Gap Year Off The Beaten Track
From the sands of Ipanema 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 region’s 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.
Day 1 Rio de Janeiro
Arrive at any time.
Days 2-6 Ilha Grande/Paraty
Transfer to Ilha Grande by van and ferry. Free time for hikes and walks around the island to explore the beaches. Continue by van to the colonial city of Paraty. Optional cachaça distillery visit or boat tour of the bay and nearby beaches.
Days 7-11 Iguassu Falls/Bonito
Transfer to São Paulo and then fly to the Iguassu Falls area. Explore both the Argentine and Brazilian sides of the falls with an optional boat ride near the base of the falls. Continue by overnight bus to Bonito for optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.
Days 12-15 Pantanal/Corumbá/Santa Cruz
2-day excursion into the wetlands of the Pantanal with a local guide. Opportunities to spot wildlife such as monkeys, macaws, giant otters and caiman. Continue by overnight train into Bolivia to Santa Cruz.
Days 16-18 Sucre
Fly to Sucre. Optional visit to the nearby dinosaur tracks, or explore the beautiful colonial city.
Day 19 Potosí
Travel by bus to Potosí. Optional excursion to a working silver mine or free time to explore the city.
Days 20-23 Uyuni/Salt Flats Excursion
3-day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery. Stay in simple hotels upgraded with solar panels to provide electricity and hot water. On Day 23, travel to La Paz by overnight train.
Days 24-25 La Paz
Arrive in La Paz. Optional city tour and free time to explore the markets and winding streets.
Day 26 La Paz/Tiahuanaco
Included visit of the pre-Incan ruins of Tiahuanaco.
Day 27 Puno
Travel by bus through the altiplano, crossing the border to the Peruvian city of Puno on the shore of Lake Titicaca.
Days 28-29 Lake Titicaca/Taquile Island
Visit the floating islands of Uros. Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village. Optional visit to Sillustani burial site.
Days 30-31 Cusco
Travel to Cusco. The next day is free to enjoy the city's museums and local markets. Optional city tour.
Day 32 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
Full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins along with a visit to a Planeterra weaving project in a local community. Enjoy lunch at the Planeterra-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village. Shopping opportunities at a local market.
Days 33-36 Inca Trail/Machu Picchu
4-day guided Inca Trail hike with visit to Machu Picchu. Optional visit to the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco.
Day 37 Cusco
Free day to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding and mountain biking.
Day 38 Lima
Fly to Lima. Optional city tour or free time to explore.
Day 39 Lima
Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking pre- and post-accommodation to fully experience these lively cities.
It’s an early morning rise before you head to Machu Picchu, where you’ll take in the awe-inspiring views of the sunrise behind the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. Your local guide will help you understand the history of the area before heading back to Cuzco for the evening.
You can combine group touring and plenty of free time with the Gap Off The Beaten Track. Call 0333 333 9923 or enquire via the product page, to get your complete gap year today.
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