Robin is currently at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge University, after retiring as Senior Astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in 2003. Robin is the author and co-author of over 120 research papers, using a number of telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope. His research interests include the composition of stars, exploding stars, the structure of our Galaxy and galaxies with black holes at their centres. He has given numerous popular lectures and radio and TV interviews and is currently part of the team building the Solar Pyramid, which will be the largest sundial in the world.
See the total eclipse and explore South America's best sights
"A total eclipse of the Sun is something that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime," says Dr Robin Catchpole. "The moment when daylight fades and our warm, familiar Sun becomes a black sphere with a halo of silver light, while the world around us cools, makes us feel we can no longer take the permanence of the Sun and stars for granted."
This tour not only offers the chance to view the rare and awe-inspiring sight of a total eclipse in the company of one of Britain's foremost astronomers, but also presents a comprehensive tour of some of the best sights of South America. Over 17 days, you'll visit Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, taking in Iguazu Falls, Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, Machu Picchu and more.
Unique experiences include meeting the indigenous Mbororé Aldea people who will share stories of their ancestors, rituals, myths and legends, and visiting lesser known Inca Ruins in the spectacular Andes Mountain range.
Reasons to book
See the total eclipse
Largest waterfall system in the world
Visit Machu Picchu
Explore Santiago de Chile
Rio de Janeiro
Science in the making
Your expert guide
- Talks and activities with Dr Robin Catchpole
- Private charter to the best vantage point to see the solar eclipse
- All accommodation
- All meals, excursions and activities as listed
- Flights and transfers
- Four countries: Brazil; Argentina; Chile; Peru
Day1Fly to Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fly to Rio and transfer to your hotel.
Day2Rio City TourRio de Janeiro, Brazil
Take a panoramic city tour, before ascending Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car.
Day3Christ the RedeemerRio de Janeiro, Brazil
The tour also includes the 19th-century hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa and the world's largest urban forest.
Day4Foz do Iguaçu (Iguazu Falls)Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil
Fly to Iguazu on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Iguazu is the largest waterfall system in the world.
Day5Mbororé Aldea Cultural ExperienceIguazú Falls, Argentina
See the Argentinian half of Iguazu then learn about the indigenous M'bya Guaraní culture in Fortín Mbororé community.
Day6Fly to Buenos AiresBuenos Aires, Argentina
Fly to Argentina's flamboyant capital.
Day7Explore Buenos AiresBuenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is a delight to explore and your city tour will include the vibrant districts of La Boca, San Telmo and Recoleta.
Fly to Santiago, Chile and travel to the coast to visit the manicured seaside resort of Vina del Mar and the bohemian port town of Valparaíso. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a unique and delightful tangle, draped over a series of hills. Ride the funicular to explore, stopping for a visit to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's house.
Day9Vineyard tourSantiago, Chile
You will head to the city of Santiago. This afternoon, experience a vineyard tour, tasting locally produced wines.
Day10La Serena Eclipse ExperienceLa Serena, Chile
Fly by private charter to the seaside city of La Serena, one of the best places to witness the solar eclipse. From the airport you'll be transferred to a prime vantage point, where you can settle yourself comfortably to enjoy the show. Return to the airport and fly back to Santiago.
Day11Santiago tourSantiago, Chile
Lunch on fish fresh from the morning's catch at restaurant El Galeon in the bustling Central Market. Embark on a city tour around the Plaza de Armas and cathedral before walking down Ahumada Boulevard, the city's main commercial street. Explore bohemian Bellavista and ascend San Cristobal Hill for views over the city and the towering Andes Mountains.
Travel to Peru and the Scared Valley.
Day13Sacred ValleyUrubamba, Peru
The Urubamba, or 'Sacred', Valley is home to Incan citadels and beautiful landscapes. Beginning in the charming town of Pisac, visit the excellent market to browse the plentiful Peruvian handicrafts, then see fascinating terracing at the Pisac ruins. Later, meet a typical Inca community at Ollantaytambo.
Day14Machu PicchuMachu Picchu, Peru
From Ollantaytambo board the panoramic Vistadome train to travel through the mountainous landscapes to the small town of Aguas Calientes. From here you will ascend to the magnificent Machu Picchu. Long abandoned by the Inca, it was stumbled upon by Hiram Bingham in 1911.
Day15VistaDome train to PoroyCuzco , Peru
Take the train back to Poroy and transfer to Cusco. This evening enjoy a folklore show to finish your incredible South American experience.
Days16-17Depart for UKLima, Peru
Fly to Lima to connect with your flight home, arriving the same or following day.
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