Her name is Rio

The potions of 'Witches’ Market'
Christ the Redeemer
Rio de Janeiro
UNESCO World Heritage-listed colonial city of Sucre
Choose your adventure in Bonito
Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca
Eat llama in La Paz
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Iguaçu Falls
La Paz - the world's highest 'unofficial' capital city
  • 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.

    Itinerary

    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
    Breakfast

    Day 3-4 - Sucre

    Leave 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 view
    Spend some time in Plaza 25 de Mayo
    Maybe 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 small
    Alternatively spend time exploring colonial art and architecture in the town

    Day 7-9 - Uyuni- Salar de Uyuni

    Everybody 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 7
    Explore 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 lake
    Day 9
    Awake early and continue driving
    This 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 challenge
    Breakfast

    Day 10-11 - San Pedro de Atacama

    San 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 desert
    Explore tree lined streets, the sleepy plaza, and the fascinating museum with mummies and other Indian artefacts
    Breakfast

    Day 12-14 - Salta

    Take 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 sunset
    Choose from a number of optional adventure activities including rafting, bungee jumping and horse riding
    Maybe take a paddle boat on the lake, visit the museums or walk the streets
    On Day 14, travel by overnight bus to Mendoza (approx 18 hours)

    Day 15-17 - Mendoza

    Tour 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 variety
    Explore Mendoza itself, there are a number of parks, squares and parks, visit San Martin St with Plaza Independencia
    Perhaps visit the Mercado Central (Central Market) and try local treats - empanadas (meat pastries), cheese, ham, marinated olives and local wines
    Av. Aristides Villanueva is the place to be at night, try Fernet with Coke - a bitter alcoholic cocktail

    Day 18-21 - Santiago

    Another 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 Moneda
    Perhaps take a cable car up to Cerro San Cristobal, and enjoy impressive views on a clear day
    You 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 riding

    Perhaps 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 crossing

    On the shore of Lake Lacar, surrounded by the Lanin National Park, San Martin de los Andes has great skiing and hiking depending on the season
    Enjoy optional activities here

    Day 27-29 - Bariloche

    There'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 base
    Hike or bike to Cerro Otto, the locals' favourite lookout point
    Perhaps 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 dinner

    Breakfast

    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 Sundays

    Breakfast | 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's Included

    • 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.

    Not Included

    • 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.

    Safety Information

    Active Volcanoes
    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.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    05 Sep 2014 - 22 Oct 2014 Available US $5,535 Book Now
    03 Oct 2014 - 19 Nov 2014 4 places left US $5,535 Book Now
    17 Oct 2014 - 03 Dec 2014 Fully Booked US $5,535 Contact us
    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 Dec 2014 - 28 Jan 2015 Fully Booked US $5,535 Contact us
    09 Jan 2015 - 25 Feb 2015 3 places left US $5,535 Book Now
    23 Jan 2015 - 11 Mar 2015 Available US $5,535 Book Now
    06 Feb 2015 - 25 Mar 2015 Available US $5,535 Book Now
    20 Feb 2015 - 08 Apr 2015 Available US $5,535 Book Now
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    22 Jan 2016 - 09 Mar 2016 Available US $5,375 Book Now
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Nuts+Bolts

#GSRF
- 16
Boat, Bus, Canoe, Plane, Private van, Taxi
2 nights Dormitory, 8 nights Hostel, 29 nights Hotels/guesthouses, 5 nights Overnight coach, 3 nights Estancia (ranch house)
La Paz, La Paz, Bolivia
Rio de Janeiro

What to know

 

A good level of fitness and pre-trip training is essential for the Inca Trek. You will trek on hilly terrain or mountainous terrain at altitudes of up to 4200 metres, for up to 7 hours per day.

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