Days
18
Price from
€2,850EUR

From the Pacific to the Atlantic, this trip is designed for those with a truly adventurous spirit! By the time you arrive at the sandy beaches of Rio, you’ll have experienced the major highlights and many surprises of this vast and wonderful continent.

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.


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Countries
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile
Code
GSZAC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Get amongst the weird and wonderful in La Paz, from the strange brews of the witches’ market to the tasty treats of Mercado Lanza

  • Ever dreamt of walking on water? Now’s your chance. Kind of. The sprawling salt lakes of Bolivia serve up some seriously mind-bending photo opps

  • The mighty Iguazu Falls straddles the border between Argentina and Brazil, and you’ll be able to see it from both sides

  • The heaving, hedonistic metropolis of Rio de Janeiro is a great way to end the trip. Party down with the locals and experience a culture at the beating heart of Brazil

Is this trip right for you?

  • It’s important to wear sunscreen and other sun protection, and always drink plenty of water.

  • Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. As La Paz is 3,600 metres above sea level, please ensure you take the necessary measurements in regards to altitude sickness (refer to ‘Is This Trip Right For You?’ and ‘Health’ sections for important information).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Guided City Tour - USD18
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Your second day in La Paz is free to explore. The city is renowned for its markets, especially the Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches' Market), which sells potions, incantations, stones and artefacts. Ask a local about their significance - most people are happy to explain. Perhaps visit the Coca Museum, which isn’t too far from your hotel in the Rosario district. You might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure day trips, such as the Food With Altitude or To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond tours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Chacaltaya & Moon Valley Tour - USD16
  • La Paz - Tiawanaku tour - USD39
  • La Paz - City Tour & Moon Valley - USD25
  • La Paz - Food with Altitude - Urban Adventure - USD57
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond - Urban Adventures - USD41
  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market' - Free
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - BOB12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Late in the afternoon, leave La Paz on an overnight bus to Uyuni (approximately 11-12 hours). There are comfortable recliner seats on the bus, but it can be cold on-board so it’s important to bring warm clothing and wear base layers. There’s usually a toilet on the bus and the driver will also make a couple of stops along the way.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Arrive in Uyuni Town. This remote town sits on the edge of the high Altiplano, a wilderness area extending for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. The area is notorious for being extremely cold, so it’s important to pack warm clothing and base layers. This morning and venture out on a three-day 4WD excursion. Be prepared for a busy few days ahead. The first stop will be at a rusty Train Cemetery, before you continue on to Salar de Uyuni - the world’s largest salt flats. While this may be a typical stop for many travellers, it’s also often a highlight. Make the most of your time on the salt flats taking lots of photos and explore Inka Wasi Isla, which is a rocky island covered in cacti and coral-like structures.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uyuni - Salt flats tour
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Uyuni - Orientation Walk
  • Uyuni - Colchani Salt Factory Visit
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please be aware that from December to March, there’s a risk of the salt lake being flooded. If this is the case, the itinerary will be adapted to accommodate this
Today will be spent driving through the spectacular landscape of the Andean (Atacama) Desert, which is sprinkled with volcanoes and lakes. During this drive you’ll reach an altitude of approximately 4,900 metres above sea level, so it’s important to revisit the notes on altitude sickness (please see the ‘Is This Trip Right For You?’ and ‘Health’ sections of the trip notes). Stop by the red lake of Laguna Colorada, where you’ll be able to spot wildlife such llamas, flamingos, viscachas and foxes feasting in the nutrient-rich waters.


Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Accommodation in the desert is basic. Shower facilities can be unreliable and cold, as the pipes often freeze in the winter months. Electricity is generated by solar panels, so there won’t be enough power to charge electronic devices. In the rainy season, the itinerary may need to be altered depending on the accessibility of roads.
This morning stop by the desert’s natural thermal baths for a soak and then head to the Bolivia/Chile border, where the Bolivian part of your trip comes to an end. Pass by geysers, salt flats and snow-capped volcanoes on your way to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. As a small oasis town, San Pedro is surrounded by extraordinary scenery. Use your free time to wander around, perhaps checking out the quaint Church of San Pedro de Atacama, the Museo Gustavo Le Paige (archaeological museum) or the town’s central plaza.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Use today to get under the skin of this burgeoning tourist destination. San Pedro’s cafe and restaurant scene has grown considerably over the last couple of years. With a mix of Chilean, French and Italian influences, you’ll be sure to find a great spot for lunch and dinner. Perhaps head out on an optional tour to the Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna) or join an astronomical tour once the stars come out.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • San Pedro de Atacama - Bike Rental - USD8
  • San Pedro de Atacama - Moon Valley - USD18
  • San Pedro de Atacama - Astronomic Tour - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today will be a long day of travel (approximately 12 hours), as you leave San Pedro and head for Salta, Argentina. Salta's rich history, colonial architecture, friendly locals and surrounding natural attractions make it one Argentina's main attractions. If you have time on arrival, spend some time getting to know the area in the vicinity of the hotel. The gardens, fountains and historic buildings in Plaza 9 de Julio are a great place to start.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Salta - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Salta - Cerro San Bernardo Chairlift - ARS150
  • Salta - Archaeological Museum - ARS100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The next two days are free to explore Salta and its attractions. If you’re after something active, hike up the 1,070 steps to the summit of Cerro San Bernardo; the mountain that looms over Salta. You can take a gondola (cable car) to the top if you’d prefer. Either way, the view from the top is magnificent.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take an included flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires. On arrival, perhaps explore the cobblestone streets of San Telmo and browse its antiques markets, then continue to the Plaza de Mayo to see the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada. In the evening, you might like to enjoy a tango show, a football match or a steak and glass of Malbec in one of the city’s fashionable restaurants.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The next three days are free to Explore Buenos Aires. Join the tourists and walk among the tombs at the La Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of Eva Peron. There are also some great museums to check out in the Recoleta district. Visit the neighbourhood of La Boca, home to the colourful Caminito artists’ street and world-renowned soccer team, Boca Juniors. Perhaps take part in an Urban Adventure centred on the city’s love of food, such as the Malbec Trail of Palermo or the Gourmet Buenos Aires Food tour (contact us for more information). If you need to rest your feet, settle down at one of the many street side cafes to watch the world go by with the locals.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights)
Included Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Gourmet Food Urban Adventure - USD120
  • Buenos Aires - Tango, Tango, Tango! Urban Adventure - USD90
  • Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD111
  • Buenos Aires - Tango show - ARS1200
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (1)
Today is your last free day in Buenos Aires. Perhaps take part in an Urban Adventure centred on the city’s love of food, such as the Malbec Trail of Palermo or the Gourmet Buenos Aires Food tour (contact us for more information). If you need to rest your feet, settle down at one of the many street side cafes to watch the world go by with the locals. In the evening you'll be taking an overnight bus to Foz do Iguazu.
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Tango, Tango, Tango! Urban Adventure - USD90
  • Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD111
  • Buenos Aires - Gourmet Food Urban Adventure - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
As soon as you arrive at Puerto Iguazu bus station this morning, take a minivan across the border into Brazil and continue onto your hotel in Foz do Iguacu. Depending on traffic, this should take about an hour.
Close to the borders with Argentina and Paraguay, Foz do Iguacu is Brazil's gateway to the famous Iguazu Falls. Uppon arrival If hotel rooms are ready you will be able to check in before heading out to explore the Brazilian side of the falls. Soon after take a short transfer to the falls. From here, panoramic views can be enjoyed. For unforgettable views, take an optional helicopter flight over the falls (at your own expense).
Depending on time, you can also visit the local bird park while you’re here.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel back into Argentina today to visit the falls. Following a series of boardwalks, it’s possible to get so enough to the thundering waters that you can almost touch them. At over 2 km long, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are over 270 falls in total, with some reaching up to 80 metres in height. For a more exhilarating experience, take an optional Zodiac boat ride to the base of the falls and feel the water in your skin! In the afternoon return to Foz do Iguacu, where you’ll spend a second night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Argentinian side of the falls
Optional Activities
  • Iguazu - Zodiac boat ride - ARS800
  • Iguazu Falls - Bird Park - BRL85
  • Iguazu Falls Brazil - Helicopter ride - USD130
  • Iguazu Falls - Acquamania Water Park - BRL42
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you'll take an included flight to Rio de Janeiro. Upon arrival your leader will take you on an orientation walk.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Botanical Gardens - BRL6
  • Rio de Janeiro - Favela Tour Experience Urban Adventure - USD56
  • Sugar loaf cable car - BRL65
  • Maracana soccer game - BRL150
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day in Rio. People-watch on Copacabana or Ipanema beach, take a tour of a favela or, if the time of year is right, check out a soccer game at the famous Maracana Stadium. You might like to take the tramcar up to the hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa or head up Corcovado Mountain, where you’ll find sweeping views over Rio from the foot of the Christ the Redeemer statue. Taking part in one of our Urban Adventure day tours, such as the Total Rio Tour, the Santa Teresa Discovery or the Corcovado, Christ Statue and Favela tour are also great ways to see this exciting city. As evening approaches, perhaps take the cable car up to Sugarloaf Mountain to watch the sunset before partying in the samba clubs of Lapa.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Rio de Janeiro - Corcovado, Christ Statue and Favela Urban Adventure - USD89
  • Rio de Janeiro - Total Rio Tour - Full Day Urban Adventure - USD149
  • Rio de Janeiro - Santa Teresa Discovery Urban Adventure - USD59
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today your South American adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Plane, 4WD vehicle, Boat, Bus, Overnight bus

Accommodation

Dormitory (2 nights), Hotel (13 nights), Overnight bus (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • La Paz - Orientation Walk
  • Uyuni - Salt flats tour
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Uyuni - Orientation Walk
  • Uyuni - Colchani Salt Factory Visit
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
  • Salta - Orientation walk
  • Buenos Aires - Orientation walk
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Brazilian side of the falls
  • Iguazu Falls - Entrance and tour of the Argentinian side of the falls

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Journey through South America trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

START TIME:
This trip starts with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation.

FINISH TIME:
There are no activities on the final day & you are free to depart anytime.

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.

ARGENTINA:
The Argentine government charges a reciprocity tax which applies to Canadian, US and Australian citizens. The fee must be paid online prior to travel and a receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.

BRAZILIAN VISA:
Please note you may require a Brazilian Visa for this trip. Processing can take around 2-5 weeks at the discretion of the embassy or consulate. Please speak with your travel agent well in advance for further  advice.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. Please read the following document carefully:
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SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
Please note that the Single Supplement does not include nights 3, 4 & 5

COMBINATION TRIP:
This trip is a combination of two of our most popular departures. As such the make up of your group and your tour leader may change on day 12

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to important sites such as Machu Picchu. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.