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South America: Ruins at Machu Picchu and dazzling Iguazu Falls

July 04, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Ruins of the ancient Inca village of Machu Picchu.
Ruins of the ancient Inca village of Machu Picchu. (Christopher Reynolds /…)

It's been a little more than 100 years since Yale University professor Hiram Bingham III first saw the ancient Incan ruins at Machu Picchu. Since then, the high-elevation Peruvian village has become a tourist magnet, with some hiking the trails leading up to it and some arriving by train.

Friendly Planet Travel offers a nine-day trip starting and ending in Lima that visits Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Participants spend three days touring the ancient area before flying to Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil

The deal: Sensational South America offers a $400 early-bird discount for reservations made by Aug. 8. After that date, prices for the package tour increase to $3,299 a person.

Date: The trip departs Oct. 28, Nov. 11, Dec. 2, Jan. 13, Feb. 10, March 10.

Price: $3,099 per person, double occupancy, from Los Angeles. This includes round-trip airfare by way of Miami, internal flights, ground transportation, hotels, guides, daily breakfast, two dinners and entrance fees.

Tested: I found availability for the Oct. 28 departure from Los Angeles with the discount. Add $160 for a visa to Brazil, which must be obtained before you travel.

Contact: Friendly Planet Travel, (800) 555-5765.

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