Travel South America on an adventure from Rio de Janeiro to Quito.

Get set for the ultimate South American odyssey. Covering six countries over 112 amazing days, travel through Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador on this epic adventure. Experience spectacular scenery, magnificent ruins, fascinating culture and some of the friendliest people on the planet. Head south from sun-kissed Rio to amazing Argentina. Sip world-class wines in Chile and marvel at Bolivia's vast salt flats. Follow in the footsteps of the Incas in Peru and discover the irresistible charm of Ecuador. If it's unspoilt nature you're after then this trip has it covered: majestic glaciers, verdant forests, crystal lakes, soaring mountains and more. This unforgettable trip will leave you enchanted by the breathtaking scenery and friendly people of this remarkable continent.

This trip requires an Inca Trail Permit. To view permit availability click here.

Start
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Countries
Argentina,
Bolivia,
Brazil,
Chile,
Ecuador,
Peru
Themes
Overland
Code
GDOEC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 4 Max 22
Carbon offset
3 260kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Revel in Brazil's samba rhythms in Rio de Janeiro
  • Spot wildlife in the Pantanal wetlands
  • Make memories on a visit to Iguazu Falls
  • Travel to Argentina and fall in love with Buenos Aires
  • Hike through Patagonia's spectacular glacial scenery
  • Spot exotic animals in the remote 'land of fire'
  • Travel through Argentina's wine region of Mendoza
  • Haggle for a bargain in La Paz's colourful markets
  • Follow Peru's ancient Inca Trail
  • Experience a homestay near the Colca Canyon
  • Admire Ecuador's ornate buildings in Quito's Old Town

Itinerary

Bem-Vindos! Welcome to Brazil.
Border information: if you are joining in Rio de Janeiro, you will most likely enter Brazil at Rio de Janeiro Galeão International Airport. Welcome to the iconic Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro! There will be an
important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.
In Rio de Janeiro we will stay in a great hotel in the Flamengo district, close to the beach and the metro station.
Hotel for the night: Hotel Argentina
Hotel Argentina
Rua Cruz Lima No. 30
Flamengo
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil
Tel - +55 21 2558 7233
About Rio De Janeiro:
Rio de Janeiro has to be one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world. Pao de Acucar (Sugarloaf Mountain) rises up out of Guanabara Bay, the sandy beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana cut beautiful curves in the shoreline, all under the watchful gaze of Christ the Redeemer. This is a city with something for everyone; beaches, history, shopping, culture, fantastic food and amazing nightlife. For amazing views of this spectacular city, take the cable car up to the top of Sugar Loaf, or "Pao de Acucar" as the
Brazilians call it, ride the train to Corcovado or jump on the tram to the historic hillside neighbourhood of Santa Teresa. If you're interested in learning more about Rio and Brazil, the Historical, Indian and National Museums are all well worth a visit, and even just wandering around the older parts of the city
you'll be able to see some fantastic architecture. Kick back and relax on the beach, enjoy a beer or caipirinha at one of the many pavement cafes and then when evening comes you can party the night away - Rio has some unbelievable bars and clubs, Lapa is always a fun night out and Ipanema is always buzzing
too. If you need a bit of quiet time to recover, take a walk in the Botanical gardens, or escape town for the day on an excursion to the lust forests of nearby Tijuca National Park.
Of course Rio is particularly famous for it's huge annual party - Carnival. The celebration of Mardi Gras 6 weeks before Easter is a great Brazilian tradition - the whole city goes wild for a full 7 days in a whirlwind of music and colour. Samba schools compete with ever more awe-inspiring dance displays and
costumes putting on marathon perfomances in the Sambadrome, street parties are held all over the city and friends and families take to the beach.
Today our journey begins with a short drive to the colonial town of Paraty on the Emerald Coast of the Atlantic!
Estimated Drive Time - 4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
On our first full day in Paraty, we will have an included boat trip around the incredible islands and beaches off the coast.
On our second day, we will have free time to explore the town, take a historical tour, walk along the stunning scenery of the coastline, head out snorkelling or diving, or simply relax on the idyllic beaches.
In Paraty we wil camp at a well equipped hostel.
Activity - Approximate Cost
Go for a scuba diving trip in the incredible oceans around Paraty - BRL 250
Take a boat trip out of Paraty, exploring the stunning islands and beaches and swimming in the idyllic warm
water of the sparkling blue ocean - Included in Kitty
Explore the ocean, islands, beaches, and mangroves of Atlantic coast in a more serene and tranquil fashion, on a sea kayaking expedition around the bay of Paraty - USD 40
Learn all about the fascinating history of Brazil and the Gold Trail, on an excellent walking tour of the old
colonial town of Paraty - USD 35
Enjoy some of the best and most scenic treks in the country, on the coastal trails, hils, and 'tropical fjords'
near Paraty - USD 50
Try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding by hiring a board from one of the many vendors at the Jabaquara
beach in Paraty - BRL 30
Relax and unwind with a massage and unbeatable ocean views at the fantastic Shambala spa - BRL 165
About Paraty:
The Emerald Coast, or the "Costa Verde" as it is known in Brazil, stretches south from the city of Rio de Janeiro, a thin strip of land sandwhiched between verdant green mountains and the sparkling waters of the Atlantic. Picture-book islands, deserted beaches and picturesque coves with excellent swimming and
diving make it the perfect place to relax and enjoy a couple of days of R & R. Dotted along the coastline itself are lots of small towns and villages, not to mention the hundreds of tiny islands, best explored on a lazy boat-trip.
The old Portuguese colonial town of Paraty is perhaps the most attractive spot on the coast. Low white-washed buildings with colourful doors and shutters crowd around the cobbled streets and plaza, full of interesting shops, bars and restaurants. Paraty really comes alive at night, when locals and tourists alike
sit outside the many street cafes and congregate in the main square. The town also has a couple of beaches and there are plenty of others in the surrounding area - and this is also a good place for diving and snorkelling trips, which can be arranged locally.
Today we will drive to the remote town of Brotas in southeastern Brazil.
In Brotas we will stay at a campsite with good facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
Today we will have a free day to take part in adventure activities such as white water rafting and canyoning, or maybe just to relax by the pool.
Activity - Approximate Cost
Head out on a half-day canyoning trip through the gorges of the Jacare River near Brotas - BRL 85
Float down the Jacare on a fun tubing trip down the River Jacare near Brotas - BRL 45
Head out white-water rafting on the fast moving waters of the Jacare River (approxmiately Grade 3-4) - BRL 90
Today we will start driving west towards the Southern Pantanal, and wild camp towards the end of the day somewhere close to the city of Campo Grande.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.
Today we have an early start to meet our guide in Campo Grande, and then drive on to Brazil's amazing Southern Pantanal region, where we have a visit a local eco-tourism ranch (or 'fazenda').
Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.
We will spend 2 nights here and have a comprehensive package of included activities such as exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside on horseback, trips down the wildlife-abundant rivers in boats and canoes, and safaris on the ranch's trucks and on foot where we hope to spot capybaras, caimans, and (if
we are very lucky) jaguars and ocelots. Our stay here is an incredible highlight!
In the Southern Pantanal we will stay in dorm accommodation in a well equipped lodge with all the meals and activities included.
Activity - Approximate Cost
Take an unforgettable 2-night fully-inclusive package from our eco-lodge in the Southern Pantanal, where we will go out on jeep safaris, canoe expeditions, boat rides, horse back trails, and enjoy a BBQ night with local music and dancing - Included in Kitty
About Southern Pantanal:
The Pantanal is a vast wetland that covers much of inland central and southern Brazil, teeming with birds and wildlife from toucan to caiman, capybara, ocelot and even Jaguar. Originally this was a predominantly agricultural area, dotted with cattle ranches known locally as "Fazenda". Today the cattle ranchers live side by side with the anaconda and Jaguar, having realised the importance of their home as a unique habitat for wildlife, with many of the Fazendas opening up for eco-tourism and offering safaris and tours of the area.
The wildlife here is staggering and there is probably no-where else in South America where you'd be able to see as many indigenous species. Over 250 different birds have been recorded here, including parakeets, macaws, kingfishers, ibis, storks, kites and hawks, hummingbirds and more - and there are also prolific numbers of jacare, anacondas, iguanas, two species of anteaters, ocelot, jaguars, cougars, giant river otters and thousands of pamba and march deer. One of the easier animals to spot is the capybara, a giant
guinea pig type rodent that grows up to 60 kg. and lives in large herds in the swamps.
After our morning activities and one final lunch in our beautiful ranch, it is time to leave the Pantanal and drive to the Brazilian eco-tourism capital of Bonito.
In Bonito we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel with a pool and good facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.
About Bonito:
The area around the small town of Bonito really is unique. It’s main attractions are its crystal clear rivers, springs and caves, not to mention the abundant wildlif, which includes monkeys, alligators, anaconda, over 30 varieties of fish and tremendous birdlife. Unsurprisingly, the town is often described as the "eco-tourism capital of Brazil".
There are endless activities on offer, from spectacular walks through the
surrounding hills and forest, to caving, horse-riding, abseiling, and snorkeling. 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.
We have two full days in Bonito to take part in the plethora of incredible optional activities here. You could go out on a world-class snorkelling trip, explore the nearby caves, or go abseiling down some of the largest waterfalls in the area, amongst many other possibilities!
Activity - Approximate Cost
Take an incredible snorkelling trip through the crystal clear waters of the Rio da Prata, getting a phenomenal
view of the fish and aquatic plants underwater - BRL 278
Head out on an exhilarating rafting, tubing, or kayaking expedition down the Rio Formoso - BRL 135
Visit the ethereal and other-worldly Blue Lake Cave near Bonito, an underground lake with an incredibly
vivid shade of blue - BRL 95
Relax and meet the locals in the beautiful outdoor municipal swimming areas of Bonito - BRL 30
Abseil down the Boca da Onca waterfall (meaning 'Jaguar's Mouth), the largest waterfall in the state of
Mato Grosso do Sul - BRL 460
Visit the phenomenal Buraco das Araras, one of the world's largest sink-holes and a natural aviary of macaws and toucans - BRL 46
Hire a mountain bike in Bonito to freely explore the incredible countryside of Mato Grosso do Sul - USD 20
Visit the stunning Sao Miguel Caves near Bonito - BRL 36
Go on a stunning sunset horse ride around the beautiful countryside around Bonito - BRL 80
Take a trek through the stunning areas surrounding Bonito, visiting some of the beautiful nearby waterfalls - BRL 50
Head on an unforgettable trip to Abismo Anhumas, an incredible day out where you abseil through a fissure into a collosal underground cavern, and snorkel in the lake at the bottom - BRL 673
Today we have a full drive day south to the city of Foz do Iguacu.
In Foz do Iguacu we will camp in the grounds of an excellent hostel out of town, with good facilities and a pool.
Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.
About Foz do Iguaçu:
Foz do Iguaçu is named after the impressive waterfalls located close to the town forming the border with nearby Argentina and Paraguay. Foz is on the Brazilian side and is much larger than nearby Puerto Iguazu. Visiting the Iguacu falls is a must from here, even though you can visit the Argentinian side as
well. 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.
Today we will visit the Brazilian side of the phenomenal Iguazu Falls, to get some incredible panoramic vistas of the mighty waterfalls. There is also plenty of time to visit the bird park, take a helicopter ride over the falls, see the incredible Itaipu Dam, or quickly stop into Paraguay to pick up some bargains in the nearcy Ciudad del Este.
Activity - Approximate Cost
See the mighty Iguazu Falls from the Brazilian side, enjoying the incredble panorama of waterfalls and exploring the beauty of the area
- Included in Kitty
Take an exhilarating speed boat ride around the base of the falls from the Brazilian side - BRL 66
Take an unforgettable 10-minute helicopter flight over the Iguazu Falls, enjoying a bird's eye view of one of the world's most incredible set of waterfalls
- USD 125
Visit the colossal Itaipu Dam, the second largest hydroelectric dam in the world - BRL 68
Take a short trip into Paraguay to experience the chaos of Ciudad del Este and pick up a bargain or two! - Free
Visit the Parque das Aves bird park near Foz do Iguacu, a wonderful conservation project which provides an excellent home to over 1000 iconic birds from the region such as toucans, macaws and eagles
- BRL 34
About Iguazu Falls:
There is a mile long walk along the edge of the fall beginning at the Three Sisters and ending at the Devil’s Throat. Millions of gallons of water pour or cascade down escarpments forming spectacular mist “curtains” and many rainbows. In the surrounding dense tropical jungle there are many varieties of brightly coloured butterflies and birds. If we have time we can take a closer look at these birds in the Foz Tropicana Bird Park.
Today we will take a day trip back into Argentina to see the incredible Iguazu Falls from the other side. This is well worth doing as the views are even more spectacular, and you'll be able to look right down into the mighty Garganta del Diablo (the largest waterfall here) from a gantry walkway viewing point). We will have a full day at the Argentine side of the falls, allowing us lots of time to freely explore the site, hike some nature trails, or perhaps take an exhilarating (and very wet) boat ride!
We will return to our base in Foz do Iguacu tonight.
Activity - Approximate Cost
Visit the phenomenal Iguazu Falls from the Argentine side, where you can get the closest views of Garganta del Diablo and explore the web of nature trails around the area's forests and waterfalls - Included in Kitty
Head on an adrenaline-fuelled speedboat trip to the base of the falls on the Argentine side - be prepared to get very wet! - ARS 220
Border information: Exit Brazil at Tancredo Neves, enter Argentina at Tancredo Neves.
Today we cross the border into Argentina, and aim to reach the beautiful village of Yapeyu on the banks of the River Uruguay. Yapeyu is very famous amongst Argentines for being the birthplace of their national hero General Jose de San Martin, one of the liberators of South America from Spanish colonial rule.
In Yapeyu we will stay in a municipal campsite.
Activity - Approximate Cost
Take a guided tour around the fascinating ruins of the old Jesuit mission of San Ignacio de Mini - Included in Kitty
Visit the remains of the house of Jose de San Martin, one of the main liberators of South America and the
Argentine national hero - Free
Today we have a full day drive north though the provinces of Corrientes and Entre Rios to Buenos Aires, the wonderful capital of Argentina!
In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours.
About Buenos Aires:
At the mouth of the River Plate lies Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina. It's a buzzing, energetic city that often feels more European than Latin American, so much so that it's often referred to as "the Paris of the South". Not surprising when you consider how much the city has been influenced by immigration, with it's large Italian and Spanish communities.
There is a huge amount to do see and do here and a good place to start is with a city tour, which will help you get your bearings and see all the main sights. You can take in a lot on foot, as the wide streets are very pedestrian friendly and the underground metro system is cheap and easy to navigate. The
neighbourhoods of San Telmo, Recoleta and Palermo are certainly all worth exploring, San Telmo for it's olde worlde charm, antique shops and Sunday street market, Palermo for it's unique quirky shops and restaurants and Recoleta is the "Mayfair" of Buenos Aires and home to the La Recoleta cemetry,
Eva "Evita" Peron's final resting place. The waterfront area known as La Boca is also worth a look, this slightly down-at-heel neighbourhood is Buenos Aires' most colourful barrio, the ramshackle buildings painted in a rainbow of different bright colours.
In the evenings, you are also spoilt for choice. Buenos Aires has a vibrant nightlife, with a huge number of bars and night clubs to choose from. Restaurants here vary from cheap and cheerful to world class and it's a great place to get stuck into some of Argentina's finest steak and red wine. Of course this is also the home of Tango, and there are many evening Tango shows you can buy tickets for, or if you want a more "real" Tango experience you can check the local papers for details of where tango "milongas" are being held.
This is where the locals go to tango, with dances held in school halls, meeting rooms and even warehouses. You might also like to visit the Teatro Colon, one of the world's greatest opera houses - even if you don't go to watch a show, it's usually possible to take a guided tour of the building during the day.
Everywhere you go you'll be surrounded by some fantastic architecture. The Plaza de Mayo is perhaps the most historically interesting - as this is the ste of the Cabillo (original town hall), Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace) and the cathedral where the body of General San Martin lies. Finally, if you get the chance, try and get hold of tickets for an Argentinean football match while you're here, even if you're not usually a sports fan, the electric atmosphere of a local match is definitely something you'll never forget - tickets are usually available from local tourist agencies - and if you've still got time to spare, why not take the hydrofoil across the water to Uruguay for a day.
Today will be a free day to explore the incredible city, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.
Activity - Approximate Cost
Discover the beautiful Teatro Colon on a tour around the theatre, or see one of its free afternoon performances (when available) - ARS 150
Try some of Argentina's most delicious wines on a toplevel wine tasting afternoon in Buenos Aires - USD 52
Learn all about the cuisine of Argentina on a food tour of Buenos Aires, visiting several incredible local top-class eateries that you won't find in the guidebooks! - USD 85
See a different side to Buenos Aires on a tour of its incredible street art with some of the local artists - USD 20
Explore the beautiful area of Palermo Viejo, see the incredible modern sculpture of Floralis Generica, and
head out to the area's bars and restaurants at night - Free
Explore the cosmopolitan Argentina capital of Buenos Aires, and take a free tour of the city's highlights - Free
Try your hand at the art of tango dancing with a private lesson in Buenos Aires - USD 25
Head out to an exciting football game at La Bombanero, Diego Maradona's former home ground (when matches are scheduled) - ARS 300
Visit the strangely beautiful cemetery of Recoleta, the final resting place of many ex-presidents and Argentine icons, most famously including the tomb of Eva Peron - Free
Head out to an tango show in Buenos Aires' oldest cafe, the Gran Cafe Tortoni - seeing a slice of iconic Argentine culture in an ideal and intimate setting - ARS 240
Take the ferry over the river to Uruguay, and explore the serene colonial town of Colonia del Sacramento for
the afternoon before returning - USD 45
Discover the beautiful back streets, antique shops, and thrift markets of the bohemian district of San Telmo - Free
Take the passenger ferry over to the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo for a night (if time allows) - USD 140
Border information: if you are finishing in Buenos Aires, you will most likely exit Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Welcome to the cosmopolitan Argentine capital of Buenos Aires! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Buenos Aires before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally located hotel. 

Hotel for the night: Hotel Splendid
Hotel Splendid
Avenida Rivadavia 950
Buenos Aires
Argentina
Tel - +54 11 4345 2800 

About Buenos Aires:
At the mouth of the River Plate estuary (where the Uruguay and Paraná rivers flow out into the Atlantic Ocean) lies the fabulous city of Buenos Aires, the cosmopolitan capital of Argentina. It's a buzzing, energetic city that often feels more European than Latin American, so much so that it's often referred to as "the Paris of the South". There is a huge amount to do see and do here, and it's a fantastic city to explore on foot and using the extensive metro system. Some areas to check out include San Telmo, a bohemian district full of charm, antique shops, street markets, and some excellent bars; Palermo, with its fantastic restaurants and nightlife; and Recoleta, the "Mayfair" of Buenos Aires and home to the La Recoleta cemetery, Eva "Evita" Perón's final resting place. The waterfront area known as La Boca is also worth exploring, a very photogenic district with its ramshackle buildings being painted in a rainbow of different bright colours. Everywhere you go you'll be surrounded by some fantastic architecture. The Plaza de Mayo is perhaps the most historically interesting, as this is the site of the Cabillo (original town hall), Casa Rosada (the Presidential Palace) and the cathedral where the body of General San Martín lies. In the evenings, you are spoilt for choice - Buenos Aires has a vibrant nightlife, with a huge number of bars and night clubs to choose from. Restaurants here vary from cheap and cheerful to world class, and it's a great place to get stuck into some of Argentina's finest steak and red wine. Of course this is also the home of Tango, and there are many evening Tango shows you can buy tickets for or even take a dancing class yourself!  
Today is a free day to explore the incredible city of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Discover the beautiful Teatro Colon on a tour around the theatre, or see one of its free afternoon performances (when available) : ARS 150

Head out to an tango show in Buenos Aires' oldest cafe, the Gran Cafe Tortoni - seeing a slice of iconic Argentine culture in an ideal and intimate setting : ARS 240

Visit the strangely beautiful cemetery of Recoleta, the final resting place of many ex presidents and Argentine icons, most famously including the tomb of Eva Peron : Free

Try your hand at the art of tango dancing with a private lesson in Buenos Aires : USD 25

Freely explore the cosmopolitan Argentina capital of Buenos Aires, or take a free walking tour of the city's highlights : Free

See a different side to Buenos Aires on a tour of its incredible street art with some of the local artists : USD 20

Learn all about the cuisine of Argentina on a food tour of Buenos Aires, visiting several incredible local top-class eateries that you won't find in the guidebooks! : USD 85 

Try some of Argentina's most delicious wines on a top-level wine tasting afternoon in Buenos Aires : USD 52 

Today we begin our journey from Buenos Aires will a full day drive across the pampas and grasslands of the province.

Tonight we will wild camp en route, possibly in the coastal village of Monte Hermoso.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). 
Today we continue our journey south with a full day drive to the coastal town of Puerto Madryn.

In Puerto Madryn we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

About Puerto Madryn:
Puerto Madryn is a port town on the South Atlantic coast of Argentina. The original settlers here were Welsh, founding the port and colonising the Chubut River valley - these original settlers came here in 1865 as they felt like their Welsh customs and traditions were being eroded back at home and that they should emigrate to better preserve them. Some of the smaller communities are still very proud of their Welsh heritage and retain many of the original immigrants' traditions, and some small towns such as Gaiman and Trelew you can even go for a Welsh afternoon tea in one of the local tea houses. A distinct Patagonian dialect of the Welsh language has been spoken in the region for over four generations, but although it is now quite rare and you are unlikely to hear anyone speaking it, there are three bilingual Welsh-Spanishs schools in Patagonia, and it is thought that 5,000-10,000 people speak Welsh as a first language and a further 25,000 as a second language. Puerto Madryn is most famous as the gateway to the Valdés Peninsula, a beautiful rocky outcrop known for its incredible wildlife - if you visit here, you will be able to see guanacos, armadillos and Magellanic penguins close-up, and seals and sea lions from afar. If you're lucky you may spot an orca or a Southern Right whale in the waters surrounding the peninsular. 
Today we will have a free day for optional activities in and around Puerto Madryn. There is the opportunity to take a tour to the Valdes Peninsular to see its desolate scenery and abundant marine life, head out on a boat trip in search of dolphins and whales, or perhaps go for afternoon tea in a Welsh tea house in the nearby towns of Gaiman or Trelew. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Discover the incredible colony of sea lions at Punta Loma, near to Puerto Madryn : ARS 100

Visit the outstanding Museum of Paleontology in the near Welsh town of Trelew, and see the impressive ancient remains of the the dinosaurs and prehistoric creatures found in the area : ARS 95

Freely explore the intriguing Welsh village of Gaiman near Trelew, visit one of its iconic tea houses, and see the famous junk-art installations of the Desafio Park : Free

Explore the incredible shipwrecks and rocky reefs under the water on a scuba diving trip in the Golfo Nuevo off the shore of Puerto Madryn : USD 150

Visit the fascinating modern marine interpretation centre of EcoCentro Mar Patagonia, and learn all about the unique ecosystems of the Patagonian sea : ARS 125

Set off on a boat trip on to the Atlantic Ocean from Puerto Madryn or Rawson, in search of playful Commerson's or Dusky dolphins and Southern Right whales! : ARS 400

Make a trip to the desolate Peninsular Valdes near Puerto Madryn, a UNESCO World Heritage site full of elephant seals and sea lions in their natural habitat : ARS 800 
Today we will drive south along the coast and have an included visit to the incredible remote colony of Magellanic Penguins in Cabo Dos Bahias (Cape Two Bays), close to the town of Camarones. After seeing the phenomenal sight of thousands of penguins nesting on the shore, we will head to the nearby small town of Camarones.

In Camarones we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the huge colony of Magellanic Penguins at the remote area of Cabo Dos Bahias near Camarones on the South Atlantic coast : Included in Kitty

About Camarones:
Situated at the northern part of the vast San Jorge Gulf on the South Atlantic coast of Patagonia, Bahía Camarones and Cabo Dos Bahías are both important nesting sites for large colonies of Magellanic Penguins. Camarones is home to around 25,000 of the penguins that nest here on the windy, remote and rocky coast. Between September and April, the penguins come to these sites to incubate their eggs and prepare their offspring for migration - each couple stand in front of their nests protecting the eggs from birds and other predators, and occasionally one adult goes to the sea for food. There are some fantastic walkways set up near some of the colonies, so that visitors can get very close to the penguins without disturbing them. 
From Camarones we set off on an all day drive following the South Atlantic coast. If time and conditions allow we might visit the Jaramillo Petrified Forest en route.

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

See the incredible fossilised conifer trees of the Jaramillo Petrified Forest, the remnants of a 40-million year old forest naturally preserved in stone (if time and road conditions allow) : Free 

About Jaramillo:
The desolate cold plains of Patagonia surrounding the tiny town of Jaramillo are a world away from how this area was in the Jurassic era (around 150 million years ago) - believe it or not, at that time the landscape was covered with dense evergreen coniferous forests. This changed at the start of the Cretaceous era when volcanic eruptions and the birth of the Andes coincided to reduce the amount of rain and cover much of the forestry with ash and lava, petrifying large amounts of the forest. This ecological legacy has been left behind in Jaramillo, with many examples of fossilised trees and cones lying strewn about the landscape. 
Today we leave the coast behind and head west across the country to the town of El Calafate, the gateway to the Perito Moreno Glacier.

In El Calafate we stay in dorm beds in a lovely hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours. 

About El Calafate:
El Calafate is a small town on the southern shore of Lago Argentino in Patagonia. Originally a sheep station and trading outpost, today the town has developed a bustling atmosphere and an ever-growing tourist trade. Interestingly the town takes its name from the Calafate berry, and locals claim that if you eat one of these and make a wish, you are guaranteed to return to Patagonia. Most people base themselves here to visit the nearby Perito Moreno Glacier, located a short distance away at the southern reaches of the Los Glaciares National Park - the glacier is one of the most famous and spectacular glaciers to be seen anywhere in the world. The Perito Moreno Glacier is approximately 30kms long from where it spills out of the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, and 5kms wide at its terminus, where it has a ice face that is on average 170m high (with about 70m of which is above the surface of the lake). Visitors can view the glacier from an incredible viewpoint only a few hundred meters away from its face, where if you're lucky you'll see some of the ice face carve off into the lake under the pressure of all the ice behind it! It is also possible to take a boat trip to get extremely close, or embark on a challenging ice-climbing expedition on the glacier itself.  
Today we will head out on an included full day guided visit to view the stunning Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the most spectacular sights in Patagonia. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

See the enormous Perito Moreno Glacier from the most breathtaking and photogenic viewpoints on a guided day tour from El Calafate : Included in Kitty 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Get even closer to the impressive glacier of Perito Moreno with a boat trip in front of its mighty face : ARS 200

Learn all about glaciers at the fantastic modern Glaciarium Museum in El Calafate, and visit its cool ice bar in the basement! : ARS 200

Explore the Perito Moreno glacier on an incredible full day expedition, trekking through the forests and onto the glacier itself using crampons (please note that this is an alternative to the regular tour as there will not be enough time for both - however you will stop at the main viewpoint on your way back to El Calafate at the end of the excursion) : ARS 1200 

Border information: Exit Argentina at Cerro Castillo and enter Chile at Cerro Castillo.

Today we will drive to the world-famous Torres del Paine National Park. This is one of the most outstanding areas of natural beauty in the world and the main highlight of the trip for many of our passengers and leaders! We will stop en route in Puerto Natales to stock up on supplies and pick up our local guides and cook who will accompany us during our time in the National Park. 

Tonight we will camp at Las Torres Campsite, a stunning campsite inside the National Park with incredible views of the eastern side of the main mountain ranges which we will refer to as our 'base campsite'.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Entrance into the phenomenal Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chile, an area of some of the most outstanding natural beauty, breathtaking mountain vistas, and idyllic trekking opportunities in the world : Included in Kitty.

About Torres Del Paine National Park:
Torres del Paine National Park contains what is undoubtedly some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. Rising up high above the Patagonian steppe are the three impressive granite towers that give the park its name, surrounded by high plateaus and towering mountain peaks, the most famous of which are Los Cuernos and Paine Grande. The park is a magical natural wonderland full of deep lakes, sparkling glaciers and cascading waterfalls, and it is also an important habitat for a wide variety of wildlife including guanos, pumas, flamingos and condors. The best way to explore the National Park is definitely to get out on foot - the region is crisis-crossed by a good network of trails, making it possible for you to see all the main sights either by doing a series of day hikes or embarking on a multi-day walk such as the famous W-walk, stopping off at the park's refugees or camping along the way. Horse riding and kayaking can also be arranged locally, and boats and catamarans offer trips across Lago Grey and Lago Pehoé in season.  
Dragoman offers two options for your time in Torres Del Paine National Park:

- Option 1 - Base Package - included on all trips our trips as standard is a guided trek on our first day to the stunning three peaks viewpoint, followed by three free days to enjoy the National Park and take part in optional activities.

- Option 2 - Full W-Walk - optional upgrade to embark on the full W-Walk with a local guide. Places at the campsites are limited by the National Park, so it is important to pre-book this option with your sales agent before your trip as it is not possible to book on arrival.

Today we will all have an included guided trek from our base campsite to the breathtaking viewpoint of the famous three peaks which give the National Park its name. After taking in this incredible view, we will trek back to our base campsite for the night.

Approximate walking distance: 20 km, estimated time: 8 hrs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Base package

Guided 'base package' to trek part of the famous W-walk - included is the trek to the towers of Torres del Paine with an expert local guide, and accommodation, food and a cook at Las Torres Campsite : Free 

W-walk extension

The extension package is to include the entire of the famous W-walk in Torres del Paine - included are two extra nights camping on the trail with facilities, food for the duration of the trek, and the service of an expert English speaking local guide : GBP 160

Please note that this package must be prebooked in advance through your sales agent. Please book as early as possible to ensure availability and avoid disappointment! For further information on the W-walk please refer to the detailed trip notes.


Base package group: Today is a free day for those that have not booked the optional W-walk extension package. There are many short walks and other fantastic optional activities available near our base campsite, or alternatively it's a great day simply relax and enjoy the spectacular views from the campsite.

W-walk extension group: If you have chosen the optional W-walk extension, you will leave our base campsite today to continue your guided trek along the edge of Lago Nordenskjöld to Los Cuernos Campsite where you will camp for the night. Approximate walking distance: 11 km, estimated time: 5 hrs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take in the stunning views of Torres del Paine on a horse riding trip through the National Park : CLP 30000

Head out on a fantastic boat trip on the Grey Lake to get up close to the colossal Grey Glacier : CLP 55000 

Base package group: Today is another free day for optional activities for those that have not booked the optional W-walk extension package.

W-walk extension group: If you have chosen the optional W-walk extension, you will leave Los Cuernos and trek up the French Valley with your local guide. From here you will continue trekking to Paine Grande Campsite where you will camp for the night. Approximate walking distance: 27 km, estimated duration: 11 hrs. 

Today is our last full day in this beautiful National Park.

Base package group: Today is another free day for those that have not booked the optional W-walk extension package.

W-walk extension group: If you have chosen the optional W-walk extension, today will be the last day of the W-walk. You will trek with your local guide along the edge of Lago Grey to an excellent viewpoint over the spectacular Grey Glacier. You will then trek back to Paine Grande and board the catamaran across the Lago Pehoé, where you'll be met by our Dragoman truck and driven back to our base campsite for the night. Approximate walking distance: 22 km, estimated duration: 8 hrs. 
Today we have an early start to leave Torres del Paine and head south to cross the Magellan Straits onto the island of Tierra del Fuego.

Tonight we will wild bush camp somewhere in the desolate wilds of the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

About Tierra Del Fuego:
Tierra del Fuego (meaning "Land of Fire") is a large island separated from mainland South America by the Magellan Strait. The island gets its name from the fires of the Selknam tribe that originally lived here, which Magellan and his sailors observed from their boats on their first travels through the area - unfortunately the Selknam and Yaghan tribes that originally inhabited the island are all but extinct after conflict with European settlers that arrived in the 19th Century. The island is split in half with a straight north-south line between Argentina and Chile, with the Argentinian half containing the island's largest settlement, Ushuaia. The island of Tierra del Fuego is Patagonia at its most remote and desolate, with a landscape of windswept plains, forests and swamplands, home to rheas, condors, buzzard eagles, seals and sea lions, all of which thrive in these conditions. On the Chilean half of the island lies Inútil Bay, a remote bay that is home to the only colony of King Penguins that exists outside of Antarctica! 
Border information: Exit Chile at San Sebastian, enter Argentina at San Sebastian.

Today we cross over to the Argentine side of Tierra del Fuego and drive to the incredible port town of Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world!

In Ushuaia we stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. 

About Ushuaia:
Ushuaia is a port town that lies at the south of Tierra del Fuego on the Argentinian side - it is often known as "the city at the end of the world", as it is the world's most southern city (the Chilean town of Puerto Williams is slightly further south but is much smaller than Ushuaia). Ushuaia itself is low lying and unassuming, centred around one main street and a waterfront that overlooks the Beagle Channel. Originally Ushuaia was little more than a remote outpost, first colonised by a British-funded mission in the late 1800s and subsequently used by the Argentinian government as a penal colony. What was once a small sleepy town has grown rapidly in recent years, much of which is due to tourist development and particularly to the increasing number of Antarctica trips calling to port here. There's plenty to do in Ushuaia and the surrounding area. The town itself is home to an interesting museum where you can learn more about the history of Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego and the indigenous people who originally lived here. The surrounding scenery is also impressive, so it's worth getting out on a boat-trip into the Beagle Channel, which will give you some great views of town with the Martial mountain range in the background. You can also explore Tierra del Fuego National Park, another beautiful spot with some spectacular lake and mountain scenery.
( Day 17 to 18 )

We will have two free days in the wonderful remote town of Ushuaia, with plenty of time for optional activities such as a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, boat trips to see the scenery and wildlife of the Beagle Channel, or heading out horse riding along the coast. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take a boat trip out on the famous Beagle Channel to view the native sea lions and birds : ARS 650

Explore the haunting beauty of Tierra del Fuego National Park and wander its atmospheric walking trails on a day tour from Ushuaia : ARS 500

Head out to the impressive Martial Glacier near Ushuaia, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Darwin Mountains and the Beagle Channel : USD 25

Delve into Ushuaia's past and learn about its maritime tradition and former prison colony at the Maritime Museum : ARS 150

Take a journey along the Rio Pipo on the 'Train to the End of the World', once built by prisoners at Ushuaia's old penal colony : USD 30

Explore the excellent trails around the hills and forests of Ushuaia by hiring a mountain bike : ARS 150

Discover the beautiful scenery of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel on a horse riding trip to the nearby Susana's Mountain viewpoint : ARS 1100

Enjoy an active day out in Tierra del Fuego National Park with a 7-kilometre trek to the scenic Lago Roca followed by a canoing trip down the Lapataia River : ARS 1500 

Learn all about Tierra del Fuego's history and nature at the 'Museum of the End of the World' in Ushuaia : ARS 90 
( Day 17 to 18 ) 

We will have two free days in the wonderful remote town of Ushuaia, with plenty of time for optional activities such as a visit to the hauntingly beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park, boat trips to see the scenery and wildlife of the Beagle Channel, or heading out horse riding along the coast. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take a boat trip out on the famous Beagle Channel to view the native sea lions and birds : ARS 650

Explore the haunting beauty of Tierra del Fuego National Park and wander its atmospheric walking trails on a day tour from Ushuaia : ARS 500

Head out to the impressive Martial Glacier near Ushuaia, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Darwin Mountains and the Beagle Channel : USD 25

Delve into Ushuaia's past and learn about its maritime tradition and former prison colony at the Maritime Museum : ARS 150

Take a journey along the Rio Pipo on the 'Train to the End of the World', once built by prisoners at Ushuaia's old penal colony : USD 30

Explore the excellent trails around the hills and forests of Ushuaia by hiring a mountain bike : ARS 150

Discover the beautiful scenery of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel on a horse riding trip to the nearby Susana's Mountain viewpoint : ARS 1100

Enjoy an active day out in Tierra del Fuego National Park with a 7-kilometer trek to the scenic Lago Roca followed by a canoing trip down the Lapataia River : ARS 1500 

Learn all about Tierra del Fuego's history and nature at the 'Museum of the End of the World' in Ushuaia : ARS 90 
Border information: Exit Argentina at San Sebastian, enter Chile at San Sebastian.

Today we start heading back north and back onto the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego. Here we will visit the small King Penguin colony that have recently set up home at the remote Bahia Inutil (Useless Bay).

Tonight we will wild camp near Bahia Inutil.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Head out to the remote corner of Chilean Tierra del Fuego to view the King Penguin colony at Bahia Inutil, the only colony of these type of penguins outside of Antarctica : Included in Kitty 

Border information: Exit Chile at Integration Austral, enter Argentina at Integration Austral.

Today we continue our journey north, crossing the Magellan Strait back to the mainland and then heading across the Argentine border.

Tonight we will wild camp at a stunning ancient crater called Laguna Azul (Blue Lagoon).

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

About Argentinian Patagonia:
Patagonia is the name of the region in the far south of South America, the southernmost stretch of the Andes and the surrounding plains and plateaus. The area is split down the middle by the Andes, with Chilean Patagonia on the west, and Argentinian Patagonia on the east. Renowned for its desolate landscapes, unrelenting winds and magnificent lake, mountain and glacial scenery, the name Patagonia comes from the word "Patagon", used by the explorer Magellan to describe the local people who he believed to be giants. Today historians believe that the Patagons were actually Teheulches, with an average height of about 1.8m as opposed to the average height of a Spaniard at the time of 1.55m! Argentinian Patagonia includes the spectacular national parks of Los Glaciares, Nahuel Huapi and Tierra del Fuego, home to the Perito Moreno Glacier, the Argentinian Lake District and the Fitz Roy range.
Today we will continue north, over landing across the Patagonian steppe and to the tiny town of El Chaltén, situated in Los Glaciares National Park and famous for its incredible mountains, glaciers and world-class trekking opportunities.

In El Chaltén we stay in dorm beds in a hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. 

About El Chaltén:
El Chaltén is small remote Patagonian town nestled under the shadow of the iconic Mt. Fitz Roy. The town itself has an interesting origin - the area was disputed between Argentina and Chile for a number of years, so the Argentinians thought they would settle the argument by hastily building the town of El Chaltén in 1985 to claim the territory! The name of Chaltén comes from the Tehuelche word for 'smoky mountain', so called as the early morning clouds gathering around Fitz Roy look remarkably like volcanic smoke. However, the town has grown immensely in recent years and decades, becoming a major centre for adventure tourism in Argentina. It is a fantastic base from which to explore the northern sections of the incredible Los Glaciares National Park, and is home to many adventure tour operators offering outdoor activities in the area. 
( Day 22 to 24 )

We will have three free days to enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking and walking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier, horse riding, and many other fantastic options. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Head out horse riding around the phenomenal scenery of El Chaltén : ARS 600

Freely explore and trek around the walking trails of Los Glaciares National Park, taking in the marvelous vistas of the Fitz Roy mountain range : Free

Take a boat out onto the stunning Viedma Lake, and get up close to the Viedma Glacier to see its impressive facade (with options to do some ice trekking on the glacier!) : ARS 1870

Enjoy an exhilarating day of ice trekking and climbing on the Cerro Torre Glacier, dramatically located at the base of the impossibly-steep spire of Cerro Torre : USD 74 

Visit the majestic Lago del Desierto, a remote and serene lake surrounded by stunning forests and mountains : ARS 500

About Los Glaciares National Park:
Los Glaciares National Park is the largest protected area in Argentina, covering a huge area of Argentinian Patagonia along the southern tail of the Andes range. The National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in all of South America. This is classic picture book Patagonia, and wherever you turn you're surrounded by wide open skies, magnificent mountains, incredible glaciers, glistening lakes and thick verdant forest. By far the best way to explore is to get out on foot - there are plenty of well-established trails through the mountains and forests of the National Park that are easy to explore independently with a map, so you can plan many treks around the area from around two hours to an entire challenging day out. As well as the phenomenal needle-like Cerro Torre, the iconic mountain of Fitz Roy looms over our base of El Chaltén, an impossibly-picturesque and steep mountain (which is also the logo for the 'Patagonia' clothing brand!) which can be viewed from many angles on treks in the area. Other activities can include boat trips and ice climbing on the incredible Videma Glacier, a visit to the serene Lago del Desierto, and horse-riding excursions through the incredible landscapes.




( Day 22 to 24 )

We will have three free days to enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking and walking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier, horse riding, and many other fantastic options. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Head out horse riding around the phenomenal scenery of El Chaltén : ARS 600

Freely explore and trek around the walking trails of Los Glaciares National Park, taking in the marvellous vistas of the Fitz Roy mountain range : Free

Take a boat out onto the stunning Viedma Lake, and get up close to the Viedma Glacier to see its impressive facade (with options to do some ice trekking on the glacier!) : ARS 1870

Enjoy an exhilarating day of ice trekking and climbing on the Cerro Torre Glacier, dramatically located at the base of the impossibly-steep spire of Cerro Torre : USD 74 

Visit the majestic Lago del Desierto, a remote and serene lake surrounded by stunning forests and mountains : ARS 500 

About Los Glaciares National Park:
Los Glaciares National Park is the largest protected area in Argentina, covering a huge area of Argentinian Patagonia along the southern tail of the Andes range. The National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in all of South America. This is classic picture book Patagonia, and wherever you turn you're surrounded by wide open skies, magnificent mountains, incredible glaciers, glistening lakes and thick verdant forest. By far the best way to explore is to get out on foot - there are plenty of well-established trails through the mountains and forests of the National Park that are easy to explore independently with a map, so you can plan many treks around the area from around two hours to an entire challenging day out. As well as the phenomenal needle-like Cerro Torre, the iconic mountain of Fitz Roy looms over our base of El Chaltén, an impossibly-picturesque and steep mountain (which is also the logo for the 'Patagonia' clothing brand!) which can be viewed from many angles on treks in the area. Other activities can include boat trips and ice climbing on the incredible Videma Glacier, a visit to the serene Lago del Desierto, and horse-riding excursions through the incredible landscapes. 
( Day 22 to 24 )

We will have three free days to enjoy the stunning Los Glaciares National Park and the incredible scenery of the nearby Mt. Fitz Roy. There are lots of trekking and walking opportunities here, as well as boat trips, ice climbing on the Viedma Glacier, horse riding, and many other fantastic options.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Head out horse riding around the phenomenal scenery of El Chaltén : ARS 600

Freely explore and trek around the walking trails of Los Glaciares National Park, taking in the marvellous vistas of the Fitz Roy mountain range : Free

Take a boat out onto the stunning Viedma Lake, and get up close to the Viedma Glacier to see its impressive facade (with options to do some ice trekking on the glacier!) : ARS 1870

Enjoy an exhilarating day of ice trekking and climbing on the Cerro Torre Glacier, dramatically located at the base of the impossibly-steep spire of Cerro Torre : USD 74 

Visit the majestic Lago del Desierto, a remote and serene lake surrounded by stunning forests and mountains : ARS 500 

About Los Glaciares National Park:
Los Glaciares National Park is the largest protected area in Argentina, covering a huge area of Argentinian Patagonia along the southern tail of the Andes range. The National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in all of South America. This is classic picture book Patagonia, and wherever you turn you're surrounded by wide open skies, magnificent mountains, incredible glaciers, glistening lakes and thick verdant forest. By far the best way to explore is to get out on foot - there are plenty of well-established trails through the mountains and forests of the National Park that are easy to explore independently with a map, so you can plan many treks around the area from around two hours to an entire challenging day out. As well as the phenomenal needle-like Cerro Torre, the iconic mountain of Fitz Roy looms over our base of El Chaltén, an impossibly-picturesque and steep mountain (which is also the logo for the 'Patagonia' clothing brand!) which can be viewed from many angles on treks in the area. Other activities can include boat trips and ice climbing on the incredible Videma Glacier, a visit to the serene Lago del Desierto, and horse-riding excursions through the incredible landscapes. 
Today we start heading north again with a full day drive along the famous Ruta 40 (Route 40).

We will arrive in the Rio Pinturas area, where we have an included visit to the mysterious Neolithic cave-art site of Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands), some of the most well-preserved ancient art in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Tonight we will wild camp near the Cueva de las Manos.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the UNESCO site of Cueva de las Manos, a set of mysterious rock paintings made by hunter-gatherers over 10,000 years ago : Included in Kitty.

About Cueva De Las Manos:
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Cueva de las Manos lies in an isolated and remote spot in the valley of Rio Pinturas. The cave takes its name from the hundreds of paintings of hands made by indigenous inhabitants some 13,000-9000 years ago - possibly by the ancestors of the Tehuelche people. The images of hands are 'negative-painted, meaning that they put their hand on the rock face and sprayed the paint around the outline by blowing it through a bone pipe. As well as the hand impressions, there are also depictions of human beings, guanos, rheas and other animals, as well as geometric shapes, zigzags, and representations of the sun, moon and hunting scenes.
Today we continue north along the legendary Ruta 40.

Tonight we will wild camp somewhere around the area of Tecka.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. 
Today we continue our journey to the picturesque town of Bariloche in Argentina's Lake District. We will see a definite change in the landscape today as the vegetation becomes more and more lush and green as we come out of the Patagonia region and into the forests of the Lake District.

In Bariloche we stay in dorm beds in a friendly family-run hostel outside of town.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

About Bariloche:
The Argentinian resort town of Bariloche has a picture perfect setting on the shores of Nahuel Huapi Lake, flanked by the peaks of the surrounding Andean mountains. The scenery here is truly stunning, so it's a magical place to explore and take in all the amazing views. In winter, the town is a popular centre for skiing and in summer the focus shifts to walking, mountain-biking, horse-riding and kayaking and canoing on the lakes - and if all that sounds too much like hard work, you can sit back and enjoy the view on a leisurely boat trip across to Victoria Island. Bariloche itself is also an interesting place to wander around. The town is famous for its handmade chocolates, and there are some really spectacular displays in the local chocolate shops. Because of it's popularity with Argentinians as well as international tourists, the town has a lively bar and restaurant scene with some great places to choose from. This is a particularly good place to sample some world-class Argentinian steak, and wild boar and Patagonian lamb is also worth a try here too! 
( Day 28 to 29 )

We will have two free days to enjoy the beautiful mountain town of Bariloche and the stunning surrounding lakes, mountains and forests. We have the options to explore the area by foot, mountain bike, kayak, boat, or even a historic steam train! 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Explore the beautiful scenery of Bariloche by horseback on a riding trip through the area : ARS 450

Discover the incredible scenery of the Nauhel Huapi Lake and the Victoria Islands on a boat trip from Bariloche : ARS 150 

Hire mountain bikes to explore the forests and hills surrounding Lake Nauhel Huapi and Bariloche : ARS 180

Visit the interesting Fenoglio Chocolate Museum in Bariloche, and learn all about the town's tradition of chocolate making : ARS 50

Explore the nearby Lago Gutierrez and take in its amazing views from the water on a half-day tandem kayaking trip : ARS 200

Freely explore the best viewpoints around Bariloche and some of the locals' favourite spots, such as the summit of Cerro Campanario, the beautiful beach of Playa Bonita, and the delightful waterfalls of Los Duendes : Free

Take a stunning journey on the historic steam train between Bariloche and Perito Moreno Los Juncos, taking in the amazing scenery of the Patagonian steppe : USD 50
( Day 28 to 29 ) 

We will have two free days to enjoy the beautiful mountain town of Bariloche and the stunning surrounding lakes, mountains and forests. We have the options to explore the area by foot, mountain bike, kayak, boat, or even a historic steam train! 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Explore the beautiful scenery of Bariloche by horseback on a riding trip through the area : ARS 450

Discover the incredible scenery of the Nauhel Huapi Lake and the Victoria Islands on a boat trip from Bariloche : ARS 150 

Hire mountain bikes to explore the forests and hills surrounding Lake Nauhel Huapi and Bariloche : ARS 180

Visit the interesting Fenoglio Chocolate Museum in Bariloche, and learn all about the town's tradition of chocolate making : ARS 50

Explore the nearby Lago Gutierrez and take in its amazing views from the water on a half-day tandem kayaking trip : ARS 200

Freely explore the best viewpoints around Bariloche and some of the locals' favourite spots, such as the summit of Cerro Campanario, the beautiful beach of Playa Bonita, and the delightful waterfalls of Los Duendes : Free

Take a stunning journey on the historic steam train between Bariloche and Perito Moreno Los Juncos, taking in the amazing scenery of the Patagonian steppe : USD 50 
Border information: Exit Argentina at Mamuil Malal, enter Chile at Mamuil Malal.

Today we cross the Andes into Chile and continue our journey to the stunning town of Pucón via the scenic Ruta de los Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route).

In Pucón we will stay in dorm beds in a friendly local hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

About Pucón:
Southern Chile's lake district boasts some lake and mountain scenery comparable with what the Swiss Alps or New Zealand have to offer! Beautiful deep blue lakes are flanked by majestic forest-clad mountains with snowy peaks to provide picture-postcard views and a perfect spot for walking and camping. The attractive small town of Pucón is located at the heart of the Chilean lakes, a great place to stop for a few days so you can explore the area and get involved in some of the many adventure activities on offer here. At certain times of year it's even possible to do a day climb of the nearby Villarrica volcano - a challenging trek, but one that anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to manage - and you're rewarded with some fantastic views of the surrounding area from the summit. The whole area is great for trekking and there are plenty of options to do some fantastic self guided walks. Alternatively Pucón offers great horse riding, white-water rafting and mountain-biking opportunities. For those who would prefer to relax, there are also some great thermal springs nearby - the natural pools at Pozones have a beautiful setting and are a great place to go and soak your weary limbs in the evening! 
( Day 31 to 32 )

We will have two free days in Pucón to enjoy a range of optional activities, including a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Pucón, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Trek up to the summit of the snowcapped volcano Villarica to witness the incredible sunrise views over Pucón and the Chilean Lake District : CLP 50000

Discover the beautiful lakes and forests of Pucón on a horse riding trip : CLP 20000

Relax in the soothing waters of the Pozones natural hot springs : CLP 10000

Explore the stunning views and hiking trails of the nearby Huerquehue National Park : CLP 22000

Learn all about Pucón and the history of its people on a free walking tour of the town : Free

Explore the spectacular Lake District near Pucón by mountain bike : CLP 8000

Head on an exciting white-water rafting trip on the rapids of the Trancura River near Pucón : USD 45

Take part in a fantastic canyoning expedition through the gorges of the Chilean Lake District near Pucón : CLP 20000 
( Day 31 to 32 )

We will have two free days in Pucón to enjoy a range of optional activities, including a sunrise expedition to climb the Villarica volcano which looms over Pucón, heading out horse riding through the surrounding forests, or an evening visit to the nearby natural hot springs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Trek up to the summit of the snowcapped volcano Villarica to witness the incredible sunrise views over Pucón and the Chilean Lake District : CLP 50000

Discover the beautiful lakes and forests of Pucón on a horse riding trip : CLP 20000

Relax in the soothing waters of the Pozones natural hot springs : CLP 10000

Explore the stunning views and hiking trails of the nearby Huerquehue National Park : CLP 22000

Learn all about Pucón and the history of its people on a free walking tour of the town : Free

Explore the spectacular Lake District near Pucón by mountain bike : CLP 8000

Head on an exciting white-water rafting trip on the rapids of the Trancura River near Pucón : USD 45

Take part in a fantastic canyoning expedition through the gorges of the Chilean Lake District near Pucón : CLP 20000 
Today we have a full day drive north to the cosmopolitan Chilean capital of Santiago.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

About Santiago:
Chile's capital, Santiago, is a large, modern city with a very European atmosphere. In the centre of the city, wide tree-lined boulevards lead to pleasant plazas and leafy parks, and on a clear day the snow-capped peaks of the Andes provide a magnificent backdrop to the Santiago skyline. Much of the centre is pedestrianised, which together with the wide streets and efficient metro system make Santiago an easy city to explore on foot. There are plenty of interesting museums where you can learn more about Chilean history and culture, from the City of Santiago Museum which chronicles the city’s history, to the Natural History Museum and Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. The city's many wonderful parks are also worth a visit, particularly O'Higgins and San Cristóbal which offers great views of the city from Cerro San Lucia. As you would expect from a capital city of this size, Santiago is full of busy bars and restaurants and has some lively nightlife to offer. For cheap eats full of local flavor, head to the Mercado Central which is packed full of food stalls and simple cafes and restaurants. For a real treat, you might want to head out to one of the more upmarket neighborhoods like Bellavista or Providencia, home to some really world-class restaurants and great bars. Barrio Brazil is also worth a look; this old neighborhood attracts an arty and bohemian crowd and there are often interesting events going on here. If you have the time, there's also plenty to do in the area surrounding the city. Santiago is right in the middle of Chile's wine producing region, so it is relatively straightforward to arrange full day or half day tours out to the local wineries. You may also be interested in visiting the seaside town of Valparaíso, which can be visited as a day trip from Santiago.  
Border information: if you are joining in Santiago, you will most likely enter Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (IATA code: SCL).

Welcome to Santiago, the cosmopolitan Chilean capital! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

The following day is a free day to explore the incredible city, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Santiago before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Santiago.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally-located hostel.
Hotel for the night: Happy House Hostel
Happy House Hostel
Moneda 1829
Santiago
Chile
Tel - +56 2 2688 4849

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Learn more about Santiago and its history on a free walking tour of the centre from a knowledgeable local guide : Free

Take in the breathtaking vista of the city skyline backdropped by the mighty Andes, from the viewpoints at Cerro San Cristobal or Cerro San Lucia : Free

Discover all of Santiago's sights on a hop-on/ hop-off bus around the city : CLP 21000

About Santiago:
Chile's capital, Santiago, is a large, modern city with a very European atmosphere. In the centre of the city, wide tree-lined boulevards lead to pleasant plazas and leafy parks, and on a clear day the snow-capped peaks of the Andes provide a magnificent backdrop to the Santiago skyline. Much of the centre is pedestrianised, which together with the wide streets and efficient metro system make Santiago an easy city to explore on foot. There are plenty of interesting museums where you can learn more about Chilean history and culture, from the City of Santiago Museum which chronicles the city’s history, to the Natural History Museum and Museum of Pre-Colombian Art. The city's many wonderful parks are also worth a visit, particularly O'Higgins and San Cristóbal which offers great views of the city from Cerro San Lucia. As you would expect from a capital city of this size, Santiago is full of busy bars and restaurants and has some lively nightlife to offer. For cheap eats full of local flavour, head to the Mercado Central which is packed full of food stalls and simple cafes and restaurants. For a real treat, you might want to head out to one of the more upmarket neighbourhoods like Bellavista or Providencia, home to some really world-class restaurants and great bars. Barrio Brazil is also worth a look; this old neighbourhood attracts an arty and bohemian crowd and there are often interesting events going on here. If you have the time, there's also plenty to do in the area surrounding the city. Santiago is right in the middle of Chile's wine producing region, so it is relatively straightforward to arrange full day or half day tours out to the local wineries. You may also be interested in visiting the seaside town of Valparaíso, which can be visited as a day trip from Santiago. 
Border information: Exit Chile at Paso Cristo Redentor, enter Argentina at Los Libertadores.

Today we will drive over the stunning Cristo Redentor pass in the high Andes, passing Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere) and heading to the Argentine wine capital of Mendoza, nestled in the dry flats underneath the shadows of the largest mountains of the Andes. Mendoza is the centre of Argentine wine production, and one of the nine 'Wine Capitals of the World' - it is especially famous for its Malbec, grown at some of the highest altitude vineyards to be found in the world.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible region, head out on various adventure activities, or of course take a tasting tour of the incredible wineries in the region.

In Mendoza we we stay in a centrally located hostel in dorm accommodation. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Head out on a trek through the incredible valleys surrounding Mendoza : ARS 270 

Enjoy a day out rock climbing in the stunning landscapes near Mendoza : ARS 930

Go for a horse ride through the arid foothills west of Mendoza : ARS 800

Discover Argentina's wine capital and explore the vineyards of the Mendoza and Maipu region, either on an organised tour or by cycling between the bodgeas : ARS 300

Take an exhilarating white water rafting trip down the Mendoza River : ARS 600

Relax in the beautiful thermal baths in Cacheuta, in the hills above Mendoza : ARS 100

Take a mountain biking trip through the dramatic landscapes of the Andean foothills near Mendoza : ARS 600

About Mendoza:
Mendoza is a vibrant city full of pleasant leafy boulevards and atmospheric plazas where the locals catch up over coffee in the many street cafes and bars. A university town and an important economic centre, the city has a bustling cosmopolitan feel and has some great restaurants, lively nightlife, interesting museums and galleries, and great shopping. On summer weekends, open-air concerts and markets often take place in the beautiful plazas. Mendoza and the adjacent town of Maipú are perhaps most famous for their wine. Whilst Mendoza is located in the dry deserts just underneath the Andes, extensive artificial irrigation has ;made it possible to grow grapes and olives here, both of which benefit from the long, hot, sunny summers - the region produces around two-thirds of Argentina's wine, and is especially renowned for its Malbec, Temperanillo and Sauvignon Blanc varieties. The wine made here is world class, and tours of local vineyards and wineries are easily arranged. Mendoza is also used by many adventurers as a base from which to explore the colossal mountains in the area. The highest mountain in the Americas, Mt. Aconcagua (with a summit 6,962m above sea level), is in the high Andes just to the west of the city making the city a big draw for mountaineers, and skiing is popular in the winter months. 

Border information: Exit Chile at Paso Cristo Redentor, enter Argentina at Los Libertadores. 
 
Today we will drive over the stunning Cristo Redentor pass in the high Andes, passing Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere) and heading to the Argentine wine capital of Mendoza, nestled in the dry flats underneath the shadows of the largest mountains of the Andes. Mendoza is the centre of Argentine wine production, and one of the nine 'Wine Capitals of the World' - it is especially famous for its Malbec, grown at some of the highest altitude vineyards to be found in the world. 
 
Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). 
 
On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible region, head out on various adventure activities, or of course take a tasting tour of the incredible wineries in the region.
 
In Mendoza we we stay in a centrally located hostel in dorm accommodation. 
 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
 
Head out on a trek through the incredible valleys surrounding Mendoza : ARS 270 
 
Enjoy a day out rock climbing in the stunning landscapes near Mendoza : ARS 930
 
Go for a horse ride through the arid foothills west of Mendoza : ARS 800 
 
Discover Argentina's wine capital and explore the vineyards of the Mendoza and Maipu region, either on an organised tour or by cycling between the bodgeas : ARS 300 
 
Take an exhilarating white water rafting trip down the Mendoza River : ARS 600
 
Relax in the beautiful thermal baths in Cacheuta, in the hills above Mendoza : ARS 100
 
Take a mountain biking trip through the dramatic landscapes of the Andean foothills near Mendoza : ARS 600
 
About Mendoza: 
Mendoza is a vibrant city full of pleasant leafy boulevards and atmospheric plazas where the locals catch up over coffee in the many street cafes and bars. A university town and an important economic centre, the city has a bustling cosmopolitan feel and has some great restaurants, lively nightlife, interesting museums and galleries, and great shopping. On summer weekends, open-air concerts and markets often take place in the beautiful plazas. Mendoza and the adjacent town of Maipú are perhaps most famous for their wine. Whilst Mendoza is located in the dry deserts just underneath the Andes, extensive artificial irrigation has ;made it possible to grow grapes and olives here, both of which benefit from the long, hot, sunny summers - the region produces around two-thirds of Argentina's wine, and is especially renowned for its Malbec, Temperanillo and Sauvignon Blanc varieties. The wine made here is world class, and tours of local vineyards and wineries are easily arranged. Mendoza is also used by many adventurers as a base from which to explore the colossal mountains in the area. The highest mountain in the Americas, Mt. Aconcagua (with a summit 6,962m above sea level), is in the high Andes just to the west of the city making the city a big draw for mountaineers, and skiing is popular in the winter months. 
 
Today we will leave Mendoza and start our journey through the beautiful San Juan and Cordoba provinces to wards Rio Ceballos.

We will aim to camp in one of the small rural towns en route, possibly near the town of Mina Clavero.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. 

About Rio Ceballos:
To the east of the Andes in the centre of Argentina is the country's second major city, Córdoba. Rising just to the west of the city are the beautiful rolling hills of the Sierra de Córdoba, where we spend three nights at a unique Anglo-Argentinian estancia. The estancia has been in the same family for four generations, and is a working cattle ranch farming the prized Argentinian Aberdeen Angus cattle. Here we will sample the traditional hospitality of the Anglo-Argentinian ranching community, with fantastic food straight from the farm. An asado (Argentinian BBQ) will be enjoyed on one of our nights here, as well as an evening of traditional music, a chance to try lassoing and fantastic wine tasting featuring some of the local produce. Daily horse riding excursions will also be arranged to ride through the hills on the fabulous horses and even completely inexperienced riders will feel like gauchos in a short time. Please note that these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit for all riders of 15 stone (210 lbs, 95 kg) to ensure the horses' well-being. If you are heavier than this weight you will unfortunately be unable to ride. 
( Day 5 to 7 )

Today we will compete our drive to our unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, where we will stay for 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip!

Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.

In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Spend 3 special days at a unique Anglo Argentine Estancia, to experience the gaucho way of living and see the beautiful countryside by horseback : Included in Kitty

( Day 5 to 7 )
 
Today we will compete our drive to our unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, where we will stay for 3 nights. 
 
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 
 
During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip! 
 
Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.
 
In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house. 
 
INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 
 
Spend 3 special days at a unique Anglo Argentine Estancia, to experience the gaucho way of living and see the beautiful countryside by horseback : Included in Kitty
( Day 5 to 7 )
 
Today we will compete our drive to our unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, where we will stay for 3 nights. 
 
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 
 
During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip! 
 
Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.
 
In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house. 
 
INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 
 
Spend 3 special days at a unique Anglo Argentine Estancia, to experience the gaucho way of living and see the beautiful countryside by horseback : Included in Kitty
Today we will drive north across the lush flat pampas and start climbing into the drier mountains.

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite in the town of Tafí del Valle.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

Today we will have an included visit to the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route, then arrive in the serene town of Cafayate. This small unassuming town is the centre of one of Argentina's principal wine producing regions, famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! We will have the opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is made, and of course to try them!

In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Explore the atmospheric ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes in north west Argentina : Included in Kitty 

Visit the impressive rock formations of 'El Amphiteatro' and 'La Garganta del Diablo' en route through the primeval landscape of the Quebrada de las Conchas : Included in Kitty 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Explore the vineyards of Cafayate and discover the area's delicious wines and bodgeas on a wine-tasting excursion : ARS 50 

About Cafayate:
Cafayate is a small town in north west Argentina, and is world-famous for its wine production. The surrounding vineyards produce some of the best quality wine in South America - Cafayate is particularly renowned for its Torrontes, a distinctive and crisp white wine that is typically Argentinian and similar in style to a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Cafayate itself is small and has a sleepy laid-back feel, although it can become busy during Argentinian holiday periods. Many of the local bodegas offer tastings and tours of their wine cellars which can be easily organised while you are here. Also worth seeking out is the local ice-cream parlour, which together with the more usual flavours also offers red and white wine ice-cream! 

About Quilmes Ruins:
The ruins of the city of Quilmes are located on a remote hillside in the Tucumán province in north west Argentina. The people of Quilmes were an indigenous tribe who inhabited this area as far back as 850 CE, fiercely resisting attempted Inca invasions in the 15th and 16th Centuries and even holding out against the Spanish for over 100 years before finally succumbing to a siege led by the colonial powers in 1667. After the siege, the Spanish took the area over and deported the few surviving indigenous people to a 'reservation' close to Buenos Aires. The 2000 remaining Quilmes Indians were forced to make this 1500km journey on foot, causing many to die along the way. The ruins of the city are the largest and most important preColumbian site in Argentina - at its height the city would have housed nearly 5000 people, however today there are only a handful of Quilmes' descendants left in Tucumán. 

( Day 10 to 11 )

Today we Will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach the beautiful colonial town of Salta. 

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

On the following day, we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, or take the famous 'Train to the Clouds' through some of the incredible mountain scenery nearby.

In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guest house. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take the cable car up to the top of San Bernardo Hill, and take in the breathtaking views out over the city of Salta below : ARS 110

Explore the beautiful mountains and forests near Salta on a mountain biking trip : ARS 690 

About Salta:
Salta is an attractive town in the north west of Argentina. Nicknamed "Salta la Linda" (or "Salta the Beautiful"), the city is well known as being a stunning town in a beautiful area. Home to some fantastic colonial architecture, the old town centres around the main plaza which is lined with cafes and restaurants, a great place to independently explore and soak up the serene Argentine atmosphere. To get a better view of the city and surrounding area you can take a cable-car from Parque San Martín up to the Cerro San Bernardo viewpoint overlooking the city, and the many churches and the cathedral are also worth a visit. Salta is also home to some fantastic museums, making it a good place to learn a bit more about Argentinian history and culture. 
( Day 10 to 11 )
 
Today we Will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach the beautiful colonial town of Salta. 
 
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 
 
On the following day, we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, or take the famous 'Train to the Clouds' through some of the incredible mountain scenery nearby. 
 
In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guest house. 
 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
 
Take the cable car up to the top of San Bernardo Hill, and take in the breathtaking views out over the city of Salta below : ARS 110 
 
Explore the beautiful mountains and forests near Salta on a mountain biking trip : ARS 690 
 
About Salta: 
Salta is an attractive town in the north west of Argentina. Nicknamed "Salta la Linda" (or "Salta the Beautiful"), the city is well known as being a stunning town in a beautiful area. Home to some fantastic colonial architecture, the old town centres around the main plaza which is lined with cafes and restaurants, a great place to independently explore and soak up the serene Argentine atmosphere. To get a better view of the city and surrounding area you can take a cable-car from Parque San Martín up to the Cerro San Bernardo viewpoint overlooking the city, and the many churches and the cathedral are also worth a visit. Salta is also home to some fantastic museums, making it a good place to learn a bit more about Argentinian history and culture. 
Today we will have some more free time in Salta before heading up to the small village of Purmamarca, at the base of the aptly-named 'Hill of the Seven Colours'

In Purmamarca we will camp at a local campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

About Purmamarca:
The tiny and atmospheric town of Purmamarca is stunningly located in the Quebrada de Purmamarca valley in the far northwest of Argentina at the base of the Andes. It is a beautiful desert village which is nestled in the spectacular valley opposite the Cerro de los Siete Colores (Hill of the Seven Colours), a colourful rainbow-coloured mountain face.
( Day 13 to 14 )

Border information: Exit Argentina at Paso Jama, enter Chile at Paso Jama.

Today we will have a drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Chile, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. 

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Observe the night skies through the powerful telescopes of the observatory in the Atacama Desert near San Pedro, and learn all about the heavens on a fascinating talk from one of the astronomers (not available during the week of a full moon) : CLP 20000

Visit the incredible salt plains of the Salar de Atacama, and take a swim in the salty pools of Laguna Cejar : CLP 2000

Take a tour of the stunning Lagunas Altiplánicas, backdropped by the incredible deserts and volcanic scenery of the region : CLP 30000

Relax in the blissful natural volcanic hot springs of Puritama, in the hills above San Pedro : CLP 15000 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Explore the dramatic, other-worldly landscape of the Moon Valley, and take in an incredible sunset from one of its high viewpoints : Included in Kitty

About San Pedro De Atacama:
San Pedro is a small oasis town in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. It's a quirky little place - low-lying adobe buildings line the narrow streets, leading to a sleepy tree-lined plaza that's home to a pretty white-washed church and a fascinating small museum with some interesting mummies and various other Indian artifacts. Pleasant though the town is, the real attraction here is the phenomenal surrounding landscapes and scenery. Perhaps most well known is the unusual desert landscape of "Moon Valley", just a short distance outside San Pedro, where other-worldly rock formations, unusual layer-cake landscapes and huge dunes combine to create some incredible views. The sunsets here can be amazing, the changing light turning the stone and sand a kaleidoscope of different colours, so the end of the day is definitely the best time of day to visit. There are a whole host of other activities on offer here, from star-gazing and visit the Atacama salt flats, to horse-riding and mountain-biking in the surrounding countryside. The town itself is also a pleasant place just to kick-back and relax, with some good bars and restaurants thanks to the developing tourist-trade. 
( Day 13 to 14 )
 
Border information: Exit Argentina at Paso Jama, enter Chile at Paso Jama. 
 
Today we will have a drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Chile, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert. 
 
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours. 
 
On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon). 
 
In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel. 
 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
 
Observe the night skies through the powerful telescopes of the observatory in the Atacama Desert near San Pedro, and learn all about the heavens on a fascinating talk from one of the astronomers (not available during the week of a full moon) : CLP 20000 
 
Visit the incredible salt plains of the Salar de Atacama, and take a swim in the salty pools of Laguna Cejar : CLP 2000 
 
Take a tour of the stunning Lagunas Altiplánicas, backdropped by the incredible deserts and volcanic scenery of the region : CLP 30000 
 
Relax in the blissful natural volcanic hot springs of Puritama, in the hills above San Pedro : CLP 15000 
 
INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 
 
Explore the dramatic, other-worldly landscape of the Moon Valley, and take in an incredible sunset from one of its high viewpoints : Included in Kitty
 
About San Pedro De Atacama: 
San Pedro is a small oasis town in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. It's a quirky little place - low-lying adobe buildings line the narrow streets, leading to a sleepy tree-lined plaza that's home to a pretty white-washed church and a fascinating small museum with some interesting mummies and various other Indian artifacts. Pleasant though the town is, the real attraction here is the phenomenal surrounding landscapes and scenery. Perhaps most well known is the unusual desert landscape of "Moon Valley", just a short distance outside San Pedro, where other-worldly rock formations, unusual layer-cake landscapes and huge dunes combine to create some incredible views. The sunsets here can be amazing, the changing light turning the stone and sand a kaleidoscope of different colours, so the end of the day is definitely the best time of day to visit. There are a whole host of other activities on offer here, from star-gazing and visit the Atacama salt flats, to horse-riding and mountain-biking in the surrounding countryside. The town itself is also a pleasant place just to kick-back and relax, with some good bars and restaurants thanks to the developing tourist-trade. 
Border information: Exit Chile at San Pedro de Atacama, enter Bolivia at Uyuni.

Today we will climb back up into the deserts and cross the Bolivian border into the wilds of the Bolivian altiplano, a surreal and desolate desert landscape that stretches all the way to the town of Uyuni. We will visit the spectacular coloured lakes of Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde en route.

In the Bolivian Altiplano we will stay in a basic mountain refuge.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Take the epic journey across the southern Bolivian altiplano - an incredible high-altitude, off-road adventure through a surreal desert landscape, taking in bizarre rock formations, hot springs, and the phenomenal coloured lakes of Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde : Included in Kitty

About Bolivian Altiplano:
The high Bolivian altiplano stretches hundreds of kilometres from the small town of Uyuni out across to the borders with Argentina and Chile. This is real wilderness - there are no roads up here, just a few tracks to follow, and you're more likely to see a flamingo or llama than another human being! The only way to cross the altiplano is by travelling in a specialist expedition vehicle like one of our overland trucks. The crossing is an adventurous one - travelling across the high-altitude dirt tracks can be challenging and rough, and the trip from Uyuni to the border normally takes a couple of days - but it's without a doubt one of the most unforgettable journeys you'll ever make, as the landscape here is out of this world. Wild and remote, the high altiplano is made up of barren semi-desert open plains dotted by streams and lakes, many of which appear vividly coloured due to the mineral deposits in the water. The lakes are flanked by the impressive volcanic peaks of the high Bolivian Andes, which are awe-inspiringly beautiful and undoubtedly some of the most spectacular mountain scenery you'll ever see. You'll also pass a few remote villages, inhabited by Quechua farmers who try their best to eke out a living up here from the rough pasture, grazing a few llamas and alpacas. The altitude here is considerable and it can be very cold and windy. When travelling here you should be prepared for the cold temperatures. and it is worth making sure you have a really good quality sleeping bag. 
Today we will have an early start to complete our epic crossing of the Bolivian altiplano, and reach the town of Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

About Uyuni:
Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like you've reached the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits on the edge of the high altiplano, a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres to wards the border with Argentina and Chile - so it's hardly surprising that the town can have a bit of a wild-west feel about it. Uyuni is of course best known for being the gateway to the Bolivian salt flats known as the "Salar de Uyuni". Also nearby is the Train Cemetery, a graveyard for the carcasses of old steam engines that have been left here to rust - an other-worldly and eerie sight set in the bright altiplano sunshine against the background of the distant Salar. 
Today we will venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot. En route we will explore the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island', and take all the time we need to get plenty of perspective-bending photographs! 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Take a full day tour out in jeeps to the dazzling Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats - the spectacular, perfectly-flat salt plains that are one of South America's most incredible sights : Included in Kitty 

About Salar De Uyuni:
The Salar de Uyuni is a truly unforgettable sight, and a landscape quite unlike anything you'll have seen anywhere else in the world! The Salar de Uyuni is a dazzling dry lake of over 12,000 sq. kms, made of blinding white interlocking salt crystals. It is the world's largest salt pan, and is bright white expanse that stretches as far as the eye can see - when there's a little bit of water on the flats, it reflects the bright blue sky of the altiplano perfectly, acting like a mirror and making the horizon disappear! 
Today we will leave Uyuni and head to the colonial mining town of Potosí, the highest town in the world, and once famous for the area's abundance of silver!

The afternoon will be free to explore Potosí, and there will be a chance to visit the infamous silver mines of Cerro Rico near to the town.

In Potosí we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Explore the claustrophobic tunnels of the Cerro Rico silver mines, an infamous mine originally built by the Spanish : BOB 110

Visit the the Casa de la Moneda museum in Potosí, to learn all about its colonial past and the silver that once flowed from the area : BOB 60

About Potosí:
Potosí is a colonial mining town, founded in the 16th Century after the Spanish discovered huge silver deposits in the nearby Cerro Rico mountain. Situated at over 4,000m altitude, high up on the Bolivian altiplano, the city can claim to be one of the highest in the world. Whilst in Potosí you can arrange to visit a mine that is still being worked, which offers a challenging and yet fascinating insight into how mining has shaped the history and culture of this town. Entering a dark maze of tunnels you will descend to four levels below, down to the work face where miners use hammers, chisels and dynamite, more reminiscent of the 1800s than the 21st Century, to dig out the remaining metal. Most of the silver here is long gone - it's tin the miners are looking for now. If you do choose to head down into the mines it's become a custom to take the miners gifts of dynamite, fuses and coca leaves in exchange for their stories of how their working conditions have not changed in centuries. Life is harsh for all who work here, but the mines have now all been organised into co-operatives and so at least today the men have a say in their own future. You should note that visiting these primitive mines is not for everybody as it is pretty tiring, you will be in enclosed spaces and it can be dangerous. Back in the city of Potosí itself, the winding streets are worth a wander. The town has a bit of an air of fading grandeur, many of it's beautiful colonial buildings and plazas having seen better days, but it's a fascinating place to explore nevertheless. You can also visit the "Casa de la Moneda", the old mint, which is a great place to learn more about Potosí's history and the story of the mines. 
( Day 19 to 20 )

Today we will leave Potosí and drive north to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

On the following day we have a free day to explore the city or take part in optional activities.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take the spectacular downhill mountain-bike trip down the infamous 'World's Most Dangerous Road', a 3,500m descent from the high mountain plateau near La Paz to the steaming jungles of Corioco via the dramatic road cut into the cliff : USD 110

Take a guided tour to explore the amazing preInca ruins of Tiwanaku, once the centre of one of the most important cultures in South America : BOB 180

Take a trip out to the mountain resort of Chacaltaya and the other-worldly landscape of the Moon Valley near La Paz : BOB 120

Take a guided tour of the main sights and viewpoints around La Paz : BOB 60 

Discover Bolivia's history, art, and culture in some of La Paz's many museums such as the San Francisco Museum and the Museum of Ethnography : BOB 20

About La Paz:
Bolivia's largest city of La Paz is spectacularly located lying huddled in a canyon basin, hiding from the harsh conditions of the surrounding altiplano. It is a fascinating city - the old town and more expensive neighbourhoods at the bottom of the canyon in the centre, surrounded by sprawling shanty-towns which extend up the slopes of the bowl, merging into the huge Aymara district of "El Alto" back on the plains, a suburb of La Paz that has grown to be a city in its own right. The city skyline is dominated by the snow-capped peaks of Mount Illimani, a staggeringly beautiful backdrop that leaves many visitors stunned when then catch their first glimpse of the city as they descend into the canyon. The old town is full of markets and winding cobbled streets full of people in traditional Aymara clothing selling anything and everything you could ever think of, including dried llama foetuses on sale in the witch's market! There are plenty of other activities to do in La Paz, including the famous downhill bike ride through the Yungas on the 'world's most dangerous road'! 
( Day 19 to 20 )
 
Today we will leave Potosí and drive north to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! 
 
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. 
 
On the following day we have a free day to explore the city or take part in optional activities.
 
In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre. 
 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
 
Take the spectacular downhill mountain-bike trip down the infamous 'World's Most Dangerous Road', a 3,500m descent from the high mountain plateau near La Paz to the steaming jungles of Corioco via the dramatic road cut into the cliff : USD 110 
 
Take a guided tour to explore the amazing preInca ruins of Tiwanaku, once the centre of one of the most important cultures in South America : BOB 180 
 
Take a trip out to the mountain resort of Chacaltaya and the other-worldly landscape of the Moon Valley near La Paz : BOB 120 
 
Take a guided tour of the main sights and viewpoints around La Paz : BOB 60 
 
Discover Bolivia's history, art, and culture in some of La Paz's many museums such as the San Francisco Museum and the Museum of Ethnography : BOB 20
 
About La Paz: 
Bolivia's largest city of La Paz is spectacularly located lying huddled in a canyon basin, hiding from the harsh conditions of the surrounding altiplano. It is a fascinating city - the old town and more expensive neighbourhoods at the bottom of the canyon in the centre, surrounded by sprawling shanty-towns which extend up the slopes of the bowl, merging into the huge Aymara district of "El Alto" back on the plains, a suburb of La Paz that has grown to be a city in its own right. The city skyline is dominated by the snow-capped peaks of Mount Illimani, a staggeringly beautiful backdrop that leaves many visitors stunned when then catch their first glimpse of the city as they descend into the canyon. The old town is full of markets and winding cobbled streets full of people in traditional Aymara clothing selling anything and everything you could ever think of, including dried llama foetuses on sale in the witch's market! There are plenty of other activities to do in La Paz, including the famous downhill bike ride through the Yungas on the 'world's most dangerous road'! 
A Note on Altitude: If you are joining in La Paz, we suggest arriving 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise, or taking the first day very easy!

A Note on our Community Trek: From July 2016, we have renamed our flagship Community Trek, The Wild Andes Trek, we feel this sums it up pretty well - trekking in the remote, pristine mountains of Peru. The only thing thats changing is the name - Dragoman's commitment to genuine, responsible tourism remains at the heart of the trek and the route remains the same, so rest assured by opting for this trek you are supporting communities and protecting the environment.

Border information: if you are joining in La Paz, you will most likely enter Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB).

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in La Paz before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring La Paz.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre. 

Hotel for the night: Estrella Andina
Estrella Andina
Avenida Illampu 716
Zona El Rosario
La Paz
Bolivia
Tel - +591 2245 6421 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Take the spectacular downhill mountain-bike trip down the infamous 'World's Most Dangerous Road', a 3,500m descent from the high mountain plateau near La Paz to the steaming jungles of Corioco via the dramatic road cut into the cliff : USD 110

Take a trip out to the mountain resort of Chacaltaya and the other-worldly landscape of the Moon Valley near La Paz : BOB 120

Take a guided tour to explore the amazing preInca ruins of Tiwanaku, once the centre of one of the most important cultures in South America : BOB 180

Take a guided tour of the main sights and viewpoints around La Paz : BOB 60

Discover Bolivia's history, art, and culture in some of La Paz's many museums such as the San Francisco Museum and the Museum of Ethnography : BOB 20

About La Paz:
Bolivia's largest city of La Paz is spectacularly located lying huddled in a canyon basin, hiding from the harsh conditions of the surrounding altiplano. It is a fascinating city - the old town and more expensive neighbourhoods at the bottom of the canyon in the centre, surrounded by sprawling shanty-towns which extend up the slopes of the bowl, merging into the huge Aymara district of "El Alto" back on the plains, a suburb of La Paz that has grown to be a city in its own right. The city skyline is dominated by the snow-capped peaks of Mount Illimani, a staggeringly beautiful backdrop that leaves many visitors stunned when then catch their first glimpse of the city as they descend into the canyon. The old town is full of markets and winding cobbled streets full of people in traditional Aymara clothing selling anything and everything you could ever think of, including dried llama foetuses on sale in the witch's market! There are plenty of other activities to do in La Paz, including the famous downhill bike ride through the Yungas on the 'world's most dangerous road'! 

Today we will head to the beautiful town of Copacabana on the shores of Lake Titicaca, where we will have some time to freely explore.

In Copacabana we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

About Copacabana:
Copacabana, Bolivia, is quite different from the famous Brazilian beach that shares its name, but both are wonderful destinations to visit! It is a picturesque small town on the shores of Lake Titicaca, centred around its small whitewashed square which is home to a pleasant Moorish-style cathedral. At sunset there is no better place to be than sat at one of the many simple local fish restaurants on the shoreline, watching the sun slip down behind the horizon. 
Today we will take an included day trip to Isla del Sol in Lake Titicaca, one of the holiest sites in ancient Inca mythology and supposedly the birthplace of the Sun God Inti. We will take a 14km walk across the length of the island, taking in the incredible and serene scenery and soaking up the calm atmosphere of the island (this walk can be skipped by anybody who does not want to do it).

In Isla del Sol we will stay in a basic local hotel. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Take a boat trip to Lake Titicaca's Isla del Sol, and head on a guided walk across the length of the stunning island : Included in Kitty

About Isla Del Sol:
Isla del Sol is a serene and peaceful island set in the glittering Lake Titicaca off the shore of the Bolivian village of Copacabana. The island was famous in Inca mythology as the supposed birthplace of the sun-god Inti - a legend that is still told by many of the modern-day Aymara and Quechua peoples of the area. There small ancient ruins dotted on the island, as well as tiny traditional villages and beautiful walking routes. You can take a boat trip to the island and wander through its atmospheric landscape, exploring the island's dry slopes covered with sweet smelling incense brush, or hike over the ancient pampas which are still cultivated by the island families. 
Border information: exit Bolivia at Kasani, enter Peru at Yunguyo.

Today we will take a boat back to Copacabana, and then cross the border into Peru and head to the lakeside town of Puno. 

In Puno we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

About Puno:
Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca in the south eastern region of Peru is the small town of Puno. The town is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian cultures and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, and a mythical expanse of deep blue waters dotted with islands, some of which are still home to communities who have been living in the same way for hundreds of years. 
Today we will leave Puno and head through the highlands of Peru to the former Inca capital of Cuzco. We will have an included visit to the Inca site of Tipón en route.

In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the incredible Inca site of Tipón, once an agricultural centre and a park for the Inca elite : Included in Kitty 

About Cuzco:
The Inca Empire was the largest empire in the pre-Columbian Americas - the civilisation arose in the early 13th Century under the leadership of the first Inca ruler Manco Capác, founding the city of Cuzco as their capital. The civilisation thrived in the area until 1438, when the new leader Pachacuti embarked on a massive campaign of expansion and used military conquest and peaceful assimilation to incorporate a massive portion of western South America under his control - at its largest, the Inca Empire stretched all the way from southern Colombia through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, northwest Argentina, all the way down to central Chile. In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro first entered Inca territory from his expedition through Colombia. After quickly determining that it was evidently a civilisation of great wealth and power, he quickly received royal permission to conquer the empire - he decisively kidnapped and later executed the Inca ruler Ayahualpa in 1533 and installed their own puppet ruler, Manco Inca Yupanqui. The new leader quickly turned on the invaders and briefly took control of Cuzco for the Incas again, until the Spanish finally pushed them back permanently from the city. The remnants of the civilisation formed a Neo-Inca state centred around Vilcabamba in the mountains above Lima until the Spanish invaded them completely in 1572, ending the last major resistance to their rule in Peru. Any adventure tour to Peru naturally centres around the stunning city of Cuzco - it is world-famous as the gateway to the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu and the various Inca trails through the Peruvian highlands. However, the city is a fantastic destination in its own right, and many of its buildings still retain some of the original Inca stonework as part of their structure. This unique and intricate stonework was an ingenious construction method that prevented damage from earthquakes - examples of their amazing building techniques can still be seen in and around Cuzco, including the famous 'twelve-sided stone', now part of the logo of Cuzco's native Cusqueña beer! A good place to start your explorations is the majestic main plaza, surrounded by cobbled streets lined with attractive colonial buildings. Head up the hill into the neighbourhood of San Blas and you will discover another hidden square with a quiet laid-back feel. All the streets are lined with shops, bars and restaurants, from small local cafes to five star dining experiences. There are also some fantastic museums and historical sites in and around the city, showcasing the wonderful history and culture of the Incas.
A Note on Altitude:  If you are joining in Cuzco, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatize.

A Note on our Community Trek:  From July 2016, we have renamed our flagship Community Trek, The Wild Andes Trek, we feel this sums it up pretty well - trekking in the remote, pristine mountains of Peru. The only thing that's changing is the name - Dragoman's commitment to genuine,responsible tourism remains at the heart of the trek and the route remains the same, so rest assured by opting for this trek you are supporting communities and protecting the environment.

Border information: If you are joining in Cuzco, you will most likely enter Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ). There will be an important group meeting at 10:00a.m at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. There will be a further meeting this evening for our Wild Andes and Classic Inca Trails, where we will have a full detailed briefing from our local trekking guides about the next few days!

The rest of today will be free to explore the wonderful city of Cuzco, discover its many historical gems, or to take part in number of optional activities near the city.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cuzco before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cuzco.

In Cuzco we will stay in a good colonial hotel.

Hotel for the night: Hotel Cahuide
Hotel Cahuide
Calle Saphi No. 845
Cuzco
Peru
Tel - + 51 8422 2771

About Cuzco:
The Inca Empire was the largest empire in the pre-Columbian Americas - the civilization arose in the early 13th Century under the leadership of the first Inca ruler Manco Capác, founding the city of Cuzco as their capital. The civilization thrived in the area until 1438, when the new leader Pachacuti embarked on a massive campaign of expansion and used military conquest and peaceful assimilation to incorporate a massive portion of western South America under his control - at its largest, the Inca Empire stretched all the way from southern Colombia through Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, northwest Argentina, all the way down to central Chile. In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro first entered Inca territory from his expedition through Colombia. After quickly determining that it was evidently a civilization of great wealth and power, he quickly received royal permission to conquer the empire - he decisively kidnapped and later executed the Inca ruler Ayahualpa in 1533 and installed their own puppet ruler, Manco Inca Yupanqui. The new leader quickly turned on the invaders and briefly took control of Cuzco for the Incas again, until the Spanish finally pushed them back permanently from the city. The remnants of the civilization formed a Neo-Inca state centered around Vilcabamba in the mountains above Lima until the Spanish invaded them completely in 1572, ending the last major resistance to their rule in Peru. Any adventure tour to Peru naturally centered around the stunning city of Cuzco - it is world-famous as the gateway to the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu and the various Inca trails through the Peruvian highlands. However, the city is a fantastic destination in its own right, and many of its buildings still retain some of the original Inca stonework as part of their structure. This unique and intricate stonework was an ingenious construction method that prevented damage from earthquakes - examples of their amazing building techniques can still be seen in and around Cuzco, including the famous 'twelve-sided stone', now part of the logo of Cuzco's native Cusqueña beer! A good place to start your explorations is the majestic main plaza, surrounded by cobbled streets lined with attractive colonial buildings. Head up the hill into the neighborhood of San Blas and you will discover another hidden square with a quiet laid-back feel. All the streets are lined with shops, bars and restaurants, from small local cafes to five star dining experiences. There are also some fantastic museums and historical sites in and around the city, showcasing the wonderful history and culture of the Incas.
These four days will be spent either trekking in the Andes, on our pioneering Wild Andes Trek, on the Classic Inca Trek or for those not wishing to hike, free time to explore and a guided tour of the Sacred Valley on our Train package. 
 
Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek

Leaving Cuzco early in the morning, we visit the ruined temples of Sacsayhuaman for a fascinating tour of the site. We then head on to Chinchero, a small Quechua-speaking village in the Sacred Valley. Here we will see a traditional weaving demonstration that has been unchanged for a thousand years, and explore their beautiful archaeological ruins. We will drive to a stunning viewpoint for a picnic lunch, and then visit the Quillarumiyoc temple (the Temple of the Moon).

We will start our trek from here in the afternoon, heading by foot to Zurite where we have a picturesque stay in a colonial house. Tonight we will enjoy a traditional dinner and get a taste of the local village lifestyle.

Approximate walking distance: 8km, Estimated time: 4hrs, Meals provided: Lunch and Dinner

Option 2 - Classic Inca Trek

This morning we go for a guided tour of the Sacred Valley, followed by a visit to the market town of Pisac, where we will have lunch. We then head to Ollantaytambo, where we will explore this impressive archeological site. Tonight we stay in a comfortable hotel.

There is no trekking today. Meals provided: Lunch, Dinner, Snacks

Option 3 - Train Package

You will leave Cuzco with your fellow passengers who will be trekking the Wild Andes Trek. You will visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, followed by a beautiful scenic drive over mountains and through valleys, via the ancient city of Pisac and on to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After lunch you will head back to Cuzco where you will stay at our nice, centrally located hotel for a further 3 nights. These hotel nights will be booked for you by your Tour Leader.

Meals Included: Lunch

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES.
                                                              
Visit the incredible remains of the Inca temples of Sacsayhuaman and the Sacred Valley on a guided tour: Included in  kitty 
  
Take a guided tour of the fantastic Inca temples at Ollantaytambo: Included in Kitty 

Options for the treks from Cuzco (please see the bottom of the Trip Notes for more details): Included in Kitty

Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek                                                    

Hike on unspoiled Inca Trails through the stunning remote Andean scenery away from other tourists, on our exclusive Wild Andes Inca Trek. If you choose this option you will get a small refund from kitty.

Option 2 - Classic Trek

Trek the Classic Inca Trail up the Royal Inca Road. Your kitty has been budgeted to accommodate for this option as it is the most costly of the 3 options.

Option 3 - Train Package (non-trekking option)

Relax in Cuzco and take the train to Machu Picchu without trekking. If you choose this option you will get a substantial refund from kitty.

Important note: You must advise us at the time of booking if you wish to book the Classic Inca Trail or the Train Package (non-trekking option), otherwise you will automatically be booked onto our Community Trek.

About Sacred Valley:

The valley of the Urubamba river is more often referred to as "The Sacred Valley". In the Peruvian highlands close to the Inca capital of Cuzco, the valley extends from the small market town of Pisac to Ollantaytambo, nestling at the foot of the Andean mountain ranges that are home to the magical lost Inca city of Machu Picchu. Together with Machu Picchu itself, the Sacred Valley was a cradle of the Inca Empire and the area is littered with archaeological sites including the magnificent ruins of Pisac with
its famous terraced fields, the old temple complex of Sacsayhuaman and the remarkably well-preserved Inca city of Ollantaytambo. Together with the temperate climate, lively markets, sleepy Andean villages and stunning surrounding landscape, the rich history of the area makes it a truly bewitching place.

About Inca Trail :

When people talk about "The Inca Trail", they are usually referring to a particular trekking route that follows a ancient pathway that leads to Machu Picchu. However there are a huge number of Andean Trails that crisscross the Urubamba Valley and surrounding mountain ranges, many of which are genuinely remote and rarely used by western tourists. On our Dragoman tours that travel via Cuzco we offer you the choice to trek either the Classic Inca Trail or our unique alternative, the Community Inca Trek, which is exclusive to Dragoman. The Classic Inca Trail The Classic Inca Trail route usually starts at Kilometre 82 of the Cuzco-Aguas Calientes railway, taking in Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's Pass, 4,200m) and the ruins of Phuyupatamarca and Wiñay Wayna en route, eventually arriving at the Sun Gate above Machu Picchu early in the morning after 3 days of trekking. This route is still extremely popular as it is seen by many as the original Inca Trail, and it is also probably the best trek to choose if you're really interested in history and archaeology, because of all the smaller Inca sites it passes along the way. Unfortunately, due to its own popularity, the Classic Trail is always very busy, with around 500 people starting the trek every day - due to there being restrictions on camping areas, the campsites are often very busy with other trekkers as well. Nevertheless it is still an awesome trek, passing through some stunning scenery from snow-capped peaks to abundant cloud forests, and the sense of achievement you'll have when you catch your first sight of Machu Picchu is something you'll never forget. Please note that the Classic Trail is always closed for maintenance during the entire month of February each year. The Community Inca Trek Dragoman's Community Inca Trek is a unique trekking route where you'll hike through pristine unspoilt Andean scenery, walking ancient Inca Trails and pass through local communities as part of our pioneering community-based tourism project, Tarpuy Yachay. This trek is all about getting away from the overcrowded thoroughfares of the Classic Inca Trail and getting out into the real Andes - not to mention being part of a project with provides a genuine, direct benefit to the host communities we travel through, by supporting education, income generation and environmental sustainability projects. The trek itself is about the same as the Classic Inca Trail in terms of length and difficulty, taking three to three and a half days and ascending to about 4,700m when you cross the highest pass. The scenery out here is truly magnificent, spectacular mountain peaks, verdant hillsides dotted by isolated villages and the odd llama and alapaca, you are unlikely to see another tourist here. Although you won't trek into Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate as on the Classic Trail, you will arrive to Machu Picchu well rested after a night in a comfortable hotel and ready to get the most out of the tour of this magnificent site. 












 
Option 1 - Wild Andes
Trek Zurite to Amaruwatana

After a hearty breakfast we leave Zurite and head to wards Amaruwatana camp. The walk will take us through Qenteqentiyoc (the Hummingbird Temple), where we will visit and admire this archaeological Inca site. We will then follow the ancient path all the way to the top of our first pass at 4,400 metres, where we will have a dramatic view of both the Vilcabamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges. From here we start walking down on the way to our first camp in the Sambor Valley where we will spend the night camping.

Approximate trekking time: 7-8hrs, Distance: 13km, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Option 2 - Classic Inca Trek
Ollantaytambo to Wayllabamba

After breakfast, we catch a bus to the Railroad 82km marker, the start of the Classic Inca Trek, here we are joined by our crew of local porters and cooks. We will cross the bridge over the River Urubamba and following a trail along the left-hand shore of the river, we enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped Mount Veronica (5830m.) and the Inca archaeological remains at Llactapata. Continuing through lush farmland and woodlands, we gradually climb for approximately 5 hours to our first campsite at Wayllabamba (3000m./9840ft.)
Approximate trekking time: 5-6hrs, Distance: 12km, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks

Option 3 - Train Package Dragoman

Today is a free day for you to enjoy Cuzco, with its museums, churches, incredible colonial architecture, beautiful restaurants and a vast array of shops, selling textiles and handicrafts. 
Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek
Amaruwatana to Ancascocha

We have an early start this morning, trekking for approx. 2 hours to reach the top of our second pass at 4,700 metres. From here we have fantastic views of the rock formations below us, and if we're lucky we may spot Andean ibises, cascaras, eagles or foxes up here!

After descending for approx. 2 hours, we arrive at a stunning highland valley with a glacial river named Kenqo Mayu (Zig-zag River) flowing down it - which makes an idyllic stop for lunch!

After lunch we will continue trekking downhill following the ancient trail, which leads us to our campsite in the Ancascocha area.

Approximate trekking time: 6-7hrs, Distance: 10km, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Option 2 - Classic Trek
Wayllabamba to Pacaymayo

This is the most challenging of the trek as we ascend a long steep path (approx 4 hrs) to reach the highest point of our trek, Warmiwañusca, or Dead Woman's Pass, at a height of 4,200 m (13,779 ft), before descending to the Pacaymayo Valley (3,650 m above sea level - 2 hrs downhill). Depending upon local conditions, you might camp here today, or may need to continue further up and down. We might cross the first and second passes on this day. From the second pass, Runkuracay (3,980 m above sea level - 90 min uphill) we can enjoy views of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending to the ruins of Sayacmarca (2 hours downhill). From here it is only a few more minutes to the Chaquicocha campsite (3,620 m above sea level).

Approximate trekking time: 6-7hrs, Distance: 11km, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks

Option 3 - Train Package

Today is a free day for you to enjoy Cuzco, with it's museums, churches, incredible colonial architecture, beautiful restaurants and a vast array of shops selling textiles and handicrafts. 
Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek
Ancascocha to Ollantaytambo T

Today we will descend the narrow Silque Canyon, allowing us to observe the tall granite walls on its sides which are populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when they bloom. After crossing many little bridges we will reach the Camicancha area, where we stop at a magnificent volcanic viewpoint looking to wards the Snow-capped Mt. Veronica.

From here, it is only a short trek to Chilca, where out trail ends. We'll be picked up by our vehicle and head to Ollantaytambo, taking a well-earned shower and rest at our hotel.

In the afternoon we will have an included guided tour around the incredible archaeological site of Ollantaytambo and its world-famous Temple of the Sun.

Approximate trekking time: 5hrs, Distance: 12km, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Option 2 - Classic Inca Trek
Pacaymayo to Winay Wayna

Today we continue over the third pass and soon reach the beautiful ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the 'Town above the Clouds' (3,850 m above sea level – 90 min uphill). Start descending real Inca Steps (2 hrs) to reach our final night's camp by the Wiñay Wayna, or 'Forever Young' ruins (2,750 m above sea level), with panoramic views of the valley below.

Approximate walking time: 8 hours, Distance: 16km, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks

Option 3 - Train Package

After being picked up from your hotel in the morning you will be driven to the fortress city of Ollantaytambo and our hotel for the night, the Tunupa Lodge. Here you will rejoin the Community Inca Trekkers and your tour leader who will be arriving from their trek this afternoon. 
Option 1 - Wild Andes Trek
Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu – Cuzco

Today we will have an early start to catch the train to the small town of Aguas Calientes. From there, we will take a bus up the winding mountainside to the legendary ruined city of Machu Picchu - one of the world's most iconic sights! We have a guided tour with our expert local guide and plenty of time to freely explore this magical place.

In the afternoon we will head back to Ollantaytambo and then on to Cuzco, where we return to our joining hotel at the end of a long but phenomenal day!

Meals provided: Breakfast

Option 2 - Classic Trek
Winay Wayna to Machupicchu

Today we wake early for a short final hike to Machu Picchu, we climb the steps to the Sun Gate to watch the ruins emerge from the mist below. As with the community trek our guide will show us the most important constructions as well as explain the history and the mythology of this magnificent place. There is some free time to explore the ruins further at your own pace or maybe if you haven't experienced enough steps and trekking, why not visit the Inca Bridge. Or you can just chill out and watch the hummingbirds or vizcachua. In the afternoon we head back down to Aguas Calientes and take the train back to Ollantaytambo and return to Cuzco for a well-deserved rest.

Approximate walking time: 2 hours, Distance: 4km, Meals provided: Breakfast, Snacks

Option 3 - Train Package

After an early breakfast and walk to the train station, your stunning 2 hour train ride to Aguas Calientes begins. The journey takes you through several different micro-climates, past Inca terraces, lookout posts, ancient river bank reinforcements and small towns. You will get a glimpse of different temples and the beautiful Mount Veronica (5,750m). Passing through 8 tunnels, the train journey finally comes to an end in the busy pueblo, Aguas Calientes. From here you take a local bus that winds up the mountainside for about 30 minutes until you arrive at the entrance to Machu Picchu (2,400m), the awe inspiring 'Lost City of the Incas'. The guide will take you around the immense, mystical ruins for about 2 to 2 ½ hours, explaining the rich history of the ancient site. Afterwards, you will have time to explore on your own before returning down the mountain to Aguas Calientes.

In the afternoon you will catch a train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and a private transfer will take you back to your hotel in Cuzco.

Meals provided: Breakfast

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

                                                                                       
Explore the phenomenal and iconic Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World - take a guided tour and have plenty of time to freely explore before returning to Cuzco : Included in Kitty 

About Machu Picchu:

Machu Picchu is a world-famous 15th-Century Inca citadel perched 2,430m above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley. One of the historical highlights of the world and a phenomenal icon of Peru, the ruins have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983 and was voted on of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Machu Picchu was most likely built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472), and is thought to have been built in around 1450 but abandoned after the Spanish conquest in the 1530s. Although the city remained known about by the local Quechua people, it was undiscovered by the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham discovered it and brought it to international attention in 1911. Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style with intricately-designed dry-stone walls built without mortar - it has three primary structures: the Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed and restored, and the iconic steep mountain of Huayana Picchu looms over the site. The city consists of more than 200 buildings, from houses to temples, storage buildings and public spaces. It's fascinating to be able to gaze down on the city from above and imagine how it would have looked during the height of the Inca empire. A visit to Machu Picchu is a major highlight of any adventure tour to Peru. A genuinely magical place, catching your first glimpse of the Inca city through the early morning mist is definitely a moment you’ll never forget. 
Today is a free day to relax after the treks, further explore the historical city of Cuzco, and take part in some optional activities around the city.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES  
 
Visit some of the fascinating museums in Cuzco,including the Textiles Museum, the Chocolate Museum, the Casa Concha, and the Museo Inka :   PEN 20

Take an incredible trip out on various mountain bike routes in the highlands surrounding Cuzco :  USD 125

Take an excellent free walking tour around Cuzco with a local guide, getting a fascinating insight into the history of the city and the life of the locals : Free

Freely explore the site of Koricancha and Santo  Domingo neat the city centre, a jarring juxtaposition of a Spanish colonial cathedral built on top of the walls of an ancient Inca Sun temple : PEN 10

Head out for an exhilarating white-water rafting trip on the Urubamba River near Cuzco : USD 45

Take part in a Peruvian cooking class in Cuzco, learning how to make a variety of local dishes  : USD 79

Take a Spanish class in the beautiful city of Cuzco (suitable for all levels)  : PEN 20 

Today we will drive south to the small village of Raqchi. Here we will stay at a home stay as guests of the local villagers in their traditional family homes. The houses are very clean and have basic facilities.

This afternoon we will visit the Inca ruins of the Temple of Wiracocha at Raqchi, and then see a pottery demonstration at a local artisan centre. This evening the villagers will invite us to take part in a traditional Quechua religious ceremony, and we'll have some lively music from some of the village's musicians.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Stay at an incredible Quechua home stay with local families in Raqchi, taking part in a traditional religious ceremony and visiting a community crafts project in the village : Included in Kitty 
                                                                     
Take a guided visit to the ruins of the Inca temple of Wiracocha in Raqchi : Included in Kitty                         

About Raqchi:

Raqchi is a small village situated 100kms southeast of Cuzco, famous as being the site of the only surviving temple of the ancient Inca creator deity Wiracocha. It is a special place for us as it is where we have one of the best local home stay experiences to be found in the world - on our Dragoman trips we stay here as guests of the local families in their traditional houses, a fantastic way to get a real insight into how people live here and to learn about their culture and customs. There is often the chance to participate in some of the ceremonial and spiritual aspects of village life, and there is always plenty of singing and dancing as we get to know our new Peruvian families. The village is also well known for its talented craftsmen and women, and there will be the chance to buy some of the beautiful hand-made and intricately decorated pottery that is made here.
Today we will drive through the stunning landscapes of the Peruvian highlands to the small town of Chivay, where we can have an optional trip to the nearby hot springs in the evening.

In Chivay we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Visit the La Calera thermal springs near Chivay : PEN 15

About Chivay:

The rural town of Chivay is the gateway to the magnificent Colca Canyon - one of the largest canyons in the Americas, which at a maximum depth of 3,270m is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA. As well as boasting some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in Peru, the Colca Canyon is famous as being one of the best places in the world to spot the mighty Andean Condor - this stunning bird is one of the largest in the world with a wingspan of around 2.5m, and the Colca Canyon provides a perfect natural habitat for them so it is very common to see them as they swoop around the canyon walls.
This morning we will head out on a short drive to some of the best viewpoints along the spectacular Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world! The canyon is famous for its resident condors, and we will spend a good amount of time at the viewpoints to give ourselves the best chance of spotting them. We will also visit a couple of local communities on the way back to Chivay.

After lunch in Chivay, we will drive to the beautiful ‘White City’ of Arequipa.

In Arequipa we will stay in a good local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the phenomenal Colca Conyon and search for the native Andean Condors that fly through its spectacular scenery : Included in Kitty

About Arequipa:

Situated on the Peruvian Altiplano, Arequipa sits at almost 3,500m above sea level and is the second largest city in the country. Set against the stunning backdrop of the snow-covered volcano El Misti, salt lakes, thermal springs and high-altitude deserts, the landscape of the area around Arequipa truly unique. It's possible to arrange mountain-biking and rafting trips in the area as day tours from the city The city itself is very beautiful, full of stunning colonial buildings built out of the soft white volcanic rock that is found in the area. As a university town, there is always a lively buzz about the place and there are plenty of good bars and restaurants to discover. No trip to Arequipa would be complete without paying a visit to Juanita in the Museo Santuarios Andinos. Sometimes known as the "Ice Maiden", Juanita is the mummy of a young Inca girl aged about 11-14 at the time of her death in approximately 1450 CE - she was discovered near to the summit of Mount Ampato in 1995 by two climbers, her body frozen and well-preserved in the low temperatures and high altitude. Arequipa is also famous for the Santa Catalina Convent, which is almost a city within a city in the centre of the town. Not only are the buildings of the convent stunningly beautiful, with brightly painted walls and shady courtyards, it also has a fascinating history which you can learn about on a guided tour.
For the next two days ( Day 11 or 12) we will enjoy free time to independently explore the colonial city of Arequipa, or to take part in some optional activities in and around the city. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Visit Arequipa's Museo Santuarios Andinos, home of the famous mummy of 'Juanita' mummy - the frozen remains of an Inca girl that was sacrificed on a nearby mountain over 600 years ago : PEN 20

Freely explore the beautiful monastery and convent of Santa Catalina, an incredibly photogenic 'city within a city' in Arequipa : PEN 35 

Head out for an exciting morning of white-water rafting on the Chili River near Arequipa : USD 35

Take a 'Reality Tour' of Arequipa, a walking tour with an alternative focus on the daily lives of the local people and contemporary issues facing modern Peru : PEN 40

Take a fascinating cooking class in Arequipa, learning how to create some iconic Peruvian cuisine and taking a tour of the nearby food markets : PEN 90 
For the next two days ( Day 11 and 12) we will enjoy free time to independently explore the colonial city of Arequipa, or to take part in some optional activities in and around the city.  

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Visit Arequipa's Museo Santuarios Andinos, home of the famous mummy of 'Juanita' mummy - the frozen remains of an Inca girl that was sacrificed on a nearby mountain over 600 years ago : PEN 20

Freely explore the beautiful monastery and convent of Santa Catalina, an incredibly photogenic 'city within a city' in Arequipa : PEN 35

Head out for an exciting morning of white-water rafting on the Chili River near Arequipa : USD 35

Take a 'Reality Tour' of Arequipa, a walking tour with an alternative focus on the daily lives of the local people and contemporary issues facing modern Peru : PEN 40

Take a fascinating cooking class in Arequipa, learning how to create some iconic Peruvian cuisine and taking a tour of the nearby food markets : PEN 90 
Today we will continue our drive and head all the way downhill to the Pacific coastal resort of Puerto Inca, where we camp at a well-equipped campsite on the beach.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

About Puerto Inca:
Puerto Inca is situated on the Peruvian Pacific coast, nd was once the Inca port that supplied the city of Cuzco with supplies of fish. It is a great place to relax on the beach, enjoying scenic views of the ocean and a dip in the swimming pool! 
This morning we head north to the world-famous village of Nazca, the location of the mysterious Nazca Lines. We will have an included visit to the nearby ancient sites of the Chauchilla Cemetery and the Cahuachi Pyramid, thought to have once been the religious centre of the Nazca civilization.  

In the afternoon, we will have the opportunity to take an optional 30-minute flight over the Nazca Lines in a small aircraft - this is by far the best way of seeing the figures, and we use a local operator with an excellent safety record. The Nazca Lines are a series of figures, lines, and geometric shapes that were etched into the ground of the desert plateau over a thousand years ago by the ancient Nazca culture, and their purpose is still unknown to this day.

In Nazca we will camp at a well-equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

See a section of the famous Nazca Lines from the viewing tower built by the archaeologist Maria Reiche : PEN 3 

Take a scenic flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines, to get the best possible view of the world-famous figures :  USD 130 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Visit the incredible ancient Nazca sites of the Chauchilla Cemetery and the nearby Cahuachi Pyramid : Included in Kitty

About Nazca:
Nazca is home to the famous and mysterious Nazca Lines, enormous geometric designs and petroglyphs inscribed on the ground of the desert on the arid high plateau between Nazca and Palpa - some of the figures are over 200m across in size. Many of the lines form stylised depictions of animals, such as monkeys, spiders and hummingbirds, as well as trees and other designs. Archaeologists believe the Nazca Lines were created between 500 BCE and 500 CE by the Nazca culture - although scholars are unsure as to their exact purpose, but they almost certainly has religious significance to the Nazca. The designs are simply shallow lines made in the ground by removing the reddish pebbles and uncovering the grey ground beneath. The Nazca Lines were discovered in 1927 by Peruvian archaeologist Toribio Mejia Xesspe, and later famously studied by the German archaeologist Maria Reiche. You can view the lines from a viewing tower or take a flight in a small plane to see them from above. Close to the town are the sites of the ancient Nazca city of Cahuachi and the Chauchilla Cemetery, where you can see the tombs of people of the ancient Nazca civilisation. It is something of an eerie sight to see the skulls, bones and even hair of the dead, preserved in a remarkable state thanks to the dry desert air. 



Today we continue north, stopping at a viewing platform to get a glimpse of some of the Nazca Lines.

We will arrive at the stunning desert oasis town of Huacachina, where we have the option to head out for an evening of sand boarding and dune bugging and the further option to camp out under the stars in the deserts.

For those that do not wish to participate in the optional camping in the desert, in Huacachina we will stay in dorm accommodation in the village itself.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Head out for an exhilarating dune buggy ride and sand boarding trip into the sand dunes of Huacachina, followed by a camp out around the fire and under the stars in the beautiful deserts : USD 60

About Huacachina:
Huacachina is a sparkling oasis nestled in the deserts near Ica in northern Peru - an area that is more reminiscent of the Sahara than South America! The picturesque lagoon is surrounded by palm trees and towering sand dunes and creates a tranquil oasis in the dusty coastal desert. The small town here has become a popular destination for travellers due to its incredible sand boarding and dune bugging opportunities. 
Today we will drive the short distance to Paracas and board one of the local boats for an included trip to the Ballestas Islands to view its incredible array of resident wildlife and birds.

After lunch, we will continue north to arrive at the chaotic Peruvian capital of Lima.

In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical center.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES

Take a boat trip to the Ballestas Islands, and see their colossal colony of resident seals and seabirds  : Included in Kitty.

About Lima:
Lima is Peru's buzzing and busy capital city, and the second largest city in the Americas behind São Paulo! Despite its colossal size and chaotic areas, if you explore the capital's streets, parks and plazas you'll discover a real gem of a city. Lima was founded by the infamous Conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 and was originally the administrative centre for Spain’s Vice royalty in South America, making it the continent’s most important city for nearly three centuries. It became a city of great wealth financed by the massive quantities of gold and silver that were mined in the area, and became the capital of independent Peru after its liberation from the Spanish in 1821. There are many museums in Lima showcasing the finest artefacts from the country's many ancient civilizations, and you can visit the finely preserved catacombs at the Church of San Francisco. There are many excellent restaurants in the city and a thriving nightlife in the lively district of Miraflores.

About Ballestas Islands:
The Ballestas Islands are a series of rock formations in the turbulent waters of the Pacific just off the coast of Paracas. Sometimes referred to as the "poor man's Galapagos", the islands have an abundance of wildlife, including Humboldt penguins, Blackish oyster catchers, cormorants and Peruvian boobies living alongside vast colonies of sea lions, all noisily crowding the Ballestas coastline and jostling for space. The wildlife is fantastic to see on a boat trip around the islands. The startling biodiversity around the Ballestas Islands and the Paracas National Park is the result of two merging currents in the Pacific - the warm northern waters of El Niño and the cooler waters of the Humboldt. The climatic conditions produced by the combination of these two currents create the perfect environment for a proliferation in the number of plankton and phytoplankton, the core constituents in the diet of fish. 
Border information: if joining in Lima, you will most likely enter Peru at Lima Jorge Chávez International Airport (IATA code: LIM).

There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Lima before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Lima.

In Lima we will stay in a comfortable hotel in the city's historical centre.

Hotel for the night: Hotel Kamana
Hotel Kamana
Jr. Camaná 547
Lima (Downtown)
Peru
Tel - +51 1426 7204 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Visit Lima's famous Museo del Oro (Gold Museum), containing over 7000 pieces of gold, silver and gilded copper from a number of Peru's different pre-Columbian cultures : PEN 33

Visit the beautiful Baroque cathedral of San Francisco in Lima's historical centre, and explore the morbidly fascinating catacombs underneath : PEN 7

Explore the bohemian areas of Barranco and Miraflores on a cycling tour of Lima : USD 35

Visit the excellent Museum of the Nation in Lima, which has numerous exhibits highlighting many of the pre-conquest civilisations and an outstanding photo exhibit on Peru's Internal Conflict of the 1980s and 1990s : PEN 9

See the incredible 'Magic Water Circuit' in Lima's Parque de la Reserva, an astounding evening display of water, music, light, images, and laser effects across 13 huge water fountains : PEN 4

Explore the Rafael Larco Herrera Museum in Lima, containing the largest private collection of pre-Colombian art in the world : PEN 30

Take a cebiche and pisco sour class at one of the top restaurants in Miraflores, a lively district of Lima : USD 40 

About Lima:
Lima is Peru's buzzing and busy capital city, and the second largest city in the Americas behind São Paulo! Despite its colossal size and chaotic areas, if you explore the capital's streets, parks and plazas you'll discover a real gem of a city. Lima was founded by the infamous Conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 and was originally the administrative centre for Spain’s Vice royalty in South America, making it the continent’s most important city for nearly three centuries. It became a city of great wealth financed by the massive quantities of gold and silver that were mined in the area, and became the capital of independent Peru after its liberation from the Spanish in 1821. There are many museums in Lima showcasing the finest artefacts from the country's many ancient civlisations, and you can visit the finely preserved catacombs at the Church of San Francisco. There are many excellent restaurants in the city and a thriving nightlife in the lively district of Miraflores. 
Today we will have a spectacular drive up the winding roads of the 'Paramonga Route' into the Cordillera Blanca section of the high Andes, reaching the mountain town of Huaraz.

In Huaraz we will stay in a local hostel in either dorm accommodation or private rooms depending on availability.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

About Huaraz:
Huaraz is situated high up in the Andes, dominated by the highest tropical mountain range in the world - the Cordillera Blanca. Looming over the town is Peru's highest peak, the 6,768m mountain of Huascarán. Huaraz offers great opportunities for trekking, mountain biking, horse riding and rafting in the spectacular mountains, or even head out ice-climbing on the Pastoruri Glacier. There are some wonderful nearby historical sites, such as the ancient ceremonial centre of Chavín de Huántar which dates from 1200-500 BCE, and the Wilcahuaín ruins, once an outpost of the Wari civilisation between 600-900 CE. 
( Day 3 to 4 )

We have two days in the spectacular area of the Cordillera Blanca for exploration and optional activities such as visiting the incredible pre-Inca ruins of Chavín de Huántar or trekking and climbing to the nearby lakes and glaciers. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Explore the incredible ancient ruins of Chavín de Huantar, the religious centre for the Chavín culture which flourished in the area from 1200BCE-500BCE : PEN 100

Explore the remarkably well-persevered three story mausoleum of Wilcahuaín near to Huaraz, built by the Wari civilisation that ruled the area between 600-900CE : PEN 15

Learn all about the area's incredible pre-Inca civilisations at the Museo Regional de Ancash : PEN 15

Take a horse riding trip from Huaraz to the incredible viewpoints of the Cordillera Blanca : USD 27

Enjoy a half-day rock climbing excursion followed by a rejuvenating dip in the nearby thermal springs : USD 25 

Go canyoning in the waterfalls and gorges of the Huaraz region : USD 25

Go downhill mountain biking through the stunning mountains of the Cordillera Blanca near Huaraz : USD 55

Trek out to the phenomenal turquoise glacier lake of Laguna 69 in the shadow of Huascaran, Peru's highest mountain : USD 45

Head out for a day of beginners-level ice climbing in the vally of Llaco in the Cordillera Blanca mountains : USD 50 

( Day 3 to 4 )
 
We have two days in the spectacular area of the Cordillera Blanca for exploration and optional activities such as visiting the incredible pre-Inca ruins of Chavín de Huántar or trekking and climbing to the nearby lakes and glaciers. 
 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
 
Explore the incredible ancient ruins of Chavín de Huantar, the religious centre for the Chavín culture which flourished in the area from 1200BCE-500BCE : PEN 100 
 
Explore the remarkably well-persevered three story mausoleum of Wilcahuaín near to Huaraz, built by the Wari civilisation that ruled the area between 600-900CE : PEN 15 
 
Learn all about the area's incredible pre-Inca civilisations at the Museo Regional de Ancash : PEN 15 
 
Take a horse riding trip from Huaraz to the incredible viewpoints of the Cordillera Blanca : USD 27 
 
Enjoy a half-day rock climbing excursion followed by a rejuvenating dip in the nearby thermal springs : USD 25 
 
Go canyoning in the waterfalls and gorges of the Huaraz region : USD 25
 
Go downhill mountain biking through the stunning mountains of the Cordillera Blanca near Huaraz : USD 55 
 
Trek out to the phenomenal turquoise glacier lake of Laguna 69 in the shadow of Huascaran, Peru's highest mountain : USD 45 
 
Head out for a day of beginners-level ice climbing in the vally of Llaco in the Cordillera Blanca mountains : USD 50 
 
Today we will have a full day's drive down the stunning 'Casma Route' to the Pacific coast and on to Huanchaco, near the city of Trujillo.

In Huanchaco we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

About Huanchaco:
Huanchaco is a small town on the Peruvian coast that is rapidly acquiring a reputation for the quality of the surfing off its relaxed beaches. Wandering along the sea front you will come across the local fishermen's "caballitos de tortora" - curved reed boats left propped up in groups together on the sand. Huanchaco is an ideal location from which to explore the numerous archaeological ruins that surround the nearby city of Trujillo. One of the most impressive sites is that of the enormous Pre-Colombian complex of Chan Chan, a vast adobe city constructed as the capital of the Chimú civilisation which thrived in the area between 900-1470 CE, when they were finally invaded by the Incas. Another incredible site is the pyramid-shaped Huaca de la Luna, the impressive remains of the capital of the Moche civilsation that flourished between 100-800 CE - this site contains some phenomenal abode structures and well-preserved painted murals of the Moche deity Ai Apaec. 
Today we will have an included guided trip to explore the enormous adobe ruins of Chan Chan and the world-famous Moche archaeological site of Huaca de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon). 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Head out on a guided tour of the colourful Moche Pyramids and the colossal Chimú adobe city of Chan Chan near the Peruvian city of Trujillo : Included in Kitty 
Today we will have a full day's drive along the coast of northern Peru. We will have an included visit to the phenomenal Lord of Sipán museum in Lambayeque, home of an incredible collection of Chimu-era treasures (please note that this museum is closed on Mondays, so we will be unable to visit if your trip passes through on a Monday).

We will stay at a friendly local campsite just outside of Punta Sal, on a beautiful and serene beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Visit the incredible Lord of Sipan Museum in the town of Lambayeque, displaying the contents of a royal tomb of the Chimu civilisation discovered nearby - widely regarded as one of the most phenomenal collections of ancient treasure ever found (please note that this is not available on Mondays, as the museum is closed) : Included in Kitty

About Lambayeque:
The small Peruvian town of Lambayeque is home to the impressive Museo Tumbas Reales de Sipán, a world-class museum that showcases the finest artefacts from the archaeological finds at nearby Sipán. The ancient city of Sipán was a settlement of the Moche civilisation that thrived in the area between 50-700 CE. The ruins were discovered in 1987, and when excavated revealed a set of fantastic and well-preserved royal tombs. Although some tombs had been plundered, many were found intact and full of some of the most extraordinary historical treasures ever discovered in the world! Amongst the most impressive discoveries made here is the tomb of the famous ‘Lord of the Sipán’, a Moche priest found buried amidst an array of gold, jewels and fabrics - some phenomenal gold and silver ornamental and ceremonial artifacts were recovered, which demonstrate the outstanding craftsmanship of the Moche metalworkers. 

About Punta Sal:
Situated on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in a long, curved bay, Punta Sal is a haven of sun and sand. The warm and tranquil waters are a pleasure to swim in and there's also the opportunity to set out on boat trips along the coast line. For those who prefer to stay on dry land, horse riding along the beach and salsa lessons can be arranged, or just kick-back in a hammock and laze the day away, enjoying the peace and quiet of this beautiful spot.
Today we have a full day to relax on the beach and enjoy some activities in and around the stunning coastal area of Punta Sal. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Try your hand at surfing in the ideal waters of the Pacific Ocean near Punta Sal or Mancora : USD 20 

Rent a mountain bike to explore the coast of Punta Sal and the beautiful nearby areas of Canoas and Plateritos : USD 20

Explore the coastlines of Punta Sal by foot, or head out trekking through the nearby hills and farms of Canoas : Free

Explore the beaches of northern Peru on quad bikes, or ride through the nearby inland forests : USD 30

Take a beginner's belly-dancing class with our hosts at the beaches of Punta Sal : USD 10

Take a yoga session at our beach campsite in Punta Sal : USD 10
Border information: Exit Peru at Tumbes, enter Ecuador at Huaquillas.

Today we will have a long drive day north, crossing the border into southern Ecuador and arriving at the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca.

In Cuenca we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

About Cuenca:
Cuenca is Ecuador's third-largest city and its small centre is home to some beautiful architecture. The city was founded in 1557 and named after the city of Cuenca in Spain, the birthplace of the Viceroy of Peru at the time. This small university town is a pleasure to explore, and you'll discover impressive churches that date back to the 16th and 17th Centuries, attractive colonial buildings, tranquil plazas and lively markets. The Ecuadorians consider it the finest city in the country, and many of its buildings are constructed from marble and decorated with stunning woodwork and ironwork. Cuenca is also the home of the Panama hat, and you can visit one of the famous hat factories and watch the skills of the craftsman on your travels here. 
Today we will have a free day to explore the colonial city of Cuenca. The town is the birthplace of the famous Panama Hat, and we will have the opportunity today to visit one of the factories to learn about the manufacturing process. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Visit some of the volcanic thermal baths near to the colonial town of Cuenca : USD 6 

Visit the Museo Pumapungo in Cuenca, featuring an impressive range of artistic, historical, cultural, and ethnological exhibits, and most famously housing a collection of shrunken heads from the Shuar civilisation : Free

Take a day trip out of Cuenca to visit the site of the Ingapirca ruins, the largest known Inca ruins in Ecuador : USD 25

Visit one of the many factories that produce the ever-stylish Panama Hats, Cuenca's most famous export! : Free 
Today we will drive to the remote village of Chugchilán, via the stunning landscape of the Cajas National Park en route and the spectacular highland scenery along the road of the 'Quilotoa Loop'.

In Chugchilán we will stay in a fantastic local hostel where breakfast and dinner are included, giving you a chance to enjoy traditional Ecuadorian food.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

About Chugchilán:
Set on the slopes of the Rio Toachi Canyon, the peaceful village of Chugchilán is our base to explore the stunning green landscapes of central Ecuador. Several day hikes are available in the area, the most famous being one from the volcanic Lake Quilotoa back to Chugchilán - this is without doubt one of the most beautiful day-treks to be found in South America, and takes you through the canyon and the lush fields of the area. 
Today we will transfer to the village of Quilotoa to see its stunning crater lake, and take an included day trek back to Chugchilán through the local villages, canyons, and beautiful scenery. This walk is widely considered one of the best day treks in Ecuador!

The mostly-downhill usually takes between 4-6 hours, but please be aware that there is a section to wards the end of the trek with a steep incline which you will need to be quite physically fit for - although we thoroughly recommend the trek, it can be skipped by anyone if they prefer. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Take a trek from the spectacular crater lake at Quilotoa : Included in Kitty 

About Lake Quilotoa:
Lake Quilotoa is a beautiful volcanic crater lake located at 3,600m above sea level in the hills between the towns of Zumbahua and Chugchilán. Its emerald water spans a circle with a diameter of 2kms - Quilotoa is an active volcano, but the last major eruption was over 850 years ago. It is possible to hike down from the crater rim to the lakeside. The descent takes 30 minutes and climbing back up takes about an hour. The lake also lends its name to the Quilotoa Loop, given to the winding circuit of spectacular dirt roads that connect Lake Quilotoa to Latacunga and the Pan-American Highway. The roads that lead away from Latacunga are unpaved, winding and have spectacular views of the mountains, rivers and verdant landscape. We will head to the town of Chugchilán on the northern section of the loop and head out on the southern section of the loop allowing you to see some of the more remote areas of the central Andes of Ecuador
Today we will drive along the remainder of the Quilotoa Loop and head north to the village of Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano.

In Rio Verde we will stay at a well-equipped campsite with great facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

About Rio Verde:
A few kilometres from the town of Baños is the small village of Rio Verde, named after the clear green water of the river that flows through the town. A number of waterfalls are found along its course, the most spectacular being The Devil’s Cauldron (‘El Pailon del Diablo’), a 20 minute walk from our excellent campsite. Whilst staying here, we will have the opportunity to take part in optional adventure activities like as horse-riding, canyoning, mountain biking and rafting, as well as making the short trip into Baños to visit the thermal springs.
( Day 14 to 15 )

We will have two full days of free time for a range of activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportunity to visit the nearby town of Baños and its popular volcanic thermal springs. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Visit the volcanic thermal springs in the town of Baños, a very popular spot with the locals : USD 3

Explore the stunning gorges, forests, and landscapes of the Baños area by foot, possibly trekking the Machay River trail or visiting the nearby waterfalls of Pailon del Diablo and Machay : Free

Take the famous zip-lining course through the Puntzan Canyon near Baños, flying through the forest canopy and past several waterfalls : USD 20 

Go out on a half day rock climbing trip to the walls of natural lava rock just outside Banos, which have routes suitable for people of all levels : USD 30

Take out some quad bikes on a tour around the winding trails near Baños : USD 36

Hire mountain bikes to freely explore the winding trails around Banos : USD 7

Head out on a horse riding trip through the beautiful volcanic landscapes surrounding Baños : USD 40

Head out for an exhilarating half-day canyoning trip through the gorges near Baños : USD 50

Go on an adrenaline-fuelled half-day rafting expedition on the Rio Pastaza near Banos, one of the best rafting experiences in South America : USD 75 

About Baños:
Nestled in the shadow of the fiery Tungurahua volcano is the exquisite town of Baños. Tungurahua is one of Ecuador's largest active volcanoes, and provides an incredible backdrop to treks and explorations in the area. There are some beautiful waterfalls, excellent trekking and mountain biking opportunities, and some famous volcanic hot springs which give the town its name! 
( Day 14 to 15 )
 
We will have two full days of free time for a range of activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportunity to visit the nearby town of Baños and its popular volcanic thermal springs. 
 
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 
 
Visit the volcanic thermal springs in the town of Baños, a very popular spot with the locals : USD 3 
 
Explore the stunning gorges, forests, and landscapes of the Baños area by foot, possibly trekking the Machay River trail or visiting the nearby waterfalls of Pailon del Diablo and Machay : Free
 
Take the famous zip-lining course through the Puntzan Canyon near Baños, flying through the forest canopy and past several waterfalls : USD 20 
 
Go out on a half day rock climbing trip to the walls of natural lava rock just outside Banos, which have routes suitable for people of all levels : USD 30
 
Take out some quad bikes on a tour around the winding trails near Baños : USD 36
 
Hire mountain bikes to freely explore the winding trails around Banos : USD 7 
 
Head out on a horse riding trip through the beautiful volcanic landscapes surrounding Baños : USD 40
 
Head out for an exhilarating half-day canyoning trip through the gorges near Baños : USD 50 
 
Go on an adrenaline-fuelled half-day rafting expedition on the Rio Pastaza near Banos, one of the best rafting experiences in South America : USD 75 
 
About Baños: 
Nestled in the shadow of the fiery Tungurahua volcano is the exquisite town of Baños. Tungurahua is one of Ecuador's largest active volcanoes, and provides an incredible backdrop to treks and explorations in the area. There are some beautiful waterfalls, excellent trekking and mountain biking opportunities, and some famous volcanic hot springs which give the town its name! 
Today we drive to the edge of the Amazon basin near the town of Tena, where we head to our jungle lodge for an incredible 3-night stay.

In the Ecuadorian Amazon we will stay in a comfortable rain forest lodge with meals included.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

About Ecuadorian Amazon:
The eastern part of Ecuador consists largely of tropical moist broad leaf forests that cover the lower slopes of the Andes and spill down into the Amazon Basin. The upland rain forest is strikingly different to that which is found in the lower basin, and features steep, rugged ridges and cascading streams and waterfalls. From our lodge near the city of Tena, we will explore these upland forests on foot and by boat - we'll aim to find various waterfalls, caves and creeks in the forest, all the while keeping an eye out for the area's elusive wildlife. We'll also visit a local Quichua community during our stay in the forest lodge. 
( Day 17 to 18 )

Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rain forest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community. 

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 

Spend 3 nights at our fantastic Ecuadorian rain forest lodge, taking in many activities such as boat trips on the Napo River, visits to local Quichua communities and treks through the jungle to some spectacular waterfalls and bat caves! : Included in Kitty

( Day 17 to 18 )
 
Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rain forest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community. 
 
INCLUDED ACTIVITIES 
 
Spend 3 nights at our fantastic Ecuadorian rain forest lodge, taking in many activities such as boat trips on the Napo River, visits to local Quichua communities and treks through the jungle to some spectacular waterfalls and bat caves! : Included in Kitty
Today we will drive back up into the highlands and arrive at the Ecuadorian capital, Quito.

In Quito we will stay in a friendly local hotel in the 'New Town'.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Visit the Museo Nacional del Banco Central, showcasing the country’s largest collection of Ecuadorian art and housing an impressive gold collection : USD 2 

About Quito:
Quito is the capital of Ecuador, nestled in a hollow in the mountains in between the volcanos Cayambe, Pichincha and Cotopaxi -at 2,850m above sea level, it is the world's highest official capital city. Founded in 1534 by a group of settlers led by Sebastián de Benalcázar, the town slowly grew throughout the Spanish colonial era and after the region's independence from Spain in 1822. The colonial old town is a maze of steep, cobbled streets with intricately carved, overhanging balconies, and some of the best examples of Spanish colonial art and churches anywhere in the Americas - along with Kraków, Quito was the first ever World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. The modern area of the town is lively and has some fantastic restaurants and bars. Quito'smix of European and Indian cultures make this a really fascinating city, and you will come across stalls displaying Indian textiles, colourful wall hangings, jewellery, pottery and woodcarvings. Quito has some incredible museums, galleries and parks in the city, and some excellent adventure activities and mountain treks nearby for those with extra time in the area.
Border Information: if finishing in Quito, you will most likely exit Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Quito. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below. 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES 

Visit one of the countless art galleries in Quito, such as the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana or the Museo Guayasamín : USD 6

Visit the monument to mark the Equator at Mitad del Mundo : USD 3

Take a trip on Quito's Telerifico to the top of the Cruz Loma mountain, getting breathtaking views over the city from a height of 4,270m : USD 8.5

Visit the excellent Museo de la Ciudad, housed in Quito's oldest building, which explores the history of everyday life from pre-Colombian times all the way up until the present day : USD 3

Take a walk around Quito's incredible Botanical Gardens, which showcases all of Ecuador's various ecosystems and their flora : USD 3.5

Visit the Museo Mindalae, the extremely original project showcasing Ecuador's rich cultural diversity : USD 3

Visit the Museo Nacional del Banco Central, showcasing the country’s largest collection of Ecuadorian art and housing an impressive gold collection : USD 2

Enjoy the fantastic view over Quito's Old Town from the statue of the Virgin Mary on top of the nearby Cerro Panecillo : Free 
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Overland expedition vehicle, 4x4, Private Bus, Public bus, Local bus, Boat, Ferry, Canoe, Train
Accommodation
Camping ( 39 nights ), hotel / hostel / lodge / cabin ( 72 nights)
Included activities
  • Boat trip
  • Two night Pantanal adventure
  • Visit Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls (entrance fee included)
  • Visit Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls (entrance fee included)
  • Jesuit Mission ruins and museum, San Ignacio de Mini
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Vineyard Tour
  • Valle de la Luna Excursion
  • Jeep tour of Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Isla del Sol boat trip
  • Uros Island boat trip on Lake Titicaca
  • Cuzco Visitor Ticket
  • Sillustani Ruins and Museum w/Guide
  • Chauchilla cemetery
  • Paracas National Park
  • Ballestas Islands boat trip
  • Chan Chan Archaeological Site
  • Pyramids of Sun and Moon
  • Lord of Sipan Museum
  • Hat Factory Tour
  • Trek from Quilotoa to Chugchilan
  • 3 night/3 day Amazon Adventure

Dates

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This trip requires an Inca Trail Permit. To view permit availability click here.

For information about altitude sickness click here


Important notes

1. This trip is run by our experienced overland partner Dragoman.
2. Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.
3. You need to choose whether you wish to hike the Classic Inca Trail or the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf) at the time of booking. If you do not indicate a preference, the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf) will be confirmed automatically.

Classic Inca Trail permits are sold on a request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavour to secure a permit for you. If Classic Inca Trail permits are unavailable by the time you book, you will be booked on the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf) instead.

The Classic Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February you will be automatically booked to hike the Quechua Community Trek (http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/inca-advisory/community_trek_peru.pdf).

Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes