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Southern Cross Eastbound - Lima to Rio
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From Jan 17 From Jan 17 From Jan 17

From the Nazca Lines and the heights of Incan archaeology to the beach at Ipanema, this 45-day long tour provides limitless opportunities for adventure. Explore the wetlands of the Pantanal, thundering Iguassu Falls, and the bizarre landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats. In the thin air of the Andes, trek the challenging Inca Trail to legendary Machu Picchu – we run our own treks and ensure quality food and equipment, leaving you to focus on your next exhilarating step forward. With local transportation and authentic accommodation, this trip offers an intense blend of included activities and free time to explore on your own. This trip has it all!

Latin America
  • Duration: 45 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: SXMR.B/201955
  • Starts: Lima, Peru
  • Finishes: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You will Visit
  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Arequipa
  • Chivay
  • Cusco
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Cuncani
  • Kuyoc
  • Aguas Calientes
  • Puno
  • Lago Titicaca
  • La Paz
  • Uyuni
  • Salar de Uyuni
  • Potosí
  • Sucre
  • Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • Puerto Suárez
  • Pantanal
  • Bonito
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Paraty
  • Ilha Grande
  • Rio de Janeiro

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Arrive at any time.

02

Day 2: Lima/Paracas

Enjoy a free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.
Take the morning to explore more of Lima before journeying down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town's lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chili cheese sauce).

Try your first Pisco Sour cocktail while staying in Paracas, the neighbouring town of Pisco.

03

Day 3: Paracas/Nazca

Opt to visit the Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of bird life, before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina.
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 near the oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect 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.

04

Day 4: Nazca/Arequipa

Take a guided tour of the Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio. Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines before the overnight bus to Arequipa.
Travel south to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. It's difficult to make out the lines from the ground. The best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.

Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during the included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 1500-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan's workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.

Later, board a night bus to Arequipa.

05

Day 5: Arequipa

Enjoy a free day in Arequipa, the "white city". Opt for a city tour or visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery.
Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life.

For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa holds a variety of regional food — alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces, waiting for you to dig in.

06

Day 6: Arequipa/Colca Canyon

Travel to Chivay, a village near Colca Canyon, for an optional dip in the thermal baths. Continue on to nearby Colca Canyon for the day.
Travel a rough, rutted road through high plains flanked by extensive Inca and pre-Inca terracing that goes on for kilometres, en route to the Colca Canyon — the deepest canyon in the world. Stop at villages and miradors (scenic lookouts), searching for the famous symbol of Peru, the condor.

07

Day 7: Colca Canyon/Arequipa

Enjoy time at the canyon in the early morning before heading back to Arequipa for the night.
Start early to catch the condors in flight. Travel from Chivay to the condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see ancient terraces and different sections of Colca Canyon. Return to Arequipa in the afternoon for one final night in the 'white city'.

08

Day 8: Arequipa/Cusco

Fly to Cusco. Opt for a city tour or to explore the city's markets, museums, and plazas.
Take the short flight to Cusco for an afternoon wandering this fascinating city.

09

Day 9: Cusco/Ollantaytambo

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. Finish the day exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.
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.

Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and the small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. 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.

Continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Take a guided tour of the large ruin site adjacent to the town. Ollayntaytambo is the first taste of what lies ahead in Machu Picchu.

10

Day 10: Lares Trek

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.

11

Day 11: 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.

12

Day 12: Lares Trek/Aguas Calientes

Enjoy the last few hours of hiking before travelling by van to Ollantaytambo and train to Aguas Calientes. Spend some time relaxing in town or visiting the nearby hot springs.

13

Day 13: Machu Picchu/Cusco

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.

14

Day 14: Cusco

Enjoy free time to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Nature lovers can book an optional adventure to go to the Amazon Jungle for a 3-day/2-night excursion.
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.

15

Day 15: Cusco

Enjoy free time to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Nature lovers can book an optional adventure to go to the Amazon Jungle for a 3-day/2-night excursion.
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.

16

Day 16: Cusco

Enjoy free time to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Nature lovers can book an optional adventure to go to the Amazon Jungle for a 3-day/2-night excursion.
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.

17

Day 17: Cusco/Puno

Travel day by bus from Cusco to Puno. Spend some time on arrival wandering the small city.
Today, travel through the high Altiplano region from Cusco to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is the largest lake in the world above 3800m, and the views from its Islands are stunning. The trip takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route.

18

Day 18: Puno/Lago Titicaca

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 local restaurant to enjoy a 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.

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Day 19: Lago Titicaca/Puno

Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit 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.

20

Day 20: Puno/La Paz

Travel by bus and cross the border into Bolivia, arriving in La Paz.
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 4000m (13,120ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.

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Day 21: La Paz

Use another free day to explore La Paz. Opt to visit Iglesia de San Francisco, Chacaltaya, the Valley of the Moon, or the Witches' Market.

22

Day 22: La Paz/Uyuni

Travel by train and bus to the town of Uyuni, home base for salt flat exploration.

23

Day 23: Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni

Enjoy a three day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery.
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 three day excursion through the spectacular Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) in 4x4 vehicles.

24

Day 24: Salar de Uyuni

Continue exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats on a 4x4 excursion. Admire the spectacular scenery while passing red and blue lagoons along the route. Spot wild llamas, alpacas and even flamingos deep within the desert.

25

Day 25: Salar de Uyuni/Uyuni

Rise early to cover more ground of the unique landscape of the Uyuni Salt Flats. Continue to see incredible scenery, including volcanoes, salt lakes and geysers.

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Day 26: Uyuni/Potosí

Journey from Uyuni to Potosí and get a view of the mountain Cerro Rico looming over the city.

27

Day 27: Potosí/Sucre

Continue by bus to Sucre and explore the beautiful colonial city.

28

Day 28: Sucre

Free time to explore the city, the former capital of Bolivia. For more active options opt to go hiking in the surrounding area or mountain biking.

29

Day 29: Sucre

Free time to explore the city, the former capital of Bolivia. For more active options opt to go hiking in the surrounding area or mountain biking.

30

Day 30: Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Fly to Santa Cruz.
Take a local flight from Sucre to Santa Cruz, located close to the Cordillera Oriental foothills.

31

Day 31: Santa Cruz de la Sierra/Puerto Suárez

Spend some time exploring Santa Cruz before travelling by overnight train to the Brazilian border.

32

Day 32: Puerto Suárez/Pantanal

Travel into Brazil and straight to the Pantanal on 2-day excursion into the with a local guide. This is a perfect place to experience the wildlife of Brazil.
Cross Bolivia's eastern border at the frontier town of Corumbá, Brazil, on the edge of the Pantanal, an immense wetland area famed for its profuse wildlife. Take a 2-day wildlife excursion to fully appreciate the area's beauty and bounty.

33

Day 33: Pantanal

Enjoy a 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 abound.

34

Day 34: Pantanal/Bonito

Travel to Bonito and spend time here snorkelling in the rivers or exploring nearby caves.

35

Day 35: Bonito

Enjoy a full day in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the crystal-clear rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.

36

Day 36: Bonito/Foz do Iguaçu

Enjoy the day in Bonito before overnight transport to Iguassu Falls.

37

Day 37: Foz do Iguaçu

Spend two full days exploring Iguassu from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides. Opt to visit a nearby bird park.
Visit the Brazilian side of the falls before a free afternoon to relax or visit the bird park, home to species such as the Hyacinth macaw and toucans.

38

Day 38: Foz do Iguaçu

Cross the border to explore the Argentine side of the falls. Opt for a boat ride at the base of the falls.
Cross the border to Argentina for a new perspective of the falls. With an extensive series of catwalks and optional boat rides to the base of the falls, there's plenty to do before returning to the Brazilian side for the night.

39

Day 39: Foz do Iguaçu/Paraty

Fly to São Paulo and continue by van to Paraty. Spend a day and a half discovering this town.
On arrival in São Paulo, continue on by bus to the gorgeous coastal town of Paraty. Wander the cobblestoned streets, take a boat trip to the nearby islands in the bay, or visit one of the many white-sand beaches that make Brazil famous.

40

Day 40: Paraty

Enjoy free time to explore Paraty. Opt to visit the cachaça distilleries or take a boat into the bay to explore the nearby islands and beaches.

41

Day 41: Paraty

Enjoy free time to explore Paraty. Opt to visit the cachaça distilleries or take a boat into the bay to explore the nearby islands and beaches.

42

Day 42: Paraty/Ilha Grande

Continue by van up the coast and take a ferry to Ilha Grande.
A short, scenic drive along the coast takes us to Angra dos Reis. Board the ferry to Ilha Grande—home to some of Brazil's most beautiful beaches.

Enjoy free time to soak up the sun, snorkel, hike, and cruise to various beaches, not to mention feast on fresh seafood and sip caipirinhas in the plaza in the evenings.

43

Day 43: Ilha Grande

Enjoy a free day in Ilha Grande. Opt to hike the island's remote beaches or enjoy free time to relax and explore.

44

Day 44: Ilha Grande/Rio de Janeiro

Carry on by ferry and van to Rio de Janeiro. With free time, explore the city on an optional city tour.
Travel back to the mainland by ferry before continuing north along the coast. Enjoy the incredible scenery before rounding the cliffs at Vidigal. Get your first look at one of the most memorable cities in the world—Río de Janeiro.

45

Day 45: Rio de Janeiro

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • G Adventures for Good: Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit, Ccaccaccollo G Adventures for Good: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay G Adventures for Good: Cuncani Community Campsite, Cuncani Hands-On: Huacachina Winery Visit, Huacachina Local Living: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lago Titicaca
    • Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio guided tour
    • Arequipa stay
    • Colca Canyon guided tour
    • Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour with visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving project (full-day)
    • Lunch at the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village
    • Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4 days)
    • G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Inca Trail
    • Machu Picchu guided tour
    • Floating islands of Uros visit
    • Lake Titicaca guided tour
    • 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats (3 days)
    • Pantanal wildlife excursion (2 days)
    • Bonito stay
    • Iguassu Falls visit (Brazil and Argentina)
    • Beach time on Ilha Grande
    • Rio de Janeiro stay
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (34 nts), overnight buses (2 nts), overnight train (1 nt), camping (2 nts), homestay (1 nt), basic hotels on Uyuni Salt Flats excursion (2 nts, multi-share), tented room with hammocks in the Pantanal (2 nts, multi-share)
    • 39 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 7 dinners
    Transport
    • Public bus, plane, ferry, train, private van, boat, hiking, 4x4 vehicle
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout (except on the local flight from Sucre to Santa Cruz), specialist Lares Trek CEO on hike, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Settle in with the locals at a homestay on Lake Titicaca
  • Explore the Uyuni Salt Flats and Andean wilderness
  • Spot wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal
  • Stand in awe of Iguassu Falls


Reviews (10)
Jason P Posted on: 

It is a lot of country to see in the amount of time taken. However the spectacular sights, mix of cultures, friendly locals and great travelling companions made it all a rewarding experience.

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Hannah M Posted on: 

On this G Adventures tour I genuinely had the most amazing time of my life. I felt we managed to fit in everything there was to do in the places we went in half the time it would take you to do it alone. The leaders, including the local tour guides, were on the whole excellent and our tour leader Walter really made the trip for us. The highlights were definitely most of Peru, the Salt Flats in Bolivia and Sucre, and the whole of Brazil.I had such a great time and am so impressed with the organisation and have made great friends. I would definitely use G Adventures again!

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Christina U Posted on: 

The tour was great! We had a great group and really explored South America.

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Benjamin Robert M Posted on: 

Absolutely amazing trip. You see so many great sights and learn so much about the history and culture of the countries.

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James D Posted on: 

An unforgettable trip, and life experience. Being on the G Adventures trip we experienced so much more than if we had traveled on our own. A perfect choice of locations visited. The Guides' local knowledge and experience was a major factor in the experience.

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Sandra S Posted on: 

I really enjoyed the 45 day adventure. Although I didn't do the Inca Trail Machu Picchu was just incredible.

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Gina T Posted on: 

Transport, accommodation and quality of the guide/information were all better than anticipated.

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paul and andrea p Posted on: 

well organised,enjoyable,varied standard of accomodation & tours.

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Nicholas B Posted on: 

It was an excellent tour, giving the opportunity to see many amazing sights.

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Kathrine R Posted on: 

This was my first trip with G Adventures and I really didn't expect it to be so good! The tour leaders helped us with absolutely everything we wanted to do. And that they sorted out everything with hotels, transportation and so on was great. I'm sure I want to travel with G Adventures again! My overall impressions are only positive.

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