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ULTIMATE SOUTH AMERICA BY PRIVATE JET

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Los Angeles
  • Panama City
  • Galápagos Islands
  • Cusco
  • Machu Picchu
  • Buenos Aires
  • Iguassu Falls
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Cartagena
  • Los Angeles

20 Days By Private Jet
  • Departing:
  • 18 Nov 2024 Final Places Remain
  • 20 Oct 2025 New release

Home to civilisations long gone, as well as some of the wildest, most distant islands on Earth, this is a continent of diverse cultures, replete with awe-inspiring monuments, be they natural or man-made. Just 59 guests will embark on this ultimate discovery of South America by business class private jet, reaching each destination in unmatched comfort and style.

Map

Tour Manager - Gordon Higman

Tour Doctor - Dr Jo-Anne Grey

18 November 2024: As Your Tour Manager, Gordon Higman Welcomes You On This Journey

18 November 2024: Your Accompanying Tour Doctor For This Journey Is Dr Jo Grey


As we prepare to celebrate all the beauty and passion of South America, get to know your fellow guests this evening during a Welcome Dinner.

On our first private jet flight, we travel south to Panama City. Geographically blessed and a historic trade route, situated as it is between the Pacific and the Atlantic, the city is a welcoming place, where many cultures blend seamlessly together. Prior to our arrival, our dedicated cabin crew allude to the finer things to come as we savour a gourmet lunch complemented by fine wine. We check into the brand-new Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo, its elegant edifice enclosing a palm-laden courtyard. Enjoy a light dinner this evening and take in views of the bay.

This morning, we take a tour of Casco Viejo, Panama’s Old Quarter. Its historic churches, plazas and mansions now share the space with some of the country’s most in-demand restaurants, bars and cafes. The French Plaza, Parque Central and Plaza Bolivar offer just a hint of the fusion of cultures at work in Panama’s history as well as the present day. We adjourn to Gamboa Dock, where we meet our chartered ship, the Pacific Queen, for our cruise of the Panama Canal. At Gatún Lake, 26 metres above sea level and the highest point on the canal, our vessel picks us up and proceeds through the Culebra Cut, the narrowest portion of the canal. We pass through the Pedro Miguel Locks, which lowers our boat 18 metres so that it can enter Miraflores Lake. We then go through the Miraflores Locks, enjoying lunch on board the ship, before concluding our cruise at Flamenco Island. This evening, choose where you would like to dine before we rest once more at our refined hotel.

This morning, our jet takes us to Guayaquil, where we board a local flight to Baltra Island in the Galápagos. Here, we leave the plane behind and board our expedition ship M/V Galapagos Legend. We waste no time, heading straight to Mosquera Islet for our first wildlife encounter. As we make our approach to the island, look for the sea lions that make their home here. They will no doubt be sprawled upon the soft white sand, acknowledging our presence with a mere gaze. This is also a great spot to observe a variety of bird species, including herons, lava gulls and boobies. We linger for a while, enjoying the beach and taking the opportunity to snorkel off the shore. We may also find ourselves paddling among whitetip reef sharks, eagle rays and barracuda. We spend the first of four nights in our comfortable suites aboard the M/V Galapagos Legend.

We sail to Santiago Island, landing at Puerto Egas, a black volcanic sand beach visited by Darwin in 1835. The shore is ringed by eroded rock formations that have become home to an abundance of wildlife species. Among them, marine iguanas, lava lizards, Galápagos hawks and American oystercatchers. Remember to also keep watch for the endemic Galápagos fur seals frolicking in the cool waters. Perhaps also venture to the island’s abandoned salt mine, located within a volcanic cone nearby. 

Following lunch aboard our ship, we arrive on Rabida Island. Its red-sand beach hosts species such as sea lions, mockingbirds, finches, Galápagos doves and vermilion flycatchers. Here, we follow a walking trail through a forest of cacti and palo santo trees leading to a beautiful viewpoint over the bay. This is an excellent place for snorkelling, with large schools of black-striped salemas, sea lions and turtles.

Following breakfast aboard our ship, we begin our day on the largest island of the archipelago, Isabela. We hike along a lengthy, but level, trail to a region of the island where large blocks of coral lie completely exposed on the shore as a result of a geological uplift in 1954. At the base of the Alcedo Volcano, we hope to see some of the resident land iguanas and giant tortoises.

As is customary, we’re back on board our ship for lunch. We sail to Tagus Cove on the north-western coast of Isabela Island. One of the few sites visited by Charles Darwin while aboard the HMS Beagle, Isabella Island presents an amazing volcanic landscape. We set out on a hike past Darwin Lake to get closer to the island’s dramatic volcanoes. Arriving back at the shore, perhaps take a kayak out for a paddle, or grab some snorkel gear and investigate the turtles, fish, penguins, and if you’re lucky, flightless cormorants.

Our final day in the Galápagos begins at Fernandina Island, home to one of the most active volcanoes in the region, La Cumbre. What we have come for, though, is to see the island’s huge population of marine iguanas. Some of the largest examples of these creatures can be found here. So dark in colour are they, you may find it difficult to distinguish them from the black volcanic landscape, so be careful where you step. The exciting opportunity to snorkel here is yours to take this morning. As you drift through a wondrous underwater world, look for marine iguanas feeding along the seabed. 

We recharge over lunch aboard our ship, before sailing to nearby Punta Vicente Roca back on Isabela Island. We cruise along the coast aboard our Zodiac vessels, viewing various breeds of seabird, such as the Nazca and blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, brown pelicans and flightless cormorants. This is also another fantastic place for snorkelling, while we may also have the chance to swim with penguins and green turtles.

We disembark our vessel after breakfast. Departing from Baltra, a scheduled flight takes us from the Galapágos Islands to Guayaquil. We then rejoin our private jet for the flight to Lima, reacquainting ourselves with the premium labels offered by our cabin crew. From Lima, a scheduled flight then delivers us to Cusco. Check into the Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, a former convent built on Inca foundations and our home for the next three nights. We enjoy a light dinner this evening while we acclimatise to the high altitude, then retreat to our tastefully decorated suites.

Please be aware that Cusco is 3400 metres above sea level. As such, we have also arranged an alternative low-altitude itinerary during your time in Peru, should you prefer not to travel to Cusco. If you are uncomfortable with, or cannot travel at, high altitudes, please seek advice from your doctor.

Today is dedicated to Machu Picchu. We travel there in style, aboard the Belmond Hiram Bingham train. Enjoy the congenial atmosphere on board, as you partake of mimosas and brunch while passing through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Arrive in the town of Aguas Calientes and explore Machu Picchu’s ruins, a short distance away. Afterwards, rest and enjoy some tea at neighbouring Belmond Sanctuary Lodge. You may prefer to explore the ruins further at leisure. Return to Cusco aboard the Hiram Bingham train, enjoying pre-dinner drinks and a four-course dinner on board.

Today, set out to explore the ancient wonders of Cusco with a Your World experience:

— Leave the centre of the city behind and explore Sacsayhuaman, a hilltop fortress overlooking Cusco. Like Machu Picchu, it is constructed of many massive stone blocks. We continue on to Kenko Temple. It’s believed that sacrifices and mummifications were conducted here. Your last stop before lunch will be the red fortress of Tambomachay.
— Alternatively, enjoy a free morning at our stylish hotel. Or perhaps discover the local shopping area on your own schedule. 

After swapping stories of our respective finds over lunch, more Your World experiences are on offer this afternoon:

— Begin at the city’s cathedral, with art by Quechua artists of the 17th-century Cusco Painting School. Then visit the Temple of the Sun, a showcase of Inca masonry. Finally, take a walk along Hatun Rumiyoc Street, which displays the amazing stonework of the Incas. You’ll also learn more about Machu Picchu’s history at the Casa Concha Museum. On display here are 366 artefacts from Machu Picchu. They offer fascinating insight into the daily lives of the site’s Inca inhabitants.
— You may prefer a relaxing afternoon at our hotel or to browse the wares of the local shopping district. 

Dine at our hotel this evening or choose from a selection of other nearby restaurants.

After taking a scheduled flight to Lima, we meet back up with our private jet and fly in a south-easterly direction, bound for Buenos Aires. Sink into your seat as our inflight crew pamper us with fine food and drinks. It’s late afternoon when our private jet lands in busy Buenos Aires. Our introduction to the city is courtesy of the grand Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt, where we stay for three nights.

Today, we visit some of the most famous neighbourhoods in Buenos Aires to get an overview of the city. See the Plaza de Mayo, Casa Rosada, and La Boca, a working-class district which once housed Italian immigrants. The residents livened up the area by painting their houses in bright colours, a custom that continues today. It was here that the tango evolved, and as we walk through the district, we come across many dancers performing in the streets. 

Satiate your hunger in one of the city’s notable restaurants before heading out on your chosen Your World experience:
— Delve into the life of Eva Peron, Argentina’s revered politician, actress and activist, at the Eva Peron Museum. The collection includes dresses and personal mementos that belonged to Eva, while interactive exhibits place her life within the context of contemporary Argentinian life.   
— You also have the option of time at leisure to discover the local shopping area, or to simply relax at our hotel. 

Later this afternoon, you may like to join a tango class to better understand the beating heart of Argentina. Deferring to the professionals, we celebrate the dance in its most spectacular form with dinner and a live show at Rojo Tango, an intimate cabaret room where the dancers weave through the audience’s tables.

A drive through the countryside brings us to the historic Estancia Villa Maria, where we are treated to a traditional Argentinian barbecue lunch and an exclusive polo match put on especially for us. You’re also welcome to remain in Buenos Aires to wander the aisles of the lively Recoleta Market and the shops at San Telmo. Tonight, prepare for Argentina’s most sought-after dining experience. Puertas cerradas, or closed-door restaurants, are a cross between a private dinner party and a restaurant, where the city’s best chefs present their talents in personal living rooms, villas and hidden gardens. No two meals or locations are exactly alike. Or perhaps head to one of the city’s celebrated asados, for steak grilled to perfection. Of course, you can always stay in and let the city’s exquisite cuisine come straight to you, dining at our hotel’s refined restaurant.

Before heading to Rio, we stop in at the world’s largest system of waterfalls for a few hours, a side-trip possible only with a private jet. We arrive at Iguazú National Park and join a walk through the revered rainforest. Along the way, lookout positions offer us incredible views over the vast terraced falls, adorned with flourishing greenery. Continue following the path, gradually descending through the forest to traverse a bridge at the base of the falls. Savour the sight of these colossal torrents of water as they surrender to gravity. Few places on Earth will ever command your attention like Iguassu Falls. 

Enjoy lunch before setting off on one of these spectacular Your World experiences:
— Fly over the falls in a helicopter for a truly unique view of the ‘Devil’s Throat’.
— Getting soaked is all part of the fun as you explore the falls aboard a Macuco Safari Boat. Travel across the rapids and up close to the base of the falls.
— Pay a visit to Parque das Aves, the Iguassu Falls Bird Park. It isn’t every day you get up close to a toucan. As well as the many colourful topical birds in the park’s giant aviaries, you’ll have the chance to see turtles, iguanas, boa constrictors, and innumerable species of native butterflies.

We continue on our private jet to Rio de Janeiro, enjoying dinner on board. On arrival in Rio, we are whisked directly to the Belmond Copacabana Palace for a well-deserved rest.

We begin our exploration of Rio de Janeiro as we board the Corcovado Rack Railway for our ascent of Corcovado Mountain. Here, we see the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue up close. At lunch, we savour the delights of an authentic churrascaria. Slowly roasted over a fire, the meat is cooked to succulent perfection, according to regional tradition. Take the afternoon on your own schedule: explore the jewellery museums and shops of Ipanema, take a stroll along Copacabana Beach or simply relax and enjoy the facilities of our hotel. This evening, we are guests of honour at an exclusive Carnival dinner and show.

Today is set aside for you to design as you please, with the help of these Your World experiences:
— Set out on an architectural tour of Rio, focussing on the work of Oscar Niemeyer. Visit the Niterói Museum of Contemporary Arts and dine at Restaurante Olimpo, both of which were designed by Oscar himself. 
— Go behind the scenes of Rio’s Carnival at the City of Samba and see where the floats and costumes featured in the parade are produced. 
— Admire one of Brazil’s oldest neighbourhoods, Saint Teresa, then learn of the production methods of cachaça, Brazil’s popular alcoholic beverage. 

Spend the afternoon as you please, whether relaxing at the hotel, taking advantage of our proximity to the beach, or getting in some last-minute shopping. Later on, we board a gondola and take in sweeping views of the city while gradually making our ascent to Sugarloaf Mountain. Cherish the sunset as you look out over Guanabara Bay. 

This evening, you are free to choose where to dine, selecting from a list of Rio’s finest restaurants.

This morning, our flight leaves for Colombia, with lunch served on board. Arrive in Cartagena and check into the Charleston Santa Teresa Cartagena Hotel, our home for the following three nights. 

We acquaint ourselves with the city courtesy of a guided walking tour. Take in views of the grand Cathedral of St Catherine of Alexandria, as well as Cartagena’s many distinctive yellow buildings. Overlooking the waters of the Caribbean, the vibrant Old Town presents its collection of colonial-era houses with their large, ornate wooden balconies. We pause for lunch at a local restaurant, before taking time at leisure to roam the city’s network of bustling lanes and historic public squares. You may prefer to head back to our luxurious hotel for a relaxing afternoon. Dine at your choice of our hotel’s restaurants this evening or at one of Cartagena’s many fine establishments.

Cartagena’s myriad aspects are yours to discover this morning, thanks to a choice of Your World experiences:

— Enjoy spectacular views over Cartagena and its surrounds from the city’s highest point, during a visit to the Convento de la Popa. From here, make your way to the fortress of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, featuring a complex of small forts and a battery of cannons. A short distance away, the arresting yellow exterior of Las Bóvedas stands proud on the edge of the Caribbean. Its archways house 23 vaults once used as munitions storerooms and jail cells. Today, it serves as a craft market, offering colourful Colombian keepsakes. Your morning concludes at Iglesia de San Pedro Claver, a former convent. 

— Familiarise yourself with traditional Colombian cuisine during a cooking class. Begin with a refreshing drink in the lively neighbourhood of Getsemani. Your host will then take you through the steps required to produce Colombian pastries, including Carimañolas and Arepa de Huevo, as well as a hearty main course.  

You may prefer to take the morning at leisure, relaxing at our hotel or heading out on explorations of your own. 

Following lunch, afternoon Your World experiences unearth additional aspects to Colombian culture:

— Pay a visit to El Arsenal: The Rum Box. Enjoy a tasting of Colombian rum and chocolate. A mini welcome cocktail sets the scene, before you are invited to mix, sip and shoot a range of rum and rum-infused cocktails, paired with Colombia’s finest chocolate. Learn the history of rum, as well as the finer points of the distillation process. 

— Participate in a photography workshop within the Centro Histórico neighbourhood. Tailored to your current level of photography skills, this workshop will equip you with the knowledge necessary to aptly capture the architecture, fashion and landscapes of this intriguing part of Cartagena. 

Alternatively, take the afternoon on your own schedule. 

We come together this evening for a gala Farewell Dinner before enjoying a final night at the Charleston Santa Teresa Cartagena Hotel. 

Spend the morning on your own terms as we enjoy our remaining time in Cartagena. Early this afternoon, we board our private jet for the last time and return to Los Angeles. We bid farewell to our fellow travellers and Tour Host Team and look forward to our next Captain’s Choice journey. 

Brochure