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La Paz to Cuzco

Overlanding is the best way to see South America by far! Dragoman have been leading the way in South American overland expeditions since 1990, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading to some unique hidden gems, well away from the usual tourist trail. Our adventure starts in the thriving Bolivian city of La Paz, from where we head south to visit our local community stay in Livichuco and the famous mining town of Potosí, before arriving in one of the continent's most spectacular natural wonders - the phenomenal salt flats of Salar de Uyuni. From here we will overland across the other-worldly scenery of the Bolivian Altiplano into the incredible Atacama Deserts of Chile, and then cross the Andes into the beautiful arid regions of Argentina and the wonderful town of Salta. We will make our way south through the wine regions and highlands of northwest Argentina before arriving at a very special highlight of this trip - our unique estancia stay for two days of horse riding on an idyllic country ranch. From here we make our way to the cosmopolitan Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires, then head north along the classic route to the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro - there is so much to see through this region, such as the two iconic cities themselves including the latter's incredible Christ the Redeemer statue, the phenomenal paradise of the Emerald Coast, the wildlife-rich wetlands of the Pantanal, and of course the mighty Iguazu Falls! We will continue from Rio de Janeiro on Dragoman's unique pioneering route across the interior of Brazil, exploring some rarely-visited regions such as the northern Pantanal and the stunning Chapada dos Guimarães National Park. Entering Peru, we discover the heart of the Amazon region at our fantastic jungle lodge, before climbing up into the Andes to the incredible colonial city of Cuzco! Join us for this unforgettable South American adventure!

Latin America
  • Duration: 63 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Boating
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: LPCN1/158365
  • Starts: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Finishes: Cuzco, Peru
You will Visit
  • La Paz
  • Livichuco
  • Potosí
  • Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • Bolivian Altiplano
  • San Pedro De Atacama
  • Purmamarca
  • Salta
  • Cafayate
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Recreo
  • Rio Ceballos
  • Buenos Aires
  • Yapeyú
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Iguazu Falls
  • Bonito
  • Southern Pantanal
  • Campo Grande
  • Brotas
  • Paraty
  • Rio De Janeiro
  • Ouro Preto
  • Brasilia
  • Barra Do Garças
  • Chapada Dos Guimarães
  • Northern Pantanal
  • Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade
  • Rondônia State
  • Xapuri
  • Puerto Maldonado
  • Peruvian Amazon
  • Posada Amazonas
  • Quince Mil
  • Cuzco

Itinerary

01

Day 1: La Paz

Border information: if you are joining in La Paz, you will most likely enter Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB).

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in La Paz before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring La Paz.

A note on altitude: If you are joining in La Paz, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.

02

Day 2: La Paz

Today we have a free day to enjoy La Paz

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.

03

Day 3: Potosí

Today we will leave La Paz behind and head to the colonial mining town of Potosí, the highest town in the world, and once famous for the area's abundance of silver!

Tomorrow morning will be free to explore Potosí, and there will be a chance to visit the infamous silver mines of Cerro Rico near to the town.

In Potosí we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 530km / 9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

04

Day 4: Uyuni

Today we will spend the morning in the village community stay of Salinas de Garci Mendoza before continuing our drive to Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

05

Day 5: Salar De Uyuni

Today we will venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot. En route we will explore the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island', and take all the time we need to get plenty of perspective-bending photographs!

06

Day 6: Bolivian Altiplano

Today we will head off across the wilds of the Bolivian altiplano, a surreal and desolate desert landscape that stretches all the way to the Chilean border. We will visit the spectacular coloured lakes of Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde en route.

In the Bolivian Altiplano we will stay in a basic mountain refuge.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

07

Day 7-8: San Pedro De Atacama

Border information: Exit Bolivia at Uyuni, enter Chile at San Pedro de Atacama.

Today we set off early from our altiplano refuge, cross the remainder of the Bolivian Altiplano, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel.

08

Day 9: Purmamarca

Border information: Exit Chile at Paso Jama, enter Argentina at Paso Jama.

Today we will have a long drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Argentina, and reach the beautiful village of Purmamarca next to the aptly-named 'Hill of Seven Colours'

In Purmamarca we will camp in a local campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

09

Day 10: Salta

Today we will drive to the beautiful colonial city of Salta, where we will have time to freely explore on arrival.

In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

10

Day 11: Salta

Today we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, taking in some of the incredible mountian scenery nearby.

11

Day 12: Salta

Today we will have a short morning drive to a campsite in Cabra Corral, a small village south of Salta where we have the opportunity to go rafting or zip-lining!

Tonight we will continue our drive a short distance to wild camp in the stunning mountains nearby, or camp at the rafting base in Cabra Corral if preferred.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

12

Day 13-14: Cafayate

Today we will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach the serene town of Cafayate.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

This small unassuming town is the centre of one of Argentina's principal wine producing regions, famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! Over the next two days we will have the opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is made, and of course to try them!

In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.

13

Day 15: Recreo

Today we will drive south over some more spectacular mountains and arrive in the lush flat pampas that Argentina is famous for. We will visit the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route. 

Tonight we will aim to wild camp en route or stay in a basic campsite in the town of Recreo.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

14

Day 16-18: Rio Ceballos

Today we drive to a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, where we will stay for 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip!

Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.

In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house.

15

Day 19: Buenos Aires

Today we will have a full day drive to the wonderful city of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

16

Day 20: Buenos Aires

Today is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

17

Day 21: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are finishing in Buenos Aires, you will most likely exit Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Buenos Aires. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales Team if you would like to arrange some extra nights of accommodation here after your trip.

18

Day 22: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are joining in Buenos Aires, you will most likely enter Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Welcome to Buenos Aires, the wonderful capital of Argentina! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Buenos Aires before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

19

Day 23: Buenos Aires

Today will be a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

20

Day 24: Yapeyú

Today we have a full day drive north though the provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes, aiming to reach the beautiful village of Yapeyú on the banks of the River Uruguay. Yapeyú is very famous amongst Argentines for being the birthplace of their national hero General Jose de San Martin, one of the liberators of South America from Spanish colonial rule.

In Yapeyú we will stay in a municipal campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

21

Day 25: Foz do Iguaçu

Border information: Exit Argentina at Tancredo Neves, enter Brazil at Tancredo Neves.

Today we cross the border into Brazil and drive to the city of Foz do Iguacu.

In Foz do Iguacu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

22

Day 26: Foz do Iguaçu

Today we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.

23

Day 27: Iguazu Falls

Today we will take a day trip back into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!

We will return to our base in Foz do Iguacu tonight.

24

Day 28: Bonito

Today we have a full drive day north to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.

In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

25

Day 29-30: Bonito

We have two full days in Bonito to take part in the plethora of incredible optional activities here. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!

26

Day 31-32: Southern Pantanal

Today we have a short drive to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!

In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.

27

Day 33: Campo Grande

After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal. We will start driving east towards Sao Paulo state, and wild camp towards the end of the day.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

28

Day 34: Brotas

Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.

In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

29

Day 35: Brotas

Today is free to take part in optional adventure activities such as white water rafting or canyoning, or to simply relax by the pool!

30

Day 36-38: Paraty

Today we have a full day drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic!

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

On our first full day in Paraty, we will have an included boat trip around the incredible islands and beaches off the coast. 

On our second day, we will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.

In Paraty we wil camp at a well equipped campsite.

31

Day 39: Rio De Janeiro

This morning we will drive to the incredible Rio de Janeiro, one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world! This afternoon we will have the opportunity to take an optional visit to a community favela project that Dragoman supports.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

32

Day 40: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are leaving in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely exit Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport (IATA code: RIO/GIG).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Rio de Janeiro. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

33

Day 41: Rio De Janeiro

Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely enter Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport (IATA code: RIO/GIG).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Rio de Janeiro before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Rio de Janeiro.

In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the Flamengo region of the city.

34

Day 42-43: Ouro Preto

Today we have a full day's drive inland to the beautiful old colonial mining town of Ouro Preto. En route we will stop at the village of Congonhas to see the famous 'Twelve Prophets' statues built by the local sculptor Aleijandinho.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have free time to explore the town, and discover its cobblestone streets and stunning Baroque churches. We can also make an optional trip to one of the fascinating mines in and around town.

In Ouro Preto we will stay in dorm accommodation in a hostel.

35

Day 44-45: Brasília

Today we will have an early start for a full day's drive to Brasília, the country's capital. 

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

On the following day, we will explore the city's fascinating architecture on a guided tour. Designed by Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer in the 1950s, the city was a landmark in the history of city planning - it is a very bizarre and interesting place to explore, quite unlike anywhere else in South America.

36

Day 46: Barra Do Garças

Today we set off west towards Chapada dos Guimarães, a stunning overland journey of almost 1000km in total.

Tonight we will wild camp en route, probably without facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

37

Day 47-49: Chapada Dos Guimarães

Today we complete our drive to Chapada dos Guimarães, and meet with our local guide who will be with us for the next 10 days!

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

We will then have 2 full days of hiking around the stunning landscapes of Chapada dos Guimarães. We will follow the popular waterfall trail, visiting natural pools and incredible viewpoints along the way - the highlight is the Véu de Noivas ('Bridal Veil') waterfall, one of the postcard views of the Chapada. We will also hike around the Rio Claro valley and visit the Cidade de Pedra look-out point.

In Chapada dos Guimarães, we will camp in a well equipped campsite.

38

Day 50-52: Northern Pantanal

Today we will have an early start from Chapada dos Guimarães and drive to Poconé, the gateway to the northern Pantanal region. From here we will start our trip along the Transpantaneira road, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife along the way.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

Over the next 2 days in the Pantanal, we will explore the flora and fauna of these vast wetlands on foot and horseback, as well as in boats and our overland vehicle. We will be in search of the area's incredible array of wildlife on a flexible itinerary with our expert local guides.

In the Pantanal, we will stay in lodges with all the food included.

39

Day 53-54: Vila Bela da Santíssima Trindade

After breakfast we will leave the Pantanal and have a full day's drive to the village of Vila Bela da Santíssima Trinidade.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

On the following day we will go a boat trip on the Guaporé River in search of wildlife and bird-life including capybara, anacondas, and most impressive of all the pink dolphins in the river. We will also explore the beautiful colonial town of Vila Bela, and learn how the local Marroon community came about from the local tribes and fugitive slaves. We then take a boat down the river visiting a number of small-hold farms to learn about the livestock, crops, fruit trees, and vegetables that they grow.

In Vila Bela da Santíssima Trinidade we will camp in a well equipped campsite.

40

Day 55-56: Rondônia State

Today we will say goodbye to our local guide, and embark on 2 days of driving the 1800kms north towards the Peruvian border. 

We will wild camp en route, probably without facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours each day.

41

Day 57: Xapuri

Today is our final full day in Brazil, as we drive to the far western border town of Xapuri.

In Xapuri we stay the night in a local pousada (traveller's guesthouse).

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

42

Day 58-59: Puerto Maldonado

Border information: exit Brazil at Assis, enter Peru at Iñapari.

Today we cross from Brazil over the Rio Acre and enter Peru. Once through border formalities, we drive on to Puerto Maldonado, the base of our upcoming expedition into the Peruvian Amazon.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

The following day we will have free time to explore the interesting town of Puerto Maldonado.

In Puerto Maldonado we will stay in a small locally-run hotel.

43

Day 60-62: Peruvian Amazon

Today we will head 20kms from Puerto Maldonado to the Tambopata River port, where we will take a 45-minute boat transfer to our jungle lodge in the Peruvian Amazon where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

During our time here, we will enjoy a full schedule of activities to explore the phenomenal Amazon region of Peru. This will include a walk to the scaffolding canopy tower where you can enjoy spectacular views of the forest and the Tambopata River, a visit to the Tres Chimbadas Lake to look for the resident family of giant river otters and other lakeside wildlife, and an ethnobotanical tour to learn about the traditional ways of using plants as medicines. At night there's also an option of going for a hike in the forest, a time when most mammals are active but rarely seen so expect to use your ears more than your eyes! One of the mornings we will visit a 'Parrot Clay Lick', where if it's a clear morning you have the chance to see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend to ingest the clay on a river bank. We will also go on a guided hike in the forest, learning about the natural history of the rainforest, and visit one of the farms in the community of Infierno and learn about the different Amazonian crops grown here.

In the Peruvian Amazon we will stay in a jungle lodge, with all meals included.

44

Day 63: Quince Mil

This morning we depart Posada Amazonas and drive onwards towards the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco. We will break the journey in the town of Quince Mil, just before we head up into the mighty Andes.

In Quince Mil we will stay in a simple local farmstead guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

45

Day 64: Cuzco

Today we will complete our drive to the amazing town of Cuzco, once the centre of the Inca Empire.

In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel in the historical centre.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Visit a local archaeological site and museum run by some of the local community, to gain an understanding into the customs and ways of life of the ancient Tiwanaku culture
    • Take jeeps out onto the dazzling Uyuni Salt Flats
    • Explore the dramatic landscape of the Moon Valley
    • Visit the Quilmes ruins
    • Spend 3 unique days at an Anglo-Argentinian estancia to experience the gaucho way of living
    • Visit the village of Congonhas near Ouro Preto and see the remarkable statues of the Twelve Prophets by Aleijadinho, an accomplished sculptor who worked depsite losing his hands to leprosy
    • Full day guided tour of Brasilia
    • Head out on 2 full days of trekking around the spectacular landscapes, caverns and waterfalls of Chapada Dos Guimarães National Park
    • Enjoy an incredible 3-night stay in the heart of Brazil's Northern Pantanal wetlands, including a full package of boat trips, 4x4 safaris, horse rides, and kayak trips through this idyllic wildlife haven
    • Take a guided tour of the interesting town of Vila Bela to visit the local Maroon communities, and explore the River Guapore by boat in search of pink river dolphins
    • Head out on a fantastic 3-night stay deep in the Peruvian Amazon, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet - here we will embark on a full package of educational rainforest walks, wildlife spotting, boat trips, and visits to the remote communities of the area
    Accomodation
    • 45% Camping - 55% Hotels
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