40 days in South America Itinerary

40 days in South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

40 days in South America Itinerary

Start: Cartagena, Colombia
Fly:  4​h 15​min
1
Lima, Peru
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h
2
La Paz, Bolivia
— 10 nights
Fly:  7​h 45​min
3
Bogota, Colombia
— 12 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
4
Quito, Ecuador
— 11 nights
Fly:  5​h 30​min
End: Cartagena, Colombia

6
nights
Lima, Peru

Lima ©
Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Huaca Pucllana and Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco. Take a break from the city and head to El Silencio and Playa Costa Verde. There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Miraflores, take a stroll through Barranco, get engrossed in the history at Larco Museum, and appreciate the extensive heritage of San Isidro.

For traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Lima trip generator.

If you are flying in from Colombia, the closest major airport is Jorge Chávez International Airport. In December, daily temperatures in Lima can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to La Paz.

Things to do in Lima

Historic Sites Parks Beaches

Side Trip

El Silencio
Highlights from your plan
Circuito Magico Del Agua ©
Circuito Magico Del Agua
Huaca Pucllana ©
Huaca Pucllana
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco ©

10
nights
La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz ©
Take a moment to catch your breath as you commence your holiday in La Paz.
Step out of the city life by going to Illimani and Chacaltaya Ski Resort. Visit Tiwanaku and Catedral Basilica Menor de Nuestra Senora de la Paz for their historical value. And it doesn't end there: explore the striking landscape at Valle de la Luna, don't miss a visit to Mirador Killi Killi, admire the striking features of Iglesia de San Francisco, and take some stellar pictures from Muela del Diablo.

To see traveler tips, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read La Paz vacation builder.

You can fly from Lima to La Paz in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Lima to La Paz is 1 hour. When traveling from Lima in December, plan for little chillier days in La Paz, with highs around 17°C, while nights are much colder with lows around 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) so you can fly to Bogota.

Things to do in La Paz

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Illimani ©
Illimani
Tiwanaku ©
Tiwanaku
Huayna Potosi ©
Huayna Potosi

12
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Bogota ©
Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Salt Cathedral and Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get some historical perspective at Plaza de Bolivar and Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de La Candelaria. Get out of town with these interesting Bogota side-trips: Chia (Puente del Comun & Vinos Express), Parque Jaime Duque (in Tocancipa) and Catedral Diocesana (in Zipaquira). There's much more to do: explore the activities along Laguna de Guatavita, admire the masterpieces at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica, stroll through Parque 93, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Basilica del Senor de Monserrate.

For reviews, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Bogota holiday planner.

You can fly from La Paz to Bogota in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Bolivia Time to Colombia Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. In December, Bogota is somewhat warmer than La Paz - with highs of 22°C and lows of 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Sat) to allow time for the flight to Quito.

Things to do in Bogota

Parks Shopping Historic Sites

Side Trips

Chia, Zipaquira, Parque Jaime Duque, Laguna de Guatavita
Highlights from your plan
Laguna de Guatavita ©
Laguna de Guatavita
Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira ©
Catedral de Sal de Zipaquira
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)

11
nights
Quito, Ecuador

Quito ©
High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
Take a break from the city and head to Laguna Cuicocha and Termas de Papallacta. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Quito Old Town and Guayasamin Museum. Venture out of the city with trips to Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve (in Mindo), San Antonio de Pichincha (Mitad del Mundo & Intinan Museum), Iglesia Matriz (in Cotacachi) and Peguche Waterfall (in Peguche). There's still lots to do: admire the striking features of Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus, admire all the interesting features of La Ronda, get in on the family fun at Nayon Xtreme Valley, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Basilica del Voto Nacional.

For ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Quito vacation trip planner.

Fly from Bogota to Quito in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Bogota in January since evenings lows in Quito dip to 14°C.

Things to do in Quito

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Cotacachi, Termas de Papallacta, Mindo Nambillo Cloud Forest Reserve, Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, Cascada de Peguche
Highlights from your plan
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania ©
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania
Basilica del Voto Nacional ©
Basilica del Voto Nacional

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