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!
Border Information: if joining in Quito, you will most likely enter Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).
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 Quito 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 Quito.
A note on altitude: If you are joining in Quito, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.
In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.
Today our journey begins with a drive to a village on the edge of the Amazon basin, near the town of Tena, where we head to our lodge for an incredible 3-night stay.
Our lodge is a great example of eco-tourism, built and run by the local community and volunteers, who work to re-forest the reserve land at the lodge with native trees and medicinal plants. The lodge is set in secondary and primary rainsforest, an area at risk of deforestation.
We will stay in a comfortable ecolodge with meals included.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 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!).
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.
Today we will drive through the highlands of Ecuador, arriving in Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano.
In Rio Verde we will stay at a well-equipped campsite with great facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.
We will have two full days of free time to take part in a range of optional activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportunity to visit the nearby town of Baños and its popular volcanic thermal springs.
Today we will drive to the remote village of Chugchilán, via 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 - 7-8 hours.
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 trek 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 quite physically fit for - although we thoroughly recommend the trek, it can be skipped by anyone if they prefer.
Today we will drive along the remainder of the Quilotoa Loop and then head south to the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca. We will pass through the stunning landscape of the Cajas National Park en route.
In Cuenca we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
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.
Border information: Exit Ecuador at Huaquillas, enter Peru at Tumbes.
Today we will have a long drive day south, crossing the border into northern Peru.
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 - 10-11 hours.
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.
Today we will have a full day's drive to Huanchaco, near the city of Trujillo. We will have an included visit to the phenomenal Lord of Sipán 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).
In Huanchaco we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
Today we will have an included guided trip to explore the enormous adobe ruins of
Today we will have a spectacular drive up the winding roads of the 'Casma 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 - 8-9 hours.
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.
Today we will have another full day's drive back to the coast via the 'Paramonga Route' and then on to the enormous Peruvian capital of Lima.
In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical centre.
Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.
Border information: if you are finishing in Lima, you will most likely exit Peru at Lima Jorge Chávez International Airport (IATA code: LIM).
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Lima. 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.
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Fantastic drivers, I found them both to be always approachable & helpful.Overall Rating
Thanks for taking care of us and making sure everyone was fine! You did a great job! Would love to be on tour with you again someday soon :)Overall Rating
Brilliant and passionate guides - so informative about their country and history, and they also had fantastic senses of humour.Overall Rating
Vikki worked extremely hard to solve any problems that arose and was extremely considerate towards the people who got ill while travelling, getting them upgrades wherever possible etc.Overall Rating
Great crew. Nick has a lot of knowledge and doesn't mind sharing! Gave us good advice on where to go and what to do. Took plenty of time to explain things and answer questions. Juan is a great driver.Overall Rating
We had various local guides, some good, some excellent. Outstanding were the guides Jimmy and Piero on the Community Trek - extremely knowledgeable on all aspects and considerate of each person's requirements. Lovely people!Overall Rating
Enthusiastic and informative crew - Nick shared a lot of his knowledge of the countries we travelled through.Overall Rating
Trip Name: Quito to Lima
Duration: 20 Days
From Price: £728
Supplier Tour ID: ZQL1/157992
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