25 days in South America & Cuba Itinerary

25 days in South America & Cuba Itinerary

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Route & dates

25 days in South America & Cuba Itinerary

Start: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Fly:  18​h 15​min
1
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 5 nights
2
Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Iguazu National Park, Argentina
— 1 day
Fly:  4​h 15​min
4
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 3 nights
Fly:  10​h 45​min
5
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
+2
bus + foot + train:  4​h
6
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  13​h 30​min
7
Cartagena, Colombia
— 2 nights
Fly:  13​h 45​min
8
Havana, Cuba
— 4 nights
Fly:  26​h
End: Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Learn more about your trip

5
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.
Get outdoors at Praia de Ipanema and Copacabana Beach. Parque Lage and Igreja Nossa Senhora do Carmo da Antiga Se will appeal to history buffs. The adventure continues: pause for some photo ops at Corcovado Christ the Redeemer, take a stroll through Barra da Tijuca, kick back and relax at Praia de Grumari, and take in nature's colorful creations at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.

To see ratings, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Rio de Janeiro travel planner.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Rio de Janeiro is an approximately 18.5-hour combination of car and flight. The time zone difference moving from Gulf Standard Time (GST) to Brasilia Time (BRT) is minus 7 hours. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Dubai in December: high temperatures in Rio de Janeiro hover around 35°C and lows are around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sun) early enough to travel to Fernando de Noronha.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 27 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema
Corcovado Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado Christ the Redeemer

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sun): see human ingenuity at work at Iguazu Falls. Keep things going the next day: meet the residents at Parque das Aves, then see the interesting displays at Museu de Cera Dreamland, and then see human ingenuity at work at Itaipu Hydroelectric Dam.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Foz do Iguacu sightseeing planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Rio de Janeiro to Foz do Iguacu takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Foz do Iguacu when traveling from Rio de Janeiro in January, with lows around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Iguazu National Park.

Things to do in Foz do Iguacu

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Dreamland Foz ©
Dreamland Foz
Parque das Aves Bird Park ©
Parque das Aves Bird Park

1
day
Iguazu National Park, Argentina

Iguazu National Park ©
Iguazu National Park contains 672 sq km (259 sq mi) of fertile subtropical forests, but its main attraction is the majestic Iguazu Falls.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): admire the sheer force of Salto Bernabe Mendez and then see human ingenuity at work at Iguazu Falls.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Iguazu National Park sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Foz do Iguacu to Iguazu National Park takes 3 hours. January in Iguazu National Park sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Iguazu National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Iguazu Falls ©
Iguazu Falls
Salto Bernabe Mendez ©
Salto Bernabe Mendez

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Safari Delta and Reserva Ecologica. San Telmo and La Casa Rosada - Palacio de Gobierno will appeal to history buffs. Change things up with a short trip to Temaiken Biopark in Belen de Escobar (about 46 minutes away). There's still lots to do: wander the streets of Puerto Madero, make a trip to Recoleta Cemetery, admire the masterpieces at Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, and admire the architecture and history at Plaza de Mayo.

To see reviews, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Buenos Aires sightseeing planner.

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Iguazu National Park to Buenos Aires takes 4.5 hours. When traveling from Iguazu National Park in January, plan for a bit cooler days in Buenos Aires, with highs around 33°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Outdoors

Side Trips

Temaiken Biopark, Safari Delta
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
San Telmo ©
San Telmo
Plaza de Mayo ©
Plaza de Mayo
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero

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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sat): examine the collection at Faces of Cusco. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the landmark architecture of Centro Historico De Cusco and then explore the ancient world of Sacsayhuaman.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Cusco travel planner.

You can do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi from Buenos Aires to Cusco in 11 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Buenos Aires to Cusco. Traveling from Buenos Aires in January, expect nights in Cusco to be much colder, around 9°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Sacred Valley of the Incas, Salinas de Maras
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Sacred Valley of the Incas ©
Sacred Valley of the Incas
Salinas de Maras ©
Salinas de Maras

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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Tue): explore the ancient world of Machu Picchu and then don't miss a visit to Machu Picchu Cusco Trek. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Wed): hunt for treasures at Mercado de Artesanias, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Hot Springs (Aguas Calientes), and then explore the ancient world of Winawayna.

For maps, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Machu Picchu tour planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Thu) so you can travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Find places to stay Jan 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Winay Wayna ©
Winay Wayna
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu

2
nights
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.
On the 12th (Thu), step into the grandiose world of San Felipe de Barajas Castle.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Cartagena travel itinerary creator.

Getting from Machu Picchu to Cartagena by combination of train, taxi, and flight takes about 13.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. In January in Cartagena, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel to Havana.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
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

4
nights
Havana, Cuba

Havana ©
Cuba's capital and major commercial center, Havana manages to be very old and very modern at the same time.
Get some historical perspective at Old Havana and Castillo de San Carlos de la Cabana. Do some cultural sightseeing at El Malecon and Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon). There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Old Square (Plaza Vieja), make a trip to El Capitolio, stroll through Playas de Este, and examine the collection at Wifredo Lam Center.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Havana itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of car and flight from Cartagena to Havana in 14 hours. Traveling from Cartagena in January, expect Havana to be slightly colder, temps between 30°C and 18°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Wed) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Havana

Historic Sites Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
El Morro ©
El Morro
El Malecon ©
El Malecon
Old Havana ©
Old Havana

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