist guides (where noted)
- 24-hour support from our locally based team
- Accommodation at hotels as mentioned above.
- Meals where indicated.
- Local English speaking guides throughout.
- Entrance tickets.
- All transfers to and from the airport.
- A detailed itinerary produced by us which includes historical information about the places you will visit, tips for the traveler, where to eat and where to shop, maps of the places you will visit, and a comprehensive reading list.
The Spirit of South AmericaA vibrant two-week luxury South America trip
- Domestic flights (quoted separately).
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Travel Insurance.
- International Flights and airport taxes.
- Neither personal expenses nor any other service not specified in the itinerary.
- Day 2