Itinerary

There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2014 to Dec 31, 2014. View later 2014 South American Explorer.

Days 1-2 Quito

Arrive in Quito, Ecuador's multifaceted capital. Kick off the Latin American adventure exploring cobblestone streets in the Old Town or head to a funky bar in Quito's modern area.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 3-5 Amazon Jungle

Learn the secrets of the Amazon rainforest and the medicinal uses of plants on a local-guided tour of the jungle.
ACCOM: Homestay - 2, Jungle Lodge - 3

Days 6-8 Banos

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.
ACCOM: Hostel - 3

Days 9-10 Cuenca

Wander cobblestone streets and admire the red-tiled roofs, flower markets and plazas of Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 11-13 Mancora

Cross the border from Ecuador to Peru and spend a free day relaxing on Mancora beach, surfing or taking an optional boat tour through the mangrove swamps to search out local birdlife.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3, Overnight bus - 1

Day 14 Trujillo

Travel through the Sechura Desert to see the 'surfing' fishermen of Huanchaco. Explore the historical city of Trujillo.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 15-16 Lima

Wander the well-preserved historical centre of Peru's capital, Lima.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 17 Pisco

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 18 Nazca

Opt to visit the Ballestas Islands, a famed wildlife haven, before heading to the Nazca lines to discover ancient mummies and mysterious colossal etchings.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 19-20 Arequipa

Journey to Arequipa and see why it's nicknamed the 'White City'.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 21-22 Colca Canyon/Arequipa

Head deep into the Andes to witness the Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest canyons.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 23-24 Arequipa/Cuzco

Get acquainted with the intriguing blend of Inca and Spanish cultures and discover some of Cuzco's lesser-known sights on a guided walking tour.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 25 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Explore the terraced Sacred Valley filled with Inca ruins, colourful markets and scenic villages.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 26-29 Inca Trail/Machu Picchu/Cuzco

Walk through dense cloud forests and past ancient ruins on an awe-inspiring Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu.
ACCOM: Camping (with basic facilities) - 3, Hotel - 1

Day 30 Cuzco

Relax in a cafe back in Cuzco or hit the mountain tracks on a daring bike ride.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 31-33 Puno/Lake Titicaca

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.
ACCOM: Homestay - 1, Hotel - 2

Days 34-37 La Paz

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3, Overnight bus - 1

Days 38-39 Sucre

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 known as Bolivia's most beautiful city.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 40-41 Potosi

In the city of Potosi, journey deep underground on an optional trip into one of Bolivia's tin mines - a confrontational but unforgettable experience.
ACCOM: Hostel - 2

Days 42-44 Uyuni/Salar de Uyuni

Discover the gleaming salt flats, cactus-studded islands, multicoloured lakes and abundant wildlife of the surreal Salar de Uyuni.
ACCOM: Dormitory - 2, Hotel - 1

Days 45-46 San Pedro de Atacama

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 47-49 Salta

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'.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight bus - 1

Days 50-52 Mendoza

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Days 53-56 Santiago

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.
ACCOM: Hostel - 3, Overnight bus - 1

Days 57-59 Pucon

Thrill seekers will get a kick out of Pucon's bundle of adventure activities. The town lies at the foot of smouldering Villarrica Volcano so perhaps opt to hike to the impressive crater. Otherwise, explore the black sand beaches, conquer whitewater rapids or hike pristine forest trails.
ACCOM: Hostel - 3

Days 60-61 San Martin de los Andes

Travel to Argentina over the Andes mountain range and drop into the country's picturesque Lake District.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 62-64 Bariloche

Enjoy the fine dining, artisan chocolate shops and quaint chalet-style wooden architecture of Bariloche. Skiing is the favoured past time of holiday makers in the winter months, with lots of swimming options in summer. There are also many hiking trails near Bariloche, which can be enjoyed year round.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight bus - 1

Days 65-67 Buenos Aires

Between its Latin passion, European elegance and superb cuisine, Buenos Aires is a joy to explore. 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 head out in the evenings to tango with the locals. There are so many awesome things to do in Buenos Aires, it's simply a matter of trying to fit them all in!
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Day 68 Colonia

Hop aboard a ferry across the tea-coloured Rio de la Plata to the Uruguayan port town of Colonia. Stroll quirky narrow streets, dine at a riverside restaurant or admire the mix of sandstone architecture.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 69 Montevideo

Travel to the vibrant city of Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. Tour through busy streets and perhaps visit the Mercado del Puerto to feast on sizzling plates of barbecued meat and listen to local music.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 70-73 Estancia Stay

Enjoy a taste of the simple life on a traditional estancia (ranch) stay. Perhaps muck in with farm chores, herd sheep or work in the garden. At the end of each day, get together and share some hearty Uruguayan home cooking.
ACCOM: Hacienda - 3, Overnight bus - 1

Days 74-75 Foz do Iguazu

Jump at the chance to visit the most breathtaking of all Argentina attractions, the mighty Iguazu Falls. Cross narrow walkways and peer over the ledge to watch thousands of litres of water thundering into the Iguazu river. Spectacular views from either the Brazilian or Argentinean side makes a visit to Iguazu truly memorable.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 76-78 Paraty

Travel to Paraty to indulge in some R and R Brazilian style. Walk through cobblestone streets or explore the beaches, trails and waterfalls of nearby national parks.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Days 79-81 Ilha Grande

With a unique blend of tropical beaches and steamy rainforest, Ilha Grande is one of the most superb places to visit in Brazil. On this island getaway, relax with a caipirinha or hike through the forests to discover Praia Lopes Mendes, one of Brazil's most beautiful beaches.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Days 82-83 Rio de Janeiro

What better place to end a sensational Argentina and Brazil tour than rowdy Rio de Janeiro! Catch a local music show in Santa Teresa, relax in the lush Jardim Botanico or watch the sunset on Ipanema beach with a refreshing agua de coco (coconut water) in hand.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1