39 days in South America Itinerary

39 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

39 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Buenos Aires, Argentina
1
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 3 nights
Drive:  16​h
2
Salta, Argentina
— 2 nights
Bus:  35​h 30​min
3
Uyuni, Bolivia
— 3 nights
Drive:  9​h 15​min
4
La Paz, Bolivia
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h
5
Arequipa, Peru
— 2 nights
Fly:  7​h
6
Ica, Peru
— 1 night
Drive:  12​h 30​min
7
Cusco, Peru
— 6 nights
Drive:  5​h 45​min
8
Puno, Peru
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
9
La Paz, Bolivia
— 1 night
Drive:  28​h
10
Asuncion, Paraguay
— 2 nights
Drive:  5​h
11
Puerto Iguazu, Argentina
— 2 nights
Drive:  16​h 45​min
12
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 4 nights
Drive:  5​h
13
Sao Paulo, Brazil
— 2 nights
End: Sao Paulo, Brazil

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.
Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes will appeal to museum buffs. Popular historic sites such as Plaza de Mayo and Museo Nacional de Arte Decorativo are in your itinerary. Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Puerto Madero, step into the grandiose world of Palacio de Aguas Corrientes, appreciate the extensive heritage of San Telmo, and admire the natural beauty at Parque 3 de Febrero.

To find more things to do, maps, photos, and more tourist information, use the Buenos Aires itinerary builder.

If you are flying in from Argentina, the closest major airports are Jorge Newbery Airpark and Ministro Pistarini International Airport. July in Buenos Aires sees daily highs of 16°C and lows of 9°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can travel to Cordoba.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes ©
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Catedral Primada ©
Catedral Primada

2
nights
Salta, Argentina

Salta ©
Salta boasts a vibrant social life and array of informative museums appealing to visitors looking for a memorable cultural experience.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Tue): delve into the lush surroundings at Quebrada de San Lorenzo, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Nuestra Senora de La Candelaria de La Vina, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Iglesia San Francisco, and finally learn more about the world around you at MAAM - Museo de Arqueologia de Alta Montana de Salta. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedral of Salta, contemplate the long history of San Bernardo Convent, take in the awesome beauty at Cerro San Bernardo, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Virgen de los Tres Cerritos, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Immaculada Madre del Divino Corazon Eucaristico de Jesus.

For photos, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Salta itinerary builder.

Fly from Buenos Aires to Salta in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Buenos Aires in July, expect nights in Salta to be a bit cooler, around 3°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 22°C. You'll set off for Uyuni on the 13th (Thu).

Things to do in Salta

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Quebrada de San Lorenzo
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Virgen de los Tres Cerritos ©
Virgen de los Tres Cerritos
Basilica Menor San Francisco ©
Basilica Menor San Francisco

3
nights
Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni ©
Emptiness surrounds the desert outpost of Uyuni, the gateway to the world's largest salt flats.
Step out of the city life by going to Isla Incahuasi and Tunupa Volcano. Train Cemetery and Museo de la Llama y la Sal will appeal to museum buffs. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic natural features at Salar de Uyuni, appreciate the extensive heritage of Avenida Ferroviaria, see the interesting displays at Necropolis & Museum Kawsay Wasy, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia San Cristobal Lipez.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Uyuni sightseeing planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Salta to Uyuni takes 10 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, train, and car. The time zone changes from Argentine Time (ART) to Bolivia Time (BOT), which is usually a -1 hour difference. When traveling from Salta in July, plan for colder days in Uyuni, with highs around 4°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 3°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can travel to La Paz.

Things to do in Uyuni

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Museo de la Llama y la Sal
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Salar de Uyuni ©
Salar de Uyuni
Isla Incahuasi ©
Isla Incahuasi
Train Cemetery ©
Train Cemetery

1
night
La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz ©
Take a moment to catch your breath as you commence your holiday in La Paz.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): admire the masterpieces at Museum of Contemporary Art - Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Plaza, stop by Mistura - Manifestacion Creativa, admire the striking features of Iglesia de San Francisco, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and finally explore the world behind art at National Museum of Art - Museo Nacional de Arte. Here are some ideas for day two: take an in-depth tour of Museo Murillo, examine the collection at Museo de Metales Preciosos, then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral Basilica Menor de Nuestra Senora de la Paz, then explore the world behind art at Casa Museo Solon, and finally play a few rounds at La Paz Golf Club.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our La Paz vacation trip planner.

Getting from Uyuni to La Paz by combination of car and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of car and bus. When traveling from Uyuni in July, plan for a bit warmer days in La Paz, with highs around 16°C, while nights are little chillier with lows around -4°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can travel to Arequipa.

Things to do in La Paz

Museums Golf Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia de San Francisco ©
Iglesia de San Francisco
Museo Murillo ©
Museo Murillo

2
nights
Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa ©
In an area dominated three imposing volcanoes, Arequipa vacations allow visitors to admire well-preserved colonial architecture in a dramatic setting.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Thu): pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral of Arequipa Museum, take in the spiritual surroundings of Santa Catalina Monastery, then get impressive views of El Misti, and finally soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the landmark architecture of Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de Yanahuara ( San Juan Bautista), then explore the stunning scenery at Colca Canyon, then admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Virreinal Santa Teresa, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at San Francisco Plaza, Church and Monastery.

To see photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Arequipa trip itinerary maker.

Fly from La Paz to Arequipa in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from La Paz to Arequipa. When traveling from La Paz in July, plan for somewhat warmer days in Arequipa, with highs around 24°C, while nights are warmer with lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) so you can travel to Ica.

Things to do in Arequipa

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Colca Canyon
Find places to stay Jul 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Volcan Misti ©
Volcan Misti
Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa ©
Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa
Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus ©
Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus

1
night
Ica, Peru

Located on the Ica River in the desert areas of Peru's southern coast, the city of Ica stands as something of an oasis in the dry, barren landscape.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): see the interesting displays at Regional Museum of Ica, then examine the collection at Javier Cabrera Scientific Museum, then explore the striking landscape at Canon de los Perdidos, and finally learn about winemaking at Tacama. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Ica vacation trip planner.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Arequipa to Ica in 7 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Arequipa in July, Ica is a bit warmer at night with lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Ica

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Tacama ©
Tacama
Javier Cabrera Scientific Museum ©
Javier Cabrera Scientific Museum

6
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to ChocoMuseo and Tambomachay. Museum-lovers will appreciate Museo Inka and Planetarium Cusco. Pamper yourself for a day on the 24th (Mon) at some of the top local wellness centers. On the 28th (Fri), spend a fun day on foot with Walking tours. There's lots more to do: delve into the distant past at Sacsayhuaman, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, appreciate the extensive heritage of San Blas, and explore the striking landscape at Salinas de Maras.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Cusco online itinerary creator.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Ica to Cusco takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Traveling from Ica in July, expect much colder with lows of 1°C in Cusco. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Puno.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Tours Spas

Side Trip

Salinas de Maras
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
ChocoMuseo ©
ChocoMuseo
Tipon ©
Tipon

2
nights
Puno, Peru

Puno ©
Hugging the western tip of Lake Titicaca, Puno serves as a melting pot of indigenous and imported cultures, and makes a great base for explorations around the region.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): step off the mainland to explore Uros Floating Islands, wander the streets of Luquina Chico, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Templo de Santiago Apostol en Lampa. On the next day, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de San Juan Bautista, steep yourself in history at La Casa del Corregidor, then visit a coastal fixture at Lake Titicaca, then see the interesting displays at Museo Carlos Dreyer, and finally explore the ancient world of Catedral de Chucuito.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Puno vacation trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Cusco to Puno takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In July, Puno is little chillier than Cusco - with highs of 20°C and lows of -5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to go by car to La Paz.

Things to do in Puno

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trip

Iglesia Apostol Santiago
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 1:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Titicaca ©
Lake Titicaca
Iglesia Apostol Santiago ©
Iglesia Apostol Santiago
Catedral de Chucuito ©
Catedral de Chucuito

1
night
La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz ©
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Tue): make a trip to Plaza del Monticulo, don't miss a visit to Calle Sagarnaga, then make a trip to Mi Teleferico, and finally contemplate the long history of Tiwanaku. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Museo de Instrumentos Musicales, admire the striking features of Iglesia de San Francisco, stop by Mistura - Manifestacion Creativa, then take a stroll through San Miguel, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral Basilica Menor de Nuestra Senora de la Paz.

To find maps, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the La Paz trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Puno to La Paz in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. The time zone changes from Peru Time to Bolivia Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. When traveling from Puno in August, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in La Paz: temperatures range from 17°C by day to -3°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Asuncion.

Things to do in La Paz

Shopping Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Aug 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
San Miguel ©
San Miguel
Tiwanaku ©
Tiwanaku
Iglesia de San Francisco ©
Iglesia de San Francisco

2
nights
Asuncion, Paraguay

Asuncion ©
Paraguay's capital and economic center, Asuncion ranks among the youngest cities on the continent, with more than half of its residents under 30 years of age.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): admire the masterpieces at Museum of Fine Arts (Museo de Bellas Artes), then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then try your luck at Casino De Asuncion, and finally see the interesting displays at Museo Del Futbol Sudamericano.

To see traveler tips, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Asuncion trip planner.

You can fly from La Paz to Asuncion in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or drive. Traveling from La Paz in August, you will find days in Asuncion are somewhat warmer (30°C), and nights are warmer (17°C). Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can travel to Puerto Iguazu.

Things to do in Asuncion

Fun & Games Casinos Museums

Side Trip

Museo Del Futbol Sudamericano
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Casino De Asuncion ©
Casino De Asuncion
Museo Del Futbol Sudamericano ©
Museo Del Futbol Sudamericano

2
nights
Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

Puerto Iguazu ©
The gateway to a national park inscribed on the World Heritage List, growing Puerto Iguazu sits on the confluence of two major rivers near the border with Paraguay and Brazil.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Guiraoga and La Aripuca. Visiting Iguazu Falls and Salto Bernabe Mendez will get you outdoors. Next up on the itinerary: try to win big at Casino Iguazu, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stop by Capriccio Alfajores & Gourmet, and pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Culturas Park Iguazu.

For photos, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Puerto Iguazu trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and taxi from Asuncion to Puerto Iguazu in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone changes from Paraguay Time to Brasilia Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. In August, plan for daily highs up to 29°C, and evening lows to 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) so you can travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Puerto Iguazu

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Iguazu National Park
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Salto Bernabe Mendez ©
Salto Bernabe Mendez
Guiraoga ©
Guiraoga

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Praia de Ipanema and Copacabana Beach. Do some cultural sightseeing at Parque Nacional Tijuca and Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rio de Janeiro: Petropolis (Catedral São Pedro de Alcântara & Imperial Museum) and Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazareth (in Saquarema). There's lots more to do: explore the world behind art at CULTURAL CENTER OF BRAZIL'S SEAT, step into the grandiose world of Ilha Fiscal, appreciate the extensive heritage of Avenida Atlantica, and steep yourself in history at Parque Lage.

For traveler tips, ratings, maps, and tourist information, use the Rio de Janeiro vacation builder.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Puerto Iguazu to Rio de Janeiro takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Puerto Iguazu in August, expect a bit warmer with lows of 22°C in Rio de Janeiro. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel to Sao Paulo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

Petropolis, Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Nazareth
Find places to stay Aug 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Parque Nacional Tijuca ©
Parque Nacional Tijuca
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema

2
nights
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo ©
Don't let the city's nickname--"Land of Drizzle"--dampen your spirits during a trip to Sao Paulo.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sat): delve into the lush surroundings at Parque Estadual da Cantareira - Nucleo Pedra Grande and then wander the streets of Paulista Avenue. On your second day here, kick back and relax at Asturias beach and then kick back and relax at Gonzaga Beach.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Sao Paulo trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by flight from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier evenings in Sao Paulo when traveling from Rio de Janeiro in August, with lows around 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Asturias Beach, Gonzaga Beach
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Asturias Beach ©
Asturias Beach
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo ©
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo

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