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Lima to Quito
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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. If you've only got three weeks in which to sample South America, you couldn't do better than visit Ecuador and Peru. These two countries, rich in culture and landscape, are like South America in a nutshell, with terrain that ranges from steaming jungle to the dizzying pinnacles of the high Andes. Beginning in the buzzing Ecuadorian capital of Quito - a city that is a fusion of European and native cultures - you'll head into the atmospheric Andean rainforest on the upper slopes of the Amazon basin to explore the jungle from our fantastic lodge. From there we'll head into the stunning hills near Quilotoa and explore the area on foot, before overlanding to the serene colonial town of Cuenca. We'll then descend to the coast at Peru's idyllic beaches of Punta Sal, before crossing the stunning northern deserts to the myseterious ancient Moche and Chimú ruins of Chan Chan and Huaca de la Luna. Finally we will climb into the spectacular high Andes and visit the mountain town of Huaraz, before our fantastic and varied trip ends in Peru's busy capital of Lima. A truly unforgettable trip!

Latin America

Duration: 20 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Hiking, Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Trekking Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 157993
Starts: Lima, Peru Finishes: Quito, Ecuador
You will visit
  • Lima
  • Huaraz
  • Huanchaco
  • Lambayeque
  • Punta Sal
  • Cuenca
  • Chugchilan
  • Lake Quilotoa
  • Rio Verde
  • Baños
  • Ecuadorian Amazon
  • Quito

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Border information: if joining in Lima, you will most likely enter Peru at Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (IATA code: LIM).

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 Lima 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 Lima.

In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical centre.

02

Day 2: Huaraz

Today we will have a spectacular drive up the winding roads of the 'Paramonga Route' into the Cordillera Blanca section of the high Andes, reaching the mountain town of Huaraz.

In Huaraz we will stay in a local hostel in either dorm accommodation or private rooms depending on availability.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3-4: Huaraz

We have two days in the spectacular area of the Cordillera Blanca for exploration and optional activities such as visiting the incredible pre-Inca ruins of Chavín de Huantar or trekking and climbing to the nearby lakes and glaciers.

04

Day 5: Huanchaco

Today we will have a full day's drive down the stunning 'Casma Route' to the Pacific coast and on to Huanchaco, near the city of Trujillo.

In Huanchaco we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

05

Day 6: Huanchaco

Today we will have an included guided trip to explore the enormous adobe ruins of Chan Chan and the world-famous Moche archaeological site of Huaca de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon).

06

Day 7: Lambayeque

Today we will have a full day's drive along the coast of northern Peru. We will have an included visit to the phenomenal Lord of Sipan museum in Lambayeque, home of an incredible collection of Chimu-era treasures (please note that this museum is closed on Mondays, so we will be unable to visit if your trip passes through on a Monday).

We will stay at a friendly local campsite just outside of Punta Sal, on a beautiful and serene beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (including approximately 1 hour 30 minutes at the Lord of Sipan museum). 

07

Day 8: Punta Sal

Today we have a full day to relax on the beach and enjoy some activities in and around the stunning coastal area of Punta Sal.

08

Day 9: Cuenca

Border information: Exit Peru at Tumbes, enter Ecuador at Huaquillas.

Today we will have a long drive day north, crossing the border into southern Ecuador and arriving at the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca.

In Cuenca we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

09

Day 10: Cuenca

Today we will have a free day to explore the colonial city of Cuenca. The town is the birthplace of the famous Panama Hat, and we will have the opportunity today to visit one of the factories to learn about the manufacturing process.

10

Day 11: Chugchilan

Today we will drive to the remote village of Chugchilán, via the stunning landscape of the Cajas National Park en route and the spectacular highland scenery along the road of the 'Quilotoa Loop'.

In Chugchilán we will stay in a fantastic local hostel where breakfast and dinner are included, giving you a chance to enjoy traditional Ecuadorian food.

Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.

11

Day 12: Chugchilan

Today we will transfer to the village of Quilotoa to see its stunning crater lake, and take an included day trek back to Chugchilán through the local villages, canyons, and beautiful scenery. This walk is widely considered one of the best day treks in Ecuador! 

The mostly-downhill usually takes between 4-6 hours, but please be aware that there is a section towards the end of the trek with a steep incline which you will need to be physically fit for - although we thoroughly recommend the trek, it can be skipped by anyone if they prefer.

12

Day 13: Rio Verde

Today we will drive along the remainder of the Quilotoa Loop and head north to the village of Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano.

In Rio Verde we will stay at a well-equipped campsite with great facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours

13

Day 14-15: Baños

We will have two full days of free time for a range of activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportuinty to visit the nearby town of Baños and its popular volcanic thermal springs.

14

Day 16: Ecuadorian Amazon

Today we drive to the edge of the Amazon basin near the town of Tena, where we head to our jungle lodge for an incredible 3-night stay.

In the Amazon Jungle we will stay in a comfortable rainforest lodge with meals included.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours

15

Day 17-18: Ecuadorian Amazon

Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rainforest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community. 

16

Day 19: Quito

Today we will drive back up into the highlands and arrive at the Ecuadorian capital, Quito.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours.

17

Day 20: Quito

Border Information: if finishing in Quito, you will most likely exit Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Quito. 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.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Head out on a guided tour of the colourful Moche Pyramids and the colossal Chimú adobe city of Chan Chan near the Peruvian city of Trujillo
    • Visit the incredible Lord of Sipan Museum in the town of Lambayeque, displaying the contents of a royal tomb of the Chimu civilisation discovered nearby - widely regarded as one of the most phenomenal collections of ancient treasure ever found (please note that this is not available on Mondays, as the museum is closed)
    • Take a day-trek from the spectacular crater lake at Quilotoa to the Andean village of Chugchilan, through the incredible rural landscapes and canyons of the area
    • Spend 3 nights at our fantastic Ecuadorian rainforest lodge, taking in many activities such as boat trips on the Napo River, visits to local Quichua communities and treks through the jungle to some spectacular waterfalls and bat caves!
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew, local guides as necessary
    Accomodation
    • 35% Camping - 65% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • R & R