From the sands of Copacabana to the heights of the Bolivian Andes, this incredible 39-day journey will introduce you to the diverse landscape and people of South America. Explore the wetlands of the Pantanal and the bizarre landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats, and revel in the mists of thundering Iguassu Falls. Gain greater insight into the culture on the regions public buses and meet locals from the rural towns along the way for an immersive experience that few travellers get to know. Get off the beaten path and experience Peru, Brazil and Bolivia a vibrant cross-section of South America.
Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting.
Take a bus and ferry to Ilha Grande. Free time for hikes and walks around the island to explore the beaches.
From Rio, head south along the Atlantic coast to one of the most picturesque, laid-back islands on the coast, llha Grande. Relax and walk the sandy beaches, or bathe in the warm waters of this island paradise.
Ilha Grande is a car-free island surrounded by beautiful nature. Opt to go for a hike, swim or sit at one of the beach bars.
Travel up the coast to Paraty and wander the cobblestoned streets of this colonial beach side town.
Enjoy a free day to explore Paraty. Optional activities include a Caipirinha boat trip, kayaking and horseback riding.
With Paraty's stone streets and colonial architecture still standing, the town has some of the best examples of Portuguese colonial architecture in the world. The town is currently on UNESCO's tentative list to gain World Heritage Centre status. To preserve the historical ambience and walkability of the historic centre, only bicycle and pedestrian traffic are allowed in the area.
Continue to enjoy the slow pace of Paraty, a colonial town with fantastic architecture, or opt to take a day trip to Trindade to surf and relax on the beach.
Take a flight to the famous Iguassu Falls. Visit the Brazilian side of the falls to get the best panoramic view. Opt to visit the bird park filled with beautifully coloured local wildlife or enjoy an optional helicopter ride for a birds-eye view of the falls.
Skip the 19 hour journey by land and hop a flight to Iguassu from São Paulo, maximizing your time to enjoy the falls.
Experience Iguassu in Argentina by exploring trails and catwalks. Opt to take a boat tour to view the falls from below.
Explore trails that will bring you directly over the falls of the Devil's Throat—the highest and deepest of the falls. Other trails allow access to the stretch of falls across the forest on the Argentine side. Opt to take an inflatable boat to the base of the thundering falls.
Leave early for a full travel day to Bonito.
Spend time in Bonito with optional activities available like snorkelling in the rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.
Enjoy another free day to explore Bonito.
Journey into the Pantanal, a perfect place to experience the wildlife of Brazil. Enjoy a 2-day excursion into the wetlands with a local guide.
Experience the Pantanal, an immense wetland area famed for its profuse wildlife. A 2-day excursion allows visitors to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the area.
Full day of exploring the Pantanal. Try piranha fishing or horseback riding. Opportunities to spot wildlife such as monkeys, macaws, giant otters and caiman.
Leave the Pantanal and head for the border. Board an overnight bus to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
From the frontier town of Corumbá, Brazil, cross into Bolivia. From here, an overnight bus heads to Santa Cruz.
Hop on a flight and get to the capital city of Bolivia. Wander the streets and visit the famous Witches' Market.
Spend the morning exploring the city before boarding an afternoon flight to Sucre and explore this beautiful colonial city or opt to go hiking in the surrounding area.
Spend two days exploring all that Sucre has to offer.
Spend two days exploring all that Sucre has to offer.
Journey from Sucre to Potosí. Spend the afternoon exploring the city.
Head south to Uyuni, the starting point for the salt flats excursion.
Enjoy a 3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano, with spectacular scenery. Last stop for the evening is a G Adventures-supported community lodge in a traditional agricultural village in the heart of a desert oasis.
Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni. Despite its isolation and challenging climate (cold and blustery most of the year), the town of Uyuni has earned the nickname of Hija Predilecta de Bolivia (Bolivia's Favourite Daughter).
It is also the starting point for our 2-night excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) in 4x4 vehicles.
Settle in to your G Adventures-supported community salt-brick bungalow, complete with salt floors and furniture, after a guided walking tour up to the sacred Jukil mountaintop for sweeping valley views and a dinner of local ingredients prepared by ladies from the community.
Continue to discover the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion.
Enjoy a final day of exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats before boarding an overnight bus back to La Paz .
Enjoy a free day in the capital, walk along the winding streets, shop in the markets and enjoy the nightlife. For the thrill seekers opt to bike the famous "death road".
Spend the day exploring and shopping in the many markets of the city -- it is an especially good place to buy textiles and leatherwork. Visit the Witches' Market or take one of the several optional excursions available.
Arrive at any time.
Visit the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.
Little is known about the Tiahuanaco people who constructed the great ceremonial centre on the southern shore of Lake Titicaca over 1000 years ago. Spend most of the day visiting these mysterious ruins—a cradle of Incan civilization—before returning to La Paz.
Travel by bus through the altiplano, crossing the border to the Peruvian city of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Peru is made up of three main geographical areas: the Andes, the Amazon, and the desert coastal area.
Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on a full day of travel from La Paz, around Lake Titicaca, and on to Puno.
Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a restaurant and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.
After, cruise to the another village (this can vary based on community availability) for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, pick up some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.
Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit the Sillustani burial site.
Leave the homestay families late in the morning and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.
Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.
The bus trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner, or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley.
Enjoy a free day to explore the city's museums and local markets. Opt for a city tour to see some of the ruins as well.
While most ruins are just outside of the city, the main ruin within is that of the Coricancha, once the Inca Empire's richest temple. It forms the base of the colonial church of Santo Domingo. There are several good museums in Cusco, including the Archaeological Museum, which also houses a small art museum, the Regional History Museum, and the Religious Art Museum.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and lookout over the ruins.
Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.
Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into things with a straight forward day of hiking, the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins will give you plenty to look at.
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.
At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.
Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.
Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
Fly to Lima. Opt for a city tour or wander the neighbourhood of Miraflores.
Take a short flight to the coast and the capital city of Lima. This vibrant city has a fantastic main square, tons of shopping, and incredible eating. Opt to join the group for one final evening out.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Southern Cross Westbound - Rio to Lima
Duration: 39 Days
From Price: £3,799
Supplier Tour ID: SZRM.D/201968
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