Her name is Rio
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. This trip is the best travel quintet ever. Careen the Uyuni Salt Flats, ski the Cerro Catedral, pop into a parilla in Buenos Aires and shake what yo mama gave you in Rio. Good times guaranteed.
Unlucky in love? Out for revenge? Need a cure for hayfever? Get your cocoa leaves read, buy a spell or pick up a dried llama fetus (ideal for sacrificing) at the witches market in La Paz.
Day 1-2 - La Paz
In La Paz you can buy potions from a Witches' Market or go to a museum and learn all about the infamous Coca plant (among other things). Latin America will knock your socks off from day one.
- Arrive in La Paz
- Go on an orientation walk with your tour leader
- Enjoy free time to relax or explore the cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways and markets of La Paz
- Board an overnight bus to Sucre on Day 2 (approx 12-13 hours), take warm clothes for the bus ride
Day 3-4 - SucreLeave La Paz for Sucre, known as Bolivia's most beautiful city. There are real-life dinosaur footprints at nearby Cal Orck'o too, so you should probably check them out at some point.Perhaps head to Recoleta, an old convent on top of the hill with a great viewSpend some time in Plaza 25 de MayoMaybe visit the 60 million-year-old dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko
Day 5-6 - Potosi
In Potosi you can take a trip into one of Bolivia's old tin mines. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but those who squeeze through the tunnels will surely be in for an unforgettable (see: dark, dirty and scary) experience.Travel by local bus to Potosi (approx 3-4 hours)Perhaps tour the tin mines and meet the miners - this can be distressing, the conditions are poor and smallAlternatively spend time exploring colonial art and architecture in the town
Day 7-9 - Uyuni- Salar de UyuniEverybody knows that too much salt is bad for you. The Uyuni salt flats, however, aren't bad for you. Jump into some 4WD vehicles and spend three days taking in the multicoloured lakes, wildlife and islands of Salar de Uyuni.Travel by local bus to Uyuni (between 5 and 7 hours)Day 7Explore the salt lake (between December and March the lake can be flooded, the itinerary will be adapted accordingly)Day 8
Drive through amazing landscapes, stopping at Laguna Colorado, a rich red lakeDay 9
Awake early and continue drivingThis trip can be tough going with long travel days in 4WDs on dusty tracks, freezing temperatures, basic toilet facilities and multishare accommodation - it is also amazing and well worth the challengeBreakfast
Day 10-11 - San Pedro de AtacamaSan Pedro de Atacama isn't the kind of town you'll forget in a hurry. Surrounded by the kind of scenery that makes you happy to be alive, it's a good place to have a look at some Indian artifacts. It's also renowed for being a stargazing hotspot, which is nice.Take a 4x4 adventure through the Salt Flat region ends in San Pedro de Atacama - Chile, a small town in the Atacama desertExplore tree lined streets, the sleepy plaza, and the fascinating museum with mummies and other Indian artefactsBreakfast
Day 12-14 - SaltaTake a 12-hour bus ride (yeah, we're sorry) to Salta. Showcasing some of the finest pre-Columbian and colonial history, Salta's a damn fine place to spend a couple of days. Go bungee jumping or horse riding, if you fancy it, or just spend your time wandering the streets of 'Salta the Pretty'.Drive on to Salta, Argentina (approx 12 hrs)Explore the colonial architecture and central square, Plaza 9 de Julio - home to the Cabildo, Cathedral and Casa del Gobierno (Government House)Perhaps hike to the top of Cerro San Bernardo, there are 1070 steps in total, for the less active, there's also a gondola - this is a great place to watch the sunsetChoose from a number of optional adventure activities including rafting, bungee jumping and horse ridingMaybe take a paddle boat on the lake, visit the museums or walk the streetsOn Day 14, travel by overnight bus to Mendoza (approx 18 hours)
Day 15-17 - MendozaTour some of Mendoza's wineries and learn about the region's wine making history. If you can remember any of the history when you wake up the following morning, there's a chance you didn't sample enough wine.Spend a day touring the wineries, especially Malbec the region's signature varietyExplore Mendoza itself, there are a number of parks, squares and parks, visit San Martin St with Plaza IndependenciaPerhaps visit the Mercado Central (Central Market) and try local treats - empanadas (meat pastries), cheese, ham, marinated olives and local winesAv. Aristides Villanueva is the place to be at night, try Fernet with Coke - a bitter alcoholic cocktail
Day 18-21 - SantiagoAnother long drive, but arriving in Santiago will make you forget about your numb bum. With more galleries, cafes and bars than you can shake a chacarero (Chile's signature sandwich) at.Travel by local bus across the Andes to Chile and its capital, Santiago (approx 7-9 hours depending on border crossing conditions)Go on a walking tour of the city with tour leader, visit the Plaza de Armas, the Central Market and Palacio de la MonedaPerhaps take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal, and enjoy impressive views on a clear dayYou could visit the Paris Quarter for a look at local life
Day 22-24 - Pucon
Pucon is a thrillseeker's dream. Hike up a volcano, go mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hiking, climbing, horse riding, or whatever else you can think of to get your adrenaline pumping. If adrenaline isn't your thing, blow off some steam in one of the many bars of restaurants.
You have two full days (after your arrival day) in Pucon to enjoy the optional activities - mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hiking, climbing, horse ridingPerhaps visit the casino at Hotel de Lago
Day 25-26 - San Martin De Los Andes
The Lake District of Argentina, San Martin de Los Andes plays host to heaps of lakeside pursuits. Like skiing. Or trekking. Or sleeping.
Travel by local bus across the Andes to San Martin de los Andes, hopefully you'll arrive in San Martin de los Andes before 4pm, depending on the border crossingOn the shore of Lake Lacar, surrounded by the Lanin National Park, San Martin de los Andes has great skiing and hiking depending on the seasonEnjoy optional activities here
Day 27-29 - BarilocheThere's lots of fine dining to be done in Bariloche, but there's probably lots of less-than-fine dining too. Be careful out there. Pick up some chocolate and oogle over the wooden architecture. If wooden architecture isn't your thing, there's some skiing, trekking or mountaineering to be done.Ski on the peaks of Cerro Catedral (in season), hike or bike around its baseHike or bike to Cerro Otto, the locals' favourite lookout pointPerhaps visit the revolving cafe at the peak with 360° views
Day 30-32 - Buenos Aires
Vegetarians, look away. Everyone else, your first order of business is to find the nearest parrilla (steak house) and order a big, plump, juicy piece of the world's best steak.
Take an overnight bus to Buenos Aires
Explore the sights - churches, cathedrals and historic buildings
Perhaps spend time in a streetside cafe, and enjoy a night of tango at a milonga
Attend optional farewell dinnerBreakfast
Day 33 - Colonia
Get on a ferry and head across Rio de la Plata to the Uruguayan port town of Colonia. It's got narrow streets, riverside restaurants and loads of sandstone architecture. What more could you possibly ask for?
Perhaps visit the World Heritage-listed Barrio Historico, situated on a peninsula.
Spend free time strolling down cobblestone streets and watch locals continually sipping from their cup of mate (tea)
Visit the Plaza Mayor and poke around the local museums
Day 34 - Montevideo
Montevideo killed the radio star. It's true. Head to the beach and do your best impression of a beach bum, or eat loads of barbequed meat while listening to a live Jazz band at Mercado del Puerto. Yes, it's as good as it sounds.
Perhaps visit Ciudad Vieja, where most of the historical buildings are located
The Plaza Independencia and eerie underground Mausolea Atigas mausoleum are worth a visit
Spend free time chilling on the beach or wandering around Mercade del Puerto where artists and musicians hang out on SundaysBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 35-38 - Estancia Stay
An estancia homestay is basically a nicely bottled-up gaucho experience. Help out with daily farm chores, kick back on the veranda and indulge in some mind-blowing Uruguayan home cooking.
Travel to Tacuarembo by bus (approx 5 hrs)
Traval another hour by truck and 4WD to the ranch
The estancia is simple, accomodation is dorm style, and there's only hot water and electricty for a few hours a day
Experience a working farm, perhaps involve yourself in the daily jobs
Travel to Concordia, Argentina in the afternoon of Day 38, then take a 12 hour overnight bust to Puerto Iguazu
Day 39-40 - Iguazu Falls
Take an overnight bus to Iguazu. Iguazu is made up of 275 individual falls. Don't try and count them, just trust us (or Google it). Wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara Falls, these are basically the best out of all the falls.
Arrive in Puerto Iguazu, take a minibus to the hotel in Foz do Iguazu (Brazil) (approx 1 hour)
Perhaps take a helicopter ride over the spectacular falls
Day 41-43 - Paraty
Take an overnight bus to Paraty. You can basically spend the next couple of days relaxing in this Brazilian paradise or exploring some jungle trails and looking for waterfalls and wildlife. Got it? Good.
Fly to Sao Paulo (approx. 1hr), transfer to Sao Paulo's bus station, catch a local bus to Paraty (approx 6 hrs)
Paraty is World Heritage listed, and one of the best preserved Portuguese colonial towns
Day 44-46 - Ilha Grande
Drink Caipirinha's, hike through forests or snorkel through the underwater world. You should Google a picture of Ilha Grande right now. It'll make you cry.
Head by local bus and ferry to our island getaway on Ilha Grande (approx 5 hrs)
Go on a boat tour of Ilha Grande Bay including the Blue lagoon, stop for fresh seafood, snorkelling and swim
Day 47-48 - Rio De Janeiro
Nothing conquers the end-of-trip blues quite like finishing up in Rio. If there's one place in the world you can embrace your inner party animal, it's here. Walk it all off with a hike up Sugarloaf Mountain and let the views of the bay soothe your weary soul. You won't ever want to leave.
Take a boat to the small port of Mangaratiba (approx 2 hrs), then board a minivan to Rio (approx 2 hrs)
Enjoy a free day
The trip ends on Day 17, there are no activities planned for this day
What to Know
An experienced tour guide in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and in Brazil, and there will be the services of local guides at some sites. All transportation, sightseeing, accommodation and meals as indicated.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
This tour passes through volcanic areas. In the instance a volcano becomes potentially dangerous and authorities declare nearby towns unsafe for travel, the itinerary will be re-routed. Where possible, Geckos will provide advance notice of such changes. At short notice, when this is not possible, your tour leader will provide up to date information on behalf of Geckos.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 31 Oct 2014 - 17 Dec 2014 Fully Booked US $5,535 Contact Us 28 Nov 2014 - 14 Jan 2015 Fully Booked US $5,535 Contact us 12 Feb 2016 - 30 Mar 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,495 Book Now 19 Feb 2016 - 06 Apr 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,495 Book Now 04 Mar 2016 - 20 Apr 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 18 Mar 2016 - 04 May 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 15 Apr 2016 - 01 Jun 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 22 Apr 2016 - 08 Jun 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 06 May 2016 - 22 Jun 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 27 May 2016 - 13 Jul 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 03 Jun 2016 - 20 Jul 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 17 Jun 2016 - 03 Aug 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 24 Jun 2016 - 10 Aug 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 08 Jul 2016 - 24 Aug 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 15 Jul 2016 - 31 Aug 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 29 Jul 2016 - 14 Sep 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,245 Book Now 05 Aug 2016 - 21 Sep 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,495 Book Now 19 Aug 2016 - 05 Oct 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,495 Book Now 26 Aug 2016 - 12 Oct 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,745 Book Now 09 Sep 2016 - 26 Oct 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,745 Book Now 16 Sep 2016 - 02 Nov 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,745 Book Now 30 Sep 2016 - 16 Nov 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,745 Book Now 07 Oct 2016 - 23 Nov 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,495 Book Now 21 Oct 2016 - 07 Dec 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,495 Book Now 28 Oct 2016 - 14 Dec 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,745 Book Now 11 Nov 2016 - 28 Dec 2016 This trip has variations Available US $6,745 Book Now
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