Visit South America and tour Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

See the best of South America as you tour Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile on an adventure from Quito to Buenos Aires. Travel through landscapes as diverse as the lush Amazon Jungle, the sandy beaches of Peru, the vast altiplano and soaring Andean mountains. Throw in a host of happening Latin cities, famous South American nightlife and highlights, such as the Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu and mixing with locals off-the-beaten-track, and you've got one unforgettable Overland journey.

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

Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Countries
Argentina,
Bolivia,
Chile,
Ecuador,
Peru
Themes
Code
GGRHC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • See lush South American rainforest in the Amazon Jungle
  • Explore the Old Town of Quito
  • Unravel the riddle of the Nazca Lines
  • Hike Peru's Colca Canyon
  • Trek the Inca Trail
  • Discover Bolivia's salt plains at Salar de Uyuni
  • Soak up Chile's cosmopolitan vibe in Santiago
  • Try to spot penguins near Ancud
  • Visit Argentina and tango in Buenos Aires

Itinerary

Kick off this Latin American adventure exploring the Old Town’s cobblestone streets or head to a funky bar in Quito's modern New Town.
Learn the secrets of the Amazon rainforest and the medicinal uses of plants on a local-guided tour of the jungle.
With two free days in Banos, you might want to watch sunrise from the thermal springs or experience an adrenaline rush high in the Ecuadorian Andes - whitewater rafting, anyone? Banos has long been a favourite place to travel in Ecuador and it's not hard to see why.
Wander cobblestone streets and admire the red-tiled roofs, flower markets and plazas of Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Cross the border into Peru and spend a free day relaxing on Zorritos beach, surfing or taking an optional boat tour through the mangrove swamps.
Visit the colorful local market of Chiclayo or perhaps visit the Sipan museum, a very informative piece on what's been called the most important recent achaeological discovery in Peru.
Explore the historical city of Trujillo and the nearby ancient Chimu capital of Chan Chan.
Wander the well-preserved historical centre of Peru's capital, Lima.
Head to the Plaza de Armas for some tasty local cuisine or a Pisco sour - Peru's national drink made from a type of brandy.
Opt to visit the Ballestas Islands, a famed wildlife haven, before heading to the Nazca lines to discover ancient mummies and mysterious colossal etchings.
Journey to Arequipa and see why it's nicknamed the 'White City'.
Enjoy a free day in Arequipa before taking an overnight bus to Cusco.
Founded by the Incas then taken by the Spaniards, Cuzco is the South American continent's oldest continuously inhabited city. Get a feel for this city, arguably one of the most attractive in Peru, on a guided orientation walk through its winding lane ways. In spare time, perhaps learn the tale of history's most controversial plant at the Coca Museum or amble out to the Inca ruins dotting the city's fringes.
Explore the terraced Sacred Valley filled with Inca ruins, colourful markets and scenic villages.
Walk through dense cloud forests and past ancient ruins on an awe-inspiring Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu.
Relax in a cafe back in Cuzco or hit the mountain tracks on a daring bike ride.
Stop in at Puno, the folklore capital of Peru. Take a boat tour of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, and experience local life at a homestay.
Travel to Bolivia's eclectic capital La Paz. Browse the Witches' Market for everything from woolly hats and alpaca gloves to potions and incantations to cure any ailment. Celebrate the end of the Peru and Ecuador Adventure with a night on the tiles.
Travel from La Paz to Sucre and peruse a bejewelled painting at the Museo de la Catedral, compare footprints with those of a dinosaur at Cal Orck'o or head to Recoleta, an old convent at the top of a hill from where you will be able to see why Sucre is regarded as Bolivia's most beautiful city.
Learn about the bleak past of what was once the world's richest city.
Discover the gleaming salt flats, cactus-studded islands, multicoloured lakes and abundant wildlife of the surreal Salar de Uyuni.
Leave behind the mesmerising salt flats of Uyuni and make tracks to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Located in the Atacama Desert, this oasis town has low-lying adobe buildings lining narrow streets. It's a charming town, to say the least, and a great place see mummies and various Indian artefacts.
Cross the border between Bolivia and Argentina and delve into the pre-Columbian and colonial history of one of Argentina's most splendid towns, Salta. Need a thrill? Optional bungee jumping and horseriding can be easily arranged. After a few days here, you'll have no doubt why the Argentineans affectionately call this city 'Salta the Pretty'.
Visit bountiful, sun-kissed vineyards and lock lips with some Malbec - Mendoza's premier wine. Winter travellers will delight in the nearby ski resorts, though Mendoza is a treat all year round. To give a little back, choose to visit Brazos Abiertos, a community project that supports local underprivileged children and mothers.
Travel across the spectacular Andes and arrive in the bustling capital of Chile, Santiago. At the centre is the Plaza de Armas, home to the cathedral. For a serene look at Chilean life, visit Barrio Bella Vista - a cluster of cafes and galleries affectionately referred to as the 'Paris Quarter'. It is here that the Bolivia and Argentina exploration comes to an end.
Adrenaline junkies and thrillseekers will delight in the bundle of activities on offer in Pucon, Chile's adventure capital. Set out on a hike up the smouldering Volcán Villarrica, or get to mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hiking, climbing, horse riding - whatever gets your blood pumping!
Journey over the Andes and into Argentina. Drop by the country's picturesque Lake District for excellent skiing or trekking possibilities, weather permitting.
Savour the fine dining opportunities, artisan chocolate shops and quaint, chalet-style wooden architecture of Bariloche. With plenty of ski runs open during winter and stunning lakes sure to entice swimmers over summer, you could well be forgiven for thinking you were in Northern Italy.
Fiery Latin passion, European elegance and superb cuisine combine to make Buenos Aires one of the world's most enthralling cities. Nibble on alfajores, wander San Telmo's cobblestone streets, talk football with Portenos in a cafe or get a history lesson at the quirky Museo Evita. The hippest spot in town is Palermo's Plaza Serrano, so why not head out in the evening for a tango with the locals. There are so many things to see and do in Buenos Aires, it's simply a matter of trying to fit them all in.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
20 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
Transport
4x4, Bus, Canoe, Overnight bus
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hostel (10 nights), Hotel (37 nights), Jungle Lodge (3 nights), Overnight bus (5 nights)
Included activities
  • 4 day/3 night Inca Trail. Machu Picchu guided tour
  • Colca Canyon
  • Colca Canyon Tour
  • Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve
  • Lake Titicaca boat tour & homestay
  • Leader-led walking tour
  • Orientation Tour - Buenos Aires
  • Uyuni Salt Flats tour including San pedro de Atacama
  • Visit to 'Fish Island'

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

A Single Supplement is available on this trip.
On the following nights a single supplement is not available:
Days 3 to 5 - Amazon Jungle
Day 37 - Overnight bus
Days 42 to 44 - Salar de Uyuni
Day 49 - Overnight bus
Day 56 - Overnight bus
Day 64 - Overnight bus

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

Reviews

Our Best of South America trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 1 reviews in the last year.

Best of South America , January 2015