South America XXL
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.
(Was Gran Aventura)
Day 1-2 - Quito
Home to the only version of the Last Supper where Christ and co. are feasting on cuy (that's roast guinea pig, to you).
- Tour briefing in the evening
- If arriving early, spend some time getting to know the city
- Quito is located 2850 metres above sea level so you may experience some of the milder effects of altitude, such as dizziness, insomnia and shortness of breath
- If this is the case, we recommend you drink plenty of fluids, and avoid any strenuous activities
- This is a perfect opportunity to soak up the atmosphere in one of the many bustling cafes
- Take a walking tour through the ‘Centro Historico’ which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978
- Visit the beautiful Church of the Society of Jesus (La Compania de Jesus)
- View the city and surrounding volvanoes from ‘El Panecillo’ (The Little Bread Loaf)
- Visit ‘La Mitad del Mundo’ (The Middle of the World), which was built on what was claimed in 1736 to be the line of the equator
- Also visit the the smaller monument nearby called Museo Solar Inti Nan - supposedly where the equator actually runs through since re-measurements were made
- Enjoy a free evening and perhaps grab some dinner from a local restaurant
Day 3-5 - Amazon Jungle
We leave Quito early in the morning and travel by local bus to Misahualli (approx. 6 hours) From here we travel by boat to our local community (approx 10 minutes).
After breakfast we travel by canoe for 45 minutes to the starting point of our hike. The hike is relatively easy and takes approximately 3-4 hours (depending on the group’s pace). During the hike we visit a protected private reserve with sections of secondary and primary forest. Stay alert and try to spot the immense variety of insects and birds that inhabit this precious ecosystem. Your local guide will help understand the importance of the jungle to the local community.
We dedicate our third day at the jungle to learn about what it takes to leave in this secluded part of the world. A community local leader will explain, demonstrate and encourage you to have a go at some of the skills necessary to survive here, such as fishing in the Napo river, understanding the use of different medicinal plants, blow pipe hunting as well are more social aspects of life such traditional dances, preparing chicha and other cultural events.
Accommodation in the community is very basic and it consists of a bed and bed linen. Bathroom facilities are shared.Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 6-8 - Banos
Travel back to Tena by local bus (approx 20 mins).
From Tena we travel to Banos by local bus (approx 5 hrs). Half way through the journey we stop in Puyo for a quick toilet stop and to grab some snacks.
Situated in a valley of waterfalls and hot springs, Banos has become a mecca for international travellers seeking year-round temperate weather, a small-town atmosphere and a base for exploring the great Ecuadorian outdoors.
Located on the northern foothills of the active Tungurahua volcano, Banos is a sanctuary of peace and tranquility during the week, broken only by the occasional performance of a traditional Andean band, English language movie at the Hood Cinema, or drinks with friends at a local bar. On the weekends and during holidays however, Banos explodes with carnival-like festivities.
There are plenty of optional activities to get out and get active, and we have two full free days here to take advantage. Go horse riding, mountain biking, hiking or even rafting.
In Spanish 'banos' means baths and this is exactly what the town is famous for. It's worth rising early to watch dawn creep over the mountains from the cosy comfort of the hot springs - an unforgettable (and very relaxing) experience.
Your leader will take you on a walking tour visiting important places such as the Cathedral, local market, artisanal market, and the main street where people sell a typical product known as 'Melcocha'.
Day 9-10 - Riobamba - Cuenca
Travel by local bus to Riobamba (approx 3 hrs), where we swap buses and head south to Cuenca (approx 8 hrs).
Possibly the most attractive city in Ecuador, Cuenca has managed to retain its Old World air, despite being the country's third largest city. The city has many 16th and 17th-century buildings, including its cathedral built in 1557, the year the city was founded by the Spanish. However, the city's history stretches back hundreds of years earlier. This was the site of a native Canari village that was later conquered by the Incas and called Tomebamba. The city was said to have rivalled Peru's Cuzco for its beauty, but the glory was short lived and the city was razed during the Inca civil war. The city's history is well preserved, earning Cuenca the honour of being listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.
Head out to El Cajas National Park, which features some of the most varied and spectacular scenery in the country. Its 70,000 acres shelter everything from cloud forest to rocky lunar landscapes, but it's the lakes (more than 200 of them) scattered among jagged peaks that most characterise the reserve. Despite its proximity to Cuenca, El Cajas is an easy place to find a surprising amount of solitude, whether you are there for the hiking or trout fishing. Visitors stand a good chance of seeing the wild llamas that were reintroduced to the park in the late 1990s. The park's other animal inhabitants, such as the spectacled bear, puma and tigrillo, are more elusive. Hummingbirds, toucans and Andean condors head the list of birds in the park.
You can reach El Cajas by local bus from Cuenca (approx 1 hr and 45 mins). Once there, pay the entrance fee, hire a native guide and start hiking around the beautiful lakes.
Day 11-12 - Zorritos Beach
Travel by local bus to Huaquillas, on the border of Ecuador and Peru (approx 5 hrs). After crossing the border we continue travelling to Zorritos on the Pacific coast (approx 30 mins).
Long stretches of beach and great seafood make the fishing town of Zorrito a popular destination for locals in northern Peru.Breakfast
Day 13-14 - Chiclayo- Trujillo
From Trujillo it's possible to visit the mud city of Chan Chan. This vast city has ten walled citadels, carved with intricate designs depicting birds, fish and mammals. Unlike many of Peru's archaeological sites, this was not an Inca city, but part of the Chimu and Moche civilisations, renowned for their pottery.
Famed for its 'surfing' fishermen, Huanchaco was once a small fishing village but is now a relaxed beach haven for travellers keen on seeing the nearby ruins.
Another nearby archaeological site is Huaca del Sol y la Luna. Here you can discover a royal pre-Inca society that's still impressing archaeologists with its findings. While here, see if you can spot a Peruvian hairless dog. This breed of dog is originally from this area and has existed since pre-Incan times.
From Trujillo it's possible to visit the mud city of Chan Chan. This vast city has ten walled citadels, carved with intricate designs depicting birds, fish and mammals. Unlike many of Peru's archaeological sites, this was not an Inca city, but part of the Chimu and Moche civilisations, renowned for their pottery.Breakfast
Day 15-16 - Lima
Travel by overnight bus to Lima (approx 8-10 hrs).
Your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro.
While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centreBreakfast
Day 17-18 - Paracas- Nazca
Travel by taxi or minivan to Lima's bus station and take a local bus to Pisco (approx 4 hrs). The bus will stop three or four times before reaching our destination.
This small fishing town is the gateway to the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas National Reserve but it's most famous as the birthplace of Peru's national drink, the pisco sour, made from a local brandy of the same name. For some local food specialities, head to the Plaza de Armas where the locals hang out and munch on tejas, small sweets made from nuts and dried fruits.
You will have the oportunity to take a tour to the Ballestas Islands (not included in tour price)
The Ballestas Islands are in the Paracas National Reserve. Sometimes called the 'Galapagos of Peru' the islands are a haven for wildlife and hundreds of pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos, sea lions and even penguins.
Travel on to Nazca (approx 3 hrs), stopping en route at the oasis of Huacachina.
The town of Huacachina is built around a small natural lake surrounded by dramatic sand dunes, which offer endless photography and sandboarding opportunities.
The entire desert in the Nazca area was once home to the ancient Nazca and Paracas cultures which preceded the Incas by over 500 years. Remains of their cultures are still visible - Nazca is home to the famous and enigmatic Nazca lines, enormous designs inscribed in the desert on the arid high plateau.
The enormous lines have been etched into the ground by scraping away the top darker layer of gravel which then contrasts with the paler one underneath. Animals, insects and birds are depicted, and some of the simpler line formations are up to 10 km (32 miles) in length. Who drew them, how and why, can only be guessed at, but theories range from alien invaders to complex Nazca calendars.
Visit the desert cemetery of Chauchilla. The Nazca people were buried with colourful textiles and ceramics deep in the desert where the dry, arid climate has naturally mummified the bodies for over 1,500 years.
These mysterious shapes are better seen from the air. Small four/six seater planes offer 30 minute flights that allow viewing all 26 figures scattered through the desert floor.
Warning! Planes turn sharply from one side to another to facilitate viewing from both sides of the plane. Plastic bags are provided on board but needless to say, this flight is not recommended for those with a weak stomach.Breakfast
Day 19-20 - Arequipa
Early in the afternoon we travel from Nazca to Arequipa by local bus (approx 9hrs)
Standing at the foot of El Misti Volcano and oozing the best of Spanish colonial charm, Arequipa vies with Cuzco for the title of Peru's most attractive city. Built out of a pale volcanic rock called sillar, the old buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname - the 'White City'. The main plaza, with its cafes and nearby cathedral, is a lovely place to while away the day.
For a glimpse into a bygone way of life, visit the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. When the convent was built in the 16th century it was traditional for the second son or daughter of a family to enter the religious service. The Santa Catalina accepted only women from high-class Spanish families, with each family paying a hefty dowry for her acceptance. But life inside the convent was far from modest - each nun had between one and four servants, many brought rugs, fine china and silk curtains, and they often held parties.
Visit the Juanita Museum, home to the 'Ice Maiden' - the Incan mummy of a 12-14-year-old girl who died in the 1440s, and discovered in 1995.Breakfast
Day 21 - Colca Canyon- Arequipa
We travel by minivan to Chivay (approx 5 hrs). Along the way you'll see llamas, alpacas and vicunas and discover the differences between these similar creatures. There will also be the opportunity to stop for pictures. At our second stop (after approx 2 hrs) you'll have the chance to try some coca tea. After a third stop at Patapampa (the highest place on our tour at 4800 m above sea level), we descend to Chivay town.
More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon provides some breathtaking views. The Incan and pre-Incan terraces that are carved into the walls are still cultivated and traditional Indian villages are dotted throughout the canyon. In the afternoon, your local guide will organise a short trek, finishing at the local hot thermal baths. You may choose to spend your evening soaking in the baths, dining on llama steak or listening to live Andean music at a pena.
Accommodation in Chivay is in a very basic hostel. There are en suite toilets, however there's no heating (you can request extra blankets) and some rooms can be noisy.
The main star of the canyon is not the amazing scenery but the magnificent Andean condor, the world's largest flying bird. Wake up very early and drive to a viewpoint where condors can normally be seen in their morning routine. Following this stop there will be a short walk of about 45 minutes, before returning to Chivay. Travel back to Arequipa in the afternoon.Breakfast
Day 22-24 - Arequipa- Cusco
We farewell Arequipa and travel by local bus to Cuzco (10 hrs).
Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the Coca Musuem - where you can learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries - and the local San Pedro market.
The Cuzco region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city.
The cathedral, built on top of an Inca palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco's picturesque heart. The cathedral is one of the city's greatest repositories of art and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a silver-covered Neoclassic altar.
There are several impressive Inca ruins within the city. The most easily accessible is Coricancha, which was the Inca empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its sturdy walls.
For lunch or mid-morning coffee and cake head to Yanapay restaurant at 415 Ruinas St. This restaurant uses all its profits to support children in Cuzco through Aldea Yanapay and its social projects. For more info on Aldea Yanapay visit: http://yanapay.facipub.com/Breakfast
Day 25-29 - Inca Trail
There will be a few tough days. Dead Woman's pass on Day 2 will test you, but it's worth all the sweat and tears when you watch the sunrise at Machu Picchu's Gateway of the Sun. Pretty apt name. Day 26 Gaze upon massive Inca fortifications in Ollantaytambo Begin the Inca trek Hike past the ancient hilltop fort of Huillca Raccay and the archaeological site of Llactapata Stunning views of snow-capped Veronica Peak Camp near the village of Wayllabamba Day 27 The most difficult part of the trek - Dead Woman’s Pass Panoramas of the Vilcanota and Vilcabama mountain ranges, and ruins in the valley below Camp with a view over the cloud forest Day 28 Climb up to the ruins of Runkuracay Continue up the Inca staircase Spectacular views of Pumasillo and the entire Vilcabamba range Enter the beautiful cloud forest Day 29 The final, and most spectacular, leg of the trek to Machu Picchu Arrive at Inti Punku, the Gateway of the Sun Experience a panoramic view of Machu Picchu at sunrise Explore Machu Picchu on a guided tour Return to Cusco by trainBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 30 - Cusco
Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cuzco's sights. Rest weary legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas. For those who can't get enough active adventure, why not try mountain biking in the hills that surround Cuzco.Breakfast
Day 31-33 - Puno- Lake Titicaca
Travel by local bus through the dramatic scenery of the high altiplano to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approx 6 hrs). There will be a couple of stops along the way to pick up and drop off passengers. Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored. Take a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 12 months. To get a closer look at daily life in the Lake Titicaca region, we'll be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay on a local community. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities or trying to chat in the local language, Quechua. A game of soccer is also a great way to make local friends. Our homestay is a mudbrick house. Rooms have beds and many blankets, there are shared drop toilets but no showers. After breakfast the next day, board the boat again for a visit to Taquile Island (approx 1 hour), where knitting is strictly a male domain and women do the spinning. This is a great place to pick up some high quality, locally knitted goods. An uphill trek of about an hour brings us to the main area of the island and after the visit we descend about 500 steps back to our boat. Transfer back to Puno by boat (approx 3 hrs).Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 34-37 - La Paz
Travel by comfortable local bus to Desaguadero, where we cross the border into Bolivia. The first stop is the Peruvian migration office where you'll be asked to leave the bus and proceed through Peruvian migration. Then walk via a bridge to the Bolivian side, submit your passport at the Bolivian migration office and reboard the bus, which will continue to La Paz. About 30 minutes after crossing the border there's another stop where the army will again check your documents. The journey to La Paz takes about 5 hours - don't forget that Bolivia's timezone is 1-2 hours ahead of Peru. At around 3,600 m, La Paz feels like the top of the world. It's not far from it and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of commerce, finance and industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional. La Paz is renowned for its many markets, including the Mercado de Hechiceria or Witches' Market. Browse through the weird and wonderful stalls which sell everything from potions to incantations made from herbs, seeds and unidentified bits and pieces to cure any ailment. If this is all too much for you, try the more conventional markets where you'll find ponchos, gloves, hats and many other products made of alpaca wool, leather and other traditional materials. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.Breakfast
Day 38-39 - 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 40-41 - 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 42-44 - 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 1 Explore the salt lake (between December and March the lake can be flooded, the itinerary will be adapted accordingly) Day 2 Drive through amazing landscapes, stopping at Laguna Colorado, a rich red lake Day 3 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 challengeBreakfast
Day 45-46 - 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. The 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 artefactsBreakfast
Day 47-49 - 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 50-52 - 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 53-56 - 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 your 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 57-59 - 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 60-61 - 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 is a picturesque town with great skiing and hiking depending on the seasonEnjoy optional activities here
Day 62-63 - 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 64-67 - Buenos Aires
Take an overnight bus to 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.
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
Day 68 - 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 museumsBreakfast
Day 69 - 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 teh 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
Day 70-72 - 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 7, then take a 12 hour overnight bust to Puerto IguazuBreakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 73-75 - 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 76-78 - 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. a 6hr) Paraty is World Heritage listed, and one of the best preserved Portuguese colonial towns
Day 79-81 - 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 82-83 - 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 Trip ends of 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
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