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Southern Cross Westbound - Rio to Lima
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Inca Trail Until Jan 18 Lares Trek Until Jan 18 Cusco Stay Until Jan 18 Inca Trail from Feb From Feb 18 Lares Trek from Feb From Feb 18 Cusco Stay from Feb From Feb 18

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.

Latin America
  • Duration: 39 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: SZRM.A/201965
  • Starts: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Finishes: Lima, Peru
You will Visit
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Ilha Grande
  • Paraty
  • Foz do Iguaçu
  • Bonito
  • Pantanal
  • Santa Cruz de la Sierra
  • Sucre
  • Potosí
  • Uyuni
  • Salar de Uyuni
  • La Paz
  • Puno
  • Lago Titicaca
  • Cusco
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Wayllabamba Camp
  • Paqaymayo Camp
  • Wiñaywayna
  • Lima

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Rio de Janeiro

Arrive at any time.

02

Day 2: Rio de Janeiro/Ilha Grande

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.

03

Day 3: Ilha Grande

Enjoy a free day in Ilha Grande.

04

Day 4: Ilha Grande/Paraty

Continue by bus to the colonial city of Paraty.
Head down the beautiful Costa Verde to the colonial town of Paraty. Spend the afternoon exploring the cobblestone streets and cafés.

05

Day 5: Paraty

Enjoy two free days to explore by choosing to go snorkelling or visit a typical fazenda (farm). Opt for a cachaça distillery visit or boat tour of the bay and nearby beaches.

06

Day 6: Paraty

Enjoy two free days to explore by choosing to go snorkelling or visit a typical fazenda (farm). Opt for a cachaça distillery visit or boat tour of the bay and nearby beaches.

07

Day 7: Paraty/Foz do Iguaçu

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.
Drive to Sao Paulo for a flight to the magnificent Foz do Iguaçu, or Iguassu Falls, which border Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

In order to see the falls properly you need to view them from both the Brazilian and the Argentine sides. The Brazilian side offers the grand overview, and the Argentine side a closer look.

Sit back and soak in the stunning beauty and raw power that is Iguassu, or take an optional boat tour directly into the spray of the falls.

08

Day 8: Foz do Iguaçu

Cross the border to explore the Argentine side of Iguassu. 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.

09

Day 9: Foz do Iguaçu/Bonito

Explore the Brazilian side of Iguassu before overnight transport to Bonito.
Visit the Brazilian side of the falls and have a free afternoon to visit the bird park, home to species such as the Hyacinth macaw and toucans. In the afternoon, board overnight transport to travel to Bonito.

10

Day 10: Bonito

Enjoy two full days in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.
Explore nearby underwater caves and waterfalls, go rafting or snorkelling, or simply spend a lazy day by the river.

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Day 11: Bonito

Enjoy two full days in Bonito with optional activities like snorkelling in the rivers or exploring the nearby caves and waterfalls.
Explore nearby underwater caves and waterfalls, go rafting or snorkelling, or simply spend a lazy day by the river.

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Day 12: Bonito/Pantanal

Journey into the Pantanal, a perfect place to experience the wildlife of Brazil.

13

Day 13: Pantanal

Enjoy an excursion into the wetlands of the Pantanal with a local guide. Opportunities to spot wildlife such as monkeys, macaws, giant otters, and caiman abound.

14

Day 14: Pantanal/Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Leave the Pantanal and head for the border. Board an overnight train to Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
From the frontier town of Corumbá, Brazil, cross into Bolivia. From here, an overnight train heads to Santa Cruz. Occasionally, this train may be replaced with an overnight bus.

15

Day 15: Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Spend some time exploring Santa Cruz.

16

Day 16: Santa Cruz de la Sierra/Sucre

Fly to Sucre and explore this beautiful colonial city.
Optional activities include a visit to dinosaur footprints, an old tin baron's mansion, mountain biking, and hiking.

17

Day 17: 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.

18

Day 18: 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.

19

Day 19: Sucre/Potosí

Travel by bus to Potosí. Spend free time exploring the city.

20

Day 20: Potosí/Uyuni

Travel through the Bolivian landscape to the town of Uyuni, the jumping off point for the three day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats.

21

Day 21: Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni

Enjoy a three day 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding desert altiplano with spectacular scenery.

22

Day 22: 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.

23

Day 23: Salar de Uyuni/La Paz

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. Travel back to Uyuni to catch an overnight train to La Paz.

24

Day 24: La Paz

Enjoy the afternoon in La Paz. Opt for a city tour or to explore the markets and winding streets.

25

Day 25: 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.

26

Day 26: La Paz

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.

27

Day 27: La Paz/Puno

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.

28

Day 28: 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 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.

29

Day 29: 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 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.

30

Day 30: Puno/Cusco

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.

31

Day 31: Cusco

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.

32

Day 32: 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. Stop at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco for lunch. Finish the day by 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 who work here and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs right from the source.

Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and a small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. Here, have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch, the proceeds from which go directly back to the remote community.

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

33

Day 33: Inca Trail

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.

34

Day 34: Inca Trail

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.

35

Day 35: Inca Trail

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).

36

Day 36: Machu Picchu/Cusco

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.

37

Day 37: Cusco

Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking.

38

Day 38: Cusco/Lima

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.

39

Day 39: Lima

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 Local Living: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lago Titicaca
    • Iguassu Falls visit (Brazil and Argentina)
    • Pantanal wildlife excursion (2 days)
    • 4x4 excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flats (3 days)
    • Floating islands of Uros visit
    • Lake Titicaca guided tour
    • Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour
    • Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4 days)
    • Machu Picchu guided tour
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (26 nts), overnight buses (2 nts), overnight trains (2 nts), camping (3 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)
    • 32 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 8 dinners
    Transport
    • Public bus, plane, 4x4 vehicle, train, walking, hiking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Stare in awe at Iguassu Falls
  • Search for wildlife in the Brazilian Pantanal
  • Spend three days exploring the Uyuni Salt Flats by 4x4
  • Settle in with the locals at a homestay on Lake Titicaca
  • Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu