South America rewards those willing to explore. Consider this epic adventure: beginning in Lima and ending in Buenos Aires, it's 35-full days of fun. You'll hike the Inca Trail, cross the Salt Flats of Bolivia by 4x4, and feel like a sophisticate sipping wine in Argentina. Along the way, you'll engage with local cultures with a small group of other young travellers to back you up. For those willing to invest their time, this trip offers big returns—in adventure.
Arrive at any time.
Arrive at any time. There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city.
Free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.
Savour a pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbouring town of Paracas.
Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina.
There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, which provide an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife. Pre-book by adding the Ballestas Islands Wildlife Tour on the checkout page or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.
Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.
Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect as subjects for photographs and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines before an overnight bus to Arequipa.
Opt to pre-book your Flight over Nazca Lines on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.
Opt to explore the Arequipa on a city tour or soak in a local hot spring.
Explore Arequipa, the 'white city'. Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life. Pre-book by adding the Arequipa City Tour & Santa Catalina Monastery on the checkout page or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.
For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa has a variety of regional food: alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces.
Take a full-day tour of the spectacular Colca Valley, and opt for a soak in hot springs.
Enjoy an overnight excursion to the impressive Colca Canyon - one of the deepest canyons in the world. Stop in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where, with a little luck, visitors can see Andean condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Other unusual animals that can be spotted in the Andean landscape include three different species of camelids: alpaca, llama and vicuña.
Set out looking for the majestic soaring condors over Colca Canyon. Head back to Arequipa to enjoy the city in the evening.
Get an early start to go on the lookout for flying condors. Travel from Chivay town to a condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds in the air. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see old terraces and sections of Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world.
Explore Arequipa and opt to take a city tour. Take an overnight bus to Cusco.
Free time to explore Cusco. Choose to pre-book the optional Cusco Cooking Class. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.
Enjoy another free day in Cusco. Choose to pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class.
Opt to visit and hike the famed Rainbow Mountain, pre-book on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.
Learn about the Sacred Valley en route to Ollantaytambo. Opt to take a Sacred Valley tour with a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.
Ollantaytambo is a major Inca ruin site and a first taste of what lies ahead. For those craving more before they head out on the Trail, opt to take a Sacred Valley tour which includes a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to Lares town where the hike begins. Spend the first night at a G Adventures-supported campsite in Cuncani.
The Lares Trek is a scenic, less touristic route to hike through the Andes. It is one day shorter than the Inca Trail but higher in elevation. Enjoy G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Lares Trek.
Start early to hike from the foothills of Sicllaccasa Mountain to its high pass (4,750m/15,583 ft), providing scenic views of lagoons and the snow-capped Chicon Mountain. Celebrate after reaching the highest point by making an offering of coca leaves to the Andean gods. After the morning hike, stop to rest and take in the amazing view. Continue hiking downhill to our second campsite near the stream for the night.
Enjoy the last few hours of hiking before travelling by van to Ollantaytambo and train to Aguas Calientes to enjoy a good night's rest at your hotel.
Enjoy a guided visit to Machu Picchu at sunrise. Use some free time to explore the ruins on your own. Later, travel back to Cusco.
Rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with your guide. Enjoy a guided visit to the ruins followed by free time to explore. Opt to walk up to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge.
When ready, head back down by bus to Aguas Calientes to meet up with the rest of the group. Take the scenic train back to Ollantaytambo to meet the van for the ride back to Cusco.
Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.
Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.
Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a local village.
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on Taquile Island and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.
After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). 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, learn 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. Optional visit to the Sillustani burial site.
Leave the homestay families late 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.
Opt to pre-book the Lake Titicaca Kayaking on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.
Cross over into Bolivia for a night out in the highest city of the trip. Oxygen bar anyone?
Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4,000m (13,120 ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.
Free day in La Paz. Opt to visit Iglesia de San Francisco, the Valley of the Moon, the Witches' Market, or the nearby Tiahuanaco Ruins.
Enjoy a free day to explore the vibrant markets and winding streets of the city before boarding a night bus to Sucre.
Free time to explore the beautiful colonial city of Sucre. For more active options opt to go hiking in the surrounding area or mountain biking.
Travel south to Sucre. Tackle the city as there is a lot to offer during the two days here. Optional activities include a visit to an old tin baron's mansion, mountain biking, and hiking.
Enjoy another free day to explore Sucre and surroundings.
Travel south to the one of the world's highest cities.
Staying in the Bolivian highlands, we travel south to the city of Potosí. The highest city of its size in the world, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has had a tumultuous history as a silver mining centre during colonial times.
Get out and explore Potosí, learn about the history of the city while wandering the streets. Stop at the market and interact with the locals.
Travel to Uyuni and get ready for an excursion to the Salar de Uyuni.
Enjoy a three-day 4x4 excursion to the Salar de Uyuni and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery. Today you will be heading into the Salar de Uyuni. Our groups like to get creative with photography, as the endless white of the salt flats creates some great depth illusions that are fun to play with in photos. 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 3-night excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) in 4x4 vehicles.
Spend three days in the stunning landscapes between the Salar de Uyuni and the Atacama Desert in Chile. Our groups like to get creative with photography, as the endless white of the salt flats creates some great depth illusions that are fun to play with in photos.
The tour takes us through the impressive large red lagoon of Laguna Colorada and the striking blue-green Laguna Verde at 5,000m (16,404 ft).
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.
Explore the desert altiplano on a 4x4 excursion. Admire the spectacular scenery while passing red and blue lagoons and interesting rock formations along the route. Spot wild llamas, alpacas and even flamingos deep within the desert.
Rise early to cover more ground of the unique landscape of the Salar de Uyuni. Continue to see incredible scenery, including volcanoes, and salt lakes. Travel to the border and descend by bus to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. It's a long but scenic drive.
After continuing through the Salar de Uyuni in the morning, hop on a bus further south to the dry desert regions of Argentina and Chile, where we stop in the little town of San Pedro de Atacama, on the edge of the Atacama desert—the driest place on earth.
Opt to go sandboarding or mountain biking, or visit the Valley of the Moon.
There are plenty of optional excursions here -- biking, exploring nearby ruins, horseback riding, and touring the Valley of the Moon.
Cross the border into Argentina.
We make our way to Salta, situated in the Lerma Valley of northern Argentina. Salta is home to empanadas salteñas - the delicious local specialty, and no visit to the town will be complete without giving them a try. In the evening, opt to experience a local celebration at one of the "Peña" folklore shows.
Explore the city and enjoy the local cuisine. Opt to take a trip through the scenic Quebrada de las Conchas to Cafayate, or visit the High Mountain Archaeological Museum.
Skip a long bus journey with a quick flight to Buenos Aires.
When you are done exploring, settle your weary feet and enjoy a drink in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants and begin to understand the contemplative Argentine way of life. Try the succulent bife and parrilladas!
Depart at any time.
Consider booking post-tour accommodation to further explore fascinating Buenos Aires.
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Trip Name: Lima to Buenos Aires: Deserts & Dancing
Duration: 35 Days
From Price: ₤2,799
Supplier Tour ID: SPMB.H/226890
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