Buenos Aires to Manaus Trip Notes

Experience the ultimate overland South America tour through Argentina and Brazil. Visit Iguazu Falls, Salvador and hop aboard an Amazon River ferry tour.

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Last Modified: 22 Jul 2012
Buenos Aires to Manaus
Trip code: GDOUC
Validity: 01 Jan 2011 to 31 Dec 2011
Get a taste of the infectious rhythm of Argentina and Brazil on this Overland adventure from Buenos Aires to Manaus, taking in the spectacular Iguazu Falls, the vast Pantanal wetlands and Brazil's futuristic capital city along the way. See amazing natural wonders, explore small historic towns and spend time relaxing in comfort near the ocean. From tango to samba, Spanish to Portuguese and wine to caipirinhas, these two countries are both distinct but share a zest for life that is sure to have you enthralled.
This trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Dragoman shares Intrepid's ethos for adventure travel and has many years' expertise in overlanding.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency funds
ThemesImportant notesVisas
MapGroup sizeIssues on your trip
ItineraryYour fellow travellersWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerSingle travellersHealth
Culture shock rating AccommodationSafety
Physical ratingMeals introductionTravel insurance
Physical preparationMealsResponsible Travel
Included activitiesTransportA couple of rules
KittyGroup leaderThe Intrepid Foundation
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel projects
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsFeedback
Spending moneyFinish point
TippingEmergency contact
To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures so your leader and the composition of your group may change.
Style
Basix
  • The best value journeys on the planet! On a Basix trip you can expect amazing experiences, but none of the inclusions that you may not want. Which means budget (1-2 star) accommodation, plenty of free time, activities that are optional and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget. On some trips you may be camping and required to set up your own tent. You'll also have access to a group leader to offer advice and help you uncover the region's hidden gems. On a Basix journey, the way you travel is all a part of the adventure. Depending on the destination and the itinerary, you could find yourself travelling on anything from a donkey to a bus or a private safari vehicle. These trips are ideal for first-time travellers seeking fun and independence with the support of a group leader. They're also ideal for independent travellers looking to make the most of their travel time with minimum hassle and maximum experiences.
Themes
Overland
Map
Buenos Aires to Manaus
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Buenos Aires
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Argentina.
The trip begins with a group meeting at 6pm.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your kitty, insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting so please ensure you have all details on hand to provide to your leader.
Buenos Aires must be the ultimate cosmopolitan city. With Latin passion, European elegance and a distinctive style all of its own, this is a city that will steal your heart. The Portenos (the local residents) are justifiably proud of BA, which is comprised of distinct neighbourhoods, each with their own style.
Visit San Telmo for its weekend antiques market and artists displays. La Boca, settled by waves of immigrants who built brightly painted buildings, is home to the world-class Boca Juniors football team. Recoleta is the place to browse museums with Buenos Aires' well-to-do. There are many sights in the heart of the city with churches, cathedrals and historic buildings aplenty.
When you've finished exploring, settle down at one of the many streetside cafes and prepare yourself for a night of tango at one of the many milongas.
As there is a great deal to do in Buenos Aires we recommend arriving a few days early to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be able to assist.to our reservations team who can assist in booking extra nights accommodation.
Optional Activities
  • Gran Cafe Tortoni Show - ARS80
  • Recoleta - Free
  • Visit Montevideo (Uruguay), Buenos Aires - USD140
  • City Tour, Buenos Aires - USD10
  • Teatro Colon - ARS110
  • Visit Colonia (Uruguay), Buenos Aires - USD80
  • Football Ticket - USD150
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 3 Concordia
Today we drive roughly 415 km towards Concordia where we bush camp for the night.
Concordia lies on the western shore of the Uruguayan River and is the national capital of citrus production. The river dissects Argentina from Uruguay and many people take rail and road journeys to and from Concordia to Salto in Uruguay.
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 4 San Ignacio Mini
A 560 km drive takes us to the Jesuit Mission of San Ignacio de Mini. We spend the night at a campsite with facilities.
The small town of San Ignacio Mini was once the centre of a Jesuit mission and its ruins can still be seen today. The buildings are very well preserved and include a church, cemetery and monastery and provide an interesting insight to the history of this area.
Included Activities
  • Jesuit Mission ruins and museum, San Ignacio de Mini
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 5-7 Iguazu Falls
This morning we drive 230 km drive to Puerto Iguazu. The afternoon is free for optional activities near the waterfalls. We spend the night at a campsite with good facilities.
At over 2 km long, Iguazu Falls are actually a series of cataracts. There are over 270 falls in all, and with some reaching up to 80m in height, they are wider than Victoria Falls and higher than Niagara. Legend has it that a serpent god intended to marry a beautiful girl called Naipi. She escaped in a canoe with her mortal lover Caroba and in a jealous rage the god chased them, collapsing the river before them so that Naipi plunged over the falls to become a rock, while Caroba became a tree, forever unable to touch his love. A more scientific explanation is that the Rio Iguazu flows over a riverbed of basalt that ends where the lava cooled, leaving the water to fall. The falls were 'discovered' in the modern day by the Spaniard Juan Alvar Nunez who named them Saltos de Santa Maria. The name we know them by today means 'Great Waters' in the Tupi-Guarani tongue.
Bordering Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, these spectacular falls are a great sight to see.
The next morning we have a visit to the famous Iguazu Falls, from the Argentinean side. In the afternoon we have a short drive across the border to see the falls from the Brazilian side. We stay at a campsite in Foz do Iguazu in Brazil with excellent facilities and a pool.
Close to the borders with Argentina and Paraguay, Foz do Iguazu is Brazil's gateway to the Iguazu Falls.
The Brazilian park features a number of cleverly constructed walkways that allow you to get right out over the water up close to the falls themselves - and you will often be able to see fantastic rainbows forming as the sun catches the spray. If you want the ultimate waterfall experience, you can also organise helicopter flights here, where you'll be taken out right over the horseshoe of the falls, giving you a spectacular view of this natural wonder from a totally different perspective.
As well as the magnificent waterfalls, there's also a great bird park in Foz, where you can see many of Brazil's native species, including toucans and macaws. You can also visit the incredible Itaipu Dam, a vast concrete edifice that spans the Rio Parana and has been described as one of the 7 wonders of the modern world.
The third day here is free to enjoy the Brazilian Iguazu Falls, with a range of activities available. We stay for a second night at the same campsite.
Included Activities
  • Visit Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls (entrance fee included)
  • Visit Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls (entrance fee included)
Optional Activities
  • Boat Trip, Iguazu Falls - ARS45
  • Guided trip to Blue Lake Cave - BRL15
  • Bird Park - BRL22
  • Boat and 4WD adventure, Iquazu Falls - ARS120
  • Helicopter Ride, Iguazu Falls - USD80
  • Itaipu Dam tour, Iguazu Falls - BRL30
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Days 8-10 Bonito
Today is an all day drive day as we travel 800 km drive to Bonito where we camp at a good site with a pool.
The area around the small town of Bonito really is unique. Its main attractions are its crystal clear rivers, springs and caves, not to mention the abundant wildlife, which includes monkeys, alligators, anaconda, over 30 varieties of fish and tremendous birdlife. Unsurprisingly, the town is often described as the "ecotourism capital of Brazil". There are endless activities on offer, from spectacular walks through the surrounding hills and forest, to caving, horse-riding, abseiling, and snorkelling. Many of the best attractions are on private land and the area is being very carefully managed in order as to protect the wildlife and habitats found here.
The next two days are non-driving days allowing you free time to enjoy the range of activities available in Bonito such as snorkelling, rafting or a jungle trek.
Optional Activities
  • Rafting - USD15
  • Sucuri River - Snorkelling - BRL90
  • Prata River Snorkelling, Bonito - BRL93
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Days 11-13 Pantanal
We spend the next 3 days in Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal. From a ranch base we explore the surrounding area on horseback, from boats and canoes, from farm trucks and on foot before on the third day we drive in the afternoon roughly 250 km to a bush camp.
About the size of France, the Pantanal is the world's largest wetland area and one of the best wildlife spotting places on the continent. Sixty-five million years ago, the Pantanal was an inland sea that gradually dried out. These days the vast alluvial plain is seasonally flooded by the Paraguay River, giving a home to a wonderfully diverse wildlife. Jabirus and macaws are frequently spotted and with any luck we'll see howler monkeys, giant otters, anteaters, macaws and caiman (although hopefully not too close).
Unfortunately, the area's fantastic wildlife has brought some unwanted attention. Although a portion of the wetlands has been designated as a national park, poachers still kill up to two million animals here annually.
Accommodation
Hacienda (2 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 14-15 Brotas
Today is a full day 650 km drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeast Brazil. We stay at a camp site with good facilities.
Located in southeast Brazil, in the state of Sao Paulo, the remoteness of Brotas has meant that the forests surrounding this isolated town are teeming with species crucial to the maintenance of global biodiversity. The perfect location in which to experience untouched natural environments, Brotas has subsequently become an important destination in Brazilian eco-tourism. Alongside those visiting to enjoy the remarkable fauna that inhabit this area, Brotas is gradually acquiring a reputation for the quality of the adventure activities that are on offer such as horse riding and canyoning, rafting and kayaking.
The next day is free to get involved in optional adventure activities.
Optional Activities
  • Half Day White Water Rafting, Brotas - BRL60
  • Half Day Canyoning, Brotas - BRL45
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 16-18 Paraty
We drive 450 km to Paraty on the Emerald Coast where we have 3 nights at a beachside campsite with facilities. There is plenty of free time to explore, including boat trip out to a small island to go snorkelling or diving.
Sitting between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Paraty is one of the world's best preserved Portuguese colonial towns. This World Heritage-listed town was originally settled in 1531 on the opposite side of the river but in the 17th century the Indians who lived on the current site were driven away and the town moved. Paraty later became a booming port town, famous for its sugar cane liquor but after the abolition of slavery it was slowly forgotten. With the opening of new roads, the town was 'rediscovered' and declared a national monument.
The patron saint of Paraty is Our Lady of the Medicines. Three hundred years ago a wealthy benefactor donated land for a church in her honour. In return, she asked only for an annual mass. Each year a wooden effigy of the virgin, adorned with silver is carried in a procession through the town during the Festa de Nossa Senhora dos Remedios.
At high tide, some of Paraty's cobblestone streets are partly covered in sea water, adding to the rustic, colonial charm. The water of the bay is always right for swimming and the surrounding national parks are filled with trails, wildlife and waterfalls.
Included Activities
  • Boat trip
Optional Activities
  • Horse Riding full day, Parati - BRL40
  • Buggy hire ful day (Parati) - BRL85
  • Scuba Diving, Parati - USD95
  • Mountain Bike hire full day, Parati - BRL13
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Day 19 Rio de Janeiro
Today we drive 240 km into Rio, one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world. We arrive late afternoon where the trip ends. No accommodation is provided this evening.
The locals like to say that 'God made the world in six days, the seventh he devoted to Rio'. In this heaving metropolis, set against the luminescent green of Guanabara Bay and surrounded by the slopes of Sugar Loaf Mountain and Corcovado, it's hard not to be caught up in the Cariocas' (residents) passion.
The French were the first to settle here as they logged wood along the Brazilian coast, but they were soon driven out by the Portuguese, who built a fortified town, naming it Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro and quickly amassed wealth in the gold rush of Minas Gerais. In the 19th century, the Portuguese monarchy fled from the threat of Napoleon in Europe to Rio where they built grand buildings, still in existence today. These days Rio is known best for its contrasting images of favelas (shanty towns) and the glitz and glamour of Carnaval.
Rio is deservedly famous for its live music scene, which encompasses myriad styles such as samba, jazz, bossa nova, hip hop, reggae, rock and many other fusions of regional styles. The neighbourhood of Lapa offers great dance halls where you can join locals in doing some serious dancing - or just soak up the vibe.
For some seriously eye-popping people watching, head down to the white sand beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema - skimpy bathing suits optional.
Optional Activities
  • Christ the Redeemer cable car - BRL45
  • Sugar Loaf cable car - BRL53
  • Tram to Santa Teresa - USD2
Days 20-23 Rio de Janeiro
These days are a break in the itinerary and are not covered by the kitty. You will need to pay for your own accommodation for the night. You are free to explore this amazing city, but are not on tour.
Day 24 Rio de Janeiro
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting tonight to discuss the next stage of your itinerary, meet your new fellow travellers, and collect the next part of your kitty. Accommodation tonight is paid for by the kitty.
Optional Activities
  • Sugar Loaf cable car - BRL53
  • Christ the Redeemer cable car - BRL45
  • Tram to Santa Teresa - USD2
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 25 Petropolis/Teresopolis
We head north and will journey 200 km to Teresopolis where we will camp for the night in a campsite with good facilities.
Before arriving at our campsite we will stop off in the beautiful colonial town of Petropolis for a chance to explore.
Included Activities
  • Visit to Petropolis
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 26-27 Ouro Preto
Today is a full day 430 km drive to the beautiful old colonial mining town of Ouro Preto where we stay at a campsite with facilities.
Ouro Preto is a beautiful colonial town with cobbled streets and many baroque churches. Famed for its school of mining, it was originally the capital of Minas Gerais, one of the world’s great mining regions. Many different types of gemstone can be bought here. We can visit the gold mine of Minas de Passagem and you may wish to also visit the Museum of Mineralogy. Some of Ouro Preto’s many churches feature the work of Aleijadinho - Brazil’s most famous sculptor - who worked in wood and soapstone. Replicas of his carvings can be bought in the town.
The following day is free to visit the mine, museum or many of the baroque churches here.
Optional Activities
  • Museum of Minerology - USD3
  • Guide Minas de Passagem - USD5
  • Entrance Minas de Passagem - USD15
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Day 28 Bush Camp
We journey 400 km through Brazilian countryside and towns before finding a nice spot to bush camp for the night.
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 29-30 Brasilia
A full day’s drive of some 500 km brings us to the futuristic capital of Brasilia. We stay in a great campsite and the following day we enjoy a guided tour of this fascinating, labyrinthine city.
Brasilia is listed as a world heritage site and is one of the major examples of this century's modern movement in architecture and urban planning. Oscar Niemeyer was the chief architect for the incredible project, an amazing feat that turned unpopulated swamp land into a purpose built city. To really appreciate the plan of the city with its bow and arrow or plane shape, try a trip up the television tower for a panoramic view. From there take taxis or walk to sights of your choice. The Metropolitan Cathedral shaped in a crown of thorns with amazing angels suspended from the ceiling should not be missed, neither should the incredible blue glass of Dom Bosco. Whatever you have time for, there is an amazing wealth of fantastic architecture and sculpture to take in within this unique city.
Included Activities
  • Full day guided tour - Brasilia
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Days 31-33 Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park
A short 150 km drive brings us to Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park followed by two full days to explore the landscape and wildlife. We stay in an eco-tourism campsite.
Located in the state of Goiás, about 250 km from Brasília, the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park is, according to NASA, the most luminous point seen from the Earth's orbit. This is due to the quantity of quartz crystals present in the soil, besides several other metals and minerals.
The main river that flows in Veadeiros National Park is Rio Preto. Along its course, there are many spectacular waterfalls, including Rio Preto Falls (120 metres high, 80 metres at the base) and the Cariocas. The canyons are just as beautiful, with walls of up to 40 metres high and valleys of up to 300 metres. Forests are also present in the region, and are well worth exploring primarily because of the rich variety of flora, more than 25 species of orchids can be found for example. The rich fauna of the region includes species threatened with extinction such as the Pantanal deer, the jaguar, the maned wolf. More common are the rhea (Brazilian ostrich), seriema, tapeti, armadillo, anteater, capybara, tapir, toucans and vultures. While the forests are home to this amazing wildlife it can be quite difficult to see. Nonetheless this is a great place for us to explore for the amazing flora and landscape alone.
Included Activities
  • Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Abseiling - USD30
  • Canyoning - USD30
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Day 34 Calvacante
We overland 150 km along a beautiful stretch of road to the small town of Cavalcante. Here we stay for the night taking in the amazing scenery and visiting the Kalunga community. We stay the night in a campsite.
Included Activities
  • Visit to Kalunga community
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 35 Terra Ronca/Bush Camp
A 200 km drive in the morning brings us to Terra Ronca, the largest cave system in South America. We will enjoy a guided visit of the cave system before heading on and crossing into the state of Bahia where we will find somewhere to bush camp for the night.
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of cave system
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 36-38 Chapada Diamantina
We head 250 km to the town of Lencois, the gateway to Chapada da Diamantina National Park. We camp in Lencois giving you the opportunity to enjoy a variety of treks into the stunning scenery of the national park.
In the hinterland of Salvador, just outside of the town of Lençóis, lies the Chapada Diamantina, or Diamond Highlands. Valleys of lush green dotted with bright tropical flowers surround a mountain range of twisted red-rock formations reminiscent of the American Southwest. Numerous small rivers carve their way through the highlands, splashing over waterfalls and natural slides. There are also numerous caves, some many kilometres long. Many are quite popular, some just being discovered, some restricted yet to geologists who are trying to figure out just how they and the rock formations they contain were formed.
The gateway community of Lençóis is an old colonial town of stone streets and little churches, with little signs of the modern world. The attractions here are entirely natural. We have the chance to walk the highlands, explore caves, mountain bike old miners' tracks, and swim in natural pools and waterfalls. This is the Brazil that so many travellers miss. It is the other Brazil, away from the crowds of Rio and from the beaches or famous sites. This is the sort of place that you can visit so easily on an overland trip but that is so often inaccessible to the normal tourist or traveller.
Here you will have the opportunity to trek to many of the locations within the park, depending on your fitness and sense of adventure but either way is a wonderful place to spend a few days.
Optional Activities
  • Trekking - USD70
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (3 nts)
Days 39-41 Salvador da Bahia
Today we drive 400 km to the beautiful town of Salvador da Bahia. We stay just by the old centre of Pelourinho in a lovely hotel.
Situated on a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, Salvador da Bahia was the capital of Brazil when it was first colonised, but now it can only claim to be the capital of the state of Bahia. Bahia is strongly influenced by its links with Africa, both in its language, religion, food, dance and music, and this certainly dominates the atmosphere in Salvador. If time allows we will take in a night at the Bale Folclorico da Bahia or the Oludum drummers for a taste of local traditions.
Apart from the historic interest of the town, there are some excellent beaches to visit nearby, but you should definitely try to get to a 'Candomble' evening while you are here. Candomble is a popular religious cult in the region, and the ceremonies offer a fascinating insight into the culture of this area.
Salvador is also well known for its spectacular Carnival and other festivities, but the nightlife is good here at any time of the year.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary, meet your new fellow travellers, and collect the next part of your kitty.
Optional Activities
  • Forte Santo Antonioa da Barra - USD10
  • Temple - USD1
  • Candoble ceremony - USD40
  • Church of Nosso Senhor do Bonfim - USD1
Accommodation
Hostel (2 nts), Hotel (1 nt)
Day 42 Pirambu
We drive roughly 460 km north up the coast stopping at a beach camp site at Pirambu and allowing us the chance to visit the Tamar Turtle Project.
Included Activities
  • Tamar Turtle Conservation Project
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (1 nt)
Day 43 Olinda
We head a further 430 km north up the coast to the lovely old town of Olinda where we stay in a pousada for the night.
Olinda was one of the old capital cities of Brazil and has quite a few historic buildings dating mainly from around the mid-1600s, many of which have been restored. It is a culturally important city, and is home to many artists and musicians. A good spot to have a drink and take in Olinda is the Alto de Se, the highest square in the town, it has stunning views of the skyscrapers of Recife shimmering in the distance.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 44 Cabaceiras
We venture inland some 260 km towards the town of Cabaceiras where we will find somewhere to bush camp for the night. We will explore the prehistoric nature of this area, visiting the monolith at Ingá and the amazingly strange rock formations of Lajedo de Pai Mateus.
The Lajedo of Pai Mateus, is a one-square kilometre rocky elevation, shaped as an inverse soup plate, over which 70 huge boulders are found scattered throughout an area once inhabited by early tribes and an 18th century shaman creating one of the planet's most unusual and exquisite photo opportunities in the world.
Nearby is the monolith atIngá. This is the largest and most impressive archaeological monument in Brazil; a huge monolith inscribed with beautiful prehistoric petroglyphs (ancient rock engravings). It is a large stone block, 24 metres in length and 3 metres high, situated in the river Ingá de Bacamarte. The engraving technique is very careful, with drawings incised with deep and wide grooves. Around it many legends and popular interpretations have emerged, forming the basis of local folklore. Research on prehistoric engravings in Brazil is still in its initial stages, and there are no definitive dating placing them precisely in time. It is believed they postdate paintings which in the north-east exist at least from 25,000 years ago.
Included Activities
  • Lajedo de Pai Mateus
  • Inga Monolith
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Day 45 Sousa
We continue 330 km further inland to the town of Sousa where we will bush camp again. The area is world famous for its prehistory and we will explore the Vale dos Dinossauros.
The valley is one of the most important palaeontological sites in the world with over 50 types of footprints of prehistoric animals, scattered throughout the sedimentary basin of the Rio do Peixe in an area of 700 km². Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Iguanodon, and numerous other species of dinosaurs lived in Paraibano between 250 and 65 million years ago. When visiting the area we will get a taste of prehistory by visiting one of the longest dinosaur tracks in the world, extending for more than 55 metres.
Included Activities
  • Visit to the Vale dos Dinossaurus
Accommodation
Bush camp (no facilities) (1 nt)
Days 46-47 Canoa Quebrada
We drive 330 km north to the coast where we arrive at the beautiful seaside town of Canoa Quebrada. Here we camp for 2 nights with a chance to relax and enjoy various water sports.
Until the mid 1970s Canoa Quebrada had been but a sleepy fishing village until it began to gain popularity with a group of hippies, who gave to Canoa an air of liberty and tolerance which can be felt until today. The village is now one of the best known and most visited beaches in Ceará with dunes and falesias with heights of up to 30 metres which have served as the stage for several movies of Brazilian cinema and television.
Today, besides the eternally overwhelming landscape, the greatest attractions to enjoy are the buggy tours through the sand dunes along the beach and the red cliffs, and the refreshing dives in the calm blue-green ocean. For the more adventurous there is the opportunity for kite surfing, cliff gliding, capoeira, or you can simply venture through the fishing villages on a long walk or discover the ecological trails that cut through Canoa Quebrada. When the sun begins to set, run to the top of the dunes and you will witness one of the most spectacular sites in the northeast.
Optional Activities
  • Dune buggying - USD40
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (2 nts)
Days 48-50 Jericoacoara
A 440 km drive along the coast brings us to the laid back and fashionable town of Jericoacoara. We have 3 nights here in a pousada to further relax on the beach.
Jericoacoara is a stunning beach area, located close to the equator in the northeast of Brazil. It is a good example of an area embracing the concepts of responsible tourism. Development has been severely restricted and building is only allowed in the nearby fishing village. To get there, you have to drive off-piste across sand dunes for about 15 km in a 4x4 and this limits the numbers of people who visit the place. It is a remarkably beautiful place with vast fields of sand dunes, turquoise sea and loads to do. For lovers of nature there are numerous hikes and trails, which can be accessed on foot or by horse. Alternatively, you may prefer to play around on the dunes on sand buggies or sand boards or to go out on boat trips. It is also an excellent place for windsurfing and other watersports. The area has no big hotels, but has plenty of small restaurants and pousadas.
Optional Activities
  • Lagoa Paraiso - USD30
  • Kite surfing - USD160
  • Quad biking - USD65
Accommodation
Hotel (3 nts)
Days 51-52 Parnaiba Delta
Today we drive 330 km to the town of Parnaiba, the gateway to the Parnaiba Delta and the Lencois Maranhenses National Park. We will stay the night in a local pousada.
The next day we leave the overland truck behind and head out into the Parnaiba delta exploring this wonderful eco-system of these waterways. After visiting Tutoia we will spend the night in Cabure in a small pousada on a sand bank.
Included Activities
  • Parnaiba Delta boat tour
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 53 Lencois Maranhenses National Park
Today we will head out into the stunning Lencois Maranhenses National Park using a combination of 4x4 vehicles and boats. We will watch the sunset over the dunes before heading to the small but lively town of Barreirinhas on the banks of the Preguicas river where we stay in a local pousada and rejoin the truck.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, in Maranhão State, is one of Brazil's top natural attractions. It is an ecosystem formed of white sand dunes which cover 383,000 acres and look like bedsheets (lençóis in Portuguese) spread out on the north eastern coast of Brazil. Freshwater lagoons that fill up with rainwater, mostly during the first six months of the year, make Lençóis Maranhenses unique. Mangroves, deserted beaches, buritis- a graceful kind of palm tree - and the Preguiças River all add to the park's diversity. The sand dunes advance as far as 50 km inland and stretch along 43 kilometres of coastline. They are mostly deserted beaches on which sand mixes with mangroves, creating picture-perfect vistas.
Included Activities
  • 4WD Tour
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 54 Sao Luis
An early start takes us 200 km to the beautiful Unesco town of Sao Luis. We stay in the old heart of the city in a hostel.
São Luís is the capital of Maranhão, situated in the Bay of San Marcos on the north-eastern coast of Brazil south of the Amazon Delta. The French founded the city in 1612 but the Portuguese captured it almost immediately in 1615 and then the Dutch took over for 4 years in 1641. The old city is steeped in an almost tangible history and has strong traditional folklore. There are excellent museums; the Catedral da Sé', built in 1726 by the Jesuits and a large French-built fortress now called the Palácio dos Leões. Today the city is almost more famous for its music and is the centre of reggae culture in north-east Brazil. It has excellent nightlife, restaurants and numerous festivals throughout the year.
Included Activities
  • Guided tour
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 55 Alcantara
A short ferry journey takes us over to the lovely little colonial town of Alcantara where we stay the night in a pousada.
Across the bay from São Luís lies the town of Alcântara. This almost abandoned town is now a national historic monument, but once was a fashionable and aristocratic centre. Alcântara history is troubled by successive invasions and conflicts as Portuguese, French and Dutch explorers tried to colonise current-day Maranhão. Native populations suffered enormously and had been all but decimated by the mid-seventeenth century.
Accommodation
Hostel (1 nt)
Day 56 Belem
Today is an all day drive of some 570 km to Belem where the mighty Amazon River meets the Atlantic. We stay in a local hotel and you have the chance to explore the city before saying goodbye to dry land for a few days.
Belem holds a strategic place on the mouth of the Amazon River, which is why it grew to be such a large and important port. It has a vibrant market called Mercado Ver-O-Peso, which you can't miss. It sells all manner of local vegetables, fruit, fish and medicinal plants as well as strange artefacts for the local religious cults. Be sure to try out one of the city's excellent fish restaurants before you leave.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 57-61 Amazon River Ferry
We board an Amazon ferry and spend the next 6 days sailing upstream to the jungle city of Manaus. Whilst on board we sleep in hammocks on deck and on arrival in Manaus we stay in a centrally located hotel.
The Amazon is the greatest river in the world and by so many measures; the volume of water it carries to the sea (approximately 20% of all the freshwater discharge into the oceans), the area of land that drains into it, and its width. It is one of the longest rivers in the world and, depending upon who you talk to, is anywhere between 6,259 kilometres and 6,712 kilometres.
At its widest point the Amazon River can be 11 kilometres wide during the dry season. The area covered by the Amazon River and its tributaries more than triples over the course of a year. In an average dry season 110,000 square kilometres of land are covered by water, while in the wet season the flooded area of the Amazon Basin rises to 350,000 square km. Where the Amazon opens at its estuary the river is over 325 kilometres wide.
We spend 4-5 days sailing the Amazon River. Due to the Trans Amazon Highway becoming impassable, the rivers are the only practical means of communication and transportation.
Included Activities
  • 5 day boat journey
Accommodation
Hammock (5 nts)
Days 62-63 Manaus
We arrive into Manaus and transfer from the boat to our centrally located hotel.
Manaus is where the two great rivers Solimoes and Negro merge to form the mighty Amazon. After meeting, the black waters of the Negro and the muddy brown of the Solimoes do not mix and the two rivers run side by side for a considerable distance with a clearly defined colour contrast - this phenomenon is known as the "Meeting of the Waters". The river is five miles wide at this point and the port is busy with many large, colourful, riverboats as well as the huge container and truck barges. Situated in the middle of the Amazon, Manaus was declared a duty free port to attract big business and so offers many bargains. It was once a great centre of the rubber boom and some of the legacies of this remain - where else in the world could one find an opera house in the middle of the jungle?
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Optional Activities
  • City Tour, Manaus - USD25
  • Teatro Amazones - USD10
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
      Itinerary disclaimer
      Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
      We must emphasise that the routes, activities and places visited described in these trip notes are intentions and are meant as a rough guide only. We intend following the route detailed but exact night stops cannot be guaranteed. It sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our basic planned itinerary. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, road or bureaucratic conditions may demand it. Or it may be because we find a better, more interesting route. While actually en route, unexpected hospitality, a local festival or a great place to chill out can determine our exact route and itinerary on any given trip.
      Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group.
      Culture shock rating

      Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
      Physical rating

      Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
      Physical preparation
      In these parts of the world you'll need to be healthy enough to cope with extremes of climate; from hot deserts through to the cold of high mountain areas.
      Overland travelling can be demanding - long, rough travel days and dusty conditions can be challenging to some. You'll need to be fit enough to help every day with the camp chores (cooking, washing up, general camp set up) as well as putting up, and taking down your own tent. There are some long driving days and some early morning starts. The step-up into the overland vehicle, while not overly high, can become tiring. You need to judge if you are physically fit enough to haul yourself up and down the step at least 8-10 times a day.
      Included activities
      Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
      Kitty
      On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travellers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and some included activities. Kitty amounts are subject to change to reflect local price increases. Please check our website for the up-to-date amount 48 hours prior to your trip commencement.
      Your kitty will be collected when you arrive for your trip, either on day 1 or, if on a combination trip, in stages throughout your trip.
      You may pay your kitty in a mixture of US Dollars cash and the rest in local currency (amount and type of currency to be agreed by the leader at the start of the trip). Most of our travellers chose to bring a cash passport with them for withdrawing local currency (you can visit www.cashpassport.com for further information on these). This is a very secure way of carrying your money whilst travelling. You treat them exactly like an ATM card and draw out local currency from an ATM to give to your leader within each country.
      If you do choose to pay part in local currency your trip leader will confirm the current exchange rates with you so you will know exactly how much to hand over.
      Travellers cheques have become increasingly difficult to change around the world with passengers and our leaders experiencing huge frustration and numerous hours spent trying to find a bank which will change travellers cheques. For this reason we no longer accept them on our trips.
      Kitty does not cover food while staying in hotels and hostels.
      A trip kitty of USD1880.00 CASH will be required.
      Optional activities
      A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
      Money Exchange
      The official currency in Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS).
      The official currency of Brazil is the Real (BRL).
      With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.
      Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to US$100 per day.
      It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US$ dollars is the most readily changeable currency.
      VERY IMPORTANT:
      US$100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other US$ bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.
      Spending money
      Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
      PRICES IN CHILE & BRAZIL:
      Chile and Brazil are amongst the most expensive countries in South America. While in other countries you can expect to have a main meal for US$5-10 and take part of an optional activity for US$15-20, Brazil and Chile's prices are closer to what you would expect to pay in Western countries. You'll need to budget accordingly.
      Tipping
      If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
      Restaurants: Tipping is not expected in local markets and basic restaurants. However if you wish to tip, round your bill up to the nearest 5%. In more up-market restaurants we suggest up to 10%-12% of your bill. Some restaurants already include tipping on the final amount, which should be shown on the bill as: propina, servicio or cubiertos.
      Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$2 per person per day for local guides.
      Porters (if applicable): While on the Inca Trail, we suggest PEN80-120 for all porters, assistants and cook.
      Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of US$1-2 per day is generally appropriate.
      Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$1-3 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
      Departure tax
      Please allow US$36 for international airport departure tax.
      Important notes
      MINIMUM AGE:
      The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
      LOCAL PARTNER:
      Please note this Intrepid trip is operated by our experienced local partners Dragoman Overland. Your departure will be run in a Dragoman vehicle with a Dragoman crew.
      IMPORTANT ITINERARY NOTE:
      There is a break in Rio from day 19 to day 24 not covered by kitty, you are free to explore this amazing city but are not on tour. Accommodation between days 19 and 24 in Rio is not included. Your leader can assist arrange accommodation on the ground.
      This trip's duration ranges from 62 to 64 days depending on your departure day. The itinerary described in this trip notes is the 63 day long one. The 62 and 64 day itineraries will spend one fewer and extra day in Rio de Janeiro respectively.
      Group size
      Maximum of 22 travellers per group.
      Your fellow travellers
      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
      Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
      www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Single travellers
      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
      Accommodation
      Camping (with facilities) (27 nts), Hotel (12 nts), Bush camp (no facilities) (5 nts), Hammock (5 nts), Hostel (5 nts), Hacienda (2 nts)
      The type and variety of accommodation is determined by conditions on each of our routes. Each route is different - on some we use a mixture of campsites and wild camps; on others we also use hotels.
      Where it's not practical to camp (ie: in towns and cities), we use hotel accommodation and eat out in local restaurants. The frequency and regularity of hotel stops depends on the route and area.
      Campsites will range from rather basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and bars. In some cases it may also be possible to upgrade locally to bungalows, lodges or even tree-houses. One of the highlights of overlanding is that in more remote areas we will wild-camp. This allows us to get far away from the tourist crowds to some beautiful, secluded spots. We will also arrange as many village or local homestays as possible, allowing us to get close to indigenous populations and ensures our money stays within local communities.
      Meals introduction
      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
      When travelling on an Overland trip you have chosen a participation camping tour. This means that you will be helping your leader prepare meals for the group. You may also get the chance to help with the shopping!
      Your leader will come up with meal ideas and quantities needed for large groups. Participating in the camp is usually done on a duty roster system with group of 5 or 6 people (depending on group size) having a different camp job each day. If you have any dietary requirements please tell us at the time of booking and also remind your crew at your welcome meeting.
      Meals
      No meals included
      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
      USD 285.00
      All meals while camping are included.
      Transport
      Overland vehicle, Ferry, Boat, 4x4
      Group leader
      On all of our Dragoman-operated Overlanding trips you will be accompanied by two Western crew members who are responsible for the group and the overall organisation of the trip.
      While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad knowledge of the places visited and to offer suggestions of things to do and see. In East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In the rest of Africa, South America and the majority of Central Asia and China we use local guides who may stay with us for just a few hours or will actually travel with us for some or all of the journey. In these cases they become a third crew member and are able to offer their local knowledge as well as a real insight into the lives of the local people. Our crew are chosen for their leadership skills, and most importantly have a passion for the region and its people.
      We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders
      On any Overland trip, there are a number of tasks that need to be done. Our overland trip leaders will organise the group into smaller groups of two or three who will take turns in the daily shopping and cooking, vehicle cleaning, disposing of rubbish, etc. There are also a number of other jobs that need doing e.g. collecting water and firewood, luggage loading, supervising the kitty and food stores, which may be assigned to particular people or on a rota system according to group size, make-up, and so on. You must come prepared to 'pull your weight' and share in these duties; you will become very unpopular with other group members if they have to do your share. The more you put into a trip, the more you'll benefit.
      Joining point instructions
      There are 2 airports in Buenos Aires: international (Ezeiza) and domestic (Aeroparque).
      Ezeiza is 35 km north of the city. Manuel Tienda Leon, located on your right hand side as you exit the luggage collection area, runs an efficient bus service to their offices down town (Avenida Madero 1299, near Retiro train station) for around US$15. From here a taxi to your hotel will cost you around US$5. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi from the airport (arranged by the same Manuel Tienda Leon) for approximately US$40.
      Aeroparque is located just outside the city centre. A taxi from here to your hotel will cost you around US$10.
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
      If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
      No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
      Finish point
      Hotel Dez de Julho
      Rua 10 de Julho 679
      Centros
      Manaus
      BRAZIL
      Emergency contact
      Dragoman 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1728 862 222 This is an answer-phone. If calling outside UK office hours for non urgent questions, please leave a message. There is a number provided to call for a 24 hour manned mobile, in case of genuine emergency. For further emergency contact details go to:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      ARGENTINA TOURIST VISA
      Australia: Not required
      Belgium: Not required
      Canada: Not required
      Germany: Not required
      Ireland: Not required
      Netherlands: Not required
      New Zealand: Not required
      South Africa: Not required
      Switzerland: Not required
      United Kingdom: Not required
      United States: Not required
      ARGENTINA RECIPROCITY TAX:
      The Argentine government charges a reciprocity tax which applies to Canadian, US and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows:
      Australians - US$100 (multiple entry for up to 1 year from date of issue)
      Canadians - US$75 (single entry) or US$ 150 (multiple entry for up to 5 years from date of issue)
      Americans - US$140 (multiple entry for up to 10 years from date of issue)
      This fee can only be paid on line through the following website:
      https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/
      For instructions on how to process this payment, please visit:
      http://cnyor.mrecic.gov.ar/userfiles/Online_payment_instructions_0.pdf
      A receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.
      BRAZIL TOURIST VISA
      Australia: Yes - in advance
      Belgium: Not required
      Canada: Yes - in advance
      Germany: Not required
      Ireland: Not required
      Netherlands: Not required
      New Zealand: Not required
      South Africa: Not required
      Switzerland: Not required
      United Kingdom: Not required
      United States: Yes - in advance
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
      Night time temperatures can be low in the height of the winter months and at altitude so bring a set of warmer clothes. Thermal underclothes, being small and light, can be very useful.
      A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential.
      CAMPING EQUIPMENT:
      Sleeping Bag - Check the expected climate en route. Nights in desert and mountain regions can be very cold in winter months. One that zips down all one side is useful for warm nights and a sleeping bag liner for cold nights.
      Mattress or compressed foam - Compressed foams are the lightest, most convenient but probably the least comfortable. Self inflating mattresses are convenient, comfortable, light and small when rolled up; they are more expensive and do puncture so bring a suitable repair kit.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
      In countries like Argentina, Uruguay and the Patagonia region of Chile, tap water is treated and safe to drink so please avoid the purchase of bottled water by refilling from the tap.
      Health
      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
      WHO REPORTS:
      The World Health Organisation has countries in Latin America registered as zones affected by hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, rabies and malaria.
      DENGUE FEVER:
      Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.
      YELLOW FEVER:
      A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
      It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
      Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
      The vehicle has fully lockable doors and windows, which is an obvious advantage, but it will probably be necessary to guard it at times and everyone should be prepared to share in this responsibility.
      In most areas there is very little to fear from the point of view of violence. But in all areas 'tourists' are a tempting target for pickpockets and con-men. Always be aware of this and be especially careful when leaving banks or money-changers, in any crowded areas, etc. NEVER leave things lying around - they will almost certainly get stolen. We cannot emphasise enough how important it is to always be security conscious and to take all necessary precautions. Great inconvenience and distress can be caused by having your documents or possessions stolen.
      A few of our past group members have had the unhappy experience of having their belongings stolen before the trip starts. Beware of carrying your passport and other valuables around with you in cities. We strongly suggest you deposit your valuables in your hotel safe on arrival.
      FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      MONEY WITHDRAWAL:
      In order to avoid fraud, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.
      TRAVEL ADVISORY:
      Where we use a local partner to fully operate one of our itineraries, we use the travel advisory of the country where that operator is based rather than the Australian DFAT advisory. This itinerary is operated by our local partners Dragoman, and as such will follow the British Government (FCO) Travel Advice. To view these travel advisories please log on to:
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Responsible Travel projects
      Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Argentina include:
      * Brazos Abiertos (Open Arms) helps local children in Las Heras, a socially challenged neighbourhood in Mendoza, where high unemployment and illiteracy have resulted in many living below the poverty line. As well as providing food for up to 460 children each day, they arrange for additional school classes and sporting activities to increase both health and self-esteem.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.