Trip price is split into two components: £3950 plus US$2190 local payment (paid direct to your Tour Leader when you join the trip).
Lush Amazon jungle in Ecuador, Inca kingdoms in Peru, the remote Altiplano and Salt Flats of Bolivia, the great outdoors in Patagonia and the largest party in the world at Rio’s Carnival or New Years Eve celebrations – just some of the awesome experiences on this incredible overland journey!
This trip is a true Expedition by nature of its long duration and some of the remote places we visit. But that’s all part of the adventure and you will discover South America in a way most travellers only dream of.
Trips can be joined in Quito or Lima and travel to Rio and vice versa. All trips coincide with either Carnival or the spectacular New Years Eve event in Rio at the end or beginning of each trip.
Days 1 to 8
- Depart Quito, the capital & cross the Equator.
- Otavalo – a small market town famous for its colourful arts & crafts.
- Amazon Jungle – journey to our jungle camp where we spend two or three nights to view the exotic wildlife – our guide will show us examples of medicinal, edible and hallucinogenic plants.
Days 9 to 18
- Banos – a spa town where Ecuadorians go to relax in the thermal baths and hike the various mountain trails by foot or horseback plus the opportunity to go canyoning!
- Cuenca – UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Pacific Ocean coast – Punta Sal/Mancora, chill out by the beach and try your hand at surfing.
- Chan Chan & Temple of Sun and Moon – built by the pre-Inca Chimu Kings, the largest mud brick city in the world.
- Lima – the capital city with many plazas, museums and great local seafood (Ceviche).
Days 19 to 26
- Ballestas Islands – a boat trip takes us close to the Islands which are bursting with exotic & rare marine wildlife.
- Ica Desert & Oasis of Huacachina.
- Optional Dune Buggies & Sandboarding on the giant dunes out in the desert. BBQ and camp overnight under the stars.
- Nazca Lines – huge figures and shapes carved into the stony desert, best viewed from the air.
- Chauchilla Cemetery – ancient eerie tombs.
- Ascend the Andes mountain range and drive past grazing Llama, Alpaca and Vicuna.
- Arequipa – a magnificent colonial city with authentic Peruvian nightlife.
- Colca Canyon – accompanied by a local guide, you have the opportunity to view the majestic condors, which can be seen circling lazily on the thermals rising from the canyon floor.
Days 27 to 33
- Traverse mountainous passes of nearly 5000m within sight of active volcanoes.
- Cuzco (our base for the next week).
- Sacred Valley of the Incas.
- Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu – 4 day hike on the Lares, Classic or Salkantay trail.
- Machu Picchu – finally on day 4 we reach the famous UNESCO World Heritage site – entrance and guide included.
Days 34 to 37
- Puno – Lake Titicaca – the world’s highest navigable lake at 3800 metres.
- Floating reed islands – home to the Uros Indians – explore Titicaca by boat & spend a night with one of the local families.
- La Paz – highest capital city in the world, visit the colourful witches market!
Days 38 to 45
- Altiplano – drive across this wild and barren landscape.
- Potosi – the opportunity to enter a working silver & tin mine where techniques have remained unchanged for centuries.
- Uyuni Salt Lake – take a 1 day excursion out onto the vast salt flats.
- Tupiza – follow in the steps of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid.
- Humahuaca Canyon and Purmamarca.
- Salta – founded over 400 years ago and a great place for live music, mountain biking, mountain trekking, and horse riding.
Days 46 to 52
- Cafayate and Mendoza, – wine growing region visiting wineries by bicycle in the Andes.
- Santiago – Chile’s capital, a modern, organised city with great food and nightlife.
- Free Day to explore Santiago.
Days 55 to 60
If you are travelling on the trip that travels through Patagonia from July to September please be aware it will get very cold at times with temperatures well below zero, and you can expect snowfall. Please be prepared for cold conditions, with thermal clothing and the correct sleeping bag.
On our July to September trips in Patagonia, this section of the trip is subject to change en route. Please see detailed itinerary for further details.
- Pucon – Chile’s Lake District, our base for the next few days, from where it is possible to organise white water rafting, skiing, horse riding and hikes.
- Villarrica Volcano – there is the option to climb this active volcano.
- Andes mountain range.
- Bariloche – popular holiday destination for Argentinians and a top ski resort with great hiking trails and nightlife.
Days 61 to 75
- Carretera Austral – (Open Jan & Feb) – incredible drive past spiralling volcanoes, glaciers & fjords.
- Los Glaciares National Park – the largest glacier in the world and an option to take a guided glacier hike on one!
- Moreno Glacier – take a boat ride up close to this almost 200ft high glacier.
- Torres del Paine National Park – another area of outstanding beauty where huge granite cliffs dominate the landscape.
- Option to complete the W-Trek – must be booked in advance.
Days 76 to 84
- Tierra del Fuego – an island on the southern tip of the continent – spectacular scenery and seagoing boat trips.
- Ushuaia – most southerly town on earth you are ever likely to travel to.
- Patagonia – vast, sparsely populated treeless plateau.
- Atlantic Marine sanctuaries – spot penguins, sea lions, sea elephants, birds & whales (season dependent).
- Puerto Madryn – this Welsh settlement is the gateway to Valdes Peninsula, where Penguins, Sea Lions, Birds & Whales can be seen – Orcas have been known to beach themselves here to catch Sea Lions (season dependent).
- We follow the coast to Buenos Aires.
Days 86 to 87
- Buenos Aires – a smart cosmopolitan city with plenty to do; museums, horse racing, football matches, shopping, tango dancing & restaurants that serve the best steaks in the world.
- Optional 2 hr ferry across the River Plate for a 1 or 2 day visit to the buzzing capital Montevideo & the quieter town of Colonia.
Days 88 to 93
- Rio de Janeiro – where folk are always up for a party and live purely for the moment – Carnival & New Years Eve celebrations are always chaotic, crowded and great fun.
- Parati – laid back historic coastal village, explore the secluded islands by taking a sailing trip in a traditional schooner.
Days 94 to 99
- Pantanal – organise treks out into the vast wetlands, home to hundreds of species of birds & fish, including Piranha!
- Bonito – swim & snorkel in crystal clear river and lakes as well as hike into lush forests to look for monkeys, alligators & anaconda.
Days 100 to 105
- Iguazu Falls – optional activities include boat trips, helicopter flights and mountain biking – we visit the falls from both the Argentine & Brazilian sides.
- Buenos Aires – great food, wine, nightlife and learn to tango!