We can't get enough of the Monograms way of travel. Have someone else do the legwork while you get to have all the fun? Count us in.
All Monograms tours give guests the VIP treatment: a Monograms Local Host and driver to pick you up and drop you off when you're arriving and departing from the city (no matter how you travel – we arrived by cruise ship and departed by air); a private guided tour of the city to see the highlights and get your feet under you; a selection of experiences integral to life in Rio or any of Monograms' world-wide destinations; plus your Local Host is available throughout your stay to provide tips and advice to make sure you get the very most out of your trip.
Watch the video above to see how we got the VIP treatment on a Monograms' tour of thrilling Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It's the perfect combination of independent traveling and having an expert local friend in town.
You can even cherry-pick from a number of optional experiences and excursions to customize your visit to your own personal interests. And you didn't have to do any of that research to find or check reviews to ensure you'll have a quality experience; the local experts have already done that for you.
And here are our top picks of optional experiences in other Monograms South America tours:
See exciting Buenos Aires and some of the natural wonders of South America's most southern country. Your Monograms Local Host ensures you experience the best of one of South America's most exciting cities including the grave site of Eva Peron, heroine of the musical Evita!, the majesty of the world's widest boulevard, and the vivid colours of the port area La Boca. Fly to Patagonia to the foothills of the Andes to experience some of the world's most breathtaking vistas, then further south to a glacier park UNESCO World Heritage Site to see one of the world's few advancing glaciers as it 'calves' with chunks breaking away into the water.
Don't Miss these Optional Tours: the world's sexiest dance, a traditional Tango show in Buenos Aires, and the opportunity to visit a working Argentine ranch to see authentic gauchos at work.
Columbia is one of the world's travel hot spots and Monograms provides you with the insider guidance and local expertise to help you see the best of Columbia in this 8-day tour. Your Local Host connects you with local food and colonial architecture in Bogota, and also takes you up a funicular car ride 10,000 feet up to the best view of the city. In the coffee triangle area, you'll visit a coffee farm for a tasting and exploration of the coffee production process, and enjoy views over the Andes mountains. And you'll also get a private tour of the can't-miss sites of Cartagena's UNESCO World Heritage walled colonial historic district and get an insight into the area's Pre-Columbian culture, too.
Don't Miss this Optional Tour: Go 600 feet underground to a Columbian pilgrimage site and architectural masterpiece, a church unbelievably constructed in multiple tunnels of an old salt mine.
From the Pacific coast to Amazonian tropics to the heights of the Andes, Ecuador is one of the most geographically and ecologically diverse countries in South America. Your Local Host helps you get a taste of it all, beginning with Quito, near the equator, with its colonial Old Town, a fascinating local market and a nearby local school. You'll get into the countryside for a visit to a highland national park, a natural hot springs at your hotel, and a plantation that grows one of Ecuador's most famous and sweet-smelling export: roses. And you'll take a mountain top train ride of a lifetime to visit Incan, sun-worshipping ruins. Your visit also packs in a cocoa plantation, a panama hat factory.
Don't Miss this Optional Tour: to the Middle of the World.There's a monument in Ecuador at latitude 0 where you can literally straddle two hemispheres. It's a can't-beat photo op!
Peru's lost mountain top city of Machu Picchu is on every travel bucket list, and this Monograms tour even gives the opportunity to overnight in this mystical location. Start in Lima with a city tour with your Local Host and experience the 16th century Spanish colonial historic and modern sides of Peru's capital. After you fly to Cusco, you'll also get a guided tour that includes monasteries, ruins, an amphitheater and a red fortress. You'll visit the sacred valley of the Incas and learn about the importance of alpaca/llamas in Inca culture as well as modern weaving and craftsmanship. Then a train takes you to Machu Picchu, the 'Lost City of the Incas' with your Local Host ensuring you see all its secrets.
Don't Miss this Optional Tour: Lima is home to the largest electronic water fountain complex in the world, and you won't want to miss the spectacle of the water, sound and light show in its Park.
Amazonia Voyage with Rio and Iguassu Falls
This will be 10 of the most memorable days of your life, including 3 days on a ship on the Amazon river. Monograms' Local Host takes you to Rio's mountain-top Corcovado, just like in our video. Then you'll fly to the record-breaking Iguassu Falls for a private guided tour of this 2-mile wide falls. You'll also get a private tour of Manaus' spectacular architecture constructed during the incredible 19th century rubber boom before boarding your Amazon river cruise ship where you'll experience jungle and wildlife and local river communities and their connection to the jungle around them.
Don't Miss This Optional Tour: A Panoramic City Tour and Visit to Sugar Loaf Mountain gives you more view points over spectacular Rio and its waterfront as well as one of the best cable car rides on the planet.
- Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/Host, BestTrip.TV
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