Lima to Rio Adventure
Discover South America in 7 awesome weeks
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Group Size: Max 18, Avg 14
Trip code: SPMR
Duration: 51 days
Visit six incredible South American countries on this epic group adventure tour. See it all from Lima in Peru to Rio in Brazil, and everything in-between! Kick off in lively Lima, visit the mysterious Nazca Lines, see Cusco and the Colca Canyon, hike Peru’s famous Inca Trail, see stunning Machu Picchu, stay by Lake Titicaca, enjoy a 3-day 4x4 excursion into Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats, see Chile’s amazing Atacama Desert, explore Argentina and enjoy the buzz of Buenos Aires, head off the beaten track in Uruguay, be awed by Iguassu Falls, relax by the beach in Brazil and end this incredible experience in the carnival city of Rio – wow!
PERU - BOLIVIA - CHILE - ARGENTINA - URUGUAY - BRAZIL
- Begin this epic adventure tour in lively Lima and explore Peru: Hike the iconic Inca Trail, see breathtaking Machu Picchu, stay by the shore of Lake Titicaca, visit Cusco and the Colca Canyon and see the mysterious Nazca Lines
- Enjoy an amazing 3-day 4x4 tour into Bolivia’s unique Salar de Uyuni (salt flats), discover Sucre, Potosi and La Paz and Visit Chile’s Atacama Desert
- Enjoy the buzz of Argentina’s capital city, beautiful Buenos Aires and head into stunning rural Argentine scenery in Salta
- Head off the beaten track in Uruguay: Stay at a traditional estancia (ranch), explore the capital city Montevideo, and be charmed by Colonia de Sacramento
- Stay on Brazil’s stunning Ilha Grande, explore Paraty and visit mighty Iguassu Falls before ending your incredible South American adventure in Rio!
Day 1: Lima
Arrive in time for a welcome meeting with your group and guide at 6p.m. If you arrive early, enjoy a free day exploring Peru’s lively capital city and sample the delights of the so-called ‘City of Kings’.
Day 2: Lima/Huacachina
Travel to the oasis of Huacachina. Ride over the epic dunes surrounding the settlement in a dune buggy, followed by a sandboarding session. Head back to Huacachina as the sun sets behind the dunes, and enjoy a pisco sour or two!
Day 3: Huacachina/Nazca
Enjoy some free time in Huacachina this morning. Then transfer to Nazca, stopping on the way at a pisco winery for a tasting. This evening in Nazca, head out for a Pachamanca-style dinner with your group.
Day 4: Nazca/Arequipa
The captivating Nazca Lines are an archaeological wonder, where strange patterns and pictures are etched into this flat desert in crisscross patterns. An optional light aircraft flight over the lines can be arranged for an extra cost of around USD100. Alternatively, you can learn about Nazca culture on an optional desert cemetery and pottery workshop tour. Board an overnight bus and make tracks for Arequipa.
Day 5: Arequipa
Lap up the laid-back vibe in the Peruvian city of Arequipa. Soak up the sun as it bounces off the dazzling white buildings and explore the central plaza and cathedral, visit the Convent of Santa Catalina, or just people-watch at a streetside café. Arequipa is surrounded by stunning mountains, such as the famous El Misti Volcano, and you can get a spectacular view of its snow-capped peak from the city.
Day 6-7: Colca Canyon
Drive through amazing landscape full of Inca and pre-Inca terracing for an overnight stay at the Colca Canyon, where if you’re lucky you may just spot the king of the Andes, the Andean Condor. Set in breathtaking scenery, you may also see traditional Peruvian animals such as alpacas, llamas and vicuñas as you enjoy a stay off the beaten track in Peru. You also have the option to soak your tired muscles in the local hot springs – bliss! Return to Arequipa in the afternoon of day 7.
Day 8: Arequipa/Cusco
Enjoy one final free day in Arequipa before hopping on an overnight bus this evening, bound for the city of Cusco.
Day 9-10: Cusco
Get to know this amazing Peruvian city at your own pace with two free days to explore. Optional activities include museum visits, Incan ruins, city tour, horse riding, church visits, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, bungee jumping and much more!
Day 11: Cusco/Ollantaytambo
Head for Ollantaytambo today with a stop at Ccaccaccollo Women’s Weaving Centre. See how the locals make clothes, meet the llamas, and pick up some souvenirs. We’ll also stop at a local brewery where you can try some artisanal beer.
Day 12: INCA TRAIL. Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp
Leave Ollantaytambo and travel by van to km 82 of the trail, where your epic hike begins!
Please note: Due to sustainable tourism regulations on the Inca Trail there is a cap on the number of people allowed to walk the trail on any one day. This may mean that on certain dates the trek permits have sold out and you will not be able to trek the Inca Trail. In this unlikely event you will take an alternate route to Machu Picchu. Speak to us for more information.
Day 13: INCA TRAIL. Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp
An early start sees you climbing the long, steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass, and which is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). You can expect to arrive at camp in the early afternoon, where you can switch off and relax in stunning surroundings.
Day 14: INCA TRAIL. Paqaymayo Camp/Wiñaywayna
Two more passes are on the agenda today, plus more incredible Incan ruins. Your first pass to conquer is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where on a clear day you can see the spectacular, snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike gently through cloud forest to your second pass of the day, past Incan ruins and up to a height of 3,700m (12,136 ft) for sensational views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3,650m (11,972 ft) you reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "Town Above the Clouds." Camp either here or 1.5 hrs further along, near the Wiñay Wayna ruins (Forever Young) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Day 15: INCA TRAIL. Wiñaywayna/Cusco
Wake early, at around 3.30a.m for a pre-dawn hike to the stunning Sun Gate, where you can watch the sunrise. On a clear day you can catch your first glimpse of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu and you'll then hike on to the ancient ruined city of Machu Picchu for a guided tour and free time to explore. If time permits, you can also opt to visit the Inca Bridge. Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet your guide and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.
Day 16: Cusco
Enjoy a free day relaxing and unwinding in Cusco, enjoying a well-earned rest after your efforts on the Inca Trail.
Day 17: Cusco/Puno
Today is a day of travel, riding on a local bus through the high Altiplano region to Puno on Lake Titicaca.
Day 18 & 19: Lake Titicaca
Board a boat towards Taquile Island, where you’ll enjoy a local lunch and some shopping in the local weaving cooperatives. Travel on to a homestay on the shores of Lake Titicaca and experience some of the traditional local music and dance. During your stay you’ll also take a trip to the floating islands of the Uros people and have the option to visit the ruins of the Sillustani Burial Towers.
Day 20: Puno/La Paz
Enjoy a full-day driving around lovely Lake Titicaca and back through the Altiplano to the soaring Bolivian city of La Paz.
Day 21 & 22: La Paz
Founded in 1548, La Ciudad de Nuestra Señora de La Paz (the City of Our Lady of Peace) is bursting with museums and historic churches and is famous for its bustling markets. Optional activities in La Paz include a tour to Chacaltaya in the Andes, a visit to the Tiahuanaco Ruins, a city tour or a trip to the unique witches market! On the evening of day 22 you will board an overnight bus to Sucre.
Day 23 & 24: Sucre
Sucre’s museums and colonial buildings make this a fascinating, historic place to explore. Optional activities include a dinosaur tracks excursion, hiking, biking, paragliding, horse riding, a visit to a textile weaving project or a visit to a local village.
Day 25 & 26: Potosí
Sitting at a soaring height of 4070m (13,350 ft), Potosí is the highest city of its size on earth and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its part in Spanish colonial silver mining history. Enjoy some free time in this Bolivian city, or opt to visit a local silver mine for a unique tour experience (extra cost of USD21).
Day 27: Potosí/Uyuni
Travel by private vehicle to the town of Uyuni, the starting point for your upcoming salt flats excursion. This isolated spot, with its challenging weather, has nonetheless earned the nickname of Hija Predilecta de Bolivia (Bolivia’s Favourite Daughter).
Day 28: Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni
Enjoy a 3-day excursion into Bolivia’s salt flats. The unique landscape is one of crisp white salt beds, bright blue sky, volcanoes and bubbling geysers. We’ll stop at a local village to learn about their way of life and have a meal prepared for us. Tonight we’ll stay in a salt-brick bungalow!
Day 29: Salar de Uyuni
Continue your 4x4 adventure through the Salar de Uyuni – amazing!
Day 30: Salar de Uyuni/San Pedro de Atacama
After ending your unique salt flats tour today, cross the border into Chile and travel by private bus to the small town of San Pedro de Atacama, which lies on the edge of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth.
Day 31: San Pedro de Atacama
Spend some free time marvelling at the scenery, go mountain biking, horse riding or sandboarding or opt to visit the bizarre lunar landscape of the Valley of the Moon.
Day 32 & 33: Salta
Cross the border into Argentina by first-class bus and after a long, 10-hour comfortable journey you will arrive in Salta, in the Lerma Valley of northern Argentina. Optional activities here include a tour to see the stunning Quebrada de las Conchas gorge and to sample wines at Cafayate.
Day 34-36: Buenos Aires
Hop on an inclusive internal flight to Buenos Aires and soak up the cosmopolitan cool of Argentina’s charming capital city. Hang out at the Plaza de Mayo, treat yourself in smart Recoleta, watch a football match at the legendary Bombonera or just enjoy the laid-back lifestyle. Optional activities include a city tour, a tango & dinner show and much more!
Day 37: Buenos Aires/Colonia del Sacramento
Cross over by ferry into Uruguay today and tick another South American destination off your bucket list! Your first Uruguayan stop-off is the charming colonial city of Colonia Del Sacramento, where your guide will take you on a short orientation walk. The rest of the day is free for you to explore. Rent a golf cart (18USD per person) and discover the Old Town using this unique mode of transport!
Day 38 & 39: Montevideo
Travel by local bus into Uruguay’s buzzing capital city, Montevideo. The next two days are free time for you to discover this lively city at your own pace and try exciting optional activities, which include museum visits, a tour of the football stadium, shopping at Port Market, cycling, a city tour or a day trip to Punta del Este.
Day 40 & 41: Estancia Ranch Stay
Enjoy rural life down on a traditional working ranch, known in the region as an ‘estancia’, for the next two nights. Learn about the history of the area, turn your hand to some farm tasks, tuck into a barbeque, explore the region on foot or on horseback or sit back, sip local wines and enjoy the scenery.
Day 42: Estancia/Iguassu Falls
In the morning you will cross another country border, into Gualeguaychu in Argentina, and you will then begin the long overnight journey by bus to Iguassu Falls.
Day 43 & 44: Iguassu Falls
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Foz do Iguaçu, or Iguassu Falls, is located on the border of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. You will spend two days at this awesome site and get to view the falls from the Argentine side. Take an optional boat or helicopter ride or just be awed by the power of the falling water!
Day 45 & 46: Paraty
Fly to São Paulo very early on day 45 (around 6am) and head for the gorgeous Brazilian coast, driving along winding roads to Paraty. Paraty’s bay bursts with beautiful beaches and over 65 tropical islands. You will have 2 free days here to explore and try optional activities: Go on a jeep tour, visit a Cachaça distillery, take a boat tour, hike, dive, swim or snorkel or enjoy a horseback ride.
Day 47-49: Ilha Grande
Travel along the Atlantic coast and take a ferry to the idyllic, tranquil island of llha Grande. Relax in paradise as you laze on sandy beaches, swim, spot wonderful wildlife or try awesome optional activities such as biking, snorkelling, surfing, hiking, diving or a boat tour.
Catch the ferry back to mainland Brazil and jump in a private van for a ride to Brazil’s buzzing city of Rio. You’ll be staying in a hostel in Copacabana tonight.
Day 50: Ilha Grande/Rio de Janeiro
Visit a local favela this morning - try some local beer and take part in a capoeira session. Spend the rest of the day enjoying this beautiful city. Relax on Copacabana beach, take the cable car to Sugarloaf Mountain, or take a selfie at the top of Christ the Redeemer.
Day 51: Rio de Janeiro
Your epic adventure tour ends today in Rio and you are free to depart at any time. Say goodbye to your guide and your new-found travelling friends and look back on 51 unforgettable days and some amazing memories of South America!
Please note: All optional activities are at an extra cost.
Please note: If you're travelling in 2019, we'll be stopping in Paracas instead of Huacachina on days 2 and 3. Paracas is charming seaside town, famous for it's Pisco sours (Peru's national drink), and the gateway to the Ballestas Islands, also know as the 'Little Galapagos'. You'll have time to explore the town on day's 2 and 3, as well as joining an optional tour of the Ballestas Islands (extra cost of USD 10) on the morning of day 3. We'll also stop off at Huacachina oasis on day 3, en route to Nazca, for some sandboarding, and also visit a local artisanal winery to taste some Pisco. Yum!
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This adventure starts in Lima (Peru) and ends in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
You will need to arrange your arrival into Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima in time to travel to your hotel and attend a welcome meeting at 6p.m on day 1.
The airport is approximately a 45-minute drive from your hotel. An airport transfer is not included and we recommend you get a taxi from the official taxi stand at the airport. You can pay a set rate (around USD27).
Please note, we can also arrange a airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.
50 nights’ accommodation are included on this epic Lima to Rio Adventure. This will mainly be a combination of shared hostels/hotels, camping, homestays and overnight transport.
36 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners are included on this trip. You will need to buy all other meals, snacks and drinks yourself. This is a great opportunity to explore the food of South America as you can eat where and when you like. Please allow USD1250 – 1625 for meals not included.
The minimum age to join this trip is 18. This trip is designed for travellers aged 18-39.
British nationals can normally enter Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru without a visa.
British nationals don’t normally need a visa to visit Bolivia for stays of up to 30 days.
British passport holders do not need a visa to enter Chile, for stays of up to 90 days. On arrival in Chile you will receive a ‘Tourist Card’, which you must keep safely and present to immigration when you leave.
All visa requirements are subject to change. Please check all up-to-date requirements for all visas with the relevant embassies.
Please note: Due to recent changes, the Bolivian authorities now require all travellers to Bolivia to provide a Yellow Fever 'Certificate of Vaccination' on arrival. You should keep your Yellow Fever Certificate with your travel documents when entering Bolivia. As we are not medically trained we are not able to advise you about vaccinations - you should make an appointment with your GP before travelling to get up to date information and advice about receiving the vaccination and other health considerations.
Physical Rating: Demanding. Some activities on this trip will require a good level of fitness.